[APR-news] February 18-20, 2006

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Mon Feb 20 15:44:41 PST 2006

Alternative Press Review - Your Guide Beyond the Mainstream
www.altpr.org - Holiday Weekend Edition (February 18-20, 2006)
"Magazine of the Year" -  2005 Press Action Award

If U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we 
cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. - Ward 

No matter what we call it, poison is still poison, death is still death, and 
industrial civilization is still causing the greatest mass extinction in the 
history of the planet. - Derrick Jensen

The Olympic Spectacle: Can't Get No Satisfaction
By Am Johal

Sport and entertainment, not religion, is after all the real opium of the 
people. The Super Bowl recently had Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones as 
their half-time show. Its symbolic meaning was as if the Americans and the 
British were getting together again for a little party after "kicking ass" 
in Iraq. It was larger than life and symbolic of the great American game of 
football, a simulation of war if there ever was one, joined by a British 
Rock Band to give what seemed like a timeless and immortal show to pacify 
the masses. In the world of Juergen Habermas and John Ralston Saul, it is as 
if the public sphere is about spectacles that make us feel good than it is 
about the development of a conscious citizenry. The psychological operations 
people in the American military couldn't have planned it any better-why ask 
questions about a war in Iraq when a 62 year old Mick Jagger is swinging his 
hips and singing rock anthems like Start Me Up, Rough Justice and (I Can't 
Get No) Satisfaction?

WWIII or Bust: Implications of a US Attack on Iran
By Heather Wokusch

Witnessing the Bush administration's drive for an attack on Iran is like 
being a passenger in a car with a raving drunk at the wheel. Reports of 
impending doom surfaced a year ago, but now it's official: under orders from 
Vice President Cheney's office, the Pentagon has developed "last resort" 
aerial-assault plans using long-distance B2 bombers and submarine-launched 
ballistic missiles with both conventional and nuclear weapons. How ironic 
that the Pentagon proposes using nuclear weapons on the pretext of 
protecting the world from nuclear weapons. Ironic also that Iran has 
complied with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, allowing 
inspectors to "go anywhere and see anything," yet those pushing for an 
attack, the USA and Israel, have not.

Other articles of interest

Navigating the collapse of civilization: a spiritual map
Carolyn Baker, Adaptation Zine

For most Americans marinated in materialism, heads anchored firmly in the 
sand, never having heard the words "Peak Oil," still driving their 
gas-gulping SUVs, reveling in suburban sprawl, and gullibly counting on 
their pensions and 401Ks to be there when they need them, the notion of 
civilization's collapse is ludicrous and merely the latest obsession of the 
lunatic fringe. For other Americans of the rapidly-vanishing middle class 
who are only one paycheck or one catastrophic illness away from financial 
oblivion-who between mortgage, car payments, monthly bills, medical 
expenses, gas prices, and doubling monthly credit card bills, realize that 
not only will they not be able to pay for their kids' college education but 
that every day they are now walking over an economic tightrope across a 
gaping precipice with a thousand-foot drop. Those folks know in their bones 
the reality of collapse-they feel it, smell it, taste it, but may not yet be 
able to allow the words to pass from their lips.

How to Survive the Crash and Save the Earth
Ran Prieur, ranprieur.com

Our little world is doomed because it's built on a foundation of taking from 
the wider world without giving back. For thousands of years we've been going 
into debt and calling it "progress," exterminating and calling it 
"development," stealing and calling it "wealth," shrinking into a world of 
our own design and calling it "evolution." We're just about done. We're not 
just running out of cheap oil -- which is used to make and move almost every 
product, and which gives the average American the energy equivalent of 200 
slaves. We're also running out of topsoil, without which we need oil-derived 
fertilizers to grow food; and forests, which stabilize climate and create 
rain by transpiring water to refill the clouds; and ground water, such as 
the Ogallala aquifer under the Great Plains, which could go dry any time 
now. We're running out of room to dump stuff in the oceans without killing 
them, and to dump stuff in the atmosphere without wrecking the climate, and 
to manufacture carcinogens without all of us getting cancer. We're coming to 
the end of global food stockpiles, and antibiotics that still work, and our 
own physical health, and our own mental health, and our grip on reality, and 
our will to keep the whole game going.

Freegans: The bin scavengers
Liz Scarff, The Independent

They're not homeless or unemployed, yet they scavenge in bins for discarded 
food. Freegans, shocked at the extent of consumer waste, are changing the 
way they eat.

An Upside-Down Media
Robert Parry, Consortium News

The gravest indictment of the American news media is that George W. Bush has 
gutted the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Conventions and 
the United Nations Charter - yet this extraordinary story does not lead the 
nation's newspapers and the evening news every day. Nor does the press corps 
tie Bush's remarkable abrogation of both U.S. and international law together 
in any coherent way for the American people. At best, disparate elements of 
Bush's authoritarian powers are dealt with individually as if they are not 
part of some larger, more frightening whole.

Information is Power
Terry Allan, In These Times

Sometimes it's the small abuses scurrying below radar that reveal how 
profoundly the Bush administration has changed America in the name of 
national security. Buried within the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism 
Prevention Act of 2004 is a regulation that bars most public access to birth 
and death certificates for 70 to 100 years. In much of the country, these 
records have long been invaluable tools for activists, lawyers, and 
reporters to uncover patterns of illness and pollution that officials miss 
or ignore.

Red State, Meet Police State
Nicholas Collias, Boise Weekly

A federal employee gets hassled by Homeland Security for antiwar stickers on 
his car. Is it a mistake, a new rule, or the part of a trend of the First 
Amendment being bullied out of existence? Read the transcript, read the 
rules and decide for yourself.

Professor McCoy Exposes the History of CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War 
to the War on Terror
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Well, if you look at the most famous of photographs from Abu Ghraib, of the 
Iraqi standing on the box, arms extended with a hood over his head and the 
fake electrical wires from his arms, okay? In that photograph you can see 
the entire 50-year history of C.I.A. torture. It's very simple. He's hooded 
for sensory disorientation, and his arms are extended for self-inflicted 
pain. And those are the two very simple fundamental C.I.A. techniques, 
developed at enormous cost. From 1950 to 1962, the C.I.A. ran a massive 
research project, a veritable Manhattan Project of the mind, spending over 
$1 billion a year to crack the code of human consciousness, from both mass 
persuasion and the use of coercion in individual interrogation. And what 
they discovered -- they tried LSD, they tried mescaline, they tried all 
kinds of drugs, they tried electroshock, truth serum, sodium pentathol. None 
of it worked. What worked was very simple behavioral findings, outsourced to 
our leading universities -- Harvard, Princeton, Yale and McGill ...

A Half-Dozen Questions About 9/11 They Don't Want You to Ask
Werther, CounterPunch

[T]here is surprisingly little discussion of the basic higher-order 
political factors surrounding 9/11, factors that do not require knowledge of 
the melting point of girder steel or the unknowable piloting abilities of 
the presumed perpetrators. Let us proceed, then, in a spirit of detached 
scientific inquiry, to ask questions the 9/11 Commission was unprepared to 

Building on Common Ground: New Orleans Activist Group Provides an 
Kari Lydersen, Infoshop News

Common Ground has been met with both hostility and grudging respect and 
cooperation from various government agencies, according to organizers. 
Several members were arrested for blocking the street with an aid truck. 
Others have had guns shoved in their faces by police and private security 
guards. But they say that in other cases, government workers have turned to 
them for information or support, "off the books" in Darby's words.

Long, Hard Days and Low Pay for Immigrants Rebuilding from Katrina
Kari Lydersen, Infoshop News

Partly because of their undocumented status and limited English, immigrant 
workers are especially vulnerable to unscrupulous subcontractors, who often 
enjoy virtual anonymity since they are hired by other subcontractors on 
various levels who at the top of the ladder are paid by US government 
agencies or private owners and developers. There are rampant reports of 
Latino immigrants not being paid what they were promised for their work, or 
not being paid at all. When they are cheated, they have little recourse 
since they are undocumented and most of the work is off the books, without 
written contracts.

Getting His War On
Dean Kuipers, LA CityBeat

David Rees never wanted to be a political cartoonist, but then 9/11 revealed 
the ambivalent relationship to violence at the heart of American culture

Bubblicious: Looking at the U.S. Real Estate Market
Seth Sandronsky, MR Zine

The rapid growth of risky mortgages -- subprime, no-down-payment, 
low-documentation, interest-only, "payment-option," and so on -- in recent 
years is another danger signal. Mortgage payments that looked manageable in 
a period of relatively low interest rates and ever rising house prices can 
easily overwhelm the borrowers of risky mortgages when interest rates soar 
or house prices plummet.


Paul Avrich, radical historian, 1931-2006

Blair's gag law: History shows such laws are soon followed by offences like 
'being an enemy of the people'

Filmmaker arrested for filming homeless arrest

'The Americans are breaking international law... it is a society heading 
towards Animal Farm'

UK police arrest stars of award-winning film "The Road to Guantanamo" under 
the Prevention of Terrorism Act

The suppression of Able Danger

Did John Negroponte organize the Iraqi death squads?

NSC, Cheney aides conspired to out CIA operative

US military planes criss-cross Europe using bogus civilian call sign

Climate change can happen frighteningly fast

Has the meltdown begun?

A long hot summer

37 million poor hidden in the land of plenty

Angry protesters confront mass murderer Colin Powell

Mom learns police shot her son in the back of head

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