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14 November 2005"A yes vote on this initiative will not only prevent more
National Guard troops from being deployed to Iraq, but
will also send a very strong message to our elected
leaders that we want them to end the war and
bring all of our troops home immediately."
Editor's Update - November 18, 2005 -
Yesterday at an event with Traprock Peace Center with Scott Ritter,
Flyby News learned that the organization, "Home From Iraq Now"
only collected about 20,000 signatures for the petition, and has
called off the signature campaign drive in Massachussetts.1) State Ballot to Prevent Guard from going to Iraq
- - US Criticised for Use of Phosphorous in Fallujah Raids
- - U.S. 'can't maintain Iraq troop levels'
- - McCain urges more US forces for Iraq: 2) Physicist Challenges 9/11 Tower Collapse Explanation
3) Aide to Guatemala Request
4) Oldest Nuke Plant - Vermont Yankee - Put to the Stress Test
- - Scott Ritter in Amherst, MA, November 17 Editor's Notes:
Item one is time sensitive, if 100,000 Massachusetts voters sign and turn in a petition by November 18th, then next year there would be a statewide ballot that could prevent the Governor from continuing to send National Guard Troops to Iraq. If this initiative is successful, it could spread across the country, pressuring the US government to bring troops home for America's defense, and shorten a war perpetuating, not ending, terrorism. Item two is on information from a BYU physicist, Steven E. Jones, claiming that the towers that fell on 9/11/01 were likely due to ‘pre-positioned explosives' in all three buildings at ground zero. Item three is on Hurricane Stan's devastation in Guatemala, and what we can do to alleviate some of the suffering. Item 4 is on Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant pushing the envelope for higher output rates that would endanger those sharing a home and land in the three state area of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts."Power concedes nothing without a demand.
It never did and it never will."
~ Frederick Douglass
1) State Ballot to Prevent Guard from going to Iraq
- - US Criticised for Use of Phosphorous in Fallujah Raids
- - U.S. 'can't maintain Iraq troop levels'
- - McCain urges more US forces for Iraq:
Binding State Ballot Initiative to Prevent Guard from going to Iraq HomeFromIraqNow.org
is a national campaign to end the war in Iraq by using binding statewide ballot initiatives around the country to pressure the administration to bring our troops home now.
This grassroots organization is currently working to place an initiative on the November 2006 ballot in Massachusetts to prevent the Governor from sending any more National Guard troops to Iraq, and it is exploring similar initiatives in other states.
A yes vote on this initiative will not only prevent more National Guard troops from being deployed to Iraq, but will also send a very strong message to our elected leaders that we want them to end the war and bring all of our troops home immediately.
To get this initiative on the ballot in Massachusetts for November 2006, we need your help to collect 100,000 signatures of Massachusetts voters by November 18, 2005. Click here to download the petition.
(It comes with instructions).
Sign it (and have your friends and family members who are registered Massachusetts voters sign it too!)
Send it to the address below right away.
PO Box 431
Brookline, MA 02446-0004
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - US Criticised for Use of Phosphorous in Fallujah Raids
Published on November 9, 2005 by the Independent / UK
US Criticised for Use of Phosphorous in Fallujah Raids
by Andrew Buncombe
A leading campaign group has demanded an urgent inquiry into a report that US troops indiscriminately used a controversial incendiary weapon during the battle for Fallujah. Photographic evidence gathered from the aftermath of the battle suggests that women and children were killed by horrific burns caused by the white phosphorus shells dropped by US forces.
The 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons bans the use of weapons such as napalm and white phosphorus against civilian - but not military - targets. The US did not sign the treaty and has continued to use white phosphorus and an updated version of napalm...
The Pentagon has always admitted it used phosphorus during last year's assault on the city, which US commanders said was an insurgent stronghold. But they claimed they used the brightly burning shells "very sparingly" and only to illuminate combat areas.
But the documentary Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre, broadcast yesterday by the Italian state broadcaster, RAI, suggested the shells were commonly used and killed an unspecified number of civilians.
Photographs obtained by RAI from the Studies Centre of Human Rights in Fallujah, show the bodies of dozens of Fallujah residents whose skin has been dissolved or caramelised by the effects of the phosphorus shells. The use of incendiary weapons against civilian targets is banned by treaty.
Last night Robert Musil, director of the group Physicians for Social Responsibility, called for an investigation. He told The Independent: "When there is clear testimony that use of such weapons has done this, it demands a full investigation. From Vietnam onwards there has been a general condemnation of [the use of white phosphorus] and concern about the injuries and consequences."
The 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons bans the use of weapons such as napalm and white phosphorus against civilian - but not military - targets. The US did not sign the treaty and has continued to use white phosphorus and an updated version of napalm, called Mark 77 firebombs, which use kerosene rather than petrol. A senior US commander previously has confirmed that 510lb napalm bombs had been used in Iraq and said that "the generals love napalm. It has a big psychological effect."
John Pike, director of the Washington-based military studies group GlobalSecurity.Org, said the smoke caused by the bombs could confuse or blind the enemy or mark a target. "If it hits your clothes it will burn your clothes and if it hits your skin it will just keep on burning," he said.
Experts said that, if not removed, white phosphorus - known as Willy Pete - can burn to the bone. The fumes from phosphorus cause severe eye irritation. © 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd
Posted at: www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1109-07.htm
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - U.S. 'can't maintain Iraq troop levels'www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20051110-125019-8225r
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - McCain urges more US forces for Iraq
Senator John McCain has called on the Bush administration to send more troops to Iraq, warning that the stakes for the US are higher than they were in Vietnam.www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10968.htm
2) Physicist Challenges 9/11 Tower Collapse Explanation
ELAINE JARVIK DESERET MORNING NEWS -
The physics of 9/11 - including how fast and symmetrically one of the World Trade Center buildings fell - prove that official explanations of the collapses are wrong, says a Brigham Young University physics professor. In fact, it's likely that there were "pre-positioned explosives" in all three buildings at ground zero, says Steven E. Jones. In a paper posted online Tuesday and accepted for peer-reviewed publication next year, Jones adds his voice to those of previous skeptics. . .
Jones, who conducts research in fusion and solar energy at BYU, is calling for an independent, international scientific investigation "guided not by politicized notions and constraints but rather by observations and calculations. "It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three buildings and set off after the two plane crashes - which were actually a diversion tactic," he writes. "Muslims are (probably) not to blame for bringing down the WTC buildings after all," Jones writes.
As for speculation about who might have planted the explosives, Jones said, "I don't usually go there. There's no point in doing that until we do the scientific investigation." Previous investigations, including those of FEMA, the 9/11 Commission and NIST (the National Institutes of Standards and Technology), ignore the physics and chemistry of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, to the Twin Towers and the 47-story building known as WTC 7, he says. The official explanation - that fires caused structural damage that caused the buildings to collapse - can't be backed up by either testing or history, he says. Jones acknowledges that there have been "junk science" conspiracy theories about what happened on 9/11, but "the explosive demolition hypothesis better satisfies tests of repeatability and parsimony and therefore is not 'junk science.' " In a 9,000-word article that Jones says will be published in the book "The Hidden History of 9/11," by Elsevier, Jones offers these arguments:
- The three buildings collapsed nearly symmetrically, falling down into their footprints, a phenomenon associated with "controlled demolition" - and even then it's very difficult, he says. "Why would terrorists undertake straight-down collapses of WTC-7 and the Towers when 'toppling over' falls would require much less work and would do much more damage in downtown Manhattan?" Jones asks. . .
- No steel-frame building, before or after the WTC buildings, has ever collapsed due to fire. But explosives can effectively sever steel columns, he says.
- WTC 7, which was not hit by hijacked planes, collapsed in 6.6 seconds, just .6 of a second longer than it would take an object dropped from the roof to hit the ground. "Where is the delay that must be expected due to conservation of momentum, one of the foundational laws of physics?" he asks. "That is, as upper-falling floors strike lower floors - and intact steel support columns - the fall must be significantly impeded by the impacted mass. . . . How do the upper floors fall so quickly, then, and still conserve momentum in the collapsing buildings?" The paradox, he says, "is easily resolved by the explosive demolition hypothesis, whereby explosives quickly removed lower-floor material, including steel support columns, and allow near free-fall-speed collapses." . . .
- Horizontal puffs of smoke, known as squibs, were observed proceeding up the side the building, a phenomenon common when pre-positioned explosives are used to demolish buildings, he says.
- Steel supports were "partly evaporated," but it would require temperatures near 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit to evaporate steel - and neither office materials nor diesel fuel can generate temperatures that hot. Fires caused by jet fuel from the hijacked planes lasted at most a few minutes, and office material fires would burn out within about 20 minutes in any given location, he says.
- Multiple loud explosions in rapid sequence were reported by numerous observers in and near the towers, and these explosions occurred far below the region where the planes struck, he says.http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/1,1249,635160132,00.html
For FN's updated resources, see:
The Bush Conspiracy and 9/11 Investigative Reports,
looking into the unanswered questions.
3) Aide to Guatemala Request
by Frank Taylor < email@example.com >
Dearest Friends and those who may not know me, I have lived in Guatemala and Chiapas Mexico for the last 28 years working with Mayan communities on the regeneration of organic farming methods and on traditional healing.
In this letter I want to let you know about the effects of hurricane Stan on Guatemala and the prospects for recovery and reconstruction. Following this explanation are descriptions of different non-governmental organization's efforts to provide relief to different areas of Guatemala. Please take time to consider if you might be able to contribute in some way to these efforts.
In early October hurricane Stan brought rains day and night without stop for between 5 to 9 days, depending on the area, that caused flooding, mud slides and avalanches and the soil to literally split apart and slide down mountain sides. All of these effects carried away and covered over families, homes, animals, fields and the impending harvests. The Pacific coast and the Western highlands were areas that were hardest hit.
Official government data report the following;
-1,176 Communities Affected
-474, 928 Affected
-25,832 Homes Damaged
-9,136 Homes Destroyed
A study by the International Organization for Immigrants estimates 69% of Guatemala's population was severely affected (approximately 401,840 families). This population they calculate contribute to 90% of the national production (PIB). The IOI expressed that with such widespread destruction of homes, crops and work places is the loss of the means of production leading to further impoverishment. desperation, chaos, family and community disintegration and violence.
The government was slow to respond, demonstrating indifference and helplessness and finally admitted their incapacity and eventually requested international aid.
After one month the government ended the State of Emergency claiming that the country was returning to normal and that the government would continue reconstructing the damaged infrastructure- bridges, schools and roads.
The Catholic Church and the Guatemalan Red Cross responded with a vigorous rebuttal, calling for continued efforts to provide food and reconstruction efforts that would enable the population to remove themselves from the precarious conditions that contribute to disasters. And finally they emphasize the need for trauma therapy to enable the population to recover emotionally. Fortunately the Guatemalan Congress today decided to continue the State of Emergency 30 days more.
The progressive forces here see the reconstruction as an opportunity to change the conditions that have long marginalized the majority of Guatemalans who increasingly suffer from a lack of basic resources and services. What is obvious is the disastrous effect of a lack of structural reforms that would provide for land reform taking the plantation land that is abandoned or underutilized(and once belonged to the Maya) and turning it over to those living on marginal lands and to the landless.
The steep mountainsides where most of the population, who are indigenous Maya live, suffered massive devastation- for centuries they have been relegated to these precarious areas due to the theft of their lands. This area of the country is exceedingly mountainous and people live and farm on hillsides in many cases so steep that if they fall while working they often are killed, tumbling down- hills or off precipices.
The force of water, mud and debris carried the road systems that wind their way along these mountains away. In many places roads and bridges continue to collapsed due to the of the accumulated weight from the heavy rains in the soils combined by the steepness of hill sides deforested and farmed out of desperation.
Traveling for the first time after the hurricane into the highlands and seeing the widespread destruction of land where I have work with communities to conserve and regenerate their soils was shocking and painful. Many communities lost their subsistence crops, which they cannot replant until next years rainy season- meaning they will need 10 months of food aid.
Entire communities were buried under mud and those who escaped lost their homes, land, crops, and animals and in many cases potable water systems.
The worst and best-known case is Santiago Atitlan where 2 communities are buried under 5 meters of mud. They have uncovered 65 bodies- the estimates the total in Santiago would reach 1,000 and now the papers speak of 2,000 dead. They have recently ordered an end to the search for bodies, due to their state of putrification and the danger of provoking epidemics that the authorities are unprepared or unwilling to handle.
For the Maya it is not just such a precipitous loss of family, where in some cases whole families perished, but their cultural and spiritual values demand reverence and respect for their ancestors and proper burials for the dead where families can commune with their spirits.
Throughout Maya history the remote mountainous geography has served to buffer communities- allowing them to protect their traditions from the excesses of the national government and yet has prevented their access to necessary services- along with the government's negligence in reaching them. As a consequence weeks after the hurricane, the effects of the hurricane on much of the population are only vaguely known and the reporting is very poor.
The non-governmental organizations since their inception after the earthquake of '76, done the lion's share of support to the population are moving to do so. Food, Clothes and medicine are being trucked in over circuitous routes due the destruction of so many bridges and roads. Given the government's ineptitude and the decentralized efforts the relief work is not well coordinated and there is duplication of efforts.
THE MEANS FOR US TO CONTRIBUTE TO RELIEF EFFORTS
Relationship with Guatemalans brings deep rewards. When people ask me why I have stayed here so long my answer is to experience and learn from people here about how to suffer and to share in their great joy for life.
So much suffering and hardship has developed a culture of survival, resistance and solidarity and living in the moment. Knowing how to suffer seems to keep them in the moment while generating a profound appreciation for life and a capacity to experience joy- and knowing such suffering and being in the now they know or are reminded that their survival depends on their unity.
1.Here are some suggestions and the first is to enter into relationship with Guatemalans and their natural world by contributing in some way. Volunteers- many foreigners- have been working for the last month digging out communities and if you would like to come and work here please let me know and we can discuss what you might do for the relief effort and reconstruction- with justice. I would deeply appreciate hearing yours suggestions, too;
Perhaps the easiest avenue for sending material contributions is thru Rights Action an organization that works with progressive Guatemalan organizations and funds many of the organizations I have worked with for years. I would suggest you read the description of the different organizations they support and ear mark your funds for that organization. Am sending their bulletins in the following e-mail so that you can have a sense of their values and work in Guatemala.
HOW TO DONATE tax-charitable donations (in the USA and Canada):
* For credit card donations, go to www.rightsaction.org
and click-on "groundspring" (Make donation on behalf of "Hurricane Stan").
* To mail a check, make it to "Rights Action" (write "Hurricane Stan" on memo-line) and mail to:
- UNITED STATES: Rights Action, Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887,
- CANADA: Rights Action, 509 St. Clair Av. W., box73527, Toronto ON, M6C-1C0.
For bank to bank wire transfers, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Oldest Nuke Plant - Vermont Yankee - Put to the Stress Test
- - Scott Ritter in Amherst, MA November 17
PUBLIC MEETING on PROPOSED VERNON REACTOR UPRATE
Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov. 15 & 16
Call now to speak. Technical issues considered by
Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards at a
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards will hold a public meeting on Entergy Nuclear's proposal to increase electrical output, along with profits and radioactive waste output, at New England¹s oldest operating nuclear reactor in Vernon, Vermont. The Committee will hear public comment in the Grand Ballroom at the Quality Inn and Suites, 1380 Putney Road, Brattleboro, Vermont, for two days, on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 15-16, 2005.
No evening hours are scheduled at this time. We urge the ACRS to add evening hours in the following weeks.
WHAT'S the PROBLEM?
Increased operating temperatures and loss of a back-up cooling pump, increased water and steam pressure and velocity, increased speed of the rotors, excess vibration, and containment overpressure are some of the concerns bound to be addressed.
This meeting is announced as the final opportunity the public to comment before a recommendation is made to allow or NOT allow the increases. Entergy Corporation of Louisiana, the owners of the Vernon reactor which began operation in 1971, have been pushing for a 20 percent reactor power boost before the Vermont Public Service Board and the NRC since February of 2003. Their effort has been stalled because the questions being asked by regulators, interveners, legislators, town select board members, and citizens about the suitability of the uprate have still not been answered.
Note: Last weekend the NRC staff has given preliminary approval to Entergy, moving along the process towards possible approval of an uprate entailing a 20% increase in electrical output, increased operating temperatures, increased water and steam pressures, intensified mechanical stresses and increased radioactive emissions!
Related Event on Human Rights Day,
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005; 1-6pm
Greenfield Community College Cafeteria, Greenfield, MA,
Keynote speaker Ernest Sternglass will present graphs on downwind
health effects following nuclear testing and reactor operations, 1pm.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =- - Scott Ritter in Amherst, MA November 17
Scott Ritter, Iraq Confidential -- Dual Deception
6:30 pm; Nov. 17, 2005
Grace Episcopal Church Parish Hall,
*** Amherst, Massachusetts ***
Scott Ritter, UN Weapons Inspector for seven years, was right. Disarmament worked. Veterans, students, pacifists are invited to confer at a discussion & reception to follow. For more information, visit: traprockpeace.org
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