Dispatches-Greenwash presented by George Monbiot







Both government and corporations claim to be getting greener to help halt the advance of Climate Change through Global Warming but does the factual record support their claims?

Knife-wielding man beheads fellow passenger on Canadian bus


OTTAWA (AFP) — A passenger travelling across Canada’s Western plains on a bus stabbed, gutted and decapitated a man seated next to him, and then taunted police with the head, a witness told media Thursday.

The victim, believed to be 18 years old, had been sleeping with headphones on his ears before he was repeatedly stabbed in the chest by the man with a “big Rambo knife,” witness Garnet Caton told public broadcaster CBC.

The other 34 passengers and the driver were jolted by “blood-curdling screams” and fled, bracing the door on their way out to trap the assailant inside the bus, he said.

“He must have stabbed him 50 times or 60 times,” said Caton.

When Caton and two others returned to check on the victim, he said they saw the attacker “cutting the guy’s head off and gutting him.”

“While we were watching … he calmly walked up to the front (of the bus) with the head in his hand and the knife and just calmly stared at us and dropped the head right in front of us.”

“There was no rage in him and he wasn’t swearing or cursing or anything, it was just like he was a robot or something.”

Moments later, police surrounded the bus and arrested the man after a nearly three-hour standoff, an official said. “He was taunting police with the head in his hand out the window,” said Caton.

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House panel votes to cite Rove for contempt

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel voted Wednesday to cite Karl Rove, formerly President Bush’s top aide, for contempt of Congress as its Senate counterpart explored punishment for alleged misdeeds by other administration officials.

But it was not clear that the Democrats controlling a lame-duck Congress will push their case for abuse of power against a lame-duck president beyond televised talk and vague threats just a few weeks shy of final adjournment. As a practical matter, lawmakers have little time and less willingness to follow through on most charges, let alone punishments, before Bush leaves office.

They’re finding plenty of time and political purpose, however, for public reviews of what Democrats say is the abuse of power and politicization across the Bush administration. Rove and the Justice Department starred in Wednesday’s proceedings.

Voting 20-14 along party lines, the House Judiciary Committee cited Rove with contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena to testify July 10 on allegations of improper White House influence over the Justice Department. For his part, Rove has denied any involvement with Justice decisions. The White House has said Congress has no authority to compel testimony from current and former advisers.

The committee decision is only a recommendation; a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she would not decide until September whether to bring it to a vote by the full House. If she does and Democrats prevail, Pelosi could then refer the contempt citation to the Justice Department for prosecution. She also could direct the House to file a federal lawsuit against Rove, as she has done with two other Bush confidants who similarly sidestepped their subpoenas: White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former presidential legal counselor Harriet Miers.

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Raw for 30-Days


Six McDonalds-munching Americans eat 100% vegan live foods for a month. Medical results are fantastic. Doctors and experts are interviewed … todos » including Gabriel Cousens, MD and David Wolfe. Raw for 30-Days

Raw for 30-Days will document the journey of five Americans suffering from Adult Onset Type II Diabetes, who undergo a radical 30-day diet and lifestyle change in the hope of reversing or reducing their insulin dependence. The film will show the eating habits that led to the development of this disease and will posit an alternative approach to living and eating, one in which foods can heal and hold the potential to reverse Diabetes. We will recruit subjects who have been subsisting on a standard American junk food diet and who are now insulin dependent and Diabetic. Those selected will journey to the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona to undergo a 30-day health regimen consisting of 100% raw organic living foods that are purported to heal Diabetes. We will select a diverse group of subjects, representative of the different segments of the population most affected by this epidemic. Examples include a Native American from a Reservation, an African American from an urban Northeast city, a Mexican American living in the western US and a Caucasian person from the mid-west or a Southern city such as Chattanooga, TN.

How Terrorist Groups End

Implications for Countering al Qa’ida

The United States cannot conduct an effective counterterrorism campaign against al Qa’ida or other terrorist groups without understanding how such groups end. While it is clear that U.S. policymakers will need to turn to a range of policy instruments to conduct such campaigns — including careful police and intelligence work, military force, political negotiations, and economic sanctions — what is less clear is how they should prioritize U.S. efforts.

A recent RAND research effort sheds light on this issue by investigating how terrorist groups have ended in the past. By analyzing a comprehensive roster of terrorist groups that existed worldwide between 1968 and 2006, the authors found that most groups ended because of operations carried out by local police or intelligence agencies or because they negotiated a settlement with their governments. Military force was rarely the primary reason a terrorist group ended, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory.

These findings suggest that the U.S. approach to countering al Qa’ida has focused far too much on the use of military force. Instead, policing and intelligence should be the backbone of U.S. efforts.
First Systematic Examination of the End of Terrorist Groups

This was the first systematic look at how terrorist groups end. The authors compiled and analyzed a data set of all terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006, drawn from a terrorism-incident database that RAND and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism jointly oversee. The authors used that data to identify the primary reason for the end of groups and to statistically analyze how economic conditions, regime type, size, ideology, and group goals affected their survival. They then conducted comparative case studies of specific terrorist groups to understand how they ended.

Of the 648 groups that were active at some point between 1968 and 2006, a total of 268 ended during that period. Another 136 groups splintered, and 244 remained active. As depicted in the figure, the authors found that most ended for one of two reasons: They were penetrated and eliminated by local police and intelligence agencies (40 percent), or they reached a peaceful political accommodation with their government (43 percent). Most terrorist groups that ended because of politics sought narrow policy goals. The narrower the goals, the more likely the group was to achieve them through political accommodation — and thus the more likely the government and terrorists were to reach a negotiated settlement.

In 10 percent of cases, terrorist groups ended because they achieved victory. Military force led to the end of terrorist groups in 7 percent of cases. The authors found that militaries tended to be most effective when used against terrorist groups engaged in insurgencies in which the groups were large, well armed, and well organized. But against most terrorist groups, military force was usually too blunt an instrument.

The analysis also found that

* religiously motivated terrorist groups took longer to eliminate than other groups but rarely achieved their objectives; no religiously motivated group achieved victory during the period studied.
* size significantly determined a group’s fate. Groups exceeding 10,000 members were victorious more than 25 percent of the time, while victory was rare for groups below 1,000 members.
* terrorist groups from upper-income countries are much more likely to be left-wing or nationalist and much less likely to be motivated by religion.

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Sex curse found at ancient Cyprus site: report


NICOSIA (AFP) — An unexpected sexual curse has been uncovered by archaeologists at Cyprus’s old city kingdom of Amathus, on the island’s south coast near Limassol, according to a newspaper on Friday.

“A curse is inscribed in Greek on a lead tablet and part of it reads: ‘May your penis hurt when you make love’,” Pierre Aubert, head of Athens Archaeological School in Greece told the English language Cyprus Weekly.

He said the tablet showed a man standing holding something in his right hand that looks like an hour glass. The inscription dates back to the 7th century AD when Christianity was well established on the island, leading the French professor to surmise that it referred to the activity of witchcraft or shamans surviving from the pagan era.

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House Panel Probes Pentagon on Electrocutions

Faulty Wiring Blamed for Deaths of 16 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq
A congressional report released Wednesday blames defense contractor KBR for the recent electrocution of a U.S. soldier in Iraq, in contradiction to what the Pentagon has said.

The report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform shows that KBR knew about a defective water pump that killed Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth in January 2008. Maseth, 22, died while showering at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex in Baghdad. A memo yesterday from the Pentagon’s inspector general had said KBR couldn’t have known that the shower was life-threatening.

KBR, a subsidiary until last year of the oil services giant Halliburton, has received $20 billion in Iraq war contracts since the 2003 U.S. invasion. The contracts cover repair of Iraq’s infrastructure, including rewiring and re-plumbing the palace building where Meseth died. KBR recently won a share of a new 10-year, $150-billion contract to continue their rebuilding and reconstruction work.

But the report fuels lawmakers’ claims that no one is monitoring Iraq’s biggest contractor. The result has allegedly been the death of up to 19 U.S. troops. At a House oversight committee hearing Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans alike appeared startled by a Pentagon official’s lack of knowledge about KBR and its controversial electrical work.

“I can’t say that after this hearing I feel assured that the Pentagon, KBR or inspector general will find the answers,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif), the committee chairman.

The Pentagon’s answers at the hearing, mainly from the acting inspector general, Gordon Heddell, did little to assuage the committee members. In fact, they didn’t even seem to please the inspector general.

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LA blocks new fast-food outlets from poor areas


LOS ANGELES (AP) — City officials are putting South Los Angeles on a diet.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in an impoverished swath of the city with a proliferation of such eateries and above average rates of obesity.

The yearlong moratorium is intended to give the city time to attract restaurants that serve healthier food. The action, which the mayor must still sign into law, is believed to be the first of its kind by a major city to protect public health.

“Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods,” City Councilman Bernard Parks said.

Representatives of fast-food chains said they support the goal of better diets but believe they are being unfairly targeted. They say they already offer healthier food items on their menus.

“It’s not where you eat, it’s what you eat,” said Andrew Puzder, president and chief executive of CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr. “We were willing to work with the city on that, but they obviously weren’t interested.”

The California Restaurant Association and its members will consider a legal challenge to the ordinance, spokesman Andrew Casana said.

Thirty percent of adults in South Los Angeles area are obese, compared to 19.1 percent for the metropolitan area and 14.1 percent for the affluent Westside, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Research has shown that people will change eating habits when different foods are offered, but cost is a key factor in poor communities, said Kelly D. Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

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