Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In Case You Missed It

Think Fast
courtesy of The Progress Report
a publication of The Center for American Progress Action Fund
At a recent private reception, President Bush asked Sen.-elect Jim Webb (D-VA), "How's your boy?" referring to Webb's son Jimmy, who is serving in Iraq. Webb answered, "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," to which Bush responded, "That's not what I asked you." Webb "coldly" shot back, "That's between me and my boy, Mr. President." Webb later confessed that he was "tempted to slug" Bush.
"A December 7 summit at Riyadh may be the first venue for the Bush administration to negotiate directly with Iran and Syria in an effort to reduce the bloodshed in Iraq," the New York Sun speculates.
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller announced in a statement yesterday that "Times correspondents may describe the conflict in Iraq as a civil war when they and their editors believe it is appropriate." Keller added, "We expect to use the phrase sparingly and carefully, not to the exclusion of other formulations, not for dramatic effect."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said yesterday "that unless the Bush administration admits that the war in Iraq is a 'failure,' it will never develop a strategy to leave the country successfully."
"About $2 billion worth of Army and Marine Corps equipment -- from rifles to tanks -- is wearing out or being destroyed every month in Iraq and Afghanistan," USA Today reports. "The wear and tear may lead to future equipment shortages and cutbacks in more advanced weapons."
Iraq's parliament yesterday voted to keep the country under a state of emergency for 30 more days. A U.S. military spokesman told reporters that he expects to see "'elevated levels of violence' as a result of the car bombings that killed more than 200 people in Sadr City, a Shiite district in northeast Baghdad."
The world will "fall 5 million short" of their goal to provide universal access to AIDS medicines for 9.8 million AIDS/HIV patients by 2010, according to a report by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition. "The rhetoric from public health officials is good, but the follow-through is abysmal," said one official.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promised to do away with the Do-Nothing Congress by putting in "some hours here that haven't been put in in a long time." That means "being here more days in the week and we start off this year with seven weeks without a break. That hasn't been done in many, many years here."

EPA OKs Spraying Pesticides over Waters

In years to come I imagine that historians will remember the George W. Bush presidential years as the era that government was willing to sell out humanity for the sake of big business. plk

EPA OKs Spraying Pesticides over Waters
by Michael Doyle

Published on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 by the McClatchy Newspaper

Read the entire article at:

The Bush administration pleased farmers and frustrated environmentalists Monday by declaring that pesticides can be sprayed into and over waters without first obtaining special permits.

The heavily lobbied decision is supposed to settle a dispute that's roiled federal courts and divided state regulators. It's popular among those who spray pesticides for a living, but it worries those who fear poisoned waters will result.

"We need to act fast to stop mosquitoes when they are found," argued Jim Tassano, a pest-control operator in the California foothills town of Sonora. It is far cheaper and much more effective to kill them as larvae ... if a permit is required, the costs would skyrocket."

Tassano was one of hundreds to weigh in over the past three years as the Environmental Protection Agency mulled its options. His sentiments were shared by California's Merced and Tulare mosquito control districts, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Potato Commission.

"Requiring (federal) permitting would unnecessarily disrupt the effectiveness of (pest) control operations and adversely impact hundreds of business," the South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society warned.

The EPA decision gave the pest operators what they wanted. It also closely parsed the English language for what the all-important word "pollutant" means.

EPA officials concluded that a pesticide, when it's deliberately applied, isn't a "pollutant" under the terms of the 1972 Clean Water Act.

Environmentalists, though, note that mosquito-killing chemicals can also poison shrimp, frogs and other aquatic innocents.

"Pesticides are intended to kill living organisms, something that most would consider an adverse effect on the environment," noted Janette K. Brimmer, legal director for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Reflections on the Christmas Spirit

Christmas wreaths adorn head stones at Arlington National Cemetery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi)

Since 1992 the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine owned by Merrill Worcester donates more than 5,000 Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. In addition, to supplying the wreaths Mr. Worcester covers the trucking expenses as well.

If you live near Maine, USA, please visit Worcester Wreath Co. and support them this holiday season .

Thanks to Cecelia R. for sharing this story with me. If you know of other examples of the Christmas and would like to share them drop me a line.  Posted by Picasa


This is one of the most beautiful messages that I have read in sometime. I hope that you will enjoy it and know that this is my prayer for each of you. plk


May you find serenity and tranquility in a world you may not always understand.

May the pain you have known and the conflict you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with optimism and courage.

Always know that there are those whose love and understanding will
always be there, even when you feel most alone.

May you discover enough goodness in others to believe in a world of

May a kind word, a reassuring touch, a warm smile be yours every day of your life, and may you give these gifts as well as receive them.

Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.

Teach love to those who know hate, and let that love embrace you as you go into the world.

May the teaching of those you admire become part of you, so that you may
call upon them.

Remember, those whose lives you have touched and who have touched yours
are always a part of you, even if the encounters were less than you would have wished.

May you not become too concerned with material matters, but instead
place immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart.

Find time in each day to see the beauty and love in the world around

Realize that each person has limitless abilities, but each of us is
different in our own way.

What you may feel you lack in one regard may be more than compensated
for in another.

What you feel you lack in the present may become one of your strengths
in the future.

May you see your future as one filled with promise and possibility.

Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience.

May you find enough inner strength to determine your own worth by
yourself, and not be dependent on an other's judgments of your

May you always feel loved.

-- Author Unknown

courtesy of Email Ministry

photos of Owen & Mzee

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Blessings We May Not Recognize


1. If you own a Bible, you are abundantly blessed - about 1/3 of the
world does not have access to one.

2. If you wake up each morning with more health than illness, you are
blessed to rise and shine, to live and to serve in a new day.

3. If you have anyone on the planet, just one person that loves you and
listens to you; count this as a blessing.

4. If you can freely attend a church meeting without fear, then you are
more blessed than over 1/3 of the world.

5. If you have a yearning in your heart to parent a child, you are
blessed because you still desire what you cannot see.

6. If you pray today or any day, you are blessed because you believe in
God's willingness to hear your prayer.

7. If you pray for someone else, you are blessed because you want to
help others also.

8. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
over your head, and a place to sleep; all at the same time; you are
rich in this world;

9. If you have a brother or sister in Christ that will pray with you
and for you, you benefit from a spiritual unity, bond, and agreement,
which the gates of hell cannot stand against.

10. If you have any earthly family that even halfway loves you and
supports you, you are blessed beyond measure.

11. If you attend a church with a church family that offers you one
word of encouragement, you are blessed with some form of fellowship.

12. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, or some spare change
in a dish someplace you are among the world's wealthy.

13. If you can go to bed each night, knowing that God loves you, you
are blessed beyond measure.

14. If you try each day to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ for even a
minute, you are blessed because you show a willingness to grow up in

15. If you can read this message, you are more blessed than about 1/3
of the world who cannot read at all.

16. If you have never had to endure the hardship and agony battle,
imprisonment, or torture, you are blessed in indescribable measure.

17. If you have a voice to sing His praises, a voice to witness God's
love, and a voice to share the gospel, you are blessed. About 1/3 of the
world do not even know who the one true God is.

18. If you can hold someone's hand, hug another person, touch someone
on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God's healing

19. If you can share a word of encouragement with someone else, and do
it with His love in your heart, you are blessed because you have learned
how to give.

20. If you have the conviction to stand fast upon His Word and His
promises, no matter what, you are blessed because you are learning
patience, endurance, and tenacity.

21. If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly
thankful, you are blessed because most people can, but many will not.

May God Bless You And Keep You Safe.

-- Author Unknown

To learn more about E-Mail Ministry and read previous messages, visit
our web site at:

Cultivating Gratitude

by Dana Reynolds

The last of autumn’s leaves are falling to the ground,
a signal that we are at the threshold of the potentially
busiest time of the year. May we embrace the small rich
moments in between the frenetic hours of shopping,
cooking, and gift-wrapping, to experience gratitude and
to offer our prayers. Perhaps gratitude consciousness
will help to prepare our hearts and souls for the true
sacredness of the holy season that is swiftly approaching.

Each of us has been blessed with those times in life when something profound happened and it was automatic to say, "Thank God." Those holy moments when the job offer came through, or the house sold, or the diagnosis was benign, or the plane landed safely, or the baby was born healthy. Gifts from the Divine, like these, signal we have made it through another passage, we’re still here, and life is good. Big events like these are cause for celebration. They are recognizable. They are landmarks. Gratitude is the natural response in the way applause follows a bravo performance.

This month, as we focus on gratitude, I invite you to celebrate not only the big moments, so worthy of thanksgiving, but also the little blessings that come your way. Additionally consider the special people in your life who deserve gratitude and acknowledgment.

Beginning the day in gratitude sets the tone for whatever the next twenty-four hours might bring. During the month of November, in honor of Thanksgiving and in preparation for a soulful and sacred holiday, you might like to try the following process to bring gratitude awareness to each day.

Living in Gratitude: A Thirty Day Experiment

The following four-fold map is intended as a daily spiritual practice to be experienced for thirty days. Following these steps will bring gratitude into your conscious awareness throughout the day. Feel free to use your creativity to expand the concepts and make them truly your own.

Step One: Waking up to Gratitude

As you awaken each morning immediately bring gratitude into awareness. Give thanks before throwing off the covers to leap into the river of carpooling, appointments, meetings, or the needs of family and children. Take a deep breath and for example, say a prayer of gratitude for a restful night’s sleep, for your eyes and the gift of vision that welcome the day’s light, for the bird’s song of joy outside your window, for the protective warmth of your comfortable bed. These are blessings that might otherwise go unnoticed or could be taken for granted. Being actively grateful for these graces through prayer sets a tone for whatever the day may hold.

Step Two: Slowing Down to Count Your Blessings

Throughout the day there are often moments that provoke annoyance and impatience. Interruptions such as the red traffic light when you’re running late, the phone ringing just as you’re heading out the door, the chance meeting with an acquaintance when you should be running errands, or simply having to stand on line at the post office to mail an important package. These moments seem to occur daily and the cumulative effect is high blood pressure, anxiety, and irritation.

Bringing gratitude to these times of forced pause shifts the energy from aggravation to appreciation. The next time the traffic light turns red forcing you to an unwanted halt, take a deep breath and call to mind three things or persons you are grateful for and offer a prayer of thanksgiving. This might be a good time to consider those people in your life who have been your greatest teachers, or to remember the unexpected guidance you received from a stranger. Allow those times during the day that cause you to pause to become sacred times as you count your blessings.

Read the remainder of this article:

Copyright© 2000 Dana Reynolds.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Soul Food Thanksgiving

A Soul Food Thanksgiving
Rev. Elease Welch

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, oh Lord of my Soul.  I often say these words to the congregation before I give a sermon.  I know the feeling of peace and gratitude this invokes in me and I know that when I speak I experience and express these feeling; I am connected in that moment to the God within me. 

In this week of Thanksgiving, we will spend time eating and feeding our bodies, giving thanks and being in celebration with family and friends.  If for some reason you are not doing this, you will probably spend some time thinking of a past Thanksgiving or one in the future; you will give thought to the way it was or the way you'd like it to be.

As we interact with family and friends or spend time with our selves, we are given opportunities and reminded to give thanks.  Giving thanks is a form of gratitude and gratitude raises our level of vibration, lifts us up in consciousness to an even greater experience of what is present in our consciousness.  As I say, before the sermon, "may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, oh Lord of my Soul," the words feed my Spirit somehow.  I experience a connection and that connection is greater, the experience is heightened, and the gratitude I feel is amplified.

This month we are focused on elimination and renunciation.  At my church we are also focused on the mind, body, spirit connection.  As we prepare meals, for the season we spend a lot of time planning, preparing, and looking forward to what we will eat, who will visit, who will be missing.

As I thought about the mind, body, spirit connection, I thought ,we spend a lot of time focused in this season on what we feed our bodies.  The question is, what do we feed our mind and, more importantly, what do we feed out Spirit? 
This season gives us an opportunity to plan a meal to feed the Spirit; we get a chance to make food for our Soul.  In the planning, making, eating and digesting of this food, we may renounce and eliminate the things that stand in the way of seeing our self the way God sees us.  This act will increase our feelings of gratitude and raise the level of our vibration.   So plan a menu to feed your Soul, a menu to feed your Spirit.  These are some of the courses that are on my menu:

Appetizer:  Silence, I spend time listening to my inner voice.

Salad:  Separate, I eliminate those thoughts, behaviors, and circumstances that serve as a distraction and create any illusion that I am separate from God.

Main Course:  Saturate, I fill myself with the Holy Spirit; read sacred text, listen to music that feeds my soul; praise, worship, meditate.

Dessert:  Sacred space, I clear the clutter in my home, in my office, in every place I spend time to shift the energy and open to Spirit.

Each of us is unique yet each of us is made in the image and likeness of God.  When we have a menu, we can select a course at any time to feed Spirit.  This increases our connection, increases our appreciation of our infinite God like qualities and allows them to grow as we grow in Spirit!


Our Trigger Releases:
I now release, renounce and eliminate all distractions.
I now release, renounce and eliminate old thoughts that no longer serve me.
I now release, renounce and eliminate any judgments that stand in the way of seeing myself as God sees me.
Our Healing Affirmations:
I now affirm that I am made in the image and likeness of God.
I now affirm that I am empowered by Spirit.
I now affirm that I express outwardly what I am inwardly, a unique expression of God.
The Inner Visions Full Life Fellowship is an Interfaith Ministry dedicated to the evolution of the consciousness of humanity.  We believe that the presence of Christ Consciousness is the spiritual authority on the planet and the divine path to personal transformation.
Rev. Iyanla Vanzant-Bandele, Founding Minister

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

In the United States, this upcoming Thursday is a national holiday known simply as Thanksgiving Day.

For many Americans, the day will be celebrated by family gatherings, parades, football games and an abundance of food. However, others will volunteer at shelters and community kitchens serving the homeless. While yet others will deliver meals to the sick and shut-in and food baskets to those in financial need.

Thanksgiving Day is an occassion when some will express thanks for their blessings, some will be a blessing to others and some will treat it as just another day. Many individuals who have few material goods will count their many blessings and others that seem to have more than can be imagined will spend the day thinking about how they can obtain more. And while many corporate retailers view America's Thanksgiving Day as the start of their end of year sales season, the holiday orginated from a much more meaningful sentiment.

Here are the words of US President Abraham Lincoln, who in the midst of the US Civil War, proclaimed the final Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day:

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth."

Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln,
October 3, 1863.

Light A Candle To Save Children

The innocent victims of Internet child abuse cannot speak for themselves.

But you can.

The Light A Million Candles campaign is not asking for your money. They are asking you to light a candle of support for chidlren.

The more candles we light, the more powerful our voice becomes.

'Light A Million Candles' is a campaign to raise awareness of the problem of online child pornography. The goal is to gather as many signatures in a virtual petition to challenge financial institutions, governments, payment organisations, Internet service providers, technology companies and law enforcement agencies to work together to eradicate the commercial viability of child pornography by 2008.

The campaign was launched two months with the objective of lighting the first million candles in less than four months. Thanks to worldwide support, this was achieved in less than 60 days.

Today, over 1,200,000 candles have been lit and the campaign continues to gain momentum.

Who is behind this?

'Light A Million Candles' was developed by a group of volunteers in Singapore led by Standard Chartered Bank, in support of the work of the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography.

Twenty-three of the world's most prominent financial institutions and Internet industry leaders joined with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and its sister organisation, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) in the fight against Internet child pornography. The Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography includes leading banks, credit card companies, third party payment companies and Internet services companies.

What More Can You Do?

You can help by further raising awareness in your country of this problem. Tell your friends, relatives and colleagues to light a candle.

If members of the public have knowledge of a child pornography website they are encouraged to report it immediately to the CyberTipline managed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children ( 1-800-843-5678). Citizens outside the United States can call the CyberTipline or can contact any number of hotlines around the world.

To learn more about these hotlines, visit the website of the International Association of Internet Hotline (INHOPE) at

Monday, November 20, 2006

Yes -- The Spirit of Santa is Alive & Well

Let's all keep Secret Santa, Larry Stewart in our thoughts in prayers. His random acts of kindness inspire us and teach us that even the smallest gift can mean the world to someone.


Ailing secret Santa seeks a successor
Dan Glaister
November 21, 2006

FOR years the portly man in a red tunic and sporting a large white beard has been delighting unsuspecting strangers with his munificence. But now the Kansas City Santa has been forced to hang up his sleigh bells and stay at home - but not before revealing his true identity.

Over the past 26 years Larry Stewart, 58, a businessman, has given $US1.3 million ($1.7 million) to strangers he met in the street.

He started by handing out $5 and $10 bills to people who seemed down on their luck. With inflation and a rise in his own wealth - he has made millions running a cable television and long-distance telephone service - the gifts rose to $US100 bills. But Mr Stewart always insisted on anonymity, earning himself the nickname Secret Santa.

This year he was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, which has since spread to his liver, so he has decided to reveal his identity in the hope that he may inspire someone else to take over his Santa duties.

Mr Stewart's generosity was born out of his own experience of poverty.

In the early 1970s, jobless, he resorted to living in his car, a yellow Datsun 510. One day he finally mustered the courage to approach a church to ask for help. He was told that the person who could help had left and he should return the following day. "As I turned around, I knew I would never do that again," Mr Stewart told Associated Press. By the late 1970s Mr Stewart had a job and some money, but he was still plagued by misfortune. In 1979, for the second year in succession, he was sacked in the week before Christmas. But when he saw a shivering, roller-skating waitress at a drive-in restaurant, he realised that there were others worse off than he was.

"It was cold and this carhop didn't have on a very big jacket, and I thought to myself, 'I think I got it bad. She's out there in this cold making nickels and dimes,"' he said. He gave her a $US20 bill. "And suddenly I saw her lips begin to tremble and tears begin to flow down her cheeks. She said, 'Sir, you have no idea what this means to me."'

Mr Stewart went to the bank, withdrew $US200 and drove around Kansas looking for people to give it to. The Secret Santa mission was born.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Think, Believe, Dream, and Dare.

Thank you to Rosemary for sharing this.
An eight-year-old boy approached an old man in front of a wishing well, looked up into his eyes, and asked:

"I understand you're a very wise man. I'd like to know the secret of life."

The old man looked down at the youngster and replied:

"I've thought a lot in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words

The first is think. Think about the values you wish to live your life by.

The second is believe. Believe in yourself based on the thinking you've done about the values you're going to live your life by.

The third is dream. Dream about the things that can be, based on your belief in yourself and the values you're going to live by.

The last is dare. Dare to make your dreams become reality, based on your belief in yourself and your values. "

And with that, Walter E. Disney said to the little boy,

Think, Believe, Dream, and Dare.
author unknown

Friday, November 17, 2006

Congo's Wounds of War: More Vicious than Rape

The atrocity reports from eastern Congo were so hellish that Western medical experts refused to believe them at first.
Warning: do not read this story if you are easily disturbed by graphic information, or are under age, or are easily upset by accounts of gruesome sexual violence.
Read the entire article at:

This is about fistulasâ and rape, which in Congo has become the continuation of war by other means.  Fistulas are a kind of damage that is seldom seen in the developed world.  Many obstetricians have encountered the condition only in their medical texts, as a rare complication associated with difficult or abnormal childbirths: a rupture of the walls that separate the vagina and bladder or rectum.

Where health care is poor, particularly where trained doctors or midwives are not available, fistulas are more of a risk.  In eastern Congo, however, the problem is practically an epidemic.

When a truce was declared in the war there in 2003, so many cases began showing up that Western medical experts at first called it impossible especially when local doctors declared that most of the fistulas they were seeing were the consequence of rapes.

"No one wanted to believe it at first," says Lyn Lusi, manager of the HEAL Africa hospital (formerly called the Docs Hospital) in the eastern Congo city of Goma.  "When our doctors first published their results, in 2003, this was unheard of."

It had been no secret that nearly all sides in the Congo's complex civil war resorted to systematic rape among civilian populations, and estimates were as high as a quarter million victims of sexual assault during the four-year-long conflict.   But once fighting died down, victims began coming out of the jungles and forests and their condition was worse than anyone had imagined.

Thousands of women had been raped so brutally that they had fistulas.  They wandered into hospitals soaked in their own urine and feces, rendered incontinent by their injuries.

"Pastors would say to me, 'Jo, I can't preach because the church is too smelly," says Dr. Jo Lusi, a gynecologist and medical director at HEAL.  "No one wanted to be around them.  These women were outcasts even more than rape victims usually are.

They would say to me, 'Dr. Jo, am I just a thing to throw away when I smell bad?'

The rapes and new reports of fistula damage have not stopped. Even now, "It is still happening, even today," says HEAL's medical director, Doctor Lusi.  "Every space we have in the hospital is very, very busy with people."

Most of the dozen or so militias in the country have signed on to peace terms, and their battles with each other and with the Congolese Army have mostly stopped since the arrival of United Nations peacekeepers.  But many of the armed groups even those that have made peace continue to attack civilians, especially in rural areas.

"They won't go ahead and fight each other, [but] they attack that village that supports the other group," says Lyn Lusi.

"This is a horrible perpetual movement of militias. They join after their families are killed, sometimes right in front of them.  They see their women raped, and then they go and do the same thing.

Ordinary rapes, even violent ones, do not usually cause fistulas, although it's not medically impossible.    Doctors in eastern Congo say they have seen cases that resulted from gang rapes where large numbers of militiamen repeatedly forced themselves on the victim.  But more often the damage is caused by the deliberate introduction of objects into the victim's vagina when the rape itself is over.

The objects might be sticks or pipes.  In many cases the attackers shoot the victim in the vagina at point-blank range after they have finished raping her.  "Often they'll do this carefully to make sure the woman does not die," says Dr. Denis Mukwege, medical director of Panzi Hospital.

"The perpetrators are trying to make the damage as bad as they can, to use it as a kind of weapon of war, a kind of terrorism."  Instead of just killing the woman, she goes back to her village permanently and obviously marked.

"I think it's a strategy put in place by these groups to disrupt society, to make husbands flee, to terrorize."

The worst perpetrators call themselves the Federation for the Liberation of Rwanda. They were the Hutu militiamen also known as the Interhamwe who carried out the 1994 Rwandan genocide.  That bloodbath ended when the Interhamwe were forced to retreat across Rwanda's western border into Congo, where they remain to this day, deep in the forests, armed, deadly and with nowhere else they can go.

But the tactic of violent rape is used by many of the other armed factions in the area, including the Congolese Army, according to relief workers and United Nations officials.
"It has been used as a weapon of war for so long it's become almost a habit," says Ross Mountain, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator for the Congo.

"All sides are doing it, and the national army is by no means immune from that."  "All the armed men rape," says Doctor Mukwege.  "When we see a lesion, we can tell who the perpetrator is; there are special methods of each group, types of injuries.

The Interahamwe after the rape will introduce objects; a group in Kombo sets fire to the women's buttocks afterwards, or makes them sit on the coals of a fire.

There's another group that specializes in raping 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-year-old girls, one that gets them pregnant and aborts them."

The youngest victim of fistula from rape his hospital has seen was 12 months old; the oldest, 71.

Doctor Mukwege estimates that 80 percent of his hospital's fistula cases are the result of sexual violence, either directly from sexual assault or from rape-induced pregnancies that were forcibly aborted in the bush; the rest were normal obstetric complications.

The doctors have a hard time coping with the anguish they see every day. "I no longer question the women about what happened," says Doctor Mukwege. "It's hard to listen, it's very hard to see them—children without vaginas, without rectums, their bladders destroyed. The questions they ask. The girls say, 'Is it not possible for me to have children?' 'Why don't I have menses?' These are questions to which you cannot answer."

But those questions are relatively easy. The really difficult question is posed again and again by fistula patients like 20-year-old Bahati: Why? When she arrives to be interviewed in an examination room off the main fistula ward at Panzi, she is carrying a basin; which she keeps at her feet as she talks. Her fistula has left her incontinent. She and the other patients interviewed here were chosen to speak by a counselor who believed they could benefit from telling their stories.

Late one evening a group of Interhamwe gunmen raided her village in South Kivu, killed 10 of the men, and abducted 10 women and girls. She says she and the other captives were kept chained except when they were unbound to be gang-raped. She became pregnant after five months, and her captors gave her a crude abortion by shoving something into her—she says she doesn't know what they used. Her doctors say the abortion probably caused the fistula. Eventually she escaped and found her way back to her home village after three days. At the Interhamwe camp, sometimes as many as 30 men would rape her, she recalls. Whenever she resisted, she was beaten. "I'll never understand why they could do that to me," she says.

No one can say why. The answer is almost too awful to consider, and impossible to understand

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Urge Your Senators To Support Feingold Measure For Iraq Troop Redeployment

I am encouraging as many people as possible to contact their Senators and ask them to support US Senator Feingold's measure to significantly reduce the number of troops in Iraq by July 2007.

Please consider joining me in this effort and sharing this message with your friends.

Visit this action alert on and make your voice heard:


Panela Lyn

Action Alert: Thank Senator Russ Feingold

This past Tuesday, United States Senator Russ Feingold ( D-WI)  introduced legislation requiring U.S. forces to redeploy from Iraq by July 1, 2007. The legislation, which builds on an amendment Feingold authored earlier this year, would allow for a minimal number of U.S. forces to remain in Iraq for targeted counter-terrorism activities, training of Iraqi security forces, and the protection of U.S. infrastructure and personnel.
If you support this measure please let Sentator Feingold know that you appreciate his courageous stance and commitment to this issue.  
To contact Senator Feingold go to
To read more about Senator Feingold views on exiting Iraq read his article " A Way Out Of Iraq".
Pamela Lyn

Mystery: How Wealth Creates Poverty in the World

By Michael Parenti
Read the entire article at:
There is a "mystery" we must explain: How is it that as corporate investments and foreign aid and international loans to poor countries have increased dramatically throughout the world over the last half century, so has poverty?

The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world's population.

Over the last half century, U.S. industries and banks (and other western corporations) have invested heavily in those poorer regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America known as the "Third World."

The transnationals are attracted by the rich natural resources, the high return that comes from low-paid labor, and the nearly complete absence of taxes, environmental regulations, worker benefits, and occupational safety costs. 
The U.S. government has subsidized this flight of capital by granting corporations tax concessions on their overseas investments, and even paying some of their relocation expenses---much to the outrage of labor unions here at home who see their jobs evaporating.

American agribusiness cartels, heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers, dump surplus products in other countries at below cost and undersell local farmers.  As Christopher Cook describes it in his Diet for a Dead Planet, they expropriate the best land in these countries for cash-crop exports, usually monoculture crops requiring large amounts of pesticides, leaving less and less acreage for the hundreds of varieties of organically grown foods that feed the local populations. 
By displacing local populations from their lands and robbing them of their self-sufficiency, corporations create overcrowded labor markets of desperate people who are forced into shanty towns to toil for poverty wages (when they can get work), often in violation of the countries' own minimum wage laws.  In Haiti, for instance, workers are paid 11 cents an hour by corporate giants such as Disney, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penny.

The United States is one of the few countries that has refused to sign an international convention for the abolition of child labor and forced labor.  This position stems from the child labor practices of U.S. corporations throughout the Third World and within the United States itself, where children as young as 12 suffer high rates of injuries and fatalities, and are often paid less than the minimum wage.

The savings that big business reaps from cheap labor abroad are not passed on in lower prices to their customers elsewhere.   Corporations do not outsource to far-off regions so that U.S. consumers can save money.  They outsource in order to increase their margin of profit.  In 1990, shoes made by Indonesian children working twelve-hour days for 13 cents an hour, cost only $2.60 but still sold for $100 or more in the United States.

U.S. foreign aid usually works hand in hand with transnational investment.  It subsidizes construction of the infrastructure needed by corporations in the Third World: ports, highways, and refineries.

The aid given to Third World governments comes with strings attached.  It often must be spent on U.S. products, and the recipient nation is required to give investment preferences to U.S. companies, shifting consumption away from home produced commodities and foods in favor of imported ones, creating more dependency, hunger, and debt.
A good chunk of the aid money never sees the light of day, going directly into the personal coffers of sticky-fingered officials in the recipient countries.
In 1944, the United Nations created the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Voting power in both organizations is determined by a country's financial contribution.The IMF operates in secrecy with a select group of bankers and finance ministry staffs drawn mostly from the rich nations.

A poor country borrows from the World Bank to build up some aspect of its economy. Should it be unable to pay back the heavy interest because of declining export sales or some other reason, it must borrow again, this time from the IMF.

But the IMF imposes a "structural adjustment program" (SAP), requiring debtor countries to grant tax breaks to the transnational corporations, reduce wages, and make no attempt to protect local enterprises from foreign imports and foreign takeovers. The debtor nations are pressured to privatize their economies, selling at scandalously low prices their state-owned mines, railroads, and utilities to private corporations.

They are forced to open their forests to clear-cutting and their lands to strip mining, without regard to the ecological damage done. The debtor nations also must cut back on subsidies for health, education, transportation and food, spending less on their people in order to have more money to meet debt payments. Required to grow cash crops for export earnings, they become even less able to feed their own populations.

Here then we have explained a "mystery." It is, of course, no mystery at all if you don't adhere to trickle-down mystification. Why has poverty deepened while foreign aid and loans and investments have grown? Answer: Loans, investments, and most forms of aid are designed not to fight poverty but to augment the wealth of transnational investors at the expense of local populations.

There is no trickle down, only a siphoning up from the toiling many to the moneyed few.

The real mystery is: why do some people find such an analysis to be so improbable, a "conspiratorial" imagining? Why are they skeptical that U.S. rulers knowingly and deliberately pursue such ruthless policies (suppress wages, rollback environmental protections, eliminate the public sector, cut human services) in the Third World? These rulers are pursuing much the same policies right here in our own country!

Michael Parenti's recent books include The Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press), Superpatriotism (City Lights), and The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories Press). For more information visit:

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


Focusing On The Gift Instead Of The Giver

I realized a long time ago that God can use any medium to speak to those that are willing to listen. Those familiar with the Christian Bible recall that he used a donkey to speak to one of his prophets.
So now it does not seem odd to me when he uses music, a painting, a book, a movie or even a TV commercial to relay a message.

If you live in the United States you have probably seen one of the retailer Best Buy's Christmas commercials. The theme of the commercials is that recipients are so entranced by the thought of the "perfect holiday gifr", from Best Buy of course, that they completely ignore the gift giver. In one commercial two children are sitting transfixed in front of a Christmas tree when Santa appears in the room. Santa is startled because he does not want the children to see him but much to his surprise the children do not notice his presence at all. Even when Santa tries to get their attention they do not see him because all of their attention is focused on the Best Buy gift box which they believe contains their "perfect gift". The children are completely ignoring the giver of gifts and in so doing missing the miracle.

I can envision that six months from the day those children open that gift box they will consider that gift as passé. Their focus will be on the next object of their desitre -- the next "perfect gift". Yet, the giver of gifts never changes. He is always there ready to bless them, even when they don't notice him.

Today, are you focused more on the gift than the giver of gifts?

Pamela Lyn
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Building The Case For Impeachment

And so it begins -- the calls for impeachment.  
Can the country stand to go through another bitter impeachment process?  
Is it enough that a system of checks and balances is restored or should the Bush administration be removed before they can do more damage?
Is it worth starting impeachment proceedings for a President that only has two years remaining on his term? .. after all Cheney isn't planning to run.
Does the US need to send a message to the world that the questionable actions of this administration were not the will of her people?
You Decide!
Pamela Lyn


Calling Nancy Pelosi: The People's Case for Impeaching Bush

by Elizabeth Holtzman


CommonDreams Editor's note: With their party back in power for the first time since 1994, some senior House Democrats who will be rising to committee chairmanships are already planning to conduct investigations into wrongdoings of the Bush administration in everything thing from fraud and abuse in Iraq War contracting to illegal domestic surveillance and detainee interrogations. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders, however, are signaling that any investigations will be kept on a tight leash. They fear that scrutiny of the administration will make Democrats appear excessively partisan and cost the party votes in 2008. As for the possible impeachment of President George W. Bush, Pelosi has explicitly declared it to be "off the table."

 Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman is one wise legal thinker who says that, whether or not it would be a political liability for the Democrats, impeaching Bush is their constitutional duty. Holtzman served four terms in Congress, where she played a key role in House impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. Holtzman's full brief on this subject can be found in The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens (Nation Books), which she co- wrote with Cynthia L. Cooper.

 Impeachment is an essential tool for preserving democracy. The framers of our Constitution, determined to provide protections against grave abuses of power by a president, created the impeachment process as a special procedure for citizens. Through their representatives, citizens would be able to remove a president run amok.


Our founders created a new form of government that was designed to preserve liberty by breaking up power among three co-equal branches of government and instituting a system of checks and balances. But they worried deeply about presidential misconduct. Left unchallenged, it could be "fatal to the Republic," said James Madison. The new democracy needed the ability to remove a president, if necessary.

Impeachment is the first step of a two-step process that can result in the removal of a president from office. The House of Representatives first decides whether to charge the president with impeachable offenses. If a majority of the House votes to impeach, articles of impeachment, which contain the charges, are forwarded to the Senate. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over a trial in the Senate, and if two-thirds of the senators vote for conviction, the president is removed from office.



The grounds for removal of a president are stated in the Constitution in a phrase of only eight words: "treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors." Understanding the meaning of this spare language is helped by looking at the original debates on the Constitution. In adopting the impeachment provision, the framers identified treason and bribery as two key reasons for the removal of a president. Treason was defined in the Constitution as providing "aid and comfort" to enemies or "levying war" against the United States. Bribery is a well- established concept that hasn't changed much over time.

But the framers believed that these grounds were not sufficient. A president should also be removed for other "great and dangerous offenses" or the "attempts to subvert the Constitution," in the words of George Mason, a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention. The grounds were expanded to include "high crimes and misdemeanors"-an archaic phrase that the framers borrowed from British terminology dating back to the fourteenth century. It was defined as "an injury to the state or system of government."

Alexander Hamilton explained in No. 65 of the Federalist Papers that impeachment reached "those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may . . . be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself." In essence, "high crimes and misdemeanors" describe a political crime, a serious and grave abuse of power or an abuse of public trust.

High crimes and misdemeanors are not limited to actual crimes. We debated this in the Judiciary Committee during Watergate and reached a firm conclusion. While commission of a crime may be grounds for impeachment, the phrase also covers conduct that is not a violation of the criminal code.

The key is whether the conduct is a grave abuse of power or a subversion of the Constitution. Some presidential misdeeds we encountered in the Nixon impeachment had a basis in the criminal law; others did not. On the flip side, not all violations of the criminal code are political crimes that rise to the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.



Under the Constitution, the president has three central obligations.

First, the president must "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States." This is part of the oath of office, which is itself mandated by the Constitution.

Second, the president must "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," also part of the oath of office. In other words, the president is required to respect the role of the Congress and the courts, as well as the fundamental liberties reserved to the citizens.

And third, the president is required "to take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," an affirmative duty imposed directly by the Constitution. This presidential obligation carries great weight. Involved are two responsibilities, similar but separate: first, the president is required to "take care," or to be highly attentive, and, second, the president must see that the laws are "faithfully executed," or that the laws are fully followed. Combined, these impose a very strict burden on the president to ensure the proper implementation of the nation's laws.

A president cannot be impeached lightly. The framers rejected the notion of presidential impeachment for "maladministration." The term was, at one point, inserted in the impeachment provision but then replaced by "high crimes and misdemeanors." The framers thought maladministration was too vague and worried that it might put the president at the mercy of an overreaching Congress.

What is expected is that the president will uphold the Constitution and the laws and fulfill the oath of office. Carefully applying the law is a requirement for holding office. The president may not avoid, subvert, or undermine the law. Nothing excuses the president from fulfilling his constitutional obligationsnot incompetence or ignorance or lack of interest. The failure or the inability of a president to fulfill these obligations, for whatever reason, causes serious harm to democracy. Impeachment is the constitutional remedy to protect the future health of the nation.



President George W. Bush has engaged in acts that violate his obligations as president on a range of issues. These impeachable offenses include:


  • Deceiving Congress and the people in taking the country to war in Iraq.
  • Directing an illegal domestic wiretapping program and other surveillance of Americans.
  • Permitting and condoning the use of torture or cruel treatment of detainees.
  • Showing reckless indifference to human life in the face of Hurricane Katrina, in inadequately equipping U.S. soldiers, and in insufficiently planning for the occupation of Iraq.
  • Covering up his war deceptions with the leak of misleading classified information, an act that became entangled with the outing of a CIA agent, a possible crime.



1.     For Deceptions in Taking the Country into War in Iraq:


War, in the view of the framers of the Constitution, would create one of the greatest temptations for a president to abuse power. Edmund Randolph, a member of the Constitutional Convention, noted, "The Executive will have great opportunities for abusing his power; particularly in time of war when the military force, and in some respects the public money will be in his hands."

 President Bush used false premises to drive the country to war, insisting that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons and linking Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda and 9/11. The consequences have been enormous, and there is no end point to the duration or to lives lost in Iraq.

 Taking our country into war based on false information is a misuse of presidential war-making power. Deceit nullifies the right and obligation of Congress to understand the issues at stake and to decide whether to support the war. The right of the American people to participate in the decision is cast aside. The actions "subvert the Constitution," under founder George Mason's definition of impeachable offenses.

James Iredell, a Justice on the first Supreme Court and a participant in the North Carolina ratification debates on the Constitution, commented that "the President must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate." In responding to a complaint that the Senate would be too cozy with the president to vote for impeachment, Iredell disagreed, insisting that the Senate would not react kindly if a president "concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country."

Unless a clear message is sent, there is no way to ensure that the use of deceptions to lead the country to war will not be repeated by this president or another.


2. For Violating the Law on Wiretapping:

 President Bush admitted that he has not complied with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and is engaging in domestic surveillance without seeking court orders. He said he plans to continue this conduct, even though his actions may invade the privacy and constitutional rights of thousands of American citizens. The president's refusal to obey the wiretapping statute, which carries a criminal penalty, violates his duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. It contravenes his oath of office, which requires him to obey the laws, and preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Over the years, the president has publicly misrepresented the wiretapping programs, stating that no surveillance was being undertaken without a court order. President Nixon's repeated lying to the public formed the basis of one of the grounds for impeachment against him. President Bush's deceptions may form the grounds for impeachment, as well.

A second secret domestic-surveillance program, exposed in May 2006, is engaged in collecting and tracking the telephone calls of millions of Americans under the guise of foreign-intelligence surveillance. This program, begun without the approval of Congress or the courts, poses many potential violations of the law, and as details are uncovered, further grounds for impeachment also may be identified.

President Bush has attempted to justify his illegal surveillance as falling within his power as commander in chief. The president's failure to recognize that he is bound by a constitutional system in which he is only one of three players and his abuse of his role as commander in chief threaten our democracy to its core, and are grounds for impeachment and removal from office.


3. For Permitting and Condoning the Mistreatment of U.S. Detainees:

Congress has enacted laws prohibiting the mistreatment or torture of prisoners in U.S. hands. The War Crimes Act of 1996 makes it a crime to violate the ban in the Geneva Conventions regarding torture and cruel or degrading treatment. Ratified by the United States in 1955, the Geneva Conventions are the law of the land, as is the Convention against Torture. The U.S. government has long adhered to the laws and treaties that prevent mistreatment of prisoners.

President Bush unilaterally changed U.S. practice and policy by a 2002 memo rejecting the application of the Geneva Conventions and enabling U.S. personnel to conduct brutal interrogations without fear of prosecution. In so doing, the president voided a U.S. law and permitted others to break it. The president may not violate treaties or interpret them in ways designed to nullify their essential purpose.

In addition, when evidence emerged of abusive treatment of persons in U.S. military detention facilities, the president had a duty to institute a thorough investigation of everyone in the chain of command, from top to bottom. He has not done so. This responsibility is spelled out in the Geneva Conventions. The president is also required to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, including the War Crimes Act and the Anti-Torture Act. President Bush failed to ensure a full investigation and to see that the responsible parties, including higher-ups, were held accountable. These failures are impeachable offenses.

When Congress reaffirmed its opposition to torture and cruel or degrading treatment of detainees in a statute passed in 2005, the president added a statement when he signed the bill, signaling that he intended to violate it. Impeachment is the only way to prevent a president from continuing to disregard his obligations to enforce the law, not to break it.


4. For Reckless Indifference to Human Life during Hurricane Katrina:

President Bush showed a reckless indifference to human life in failing to marshal emergency resources in response to Katrina. This type of gross negligence is also apparent in his decision to invade Iraq without providing protective equipment to soldiers and without having an adequate post-invasion plan. If the president's actions were simple negligence, they might not amount to impeachable offenses. During the debates at the Constitutional Convention, one of the grounds initially raised for impeachment was "neglect of duty." At the convention, the Committee on Detail changed that language to "treason and bribery," which was in turn expanded by adding the term "high crimes and misdemeanors."

The framers were undoubtedly familiar with the history of that British term. At least two noteworthy impeachments for neglect had occurred in Britain: one involved the neglect of the commissioner of the Navy to prepare adequately against an invasion; the other related to neglect by an admiral who had failed to safeguard the seas. In a classic nineteenth-century text on constitutional interpretation, Thomas M. Cooley of the Michigan Supreme Court states that impeachment can result from "inexcusable neglects of duty, which are dangerous and criminal because of the immense interests involved and the greatness of the trust which has not been kept."

Bush's actions during Katrina and in regard to Iraq are "inexcusable neglects." When Hurricane Katrina threatened New Orleans, President Bush was personally informed of an impending catastrophe, but did not take the necessary actions to protect human lives. Under law, he alone was empowered to mobilize additional federal resources. He did not take care that the laws were faithfully executed.

In addition, the president's failure to provide sufficient body armor and protective equipment for our troops in Iraq or to develop a proper plan for the occupation of Iraq after the invasion are violations of his obligation to "take care." U.S. soldiers and the American people trusted the president to exercise special care in making thorough preparations.

The president neglected his duty over matters of vast consequence and in situations where the trust placed in him was great. This conjunction of his failure to take care and his reckless indifference to human life provides the basis for impeachment.


5. For Leaking Classified Information:

After the U.S. invaded Iraq, Bush authorized a top White House aide to leak passages of a classified document to key reporters. The leak came in response to criticism that the president had deceived the country about Iraq's nuclear weapons capability in his State of the Union address. The criticism was accurate, but the leak had the effect of distorting the truth.

The leak was intertwined with the "outing" of a covert CIA agent married to the Bush critic. Declassifying information to mislead the public and cover up presidential deceptions about war making is an abuse of power. If the facts, as yet unknown, show that President Bush had any role in releasing the identity of the CIA agent, a potential violation of federal law, that would be an impeachable offense.


President Bush has committed a great many grave and dangerous offenses, and subverted the Constitution. The evidence is clear and strong. Congress cannot shirk its responsibility to protect the nation from tyranny. This is what the founders of this country intended when they added presidential impeachment to the Constitution.

Copyright 2006 The Washington Spectator




Bush Administration and Legal Accountability



Elizabeth de la Vega served as a federal prosecutor in Minneapolis and San Jose for 20 years. She is author of the new book U.S. v. George W. Bush et. al.


She said today: "Over half the people in the United States believe that the president misled the country into a war that has left 2,800 U.S. soldiers dead, over half a million Iraqis dead and countless Iraqis homeless. Analyzed in light of longstanding principles of criminal law, there is, indeed, overwhelming evidence -- a quantum that far exceeds the standard of probable cause -- that shows that the president, the vice president, and their senior aides have perpetrated a massive fraud upon the people of the United States. They deceived American citizens and Congress, not only about the grounds for an invasion of Iraq, but also the likely cost of the war, the likely length and consequences of the war, and even the timing of their decision to invade.

"Given the magnitude of this fraud -- it is far more serious in scope and effect than the Enron fraud -- we cannot simply shrug our shoulders and walk away. It is Congress' constitutional obligation to conduct oversight of the executive branch and they appear to be poised now, finally, to do just that by conducting hearings.

"But imagine if the Justice Department lawyers assigned to handle the Enron case had announced, on the day they received their assignment, that 'indictment was off the table.' The public would have been outraged, and rightly so, by the declaration of a preordained conclusion to the investigation.

"We should be equally outraged -- and many American citizens are -- by the newly elected Democratic majority's arbitrary announcement that 'impeachment is off the table.' Congress needs to do its job, conduct the long-overdue hearings into the conduct of the executive branch and let the chips fall where they may."

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Holtzman has been a Congresswoman and the district attorney of Brooklyn; she was a member of the House panel that impeached Richard Nixon. Holtzman is co-author with Cynthia L. Cooper of the new book The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens. Her most recent articles are "Calling Nancy Pelosi: The People's Case for Impeaching Bush" and "Breathing the 'I' Word."



AP is reporting: "Lawyers for inmates of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay filed a lawsuit in Germany Tuesday against outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, hoping his resignation and testimony from a former general will help prosecute him for war crimes."

Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, is president of the National Lawyers Guild, one of the plaintiffs in the case. She is author of the forthcoming book Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. Her latest piece is "The War Crimes Case Against Donald Rumsfeld."


Detailed information about the case is available from the Center for Constitutional Rights.