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And Why Not Nader For President?

Great article on Ralph Nader and the reasons to vote Green. How about an article on Winona LaDuke too? She is also a good reason to vote Green. President Washington and John Knox offered the Delaware indians representation to Congress in the 1778 treaty. In the over two hundred years since, Indians have had almost no representation in any of the three branches of federal government. I think Winona's concepts of planning forward seven generations are so novel for Washington that it is hard even to imagine politicians thinking that far ahead. I would love, one day, to see how some of those political turkeys would react to a President LaDuke. So how about an interview with Winona? Thanks to the Albion Monitor for its fine journalism.

Ed Scott

A Wave of Cyanide

Thanks for that useful article. I'm a member of a group in northeast Alabama called Friends of Terrapin Creek. This creek along with its 400-square mile watershed, one of the cleanest left in this state, is threatened by a plan to do strip gold mining with chemicals that the owner is not fully disclosing. We fear that he will use cyanide here too. The mine has been permitted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, but those of us who live near the creek, who take our drinking water from it and enjoy its beauty, are working hard to prevent a disaster like the one in the article. Alabama is very much like a third world country when it comes to environmental issues and social justice.

Suzanne Marshall

Enviros Press Gore Over Oil Company Connections

Why is no one reporting/talking about Mr. Gore's connection w/Occidental Petrolieum? His major holdings in this company, could stop, or encourage, the destruction of Brazilian rainforest. Pacifica News reported in January (2000) that the indigenous people would commit mass suicide if Occidental Oil drilled on their land. So certain rain forest activist occupied his office. Do we require the mass suicides to make this a story worth talking about?

Leland Cuellarl

Space Shuttle Maps Earth

An open letter to Director, National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

I spent eight years working on stopping highway construction, initially to reduce air pollution, but later also to protect wildlife. I came to the conclusion that roads are the largest single threat to wildlife. It is pretty difficult to do a lot of damage to wildlife and the environment, without roads!

After a while, I realized that I was wrong: roads cannot be built without the area first being mapped. Maps are actually the greatest threat to wildlife. Not only do they facilitate the construction of roads, but they make it easy for all manner of recreation, and scientists, to invade wildlife habitat, driving wildlife away from the resources thay need and leading to endangerment and extinction.

Humans think that we own, and have the right to dominate, every square inch of the Earth. This is the basic reason why wildlife, worldwide, are going extinct at an unconscionable and unprecedented rate. The only way that they will be able to survive is if we begin exercising some restraint, and granting them human-free habitat.

Your Earth-mapping project is very misguided. We don't need more maps, we need to start de-mapping the scanty scraps of viable habitat that remain on the Earth, and pulling all human artifacts out of them, especially roads and trails. Think "Terra Incognita" -- just like in the old days!

Please stop this expensive boondoggle before it can do any more damage. Don't tell me how "beneficial" it will be; from the point of view of wildlife, it will be unequivocally harmful.

Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.

Starting in March, Mike Vandeman will be writing a monthly column for Monitor.

-- Editor

Open Letter: Facing the Pacifica Crisis

Hovering over all this about Pacifica is that the composition of the Pacifica national board has shifted against progressives. Since the board has made itself self-perpetuating and able to fill its own vacancies, the prospects for positive developments in this regard are bleak. A close look at the actions and espoused positions of the people currently holding the most power in the Pacifica "leadership" is chilling. Details about corporately-oriented people now being promoted as new members of the board, by the current hierarchy, are even more chilling.

We almost lost KPFA last summer through sale of the station, as Pacifica board member Pete Bramson confirmed and as the San Francisco Chronicle reported. ("Three sources said a majority of the [Pacifica board executive] committee appear inclined to support a sale." -- Chronicle, 7-28-99.) After the lockout the board chair, Dr. Berry, made it clear that the board reserves the right to move against KPFA again.

In such contexts, the recent letter calling for an end to "Pacifica bashing" fails to grasp the underlying situation -- and ends up, counter to the intent of the vast majority of the signers, running interference for a board majority that has shown itself to be anti-progressive in its Pacifica-related actions. (Why in the world should we pledge to stop criticizing and challenging "Pacifica" when the institution at the top continues to consolidate power in the hands of a board majority that has behaved as this one has?) Our only hope is clarity. And hopefully strong progressive unity -- not through a facile "stop bashing Pacifica" line but through acknowledging what's at stake in the big picture.

The instances of overt censorship at WPFW, KPFT and KPFK are not incidental. They are in harmony with a tone set by top Pacifica management. (An insightful letter on Pacifica censorship and labor-related concerns has just been posted at .)

These are very loud canaries in a frightening coal mine. Denial has never been a very helpful coping strategy.

Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon writes a weekly column of media criticism that appears in the Monitor and many other newspapers nationwide

-- Editor

The New Corporate Predator

General Motors and I have the same right to free speech, only my voice reaches across the dinner table, while General Motors' voice can reach across continents.

Nathaniel Polster

Heavy TV Viewing Linked To Psychological Trauma

Thank you for the article about children and young people and depression. I work with families and children where children are at risk of going into State care or are already in care. I am currently working with a young mother, 20 yrs of age. She suffers serious depression and has done so for many years. She no longer has suicidal feelings, but she stills spends her whole day watching TV programs that she does not enjoy.

Barbara Brearley (Australia)

Genetic Engineering Questions

There has been a lot of talk lately about the sudden awakening of the American public, and protest against genetically engineered food. There has even been talk that the principal players in the GE game, i.e.. Archer Daniels Midland, Monsanto, Dekalb, are downsizing their GE operations.

I wonder if this is true. Were the actual numbers that the media reported on how productive the plants were true? Were the farmers really reaping additional profit per acre? Is Monsanto really stopping/slowing their GE operations? I can't imagine such major players, with so much money to buy congress just quitting. I wonder if this is a public relations tactic, a new strategy, or just what is really going on.

Patti Rose

Black History Month

It's a funny dichotomy. On one hand, how very important it is to have Black History Month in order to shift the focus back to the many who have taken inflicted fear, unfairness, judgment... all things rarely at one's own control and yet the guilt/internalization is what has supplied so many the fuel.

The fuel that blasted out Miles's horn or raced down the football field. That fuel/that power.

One is to hope that the power gained by these triumphs that we celebrate during BHM be not in vain but be the power we all gain. To use this power united for peace, fairness, expression, protection of one's family/home and most importantly- freedom from so much judgment over- all. Let this be America's crowning glory and shining example to the world about acceptance/love so that we may not need to have...

a Black History Month for our children's children.

Cynthia Basinet

New Film Presents Real View of War

Regret to Inform is very similar to Claude Lanzman's Shoah wherein the powerful emotive force of the horror of the Holocaust and its aftermath is most effectively captured by the testimonies of the people who suffered from it directly and personally. Regret to Inform does likewise and I could have easily watched many more hours of it. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, some may hide it, some may deny it, others will deride it, and still others will never know it, but there it is, the truth, incontrovertible.

Austin Hancock

NATO Competition Unfair

It would be a good idea to take note about the events that are taking place in the background of the current crisis in Yugoslavia. This can have serious consequences on the way some organizations will have to conduct their business, now and in the near future.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has commenced a legal action against the NATO alliance under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, for unlawfully gaining its monopoly in the market of terrorist activities.

As the DOJ put it, "NATO is engaged in unfair business practices and anti-competitive agreements directed at gaining total monopoly in the terrorist business."

According to the DOJ, "carrying illegal attacks on Afghanistan, Somalia and now Yugoslavia, NATO is trying to use a backdoor entry to the market, and with all its financial and technological might to push out numerous, small and often independent terrorist groups out of the spotlight."

"We clearly feel threatened," says Osama bin Laden, managing director of a relatively small, but well-established terrorist group. "They have all the technology and know-how to carry out mass murder and destruction on a scale we can only dream of. They have a superior infrastructure and propaganda machine required for getting away with this sort of business. This market has to be regulated as soon as possible." (Terrorist Digest, April 25, 1999)

But the architect of NATO's new policies, Madeleine Albright, vigorously defended the NATO position: "The DOJ lawsuit is without merit. Stating that NATO is engaged in unfair practices is just an attempt to put blame on somebody else, which is not uncommon in this sort of business. Smaller competitors (in the terrorist business) simply have to take a better look at their effectiveness and, if necessary, restructure accordingly."

Analysts say that, though the market is still not saturated a sudden entry by such a powerful organization into the world, for a long time dominated by small, ethnically and religiously organised businesses, has sent shockwaves throughout the industry.

Another prominent terrorist leader, who wanted to remain anonymous, accused NATO of "dumping," another new tactic in the market. "They are ready to invest enormous amounts of time and money in killing and destruction without getting any political profit from it," he said.

James Rubin, a prominent advocate of NATO's involvement in the terrorist business, finds the whole DOJ case "misplaced." "We love to compete, and more so, we support competition," he replied on behalf of the State Department. "If our unconditional support for KLA does not illustrate our commitment for small terrorist organizations, then I don't know what does."

But many industry watchers dispute the idea of NATO's long-term commitment for small subversive organizations, and find it merely a cover for achieving the organization's strategic goals.

The terrorist business is definitely not what it used to be. It has become institutionalzed, and it has moved upstream.

Pedro Kurdo

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Albion Monitor Febrauary 29, 2000 (

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