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KN4M 02-02-05

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  • robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com MichaelMoore.com Monday, January 10th, 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2005
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com

      MichaelMoore.com
      Monday, January 10th, 2005
      "Fahrenheit 9/11" Named Best Picture of the Year by the American
      People

      Dear Friends,

      Last night, at the People's Choice Awards, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was
      named the Best Movie of the Year. It was a stunning moment for us.
      And, somewhere inside the Bush White House, someone there must have
      been stunned, too.

      21 million people voted in the People's Choice Awards. They chose our
      film over "Shrek 2," "Spiderman 2" and "The Incredibles." If we can
      beat that many superheroes, surely we can survive the next four years.

      I can think of no greater honor for us this year than the award
      bestowed upon us last night by the American people. On live
      television, with no threat of my remarks being censored or cut short,
      I thanked all of you and the rest of our fellow Americans and
      dedicated the prize to the parents of our servicemen and women in
      Iraq, the Lila Lipscombs of America who suffer so profoundly by the
      reckless actions of the Bush administration.

      (If you'd like to see what I said -- this time, no riot! -- you can
      click here. I even dressed up!)

      It was an historic moment as no documentary had ever won the People's
      Choice Award for Best Picture. And I thank each and every one of you
      who voted and made that happen.

      I took Congresswoman Maxine Waters and her husband as my guests last
      night. My family was there, too, as was some of our crew. We had a
      great time and I even got to meet Mel Gibson for the first time (he
      won a secondary prize for best film drama). More on that later!

      Thanks again, and now let's get on with the serious work at hand --
      winning more awards! Hahahaha. Just kidding. We have an inauguration
      to attend, don't we?

      Yours,

      Michael Moore
      www.michaelmoore.com
      MMFlint@...

      *****

      New Pentagon Vision Transforms War Agenda
      By Bruce K. Gagnon
      Global Network Space
      Newsletter 16 - Winter 2005
      1-9-5

      Pentagon transformation is well underway. The U.S. military is
      increasingly being converted into a global oil protection service.
      Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld has a "strategy guy" whose job is to
      teach this new way of warfare to high-level military officers from
      all branches of services and to top level CIA operatives. Thomas
      Barnett is a professor at the Navy War College in Rhode Island. He is
      author of the controversial book The Pentagon's New Map that
      identifies a "non-integrating gap" in the world that is resisting
      corporate globalization. Barnett defines the gap as parts of Latin
      America, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia all of which are key
      oil-producing regions of the world.

      In what Barnett calls a "Grand March of History" he claims that the
      U.S. military must be transformed in order to preemptively take
      control of the gap, so the U.S. can "manage" the global distribution
      of resources, people, energy, and money. (It has long predicted that
      the gap between rich and poor around the world will continue to widen
      and that the Pentagon will be used to keep the boot on the necks of
      the people of the third world to the benefit of corporate
      globalization.)

      Barnett predicts that U.S. unilateralism will lead to
      the "inevitability
      of war." Referring to Hitler in a recent presentation, Barnett
      reminded his military audience that the Nazi leader never asked for
      permission before invading other countries. Thus, the end to multi-
      lateralism.

      Barnett argues that the days of arms talks and international treaties
      are over. "There is no secret where we are going," he says as he
      calls for a "new ordering principle" at the Department of Defense
      (DoD). Barnett maintains that as jobs move out of the U.S. the
      primary export product of the nation will be "security." Global
      energy demand will necessitate U.S. control of the oil producing
      regions. "We will be fighting in Central Africa in 20 years," Barnett
      predicts.

      In order to implement this new military vision," Barnett maintains
      that the U.S. military must move away from its often-competing mix of
      Air Force-Navy-Army-Marines toward two basic military services. One
      he names Leviathan, which he defines as the kick ass, wage war,
      special ops, and not under the purview of the international criminal
      court. Give us your angry, video game-playing 18-19 year olds, for
      the Leviathan force, Barnett says. Once a country is conquered by
      Leviathan, Barnett says the U.S. will have to have a second military
      force that he calls Systems Administration. This force he describes
      as the "proconsul" of the empire, boots on the ground, the police
      force to control the local populations. This group, Barnett
      says, "will never come home."

      Barnett1s plan is essentially underway today. New fast, flexible, and
      efficient projection forces with "lily pad" bases are now being
      developed for control of the gap. Over the next decade, the military
      will abandon 35% of the Cold War-era bases it uses abroad as it seeks
      to expand the network of bare-bones sites in the gap. The planned
      changes, once completed, will result in the most
      profound "reordering" of U.S. military forces overseas since the
      current global arrangements were set 50 years ago.

      According to Michael Klare, professor of Peace Studies at Hampshire
      College, "American troops are now risking their lives on a daily
      basis to protect the flow of petroleum. In Colombia, Saudi Arabia,
      and the Republic of Georgia, U.S. personnel are spending their days
      and nights protecting pipelines and refineries, or supervising the
      local forces assigned to this mission."

      Klare continues, "The DoD has stepped up its arms deliveries to
      military forces in Angola and Nigeria, and is helping to train their
      officers and enlisted personnel; meanwhile, Pentagon officials have
      begun to look for permanent bases in the area, focusing on Senegal,
      Ghana, Mali, Uganda and Kenya." The Wall Street Journal has reported
      that "a key mission for U.S. forces (in Africa) would be to ensure
      that Nigeria1s oil fields, which in the future could account for as
      much as 25% of all U.S. oil imports, are secure."

      National Guard units across the U.S. are now being assigned the task
      of developing on-going basing relationships with each nation on the
      African continent.

      Role of Space Technology

      The Bush administration is also exploring the possibility of
      expanding the emerging missile defense system into Eastern Europe as
      an element in the strategic containment of Russia, China and the
      Middle East. The Pentagon has been negotiating with Hungary, Romania,
      Poland and the Czech Republic about one or more of them hosting new
      missile defense bases. Oil-rich Iran is to be encircled by missile
      defense posts in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

      In order to pull all of this together the Pentagon claims it will
      need "a God's-eye view" of the world. A new "internet in the sky" is
      now being built for the wars of the future. Costing well over $200
      billion, the new web would give war machines and military forces a
      common language, instantly emitting an encyclopedia of lethal
      information about all enemies.

      According to Art Cebrowski, director of the Pentagon's Office of
      Force Transformation, "What we are really talking about is a new
      theory of war." The military wants to know "everything of interest to
      us, all the time," says one Pentagon insider. Military intelligence
      including secret satellite surveillance covering most of the Earth
      will be posted on the war net and shared with troops. "The essence of
      net-centric warfare is our ability to deploy a war-fighting force
      anywhere, anytime. Information technology is the key to that."

      Thus U.S. military and economic control of the gap will be dependent
      on a system of networked computers. Fusing weapons, secret
      intelligence and soldiers in a global network what the military calls
      net-centric warfare will, they say, change the military in a way the
      Internet changed business and culture.

      Bruce K. Gagnon
      GN Coordinator
      Brunswick, MaineBruce K. Gagnon
      GN Coordinator
      Brunswick, Maine

      *****

      Abbas wins Palestinian vote in landslide
      By Lara Sukhtian

      Jan. 10, 2005 | RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Mahmoud Abbas was
      elected Palestinian Authority president by a landslide, results
      showed Monday, giving the pragmatist a mandate to resume peace talks
      with Israel -- but also leaving him with the tough task of reining in
      powerful armed groups.

      Israeli leaders welcomed Abbas' victory, but said they will watch
      closely how hard he tries to subdue militants. Abbas could easily
      lose his political capital over a major bombing or shooting attack,
      and while most militant groups signaled they are willing to give him
      a chance, not all have signed on to a truce with Israel.

      Still, Abbas' victory held out the promise of a new era after four
      decades of chaotic and corruption-riddled rule by Yasser Arafat, who
      died Nov. 11. Abbas, who has spoken out against violence and has the
      support of the international community, promises to reform the
      government and the unwieldy security services.

      Many Palestinians had high expectations of Abbas, widely known as Abu
      Mazen. "Today is the beginning of a new future," said Sami Radwan,
      55, a restaurant owner in Gaza City. "Abu Mazen is the right choice.
      He is the one who can bring us peace, good business and security."

      Abbas won 62.3 percent of the vote, the Central Election Commission
      said. His main challenger, independent candidate Mustafa Barghouti,
      won about 20 percent. The remaining five candidates scored in low
      single digits.

      In his acceptance speech, Abbas said he faces a difficult mission,
      but he reiterated that he would not go after militants. Instead, he
      said, he wants to "give our fugitives a life of dignity," referring
      to those wanted by Israel.

      "I present this victory to the soul of Yasser Arafat and present it
      to our people and to our martyrs," Abbas added.

      After exit polls predicted a sweeping Abbas victory, cheering
      supporters took to the streets of the West Bank and Gaza late Sunday.
      Gunmen fired in the air, motorists honked horns and members of Abbas'
      ruling Fatah movement, wearing checkered black-and-white headbands,
      danced in the streets.

      The Islamic militant group Hamas, the largest opposition group,
      announced Monday it will work with Abbas, despite misgivings about
      what it said were voting irregularities, including a decision to keep
      polls open two hours longer than planned. Hamas had called for a
      boycott of the election, but did not try to disrupt the vote.

      A U.S. observer team headed by Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democrat
      from Delaware, and John Sununu, a Republican from New Hampshire, said
      in a statement that the Palestinians "have conducted a clean, open
      and fair election, largely unimpeded and without interference."

      In Washington, President Bush called the election a "historic" step
      toward a Palestinian state.

      "The United States stands ready to help the Palestinian people
      realize their aspirations," Bush said. "The new Palestinian president
      and his Cabinet face critical tasks ahead, including fighting
      terrorism, combatting corruption, building reformed and democratic
      institutions and reviving the Palestinian economy."

      It wasn't clear how many people voted.

      Officials said close to 70 percent of 1.1 million registered voters
      cast ballots. But because elections officials opened up the polls to
      all Palestinians above age 18 in the middle of the day on Sunday,
      about 660,000 others could have voted; officials hadn't yet said how
      many did.

      David Pearce, the U.S. consul in Jerusalem, said he was struck by the
      civic pride of the voters and their new sense of hope. "There are
      immense challenges. A million things can go wrong. But for the first
      time in a long time, there is a chance that something can go right,"
      Pearce said.

      In Israel, a new, more dovish coalition was to be approved by
      parliament Monday, another step toward a planned withdrawal from the
      Gaza Strip and four small West Bank settlements in the summer.

      Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new coalition partners, the moderate
      Labor Party and a small ultra-Orthodox faction, ensure a
      parliamentary majority for the pullback, despite fervent opposition
      from hardliners.

      Labor leader Shimon Peres praised Abbas as a wise leader, and
      expressed hope that peace talks could resume with new Israeli and
      Palestinian governments. "If he (Abbas) makes a maximum effort to
      fight terror, in my view this is good enough to return to
      negotiations," Peres told Israel Radio on Monday.

      Peres congratulated Abbas in a telephone call and told the
      Palestinian leader he would do everything he could to help, said an
      official close to Peres.

      Ehud Olmert, the Israeli vice premier, said Abbas needs to take
      immediate action against militants. "Will he fight against the
      terrorists? Will he try to stop this bloody, violent war against the
      state of Israel? This is the main question," Olmert told CNN.

      Sharon plans to meet with Abbas soon, the Israeli leader's aides
      said.

      Most Palestinian militant groups have indicated they are willing to
      halt attacks against Israel. The Islamic Hamas, which called for an
      election boycott, did not try to disrupt the vote, and local militant
      leaders demonstrated their support for Abbas.

      However, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, who fund some Palestinian
      militants, are trying to sabotage a possible truce, according to
      people close to the group. On Sunday, Hezbollah carried out a cross-
      border attack, setting off an exchange that resulted in the deaths of
      an Israeli soldier, a French U.N. observer and a Hezbollah fighter.

      Abbas' victory capped a peaceful transition after Arafat's death.
      However, Abbas' goals are the same as Arafat's: a Palestinian state
      in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, and a solution for
      Palestinian war refugees.

      "There is a difficult mission ahead to build our state, to achieve
      security for our people ... to give our prisoners freedom, our
      fugitives a life in dignity, to reach our goal of an independent
      state," he said after declaring victory.

      The Central Election Commission changed voting procedures midway
      through the election, keeping polling stations open an additional two
      hours and allowing voters to cast their ballots at any location, not
      just in their hometowns

      One election official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the
      changes came after heavy pressure from Fatah, which feared a low
      turnout could weaken Abbas.

      The election, the first presidential vote in nine years, proceeded
      largely without interruption. In one incident, gunmen fired in the
      air in an election office and in Jerusalem, voters complained of
      confusing arrangements.

      Palestinian Cabinet ministers said Abbas won a strong mandate. "The
      Palestinian people have transmitted a message of peace to Israel and
      to the international community," said minister Ghassan Khatib.

      Many gunmen followed rules barring weapons in voting stations, but in
      a sign of the difficulty the new president will face in controlling
      them, Zakariye Zubeidi, a militant leader, refused to give up his M-
      16 assault rifle when he walked into a polling station in the West
      Bank town of Jenin.

      In Jerusalem, Palestinians and international observers complained of
      confusion over registration lists, and Palestinians accused Israel of
      trying to intimidate them.

      By prior agreement with Israel, only about 5,000 of 120,000 eligible
      voters in Jerusalem -- a city both sides claim as their capital --
      were permitted to vote in post offices in the city. The others had to
      vote in suburbs.

      *****

      Education Dept. paid commentator to promote law
      By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
      1-6-2005
      Seeking to build support among black families for its education
      reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit
      $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television
      show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

      Williams on being paid to boost NCLB: "I wanted to do it because it's
      something I believe in."
      AP

      The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind
      (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment
      on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview
      Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired
      during the show in 2004.

      Williams said Thursday he understands that critics could find the
      arrangement unethical, but "I wanted to do it because it's something
      I believe in."

      The top Democrat on the House Education Committee, Rep. George Miller
      of California, called the contract "a very questionable use of
      taxpayers' money" that is "probably illegal." He said he will ask his
      Republican counterpart to join him in requesting an investigation.

      The contract, detailed in documents obtained by USA TODAY through a
      Freedom of Information Act request, also shows that the Education
      Department, through the Ketchum public relations firm, arranged with
      Williams to use contacts with America's Black Forum, a group of black
      broadcast journalists, "to encourage the producers to periodically
      address" NCLB. He persuaded radio and TV personality Steve Harvey to
      invite Paige onto his show twice. Harvey's manager, Rushion McDonald,
      confirmed the appearances.

      Williams said he does not recall disclosing the contract to audiences
      on the air but told colleagues about it when urging them to promote
      NCLB.

      "I respect Mr. Williams' statement that this is something he believes
      in," said Bob Steele, a media ethics expert at The Poynter Institute
      for Media Studies. "But I would suggest that his commitment to that
      belief is best exercised through his excellent professional work
      rather than through contractual obligations with outsiders who are,
      quite clearly, trying to influence content."

      The contract may be illegal "because Congress has prohibited
      propaganda," or any sort of lobbying for programs funded by the
      government, said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and
      Ethics in Washington. "And it's propaganda."

      White House spokesman Trent Duffy said he couldn't comment because
      the White House is not involved in departments' contracts.

      Ketchum referred questions to the Education Department, whose
      spokesman, John Gibbons, said the contract followed standard
      government procedures. He said there are no plans to continue
      with "similar outreach."

      Williams' contract was part of a $1 million deal with Ketchum that
      produced "video news releases" designed to look like news reports.
      The Bush administration used similar releases last year to promote
      its Medicare prescription drug plan, prompting a scolding from the
      Government Accountability Office, which called them an illegal use of
      taxpayers' dollars.

      Williams, 45, a former aide to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence
      Thomas, is one of the top black conservative voices in the nation. He
      hosts The Right Side on TV and radio, and writes op-ed pieces for
      newspapers, including USA TODAY, while running a public relations
      firm, Graham Williams Group.

      *****

      ConocoPhillips Drops Out of Arctic Power
      t r u t h o u t | Press Release
      Wednesday 05 January 2005

      Joins BP as second oil company to leave arctic drilling lobby group;
      shareholders withdraw resolution on issue.
      ConocoPhillips, the largest oil company in Alaska, has dropped
      out of Arctic Power, the single-issue lobbying group that promotes
      opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for
      oil and gas drilling. The decision by the Houston-based oil giant
      means that the two largest operators on Alaska's North Slope - BP and
      ConocoPhillips - are no longer members of the Arctic drilling lobby
      group.

      "This is a significant win for America's Arctic, and we commend
      ConocoPhillips for listening to their shareholders and the American
      people and dropping out of Arctic Power," said Athan Manuel, director
      of U.S. PIRG's Arctic Wilderness Campaign. "It appears that
      ConocoPhillips and BP are more enlightened than the Bush
      Administration when it comes to drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
      Hopefully Congress will get the message and defeat attempts to allow
      drilling in the Arctic Refuge this year."

      In response to ConocoPhillip's decision, Green Century Capital
      Management had decided to withdraw a shareholder resolution filed
      with the company regarding drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

      "As ConocoPhillips shareholders, we applaud our company's
      decision to withdraw from Arctic Power," said Green Century's Michael
      Leone. "ConocoPhillips clearly recognized that drilling in the Refuge
      would be risky business, and that participating in Arctic Power's pro-
      drilling efforts was not ultimately in the company's best interests."

      Over the last two years, ConocoPhillips' shareholders and
      environmentalists have pushed the company to address the risks
      associated from drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.
      An Arctic Refuge shareholder resolution filed by Green Century
      received more than 9 percent of the shareholder vote in May 2004.
      Green Century refiled the Arctic Refuge resolution in December 2004,
      but offered to withdraw the resolution if the company dropped out of
      Arctic Power.

      A coalition of environmental organizations and socially
      responsible investors first asked ConocoPhillips to drop out of
      Arctic Power at the company's annual meeting in May. A letter
      authored by U.S. PIRG and Green Century, went on to state that
      dropping out of Arctic Power would demonstrate to the socially
      responsible investment and conservation community that ConocoPhillips
      is no longer actively advocating drilling in the Arctic Refuge. An
      October 2004 coalition letter to ConocoPhillips reiterated the offer.

      BP dropped out of Arctic Power in November 2002, after a similar
      campaign by the PIRG Arctic Wilderness Campaign, the World Wildlife
      Fund, and Green Century.

      Since 1998, the PIRG Arctic Wilderness Campaign and its partners
      have targeted the four oil companies that have expressed interest in
      drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The campaign has filed 15 shareholder
      resolutions and generated more than 65,000 e-mails, phone calls, and
      letters to BP, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and ChevronTexaco.

      Resolutions have also been filed this year at ChevronTexaco and
      ExxonMobil that ask each company to report on the risks of operating
      in sensitive areas such as the Arctic Refuge. These resolutions will
      be voted on at each company's 2005 annual meeting.

      "We hope that these companies will follow ConocoPhillips' lead in
      protecting shareholder value as well as the environment by
      withdrawing from Arctic Power," said Green Century's Leone.

      ConocoPhillips' decision comes at the start of the 109th
      Congress, which will likely debate the fate of the Arctic Refuge in
      February or March 2005.

      "We hope that ConocoPhillips' decision to drop out of Arctic
      Power will demonstrate to members of Congress that even the oil
      companies aren't interested in drilling in the Arctic Refuge,"
      concluded PIRG's Manuel. "BP and ConocoPhillips recognize that
      drilling in the Arctic Refuge doesn't make sense, and it looks like
      drilling there is not a priority for either company."

      U.S. PIRG is the national lobbying office for the state Public
      Interest Research Groups. The state PIRGs are non-partisan, non-
      profit advocacy organizations.
      Green Century Capital Management, Inc. is the administrator of
      the Green Century Funds, the first family of no-load, environmentally
      responsible mutual funds.

      For more on the campaign, visit savethearctic.com.
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