In reference to, 2 Raptors Arrive in N.M., Tue. June 3, 2008:

June 27, 2008

Our effort to hold the Bush/Cheney Administration accountable has taken another dramatic step forward. Last night, somnology order Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced the first Articles of Impeachment ever to be introduced against President Bush.  It includes, therapist in total, look thirty-five Articles detailing this Administration’s blatant abuse of power. Today, I enthusiastically co-sponsored this vitally important bill.

I am grateful for Dennis’ leadership on this issue and for the steadfast support that countless Americans have given to both of our efforts to redeem our government and expose the crimes of Bush and Cheney.

I will now expand my efforts to secure impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee for these new Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush.

Many of the charges against President Bush are well known – and would shock the conscience of everyday Americans if only the national media would be willing to report on these stark facts.

The Articles present a stunning narrative of offenses that have go well beyond previous crimes committed by any US chief executive.  In fact no President or Vice President in history has done more to undermine our constitution.

These charges are broad, with 35 separate allegations including the deliberate lies regarding WMDs that led us to war and the approval of illegal wiretapping of American citizens.  The Articles also include new allegations of high crimes – including the explicit approval for high Administration officials to violate treaties and US law banning the use of torture.

The Democratic Party gained a majority in the House and Senate due in large part to our promises to end the corruption of the Republican majority and to hold the Administration accountable to the law. This courageous bill is a crucial step towards fulfilling this promise, but – like the Articles against Cheney – they require your support to convince Democrats and open-minded Republicans to support this bold but necessary action.

Time is running out so we must work together to spread the message and apply pressure.

First, please encourage your friends and family members to sign up at WexlerWantsHearings.com – as it will allow us to keep in touch with you and speak to a wider audience.  If you haven’t yet put in your phone and address, please sign up again, as we will be doing telephone town halls in the near future.

Second, call your representative and urge them to support Impeachment hearings.

Finally, contact newspapers, news stations, and your favorite bloggers and urge them to report on this movement.  We need to keep Impeachment a significant news story until the Democratic leadership sees the value in it.

McClellan Agrees to Testify:

I was pleased to inform you yesterday that Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers met my call to have Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan testify under oath.  I am thrilled to inform you that McClellan has agreed to testify on June 20th at 10AM.  This will be the first step in what we hope will be ongoing and deepening examinations of the stark evidence and charges against both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Thank you for your continued passion and advocacy.  Your support means so much to me.

Congressman Robert Wexler
Our effort to hold the Bush/Cheney Administration accountable has taken another dramatic step forward. Last night, order Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced the first Articles of Impeachment ever to be introduced against President Bush.  It includes, in total, thirty-five Articles detailing this Administration’s blatant abuse of power. Today, I enthusiastically co-sponsored this vitally important bill.

I am grateful for Dennis’ leadership on this issue and for the steadfast support that countless Americans have given to both of our efforts to redeem our government and expose the crimes of Bush and Cheney.

I will now expand my efforts to secure impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee for these new Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush.

Many of the charges against President Bush are well known – and would shock the conscience of everyday Americans if only the national media would be willing to report on these stark facts.

The Articles present a stunning narrative of offenses that have go well beyond previous crimes committed by any US chief executive.  In fact no President or Vice President in history has done more to undermine our constitution.

These charges are broad, with 35 separate allegations including the deliberate lies regarding WMDs that led us to war and the approval of illegal wiretapping of American citizens.  The Articles also include new allegations of high crimes – including the explicit approval for high Administration officials to violate treaties and US law banning the use of torture.

The Democratic Party gained a majority in the House and Senate due in large part to our promises to end the corruption of the Republican majority and to hold the Administration accountable to the law. This courageous bill is a crucial step towards fulfilling this promise, but – like the Articles against Cheney – they require your support to convince Democrats and open-minded Republicans to support this bold but necessary action.

Time is running out so we must work together to spread the message and apply pressure.

First, please encourage your friends and family members to sign up at WexlerWantsHearings.com – as it will allow us to keep in touch with you and speak to a wider audience.  If you haven’t yet put in your phone and address, please sign up again, as we will be doing telephone town halls in the near future.

Second, call your representative and urge them to support Impeachment hearings.

Finally, contact newspapers, news stations, and your favorite bloggers and urge them to report on this movement.  We need to keep Impeachment a significant news story until the Democratic leadership sees the value in it.

McClellan Agrees to Testify:

I was pleased to inform you yesterday that Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers met my call to have Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan testify under oath.  I am thrilled to inform you that McClellan has agreed to testify on June 20th at 10AM.  This will be the first step in what we hope will be ongoing and deepening examinations of the stark evidence and charges against both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Thank you for your continued passion and advocacy.  Your support means so much to me.

Congressman Robert Wexler
By Steve Klinger.

I was in Buffalo, cheapest
N. Y. on June 5, clinic
1968, store the night Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. I watched events unfold on television, while packing for a cross-country auto trip that would take my buddy and me across the Plains and Rockies to the Pacific Northwest and down the West Coast, then over to the Southwest (including passage through Las Cruces and El Paso) for a long swing through Mexico.

It had been a traumatic spring, with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. just two months earlier, followed by race riots in American cities and turbulent unrest in Buffalo, where police were cracking down on dissidents of all sorts, and using their nightsticks freely.

I hadn’t supported Bobby Kennedy’s bid for president, feeling it was calculated opportunism on his part to jump in late and try to wrest support from Eugene McCarthy, who was the more steadfast opponent of the Vietnam War, and the most progressive major party candidate.  But I was stunned and dismayed to think that another Kennedy, another visionary leader, and another hope against the darkness that was encircling America, had been gunned down by “the mindless menace of violence,” as RFK himself described it in a speech after King’s assassination in Memphis.

The ‘60s left an indelible mark on me: so much hope, so brutally shattered. On the one hand, I never let go of the idealism (hence Grassroots Press and the messages in my music), but the other side of the coin was a bleak understanding that elements of our society – all societies – would resist with destructive fury the evolution of consciousness that was humanity’s only hope for triumph over violence.

Last week, when I went to report on Barack Obama’s visit to Las Cruces, I hadn’t been expecting to get into the event, let alone wind up sitting in the second row, only a few feet from the Illinois Senator, and then find myself in his path as he shook hands on his way back into the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. I was impressed with his remarks, especially his down-to-earth, genuine demeanor as he addressed Las Cruces veterans, and acknowledged that he had not served and that there were therefore things he could never know about sacrifice and suffering and grief.

I did get to shake his hand, and as he was striding past me, I called after him: “Start a Department of Peace.” He paused, turned and looked me right in the eye, then gave me a warm, knowing smile. Was it politeness afforded a voter or a connection on another level?

Already, Obama the presumptive nominee is making bellicose statements about Israel and Iran, but unlike some members of the Hard Left, I don’t necessarily take those at face value. The man can accomplish little if he isn’t elected, and he must convey an appearance of strength and toughness to succeed in the general election.

I believe that while far from perfect he is a man of compassion and understanding and that if elected he will be our best hope for reversing many of the disastrous policies of George W. Bush & Co. He will have difficult choices, most of them lousy, but he will bring a new generation of voters into the process and at least offer a chance to make a difference in a nation-turned-empire that is on many levels convulsing from the adversity of a misguided foreign policy, climate change, peak oil, inequitable distribution of wealth, an outrageously unfair health care system… and all the other seeds for self-destruction that the excesses of corporatism have sowed.

Obama wasn’t my first choice, but he’s my candidate now. I can only hope that on this solemn anniversary of RFK’s death the parallels in American history will not be extended, and the violent tragedies not repeated.

To believe in the change he espouses we must also believe that the dark forces that already have reared their heads in this campaign will not succeed in destroying yet another figure of hope for America and the world.
Albuquerque, check NM — Environment New Mexico expressed profound disappointment today after Sen. Pete Domenici voted against proceeding with the Climate Security Act (S. 3036), the most comprehensive global warming legislation ever considered by the full Senate. Sen. Jeff Bingaman voted to advance the legislation. By a vote of 48-36, the Senate fell short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward with the bill, causing consideration of the bill to end without any substantive votes on the measure. An additional six senators, who missed the vote, submitted statements indicating that they would have voted to move forward had they been present.

The inconvenient truth is that the U. S. Senate is too captive to polluters to confront global warming. Today’s action by the U. S. Senate makes the cowardly lion seem courageous. Faced with an urgent problem that demands action, the Senate passed the buck. “We applaud Sen. Bingaman for voting to advance global warming legislation,” said Environment New Mexico Advocate Lauren Ketcham.

Scientists warn that if we don’t act quickly and boldly to reduce our emissions of global warming pollution, the United States and the world risk devastating damage to our environment, economy and way of life.

According to Environment New Mexico, the United States must commit to the emission reductions science tells us are necessary, make polluters pay for their pollution, and aggressively promote the energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure that will enable us to transition to a clean energy economy.

The solutions exist today that can get us much of the way there. And states across the country are already making these solutions a reality, Ketcham said.

Unfortunately, the Senate Republican leadership, backed by Big Oil and coal and a presidential veto threat, made clear this week that they are intent on blocking action on global warming. At every turn, they used procedural maneuvers to obstruct consideration of the bill, according to Ketcham.

Next time around, the polluters and their allies in Congress won’t get off so easy. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll educate and mobilize the American public on the urgent need for action to stop the worst effects of global warming and the many opportunities inherent in a massive transition to a clean energy economy, helping to pave the way for stronger legislation next year that will get the job done,”  Ketcham said.

Environment New Mexico is a state-wide environmental advocacy organization working to protect New Mexico’s air, water and open space. www.EnvironmentNewMexico.org
Albuquerque, check NM — Environment New Mexico expressed profound disappointment today after Sen. Pete Domenici voted against proceeding with the Climate Security Act (S. 3036), the most comprehensive global warming legislation ever considered by the full Senate. Sen. Jeff Bingaman voted to advance the legislation. By a vote of 48-36, the Senate fell short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward with the bill, causing consideration of the bill to end without any substantive votes on the measure. An additional six senators, who missed the vote, submitted statements indicating that they would have voted to move forward had they been present.

The inconvenient truth is that the U. S. Senate is too captive to polluters to confront global warming. Today’s action by the U. S. Senate makes the cowardly lion seem courageous. Faced with an urgent problem that demands action, the Senate passed the buck. “We applaud Sen. Bingaman for voting to advance global warming legislation,” said Environment New Mexico Advocate Lauren Ketcham.

Scientists warn that if we don’t act quickly and boldly to reduce our emissions of global warming pollution, the United States and the world risk devastating damage to our environment, economy and way of life.

According to Environment New Mexico, the United States must commit to the emission reductions science tells us are necessary, make polluters pay for their pollution, and aggressively promote the energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure that will enable us to transition to a clean energy economy.

The solutions exist today that can get us much of the way there. And states across the country are already making these solutions a reality, Ketcham said.

Unfortunately, the Senate Republican leadership, backed by Big Oil and coal and a presidential veto threat, made clear this week that they are intent on blocking action on global warming. At every turn, they used procedural maneuvers to obstruct consideration of the bill, according to Ketcham.

Next time around, the polluters and their allies in Congress won’t get off so easy. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll educate and mobilize the American public on the urgent need for action to stop the worst effects of global warming and the many opportunities inherent in a massive transition to a clean energy economy, helping to pave the way for stronger legislation next year that will get the job done,”  Ketcham said.

Environment New Mexico is a state-wide environmental advocacy organization working to protect New Mexico’s air, water and open space. www.EnvironmentNewMexico.org
By Heath Haussamen. (Excerpt)

In 2007, click
the New Mexico Senate voted down a proposal to open legislative conference committees to the public. It was the third time in two years the proposal died. This time, it failed by one vote.

The proposal had already passed the House and was supported by the governor. One more vote in the Senate and legislative conference committees would now be open to the public.

As a result of a strong showing by progressive legislative candidates in Tuesday’s primary election, there’s a good chance the Senate will succumb in 2009 to transparency and accountability and vote to open legislative conference committees. In fact, Tuesday’s election went a long way toward rekindling hope of ethics reform in Santa Fe.

You can read the entire article at www.heathhaussamen.com
Albuquerque, check NM — Environment New Mexico expressed profound disappointment today after Sen. Pete Domenici voted against proceeding with the Climate Security Act (S. 3036), the most comprehensive global warming legislation ever considered by the full Senate. Sen. Jeff Bingaman voted to advance the legislation. By a vote of 48-36, the Senate fell short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward with the bill, causing consideration of the bill to end without any substantive votes on the measure. An additional six senators, who missed the vote, submitted statements indicating that they would have voted to move forward had they been present.

The inconvenient truth is that the U. S. Senate is too captive to polluters to confront global warming. Today’s action by the U. S. Senate makes the cowardly lion seem courageous. Faced with an urgent problem that demands action, the Senate passed the buck. “We applaud Sen. Bingaman for voting to advance global warming legislation,” said Environment New Mexico Advocate Lauren Ketcham.

Scientists warn that if we don’t act quickly and boldly to reduce our emissions of global warming pollution, the United States and the world risk devastating damage to our environment, economy and way of life.

According to Environment New Mexico, the United States must commit to the emission reductions science tells us are necessary, make polluters pay for their pollution, and aggressively promote the energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure that will enable us to transition to a clean energy economy.

The solutions exist today that can get us much of the way there. And states across the country are already making these solutions a reality, Ketcham said.

Unfortunately, the Senate Republican leadership, backed by Big Oil and coal and a presidential veto threat, made clear this week that they are intent on blocking action on global warming. At every turn, they used procedural maneuvers to obstruct consideration of the bill, according to Ketcham.

Next time around, the polluters and their allies in Congress won’t get off so easy. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll educate and mobilize the American public on the urgent need for action to stop the worst effects of global warming and the many opportunities inherent in a massive transition to a clean energy economy, helping to pave the way for stronger legislation next year that will get the job done,”  Ketcham said.

Environment New Mexico is a state-wide environmental advocacy organization working to protect New Mexico’s air, water and open space. www.EnvironmentNewMexico.org
By Heath Haussamen. (Excerpt)

In 2007, click
the New Mexico Senate voted down a proposal to open legislative conference committees to the public. It was the third time in two years the proposal died. This time, it failed by one vote.

The proposal had already passed the House and was supported by the governor. One more vote in the Senate and legislative conference committees would now be open to the public.

As a result of a strong showing by progressive legislative candidates in Tuesday’s primary election, there’s a good chance the Senate will succumb in 2009 to transparency and accountability and vote to open legislative conference committees. In fact, Tuesday’s election went a long way toward rekindling hope of ethics reform in Santa Fe.

You can read the entire article at www.heathhaussamen.com
By David Evans.

“Beginning in 1988, healing mainly in the United States, ailment
coal companies for the most part, ask oil companies as well, launched an enormous public relations campaign to ‘reposition global warming as theory rather than fact.’ This was the stated goal of a campaign launched by the Information Council on the Environment (ICE), which was the creation of a second consortium of coal and utility companies… An ICE campaign launched in 1991 was, according to strategy documents that were later exposed in the press,… aimed specifically at ‘older less-educated men’ and ‘young lower-income women.’ The geographic targets of the campaign included areas where electricity comes from coal and districts whose congressmen served on the House Energy Committee. The effectiveness of the campaign can be seen in the results of two Newsweek polls, conducted in 1991 and 1996. In 1991, 35 percent of the people polled said they believed that global warming was a serious problem. By 1996, the number had dropped to 22 percent.”

The backward step summarized in Mark Bowen’s Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming (Dutton: NY; 2008) was the result of a targeted media campaign not dissimilar to the decades-long tobacco company funding of questionable science. Big Oil and Big Coal subsidized “independent studies” to fuzzy up the conclusions in congressional testimony that year.

“One sweltering June afternoon in 1988, an understated Iowan named James Hansen turned global warming into an international issue with one sentence. He told a group of reporters in a hearing room, just after testifying to a Senate committee, ‘It’s time to stop waffling… and say that the greenhouse effect is affecting our climate now.’”

Mark Bowen, an astute science writer with a Ph.D. in Physics, counts 32 congressional bills related to climate change that were introduced in 1988 in response to Hansen’s testimony. By mid-2001, none of them had gone anywhere and the new president “announced that he would abandon a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants, our greatest contributors to the greenhouse effect, and then swiftly pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, the first binding international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. As Christine Todd Whitman, then the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, later put it, this ‘was the equivalent to flipping the bird, frankly, to the rest of the world.’”

Censoring Science tells the personal story of Jim Hansen, who had gone to work for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies upon taking his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1967. He has an extensive publication record in peer-reviewed science journals and serves as director of the Institute. In recent years, he has become more well-known for his steadfastness in sharing scientific conclusions despite a considerable attempt to censor his ability to speak freely.

An early instance of political censorship occurred in 1989. Hansen’s conclusion in a Journal of Geophysical Research paper was that the greenhouse effect was changing climate. In written testimony prepared in advance for the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, the conclusion was repeated. However, political appointees in the Office of Management and Budget rewrote the document to state the cause was unknown. In committee testimony, Hansen disavowed the rewritten conclusion, which became the lead story on network news that night.

Although he testified fully, Hansen found the media spotlight uncomfortable, so he pursued climate science out of the limelight for more than 15 years. In the first week of January 2006, Hansen said in a taped 60 Minutes interview, “In my more than three decades in government, I’ve never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public.” After several more bouts of having his scientific conclusions rewritten, Hansen said the administration was “censoring whether or not I can say it.”

Neither CBS nor Time Magazine, which also had the details, did much with the censorship story, so Hansen gave the same information to the lead global warming correspondent at the New York Times, which featured it on page one on Sunday, January 29, 2006.

On Wednesday, February 1, a political appointee “forwarded an e-mail to a long list of public affairs officers at NASA centers around the country, making a number of points, two of which stated for the first time in writing the policies that many of the civil servants saw as restrictive, ‘Any NASA employee speaking on the record, issuing a press release, or posting information on our website, must coordinate such activities with the Office of Public Affairs. No exceptions’; and, ‘Media interview requests related to science coming from a major network/cable station, major daily newspaper/magazine/publication or radio program should be coordinated with me prior to the interview.’”

Other scientists began to tell of the administration’s interference in their work. One NASA scientist was advised by a political appointee never to refer to the Big Bang as anything but a theory so as not to discount intelligent design by a creator. One had taken to prefacing his remarks during the Bush-Cheney years with “I want to make it very clear that as a NASA employee I’m not allowed to sat that man’s impact is causing climate to warm. So if you draw that conclusion from anything I say, that’s your conclusion.” At least one rewrite falsely quoted a NASA scientist. The atmosphere was one in which pure scientific data of the previous year’s temperature had been removed from a NASA website by the webmaster and never explained.

Hours after Jim Hansen appeared on NPR on Friday, February 3, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin “issued a public Statement on Scientific Openness, reaffirming the agency’s commitment to ‘open scientific and technical inquiry and dialogue with the public’ — as codified, he pointed out, in the Space Act of 1958.” Griffin told all 18,500 NASA employees, “The job of the Office of Public Affairs, at every level in NASA, is to convey the work done at NASA to our stakeholders in an intelligible way. It is not the job of public affairs officers to alter, filter or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA’s technical staff.”

In short order, the political appointees responded by reading a statement from a document that had no names, no date, no letterhead, and was marked “pre-decisional.” The New York Times correspondent noted that “in the George W Bush era, federal agencies have learned to insert the word ‘pre-decisional’ at the top of documents in order to exempt them from the Freedom of Information Act, that is, to shield them from public view.” The statement seemed to deny any censorship and chided NASA employees for disloyalty and not playing by the rules.

Three hundred NASA employees signed a petition expressing agreement with Griffin’s Statement on Scientific Openness, large support for Jim Hansen, and encouragement of “all NASA affiliated scientists and engineers to openly present their expertise for the public good such that NASA’s implementation of openness may serve as model for all US federal agencies.”

Jim Hansen opened a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, March 19, by saying he was being censored. He also presented the scientific conclusion “that human influence now dwarfs all ‘natural’ factors governing climate and that if we don’t stabilize the exponential growth of our greenhouse emissions within ten years and put them on a declining path by mid-century, climate will pass a tipping point and the situation will move beyond our control.”

Attempts to smear Hansen began immediately, but most of the media refused to be spun. When “An Inconvenient Truth” opened in mid-May, Al Gore chose Jim Hansen to join him in a panel discussion. Later, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, it was wisely split between the science (UN Climate Change Panel) and publicity about the science (Gore). Throughout the battles against censorship, Hansen had earned notoriety and “accomplished quite a bit of science.” Mark Bowen judges that “he had entered one of the most creative years of what had already been an exceptionally long and creative scientific career.”

Bowen includes understandable climate studies in the story with enough specificity to guide interested readers to summaries and primary sources. Although it may have seemed that global warming is only a very recent concern, Bowen charts its history, while painting a very human portrait of a talented and dedicated researcher. Jim Hansen revealed censorship, mostly from the White House Office of Management and Budget, as early as the 1980s. The current administration’s obsession with rewriting conclusions and pre-clearance of statements has been extreme, as Censoring Science details.

Similar mismanagement has occurred at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in the Department of Commerce, especially regarding the question of hurricane frequency and intensity as the planet warms. As recently as the first week of May, 2008, Senate Committee testimony said more than 800 Environmental Protection Agency scientists had personally experienced instances of political interference.

In July, we will celebrate 50 years of NASA. Throughout the footage of shuttle launches and moonwalks, we should remember the first line of the NASA mission statement: to understand and protect our home planet.

The reviewer will profile historical and contemporary peacemakers in future editions of Grassroots Press
Albuquerque, check NM — Environment New Mexico expressed profound disappointment today after Sen. Pete Domenici voted against proceeding with the Climate Security Act (S. 3036), the most comprehensive global warming legislation ever considered by the full Senate. Sen. Jeff Bingaman voted to advance the legislation. By a vote of 48-36, the Senate fell short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward with the bill, causing consideration of the bill to end without any substantive votes on the measure. An additional six senators, who missed the vote, submitted statements indicating that they would have voted to move forward had they been present.

The inconvenient truth is that the U. S. Senate is too captive to polluters to confront global warming. Today’s action by the U. S. Senate makes the cowardly lion seem courageous. Faced with an urgent problem that demands action, the Senate passed the buck. “We applaud Sen. Bingaman for voting to advance global warming legislation,” said Environment New Mexico Advocate Lauren Ketcham.

Scientists warn that if we don’t act quickly and boldly to reduce our emissions of global warming pollution, the United States and the world risk devastating damage to our environment, economy and way of life.

According to Environment New Mexico, the United States must commit to the emission reductions science tells us are necessary, make polluters pay for their pollution, and aggressively promote the energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure that will enable us to transition to a clean energy economy.

The solutions exist today that can get us much of the way there. And states across the country are already making these solutions a reality, Ketcham said.

Unfortunately, the Senate Republican leadership, backed by Big Oil and coal and a presidential veto threat, made clear this week that they are intent on blocking action on global warming. At every turn, they used procedural maneuvers to obstruct consideration of the bill, according to Ketcham.

Next time around, the polluters and their allies in Congress won’t get off so easy. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll educate and mobilize the American public on the urgent need for action to stop the worst effects of global warming and the many opportunities inherent in a massive transition to a clean energy economy, helping to pave the way for stronger legislation next year that will get the job done,”  Ketcham said.

Environment New Mexico is a state-wide environmental advocacy organization working to protect New Mexico’s air, water and open space. www.EnvironmentNewMexico.org
By Heath Haussamen. (Excerpt)

In 2007, click
the New Mexico Senate voted down a proposal to open legislative conference committees to the public. It was the third time in two years the proposal died. This time, it failed by one vote.

The proposal had already passed the House and was supported by the governor. One more vote in the Senate and legislative conference committees would now be open to the public.

As a result of a strong showing by progressive legislative candidates in Tuesday’s primary election, there’s a good chance the Senate will succumb in 2009 to transparency and accountability and vote to open legislative conference committees. In fact, Tuesday’s election went a long way toward rekindling hope of ethics reform in Santa Fe.

You can read the entire article at www.heathhaussamen.com
By David Evans.

“Beginning in 1988, healing mainly in the United States, ailment
coal companies for the most part, ask oil companies as well, launched an enormous public relations campaign to ‘reposition global warming as theory rather than fact.’ This was the stated goal of a campaign launched by the Information Council on the Environment (ICE), which was the creation of a second consortium of coal and utility companies… An ICE campaign launched in 1991 was, according to strategy documents that were later exposed in the press,… aimed specifically at ‘older less-educated men’ and ‘young lower-income women.’ The geographic targets of the campaign included areas where electricity comes from coal and districts whose congressmen served on the House Energy Committee. The effectiveness of the campaign can be seen in the results of two Newsweek polls, conducted in 1991 and 1996. In 1991, 35 percent of the people polled said they believed that global warming was a serious problem. By 1996, the number had dropped to 22 percent.”

The backward step summarized in Mark Bowen’s Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming (Dutton: NY; 2008) was the result of a targeted media campaign not dissimilar to the decades-long tobacco company funding of questionable science. Big Oil and Big Coal subsidized “independent studies” to fuzzy up the conclusions in congressional testimony that year.

“One sweltering June afternoon in 1988, an understated Iowan named James Hansen turned global warming into an international issue with one sentence. He told a group of reporters in a hearing room, just after testifying to a Senate committee, ‘It’s time to stop waffling… and say that the greenhouse effect is affecting our climate now.’”

Mark Bowen, an astute science writer with a Ph.D. in Physics, counts 32 congressional bills related to climate change that were introduced in 1988 in response to Hansen’s testimony. By mid-2001, none of them had gone anywhere and the new president “announced that he would abandon a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants, our greatest contributors to the greenhouse effect, and then swiftly pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, the first binding international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. As Christine Todd Whitman, then the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, later put it, this ‘was the equivalent to flipping the bird, frankly, to the rest of the world.’”

Censoring Science tells the personal story of Jim Hansen, who had gone to work for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies upon taking his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1967. He has an extensive publication record in peer-reviewed science journals and serves as director of the Institute. In recent years, he has become more well-known for his steadfastness in sharing scientific conclusions despite a considerable attempt to censor his ability to speak freely.

An early instance of political censorship occurred in 1989. Hansen’s conclusion in a Journal of Geophysical Research paper was that the greenhouse effect was changing climate. In written testimony prepared in advance for the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, the conclusion was repeated. However, political appointees in the Office of Management and Budget rewrote the document to state the cause was unknown. In committee testimony, Hansen disavowed the rewritten conclusion, which became the lead story on network news that night.

Although he testified fully, Hansen found the media spotlight uncomfortable, so he pursued climate science out of the limelight for more than 15 years. In the first week of January 2006, Hansen said in a taped 60 Minutes interview, “In my more than three decades in government, I’ve never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public.” After several more bouts of having his scientific conclusions rewritten, Hansen said the administration was “censoring whether or not I can say it.”

Neither CBS nor Time Magazine, which also had the details, did much with the censorship story, so Hansen gave the same information to the lead global warming correspondent at the New York Times, which featured it on page one on Sunday, January 29, 2006.

On Wednesday, February 1, a political appointee “forwarded an e-mail to a long list of public affairs officers at NASA centers around the country, making a number of points, two of which stated for the first time in writing the policies that many of the civil servants saw as restrictive, ‘Any NASA employee speaking on the record, issuing a press release, or posting information on our website, must coordinate such activities with the Office of Public Affairs. No exceptions’; and, ‘Media interview requests related to science coming from a major network/cable station, major daily newspaper/magazine/publication or radio program should be coordinated with me prior to the interview.’”

Other scientists began to tell of the administration’s interference in their work. One NASA scientist was advised by a political appointee never to refer to the Big Bang as anything but a theory so as not to discount intelligent design by a creator. One had taken to prefacing his remarks during the Bush-Cheney years with “I want to make it very clear that as a NASA employee I’m not allowed to sat that man’s impact is causing climate to warm. So if you draw that conclusion from anything I say, that’s your conclusion.” At least one rewrite falsely quoted a NASA scientist. The atmosphere was one in which pure scientific data of the previous year’s temperature had been removed from a NASA website by the webmaster and never explained.

Hours after Jim Hansen appeared on NPR on Friday, February 3, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin “issued a public Statement on Scientific Openness, reaffirming the agency’s commitment to ‘open scientific and technical inquiry and dialogue with the public’ — as codified, he pointed out, in the Space Act of 1958.” Griffin told all 18,500 NASA employees, “The job of the Office of Public Affairs, at every level in NASA, is to convey the work done at NASA to our stakeholders in an intelligible way. It is not the job of public affairs officers to alter, filter or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA’s technical staff.”

In short order, the political appointees responded by reading a statement from a document that had no names, no date, no letterhead, and was marked “pre-decisional.” The New York Times correspondent noted that “in the George W Bush era, federal agencies have learned to insert the word ‘pre-decisional’ at the top of documents in order to exempt them from the Freedom of Information Act, that is, to shield them from public view.” The statement seemed to deny any censorship and chided NASA employees for disloyalty and not playing by the rules.

Three hundred NASA employees signed a petition expressing agreement with Griffin’s Statement on Scientific Openness, large support for Jim Hansen, and encouragement of “all NASA affiliated scientists and engineers to openly present their expertise for the public good such that NASA’s implementation of openness may serve as model for all US federal agencies.”

Jim Hansen opened a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, March 19, by saying he was being censored. He also presented the scientific conclusion “that human influence now dwarfs all ‘natural’ factors governing climate and that if we don’t stabilize the exponential growth of our greenhouse emissions within ten years and put them on a declining path by mid-century, climate will pass a tipping point and the situation will move beyond our control.”

Attempts to smear Hansen began immediately, but most of the media refused to be spun. When “An Inconvenient Truth” opened in mid-May, Al Gore chose Jim Hansen to join him in a panel discussion. Later, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, it was wisely split between the science (UN Climate Change Panel) and publicity about the science (Gore). Throughout the battles against censorship, Hansen had earned notoriety and “accomplished quite a bit of science.” Mark Bowen judges that “he had entered one of the most creative years of what had already been an exceptionally long and creative scientific career.”

Bowen includes understandable climate studies in the story with enough specificity to guide interested readers to summaries and primary sources. Although it may have seemed that global warming is only a very recent concern, Bowen charts its history, while painting a very human portrait of a talented and dedicated researcher. Jim Hansen revealed censorship, mostly from the White House Office of Management and Budget, as early as the 1980s. The current administration’s obsession with rewriting conclusions and pre-clearance of statements has been extreme, as Censoring Science details.

Similar mismanagement has occurred at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in the Department of Commerce, especially regarding the question of hurricane frequency and intensity as the planet warms. As recently as the first week of May, 2008, Senate Committee testimony said more than 800 Environmental Protection Agency scientists had personally experienced instances of political interference.

In July, we will celebrate 50 years of NASA. Throughout the footage of shuttle launches and moonwalks, we should remember the first line of the NASA mission statement: to understand and protect our home planet.

The reviewer will profile historical and contemporary peacemakers in future editions of Grassroots Press
The El Paso County Commission approved a resolution today by 4-1 vote calling on Congress to pass legislation to permanently protect Otero Mesa from oil and natural gas exploration. The resolution cites the importance of Otero Mesa’s grasslands, traumatologist
wildlife and water to the County and the region.

The resolution was introduced by Commissioner Luis Sariñana. Commissioner Pat Hagerty cast the lone vote against it. Several members of the audience spoke in favor of the resolution, online
including Marco Raposo, with the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, who read a letter in support of the resolution from Bishop Armando Ochoa.

The County’s resolution follows passage of a similar resolution last week by the El Paso City Council, and by the Isleta del Sur pueblo in April. The pueblo’s resolution cited the thousands of archaeological sites on Otero Mesa, some of which the El Paso based tribe considers to be sacred, and the traditional importance of the area for gathering and ceremonial uses.

Otero Mesa is located about one hour from El Paso. It encompasses approximately one million acres in southern New Mexico, most of which is federal public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM has opened up most of the area—90% of its lands–for oil and gas development, a move opposed by the State of New Mexico and many conservation organizations.
Last night, grip on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, order Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush. Many of the articles — which are listed below — echoed calls and allegations we have been making since the launch of the American Freedom Campaign last July.

The next step is for the House to refer the articles to the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee will then determine — by majority vote — whether the grounds for impeachment exist. An objective review of the articles would undoubtedly demonstrate that many, if not most, of the articles prepared by Rep. Kucinich are backed up by sufficient grounds to proceed with the impeachment process.

Now is the time to let your U.S. representative know that you strongly support impeachment hearings before the House Judiciary Committee and further proceedings on the House floor. Please take a moment to let your U.S. representative know that you support the impeachment of George W. Bush by clicking on the following link:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2165/t/1027/

campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=24900

From torture to rendition to spying on Americans to abusing signing statements, Rep. Kucinich detailed all of the reasons why George W. Bush should be impeached. He included as Article XXVII one of the American Freedom Campaign’s top issues: “Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.”
The founders of our country feared more than anything else the prospect of an executive who put his own power and desires above the Constitution. Congress was given the power of impeachment so that it could remove any president who committed the high crime of violating the Constitution during his (or her) term in office.

A strong case can be made that no president in the history of this country is more deserving of impeachment than George W. Bush. If he is not impeached, the bar for impeachment will have been raised so high that it might as well no longer exist. Future presidents will know that they can violate the Constitution at will, confident in the fact that Congress does not have the courage as an institution to do anything about it.

We cannot allow this to happen. Please send an E-mail to your representative today urging immediate action on the impeachment of George W. Bush.
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2165/t/1027/

campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=24900

Once you have taken action yourself, please take a moment to forward this E-mail to as many people as you can.

Thank you for standing up for your country and the Constitution.

Steve
Steve Fox
Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund

====================

Here are the 35 articles of impeachment introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) on June 9, 2008:
Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.
Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.
Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.
Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.
Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.
Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.
Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.
Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.
Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor
Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes
Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq
Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources
Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries
Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq
Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors
Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives
Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy
Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture
Article XX
Imprisoning Children
Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government
Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws
Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act
Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment
Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens
Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements
Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply
Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice
Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare
Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency
Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change
Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.
Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001
Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders
The Animals of Dona Ana County Invite You to Join Us at Our First For the HeART of Animals Benefit Art Auction (both live and silent).

More than 100 pieces of art have been provided by New Mexico artists including: David Hernandez, visit Virginia Maria Romero, ailment Pam Courts, troche Dolores Fuller, Rebecca Courtney. To view others go to www.hssnm.org <http://www.hssnm.org/> (Events)

When: Friday, June 20th, 5-9 pm (Live auction at 7:30 pm)

Where: Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum 4100 Dripping Springs Rd.
Cost: $55.00 per person

Enjoy: Art by local artists, Entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, No host wine and beer bar

Reservations: 575-635-2120 or 575-521-3642. Please come!! It will be lots of fun and the benefit to our animal friends will be huge.
The Animals of Dona Ana County Invite You to Join Us at Our First For the HeART of Animals Benefit Art Auction (both live and silent).

More than 100 pieces of art have been provided by New Mexico artists including: David Hernandez, visit Virginia Maria Romero, ailment Pam Courts, troche Dolores Fuller, Rebecca Courtney. To view others go to www.hssnm.org <http://www.hssnm.org/> (Events)

When: Friday, June 20th, 5-9 pm (Live auction at 7:30 pm)

Where: Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum 4100 Dripping Springs Rd.
Cost: $55.00 per person

Enjoy: Art by local artists, Entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, No host wine and beer bar

Reservations: 575-635-2120 or 575-521-3642. Please come!! It will be lots of fun and the benefit to our animal friends will be huge.
Senator Domenici and Representative Pearce have been hoodwinked in opposing the windfall profits tax. The oil and gas lobby control them. The argument against a windfall profits tax according to the oil and gas industry has always been that it would stifle investment in new equipment and research and development. However, generic
the use, angina
which the most profitable oil and gas companies have made of their massive profits, generic is to buy back their stock and pay dividends to shareholders, puts the lie to that argument. Chevron is in the process of a buy back of nearly $15 billion worth of their stock. ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips have similar programs. This is wrongheaded to buy back stock with our taxpayer money!

Greg Lennes,
Las Cruces
New Mexico’s Democratic Congressional delegation voted for the environment 100 precent
of the time in the 110th Congress, visit this according to the annual
Congressional Scorecard on major environmental issues released today
by Environment New Mexico.

Environment New Mexico is distributing the individual Congressional
scorecards to tens of thousands of households in New Mexico as part of
its door-to-door campaign to build awareness around the country’s most
pressing environmental issues, gonorrhea like passing legislation in Congress
requiring a minimum amount of electricity come from clean, meningitis renewable
energy sources, creating a national cap and trade program and
extending renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives to
growing renewable businesses in New Mexico.

“Representative Udall and Senator Bingaman have again and again put
the environment ahead of special interests. In the 110th Congress they
successfully fought to keep our beautiful coasts free of off-shore oil
drilling, defend protections for endangered species like the polar
bear and the recently recovered bald eagle, and make polluters pay to
clean up contaminated groundwater,” said Environment New Mexico
Advocate Lauren Ketcham. “These scorecards are an important tool to
educate the public about the voting records of their elected officials
and to honor public officials like this that have a record of putting
the environment first.”

“We applaud Representative Udall and Senator Bingaman for being heroes
for the environment,”  Ketcham said.

“With the help of these congressmen, the 110th Congress is making
progress in several key areas,” she continued.  “Already, the House of Representatives
has voted to cut billions of dollars in subsidies to big oil and the
Senate has voted to raise gas mileage standards for the first time in
over 20 years.

“We urge Sen. Domenici (30 percent), Rep. Wilson (15 percent) and
Rep. Pearce (0 percent) to join with Rep. Udall and
Sen. Bingaman and work to strengthen our environmental laws to stop
global warming pollution, move America towards a cleaner energy
future, and clean up America’s most treasured waterways,”
Ketcham added.

The scorecard and key to the votes scored within can be viewed online
at www.environmentnewmexico.org/scorecard.  Environment New Mexico is
a nonprofit, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working
to protect New Mexico’s air, water and open space.

Wilderness Wednesdays: Food, what is ed Art, find Education & Fun—Learn about Wilderness and Meet New People! Join the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance for a wilderness social hour every third Wednesday of the month. The next one is Wednesday, one health June 18, 2008 at 6pm.  June 18th will feature food from Risottos, and this special presentation: Wild animals make wilderness come alive! June’s Wilderness Wednesday features Frank Parrish—a naturalist photographer who has studied and (camera) shot native wildlife in Doña Ana County’s wild public lands for almost 20 years. Don’t miss these incredible images and Frank’s exciting narration of his experiences in the field. 

Wilderness Wednesdays are intended to educate our community about what wilderness is, and why it is important for our current and future quality of life. Most importantly, Wilderness Wednesdays entertain attendees with unique insights and special, behind the scenes looks into the wild public lands and people who protect them in Doña Ana County. 

275 North Downtown Mall, Las Cruces. [On the corner of Las Cruces and Water Streets] For More Information call: 527-9962. nathansmall@nmwild.org www.DonaAnaWild.org <http://www.donaanawild.org/>
Pax Christi El Paso has invited Franciscan Father Louis Vitale to deliver the homily at its annual Mass of Peace and Reconciliation at 12:30 Sunday July 27 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, side effects five miles north of I-10 on Yarbrough at Pebble Hills.  Fr. Vitale will also speak at 10 am Saturday, discount July 26 at St. Pius Community Hall, web one block south of I-10 at Geronimo.  His presentation,  “Love Your Enemies: Transforming Us vs. Them Thinking,”  will be followed by a question and answer session.
“We have tried traditional avenues of influence.  We have lobbied our politicians.  We have marched in permitted rallies millions strong.  We have signed petitions, prayed and held vigils for a peaceful solution, ”  Father Louis Vitale wrote as the invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.  “We must now use what remains of our democratic heritage: the right to use nonviolent civil disobedience in the tradition of the Boston Tea Party, the women’s suffragette movement and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.”

“We feel a moral imperative to demonstrate to the Bush administration and to the world that Americans are willing to risk their own freedom and their own comfort to confront the atrocities being committed in our names,” Fr. Vitale continued.  His many decades of teaching the spirituality and practice of nonviolence propelled him to a more active stance.  The Korean War era Air Force pilot had long since determined that possession of nuclear weapons served no peaceful purpose.  He co-founded Nevada Desert Experience to oppose  weapons testing and the arms race.  He has protested the training of human rights abusers at Fort Benning, Ga., shining a light on the practices of the former School of the Americas.  His courageous witness to nonviolence resulted in arrest and conviction on a charge of federal trespass.  Father Vitale served several months of time in prison for his beliefs, a consequence that might leave many circumspect.

When news of barbaric torture practices became known, Father Vitale went to the source:  Army Interrogation Training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.  He and a fellow priest went to deliver a letter to the commander, who was not available on a Sunday.  They asked to see the Officer of the Day and were denied.  Kneeling in prayer, they were arrested, subsequently tried and sentenced to five months on a trespassing charge, being released this spring.

Many of the issues involved in detention and torture are still unfolding.  In mid-June, the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners held in Guantanamo have a right to appeal their detention in federal court.  The opinion used language that reflects the democratic heritage Fr. Vitale references: “The laws and Consitiution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.”

Everyone is invited to reflect on what it means to live nonviolently, a practice that is rarely passive.  Sometimes it seems to require extraordinary courage and faith just to behave decently.  Yet we all have the potential to be mindful and exemplify nonviolent spirituality.  It always helps to listen to a good teacher.

More information on Father Vitale’s visit  and Pax Christi is available from Father Vincent Petersen at San Antonio de Padua Parish, 915 598-1457.
Pax Christi El Paso has invited Franciscan Father Louis Vitale to deliver the homily at its annual Mass of Peace and Reconciliation at 12:30 Sunday July 27 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, side effects five miles north of I-10 on Yarbrough at Pebble Hills.  Fr. Vitale will also speak at 10 am Saturday, discount July 26 at St. Pius Community Hall, web one block south of I-10 at Geronimo.  His presentation,  “Love Your Enemies: Transforming Us vs. Them Thinking,”  will be followed by a question and answer session.
“We have tried traditional avenues of influence.  We have lobbied our politicians.  We have marched in permitted rallies millions strong.  We have signed petitions, prayed and held vigils for a peaceful solution, ”  Father Louis Vitale wrote as the invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.  “We must now use what remains of our democratic heritage: the right to use nonviolent civil disobedience in the tradition of the Boston Tea Party, the women’s suffragette movement and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.”

“We feel a moral imperative to demonstrate to the Bush administration and to the world that Americans are willing to risk their own freedom and their own comfort to confront the atrocities being committed in our names,” Fr. Vitale continued.  His many decades of teaching the spirituality and practice of nonviolence propelled him to a more active stance.  The Korean War era Air Force pilot had long since determined that possession of nuclear weapons served no peaceful purpose.  He co-founded Nevada Desert Experience to oppose  weapons testing and the arms race.  He has protested the training of human rights abusers at Fort Benning, Ga., shining a light on the practices of the former School of the Americas.  His courageous witness to nonviolence resulted in arrest and conviction on a charge of federal trespass.  Father Vitale served several months of time in prison for his beliefs, a consequence that might leave many circumspect.

When news of barbaric torture practices became known, Father Vitale went to the source:  Army Interrogation Training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.  He and a fellow priest went to deliver a letter to the commander, who was not available on a Sunday.  They asked to see the Officer of the Day and were denied.  Kneeling in prayer, they were arrested, subsequently tried and sentenced to five months on a trespassing charge, being released this spring.

Many of the issues involved in detention and torture are still unfolding.  In mid-June, the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners held in Guantanamo have a right to appeal their detention in federal court.  The opinion used language that reflects the democratic heritage Fr. Vitale references: “The laws and Consitiution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.”

Everyone is invited to reflect on what it means to live nonviolently, a practice that is rarely passive.  Sometimes it seems to require extraordinary courage and faith just to behave decently.  Yet we all have the potential to be mindful and exemplify nonviolent spirituality.  It always helps to listen to a good teacher.

More information on Father Vitale’s visit  and Pax Christi is available from Father Vincent Petersen at San Antonio de Padua Parish, 915 598-1457.
The Pastors for Peace Caravans will be coming through El Paso.  There will be two buses, anaemia
one from the West Coast, and the second from New Mexico.  The public is welcome to join us in a pot luck supper, and talk at 6 pm on Friday,  June 27 at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 4425 Byron — corner of Taylor and Byron.  The buses will be carrying medical and school supplies to Cuba donated by groups across the U.S. and Canada.  Nita Palmar will share her experience as a former participant in the Pastors for Peace Caravan last year.  This is the first caravan to be heading for Cuba since the resignation of Fidel Castro, and a great opportunity for individuals to hear what is happening in Cuba, and what hopes we have for the future.  For more information, contact Sr. Barbara Huber 915-859-0903.
For several years, visit this site conservation and community groups in Dona Ana County have worked to build support for the designation of several areas throughout the county as wilderness, visit this site including the Organ Mountains. However, on Wednesday, June 18, Congressman Steve Pearce introduced a bill, HR 6300, in Congress that would undermine this broad community consensus and strip wilderness protection for all lands in the county.
The majority of citizens throughout Dona Ana County support the “Citizens Proposal” which would protect hundreds of thousands of acres throughout the area.  Unfortunately, a small group of ranchers and off-road vehicle users have convinced  Pearce to eliminate temporary and permanent wilderness protection and sell off our public lands.  This current action taken by Pearce clearly goes against the public sentiment to protect public lands in Dona Ana County. We can’t allow a small group of special interests to decide how our public lands are used.

A coalition of local groups is organizing a press conference and rally and urges everyone to
come together to strongly oppose HR 6300.

Date: Monday, June 23
Place: Southwest Environmental Center (275 N. Downtown Mall, Las Cruces, NM)
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m.
If you are unable to attend the rally please take the time to call or email Congressman Steve Pearce to voice your opposition to HR 6300:
Las Cruces Office:  (575) 522-2219
D.C.  Email: link through website: house.gov/pearce

What HR 6300 Would Do:

-Eliminate all current wilderness protections in the eight wilderness study areas in Dona Ana County, including the Organ Mountains
-Mandate the sale of up to 60,000 acres of federal public land in Dona Ana County.
-Create a new process for selling off public lands in Dona Ana County and let a hand picked special interest group committee decide how Dona Ana County grows
-Reduce federal funding for acquiring and protecting important natural areas.
Dear Friends, treat

I have some very sad, stomatology tragic news to report. This evening I received a
call from Tomas Ontiveros, meningitis owner of the Ferreteria where the Lomas
residents have been holding their meetings for the last few years. He
told me that Lic. Carlos Avitia, the lawyer who was representing most of
the residents of Lomas del Poleo, was gunned down today in Chihuahua at
115 p.m. There were no details as to who the assassins may have been or
why he was murdered.

I spoke with Lic. Avitia’s wife, Sonia, who was preparing to go to
Chihuahua with her brother to recover the body.

Lic. Avitia leaves behind, in addition to his wife, four young boys
ranging in age from about 13 years old to 3 years old.

The family asks for your prayers and support at this time.

Sincerely,

(Fr.) Bill Morton
By Lauren Ketcham, practitioner Environment New Mexico.

Environment New Mexico released a new report today, Global Warming Solutions that Work, which details more than 20 examples of cutting-edge policies and practices that communities, states and countries are using to reduce global warming pollution. New Mexico officials are currently working toward strict global warming limits through the Western Climate Initiative which will require these types of actions in an effort to slash emissions.

For the United States to make the emission reductions science tells us will be necessary — cutting emissions by at least 15-20 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050 — will require major changes in many areas of America’s economy, from the increased use of clean, renewable energy to dramatic improvements in the efficiency with which we use energy in our homes, businesses and vehicles. But solutions exist today that can get us much of the way there. And communities across the country — and around the globe — are making those solutions a reality.

This report amplifies the hopeful message that we can tackle this problem. We know what we need to do, and we need more communities and states like these to step up.

From rising sea levels along the East Coast, to more intense hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, to increased drought and water shortages in the Southeast and West, global warming will leave no corner of America unaffected unless the United States takes serious action soon. The impact of global warming on other nations of the world also must not be underestimated.

Global warming is the defining challenge of our time. The latest climate science tells us that we must reduce our emissions of global warming pollutants quickly and dramatically if we hope to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made clear in its seminal report last year that that we must reduce our emissions of global warming pollutants quickly and dramatically in order to avoid the most catastrophic, long-term effects of global warming. Specifically, the most important task of any U. S. effort to address global warming must be to produce significant domestic emission reductions as soon as possible.

Steep reductions in global warming pollution are challenging but achievable, and we already have the energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies we need to get started.

Cities and states across America are achieving impressive results in the fight against global warming. New Mexico, for example, has put in place several critical policies that help to demonstrate the real-world solutions that are achievable, including:

– New Mexico, for example, now requires new, large state buildings to achieve at least LEED Silver certification and smaller buildings and building renovation projects to incorporate energy-efficient technologies and practices.

– In 2007, New Mexico doubled its Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) which requires utilities to provide 20 percent of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar and wind by 2020.

– In November, New Mexico adopted strict vehicle tailpipe standards, called the Clean Cars Program, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles by 30 percent by 2016.

– A visionary Rail Runner commuter rail is being built between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, which will complete a rail transit corridor between Belen and Santa Fe by the end of 2008.

The report’s authors concluded that cities, states and the federal government should build upon the successes of the efforts outlined in the report by setting mandatory, science-based caps on global warming pollution, adopting strong clean energy policies, and investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

– Individual states and the federal government should adopt mandatory, science-based caps on global warming pollution. At minimum, those caps should be consistent with a national goal of reducing emissions by 15-20 percent below today? s levels by 2020 and by at least 80 percent below today? s levels by 2050. Revenues from any program that puts a price on global warming pollution should be used to aid in the transition to a clean energy economy and to reduce the cost of emission reductions to consumers.

– Cities, states and the federal government should make energy efficiency improvements and accelerated development of renewable energy the centerpiece of their environmental and economic development policies. Advanced building energy codes; strong energy efficiency standards for buildings, appliances and vehicles; and mandatory targets for renewable power generation and energy efficiency savings are among the policies that can reduce global warming pollution and put the nation on a clean energy path.

– Global warming and fossil fuel dependence should become central considerations in land-use planning and public sector investment decisions. America should increase its investment in public transportation and rail transportation to reduce emissions from transportation. All new public buildings should meet rigorous standards for energy efficiency and the use of clean energy.

Only bold, science-based action can stave off catastrophic effects of global warming. We strongly urge Governor Richardson to advocate for a strong Western Climate Initiative that will establish the bold regional climate initiative that the science demands.

Environment New Mexico is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working to protect New Mexico? s air, water and open spaces. To read the report, go to www.EnvironmentNewMexico.org.
The next Progressive Voters Alliance meeting will be Thursday, urologist June 26, order 7 pm at
Munson Senior Center.

The Obama campaign is in town and will be talking about their plans, plus much more. And, following the meeting, the group will have its 4th annual PVA SUMMER PARTY at the NMSU Golf Course Clubhouse.

For directions to the NMSU Golf Course, visit:

http://www.nmsugolf.com/

golf/proto/nmsugolf/directions/directions.htm

There won’t be a July PVA meeting, so the last group gathering of the summer will be Thursday night.
Congressman Stevan Pearce, side effects a candidate for New Mexico Senator, drugs is a disgrace to conservatism. As the fuel-cost crisis wreaks our economy and family budgets especially that of people on fixed incomes and with low incomes, Mr. Pearce wants to reward the very corporations that have created this situation. He has never been interested in a responsible energy policy. Just look at his voting record. Foremost Mr. Pearce is the oilman’s friend, who has benefited from such “sweetheart” deals as the sale of his oil service company Lea Fishing to Key Energy Services. As a result, he is one of richest Congressmen in the House of Representatives.

He wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil drilling. This is dishonest of Mr. Pearce. First it would take a decade to to get the oil flowing to get  the only two year supply of oil from ANWR.  He knows that the oil industry already has the leasing rights to over 44 million acres of our public lands. There is not enough oil equipment to even  begin to cover this vast territory of public land given to the oil companies. Now Mr. Pearce wants to denounce  wilderness in New Mexico to allow oil companies to get more giveaways in leases. This is a scandal. Our New Mexico landscape will be ravaged for the same corporations that are gouging  New Mexico residents. How did the party of Teddy Roosevelt get transformed from good stewards of the environment to a land grabbing  oil company supporters? It is a result of “consistent” poor leadership like exhibited by Mr. Pearce in Congress.

Teddy Roosevelt stated: “our natural resources should be not exploited by the few against the interests of the many.”  Steve Pearce doesn’t represented the honest hard-working residents of New Mexico   Instead he is a tool of special interests and oil lobbyists, who have contributed ten of thousands of dollars to his campaign coffers.  You give big money  to Congressman Pearce, and he will carry the ball for you. These are not conservative values. They are the values of a plutocrat, who favors a few wealthy residents and big corporations.  I believe it is time to send him home to Hobbs.

Greg Lennes
Las Cruces
The public is invited to join the Border Network for Human Rights at its 10th Anniversary fundraising dinner July 18 in El Paso.

The Border Network for Human Rights is a local 501(c)3 organization using a
grassroots organizing model working in immigrant communities to document
human rights violations and educate people about their rights, ed especially in
a massive immigration law enforcement context, sickness such as we face here in the
borderlands. This year, ed they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary of
meaningful and effective work in the El Paso/southern New Mexico region.

On July 18th, they will have a fundraising dinner with tickets at $50 per
person. It will be generously catered (as a donation) by the Rock ‘n Roll
Café–should be better than the usual banquet food. The specifics are as
follows: July 18, 6-9 PM, St. Pius Church hall, 1050 N. Clark, El Paso.

Tickets can be obtaned from Saul Soto at 915-577-0724,
borderhumanrights@gmail.com
<mailto:borderhumanrights%40gmail.com>
If you want to help the Network, but are unable to attend, they are looking for people to sponsor community members by purchasing tickets for them at $50 each. There are higher levels ofsponsorship–you can ask Saul about this also.
The public is invited to join the Border Network for Human Rights at its 10th Anniversary fundraising dinner July 18 in El Paso.

The Border Network for Human Rights is a local 501(c)3 organization using a
grassroots organizing model working in immigrant communities to document
human rights violations and educate people about their rights, ed especially in
a massive immigration law enforcement context, sickness such as we face here in the
borderlands. This year, ed they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary of
meaningful and effective work in the El Paso/southern New Mexico region.

On July 18th, they will have a fundraising dinner with tickets at $50 per
person. It will be generously catered (as a donation) by the Rock ‘n Roll
Café–should be better than the usual banquet food. The specifics are as
follows: July 18, 6-9 PM, St. Pius Church hall, 1050 N. Clark, El Paso.

Tickets can be obtaned from Saul Soto at 915-577-0724,
borderhumanrights@gmail.com
<mailto:borderhumanrights%40gmail.com>
If you want to help the Network, but are unable to attend, they are looking for people to sponsor community members by purchasing tickets for them at $50 each. There are higher levels ofsponsorship–you can ask Saul about this also.
By Heath Haussamen. (Excerpt–to read entire article go to http://haussamen.blogspot.com).  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce introduced a bill last week that would eliminate all wilderness study areas in Doña Ana County and require the sale of tens of thousands of acres of federal land, youth health
store igniting new controversy in the longstanding battle over the area’s land and development.

At issue is what to do with hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land around Las Cruces, try the state’s second-largest city. In introducing House Resolution 6300, Pearce is taking the side of People for Preserving Our Western Heritage, a coalition of ranchers and other business owners who want a less-restrictive designation for most or all of the land in question.

The group formed two years ago in opposition to the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance’s proposal to give a permanent wilderness designation — the highest level of protection — to more than 300,000 acres of land in the county. The Wilderness Alliance plan has widespread support from local governments and newspapers.

The ranching group called Pearce’s bill “innovative land-protection legislation” in a news release. Pearce’s bill would leave Doña Ana County with no federal land designated as a wilderness area or a wilderness study area.

“We are gratified that Congressman Steve Pearce has recognized our efforts of the past two years by introducing this legislation,” said the ranching coalition’s president, Tom Cooper. “Congressman Pearce remains steadfast in his efforts to meet the desires and expectations of the citizens of the 2nd Congressional District and the state. We greatly appreciate his efforts, and we applaud him for his consistently strong stand to protect the property rights and the heritage of all Americans.”

The Wilderness Alliance, meanwhile, held a news conference on Monday to blast Pearce’s proposal.

“This is an assault on Doña Ana County, its residents,” said county Commissioner Oscar Vásquez Butler. “… It’s a slap in the face.”

Las Cruces City Councilor Nathan Small, an employee of the Wilderness Alliance, called Pearce’s bill “an attack on our public lands.”

The chances for the Republican congressman’s proposal may be dim in a Democratic-controlled House. Jude McCartin, spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said the bill “will not be considered by the Senate, and it would be very surprising if the House considered it.” She said Bingaman does not support Pearce’s legislation “in large part because it weakens current public-land protections in areas that include the Organ Mountains.”

A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said the senator had no comment on Pearce’s legislation. Pearce’s office had no immediate comment but said a news release will be forthcoming.

By Bob Anderson.

I would like to hear our election candidates comment on the recent attack on
Social Security and Medicare by the Kirtland Air Force Base commander, hospital Col.
Robert Suminsby, Jr.

In an address to a Kirtland Partnership Committee meeting of nearly 300
civic leaders the war base commander said:  If left unchecked, the growth of
spending on Social Security and Medicare will eventually crush the defense
budget (KAFB Nucleus, April 11, 2008, this is not on the web site but in the
paper edition which I read while at the VA Hospital one day).

With the arrival of the F-22 Raptor in Alamogordo, and the CV-22 Osprey here
in Albuquerque already, there is also talk of placing the F-35 Lightening
here too and many more special expensive planes at Canon AFB in Clovis.

These fleets of new aircraft will cost trillions of dollars, at a minimum.
Col. Suminsby spoke of needing money to buy a new fleet of airborne tankers
to fuel the war birds.  The flying gas stations are expected to cost about a
trillion dollars alone.

Add all this together and we are talking a lot of money to be sitting out on
runways in a state like New Mexico with a lot of poor, elderly and
sick people.  It makes one wonder just who is terrorizing the American
people.

This attack on our social safety net is not coming from Osama bin Laden or
Iraq or Iran.

Col. Suminsby and the war planners know someone is going to have to
sacrifice for the planned armada of new weapons so they are trying to test
the grassroots, to convince people to directly lobby Congress for these
weapons by going around the regular Congressional process (LA TIMES,
AirForce ads’ intent questioned, Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel, March
28, 2008).

As far as I can tell the only people who will benefit from Col. Suminsby’s
plan is the manufactures of these weapons, mainly Lockheed Martin who
manufactures both the F-22 and the F-35, and  Bell-Boeing who builds the
Osprey, and Northrop Grumman who will build the new flying gas stations.

We need Pres. Eisenhower to come back and speak again.  He warned the nation
about this in his 1961 farewell address about the influence of the
military-industrial complex, a permanent global standing military force.

Ike said this development had the potential to destroy our country and way
of life.  It is sure sucking up our money now.  We spend more than all the
other nations of the world combined on bases, weapons and wars and we are
less safe than before.  Our roads are crumbling, our energy sources are out
of sync with nature, our jobs have been exported overseas, we have people
lining up for food and many have
no health care or are afraid to use their health care plans.

We need to do something about the war machine which is eating our country
from the inside.  What is so wrong about these new expensive war planes is
that they have no real mission in the modern political world which is
turning against U.S. wars and occupations.  The whole world wants different
leadership from our country, this is clear, not more cold and hot wars.

But the F-22, the F-35 and the CV-22, and the tankers are not all the
AirForce is seeking funds for.  The Space Command is working hard to build a
horrendously expensive project to control what they call the “commanding
heights of outer space”.  This will cost us many trillions more.  Billions
are being spent on a family of directed energy, laser and ray gun weapons to
terrorized people with from the air and space.

Like in the old colonial days when sea lanes were the main means of commerce
and the power who had the most ships and longer range weapons they ruled the
seas.  Today space is the place to control for commerce and domination so
satellites and space weapons are coming online fast.

You have probably noticed the new Above All series of Air Force TV
commercials depicting a possible attack on our space assets, we own half of
all space satellites.  The Air Force is trying to play on fear of losing our
communications and spy stations in space.  The message is they need money to
build expensive space defenses, which are in essence the first strike
capability of the old Star Wars plan of Ronald Reagan.  We are going
backwards, not forward.

What the Air Force is not telling the public with the Above All campaign is
that it is our country that refuses global calls to negotiate with other
space faring nations a new treaty to prevent the weaponization of space and
the use of space for war on earth.  We need new rules of the road everyone
else is saying, let’s not create an expensive arms race in space like in the
old days of commercial trade.

But our military and many key political leaders have declared that space is
ours to control and that we will deny other nations their sovereign right to
use space too.  This is dangerous and provocative.  Like an ostrich with its
head in the sand Col. Suminsby and the Air Force are preparing the solution
of pre-emptive attacks on something that could be resolved peacefully.

And once space is littered with satellite parts from countries taking out
each other’s satellites, we will most likely lose all satellite
communications and also be earth bound for generations as no one will be
able to traverse the debris field.

I would like to see the candidates for public office at all levels respond
to Col. Suminsby.  Are they also willing to toss our elderly and sick on the
streets so the war machine can have new weapons, weapons that we don’t need?

Are we going to spend trillions on space weapons when the world is crying
for a treaty on the new uses of space?  Let’s hear you.

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