IndyTruth Blog
Irresponsible Conservative Plans Could Increase Abortions 
Saturday, July 21, 2007, 02:44 AM - Opinion, Policy
Posted by Administrator
On Wednesday, July 18, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) proposed an amendment to the congressional Labor-Health and Human Services spending bill (H.R. 3043) that would prohibit every Planned Parenthood health center in the country from receiving any Title X funds. With this amendment, Pence was attempting to impress the religious right in Eastern Indiana with a fake anti-abortion campaign.

Title X funds serve women in Indiana and other states with birth control, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. What they are already not legally permitted to serve are abortions.

One could legitimately argue that these services still aren't appropriate for federal funds. The Constitution doesn't say anything about providing family planning. But there are two more arguments for keeping these funds for Planned Parenthood.

  1. They will be used for other services not granted by the Constitution anyway.
  2. 70% of these patients are living at or below federal poverty levels, so this is their only option for treatment and prevention of disease as well as responsible family planning.

The House Democrats successfully demonstrated that this amendment served no purpose but to deny family and health services for poor women. In a voice vote, a shouted "NO!" settled this issue, much to Pence's dismay.

Pence has provided us with another example of how so many politicians propose efforts that do absolutely nothing to solve a problem. Planned Parenthood carried out nearly 265,000 abortions last year. That is a BIG problem. But cutting funding for the organization's other services is not a solution. It could actually increase the amount of abortions by increasing the number of STD, cancer, and unplanned pregnancy cases.

The abortion issue must be solved by going to the root of the problem. The primary problem is poverty. There are many solutions that could improve the poverty crisis and lower the disturbing abortion figures:

  • Stop inflation caused by the Federal Reserve and fiat currency. Inflation is a tax on the poor.
  • Stop programs like the North American SuperCorridor and North American Union, which will waste American tax dollars and encourage job outsourcing to other countries.
  • Reduce the defense budget and pull out of Iraq. It is wasteful, irresponsible spending.
  • Stop the "war on drugs", which traps lower class people in legal problems and imprisonment with drug charges. Drug use is a health problem, not a crime. It should be treated as such.
  • Improve education programs in urban areas by eliminating tax benefits for corporations and developers.
  • Continue the Title X funding for programs that can prevent unhealthy and unplanned pregnancies.

These actions could enable women to provide themselves with services such as birth control, pregnancy tests, and disease testing and treatment. They could prevent women from getting into situations where they would desperately resort to abortion. Plans of irresponsible politicians like Mike Pence will only worsen crises like poverty and abortion. It is time that our representatives in Washington D.C. handle these issues logically, bravely and responsibly.
add comment ( 7 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
Bush opposes sovereignty and nuclear non-proliferation 
Friday, July 13, 2007, 03:08 AM - Foreign Policy, News
Posted by Administrator
"One needs to have a clear understanding of just why it is that nuclear power is so hated all over the world," former British MI6 intelligence agent Dr. John Coleman writes. "With nuclear energy generating electricity in cheap and abundant supplies, Third World countries would gradually become independent of U.S. foreign aid and begin to assert their sovereignty. Nuclear generated electricity is THE key to bringing Third World countries out of their backward state."

Such is the case for Iran. For Iran to develop as a nation, it must expand its ability to produce energy. China is growing so fast that it is building two power stations every week, with most of its power coming from coal. For Iran it is not that simple. Iran has few resources for power beside oil and gas. The only feasible room to expand is through nuclear power. The United States, World Bank and other international powers benefit from nations like Iran being dependent upon them. By intimidating the world with the idea of Iran possessing nu
clear weapons, they can repress Iran's development into an independent power in the world.

According to an IAEA report, more than 98% of primary energy in Iran is derived from oil and gas resources.

The report says that Iran has approximately 13.1 milliard tons of coal, "but in regard to the existing technologies, only 10 percent of these resources are exploitable and at much higher cost than that of the international level. That is why coal plays only a minor role in Iran's energy supply mix and it is not regarded a viable option in foreseeable future."

As for renewable resources, "because of the limitation of the existing technologies for steady and reliable supply of energy and much higher unit cost of electricity generated by these resources, it is not expected that renewable play a major role in Iran's electricity system in near future."

In regards to resources for nuclear development, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has found that "Iran's domestic [uranium] reserves might be sufficient enough to supply the raw material for needed nuclear power plants in future."

"According to all the surveys performed in power sector of Iran," the IAEA report says, the "nuclear option is the most competitive to fossil alternatives if the existing low domestic fuel prices are gradually increased to its opportunity costs at the level of international prices."

The IAEA, responsible for promoting "safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies," demonstrates in this document that nuclear development is necessary for Iran to develop its economy. Coal is a cheap and easy means of producing electricity. Fifty percent of electricity in America is generated from coal. In China that number is eighty percent. Building so many coal plants, China's CO2 emissions rose by nine percent last year. The power is also produced at the expense of twenty lives a day, as 6,000 died in Chinese coal mines in 2004. Certainly this is not the path we should encourage for Iran, if the country were even capable of producing coal power effectively.

Rather than work through the IAEA to ensure that Iran can develop nuclear power safely and solely for civilian energy purposes, the United States insists that Iran stop enrichment before they will open any diplomacy with the nation. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which has been signed by both Iran and the U.S., asserts "the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."

According to the report, Uranium Enrichment and Nuclear Weapon Proliferation, published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), production of weapon-grade nuclear material is a more expensive and complex process than enrichment for electrical energy. A country must either convert an existing nuclear facility or construct a small dedicated facility to produce weapon-grade material. It is a lengthy process of converting large quantities of 3% material to small quantities of 90% material. It would be very difficult to complete this process without the detection of the IAEA.

The IAEA and various governments involved in the Iran nuclear conflict have yet to present any evidence of weapons-grade enrichment or nuclear weapons development. The IAEA does have the following concerns:

Even after three years of inspections and negotiations, several questions remain unanswered, such as the Iranian nuclear program’s connections to A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani weapons scientist who operated an international black market for nuclear technologies...

Iran has not cooperated fully with the IAEA -- Iran has refused to allow IAEA to interview key individuals and to provide complete documentation on its nuclear program...

Iran’s leaders continue to acquire the material, equipment, and expertise to produce nuclear weapons -- Schulte said that the IAEA has reported that Iran has enough uranium hexafluoride to produce 10 nuclear weapons. The IAEA also has reported that Iran has started enriching the material – a crucial step to weapons production.

It is addressing these concerns through meetings with the Irani government in a continuing effort to ensure that Iran's nuclear development is peaceful. So far, Iran has indicated no intention of developing or using nuclear weapons.

Imam Khomeini, who founded the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, condemned weapons of mass destruction and specifically nuclear weapons:

If they continue to make huge atomic weapons and so forth, the world may be pushed into destruction and the major loss will afflict the nations. Everybody, where he is, the writers, intellectuals and scholars and scientists throughout the world should enlighten the people of this danger, so that the masses of people will standup vis-ŕ-vis these two powers themselves and prevent the proliferation of these arms.

Irani President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly made it clear that Iran is pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, which it has the right to do under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The United States is breaking the United Nations treaty as it intimidates Iran with its military at the border and its politicians calling for a stop to enrichment. As you have read here, the IAEA has shown nuclear power to be Iran's best development opportunity. As this writer sees it, there are only two ways for concerned nations like the U.S. to handle this issue: contribute enough wind turbines and solar panels to power a large developing nation, or trust the IAEA to monitor Iran's nuclear program and keep it within the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Just like the Bush administration does not even consider withdrawal from Iraq an option, they will not consider these two options to solve the Iran conflict either. It is not to their benefit. Independent sovereignty for Iran goes against the agenda of Bush and other elites. Profit comes from controlling Third World countries and using them for their resources. Independence is out of the picture.

Special report submitted by Douglass.
add comment ( 9 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
The FBI's truly 'criminal' investigation 
Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 10:41 AM - Activism, News, Policy
Posted by Administrator
ABC News' The Blotter has reported a proposed new FBI program that would pay private companies to hold millions of phone and Internet records which the bureau is barred from keeping itself.

Through this program, the FBI will pay corporations millions of dollars to break the law for them. The FBI, which investigates crimes, seems to be unaware of the fact that paying someone to commit a crime is still a crime.

Telecommunications companies would hold our records for at least two years.

"It's a public-private partnership that puts civil liberties to the test," says the chairman of the ACLU.

The FBI's plan was included in a budget request to Congress. I am sending the following to my representative, and I hope that you do the same:

ABC News has reported, "A proposed new FBI program would skirt federal laws by paying private companies to hold millions of phone and Internet records which the bureau is barred from keeping itself."

"The $5 million project would apparently pay private firms to store at least two years' worth of telephone and Internet activity by millions of Americans, few of whom would ever be considered a suspect in any terrorism, intelligence or criminal matter."

The proposal is said to be a budget request to Congress. This means the FBI is asking Congress to spend millions of tax dollars on an illegal surveillance program.

The FBI is playing games with the law and our rights by paying corporations to commit the crime for them. The plan is a blatant violation of our 4th Amendment right to protection against search and seizure without a warrant issued upon probable cause.

Congress must immediately take action to stop this proposal. Further, it must ensure clarity to the FBI, other agencies, and the telecommunications companies that this type of action is illegal and will result in prosecution.

Submitted by Douglass.
1 comment ( 21 views )   |  permalink
Day of Action for Law and Justice 
Thursday, June 28, 2007, 11:48 PM - Activism, News
Posted by Administrator
On June 26 I attended the Day of Action to Restore Law & Justice in Washington D.C. It was an effort to restore habeas corpus and end torture. It was sponsored by the ACLU, Amnesty International and 50 other organizations. Around 4,000 came from all 50 states for the event. It started with a rally near the Capitol Building including many politicians and religious leaders.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich was the crowd favorite. The difference in the atmosphere during his five minutes on stage was unreal. Fellow presidential candidate Senator Dodd did not even do as well. Kucinich was swarmed by a small mob as he tried to hurry off to a House vote. He managed to answer a few questions and shake hands on the run and out the car window.

After the rally, we split up to lobby our Senators and Representatives. My first stop was Senator Lugar's office. We had an appointment with a member of Lugar's staff named Joe O'Donnell. O'Donnell offered us nearly 45 minutes of his time to discuss our concerns about habeas corpus. We primarily focussed on the Military Commissions Act, which Senator Lugar voted in favor of.

O'Donnell explained that a small group in the Senate formed the bill to establish a system to handle potential enemies who are not U.S. citizens but do not fall under the code for handling POWs. He said that the "subsection" that created the bill felt that it was "in line with American values." He assured us that it was passed with good intentions.

While it may have been passed with good intentions, this bill is not in line with American values. The Declaration of Independence, the foundation of American values, states that all people are created equal and "are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." The Constitution grants those rights to U.S. citizens, but not necessarily to foreign nationals detained by the U.S. This has allowed Congress to pass a bill that does not provide habeas corpus for detainees. For detainment, interogation and prosecution of foreign nationals to be in line with American values, it must provide detainees with these rights.

America takes pride in its justice system, considering it the best in the world. The Senate showed no faith in this tested system by passing this bill. We ask Senator Lugar why habeas corpus is not granted to these "enemy combatants." We see no reason why the same system we use for American citizens will not work for foreign civilian detainees. We have yet to get an answer to this question from Senator Lugar's office.

By chance, on our way out of Senator Lugar's office, he happened to be doing an interview with the press about his recent Iraq speech in the hall. We were able to get a quick word with him and make our presence known in person. On closing Guantanamo Bay, he said he thinks the President is "about headed in that direction." We hope to hear more answers from him on the military commissions and habeas corpus issue inthe coming weeks.

After a failed attempt for a meeting at Senator Bayh's office, we met with Congressman Brad Ellsworth of Indiana's Eighth District. While none of his constituents were present, he still took the time to meet with eight of us from other districts in his state to discuss this issue. He told us, "to sieze someone and hide them... without representation goes against everything I believe and feel." He expressed the intent to balance defense with a just system, saying "I have full faith in our... system." On providing due process for all detainees, he said, "we are on the same page."

We finished the day at the office of Congresswoman Julia Carson. Most of the House was in committee meetings, so we met with her Chief of Staff, Len Sistek. One issue I had had with Julia Carson was that, while she usually voted the right way on issues like this, I did not see her taking much of a leadership role. This has now changed. She co-sponsored two of the bills which have been proposed to restore habeas corpus. It has now become a major priority for her.

Mr. Sistek seemed confident that the bills would go through and habeas corpus could be restored for all within the next few months. When asked about a possible Bush veto, he said a signing statement might be more likely. He said that habeas "is affecting citizens as well" as foreigners. You can be held because you have been mistaken as an enemy combatant, and under the Military Commissions Act, you could be kept from you family and unable to defend your case for a very long period of time.

We also had many questions for Sistek about the possibility of impeachment. He suggested that Kucinich's current impeachment plan is premature. Vice President Cheney will be evasive and able to slip past it. More evidence is necessary to accomplish impeachment correctly, and when the time is right, Carson will likely be on board. That is "what a really seasoned prosecutor would do."

We asked Len Sistek what we can do to help tackle these issues. He urged us that to "educate other people" is the best thing we can do.

The day was a huge success. The Senator and representatives were impressed by our numbers and enthusiasm, as well as the fact that we travelled 12 hours on a bus in the middle of the week to meet with them. At the end of the day, Jeff Mittman of the ACLU reported that Senators informed him legislation would be moving through in the next few weeks.

Submitted by Douglass.
add comment ( 22 views )   |  permalink
Senator Lugar on American Sovereignty 
Saturday, June 23, 2007, 11:45 PM - Globalism, Policy
Posted by Administrator
Earlier this month, I contacted Senator Richard Lugar regarding the Bilderberg Conference taking place at the time.

Like many other U.S. citizens I worry about the anti-democratic nature of these conferences where a selection of the most powerful politicians, business men and media chiefs from Europe and North America gather to shape international policy for the West. I believe the people have a right to know more about these secretive conferences.

I urged Senator Lugar to read the work of investigative journalists on the Bilderberg group. I asked him to "investigate the involvement of U.S. public officials at these and other secretive meetings of similar nature." This type of activity is a threat to our national sovereignty and the our constitutional rights.

Senator Lugar responded to my concerns:

While freedom of association is a principle enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, I oppose any form of a one world government and will continue to oppose all threats to U.S. sovereignty and attempts to subvert the U.S. Constitution and the rights of the American people. America will not become subservient to the United Nations or to any global government. I adamantly believe that U.S. sovereignty should not be subverted and will vigorously oppose any attempt to undermine, subvert, or diminish the Constitution or the individual rights contained in it.

I interpret that his response demonstrates concern and opposition to groups like Bilderberg. While it does not appear we will be seeing an investigation into these activities, statements such as this mean a lot from a senior member of the Senate. This is a step in the right direction.

Submitted by Douglass.

add comment ( 8 views )   |  permalink

<< <Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next> >>