Monthly Archives: July 2010

Drinking Water and Gas Don’t Mix

at PennEnvironment

The rush to drill for gas in the Marcellus Shale has polluted the drinking water of too many Pennsylvanians. When this type of gas drilling is done improperly, methane can migrate into water supplies and underneath nearby buildings, polluting the drinking water and even increasing the risk of explosion or fire.

E-mail Pennsylvania’s environmental officials today and tell them to safeguard our health and environment from this dangerous threat….

[proposed text of email:]

Dear Environmental Quality Board,

For the protection of public health, safety and the environment, I urge the Environmental Quality Board to approve new proposed well-construction regulations (25 Pa Code Ch. 78) that require gas drilling operators to build stronger and safer wells, disclose the toxic chemicals used in the gas extraction process, and require the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to conduct more and better inspections of these wells.

Sincerely,

sign and send at PennEnvironment

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Filed under Environment, Energy, Science, Petition, write, donate

Afghanistan's Other War: Army vs. Police

By Daniel Schulman at Mother Jones
Jul. 26, 2010

Reading through the trove of documents released by WikiLeaks Sunday, one could come away with the impression that members of Afghanistan’s discipline-challenged security forces spend more time fighting each other than they do the Taliban. Among the 92,000 documents released by the group are dozens of reports detailing so-called “green-on-green” incidents, the military’s term for friendly fire episodes involving Afghan personnel. Here the phrase “friendly fire” (what the US military dubs “blue-on-blue” when it involves American or coalition service members) is a bit misleading. While some reported green-on-greens involved accidental shootings—like when a trio of police officers were engaging in “horseplay” and shot an official from Afghanistan’s National Security Directorate and another man—many are the result of score-settling and disputes, occasionally drug-fueled, that turn violent. Many of these internecine conflicts pit members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) against the Afghan National Police (ANP). If even remotely representative of the professionalism of the ANA and ANP, these incident reports make Hamid Karzai’s goal of taking over primary control of security by 2014 seem like a pipe dream—and seriously call into question whether the Obama administration can deliver on its strategy. What follows are some lowlights (spelling mistakes, etc. in the originals):

In this episode last November US military personnel—who surely have more important things to do—were forced step in as peacemakers when an altercation between the ANA and ANP turned violent:

ANA [Afghan National Army] and ANP [Afghan National Police] get into a verbal engagement, and the ANP shot the ANA in the Chest….

keep reading at Mother Jones

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Filed under Afghanistan

Members of Congress who voted against supplementary war funding

R’s voted 160 Yes, 12 No, 6 no vote
D’s voted 148 Yes, 102 No, 5 no vote
281 votes were needed to pass
In PA only Mike Doyle and Chaka Fattah voted No

excerpt from NYTimes, 7/27/10:

HR 4899: No Votes (114)

Member Party Dist.
Tammy Baldwin D WI-2
Xavier Becerra D CA-31
Earl Blumenauer D OR-3
Paul Broun R GA-10 Continue reading

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Filed under Peace, Security, Terrorism, War, US Congress - other

Kucinich Asks His Colleagues to Vote No on War Escalation Funding

by David Swanson, 7/26/10, at WarIsACrime.org

92,000 Reasons to Get Out of Afghanistan and Pakistan – Pick One

Washington D.C. (July 26, 2010) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is circulating the following letter to Members of Congress in advance of expected votes on Tuesday:

Dear Colleague,

WikiLeaks released 92,000 previously secret documents (any one of which presumably could be a case for a congressional hearing) which demonstrate that Congress has not been given a true account of the war by either the military or by two administrations.

We cannot and must not ignore the latest documented evidence from WikiLeaks now circulating on the Internet for the entire world to see:

* Our troops being placed in mortal peril because of poor logistics.
* Countless innocent civilians killed “by mistake.”
* An Afghanistan “government” which is hopelessly corrupt.
* Pakistan Intelligence collaborating with the Taliban against the US.
* The Pentagon understating the firepower of the insurgents.
* A top Pakistani General visiting a suicide bombing school monthly.

Will we go deeper into the war in Afghanistan despite knowing that it is a growing disaster?

Will our Special Forces’ footprint in Pakistan widen without congressional consent?

Tomorrow there will be an opportunity to stop this madness. First we can vote FOR

H. Con. Res 301, the Kucinich-Paul Resolution, which invokes the War Powers Resolution to require withdrawal of our troops from Pakistan, in order to nip the next ground war in the bud. Next, we can vote against the $33 billion supplemental war appropriation.

Don’t we know enough now to begin to demand an end to these wars? Can we ignore the budgetary impact of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially when there are so many pressing needs for jobs, housing, education, health care and retirement security here at home?

Vote FOR HConRes 301, The Kucinich-Paul Resolution to Withdraw from Pakistan.

Vote Against the $33 Billion Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan War Supplemental.

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Filed under Afghanistan, US Congress - other