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02/03/2003 Archived Entry: "Columbia, RIP"

Brad and I add our voices to the expression of grief over the death of the Columbia crew.

More on the cost of war:

Economic.... According to a report by leading US investment bank Goldman Sachs, "A war could drive crude oil prices up by an additional $10-$15, or 30 to 50 per cent [to $46]." Meanwhile, the US is raising the possibility of military action on two fronts. According to a London Times account, "The Pentagon is poised to increase its forces in the Far East amid American fears that North Korea is within weeks of producing nuclear weapons." Next to getting entangled in a land war in Asia, splitting your forces between two continents is one of the most potentially disasterous military moves it is possible to make.

Where is the money to come from? The US government is already spending like a drunken sailor. Israel is the next hand being stretched out for $US. Sharon wants a "whopping $4 billion in extra military assistance, plus $8 billion in commercial-loan guarantees." All this added to the $3 billion it already gets every year. The unsustainable spending -- enabled by increased taxes/fees and a run-away printing press at the Treasury -- will be borne on the shoulders of ordinary Americans, who simply cannot carry the burden of war, foreign hand-outs, increased health programs...everything from an extra 1/2 billion to NASA to $15 billion to Africa to fight AIDS.

The civil liberties cost of war.... The 63,000-member American Library Association has adopted a resolution opposing sections of the Patriot Act considered to "present danger to the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users."

Dislocationn cost.... The Canadian government is seeking a blanket exemption from visa requirements for Canadian citizens entering the United States. The Canada-US border has over 200 million crossings each year and the requirements to-be-imposed by the end of '05 would turn border stations into parking lots.

And still the antiwar movement receives little attention from the mainstream American media. Stories you missed include....

41 Nobel Laureates Sign Against a War Without International Support. Jimmy Carter pains an alternative to war. the Bill of Rights Defense Movement is growing. I could fill the page with the news you do not hear.

On the Personal/Movement Front:

And a lighter note...Forgive me for being unimpressed by Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of more winter. Up here, the advising groundhog is Wiarton Willie and -- as Canada's most famous weather prognosticator -- Willie didn't see his shadow. I see your Phil and I raise you a Willie.

The now-defunct Free-Market.Net included Mary Lou Seymour's Action of the Week column. ISIL has assumed the core of FMN, including this feature but it is not clear how much of the old structure will re-emerge in coming weeks. Thus Mary Lou is taking the initiative. Without ruling out a future happy co-operation with ISIL. she's starting her own system for "spreading the word" about events and breaking opportunities for activism. Mary Lou writes, "I invite you to subscribe to the Liberty Action of the Week email list, and, I invite you to let me know about any activities you have planned or know of, so I can spread the word to others." You can also read Mary Lou's work on Tom Knapp's popular web site the Rational Review.

Best to all,

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