Wednesday, Oct 07th

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Army vet billed $3,000 for war wounds

Erik Roberts, an Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq, underwent his 13th surgery recently to save his right leg from amputation. Imagine his shock when he got a bill for $3,000 for his treatment.

"I put my life on the line and I was wounded in combat, and I came back and they're not going to take care of my medical bills?"

TVNL Comment: This nation has never supported the troops. Funding wars means funding war profiteers. That's all it ever meant and that is all it ever will be because war is nothing more than business.


Hemp Is Not Pot: It's the Economic Stimulus and Green Jobs Solution We Need

We can make over 25,000 things with it. Farmers love it. Environmentalists love it. You can't get high from it. So why is it still illegal?

With 25,000 known applications from paper, clothing and food products -- which, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal this January, is the fastest growing new food category in North America -- to construction and automotive materials, hemp could be just the crop to jump-start America's green economy.


Last edition of Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor prints its final edition on Friday, bringing a 100-year run as a daily newspaper to an end but beginning a new era as an online publication.

The Boston-based Monitor announced plans in October to eliminate its daily print edition and become the first national US newspaper to adopt a Web-based strategy.


U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers

With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.

"This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat," said Senator Benjamin Cardin.


Pope 'distorting condom science'

One of the world's most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet, has accused Pope Benedict XVI of distorting science in his remarks on condom use.

It said the Pope's recent comments that condoms exacerbated the problem of HIV/Aids were wildly inaccurate and could have devastating consequences.


Expanded Americorps has stench of authoritarianism

With almost no public attention, both chambers of Congress in the past week advanced an alarming expansion of the Americorps national service plan, with the number of federally funded community-service jobs increasing from 75,000 to 250,000 at a cost of $5.7 billion. Lurking behind the feel-good rhetoric spouted by the measure’s advocates is a bill that upon closer inspection reveals multiple provisions that together create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism.


Obama's Triple Surge Into Afghanistan

What Obama has not mentioned is that, in addition to soldiers and civilians, there is a third surge in his plan: private military contractors. Yes, another privatized army, such as the one in Iraq. There, the Halliburtons, Blackwaters and other war profiteers ran rampant, shortchanging our troops, ripping off taxpayers, killing civilians and doing deep damage to America's good name.


Do the Secret Bush Memos Amount to Treason? Top Constitutional Scholar Says Yes

Legal expert Michael Ratner calls the legal arguments made in the infamous Yoo memos, "Fuhrer's law."

The memos lay the legal groundwork for the president to send the military to wage war against U.S. citizens; take them from their homes to Navy brigs without trial and keep them forever; close down the First Amendment; and invade whatever country he chooses without regard to any treaty or objection by Congress.

I thought this was -- and is -- certainly one of the biggest stories of our lifetime, making the petty burglary of Watergate -- which scandalized the nation -- seem like playground antics. It is newsworthy too with the groundswell of support for prosecutions of Bush/Cheney crimes and recent actions such as Canadian attorneys mobilizing to arrest Bush if he visits their country.


PNAC is Back

A newly-formed and still obscure neoconservative foreign policy organization is giving some observers flashbacks to the 1990s, when its predecessor staked out the aggressively unilateralist foreign policy that came to fruition under the George W. Bush administration.

The blandly-named Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) – the brainchild of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, neoconservative foreign policy guru Robert Kagan, and former Bush administration official Dan Senor – has thus far kept a low profile; its only activity to this point has been to sponsor a conference pushing for a U.S. "surge" in Afghanistan.


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