CAFE Defeats Saved Lifes

WASHINGTON–Sens. Tom Daschle, D-SD, and John Kerry, D-MA, conceded today that
they lacked the votes in the Senate to pass a major increase in the corporate
average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. Jerry Taylor, director of natural resour
ces studies at the Cato Institute, called it "a tremendous victory for
human health and the economy." He had the following comments:

"Environmentalists who supported an expansion of CAFE standards for
cars and light trucks are allowing their hostility to energy use to override
their common sense. For instance, the National Academy of Sciences reported
last year that the current standards are directly responsible for the deaths
of 1,300 – 2,600 motorists a year. That’s because automakers find that the
cheapest way of incr easing fuel efficiency is to reduce the size and weight
of the cars they sell, making them more dangerous to motorists in a crash.
Dramatically expanding CAFE standards would accelerate this trend and would
directly result in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of Americans.

"While the costs of expanding CAFE standards is steep, the benefits
are ephemer al. Expanded standards certainly wouldn’t reduce foreign oil imports.
For instance, since the CAFE standards were first introduced, the average
fuel economy more than doubled for new cars and grew by more than 50 percent
for new light trucks, but imported oil has increased from 35 to 52 percent
of U.S. consumptio n. Reducing oil demand would remove the most expensive
oil sources from the mar ket first, and foreign oil is the cheapest oil supply
source in the world. Dome stic producers, not foreign oil producers, would
be hit hardest if gasoline demand were to decline.

Read on for more


Last Chance to Stop . . .

Activist update from the ACLU:


Late Wednesday, the Washington House of Representatives passed Senate Bill
6704, the anti-terrorism bill formerly construed as House Bill 2879, and which
includes the language of the wiretap bill, HB 2416. The vote was 70 – 23, yet
it collected more "no" votes than last time the anti-terrorism bill
was before the House, and one of the "no" votes was actually mistakenly
cast but could not be changed.

This bill is now back before the Senate and we need your help to make sure
that it does not pass there! It seems likely at this time that the Senate is
prepared to vote "not to concur" with the changes the House made to
SB 6704. This Senate vote is scheduled for sometime on Saturday.


We need all E-mail Activists to telephone and e-mail all of the Senate Democratic
leadership listed below, and any other Senator you know, or who directly represents
you. Please start making your calls and e-mails late Friday afternoon and continuing
on through Saturday morning.

Your brief message should be: "Please do not concur with the House amendments
to Senate Bill 6704. The House wiretap and terrorism language is overbroad and
dangerous to civil liberties." . . .

Read on for more



Arab Americans Call on President to Insist Ashcroft Clarify Offensive Remarks

Given your dedication to tolerance and greater understanding, it is with some concern that we write to you about a matter of serious import. During an interview with syndicated columnist and radio personality Cal Thomas, Attorney General John Ashcroft is quoted as having made anti-Muslim remarks that could only serve to incite the very hatred you have worked so hard to combat. Commenting on faith, Attorney General Ashcroft reportedly said, “Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.” This, of course, is a horrible distortion of Islam.

emphasis mine


New surveillance office run by J. Poindexter

How one of the two brains behind the Iran-Contra scandal this week became one of America’s most powerful men

Last Wednesday something strange happened. The American population was instructed to panic. Place themselves, that is, on a state of highest vigilance. Some cataclysmic act of terrorism would happen – within hours. But nothing terrible happened. Something creepy did. On Thursday there was an inconspicuous news item. John M Poindexter had been appointed to head a new agency “to counter attacks on the US”, such as Wednesday’s no-show. It is equivalent, in British terms, to Jeffrey Archer being made chancellor of the exchequer.


journalists pounce

It seems yet another journalist/economist/muckraker has decided to attack Paul Krugman for his alleged involvement with Enron several years ago. I think Krugman’s blanket FAQ covers most of the issues reasonably. If you’re interested in more about Krugman, I suggest his excellent article There’s something about macro


Cloning bill enters senate

Got this in the mail, think it merits reprinting:

Therapeutic cloning research could lead to cures for heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other lethal conditions. It could also lead to therapies to reverse the infirmities and ravages of aging.
The U.S. Senate is now debating The Human Cloning Prohibition Act (S.790), which has already passed the House. This bill could put scientists who conduct therapeutic cloning research in prison for 10 years.
The Life Extension Foundation urges you to contact U.S. Senators to urge them to vote against this bill. Information about how to do so can be found on The Foundation’s web site
( Also on the site is an interview with Mike West, Ph.D., the President and CEO of Advanced Cell Technology, and an article entitled “Don’t Let The U.S. Government Ban Therapeutic Cloning”.
Please send this message to everyone you know who is interested in staying alive and healthy.
Saul Kent, Founder and Director
Life Extension Foundation

Obviously a bit of hype there, but the message itself is fundamental.


Bush’s budget boosts electronic surveillance, wiretapping

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2003
Bush Eyeballs Heavy Tech Spending (Wired)
The FBI would receive $61.8 million and 201 more employees or contractors to support the agency’s “surveillance capabilities to collect evidence and intelligence,” the DOJ said in a statement on Monday afternoon. That would allow the FBI to devote more resources than ever to controversial spy technologies like Carnivore, keyboard logging devices, and Magic Lantern.