An Environmental Voting Guide for US State Elections

Written by Mark Jeantheau

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ECO-SHERIFF An Environmental Voting Guide for US State Elections

In these times when states are suffering extreme downward pressure on budgets and spending, how is our environment making out? Did it suffer cuts right along withrepparttar Program to Assist Millionaires Become Billionaires? Are important environmental projects being dropped fromrepparttar 125955 budget along with luxury items likerepparttar 125956 statehouse's new Gold-Plated Enforcement Gavel?

And why isrepparttar 125957 issue of environmental protection relevant atrepparttar 125958 state level? Doesn'trepparttar 125959 US Environmental Protection Agency handle all that stuff? This article answers these questions and provides smart-voting tools for you to help ensure your surroundings remain green and healthful.


Whilerepparttar 125960 US Environmental Protection Agency garners much ofrepparttar 125961 media attention when it comes to environmental enforcement, it is actuallyrepparttar 125962 states that are carrying most ofrepparttar 125963 load: - 75% ofrepparttar 125964 federal programs that can be delegated to states have been delegated; - 90% of environmental enforcement actions are taken byrepparttar 125965 states; - 94% ofrepparttar 125966 data in EPA databases came fromrepparttar 125967 states.

In 2003, states were only spending 1.4% of their budget on environment and natural resources--an all-time low, according to Resources forrepparttar 125968 Future ( ).

Reducing resources atrepparttar 125969 state and local levels can cutrepparttar 125970 heart out ofrepparttar 125971 monitoring and enforcement actions needed to ensure that our air, water, and land--and our bodies--are protected from environmental toxins. Even more troublesome are elected officials who have a weak commitment torepparttar 125972 environment. The back-room deals cut in your governor's mansion, your statehouse, and your county council chambers can have a great impact onrepparttar 125973 environment.


Written by Aftab Hassan Khan

Five years after seizing power in a bloodless coup, Pakistan’s military Dictator, and self-appointed President Pervez Musharraf remains Pakistan's most powerful man.

Shortly afterrepparttar 1999 coup, General Musharraf toldrepparttar 125954 nation: "I shall not allowrepparttar 125955 people to be taken back torepparttar 125956 era of sham democracy." Five years later,repparttar 125957 people realized that Musharraf has truly kept his word. He did not allow anyone to take people back torepparttar 125958 era of shame democracy. He did it himself.

The lesson General Musharraf and his Western backers are leaving behind for other coup leaders in this process is: Ifrepparttar 125959 constitution does not legitimize your actions, delegitimizerepparttar 125960 constitution. That you can do by virtue of holding it in abeyance. Inrepparttar 125961 meanwhile, instead of mending your ways, amendrepparttar 125962 constitution to legitimize both your actions andrepparttar 125963 "sacred" document.

It might sound odd and impossible but not for someone backed up by absolute power.

The former shame Pakistani democracies now seem far better by comparison when looked at inrepparttar 125964 perspective of allrepparttar 125965 crusaders of democracy fully approving and supporting a people's living under a systematically legalized dictatorship.

The move by Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s military ruler, to legitimize and cement his grip on power through a passing awkward bill, ‘The Bill to Enablerepparttar 125966 President of Pakistan to Hold Another Office’ inrepparttar 125967 national assembly on October 14th, 2004 to extend his self-declared Presidency is as clear a manifestation ofrepparttar 125968 absurdity ofrepparttar 125969 exercise to legitimize General Pervez Musharraf and to remain in uniform as Chief of Army staff for unspecified period is likely to see him emerge far weaker politically and more vulnerable onrepparttar 125970 legitimacy question. In reneging on his pledge to return Pakistan to democracy, General Musharraf has attackedrepparttar 125971 main political parties and their leaders and he alienatedrepparttar 125972 very constituency that supported his bloodless coup. The reality is that withoutrepparttar 125973 military’s grip on power being loosened andrepparttar 125974 rogue Inter-Services Intelligence agency being cut to size, there can be no real, sustained movement in Pakistan toward democracy.

The fact that in Pakistan holding public meetings and taking part in public demonstrations and processions are offenses under military decree is overshadowed byrepparttar 125975 General's rhetoric of "containing militancy".

Musharraf plans to continue his military dictatorship through a manufactured political party PML-Q (Pakistan Muslim League-Q), shutting out fromrepparttar 125976 contestrepparttar 125977 legitimate political parties and leaders of Pakistan. Two of Pakistan's ex-prime ministers are living in exile, and plenty of political workers are disqualified from taking part inrepparttar 125978 Pakistani politics.

Political parties fear thatrepparttar 125979 secrete dealing between General Musharraf and a coalition of Islamist political parties would play intorepparttar 125980 long-term goals of Pakistani Islamic fundamentalism (The dictator, andrepparttar 125981 coalition of Islamist hardliners,repparttar 125982 MMA (MULLAH MILITARY ALLIANCE) has already a deal and MMA has supported a bill in parliament by whichrepparttar 125983 president can dismissrepparttar 125984 prime minister -repparttar 125985 move would have to be ratified byrepparttar 125986 Supreme court). To them, failure to return to democracy means that extremist allies remaining within Pakistan's security services cannot be effectively rooted out.

"Civilian control of all aspects of national policy, including security matters, isrepparttar 125987 only way to ensure that Pakistan does not become a haven for extremists again," one political analyst remarked.

"Let us rememberrepparttar 125988 lessons of Iran," writes Benazir Bhutto. "The Shah of Iran wasrepparttar 125989 West's surrogate regional policeman for decades. His policies of choking and victimizing democratic forces led torepparttar 125990 fundamentalist revolution from whichrepparttar 125991 world has yet to recover."

She continues, "Forrepparttar 125992 moment, some might find Musharraf's dictatorship useful. Butrepparttar 125993 United States must proceed with great caution and wisdom. Inrepparttar 125994 words of John F. Kennedy, 'Foreign policy requiresrepparttar 125995 long view.' Ultimately,repparttar 125996 West's blind eye to democracy and human rights can have unintended, unforeseen, and deadly consequences, not just in Pakistan, but for regional and world peace."

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