Thursday, December 28, 2006

Most Outrageous Right Wing Comments of 2006

By , Media Matters for America
Posted on December 28, 2006, Printed on December 28, 2006

How extreme were conservative commentators in their remarks this year? How about calls to nuke the Middle East and an allegation that a "gay … mafia" used the congressional page program as its own "personal preserve." Right-wing rhetoric documented by Media Matters for America included the nonsensical (including Rush Limbaugh's claim that America's "obesity crisis" is caused by, among other things, our failure to "teach [the poor] how to butcher a -- slaughter a cow to get the butter, we gave them the butter"), the offensive (such as right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel's question about "Barack Hussein Obama": Is he "a man we want as president when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?"), and the simply bizarre (such as William A. Donohue's claim that some Hollywood stars would "sodomize their own mother in a movie"). Since there were so many outrageous statements, we included a list of honorable mentions along with the top 11, which, if not for Ann Coulter, we might have limited to 10.

The top 11 (in chronological order):

William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights: "Well, look, there are people in Hollywood, not all of them, but there are some people who are nothing more than harlots. They will do anything for the buck. They wouldn't care. If you asked them to sodomize their own mother in a movie, they would do so, and they would do it with a smile on their face." [2/9/06]

Fox News host John Gibson: "Do your duty. Make more babies. That's a lesson drawn out of two interesting stories over the last couple of days. First, a story yesterday that half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far, the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably, the ones Hispanics call 'gabachos' -- white people -- are having fewer." [5/11/06]

Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter on the New York Times' decision to report on the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program and a Treasury Department financial transaction tracking program: The Times had done "something that could have gotten them executed, certainly did get the Rosenbergs (Julius and Ethel) executed." [7/12/06]

Coulter responding to Hardball host Chris Matthews' question, "How do you know that [former President] Bill Clinton's gay?": "I don't know if he's gay. But [former Vice President] Al Gore -- total fag." [7/27/06]

Nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage: "That's why the department store dummy named Wolf Blitzer, a Jew who was born in Israel, will do the astonishing act of being the type that would stick Jewish children into a gas chamber to stay alive another day. He's probably the most despicable man in the media next to Larry King, who takes a close runner-up by the hair of a nose. The two of them together look like the type that would have pushed Jewish children into the oven to stay alive one more day to entertain the Nazis." [8/7/06]

Coulter on Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., an African-American: "Congresswoman Maxine Waters had parachuted into Connecticut earlier in the week to campaign against [Sen. Joseph I.] Lieberman because he once expressed reservations about affirmative action, without which she would not have a job that didn't involve wearing a paper hat. Waters also considers Joe 'soft' on the issue of the CIA inventing crack cocaine and AIDS to kill all the black people in America." [8/9/06]

Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh, blaming America's "obesity crisis" on "the left," "liberal government," and "food stamps": "Because we are sympathetic, we are compassionate people, we have responded by letting our government literally feed these people to the point of obesity. At least here in America, didn't teach them how to fish, we gave them the fish. Didn't teach them how to butcher a -- slaughter a cow to get the butter, we gave them the butter. The real bloat here, as we know, is in -- is in government." [8/29/06]

Coulter on Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I.: "They Shot the Wrong Lincoln." [8/30/06]

Conservative pundit and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan: "Look, [Rep. Jim] Kolbe [R-Ariz.] is gay. He is an out-of-the-closet gay. [Rep. Mark] Foley [R-Fla.] was gay. The House clerk who was in charge of the pages [Jeff Trandahl] was gay. Foley's administrative assistant, Mr. [Kirk] Fordham, the New York Times tells us, was gay. You hear about a lot of others. What's going on here, Joe [Scarborough, MSNBC host], is basically these, this little mafia in there looked upon the pages, I guess, as their -- sort of their personal preserve. And it stinks to high heaven what was done. And it stinks to high heaven that it was not exposed and these types of people, thrown out by the Republican Party." [10/9/06]

CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck to Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn.: "OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. … With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, 'Let's cut and run.' And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " [11/14/06]

Right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel on Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.: So, even if he identifies strongly as a Christian … is a man who Muslims think is a Muslim, who feels some sort of psychological need to prove himself to his absent Muslim father, and who is now moving in the direction of his father's heritage, a man we want as president when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?" [12/18/06]

Honorable mentions (also in chronological order):

Beck: "Cindy Sheehan. That's a pretty big prostitute there, you know what I mean?" [1/10/06]

Republican strategist Mary Matalin: "I mean, you know, I think these civil rights leaders are nothing more than racists. And they're keeping constituency, they're keeping their neighborhoods and their African-American brothers enslaved, if you will, by continuing to let them think that they're -- or forced to think that they're victims, that the whole system is against them." [2/8/06]

Pat Robertson, host of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club: "But it does seem that with the current makeup of the court, they still don't have as many judges as would be needed to overturn Roe [v. Wade]. They need one more, and I dare say before the end of this year there will be another vacancy on the court." [3/7/06]

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and host of the daily Christian radio show The Albert Mohler Program: "Well, I would have to say as a Christian that I believe any belief system, any world view, whether it's Zen Buddhism or Hinduism or dialectical materialism for that matter, Marxism, that keeps persons captive and keeps them from coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, is a demonstration of satanic power." [3/17/06]

Nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz on Rep. Cynthia McKinney's (D-Ga.) hairstyle: "She looks like a ghetto slut. … It looks like an explosion in a Brillo pad factory. … She looks like Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence. … She looks like a shih tzu!" [3/31/06]

Boortz on McKinney's hairstyle (again): "I saw Cynthia McKinney's hairdo yesterday -- saw it on TV. I don't blame that cop for stopping her. It looked like a welfare drag queen was trying to sneak into the Longworth House Office Building. That hairdo is ghetto trash. I don't blame them for stopping her." [3/31/06]

Limbaugh discussing a videotape released by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the then-leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq: "[I]t sounds just like the DNC (Democratic National Committee) is writing his scripts now." [4/26/06]

Beck: "Blowing up Iran. I say we nuke the bastards. In fact, it doesn't have to be Iran, it can be everywhere, anyplace that disagrees with me." [5/11/06]

Jonathan Hoenig, managing member of Capitalistpig Asset Management LLC, on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto: "I think when it comes to Iran, the problem is we haven't been forceful enough. I mean if you -- frankly, if you want to see the Dow go up, let's get the bombers in the air and neutralize this Iranian threat." [6/5/06]

Fox host Geraldo Rivera: "I've known [Sen.] John Kerry [D-Mass.] for over 35 years. Unlike me, he is a combat veteran, so he gets some props. But in the last 35 years, I've seen a hell of a lot more combat than John Kerry. And for a smart man like that in a political ploy to set a date certain only aids and abets the enemy, and the Democrats are at their own self-destructive behavior once again." [6/22/06]

Savage: "I don't know why we don't use a bunker-buster bomb when he comes to the U.N. and just take [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out with everyone in there." [7/21/06]

Boortz: "I want you to think for a moment of how incompetent and stupid and worthless, how -- that's right, I used those words -- how incompetent, how ignorant, how worthless is an adult that can't earn more than the minimum wage? You have to really, really, really be a pretty pathetic human being to not be able to earn more than the human wage. Uh -- human, the minimum wage." [8/3/06]

Syndicated columnist and Fox News host Cal Thomas on businessman Ned Lamont's victory in Connecticut's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate: "It completes the capture of the Democratic Party by its Taliban wing. … [T]hey have now morphed into Taliban Democrats because they are willing to 'kill' one of their own, if he does not conform to the narrow and rigid agenda of the party's kook fringe." [8/10/06]

Fox News host Sean Hannity, two months before the November midterm elections: "This is the moment to say that there are things in life worth fighting and dying for and one of 'em is making sure [Rep.] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] doesn't become the [House] speaker." [8/29/06]

Beck: "The Middle East is being overrun by 10th-century barbarians. That's what I thought at 5 o'clock this morning, and I thought, 'Oh, geez, what -- what is this?' If they take over -- the barbarians storm the gate and take over the Middle East (this is what I'm thinking at 5 o'clock in the morning) -- we're going to have to nuke the whole place." [9/12/06]

Savage: "My fear is that if the Democrats win [in the November midterm elections], and I'm afraid that they might, you're going to see America melt down faster that you could ever imagine. It will happen overnight, and it could lead to the breakup of the United States of America, the way the Soviet Union broke up." [10/13/06]

Republican pollster Frank Luntz on Nancy Pelosi's appearance: "I always use the line for Nancy Pelosi, 'You get one shot at a facelift. If it doesn't work the first time, let it go.' " [10/31/06]

Limbaugh on the Middle East: "Fine, just blow the place up." [11/27/06]

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (on his radio show): "Do I care if the Sunnis and Shiites kill each other in Iraq? No. I don't care. Let's get our people out of there. Let them kill each other. Maybe they'll all kill each other, and then we can have a decent country in Iraq." [12/5/06]

New York Post columnist Ralph Peters on Iraq Study Group co-chairman James Baker: "The difference is that [Pontius] Pilate just wanted to wash his hands of an annoyance, while Baker would wash his hands in the blood of our troops." [12/7/06]

Conservative syndicated radio host Michael Medved on the animated movie "Happy Feet": The film contains "a whole subtext, as there so often is, about homosexuality." [12/11/06]

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Save the Internet.com:

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

9/11 Truth: Scott Forbes describes power-downs in WTC

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UCLA Student Gets Tasered

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UCLA Police Taser Student in Powell

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Monday, November 27, 2006

A Colo. Homeowners Association Threatened to Fine a Resident over Christmas Weath with a Peace Sign

Monday, November 27, 2006

A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.

Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

"Somebody could put up signs that say drop bombs on Iraq. If you let one go up you have to let them all go up," he said in a telephone interview Sunday.

Lisa Jensen said she wasn't thinking of the war when she hung the wreath. She said, "Peace is way bigger than not being at war. This is a spiritual thing."

Jensen, a past association president, calculates the fines will cost her about $1,000, and doubts they will be able to make her pay. But she said she's not going to take it down until after Christmas.

"Now that it has come to this I feel I can't get bullied," she said. "What if they don't like my Santa Claus."

The association in this 200-home subdivision 270 miles southwest of Denver has sent a letter to her saying that residents were offended by the sign and the board "will not allow signs, flags etc. that can be considered divisive."

The subdivision's rules say no signs, billboards or advertising are permitted without the consent of the architectural control committee.

Kearns ordered the committee to require Jensen to remove the wreath, but members refused after concluding that it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn't say anything. Kearns fired all five committee members

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006


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Friday, October 06, 2006

School Says Police, Social Services Will Snatch Kids Of Late Parents

Indiana junior high threatens prison custody if child not picked up on time from mandatory homework class

A junior high school in Indiana threatens parents with police and child protective service involvement if they fail to pick up their child on time after mandatory Friday classes for missed homework.

Outraged parents forwarded us a letter from the Tell City Junior High School in Indiana in which they were given a days notice that their child had to attend a Friday class to catch up on missed homework.

The letter stated in bold that if a parent didn't arrive at the agreed time to pick up their child, "arrangements have been made with the Tell City Police Department to have them housed at the police station."

The letter then states that intervention by the police will also necessitate involvement of the Perry County Office of Family and Children.

This is basically a mandate for the government to snatch your kid - all for the horribly abusive act of arriving 5 minutes late to pick them up from a mandatory extra curricular class that you have been given just 24 hours notice of.

The school threatens immediate suspension of the child if the mandatory homework class is missed.

"I guess it is ok to take a child to jail if their parents only have one car," the parents told us.

"Fortunately my wife was working third shift at the time, had she not been, our kid would have been taken to the police station, and DCFS would have been called on us, simply because we only have one car and I would have
not been able to get my child after being held hostage at school, by the school."

The parents immediately withdrew their child from Tell City High and have begun home schooling.

This case is similar to programs nationwide where children are forced to attend "truancy court" if they skip a day of school or are late three times and are barked at by police and judges. Drug testing and probation then follow if the child misses another day without a doctor's note.

"I can put you under oath and if you lie to me it's called contempt and I can lock you up," froths Texas Judge Jeanne Meurer as small children are threatened with prison in the clip you can watch above (alternate Windows Media link).

You can e mail the school by clicking here or call and fax them at the numbers listed on the letter. Please be very polite and urge them to reconsider this atrocious and intimidating policy. Having social services and police grab children because their parents get stuck in traffic or only own one car is an absolute abomination and anathema to a free society.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jesse Ventura questions 9/11 w/ Alex Jones 9/25/6 Pt.2

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Jesse Ventura questions 9/11 Alex Jones interview 9/25/6 Pt.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Blacks Take Education Into Their Own Hands: Homeschooling Appeals to more African Americans

Leslie Fulbright, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, September 25, 2006
Suisun City parents Benjamin and Tanya Marshall are part of a new homeschooling movement led by African American families fed up with the public school system.

Nine years ago, the couple put their oldest son, Trevaughn, in kindergarten after discussing teaching him at home. When he had a substitute teacher several times in his first six weeks, they pulled him out.

"We felt like it wasn't the right environment, especially for an African American boy," said Tanya Marshall, 36. "The teachers were young and nervous. Black males were not being challenged and ending up in special ed."

Trevaughn, now 14, has been taught at home ever since. The couple also homeschools their two younger sons, 11 and 9, and their daughter, 12.

"We wanted to be the main and driving influence in our children's lives," said Benjamin Marshall, 37. "We didn't want them socialized with marijuana smokers and pregnant teens."

The Marshalls, who had both worked as teachers' aides, feared public school would contradict their Christian beliefs, and they wanted to avoid having their sons labeled as violent or hyperactive or seeing them pressured by peers to drink, do drugs and have sex.

A desire for more rigorous academics and greater emphasis on black history also has led black families into homeschooling, educators say.

Although homeschoolers often are stereotyped as white and evangelical Christians, in 2003 about 9 percent of homeschooled students were black, and 77 percent were white, compared with a total student population nationwide that was 16 percent black and 62 percent white. Homeschoolers numbered 1.1 million in 2003, compared with about 49.5 million students in public and private schools, according to the most recent federal statistics from the U.S. Department of Education.

The numbers of black and white homeschoolers rose about a third from 1999 to 2003 to encompass about 1.3 percent of U.S. black students and 2.7 percent of whites. Researchers say the number of black parents who are homeschooling their children may now be growing even faster.

More than half the students who are homeschooled come from families with three or more children, and more than one-quarter from families making less than $25,000 in 2003, when the nation's median family income was $56,500. More than half of homeschooled students came from families making between $25,000 and $75,000. Among black, white and Latino students, Latinos are least likely to be homeschooled, at less than 1 percent in 2003; no other ethnic groups are measured.

The growth among African Americans can be seen in the increasing number of networking groups, blogs and Internet sites directed at black homeschoolers -- and in who is showing up at conventions.

"There was a time when the conferences were all white," said Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, Ore. "In the '90s, you saw a little more color, and by 2000, a substantial number of black families started showing up.

"In some cities, the majority of those attending conferences are African American."

Many say they left public schools because their children weren't expected to learn at an equal pace or being coached on getting into college, the schools were unsafe, or the curriculum lacked black history.

"Over the last couple of years, especially in places like D.C. and Cincinnati, there have been a growing number of black homeschooled students," said Michael Apple, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who studies the issue. "You will find more in areas where the black middle class can afford to do it."

Monica Utsey of Washington, D.C., said she decided to homeschool so she had as much say as possible in 6-year-old son Zion's life.

"I didn't want him put on the road to obesity, with junk food, or to be obsessed with commercialized clothing," Utsey said. "I also don't want my son to think that slavery was our only contribution. I want to give him a world view, a cultural perspective, and assure he understands his place and his heritage."

Many black homeschoolers worry that their children will be labeled in a public school. Black public school students are three times as likely as white students to be categorized as needing special education services, a 2002 study by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University found.

"My son is high-energy, and I didn't want him to end up on Ritalin or feel bad about himself," Utsey said. "There is an assumption that black boys are violent if they are too energetic."

Public schools have been a focus of the civil rights struggle, but many homeschooling parents said they are disillusioned with the system's failure to improve.

"Some educators and families think that because blacks fought so hard to get equal access, we shouldn't abandon it," said Jennifer James, a North Carolina mother who in 2003 started the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance, a 3,000-member, nonreligious group that provides information for homeschoolers. "But times have changed. It was a great step, but we have to think about our kids."

Parents say the most common concern about homeschooling -- that their kids will be socially isolated -- isn't a problem.

"My children know how to socialize, especially with adults," Benjamin Marshall said. "In the real world, my children are not always going to be surrounded by people their own age."

The Marshalls not only teach their children math, religion and vocabulary, but also take them on field trips to places like the Lawrence Hall of Science, the state Capitol, the San Francisco Symphony and the Museum of the African Diaspora.

"It is kind of rough in the beginning, but as time goes on, you learn," said Benjamin Marshall, who works as a dispatcher on the graveyard shift at the Valero refinery in Benicia and teaches his kids during the day.

The Marshalls also have started Seeds of Truth Academy in Suisun City, where parents interested in Christian-based homeschooling can bring their children on Tuesdays and Thursdays for counseling, sports and field trips.

Brianna Marshall, 12, said she likes homeschooling but thinks about other options.

"I think homeschooling is better than public school because there are no bullies and you don't have to listen to all the stuff your friends say," she said. "But I am curious about what school is like. I have never been inside a school, and sometimes I get tired of being at home."

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20 Damning Facts About Voting In The USA

By Angry Girl of Nightweed.com

Did you know....

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S. http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html


2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry. http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm


3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.


4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."


5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.


6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.



7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.


8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.


9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.



10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.


11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.


13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.


14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.


15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.


16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here: http://www.bbvdocs. org/videos/ baxterVPR. mov.)


17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.





19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.


20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.
http://www.yuricare port.com/ ElectionAftermat h04/ThreeResearc hStudiesBushIsOu t.htm






1 in 5 Americans believe the elections were fraudulent.
That's over 41 Million Americans.
You are NOT alone!

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

By Allan Uthman, Buffalo Beast
Posted on May 26, 2006, Printed on September 27, 2006

Is the U.S. becoming a police state? Here are the top 10 signs that it may well be the case.

1. The Internet Clampdown

One saving grace of alternative media in this age of unfettered corporate conglomeration has been the internet. While the masses are spoon-fed predigested news on TV and in mainstream print publications, the truth-seeking individual still has access to a broad array of investigative reporting and political opinion via the world-wide web. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the government moved to patch up this crack in the sky.

Attempts to regulate and filter internet content are intensifying lately, coming both from telecommunications corporations (who are gearing up to pass legislation transferring ownership and regulation of the internet to themselves), and the Pentagon (which issued an "Information Operations Roadmap" in 2003, signed by Donald Rumsfeld, which outlines tactics such as network attacks and acknowledges, without suggesting a remedy, that US propaganda planted in other countries has easily found its way to Americans via the internet). One obvious tactic clearing the way for stifling regulation of internet content is the growing media frenzy over child pornography and "internet predators," which will surely lead to legislation that by far exceeds in its purview what is needed to fight such threats.

2. "The Long War"

This little piece of clumsy marketing died off quickly, but it gave away what many already suspected: the War on Terror will never end, nor is it meant to end. It is designed to be perpetual. As with the War on Drugs, it outlines a goal that can never be fully attained -- as long as there are pissed off people and explosives. The Long War will eternally justify what are ostensibly temporary measures: suspension of civil liberties, military expansion, domestic spying, massive deficit spending and the like. This short-lived moniker told us all, "get used to it. Things aren't going to change any time soon."


Did anyone really think this was going to be temporary? Yes, this disgusting power grab gives the government the right to sneak into your house, look through all your stuff and not tell you about it for weeks on a rubber stamp warrant. Yes, they can look at your medical records and library selections. Yes, they can pass along any information they find without probable cause for purposes of prosecution. No, they're not going to take it back, ever.

4. Prison Camps

This last January the Army Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root nearly $400 million to build detention centers in the United States, for the purpose of unspecified "new programs." Of course, the obvious first guess would be that these new programs might involve rounding up Muslims or political dissenters -- I mean, obviously detention facilities are there to hold somebody. I wish I had more to tell you about this, but it's, you know... secret.

5. Touchscreen Voting Machines

Despite clear, copious evidence that these nefarious contraptions are built to be tampered with, they continue to spread and dominate the voting landscape, thanks to Bush's "Help America Vote Act," the exploitation of corrupt elections officials, and the general public's enduring cluelessness.

In Utah, Emery County Elections Director Bruce Funk witnessed security testing by an outside firm on Diebold voting machines which showed them to be a security risk. But his warnings fell on deaf ears. Instead Diebold attorneys were flown to Emery County on the governor's airplane to squelch the story. Funk was fired. In Florida, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho discovered an alarming security flaw in their Diebold system at the end of last year. Rather than fix the flaw, Diebold refused to fulfill its contract. Both of the other two touchscreen voting machine vendors, Sequoia and ES&S, now refuse to do business with Sancho, who is required by HAVA to implement a touchscreen system and will be sued by his own state if he doesn't. Diebold is said to be pressuring for Sancho's ouster before it will resume servicing the county.

Stories like these and much worse abound, and yet TV news outlets have done less coverage of the new era of elections fraud than even 9/11 conspiracy theories. This is possibly the most important story of this century, but nobody seems to give a damn. As long as this issue is ignored, real American democracy will remain an illusion. The midterm elections will be an interesting test of the public's continuing gullibility about voting integrity, especially if the Democrats don't win substantial gains, as they almost surely will if everything is kosher.

Bush just suggested that his brother Jeb would make a good president. We really need to fix this problem soon.

6. Signing Statements

Bush has famously never vetoed a bill. This is because he prefers to simply nullify laws he doesn't like with "signing statements." Bush has issued over 700 such statements, twice as many as all previous presidents combined. A few examples of recently passed laws and their corresponding dismissals, courtesy of the Boston Globe:

--Dec. 30, 2005: US interrogators cannot torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Bush's signing statement: The president, as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

--Dec. 30, 2005: When requested, scientific information ''prepared by government researchers and scientists shall be transmitted [to Congress] uncensored and without delay."

Bush's signing statement: The president can tell researchers to withhold any information from Congress if he decides its disclosure could impair foreign relations, national security, or the workings of the executive branch.

--Dec. 23, 2004: Forbids US troops in Colombia from participating in any combat against rebels, except in cases of self-defense. Caps the number of US troops allowed in Colombia at 800.

Bush's signing statement: Only the president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed forces, so the executive branch will construe the law ''as advisory in nature."

Essentially, this administration is bypassing the judiciary and deciding for itself whether laws are constitutional or not. Somehow, I don't see the new Supreme Court lineup having much of a problem with that, though. So no matter what laws congress passes, Bush will simply choose to ignore the ones he doesn't care for. It's much quieter than a veto, and can't be overridden by a two-thirds majority. It's also totally absurd.

7. Warrantless Wiretapping

Amazingly, the GOP sees this issue as a plus for them. How can this be? What are you, stupid? You find out the government is listening to the phone calls of US citizens, without even the weakest of judicial oversight and you think that's okay? Come on -- if you know anything about history, you know that no government can be trusted to handle something like this responsibly. One day they're listening for Osama, and the next they're listening in on Howard Dean.

Think about it: this administration hates unauthorized leaks. With no judicial oversight, why on earth wouldn't they eavesdrop on, say, Seymour Hersh, to figure out who's spilling the beans? It's a no-brainer. Speaking of which, it bears repeating: terrorists already knew we would try to spy on them. They don't care if we have a warrant or not. But you should.

8. Free Speech Zones

I know it's old news, but... come on, are they fucking serious?

9. High-ranking Whistleblowers

Army Generals. Top-level CIA officials. NSA operatives. White House cabinet members. These are the kind of people that Republicans fantasize about being, and whose judgment they usually respect. But for some reason, when these people resign in protest and criticize the Bush administration en masse, they are cast as traitorous, anti-American publicity hounds. Ridiculous. The fact is, when people who kill, spy and deceive for a living tell you that the White House has gone too far, you had damn well better pay attention. We all know most of these people are staunch Republicans. If the entire military except for the two guys the Pentagon put in front of the press wants Rumsfeld out, why on earth wouldn't you listen?

10. The CIA Shakeup

Was Porter Goss fired because he was resisting the efforts of Rumsfeld or Negroponte? No. These appointments all come from the same guys, and they wouldn't be nominated if they weren't on board all the way. Goss was probably canned so abruptly due to a scandal involving a crooked defense contractor, his hand-picked third-in-command, the Watergate hotel and some hookers.

If Bush's nominee for CIA chief, Air Force General Michael Hayden, is confirmed, that will put every spy program in Washington under military control. Hayden, who oversaw the NSA warrantless wiretapping program and is clearly down with the program. That program? To weaken and dismantle or at least neuter the CIA. Despite its best efforts to blame the CIA for "intelligence errors" leading to the Iraq war, the picture has clearly emerged -- through extensive CIA leaks -- that the White House's analysis of Saddam's destructive capacity was not shared by the Agency. This has proved to be a real pain in the ass for Bush and the gang.

Who'd have thought that career spooks would have moral qualms about deceiving the American people? And what is a president to do about it? Simple: make the critical agents leave, and fill their slots with Bush/Cheney loyalists. Then again, why not simply replace the entire organization? That is essentially what both Rumsfeld at the DoD and newly minted Director of National Intelligence John are doing -- they want to move intelligence analysis into the hands of people that they can control, so the next time they lie about an "imminent threat" nobody's going to tell. And the press is applauding the move as a "necessary reform."

Remember the good old days, when the CIA were the bad guys?

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Panelists say 40-year term harsh for girl, 16 in Texas

By Zahira Torres / El Paso Times
El Paso Times

Area educators, health-care professionals and lawyers gathered Saturday to discuss a decision by the county attorney's office to seek a tougher punishment for a 16-year-old El Paso girl accused of trying to smuggle cocaine into the U.S.
"Our correctional system is so imperfect," said Cristina Cruz-Grost, a child psychiatrist and forensic expert. "We need to come together to educate and rehabilitate people who go through the system. É To place a 16-year-old in the correctional department of Texas with up to a 40-year sentence erases the potential for rehabilitation and destroys her life."

The Ysleta district student, whose name was withheld because she is a juvenile, was allegedly caught trying to smuggle nearly 50 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. The street value of the cocaine is estimated to be between $280,000 and $700,000, officials said.

Last week, a grand jury, at the request of the county attorney's office, decided to allow the teen to be tried under the Texas Determinate Sentencing statute.

Under the statute, the juvenile faces the possibility of a sentence of up to 40 years in juvenile detention facilities and in adult prison.

In a statement released last week, County Attorney José Rodríguez said his office was hoping the decision would deter the city's ongoing problem with teenagers transporting drugs across the border.

"Proceeding under determinate sentencing statute in this case demonstrates that we will not tolerate these types of crimes, and should serve as a warning to those teens who might be tempted by the money being offered by the drug cartels," Rodríguez said.

According to statistics from the Juvenile Probation Department, eight minors have been detained at the bridge in the past seven years for carrying up to 200 grams of a controlled substance, other than marijuana. During the same period, six others have been detained for carrying more than 200 grams of a controlled substance, other than marijuana.

Panelists Saturday said the figures are not enough to prove the need for determinate sentencing.

"I have to wonder if this was politically motivated," said Samuel Schmidt, a political science professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

"It seems that they are not really trying to rehabilitate if they are trying to sentence a 16-year-old to 40 years in prison. Did she do something wrong? Yes. Should she be punished? Yes. But to what extent?"

Elhiu Dominguez, the county attorney's office spokesman, said that the decision to prosecute under the Texas Determinate Sentencing statute does not necessarily mean that the office is trying for a 40-year sentence.

Instead, he said, the statute allows a jury the flexibility to punish the juvenile past her 21st birthday, under provisions that include prison time, probation or parole. If a minor is prosecuted in a non-determinate sentencing case, punishment would not extend beyond the age of 21, he said.

"We simply wanted to give jurors an option for a wider sentence," Dominguez said. "Our emphasis is not on incarcerating juveniles but on rehabilitating them."

The teenager's trial, originally set for Monday, has been rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 30 in the 65th District Court. Dominguez could not verify whether the teenager has a lawyer.

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Black Man has ear bitten in racist attack in London

POLICE are appealing for information after a racially motivated attack on a 31-year-old man.

The black man was walking home from a friend's house after getting off the train at New Cross Gate at 10.20pm.

He walked through the Woodpecker Estate, Deptford, and on reaching the end of the estate at the junction with Trundleys Road he saw a group of about six or seven white men who were walking towards him under the bridge.

They were spread out across the pathway and as he neared them one of the men stopped directly in front of him and began talking on a mobile phone.

The victim put his hand on the man's shoulder in an attempt to get past and said "excuse me" but the man did not move.

He tried again to get past and accidentally knocked the man's phone out of his hand.

The man shouted at him and the victim was hit from behind with something that appeared to burst.

The victim then smelt alcohol, turned and hit the man. There was then a fight.

The victim was eventually hit to the floor where he was kicked and stamped on.

The man who was on the mobile phone then jumped on the victim and bit his ear causing it to split.

The victim suffered a broken thumb, fractured jaw, a split ear lobe and cuts and bruises.

The men then ran off but one of the group stopped to hurl racial abuse at the victim.

The suspects were white and were drinking from beer cans.

The man with the mobile phone was approximately 5ft 5in to 5ft 7in with black hair, a slim build and wearing a dark blue tracksuit, white T-shirt and light coloured trainers.

The suspect who shouted abuse was in his late 20s, with dark hair and a bald patch and sideburns and was wearing a T-shirt.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Living Minimum-Wage: Living Wages or Job Killer

September 26, 2006

On Sept. 11, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley used the first veto of his 17-year tenure to reject an ordinance aimed at forcing big retailers to pay wages of $10 an hour and health benefits equivalent to $3 an hour by 2010. The veto is important to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which plans to open its first store in Chicago late this month in the economically depressed 37th ward.

Some cities such as Santa Fe, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have such "living wage" laws, which opponents argue keep some retailers out of town and boost unemployment among low-wage workers. Supporters counter that such measures can help ensure adequate wages for workers.

The Online Journal asked economists Richard Epstein, a professor and director of the University of Chicago's Law and Economics program and Michael Reich, director of the Institute of Industrial Relations and an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, to discuss their different views on local minimum wage rules. What do you think? Share your comments on our discussion board.

Richard Epstein writes: Mayor Richard M. Daley is not known as an arch defender of laissez-faire economics, but not withstanding that regrettable deficiency, he did the right and courageous thing in vetoing Chicago's living-wage ordinance.

In doing so he understood what too many Chicago aldermen fail to grasp, which is that people, including sophisticated corporate executives, respond to incentives. Oddly enough that simple truth seemed to escape many of the aldermanic defenders of the initiative, who held fast to the sunny illusion that Chicago is such an attractive market for Wal-Marts, Target, and other big-box stores that they are sure to come here no matter what wage structure the city council imposed. Before making that rash statement, they should have asked this question first: Why is it that Wal-Marts hadn't already started in Chicago, if its market offers such irresistible lures?

The answer is that big businesses, like everyone else, will go where their costs are low, and where they are treated as a good neighbor and not as a potential felon. Ironically though, the damage may be done even though the mayor's veto was not overridden by the city council. Daley will not be mayor forever, and even though this piece of legislation bit the dust, the next one might not. So why invest in immovable assets if the city council could pass another version of the living-wage ordinance once the stores are up and open for business?

Michael Reich writes: Three quick points:

First, most large retailers in the U.S. already have saturated the consumer market in suburban areas, in part because in many states each suburb competes with other suburbs for sales tax revenue and so they provide subsidies to local retail development. Retailers want to increase their market share -- that is the best way to maximize their long-run profit -- and the opportunities now are greatest in the underserved areas of central cities. Despite what some retailers might say, they have preferred to be located near consumers even when local costs are a bit higher. Otherwise there would be no retailers at all in our central cities. For systematic evidence that retailers are not fleeing and indeed are continuing to come into cities with higher minimum wages, such as San Francisco and Santa Fe, see Do Businesses Flee Citywide Minimum Wages?

Second, the range of economists' estimates of minimum wage effects on employment have shifted substantially in the past decade. Studies using data from the 1990s find either very small negative effects on employment or find zero or positive effects. My own work -- with data from businesses in San Francisco before and after the citywide minimum wage was introduced -- finds zero effects on overall employment, with upgrading of some jobs from part-time to full-time status. Studies of Santa Fe businesses also find no employment effect. For more details on my San Francisco study, see this paper.

Third, it does make sense that higher minimum wages need not reduce the number of jobs, once we take into account job vacancies, recruitment and retention costs, and other employee turnover issues that are familiar to all employers. Low-wage employers typically experience turnover of 100% or more per year; they are constantly hiring and cannot fill all their vacancies. A higher minimum wage attracts more workers and encourages them to stay longer with their employer, so the result is fewer vacancies, not fewer jobs.

Richard Epstein writes: Let me respond to Michael's point first with a general and second with some specific observations. On a general level, the evidence that Michael cites, even if true, is not directed toward the Chicago big-box ordinance, which has two features that are not found in other minimum wage laws. First, the wage and health care boosts are much higher than those in the other communities which he has referred to, and second they are limited to big-box firms, and exclude all other retailers.

Even if one thought, as I do not, that changes in minimum wage laws have little effect on employment, it is clear that this statute will have some differential effect on which retailers, selling what goods at what prices, decide to remain in Chicago. We have strong testimonial evidence that the large box companies will stay out, which means that the local market is left to other merchants whose higher labor costs guarantee a higher price structure.

On some particulars, the saturation point is wholly unpersuasive with respect to a long and skinny city like Chicago with a high boundary-to-area ratio. Here it is easy for suburban stores to poach on city residents who live as near to them as they do to many urban stores. The common pattern here is for people to make large trips to the big-box stores once or twice a month in order to avoid the local merchants who charge higher prices. Merchants may come to some cities with higher minimum wage, but if they do they will surely design business plans that make less use of unskilled labor than they would have in the absence of minimum wages. One simple interpretation of the data is that firms that are less dependent on minimum-wage workers will flourish while others do not. But this hardly helps the unskilled workers who lose twice. They are shut out by the minimum wage and have to pay higher prices for the goods they want. So they will just go elsewhere.

Third, I do not think that the turnover issues offer any justification for a minimum wage law. If the turnover costs are this high, then an employer can voluntarily reconfigure its work force by using higher wages as an offset to higher turnover. There is no reason to mandate actions that work in employer's self interest. And there is certainly no reason to apply this paternalist rationale to big box employers to the exclusion of everyone else, which is what the Chicago ordinance does.

Michael Reich writes: On the specifics of the Chicago ordinance, its higher minimum wage would increase in steps until 2010. By then the Santa Fe and San Francisco minimums will be very close to the same level as in Chicago, and San Francisco has also just implemented a health-care policy on top of the minimum wage. So these cases are very comparable.

In any case, I understand that a modified proposal for Chicago will be introduced, so there will be further give and take, just as in many other jurisdictions. We need not limit ourselves to this specific example.

The analysis of citywide minimum wages always should be based on scientific evidence, not on any individual's theoretical arguments or statements of belief, nor on self-interested statements from the companies. Regarding Chicago's retail conditions, we have two studies with systematic evidence: One is from a University of Illinois at Chicago research unit4 that specializes in community economic development. The other, from NYU's Brennan Center5, also supports the current attractiveness of locating in Chicago to large retailers.

I agree that higher minimum wages might lead to somewhat higher prices. But this might be a good tradeoff. To find out, again we must draw from careful empirical studies, not general statements, to quantify the effect. My San Francisco study found that a 26% increase in the minimum wage increased restaurant prices by about 2.5%, or 25 cents for an average $10 menu item. We now know, using Wal-Mart's own data, that if Wal-Mart's hourly pay and benefits scale increased to match those in its industry as a whole, and the costs were fully passed on to consumers, its prices would increase by only a penny on the dollar. Moreover, profit margins have been increasing in large retail companies, so there is room for pay increases that do not translate entirely into price increases. See "Wrestling with Wal-Mart: Tradeoffs between Profits, Wages and Prices."

On the issue of turnover costs, no one is arguing that low-wage firms would individually choose to increase their pay and lower turnover, as the savings would not be sufficient. If all firms are required to do so, however, employment can actually increase. In the field of labor economics, this is a standard argument used to understand minimum wage effects. You will find it in every major undergraduate textbook, including those by free-market-oriented economists such as George Borjas and David MacPherson. You will also find an emphasis on turnover issues in understanding labor markets in the 2006 Economic Report of the President.

As for applying a standard only to retail, it is likely that other industries will be forced by competition to increase pay as well. To what extent, we don't yet know. Small employers in San Francisco were phased into the minimum wage level in its first two years; I found that they increased wages substantially during the phase-in period.

Richard Epstein writes: Once again, I think that the difficulties here arise as much in the interpretation of the various bits of data as with the data itself. On the various ordinances, I do not believe that the Santa Fe or San Francisco ordinances are focused exclusively on the big boxes, which creates all sorts of distortions between different classes of retailers, and thus has additional adverse effects not found elsewhere. In addition, there is a real question of how the ordinance interacts with the composition of the work force. It is worth remembering that when Wal-Mart offered low-paying positions8 in the Chicago suburb of Evergreen Park, 25,000 people showed up for 325 or so jobs.

Clearly the low end of the market is out of whack even under the current labor market structure. It is hard to see how any of these people will do better if they are priced out of the market, even if the firms could scramble to find other individuals at higher wages to fill the more exclusive spots that remain. On the study point, I have obviously had no time to review the studies in Chicago, but that seems to have been true of Mayor Daley, who thought that the threat of the big-box companies to stay out was credible. And it is also important to ask whether these studies take into account the hostile reception that big-box stores get from zoning authorities every time they seek permissions to build. And it is worth noting that the strongest opponents of the big-box ordinance in the city are alderman from low-income districts.

On the Wal-Mart profit figures, the numbers that I have seen differ. The average profit per employee is around $2,000 per year. That hardly speaks of massive exploitation of workers. Rather it is consistent with the lower prices that it offers to consumers, often from the least advantaged areas, where prices are estimated at around 8% to 13% below what they would otherwise be. Finally, I am totally puzzled why any labor text would argue that high-wage-low-turnover strategies are only efficient if everyone in town adopts them. The brief explanation that Michael offers here is just not credible.

Why won't the savings be sufficient to induce the change? Indeed any change in position, however small, that improves output should be welcomed, period. There is no prisoner's dilemma game here. A firm that gets higher output from adopting superior strategies should be thrilled if its competitors lag behind. So absent the statute, there should be a really strong incentive to make changes in employment strategies that other firms cannot duplicate. Nor is there any reason in theory to expect non-covered firms to raise wages unless demand for labor increases as the cost increases. It is every bit as likely that non-protected workers will be more numerous and could easily receive lower wages, if they stay in the community at all.

Michael's argument is a huge plea for monopoly wages and collective bargaining, without any explanation as to why employers fiercely resist changes that public officials think are in their interest. And how on his theory do we decide what minimum wage is optimal? Why not $20, or $50?

Michael Reich writes: An omitted point is that Wal-Mart and some other companies have had negative effects on retail wages and benefits and on taxpayers. These negative effects create hidden but very real and large costs, especially by increasing the ranks of the uninsured. These effects have been documented in a series of careful studies.

The majority of employers in Santa Fe, San Francisco and, more recently, in Santa Cruz, Calif., have not resisted these policies; the vehemence is coming from a few, mainly Wal-Mart and Target.

In concluding, I want to re-emphasize the importance of carefully-developed empirical evidence to illuminate these controversies, as there are different theories of how competition works in labor markets. Consider the following:

In a standard competitive model, there are no impediments to employee mobility and employers have to pay the competitive wage or lose their entire work force instantaneously. But whenever there are job search costs, or when it takes time for employers and employees to find good matches with each other, or when there are any other impediments to employee mobility, competitive firms face what we call in introductory economics a rising supply of labor schedule. In essence, they face much higher labor costs for every worker when they expand employment.

With these frictions, firms maximize their profits by hiring fewer workers and paying lower wages, relative to the simple competitive textbook model. So a minimum wage mandate can in principle bring about a result closer to the competitive market equilibrium, with both higher pay and higher employment.

How important are these "frictions" in urban and low-wage labor markets? Quite a few studies find that they are the rule, not the exception, even, say, among fast-food restaurants that have many competitors. High turnover and ongoing vacancies are indicators of such frictions. In my San Francisco findings, turnover dropped substantially among firms that were covered by the minimum wage, and did not among firms that were not covered. These considerations are likely to be even more important among very large firms that in effect set local wages by virtue of their sheer size, and not just in retail.

Of course, minimum wages at levels that are set too high will trigger negative effects. (The limits depend in part upon how sensitive consumers are to prices.) But we have moved away from such limits in the past two decades. The national minimum wage in real dollars and relative to average wage is quite low by historical standards. Shouldn't the most productive economy in history be able to pay all of its workers a real living wage?

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Obstruction of Justice: The Mena Connection - Bill Clinton train murders cocaine

On August 23, 1987, two teenage boys stumbled upon a drug smuggling operation that was sanctioned by federal officials and protected by local law enforcement. The boys, Kevin Ives, 17, and Don Henry, 16, were murdered.
Their bodies were laid across nearby railroad tracks and mutilated by a passing train.

Obstruction of Justice: The Mena Connection tells what really happened and gives vivid detail into the cover-up and the state and federal officials who orchestrated it.

KEY PLAYERS: Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton as well as Joycelyn Elders who went on to serve as surgeon general of the United States under President Bill Clinton.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Houston Radio Ad Asks Houstonians to Arm Themselves Against "Katricians

Sept. 21, 2006, 3:52PM

Radio ad plays on Katrina evacuee tension
Associated Press

A radio commercial for a local gun shop advises Houstonians to arm themselves against "Katricians," adding to the growing tension between Houstonians and the Katrina evacuees who have been blamed for a rising crime rate.

OBM: Most of the people from N.O. are poor blacks....so instead of offering more jobs, Education/vocational programs, and requesting more job assistance for the criminal government that caused them to be there anyway...this radio stations is saying lets shoot & kill the poor black people who don't have money or jobs to feed their families. I'M NOT GOING TO SAY WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN TO THIS GUY, THIS RADIO STATION, AND ANYONE ADVOCATING THIS B.S. ...IT WOULD BE INCRIMINATING!!!!!!

Gun shop owner and radio talk-show host Jim Pruett said today he started running the ad a few weeks ago after hearing a local television interview with a Katrina evacuee living in Houston who implied he would have to turn to crime if his government assistance ran out.

"There are many evacuees here who are working," said Pruett, who has owned Jim Pruett's Guns & Ammo in northwest Houston for five years. "They have become Houstonians now. That is fantastic. That is what you are supposed to do. You are not supposed to threaten the place you are working in."

Katrina evacuees are suspects or victims in 59 of Houston's 262 homicides between Jan. 1 and Aug. 26.

Residents in upper middle-class west Houston have blamed evacuees for violent crime rates that have increased almost 14 percent in one district and homicides that have nearly doubled in another.

Earlier this month, the FBI reported that violent crime in Houston jumped 2.4 percent last year, slightly above the national figure of 2.3 percent.

Pruett's radio ad says, "When the 'Katricians' themselves are quoted as saying the crime rate is gonna go up if they don't get more free rent, then it's time to get your concealed-handgun license."

Department of Public Safety statistics show that from January to Sept. 1, the number of applications for concealed-carry permits have risen almost 25 percent in Harris County, which includes Houston. Texas has no other gun registration laws.

Black activists planned a community meeting Thursday evening to "end the conflict" between Houston and New Orleans. They indicated they would discuss Pruett's radio ad.

The meeting was also expected to address comments made earlier this month by gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, who attributed a spike in Houston's crime rate to the "crackheads and thugs" who evacuated New Orleans.

Mayor Bill White has said most evacuees are law abiding citizens but that lawbreakers will not be tolerated. He has also called for "able-bodied" evacuees to find jobs.

Pruett, 62, said while crime in Houston was an issue before Katrina evacuees came to the city, they have contributed to the problem.

"It's a serious crime epidemic, no matter what the mayor says," said Pruett, whose store Web site offers the following advice: "Be polite and courteous, but have a plan to KILL everybody you meet."

As many as 120,000 evacuees remain in Houston since the city welcomed at least 250,000 after Katrina swamped New Orleans last year.

Pruett said gun sales as his store are up 50 percent from last year but he couldn't be certain it was due to concern over evacuees.

Classes his store offers so people can get a concealed handgun license are always full. Pruett said he doesn't think he is profiting from fear in the community about evacuees and crime.

"I'm profiting from people who want to protect themselves. We provide a great service and one that may save people's lives," said Pruett, who added that he has also sold guns to evacuees.

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A Way to Protest Bush's Foreign Policy - Buy Gasoline at Citgo Stations


Published on Monday, May 16, 2005 by CommonDreams.org

Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott!
by Jeff Cohen

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.

And tell your friends.

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. (Click here http://www.citgo.com/CITGOLocator/StoreLocator.jsp to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.

Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn't have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.

So this is the opposite of a boycott. Call it a BUYcott. Spread the word.

Of course, if you can take mass transit or bike or walk to your job, you should do so. And we should all work for political changes that move our country toward a cleaner environment based on renewable energy. The BUYcott is for those of us who don't have a practical alternative to filling up our cars.

So get your gas at Citgo. And help fuel a democratic revolution in Venezuela.

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Possibly the First Time a U.S. President Admits to Ordering Assassinations

I just want to mention an observation I had that I think will go un-noticed..I believe that this might be the first time that a president..either current or former..has ever admitted that our executive branch..has had a program for the sanctioning of assassinations of foreign ‘problems’. (the beginning of part 2 clip)

Part 1

part 2

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Friday, September 22, 2006

PBS 1987: "The Secret Government" - Part 2

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PBS 1987: "The Secret Government" - Part 1

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

IBM, Verichip, and the Fouth Reich

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Congress Considering Strip Searching Students

September 18, 2006

Imagine an America in which school officials could strip search every student in their school based on the unsubstantiated tip that one of them might have a joint. Congress is voting on a bill Tuesday or Wednesday that could make these police state tactics more common.

We can stop Congress in its tracks, though. Call your representative RIGHT NOW and tell them to vote against this dangerous bill.

If you don't know who your House representative is, simply call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and give them your address. They'll connect you directly with your representative's office. When you get a staffer on the phone, politely say something like:

"My name is [your name] and I live in [your city]. I'm calling to urge [the congressman/the congresswoman] to vote against the Student and Teacher Safety Act (HR 5295) when it comes to the floor this week. This bill would allow schools and police to invasively search large groups of innocent students based on the mere suspicion that just one of them has drugs. It strips Americans of their 4th Amendment rights. Please let me know how [the congressman/the congresswoman] votes."


The Student Teacher Safety Act of 2006 (HR 5295) is a sloppily written bill that would require any school receiving federal funding (essentially every public school) to adopt policies allowing teachers and school officials to conduct random, warrantless searches of every student, at any time, for essentially any reason they want. All they would have to do is say they suspect one of their students might be carrying drugs, and then they could conduct a wide scale search of every student in the building. These searches could be pat-downs, bag searches, or strip searches depending on how far school administrators wanted to go. Although courts would have the power to overturn policies that went "too far", it could take years - possibly decades - to safeguard the rights of students in every school.

Disconnecting searches from individualized suspicion is what led to the Goose Creek scandal in 2003. That South Carolina city sent a machine-gun toting SWAT team into a high school because the principal suspected one of the students might be selling marijuana. 150 terrified students were handcuffed and forced to the floor at gunpoint as drug dogs tore through their book bags. No drugs or guns were ever found.

Searching students without individualized suspicion that they have done something wrong fosters mistrust between adolescents and the adults they should feel comfortable turning to when they do have substance abuse problems. Treating groups of students as if they're guilty until proven innocent sends them the wrong message about what it means to be American citizens, and makes them less likely to seek help and guidance when they need it.

The legislation is supported by senior House Republicans and the National Education Association (NEA). It's opposed by the Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the ACLU, the American Association of School Administrators, and the National School Boards Association.

The bill wasn't voted on in committee and is being fast-tracked to the floor under a procedure that requires a 2/3 vote to pass. This means there's a chance we can defeat it on the House floor.

The offending text of the legislation (which is not officially public yet) is as follows:

(a) In General- Each local educational agency shall have in effect throughout the jurisdiction of the agency policies that ensure that a search described in subsection (b) is deemed reasonable and permissible.

(b) Searches Covered- A search referred to in subsection (a) is a search by a full-time teacher or school official, acting on any reasonable suspicion based on professional experience and judgment, of any minor student on the grounds of any public school, if the search is conducted to ensure that classrooms, school buildings, school property and students remain free from the threat of all weapons, dangerous materials, or illegal narcotics. The measures used to conduct any search must be reasonably related to the search's objectives, without being excessively intrusive in light of the student's age, sex, and the nature of the offense.

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Big Brother is Shouting at You


OBM: Coming to the US Soon!!!!!

Big Brother is not only watching you - now he's barking orders too. Britain's first 'talking' CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly.

The system allows control room operators who spot any anti-social acts - from dropping litter to late-night brawls - to send out a verbal warning: 'We are watching you'.

Middlesbrough has fitted loudspeakers on seven of its 158 cameras in an experiment already being hailed as a success. Jack Bonner, who manages the system, said: 'It is one hell of a deterrent. It's one thing to know that there are CCTV cameras about, but it's quite another when they loudly point out what you have just done wrong.

'Most people are so ashamed and embarrassed at being caught they quickly slink off without further trouble.

'There was one incident when two men started fighting outside a nightclub. One of the control room operators warned them over the loudspeakers and they looked up, startled, stopped fighting and scarpered in opposite directions.

'This isn't about keeping tabs on people, it's about making the streets safer for the law-abiding majority and helping to change the attitudes of those who cause trouble. It challenges unacceptable behaviour and makes people think twice.'

The Mail on Sunday watched as a cyclist riding through a pedestrian area was ordered to stop.

'Would the young man on the bike please get off and walk as he is riding in a pedestrian area,' came the command..

The surprised youth stopped, and looked about. A look of horror spread across his face as he realised the voice was referring to him.

He dismounted and wheeled his bike through the crowded streets, as instructed.

Law-abiding shopper Karen Margery, 40, was shocked to hear the speakers spring into action as she walked past them.

Afterwards she said: 'It's quite scary to realise that your every move could be monitored - it really is like Big Brother.

'But Middlesbrough does have a big problem with anti-social behaviour, so it is very reassuring.'

The scheme has been introduced by Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon, a former police superintendent who was dubbed Robocop for pioneering the zero-tolerance approach to crime.

He believes the talking cameras will dramatically cut not just anti-social behaviour, but violent crime, too.

And if the city centre scheme proves a success, it will be extended into residential areas.

The control room operators have been given strict guidelines about what commands they can give. Yelling 'Oi you, stop that', is not permitted.

Instead, their instructions make the following suggestions: 'Warning - you are being monitored by CCTV - Warning - you are in an alcohol-free zone, please refrain from drinking'; and Warning - your behaviour is being monitored by CCTV. It is being recorded and the police are attending.'

Mr Bonner said: 'We always make the requests polite, and if the offender obeys, the operator adds 'thank you'. We think that's a nice finishing touch.

'It would appear that the offenders are the only ones who find the audio cameras intrusive. The vast majority of people welcome these cameras.

'Put it this way, we never have requests to remove them.'

But civil rights campaigners have argued that the talking cameras are no 'magic bullet', in the fight against crime.

Liberty spokesman Doug Jewell said: 'None of us likes litterbugs or yobs playing up on a Saturday night, but talking CCTV cameras are no substitute for police officers on the beat.'

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FEMA Camp with Better Quality Video

This is the one in Beech Grove but It's much sharper and larger.

I did some research on the "so called" furnaces and the white AGA Gas Inc. Cylinder.

The "so called" furnaces are exhaust fans.

AGA GAS Inc. Sells mostly asphyxiation type gases...you can verify this by doing a search via dogpile for AGA GAS Inc. and the look for web site MDS and they will list the gases.

In the video it shows a gas main, you can see there are 2 or 3 connections with regulators on top. Regulators are used to regulate pressure and gas mixtures.

It seems that this is indeed a death camp, for those on the red and blue list. It can process 26,000 people every 24hrs. The site has since been cleaned up to look inconspicuous.

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Department of Homeland Security Soon to Begin Extortion of U.S. Travelers

Registered traveler program to cost $200 per year
By Michael Hampton
Posted: September 15, 2006 9:48 am

OBM: Our tax dollars already pay the government for the security of U.S. citizens. To request us to pay more money for the freedoms we had before DHS & Bush took them away is CRIMINAL EXTORTION. PEOPLE WAKE UP!!!!!!!

The cost per person of the Terrorist Support Agency’s Registered Traveler program to pre-clear passengers and give them a “fast lane” through airport security would be $200 per year, out of the range of many business travelers.

The costs include an annual fee of $80 for the program, along with $30 for a terrorist watchlist check, $20 for a separate criminal background check, and $70 to pay for dedicated TSA screeners and screening lanes at participating airports.

Businesses wanting to get the program started, though, say the cost would deter many people from participating.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., whose committee oversees Registered Traveler, said $200 “far exceeds anything that’s ever been entertained. …You don’t know if it’s going to succeed now.”

Larry Zmuda, head of homeland security for Pennsylvania-based Unisys, which also wants to run Registered Traveler, said the heftier price tag “would be a huge blow.” It could deter millions from signing up and make Registered Traveler unprofitable at some airports, he said.

The program would operate only at airports that choose to apply and are approved by TSA. About 20 have applied so far.

The TSA says it wants to avoid spending taxpayer dollars on Registered Traveler. “It’s a private-sector program, and it’s designed to have Registered Traveler customers pay for use of the lane,” [TSA spokeswoman Ellen] Howe said. — USA TODAY

It’s fine to have the program paid for by the people using it, rather than the taxpayers, but homeland security analyst Christian Beckner says that $70 is much more than the actual costs of airport screening. “Travelers already pay for part of the cost of TSA screeners via the existing aviation security fees,” Beckner wrote. “For this $70 portion of the total cost, I think a more nuanced analysis of cost allocations is in order.”

Some security experts don’t like the registered traveler program because it would be too tempting for terrorists to attempt to register in an effort to subvert airport security, and invariably, some would pass the background screening and be approved for the program. “The Trusted Traveler program is based on the dangerous myth that terrorists match a particular profile and that we can somehow pick terrorists out of a crowd if we only can identify everyone,” said Bruce Schneier. “That’s simply not true.”

Last year I pointed out that terrorists, even if not approved for the program, could register just to find out if they were on government watchlists.

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Officer allegedly draws weapon on 7-year-old girl for an Insurance Violation

Hear Pamela Lawton tell the story of how a Pittsburgh Police officer pulled a gun on her and a car full of children during a traffic stop. (Click on shows, then scroll down to: "Childs Life threatened by Police" and click on photo to watch.) Click on shows, then scroll down to: "Childs Life threatened by Police" and click on photo to watch.)

New Pittsburgh Courier Online

What was supposed to be a typical drive through a peaceful Shadyside neighborhood, turned into a standoff with a police officer threatening the life of a 7-year old girl, according one local mother.

OBM: I'm not even going to say what I would do if this happened to my wife & kids. It would be incriminating.

Pamela Lawton of the Hill District said on Aug. 26, she was on her way to Homewood for a Pee Wee League football game with her two daughters, 7-year old Joshalyn, 8-year old Jasmine, and two other children ages 2 and 3. She said she was driving her green, 1998 Ford Windstar and was approaching the intersection at Kentucky Street and Negley Avenue when a Pittsburgh Police cruiser signaled for her to pull over.

“He was flying up behind me and I stopped immediately because I wanted to stay in view,” said Lawton. “I felt like there was something wrong—why would he fly up behind me like that? Plus, I had my kids in the car so it kind of scared me.”

What Lawton said happened next was beyond anything her initial fears predicted.

“I said, ‘What’s the problem, officer?’ and he said ‘Get your hands up,’” wrote Lawton in a prepared statement. “He repeated, pulled out his gun and pointed into the passenger side of the window where my youngest daughter was trying to get her seatbelt off. So, I put my hands up.”

According to Lawton, she and her children spent the next 20 to 30 minutes trying to convince Officer Eric Tatusko to put his weapon down or to at least go to the driver’s side to address the problem with the only adult in the car.

“The children were in the car screaming and crying,” she wrote. “My hands were still in the air and I was screaming ‘Help, someone help!’ over and over again.”

Florence Williams, a resident at the Kitley House Senior Center on Kentucky Street, said she didn’t see everything that happened that morning, but she knows she heard the cries for help.

“I happened to hear somebody screaming and I came to my porch,” Williams said. “I don’t know what the cop was doing because he was on the other side, but she had her arms out the door and she was hollering ‘Please, somebody help me.’”

During this time, Lawton says Tatusko refused to take her identification, never told her why she was stopped and never left the passenger side of the vehicle. She said at one point the officer got so angry he cocked his gun and said if Joshalyn moved again he would “blow her brains out.”

“He clicked the thing back and then he turned off his radio,” said Jasmine. “I was like ‘He’s going to kill us.’”

“Me and the babies were crying and (Jasmine) jumped over me for my life, and I thank my sister for doing that,” said Joshalyn.

A witness at the scene said Tatusko kept his gun drawn at the passenger side window until more officers came to the scene and told him to drop the weapon.

“When I turned the corner, there were 10 police cars and (Lawton) was in the middle,” said Rick Hill, an employee of Shadyside Nursing Rehab on Kentucky Avenue. “I heard her hollering for help and she had her hands out the window and everything. The cop already had his gun, not on her, but on the other side. When I looked in there she had kids. One cop said ‘If the kids move again, we will shoot.’”

Hill, who left a frantic voice message on Lawton’s sister’s phone during the standoff, said that once more officers arrived, they searched the vehicle for a weapon and found nothing. He also said Tatusko, who was not available for comment, was told to get into another vehicle and leave the scene.

Since that day, Lawton says she has struggled to come to terms with what happened to her family. The Shuman Center employee and former nurse, who changed careers to become part of the law enforcement community, said she doesn’t understand why she was treated as she was before, during and after the standoff. From the time she was pulled over to when she said police Lt. Cindy Windsor told her to shut up or ‘You’re going to jail and your kids are going to CYF,’ Lawton believes she and her children were treated worse than most criminals.

Lt. Windsor declined to comment other than to say that she was off of work that day. Tammy Ewin, spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Police, also declined to comment because of the case’s status with the CPRB.

As it was, Lawton ended up being cited for an insurance violation. She was fined and her car was towed, but according to her, the ultimate cost has already been paid with her daughters’ security and peace of mind.

“Your inspection can be wrong, your license can be wrong, there’s no reason for (police) to come to the passenger side and pull a gun out and aim it through the window of a 7-year old,” she said.

“I can’t even sleep at night, I just think about it every day,” said Joshalyn. “They got it deep in my mind. “He was talking to me the whole time.”

Hear Pamela Lawton tell the story of how a Pittsburgh Police officer pulled a gun on her and a car full of children during a traffic stop. (Click on shows, then scroll down to: "Childs Life threatened by Police" and click on photo to watch.) Click on shows, then scroll down to: "Childs Life threatened by Police" and click on photo to watch.)

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