The Fixx in the house
But I have Tears For Fears for our nation
Labels: presidential election
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Labels: presidential election
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Police Arrest Anti-War Protester, 80, At MallGee, would that be this John McEntee!? Well there's a lawyer who never met a corporation he didn't suck hind tit on!
An 80-year-old church deacon was removed from the Smith Haven Mall yesterday in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War.
Police said that Don Zirkel, of Bethpage, was disturbing shoppers at the Lake Grove mall with his T-shirt, which had what they described as “graphic anti-war images.”
Zirkel was charged with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. He was released on bail. A spokeswoman for mall owner Simon Property Group did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Generally speaking, a mall has the right to control what happens on its property, said John McEntee, a Uniondale commercial litigation lawyer.
Homeland Security office filled with fecesMooing on, Cookie Jill over at Skippy's place catches another example of the taint that is Bushco:
ST. PAUL, Minn., March 19 (UPI) -- Someone with an urge to purge took it out on the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management office in downtown St. Paul, police said.
An unknown man defecated in several rooms Friday afternoon and left on foot before an officer arrived, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday.
USDA might limit meat recall informationI have a quick correction for the AP, they weren't 'crippled cows', they were 'downer cows.' And I have a question for the USDA, did your scientists decide it wasn't a 'serious health risk' or did your politicians decide?
Under pressure from the food industry, the Agriculture Department is considering a proposal not to identify retailers where tainted meat went for sale except in cases of serious health risk, The Associated Press has learned.
The plan is being considered as the USDA puts the final touches on a proposed disclosure rule. It had lingered in draft form for two years until getting pushed to the forefront in February, when 143 million pounds of beef were recalled by Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, Calif., after undercover video by an animal-rights activist showed workers abusing crippled cows.
Obama supporters also understand that voting should never be about picking the lesser of two evils or about making a strategic choice. If you don't agree with everything your candidate says, believe he or she can do no wrong and think that the other candidate is evil and that everyone who supports him or her is a traitor, then you really have no business voting at all.We agree to a point, but we would add that no one but us, actually me, should get to vote.
Mukasey Vows Corruption CrackdownReally!?
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Attorney General Michael Mukasey vowed anew Thursday to crack down on crooked politicians and public officials, dismissing critics who accuse the Justice Department of letting partisan loyalties interfere with corruption cases.
Feinstein questions elimination of public corruption unit in L.A.Mukasey's response?
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called on Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey to explain the recent disbanding of a high-profile unit in the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles that specialized in prosecuting public corruption cases.
In a letter to the attorney general, Feinstein said she read about the shake-up in news accounts.
The articles described how U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O'Brien decided to eliminate the public corruption and environmental crimes section and transfer its 17 prosecutors to other units in the office.
During his speech, Mukasey pointedly spoke of charges brought against two former Republican congressmen: Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California and Bob Ney of Ohio.Uhh, OK, but they were before Mukasey was in charge.
Jailed Ex-Governor Sought for TestimonyAnd now for some good news
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee asked the Justice Department on Thursday to allow imprisoned former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman to testify before Congress about possible political influence over his prosecution.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey indicated that he would not support the request for a temporary release
Ex-Ala. Governor to Be Freed on Bond
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal appeals court approved the release of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on bond Thursday while he appeals his convictions in a corruption case.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the former governor had raised "substantial questions of fact and law" in challenging his conviction.
Yesterday, on behalf of a large number of progressive bloggers and activists, Jane went to the FEC and filed an official complaint against John McCain's alleged campaign finance violations. We've been asking a lot of questions about this, and the answers have been less than forthcoming. So, instead of just sitting here and stewing about yet another GOP ethical problem, we decided to put our action where our concerns were.
As you'll see from the video, Jane handed over the official complaint to the FEC yesterday to get the process going:“John McCain is a campaign finance criminal who is flouting the very regulations he championed,” Jane Hamsher commented while delivering the complaint. “He believes the law is for someone else, not him. It's the height of hypocrisy.”
As Markos of DailyKos pointed out in joining the complaint, “John McCain has officially blown past campaign spending limits mandated by his original acceptance of public campaign funding. While he has signaled his intent to withdraw from such financing, that has been hindered by the fact that he used the promise of public funding to secure a campaign loan.” Guess the campaign finance laws only apply when they aren't inconvenient for McCain's ambitions.
As you likely know, the FEC is stymied at the moment due to the Bush Administration trying to shove Hans Von Spakovsky and all of his "caging" and other alleged nefarious campaign activities onto the election commission as a GOP dirty tricks ringer. Because the Democratic-led Congress said "no way" to Hans being voted through in a bloc vote, the Administration and their pal, Mitch McConnell, have balked at any FEC commissioner vote in the Senate. Which means that in this very important 2008 election cycle, the FEC is unable to act promptly to enforce the campaign finance laws.
Even so, FEC Chairman David Mason sent McCain's campaign a strongly worded letter (PDF), letting them know that even though McCain didn't consider his word on accepting public financing binding, that the FEC was not about to let him off the legal hook. What did McCain do? He ignored the letter, secured a loan based on representations of obtaining public financing and then blew past the public financing law spending limits...and he's still raising campaign cash, too.
That about covers it. Here's the link to the petition. Add your name, be counted. Let's stop this trigger-happy hypocrite.
Bill Moyers talks to Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro about the making of Body of War.
AMY GOODMAN: Maybe we have a clip. Maybe we have a clip of what Dick Cheney had to say. Let’s give it a try. I think this is from our headlines today. This is the Vice President, Dick Cheney.
VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: The President carries the biggest burden, obviously. He’s the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, an all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm’s way for the rest of us.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Dick Cheney. Tomas Young, was that the quote you would like to address?
TOMAS YOUNG: Absolutely. From one of those soldiers who volunteered to go to Afghanistan after September 11th, which was where the evidence said we needed to go, to the master of the college deferment in Vietnam, the last conflict we didn’t go into voluntarily, many of us volunteered with patriotic feelings in our heart, only to see them subverted and bastardized by the administration and sent into the wrong country. Yes, we volunteered, but we didn’t volunteer where you sent us to go. And I realize that we don’t choose where we get to go, but we at least should be sent in the right places to defend the Constitution, just as we volunteered to do. That’s all.
The name comes from a quote from Thomas Paine, the revolutionary who rallied George Washington’s troops at Valley Forge, saying: “These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."The movie: Leading to War, How did the US government lead its people to war?
Paine was trying to keep Washington’s army from deserting in the face of a bitter winter and mounting defeats at the hands of the British. Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War say the same type of courage is needed to confront the evils unleashed by the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The problem that we face in Iraq is that policymakers in leadership have set a precedent of lawlessness where we don't abide by the rule of law, we don't respect international treaties, argued former U.S. Army Sergeant Logan Laituri, who served a tour in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 before being discharged as a conscientious objector. “So when that atmosphere exists it lends itself to criminal activity."
Joan McDonald believes her son was a casualty of the war in Iraq, but the Army says that while he did suffer a severe head wound in a bomb blast, the cause of his death is undetermined, keeping him off the casualty list.5 years. 4,000+ American deaths. 30,000+ American casualties. 100,000+ Iraqi deaths.
$40,000 for Man Tasered on YouTubeBut wait, there's more!
About two months went by after Jared Massey was tasered by a highway cop in Utah before he turned to YouTube.
Like other YouTube tasings, waves of outrage over excessive force followed — fire the cop, ban Tasers — and the police started an investigation a week and a half later. But the initial results were discouraging for the critics: The cop was cleared of wrongdoing; Mr. Massey paid the speeding ticket that he protested before being shocked twice.
The deal was announced a week after a Utah prosecutor ruled the Mr. Massey did not commit any crimes in the traffic stop, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. His civil case focused on the fact proven in the video — that the officer did not seek to arrest him before drawing and firing the Taser.
The man who videotaped a St. George police officer's tirade against him last year, and put it online labeled "Cop Gone Wild," filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday over the incident.Nothing pisses off a cop more than standing up for your rights, just make sure you get it on tape.
The confrontation happened about 2 a.m. Sept. 7 in a commuter parking lot in
south St. Louis County at Spokane and Reavis Barracks roads. Darrow, who runs
his own painting business by day and attends community college at night, told a
reporter last fall that he was there to meet a friend.
He also said that he installed a video camera in his Nissan Maxima after
previous run-ins with police.
But [police Sgt. James Kuehnlein], who has since been fired, approached his car and began questioning him.
Darrow responded with queries of his own about the justification for the stop.
He also asserted his Fourth Amendment rights to privacy.
Kuehnlein had Darrow step out of the car, pinned him against
Darrow's car, then got in Darrow's face and shouted, "You wanna try me tonight?
You think you've had a bad night? I will ruin your (expletive) night."
Darrow said no. Kuehnlein then suggests he could make up reasons to detain or arrest Darrow, the suit says. "Do you want to go to jail for some (expletive) reason I come up with?"
Darrow was released after about 18 minutes, the suit says, and never arrested.
Although Kuehnlein also claimed to be taping the encounter with his dash-mounted video camera, the tape has since been lost or destroyed.
Rights of Protesters Violated, Judge RulesSee you can stand up for your rights, all it takes is lots of money and lots of time. Oh, and get it on tape.
The Bush administration violated the public’s right to free speech by keeping protesters far removed from the 2005 inaugural parade, a judge ruled yesterday.
U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman found that the National Park Service violated its own regulations by giving the inauguration’s private organizers preferential treatment and extraordinary control over access to Pennsylvania Avenue. The Presidential Inaugural Committee roped off most of the parade route and allowed only those with tickets inside: largely a crowd of Bush administration donors, supporters and friends coming to celebrate the start of President Bush’s second term.
Protesters were limited to small, specific areas, leading to a lawsuit by antiwar activists.
“The inauguration is not a private event,” Friedman said in his ruling. “The National Park Service, on behalf of the PIC, cannot reserve all of Pennsylvania Avenue for itself, leaving only the Ellipse and the northern part of John Marshall Park to protesters.”
Friedman said the Park Service allowed the Presidential Inaugural Committee to apply almost a year ahead of anyone else for a permit, contrary to its usual regulations. It then granted the committee exclusive use of nearly all of the parade route from the Capitol to the White House and allowed the group to use the area for five months before Inauguration Day, instead of the typical three weeks.
In 1998, as Senior Director for Africa in President Clinton's National Security Council, I helped orchestrate six phone calls, some late at night, directly from President Clinton, three each to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles, and Eritrean President Afwerki, to stop the air war between the two countries. Two of Barack Obama's senior advisers, Tony Lake and Susan Rice, were also involved in that effort, and could attest to the importance of presidential involvement if they would choose not to remain silent as a ploy to protect their candidate's slender credentials.
. . . In former Yugoslavia, President Clinton played a similar role, reaching out to friends and allies, to adversaries and belligerents, in order to reach agreements that permitted the deployment of an international peacekeeping force.
. . . Contrast the above examples with the last seven plus years of George W. Bush and the conclusion is inescapable: presidential leadership is critical and should be tempered with experience and capability.
Senator Obama is clearly a gifted politician and orator. I disagree profoundly with his transparently political efforts to turn George Bush's war into Hillary Clinton's responsibility. I was present in that debate, in Washington, from beginning to end, and Obama was nowhere to be seen. His current campaign aides in foreign policy, Tony Lake and Susan Rice, were also in Washington, but they chose to remain silent during that debate, when it mattered.
Claims of superior intuitive judgment by his campaign and by him are self-evidently disingenuous, especially in light of disclosures about his long associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko. But his assertions of advanced judgment are also ludicrous when the question of what Obama has accomplished in his four years in the Senate is considered.
Hillary Rodham Clinton was allowed to order 10 cattle futures contracts, normally a $12,000 investment, in her first commodity trade in 1978 although she had only $1,000 in her account at the time, according to trade records the White House released yesterday.
The computerized records of her trades, which the White House obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, show for the first time how she was able to turn her initial investment into $6,300 overnight. In about 10 months of trading, she made nearly $100,000, relying heavily on advice from her friend James B. Blair, an experienced futures trader.
. . . A close examination of her individual trades underscores Blair's pivotal role. It also shows that Robert L. "Red" Bone, who ran the Springdale, Ark., office of Ray E. Friedman and Co. (Refco), allowed Clinton to initiate and maintain many trading positions – besides the first – when she did not have enough money in her account to cover them.
Obama has stated that he will rely upon his advisers. But how will he know which ones to depend upon and how will he be able to evaluate what they say?
Two of Barack Obama's senior advisers, Tony Lake and Susan Rice, were also involved in that effort, and could attest to the importance of presidential involvement if they would choose not to remain silent as a ploy to protect their candidate's slender credentials.
Which of his shifting coterie of volatile advisers would he turn to? Will it be the one who repudiated his withdrawal plan, exposing his real intention, prior to being forced to resign? Or will it be those advisers who remained silent until politically convenient -- several years and several thousand lives after the shock and awe invasion, conquest and disastrous occupation of Iraq?
A war of utter folly'nuff said.
Responsibility for this spectacular tragedy must lie with those who ignored the facts five years ago
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a tragedy - for Iraq, for the US, for the UN, for truth and human dignity.
The elimination of weapons of mass destruction was the declared main aim of the war. It is improbable that the governments of the alliance could have sold the war to their parliaments on any other grounds. [...]
Responsibility for the war must rest, though, on what those launching it knew by March 2003.
By then, Unmovic inspectors had carried out some 700 inspections at 500 sites without finding prohibited weapons. The contract that George Bush held up before Congress to show that Iraq was purchasing uranium oxide was proved to be a forgery.
They could not succeed in eliminating WMDs because they did not exist. Nor could they succeed in the declared aim to eliminate al-Qaida operators, because they were not in Iraq. They came later, attracted by the occupants. A third declared aim was to bring democracy to Iraq, hopefully becoming an example for the region. Let us hope for the future; but five years of occupation has clearly brought more anarchy than democracy.
In 1945 the US helped to write into the UN charter a prohibition of the use of armed force against states. Exceptions were made only for self-defence against armed attacks and for armed force authorised by the security council. In 2003, Iraq was not a real or imminent threat to anybody.
Washington and Moscow must begin nuclear disarmament. So long as these nuclear states maintain that these weapons are indispensable to their security, it is not surprising that others may think they are useful. What, really, is the alternative: invasion and occupation, as in Iraq?
World's best-known protest symbol turns 50
It started life as the emblem of the British anti-nuclear movement but it has become an international sign for peace, and arguably the most widely used protest symbol in the world. It has also been adapted, attacked and commercialised.
It had its first public outing 50 years ago on a chilly Good Friday as thousands of British anti-nuclear campaigners set off from London's Trafalgar Square on a 50-mile march to the weapons factory at Aldermaston.
The demonstration had been organised by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) joined in.
Gerald Holtom, a designer and former World War II conscientious objector from West London, persuaded DAC that their aims would have greater impact if they were conveyed in a visual image. The "Ban the Bomb" symbol was born.
He considered using a Christian cross motif but, instead, settled on using letters from the semaphore - or flag-signalling - alphabet, super-imposing N (uclear) on D (isarmament) and placing them within a circle symbolising Earth.
The sign was quickly adopted by CND.
Holtom later explained that the design was "to mean a human being in despair" with arms outstretched downwards.
California Officer On Leave After Shooting Mom, SonThe mother and child had to be MediVaced by chopper. The shooter gets a paid vacation, (sorry if my LEO friends disagree, but when my employer pays me while I'm taking time off, that's a vacation.)
Oceanside police are investigating what sparked an apparent road rage incident in a busy parking lot that ended with a woman and her son being shot by an off-duty San Diego police officer.
Police have not said who they think was the aggressor in the incident, but they believe it started after one of the parties committed some sort of right-of-way violation in front of the parking lot. When it was over, the officer had fired two bullets through the windshield of a Honda. Inside were a woman and a child.
"We understand that there were several rounds fired from the off-duty police officer and that the occupants of the car, an adult female and a male juvenile, were injured as a result of the gunfire," said Sgt. Kelan Poorman of the Oceanside Police Department.
Both were flown to Sharp Memorial Hospital and Children's Hospital.
"Right now, we've got statement from the son at this time.
The woman and child remained hospitalized Monday, but authorities said their injuries were not life threatening.Well, golly, thanks to these unnamed 'authorities' for giving us their medical opinion!
[Oceanside police Sgt. Kelan Poorman] said he did not know whether White [...] White acted in self-defense.Yeah, that it, that's the ticket, it was self-defense ... against an unarmed Mom and her 8 year old.
"I think that's probably why the shots were fired, but I'd be speculating," Poorman said.
Police: Woman in Oceanside shooting refusing to talkSo they don't have the authority to make her submit, but they can interrogate her son!? And if they didn't want to "try this in the court of public opinion" why are they releasing statements saying the cop fired in self-defense and the woman refuses to talk?
A woman shot Saturday by an off-duty San Diego police officer during an alleged road rage incident has refused to speak with investigators, police said Tuesday.
Poorman said investigators don't have the authority to make the woman submit to an interview. [...]
Three days after the incident, investigators have yet to release key details about how the traffic dispute escalated into gunfire.
"They (investigators) don't want to try this in the court of public opinion," Poorman said.
The BBC has released a remarkable film about the killing of three international peace activists by the Israeli army in the occupied Gaza Strip. Documentary evidence provided in the film strongly suggests that the American Rachel Corrie - and two British activists - were murdered.
Barak Hussein Obama
1) He LIES about his relationship to Rev. Jeremiah " God Damn America" Wright. . Who even though he knew how radical this guy was kept him on the campaign for an additional year. Of course in 20 years he never heard of his invective. He never heard but kind words form his favorite "uncle".
2) He LIES about his deal to buy his house with Tony Rezko. He says he only worked 5 hours for the man but amazingly REZKO while defaulting on $10 million in other debts, conspired to buy half of the land Obama's house is on at 100% of asking price, so Obama can get his piece at 65%.
He LIES when he says he hardly knew this man who gave $250,000 to his campaign not the $100,00 he first LIED about.
3) He LIES about his sexual relationship with Larry Sinclair and the attendant drug use.
4)He LIES about NAFTA telling OHIO voters he'll re-negotiate the treaty while telling the Canadian Government not to worry, he'll do no such thing.
5) He LIES about the war saying he has always opposed it while voting for funds to fight it.
6) He LIES about his intentions about bringing the troops home. He says he will. He says he'll send them back into Iraq. He says he'll do whatever the #%*& he wants when he is commander in chief.
7) He LIES about bringing Democrats together while running a formidable and vicious attack on Hillary.
8) He LIES about health care saying his plan does not MANDATE the collection of premiums from hard working Americans as Hillary's would, when if fact his plan would MANDATE everyone buy the coverage for their kids....and he would collect the premiums in the same MANDATED fashion.
9) He has his staff say on national television that the infamous photo of him in Arab/Muslim attire was taken when he was on a diplomatic mission. WHO sent this idiot on a diplomatic mission: NO One.
So the truth is HE LIES why he was in Africa or he LIES about conducting foreign policy for the United States while unauthorized: also a crime.
10) He has LIED his way to position in this election where he might actually win. Not to worry, if that sad event happens the media and McCain will call this guy out so forcefully he won't know what hit him.
Labels: presidential election
NYTimes: Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who gained national prominence relentlessly pursuing Wall Street wrongdoing, has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a law enforcement official and a person briefed on the investigation.
ABC News: Sen. Barack Obama's pastor says blacks should not sing "God Bless America" but "God damn America."
The Justice Department has yet to give a full account of why they were looking into Spitzer’s payments, and indeed the suggestion in the ABC account is that it didn’t have anything to do with a prostitution ring. The suggestion that this was driven by an IRS inquiry and involved a bank might heighten, rather than allay, concerns of a politically motivated prosecution.Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast has a lot to say about the manufactured and marketed outrage over Obama's pastor's remarks:
All of these facts are consistent with a process which is not the investigation of a crime, but rather an attempt to target and build a case against an individual.
Frankly, while I find Rev. Wright's words and tone to be unnecessarily inflammatory, I also find that I don't have a lot of argument with anything he said.
We live in a culture that has been defined by victimology ever since the 9/11 attacks. We like to think we are a strong people, but look at how Americans have behaved over the last six-plus years. Yes, this country endured a terrible attack. Thousands lost their lives on September 11, 2001. But it is not "hating America" to say that we have to look at our policies and the leaders we have supported, often under the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" doctrine, to LEARN from what happened and avoid similar situations in the future.
There's no getting around the fact that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were directly spawned by American policy -- in this case, arming the Afghan Mujahadeen against the Soviets during the latter's invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1980's. There's also no getting around the fact that the American policy of "Israel By Definition Can Do No Wrong" has contributed to the mess we now find in the Middle East.
Ohio's revised election code includes an election falsification clause (Revised Code 3513.20), which says that if a voter who changes parties is challenged by poll workers as to the sincerity of his change of heart and also signs an affidavit stating that he supports the principles of the party to which he's changing -- when in fact he doesn't support them -- then he would be committing election falsification. Election falsification is a felony that is punishable by six to twelve months in jail and a $2,500 fine.Of course they'll never be prosecuted because IOKIYAR!
It's clear that cross-over voting occurred in large numbers in Ohio this year. The Ohio secretary of state's office doesn't have statistics yet on how many voters crossed parties in the primary (it's still compiling them), but the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that in Cuyahoga County alone, the state's largest county, at least 16,000 Republicans switched parties for the primary.
McCain says al Qaeda might try to tip U.S. electionIf there's anything AQ wants it's 4 more years of Bushco and 'stay the course' rhetoric. It's proven to be the best thing that ever happened to AQ and their stated goal of disrupting the American economy.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Friday he fears that al Qaeda or another extremist group might attempt spectacular attacks in Iraq to try to tilt the U.S. election against him.
National Security and Homeland Security Presidential DirectiveDid you get the "Such an emergency is construed as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions" part? The 'emergency' doesn't have to take place in the US, tho it might.
The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (National Security Presidential Directive NSPD-51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-20, sometimes called simply "Executive Directive 51" for short), signed by United States President George W. Bush on May 4, 2007, is a Presidential Directive which specifies the procedures for continuity of the federal government in the event of a "catastrophic emergency." Such an emergency is construed as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."
The directive specifies that, following such an emergency, an "Enduring Constitutional Government," comprising "a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government," coordinated by the President of the United States, will take the place of the nation's regular government, presumably without the oversight of Congress. Conservative activist Jerome Corsi and Marjorie Cohn of the National Lawyers Guild have interpreted this as a break from Constitutional law in that the three branches of government are equal, with no single branch coordinating the others.
The signing of this Directive was generally not covered by the mainstream U.S. media or discussed by the U.S. Congress. [...]It is unclear how the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive will reconcile with the National Emergencies Act, a U.S. federal law passed in 1976, which gives Congress oversight over presidential emergency powers during such emergencies.
After receiving concerned communications from constituents, in July 2007 U.S. Representative and Homeland Security Committee member Peter DeFazio made an official request to examine the classified Continuity Annexes described above in a secure "bubbleroom" in the United States Capitol, but his request was denied by the White House, which cited "national security concerns." This was the first time DeFazio has been denied access to documents.
How are our bee friends doing as spring comes on in a hurry?
Beekeepers have warned that most of the country's honey bees could be wiped out by disease in 10 years unless an urgent research programme is launched to find new treatments and drugs. They are to launch a nationwide campaign, including protests, to force the government to fund the £8m research project which they say is needed to save the nation's bees.
Ministers say they have no budget for such a programme, a claim rejected by keepers, who are to lobby MPs, gather at the House of Commons for a protest meeting and begin a letter campaign to raise support for research funds.
'Beekeeping is still reeling from the varroa mite, which carries a number of viruses and which devastated thousands of hives across the country when it reached Britain 10 years ago,' said Tim Lovett, president of the British Beekeeping Association. 'Now there is a real danger that colony collapse disease - which has wiped out 80 per cent of bees in parts of the US - will appear in this country. Unless we develop effective protection, there could then be massive losses of bees across the country.'
In the United States, the honey bee problem and its ramifications have not even been discussed in any 2008 Presidential election event. All the presidential candidates promise the usual increasing bounty of new government spending oblivious to the fact that the disappearing honey bee crisis, if unresolved, may create huge food price inflation and food scarcity during their second presidential term in office.In the Corporation of Haagen-Dazs:
In the First National Beekeepers Conference in January 2008 in Sacramento, California, beekeepers complained about the lack of government action as they confront financial catastrophe. In general, United States honey bee inspection remains critically under funded, understaffed, and under appreciated.
While there still is no solution to the problem of colony collapse disorder, ongoing research into the problem is focused on three main theories - pesticides (herbicides, fungicides), mono-nutrition, and viruses. There may be just one cause of CCD or it could be a combination of several problems. The truth is that we are not near a solution to the problem of disappearing bees from their hives since a cause has yet to be clearly identified and time may be running out.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Haagen-Dazs is warning that a creature as small as a honeybee could become a big problem for the premium ice cream maker's business.Um ... guys?
At issue are the disappearing bee colonies in the United States, a situation that continues to mystify scientists and frighten foodmakers.
That's because, according to Haagen-Dazs, one-third of the U.S. food supply - including a variety of fruits, vegetables and even nuts - depends on pollination from bees.
Karl Rove just added another Democratic scalp to his collection: Eliot Spitzer's.
Spitzer has not been charged with any crime. He was railroaded by the Corporate Media, led by Rupert Murdoch's NYPost and FOX News, with Karl Rove's "loyal Bushies" leaking furiously from Bush's InJustice Department.
So what's the standard here? If hiring prostitutes is a disqualification for office, then David Vitter must resign today too. In fact, a good chunk of the men in politics must also resign (and possibly a few women as well). And a bunch of reporters and editors must quit as well. And pundits too - yes I'm talking 'bout you, Dick Toesucker Morris.
If adultery is the standard, then Larry Craig must resign today, along with half the men in politics and the media.
Note that this prosecution was managed with staffers from the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice. This section is now at the center of a major scandal concerning politically directed prosecutions. During the Bush Administration, his Justice Department has opened 5.6 cases against Democrats for every one involving a Republican. Beyond this, a number of the cases seem to have been tied closely to election cycles. Indeed, a study of the cases out of Alabama shows clearly that even cases opened against Republicans are in fact only part of a broader pattern of going after Democrats. So here are the rather amazing facts that surface in the Spitzer case:
(1) The prosecutors handling the case came from the Public Integrity Section.
(2) The prosecution is opened under the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910. You read that correctly. The statute itself is highly disreputable, and most of the high-profile cases brought under it were politically motivated and grossly abusive. Here are a few:
Amory Lovins was worried (and writing) about energy long before global warming was making the front -- or even back -- page of newspapers. Since studying at Harvard and Oxford in the 1960s, he's written dozens of books, and initiated ambitious projects -- cofounding the influential, environment-focused Rocky Mountain Institute; prototyping the ultra-efficient Hypercar -- to focus the world's attention on alternative approaches to energy and transportation.
His critical thinking has driven people around the globe -- from world leaders to the average Joe -- to think differently about energy and its role in some of our biggest problems: climate change, oil dependency, national security, economic health, and depletion of natural resources.
Lovins offers solutions as well. His book and site Winning the Oil Endgame shows how all US oil use can be eliminated by 2040. Lovins has always focused on solutions that conserve natural resources while also promoting economic growth; Texas Instruments and Wal-Mart are just two of the mega-corporations he has advised on improving energy efficiency.
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - The U.S. military said Tuesday that it will allow detainees to make regular phone calls to their families from Guantanamo Bay prison, where many have been confined in extreme isolation for as long as six years.crossposted at Rants from the Rookery
The new policy by the Defense Department, which previously said security concerns prevented such calls, is part of a strategy to ease conditions for frustrated prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, said the telephone policy reflects a commitment to maintaining the health and well-being of Guantanamo detainees. No start date has been set for the program.
Inmates' contact with the outside world generally has been limited to mail delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and meetings with their lawyers. The military has allowed a small number of detainees to speak with their families, but typically only on "humanitarian" grounds such as following a death in the family.
Detainees' attorneys welcomed the phone calls but said reconnecting with family could make life more painful for those at Guantanamo, where the U.S. military holds about 275 men on suspicion of links to terrorism, al-Qaida or the Taliban.
Marc Falkoff, a Northern Illinois University law professor who represents 17 detainees, said one of his Yemeni clients has a 6-year-old daughter with whom he has never spoken.
Spain drops extradition attempt against Guantánamo torture pairAnd Bush says he doesn't torture.
Spain yesterday dropped its attempt to extradite two British residents who had been freed from Guantánamo Bay, after accepting that torture they suffered during five years of American custody had left them too weak to stand trial.
The Madrid judge who issued the warrant, Baltasar Garzon, accepted British medical reports which found the men were suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other serious medical conditions.
Banna is said to be severely depressed, suffering from PTSD, and to have diabetes, hypertension and back pain, as well as damage to the back of his left knee. Deghayes is also suffering from PTSD, and depression, is blind in his right eye, and has fractures in his nasal bone and his right index finger. Both men are said to be at high risk of suicide.
The Home Office refused to guarantee to let the pair stay with their families in Britain and said: "Their immigration status is under review."I guess that's not surprising since they don't mind sending political refugees back to their home countries to a fate worse than, but including, death.
Deghayes and Banna arrived back in Britain with a third British resident, Abdennour Samuer. Banna, from north-west London, was arrested in the Gambia in 2002 after he did not accept an MI5 request to become an informant.
Blackwater Worldwide officials have announced they are pulling their application to build a training center on an 824-acre site in the East County community of Potrero.That's wonderful, but now we don't know where they are going to pop up next and what kind of plans they'll have while they have White House protection. Border patrol with a shoot-to-kill mandate? Detention Centers for citizens as well as illegal immigrants where no lawyers ever set foot? Training and infiltrating local police with training for martial law?
The North Carolina-based company dropped off a letter to the county planning department today notifying officials of their decision not to pursue plans for the project on a former chicken and cattle ranch.
“Although our project would have brought a great benefit to San Diego County, – providing local, state, and federal law enforcement with access to low-cost superior training facilities while bringing much-needed jobs to the area – the proposed site does not meet our business objectives at this time,” states the letter from Blackwater vice president Brian Bonfiglio.
Bonfiglio said noise tests the company conducted at the site did not meet county standards, and the cost of reducing the noise was too expensive. He said Blackwater had spent well over $1 million in its effort to get government approval for the site.
Bonfiglio said opposition to the project played no role in the company's decision to withdraw the project.
Opponents of the project were stunned and pleased to hear the news.
Ezra Klein offers an analogy about mandates:First, Obama aside, mandates matter because, sometimes, folks have to be protected from their worst instincts. That's why we force everyone to pay into fire departments through taxes. Otherwise, some folks would opt out under the theory that they don't do much cooking, and we don't want their houses to burn down.
But this is not true. We force everyone to pay into fire departments because fires have very bad negative externalities: if your house catches on fire, unless you live on a rural farm, there's a good chance that your neighbor's house will burn down too. Fire prevention is a genuine public good; most health care, with the exception of things meant to stop the spread of infectious disease, simply isn't.