one nation, under surveillance
number 116    
08.19.07
interpreting the constitution

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one nation, under surveillance

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CRS report : Constitutional
Limits on Punitive Damages
Awards : An Analysis of the
Supreme Court Case Philip
Morris USA v. Williams

US Department of Agriculture
:
Agricultural Land Values and
Cash Rents 2007 Summary

Samuel Daniel : Delia.
Contayning certayne Sonnets:
vvith the
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The Cornfield,  1918, John
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Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
verbatim                                                                      number 22.6
"The short-term objective of
this country is to find an
enemy and bring them to
justice before they
strike us...
...The long-term objective is to make this
world a more free and hopeful and
peaceful place. I believe we'll succeed
because freedom is the Almighty God's
gift to every man and woman in this
world."                                               
Portsmouth OH 09.10.04
Scientific literacy : mean value
of performance scale 15 years
old
400       450        500          550
us
italy
sweden
japan
canada
A pastor from Arkansas has called
out a holy hit on the leader of a
political interest group calling on God
to “Let his children be fatherless, and
his wife a widow.”  

Rev. Wiley S. Drake told the
congregants of the First Southern
Baptist Church of Buena Park to pray
for the death of Rev. Barry Lynn, the
head of Americans United for the
Separation of Church and State,
because Lynn and his organization
have called for an investigation by
the Internal Revenue Service into
Drake’s use of the pulpit to stump for
political candidates.  Americans
United contacted the IRS after Drake
endorsed Mike Huckabee, a former
governor of Arkansas, in his bid to
become the republican nominee for
president calling for the removal of
Drake’s church’s tax-exempt status.  
Drake endorsed Huckabee on church
stationary in a mailing to congregants
and during a religious radio
broadcast.  Drake formerly was the
vice-president of the nationwide
religious group called the Southern
Baptist Convention and recently said
that he intends to run for the
presidency of that organization.  

Lynn said that although Drake can
voice his political beliefs as a pastor,
he and his church are prohibited
from endorsing a specific candidate
under US tax laws.  Americans
United, a nonpartisan group based in
Washington DC, has filed 60 such
complaints with the IRS over the past
ten years.  Drake admitted that he
had made the endorsement and
called on the listeners of his radio
broadcast to pray that God
“persecute” Lynn and ask God to let
his “children be continually
vagabonds and beg.”       
it's all true
The three upper Great Lakes
are losing water at
unprecedented levels and the
lake’s temperatures have risen
to unusually hot levels over the
past few years.  Lakes
Superior, Michigan and Huron
are reported to have dropped
over 3 feet in depth over the
past 40 years.  Lake Superior
is at it’s lowest point in 80
years and is expected to drop
to a record low later this
summer.  At the same time the
lakes are heating up rising, 4.5
degrees since 1979.

The decline in water levels has
left many of the Great Lake’s
harbors, marinas and boating
channels too shallow to
navigate.  One third of the
boat ramps in Michigan are no
longer usable.  The shipping
industry of the lakes has also
been impacted by the lower
water levels.  Freighters
shipping iron ore and other
materials have had to carry
smaller cargoes or risk running
aground.  The rise in water
temperature also impacts the
lakes fisheries as some game
fish have retreated from
warming coastal waters
seeking cooler waters deep in
the lakes.

Scientists do not agree on why
the ecology of the lakes has
changed so rapidly.  Some
point to prolonged drought,
others suggest that the
changes could be after effects
of El Nino that caused warmer
winters in past years.  The
lead geologist of the Great
Lakes Commission said that
the damage caused by the
lower water levels is
“profound” and now threatens
the hydrological integrity of the
entire upper Great Lakes.    
it's
all true
Director of National Intelligence Mike
McConnell has approved the
expansion of domestic satellite
surveillance, quietly implementing a
program that will allow federal and
local law enforcement agencies to
access data from an existing network
of spy satellites.

The surveillance network, which is
primarily used to track military and
terrorist activities in foreign countries,
will be available for use in disaster
relief efforts, border patrol
operations, and even routine criminal
investigations. A senior Department
of Homeland Security official denied
that the new surveillance and
data-sharing program
will violate the  Posse Comitatus Act,
which prohibits US military
involvement in domestic law
enforcement operations.

Details of the structure and scope of
the information-sharing program
remain unclear. The expansion of
access to satellite imagery and other
data collected by the Pentagon’s
sophisticated telemetry equipment,
approved by McConnell in May, was
disclosed last week in a report by the
Wall Street Journal. A new office
within the DHS, the National
Applications Office, will oversee
access to the data by domestic
agencies. DHS chief intelligence
officer Charles Allen, who will run the
new office, stressed that civil liberties
and privacy issues would be
addressed by a
team of DHS lawyers. “This is not
a system for tracking Americans,”
Allen told the
Associated Press.

Certain federal agencies,
including NASA and the US
Geological Survey, have
traditionally been permitted limited
access to satellite imagery for
scientific and research purposes,
but the order signed by McConnell
specifically includes criminal law
enforcement agencies among the
entities now entitled to receive the
data. Legal experts and civil
liberties advocates warn of
potential abuses of domestic spy
satellite networks because the
surveillance is almost
undetectable.                
it's all true
The director of the Government
Accountability Office has issued
an unusual report that warns of
impending economic, financial,
and social crises in the US,
drawing a series of dramatic
parallels with the fall of the Roman
Empire to emphasize his
conclusions. Comptroller General
David Walker’s report points to
“striking similarities” between US
and Roman cultures and
highlights a broad range of
“unsustainable” policies and
practices that the US must amend
to avoid an otherwise inevitable
decline. The report notes that the
Roman Republic failed long
before the total disintegration of
the Roman Empire.

Walker told the
Financial Times
that he released the report to call
attention to issues that others in
government have avoided. Citing
an “explosion of debt” and
“plummeting savings rates,” he
said the US faced
“unprecedented fiscal risks.”
Walker said,  "An over-confident
and over-extended military in
foreign lands, and fiscal
irresponsibility by the central
government" had contributed to
the fall of the Roman Empire,
adding, "Sound familiar?"     
it's all
true
The disastrous cave-in of a coal mine
at Crandall Canyon in Utah that has
left three rescue workers dead and
six trapped miners presumed dead
has briefly focused public attention
on the nation’s troubled mining
industry and the federal agency that
regulates it, the Mining Safety and
Health Administration. MSHA director
Richard Stickler has been widely
criticized for his failure to take control
of the unfolding disaster, and is
perceived as having been upstaged
and outmaneuvered by colorful mine
owner Bob Murray. Stickler, a former
mining industry executive, took over
the MSHA in a 2006 recess
appointment by President Bush after
twice failing to receive Senate
confirmation.

After last year’s high-profile Sago
mine disaster, which killed 12 miners
in West Virginia, MSHA rules were
changed to ensure that the federal
agency and its spokesmen control
the flow of information at accident
sites, and coordinate rescue
operations. The new protocols have
apparently been ignored during the
recent entrapment situation, with the
camera-friendly Murray organizing
the search and dominating news
coverage for days. A staunch
lobbyist for energy industry interests,
Murray is a heavy contributor to
political campaigns who strongly
opposes
increased enforcement of mine
safety laws. His claim that the
collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine
was caused by an earthquake has
been contradicted by seismologists.

The decision by Stickler to allow a
rescue effort to proceed under the
dangerous conditions at Crandall
Canyon has been criticized by
victims’ families and the United Mine
Workers. The union and several
mine safety experts have also
questioned MSHA approval of the
original scope of work for the
Crandall Canyon mine, which utilized
controversial “retreat mining”
techniques. The procedure,
designed to extract the last viable
coal reserves from exhausted mines,
involves purposely collapsing
sections of the mine as work
is completed. Critics charge the Utah
location was too unstable for further
retreat mining.

After reviewing MSHA shortcomings
in preventing and responding to a
series of mine disasters that killed 47
workers nationwide in 2006, Stickler
wrote in a memo to agency staff, "an
unacceptable lack of accountability
and oversight…will not be tolerated.”
Congressional leaders have already
agreed to schedule hearings on the
agency’s recent performance in the
appropriate committees.   
it's all true
After the release of a new software
application it has been revealed that
government agencies, individual
politicians and businesses have used
the on-line cooperative encyclopedia
Wikipedia as a self-promotional tool
or have edited or deleted entries that
were found to be objectionable or
unflattering.
The Wikipedia allows anyone to edit
entries creating an encyclopedia that
reflects the knowledge of its
community of users.  

Graduate student Virgil Griffith
created a software program that
analyzes data that is complied by
Wikipedia to find out where editors of
the on-line encyclopedia logged on
from. Griffith posted his utility on a
website and since that time searches
have revealed that entries have been
edited by government agencies, such
as the Department of  
of Homeland Security, and
corporations, such as Anheuser-
Bush.

Griffith’s
Wikiscanner is a search tool
that allows a user to query by topic or
editor to find out the IP addresses of
editors of Wikipedia.  The results of
searches by users of Wikiscanner as
reported to
Wired Magazine have
revealed that the top five government
IP addresses that edits have been
made from are; NASA, the
Department of Veteran's Affairs, the
California State Government and the
Department of Homeland Security,
each with over 4000 Wikipedia edits.

The web address for the CIA edited
more than 300 articles including the
entry regarding the 2003 invasion
and subsequent occupation of Iraq.  
The FBI edited the encyclopedia to
remove
photographs of the controversial
military detention center at
Guantanamo Bay Cuba.  
Computers owned by both political
parties were found to have made
edits and edits were also made by
computer users at the Vatican.

Griffith said that he devised of the
program to “create minor public
relations disasters for companies”
and discover what “interesting
organizations are up to.”  Griffith
found that politicians made edits
attempting to “whitewash” by
removing unflattering or critical
entries and inserting flattering
information.  Corporations have
deleted criticism and also added
information to the encyclopedia
that casts a negative light on their
competitors.               
it's all true
Lakes Becoming
Less Great
Government Agencies, Corporations Caught Spreading
Wikiganda
Pastor Delivers Unusually Inciteful Sermon
Mining Executives in a Third World of Their Own
Discouraging Words
For Rome on the
Range
Feds Can Scan Your Face From Outer Space Without Leaving a
Trace
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