one nation, under surveillance
number 121    
09.23.07
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

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in bed with the red

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   Links of the Week

Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform :  An
Examination of Blackwater's
Actions in Fallujah

CRS Report : Financial Crisis?
The Liquidity Crunch of August
2007

Statement to the Court after
being convicted
sedition,Eugene Debs,
September 18, 1918

Pool in a Brook, Brook Pond,
New Hampshire, October 4,
1953, Eliot Porter


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verbatim
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verbatim                                                       number 23.5
...And I'm going to
continue using my
authority.
Washington  DC   01.26.06
"There's going to be -there
will be a constitution-there
will be a legal debate
about whether or not I
have the authority to do
this...
...I'm absolutely
convinced I do...
Military personnel per capita
selected countries
40
0
20
n korea  israel   norway    us      
canada
redstat
sports : asterisks
Steroids Speed Bats, Produce Padded Stats
Tax Breaks Turn Football Fans Into Receivers
NFL's Defensive Strategy on Disability
Offensive
source: Viroqua
Institute
source: US Department of Energy
Outlandish Cycle Reaches Final Stage
The use of steroids by baseball
players to increase their muscle
mass can have a dramatic impact on
home run totals, according to the
results of recently completed analysis
by Tufts University physicist Roger
Tobin. The study found that an
increase of just 10 percent in muscle
mass could raise a hitter’s bat speed
by five percent, which in turn could
increase home run production by
more than 50 percent. Tobin
concluded that pitchers would also
see a “meaningful” increase in their
statistics from additional muscle
mass, but not as much as hitters.  
“A change of only a few percent in
the average speed of the batted
ball, which can reasonably be
expected from steroid use, is
enough to increase home run
production by at least 50
percent,” Tobin said in a
statement. Although pitchers
could add four to five miles an
hour to their fastballs, the
statistical effects—a reduction of
one half an earned run per
game—would be less discernible.
According to the study, “the
unusual sensitivity of home run
production to bat speed results in
much more dramatic
effects."           
it's all true
The commander of theater
detention facilities in Iraq
announced a new program
that uses religious training as
a component of the military’s
re-education curriculum for
detainees.  Major General
Douglas Stone says that
“religious enlightenment
programs” are designed to
provide religious training to
Iraqi detainees to help “bend
them back to our will.”  

Military interrogators work with
“moderate imams” to present
the Koran in a way that de-
emphasizes themes of struggle
and violence. The general said
that the religious re-education
programs are aimed at
“knocking the edge off” some
detainee's extremist vision of
Islam.  The general says that
he and his interrogators are
working in “the battlefield of
the mind” of Iraqi detainees
because in Iraq, said Stone,
“religion has been used by the
extremists to control an
illiterate, and to discipline an
illiterate population.”

Stone said that he is “over
encouraged” by the success of
the military’s new religious
enlightenment program.  
Although he said that there are
some "irreconcilables", he is
convinced that the program is
succeeding commenting, “We’
re busting them down, were
making moderates.”  

About one hundred Iraqi
detainees have passed
through the program.  Stone
estimated that there are over
25,000 Iraqis currently held in
detention in occupied Iraq.        
it's all true
The Defense Department has asked
a small group of defense contractors
to submit bids on projects related to
an extensive new effort by the military
focusing on drug trafficking.  DOD
invited Lockheed Martin, Northrop
Grumman, Raytheon, ARINC and
Blackwater USA to place bids on
technologies and training to support
a new $15 billion five year program to
combat drug trafficking that it is
thought to fund terrorist’s activities.  
The DOD bid proposal said that
because of the “rapid adaptability of
the counter-narcoterrorist threat” the
Pentagon has been granted “special
federal spending authorities.”

The Pentagon’s Counter-
Narcoterrorism Technology Program
Office (CNTPO) offered the services
contract in cooperation with the US
Army Space and Missile Defense
Command.  CNTPO was created,
according to a Pentagon
memorandum, to “develop and
deploy” aids to US soldiers that
assist in stopping the “people,
information, money and weapons”
associated with international drug
trafficking.

The indefinite delivery and indefinite
quantity contract calls for providing
“intelligence, medical, logistics,
canine services, surveillance,
counter-surveillance, aerial over-
watch and security advisory” among
other services to the US military and
other federal agencies including the
Drug Enforcement Administration.  
Raytheon said that it is ready to
provide “technology and services to
meet the immediate and emerging
needs of combatant commanders
and others”       
it's all true
verbatim                                                                         number 23.6
"The use of performance
enhancing drugs like steroids
in baseball, football, and
other sports...sends the
wrong message- that there
are shortcuts to
accomplishment, and that
performance is more
important than character."
     Washington  DC  01.20.04
The Bush administration has stepped
up efforts to expand its legal
authority to monitor American
citizens’ communications without
obtaining judicial warrants, pressing
Congress to make permanent the
Protect America Act, which was
approved on a temporary basis last
month. Describing domestic
surveillance as vital to national
security, the president and Director
of National Intelligence Mike
McConnell have been lobbying
legislators to increase their powers to
tap telephone lines, read e-mails,
and gather private documents within
the United States. The administration
is also seeking blanket retroactive
immunity for telecommunications
companies that may
have assisted in illegal government
surveillance operations.

When the Protect America Act was
hastily approved on the eve of the
Congressional recess, some
Democratic lawmakers had
misgivings about the sweeping
nature of its revisions to the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act, vowing
to address those concerns when they
returned to Washington. But media
reports indicate that a
well-coordinated, behind the scenes
lobbying campaign on behalf of the
telecom giants targeting key
members of the House and Senate
Intelligence and Judiciary Committees
has successfully influenced a number
of Democrats to support expansion of
the
Act and, crucially, legal immunity
for the industry. According to  
Newsweek magazine, the broad
language being pushed by the
White House was drafted "in close
cooperation" with the companies.

More than 40 lawsuits against
various phone companies have
been consolidated with a case
brought in San Francisco by the
Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Government lawyers have
attempted at every juncture to
have the suits dismissed,  but
recent signals  that the cases may
be allowed to proceed increased  
pressure on Congress to act to
protect the industry.     
it's all true
The US dollar continues to fall to
new lows against a range of
currencies almost daily, with last
week’s rate cuts by the Federal
Reserve placing additional
downward pressure on the value
of the greenback. The dollar
recorded a historic low of 1.40
against the euro last week, as
investors fled the US securities
market for higher yields. The
Canadian dollar reached parity
with the US dollar for the first time
since 1976.

The election of a new Japanese
prime minister this week is
expected to bolster the yen, which
has been trading higher against
the weak dollar. Foreign
exchange specialists have been
predicting the decline of the dollar
for some time, citing the huge US
trade deficit and slow growth of
the economy. Recent reports
have also documented a trend
toward diversification into euros
by some of the largest holders of
US debt, including China, Japan,
and South Korea. Uncertainty
about underlying market
conditions and the true extent of
the housing and credit crises has
led investors to seek alternative
currencies.       
it's all true
Members of the Senate
Commerce Committee warned
the NFL and the NFL Players
Association to overhaul their
pension and disability
programs or face
Congressional intervention,
after hearing dramatic
testimony that the system in
place has failed former players
and their families. Players
Association director Gene
Upshaw and league
commissioner Roger Goodell
acknowledged problems with
the retirement program in their
appearances before the
committee, and pledged to
expand medical coverage for
retirees.
The hearings marked the second
time this year that the issue of NFL
disability benefits was investigated in
Congress. Goodell and Upshaw
declined to appear at two House
committee hearings in June, but
public pressure has been building on
the league, as the plight of former
players receives increasing media
attention.

Hundreds of NFL retirees suffer from
debilitating joint and neurological
damage from their playing days,
particularly concussions, often
undiagnosed. Under current rules,
only 317 former players receive full
disability coverage from the league’s
pension fund.         
it's all true
Disgraced American cyclist
Floyd Landis was officially
stripped of his 2006 Tour de
France title last week, after an
American Arbitration
Association panel upheld the
decision of the United States
Anti-Doping Agency, which
found that Landis had used
synthetic testosterone during
the competition. He has been barred
from international cycling for two
years. Landis’ defense centered on
allegations that the laboratories that
performed the drug tests made a
series of procedural errors. The
panel agreed that some mistakes
had been made, but found that none
of the errors cast significant doubt
upon the lab's findings.         
it's all
true  
A program that authorizes tax breaks
for real estate investors who provide
housing in areas affected by
Hurricane Katrina is assisting buyers
of luxury condos near the University
of Alabama’s football stadium. The
condos, which sell for as much as $1
million, are primarily used by Crimson
Tide supporters for weekend stays
during the football season. The tax
breaks are available because
Tuscaloosa is part of the federal “GO
Zone,” even though the college town
is some 200 miles inland and saw
little hurricane related damage.

The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of
2005 contains a wide range of
incentives for real estate developers
to provide much-needed housing in
hurricane-affected areas of
Mississippi, Louisiana, and
Alabama. The Zone was drafted
to include the university,
reportedly at the behest of
Alabama alumni Senator Richard
Shelby, a Tuscaloosa native. A
spokesman for Shelby denied that
the Senator influenced the
boundaries of the disaster area,
but said that the Go Zone and
other federal assistance programs
designed to spur rebuilding after
Katrina “have been extremely
successful in accomplishing their
goal.”

The tax breaks have been
criticized by relief workers and
community leaders who say that
many disaster victims have yet to
receive promised government
aid.           
it's all true
State Department Inspector General
Howard J. Krongard has routinely
interfered with or curtailed
investigations by his office that could
prove politically difficult for the Bush
administration, according to seven
current and former members of
Krongard’s staff, who brought their
concerns to the House Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform.
They charge that Krongard, a Bush
appointee with little relevant
experience, undermined the work of
all three of the office’s divisions—
audits, inspections, and
investigations—to protect the White
House from embarrassment.
Committee chairman Henry Waxman
(D-CA) wrote to Krongard last week
detailing the allegations, and
requesting documents related to the
inquiry and testimony at committee
hearings scheduled for October.

Waxman’s letter outlines a series of
sensational charges against
Krongard, notably that he refused to
let his personnel travel to Iraq and
Afghanistan to pursue credible
allegations of fraud and
mismanagement by State
Department contractors; that he
prevented his staff from cooperating
with a Justice Department
investigation of the construction of
the US embassy in Baghdad; and
that he personally
intervened to derail a probe of Bush
crony Kenneth Tomlinson, who
eventually resigned under the
pressure of multiple investigations.
Krongard is accused of passing
sensitive information directly to
Tomlinson. According to Waxman,
several employees of the Office of
the Inspector General have sought
legal “whistleblower” protections
against official retaliation for their
disclosures.

Krongard is further alleged to have
improperly thwarted an investigation
into a security contractor accused of
illegally smuggling weapons into Iraq.
News reports last week identified the
security company as the embattled
Blackwater, Inc. According to
Waxman’s letter, Krongard also
resorted to “highly irregular”
procedures in personally exonerating
a key construction contractor in Iraq
on charges of labor abuse and safety
violations.

Waxman wrote, “One consistent
element in these allegations is that
you believe your foremost mission is
to support the Bush administration,
especially with respect to Iraq and
Afghanistan, rather than act as an
independent and objective check on
waste, fraud and abuse on behalf of
US taxpayers.”                        
it's all
true
The State Department has prohibited
it’s employees from cooperating with
a Congressional investigation that is
probing the extent of corruption in
the nascent Iraqi federal
government.  The State Department
has also told the controversial
mercenary army Blackwater USA that
they are barred from cooperating
with an ongoing Congressional
investigation into a violent gun battle
that resulted in the deaths of 11 Iraqi
civilians.

The chairman of the House Oversight
and Reform Committee, Rep. Henry
Waxman, said in a letter to Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice that the
scope of the prohibitions enacted by
the State Department was
“breathtaking” and constituted
wrongful interference with the
Congressional investigations.  
Waxman also said in the letter that
Ms.
Rice had herself refused to appear
before the committee and that the
State Department had re-classified a
report that detailed the level of
government corruption in Iraq that
was made public late last week.

Waxman reported in his
correspondence to Ms. Rice that the
State Department had made an order
on the evening before department
officials were to testify before his
committee classifying any
“statements/assessments which
judge or characterize the quality of
Iraqi governance or the
ability/determination of the Iraqi
government to deal with corruption.”  

Waxman said that the broad based
prohibition was an “absurd position”
to take and constituted interference
with a congressional investigation.
Waxman’s committee interviewed
a State Department official on
September 25 who said that he
was informed of the new security
restrictions on the morning the
interview was to take place and
“had never heard of them
before.”   

Waxman said that the secrecy
rules created a situation that only
positive information about the
Iraqi government could be
revealed by the State Department
and it’s employees but,
conversely, “any criticism of the
government must be treated as a
national security secret.”  
Waxman went on to say in his
letter to Rice that the secrecy
policy “would be an effective way
for the Bush Administration to
control the facts and debate
about Iraq, but it has no place in
our democracy.”   
it's all true
toronto          new york         new york        manchester          
dallas
maple leafs        knicks             yankees           united             
cowboys
Most valuable
franchises, by
sport, 2007
$b
1.6
.8
Private Contractors Divide Drug Money
State Department Suspends Diplomatic Relations With US
Congress
Fed Rate Cuts
Unkind to Dollar
Crony Quashed Inspections, Caused
Defections
Democrats Make the Wrong Call on Telecommunications
Immunity
US Military
Enlists Koran
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