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redstateupdate.net
redstat
source: Center for Education
Statistics
interpreting the constitution
crowd control
Weather
News
fun d' mental
spread of the red
number 178    
01.11.09
redstat
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D'Gary
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The outgoing Bush
administration established a
new federal regulation that
gives workers throughout the
healthcare industry the right to
refuse to give medical care to
a patient if they are morally
offended by the treatment.

The regulation is a response
to state laws that require
doctors and pharmacists to
provide legal birth control
drugs even if they oppose
abortion due to their religious
beliefs.  The new rule extends
the so-called “right to refuse”
to all health care workers at
more than 580,000 federally
supported health care facilities
across the nation.  

Doctors, nurses, administrative
personnel and even volunteers
in medical studies will now be
able to charge medical care
facilities with discrimination if
they feel pressured to
participate in a medical
procedure that is “contrary to
their religious beliefs.”  
Facilities that are found to
violate the ruling could also
lose federal funding.

DHS Secretary Mike Leavitt
said, “This rule protects the
right of medical providers to
care for their patients in
accord with their conscience.”  
A consortium of medical
groups, including the American
Medical Association, said,
“Under the guise of protecting
religious freedom” the new rule
allows medical personnel to
“opt out of providing essential
reproductive health care.  It will
be the poor and powerless
who will be most effected by
this draconian measure.”      
it's
all true
The National Institute of Justice is
developing crowd control weapons to
be used by police that channel
microwaves and lasers to burn the
skin of suspects.  The weapons,
considered by the Justice
Department to be non-lethal, are
intended to elicit a “repel response”
from suspects who will seek to flee.

The portable weapons use active
denial technology that was
developed by the US military.  As
previously reported by
redstateupdate.net, active denial
systems shoot a beam of 95 Ghz
millimeter waves traveling at the
speed of light that heat the skin of
the target to 130 degrees in 2
seconds.  

The police department version being
tested is housed in a backpack, is
effective through clothing and has a
range of at least 50 feet.  
The NIJ is also experimenting with a
hand held laser weapon called
Personal Halting and Stimulation
Response or PhaSR that is more
portable and uses an infrared laser
to heat skin.  The PhaSR weapon
works better on bare skin than the
microwave weapon and targets a
small spot rather than the whole body
of the suspect.  

The weapon uses two lasers,
according to its developers, one
“temporarily impairs aggressors by
“dazzling them” and the infrared
laser “causes a repel effect that
discourages advancing aggressors.”

The NIJ has tested the PhaSR
weapon in various scenarios
including in prison environments and
in crowd control situations. Certain
laser weapons were banned in 1995
by the UN.     
it's all true
Amidst a chorus of civil rights groups,
legal scholars and media critics who
have called upon Barack Obama to
affirm his intent to fully investigate
and prosecute abuses of power and
crimes committed by the Bush
Administration over the past eight
years, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has
submitted a resolution into Congress
to establish a panel to review the war
powers that the administration has
accorded itself.

In one of the first acts of the 111th
Congress, Conyers introduced a bill
calling for the creation of a “Blue
Ribbon Commission comprised of
experts outside of government
service” to investigate the “broad
range” of powers
assumed by the Bush administration
carried out “under claims of
unreviewable war powers.”  Conyers,
like many Americans, believes that
claims of executive privilege cannot
shield our leaders from being held to
account for the creation of black-site
prisons, the torture and murder of
uncharged suspects or the
surveillance of innocent Americans’
phone calls and emails.  Given the
nature of the crimes alleged,
however, some now call for the
appointment of a special prosecutor
who can bring criminal charges and
seek indictments.  

Vice President Dick Cheney recently
said that the broad based
surveillance
of Americans was conducted “in
accordance with the president’s
constitutional authority” and that
he would “absolutely” use torture
on uncharged suspects if he
thought it would protect the
nation.  

Constitutional scholars, retired
military leaders, civil rights groups
and newspapers, journals and
Internet media have called for a
criminal investigation.  This week,
responding to a question
pertaining to the prosecution of
Bush administration officials who
ordered torture, president elect
Obama said, “We need to look
forward as opposed to
backwards.”    
it's all true
VERBATIM                                                   number 34.5
"So I analyzed that
and decided I didn't
want to be the
president during a
depression greater
than the Great
Depression...
...or the beginning
of a depression
greater than the
Great Depression."
Washington DC 12.18.08
With the federal budget deficit set to
double last year’s record, and an
officially recognized recession that
has already outlasted the average
downturn, it is no surprise that state
government officials across the
country are warning that their own
budget shortfalls may be
unprecedented in magnitude and
duration. Rising unemployment, an
abrupt halt to consumer spending,
and steadily decreasing property tax
bases are all contributing to states’
fiscal woes, and governors and
comptrollers have already
approached federal authorities for
emergency funds. A report recently
released by the Washington, DC-
based Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities paints a grim picture of
state finances, concluding that at
least 44 states face severe budget
shortfalls in this and/or the next fiscal
year.

The report notes that most states are
at the mid-point of their fiscal years,
which typically begin in July. Over
half the states had already cut
spending, allocated reserve funds, or
raised additional funds to balance
their current budgets, according to
the report, which warns that state
governments will be hard pressed to
enact additional austerity measures
to address the new deficits. The
report predicts that the budget
shortfalls will worsen over at least the
next two fiscal years, with six states
projected to have deficits exceeding
20 percent of their total annual
budgets in fiscal 2010. California,
which is facing a budget gap of $13.8
billion this year, is expected to see
that figure rise to $25 billion, or 24.8
percent of its total expenditures, in
2010.

The Obama economic team has
signaled that it will make a bailout
package for state and municipal
governments part of its initial stimulus
legislation, expected
to be passed within weeks of the
inauguration. News reports indicate
that as much as $100 billion will be
earmarked for states immediately,
and that massive federal investments
in civil infrastructure will be funneled
through state governments. But
analysts predict that a collapse of the
commercial real estate market and its
ripple effects on regional banks will
hit state and
municipal governments particularly
hard during 2009, further disrupting
vital revenue streams.

According to the CBPP report, 16
states are considering cuts to
primary and secondary education
funding, and 21 states have already
implemented higher education
spending cuts.        
it's all true
The President of the Maldives has
stated that he will establish a
contingency fund with a portion of
the country’s revenues from
tourism, to purchase land for an
alternative settlement should the
island nation be inundated by
rising sea levels caused by global
warming. Mohamed Nasheed, a
human rights activist and former
political prisoner who swept to
power in elections in November,
said that a number of other
nations, including India, Sri Lanka,
and Australia were “receptive” to
discussions on the issue. The
majority of land in the Maldives,
an archipelago of 1192 islands in
the Indian Ocean, is just 1.5m
above sea level.

Nasheed said in an interview with
the
Guardian newspaper, “We
can do nothing to stop climate
change on our own and so we
have to buy land elsewhere. It’s
an insurance policy
for the worst possible outcome.”  
Climate scientists have warned
that the Maldives will be
significantly impacted if global
warming continues to lead to
rising sea levels in the world’s
oceans.                
it's all true
States, Seeing Red, Turning to the
Fed
Maldives May Resort
To Permanent Vacation
Percent of students above
proficient - grade 8 reading
selected countries
5
mi     ca      tx       ia      vt    ma
15
25
35
45
Police Pain Beam Set to Singe
Suspects
Preachers Prescribe
Unconscionable
Rule
A National Truth Commission or More Crime Commission
Military units could be deployed
within the United States to provide
security, logistics, and law
enforcement services
in the event of major incidents of civil
unrest stemming from the current
economic recession, according to a
report commissioned and circulated
by the US Army War College.

The report considers various
scenarios under which new domestic
military forces under the control of
the US Northern Command may be
utilized to assist or even supercede
state and local agencies, including
the National Guard. Critics have said
that the Bush administration’s broad
expansion of military power to
intervene in domestic situations
amounts to an unconstitutional
violation of the 1868 Posse
Comitatus Act, which prohibits the
use of the military for domestic law
enforcement purposes.

The War College report comes as
the head of the Northern Command,
or Northcom, Air Force General
Victor Renuart, seeks to reassure
Congress that the 20,000 troops he
will train specifically for domestic
response duties do not indicate that
preparations are underway to
declare and enforce martial law.
Renuart has told senior members of
the House Appropriations Defense
Subcommittee that the new unit,
called the Chemical, Biological,
Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive
Consequence Management
Response Force (CCMRF), is not
intended for use in public order
operations. “This force is designed to
go and render assistance and aid, as
opposed to create security,” Renuart
told reporters in December. The
Northcom chief said that the
Pentagon
would continue to maintain the
“capability to impose public order”
should traditional law enforcement
efforts fail.

Although there has been some
speculation about how President-
elect Barack Obama will deal with
other controversial aspects of
Bush administration policy, such
as the torture of prisoners and
widespread domestic surveillance,
sweeping claims of presidential
authority and the extensive
overhaul of federal emergency
protocols have not received much
attention. The outgoing
administration aggressively
expanded executive authority,
often citing the theory of the
“unitary executive”, which asserts
that presidential power is virtually
limitless during wartime.    
it's all true
Domestic Disturbances Could Lead to Martial Difficulties
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