interpreting the constitution
number 30     11.20.05
Senate Seeks to Overturn Supreme Court on Detainees
Faced with widespread protests from
legal scholars and human rights
groups, members of the United
States Senate voted last week to
amend a controversial proposal
limiting access to US courts for
detainees being held in the military
prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  A
compromise co-authored by
Republican Lindsey Graham of South
Carolina and Democrat Carl Levin of
Michigan would allow limited judicial
review of the status of some
prisoners.  But critics maintained that
the new amendment still effectively
strips the detainees of their right to
Habeas Corpus, creating a class of
prisoners that can be denied due
process.
Graham had sponsored the original
proposal, which would have denied
all US courts, including the Supreme
Court, jurisdiction to consider legal
challenges to the detention of foreign
terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.  
This amendment sought to overturn
a June 2004 Supreme Court ruling
that affirmed the detainees' right to
Habeas Corpus.  The Bush
administration has argued that terror
suspects may not challenge their
detention in US courts.

The compromise approved by the
Senate restores minimal rights of
appeal for  certain prisoners.  Under
the new guidelines, any detainee
sentenced to
to death or at least ten years in
prison by a military tribunal has an
automatic appeal to the US Court
of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit.  The compromise
also restores federal court
jurisdiction over the standards and
procedures of the military
tribunals.  The US Supreme Court
recently announced that it would
consider the legality of the
tribunals.

A spokesman for the ACLU said
that "Today's vote is a step in the
right direction but still does not
adequately restore the rule of law
that the Senate abandoned last
week."
                            
its all true
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

verbatim
in bed with the red
fun d' mental
Congress Inoculates  Pharmaceutical Industry Against
Lawsuits
Wisconsin
Abstains from
Focus on Health
and Safety
Republican leaders in both the
Senate and
House have drafted legislation that
would give pharmaceutical
companies broad immunity from
liability lawsuits, requiring proof of
willful misconduct by manufacturers
or distributors of defective vaccines.
The proposal would also bar all
punitive damages in such lawsuits,
and limit pain and suffering, and
noneconomic damages to $250,000.
Proponents of the legislation argue
that limiting lawsuits will help to
promote the development of new
vaccines, while critics claim that the
measure simply enacts protections
sought by the drug industry for
decades.

President Bush recently called upon
Congress to approve an emergency
appropriation of over $7 billion for
the   
development of a stockpile of
vaccines and antiviral drugs. Citing
fears of a possible  avian flu
pandemic, the
administration pushed for economic
incentives for the drug manufacturers
to increase their production capacity.
Senator Judd Gregg (R, N.H.) told
the
Washington Post "You're not
going to get vaccine production in
the US unless you have liability
protection."

But opponents of the legislation point
out that legal protections for the
pharmaceutical industry are already
in place, and the broad immunity
currently being sought may well
extend beyond the emergency
situations for which it is being
contemplated. In a statement,
Senator Edward Kennedy (D, Ma.)
said,  "The Republican leadership in
Congress
is trying to do another special favor
for the drug companies by slipping  a
provision into a massive spending bill
to absolve the pharmaceutical
industry of any responsibility to
patients injured by dangerous drugs
or vaccines, with no
compensation for those who are
harmed."

The broad protections for the
drug makers in the current
legislation are very similar to
provisions in the 2002
Homeland Security Bill which were
eventually withdrawn by their
Republican sponsors. Some
observers of the pharmaceutical
industry warn that the drug
companies will attempt to secure
blanket lawsuit immunity each time
a public health crisis looms. A
statement by the  National
Vaccine Information Center said
"Questions have been raised as
to whether irrational fear about
bird flu is being
generated in an attempt to
stampede Congress into passing
liability protection the
pharmaceutical industry has been
seeking for  40 years."
The Wisconsin State Senate
has passed a bill which would
mandate the inclusion of
abstinence education in the
state's required human growth
and development classes.  
The bill specifies that teachers
advise students that
abstinence is the "preferred
choice of behavior" for
unmarried people.

State Senator Mary Lazich (R)
sponsored the legislation to
respond to what she sees an
over emphasis in the state's
curricula on contraception and
safety.  Sen. Lazich said that
she sponsored the bill
because "abstinence should
be taught to students
unapologetically".

Cleo Phippen of the Wisconsin
Abstinence Coalition said that
her organization supported the
measure because setting a
moral example for teens is
important for the state
legislature.  The Family
Research Institute told the
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal
that they applauded the
senate's sending a "very
strong-very clear- abstinence
message."

State's Assembly person
Tamara Gringsby (D) entered
a bill into the State's Assembly
responding to the Senate's
abstinence bill.  Rep Grigsby's
bill would require the teaching
of subjects such as self
esteem and parental
communication and also
provide information about birth
control.

Milwaukee consistently has
one of the nation's highest
incidence of teenage
pregnancy.     
    its all true   
redstat
spread of the red
Texas Town Sells Out for 24
Hour Extreme Fighting Network
A small town in Texas has voted to
adopt the name of a Colorado based
provider of satellite television
programing.  The town Clark, TX
changed its name to Dish, TX earlier
this month when its two member city
council voted to approve the
proposal after a town meeting where
residents could express their support
or criticism of the contractual
agreement.

Dish TX is a rural town of 125 people
about fifty miles north of Fort Worth.  
The town has 55 homes an airport
and a manufactured homes sales
business.

The agreement between the town of
Dish and Echo Star Communications
guarantees residents of the town free
TV service for ten years in exchange
for the town's agreement to
permanently
change its name to the name of the
company's product, Dish Network
Satellite TV service.

The deal gives residents Dish
Network's package of 70 channels of
television and would cost the
company about $4500 per household
over the term of the contract. Echo
Star's president Michael Newman
said Dish Network re-branded the
town and now its citizens will become
"evangelists for better TV".  The
mayor of Dish views the contract for
corporate naming rights of the town
as a "rebirth" for the community.  

Other towns which have sold their
names to corporations include,
Half.com, OR (a one year contract) and
Truth or Consequences, NM (named in
the 1950's).                            
its all true
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previous editions


Links of the Week

Ghost of Elvis/Son of a
President by Bone Daddy

The Bush Crime Family:links to
articles from multiple sources

Portions of Pentagon Working
Group Draft Report on
Interrogation Methods-White
House 'Torture Memos' 03-2003

President George W. Bush
reiterates his famous
statement: 'Who cares what
you think' to American media in
2005

contact us
Pentagon Doesn't Like Homeland Security
Poking Around in Their Business Either
red state rebate
Senators Find
Need for Boeing
Airplane Contract
Republican House leaders have
publicly expressed their concern that
the Pentagon is attempting to evade
congressional control over its
intelligence gathering initiatives.

Members of the House Intelligence  
Committee recently expressed their
concerns that the Pentagon is
sheltering specific human intelligence
gathering activities from
congressional oversight by
re-classifying some of its spy
programs as "special access"
programs which cannot be disclosed
for security reasons.

While the Pentagon's budget for
intelligence collection is not disclosed
to the public, analysts have noted
that since September 2001 the
Pentagon has aggressively
expanded the role of spying in its
overall operations. The Pentagon is
believed to have given greater
authority and operational funding to
both special
Operations forces and the Defense
Intelligence Agency to carry out
human intelligence gathering.  Such
functions have in the past been
carried out by the CIA, the budget for
which is negotiated in congress.

The Pentagon's decision to remove
some of its spying activities out of the
purview of congressional oversight
coincides with the development of the
operational authority of the newly
created Office of the Director of
National Intelligence (DNI).  The DNI
was created within the Department of
Homeland Security after 9-11
responding to congressional criticism
that intelligence agencies did not
share information adequately.  The
DNI is charged with overseeing 15
intelligence agencies including the
Military Intelligence Program.

It was the Pentagon's movement of
some of its intelligence programs
from the Military Intelligence Program
to special access programs that
caused concern in some Republican
lawmakers.

Representative Peter Hoekstra
(R/MI), chairman of the House
Intelligence Committee, told the
New
York Times
that "the DOD is trying to create
parallel functions to what is going on
in intelligence, but calling it
something else."

Last June the Committee called for
the Pentagon to provide "complete
visibility into some defense
programs" before it would fund its
2006 budget.  Defense industry
experts estimate that the US spends
approximately $80 billion each year
on spying.                        
its all true
The US Senate approved the
purchase of six Boeing C-17
cargo aircraft in spite of the fact
that the airplane was recently
determined by the Department of
Defense to be unneeded. The
cost for the six planes is estimated
to be one billion dollars.

The DOD's Mobility Capabilities
Study advised congress that the
C-17 was no longer needed in the
study, an assessment of
Pentagon equipment
requirements going forward.  That
report was challenged by
members of the Senate in whose
states Boeing has assembly
plants and the military has training
facilities.  The senate ordered
another review of equipment
needs and the C-17 was found to
be a necessary program.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) announced that
the procurement of the C-17 is a "vital"
component in America's war on terror.  Boeing
officials said that jobs would be lost  if there
was a lapse in
orders.                                                       
its all
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redstateupdate.net
verbatim                                                                 number 5.6
…and that's
irresponsible."
Anchorage AK  11.14.05
"Some Democrats who
voted to authorize the use
of force are now rewriting
the past. They are playing
politics with this issue and
they are sending mixed
signals to our troops and
the enemy....
 
previous editions archive
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source:
uspublicdiplomacy.org
Murder rates for various
countries-year 2004
2000      6000       8000    10,000
Mexico-13,829
US-12,658
France-1051
UK-850
Norway-49