number 33   12.11.05
one nation, under surveillance
Terrorist Watchlist Creates Heavy Turbulence
The terrorist watch list, compiled and
maintained by the US Department of
Homeland Security and provided to
the Transportation Security
Administration and private airlines to
be used for passenger screening
procedures, has grown to over
80,000 names, according to an
investigation by a Swedish
newspaper. Problems with the
implementation of new security
measures have plagued the airline
industry since September 2001. In a
related story, the TSA revealed last
week that some 30,000 people had
requested that their names be
removed from the list in the just the
past year. All
but 60 were successful in their
appeal.

The watch list, which is nominally
classified, contained just 16 names
prior to September 11, 2001. It had
grown to about 40,000 a year later,
and last year reached 80,000 ,
according to a report in
Svenska
Dagbladet
, which cited confidential
airline industry sources.
The list comprises two sections, a
strictly enforced "no fly" section which
requires a referral to local police, and
a "selectee" section which mandates
further security checks. The
personnel making decisions with
regard to "selectee" passengers are
not law enforcement
officers, but are in most cases
private security guards. Members
of the bipartisan 9/ 11 commission
recently criticized the TSA for its
handling of screening procedures,
noting that the administration had
failed to meet its own goals with
regard to airline passenger
security. Implementation of the
new procedures has led to
several high profile
embarrassments for the TSA.
Public figures such as  Senator
Edward Kennedy  and  
Representative Don Young have
appeared on the list. Young is the
chairman of the Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee.  
its
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interpreting the constitution

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one nation, under surveillance

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Weather
Christian
Contest Draws
Protest  
at New Mexico
Public School
US Snubs Conference, Agrees to Continue to Contribute to Global
Warming
economy. An unofficial delegation of
US
representatives attempted to block
various versions of the draft accord,
even staging a walkout at one point
in protest against a perceived move
to reopen the subject of mandatory
emissions controls.

The US delegation found itself
isolated in its stance. Even
developing nations such as China
and India, which are not subject to
the current Kyoto accords, agreed to
participate in talks preparing the
groundwork for a new global warming
treaty. The US is the world's largest
producer of greenhouse gases,
accounting for about one quarter of
the world's emissions.

Bush administration officials cast
doubt on certainty of various climate
change
scenarios, particularly the link
between
Delegates from over 150 countries,
meeting in Montreal, concluded the
largest conference on global warming
since the adoption of the 1997 Kyoto
Protocol  by agreeing to expand the
treaty before it expires in 2012. A
second, broader accord involving
nearly 200 nations in non-binding
negotiations about the future of
climate change issues was also
reached at the conference. British
Prime Minister Tony Blair called the
agreements "a vital next step in
tackling climate change - the biggest
long term challenge facing the world."

The United States, which opposes
limits on greenhouse gas emissions,
did not participate in the official
negotiations. Although the US signed
the Kyoto Treaty in 1997, the Bush
administration has repudiated the
pact, saying compliance would
damage the US
emissions and global warming.
But evidence of unprecedented
warming
continues to mount. This week,
NASA scientists plan to release
data that shows 2005 to be on
track to be the hottest year in
recorded history.

Carbon dioxide levels in the air
worldwide reached 380 parts per
million in 2005, a level believed to
be the highest in 650,000 years.
As recently as 1800, carbon
dioxide levels were about 280
parts per million.

Total greenhouse gases are up
approximately 25 percent
worldwide since
1990.                      
its all true
Sophomores at Piedra Vista
High School in Farmington NM
were encouraged by their
English Teacher to participate
in a writing contest for the best
essay that explains why
"preserving marriage between
one man and one woman (is)
vital to a healthy society", or,  
why "unborn children merit
respect and protection."  The
public high school students
were offered course credit to
enter the contest which is
sponsored by a fundamentalist
religious group called United
Families International (UFI).

Parents and civil rights groups
have protested the essay
assignment because they view
the assignment violates state
regulations that ban
discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation in public
schools.

The head of Pietra Vista's
language arts department
stressed that though the topics
were 'slanted', the assignment
was optional and proposed
school-wide by Principal Danny
Ortiz.  The principal told local
media that the idea for the
essay contest came in a
state-wide memo from the New
Mexico Public Department of
Education (PED).

Veronica Garcia, Secretary of
the PED, when questioned
about the contest, admitted
that she passed on the
information about the UFI
contest, but only out of fear
that if she hadn't,  the "ACLU
would also complain about" not
allowing students to
participate.    
its all true
redstat
News
Police Officer Discharged
After Taser Tantrum
A Michigan police officer has been
charged with assault and battery
for discharging his Taser gun into
the leg of his female partner
during a quarrel while she was
driving their squad car.

The incident began when officer
Ronald Dupuis of the
Hamtramck      Police Department
in suburban Detroit demanded
that his partner, officer Prema
Graham, stop at a convenience
store so that he could buy a soft
drink.

Graham refused, saying that she
wanted to get back to the station.
An argument ensued,  eventually
escalating into a struggle for
control of the  steering wheel of
the vehicle.
It was at that point, according to a
complaint filed by Wayne County
prosecutors, that Dupuis drew his
Taser and discharged the weapon's
50,000 volts into Graham's leg, while
she was still driving the squad car.
Tasers are typically used by law
enforcement personnel to subdue
violent suspects.                    

Dupius, 32, was fired from the Hamtramck Police
Department a few days after the incident. Officer
Graham did not suffer any serious injuries as a result
of the assault. Since 2001, more than 70 people in
the US and Canada have died as a result of Taser
shocks, according to Amnesty
International.                                                   
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Links of the Week


US Geological Survey: National
Water Quality Assessment

Amnesty International: “The
Global Struggle Against
Torture: Guantánamo Bay,
Bagram and Beyond”

Dr. Ralph Stanley & His Clinch
Mountain Boys: Official Website



contact us
Worker's Retirement Plans Abolished
or Defunded in Modern Workplace
LA Seeks to Protect
Area Businesses
From Sleeping
Homeless People
The country's second largest phone
company Verizon has announced the
phasing out of defined pension
benefits for its management staff.  
The plan, which goes into effect in
June 2006, would allow employees to
contribute to a 401 (k) investment
plan with limited matching funds
contributed by the company and is
projected to save Verizon $3 billion
over the next ten years.

A Verizon spokesperson said that the
changes were an effort to harmonize
benefits as the huge corporation
finalizes its purchase of MCI, Inc.  In a
prepared statement the company's
chairman, Ivan Seidenberg
commented that the  abandonment of
a traditional guaranteed benefit
retirement program "reflects the
realities of our changing world."  This
appears to be true as commentators
have already predicted that other
telecommunications giants will also
abandon traditional pension plans  
effecting hundreds of thousands of
American workers.

The migration from defined
retirement benefits to investment
based schemes is a change for US
workers who have to save and plan
more than previous generations, but
not so large a change as
workers and retirees who's retirement
plans have been effected by
corporate default.

More than 20 companies have
defaulted on their pensions in the
past few year.  Last summer United
Airlines, which is currently in
bankruptcy, defaulted on $9.8 billion
in pension obligations.  More than
one hundred thousand employees
have been effected.  Some United
retirees have seen their pension
benefits  diminish by 70 to 80 percent.

The United employees and
pensioners will be funded by the
Pension Benefit Guaranty
Corporation (PBGC) , a federal
agency created thirty years ago.  
The PBGC will pay the pensions of
retirees of bankrupt corporations, but
at a drastically reduced rate.  The
corporation had a surplus of $7.7
billion dollars in 2001 but, due to
corporate bankruptcies like United,
the agency currently is running a
deficit.

Experts fear that the federal
government may have to step in and
bail out the agency.  President Bush
addressed the situation earlier this
year when he scolded US businesses
saying "my message to corporate
America is: you need to fulfill your
promises."   
its all true
A panel of appeals court judges
heard arguments last week
regarding a law that would outlaw
sitting, laying or sleeping on
sidewalks in the city of Los
Angeles.  Lawyers for the
American Civil Liberties Union
filed suit against the city
representing six homeless people
who the group says had their
rights violated by the law.  Critics
say the law was written to target
the homeless on 'skid row'.

Deputy City Attorney Amy Jo Field
argued that the city needed the
law to control the large numbers
of homeless people in the city's
streets that she said were causing
problems for area businesses.

Attorneys representing the six
homeless citizens argued that the
LA city ordinance criminalizes the
circumstance of being homeless.  
Attorneys for the ACLU told the
panel of judges that there are not
enough shelter beds in the city for
all the homeless.  "There is no
way", an attorney for the ACLU
said, "an individual who is
homeless can't sit, sleep or lie in
public.      
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page
redstateupdate.net
verbatim                                              number 6.3
"The tragic images of
innocent victims can
make it seem like these
terrorist attacks are
random and isolated
acts of madness. While
these killers choose
their victims
indiscriminately...
...their attacks
flow from an
ideology and a
terrifying vision
for the world."
Anchorage   AK      
11.14.05
 
previous editions archive
www.redstateupdate.net
source: Viroqua
Institute
Recent Pention Fund
Failures
in billions of dollars
0                   5                  10
United
Bethlehem
Steel
LTV Steel
National
Steel
Pan Am
US Air