crowd control
number 39     
02.05.06
Protesters in Prison: Patriot Act Provision Makes Dissent a
Felony  
A provision of the reauthorization
bill for the USA PATRIOT Act
extends the authority of the
Secret Service to arrest
demonstrators and protesters who
disrupt or breech security at
"national special security events"
or what the act refers to as a
"special event of national
significance".  Protesters who
"knowingly" or "willingly" enter
restricted areas or disrupt events
that the Secret
Service is providing protection for
could be charged with a felony
and receive up to a year in jail.  
The new powers  mandate that
the service would become the
"lead agency
to "develop security plans for major
events"  The Super Bowl, the
Olympics and the memorial service
for recently deceased Coretta Scott
King are examples of events
categorized as "special events of
national significance".The bill also
creates the United Secret Service
Uniformed Division, a national
security police force.  The new police
authority, the first of its kind in the
US, expands the Executive Protection
Service which has traditionally
protected embassies.  The new
police force will be authorized to
detain individuals and make arrests
"subject to the Secretary of
Homeland Security".
Civil rights groups and defenders of
the first amendment have assailed
these provisions, which were slipped
into the reauthorization bill after both
houses of congress had passed the
legislation.  The American Civil
Liberties Union has sent a letter to
the Senate Judiciary Committee
chairpersons warning that the bill's
broad language is a threat to both
civil rights and free speech.  The
national security counsel for the
ACLU said that the bill is reflective of
a trend to empower the Secret
Service to "arrest or harass or
control dissenters, and now not just
at presidential events."  
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
fun d' mental
News
Walmart Breaks
MA Law for
"Business
Reasons"
Consumer Savings Recover to Depression Era Levels
Americans' personal savings rate
declined to levels that have only
been seen in the years of the
Great Depression.  The amount of
money held as savings by
Americans dipped into negative
territory in 2005.  Americans
saved a minus 0.5 percent in
2005.The savings rate has been
negative for a whole year only
twice before, this was during the
Great Depression in both 1932
and 1933.  A negative savings
rate reflects that consumers
continued to spend both
disposable income and borrowed
money, taking advantage of
historically low interest rates.  The
negative savings rate in 2005
followed an anemic rate of 1.8
percent in 2004.

During the same period, the
Labor Department reported that
wages and benefits paid to
workers rose last year
by the smallest amount in nine
years.  Employee compensation was
up 3.1 percent in 2005, a decline
from the 3.7 rise in 2004.  Wages
rose a scant 0.8 percent in the fourth
quarter of 2005. Over all, wages rose
at a rate slower than inflation last
year.

The slow growth in wages contradicts
some analysis that ties the growth of
job creation to an upswing in the
economy.  While there has been
growth in employment, it has largely
been contained in the low wage
service sector.  The decline in wage
growth occurred during a period that
employer costs associated with
providing benefits to employees has
skyrocketed.  In 2005 such costs
rose at a rate of 4.5 percent.  In 2004
the same costs, especially those
associated with health care, rose at a
rate of 6.9 percent.
This economic news was reported at
the same time that the Center for
Budget and Policy Priorities in
association with the Economic Policy
Institute released a study that shows
that the gap between the richest and
poorest Americans has increased
over the past twenty years.  Incomes
of the poorest American families rose
19 percent in the past twenty years
while the incomes of the richest
Americans have risen by nearly 59
percent during this same period.  
The income of poor Americans has
risen by $2,660 since 1980, while the
incomes of America's richest families
grew by $45,100.
American retail giant Walmart
was sued in state courts in
Massachusetts for refusing to
fulfill prescriptions of the
emergency contraceptives
known
as 'plan B'.  The 3 plaintiffs are
supported in the action by a
coalition of pro-choice groups.

Massachusetts law requires
that
pharmacies in the state stock
and
dispense common prescription
medications.  The law also
requires that emergency rooms
provide the medication to
victims
of rape and also allows
pharmacists to dispense plan-B
without a doctor's prescription.

The law does, however,
contain  
language that requires
pharmacies
to stock common medications,
but in accord with "the usual
needs of the community".

Walmart has stated that the
company has a long standing
policy of not stocking the
contraceptive for many reasons
including considering the
"needs
of the community". Walmart has
also said that its decision to not
stock plan-B contraceptives is
due
to "business reasons".  

Walmart only stocks plan-B
medication in its stores in
Illinois
where law mandates that
pharmacies must dispense the
drug "without delay".

The plaintiffs are seeking a
court
injunction requiring Walmart to
stock plan-B contraceptives in
its
Massachusetts stores
redstat
Traffic
Can't Own the Bible,
Vatican Copyrights  Pope's
Words
The Vatican has moved to strictly
regulate the publication of papal
documents by transferring copyright
on all papal texts to its official
publishing house, Libreria Editrice
Vaticana. The edict applies to all
writings and public speeches of Pope
Benedict XVI, including encyclicals.
The copyright also covers all papal
documents over the past 50 years.
The new policy came to light when
the Vatican billed a Milanese
publishing company some $18,000
for using 30 lines of Pope Benedict’s
first speech as Pope in an anthology.
It was revealed that under the
copyright publishers must pay a 3 to
5 percent royalty to use excerpts
from such speeches. Those that
violate
the copyright face a levy of 15
percent and the threat of legal
action. The Milanese publishing
house was charged the higher
rate, plus court costs.The
decision has been criticized by
many within the Church as placing
constraints on attempts to
disseminate the Pope’s message.
The Union of Catholic Publishers
and Booksellers complained that it
had not been consulted.But
Vatican spokesmen stressed that
papal texts have always been
subject to copyright, although it
was rarely enforced. They said
the new policy was enacted to
protect the Vatican against
“pirated editions
source: US Bureau of the
Census
         Departments

News

Weather

Traffic

Sports

redstats

previous editions


    Links of the Week

Fairness and Accuracy in
Reporting Media Advisory :
"Terror Plot" Reporting Lacks
Skepticism Networks treat
White House allegations as fact

Herman Melville web page by
Professor Andreas Tueber of
Brandeis University

Ornette Coleman web page at
harmolodic.com

NASA Aurora Gallery : gallery
of Aurora Borealis photographs

contact us
Sports
NFL Wants to be in that Number, When the Saints Go
Marching Out
Each year, in the week before the
Super Bowl, the NFL Commissioner
speaks to members of the press,
touching on the important issues
facing the league in the off season
and the year ahead. In this season’s
“state of the league” report,
delivered on Friday in Detroit,
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, as
expected, addressed upcoming
negotiations for a new collective
bargaining agreement with the NFL
Players Association and the ongoing
controversy over minority hiring
among head coaches. But this year,
the unforeseen catastrophe of
Hurricane Katrina, which displaced
the New Orleans Saints in 2005, put
the issue of franchise movement at
the top of the agenda.

The NFL doesn’t like to talk about
franchise mobility publicly, but
ownership is constantly working new
scenarios behind closed doors,
seeking new cities offering more
lucrative stadium deals, or merely
threatening to leave town in order to
extract better terms in a future
negotiation. Owners often play one
municipality against another in an
attempt to create a bidding war for
the franchise. City officials look for
teams with poor revenues, or
ownership that is displeased with its
stadium facilities, and try to lure them
with promises of tax abatements,
local support, and a publicly financed
stadium complex.
Tagliabue promised full backing  for
the effort to bring the Saints back to
New Orleans for the 2006 season. He
said the NFL is firm in its  
commitment to the city, and that he
hoped the proposed renovations to
the  damaged Super Dome would be
complete in time for the Saints’ first
scheduled home game in the third
week of September. But close
observers of the league are already
talking about a future move of the
franchise, possibly to Los Angeles. It
is widely known that the NFL would
like to get a team into the nation’s
second largest media market as soon
as is practicable.

But although the league is anxious
for an LA-based team, the local
taxpayers have not shown a
willingness to pick up the tab for a
new football stadium, typically
exceeding $500 million. Many cities
that have no professional sports
franchises do fund all or part of these
stadium initiatives, often with
disastrous long-term ramifications for
their municipal economies. So the
NFL’s best chance of re-entering the
market is to relocate a distressed
franchise to LA, and the beleaguered
Saints are almost perfect for this
role.  The team has performed well
below expectations for several years,
attendance at the Super Dome was
down, and owner Tom Benson was
already in protracted negotiations
with the city about a new facility.
Advocates of keeping the team in
New Orleans say that the
presence of an NFL team will help
to attract revenue to the area,
and assist in driving the rebuilding
of the city’s economy. But the
Super Dome, which was already
aging, is severely damaged. Many
doubt that work w ill be complete
in time for the 2006 season, and
even if it is there are questions
about attendance and the viability
of the fan base in a city that has
lost over 70 percent of its total
pre-Katrina population.

Proponents of municipal
ownership of major sports
franchises point to the current
situation as an example of the
tenuousness of the relationship
between a team, its home city, its
fans, and its private owners. A
natural disaster displacing the
publicly owned Green Bay
Packers would be unthinkable.
But in the case of the Saints, the
home city is now in no position to
own the team, or to offer the
ownership the requisite
enticements to keep the team.

“We know this year will be
difficult,” says Tagliabue. The
league cannot afford to be seen
to be abandoning New Orleans,
but it may already be
contemplating a solution in case
the local effort fails
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redstateupdate.net
verbatim                                                                                                 7.5
"In truth, they have
endless ambitions of
imperial domination --
and they wish to make
everyone powerless,
except themselves…
...they seek to end
dissent in every form,
to control every
aspect of life, to rule
the
soul
itself.."                             
Aberdeen SD   10.31.02
previous editions archive
www.redstateupdate.net
 
US trade in passenger
automobiles by selected
countries
in  millions of dollars -year 2004
exports
imports
canada            germany           
japan
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
Weather: extended forecast
United States Cracks the Top Thirty
A new study assessing the
environmental performance of
133 nations ranks the United
States 28th. The study, which was
produced by researchers at Yale
and Columbia Universities,
measured each country’s
performance in a variety of areas
including drinking water,
sustainable natural resources,
and emissions of atmospheric
pollutants. The US was ranked
behind New Zealand, most of
Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan,
Malaysia, Costa Rica, and Chile. The
study used 16 environmental
indicators to determine each nation’s
success in meeting a set of critical
goals. The highest ranked countries
all devote significant resources to
environmental protection, but the
authors note that no country has
attained “a position of long-term
environmental sustainability.”The
study was released at last month’s
World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland
Terminator Seed Makers Protect
Profits, Kill Off Traditional Farming
Scientist's Studies Submitted to
Scrutiny
A coalition of groups that
promote the rights of
indigenous farming
communities petitioned the
United Nations to restrict or
ban the use of so called
'terminator seeds'.Terminator
seeds are genetically designed
to produce food crops but no
seed.  The agribusiness
conglomerates have designed
such products to ensure that
farmers cannot save seeds for
future seasons but would
instead have to purchase
seeds every year.  Companies
such as Monsanto and Cargill
have secured patents on many
genetically modified food crops
and are attempting to protect
their ownership of the seeds they
develop and sell.

Advocates for indigenous peoples
argue the age-old practice of saving
seeds that come from plants that
thrive in local conditions guarantees
food supplies for millions world wide
who live in communities that rely
upon subsistence agriculture.

Studies have found that 80 percent
of the cultivation of genetically
modified crops takes place in the US,
Canada and Argentina.   Recently,
Canada reversed a decision to plant
test plots of genetically modified
crops within its borders due to public
protest.
A top NASA scientist has
reported    
that the Bush administration has
initiated a campaign to silence him
because he is a vocal advocate
of  
government intervention to reduce
emissions of carbon dioxide linked
by
science to global warming.

James E. Hansen said that he
began
receiving verbal and written
threats
since late 2005 when he spoke to
the
American Geophysical Union
stating
that he believed that significant
cuts
in automobile carbon dioxide
emission could be achieved with
currently available technology.  
NASA
says that it's review of the professor's
work was standard agency policy.   
NASA has ordered its public relations
division review the scientist's
upcoming
appearances,lectures and interviews
with journalists. The agency is also
reviewing Dr. Hansen's Internet
postings on the
agency's web site and the topics of
his research and analysis.

Hansen has worked for NASA for
more than 25 years, is a globally
recognized expert in climate change
and currently directs the agency's
program of producing and analyzing
computer generated climate
simulations.
"There are some
monuments where the land
is so widespread...the
integral part of the—the
precious part, so to
speak—I guess all land is
precious, but the part that
the people uniformly would
not want to spoil, will not be
despoiled."
Washington  DC     03.13.01
verbatim                            number 7.6