News
number 5       
05.28.05
Bush Administration Sends Message to Veterans
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
The budget that the Bush
Administration sent to Congress this
year has proposed raising the
prescription medication co-payment
for many of America’s veterans.  The
budget calls for increasing veteran's
copayments in some categories up to
100 percent.  The Bush budget also
proposed a required yearly $250 fee
from some veterans for accessing
medical treatment and services.  

The Bush budget reduces funding for
veteran’s nursing homes by $351
million.
Federal funding would also be
eliminated for a long-term care
program for veterans.  The budget
advanced by the president is $68.2
billion, an increase of one percent.

Veteran’s advocates have criticized
the president's budget for limiting
spending on veteran’s health care
while the need for services is
expected to rise.  Richard Fuller,
legislative director of the Paralyzed
Veterans of America stated that the
one percent increase is insufficient at
a time when “there has
been a huge increase in health care
costs”.  Vice President Dick Cheney
defended the president’s overall
budget proposal on
Meet The
Press
in March, stating of the cuts,
“Its not something we’ve done with a
meat ax”.

The Veteran’s Administration
operates the nation’s largest hospital
network. More than 5 million veterans
are treated by the Veteran’s
Administration annually.  An
anticipated 600,000 additional
veterans are expected to sign up for
benefits this year.
red state rebate
Weather
Seed Companies
Weed out
Opposition
Nominations Reduce Need for Energy Lobbyists
A report released this month by the
Center for Investigative Reporting
(CIFR) reveals that 35 percent of the
judges which have been nominated
to the Federal Court of Claims by the
Bush administration have a financial
interest in or have been employed by
oil, gas, mining and energy
companies during their legal careers.

21 of the 59 judges nominated by the
president have received
compensation from the energy
industry according to the financial
disclosure statements filed by the
nominees and reviewed by the CFIR.  
The analysis, the first of its kind
regarding possible conflicts of
interest of judicial nominees, also
revealed that at  
least nine of the nominees have
previously lobbied for energy or
mining corporations.

Nominee Judge Charles Pickering
has worked in the Federal District
Court in Mississippi where he has
presided over dozens of cases
involving the oil and gas industry for
more than ten years even though
records show that Pickering himself
owns an energy company.  Nominee
Judge John Roberts filed an amicus
brief on behalf of the national mining
association in 2000 in support of a
mining technique called “mountain
top removal” where entire mountains
are excavated and leeched in
chemicals to extract minerals.
Nine of Bush’s judicial nominees
are board members or actively
participate in conservative think
tanks that advocate for less
government regulation of business.  
25 of the nominees made campaign
contributions of more than one
thousand dollars to President
Bush.  Research performed by
Ohio State University suggests that  
today there are more federal
judges who have close ties to
industry than any time in American
history.
Two bills currently under
consideration by the North
Carolina state legislature
would assist large
agrochemical corporations in
their bid to introduce
genetically modified seed
technology, even against the
wishes of local authorities.

The legislation, if enacted,
would make the State
Department of Agriculture the
sole regulatory body for plant
species.  The seed companies
hope that this will circumvent
opposition at the local level.  
The industry, which is
dominated by five companies:
Monsanto, Bayer, Dow,
Dupont, and Syngenta, has
sponsored similar legislative
initiatives in nine other states.

By centralizing regulatory
authority in such matters, the
agrochemical giants hope to
prevent local regulations that
might prohibit the controversial
crops.  Local opposition
recently led to restrictions on
genetically modified seed
technology in three California
counties.

Farmers and activists warn of
possible unintended
environmental effects of
genetically modified crops.  
The technology allows
corporations to gain virtual
monopolies on specific strains
of seed.  Experts estimate that
up to 75 percent of processed
foods have some genetically
modified content.
redstat
one nation under surveillance
FBI Seeks Further Powers Under Patriot Act
President Bush in cooperation with
Republican Senate leadership is
advancing an expansion of the
USA Patriot Act that would allow
investigators to demand
documents from businesses and
institutions without having to obtain
a judge’s approval. The expansion
of the USA Patriot Act would allow
the FBI to subpoena documents
without presenting evidence to a
judge if the agency declares that
such records and documents are
pertinent to an on-going terror
investigation.

The Senate Intelligence committee
will take up the proposal this month.
The expansion of Justice
Department
authority is supported by the
administration that feels it will speed
up the investigation of terror leads
by simplifying the process of
searching businesses’ records.  The
American Civil Liberties Union views
the proposal as both a “power grab”
and a “dramatic expansion of the
powers of the Justice Department”.

The Bush administration is seeking
to make permanent provisions of the
Patriot Act that are scheduled to
expire this year. More than 350
governmental bodies on the
municipal and state level have
passed formal resolutions
challenging the authorities created
under the Patriot Act.
spread of the red
interpreting the constitution
Chicago's
Cameras Catch  
Fifty-Six
Local PD Targets Local Anarchists
Departments
News

Weather

Traffic

Sports

redstat

previous editions

Links of the Week

Despotisim, 1946 Encyclopedia
Britannica Film

Justice Stevens' Dissent to
Rumsfeld vs. Padilla

The Downing Street Memo

contact us
The police department in Melbourne,
Florida has collected over 600 pages
of records on citizens of Brevard
County who have attended anti-war
protests. The records were obtained
by the Florida American Civil
Liberties Union after the attendees at
a January 2005 anti-war rally realized
that the local police were video
taping the permitted event. The
surveillance reports date back to
2002 and reflect espionage carried
out by the Melbourne Police
Department at more than a dozen
political, religious and civil rights
events.

The reports revealed that the police
had developed a “War Protest
Operational Plan” which allows
officers to clandestinely photograph
and videotape public events where
citizens voiced their opposition to the
occupation of
Iraq and other policies of the Bush
administration. In addition to the
surreptitious recording of the rallies
Melbourne police reportedly
infiltrated meetings where organizers
planned the events to secretly gather
information about the event’s
planners. The records obtained by
the ACLU also indicate that
police “monitored” the movements of
the event planners.

The officers who performed the
espionage collected VIN & license
plate information on over 60 vehicles,
did background checks on planners
and rally participants, and identified
67 “persons of interest” under the
operational plan. During the time
when the plan was being carried out
by the police department a pro-war
rally was held in Melbourne where no
photographs or videos were taken by
officers no vehicle information was
collected and no “persons of
interest" were identified.

Spokes persons for the Brevard
chapter of the ACLU stated that “if
you are part of the peace movement
or you are against the administration
you can pretty much bet your
personal information is going to be
on file” with local police authorities.
Bruce Parker, director of the
Melbourne Sheriff’s Investigative
Support Unit assured Floridians that
“we're looking for anarchists”. The
Melbourne Police Department has
discontinued their policy of
videotaping pro-peace events since it
‘s clandestine data collection
practices were revealed.
The Chicago police are in the final
stages of constructing a network
of over two thousand five hundred
video cameras in public spaces
around the city.  

The video surveillance equipment
is positioned in what Chicago
Police define as “high crime
areas” as well as in most large
public spaces in Chicago,
including 600 schools.  
Monitoring the two thousand plus
24-hour video surveillance
cameras will be aided by
sophisticated software that will
direct the attention of police
monitors to what the software
categorizes as “unusual”.

Police officials reported that the
cameras in the city’s public
spaces have produced “over 56
usable videos” which the
department has inventoried.  
Mayor Daley told reporters that
the public should not be
concerned about the mega-
surveillance system infringing on
privacy stating, “We’re not in your
homes or your businesses, the
city owns the sidewalks”.
back to top of
page
redstateupdate.net
"The notion that the United   
States is getting ready to
attack     Iran is simply
ridiculous...
...having said that, all
options
are on the table."
Brussels, Belgium    02.22.05
verbatim                                      number 1.5
 
source: Economic Policy
Institute
Share of all workers
earning
poverty-level hourly
wages
2003


2000



1995


1990


1980
%   0     10   20     30    40    
50