spread of the red
number 81  12.03.06
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

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crowd control
spread of the red
in bed with the red
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Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
verbatim                                                                                   number 15.6
“They ask, what's the job like to
be President. And the answer
to that job is you make a lot
of decisions…
...It's a decision making
experience."
 Chicago  IL  07.07.06
A Dutch company has
perfected a software tool that it
says will give law enforcement
the ability to detect the
presence of angry citizens
among the crowds in public
places and on mass
transportation.  The software
is called the “aggression
detection system” and is
currently being used in the
Netherlands.

The company, Sigard, claims
that its software can “detect
verbal aggression with a high
degree of accuracy.”  The
company is marketing the
system called Sound
Intelligence that monitors
sound information from public
surveillance cameras and
processes it to alert law
enforcement personnel to
“verbally aggressive
individuals” in outdoor public
spaces and on public
transportation.

The software is designed to
listen for the decibel level and
pitch of the voices of citizens in
public places and filter out
background noise so that
persons monitoring public
spaces with surveillance
cameras can focus on
particular conversations.  
Once the software determines
that a verbally aggressive
person is present in a public
space, the closed circuit
surveillance camera that
detected the sound
automatically focuses on the
source of the aggressive
verbal sound.  

Many American cities have
extensive public surveillance
systems that could use the
software to monitor speech in
public spaces.            
it's all true
One of the nation’s largest private
military contractors, Halliburton LLC,
agreed to pay the federal government
$8 million to end a Justice
Department inquiry into alleged over-
billing by the company.  Halliburton is
the company Vice-president Dick
Cheney headed between 1995 and
2000.

The investigation involved one of the
company’s affiliated enterprises,
Kellogg, Brown and Root, that was
found to have double-billed the US
military for services during the
construction of a military compound
in the Balkans in the late 1990s.  The
company was also accused under
the federal False Claims Act of
providing materials and services that
were not contracted for or ordered
and for inflating the costs of the
services that it provided to the US
military.
The Justice Department released a
statement after reaching the
agreement with Halliburton advising
that the agency “remains committed
to vigorously pursuing allegations of
procurement abuses affecting the
military.”  A spokesperson from
Halliburton said that the company
was “pleased” with the settlement.

In 2000 Cheney resigned his position
of CEO of Halliburton and was
awarded a retirement compensation
package worth over $33 million,
including stocks and deferred
compensation.  Since the  occupation
of Iraq, Halliburton and its
subsidiaries have received US
military contracts worth several billion
dollars and have been the target of
multiple investigations into fraud, bid
rigging and double billing.                
it's all true
Electronic voting machines that rely
on secret proprietary software for
verification of election results are
inherently flawed and “cannot be
made secure,” according to a report
released by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology. The
document concludes that because of
their vulnerability to manipulation and
fraud, the paperless machines,
already in use in several states,
should not be certified. The report
was prepared by the NIST for the US
Election Assistance Commission,
which will issue new standards for
national elections early next year.

The recommendations by the NIST,
the
top federal research agency, support
the conclusions of many independent
software analysts, who for years
have warned that electronic voting
machines lacked sufficient security
safeguards. The report is a setback
for state and local election officials
who have spent billions of dollars in
federal grant money on the suspect
technology. Precincts in at least 15
states use voting machines that
cannot be independently verified.

NIST researchers found it impossible
to devise “testable requirements” to
assess the security of the software
used in the paperless voting
machines, most of which are
manufactured and sold by just four
companies. The researchers
acknowledge that a single
computer programmer could
manipulate election results on a
statewide scale, and that such
tampering would be virtually
undetectable.

Increased awareness of these
problems among the electorate
has led to “continued questions
about voting system security and
diminished public confidence in
elections,” according to the
report. The findings are to be
reviewed this week by the
Technical Guidelines
Development Committee, which is
working to establish new national
standards for implementation after
the 2008 presidential
elections.         
it's all true
The United States is ranked 17th
among world nations in the
recently published Economist
Intelligence Unit Index of
Democracy for 2007. The authors
studied political conditions in 167
countries and grouped them into
four categories including full
democracies, flawed democracies,
hybrid regimes, and authoritarian
regimes. The index, which rated
Sweden the world’s most
successful democracy and North
Korea the most authoritarian
regime, was published in
The
Economist
magazine.

The investigation considered 60
sociopolitical indicators in five
areas: electoral process, civil
liberties, functioning of
government, political culture, and
political participation. The report
cited erosion of civil liberties in
assessing  the US. The index
ranked Sweden just ahead of
Iceland, with the Netherlands,
Norway, and Denmark also in the
top five. 28 nations were named
full democracies including the US,
Japan at 20th, and the UK, at
23rd. Russia, which ranked
102nd, and China, at 138th, are
listed among the “hybrid
regimes.”                      
it's all true
The United States Supreme Court
has begun consideration of the
issues involved in Massachusetts vs.
the Environmental Protection
Agency, a landmark case that will
have significant implications for state
and federal regulatory policy. The
Court heard oral argument in the
case last week, with serious
differences among the justices
apparent from their comments. The
central question is whether states
may act to force the federal
government to regulate pollutants
that contribute to global warming.

The EPA does not currently
recognize the so-called “greenhouse
gases” as atmospheric pollutants
under the Bush administration
interpretation of the Clean Air Act, a
reversal of the policy of previous
administrations. US Deputy Solicitor
General Gregory G. Garre, who
appeared for the EPA, adhered to
the government position that there is
insufficient agreement among
scientists about global warming and
its possible causes, and that the
substances referred to in the lawsuit
are not pollutants under the Act.
Massachusetts Assistant Attorney
General James R. Milkey argued that
the agency’s refusal to act clearly
harms states’ interests, especially in
the future because of the cumulative
effects of environmental damage.
The Court appeared to be divided
along familiar lines, with newly
appointed Chief Justice John Roberts
and Justice Samuel Alito joining
Justices Antonin Scalia and,
presumably, Clarence Thomas in
questioning the states’ standing to
bring the action. Justices John Paul
Stevens, David Souter, Stephen
Breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
seemed to be skeptical of the
government’s positions on a variety
of issues. Court observers agreed
the case is likely to result in a
contentious 5-4 decision, with Justice
Anthony Kennedy providing the
swing vote.

Scalia provoked laughter during the
proceedings when he misidentified
the troposphere as the
“stratosphere.”  After being
corrected by the plaintiff’s
representative, the Justice remarked,
“Troposphere, whatever. I told you
before I’m not a scientist. That’s why
I don’t want to have to deal with
global warming, to tell you the truth.”

States that have joined the case
against the EPA include New York,
New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut,
Oregon, Vermont, Maine, Rhode
Island, New Mexico, and Washington.
Several environmental groups have
also joined the lawsuit. The  Court is
not expected to issue a ruling until
some time next year.      
it's all true
A new draft report by investigators
for the European Parliament states
that European countries knew about
and assisted the US it its program of
kidnapping innocent citizens off the
streets of European countries so
they could be conveyed to
clandestine detention camps in
Eastern Europe and Asia to be held
illegally and tortured.  The report
also details how these same
countries have obstructed the
organization’s investigation into the
practice, known as “extraordinary
rendition”.   

Investigators suggested that some of
the clandestine detention camps
were or are located on US military
bases in European countries.

The report specifically criticized
several top EU officials, including
foreign policy
chief Javier Solana and counter-
terrorism coordinator Gijs de Vries
stating that their testimony lacked
credibility and contained
ommissions.  The investigators
condemned nearly all of the member
states for their non-cooperation and
obstruction of the on-going
investigation.   

The committee said that the head of
criminal justice at Europol, Max-Peter
Ratzel, and NATO Secretary General
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer flatly refused
to address the investigative
committee.

The report also said that the former
head of Italy’s SISMI intelligence
service, Nicolo Pollari, had
“concealed the truth” when he
disclaimed the involvement of Italian
agents in the kidnapping and
rendition of a Muslim cleric off the
streets of Milan.
That case, which was reported
previously by
redstatupdate.
net
, involved up to 25 CIA agents,
13 of whom have been indicted by
the courts in Italy and are
currently being sought for arrest
by Italian authorities.The cleric
was rendered to Egyptian
authorities and, the investigators
commented, has been “held
incommunicado and tortured ever
since.”  Pollari is currently being
investigated by Italian authorities
for his role in the crime.

The vice-president of the
committee that drafted the report
said that member states, in their
participation in the illegal
kidnappings and renditions and
their non-cooperation with EU
investigators, have failed to “stick
to the moral high ground of
international legitimacy.”  
it's all true
Aggression
Detection
System Sounds a
Lot
Like Big Brother
US Allies Render Little Assistance in EU Kidnapping
Investigation
Justice Delivers 'Pleasing' Halliburton
Hand-Slap
Americans Finish
Well Behind Finnish
Heated Atmosphere as EPA Denies Global
Warming
Report Concludes Easily Defeated Software Loses in
Landslide
previous editions archive
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