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Politicians urge fair treatment for Haitian refugees
Wednesday, October 30, 2002 Posted: 1:17 PM EST (1817 GMT)

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged fair treatment Wednesday for more than 200 mostly Haitian refugees who jumped from a boat near Key Biscayne, near Miami, and swam and waded to shore seeking U.S. asylum. His words echoed those expressed Tuesday night by his Democratic opponent in next week's election, Bill McBride, and those of Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida. Bush spoke at a campaign stop at the Liberty Learning Center. Members of the Haitian American Grass Roots Association, waving signs saying "Free Haitian refugees," gathered nearby in Little Haiti, north of downtown Miami.

******Well, we at least know that none of the BILLIONS OF DOLLARS authorized by Congress for Homeland Security never made it to the U.S.Coast Guard based in South Florida, at least as far as we can tell... Maybe Jeb's re-coronation campaign hasn't paid the kitty back yet - but that's just this man's opinion**************

******10/31******* for the conspiracy enthusiasts...just suppose...
1. Shrub the third is in a campaign that is a lot closer than the dynasty would like against McBride (a true Floridian, btw)
2. The Coast Guard admits monitoring that Haitian boat for at least 2 hours before it ran aground close enough to the Rickenbacher Causeway that the passengers onboard could wade ashore
3. The Coast Guard is not usually known for major screw-ups, like friendly-fire against Canadians, not to mention our own, so it is a real stretch to believe that in these times of heightened awareness the Coast Guard would accidently allow this boat, that could have been carrying anything, get as close to the US mainland without interdiction...

unless they were instructed to allow the boat to unload some of the Haitians so BroJeb could look like he was a (dare I say it?), compassionate conservative? - and just one week before the election?

Just supposing. Of course, this is all this old curmudgeon's opinion and does not intend to be indicative of the opinions of the website owners...though I do thank then for allowing me to rant... (if this doesn't get edited, of course.)
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 10:56 AM

October 26, 2002

An FBI language translator, hired after Sept. 11, claims she was told by her supervisor to let her work pile up so the bureau could show it needs more money, a CBS report says.
"Let the documents pile up so we can show it and say we need more translators and expand the department," FBI translator Sibel Edmonds said a supervisor told her, according to a "60 Minutes" report that airs tomorrow.

Edmonds has filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming she was fired for bringing the matter to light. She claims she refused to slow down her work, but her supervisor started deleting it. "The next day, I would come to work and the translation would be gone," she said. She said she confronted the supervisor, who brushed her off. "He said, 'Consider it a lesson and don't talk about it to anybody else and don't mention it,' " Edmonds said.

She said FBI agents needed the translation for their investigations. "The first two months after the Sept. 11 event . . . [these agents] were working around the clock . . . I would receive calls from these people saying, 'Would you please prioritize this and translate it?' " she said. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), an FBI critic, called her "very credible" because he says people in the FBI corroborated parts of her story.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:55 PM

Was Paul Wellstone Murdered?
(Michael I. Niman, Alternet, October 28, 2002)
In a senate that is one heartbeat away from Republican control, Wellstone was more than just another Democrat. He was often the lone voice standing firm against the status-quo policies of both the Democrats and the Republicans. As such, he earned the special ire of the Bush administration and the Republican Party, who made Wellstone's defeat that party's number one priority this year. . . . When I heard Wellstone's plane went down, I immediately thought of Panamanian General Omar Torrijos, who in 1981 thumbed his nose at the Reagan/Bush administration and threatened to destroy the Panama Canal in the event of a U.S. invasion. Torrijos died shortly thereafter when the instruments in his plane failed to function upon takeoff. Panamanians speculated that the U.S. was involved in the death of the popular dictator, who was replaced by a U.S. intelligence operative, Manuel Noreiga, who previously worked with George Bush Senior. . . . There is no indication today that Wellstone's death was the result of foul play. What we do know, however, is that Wellstone emerged as the most visible obstacle standing in the way of a draconian political agenda by an unelected government. And now he is conveniently gone. For our government to maintain its credibility at this time, we need an open and accountable independent investigation involving international participation into the death of Paul Wellstone.
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posted by Lorenzo 3:43 PM

Spurning gasoline from Shell, Chevron, Texaco, Exxon, and Mobil?
By the time crude oil gets from the ground into our gasoline tanks, there's no telling exactly where it came from. A good deal of the crude oil purchased from Russia, for example, is oil from Iraqi fields sold through Russian middlemen. Oil companies sell their output through a variety of outlets other than their branded stations. When you buy gasoline from a gas station other than a Shell-branded gas station, it doesn't mean that you're not necessarily sending money to Shell (or, by extension, the Middle East).

Only 31% of the USA's imports came from Arab OPEC countries (Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) in January 2002. The top six countries (by percentage of total USA imports) supplying crude oil to the USA in January 2002 were:
- Saudi Arabia: 16.9%
- Mexico: 15.1%
- Canada: 15.0%
- Venezuela: 14.4%
- Iraq: 11.4%
- Nigeria: 5.9.%

Sinclair imports from Canada, not the Middle East. Sunoco imports primarily from Canada, Angola, and Nigeria, not Middle Eastern countries.

CITGO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national oil company of Venezuela, so naturally most of its crude oil comes from there. However, in February 2002, CITGO also imported from Middle Eastern countries in the following quantities:
- Iraq: 1,342,000 barrels
- Kuwait: 437,000 barrels

Conoco imports primarily from Mexico, Venezuela, and Canada, and not from Middle Eastern countries. However, they are planning to merge with Phillips, which does import from Middle Eastern countries.

BP imports from a variety of oil-producing countries, but in February 2002, BP North America also imported from Middle Eastern countries in the following quantities:
- Iraq: 470,000 barrels
- Kuwait: 415,000 barrels
- Saudi Arabia: 2,123,000 barrels
- Algeria: 3,853,000 barrels

Phillips also imports from a variety of oil-producing countries, but in February 2002, Phillips imported from Middle Eastern countries in the following quantities:
- Iraq: 717,000 barrels
- Saudi Arabia: 1,100,000 barrels
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posted by Hal 2:47 PM

HUFFINGTON: Upstairs/Downstairs
(Arianna Huffington, AlterNet, October 18, 2002)
"For the first time in eight years, the poverty rate rose," said Dick Gephardt on the floor of the House, but it fell upon the deaf ears of a public preoccupied with sniper attacks and rumors of war. But the statistics to come out of the report are staggering: The number of Americans living in poverty grew 1.3 million last year to 32.9 million, while the most affluent fifth of the population received half of all household income and the poorest fifth 3.5 percent. . . . Upstairs: Former Kmart CEO Charles Conaway received nearly $23 million in compensation during his two-year tenure. Downstairs: When Kmart filed for bankruptcy in 2002, 283 stores were closed and 22,000 employees lost their jobs. Total amount of severance pay for them: $0.00. . . . Upstairs: Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott, Jr. received more than $17 million in total compensation in 2001. Downstairs: Wal-Mart employees in 30 states are suing the company alleging that managers forced employees to punch out after an eight-hour work day, and then continue working for no pay. Nevermind the Fair Labor Standards Act, which says employees who work more than 40 hours a week must be paid time-and-a-half for their overtime. . . . Upstairs: The top 1 percent of stock owners hold 47.7 percent of all stocks. Downstairs: The bottom 80 percent of stock owners own just 4.1 percent of total stock holdings. . . . Upstairs: In 2000, the average CEO earned more in one day than the average worker earned all year. Downstairs: In 2000, 25 percent of workers earned less than poverty-level wages.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 5:24 PM

AlterNet: This Rare Historical Moment
(Kenny Ausubel, Conscious Choice, October 21, 2002)
Everywhere you turn these days, belief systems are crashing and burning like a meteor shower. From Enron to Arthur Andersen to the Catholic Church and even major-league baseball, people's faith in institutions is disintegrating. . . . When Bush Lite proudly kicked off his regime as America, Incorporated, you have to wonder why he didn't propose reconstituting the Senate and the House as Fortune 100 and Fortune 500. If we enforced truth-in-advertising laws, Senators and Congresspeople would wear jumpsuits like race-car drivers sporting the logos of corporate sponsors. Then we could easily distinguish the Senator from General Electric and the Congressperson from Disney. . . . we may well be witnessing the beginning of the decline and fall of the corporate empire . . . Ecology does not recognize national borders, and planetarization demands that we create a restorative economy grounded in healthy ecosystems and job creation. It also calls upon us to celebrate the world's rich diversity of cultures, and to forge a working community of nations committed to social justice. Without social and economic justice there can be no peace with the Earth. . . . This rare historical moment offers us a gleaming opportunity. . . . There are many deep wounds to heal, not the least those of the human spirit. This transformation also demands a change of heart flowing from an empathic connection with the fullness of the living Earth. It's about the sanctity of all life. . . . The choices we make today are going to have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences. As human beings, perhaps our greatest facility is how rapidly we re-invent culture.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:19 PM

"Catch 22"

Sklyarov denied US visa to testify in DMCA case
By John Leyden
Posted: 16/10/2002 at 10:51 GMT

Dmitry Sklyarov, the Russian programmer at the centre of the first Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prosecution, has been denied a US visa in a move that jeopardises his requirement to testify in the forthcoming trial of his former employers, ElcomSoft. ElcomSoft's chief executive, Alexander Katalov, has likewise been denied a visa, Planet PDF reports, in a move that surely means the already delayed October 21 start of the trial will be put back still further.

ElcomSoft is charged with supplying a tool that circumvents the copy protection in Adobe eBooks, which can be used in making audible copies of e-books for the blind, or copies of legitimately purchased electronic books. ElcomSoft's Advanced eBook Processor, which is legal in Russia, was sold over the Internet (though it has since been taken off the market). Sklyarov was also indicted in the case, and spent a month in a US jail (and four months on bail) before striking a deal that allowed him to return to Russia in exchange for testifying in any case against ElcomSoft. That agreement, thanks to the refusal of Sklyarov's visa is now in jeopardy, and he faces the Kafkaesque dilemma of been legally unable to enter the States to attend a trial he is legally obliged to testify in.

Sklyarov was arrested and slung into jail in July 2001 following a court case instigated by Adobe. The California software company pulled the legal trigger in response to a presentation made by the Russian programmer pointing out the shortcomings of eBook security at last year's Defcon conference in Las Vegas. He faced charges punishable by up to 25 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Adobe attracted huge opprobrium for its actions, and in the face of a self-inflicted public relations nightmare, quickly withdrew support for prosecution. However, the Department of Justice took up the reins.
Even though Sklyarov was released on bail of $50,000 in August, he still had to remain in the US until December, when a deal was made.

The case against ElcomSoft and Sklyarov has become a cause c�l�bre among white hat hackers, who objected to jailing a programmer simply for coding and distributing software. There were also concerns that, at the behest of the entertainment industry, the DMCA was applied in a way which would stymie legitimate security research and prevent 'fair use' of copyrighted material. Civil liberties groups, most notably the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Internet activists have also campaigned hard on Sklyarov's behalf. �

***So, who's on first?"***
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:54 AM

Government, NY Times Join Forces to Evict Business Owners
By Jeff McKay
CNSNews.com Correspondent
October 18, 2002

(CNSNews.com) - A New York State government agency is forcing a group of business owners to leave their property by condemning it. That clears the way for a new skyscraper to go up - an office building that will house the New York Times. Critics complain city taxpayers will foot part of the bill. In a deal struck by the Empire State Development Corporation, a group of Midtown Manhattan buildings - just a block from Times Square - will be torn down. The land will then be leased to the New York Times, which plans to build a million-plus square foot office tower that will also include leased commercial space. Some say the deal gives the land to the New York Times for "pennies on the dollar."

In a New York Times story dated October 25, 2001, the New York Times called the now-condemned block, "a shabby blend of sex shops, prostitution, loitering, and drug dealing." The report was entitled, "Blight to Some is Home to Others." But others disagree. "In reality, the ESD (Empire State Development) is condemning an entire block of thriving small businesses along 8th Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets so that the Times can erect a new building," said Manhattan Libertarian Party spokesman Jim Lesczynski. "This will be at the expense of property owners, tenants and taxpayers. This New York Times plan is simply a case of the government helping the politically powerful at the expense of the less fortunate," according to Lesczynski.

"It's so abusive -- the tactics they are using. They are pressuring tenants to move out," Orbach stated. "When I came to America, I could never believe that this could happen here. To me, this is very reminiscent of Nazi Germany."

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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:40 AM

When the ask why they died, tell them it was because their fathers lied
(Charley Reese, October 14, 2002)
A lot of America's sons have died because "their fathers lied." The U.S. government lied through its teeth about the Tonkin Gulf resolution, an authorization for war based on a nonexistent attack, which Lyndon Johnson used as an excuse to pour American troops into Vietnam. . . . Franklin Roosevelt lied when he campaigned and promised he would never send American boys to fight in a foreign war. Long before he said it, he and Winston Churchill were plotting to get America into the war. Woodrow Wilson had campaigned on the slogan "He kept us out of the war," and then promptly got us into the war after the J.P. Morgan interests told him all of their loans would be jeopardized if the British were defeated. . . . That's why I've become so anti-war, which is not the same thing as being a pacifist. I will support any war in the genuine defense of this country, but I have not seen an honest war in my lifetime or read of one since the War Between the States. . . . The all-volunteer Army, which is really a mercenary Army, was adopted to make it easier for the United States to go to war. The sons and daughters of the powerful and influential, of course, don't volunteer. Our soldiers are mostly minorities and lower-middle-class kids. They are wonderful Americans, but they are, as far as the American elite is concerned, expendable. They can be lied to. . . . . . . because of those lies, the young in our own and in other countries die or have their lives blighted by wounds, disease and poverty
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posted by Lorenzo 5:00 PM

America's great misleader
(The Guardian, October 8, 2002)
What is driving Mr Bush down this path? Is it a desire to draw attention away from his poor to chronic domestic policy record? Is it an attempted diversion from the stock market collapse, America's rising unemployment and its corporate malfeasance scandals? Is it all about oil? Or the mid-term elections? Or his own re-election bid in 2004? Or is it a personal, Bush family vendetta against Saddam? . . . Any one of these explanations makes more sense than far-fetched claims that Saddam is planning attacks on the most powerful nation in the history of the world, attacks that would certainly be traced back to him and would result in his utter annihilation. . . . As this American debate develops, Mr Bush is starting to lose the argument. Perhaps he will listen. But perhaps he will go ahead anyway. In which case, the necessity for regime change does indeed become overwhelming. Regime change in Washington, that is.
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posted by Lorenzo 4:02 PM

Harry Belafonte likens Colin Powell to a plantation slave
(Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian, October 12, 2002)
"There's an old saying - in the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation [and] those slaves that lived in the house," Belafonte, an outspoken advocate for civil rights causes, said in a radio interview. . . . "You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master ... exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. . . . "Colin Powell's permitted to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture," said Belafonte, who had his biggest hit with the song Day-O.
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posted by Lorenzo 7:56 AM

10 Lessons from the Corporate Collapse
(David MOberg, In These Times, September 25, 2002)
There are many lessons to be learned from the collapse of the bubble economy and the scandals of corporate financial skullduggery, but the White House hasn't learned any of them. Here are 10 for starters:
1. There is no new economy.
2. The crisis is not the result of a few bad apples.
3. Banish the cult of the invincible CEO.
4. Regulation is good.
5. Regulation must go global.
6. Let the sun shine in.
7. The economy should serve real people and real needs.
8. Stop shifting risk.
9. The corruption of politics by corporate money is bad for democracy -- and the economy.
10. It's the powerful versus the people.

For the past three decades, the powerful have waged a very successful but "one-sided class war" (in the words of former United Auto Workers President Doug Fraser). Of course, it has been fought in different terms -- against big government, taxes, regulations and inflation, but for free trade -- and it has hidden under many other banners (including a wide variety of social issues like gun control and abortion that obscured the economic agenda of the powerful). . . . There has been a much less vigorous effort to mobilize the people to curtail the powerful and keep them socially accountable. The final lesson is that the times and popular sentiment may be as ripe as any in decades for reviving that old populist message.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 6:07 PM

The Republic Is Dead
(MIchael C. Ruppert, From the Wilderness, October 1, 2002)
a recent AP story headlined "Evidence Contradicts Bush 9-11 Denial," following on the heels of dramatic testimony by the charismatic and eloquent 9-11 widow Kristen Breitweiser, along with ever more damning revelations in the joint House Senate 9-11 intelligence committee have proved that FTW's allegations a year ago of foreknowledge were more than justified. Strange, isn't it, that it has now been classified as to what the president was told before the attacks? If he knew what we now know the intelligence agencies knew, he is at the very least a proven and untrustworthy liar. Bush's known actions before, during and since the attacks are impeachable offenses. Perhaps some brave member of Congress will ultimately take to the floor and say so. . . . I can see no better combination of factors than a bloody war, threats of or actual terrorist attacks, and draconian health legislation that will allow for the immediate confiscation of property and the uncontested quarantine of anyone as convenient methods to control an angry population that may soon be going hungry and cold. President Bush has made it clear that he wants the Homeland Security Act -- with all of its suppressive powers -- signed before the Iraqi invasion and, as of Oct. 1, we will have the Northern Command in place that will place both Mexican and Canadian troops under U.S. command. . . . the move against Iraq and Saudi Arabia is a move to break the back of OPEC and drastically reduce prices by increasing production from the only two countries in the world that can open oil taps wider. . . . While staving off an inevitable collapse of the U.S. economy by drastically reducing oil prices (including heating oil and fuel for power generation) just before winter, the Bush Administration would also gut the national incomes of most countries in the region. Our immediate economic instability would be immediately transferred to the Middle East. The Saudi monarchy, awaiting the imminent passing of King Fahd, must see this clearly. The civil war between Princes Abdullah and Sultan that looms from that event alone might turn into anarchy if the Saudi government is suddenly unable to meet the domestic financial obligations that keep it in place. . . . The administration's arrogance is as frightening as its power. I have recently learned from trusted sources on Capitol Hill that the Armed Services committees have quietly begun planning for a reinstitution of the draft. That harkens back to my June 2000 essay, "When the Children of the Bull Market Begin to Die." The eventual drafting of our youth is to me as much a certainty as anything else I have written about thus far. Reserve units, now having been called up for more than a year, are nearing the breaking point. A bloody and protracted war -- something the rest of the world may now be hoping for -- will overextend our military, and the draft will be essential as the criminals occupying the Executive Branch desperately attempt to make their grasp meet their reach. I think that there is better than a 50-50 chance that nuclear weapons will be used on the battlefield by either the U.S. or Israel within the next six months. . . . Visionaries like Catherine Austin Fitts (www.solari.com) continue to demonstrate how our government is not a government but a criminal enterprise run for the benefit of corporations and syndicates. Her writing about alternative economic models that succeed without killing attracts far too little attention.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:49 PM

Anti-War Americans Deluge Congress With Mail
(Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, October 3, 2002)
House and Senate members say their constituent mail is running overwhelmingly against a unilateral attack on Iraq . . . "It's overwhelming numbers, something like 300 to 29," said Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island Republican. . . . Others reported even more lopsided responses opposed to war, and said phone calls seemed to be genuine outpourings from constituents, not a concerted drive by war opponents to flood offices. . . . "This is not orchestrated. People overwhelmingly want it done multilaterally," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, whose office had received more than 20,000 contacts, of which about 300 were supportive of unilateral military action.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 5:35 PM

Is Bush's Alleged High Approval Rating For Real?
(James G. Wieghart, TheHill.com, September 29, 2002)
The big mystery out here in the land of woods and lakes is: Who are the pollsters polling when they keep coming up with such high numbers for President Bush's approval rating? . . . Like most Americans elsewhere, people around here rallied around the president and his War on Terrorism after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. But serious questions are now being raised as to the pace and scope of that war, and the effectiveness of the steps taken thus far to make Americans more secure from terrorist attacks. . . . Despite all the hoopla about beefed up security at airports, nothing much has changed except longer lines at airport security checkpoints and random checks of passengers that most often single out women with children, elderly couples and business travelers rather than suspicious-looking characters. . . . What frightens people around here most of all is Bush's obsession with expanding the war into Iraq, a move that our European allies, except Great Britain, and all of the Arab countries strongly oppose. No one doubts that Saddam Hussein is attempting to build an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. But the fact that he is surrounded by others who have already developed such weapons, including Pakistan, India, Israel, China and Russia, not to mention the nearby naval forces of the United States and Great Britain, makes this presumed threat sound a bit feeble. . . . The real test of the public's view of the Bush presidency will come in November when the people who really count, the voters, go to the polls to elect a new House and one-third of the Senate. . . . And from here in the heartland, it looks as if the Democrats will not only keep control of the Senate, but win control of the House as well.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 5:32 PM

U.S. plans for martial law, tele-governance, suspension of elections
(John Stanton and Wayne Madsen, OnlineJournal.com, May 16, 2002)
The U.S. government and its military and corporate officials are fond of making the pitch to the American public that the U.S. Constitution mandates that their survival, above all others, is absolutely necessary to ensure that the government that emanates from that document survives a debilitating attack. It is astonishing that the American public believes such absurdities. . . . Undoubtedly, government and military planners�and their think tanks�have discussed attack scenarios that include the institution of a federal government tele-governing operation. Members of the U.S. Congress, Supreme Court justices, and the president and his cabinet could easily debate, vote, set policy, render legal decisions via encrypted communications lines, from the comfort of their protective bunkers, home shelters, and command posts on land, sea, and air. In the eventuality of nationwide martial law, these individuals, based on their cowardly performance on 911, would no doubt prefer the safe confines of Hitleresque bunkers. Such was the case on September 11 . . . The American public fell for this act from a "government" whose inserted president and appointees are the wealthiest Americans ever to oversee a US populace. And as the wealthiest and most corrupt person ever to occupy the White House uttered his inanities, "average people" were taking care of their post-attack communities in Arlington and New York City. As they suffered, the so-called civilian and military "leaders" ducked and covered in a classic CYA move. . . . The U.S. government has used martial law on numerous occasions, most often to quell domestic disturbances in specific locations around the country. . . . Martial law . . . destroys every guarantee of the Constitution and effectually renders the military independent of an superior to the civil power . . . In 2002, with the U.S. Supreme Court nothing more than a useful machination of the Bush regime, it seems likely that if Americans become subjected to a Bush declaration of martial law, any challenge to it would fail miserably. With that thought in mind, its useful to note that the Bush crowd has had plenty of experience with martial law and states-of-emergency. . . . Oliver North, came up with a secret plan, along with the fascist-oriented Federal Emergency Management Agency (the key-masters for the doors to the bunkers), to declare martial law in the event of a "national crisis," including "violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad." . . . The Bush family has managed to involve the United States in two wars; two invasions in Latin America, one that resulted in the fiery deaths of thousands of poor Panamanian barrio residents and another that resulted in the Bay of Pigs fiasco; aiding and abetting through murky financial investments America's Teutonic enemy in the last world war; corrupting the U.S. presidential election process; and making the wealthiest Americans and U.S. corporations richer while at the same cutting federal health, education, and welfare budgets and offloading those tasks to the overburdened states. . . . One incident, one aircraft hijacked, a "dirty nuke" set off in a small town, may well prompt the Bush regime, let's say during the election campaign of 2003�2004, to suspend national elections for a year while his government ensures stability. . . . In the event of martial law, draconian censorship laws would be implemented. Even now, the Patriot Act grants authority to obtain an order from the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court requiring any person or business to produce "any books, records, documents, or items." That law would undoubtedly be extended to encompass the Internet as well. It should be of little wonder why the Pentagon has brought Iran-contra felon Admiral John Poindexter back from retirement to head the Office of Information Awareness. Coupled with the Office of Information Exploitation, Poindexter's office is seeking ways to identify, block, and determine the sources of seditious material posted on the Internet. Blocked web sites, confiscated computers and servers, and the arrest of non-conforming web site managers would become the rule of the day. . . . The United States was founded by political sages like Madison, Jefferson, and Franklin. It will ultimately see its demise as a democracy through the likes of Bush II, his father, and the Trent Lotts and Dick Armeys that pervade the American body politic.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 6:07 PM


October 2, 2002 -- U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, speaking to crime-fighters in New York, yesterday blasted critics who claim the government is eroding civil liberties, saying federal prosecutors should "not be timid" in fighting terrorism, because they are defending freedom. "We must use all lawful means to prevent terrorism," Ashcroft told a packed room of U.S. Attorneys at the Sheraton New York Hotel on West 52nd Street. "There are no second chances to prevent future Sept. 11 tragedies."

Ashcroft also said the government's anti-terror methods are working - neutralizing numerous threats and he applauded the capture of "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui, American-Taliban John Walker Lindh, shoe bomber Richard Reid and five men arrested near Buffalo last month with alleged ties to al Qaeda.
. . . Read more!

posted by An Old Curmudgeon 11:27 AM

Feds Seek to Overturn Suicide Law
Sep 23, 12:35 PM (ET)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The federal government resumed its bid to ban Oregon doctors from helping terminally ill patients commit suicide, filing papers Monday with an appeals court in an effort to strike down the only such law in the nation. Attorney General John Ashcroft is seeking to sanction and perhaps hold Oregon doctors criminally liable if they prescribe lethal doses of medication, as the voter-approved Death With Dignity Act allows. "The attorney general has permissibly concluded that suicide is not a legitimate medical purpose," Justice Department attorney Jonathan H. Levy wrote in the appeal filed at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A federal judge in Portland, Ore., had blocked the Justice Department in April from punishing Oregon doctors - such as stripping them of their ability to dispense medication if they prescribe lethal doses of medication to the terminally ill. The Oregon law, approved by voters in 1994 and 1997, allows the terminally ill to request a lethal dose of drugs if two doctors confirm they have less than six months to live and the patients are mentally competent to make the request. The patients must take the fatal dose by themselves.

. . . Read more!

posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:57 AM

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