If you attended the presidential inauguration and were among the millions of people in the crowd in front of the Capitol, it would seem that you would just blend into such a crowd, but not so. If you were there, ‘they’ knew you were there, and they knew exactly where you were sitting and probably who you are. This is just a little sample of the technology that is used to monitor us.
The Justice Department today repeated Bush administration claims of "state secrets" in a lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan for its role in the extraordinary rendition program. Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen was brought on behalf of five men who were kidnapped and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons or foreign intelligence agencies overseas where they were interrogated under torture. The Bush administration intervened in the case, inappropriately asserting the "state secrets" privilege and claiming the case would undermine national security. Oral arguments were presented today in the American Civil Liberties Union's appeal of the dismissal, and the Obama administration opted not to change the government position in the case, instead reasserting that the entire subject matter of the case is a state secret. Change?
Governing elites in Washington and Wall Street have devised a fiendishly clever "grand bargain" they want President Obama to embrace in the name of "fiscal responsibility." The government, they argue, having spent billions on bailing out the banks, can recover its costs by looting the Social Security system. They are also targeting Medicare and Medicaid. The pitch sounds preposterous to millions of ordinary working people anxious about their economic security and worried about their retirement years. But an impressive armada is lined up to push the idea--Washington's leading think tanks, the prestige media, tax-exempt foundations, skillful propagandists posing as economic experts and a self-righteous billionaire spending his fortune to save the nation from the elderly.
Farmers and traditional medicine experts have reacted angrily to the listing of 13 widely used herbal plants as hazardous substances, suggesting there is a hidden agenda that favours chemical companies. The Industry Ministry listed the 13 plants as hazardous substances to control production and commercialisation. The plants are widely used among farmers as alternatives for expensive and toxic farm chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. Multinational chemical companies are expected to benefit once production and commercialisation of the alternative substances is curbed, he said. Large numbers of farmers have switched recently from imported chemicals to botanical substances as they are much cheaper and safer, he said.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey Office of Communication: North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation. A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil. Technically recoverable oil resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices. USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources. The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS.
Witnesses described dozens of police storming a shocked and unresisting wedding party, shouting profanity and roughly shoving men and women. Michael McMillan, 36, of Houston, said he and Backe walked up to see what the commotion was about and saw O'Balle on the ground bleeding, being shocked with a Taser and handcuffed. Police began shouting at them to back up and they complied, he said. After they backed up as far as they could, McMillan said, officers continued shouting, "and Brandon Backe said, 'Sir, be cool, we're backed up as far as we can go.'" As soon as Backe spoke, several officers wrestled him to the ground, punching him as he went down, McMillan said. "A police officer kicks him right in the face," he said. Backe never used profanity, insults or resisted the officers, McMillan said. McMillan said he moved away and began walking down the hill with his wife when an officer ran at him and struck him with an elbow, knocking him to the ground. Several officers piled on and one put a foot in his back, he said. He was put in a police car with Backe, he said. When they complained about their handcuffs being painfully tight, officers increased the pain by cornering at high speeds and forcing them to slide along the seat, he said. He said officers laughed as they cried out in pain. Describing the experience, McMillan said, "You will feel the most helpless, humiliated, betrayed, that you will ever feel." Chris Cornwell, 26, of Galveston, said police threw him to the ground when he asked them to stop shoving his pregnant wife. An officer put his foot on Cornwell's head until he stopped talking, he said. Matt Goodson, 26, of Galveston, said he was taken down next to Cornwell. One of the officers picked up his head and pepper-sprayed him in the face for no reason, he said. Video
The only reason we are hearing about this case is because Brandon Backe is a famous baseball player. Every year in America some 460 innocent men and women are shot, tasered, beaten, and abused to death, die accidentally, or die from unknown causes while in police custody. Every day in America innocent people are brutalized, stripped naked, tortured, and beaten by the police. America’s government and prison system do not recognize the Geneva Conventions. America’s version of freedom and democracy resembles tyranny and police state.
those deputies — Kristin Fenstemaker, Laura Rodgers, Tony Gayles, Richard T. Gurlea Jr., Andrea Mays and Brian Michaels — sued reporter Tom Meyer, WKYC and its parent company, alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $25,000 and is assigned to Stark County Common Pleas Judge Charles E. Brown Jr. RATINGS DRIVEN? The reports were “purely for ratings and for advertising and promotion,” said Brian Zimmerman, one of the attorneys representing the deputies. In the lawsuit, the deputies say Meyer and WKYC “have failed to report accurately and fairly on the Steffey incident, airing at least five programs on the matter.” As a result of those reports, the deputies and sheriff’s office have received death threats and hate mail, and Fenstemaker resigned under the pressure, according to the lawsuit. Please read: "The State Torture of Hope Steffey", watch the videos that You Tube removed: HERE, HERE, and the highest quality version HERE.
Watching the crowds in Iceland banging pots and pans until their government fell reminded me of a chant popular in anti-capitalist circles in 2002: "You are Enron. We are Argentina." Its message was simple enough. You--politicians and CEOs huddled at some trade summit--are like the reckless scamming execs at Enron (of course, we didn't know the half of it). We--the rabble outside--are like the people of Argentina, who, in the midst of an economic crisis eerily similar to our own, took to the street banging pots and pans. They shouted, "¡Que se vayan todos!" ("All of them must go!") and forced out a procession of four presidents in less than three weeks. What made Argentina's 2001-02 uprising unique was that it wasn't directed at a particular political party or even at corruption in the abstract. The target was the dominant economic model--this was the first national revolt against contemporary deregulated capitalism.
Former United States Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, former FBI Director William Sessions and numerous former generals, admirals and diplomats joined the American Civil Liberties Union in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the president's authority to indefinitely imprison a legal resident of the U.S. without charge or trial. These and other top military and civilian leaders are expected to file friend-of-the-court briefs today in the ACLU case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who has been detained in solitary confinement at a Navy brig in South Carolina since June 2003.
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