interpreting the constitution
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interpreting the constitution
fun d' mental
source: Viroqua
number 103    
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
verbatim                                                                                    number 20.2
"There's a lot of blowhards
in the political process... know, a lot of
hot air artists.”
Washington DC  05.17.07
The world’s oceans are losing
their natural capacity to absorb
atmospheric carbon dioxide,
removing an important
environmental barrier to the
buildup of greenhouse gases,
according to a report released
last week by the British
Antarctic Survey. Researchers
found that the Southern Ocean
around Antarctica was
essentially saturated with
carbon, and evidence shows
that it has been since the 1980’
s. The report concludes that
the phenomenon will result in
higher concentrations of
carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere, as well as
increased acidification of the

The effect observed by the
researchers had been
predicted by climate scientists,
but their models had the
saturation occurring in the late
21st Century. Half of the
carbon dioxide released into
the atmosphere is absorbed
into two natural carbon “sinks”,
the oceans and the biosphere.
The Southern Ocean has
typically accounted for 15
percent of the total global
carbon sink, according to the
report. The results of the
investigation were published in
the journal

Increasing temperatures and
changing wind patterns have
disturbed deep-water carbon
deposits, raising levels of
carbonic acid in the ocean,
and reducing its capacity to
absorb carbon dioxide.The
report notes that the depletion
of the ozone layer has also
affected conditions in the
Southern Ocean.        
it's all true
The Bush administration is promoting
the expansion of random drug testing
of high school students involved in
extracurricular activities through a
grant initiative that provides federal
funds to school districts that
implement or extend drug testing
programs. According to White House
officials, more than 1000 high
schools and middle schools
nationwide conduct some form of
testing, with about half receiving
federal funding in fiscal 2006. Critics
of the programs say the testing is a
violation of students’ privacy rights,
and that the results are notoriously

Speaking before an audience of local
school administrators last month,
White House Office of National Drug
Control Policy deputy director Bertha
Madras encouraged school districts
to adopt pilot drug testing programs
using federal
grants, saying, “We want schools to
decide for themselves whether or not
they think this will be effective.”  
Government funding for school drug
testing has grown by more than 550
percent since a 2002 Supreme Court
decision allowing random tests for
students involved in voluntary
extracurricular activities.

Opponents of drug testing in schools
argue that the programs conduct
searches without warrants or
evidence of wrongdoing. They also
cite the high incidence of
inconclusive or false results, and the
lack of uniform standards for
implementation of the tests and the
disposition of the data obtained.
Some education groups say that
drug testing programs may have an
undesirable chilling effect on
participation in extracurricular
it's all true
jan     feb      mar      apr      may
Premium motor gasoline prices
since January 2007
In dramatic testimony before the
Senate Judiciary Committee last
week, former Deputy Attorney
General James B. Comey revealed
new details about the confrontation
between the White House and the
Justice Department over the legality
of a domestic surveillance program
operated by the National Security
Agency. Comey described efforts by
then-White House counsel Alberto
Gonzales to have ailing Attorney
General John Ashcroft authorize the
program from his bed in an intensive
care unit at a Washington hospital.
After Ashcroft refused, the program
continued without Justice Department
approval for weeks, prompting
several senior law enforcement
officials to consider resigning en
masse. The hearings concluded with
renewed calls from Senators of both
parties for Gonzales, now the
Attorney General, to step down.  

Comey told the panel that as he was
being driven home on the evening of
March 10, 2004, he was notified that
Gonzales and then-White House
Chief of Staff Andrew Card were on
their way to see Ashcroft. As acting
Attorney General while Ashcroft
underwent surgery, Comey had
declined to reauthorize the NSA
wiretapping program because of
concerns that it
violated the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act. Realizing that
Gonzales and Card were seeking to
circumvent his decision by appealing
directly to Ashcroft, Comey sped to
the hospital, phoning FBI Director
Robert Mueller on the way. Mueller
agreed to join Comey and contacted
Ashcroft’s security detail, ordering
them not to let Gonzales and Card
have Comey removed from the room.

According to the testimony, Ashcroft
rebuffed Gonzales, restating Justice
Department objections to the
warrantless surveillance program and
reaffirming Comey’s status as acting
Attorney General.  Gonzales and
Card left the room without ever
acknowledging Comey’s presence.
When the wiretapping program
continued to operate without Justice
Department clearance, Ashcroft,
Mueller, Comey and other top
officials discussed resigning in
protest, but soon the administration
made changes to the program to
address DoJ concerns.

The program, which was secret at the
time, was publicly disclosed in 2005.
Early this year the program was
scrapped entirely, but the White
House has reserved the right to start
it again at any time, without
it's all true
A government review of completed
reconstruction projects in occupied
Iraq reveals that a combination of
private contractor incompetence,
vandalism and poor maintenance has
led to the rapid deterioration of the
vast majority of the projects that were

The Office of the Special Inspector
General for Iraq examined a sampling
of US contracted projects, including
some facilities that have been held
up as successes by the Bush
administration, to find that misuse,
theft, poor quality work and improper
maintenance have led to some of the
facilities being closed down or

The inspectors reviewed eight
projects that had been turned over to
Iraqi authorities over the past few
years that are located in several
different regions.
The facilities audited included
reconstructed hospitals, military
installations, an airport and a power
station.  The inspectors found that
seven of the eight projects reviewed
were plagued by problems that
threaten to render the facilities
unusable.  Inspector General Stuart
Bowen warned in the report, “If these
projects are typical of the quality and
effectiveness of operations and
maintenance performance on
transitioned projects, the value of US
investment in Iraq reconstruction will
be at risk.”  The total cost of the
eight projects reviewed by the
auditors was $150 million and the
approximate total cost of all US
reconstruction projects in Iraq
exceeds $30 billion.  

The inspectors reviewed a maternity
hospital where waste treatment and
water purification systems were in
disrepair and other physical plant
equipment had been vandalized.  
Auditors also found that a medical
waste incinerator was padlocked
and an expensive oxygen delivery
system in disuse because no one
in the hospital had been trained to
operate them.

The Inspector General’s report
said that the State Department’s
Iraq Reconstruction Management
office hired private contractors
who “failed to identify construction
deficiencies” that have led to the
deterioration of some of the
projects.  Looting and the
“improper diversion” of
reconstruction monies were also
said by the inspectors to have
contributed to the deterioration of
the facilities that were
it's all true
George Bush has enacted an order
that allows the president to
“coordinate” the Congress and the
judiciary in the event of a
“catastrophic emergency”.  National
Security Presidential Directive 51
establishes continuity requirements
for “Federal Government structures”
under the authority of the president
following an incident that severely
damages or disrupts the
“infrastructure, environment,
economy, or government functions”
of the US.  The directive plans for
executive branch control of the
congress and the judiciary
coordinated by the President "as a
matter of comity” and “with proper
respect for the constitutional
separation of powers among the
branches” of government.
The executive order further stipulates
that a group of executive appointed
agency directors will “provide
guidance” for “state, local, territorial,
and tribal governments and private
sector organizations” as the
president reconstitutes American
constitutional democracy during an
emergency.  The agency directors
identified in the decree include
Secretary of Homeland Security, the
Director of National Intelligence and
the Secretary of Defense.

The presidential order requires all
federal agencies to establish
succession orders, “pre-planned
devolution of authorities” and plans
to train personnel to be able to
relocate to alternative
facilities in the event of a national
catastrophe.  The directive also
orders that all agencies
incorporate plans for the
continuity of their governmental
functions in the event of a
national emergency into their
“daily operations”.  The plan
stresses that because of the
“asymmetrical threat
environment” that exists in the
world today, all government
continuity plans must be
predicated on the assumption that
no “warning will be received”
before the plans have to be set
into action.  

Directive 51 replaces Presidential
Decision Directive 67 of 1998
signed by Bill Clinton.                
all true
A navy veteran has threatened to
sue the Veterans Affairs Medical
Center in Iowa City after being
aggressively proselytized by
Evangelical staff members.  David
Miller, a former naval petty officer,
said that hospital staff and
administrator’s forceful
participation in proselytization
amounts to government
sponsorship of fundamentalist

Miller is permanently disabled with
a chronic kidney condition that
requires him to visit the hospital
often.  The veteran, who is
Jewish, said that the doctors and
staff operate on the principle that
if one does not accept Jesus
Christ as their personal savior,
they are damned.  

Miller said that staff is constantly
asking him questions such as “Is it
just Orthodox Jews who deny
and “How can you not believe in
Jesus; he’s the Messiah of the
Jews too.”  One doctor told Miller
that because he is an Orthodox
Jew he should pray to make his
pain go away.  A  military
spokesperson said that it is
standard practice  to conduct a
spiritual assessment of each
patient admitted.     
it's all true
Bush Demands Complete Command in Catastrophic
Reconstruction Effort Provides Ample Opportunity For Future Reconstruction
Exhausted Ocean
An Ashcan For Man
Feds Promote No Child Left Alone Program
Emergency Surgery Performed on
Christians Intrude
In Veteran's Affairs
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