number 129    
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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Links of the Week

Towards a Right to Privacy in
Transnational Intelligence
Networks : Michigan Journal of
International Law

Deployment of National Guard
and Reserve in the Global War
on Terrorism : Defense
Science Board

Plant Image Gallery, index of
Trees, Shrubs and Woody
Vines by Common Name

My Last Will : Joe Hill, 1915

Mystical Painting of Girl and
Flowers : Odilon Redon, 1905

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one nation, under surveillance
in bed with the red
source: Viroqua Institute
The Bush administration recently
announced its intention to fund and
implement a program where federal
agents will work together with state
and local governments and also a
diverse array of private entities and
institutions to monitor and analyze
information to “detect, disrupt, and
preempt” all types of “crimes and
hazards” including terror attacks.

The initiative builds upon the creation
of over fifty regional “Fusion
Centers” that were mandated by the
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism
Prevention Act of 2004.  The
Department of Justice devised of
Fusion Centers as a “mechanism
where law enforcement,  
public safety, and private partners
can come together” to “prevent
criminal activity.”  The Department of
Homeland Security has provided over
$380 million to develop Fusion
Centers nationwide to “facilitate
sharing information across
jurisdictions and function.”  

To establish guidelines for the
creation of Fusion Centers, the
Department of Justice and
Department of Homeland Security
met with invited representatives of
private businesses to “develop a
comprehensive set of guidelines” to
be used in gathering and sharing
information on US citizens.  The
Private Sector Fusion Center Focus
Group included representatives from
Microsoft, Archer
Daniels Midland and Fidelity
Investments, among other firms.  
The types of information that DOJ
is calling on private companies to
provide include, financial records,
medical records and telephone
and computer records. The
Fusion Center guidelines call for
businesses to “embrace a
collaborative process to improve
intelligence sharing” to create
what the DOJ describes as an  
“Information Sharing
Environment”.  The department
said that it expects to have
“tailored, multi-disciplinary teams
of intelligence and operational
professionals in major Fusion
Centers nationwide by the end
of fiscal year 2008.”        
it's all true
Information Sharing Plan Fuses the Frightening and the
"By the way, to whom
much has been given...
verbatim                                                                               number 25.3
...much is owed."     
Cedar Rapids IA  07.20.04
crowd control
spread of the red
The Department of Defense is
enlisting private corporations in its
effort to monitor and even predict
significant social and political events
in foreign countries, as military
strategists strive to create computer
modeling software capable of
generating forecasts of geopolitical
trends and developments. The
Pentagon envisions the eventual
implementation of a system that will
analyze "social, cultural, political and
economic information" to "predict
events of interest and stability of
countries of interest with greater than
80 percent accuracy."  Last month,
aerospace contractor Lockheed
Martin was awarded the first private
contract to begin work on a
sophisticated information processing
and event modeling system that will
eventually be integrated into the
larger ICEWS program.
Officials of the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency  (DARPA)
announced plans to develop the
Integrated Crisis Early Warning
System early this year.  Lockheed
Martin will be paid $1.3 million for
PRESAGE, a system that will
"combine state-of-the-art and
operationally deployed social science
models and technologies to predict
EoIs (Events of Interest) and general
stability indicators," according to a
spokesman. A company press
release says, "Typical events may
include rebellions, insurgencies,
ethnic/ religious violence, civil war,
and major economic crises."  After
suitable social modeling software is
developed, DARPA hopes to deploy
its early warning programs in actual
battlefield circumstances. In theory,
military commanders will be able to
audition a variety of approaches
using freshly collected data.   
it's all
The nations of the world must act
immediately to reduce carbon
emissions if they hope to avoid the
catastrophic acceleration of the
effects of global warming, including
dramatically rising sea levels, the
loss of up to a quarter of the planet's
species, and significant displacement
of human populations, according to a
report by an eminent United Nations
panel of environmental experts.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
released the final report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change last week at conference in
Valencia, Spain. The document
synthesizes findings from a year of
reviewing the research of more than
2500 scientists, which has already
produced three preliminary reports
and won the IPCC a share of 2007
Peace Prize. Members of the panel
said that the combined data
presented a more starkly alarming
picture of global climate change than
even they had previously realized.
The Synthesis Report was released
ahead of next week's meeting of the
world's energy ministers in Bali, which
will begin the process of drafting a
set of international environmental
protocols to replace the Kyoto Treaty
when it expires in 2012.

Mr. Ban described climate change as
the most pressing issue of our time,
requiring urgent cooperative action
by all countries. "Today the world's
scientists have spoken, clearly and in
one voice," said Ban, adding, "In Bali,
I expect the world's policy makers to
do the same." Crucial to the talks is
the participation of the planet's two
biggest polluters, the United States
and China. The Secretary
The Pentagon has released its
official report on an accident
that occurred earlier this year
during testing of the Active
Denial System, a microwave
heat ray used to subdue
subjects in crowd control
situations. An airman from
Moody Air Force Base in
Georgia suffered
second-degree burns in the
April incident, according to the
Marine Corps Advanced
Concept Technology program
at  Quantico, Virginia. The
publication of the heavily
redacted accident report
coincides with calls by military
officials for the deployment of
the controversial new
weaponry for security
operations in occupied Iraq.

The Active Denial System uses
a vehicle-mounted generator
to create a 50,000 volt
electrical charge, powering a
sophisticated gyrotron that
emits the microwave beam,
which can be directed at
targets from several hundred
yards away. It has been
proposed as a "nonlethal"
alternative weapon for use by
military personnel in civil
security and public order
contexts, but critics have been
wary of the experimental
technology and the secrecy
surrounding its development
and testing.

London's Daily Telegraph
reported last week that US
military commanders in Iraq
are asking that the microwave
heat ray be made available to
them for use in episodes of
civil unrest. But according to
the report, some  officials are
concerned that the invisible
beam weapons will be used for
it's all true
Microwave Debate
US Delegation Pours Cold Water on Global Warming
Pentagon Program Predicts Private Profits
General openly called on the two
nations to  cooperate with
international environmental
efforts, saying, "I look forward to
seeing the US and China playing
a more constructive role." Neither
country has recognized the Kyoto
protocols, with China effectively
exempt as a "developing country,"
and the Bush White House
refusing to comply with the treaty
after it was negotiated by the
Clinton administration.

Despite the overwhelming
acceptance of IPCC findings by
the international community, US
reaction to the new report was
lukewarm. A White House
spokesman said that the US
delegation to the IPCC had
lobbied to amend the report, but
only, "to make sure the final
report matches the science."     
all true
source: Viroqua Institute
Low birth weight, selected
%                   5                   10
As the Democratically controlled
Congress continues to conduct
business in the final few weeks
before legislators adjourn for the
year, policy differences between
party members have begun to come
into sharp relief.  A vote to approve
contempt of Congress resolutions
against administration officials was
forestalled by the House Democratic
leadership and disagreements
among Democrats regarding granting
Congressional immunity to US
telecommunications firms for
cooperating with the Bush
administration’s warrantless
wiretapping have led to a delay in
rewriting the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act.  

House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer
(D-MD) announced that a vote to
hold both White House Chief of Staff
Josh Bolten and former White House
legal counsel Harriet Miers in
contempt of Congress for failing to
comply with a congressional
subpoena has been postponed.  
Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm
Emanuel (D-IL) has argued that
forcing a vote to hold Bolten and
Miers in contempt will dilute the party’
s efforts with respect to approving
additional funding for the occupation
of Iraq and rewriting the laws that
allow the Bush administration to spy
on Americans.  The House Judiciary
committee voted to hold Bolten and
Miers in criminal contempt of
Congress in July.  Hoyer said, “I think
it’s going to happen” before
the end of the year", but he did not
guarantee that a vote in the House
would be scheduled.

The Senate Judiciary Committee
passed a bill that rewrites the rules
that the Bush administration must
use to perform surveillance on US
citizens that failed to speak to the
matter of immunity for telecom
companies.  Diane Feinstein
(D-CA) requested that the committee
defer their decision on telecom
immunity.  Feinstein said that
citizens’ lawsuits against telephone
companies for privacy violations are
“not the right remedy."  Sheldon
Whitehouse (D-RI) has said that he
would agree to a compromise on
immunity offered by committee
republicans whereby the federal
government will be made the
defendant in lawsuits that are
currently pending against telecom
companies, effectively granting them

The Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence chaired by John
Rockefeller IV (D-WV) previously
passed a version of the legislation
that contained a provision that would
make it impossible for Americans who
were illegally spied on by the National
Security Administration over the past
years to sue telephone companies.  
The provision was pushed by
industry lobbyists and supported by
the Bush Administration.  The two
versions of the bill will be reconciled
in the full Senate.               
it's all true
A group of nearly 100 countries
including members of the
European Union adopted a
resolution calling for a worldwide
ban of the death penalty.  The
group, made up of the majority of
the world’s nations, said that the
practice “undermines human
dignity” and agreed, “there is no
conclusive evidence of the death
penalty’s deterrent value.”  The
non-binding resolution requires
that all UN member states
"establish a moratorium on
executions with a view to
abolishing the death penalty.”

The resolution was challenged by
several nations where the death
penalty is currently in use,
including the six countries that
account for 90 percent of all
executions worldwide; China, Iran,
Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and the
United States.  The nation’s that
oppose the moratorium said that
an international abolition of the
death penalty would interfere with
member nation’s internal affairs.  

A delegate for Iran said, “there is
no international consensus" on
the death penalty, and the
delegate for the United States
noted that, “it is important to
recognize that international law
does not prohibit capital
it's all true
Democrats Impede Democratic Initiatives
Countries Defend
Sovereign Right to
Behave Brutally
Brown Tribute
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