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interpreting the constitution
crowd control
crowd control
spread of the red
number 137    
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
source: Viroqua
Percentage of children who
attend weekly church services
selected states
%                  40                   80
verbatim                              number 26.6
“There was common
concern about the
uncertainty in our
…one of the
concerns has been
there has been a
wealth effect, people
would say, uh-oh, I'm
losing value…
...the idea is to enhance
Washington DC  01.25.08
The director of humanitarian aid
for the United Nations recently
said that rising food prices have
exacerbated humanitarian crises
throughout the world. John
Holmes, the UN Undersecretary-
General for Humanitarian Affairs
and Emergency Relief
Coordinator, said that the cost of
basic foodstuffs has risen making
it difficult for the poor in countries
such as Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Bangladesh to meet their
basic food needs. Increased
demand for food in India and
China, a worldwide increase in
meat-based diets and the use of
food products for the production
of ethanol were all cited by
Holmes as factors that have
driven up the cost of food. US
food price inflation was 4.9
percent in 2007 and 2.1percent in

The UN special rapporteur on the
Right to Food, Jacques Diouf,
said last year that rising food
prices could result in countries
establishing retail price controls
on subsistence food products.
Diouf said that price controls
would “minimize the impact of
rising costs,” but that he “would
not be surprised if we began to
see food riots.”                   
it's all
President Bush recently appended a
statement to a spending bill passed
by Congress that he signed into law
which stipulated that, based upon his
own interpretation of the powers of
the Office of the President, he was
not required to follow the new law.
Bush’s signing statement said that he
did not have to, follow a prohibition
placed by Congress that bars
funding the construction of
permanent military bases in Iraq,
share documents with Congressional
investigators, help protect
government whistler blowers from
workplace retaliation,or facilitate the
investigation of abuses and
illegalities committed by private
military contractors in Iraq and
The statement negated elements of
the Defense Authorization Act for
2008, which appropriates monies to
support military operations in
Afghanistan and the occupation of
Iraq. Bush wrote that the provisions
in the act “purport to impose
requirements” on the president as he
attempts to “protect national
security” or impinge upon his
authority as Commander in Chief.

In the law, Congress was explicit in
barring the use of US tax dollars to
“establish any military installation or
base for the purpose of providing for
the permanent stationing” of US
soldiers in Iraq. The law also
prohibited appropriating additional
funds to
“control of the oil resources of
Iraq.” Bush wrote in his statement
that following these provisions
among other requirements in the
law would be inconsistent “with
the constitutional authority of the
President.”  The president’s
spokesperson said that the Bush
administration had no intention of
building permanent US military
bases in Iraq and that the
president’s objection to the law
was intended to "protect the
constitutional prerogatives” of
Bush and future presidents.  Past
presidents have used signing
statements,  but Bush has used
the tactic more than any other
it's all true
Taser International has
announced that it will produce
a shotgun version of its 50,000-
volt stun gun capable of
subduing subjects up to 65
feet away, about twice the
range of the company’s X26
model pistol. The shotgun will
fire a wireless projectile that
will utilize a miniature battery
pack to administer an electrical
shock for 20 to 30 seconds,
more than four times the
“default shock time” of Taser
pistols. Human rights groups,
which have already called for
an international moratorium on
the use of Tasers by law
enforcement agencies,
castigated the company for
introducing a potentially more
dangerous new device before
sufficient study of hundreds of
Taser-related deaths is

Testifying before a Canadian
Parliamentary committee last
week, Taser International
chairman Tom Smith confirmed
that the shotguns were already
in production and would be
available by next year. Taser
wireless projectiles have been
designed to work with a
specially modified 12-gauge
shotgun developed by
Mossberg Firearms. The pump-
action gun can carry six
rounds. Smith told MPs that
police forces around the world
have expressed interest in
procuring the new weapon.

Amnesty International
executive director Larry Cox
said in a statement, "This
should be a time to examine
why [Taser-related] deaths are
happening, not to experiment
with newfangled ways to use
the technology."
it's all true
Incidents in which US citizens are
mistakenly detained by federal or
local law enforcement agencies in
immigration raids and in some cases
even unlawfully deported are on the
rise, according to an investigation.
McClatchy Newspapers report
cited a 2006 research study that
found 125 detainees in just 12
immigration detention centers
examined had valid claims of US
citizenship. During the course of their
McClatchy reporters
discovered a case in which a
homeless US citizen was awaiting
deportation to Russia based on the
assessment of local police that he
was an illegal immigrant from that

US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement authorities were holding
Thomas Warziniack, 40, as an illegal
immigrant even though court officials
Colorado had established through
available public records that the
homeless man charged with a minor
drug offense had been born in
Minnesota and raised in Georgia.
Colorado state prison personnel,
apparently acting on statements
made by the mentally ill Warziniack,
determined that he had entered the
US illegally and was of Russian
origin. He was transferred to federal
custody in Arizona, where he
languished until reporters notified
family members of his predicament.

Last May, ICE officials in California
illegally deported Pedro Guzman,
after he was jailed on a misdemeanor
trespassing charge. The 29-year-old
Guzman, who is mentally ill, was lost
Mexico for over a month while his
frantically searched for him. ICE has
denied mishandling the case.    
it's all
In spite of several hundred billion
dollars being appropriated for
defense over the past few years and
the creation of a new federal agency
charged with protecting the
homeland, an independent
commission appointed by Congress
has reported that the military is
fundamentally unprepared to
respond to a severe natural disaster
or a catastrophic chemical, biological
or nuclear attack.

The panel’s chairman, retired Marine
Corps Major General Arnold Punaro,
said that more than 88 percent of
America’s National Guard forces are
under equipped and not sufficiently
trained to respond to an attack.  The
commission’s 400-page report cited
the use of America’s National Guard
and Army Reserve units in on-going
military operations as one of the main
reasons behind what was
characterized by the commission as
an “appalling” lack of preparedness
in the military to respond to a
national crisis leaving both the
“nation and its citizens at greater
risk.”  The commission reported that
“the high operational use of Reserve
equipment in the current conflicts has
degraded their readiness for both
combat operations and domestic
emergency response.”

The report also stressed that
Guard Units that are trained to serve
in occupied foreign countries they do
not have the specialized training
needed to respond effectively to
natural disasters or a terrorist attack
in the US.  The commission said that
US military commanders were
operating under the flawed
assumption that training troops to
occupy a hostile foreign country
would prepare them to assist in a
national emergency.  The
commissioners recommended that
legislation should be amended to
mandate that the military be trained
to be as prepared to respond to a
national calamity as it is to undertake
foreign military operations.

The chief of the US Northern
Command responded to the
commission’s report stating that a
plan for the US military to respond to
a chemical, biological event "exists
now.”  Chairman Punaro said that the
commission “looked at their plans.
They’re totally unacceptable.  You
couldn't move a Girl Scout unit with
the kind of planning they’re doing.”

The commission was empanelled to
study the preparedness of the nation’
s Army National Guard units after the
nation was shocked by the
inadequate federal, state and military
response to the hurricanes that
devastated the Gulf Coast in
it's all true
Overstretched Military Creates Homeland Insecurity
Nations Can't Stomach
Food Price Increases
Bush Makes Statement About Unbridled Executive Power
Shotgun Taser
Set to Go, Bro
Citizen Deportees Are Illegal Emigrants
Continued reduction of the value of
the US dollar against most major
internationally traded currencies has
fuelled the growing market for US
assets among foreign investors.
Domestic recessionary pressures
have forced the Federal Reserve to
embrace a policy of significant and
increasingly frequent interest rate
cuts in an effort to stimulate
economic activity in a country
uniquely dependent on consumer
spending. But as other nations
continue to grow, each rate cut
increases the value of their
currencies against the dollar,
creating a situation in which buying
up US assets such as banks,
manufacturing plants, and real estate
becomes irresistible to overseas
investors. Foreign purchases in the
US  totaled $414 billion last year, up
90 percent from the previous year,
and more than double the average
for the  
last decade, according to a recent
report by the
New York Times.  

The increased ownership of familiar
US institutions by foreign entities has
led to political debate, most recently
over the role of “sovereign wealth
funds,” which are investment pools
controlled by foreign governments.
Such funds have recently invested
heavily in the troubled US financial
sector, purchasing stakes in
Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Morgan
Stanley, and Bear Stearns, each of
which has suffered massive losses in
the securities markets. Despite scant
media attention, many of the Wall
Street banks’ losses remain
undisclosed to shareholders and
regulators, and they are engaged in
a struggle for fresh capital.

The leading overseas purchasers of
US assets are Canada, Japan, the
UK, and
other European countries, but
China, India, South Korea and
Indonesia are rapidly expanding
their US holdings as the dollar
continues to plunge in value.
Even if workers and politicians in
the US don’t like the situation,
they have little choice, according
to Yale University trade analyst
Jeffrey E. Garten, who told the
Times, “The forces sucking in this
capital are much bigger than the
political forces. If there is a big
controversy, it will be between
Washington on the one hand and
corporate America on the other. In
that contest, the financiers and
the businessmen are going to win,
as they always do.”

Economists also predict an influx
of capital from Middle Eastern
countries that are expected to de-
link their
currencies from the dollar.  
it's all
With Main Street For Sale, Maybe Wall Street Won't
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