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Links of the Week

CRS report : FISA:
Comparison of the Senate
Amendment to H.R. 3773 and
the House Amendment to the
Senate Amendment to H.R.

World Health Organization :
Inequalities in young people’s
health: HBSC international

Rumah Sakit : No One Likes a
Grumpy Cripple,  2002

Jock Macdonald : The Wave
Oil on Canvas,  1939

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spread of the red
interpreting the constitution
fun d' mental
in bed with the red
number 159    
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
In a unanimous decision, a federal
appeals court has rejected the Bush
administration’s designation of a
prisoner as an “enemy combatant,”
ordering his release or an immediate
review of his status. The three-judge
panel ruled that the evidence
presented by government lawyers
was unverifiable and insufficient to
continue holding Chinese national
Huzaifa Parhat, who has been
detained by the US military at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for seven
years. The unclassified portions of
the ruling, published this week,
reveal the panel to be sharply critical
of the government’s case against

An ethnic Uighur Muslim, Parhat, now
37, was detained in Afghanistan in
2001. The Bush administration
asserts that his membership of a
separatist group that is “affiliated”
with another Uighur group that may
be in turn “associated” with al Qaeda
justifies his designation as an enemy
combatant. The judges were derisive
in their commentary on the claims, at
one point citing Lewis
Carroll’s nonsense poem
Hunting of the Snark
to highlight the
deficiencies of the administration’s

P. Sabin Willett, a lawyer for Parhat,
told the
Los Angeles Times, “It is a
tremendous day. It is a very
conservative court, but we pressed
ahead and we won unanimously. But
Huzaifa Parhat is
now in his seventh year of
imprisonment at Guantanamo
Bay, and he doesn’t even know
about this ruling because he’s
sitting in solitary confinement and
we can’t tell him about it. That’s
what we do to people in this
country—we put them in solitary
confinement even when they are
not enemy combatants.”

The decision was another setback
for the Bush administration,
following the June 12 ruling by the
US Supreme Court that the 270
men being held
at Guantanamo Bay should have
access to the federal court system
to mount habeas corpus
challenges against their
it's all true
The world’s total population of
refugees and internally displaced
persons increased by more than 3
million last year to 37.4 million, the
second consecutive annual
increase after several years of
modest reductions, according to a
report released by the United
Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees. The report cited the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as
well as regional conflicts in
Colombia, Somalia, and Sudan as
driving the increase in refugees.
At the same time the UNHCR
warned that climate change and
global economic turmoil will cause
significant displacement over the
next decade.

“We are now faced with a complex
mix of global challenges that could
threaten even more forced
displacement,” said Antonio
Guterres, head of the  UNHCR.
The Commission provided
assistance to more than 25 million
people in 2007, an
unprecedented figure, according
to its annual report. Moreover, the
agency emphasized that more
than 10 million displaced persons
are isolated from aid.            
it's all
verbatim                                                                                                                                                       number 31.2
"You know, I went to Washington to solve problems, not to
pass them on to future Presidents and future generations.
Colorado Springs CO  10.12.04
CO2 emissions
expressed in metric tons
per capita
selected countries
0                      10                     
The decision last week by the
Supreme Court to reduce by 80
percent the punitive damages
awarded to the plaintiffs in the 19-
Exxon Valdez case was
greeted with dismay and bitter
disappointment by environmentalists
around the world as well as local
victims of the largest oil spill in US
history. But the true impact of the
ruling may be much wider, as the
opinion explicitly caps punitive
damages in an amount equal to the
compensatory damages assessed in
the case. Legal experts say that the
decision is the latest in a series of
aggressively pro-business opinions
rendered by the court since the
appointment of two conservative
justices during the second term of
President George W. Bush.

Exxon Valdez ran aground in
Alaska’s Prince William Sound in
1989, discharging 11 million gallons
of oil into the pristine environment.
Despite a five-year cleanup effort
that deployed more than 10,000
workers and cost $3 billion, it is
estimated that more than 200 tons of
oil remain in area beaches. A class-
action lawsuit brought on behalf of
more than 11,000 plaintiffs initially
resulted in
a 1994 punitive damages award of
$5 billion, which was later reduced on
appeal to $2.5 billion.
The company challenged the verdict
insistently. According to the
, “The fight over the punitive
damages reached the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals in 1999. Since then,
Exxon filed more than 60 petitions
and appeals, sought 23 time
extensions and filed more than 1,000
motions, briefs, requests and
demands.” University of Washington
law professor William Rodgers told
the newspaper, “Crime pays, and
environmental crime pays
really well. I am sure they are sitting
down and having a toast of the town.
The other lesson they have taught is
scorched-earth litigation pays. Just
keep litigating, making up issues.”

The linking of punitive damages to
compensatory damages could have
broad implications for appeals of
large punitive damages awards
generally. Corporations have sought
for decades to have limits imposed
on such awards, and the Court has
signaled that it may be inclined to
agree. The 1994 award of $5 billion
was intended at the time to represent
about one year’s profit for Exxon. At
current profit levels the company will
book the reduced amount in about12
hours. In 2007 Exxon made $40
billion, the
largest annual corporate profit in US
it's all true
Detainees Processed Through the Looking Glass into
Ruling Permanently Damages Legal
Millions Displaced,
Assistance Outpaced
A vast majority of US citizens
subscribe to either the
creationist view of human
evolution or believe that God
guided the development of the
human species in some way.  

A poll conducted by the Gallup
organization reveals that 80
percent of all Americans
believe that a supernatural
force that is described by
adherents to the Christian
sects as reflecting the human
characteristics vengeance and
mercy “guided” human

The poll, which Gallup has
conducted since 1992 shows
that 44 percent of Americans
believe, as biblical creationists
do, that humans were created
in their current form sometime
in the past 10,000 years.  
Another 36 percent believe
that God guided the
development of the human
species over a course of
millions of years.  

The survey shows that a mere
14 percent of Americans
believe that humans
developed over a period of
millions of years without the
help, guidance or intercession
of a supreme being.

The poll also revealed that
Americans who describe
themselves as Republican are
more likely to subscribe to the
view that humans developed
over time guided by the help of
a diety.  60 percent of those
polled who said they are
said that god assisted in the
development of humans, while
only 38 percent of all
Democrats held this belief.       
it's all true
Justice Department attorneys have
filed papers in a federal court case
seeking to block an investigation into
what the government knew about the
terror attacks of September 11, 2001
before they occurred and what
information they chose to withhold
from airlines prior to the attack.

The airlines have been sued by
victims and family members of victims
of the terror attacks in New York,
Washington DC and Pennsylvania
and others claiming billions of dollars
in damages related to the attacks.  
Attorneys for the industry have
sought to interview FBI employees
and agents who have investigated
the terror attacks to discover what
advance information the US
government had
that the attacks were going  to occur
and what they chose to share with
the airline industry.  
The airlines contend that the US
government intentionally withheld
information it possessed about the
impending terror attacks that if
shared with the airlines, would have
enabled them to better protect their
passengers and could have perhaps
thwarted the attacks.  Attorney’s for
the airline companies requested that
the court allow the deposition of FBI
agents because that testimony, “will
demonstrate that the FBI had
information before Sept. 11 indicating
that al-Qaida may have been about
to launch terrorist attacks on civil
aviation, which it did not timely pass
along to the Federal Aviation

Attorneys for the Justice Department
argue in the recent filing that FBI
agents cannot be compelled to testify
because the agency’s investigation
into the
attacks is on-going and any
information that would be disclose
in interviews would “cause serious
damage to national security and
interfere with pending law
enforcement proceedings."  The
Justice Department argues, “It is
not possible to disentangle the
classified from the unclassified
information in the context of a
deposition, where open-ended
inquiries may elicit responses in
which classified or privileged
material is intertwined.”  The risk
that classified state secrets will be
uncovered if FBI agents were
deposed under oath is, the filing
asserts, “not hypothetical and
cannot be lightly dismissed."

The FBI's investigation into the
terror attacks is the largest ever
pursued by the agency.      
it's all
A federal judge has cleared the way
for the private military security
contractor Blackwater Worldwide to
conduct live firearms training and
mock war exercises in an industrial
area in San Diego, CA under a
contract with the US Navy.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, the city
attorney for San Diego and Rep. Bob
Filner (D-CA) attempted to block the
opening of the 60,000 square foot
warehouse facility on the grounds
that Blackwater had falsified permit
applications to camouflage its
intended use of the building.  The
city approved the permits and later
found that Blackwater had
misrepresented their involvement in
the development of the training
facility by applying for permits in the
name of associated business entities
including Noble Construction and TS
Contracting.  Blackwater filed suit in
federal court
seeking the right to open the training

The facility, which Blackwater’s
affiliates described in applications as
a “warehouse with offices” has been
retrofitted with indoor shooting
ranges, a multi-level recreation of a
warship, and a system of scaffolding
and wooden walls used to school
navy seamen in “force protection”
techniques before the are deployed
to locations in the Far East.  The
company has also applied for an
amusement-park ride permit from
San Diego to ensure that the facility
fully permitted.  Blackwater’s
spokesperson argued in court,
“Blackwater will suffer, the
Department of the Navy will suffer
and to some extent the security of
our country will suffer” if it is unable
to fulfill the contract it signed with the
US Navy to train sailors.                
all true
Americans Smite
FBI Can’t Tell Airlines What It Didn't Tell Airlines About 9-11
Blackwater Uses PsyOps to Occupy City's
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