one nation, under surveillance
number 24     10.09.05
the checks, critics have denounced
the extent to which the relief effort in
general has been turned into a law
enforcement operation.  Increased
discussion by the president and
leading members of Congress about
introducing the military into disaster
relief situations has also alarmed
relief professionals and social service

A sheriff's department spokesperson
from Milwaukee stressed safety
concerns, saying ,"The system that
kept them in check disintegrated in
New Orleans.  Now you had those
individuals blending with the general

Legal experts have criticized the
Law enforcement officials in at least
nine states are defending their
practice of subjecting refugees
evacuated after Hurricane Katrina to
criminal background checks
immediately upon their arrival.
In most cases the federal evacuees
are screened at military air bases
before they are provided with
shelter.  Civil libertarians have
criticized the implementation of the
background checks as a form of race
and class discrimination against a
helpless population, creating a penal
atmosphere in the federal emergency
assistance infrastructure.

Although the different states are
adopting a variety of protocols
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

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in bed with the red

red state rebate

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Prison Teens Face Lifetime of Limited Appeals
In a report to be released this week,
Human Rights Watch has tallied the
number of American prisoners who
committed a crime before their 18th
birthday and are serving life
sentences to exceed 9700.  Some of
these prisoners, serving time in adult
correctional facilities, were as young
as fifteen when they committed a
crime carrying a life sentence.  
Human Rights watch reports that
2200 of these prisoners are serving
life sentences with no possibility of

The report notes that only about a
dozen countries accept the practice
of jailing a criminal who committed a
crime as an adolescent for life
without parole.  But the report
disclosed that only three countries;
Israel, Tanzania and South Africa
held such prisoners, and that there
are a total of twelve such prisoners in
these countries combined.
The New York Times also performed
a study recently on lifetime prisoners
in the United States that shed further
light on America’s juvenile prisoners.  
The Times study found that forty-two
states and the federal government
have laws that allow juveniles to be
sent to prison for the rest of their
lives. Thirteen of these states set a
minimum age of between 10 and
thirteen years old.  But ten states
have no law setting a minimum age
limit for the harshest form of life
sentence, one with no chance for
parole.  The Times reported that the
states of Virginia and Louisiana
convict the nation's largest
percentages of their youth to prison
terms with no chance

A Human Rights Watch report from
2000 found that minority youths were
significantly more likely to be tried as
adults and then sentenced to serve
time in adult correctional facilities.  
The Environmental Protection
Agency has proposed revisions to
its guidelines on reporting toxic
that would reduce both the
amount of information on such
releases to be made public and
the frequency of the reports. The
new standards would eliminate
whole categories of reporting
requirements, effectively excusing
some companies from reporting
toxic spills. The proposals would
also require polluters to disclose
toxic releases every two years,
instead of annually, as is specified
under the current law.

Corporate interests are lobbying
Congress to adopt the changes.
which the EPA says will "ease the
regulatory burden" on companies.
The agency downplays any
questions of public safety raised
by critics of the less stringent
regulations. The National
Association of Manufacturers
praised the initiative, saying, "This
sensible update will provide relief
to small manufacturers."

The new proposals will excuse
companies from disclosure if they
release less than 5000 pounds of
specific chemicals, up from the
current threshold of 500 pounds.
Facilities that claim to release
zero pounds of certain deadly
toxins are similarly exempted from
reporting their activities to the

Data published by the EPA is
analyzed by numerous scientific
and environmental groups. Most
claim that the new proposals
would adversely impact their
efforts to monitor pollution. Over 4
billion pounds of toxic chemicals
are released annually by US
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State Reps Seek to Define 'Sexual
A bill proposed in the State Senate of
Indiana would outlaw the use of
medically available alternative
reproduction technologies unless the
parents of the child are married.  The
bill includes criminal penalties for
unmarried mothers who become
pregnant by any means “other than
sexual intercourse”.

The law would require that parents
who wish to use any doctor assisted
reproductive method to petition a
court to receive a “gestational
certificate” before attempting to
become pregnant by artificial means.  
The bill specifically excludes any
“unmarried persons” from having the
right to use such medical
technology.  The legislation goes
further to statutorily define “sexual
intercourse” within the act as “any
penetration of the female sex organ y
the male organ.”

The Indiana bill requires that the
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previous editions

Links of the Week

An Analysis of the U.S.
Military's Ability to Sustain an
Occupation in Iraq: An Update:
Congressional Budget Office

Liberals are just better: Gordon
Carlson's Blog

Fall Color Map: all regions in
New York State

contact us
crowd control
Free Assembly, Legal Protest, and Bio-Toxins Detected at DC
The Centers for Disease Control
reported that the Department of
Homeland Security was alerted to
the presence of a dangerous
bio-toxin on the mall in
Washington DC at the site of the
largest anti-war protest since the
Vietnam War.  The bio-toxin,
Tularemia, causes severe flu-like
symptoms which, if left untreated,
can be fatal and has been
experimented on and stockpiled
by the US Military since the
second world war.

More than a half dozen bio-toxin
sensors showed the presence of
the potentially dangerous bacteria
on the day of the protest, but
Homeland Security failed to notify
the CDC for more than 72 Hours
after becoming aware of the

The Tularemia bacteria was
detected by the Bio Watch
Network which was designed and
deployed at great expense after
the 2001 terror attacks in the
United States.  The Bio Watch
Network is monitored by the
Department of Homeland Security.  
Spokesperson for the CDC's
Coordinating Office for Terrorism
Preparedness and Response, Richard
Besser, called lack of communication
from Homeland Security about this
potentially dangerous event "highly
unusual".  Besser assured the public
that the two agencies would review
protocols designed to alert the public of
bioterror alerts following Homeland
Security's delay in reporting the event in
the near future.

Tularemia is known to be one of the six
major bacterial bioterror agents and is
"one of the most infectious germs known
to science".  According to reports from
BBC, as little as 10 microbes of the
toxin can infect humans.

Washington DC Health Director Gregg
A. Pane was informed of the threat on
Friday, September 30, six days after
Homeland Security's detection of the
bio-toxin.  Pane told the
, "I wish they'd bring us in earlier,
there's got to be a level of trust and
communication" between agencies in
emergencies. Pane also asked
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spread of the red
verbatim                                     number 4.6
"I'm driven with a
mission from God. God
would tell me, 'George,
go and fight those
terrorists in
Afghanistan.' And I did...
...and then God
would tell me,
'George, go and
end the tyranny
in Iraq', and I
...I feel God's
words coming to
me: 'Go get the
Palestinians their
state and get the
Israelis their
security, and get
peace in the
Middle East'. And
by God, I'm gonna
do it."
Occupied Palestine   
about the presence of the deadly
toxin,"Why just that day (the date
of the protest)...and none since?"

Rep. Thomas M. Davis (R-VA)
sent a letter to Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff calling
the failure to report the presence
of the deadly toxin during the
large public event "alarming" and
demanding an accounting of the
department's protocols for
informing the public.

As the more than 100,000
anti-war protesters came from
across the country to participate
in the September 24th rally, the
CDC and DC Health Department
notified hospitals nationwide of
the event as a precaution.  

Authorities recommended that
people who participated in the
protest seek medical treatment if
they experience any of the
symptoms of Tularemia infection
including, fatigue, dizziness, loss
of appetite and nausea.
report showed that in California
children of color six percent
more likely than white children
to be tried as adults and seven
times more likely to be
sentenced to prison when tried
as adults.   

In 2002 Humans rights watch
reported that in six states, black
youths under eighteen were
incarcerated at rates between
twelve and twenty-five times
more than their white
counterparts.  In four states,
Hispanic juvenile youths were
tried as adults and held  in adult
facilities at rates between seven
and seventeen times greater
than those of white youth.
parents “establish parentage” and
that the intended parents “must be
married to each other.”  To become
certificated to use assisted
productive technologies in Indiana,
the applicants must also pay for
fingerprinting and background
The couple must also under go
psychological assessment verifying
“the shared values and interest
between the individuals” applying for
the gestational certificate, including
“a description of individual
participation in a faith-based or
church activities.”

Passage of the legislation would
make it impossible for gay couples
that seek to have children by way of
assisted reproductive technology.  
The law would also require that
married heterosexual couples
seeking medical assistance to
reproduce to be members of a
church or religion.
Corporations Back
EPA Proposals
nature of the current system, with
each state and even each
municipality adopting its own
standards and practices.  No
procedure is in place to challenge
the results of the background
checks.  In many cases
establishing the identities of the
evacuees is problematic, and legal
representation for suspected
criminals is largely unavailable.

Although some states have
reported high percentages of the
refugee population as having
criminal records, the numbers of
serious offenders are relatively low
and the number with outstanding
warrants is statistically negligible.
Charity Begins With Background Checks
previous editions archive
source: CIA Fact Book
Infant Mortality Rates by country
deaths per 1000 live births
1   2    3    4    5    6   7    8    9
Israel               7.03

United States    6.50

Cuba              6.33

South Korea    6.28

European Union   5.10

Slovenia          4.45

Sweden           2.77