number 36    01.15.06
interpreting the constitution
Signing Statements Signal Sentiments for Sidestepping
President Bush has asserted his right
to revise or reject provisions of
legislation sent to him by Congress,
even as he signs these bills into law.
By issuing carefully worded
"presidential signing statements",
Bush and his advisors have sought
to limit the effect of the new laws as
they relate to the executive branch.
Presidential historians say that this
unprecedented and aggressive use
of signing statements amounts to an
attempt to consolidate power in  the

Signing statements have increasingly
been used by presidents as an
interpretive device since the Reagan
administration. Supreme Court
nominee Samuel A.
Alito, then an assistant attorney
general, helped to implement a policy
in which signing statements were
used to signal the president's own
interpretation of the legislation,
including any constitutional
objections he may have. President
Reagan used such statements 71
times in his two terms in office,
President George H.W. Bush issued
146 statements, and President Bill
Clinton challenged 105 laws. George
W. Bush has issued 505 challenges
in the first five years of his

In one recent example, the president
signed the Mc Cain amendment
banning torture of prisoners by U.S.
Bush opposed the amendment, and  
vigorously lobbied Congress to
drop it from the Defense
Appropriations Bill. But when it
became clear that the amendment
would pass with strong bipartisan
support, the administration
relented and agreed to the
measure, staging a press
briefing   at the White House.

That afternoon Bush issued a
signing statement saying he would
interpret the law "in a manner
consistent with the constitutional
authority of the president." Legal
experts say the statement
conveys the White House position
that the new law may be waived
under certain circumstances by
executive authority.      
its all true
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

one nation under surveillance
New Food
Products May
Modify Life
Pentagon Admits to Spying on Peace Groups for Reasons of Self
The Pentagon is reported to have
collected information about local
peace activist groups and
submitted that information into a
nationwide computer military
database that tracks terrorist

Two of the more than 1500
"suspicious incidents" listed
involved a group of anti-war
protesters from Southern
Connecticut State University and
a peace group which met in a
Florida Quaker Meeting House.  
Group members in both cases
have reacted angrily to being
lumped together with terrorists for
criticizing the Iraq war.

The Counterintelligence Field Activity
Agency implemented a monitoring
program called the 'Threat and Local
Observation Notice Report' which
catalogues "non-validated domestic
threat information". The unit began
collecting information on peace
groups over two tears ago to assess
"potential terrorist threats directed at
the Department of Defense."   

Although the reports detail incidents
of crime and threats, the database
contains dozens of reports of
anti-war protests
and other incidents where citizens
were expressing their political
point of view in public.

The vast computers which sift
through the information are
reported by the military itself to
have the capability to "detect,
mitigate and investigate insider
threats" and "identify and
document normal and abnormal
activities and behavior."
its all true
The results of a new study
suggest that genetically
modified foods may pose
serious health risks for unborn
babies. Researchers found
that 55.6 percent of rats born
to mothers on a diet of
genetically modified soya died
within three weeks of birth,
compared to just 9 percent of
the offspring of those fed
normal soya. Instances of
underweight offspring were six
times higher in the group fed
on modified soya.

The study was conducted at
the Institute of Higher Nervous
Activity and Neurophysiology
of the Russian Academy of
Sciences. The alarming results
of the research will add to
growing concern, particularly in
Europe, of the health risks of
GM  foods. The Russian study
is the first to probe the effects
of GM foods on the unborn.

The genetically modified soya
was produced by Monsanto, to
be resistant to a pesticide also
produced by the biotechnology

Monsanto recently won
approval for three of its other
products - strains of
genetically modified corn - to
be sold in the European Union
on a trial basis. A spokesman
for Monsanto said that the
company's GM soya "can
safely be consumed by rats, as
well as all other animal species
its all true
fun d'
State Constitutions Violate US
Although the US Constitution limits
the government from making laws
with respect to god and religion,
the constitutions of five states
require that a candidate for public
office must be a religious believer.
The constitutions of the states  
Arkansas, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Tennessee and Texas
require that any holder of public
office must believe in god.  

Although a specific deity is not
proscribed, the constitution of
Texas (article 1, section 4)
excludes people from holding
elected office if they don't
"acknowledge the existence of a
supreme being."  The constitution
of Arkansas (section 1) states that
"no person who denies the being
of a God shall hold any office in
the civil departments of the state,
nor be competent to testify as a
witness in any court."
The constitution of the state of South
Carolina is also very specific about
the type of god one must believe in
to be a constitutional officer in that
state, decreeing, "No person who
denies the existence of a supreme
being shall hold any office under this

Other states limit various other types
of civic participation to only god
fearing citizens.  The Bill of Rights for
the state of Maryland states that "it is
the duty of every man to worship
God" and goes on to exclude jurors
who don't believe in the existence of
god and both heaven and hell.

Religious scholars and legal experts
find that such language, while not
specifically requiring office holders in
these states to adhere to Christianity,
may limit the ability of animists,
polytheists and atheists to serve as
public office holders.
its all true
source: Viroqua






previous editions

Links of the Week

'Alito Project'- Yale Law
School's review of 415 judicial
opinions authored by Samuel
Alito, Jr. between 1900 and

Martin Luther King, Jr. and
Malcolm X waiting for press
conference: Library of
Congress  Photographic Image

Wassily Kandinski on-line
Gallery with works dating from
1901 through 1944

US Department of Ecology's
aerial photographs  of
Washington's coast line.

contact us
spread of the red
crowd control
President Gives Senate a Vacation From
TSA Clamps
Down on Baby
President Bush used the recent
Congressional holiday break to fill 17
posts at the State Department, the
Pentagon,  the Federal Election
Commission, and the Department of
Homeland Security, among other
government agencies.  The recess
appointments installed several
controversial candidates whose
nominations had stalled in the
Senate.  Recess appointments are
typically used by modern presidents
as a political maneuver to avoid the
Senate confirmation process.

The president appointed Julie L.
Meyers to head the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement Bureau of the
Department of Homeland Security.  
Meyers will supervise the agency’s
15,000 employees and manage a $4
billion annual budget.  Meyers is a
niece of former Joint Chiefs of Staff
chairman Richard B. Meyers and the
wife of the Chief of Staff to Homeland
Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Bush named former Navy Secretary
Gordon R. England as Deputy
Secretary of Defense, the number
two job at the Pentagon.  The post
had been vacant since Iraq war
architect Paul Wolfowitz resigned in
May 2005 to become the head of the
World Bank.  England’s
nomination had not been voted out of
committee in Senate.

Tracy A Henke was named executive
director of the Office of State and
Local Government Coordination and
Preparedness. Henke was at the
center of a controversy in her
previous job at the Justice
Department, where she was accused
of deleting statistics about racial
disparities in traffic stops from a
press release (as reported previously
in  Homeland
Security Committee member Senator
Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) has said
that Henke’s actions in that incident
“may have undermined that office’s
reputation for objectivity and

Bush appointed Ellen R. Sauerbrey
as Assistant Secretary of State for
Population, Refugees and
Migration.      A strident abortion
rights opponent, Sauerbrey’s tenure
as the US Ambassador to the United
Nations Commission on the Status of
Women has been marked by clashes
with   women’s advocacy groups and
health care professionals.

The recess appointments take effect
immediately and will expire at the end
of the next session of Congress.
its all true
Staff at Bush Intercontinental
Airport in Houston held a four
year old refusing to allow him to
board an airplane with his parents
because his name appeared on
the national "do not fly" terrorist
alert list.

The child's mother explained that
little Edward Allen could not
possibly be a terrorist at such a
young age, but Continental Air
spokespersons said that airport
staff were "conforming to Travel
Safety Administration
requirements".  Airport security
personnel relented and allowed
the young traveller to board a
plane but he received the same
treatment on his return after a
Christmas visit.

Last summer a nine month old
infant was barred from air travel
out of Dulles International Airport
because his name appeared on th
no fly list.  The airline's security
system prevented airline staff
from even printing a ticket in the
baby's name.
Although people whose names
wrongly appear on the list cannot
have their names removed from
the 'do not fly list', travelers can
petition the TSA allow for
expedited boarding
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back to top of
verbatim                                                                    number 7.1
...I'd better call my lawyer."  
  Washington DC 12.11.03
Military Intelligence
DOD Offers Employment Opportunity to
The US Army has hired dozens of
amputees who lost limbs in industrial
accidents to play wounded Iraqi
civilians in war games used to train
troops for the battlefield in Iraq.  The
amputees are fitted with pumps and
theatrical blood in an effort to
simulate 'real life' combat situations.  

Military contractor Cubic Industries
has been hired to choreograph Iraq
styled war games to prepare US
troops for battle at Fort Polk in
Louisiana.  The war simulations last
three weeks and
are scheduled continuously
throughout the year at a cost of
nearly $120 million a year.

The combat games take place in a
specially constructed city that is
outfitted with remote controlled
smoke generating technology and
equipped to broadcast the sounds of
"screaming women" and "crying
babies".  Cubic is currently working
on olfactory technologies that would
simulate "war odors" such as "vomit"
and "burning
it's all true
Army Seeks Bloggers, But Not Just Any
US military commanders have been
aggressively clamping down on the
blogs or web logs of soldiers in Iraq
and Afghanistan known as

Soldier's weblogs have increasingly
become a source of information
about troop moral and the success
of the occupation of Iraq countering
the sanitized reportage of the
embedded media.

Army National Guard Spc. Jason
Christopher Hartley was recently
demoted and fined for blogging about
his combat experiences.  Marine
Captain Don Caetano warned
soldiers like Hartley that troops
stationed in war
zones should not forget that "the bad
guys are accessing" the milblogs
also and blogs could become a
security risk.

While the military has been stifling
milblogs that are critical of the
occupation, the Pentagon has also
hired a public relations firm to reach
out to 'pro-military' bloggers.  

The Detroit based public relations
firm Manning, Selvage & Lee has
been contracted to offer support and
"exclusive editorial" content to
milblogs that support the war effort
focusing on the "good news" in
occupied Iraq.  So far, four
pro-military bloggers have been
contacted by the firm.        
it's all true
Military Devises Solution to Recruitment
The Department of Defense
has launched one of the
biggest contract investments in
US history to explore and
develop robot soldiers to
replace humans in battlefield
situations.  The military has
budgeted $127 billion for
'Project Alpha' which hopes to
deploy robot warriors by the
year 2025.

A US Joint Forces Command
study entitled "Unmanned
Effects: Taking the Human Out
of the Loop" presents a
strategy for the
use of autonomous robots that
take many forms.  The 'Tactical
Autonomous Combatant' may
resemble a human or may
resemble a motor vehicle and
some may be the size of rodents
or insects.  Project Alpha builds on
programs already in place in the
Navy, Army and Air Force.   
Gordon Johnson of the Joint
Forces Command described the
mechanical  mercanaries, "They
don't get hungry, they're not
afraid, they don't forget orders,
they don't care if the guy next to
them has just been
it's all true
“I was — I served in the
National Guard.  I flew F-102
aircraft.  I got an honorable
discharge.   I — I put in my
time, proudly so.  There may
be no evidence, but I did
report; otherwise, I wouldn't
have been honorably
discharged. And I'm just
telling you, I did my
    Meet the Press   02.13.04
verbatim                                                                       number 7.2
Consumer debt and corporate
profits on the rise since 2001
2001        2002       2003      
consumer debt in billions of
corporate profits in billions of
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