one nation, under surveillance
number 73  10.08.06
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interpreting the constitution

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one nation, under surveillance

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interpreting the constitution
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Terrorist Surveillance Act of
2006: and the Terrorist
Tracking, Identification, and
Prosecution Act of 2006

West Virginia Division of
Forestry: Fall Foliage

Armenian Manuscript Leaf:
Jesus Descends to Hell
ca.1500- Freer and Sackler
Galleries at the Smithsonian

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May Day  
March in
Brown Tribute
The Department of Homeland
Security appropriations bill for 2007,
signed by President Bush last week,
contains a provision directing the
department’s inspector general to
investigate a highly classified data-
mining program that analyzes and
integrates information on Americans.
The project, known as the Analysis,
Dissemination, Visualization, Insight,
and Semantic Enhancement
(ADVISE) program, has been in
development since 2003. In ordering
the inspector general to conduct the
investigation, Congressional
appropriators wrote that the scope
and impact of the program are
unclear; although it is certain that the
surveillance is directed at US citizens.
Very little is known about the ADVISE
program, which is mentioned in only
a few public documents. The
program is designed to integrate
information from a wide variety of
public and private databases,
searching for correlations that might
indicate suspicious activity. But the
apparent scale of the project, and
the unusual secrecy surrounding it,
have made ADVISE a target of
criticism from privacy rights
advocates, many of whom compare it
to the Pentagon’s controversial Total
Information Awareness program,
which was
cancelled in 2003.

Total Information Awareness (TIA),
was similarly aimed at collating vast
disparate government databases
with private records from banks,
credit card companies, phone
companies, and internet
providers. The goal was to track
the digital transactions of every
citizen. Amid a flurry of bad
publicity, the program was
terminated over privacy concerns.
The DHS began developing the
ADVISE program later the same

Intelligence community observers
have noted that several programs
that have been cancelled after
public or Congressional
objections have been promptly
resurrected under new names,
often under the control of a
different agency.          
its all true
A group of leading US universities is
cooperating in the development of
computer software that would enable
the government to monitor the media
for negative comments or sentiment
about US policies and governance.  

The universities, including Cornell
and the University of Pittsburgh, were
identified by the
New York Times in
a report about a research project
sponsored by the Department of
Homeland Security.  The Times
reported that the three-year
development program has been
capitalized by a grant of $2.4 by a
research group affiliated with the CIA.

DHS told the
Times that the
computer aided monitoring of the
press would be conducted only to
identify potential
threats to national security.  Joseph
Kielman, who currently manages the
Threat Awareness Portfolio for the
Science and Technology Directorate
at DHS, told the
Times that media
monitoring would not extend to US
press outlets.  US law bars the CIA
from monitoring domestic media
outlets.  Although an early version of
the software will be tested on a
selection of foreign articles published
between 2001 and 2002, the
database includes wire reports from
American newspapers such as the
Miami Herald and the New York

The project will be expanding the
field of ‘sentiment analysis’ using
computers to rapidly distinguish
negative comments or rhetoric from a
gigantic amount of published
its all true
The government Centre for
Climate Prediction in England
has released a report that
predicts that up to 50 percent
of the planet’s surface could
suffer from moderate drought
and that 30 percent of the
world’s land area may suffer
from extreme drought by the
end of this century.  The
climate changes were
predicted through advanced
computer modeling and
portend disturbing trends in
agriculture, migration and
development across the earth.  

Researchers reviewed climate
records over a 46 year period
and used super-computers to
model climate changes for the
remainder of this century to
predict drought levels across
the planet.

Findings revealed that human
activity alone will account for a
dramatic rise in drought
conditions that will affect the
entire planet but will
disproportionately affect areas
in the developing world and its
populations.  British Climate
researchers who reviewed the
study said that the predicted
droughts will force subsistence
farmers off arid lands and
create a situation where
millions could face starvation.

The report’s authors caution
that because the study did not
analyze the potential effects of
global warming on the
occurrence of droughts
throughout the world, that their
study could actually understate
the expansion of droughts
through the remainder of the
its all true
verbatim                                                                                      number 14.3
"We realized that years of
pursuing stability to promote
peace have left us with
neither...The status quo in the
Middle East before September the
11th was dangerous and
unacceptable... we're pursuing a new
Salt Lake
City, UT 08.31.06
The Public Broadcasting Service’s
most prominent news program, the
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, fails to
present a representative spectrum
of sources and opinions in its
broadcasts, according to a report
by the media monitoring group
Fairness and Accuracy in
Reporting. The report reveals that
during the period examined
NewsHour sources were
predominantly white, male, and
Republican, and that public
interest groups received the least
airtime. FAIR concludes that the
lack of balance in the public
television program is only slightly
less significant than in network

The investigation studied the
NewsHour from October 2005
through March 2006, and included
all on-air sources. The results
showed that males accounted for
82 percent of all sources cited.
Minority sources made up 15
percent of the sample, although
minorities comprise about 31
percent of the general population.
Where party affiliation could be
ascertained, Republicans
dominated Democrats by two to
its all true
President Bush has again asserted
that the US Congress cannot write
laws that restrict or contradict his
administration’s expansive
interpretation of executive authority.  

The White House released a
statement that the president will not
obey more than 3-dozen provisions
of a law enacted last week because
the components “impermissibly
interfere” with presidential
preeminence.  The piece of
legislation that the president signed
into law but said that he was not
covered by provides operational
funding for the Department of
Homeland Security for the year 2007.

Congressional Democrats and
Republicans have expressed
concern about the president’s refusal
to follow the law especially where it
calls for
minimum experience requirements for
the appointed position of director of
the Federal Emergency Management
Agency.  The law would have
required the president to only
consider candidates for the position
who have a “demonstrated ability in
and knowledge of emergency
management,” and at least “five
years of executive leadership.”

The statement that was released by
Bush said that putting any
constraints whatsoever on his choice
for agency directors would limit the
authority of the “unitary executive
branch.”  Bush wrote that
establishing minimum requirements
for the head of FEMA would “limit”
the pool of possible appointees “in a
manner that rules out a large
portion” of applicants.

The president also struck down a  
portion of the law that would allow
the head of FEMA to report
directly to Congress on funding
needs related to the security and
safety of the country.  Bush wrote
that allowing direct reporting to
Congress would “limit (his)
supervision of an executive
branch official”.  

When he signed the bill the
president did not indicate that he
would later challenge it's
He stated that the legislation was
important because it will "protect
the American people".  Bush later
wrote in the signing statement that
nullified the law as it relates to the
executive branch that he
considered that the law was
“inconsistent with the President’s
exclusive constitutional authority
its all true
A ruling last week by the National
Labor Relations Board dramatically
expanded the legal definition of
supervisory duties, potentially
denying millions of workers the right
to organize. The board held that
nurses who performed limited but
routine instruction and scheduling
tasks could be classified by their
employer as supervisors, effectively
removing their federally protected
right to form unions. The decision, in
the so-called Kentucky River cases,
had been anxiously awaited by both
business and labor leaders, and
legal experts said that more than 100
cases pending before the board may
be affected. The board’s 3-2
decision was split along party lines.

A spokesman for the US Chamber of
Commerce praised the NLRB ruling,
adding that predictions by labor
leaders that the decision would lead
to broad changes in collective
processes were alarmist and
unfounded. But union officials said
that up to 8 million US workers would
immediately be affected, and that
more than 30 million would eventually
fall within the parameters established
by the decision. Under the provisions
of the federal Taft-Hartley Act,
“supervisors” are barred from
forming unions.
In recent years, a number of lawsuits
have been brought against large
corporations by employees who were
deemed to be ineligible for overtime
pay and other workplace protections
because they were designated
supervisors. Abercrombie & Fitch
agreed to a $2 million settlement in a
California case last January, and
Countrywide Financial Corp. entered
into a $30 million settlement
agreement in 2005. But many such
cases have been pending in
anticipation of the NLRB’s ruling.

In many cases the “supervisors” had
little actual supervisory authority or
responsibility. In the Kentucky River
cases, the employer named 127
supervisors out of a total workforce
of 181.

In a statement, AFL-CIO President
John Sweeney said the decision
would lead employers to "strip
millions of workers of their right to
have a union by reclassifying them
as 'supervisors' in
name only."  Some observers note
that the limitation of total union
membership would be a strategic
disadvantage to Democrats, who
typically rely on labor's infrastructure
for fund raising and logistical
its all true  
Homeland Security Developing ADVISE Without Consent
Bush Moves to Protect Homeland From Qualified Candidates
UK Scientists Predict
Long Warming Trend
Colleges to Assist CIA 'Sentiment Analysis'
Lack of Supervision Not a Problem in US
Getting it Right,
Night After Night