interpreting the constitution
number 75  10.22.06
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

fun d' mental
one nation, under surveillance
Date of death penalty
abolition selected countries
venezuela  iceland   haiti   






previous editions

Links of the Week

Offshoring: U.S.
Semiconductor and Software
Industries Increasingly
Produce in China  and India

Bureau of Democracy, Human
Rights and Labor :
International Religious
Freedom Report, 2006

El Greco : Saint Jerome as a
Cardinal, 1610-1614

Collins Kids :  Complete
Discography, 1954-1964

contact us
in bed with the red
back to top of
May Day  
March in
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
A memorandum written by an
Argentinean civil servant that was
subsequently published on the
Internet refers to the recent purchase
of a 98,000-acre ranch in northern
Paraguay by George W. Bush.  

The undersecretary of Social Habitat
in the Argentine Federal Planning
Ministry, Luis D Elia, speculated in
the memo that the land purchase
may have negative consequences for
relations between countries in South
America.  This is especially the case,
D Elia commented, as the ranch is
located in an area rich in natural
gas,which also straddles the one of
the largest aquifers in South
America.  The Acuifero Guarani
provides water to people in
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and

The ranch is also adjacent to the US
Mariscal Estigarribia Military Base.
The base is now home to 500 US
soldiers who arrived in the country
after the Paraguayan Senate voted
to give immunity to US personnel
from war crimes prosecution in the
International Criminal Court.

Jenna Bush, the one of the president’
s daughters, just returned from a 10-
day visit to Paraguay where she
participated in a UNICEF event.  
UNICEF released a short statement
about Miss Bush’s visit stating that
the visit was “strictly private in
nature.”  Miss Bush also met with
Paraguayan President Nicanor
Duarte and US Ambassador to
Paraguay, James Cason.  Cason was
appointed by President Bush in 2005
and has previously served in
Havana, Panama and El Salvador
and was a political advisor to the US
Atlantic Command.   
its all true
One of the highest-ranking
military leaders recently
praised the leadership of US
Secretary of Defense, Donald
Rumsfeld as being influenced
by religious views and
somehow guided by a  
perception of what he feels
God thinks is “best” for

Marine General Peter Pace,
who was speaking at a
ceremony honoring Navy Adm.
James G. Stavridis who
assumed command of the
military’s Southern Command,
said that Rumsfeld “leads in a
way that the good Lord tells
him is best for our country.”  
Pace did not specify which
God he was referring to as he
praised Rumsfeld.

Pace went on to say that his
boss “comes to work every day
with a single-minded focus to
make this country safe,” and
“We’re lucky as a nation that
he continues to serve with
such passion and such
integrity and such
determination and such

Stavridis served as Rumsfeld's
military assistant since 2004
and is taking over the military
command in 32 countries
including the detention facility
in Guantanamo, Cuba.  It was
during the command of
SouthCom’s previous leader,
General Bantz Craddock, that
the detention camp became
infamous due allegations of
humiliation and torture by
former inmates.   
Three inmates at the facility in
Guantanamo committed
suicide earlier this year.  

Craddock was assigned to
lead allied forces in Europe.    
its all true
verbatim                                                                    number 14.5
"I think the characterization
of, you know, stay the
course... about a quarter
D.C.  10.11.06
The Justice Department has notified
federal judges hearing cases
involving terrorist suspects detained
by the US military that their court no
longer has any jurisdiction over those
cases, under the terms of the Military
Commissions Act, which was signed
into law by President Bush last week.

Moving quickly to implement one of
the most controversial provisions of
the Act, Justice Department lawyers
also notified hundreds of prisoners
and their defense teams that they
would no longer have access to US
courts to challenge their detention.
The legislation exempts so-called
“enemy combatants” from legal
habeas corpus protections.
Defense attorneys are expected to
quickly dispute the constitutionality of
the new legislation. In addition to the
suspension of habeas corpus, the
Military Commissions Act authorizes
the introduction of evidence obtained
by “coercion,” as well as the use of
classified evidence, which the
defendant is not permitted to review.
The MCA also provides retroactive
legal immunity from prosecution
under US and international law for US
personnel who may have committed
war crimes.

The actions by the Justice
Department signal the administration’
s intention to implement the MCA
while it is being challenged in court.
Attorney General
Alberto Gonzalez praised the MCA
in a speech last week, saying that
the new law extended sufficient
rights to those deemed “enemy
combatants” by the
administration. But civil liberties
advocates warned that anyone in
the world, including US citizens in
their homes, could be designated
an “enemy combatant” under the
provisions of the Act. Under the
terms of the new law, such
prisoners need not be charged,
and may in some cases be held

The first challenges to the Act are
expected to arise in federal
appeals court in Washington,
its all true
Observed reductions in
populations of birds, insects, and
bats may adversely affect plant
life on earth, with disastrous
implications for large-scale
commercial agriculture, according
to a report released last week by
the National Research Council.
Because these species act as
pollinating agents, their decline
would disrupt farming operations
and possibly threaten entire
ecosystems. The report stressed
the need for further research into
population decline among various
pollinator species.

The researchers highlighted the
case of the North American
honeybee, for which they said
there was significant evidence of
population reductions. The
authors noted that honeybees
pollinate more than 90 popular
agricultural species. Last year,
according to the report, US
farmers had to import honeybees
to pollinate their crops for the first
time since 1922.

The main factors in the decline of
pollinators are loss of habitat, the
use of pesticides, and the
introduction of foreign
its all true
source: Amnesty
verbatim                                                                         number 14.6
"I still stand by my
prediction: we'll have
a Republican speaker
and a Republican
leader of the Senate."
Washington  DC  10.11.06
spread of the red : democracy
The FBI has initiated an investigation
into the apparent theft and
unauthorized publication of the
secret source code for certain
electronic voting machines
manufactured by Diebold Election
Systems. Three disks containing the
source code for a version of the
software used in the 2004 elections
were delivered anonymously to the
office of a former Maryland state
legislator, who forwarded the material
to authorities.

Maryland State Board of Elections
officials denied that the disks had
been stolen or leaked from their
According to software analysts,
the disks appear to be pilot
versions of the election programs,
possibly from private testing labs.
A different set
of Diebold source codes was
previously leaked to the public in
early 2003.  

Spokesmen for Diebold denied
any knowledge of the disks or the
possible breach of security. In a
statement, the company said,
“Voters and election officials can
be confident that on Election Day,
votes and vote totals will be safe,
secure, and accurate.”                   
its all true
The former head of the US Election
Assistance Commission insists that
he wasn’t given the proper tools to
perform his duties, and charges that
neither the White House nor
Congress are seriously committed to
election reform. Rev. DeForest
Soaries, a former New Jersey
Secretary of State appointed by
President Bush as the first chairman
of the EAC, has made a number of
public statements that are openly
critical of
federal oversight of national
elections, describing the situation
as vulnerable to manipulation and

Soaries has decried the lack of a
federal standard for judging the
accuracy of the various privately
manufactured electronic voting
machines used in national
elections. He resigned as
chairman of the EAC in April
its all true
Lobbying of Congressional
appropriations committees by
relatives of committee members and
their senior staff is largely
unregulated, resulting in hundreds of
millions of dollars in federal funding
earmarks in each budgetary cycle,
according to a report published in
USA Today. Because there are few
disclosure requirements for
legislators and lobbyists, the
investigation surveyed thousands of
pages of public documents. The
report notes that the executive and
judicial branches have stringent rules
regarding contact with lobbyists who
are family members or business

The newspaper investigated the
relationships between members of
the House and Senate appropriations
committees, committee staff
members, and the lobbyists who
promoted legislation before the
committees. According to the report,
at least 30 relatives sought funding
for their client’s projects, with 22
actually proposing specific language
to be inserted into spending bills. In
2005, the lobbyists influenced the
authorization of more than $750
million in government spending, while
earning millions of dollars in fees for
their firms. The paper found that in
some cases members of the
committees received gifts or
campaign contributions from the
lobbyists, their
firms, or their clients.

Congressional lobbying practices
have come under increased scrutiny
in the wake of the scandal involving
DC “super lobbyist” Jack Abramoff.
The probe into Abramoff’s activities
has already led to several
indictments, as well as the recent
conviction of Ohio Republican Rep.
Bob Ney. But proposed reforms have
stalled in both the House and the
Senate, and it appears there will be
no action on the issue until the next

Last week, FBI agents launched an
investigation into the lobbying firm of
Karen Weldon, daughter of
Republican Representative Curt
Weldon of Pennsylvania. The probe,
which is unrelated to the Abramoff
scandal, involves allegations that the
Congressman improperly assisted
foreign companies that were clients
of his daughter’s firm. As he
campaigns for re-election, Weldon
has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

But forcing a vote on reform would
require the influence of House
Speaker Dennis Hastert, currently
trying to control damage from the
Mark Foley scandal. Hastert’s son
Josh is a registered lobbyist with
clients including Amgen and
Lockheed Martin.                  
its all true
The FBI Chief and the Director of
Homeland Security recently made
public statements calling for Internet
companies to be required by law to
capture and retain information about
Internet users and the web pages
that they visit so that the information
can be given to law enforcement
agencies upon request. FBI Chief
Robert Mueller and the director of
Homeland Security Michael Chertoff,
both speaking at the annual
convention of the International
Association of Chiefs of Police, said
that the retention of information
about the web-habits of Internet
users is an essential element in the
so-called ‘war on terror’.

Mueller told the audience of law
enforcement officials that information
about Internet users should be
preserved by private companies so
that it can be
produced for government agents
because, “Today, terrorists coordinate
their plans cloaked in the anonymity of
the Internet.”  Chertoff said that
Internet users and Internet service
providers should be forced to adapt to
what he said was an "emerging threat.”

Although specifics of the federally
mandated data retention program
have not been fully fleshed out by
authorities, the type of information that
can be captured by Internet companies
and passed on to government agents
includes the identities of the customer’
s and their correspondents, and the
date, time and duration of
communications.  So far, retention of
the content of e-mails or other Internet
communications such as instant
messaging and Internet phone calls
(known as Voice over Internet
Protocol, or Voip) have not been
requested by the
FBI and Homeland Security.

Legislation that would require
Internet companies to capture
and retain data was proposed
in Congress this year, first by a
Republican and then later by a
Democrat.  Neither of these bills
was voted on before Congress

Civil libertarians and privacy
rights advocates warn that the
databases created by such
mandates may be improperly
accessed, even by law
enforcement.  Mueller said that
his agents have a “clear need”
for the information and that
citizens’ concern for privacy
should be taken into
consideration if those concerns
are deemed to be
its all true
As American voters and state
election officials prepare for
federal, state and municipal
elections in two weeks, media
reports that electronic voting
machines are not secure from
computer hacking have
increased and studies by
academics and others have
documented serious flaws in
the systems.  Because of the
Help America Vote Act, over 80
percent of American voters will
use electronic voting machines
in 2006.

A study published by
researchers at Princeton
University earlier
this year showed that software
made by one of the largest
suppliers of electronic voting
equipment, Diebold Election
Systems, could be hacked.
Researchers found they were
to manipulate vote totals without
leaving any evidence of the
tampering. The study reported that
the security access panel on some
Diebold machines  could be opened
with a common hotel mini-bar key.  

Malfunctions in a May primary
election of voting machines supplied
to the city of Chicago by the
company Sequoia led to a four-week
delay in vote tabulation.  Counties
and municipalities in California,
Washington, Colorado, Florida,
Missouri and New Mexico reported
similar technological problems with
Sequoia manufactured voting

Voters in 88 Ohio counties will only
be able to use either touch-screen
machines or electronic scan
machines.  Problems with electronic
machines in one Ohio County in May
delayed the final vote tabulation by
six days.          
its all true
Administration Substitutes New Process for Due
FBI, Homeland Security Seek to Save Data, Delete
Rumsfeld Redefines
Chain of Command
Bush Makes Plans to Clear Brush in the
Money Grows on Congressional Family
Factory Farms Face
Pollination Problems
Source Code Keeps Getting Less Secret
Politicians Voted Against Election Reform
Machines Make Voters Feel Insecure
Percentage of  registered
voters in the United States
using either DRE or Optical
Scan technology in each
national election cycle from
1986 (8 %) through 2004
(65.75 %)
86     88    90      92    94     96     98     00     02    
source: Viroqua
previous editions archive