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one nation, under surveillance
back to top of
number 87  01.21.07
May Day  
March in
verbatim                                                                                                                                                number 17.1
"I think the Iraqi people owe the American
people a huge debt of gratitude."
                                     Washington  DC   01.14.07
Divorce rate per 1000 citizens
selected countries
italy   portugal  canada  
russia    us
Seven states have laws that
prohibit unmarried couples
from living together, most of
the laws were written in the
1800s.  Although the laws are
rarely enforced, cohabitation is
listed as a sex crime in many of
these states along with crimes
like adultery and incest.  

In Michigan, a divorced father
is unable to have his children
visit his home over night
because he now owns a home
with his girl friend.  Though the
father shares legal custody of
his children with his former
spouse, a judge barred the
children from over night visits
because of a law that defines
unmarried cohabitation as
“lewd and lascivious”.   The
anti-cohabitation law in
Michigan was passed in 1838.

A US Magistrate in Virginia
routinely asks defendants if
they are violating that state’s
anti-cohabitation law and holds
defendants unless they agree
to marry or find other living
arrangements.  The anti-
cohabitation law in Virginia was
last enforced in 1847.

Fundamentalist Christian
groups have allied with
conservative politicians to work
against amending state laws to
abolish the 19th century
statutes.  The North Dakota
Family Alliance is working
against a measure to repeal
the state’s anti-cohabitation
law.  The Michigan Family
Forum says that cohabitation
marks the "revival of
concubinage” and leads to
societal acceptance of
domestic partnerships.             
it's all true
Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez
has confirmed that a number of US
attorneys across the country have
been asked to submit their
resignations, effectively being forced
out by Justice Department officials in
Washington. In testimony before the
Senate Judiciary Committee last
week, Gonzalez refused to go into
detail about what he termed a
“personnel decision,” but he strongly
denied that the removals might be
politically motivated. As many as 11
federal prosecutors have resigned in
recent weeks, including several
involved in high-profile investigations.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
questioned Gonzalez about the
ouster of two
California US attorneys, Carol C. Lam
in San Diego and Kevin V. Ryan in
San Francisco. Lam led the
successful prosecution of former
Republican congressman Randall
“Duke” Cunningham on charges of
conspiracy and tax evasion. Ryan
headed the investigation into sports
doping that has centered on the
BALCO laboratories, and was
developing a case involving
allegations of backdating stock
options at some 25 companies.
Feinstein noted that both Lam and
Ryan “have major jurisdictions and
major cases and substantially good

In December, US Attorney H.E.
Cummins of Little Rock, Arkansas
resigned, reportedly at the behest
of the Justice Department. The
appointment of J. Timothy Griffin,
a 37-year-old research director
for the Republican National
Committee, to replace Cummins  
drew widespread criticism. Griffin
is closely associated with White
House political advisor Karl Rove.

A largely overlooked provision of
the reauthorization of the USA
Patriot Act permits the Attorney
General to appoint interim US
attorneys for an indefinite term.
Democratic Senators have
introduced a bill that would repeal
this authority, restoring the
previous procedure.           
it's all
More than 744, 000 people were
homeless in the United States in
January 2005, according to the
findings of the first national study
of the issue in a decade. The
Homelessness Counts,
released by the National Alliance
to End Homelessness, represents
the first attempt to quantify the
homeless population nationally
since a report by the Urban
Institute in 1996 estimated it to be
in a range between 444, 000 and
842, 000.

Researchers compiled data from
federal, state, and municipal
sources, as well as charities and
private service providers to
assemble a “snapshot” of the
national homeless population at a
fixed point in time. They found
that 44 percent, or more than
327, 000 people nationally, were
unsheltered. The study identified
a total of 98, 452 homeless

The authors stress that their work
is intended to establish a
baseline, with the annualized
population much higher. The
1996 Urban Institute report
estimated that as many as 3.5
million people will be homeless at
some point each year.        
it's all
The nation’s largest maker of human
implantable microchips has begun an
aggressive marketing program to
encourage widespread use and
cultural acceptance of the tracking
and identification technology.

Verichip has announced that it will
provide free scanning devices and
implantable microchips to doctors
and hospitals. The company is
promoting its Verimed system to
health professionals and says that
1200 doctors nationwide are
equipped to scan patients and more
than 400 hospitals have received
equipment and applied for access to
the company’s patient record

The company received approval from
the Food and Drug Administration to
implant humans with tiny glass vials
that contain a small capacitor, an
antenna and a microchip in 2004.  
The chips, which are implanted in
either a human’s hand or shoulder,
contain a numeric identifier that can
be read with the use of conventional
scanning technology.  The identifier
is linked to a medical database that
contains patient histories and other
essential medical information.

Verichip says that the system will
allow doctors to get access to patient
information even if the patient is
unconscious.   The company
that the chip is designed to have a
life span that is longer than the life
expectancy of the individual who is
implanted.  The personal information
of implanted individual is stored on
the Global Verichip Subscriber
Registry that is designed to be
accessed by only medical
professionals and the implanted

Critics, however, fear that the
technology will allow unknowing or
unwanted information sharing of
patient information.  Computer and
privacy experts have successfully
hacked and cloned the type of
microchip that Verichip implants into
humans.  In one instance, a chip
manufactured by Verichip that was
implanted in a journalist who was
researching the safety of the
technology was read remotely and
cloned by an associate.  The cloned
chip allowed the hacker the same
access that the implanted journalist
had to otherwise secure databases.

Privacy advocates also worry about
human microchipping technology
becoming more societally accepted
through its use in medical
applications as well as in other
industries.  A company in Ohio uses
Verichip devices that are implanted in
its employee’s bodies for workplace
identification and tracking
it's all true
The manufacturer of a high-voltage
stun gun used by law enforcement
and security personnel has launched
a consumer version for private
citizens. Taser International
introduced the compact Taser C2 at
a consumer electronics convention in
Las Vegas earlier this month. The
device, which delivers a charge of up
to 50, 000 volts of electricity, will be
available in four colors including
metallic pink.

The C2 is “the next generation in
personal protection,” according to
Taser International chairman Tom
Smith. Company representatives
dispute claims by Amnesty
International that the weapons have
been linked to 220 deaths since their
adoption by various law enforcement
agencies in the US, Canada, and the
UK. The weekend that the C2 was
launched, two men died after being
shot with Tasers by police in Florida
and New York.

Although police departments have
deployed stun guns in an effort to
reduce the use of firearms, critics say
that the devices are too often used in
situations where potentially deadly
force is unwarranted. A recent
investigation by the
found that Houston police
used Tasers more than 1,000 times
in two years. In 95 percent of those
cases, the suspects had no
weapons. Typically, Tasers were
deployed in routine calls such as
traffic stops, disturbance complaints,
and reports of suspicious persons,
according to the report.

Amnesty International spokesmen
said that public access to Tasers
would have "devastating
it's all true
Personal Taser a Stunning New Accessory
Study Shows
Still Not Addressed
Gonzalez Denies Federal Prosecutors Were Dismissed With
A government-sponsored study that
traces the history of scientific studies
about the value of torture techniques
in extracting intelligence from
captives suggests that there is no
empirical evidence that torture

The report, Educing Information,
Interrogation: Science and Art
compiled by the Intelligence Science
Board of the Defense Intelligence
College, says that there is evidence,
however, that shows that torture can
generate false information and
demean the reputation of purveyors
of torture.

The report surveyed known scientific
and military studies into torture
techniques and found that, despite
the wide use of “aggressive”
questioning techniques by the US in
its prosecution of the ‘war on terror’,
there has been
little research into coercive
interrogation methods.  One of the
authors of the report, Randy Borum,
Psy.D., wrote that there are “almost
no empirical studies (that) directly
address the effectiveness of
interrogation in general practice.”  
Borum went on to report that the
interrogation techniques outlined in
the US Army Field Manual have
remained unchanged for 50 years
but there are no “studies or
systematic analyses that support
their effectiveness.”  The coercion
methods are taught and employed by
the US military simply because, writes
Borum, “they have ‘always’ been

Borum concludes that the vast
majority of information that supports
torture as a useful intelligence
gathering technique is anecdotal but
even there, the “preponderance of
reports seem to
weigh against” the effectiveness
of torture.

Another of the report’s authors
found that, aside from the value of
information achieved by torturing
captives, coercive interrogation
tactics have very real “costs…in
human, ethical (and) political”
terms that must be acknowledged.

Robert Coulam, Ph.D., J.D., wrote,
“Decision makers must be careful
about assuming that tough
interrogation techniques impress
our adversaries.”  That belief
“rests on casual empiricism,” and
by participating in immoral and
illegal coercion, the US risks
“undermining the democratic
institutions that the struggle
against terrorism is meant to
it's all true
States Wedded to
Antiquated Statutes
Unquestioned Interrogation Methods Yield Questionable
Firm Plans Generation With Chip in its Shoulder
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