19
Dez
2005

Torture's Long Shadow

Vladimir Bukovsky: So, why would democratically elected leaders of the United States ever want to legalize what a succession of Russian monarchs strove to abolish? Why would anyone try to "improve intelligence-gathering capability" by destroying what was left of it? I have no answer to these questions, but I do know that if Vice President Cheney is right and that some "cruel, inhumane or degrading" (CID) treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905H.shtml

Bush Proud of His Big Ears

On the normal scale of democratic values, setting wiretaps to spy on one's fellow citizens without a green light from the judiciary is not the most virtuous behavior; revealing the existence of such wiretaps is performance of an act of public health. But President Bush has decided to set this scale on its head and asks us to "trust me on spying."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905C.shtml

US Operated Secret 'Dark Prison' in Kabul

Accounts from detainees at Guantánamo reveal that the United States as recently as last year operated a secret prison in Afghanistan where detainees were subjected to torture and other mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905B.shtml

The most important question of all

OpEd News
by David Sirota

12/18/05

In the last 72 hours since the revelation that President Bush ordered illegal domestic surveillance operations, we have seen how the Republican spin machine has mastered the art of turning any and all controversies into questions of national security. You know the drill: those who are criticizing Bush's orders are billed as weak, soft on national security, or against domestic efforts to stop terrorism. Meanwhile, Bush is portrayed as the tough fighter of terrorism, willing to make the tough choices to defend America's national security. In short, his crimes are portrayed as badges of honor. There's just one problem: this isn't a question of whether America supports domestic surveillance operations against terrorists or not. This is a question of whether America supports those operations without requiring a warrant...

//tinyurl.com/79xsh


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Society needs no managers

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

12/16/05

It has been decades since legislatures have struck out daringly in some new and uncharted territory of social and economic management. For the most part, in the US, Europe, Russia, China, and Latin America, legislatures are constantly at work reforming the systems they created in the past rather than embarking on totally new ventures. And what are they working to reform? Sectors of governance that are not operating as they should due to dislocations, expense, perceived violations of fairness or some other consideration...

//www.mises.org/story/1987


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Bush's 16 words keep haunting him

Human Events
by Robert Novak

12/19/05

The House International Relations Committee last Thursday voted 24 to 19 to send to the House floor, 'without recommendation,' a resolution requiring President Bush to turn over documents relating to 16 words in his 2003 State of the Union Address. That actually killed the resolution. But the dead can rise again in Congress, and this corpse will. Thursday's vote marked the ninth time that Democrats had brought this matter before the International Relations Committee without success, and it will not be the last time. Democrats are obsessed with the president's 16 words on Jan. 28, 2003, that reported British intelligence saying Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This is the cutting edge of the Democratic contention that George W. Bush lied his country into war...

//www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=10977


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Big Brother is getting bigger

The Price of Liberty
by Lady Liberty

12/19/05

In George Orwell's classic '1984,' Big Brother was the personification of Big Government. He was always there to protect citizens and to steer them in the 'right' direction 'for their own good.' To maintain the status quo (i.e. government as the ultimate authority), Orwell's Big Brother did everything from rewriting history and redefining language to engaging in constant prophylactic surveillance of citizens on the streets and in their homes. In the world of '1984,' thorough records were kept on each and every citizen, and paranoia and fear alone ensured that Big Brother's control was absolute even when his technological eyes might randomly be turned elsewhere. Those few who dared rail against such things were re-educated using tools ranging from mere propaganda to outright torture. Is it any wonder, then, that more and more people are talking about Big Brother these days? If redefining words or rewriting history is 'Big Brotherish,' we must take note of recent developments...

//www.thepriceofliberty.org/05/12/19/ladylib.htm


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Pass the initiative

//www.freeliberal.com/archives/001736.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

A conspiracy against humanity, a cabal motivated by an idea that is criminal in itself

Naming names

AntiWar.Com
by Justin Raimondo

12/19/05

Crime, as a popular American saying goes, does not pay. The criminals are eventually caught, exposed -- and made to pay the price. The only question is how much damage they can do in the interim. The damage to Iraq, and to the volatile situation in the Middle East, is considerable. We won't know for many years how many Iraqis died -- the United States military, while it keeps a count of its own war dead, doesn't bother counting dead Iraqis. We don't know the extent of the bombing -- except that it is being kept a secret. ... What we are facing is a conspiracy against humanity, a cabal motivated by an idea that is criminal in itself, and which consists of the assertion that the United States must run the world – for 'our own good,' of course. But that is what every tyrant and would-be conqueror has asserted in the past ...

//www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=8241


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The anti-American president

WorldNetDaily
by Vox Day

12/19/05

America was founded on the principle that it is right to sacrifice blood for liberty. It is telling that the Bush defenders make precisely the opposite argument, that it is right to sacrifice liberty in order to avoid the shedding of American blood. In this they are, like the Dear Leader, avowedly anti-American. That George Bush is in open and repeated violation of his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution is no longer debatable. In keeping with his many anti-constitutional actions, he has publicly declared that he has no way of knowing what is, and what is not constitutional...

//www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47970


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Bush defends secret spying in the US

Detroit Free Press

12/17/05

Facing angry criticism and challenges to his authority in Congress, President Bush on Saturday unapologetically defended his administration's right to conduct secret post-Sept. 11 spying in the United States as 'critical to saving American lives.' Bush said congressional leaders had been briefed on the operation more than a dozen times. That included Democrats as well as Republicans in the House and Senate, a GOP lawmaker said. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she had been told on several occasions that Bush had authorized unspecified activities by the National Security Agency, the nation's largest spy agency...

//tinyurl.com/b2yfw


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

House GOP work on oil and gas exploration bill

Houston Chronicle

12/18/05

House Republican leaders worked late tonight on a bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska to oil and gas exploration. The GOP leaders had to quell a rebellion of moderate Republicans to pass a Defense Department spending bill that included language that would grant energy companies access to what's believed to be the largest, untapped oil deposit left onshore in the United States. The real battle could come this week over in the Senate, where Democrats have vowed to try to strip the drilling language from the legislation...

//tinyurl.com/adkc6


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

GOP leaders reach tentative deal on deficit cuts

USA Today

12/18/05

Republican congressional leaders agreed to trim deficits by $41.6 billion and sought to unlock the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling Sunday in a frenzied year-end bid to enact the core of a conservative agenda. 'We're going to move the nation's business' through Congress, vowed Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid accused the GOP of breaking Senate rules to suit their purposes, and threatened to slow action to a crawl. 'The arrogance of power of the Republicans ... is beyond my ability to comprehend,' he said....

//tinyurl.com/dq6ks


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US ran Afghan torture prison, group says

Las Vegas Review-Journal

12/18/05

The United States operated a secret prison in Afghanistan as recently as last year, torturing detainees with sleep deprivation, chaining them to the walls and forcing them to listen to loud music in total darkness for days, a human rights group alleged Monday. The prison was run near Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report based on the accounts of several detainees at the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay...

//tinyurl.com/732qn


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Democrats call for investigation of NSA wiretaps

CNN

12/18/05

Democratic House leaders called Sunday for an independent panel to investigate the legality of a program President Bush authorized that allows warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens, according to a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert. 'We believe that the President must have the best possible intelligence to protect the American people, but that intelligence must be produced in a manner consistent with our Constitution and our laws, and in a manner that reflects our values as a nation,' the letter says...

//tinyurl.com/9cc3p


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Senate rebuffs Bush on Patriot Act

CNet

12/16/05

Handing a stiff rebuke to President Bush, the U.S. Senate on Friday refused to end the filibuster that is blocking a four-year extension of the Patriot Act. In a 52-to-47 vote, the Senate failed to reach the 60-person majority required to cut off a filibuster and force a vote on the Republican-backed extension of the portions of the controversial law that are set to expire on Dec. 31. The vote makes it more likely that lawmakers will enact an alternate proposal, backed by critics of the Patriot Act, that would extend those 16 sections for only three months. That would yield additional time for negotiations when senators return from their holiday vacation in January...

//tinyurl.com/ajrlw


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Mobilfunk, Elektrosmog und die Politik – Kommerz und „Heile Welt“

Anbei der Artikel von Martin Runge in der aktualisierten Fassung.

//www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/runge_beitrag_mf_esmog_politik_dez05.doc


Ursula Gessner

Mitarbeiterin Dr. Martin Runge, MdL

Vorsitzender des Ausschusses für Bundes- und Europaangelegenheiten, wirtschaftspolitischer Sprecher sowie Sprecher des Arbeitskreises Ökonomie und Ökologie von

BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN im Bayerischen Landtag, Medienrat
Maximilianeum
81627 München
Tel. 089/4126-2753
Fax 089/4126-1135

Cheney Bombs During Speech to Troops

//www.forbes.com/business/feeds/ap/2005/12/18/ap2400133.html


Informant: Ted Glick

From ufpj-news

No Room To Spin

by John Prados, TomPaine.com

Bush is backed into a corner as a tsunami of evidence shows he lied to America.

//www.tompaine.com/articles/20051219/no_room_to_spin.php

License To Spy

by Aziz Huq, TomPaine.com

Congress should ask why the president ignored laws that protect Americans from government eavesdropping.

//www.tompaine.com/articles/20051219/license_to_spy.php

Big Brother Bush: President Steps toward Police State

Without a serious leap of imagination, particularly with the list of those under surveillance not available to anyone outside the NSA and the Pentagon, it is also possible to project that political critics of the Bush administration could end up among those being tracked. The idea that all of this is being done to us in the name of national security doesn't wash; that is the language of a police state.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905L.shtml

Congress Pushes Back, Hard, against Bush

From a standoff over the Patriot Act to pushback from Capitol Hill on the treatment of detainees, secret prisons abroad, and government eavesdropping at home, tensions between the Bush White House and the Republican-controlled Congress have never been more exposed.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905J.shtml

Pentagon Spying on Americans in US and Abroad

Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, is a three-year-old agency whose size and budget remain secret. It has grown from an agency that coordinated policy and oversaw the counterintelligence activities of units within the military services and Pentagon agencies to an analytic and operational organization with nine directorates and ever-widening authority.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905I.shtml

Growing concerns pertaining to the alarming increase in the placement of unauthorized cellular telephone antennas in Israel

Environmental concerns in Israel

//www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=95010

Annual Report Documents Increased Environmental Concerns
13:52 Dec 18, ‘05 / 17 Kislev 5766

(IsraelNN.com) An annual environmental study presented to President Moshe Katsav paints a discouraging picture regarding environmental realities.

The report states that a growing number of Israelis no longer trust the integrity of tap water and 72% of the population drinks bottled water. The study also points to growing concerns pertaining to the alarming increase in the placement of unauthorized cellular telephone antennas around the country due to health hazards associated with the antennas‚ electromagnetic emissions.

The report also cites the bleak realities surrounding the bottle deposit law, stating that most bottles are not recycled and the program has been a failure since its inception.

Environmentalists speak of an overall deteriorating state regarding the national environment, calling for more aggressive policies to protect natural resources.

Supplied by Sylvie

//www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=351

Diebold Unravels

THE BUSINESS OF VOTING

New York Times
December 18, 2005

//www.nytimes.com/2005/12/18/opinion/18sun2.html

Diebold, the controversial electronic voting machine manufacturer, is coming off a tumultuous week. Its chief executive, Walden O'Dell, resigned. It was hit with a pair of class-action lawsuits charging insider trading and misrepresentation, and a county in Florida concluded that Diebold's voting machines could be hacked. The company should use Mr. O'Dell's departure to reassess its flawed approach to its business. The counting of votes is a public trust. Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this.

Mr. O'Dell made national headlines when he wrote a fund-raising letter before the 2004 election expressing his commitment to help deliver the electoral votes of Ohio -- where Diebold is based, and where its machines are used -- to President Bush. Under pressure, Diebold barred its top officials from contributing to campaigns. But this month, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported that three executives not covered by the ban continued to make contributions to Republican candidates.

Diebold's voting machines have a troubled history. The company was accused of installing improperly certified software, which is illegal, in a 2002 governor's race in Georgia. Across the country, it reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the California attorney general last year of a lawsuit alleging that it made false claims about the security of its machines. Last week, the top elections officer in Leon County, Fla., which includes Tallahassee, concluded after a test that Diebold machines can be hacked to change vote totals.

Diebold has always insisted that its electronic voting machines are so reliable that there is no need for paper records of votes that can be independently verified. Fortunately, the American people feel otherwise. Nearly half the states -- including large ones like California, New York, Illinois and Ohio -- now require so-called paper trails.

Paper trails are important, but they are no substitute for voting machine manufacturers of unquestioned integrity. As Diebold enters the post-O'Dell era, it should work to make itself worthy of the important role it now plays in American democracy.

-----------

COUNTY SAYS ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES CAN BE HACKED Associated Press December 15, 2005

//www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-12-15-opticalvoting_x.htm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Tests on an optical-scan voting system used around the country showed it is vulnerable to hacking that can change the outcome of races without leaving evidence of fraud, a county election supervisor said. The voting system maker, Diebold Inc., sent a letter in response that questioned the test results and said the test was "a very foolish and irresponsible act" that may violated licensing agreements.

Company spokesman David Bear did not return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment Thursday. Diebold's letter was written by its senior lawyer, Michael Lindroos, and sent to the state of Florida, Leon County and the county election supervisor, Ion Sancho.

Optical-scan machines use paper ballots where voters fill in bubbles to mark their candidates. The ballots are then fed into scanners that record the selections.

In one of the tests conducted for Sancho and the non-profit election-monitoring group BlackBoxVoting.org, the researchers were able to get into the system easily, make the loser the winner and leave without a trace, said Herbert Thompson, who conducted the test.

He also said the machine that tabulates the overall count asked for a user name and password, but didn't require it.

In the other test, the researcher who had hacked into the voting machine's memory card was able to hide votes, make losers out of winners and leave no trace of the changes, said BlackBox founder Bev Harris. The memory card records the votes of one machine, then is taken to a central location where results are totaled.

Sancho criticized the Florida Secretary of State's Office, which approves the voting systems used in the state, for not catching the alleged problems.

A spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office said any faults Sancho found were between him and Diebold.

"If Ion Sancho has security concerns with his system, he needs to discuss them with Diebold," spokeswoman Jenny Nash said.

The Miami Herald reported Thursday that Sancho scraped Leon's Diebold machines this week for a voting system from another manufacturer.

Many Florida counties switched to computer-based elections systems after the 2000 presidential election, when the cardboard punchcard ballots then in use were plagued by incomplete and multiple punches.

------------

EXCLUSIVE: SECURITIES FRAUD LITIGATION FILED AGAINST DIEBOLD, INC!

EIGHT CURRENT AND FORMER EXECUTIVES NAMED AS CO-DEFENDANTS, INCLUDING FORMER CEO O'DELL AND NEW CEO SWIDARSKI

CLASS ACTION SUIT ALLEGES FRAUD, INSIDER TRADING, MANIPULATION OF STOCK PRICES, CONCEALMENT OF KNOWN FLAWS IN VOTING MACHINES AND COMPANY STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS

By Brad Freidman BradBlog December 13, 2005

//www.bradblog.com/archives/00002153.htm

The BRAD BLOG can now report that a Securities Fraud Class Action suit has been filed against Diebold, Inc. naming eight top executive officers in the company as co-defendants. The suit has been filed by plaintiff Janice Konkol, alleging securities fraud against the North Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer of Voting Systems and ATM machines on behalf of investors who owned shares of Diebold stock and lost money due to an alleged fraudulent scheme by the company and its executives to deceive shareholders during the "class period" of October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.

The suit was filed today in U.S. Federal District Court in Ohio and alleges the company "artificially inflated" stock prices through misleading public information designed to conceal the true nature of Diebold's financial and legal situation. The defendants are also alleged to have attempted to disguise well-known and ongoing problems with Diebold's Voting Machine equipment and software. Additionally, the suit alleges insider trading by defendants resulting in proceeds of $2.7 million. Remedies are sought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit, filed by the law firm Scott+Scott, LLC on behalf of Konkol and the plaintiff class, names former Diebold CEO and Chairman, Walden O'Dell as a co-defendant along with seven other current and former officers of the once-venerable company.

News of the pending litigation was first reported as imminent in an exclusive report by The BRAD BLOG late last week.

Yesterday, in a surprise announcement, O'Dell unexpectedly resigned from the company. A Diebold press release described O'Dell as leaving the company for "personal reasons". He was immediately replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer, Thomas W. Swidarski, who had directly overseen Diebold's Election Systems subsidiary division for some time. Swidarski is also named as a co-defendant in today's class action suit.

After news was released of weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings on September 21, Diebold stock prices plummeted 15.5% in unusually heavy trading that resulted in a one day sell-off costing investors more than $40 million dollars. The complaint describes Diebold and the co-defendants as having "failed to disclose adverse facts known" to the company and that they "participated in a fraudulent scheme and course of business that operated as a fraud."

The suit, to be released in full by The BRAD BLOG shortly, (UPDATE: Full suit now available for download here) alleges Diebold and the eight co-defendants failed to alert investors to adverse facts known to the company, choosing instead to participate in a "fraudulent scheme and course of business" that operated as a fraud or deceit on the company's shareholders.

The suit describes the liabilities of the company and co-defendants as follows:

"Each defendant is liable for (a) making false statements, or (b) failing to disclose adverse facts known to him about Diebold. Defendants¹ fraudulent scheme and course of business that operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of Diebold publicly traded securities was a success, as it (a) deceived the investing public regarding Diebold¹s prospects and business;
(b) artificially inflated the prices of Diebold¹s publicly traded securities; (c) allowed insiders to sell over 51,000 shares of Diebold stock, for proceeds of $2.7 million; and (d) caused plaintiff and other members of the Class to purchase Diebold¹s publicly traded securities at inflated prices."

THE DEFENDANTS

Named as co-defendants in the suit along with former CEO O'Dell and new CEO Swidarski are President of International Operations, Michael J. Hillock; Senior Vice President of Customer Solutions, David Bucci; Interim Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Controller, Kevin J. Krakora; Vice President and Chief Information Officer, John M. Crowther; Senior Vice President and CFO, Gregory T. Geswein; and President and COO, Eric C. Evans. (Titles applied to the named co-defendants during the class period. Evans, for example resigned from the company on the same day as the Sep. 21, 2005 announcement.) "Each individual defendant," the suit points out, "owed a duty to the Company and its shareholders not to trade on inside information."

The claim cites a number of allegedly misleading news releases pertaining to the fitness and security of election systems as contracted by Diebold in San Diego County in 2003; their settlement for $2.6 million with the state of California in 2004, wherein Diebold is alleged to have concealed "the dimensions and scope of internal problems at the Company" from investors; and an "astonishingly low and incredibly inaccurate" statement about "restructuring charges" in the Sep. 21 announcement.

Once again, quoting from the lawsuit:

"During the Class Period, defendants knew and concealed that:

"(a) the Company remained unable to assure the quality and working order of their voting machine products;

"(b) the Company lacked a credible state of internal controls and corporate compliance;

"(c) the 2004 settlement with the State of California served to conceal from investors the dimensions and scope of internal problems at the Company, impacting product quality, strategic planning, forecasting, guidance, internal controls and corporate compliance; and

"(d) the Company¹s "prediction" of astonishingly low and incredibly inaccurate restructuring charges for the entire 2005 fiscal year grossly understated the true costs defendants faced to restructure the Company.

The complaint alleges that the company lied to investors about the true costs of its restructuring activities, concealing the fact that Diebold was facing far worse restructuring issues than publicly represented -- indicative of far greater problems than the company was willing to reveal.

For example, the complaint indicates that the problems Diebold faced in California in 2004 were merely the tip of an internal structural iceberg which the company had sought to conceal from investors when they decided to make a settlement in the case. Investors could not know then that the problems revealed by the California litigation in 2004 were a sign of more and deeper internal problems to come. The settlement agreed to by Diebold in that case, the suit alleges, was meant to keep a lid on the larger dimensions of the problems, rather than indicating that the issues at stake had been fully resolved. Press materials released by the company announcing the settlement -- and included in the version of the complaint filed today -- seem to indicate otherwise to investors.

...THE INSIDER...

Additional facets of the company's internal structural problems were revealed in a series of previous BRAD BLOG articles reporting on an anonymous company insider we dubbed "DIEB-THROAT" who alerted us to the "Cyber Alert Warning" issued by a branch of the Dept. of Homeland Security in August of 2004. That warning concerned the vulnerability to hackers of Diebold's central vote tabulating software prior to last year's Presidential Election. The election watchdog organization BlackBoxVoting.org, who had first discovered the vulnerability, had also recently arranged for a computer security expert to successfully hack into actual Diebold voting machines used in Leon County, Florida without leaving any trace of the manipulation.

It was just several days after our first report on DIEB-THROAT that stock prices plunged at the company in September. Diebold attempted to blame their troubles, at the time, on bad weather in the gulf which lead our insider source to aver: "Using Hurricane Katrina is a poor excuse for bad products -- the last time this kind of deception occurred it was called Enron."

Internet news site, The RAW STORY recently ran their own interview with DIEB-THROAT revealing still more structural problems within the company and its voting division. The report explained that the company was "plagued by technical woes," even as a Diebold spokesperson claimed the 144-year old company "has a sterling reputation in the industry."

...THE PLAINTIFF...

Plaintiff Konkol, a just-retired 29-year public school employee from Central Wisconsin first invested in Diebold in 1999. She told The BRAD BLOG that she purchased the stock thinking, "ATM's that'd be the way to go." She originally invested $500 which eventually grew to $1400 before falling. She is also invested in Diebold via mutual funds held by the Wisconsin Education Union in which she is a member. Konkol, a 56-year old grandmother of three, recently returned from two weeks of volunteering on the Gulf Coast with several members of her Lutheran church. "We got a big group together and we went down to the Gulf to help out in Katrina."

"I believe in churches...I believe we should practice what we're preached to about," she told us. "I don't like it when big companies take advantage of us little people," she said. "I can't say that I'm anti-big business...I just want things to be fair."

It appears that Scott+Scott, the attorneys associated with the case, are just beginning to learn about the full scope of the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Diebold on investors. Amended complaints with additional details are expected to be filed in the weeks and months to come. Other law firms are also expected to file similar suits which will eventually be consolidated by the Federal District Court hearing the case. Indeed The BRAD BLOG has been contacted since filing our original report on this last week, by other firms who are said to be pursuing similar litigation against Diebold.

...THE REFORMERS...

As one of America's largest Voting Machine Companies (along with ES&S, they account for the tabulation of more than 80% of America's votes every election) Diebold has been the target of Election Reform advocates for their strong partisan support of Republican causes and candidates, a statement made prior to last year's Presidential Election to Republican fundraisers by O'Dell that he was committed to "delivering the state of Ohio" to George W. Bush, along with their reluctance to include verifiable paper ballots with their voting products and to make the source-code for their software open and available for public inspection.

A recent 100+ page GAO report, shamefully unreported by the mainstream media, confirmed many of the Election Reform advocates concerns about the security and vulnerability of Voting Equipment made by Diebold and other such companies. In California, a recent mock election test revealed that some 20% of Diebold touch-screen voting machines failed to operate as expected after being previous decertified for similar failures and vulnerabilities. Despite that, California's Republican Sec. of State Bruce McPherson remarkably is considering re-certifying those same machines in the state which Diebold has described as America's "largest voting market."

Diebold was one of seven major American Voting Machine companies named in Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" campaign launched on Presidents' Day last February. The campaign demanded accountability and openness by the Voting Machine Companies in what Velvet Revolution deemed a "patriotic duty" to "ensure free, fair and transparent elections" by the private companies entrusted with running our sacred public democracy. The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us.

Konkol's complaint as filed today demands "a trial by jury."

The BRAD BLOG will of course, compile an extensive, accurate and verifiable paper trail in regards to this story as it continues to unfold...

UPDATE: Scott+Scott, LLC releases news of the case filing in a press release here:
//biz.yahoo.com/prnews/051213/netu036.html?.v=32

FURTHER UPDATE: Reuters picks up the story //tinyurl.com/7g4xz . Unable to get comment from Diebold.

UPDATE 12/14/05: A full copy of the complaint is now available for download here: //www.bradblog.com/archives/00002158.htm

------------

DEVASTATING HACK PROVEN - LEON COUNTY DUMPS DIEBOLD Black Box Voting December 13, 2005 Updated December 16, 2005

//www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/15595.html

Volusia County (FL) joins Leon in dumping Diebold. Due to contractual non-performance and security design issues, Leon County (Florida) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho has announced that he will never again use Diebold in an election. He has requested funds to replace the Diebold system from the county. On Tuesday, the most serious ³hack² demonstration to date took place in Leon County. The Diebold machines succumbed quickly to alteration of the votes. This comes on the heels of the resignation of Diebold CEO Wally O'Dell, and the announcement that stockholder's class action suits and related actions have been filed against Diebold by four separate law firms. Further ³hack² testing on additional vulnerabilities is tentatively scheduled before Christmas in the state of California.

Finnish security expert Harri Hursti, together with Black Box Voting, demonstrated that Diebold made misrepresentations to Secretaries of State across the nation when Diebold claimed votes could not be changed on the ³memory card² (the credit-card-sized ballot box used by computerized voting machines.

A test election was run in Leon County on Tuesday with a total of eight ballots. Six ballots voted "no" on a ballot question as to whether Diebold voting machines can be hacked or not. Two ballots, cast by Dr. Herbert Thompson and by Harri Hursti voted "yes" indicating a belief that the Diebold machines could be hacked.

At the beginning of the test election the memory card programmed by Harri Hursti was inserted into an Optical Scan Diebold voting machine. A "zero report" was run indicating zero votes on the memory card. In fact, however, Hursti had pre-loaded the memory card with plus and minus votes.

The eight ballots were run through the optical scan machine. The standard Diebold-supplied "ender card" was run through as is normal procedure ending the election. A results tape was run from the voting machine.

Correct results should have been: Yes:2 ; No:6

However, just as Hursti had planned, the results tape read: Yes:7 ; No:1

The results were then uploaded from the optical scan voting machine into the GEMS central tabulator, a step cited by Diebold as a protection against memory card hacking. The central tabulator is the "mother ship" that pulls in all votes from voting machines. However, the GEMS central tabulator failed to notice that the voting machines had been hacked. The results in the central tabulator read:

Yes:7 ; No:1

This videotaped testing session was witnessed by Black Box Voting investigators Bev Harris and Kathleen Wynne, Florida Fair Elections Coalition Director Susan Pynchon, security expert Dr. Herbert Thompson, and Susan Bernecker, a former candidate for New Orleans city council who videotaped Sequoia-brand touch-screen voting machines in her district recording vote after vote for the wrong candidate.

The Hursti Hack requires a moderate level of inside access. It is, however, accomplished without being given any password and with the same level of access given thousands of poll workers across the USA. It is a particularly dangerous exploit, because it changes votes in a one-step process that will not be detected in any normal canvassing procedure, it requires only a single a credit-card sized memory card, any single individual with access to the memory cards can do it, and it requires only a small piece of equipment which can be purchased off the Internet for a few hundred dollars.

One thousand two hundred locations in the U.S. and Canada use Diebold voting machines. In each of these locations, typically three people have a high level of inside access. Temporary employees also often have brief access to loose memory cards as machines are being prepared for elections. Poll workers sometimes have a very high level of inside access. National elections utilize up to two million poll workers, with hundreds or thousands in a single jurisdiction.

Many locations in the U.S. ask poll workers to take voting machines home with them with the memory cards inside. San Diego County (Calif) sent 713 voting machines/memory cards home with poll workers for its July 26 election, and King County (Wash.) sent over 500 voting machines home with poll workers before its Nov. 8 election.

Memory cards are held in a compartment protected by a small plastic seal. However, these simple seals can be defeated, and Hursti has found evidence that the memory card can be reprogrammed without disturbing the seal by using a telephone modem port on the back of the machine.

The Hursti Hack, referred to as ³the mother of all security holes² was first exposed in a formal report on July 4:

//www.blackboxvoting.org/BBVreport.pdf

Diebold has insisted to county and state election officials that despite Hursti¹s demonstration, changing votes on its memory cards is impossible. (Public records from Diebold, including threat letter to Ion Sancho:
//www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2197/10535.html )

On Oct. 17, 2005 Diebold Elections Systems Research and Development chief Pat Green specifically told the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) board of elections during a $21 million purchasing session that votes cannot be changed using only a memory card. (Video of Pat Green:
//www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2197/14298.html ) Over the objections of Cuyahoga County citizens, and relying on the veracity of Diebold¹s statements, the board has chosen to purchase the machines.

According to Public Records obtained by Black Box Voting, Diebold has promulgated misrepresentations about both the Hursti Hack and another kind of hack by Dr. Herbert Thompson to secretaries of state, and to as many as 800 state and local elections officials.

Stockholder suit filed by the law offices of Stull, Stull & Brady and also by Scott and Scott.

Stull Stull & Brady lawsuit:
//www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/8/15603.html

and:

//www.bradblog.com/archives/00002153.htm

Diebold CEO resigns:
//www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=175001748

............

VOLUSIA COUNTY DUMPS DIEBOLD TOO Orlando Sentinel

DELAND -- Diebold voting machines will soon be history in Volusia County. After a nearly five-hour hearing today, County Council members voted to replace its Diebold machines with an entirely new system manufactured by Election Systems & Software.

The move, which will cost more than $2.5 million just for the equipment, was prompted by a federal mandate to buy at least one handicapped-accessible voting machine per precinct by Jan. 1. But the only such devices approved for use in Florida are ATM-like touch-screen machines that don't use paper ballots. But a majority of County Council members want devices that use paper.

The agreement approved Friday on a 4-3 vote allows the county to trade in the paperless touch screens for an ES&S-supported ballot-marking device with an accessible touch-screen called AutoMark if it gets approved for use in Florida. That would cost an additional $150,000.

If AutoMark certification doesn't happen by April 1, the county has the option to get out of the entire contract with ES&S and get a full refund.

Chairman Frank Bruno, Art Giles, Carl Persis and Dwight Lewis voted for the ES&S contract. Council members Joie Alexander, Bill Long and Dwight Lewis opposed it.

The vote ends a nearly year-old debate in Volusia County about how to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which mandates accessible voting devices.


Informant: NHNE

Arctic Refuge Drilling Added to Unrelated Defense Bill

Take Action -- URGENT!!

Arctic Refuge Drilling Added to Unrelated Defense Bill -- Your Calls Still Needed

Last night pro-drilling members of Congress took the outrageous step of adding Arctic Refuge drilling to the unrelated appropriations bill that provides funds for the Department of Defense and relief for the states suffering from hurricane Katrina. The House leadership then pushed the bill, with Arctic Refuge drilling added, through the House of Representatives.

The bill now goes to the Senate. Please call your Senator immediately and let them know that they should do everything in their power to remove Arctic drilling provisions from the Defense Appropriations bill so that it can be passed.

Talking points are below. Phone calls are urgently needed. Even if you have never called Congress before, we ask you to do so today. And if you've called in the last few days, please do so again -- and then ask your friends and family to make calls as well.

The U.S. Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121, or you can look up your direct phone numbers for your Senators at:

//action.wilderness.org/wilderness/leg-lookup/search.tcl

This maneuver, made on the brink of a holiday recess, is evidence that pro-drilling forces will go to any lengths to pass their controversial pet projects. They are willing to complicate the passage of funding for our troops and for hurricane relief to further their personal agenda.

The Senate can quickly call a halt to this pre-holiday brinksmanship and ensure passage of defense and hurricane relief funds by voting to reject the addition of Arctic Refuge drilling to this bill. There are likely to be several votes in the next few days that provide the opportunity to take the arctic drilling provisions out and move the defense and hurricane relief funding provisions expeditiously.

Talking Points for calls to your Senators:

If you've never called before, it's easy. You'll either leave a message with a staff member, or on a voice message machine. Some points to make:

* It is outrageous that Arctic Refuge drilling has been slipped into the defense appropriations bill. This kind of legislative action is the height of cynicism and bad politics. Major national policy priorities must not be hijacked for the sake of personal political agendas.

* Drilling proponents have shown time and again that they are willing to do or say anything to get their hands on the Arctic Refuge. Nevertheless, this takes them to a new low. It would be particularly tragic if one of our last wild places were sacrificed through such an unprincipled ploy.

* A vote to remove the arctic drilling provision does not threaten funding for the troops, but rather is a vote to move defense funding quickly and in the normal course of business.

* Please do everything in your power to remove this provision from the defense bill and show your constituents that these cynical, last minute maneuvers are not the way the Senate does business.

THANK YOU!!!


The Wilderness Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving American wilderness. Our mission is to ensure that future generations will enjoy the clean air and water, wildlife, beauty, and opportunity for recreation and renewal provided by pristine forests, rivers, deserts, and mountains.

Die Mao-Bibel unter Beobachtung

Bush-Regierung hat nach dem 11.9. die Überwachung der US-Bürger drastisch und teilweise heimlich ausgebaut, "watch lists" scheint es nicht nur für mutmaßliche Terrorverdächtige, darunter Friedensaktivisten, zu geben, sondern auch für Bücher.

//www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/21/21603/1.html Die

Congress Uses Funding for War to Open Oil Drilling in Arctic

This morning the House passed its version of the defense spending bill with an attached provision opening the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. The bill also included $29 billion in aid for victims of Katrina and was considered "must pass" legislation. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens hopes to duplicate this feat in the Senate before the Christmas break. Stevens said: "the levees will be paid for when we drill in ANWR." Sen. McCain called the tactic "disgusting," but he will still hold his nose and vote for the package. "I can't not support funding of the war," he said.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905Y.shtml

Schutz vor DECT Telephonie

//www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/schutz_vor_dect_telephonie_ip_nationalrat.doc

--------

DECT - Gesundheitsschäden durch DECT-Telefone
//omega.twoday.net/stories/322063/

Mobilfunkantennen: Auswirkungen auf den Wert von Liegenschaften

//www.parlament.ch/afs/data/d/gesch/2005/d_gesch_20053451.htm

Government Spying On Citizens Is Not New

//infowars.net/articles/december2005/191205spying.htm

Grundschleppnetze: Greenpeace prangert "illegale Fischfangflotte" an

Grundschleppnetze: Greenpeace prangert "illegale Fischfangflotte" im Rostocker Hafen an (19.12.05)

Greenpeace-Aktivisten kennzeichneten am Montag im Rostocker Hafen fünf Fischtrawler als "illegal". Die Umweltschützer beschrifteten den Rumpf der rund sechzig Meter langen Schiffe und forderten die Bundesregierung auf, "die Piratenfischer" festzulegen. Der Grund für die Aktion: Im Hafen von Rostock werden nach Darstellung der Umweltschutzorganisation die Trawler derzeit fit für die nächste Saison gemacht, obwohl die Europäische Union und internationale Fischereiorganisationen sie als illegale Fischer gelistet hätten. "Die Trawler halten sich seit Jahren nicht an internationale Fischereiabkommen und zerstören mit ihren Grundschleppnetzen die Fischbestände und die Unterwasserwelt im Atlantik", so Greenpeace.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12542

AWO kritisiert: Weihnachtspost-Geld für Heimbewohner gestrichen

19.12.05

Mehrere Bundesländer zahlen Sozialhilfeempfängern in Heimen nach Angaben der Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO) dieses Jahr keine Weihnachtsbeihilfe. Nach Informationen der AWO gilt dies für die Länder Bremen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen und in Oberbayern. Bislang erhielten Heimbewohner, die ein sogenanntes Taschengeld von 90 Euro im Monat für ihre persönlichen Bedürfnisse erhalten, zusätzlich eine einmalige Weihnachtsbeihilfe zwischen 30 und 35 Euro. Mit diesem Geld sollten den Heimbewohnern zusätzliche Ausgaben zu den Feiertagen ermöglicht werden, etwa Weihnachtspost, Telefonate oder Festtagsdekoration.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12547

Kritik an Herstellern: Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz empfiehlt strahlungsarme Handys

Kritik an Herstellern: Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz empfiehlt strahlungsarme Handys (19.12.05)

Handy-Käufer sollten beim Kauf eines Mobiltelefons unbedingt auf einen möglichst niedrigen Strahlungswert achten. Dies empfiehlt das Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS). Besonders wenn ein Kind oder Jugendlicher Empfänger des Telefons werden solle, sei dies wichtig, so die Behörde. Das Bundesamt stellt in seinem Internet-Angebot eine Liste mit den Strahlungswerten (SAR-Werten) vieler aktueller Mobiltelefone zur Verfügung. BfS-Sprecher Arthur Junkert forderte die Hersteller auf, die SAR-Werte anzugeben und strahlungsarme Handys mit dem Blauen Engel zu kennzeichnen. Doch leider boykottiere die Industrie das Umweltzeichen.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:
//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php?Nr=12545

The US government policy has increasingly been marked by arrogance and self-interest

By boycotting US products, we want to put pressure on the US government to join the international community, complying with the rules of the United Nations and international law. With the military attack and invasion of Iraq in March 2003 the US acted as a rogue state.

Today more than ever US companies seem to have a major impact on the policy of the US administration. The US government policy has increasingly been marked by arrogance and self-interest:

We demand that the US:

Withdraw all forces of foreign military occupation from Iraq and respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi people, as well as their right to compensation for damage caused by the economic sanctions and Gulf Wars I & II;

Refrain from acts of aggression against other sovereign states and any nation or people;

Recognise the competence of the International Criminal Court to prosecute war criminals;

Stop the use of double standards! The US uses weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as an excuse for going to war, while it continues to maintain and develop its own massive stockpiles of WMDs (see following Treaties & graphic above);

Abandon their 'Star Wars' project (Ballistic Missile Defence) & reinstate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty;

Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to ban nuclear weapon tests, respect the Non-Proliferation Treaty to stop the arms race, and move towards a Treaty for complete nuclear disarmament;

Ratify the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol, strengthen the Chemical Weapons Convention and ratify the Landmine Treaty;

Adopt the Kyoto protocol to stop global warming;

Stop forcing the hazardous use of GMOs (genetically modified food and farming) on the rest of the world;

Ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first global health and corporate accountability treaty.

The unilateral policies of the US must stop now and all US troops must leave Iraq immediately.

As consumers we do not want our money to be used to fuel wars, environmental destruction and human-rights violations.

This list has been set up to spread news on the boycott campaign to people have signed the pledge to boycott US products

//www.motherearth.org/USboycott/

More info on the For Mother Earth website.

Radical Militant Librarians and Other Dire Threats

William Rivers Pitt writes: In my opinion, we need to fight, resist, refuse to subsidize Washington in every way, and we must immediately begin impeachment proceedings against this president, not only because he has clearly earned impeachment, but in order to revive a national awareness of the intent of the Founding Fathers to circumscribe centralized state power, and their vision of a free and peaceful Republic.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121905Z.shtml



//omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

US-Regierung: die Medienmanipulationskampagne

//www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/0,1518,391212,00.html

(SPON) Wie bekannt wurde, hat das Pentagon versucht, die öffentliche Meinung im Irak zu manipulieren durch bezahlte Artikel in Bagdader Zeitungen.

Darüber hinaus ist eine Imagekampagne geplant, um das Bild der US-Politik im Ausland zu verbessern: mit Methoden der psychologischen Kriegsführung.


G.Wendebourg / metainfo hamburg

Link zum Beitrag / Hintergrundinfo oder Pressehinweis:
//www.hh-online.com?lid=23215 und
//links.net-hh.de?lid=23215


Infopool / metainfo hamburg www.hh-online.com

Reply to Questionnaire Codex Guideline for the Conduct of Food Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Recombinant-DNA Plants

//www.i-sis.org.uk/codex.php

ElectroMagnetic Fields (EMF): Nothing will stop the Truth - Champs ElectroMagnétiques (CEM): Rien n'arrêtera la Vérité

19 Décembre 2005
//www.next-up.org/main.php?param=international#31

Bush defends illegal spying on Americans: the specter of presidential dictatorship

//www.wsws.org/articles/2005/dec2005/bush-d19.shtml


Informant: Friends

The Demise of the NY Times

//www.zeppscommentaries.com/VRWC/nytimes.htm


Informant: Friends

Bigger Brother

Published on Sunday, December 18, 2005
by the Los Angeles Times
Editorial

President Bush was cavalier on Friday night when he told Jim Lehrer on PBS that a report about the National Security Agency eavesdropping on U.S. citizens was "not the main story of the day." He is entitled to his own news judgment, but it reveals a lot about his willingness to disregard constitutional safeguards and civil liberties while pursuing the war on terrorism. To the rest of us, the revelation in the New York Times that the National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on people within the United States without judicial warrants was stunning. In one of the more egregious cases of governmental overreach in the aftermath of 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the monitoring, without any judicial oversight, of international phone calls and e-mail messages from the United States.

The news came on the same day that Congress voted not to extend controversial aspects of the soon-to-expire Patriot Act, and on the heels of disturbing reports that the Pentagon's shadowy Counterintelligence Field Activity office has been keeping tabs on domestic antiwar groups, including monitoring Quaker meetings, under the guise of protecting military installations. The program is reminiscent of official efforts to spy on antiwar groups in the 1960s.

The scandalous abuse of Americans' civil liberties in that period led in the 1970s to a new set of laws aimed at curtailing domestic espionage by intelligence agencies. To balance national security needs with our constitutional liberties, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act created secret "FISA" courts in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal agencies can covertly obtain warrants to eavesdrop on suspected spies (now terrorists too) in the United States. These courts are generally efficient and deferential to the government. Yet the Bush administration still opted to cut them out of the process in some cases; warrants are still sought to intercept all communications that took place entirely within the United States.

Some critics say the FISA courts are too slow to issue decisions in an environment in which every minute counts, and that Cold War laws are ill-suited for a war on amorphous terrorist cells. If that's the case, the administration and Congress should have worked together to alter the courts' procedures or to amend the law. Instead, the White House unilaterally opted to exempt much of its antiterrorism efforts from any kind of judicial oversight — just as it tried doing with its policies regarding detainees.

The Supreme Court has already reined in the executive branch on that score, and the NSA's eavesdropping, arguably a violation of both the law and the Constitution, may lead to even greater legal woes for the president. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called reports of the NSA practices clearly unacceptable and said he would hold hearings early next year. There will be plenty to ask about.

One early defense of the program is a claim by the administration that it had to be implemented quietly — the president authorized it in a classified order — because otherwise terrorists would be alerted to its existence and work to evade it. But those same suspected terrorists would have already known that they might be wiretapped with the aid of a secret warrant. What is the difference?

Last week may come to be seen as a tipping point in the public's attitude, one that will cause the administration to reverse its encroachment on rights in the name of security. The report of the NSA's unsupervised eavesdropping program helped defeat an extension of certain controversial provisions of the Patriot Act in the Senate on Friday.

Now even sympathetic lawmakers can be expected to view the Patriot Act more skeptically. The revelations about the NSA raise two fundamental questions about the administration's rationale for increased powers: If it's already spying on its own citizens, then why does it need the Patriot Act? Alternatively, if it's already spying on its own citizens, how can it be trusted with the Patriot Act? This administration has yet to fully acknowledge that with greater powers must come greater accountability.

As for the Defense Department's counterterrorism database, the Pentagon was forced on Thursday to acknowledge that it hadn't followed its own guidelines requiring the deletion of information on American citizens who clearly don't pose a security risk. Imagine that: a domestic military intelligence program that failed to abide by its own safeguards.

Given this administration's history, none of these developments is especially surprising. But the latest revelations may serve as a timely reminder of why the American constitutional system requires the judiciary — the third branch of government — to review the actions of the executive branch when necessary to protect the people's liberty.

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times


Informant: John Calvert

Did Karl Rove Hide or Destroy Evidence in Plame Case?

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
By JASON LEOPOLD

//www.counterpunch.org/leopold12172005.html


Informant: Martin Greenhut

Politics weigh heavily in pesticide approval process

critics say
//www.palmbeachpost.com/politics/content/state/epaper/2005/12/19/c1a_whistle_1219.html


Informant: Teresa Binstock

WTO: Draft Text Is a Raw Deal, Activist Warns

World Trade Organisation (WTO) officials released a draft text Saturday of the meeting's final outcome pact, although disagreements among the group's 149 member countries - most sharply between the richest and poorest - could still scuttle the document. Aileen Kwa of Focus on the Global South, a project of development policy research, anlaysis and activism is interviewed about her perspectives on the 44-page draft.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121805G.shtml

Frist Used AIDS Charity to Pay His Inner Circle as Consultants

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's AIDS charity paid nearly a half-million dollars in consulting fees to members of his political inner circle, according to tax returns providing the first financial accounting of the presidential hopeful's nonprofit.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121805F.shtml

DeLay Fails in Bid to Get Quick Answer From Judge in Texas Case

The Texas judge hearing a campaign- finance abuse case against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said he won't yet rule on one of DeLay's motions, dealing a setback to the lawmaker's bid for a quick resolution of the case. So far Delay has denied wrongdoing and sought a quick trial so that he can have the chance to reclaim his majority leader position.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121805E.shtml

Rumsfeld Spies on Quakers and Grannies

Matthew Rothschild discusses the recent report that Rumsfeld’s Pentagon is tracking lawful protests.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121805D.shtml

FBI Agents Visit UMass Dartmouth Senior Researching Communism

A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book." He was visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said. The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121805C.shtml

Bush's Fumbles Spur New Talk of Oversight on Hill

After a series of embarrassing disclosures, including the existence of secret US prisons abroad, the CIA's detention overseas of innocent foreign nationals, and, last week, the discovery that the military has been engaged in domestic spying, Congress is reconsidering its relatively lenient oversight of the Bush administration.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121805B.shtml

America's Anti-Torture Tradition

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks of how the Bush administration has finally been pressured into backing a ban on cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners. He says what remains shocking about this embarrassing and distasteful national debate is that we had to have it at all.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121805A.shtml

Solidarity vs WTO Hong Kong

//mitglied.lycos.de/newsomega/news/solidarity_vs_wto_hong_kong.htm

The Republican War on Science

(NEW BOOK) "The Republican War on Science" by Chris Mooney

December 18, 2005

'The Republican War on Science,'
by Chris Mooney

Political Science Review
by JOHN HORGAN

Last spring, a magazine asked me to look into a whistleblower case involving a United States Fish and Wildlife Service biologist named Andy Eller. Eller, a veteran of 18 years with the service, was fired after he publicly charged it with failing to protect the Florida panther from voracious development. One of the first species listed under the Endangered Species Act, the panther haunts southwest Florida's forests, which builders are transforming into gated golf communities. After several weeks of interviews, I wrote an article that called the service's treatment of Eller "shameful" - and emblematic of the Bush administration's treatment of scientists who interfere with its probusiness agenda.

My editor complained that the piece was too "one-sided"; I needed to show more sympathy to Eller's superiors in the Wildlife Service and to the Bush administration. I knew what the editor meant: the story I had written could be dismissed as just another anti-Bush diatribe; it would be more persuasive if it appeared more balanced. On the other hand, the reality was one-sided, to a startling degree. An ardent conservationist, Eller had dreamed of working for the Wildlife Service since his youth; he collected first editions of environmental classics like Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." The officials who fired him based their denial that the panther is threatened in part on data provided by a former state wildlife scientist who had since become a consultant for developers seeking to bulldoze panther habitat. The officials were clearly acting in the spirit of their overseer, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, a property-rights advocate who has questioned the constitutionality of aspects of the Endangered Species Act.

This episode makes me more sympathetic than I might otherwise have been to "The Republican War on Science" by the journalist Chris Mooney. As the title indicates, Mooney's book is a diatribe, from start to finish. The prose is often clunky and clichéd, and it suffers from smug, preaching-to-the-choir self-righteousness. But Mooney deserves a hearing in spite of these flaws, because he addresses a vitally important topic and gets it basically right.

Mooney charges George Bush and other conservative Republicans with "science abuse," which he defines as "any attempt to inappropriately undermine, alter or otherwise interfere with the scientific process, or scientific conclusions, for political or ideological reasons." Science abuse is not an exclusively right-wing sin, Mooney acknowledges. He condemns Greenpeace for exaggerating the risks of genetically modified "Frankenfoods," animal-rights groups for dismissing the medical benefits of research on animals and John Kerry
//topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/john_kerry/index.html?inline=nyt-per

or overstating the potential of stem cells during his presidential run.

In "politicized fights involving science, it is rare to find liberals entirely innocent of abuses," Mooney asserts. "But they are almost never as guilty as the Right." By "the Right," Mooney means the powerful alliance of conservative Christians - who seek to influence policies on abortion, stem cells, sexual conduct and the teaching of evolution - and advocates of free enterprise who attempt to minimize regulations that cut into corporate profits. The champion of both groups - and the chief villain of Mooney's book - is President Bush, whom Mooney accuses of having "politicized science to an unprecedented degree."

Some might quibble with "unprecedented." When I starting covering science in the early 1980's, Ronald Reagan

//topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/ronald_wilson_reagan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

was pushing for a space-based defense against nuclear missiles, called Star Wars, that a chorus of scientists dismissed as technically unfeasible. Reagan stalled on acknowledging the dangers of acid rain and the buildup of ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. Warming the hearts of his religious fans, Reagan voiced doubts about the theory of evolution, and he urged C. Everett Koop, the surgeon general, to investigate whether abortion harms women physically and emotionally. (Koop, though an ardent opponent of abortion, refused.) Mooney notes this history but argues that the current administration has imposed its will on scientific debates in a more systematic fashion, and he cites a slew of cases - including the Florida panther affair - to back up his claim.

One simple strategy involves filling federal positions on the basis of ideology rather than genuine expertise. Last year, the White House expelled the eminent cell biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, a proponent of embryonic stem-cell research, from the President's Council on Bioethics and installed a political scientist who had once declared, "Every embryo for research is someone's blood relative." And in 2002 the administration appointed the Kentucky gynecologist and obstetrician W. David Hager to the Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration. Hager has advocated treating premenstrual syndrome with Bible readings and has denounced the birth control pill.

In addition to these widely reported incidents, Mooney divulges others of which I was unaware. In 2003 the World Health Organization and Food and Agricultural Organization (W.H.O./F.A.O.), citing concerns about rising levels of obesity-related disease, released a report that recommended limits on the intake of fat and sugar. The recommendations reflected the consensus of an international coalition of experts. The Sugar Association, the Grocery Manufacturers of America and other food industry groups attacked the recommendations.

William R. Steiger, an official in the Department of Health and Human Services, then wrote to W.H.O.'s director general to complain about the dietary report. Echoing the criticism of the industry groups, Steiger questioned the W.H.O. report's linkage of obesity and other disorders to foods containing high levels of sugar and fat, and he suggested that the report should have placed more emphasis on "personal responsibility." Steiger later informed the W.H.O. that henceforth only scientists approved by his office would be allowed to serve on the organization's committees.

In similar fashion, the Bush administration has sought to control the debate over climate change, biodiversity, contraception, drug abuse, air and water pollution, missile defense and other issues that bear on the welfare of humans and the rest of nature. What galls Mooney most is that administration officials and other conservative Republicans claim that they are guided by reason and respect for "sound science," whereas their opponents are ideologues peddling "junk science."

In the most original section of his book, Mooney credits "Big Tobacco" with inventing and refining this Orwellian tactic. After the surgeon general's office released its landmark 1964 report linking smoking to cancer and other diseases, the tobacco industry sought to discredit the report with its own experts and studies. "Doubt is our product," declared a 1969 Brown & Williamson memo spelling out the strategy, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public."

After the E.P.A. released a report on the dangers of secondhand smoke in 1992, the Tobacco Institute berated the agency for preferring "political correctness over sound science." Within a year Philip Morris helped to create a group called The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (Tassc), which challenged the risks not only of secondhand smoke but also of pesticides, dioxin and other industrial chemicals. (The executive director of Tassc in the late 1990's was Steven Milloy, who now "debunks" global warming and other environmental threats in the Foxnews.com

//foxnews.com/ column "Junk Science.") Newt Gingrich
//topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/newt_gingrich/index.html?inline=nyt-per>and

other Republicans soon started invoking "sound science" and "junk science" while criticizing government regulations.

A veteran tobacco lobbyist also played a role in the Data Quality Act, which Mooney calls "a science abuser's dream come true." Jim Tozzi, who served in the Office of Management and Budget before becoming a consultant for Philip Morris and other companies, helped draft the legislation and slip it into a massive appropriations bill signed into law in 2000, late in the Clinton administration. The act, which raises the standard for scientific evidence justifying federal regulations, is designed to induce what one critic calls "paralysis by analysis." While the law does not exclusively serve business interests (for example, Andy Eller successfully used it to challenge the Fish and Wildlife Service's policies on panther habitat), they have been its main beneficiaries. Already it has been employed by loggers, herbicide makers, manufacturers of asbestos brakes and other companies to challenge unwelcome regulations.

Mooney, who grew up in New Orleans, seems particularly incensed when he addresses the issue of global warming. He notes that Bush officials have repeatedly ignored or altered reports by the National Academy of Sciences, the E.P.A. and other groups tying global warming o fossil fuel emissions. Mooney devotes nearly a whole chapter to denouncing Senator Daniel Inhofe of Oklahoma, a Republican and chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, who once said human-induced global warming might be "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." Republicans' "refusal to consider mainstream scientific opinion fuels an atmosphere of policy gridlock that could cost our children dearly," declares Mooney, who finished his book before Hurricane Katrina. I can only imagine how he feels now. Mooney implicates the news media in this crisis. Too often, he says, reporters covering scientific debates give fringe views equal weight in a misguided attempt to achieve "balance."

To back up this claim, Mooney cites a study of coverage of global warming in four major newspapers, including this one, from 1988 to 2002. The study concluded that more than 50 percent of the stories gave "roughly equal attention" to both sides of the debate, even though by 1995 most climatologists accepted human-induced global warming as highly probable. Mooney notes that one prominent doubter and sometime Bush administration adviser on climate change, the M.I.T. meteorologist Richard Lindzen, is a smoker who has also questioned the evidence linking smoking and lung cancer.

Mooney's critique has understandably annoyed some of his colleagues. In a review in The Washington Post, the journalist Keay Davidson faults Mooney for not acknowledging how hard it can be to distinguish good science from bad. Philosophers call this the "demarcation problem." Demarcation can indeed be difficult, especially if all the scientists involved are trying in good faith to get at the truth, and Mooney does occasionally imply that demarcation consists simply of checking scientists' party affiliations. But in many of the cases that he examines, demarcation is easy, because one side has an a priori commitment to something other than the truth - God or money, to put it bluntly.

Conservative complaints about federally financed "junk science" may ultimately prove self-fulfilling. Government scientists - and those who receive federal funds - may toe the party line to avoid being punished like the whistleblower Andy Eller (who was rehired last June after he sued for wrongful termination). Increasingly, competent scientists will avoid public service, degrading the quality of advice to policy makers and the public still further. Together, these trends threaten "not just our public health and the environment," Mooney warns, "but the very integrity of American democracy, which relies heavily on scientific and technical expertise to function." If this assessment sounds one-sided, so is the reality that it describes.


Informant: Bigraccoon

Niedersächsisches Kultusministerium kooperiert mit Vodafone

//de.groups.yahoo.com/group/elektrosmog-liste/message/5798
//de.groups.yahoo.com/group/elektrosmog-liste/message/5802
//de.groups.yahoo.com/group/elektrosmog-liste/message/5805

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Helmut Breunig familie@breunig-freiheit.de
Gesendet: Montag, 19. Dezember 2005 09:24
An: ines.buchmann@mk.niedersachsen.de
Cc: info@ndr.de

Betreff: Kultusminister lehnt Handyverbot ab / NDR Niedersachsen

Gewaltprävention als Marketingstrategie

Der Mobilfunknetzbetreiber Vodafone ist sowohl Initiator als auch Hauptsponsor eines Gewaltpräventionsprogramms, das als Pilotprojekt unter dem Namen "Buddy" an niedersächsischen Schulen durchgeführt wird. Vodafone freut sich auf der Internetseite des Kultusministeriums (Zitat)"über die Anerkennung, die das Konzept durch die Kooperation mit dem Land Niedersachsen erfährt".

Kultusminister Busemann lehnte nun den Vorschlag ab, nach den jüngsten Vorfällen von "happy slapping" in Münster und Bockenem mittels eines Handyverbots an Schulen das Filmen und Übertragen von Gewalt zu verhindern.

Unbesehen der inhaltlichen pädagogischen Diskussion zu dieser Frage, kann die Position des Kultusministers nicht als eine unabhängige Auffassung angesehen werden, denn das Kultusministerium hat sich durch die Kooperation mit Vodafone in dieser Angelegenheit seiner Bindungsfreiheit und damit seiner fachlichen Neutralität als Behörde beraubt.

Quellen:

//www1.ndr.de/ndr_pages_std/0,2570,OID2102332_REF_SIX9,00.html
//www.mk.niedersachsen.de/master.jsp?C=14014034&I=579&L=20


Helmut Breunig


----- Original Message -----
From: Buchmann, Ines
To: familie@breunig-freiheit.de
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:29 AM
Subject: WG: Kultusminister lehnt Handyverbot ab / NDR Niedersachsen


Sehr geehrter Herr Breuning,

hier liegt wohl ein Irrtum vor. Nicht der Mobilfunknetzbetreiber Vodafone ist Initiator und Sponsor des Buddy-Projekts in Deutschland. Vielmehr ist das Buddy-Projekt in anderen europäischen Ländern und in den USA bereits seit langem erfolgreich im Einsatz, mit ganz unterschiedlichen Förderern. Es hat ähnliche Grundlagen wie das Projekt Lions Quest, welches von den Lions Clubs in Deutschland unterstützt wird. In Deutschland fördert die Vodafone Stiftung vor allem das Buddy-Projekt. Ein solches Förderangebot einer lt. Satzung gemeinwohlorientierten Stiftung abzulehnen, gibt es wohl keinen echten Grund. Wenn Herr Minister Busemann ein Verbot des Mitbringens von Mobiltelefonen in die Schule nicht als geeignete Lösung ansieht, um dem Problem des gefilmten Schlagens von Mitschülerinnen oder Mitschülern zu begegnen, hat das nicht das Geringste damit zu tun. Denn nicht die technischen Möglichkeiten sind das Problem, sondern der Umgang damit. Es gibt sehr viele Eltern, die Wert darauf legen, dass ihre Kinder sie erreichen können. Deshalb geben sie den Kindern auch bewusst ein Mobiltelefon zur Schule mit. Ich selbst mache das bei meiner Tochter auch, allerdings mit einer Prepaid-Karte, die sie sich selbst einteilen muss. Außerdem kann jede Schule in ihrer Schulordnung oder im Rahmen ihres individuellen Sicherheitskonzepts ein Verbot für Mobiltelefone beschließen. Es bedarf also keines zentralen Erlasses durch den Kultusminister.

Im Zusammenhang mit den Gewaltvorfällen, um die es in den letzten Tagen in den Medien ging, sei darauf hingewiesen, dass es fast immer um Vorfälle an Bushaltestellen oder im Schulbus ging, nicht in der Schule selbst. Ein Verbot von Mobiltelefonen hätte deswegen möglicherweise nicht einmal einen Effekt gehabt, ganz abgesehen von der pädagogischen Betrachtungsweise. Es ist doch besser, die Kinder lernen den verantwortungsvollen Umgang mit der Technik. Dazu gehört auch die Aufklärung über die Gefahr der Verschuldung bei ungehemmtem Telefonieren.

freundliche Grüße

Georg Weßling Pressesprecher fon: (05 11) 1 20 - 71 45 fax: (05 11) 1 20 - 74 51/52 mail to: georg.wessling@mk.niedersachsen.de


Kultusminister lehnt Handyverbot ab

----- Original Message -----
From: Helmut Breunig
To: Buchmann, Ines
Cc: georg.wessling@mk.niedersachsen.de
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: Kultusminister lehnt Handyverbot ab / NDR Niedersachsen

Gewaltprävention als Marketingstrategie

Sehr geehrter Herr Weßling,

gestatten, mein Name ist Breunig, nicht Breuning.

Meinen von Ihnen als Irrtum - wenn es sich denn um einen solchen handeln sollte - bewerteten Ausführungen, liegt folgende Formulierung auf der Internetseite des MK zugrunde: " Das Buddy-Projekt, 1999 initiiert und seither gefördert durch die Vodafone Stiftung Deutschland, soll zunächst an 100 ausgewählten niedersächsischen Schulen zum Einsatz kommen."
[ //www.mk.niedersachsen.de/master.jsp?C=14014034&I=579&L=20 ]. Ihre Darlegung zur Sache vorausgesetzt erscheint dieser Satz interpretationswürdig.

Ihre weiteren Ausführungen beziehen sich fast in vollem Umfang auf eben jenen Gesichtspunkt, den ich explizit als nicht die Intention meiner Anmerkung betreffend gekennzeichnet hatte: "Unbesehen der inhaltlichen pädagogischen Diskussion zu dieser Frage...".

In diesem Sinne möchte ich noch einmal die grundsätzliche Frage in den Mittelpunkt rücken, die zu thematisieren meine Absicht ist: Kann eine Behörde Neutralität in einer Entscheidung bezüglich des Gebrauchs eines Gerätes (Verzicht auf Handy-Verbot an Schulen) für sich beanspruchen, wenn sie Sponsoring durch einen Betreiber einer betreffenden Dienstleistung annimmt? Der Verweis allein auf die Gemeinnützigkeit der Vodafone-Stiftung vermag nicht zu tragen, denn die Gemeinnützigkeit einer Stiftung schließt nicht von vorneherein grundsätzlich die Möglichkeit von Überschneidungen und Konflikten mit Geschäftsinteressen des Stifters aus.

Eine Bewertung im Einzelfall erscheint daher unumgänglich. Diese hat sich im vorliegenden Fall die Tatsache zu berücksichtigen, dass dem Betreiber ein Interesse an der Nutzung seiner Technik im Zusammenhang mit Bedrohungsängsten zuschreibbar ist, wie Sie es ja selbst für Ihre Person beschreiben. Für die Erfüllung eines persönlichen Sicherungsbedürfnisses liefert hier also dieselbe Dienstleistungsindustrie das Angebot auf dem Markt, die für die Gewaltprävention die Stiftungsmittel bereitstellt. Eine Kooperation mit einem entsprechenden Anbieter stellt mithin die Gewährung einer sachlichen Neutralität einer Behörde in Frage, die Gewaltprävention zu ihren Aufgaben zählt.

Insofern Sie die Art des Gebrauchs von Handys als Kriterium anführen, möchte ich fragen, ob das Kultusministerium zum Gebrauch von Handys an den Schulen selbst eine Position einnimmt; falls ja, welche?


Freundliche Grüße

Helmut Breunig


----- Original Message ----- From: "Weßling, Georg" To: 'familie@breunig-freiheit.de' Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 1:57 PM Subject: WG: Kultusminister lehnt Handyverbot ab / NDR Niedersachsen


Sehr geehrter Herr Breunig,

machen Sie es sich nicht ein wenig zu einfach, wenn Sie die pädagogische Fragestellung einfach ausblenden wollen? Es geht hier, wie eigentlich immer in der Schule, vorrangig um eine pädagogische Frage, nämlich ob das von Ihnen offenbar gewünschte landesweite Verbot von Mobiltelefonen in der Schule das Problem löst und weitere Gewalttaten verhindert. Deshalb muss eine Antwort des Kultusministers auch den pädagogischen Aspekt in erster Linie berücksichtigen. Klar ist, dass sich allein mit Verboten kein Problem lösen lässt. Auch ist keine Technik in sich böse. Es kommt doch wohl darauf an, wie und wozu sie genutzt wird. Sie unterstellen einen Zusammenhang, den es gar nicht gibt, wie Sie den folgenden Ausführungen unschwer entnehmen können.

Zum Thema Sponsoring in Schulen: Wir haben in Niedersachsen eine Erlassregelung dazu, die gut handhabbar ist. Im Grundsatz lautet sie: Sponsoring ist im Schulbereich dann zulässig, wenn der pädagogische Nutzen den Werbeeffekt für den Sponsor deutlich überwiegt. Das ist die Rahmenbedingung, die vom Kultusministerium vorgegeben ist. Im Einzelfall entscheidet die Schulleitung der jeweiligen Schule. Das sind sehr kompetente Leute, denen man das durchaus zutrauen kann. Das beinhaltet genau die von Ihnen doch geforderte Bewertung im Einzelfall.

In Niedersachsen gibt es zur Gewaltprävention nicht nur das Buddy-Projekt. Wir haben eine ganze Reihe von Initiativen, teils unterstützt von Vereinigungen wie dem Lions Club, von Stiftungen, aber auch von Wirtschaftsunternehmen wie zum Beispiel von den Energieversorgern Avacon oder EWE. Im Rahmen ihres individuellen Sicherheitskonzepts entscheidet jede Schule mit Beteiligung der Eltern- und der Schülervertreter, welches Präventionskonzept oder auch Streitschlichtungsprogramm sie für ihren Bereich als sinnvoll ansieht und umsetzt. Wir sind in Niedersachsen auf dem Weg zur Eigenverantwortlichen Schule. Deshalb soll und kann jede Schule selbst darüber entscheiden. Es bedarf keiner zentralen Regelung. Insofern wäre Ihre Frage an die Schulen zu richten, die sich bei uns für das Buddy-Projekt bewerben. Ihren Ansatz konsequent zu Ende gedacht: Müssten dann Schulen nicht auch den Strom abschalten, weil er von Energieversorgern geliefert wird, die zu den Förderern von Schulprojekten gehören?

Zur Nutzung von Mobiltelefonen in der Schule allgemein: Die Nutzung von Mobiltelefonen ist Teil der freien Entfaltung der Persönlichkeit und somit als Grundrecht durch Art. 2 I Grundgesetz geschützt. Daraus folgt, dass ein generelles Verbot durch das Kultusministerium ohne eine gesetzliche Legitimierung gar nicht möglich ist, jedenfalls wäre es gegen Elterneinspruch juristisch nicht durchsetzbar. Allerdings gibt es die Möglichkeit, in Einzelfällen Verbote auszusprechen, die aber jeweils einer Verhältnismäßigkeitsüberprüfung standhalten müssen. Es können also, wie Ihnen bereits mitgeteilt, per Schulordnung, im Rahmen des individuellen Sicherheitskonzepts oder per Einzelanweisung der Schulleitung Richtlinien zur Nutzung von Mobiltelefonen in der Schule ausgesprochen werden. Ein generelles Verbot der Nutzung auf dem Schulgelände dürfte nicht verhältnismäßig sein. Ein Nutzungsverbot während des Unterrichtes und eventuell in den kurzen Pausen ist sinnvoll für die ordnungsgemäße Unterrichts- und Erziehungsarbeit der Schule. Auch hier halten wir unsere Schulleitungen und unsere Lehrkräfte für kompetent genug, dies zu entscheiden und durchzusetzen. Auch die weit verbreitete Praxis, Mobiltelefone vor Klassenarbeiten und Prüfungen zum Schutz vor Täuschungsversuchen und der Beeinträchtigung von Mitschülern einzusammeln, ist durchaus als verhältnismäßig anzusehen. Eine landesweite Regelung ist aber nicht erforderlich.


Freundliche Grüße aus dem Niedersächsischen Kultusministerium Georg Weßling Pressesprecher fon: (05 11) 1 20 - 71 45 fax: (05 11) 1 20 - 74 51/52 mail to: georg.wessling@mk.niedersachsen.de

--------

MOBILFUNK lebt von den Jugendlichen
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1311157/

NO spying in the U.S. without a WARRANT

For those who have argued that the voices of we the people no longer count, we say witness the filibuster of the Patriot Act extension and the triumph of the McCain torture prohibition amendment.

TELL CONGRESS WE NEED REAL HEARINGS ON SPYING IN THE U.S. WITHOUT WARRANT

Considering that virtually every word out of the president's mouth for the last five years has been a certifiably pathological lie, one cannot fault those who suspect his angry and defiant defense of his secret campaign to spy on Americans is just another elaborate fiction. What has been the point of packing our courts with their reactionary partisan cronies if not to have them available to rubberstamp such an operation? The fact that they could not trust even one of their own handpicked legal kangaroos to authorize this is proof of just how out of control this rogue presidency is.

Remember this is from an administration that considers a handful of Quakers holding a peace meeting to be a "threat". It is but sheer, unmitigated gall to assert that this is in any way permissible under our Constitution, which for Bush is nothing more than a bothersome, inconvenient piece of toilet paper. In fact, according to White House insiders, in one of his recent abusive personal tirades Bush did indeed refer to our Constitution as "just a [profane expletive] piece of paper". It's long past time for Congress to pull this president back into the ballpark of democracy.

ACTION PAGE: //www.millionphonemarch.com/fisa.htm

With the revelation of this latest abusive outrage, the last thing need we need is another panting reactionary lap dog to rule that the trashing of our Constitution is somehow OK after all. And in a frightening replay of the Roberts' confirmation amnesia of his membership in the right wing Federalist society, Alito claims not to remember his own membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton where he graduated in the last all white male class. Except that he TOUTED this on his job application to become a Reagan administration crony. And what were they so "concerned" about? Why, the admission of minorities and women of course! Please tell your senator that NO conservative is acceptable as a replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor

ACTION PAGE: //www.nocrony.com

Just before he stormed away from the podium, Bush obstinately declared that he would continue to defy the law by authorizing a permanent campaign of warrantless searches as long as he was president. Fine, Mr. Bush, in that case you must no longer be president. You must be removed peacefully, and at the first democratic opportunity. If the case for impeachment were not already compelling, this must surely be the last straw for anyone who was giving you the benefit of a reasonable doubt. Let us tell the House to gird up its loins and draft the articles now.

ACTION PAGE: //www.millionphonemarch.com/impeach.htm

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this message to everyone else you know.

Powered by The People's Email Network Copyright 2005, Patent pending, All rights reserved

Group gets £150 not £43m

A residents' group's claim for £43million in compensation has been knocked down to a £150 pay-off by officials investigating a mobile phone mast.

The Linden Garden Concerned Residents Group demanded the large sum as reparation for the drop in property prices that their homes will suffer when a Vodaphone mast is erected on top of Chiswick police station.

The group challenged Hounslow Council over the way it handled the planning application for the potential mast on the High Road, claiming it tried to prevent them from discussing the matter in an open forum.

They allege the council failed to put the issue before councillors on the Chiswick Area Committee and that officers' blunders meant vital communications were not replied to.

The application for the mast was allowed to pass through under permitted development orders'.

Group member John Hammond said: "Hounslow Council should rescind the order and let our councillors decide not just accept the decision of a non-elected officer.

"If the Vodafone installation goes ahead, it will be a massive eyesore on the High Road and for nearby residents.

"We remain firmly against the use of public property in this manner."

The group accused the council of maladministration and approached the local government ombudsman's office, which carried out a year-long inquiry.

The consequent local settlement report found the council's practices had raised a number of causes for concern.

However, the official investigating the residents' complaints skated over their multi-million compensation bid and denied their £20,000 expense claim. Instead he offered them £150.

A Hounslow Council spokesman said: "The ombudsman has not made any findings of maladministration against the council. The investigator did identify some minor areas of concern. The local government ombudsman is not a court of law.

"The ombudsman's role is to inform and educate councils, and we welcome findings that will help us to improve our systems and processes."

11:53am today

//www.hounslowguardian.co.uk/news/localnews/display.var.663096.0.group_gets_150_not_43m.php

Was Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel unter dem Motto „Mehr Freiheit wagen“ versteht

„Mehr Freiheit wagen“

„Die Schließung des AEG Werkes in Nürnberg zeigt uns deutlich, was die Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel in ihrer Regierungserklärung unter dem Motto „Mehr Freiheit wagen“ versteht. Für die Unternehmen bedeutet es die absolute Freiheit und für die Beschäftigten bedeutet es die „Freiheit“ von der Arbeit. Die einen können so ihre Profite in unvorstellbare Höhen treiben und die Beschäftigten werden in die Armut entlassen. Dass dies von der Politik durch Subventionen und Abschreibungen begünstigt, wird ist der eigentliche Skandal und zugleich die Stellschraube, an der wir drehen müssen….“ Erklärung der AG Betrieb & Gewerkschaft der PDS zur Schließung des AEG Werkes in Nürnberg vom 15.12.05 (pdf)

//www.labournet.de/branchen/sonstige/aeg/bugadaus.pdf

Widerstand gegen Sklavenhandel

Streik bei It.A Zeitarbeit

„Heute, Freitag um 11:00 Uhr, haben die in der FAU (Gewerkschaft für alle Berufe) organisierten Arbeiterinnen und Arbeiter sowie andere Beschäftigte einen Streik gegen die It.A Zeitarbeit in der Eschersheimer Landstraße 534 begonnen. Am Montag, 19.12. ab 11:00 Uhr wird dort die nächste Streikaktion stattfinden.“ Siehe dazu auch

Text des Flugblatts mit den Streikforderungen: „Nach endlosem Vertrösten und unzähligen Ausreden haben wir die Nase voll. Einige von uns können bereits Strom und Telefon nicht mehr bezahlen, andere haben nicht mehr genug Geld für die Miete. Deswegen streiken wir ab dem 16.12. gegen die Firma It.A Zeitarbeit - Rohrbach und Grun GbR in Frankfurt/M, Eschersheimer Landstr. 534….“ //www.fau.org/artikel/art_051216-073508


(Dumping)Tarifverträge: CGB/IgZ/BZA... > Tarifverträge des DGB - Infos, Kommentare und Proteste

Zeitarbeitsfirma Manpower setzt DGB unter Druck

„Das Zeitarbeitsunternehmen Manpower fordert Korrekturen am Tarifvertrag mit dem Deutschen Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB). Man stehe zwar zu dem DGB-Vertrag für Zeitarbeiter, sagte Manpower-Geschäftsführer Thomas Reitz der FTD. In vielen Regionen sei das Lohnniveau aber nicht mehr realistisch…“ Artikel von Maike Rademaker in FDT vom 15.12.05

//www.ftd.de/ub/di/34855.html


Aus: LabourNet, 19. Dezember 2005

Über den Tisch gezogen: Industriestaaten setzten bei WTO-Gipfel ihre Interessen durch

Welthandelsorganisation: Industriestaaten setzten bei WTO-Gipfel ihre Interessen durch. Demonstranten versuchten, Konferenzzentrum zu stürmen. Artikel von Andreas Behn, Hongkong, in junge Welt vom 19.12.05

//www.jungewelt.de/2005/12-19/001.php


WTO in Hongkong: 900 Gefangene

„Am Ende der gestrigen Demo in Hongkong wurden 900 Menschen, v.a. koreanische BaeuerInnen und GewerkschafterInnen festgenommen. Etwa 200 weitere wurde die ganze Nacht eingekesselt und saßen heute morgen noch auf der Strasse von Polizisten umgeben. Sie mussten die Nacht auf der Strasse verbringen…“ Bericht von „b“ vom 18.12.2005 mit Protestadressen bei indymedia //de.indymedia.org/2005/12/135336.shtml


Video: Demo in Hongkong: Die WTO versenken!

„Eine von der Hongkong Peoples Alliance organisierte Demonstration von Bauern-, MigrantInnen und Gewerkschaftern findet statt. Wütende und äusserst entschlossene DemonstrantInnen versuchen zum Konferenz-Zentrum vorzudringen…“ Video von radiohongkong

//www.radiohongkong.de/clip.php?clipId=1263


Aus: LabourNet, 19. Dezember 2005

Sen. Reid calls US Congress 'most corrupt in history'

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called the Republican-led Congress "the most corrupt in history" on Sunday, and distanced himself from lobbyist Jack Abramoff, at the center of an escalating probe.

//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051218/pl_nm/congress_ethics_dc


From Information Clearing House

Frist's AIDS charity paid pals

Tax forms: Frist's AIDS charity paid pals:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's AIDS charity paid nearly a half-million dollars in consulting fees to members of his political inner circle, according to tax returns providing the first financial accounting of the presidential hopeful's nonprofit.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11335.htm

In a world gone crazy: Australians receive inmate organs

UP to seven Australians have received kidney transplants from death-row prisoners executed in China, according to a report.

//tinyurl.com/994sb


From Information Clearing House

Morales Aware of US Interference - Colombian President to U.S.: Stop Meddling

Colombian President to U.S.: Stop Meddling:

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, one of Washington's best friends in South America, told the United States to stop "meddling" in his country's affairs after the U.S. ambassador urged him to take steps against corruption in regional elections.

//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051218/ap_on_go_pr_wh/colombia_us



Morales Aware of US Interference:

Evo Morales, the leading presidential candidate, said if he wins Sunday´s elections in Bolivia, he will seek balanced relations with the US, without submission, although he recognized the risk of Washington´s direct intervention.

//tinyurl.com/ag8rx


From Information Clearing House

Shocking The Conscience Of America

Bush And Cheney Call For The Right To Torture And Are Decisively and Correctly Rebuffed by the House.

//writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20051216.html


From Information Clearing House

We Don't Wanna Know: Your United States Senate

Got that, New York Times? You're endangering national security by telling senators what the executive branch, over which they have oversight, is doing. - Please don't burden them any more with the facts.

//tinyurl.com/72rur


From Information Clearing House

Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse

Throughout 2004 information provided by former administration insiders revealed the Bush/Cheney administration entered into office with the intention of toppling Saddam.[1][2] Candidly stated, 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' was a war designed to install a pro-U.S. government in Iraq, establish multiple U.S military bases before the onset of global Peak Oil, and to reconvert Iraq back to petrodollars.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9698.htm

Pakistan to stand by Iran in case of US aggression: Kasuri

Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri has said Pakistan strictly opposes any expected US attack on Iran, and will stand by Iran if this extreme step is taken by Washington.

//www.jang.com.pk/thenews/dec2005-daily/18-12-2005/main/main11.htm


From Information Clearing House

War Pimp Alert: Rice says Iran cannot be trusted

IRAN has shown through the actions of its hardline leadership that it cannot be trusted with technology that could lead to a nuclear weapon, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said.

//www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,17608904-23109,00.html


From Information Clearing House

Chomsky on Terror and Iraq

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11330.htm

Military OK'd planted news

U.S. military officials in Iraq were fully aware that a Pentagon contractor regularly paid Iraqi newspapers to publish positive stories about the war, and made it clear that none of the stories should be traced to the United States.

//tinyurl.com/a4dld


From Information Clearing House

Leaked Report Shows Spies Warned of Tube Attack

By David Leppard

SPYMASTERS warned Tony Blair before the July 7 suicide bombings that Al-Qaeda was planning a “high priority” attack specifically aimed at the London Tube. A leaked four-page report by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which oversees all spying, is the first definitive evidence that the intelligence services expected terrorists to strike at the Underground.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11333.htm

Bush stands firm on Big Brother tactics

//www.sundayherald.com/53385


Informant: root

Lawmakers Call for Domestic Spying Probe

//abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1419322


John Calvert

BUSH KEPT CONGRESS IN THE DARK?

//www.newswithviews.com/Kouri/jim34.htm

America's Law Enforcement: Time For Hard Questions

//www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd147.htm

On lying us into another aggression

The Conservatives and Their Iranian 'Defector'
Gordon Prather on lying us into another aggression.

//www.lewrockwell.com/prather/prather36.html

The China 'Threat': the myths of the economic nationalists

//www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/china-threat.html

'I Didn't Like Nixon Until Watergate': The Conservative Movement Now

//www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-perlstein/i-didnt-like-nixon-_b_11735.html


Informant: Lew Rockwell

Anthrax? What Anthrax?

Tom Engelhardt on suspicious federal behavior.
//lewrockwell.com/engelhardt/engelhardt145.html

Thought Experiments: on torturing all you can be

//www.lewrockwell.com/westley/westley15.html

Surrender, Christmas: on FOX and the wiles of empire

//lewrockwell.com/orig6/incontrera1.html

NSA The National Snoop Agency: on a long-time arm of the police state

//www.lewrockwell.com/orig/armentano8.html

The Stem-Cell Scam: on the latest another spendathon from the scientific-industrial complex

//www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/bethell2.html

The Total Corruption of the Regime

//www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/douglas4.html

War on Drugs a Big Success

//www.lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff52.html

Sen. Russ Feingold is 'the Senate's premier defender of the Constitution'

//www.ufppc.org/content/view/3805/


Informant: jensenmk

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