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Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Head of Congressional Probe Into Sept. 11 Quits
From the Los Angeles Times via the Miami Herald
Excerpt: - A congressional investigation of the intelligence failures surrounding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been thrown off course by the sudden resignation of a former CIA official hired to lead the inquiry but criticized for being too cozy with his former employer.
L. Britt Snider, former inspector general at the CIA, resigned under pressure Friday, less than three months into a high-stakes probe designed to determine why the nation's spy agencies failed to pick up any warning of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
But congressional sources confirmed that Snider was forced out amid growing concerns over his management of the investigation, ranging from the tone of his leadership to his decisions on personnel...troubling questions that surfaced in recent weeks about whether one or more of his hires lacked proper security clearances to view classified material.
There were also complaints about Snider's perceived reluctance to cause trouble for his former colleagues at the CIA. One aide cited ``concerns over whether or not he had the aggressiveness to get this thing done.''

Treasury must Borrow $1 Billion to Cover Shortfall
From Fox News
Excerpt: The government, in a sharp reversal of earlier borrowing plans, said Monday that it plans to tap $1 billion from the credit markets this quarter to compensate for lower-than-expected income-tax payments and to cover the cost of this year's economic stimulus package..."The stimulus package enacted in March accounts for one-fourth of the increase in borrowing," the Treasury said. "The remaining change is due primarily to lower-than-expected 2001 tax receipts received in April and early May."

Pentagon Seeks Release From Environment Laws
From the Washington Post
Excerpt: Congress for exemptions from many of the nation's most important environmental laws, arguing that the restrictions seriously hamper military readiness and training after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
If the Pentagon prevails, many training and bombing exercises would be exempt from an array of laws governing endangered species, marine mammals, migratory birds, clean air and hazardous-waste cleanup.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Nevada high court OK’s police monitoring devices on cars
From the Reno Gazette-Journal
Chilling Excerpt: In a 5-2 decision, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police can hide electronic monitoring devices on peoples’ cars — without a warrant and for as long as they want. The majority cited a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that there’s “no reasonable expectation of privacy” when it involves the exterior of a car — especially in Osburn’s case since the car was parked on a public street. Justices Bob Rose and Cliff Young dissented, with Rose writing that the majority ruling gives too much authority to police.
“The police will be able to place a vehicle monitor on any vehicle, for any reason, and leave it there for as long as they want,” Rose said. “There will be no requirement that the monitor be used only when probable cause — or even a reasonable suspicion — is shown, and there will be no time limit on how long the monitor will remain.”
He added that in some cases such devices “will be used to continually monitor individuals only because law enforcement considers them ‘dirty.’ ”
Editor's Note: Boycott Nevada

Friday, April 26, 2002

Supreme Court Looks at Plea Bargains
From the San Diego Union-Tribune
Excerpts: WASHINGTON – A San Diego defense lawyer asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to uphold a ruling in California that allows defendants, before they plea bargain, to obtain any information prosecutors have collected that might help their defense...To ensure fair trials, prosecutors currently are required to provide defendants favorable information that might help them fight the charges.
However, Steven Hubachek of San Diego Federal Defenders argued that defendants contemplating guilty pleas before a trial also should be allowed to receive favorable information from prosecutors...Without receiving information from prosecutors, even some innocent defendants might plead guilty to avoid the possibility of a harsher penalty following a jury conviction, Hubachek said.
While some justices sympathized with Hubachek's argument, others were outraged that some defendants may plead guilty despite their innocence. "What kind of legal system is this?" asked Justice Antonin Scalia. Other justices expressed concern that the decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal last March might be too broad.

Jeb's "Education Governor" Ads filmed at Private School
From the Orlando Sentinel
Highlights: The Republican Party, airing costly new TV ads touting Gov. Jeb Bush's concern for public schools, filmed its commercials in a private Christian academy...In the second ad, with one teacher calling Bush "an educator at heart," the teachers and governor tout Florida's improving student performance...Yet, state statistics showing that minority children are reading better do not give the entire picture. The governor has boasted of fewer fourth-grade black and Hispanic children scoring poorly on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. But statistics have not included the test scores of more than 18,000 minority students, one of every 10 fourth-graders tested last year...As the teachers union calls for the ads' removal, the Bush campaign insists they are "factual" and the show will go on. "If he said what he says [in the ads] in a public school," the teachers union's Welch says, "the teachers and the kids would run him out."

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Trouble at the Mexican Border
There's a battle brewing between the U.S. and Mexico over a water treaty that was signed in 1944, whereby the U.S. gives Colorado River water to northeastern Mexican states and Mexico pays with water from the Rio Bravo, or Rio Grande in the U.S.
Mexico, which is suffering a drought, hasn't been able to fulfill it's end of the bargain. Now Texas farmers and state leaders are heading to Washington to try to have pressure put on Mexico to release more water to the U.S. Trouble is, the man that they're turning to for help is Otto Reich, Secretary of State for the Western Hemispere. This controversial recess appointee, a figure in the Iran Contra affair, is linked to Cuban terrorism, and just this month has been implicated in encouraging the ill-fated coup in Venezuela.
Here are the two sides to the story:
State leaders, farmers demanding action on water dilemma
From the Brownsville Herald
Excerpt: Gov. Rick Perry said the summit was Fox’s last chance to resolve the debt through diplomatic channels and intimated at retaliatory action if Mexico failed to comply with its treaty obligations.
Border states ask Fox to review U.S. water treaty
From The News Mexico
Excerpt: "No one is obligated to do the impossible," Coahuila Gov. Enrique Martinez said. With the shortage of water in northeast Mexico, he said, "the debt to the United States cannot continue to be paid." He added the drought has limited the water available for agriculture and drastically reduced the amount of water for human consumption as well.

Carlyle Group gets 6-month Extension on Money-Laundering Regulations
From the Washington Post
Excerpt: Venture capital firms, a little-regulated segment of the financial industry, will have up to six more months to prepare for new federal requirements aimed at preventing money-laundering schemes.
The extension, announced yesterday by the Treasury Department, spares many financial firms from having to comply immediately with new rules passed by Congress last fall in response to September's terrorist attacks.
also see Meet The Carlyle Group

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Hijack Suspects Alive and Well
From BBC
Excerpt: Another of the men named by the FBI as a hijacker in the suicide attacks on Washington and New York has turned up alive and well. The identities of four of the 19 suspects accused of having carried out the attacks are now in doubt. Saudi Arabian pilot Waleed Al Shehri was one of five men that the FBI said had deliberately crashed American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Centre on 11 September. His photograph was released, and has since appeared in newspapers and on television around the world...Now he is protesting his innocence from Casablanca, Morocco. He told journalists there that he had nothing to do with the attacks on New York and Washington, and had been in Morocco when they happened.

9/11 Terror Suspect Freed
From CNN
Highlights: Lotfi Raissi was originally held on suspicion of having trained one of the suicide pilots but those charges were dismissed at an earlier hearing when the U.S. failed to substantiate its case. On Wednesday, the U.S. attempt to have Raissi extradited on lesser charges such as lying on a pilot's licence application form was also thrown out...District Judge Timothy Workman said that the U.S. authorities had provided no evidence Raissi was linked to terrorism. "He has appeared before me on several occasions where allegations of involvement with terrorism were made," Workman told the court. "I would like to make it clear that I have received and the court has received no evidence to support such a contention."... Raissi was arrested at his London home on September 21 on a request from the FBI.

Enron Subsidiary holds "Dead Peasant" Policies on Employees
From the Houston Chronicle
Highlight: When workers at Portland General die, there's a little more money to spend on the top executives of the Enron subsidiary. The utility has bought life insurance policies on the lives of its rank-and-file employees where the company is the beneficiary when an employee dies. That money goes for special compensation and retirement benefits for its top executives and directors.
That's a galling realization for workers, many of whom bet their retirement on Enron stock, which cratered last year as the Houston energy giant slid into bankruptcy...Many companies have bought corporate-owned life insurance, which is also known as "dead peasant" or "dead janitor" insurance. The nicknames reflect the fact that these policies are on low-ranking employees, rather than the top-ranking executives whose death could be a financial blow to the company.

Venezuela Coup Plotters in Miami
From The Times (London)
Excerpt: IN THE aftermath of Venezuela’s failed coup, the United States faces further potential embarrassment after the discovery that several alleged coup leaders fled to Miami. They include Isaac Pérez Recao, 32, a reputed arms-dealer and heir to a Venezuelan oil fortune...He and his brother and business partner, Vicente Pérez Recao, were seen later in Miami, where they own properties. They did not return telephone calls to their $500,000 beachfront flat in Key Biscayne, a wealthy island suburb of Miami.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Angry Castro Plays Private Tape of Mexican President
From the BBC
Excerpts: The president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, has launched a blistering attack on his country's former ally, Mexico. In a two-hour speech he accused the country's leadership of being hypocrites and liars, illustrating his tirade by playing a taped private telephone conversation between himself and his Mexican counterpart, Vicente Fox.
The confidential conversation which the Cuban leader has now played reveals that the Mexican leader was trying to convince Mr Castro to leave the conference early. "This surprise, at the last minute, creates many problems for me," Mr Fox says on hearing of Mr Castro's intention to attend the summit. The Mexican leader clearly urges Mr Castro to leave the meeting early and asks him "not to attack the United States or President Bush". The Cubans say the Mexicans wanted to make sure Mr Castro would not bump into President Bush, who was due to arrive later that day.

80 Arrests at DC Airports
From CNN
Excerpt: In Tuesday's arrests, federal authorities arrested the workers on a variety of immigration-related charges, including visa overstays. The charges also include providing false information on employment applications, and fraudulently obtaining security credentials for restricted access areas. None of the workers arrested by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials is suspected of any connection to terrorism, officials said.

Porn Star Linda Lovelace Dead from Injuries
From the Denver Post
Excerpts: The woman whose performance in the culturally groundbreaking pornographic film "Deep Throat" left her "branded" as Linda Lovelace died Monday afternoon at Denver Health Medical Center from massive injuries suffered in a traffic accident three weeks ago.
Linda Boreman, star of the 1972 film, the highest-grossing adult film ever made, had lived in Denver since 1990. She spent the latter part of her life working clerical jobs and crusading against pornography.
Boreman said she had been forced by an abusive first husband to make "Deep Throat" and often said that people who watched the film were watching her being raped. She eventually wrote an autobiography, "Ordeal." She told her story on the lecture circuit and testified before anti-pornography commissions...

Cuba's Seduction of Washington
From US News and World Report
Highlights: The Cubans aren't playing the gracious host simply to rake in dollars. Their more audacious aim is to stoke opposition to longtime travel and trade bans, driving a wedge between the Bush administration, on one hand, and Congress and the American public, on the other. Castro's "charm offensive," as some call it, is gaining ground, especially among moderate Republicans...Even as Congress moves toward easing the travel and embargo restrictions, a White House review of Cuba policy due this month will probably recommend ways to crack down on illegal travel, scrutinize and limit legal trips, and expand the reach of exile-run Radio and TV Martí on the island. In 2001, the administration quadrupled the number of fines levied for illicit visits to Cuba. And yet, only a tiny fraction of the estimated 120,000 violators last year were caught. Nor are the Bush team's views on the subject monolithic. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told senators he would rather use the funds for policing Cuba travel to catch terrorists. His candor tripped an alarm within the administration, and within hours he, in effect, disowned his comments.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Earth Not Cooperative for Bush Photo-op
From the Washington Post
The hilarious Earth Day shenanigans of George W Bush as he tries to get through a photo-op with a wayward press caravan in unseasonably brutal weather are just too funny to excerpt here.

Mexican Governors ask Fox to Review Water Treaty
From The News Mexico
Excerpts: The governors of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas met with the president during a horseback ride organized by border state governors...Chihuahua Gov. Patricio Martinez said the water problem was extremely serious in his state, currently undergoing its worst drought in 50 years. He said ways must be found to adapt to this problem, such as rethinking the international water treaty that Mexico and the United States signed in 1944. Under that treaty the U.S. gives Colorado River water to northeastern Mexican states and Mexico pays with water from the Rio Bravo, or Rio Grande in the U.S.
The U.S. government recently reminded Mexico it was way behind in its supply of around 1.7 million cubic liters per year and requested debt payment. "No one is obligated to do the impossible," Coahuila Gov. Enrique Martinez said. With the shortage of water in northeast Mexico, he said, "the debt to the United States cannot continue to be paid." He added the drought has limited the water available for agriculture and drastically reduced the amount of water for human consumption as well.

Companies Profit on Workers' Deaths Through 'Dead Peasants' Insurance
From Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
"In 1992, Felipe, then 29 years old, died of complications from AIDS. He never bought life insurance, so his family received no death benefit. But CM Holdings Inc., then the parent company of Camelot Music, did. It received $339,302. Like hundreds of other large companies, CM Holdings took out life-insurance policies on thousands of its employees, with itself as the beneficiary. Most workers covered this way don't know it, nor do their families... The practice is as widespread as it is little-known. Millions of current and former workers at hundreds of large companies are thus worth a great deal to their employers dead, as well as alive, yielding billions of dollars in tax breaks over the years, as well as a steady stream of tax-free death benefits. Nestle USA has policies covering 18,000 workers, Pitney Bowes Inc. has policies covering 23,000, and Procter & Gamble Co. has 15,000 covered workers, spokespeople for these companies confirm. The coverage is called broad-based insurance, or corporate-owned life insurance, usually shortened to COLI. For years, companies could insure only key personnel deemed essential to the business. But a loosening of state rules in the 1980s allowed for an explosion in a new kind of COLI that covers rank-and-file workers -- known in the insurance industry as janitors insurance or, in at least one instance, dead peasants insurance."

Judge Questions Actions in US War on Terror
From the Washington Post
Highlights: A federal judge said today that a suit filed by the nation's largest Islamic charity raised "significant and distressing allegations" about government actions in its war on terror, signaling that the case may challenge the Bush administration's ability to quickly strike domestic organizations alleged to have links to international terrorists...The charity's offices in four states were shut down, computers and documents seized and millions of dollars blocked or frozen. The FBI is holding more than 100 boxes of information from the organization's headquarters inside a warehouse in Dallas.
But John D. Cline, the charity's attorney, said the allegations are false, misleading and perhaps even drawing on testimony elicited by Israeli intelligence officers using torture – which would make it illegal in U.S. courts.
"Holy Land unequivocally, flatly denies" the charges, he told (Judge) Kessler.
Cline said the once vibrant organization had been "put out of business" without so much as a court hearing. He charged that the government had violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments..."Isn't this much more than an administrative procedures case?" Kessler asked, not pausing for an answer. "Aren't there very serious legal issues involved here. . . . It seems the government's approach is too simplistic."

South Carolina Troopers Prepare to block Plutonium
From ABC News
Excerpt: State law enforcement officers practiced blocking weapons-grade plutonium from entering South Carolina, and Gov. Jim Hodges said Monday he would do "whatever it takes" to stop the shipments.
Hodges, who is locked in a dispute with the Department of Energy over the shipments from Colorado, ordered the practice drill for about three dozen state troopers and transport police officers. Hodges has threatened to lie down in the road if necessary to block the shipments.
"The department is extremely disappointed with Governor Hodges roadblock exercise," the DOE said in a statement.

Lawmakers Respond to September 11 Allegations
From World Net Daily
Highlights: Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.: I'm curious as to whether it will reveal what Congresswoman McKinney has stated. I'm interested. I'm interested in an investigation.
Rep. Eva Clayton, D-N.C.: I don't have any comment on that whatsoever...I'm not going to take part in that phony kind of survey. You should be ashamed of yourself. They ought to sanction you as a press.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.: I don't know what you're talking about, to tell you the truth.

Contact your lawmakers and let them know how you feel about a 9/11 investigation. Contact the media, too. Here's an easy way to tell the national press to take an interest in The Carlyle Group's connection to the War on Terror.

Venezuela Coup Linked to Bush Team
From the Guardian UK
Highlights: The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the 'dirty wars' of the 1980s, and links to death squads working in Central America at that time...One of them, Elliot Abrams, who gave a nod to the attempted Venezuelan coup, has a conviction for misleading Congress over the infamous Iran-Contra affair.
The Bush administration has tried to distance itself from the coup. It immediately endorsed the new government under businessman Pedro Carmona. But the coup was sent dramatically into reverse after 48 hours.
Now officials at the Organisation of American States and other diplomatic sources, talking to The Observer, assert that the US administration was not only aware the coup was about to take place, but had sanctioned it, presuming it to be destined for success...The visits by Venezuelans plotting a coup, including Carmona himself, began, say sources, 'several months ago', and continued until weeks before the putsch last weekend. The visitors were received at the White House by the man President George Bush tasked to be his key policy-maker for Latin America, Otto Reich.
Reich is a right-wing Cuban-American who, under Reagan, ran the Office for Public Diplomacy. It reported in theory to the State Department, but Reich was shown by congressional investigations to report directly to Reagan's National Security Aide, Colonel Oliver North, in the White House. Reich is said by OAS sources to have had 'a number of meetings with Carmona and other leaders of the coup' over several months. The coup was discussed in some detail, right down to its timing and chances of success, which were deemed to be excellent.

Canadian Troops Recall Horror of US Bombing
From the Toronto Star
Excerpts: Except for the sounds of the mock battle being staged in the background, it was almost serene...Moments later, there were cries of pain, calls for medics and a whirlwind of activity.
Dyer and three other Canadian soldiers were lying dead and eight others were wounded after an American jet apparently mistook their tracers for hostile fire and dropped a 250-kilogram bomb on their position.
The blast threw Master Cpl. Stan Clark six metres back down a hill he had just climbed.
"I saw a big orange flash," said Clark, a Vancouver native. "All I recall is it felt like I got slammed in the chest. I landed on my back. I lost all concept of time and space."

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Tom Delay was Expelled from Baylor in '67
From the San Antonio Express News
Highlights: HOUSTON — Rep. Tom DeLay, who apologized this week for any "misunderstandings" he caused by advising a group of Christian conservatives not to send their children to Baylor or Texas A&M, omitted the fact that he was expelled from one of the schools. A spokesman for DeLay, R-Sugar Land, confirmed Friday that DeLay was kicked out of Baylor in 1967 for his "extracurricular activities" and "too vigorous a social life."...According to a 1995 article in the New Republic, DeLay was expelled from Baylor for "dancing and painting buildings green at rival Texas A&M."

Senate to Investigate US Involvement in Venezuelan Coup
From MSNBC / Newsweek
The Coup Failed—And The Fallout Goes On
The fallout from the Bush administration’s initial embrace of last week’s aborted coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is far from over. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to investigate and is seeking documents detailing contacts between U.S. officials and the Venezuelan military officers involved in the botched takeover.
Those contacts, NEWSWEEK has learned, are more extensive than the White House has acknowledged. Among those suspected of financing the plot is Gustavo Cisneros, a media tycoon and fishing buddy of former president George H.W. Bush. (Cisneros denies any role. But Pedro Carmona, who was sworn in as Chavez’s replacement on April 12, was seen coming directly from Cisneros’s office.) Otto Reich, the State Department’s Latin American affairs chief, said he spoke with Cisneros “two or three times” during the coup; the businessman says they spoke once. Reich said he was using Cisneros only as a source of information. “We had absolutely nothing to do with this,” said Reich. Senate investigators believe that at a minimum the Bush administration had ample warnings a plot was in the works—and didn’t act forcefully enough. In December, Pentagon official Rogelio Pardo-Maurer met with Venezuela’s top military commander. “I viewed him as being in the same situation as Col. [Augusto] Pinochet in Chile in 1971,” Pardo-Maurer said. While sympathizing with the general’s complaints about the leftist Chavez, Pardo-Maurer said he waved his finger “in a friendly way” and told him: ” No golpes .” (No coups.) The failure of that message to take hold has meant a setback for U.S. interests. As soon as Chavez returned to power last week, sources said, his first phone call was with Fidel Castro.
— Michael Isikoff and Joseph Contreras

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Ohio Town to Disappear in Blue Cloud
From Newsday
Highlights: "The homeowners of the Ohio River town have agreed to sell their land and property for $20 million to the nearby power company that sent blue clouds of sulfuric acid gas over their skies last summer...chemicals from the system created a blue acid haze that fell on Cheshire more than a dozen times in June, July and August.
The plumes often appeared on hot, humid days when weather conditions pushed exhaust from the plant’s 830-foot smokestacks down into the village instead of dispersing it into the atmosphere. The exhaust turned blue as it fell, and the clouds disappeared within about an hour.
Residents reported burning eyes, headaches, sore throats and white-colored burns on their lips, tongues and insides of their mouths. Earlier this year, a federal report said the sulfuric clouds were not life-threatening but were harmful to those with asthma.

Protesters Descend on Washington DC
From Fox News
Excerpt: "Thousands of demonstrators peacefully protesting globalization, U.S. policy on the Mideast and other issues spread out at sites across the capital Saturday as police officers stood watch. ..A 30-foot-tall Earth balloon carrying a "For Sale" sign was inflated across the street from the glass-and-chrome building where world financial powers gathered."

If things get out of control, maybe the authorities can try out the Pentagon's new people zapper
New electromagnetic weapon for crowd control
From the San Francisco Bay Guardian
Excerpt: Military brass are touting it as the biggest breakthrough in war technology since the nuclear bomb. Known officially as a "Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System," this new weapon is said to be more humane and more effective than other methods of controlling a large crowd or stopping aggressive intruders dead in their tracks.
Here's how it works. A special transmitter fires two-second bursts of focused microwave energy that causes burning sensations on the skin of people up to 700 yards away. But no one gets fried and no telltale burn marks linger on the body because the beam only penetrates just beneath the skin's surface at a depth of 1/64th of an inch. Targets of this concentrated electromagnetic pulse briefly experience intense pain and confusion, prompting them to leave the area in hurry.

Jeb Bush Lashes Out at Governors' Association
From the Naples Daily News
Highlights: WASHINGTON — Trying to counter criticism of his brother's White House, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush lashed out at the normally bipartisan National Governors Association for pushing state interests at the expense of the president's agenda..."The White House is going to have to change their tune," said Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a Democrat. "They can't ram everything down the states' throats."

GOP eavesdropping scandal widens
From the Virginian Pilot
Highlights: Wilkins has declined to comment since reports surfaced Wednesday that a cellular telephone belonging to his chief of staff was discovered on a list of participants for a March 25 conference call among Democratic legislators...The news follows the indictment of Edmund A. Matricardi III, who resigned as executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia after being charged with listening into two Democratic conference calls in March and taping one of the conversations.

Outspoken Global Warming Scientist Ousted
From the BBC
Highlights: Dr Robert Watson was voted out of the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Friday and will be replaced by one of the current vice-chairs, Dr Rajendra Pachauri.
Dr Watson's removal will spark a huge political row - environmentalists accuse the US Government of orchestrating a campaign to have the scientist sidelined.
They say Washington disliked Dr Watson's willingness to tell governments what he believes to be the unvarnished truth - that human activities are now contributing dangerously to climate change.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Kucinich is the One by Studs Terkel
The Nation May 6, 2002
From Neb:
I believe that most Americans want the same chance for their children that others have. I think most want an equal chance at achieving their part of the American Dream as anyone else has. The above article by Studs Terkel gives much insight as to why this is so hard for some to realize, and why for some it's impossible.
Ohio's Representative Dennis Kucinich, appears to be a man of courage and integrity. He's worth listening to and his comments are worth reading. But read the article and judge for yourself.
If we want better government, we'd better start at home. That's where I plan to spend my energies and my time. When I think of the sacrifices that others made for me, and compare them to what I've done, there's no comparison.
May God bless us all.
As ever, Neb

Skyscraper Crash may have been Suicide
From Fox News
Excerpt: MILAN, Italy — The son of the pilot who crashed his plane into the tallest building in Milan says his 67-year-old father was despondent over financial problems and was committing suicide.
"It was a suicide, a suicide, do you understand?" Luigi Fasulo's son, Marco — a pilot for the airline SwissAir — told the Rome newspaper La Repubblica Friday.

GOP Birthday Bash cost Grand Rapids $14,600
From the Grand Rapids Press
Excerpt: "Vice President Richard Cheney's visit to Grand Rapids cost city taxpayers $14,602.20 in police overtime, according to City Manager Kurt Kimball. Cheney made his overnight visit Monday to attend a private birthday party for GOP activist Peter Secchia. Regardless of the reason, Kimball said Wednesday the visit still warranted top-level protection...
'That's a considerable amount of money if you look at the budget constraints we're under right now,' Jendrasiak said.
"I know it was for the protection of the vice president, but I think they should have made some type of public appearance to justify the cost of us having to provide the amount of police protection that was required.' "

Army Secretary White Plugs Carlyle's Crusader
Keep in mind, this is the same Army Secretary White that the FBI is investigating over Enron dealings, and the Crusader is the tank made by the President's dad's company, The Carlyle Group.
From Stars and Stripes
Highlights: "Critics who claim the war in Afghanistan is proving that the Army is wasting money developing the Crusader self-propelled howitzer and the Stryker family of combat vehicles are wrong, the Army’s top civilian leader said.
Speaking to Pentagon press members, Secretary of the Army Thomas White defended the Crusader and the Stryker as 'transformational' and 'absolutely essential to the Army’s future.'
But an ever-growing chorus of critics say that, in the case of Crusader, artillery is becoming obsolete in the wake of the Pentagon’s ever-increasing precision airstrike capabilities."

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Judge Moore must turn over greeting cards for lawsuit
From the Birmingham (AL) News
Excerpt: "MONTGOMERY Chief Justice Roy Moore must turn over thousands of cards and letters he has received from supporters of the Ten Commandments monument to lawyers for the Southern Poverty Law Center by Friday..."We think they're irrelevant. It opens up the universe," Melchior said. "Anyone who writes a letter to Chief Justice Moore supporting his stand on the monument, it's going to have to be produced."

Holy Smokes!

Robert Blake Arrested for Murder
From the Los Angeles Times
The 68-year-old actor, best known for his role as a detective in the television series "Baretta," was in custody on suspicion of murder and could face the death penalty, police said. He had been questioned earlier about the slaying of Bonny Lee Bakley, but authorities Thursday said for the first time that he had been a suspect from the start..."Robert Blake shot Bonny Bakley," LAPD Capt. Jim Tatreau said. "The motive was Robert Blake's contempt for Bonny Bakley and the marriage he felt was forced upon him."

Columnist Kathleen Parker wants to Stifle McKinney
There hasn't been much noise about the accusations Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney made that friends and family of the Bush Administration are profiting from the War On Terror and may have had advance knowlege of the attacks.
Columnist Kathleen Parker, however, seems to have taken particular offense to the remarks. In a column published in the Tallahassee Democrat and the Orlando Sentinel, Kathleen Parker calls Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney "stupid" and says, "McKinney is a dangerous fool whose voice needs to be stifled."

Do you think the courageous Cynthia McKinney is a stupid, dangerous fool? Should the voices of dissenters be "stifled"? Email Ms. Parker at and share your views.
As for me, I'm putting a $20 bill in an envelope and mailing it tonight to
U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney
PO Box 371125
DeCatur, GA 30037

because I think she's absolutely correct, and would like to show my support.

4 Canadian Soldiers Killed By American Friendly Fire
From the Guardian UK.
Excerpt: "Four Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan last night after a US fighter jet mistakenly dropped one or two 500lb, laser-guided bombs on their unit.
Canadian officials said at least eight of their soldiers were wounded in the incident, which occurred during a well publicised live-fire training exercise near the southern town of Kandahar.

Navy commander Frank Merriman, spokesman for US central command in Tampa, Florida, confirmed that an air national guard F-16 dropped the bomb or bombs, but he had no idea what had caused the error."

Rumsfeld explaining new "Shadow Military"

You won't want to miss this Video Clip about the new "Northern Command" military post that's been created by the Pentagon.

If you can make sense of all this, please email me at so that I may understand it, too.

Here's an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times article about it:

"The creation of a military command whose sole mission is to defend American territory will not erode legal limits on using federal troops inside U.S. borders, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

'Rumsfeld announced a series of changes to the military's command structure, the most important of which is the establishment in October of a Northern Command, probably with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., to centralize the military's role in defense of the United States.' "

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Bin Laden's Escape
U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight
Washington Post
How bin Laden Got Away
Christian Science Monitor
From Neb
I ask you, is this any way to "run" a war? It's almost as if someone wanted bin Laden to get away. Why on earth would anyone want that? But then why would a general try to run a war from Tampa without anyone above the rank of Lt. Colonel? Why would military officers not want the best fighting force at the front in order to capture or kill bin Laden? Why put the Pushtun in the front, when we know that they, and many other tribes, sell their loyalty to the highest bidder? We know this because we've paid them many times in the past and during this war.

Let's review: We never found Jimmy Hoffa. We can't locate Eric Rudolph. we really don't have a clue where Osama bin Laden is. So why is it urgent and essential to attack Iraq and Iran? If he's not in Iraq, he's most likely in Iran or some other country we need/want to attack.
Let's roll out some more polls that show the popularity of the "president".
As ever, Neb

Lott Used Government Website to Bash Daschle
From The Washington Post
"The site,, was to play on Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle's (D-S.D.) aw-shucks penchant for saying how 'disappointed' he is by GOP partisanship...
Senate rules prohibit the use of the Senate's dot-gov Web site for partisan activity. It says so on the Web site...
Astute Internet surfers will notice that there is no site at That's because Lott beat a hasty cyber-retreat.
'Man, we're disappointed,' said spokesman Ron Bonjean.

Judge Overrules Ashcroft on Oregon Suicide Law
From CNN
"U.S. District Judge Robert Jones scolded Attorney General John Ashcroft in the written opinion, saying Ashcroft 'with no advance warning to Oregon ... fired the first shot in the battle between the state of Oregon and the federal government.' "

September 11: The circumstantial case
Part 1 of 4
From Neb
"The word will get around. It may take awhile, but there are too many people who are asking the right questions, for the 'mainstream media' to continue to ignore the 'story'. 'Hidden in Plain Sight", is especially worth the time it will take to read it.
As ever, Neb

Ashcroft to be Sued for Civil Rights Abuse
Associated Press via Fresno Bee
"The draft complaint cites several examples, including the case of Asif-ur-Rehman Saffi, a native of Pakistan who was arrested at La Guardia Airport in New York on Sept. 30 after his tourist visa expired. Although an immigration judge ordered him to be deported, the lawsuit alleges he was jailed until March and locked in an isolation unit. Guards allegedly subjected him to strip searches and "severe beatings to the point of unconsciousness," the suit said."


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