Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Thursday, 17 May 2007
The Power of a Hug
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Positive Power - Peace Love n Hug

 Here we go Z3 Readers,

............. its a good story, for a change so enjoy!


The Power of a Hug

An Indian Woman Draws Hundreds of Thousands of Devotees -- All for Her Hugs



May 9, 2007 — In the south of India lives a woman who has dedicated her life to helping others through the simplest of gestures -- an embrace. She is said to have blessed and consoled more than 26 million people throughout the world.

In Malayalam, Amma's native language, the name Amma means "mother" -- an apt name for the woman revered as a holy being.

Amma, known to many as the hugging saint, traveled to Chennai, the fifth most populous city in India earlier this year.

Chennai is blanketed with her image; her face is on street buses and there are larger-than-life posters of her around the city.

Amma's Winter Tour of Southern India

Having many devoted followers, Amma often addresses massive crowds -- as many as 200,000 packed into an outdoor space as big as a football field during her stop in Chennai. She has gained near superstar status among her followers around the world, all through her simple act of hugging.

After speaking to the overflowing crowd, followers rushed to the stage and patiently waited hours for their turn at darshan -- the Sanskrit term which means "vision" and is used to describe the meeting with a holy person. Through 16 straight hours, Amma hugged each and every person while offering advice and guidance to many troubled hearts.

She is not selling salvation or offering physical healing or a chance at prosperity. Instead, Amma seems to have tapped into a deep and essential human need -- the need for affection and the human touch.

Betsy Barnett, an American from New York, has been a devotee for the past 10 years. She described Amma as someone with infinite compassion and motherly love, who makes a relentless effort to uplift and to relieve suffering.

"Slowly, slowly I'm learning how to love," Barnett said. "To me that means to love without expectations, without attachment, but being able to really&feel purely loving toward others. And it's hard."

From Humble Beginnings to Devoted Followers

Amma is the daughter of a poor fisherman and a member of one of the lowest castes in India. She attended school until the fourth grade, but had to quit to help out her family. As a young girl Amma spent hours in meditation, singing chants to her God.

She began with small acts of charity at the age of 7 years old, inspired by the desire to ease people's suffering. She washed the clothes of her elderly neighbors, bathed them and even brought them food and clothing from her own home.

"I used to visit villages when I was young," Amma said. "In some of the homes there would be a lot of food available and everyone was happy. In yet another house, the mother and children would be huddled together and crying. When I saw that, I brought things from my house and gave it to them."

Amma has inspired and started many humanitarian services, from charities and orphanages, and founded an 800-bed hospital, schools of higher education and soup kitchens at home and abroad.

Her devotion to her cause is reflected in her followers. She travels with hundreds of unpaid volunteers who have gladly uprooted their lives to serve her.

Are Hugs the Answer to the World's Problems?

Amma's popularity, while impressive, is not a new phenomenon. There have been a number of Indian spiritual leaders who have become popular in the West. The Maharishi were made popular by the Beatles in the 1960s, Sai Baba has more than 30 million followers worldwide and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was well-known for his popularity in the United States before his death.

For Amma, her life as a spiritual leader has also brought material benefits. Her headquarters in Kerala are indeed grand -- but according to her organization, the money comes from the sale of souvenirs, her personal effects and contributions.

While it is hard to know exactly how much money Amma has, she certainly spends a lot on her charities. She has been honored at the United Nations for her humanitarian service, and her charitable contributions have made international news. In February, she handed over the keys to 1,100 new homes in Nagapattanam for survivors of the 2005 tsunami.

Still her simple message is to love and serve one another, and most of her time is still spent hugging those in need.

"Love is not ordinary," Amma said. "Love is what sustains life. Whatever we do it is only to get love. There are two types of poverty in this world. The first one is, you know, financial. The second is poverty due to lack of love, the second one is more important. If we have compassion, we will automatically help."


Posted by Joe Anybody at 9:11 PM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007 9:17 PM PDT
Wal-Mart picks on Nuns.....
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: I have not shopped at Wal-Mart in 4 years ....here is one reason why

I found this today on the web

The creeps that run Wal-Mart are messing with nuns!

Ya....... I just called them Wal-Mart guys creeps!


Wal-Mart labels Boerne nuns a security threat

Web Posted: 05/05/2007
Nydia Lopez
KENS 5 Eyewitness News
It's a David versus Goliath battle heating up in the Hill Country — a group of nuns from Boerne is taking a stand against Wal-Mart. The corporate giant reportedly labeled the nuns a security threat after they raised questions about Wal-Mart's business practices. Sister Susan Mika is part of the Benedectine Sisters, which is part of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. The center has been questioning Wal-Mart's business practices for years. "We've been raising questions with them for about 17 years, so it's not like they don't know it," Sister Mika said. Now, the sisters find themselves on Wal-Mart's security threat list. Sister Mika said the group has been wrongly labeled. "In no way have we ever been a threat to the company in that sense. We might be a threat in the kind of question that we're asking, but not a security threat," Sister Mika said. The sisters have raised questions on wages, human rights, health care and the pay disparity between CEOs and workers. They believe that's why Wal-Mart has launched a surveillance operation on the small church group. "We wanted to find out more about what was actually happening, and did they do any surveillance on us, either personally or as a community, and to let us know what that would be, and to apologize to us," Sister Mika said. Calls from KENS 5 to a Wal-Mart spokesperson went unreturned. The nuns say they want an apology and will continue to raise concerns and issues until someone launches an investigation into thousands of allegations against Wal-Mart.  

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:58 AM PDT
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
Hey Mr Airport Security, can I see that picture of my wife too?
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Invasion of privacy and preverted protections

Hey so how was it that you wanted to be searched, since Bush allowed the 911 debacle ...now see what we are put through just to travel around when TERROR is such a popular tool to use to "warrant" the right to view, touch, frisk, or gawk. This is not in the US ...... but stay tuned, men are in the waiting ...just to see if your wife or daughter may be packing explosives......

to bad 911 was allowed (if not orchestrated) ...now we are subject to this type of "protection" ...... your being "duped" by manufactured terrorism and fear. Good Luck my peaceful readers........ good luck indeed!


Amsterdam's Schiphol airport began using new body-scanning machines at security checkpoints on Tuesday, becoming the first major airport to use the technology to find metals and explosives hidden under clothing.

The "security scan" system, which uses harmless radio waves to display head-to-toe images of people, is also being used by other airports on a trial basis, but Schiphol is the only one to deploy the technology for regular use at its checkpoints.

Going through the scanner takes about three seconds, allowing users to avoid metal detectors or body searches. For privacy, the digital images are viewed by security personnel in another room and deleted after they are seen.

Schiphol, Europe's fourth busiest hub, handles about 160,000 passengers per day at peak times and. So far the security scan is voluntary but officials are hoping to expand it to include all passengers, crew and personnel.

Schiphol is one of the world's most modern airports, with flat-panel screens, airport-wide Web access and iris scanners already on offer to those who want to bypass passport lines.

Some people object to the machines because they are concerned about the radio waves, rather than privacy, said Schiphol's Chief Operations Officer Ad Rutten.

But the alternative, being hand-frisked, is "never a happy story," Rutten adds.



Posted by Joe Anybody at 5:23 PM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007 10:43 AM PDT
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
This Has To Be Said.... Because it is true!
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: And I am here to say it - Wake Up - It is Rotton - It is In Your Face

"Illegal" is the new "Nigger"



Illegals is the 21st century version of 'nigger'. That is what I hear when the term is thrown at undocumented families. Just like nigger was (and still is, although less overtly) the soundtrack to the murder and oppression of black folks, 'illegals' is the political theatrical score for the police and minutemen murder and political oppression of undocumented families from the South.

It's a shame that the so-called US progressive movement isn't involved with what is obviously the true front of progressivism in the United States in the 21st century. The struggle for human rights led by immigrants.

As in the 60s, so many so-called political people stood on the sidelines or contented themselves with reading about how King and activist blacks fought for a more free USA, the progressive movement of today is for the most part, only watching as the real progressive movement, mostly latinos, fight for further realization of the USA some say exists right now and others say used to exist but certainly that we all want."

—MarcG, comment on BradBlog

MY DEAR black amig@s, you know I respect you and I hope you immediately understand my deciding to quote this word, and invoke all its ugly, historical glory. This is not a stand-up routine, this is not a song, and this is not a joke. Nor is it an attempt to take anything away from your unique history and current struggles. But in this specific instance, the framing of today's hate and fear-motivated violence against Mexican immigrants—on the border as well as over it—needs to be spelled out with this terribly appropriate metaphor, and for the very reason that makes "The N Word" a disturbing and volatile utterance to this day.

My opening explanation aside, I am, of course, speaking to all of us. All people, all colors. This creeping abuse leveled on Mexican immigrants must concern each and every one of us. Just as in the days when the "N Word" was invariably used hand-in-hand with gross violence, human beings are being lingually dehumanized in America so that nobody minds when they are exploited, hated, hunted, and killed.

Just one word—"LETS REMEMBER THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE ILLEGALS" or the wonderfully, soul-stripping ALIEN—and somehow, magically, conveniently, all humanity is negated, and average people find it comfortable to stand by and cheer on, or ignore, what should be seen as atrocities.

It's not just the LAPDs stormtrooping the May Day parades. It's the language and the words online where Average Americans are angry that the cops didn't just open the bloody floodgates on Those Arrogant Mexicans, it's the slimey junk some politicians feel comfortable saying, it's watching the KKK grow its membership by 40% since taking on the HAWT New ALIEN issue as a selling point.

It's the conversations and words dropped that nobody contests. These seeds of a wicked vine must be stepped on wherever they lie.



Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:27 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007 2:52 AM PDT
Your Government NEEDS to Spy on you for your Safety
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: You are tracked and followed for your own freedom & well being

Hello My Friendly Neighborhood Z3 Readers,

I just found this today in the "news"

Big Brother National ID Card story link:



EDITORIAL - U.S. policymakers have long rejected a national ID as inconsistent with American freedom. Ordinary people, it has long been believed, should not have to carry a card as if they are criminal suspects and they should not be asked to account to authorities for their whereabouts or activities.

"...as the federal government has grown in size and scope, its desire to track and monitor citizens has increased."
Nonetheless, as the federal government has grown in size and scope, its desire to track and monitor citizens has increased. To administer increasingly complex tax laws and expanding entitlements, the government has come to need more and more information about citizens and more and more assurance of who is who.

The Social Security Number, originally created solely to administer the Social Security System, has taken on much of this role. Today, it is used throughout the public and private sector to distinctly identify people. Recent laws have required or encouraged parents to get SSNs even for their very young children. The SSN is our national identifier.

Meanwhile, because of the vast terrain our country covers, nearly everyone must carry a driver's license. Departments of Motor Vehicles have fallen naturally into the role of providing not only this authorization to drive, but also cards for people who need some proof of who they are.

With the REAL ID Act, the federal government is seeking to combine these two identifiers and proof of lawful presence on American soil in a federal identification card and database system. States that do not accord their driver licensing and identification card systems to federal standards will find that their residents can not use state-issued cards for a variety of federal purposes.

How REAL ID Was Passed

In early 2005, Congress' regular appropriation for military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan was giving out. Legislation was pending to provide the Defense Department more money — and to fund aid efforts after the devastating tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean at the end of 2004. It was clear that this $82 billion spending bill would pass. Opposition to it, even principled responses to important details, could easily be spun as "not supporting the troops."

Consistent with usual practice, the Iraq spending bill came before the Rules Committee on its way to the floor of the House of Representatives. But the Committee added a curious note to the rule governing debate on the bill. The Committee instructed the Clerk of the House to append the text of a different bill at the end once the bill had passed the House.1 This new bill was the "REAL ID Act."2 It would not be open to amendment or separate consideration on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Why would the Rules Committee append an unrelated bill to a military spending measure? It is widely speculated that in the previous Congress a powerful House committee chairman had held up intelligence reform legislation, releasing it only with a promise from House leadership that his preferred vision for a U.S. national ID would be passed early in the next Congress. Whatever the case, the military spending bill with REAL ID's new identification provisions passed by overwhelming margins in both the House and Senate. It was not considered in any hearing and was not the subject of a separate vote in the Senate. REAL ID repealed identification security provisions that had passed into law as part of the 9/11 Commission-inspired Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act.

REAL ID Requirements

The REAL ID Act seeks to force states to issue drivers' licenses and identification cards consistent with federal standards. There are three steps in the process by which a typical government-issued identification card communicates information from an ID subject to a verifier, and REAL ID affects two of the three:

First, the ID subject communicates information to the card issuer. For example, a state resident submits information to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Next, the issuer produces the identification card, which communicates information to the verifier. When a motor vehicle bureau produces a card, that provides information to whomever may check it.

Finally, the verifier compares the identifiers on the card to the ID subject. A law enforcement officer, for example, may look at a card and check the picture against the person he has pulled over.

If the identifiers and the ID subject match up, the information on the card is accepted as true and the ID subject is identified. Each of these steps is a point of weakness, though, and the REAL ID Act addresses two of them.

Data Veracity

The obvious weakness in the first step is that ID subjects are allowed to submit the information that goes into the card. The information on the card can be falsified. The REAL ID Act addresses this several different ways. First, it mandates collection of four different items of information:

* A photo identity document, except that a non-photo identity document is acceptable if it includes both the person's full legal name and date of birth;

* Documentation showing the person's date of birth;

* Proof of the person's social security account number or verification that the person is not eligible for a social security account number; and

* Documentation showing the person's name and address of principal residence.3

Along with increasing the number of identifiers, REAL ID also requires evidence of lawful status4 — that is, the legal right to be in the country. It requires states to issue temporary cards, marked as such conspicuously, to anyone temporarily in the country.5

Further, the REAL ID Act requires DMVs to capture digital copies of source documents and retain paper copies for seven years, images for ten years.6 DMVs can no longer accept foreign documents other than passports. Each person applying for a driver's license or identification is also subject to "mandatory facial image capture."7

The REAL ID Act also requires DMVs to verify "with the issuing agency, the issuance, validity, and completeness of each document" presented.8 At a potentially huge expense — few institutions have the resources or infrastructure to confirm their authorship of documents — this could suppress the easiest attack on data veracity: presenting DMV workers with fraudulent identifiers.

The REAL ID Act also sought to suppress fraud on DMVs by improving their employees' ability to detect false identifiers. Among other things, it requires states to "[e]stablish fraudulent document recognition training programs for appropriate employees engaged in the issuance of drivers' licenses and identification cards."9

If carried out properly, each of these steps would make it harder for ID subjects to inject false information into new identification cards and drivers' licenses. With constant oversight, they would make it harder to defraud DMVs.

The REAL ID Act also requires confirmation of some of the information a card applicant submits. It requires states to routinely utilize the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements system, which confirms the legal presence of foreigners in the country.10 It also requires them to confirm Social Security numbers with the Social Security Administration. In the event a Social Security number is already associated with another license or identification card, the state must "resolve the discrepancy."11

These processes attempt to use information held by governments to check the identifiers proffered by an ID subject. They help reduce one or two avenues for fraud.

Card Security

The REAL ID Act did a few things to address the security of identification cards, as well. It requires state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards to use physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of documents for fraudulent purposes.12 It requires physical security features at the locations where drivers' licenses are produced. And it requires security to protect the materials and papers from which the documents are produced.13 The REAL ID Act also requires "appropriate security clearance requirements" for people who manufacture or produce driver's licenses.

Digital Identification

The REAL ID Act also calls for "[a] common machine-readable technology."14 Regulations fleshing out the Act were issued March 9th and they provisionally selected a 2D bar code. Plans are underway in some states to embed licenses with computer chips that will communicate information about the bearer by radio. The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) to track people is controversial, but RFID-chipped identity documents are being established, such as the U.S. State Department's new e-passport.

Complying with the REAL ID Act will require states to retool their identification card practices a great deal, particularly with respect to the information that they use to issue licenses and cards. The mandates in the REAL ID Act could be quite large.

The Costs of Complying with the REAL ID Act

Estimates from a variety of states and groups show that the costs of complying with the REAL ID Act could range from substantial to staggering:

Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner's Task Force on the Real ID Act estimated start-up costs if Virginia participated in REAL ID ranging from $35 million to $169 million, and recurring costs from $1 million to $63 million per year. The Task Force expressed doubts that federal funds would cover all the costs of implementing the REAL ID Act.15

The budget director of Washington state's Department of Licensing has estimated that his state might need to spend $97 million during the next two years should it implement REAL ID.16

In a broader study, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that it would cost $9 billion nationwide for states to implement the REAL ID Act.17

Taxpayer group Citizens Against Government Waste has estimated costs as high as $15 billion dollars for full implementation of the REAL ID Act. This would push the cost of a driver's license from the $10-$25 range up to $90 or more.18

The DHS' own cost estimate placed the tally at over $17 billion.

States agreeing to participate in the REAL ID Act system are incurring an open-ended obligation to tune their driver's licensing and identification card processes to federal standards.

Other Costs of REAL ID

While the monetary costs of the REAL ID Act are substantial, there are other important costs. The REAL ID Act is a further step toward a national ID, which has significant costs in terms of privacy and security.

Today, more personal information is captured, stored, transferred, and used than it ever has been before. Information storage and processing techniques are only getting better. In the past, identification merely confirmed who a person was, but now identification systems are effective surveillance systems. They record people's locations and activities, making this information available to others long into the future. Being identified is becoming a record-keeping event.

This is concerning not just because of privacy — the fact that people's lives are more exposed to governments and corporations than ever before. It is also a threat to liberty.

Historically, oppressive governments have used identification time and time again to administer evil acts. Well known historical examples include Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Modern genocides like Rwanda's were facilitated by an identification card system. Uniform and centralized identification systems provide no failsafe in the event a democracy fails, or fails to protect liberty. A diverse identification system is more difficult to navigate. This makes it a bulwark of liberty.

Uniform identification systems are also too easy to navigate for crooks. Today, identity fraudsters are successfully exploiting the single-key identification system used by the government and financial services sector. Simply having access to a person's Social Security Number puts a criminal well on the way to impersonating his or her financial identity, defrauding merchants out of thousands of dollars, and ruining the credit of the victim.

These costs — to privacy, liberty, and personal security — are also significant considerations in the REAL ID Act. Because it is relying on the states to implement its national ID system, Congress has shifted these costs, along with the monetary ones, to state leaders rather than bearing the burdens themselves.

Does it Work?

Most people would happily bear these burdens if doing so would add to our nation's protections. Some might accept these costs as a way to control illegal immigration. But because Congress did not hold a hearing before creating this national ID, these issues have not been thoroughly vetted.

Identification is a powerful force as to willing participants in our economy and society, but it will generally have little influence over terrorists. They neither seek the benefits of our society nor are they deterred by knowing they will be held accountable after they act. Identifying people merely tells you who they are. It does not reveal their intentions.

The dynamic is similar in the case of illegal immigration. People who have entered the United States illegally are unlikely to be deterred by the prospect of violating one or two more laws so they can work. The existing market for false identification and the use of identity fraud by illegal aliens will grow if a national ID is used for domestic enforcement of immigration laws, such as by requiring all people to seek federal government approval to work.

There is overlap between these two issues, of course. The false identification system created by and for illegal immigrants could be used by terrorists to evade the identification-based security systems we have in this country. The use of identification as a national security tool, or as an immigration law enforcement tool, is a minefield of difficult issues that require a great deal of study.

Where REAL ID is Going

The future of the REAL ID Act is uncertain. Department of Homeland Security regulations issued March 9th essentially "punted" on the most difficult technical, security, and privacy issues associated with the law. The regulations offered states a "golden handcuffs" opportunity: if they commit to implementing REAL ID early, it will grant them an extension until December 2009 to implement the law. If they do not commit early, they are faced with the statutory May 2008 deadline.

While some states have taken some steps to comply with the REAL ID Act mandates they anticipate, other states have declined to do so, or signaled their outright refusal of the REAL ID Act's mandates.

The state of Alabama, for example, tried to get ahead of the REAL ID Act in late 2005 by having residents conform the names on their licenses to the records held by the Social Security Administration. Alabama officials sent out 65,000 letters to residents asking them to have their licenses reissued before public outrage halted the program.19 Proposed legislation in California (SB 1160) is designed to comply with Real ID while providing drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants. New Mexico's HB 852 aims to prevent undocumented immigrants from obtaining licenses. The state of Alaska, on the other hand, recently declined to pass legislation that would have begun compliance with the REAL ID Act.

In Maine and Idaho, both houses of the legislature have passed resolutions opposing REAL ID. Bills and resolutions rejecting the REAL ID Act are pending or have passed at least one house of the legislature in more than half of the states in the country.

Among the many issues that have come up in debates about the REAL ID Act, along with cost, are the consequences of refusing to accept this federal mandate on states. After May 2008, the law says that drivers' licenses and identification cards from states that do not comply with the Act will not be acceptable identification or any "official purpose." DHS regulations could alter what this means at any time, but the primary lever is the requirement that travelers show identification at airports.

In January 2006, a Ninth Circuit ruling showed that the TSA does not require identification at airports. Rather, travelers have an option between showing identification or being subject to secondary screening.20 Nonetheless, most people believe that identification is required to travel. State legislators have been concerned that, if their states have not come into compliance, the federal government might effectively shut down passenger air travel. This is a question of the federal authorities' willingness to make economic war against the states to force compliance — and whether the air transportation industry would not intervene with federal authorities long before there was such a showdown.

On the horizon, there are a variety of technologies and processes that may be able to get governments, corporations, consumers, and citizens all the benefits of identification without the costs in terms of privacy and surveillance. "Digital identity management" is the idea that technologies can be designed to share only the information needed in a transaction — and to destroy that data when it is no longer needed. Identification and credentialing may soon become an economic service just like payments, telecommunications, and credit reporting. Rather than a government monopoly on identification, a diverse competitive private industry may emerge to provide proper assurance of who a person is, and of other information needed to support transactions.


The REAL ID Act is a complex law whose contours and benefits have still not yet come into focus, though its costs are increasingly clear. This national ID program received little consideration in the federal Congress, but state legislators must now grapple with it, facing a May 2008 compliance deadline. In addition to significant monetary costs, the Act will threaten Americans' privacy, liberty, and personal security. The decision about whether this is appropriate turns on whether a national ID would be an effective addition to our protections against terrorism and illegal immigration.

A variety of states are struggling to implement the REAL ID Act. Others have decided to outright rebel from this federal mandate. Should the rebellion hold, the issue will move back to Congress, which may then be forced to have hearings and up-or-down votes on whether the United States government should require her citizens to carry a national ID card.



1 H. Res. 151 § 2 (109th Cong., 1st Sess.).

2 H.R. 418 (109th Cong., 1st Sess.).

3 Id. at § 202(c).

4 Id. at § 202(c)(2)(B).

5 Id. at § 202(c)(2)(C).

6 Id. at § 202(d)(1), (2).

7 Id. at § 202(d)(3).

8 Id. at § 202(c)(3).

9 Id. at §202(d)(9).

10 Id. at § 202(c)(3)(C).

11 Id. at § 202(d)(5).

12 Id. at § 202(b)(8).

13 Id. at § 202(d)(7).

14 Id. at § 202(b)(9).

15 Report: The Governor's Task Force on the REAL ID Act (December 29, 2005) .

16 States may face higher costs for Real ID, Federal Computer Week (August 19, 2005) .

17 Federal Preemption of State Authority a Disturbing Trend: Implementations of REAL ID Act to cost at least $9 billion, National Conference of State Legislatures (August 16, 2005) .

18 CAGW Issues Report on Real ID: DHS Regulations Could Cost Taxpayers, Threaten Privacy (October 18, 2005) .

19 Alabama Puts Brakes on License Notification, The Decatur Daily, Oct. 7, 2005

20 Gilmore v. Gonzales, 435 F.3d 1125 (2006).


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:16 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007 11:35 AM PDT
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Cool tools to use... to find those pesky representatives of ours
Mood:  incredulous

Hello Z3 Readers,

here is the website I found these cool tools on



I want you to look at these

"cool tools for activists"



Check this out my fellow Z3 Readers

Congress At Your Fingertips - Standard


Standard bio


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Condenced Bio


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Please return your completed order form with payment via fax to: 703.550.0406
Or by mail to:
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Here is the pdf. FORM to order with


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:09 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007 11:14 PM PDT
Monday, 7 May 2007
Can You Say .... Darfur?
Mood:  sad
Now Playing: A subject that I have barley spoke of..... Changes today....

My Fellow Z3 Readers

It is with regret I say that this is my first post on "Darfur" - please forgive me and read this article I copied from ....... "Oxfam"

As the Need in Darfur Grows,

So Does the Difficulty of

Getting There

16 April 2007


It has been more than four years since conflict first erupted in Darfur, Sudan, and in that time the number of people in need has grown exponentially: About 4 million people now depend on humanitarian assistance. But as their numbers mount, so does the difficulty in reaching them.

Unabated violence has left huge swaths of Darfur inaccessible to aid groups. Carjackings, assaults, robberies—these are the almost daily dangers aid workers now face as tens of thousands of people have continued to flee ongoing attacks. In the first two months of this year, more than 80,000 people found themselves on the run—some for the second, third, and fourth times. With the conflict now spilling over into Chad, violence there has forced the displacement of 120,000 Chadians.

In Darfur alone, more than 2 million people are now crowded into temporary camps or massed on the outskirts of towns where Oxfam is providing clean water, sanitation services, and basic necessities—such as soap and jerry cans—to about 475,000 of them. The agency is offering similar help to an additional 63,000 people in Chad.

But in some places, such as Darfur’s largest camp—Gereida, where 130,000 people now live in limbo, waiting for peace—Oxfam has had to greatly reduce its assistance because of the violence. In December, armed men entered the compounds of Oxfam and other agencies there where they beat an Oxfam staffer, raped a worker at one of those other agencies, and stole 12 vehicles.

Roads have also become increasingly unsafe for travel because of the risk of hijackings. Many times, helicopters are the only way aid workers can reach the larger towns and camps. People in rural areas and smaller villages often get no attention at all since the helicopters do not fly to those areas.

The humanitarian effort in Darfur is now one of the largest in the world, and the initiative has managed to stabilize living conditions in the camps. But there is a growing concern among aid groups that inaccessibility to the camps could derail this progress. Aid workers fear a return to devastating levels of malnutrition and disease they witnessed at the start of the crisis.

Helplessness and frustration permeate the camps, where people are trapped with limited access to education or economic opportunities. The conflict has stretched on for so long that some camps have now taken on a feeling of permanence, with people transforming their temporary shelters into mud brick dwellings. The majority of those in the camps are women and children, many of whom have now spent most of their lives trapped there by the conflict. Inevitably, the impact of the crisis on a whole generation will have long-term consequences for Darfur.

Despite the dangers, Oxfam is committed to remaining in the region to help the people there. It continues to be one of the few agencies working in all three Darfur states. But what people need urgently is protection from violence. The African Union force now in place to provide that has just 7,000 members—not nearly enough to cover the vast region. And increasingly, the AU force itself has become the target of violence, with its members being assaulted, abducted, and killed. Its ranks urgently need strengthening.

More than anything, what’s needed now is increased pressure on everyone involved in the conflict to stop attacking civilians and stop targeting aid workers.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 8:22 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007 8:25 PM PDT
Army Cracks Down On Information -
Mood:  irritated
Topic: WAR

Army Cracks Down On Military Blogs & Emails

If you are the husband or wife or sibling or parent of a U.S. Army soldier serving in Iraq and you blog (and according to the new rules, email) about the war, you are now in official trouble with the U.S. Army.

 FOLKS ....this is your friendly military crack down on the Truth that gets leaked out to society. Well not if the WAR goons can squash the press. How do you feel knowing the Military we have is not going to let you know what they "really are doing"

Hell they want you to get your news from the Corporate Military feed pile



----- Wake Up America ---- Your getting a good screwing -----

From Mother Jones .com here is the article in the news today:



The Army is getting strict about its rule that soldiers sending emails or posting items on blogs must first clear the content with a superior officer. Since, to avoid possible court-martial, a soldier would have to check with her commanding officer before making every blog post, soldiers' blogs about the Iraq war can safely be called a thing of the past.

The guidelines also apply to civilians working for the Army, Army contractors and soldiers' family members.

"This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has--its most honest voice out of the war zone--and it's being silenced."

Posted by Diane E. Dees on 05/03/07 at 6:15 AM |

Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:48 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007 1:50 PM PDT
Sunday, 6 May 2007
My Letter To The Local Paper Concerning LA Police Abuse
Mood:  sad
Now Playing: I am Outraged and am Speaking out - Hear My Words
I was just informed that this letter to the Portland Tribune, is going to be published next week, or so they informed me by email. I stand by these words and wrote then President of the US and the MAyor of LA almost the exact same letter, I urge all my fellow readers to do the same.
Dear Editor,
I live in Portland and I am outraged on the use of Police Violence used on innocent people as we have seen in LA on this May Day Celebration. I as an American "Demand" justice and I demand that those who were involved and responsible to be "fired" and held with charges.

Our own police force in Portland is real close to this very same type of police abuse against the people they are serving.
We as "the People" need to stand up and say no more. I am disgusted and shocked to see innocent women and children, media, and bystanders being shot at and clubbed.

I am standing up to this Police Abuse in LA by demanding justice and accountability. Please join and speak out against abuse waged on the people by Officers who have sworn to uphold the constitution and protect the people in their city.
This attack was uncalled for and is wrong.
This is a disgrace to any officer in uniform.
It is a disgrace to a civilized society
It is an abomination to justice.

Every city in America needs to stand up against this type of police abuse. It will not be accepted. I demand justice! I encourage everyone to stand up in solidarity against police violence, police terror, and police abuse.
~joe anybody
((( SEE MY PREVIOUS POST with pictures HERE ))) index.blog/1685748/write-the-mayor-of-la-i-just-did/

Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:38 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 6 May 2007 10:41 PM PDT
Friday, 4 May 2007
My letter to a Terrorist: Senator Rohrabacher
Mood:  loud

A California Republican With Bad Attitude 

 I also posted this on Portland Indy Media


To Senator Rohrabacher, 'Dana@mail.house.gov'

Rendition is wrong, immoral, illegal, and it should be considered, to be a war crime.
SHAME on America for torturing and abusing Humans of this world, I want this practice STOPPED.
America deserve to be spit upon because of attitudes of people like you that are ruining this honorable nation.
You are a terrible representation of my country.
In fact "you don't represent me or any form of Human Rights".
You think nothing of Heabus Corpus, Geneva, and due process.

I think that you must be pretty twisted to approve this type of behavior.
I am urging war crime charges and I demand you apologize for your comments at this meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights, on April 17 2007.

Your comment were sick for me to read, I want you to know I am disgusted.
Shame ... you don't speak for my country, you are speaking for Terrorists and Twisted Sick in the Head Administrators of War Crimes.
Everyday I pray for Justice for all those who enable this sick way of life you call justice to be sent to prison and treated like they are now doing to hundreds with out any RESPECT for Law, Order, or human dignity.
You are an insult from America to our European Community.
Shame on your choice of words and attitude and sick comments.
And truly I wish the very back at you and yours for your totally uncalled for, rude, and horrific comment of ... "I hope it's your family members that die when terrorists strike."... .. boy you are one foul-mouthed Senator ... how dare you talk to people like that while holding office of the United States of America.
You are part of why this country is now hated across this world.
Good Job!!

Don't write me back!
I want nothing to do with people like you!
I pray for justice, I pray that war crimes will be levied.
I hope you realize you are Insane and Thoughtless
You are not an American, you are a terrorist to the world!

Signed Joe


"Congressman Dana Rohrabacher Personifies Why Many Dislike America and Its Policies"

By Ann Wright
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor

Monday 23 April 2007

"I hope its your family members that [sic] die," said US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to American citizens who questioned the Bush administration's unlawful extraordinary rendition policies.

Congressional hearings provide a deep insight into the inner spirit of our elected representatives - and sometimes the insight is not pretty.

On April 17, we witnessed Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) unleashing his anger onto members of the European Parliament's House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights. The members were invited guests and witnesses at the hearing. The subcommittee had issued a report in January, 2007 that was sharply critical of the Bush administration's extraordinary rendition program in which persons from all over the world were detained by either the CIA or local police, then flown by CIA jet (torture taxi) to other countries where they were imprisoned (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Libya, Djibouti, Morocco, Yemen. The report was equally critical of European governments for allowing the unlawful flights to take place.

From 2001 through 2005, the governments of fourteen countries in Europe allowed at least 1,245 CIA flights with illegally abducted terrorist suspects to be flown through their airspace or to land on their territory. Germany, Britain, Ireland and Portugal allowed the highest numbers of covert flights. As well as at least the 1,245 flights operated by the CIA, there were an unspecified number of US military flights for the same purpose.

The European Parliament report differentiated between lawful extradition of criminal suspects for trial in another country and unlawful abduction - sending to a third country usually noted for torture of prisoners and imprisoning for years without trial persons suspected of criminal terrorist acts.

The report acknowledged that terrorism is a threat to European countries as well as to the United States, but the European Parliament committee said that terrorist acts must be handled lawfully by both European countries and by the United States. The report said: "After 11 September 2001, the so-called 'war on terror' - in its excesses - has produced a serious and dangerous erosion of human rights and fundamental freedoms." The extraordinary rendition program undercuts the exact liberties we are defending, the rule of law, the right for a fair and speedy trial and the right to know the evidence on which one is held and prosecuted.

Some who were kidnapped ended up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Others were flown to prisons in other countries for interrogation and torture. Many of those who were subjected to extraordinary rendition are still in Guantanamo. Many have been there for over five years. Over 400 of the 770 persons who have been imprisoned in Guantanamo over the five years since it was opened have been released. Only 380 are left imprisoned in Guantanamo. Only three have been charged by the Military Commission, and only one was tried in Guantanamo. After five years of being held prisoner, Australian citizen David Hicks was convicted in March 2007 of material support to terrorism and sentenced to only seven months further imprisonment, which he is serving in Australia. The Bush administration has said it will try only 50-70 of the 380 remaining in Guantanamo. That means that of 770 who have been in Guantanamo, only 50-70 will be tried. The others eventually will be freed due to lack of evidence of a crime. Many will have spent five years or more in prison.

Virtually every prisoner who has been released reported being tortured while imprisoned in countries such as Syria, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some prisoners say they were tortured by police or interrogators. Some say they heard American voices in the background while they were tortured. None were charged with any crimes. None went to trial. They were abducted by CIA or local authorities at the request of the United States. The United States did not present evidence of criminal actions, nor request extradition from the country where the person was detained. Nor did a central approving authority look at the rationale for spiriting a person to the control of a third country for interrogation. Persons were "rendered" many times on the say-so of junior CIA officials.

Back to the Congressional hearing. With eyes narrowed and mouth in a contorted grimace, Congressman Rohrabacher attacked the two British and one Italian members of the European Parliament who testified before the committee. Reminding one of Joe McCarthy in tone and substance, Rohrabacher demeaned and degraded the report and chastised, belittled and berated the Parliamentarians. Remarkably, Rohrabacher said most of the CIA private flights that landed in Europe were to transport CIA agents all over the world, not to move prisoners. Yet the logs of the 1,245 flights have been tied by date and location to the movement of specific individual prisoners from one location to another.

Rohrabacher railed against anyone who questioned the right of the Bush administration to do whatever it wanted - legal or illegal - to prevent terrorist acts, and said that [European countries] not supporting the Bush policies were consigning their countrymen to terrorists. In particular, he said that any Americans who questioned the extraordinary rendition were un-American.

Citing historic examples of other countries kidnapping persons, Rohrabacher said Israel had every right to kidnap Nazi official Adolph Eichmann from Argentina, bring him to Israel and execute him. Rohrabacher conveniently forgot to mention that the Israeli government did put Eichmann on trial - a trial which none of those who have been extraordinarily rendered have had. Rohrabacher then attacked and belittled the European Community for outlawing the death penalty, saying, "You in the European Community won't stand up to evil people, you won't execute them. Eichmann deserved to be executed, just like these terrorists must be executed."

Rohrabacher never once mentioned due process, the rule of law, right to a trial for anyone picked up in the extraordinary rendition program. Merely because persons were "rendered" and imprisoned by the US meant to Rohrabacher they were guilty.

Rohrabacher said if European countries did not cooperate with the United States and go along with whatever the Bush administration wanted, they were condemning their countrymen to terrorists by not using extralegal methods to imprison terrorist suspects. When citizens attending the hearing, including members of Codepink Women for Peace and Veterans for Peace, heard Rohrabacher's statement, they collectively groaned. Then, much to the shock and disbelief of everyone in the hearing room, Rohrabacher said to those who had expressed displeasure at his statements: "I hope it's your family members that die when terrorists strike."

At that point, I had had enough of Rohrabacher. I stood up and said, "I did not serve 29 years in the US military and 16 years in the US diplomatic corps to see demise of the rule of law and violation of our own laws. Rohrabacher's statements are outrageous. No wonder the world hates us!"

Chairman Delahunt gaveled for me to stop speaking, and I was escorted by the police out of the committee room. I was not arrested.

Remarkably, I do agree with one thing Rohrabacher said. "They hate us."

Rohrabacher finished his sentence with, "They hate us because they hate our way of life." Unfortunately, many people do hate us, but it's not for our way of life.

Its for exactly the talk and actions that Rohrabacher and the Bush administration represent: illegal and unlawful actions, an arrogant attitude that America is always right and everyone else is wrong, that the world's resources are for the exclusive use of the United States and we have the right to invade and occupy any country.

Until we change the manner in which presidential administrations and the Congress operate and the way we approach our membership in the community of nations, the world will continue to question what America stands for.

Ann Wright retired as a colonel after serving 13 years on active duty and 16 years in the US Army Reserves. After 16 years in the US diplomatic corps, she resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war in Iraq. She had been assigned in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. She helped reopen the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December 2001.  



Posted by Joe Anybody at 3:37 PM PDT

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