Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Monday, 21 July 2008
Impeachment Vigil -ONE YEAR outside (and inside) Blumenauers Office
Now Playing: torture is accepted by this congress - a skit by the Individuales For Justice
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
2 parts -
Film of the Impeachment Vigil Protest
on July 17 2008
|This marks the one solid year of weekly protesting for accountability and justice outside (and inside) our Congressman's Earl Blumenauer's office |
Here is a 2 part video skit of how our Congressman ignores Bush and this administrations use of torture and allows the madness to continue.
This marks the one solid year of weekly protesting for accountability and justice outside (and inside) our Congressman's Earl Blumenauer's office
This skit pokes fun at the obvious facts that the USA <citizens> accept Bush's tolerance and accept that Bush and the Democrat-controlled-Congress will allow torture and human right lawbreaking to continue. The skit also pokes fun at the House Rep in Dist #3 here in Oregon who finds it not illegal or morally wrong to let the Bush administration continue doing what ever they want <sic> in-spite of written laws and our Constitution of the United States?
Here is the two part videos from the event on July 17 outside Earl Blumenauer's Office.
The Individuals for Justice are average people who are coming to the Congressman's office to encourage him to obey the Constitution and to hold this White House Administration accountable for all the lies and misuse of power that they have stolen or flat out taken from all of us.
This group has seen members come and go and the number on site rise and fall, but one thing to be counted on is this vigil is not going to let Earl Blumenauer "pretend there is no issue at hand".
The Individuals for Justice show up weekly to let everyone know it that area where the House Representative District 3 is located that we want the Constitution followed and obeyed.
We want accountability!
We want honest government!
We don't want Torture, spying on citizens without a warrant, and we don't want illegal wars causing hundred of thousands to die or be wounded or be refugees!
In these two videos you will see that the, sick humor about torture, is a reality the USA now wears with pride and obvious acceptance. Our Government is not stopping it and our Congress is ignoring the pleas to get a backbone and stand tall & make it stop or to hold the lawbreaking administration responsible.
The fact that as we "joke about it" ... is proof we now live in a sick twisted times, torture by the USA is OK and here to stay, for Congress cant stop it and sits idle as the Constitution disintegrates
There should be "no joke about torture" .... but here we are!
There should be "nothing funny about it"... yet who will stop the insanity? ...we are joking that the insanity is tolerated and "approved/allowed" and especially by our Representative!
There should not be any torture going on, yet Bush and Company continues, and Earl wont even try to stop them?
There should be a government in place that will not tolerate this sick shit, that is the kind of leadership I want.
But as we chide Blumenauer about it .... he must see nothing wrong with it... and a year latter he still says say "I did everything I could to stop him" ...but that is not true!
So get your popcorn and sit down ....The USA and Individuals for Justice are proud to present the;
"Torture Video Extravaganza Skit and One Year Anniversary of citizens trying to make it all stop."
Here is the two part YouTube video set from 729 Oregon Street on July 17 2008 at 12 noon in Portland Oregon
See all the videos from this
year long vigil protest on my
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:10 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 21 July 2008 5:32 PM PDT
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
"Only seven meals separated civilization from potential anarchy."
Now Playing: Capitalism Economy + Food + Housing + Fuel = Crisis
Hello Z3 Readers I copied this from Portland Indy Media today:
|The financial crisis deepens with the nationalization of IndyMac and the likely bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie May by the US taxpayer. The financial crisis has company as inflation, and in particular huge increases in global food and energy prices, enters the fray. |
The American economic model has been discredited and the American century has lasted but a few decades. These developments have and will further open up a new period in the struggle between capital and labor on the world stage and the US working class will have a major role to play as it re-connects with its militant traditions.
AFSCME Local 444, retired
With the possible collapse of the two giants of US mortgage financing, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the world economy faces an uncertain future. What is certain is that the already indebted US taxpayer will be asked to foot some, and possibly all, of the bill.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have liabilities of $5.3 trillion (five thousand billion) in mortgages, about 38 per cent of US gross domestic product and almost half of the US total mortgage market of $12 trillion. In addition, they also account for 70% of all new mortgages. Their collapse is unthinkable as the US mortgage market would screech to a halt prolonging an already disastrous situation in housing and worsen an already fragile global system. Non US investors hold around $1 trillion in debt issued by what are known as Government Sponsored Enterprises or GSE's, and a loss of confidence in what up to now has been a relatively risk free home for the coupon clippers' capital could result in a massive sell off adding to the crisis even more; things are not looking good.
This relatively risk free environment exists because it has been assumed by the coupon clippers that their investments were backed up by the US taxpayer as the GSE's have a $2.5 billion line of credit with the US treasury. Surely it was impossible to lose without the US economy collapsing altogether; but that is not such a distant possibility anymore.
The present problem is simply explained; the two companies capital on hand is insufficient to support their liabilities, hence, the threat of insolvency looms. In order to keep them solvent they have to have an injection of capital in a period when the owners of it are refusing to let it go. Part of the already existing crisis is what the media refers to as a credit crunch but what is in actuality a strike of capital by those that own it; the capitalist class. So private capital is hard to come by. The coupon clippers need a sign from the government that their investments are safe and that it (the taxpayer) will cover them if they are to be expected to continue to buy Fannie and Freddie debt and not sell off what they already have.
Earlier this week, the US government re-assured the coupon clippers that their investments will be safe by promising to inject taxpayer money as needed as well as promising to use public money to buy a stake in the two enterprises. Numerous mouthpieces of capital, from imbeciles like McCain and Bush to the more astute theoreticians of the class, have made it clear that they cannot allow these behemoths to fail and will nationalize them (take them under state ownership) in total if necessary. The mere thought of this terrifies the bourgeois whose media and education system bombards us daily with the idea that the market is god and has the answer for all things.
An illuminating part of this debacle and one that confirms the power of socialist ideas and the appeal of collective action, is that there is already a plan afoot to nationalize the two enterprises if necessary. But this is a defeat for the ideology of the market that it is the answer to all things; that it is the solution to all our ills. So dangerous is the idea that such huge enterprises may have to be nationalized in order to survive that the term the government is using is "conservatorship". Even Clive Crook of the Financial Times has a laugh at this one. "A plan to take over the enterprises exists," he writes, But "Rather than nationalizing them—which would be un American and could be mistaken for socialism—they would be placed in "conservatorship". It is the same thing, except that it could allow the government to pretend the GSE's liabilities were not its own." (FT 7-14-08) The other aspect here is an attempt to hide from the American working class the fact they we are being asked to pay for yet another crisis of capitalism; they took the profit in the good times and will leave us with the bill in as the well runs dry. Fannie and Freddie's problems come on the heels of the Bear Stearns bail out and the nationalizing last week of IndyMac, the US's second largest savings bank.
When socialists talk of taking in to public ownership the dominant corporations of society and running them under workers control and management or even nationalizing them within a capitalist economy, the "red scare" is hurled at us. We can hurl a scare at them. If it is OK to nationalize the debt of these companies, we can nationalize companies themselves. Unfortunately, the heads of organized Labor will pretty much remain silent on this issue or echo the solutions put forward by those who have caused the problem in the first place.
The US government pledge to protect the GSE's and the coupon clippers' investments has calmed things a bit but each day the crisis worsens; the two mortgage lenders lost 25% of their value today as investors took a hike. But even a total bail out will have serious consequences for the US and world economy.
A government takeover of Fannie and Freddie would add $5 trillion to the present US debt of $9 trillion and would also undermine confidence in the ability of the US to continue to pay its debts. This in turn would also increasing borrowing costs; it will also further undermine an already weakened US dollar. The US taxpayer is already overburdened with debt and is feeling the strain of increased food and fuel prices as well as all the consequences of the housing crisis and the predatory wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Freddie and Fannie crisis will strengthen an increasingly global view that the US model of rampant privatization has been totally discredited and that the US consumer cannot continue to be the consumer of last resort. This will have serious consequences for exporting countries like China that rely heavily on the US consumer to purchase its products.
This financial crisis is spreading and is now accompanied by a crisis in food and energy. The dramatic rise in food and energy prices is a serious threat to the stability of the world economic system-----of global capitalism. Global corn prices have risen 138% over the past three years while food prices as a whole have increased 83% during the same period. The bourgeois are extremely concerned about this. The problem with dramatic increases in the cost of food and oil is that there is not really an alternative to these commodities---people have to eat and stay warm; and oil is a crucial ingredient in the manufacture of many commodities as well as a necessary component in agricultural production. Food production is dependent on oil for fertilizer, machinery and the transportation of food in the world market.
There have been food riots in over 30 countries and fishermen, small farmers, wine producers, truckers and others have all participated in protests and demonstrations against rising fuel prices. The capitalist class is concerned that things will get out of hand. They are concerned not so much because people are starving, rather that instability and political action will interfere with profit taking.
Commenting on the food riots, Josette Sheehan, Executive Director of the World Food Program says that the protests are, "Stark reminders that food insecurity threatens not only the hungry but peace and stability itself." She added that, "Only seven meals separated civilization from potential anarchy." (FT 6-21-08).
The food crisis is much more acute in the emerging economies of the former colonial world as food consumption is a much higher percentage of family income than in the advanced capitalist countries.
Percentage of family income spent on food (Source: IMF)
US Brazil China Kenya Bangladesh
10% 20% 30% 50% 65%
Alongside the rise in food prices has been the rapid increase in the cost of energy connected obviously to the rising cost of oil. The head of Russia's Gazprom as well as other experts in the field have predicted $500 a barrel oil by 2010.
The rising cost has forced governments in the emerging economies to lower or completely eliminate fuel subsidies. China has long shunned pressure to cut fuel subsidies which western capitalists feel distorts prices, but for these governments that compete in the global economy with a huge pool of low waged workers, fuel subsidies are used to keep a lid on social unrest. But China was forced to remove subsidies in June causing an immediate 18% increase in the price of gasoline and a 5% increase in the price of electricity.
Given the over consumption in the US, workers can cut back to a degree in response to food and gas prices. The US department of transportation reported that Americans drove 1.4bn fewer highway miles in April 2008 compared to 2007 while miles driven on all US roads during the same period declined 1.8%. The term "staycation" has become a popular noun to describe how fewer people are leaving home for their holidays these days. Americans aren't known as global travelers but even the trip up to the lake is getting pricey. But this has its limits as public transportation in the US is dismal and many municipal systems do not have the capacity to cope with extra passengers.
But living in Bangladesh or other countries of the former colonial world where upwards of 50% or 60% of family income is spent on food leaves little room for maneuver. This is of grave concern to the coupon clippers as it is likely that the riots, protests and strikes will spread. There were demonstrations in Peru in July against free market policies and opposition to the market is growing throughout the world. It is inevitable that movements of this nature despite being wracked with confusion ultimately tend to draw political conclusions and seek alternatives to the present system. The ideas of socialism begin to re-emerge after being driven deep in to the consciousness since the collapse of the totalitarian regimes of the Stalinist world.
The assault on US living standards will intensify as a crisis not of our creation is shifted on to the backs of workers and the middle class. The argument that there is no money in society will be used to drive down wages, cut social services and will be used as an excuse by the heads of organized Labor to explain their refusal to lead a fightback and challenge the offensive of capital; but this false argument cannot hold up forever in the face of objective reality.
The situation is quite grim and highly explosive; police were called to an IndyMac branch today in Southern California as tempers flared between customers wanting to withdraw their money from the collapsed institution. One has to be cautious making predictions as global capitalism has massive resources and reserves but the present crisis is without doubt the worst since the great depression and could get worse yet. It is quite possible that we are at a turning point, particularly here in the US where the crisis is most acute and the class struggle has been relatively quiet by historical standards due to the complete capitulation of the leaders of the working class to the offensive of capital. At some point the damn will burst and we are certainly witnessing some serious cracks in the monolith.
authors homepage: http://www.myspace.com/unionguy510
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 12:12 PM PDT
Joe Anybody and the Oregon Country Fair - OCF 2008
Now Playing: The Homeland Of Ken Kesy celebrates OCF 2008 videos
Topic: SMILE SMILE SMILE
Holy 5 days in the woods my fellow Z3 Readers let me share what I seen by posting all my video on one eady to acess spot on my website under my-videos tab ..over on joe-anybody.com
I came back from camping a mile from the fair with lot-0-tapes to edit and share with you all
I have some great drumming videos from the evenings at my camp!
Check it out here --> OCF 2008 <--
My good faithful Z3 Readers you can read all about it
or at least watch all about it here as I keep uploading the video(s)
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:22 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 July 2008 4:43 AM PDT
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Dennis Kucinich Introduces Impeachment on 7.15.08
Now Playing: Demanding Impeachment in The House Of Representatives
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
Impeachment Resolution: First Reading Today
This afternoon, at approximately 5 p.m. (EDT), the Clerk of the House of Representatives will give the first reading of the Article of Impeachment of President George Bush. Article One charges the President with deceiving Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq WMDs to fraudulently obtain support for an authorization of the use of military force against Iraq.
Once the Clerk reads the bill, I will move to refer the bill to the Judiciary Committee for hearings. I believe the American people have a right to an open airing of the charges against this President. Did he or did he not lie to take us into a war? I believe the evidence is overwhelming that President Bush knew that Iraq was not an imminent threat, was not in possession of WMDs at the time, and had nothing to do with 911 or with al Queda's role in 911. And yet, despite having facts to the contrary, he took the U.S. into war with devastating consequences for our troops, our nation, and the people of Iraq. Congress must hold hearings.
There can be no greater offense of a President or a Commander in Chief than to conjure a war based on lies to Congress, to the troops, and to the people of America.
I love our country with all my heart and I intend to persist until America is America again.
Please contact your friends and neighbors and ask them to go to our website at www.Kucinich.us and sign the impeachment petition. Thank you for your continuing support and for your love of our country and its people.
July 15 2008
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:38 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 July 2008 11:39 AM PDT
Thursday, 3 July 2008
Today is July 3rd
Now Playing: stuff
Topic: ANYBODY * ANYDAY
On This Day
July 3, 1998 - A U.S. district court ruled that encryption software did not qualify for protection under the First Amendment. The judge ruled that because code is indecipherable to most people, it did not qualify as speech.
This Month's Gem: Local Harvest - Real Food, Real Farmers, Real Community
These days, it's good to know where your food's coming from, and what's in it. Ideally, it's even better to know who grows and prepares it for market.
I came across the Local Harvest web site when looking for natural care item for my cat, and also because I have a preference for local, artisan, small-businesses and farms. Local Harvest brings that right to your desktop.
The Local Harvest web site says, "Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Want to support this great web site? Shop in our catalog for things you can't find locally!"
** "Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself, which makes this void." ~ Simone Weil
** "It is impossible to move in two directions at the same time. As long as you fight against what you don’t want, you will make no progress toward what you desire." ~ Suzanne Zoglio
** "Live a life and let everything unfold -- Cease struggling and let go, let go. Open up and allow everything to fall into place. All you have to do is to Be. Stop trying so hard, for this can create a blockage where there need be none." ~ Eileen Caddy
** "There is a soul force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results." ~ Mahatma Gandhi Greetings, There certainly is a lot of 'doom-saying' these days. As Jonathan Cainer, the witty and optimistic British astrologer, says, "There is a boom for doom-and-gloom!" We could easily collect ample evidence for doom-and-gloom -- we can work ourselves into a panic of fear and scarcity -- if we want to do that. But is that really where we want to invest our focus and energy? Is that really where we want to invest our power? Is that what we want to see more of? My point is this -- and it's something I've been reflecting on and living into for quite awhile now, and sometimes struggling with, too: the questions we ask and the thoughts and actions we choose are an investment of our energy and power. As we go through our days, are we investing more in Light-and-Love or Gloom-and-Doom? It's not an 'airy fairy' or 'woo woo' thing to contemplate, because we're talking about real thoughts, real actions, and real effects on quality of life -- our own, and that of others. We've all heard the proverbial wisdom sayings: What we resist, persists. When you fight what you DON'T want, you actually give it power and perpetuate the same. Where your thoughts are, your experience follows. Where your heart is, there will be your treasure. And so on. In the higher martial arts, the best strategy isn't to fight AGAINST your opponent, which is said to give the opponent more energy. Rather, the master yields, to allow the opponent's energy to flow through her and dissipate. By doing that, he gains energy while, ideally, neutralizing violence and harm. The same is true for the things that trouble us -- and there are a lot of those things right now in this world. We can see them, and witness them as a matter of dignity, and yet not identify with and fight against them. Rather, our seeing of them becomes reason to clarify and direct our focus and energy towards that which we are FOR -- that which we want to invest in, create, perpetuate, and see more of. What breaks and wakes our hearts, what makes us angry, and what stirs our souls from sleep-walking offers huge clues to our purpose and potentials for joyful, healing service. To realize this is to take your power back, from wherever it's drained off to. To lift the heavy, dark, wet blanket off the light that you are, or to put the lamp on the table so the light can benefit all who see it. Marianne Williamson wrote, and was quoted by Nelson Mandela, that it isn't our darkness that frightens us, but our light. Our light is our Love, our power, our authentic Nature, the Divine Spark of uniqueness and authenticity that expresses as each one of us. It's our purpose to find real, joyful ways to express it in the world. This is a precious gift, and no matter how long it's rested dormant, no matter how many layers of 'old stuff' it's been buried under, and no matter how confused or fearsome things might seem, Love-Light's power to shine is stronger than anything else. Sometimes the 'dormant' stage has really been one of gestating and gathering strength for something that needs to be rooted, steady, and wise at the right time. Our world is in need of healing and a new, more empowering vision, and requires every Divine Spark that can be lighted, awakened into its Divine nature, and put to service, consciously, now. As we tap into our own inner light, that Divine Spark, so many new insights will surface, new intuitions, new creativity, new opportunities, and new ways to open up things which seem closed shut. We ripple that light-power outward in a wave that is more healing and powerful than you know. There are many things you can do -- little things and big things -- that add up to a big ripple effect. What do you want to Love into being? Put your energy there. Come as you are, and let your light shine. This little light of mineï¿½ Blessings, Joy and Happy Independence Day (wherever you may be!) - may you free yourself of all that keeps you small and hidden!
Jamie Walters, Founder, Ivy Sea and Author, Big Vision, Small BusinessThe declaration will be printed on or about July 4, 2008, as a signature ad in The New York Times. Nearly 600 individuals and organizations from 48 U.S. states and territories signed on to the ad. Click here to view the ad as it will appear in The New York Times (PDF). You can also view a flier with just the text of the declaration here (PDF).
audio and videoTo help spread the word about A Declaration for Our Times, we have created audio and video recordings of the declaration, each of which runs 3 minutes 22 seconds. Download the audio (mp3) version of the declaration for use by any radio station or programmer. The video is available on YouTube now, or you can watch it below.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:57 PM PDT
Sunday, 29 June 2008
The 4th Amendment Funeral in Portland Oregon by those at the Impeachment Vigil Week 50
Now Playing: Fourth Amendment Laced in Coffin Ceremony
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
Death of the 4th -
Funeral for the Fourth Amendment Ceremony in Portland
|It was week 50 for the Impeachment Vigil |
It was also the Funeral for the fourth Amendment
A ceremony was held outside Earl Blumenauer's Office and it proceeded to the Federal Building in downtown Portland Oregon.
This event was for FISA spying immunities and permission given to the president to spy on citizens of the US with no warrants or respect to the 4th
Over a dozen Impeachment activists contribute to a mock / real Funeral for the Beloved 4th Amendment
Different testimonies are given from citizens who love their freedom and the Constitution
There was also Music, and then a procession up 3rd Avenue past all the Federal and Justice Buildings
A sad day as the Democrat controlled Congress sends to the grave our right to privacy
The fourth amendment dies before our eyes....
The Week 50 Impeachment Vigil by the Individuals For Justice provides this ceremony out of love, respect, and grievance
This is a 37 minute Google video:
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 1:57 PM PDT
Friday, 27 June 2008
Anthrax and the $4.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Steven J. Hatfill
Now Playing: who did it - and I wonder why they said Mr Hatfill was the one
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
Hello Z3 Readers this story comes from the NY Times on Friday afternoon 6/27/08 I found it here;
June 28, 2008
Scientist Is Paid Millions
by U.S. in Anthrax Suit
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced Friday that it would pay $4.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Steven J. Hatfill, a former Army biodefense researcher intensively investigated as a “person of interest” in the deadly anthrax letters of 2001.
The settlement, consisting of $2.825 million in cash and an annuity paying Dr. Hatfill $150,000 a year for 20 years, brings to an end a five-year legal battle that had recently threatened a reporter with large fines for declining to name sources she said she did not recall.
Dr. Hatfill, who worked at the Army’s laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., in the late 1990s, was the subject of a flood of news media coverage beginning in mid-2002, after television cameras showed Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in biohazard suits searching his apartment near the Army base. He was later named a “person of interest” in the case by then Attorney General John Ashcroft, speaking on national television.
In a news conference in August 2002, Dr. Hatfill tearfully denied that he had anything to do with the anthrax letters and said irresponsible news media coverage based on government leaks had destroyed his reputation.
Dr. Hatfill’s lawsuit, filed in 2003, accused F.B.I. agents and Justice Department officials involved in the criminal investigation of the anthrax mailings of leaking information about him to the news media in violation of the Privacy Act. In order to prove their case, his lawyers took depositions from key F.B.I. investigators, senior officials and a number of reporters who had covered the investigation.
Mark Grannis, a lawyer for Dr. Hatfill, said his client was pleased with the settlement.
“The good news is that we still live in a country where a guy who’s been horribly abused can go to a judge and say ‘I need your help,’ and maybe it takes a while, but he gets justice,” Mr. Grannis said.
The settlement, Mr. Grannis said, “means that Steven Hatfill is finally an ex-person of interest.”
In a written statement, Mr. Grannis and Dr. Hatfill’s other lawyers said, “We can only hope that the individuals and institutions involved are sufficiently chastened by this episode to deter similar destruction of private citizens in the future — and that we will all read anonymously sourced news reports with a great deal more skepticism.”
The settlement called new attention to the fact that nearly seven years after the toxic letters were mailed, killing five people and sickening at least 17 others, the case has not been solved.
A Justice Department spokesman, Brian Roehrkasse, said in a statement that the government admitted no liability but decided settlement was “in the best interest of the United States.”
“The government remains resolute in its investigation into the anthrax attacks, which killed five individuals and sickened others after lethal anthrax powder was sent through the United States mail,” Mr. Roehrkasse said.
An F.B.I. spokesman, Jason Pack, said the anthrax investigation “is one of the largest and most complex investigations ever conducted by law enforcement” and is currently being pursued by a squad of more than 20 agents of the F.B.I. and the Postal Inspection Service.
“Solving this case is a top priority for the F.B.I. and for the family members of the victims who were killed,” Mr. Pack said. “Our commitment is undiminished.”
But Representative Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat whose district was the site of a postal box believed to have been used in the attacks, said he would press Robert S. Mueller III, director of the F.B.I., for more answers about the status of the long-stalled case.
“As today’s settlement announcement confirms, this case was botched from the very beginning,” Mr. Holt said. “The F.B.I. did a poor job of collecting evidence, and then inappropriately focused on one individual as a suspect for too long, developing an erroneous theory of the case that has led to this very expensive dead end.”
Dr. Hatfill subpoenaed a number of Washington journalists to try to determine which federal officials had spoken to the news media about the case against him in possible violation of federal privacy laws.
Toni Locy, a former legal affairs reporter for USA Today who wrote several articles about the case, was held in contempt of court, facing fines of up to $5,000 a day from Judge Reggie Walton over her refusal to name her sources, and her case is pending before an appeals court. Ms. Locy said Friday that she was relieved by the developments but that it was too soon to celebrate.
“I hope this means that this ordeal is over and that I can get on with my life,” said Ms. Locy, who will begin teaching legal reporting at Washington and Lee University in the fall.
She said Dr. Hatfill’s lawyers said they no longer needed her testimony, though she had not been told whether the contempt order against her had been lifted.
The outcome differed significantly from the settlement of a similar case involving Wen Ho Lee, a former nuclear scientist once suspected of espionage. In that case, five news organizations joined the government’s settlement, agreeing to pay a total of $750,000 to prevent their reporters from having to testify about their sources.
Ms. Locy said that a federal mediator had tried to get Gannett, which owns USA Today, to negotiate some type of settlement with Dr. Hatfill’s lawyers, but that it had refused
She called the result an important affirmation of journalists’ ability to use confidential sources in gathering material on important news stories. “I protected my sources, and that’s important,” she said.
Dr. Hatfill also sued The New York Times and the columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, saying that columns Mr. Kristof wrote about the case had libeled him by suggesting that he might be the anthrax mailer. That lawsuit was dismissed last year, but Dr. Hatfill has appealed the dismissal.
The former Army scientist also sued Vanity Fair and the author of an article about the case in the magazine, Donald Foster, as well as Reader’s Digest, which published a condensed version. That case was settled last year on confidential terms.
Dr. Hatfill, 54, grew up in Illinois but studied medicine in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. After returning to the United States in the early 1990s, he worked at the National Institutes of Health and the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick. In applying for those jobs, he claimed to have had a Ph.D. from a South African university that his lawyers later admitted he had not earned. .
He did training on bioterrorism for the F.B.I., Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency and trained to be a bioweapons inspector for the United Nations, though he never began the job.
After Dr. Hatfill came under suspicion in the anthrax case in 2002, an F.B.I. surveillance team began following him everywhere, and a small motorcade sometimes trailed his car around Washington.
In May 2003, an F.B.I. surveillance car ran over Dr. Hatfill’s foot in Georgetown as he approached the car to take the driver’s picture. He was given a ticket for “walking to create a hazard” and was fined $5.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 6:57 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 27 June 2008 7:03 PM PDT
Look into the sewers - "Wow, I never knew so much about my community"
Now Playing: Does Your City Toke or Do Blow well your sewer pipes no the answer
Z3 Readers here is a Mother Jones article that is interesting if not a (pun) "shitty report" on drugs and poisons that are filling up our sewer systems. The link to the MJ article is here:
In the quest to discover your neighbors' vices, the only data more valuable than Google search records might be the records you leave in your toilet. In cities around the world, scientists have begun to measure concentrations of illegal drugs at sewage treatment plants, hoping to get a sense of what people are sending down the pipes. Results so far indicate that Vegas-goers do more meth than some of their midwestern counterparts, Angelenos outdo the Old World in cocaine use, Londoners fancy heroin more than Italians, and everybody smokes a whole lotta pot.
Clearly, the most obvious place for this information is an online quiz site: "If your city were an illegal drug, which one would it be?" Beyond that, the real-life applications aren't yet clear. Environmentalists are interested in the potential consequences of so many chemicals in the pipes—who wants to find out that, in addition to being filled with prescription drugs, their drinking water is also laced with coke? And no city wants to broadcast that its citizenry is, uh, high (San Diego has already refused researchers access to its sewage). The scientists who conducted the European study (.pdf) think it will be most useful as a real-time data collection tool, not to mention a vast improvement over just asking people how many drugs they do—the study notes that the concentration of cocaine in Milan's sewage suggests that actual use is more than double the reported rate.
Such information could certainly help law enforcement and public health officials improve their approach to combating drug use, but it's easy to see how things could get out of hand. What happens when the DEA shows up at your door with a warrant and a urine sample you didn't know you were giving? You laugh, but the scientist who pioneered this idea believes it would be possible to analyze sewge at the level of "a community, a street, even a house." In that way, studying poop is like studying Google searches— you'll probably find out more about your neighbors than you wanted, or needed, to know.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 12:21 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 27 June 2008 12:23 PM PDT
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Another pregnant (from rape) US soldier found dead
Now Playing: I have my suspicions - raped - then killed - not the first time
Second pregnant US soldier found dead
- Elana Schor in Washington
- Wednesday June 25, 2008
- Article history
The US military was rocked today by the "suspicious" death of a 23-year-old pregnant US soldier, the second female service member this year to die before carrying her child to term.
Megan Lynn Touma, a US army dental specialist, was found dead in a hotel room in North Carolina, not far from where the body of 20-year-old US marine corporal Maria Lauterbach was discovered in January.
Authorities released a statement calling Touma's death "suspicious" and told local media they are opening an investigation. Seven months pregnant and a five-time medal winner, Touma was found when hotel guests reported a strange odour coming from her room.
"The loss of Specialist Touma is very tragic and our heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to the loved ones she leaves behind," the 18th Airbourne Corps at Fort Bragg, where Touma arrived for duty earlier this month, said in a statement.
Lauterbach disappeared while eight months pregnant and planning to testify to her alleged rape by a fellow soldier, US marine corporal Cesar Armando Lauren. Lauterbach's body was later found on Lauren's property, and he is facing charges in her murder.
The US military has struggled for years with a growing epidemic of sexual assaults on female soldiers. Sex crime reports by service members increased by 40% in 2005 and again by 24% in 2006 before declining slightly in 2007, according to the Pentagon.
Of the 2,688
sex crimes reported
last year, 60% were rapes and
72% involved military victims.
An accompanying survey found that 34% of female soldiers and 6% of male soldiers had experienced unwanted sexual harassment while on active duty.
I found this article at this link here on Wednesday morning
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 10:45 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 June 2008 10:45 AM PDT
Sunday, 22 June 2008
EFF NSL and freedom to speak - freedom fought by "The Archive"
Now Playing: Lawsuit
May 7th, 2008
Z3 readers....I copied this from here:
This is great news for freedom
Gag Order Lifted on Internet Archive, Allowing Founder to Speak Out for First Time
San Francisco - The FBI has withdrawn an unconstitutional national security letter (NSL) issued to the Internet Archive after a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). As the result of a settlement agreement, the FBI withdrew the NSL and agreed to the unsealing of the case, finally allowing the Archive's founder to speak out for the first time about his battle against the record demand.
"The free flow of information is at the heart of every library's work. That's why Congress passed a law limiting the FBI's power to issue NSLs to America's libraries," said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. "While it's never easy standing up to the government -- particularly when I was barred from discussing it with anyone -- I knew I had to challenge something that was clearly wrong. I'm grateful that I am able now to talk about what happened to me, so that other libraries can learn how they can fight back from these overreaching demands."
The NSL was served on the Archive -- a digital library recognized by the state of California -- and its attorneys in November of 2007. The letter asked for personal information about one of the Archive's users, including the individual's name, address, and any electronic communication transactional records pertaining to the user. Kahle, who is also a member of EFF's Board of Directors, decided to fight the NSL because it exceeded the FBI's limited authority to issue such demands to libraries.
The Archive responded to the letter by handing over only publicly available documents and simultaneously filing a lawsuit challenging the letter. This lawsuit is the first known challenge to an NSL served on a library since Congress amended the national security letter provision in 2006 to limit the FBI's power to demand records from libraries.
The NSL included a gag order, prohibiting Kahle from discussing the letter and the legal issues it presented with the rest of the Archive's Board of Directors or anyone else except his attorneys, who were also gagged. The gag also prevented the ACLU and EFF from discussing the NSL with members of Congress, even though an ACLU lawyer who represents the Archive recently testified at a congressional hearing about the FBI's misuse of NSLs.
"This is a great victory for the Archive and also the Constitution," said Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU. "It appears that every time a national security letter recipient has challenged an NSL in court and forced the government to justify it, the government has ultimately withdrawn its demand for records. In the absence of much needed judicial oversight – and with recipients silenced and the public in the dark – there is nothing to stop the FBI from abusing its NSL power."
"A miscarriage of justice was prevented here because the Archive decided to fight the unlawful demand for information and unconstitutional gag," said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. "The big question is, how many other improper NSLs have been issued by the FBI and never challenged?"
NSLs are secretly issued by the government to obtain access to personal customer records from Internet Service Providers, financial institutions, and credit reporting agencies. In almost all cases, recipients of the NSLs are forbidden, or "gagged," from disclosing that they have received the letters. The ACLU has challenged this Patriot Act statute in federal court in two other cases where the judges found the gags unconstitutional: one involving an Internet Service Provider (ISP); the second a group of librarians. In the ISP case, the district court invalidated the entire NSL statute. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is expected to hear oral arguments in the government's appeal of that case next month.
Since the Patriot Act was passed in 2001, relaxing restrictions on the FBI's use of the power, the number of NSLs issued has seen an astronomical increase, to nearly 200,000 between 2003 and 2006. EFF's investigations have uncovered multiple NSL misuses, including an improper NSL issued to North Carolina State University.
Last year Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced H.R. 3189, the "National Security Letters Reform Act of 2007." Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) introduced a Senate bill of the same name (S. 2088). Both bills are aimed at narrowing the statute by enacting limits on when and how NSLs can be used and bringing the gag order provision in line with the Constitution.
In addition to Goodman and Hofmann, attorneys on the case are Jameel Jaffer and Danielle Tully of the ACLU National Security Project, Ann Brick of the ACLU of Northern California, and Kurt Opsahl of EFF.
For the newly unsealed documents (still partially redacted):
For more information about this case:
For more information on NSLs:
For Brewster Kahle:
Electronic Frontier Foundation
James Freedland or Rachel Myers
American Civil Liberties Union
Related Issues: FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government, Free Speech, Privacy
Related Cases: Internet Archive et al v Mukasey et al
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 1:31 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 June 2008 1:49 PM PDT
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