Impeach Bush?

Posted in Privacy Watch on February 6, 2006 by Blog Admin

<p><font face="Times New Roman" color="#ffffff" size="3">Elizabeth Holtzman makes a compelling case for George W. Bush’s impeachment due to his refusal to be limit his activities to what is legal under US law in </font><a href=""><font face="Times New Roman" color="#0066ff" size="3">the January 30<sup>th</sup> edition of The Nation</font></a><font face="Times New Roman" color="#ffffff" size="3"><font color="#0066cc">.</font><span>  </span>She identifies his warrantless domestic spying as the primary reason for impeachment, but also acknowledges </font><a href=""><font face="Times New Roman" color="#0066ff" size="3">allegations of torture</font></a><font face="Times New Roman" color="#ffffff" size="3"> as possible grounds. <span>  </span>I personally thought that George merited impeachment because he unilaterally declared war on Iraq after Iraq submitted to weapons inspections which accurately turned up no such weapons.<span>  </span>After a series of former-insider books, starting with former Treasury Secretary,</font><a href="'Neill"><font face="Times New Roman" color="#0066ff" size="3"> Paul O’Neill</font></a><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman"><font color="#ffffff">, and former <span lang="EN">counter-terrorism adviser to the Bush White House,</span><span lang="EN"> </span></font></font></font><a href=""><font face="Times New Roman" color="#0066ff" size="3">Richard Clarke</font></a><font face="Times New Roman" color="#ffffff" size="3">, all saying that Bush was trying to contrive a rationale to attack Iraq since early in his administration.<span>  </span>But I digress.<span>  </span>Ultimately, I am pleased that the topic has some momentum.<span>  </span>Let’s look at Holtzman’s case.</font></p><p><font face="Times New Roman" color="#ffffff" size="3">As a result of </font><a href=""><font face="Times New Roman" color="#0066ff" size="3">Richard Nixon</font></a><font face="Times New Roman" color="#ffffff" size="3"><font color="#0066ff">’</font>s warrantless wiretaps of seventeen journalists, Congress enacted FISA, the </font><a href=""><font face="Times New Roman" color="#0066ff" size="3">Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act</font></a><font face="Times New Roman" color="#ffffff" size="3"><font color="#0066ff">,</font> which requires judicial oversight of all domestic wiretaps. <span> </span>At the time Nixon claimed <span> </span>In the Nation article Holtzman debunks all of the Administration’s claims for legitimate grounds for by-passing the FISA court during their spying.<span>  </span>For example, the Bush administration claims that acquiring a warrant would make wiretaps less timely, when, in fact, warrants by be acquired up to three days after the fact.<span>  </span>All we seek is a balance between legitimate needs to investigate criminal activity and the privacy of US citizens.<span>  </span>Without this protection, we are in danger of becoming a totalitarian regime, because citizens who disagree with administration </font></p>

You go Google!

Posted in Privacy Watch on January 21, 2006 by Blog Admin

<p>Congratulations <a href="">Google </a>CEO Eric Schmidt and tech President, Sergy Brin for <a href="">refusing to give in to Alberto Gonzalez' request for records of Internet searches conducted</a> through Google.  Unfortunately other search engines (Yahoo and MSN, for example) were not as concerned for our privacy. I have always liked that Google has a clear, publicly annunciated principle of business ethics, &quot;do no evil&quot;.  Which seems like nothing special on its surface, but Google lives up to this principle.  For example, they do not divulge private information to the Government, like what items we search for on the Internet.  Let's say you are doing a report on porn for a women's studies class. Would you want to show up on a list of potential sexual predators?  Should we have to worry about what each search might look like to someone unaware of our motivations?  How intellectually stifling!  Gee, the George W. Bush Administration and intellectual stifling, hmmmmm. </p><p>The reason given for the data request by Gonzalez is to show that Internet filters are not adequately protecting minors from porn sites.  At the same time Gonzalez claims that the data cannot be traced to individuals.  This makes no sense.  How can you use this data to show that minors are accessing porn, if specific individuals cannot be identified?  Makes me wonder what this data will really be used for!  Thanks Goolge!</p><p />

Shades of "I'm not a crook"

Posted in Media Watch on January 18, 2006 by Blog Admin

<p>So, George W. is spying on us without court oversight, and he claims that he's done nothing wrong.  And despite media criticism of his illegal activities, Bush has <a href="">no intention of ceasing these warrantless wiretaps</a>.  Historically, courts deny very few wiretaps, so what is W's excuse for by-passing the court system, whose role is simply to ensure that the executive branch does not engage in spying excesses?  Who could object to that?  No one is saying that Bush cannot root-out <a href="">Al Qaeda</a> operatives.  Just keep the courts in the loop! </p><p>In addition to the spying, Bush feels that the ban on torture introduced into the defense appropriations bill by Vietnam veteran Senator <a href="">John McCain</a> does not apply to him, despite signing the legislation.  According to the Boston Globe article from January 4, 2006, &quot;Bush issued a &quot;signing statement&quot;, declaring that he will view the interrogation limits  in the context of his broader powers to protect national security.&quot;  I shudder to think what this might mean for US citizens in the hands of hostile forces!  </p><p>It seems W. feels that he's above all laws! Is somebody feeling a little superior?</p>

"I've got nothing to hide."?

Posted in Civil Liberties on December 19, 2005 by estiller

What Me Worry!When U.S. citizens are asked about elements of the USA Patriot Act, such as library records being subpoenaed or domestic wiretaps, they often respond that they have nothing to hide. Today, I have nothing to hide either, and yet I guard my civil rights jealously, especially in the face of recent allegations that George W. Bush gave the NSA permission to place secret, warrant less wiretaps on US citizens. The point is that although we may not feel that our current government requires overthrow because it is not working in the best interest of the people today, tomorrow may be a completely different story. Are we willing to bet our future and the future of generations to come that we will never have a corrupt government? I hope not! We found it necessary during our revolutionary war. The people of Nazi Germany had thrown their civil rights away, and for many, opposing the government meant death. A healthy society requires a balance of power, so we must act to maintain our power as a citizenry. Like the old saying goes, "opportunity makes the thief". Let us not tempt anyone!

Rumsfeld VS Cheney

Posted in Media Watch on November 3, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p align="left">For a long time I was torn between Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, as to who was the sleaziest.  Dick Cheney had a slight lead with his clear conflict of interest through Halliburton that this country engages in war.  But watching Donald Rumsfeld on the yesterday's evening news made an open-and-shut case for him.  Donald Rumsfeld was clearly suppressing laughter while characterizing the <a href="">hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay</a> detention facility as being on a diet.  Given our human rights abuses, I am so in fear for our troupes!  Please, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld stop chuckling at our human rights abuses.  If we do not treat others humanely, how can we expect others to treat our citizens humanely?</p>

Good bye Rosa Parks

Posted in Women's Voices on October 25, 2005 by Blog Admin

The world has lost a voice that has left an indelible mark on the United States.  I am filled with melancholy with the news of <a href="">Rosa Parks</a> death.  Park's refusal to get up from her seat in a Montgomery Alabama bus was not because her feet were tired after a long day's work, but rather because, as a civil rights activist, she was tired of the injustices that she had to endure everyday.  Her subsequent arrest resulted in the <a href="">Montgomery Bus Boycott</a>, and her legal case ended in a Supreme Court ruling that bus desegregation is legal.  We will all miss you.

New Orleans and Racism

Posted in Media Watch on October 6, 2005 by Blog Admin

<font size="2"><p>A recent <a href="">Newsweek poll shows</a> that 55% of the American people think Bush is doing a poor job and only 28% think that he is doing a good job. Hooray to the American people! We finally understand that, yes, George W. Bush has never accomplished anything productive in his life, other than take advantage of his family name, and create business (or job) opportunities for his political contributors, like Michael Brown.  <font size="2">Finally an opportunity presents itself for George W. to lead, and what happens?  Disaster!  The outrage that is directed at Michael Brown should be redirected to the real culprit, George W. Bush.  Michael Brown clearly has no qualifications to lead FEMA, other than agreeing to sit by and watch silently while FEMA is gutted.  Hearing Brown recently whine about FEMA's lack of funding was nothing short of sickening.</font></p><p>In stark contrast to the lack of food and water that thousands of Katrina survivors experienced in the Super Dome, <font size="2">I was struck by the Herculean efforts that are being made to rescue individual houses that are threatened by California wildfires. <font size="2">I watched in amazement while plane after plane dropped fire retardant or water in the vicinity of a single home.  All this is happening for individual multimillion dollar homes, while over 100,000 Katrina victims still live in shelters and almost 1/2 million live in hotels.  Given the racial disparities in wealth, the racism occurred when FEMA was dismantled, because the wealthy do not depend on such agencies.</font></font></p></font>

Yet another no bid contract for Haliburton

Posted in Industry watch on September 18, 2005 by Blog Admin

<font size="2"><font size="2"><font size="2"><p>While traveling in Wyoming during the summer of 2004, I caught a couple television commercials about Halliburton. Through these I discovered that one of Halliburton’s special services is to feed people, like our soldiers, in extreme environments like Iraq.  Given that Halliburton is suspected of <a href="">overcharging the American taxpayer $61 million</a>,  it seems as though it would have been an appropriate gesture if Halliburton had used this expertise to help bring food and water to the people of New Orleans when they needed it (for free!).  <font size="2">But of course not, Halliburton is not interested in serving this country, they are interested in making as much money as possible. </font></p><font size="2"><p>Surprise, surprise <a href="">Halliburton is once again the recipient of a no bid contract by the Bush administration</a> to provide repairs in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Although George W. Bush fumbled the ball by appointing incompetent cronies to head FEMA, like Mike Brown (&quot;heck of a job Browny&quot;), that won't stop him from continuing to grease the palms of his supporters.</p><p>For more sleazy connections please check this out:</p><p><a href=""></a></p><p /></font></font></font></font>

Hypocrisy of the snowflake babies

Posted in Media Watch on May 27, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>At <a href="">George W's recent press conference</a> in which he held fast in his opposition to using human embryos for advancing <a href="">stem cell</a> research, I couldn't help but notice that the all of the &quot;snowflake&quot; babies where white as snow.  Isn't that interesting!  The snowflake babies/children were created from donated embryos left over from <a href="">in vitro fertilization</a> (IVF).  The inherent hypocrisy stems (pardon the pun) from the fact that IVF wastes many embryos because many IVF attempts do not implant successfully and die/are wasted depending on your perspective.  Additionally, once a women is successfully implanted (becomes pregnant), her left over embryos are discarded.  It seems those who are crying foul on stem cell research, should also be protesting IVF.  Wouldn't you think?</p>

The Social Cost of ChoicePoint is Too High!

Posted in Industry watch on May 15, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>I believe we should all consider the social cost of any business transaction before we think that we got a good deal.  For example, that burger you just bought for 99 cents isn't such a great deal when you consider the portion of the rainforest that got burned in order to grow the grass to feed the cows for the cheap beef that permits McDonalds to profit from that same burger.  The too low wages of people who serve you the burger and the horrible working conditions of the meat packing workers also merit mention.  Thus, the social cost of that burger is quite high.</p><p>When I consider the social cost of <a href="">ChoicePoint </a>my anger goes to such heights that I become depressed.  You recall <a href="">ChoicePoint's most recent blunder</a> in which they sold private information of individuals to identity thieves.  ChoicePoint's Corporate Information Security Officer believes that information security and fraud are separate and unrelated issues.  Clearly, this is not true, and now thousands of people must contend with identity theft.   The truly socially expensive &quot;blunder&quot; of ChoicePoint was to deny primarily African-American voters their rights to vote by listing them as felons, and thereby give us George W. as our next President.  Given that <a href="">ChoicePoint has close Republican ties, how can this firm be trusted to provide a list of names to be purged from voter rosters?</a>  Does the fact that Florida Secretary of State (the person responsible for Florida elections) was George W's  Florida campaign chair, sound a little suspicious?  Given how close the Florida election was, we can attribute George W's victory to ChoicePoint's inaccurate felon list.   The hundreds of billions of dollars and many innocent lives wasted in Iraq are all because of ChoicePoint's sleazy tactics.  Who would do business with ChoicePoint other than a crook?  Please break any business ties with this sleazy company.</p>