Saturday, April 01, 2006
Senator Spector Writes Bill that Ignores the difference between SCOTUS "Recognition" and "Decision"
In your bill (PDF) Page 3 lines 18-28 read:
18 (15) Federal agents investigating international terrorism by foreign enemies are
19 entitled to tools at least as broad as those used by Federal agents investigating
20 domestic crimes by United States citizens. The Supreme Court, in the "Keith Case",
21 United States v. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan,
22 407 U.S. 297 (1972), recognized that the standards and procedures used to fight
23 ordinary crime may not be applicable to cases involving national security. The Court
24 recognized that national "security surveillance may involve different policy and
25 practical considerations from the surveillance of ordinary crime" and that courts
26 should be more flexible in issuing warrants in national security cases. United States
27 v. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 407 U.S. 297,
28 322 (1972).
Please take note, Senator you say The Supreme Court "RECOGOGNISED" in what you misname the "Keith Case", (correctly called "The Keith Decision" for anyone trying to google it.) a portion of the decision that was made in Michigan. What the United States Supreme Court actually DECIDED in what would more likely be known as the "Plamondon Case" is as follows:
UNITED STATES v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, 407 U.S. 297 (1972) 407 U.S. 297
UNITED STATES v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN ET AL. (PLAMONDON ET AL., REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST) CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT No. 70-153. Argued February 24, 1972 Decided June 19, 1972
1. Section 2511 (3) is merely a disclaimer of congressional intent to define presidential powers in matters affecting national security, and is not a grant of authority to conduct warrantless national security surveillances. Pp. 301-308. [407 U.S. 297, 298]
2. The Fourth Amendment (which shields private speech from unreasonable surveillance) requires prior judicial approval for the type of domestic security surveillance involved in this case. Pp. 314-321; 323-324.
(a) The Government's duty to safeguard domestic security must be weighed against the potential danger that unreasonable surveillances pose to individual privacy and free expression. Pp. 314-315.
(b) The freedoms of the Fourth Amendment cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances are conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch without the detached judgment of a neutral magistrate. Pp. 316-318.
(c) Resort to appropriate warrant procedure would not frustrate the legitimate purposes of domestic security searches. Pp. 318-321.
Accountability Office Finds Itself Accused - New York Times
The investigator, Subrata Ghoshroy of the Government Accountability Office, led technical analyses of a prototype warhead for the antimissile weapon in an 18-month study, winning awards for his 'great care' and 'tremendous skill and patience.'
Mr. Ghoshroy now says his agency ignored evidence that the two main contractors had doctored data, skewed test results and made false statements in a 2002 report that credited the contractors with revealing the warhead's failings to the government."
Friday, March 31, 2006
Stephanie Miller On Hannity & Colmes
Why Pray against God's Will Anyways?
Here's an interesting
story just off the MSNBC headlines:
NEW YORK - In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that
having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their
recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly
higher rate of complications.
Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and other scientists tested the
effect of having three Christian groups pray for particular patients, starting
the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. The volunteers prayed for
"a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications" for
specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of
the last name.
The patients, meanwhile, were split into three groups of about 600 apiece:
those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only
knew it was a possibility, and those who weren't prayed for but were told it was
The study looked for any complications within 30 days of the surgery. Results
showed no effect of prayer on complication-free recovery. But 59 percent of the
patients who knew they were being prayed for developed a complication, versus 52
percent of those who were told it was just a possibility.I've always agreed with
George Carlin that praying to an omnicient omnipotent God is just about the most
illogical thing you can do, even from a Christian perspective.
After all, don't the religious folks always say things like "it's God's will"
or "If it is to be in God's Plan"? The idea being that God has a plan for all of
us, and He's all-knowing, so He's imminently more qualified to determine your
fate than you are. I mean, if it was God's plan to knock you down for heart
bypass surgery, and it is God's will that you die on the table, then who are
you, pathetic human, to question God's Plan? Who are you to think your requests
in prayer will be answered if it contradicts The Plan?
So, if God wants you to die, and you pray to live, you're suggesting that God
was wrong. If God heeds your prayer and lets you live, He's admitting His own
fallability, which is nonsense. If God ignores your prayer and lets you die,
then what was the point of praying? If God wanted you to live after all, your
prayer was also a wasted effort.
It's interesting that the prayed-for subjects had higher complications. Could
it be that a true believer who's anticipating everything will be all right
through prayer is somehow letting his guard down and weaking his immune system?
Could it be that when people are unsure they are being prayed for, they fight
harder to live and pay more attention to their doctors? Or could it be that God
is pissed about puny humans questioning his plan so he snuffs out the sick
relative they prayed for? (Don't put it past Him; He once sent bears to
maul to death 42 children who teased a bald man.)
Thursday, March 30, 2006
9/11-The Myth & The Reality
LIVE RADIO & WEBSTREAM
Thu, March 30 @ 7:00PM PST
Courtesy KMUD, Garberville, CA
In Support of David Ray Griffin and 9/11 Truth
We know the official story: On September 11, 2001, 19 Muslims with boxcutters and under orders from Osama bin Laden carried out a surprise attack on the US, a “New Pearl Harbor.” We also know that 9/11 is continually brought forth by the Bush administration to justify the pre-emptive and increasingly costly “War on Terror.” Yet after 53 months, getting the truth about what happened on that tragic day seems impossible. Our government has evaded many many questions about 9/11 and our mainstream media has been unwilling to investigate.
– Progressive Democrats of the East Bay
Unanswered questions regarding 9/11 is the most important issue facing America today. Implications for democracy, the US Constitution, and freedom of information are all tied into who facilitated and benefited from 9/11. David Ray Griffin is our leading scholar on 9/11 issues. He avoids wild who-done-it theories and focuses instead on key questions that give serious doubt to the US governments official 9/11 story.
– Peter Phillips
Scalia denys making "Vaffanculo" gesture.. but Photo says otherwise
Amid a growing national controversy about the gesture U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward with the picture.
“It’s inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment,” said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.
Despite Scalia’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper “got the story right.”
Smith said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’ ”
Scalia’s office yesterday referred questions regarding the flap to Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, who said a letter Scalia sent Tuesday to the Herald defending his gesture at the cathedral “speaks for itself.”
“He has no further comment,” Arberg said.
Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.
“The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.
The Italian phrase means “(expletive) you.”
Yesterday, Herald reporter Laurel J. Sweet agreed with Smith’s account, but said she did not hear Scalia utter the obscenity.
In his letter, Scalia denied his gesture was obscene and claimed he explained its meaning to Sweet, a point both she and Smith dispute.
Scalia went on to cite Luigi Barzini’s book, “The Italians,” which describes a seemingly different gesture - “the extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin” - and its meaning - “ ‘I couldn’t care less. It’s no business of mine. Count me out.’ ”
“How could your reporter leap to the conclusion (contrary to my explanation) that the gesture was obscene?” Scalia wrote.
Quite easily, according to experts, even if the justice had offered more than a two-word explanation - “That’s Sicilian” - Sunday.
“There is no answer to ‘what it really means,’ because those gestures have different meanings in different locations, even in neighbouring locations,” said Janet Bavelas, a University of Victoria, British Columbia, psychologist who has studied human gestures.
The gesture typically means “I don’t know” in Portugal, “No!” in Naples, “You are lying” in Greece and “I don’t give a damn” in northern Italy, France and Tunisia, said David B. Givens of the Center for Nonverbal Studies in Spokane, Wash.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
New Orleans grand indicts three in videotaped police beating
Two fired New Orleans police officers and one current officer, were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on state charges stemming from the Oct. 8 beating of a man in the French Quarter, an incident caught on videotape by an Associated Press news crew covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Earlier, the panel had heard from the beaten man. Robert Davis, 64, told reporters as he entered the courthouse that he barely remembers the attack and would not be able to recognize the officers who beat him. But he said he thought they deserved stiffer charges than the municipal misdemeanor counts they were orginally charged with.
Robert Evangelist, 36, was charged with false imprisonment while armed with a dangerous weapon and second degree battery; Lance Schilling, 29 was charged with second degree battery, and Stewart Smith, 50 was charged with simple battery, according to a news release from District Attorney Eddie Jordan.
Evangelist and Schilling were fired after the incident; Smith was suspended but remains with the force.
False imprisonment carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, second degree battery carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and up to a $2000 fine, and simple battery, a misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to 6 months in prison and up to a $500 fine, Jordan said.
Uranium bombing in Iraq contaminates Europe
Nine days after the start of the American president's 2003 "shock and awe" uranium bombing campaign in Baghdad, an invisible radioactive uranium oxide gas cloud swept through Britain's towns and countryside and throughout Europe.
Respected scientists reported on the unrevealed gas cloud after conducting research on specialized high volume air filters in England. Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan stunned Europe in a Sunday Times of London article on Feb. 19, 2006. Their scientific paper, released March 1st, 2006,  proved the event. With all the vigor of delusional drunkards, British nuclear and military spokesmen predictably denied the reality of an invisible radioactive cloud.
The military claimed that a Chernobyl-like event in the area was probably responsible, but no explosive meltdowns of operating reactor cores have been reported or observed in 2006 anywhere in the world. Evidence of the truth of the gas cloud panicked the military into frantic, irrational, ludicrous denials. The military spin was later refined and the new Chernobyl claim quietly dropped.
In America, lightweight wannabe spin doctor Dan Fahey issued the cover up talking points
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Princeton University - Study exposes movers and shakers behind the evangelical movement
by Denise Barricklow · Posted March 27, 2006; 03:55 p.m.
From the March 27, 2006, Princeton Weekly Bulletin
Is there a “hidden hand” behind the rise to power of the evangelical movement in America over the last three decades? A Princeton graduate student has gained international attention by answering this question in the largest and most comprehensive study on the significance of faith in the lives of America’s societal leaders.
D. Michael Lindsay, a doctoral student in the sociology department, interviewed more than 350 people, including two U.S. presidents, many high-ranking Cabinet officials, numerous CEOs, and a cadre of Hollywood producers and other cultural leaders for his work, titled, “A Vision for the Center: Elite Refashioning of American Evangelicalism.”
“This dissertation is giving us an entirely different look at evangelical Protestantism,” said Lindsay’s adviser, Robert Wuthnow, the Gerhard R. Andlinger ’52 Professor of Social Sciences. “Academics often think of conservative Christians as rubes and dupes. The reality is that the real movers and shakers behind the evangelical movement are highly educated, thoughtful people with entrepreneurial skills, wealth and extraordinary management savvy.”
Interviewees include President Jimmy Carter; President George H.W. Bush; Wal-Mart President Michael Duke; J.C. Penney Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman; PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer Steve Reinemund; CBS Entertainment Senior Vice President Terry Botwick; entertainers Kathie Lee Gifford and Art Linkletter; Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner; and various Hollywood producers including Ron Austin (“Mission Impossible,” “Charlie’s Angels”) and Dean Batali (“That ’70s Show”).
“This elite cohort,” Lindsay said, “represents the ‘hidden hand’ of evangelicalism and has exerted significant, often understated influence in changing the movement’s direction, scope and strategies over the last 30 years.”
The project is the largest empirical study ever conducted on religion in the lives of societal leaders in the United States, according to Princeton Professor Emerita of Sociology Suzanne Keller, one of the world’s leading authorities on elites. “This study is unique in its scope and focus, and it addresses an extremely timely subject,” Keller said.
Lindsay targeted evangelicalism because it is a group that has made astonishing gains in power and influence. “Since 1976, every person who has won the White House has been identified with the evangelical movement,” he observed. Today, evangelical Christians account for about a quarter of the U.S. population, according to most pollsters.
Lindsay said his study was likely to be an eye-opener once it is officially completed this summer. “I think my project will be a real ‘aha!’ moment for a lot of people. I think people will say, ‘This makes sense. Now I understand why this segment of society has risen in prominence and why they receive so much public attention.’”
Already Lindsay’s work has begun to garner global acclaim. A paper based on his dissertation research recently bested work by 167 other sociologists — many of them tenured faculty — to win the fourth Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists, sponsored by the International Sociological Association.
It is quite a distinction for a graduate student to win this award, which will be officially presented to Lindsay this July in Durban, South Africa, at the World Congress of Sociology, said the competition coordinator, Kenneth Thompson, a visiting professor at Yale and emeritus professor of the Open University in the United Kingdom.
“This prestigious competition has previously been won by rising young faculty from a variety of countries, who have subsequently gone on to become famous names in sociology,” explained Thompson. “Lindsay’s research was praised by the jury for its theoretical and methodological sophistication, as well as its topicality and relevance.”
Mysterious evangelical group
The paper that won the international sociology competition is titled, “Liminal Organization in Elite Ranks: Linking Societal Power to Religious Faith.” It studies the role of an organization called The Fellowship, which has ties to the evangelical movement and has been important to the nation’s elite. Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower — Democrat and Republican — for example, has attended the group’s National Prayer Breakfast, held every February. Yet the group remains largely unknown to most Americans.
Lindsay argued that The Fellowship’s mysteriousness is precisely what gives it the power it has, and in his paper called this quality “organizational liminality,” drawing on the work of Victor Turner, an acclaimed anthropologist who studied rituals among African tribes.
“Turner applied this notion of liminality to temporal stages in various rituals,” explained Lindsay. “And just as he found liminal stages in life and rituals to be extremely powerful, I also argue that liminal organizations — like The Fellowship, which is neither a church, nor a social club, but something in between — are endowed with ambiguity and a mystique that is both enchanting and powerful.”
In his paper, Lindsay described The Fellowship’s “anti-institutional ethos”: all full-time employees are called “associates”; there is no hierarchical structure; meetings are held in private residences; and even the name of the group is regularly changed, so that today The Fellowship is called the International Foundation.
Interestingly, it is the group’s “organizational liminality” that allows it to “slip under the radar screen of media scrutiny,” a quality that is very attractive to the elite, Lindsay said.
At the group’s prayer breakfasts and other meetings, political, cultural and business leaders mingle and talk about the spiritual issues that unite them. “We would share our personal concerns and trials and tribulations with children and family. But we never did any business,” former Secretary of State James Baker was quoted as saying in Lindsay’s paper.
Nonetheless, the organization has wielded surprising power, with some Fellowship insiders confiding to Lindsay that the group has had an impact on “international diplomacy borne of religious conviction,” serving as a kind of “underground State Department.”
Jimmy Carter, for example, told Lindsay that The Fellowship’s leader, Doug Coe, played an important role in the Camp David Peace Accords: “When I got to Camp David with Begin and Sadat, Doug Coe suggested that the three of us should issue a worldwide call for prayer ... (and) that was the first thing that we did.”
An entrepreneurial religion
Lindsay first became intrigued about the study of societal leaders after he assisted Keller in teaching a popular class on “Elites, Leadership and Society.” In preparing for the course in the spring of 2002, Lindsay got his big idea. “I realized that nobody has focused on religion in the lives of the elite,” he said.
Lindsay, who holds a master’s degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, chose modern American evangelicalism, a relatively new religious movement that most scholars agree only dates back to 1942, because of the group’s rapid ascendancy on the public stage in recent decades.
Lindsay said he first became interested in studying evangelicals while working as a consultant for religion and culture at the Gallup Organization. Later, in 1999, Lindsay co-wrote a book for Gallup on religious trends in the United States and subsequently caught the attention of Princeton’s Wuthnow when he attended one of the professor’s seminars. “He displayed a strong interest in the social factors influencing religion, so I suggested he think about applying to our Ph.D. program in sociology,” Wuthnow said.
Lindsay’s dissertation research starts with the 1976 election of Jimmy Carter, the first president to call himself a “born-again” Christian, and traces the movement’s development until 2006. Three different elite realms were examined: politics; business; and what Lindsay broadly terms culture — media bigwigs, Hollywood professionals, sports celebrities, entertainers and even a college professor. Nearly 100 of those interviewed were presidents, CEOs or senior executives at large firms, which Lindsay said was no surprise.
“It’s a very entrepreneurial religion,” he explained. “Evangelicals don’t have a pope, they don’t have any centralized authority. But they are an ambitious lot. Almost all of the mega churches in this country are evangelical, and somebody has to pay for those churches to thrive.”
To conduct his research, Lindsay spent three years, from 2003 to 2006, crisscrossing the country, visiting 75 different sites and conducting all 352 interviews himself. He raised $120,000 to pay for the study, much of which came from grants provided by Princeton University, as well as other organizations including the Earhart Foundation and the National Science Foundation.
Gaining access to such a distinguished group is what can make such studies notoriously difficult to undertake, but Lindsay said he got lucky: He had a friend whose family knew President Jimmy Carter. “He was my big break,” Lindsay recalled. “When someone of President Carter’s stature agrees to be in your study, it gives you instant access. It just opened up a lot of doors, and I owe a great deal to him.”
People were included in Lindsay’s project in one of two ways. Either they defined themselves as an evangelical, or born-again Christian, or they passed three criteria: Each participant had to believe in the primary authority of the Bible (as opposed to, for example, the teachings of the Vatican); they had to have a “personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ” — the born-again experience; and they had to have an “activist approach to faith.”
Lindsay argued that faith-based activism has helped the evangelical movement grow from a largely grassroots organization associated with the poor and disenfranchised into the powerful force that it is today. “Religion has this binding power over people’s lives,” said Lindsay. “It’s even more powerful a factor in unity than race or education or socioeconomic status. What I’ve found in my research on the evangelical movement is that shared religious conviction unites members across many social boundaries, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Washington.”
Lindsay, who next fall will join the faculty at Rice University, said he hopes to “re-invigorate the scientific study of elites” in further research. “Sociology needs to be dealing with important topics, and I’m passionate about making that one of the things I try to do. I want to be one of those people who contributes to big ideas.”
Time Magazine 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America
Feature story on the cover of their 7 February 2005 issue.
|Howard Ahmanson, Jr. & Roberta Ahmanson||The Financiers|
|David Barton||The Lesson Planner|
|Doug Coe||The Stealth Persuader|
|Chuck Colson||Reborn and Rehabilitated|
|Luis Cort||Bringing Latinos To the Table|
|James Dobson||The Culture Warrior|
|Stuart Epperson||A High-Fidelity Messenger|
|Michael Gerson||The President's Spiritual Scribe|
|Billy Graham & Franklin Graham||Father and Son In the Spirit|
|Ted Haggard||Opening Up the Umbrella Group|
|Bill Hybels||Pioneering Mass Appeal|
|T. D. Jakes||The Pentecostal Media Mogul|
|Diane Knippers||A Think Tank With Firepower|
|Tim LaHaye & Beverly LaHaye||The Christian Power Couple|
|Richard Land||God's Lobbyist|
|Brian McLaren||Paradigm Shifter|
|Joyce Meyer||A Feminine Side Of Evangelism|
|Richard John Neuhaus||Bushism Made Catholic|
|Mark Noll||The Intellectual Exemplar|
|J. I. Packer||Theological Traffic Cop|
|Rick Santorum||The Point Man On Capitol Hill|
|Jay Sekulow||The Almighty's Attorney-at-Law|
|Stephen Strang||Keeper of "The Faith"|
|Rick Warren||America's New People's Pastor|
|Ralph Winter||A Global Mission|
Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile
Sunday, March 26, 2006
BBC - The Century of the Self
Episode One - Happiness Machines
The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.
Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.
His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.
It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today's world.
Episode 2 - Engineering Consent
Episode Three - There is Policeman Inside all our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed
In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America...Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people's minds by business and politics...This programme shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard's Erhard Seminar Training - into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation.
But the American corporations soon realised that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.
Episode Four - Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering
This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self.
Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people's inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.
Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.
The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn't realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.
LOST IN THE SHADOWS - Google Video
In July of 1961 he showed up in Los Angeles at three in the morning and pounded on his ex-wife's door, yelling that he had been imprisoned and tortured in Cuba while working on a frog farm for the CIA. The police came, he was arrested and a psychiatrist diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic. He spent the remaining years of his life a broken human being.
Part historical mystery, part Oliver Stone movie, 'Lost in the Shadows' documents Colin's quest to learn what really happened to his father. In 1999 Colin went to Cuba and, equipped with nothing more than a single page from an old medical record of his father's, managed to find Olga in Havana. This emotional and momentous trip, combined with over six years of research through thousands of heavily 'sanitized' government documents, yielded a startling discovery: Colin's father may well have been telling the truth about what happened to him in Cuba. "