Friday, February 27, 2009

Jacksonville "Tea Party" Protests Federal Spending

Some Jacksonville protestors threw their own version of the Boston Tea Party.

No sight of tea bags being thrown into the St. Johns River, but protestors, along with many more from various U.S. cities, were showing their opposition to the billions being spent in the economic bailouts.

"I could solve the economy in a minute!" Ellen Shniper exclaimed. "Cut out payroll taxes, cut out the capitol gains. Do you know how many people would be hiring?"

Shniper fears the spending will drive us further in debt, and small businesses like her's won't be able to make payroll.

"We're concerned," says Janet McCormick, who helped organize the event after watching CNBC's Rick Santelli's call to protest government spending. "The spending is getting out of control. And we'd like to see more government fiscal responsibility.

McCormick says she's against the president's quick spending of billions of dollars without taxpayer input. She helped give out information at the Jacksonville Landing to encourage taxpayers to get through to our elected leaders on this issue.

Another protestor says she's in favor of some spending, because she knows someone who lost their job at a bank. But, she's opposed to how much the government is spending.

McCormick says more events like this will be hosted in the future. Visit to learn more.

Wichita Citizens Revive Boston Tea Party Protest

Boston TeaParty Psyop : Rick Santelli’s Planted Rant

NEW: 40 U.S. Cities Throwing "Boston Tea Parties"

NEW : What Really Happened
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History will repeat itself Friday in Wichita and across the country. Demonstrators are planning tea party protests to show opposition to the federal stimulus bill.

Wichita is one of more than 40 cities that will hold simultaneous tea parties. Protesters say it's time taxpayers to come together and demand to be heard.

It was all the way back in 1773 when American colonists held the Boston Tea Party. They pitched crates of tea into the harbor to protest British taxation.

Now citizens angry over the stimulus bill are paying homage to the event to make a point by hosting tea parties in cities country-wide.

"Let's go back to the founding fathers," says Nancy Armstrong, Wichita event organizer. "Basically, this is a land bound tea party, but it's a populist revolt against the "porkius bills," I like to call it,"

It's all part of the new grassroots movement called American Tea Party that came to life after President Obama signed the $789 billion stimulus package into law last week.

"We're protesting the stimulus bill which really is nothing more than a spending bill. It's not going to stimulate the economy," said Armstrong.

The tea party movement is generating a lot of attention. Already there are blog sites dedicated to it and one can even find information on YouTube.

Organizers say the event isn't only about protesting the bill but also to prove to the powers that be that the average person does care what politicians are up to.

"This is our way of saying 'Yes we do care' about the bills. We do care what's in them and we do care if they're being passed appropriately," said Armstrong.

The Wichita Tea Party starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday. It will be held outside Senator Sam Brownback's office at 245 N. Waco.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rahm Emanuel Doesn’t Pay Taxes, So Why Should You?

Of course, if you don’t pay taxes to the government, chances are you will be arrested and thrown in the clinker. Not so in the case of Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff.

featured-stories - Rahm Emanuel Doesnt Pay Taxes, So Why Should You?


Emanuel and other bureaucrats apparently don’t have the time or desire to fill out and file the sort of paperwork you and I take for granted.

Emanuel’s brazen tax evasion is nothing new, although the corporate media does not bother to cover it. However, as we close in on tax day, the story is worth revisiting.

Millionaire Rahm created a handy-dandy charity in order to avoid paying property taxes on his Chicago residence. “According to the Cook County Assessor’s website, the Chicago home of four-term Democrat Congressman and likely new White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, doesn’t exist. While the address of 4228 North Hermitage is listed as Emanuel’s residence on the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website, there seems to be no public record of Emanuel ever paying property taxes on this home,” Right Soup reported last November, shortly after the election.

It isn’t a real charity, though — or at least not a serious one. “The Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule Charitable Trust was formed in 2002, when the Chicago lawmaker was first elected. The former Clinton White House aide and his wife, Amy Rule, are its only donors.”

Democrats are fond of this scam, as USA Today noted on January 7, 2007. “Rep. Rahm Emanuel made millions as an investment banker. Sen. Evan Bayh had leftover cash after two successful campaigns for Indiana governor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, became wealthy investing in real estate and technology firms… Emanuel, Bayh and Nancy Pelosi are officers of the foundations that carry their names but failed to disclose the fact on their annual financial disclosure reports filed with Congress.”

Don’t try this at home unless you want heavily armed sheriffs to show up.

“The Cook County Assessor’s and Cook County Treasurer’s online records indicate Emanuel’s Chicago neighbors pay between $3,500 and $7,000 annually,” explains the No Compromise When it Comes to Being Right! blog. “However, Illinois Review has been unable to locate any evidence that the former Clinton advisor and investment banker is paying his fair share of Cook County’s notoriously high tax burden.”

In addition to not paying property taxes in Illinois, Emanuel has a nifty deal in the district of criminals. “White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s Washington lodging arrangements, a rent-free basement room in a Capitol Hill home owned by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) and her pollster husband, have inspired debate among tax experts and in Republican-leaning parts of the blogosphere,” the Chicago Tribune reported recently. “One issue is whether Emanuel, who served in the House with DeLauro until early January, should have listed the room either as a gift or as income on his congressional financial disclosure forms. Emanuel’s disclosure filings contain no mention of his use of the room.”

Emanuel and other bureaucrats apparently don’t have the time or desire to fill out and file the sort of paperwork you and I take for granted — that is not unless you relish the idea of the IRS on your back.

Earlier this month, the media covered the “tax problems” of yet another Obama appointee, Labor Secretary-designate Hilda L. Solis. Solis followed Treasury Secretary Thomas F. Geithner, Services Secretary-designate Thomas A. Daschle and Nancy Killefer, Obama’s choice to be the first “performance chief officer,” all with similar “tax problems.”

Solis’ tax evasion, however, is no big deal for the Democrats — on Tuesday, the Democrat-dominated Senate voted to confirm Rep. Hilda Solis as labor secretary, despite her husband paying overdue state taxes only after she was nominated by Obama more than two months ago. “The Senate voted 80 to 17 to confirm Solis, drawing praise from her allies in organized labor and the Latino community. Her nomination was held up when it was learned that her husband, Sam Sayyad, had recently paid about $6,400 in back state taxes he owed from his auto repair business in California,” the New York Daily News reports.

Rahm Emanuel and Obama’s appointees are excused from paying taxes. Meanwhile, speaking from the rostrum in the rogue’s gallery that is the House chamber, Obama said last night that more money will be needed to fritter away on the so-called banker bailout, actually a banker giveaway. Obama said trillions more will have to be “set aside” for the bankers. In other words, your children and grandchildren will pay confiscatory taxes well into the future.

Don’t expect Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Geithner, Evan Bayh, and other minions of the elite to pay their “fair share.”

After all, taxes are for the little people.

Nuclear Materials at 15 Locations Missing

U.S. Energy Department Cannot Account for Nuclear Materials at 15 Locations

WASHINGTON -- A number of U.S. institutions with licenses to hold nuclear material reported to the Energy Department in 2004 that the amount of material they held was less than agency records indicated. But rather than investigating the discrepancies, Energy officials wrote off significant quantities of nuclear material from the department's inventory records.

That's just one of the findings of a report released yesterday by Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman that concluded "the department cannot properly account for and effectively manage its nuclear materials maintained by domestic licensees and may be unable to detect lost or stolen material."

Auditors found that Energy could not accurately account for the quantities and locations of nuclear material at 15 out of 40, or 37 percent, of facilities reviewed. The materials written off included 20,580 grams of enriched uranium, 45 grams of plutonium, 5,001 kilograms of normal uranium and 189,139 kilograms of depleted uranium.

"Considering the potential health risks associated with these materials and the potential for misuse should they fall into the wrong hands, the quantities written off were significant," the report says. "Even in small quantities normally held by individual domestic licensees, special nuclear materials such as enriched uranium and plutonium, if not properly handled, potentially pose serious health hazards."

Auditors also found that waste processing facilities could not locate or explain the whereabouts of significant quantities of uranium and other nuclear material that Energy Department records showed they held. In another case, Energy officials had no record of the fact that one academic institution had loaned a 32-gram plutonium-beryllium source to another institution.

The audit was a follow-up to a 2001 probe that found similar record-keeping problems. "Key commitments made by the department were not completed nearly eight years after our earlier audit," Friedman reported.

More than 100 academic and commercial institutions and government agencies lease nuclear materials that are owned by Energy. The department, along with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is supposed to track these materials through the centralized accounting system known as the Nuclear Materials Management and Safeguards System, or NMMSS.

"Due to the inconsistencies documented in our report, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the department to accurately identify the type and quantity of its nuclear materials affected if an incident occurred at one of the sites whose NMMSS inventory we could not verify," the inspector general stated in Monday's report.

In a written response to the report, Glenn Podonsky, the chief health, safety and security officer at Energy, largely concurred with the findings and recommendations for improving inventory records.

NTI: Global Security Newswire

Guantanamo guards getting 'their kicks in' before closing: lawyer

A guard leans on a fence talking to a Guantanamo detainee, inside the open yard at Camp 4 detention center, at the U.S. Naval Base, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Jan. 21, 2009.

LONDON -- Abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has worsened sharply since President Barack Obama took office as prison guards “get their kicks in” before the camp is closed, according to a lawyer who represents detainees.

Abuses began to pick up in December after Mr. Obama was elected, human rights lawyer Ahmed Ghappour told Reuters. He cited beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike.

The Pentagon said on Monday that it had received renewed reports of prisoner abuse during a recent review of conditions at Guantanamo, but had concluded that all prisoners were being kept in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

“According to my clients, there has been a ramping up in abuse since President Obama was inaugurated,” said Mr. Ghappour, a British-American lawyer with Reprieve, a legal charity that represents 31 detainees at Guantanamo.

“If one was to use one’s imagination, [one] could say that these traumatized, and for lack of a better word barbaric, guards were just basically trying to get their kicks in right now for fear that they won’t be able to later,” he said.

“Certainly in my experience there have been many, many more reported incidents of abuse since the inauguration,” added Mr. Ghappour, who has visited Guantanamo six times since late September and based his comments on his own observations and conversations with both prisoners and guards.

He stressed the mistreatment did not appear to be directed from above, but was an initiative undertaken by frustrated U.S. army and navy jailers on the ground. It did not seem to be a reaction against the election of Mr. Obama, a Democrat who has pledged to close the prison camp within a year, but rather a realization that there was little time remaining before the last 241 detainees, all Muslim, are released.

“It’s ‘hey, let’s have our fun while we can,’” said Mr. Ghappour, who helped secure the release this week of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident freed from Guantanamo Bay after more than four years in detention without trial or charge.

“I can’t really imagine why you would get your kicks from abusing prisoners, but certainly, having spoken to certain guards who have been injured in Iraq, who indirectly or directly blame my clients for their injuries and the trauma they have suffered, it’s not too difficult to put two and two together.”

Following a Jan. 22 order from Mr. Obama, the U.S. Defense Department conducted a two-week review of conditions at Guantanamo ahead of the planned closure of the prison on Cuba.

Admiral Patrick Walsh, the review’s author, acknowledged on Monday that reports of abuse had emerged but concluded all inmates were being treated in line with the Geneva Conventions.

“We heard allegations of abuse,” he said, asked if detainees had reported torture. “And what we did at that point was to go back and investigate the allegation... What we found is that there were in some cases substantiated evidence where guards had misconduct, I think that would be the best way to put it.”

Admiral Walsh said his review looked at 20 allegations of abuse, 14 of which were substantiated, but he did not go into details. Generally he said the abuse ranged from “gestures, comments, disrespect” to “preemptive use of pepper spray”.

Mr. Ghappour said he had spoken to army guards who, unsolicited, had described the pleasure they took in abusing prisoners, whether interrupting prayer or physical mistreatment. He said they appeared unconcerned about potential repercussions.

He also saw evidence of guards pulling identity numbers off their uniforms or switching them once they were on duty in order to make it more difficult for them to be identified.

Mr. Ghappour said he had filed two complaints of serious detainee abuse since Dec. 22 but received no response from U.S. authorities. In one case his client had his knee, shoulder and thumb dislocated by a group of guards, Mr. Ghappour said.

In one of the six main camps at Guantanamo, the lawyer said all the detainees he knew were on hunger strike and subject to force-feeding, including with laxatives that induced chronic diarrhoea while they were strapped in their feeding chairs.

“Several of my clients have had toilet paper pepper-sprayed while they have had haemorrhoids,” Mr. Ghappour said.

Another area of concern was evidence that detainees were being abused on the way to meetings with their lawyers -- sometimes so badly that they no longer wanted to meet with counsel for fear of the beatings they would receive, he said.

“Some detainees are convinced they are going to be locked up there forever, despite the promises to close the camp,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Election Reform Bill Would Institutionalize Touch-Screen Voting, Secret Software

New Version of Holt's Election Reform Bill Would Institutionalize Touch-Screen Voting, Secret Software

Bill 'improved' to require paper ballots, but they may be marked or printed by computer devices which offer most of the same dangers as current Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) devices...
Additional concerns remain in the previously-defeated, newly-rewritten draft version of the landmark legislation...

-- Brad Friedman

Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) is preparing to drop a new version of the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" legislation which met so much resistance during the last Congress from both Election Integrity advocates and those opposed to any reform whatsoever alike.

A recent draft of the new legislation [PDF], as obtained by The BRAD BLOG, is an improvement over last session's controversial HR 811 bill (which we covered, at the time, in exhausting detail, as indexed on this special coverage page) in that it would ban the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting devices by the 2012 general election. However, the new bill fails to ban all forms of computerized touch-screen voting and, indeed, encourages it through federal funding to help jurisdictions move from DREs to similar, but non-tabulating, Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs).

We could well jump out of the frying pan, and into yet another frying pan, if the legislation passes as currently drafted.

BMDs, which often use touch-screens to allow voters to make selections, offer many of the same flaws and dangers that DRE voting systems do, such as: the possibility that votes may be flipped on the touch-screen to selections other than those chosen by the voter (as seen in state after state on DREs over the last several election cycles); failures to boot up and power outages which keep citizens from being able to vote at all; machine shortages which cause long lines, discouraging voters from waiting to vote; and the requirement for voters to attempt to verify the accuracy of their ballots on three separate occasions, before the computer-marked version of the paper ballot is actually cast.

Holt has offered The BRAD BLOG a fairly puzzling response to our concerns, at least as we read it, which we'll share in full below.

Moreover, in addition to encouraging the use of troublesome, expensive, and hackable electronic BMDs, the new bill would federally institutionalize the ability of private election companies to keep their hardware and software from public review by requiring that anyone who wishes to examine the systems and source code for integrity, must show cause, get "approval" from a governmental body (largely, only scientists, academics, or election officials need apply) and sign a non-disclosure agreement before being allowed to do so.

While the bill offers some improvements over previous versions, the major flaws still inherent in the legislation --- as it's currently drafted --- will fail to ensure the security, accuracy, and transparency that American democracy requires and deserves. As a sweeping piece of (much-needed) federal reform, we'd better make sure that we get it right this time, since it'll be years, perhaps decades, before we get another bite at that apple should this legislation actually be signed into law this time...

On Paper, Two Steps Forward, One and a Half Steps Back

During the last session of Congress, Holt's office, and many supporters of HR 811, had told The BRAD BLOG, on numerous occasions, that banning DREs would be an impossibility in Congress, though they had failed to offer the name of even a single legislator who, but for the inclusion of a ban on DREs, might otherwise approve the bill. Happily, forever whatever reason, it seems that things have now changed (somewhat) on that score this year, as evidenced by the new legislation which finally bans them.

Nonetheless, while the requirement for "the use of an individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballot" for every voter's vote is most welcome, such ballots may be either "marked by the voter" or "marked through the use of a nontabulating ballot marking device or system," according to the bill's current language.

The BRAD BLOG would remind readers of our own experience during last year's primary election in June, here in Los Angeles, when a Ballot Marking Device, similar to the ones that would be recommended for use by the new Holt bill, misprinted 4 out of the 12 votes we'd cast on our ballot.

While that system, like many BMDs, was largely meant for use by disabled voters who may require assistance in voting privately and independently, had we actually been a blind voter, for example, we'd have never known that the system had misprinted our ballot. We would have cast 4 votes for candidates not of our choosing. As is, it took several examinations of the computer-printed ballot before we were certain it had actually printed incorrectly, and even then, the first instinct was that it must have been our own fault. (As it turns out, it wasn't our fault, but how many others would have taken the additional time to check as thoroughally, and bothered to follow all the steps to correct the misprinted ballot --- particularly after spending all the extra time that voting on a BMD requires, versus a hand-marked paper ballot?

While BMDs are largely used, at this time, on a limited "one per precinct" basis at many polling places, in order to meet the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA)'s "one per polling place" requirement for assistive devices for disabled-voters, there is nothing in the new version of the bill to keep all-DRE jurisdictions --- such as the states of UT, GA, MD, NV, SC, and many counties in states like OH, IN, PA, CO, and elsewhere --- from becoming all-BMD jurisdictions instead, after passage of this bill as drafted.

In fact, during the tussle over HR 811 in March of 2007, Holt himself told us during a phone conversation that he would prefer that all voters in the United States voted on BMDs!

"I hope that someday all voters would use a ballot marking device, since it keeps people from overvoting and undervoting by avoiding stray marks," the Congressman told us on a personal phone call. That was then, and is now, a very disturbing thought.

As if the dangers of BMDs, as described above, aren't bad enough, further concerns about computer-printed ballots was illustrated by several academic studies. One, from Caltech/MIT described how some 80% of voters do not take the time to verify the accuracy of computer printed records or ballots. Another, even more disturbing, from Rice University in the Summer of 2007, found that, among those few who do bother to review the computerized summary of their selections at the end of the voting process, two-thirds of them don't notice at all when the computer has flipped a selection from one candidate to another, or changed a vote on a ballot initiative.

We'll hope the current draft language in the bill can be modified to allow the use of BMDs for those voters who wish to use them, such as disabled voters, on a "one per polling place" optional basis, as HAVA allows for. Allowing --- and indeed encouraging as the bill does --- jurisdictions to move to all BMD voting is simply a terrible and dangerous idea, which could well leave us very much in the same mess that we're in now, in 2010, 2012, and beyond.

One section of the bill provides an excellent option for jurisdictions that have not made the transition away from DREs by 2010. That provision requires that all voters be notified when they check in to vote, and via signage at the polling place, that they are allowed to vote on a pre-printed, hand-markable paper ballot if they so choose. Those ballots would then be counted as normal ballots (not provisional ones) along with all other ballots on Election Night. That provision, ensuring hand-markable paper ballots for all, should apply to all voters in every jurisdiction. For all time. At least if this nation cares about transparency and verifiability for all.

Holt Responds to Our Concerns about BMDs

We requested comment from Holt's office to the concerns expressed above. This morning, we received the following response from him, which we run in full:
Preserving and enhancing accessibility, both for individuals with disabilities and for language minorities, have always been cornerstones of the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act. Therefore, it requires a voter-marked paper ballot for every vote cast, it requires that accessible ballot marking devices be made available to assist voters in marking those paper ballots, and it treats all such ballots as equal under the law.

Given that any reasonable reading of even just the first two pages of the first section of the bill as currently drafted [PDF] seems to counter Holt's assertion that it "requires a voter-marked paper ballot for every vote cast," we gave him an opportunity to re-word his response. He chose not to, with his communications director replying in response: "Please run the statement in full because in full it is completely accurate."

Maybe it's just us, but we're having trouble figuring out how that could be the case, though we welcome further input from either his office, or readers here, to explain what we may be missing.

There seemed to be a similar disconnect between the statements of Holt and his actual bill during the brouhaha over his 2007 version, which, unlike the current version, clearly allowed for DREs. He and his staffers had told us, personally, time and again, that that version of the bill had required paper ballots for all, when it clearly did not. The changes in the new version would seem to bear that out. (He would also make the same claim to Alternet's Steve Rosenfeld and others, repeatedly in 2007, incorrectly asserting that "By November 2008, every voter would be given a verifiable paper ballot," if his bill had passed.)

Again, where we may be misunderstanding something here, we welcome input. But we don't believe that we are.

On Secret Software, This Bill is Very Bad

The originally introduced version of Holt's 2007 bill, HR 811, was very strong in the area of full public disclosure of all software and hardware used in voting systems. [Speaking of Disclosure: We had been asked, by Holt's office, for feedback on that version of the bill, through several drafts, before introduction, and had a hand in improving the language in a number of provisions, including the hardware/software disclosure section.]

However, the provisions for public disclosure were quickly amended once that version of the bill reached the House Administration Committee. The previously excellent, very open and transparent disclosure provisions were all but gutted.

"They lobbied very heavily against the language that was in the bill as introduced," Holt's legislative aide Michelle Mulder famously wrote to a group of Election Integrity advocates about the software industry said to have been instrumental in severely re-writing the disclosure provisions in committee. "You can take up your concerns with Microsoft and others in the proprietary software industry," she said. "The software industry won. It's very simple, really."

Mulder's boss, Congressman Holt, would later confirm at a public meeting in 2007: "Unfortunately, the committee that made this change heard from Microsoft. They heard that voice...It wasn't just was software --- the software industry."

Mulder is still in charge of drafting Holt's election reform legislation. [Though we have not been allowed input on it this time around. Likely a result of our pointing out similar problems last time as well.]

The re-written provisions from the last version of the bill are, essentially, what remains now in the new version of the bill. Neither Microsoft, nor the private "software industry" as a whole, will likely have a problem with the bill today. Now, only "qualified" individuals who have "entered into a nondisclosure agreement with respect to the technology" will be allowed to examine the public's voting hardware and software, according to the bill's language.

"Qualified persons" are defined as "a government entity with responsibility for the administration of voting and election related matters", "a party to pre- or post-election litigation challenging the result of an election or the administration or use of the technology used in an election", or one who "reviews, analyzes, or reports on the technology solely for an academic, scientific, technological, or other investigation or inquiry concerning the accuracy or integrity of the technology."

While that last qualifier, "other investigation" might allow someone like us to review the hardware and software --- maybe --- the general public (read: the voters for whom the systems are theoretically there to serve) is entirely shut out of the process. And even we, presuming we were granted permission to look, would still be required, in any event, to sign a non-disclosure agreement first, limiting what we could, and couldn't report publicly about the system in question.

Corporate trade secrets, fully protected, take precedence, apparently, before you, the voter. Not good for a public voting system, designed for, and paid for by, the public, who deserve no less than 100% transparency for any system used to carry out public elections, the very heart of our democracy.

Not All Bad

The rest of the bill, we'll call a mixed-ish bag, with some good stuff and some not so good stuff. Inside that mixed bag, the bill offers:

Prohibition of wireless communications devices in any system "upon which ballots are programmed or votes are cast or tabulated." That's good. Though apparently, regular old wired LAN is still allowable on such systems for some reason.

Federal voting system test labs must disclose test results, good or bad, and make them "available promptly to election officials and the public" after testing is completed. That's good.

Grants are being made available "for research on development of election-dedicated voting system software." While grants might be useful for researching computerized solutions to disability voting issues, we don't need any more federal money spent to develop new ways to do what can be done more reliably and transparently for almost nothing (e.g., mark paper ballot with pen, put ballot in clear box, count ballots at end of night in precinct. Done).

A large section of the bill speaks to post-election, random hand "audits" of some ballots, as based on a tiered system (eg. If the margin between the two top candidates is reported by the tabulator as less than 1%, then a random 10% of the paper ballots are to be counted by hand. If a 2% margin, then just 5% are randomly "audited," etc.). We can't speak to whether the required statistical protocol for determining the number of ballots to count is sufficient to detect fraud, but we recognize that such post-election spot-checks would be a landmark change in the way federal elections are handled in the days after polls close. Nonetheless, while that's fine, we'd all be better off if those ballots were counted (hopefully by hand) on Election Night, at the polling place, in front of everyone, before the ballots ever moved anywhere.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

copy and paste news 2 24 09

44 Republicans introduce bill to remove the income tax!

Alex Jones mentioned in wired news article

another interesting story about cell phones on planes

AP gives Obama ANOTHER golden halo!!!

Arrest Made in Home Foreclosure Civil Disobedience Program

BBC Bilderberg Report (AUDIO)

Corrupted Judge In'Jailing Kids For Cash' Scandal

Echelon - And there is finally a movie about it.

Economist Warns Switzerland Could Go Broke

Family Living in Missouri Cave Puts Home on eBay

FBI, Police Rescue Child Prostitutes Around U.S.

Foster carers not told if babies are HIV positive !

GA Rep. Bobby Franklin vs. the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta!!!

Get shot at Mcdonalds and no workers comp

Hamas Claims Google Earth Led Spy War

INDIA: Doctors Charged With Homicide for Infecting Patients With Dirty Needles

Jobless, Restless China: 20 Million And Growing

Judge: Feds Can Access Americans Swiss Accounts

Kucinich: Who Told SEC to "Stand Down" on Stanford Probe?

Lawmaker Warns Of Obama's Plan For 'Forced Servitude (AJ Mentioned in Article)

Mexico Hell - Video

Mexico's Shrinking Families: Government Birth-control Campaigns One Cause

Montanan Action Alert! Sovereignty Bill Help Today!

NEWS VIDEO: Experts Warn Of Robot Rebellion

NEWS VIDEO: Scientists Say They're On The Verge Of Universal Flu Vaccine

NH state Senator who sponsored HCR 6 - arrested for DWI - resigns.

NYTimes breaks down 8.8 Trillion Dollar Bailout in chart


Pope warns on new eugenics based on beauty

Russia Says It Will Respond To Any Attempts To Militarize The Arctic

Russians: Mosquito Survives in Outer Space Feb 22nd Article = Militia Demonization Psy-op

Strange Green Comet Passing by Earth Next Week

Swiss to vote on controls that would end tradition of keeping army guns

Tennessee Sovereignty Resolution Passed!

U.S. Secretly Training Pakistani Commandos

UK man charged over 'terroist' Email

UK man released from Guantanamo

Up to 120,000 People March in Dublin's National Protest

US Weapons 'Misused in Gaza'

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Israel Set To Destroy Hundreds Of Palestinians Homes In East Jerusalem

NEW : What Really Happened
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Sun, 22 Feb 2009 17:40:19 GMT

Israel has issued a warning for hundreds of Palestinians to evacuate east Jerusalem (al-Quds) before demolishing their homes in the area.

"The owners of 80 houses in the al-Bustan neighborhood have received eviction notices saying that the structures will be destroyed because they are illegal," said Hatem Abdel Kader, an official responsible for the city's affairs in the Palestinian government.

Kader told AFP that "The (Jerusalem) municipality used this as a pretext to issue the demolition orders despite appeals by the residents."

He said that several of the houses served with demolition orders were built before 1967, when Israel captured east al-Quds during the Six Day War but that numerous extensions have been built since.

"The reason (for the notices) is not legal, but political," he said. "Israel wants to create a demographic disequilibrium in the city."

This is while a Palestinian resident said he received a demolition notice after failing to get a building permit from the Israeli authorities.

"I built my house a year and a half ago," he said. "I asked for a permit but never received authorization."

Israeli authorities have reportedly demolished some 350 houses in the neighborhood since 2004 under the same pretext.