Friday, September 21
Among Fascism's Best Hits of the Week
U.S. Airports Screeners are Watching What You Read
By Ryan Singel 09.20.07 2:00 AM
International travelers concerned about being labeled a terrorist or drug runner by secret Homeland Security algorithms may want to be careful what books they read on the plane. Newly revealed records show the government is storing such information for years.
Privacy advocates obtained database records showing that the government routinely records the race of people pulled aside for extra screening as they enter the country, along with cursory answers given to U.S. border inspectors about their purpose in traveling. In one case, the records note Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore's choice of reading material, and worry over the number of small flashlights he'd packed for the trip.
The breadth of the information obtained by the Gilmore-funded Identity Project (using a Privacy Act request) shows the government's screening program at the border is actually a "surveillance dragnet," according to the group's spokesman Bill Scannell.... Read more
The Police State Is Right Here, Right Now
By Carolyn BakerAs nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air-however slight-lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness. ~Justice William O. Douglas~ In April, 2007 I was pleasantly surprised to find Naomi Wolf's article, "Fascist America, In 10 Easy Steps" posted in several places online. I have been a fan of Wolf for many years, greatly appreciating her works and especially her 1991 book, The Beauty Myth. I had been looking for a list-or more specifically, an encyclopedia of the losses of civil liberties in the United States that might clarify for my history students the extent to which America has become a fascist empire. Wolf's "10 Easy Steps" was perfect, but her just-published book, The End Of America: Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot, from which the 10 easy steps was compiled, offers an even fuller picture-a succinct and engaging explanation of how our civil liberties have been hijacked in the past decade. It is the most poignant, powerful, genuinely patriotic piece of literature I have encountered since Thomas Paine's Common Sense. No wonder then, that the book's cover greatly resembles that 46-page tract by Paine written in 1775-as well it should.... Read more
Alan Greenspan: The Fraud
Alan Greenspan attempts to save face in his new book by revising history.
By William Greider
Alan Greenspan has come back from the tomb of history to correct the record. He did not make any mistakes in his eighteen-year tenure as Federal Reserve chairman. He did not endorse the regressive Bush tax cuts of 2001 that pumped up the federal deficits and aggravated inequalities. He did not cause the housing bubble that is now in collapse. He did not ignore the stock market bubble that subsequently melted away and cost investors $6 trillion. He did not say the Iraq War is "largely about oil."
Check the record. These are all lies.
Greenspan's testimony endorsing the Bush tax cuts was extremely influential but now he wants to run away from it.In the instance of Iraq, Greenspan is actually correcting his own memoir, The Age of Turbulence, which just came out. This weekend, newspapers reported provocative snippets from the book, including this: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what every everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."....Read more
Use of Taser to subdue autistic teen questioned in California
TUSTIN, Calif. — Sheriff's officials defended their use of a Taser stun gun to subdue an autistic teenager who left a social services center where he was being treated."It was necessary," sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said in defense of the use of a Taser stun gun to subdue 15-year-old Taylor Karras.He said the teen is lucky to be alive."If that were your son, would you want him Tased or hit by a car?" Amormino asked....Read more
Related note: In case you missed this week's story on the tased University of Florida student for "inciting a riot" by asking Senator John Kerry if he is a member of Yale University's Skull and Bones, you owe yourself this one. Watch how cool Kerry is and the faux-protest he puts up to UF campus police when there surround the man and escort him away from the microphone. Fascist message to college students: "Look at what curioristy can do for you."
Denver Sheriff's Office Helps Private Companies Take Blood And Saliva At Checkpoints
A Sheriff's office in Denver has been blasted by drivers after it engaged in the operation of what appeared to be DUI checkpoints but were in fact stops being carried out by a private non-profit research group.
The Gilpin County Sheriff's Office was hit with complaints earlier this week from motorists who say they were not properly informed of the nature of the stops and felt that they were non-voluntary. One Undersheriff even described the procedure as "like a telemarketer that you couldn't hang up on,".
The Denver post reported on the incident earlier this week:
Sgt. Bob Enney said deputies assisted the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in stopping motorists at five sites along Colorado 119 for surveys on any drug and alcohol use. Surveyors then asked the motorists to voluntarily submit to tests of their breath, blood and saliva. At least 200 drivers were tested, Enney said. About five motorists later complained, he said.Read more....
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