Progressive Calendar 01.21.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 04:53:02 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   01.21.08

                   You never outgrow your need for MLK

1. MLK breakfasts     1.21 7am
2. TPT:MLK bkfst live 1.21 8am
3. SinglePayer march  1.21 9:30am
4. Youth rally        1.21 9:30am
5. Indian maiden      1.21 9:30am
6. MLK/music/dance    1.21 11am
7. Equality campaign  1.21 1pm
8. Atheist toastmstr  1.21 6pm
9. MLK reading        1.21 6:30pm
10. Malcolm/MLK/play  1.21 7:30pm

11. Palestine/CTV     1.22 5pm
12. Full moon freeze  1.22 5:30pm
13. RNC video train   1.22 6pm
14. Dementia          1.22 6:30pm
15. Youth violence    1.22 7pm
16. Stem cell         1.22 7pm

17. Ron Jacobs - MoveOn and the Liberal War Party [not a rock group]
18. Stephen Lendman - Total surveillance
19. ed              - The Jam Lehrer Interview Minute

--------1 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: MLK breakfasts 1.21 7am

Although tickets for the breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center
are sold out, the St. Paul Area Council of Churches again this year will
host five simultaneous events in St. Paul and Duluth, where guests can
enjoy breakfast and watch the live broadcast together. These community
breakfasts - held from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. - are free and open to the
public, but reservations are required. Reservations are available online
at the St. Paul Area Council of Churches Web site at or by
phone at 651-789-3877.

--------2 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: TPT:MLK bkfst live 1.21 8am

This year the featured speaker at the Minneapolis Convention Center hosted
breakfast to honor MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY is veteran African_American
journalist CHARLENE HUNTER-GAULT. The Convention Ctr even is sold
out - but, there are 5 other locations hosting a breakfast where you can
watch the event screened. For info,call: 651-789-3877

MONDAY Jan. 21, 8sm on CHANNEL 2 (live)
re-broadcast: 7pm, channel 17

--------3 of 19--------

From: Don Pylkkanen <don [at]>
Subject: SinglePayer march 1.21 9:30am


MARCH for Single-Payer and the Minnesota Health Act on MARTIN LUTHER KING

Monday morning, January 21, 9:30 AM Central High School, Lexington &
Marshall (275 Lexington Parkway N.), St Paul

9:30: Assemble in the Auditorium up front by the MLK health care banner
that reads: "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is
the most shocking and inhumane."  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

10:30: March together with the MLK banner to Concordia University's
Gangelhoff Center

11:00: Assemble by the MLK banner at the Gangelhoff Center at the
beginning of the program

RSVP at HYPERLINK "mailto:MUHCC [at]"MUHCC [at] 
you will march with us

Please recognize this year's MLK Day Main Event theme, which is
"Education: Every Mind a Treasure to be Tapped"

--------4 of 19-------

From: Joel Albers <joel [at]>
Subject: Youth rally 1.21 9:30am

9:30 - 10:30 AM Youth Rally, St Paul Central High School (Marshall &
Lexington Ave)
10:35 - 10:55AM March (down Marshall Street, St Paul) to Concordia Univ.
11:00 - 1:00PM Main Program, Gangelhoff Center, Concordai Univ.

--------5 of 19--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Indian maiden 1.21 9:30am

Monday, January 21: American Association of University Women Minneapolis
Branch. 9:30 AM: Killing the Indian Maiden: Images of Native American
Women in Film. 10:45 AM: Advocacy for the World's Women is Still Our Job.
Noon: Lunch. 1:15 PM: Living the Dream. 2115 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis.

--------6 of 19--------

From: Tom Cleland <tomcleland [at]>
Subject: MLK/music/dance 1.21 11am

& UMOJA Youth Performing Arts
Honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, with music, fashion and dance.
Special performances by:

'Cornbread' Harris
Ashley Dubose
Papa A J
Thandisizwe Jackson-Nisan
The Mpls. North High School Gospel Choir
The First International Global Market
Fashion Extravaganza
MC Ms. Jewelean Jackson
Special Guest Speaker:
Elder Naima Richmond

The Global Market
920 East Lake Street
Monday, January 21, 2008  11am-4pm

--------7 of 19--------

From: Francisco J. Gonzalez <guajataca01 [at]>
Subject: Equality campaign 1.21 1pm

Equality Campaign meeting on 01/21/08

I would like to invite you to a very important activity on January 21,
2008 on a new initiative regarding the enforcement of human rights,
anti-discrimination and civil rights laws here in Minnesota. The Equality
Campaign by the Social Development Training and Action Center (SDTAC) is
proposing to amend the State of Minnesota Constitution to create a fourth
government department (branch) to be called Human and Civil Rights, which
would be the first in the nation.

Below is more information about the planed public hearing where this
proposal will be unveiled, and also about the amendment proposition

I am proud to say that I am involved in this process, together with many
other Latino, African-American, Somali and progressive organizations and
individuals committed to improving social justice and equality in

Date:  January 21, 2008
Time:  1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Location:  Concordia University
Buetow Music Auditorium
300 Hamline Avenue

Contacts: Edward McDonald - 651-770-9364 Stacie Cormier - 612-600-0502

--------8 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Atheist toastmstr 1.21 6pm

Monday, January 21, 6:00 p.m., Freethought Toastmasters. Larpenteur
Estates Party Room, 1276 Larpenteur Ave. W, St. Paul 55113. Contact
George Kane, nup [at]

--------9 of 19--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subjec0t: MLK reading 1.21 6:30pm

Monday, 1/21, gather at 6:30, program at 7 pm, Vets for Peace member Molly
Culligan reads Martin Luther King's antiwar speech, Sacred Heart Church, E
6th St at Arcade, St Paul.  fkroncke [at] or 651-774-4008.

--------10 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Malcolm/MLK/play 1.21 7:30pm

"The Meeting" by Jeffrey Stetson returns to the History Theatre with a
limited run, Jan. 21?Feb. 15.

THE MEETING by Jeffrey P. Stetson
Starring: Terry Bellamy, Darien Johnson, and Ashford J. Thomas
The History Theatre
30 East Tenth Street, St. Paul, MN

January 21  February 15.
Evening Performances:
Monday, January 21 (MLK DAY!) @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 26, February 2 @ 8 p.m.
Thursday, January 31, February 7 @ 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 1 @ 8 p.m.

Sunday, January 27, February 3 @ 2 p.m.
10:00 performances January 23, 24, 25, 30. February 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13,
14, 15.

Tickets for all performances ONLY $15!
For reservations call: (651) 292-4323 or visit

About the Play:
1965. February 14. Evening. A room in the Hotel Theresa, Harlem. Two men 
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.  share a cause, but not a movement.
One hundred years after Emancipation, Black Americans struggle under the
yoke of racial oppression; America's streets burn with their rebellion.
Malcolm X believes there will never be peace without justice. Dr. King
believes there will never be justice without peace. They know they are
marked men, still they continue their quest for freedom. In this imagined
encounter, they grapple with a question: Are revolutions won by hands
clenched into fists or joined in prayer?

--------11 of 19--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine/CTV 1.22 5pm

Sainted St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings at 5pm and
midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am.  All households with basic cable
may watch.

1/22 5pm and midnight and 1/23 10am "Ali Abunimah: Where Next for
Palestine-Israel? Part 2"  Talk by Palestinian American given at the U of
M in Oct. '07. (a repeat)

--------12 of 19--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Full moon freeze 1.22 5:30pm

January Full Moon Walk Around Historic Nicollet Island

Tuesday, January 22, 5:30 p.m. Nicollet Island Pavillon, 40 Power Street
(Southeast of Hennepin Avenue), Minneapolis. Nicollet Island is a
traditional birthing island for Dakota women and is considered sacred,
"wakan." Weapons were not permitted on the island which became known as a
peace island where intertribal negotiations occurred. The falls now called
St. Anthony, at the foot of the island, is the only waterfall on the
entire 2,350-mile length of the Mississippi. The walk will be led by
island residents fighting development. Traditional group howl! Sponsored
by: Friends of Coldwater. FFI: Visit <>.

-------13 of 19--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at]>
Subject: RNC video training 1.22 6pm

There will be a video training session for the RNC on January 22, 2007 at
6 pm, 2402 University Avenue West, Room 600, St. Paul.

The purpose is to train videographers, ie people with some ability to use
video cameras to record events at the RNC as part of the NLG's Legal
Observer Program. Anyone interested in working on video documentation for
purposes of protecting the rights of protesters can attend this event. The
training will also address knowledge needed to become a Legal Observer, so
it can be useful to those who are interested in being a Legal Observer or
Videographer, but have not decided which one.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Jordan S. Kushner
Attorney 431 South 7th Street, Suite 2446Minneapolis, MN 55415(612)

-------14 of 19--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Dementia 1.22 6:30pm

The topic this coming Tuesday, will be , hmm, well, Dementia.  I know it
will be very interesting because i have met Rosemary and she is deeply
involved in helping people w/dementia.  She will take us into the world of
this disease and talk about the social and psychological aspects of it.
So, if you don't forget, try and come. Thanks, patty

[A blow to the head can knock you into another dementia. -ed]

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------15 of 19--------

From: Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at]>
Subject: Youth violence 1.22 7pm

For the past 12 months the Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee -
created by a resolution I introduced last year recognizing youth violence
as a public health problem and comprising over 30 community leaders and
public safety experts - has reviewed best practices, met with Minneapolis
young people, consulted with national experts, assessed existing youth
violence prevention programs, and engaged in a deep discussion about the
complex issues facing young people in our community.

The result is Blueprint for Action: Preventing Youth Violence in
Minneapolis, a report and plan that recognizes youth violence as a public
health epidemic that requires a holistic, multi-faceted response. The
Blueprint identifies four key goals and outlines 33 recommendations that
offer the foundation for a community-shared strategic plan to solve one of
the most tragic and tenacious problems facing our City.

On January 22 join me, Minneapolis Commissioner of Health, Gretchen
Musicant, and other leaders, activists and concerned residents for a
lively discussion about our new plan to stop youth violence in our city.

Preventing Youth Violence in Minneapolis
A Ward 2 Roundtable Discussion
Tuesday,  January 22,
7-9 pm.
at Matthews Center,
24th St. E and 28th Ave. S

Cam Gordon Minneapolis City Council Member, Second Ward 673-2202, 296-0579
cam [at]

[How about Youth Violence: Pro/Con. If violence is good for Bush and
corporations, why not for youth too? It's hardly fair to let our leaders
have all the fun. I bet they'd welcome a good beating by roving gangs of
preschoolers. -ed]

--------16 of 19--------

From: AAUW
Subject: Stem cell 1.22 7pm

Tuesday, January 22: American Association of University Women Minneapolis
Branch. 5 PM: Social. 5:15 PM: Business Meeting. 6 PM: Dinner. 7 PM: The
Ethics & Politics of Stem Cell Research. 2115 Stevens Avenue,

--------17 of 19--------

MoveOn and the Liberal War Party
No Retreat
January 19 / 20, 2008

"Antiwar groups retreat on funding fight" read the headlines. The story
underneath describes a retreat by MoveOn and other liberal elements of the
antiwar movement who, after failing to get a withdrawal deadline passed in
the US Congress in 2007, are now merely trying to prevent the US and
Baghdad governments from signing an agreement that would keep US forces in
Iraq until 2018. This strategy, its supporters believe, can still provide
a difference between Democrats and Republicans to voters in the upcoming
elections. [These con-men must imagine we're bottomlessly gullible.
Maybe we are. -ed]

This scenario is exactly what happens when an element of the antiwar
movement ties itself to a party invested in keeping a war going.
Unfortunately for the antiwar movement in general, this strategy is
pervasive throughout much of the movement and has rendered the current
movement against the war in Iraq completely moribund. Instead of an
antiwar movement, there is a repeat of 2004, when UFPJ, MoveOn and other
antiwar organizations put their money and efforts into the Anybody But
Bush campaign and helped give the country four more years of George Bush.

This election year, George Bush isn't running, but the war and occupation
will continue long after he's gone unless the self-appointed liberal
leadership in the antiwar movement either quits tailing the Democratic
Party or just shuts up. Since neither of these phenomena are likely to
happen, it is up to the grassroots of the movement to wrest the mantle of
leadership away from these lobbyists and put the movement back into the
streets where its real power is. The lobbyists have had their chance and
all they've done is spend a ton of our money on advertising, lobbying and
salaries with no tangible results. This should make it clear to the people
who actually make up the antiwar movement that our hopes lie in hard work,
street protests and direct action, and developing strategies that are not
based on the US election cycle. [Amen]

This may very well require a new organization stepping up to the plate.
UFPJ has struck out as a national organization, primarily because they
have refused to organize or help organize any national demonstrations in a
year. ANSWER, meanwhile, seems to have forfeited their place in the game
because of their perceived sectarianism and a bit of red and
Muslim-baiting. MoveOn and similar organizations are, on the national
level, much more like spectators and concessionaires at this point than
they are real players, having thrown in their lot with the democrats.
[There's a time-tested losing strategy. -ed]

The only existing national organizations that could possibly provide fresh
leadership at this time are Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and the
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). However, given the rather
specific constituency of both of these groups, it would seem that there
would need to be some other groups either currently in existence or yet to
be formed willing to coalesce and create a truly national mobilization to
end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home.

Let the candidates tell their lies. Let them argue about how they are
against the wars while they vote for the wars. Let the national antiwar
organizations that have hitched their wagons to the Democrats or Ron Paul
be dragged into the dead-end ditch of electoral politics. But let those of
us interested in having a vibrant and viable antiwar movement ready to hit
the streets after January 2009 start trying to figure out how the hell
we're going to do that. This doesn't mean your vote is meaningless. It
just means that it isn't as meaningful as the candidates and the liberal
elements of the antiwar movement want you to think it is. If it was, don't
you think we would know when the troops would be out of Iraq?

[Here's what that vote means: Yarba fwulz gonto hrrkk plonk. Remember you
heard it here first. -ed]

Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather
Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill
Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex,
Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is
published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625 [at]

--------18 of 19--------

Total Surveillance
Institutionalized Spying on Americans
January 17, 2008

This article reviews two police state tools (among many in use) in
America. One is new, undiscussed and largely unknown to the public. The
other was covered in a December article by this writer called Police State
America. Here it's updated with new information.

The National Applications Office (NAO)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established a new domestic
spying operation in 2007 called the National Applications Office (NOA) and
described it as "the executive agent to facilitate the use of intelligence
community technological assets for civil, homeland security and law
enforcement purposes within the United States." The office was to begin
operating last fall to "build on the long-standing work of the Civil
Applications Committee (CAC), which was created in 1974 to facilitate the
use of the capabilities of the intelligence community for civil,
non-defense uses in the United States."

With or without congressional authorization or oversight, the executive
branch is in charge and will let NAO use state-of-the-art technology,
including military satellite imagery, to spy on Americans without their
knowledge. Implementation is delayed, however, after Committee on Homeland
Security Chairman, Bennie Thompson, and other committee members raised
questions of "very serious privacy and civil liberties concerns." In
response, DHS agreed to delay operating (officially) until all matters are
addressed and resolved.

Given its track record post-9/11, expect little more than pro forma
posturing before Congress signs off on what Kate Martin, the director of
the Center for National Security Studies, calls "Big Brother in the Sky"
and a "police state" in the offing.

DHS supplies this background information on NAO. Post-9/11, the Director
of National Intelligence appointed an Independent Study Group (ISG) in
May, 2005 to "review the current operation and future role of the (1974)
Civil Applications Committee and study the current state of Intelligence
Community support to homeland security and law enforcement entities."

In September 2005, the Committee produced a "Blue Ribbon Study," now
declassified. Its nine members were headed by and included three Booz
Allen Hamilton officials because of the company's expertise in spying and
intelligence gathering. Its other members have similar experience. They
all have a vested interest in domestic spying because the business
potential is huge for defense related industries and consultants.

ISG members included:

Keith Hall, Chairman
Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

Edward G. Anderson
LTG US Army (Ret)
Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton

Thomas W. Conroy
Vice President
National Security Programs
Northrop Grumman/TASC

Patrick M. Hughes
LTG US Army (Ret)
Vice President, Homeland Security
L-3 Communications

Kevin O'Connell
Director of Defense Group Incorporated (DGI)
Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis (CIRA)

CIRA is a think tank that calls itself "the premier open source and
cultural intelligence exploitation cell for the US intelligence
community." Its business is revolutionizing intelligence analysis.

Jeff Baxter
Independent Defense Consultant with DOD and industry

Dr. Paul Gilman
Oak Ridge Center for Advanced Studies
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
US Department of Energy

Kemp Lear
Booz Allen Hamilton, and

Joseph D. Whitley, Esq
Alston & Bird LLP, Government Investigations and
Compliance Group, former Acting Associate Attorney
General in GHW Bush administration, and former General
Counsel for DHS under GW Bush

The ISG's report produced 11 significant findings and 27 recommendations
based on its conclusion that there's "an urgent need for action because
opportunities to better protect the nation are being missed." It
"concluded a new management and process model (is) needed to effectively
employ IC (Intelligence Community) capabilities for domestic uses."

In March 2006, DHS unveiled the new agency to implement ISG's
recommendations called the National Applications Office. In May, 2007,
Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Michael McConnell, named DHS as
its executive agent and functional manager. At least in principle
according to DHS, Congress agreed with this approach and to provide
funding for it, beginning in the fall of 2007.

The public knew nothing about this until a feature August 15, 2007 Wall
Street Journal story broke the news. It was headlined "US to Expand Use of
Spy Satellites." It noted that for the first time the nation's top
intelligence official (DNI's McConnell) "greatly expanded the range of
federal and local (civilian law enforcement agencies that) can get access
to" military spy satellite collected information. Until now, civilian use
was restricted to agencies like NASA and the US Geological Survey, and
only for scientific and environmental study.

The Journal explained that key objectives under new guidelines will be:

-- border security,

-- securing critical infrastructure and helping emergency responders after
natural disasters,

-- working with criminal and civil federal, state, and local law
enforcement agencies, and

-- unmentioned by the Journal, the ability to spy on anyone, anywhere,
anytime domestically for any reason - an unprecedented act using
state-of-the-art technology enabling real-time, high-resolution images and
data from space.

NAO will also oversee classified information from the National Security
Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other
US agencies involved in dealing with all aspects of national security,
including "terrorism."

NSA was established in 1952, is super-secret, and for many years was never
revealed to exist. Today, its capabilities are awesome and worrisome. It
eavesdrops globally, mines a vast amount of data, and does it through a
network of spy satellites, listening posts, and surveillance planes to
monitor virtually all electronic communications from landline and cell
phones, telegrams, emails, faxes, radio and television, data bases of all
kinds and the internet.

NGA is new and began operating in 2003. It lets military and intelligence
analysts monitor virtually anything or anyone from state-of-the-art spy
satellites. Both NSA and NGA coordinate jointly with the National
Reconnaissance Office (NRO) that designs, builds and operates military spy
satellites. It also analyzes military and CIA-collected aircraft and
satellite reconnaissance information.

Combined with warrantless wiretapping, pervasive spying of all kinds, the
abandonment of the law and checks and balances, intense secrecy, and an
array of repressive post-9/11 legislation, Executive Orders and National
Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, NAO is another
national security police state tool any despot would love. It's now
established and may be operating without congressional approval.

Using spy satellites domestically "is largely uncharted territory," as the
Wall Street Journal noted. Even its architects admit there's no clarity on
this, and the ISG's report stated "There is little if any policy, guidance
or procedures regarding the collection, exploitation and dissemination of
domestic MASINT (Measurement and Signatures Intelligence)."

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is the main DOD spy agency. It
manages MASINT that's ultra-secret and sophisticated. It uses
state-of-the-art radar, lasers, infrared sensors, electromagnetic data and
other technologies that can detect chemicals, electro-magnetic activity,
whether a nuclear power plant produces plutonium, and the type vehicle
from its exhaust. It can also see under bridges, through clouds, forest
canopies and even concrete to create images and collect data. In addition,
it can detect people, activity and weapons that satellites and
photo-reconnaissance aircraft miss, so it's an invaluable spy tool but
highly intrusive and up to now only for military and foreign intelligence

Further, military spy satellites are state-of-the-art and superior to
civilian ones. They record in color as well as black and white, use
different parts of the light spectrum to track human activities and ground
movements and can detect chemical weapons traces and people-generated heat
in buildings.

This much we know about them. Their full potential is top secret and
available only to the military and intelligence community. The Journal
quoted an alarmed Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel and director of the
Project on Freedom, Security and Technology, that advocates for digital
age privacy rights saying: "Not only is the surveillance they are
contemplating intrusive and omnipresent, it's also invisible. And that's
what makes this so dangerous."

Anyone for any reason may be watched at all times (through walls) with no
way to know it, but a June 2001 (before 9/11) Supreme Court decision
offers hope. In Kyllo v. United States, the Court ruled for petitioner 5
to 4 (with Scalia and Thomas in the majority). It voided a conviction
based on police use of thermal imaging to detect heat in his triplex to
determine if an illegal drug was being grown, in this case marijuana.

The Court held: "Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not
in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would
previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the
surveillance is a Fourth Amendment 'search," and is presumptively
unreasonable without a warrant....To withdraw protection of this minimum
expectation would be to permit police technology to erode the privacy
guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment" protecting against "unreasonable
searches and seizures."

In 1981, Ronald Reagan seemed to agree in Executive Order 12333 on United
States Intelligence Activities. It bars the intelligence community from
most forms of home eavesdropping while providing wide latitude to all
government agencies to "provide the President and the National Security
Council with the necessary information (needed to) conduct....foreign,
defense and economic policy (and protect US) national interests from
foreign security threats. (Collecting this information is to be done,
however,) consistent with the Constitution and applicable law...."

That was then, and this is now. It's hard imagining congressional concern
or DHS meaning that NAO will "prioritize the protection of privacy and
civil liberties" and citing the Reagan Executive Order and the 1974
Privacy Act. That law mandates that no government agency "shall disclose
any record (or) system of records by any means of communication to any
person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request, or
with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record
pertains." The Privacy act requires the US government to maintain an
administrative and physical security system to prevent the unauthorized
release of personal records.

Post-9/11, the Patriot Act ended that protection, so DHS is shameless
saying NAO must comply with civil liberties and privacy laws and be
subject to "oversight by the DHS Inspector General, Chief Privacy Officer,
and the Officer for Civil Rights and Liberties" plus additional oversight.
No longer post-9/11 when the national security state got repressive new
tools to erode the constitution, ignore democratic principles, and give
the President unrestricted powers in the name of national security. NAO is
the latest one watching us as our "Big Brother in the Sky." Orwell would
be proud.

Real ID Act Update - Another Intrusive Police State Tool

The Real ID Act of 2005 required states to meet federal ID standards by
May, 2008. That's now changed because 29 states passed or introduced laws
that refuse to comply. They call the Act costly to administer, a
bureaucratic nightmare, and New Hampshire said it's "repugnant" and
violates the state and US Constitutions.

The federal law mandates that every US citizen and legal resident have a
national ID card that in most cases is a driver's license meeting federal
standards. It requires it to contain an individual's personal information
and makes one mandatory to open a bank account, board an airplane, be able
to vote, get a job, enter a federal building, or conduct virtually all
essential business requiring identification.

States balked, and that doomed the original version. On January 11,
changes were unveiled when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
issued binding new rules. Under them, states have until 2011 to comply
(instead of 2008), until 2014 to issue "tamper-proof licenses" to drivers
born after 1964, and until 2017 for those born before this date. DHS said
the original law would cost states $14 billion. The new regulations with
an extended phase-in cuts the amount to around $3.9 billion or $8 per

These numbers may be bogus, however, the true costs may be far higher, and
that's why the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is
lobbying for Real ID's passage. Its members include high-tech card makers
like Digimarc and Northrup Grumman and data brokers like Choicepoint and
LexisNexis that profit by selling personal information to advertisers and
the government.

Under new DHS rules, licenses must include a digital photo taken at the
beginning of the application process and a filament or other security
device to prevent counterfeiting. They must also have three layers of
security that states can select from a DHS menu. In addition, states must
begin checking license applicants' Social Security and immigration status
over the next year.

As of now, a controversial radio frequency identification (RFID)
technology microchip isn't required. It may come later, however, and
here's the problem. It'll let cardholder movements and activities be
tracked everywhere, at all times - in other words, a police state dream
along with other pervasive spying tools.

Even worse would be mandating human RFID chip implants. It's not planned
so far (but not ruled out), and three states (California, Wisconsin and
North Dakota) preemptively banned the practice without recipients'

Think it can't happen? Consider a January 13 article in the London
Independent headlined "Prisoners 'to be chipped like dogs.' " The article
states that civil rights groups and probation officers are furious that
"hi-tech 'satellite'.... machine-readable (microchip) tagging (is) planned
(for thousands of offenders) to create more space in jails." Unlike ankle
bracelets now sometimes used, tiny RFID chips would be surgically
implanted for monitoring the way they're currently used for dogs, cats,
cattle and luggage. They're more reliable, it's believed, as current
devices can be tampered with or removed.

Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO),
was quoted saying: "We have looked at....the practicalities and the ethics
(and we concluded) its time has come." The UK currently has the largest
prison population per capita in western Europe. It sounds like authorities
plan to expand it using fewer cells. It also sounds like a scheme to tag
everyone after testing them first on prisoners. And consider the
possibilities. RFID technology is advancing, and one company plans deeper
implants that can vibrate, emit electroshocks, broadcast a message to the
implantee, and/or be a hidden microphone to transmit conversations. It's
not science fiction, and what's planned for the UK will likely come to
America. In fact, it's already here.

In 2004, the FDA approved a grain-of-rice sized, antenna-containing
VeriChip for human implantation that allows vital information to be read
when a person's body is scanned. The company states on its web site that
it's "the world's first and only patented, FDA-cleared, human-implantable
RFID microchip....with skin-sensing capabilities." Reportedly, about 2000
test subjects now have them, but it may signal mandatory implantation
ahead. Consider for whom for starters - prisoners, military personnel and
possibly anyone seeking employment. After them, maybe everyone in a brave
new global surveillance world.

It gets worse. Katherine Albrecht authored a report called
"Microchip-Cancer Report - Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents
and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990-2006." After reading it, Dr.
Robert Benezra, Director Cancer Biology, Genetics Program, Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center said: "There's no way in the world, having
read this information, that I would have one of those chips implanted in
my skin, or in one of my family members. Given the preliminary animal
data, it looks to me that there's definitely cause for concern."

Albrecht's report evaluated 11 previously published toxicology and
pathology studies. In six of them, up to 10.2% of rats and mice developed
malignant tumors (typically sarcomas) where microchips were implanted. Two
others reported the same findings for dogs. These tumors spread fast and
"often led to the death of the afflicted animals. In many cases, the
tumors metastasized and spread to other parts of the animals. The implants
were unequivocally identified as the cause of the cancers."

Report reviews, conclusions and recommendations were to immediately stop
further human implantations, inform people with them of the dangers, offer
a microchip removal procedure, and reverse all animal microchipping

Debate Ahead on New DHS ID Rules

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said new ID rules require states to verify
each cardholder's personal information (including a person's legal status
in the country) by matching it against federal Social Security and
passport databases and/or comparable state ones.

States have time to adjust, but Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy
wasted no time saying he'll recommend legislation to ban Real ID drivers'
license provisions because "so many Americans oppose" them. They're
intrusive, burdensome, and federal databases are full of false or
out-of-date information that's hard to disprove, but unless it is
Americans will be denied their legal right to a driver's license.

The ACLU also strongly opposes Real ID because it violates privacy, lets
government agencies share data, and its "tortured remains" represent an
"utterly unworkable" system that will "irreparably damage the fabric of
American life." An ACLU January 11 press release further states that DHS
"dumped the problems of the statute on future presidents like a rotting
corpse left on (its) steps (and) whoever is president in 2018." Congress
must "recognize the situation and take action." The Real ID Act and new
DHS rules must be "repealed and replaced with a clean, simple, and
vigorous new driver's license security law that does not create a national
ID" or violate Americans' privacy.

Futuristic Hi-Tech Profiling

On January 14, Computerworld online revealed more cause for concern in an
article called "Big Brother Really is Watching." It's about DHS
"bankrolling futuristic profiling technology...." for its Project Hostile
Intent. It, in turn, is part of a broader initiative called the Future
Attribute Screening Technologies Mobile Module. It's to be a
self-contained, automated screening system that's portable and easy to
implement, and DHS hopes to test it at airports in 2010 and deploy it (if
it works) by 2012 at airports, border checkpoints, other points of entry
and other security-related areas.

Here's the problem. If developed (reliable or not), these devices will use
video, audio, laser and infrared sensors to feed real-time data into a
computer using "specially developed algorithms" to identify "suspicious
people." It would work (in theory) by interpreting gestures, facial
expressions and speech variations as well as measure body temperature,
heart and respiration rate, blood pressure, skin moisture, and other
physiological characteristics.

The idea would be detect deception and identify suspicious people for
aggressive interrogation, searches and even arrest. But consider what's
coming. If developed, the technology may be used anywhere by government or
the private sector for airport or other checkpoint security, buildings,
job interviews, employee screening, buying insurance or conducting any
other type essential business.

Aside from Fourth Amendment issues, here's the problem according to Bruce
Schneier, chief technology officer at security consultant BT Counterpane:
"It's a good idea fraught with difficulties....don't hold your breath" it
will work, and a better idea is to focus on detecting suspicious objects.
Schneier further compares the technology to lie detectors that rely on
"fake technology" and only work in films. They're used because people want
them although it's acknowledged, even when well-administered, their median
accuracy percentage is 50% at best.

This technology is worse, it may never be reliable, but may be deployed
anyway in the age of "terror." Something to consider next time we blink
going through airport security, and ACLU Technology and Liberty Project
director Barry Steinhardt states the concern: "We are not going to catch
any terrorists (with it), but a lot of innocent people, especially racial
and ethnic minorities, are going to be trapped in a web of suspicion."
Even so, DHS spent billions on this and other screening tools post-9/11.
Expect lots more ahead, and here's the bottom line:

As things now stand, Washington, post-9/11, suspended constitutional
protections in the name of national security and suppressed our civil
liberties for our own good. This article reviewed their newest tools and
wonders what's next. This writer called it Police State America in
December that won't change with a new White House occupant in 2009 unless
organized resistance stops it. Complacency is unthinkable, and unless we
act, we'll deserve Aleksandr Herzen's curse of another era - to be the
"disease," not the "doctors."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
lendmanstephen [at]

--------19 of 19x--------

 The Jam Lehrer Interview Minute

 Q: What is the heart of your message to America?
 Hillary: Yarba fwulz. Gonto hrrkk plonk.
 Obama: Yarba fwulz! Gonto? Hrrkk? Plonk.
 Edwards: Yarba - fwulz gonto! Hrrkk-plonk.

 Q: Otnog abray; zluwf. Knolp kkrrh?
 Hillary: Well, duh! But only after plonk knolp.
 Obama: Cool. Zwulf fwulz - unless it doesn't.
 Edwards: Indubitably perhaps. Depending of course on gonto otnog.

 Jam: Good answers. I'm sure the American people will hold you to them.
 And now this is Jam Lehrer saying Good gonto, and up your plonk with a
 rusty knolp.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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