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Signs of the Times for Thu, 25 May 2006

May 24, 2006
The Bush administration and the National Security Agency (NSA) have been secretly monitoring the email messages and phone calls of all Americans. They are doing this, they say, for our own good. To find terrorists. Many people have criticized NSA's domestic spying as unlawful invasion of privacy, as search without search warrant, as abuse of power, as misuse of the NSA's resources, as unConstitutional, as something the communists would do, something very unAmerican.

In addition, however, mass surveillance of an entire population cannot find terrorists. It is a probabilistic impossibility. It cannot work.

~ Read More ~

By Robert Parry
May 24, 2006
The Bush administration's steady garroting of American liberties - already strangling the right to a fair trial and protections against warrantless searches - is now tightening its chokehold around the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press and respect for Congress as a co-equal branch of government.

Over the past weekend, George W. Bush and his Justice Department signaled to the U.S. press corps and Congress that they are not beyond the reach of Bush's "plenary" - or unlimited - powers as Commander in Chief or his authority as "unitary executive," deciding what laws to enforce and how.

~ Read More ~

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Dave Neiwert

Digby brings our attention to the recent "Battle Cry" rally in Philadelphia, where a crowd of about 25,000 -- mostly teenagers and young adults -- pledged their fealty to a vision of a theocratic Christian nation. This pledge was obtained, mostly, by scaring the crap out of them,

That was clear from this account on DKos:

But BattleCry Philadelphia was more than just a vulgar carnival designed to suck donations into the coffers of Ron Luce's corporation "Teen Mania". Indeed, it had a point, to recruit the future elite "warriors" in the coming battle against the separation of church and state. It turned dark and frightening on Saturday afternoon. After Franklin "Islam is a Wicked Religion" Graham came out to thunder against the evils of homosexuality and the Iraqi people (whom he considers to be exactly the same people as the ancient Babylonians who enslaved the tribes of Israel and deserving, one would assume, the exact same fate) we heard an explosion. Flames shot out on stage and a team of Navy Seals was shown on the big TV monitors in full camouflage creeping forward down the hallway from the locker room with their M16s. They were hunting us, the future Christian leaders of America. Two teenage girls next to me burst into tears and even I, a jaded middle-aged male, almost jumped out of my skin. I imagined for that moment what it must have felt like to have been a teacher at Columbine high school. 10 seconds later they rushed out onstage and pointed their guns in our direction firing blanks spitting flames. About 1000 shots and bang, we were all dead.

~ Read More ~

Wednesday May 24th 2006, 7:57 pm
Kurt Nimmo
Another Day in the Empire

According to Reuters, the National Post, the "conservative" (actually neocon) Canadian newspaper, has apologized for publishing the Iranian zonar story, as it turns out to be a complete fabrication. "The story was based on a column by Iranian expatriate writer Amir Taheri, who said a law being debated by Iran's parliament would force Jews to sew a yellow strip of cloth to their clothes. Christians would wear a red strip while Zoroastrians would wear a blue one," notes the news organization. "The story and the column appeared at a time when the international community is pressuring Tehran over its nuclear program." In other words, the bogus story was designed to slander Iran at a crucial moment during negotiations over Iran's completely legal nuclear energy program.

~ Read More ~

United States of Fascism

handgun.png States signing on to deadly force law

lady_liberty.png US Senate limits debate on immigration reform

blue_questionmark.png Feds Raid Home of Photo Agency Head

red_flag.png Search of Capitol Hill office creates another storm

spying.png Cheney may be called in CIA leak case

vader.png US Fence Follows Global Trend

pie-chart.png China opposes US report on military power

u-s-flag.png US House speaker under investigation: report

spying.png Government Secrecy Is a Farce

u-s-flag.png US sniper grills former partner

u-s-flag.png Venezuelan anger at computer game

vampire.png Skilling and Lay guilty

Global Political Skullduggery

u-s-flag.png East Timor's "Sudden Rebellion"

read_important.png Australia to deploy 1,300 troops to East Timor

tnt.png Pakistani convicted for plot to bomb New York subway

nuclear.png Australia Eyes Uranium Enrichment Program

money.png Romania hopes to cooperate more closely with Poland

attention_sign.png Europe rethinks its 'safe haven' status

red_flag.png Castro enraged by Forbes

grenade.png Russia continues pulling out military hardwares from Georgia bases

vampire.png Harper says he's finished with Ottawa press corps

Earth, Wind, and Fire

earth.png NASA launches GOES-N weather satellite

lightning.png New Orleans seen top target for '06 hurricanes

earth.png Powerful earthquake shakes east coast of Kamchatka

earth.png Earthquake hits southern Iran

earth.png Minor Earthquake Shakes Northern California

earth.png Minor earthquake shakes part of Stockholm

ducky.png Case may be first 3-person bird flu chain

smoking.png "Sleeper effect" of cigarettes can last for years

mars.png Backyard Approach Finds Extrasolar Planet

Pick Your Poison

chemistry.png Artifically sweet cocktails speed alcohol absorption

syringe.png Israeli pleads not guilty to drug charges

syringe.png 10 Wash. residents tested, all have toxins

molecule.png Chocolate may boost brain power

syringe.png Study: ADHD drugs send thousands to ERs

garfield.png Obese Australians raising fat cats and fat dogs

clock.png Biological clock ticks for men too: study

Lying for War in Iran

penis_pump.png War Pimp Bolton: Iran regime can stay if ends arms pursuit

money.png European banks bow under US pressure to cut Iran ties

nuclear.png Iran ready for talks with US unconditionally

nuclear.png Ahmadinejad: Not Hitler After All

Cleaning Up in Iraq

u-s-flag.png A dozen Marines may face courts-martial for alleged Iraq massacre

u-s-flag.png Amnesty urges U.S. on Iraq contractors

cowboy_boot.png U.S. is urged to stop paying Iraqi reporters

Information Society

pc_mouse.png Europe: No patents for software

red_flag.png PC game spending hit $1.4 bln in US: NPD

u-s-flag.png Coming soon: The Web toll

black_cat.png Ark's Quantum Quirks

Crushing Palestine

reptile_eye.png Israel's Olmert calls for peace talks in US Congress speech

reptile_eye.png Israeli official says Jewish area of Hebron will grow, be connected to Israel

reptile_eye.png Abbas calls for referendum if dialogue fails to reach agreement

Economy On The Edge

money.png Oil holds at $70 after US gasoline stock build

money.png Boaters throttle back as gas soars

stock_ticker.png $6bn Mastercard float will test Wall Street's appetite

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