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PG&E and the Cult of TIPS

Republicans Encourage SNOOPS, like PG&E

Operation TIPS

Operation TIPS, where the last part is an anagram for the Terrorism Information and Prevention System, was designed by President George W. Bush to have United States citizens report suspicious activity.

It came under intense scrutiny in July of 2002 when the Washington Post alleged in an editorial that the program was vaguely defined.

The program's website implied that US workers who had access to private citizens' homes, such as cable installers and telephone repair workers, would be reporting on what was in people's homes if it was deemed "suspicious."

Operation TIPS was accused of doing an "end run" around the United States Constitution, and the original wording of the website was subsequently changed. President Bush's former Attorney General, John Ashcroft denied that private residences would be surveiled by private citizens operating as government spies.

Mr. Ashcroft nonetheless defended the program, equivocating on whether the reports by citizens on fellow citizens would be maintained in government databases. While saying that the information would not be in a central database as part of Operation TIPS, he maintained that the information would still be kept in databases by various law enforcement agencies.

The databases were an explicit concern of various civil liberties groups (on both the left and the right) who felt that such databases could include false information about citizens with no way for those citizens to know that such information was compiled about them, nor any way for them to correct the information, nor any way for them to confront their accusers.

Both Congressional Representative Dick Armey (Republican, Texas) and Senator Patrick Leahy (Democrat, Vermont) raised concerns.

Rep. Armey included legislation in the House's Homeland Security Bill that explicitly prohibited the creation of Operation TIPS.

Senator Leahy raised the concern that it was similar to J. Edgar Hoover's misuse of the FBI during the 1960s when Hoover hired citizens to spy on neighbors who were political protesters.

President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft still want the program to be implemented. The initial start of the program was August of 2002. It was to include 1 million workers in 10 US cities and then to be expanded.

The United States Postal Service, after at first seeming supportive of the program, later resisted its personnel being included in this program, reasoning that if mail carriers became perceived as law enforcement personnel that they would be placed in danger at a level for which they could not reasonably be expected to be prepared, and that the downside of the program hence vastly outweighed any good that it could accomplish. The National Association of Letter Carriers, a postal labor union, was especially outspoken in its opposition.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation TIPS Website (16 July 2002)

Operation TIPS - the Terrorism Information and Prevention System - will be a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity. Operation TIPS, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice, will begin as a pilot program in 10 cities that will be selected.

Operation TIPS, involving 1 million workers in the pilot stage, will be a national reporting system that allows these workers, whose routines make them well-positioned to recognize unusual events, to report suspicious activity. Every participant in this new program will be given an Operation TIPS information sticker to be affixed to the cab of their vehicle or placed in some other public location so that the toll-free reporting number is readily available.

Everywhere in America, a concerned worker can call a toll-free number and be connected directly to a hotline routing calls to the proper law enforcement agency or other responder organizations when appropriate.

Operation TIPS is coming in August 2002.
Volunteer now!

Operation TIPS Website (8 Aug 2002)

Operation TIPS, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice and developed in partnership with several other federal agencies, is one of the five component programs of the Citizen Corps. Operation TIPS will be a national system for reporting suspicious, and potentially terrorist-related activity. The program will involve the millions of American workers who, in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to see potentially unusual or suspicious activity in public places.

The Department of Justice is discussing participation with several industry groups whose workers are ideally suited to help in the anti-terrorism effort because their routines allow them to recognize unusual events and have expressed a desire for a mechanism to report these events to authorities.

These workers will use their common sense and knowledge of their work environment to identify suspicious or unusual activity. This program offers a way for these workers to report what they see in public areas and along transportation routes.

All it will take to volunteer is a telephone or access to the Internet as tips can be reported on the toll-free hotline or online. Information received will be referred electronically to a point of contact in each state as appropriate. This is not a national 911 center, and callers are expected to dial 911 for emergency local response.

Industries that are interested in participating in this program will be given printed guidance material, flyers and brochures, about the program and how to contact the Operation TIPS reporting center. This information can be distributed to workers or posted in common work areas. Operation TIPS is scheduled to be launched in late summer or early fall 2002. The goal of the program is to establish a reliable and comprehensive national system for reporting suspicious, and potentially terrorist-related, activity. Operation TIPS will be phased in across the country to enable the system to build its capacity to receive an increasing volume of tips.

The Memory Hole

OPERATION TIPS: Almost Dead, but Not Quite
BY Andrew Colwell

"I find it kind of scary ... We used to laugh at the old Soviet Union idea where everybody reported everybody else ... We don't need to have it happen here," commented Patrick Leahy (Vermont-D), chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, on a program that is currently working its way through Congress.

Leahy's comment, published in the Brattleboro Reformer, seems to encapsulate the basic argument of the vociferous criticism being shot at the Operation Terrorist Information and Prevention System (TIPS) program: it is too reminiscent of fascism and can be considered unconstitutional.

TIPS, which has encountered an ongoing barrage of criticism from all sides of the political spectrum, is sponsored by the Department of Justice in conjunction with Homeland Security and several other government agencies. For months the Department of Justice has promoted the program while attempting to please its critics, who remain skeptical of its objective. The program's website ( describes the objective as "a national system for concerned workers to report suspicious activity."

To the relief of the program's critics, TIPS did not appear on the draft of the Homeland Security Bill passed by the House of Representatives on July 29, 2002. This is a preliminary victory for the diverse group of conservative and liberal organizations that oppose the program on the grounds that it would violate privacy laws and give neighbors incentive to "peep" on one another. "Citizens will not become informants," stated the House Chairman's summary for the bill.

But this does not mean that TIPS has disappeared. The Senate has its turn to review and amend the Homeland Security Bill this autumn, and since the Senate was unable to review it before the August recess Congress takes every year, the program is technically still pending.

Also, the Justice Department claims that it will pursue the program in some form or another--if it is not already made legal by the Senate.

In addition, The Policy Action Network reported that the International Longshoremen's Association, which has 65,000 members, offered its services; the U.S. Postal Service, which had originally declined to allow its letter carriers to participate, changed its mind and met with the Justice Department; and James P. Hoffa, president of the Teamster's Union, proposed the participation of its American members.

In one sense (the Justice Department's), they would all become "volunteer informants," but in the differing view of ACLU Legislative Counsel Rachel King, in an ACLU news release, these organizations would instead serve as "government-sanctioned peeping toms."

The ACLU is not alone in its criticism of TIPS. There has been opposition from politically diverse groups such as the Cato Institute, the conservative Rutherford Institute, and the National Lawyers Guild.

At the time of publication, the program was still waiting to be discussed on the Senate floor. But House Majority Leader Dick Armey's aide, Richard Diamond, said it is likely that the program will not be discussed due to its prohibition in the House Bill, which Armey played a key role in designing.

But only time will tell at this point whether or not TIPS is revived.

According to the ACLU, TIPS was originally scheduled for action as a pilot program in August 2002; but since the Justice Department is saying it is still planning to pursue the program, it seems as if it has only been temporarily postponed by the recent developments.

It was also reported by the Associated Press that the Justice Department was waiting until Congress returns in September before harvesting any "tips," giving them time to consult lawmakers. The Operation TIPS website did say that there were plans in the works with several private industry groups but did not mention who they were or when any "peeping" would begin.

At one point during the legislation process, the Justice Department was sending incoming "tips" to America's Most Wanted, a TV show owned by the Fox Network. This was stopped after much criticism, and now the TIPS website reports that it is discussing the use of the National White Collar Crime Center as a host for the TIPS hotline number. The center is a non-profit, private corporation that primarily assists local law enforcement agencies in combating cyber crime. The Justice Department theorizes that "volunteer informants" would use this hotline to report anomalous social activity, but whether any "tips" have already been processed by the hotline or through other means remains unclear.

Despite accusations that the program would cause privacy violations and turn neighbors against each other, Attorney General John Ashcroft defended the program at a Judiciary Committee Hearing on July 27, 2002. According to the Policy Action Network, Ashcroft claimed that TIPS was not "a program related to private places like homes." Thus, he mentioned truck drivers, who do not routinely enter households, as an example. However, letter carriers, who are indeed in a better position to view private activity in households, have been successfully sought out by the program.

For now, it remains unclear what the future of TIPS will be. But rest assured, as the Department of Justice continues to seek its realization, the criticism from all facets of the political spectrum will continue to tip off the government to the program's Orwellian implications.


To Be Continued


Death Squad in Delaware: The Case of the Murdered Marine

by William Norman Grigg

Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It may be the first state to be afflicted with a fully operational death squad – unless a civil lawsuit filed on Friday against the murders of Derek J. Hale results in criminal charges and a complete lustration (in the Eastern European sense of the term) of Delaware's law enforcement establishment.

Hale, a retired Marine Sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and was decorated before his combat-related medical discharge in January 2006, was murdered by a heavily armed 8–12-member undercover police team in Wilmington, Delaware last November 6. He had come to Wilmington from his home in Manassas, Virginia to participate in a Toys for Tots event.

Derek was house-sitting for a friend on the day he was murdered. Sandra Lopez, the ex-wife of Derek's friend, arrived with an 11-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter just shortly before the police showed up. After helping Sandra and her children remove some of their personal belongings, Derek was sitting placidly on the front step, clad in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, when an unmarked police car and a blacked-out SUV arrived and disgorged their murderous cargo.

Unknown to Derek, he had been under police surveillance as part of a ginned-up investigation into the Pagan Motorcycle Club, which he had joined several months before; the Pagans sponsored the “Toys for Tots Run” that had brought Derek to Delaware. As with any biker club, the Pagans probably included some disreputable people in their ranks. Derek was emphatically not one of them.

In addition to his honorable military service (albeit in a consummately dishonorable war), Derek's personal background was antiseptically clean. He had a concealed carry permit in Virginia, which would not have been issued to him if he'd been convicted of a felony, a narcotics or domestic violence charge, or had any record of substance abuse or mental illness.

On the day he was killed, Derek had been under both physical and electronic (and, according to the civil complaint, illegal) surveillance. Police personnel who observed him knew that his behavior was completely innocuous. And despite the fact that he had done nothing to warrant such treatment, he was considered an “un-indicted co-conspirator” in a purported narcotics ring run by the Pagans.

The police vehicles screeched to a halt in front of the house shortly after 4:00 p.m. They ordered Lopez and her children away from Derek – who, predictably, had risen to his feet by this time – and then ordered him to remove his hands from his the pockets of his sweatshirt.

Less than a second later – according to several eyewitnesses at the scene – Derek was hit with a taser blast that knocked him sideways and sent him into convulsions. His right hand involuntarily shot out of its pocket, clenching spasmodically.

“Not in front of the kids,” Derek gasped, as he tried to force his body to cooperate. “Get the kids out of here.”

The officers continued to order Derek to put up his hands; he was physically unable to comply.

So they tased him again. This time he was driven to his side and vomited into a nearby flower bed.

Howard Mixon, a contractor who had been working nearby, couldn't abide the spectacle.

“That's not necessary!” he bellowed at the assailants. “That's overkill! That's overkill!”

At this point, one of the heroes in blue (or, in this case, black) swaggered over to Mixon and snarled, “I'll f*****g show you overkill!” Having heroically shut up an unarmed civilian, the officer turned his attention back to Derek – who was being tased yet again.

“I'm trying to get my hands out,” Derek exclaimed, desperately trying to make his tortured and traumatized body obey his will. Horrified, his friend Sandra screamed at the officers: “He is trying to get his hands out, he cannot get his hands out!”

Having established that Derek – an innocent man who had survived two tours of duty in Iraq – was defenseless, one of Wilmington's Finest closed in for the kill.

Lt. William Brown of the Wilmington Police Department, who was close enough to seize and handcuff the helpless victim, instead shot him in the chest at point-blank range, tearing apart his vitals with three .40-caliber rounds. He did this after Derek had said, repeatedly and explicitly, that he was trying to cooperate. He did this despite the fact that witnesses on the scene had confirmed that Derek was trying to cooperate. He did this in front of a traumatized mother and two horrified children.

Why was this done?

According to Sgt. Steven Elliot of the WPD, Brown slaughtered Derek Hale because he “feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat.” That subjective belief was sufficient justification to use “deadly force,” according to Sgt. Elliot.

The “position” Derek was in, remember, was that of wallowing helplessly in his own vomit, trying to overcome the cumulative effects of three completely unjustified Taser attacks.

When asked by the Wilmington News Journal last week if Hale had ever threatened the officers – remember, there were at least 8 and as many as 12 of them – Elliot replied: “In a sense, [he threatened the officers] when he did not comply with their commands.”

He wasn't given a chance to comply: He was hit with the first Taser strike less than a second after he was commanded to remove his hands from his pockets, and then two more in rapid succession. The killing took roughly three minutes.

As is always the case when agents of the State murder an innocent person, the WPD immediately went into cover-up mode. The initial account of the police murder claimed that Derek had “struggled with undercover Wilmington vice officers”; that “struggle,” of course, referred to Derek's involuntary reaction to multiple, unjustified Taser strikes.

The account likewise mentioned that police recovered “two items that were considered weapons” from Derek's body. Neither was a firearm. One was a container of pepper spray. The other was a switchblade knife. Both were most likely planted on the murder victim: The police on the scene had pepper spray, and Derek's stepbrother, Missouri resident Jason Singleton, insists that Derek never carried a switchblade.

“The last time I saw Derek,” Jason told the News Journal, “he had a small Swiss Army knife. I've never seen Derek with anything like a switchblade.”

Within hours, the WPD began to fabricate a back-story to justify Derek's murder. Several Delware State Police officers – identified in the suit (.pdf) as “Lt. [Patrick] Ogden, Sgt. Randall Hunt, and other individual DSP [personnel]” contacted the police in Masassas, Virginia and informed him that Derek had been charged with drug trafficking two days before he was murdered. This was untrue. But because it was said by someone invested with the majestic power of the State, it was accepted as true, and cited in a sworn affidavit to secure a warrant to search Derek's home.

Conducting this spurious search – which was, remember, play-acting in the service of a cover story – meant shoving aside Derek's grieving widow, Elaine, and her two shattered children, who had just lost their stepfather. Nothing of material consequence was found, but a useful bit of embroidery was added to the cover story.

Less than two weeks earlier, Derek and Elaine had celebrated their first anniversary.

The Delaware State Police officer is guilty of misprision of perjury, as are the officials who collaborated in this deception. And it's entirely likely that the Virginia State Police had guilty knowledge as well.

Last November 21, in an attempt to pre-empt public outrage, the highest officials of the Delaware State Police issued a press release in conjunction with their counterparts from Virginia. The statement is a work of unalloyed mendacity.

“Hale resisted arrest and was shot and killed by Wilmington Police on November 6, 2006,” lied the signatories with reference to the claim that he "resisted." “Hale was at the center of a long term narcotics trafficking investigation which is still ongoing.”

As we've seen, Hale did not resist arrest, as everyone on the scene knew. And he was not at the “center” of any investigation; before his posthumous promotion to “un-indicted co-conspirator,” he was merely a “person of interest” because of his affiliation with a motorcycle club.

Most critically, the statement – which bears the august imprimatur of both the Delaware and Virginia State Police departments, remember – asserts: “Both [State Police] Superintendents have confirmed that there was never any false information exchanged by either agency in the investigation of Derek J. Hale, or transmitted between the agencies in order to obtain the search warrant.”

This was another lie.

“Delaware State Police spokesperson Sgt. Melissa Zebley conceded last week that no arrest warrant for Hale was ever issued,” reported the News Journal on March 22. Three days after Hale was murdered, police arrested 12 members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club on various drug and weapons charges, but identified Hale at that point only as a “person of interest.”

Last Friday (May 23), the Rutherford Institute – one of the precious few nominally conservative activist groups that gives half a damn about individual liberty – and a private law firm in Virginia filed a civil rights lawsuit against several Delaware law enforcement and political officials on behalf of Derek's widow and parents. They really should consider including key officials from the Virginia State Police in the suit, as well.

Those who persist in fetishizing local police – who are, at this point, merely local franchises of a unitary, militarized, Homeland Security apparatus – should ponder this atrocity long and hard.

They should contemplate not only the inexplicable eagerness of Lt. William Brown to kill a helpless, paralyzed pseudo-suspect, but also the practiced ease with which the police establishments of two states collaborated in confecting a fiction to cover up that crime.

According to the lawsuit, Lt. Brown, Derek's murderer, “has violated the constitutional rights of others in the past through the improper use of deadly force and has coached other WPD officers on how to lie about and/or justify the improper use of deadly force.” Rather than being cashiered, Brown was promoted – just as one would expect of any other dishonest, cowardly thug in the service of any other Third World death squad.

Derek J. Hale survived two tours of duty in Iraq, a country teeming with Pentagon-trained death squads, only to be murdered by their home-grown equivalent.

March 29, 2007
William Norman Grigg [send him mail] writes the Pro Libertate blog.
Copyright © 2007 William Norman Grigg

Source, Links, Photographs:

WTC 7 - Rosie O'Donnell's blog

wtc 7
Posted by ro on March 15th at 4:38pm in in the news

at 5 30 pm
9 11 2001
wtc7 collapsed

for the third time in history
fire brought down a steel building
reducing it to rubble

hold on folks
here we go

• The fires in WTC 7 were not evenly distributed, so a perfect collapse was impossible.

• Silverstein said to the fire department commander "the smartest thing to do is pull it."

• Firefighters withdrawing from the area stated the building was going to "blow up".

• The roof of WTC 7 visibly crumbled and the building collapsed perfectly into its footprint.

• Molten steel and partially evaporated steel members were found in the debris.

[WTC 7] contained offices of the FBI, Department of Defense, IRS (which contained prodigious amounts of corporate tax fraud, including Enron's), US Secret Service, Securities & Exchange Commission (with more stock fraud records), and Citibank's Salomon Smith Barney, the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and many other financial institutions. [Online Journal]

The SEC has not quantified the number of active cases in which substantial files were destroyed [by the collapse of WTC 7]. Reuters news service and the Los Angeles Times published reports estimating them at 3,000 to 4,000. They include the agency's major inquiry into the manner in which investment banks divvied up hot shares of initial public offerings during the high-tech boom. ..."Ongoing investigations at the New York SEC will be dramatically affected because so much of their work is paper-intensive," said Max Berger of New York's Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann. "This is a disaster for these cases." [New York Lawyer]

Citigroup says some information that the committee is seeking [about WorldCom] was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attack on the World Trade Center. Salomon had offices in 7 World Trade Center, one of the buildings that collapsed in the aftermath of the attack. The bank says that back-up tapes of corporate emails from September 1998 through December 2000 were stored at the building and destroyed in the attack. [TheStreet]

Inside [WTC 7 was] the US Secret Service's largest field office with more than 200 employees. ..."All the evidence that we stored at 7 World Trade, in all our cases, went down with the building," according to US Secret Service Special Agent David Curran. [TechTV]

lets start here
ok...go slow
remember 2 breathe
use google

Follow-up to: WTC 7 - Rosie O'Donnell's blog

In the Archive [Listed on this page upper right] there is an article on Rosie O'Donnell's blog and her interest in WTC-7:

This is a follow-up from Prison Planet on how Rosie's comments are breaking through a denial that 9/11 was an inside job.

O'Donnell 9/11 Rant Reaches 30 Million Viewers

Promises to feature physics professor on The View to discuss WTC collapse

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rosie O'Donnell is certainly not backing away from her public stance about 9/11, and this morning on The View went on a 9 minute rant about the many questions surrounding the attack, reaching around 30 million viewers in the process.

This is the largest single exposure 9/11 truth has enjoyed to date and it represents a watershed moment in the quest to bring the truth to the masses.

Rosie O'Donnell is certainly not backing away from her public stance about 9/11, and this morning on The View went on a rant about the many questions surrounding the collapse of Building 7, reaching around 30 million viewers in the process.

This is the largest single exposure 9/11 truth has enjoyed to date and it represents a watershed moment in the quest to bring the truth to the masses.

O'Donnell and her co-panelists debate the situation concerning Iran's seizure of the British marines before O'Donnell states, "Historically, have governments ever faked incidents or incited incidents in order to get them into wars?"

The discussion then moves on to the level of trust one can place in the Bush administration before O'Donnell asks, "What do you have to do to get an impeachment in this country?"

The debate moves on to the "propaganda of the war on terror," with O'Donnell stating, "In America we are fed propaganda and if you want to know what's happening in the world go outside of the U.S. media because it's owned by four corporations, one of them is this one (ABC)."

"Go outside of the country to find out what's going on in our own country because it's frightening."

"I think Democracy is threatened in a way it hasn't been in 200 years and if America doesn't stand up we're in big trouble," says O'Donnell.

Neo-Con panelist Elizabeth Hasselbeck tries to make an argument that thinking Iraq was involved in 9/11 was justifiable at the time, before asking O'Donnell if she believed the U.S. government had anything to do with 9/11.

"No, but I do believe it's the first time in history that fire has melted steel - I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Building 7, which collapsed in on itself, it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved - World Trade Center 7."

"One and two got hit by planes, 7 miraculously the first time in history, steel was melted by fire - it is physically impossible," states O'Donnell.

"I don't know but to say we don't know and it was imploded in a demolition is beyond ignorant, look at the films get a physics expert here from Yale, from Harvard, pick the school, it defies reason."

In a video blog posted on her website yesterday, O'Donnell promised to feature physics professors on The View to discuss the highly suspicious collapse of the WTC towers.

"The thing about World Trade Center 7 is that it was totally left out of the 9/11 Commission - that's weird," said O'Donnell.

"It's only the third time in history that fire has brought down a steel building, the other two times it happened was on the same day, World Trade Center One and World Trade Center Two - they both crumbled into dust and it was steel - very odd."

"I wanna have some physics professors on the show to explain if that is actually possible, that World Trade Center 7 could have imploded the way it did without being a controlled demolition - and if it was a controlled demolition why didn't they just tell people that in the 9/11 Commission Report?"

Come back soon to watch the video clip from this morning's The View.

Prison Planet - Source, Links, Video:

A case of mistaken prosecution over medicinal pot

Samuel R. Caldwell - America's First Victim of Marajuana Prohibition via

Written by bud

THORNTON, Colo. — Jack Branson sits in the cluttered living room of the modest house he rents from a family member on the ragged edge of this Denver suburb. On the table between us are vials containing eight medicines.

Branson, a slightly built man who will turn 39 the next day, is seriously ill. For nearly 20 years, he's lived with the HIV virus that causes AIDS; in addition, he has hepatitis B, and a slipped disc in his back. Some of the medicines keep him alive, while others, including oxycodone and methadone, help control the chronic pain in which he lives.

Like many people with HIV, Branson finds it difficult to tolerate the drugs that suppress the virus. Indeed, the drugs tend to make him so nauseous that on several occasions he stopped taking them, causing him to develop full-blown AIDS.

And, like many other seriously ill people, Branson discovered that, by smoking marijuana, he could control the nausea well enough to take his medicine regularly. It was precisely to help people like Branson that the voters of Colorado amended the state's constitution in 2000, to allow doctors to recommend marijuana for patients they believed would benefit from it.

Six years ago, a doctor at the University of Colorado medical school — an expert on the treatment of AIDS — told Branson he ought to smoke marijuana if that would allow him to take his medicine regularly (each time Branson stopped taking the medicine his body became more resistant to its effects).

The Colorado medical marijuana law doesn't require a doctor's recommendation to be in writing, and Branson began to grow a few marijuana plants in his backyard, Eventually, he had 14 plants, which, given the relatively short Colorado growing season, was only enough to supply him with enough medical marijuana to get him through two-thirds of the year.

In October 2004, the North Metro Drug Task Force, a local law enforcement consortium that gets considerable funding from the federal government, showed up at Branson's house. Task force members didn't have a warrant, but according to Branson they told him they would do serious damage to his house if he forced them to come back with one.

Branson had every reason to believe he had done nothing illegal (he, in fact, has no criminal record of any kind), and he consented to the warrant-less search. He was then charged with felony cultivation of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to distribute.

Branson shows me the 10-foot plot of earth where he had grown his plants. "This is the east side and this is the west side of the plot," he tells me. "I labeled the bags in which I kept the marijuana East and West, depending on which side of the plot the plants came from. The drug task force's theory is that I intended to distribute the stuff on the East and West coasts."

Branson's lawyer, Robert Corry, describes himself as a strong Republican (he was the Republican committee counsel for the House Judiciary Committee in Washington in the 1990s.) In other words, he's hardly a bleeding heart liberal, yet, he's genuinely outraged by what the government is doing to his client. He estimates that Branson's trial will cost the taxpayers of Adams County at least $100,000.

That seems like a steep price to pay for the privilege of persecuting a harmless, desperately ill man, who doesn't appear to have committed a crime in even the most technical sense, and who may well die in prison if he's sent there.

Prisons don't allow medical marijuana use, and Branson says he would consider a prison sentence of more than six months to be the equivalent of capital punishment, since he probably can't live longer than that without his HIV medicine.

I suppose in our government's eyes that outcome would just prove once again how dangerous smoking marijuana really is.


Air Force Fighter Pilot Comes Out for 9/11 Truth

9/11 Blogger
Monday April 2, 2007

Every day, additional military and government people come out for 9/11 truth. The latest is Lt. Col. Guy S. Razer.

Lt. Col. Guy S. Razer, MS, U.S. Air Force (ret) – Retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot (F-111, F-15E, F-16, B-1, F-18, Mig-29, and Suu-22). Flew combat missions over Iraq. Former instructor at the USAF Fighter Weapons School and NATO’s Tactical Leadership Program.

• Statement to this website 3/25/07: "After 4+ years of research since retirement in 2002, I am 100% convinced that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were planned, organized, and committed by treasonous perpetrators that have infiltrated the highest levels of our government. It is now time to take our country back.

The "collapse" of WTC Building 7 [570 feet tall, 47 stories, and not hit by an airplane] shows beyond any doubt that the demolitions were pre-planned. There is simply no way to demolish a 47-story building (on fire) over a coffee break. It is also impossible to report the building’s collapse before it happened, as BBC News did, unless it was pre-planned. Further damning evidence is Larry Silverstein's video taped confession in which he states "they made that decision to pull [WTC 7] and we watched the building collapse."

We cannot let the pursuit of justice fail. Those of us in the military took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic". Just because we have retired does not make that oath invalid, so it is not just our responsibility, it is our duty to expose the real perpetrators of 9/11 and bring them to justice, no matter how hard it is, how long it takes, or how much we have to suffer to do it.

We owe it to those who have gone before us who executed that same oath, and who are doing the same thing in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Those of us who joined the military and faithfully executed orders that were given us had to trust our leaders. The violation and abuse of that trust is not only heinous, but ultimately the most accurate definition of treason!"

Source Prison Planet:

US ready to strike Iran on Good Friday


The United States will be ready to launch a missile attack on Iran's nuclear facilities as soon as early this month, perhaps "from 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 6," according to reports in the Russian media on Saturday.

According to Russian intelligence sources, the reports said, the US has devised a plan to attack several targets in Iran, and an assault could be carried out by launching missiles from fighter jets and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted a security official as saying, "Russian intelligence has information that the US Armed Forces stationed in the Persian Gulf have nearly completed preparations for a missile strike against Iranian territory."

The Russian Defense Ministry rejected the claims of an imminent attack as "myths." There was no immediate response from Washington. Continue reading at:

Source Lead:

Tests 'stopping children playing'

Five-year-olds are being prevented from engaging in traditional play as they are under too much pressure from the national tests, teachers have warned.

With lessons geared towards assessment, children are bored from the moment they begin formal schooling, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers warned.

Traditional play with sand and water was being replaced with work, it added.
A motion at the union's Bournemouth conference expressed concern at the loss of play in the curriculum.

A teacher at Riddlesden St Mary's Church of England Primary School in Keighley, West Yorkshire, Alison Sherratt, said children in Year 1 felt "ruled by the bell".

She said: "Pressure is now put on Year 1 teachers to prepare children for tests by removing sand, water, role-play etc and replacing with work space."

This was a "good model for how to switch children off and create failure," she said.
" In Year 1, children are already bored by constant assessment and tests. They know they're going to be tested."

'Boot camp'

Children were caught "like Frank Bruno's punch bag" between the different educational goals, she added.

Year 1 pupils were expected to cope with formal learning in a big class, and were rushing "ever closer" to testing in Year 6, she said.

A teacher at Mill Mead Community School in Hertfordshire, Jackie Harvey, said children should be given the chance to play.

But she added: "Children in my class know that play is the carrot at the end of the worksheet trail. That's not something I am happy about."

Earlier this week, ATL general secretary Mary Bousted said primary school had become a "boot camp" for 10-year-olds as teachers prepared them for tests.

At seven children in England are tested on English and maths.

At age 11 and 14 they tested again but on science as well as English and maths.

Dictatorship or Not

Steve Bell cartoon
Steve Bell

Since THEY Lied About Iraq, Is It Now Possible To Accept
9/11 Was An Inside Job ?

Arrest Dick Cheney for War Crimes

Cartoon of someone looking like Dick Cheney eliminating ammendments from the Constitution

From the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007 at Sonoma State University

#2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran

Global, August 5, 2005
Title: “Halliburton Secretly Doing Business With Key Member of Iran’s Nuclear Team”
Author: Jason Leopold

Faculty Evaluator: Catherine Nelson
Student Researchers: Kristine Medeiros and Pla Herr

According to journalist Jason Leopold, sources at former Cheney company Halliburton allege that, as recently as January of 2005, Halliburton sold key components for a nuclear reactor to an Iranian oil development company. Leopold says his Halliburton sources have intimate knowledge of the business dealings of both Halliburton and Oriental Oil Kish, one of Iran’s largest private oil companies.

#14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US

New America Media, January 31, 2006
Title: “Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps”
Author: Peter Dale Scott

New America Media, February 21, 2006
Title: “10-Year US Strategic Plan for Detention Camps Revives Proposals from Oliver North”
Author: Peter Dale Scott

Consortiium, February 21, 2006
Title: “Bush's Mysterious ‘New Programs’”
Author: Nat Parry

Title: “Detention Camp Jitters”
Author: Maureen Farrell

Community Evaluator: Dr. Gary Evans
Student Researchers: Sean Hurley and Caitlyn Peele

Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced on January 24, 2006 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps in the United States.

#24 Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year

Raw Story, October 2005
Title: “Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Options Rose 3,281 Percent Last Year, Senator Finds”
Author: John Byrne

Senator Frank Lautenberg’s website
Title: “Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Options Soar to $9.2 Million”

Faculty Evaluator: Phil Beard
Student Researchers: Matthew Beavers and Willie Martin

Vice President Dick Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton rose from $241,498 in 2004 to over $8 million in 2005, an increase of more than 3,000 percent, as Halliburton continues to rake in billions of dollars from no-bid/no-audit government contracts.

Read complete articles at:

A Gutless, Draft-Dodging Coward Named Dick Cheney
Nov 22, 2005, 07:41

Cheney accuses Pelosi of "bad behavior" in Syria

Forgetting lies that Bush and his side kick DICK used to get the United States into an illegal war with Iraq, Cheney says, "The president is the one who conducts foreign policy, not the speaker of the House."

Cheney reasserts al-Qaida-Saddam link

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his [LIES] assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein's Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

Did Cheney Allow 9/11 Plane To Strike Pentagon?

Mineta testified "during the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, 'the plane is 50 miles out, the plane is 30 miles out.' And when it got to 'the plane is 10 miles out," the young man also said to the Vice President, 'Do the orders still stand?' And the Vice President...said, 'Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?"

Since the airplane was not intercepted and destroyed, even though the vice president knew of it, "the orders" may have been to allow the plane to hit the Pentagon. All of this, and more, is contained in the March/April issue of "Tikkun" magazine, "a bimonthly Jewish critique of Politics, Culture & Society." The piece was authored by Dr. David Ray Griffin, a principal debunker of the accepted 9/11 dogma, and published by Rabbi Michael Lerner on grounds, "if his view is true, the position he articulates would provide adequate grounds for impeachment of the president..."

Fire Joe Scarborough

by Dahbud Mensch

WTC-7 Controlled  Bring down, not terrorist

On 2 April 2007 Joe Scarborough called for the firing of Rosie O'Donnell, because she expressed an opinion he did not like.

The most troubling aspect of Joe Scarborough calling for the firing of another TV personality is the fact he first showed Bill O'Reilly calling for the firing of Rosie, and then agreed with him.

We all remember lying Rooster Lollipop Bill, don't we?

We're Waiting O'Reilly !

"Here's the bottom line on this for every American and everybody in the world, nobody knows for sure, all right? We don't know what he has. We think he has 8,500 liters of anthrax. But let's see. But there's a doubt on both sides. And I said on my program, if the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right? But I'm giving my government the benefit of the doubt." - Bill O'Reilly on Good Morning America, March 18, 2003 -- Maybe Bill should read this:

Research Notes for the Anthrax Attack Challenged

Everybody has an opinion Joe and according to Free Speech, one is supposed to be able to express it. However, you have a TV show and all we have is the Internet, so the only thing to keep blood pressure down is to examine who you are Joe Scarborough and maybe later, some of the other characters over at MSNBC (General Electric and Microsoft Corporation).

Cartoon photo of Joe Scarborough

This cartoon was inspired by the recently dismissed medical examiner Michael Berkland who preformed the autopsy on the dead aide found in Joe Scarborough's office. Berkland's replacement, Dr. Cumberland seems to have possibly over donated to Scarborough. Florida panhandle officials sure has its share of incompetence in doing autopsies and campaign donations. What a surprise! - Read article at All Hat No Cattle

Part I: Congressional Aide Found Dead in Congressman's Office
By Jennifer Van Bergen
t r u t h o u t | January 4, 2001
"Why has Lori Klausutis' Death Been Swept Under the Rug?"
Read article at t r u t h o u t

Part II: Lori Klausutis, Aide to U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL)
By Jennifer Van Bergen
"Regular Joe"
Read article at t r u t h o u t

Part III: Medical Evidence and Examiner Who Lost His License
By Jennifer Van Bergen
Read article at t r u t h o u t

A Death in the Congressman's Office
Does Anybody in the Press Care About Lori Klausutis?
By Denis Wright and Chris George
August 8, 2001 (APJP)
Read article at American Politics Journal

Three Pivotal Questions
by the Editors

September 1, 2001 (APJP) -- Over at The American Prospect's message board thread concerning this very article, Phoenix Woman has asked a trolling Scarborough "defender" three pivotal questions. We'd love to know the answers ourselves:

1) If Lori's death was just a simple accident, then why did Rep. Scarborough and his spokesman Miguel Serrano feel the need to go to two different local TV stations within three hours of her body's being found and invent a nonexistent history of chronic medical conditions for her -- in other words, why did they feel the need to lie about Lori's health?

2) Would you trust without question the word of a Medical Examiner who lost his ME license in two separate states (Missouri and Florida) because he LIED about his autopsy work (for instance, saying he had autopsied some brains when he hadn't)?

3) Why should whoever wrote Ms. Klausutis's obituary feel it was appropriate to mention nearly everything about her life -- EXCEPT where she'd been working since 1999?

A recent check of the Young Republican's web site found no mention of Lori or her contributions, nor any tribute to her memory nor comments about her passing. In fact, you will find no mention of her at all. If you go to The Pensacola News Journal's online pages, one of the few papers that actually covered the story, and search the site for "Klausutis" you will come up empty, even though the same search will pull up numerous stories matching "Scarborough". It seems as though someone wants to erase all traces of Lori Klausutis from the record and bury the story with her.

It's an increasingly puzzling case. We are reminded of the famous Kitty Genovese case, in New York, in 1964, where a young woman pleaded for her life over the period of 30 minutes, while neighbors ignored her cries. The assailant returned three times to stab her. With Lori Klausutis, it seems possible that a corrupt North Florida establishment is determined to keep the lid on the case, even if that means silencing the news. And our esteemed news media, from the supposed mainstream liberal press stalwarts to the near delusional on air shouters of the channel that just reports so that you can decide, willingly turn the other way and ignore Lori Klausutis. But they continue to chatter endlessly in speculation over Chandra Levy. In so doing, they ignore the cries of truth, they deny their viewers access to the truth and they utterly, once and for all, betray our faith and trust in the media.

Did Microsoft/NBC Joe Scarborough
Murder Lori Klausutis?

Don Imus asked you why you aren't in Congress. You said, that you had sex with the intern and then you had to kill her. Then you laughed and replied, "Yeah, well, what are you gonna do?" [Read the rest at Project for the Old American Century]

Joe Scarborough (R) of Pensacola
Incumbent - elected 1994

* Born: April 9, 1963, Doraville, Ga.
* Education: U. of Alabama, B.A., 1985; U. of Florida, J.D., 1990.
* Military Service: None. [Chickenhawk]
* Occupation: Lawyer.
* Family: Wife, Melanie Hinton; two children.
* Religion: Baptist.
* Political Career: No previous office.
* Campaign Address: 4300 Bayou Blvd., Suite 17-B, Pensacola, FL 32503
* Telephone: (850) 475-9500
* Fax: (850) 475-9502
* E-mail: Not reported.
* Web: Not reported.


French "knew in 2001 al Qaeda was planning hijack"

Dahbud posted something (I feel) Everybody should know about and supports why Republican Neocons are trying to screw the CIA, NONE OF THE ABOVE should be on Voter Ballots, and Nobody should be president. -

Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys

Ministers of Satan Will Lie to GOD
Lied to God
Loves Torture
Admits Pleasuring Bush

Live Comments:

East Coast Time

09:50 Somebody take the spoon out of Specter's Hand

09:56 Justice Department should set example not be an example. Gonzalez challenges Court integrity.

10:02 One good step would be toward "honest government".

10:07 Little beads of sweat seemed to appear when Rove's name was mentioned.

10:10 ;) Audio stress analyzer is interesting

10:12 Well?

10:15 Same pattern as 'one needing to use the 'restroom' (;

10:18 Heavy testosterone vibe fills air.

10:19 Somebody please take the spoon out of Sepcter's hand

10:22 I'm surprised W isn't in the audience. Remember G did a lot for him in Tejas

10:25 ;) Manor Downs forever!

10:30 I'd love to say, 'every lawyer in the room raise your hand'

10:35 Who, who, who = Kennedy does bird calls?

10:36 I caught that too. funny

10:39 "I learned" = I had two weeks to cram4exam

10:42 ;) Fred and Ginger?

10:50 The blame game 101

10:53 It's getting busy here and the crybaby defense bores me

10:55 In a real court of law, there is no latitude for changing testimony. Oh my lying eyes bwahaha

10: 58 for the record Mr. Hatch

11:00 Be nice.

11:05 ;) Why? Hatch was part of that group that spent 55 mil on Monica and 3 mil on the 9/11 cOmission. 9/11 is far more important than a bj (imo).

11:07 No agrument there

11:11 She's talking about your leader, Nobody

11:12 Yeah, I heard that. Did you know that when she ran for supervisor way back, she wanted to put some type of infared viewing device in the police helicopters, before they decomissioned them, and her intent was to be able to see in people's homes. The gay community (iirc) changed her mind, but it was a long time ago. Oh, if you still have your Berkeley Barb collection, they did a few full page layouts on it.

11:18 I have to get back to work and this will be the last comment for the day. See you on the other side.

I do not recall = 29 times up until the first 10 minute break.

EPA Helping to Hide Tons of Toxic Waste, Researchers Show

by Michelle Chen

Apr. 12 - This year, Californians will live alongside over half a million pounds of newly hidden toxic waste, thanks to recent changes in the national system for reporting releases of hazardous chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency's revisions to the federal reporting system known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) dramatically raised the threshold at which industrial facilities must explicitly disclose how much toxic material they release or dispose of.

According to an investigation by the national watchdog organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), the move will obscure data on an estimated nearly 600,000 pounds of dangerous chemicals that would have been exposed under the old rules - in California alone.

EWG released the study to complement a bill recently introduced in the California Assembly that would restore previous toxics-reporting guidelines for the state.

Launched 20 years ago, the TRI itself does not impose limits on pollution. But by simply forcing about 23,000 facilities nationwide to reveal how they handle waste, the TRI has helped community organizations and state officials hold polluters accountable for their environmental impacts through grassroots campaigns and regulatory actions.

The new regulations, issued in December, raise the threshold that triggers detailed reporting on releases of most chemicals covered by the TRI, from 500 to 2,000 pounds per year. Facilities that do not reach the threshold could just list basic information identifying the chemicals released.

The reforms, which the EPA says affect less than one percent of all waste tracked by the TRI nationwide, are aimed at offering polluters "burden relief" by reducing the time and money devoted to complying with environmental regulations.

Analyzing TRI data from 2004, the EWG identified 274 waste-producing California facilities that will benefit from the change, including 52 that would no longer be required to report any details on their handling of toxic waste under the new rules. The data that would disappear, according to the group's estimates, include some 12,000 pounds of benzene, a known human carcinogen found in gasoline and used to make drugs and pesticides. More than 26,000 pounds of toluene, a common paint ingredient linked to neurological disorders, would also no longer be documented.

Bill Walker, a vice president of the EWG, called the rule-change "a real blow to the rights of Americans to know what toxic chemicals are being used or released to their neighborhoods."

Perchlorate -

The Second Amendment

The Second Amendment guarantees: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

This guarantees a citizen's right to keep and bear arms for personal defense. The revolutionary experience caused our forebears to address a second concern -- the ability of Americans to maintain a citizen militia. The Founding Fathers trusted an armed citizenry as the best safeguard against the possibility of a tyrannical government.

James Madison, author of the Second Amendment, wrote that Americans had "the advantage of being armed," that was lacking in other nations, where "the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." Patrick Henry proclaimed the "great object is that every man be armed. . . . Everyone who is able may have a gun." The Second Amendment was then, as it is today, about freedom and the means to protect it.
In United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), the Supreme Court refused to take judicial notice that a short-barreled shotgun was useful for militia purposes. Nowhere did the court hold that an individual does not have a right to keep and bear arms. In United States v. Gomez, 81 F.3d 846, 850 n. 7 (9th Cir. 1996), Judge Kozinski opined that "The Second Amendment embodies the right to defend oneself and one's home against physical attack." In United States v. Hutzell, 217 F.3d 966, 969 (8th Cir. 2000), the court held that "... an individual's right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, see United States v. Miller ...." In United States v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2001), the court examined United States v. Miller and held: "We reject the collective rights and sophisticated collective rights models for interpreting the Second Amendment. We hold, consistent with Miller, that it protects the right of individuals ... to privately possess and bear their own firearms ...."

The U. S. Supreme Court has recently recognized the Second Amendment as an important individual right. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992); United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1991).

On December 17, 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice published an exhaustive Second Amendment memorandum. It concludes without reservation that "the Second Amendment secures a personal right of individuals, not a collective right that may only be invoked by a State or a quasi-collective right restricted to those persons who serve in organized militia units."

The Founding Fathers distrusted a government that wouldn't trust its people. To fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence, the authors of the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights made it clear that individual rights were paramount. The Bill of Rights, wrote Madison, was "calculated to secure the personal rights of the people."

Some claim that banning only certain firearms does not constitute an infringement of Second Amendment rights. That measured ploy is not new. George Mason exposed it at Virginia's constitutional convention in 1788: "[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man . . . to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually."

Our founders risked their lives to create a free nation, and they guaranteed freedom as the birthright of American citizens through the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment remains the first right among equals, because it is the one we turn to when all else fails.

Tommy Franks Says Bush May Discard Constitution
If Another Terrorist Attack Occurs

by Rob
Fri Nov 21, 2003 at 03:30:54 AM PDT

Gen. Tommy Franks said in an interview with the lifestyle magazine Cigar Aficionado that if another terrorist attack occurs in the United States "the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government" The stunning revelation is the headline story on the right-wing news site NewsMax for Friday. Franks said that another terrorism attack will result in "... the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years..." He indicated that if another terrorism attack occurs Bush will likely declare martial law and the Constitution will apparently be "discarded".

Rob is the founder and chief editor of the progressive news site He lives in the South and has business interests that include real estate, retail, and agriculture. He also is the founder of several privately owned Internet niche portal sites. He was among the first several hundred people who became involved in the draft movement which became the Democratic presidential campaign of Wesley Clark. He is the founder of the grassroots Clark sites LouisianaForClark.Com, MississippiForClark.Com, and Clark2004 and is the moderator of 9 of the Clark grassroots interest groups.

Origin of "The Plan"

by Dahbud Mensch 322

Save Internet Radio

Monday April 16th at the Radio and Internet Newsletter Las Vegas Summit, the SaveNetRadio coalition officially launched a national campaign to save internet radio. Representatives from the coalition, including artists, labels, listeners, and webcasters joined together to address the media and announce efforts to reverse a March 2nd decision by the Copyright Royalty Board that would increase the fees webcasters pay to play music online and bankrupt thousands of Net radio stations.

Organizations partnering with the campaign cut across the spectrum of those involved in the industry, including webcasters both large and small, artists, and of course many of the more than 70 million monthly listeners. The campaign needs your help. Please take a moment to sign our petition and send a letter to your member of Congress to let your representative know how important Internet radio is to you.


Support Article: 'Fatal' blow to web broadcasters

US webcasters will face sharp rises in royalty fees that could be "fatal" to the nascent industry, a coalition of web broadcasters has claimed.

Hold Your Breath

Hold Your Breath
A Journey Into Cross-Cultural Medicine

Ken Schneider, over at PatchWorks Films, wrote:

Hi folks,

Here is a film I edited recently, that will screen on various PBS stations over the next few weeks. The film explores a cross-cultural conflict in a life-and-death situation.

KCET-28, Los Angeles, CA -- Tue 4-10-07, 10:00 PM ( 1 )
KQED-9, San Francisco, CA -- Sun 4-8-07, 5:00 PM ( 1 )
KTEH, San Jose, CA -- Thur 4-21-07, 10:00PM (1)
KRCB-22, Rohnert Park, CA -- Sun 4-29-07, 11:00 PM ( 1 )
KCET-28, Santa Barbara, CA -- Tue 4-10-07, 10:00 PM ( 1 )
KCET-28, Bakersfield, CA -- Tue 4-10-07, 10:00 PM ( 1 )
KCET-28, Palm Springs, CA -- Tue 4-10-07, 10:00 PM ( 1 )
WFYI-20, Indianapolis, IN -- Tue 4-10-07, 10:00 PM ( 1 )
WFYI-20, Indianapolis, IN -- Thu 4-12-07, 3:00 AM ( Repeat 1 )
WFYIDT2, Indianapolis, IN -- --, 12:00 AM ( 1 )
WGBH-2, Boston, MA -- Sun 5-27-07, 1:00 PM ( 1 )
WYBE-35, Philadelphia, PA -- Tue 5-22-07, 9:00 PM ( 1 )
WYBE-35, Philadelphia, PA -- Thu 5-31-07, 10:00 AM ( Repeat 1 )
Seattle, WA -- Thu 4-19-07, 8:00 PM ( 1 )
KYVE-47, Yakima, WA -- Thu 4-19-07, 8:00 PM ( 1 )

Marijuana Compound May Fight Lung Cancer

While smoking marijuana is never good for the lungs, the active ingredient in pot may help fight lung cancer, new research shows.

Harvard University researchers have found that, in both laboratory and mouse studies, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cuts tumor growth in half in common lung cancer while impeding the cancer's ability to spread.

The compound "seems to have a suppressive effect on certain lines of cancer cells," explained Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

According to the researchers, THC fights lung cancer by curbing epidermal growth factor (EGF), a molecule that promotes the growth and spread of particularly aggressive non-small cell lung cancers. "It seems to go to (EGF) receptor sites on cells and inhibit growth," said Horovitz, who was not involved in the study.

The findings are preliminary, however, and other outside experts urged caution.

"It's an interesting laboratory study (but) you have to have enough additional animal studies to make sure the effect is reproducible and to make sure that there are no overt toxic effects," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. "It's a little more than tantalizing because it's a compound that we know has been in humans and has not caused major problems."

The findings were to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Los Angeles.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the world. Lung tumors that over-produce the EGF receptor tend to be extra-aggressive and don't respond well to chemotherapy.

THC is the main active ingredient of Cannabis sativa -marijuana. It has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in cancer, but specific information on its action against lung cancer has so far been limited.

In the new study, the researchers first showed that two different lung cancer lines, as well as samples from patient lung tumors, produced the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

Endocannabinoids -- cannabinoids produced naturally in the body -- are thought to have an effect on pain, anxiety and inflammation when they bind to cannabinoid receptors.

Next, the researchers injected standard doses of THC into mice implanted with human lung cancer cells. After three weeks of treatment, tumors shrank by about 50 percent in animals treated with THC, compared to those in an untreated control group, the researchers reported.

The findings may shed light on a question that has been puzzling Horovitz: Why hasn't there been a spike in lung cancer in the generation that smoked a lot of marijuana in the 1960s.

"I find it fascinating, wondering if the reasons we're not seeing this spike is that THC inhibits lung cancer cells," he said. "It would be very ironic, although you certainly wouldn't tell somebody who smoked cigarettes to add marijuana."

A second set of findings presented at AACR suggested that a viral-based gene therapy could target both primary and distant tumors, while ignoring healthy cells.

When injected into 15 mice with prostate cancer, this "smart bomb" therapy eliminated all signs of cancer -- effectively curing the rodents. Researchers at Columbia University, in New York City, said the therapy also worked in animals with breast cancer and melanomas.

And in a third hopeful trial reported at the meeting, German researchers at University Children's Hospital, in Ulm, said they've used measles viruses to treat brain tumors. In mouse experiments, the virus attached to the tumor from the inside out, the team said.

Source (HealthDay News):

Sighted at:

Lake County Blues Allstars

Lake County Blues Allstars
Jim Williams, Jon Hopkins, Mike Wilhelm

Click for Saw Shop Gallery/Bistro Poster

Click for Blue Wing Saloon Poster

In Memory of Marla Ruzicka

Marla Ruzicka

Marla Ruzicka (December 31, 1976 - April 16, 2005) was an activist-turned-aid worker. She developed a unique approach to advocacy for civilian victims of war: she insisted that combatant governments had a legal and moral responsibility to compensate the families of civilians killed or injured in military conflicts. She and her Iraqi translator, Faiz Ali Salim, were killed by a suicide car bombing on Airport Road in Baghdad on April 16, 2005.

Russian maestro Rostropovich dies

The celebrated Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80. [Continue Reading At]:

Iraq War Brain Injuries Overwhelming System

Here is something you don't read in the newspaper or hear in the media. It has to do with the hidden cost of the Iraq War that nobody wants to talk about. This has to do with the new types of injuries that are causing neurologists to worry about the impact to medical care of hundreds of thousands of troops who are at risk for potentially disabling neurological disorders. For the first time, the U.S. military is treating more head injuries than chest or abdominal wounds, and it is ill-equipped to do so. They estimate that at least 30 percent of the troops who have engaged in active combat for four months or longer in Iraq and Afghanistan could be affected and some apparently without suffering a scratch or no external signs of trauma. Why? What makes this war any different than the Vietnam war? And why is this so much more of a problem?

According to a Washington Post article by Ronald Glasser, The biggest reason that troops are coming back with serious brain trauma is because with improved and highly skilled intensive medical care being so close to the troops, they are no longer dying from the kind of injuries that killed thousands in Vietnam. The ratio of wounded to fatalities in Iraq is 16 to 1; whereas in Vietnam it is was 2.6 to 1, so there are six times more wounded coming back to be cared for.

Another reason is the improvement in body armor that has dramatically been effective in preventing fatal wounds of the chest and abdomen. So, troops aren't dying from crucial abdominal wounds but come back with missing arms, legs and severe head injuries. It has been estimated that two-thirds of all soldiers injured in Iraq who don't immediately return to duty have traumatic brain injuries, and what's deceiving is that they may look fine, but they're not.

There is also the significance of the type of warfare Iraq presents, and this has to do especially with head injuries. What is different about Iraq is the hidden danger of IEDS or Improvised Explosive Devices. With these devices, the detonation of the powerful explosive generates a blast wave of high pressure that spreads out at 1,600 feet per second from the point of explosion and travels hundreds of yards. There are actually two blasts that rattle the brain of anyone nearby, the first blast of sound waves, then the second which is caused by the huge volume of displaced air flooding back into the area, again under high pressure. No helmet or body armor can defend against such a massive wave front. This is sudden and extreme differences in pressures which are routinely 1,000 times greater than atmospheric pressure.

The result? The devastating result is a "closed-head" injury that causes severe concussions, resulting in loss of consciousness and obvious neurological deficits such as blindness, deafness and mental retardation. Blast waves can leave a 19 year-old who could easily run a six-minute mile unable to stand or even to think. And, what's worse is that our medical system is not skilled at treating these types of injuries because they cause a completely different kind of injury than a physical blow to the head such as in a bicycle accident.

With the Iraq type of injury, physicians speculate that the shock waves damage the brain at a microscopic, subcellular level. When the sound waves move through the brain, it seems to cause little gas bubbles to form and when they "pop", it leaves little holes in the brain for which physicians are unprepared or unskilled to treat.

Military physicians are pushing for more long term care and rehabilitation of these brain traumatized soldiers. They are not even sure of the long term effects but what they have observed is memory loss, short attention spans, muddled reasoning, headaches, confusion, anxiety, depression and irritability. With the aftermath of Iraq not being the cemetery, but the orthopedic ward and neuro-surgical unit, this country faces another huge cost that is just beginning to be realized.

When you have people who dismissively state that the Vietnam War was much more catastrophic in terms of the number of deaths, you can counter with the fact that we have 6 times more injured today. So, if you take the 3,252 dead soldiers in Iraq, plus the approximate 800 unreported contractor deaths, you come up with a comparable death toll of about 24,000 had we still had the 2.6 to 1 ratio. In general, this war has been successful in some ways by reducing the number of deaths, but absolutely devastating in the number of injuries as compared to Vietnam.

But any way you look at it, war is not the answer and with the cost of it increasing every day, our voices against it should be getting louder and louder. Keep the pressure up to end this madness for the sake of the sanity of our injured loved ones coming home with more devastating injuries than ever. My heart goes out to them and their families...this price is just too high to pay.

Reuters Admits Flawed Marijuana Reporting

Posted in Chronicle Blog by Scott Morgan on Fri,

Given ONDCP's ongoing claims of 20-30 fold increases in marijuana potency, yesterday's announcement that potency has merely doubled feels more like a concession than the latest drug war scare tactic. Yet thanks to lazy reporting, this lukewarm story became the next great threat to public safety.

From Associated Press:

The government estimates that 4.1 million Americans use marijuana. Use by teenagers has declined recently, but federal officials worry that marijuana is being cited more often in emergency room visits.

From Reuters Press:

The marijuana being sold across the United States is stronger than ever, which could explain a growing number of medical emergencies that involve the drug, say government drug experts.

Neither story explained the concept of "emergency room mentions" from which these claims were derived. And these two reports were republished in major papers everywhere from Dallas to Sydney.

Importantly, people who mentioned marijuana to doctors weren't in most -- if any -- cases directly injured by it. Upon admission to the emergency room, you're instructed to report any drugs in your system in case they could interfere with your treatment (and it's really not marijuana they're worried about). Patients who mention marijuana include everyone from heroin users to gunshot victims to various people who fell and couldn't get up.

Marijuana is growing in popularity as a medicine, which could also help explain why sick people report having used it.

Fortunately, thanks to incredulous readers, Reuters was forced to clarify:

Lots and lots of readers asked for examples of these emergencies. We updated the story with an explanation which should have been made clear from the start, that medical emergency "means that the patient mentioned using marijuana and does not mean the drug directly caused the accident or condition being treated."

Is it any wonder that readers were confused? Statements such as "marijuana is being cited more often in emergency room visits" or "a growing number of medical emergencies that involve the drug" clearly imply that marijuana caused or contributed to the patient's hospitalization. That was ONDCP's intention, passed along uncritically by Reuters and AP with the inevitable effect of confusing the public.*

Like many things you read in an ONDCP press release, the statement on emergency room visits was so misleading that it becomes false if you change any of the words. "Mentioned" is simply not the same as "involved." Thus the media reports became more misleading than the press release they were based on, which was pretty bad to begin with.

Even when properly explained, "emergency room mentions" remain a vague and ultimately unhelpful measure upon which to base alarmist claims. ONDCP's reliance on such tenuous, circumstantial evidence speaks to the credibility of their position on marijuana policy in general.

*Reuters made a partial correction, but AP has not. Contact them here.

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Monica Goodling, Pat Robertson, White House, and al-Qaeda

Did you know 150 Graduates of Regent University are Serving Bush in the White House?

Did you know there are direct ties between Pat Robertson and al-Qaeda? Pat Robertson wanted to blow up the State Department and was NEVER charged. Here is evidence that Pat, through his friend Charles Taylor, was protecting al-Qaeda:

Putting this information together suggests Bush, his 30%+ Republican Fundamentalist / Evangelical Support Base, and the 150 Regent University graduates are, in effect, supporting the enemy.


by Balz

Why do Senate and Congress continue to support a rogue government bent on corporatism, oil, special interest, and self destruction?

I suppose they are part of the problem and (imo) we need another review for the short attention span sleep walkers (SASSW).

1). As a candidate for the presidency in 2000, George W. Bush insisted that, if elected, he would not allow U.S. military forces to engage in "nation building."

2) The Governor of the United States was appointed by a partisan Supreme Court.

3) There is NO real evidence Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. 9/11 was an 'inside job'.

4) The Governor of the United States led U.S. into an illegal war with Iraq using bogus, hand picked, information.

5) Republicans gave Iraq WMD and Rumsfeld showed Saddam how to use them on "his own people".

6) It is now known Bush lost the second election and Kerry/Edwards lied when they said, 'every vote would count and be counted.'

7) [snipped pages and pages of actual Republican and Corporate Media lies (Hi Scotty) to get to] Bush spies on Peace loving Quakers as (sic) "tear ist" and a government so full of constipated corruption that it can not see the light for the brown stains in it's eyes.

8) Under the 'You become what you hate scenario', the Origin of "The Plan", mass murdering with Depleted Uranium (FLASH), killing one hundred thousand plus innocent Iraqi civilians, torture, Dirty Dick blood for oil Halliburton, General Electric (mega-WMD provider to the world) owner of NBC/MSNBC/etc., reporters on the government payroll, and a Secret Government have turned Neocons into mirrors of Saddam.

9) When the Governor of the United States spoke the other evening, he suggested there were two choices, Victory or Defeat, and since I served my country honorably; not like the CHICKENHAWKS running the country, I feel I have the right to offer a third choice: IMPEACHMENT !

The last time I looked, the "Gross National Debt" was $ 8, 108, 666, 000,000 and do you have a clue as to how much interest taxpayers are 'forking out'? I doubt it, so for the number challenged, the above figure is in trillions and the approximate amount of interest, per day, is $1.77 BILLION dollars, since 30 September 2004. In other words, long after the Governor of the United States is gone, tax payers will be paying for his blunders. Look it up for yourself.

Here is one more, just so it is not forgotten:

Latest government report on Wellstone 'accident' finds its scapegoats, many questions remain

By Jackson Thoreau

I'm for the little fellers, not the Rockefellers. - Sen. Paul Wellstone

Shortly before he died in a mysterious airplane crash 11 days prior to the 2002 elections, Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone met with Vice President Dick Cheney, probably the Bush administration's most evil public face.

Cheney was rounding up Senate support for the October 2002 vote on giving the administration carte blanche to invade Iraq, with or without blessing from the United Nations. Cheney strong-armed opposing politicians like the most vindictive of mafioso leaders, and opponents usually gave in.

But not Wellstone. Whatever you thought of his progressive brand of politics, he wasn't a wimp. And that's what made him more than dangerous in the eyes of people like Cheney.

At a meeting full of war veterans in Willmar, Minn., days before his death, Wellstone told attendees that Cheney told him, "If you vote against the war in Iraq, the Bush administration will do whatever is necessary to get you. There will be severe ramifications for you and the state of Minnesota." [click to continue reading].

Regarding "Rogue Government" here is a snip from: GLOBAL ROGUE STATE by Edward S. Herman (imo) a very good read for understanding my title above.

Global Rogue Aggressions

Ignoring both minor bombing raids and the numerous subversive efforts not involving military forces, since the end of World War II the United States has committed acts of aggression against Guatemala (1954), Lebanon (1958), the Dominican Republic (1965), Vietnam (1954-75), Laos (1964-1975), Cambodia (1969-1975), Nicaragua (1980-1990), Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989). I would argue that the Persian Gulf war was also a case of U.S. aggression, as the U.S. took advantage of Iraq's aggression against Kuwait to smash a regional power that had defied it. In short, the U.S. has been the number one international aggressor over the past 50 years.

In the case of the Vietnam War, the global rogue was able to ignore the 1954 Geneva Accords, place a puppet in power in South Vietnam, invade and bomb all of Indochina, killing as many as four million people over two decades, without the slightest interference from the UN or World Court. In the case of Panama, the rogue invaded in 1989 to capture its leader, Noriega, allegedly for drug dealing and authoritarian rule. But Noriega had been on the U.S. payroll for years while dealing in drugs and ruling by terror. The real reason for the invasion was Noriega's refusal to collaborate with the U.S. in its illegal attacks on Nicaragua. Again, the U.S. veto and overall power allowed this multi-leveled rogue operation to go forward without impediment.

Continue reading at:

Links for this article:

"they" =
"nation building" =
"Supreme Court" =
"evidence" =
"his own people" =
"tear ist" =
"The Plan" =
"Depleted Uranium" =
"Gross National Debt" =
"click to continue reading" =

Remembering Kurt Vonnegut

by Paul Krassner

Months before Timothy Leary died, he told me, "I watch words now. It's an obsession. I learned it from Marshall McLuhan, of course. A terrible vice. Had it for years, but not actually telling people about it. I watch the words that people use. The medium is the message, you recall. The brain creates the realities she wants. When we see the prisms of these words that come through, we can understand."

Hysteria over the word "Communist" was the forerunner of current hysteria over the word "terrorist." The attorney general of Arizona rejected the Communist Party's request for a place on the ballot because state law "prohibits official representation" for the Communists and, in addition, "The subversive nature of your organization is even more clearly designated by the fact that you do not even include your zip code." Alvin Dark, manager of the Giants, announced that "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a Communist." And singer Pat Boone declared at the Greater New York Anti-Communism Rally in Madison Square Garden: "I would rather see my four daughters shot before my eyes than have them grow up in a Communist United States. I would rather see those kids blown into Heaven than taught into Hell by the Communists."

In a foreword to one of my books, Kurt Vonnegut wrote: "Paul Krassner in 1963 created a miracle of compressed intelligence nearly as admirable for potent simplicity, in my opinion, as Einstein's e=mc2. With the Vietnam War going on, and its critics discounted and scorned by the government and the mass media, Krassner put on sale a red, white and blue poster that said FUCK COMMUNISM.

"At the beginning of the 1960s, FUCK was believed to be so full of bad magic as to be unprintable. In the most humanely influential American novel of this half century, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, it will be remembered, was shocked to see that word on a subway-station wall. He wondered what seeing it might do to the mind of a little kid. COMMUNISM was to millions the name of the most loathsome evil imaginable. To call an American a communist was like calling somebody a Jew in Nazi Germany. By having FUCK and COMMUNISM fight it out in a single sentence, Krassner wasn't merely being funny as heck. He was demonstrating how preposterous it was for so many people to be responding to both words with such cockamamie Pavlovian fear and alarm."

On the evening of March 14, at about 8:15, Vonnegut was sitting on the stoop in front of his house--smoking a cigarette, of course. When he stood up, he lost his balance and fell. Although he was supposedly brain dead at the precise moment his head hit the steps, he was kept on life support for the next few weeks. When it became clear that he could never be revived, the decision was made to remove life support, as he had requested.

The news of his actual death on April 11 was, in the words of a close friend, "merely a postscript--a relief, actually--which is not to say it was so easy to process. I'd equate it to losing a family member, albeit one who had a long, incredible life--one who changed the lives and world-view of countless people who had never met him, and who remained entirely lucid and kept his miraculous sense of humor to the very end."

Vonnegut loved to make people laugh at his own despair over the way the American dream has morphed into the American nightmare. The obituaries all seemed to stress how depressed he was, never failing to mention his failed attempt at committing suicide. So naturally I was surprised when such a pessimist told me that my satire made him feel hopeful.

"You made supposedly serious matters seem ridiculous," he explained, "and this inspired many of your readers to decide for themselves what was ridiculous and what was not. Knowing that people were doing that, better late than never, made me optimistic."

The first time I met Vonnegut was at a memorial for Abbie Hoffman, whom he referred to as "the holy anti-war clown." The last time I saw him was at a panel on humor and satire at the Ethical Culture Society of New York. The panelists were Vonnegut, the late columnist Art Buchwald, stand-up comic Barry Crimmins, and myself. Of course, Vonnegut talked about the hellishness of living on earth. So, later that evening, my wife Nancy handed him a parody Monopoly card showing the rich-guy logo jumping away from flames, with this caption: "Get Out of Hell Free." A year-and-a-half later, he finally accomplished that goal.

Abbey Hoffman - Rutgers University - 6 Feb, 1988 -  Photo: Chris Nelson
Photograph by Chris Nelson

WTF 102.2

Press Briefing by Tony Snow
White House Conference Center Briefing Room

Q Tony, does it concern the White House, though, that Secretary Powell went further than Secretary Gates, in saying not only is the U.S. not winning but, in fact, Secretary Powell said the U.S. is losing?

MR. SNOW: Well, if you take a look at what Secretary Powell did, he gave a pretty thorough analysis of the situation. And what he said is, "it's grave and deteriorating," and "we're not winning, we are losing. We haven't lost," he continued. Then he went through and started talking about what he thought might be some of the considerations you would use with regard to military power. But the most important thing he said is that the Iraqis are the key to the solution, which we agree.

And if you take a look at a lot of the things he said, it's pretty consistent with what the President has been saying.

White House Transcript:

"If a president is willing to lie about the most basic governmental and political facts, civic debate becomes impossible, and the public becomes incapable of informed judgment. Because of the great weight that any president's words have with the public, the president of the United States must not be a liar." - Tony Blankley, Washington Times

Colin, you are the only one who can step forward... Please?

A Choice of Tenses in War of Words
December 18, 2006, 5:34 pm
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg

The language of the war in Iraq is a touchy subject in Washington. President Bush continues to promise victory, even as the bipartisan Iraq Study Group dropped that word from its report. Some say Iraq is in the throes of a "civil war," a word the Bush administration refuses to use. But perhaps the touchiest subject of all is whether the United States is winning or losing.

"Absolutely, we're winning," Mr. Bush told reporters in October.

That, of course, was before the election, before the Iraq Study Group called the situation "grave and deteriorating," before Mr. Bush's own nominee for defense secretary, Robert M. Gates -- who was sworn in on Monday -- said at his Congressional confirmation hearing that the United States was not winning after all.

Then, over the weekend, Colin Powell, Mr. Bush's former secretary of state and a one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff weighed in with a new construction*.


"We are losing - we haven't lost - and this is the time, now to start to put in place the kinds of strategies that will turn this situation around," General Powell said, in an interview with CBS News*.


The shift from "not winning" to "losing" was apparently too much for Mr. Bush's press secretary, Tony Snow, who was peppered with so many questions about the Powell interview this morning that he arrived at his afternoon press briefing with the transcript in hand. The day began with the following exchange:

Reporter: "He also said we are losing."

Mr. Snow: "Well, yes, he did. He said -- the way he put it was, he said, we haven't lost, is what he said. He did not say we were losing. He said we have -''

Reporter: "He said, "we are losing," and then he said, "we haven't lost." He said both."

Mr. Snow: "No, no. He said, 'If it's grave and deteriorating, and we're not winning, we are losing." That was his, "we haven't lost."

By afternoon, the press secretary* seemed to be a bit exasperated.


"Look," he said, "what Colin Powell is saying, we're not winning, so therefore we must be losing, and then he says, all is not lost. So I'm just -- I'm not going to get -- what I am saying is that we will win and we have to win."

But as to what the president believes about the present tense question -- winning or losing? - Mr. Snow stammered a bit, then suggested this was a matter better left to grammarians than press secretaries.

"It's one of those things," he said, "where you end up - it all ends up trying to - you're trying to summarize a complex situation with a single word or gerund, or even a participle."


Puppets Have No Brains

Martin Rowsen cartoon - The Stages of Intelligence Failure: A Useful Guide
Martin Rowson

Attorney General Al Lied to the People and Should Stand Down

Call Gonzales Mr. Memory

On the downside, Gonzales' inane performance Thursday must certainly further undermine his credibility and increase calls for his resignation. And while it's true that President Bush continues to support his attorney general, this is the same president who continued to support Donald Rumsfeld long after our hopelessly incompetent former defense secretary ran the Iraqi occupation into the ground. [Continue reading at]:

Libby lied, troops died

Goodbye Yellowcake Road a cartoon by Steve Bell
Steve Bell

Sidney Blumenthal: 'Scooter' is but a part of a sordid political tragedy. The Scooter Libby verdict is inextricably linked to Iraq: his lies were an attempt to cover up the disingenuous case for war.

August 6 2001

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States [using planes]." - Condi's "historical" statements on 9/11