Friday, December 19, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
to be a citizen of the
I hold that this government was made
on the white basis; made by the white men,
for the benefit of white men
and their posterity forever,
and should be administered
by white men and none others.
Senator Stephen A. Douglas
Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, 1860
our Fathers dreamed,
with millions of an alien, inferior race among us,
whose assimilation is neither possible or desirable.
Friday, October 24, 2008
* Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are not generally subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches.
* The border, however, has always been an exception. There, the longstanding view is that the normal rules do not apply. For example the authorities do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a “routine search.”
* But what is “the border”? According to the government, it is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States.
* As a result of this claimed authority, individuals who are far away from the border, American citizens traveling from one place in America to another, are being stopped and harassed in ways that our Constitution does not permit.
* Border Patrol has been setting up checkpoints inland — on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminals in Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship. Unfortunately, our courts so far have permitted these kinds of checkpoints – legally speaking, they are “administrative” stops that are permitted only for the specific purpose of protecting the nation’s borders. They cannot become general drug-search or other law enforcement efforts.
* However, these stops by Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to that border security purpose. On the roads of California and elsewhere in the nation – places far removed from the actual border – agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing.
* The bottom line is that the extraordinary authorities that the government possesses at the border are spilling into regular American streets.
Much of U.S. population affected
* Many Americans and Washington policymakers believe that this is a problem confined to the San Diego-Tijuana border or the dusty sands of Arizona or Texas, but these powers stretch far inland across the United States.
* To calculate what proportion of the U.S. population is affected by these powers, the ACLU created a map and spreadsheet showing the population and population centers that lie within 100 miles of any “external boundary” of the United States.
* The population estimates were calculated by examining the most recent US census numbers for all counties within 100 miles of these borders. Using numbers from the Population Distribution Branch of the US Census Bureau, we were able to estimate both the total number and a state-by-state population breakdown. The custom map was created with help from a map expert at World Sites Atlas.
* What we found is that fully TWO-THIRDS of the United States’ population lives within this Constitution-free or Constitution-lite Zone. That’s 197.4 million people who live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.
* Nine of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas as determined by the 2000 census, fall within the Constitution-free Zone. (The only exception is #9, Dallas-Fort Worth. ) Some states are considered to lie completely within the zone: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Part of a broader problem
* The spread of border-search powers inland is part of a broad expansion of border powers with the potential to affect the lives of ordinary Americans who have never left their own country.
* It coincides with the development of numerous border technologies, including watch list and database systems such as the Automated Targeting System (ATS) traveler risk assessment program, identity and tracking systems such as electronic (RFID) passports, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), and intrusive technological schemes such as the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBINet) or “virtual border fence” and unmanned aerial vehicles (aka “drone aircraft”).
* This illegitimate expansion of the extraordinary powers of agents at the border is also part of a general trend we have seen over the past 8 years of an untrammeled, heedless expansion of police and national security powers without regard to the effect on innocent Americans.
* This trend is also typical of the Bush Administration’s dragnet approach to law enforcement and national security. Instead of intelligent, competent, targeted efforts to stop terrorism, illegal immigration, and other crimes, what we have been seeing in area after area is an approach that turns us all into suspects. This approach seeks to sift through the entire U.S. population in the hopes of encountering the rare individual whom the authorities have a legitimate interest in.
If the current generation of Americans does not challenge this creeping (and sometimes galloping) expansion of federal powers over the individual through the rationale of “border protection,” we are not doing our part to keep alive the rights and freedoms that we inherited, and will soon find that we have lost some or all of their right to go about their business, and travel around inside their own country, without interference from the authorities.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“When you listened to him describe it you gulped," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.
As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program “Good Morning America,” the congressional leaders were told “that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally.”
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Scientists are working on a gun that sprays new, stem-cell infused skin onto a wound, essentially speeding up the healing process to a matter of hours. The Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine just invested $250 million in researching advancements such as these that'll make healing and fixing damaged body parts a snap, so hopefully it'll only be a matter of time before losing a few inches of skin will only be a minor inconvenience.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Forensic scientists met at a conference in Connecticut this week to discuss their independent findings that cast serious doubt on the Kennedy assassination. Sirhan Sirhan is serving a life sentence in Kennedy's death, but the conference presenters argue he could not have fired the fatal shot that killed Kennedy.
One investigator, Dr. Robert Joling, has studied the Kennedy assassination for nearly four decades. He determined the fatal shot came from behind Kennedy, while Sirhan was four to six feet in front of the senator and never got close enough to shoot him from behind, an NBC affiliate reports.
Analysis by another forensics engineer, Philip Van Praag, of a Canadian journalists tape recording, known as the Pruszynski recording, determined that 13 shots were fired while Kennedy was killed, although Sirhan's gun only held eight bullets, according to the NBC reporter. This suggests that a second shooter was involved in the assassination.
Van Praag's analysis led him to conclude that a second gun that was fired matched a type owned by one of the security guards in Kennedy's entourage.
"When that security guard was asked about owning that gun at first he admitted, 'Yes I owned that kind of gun but I got rid of it two months before the assassination.'" correspondent Amy Parmenter said on MSNBC Wednesday. "It turns out upon further investigation, in fact, he did not get rid of that gun until five months after the shooting. Of course, you can see where we're going with this. ... That security guard, was in fact behind Senator Kennedy when the fatal shot was fired."
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Gamers will soon be able to interact with the virtual world using their thoughts and emotions alone.
A neuro-headset which interprets the interaction of neurons in the brain will go on sale later this year.
- Sensors respond to the electrical impulses behind different thoughts; enabling a user's brain to influence gameplay directly
- Conscious thoughts, facial expressions, and non-conscious emotions can all be detected
- Gyroscope enables a cursor or camera to be controlled by head movements
- The headset uses wi-fi to connect to a computer
Monday, February 18, 2008
The documents were discovered in an old safe on the 10th floor of the county courthouse, according to an AP report.
Friday, February 15, 2008
"BCI research is rapidly approaching a level of first-generation medical practice," the researchers wrote. "Moreover, BCI research is expected to rapidly accelerate in nonmedical arenas of commerce as well, particularly in the gaming, automotive, and robotics industries."
Their report (pdf), released under the auspices of the World Technology Assessment Center, examines all aspects of BCI research, both invasive and non-invasive, and includes examples from the US, Europe, China, and Japan.