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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for June, 2006

Congrats, Arkansas

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Don’t get to say that very often…

Arkansas high court unanimously rejects gay adoption ban

In a unanimous decision and sweeping decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court today struck down a regulation that banned lesbian and gay people from serving as foster parents.

The decision ends a seven-year legal battle between the state and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Pointing to the findings of a lower court that overturned the ban, the Court criticized the Child Welfare Agency Review Board’s reasons for enacting the regulation, writing, “These facts demonstrate that there is no correlation between the health, welfare, and safety of foster children and the blanket exclusion of any individual who is a homosexual or who resides in a household with a homosexual.”

I guess homophobic religious zealots will have to find a different state’s rock to hide under now.

Headlines that make you go ugh

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Republicans slow Voting Rights Act renewal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prospects for a swift renewal of the Voting Rights Act faded on Thursday as lawmakers called for new congressional hearings on the landmark civil rights law first approved in 1965.

The House leadership had expected an easy 25-year extension of the act last week but southern Republicans rebelled, objecting that their states would be subjected to special scrutiny based on the legacy of discrimination from the 1960s.

Greg Palast has an interesting notion as to why this is occuring at this point in time here. If you guessed “to further limit the ability of minority voters (who generally vote democrat) to exercise their civil rights” you win a free paper ballot.

Not so fast, King George

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo military tribunals

By James Vicini

06/29/06 “Reuters” — — In a sharp rebuke of President George W. Bush’s tactics in the war on terrorism, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down as unlawful the military tribunal system set up to try Guantanamo prisoners.

By a 5-3 vote, the nation’s highest court declared that the tribunals, which Bush created right after the September 11 attacks, violated the Geneva Conventions and U.S. military rules.

“We conclude that the military commission convened to try (Salim Ahmed) Hamdan lacks power to proceed because its structure and procedures violate” the international agreement that covers treatment of prisoners of war, as well as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the court majority.

For a more indepth look at the ruling, and what it means to the concept of Executive Priviledge, read Glenn Greenwald’s take here.

We can’t help but be heartened by this statement from Justice Stevens in the majority opinion:

Whether or not the President has independent power, absent congressional authorization, to convene military commissions, he may not disregard limitations that Congress has, in proper exercise of its own war powers, placed on his powers.

Take that, NSA.

Get ’em Chris

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

…In the past, this has usually been sufficient; there’s been no need for recourse to sterner measures. You don’t arrest Dan Rather, you simply drive him out of his job. You don’t imprison John Kerry; you just Swift Boat him. But these are increasingly desperate times for the Bush Regime. It is vastly unpopular with the American people. Its war in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster. And the sheer bulk of its high crimes and misdemeanors has grown so large it can longer be hidden; rotten chunks of this mammoth slagheap are spilling out almost every day. They know that should the tide ever turn completely against them — if anything even faintly resembling a constitutional republic is ever established again — they face not just political oblivion but actual prosecution.

Continue reading Bringing It All Back Home: The Bush War on Liberty Intensifies from Chris Floyd

Are we at war with Ireland?

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

No? Then why do we think we can rummage about in their banking records?

CIA monitors personal bank data of Irish citizens

Jamie Smyth in Brussels

The personal data of thousands of Irish citizens that have sent or received money transfers to and from the US has been covertly logged by US anti-terrorist agencies.

The Government did not know about the monitoring scheme, but several EU central banks were informed about the programme, which was introduced after the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001. Under the scheme the CIA can sift through millions of international banking transactions to try to identify potential terrorist financing.

NP

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

kinks.jpg

You Really Got Me-Waterloo Sunset-Celluloid Heroes-Stop Your Sobbing…the list goes on and on…

Maybe Paris Hilton can help ’em out…

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Military Fails Some Widows Over Benefits

As Holly Wren coped with her 6-month-old son and the sorrow of losing her husband in Iraq last November, she assumed that the military’s sense of structure and order would apply in death as it had in life.
After Lt. Col. Thomas Wren was killed in an auto accident in Iraq in November, Holly Wren, with her 1-year-old son, Tyler, in their Lorton, Va., home, had a hard time getting her survivor benefits, partly because the military had his personal information listed all wrong.

Instead she encountered numerous hurdles in trying to collect survivor benefits. She received only half the amount owed her for housing because her husband, one of the highest ranking soldiers to die in Iraq, was listed as single, childless and living in Florida — wrong on every count. Lt. Col. Thomas Wren was married, with five children, and living in Northern Virginia.

Instead of flapping their gums over flag burning, gay marriage, and other issues that matter not a F’N bit to our country, Congress should be doing their job and making sure that the families of the people that they mislead into harms way are fully taken care of.

Maybe instead of carting more cash-stuffed wheelbarrows to the likes of Paris Hilton, we could honor our obligations to our troops. You know, that whole “support” thing your magnets keep telling us you do?

Testify…

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Oh dear God, Rosemary had a better baby than me…

Yoshi, this ones for you

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

As you ordered, one asteroid to destroy the planet, coming up.

More here.

Digging up Nixon, again

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Department of Defense admits to wider surveillance of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell groups
by Michael Rogers

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Defense has released documents that show wider surveillance of student organizations than previously reported, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has reported.

On April 11th PageOneQ reported that the Pentagon had admitted to conducting surveillance of groups protesting the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy for gays and lesbians in the armed forces.

The new FOIA request yielded information about an undercover investigation by the Pentagon on acitivities into student groups protesting the war at State University of New York at Albany (SUNY Albany), William Paterson University in New Jersey, Southern Connecticut State University and the University of California at Berkeley, reports SLDN.

Go read the story, and look at the images of the emails. It reminds you of reading accounts of the protest movement in the ’60s being spied on by the FBI and CIA. Blacked out telegrams and letters, and descriptions of meetings of non-violent antiwar groups being targeted because of supposed Communist leanings.

I guess some folks can’t keep Nixon buried.