Liberty Activist Blog

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Criminals have more rights than police ...
SWAT Magazine
by Claire Wolfe

"The Founding Fathers, those sterling folk we’ve been taught to revere, were soft on crime. They were a bunch of liberal whiners who considered it more important to protect criminals than to give the police effective tools to fight crime.This is the absolute truth. Why else, when they wrote the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution), did five of their 10 basic statements of liberty focus on protecting accused crooks? .... In the blind eyes of justice and the highest law of the land, criminal suspects and individual police officers have exactly the same rights, while police agencies
have no rights at all. Yep, if the Founders were around today, they might be card-carrying (although also gun-toting) members of the ACLU.And for that we should all be glad." (08/05) [Editor's note: Don't miss the discussion of this at the SWAT forum
and the thread at the Claire Files.-MLS]

Ohio prosecutor extorting First Amendment
The Empire Journal
June Maxam

" Stop writing and we’ll reduce your charges, an Ohio prosecutor has told an editor, in essence now publicly admitting that the criminal charges lodged against the website writer are direct retaliation for his exercise of First Amendment rights. That’s illegal. Less than two weeks ago, Daniel Kasaris, special prosecutor against two critics of public officials in northern Ohio, stated publicly that the duo’s website which often levels caustic charges against public officials, especially judges, and focuses on alleged governmental wrongdoing, was not a factor in the arrests of the pair. But now he says if the website editor stops writing for the site, he’ll reduce the felony charges he brought against him to a misdemeanor. Sounds like blackmail to us; also seems to establish that he made a false statement." (07/29/05)

Editor's note: This is a long convoluted story, going back to 1999, starting with an attempt to expose public corruption. (chronology). See the Erie Voices blog for updates.


The Janus gambit
The Libertarian Enterprise
by Kent B. Van Cleave

"Where friction between the watchwords of "principle above all" and "political success for a political party" has long been a destructive force within our movement, I think there is a way to end the friction and use this dynamic synergistically. Probably the most important aspect of my proposal is that the counterproductive squabbling between factions can now be metamorphosed into the powerful tool of political theatre. I take it as a good sign that implementing this strategy will clearly conform to the famous advise offered by my close friend, the savvy and indomitable heart of the libertarian movement in Arizona (for more than a decade now), Ernie Hancock: "If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right."" [Editor's note: Apologies for missing this article when it was published ... this should be of interest to both pragmatists and purists -MLS] (07/10/05)

Sexual assault victim could go to prison
Las Vegas Review Journal
by Vin Suprinowicz

"Out of Green Bay, The Associated Press reported Tuesday, "A woman who was upset over being searched bodily at an airport was convicted Tuesday of assaulting a security screener by grabbing the federal officer's breasts." .... The American populace is being conditioned with incredible speed to accept the conditions of a de facto police state with no regard to our privacy or dignity, let alone the solemn guarantees of the Fourth Amendment. About the only criticism of sexual assault victim Dintenfass' actions that I can summon up is that it lacked a certain panache. Next time, dear, try moaning loudly, then breaking into uncontrollable sobs and panting, "Oh yes, baby. This is even better than at home with the baby powder. The whips! The whips!'" [Editor's note: See Woman convicted of reciprocity with TSA thug-MLS](07/31/05)


Saturday, July 30, 2005

The week in review (July 24-29)

The weekly email edition of Liberty Action News just went out! If you'd like to subscribe, go to

Our news feed for daily updates is still not working. I've begun posting the daily updates here where they'll continue until the news feed at RRND gets fixed.

An important action this week (for those who are still working within the system) ... as you know, the House passed the PATRIOT Act extension, but it still has to get through the Senate. And as EFF points out, the Senate COULD make things even worse. So, contact your Senators and give them a piece of your mind ... tell them to vote against PATRIOT renewal. And be sure to read Rep. Ron Paul's 'Don't expand the police state'.

For those of you who still think that the whole problem is the Federal gov't, take a look at Tom Knapp's 'Because they can, part one' for a chilling story of the police state mentality at the very local level ... and, for those of you who feel 'alone' ... take heart from the brave souls who went to the DC victim disaarment rally and spoke out against gun control. (And enjoy, as I did, the stupidest statement of the week, from a lady who truly doesn't "get it".)

On the property rights front, property rights advocates in NH rally against eminent domain, and, the Heartland institute explains why the 'Kelo decision not good for blacks' (and other low-income folks.) For those interested in privacy and security, Joe Blow has several excellent articles on email and information security.

Two especially poignant articles this week caught my eye ... Alan Weiss' 'What the hell to do now?' and David Anderson's 'When the greatest outrage is the lack of it'.

And my favorite action idea this week, Vox Day's 'Let's get naked!'

Til next week

For freedom!

Mary Lou

Friday, July 29, 2005

House votes for PATRIOT Act renewal: don't let Senate make the same mistake
Electronic Frontier Foundation

"The House of Representatives has just passed a bill, H.R. 3199, that would renew all of the sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that were set to expire at the end of the year without including the checks and balances necessary to prevent abuse. Now the Senate could make the same mistake. The current Senate bill, S. 1389, contains new checks on two notorious PATRIOT provisions: Section 215 -- the “library records” provision -- and Section 505, which allows FBI-issued National Security Letters (NSLs) that a federal court has already found unconstitutional. But there’s no guarantee that these checks will survive debate on the floor. What’s worse, there’s no guarantee that the Senate won’t include additional language to expand PATRIOT even further. Don’t let Congress defy the bipartisan will of the hundreds of local communities that have passed resolutions opposing the PATRIOT Act. Contact your Senators today and tell them to vote against PATRIOT renewal and for PATRIOT reform!" (07/05)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

DC: Resident 'fires back' at anti-gun rally
Washington Post

"Amid the rapid clip of anti-gun speeches last night, Eric Wright fired back. The five-year city resident stepped before a microphone and said he had been attacked three times by homeless people and shot at as he drove through Rock Creek Park.'I deserve the right to defend myself. I deserve the right to carry a weapon by my side,' Wright said at an anti-gun town hall meeting at Shaw Junior High School in Northwest Washington. 'I'd like to know why people believe I don't have that right.'" .... Overwhelmingly, residents, some of whom had lost loved ones to gun violence, delivered passionate speeches .... Resident Margaret Hollister recalled the day an armed robber entered her home. He knocked her teeth out. He forced her to kneel before a toilet. He ran off with her valuables. "What good would it have done for me to have a gun in the house?" she asked." [Editor's note: This wins the prize as the dumbest statement of the week-MLS] (07/28/05)


Supreme Court's Kelo decision not good for blacks
Heartland Institute
by Lee H. Walker

"Kelo v. City of New London, the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a case involving the economically deprived city of New London, Connecticut, should be a wake-up call to all politicians representing low-income communities and property owners regardless of neighborhood. The issue is eminent domain and the term 'public use,' which the court is re-defining very broadly. The Kelo decision gives state and local governments permission to use eminent domain to condemn one person's private property and turn it over to other private owners, in the name of promoting economic rejuvenation in distressed areas of the city." (for publication 08/01/05)

On campus, only some free speech protected
by Wendy McElroy

"On March 7, Arlene Holpp Scala, chair of the Women's Studies Department, sent Daniel an unsolicited e-mail announcement of an upcoming film event: ''Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House,' a lesbian relationship story.' Scala advised those who wished to respond, 'Please do not hit reply, click here,' thus directing messages to her university e-mail address. On March 8, Daniel clicked to privately reply, 'Do not send me any mail about 'Connie and Sally' and 'Adam and Steve.' These are perversions. The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the earth is never mentioned.' [His message is quoted in full. No other communication with Scala ensued.] On March 10, Scala filed a complaint with the university claiming Daniel's message sounded 'threatening.'" (07/28/05)


Privacy guru locks down VOIP

"First there was PGP e-mail. Then there was PGPfone for modems. Now Phil Zimmermann, creator of the wildly popular Pretty Good Privacy e-mail encryption program, is debuting his new project, which he hopes will do for internet phone calls what PGP did for e-mail. Zimmermann has developed a prototype program for encrypting voice over internet protocol, or VOIP,which he will announce at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas this week." (07/26/05),1848,68306,00.html


Wisconsin: Woman convicted of reciprocity with TSA thug
Tampa Tribune

"A woman who was upset over being searched bodily at an airport was
convicted Tuesday of assaulting a security screener by grabbing the
federal officer's breasts. A federal jury heard the case against
retired teacher Phyllis Dintenfass, who also allegedly shoved the
screener during the search at the Outagamie County Regional Airport in
Appleton in September 2004. Dintenfass, 62, faces up to a year in
federal prison and $100,000 in fines. The judge set sentencing for
Nov. 1." (07/26/05)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The invisible pirate -- information security
Strike the Root
by Joe Blow

"This edition covers file encryption, secure passwords, cleaning your computer, and a very comprehensive system utility that will keep your computer happy so that you won't lose any personal files or information. I am amazed that some people religiously change the oil in their car, but they never conduct any maintenance on their computer. Inevitably, they end up with long faces after their young children (or co-workers) delete their life's work, or post embarrassing photos of them on the web, stolen from their own hard drive. Use these methods routinely to keep you (and your computer) happy, and all of your personal information private, for free. Enjoy!" (07/27/05)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

When the greatest outrage is the lack of it
by David Anderson

"Perhaps the greatest outrage about the new New York City government's policy of random bag searches in the subway is the lack of outrage about it. Where are the stories about people turning around and not being searched, interviews with opponents of the policy, or even an in depth discussion of the legalities of it? .... What freedom do we have when the government can do exactly what it wishes because it has manufactured a climate of fear like this administration has, and what freedom do we deserve when we as a society and as individuals just lie down and take it?." (07/26/05)

Monday, July 25, 2005


Lawyer's painting met with calls for removal
Daily Californian

"Conservatives are calling for the removal of a painting by a Berkeley lawyer that hangs in the California State Department of Justice’s cafeteria and depicts the United States getting flushed down the toilet. Local artist Stephen Pearcy’s painting, which below the flushed United States reads “T’anks to Mr. Bush,” is hanging as part of the Sacramento department’s cafeteria art show sponsored by California Lawyers for the Arts. State Republican Party officials and conservative bloggers are demanding that California Attorney General Bill Lockyer remove the piece, which hangs behind a pair of ceramic cowboy boots." (07/25/05)


The invisible pirate
Strike the Root
by Joe Blow

"This edition includes several easy methods of securing your email. I recommend trying them all. CoolFish and A-Lock allow you to continue to use your normal email client. AnonMail is a good web-based method. The Comodo solution is for those who just want a quick and easy method. The only method below that comes close to being truly anonymous is AnonMail, but all of these methods will provide you with strong (at least 128-bit) encryption to keep your email private, for free. Enjoy!" (07/25/05)


Washington State University bankrolls vigilante censorship
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

"In a shameful distortion of the First Amendment, Washington State University has morally and financially supported disruptive heckling and threats at a controversial student play. Washington State went so far as to pay for hecklers to attend student playwright Chris Lee's Passion of the Musical. It then allowed the hecklers to repeatedly disrupt the musical through shouts and threats of violence. Washington State's president later defended the hecklers' behavior as a 'responsible' exercise of free speech." (07/18/05)


Don't expand the police state
by US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX)

"Mr. Speaker, the USA PATRIOT Act and Terrorism Prevention Act (HR 3199) in no way brings the PATRIOT Act into compliance with the Constitution or allays concerns that the powers granted to the government in the act will be used to abuse the rights of the people. Much of the discussion surrounding this bill has revolved around the failure of the bill to extend the sunset clauses. However, simply sunsetting troublesome provisions does not settle the debates around the PATRIOT Act. If the PATRIOT Act is constitutional and needed, as its proponents swear, why include sunset provisions at all? If it is unconstitutional and pernicious, why not abolish it immediately?" (07/24/05)


What the hell to do now?
The Libertarian Enterprise
by Alan R. Weiss

"I have been reading Butler Shaffer for a long time. I love his writing. However, he is only one of many, many writers who are great at diagnosing the problems -- but hardly anyone has the cure, the fix, the optimal strategy (personal or political). In other words, OK, hey, snaps and props for the diagnosis, professor. Now how do we fix this decline of western civilization? Butler believes it to be unfixable. Oh happy day." (07/24/05)


Let's get naked!
by Vox Day

"Whereas the wearing of unseasonal or inappropriate clothing can be reasonably expected to have lethal consequences in light of the London subway bombings; And whereas the federal government authorities have deemed it necessary to the security of the national air transport system to thoroughly scan, search and even strip-search passengers prior to airplane embarkation .... Let it be proposed, therefore, that the citizens of this great nation return to their natural state. That is to say, eliminate the business suit in favor of the birthday suit. Nude in the air is tough on terror. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can take off for your country. " (07/25/05)


Because they can, part one
Free Market News Network
by Thomas L. Knapp

"Like most people, I occasionally allow myself to be lulled into complacency by arguments for 'decentralization' and 'local control.' The theory, such as it is, is that the lower the level of government, the closer it is to the people and therefore the more amenable it is to being reined in and kept from getting to big for its britches. It doesn't take much to explode this theory. One need look no further than Kelo v. City of New London -- the basis of a recent, and very bad, Supreme Court ruling -- to get an idea of just how predatory local government can be. But if you really, really, really want to see the whole nauseating spectacle up close and personal, just attend a meeting of your own local governing body." (07/22/05)


New Hampshire: Property advocates rally against eminent domain
The Wire

"About a dozen Seacoast residents gathered in Market Square last Tuesday to rally for property rights and protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on eminent domain. “It’s unconstitutional what they did,” said Catherine Van Wyk, holding a sign that read “Bad government, that’s not your property.” “We’re just fighting for the little people, the people that get their property taken just because the government says (it) can,” she said.The property rights rally was one of several held around the state and in parts of Massachusetts as a response to the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Kelo v. New London. The court ruled on June 23 that the City of New London, Conn., could purchase private property from an owner and sell it to private developers to increase economic development." (07/19/05)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The latest opportunities for freedom activists

Published weekly
Supported by (non-tax-deductible) reader contributions

For daily news stories and commentaries, or to donate, visit:

Note: As of today, our news feed for daily updates is still not working, but continue to check the web page for updates. If the feed is not re-established this week, I'll start posting the daily updates at my old blog,

Vol. 1 No. 20
Sunday, July 24,2005


(0) The week in review


(1) Action Alert: CAFTA & Codex
(2) Action Alert: Sen. Vitter Moves to Block Anti-gun UN
(3) Government Shouldn’t Be Able To Steal Your Stuff!
(4) State senate: Big Brother was watching
(5) Tennessee: Eminent domain laws tightened
(6) Australia: Farmers declared independence, convicted of fraud
(7) Care for some tea?
(8) Support our troops! Or "shut up, please"
(9) Frogs and Thermometers
(10) Home, seized home
(11) Uncle Sam, meet the bloggers
(12) Israeli protesters defy police ban on march
(13) FBI monitored web sites for 2004 protests
(14) A Libertarian Proposal: Real liberty for you and your grandchildren
(15) The sounds of hope
(16) A weekend to stop the war
(17) Review: Molôn Labé!
(18) How Comcast censors political content
(19) Because the gov't is evil and stupid
(20) Bill strives to protect privacy
(21) Give choice a chance


(0) The week in review
Two important actions this week: the House hasn't voted on CAFTA yet, so there's still time to urge your congresscritters to vote no ... if y'all remember, among the horrible provisions in CAFTA is one that will put the US under CODEX, thus affecting your ability to buy supplements and vitamins of your choice. Also, Pro-gun Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is getting ready to introduce a bill that would block the United Nations from implementing gun control measures affecting U.S. citizens. He needs co-sponsors ... and GOA is asking us to "contact your two senators and urge them to cosponsor the Vitter bill."

On the property rights front, JPFO is making available a free download of the Fourth Amendment song, "Steal Your Stuff" from our I Will Live Free CD ... this is a great song, folks! On the anti-war front, start making plans now for a weekend of protest in September.

My favorite column this week, from an activist standpoint, has GOT to be Jay Hailey's "Because the gov't is evil and stupid" ... a rendition of the BOR in modern day language ... this makes a great handout!

Til next week!
For Freedom
Mary Lou


(1) Action Alert: CAFTA & Codex
The Liberty Committee

Will the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) finally force you to get a doctor's prescription just to buy vitamin C, or E, or other dietary supplements you currently pick up "over the counter" in America? Powerful special interests are banking on it. The U.S. House is likely to vote on CAFTA next week. Please, take action today --
and spread the word." (07/13/05) [Editor's note: As of 7/24/05, the House had not voted on CAFTA, vote expected next week. There is still time!-MLS]


(2) Action Alert: Sen. Vitter Moves to Block Anti-gun UN
Gun Owners of America

"Pro-gun Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is getting ready to introduce a bill that would block the United Nations from implementing gun control measures affecting U.S. citizens. Entitled the "UN Second Amendment Protection Act of 2005," the bill does still not have a number, as Sen. Vitter is trying to get original cosponsors to join him. Sen. Vitter's bill will prohibit any U.S. funding to the UN unless the President certifies that the world body "has not taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of individuals in the United States to possess a firearm or ammunition." ACTION: Please contact your two senators and urge them to cosponsor the Vitter bill." (07/14/05)

(3) Government Shouldn’t Be Able To Steal Your Stuff!

"As many are no doubt aware, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Kelo vs New London that private property may be taken by government and given to another private party for as specious a reason as increased tax revenue. Almost immediately, the town of Freeport, TX took advantage of the ruling to grab property it had wanted for some time. .... In light of these and other government abuses of our rights, we invite you to download the Fourth Amendment song, "Steal Your Stuff" from our I Will Live Free CD (lyrics below)" (07/18/05)


(4) State senate: Big Brother was watching
Prison Planet

"A probe into a domestic surveillance unit within the California National Guard ballooned Tuesday into a full-blown investigation into widespread allegations of spying on U.S. citizens, misuse of state money and retaliation against Guard troops who brought the allegations to light.
Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Santa Ana, said after a Capitol hearing that he will order top National Guard officers to testify under oath after they refused to do so voluntarily. He might seek contempt of Legislature charges against those officers because, he said, the state military department has stonewalled his efforts to get documents about a secret unit called the "Information Synchronization, Knowledge, Management and Intelligence Fusion" unit. That unit collected information on a Mother's Day anti-war protest in front of the state Capitol. Dunn described the unit as the "tip of the iceberg" of domestic spying units within the California National Guard." (07/20/05)

(5) Tennessee: Eminent domain laws tightened
Nashville City Paper

"Nashville and the state of Tennessee are attempting to tighten their
laws dealing with eminent domain in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court
decision last month. The high court issued a landmark decision on
eminent domain in the case Kelo v. New London and ruled in favor of
the city, which used eminent domain to take a private property for
private redevelopment purposes. ... Last month's decision has worried
some Nashvillians. State Rep. Ben West (D-Hermitage) said he has heard
concerns from constituents directly and also through Metro Council
members. 'So I had the Legislative Legal Service do the research on
the decision,' West said. 'There is a provision in there where it
allows states to remain where they are.' ... Tennessee Republican
lawmakers are also preparing similar legislation. Sen. Mae Beavers
(R-Mount Juliet) intends to file two bills this week dealing with
eminent domain. ... 'We must now make absolutely sure that we have the best possible laws in place at the state level,' [she] said."
[editor's note: Similar actions are ongoing in Wilson, McMinn and
several other Tennessee counties, led by local Libertarian Party
activists in nearly every instance. - SAT] (07/19/05)


(6) Australia: Farmers declared independence, convicted of fraud
Ananova [UK]

"Three members of an 'Australian' family were convicted of fraud after declaring their land an independent kingdom. The Rigoli family named their property in northern Victoria the Principality of Ponderosa, reports Virgilio Rigoli, 67 - the self-proclaimed Prince of Ponderosa - and sons Philip, 36, and Little Joe, 25, refused to pay taxes.
During a pre-sentencing hearing, a Melbourne court heard the trio earned $6.9 million between 1991 and 2000. Virgilio wrote a letter to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), addressing it "to the devil possessed," and Little Joe wrote another letter explaining why he refused to pay tax.
"I do not recognise nor will I ever recognise the government of Australia, signed His Royal Highness, Little Joseph Rigoli," the letter read.
Fences were erected around their 24 hectare property, which issued its own Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1994. The farm was surrounded by a moat and people required passports to enter and leave." (07/19/05)


(7) Care for some tea?
The Libertarian Enterprise
by Lady Liberty

"Many people have clever quotes displayed in their homes and offices. These sayings can be as simple and traditional as a cross-stitched "Home Sweet Home," or as modern as motivational posters bearing admonitions from super-achievers and role models like Lance Armstrong. Me? I have bumper stickers taped to the side of a cabinet. They include such politically charged gems as "Ted Kennedy's Car Has Killed More People Than My Gun" and "Apes Evolved from Creationists," and those with personal meaning or entertainment value for me like "Even Chaos Has A Pattern" and "The Two Most Common Elements in the Universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity." But of all the bumper stickers I display, one is daily becoming more and more my favorite. That's the bumper sticker that says, "It's Time for Another Tea Party.'" (07/17/05)


(8) Support our troops! Or "shut up, please"
by Jack Kenny

"It is grossly unfair -- but not, alas, uncommon -- for supporters of
the war to question the loyalty of even parents or spouses of those
killed in battle if the bereaved dare to question or oppose our
government?s self-appointed 'mission' in another, far-off land. What
is seldom remarked upon is how thoroughly the deck has been stacked in any public debate about war. Those who unfailingly support any war our rulers choose to prosecute are always patriots. Those who speak or write in opposition are always suspected, if not outright accused, of being disloyal to our troops. A willingness to send our young to war,
however weak or illusory the reasons, becomes the litmus test of
loyalty." (07/19/05)


(9) Frogs and Thermometers
Liberty For All
by Heather James

"The metaphor of boiling a frog is often used to illustrate the
gradual (and, lately, not-so-gradual) theft of the rights of the
American people by their government. You put the frog in the pot when
the water is cold and heat it up gradually so the frog does not jump
out of the pot before it's cooked. Heat the water too quickly, and the
scalded frog jumps out of the pot. Everyone is familiar with this
illustration, and it's easy to see the US as a giant pot full of
'frogs', soaking leisurely in ever-hotter water. What of those 'frogs'
who are educated and involved, in whatever way, in trying to preserve
what rights we Americans have left, and trying to regain some of those
lost?" (07/19/05)


(10) Home, seized home
Washington Times
by Donald Lambro

"Who says you can't fight city hall, or even the Supreme Court? A
long-overdue property rights revolt is brewing around the country in
response to the high court's outrageous decision last month in Kelo v.
City of New London, Conn. The court ruled that governments can seize
private property and then turn it over to big-business interests for
economic development. The alarming property takeover ruling, by a
narrow 5-4 vote, reminds us anew of the sweeping governmental powers
issues that are at stake in choosing who will replace retiring Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor (who, by the way, wrote a blistering dissent
against the decision)." (07/18/05)


(11) Uncle Sam, meet the bloggers
by Kelly Hearn

"A federal judge has ordered the Federal Election Commission to extend
campaign finance laws to the Internet. And the regulatory foray has
sparked debate about whether the anti-establishment, rant-prone but
politically relevant blogosphere is more akin to a world of activists
or journalists. Bloggers worry that bringing bloggers under the
regulatory scope of campaign finance laws will mean incurring
debilitating legal fees to defend against partisan lawsuits or FEC
investigations. That is unless the government classifies blogs as
'press,' which are exempted from campaign finance laws. The whole
affair has anti-establishment bloggers taking some
ever-so-establishment paths to Washington." [editor's note: they can
have my mouse when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers! - TLK]


(12) Israeli protesters defy police ban on march
Guardian [UK]

"The Israeli government last night appeared to give ground to thousands of anti-disengagement protesters by allowing them to continue an illegal march to the Gaza settlements. Thousands of police officers and soldiers were deployed to block the marchers' way but after a two-hour standoff last night, the police and army pulled back. The marchers had walked three miles from the southern Israel town of Netivot, where they had been met by a wall of security forces stretching for more than a mile. Their aim was to reach a campsite as the first step en route to Gush Katif, the largest block of settlements in Gaza." (07/19/05),2763,1531378,00.html


(13) FBI monitored web sites for 2004 protests
Washington Post

" FBI agents monitored Web sites calling for protests against the 2004 political conventions in New York and Boston on behalf of the bureau's counterterrorism unit, according to FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. The American Civil Liberties Union pointed to the documents as evidence that the Bush administration has reacted to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States by blurring the distinction between terrorism and political protest. FBI officials defended the involvement of counterterrorism agents in providing security for the Republican and Democratic conventions as an administrative convenience. The documents were released by the FBI in response to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of civil rights, animal rights and environmental groups that say they have been subjected to scrutiny by task forces set up to combat terrorism. The FBI has denied targeting the groups because of their political views." (07/18/05)


(14) A Libertarian Proposal: Real liberty for you and your grandchildren
The Libertarian Enterprise
Ben F. Irvin and Greg Garber

"Thesis: After over thirty years of failing to start a revolution through persuasion, it is time for libertarians to reproduce themselves the way successful cultures and groups do: by generating a large number of children, either naturally, by adoption or ideally, by both." (07/17/05)


(15) The sounds of hope
Common Dreams
Cindy Sheehan

"The sound I do want to hear is the sound of a Nation Waking Up. I will rejoice to hear the sounds of the collective Mea Culpa and the beating of breasts. I want to hear the deafening clicks as the steady stream of news-o-tainment is turned off, propaganda that is turning us into zombies who are numb to the truth. I want to hear the sound of our children getting off planes and boats from Iraq to the joyful squealing of their children and the deep sighs of relief from their spouses, parents, and other loved ones. I want to hear our citizenry lifting up their voices in chorus and singing, "We will never let this happen again.'" (07/18/05)


(16) A weekend to stop the war
Ron Jacobs

"In a little more than two months, a weekend of protest against the war in Iraq is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, San Francisco, London, and several other cities around the globe. Like other protests against the US war on the world, this weekend is being organized by a wide number of organizations and individuals who are often not in agreement about many related subjects. As a participant in the protests, however, these disagreements should be secondary to our actual presence. With the US military death toll rapidly nearing 2000 and the Iraqi and Afghani cost in lives unknown to the general public, this is no time to debate subtleties of theory and politics .... For more info, For more info, please check out these websites:" (07/18/05)


(17) Review: Molôn Labé!
by Thomas L. Knapp

"When _Molôn Labé!_ was being written, and at the time of its release,
the 2004 election had not yet occurred. Who would have predicted,
prior to that election, that the _Left_ would be bandying about
secessionist ideas by the beginning of 2005? The last great American
secession -- that of 1860-1865 -- seemed to explode out of nowhere.
But that is an historical illusion which exists largely because the
winners of wars write their histories. The roots of secession went
back nearly to the beginning of the nation, and a number of
individuals (William Yancey, Edmund Ruffin et al) had been working
hard for southern secession for _decades_ before it 'suddenly' became
a reality. There's a growing body of secessionist literature --
fiction and non-fiction -- proliferating in America right now (see,
for example, _The Third Revolution_ by Anthony F. Lewis). A decade or
three from now, when secession 'suddenly' arises as a reality, that
body of literature will be largely responsible, whether it is
acknowledged as such or not." (07/16/05)


(18) How Comcast censors political content
Common Dreams
David Swanson

"I 'm working on a campaign headquartered at that seeks to draw attention to the Downing Street Minutes and to lobby Congress to open an investigation into whether the President has committed impeachable offenses. .... July 23rd is the three-year anniversary of the meeting on Downing Street that produced the now infamous minutes, and we are organizing events all over the country on that day. Or, we're trying to. But we noticed about a week ago that everyone working on this campaign was having strange Email problems. .... We didn't know it, but for the past week, anyone using Comcast has been unable to receive any Email with "" in the body of the Email. That has included every Email from me, since that was in my signature at the bottom of every Email I sent. And it included any Email linking people to any information about the upcoming events. .... Disturbingly, Comcast did not notify us of this block. It took us a number of days to nail down Comcast as the cause of the problems, and then more days, working with Comcast's abuse department to identify exactly what was going on." (07/16/05)


(19) Because the gov't is evil and stupid
The Libertarian Enterprise
Jay P Hailey

"While discussing the bill of rights with a neo-con recently it occurred to me that a lot of people are not familiar with what a radical set of ideas is held in the Bill of Rights. I set out to rephrase some of the BoR is more casual language (with some admitted editorializing on my own part) to illustrate this point. If it amuses you, read some of these to your conservative friends and watch them blanch. Betcha a dollar they say "But, that's Anarchy!' ' We hold this truth to be self evident—the Government is evil and stupid and unless watched like a hawk, will abuse people, violate their rights and their property. So we're setting down some limitations here—Because the government is evil and stupid it shall NOT ..... " [Editor's note: What a great handout this would make! Thanks, Jay!-MLS](07/17/05)


(20) Bill strives to protect privacy

"A bipartisan group of senators introduced comprehensive identity-theft legislation Thursday that throws some of the burden for preventing the increasingly common crime onto businesses and other organizations that collect personal information. The new legislation also would give consumers more control over their personal data. The Identity Theft Protection Act, introduced in the Senate commerce committee by a bipartisan coalition, addresses problems with recent high-profile data breaches by requiring entities that collect sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, to secure the data physically and technologically and to notify consumers nationwide when data is compromised." (07/15/05),1848,68218,00.html


(21) Give choice a chance
Cato Institute
by David Salisbury and John Merrifield

"The U.S. education system is governed by the political process.
Public elections and lobbying work to establish where schools will be
built, what will be taught, and which teachers will be hired. As a
result, our elementary and secondary education system contains all of
the inefficiency and stagnation symptomatic of government
bureaucracies. Low quality, high costs, a lack of innovation, and
perverse incentive structures plague the U.S. education system.
Thousands of reforms and billions of dollars worth of tinkering with
the system have failed to improve the lot of students. Based on the
track record of past federal reforms, the No Child Left Behind Act is
unlikely to yield any encouraging results. Incremental reforms in
America's school system will do nothing -- or worse than nothing --
unless reformers attack the problem at the root, which is the
bureaucratic and political control of schools. The solution is to open
the schools up to consumer choice and competition with private
schools, allowing parents to choose the schools that they think are
best for their children." (07/18/05)


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