From: email@example.com (Johann Opitz)
Appeals Court Rules e-mail users have no privacy rights
On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, based in St. Louis, held that the police could obtain e-mail messages of an accused child pornographer by faxing a warrant to Yahoo, the Internet service, and relying on Yahoo's technicians to produce the materials. The case turned on whether the technicians could in effect be deputized by the government.
FEC Approves Salaries for Candidates
For the first time in its quarter century history, the Federal Election Commission on Monday agreed to let candidates for federal office pay themselves salaries from the political donations they gather. By a 5-1 vote, the commission that regulates election laws approved the proposal that will allow candidates to pay themselves at a rate equal to the salary of the job they held when they decided to run, or the salary for the federal office they are running for, whichever is less. U.S. House and Senate members make $150,000 a year. The president earns $400,000 a year. Commissioner Michael Toner, who sponsored the idea, said it would help scale back some of the advantages of incumbents and wealthy candidates and perhaps encourage average Americans who otherwise couldn't afford to give up their jobs to run for office.
US launches plan to abolish key tariffs
The US will on Tuesday unveil a bold proposal to eliminate tariffs on manufactured goods, calling for countries in the World Trade Organisation to sweep away all duties no later than 2015.
Cash-strapped states ask for more US aid
... To plug this year's gaps, the report said, 26 of the 50 states had made cuts and tapped rainy day funds, 15 had laid off state employees and 13 had restructured various programmes. Two-thirds reported that spending would grow by less than 5 per cent into next year and 16 said it would shrink. "There just are no easy choices left," the report concludes. The NGA asked for at least $5bn in additional federal aid and an extra $3.5bn for homeland security costs and election reform. ...
Cell phone users sue, say fee looks like tax
Millions of cell phone customers are getting monthly bills for something that looks like a tax but isn't. Now two consumers have filed a class action lawsuit claiming the bills are misleading - and that they're being forced to pay for a service they aren't even getting.
WA: Affirmative-action fight shifts from ballot box to courtroom
When Initiative 200 passed four years ago, it looked as if Washington was on the cutting edge of a nationwide movement to scrap affirmative action. Today, Washington is an anomaly, one of only two states to prohibit public agencies from considering race and gender in hiring, public-works construction and school admissions. The political movement that spawned I-200 has all but fizzled. It is doubtful other states will follow Washington with their own ballot initiatives. Instead, the next chapter in the affirmative-action debate will likely be written by federal judges trying to sort out whether public universities can include race as a criterion for admission.
Miranda ruling to come under renewed scrutiny
Calif. case has potential to reshape legal rights
Maybe you don't have a right to remain silent after all. The Supreme Court in its famous Miranda ruling told police that they must respect the rights of people who are held for questioning. Officers must warn them of their right to remain silent, and, equally important, honor their refusal to talk further. But that widely known rule is about to be reconsidered in the Supreme Court in the case of a California farm worker who was shot five times after a brief encounter with police. Legal experts say the case has the potential to reshape the law governing everyday encounters between police and the public. While the farm worker lay gravely wounded, a police supervisor pressed him to talk, to explain his version of the events. He survived, paralyzed and blinded, and sued the authorities, alleging, among other things, coercive interrogation. But Oxnard police assert that the Miranda ruling does not include a "constitutional right to be free of coercive interrogation," only a rig!
ht not to have forced confessions used at trial.
Bush to Call for New Foreign Aid Agency
The Bush administration has decided to propose the creation of a federal corporation, separate from the Agency for International Development, to administer its proposed fund for countries that adopt sound economic policies and attack corruption, administration officials said yesterday.
CA: Town repeals law prohibiting flying of giant banners
After feeling the heat of a federal civil-rights lawsuit, a California town that passed an ordinance prohibiting the flying of large aerial banners within its city limits has repealed the rule, thereby allowing a pro-life group to continue towing huge images of aborted babies above thousands of beach tourists. As reported by WorldNetDaily, on Oct. 1, the Thomas More Law Center filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city of Huntington Beach in the central district of California on behalf of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and its executive director, Gregg Cunningham, asking the court to declare the ordinance unconstitutional and to enjoin its enforcement.
Survey: Homeschooling knows no color
Many black parents educating children, citing same reasons as whites
Countering a common stereotype of homeschoolers, a survey in Baltimore showed that 500 of the city's 1,200 home-educated children are black. Baltimore City Community College professor Arnita Hicks McArthur found, to her surprise, that black parents are educating their kids at home, and doing it for the same reasons cited by white parents, according to Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Bowler. "The results of the survey were affirming," said McArthur, a teacher of Spanish, English and speech. "They showed that all parents just want the best for their children. And when they're not getting it, they can take education into their own hands. Thank God for that." McArthur, former president of the Baltimore school board, conducted her survey last year with the assistance of Ron Gregory, who keeps track of home education for the city's schools. She found black parents, like whites, deplore poor discipline and violence in the public schools and believe they can do a better job meeting t!
heir children's needs. Many believe a spiritual foundation should be central to education.
Income tax to end within few years?
Group sees realistic chance to replace it with consumption levy
Legislation backed by national grass-roots efforts and constituent pressure on lawmakers over the next few years could lead to the replacement of the income tax in favor of a consumption tax, says the official spokesman for a noted tax-reform group. "Patriotism, as it regards our American flag, is at an all-time high," said Herman Cain of the 420,000-member Americans for Fair Taxation, or AFT. "But there's also an analogy [regarding taxes] to the American flag that isn't so patriotic." "When we get our paychecks with all the deductions of federal taxes, we see red," Cain, who is CEO of the Godfather's Pizza chain, told WorldNetDaily in a wide-ranging interview. "When we go to make a purchase, with the embedded, hidden taxes that are in the cost of goods and services, we see white. And then, on April 15, when we file our tax returns, we turn blue. Then, to make matters worse, when you die, your family sees stars" because of inheritance taxes, he said.
To Destroy a Country
It seems that Bush has - or will soon have - control of all three branches of government. But, isn't this America? Isn't there a Constitution that demands separation between the three branches of government? Or, have we become the same as the country our forefathers fought to get us away from - one person as the sovereign dictator? Thomas Jefferson 183 years ago had this to say: "When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated." Was this a prophecy we have seen born as true? Well, let's see.
Is John Ashcroft the Most Dangerous Man in America?
The USA Patriot Act and the existence of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Sure Make it Seem That Way! Since the horror of September 11, Attorney General John Ashcroft has taken the opportunity to erode our Constitutional Freedoms more than anyone else in American history. The 4th and 6th Amendments have been essentially destroyed by The USA Patriot Act and the actions of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, a SECRET court. The mere existence of a SECRET court, with SECRET evidence, that ONLY allows the Government and no one else to appear before it is inherently Anti-Freedom. How can these actions be reconciled with the 4th and 6th Amendments?
Canada: Why we can't trust the Kyoto 'plan'
Two things happened after the price of hydroelectricity skyrocketed in Ontario. Predictably, everyone screamed. Then everyone who could do so reached for the thermostat. Price changed or would have changed behaviour, as it often does. That higher prices changed the government's behaviour was obvious. The government that had authorized privatization and deregulation backtracked and regulated the price. This happened before consumers permanently changed their behaviour. Which brings us to climate change and the Chrtien government's "plan." It's missing plenty, including precision; it's also missing the most important ingredient to change behaviour: price. Exhortations, explanations, guilt, education. They're all fine. But carbon reduction is about you, me and society's private-sector institutions changing behaviour and lowering emissions. Each Canadian, we are told, emits 5.4 tonnes of carbon a year. The government tells us we must lower that emission by one tonne. We won't!
do it without price signals. Higher prices might come through taxes on items that produce carbon -- gasoline for example. Jack up gas prices by 10 cents a litre, and consumption patterns will change. But Ottawa long ago shied away from taxing carbon, fearing the political fallout.
Letters Editor: Letters@GlobeAndMail.ca
Libertarians tell Bush: Withdraw from NATO and save billions in "military welfare" costs
Instead of welcoming several new countries into NATO at the summit that begins today in Prague, President Bush should pull the United States out of the unnecessary alliance and save taxpayers billions of dollars in "military welfare" costs, Libertarians say. "NATO might as well stand for Never-ending American Taxpayer Obligation," said Geoff Neale, the national chair of the Libertarian Party. "There's no reason that the United States should keep paying to defend rich European nations like France, England and Germany against a Soviet threat that no longer exists.
Who are the Real Spoilers?
... Even though both of the strongest factions on the American political stage have used the spoiler excuse for major electoral defeats, the whole idea of spoiler campaigns is based on false logic. The whole concept that blocs of votes are "owned" by any political group is repugnant to anyone interested in a fair and honest electoral process. And yet, everyone from Limbaugh to Muth to Miller have been whining and moaning about how much better their little "Republican revolution" would have been were it not for those damned Libertarians and their spoiler campaigns. Just like the Democrats when they wailed about Ralph Nader's Greens stealing votes from Al Gore in the 2000 presidential race, the Republicans now cry about what could have been except for Republican votes being stolen by Libertarians. They won and they are still bitching about being robbed! Such nonsense. ... It is indeed disingenuous for either the Democrats or Republicans to bemoan these third-party activities!
as spoilers. The big two spent quite a bit of time on ballot access legislation designed to spoil the chances of any parties, besides themselves of course, of ever gaining access to the United States government. Two wings on the same bird of prey, to paraphrase Pat Buchanan, have conspired to limit the American citizens' access to their own governmental process. They pass new laws in a steady stream that spoil entrepreneurial spirit, degenerate business opportunity, erode individual economy, while increasing statist power vested in parties that have become corrupted by compromise. ... Are third-party campaigns spoiler campaigns? You bet they are. They are trying to be the spoilers of the "great spoilers" - Democrats and Republicans. As a registered Libertarian voter every vote I cast is intended as a spoiler vote. I am quite sure the vast majority of my fellow travelers share my sentiments. We are all trying to spoil the stranglehold of the two-party political system no matte!
r what banner we march under. However, third parties should not allow
ther the Republicans or the Democrats. Neither party should be allowed to solicit sympathy unchallenged for perceived thievery that does not exist. They should not be allowed to label third-party efforts as spoiler campaigns because of votes they did not receive without rebuttal from the "spoiler" himself. It is an absurd argument to claim you would have won if only you had gotten a better score and then blame the lack of productivity on someone else on another team. ...
BOHICA: U.S. expected to approve $14 billion aid request
Israel will today submit a request for $14 billion in economic aid to U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. President George Bush is expected to quickly approve the request - $4 billion in defense aid. and U.S. guarantees for $10 billion - with minor changes, Israeli sources said. The sources said the Republican congressional majority would approve the aid within 3-6 months. After Finance Ministry director general Ohad Marani and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's bureau chief Dov Weisglass submit the request, it will be handled by both Israeli and U.S. officials who will determine the duration of the grant and guarantees, and various technical details. The guarantees will apparently be for five years but it is unclear how the defense aid will be laid out.
Johann Opitz <firstname.lastname@example.org> RKBA!
"Throughout recorded history, without exception, it has been the sole accomplishment of organized government to deprive their populations of liberty and of their property." -- John C. Calhoun