Mike Gravel Rapping: POWER TO THE PEOPLE
*hattip to the guys at the Alternate Brain
So, how many of us really trust teh Homeland Security Dept to stick to terror or even crime related info? How many of us were wiretapped in the last seven years? We don't know, and they will never willingly tell us.
The Homeland Security Department is testing a program with the New York City fire department to share intelligence information so firefighters are better prepared when they respond to emergency calls. Homeland Security also trains the New York City fire service how to identify material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities. If it is successful, the government intends to expand the program to other major metropolitan areas.
As part of the program, which started last December, Homeland Security gave secret clearances to nine New York fire chiefs, according to reports obtained by The Associated Press.
"They're really doing technical inspections, and if perchance they find something like, you know, a bunch of RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) rounds in somebody's basement, I think it's a no-brainer," said Jack Tomarchio, a senior official in Homeland Security's intelligence division. "The police ought to know about that; the fire service ought to know about that; and potentially maybe somebody in the intelligence community should know about that."
The trial program with Homeland Security opens a clear information-sharing channel that did not exist before between the fire service and Homeland Security's intelligence division.
"We're there to help people, and by discovering these type of events, we're helping people," said New York City Fire Chief Salvatore Cassano. "There are many things that firefighters do that other law enforcement or other agents aren't able to do." He added, "A normal person that doesn't have this training wouldn't be looking for it."
Cassano would not discuss specifics, but he said some terror-related information has been passed along to law enforcement since firefighters and officers began the training three years ago. "They've had some hits," Cassano said. "It's working."
the fire service is also represented in at least 13 state and regional intelligence "fusion" centers across the country, where local, state and federal agencies share information about terror and other crimes.
D.C. firefighters and Emergency Medical Service providers are in 170,000 homes and businesses each year on routine calls, Schultz said.
"So we see things and observe things that may be useful to law enforcement," he said. "We can walk into your house.We don't need a search warrant." If an ambulance team should show up at a house and see detailed maps of the district's public transit system on the wall, that is something the EMS provider would pass along, he said.
"It's the evolution of the fire service," said Bob Khan, the fire chief in Phoenix, which has created an information-sharing arrangement between the fire service and law enforcement through terrorism liaison officers. [my ems]
According to Bloomberg: "The dollar fell..." (read: plummeted) "...the most since September against the currencies of its six biggest trading partners after Chinese officials signaled plans to diversify the nation's $1.43 trillion of foreign exchange reserves.
The dollar fell against all 16 of the most-active currencies, declining to the weakest versus the Canadian dollar since the end of a fixed exchange rate in 1950, a 26-year low against the pound and a 23-year low versus the Australian dollar...
..... China may `diversify out of dollar holdings.'......."
Hell, join the club. According to MSN.com, that's exactly what Dick Cheney did in 2006, putting between $10m and $25m of his personal assets into The American Century International Bond, a fund whose "prospectus limits dollar exposure to 25% of assets" and has "only 6% of assets in dollars."
This strikes me as an ever so slightly unpatriotic thing to do, if you're the Vice President of our Nation.
Maybe just a little nihilistic.
Kinda-sorta like speeding through all the red lights in Capitol Hill in a hospital zone, blasting Wagner's Götterdämmerung out the gull-wing doors of your Krupp Panzer IV, while wearing a Sudanese blood-diamond tiara, eating a Cuban sandwich and ripping bootleg DVD's right from the warm and bloody entrails of our own fighting men and women in the armed services.
I read Cintra Wilson in our local Hartford Advocate. Her columns always inform and amuse, and I haven't heard much about this issue* in the MSM. As govt. operatives continue to ENRON the US treasury, they are also running the printing presses as fast as they can, in order to gut the boomers' savings.
Let me say again so that there is no misunderstanding. I stand here today as a former US Marine saying we are killing women and children in Iraq. This is the true nature of war. War lends itself to atrocities. Don't think you can use an organization designed to kill other human beings for anything humanitarian. That has never been our mission. That was crystal clear from the moment I was forced to bury the crate of humanitarian food given to me in Kuwait.
"We recently received the necessary security clearances and are now able to proceed with our investigation," H. Marshall Jarrett, counsel for the OPR, wrote to, D-N.Y. A copy of the letter, dated Tuesday, was obtained by The Associated Press.
Hinchey and other Democrats have long sought an investigation into the spying program to see if it complies with the law. Efforts to investigate the program have been rebuffed by the Bush administration.
"I am happily surprised," Hinchey said. "It now seems because we have a new attorney general the situation has changed. Maybe this attorney general understands that his obligation is not to be the private counsel to the president but the chief law enforcement officer for the entire country."
The OPR investigation was begun in February 2006 but was shut down a few months later when therefused to grant the security clearances to ask questions about the program. said Gonzales recommended Bush approve the clearances, but the president said no.
...But here's the issue: One has to decide, is this a political or a moral issue? If it is a political issue, then you can argue that each state could have its own political solution to it. If you believe it's a moral issue, then you really have to believe that morality does not change at the state line. That idea that morality is different in Massachusetts than it is in Texas is the rationale of the Civil War.
Do we want the federal government imposing morality? You are comfortable with the federal government playing that role?
Well, let's remember that all law establishes morality. That's what law does. The law of speeding is saying that it's immoral to go at 85 miles an hour. The morality is that we have established a 65-mile-an-hour limit. So that's what all law does: It establishes that it is wrong for me to murder you.(my ems) We've determined that that's not a good idea. I'm sure you are happy to hear that. So if I go over that law and murder you anyway, then society is going to punish me because I have violated a moral code, which we have all agreed to. So that's what law does. When people say you can't legislate morality, I am thinking, actually that is exactly what you do every time you pass a law. Now you don't legislate behavior. That's true. You can't legislate people's behavior. But all legislation legislates morality by its very nature. It defines the right and the wrong of the people.
"We do have a national energy policy - it's basically to keep wasting lots of energy, import it at whatever price and by whatever means are nesessary, keep stealing from our kids, and keep screwing up the climate.What we desperately need right now is a new energy initiative, one on a par with the New Deal. What we've got is Cheney and Halliburton. . .
You may think this is a senseless, immoral and wasteful energy policy, and you would be right.
The amount of research money going into energy, public and private, has shrunk several fold - at a time when we need it the most. And, it's shrinking even further - THIS IS CRAZY!!!"
ACLU lobbyist sees telecoms' power
Caroline Fredrickson, the director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, said in a briefing for reporters Monday, “It is so troubling that Congress would consider providing immunity, intervening in these court cases and dismissing them without having the opportunity for the cases to be heard by a court.”
Fredrickson added wryly, “As someone who lobbies on the Hill regularly, we’re always rubbing up against the phalanxes of telecom lobbyists who are up there. I think members of Congress are feeling a great deal of pity for the sad circumstances that telecoms might find themselves in.”
Members of Congress she said, “are hearing from them on a regular basis as they attend their fundraisers. So we understand why there’s so much resonance for those arguments.”
It's SO long past time to get the big money out of politics. We must get public financing of elections or we loose our democracy.
“Automakers should stop acting like they’re playing the Tappet Brothers’ game, ‘Stump the Chumps,’ and start supporting higher fuel economy standards in Congress’ energy bill.”