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Delaware Libertarian posted the talking points being emailed to Charter School Parents. Note: these are in support of HB 165 and were written by the Charter lobbyists for that organization.

So taking their memes and removing the lies and instilling the truth, gives us ours… Simple, quick, effective… (Thank you Charter Schools for doing our work for us…)

Pass this one on asap.

  • Hello, My Name is ________ and I am a parent of  ___ children in Delaware Public Schools ________, _________, _________ . I calling to ask you vote down the Charter School Wish List known as HB 165 for the following reasons.
  • It is a bad bill.  It takes money away from public schools and gives to Charter Schools. Public schools are public property and need to be fixed up first with public money.
  • This bill is being “sneaked through”.  There is considerable opposition to this bill by every public school parent whose child will lose if this bill is passed.  You may not know how mad they will be yet because this bill came out of nowhere overnight, and instead of being featured in the media and discussed up or down, it has remained secretly burried in a “working body” until last week.
  • The “working body” was even secret.  We just discovered it now.  The Attorney General yesterday ruled it was indeed a public body and was required to publish minutes, (which it didn’t), announce its meetings (which it didn’t) and respond to all requests for information (which it hasn’t).. This means this body broke the law in coming up with this bill.
  • We have the list of all Charter School owners.  Charter School Networks are huge businesses.  They are corporations who get rich by siphoning off our school taxes we pay yearly to maintain our public schools.  These owners are well connected state big-wigs who aim to get rich off this bill, while funds for our public schools get smaller, and smaller, and smaller.
  • Public School Parents who choice out of their feeder pattern school, have to drive their own kids to school.  Charter Schools get millions to bus their kids to school.  Why?  Why are they so special?
  • Charter School kids do worse on standardized tests than public school kids. This is documented.  Rich versus rich. Poor versus poor. Charter Schools don’t get the same quality of education as do students in public schools.  We need to fund what works; not take money away and give to what doesn’t.
  • Charter Schools are discriminatory to Blacks, Hispanics, and all Whites-not-having-incomes-over-$100,000.  Charter Schools are no better than private schools for rich white people, except now HB 165 wants to take a big portion of public money actually being spent on teaching Blacks and Hispanics, and put it into these filthy rich white school systems.

Dear Sir/Ma’am:  How you can possibly vote yes on this bill is beyond me and everyone whom I have talked about it so far.

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(Courtesy of Delaware Liberal’s Hot & On Top Reporting)

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 5,600 Delaware residents will benefit from $1.8 million in rebates from insurance companies this summer, because of the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule. These rebates will average $351 for the 5,300 Delaware families covered by a policy.

Obamacare is working!  Obamacare is saving people money.  They were at the mercy of insurance companies before.  Now, they have $1.8 million in their pocket.

It is not because of Republicans!.. They are the ones taking money out of your pocket, handing it to the insurance companies, and saying “don’t forget about that campaign contribution in October.”

No one can trust Republicans unless you are making more then 10 million a year. No one.

So when they say the first thing they want to do in January is repeal Obamacare,  and now you can see why.

That want insurance campaign contributions… and that is all.  They don’t give a fuck about you.

Only Democrats can right the wrongs… Do what you know you must.  Swear on a stack of Bibles, never, never,  never, never vote for a squirmy, sluggish, beetle-infested, putrid, maggotty, caterpillerish, centipedific, millipederishes, multi-lensed eyeballed, appendage ringed mouthed, stinger-embedded, infectious bacterial infested, food coveting, ooze secreting, spontaneously defecating  insect who swears allegiance to the Republican Party….

Spray them with insecticide instead…..

(Wow, what a great demo idea for the Republican National Convention……)

Sometimes after reading truth like this, you just want to walk into a room of thronging with roaches, pretend they’re Republicans and squish them each and every one ………

Lifted from the Occupy Planning Committee….

1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations.

Strong economies have a system that recirculates income throughout the system. The Bush Tax Cuts interrupt that system, by rewarding the removal of excess (profit) and gambling it on riskier items with the potential of superlative returns. Translated: Putting Billions on Animal Kingdom to win, place or show, doesn’t create jobs.

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America.

This is simple. Raise the wealthy’s taxes across the board. Mandate that income earned overseas by American corporations gets taxed by America too. Then, allow a 100% write off on all physical investment here in America. Translated: Corporations will build here, when it becomes cheaper for them to build here.

3. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

We tried deregulation. It didn’t work. We reverted right back to where we were in the stock crash of 1929 after which Glass-Steagall was enacted to prevent that from ever happening again. Essentially Glass-Steagall says we need to separate our money that we require ourselves to live on, away from speculative investment… If you want to invest, do it by choosing to put your money at risk in an investment firm knowing full well that you could lose it all. However, safe money, needs to stay safe.

4. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

There is a reason why other nations spend less on health care per person, and have much better results. THERE IS A REASON. One can wish for a lot of things; wish that private health care didn’t cost so much, wish that private insurance covered everything, wish that our doctor could keep giving us free samples all the time…. Switching to single payer, if we use Japan as a model, would save every American $4,800 dollars a year. A family of four therefore would see a savings of $19,200 per year…. Imagine what a family could do with an additional $19200 a year plopped into their lap? What’s really sad? The Japanese live much longer too… meaning we are paying more and getting nothing in return.

5. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

Reducing carbon emissions is good for whatever reason. The idea that carbon fuel usage will deteriorate is not viable. The global energy requirements are growing exponentially. We need to insist that all new demand for power, be met by renewable resources (excluding ethanol). We will still need existing operations to continue just to keep our lights on.

6. We, the people, must pass two constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:

a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

There were seven fights today at Shue-Medill Middle School on Kirkwood Highway. The Christina School District is responsible for that location…

Due to privacy restrictions details are sketchy, but this is what we do know…

Seven Fights in one school of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders… Why? Report cards went out last Friday. The physical parental responses to some of them, no doubt pushed these kids over the edge.

One took place in a math class. The math teacher (female) at great harm to herself, stepped in, broke it up, ending it by dragging the 7th grade perpetrator, a known bully, in a headlock down the hall… Hopefully after turning the corner, out of sight, she body-slammed his head three or four times into the one of the concrete walls..

But the most disgraceful, took place in the cafeteria, at a special event honoring those students who made the honor roll this past marking period… Into the event walks a previously suspended student, who previously had to be pulled off a school bus for threatening to kill the bus driver… Yes, seventh grade… Honor roll? Not even close…

She walks up to a seventh grade female student, and says… (of course) “You’re sitting in my seat.” Now this entire event could have been prevented had the girl gotten up from sitting with her friends who she had handpicked to have around her, and moved to another spot. Instead, she politely said… “Sorry, no thanks. I’m sitting here..” The bully says: “I going to fucking strangle you. I’m going to beat the shit out of you!” Without warning, she slams her little seventh grade face into the table, grabs her long auburn hair, pulls her backwards off the bench on to the floor and begins stomping the body. She stomps the body from one end to the other, ending at the face… The screams of the victim are horrendous. Innocent mouths are frozen open while the violence takes place. No adult yet moves to interfere. Knowing that she has more time, the bully jumps up, bends her knees, and drops her entire body weight onto the, by now, whimpering body laying listless on the floor. With fists one fourth the size of her victim’s small head, she begins pounding all her force into the facial regions… By now there is no resistance.. The beating continues unabated for quite a few minutes. After eternity, with only icy silence responding to each bone breaking blow, the bully grabs the hair and begins dragging the body down the floor between the tables… Showing off her trophy…. The victim was reported to have blood flowing out of both her eyes.

It happened this afternoon…

The previous incident involving this bully, involved this same girl beating up three Hispanic children on a schoolbus, causing the bus to stop, a school crises official to arrive, and only because of an outside concerned parents call, were the police called… The police quickly resolved the issue, putting the girl in handcuffs and taking her away.

So why was she allowed back in school?

So why was no adult monitoring the honor student event?

So why did seven fights take place in one day at Shue- Medill Middle School: a school of only sixth, seventh, and eighth graders?

There is only one omnipresent reason….

Yes, yes… I know there will be some out there who say it’s the schools fault… After all, they are the most easily sued to reclaim damages…. But anyone working, visiting, or who happens to assist as a family member in that school, cannot without putting superglue on their tongue, forever adhering it to the inside of their cheek, say that school officials are at fault… Today was an aberration; one day out of almost fifty school days so far. Forty nine of those days they got things right….. We have to remember that fact as our blood boils over…. Forty nine days they got things right…

Yes, yes… I know there will be those, especially who deal with school kids on a daily basis, who say it’s the parents fault… They have a lot going for their argument. You can’t teach a hungry kid. You can’t teach an emotionally disturbed kid. You can’t teach a drug addicted kid. You can’t teach a kid who never receives love from a parent… You just can’t do it in a classroom setting…

In going down the road of public education, we decided that our society as a whole benefited better from giving everyone opportunity to better themselves, instead of limiting that opportunity to just a few children with wealthy parents.. If you look at the large picture, that was probably the proper avenue to take. Of course when you buy apples by the bag instead of the hand picking ones off the display, you will most likely encounter a couple of rotten ones… And what do you do with a rotten apple? Put it back in the sun to ripen?

Ah, yes, yes, there will be those who will blame the system. They say it’s our school system, our Department of Education, or lack of it that drove us down this path… Segregation and its subsequent desegregation policies ruined New Castle County schools above the canal. That is fact. Those of us growing up through neighborhood schools, can certainly sense the futility a very young child must feel to be abandoned on a bus and shipped fifteen miles away, far from the reach of anyone whom he could call for help if subject to something say like ….. the threats of a bully. Also cutting back the amount of money spent on education so the state could buy up Garrison Lake Golf course or the MBNA buildings in downtown Wilmington a few years back, certainly didn’t help… Who knows? One extra dollar at the proper time could have changed that one bully’s perspective at an earlier point in life, making them choose to venture down a different path…. but then again, perhaps it couldn’t: one never knows for sure……However anyone with common sense knows that a system that dumbs down education to it’s lowest level in order to maximize the numbers of those that “get it”, unfortunately has some dumb people roaming its halls. Shouldn’t we be focused on educating our brightest to compete in a global economy, instead of holding them to the standards we adopted to get the most people through our doors with a diploma? There is a lot of credence to saying it’s the system’s fault…

So of the three, whose fault is it?

It is to some extent, yours. But most of all, it is mine…

I never realized it until today… For until everybody cares, the same stuff will go on… Everyone involved in today’s educational environment, is just simply trying to survive. Sticking their head out, is dangerous to their careers. And you and I put them out there with no support, no backing, and most of all when they flounder, we yell at them, especially if it is not their fault!… The most we ever do is mutter a “tsk tsk.”, call for a firing, yell silly slogans at a school board meeting, or post our outrage for public perusal… But none of us take any direct responsibility… Myself included… Today I’m sick I didn’t intervene a month ago. I had the means; but not the will. It seemed like overkill then.

Today’s event could have been prevented… In fact, with appropriate action, most of today’s school violence COULD be prevented… Not however by enforcing the law… but by handling such situation, outside the law… It’s time to rethink our values here.

99.99% of school bullying is caused by students who are abused by their parents… Yeah. 99.99% of you reading this had decent parents. You don’t know what it feels like at age 7 to take the full brunt of punches from your drunken father.. You don’t know what having to perform oral sex on a family member does to your value system. You don’t know now, do you? Fortunately I don’t either. But one can see that anyone coming from this environment has nothing to fear from walking into a crowded room and beating the shit out of a random target. One can see, that brutalizing a tiny little girl, can be seen as the preferable course of action, especially if it’s parental approval staves off one beating that week, when one gets home….

How can we blame a little kid who comes from such an environment? Even as enlightened as we think we are, as a society we are pretty stupid when it comes to such handling of real life situations…

Here is how our own national history shows us how it can be fixed….

A band of thirty, to a hundred concerned masked Shue-Medill parents, each carrying AK-47’s, handguns, shotguns, grenades, knives, or anything else protected under the second amendment, all show up armed to the teeth at the house of the parents of this bully… Using some old one by fours, sprinkled with kerosene, they construct a structure in the shape of an apple ( for teachers) and ignite it… Armed roadblocks are set up around the perimeter to keep local police informed so they stay away.

The spokesman then calls the parent out for a conversation… The parent always comes out, choosing whether to come before or after he is given the option of having his house set afire. The parent is allowed a short time to persuade the rabble that he will personally insure that his kid does not beat up another single person. The parent is given a short time to comprehend the consequences of what will happen to him or her if their child does not follow directions… The listening rabble then makes a collective decision that has a life-or-death consequence for that parent…

THAT is an “effective” solution.. THAT fixes the problem… THAT should have been done the first time this bully made her first mark. So who were those masked people who broke the law? Hmmmm. No one seems to know …….. Guess they can’t be prosecuted then….

Yes, there are other methods to be considered. Walking up behind the unsuspecting parent and slamming a baseball bat into the back of his medulla… Driving by their house and emptying thirty five rounds…. Pouring gasoline and setting a match to their car…. However, these are only effective if a direct correlation gets be made between the compensatory violence, and the action taken by that parent upon their child… But each of these alternatives, lacks the chill of realizing just how perverted our society sees that parent’s actions.. Each of these minor alternatives yields to a “tit for tat”, and instead stopping the violence they almost justify the escalation of it, simply because the parent himself (who has always thought he’s above the law anyway), now feels he has become the victim….

The idea is to stop parents from beating their children… To be clear, I’m not talking about spanking. I’m talking about leaving a child unconscious on the floor. Our government is stymied and under current law, cannot be effective at prevention.. It is effective prosecuting the death of the child.. As citizens, by taking direct action like the one mentioned above, by going beyond the incapacity of the law, we can get results …

Does it work?

The effectiveness of such actions can be seen anytime police investigate crimes between 4th and 30th Streets in Wilmington…The criminal element uses these tactics effectively to suppress tattling. No one ever sees anything up there… Must have more fog than London….

So if we impose a tremendous and costly price for beating or molesting a child, then begin to take effective steps to stop that action. And if that action stops, then those children do not have to take their suppressed rage on unsuspecting kids who always happen to be much smaller than themselves….

Are you mad? Then ask yourself what you have done lately? Nothing? How then can you blame others when you yourself have not raised a little finger?

Like me, you are the problem… Today we wake up. It’s time we do something.

Pray for us.

Because that……. is what we do.

You may not like Hillary Clinton……perhaps her negatives are too high for you……but regardless of what you think of her personality and politics, she comes from New York. And that makes her something…………

You may think I came to praise her, but I am really going in the opposite direction and praising New York. What gives Hillary her credibility, is that some of the greatest people on earth chose her to be their Senator……

There is something different about New York. Not just the city, but the entire state has a distinctive unique characteristic. I guess it stems from the fact that no one, no one intimidates them. They don’t prance around Celia-like to politicians; they hold them accountable. Either the politician performs, or “he’s outta there.” ( The fact that a majority of them ‘dis Giuliani, speaks highly of them also. )

Today I got this snippet of news from the paper of a tiny little town near Minot…….It was an AP announcement that was deemed irrelevant every where but North Dakota……. It was an “A ha” moment, because it provides a solution that may have some bearing on Delmarva’s recalcitrance to “play ball by the rules.”

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating five major energy companies to determine if plans to create coal-fired power plants present an undisclosed financial risk to investors.

There are so many parallels to our situation. First both of our Attorney Generals are sons of famous political fathers. Second, if creating coal fired power plants presents an undisclosed financial risk to investors, what does that say about Delmarva, who is spurning Blue Water Wind, a triple A+ investment, for continuing to receive power from coal fired power plants, a triple F- investment?…….

Obviously New York is staging an “strong offense” as their primary “defense” to open the Long Island Sound Wind Farm. Should they succeed and open their wind farm before Delmarva allows us to open ours, we might as well turn all positive financial growth opportunities for this state, over to them………..

What is ironical is that their AG is suing the “old school” of power generation for the same reason Delmarva is suing to stop the “new school” of power generation.

As I mentioned in a comment over on Tommywonk, one option we have is for our AG to sue Delmarva Power for presenting an undisclosed risk to the people of Delaware by their not allowing us a healthy, environmentally friendly, and far cheaper electricity than we pay already……But ideally, taking the investors side of the equation would be much cleaner, easier to prosecute, and based on evidence found in Delawares blogs, and all over the internet, ….”a slam dunk.”

As I pointed out before, Delmarva bases their cost on figures consumers were paying BEFORE THE 60% RATE HIKES TOOK EFFECT IN MAY 2006. (All their calculations use 2005 numbers). They use these outdated cheap numbers to make their case that Delaware consumers will pay more if they go with Blue Water Wind.

Therefore they are misleading their investors. I am not a legal expert, but I believe there are laws against that? Duh! That should put them squarely in the same boat as Enron. And we know what happened to those cronies……….

Delaware needs to pursue the same strategy as New York. Why should they get all the glory. After all, compare their two AG’s! Only one has a father who has run for the Presidency…….. twice.

Will He Become the Aragorn Who Takes On Mordor? Sam the Brave, without whom, the Quest would End in Failure.

Daily Kos and Tommywonk featured excerpts from Dr. Goldsmiths upcoming book, The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration.

Defender of the Constitution Despite Cheney's Tirades!!!

Before Goldsmiths arrival, things were much shadier. “Goldsmith claims that Addington (Vice President’s Legal Counsel) and other top officials treated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the same way they handled other laws they objected to: “They blew through them in secret based on flimsy legal opinions that they guarded closely so no one could question the legal basis for the operations,” he writes. Goldsmith’s first experienced this extraordinary concealment, or “strict compartmentalization,” in late 2003 when, he recalls, Addington angrily denied a request by the N.S.A.’s inspector general to see a copy of the Office of Legal Counsel’s legal analysis supporting the secret surveillance program. “Before I arrived in O.L.C., not even N.S.A. lawyers were allowed to see the Justice Department’s legal analysis of what N.S.A. was doing,” Goldsmith writes.

“By shielding its legal theories under a cloak of secrecy, the Administration hoped to insulate their radical positions from any form of review. Just as the Administration is attempting to use the ‘state secret privilege’ to stop any court from reviewing or ruling upon its domestic surveillance, it used “strict compartmentalization” to prevent internal review. The reason is simple, if Machiavellian: If one can prevent dissenters from access to the legal theories, it is that much easier to dismiss their concerns. If one can stop courts from ruling, there’s no one to say you were wrong.”
(Expect the book out on September 17th. It is a fitting day…..being the last day Gonzales is in office………)

This is the process of closed government in action, proving that there needs to be more transparency in all branches of government. Power corrupts absolutely, unless of course, everybody is watching. Power independent of party ideology will continue to function the same as long as secrecy is allowed.

It doesn’t matter if the party is democrat or republican. It matters not whether it is in the highest reaches of government, or in our levy courts and county councils. FOIA needs to be applied to all government agencies to prevent abuses such as the above.

Government in this nation is a function of its people. It is nothing but a tool. How many of us would trust a plumber who charged us $3000 to work with tools we could not see?

You can harp on this administration, if you want, but the real issue is more than symptomatic. The real issue is that our Constitution has been hijacked by both Dick Cheney and Thurman Adams…………..

Transparency is the key.

It is so frustrating to live in these times. So many things need commented upon. They need researched. They need exposed. They need discussion.

It is in times like these that one discovers exactly what one’s priorities are.

I woke up feeling the need to comment on Delaware’s wind power. It has been awhile for me and I needed, particularly with the cancer clusters in the news today, to find outwhether any other coal fired power plants had cancer clusters popping out around them.

Then I received some economic news that set me off.   New insights of a Stock Crash that makes 1929 look puny.

I then got a call from someone who had no health care and wanted my advice on how to go about getting a cyst removed…..Another topic that needed addressed.

Later today I got fired up over watching a panel discussion describing the so called union of Canada, the US, and Mexico. Although the presentation was just on trade barriers only, during the questioning, the public conversation turned to covering a union of the three countries. The most telling of the answers was that this type of wild speculation was prevalent only because every negotiation was being done in secret. No one really knows what is going on on the larger scale because each splinter group is meeting with its counterpart without disclosing any information to the other splinter groups.

What was needed was full disclosure with one negotiation held around one table done in the open for all to see………

Sort of a metaphor for Delaware’s State legislature………

Next, while listening to WDEL I got fired up over my children’s education. Ideas popped out of the conversations and I needed to flush them out and post them.

But by the time I got back to post, it was time to check on the court case in San Francisco. Like a kid opening a present, I frantically searched for any comment from that telling exchange. I finally found one just minutes after it was posted.

So as I look back and reflect upon my day, I see I value the environment, cheap energy, open disclosure, improvements in education, and a fierce protection of our privacy. But at the core of my being, I will drop all these to protect the Constitution. The Constitution is really worth giving up ones life over.

And right now, after last weeks vote on the Protect America Act, our Constitution is in danger. Great danger. Of course each of our elected officials can decide NOT to be Julius Caesar and NOT take the reins of a dictatorship that have been handed to them, but they would be bucking the trend of human history, if they did so………

I am struggling to understand how and why any Democrat would or could have voted to allow this travesty to happen. The more I find about the turn surveillance has taken since 9/11, the more apparent it seems that everything was staged to allow the reins of power to be handed to a choice few. For once done, no one can take them away. I am struggling to figure how rational, thinking human beings, could be so unaware of the potental of wrong doing and yet so trusting of those who have proven they cannot be trusted.

After all that is why History is there. In 2002 when protesters were chanting “No Blood For Oil” I smiled and thought that made a nice chant, but that slogan was so far fetched that it never could have seriously been possible. My research into whatever files I could find leading up to the invasion of Iraq, have proved otherwise. Apparently, we did invade Iraq for oil……..

So even though the idea of a “shadow” government that could quietly become the acting government also seems like a nice chant, but is still a bit too far-fetched and could never be possible,……. I have, no choice, but to act like it is, based on the past actions of this administration.

Yes, of course I hope I’m wrong……I hope it with all my heart. But had a greater number of Americans seen the light in 02, and frozen this nation in its tracks, we would not be where we are today, looking over casualty lists……

This stuff is not out in the open. The main stream media neither can or will investigate deeply enough. Even then, the stories are getting buried when and if they are reported.

I can only hope that more citizens become concerned that their right to privacy has gone with their ability to challenge this administration.

With spy satellites now focusing cameras on our backyards with a resolution of 4.54 inches, we need to be very careful about who is looking. Men, it would be a smart idea to keep your clothes on. Women, watch out for those cleavage shots………

Ladies and Gentlemen: the Constitution is in grave danger. You need to hold your Congress accountable: they have made a decision worse than the Dred Scott Decision. Don’t just phone or email……That becomes a statistic. Show up at one of his meetings in Georgetown, Dover, Wilmington, or Newark……Ask him in front of everyone why he decided to sell your freedoms down the river……….Only public scrutiny and/or embarrassment can and will make the difference. For if our public officials  defray from defending the Constitution, then it is up to us to ensure that this document, and the freedoms that come with it, are still around for our grandkids and great-grandkids…………..

Even if just to stall for time, bite up several of the six months, distract the administration from carrying out their mysterious plans,  impeachment procedures need to begin.  Had such fortitude been present in Rome, as Caesar crossed the Rubicon, history could have turned out much differently………….

I

Thanks to fellow live bloggers: Ryan Singel and David Kravets for their words and images.
threat level rising

Based on the judges question, an apparent victory may be at hand……..

The hearing involves two cases: one aimed at AT&T for allegedly helping the government with a widespread data-mining program allegedly involving domestic and international phone calls and internet use; the other a direct challenge to the government’s admitted warrant-less wiretapping of overseas phone calls.

In questioning of the governmental witness, this exchange occurred.

Judge Harry Pregerson suggests the government is asking the courts to “rubber stamp” the government’s claim that state secrets are at risk “Who decides whether something is a state secret or not? … We have to take the word of the members of the executive branch that something is a state secret?”

Garre counters that the courts should give “utmost deference” to the Bush administration.

Judge Pregerson: “What does utmost deference mean? Bow to it?”

Fifteen minutes later, this exchange occurs.

Judge McKeown asks whether the government stands by President Bush’s statements that purely-domestic communications, where both parties are in the United States, are not being monitored without warrants.

“Does the government stand behind that statement,” McKeown asks.

Garre: “Yes, your honor.”

But Garre says the government would not be willing to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect for the court record.

Blogger’s opinion: Pregerson, by his record, is the most liberal judge on the panel, and he clearly thinks the government is just looking for a blank check for their secret program. But the other two judges aren’t thrilled either. They seem perplexed that the government attorney can’t swear under oath that the Bush Administration isn’t warrant-lessly spying on domestic phone calls.

Proceed to the second case:

Whether the foundation’s lawyers were spied upon, which is the subject of the case, “Is itself a state secret,” Bondy argues. Expanding on that theme, the government argues that the Al-Haramain case needs to be thrown out because the secret document that the government accidentally gave the foundation is so secret that it is outside of the case.

The government claims that the plaintiff’s memories of the document can’t be allowed into the case because the only way to test them is against the “totally classified” document.

This leads to this exchange :

Judge McKeown on the TOP SECRET/TOTALLY document: “I feel like I’m in Alice and Wonderland.”

Eisenberg: “I feel like I’m in Alice in Wonderland, too.”

Al-Haramain lawyer Eisenberg argues that the government’s rationale for dismissing the cases on state secrets grounds doesn’t apply to his clients, since they already know they were surveilled from seeing the secret document.

Judge Margaret McKeown and Judge Hawkins seem unconvinced that the Al-Haramain case can continue without relying on a top-secret document that can’t be used in court.

Eisenberg also offered that the government could have the case dismissed simply by proving the court that they got a warrant.

But the panel seemed unpersuaded that the document can be used at all and generally seemed to be sympathetic to the government’s position.

Bondy, the government’s attorney, finished by reiterating that giving out any information on the alleged surveillance would help the enemy: “We just cannot confirm or deny whether they were surveilled.”

Bondy, for the government, gets the last word and neatly sums up the case for the three judges. Al-Haramain Foundation attorneys, he points out, “think or believe or claim they were surveilled.”

“It’s entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false,” he says.

The Federal Governments Position in Defense of Secret Surveillance

Battle for Democracy

Tomorrow, on August 15, in Courtroom 1, 3rd Floor, 95 Seventh Street, San Francisco, two arguments will be heard. The court has scheduled one hour of arguments for Hepting v. AT&T, and 40 minutes for Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Bush. Both are the last defense our Constitution before it becomes meaningless. What is at stake is this timeless question: does our government exist for the benefit of its people,…. or do our people exist to benefit the state…….

Serious stuff. The government’s defense is that due to the material being secretive, both cases should be thrown out. This will be the exact opposite and counteract the 218 years of tradition, that if the search and seizure procedure was not obtained under a legal warrant, then all evidence illegally acquired should be thrown out.

Interpretation:

The Constitution under Article II gives the Executive Branch almost unlimited power to do whatever it deems is necessary to protect the entity of the United States of America. But the Bill of Rights, sponsored by George Mason, were all intended to amend the Constitution, in order to ensure that our government did not overstep its bounds and force itself on the daily private lives of its citizens.

The arguments at stake, come down to this: which part of the Constitution trumps the other part? The main body or the Amendments. By the nature of its definition and historical precedent, the very nature of the amendments is to change or modify the meaning of the body of the Constitution. The amendments trump the body.

The result of using logic diagrams to figure out the proper verbiage or core interpretation of the law, gives us this nugget.

The Executive Branch can do whatever it needs to do to protect the United States, as long as it does not affect the rights of individual American citizens.

Failure to do otherwise can have catastrophic consequences for individual hard working Americans.

If ones employer is surreptitiously slipped some information about ones work habits, to pressure or discredit that said individual, it matters little whether that information is truthful or erroneous, for just having it come from the Federal government, gives it some credibility among most Americans. And if any attempt is made to defend oneself, because it was done in secret, one can offer no physical proof that it ever occurred at all.

And the second case before the court, is just one such an example of this type of occurrence. In a fact finding discovery the defense was actually handed a book with all the wiretap information gleaned from the government’s illegal wiretaps. Under a subsequent court order, they were ordered to give it back, after the government sheepishly realized it had handed over illegal evidence. That dossier was an illegally acquired document at that time. Now it would be quite legal.

Here is the real issue, according to the EFF: the real soldiers in the war on terror.

“At issue here is whether the courts have any meaningful role to play in protecting Americans’ privacy from Executive branch abuses of its surveillance powers,” said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. “If the claim of ‘state secrets’ is allowed to shut down litigation, then the courts will never be able to exercise their Constitutional duty to hold the White House accountable for illegal and even unconstitutional abuses of power.”

This is going all the way to the supreme court. Seeing how this Bill was railroaded through Congress without even being read in full, one wonders if this anticipated challenge to the NSA occurring tomorrow in the courts of San Francisco, was one of the underlying reasons its previous attorneys got fired?