Monday, May 26, 2008

BREVITAS

BUSH NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME WATCH

Longtime Minneapolis peace activist . . . Ed Felien asked a Hennepin County District judge to compel the county attorney to arrest President Bush when his plane lands for the GOP convention in September. Felien, a former Minneapolis City Council member, said Bush should be investigated and prosecuted for murder because of troop deaths in Iraq, conspiracy to fix oil prices and conspiracy to distribute drugs by controlling the opium trade in Afghanistan. At the end of a 30-minute hearing, Judge Gary Larson said he would rule in the normal course of business, but he did not provide a time frame. . . . Deputy Hennepin County Attorney Patrick Diamond said the notion that the president could be taken into custody and prosecuted is "highly doubtful." Diamond emphasized that the county attorney bears the sole discretion of when to prosecute crimes. "Not everything a county attorney can do is something a county attorney should do," he said. He argued, too, that Felien's request raises serious separation of powers issues. A totalitarian state exists when a "judge is deciding not just the outcome but who should be investigated and prosecuted," Diamond said. Rochelle Olson, Minneapolis Star Tribune

RALPH NADER: A SERIOUS CAMPAIGN

City Council wants to beef up its existing high-grass and weeds law by making a second offense a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail. . . More than 8 inches constitutes high grass or weeds, according to city law. First-time violators now face a minor misdemeanor, which carries up to a $150 fine and no jail time. - Don't Tase Me Bro'

According to Rasmussen, 37% of Americans know someone serving in Iraq.

Former US president Jimmy Carter says Israel possesses 150 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, according to The Times of London. His statement appeared to be the first time a former US president states publicly the amount of nuclear warheads Israel supposedly has in its possession, DPA reported. Intel Daily

South Africa’s white minority government was finally overthrown in 1993, after decades of black popular and working-class resistance. . . Now the apartheid state of Israel fears it will meet the same fate from its own oppressed, and growing, Palestinian population. While Israel’s proponents continue to rhetorically claim that the Zionist state is the only bulwark against another Holocaust, its leaders also continue to openly express its true identification with South Africa’s racist regime. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert remarked recently in the New York Times, “We now have the Palestinians running an Algeria-style campaign against Israel, but what I fear is that they will try to run a South Africa-type campaign against us.” If international sanctions are imposed as they were against apartheid, “the state of Israel is finished.” - Sharon Smith, Counterpunch

The U.S. Air Force operates the "world's largest airline" and every $10-per-barrel increase in crude oil boosts its annual operating costs by $610 million, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said. The Air Force's bill for aviation fuel was about $6 billion in fiscal 2007, Wynne told a defense industry group. He declined to predict what the total would be for 2008.

Robert Hildreth, a self-made multimillionaire who built his fortune trading in Latin American bonds, wants to create a national bond fund that would help post bail for undocumented workers seized by immigration authorities. Hildreth began posting bail out of his own pocket after seeing what he considered to be "un-American" images on TV of shackled workers being deported. Hidlreth, the son of high school teachers, called the Greater Boston Legal Services and told them to contact him if they needed help posting bonds for undocumented workers. After doing this a few times, in a few different states, Hildreth decided his program should go national. His idea is to create a non-profit bond fund that would match 50 percent of bail funds in most cases, and provide 100 percent bail only in extreme cases. Advocates say this is crucial for workers who are coerced into signing deportation orders before talking to a lawyer or having their day in court. Helping them post bond enables them to get out of detention, contact a lawyer and regroup with their families. New America Media

A British them park has banned adults from using pocket computers – so they spend more time having fun with their kids. Any parent seen tapping on a PDA will have it confiscated by special wardens at Alton Towers. The resort, which boasts 2.5 million visitors each year, has imposed the rule for next week’s May half-term. If successful, it could be introduced permanently. Russell Barnes, a director of the Staffordshire attraction, said: “It’s important for parents and kids to focus on nothing more than having the best possible time.” The Sun, UK

WHY DEMOCRATS DON'T DO BETTER IN CONGRESS
Note from a congressmember's scheduler to colleagues

A longtime confidant of rapper Dr. Dre claims the Rev. Al Sharpton threatened to march on the hip-hop icon's recording studio unless he donated a half-million dollars to charity. Bruce Williams, Dr. Dre's former right-hand man, said the alleged extortion attempt involved Sharpton's displeasure with vulgar lyrics as well as a nasty feud between rappers 50 Cent and The Game. "He said if we didn't have [$500,000], we marching. It's that easy," Williams said in an interview published on hiphopdx.com. Sharpton insisted yesterday he never spoke to Dr. Dre and has no recollection of ever meeting Williams. He called the accusation "absurd." - NY Post

SEIU: EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL STRUGGLES

SCHOOLBOY AVOIDS PROSECUTION FOR CALLING SCIENTOLOGY A CULT

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