More Disturbing Developments

Posted on Monday 6 March 2006

This is a collection of disturbing developments. Some point towards increasing fascism under neo-conservatives, and others point out continuing incompetence in the new regime.

South Dakota Essentially Bans Abortion

South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds has just signed a law which essentially bans abortion in the state. The only exceptions are if the woman’s life is in danger. The Republican governor has acknowledged that the law result in a lengthy legal battle. The state legislature passed the bill after the appointment of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Supporters of the law felt the more conservative makeup of the court made it much more likely the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade.

Update: There are no exceptions for rape or incest in the bill.

More Homeland Stupidity, Part I

The Brownsville Herald has a story on how DHS security officers denied Brownsville Mayor Eddie Treviño Jr., City Manager Charlie Cabler and other officials entry to a binational press conference held in the city’s Alice Wilson Hope Park Friday.

DHS officials told Mayor Treviño he and the other officials were told on Thursday night that they could attend the event, which featured U.S. Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Mexican Secretary of the Interior Carlos María Abascal Carranza and Mexican Secretary of Public Safety Eduardo Medina Mora, who were there to announce an agreement concerning border security between the two countries. However, when Treviño and the other officials tried to enter the press conference on Friday, they were prevented.

Even though DHS security prevented the mayor and other officials, members of the press and public were allowed to enter the event, without being required to show identification or having their bags inspected. DHS and the Secret Service have refused to comment on why Mayor Treviño and the other officials were denied entrance.

More Homeland Stupidity, Part II

The Washington Post has a story about a bomb scare over at Ohio State University was caused by a bumper sticker on a bicycle that read “This Bike is A Pipe Bomb”. The sticker was on a bicycle chained outside a university-owned restaurant. The bicycle was disassembled using a high-pressure water cannon. Another report says that the bike’s owner may have charges filed against them for the incident.

Do the police really think that terrorists would label a bomb-laden bicycle? Are they really that stupid? The sticker is a for a punk rock band named “This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb”.

More Homeland Stupidity, Part III

The Washington Post also has a story on how the levee repairs being made in New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, may be falling short of the pre-Katrina standards. Apparently, the Army Corps of Engineers are taking shortcuts to finish the repairs in a highly accelerated schedule.

President Bush promised to rebuild the damaged levees after the controversy over the problems with the federal government’s response to last year’s hurricanes. Looks like Bush lied again.

More Homeland Stupidity, Part IV

Bruce Schneier has an article on how the DHS is having serious problems with their terrorist profiling. The original Scripps Howard News Service article says Walter Soehnge, a retired Texas schoolteacher and his wife, Deana, were flagged for paying off a large balance on their JC Penney Platinum Mastercard.

The Soehnges were were told that the amount they had sent in, $6,522, was much larger than their normal monthly payment, and that if an increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, DHS has to be notified.

It seems much more likely to me, that terrorists would open fake accounts and not pay them off—not pay the credit cards off in full. You would think that DHS could figure this out too.

More Homeland Stupidity, Part V

The Associated Press has an article on how guards at Homeland Security say the DHS headquarters are insecure. The story describes inadequate training, failed security tests and poor responses to bomb and biological threats.

If DHS can’t even protect itself, how likely is it that they can protect the country?

Bush Quietly Changed The Rules

The Irregular Times has a nice story about how the gutless wonder President George W. Bush changed the rules regarding the NSA. The article in the New York Times points out changes which permit some eavesdropping inside the country without a warrant—a practice that was previously forbidden.

Best part of the IT article:

George W. Bush violated your rights as an American citizen. George W. Bush, the Republican opponent of Big Government, empowered Big Brother. Thanks to Bush’s secret move, Big Brother can listen in on your life you whenever Big Brother wants to. Big Brother doesn’t need a reason. Big Brother doesn’t have to justify its behavior to anybody. You will have no notice. You will have no recourse.

Deception and the War in Iraq

The Irregular Times also has a nice piece on how Colin Powell’s British evidence justifying the invasion of Iraq was a lie.

Military and Politics

The Left End of The Dial has an interesting article about the RNC having active duty military show support for the President’s policies at Republican events. This is both illegal and violates military regulations, but when has that ever stopped King George and the neo-Conservatives.

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