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Fargo Media & Politics

Publisher’s Response

Fargo Phantom is a collaboration of local professionals, financial advisors, entrepreneurs, educators, physicians, farmers and what many may refer to as a “crackpot.”

All writers have selected a “Phantom Name” due to the controversial content and editorial mission of the publication. The decision was made to help protect their professional standings in the community.

This underground newspaper is dedicated to seeking truth and justice and revitalizing the role of the free press as a guardian of liberty. We remain faithful to the traditional and central role of a free press in a free society – as a light exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power. This is why we are not accepting advertising for this venture. This is why we have assembled a arsenal of writers from all walks of life and income status.

Fargo Phantom is also designed to stimulate a free-and-open debate about political ideas facing the Red River Valley. Through educating and advocacy, we will continue to promote democracy. One constant motivation is the old-fashioned notion that the principal role of the free press in a free society is to serve as a watchdog on government - to expose corruption, fraud, waste and abuse wherever and whenever it is found.

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KFGO VS WSI Super Hero Joel Heitkamp
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Your Alternative to the Fargo Forum
North Dakota Politics

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Your Alternative to the Fargo Forum

KFGO has won two Peabody awards, several Edward R. Murrow awards, and numerous local and regional accolades. The most important honor though, is the loyalty ...790-KFGO, known most commonly as “The Mighty 790” is one of America’s most popular radio stations.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mattern says West Fargo golf course No Golf Course

FARGO - A proposal to build West Fargo’s first golf course is “probably not going to move forward” anytime soon, Mayor Rich Mattern said today.

Mattern made his remarks during the fifth annual State of the Cities forum, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead at Fargo’s Ramada Plaza Suites.

An audience member asked Mattern through the emcee when they could make their first tee time at the West Fargo golf course.

“Well, if you’re polishing your golf clubs to go golfing in West Fargo, I would put that back in the bag,” Mattern said.

“Right now, if I had to say is it going to be built or not, I would say not,” he continued. “And I take some of the blame for that, I think, and the developer. We didn’t get the best of information out there when we should have, and it wasn’t presented very well, and the economy is not the best.”

City leaders approved an agreement with Westport Beach Development Corp. in December to build an 18-hole golf course on the city’s south side. Under the agreement, the developer would donate the land, but the city would be responsible for operating and maintaining the course.

City officials project the course will cost $6.7 million to build. The city approved a $500,000 contract in December with Lehman Design Group of Scottsdale, Ariz., to design the course, which would be surrounded by a housing development.

The proposal has been a hot topic in West Fargo, with critics arguing the city has more pressing needs than a golf course. Several hundred people attended a public forum Feb. 17 to discuss the proposal.

Mattern said he doesn’t believe the project has been nixed for good.

“I still think it’s a great project, and it’s a win-win for everyone,” he said. “But the people for the most part, I think, have said that right now they don’t want it. And so if they don’t want it, that’s the way it’ll be.

“But right now, I think it’s probably not going to move forward.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Part 1 An African American President

Fargo Phantom
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Your Alternative to the Fargo Forum: Senator Kent Conrad’s Bad Decision

Kent Conrad’s Bad Decision An ongoing federal investigation is raising some concerns over Countrywide mortgage practices. While I am very concerned about Countrywide’s involvement in this potential scandal, I believe Sen. Conrad when he says he wasn’t aware of the special treatment. I think it is very reasonable to assume that he thought he was getting the rate that he deserved. Even assuming.......More Here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Your Alternative to the Fargo Forum...

What the Hell is Going on Guys?

Insurer American International Group struggled for survival a day after a financial tsunami swept away investment bank Lehman Brothers and forced the sale of rival Merrill Lynch in the biggest financial industry shake-up since the Great Depression.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Fargo Forum Alternative: How Will History Remember GW Bush?

A uniter not a divider, I am the decision-maker, a compassionate conservative, mission accomplished, bring it on, stay the course, axis of evil, etc... are all terms that will forever be etched in the minds of Americans concerning George W. Bush #43. Like him or not, this President has drawn the ire of liberals and the contempt of conservatives.

But what should this president be remembered for?

* No terrorist attacks on our soil after 9/11- credit President Bush
* Inherited a recession and employed two major tax cuts to revive economic growth - credit President Bush
* Held firm to sanctity of life issues with embryonic stem cell research - credit President Bush
* Sent 21,000 more troops into Iraq staying the course in the bleakest of moments - credit President Bush
* Appointed Alito & Roberts to the Supreme Court - credit President Bush
* 4 1/2% unemployment, record wealth creation, main street prosperity, & wall street prosperity - credit President Bush
* Peace initiatives between Palestinians and Israelis - credit President Bush

It is clear that President Bush has drawn an inside straight since November 2006, after losing the House and Senate rather embarassingly. The above achievements will go down as credible victories for a president besieged by liberals and even conservatives who left his side against the fight on the war on terror.

Pundits can rip the president apart today. But history will have the last say about President Bush. I do believe that history will receive this man more kindly than contemporaries receive him today.

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Fargo forum Alternative: Global Warming Jihad

Global Warming Jihad

"Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world," declared Thomas Carlyle.

Enter Al Gore. A privliged Senator's son, a former Vice President, a Global Warming Jihadist, and of course - a Nobel Peace Prize winning statesman right next to Yasser Arafat, who now more than ever -

Mr. Gore has a popular opinion.

This superstar global doomsayer has put on his green cape traveling the world preaching global jihad against industrialism. It is possible that no man today will effect such a profound change in politics, religion, and economics since Einstein's Manhattan Project or Darwin's Theory of Evolution, or Guttenberg's printing press. And thats after losing his presidential bid!

Yet, it is rather difficult to buy the whole enchilada that the sky is falling, the earth is crumbling, and mankind is nearly beyond a point of no return unless he acts now to save himself. Isn't this Al Gore's message to America? And to the world?

An excerpt of an interview with Grist Magazine in May 2006, this caped green crusader provides an answer:

"In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis."

An over-representation of the facts? This is what we get from Al, the environmentalist? That maybe we aren't in a heap of trouble yet- but why wait to get there when we can yell fire in a crowded theater where the Americans are watching their movie? So apparently lying to the American people; not telling them the version of the story that is most accurate is justifiable for personal political gain???

A man's words is the test of his character. Note how often this global crusader of Green Jihad has exaggerated or outright lied through his career, according to The Free Republic:

shows an amusing 16 lies or exaggerations are tied to this green caped crusader of global warming.

What's the point of dredging up a closet full of old bones?

Because the famous Green Caped Crusader is famous for not leveling with public!

Gore may have written "An Inconvenient Truth". But the real "inconvenient truth" occurs when Gore's test of character is quesitoned concerning his honesty. Superman's weakness was cryptonite. Gore, the green caped craseder's cryptonite is his imaginative fabrications that have come so naturally over the years.

Whether it was Love Canal, creating the internet, or the Buddhist fundraising scandal, trusting Gore is like trusting "Slick Willie" to honor Hillary all the days of his life. Does anyone believe that Gore can honor the truth to a greater degree than his former boss can honor Hillary?

Strange as it may sound, when Gore was just Vice President we were OK. But now as the international coronated king of Jihad against Carbon Emissions, the world has panicked. The effect may well be felt in our wallets with significantly higher taxes.

Single-handedly Al Gore has propelled the world of nations to act upon the desperate global warming issue whether or not the facts support action. A world hero, Gore, has taken the mantle to mock and taunt the Bush administration's perceived failture to act to save the world from mankind. The Green Goracle™, never one to miss a chance to blame the United States in general and George Bush in particular for just about anything, told the delegates that the U.S. was “principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali.”
So what are we to do with a former Vice President who has a Messianic Complex to save Americans and the world from global warming? What can we do? Let the foolish dribble their opinions; let the facts illuminate the truth. In thirty years Gore may have found a new cause: global cooling???

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alterntive to the Fargo Forum: Better Get Use to it... Its official the Arabs will literally own us.

Citigroup Borrows $7.5 Billion 11% interest yikes!
Oh My God, more like it!

Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, will receive a $7.5 billion cash infusion from Abu Dhabi to replenish capital after record mortgage losses wiped out almost half its market value.

Citigroup rose 2.6 percent in New York trading today following acting Chief Executive Officer Win Bischoff's statement late yesterday that funds from the state-owned Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will help ``strengthen our capital base.''

Abu Dhabi will buy securities that convert to stock and yield 11 percent a year, almost double the interest Citigroup offers bond investors, underscoring the New York-based company's need for cash. Fourth-quarter profit will be reduced by as much as $7 billion because of losses from subprime mortgages, which led to the departure of CEO Charles O. ``Chuck'' Prince III and a 46 percent slump in its stock this year.

``Clearly, Citi has a problem with capital adequacy after the subprime crisis,'' said Giyas Gokkent, head of research at National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, Abu Dhabi's biggest bank by market value. ``ADIA has seen an opportunity to get cheaply into a blue-chip stock.''

With the purchase of a 4.9 percent stake, Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates and its capital, would rank as Citigroup's largest shareholder ahead of Los Angeles-based Capital Group Cos. and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Depleted Capital

The investment follows purchases by U.A.E. fund Dubai International Capital LLC in companies including London-based HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's biggest bank by market value, and New York-based hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management LLC. In Abu Dhabi, state-backed Mubadala Development Co. agreed to buy 7.5 percent of Washington-based buyout firm Carlyle Group. ADIA also owns a stake in Leon Black's New York-based buyout firm, Apollo Management LP.

Citigroup Chairman Robert Rubin, who stepped in after Prince resigned, and Chief Financial Officer Gary Crittenden said on a conference call earlier this month that the bank expects to restore capital to targeted levels by the end of the second quarter without having to cut its $2.7 billion-a-quarter dividend.

Mortgage writedowns cut Citigroup's ``tier 1'' ratio, a metric used to assess banks' ability to weather loan losses, to 7.3 percent on Sept. 30. The figure, while above U.S. regulators' 6 percent threshold for a ``well-capitalized'' bank, was below the bank's 7.5 percent target.

`Bullish' View

The Citigroup equity units that ADIA will purchase can be swapped for as many as 235.6 million shares starting in 2010. The securities will convert into Citigroup shares at prices ranging from $31.83 to $37.24 between March 15, 2010, and Sept. 15, 2011.

Today Citigroup's stock rose 78 cents to $30.54 as of 10:03 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Yesterday, they closed at $29.76, the lowest price in five years.

``The structure of the deal suggests that Abu Dhabi is very bullish, effectively participating in the upside beyond $37.24, and sharing in the downside below $31.83,'' said George Nikas, who helps manage $1 billion at Deutsche Bank AG in Sydney.

Abu Dhabi will have ``no role in the management or governance of Citi, including no right to designate a member'' of the company's board, Citigroup said in its statement.

``This investment reflects our confidence in Citi's potential to build shareholder value,'' ADIA Managing Director Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said in the Citigroup statement.

Cost of Capital

Mounting subprime losses have increased Citigroup's funding costs. The bank sold $4 billion of 10-year bonds on Nov. 14, paying annual interest of 6.125 percent. The securities were priced to yield 190 basis points more than Treasuries, up from 118 basis points, or 1.18 percentage points, in a similar sale three months earlier.

CIBC World Markets analyst Meredith Whitney said in a note to clients today that she still expects Citigroup to cut its dividend as mortgage losses increase.

Abu Dhabi officials met with Rubin in the emirate yesterday to discuss ``world stock markets and their impact on the performance of banks,'' the state-run WAM news agency reported on its Web site.

Abu Dhabi owns the world's fifth-biggest oil reserves. It channels oil surpluses to ADIA, which ranks as the world's biggest sovereign wealth fund with assets of $875 billion, according to July estimates by the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit. The authority will spend $40 billion this year to buy foreign assets, estimates Gokkent at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Buying Assets

Gulf investors have spent about $70 billion on overseas acquisitions this year, almost double their spending in 2006, as oil prices soared 58 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. With oil above $90 a barrel, Gulf producers including Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. earn more than $1.3 billion a day from their energy sales.

State-controlled Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the biggest chemicals company by market value, in May agreed to buy General Electric Co.'s plastic unit for $11.6 billion in a record acquisition for the Gulf. State-owned Dubai World in August agreed to invest as much as $5.1 billion in MGM Mirage, the second-largest casino company, to try to tap into the Las Vegas- based company's U.S. gaming and real estate earnings.

Gulf petrodollars don't always get the prize. Qatar on Nov. 5 said it abandoned a $21.9 billion bid for U.K. supermarket chain J Sainsbury Plc after its cost of funding jumped ``significantly'' since first making the bid July 18.

China's Purchases

China also has been increasing investments in the U.S. and Europe. Bear Stearns Cos., the fifth-biggest U.S. securities firm, agreed last month to sell a 6 percent stake to China's government-controlled Citic Securities Co. for about $1 billion. China Investment Corp., the nation's $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, paid $3 billion for a stake in New York-based private equity firm Blackstone Group LP in May. Barclays Plc, the U.K.'s third-biggest lender, agreed to sell 6.7 percent of itself to China Development Bank in July.

The state-owned Dubai International Financial Center, which bought 2.2 percent of Deutsche Bank AG in May, on Nov. 19 said it is seeking acquisitions in the U.S., where the falling dollar and a lending crisis are driving down the price of banks and property.

Dubai Center

Citigroup is among tenants at the Dubai center, a business park being used to attract banks, insurers and asset managers to the Persian Gulf. Like neighbors Qatar and Bahrain, Dubai is bidding to plug the trading time gap between Europe and Asia and become the region's pre-eminent financial hub.

Qatar, like Abu Dhabi, is seeking to diversify its economy away from near-total reliance on energy earnings. Unlike Abu Dhabi, the oil wells of Dubai and Bahrain have almost run dry.

ADIA ``will bolster Citigroup's capital and competitiveness,'' U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said in a statement. The New York Democrat was among the lawmakers who criticized the Bush administration's decision last year to approve DP World Ltd.'s $6.8 billion acquisition of London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., a deal that gave the Dubai state-owned port company control of six U.S. terminals.

Schumer was among those who said Dubai ownership would jeopardize U.S. national security, arguing that two terrorists involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were from the U.A.E.

AIG's Purchase

DP World agreed in December to sell the U.S. terminals, in cities including New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans, to American International Group Inc., the world's biggest insurer.

``The issue for DP World was a misunderstanding that it might misuse its control of some U.S. ports, but that is behind us and Dubai in particular has been doing a lot of deals in the U.S. since then,'' said Mohammed Ghubash, professor of political science at the U.A.E. University in al-Ain.

Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, invested $590 million in Citigroup predecessor Citicorp in 1991 when the bank needed cash because of loan losses in Latin America and a collapse in U.S. property prices. Alwaleed now holds about $6 billion of Citigroup shares. The prince wasn't available for comment at his Riyadh office today.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Fargo Forum Alternative: Fargo Is'nt Boring

I found this in a blog and thought it was of some interest

Submitted by Fargo Visitor Mz. Sasa

Before going to Fargo, I watched the movie, and since I'm not from the Midwest, I got a huge kick out of it. This weekend, my co-worker and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Fargo to visit friends. They hadn't seen the movie, so we watched it, but no one else really thought it was funny!
Anyway, that was a random aside.
Fargo was great. It had cute shops, restaurants and cubbyhole hangouts. It also had interesting places to see, like the largest all-sports store in the world (Scheels) and Space Aliens Grill and Bar (yes, I realize this isn't unique to Fargo).
I'm not sure I would take a trip there, as I would Chicago or New York, if I didn't know someone who could show me the sights, but it turned out to be a neat place.

Yeahhhhhhhhh Fargo aint boring!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fargo Politics: Crash goes the monument?

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Recently the Fargo City Commission heeded a petition drive, reversed it's earlier decision to divest itself of the Ten Commandments Monument and rejected the "gift" of the Red River Free Thinkers of a copy of a Treaty between the United States and Algiers, a Barbary state or close to it. The treaty clearly states that the United States is not a Christian country. I don't take this treaty seriously: looks like diplomacy to me, but I don't think we've heard the last of this. First, most court cases involving things like the Monument result in their removal. The court that ruled on the Fargo case based its ruling on the idea that Fargo would accept any other such monument. Even this isn't good enough for many, including me. My spiritual beliefs are mine, and I do not share them easily. I certainly don't want to build monuments to them and don't think monuments to others beliefs should be on government sites. By rejecting the Free Thinkers gift, the Commission has negated the courts reasoning, setting themselves up for another court case, unless the Free Thinkers are either tired of this or are out of money to spend on attorneys. Now, what about the Commandments themselves? I've heard two arguments for keeping it. One is that the Founding Fathers were devout Christians, the other is that the commandments are in some sense universal, applicable to everyone. I think both are rather obviously false. The inconvenient truth about the religious beliefs of our Founders is that most were Deists. At least, that's what the scholars seem to be saying. A Deist believes in a Supreme Being, but do not believe it interferes with the Universe as we know it, does not hear or answer prayers. This seems to indicate they are not Christians. I find it difficult to reconcile Deism with the public statements of many of our Founders save one: Thomas Jefferson, "that notorious Deist(Harpers)". That's good enough for me. There being no evidence that our Founders wished to found a Christian Society, that's pretty strong evidence that they didn't. With regard to who would accept the commandments, I do not think it the Governments Business to outlaw idolatry(nor are they trying to), or enforce the observance of the Sabbath, although they've tried. Since the Sabbath is not the same to everyone(in fact, most think it's Saturday), this clearly can't be done without espousing one or more religions.

A number of Fargo's leading Citizens are Hindus. US Citizens that got that way by legal means within the intent of the Constitution. Hindus believe in three gods, not one: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. I think that unless Fargo wants to offend these citizens, crash goes the monument.

By: London Calling
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Faro Politics: What Would Albert Einstein think of of our policies in the Middle East?

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Indeed, Albert considered himself to be a pacifist. In 1929, he publicly declared that if a war broke out he would "unconditionally refuse to do war service, direct or indirect... regardless of how the cause of the war should be judged." His position would change in 1933, as the result of Adolf Hitler's ascent to power in Germany. While still promoting peace, Einstein no longer fit his previous self-description of being an "absolute pacifist". As the realization of nuclear weapons grew near. Einstein looked beyond the current war to future problems that such weapons could bring. He wrote to physicist Niels Bohr in December 1944, "when the war is over, then there will be in all countries a pursuit of secret war preparations with technological means which will lead inevitably to preventative wars and to destruction even more terrible than the present destruction of life." Einstein Feared more than anything Governments that were not accountable to the people. It is not difficult to see that democratic governments have brought a record of peace and prosperity compared to dictators and one party states around the world. So, the question must be asked. Why is this so? The answer lies in that a democratic government is one that is held accountable for its actions not just at election time but also on a daily basis. Is this really the fundemental reason we find ourselves in the Middle East. This I believe, is exactly what Einstein feared, dictatorships running governments during a time of arm proliferation and technology that most poor nations can now dabble in. I believe if he were alive today he would be hammering this point home.

We all know what we really fear in the mideast, Just what the most intelligent mind of the 20 th century thought. Lets get it done. Stick that in your bong and smoke it liberals.....
By The Mean Mr Mustard
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fargo Forum Alternative: Welcome Feel Free To Leave a Comment

Fargo Politics: The Timeline to Tyranny

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Ten advances towards the end of freedom and privacy in the United States

The top ten advances towards tyranny in the United States during the tenure of the Bush administration, from the Patriot Act to the latest expansion of the illegal eavesdropping surveillance program.

1) The USA Patriot Act
The party line often heard from Neo-Cons in their attempts to defend the Patriot Act either circulate around the contention that the use of the Patriot Act has never been abused or that it isn’t being used against American citizens. Here is an archive of articles that disproves both of these fallacies.

The Patriot Act was the boiler plate from which all subsequent attacks on the Constitution were formed.

2) Total Information Awareness
“Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as “a virtual, centralized grand database,” infamously wrote New York Times writer William Safire , announcing the birth of Total Information Awareness, a kind of Echelon on steroids introduced a year after 9/11.

TIA was not canned, it was simply removed from the newspaper, renamed and continues to operate under a guise of different programs.

3) USA Patriot Act II
The second Patriot Act was a mirror image of powers that Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler gave themselves. Whereas the First Patriot Act only gutted the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and seriously damaged the Seventh and the Tenth, the Second Patriot Act reorganized the entire Federal government as well as many areas of state government under the dictatorial control of the Justice Department, the Office of Homeland Security and the FEMA NORTHCOM military command.

The Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as the Second Patriot Act is by its very structure the definition of dictatorship.

4) Military Commissions Act
Slamming the final nail in the coffin of everything America used to stand for, the boot-licking U.S. Senate gave President Bush the legal authority to abduct and sexually mutilate American citizens and American children in the name of the war on terror in passing the Military Commissions Act and officially ending Habeas Corpus.

There is nothing in the “detainee” legislation that protects American citizens from being kidnapped by their own government and tortured.

The New York Times stated that the legislation introduced, “A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.”
Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman states in the L.A. Times , “The compromise legislation....authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.”

Similarly, law Professor Marty Lederman explain s: “this [subsection (ii) of the definition of ‘unlawful enemy combatant’] means that if the Pentagon says you’re an unlawful enemy combatant -- using whatever criteria they wish -- then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to ‘hostilities’ at all.”

5) John Warner Defense Authorization Act
The Bush Junta quietly “tooled up” to utilize the U.S. military in engaging American dissidents after the next big crisis, with a frightening and overlooked piece of legislation that was passed alongside the Military Commissions Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act , which greased the skids for armed confrontation and abolishes posse comitatus.

6) Illegal Domestic Wiretapping Program
“Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials,” reported the New York Times on December 16, 2005

The secret warrantless spying program was a complete violation of both the 4th Amendment and FISA.

7) Expansion of Illegal Domestic Wiretapping Program
Not content with now being lawfully allowed to force ISP’s and cell phone companies to turn over data about customers without a warrant, the Bush administration is pushing for even more authority to spy on American citizens, and has already been handed a 6 month window within which to impose any surveillance policy it likes, and for that program to remain legal in perpetuity.

The administration has a 6 month window in which to impose any surveillance program it chooses and that program will go unchallenged and remain legally binding in perpetuity - it cannot be revoked. Under the definitions of the legislation, Bush has been granted absolute dictator status for a minimum of 6 months.

If he so chooses, and so long as it’s implemented within the next half year, Bush could build a database of every website visited by every American - and the policy would be immune from Congressional challenge even after the “surveillance gap” legislation reaches its sunset

8) Martial Law Presidential Decision Directive 51
New legislation signed on May 9, 2007, declares that in the event of a “catastrophic event”, the President can take total control over the government and the country, bypassing all other levels of government at the state, federal, local, territorial and tribal levels, and thus ensuring total unprecedented dictatorial power .

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Fargo Politics: Greed Gobbles Wall Street Journal

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The face of business will change in the world as we know it. Again.

When it comes to money and power, Rupert Murdoch is carnivorous: all appetite and no taste. He’ll eat anything in his path. Or another way to look at it is what Bill Moyer said days before the purchase. “If Rupert Murdoch were the Angel Gabriel, you still wouldn’t want him owning the sun, the moon, and the stars. That’s too much prime real estate for even the pure in heart.”

But Rupert Murdoch is no saint; he is to propriety what the Marquis de Sade was to chastity. When it comes to money and power he’s carnivorous: all appetite and no taste. He’ll eat anything in his path. Politicians become little clay pigeons to be picked off with flattering headlines, generous air time, a book contract or the old-fashioned black jack that never misses: campaign cash. He hires lobbyists the way Imelda Marcos bought shoes, and stacks them in his cavernous closet, along with his conscience; this is the man, remember, who famously kowtowed to the Communist overlords of China, oppressors of their own people, to protect his investments there.

The ambitious can’t resist his blandishments, nor his power to get or keep them in office where they can return his favors. Mae West would be green with envy at his little black book of conquests: Tory Margaret Thatcher, Labor’s Tony Blair, George Bush. Even Jimmy Carter couldn’t say no. Now, Bill and Hillary Clinton, who know which side of their bread is buttered, like having it slathered by their new buddy Rupert. Our media and political system has turned into a mutual protection racket.

You will not be surprised to learn that Murdoch’s company paid little or no federal income tax over the past four years. His powerful portfolio positions him to claim a big stake in Yahoo and his takeover of The Wall Street Journal, now owned by the Bancroft family, which, like Adam and Eve, the parents of us all, are tempted to sell their birthright for a wormy apple.

Murdoch and The Journal’s editorial page are made for each other. They’ve both pursued the right’s corporate and political agenda of the past quarter century. Both venerate what The Journal editorials call the “animal spirits” of business. But The Journal’s newsroom is another matter -- there facts are sacred and independence revered. Rupert Murdoch has told the Bancrofts he’ll not meddle with the reporting. But he’s accustomed to using journalism as a personal spittoon. In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, he turned the dogs of war loose in the newsrooms of his empire and they howled for blood. Murdoch himself said the greatest thing to come out of the war would be “$20 a barrel for oil.”

Of course he wasn’t the only media mogul to clamor for war. And he’s not the first to use journalism to promote his own interests. His worst offense with FOX News is not even its baldly partisan agenda. Far worse is the travesty he’s made of its journalism. FOX News huffs and puffs, pontificates and proclaims, but does little serious original reporting. His tabloids sell babes and breasts, gossip and celebrities. Now he’s about to bring under the same thumb one of the few national newsrooms remaining in the country.

But the problem isn’t just Rupert Murdoch. His purchase of The Wall Street Journal is the latest in a cascading series of mergers, buy-outs, and other financial legerdemain that are making a shipwreck of journalism. Public-minded newspapers are being dumped by their owners for wads of cash or crippled by cost cutting while their broadcasting cousins race to the bottom. Murdoch is just the predator of the hour. The modern maestro of a financial marketplace ruled by money and moguls. Instead of checking the excesses of private and public power, these 21st century barons of the First Amendment revel in them; the public be damned.

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How does it keep going? Democracy & Capitalism

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Before the emergence of democracy, political disagreements were resolved through naked power, often unrestrained by reason or morality. Changes of government required popular uprisings, military coups, or foreign invasions. Short periods of violence were often followed by long periods of oppression.

Wealth was concentrated in the hands of those whose ancestors had wreaked the most terror and plundered the most riches. The only way for the poor to change this seemingly unfair arrangement was to overthrow the ruling class and redistribute the wealth.

The beauty of democracy is that it allows a nonviolent management of this power struggle. Brute force is replaced by the delicate art of persuasion. The health and success of a democracy can be measured by the degree to which conflict is minimized.

Whenever the capitalists forget that the masses need to have enough money to consume the junk that the supermarkets sell, then the socialists will be elected to redistribute the wealth. And when the socialists start throwing money away, and the greed and jealousy of the masses reaches a threshold, then the capitalists will be reelected to reward the profitable and punish the lazy.

This democratic tug of war between two selfish political ideologies, capitalism and socialism, results in a self adjusting system where national economies maintain the best possible balance of tax rates, corporate regulations, minimum wages, and welfare payments; providing conditions for maximum economic success as we continue to ride the highs and lows of the global economic rollercoaster towards some uncharted technological wonderland.

Every nation goes through periods when the political tension rises too high and the government is thrown out of office. Even in nations without effective democratic political systems, changes of government are inevitable. Without democracy, it is only a question of how it will happen, when it will happen, and how wisely the violence can be minimized.

As long as the nations of the world continue to compete against each other for limited resources then periodic global conflicts will be inevitable. Only when the political tensions between nations can be resolved and global resources can be agreeably distributed by an international assembly of elected representatives will world peace ever become achievable and lasting global prosperity be assured.Seeing the need for greater social cohesion, political conservatives are becoming increasingly forceful in their efforts to encourage a return to traditional religious values. However, the resurgence of religious fundamentalism is only encouraging greater skepticism and social division as it threatens to undo the positive social changes of the last few centuries. And as hostility grows between conflicting fundamentalist beliefs, with escalating global conflict and increased military spending, the conservative vision is a recipe for disaster.

There is nothing to be gained by promoting religious myths over scientific knowledge, or by throwing away centuries of social progress to return to outdated and oppressive ideas of right and wrong. Yet there is everything to be gained by presenting the best of our scientific and moral knowledge in such a convincing way that it unites the entire world community behind a common sense of purpose.

Conservatives can do their best to resist it, and relativist skeptics can try to deny it, but as our technology continues to improve, as our knowledge and experience grows, and as our collective understanding becomes increasingly refined, eventually a single coherent worldview will emerge that is as near to the truth as possible, and it will be something that every clear-minded rational thinker can easily agree with.

The most admirable work of modern thinkers, writers, and filmmakers is to describe our situation here on earth as clearly and accurately as possible, using words that are simple enough for everybody to understand, while at the same time encouraging cooperation between both individuals and nations, to improve our chances of surviving through this period of rapid technological and social change.

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