Friday, September 12, 2008

Federal Real ID: A Solution looking for a problem

Coverage brought you by Privacy Revolt! a blog sponsored by the Consumer Federation of California

It's been quiet on the REAL ID front lately so I thought I'd post a good refresher course on this ad hoc National ID program. I think it could arguably be said there has been no more effective and outspoken opponent in the country to REAL ID than Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

On that note then, enjoy the interview of the Governor by Sherry Clark, editor of a weekly newspaper entitled The Liberty Voice.

9-11 Truth Recap

BTC - Fun & Games
*DISCLAIMER- Some of the following material meant to entertain may offend the reader and watcher.   The graphic applied use of expletives are not necessarily the views and opinions of BTC.  Watch at your own RISK. -Thanks. BeatTheChip

What were YOU doing on 9-11?  We here at BTC were about town while friends in the 9-11 truth movement were touching base or Ground Zero, if humanly possible, on September 11th, 2008.

If you were out and about I'm sure you might have attended any one of the many metropolitan dives featuring spoken word companioned with songs by rapper Immortal Technique. What an offensive guy. Someone should seriously wash his mouth out with soap.  Watch- you'll see what I mean.

AUSTINBrave New Books drew many 9-11 truthers out to see a lot of "interesting" punk bands at Red 7. There were more mohawks in attendance during this special 9-11 showcase  than the RNC in St. Paul last week.   I couldn't stay long.  Two alt-radio talk show hosts, Jack Blood & Guymon Adams were about to debut their performance as the Austin Texas Revolutionary All-Stars(ATRAS).  Jack Blood  played 3 originals, breaking between songs to fling bumperstickers into the crowd.  ATRAS succeeded to entertain with a famous Jello Biafra cover where the vocal parts are performed with a bullhorn.  Those gathered were sporting beers and t-shirts proclaiming "inside job", "google WTC7" and "Buildings Don't Commit Suicide".   Gregg Roberts, a 9-11 truth researcher pulled me over after the performance to tell me he contributed to a website that had gotten over 40,ooo hits that day and to seek out his report.

Earlier that evening, the 6th Street Alamo Draft house sponsored a walking singalong of major choruses from the scathingly satirical film, Team America. Film-goers parading with lit sparklers were heard bellowing for blocks, singing the following truly rotten, obnxious chorus:
Amer-i-cuhhh - FUCK YEAH! Lick my butt and suck on my balls!...Freedom is the only wayy yeah!... Amer-i-cuhh -FUCK YEAH!! Here to save the motherfucking day, eeyeah!!"
NYC- Shane Geiger, longtime 9-11 truth activist called me after he had finished a memorial visit to Ground Zero where the Twin Towers once stood.  He has decided to hang out in NY for two months to do more work on the subject.  I admire his devotion to the cause.  Geiger was among those castigated in a report on CNN who provided contrary research to the NIST reports on Building 7's collapse due to fire.  He was able to air his side of the story last month while filmmaker Jason Bermas was holding down the fort for the Alex Jones show.  Jones was doing remote reporting at the DNC where he confronted the pro-internment author and Fox commentator Michelle Malkin.

Washington, D.C. -  Sander Hicks screened his documentary Horns and Halos, featuring the life and times of an ill-fated author who published J.T. Hatfield who wrote the book, Fortunate Son, released during the 2004 elections.   When I called him everyone had just settled in for the film.  Hicks, editor & publisher - another long time 9-11 truth advocate- held the screening as a demonstration of his work to bring down the twin-towers of hypocrisy, Dick Cheney & George W. Bush.

L.A.- 9-11Truth movement leader Peter Thottam held a candle light memorial followed by a series of speeches commemorating the reason why there is still so much unfinished business 7 years later.  Among the speakers were author of The Creature from Jekyll Island: A second look a the Federal Reserve , David W. Griffin.  After all the talk, silence is what we hear the most from the victims of the 9-11 attacks.

FABLED ENEMIES : 7 years later, begs the question: Where is Bin Laden?

In lieu of those who can't speak for themselves, and those who have actually benefitted from their deaths, we choose to present, Jason Bermas' - Fables Enemies, director and producer of the now famous 9-11 documentary Loose Change.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

LAST WORD: Third Party Uptake

West Virginia Secretary of State Discriminates Against Cynthia McKinney

This year, the West Virginia Secretary of State ruled that Cynthia McKinney must pay a $2,500 filing fee to be on the general election ballot, even though the Secretary of State is not telling Barack Obama or John McCain that they must pay any fee to be on the November ballot. All three candidates are similarly situated. They are all the presidential nominees of a qualified party in West Virginia. The Mountain Party, which nominated McKinney in West Virginia, is the Green Party affiliate in that state. It has been ballot-qualified since 2000.

The Secretary of State’s rationale is that Barack Obama and John McCain already paid a $2,500 fee to be on the state’s presidential primary ballot (the Mountain Party did not hold a presidential primary) and therefore her ruling is just. However, the presidential primary ballot fee is totally independent of a fee for the general election ballot. This conclusion is buttressed by the fact that in 1976, the Secretary of State did not charge Jimmy Carter the then-fee of $2,000 to be on the November 1976 ballot. Carter did not run in the West Virginia presidential primary, so he never paid any filing fee at all. The only candidates in the Democratic West Virginia primary were Senator Robert Byrd and George Wallace. All the other Democratic presidential contenders stayed out of the West Virginia primary so as not to split the anti-Wallace vote.

Also the West Virginia Secretary of State did not charge a filing fee to Richard Nixon or George McGovern in 1972. Neither of them had run in a West Virginia presidential primary either, so neither of them paid any fee at all, all year long.

UPDATE: Addressing Bob Barr's offer for Paul to be his running mate.

"Paul has not responded to the request, Davis said. Ike Hall, who coordinated Paul’s campaign in Georgia, called Barr’s invitation “terribly interesting,” but added that Paul made clear he has no intention of running as anything other than a Republican this year.

Hall called Barr’s decision to skip the Paul press conference “unfortunate. What Ron Paul is trying to do is, he’s not endorsing any other person. What he’s endorsing is an idea."

More on the Third Party effect below:


"The Green Party has been in alliance with the Libertarian Party on many issues, including election integrity and ballot access fairness,” McLarty said, adding that Barr “seemed petty and hostile to Cynthia McKinney in particular and the Green Party in general. They all disagree on a number of issues, no doubt about it. But it was the agreement that was important and Bob Barr brushed that aside.”

All four candidates — Barr, McKinney, Baldwin and Nader — apparently signed a statement from Paul pledging their support for limited government, personal liberties, bringing U.S. troops stationed abroad home, and for an investigation into the Federal Reserve.

While Paul ran a distant fourth in the Georgia presidential primary, carrying 2.9 percent of the vote, he has a devoted following and his endorsement has been sought by Barr and by Republican nominee John McCain.

Barr sent Paul a letter Tuesday asking him to be his vice presidential nominee. Barr already has a running mate, Wayne Root of Las Vegas. Root said in the letter he would step aside for Paul.

Paul has not responded to the request, Davis said. Ike Hall, who coordinated Paul’s campaign in Georgia, called Barr’s invitation “terribly interesting,” but added that Paul made clear he has no intention of running as anything other than a Republican this year.

Hall called Barr’s decision to skip the Paul press conference “unfortunate. What Ron Paul is trying to do is, he’s not endorsing any other person. What he’s endorsing is an idea.”


BTC Special Digest

Reports of random and inconsistent citation and arrests of citizens for merely being at the wrong place at the wrong time are still being defined a week later after hundreds of arrests took place September 4th during the RNC in St.Paul, Minn.

Protest arrest totals are currently approximating around 800, among them AP Reporters, network producers, bloggers and anyone else unfortunate enough to be on the wrong side of the freeway
. Professional journalists are still gathering current totals and details of the arrests. Most arrests fell under the offense of "unlawful assembly" after marching permits had expired. September 4th, arrest criterion were simplified for officers making instantaneous decisions on who to detain and cite on the basis who was "north of I-94 past the blockade" after 4 PM prior to McCain's acceptance speech.

The unconfirmed total of credentialled journalists arrested are over 30. Uncredentialled reporters blogging, twittering and videotaping are estimated to be in the hundreds. 2 Fox new people and one Variety journalist were detained on Marion bridge Thursday while reporting the fracas of police trying to disperse and contain crowds.

We asked local reporters from Pioneer Press to give account of reporting the week of the arrests.

"As a journalistic professional, I'm still trying to gather as much information I can to scrutinize the most violent police tactics. As for saying "civil liberties infringement," I guess that really gets to the question of whether folks "deserved" to be arrested, since an arrest, by its nature, is law enforcement's declaration that one's civil liberties are being revoked. Some arrests and police actions obviously require further scrutiny, " said Minnesota Pioneer Press Reporter, David Orrick.

Orrick categorized the worst accounts of the seemingly arbitrary
arrest environment into several categories such as: dousing apparent passive resisters with pepper spray, deploying tear gas, flashbangs and other aggressive crowd-dispersal agents into masses that are retreating or otherwise appear to be in basic compliance with police orders and engaging in mass arrests, including those of journalists, when it appears some, if not many, of the arrestees were merely trying to observe a protest and still follow police orders.

According to Oreck best place to look for actual arrest accounts and footage of the RNC will be on some of St.Paul and Minnestoa's television websites and, "You won't find it on YouTube." Oreck refuted arrests being politically motivated after witnessing Obama supporters screaming in the face of St. Paul police officers without threat of arrest or challenge by police during approved marches. However, such grace was not extended to fellow local reporter, Ben Carvin when he was arrested while documenting a protest last week.

Journalists embedded with police contacted were not available for comment.
Ruben Rosario of reported an
unprecidented agreement {with the City of }St. Paul reached with the City's attorney John Choi in January of 2007. The agreement stipulated the RNC committee to pay $1.1-million to insure it against any lawsuits ariving out of alleged police misconduct, excessive force, up to $10-million. The other was adoption of the use of a mobile police field unit that would focus on those outside peaceful protestors who planned or carried out acts of vandalism, violence.

"{The}City of Denver took out its insurance policy rider and paid for it through the $50-million fed grant both cities got to pay for convention. St. Paul did one better by having the RNC host committee foot the 1.1-million premium for the $10-million policy in the event of lawsuits arising out of police-related behavior. Both cities purchased their polices through Boston-based Lexington Insurance Co."
- Ruben Rosario,
No confirmed word yet on a class action lawsuit against the city, the current number of individual suits filed, or suits and insurance claims filed against the RNC.

In the last two weeks we have experienced the vicarious troubles of citizens, media and then citizen media attempting to assemble reports on police-to-protest interactions during both the Democratic and Republican National conventions.

Tear Gas & Twittering : BeatTheChip, chose to follow Freeople's AxXiom during the RNC who gave a report late last week that she and others avoided arrest by Twittering. She had seen 5 Austinites pulled over for "looking bad" - punk-rock styled protestors - and arrested before they got out of the car. We chatted from a St. Paul bathroom where she told me for the first time in her life she had witnessed American's being tear gassed. Real ID activists were targeted, leaflets were confiscated, according to Ron Paul activist, Brady Wright. Some of her friends claimed that arrests appeared to be politically motivated.

Riot police team harassing wheelchair bound protestors.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

RIGHT HOOK: Downsize DC Takes on TWIC

We can thank the due dilligence of Jim Babka for putting pressure on our national leaders with some of the most important people in the world : transportation workers.

Downsize DC is doing a second pass on an earlier action. If you haven't signed up to support this effort, please do so now. Support Downsize DC's efforts to protect the privacy of transport workers nationally by signing this petition.


Please read this and send a copy of Babka's letter to anyone you know who operates a vehicle, boat or aircraft for a living - this will affect them. I also wouldn't hurt to send a copy to your local AFL-CIO and corresponding transportation workers union.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What's good for Arizona & Alaska is good for all of U.S.

Governor Palin and Senator John McCain will not have to contend with the consequences of a Real ID in their home state.  WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF US?

Alaska and Arizona constituents had the good sense to stop Real IDs from coming to rob their constituents of their identity keys and of their tax dollars to produce a compromised security system network. Why can’t it be all of us?

It’s time to start calling your friends and enemies in Arizona and tell them, what’s good for them is good enough for the rest of America. NO AMERICAN SHOULD HAVE A REAL ID.

It’s time to ask the strength of national and community organizers who stopped the harm from coming to them to talk some sense into their Republican nominees.

Enough is enough, call Arizona state leaders and Alaska state leaders and tell them Real ID is not good for ANY American citizen.

THE LAST WORD: Two evils

"Governors and legislators also are looking to the next president to end a bitter dispute between the states and federal government over new nationwide rules to make driver’s licenses more secure. Several states have rebelled and refused to comply with the Real ID law. Not only have states received little federal money to defray the estimated $4 billion cost of revamping identity-verification procedures in driver's license bureaus, but critics also say the program is a threat to personal privacy and an intrusion by the federal government.

McCain supports the rules and has acknowledged the burden on states but has not said how he would pay for it. Obama opposes the program. Rendell said in Denver that the program “is going down” no matter who is elected Nov. 4."

STATELINE.ORG on Real ID, McCain vs. Obama: The difference for states


Dear Readers,

It is my sincerest assessment at this time if McCain or Obama want the Anti-Real ID vote, they are going to have to get a different voting record and history for representing people on this issue or start creating one.

We will be watching for any comment to the contrary, but you may file Real ID representation with other civil liberties issues. One thing I have said recently is that both the Democratic and Republican parties tend to cherry pick which parts of the Constitution they uphold. This dictates the climate for freedoms in American life. Certain civil liberties end up being trendier to uphold than others depending on which party levies Judicial, Congressional and Executive powers.

If actions taken at the DNC/RNC are any reflection of the future of civil liberties infringments becoming a hip-retro trend for military and policing, the Republicans are beefer-than-thou. The DNC was only slightly more humane.

Unfortunately for the Obama Campaign, what McCain has going for him- certainly not to his personal credit- is that both McCain and Palin are from states that have banned civic implementation of the Real ID. However, we are not really comprehensively pleased about the Republican's plan for progressive bankruptcy and continuance of foreign policies in the middle east. Obama voted for $300 K in funding to move the Real ID Act forward in Illinois. However, I'm fairly sure that he would listen to the people of Illinois if they piped up collectively and decided to go against Real ID's. That's my asessment of Obama the candidate - not of his press corp or of his foreign policy handlers, who obviously have no concern for the tagging and policing of the American people. To the contrary, they intend to maxx out their 9-11 credit card on the backs of the U.S. people.

I just wish there was a difference in McCain and Obama on this. There really isn't. Who hasn't heard about the 100 years of war? There isn't a genuine approach that is honest and refreshing.
Look to the Third Party Candidates featured in this blog for that.

If we turn to the Obama/Biden ticket the reality appears to be nauseatingly bleak. Biden authored a preliminary draft to introduce Real IDs. In other words, he's an early adopter of the Real ID systemic program for mass social management. The FISA vote put more nails in the coffin of doubt about the U.S. sustaining it's illegitimate expansion of executive powers against the wellbeing of the American justice system.

That doesn't mean we can turn to John McCain, because Palin "allowed" Real ID to be stopped in Alaska. Palin has given breath to the lungs of the winded McCain campaign, but I am not convinced that she will be a shot caller in the White House. McCain's choice for Palin as a running mate may be the "earmark" of the aging Maverick. Palin is a Washington outsider invited inside to help ailing and anemic policies composed of bad ideas. It means good things for McCain ; not necessarily good things for changing the direction of the country. Palin's best work may get shelved as the Vice Presidential placeholder while brunting the Republican party's tow line. Gun rights advocates shouldn't be overconfident that they have someone in their corner. If we look ahead, American SS-Gestapo tactics demonstrated at the RNC are just some of the fun things that will continue to as planned under McCain/Palin.


There is no resting assurance or promise for those concerned with Real ID and an executive election. We can watch neo-conservative tacticians spin Real ID as SUPER AWESOME IMMGRATION POLICY as the databases are built for your Social Security number to be a sitting duck for identity thieves. We can watch neo-liberals claim to "unite a divided country" by not lifting a finger to shore up civil liberties. It's the same result - so the burden is on you.

You are on your own. We need to get a national amendment that stops us from being cataloged, so our identity keys aren't splayed for the world of digital villians to feast on. We need to get passports if that is what is required of us to leave this country. We need to stop being so generous with our identity documents when asked of us. Pay in cash. Carry a video camera with you when you drive. Make friends with lawyers. Get behind worker's unions. Volunteer with voter rights groups to keep tabs. Go see your Congressman. Whatever you do, don't accept your national ID card.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up...

When I say Real ID's immigration policy is irrelevant, I mean that it doesn't stop people from crossing the border illegally.