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Sunday, Dec 21st

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Has America Become Fascist?

Webster's defines fascism as "a totalitarian governmental system led by a dictator and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism, militarism, and often racism." A comparison of 20th century fascist and communist regimes with President Bush's USA indicates the machinery for a full-blown totalitarian takeover is now in place, even if no coup has occurred. As Naomi Wolf writes in "The End of America"(Chelsea Green) the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill's Section 333 allows the president "to declare martial law and take charge of the National Guard troops without the permission of a governor when 'public order' has been lost" and to "send the guard into our streets during a public health emergency, terrorist attack or 'other condition.'"

"The president and his lawyers now claim the authority to designate any American citizen he chooses as being an 'enemy combatant,'" 

Thus, Congress has empowered Bush just as Germany's Reichstag empowered Hitler, Wolf writes, recalling Hitler's boast, "Democracy will be overthrown with the tools of democracy." Hitler's Interior Minister issued Clause 2 that gave police the power to hold people in custody indefinitely and without a court order, powers the U.S. Congress today has conferred upon "The Decider" in the White House. Mussolini's used the less grandiose "Il Duce" or "The Leader."

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House Panel Gives White House a Week to Provide Documents on Firings

The request was prompted by a federal judge’s ruling Thursday that White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten could not simply refuse to hand over any White House documents related to the firings.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ruled that the White House had to turn over documents not covered by an executive privilege claim, and provide a list of withheld documents that are privileged. He also ruled that former White House counsel Harriet Miers could not avoid physically appearing before the committee, or turning over non-privileged documents.

TVNL Comment: And if the White House refuses...um...well...nothing.

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Lilly Trained Sales Force to Ignore Drug's Risks

Eli Lilly & Co. trained its sales force to downplay risks for Zyprexa and encourage doctors to prescribe the drug beyond approved uses for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, according to court documents.

Lilly's research showed some patients on Zyprexa gained as much as 80 pounds and that the incidence of high blood sugar at diabetes levels was 3.5 times higher than for placebos, according to documents filed in a lawsuit brought by the state of Alaska.

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TV reporter Hummel quits ABC6 news

Jim Hummel, an ABC6 news reporter for the past 13 years who is known for the “You Paid for It” investigative segments, resigned yesterday morning, saying he was disturbed by the sensational direction the station has been taking.

Hummel said there was pressure to sensationalize news and use slang –– such as “lowlife” and “thug” to describe defendants –– in an effort to increase ratings for the third-place local news station. 

I love the craziness of the news,” Hummel said yesterday, before going on The Dan Yorke Show on WPRO (630-AM). “But I think there comes a point where you have to take a stand.”

TVNL Comment: Bravo, Mr. Hummel!

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Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

TVNL Comment: Can we finally say that we are living in a police state yet?

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Apparent suicide in anthrax case

A top government scientist who helped the FBI analyze samples from the 2001 anthrax attacks has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the last 18 years worked at the government's elite biodefense research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Md., had been informed of his impending prosecution, said people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and the FBI investigation.

TVNL Comment: Hmmm...

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Treating the Pill as Abortion, Draft Regulation Stirs Debate

The Bush Administration has ignited a furor with a proposed definition of pregnancy that has the effect of classifying some of the most widely used methods of contraception as abortion.

A draft regulation, still being revised and debated, treats most birth-control pills and intrauterine devices as abortion because they can work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The regulation considers that destroying "the life of a human being."

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To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them

Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected:

HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.

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U.S. Military Covers up Murder: Says Soldier Beat Herself to Death

Despite the bruises, scratches, teeth imprints and burns on her body, Lavena was found completely dressed in the burning tent. There was a blood trail from outside a contractor's tent to inside the tent. She apparently had been dressed after the attack and her attacker placed her body into the tent and set it on fire.

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