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NAVIGATING THIS BLOG


Posts (dated articles with a feature that allows for comments from readers) are below the front page.

Same with links to other websites, videos and blog archives. They are on the right side of the blog where opposite posts in a narrow column.

SCROLL DOWN if you want to research or get sources. Use the "labels" feature and simply click on the topic or person that interests you. An idiosyncracy of this format is that whenever you click on a label or older post, you will again see the front page. Nothing we can do about that.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR BLOG:
oteroresidentsforum@gmail.com



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CONSTITUTIONAL COUNTY ORDINANCE WEBSITE

Website advocating for involvement in your county regulation process and suggestions for county ordinances responding to federal expansion of jurisdiction and authority and global governance.


http://sites.google.com/site/constitutionalcountyordinance/

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US Capitol switchboard
800-828-0498 or 202-224-3121

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ORF is now monetized. This means you will see ads on the blog. By clicking on the ads, you help generate revenue for ORF. What is ORF going to do with revenue generated from this blog? We want to buy a blender. A really nice blender with multiple speeds. We also would like to buy a lava lamp. In addition to the items mentioned aforely, we would also like to buy a stuffed Jack-a-lope head. Nothing extravagant.

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

The Oath of the President of the United States


US Constitution, Article II, Section 1


Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."


The case could be made that Obama has violated the oath of the office of the Presidency of the United States in not closing the borders at the threat of a global pandemic of the Mexican flu, the violations of the U.S. Constitution in the CIFTA, and his refusal to clarify the circumstances of his birth. Think about it.


Link to the White House by Clicking on Photo

Link to the White House by Clicking on Photo
WHEN OBAMA TALKS ABOUT GUN CONTROL HE REALLY MEANS GUN CONFISCATION

KALH COMMUNITY RADIO

KALH COMMUNITY RADIO
Click on KALH logo for website and to listen to live stream

MEXICAN WOLF RECOVERY - COLLATERAL DAMAGE IDENTIFICATION

WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR WOLF LOVERS & SMALL CHILDREN

Catron County Wolf Incident Investigator, Jess Carey, provide ORF with this document. This is what the ranchers in western New Mexico are living with.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=12e740df9705f324&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3Db2e1154c85%26view%3Datt%26th%3D12e740df9705f324%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dattd%26zw&sig=AHIEtbQTV_dgqwDweaJO_z9FKGvH0SJ6pw&pli=1


CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF MILITARY OR ANY OTHER HOSTILE USE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES (A TREATY SIGNED IN THE
UN).
http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/enmod/text/environ2.htm

NEW MEXICO WOLF RE-INTRODUCTION

Links to past ORF information on the Mexican Gray Wolf re-introduction program. Some of the links to newspaper articles no longer work.


http://oteroresidentsforum.blogspot.com/search/label/MEXICAN%20GRAY%20WOLF

WOLF CROSSING WEBSITE

http://wolfcrossing.org/








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ORF NEWS BLIMP

ORF NEWS BLIMP
They are watching. We're watching them watcing us watching you.

OTERO RESIDENTS FORUM COLLECTION OF PARODY CARTOONS

http://oteroresidentforumparodyblog.blogspot.com/

We've complied the best of the ORF cartoons all in one location.

Natural Climate Change - Real Science, Verifiable

Natural Climate Change - Real Science, Verifiable
Dr. Eric Karlstrom's excellent website on climate change, it's natural. The agenda is truth and the vindication of scientific method.

Title 17 U.S.C section 107

*NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

Posts and Comments from Readers

Please include yourself in the discussion. Post a comment.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Steve Landeene's Credentials

Begin your search by clicking on the title to enter Spaceport America's executive director's background. There you will find some searchable titles and others that lead to dead ends when using your search engine (Google in this case):

Thunderbird School of Global Management http://www.thunderbird.edu/ has no information on "Six Sigma/Greenbelt Certification" other than links to a couple of other individuals who have received this certification. Try it, you may be better at scavenger hunts than I am and let us know.

"Quest for Excellence: Steve Loranger President’s Award for IntelliStart" will bring you back to Spaceport America's page on Steve Landeene. Don't give up because Steve Loranger does exist and there are numerous sites to explore: (cut and paste) http://www.google.com/search?q=+%22Steve+Loranger%22&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLG

A search of Steve Landeene and Honeywell International yielded this gem: http://www.google.com/search?q=+%22Steve+Landeene%22+%22Honeywell+International%22&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLG
This site is a little provencial, but not anywhere close to ORF, and entertaining. Also a place to find information about all aspects of flight including Eclipse Aviation prior to their cutbacks.

Lots of places to visit for Dubai Aerospace and and Landmark Aviation and Carlyle Group.

It has been requested that Steve Landeene address the Republican Party of Otero County at its regular meeting September 16. Since we are well aware of the backgrounds of locals, we thought it prudent to check Steve Landeene's history prior to hearing him push New Mexico Spaceport

Finding a way forward on wolf management

From the Casper Star-Tribune:

Sunday, August 24, 2008 2:08 AM MDT

CHRIS COLLIGAN
Perspective

As the dust settles on a federal court’s reinstatement of Endangered Species protection for gray wolves, one thing is clear: Wyoming must chart a new course for achieving balanced, science-based wolf management.

Wyoming has made great strides in its efforts to manage wolves appropriately. Now we have the opportunity to build common ground among those affected by wolves by developing a plan that will again move delisting forward.

Ultimately, the best long-term solution is a state plan that manages wolves as an integral part of our wildlife heritage. Neither wolves nor the people who live, work and play here are best served by federal protection. However, Wyoming will have to make substantive changes if wolves are to be permanently removed from Endangered Species Act protection and managed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Though the Greater Yellowstone Coalition was not a party to the lawsuit asking for the re-listing of wolves, the judge’s ruling clearly outlined the flaws in Wyoming’s management plan. Our laws and plans directing wolf management -- especially the Predator Zone, where roaming wolves could be killed at any time for any reason -- were identified as a threat to healthy, sustainable populations and a significant impediment to delisting.

Wyoming can either lead the way by correcting these key issues or continue the costly and polarizing battles in court, a tiresome path that will only ensure that the federal government manages wolves far into the future. Such a protracted legal fight will only leave Wyoming residents feeling a loss of control, breeding the resentment that plagues us now.

Is that really the choice we want to make?

Instead, Wyoming should revise its plan, based on sound science and wildlife management principles n which are not to be confused with predator control. Wolf populations can be managed as trophy game statewide, much like black bear and mountain lions, without harming the interests of hunters or ranchers.

The process for delisting may seem tedious, but we now have a vision of how state management should look -- a vision where wolves are restored as an integral component of the ecosystem, are hunted conservatively as a valuable game species, are maintained in areas to be enjoyed by wildlife watchers, and where ranchers can protect their interests and livelihoods. We’re so close to attaining this benchmark moment that it’s foolhardy to become entrenched in legal battles where the state loses sight of these goals and forfeits the opportunity to build trust among those concerned about wolves.

Wyoming has taken positive steps in this direction, away from the futile political bullying of the past. The initiation of a wolf program, led by one of the region’s foremost authorities, shows Wyoming’s readiness for this undertaking. The state Legislature has also created programs ensuring livestock producers are protected financially from wolf impacts. In addition, GYC supported Wyoming’s reasonable pre-injunction wolf hunting seasons in the trophy-game area while suggesting some ways to improve on those regulations.

Though in the case of wolves we typically only hear from outspoken and polarizing individuals, most people in Wyoming are pragmatic enough to see all perspectives on this issue. Working together, this middle-of-the-road segment can help Wyoming develop an acceptable plan.

Instead of continuing to fight, Wyoming ought to get to work and involve all its stakeholders in fixing the problems identified in the court’s decision. This might be our last chance. If we don’t, we’ll continue to be told how to manage wolves by the federal government for the foreseeable future.

If that’s the answer, there’s no question we’ll all be losers ? including the wolf. As an advocate of wildlife, I hope we can produce fresh solutions and not the same tired rhetoric.

Chris Colligan, the new wildlife advocate for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, is based in Jackson.

Friday, August 29, 2008

DRUG & GANG ACTIVITY: REALITY CHECK DURING CAMPAIGN BLITZ

Minneapolis/St.Paul area

Man who fled police and crashed, severing 2 victims' legs, is charged
By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
Article Last Updated: 08/29/2008 03:23:34 PM CDT


Wendell R. Jones, the man police say careened into a group of people after a high-speed chase this week, has been charged with fleeing police in a motor vehicle, causing great bodily harm and substantial bodily harm. Two people hit had their legs severed, according to the criminal complaint.

According to the complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court:

Jones, a member of the Selby Siders street gang, led police on a high-speed chase through parts of St. Paul on Wednesday night and lost control of his vehicle near Dale Street and Front Avenue. He hit three cars and two pedestrians, injuring six people, police said.

The two most badly injured victims were standing between two vehicles at the time of the accident, and both had leg bones severed by the impact. Mari Plaster, who was celebrating her 21st birthday that evening, has since had her left leg amputated. Her 21-year-old male companion, identified in the complaint as D.S., whose left femur was severed, remains hospitalized. His condition is unknown.

The incident occurred after 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, when officers tried to arrest Jones, 20, during a drug deal set-up. Jones fled in his Dodge Charger, driving east on Front Avenue from Churchill Street, hitting speeds of more than 100 mph, police said. Jones was seen throwing what appeared to be drugs out a car window as police chased him.

When the chase ended, Jones had to be subdued by several officers and police dogs. He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he remains in police custody, the complaint said. TwinCities.com will post updates as they are available.

TREASURY DEPT/ 'MICRO-LENDER' PUMPS $10.7 M INTO NEW MEXICO

Title click to read this article in New Mexico Business Weekly. Micro-lender ACCION and Alamogordo are part of this lending scheme to small business in New Mexico.

Direct links to information:

ACCION New Mexico Website:
http://www.accionnm.org/

ACCION New Mexico's IRS 990, 2006.
http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2006/850/417/2006-850417347-0393efaa-9.pdf
(This one you will have to copy and paste into your browser or go to Guidestar.org and do a search. It will be worth the effort for economic development fans.)

ACCION INTERNATION Website:
http://www.accion.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=191&srcid=-2

OBAMA'S PROMISE AND THE PROBLEM

Title click to read this article in the Chicago Tribune. What Obama promises and the reality 'problem'.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Invasion USA

Law would make Minutemen
guilty of 'domestic terrorism'
'Patrolling to detect alleged illegal activity'
while carrying any weapon would be felony

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: January 20, 2007
1:00 am Eastern


By Jay Baggett
© 2008 WorldNetDaily.com



An Arizona lawmaker has introduced a bill to revise the state's statutes on organized crime and fraud by defining "domestic terrorism" in such a way that members of the Minuteman Project or other border-patrol groups could be prosecuted and forced to serve a minimum six-month jail term.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, introduced HB 2286 in the Arizona House on Thursday.

Sinema, formerly of the Green Party, had earlier submitted a bill asking the legislature to make changes to a law used to prosecute customers of immigrant smugglers as conspirators under Arizona's human trafficking law.

"None of us every dreamed it would be used in a co-conspirator fashion," Sinema said.

As WND reported, it was federal inaction that motivated Arizona lawmakers to approve the new law creating the crime of smuggling in 2005. Maricopa County District Attorney Andrew Thomas announced he would interpret the law to mean illegals caught with a smuggler could be prosecuted as co-conspirators if they paid a coyote to transport them across the border.

"If the customer pays a dope peddler money, he's violated the law," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who compares the relationship between coyotes and illegals to drug dealers and their customers. "(Here), they're paying for transport."

That law was upheld last year by a county judge after defense attorneys questioned its constitutionality. Last month, the same judge who upheld the law also overturned the first jury conviction of an illegal immigrant charged as a conspirator under the law, Associated Press reported.

(Story continues below)


Now, Sinema is targeting border-security groups like the Minutemen with new legislation that would define anyone not formally affiliated with law enforcement, who patrolled in search of illegal activity while armed, as a domestic terrorist. If it becomes law, the bill would impose a mandatory minimum jail sentence, even if prosecutors recommend probation.

HB 2286 reads:

Sec. 2. Title 13, chapter 23, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 13-2320, to read:

13-2320. Domestic terrorism; classification

A. An individual or group of individuals commits domestic terrorism if the individual or group of individuals are not affiliated with a local, state or federal law enforcement entity and associate with another individual or group of individuals as an organization, group, corporation or company for the purpose of patrolling to detect alleged illegal activity or to individually patrol for the purpose of detecting alleged illegal activity and if the individual or group of individuals is armed with a firearm or other weapon.

B. Any city, town or county that suffers injury arising out of a violation of this section may maintain an action in superior court for the recovery of damages or for an injunction, or both. The court may award the successful party reasonable attorney fees.

C. If the court sentences the defendant to a term of probation, the court shall order that as an initial condition of probation the defendant be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not less than six months. This jail term of incarceration shall not be deferred, deleted or otherwise suspended and shall commence on the date of sentencing. This subsection does not apply to persons who are sentenced to serve a period of incarceration in the state department of corrections.

D. A violation of this section is a class 5 felony.

Sinema and other Democrat legislators joined the ACLU and the American Friends Service Committee as legal observers during the Minutemen's project on the Arizona-Mexico border in April 2005.

"I've been monitoring the Minutemen for a year now," Sinema told vigilantewatch.org at the time, "and they're just scary."

"Race-based tactics always lead to violence," she insisted. "Remember, the Ku Klux Klan was the first-ever group to patrol the border between the U.S. and Mexico back in the '70s."

As WND reported, a leader of the violent, terror-connected Latin American gang Mara Salvatruchas, Ebner Anivel Rivera-Paz, had reportedly issued orders from federal prison to members of his international criminal organization to teach a lesson to the group of Americans taking border control into their own hands.

The Mara Salvatruchas, founded in Los Angeles, has become one of the most violent and widespread gangs throughout South America, the U.S. and even Canada. Many of its members and leaders have been deported from the U.S., but the group is said to be deeply involved in cross-border arms-running and drug-smuggling operations, according to U.S. law enforcement sources.

Under Sinema's bill, volunteers who still want to assist law enforcement by being eyes and ears along the border will have to do so unarmed.

Sinema was awarded the "Vladimir I Lenin" award from Arizona Federation of Taxpayers in 2005, a tongue-in-cheek honor given to the "most pro-big government legislator." In 2006, she angered many conservatives when, in a magazine interview, she referred to them as "Neanderthals" and said women and moms who stay at home and don't work are dependent on men and "leeching off their husbands."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DENVER POLICE OFFICER INVESTIGATED FOR USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE

video

"Police confirm Denver officer on shoving tape By Carlos Illescas The Denver Post Article Last Updated: 08/27/2008 04:28:17 PM MDT Protester Incident Watch video of the incident between a Denver police officer and a Code Pink protester. It was a Denver police officer who was videotaped shoving a Code Pink protester to the ground with his baton on Tuesday, police confirmed today. Denver police spokesman John White would not reveal the name of the officer but did say he is with the Denver Police Department. The officer is accused of manhandling Alicia Forrest to the ground on Tuesday morning as she tried to question the officer. The incident happened as police were trying to gain control after a man was denouncing homosexuality at Civic Center. Forrest was arrested for interference."

This Time, the World Is Not Buying It

we are entering into some truly serious times. our only hope is that the American public wakes up to the fact that this is no video game, and that The Constitution is the most important document we've got. kb
By Paul Craig Roberts
The success of the Bush Regime’s propaganda, lies, and deception with gullible and inattentive Americans since 9/11 has made it difficult for intelligent, aware people to be optimistic about the future of the United States. For almost 8 years the US media has served as Ministry of Propaganda for a war criminal regime. Americans incapable of thinking for themselves, reading between the lines, or accessing foreign media on the Internet have been brainwashed.

As the Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, said, it is easy to deceive a people. You just tell them they have been attacked and wave the flag.

It certainly worked with Americans.
by
The gullibility and unconcern of the American people has had many victims. There are 1.25 million dead Iraqis. There are 4 million displaced Iraqis. No one knows how many are maimed and orphaned.

Iraq is in ruins, its infrastructure destroyed by American bombs, missiles, and helicopter gunships.

We do not know the death toll in Afghanistan, but even the American puppet regime protests the repeated killings of women and children by US and NATO troops.

We don’t know what the death toll would be in Iran if Darth Cheney and the neocons succeed in their plot with Israel to bomb Iran, perhaps with nuclear weapons.

What we do know is that all this murder and destruction has no justification and is evil. It is the work of evil men who have no qualms about lying and deceiving in order to kill innocent people to achieve their undeclared agenda.

That such evil people have control over the United States government and media damns the American public for eternity.

America will never recover from the shame and dishonor heaped upon her by the neoconned Bush Regime.

The success of the neocon propaganda has been so great that the opposition party has not lifted a finger to rein in the Bush Regime’s criminal actions. Even Obama, who promises “change” is too intimidated by the neocon’s success in brainwashing the American population to do what his supporters hoped he would do and lead us out of the shame in which the neoconned Bush Regime has imprisoned us.

This about sums up the pessimistic state in which I existed prior to the go-ahead given by the Bush Regime to its puppet in Georgia to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia of Russians in order to defuse the separatist movement. The American media, aka, the Ministry of Lies and Deceit, again accommodated the criminal Bush Regime and proclaimed “Russian invasion” to cover up the ethnic cleansing of Russians in South Ossetia by the Georgian military assault.

Only this time, the rest of the world didn’t buy it. The many years of lies – 9/11, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda connections, yellowcake, anthrax attack, Iranian nukes, “the United States doesn’t torture,” the bombings of weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games, Abu Ghraib, renditions, Guantanamo, various fabricated “terrorist plots,” the determined assault on civil liberties – have taken their toll on American credibility. No one outside America any longer believes the US media or the US government.

The rest of the world reported the facts – an assault on Russian civilians by American- and Israeli-trained and -equipped Georgian troops.

The Bush Regime, overcome by hubris, expected Russia to accept this act of American hegemony. But the Russians did not, and the Georgian military was sent fleeing for its life.

The neoconned Republican response to the Russian failure to follow the script and to be intimidated by the “unipower” was so imbecilic that it shattered the brainwashing to which Americans had succumbed.

McCain declared: “In the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations.” Imagine the laughs Jon Stewart will get out of this on the Daily Show. In the early years of the 21st century the United States has already invaded two countries and has been beating the drums for attacking a third. President Bush, the chief invader of the 21st century, echoed McCain’s claim that nations don’t invade other nations.

This dissonant claim shocked even brainwashed Americans, as readers’ emails reveal. If in the 21st century countries don’t invade other countries, what is Bush doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what are the naval armadas and propaganda arrayed against Iran about?

Have two of the worst warmongers of modern times – Bush and McCain – called off the US/Israeli attack on Iran? If McCain is elected president, is he going to pull US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan as “nations don’t invade other nations,” or is President Bush going to beat him to it?

We all know the answer.

The two stooges are astonished that the Americans have taught hegemony to Russians, who were previously operating, naively perhaps, on the basis of good will.

Suddenly the Western Europeans have realized that being allied with the United States is like holding a tiger by the tail. No European country wants to be hurled into war with Russia. Germany, France, and Italy must be thanking God they blocked Georgia’s membership in NATO.

The Ukraine, where a sick nationalism has taken hold funded by the neocon National Endowment for Democracy, will be the next conflict between American pretensions and Russia. Russia is being taught by the neocons that freeing the constituent parts of its empire has not resulted in their independence but in their absorption into the American Empire.

Unless enough Americans can overcome their brainwashed state and the rigged Diebold voting machines, turn out the imbecilic Republicans and hold the neoconservatives accountable for their crimes against humanity, a crazed neocon US government will provoke nuclear war with Russia.

The neoconservatives represent the greatest danger ever faced by the United States and the world. Humanity has no greater enemy. http://waronyou.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NM State Senator Dianna J. Duran Opposes Spaceport


http://www.answers.com/topic/new-mexico-senate

At the monthly meeting of Eagle Forum in Alamogordo today Dianna Duran praised Otero County Commissioner Clarissa McGinn for her opposition to the New Mexico Spaceport Gross Receipts Tax. To paraphrase Ms. Duran's reponse she said she was opposed to government being in the business of subsidizing private enterprise. Dianna Duran is a Republican and represents District 40.

PRIVATELY FUNDED SPACEPORT TO LAUNCH IN NOVA SCOTIA

Title click to read this artilce on SPACE.COM.

SPACE TOURISM SURVEY: $200,000 RIDE INTO SPACE


Title click to read an 'appraisal' of space tourism on SPACE.COM. Good read and good information about what space tourism entails.

SPACEPORT PROTO-TYPE 'OUT OF CONTROL':TEST FAILS

Title click.

"GOLDEN, Colorado — Lockheed Martin carried out a second test flight of a prototype reusable launch system on Aug. 12 at the proposed site of New Mexico's Spaceport America outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

While the 200-pound (91 kg) vehicle reached its planned altitude — roughly 1,500 feet (457 meters) — the craft went out of control and was seriously damaged, beyond reusability."

FEMA: ALL NEW MEXICO COUNTIES ELIGIBLE

Title click to read story on KOAT.TV.com website.

Monday, August 25, 2008

SPACE IMPS HECKLE CITIZENS AT COUNTY COMMISSION MEETING

ALAMOGORDO(ORF) Pro Spaceport enthusiasts heckled Otero County Citizens opposing putting the spaceport initiative on a ballot last Thursday night at the County Commissioners meeting. Long-time citizen activist, Maude Rathberger was called names by a man sitting in the audience. ORF administrators Janet White and Bruce Woodhull were heckled as they addressed the county commissioners. The incident was discussed on the Mike Haymes morning talk radio show. Mike and co-host, John Turney invited the hecklers to come on the air to identify themselves and to air their side of the story. As of showtime, Monday morning, no pro-spaceport callers or the alleged hecklers had called in to Mike's show.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pearce Supports Spaceport

When "private citizen" Manny Gonzales gave his support of the Spaceport to the Otero County Commissioners, we knew where Congressman Pearce would stand. Another ORF observation made before it hit the streets.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work, Please Don't Complain to Me

I have received numerous calls after the Otero County Commission Regular Meeting.

CALLERS WANT ME TO KNOW THEY ARE BEING CALLED AND ASKED THEIR OPINION OF THE NEW MEXICO SPACEPORT TAX.

I don't know because I am not on the payroll of the State of New Mexico but I can surmise that the promoters of the Spaceport Tax are ANXIOUS to find out how to fight the opposition to their undocumented, unsupported scheme.

My advice, tell the callers what you think. You are paying for it, you might as well make it worth your while. New Mexico Spaceport may even come up with some facts and figures, sources, but don't hold your breath. What is the old saying, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"?

In my opinion, if this were a great investment, we here in Otero County would be the last to hear of it. Those who are close to the project would make certain they, their wives, mothers-in-law, children and grandchildren all had shares, that is, after the politicians got what they wanted.

Mr. Landeen has it easy now. What if he had to sell this "Business Plan" to real investors who took the time or hired professionals to investigate his claims.

Ooooops!!! One Day After Otero County Commission Voted 2-1 to Place Spaceport Tax on November Ballot

"NASA destroys rocket after failed launch"

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.- NASA destroyed an unmanned experimental rocket carrying a pair of research satellites Friday when it veered off course shortly after an early morning liftoff.

There were no injuries or confirmed reports of property damage, according to NASA, but the agency warned that debris from the explosion could be hazardous. NASA believes most of the wreckage fell into the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast.

Officials said the rocket — a prototype made by Alliant Techsystems Inc., or ATK — was destroyed by remote control 27 seconds into the predawn flight. It was between 11,000 and 12,000 feet high when it exploded. Officials said they do not know why it veered off course. It was destroyed to avoid endangering the public.

"I would be surprised if we don't know what happened fairly quickly," said Kent Rominger, an ex-astronaut who is now vice president of advanced programs for the company's launch systems.

NASA had paid $17 million for the two hypersonic flight research satellites and flight preparations. Rominger declined to put a value on the one-of-a-kind rocket, which he said was developed over the past few years to learn firsthand about launch vehicles and to test new technologies. The Minneapolis-based ATK makes the solid-rocket boosters for NASA's space shuttles and is working with the space agency on its new moon rockets.

Rominger called Friday's accident "a very big disappointment but not a setback."

"We knew the risks of launching payloads on a first-of-a-kind rocket," said Juan Alonso, director of NASA's fundamental aeronautics program.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spaceport Biscuits takes center stage tonight

Title click to go to Alamogordo Times where you can link to the documents in this commentary. The Commission meets at 6:00 p.m. on the second floor of the courthouse on New York and 10th. The public hearing portion begins promptly at 6:30.

Michael Morris – In Focus

For a couple of years now we have been hearing a significant amount of hype regarding New Mexico’s latest and largest Economic Development project called now Spaceport America to be located on the unstable wasteland of eastern Sierra County. Tonight the Otero County Commission is set to hold a hearing claiming to address the propriety of placing the spaceport gross receipts tax on the November ballot. The catch is that the Commission has long since promised to not only place it on the ballot, but to also support its passage. So why is it we are again spending time on a public hearing? Simple. It is a stunt intended to get the press filled with the unsubstantiated claims by the spaceport profiteers out there without any questions.

While I have never been a big fan of the local “press” here I would like to extend this opportunity for them to report some facts rather than unsubstantiated claims from people whose salaries are tied to the public fleecing in progress. Ask a few questions. For instance the proposed budget for this venture is currently claimed to be $198 million. At the same time the business plan (LINK) at Table 6 claims 1450 construction jobs continually for at least 5 years. Let us do that math. A full time job is 2000 hours a year (40 hrs. x 50 wks.). That comes to 2.9 million hours a year or 14.5 million hours over the 5 years. Based on DOL figures this places the project between 100% and 200% over budget on labor alone. How can this be?

Before we move on to more specifics it is important to read the spaceport “business plan” (LINK). Upon doing so you quickly realize that there is not a single verifiable fact of any significance contained within it. Sure you have more than a few references to “some studies” or “a report” that supports one or more of the amazing conclusions drawn from them. My question is why are none of these studies or reports cited or even the organization conducting each mentioned. The same is true of the claim that one un-named company has pledged to invest $250 million yet we are not treated to either the identity of this company or the nature of the investment. Instead we are asked to just have faith. This is the same scheme used to bilk the taxpayers of Alamogordo into taking the assurances of some low-end scammers in the Sunbaked Biscuits fiasco. Even more chilling is the fact that it is the same crew from that boondoggle foisting this latest tax sucking pipe dream on us. The original schemers were Rick Homans who helped cook up Sunbaked and the spaceport. For his mouthpiece in Otero County Homans chose Ed Carr, formerly the Executive Director of OCEDC, who in December 2006 asked the Otero County Commission to place the tax on the ballot.

So, what do you suppose the chances are that we are getting any better information on the spaceport than we did on Sunbaked? When you contrast the reality with the hype the answer is none. Just like Homans and Carr swept under the rug that the Roberts family had bankrupted several other businesses in recent years or that they had nothing like the capital they promised to invest we are being given nothing other than big promises that do not add up. Here are some other claims that fall on simple inspection. First the business plan assumes only 2 scenarios regarding market share – 25% or 75% of the launch market. With over a half dozen facilities already in possession of FAA permits and several others in various stages of development it seems rather ambitious to expect to capture this great a portion of the business. We are not given any reason why this facility would grab that much market share. Because we say so is the best we get. Another wild claim is that some other un-named organization produced a study showing that when the price gets between $10,000 and $20,000 that 100 million passengers will be lining up to go. That seems a little silly for a couple of reasons. The most notable of these is the novelty wears off. Make no mistake. All of this suborbital business model is based on “tourism” which brings us around to what they really seem to be selling which is a high priced amusement park ride. Read their own words – this business is about tourism.

The obvious question is that if this is such a great deal why is it that there is no private investment component to this thing? So far there is $100 million allocated from the severance tax and whatever the spaceport profiteers can squeeze out of the nearby taxpayers which brings us to the next question. How does Otero County benefit from this? We will never have to worry about hosting the X-prize Cup here again. The plan calls for building a space museum in Upham casting some doubt on the future of the older one which is here. We are told that the spaceport will increase tourism in the county with the very rich popping out for a look at the White Sands National Monument and the possibly extinct Space Hall. At the same time the “business plan” suggests that there are plans to put in a golf course, amusement park, hotels and restaurants on the grounds of the spaceport therefore assuring that people will have a good reason to drive 175 miles to visit these things. An additional claim is that we should get a real boom in tourism from those who travel to the spaceport to watch launches. While I am not certain of the spending habits of this group nor its size a glance at a map shows no reason for many members of this group to pass through Alamogordo. Another possible scenario is this group will actually harm the community with travelers tired from a full day returning home falling asleep at the wheel while “saving” the cost of a hotel stay.

Let me break off to the transportation aspect of this so the next part regarding jobs will have a clearer context. Today the claim is that the spaceport is around 110 miles from Alamogordo. While this is true it is also false. If you do not own a high clearance 4x4 then the actual mileage is more like 175 since you must go through Elephant Butte. The spaceport talking heads claim that the southern road, currently the rutted and washed out CR A013, will be a finished chip seal road by Feb. 2009. This 15 or so mile “road” is currently ravaged by flooding that tears away significant portions of the road surface. That means that either the road will need to be raised significantly and/or the miles of high velocity flooding abated. Either of these are major and expensive projects and unlikely to be finished in 6 months considering that no work has been done to date. The current electrical infrastructure consists of a meandering medium voltage transmission line running on heavily eroded support structures that appear to be the REA original poles meant to serve the sparsely populated ranching area. The spaceport web site says they have signed a deal with the local electric utility, but does not disclose the details, so we have no idea what promises were made there or contingencies. Anecdotal evidence suggests another real issue will be insect control. The mosquitoes looked like a dust storm at dusk last week. A question rolling around in my mind is why the southern road is needed at all? BNSF railroad has operating track just a few steps from the entrance to the proposed site. BNSF is also the company who cashed in selling track for the famed “Rail Runner” commuter train for $75 million while still retaining use of the track. The northern road, highway 51 is by no means a proper road for either heavy loads or heavy traffic. Marked by razor thin shoulders, steep drop-offs with no guardrail or place to put one combined with some rather winding turns near the dam this road currently serves the marina and restaurant as well as a few ranchers. There is no way to expand it.

The matter at hand is whether the foolish of Otero County outnumber the wise at the polls this November. It seems an all but forgone conclusion that the Otero County Commission “led” by Doug Moore has already promised just about everyone in favor of this they intend to not only put it on the ballot, but also stump for its passage. You must decide for yourself whether this idea is sensible enough and viable enough to be worth taking from yourself and your neighbors the money to pay for it. Do you actually think that a commercial launch facility 50 miles north of Las Cruces is going to do anything to benefit this county? If so, why? Write me if you have one, but please make a logical and supportable case, not that Rick Homans or some political appointee from the pentagon or similar personage said so.

The truth of the matter is that our legislature should be ashamed of itself for spending the people’s money in such a rash and unconsidered way. If I took a business plan that sparse on facts, hugely reliant on faith and unsupported numbers with costs listed on it eclipsing the stated budget I could not get a dime even from my wife, but our legislature signed off a cool $100 million like it was nothing based on this. These people did not even use the discernment used by my 6 year old who would ask why at least 3 times before parting with just one dollar. Why is it they refuse to give us some solid facts instead bringing us such spectacles as a local lunatic dressing some kid up in a space chimp suit to parade around a Commission meeting. Everyone of these snake oil deals seems to boil down to people checking their common sense at the door whenever anyone with any name recognition says so. You know like Richardson in his SBI hardhat saying what a great deal Sunbaked was just a couple of months before it collapsed with all of the money gone, much the result of embezzlement, and fraud lawsuits piling up like blowing snow. Then there was Silly Billy down here to make us feel good about dumping another $200k into the last scheme at the cookie fiasco as they tanked amidst more scam. The favored tactic of the proponents of the spaceport is the 5th grade shoutdown dismissing anyone who questions the viability of the scheme as nuts who just want to hold us down. You may remember a packed city commission chamber with unemployed Presto workers who had been convinced Sunbaked was going to give them $14/hr. jobs shouting down Commissioner Don Cooper when he suggested we think about this some more then cheering as the wise band gave away $3 million that was mostly siphoned off by people everyone in their industry call scammers.

Hello! The time to wake up is any time now. Read the rest of the scammers digest. In this flyer (LINK) the state says Precheck has 125 employees. Is that true? In the business plan on table 7 list the White Sands Research Center, an affiliate of the Coulson Foundation, as an aerospace manufacturer. How much of this fraud will it take before we, as a community or even as a state, stop being the mark for any con man with a pitch that did not work in Arkansas? Until then you can expect to have nothing.

WHO CAN AFFORD SPACE TOURISM

I was at the county fair this weekend. I stopped by the Spaceport booth and visited a guy handing out brochures and hawking the regional benefits of space tourism. Did you know the spacecraft essentially go up, leave the stratosphere for about 15 minutes and come right back down? yeah...its a ride. The spacecraft don't blast off from a gantry. These aren't rockets. You knew that. There will be no aopgee or ipogee orbits. Just up and down. And all for about $100,000.00 per passenger. Now you may ask...who has that kind of money. I'm just speculating...but read the following two posts about major development on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park. People who can afford to live within a 13,000 private development, complete with private ski runs and golf courses right next door to America's first national park, will be the passengers in this space ride.
Yep...the rich and opulent who MAY contribute to environmental fraud and the cleansing of rural America, are insulated in their own compound in the Rockies of Montana. These fortunate individual are the passengers the rest of us hayseeds will be subsidizing at the Spaceport. I have to ask...what does Alamogordo have that will attract the space tourist?

CABELLA'S TROPHY PROPERTIES

Outdoor sporting and hunting chain giant, Cabella's, now offers 'Trophy Properties' in some of the most pristine locations in the American West. Check out Cabella's offerings in Gallatin County, Montana, right on Yellowstone Natinal Park's west doorstep. Title click on to read Cabella's stewardship policy and endorsement of conservation easements. So much for the destruction of critical habitat in the delicate biological diverse Yellowstone region.

THE YELLOWSTONE CLUB: OPULENT AND DISCERNING

"The heart and soul of Yellowstone Club is the community of families with like interests and a desire to share them with each other in the great Montana outdoors. One cannot put a finger on the whole that comprises Yellowstone Club membership. Naturally, it varies for each individual, but a common word often heard at the Club is ‘Freedom!’ Freedom from daily routines that are left behind at home and at the office. It is the freedom to connect with Mother Nature at her finest, whether the ground is covered with a blanket of white with snow or the fairways are lush and green. It is the sound of running water in the rivers and streams and the singing of children’s laughter. It is the enjoyment of a fine meal and a great bottle of wine with friends.

13,400 acres of land may sound like plenty! But with Yellowstone Club’s commitment to land stewardship and low density, only a few discerning families will have the opportunity to become YC members. For a comprehensive look at the options available to you, download the YC Facts & Details pdf file below."

I missed the Nature Conservancy taking on this environmental assault on the Yellowstone bio-diversity. The Yellowstone Club is being developed just north of the delicate and endangered Yellow Stone National Park. I'm betting the YC is immune from buffer zone restrictions and environmental litigation. The club was awarded to Edra Bilxseth in a divorce from her billionaire husband Tim. Title click on the post title and cruise the YC website. You must see the master plan aerial photo. This thing is a major development complete with private ski runs and a world class golf course. I'd like to know how YC security deals with errant wolves and bison on the fairways. Is there a neighborhood covenant prohibiting wolves?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Business Plan for the Southwest Regional Spaceport - New Mexico Museum of Space History is History

It is only 28 pages, the so-called business plan. Is this the best that NMSU has to offer? I am troubled by this "business plan". If this is what they are teaching in our higher institutions we are in for a rocky ride. But, what do I know former co-owner of a profitable business? (Title click for document.)

Also, I am deeply concerned about the future of New Mexico Museum of Space History (formerly known as International Space Hall of Fame) currently in Alamogordo, http://www.nmspacemuseum.org/. The handwriting is on the wall. Read the business plan, you will see. Even Spaceport America's glossy pages tells of the Space Museum being tied to the Spaceport. That is a 175 mile +/- umbilical cord, folks.

This scheme is under capitalized from the git-go. A 1/4% gross receipts tax (grt) or even the maximun 1/2% grt doesn't even begin to cover costs BEFORE construction begins. But, that is the way it is with New Mexico's version of "economic development". Tax the workers to subsidize the connected, i.e. Sunbaked, Railrunner, etc.

And, we are competing against how many spaceports here and abroad? Many of them already have the infrastructure and licensing. We are a day late and a dollar short.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Protesters: Holding pens unfit for voting machines

By Mike McPhee The Denver Post Article Last Updated: 08/15/2008 06:56:32 PM MDT Convention protesters said this afternoon that the "secret jail" the city has set up for people arrested during the upcoming Democratic National Convention used to house the city's voting machines until the building was declared unfit for the machines. At a press conference in front of the holding pens the city has built inside a dilapidated warehouse at 38th Avenue and Steele Street, protester Glenn Spagnuolo said the city stored its voting machines there until officials said the building was too hot for the machines and was without a fire sprinkler system. "This facility has a long history," he told a small gathering of reporters. "The city pulled its voting machines from here because the building gets too hot. Yet now they'll put people in there who use those machines to vote. "There are no toilets there. There's no water, no fire suppression. The city should be ashamed. It needs to stop criminalizing protests." The Denver Sheriff's Department insists that anyone taken to the center will be there only a few hours while they're fingerprinted, issued a court date and released after posting bail. Others will be transferred to facilities designed for longer detention. Sheriff's spokesman Frank Gale told the Associated Press that anyone needing bathrooms, running water or telephones would be escorted to them. The dozen or so pens are made of chain link fencing with coiled concertina wire along the top. Today, doors into the building were locked with the windows covered with cardboard. When a reporter looked through a cutout in the cardboard, an officer inside quickly closed the cutout window with a piece of cardboard. Behind the speakers, a dozen protesters, some wearing bandanas over their faces, held banners. One read "Gulag DNC" in reference to the notorious work camps in the former Soviet Union. Spagnuolo said the city has lied several times recently, denying that the holding pens even existed. "Every time the city moves its lips, they lie," he said. "We asked them if a detention center existed. They told us it will be business as usual, don't worry about it. "Apparently, the training received by the undercover officers in charge of crowd control didn't sink in. They're the guys who arrested John Heaney and broke his two front teeth smashing his head into the asphalt." Police launched an internal investigation after a videotape shot outside Coors Field during the Rockies' season-opener April 4 shows officers Michael Cordova and James Costigan slamming Heaney's face into the ground, knocking his teeth out. "We're asking that those officers be off-duty during the convention," said Spagnuolo. Tom Mesnick, another protest organizer, said the city has been acting in bad faith, the same way New York City officials did when the made a sweep arrest of 1,800 people four years ago during the Republican National Convention. "New York is still dealing with the lawsuits," Mesnick said. "They've paid out more than $1 million in claims. They arrested everybody, even people going home from work."
video

GAME WARDENS QUESTION DIRECTOR'S ACTIONS

http://www.abqjournal.com/news/metro/15114426632newsmetro08-15-08.htm



Friday, August 15, 2008

Concerns Over Warden Raised

By Jeff Jones
Journal Staff Writer
New Mexico game wardens are questioning the leadership of state Game & Fish Director Bruce Thompson, who is facing the possible revocation of his hunting privileges following a conviction in connection with shooting a deer on private land last fall.
Thompson "has the same legal rights as any other citizen; however, ethically, Director Thompson should be held to a higher standard. He is after all the state game warden," the head of the New Mexico Conservation Officers Association, which represents most of Game & Fish's in-the-field officers, said in a recent letter to the state Game Commission that oversees the agency. "We believe the image Director Thompson portrays to the public reflects poorly on the entire department (and) in particular its officers."
The letter also criticized Thompson on other issues including officer pay, officer qualifications and the selection of duty rifles.
Colin Duff, the Conservation Officers Association president, said in an interview Thursday that his group has met with Thompson and Game Commission Chair Tom Arvas since the letter went out and have started to deal with some of the concerns.
"The concerns are still there," Duff said. But he added, "We're in a better spot than we were before."
Messages left Thursday for Thompson, who has headed Game & Fish since 2003, were not returned.
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Richardson said Richardson takes the officers' concerns seriously but said the governor is confident his appointed Game Commission, which will ultimately decide whether to yank Thompson's hunting privileges, "will treat Bruce Thompson's case like any other individual."
Thompson had a valid hunting license last fall but shot a deer in November on private land on which he didn't have permission to hunt. He said the mistake was inadvertent and pleaded not guilty, but ultimately entered a no-contest plea earlier this summer and was fined $500.
Thompson could lose his hunting privileges for up to three years, and he has asked his own agency for a hearing on the revocation case.
He has also applied for — and won — licenses in a state lottery for upcoming deer, javelina and oryx hunts.
Duff, in his letter to the Game Commission, was critical of Thompson's earlier plea of not guilty, saying it was a "slap in the face" to game officers.
The association "has serious concerns over Director Thompson's actions and behavior throughout the course of this incident," Duff wrote. "First and foremost, the director's signature and seal appear on the very regulations he violated."
Duff added in the letter: "It is also unbelievable the internal investigation and punishment of (game officers) lies on the desk of the very director whom is ... convicted and soon to be revoked."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

GOP can choose change

YumaSun.com
August 12, 2008 - 7:32PM
BY HOWARD J. BLITZ, A Liberty Moment

On Labor Day, Sept. 1, about 2,380 individual members of the Republican Party will congregate in St. Paul, Minn. to choose an individual to be their nominee for president of the United States. This is no small matter and who they nominate as their standard bearer for president will prove how dedicated they all are to individual liberty and American constitutional principle.

No matter how one slices it, the ideas offered by both John McCain and Barack Obama favor government intervention in the lives of individuals both foreign and domestic, inflationary domestic policy and continuance of the Federal Reserve and the income tax.

Neither one promotes the necessary change that must take place in order for the American republic to be restored.

Allowing government to intervene in the lives of individuals anywhere does not bode well for the principles of liberty established by the founders in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Obama talks of change, but the ideas he expresses are all the same ideas that have been expressed and implemented over the last 100 years. McCain is now beginning to talk about change, but listening to his ideas of government intervention is repetitious of what has been happening also over the last century.

Government intervention in the lives of individuals is not the solution to inflation, war, tyranny and economic crises. Rather, government intervention in the lives of individuals is the cause of all of them.

The delegates to the 2008 Republican National Convention have the opportunity to allow the American people to choose real change, thereby substantially reducing the causes of inflation, war, tyranny and economic crises.

By choosing Ron Paul as the Republican nominee for president of the United States, the delegates to the Republican National Convention will give the American voter the opportunity to choose what the vast majority of Americans want - real change, a return to constitutional government where government does not interfere with the life of the individual, thereby reducing the causes of inflation, war, tyranny and economic crises.

The vast majority of Americans, if given a real choice in the matter, will allow the Electoral College to elect Paul the 44th President of the United States because the vast majority of Americans want a republic not an empire. They want peace, prosperity, individual liberty and just to be left alone. Very few individuals want inflation, war, tyranny and economic crises which is what results from government control of the individual.

Nominating Paul and allowing him to be elected the next president will not immediately turn the current situation around. However, it will introduce an idea that has been sadly lacking for some time in America, the idea of allowing individuals to be empowered to run their lives as they see fit and restricting the power of government to only protecting the right of every individual to do just that.

Americans need a real choice this election year and the delegates to the Republican National Convention can give them one even though the Republican Party leadership has ostracized Paul by not even inviting him to speak at their convention.

Paul has been forced to establish his own convention at the same time in order to help Americans understand the severity of the crisis at hand. Individuals can go to www.campaignforliberty.com to find out more about the convention Paul is holding. For only $17.76 anyone can attend the convention.

This election, as are all elections, is all about the age old idea of government control of the individual versus individual liberty. Hopefully the delegates to the Republican National Convention believe in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the idea of the American republic as opposed to empire so that America can return to becoming the greatest republic the world has ever witnessed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Resurrect Your Tree Air Fresheners Because Something Stinks in Otero County


Click on title to access Otero County work session agenda (4 pages) for today, August 13, 2008. Please note Items 14, 21 and 22.

First, a little background. Otero County used to take care of its own solid waste disposal. Then, not too long ago we watched Otero County Attorney Dan Bryant, a resident of Lincoln County who makes over $163,000.00 per year for one day a week representing the legal interests of Oteroans, shepherd Lincoln County's solid waste disposal experts in to manage Otero's waste.

There was a recent name change and so now we are dealing with "Green Tree" instead of Lincoln/Otero County Solid Waste. Also, we are to consider renegotiations of contracts fees which are more, of course.

There was some discussion about charging Otero residents disposal fees on the theory that would keep trash out of the arroyos - probably just the opposite.

And here is the coup de grace if they can pull it off - Green Tree is asking Otero County to pay for a new roll-off-truck to do their contract work!

Even my plumber does not have enough gall to ask me to pay for his work van. So, dig out that air freshener, take a sniff and forget all about the stench in the Otero County Commission. In fact, you may just want to bring one with you to the meetings.

SPACE DEBRIS PROTECTIVE CANOPY FOR OTERO COUNTY HOMES

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CONSPIRACY THEORISTS SAY WAR EHOUSES ARE OUT THERE

Conspiratorial wing-bats and black helicopter watchers are using a new buzz phrase, in preparation of Bush's Marshall Law extended Presidential term.

The new phrase is:
War Ehouses. War Ehouses are facilities where individuals who pose a cyber-threat to the shadow government are warehoused until they can be re-educated or confined indefinitely until the outside threat has been quelled.

A reporter for the Rocky Mountain News found one of these War Ehouses, constructed in anticipation of mass arrests at the Democrat National Convention this month in Denver.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

TEST OF ORF ROCKET "SOPHISTICANT"


video

Spaceballs and FEMA in Otero County - Commission Agenda

The Otero County Commission has authored resolutions and in the case of the Spaceport the ordinance as well. This proves the point that the Otero County Commissioners can work quickly if they desire. From previous postings you will note that the NM Spaceport has been on the record for over a year and a half.

Tomorrow, August 13, 9:00 am is the Work Session.


(12) Request approval of Resolution #08-21-08/97-08, regarding a Declaration of Flood Emergency for the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

Submitted by: Paul Quairoli


(23) Ray Backstrom – Hear comments and consider the adoption of Resolution #08-

21-08/97-10 and Ordinance 08-02 relating to the County Spaceport Regional

Gross Receipts Tax.


Title click to read full four pages of the work session agenda.

Monday, August 11, 2008

REGARDS: SURROGATE SPECIES AND OBSTRUCTIONIST TACTIC USED IN JURISDICTION FRAUD

One of the obstructionist tactics environmentalists and NGO's use in their agenda of detrimental reliance, or portraying Citizens of a sovereign state opposing illegal expansion of federal authority and jurisdiction, is to state the Citizen or Citizen group or community is anti-wolf, anti-minnow, anti-surrogate species. A surrogate species is an animal chosen to fill the criteria of (1) an endangered species, like the Mexican Gray Wolf or the Mexican Spotted Owl (2) justifying the designation of critical habitat, imposed on state and private lands by a federal agency (3) litigation filed by NGO's intended to regulate or prohibit land use whether it be federally administered land use, state land or privately owned land (4) portray a group of state Citizens or a community of practices that damage the environment or lend to diminish a surrogate species and to use this detrimental reliance as part of a public relations campaign to raise funds, raise public awareness and gather support based on a lie, and liable entire communities with lies based on junk science (5) mislead Citizens of a sovereign state into accepting federal jurisdiction in a federal court when the litigation should be heard in a state district court and (6) destroy rural communities and and individuals ability to economically survive.

SPACE X ARTICLE AND VIDEO FROM SPACEBLOG

Title click to read artice on SPACEBLOG.

ARTICLE IN WIRED ABOUT COMMERCIAL SPACE FLIGHT

Title click to read the article on WIRED.

BUSH RELAXES ENDANGERED SPECIES RULES

Title click to read the article in the Denver Post.

Man wasn't out to change state

Pensacola News Journal, 2007. Thanks to R L for keeping this in his files.

Court victory goes beyond blocking local bond issue
Paul Flemming
News Journal capital bureau
Gregory Strand is an unlikely rabble rouser.

Unassuming, bespectacled and quiet, the 55-year-old Escambia County veterinarian has nonetheless stirred things up by taking his abiding opposition of government borrowing to the state's highest court.

On Sept. 6, the Florida Supreme Court issued a more favorable result than even he had anticipated when he challenged a $135 million Escambia bond issue to widen Perdido Key Drive.

"I don't think anyone said to me we can win this. They said it's worth a try," he said.

The court's unanimous ruling directly blocked the Perdido Key project, riled financial markets, reversed more than a quarter century of established law and caused school and local government officials around the state to make like their hair is on fire.

It also called into question the future of development on the key.

On Sept. 7, the day after the high court's ruling, the Perdido Key Association filed its objection to the Escambia County Commission's efforts to override the building cap on the key, a coastal high-hazard area.

Kerry Anne Schultz, a Gulf Breeze attorney who represents the association and Strand, said that without the bond to widen Perdido Key Drive, expanded development on the key is prohibited.

"They're trying to eliminate the cap on dwelling and lodging without having a financing scheme now and not having the appropriate level of services," Schultz said. "Once you lift the cap, both dwelling and lodging, then you have the issue of free-for-all development."

Strand is pleased that the court ruling was in keeping with his political philosophy.

"I'm very conservative. I don't think excessive borrowing benefits anyone ? individuals, businesses or governments," he said. "I feel that an elected official should have the ability to budget the money that comes in while he is in office and not spend all the money that the future county commissioners will have."

The court's ruling is subject to motions for rehearing and clarification brought by Escambia County and associations for cities, counties and schools.

Still, it appears that Strand's suit will have a lasting effect.

"He was not trying to change the world," said Byron Keesler, a fellow officer of Escambia County Citizens Coalition who appears with Strand on a semiweekly public access show on BLAB-TV, "Citizen's Voice." "He was not trying to change the borrowing authority for the entire state."

Questions of growth

Strand, an Iowa native, came to Escambia County in 1979.

He opened his Scenic Hills Veterinary Hospital on Nine Mile Road in a converted double-wide trailer. Across the street were pasture and cattle that he planned to care for.

But Pensacola boomed out to and around him, so now his veterinary hospital is in the midst of commercial development. He and his seven associates care primarily for family pets.

"The large animals moved farther and farther out," he said.

As commercial development came to surround the clinic, Strand became more and more interested in transportation and growth policy.

He joined various boards and commissions, including the citizen's advisory committee of the Transportation Planning Organization of the West Florida Regional Planning Council.

In December, the Escambia County Commission fired him from that unpaid position.

Strand, by then, had filed his lawsuit challenging the commission's bond for the road-widening on Perdido Key.

He brought the suit as a member of the Perdido Key Association, although he lives near the Scenic Hills Golf & Country Club off Nine Mile Road.

Strand acknowledges that commissioners see him as a hindrance.

"I've certainly made trouble for them," he said.

But he said of his lawsuit: "It was necessary if you feel that the course was not valid. There was no choice but to make trouble for them."

County Commissioner Mike Whitehead sees it from a different perspective.

"Anything we were proposing, he was just adamantly opposed to,'' he said. "I can't think of an original idea he's come to the commission with. It's easy to be against everything."

The road project was to be paid back by selling tax increment financing bonds, or TIFs, which are backed by property taxes generated from redevelopment and improvement programs. TIFs are commonly used by community redevelopment agencies to pay for such things as downtown revitalization and improvements in economically depressed areas.

Escambia County sought circuit court validation of the road bond, "in an abundance of caution," according to County Attorney Janet Lander.

That gave Strand his opening.

"The county here was pushing the envelope," said David Theriaque, a Tallahassee attorney and part of Strand's legal team.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned a 1983 precedent case and concluded all TIFs must get voter approval.

The ruling also raises the possibility that all borrowing that depends on future property taxes requires public referendums.

That has school boards around the state, who have borrowed more than $12 billion, worried. Board officials say the ruling could halt school construction for up to a year while districts gear up for elections, if required.

Escambia County, the Florida School Boards Association, Association of Counties, League of Cities and Redevelopment Association have been granted oral arguments before the court to seek rehearing and clarification, in part because of concerns they raised about those consequences.

The Supreme Court's ruling also called into question financing for the proposed $70 million Community Maritime Park on Pensacola's waterfront.

The project was to be paid for with bonds repaid from property taxes raised by the Community Redevelopment Agency for a portion of downtown Pensacola.

Pensacola City Attorney John Fleming concluded the court's ruling could require a countywide vote for the Community Maritime Park, already approved by city voters.

That would suit Strand just fine.

"We should pay as we grow. That's the main issue with the Maritime Park. The (Community Redevelopment Agency) should spend cash," he said.

No cheap fight

Strand won't say how much he's spent in his legal fight.

"This has not been cheap," said Theriaque, his lawyer. "He's taken on the proverbial city hall."

Escambia has spent $19,512 on the case so far, County Attorney Lander said.

But Strand is not doling out money for glory.

"The last thing he would do is to try and draw attention to himself," Keesler said. "If he perceives something is not right, he will speak his mind on it. He is not one who enjoys being in the spotlight. He's certainly not a grandstander."

Strand, a member of the Escambia Republican Executive Committee, said a fundamental sense of fairness prompted him to pursue the case.

"It didn't seem like it was fair, and generally when things aren't fair, they're also not legal," he said.

And while he's not popping champagne corks over the decision, he is aware of the legacy the ruling could have and how the court's decision could at least require voters to approve borrowing money that will be repaid by their children.

"I have no children, which is probably part of the reason we did this," he said.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

MEDIA BUFFER ZONE AT KRSY 1230AM - Updated

Local Citizen activist and crack investigator Michael Morris has been banned from KRSY by the new station management; this according to a source close to Mr. Morris.
ORF predicts a change of format and the loss of community orientated civic discussion on radio talk shows on KRSY in the future. Alamogordo's own FAIRNESS doctrine is looming out there in the shadows. ORF goes on to predict Internet radio shows originating from Alamogordo are out there on the bright horizon of hope. (GAWD...did I just write that...????) Michael Morris has a website, ALAMOGORDO TIMES, where his opinion and investigative work have not been banned.


http://www.alamogordotimes.com/ At the top of the webpage you can click to the the court documents in the lawsuit against the local newspaper and Lord Karl Anderson. Click title to be transferred to Alamogordo Times.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Economic Development ala Homans, the Govenor, Green Rubber Global and Eclipse Aviation

We posted earlier about Green Rubber Global, scroll down. The thought plickens: Check this out:

http://www.abqjournal.com/AED/577323nm07-11-07.htm

Today:
http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_10143316

http://www.manufacturing.net/Eclipse-Aviation-Announces-Layoffs.aspx?terms=

Speaking of wealth redistribution, oops, I mean economic develop, where is Ed Carr's replacement at Otero County Economic Development, Mr. Espiritu? Why isn't he on the radio and in the papers selling the NM Spaceport Tax? We have questions about the Spaceport, Sunbaked, Marietta and others. Please step into the light Mr. Espiritu.

Spaceport Politics - Minds Were Made Up a Year and a Half Ago

Work Session, Otero County Commission, December 6, 2006

c. Ed Carr-(Director Economic Development Council)-Discuss and request support for the X prizeCup-Spaceport GRT election.

Tim Rabon, Kathleen Curtis and Stephanie Trawler, approached the Board to discuss the Spaceport and the X prize Cup. Mr. Carr could't attend today but will give a report to the Commission on Tuesday night. The council stated that a way to increase tourism would be to bring the spaceport to Holloman Air Force Base. The revenue could be generated from a half-percent gross receipt tax increase to be put before the public by an election. Mr. Rabon is asking for a letter of support from the Commission for the X prize Cup. Commissioner Moore stated that they would pledge their support Commissioner Nivision stated that we need to draft a letter of support stating that the Commission is in support of this and when the time is right, put it before the voters of Otero County.


This is the first in a series documenting the players in the New Mexico Spaceport Tax.

Note that the Commissioners were not asked to vote, they were asked to put the tax "before the public for an election" and "put it before the voters" thus relieving the Commission of their responsibility to voice a Yea or Nay.

Historic Jicarilla Mining District Newsletter

Hello Everyone:

Well it has been an interesting year, and there is a lot to report! So this may be in three parts.

First off, as you all know the DEADLINE DATE to file your small miners waiver form is near. The DEADLINE is September 1st. at noon, this form must be received by BLM office NO LATER than NOON, or Postmarked prior to the deadline.If you do not have the proper form please contact me and I will e-mail one to you. Also the deadline for filing your Assessment Work Form is December 31 2008. I also have these forms if you need them.

The BLM has always been wonderful people to work with, but if you miss the deadlines then you will have no choice but to re-file your claims or lose them.

Now to a lighter side. Sue and I have been very busy the last two weeks, and it has proven to be very productive. We just returned last night from a two week trip where we visited Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and parts of New Mexico. We had meetings with several miners and many who were not miners but were very interested.

We also had meetings with numerous officials of the Bureau of land Management and U.S. Forest Service. Our thanks go out to all of these people for being so receptive to our meeting. We also had the opportunity to be on a local radio talk show and I must say the people were very receptive to our needs. We also plan to talk to them again via telephone on occasion.

The weather here and in Jicarilla has been blessed with a good amount of rain. So the placer mining should be really good this year. Gold has dropped some but as I have predicted before it will rise again. As soon as I get some much needed rest I will send out other reports. GOOD LUCK GOD BLESS AND MAY ALL YOUR PANS BE FULL !

Jerry FennellChairmanJicarilla Mining District

ALSO LOOK AT: http://dustyroad1.wordpress.com/

IGNORE YOUR RIGHTS AND THEY WILL GO AWAY !

A Submission by Sheriff Blansett

Subject: Gun Law
Australian Gun Law Update

Here's a thought to warm some of your hearts...

From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia

Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the
real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months
since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to
surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our
own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more
than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,

Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent ;

Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent
(yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with
firearms are now up 300 percent.
(Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned
them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess
their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a
steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has
changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the
criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in
break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is
at home.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how
public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort
and expense was expended in "successfully ridding
Australian society of guns." You won't see this on
the American evening news or hear your governor or members
of the State Assembly disseminating this information.

The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns
in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and,
yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.
Take note Americans, before it's too late!

FORWARD TO EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST.
DON'T BE A MEMBER OF THE SILENT MAJORITY.

BE ONE OF THE VOCAL MINORITY WHO WON'T LET
THIS HAPPEN IN THE USA

Information is like fertilizer, does no good unless you
spread it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What Do Green Rubber Global and New Mexico Spaceport Have in Common?

Before Rick Homans became our State Treasurer he was NM State Economic Development Department Secretary. Oh, also President of Green Rubber Global. Oh, also NM Spaceport promoter.

Title click to Albuquerque Journalstory. See how Gallup got treated.

ITS HATCH GREEN CHILIE TIME!

From HATCH GREEN CHILIE.COM

IT IS TIME..... We are harvesting fresh green chile. Time to get your order in. The rain has slowed us down a bit but we are pressing on. We will start shipping Fresh Hatch Green Chile on Monday, August 11th.
You can order online at hatch-chile.com or call us at 1-800-292-4454. If you order online, please let us know when you check out (in the comment section) what day you would like to have your chile delivered (Wednesday, Thursday or Friday).

LIBERTY MATTERS: U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE SUSPENDS NAIS

Tile click to read this article in LIBERTY MATTERS. Thanks to R L for sending this link to ORF.

OBAMA URGES WEIGHT LOSS TO SAVE PLANET

Democratic Presidential candidate Barrack Obama told an audience in Los Angeles to loose weight to help save the planet. Speaking at a scheduled campaign stop before departing on a flight to Hawaii, Obama urged obese Americans to shed the extra pounds to lessen their carbon footprint. The occasionally ‘green candidate’ said vehicles must use more fuel to carry heavier passengers. Americans could lessen their negative impact on the planet by throwing away less packaging from food purchased, thus reducing loads on garbage trucks and landfills across the nation. “Americans should spend more time walking in the park than sitting in front of their T.V. eating junk food,” Obama told supporters on Thursday. His remarks come a week after he encouraged Americans to check the air pressure in their tires in an effort to reduce fuel consumption across the nation. The 46 year-old, first black presidential candidate is leading Republican nominee, John McCain in the polls by 1%. When asked by reporters about Obama’s remarks about obese Americans, McCain responded, “You’re kidding. What an idiot.”

Thursday, August 7, 2008

E-Mail Your Comments on NM Spaceport by August 18, 2008



Do you have a comment to the FAA regarding the visual impact of this design on the New Mexico landscape?

E-mail: SpaceportAmericaEIS@icfi.com

Or mail: Stacey M. Zee
FAA Environmental Specialist
Spaceport America EIS
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VS 22031

Gov. Richardson Calls Otero County Commissioner Nivison at Home to Talk About NM Spaceport (Tax)

Ronnie Rardin, candidate for Otero County Commissioner (to replace Mike Nivison, lame duck) told attendees of the RWOC meeting yesterday, August 6, 2008, that the Govenor had called one of our three commissioners to urge support of the NM Spaceport and accompanying tax. One can only guess how the conversation went but it would be safe to speculate that Mike Nivision was reminded of how much the State of New Mexico has done for Cloudcroft (water, etc.). THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TAKE STATE OR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE. PAYBACK IS A BEAR! Now we have the deciding vote on the Spaceport Tax being made by a lame duck beholden to the guv.

Oh, but you could say that this vote on August 21, 6:00 pm, second floor of the county courthouse, is just to put it on the ballot for the little people to decide if they want another tax or not.

No, it is not that simple. First, bond/tax issues on the general election ballot almost always pass. That is why the State and the NM Spaceport promoters want it on the ballot. If this spaceport tax is voted to be on the ballot, which we have been predicting since February (click on title for link to post, scroll down to post entitled "The Goose and the Gander in Otero County") then Commissioners Moore and Nivision have not done their duty as Otero County Commissioners.

Commissioner McGinn has stated in meetings that she will not vote to put the tax on the ballot because she knows exactly why she was elected and knows what her constituents want.* I submit that she also is unafraid to do her job and knows how to say "NO".

We are sorely disappointed in Mike Nivison. He did get some things right such as the U.N.World Heritage Ordinance and the Release of Wolves, Jaguars and Grizzly Bears Ordinance. After all the time he has spent in public service, you would think he wouldn't want to leave a bad taste in our mouth and a hole in our pockets with unjustified, additional taxes.

If Commissioners Moore and Nivision wanted to get this right, they would vote to not put the Spaceport Tax on the ballot. Then, they would take a vote right then and there to have the Spaceport Tax because the vote again would be two to one with Commissioner McGinn voting NAY. But, don't expect to see that kind of backbone or respect for our form of governance from Moore and Nivision.

* The NM Spaceport Tax scheme is private enterprise being subsidized on the backs of the taxpayers. It is classic redistribution of wealth.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

“Securing Our Borders and Our Data Act”

For Immediate Release
Ron Paul's Press Releases www.house.gov/paul
August 4, 2008

Engel/Paul “Securing Our Borders and Our Data Act”

Washington, DC - Congressman Ron Paul is an original cosponsor of legislation introduced July 31st that would ensure that a traveler entering the United States would be subject to searches of their data and digital equipment only if a border agent has a reasonable suspicion to believe the traveler is or is about to be engaged in criminal activity.

In an August 1, 2008 front page story, the Washington Post exposed the ease with which the government can search and/or seize a traveler’s laptop, blackberry, or other electronic device. A border agent can require any individual to provide access to private or other sensitive data with no cause. They can require the owner to surrender their password for encrypted data as well.

“The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution acknowledges the right of the people to be secure in their persons and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. It is unfortunate that it takes legislation to remind border agents of this Constitutionally protected right, but it is apparent to me that HR 6702 is absolutely necessary,” stated Congressman Paul.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I HAVE A QUESTION

Does the recent Center for Disease control new release that it under estimated by 40%, the number of AIDS cases in the U.S. have anything to do with illegal immigration?
Does the indictment of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens for accepting gifts have anything to do with the push for off-shore drilling in that state?
If automated chili harvesting comes to New Mexico, will there be an outcry of racism and prejudice against workers who pick them by hand? Will mechanical harvesting of chili eliminate the threat of salmonella contamination of chilis? Will this new machine relief itself in the chili rows and irrigation ditches?

AUTOMATED CHILI HARVESTER MACHINE WILL HELP NEW MEXICO GROWERS

Title click to read this article in the INTERNATIONAL HERALD-TRIBUNE.

ALAMOGORDO MAN ARRESTED IN EL PASO FOR INTERNET SEX LIASON

Title click to read this article on KIVA.com. The man was employed at the Otero County Detention Center.

TEXAS TO EXECUTE MEXICAN DESPITE PROTEST FROM BUSH AND MEXICO

Title Click to read this article in the Telegraph.UK.

RUMOR MILL: BRUCE'S TELL ALL BOOK ABOUT ALAMOGORDO

The Rumor Mill tells us Bruce Woodhull is writing a 'tell all' book about his experiences within the Alamogordo circle of conservative political activity over the past year. Who wil be named, who will be trumpeted and who will be soiled? Its just a rumor....

Branson’s bogus eco-drive

03 August 2008 By Stephen Price
The Virgin boss’s much trumpeted pledge of €1.9bn to tackle global warming is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

In September 2006, Virgin boss Richard Branson pledged €1.9 billion towards tackling global warming. For the next ten years, he announced, the profits from his aviation and rail businesses would go towards combating the biggest, most complex problem that mankind has ever faced.

The promise earned Branson headlines around the world. Media outlets carried photos of him, Bill Clinton and Al Gore at a Clinton Global Initiative press conference in New York. Adults, Branson solemnly told the assembled media, had a duty to pass a ‘‘pristine’’ planet on to the next generation. Politicians and campaigners were effusive in their praise for his imagination and generosity.




However, a look at the not-very-small print revealed that this amazing gesture would not be a matter of taking the profits from Branson’s polluting industries and using them to protect vast tracts of the Amazon.

In fact, the money would go to a new division of the Virgin conglomerate, called Virgin Fuel. Branson was simply gearing himself up to make more money. But as always, the PR spin was that he’d be doing the rest of us a favour in the process.

Branson has built an empire on this perception. His first two business ventures - both failed - were growing Christmas trees and selling budgerigars, so he obviously understood from an early stage that nature is there to be exploited.

His reputation as a rebel underdog took off when he was arrested in 1971 for selling records in Virgin stores that had been declared export stock. Because he also sold ‘‘cut-outs’’ (remaindered LPs at discounted prices), the perception took root that he was being persecuted by the authorities for challenging a rip-off establishment. In fact, he was doing nothing of the sort - he paid the taxes and fines owing from the case.

Branson’s anti-establishment persona was cemented in 1977 when Virgin Records signed the Sex Pistols; the band had already been dropped by two labels, EMI and A&M. He was also on board the boat the band played on when they sailed down the Thames during Queen Elizabeth’s silver jubilee celebrations. In a blaze of publicity, it was pulled in by police and a few punters were arrested.

When British Airways engaged in a ‘‘dirty tricks’’ campaign against Virgin Atlantic in the early1990s,thiswas grist to Branson’s mill. Whether it’s flights, records, mobile phones, cola, radio, television, hotels, trains or holidays, sticking the word ‘‘Virgin’’ in front of something supposedly makes it cheaper yet cooler, with the bearded, grinning boss fronting many of his own ad campaigns. Because if a hippy says it’s all right, then it must be. Mustn’t it?

Since Virgin Fuel was set up in 2006, the tide has very much turned against bio-fuels with the realisation that far too much agricultural land could be eaten up by fuel crops. Palm oil, one of the major biofuels, is contributing to global warming as virgin (no pun intended) rainforests in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia are decimated to make way for palm plantations.

Still, in February of this year Branson was on the tarmac toying with a coconut for the inevitable photocall when one of his 747s flew - empty- from London to Amsterdam on a 20 per cent bio-fuel mixture. Two years on from his ‘‘profits’’ gesture, slightly wiser green campaigners dismissed the flight as a stunt.

But onwards and upwards. While Branson has done little to save the planet and a hell of a lot to pollute it, he can arrange for you to look down upon it. This week he unveiled an aircraft for flying tourists into space. Virgin Galactic (yes, space can be branded too) has built a four-engine, twin-fuselage jet that will carrya spaceship with six passengers up to 50,000 feet to release it for sub-orbital flight.

The actual space ship is not yet complete, but apparently2 50 punters have already paid $200,000 up front for the experience, among them Ireland’s own leading car salesman, Bill Cullen. The plane is called White Knight II, lest we forget what a favour Branson is doing for us.

Hippies are often credited with being the first to bring green issues to the fore, but the 1960s also legitimised the ascent of personal selfishness over social responsibility. Of course, Branson is no more of a hippy than I am, just a good businessman.

Spraying huge amounts of jet fuel into the atmosphere, purely to allow rich people to look down on an overheating planet, is about as stupid and hypocritical as it gets. Still, I’m sure that the earth from space is a beautiful sight – enjoy it while it lasts.http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=AGENDA-qqqs=agenda-qqqid=34805-qqqx=1.asp
this is the same guy that the gov wants u to help build the spaceport

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border

No Suspicion Required Under DHS Policies

By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 1, 2008; Page A01

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.

"The policies . . . are truly alarming," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.

DHS officials said that the newly disclosed policies -- which apply to anyone entering the country, including U.S. citizens -- are reasonable and necessary to prevent terrorism. Officials said such procedures have long been in place but were disclosed last month because of public interest in the matter.

Civil liberties and business travel groups have pressed the government to disclose its procedures as an increasing number of international travelers have reported that their laptops, cellphones and other digital devices have been taken -- for months, in at least one case -- and their contents examined.

The policies state that officers may "detain" laptops "for a reasonable period of time" to "review and analyze information." This may take place "absent individualized suspicion."

The policies cover "any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form," including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover "all papers and other written documentation," including books, pamphlets and "written materials commonly referred to as 'pocket trash' or 'pocket litter.' "

Reasonable measures must be taken to protect business information and attorney-client privileged material, the policies say, but there is no specific mention of the handling of personal data such as medical and financial records.

When a review is completed and no probable cause exists to keep the information, any copies of the data must be destroyed. Copies sent to non-federal entities must be returned to DHS. But the documents specify that there is no limitation on authorities keeping written notes or reports about the materials.

"They're saying they can rifle through all the information in a traveler's laptop without having a smidgen of evidence that the traveler is breaking the law," said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. Notably, he said, the policies "don't establish any criteria for whose computer can be searched."

Customs Deputy Commissioner Jayson P. Ahern said the efforts "do not infringe on Americans' privacy." In a statement submitted to Feingold for a June hearing on the issue, he noted that the executive branch has long had "plenary authority to conduct routine searches and seizures at the border without probable cause or a warrant" to prevent drugs and other contraband from entering the country.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote in an opinion piece published last month in USA Today that "the most dangerous contraband is often contained in laptop computers or other electronic devices." Searches have uncovered "violent jihadist materials" as well as images of child pornography, he wrote.

With about 400 million travelers entering the country each year, "as a practical matter, travelers only go to secondary [for a more thorough examination] when there is some level of suspicion," Chertoff wrote. "Yet legislation locking in a particular standard for searches would have a dangerous, chilling effect as officers' often split-second assessments are second-guessed."

In April, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the government's power to conduct searches of an international traveler's laptop without suspicion of wrongdoing. The Customs policy can be viewed at: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/travel/admissability/
search_authority.ctt/search_authority.pdf.

Patriotism and Education are the Answers

i wish i could take credit for this,but i can't, nor can i find the author. what i do know is i couldn't have said it better. "The decline of American freedom, and values, has nothing to do with the decline of religion among its population. It's the lack of common sense, and individual thought that is the culprit, as well as a sheeple attitude of being taken care of by big government..Just take a look at HB 1955, it penalizes anyone with original thoughts about how we should be governed.. But, most people don't want to think. Observe a few conversations sometime. Watch reality TV, Watch the news. American culture is dominated by petty shallowness, by the constant need to be diverted and entertained, by the insatiable urge towards self-importance and instant gratification.

The problems we have today are caused by a huge array of factors, but it seems to me that disregard for the environment, and living beings (whether human or not), and the rush towards technological, sedentary lifestyles play a large role in lessening our freedom . We don't need everything made easy for us. We don't need to be 'consumers' of everything we can get our hands on. There are only so many resources in a finite world like ours, and the American lifestyle has become one of indulgence and selfishness. This is perpetrated by those who follow religion and those who do not.
I am a fervent supporter of Ron Paul, and his message of freedom, honesty, and following our Constitution. I want to be free of a government that steals my money and gives it to those who already own the world. I do not want more laws passed in the name of protecting us from terrorism that are unconstitutional, and really just take away more of our rights.
I want to live in a country ruled by a Constitution that gives more power to individual states and less to the giant monster that Federal government has become. I want our soldiers to come home from US military bases in 130 countries around the world; I want to stop nation-building and telling other powers how to run their affairs; I want the government to stop perpetrating atrocities on innocents around the world.

Most of all, I want a say in the laws that govern my life. I believe in this election, Ron Paul is the only answer to that wish. I fear for a future in which so many people don't realize the truth when it's waved under their noses, or who don't have the courage or even the knowledge to go out and seek it. I can only hope those who read this will take time to think about it and talk to others, as we all will be living with the consequences.So will our children and theirs to come". posted by k berry