Archive for October, 2006

In January 2003, voting activist Bev Harris was holed up in the basement of her three-story house in Renton, Washington, searching the Internet for an electronic voting machine manual, when she made a startling discovery.

Clicking on a link for a file transfer protocol site belonging to voting machine maker Diebold Election Systems, Harris found about 40,000 unprotected computer files. They included source code for Diebold’s AccuVote touch-screen voting machine, program files for its Global Election Management System tabulation software, a Texas voter-registration list with voters’ names and addresses, and what appeared to be live vote data from 57 precincts in a 2002 California primary election.

“There was a lot of stuff that shouldn’t have been there,” Harris said.

The California file was time-stamped 3:31 p.m. on Election Day, indicating that Diebold might have obtained the data during voting. But polling precincts aren’t supposed to release votes until after polls close at 8 p.m. So Harris began to wonder if it were possible for the company to extract votes during an election and change them without anyone knowing.

A look at the Diebold tabulation program provided a possible answer.

Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access — a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office — and change votes without leaving a trace. Diebold hadn’t password-protected the file or secured the audit log, so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election — Diebold employees, election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line — could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence.

“It was getting scarier and scarier,” Harris said. “I was thinking we have an immense problem here that’s much bigger than me.”



Watch Hacking Democracy

This cautionary documentary exposes the vulnerability of computers - which count approximately 80% of America’s votes in county, state and federal elections - suggesting that if our votes aren’t safe, then our democracy isn’t safe either. Premieres Thursday, November 2 at 9pm on HBO.

Click here to go to official HBO Web Site

Click here to preview Hacking Democracy Video

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Of course you don’t need ID to cast an absentee ballot.

Chicago Tribune

Indiana and Arizona, which passed a less stringent form of ID requirement, have joined a growing number of states demanding that would-be voters produce identity papers at polling places.

Since the 2000 election, the number of states adding an ID requirement as a condition of voting has grown to 24 from 11, according to, a non-partisan election reform Web site.

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In 2004, the port handled 70% of the total 687,000 automobiles that shipped in and out of the country. In Mexico, the automobile trade largely depends on maritime logistics. Worried whether the port can handle such traffic, the Integral Port Administration (API) of Veracruz unveiled in 2003 a US$295 million development plan to enlarge the port’s infrastructure and expand operations by 2010.

Read the entire article here.

Also: “Economic Ties to U.S. Riding Super Highway”

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Vicente Fox, you’re an embarrassment.


Despite President Vicente Fox’s insistence that “social order and peace has been restored” to the capital, at least one federal official acknowledged that had not yet happened.

“I don’t think so,” Deputy Interior Secretary Arturo Chavez told the Televisa television network Tuesday morning. “We are moving in stages. We are working toward order.”

Bands of youths roamed the cobblestone streets of the colonial city Monday, tossing gasoline bombs, hijacking vehicles and vowing to fight on amid violence that has divided people here and across Mexico. Burned-out shells of vehicles dotted the streets.

Fox, who leaves office December 1, had resisted repeated calls to send federal forces to Oaxaca until gunfire killed a U.S. activist-journalist and two residents Friday.

On Monday, Fox said social order and peace had been “restored” in the city.

The U.S. Embassy released a statement advising Americans against all travel to one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations “due to this increase in violence.”

Mexican law makes it illegal for foreign nationals to participate in political protests


The U.S. State Department Monday warned Americans not to travel to Oaxaca, which had been a popular tourist destination before the unrest.

U.S. citizens already in Oaxaca were also told to avoid demonstrations because Mexican law makes it illegal for foreign nationals to participate in political protests.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters driven from the city center by federal police after months of paralyzing demonstrations vowed to retake the main plaza, or zocalo, on Monday.

“Fight, fight, fight! Don’t stop fighting!” the protesters chanted before arriving at the central main plaza which has served as their headquarters for months, The Associated Press reports.

Facing off with columns of 3,500 police who blocked their access to the square, the demonstrators screamed “murderers! murderers!” as they lit fires and tossed Molotov cocktails and fireworks that fell short of police lines.

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PHOENIX With thousands of demonstrators across the country voicing their support of immigration reform, some Latinos who don’t agree with that goal are afraid their own voices aren’t being heard.

A Phoenix man, Lionel De La Rosa, says the marchers give the impression that all Latinos support letting illegal immigrants become legal. And he says he doesn’t support that at all.

De La Rosa, a Texas native and Vietnam veteran, says he favors a bill passed by the House that would have made it a felony to be in the U-S illegally. And he says all of his Latino friends agree with him.

A poll last year found that significant numbers of Latinos have negative views of undocumented immigrants. The feelings are strongest among middle-class Latinos who were born in the U-S.

An official at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think-tank that favors more restrictions on immigration, says those views are common, but they are rarely reflected among Latino leaders.

Steven Camarota says Latinos who favor greater restrictions are sometimes reluctant to say so publicly, for fear of being ostracized.

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Washington Times

Lawrenceville, GA — The trial of an Atlanta-area man accused of circumcising his 2-year-old daughter with scissors is focusing attention on an ancient African practice that experts say is slowly becoming more common in the United States as immigrant communities grow.

Khalid Adem, a 30-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, is charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. Human rights observers said they believe this is the first criminal case in the United States involving the 5,000-year-old practice.

Prosecutors say Mr. Adem used scissors to remove his daughter’s clitoris in their apartment in 2001. The child’s mother said she did not discover it until more than a year later.

‘He said he wanted to preserve her virginity,’ Fortunate Adem, the girl’s mother, testified this week. ‘He said it was the will of God. I became angry in my mind. I thought he was crazy.’

Mrs. Adem said she may not have noticed the cutting sooner because the girl regularly developed rashes — visiting a doctor two dozen times before she was 3. A doctor testified that tissue in the area heals quickly and that the part of her body that was cut likely would not be checked during a regular exam.

The girl, now 7, also testified, clutching a teddy bear and saying that Mr. Adem ‘cut me on my private part.’ Mr. Adem cried loudly as his daughter left the courtroom.

Testifying on his own behalf, Mr. Adem said he never circumcised his daughter or asked anyone else to do so. He said he grew up in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and considers the practice more prevalent in rural areas.

Mr. Adem, who removed a handkerchief from his pocket and cried at one point during his testimony, was asked what he thought of someone who believes in the practice. He replied: ‘The word I can say is ‘mind in the gutter.’ He is a moron.’

His attorney, Mark Hill, acknowledged that Mr. Adem’s daughter had been cut. But he implied that Mrs. Adem’s family, who immigrated from South Africa when she was 6, may have had the procedure done.

The Adems divorced in 2003, and Mr. Hill suggested that the couple’s daughter was encouraged to testify against her father by her mother, who has full custody.

If convicted, Mr. Adem, a clerk at a suburban Atlanta gas station, could get up to 40 years in prison.

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Concord Monitor

Seventeen-year-old Guillermo Antonio Iraheta Hernandez traveled thousands of miles from his native El Salvador only to land in limbo.

Left behind more than a decade ago by his parents, illegal immigrants living in Virginia, Iraheta made part of his trek to the United States hidden in the baggage compartment of a bus. But soon after surreptitiously crossing the Rio Grande into Texas, he was picked up by the Border Patrol and brought to a converted nursing home in Nixon, Texas, where 136 children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are temporarily housed by the federal government.

Iraheta is but one drop in a new and fast-growing stream of illegal immigration to the United States: those younger than 18 who are sneaking into the country without their parents. Authorities say the phenomenon includes girls traveling alone and even toddlers carried by older siblings or entrusted to smugglers.

Many of those who are apprehended by the Border Patrol end up in a burgeoning network of shelters set up by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There they run up against Washington’s paradoxical approach to the problem of children who entered the country illegally without their parents. The government agency that runs the shelters tries to reunite the children with relatives living here, regardless of their legal status. Another federal agency works to deport them - as well as their parents. Iraheta’s mother and father are reluctant to come forward to claim their son, fearing that would lead to being sent back to El Salvador. So are his sisters, who are also in the country illegally. Even uncles who are legal U.S. residents living in Texas have stayed away.

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If there is one present imperative issue to follow and support, this is it folks. So educate yourself and spread the word. GuardDog


Suit challenges illegals crackdown
Hazleton Standard Speaker
Tuesday, 31 October 2006

As expected, opponents of Hazletonâ??s Illegal Immigration Relief Act filed an amended complaint in Scranton federal court late Monday afternoon.
The plaintiffs had the chance to amend their original complaint, filed in August, because city council adopted an amended IIRA in September. City officials had been expecting Mondayâ??s action for weeks.
The complaint was filed by Wilkes-Barre attorney George Barron, one of a handful of private attorneys working on the case. Other plaintiffs include the Puerto Rican Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Cozen Oâ??Connor law firm in Philadelphia, and a number of other private attorneys.
It will be heard by Judge James Munley of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. No trial date has been set.
Opponents are also expected to file a request for an injunction to prevent the city from enforcing the IIRA, but that had not been filed by press time Monday.
The complaint is 69 pages long, whereas the original complaint was 42 pages long. Largely, the amended version makes the same charges the initial one did.
The action claims IIRA violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Fair Housing Act. It also alleges a violation of the 14th Amendmentâ??s guarantee of due process because, it claims, the ordinance prohibits those defined as â??illegal aliensâ? from â??residing, working or buying food or other necessitiesâ? in town.
And just as with the original suit, the amended complaint includes claims from several business owners who say theyâ??ve lost commercial trade and attribute that decline to IIRA.
But there are several differences, the biggest one being that the revised complaint also targets the cityâ??s Landlord and Tenant Registration Act, which takes effect Wednesday. That ordinance was originally enacted in 2004 and amended this fall to coincide with IIRA.

    ****Patriot Mayor Lou Barletta****

â??Weâ??ve anticipated this for weeks,â? Hazleton Solicitor Chris Slusser said. â??Wednesday is just around the corner, so itâ??s not a surprise. We still believe we have a strong position. The ordinance was strongly constructed to withstand judicial scrutiny.â?
Mayor Lou Barletta agreed.
â??Not a surprise,â? Barletta said. â??Hazleton assembled one of the finest legal teams in county. Hazleton is prepared to fight. We will take this challenge to highest court in the U.S. if thatâ??s what it takes to protect our legal citizens and preserve our quality of life. I believe we will prevail.â?
Barletta was also not surprised the amended complaint included a challenge to the landlords ordinance.
â??Itâ??s obvious Hazleton is serious about illegal immigration and registration is the first step,â? Barletta said. â??So, no, Iâ??m not surprised that they would try to prevent us from collecting information â?? which is all weâ??re trying to do with (the registration)ordinance.â?…..

To read entire article click here.

  • View Lozano v. Hazelton Amended Complaint (10/30/2006) on ACLU Web Site
  • Click here to go to Hazleton’s legal defense fund: Small Town Defenders and send your monetary support if possible.
  • Please thank Lou and the brave patriots in Hazleton for fighting the good fight by clicking here and sending an E-mail. Or call Lou’s office at 570-459-4910

    Now that the amended complaints have been filed they need our support more then ever. This is the test case. What happens here will effect every other local Anti-Illegal Ordinance passed hence forth one way or the other.


    Comments 6 Comments »

    Iâ??m Lou Barletta, the proud Mayor of the City of Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

    I believe the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. People who are in this country have an incredible amount of opportunities and blessings. But some people have taken advantage of Americaâ??s openness and tolerance. Some come to this country and refuse to learn English, creating a language barrier for city employees. Others enter the country illegally and use government services by not paying taxes or by committing crime on our streets, further draining resources here in Hazleton.

    Recent crimes â?? such as a high-profile murder, the discharge of a gun at a crowded city playground, and drug busts â?? have involved illegal immigrants. Some of those allegedly involved in those crimes were detained by other law enforcement officials over the years, but were somehow allowed to remain in this country. They eventually migrated into Hazleton, where they helped create a sense of fear in the good, hardworking residents who are here legally.

    Illegal aliens in our City create an economic burden that threatens our quality of life.

    With a growing problem and a limited budget, I could not sit back any longer and allow this to happen. I needed to act! Thatâ??s why I drafted the , a measure designed to say enough is enough.

    To the residents of Hazleton, I say thank you for your support.

    To our recently arrived legal immigrants, I say welcome to our City. I wish you all the best and hope the United States and Hazleton can be a place where your dreams come true. I am proud to represent you as your Mayor.

    And to illegal immigrants and those who would hire or abet them in any way, I say your time is up. You are no longer welcome.

    There are thousands of small towns and cities across America like Hazleton, Pennsylvania. I hope the steps weâ??re taking in Hazleton to defend ourselves will inspire others to become small town defenders.

    Thank you for visiting Small Town Defenders! Be sure to visit our and let us know how you feel……

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    Update From Carpentersville 10-28-06. Lots of Mexican flags, the usual race card acusation, and does anyone speak English in this country anymore? Oh and a “Viva La Raza” to boot. Don’t tell anyone but the Minutemen were there to observe. :)

    Meeting makes leaders nervous in Carpentersville
    Daily Herald
    October 28, 2006

    An informational meeting intended to clarify the status of an immigration-related ordinance in Carpentersville has some village officials â?? including the mayor â?? on edge, again.

    On the other side, one village trustee said the meeting emphasizes the need for the village board to restart discussions on the measure.

    A group of Latino business owners, known as the Carpentersville Community Alliance, will meet with residents at 3 p.m. today in the parking lot of Meadowdale Shopping Center, to explain the actions of the village board in tabling the Illegal Alien Immigration Relief Act.

    Village President Bill Sarto said he was concerned todayâ??s meeting could spark heated confrontations between residents on both sides of the debate.

    â??I tried to dissuade them from having this meeting because I didnâ??t think it was necessary to do this,â? said Sarto, who said he would steer clear of the gathering.

    â??There are too many people panicking over this. I just hope the other side wonâ??t take advantage of the situation and want to join in.â?

    Event organizers said the meeting is needed to curb the circulation of misinformation throughout the community.

    â??A lot of people left the last board meeting because they thought nothing was going to be resolved,â? said Silvia Realzola, who owns a real estate company in the village. â??People had heard the ordinance had passed. We want to let people know what happened at the board meeting. We want them to hear it straight and get things clear.â?

    At the Oct. 17 village board meeting, trustees voted to table the discussion on the proposed ordinance indefinitely until litigation in other towns like Hazleton, Pa., is resolved.…..

    Group explains status of C’ville immigrant law
    Courier News Online
    October 29, 2006

    CARPENTERSVILLE — In one of its first actions as an organization, the Carpentersville Community Alliance set the record straight.

    Saturday afternoon a group of about 100 people congregated in the Meadowdale Shopping Center parking lot for an informational meeting sponsored by the alliance.

    The meeting was meant to explain the actions of the village board in tabling the Illegal Alien Immigration Relief Act ordinance at its Oct. 17 board meeting.

    Through guest speakers — Village Trustee Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, businessman Ollie Besinger, and Sandro Rodriguez with the Mexican Civic and Cultural Organization in Elgin — the alliance attempted to clarify misinformation circulating throughout the community. It also sought to encourage residents to vote in the upcoming congressional and municipal elections.

    “We are here to get people involved,” said alliance Vice President Dave Reece. “I have lived in Carpentersville for 44 years and have been involved in the community. Now we are trying to get others to do the same thing.”


    Minuteman members watch

    But not everyone in the crowd was opposed to the ordinance. Toward the back, a group of on-lookers, some from the Illinois Minuteman group, came to observe the meeting.Reece said it was their appearance that spurred him to call Sarto and request a handful of police officers to monitor the crowd.

    “They are trying to break up our meeting,” Reece said. “This is a organized meeting of taxpayers, and many of them (the Minuteman members) are not even from the village.”But standing among the Minuteman group was Carpentersville resident Frank Stoneham. He said the group was not disturbing anyone but was there just for information, like everyone else.

    “I wanted to see if any of our political leaders or real estate owners are supporting the flow of illegal immigrants in Carpentersville,” he said. “The alliance wants to support making Carpentersville a sanctuary for illegal immigrants as far as I am concerned.”But Kristin Kumpf, of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said the meeting was not singling out any group of people but simply informing those on the outcome of the immigration ordinance.

    To read entire article click here.

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    Firms say immigrants needed
    They cite labor shortage; others say it’s just that workers don’t want low pay
    Detroit Free Press
    October 30, 2006

    Leaders of some industries say there’s no room for a debate about whether immigrants are taking American jobs. There’s only room for more workers.

    They say huge labor shortages exist in some industries, such as trucking, welding and restaurant work, and they’ve got numbers to show it. Large chunks of the U.S. workforce are approaching retirement age, and there are not enough young workers to replace them, so immigrant workers are needed, they say.

    The American Welding Society, an industry group based in Miami, predicts a shortage of 200,000 welders nationwide by 2010.

    But Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based group that opposes illegal immigration, said he’s skeptical when employers say there’s a labor shortage because wages have barely gone up over the years. He said 22 million Americans ages 18 to 64 who have a high school diploma or have dropped out of high school are unemployed or have given up looking for a job.

    “Any industry you care to name, you will generally find that the employer says, ‘We can’t find anybody,’ ” he said. “What they really mean is, ‘Given what we want to pay, we can’t find anybody.’ And that’s the kicker.”

    Stephen Anthony, president of the Ft. Worth Building and Construction Trades Council, a network of union groups, said he believes that illegal immigrant welders have kept wages down for U.S. workers.

    Anthony said wages for union welders have just caught up to a $3-an-hour pay cut they took in 1983. He said they would have caught up sooner if there weren’t so many illegal immigrants at work sites. Union welders earn $23 an hour, while nonunion welders generally earn about $12 an hour.

    “We have a problem with illegals working for cheap because it knocks down on our higher pay,” he said. “They have put the cement workers out of business, the roofers out of business. … There’s no longer people trained in America that are doing that work.”…..

    To read entire article click here.

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    Nancy Pelosi owns a non-union vineyards in Napa Valley where grape-picking depends chiefly on the availability of cheap foreign labor â?? is doing everything she can to help open the floodgates to more illegal immigration. And she wants the American taxpayers to pay their way. As even more proof of this than I previously reported, Pelosi does not want employers like her to be required to pay the cost of illegal aliensâ?? hospital care. She voted against a bill that would make employers liable for the reimbursements if an undocumented employee seeks medical attention. And she voted in favor of rewarding illegal aliens from Mexico with Social Security benefits.

    At the same time, Pelosi has led the Democratic opposition to any effective border controls or documentation requirements. She opposed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed into law by President Bush, and voted against final passage of a border security and enforcement bill in 2005 which required that all businesses must use an electronic system to check if all new hires have the legal right to work in this country. She voted against a bill to bar drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens in 2005. This year she opposed legislation requiring presentation of a legitimate government-issued photo ID to prove eligibility to vote, claiming that â??there is little evidence anywhere in the country of a significant problem with non-citizen voters.â?

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    Duncan Hunter gets a B+ on his immigration report card.

    SF Gate

    Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Monday he will run for president in 2008.

    The Vietnam War veteran, a recipient of a Bronze Star, has made his mark in Congress by advocating for a strong military and border security. He played a leading role in the construction of a 14-mile double fence on the U.S.-Mexico border that is nearing completion in San Diego. He co-authored legislation signed by President Bush last week that would extend the border fence to 700 miles.

    Hunter voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central American Free Trade Agreement and opposed most-favored-nation status for China. This year, he was a vocal critic of a deal that gave a Dubai company control of some operations at six American ports.


    Comments 12 Comments »

    NY Times

    Ottawa — An American sex offender who was sentenced by a U.S. judge to three years “exile” in Canada was arrested by Canadian border guards on Thursday and faces deportation, the government said.

    Federal ministers and legislators had expressed deep unhappiness after a New York state judge allowed former teacher Malcolm Watson — convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl — to live in Canada on probation rather than spending time in a U.S. jail.

    Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said the government had officially requested that Watson be deemed inadmissible to Canada because of his conviction. Immigration officials will start examining the case at a hearing on Friday.

    “We don’t want to see Canada become a haven for pedophiles or any other person committing serious crime,” Day told reporters.

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    Harry scores a B- on his immigration report card.

    NY Times

    Uvalde, TX — Rep. Henry Bonilla is in an unusual position, an incumbent Texas congressman in a new district. More troubling for his re-election effort, some voters see a contradiction in the only Mexican-American in the House belonging to the Republican Party.

    ”He’s forgotten his roots,” said Pat Abrego, 47, of San Antonio.

    Bonilla clearly bristles at the notion that being a Republican betrays Hispanics.

    ”There are a lot of people out there … who think that the color of your skin dictates your political philosophy,” Bonilla said. ”And that’s the greatest insult that you could inflict on any American, regardless of their ethnic background.”

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