Saturday, January 30, 2010

Richard Viguerie is Keynote Speaker for Tea Party Group; Cautions Against Forming a Third Political Party

/PRNewswire/ -- Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, delivered the keynote address at the January 29 meeting of the Leadership Tea Party, a conservative grassroots training event, at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Westin Hotel.

Viguerie praised the Tea Party movement for providing new energy to conservative grassroots throughout the nation.

"You've brought fresh, new reinforcements into the battle against big, corrupt government," he told the group.

Viguerie credited the Tea Party for helping stop many liberal initiatives from quickly being enacted into law.

"If there had been no Tea Party opposition to the President's legislative program, Obamacare, Cap and Trade, Union Card Check, and much more federal spending would probably have been enacted into law in 2009," he said.

Viguerie told the Tea Party leaders that they should work to be a third force in politics but should not try to organize themselves into a third party. "A third party would be a disaster for the cause of limited government," he warned.

Tea Party members and other grassroots conservatives should focus exclusively on the 2010 Republican and Democratic primaries, he said.

"Don't think about 2012 at all. In fact, don't even think about November 2010. Your focus should be to challenge every establishment Republican and Democrat in all federal, state, and local races," Viguerie emphasized.

"Our country didn't get into the mess we're in because of the policies and skills of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid. The people who are responsible for handing power to the liberals in 2006 and 2008 are George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Bill Frist, and other GOP leaders. The disastrous policies of the big government Republicans caused the voters to want to fire all Republicans," he said.

"Unfortunately, most conservative leaders just kept quiet while Bush, Rove, DeLay, Hastert, and Frist ran full speed ahead with all their spending and deficits. But Tea Party activists are different. You believe in principles, not just political power. What a tremendous improvement," Viguerie exclaimed.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Props for the President at His State of the Union Address

/PRNewswire/ -- President Obama will need several props to get him through his first State of the Union address, including lifejackets, a box of teabags, a paper shredder, and a new "No Fly" list. Here's why:

"The President should begin the address by taking the 2,074 page Senate health bill and stuffing it into a paper shredder. Then he should promise the public a 20-page bill in plain, honest English," says Betsy McCaughey, a critic of the current health legislation. "Twenty pages should be enough," says McCaughey. "The framer of the Constitution established the entire federal government in just eighteen pages." The public is outraged over the backroom deals, payoffs, and deliberately inscrutable language hidden in the 2,074 pages.

In the last year, tea partiers have delivered a clear message that the President needs to embrace in his speech: Don't let big government take our wealth and freedom away. They understand that the more of a country's goods and services are consumed by government, the fewer choices are left for individuals and families to make. In France, well over 50% of GDP is taken by government. In Britain, government's take of GDP is soaring perilously to that same level. Americans don't want to be Europeanized. They didn't want it in 1773, when they threw the tea overboard, and they don't want it today. Obama better show that he gets the message. No more stimulus bills, no new middle class entitlements for retirement and college, and no new taxes.

National security is an American president's top responsibility, and this President needs to make up for his delayed and tepid response to the near-tragedy aboard a commercial jet on Christmas Day over Detroit. Under the federal policy in place then, nearly all known or suspected terrorists are allowed on flights. Less than 1% of the 540,000 or so names on the suspected terrorist lists are put on the "no fly" list, and less than 3% even have to undergo additional screening before boarding a plane. "That means you and I are unknowingly sharing flights with these dangerous people, and we don't even have the choice to get off the plane," says McCaughey. The top goal should be to identify terrorists and keep them off planes with a new, highly inclusive "No Fly" list.

And the lifejackets? The President should be ready to toss them to fellow Democrats in Congress. He may not mind being a one-term president, but many Democratic members of Congress are worried about their re-elections because of Obama's radical policies.

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Bauer Says it's 'Not Too Late' For Obama, But This is a Defining Moment

/PRNewswire/ -- Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer said Wednesday, on the eve of the President's State of the Union address, that "it's not too late" for Obama to save his presidency but only if he changes course.

The president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families made the following statement:

"It is not too late for President Obama to regain the confidence of the American people, but it is too late for Obama to ram through more big government, higher tax, and big deficit proposals that are actually preventing economic growth. A skeptical public now rejects Obama's plans to take over large segments of the economy. The fact that Obama's health care proposals included fines for hard-working Americans who don't buy insurance says it all. Average Americans do not want Washington politicians running their lives.

"A State of the Union Address that recommits to big government, to more regulation and to anti-free enterprise doctrines will be rejected by the voters in 2010. This is a moment of decision for Obama.

"Unfortunately, the president appears to be in denial. In the wake of tremendous losses in Virginia, New Jersey and the very blue Massachusetts, Obama and his spokespeople claimed that the rejection of Democrats was somehow a win for him and his ideas. The time is now for the president to scale back grand, socialist plans in favor of policies that stimulate investment, job growth and entrepreneurship."

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

'Doomsday Clock' Moves One Minute Away From Midnight

/PRNewswire/ -- Citing a more "hopeful state of world affairs" in relation to the twin threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) is moving the minute hand of its famous Doomsday Clock one minute away from midnight. It is now 6 minutes to midnight. The decision by the BAS Science and Security Board was made in consultation with the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors, which includes 19 Nobel Laureates.

BAS announced the Clock change today at a news conference in New York City broadcast live at http://www.turnbacktheclock.org/ for viewing around the globe. The new BAS Web platform allows people in all nations to monitor and get involved in efforts to move the Doomsday Clock farther away from midnight.

In a statement supporting the decision to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock, the BAS Board said: "It is 6 minutes to midnight. We are poised to bend the arc of history toward a world free of nuclear weapons. For the first time since atomic bombs were dropped in 1945, leaders of nuclear weapons states are cooperating to vastly reduce their arsenals and secure all nuclear bomb-making material. And for the first time ever, industrialized and developing countries alike are pledging to limit climate-changing gas emissions that could render our planet nearly uninhabitable. These unprecedented steps are signs of a growing political will to tackle the two gravest threats to civilization -- the terror of nuclear weapons and runaway climate change."

Created in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Doomsday Clock has been adjusted only 18 times prior to today, most recently in January 2007 and February 2002 after the events of 9/11. By moving the hand of the Clock away from midnight -- the figurative end of civilization -- the BAS Board of Directors is drawing attention to encouraging signs of progress. At the same time, the small increment of the change reflects both the threats that remain around the globe and the danger that governments may fail to deliver on pledged actions on reducing nuclear weapons and mitigating climate change.

The BAS statement explains: "This hopeful state of world affairs leads the boards of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists -- which include 19 Nobel laureates -- to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock back from five to six minutes to midnight. By shifting the hand back from midnight by only one additional minute, we emphasize how much needs to be accomplished, while at the same time recognizing signs of collaboration among the United States, Russia, the European Union, India, China, Brazil, and others on nuclear security and on climate stabilization."

The statement continues: "A key to the new era of cooperation is a change in the U.S. government's orientation toward international affairs brought about in part by the election of Obama. With a more pragmatic, problem-solving approach, not only has Obama initiated new arms reduction talks with Russia, he has started negotiations with Iran to close its nuclear enrichment program, and directed the U.S. government to lead a global effort to secure loose fissile material in four years. He also presided over the U.N. Security Council last September where he supported a fissile material cutoff treaty and encouraged all countries to live up to their disarmament and nonproliferation obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty ..."

Lawrence Krauss, co-chair, BAS Board of Sponsors, foundation professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics departments, associate director, Beyond Center, co-director, Cosmology Initiative, and director, New Origins Initiative, Arizona State University, said: "The time to begin to free ourselves from the terror of nuclear weapons and to slow drastic changes to our shared global environment is now. We encourage scientists to fulfill their dual responsibilities of increasing their own, as well as the public's understanding of these issues and to help lead the call to action. We urge leaders to fulfill the promise of a nuclear weapon-free world and to act now to slow the pace of climate change. Finally, we call on citizens everywhere to raise their voices and compel public action for a safer world now and for future generations. Even though we are encouraged by recent developments, we are mindful of the fact that the Clock is ticking. "

Stephen Schneider, member, BAS Science and Security Board, professor of environmental biology and global change, Stanford University, co-director, Center for Environment Science and Policy of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and senior fellow, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, said: "We can no longer prevent global warming -- it is upon us. Rapidly melting polar icecaps, acidification of the oceans, loss of coral reefs, longer droughts, more devastating wildfires, and sea level rise that threatens island nations and seacoasts everywhere are clear signs of change in Earth's climate. Disruptions of the monsoon seasons in India and China already threaten crop yields resulting in more frequent and severe food shortages than in the recent past ... If we continue 'business as usual' our habitat could be disrupted beyond recognition, with consequences for our way of life that we cannot now foresee. Without vigorous and immediate follow-up to the Copenhagen conference and well-conceived action we are all threatened by accelerating and irreversible changes to our planet ..."

Jayantha Dhanapala, member, BAS Board of Sponsors, president, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and chair, 1995 UN Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Conference, said: "In the saga of human history civilizations have been threatened both by natural causes and by man-made folly. Some have survived by making the necessary rational responses to the challenges. Others have gone under leaving only their ruins. Today it is the entire planet that stands imperiled by the danger of nuclear weapons and the real risk of climate change inexorably threatening our ecosystem. Both impending disasters are within our capabilities to remedy. The opportunity must be seized now out of a recognition that these are global dangers that transcend national boundaries."

Pervez Hoodbhoy, member, BAS Board of Sponsors, professor of high energy physics, and head, Physics Department, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan, said: "We may be at a turning point, where major powers realize that nuclear weapons are useless for war-fighting or even for deterrence. Threats to security are more likely to come from economic collapse, groups bent on terrorizing civilians, or from resource scarcity exacerbated by climate change and exploding populations, rather than from conflict between nuclear-armed superpowers. Against these new threats, nuclear weapons are a liability because their possession by a few countries stimulates desire in other countries and complicates things immensely."

Kennette Benedict, executive director, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said: "The emerging trends in international cooperation will provide a basis for collaborative problem-solving for a safer world. But a handful of government officials, no matter how bold their vision, will not be able, on their own, to deal with the threats to civilization that we now face. Leaders and citizens around the world will need to summon the courage to overcome obstacles to nuclear security and climate protection. That is why we have created TurnBackTheClock.org to allow citizens around the world a means by which to get involved and to inspire leaders to take action."

RECOMMENDED ACTION STEPS

The BAS statement outlines the need for action on the following:

-- Developing new nuclear doctrines that disavow the use of existing
nuclear weapons, reduce the launch readiness of U.S. and Russian
nuclear forces, and remove them from the day-to-day operations of
their militaries;
-- Finishing the job of consolidating and securing military and civilian
nuclear material in Russia, the United States, and elsewhere and
continuing to eliminate the excess;
-- Completing negotiations, signing and ratifying as soon as possible the
new U.S.-Russia treaty providing for reductions in deployed nuclear
warheads and delivery systems;
-- Upon signing of the treaty, immediately embarking upon new talks to
further reduce the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States;
-- Completing the next review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in
May 2010 with commitments to weapons reduction and nuclear
nonproliferation by both the nuclear haves and have-nots;
-- Implementing multinational management of the civilian nuclear energy
fuel cycle with strict standards for safety, security, and
nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, including eliminating
reprocessing for plutonium separation;
-- Strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency's capacity to
oversee nuclear materials and technology development and transfer;
-- Adopting and fulfilling climate change agreements to reduce carbon
dioxide emissions through tax incentives, harmonized domestic
regulation and practice;
-- Transforming the coal power sector of the world economy to retire
older plants; and
-- Vastly increasing public and private investments in alternatives to
carbon-emitting energy sources, such as solar and wind, and in
technologies for energy storage, and sharing the results worldwide.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Call International Opens Haiti Earthquake Emergency Hotline

/PRNewswire/ -- Medical and travel assistance company, On Call International, has set up a national, emergency hotline for the family and friends of travelers visiting Haiti, who might have been affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake striking the area 15 kilometers (10 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Anyone attempting to connect with family members or friends traveling or living in the region should call the On Call International hotline: 800-576-5172. Or, they can call On Call International collect at 603-328-1924. Callers should have as much information as possible readily available at the time of call, including tour operator name, itineraries, hotel information or cell phone numbers.

On Call International is a leading provider of customized medical, security and travel assistance for international business and leisure travelers, as well as expatriates, students and others away from home. Operating 24/7/365, On Call International specializes in emergency evacuations from any point on the globe, assisting more than seven million travelers. The U.S.-owned and trained assistance company serves the travel, insurance and maritime industries. On Call is a member and the U.S. representative of the 26-partner International Assistance Group, a global network of independent assistance companies. For more information, visit www.oncallinternational.com.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Which Governors Will Be Chosen for Assisting Homeland Defense?

Or will they assist in giving up their rights and the rights of their populations? Can a governor say, "Thanks, but no thanks"?

President Obama Signs Executive Order Establishing Council of Governors

The President today signed an Executive Order (attached) establishing a Council of Governors to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards. When appointed, the Council will be reviewing such matters as involving the National Guard of the various States; homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.

The bipartisan Council will be composed of ten State Governors who will be selected by the President to serve two year terms......http://statenationalpolitics.blogspot.com/2010/01/president-obama-signs-executive-order.html

Executive Order: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/2010executive_order.pdf

Here's one take on the states and what we could lose:

Obama Executive Order Stokes Martial Law Fears

(PaulWatson) – Some warn expansion of military involvement in domestic security could lead to “end of United States as a Republic”

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Obama executive order that creates a council of state governors who will work with the feds to expand military involvement in domestic security has stoked fears that the administration is stepping up preparations for martial law.http://dprogram.net/2010/01/12/obama-executive-order-stokes-martial-law-fears/

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Medical Specialists Petition Congress to Preserve Access to Care for Millions of Medicare Patients

/PRNewswire/ -- The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) sent a petition to Congress today signed by 1,325 AACE members, non-AACE member physicians, allied health professionals and patients opposing a new Medicare policy which would eliminate consultation codes for specialists. Overturning this policy would preserve access to care for millions of Medicare patients seen by a medical specialist.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) new policy, which went into effect on January 1, 2010, no longer allows endocrinologists and other cognitive specialists to bill for consultations provided for patients referred to them by primary care physicians.

In December, AACE surveyed its members. The results of that survey indicated that if consultation codes are eliminated, four out of five endocrinologists would be forced to drastically reduce or eliminate the number of Medicare patients seen in their practices.

AACE is also extremely concerned about the hasty implementation of this new policy. Guidance on how to comply with the new policy was only made available to health care professionals and Medicare contractors less than two weeks before the January 1st implementation date. The new policy will severely restrict patient access to specialty care, and the expedited implementation of this policy will cause major disruptions in the health care system in the weeks ahead as new Medicare claims are processed.

As a result, AACE is urging Members of Congress to adopt Senate amendment 3163, introduced by Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), as part of the final health care reform agreement or as part of any legislative vehicle that is expected to imminently pass Congress. The Specter amendment would delay the new CMS policy for one year to allow more time to adequately prepare for this policy change and fully consider its impact.

"The result of CMS' decision will be a significant reduction in the quality of care received by older Americans," AACE President and Chief of Endocrinology at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Dr. Jeffrey R. Garber said. "AACE applauds the continued efforts of Senator Specter to delay this flawed (CMS) policy."

In addition to AACE, the Specter amendment has been endorsed by numerous societies representing medical specialists. AACE is encouraging all medical specialists and their patients to write their Members of Congress asking them to support the Specter Amendment.

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January 14 is the Date the Doomsday Clock is Reset

RJ Note: Here I was thinking the doomsday clock was about the end of the world as we know it to be. The clock was brought into existence in 1947. And now, climate change is included? Just what did those scientists of the Manhatten Project know?

Hands of 'Doomsday Clock' To Be Moved in New York City and Seen Live on Web For First Time Ever

Factors In Change to Include Nuclear Proliferation, Weapon Stockpile Shifts, and Climate Change; Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Will Open Event to World With Real-Time Streaming Web Broadcast.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) will move the minute hand of its famous "Doomsday Clock" at 10 a.m. EST/1500 GMT on January 14, 2010 in New York City. For the first time ever, the event will be opened up to the general public via a live Web feed at http://www.turnbacktheclock.org/.

The last time the Doomsday Clock minute hand moved was in January 2007, when the Clock's minute hand was pushed forward by two minutes from seven to five minutes before midnight.

The precise time to be shown on the updated Doomsday Clock will not be announced until the live news conference in New York City takes place on January 14, 2010. Factors influencing the latest Doomsday Clock change include international negotiations on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, expansion of civilian nuclear power, the possibilities of nuclear terrorism, and climate change.

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists subsequently created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 as way to convey both the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero). The decision to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made by the Bulletin's Board of Directors in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 19 Nobel Laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences.

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Consumer Watchdog to Pelosi: Push for Health Insurance Industry Oversight

/PRNewswire/ -- In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today, Consumer Watchdog called for strengthened oversight of the health insurance industry and greater affordability protections for consumers in negotiations with the U.S. Senate on final health reform legislation.

In the letter, Consumer Watchdog wrote:

"With the public option apparently off the table, thanks to a single Senator allied with the insurance industry, it is more important than ever for the House to insist on comprehensive regulation of the industry to ensure affordability and accountability for Americans who will now be required to buy private insurance."

Download the letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/PelosiLetter.pdf

Consumer Watchdog called on Pelosi to make eight affordability and accountability changes to the health reform legislation before it is sent to President Obama:

1. Rate regulation. The House and Senate legislation require every American to buy coverage under threat of tax fines, yet both bills fail to regulate insurer premium increases.

2. Fully defined benefits. The "essential health benefits" called for under the mandated insurance policies in the House and Senate bills are left undefined in the legislation.

3. Preserve superior state patient protections. The Senate bill's new "multi-state" plans and the House and Senate bill's interstate "compacts" allow insurance companies to override more protective state patient laws.

4. Legal accountability for all health insurance providers. The House and Senate bills provide no legal accountability for insurers when employers pay for health coverage.

5. Employer fair-share payments. The weak employer penalties of the Senate bill would create financial incentives for employers to drop coverage, pushing workers into state exchanges where they would be forced to buy individual policies that offer less care for more money.

6. Better plan value. The Senate bill has lowered the overall value of the cheapest "bronze" plan to below that of almost any current employer-sponsored plan, which will result in individuals and families bearing more of the cost of coverage.

7. Tougher ban on policy rescissions. The Senate bill allows insurers to game its rescission ban.

8. No annual coverage limits. The Senate bill allows insurers to place "reasonable" annual limits on insurance policy coverage.

The group also called on Pelosi to support changes to Senate filibuster rules to provide that legislation may be approved without a 60-vote supermajority at every major step. Consumer Watchdog wrote:

"Real health care reform and the coming climate change legislation are too important to be held hostage by one lawmaker with parochial, personal or industry-allied motives, be it Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad or Ben Nelson."

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

U.S. Report: Rape, Sexual Abuse Rampant in Juvenile Corrections Facilities

/PRNewswire/ -- A long-awaited report from the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) finds that youth in juvenile corrections facilities are sexually abused at alarming rates and are victimized significantly more often than adult inmates.

A shocking 12.1 percent - or almost one in eight - of the detained youth who participated in the survey reported sexual abuse at their current facility during the previous year. On any given day, there are approximately 93,000 youth confined in juvenile facilities, more than half of whom are 16 or younger.

"These figures are unconscionable, and even more so when you consider that the survey did not include youth locked up in adult facilities, where many are at even greater risk for abuse," said Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International.

The study - "Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09" - is based on a survey given to 9,198 youth detainees in 195 facilities from all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The BJS report also included these findings:

-- 80 percent of the reported abuse was perpetrated by a member of the
facility's staff.
-- 95 percent of youth who alleged abuse by staff reported at least one
female perpetrator.
-- Victimized youth usually endured repeated sexual abuse, often more
than ten times, and frequently by multiple perpetrators.
-- 65 percent of youth who had previously been sexually assaulted at
another facility also reported having been sexually abused in their
current facility.
-- Youth with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual reported being
sexually abused by another inmate at a rate more than ten times higher
than that of youth who identified as heterosexual.


In June 2009, as mandated by Congress, the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission issued a comprehensive report on sexual violence in U.S. detention facilities. The bipartisan Commission, led by U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton, found that many corrections facilities do a poor job preventing, identifying, and responding to the sexual abuse of those in their custody.

The Commission's report emphasized that sexual abuse is an especially complex problem for younger inmates, explaining that "juveniles are not yet fully developed physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally and are ill-equipped to respond to sexual advances and protect themselves."

"The BJS study confirms the Commission's findings, underscoring the fact that young people are a particularly vulnerable population needing special protections," said David Kaiser, chair of the board of Just Detention International. "Abused youth emerge from what ought to be a rehabilitative experience deeply traumatized, hindering their reintegration into society and limiting their development and future prospects."

The Commission's report includes proposed standards - which Just Detention International helped develop - for addressing and preventing the sexual abuse of inmates, including detained youth. By law, the Department of Justice has until June 2010 to codify final standards based on those recommendations.

"The Attorney General needs to issue comprehensive, zero-tolerance standards, and he can't do so a moment too soon," Stannow said. "Every day without them is another day in which incarcerated children are getting raped. No matter what crime a person may have committed, rape should never be part of the punishment."

The BJS report, "Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09," is available online at: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2113.

Just Detention International works to ensure government accountability for prisoner rape; to change ill-informed public attitudes about sexual violence in detention; and to promote access to resources for those who have survived such abuse.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Writers Ask Congressional Authors: Do You Know What Google and the Authors Guild Want to Do with Your Copyright?

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Writers Union, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have written to their author peers in Congress, seeking their support in encouraging the Department of Justice to continue its opposition to the Google Books Settlement.

The Google Books Settlement is being negotiated between Google and several parties that sued it in 2007 for copyright infringement. Among those groups is the Authors Guild, which purports to represent the interests of all authors in the Settlement. In its letter to Congressional authors, the groups assert that their interests are not being fairly represented by the Authors Guild.

Award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin's recent resignation from the Authors Guild highlights the growing tensions between the organization and its constituency. In her letter of resignation, Le Guin commented, "You decided to deal with the devil, as it were, and have presented your arguments for doing so. I wish I could accept them, but I can't. There are principles involved, above all the whole concept of copyright; and these you have seen fit to abandon to a corporation, on their terms, without a struggle."

In their letter, the author groups criticize the Settlement for the lack of notice to authors, the complexity in opting out, a new regulatory board that overrides individual contracts, the exception for publisher plaintiffs to have private side deals, the mockery of existing copyright law, and its attempt to supplant efforts to pass orphan works legislation.

"Opposition to this sweetheart commercial deal from the Department of Justice and nearly 400 other interested parties radically changed the course of this debate. However, the amended version of the settlement still creates a de facto monopoly for Google at the expense of all Americans," reads the letter. "The Constitution says copyright is essential and gives Congress responsibility for it, not Google and a gaggle of lawyers."

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