America's Concerns

Dear Barbie,

In response to your post about the possibility of Yahoo democratic groups being hacked into, there is no telling, but paranoia has its place. (Barbie's letter is at bottom)

I think we all need to log, date and describe all  such incidents. The free exchange of ideas is essential to the survival of democracy.

After the election, the NAACP site was not working. You couldn't navigate past the first page, and there  were dozens of broken files. I got through to  someone at their offices in Washington who said they had been having trouble with the site for some weeks. She hinted at hacking problems as this was a new and growing problem but did not provide details. I got no further information on the subject. They've been kept busy.

The TIME message board was dumping my posts repeatedly when I criticized the media  and posted links to  better information sites, until I asked a question as to whether other posters were experiencing the same. There was dead silence for 12 minutes or more (I kept a log that day), and then strangely, all posts started going through without delays. Another poster confirmed she had experienced the same phenomenon. There had to be a moderator at work on that site, who was blocking messages. On CNN's boards, the only time one got dumped seemed to be when one was copying the same message or links  more than once without alteration. That site is protected electronically from spam (which is fine), but a human moderator blocking news exchanges is another matter.

During the anti-Ashcroft action, there was a news conference by People for the American Way, the Sierra Club, NOW and civil rights organizations. The conference was
interrupted four times on the loudspeakers by a bogus fire alarm. The groups did not budge and continued their news conference (aired live on C-span. Thank you C-span). There was no fire.

The Landmark Foundation, a conservative lawfirm in Washington, which has been after the NEA (National Education Association), is now trying to get the IRS to repeal the tax-exempt status of all the organizations that protested Ashcroft, claiming that they are not entitled to that status if they are lobbying. Hmmm... does that apply to faith-based organizations as well, I wonder?

[Editor's note: The faith-based organizations have a man in the White House who is doing it for them. With all due respect to them, however, it is my understanding that they don't even want his plans to be accomplished.]

During the Democratic National Convention last year, the LAPD evacuated  a building for a bomb alert where the Independent Media Center was trying to do a live webcast of the protests. The 20 minute window of opportunity for the satellite transmission neatly coincided with this evacuation.

Margaret Richards of Pensacola, Florida posted that she was visited by two Secret Service agents from Alabama after she sent a letter to Rep. Trovillion in Florida. (She had chastised him for telling some gay students that they were going to hell. Who made him St-Peter anyway?) The agents interrogated her about her mental health. She provides their contact information in her post.

[Editor's note: Maggie is as healthy as a horse. She doesn't suffer from mental illness. This is how the government discredits people.]

In terms of e-mail security, it is best not to send addresses around as normal copies to friends, but rather, copy, paste and send as blind copies (BCC) to make it just a tad harder for anyone to  pick up addresses, and read about Java Script encoding that can be inserted by hostile parties or commercial parties, to pick up all addresses from
forwards. (The code causes a message to be sent back to the inserter of the code with all the addresses a message has been forwarded to.) HTML messages are susceptible. If you know code, you can view source if you know what to look for.

I'm concerned about email now being forwarded around Dem groups that states if you keep forwarding it, each person will get a couple hundred dollar per forward
and statement about people getting checks for $4,000.00.  I didn't forward it.  I wouldn't take the chance.  That's a lot of money.  Someone wants the temptation to participate to be so strong as to overcome most people's willingness to 'want' their email forwards traced.     

"The true measure of any society is the manner in which it treats the least of us."  

Barb W
From NO KY/Cincinnati area


TRUE DEMOCRACY     SUMMER 2001     Copyright © 2001 by News Sourse, Inc.