There are probably many reasons why the U.S. as well as other countries could go into civil war, the articles mentioned, might be some of these reasons?
States Trying to Blunt Property Ruling
By MAURA KELLY LANNAN
Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP)--Alarmed by the prospect of local governments seizing homes and turning the property over to developers, lawmakers in at least half the states are rushing to blunt last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding the power of eminent domain.
In Texas and California, legislators have proposed constitutional amendments to bar government from taking private property for economic development. Politicians in Alabama, South Dakota and Virginia likewise hope to curtail government's ability to condemn land.
Even in states like Illinois--one of at least eight that already forbid eminent domain for economic development unless the purpose is to eliminate blight--lawmakers are proposing to make it even tougher to use the procedure.
"People I've never heard from before came out of the woodwork and were just so agitated," said Illinois state Sen. Susan Garrett, a Democrat. "People feel that it's a threat to their personal property, and that has hit a chord."
The Institute for Justice, which represented homeowners in the Connecticut case that was decided by the Supreme Court, said at least 25 states are considering changes to eminent domain laws.
The Constitution says governments cannot take private property for public use without "just compensation." Governments have traditionally used their eminent domain authority to build roads, reservoirs and other public projects. But for decades, the court has been expanding the definition of public use, allowing cities to employ eminent domain to eliminate blight.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that New London, Conn., had the authority to take homes for a private development project. But in its ruling, the court noted that states are free to ban that practice--an invitation lawmakers are accepting in response to a flood of e-mails, phone calls and letters from anxious constituents.
"The Supreme Court's decision told homeowners and business owners everywhere that there's now a big `Up for Grabs' sign on their front lawn," said Dana Berliner, an attorney with the Institute for Justice. "Before this, people just didn't realize that they could lose their home or their family's business because some other person would pay more taxes on the same land. People are unbelievably upset."
Don Borut, executive director of the National League of Cities, which backed New London in its appeal to the high court, said government's eminent domain power is important for revitalizing neighborhoods. He said any changes to state law should be done after careful reflection.
"There's a rush to respond to the emotional impact. Our view is, step back, let's look at the issue in the broadest sense and if there are changes that are reflected upon, that's appropriate," he said.
In Alabama, Republican Gov. Bob Riley is drawing up a bill that would prohibit city and county governments from using eminent domain to take property for retail, office or residential development. It would still allow property to be taken for industrial development, such as new factories, and for roads and schools.
In Connecticut, politicians want to slap a moratorium on the use of eminent domain by municipalities until the Legislature can act.
One critic of the ruling has suggested local officials take over Supreme Court Justice David Souter's New Hampshire farmhouse and turn it into a hotel. Souter voted with the majority in the Connecticut case.
Bombs Becoming Biggest Killers in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Bombs like the titanic roadside blast that killed 14 Marines last week are becoming the biggest killers of U.S. troops in Iraq, surpassing bullets, rockets and mortars, as insurgents wage an unconventional war that has boosted the American death toll beyond 1,820.
This isn't a conflict like the World Wars or Vietnam, where waves of enemy ground troops backed by artillery attacked American firebases. Gone too are the intense street battles waged last year in cities like Najaf, Karbala and Fallujah, or in Nasiriyah during the 2003 invasion.
Americans still die in mortar strikes and gunfights, like the six Marine snipers killed Aug. 1 in a rebel ambush. But surprise blasts - when the road erupts without warning or an explosives-packed car disintegrates into a fireball - have become the hallmarks of the Iraq war.
Since the end of May, more than 65 percent of U.S. military deaths in Iraq have resulted from insurgent bombings, compared to nearly 23 percent in conventional combat and 12 percent in accidents, according to figures complied by The Associated Press.
Sunday, Aug. 7
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count [iCasualties]
In Depth Look At The War in Iraq [CNN]
Assistance For Iraq [uSAID]
Getting the Tone Right [The New York Times]
Images of Baghdad: Iraq War Photos [Webshots]
Can We Win in Iraq? [Netscape Community]
Blog: Healing Iraq [Healing Iraq]
In recent weeks, rebel bombs have been responsible for 70 percent to 80 percent of American soldiers killed or wounded, command spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan said this week.
Of the 54 American troops who died in Iraq in July, 42 were killed either by roadside bombs, car bombs or in one case a land mine. So far this month, 29 soldiers and Marines have died - all but nine from bombs.
These figures document an evolution in rebel tactics. Looking back to the start of the U.S.-led war in March 2003, about 32 percent of American military deaths have been from improvised explosions, suicide bombs or other such blasts - compared to about 48 percent in firefights and other combat. Just over 19 percent died in accidents.
The insurgent bomb strategy is frustrating for American troops, who watch their comrades die without being able to retaliate as they've been trained: with punishing return fire.
Instead, the bombs are either piloted to their target by a suicide driver or detonated remotely by an attacker who can disappear into a crowd of civilians.
That's the insurgent strategy, this pervasive insecurity. You can't fight against an unseen enemy,'' said RAND Corp. counterinsurgency expert Bruce Hoffman.
Iraq has turned into a struggle that pits Americans' conventional arms against gritty rebel innovation.
As Americans have added armor, the insurgent bombs - which the U.S. military refers to as Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs - have gotten bigger.
Guerrillas have learned in more than two years of fighting how to make their bombs invisible and far more deadly, while taking fewer casualties themselves.
In the early days of the occupation, American soldiers would find rudimentary bombs hidden in trash bins, buried along the side of roads and hidden in drink cans and even roadkill carcasses.
The U.S. military picked up on these techniques and began cleaning roadsides, chopping down trees and clearing brush. The insurgents responded by burying bombs under gravel or asphalt.
One new bomb design features a steel plate underneath that directs the blast up into a passing vehicle. Another fires a solid steel penetrator that can pierce the armor on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, officers and analysts say.
In January, IEDs destroyed a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and an Abrams tank - two of the most heavily armored vehicles in the U.S. arsenal.
In some cases, the detonations have been so huge that American vehicles are ripped apart as thoroughly as a suicide bomber's car. On Wednesday, a gargantuan blast from a bomb hidden by rebels who tunneled under a road outside Haditha engulfed a 25-ton troop carrier, throwing it 30 feet and killing 14 Marines and their civilian translator.
That bomb was invisible to passing troops. Some who'd heard about the investigation said there weren't even any marks on the road to offer clues that explosives lay under the pavement.
The bomb was probably triggered by a hidden observer, who detonated it under the second-to-last vehicle in the convoy - a packed troop carrier.
I've lost eight buddies in a week,'' Army Spc. WilliamShane'' Parham, a sheriff's deputy from Walton County, Ga., serving in a Baghdad-based unit, told an embedded reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Nobody trained us to get blown up like this.''
Although the number of vehicle and roadside bombings is decreasing, U.S. commanders warn they are rising in explosive power and sophistication - enough for the Pentagon to establish an IED Task Force.
The number of combat deaths blamed on IEDs jumped from about 26 percent in 2004 to 51 percent as of early June 2005, according to a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington
*Note only half the articles are taken out of text, for time travlers, incase these articles should be taken out of circulation: