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Posts tagged ‘For Your Information’

Chemicals in Our Food, and Bodies


Nicholas D. Kristof

Your body is probably home to a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA. It’s a synthetic estrogen that United States factories now use in everything from plastics to epoxies — to the tune of six pounds per American per year. That’s a lot of estrogen.

More than 92 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine, and scientists have linked it — though not conclusively — to everything from breast cancer to obesity, from attention deficit disorder to genital abnormalities in boys and girls alike.

Now it turns out it’s in our food.

Consumer Reports magazine tested an array of brand-name canned foods for a report in its December issue and found BPA in almost all of them. The magazine says that relatively high levels turned up, for example, in Progresso vegetable soup, Campbell’s condensed chicken noodle soup, and Del Monte Blue Lake cut green beans.

The magazine also says it found BPA in the canned liquid version of Similac Advance infant formula (but not in the powdered version) and in canned Nestlé Juicy Juice (but not in the juice boxes). The BPA in the food probably came from an interior coating used in many cans.

Should we be alarmed?

The chemical industry doesn’t think so. Steven Hentges of the American Chemistry Council dismissed the testing, noting that Americans absorb quantities of BPA at levels that government regulators have found to be safe. Mr. Hentges also pointed to a new study indicating that BPA exposure did not cause abnormalities in the reproductive health of rats.

But more than 200 other studies have shown links between low doses of BPA and adverse health effects, according to the Breast Cancer Fund, which is trying to ban the chemical from food and beverage containers.

“The vast majority of independent scientists — those not working for industry — are concerned about early-life low-dose exposures to BPA,” said Janet Gray, a Vassar College professor who is science adviser to the Breast Cancer Fund.

Published journal articles have found that BPA given to pregnant rats or mice can cause malformed genitals in their offspring, as well as reduced sperm count among males. For example, a European journal found that male mice exposed to BPA were less likely to make females pregnant, and the Journal of Occupational Health found that male rats administered BPA had less sperm production and lower testicular weight.

This year, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that pregnant mice exposed to BPA had babies with abnormalities in the cervix, uterus and vagina. Reproductive Toxicology found that even low-level exposure to BPA led to the mouse equivalent of early puberty for females. And an array of animal studies link prenatal BPA exposure to breast cancer and prostate cancer.

While most of the studies are on animals, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported last year that humans with higher levels of BPA in their blood have “an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.” Another published study found that women with higher levels of BPA in their blood had more miscarriages.

Scholars have noted some increasing reports of boys born with malformed genitals, girls who begin puberty at age 6 or 8 or even earlier, breast cancer in women and men alike, and declining sperm counts among men. The Endocrine Society, an association of endocrinologists, warned this year that these kinds of abnormalities may be a consequence of the rise of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and it specifically called on regulators to re-evaluate BPA.

Last year, Canada became the first country to conclude that BPA can be hazardous to humans, and Massachusetts issued a public health advisory in August warning against any exposure to BPA by pregnant or breast-feeding women or by children under the age of 2.

The Food and Drug Administration, which in the past has relied largely on industry studies — and has generally been asleep at the wheel — is studying the issue again. Bills are also pending in Congress to ban BPA from food and beverage containers.

“When you have 92 percent of the American population exposed to a chemical, this is not one where you want to be wrong,” said Dr. Ted Schettler of the Science and Environmental Health Network. “Are we going to quibble over individual rodent studies, or are we going to act?”

While the evidence isn’t conclusive, it justifies precautions. In my family, we’re cutting down on the use of those plastic containers that contain BPA to store or microwave food, and I’m drinking water out of a metal bottle now. In my reporting around the world, I’ve come to terms with the threats from warlords, bandits and tarantulas. But endocrine disrupting chemicals — they give me the willies.

Bisphenol A (BPA)


Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic compound with the chemical formula (CH3)2C(C6H4OH)2. It is a colorless solid that is soluble in organic solvents but poorly soluble in water. Having two phenol functional groups, it is used to make polycarbonate polymers and epoxy resins, along with other materials used to make plastics.

BPA is controversial because it exerts weak but detectable hormone-like properties, raising concerns about its presence in consumer products . Starting in 2008, several governments questioned its safety, prompting some retailers to withdraw polycarbonate products. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised further concerns regarding exposure of fetuses, infants and young children.   In September 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance. In the European Union and Canada, BPA use is banned in baby bottles.

It’s In Your Food Watch Video

WORLD POPULATION CONTROL PROMOTES HOMOSEXUALITY



 

This page is dedicated to showing the “Web of Deceit”, that Government Agencies and World Organizations have weaved, to promote homosexuality in a positive light. But not because they believe that we should all be free to experiment with sexuality, rather, as a way to control the masses and gain population control.  You will read how minerals have been added to our drinking water, food staples and medications to further control and confuse the world public. We will show, 50 years of planning and implementation of programs, to reduce population by whatever means necessary.

In 1970, Frederick Jaffee, a Planned Parenthood vice president, offered the following proposal in order to provide the U.S. with specific ways to reduce its population growth rate: “encourage increased homosexuality…compulsory abortion for out-of-wedlock pregnancies…compulsory sterilization of all who have two children except for a few who would be allowed three…childbearing confined to only a limited number of adults…payments to encourage abortions.”

In the UNESCO Courier of November 1991, Jacques Cousteau wrote, The damage people cause to the planet is a function of demographics-it is equal to the degree of development. One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes… This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.

In The Impact of Science on Society, Bertrand Russell said, “At present the population of the world is increasing…War so far has had no great effect on this increase… I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others…If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full…the state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of it? Really high-minded people are indifferent to suffering, especially that of others

As the French historian of AIDS, Professor Mirko Grmek, has argued powerfully, there is a close link between the appearance and fast spread of AIDS and the recent increase in the practice and social acceptance of homosexuality (and bisexuality). As he wrote: ‘The American homosexuals produced the conditions which, by going beyond the critical threshold, rendered the epidemic possible. They created a kind of “culture medium” which allowed the virulent strains of the HIV virus to develop.’ They have paid dearly for this. Out of a total of 386,000 adolescent/adult deaths in the US in 1997, probably more than 250,000 were gay deaths. The use of multitherapy has reduced the death-rate now, but new infections continue unabated at around 40,000 a year


In 1948, the US State Department Planning Chief, George Kennan said the following:

‘Our country has about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population… In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task… is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position if disparity… To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming… We [cannot] afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction… We… have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.’

Frank Notestein, an American demographer, had stated earlier:

‘Other regions [with available resources] may emerge with sufficient political unity and industrial strength to give their growing numbers power… By launching a program of modernisation, the now dominant powers would create a future world in which their own people would possess a progressively smaller proportion of the world’s wealth and power. The determination of national policy toward the underdeveloped regions must be made in the light of this fact… [Hence education should] involve propaganda in favour of controlled fertility…’

And still earlier, Bertrand Russell had stated:

‘It cannot be expected that the most powerful military nations will sit still while other nations reverse the balance of power by the mere process of breeding.’

These quotations make crystal clear what has been happening since the end of World war II. It is what Professor Jacqueline Kasun has called The War on Population. It is a global war which has been raging – quietly – for half a century.

The war reveals great fear on one side: that of losing a privileged position in life and having to share the Earth’s resources and riches equitably among all peoples. It is a war against the poor everywhere, though pretending to be a war against poverty and malnutrition and deprivation, etc.

The war is directed by two major agencies: the Population Council of the United Nations and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), which executes the Council’s policies worldwide through national Family Planning Associations. Backed by huge funding, especially by Western Governments, these two agencies really got to work in the sixties to impose population control worldwide as fast as possible. In their dealings with the Third World they have unleashed a deadly neo-colonialism (masquerading as relief).

To see how they have operated let us compare two documents setting out their programmes. One was produced by a Frederick S Jaffe, vice president of the American Family Planning Association, in early 1965, setting out 28 proposals for reducing US fertility. The other is a set of 29 proposals made by the President of Population Control, Dr Bernard Berelson, to an IPPF conference in Dacca (today the capital of Bangladesh) in January/February of the same year. His paper was entitled ‘Beyond Family Planning’ – by which he meant going beyond provision of mere contraception for the Third World.

So we set Jaffe alongside Berelson thus:

Jaffe, proposal 5: fertility control-agents to be added to water supplies

Berelson, proposal B1: mass use of fertility control agents… in water supplies in urban areas or staple food

Jaffe, proposal 6: women to be encouraged to go out to work

Berelson, proposal F2: women to be encouraged or required to join the labour force … as an alternative or supplementary to marriage

Jaffe, proposal 6: married people to be taxed more heavily than single

Berelson, proposal G5: tax policies to be reversed, favouring the unmarried and parents with small families

Jaffe, proposal 7d: tax relief for parents to be discontinued

Berelson, proposal E3: punitive taxes after the Nth child to be imposed

Jaffe, proposal 16: compulsory abortion for unmarried women

Berelson, proposal B4: compulsory abortion of all illegitimate pregnancies

Jaffe, proposal 18: childbearing to be allowed to only a limited number of adults

Berelson, proposal F4: ‘two types of marriage, one of them childless and easily dissolved, the other licensed for children and designed to be stable,’ to be promoted

Jaffe, proposal 19: permits (certificates) to be issued allowing children

Berelson, proposal B2: ‘marketable licenses to have children’ for women and perhaps men, each maybe worth a ‘decichild’, i.e. accumulating ten ‘by purchase, inheritance or gift’ would permit a woman in maturity to have one legal child

Jaffe, proposals 21-2: people to be paid to be sterilised and use contraceptives

Berelson, proposal D1: payment or equivalent (e.g., gift of transistor radio) for contraception or sterilisation

Jaffe, proposal 24: abortion and sterilisation on demand

Berelson, proposal A2: readily available abortion

Jaffe, proposal 26: contraceptive technology to be improved

Berelson, proposal H3: increased research to improve contraceptive technology

All these proposals set out so brazenly in 1969 have come to fruition. One form of contraceptive has followed another: many kinds of pills, IUDs, implants, RU486, anti-pregnancy vaccine (still at an experimental stage). Abortion has been legalised in most countries. Millions of men and many more women have been sterilised. In China the one-child policy is accompanied by forcible abortion and sterilisation. Disobedience can result in punitive taxation or having your house burnt down.

The IPPF and its branches, national Family Planning Associations, have brought about enormous changes during the last 30 years. They have been integrated into Health Services and dominate sex ‘education’ in schools. They generate intense propaganda in favour of ‘love without children’ and ridicule all who do not align themselves with their ideology.

Two Specific Measures

Two proposals from the Jaffe/Berelson catalogue deserve special mention.

Berelson, proposal G1: the US should insist on ‘population control as the price of food aid,’ using all necessary diplomatic and economic pressures on governments and religious groups impeding the ‘solution’ of the population problem. We know that the policy has been implemented. We know that the Catholic Church is the only international body to have refused to yield.

Far more important is Jaffe proposal 3: encourage homosexuality.

We know what happened. The ‘homosexual liberation movement’ was born a few months later, in June 1969, after a riot at the Stonewall Inn, a bar patronised by homosexuals in Greenwich Village, New York. Almost ten years later the American homosexual movement was such that the 1978 Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco was attended by some 375,000 participants

Three years later, in June 1981, the first scientific article appeared describing several cases of a rare form of pneumonia. This was the first sign of the terrible disease which would soon be called AIDS.

As the French historian of AIDS, Professor Mirko Grmek, has argued powerfully, there is a close link between the appearance and fast spread of AIDS and the recent increase in the practice and social acceptance of homosexuality (and bisexuality). As he wrote: ‘The American homosexuals produced the conditions which, by going beyond the critical threshold, rendered the epidemic possible. They created a kind of “culture medium” which allowed the virulent strains of the HIV virus to develop.’ They have paid dearly for this. Out of a total of 386,000 adolescent/adult deaths in the US in 1997, probably more than 250,000 were gay deaths. The use of multitherapy has reduced the death-rate now, but new infections continue unabated at around 40,000 a year

And unfortunately the epidemic is eating away many societies in the Third World where therapy is totally beyond the reach of people. Where will we end.

In 1991, the United Nations issued a document for the International Conference on Population and Development to be held in Cairo. The major thrust of the section on “Gender Equality, and Empowerment of Women” is to level the natural complementarity between man and woman in marriage, and replace it by government schemes that make men and marriage largely unnecessary. Dr. Allan C. Carlson translates this into a more honest image: “the state seeks to construct a ‘mother-child-state’ family system to replace the natural family, forming a kind of government harem, achieved through the massive subsidy of non-marital childbearing and the heavy taxation of families based on marriage.”

In 1992, former World Bank President Robert S. McNamara said that the world population was growing out of control. He stated that we “may well destroy the world environment, undoing decades of economic and social progress.” McNamara proposed that the World Bank finance contraceptives for every country and that governments make sure people use them. He proposed that the UN Population Fund monitor each country to make sure that people aren’t having more children than they are permitted under the plan. The “proposal” became reality in 1996 when President Clinton signed Executive Order #12852 to create the Council on Sustainable Development. This council is to advance an aggressive “family planning” agenda to reduce the world’s population (this always includes abortion-on-demand), monitor population growth, and call for “tolerance” and “diversity” (code words ‘in the past for promotion of homosexuality).


Please note which United States President signed this Statement on Population!

From the World Population Council

Statement on Population from World Leaders

The peace of the world is of paramount importance to the community of nations, and our governments are devoting their best efforts to improving the prospects for peace in this and succeeding generations. But another great problem threatens the world—a problem less visible but no less immediate. That is the problem of unplanned population growth.

It took mankind all of recorded time until the middle of the last century to achieve a population of one billion. Yet it took less than a hundred years to add the second billion, and only thirty years to add the third. At today’s rate of increase, there will be four billion people by 1975 and nearly seven billion by the year 2000. This unprecedented increase presents us with a situation unique in human affairs and a problem that grows more urgent with each passing day.

The numbers themselves are striking, but their implications are of far greater significance. Too rapid population growth seriously hampers efforts to raise living standards, to further education, to improve health and sanitation, to provide better housing and transportation, to forward cultural and recreational opportunities—and even in some countries to assure sufficient food. In short, the human aspiration, common to men everywhere, to live a better life is being frustrated and jeopardized.

As heads of governments actively concerned with the population problem, we share these convictions: 

We believe that the population problem must be recognized as a principal element in long-range national planning if governments are to achieve their economic goals and fulfill the aspirations of their people. 

We believe that the great majority of parents desire to have the knowledge and the means to plan their families; that the opportunity to decide the number and spacing of children is a basic human right. 

We believe that lasting and meaningful peace will depend to a considerable measure upon how the challenges of population growth is met. 

We believe that the objective of family planning is the enrichment of human life, not its restriction; that family planning, by assuring greater opportunity to each person, frees man to attain his individual dignity and reach his full potential. 

Recognizing that family planning is in the vital interests of both the nation and the family, we, the undersigned, earnestly hope that leaders around the world will share our views and join with us in this great challenge for the well being and happiness of people everywhere.

HAROLD HOLT
Prime Minister of Australia

LT. GE. J.A. ANKRAH
Chairman of the National Liberation Council of Ghana

ERROL W. BARROW
Prime Minister of Barbados

MME. INDIRA GANDHI
Prime Minister of India

DR. CARLOS LLERAS RESTREPO
President of Colombia

GENERAL SUHARTO
Acting President of Indonesia

JENS OTTO KRAG
Prime Minister of Denmark

SHAH MOHAMMAD REZA PAHLAVI
Emperor of Iran

DR. JOAQUIN BALAGUER
President of Dominican Republic

EISAKO SATO
Prime Minister of Japan

DR. D. URHO KEKKONEN
President of Finland

HIS MAJESTY HUSSEIN
King of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

GENERAL CHUNG HEE PARK
President of Republic of Korea

LEE KWAN YEW
Prime Minister of Singapore

TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN
Prime Minister of Malaysia

TAGE ERLANDER
Prime Minister of Sweden

HIS MAJESTY HASSAN II
King of Morocco

THANOM KITTIKACHORN
Prime Minister of Thailand

HIS MAJESTY MAHENDRA
King of Nepal

ERIC WILLIAMS
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

DR. J. ZULSTRA
Prime Minister of The Netherlands

HABIB BOURGIBA
President of Tunisia

KEITH HOLYOAKE
Prime Minister of New Zealand

GAMEL ABDEL NASSER
President of UAR

PER BORTEN
Prime Minister of Norway

HAROLD WILSON
Prime Minister of United Kingdom

FIELD MARSHAL MOHAMMED AYUB KHAN
President of Pakistan

LYNDON B. JOHNSON
President of United States of America

FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of Republic of the Philippines

MARSHAL JOSIP BROZ-TITO
President of Yugoslavia

WHAT!!!? Are you Serious? Suspend the U.S. Constitution?


To do this would invalidate the position of the U.S. President, Nullify the Congress and unjustify the Justice Department.  Everything contained in the U.S. Constitution will no longer be valid or enforceable, including and not limited to federal laws.  Even if the constitution is suspended, it has no bearing on the individual states’ constitutions. 

Without the Constitution, the Presidency would be a dictatorship.  Why would any President want to be dictator?   The U.S. Citizens would not stand for it.   We know how to handle dictators, we’ve done it in the past without remorse. 

There are those who are bound by the constitution,  heaven help those who would unbound them and think that it would be “a good thing”.

Sunday Morning Cat Fights


These regularly staged Sunday morning events are designed for nothing more than sponsor based entertainment.  No need in naming these shows, you know their names.  They solve nothing, accomplish nothing and more often than not, veers off topic.   

Yes, It’s like watching a cat fight.  You watch with anticipation, taking in every detail. Waiting for a point when one side win or lose.  When its over, you can spew out all the details, talking points, one liners, hits and misses.  All the while, not realizing that there was no resolve, settlement or even a consensus. 

I find it peculiar that we only have two sides “democrats and republican”.  These two can not come to a decision.  It is as though they stage every move so as to keep us talking about the gaffs, talking points, hits and misses and not the issues.  

How can two sides be so diametrically opposed and be about making the country better?   How can  one side be so opposed to everything the other side is proposing.  It has to be a staged cat fight.  Now, if you saw two people fighting (for this example, let’s say women), over a garment in a clothing store.  You would automatically assume that it was spontaneous.   However,  Monday morning you read in the newspaper that the store had been robbed, you would then realize that the cat fight was staged, to distract you from what was really going on.   

Any one living in a home and making ends meet, make decision every day, week and month that enables them to stay in that home.   You would think that they would be more qualified to run the country than the politicians.  Instead of debating each other, a legitimate politician, a politician who is working for the people will talk to the people and get advice from the people.   The Politicians need to “ask somebody.”  

Each cat fight has a democrat and a republican.  There is no Libertarian or Independent.   If the fight is staged and always between the same two parties, the issues need not be resolved and they will never be resolved.  There should be the  three (3) element rule, not the two element rule.   There is the right, left and an illusional, middle.   The middle in politics is not a party, only an idealistic position often taken when some weak politicians, either don’t understand the issue or want to get re-elected.  

There need to be a recall election for any politician that Lie, misrepresent or do not uphold the oath of their office.  They need to be held accountable.  They need to be held to a higher standard.  

The two party system fuels the staged cat fights that we patiently watch every Sunday morning.

On Opposing The U.S.A Patriot Act


Editor’s note: In an address given October 12, 2001, to the Associated Press Managing Editors Conference at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sen. Feingold (D-Wis) explained why he, alone among United States Senators, voted against the Administration-sponsored “U.S.A. Patriot” Act. The text below followed his introductory remarks.

[T]his conference comes at a tragic time for our country. Let us first pause to remember, through one small story, how September 11th has irrevocably changed so many lives. In a letter to The Washington Post last Saturday, a man wrote that as he went jogging near the Pentagon, he came across the makeshift memorial built for those who lost their lives there. He slowed to a walk as he took in the sight before him – the red, white and blue flowers covering the structure, and then, off to the side, a second, smaller memorial with a card.

The card read, “ Happy Birthday Mommy. Although you died and are no longer with me, I feel as if I still have you in my life. I think about you every day.”

After reading the card, the man felt as if he were “drowning in the names of dead mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.” The author of this letter shared a moment in his own life that so many of us have had – the moment where televised pictures of the destruction are made painfully real to us. We read a card, or see the anguished face of a grieving loved one, and we suddenly feel the enormity of what has happened to so many American families, and to all of us as a people.

We all also had our own initial reactions, and my first and most powerful emotion was a solemn resolve to stop these terrorists. And that remains my principal reaction to these events. But I also quickly realized that two cautions were necessary and I raised them on the Senate floor within one day of the attacks.

The first caution was that we must continue to respect our Constitution and protect our civil liberties in the wake of the attacks. As the chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, I recognize this is a different world with different technologies, different issues, and different threats. Yet we must examine every item that is proposed in response to these events to be sure we are not rewarding these terrorists and weakening ourselves by giving up the cherished freedoms that they seek to destroy.

The second caution I issued was a warning against the mistreatment of Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, South Asians, or others in this country. Already, one day after the attacks, we were hearing news reports that misguided anger against people of these backgrounds had led to harassment, violence, and even death.

I suppose I was reacting instinctively to the unfolding events in the spirit of the Irish statesman John Philpot Curran, who said: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”

During those first few hours after the attacks, I kept remembering a sentence from a case I had studied in law school. Not surprisingly, I didn’t remember which case it was, who wrote the opinion, or what it was about, but I did remember these words: “While the Constitution protects against invasions of individual rights, it is not a suicide pact.” I took these words as a challenge to my concerns about civil liberties at such a momentous time in our history; that we must be careful to not take civil liberties so literally that we allow ourselves to be destroyed.

But upon reviewing the case itself, Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, I found that Justice Arthur Goldberg had made this statement but then ruled in favor of the civil liberties position in the case, which was about draft evasion. He elaborated:

“It is fundamental that the great powers of Congress to conduct war and to regulate the Nation’s foreign relations are subject to the constitutional requirements of due process. The imperative necessity for safeguarding these rights to procedural due process under the gravest of emergencies has existed throughout our constitutional history, for it is then, under the pressing exigencies of crisis, that there is the greatest temptation to dispense with fundamental constitutional guarantees which, it is feared, will inhibit governmental action. “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances…. In no other way can we transmit to posterity unimpaired the blessings of liberty, consecrated by the sacrifices of the Revolution.”

I have approached the events of the past month and my role in proposing and reviewing legislation relating to it in this spirit.

And so we must redouble our vigilance. We must redouble our vigilance to ensure our security and to prevent further acts of terror. But we must also redouble our vigilance to preserve our values and the basic rights that make us who we are.

The Founders who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights exercised that vigilance even though they had recently fought and won the Revolutionary War. They did not live in comfortable and easy times of hypothetical enemies. They wrote a Constitution of limited powers and an explicit Bill of Rights to protect liberty in times of war, as well as in times of peace.

There have been periods in our nation’s history when civil liberties have taken a back seat to what appeared at the time to be the legitimate exigencies of war. Our national consciousness still bears the stain and the scars of those events: The Alien and Sedition Acts, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-Americans, German-Americans, and Italian-Americans during World War II, the blacklisting of supposed communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era, and the surveillance and harassment of antiwar protesters, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the Vietnam War. We must not allow these pieces of our past to become prologue.

As this morning’s panel has discussed, even in our great land, wartime has sometimes brought us the greatest tests of our Bill of Rights.

For example, during the Civil War, the government arrested some 13,000 civilians, implementing a system akin to martial law. President Lincoln issued a proclamation ordering the arrest and military trial of any persons “discouraging volunteer enlistments, [or] resisting militia drafts.” Wisconsin provided one of the first challenges of this order. Draft protests rose up in Milwaukee and Sheboygan. And an anti-draft riot broke out among Germans and Luxembourgers in Port Washington. When the government arrested one of the leaders of the riot, his attorney sought a writ of habeas corpus. His military captors said that the President had abolished the writ. The Wisconsin Supreme Court was among the first to rule that the President had exceeded his authority.

In 1917, the Postmaster General revoked the mailing privileges of the newspaper the Milwaukee Leader because he felt that some of its articles impeded the war effort and the draft. Articles called the President an aristocrat and called the draft oppressive. Over dissents by Justices Brandeis and Holmes, the Supreme Court upheld the action.

During World War II, President Roosevelt signed orders to incarcerate more than 110,000 people of Japanese origin, as well as some roughly 11,000 of German origin and 3,000 of Italian origin.

Earlier this year, I introduced legislation to set up a commission to review the wartime treatment of Germans, Italians, and other Europeans during that period. That bill came out of heartfelt meetings in which constituents told me their stories. They were German-Americans, who came to me with some trepidation. They had waited fifty years to raise the issue with a member of Congress. They did not want compensation. They came to me with some uneasiness. But they had seen the government’s commission on the wartime internment of people of Japanese origin, and they wanted their story to be told, and an official acknowledgment as well.

Now some may say, indeed we may hope, that we have come a long way since the those days of infringements on civil liberties. But there is ample reason for concern. I have been troubled in the past month by the potential loss of commitment to traditional civil liberties.

As it seeks to combat terrorism, the Justice Department is making extraordinary use of its power to arrest and detain individuals, jailing hundreds of people on immigration violations and arresting more than a dozen “material witnesses” not charged with any crime. Although the government has used these authorities before, it has not done so on such a broad scale. Judging from government announcements, the government has not brought any criminal charges related to the attacks with regard to the overwhelming majority of these detainees.

For example, the FBI arrested as a material witness the San Antonio radiologist Albader Al-Hazmi, who has a name like two of the hijackers, and who tried to book a flight to San Diego for a medical conference. According to his lawyer, the government held Al-Hazmi incommunicado after his arrest, and it took six days for lawyers to get access to him. After the FBI released him, his lawyer said, “This is a good lesson about how frail our processes are. It’s how we treat people in difficult times like these that is the true test of the democracy and civil liberties that we brag so much about throughout the world.”

Now, it so happens that since early 1999, I have been working on another bill that is poignantly relevant to recent events: legislation to prohibit racial profiling, especially the practice of targeting pedestrians or drivers for stops and searches based on the color of their skin. Before September 11th, people spoke of the issue mostly in the context of African-Americans and Latino-Americans who had been profiled. But after September 11, the issue has taken on a new context and a new urgency.

Even as America addresses the demanding security challenges before us, we must strive mightily also to guard our values and basic rights. We must guard against racism and ethnic discrimination against people of Arab and South Asian origin and those who are Muslim.

We who don’t have Arabic names or don’t wear turbans or headscarves may not feel the weight of these times as much as Americans from the Middle East and South Asia do. But as the great jurist Learned Hand said in a speech in New York’s Central Park during World War II: “[T]he spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias . . . .”

Was it not at least partially bias, however, when passengers on a Northwest Airlines flight in Minneapolis three weeks ago insisted that Northwest remove from the plane three Arab men who had cleared security?

Of course, given the enormous anxiety and fears generated by the events of September 11th, it would not have been difficult to anticipate some of these reactions, both by our government and some of our people. And, of course, there is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists.

But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live. That would not be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that would not be America.

Preserving our freedom is the reason that we are now engaged in this new war on terrorism. We will lose that war without firing a shot if we sacrifice the liberties of the American people.

That is why I found the antiterrorism bill originally proposed by Attorney General Ashcroft and President Bush to be troubling.

The proposed bill contained vast new powers for law enforcement, some seemingly drafted in haste and others that came from the FBI’s wish list that Congress has rejected in the past. You may remember that the Attorney General announced his intention to introduce a bill shortly after the September 11 attacks. He provided the text of the bill the following Wednesday, and urged Congress to enact it by the end of the week. That was plainly impossible, but the pressure to move on this bill quickly, without deliberation and debate, has been relentless ever since.

It is one thing to shortcut the legislative process in order to get federal financial aid to the cities hit by terrorism. We did that, and no one complained that we moved too quickly. It is quite another to press for the enactment of sweeping new powers for law enforcement that directly affect the civil liberties of the American people without due deliberation by the peoples’ elected representatives.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed at least to some extent, and while this bill has been on a fast track, there has been time to make some changes and reach agreement on a bill that is less objectionable than the bill that the Administration originally proposed.

As I will discuss in a moment, I concluded that the Senate bill still does not strike the right balance between empowering law enforcement and protecting civil liberties. But that does not mean that I oppose everything in the bill. Indeed many of its provisions are entirely reasonable, and I hope they will help law enforcement more effectively counter the threat of terrorism.

For example, it is entirely appropriate that with a warrant the FBI be able to seize voice mail messages as well as tap a phone. It is also reasonable, even necessary, to update the federal criminal offense relating to possession and use of biological weapons. It made sense to make sure that phone conversations carried over cables would not have more protection from surveillance than conversations carried over phone lines. And it made sense to stiffen penalties and lengthen or eliminate statutes of limitation for certain terrorist crimes.

There are other non-controversial provisions in the bill which I support – those to assist the victims of crime, to streamline the application process for public safety officers benefits and increase those benefits, to provide more funds to strengthen immigration controls at our Northern borders, expedite the hiring of translators at the FBI, and many others.

In the end, however, my focus on this bill, as Chair of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, was on those provisions that implicate our constitutional freedoms. And it was in reviewing those provisions that I came to feel that the Administration’s demand for haste was inappropriate; indeed, it was dangerous. Our process in the Senate, as truncated as it was, did lead to the elimination or significant rewriting of a number of audacious proposals that I and many other members found objectionable.

For example, the original Administration proposal that was dropped contained a provision that would have allowed the use in U.S. criminal proceedings against U.S. citizens of information obtained by foreign law enforcement agencies in wiretaps that would be illegal in this country. In other words, evidence obtained in an unconstitutional search overseas was to be allowed in a U.S. court.

Another provision would have broadened the criminal forfeiture laws to permit – prior to conviction – the freezing of assets entirely unrelated to an alleged crime. The Justice Department has wanted this authority for years, and Congress has never been willing to give it. For one thing, it touches on the right to counsel, since assets that are frozen cannot be used to pay a lawyer. The courts have almost uniformly rejected efforts to restrain assets before conviction unless they are assets gained in the alleged criminal enterprise. This proposal, in my view, was simply an effort on the part of the Department to take advantage of the emergency situation and get something that they’ve wanted to get for a long time.

The foreign wiretap and criminal forfeiture provisions were dropped from the bill that we considered in the Senate. Other provisions were rewritten based on objections that I and others raised about them. For example, the original bill contained sweeping permission for the Attorney General to get copies of educational records without a court order. The final bill in the Senate requires a court order and the certification by the Attorney General that he has reason to believe that the records contain information that is relevant to an investigation of terrorism.

Another provision increased penalties for conspiracy to the level of the penalties for the underlying crime. I was concerned that this might bring the federal death penalty into play for conspiracy. The provision was modified to make life in prison the maximum penalty for conspiracy.

And the definition of “federal terrorism offense,” originally a laundry list of federal crimes that in some instances might, but in most instances would not, relate to terrorism was significantly narrowed.

So the bill the Senate passed last night was certainly improved from the bill that the Administration sent to us on September 19, and wanted us to pass on September 21. But again, in my judgement, it did not strike the right balance between empowering law enforcement and protecting constitutional freedoms. Let me take a moment to discuss some of the shortcomings of the bill that we passed in the Senate very late Thursday night, by a vote of 96-1. And I guess you know by now who the “one” was.

First, the bill contains some very significant changes in criminal procedure that will apply to every federal criminal investigation in this country, not just those involving terrorism. One provision would greatly expand the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies can search homes and offices without notifying the owner prior to the search. The longstanding practice under the Fourth Amendment of serving a warrant prior to executing a search could be easily avoided in virtually every case because the government would simply have to show that it has “reasonable cause to believe” that providing notice “may” “seriously jeopardize an investigation.” This is a significant infringement on personal liberty.

Notice is a key element of Fourth Amendment protections. It allows a person to point out mistakes in a warrant and make sure that a search is limited to the terms of a warrant. Just think about the possibility of the police showing up at your door with a warrant to search your house. You look at the warrant and say, “yes, that’s my address, but the name on the warrant isn’t me.” And the police realize a mistake has been made an go away. If you’re not home, and the police have received permission to do a “sneak and peak” search, they can come in your house, look around, and leave, and may never have to tell you.

Another very troubling provision has to do with the effort to combat computer crime. The bill allows law enforcement to monitor a computer with the permission of its owner or operator, without the need to get a warrant or show probable cause. That’s fine in the case of a so called “denial of service attack” or plain old computer hacking. A computer owner should be able to give the police permission to monitor communications coming from what amounts to a trespasser on the computer.

As drafted in the Senate bill, however, the provision might permit an employer to give permission to the police to monitor the emails of an employee who has used her computer at work to shop for Christmas gifts. Or someone who uses a computer at a library or at school and happens to go to a gambling or pornography site in violation of the Internet use policies of the library or the university might also be subjected to government surveillance – without probable cause and without any time limit.

I am also very troubled by the broad expansion of government power under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. When Congress passedFISA in 1978 it granted to the executive branch the power to conduct surveillance in foreign intelligence investigations without meeting the rigorous probable cause standard under the Fourth Amendment that is required for criminal investigations. There is a lower threshold for obtaining a wiretap order from the FISA court because the FBI is not investigating a crime, it is investigating foreign intelligence activities. The law currently requires that intelligence gathering be the primary purpose of the investigation in order for this lower standard to apply.

The bill that passed the Senate last night changes that requirement. If it becomes law, and there is every reason to believe with a Senate vote of 96-1 that it will, the government will only have to show that intelligence is a “significant purpose” of the investigation. Even if the primary purpose is a criminal investigation, the heightened protections of the Fourth Amendment won’t apply.

It seems obvious that with this lower standard, the FBI will try to use FISA as much as it can. And of course, with terrorism investigations that won’t be difficult because the terrorists are apparently sponsored or at least supported by foreign governments.

But the significance of the breakdown of the distinction between intelligence and criminal investigations becomes apparent when you see the other expansions of government power under FISA in this bill. One provision that troubles me a great deal is a provision that permits the government under FISA to compel the production of records from any business regarding any person if that information is sought in connection with an investigation of terrorism or espionage.

Now we’re not talking here about travel records pertaining to a terrorist suspect, which we all can see can be highly relevant to an investigation of a terrorist plot.FISA already gives the FBI the power to get airline, train, hotel, car rental and other records of a suspect.

But under the Senate bill, the government can compel the disclosure of anyone – perhaps someone who worked with, or lived next door to, or went to school with, or sat on an airplane with, or has been seen in the company of, or whose phone number was called by the target of the investigation.

And under this new provisions all business records can be compelled, including those containing sensitive personal information like medical records from hospitals or doctors, or educational records, or records of what books someone has taken out of the library. This is an enormous expansion of authority, under a law that provides only minimal judicial supervision.

Under this provision, the government can apparently go on a fishing expedition and collect information on virtually anyone. All it has to allege in order to get an order for these records from the court is that the information is sought for an investigation of international terrorism or clandestine intelligence gathering. That’s it. On that minimal showing in an ex parte application to a secret court, with no showing even that the information is relevant to the investigation, the government can lawfully compel a doctor or hospital to release medical records, or a library to release circulation records. This is a truly breathtaking expansion of police power.

As some of you know, I raised a few of these issues during our debate on the bill on Thursday night. I had to wage war with my own leadership over the previous two days to get that opportunity. The leadership of both parties wanted to take this bill, which was never considered or voted on in the Judiciary Committee, and ram it through the U.S. Senate without a single amendment being offered.

In the end, the high water mark for my three amendments was 13 votes – that was on the amendment to the computer trespass provision. Prior to that vote the majority leader of the Senate stood up and implored the Senate to vote down all of my amendments, not on their merits, but because a deal had been struck on this bill.

This was not, in my view, the finest hour for the United States Senate. The debate on a bill that may have the most far reaching consequences on the civil liberties of the American people in a generation was a non-debate. The merits took a back seat to the deal.

Let me turn to a final area of real concern about this legislation because I think it brings us full circle to the cautions I expressed on the day after the attacks. There are two very troubling provisions dealing with our immigration laws in this bill.

First, the Administration’s original proposal would have granted the Attorney General extraordinary powers to detain immigrants indefinitely, including legal permanent residents. The Attorney General could do so based on mere suspicion that the person is engaged in terrorism. I believe the Administration was really over-reaching here, and I am pleased that Senator Leahy was able to negotiate some protections. The Senate bill now requires the Attorney General to charge the immigrant within seven days with a criminal offense or immigration violation. In the event that the Attorney General does not charge the immigrant, the immigrant must be released.

While this protection is an improvement, the provision remains fundamentally flawed. The Senate bill, even with this seven-day charging requirement, would nevertheless continue to permit the indefinite detention in two situations. First, immigrants who win their deportation cases could continue to be held if the Attorney General continues to have suspicions. Second, this provision creates a deep unfairness to immigrants who are found not to be deportable for terrorism but have an immigration status violation, such as overstaying a visa. If the immigration judge finds that they are eligible for relief from deportation, and therefore can stay in the country because, for example, they have longstanding family ties here, the Attorney General could continue to hold them indefinitely.

The second provision in the bill that deeply troubles me allows the detention and deportation of people engaging in innocent associational activity. But the Senate bill would allow for the detention and deportation of individuals who provide lawful assistance to groups that are not even designated by the Secretary of State as terrorist organizations, but instead have engaged in vaguely defined “terrorist activity” sometime in the past. To avoid deportation, the immigrant is required to prove a negative: that he or she did not know, and should not have known, that the assistance would further terrorist activity.

This language creates a very real risk that truly innocent individuals could be deported for innocent associations with humanitarian or political groups that the government later chooses to regard as terrorist organizations. Groups that might fit this definition could include Operation Rescue, Greenpeace, and even the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. This provision amounts to “guilt by association,” which I believe violates the First Amendment.

And speaking of the First Amendment, under this bill, a lawful permanent resident who makes a controversial speech that the government deems to be supportive of terrorism might be barred from returning to his or her family after taking a trip abroad.

Now here’s where my cautions in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and my concern over the reach of the anti-terrorism bill come together. To the extent that the expansive new immigration powers that the bill grants to the Attorney General are subject to abuse, who do we think is most likely to bear the brunt of that abuse? It won’t be immigrants from Ireland, it won’t be immigrants from El Salvador or Nicaragua, it won’t even be immigrants from Haiti or Africa. It will be immigrants from Arab, Muslim, and South Asian countries. In the wake of these terrible events, our government has been given vast new powers and they may fall most heavily on a minority of our population who already feel particularly acutely the pain of this disaster.

The anti-terrorism bill that we considered in the Senate this week highlights the march of technology, and how that march cuts both for and against personal liberty. Justice Brandeis foresaw some of the future in a 1928 dissent, when he wrote:

“The progress of science in furnishing the Government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wire-tapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the Government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. . . . Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?”

We must grant law enforcement the tools that it needs to stop this terrible threat. But we must give them only those extraordinary tools that they need and that relate specifically to the task at hand.

In the play, “A Man for All Seasons,” Sir Thomas More questions the bounder Roper whether he would level the forest of English laws to punish the Devil. “What would you do?” More asks, “Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?” Roper affirms, “I’d cut down every law in England to do that.” To which More replies:

“And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast . . . and if you cut them down . . . d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake. ”

We must maintain our vigilance to preserve our laws and our basic rights.

You and I have a duty to analyze, to test, to weigh new laws that the zealous and often sincere advocates of security would suggest to us. This is what I have tried to do with the so-called anti-terrorism bill.

Protecting the safety of the American people is a solemn duty of the Congress; we must work tirelessly to prevent more tragedies like the devastating attacks of September 11th. We must prevent more children from losing their mothers, more wives from losing their husbands, and more firefighters from losing their brave and heroic colleagues. But the Congress will fulfill its duty only when it protects both the American people and the freedoms at the foundation of American society. So let us preserve our heritage of basic rights. Let us practice that liberty. And let us fight to maintain that freedom that we call America.

Source: http://www.archipelago.org/vol6-2/feingold.htm

Events In African American History For November 04


 

1. In 1872, P. B. S. Pinchback is elected to the United States Congress from Louisiana. He was one of the most colorful of the blacks who took seats in Congress after the Civil War. His full name was Pinckey Benton Stewart Pinchback.

2. In 1872,  Blacks actually take political power in Louisiana. C. C. Antoine is elected lieutenant governor; P. G. Deslonde becomes secretary of state; and W. B. Brown becomes superintendent of public education. Virtually all black political gains would be taken away as the Reconstruction period gave way to the Jim Crow period.

3. In 1874, The Democratic Party sweeps the off-year elections. At this stage in history the Democrats are largely an anti-black political party. Their taking control of the House of Representatives helps pave the way for the end of Reconstruction

4. In 1879,  T. Elkins received Patent for Refrigerating Apparatus.

5. In 1922,  The entrance to King Tut’s tomb is discovered in Egypt. Controversy reigns to this day as to “King Tut’s color. Many black authorities claim white historians and museums continue a historic practice of using representations of Tut that lighten his skin and modify his African features.

6. In 1967, Soul Man By Sam and Dave Hit #2

7. In 2008,   Barack Obama Elected President Of  The United States Of America. On Election Night

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