Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cast of Characters in Schiavo Case



http://www.terrisfight.org/

Cast of Characters in the Schiavo Case


Follow the trail of money...

(Note: Compiled with help from Myopic Zeal blog. (http://myopiczeal.blogsome.com/2005/03/25/cast-of-characters-in-the-schiavo-case/)

Disclaimer: This compilation is not intended to imply anything. It is an effort to compile a cast of characters as might be related to the Terri Schiavo case and their relationships as well as events possibly related to the cast. While deemed to be reliable to the best of our knowledge, as with any legal proceeding all information below should be double checked and verified.

* Michael Schiavo:

Husband of Terri Schiavo and a Florida registered respiratory therapist and registerd nurse (RN license RN9164785) He was issued his nursing license January 18th, 2000 and its expiration is April 30, 2005 (link via Daily Inklings ).

Living with another woman (Jodi Centonze) who is not his wife and has two children by this woman.

Hired by Sheriff Everett Rice to work in the Inmates Medical Care Division of the Pinellas County Jail around October 11th, 2004 . Pinellas County Jail - 14400 49th St., Clearwater, FL 33762 Tel: (727) 464-6415.

Listed as a director, Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc., 2002; an inactive corp. (2807 Marrie Ct., Clearwater, FL).



* Jodi Centonze:

Girlfriend (sometimes called fiancee) of Michael Schiavo and mother of his two children.

Owns the address which is registered as the address of Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc.

Mother is Eleanor Centonze



* Eleanor Centonze:

Mother of Michael Schiavo’s girlfriend.

Employed under Rice in the civil division of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Dept. from 1979 until 1999.

Died in 2004



* John Centonze:

Brother of Michael Schiavo’s girlfriend.

He has done some media announcements about Terri’s condition for Michael Schiavo.



* Trudy Capone:

Former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo although claims they were not romantically involved.

Indicates Michael had no idea what Terri wanted regarding a situation of incapacity.

Her affidavit is found here and is very compelling.

http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/trudy.pdf



* Cindy Shook Brashers:

Former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo.

* Referenced in Trudy Capone’s affidavit .

* Indicated Michael Schiavo said he had no idea what Terri would have wanted if in an incapacitated condition.

* Indicated she was very afraid of Michael Schiavo.

* The key portion of her deposition is here .



* George J. Felos:

Lawyer, hired by Michael Schiavo to be his attorney in mid-1997.

Felos & Felos, 595 Main St., Dunedin, FL 34698. Fax (727) 736-1402

Lives at 2210 Harbor View Dr., Dunedin, FL 34698-2526. Tel: (727) 736-1515

Felos is a euthanasia advocate and prominent right-to-die attorney.

Past Chairman of Board of Directors for The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. Held board position from at least Feb. 13, 1997 to roughtly April 26, 2001 .

Founding member of the National Legal Advisors Committee on Choice in Dying.

Graduated from BU School of Law

Author, "Litigation as Spiritual Practice" (Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2002) and creator of the Continuing Education Course (and article by the same name) called Meditation for Lawyers.



* The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, Inc:

Located at 300 E. Bay Drive, Largo, FL 33770.

Assets approximately $25.5 million, revenues approx. $8 million, expenses approx. $6 million.

Files as a 501(c)(03) tax exempt organization.

Website: www.thehospice.org (based on the treatment Terri Schiavo has received under the care of this hospice organization, caution and reasonable skepticism are advised when reading this site.)

Operates Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo was moved by Michael Schiavo and George Felos without authorization nor proper certification as to terminal illness.

According to the Hospice: "Woodside, a community-supported hospice house, provides around-the-clock care in a home-like setting for patients who are unable to remain in other living arrangements. Hospice Villas Woodside permit patients and families independent living with professional help close at hand."

Re: nursing homes: "The Hospice works in partnership with local nursing homes to meet the needs of residents nearing the end of life."

Subject of two lawsuits regarding breach of confidentiality with medical records by its for-profit subsidiary, Suncoast Solutions in 2002-03.



* Mary Labyak:

Executive Director and President, The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast which oversees Woodside Hospice.

Current board member of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.

Board member of Partnership for Caring (a direct offspring of the Euthanasia Society of America).

Board member of National Hospice Foundation

National Director and Treasurer of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)



* Dr. Ronald Cranford, M.D.:

The neurologist hired by Michael Schiavo.

Cranford is a renowned euthanasia advocate referring to himself as "Dr. Humane Death."

Authored a section in "Intended Death: The Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia". His section addresses the issue of "the physician’s role in killing and the intentional withdrawal of treatment." (WND article)



* Gus Michael Bilirakis:

Florida State Representative, 1998-2000 and 2001-2003.

Board member of The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.

Co-sponsor of Florida Bill HB 2131 with addition to Section 765.101 ( beginning on line 28 of page 14 of the linked pdf file)

Note: Section 765.101 of this bill added the following language, "(10) ‘Life-prolonging procedure’ means any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention, including artificially provided sustenance and hydration, (meaning food and water…ed.) which sustains, restores, or supplants a spontaneous vital function." (12) "Persistent vegetative state" means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:

(a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind.

(b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.

Member of Elder Care and Long Term Care committee in House, the committee that introduced HB 2131.

Was a campaign contributor to Judge George Greer.



* Barbara Sheen Todd:

Pinellas County commissioner during time Judge George Greer was a commissioner in Pinellas County.

Board member of The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.



* Judge John C. Lenderman:

Florida Circuit Court Judge. (Pinellas County Judicial Bldg., St. Petersburg, Fl 33701)

Brother of Martha Lenderman.

Appointed judge by Governor in 1992, reelected unopposed to present.

Hospice of the Florida Suncoast Advisory Board member, 2000

One of four family certified judges in Florida.

Outstanding Service Award in Educating the Public and Restoring Public Trust and Confidence in the legal System, Florida Bar, 2002.

Jurist of the Year, 1997, awarded by the American Academy of MatrimonialFlorida Chapter.



* Martha Lenderman:

Board member of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast since 1996.

Past chairman of the board of the Hospice.

Board of directors of the U. of South Florida Collaborative for Children, Families, and Communities.

Principal, Lenderman & Associates.

Lost in a bid for State Representative (Dem.) in 1998.

Former state child welfare administrator.

Board member, 2005, Area Agency on Aging, Pasco & Pinellas counties, Pres. 2003.

Consultant to the Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at least during 2001.

Dept. of Health & Rehabilitative Services (HRS) program supervisor, at least during 1989.

Was called to testify as a health and human services consultant by the attorney general’s office in 2005 in Holli Bodner hearing on suspension of Bodner’s psychiatrist license. Lenderman testified on behalf of Bodner.

Lenderman & Associates provided services to Pinellas County commissioners regarding Mental Health and Substance Abuse funding in 1999 and 2000.

Email address: lendmar@gte.net



* Jonathan Alpert:

Federal attorney

Suing the Hospice of Florida Suncoast for patient brokering.

US Dept. of HHS is currently trying to collect $14.8 million from Suncoast Hospice owed to HHS since 1997.



* Carla Sauer Iyer:

R.N. employed at Palm Gardens of Largo Convalescent Center from April of 1995 to July 1996 while Terri Schiavo was a patient there.

Duties included floor nurse supervisor.

Carla’s affidavit is found here , dismissed by Greer as "incredible, to say the least."



* Carolyn Adams:

Known as "Andy" Adams, LPN at Palm Garden Convalescent Center.

Had disproportionate number of patients die on her shift according to affidavit of Carla Iyer.

Was very friendly with Michael Schiavo when working at Palm Garden.



* Heidi Law:

Certified Nurse Assitant

Worked at Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center from March, 1997 to mid-summer 1997.

Took care of Terri Schiavo.

Testified orders for rehabilitation were given for Terri Schiavo but that Michael stopped them.

Her affidavit is here: http://www.terrisfight.net/documents/hlawaffidavit.htm



* C. Johnson:

LPN at Sabal Gardens nursing home, Largo, FL.

Took care of Terri Schiavo.

Affidavit indicates Michael Schiavo went against doctor’s orders and refused to allow any rehabilitation for Terri.

Affidavit is found here



* Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center:

10500 Starkey Rd., Largo, Florida 33777. (727) 397-8166

Terri Schiavo was a resident there until March 2000.

Part of a chain owned by Florida Convalescent Centers, Inc., 2033 Main St., Suite 300, Sarasota, FL 34237



* Everett Rice:

Former Pinellas County Sheriff, 1988-2004

Became Florida State Representative, District 54 in Nov. 2004

Endorsed Judge George Greer for reelection in campaign ads.

Former board member The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast

* Hired Michael Schiavo while Schiavo’s guardianship proceedings were in the courtroom of his long time friend Judge George Greer.



* Judge George W. Greer:

Sixth Circuit Court Judge for Pinellas County, elected unopposed in 1992.

Circuit Court, Pinellas County, Probate Division, 315 Court St., Room 484, Clearwater, FL 33756 Fax (727) 464-5471

Legally blind.

Friend of Everett Rice, former sheriff of Pinellas County, FL

Former Commissioner of Pinellas County, 1984-1992

Became Terri Schiavo’s caretaker and fact finder under Florida law (meaning advocate and judge). This would appear to be a conflict.

Judge Greer’s bio is curiously missing from those listed on the sixth circuit website, www.jud6.org.



* Patricia Anderson:

Attorney for the Schindlers.

Filed affidavit saying that [Everett] Rice had told her that he and [Judge George] Greer had discussed the Schiavo case at a ball game the night previous .

Filed motion requesting Greer recuse himself.



* Jackie Rhodes:

Close friend of Terri Schiavo.

Testified at trial on January 6, 2000

A portion of that testimony is found here .



* Dr. Victor Gambone, MD, CMD:

Terri Schiavo’s attending physician from 1998-2003.

His name appeared on a paper stating Terri was PVS (permanent vegetative state) but it was never signed by him. This was apparently a fraudulent document.

During a 2002 medical evidentiary hearing, Dr. Victor Gambone testified that he certified Terri as terminally ill so that she could be placed in Woodside Hospice. When questioned under oath why, he said it was because Michael told him to do so. (journals.aol.com/justice1949/JUSTICEFORTERRISCHIAVO/entries/333)

However, it states on the certificate that it is a verbal certification, no signature. This would explain comment above. Must be signed to be valid.

Testified before Judge Greer that Terri Schiavo was not PVS and was aware of her surroundings.

Greer had asked Gambone to do an evaluation, but rejected his findings.

Gambone reportedly worked for George Felos at Woodside Hospice.

Current president, Florida Medical Directors Association.



* Bernie McCabe:

Elected State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District in 1992. Office in Clearwater, FL. Covers Pinellas County.

This is the same district as Judge Greer.

Responsibilities include investigating abuse charges.

Refused to investigate various potential felony charges against Michael Schiavo in 2003 under statute 825.103.

Has repeatedly refused to intervene in the allegations of the abuse of Terri Schiavo.

McCabe has allegedly been involved in numerous ‘refuse to investigate’ cases. See Mel Sembler.



* Dr. Michael Baden:

New York forensic pathologist.

Former chief medical examiner for the City of New York

Co-director of the Medicolegal Investigation Unit of the New York State Police

Reversed his view of Terri Schiavo’s condition after examining her bone scans. Those injuries could have happened, Baden continued, from "some kind of trauma. The trauma could be from an auto accident, the trauma could be from a fall, or the trauma could be from some kind of beating that she obtained from somebody somewhere. It’s something that should have been investigated in 1991 . . . and maybe [it was] by police at that time." (Emphasis added). Source, The Village Voice, Nov. 14, 2003 http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0347,hentoff,48738,6.html .



* Dr. William Campbell Walker:

Doctor who did the original bone scan and the evaluation completed on Mar.5, 1991.

Walker wrote, "This patient has a history of trauma. The presumption is that the other areas of trauma also relate to previous trauma."

Walker’s deposition is here…http://www.hospicepatients.org/dr-walker-t-schiavo-bone-scan-deposition.txt

Walker indicates in his deposition that trauma injuries had occurred.



* Dr. Joel S. Prawer:

The doctor Michael Schiavo sued.

The doctor was exonerated of wrong doing but settled at the insistence of his insurance company.



* Mitchell Turner:

A Florida Dept. of Children and Families investigator.

Reported alleged felony abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Terri Schiavo. This report was the conclusion of a 60 Day investigation in Nov. and Dec. 2001.

The report was suppressed by the Department’s legal division.



* Dr. Stanton Tripodis:

Enlisted by Michael Schiavo to provide services for Terri.

Has five previous malpractice suits against him.

Case no. 97007946C1 filed 11-25-97

Case no. 94003739C1 filed 6-27-94

Case no. 95000873C1 filed 2-14-95

Case no. 96001434C1 filed 3-6-96

Case no. 98002289C1 filed 4-7-98



* Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc.:

2807 Marrie Ct., Clearwater, FL

Agency possibly purchased as part of The Jerger Co., Inc., Pinellas Park, FL by Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp. for $40 million, 1999.

Michael R. Schiavo listed as a director in 2002, with same address as above.

Corp. listed as inactive.

This address is listed as owned by Jodi A. Centonze in Pinellas County appraisers records.

Note: Richard M. Jerger, Jr., stockholder in Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp, sold 2902 shares of stock in July,2001 for $102,933… put this in the ‘for what it’s worth’ department.



* Senator Jim King:

Originally upheld the passage of "Terri’s Law." (S 12 E)

Board member of Woodside Hospice

Received campaign contributions from Richard M. Jerger, Jr., of Jerger & Centonze Insurance. (Mr. Jerger lived in a different district).

Called his support of Terri’s Law "The Terri Schiavo vote that I made was probably one of the worst votes that I’ve ever done"



* Bishop Robert N. Lynch:

Terri’s Catholic bishop.

According to the Catholic Advocate and others, The legal counsel for both the St. Petersburg and Venice Diocese is "DiVito and Higham". Allegedly, Joseph DiVito is a personal friend of Bishop Lynch. The law firm contributed $500 to the re-election campaign of Judge Greer.

Issued a statement criticized by other Catholic organizations.



* Justice Stanley Birch:

Delivered statement from final rejection in Terri Schiavo case (accused legislative and executive branches of abusing constitutional authority).

11th Circuit Court of Appeals:

Address: 56 Forsyth Street, N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303 Phone: (404) 335-6100

Now That’s Ironic...

Student's using their constitutional freedoms to protest against a corporation for using it's constitutional freedoms!!!

"...the government should force private corporations like Wal-Mart to fill prescriptions for Plan B."

(I guess libbys feel it is ok to pick and choose which rights to respect and which to trample. You DO have a right to run your company along the moral/ethical lines you see fit, AND you do have a right to follow the principles of your religion without being forced to ignore them. Birth control is NOT a constitutional or civil right!!! On the other hand…libbys do have a right to protest AND they also have the right to shop someplace else!!!)

http://www.cnsnews.com//ViewCulture.asp?Page=\Culture\archive\200503\CUL20050331a.html

Planned Parenthood Rallies College Students

By Nathan BurchfielCNSNews.com Correspondent

March 31, 2005(CNSNews.com) - A student organization sponsored by Planned Parenthood is gaining traction in Amherst, Mass., where pro-abortion students protested a local Wal-Mart store for not filling prescriptions for the emergency contraception pill Plan B, commonly known as a "morning-after pill."

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass) group Vox: Students for Choice planned the demonstration with assistance from Planned Parenthood, which sponsors similar clubs on about 180 university and college campuses across the United States and one in Mexico.

UMass Vox President Linda Forman said since the March 24 protest her group has seen increased interest in abortion issues, saying the group has around 55 active members and a 200-student e-mail list.

Groups affiliated with "Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood" use variations on the official name, but as many as 70, including the UMass chapter, exclude the words Planned Parenthood from their name, with the groups receiving material and logistical support from Planned Parenthood "grassroots organizers." The word "Vox" is Latin for "voice."

According to the Planned Parenthood website, Vox helps "college students across the country organize events on campus to raise awareness about reproductive health, work with and support their local Planned Parenthood health centers, and mobilize advocates of reproductive rights."

Planned Parenthood did not return calls requesting comment, but Forman said Planned Parenthood does not give money to her group and allows it "a lot of autonomy." While Vox receives no money from Planned Parenthood, "if we need materials from them, we can get them. I can get condoms from them and posters, information, so they basically promote us with materials, not money," Forman said.

Forman said that student leaders come up with ideas and have a Planned Parenthood grassroots organizer who offers advice, helps with publicity and trains the group members. "She never tells us what to do," she said. "We're a very independent group."

"We thought that Wal-Mart was playing politics with women's bodies," said Forman, a 20-year-old sophomore. "They sell everything else, but because they want to have a family image they didn't sell prescriptions for emergency contraception, but they're really just devaluing women's right to make their own choices."

Wal-Mart decided in 1999 to discontinue stocking Preven, the emergency contraceptive manufactured by Barr Laboratories. Preven has since been discontinued and Plan B, also a Barr drug, has taken its place. The retailer does fill prescriptions for regular birth control pills.

Forman told Cybercast News Service that she believes Wal-Mart is being manipulated by Republicans. "I think there's (sic) a lot of ties between Republicans and Wal-Mart and money and moral values and having this whole image," she said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karen Burk said the company's decision on morning-after pills is the result of customer preferences. "Every decision we make is based on what we believe the majority of our customers want," Burk said, "on everything from what we're putting on our shelves, whether it's food or any sort of merchandise."Burk said the procedure for Plan B is the same procedure pharmacists would follow for any other medications Wal-Mart does not stock. She said she couldn't think of any others that the retailer does not carry.

Forman said the protest, which included about 30 students from UMass and surrounding colleges, was aimed at convincing Wal-Mart to make the drug available for women whose only local pharmacy is a Wal-Mart. "

For us at Amherst we can go to a CVS or go to a Target to get the prescription filled," said Forman. "But for some women in rural areas maybe all there is is a Wal-Mart."

Burk told Cybercast News Service that Wal-Mart pharmacists work with customers as much as possible to find appropriate prescription drugs to meet their needs. "There are other ways that certainly pharmacists might be able to give some guidance for the customers," Burk said. "There are possibly mail-order ways or things like that."

Cybercast News Service contacted the Hadley, Mass., Wal-Mart pharmacy where the protest took place and requested a prescription for Plan B. The pharmacist, who did not provide his name, confirmed that the pharmacy does not offer Plan B but suggested trying a local CVS pharmacy that does fill the prescriptions.

Forman added that she thinks the government should force private corporations like Wal-Mart to fill prescriptions for Plan B. "I think that they're there for a purpose, they're there to fill prescriptions," she said. "That's their job, that's why there's a pharmacy. They can advocate such things as condoms and Viagra, but they don't have options for women."

The Plan B pill can be used within the first three days after unprotected sexual intercourse to prevent fertilization of the egg or attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterine wall, but cannot dislodge an embryo already implanted in the uterus. It differs from the RU-486 abortion pill, which can dislodge an implanted embryo and can terminate a pregnancy as many as 64 days after fertilization.

The Food and Drug Administration recently rejected a bid to make Plan B available over-the-counter because it could not find convincing evidence that the drug was safe for adolescent women without a doctor's input.

Burk said Wal-Mart has no immediate plans to make the drug available, and she couldn't speculate on whether or not the retail giant would be open to making it available any time in the future.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

AnArChY =

Most anarchists today would consider themselves liberals, but have you ever noticed how closely many of the principles of modern anarchism follow conservative values? Less government, helping end oppression, free speech, right to bear arms, etc.

Have a look...



Anarchism: contrary to authority, the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. (Noble but Naive)

The modern anarchist movement was lead by Anna Goldman "Queen of the Anarchists", a Jewish woman born in 1869 in East Prussia (now Russia). She came to the United States from Russia in 1885.

Emma was incredibly controversial during her own lifetime. Teddy Roosevelt called her a "madwoman... a mental as well as a moral pervert", the New York Times said she was a "mischievous foreigner... apart from the mass of humanity". The San Francisco Call said she was a "despicable creature... a snake... unfit to live in a civilized country". The government called her the "ablest and most dangerous" anarchist in the country.

Goldman often lectured on anarchist topics such as feminism, homosexuality, decentralization and opposition to hierarchy, free sex, birth control and labor rights.

She eventually fell in love with a man named Ben Reitman, who had many adulterous affairs while with Anna. Goldman soon found herself harboring extreme feelings of jealousy; in contrast to the principles of anarchism that she lectured on.

Unions and laborers distanced themselves from Goldman and the anarchist movement because they were already making advancements through strikes (better working conditions, 40-hour work week, etc.). In essence, the laborers were seeking capitalism for themselves, in contrast to Goldman's principles of anarchy.

Goldman worked with Lenin and Marxists towards the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. Goldman dreamed of bringing communism / socialism to America.

Anna Goldman was opposed to war and nationalism and felt that it always led to the lower class fighting against each other for the upper classes gain. She was arrested for obstructing the draft and opposing US involvement in WWI. Goldman was deported to Russia where she witnessed the revolution she had helped bring about in Russia. Goldman also witnessed the terrible economic conditions that were brought on in Russia.

Anna Goldman didn't directly condone violence but said that, "change never comes without it." The right to bear arms was an important aspect of Goldman's beliefs, strengthened in 1921 when she witnessed the slaughter of Libertarian sailors (long considered heroes of the revolution) who revolted at Kronstadt against the Bolshevik government. Goldman changed her mind about communism / socialism after witnessing the suppression of rights by the Bolsheviks to prevent dissent.

Goldman left Russia and vowed to admit her error and to lecture against communism / socialism. She wrote a long series of articles and two books about her experience in and the ideological contradictions she perceived within Soviet Russia. Her former enemies on the right praised her, while her former comrades on the left cursed her. She longed to return to America.

Before her death in 1940, Goldman wrote, "I am not wanted anywhere. The movement has not accomplished anything good, anywhere."

While attempting to save an Italian anarchist from deportation and certain death in Fascist Italy, Emma was finally silenced by a stroke and died in Toronto. After her death, Goldman was permitted to return to America to be buried in Chicago.

(In the end, Anna Goldman supported free speech, woman's rights, less government and other conservative principles. Goldman's views were originally based on her religious convictions. Some experts on the political philosophy of anarchism today, refer to the movement as a "paradise for Christians".)

* From ETV - American Experience, 2004

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goldman/timeline/

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

"Please Stop This Cruelty!"

"A conscious person would feel it [dehydration] just as you and I would. . . . Their skin cracks, their tongue cracks, their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucous membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining. "They feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. Imagine going one day without a glass of water! . . . It is an extremely agonizing death." --neurologist William Burke

"In this country, even condemned serial killers are not executed in this way."

"A guardian may refuse any medical treatment, but drinking water is not such a procedure. It is not within the power of a guardian to withhold, and not in the power of a rational court to prohibit." --William Anderso, senior psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital

"The courts . . . have [also] ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, they have ordered her to be made dead." --from the Ralph Nader-Wesley Smith report

"If this were a death penalty case, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent, disabled woman is receiving less justice. . . . This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live." --Ralph Nader


http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0513,hentoff,62489,6.html

Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder
Her crime was being disabled, voiceless, and at the disposal of our media

by Nat HentoffMarch 29th, 2005 10:59 AM

For all the world to see, a 41-year-old woman, who has committed no crime, will die of dehydration and starvation in the longest public execution in American history.

She is not brain-dead or comatose, and breathes naturally on her own. Although brain-damaged, she is not in a persistent vegetative state, according to an increasing number of radiologists and neurologists.

Among many other violations of her due process rights, Terri Schiavo has never been allowed by the primary judge in her case—Florida Circuit Judge George Greer, whose conclusions have been robotically upheld by all the courts above him—to have her own lawyer represent her.

Greer has declared Terri Schiavo to be in a persistent vegetative state, but he has never gone to see her. His eyesight is very poor, but surely he could have visited her along with another member of his staff. Unlike people in a persistent vegetative state, Terri Schiavo is indeed responsive beyond mere reflexes.

While lawyers and judges have engaged in a minuet of death, the American Civil Liberties Union, which would be passionately criticizing state court decisions and demanding due process if Terri were a convict on death row, has shamefully served as co-counsel for her husband, Michael Schiavo, in his insistent desire to have her die.

Months ago, in discussing this case with ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, and later reading ACLU statements, I saw no sign that this bastion of the Bill of Rights has ever examined the facts concerning the egregious conflicts of interest of her husband and guardian Michael Schiavo, who has been living with another woman for years, with whom he has two children, and has violated a long list of his legal responsibilities as her guardian, some of them directly preventing her chances for improvement. Judge Greer has ignored all of them.

In February, Florida's Department of Children and Families presented Judge Greer with a 34-page document listing charges of neglect, abuse, and exploitation of Terri by her husband, with a request for 60 days to fully investigate the charges. Judge Greer, soon to remove Terri's feeding tube for the third time, rejected the 60-day extension. (The media have ignored these charges, and much of what follows in this article.)

Michael Schiavo, who says he loves and continues to be devoted to Terri, has provided no therapy or rehabilitation for his wife (the legal one) since 1993. He did have her tested for a time, but stopped all testing in 1993. He insists she once told him she didn't want to survive by artificial means, but he didn't mention her alleged wishes for years after her brain damage, while saying he would care for her for the rest of his life.

Terri Schiavo has never had an MRI or a PET scan, nor a thorough neurological examination.

Republican Senate leader Bill Frist, a specialist in heart-lung transplant surgery, has, as The New York Times reported on March 23, "certified [in his practice] that patients were brain dead so that their organs could be transplanted." He is not just "playing doctor" on this case.

During a speech on the Senate floor on March 17, Frist, speaking of Judge Greer's denial of a request for new testing and examinations of Terri, said reasonably, "I would think you would want a complete neurological exam" before determining she must die.

Frist added: "The attorneys for Terri's parents have submitted 33 affidavits from doctors and other medical professionals,all of whom say that Terri should be re-evaluated."

In death penalty cases, defense counsel for retarded and otherwise mentally disabled clients submit extensive medical tests. Ignoring the absence of complete neurological exams, supporters of the deadly decisions by Judge Greer and the trail of appellate jurists keep reminding us how extensive the litigation in this case has been—19 judges in six courts is the mantra. And more have been added. So too in many death penalty cases, but increasingly, close to execution, inmates have been saved by DNA.

As David Gibbs, the lawyer for Terri's parents, has pointed out, there has been a manifest need for a new federal, Fourteenth Amendment review of the case because Terri's death sentence has been based on seven years of "fatally flawed" state court findings—all based on the invincible neglect of elementary due process by Judge George Greer.

I will be returning to the legacy of Terri Schiavo in the weeks ahead because there will certainly be long-term reverberations from this case and its fracturing of the rule of law in the Florida courts and then the federal courts—as well as the disgracefully ignorant coverage of the case by the great majority of the media, including such pillars of the trade as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and the Los Angeles Times as they copied each other's misinformation, like Terri Schiavo being "in a persistent vegetative state."

Do you know that nearly every major disability rights organization in the country has filed a legal brief in support of Terri's right to live?

But before I go back to other Liberty Beats—the CIA's torture renditions and the whitewashing of the landmark ACLU and Human Rights First's lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld for his accountability in the widespread abuse of detainees, including evidence of torture—I must correct the media and various "qualified experts" on how a person dies of dehydration if he or she is sentient, as Terri Schiavo demonstrably is.

On March 15's Nightline, in an appallingly one-sided, distorted account of the Schiavo case, Terri's husband, Michael—who'd like to marry the woman he's now living with—said that once Terri's feeding tube is removed at his insistent command, Terri "will drift off into a nice little sleep and eventually pass on and be with God."

As an atheist, I cannot speak to what he describes as his abandoned wife's ultimate destination, but I can tell how Wesley Smith (consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture)—whom I often consult on these bitterly controversial cases because of his carefully researched books and articles—describes death by dehydration.

In his book Forced Exit (Times Books), Wesley quotes neurologist William Burke: "A conscious person would feel it [dehydration] just as you and I would. . . . Their skin cracks, their tongue cracks, their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucous membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining.

"They feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. Imagine going one day without a glass of water! . . . It is an extremely agonizing death."

On March 23, outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo was growing steadily weaker, her mother, Mary, said to the courts and to anyone who would listen and maybe somehow save her daughter:

"Please stop this cruelty!"

While this cruelty was going on in the hospice, Michael Schiavo's serpentine lawyer, George Felos, said to one and all: "Terri is stable, peaceful, and calm. . . . She looked beautiful."

During the March 21 hearing before Federal Judge James D. Whittemore, who was soon to be another accomplice in the dehydration of Terri, the relentless Mr. Felos, anticipating the end of the deathwatch, said to the judge:

"Yes, life is sacred, but so is liberty, your honor, especially in this country."

It would be useless, but nonetheless, I would like to inform George Felos that, as Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said: "The history of liberty is the history of due process"—fundamental fairness.

Contrary to what you've read and seen in most of the media, due process has been lethally absent in Terri Schiavo's long merciless journey through the American court system.

"As to legal concerns," writes William Anderson—a senior psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard University—"a guardian may refuse any medical treatment, but drinking water is not such a procedure. It is not within the power of a guardian to withhold, and not in the power of a rational court to prohibit."

Ralph Nader agrees. In a statement on March 24, he and Wesley Smith (author of, among other books, Culture of Death: The Assault of Medical Ethics in America) said: "The court is imposing process over justice. After the first trial [before Judge Greer], much evidence has been produced that should allow for a new trial—which was the point of the hasty federal legislation.

"If this were a death penalty case, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent, disabled woman is receiving less justice. . . . This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live." (Emphasis added.)

But the polls around the country cried out that a considerable majority of Americans wanted her to die without Congress butting in.

A March 20 ABC poll showed that 60 percent of the 501 adults consulted opposed the ultimately unsuccessful federal legislation, and only 35 percent approved. Moreover, 70 percent felt strongly that it was wrong for Congress to get into such personal, private matters—and interfere with what some advocates of euthanasia call "death with dignity." (So much for the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of due process and equal protection of the laws.)

But, as Cathy Cleaver Ruse of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed out:

"The poll [questions] say she's 'on life support,' which is not true [since all she needs is water], and that she has 'no consciousness,' which her family and dozens of doctors dispute in sworn affidavits."

Many readers of this column are pro-choice, pro-abortion rights. But what choice did Terri Schiavo have under our vaunted rule of law—which the president is eagerly trying to export to the rest of the world? She had not left a living will or a durable power of attorney, and so could not speak for herself. But the American system of justice would not slake her thirst as she, on television, was dying in front of us all.

What kind of a nation are we becoming? The CIA outsources torture—in violation of American and international law—in the name of the freedoms we are fighting to protect against terrorism. And we have watched as this woman, whose only crime is that she is disabled, is tortured to death by judges, all the way to the Supreme Court.

And keep in mind from the Ralph Nader-Wesley Smith report: "The courts . . . have [also] ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, they have ordered her to be made dead."

In this country, even condemned serial killers are not executed in this way.

America Is Funding UN-American Organization



"...it is absurd to look to the UN to fight aggression, combat terrorism, and preserve global order. The UN is an abject failure - a fatally flawed organization that has actually accelerated and spread global chaos. And it is dominated by anti-Western forces, dictatorships, state sponsors of terrorism, and America's worst enemies."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,12686467%255E2703,00.html

Annan to save face by saying son misled him

The Times
March 29, 2005

"...it was revealed that the UN plans to use Iraqi oil money to pay for the legal defence of Benon Sevan, the accused former head of the oil-for-food program.“

NEW YORK: Kofi Annan, struggling to survive as the UN Secretary-General, plans to blame his son for embroiling him in the oil-for-food scandal when a UN inquiry issues a harsh report today.

UN officials are hoping to deflect criticism of the UN chief by insisting that his son, Kojo, 29, misled him about payments that Kojo Annan received from a UN contractor.

The inquiry, led by former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, is expected to criticise the UN Secretary-General's management lapses, in particular his failure to perceive the apparent conflict of interest of his son working for a company that was awarded a UN contract.
It will also confirm that Mr Annan repeatedly met senior representatives of the company, Cotecna Inspection SA.

The Volcker commission is expected to say that it has found no evidence that Mr Annan rigged the UN bidding process to help Cotecna win a 1998 border inspection contract in Iraq, nor that he personally received any financial benefit.

The report will, however, detail previously unknown payments by Cotecna to Kojo Annan after he resigned from the company shortly before it won the UN contract, which was worth almost $US10million ($13million) a year.

Cotecna acknowledges now that it paid Kojo Annan about $US365,000 over eight years -- twice what it previously admitted.

The oil-for-food scandal has overshadowed all other business at UN headquarters.
A much-touted report on UN reform last week disappeared from the headlines the next day when it was revealed that the UN plans to use Iraqi oil money to pay for the legal defence of Benon Sevan, the accused former head of the oil-for-food program.

Colleagues describe Mr Annan as despondent over the Volcker commission.

A recent foreign trip by Louise Frechette, his Canadian deputy, prompted speculation at UN headquarters that she was raising her profile in case she had to take over from him. Aides say Mr Annan plans to mount a "Billy Carter defence", arguing that he should not be held accountable for any transgressions by his son, just as Jimmy Carter, the former US president, was not forced from office when it emerged that his brother, Billy, was lobbying for Libya.

Mark Malloch Brown, the UN Secretary-General's chief of staff, said last week that Mr Annan expected to be exonerated by the commission, but added that his son's situation might be "very different".

The Volcker commission has already described how Fred Nadler, the brother-in-law of former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali, apparently helped Mr Sevan, the head of the program, to set up an Iraqi oil deal with Fakhry Abdelnour, a cousin of Mr Boutros-Ghali.

The former UN chief has refused to take the blame for the oil-for-food scandal, saying oil was smuggled outside the program by Baghdad, which had direct dealings with Syria, Turkey and Iran.

Mr Boutros-Ghali was UN secretary-general at the start of the program, which was designed to allow Iraq to buy food and medicines to ease hardships caused by UN sanctions.

"The members of the UN Security Council and members of the UN share equal responsibility. (A) quantity of oil was smuggled outside the oil-for-food program through direct contact between Iraq and Syria, Iraq and Turkey, and Iraq and Iran," he said last month.

Monday, March 28, 2005

What IS The Value Of Human Life?



Is an "inconvenient" life worth $80,000 of taxpayer's money each month?

Is it worth furthering a political agenda (abortion/euthanasia)?

Who exactly is a big enough inconvenience that they should be terminated? The mentally handicapped, physically handicapped? Paralyzed human beings, elderly, diseased or anyone that can't contribute to society any longer?

Do we continue to fight to stop lobsters from being cooked alive but allow handicapped human beings to starve to death?

Should we stand against fur and whaling and save our environment and the animals that inhabit it, but ignore human life because it is not capable of taking care of themselves?

IF we are going to kill a handicapped person…shouldn't we at least use lethal injection, or gas them to death or use the electric chair or hang them? Surely all of these options are far less cruel and more humane than starvation!!!

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200309/CUL20030903b.html

(CNSNews.com) - Thirty-nine year old Terri Schindler Schiavo suffered a brain injury in 1990 under questionable circumstances. That injury, complicated by a lack of therapy for more than a decade, has required that she be given nutrition and hydration through a gastrostomy or "feeding tube."Since receiving a $1.2 million medical malpractice award on behalf of his wife, Schiavo has provided only subsistence care for her and, based on affidavits, allegedly forbidden medical professionals from providing his wife with any therapy or rehabilitation. He is currently allowing her to receive limited medical treatment for a severe infection under a court order.

Former caregivers filed affidavits supporting allegations:
Three medical professionals who had cared for Terri in the past filed affidavits accompanying the lawsuit, disputing Michael Schiavo's claims that his wife was in a "Persistent Vegetative State," which is the requirement under Florida law for a feeding tube to be removed.

The medical experts also chronicled a long history of alleged denial of care and therapy by Schiavo.

Carolyn Johnson, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), cared for Terri in a nursing home in the early 1990s. She described her shock at being ordered not to provide the same care for Terri as a patient in the same room with a similar brain injury was receiving."I learned, as part of my training, that there was a family dispute and that the husband, as guardian, wanted no rehabilitation for Terri," Johnson explained. "Once, I wanted to put a cloth in Terri's hand to keep her hand from closing in on itself, but I was not permitted to do this, as Michael Schiavo considered that to be a form of rehabilitation."

Another CNA, Heidi Law, cared for Terri at a convalescent center in the mid and late 1990s. Law described similar orders she received not to encourage Mrs. Schiavo's recovery."I know that Terri did not receive routine physical therapy or any other kind of therapy. I was personally aware of orders for rehabilitation that were not being carried out," Law alleged in her affidavit. "Even though they were ordered, Michael [Schiavo] would stop them. Michael [Schiavo] ordered that Terri receive no rehabilitation or range of motion therapy."

Law also alleged that her attempts to document Terri's potential for improvement were thwarted."I made extensive notes and listed all of Terri's behaviors, but there was never any apparent follow-up consistent with her responsiveness," Law said. "There were trash cans at the nurses stations that we were supposed to empty each shift, and I often saw the notes in them."

Law directly disputes Michael Schiavo's claim that Terri is in a Persistent Vegetative State, as well. In her affidavit, she detailed how she routinely provided Terri with a wet washcloth filled with ice chips to keep her mouth moistened and, on at least three occasions, fed Terri flavored gelatin."I personally saw her swallow the ice water and never saw her gag. [Another CAN] and I frequently put orange juice or apple juice in her washcloth to give her something nice to taste, which made her happy," Law recalled. "On three or four occasions I personally fed Terri small mouthfuls of Jell-O, which she was able to swallow and enjoyed immensely."

Nurse recalls Schiavo asking, 'When is that bitch gonna die?
Carla Sauer Iyer was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at the same convalescent center in the mid 1990s, and also cared for Terri. She described Mr. Schiavo as being "focused on Terri's death."Michael [Schiavo] would say, 'When is she going to die? Has she died yet?' and 'When is that bitch going to die?'" Iyer charged. "Other statements which I recall him making include, 'Can't anything be done to accelerate her death, won't she ever die?' When she wouldn't die, Michael [Schiavo] would be furious."

Conversely, Iyer said that when she would have to call Schiavo to inform him of a downturn in Terri's condition, Schiavo would be elated."Michael would be visibly excited, thrilled even, hoping that she would die," Iyer recalled. "He would blurt out, 'I'm going to be rich,' and would talk about all the things he would buy when Terri died, which included a new car, a new boat and going to Europe, among other things."

Iyer also described incidents of Terri Schiavo talking, moving voluntarily and responding to external stimuli, descriptions that Iyer said were removed from Mrs. Schiavo's medical records.

Both Law and Iyer reported Terri verbally communicating, also contradicting Michael Schiavo's claim that his wife was in a Persistent Vegetative State."During the time I cared for Terri, she formed words. I have heard her say 'mommy' from time to time, and 'momma,'" Law recalled. "She also said 'help me' a number of times."Iyer described Terri as "alert and oriented," and said Michael Schiavo "systematically distorted" Terri's medical condition."Terri spoke on a regular basis while in my presence, saying such things as 'mommy' and 'help me,'" Iyer recalled. "'Help me' was, in fact, one of her most frequent utterances. I heard her say it hundreds of times."

Friday, March 25, 2005

If You're Not "Right", You're Wrong!!!

It amazes me that the United States is able to maintain its conservative base without being slowly dumbed down by the left.

Today…the attacks come from every angle; the liberal media (34% liberal, 7% conservative), Michael Moore's fictitious documentaries; Hollywood elitists pushing their political opinions and acting like the experts on domestic and foreign policy; colleges and universities comprised of mostly liberal professors who practice liberal indoctrination on impressionable students; Hollywood movies, television shows and even musicians (Rock Against Bush) who push radical opinions as the norm without any regard for morals or values; the courts pushing liberal agendas through judicial legislation; the ACLU attacking rights and freedoms of conservatives; Democratic politicians pandering to the lower class by offering free handouts and redistributing wealth; millionaires and billionaires like George Soros (moveon.org) and Theresa Kerry (The Tides Foundation), MTV (Get out the Vote), who spend millions of dollars through non profit groups to attack conservative America disguised as unbiased "watchdog groups", many with ties to socialist and communists governments (http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39910) (http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/8/11/222217.shtml) .

Yet…through it all…America surprisingly remains mostly conservative, as a recent Pew Survey revealed: ( May 23, 2004 - The self-assessment of the general public: 20% liberal, 33% conservative.)

I guess Americans are much more wise than the Democrats give them credit for. Heck…even Dan Rather had to pay for his attempt to bring America's Right to their knees through lies conveniently disguised as the news.


http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/032305/soros.html

Watchdogs in Soros's pocket: GOP

By Alexander Bolton

House Republicans are taking the offensive in the burgeoning ethics war on Capitol Hill by circulating research that details links among Democrats, George Soros and government watchdog groups that have criticized Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and the House ethics process.

The research shows that members of these groups’ boards have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and political organizations and several of their staff members have previously worked for Democrats. The groups have also accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Open Society Institute, an organization founded by Soros, who spent millions trying to defeat President Bush in last year’s election.

The emergence of the detailed research follows talking points that the Republican National Committee (RNC) distributed last week labeling four government watchdog groups as liberal and having "close ties to left wing leaders like George Soros."

Together, the documents indicate a concerted Republican effort to quell what has become a media feeding frenzy surrounding DeLay and allegations of his improper conduct.Over a five-day span, ending last Thursday, TV and radio stations and print publications from around the country featured at least 290 stories either about a controversial junket he took to Scotland in 2000, his response to criticism about the propriety of that trip or his offer to discuss the matter with the House ethics committee, according to a survey. The articles by The Associated Press, Reuters, Knight Ridder and The Washington Post were picked up by news outlets around the country.

The latest spate of broadcasts and articles, a glut of the type of negative coverage that has plagued DeLay in recent years, likely explains why his name identification has risen from 46 percent to 76 percent between September 1999 and last month, according to several CNN/USA Today/ Gallup surveys of adults nationwide, cited by Democrats.

During the same span, DeLay’s unfavorable ratings have swelled from 11 percent to 24 percent, according to the same surveys."The DeLay scandal is getting to the point where House Republicans just won’t be able to withstand much more," a Democratic aide said. "With every story that is written, it becomes more clear that House Republicans are risking their political futures by associating themselves with him.

When literally hundreds of stories about the GOP leader’s shoddy ethics are appearing in nearly every local and regional paper across the country, you can’t blame voters for painting them all with the same brush."

Last week’s focus on House ethics was spurred in part by a press conference held last Tuesday by members of the Congressional Ethics Coalition, a group of nine government watchdog groups.

The conference was called to decry the immobilization of the House ethics panel, which has yet to organize because of objections by ranking Democrat Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) to changes House GOP leaders made to ethics procedure at the start of the new Congress. But watchdog groups also used the opportunity to attack DeLay.

Later that day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered a resolution on the House floor calling for a bipartisan panel to review the chamber’s ethics procedures.Republicans charge this and other evidence reveals a coordinated effort between House Democrats and government watchdog groups to damage DeLay and the GOP leadership politically.

GOP aides point to a plan being crafted by Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to use ethics as a touchstone in races against DeLay and Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), as The Hill reported last week.

One target of Republican criticism is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the group that last year assisted former Rep. Chris Bell (D-Texas) in drafting an ethics complaint against DeLay, which resulted in an admonishment of DeLay from the ethics committee.

At last week’s press conference, Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, said that DeLay should step down as majority leader.From 1995 to 1998, CREW’s Sloan served as minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee under Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). Before that, Sloan served as the nominations counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee under Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.).

According to GOP research, Mark Penn, who had been a pollster for President Clinton, and Daniel Berger, a major Democratic donor, are on CREW’s board. Spokeswoman Naomi Seligman declined several requests to reveal the membership of CREW’s board, although she confirmed that Penn and Berger are members.

Last year, Berger made a $100,000 contribution to America Coming Together (ACT), a 527 group that was dedicated to defeating Bush in the presidential election, according to politicalmoneyline.com, a website that tracks fundraising. CREW declined to respond to the RNC talking points or House GOP research.

Another target is Democracy 21, headed by Fred Wertheimer. GOP research showed that the group’s board of directors has given "tens of thousands to Democrats."

A survey by The Hill of fundraising data on politicalmoneyline.com showed that three members of the group’s board, including Dick Clark, a former Democratic senator from Iowa, gave nearly $20,000 in contributions to Democrats since the beginning of the 2000 election cycle.

Republicans received nothing from board members, according to the survey by The Hill.

Lexa Edsall, a consultant to the group, served in the Clinton administration, and Amanda Lewis, the communications director, worked for former Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo (N.Y.), according to the GOP research. Wertheimer confirmed the information about Edsall and Lewis, adding that Lewis worked as an intern at Cuomo’s law firm, suggesting that Republicans have left few stones unturned in their efforts to discredit the watchdog groups.

Democracy 21’s education fund also received a $50,000 grant from Soros’s institute in 2003, the most recent year for which data are available, according to a 990 form filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The GOP research paper states that the group has received $300,000 in total from the Open Society Institute.

Wertheimer responded by noting that he has in the past asked for a Justice Department investigation of President Clinton’s campaign finances and filed Federal Election Committee (FEC) complaints against former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). He also provided a letter from former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie for comments Wertheirmer filed with the FEC arguing for greater restriction of 527 political groups, which Democrats relied on in 2004.

Mark H. Rodeffer contributed to this article.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stop Liberal Discrimination...Stop Liberal Indoctrination!!!

"He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that." -John Stuart Mill – Essays on Liberty, 1859

What may be the most important battle inside of United States Borders…the fight for "complete truth" makes its way to the front lines today.

When most college students fork over their tuition payments each semester, they look forward to the opportunity to be presented with new knowledge to make them better more well-rounded individuals. They expect the "truth" to be taught to them, BUT...what happens when the "truth" is not a certainty?

It seems to me the obvious answer is to present both sides of every issue and let the students use reasoning and critical thinking to decide what they view as the truth. Yet today…the vast majority of Universities and Colleges are presenting their students with a skewed and one-sided "truth", usually in the form of liberal indoctrination.

A recent CSPC survey found that 99% of graduation day speakers called themselves liberals, Democrats, or Green Party Members.

Another survey by Lichter and fellow political science professors Stanley Rothman of Smith College and Neil Nevitte of the University of Toronto, found that 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans. The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative. There was no field in which there were more conservatives than liberals or more Republicans than Democrats.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8427-2005Mar28.html?nav=rss_politics

The study showed professors and instructors surveyed are, strongly or somewhat, in favor of abortion rights (84 percent); believe homosexuality is acceptable (67 percent); and want more environmental protection "even if it raises prices or costs jobs" (88 percent). What's more, the study found, 65 percent want the government to ensure full employment, a stance to the left of the Democratic Party.

In contrast with the finding that nearly three-quarters of college faculty are liberal, a Harris Poll of the general public last year found that 33 percent describe themselves as conservative and 18 percent as liberal.

The most left-leaning departments are English literature, philosophy, political science and religious studies, where at least 80 percent of the faculty say they are liberal and no more than 5 percent call themselves conservative, the study says.

"In general," says Lichter, who also heads the nonprofit Center for Media and Public Affairs, "even broad-minded people gravitate toward other people like themselves. That's why you need diversity, not just of race and gender but also, maybe especially, of ideas and perspective."

Many students face ridicule and even failing grades for presenting differing view points in class. The practice of liberal indoctrination became such a problem on college campuses that recently websites have been established for victims to voice their opinions and concerns. The websites, http://www.noindoctrination.org/ and http://studentsforacademicfreedom.org/ serve as a warning for students looking to enroll in certain classes with specific professors.

In an attempt to protect impressionable students and to fight for the free exposition of truth, "The Academic Bill of Rights" was developed by David Horowitz, a conservative activist and founder of Students for Academic Freedom (SAF) who is "concerned about the treatment of conservative students as second class citizens and the abuse of the classroom by faculty who used their positions of authority as educators to pursue political agendas," according to an article in Horowitz’s FrontPage Magazine. http://pacer.utm.edu/2362.htm

It is dangerous when government / taxpayer funded colleges and universities are forcing one-sided views on their students. The issue is particularly abusive to low income students. Students from low income families receive grants to attend these state universities where the liberal indoctrination is prevalent, but they can't afford to choose a private school to avoid indoctrination. Polls also show the liberal bias in media is rampant but at least these media outlets aren't government funded and have a right to present political propaganda if they desire, whereas...public universities do NOT!!

(Pew Survey - May 23, 2004 - At national organizations (which includes print, TV and radio), the numbers break down like this: 34% liberal, 7% conservative. At local outlets: 23% liberal, 12% conservative. At Web sites: 27% call themselves liberals, 13% conservatives. This contrasts with the self-assessment of the general public: 20% liberal, 33% conservative.)

What I can't understand is how "liberals" who call themselves tolerant, can actually keep a straight face when arguing that censoring an entire opposing viewpoint on college campuses is good for the students. I encourage everyone to step up the fight for the free exchange of view points on college campuses by visiting David Horowitz website at http://www.frontpagemag.com and making contributions or spreading the word. Nothing is more important than to provide students with EVERY view and to allow them to come to their own conclusions without facing negative retribution for their beliefs. After all…that is what students are paying for…not to be force-fed a bunch of political propaganda from one side or the other.

"I answer, that it is assuming very much more. There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right." -John Stuart Mill – Essays on Liberty, 1859

"If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one - if he had the power - would be justified in silencing mankind." -John Stuart Mill – Essays on Liberty, 1859


http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/education/20050323-9999-1mi23freedom.html

Some consider measure censorship of professors

By Lisa PetrilloUNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

March 23, 2005

SAN MARCOS – Do California's 2 million public college students need Sen. Bill Morrow to protect them from their professors' politics?

That was the debate yesterday at California State University San Marcos, where 300 students gathered to hear Morrow, a Republican state senator from Oceanside, defend his proposed academic "bill of rights" – his second effort to legislate what professors could discuss in their classrooms.

The issue of ideology on college campuses has been sweeping American colleges for the past year, promoted by Los Angeles-based conservative activist David Horowitz. Horowitz's proposals include expanding "intellectual diversity" by mandating that colleges increase hiring of conservative professors.

Morrow's first effort based on Horowitz's proposed "academic bill of rights" died in committee last year. In December, Morrow introduced a version he calls the "Students' Bill of Rights." His efforts make California one of at least six states, including Utah and Florida, with proposed legislation based on Horowitz's writings.

Criticizing Morrow's bill as censorship during yesterday's debate was Graham Larkin of the American Association of University Professors, which opposes the measure as infringing upon academic freedom.

"I ask Senator Morrow: 'Why does he think students are old enough and smart enough to attend universities and yet they need his protection from their professors' opinions?' " said Larkin, a professor at Stanford University.

While acknowledging the concept for his bill was not his, Morrow said he has been wanting to do something since his own college days to restrict what he calls political indoctrination by professors using their power over impressionable students.

It was the height of the Vietnam War when Morrow and his political science professor at a community college sported long hair and bell-bottom jeans, but opposite political viewpoints.
"What bothered me was that he harangued us on the evils of then-President Richard M. Nixon, on the evils of the war in Vietnam, on the evils of Watergate, 15, 20 minutes out of every class," Morrow told a rapt crowd of students seated on the grand staircase beside the university library. "I learned to keep my mouth shut."

He said he believes the bad grades he earned in that class were the result of his conservative politics.

Morrow told students that nothing in Senate Bill 5 seemed controversial to him and he read portions of it aloud:
"The central purposes of the university are the pursuit of truth, the discovery of new knowledge. . . . Curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences shall respect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge in these areas and provide students with dissenting sources and viewpoints . . . ."

Larkin dismissed what he called the bulk of the bill as deliberate "mom-and-apple-pie" camouflage for the 5 percent of the bill that he called "scary."

What Larkin said he considers scariest is that the law never explains who will be the judge of what constitutes unreasonable political opinions and how violators will be punished.
He warned that colleges seeking to satisfy Horowitz's calls for "intellectual diversity" might mean giving equal time to communist professors in business colleges, or to theories such as biblical creationism in the sciences.

Cal State San Marcos officials told students yesterday that laws and policies exist to challenge grades or file complaints against professors they felt discriminated against them.

The proposed law is opposed by the California State University student government and the CSU Academic Senate, the faculty governance group for the 410,000-student system.

Cal State San Marcos campus has been roiled by the issue of academic freedom over the past year, sparking multiple protests. Much of the controversy centered on the university's invitation last fall to Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and best-selling author Michael Moore. When the university administration became the first in the nation to rescind an invitation to the outspoken liberal, the student government sponsored Moore's appearance before a sold-out crowd of 10,000 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

At yesterday's forum, College Republicans carried protest signs and cheered Morrow while College Democrats and Progressives cheered Larkin and many sat with duct tape over their mouths – including two speakers on the panel – to symbolize what they said were Morrow's efforts to silence free speech.

Few students in the audience said they had felt political pressure from their professors.
Senior Nicole Mann said as a conservative she has felt pressure from professors she thought tried to impose their beliefs upon her. Mann said she has been afraid to pursue any official action for fear of reprisal.

Political science student Norman Vigil appreciated the forum but disagreed with Morrow's arguments.
"I don't see how he's going to protect our rights by taking away the rights of someone else," Vigil said.

Monday, March 21, 2005

We Are ALL Guilty!

Who's to blame for the current state of the United States Border and our Immigrations Laws? We are all guilty of letting our guard down.

Republicans and Democrats pander to immigration politics. American business owners ignore illegal labor laws to make a buck or stay competitive. Even Immigration and Law enforcement skirt their responsibilities to make up for lack of funding and to avoid backlash from minority and immigration groups. And WE the citizens of the United States (with the exception of 950 volunteers of the Minuteman Project that will participate in a border vigil against illegal immigration along the Arizona border next month), sit back and watch our country slowly fall apart.

Illegal aliens want to come here to provide a better life for their families. This is an understandable sitution, as most of us come from ancestors who journeyed to this country in the hopes of making a better life for their families. This should provide us with an incentive to improve our immigration policy to speed up the process in an efficient manner or even to allow more immigrants to become naturalized. This should NOT however…provide us an incentive, nor an excuse to ignore current immigration laws.

Facts:


  • Illegal aliens comprise a majority of our violent criminals.
  • Illegal aliens cost the United States $10 -$29 Billion per year.
  • Illegal aliens abuse welfare with high use and little contribution to the program.
  • Illegal aliens are comprised of some terrorists who use current immigration laws to their advantage.
  • Illegal aliens clearly illustrate the weakness of our borders and the vulnerability of our country to protect ourselves.
It's time we take back our borders, our safety and our country!


(Sanctuaries for crime - Washington Times 1-20-04)

Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.

The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These "sanctuary policies" generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.

Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies, a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave.

Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the illegal-alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is startling.

Some examples:

• In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.

• A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern California is illegal; police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complex drug-distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, most of them illegal, from Central America and Mexico.

• The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li. Francisco Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and an illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.

L.A.’s sanctuary law and all others like it contradict a key 1990s policing discovery: the Great Chain of Being in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a "minor" crime, and you might well prevent a major crime: enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known felons, would be even more productive.

Immigration politics have similarly harmed New York. Former mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend the city’s sanctuary policy against a 1996 federal law decreeing that cities could not prohibit their employees from cooperating with the INS. On September 5, 2001, his handpicked charter-revision committee ruled that New York could still require that its employees keep immigration information confidential to preserve trust between immigrants and government. Six days later, several visa-overstayers participated in the most devastating attack on the city and the country in history.

Citizen outrage forced Mayor Michael Bloomberg to revisit the city’s sanctuary decree yet again. In May 2003, Bloomberg replaced this innocuous "don’t ask" policy with a "don’t tell" rule even broader than Gotham’s original sanctuary policy. The new rule prohibits city employees from giving other government officials information not just about immigration status but about tax payments, sexual orientation, welfare status, and other matters.

Even when immigration officials actually arrest someone, and even if a judge issues a final deportation order (usually after years of litigation and appeals), they rarely have the manpower to put the alien on a bus or plane and take him across the border or to continue detaining him pending removal. The solution…"run letters"--a notice asking the deportable alien kindly to show up in a month or two to be deported, when the agency might be able to process him. Results: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received run letters disappeared, a number that was even higher—94 percent—if they were from terror-sponsoring countries.

Criminal aliens also interpret the triage as indifference. Were an illegal-alien thug in custody be threatened with deportation unless he cooperated, the criminal would just laugh, knowing that the INS would never show up. The message could not be clearer: this is a culture that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. If policing’s broken-windows theory is correct, the failure to enforce one set of rules breeds overall contempt for the law.

The sheer number of criminal aliens overwhelmed an innovative program that would allow immigration officials to complete deportation hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so that upon his release he could be immediately ejected without taking up precious INS detention space. In 1997, the INS simply had no record of a whopping 36 percent of foreign-born inmates who had been released from federal and four state prisons without any review of their deportability. They included 1,198 aggravated felons, 80 of whom were soon re-arrested for new crimes.

Resource starvation is not the only reason for federal inaction. The INS was a creature of immigration politics, for example...In 1997, after Hispanic activists protested a much-publicized raid that netted nearly two dozen illegals, the Border Patrol said that it would no longer join Simi Valley, California, probation officers on home searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs.

The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a luminous case of politics driving the INS to sacrifice enforcement to "benefits." When, in the early 1990s, the prospect of welfare reform drove immigrants to apply for citizenship in record numbers to preserve their welfare eligibility, the Clinton administration, seeing a political bonanza in hundreds of thousands of new welfare-dependent citizens, ordered the naturalization process radically expedited. Thanks to relentless administration pressure, processing errors in 1996 were 99 percent in New York and 90 percent in Los Angeles, and tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.

Another powerful political force, the immigration bar association, has won from Congress an elaborate set of due-process rights for criminal aliens that can keep them in the country indefinitely. Federal probation officers in Brooklyn are supervising two illegals—a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship--both have been linked to terrorism. The Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen Social Security and tax-refund checks; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense: using a fraudulent Social Security number to get employment—a puzzlingly unnecessary scam, since he receives large sums from the Middle East, including from millionaire relatives.

The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists—short of an economic revolution in the sending countries or an impregnably militarized border—is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants know they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But enforcing laws against illegal labor is among government’s lowest priorities. In 2001, only 124 agents nationwide were trying to find and prosecute the hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of illegal aliens who violate the employment laws, the Associated Press reports.

Even were immigration officials to devote adequate resources to worksite investigations, not much would change, because their legal weapons are so weak. That’s no accident: though it is a crime to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the fraud-proof form of work authorization necessary to enforce that ban. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number to the Social Security Administration for employers to confirm Social Security numbers. Hispanics warn just as stridently that helping employers verify work eligibility would result in discrimination against Hispanics—implicitly conceding that vast numbers of Hispanics work illegally.

The result: hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated industries are a charade. Millions of illegal workers pretend to present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to believe them. To find an employer guilty of violating the ban on hiring illegal aliens, immigration authorities must prove that he knew he was getting fake papers—an almost insurmountable burden. Meanwhile, the market for counterfeit documents has exploded: in one month alone in 1998, immigration authorities seized nearly 2 million of them in Los Angeles, destined for immigrant workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.

For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration officials ever do try to conduct an industry-wide investigation—which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers—local congressmen will almost certainly head it off. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.

Of the incalculable changes in American politics, demographics, and culture that the continuing surge of migrants is causing, one of the most profound is the breakdown of the distinction between legal and illegal entry. Everywhere, illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense; 13 states offer them driver’s licenses. States everywhere have been pushed to grant illegal aliens college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition. One hundred banks, over 800 law-enforcement agencies, and dozens of cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to credentialize illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. The Bush administration has given its blessing to this matricula consular card, over the strong protest of the FBI, which warns that the gaping security loopholes that the card creates make it a boon to money launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border this year, Mexican matricula card in hand.

Hispanic advocates have helped blur the distinction between a legal and an illegal resident by asserting that differentiating the two is an act of irrational bigotry. Arrests of illegal aliens inside the border now inevitably spark protests, often led by the Mexican government, that feature signs calling for "no más racismo." Immigrant advocates use the language of "human rights" to appeal to an authority higher than such trivia as citizenship laws. They attack the term "amnesty" for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders.

Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think the U.S. owes them, not vice versa. "I believe they have a right . . . to work, to drive their kids to school," said California assemblywoman Sarah Reyes. An immigration agent says that people he stops "get in your face about their rights, because our failure to enforce the law emboldens them." Taking this idea to its extreme, Joaquín Avila, a UCLA Chicano studies professor and law lecturer, argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of apartheid.

Yet no poll has ever shown that Americans want more open borders. Quite the reverse. By a huge majority—at least 60 percent—they want to rein in immigration, and they endorse an observation that Senator Alan Simpson made 20 years ago: Americans "are fed up with efforts to make them feel that [they] do not have that fundamental right of any people—to decide who will join them and help form the future country in which they and their posterity will live." But if the elites’ and the advocates’ idea of giving voting rights to non-citizen majorities catches on—and don’t be surprised if it does—Americans could be faced with the ultimate absurdity of people outside the social compact making rules for those inside it.

However the nation ultimately decides to rationalize its chaotic and incoherent immigration system, surely all can agree that, at a minimum, authorities should expel illegal-alien criminals swiftly. Even on the grounds of protecting non-criminal illegal immigrants, we should start by junking sanctuary policies. By stripping cops of what may be their only immediate tool to remove felons from the community, these policies leave law-abiding immigrants prey to crime.

But the non-enforcement of immigration laws in general has an even more destructive effect. In many immigrant communities, assimilation into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture. Toddlers are learning to flash gang signals and hate the police, reports the Los Angeles Times. In New York City, "every high school has its Mexican gang," and most 12- to 14-year-olds have already joined. Such pathologies only worsen when the first lesson that immigrants learn about U.S. law is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it. "Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people that anything goes in the U.S.

For the sake of immigrants and native-born Americans alike, it’s time to decide what our immigration policy is—and enforce it.


http://ktla.trb.com/news/nationworld/nation/ktla-082504immig_lat,0,1228272.story?coll=ktla-news-1

From the Los Angeles Times (August 25, 2004, 7:57 AM PDT)

Study Says Illegal Migrants Cost U.S. $10 Billion a Year Analysis by think tank also concludes that a program to legalize the undocumented would nearly triple that figure.

Illegal immigrants cost the federal government more than $10 billion a year, and a program to legalize the undocumented would nearly triple that figure, a study by the Center for Immigration Studies released today concludes.

Other immigration researchers challenged some of the study's assumptions about what illegal immigrants cost the government. Based on Census data, the report compared households headed by undocumented immigrants with those headed by citizens and legal residents. Federal benefits for U.S.-born children of the undocumented were counted as a cost of illegal migration.

However, it found that the undocumented also pay nearly 75% less per household in federal taxes, on average. Some work off the books, but the majority who pay taxes are low-wage workers with little income tax liability.

"The primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments, not their…heavy use of most social services," the study said. "The vast majority of illegals hold jobs. Thus, the fiscal deficit they create for the federal government is not the result of an unwillingness to work."

Social Security and Medicare reap a $7 billion annual windfall from payroll taxes paid by undocumented workers. That accounts for about 4% of the total annual surplus in the two programs. But the balance sheet may eventually shift in the other direction. Under a recent agreement, Mexican retirees will be able to claim credit for Social Security taxes paid while working in the United States.

Legalizing the undocumented would bring them out of the underground economy and increase the amount they pay into Treasury coffers. But it could well make them eligible for more government benefits.

The study estimated that paying for added benefits would swamp any increase in tax collections, increasing the net cost to the federal government to $29 billion a year.



Welfare Abuse by Illegal Immigrants

http://www.cis.org/articles/2003/back503.html

Center for Immigration Studies (March 2003):

One of the most controversial provisions of the 1996 welfare reform law barred many legal immigrants from using certain welfare programs.

This report evaluates that effort by examining trends in immigrant and native use of the four major welfare programs that constitute the core of the nation’s welfare system: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicaid. The findings show that use of TANF and food stamps has declined significantly for both immigrant and native households and also that the gap has narrowed between the two groups. However, considering all four programs together shows that the gap between immigrant and native households has not narrowed, and in fact has widened slightly. Moreover immigrant households comprise a growing share of all households using the welfare system.

Our analysis finds that:

• In 1996, 22 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one major welfare program, compared to 15 percent of native households. After declining in the late 1990s, welfare use returned to 1996 levels by 2001, with 23 percent of immigrant households using welfare compared to 15 percent of native households. (Figure 1)

• The persistently high rate of welfare use by immigrant households is almost entirely explained by their heavy reliance on Medicaid, use of which has actually risen modestly. In contrast, their use of TANF has fallen significantly, from a little under 6 percent in 1996 to slightly over 2 percent in 2001. Food stamp use has also declined significantly, from about 10 percent to 6 percent. These rates are now only modestly above those of natives. (Table 1)

Conclusion:

The primary finding of this report is that welfare use by immigrant households remains much higher than that of natives. However, the mix of programs used by immigrants, and natives for that matter, has changed significantly since 1996. Use of TANF and food stamps has declined significantly among the foreign-born since 1996, while Medicaid use has risen somewhat. The enormous and growing cost of Medicaid means that there has likely been little or no savings for taxpayers.

This is especially true when one considers the increase of 750,000 additional immigrant households using welfare programs. Immigrant households account for 18 percent of all households using the welfare system, up from just 14 percent in 1996. Thus in the most important sense, welfare reform with regard to immigrants seems to have failed. Or at the least, it has not generated the kind of savings for taxpayers that its proponents hoped it would. Immigrant welfare use remains high and they comprise a growing share of the welfare case load, mainly because a very large share have little education and the American economy offers very limited opportunities to such workers.



Border watch group claims to sneak fake WMD into US

Associated PressJul. 22, 2004 08:44 AM

TUCSON - A border watch group claims it successfully sneaked into the United States carrying a fake weapon of mass destruction.

American Border Patrol spokesman Glenn Spencer told the Arizona Daily Star the test was intended to show how easy it would be for terrorists to sneak deadly weapons across the border.

Mike King, a former Army sniper who was assigned to Fort Huachuca as a National Guardsman after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said he's hoping the demonstration will help convince government leaders that the country's southern border is a national security risk."I mean, you have people with backpacks, bottles of water and zero training coming across. I just wanted to show how easy this is for somebody with training to come into this country," said King, who now works as a technical director for the border-watch group.

Two members of the group carried a suitcase in a backpack into Arizona west of Naco Monday night. One American Border Patrol member said the two men crossed a border fence that separates the United States from Mexico, then headed to a house in Sierra Vista without detection.

The Border Patrol had no immediate comment on the claim by the Sierra Vista-based group.

The Mexican government is checking a videotape and may enter a formal complaint with the United States government."If the incident can be confirmed," said Miguel Escobar, Mexico's consul in Douglas, "a formal letter of protest will be submitted to the U.S. government."