Archive for the ‘OP ED’ Category

What Are We Fighting For?

May 17, 2010

by Dr. Steve Best
As a response to: Be thankful that our growing numbers in the Animal Rights Movement are still relatively small….

Relatedly, Kathleen Marquardt — founder of the ridiculously redundant organization, Putting People First, and author of Animal Scam: The Beastly Abuse of Human Rights — vents hysterically in her apocalyptic warning to fellow speciesists: “The real agenda of [the animal rights] movement is not to give rights to animals, but to take rights from people—to dictate our food, clothing, work, recreation, and whether we will discover new medications or die.”

Marquardt rehearses a standard objection, which approaches animal rights as if it were a zero sum game where advances for nonhuman animals spell losses for humans – –  fails to see that for the most part (the Animal Liberation Front, the Animal Rights Militia, and other underground groups aside) the animal rights movement adopts legal tactics with the goal to educate and persuade, not force, people to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle. Hardly against medical progress, moreover, animal rights advocates advance strong critiques of biomedical research and offer concrete and viable alternatives to testing and experimenting on animals……

http://thomaspainescorner.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/what-are-we-fighting-for/

By Dr. Steve Best
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Euro Falls against Dollar, Asian Markets Retreat

May 17, 2010

17/05/2010 The European unified currency is facing more risks as it has fallen to four-year low against the dollar, after being hit by renewed fears over the strength of the Eurozone country and as the global stock markets mostly retreated on Monday, with the heaviest falls in Asia .

Despite the huge sums of money pledged in support for Eurozone countries, the Euro fell to $1.2237, while one pound was worth 1.1702 Euros. Thus, severe austerity measures are needed to cut budget deficits and debt.
This is affecting the value of the euro as analysts worry the cuts will hold back economic growth in the Eurozone.

Asian equity markets tumbled on Monday, with Shanghai diving five percent to reach the lowest level in more than a year. Tokyo fell 2.17 percent, hitting an 11-week low, Hong Kong shed 2.14 percent and Sydney slumped 3.12 percent.
The picture was brighter in Europe, with London managing to rise 0.44 percent and Frankfurt up 0.16 percent in morning trade, although Paris fell 0.45 percent.

This situation is affecting the value of the euro as analysts worry the cuts will hold back economic growth in the Eurozone.
John Kyriakopoulos, from the National Australia Bank in Sydney, said: “Concerns that severe fiscal austerity in the eurozone will crush growth in the region continues to weigh (on the euro).”

The debt crisis began when Greece teetered towards default triggering fears that other weak Eurozone economies such as Portugal, Spain and Italy may be next.
Athens is now paying a painful price for its past overspending with the government forced to slash civil servant pay and pensions while raising taxes as a condition for a 110-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout.

The IMF and EU agreed the Greek bailout only at the beginning of May, and a week later were forced to put together a trillion-dollar –750 bn euro- a rescue plan to the unified currency as investors continued to dump the currency and European shares.

Source

 

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BP has ‘systematic’ safety problems: U.S. official- FT

May 17, 2010

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) – Energy giant BP <BP.L><BP.N> has a “systematic safety problem” at its refineries, a U.S Labour Department official told the Financial Times in its Monday edition. “BP executives, they talk a good line.
They say they want to improve safety,” Jordan Barab, a senior official at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, told the paper. “But it doesn’t always translate down to the refineries themselves.
They still have a systematic safety problem,” Barab said. Last year U.S. safety regulators hit oil giant BP with a record $87.4 million fine for failing to fix safety violations at its Texas City, Texas, refinery after a deadly 2005 explosion.
Barab’s comments come as the company struggles to contain a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by a deadly oil rig explosion last month. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Jan Paschal)

AlertNet news is provided by
17 May 2010 01:15:35 GMT

Source: Reuters

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Arizona’s War on Immigrants

May 17, 2010

“Most immigrants are economic refugees,” Bob Kee explained as we drove across the rolling arid hills of south-central Arizona towards the border of Mexico. “US policy in the post-9/11 world states that the government knew there would be ‘collateral damage,’ meaning more dead migrants because of the increasing militarization of the borders. But when people are desperate, they’ll do what they need to do to feed their families. It’s a survival situation, and that’s where we’re at.”

Kee is a volunteer with the group the Samaritans, a migrant advocacy organization whose stated goals include “to save lives and relieve suffering of migrants in southern Arizona” and “to encourage elected leaders to humanize border policy.”

The Samaritans have their hands full, and while they are, from what Truthout saw, doing a great job on the former, clearly every group or person sympathetic to the plight of immigrants in that state are shocked by the recent legal machinations of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law (SB1070), signed on April 19 and granting Arizona law enforcement personnel to detain people based on the “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented immigrants, recently elicited strong condemnation from six UN Human Rights experts, who on May 11 claimed that law could violate international standards that are binding in the US.

The experts said, “A disturbing pattern of legislative activity hostile to ethnic minorities and immigrants has been established with the adoption of an immigration law that may allow for police action targeting individuals on the basis of their perceived ethnic origin.”

Isabel Garcia, an immigration advocate and Federal Public Defender, told CNN on April 20 that the legislation “legalizes racial profiling” and added, “I think this bill represents the most dangerous precedent in this country, violating all of our due process rights. We have not seen this kind of legislation since the Jim Crow laws.”

Brewer also singed a controversial bill that bans ethnic studies in Arizona schools. just three weeks after signing SB1070. The more recent law banning ethnic studies affects specialized courses in African American and Native American studies, as well as possibly shutting down a popular Mexican-American studies program in the Tucson school district.

These draconian measures come on the heels of others, like migrant women in US custody being shackled during childbirth (as reported by Inter Press Service this March), and reports by the same agency a year ago that human and civil rights organizations charged that migrant women, while in Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office jails, suffered broken arms, dislocated jaws, intimidation and other vulgarities.

The mild-mannered Kee, who has been doing this work for four years, was taking me to see the trails immigrants coming across the border into Arizona use on their long, dry march towards economic opportunity. (Even the US Border Patrol [BP] admits that more than 90 percent of immigrants come to the US due to economics.)

As we passed scrub brush, dry creek beds, and various desert cactus while driving down the Altar Valley that most migrants use to enter Arizona, Kee told me how he comes out a few times each month to walk the trails with his first aid kit, extra water and food, looking for people in need – whether they be migrants from Mexico or Central and South America, or anyone else in this barren landscape in need of assistance.

People are dying in our backyard.

“The BP, as part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has really stepped up their presence and policies here since 9/11,” Kee explained, “So their increasing militarization of our border has forced migrants into more remote and mountainous regions to avoid getting caught. That has caused a dramatic increase in the number of deaths, and we’re seeing it firsthand.”

Sealing traditional crossing areas and forcing migrants into more isolated, remote, and deadly areas is known as the “Funnel Effect,” as documented by the Bi-National Migration Institute.

The “collateral damage” from the BP and overall DHS policy comes in the form of what are referred to as “recovered remains.” When people die from exposure in the desert, it is extremely difficult to determine when they died if the body is not found quickly. So county medical examiners in the area (Pima, Yuma, Cochise counties) tally the number of “recovered remains” brought to them each month.

This March, the Tucson-based human rights group Coalicion de Derechos Humanos announced that the number of recovered remains on the Arizona-Sonora border since October 1, 2009 had reached 85, a 60 percent increase from last year. And this does not accurately reflect the total extent of the crisis, as numbers of recovered remains in neighboring states are not available. But the increasing numbers are indicative of a failed policy.

Kat Rodriguez is the Coordinator of Derechos Humanos. “We also continue to see the tragic trend of the recovery of remains of unknown gender, which make up about 24.7% of the numbers this year,” she wrote in a March press release about the dramatic increase in the number of recovered remains, “This means that approximately one in four individuals recovered are of unknown gender, making identification all the more difficult.”

Her group maintains a list of recovered remains in an effort to assist family members to identify their loved ones.

Kee drove us up a dirt road. We parked, and each put on a backpack filled with water, extra clothing, and snacks. He had a GPS and first aid pack, as well as extra water, in case we crossed paths with some migrants.

“Sometimes we come out and set jugs of water along their trails,” he explained, “Often when BP find them, they are confiscated or knifed. Not always, but this happens, along with the fact that we’ve had two Samaritans arrested and tried for putting out water.”

There are also numerous stories of the BP providing life-saving medical aid to stranded migrants, and their efforts to save the lives of groups that have been abandoned by their less-than-trustworthy guides (coyotes).

As we hike up a well-used trail, there are, periodically, empty water bottles and water jugs strewn along the way. It’s an ongoing cat and mouse game – as coyotes are paid large sums of money (by immigrant standards) to lead teams ranging from 3 to 30 migrants into the US across treacherous terrain.

Immigrants must trek across 20 to 60 miles of open desert, depending on where they get picked up on the US side. Then, if they are lucky enough not to be abandoned by their coyote, they are often loaded into a truck or van that takes them to an apartment, from which they find a way to a job, or relative who may be awaiting their arrival.

But things often go wrong. Minutemen sometimes take shots at migrants. There are stories of BP pushing migrants into cactus before taking them into custody (BP tend to call migrants “tonks” because that is the sound their flashlights make when they strike the skull of a migrant), and coyotes sometimes rape their female clients, in addition to the aforementioned deaths.

“We find folks with blisters you would not believe, ankle injuries, extremely dehydrated and hungry,” Kee explained as we hiked along the rugged trail, “Nobody should die out here. We’re simply trying to prevent that from happening.”

We come upon on old adobe house that has long since been abandoned. It’s filled with burned mattresses, garbage, bullet casings, and empty beer cans. “I’ve never found a migrant carrying beer,” Kee said with a smirk.

Further along the trail there are more empty water jugs, and old empty bottles of electrolyte drinks. Kee continued talking to me.

“If there was a poor family in Kentucky, and the father ventured to California to find a job to support them, he’d be a hero,” Kee explained, “What’s the difference here? Only that somebody drew a line in the sand.”

Any report on the immigration issue would be remiss if it failed to mention NAFTA as the root cause. Locals in Mexico and other countries in Central America struggle to earn a living due to neoliberal economic policies that undercut their ability to do so – hence, turning them into economic refugees who then look north for salvation.

Our hike failed to produce an encounter with any migrants, so Kee took me to a camp maintained by the group No More Deaths near the small town of Ruby.  The group, whose slogan is “Humanitarian aid is never a crime” maintains an ongoing humanitarian presence in this desert migration corridor south of Tucson. They do so by keeping a fixed base camp and intermittent mobile camps, and concentrate on upholding “the most fundamental human right – life itself – by providing basic humanitarian assistance to those in need.”

No More Deaths also works in Mexico by maintaining aid centers for deported immigrants in border towns of the Sonora, where they provide medical care, recovery of confiscated belongings, and work to document human rights violations. Their volunteers are “committed to bearing public witness to the injustices taking place on the border” and in 2008 published a detailed report, “Crossing the Line: Human Rights Abuses of Migrants in Short-Term Custody on the Arizona/Sonora Border.”

There are two large tents-comprised of tarps strapped to PVC pipes. Under one of these sit 13 students sharing lunch together. These, from University of Vermont, Notre Dame, Gilford College, and Northern Arizona University are part of a larger contingent of 42 students doing internships with No More Deaths. In total, 150 students volunteered their spring breaks with No More Deaths.

“I’d want to know someone cared if I was walking around out there, lost and hurting,” Christa Sadler, a student from Flagstaff, told Truthout. “If I can just work with one person, bandage one blister, at least I can do that.”

Gene Lefebure, a volunteer of six years who helped start No More Deaths, sat nearby eating a sandwich. When I asked him why he does this work, he looked me deep in my eyes and said, “People are dying in our backyard.”

I don’t hate the agents, I hate their policies.

A few days later, in Tucson, Kat Rodriguez from Derechos Humanos agreed to drive me to see the border wall erected by the US National Guard near the Arizona town of Sasabe, 71 miles southwest of Tucson.

“Many people, even Mexican-American documented citizens of the United States, are too afraid to access medical services because of fear of deportation/harassment,” Rodriguez explained as she drove us south across the desert. The conversation then shifted back to her core work, documenting recovered remains and human rights abuses.

“We get calls from families asking about their loved ones who crossed if they haven’t heard from them,” she said. “We also get calls from workers who come here, then don’t get paid by their employer. They hire them, work them hard, then don’t pay them, and often get away with it since the workers are undocumented.”

According to Rodriguez, the level of anti-immigrant sentiment in Arizona is so high that these types of abuses and violations are rampant. “BP claims that 10 percent of the migrants are criminals, but they don’t have any data to back their claim,” she added.

She explained how migrants are often robbed by their coyotes, or handed over to bandits to do the same. If a migrant sprains an ankle, they are often left behind to die.

Rodriguez, like Kee, told Truthout that there are plenty of instances where the BP has saved migrants lives, but her focus is on BP abuses.

“Most of these stories aren’t officially recorded because of fear,” she said as we approached the small border town of Sasabe, “But there are plenty of stories of men being caught and thrown into cactuses, not given medical attention, and one woman who was stuck with the butt of a gun by a BP agent. Then they just say she fell and hit a rock.”

“The militarization of the border is imposing this oppression,” Rodriguez continued passionately. “Half the BP agents are Chicano, and they are more heavy-handed with the migrants because they feel like they need to prove themselves. There is an economic draft with the BP, like that with the military.”

She added, “I don’t hate the agents, I hate their policies.”

We arrived at the tiny border town of Sasabe. After a few winds in the road, Rodriguez guns the engine and we hop onto a dirt road and bump alongside the 14 foot high metal border fence erected by the Arizona National Guard. “Once we get to the end, we’ll have about six or seven minutes before the BP show up,” Rodriguez said as we sped up and down steep ravines.

At the end of the 2.2-mile dirt road (the fence runs approximately two miles the other direction as well), we stopped and got out to look at the end of the wall, which ceased abruptly as it entered more hilly terrain. I laughed to find immediately at the end of the wall a bumper sticker attached to one of the wall bars that read ‘No Border Wall,’ and a large, well-worn path used by migrants. The path was akin to many I’ve hiked in large US National Parks, except that it was strewn with empty water bottles. The presence of the path less than five feet from the end of the wall underscores the futility of the wall.

“It makes them [politicians, BP, etc.] feel warm and fuzzy and safe,” mocked Rodriguez. “I wouldn’t say this increases BP’s chances of catching people. I bring people here because it’s so obvious what this is. It’s a joke.”

We climbed back into her truck and started driving back out the bumpy road, as Rodriguez continued, “I don’t see things getting better. The Obama administration is listening to previous advisers on this. This policy has been a complete failure.”

A BP agent pulled us over when we were on our way back to Tucson and asked us where we were from. After hearing our accents and profiling us, he let us go without asking to see our IDs, and Rodriguez kept talking.

“I think there are some things you can’t un-witness and unlearn,” she said, “So for me not to do this work, I don’t think I could live with myself. And I also think about how much worse it would be if I did not do this.”

She admitted that sometimes rewards for her work only come in grim form. “Every so often we ID a body and give a family closure,” she said in a lowered voice as we neared Tucson. “I’ve had to be the one to tell somebody their loved one is dead. I have heard the hope literally be breathed out of their body when they heard that their person is dead.”

Rodriguez told Truthout that since the border policies were implemented in the 1990’s, there have been more than 5,000 recovered remains found, and “who knows how many more are out there?”

Rodriguez explained that 52 percent of all the migrants from Mexico use this corridor in south-central Arizona. “So this is ground zero,” she said. “1,000-1,500 immigrants a day are processed through the Federal Court in Tucson.”

Operation “Streamline Taxpayer Money into the Private Prison Industry”

The $67 million edifice that is the Evo DeConcini (former Arizona Attorney General) Federal Courthouse in Tucson stands as a monument to corruption.

Every weekday at 1 p.m., around 75 undocumented immigrants, freshly caught by the BP, are paraded into a cavernous courtroom on the third floor. The clinking from their manacles and leg irons echoes around the room while they are led to their seats, all of them wearing the same dirty clothes they were wearing in the desert when they were picked up by BP. More clinking as each stands when their name was called, as they each answered “presente.” Then clinking again as they were taken, five at a time, to stand in front of the Judge Tom Ferraro to plead guilty, in a simultaneous “Si,” for entering the country illegally.

Thus is immigration criminalized by a vulgar display of inhumanity.

The maximum sentences, as explained by the judge, are six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. After more information is imparted to them by the judge, five at a time, the migrants are asked if they signed their plea agreements, to which they all answer “Si” simultaneously. To this Judge Ferraro replies, “All plead guilty.” Any who incurred legal infractions during previous stays are given more time in jail.

There is a short period after this when each of their lawyers (who are paid between $6,000 and $12,000 of US taxpayer money per day), standing behind their immigrant “clients,” make brief requests from the judge for their clients. A husband and wife asked to be sent to the same jail so that when they are released they will be together. Another asked if he could be held in Tucson so he can be near his three daughters who live there.

To these Judge Ferraro responded that he would make a recommendation towards this, but the final decision would be up to the prison. After this, he announced, “That’s all gentlemen. Thank you and good luck to you.”

As another group of five migrants shuffle their way out of the courtroom, I notice a shorter man wearing a dirty yellow and white shirt, with a particularly anguished look on his face. His eyes catch mine just as he exits the courtroom.

The total amount of time it takes from when Judge Ferraro began calling their five names to his dismissal of them is five minutes and 17 seconds, roughly one minute and three seconds per migrant for their “trial.”

Isabel Garcia, the aforementioned Federal Public Defender, is not amused by these ongoing show-trials at the US District Court of Arizona.

“All pretense of any justice is removed, aside from having a judge and lawyer present,” she told Truthout before we entered the courtroom. “The entire criminal case happens before your eyes. My position is that DHS controls everything – these judges and courts are doing what the BP wants. This is just a show trial, but with real consequences for the immigrants and taxpayer.”

Operation Streamline was created by George W. Bush’s DHS in 2005, on the theory provided by BP that by recording migrants illegal entries, they would be deterred from returning over the border. Since the program was launched in 2008, it has not functioned as a deterrent in any way. Instead, it has served as a generator of millions of taxpayer dollars into Arizona’s economy. BP agents, federal marshals, criminal defense attorneys, judges, and especially Arizona’s private prison industry, are all on the receiving end of these funds.

Garcia told Truthout that it costs taxpayers between $20 and $22 million per month “to run this courthouse, not including lawyers or the private prison complex that locks up the immigrants.”

Many of the migrants do their time in nearby Eloy, Arizona, at the Eloy Detention Center that is operated by the private prison firm Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). In addition to the Eloy Detention Center, the CCA has brought three more detention facilities to the small town, adding 1,500 new jobs. David Gonzalez, Arizona’s US marshal, said taxpayers shell out between $9 and $11 million every month to incarcerate migrants at Eloy alone.

CCA has pulled off this money-making scheme by the usual methods.

Former Arizona Democratic Senator Dennis DeConcini, (whose father the courthouse is named after), is on the board of directors of CCA, and is also friends with former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, who left that post to become DHS Director.

In Mexico

The next day, Truthout visited the border town of Nogales, where immigrants are usually dumped by another profiteer of the movement to criminalize immigration – Wackenhut transportation services. The port of entry here is also named “DeConcini.”

Through the port, a short walk down a hill brings one to the building of Grupo Beta, a Mexican group that provides first aid and assistance to returned migrants. Sitting outside I am surprised to see two men I recognized from inside the DeConcini courthouse from Operation Streamline the day before. One of them is the fellow with the dirty yellow and white shirt, still wearing the same anguished look on his face.

His name is Victor Rodriguez and he is 45 years old. He is an unemployed plumber who was caught by the BP while trying to make is way across the border en route to Chicago to see his 3-year-old daughter. He’d lived and worked in the US for 13 years, before he was caught by immigration authorities and sent back to Mexico.

He was one of a group of 15 who had paid their coyote $2,800 for the trip over the border, and now he is broke, without even fare for a bus ride home.

When asked what he would do now, he took a deep breath, exhaled, and said, “Nada.” After a pause, he added, “Maybe in two months I will try again, because I have no money and no work. It’s my only option.”

Sitting beside him was Royal Mendoza, 35 years old, who was also in Operation Streamline the day before. Like Rodriguez, Mendoza had lived in the US. He was in Philadelphia for four years, working as a mechanic, but was caught without papers and sent back to Mexico. He has made seven attempts to cross back into the US, and plans now to try again.

“My family is there and I need to be with my family,” he explained. “My wife is a waitress in Philadelphia, and I have a 1-month-old daughter there.”

Every person Truthout spoke with explained that they had tried to enter the US before, and will try again.

Javier Hernandez explained that he could “write a book” about his experiences while trying to cross the border to get back to his wife, who lives in Nashville and is studying at a community college. He, like many others, had lived in the States before. “I have had so many experiences and so many stories,” he explained. “But now I have no money, so I have troubles.”

Irena Bargas, 38 years old, lived and worked for seven years in Houston “at a plastic company,” and has a 7-year-old daughter there.

“I’ve been back in Mexico for one week now,” she said tiredly, “I will try again to go back. Who could live without being near their child? All of us will try again, because many of us have family in the United States, and none of us have jobs here. We stay here separated from our families and starve because there is no work, or we try again.”


** Dahr Jamail’s MidEast Dispatches **
** Visit Dahr Jamail’s website http://dahrjamailiraq.com **

Dahr Jamail’s new book, The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now available.

Order the book here http://tinyurl.com/cnlgyu

As one of the first and few unembedded Western journalists to report the truth about how the United States has destroyed, not liberated, Iraqi society in his book Beyond the Green Zone, Jamail now investigates the under-reported but growing antiwar resistance of American GIs. Gathering the stories of these courageous men and women, Jamail shows us that far from “supporting our troops,” politicians have betrayed them at every turn. Finally, Jamail shows us that the true heroes of the criminal tragedy of the Iraq War are those brave enough to say no.

Sunday 16 May 2010

by: Dahr Jamail, t r u t h o u t | Report

To read story with photo click here.

Order Beyond the Green Zone
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/bookpage

“International journalism at its best.” –Stephen Kinzer, former bureau chief, New York Times; author All the Shah’s Men

Winner of the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism

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Giant Plumes of Oil Forming Under the Gulf

May 17, 2010

: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html?hp

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

Officials Ask BP to Assure It Will Cover Spill Claims (May 16, 2010) Times Topic: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (2010)“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.

Dr. Joye said the oxygen had already dropped 30 percent near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing. “If you keep those kinds of rates up, you could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months,” she said Saturday. “That is alarming.”

The plumes were discovered by scientists from several universities working aboard the research vessel Pelican, which sailed from Cocodrie, La., on May 3 and has gathered extensive samples and information about the disaster in the gulf.

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day.

BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.

“The answer is no to that,” a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. “We’re not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It’s not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort.”

The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface.

The scientists on the Pelican mission, which is backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that monitors the health of the oceans, are not certain why that would be. They say they suspect the heavy use of chemical dispersants, which BP has injected into the stream of oil emerging from the well, may have broken the oil up into droplets too small to rise rapidly.

BP said Saturday at a briefing in Robert, La., that it had resumed undersea application of dispersants, after winning Environmental Protection Agency approval the day before.

“It appears that the application of the subsea dispersant is actually working,” Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, said Saturday. “The oil in the immediate vicinity of the well and the ships and rigs working in the area is diminished from previous observations.”

Many scientists had hoped the dispersants would cause oil droplets to spread so widely that they would be less of a problem in any one place. If it turns out that is not happening, the strategy could come under greater scrutiny. Dispersants have never been used in an oil leak of this size a mile under the ocean, and their effects at such depth are largely unknown.

Much about the situation below the water is unclear, and the scientists stressed that their results were preliminary. After the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, they altered a previously scheduled research mission to focus on the effects of the leak.

Interviewed on Saturday by satellite phone, one researcher aboard the Pelican, Vernon Asper of the University of Southern Mississippi, said the shallowest oil plume the group had detected was at about 2,300 feet, while the deepest was near the seafloor at about 4,200 feet.

“We’re trying to map them, but it’s a tedious process,” Dr. Asper said. “Right now it looks like the oil is moving southwest, not all that rapidly.”

He said they had taken water samples from areas that oil had not yet reached, and would compare those with later samples to judge the impact on the chemistry and biology of the ocean.

While they have detected the plumes and their effects with several types of instruments, the researchers are still not sure about their density, nor do they have a very good fix on the dimensions.

Given their size, the plumes cannot possibly be made of pure oil, but more likely consist of fine droplets of oil suspended in a far greater quantity of water, Dr. Joye said. She added that in places, at least, the plumes might be the consistency of a thin salad dressing.

Dr. Joye is serving as a coordinator of the mission from her laboratory in Athens, Ga. Researchers from the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi are aboard the boat taking samples and running instruments.

Dr. Joye said the findings about declining oxygen levels were especially worrisome, since oxygen is so slow to move from the surface of the ocean to the bottom. She suspects that oil-eating bacteria are consuming the oxygen at a feverish clip as they work to break down the plumes.

While the oxygen depletion so far is not enough to kill off sea life, the possibility looms that oxygen levels could fall so low as to create large dead zones, especially at the seafloor. “That’s the big worry,” said Ray Highsmith, head of the Mississippi center that sponsored the mission, known as the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology.

The Pelican mission is due to end Sunday, but the scientists are seeking federal support to resume it soon.

“This is a new type of event, and it’s critically important that we really understand it, because of the incredible number of oil platforms not only in the Gulf of Mexico but all over the world now,” Dr. Highsmith said. “We need to know what these events are like, and what their outcomes can be, and what can be done to deal with the next one.”

HTTP://OpeningMind.Blogspot.com

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Economic Power: Avoid Arizona and Boycott BP

May 17, 2010

Joel S. Hirschhorn

Money is power.  Each of us has it to varying degrees.  Our challenge is to use our spending to advance worthy goals.  Right now we see economic power being used against the state of Arizona because of the awful legislation recently passed that makes it all too easy for police there to seek proof of citizenship from virtually anyone they choose.  Many groups and government entities have already cancelled conferences and other activities in Arizona, sending state and business leaders into a frizzy.  They deserve to suffer as do the vast majority of Arizona citizens that supported the legislation.  Every American that professes love and respect for the Constitution should avoid spending their tourism and other kinds of spending in Arizona.

Economic boycotts can be very powerful and change the world for the better.  Sadly, too few Americans use their personal spending power to advance worthy goals.  An immediate opportunity is for people to stop buying BP gasoline.  After all, it is clear that BP acted irresponsibly and likely criminally in using offshore oil drilling technology that posed enormous risks to public and worker safety as well as our natural environment in the Gulf of Mexico and possibly far beyond.

Make BP suffer where it hurts, where it can truly harm them.  Send a clear signal that we will get revenge as consumers with an environmental conscience.  An immediate boycott of BP could do much to make the company compensate the incredible number of people that will suffer very much because of the humongous oil spill that should have been prevented.  We cannot depend on BP acting responsibly; nor can we count on the government or the courts for delivering timely justice.

So simple.  While you may not have opportunities to stop spending in Arizona you are more likely to stop spending at BP outlets.  If you can influence decisions by others to stop spending in these two ways, then do it with strength and passion.

There is a Boycott BP page on Facebook.  Show your support.  Over at the Public Citizen website you can sign a petition: “Take the Beyond BP Pledge! Drive a car? Like the occasional fountain drink? Send a clear message to BP by boycotting its gas and retail store products. Don’t spend a cent of your hard-earned money to feed the bottom line of a corporation that has a sordid history of negligence, willfully violates environmental regulations, and is spewing thousands and thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.  I pledge to boycott BP for at least three months.”  Public Citizen has also created a Facebook group “1,000,000 Strong to Boycott BP.”

“Boycott BP into bankruptcy” – said Cindy Sheehan.  Amen.

A short while back John Antczak on Huffington Post complained that there is “no apparent sign of a consumer backlash at the pump like the boycott triggered by the Exxon Valdez spill 21 years ago.”  He also noted that “owners interviewed by The Associated Press across the country say it’s been business as usual since the April 20 explosion on a rig off Louisiana began unleashing 200,000 gallons of crude a day.”  However, this too must be noted: It took 40 days for outrage to coalesce into a one-day national boycott of Exxon stations.

Note that n the West, BP sells gas under the long-established Arco brand.

According to BP’s website, there are more than 10,000 BP-branded gas stations in the U.S. and 1,500 under the Arco name.  BP says it sells more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline in the U.S. every year, second only to Shell.

Americans seem to find far too easy to justify buying at BP or Arco because of convenience or low price.  But everyone should see this choice as a moral one.  If you continue to pump money into the BP coffers you are acting immorally, stupidly and anti-environmentally.  Either you have a conscience or not.  Make the marketplace work to punish those that deserve to be punished.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn at delusionaldemocracy.com.]

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No Historical Tradition of Unfettered Access to Foods of All Kinds

May 15, 2010

Feds tell court they can decide what you eat – ‘Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish’

: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=153133

Attorneys for the federal government have argued in a lawsuit pending in federal court in Iowa that individuals have no “fundamental right” to obtain what food they choose.

The brief was filed April 26 in support of a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the interstate sale of raw milk.

“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds,” states the document signed by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, assistant Martha Fagg and Roger Gural, trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish,” the government has argued.

WND has reported several times on fed crackdowns on producers of raw milk for friends and neighbors, including the recent case when agents arrived to inspect a private property belonging to Dan Allgyer in Pennsylvania at 5 a.m.

The incident was followed by a report a few days later that documented a proposal pending in Congress that critics say would do for the nation’s food supply what the new health-care reform law has done for health-care resources.

“S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the U.S.,” critiqued Steve Green on the Food Freedom blog. “It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.”

The plan is sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who explains the legislation “is a critical step toward equipping the FDA with the authorities and funding it needs to regulate what is now a global marketplace for food, drugs, devices and cosmetics.”

Now it’s statism on our plate! Mark Levin’s manifesto – ‘Liberty and Tyranny’ – provides the antidote to its growing stranglehold

His website explains, “The legislation requires foreign and domestic food facilities to have safety plans in place to prevent food hazards before they occur, increases the frequency of inspections. Additionally, it provides strong, flexible enforcement tools, including mandatory recall. Most importantly, this bill generates the resources to support FDA food-safety activities.”

The proposal cleared the U.S. House last year but has been languishing in the Senate because of a full calendar of projects. It creates a long list of new requirements for food-producing entities to meet the demands of the secretary of agriculture. It is expected to be the subject of discussion in coming days.

The Iowa case alleges the federal restrictions on raw milk are a violation of the U.S. Constitution, according to a report at Natural News.

The federal attorneys want the case dismissed.

“The interest claimed by plaintiffs could be framed more narrowly as a right to ‘provide themselves and their families with the foods of their own choice,'” the government document states. But the attorneys say that right doesn’t exist.

“The FDA essentially believes that nobody has the right to choose what to eat or drink,” said the Natural News site, which explains it covers topics that allow individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity and consumer choices.

“You are only ‘allowed’ to eat or drink what the FDA gives you permission to. There is no inherent right or God-given right to consume any foods from nature without the FDA’s consent.”

The Natural News report continued, “The state, in other words, may override your food decisions and deny you free access to the foods and beverages you wish to consume. And the state may do this for completely unscientific reasons – even just political reasons – all at their whim.”

The report cited an increasing level of frustration on the part of the federal government because of tactics including buying “cow shares” in which a consumer drinks milk from a cow he partly owns, or “buying clubs.”

“This arrangement drives the FDA absolutely batty because it bypasses their authority and allows free people to engage in the free sales of raw dairy products produced on small family farms,” Natural News said.

The report blames the aggressive campaign against raw milk on large commercial dairy interests, “because it threatens the commercial milk business.”

The reason cannot be safety, the report said, since a report from the Weston A. Price Foundation revealed that from 1980 to 2005 there were 10 times more illnesses from pasteurized milk than from raw milk.

The federal government attorneys say the FDA’s goal is to prevent disease, and that’s why the “ban on the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk” was adopted.

The attorneys conceded that states ordinarily are expected to regulate intrastate activity but noted, “it is within HHS’s authority … to institute an intrastate ban as well.”

Natural News reported the ban could be seen as violating the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which leaves to states all powers not specifically designated in the Constitution for the federal body.

In fact, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, lawmakers there have adopted a bill, with the governor’s support, that would allow farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers.

The move puts Wisconsin in position to be the 20th state to allow direct sales of raw milk. Another handful of states allow retail sales.

HTTP://OpeningMind.Blogspot.com

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Women in Dominant Relationships

May 14, 2010

Many women have grown up watching their Mothers being dominated by the man in her life. In many cultures the man is still considered the head of the house. If the Father dominated the Mother, he probably dominated the children as well. So his daughter learned that if the man gets angry, you’d better do what he says, or better still, try not to make him angry in the first place. She may have gone through school, learning that if you did not behave, you would be sent to the principal.

Often, the principal was a man, so once again she was conditioned to be a good girl, and avoid the wrath of men. She may even have entered the world of work, only to be faced with a male boss, who had the power to fire her if she did not live up to his expectations. She survives, perhaps even thrives, and goes on to raise a family.

Somewhere, perhaps in her thirties, she realizes that her husband thinks that he’s the head of the family, and she is not living the life she wants to live. She begins to speak her mind (these are liberated times after all), but finds that when she does she is met with anger. No matter how she tries to express herself, it only seems to create problems in the relationship. Maybe he yells at her, puts her down, and negates all that she tries to say. She realizes that now it is her children who are living with the example of a man dominating his wife.

In her heart she knows that what she wants is reasonable, but at the same time she has the same sinking feeling she had as a child, or as a student. She might even feel, (with his help) like a “bad girl” for “making trouble.” The real trouble is, this is her life. What she really wants is a loving relationship with her husband, and a happy family. This is impossible for her unless she feels like an equal partner.

Why? Because as long as he dominates her, making all the rules and calling the shots, he is acting like an authoritarian father rather than a loving husband. She may even withdraw from intimacy, because you just don’t feel intimate towards father figures. Sadly, there are still men who believe that the woman is there essentially to serve him, whether they will openly admit it or not. A marriage will not work if one partner is accorded lesser status. Even if the dis-empowered one stays, she will not be a happy, vibrant human being. She will not have the opportunity to express all of who she is, and the marriage will become a structure of convenience rather than one of warmth and love.

So what is the answer? Perhaps it is to truly put yourself in her position and ask yourself if you would be happy with the way things are. Ask her what it would take for her to feel better, and work with her to create that. This could be very rewarding. And there is probably less to lose by making some changes, than there is by not making any.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.

Gwen Randall–Young

For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca

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The May 6 Stock Crash Revisited

May 14, 2010

“Over My 21 Years on Wall Street, I Never Saw Anything Remotely So Suspicious”

Procter & Gamble may have to put the second half of its name in bold in the future or maybe add an exclamation point. Cowboy capitalism threw a lasso around the staid 173 year old household products company on black Thursday, shaving some $62 billion off its market cap at the low point in trading.

Procter & Gamble started its day on May 6, 2010 talking about babies’ bottoms. It went downhill from there. Jodi Allen, Vice President for Procter & Gamble’s Pampers line of baby diapers issued a press release stating: “For a number of weeks, Pampers has been a subject of growing but completely false rumors fueled by social media that its new Dry Max diaper causes rashes and other skin irritations.”

It’s highly doubtful that this statement could have set off a precipitous plunge in its stock price. The company has been around since 1837. It owns some of the most well known brands in the world: Gillette, Ivory soap, Crest toothpaste, Camay, CoverGirl, Max Factor, Pantene, Oral-B, Scope, Pepto Bismol, Cascade, Vicks, Charmin and dozens of other top brands.

What Procter & Gamble is also, however, is one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the index most frequently quoted as a measure of the stock market. Someone wanting to knock out a strut holding up the stock market structure might see entering a large sell order on Procter & Gamble as one of a number of pivotal steps. Here’s why.

Procter & Gamble is in a lot of hands. Because of its historic strong performance and stability, it’s owned by a lot of conservative mutual funds. It would be beneficial to someone wanting to conduct a bear raid on the market on May 6 to knock out all those trailing stop loss orders on Procter & Gamble and pick up a tidy quick profit. (A stop loss order is when one wishes to place a limit on how far down one wants a stock price to go before it is automatically sold. That order stays in place for weeks or months or even years until the stock reaches that price and then is executed on the next tick. Unfortunately, on May 6, the next tick could have been many points below the last tick.) Stop loss orders also serve to slow down plunging stock prices because they cause trades to be printed at each of these various price levels, offering a chance for new buyers to come in at these prices. Once these are knocked off, there’s a big air pocket in a plunging market.

According to reports of time and sales, around 2:45 p.m. when the massive market disruption got underway, Procter & Gamble traded at $59.66. It had opened the day at $61.91. About a minute later, it was trading at $57.36, then $53.51, then it hit a liquidity air pocket and plunged to print a trade at $39.37. This created panic in the market. If one of the most conservative stocks can hit a 36 percent downdraft, some traders thought a major news event was happening outside. Liquidity hit a wall. In an eight minute span, the Dow lost $700 billion and saw a cumulative decline of 998.5 points or 9.2 percent before turning on a dime and moving in the opposite direction. It closed the day down 3.2 percent.

Aggravating the liquidity crunch on May 6 was the fact that the New York Stock Exchange, where Procter & Gamble is listed, paused trading momentarily to let humans on the floor of the exchange attempt to find buying support. That pause sent trades off to the world of electronic exchanges which now make up the bulk of all trading in the U.S. The New York Stock Exchange has only a 25 percent market share in its own listed stocks. The cowboys of capitalism command the rest.

To underscore how dramatic and unprecedented the trading in Procter & Gamble was on May 6, I reflected back to the day I sat behind a Wall Street terminal and watched the market lose 22.6 percent in one day. That day was October 19, 1987. That was more than twice the percentage drop at the worst market point on May 6. And yet, Procter & Gamble lost only 28 percent at its worst point in 1987 versus 36 percent on May 6 when the overall market was down less than 10 percent.

When a bear raid knocks out these stop loss speed bumps on Dow components like Procter & Gamble and 3M (it lost 21 percent at its worst point), the New York Stock Exchange pauses trading momentarily and trades are left to the feckless electronic exchanges, proprietary trading desks of the bailout boys (big Wall Street firms) and high frequency traders. This is like hitting an air pocket at 30,000 feet, then opening the cockpit door to find out no one is inside and the plane is on autopilot as the plane goes into a nose dive.

But sell orders in individual Dow component stocks were not the only problem on May 6. There was extensive selling in the Standard and Poor’s 500 futures contract known as the E-Mini. Futures can be purchased on much greater margin giving bear raiders a bigger bang for their buck. According to testimony from Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises yesterday, one trader “entered the market at around 2:32 and finished trading by around 2:51. The trader had a short futures position that represented on average nine percent of the volume traded during that period. The trader sold on the way down and continued to do so even as the price level recovered. This trader and others have executed hedging strategies of similar size previously.” That last sentence may be ignoring the reality that this was no ordinary day: the gauge of fear in the market, the VIX, had spiked over the past two days; there was intense fear of Greece defaulting on its debt and stresses in the credit markets were being reflected in rising yields on junk bonds.

Cumulatively, mom and pop investors lost many millions of dollars on their stop loss orders from this free fall on May 6. Only those trades occurring between 2:40 and 3 pm that were 60 percent or more away from the market are being cancelled. That means the losses in Procter & Gamble and dozens of other stocks are real losses for those who got stopped out and real profits for those on the other side of the trade.

Over my 21 years on Wall Street, I never saw anything as remotely so suspicious as the trading activity on May 6 or as non-responsive as the SEC’s  investigation to date.

To be continued…

By PAM MARTENS

Pam Martens worked on Wall Street for 21 years; she has no security position, long or short, in any financial company. She and family members own less than 500 shares in Procter & Gamble. She writes on public interest issues from New Hampshire. She can be reached at pamk741@aol.com

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Why Elana Kagan is no Tina Brown

May 14, 2010
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

Only Barack Obama, who ran for president just two years into his first senate term and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishments to be named later, could make inexperience a virtue.

Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court precisely because, unlike every nominee since 1971, she was never a judge.

Given her lack of a judicial record and a very few published law review articles, Americans need to scrutinize every little thing we know about her.

Here’s a tidbit JewishWorldReview.com discovered that could foreshadow how she might rule on the bench.

As articles editor for the Harvard Law Review in 1985 Kagan helped shepherd into print a racially noxious story by a radical law professor and architect of Critical Race Studies, which is essentially “blame whitey” in legal vernacular.

This was no literary fiction. It was the kind of story that would never get past Tina Brown at the New Yorker. What Derrick Bell, the author, was doing, observes legal scholar Arthur Austin, was “making broadside comments on the tyranny of white people.”

Austin, in an article, ranked Bell’s fable one of the top 10 politically correct law review articles of all time.

Bell’s fiction was a way to circumvent law review standards. He made outlandish statements through a fictional alter-ego, modeled after a six foot three black woman in Portland, Oregon that would have been impossible to sustain with the logic and evidence required in a non-fiction piece. The goal was to access a readership that otherwise would not have countenanced such hateful notions.

“What the hell was that doing in a law review article?” asked Professor Austin in an interview with JewishWorldReview.com yesterday. “Bell would publish these things in legal journals that had nothing to do with the law.”


ENABLER

Kagan was his enabler. She helped get something published that turned on all kinds of noxious sentiments about society and a relativistic view of the law.

“Several editors worked with me on the piece but Elena Kagan was the articles editor [known officially as supervising editor],” Bell told JewishWorldReview.com. “There was real dedication and support by Elena.”

Kagan’s participation in an article that replaced facts and logic with subjective narrative does not bode well for her tenure on the Court. Considering that as articles editor of the Harvard Law Review she willingly discarded standards there is good reason to think that she might do this on the Supreme Court.

Critical Legal Studies — a school of thought which deems law fundamentally oppressive and renders everything completely relative — is the linchpin of judicial activism. If everything is the product of subjective perspective then the law becomes whatever judges make it.

As Bell asserted yesterday in an interview with JewishWorldReview.com, “What the hell is the rule of law? The law is whatever you say it is.”

Instead of dissenting from PC orthodoxy at Harvard Law School in 1985 Kagan did her part to embolden it. Bell’s piece was published when Critical Legal Studies was all the rage. Her role in the Bell article says more about her than the oblique law review articles she’s written under her own name.

Basically, Kagan helped tailor Bell’s law review article to the day’s political fashions. “At this point Critical Legal Studies movement was in full flower,” Bell remembers. “Legal publications generally were anxious for articles that broke away from traditional analysis of legal precedent.”

Bell’s “Civil Rights Chronicles” did just that. They are a dialogue between Bell and the fictional Geneva Crenshaw, a lawyer and civil rights activist who, in the author’s own words, “is always the strong militant revolutionary type person.”

The Civil Rights Chronicles, Bell’s forward to the November 1985 law review about the 1984-1985 Supreme Court term, is credited with spawning other fictional narratives in law reviews. It also led to four books by Bell with Geneva Crenshaw stories.

Each chronicle starts with a dreamlike sequence. Bell and Crenshaw then argue about the legal ramifications the story entails.

Both agree that society is fundamentally racist. Austin, the legal scholar, says that in his dialogue with Crenshaw Bell “laid out his thesis that when given a choice between redemption and racism the white culture inevitably opts for the latter.”

The only disagreement between Crenshaw and Bell is whether the country is hopelessly racist. Bell thinks the courts can change society but Crenshaw thinks they can not. She also bristles with contempt for America. Bell’s heroine says blacks get a sense of belonging in Third World countries that they “very seldom feel at home.

In one chronicle Crenshaw is hired by a hitherto all-white law school. Five more minority professors are hired but after that the dean, nameless but clearly racist, patronizing and pompous tells her enough is enough.

He refuses to hire an exceptional black candidate because any more diversity would make it impossible for the school to maintain its white identity. When Crenshaw pushes the candidate, the dean tells her that, “We do appreciate your recruitment efforts, Geneva, but a law school of our caliber and tradition simply cannot look like a professional basketball team.”

Crenshaw and Bell then argue whether the professor denied employment could successfully sue the school for discrimination.

In Crenshaw’s “Chronicle of the Amber Cloud” America is awash in racist double standards. An “amber cloud” descends on the land and overnight “white adolescents with wealthy parents” are “stricken with a debilitating affliction, unknown to medical science, whose symptoms are all too familiar to parents whose children are both poor and blacks.”

The media calls it “Ghetto Disease.”

“Youngsters who had been alert personable and confident become lethargic disinterested , suspicious withdrawn and hopelessly insecure.” In other words, their “behavior resembled that of many children in the most disadvantaged and poverty-ridden ghettoes.

After “a year of strenuous effort” and large sums devoted to finding a cure for Ghetto Disease, the president announces a cure which would cost $100,000 per person.

Civil rights leaders ask that nonwhite youths whose identical behavioral symptoms were caused by “poverty, disadvantage and racism” get to use the new treatment. But Congress passes legislation that limits it to whites only.

The whole thing might strike many as a paranoid fantasy but Bell says it’s a reality. He claims the government only paid attention to the most recent recession when white unemployed figures rose to the level of those for blacks.

In the final sequence, “The Chronicle of the Slave Scrolls,” Crenshaw on a visit to Africa discovers a two foot long replica of a slave ship. Inside, she finds “three tightly rolled parchment scrolls.”

On them, seemingly impenetrable questions were written. Questions like “How does the human spirit accommodate itself to desolation?”

The answer provided is “the readily available but seldom read history of slavery in America. The history is gory and brutal, filled with more murder, mutilation and rape than most of us imagine or comprehend.”

But, hey, whatever works. When she brings the “slave scrolls” back to the church she heads it provides the same kind of solace that spirituals did slaves.

Word spreads throughout the black community. “Within a year, the marks of historic oppression–crime, addiction, self hate–slowly begin to erode.”

Enter the white man determined to keep the black man down. In this case, it’s the Christian Right. An unnamed television minister says the slave scrolls actually breed racial hatred. Over the objections of blacks and civil libertarians almost every state enacts “Racial Toleration Laws” which ban the teaching about America’s racist past.

Sensing defeat her Church burns the scrolls.

So that’s the fiction what’s the reality?


DOUBLE STANDARD?

Well, is this a big deal? Does anyone doubt that if a Republican Supreme Court nominee had helped edit a law review article that stereotyped blacks the way Bell’s piece did whites he would be harshly criticized?”

We know that Kagan is comfortable in far left precincts of academia. Now it’s time for Senators to ask Kagan if she agrees with the ugly critique of society that she helped Bell propagate.

Mr. Gahr has written about race for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, and American Spectator .

Jewish World Review May 13, 2010

By Evan Gahr

Mr. Gahr has written about race for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, and American Spectator .

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