Make your stand today. On this spot. On this day. Make your actions count; do not falter in your determination to fulfill your destiny. Don’t follow the destiny outlined in some mystical book: Create your own.
Your resolve to tread the path of life is your best asset. Without it, you die. Death is unavoidable, but let it not be from loss of will but because your time is over. As long as you can keep going, use your imagination to cope with the travails of life. Overcome your obstacles and realize what you envision.
You will know unexpected happiness. You will know the sorrow of seeing what is dearest to you cut down before your eyes. Accept that. That is the nature of human existence, and you have no time to buffer this fact with fairy tales and illogical explanations.
Each day, your life grows shorter by twenty-four hours. The time to make achievements becomes more precious. You must fulfill everything you want in life and then release your will upon the moment of death. You life is a creation that dies when you die. Release it, give up your individuality, and in so doing, finally merge completely with Tao.
Until that moment, create the poetry of your life with toughness and determination.
Every god can be defied.There have been many rebels who have chosen to defy their gods. Without this option, there can be no true devotion to a holy concept. For devotion is only valuable when a conscious decision is made to follow that course, even in acknowledgment of the difficulties ahead. Choosing to be a devout person is good. Choosing to defy the gods is also good, for it reaffirms the basic ability of human beings to make choices. We cannot support religions which say that there are no choices.
No choice, no devotion.
Metaphysical totalitarianism of any kind stifles the freedom we have as human beings. It is not acceptable to have a religion where the alternative to faith is punishment... Spirituality is only great when it allows that utmost freedom to follow it. If we suffer from difficulties, that is not holy retribution, and we should not allow it to create debilitating questions.
If you endure a crisis in your life, it may well challenge your faith. Perhaps you will even respond bitterly to your gods and cry out: ‘How could anything holy permit this atrocity to happen to me?’ But gods are not only parents or protectors. They are there to inspire us to be better people. They symbolize the inherent choice of this existence. It is secondary whether we choose belief or defiance. What is precious is that we are always able to choose.
Hello dear friends;
Today is my birthday and I wanted to do something special. I don't know how many of you readers know that the daily meditations began over seven years ago on a recovery club that I began, which has since morphed into a group (Taoists in Narcotics Anonymous). Members of that group still receive the daily meditations, as well as 28 other groups and over 240 individuals. One of the groups was give to me when the owner went on to follow his dao and work with Thich Nat Hahn as his quest for peace. (Tao of Recovery group).
This is a poem I wrote one day when my old computer couldn't dial out one night and I was frustrated about getting you the daily meditation. Do enjoy, and thank you for allowing me the amazing joy of sending out a daily meditation and searching for Asian artwork for so many Just For Todays.
Open books at random
of solace and wonder.
I hold Chi ball
engraved soapstone, four
engraved of dragon and phoenix,
I turn circle of wonder
sitting in my garden watching
like the first epiphany in recovery —
discovery! I never
have to use
smooth and cool
in my hands
trade them to
each finger, listening to clinking
clanking and silence
click, clank, silence
on forest floor finding
food for his children,
he was fed from this forest, when
it was his very first spring
the circle, return,
as birds do each spring.
arrival with new song
familiar to us
for six (eleven!) summers now
learned finally to listen
eleven summers now
grosbeak, purple finch
return each spring
they feed children from meadow
remember the forest
fed by their parents
they remember first spring
pine cone drops almost silent,
gladiola force strong
struggle toward the sky
shows yellow bee
they remember first spring
Inside again, must post these great words I have
for the day
share with my family,
consistent the circle
through circle I wander
I remember each spring
midnight am discovered
asleep in my chair
husband tells me
“we can try to get you
come warm the bed now”
Awake at 5:30
in cyberspace I wander
complete circle is life
through circle I wander
a great forest floor
through circle I wander
with acts of Tao passing
through Tao I wander
being fed from its
I remember first spring
through circle I wander
I remember Tao spring...
a reading list of books and interpretations of the Daodejing is available at
for a meditation sent to your email address each day, please write
‘subscribe tao’ in the subject line and send to lisbeth at duckdaotsu
From a bud, only a promise.
Then a gentle opening:
Rich blooming, bursting fragrance.
The fulfillment of the center.
True beauty comes from within. Take a flower as an example. In the beginning it is only a bud. It does not yet show its loveliness to the world, it does not attract bees or butterflies, and it cannot yet become fruit. Only when it opens is beauty revealed in its center. There is the focus of its exquisiteness, there is the source of its aroma, there is its sweet nectar. In the same way, our own unique beauty comes from within.
Our glory has nothing to do with our appearance or our occupation. Our special qualities come from an inner source. We must take care to open and bloom naturally and leisurely an keep to the center. It is from there that all mystery and power come, and it is good to let it unfold in its own time.
Just as a flower goes through stages—bud, open, bloom, pollinate, wither, fruit, fall—each of us will go through the obvious stages of birth to death. We aren’t of a single character throughout our lives. We change and row. Our identities unfold and bloom. Unless we attain the center and keep to our progressions, we cannot ever reach true independence in our lives.
Witness the orgy of platitudes for Laura Bush who parroted a few mildly humorous jokes, undoubtedly written by a highly paid "humor consultant," in front of a bejeweled audience of media sycophant/celebrities, vying to see who could fall off their chairs hardest and fastest as proof that their "objectivity" toward this administration.
This display went way beyond simple courtesy. It made the nightly news on all three networks and, as far as I could see, got significant coverage in the major papers, such as The New York Times. CBS's John Roberts laughed so hard, he mussed up his hair while standing on the front lawn of the White House.
Instead of covering news, journalists cover their own creations, who in turn cover still new media-borgs. News is the fact that Jay Leno reads a joke about the wife of a president reading a joke. The media has fallen down the rabbit hole, and, unlike Alice, doesn't realize it's in Wonderland.
Even in his dotage, the aged Mike Wallace, has decided to become a part-time Barbara Walters-clone instead of retiring in dignity. He now spends his time throwing softballs to People magazine cover girls, so they can command even more money for their next endorsement.
Evolution is no longer covered as being the bedrock of modern Biology because journalists' teeth chatter of the thought of blowback from latter-day Elmer Gantrys.
Global warming — despite being verified by the entire scientific community — is said to be in dispute — only because Exxon/Mobil tells the press that it is in dispute.
Other major stories of the day — such as huge economic dislocation because of globalization — are squeezed off of the front pages, even the back pages, to make room for Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson and whoever is on the Nielsen meter for the next minute.
I am afraid to say if there ever is global press freedom, it will be because of the efforts of a lot of people who aren't journalists, as well as the handful of reporters who became one for the right reasons.
I worked for 30 years to try to be a successful journalist, and I failed at it. At the risk of sounding like sour grapes, I am glad I did fail.
By Jeff Waggoner
— Jeff Waggoner is a union organizer with the NYS Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO.
He contributes to the New York State Progressives blog.
VIDEOGRAPHER, PHOTOJOUNALIST, SOUND TECH
KILLED IN ISRAEL, JANUARY 3, 2003
Journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession, claiming 53 victims last year compared with 40 killed in the line of work in 2003, the media watchdog Reporters without Borders (RsF) said on Tuesday.
In a report for World Press Freedom Day, the Paris-based organization said last year's death toll was the highest since 1995.
"It may never have been as dangerous to inform people," RsF said in a statement. "Freedom of the press is far from being assured around the world."
Reporters without Borders listed Iraq as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists: "Nineteen were killed in 2004 and more than 15 were taken hostage."
A total of 56 journalists and their assistants have been killed in two years in Iraq, making it more dangerous than the 1991-1995 fighting in former Yugoslavia, during which 49 journalists were killed, it said.
A total of 63 journalists were killed in Vietnam, the worst war for journalists, but that was over a 20-year period from 1955 to 1975, it added.
Asia was not far behind Iraq in 2004, with 16 journalists killed. "Almost all of them were killed because they expressed their opinions," it said.
"Denouncing the corruption of elected officials or investigating crime turned out to be fatal for journalists in Bangladesh, Philippines and Sri Lanka," it said.
The fact that the Philippines had more press freedom than almost any other Asian country did not help the six journalists slain by killers hired by corrupt local politicians, it said.
Twelve journalists died while working in Latin America and one in Africa, the report added.
Reporters without Borders also published an "Enemies of Press Freedom Blacklist" naming "those who have personally committed crimes or grave offences against journalists or media and who are still unpunished."
The list included leaders of many countries where reporters have been killed as well as violent movements that have pressured or killed journalists reporting on their activities.
The report praised the broad wave of support shown for French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot when they were taken hostage in Iraq in August 2004 and held for four months.
"But the happy outcome must not hide the grim reality that press freedom is having a hard time," it wrote. "It's being attacked, trampled on, disdained or ignored everywhere in the world."
Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited.
VIET NAM: Le Thi Hong Lien (f), aged 21 - Released Former prisoner of conscience, Le Thi Hong Lien, was released from the prison wing of Bien Hoa Mental Hospital on 28 April 2005.
Family and friends from the Mennonite community collected her and took her home to Ho Chi Minh City where she will be seeking medical attention.
She was included in a prisoner amnesty which the Vietnamese authorities announced for 30 April 2005 to mark the end of the Viet Nam war.
Since her release it has been reported that on 1 May 2005, Le Thi Hong Lien and other Mennonites were taken in for questioning by the police for three hours and later released. They were held after attending a Bible study meeting at the home of the imprisoned Mennonite pastor and human rights activist Nguyen Hong Quang.
Many thanks to all those who sent appeals. No further action is required from the UA Network.
Further Information on UA 01/05 issued 7 January 05 and re-issued 14 April 2005
Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
URGENT ACTION APPEAL UPDATE
To read the current newsletter, go to http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent/newslett.html
---------------------------------- END OF URGENT ACTION APPEAL ----------------------------------
A river new—
Ancient words unneeded.
See, tough, rushing beauty,
Drink crystal flow.
When we stand on the banks of a river, we must realize that it is constantly new. Although we might say that it was running long before we were born, its exact configuration—the particular currents, the way it flows around rocks, the shape of its banks, the paths of fish in its depths—is subtly unique at any given moment. To know the river, we only need to experience it directly: to touch it, to swim in it, to contemplate it, to drink it. The same is true of Tao.
Tao is ever flowing. Although it was present since the beginning of time and though many have experienced it, it is here for us to explore today. Touch it. Swim it. Contemplate it. Drink it. If you have touched Tao, you should harbor no doubt about it, nor should you wonder that you need scripture to confirm it.
The Young Marines is not a new organization. It began in 1958. Until the Bush regime, growth had been very slow. Six years ago there were only 32 units throughout the country (About the Young). Now there are 250 units (Nitkin), an increase of 781%. By 2007, the organization plans on being in every state with at least 380 units (Mission and Vision). That type of growth is phenomenal in any kind of venture. With the Young Marines, not only is it fantastic, it is frightening.
The purpose of the Young Marines is to teach children discipline and to teach them to avoid drugs. These sound like great goals, but it is important to remember that these goals have been set by a military organization that enforces obedience rather than discipline and is generating revenue and supporting illegal actions through the War on Drugs.
Let's examine these areas of operation within the Young Marines more closely so that we might better understand the issue of the militarization of children and why it is anathema to a free society.
Self-discipline is a very important characteristic for survival in our society. Most youth organizations have a focus on teaching children to be responsible for themselves. One of the big differences with the Young Marines is that self-discipline is not about learning to be self-reliant, but as June Reid, Executive Officer of the Rocky Mountain Young Marines in Golden, Colorado states, "They learn to follow orders and get it right the first time." If one of the children does not follow orders, then the entire group is punished by doing physical exercises. She goes on to say that "Peer pressure makes them monitor themselves."
Reid explains that the reason for this is that the Young Marines training program ("affectionately called 'Boot Camp'" according to their websites) is identical to the training given in the Marine Corps, with the exception that officers take into account the physical limitations of children. Marine Corps training has never been about independence, but rather, enforcing a lack of persona so that soldiers follow orders without thinking no matter how morally reprehensible they might view the orders. The Young Marines fix children so that they no longer think or act independently.
This control that the organization has over children extends well beyond the domain of behavior during "Boot Camp" or other functions of the organization. According to Reid, the children have a weekly review questionnaire that is completed by teachers, parents, and the children themselves to let the officers know what wrong the children have done. If a child did not do their homework one night, the entire group is punished with push-ups. This effectively removes disciplinary functions from authority figures such as parents and places them in the hands of a government agency, the Department of Defense.
Another organization that restructured authority functions between the family and state in this way had famously disastrous results. The man whom this organization was named for had an identical philosophy on structuring children that the Young Marines has. To this end he stated that, "My program for educating youth is hard. Weakness must be hammered away." This enigmatic statement was made by Adolf Hitler in 1933 about the Hitler Youth. The quote continues, "In my castles of the Teutonic Order a youth will grow up before which the world will tremble. I want a brutal, domineering, fearless, cruel youth. Youth must be all that. It must bear pain. There must be nothing weak and gentle about it. The free, splendid beast of prey must once again flash from its eyes...That is how I will eradicate thousands of years of human domestication...That is how I will create the New Order" (Hitler Youth).
Fighting the War on Drugs at Home
The Young marines put so much stress on the fact that they are teaching children to lead a drug free lifestyle that you would expect it to be the core of their program. It is not. In order to meet this goal, The Young Marines utilize the DARE program.
The DARE program has been discontinued in most public schools throughout the country, as research has shown that it has failed in improving a childs chances of avoiding drugs. One report finds that DARE is no "more effective than no program at all" (Does DARE Work).
Why do the Young Marines use this program if it is a failure? Is it an afterthought to show that they are teaching a drug free lifestyle? Not exactly. The DARE program was also criticised throughout the 1990s and dropped from educational programs for another reason.
The DARE classes are taught by uniformed police officers who work to earn the trust of the children (usually age 10-11) that they work with. You might not think that it so bad for children to trust the police, but think again. DARE was started in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department as an informant program. When the officer is able to gain the trust of a child, they can gain information from the child about the drug use of adults in the childs life. There are many documented cases of the DARE program actually breaking families up over infractions such as the posession of marijuana (Bovard).
The fact that the Young Marines, an organization proven to be a tool of the state to assume authority of a child over the parent, is using a police informant program to educate children about drug use is quite alarming. The Young Marines take things a step farther. The children are not only educated in this way, they are active participants in the War on Drugs.
Every October, Young Marines and participants in other military youth organizations, are invited to attend Red Ribbon Week at the Pentagon. Here they mingle with DOD personnel and hear lectures about the War on Drugs (Department of Defense). In 2003, the children were able to listen to Andre Hollis, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics, discuss his position in the drug war. It was Hollis, who in 2003 started the propaganda campaign that drugs were directly related to terrorism (Statement by Andre). As active participants in the War on Drugs, these children are now involved in the War on Terror.
The core of the Young Marines drug program is then, not to teach children a drug free lifestyle, but to involve them in counter terrorism efforts through the DOD Counternarcotics division and local police agencies through the DARE program. Putting children in this position is quite dangerous, not just for the child or the family of the child, but for society as a whole.
History provides us another example of the danger of placing children in this role. In 1966, Chinese leader, Mao Zedong began efforts to invigorated a youth organization called the Red Guard. The primary motivating factor of the Red Guard was to use peer pressure to modify the behavior of children in their mid-teens just as the Young Marines do. Their focus was to weed out capitalists and counter-revolutionaries (insert "terrorists" here) through a purge in which they often had their own parents arrested and executed. This Cultural Revolution is considered the bloodiest decade in Chinese history.
Every contact you might have with the Young Marines overly stresses the fact that they are not a military recruiting organization. June Reid adds a qualifier to this. She says that if a child decides they want to join the military, the Young Marines officers will assist them.
Furthermore, Reid states that recruiters often send children who are too young to join the military to the Young Marines. The logic is that because the Young Marines training is identical to Marine Corps training, it will prepare them for the real thing. With this knowledge, it would seem logical that the Young Marines training is a form of recruitment. Additionally, high school students report that military recruiters have been encouraging poolies, or potential recruits, to recruit their fellow classmates. This would be another reason why it benefits the military to send them to the Young Marines. The effort must be working, as Reid confirms that transition from the Young Marines to the Marine Corps has increased dramatically.
The importance and prominance of the Young Marines is continuing to increase. Reid notes that the court system is increasingly likely to send kids with problems to the Young Marines. Mr. Bush has given the organization an even larger boost by promising $150 million dollars to help at-risk youth. Naturally, this assistance is earmarked to go to faith based and community organizations (State of the). You can be certain that the Young Marines will likely be one of the largest recipients.
The Young Marines is an extremely dangerous organization that has moved into our communities with the intent of turning our children into small soldiers, to create an endless supply of cannon fodder for an ever expansive war. It will no longer be necessary to convince young people to join the military because they will already be a part of it. If compulsory service or another type of draft is initiated, young people will have been conditioned not to resist it.
Surveillence culture in this country has been a failure for the most part. American's simply are not socialized to spy on each other. The Young Marines is going to change that. Children are taught from a young age the importance of identifying and reporting what Mr. Bush calls "evil doers."
In essence the Young Marines is not only a threat to the health and well being of our children and family relationships, it is a threat to the very stability of culture and community within the United States. With this knowledge it is of the utmost importance that every parent avoid having this military organization infiltrate your family and prevent them from setting up operations within your community.
Copyright © 2005 by Brandon Batzloff
To learn about the Young Marines from the perspective of the children involved, read "Discipline the Marine Corps Way," also in this issue. (watch for it in future blog notes)
By Brandon Batzloff
Editor, Free Voices
"About the Young Marines." Young Marines National Headquarters NEWSROOM. Viewed 02.02.05. http://youngmarinesnews.org/about_the_young_marines.htm
Bovard, James. "DARE Scare: Turning Children Into Informants?" 01.29.94. Viewed 02.03.05. http://www.calyx.net/~schaffer/LIBRARY/dare4.html
"Department of Defense 2004 Red Ribbon Week Observance." Department of Defense Counternarcotics. Viewed 02.03.05. http://www.defenselink.mil/policy/solic/cn/red_ribbon.html
"Does Dare Work?" From "A Different Look at DARE." DRCNet. Viewed 02.03.05. http://drcnet.org/DARE/section5.html
"Hitler Youth." The History Place. Viewed 02.03.05. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/hitleryouth/index.html
"Mission and Vision." Young Marines National Headquarters NEWSROOM. Viewed 02.02.05. http://youngmarinesnews.org/Press%20Kit/MissionVision.pdf
Nitkin, Karen. "Youths Learning the Marine Way." The Baltimore Sun. 01.16.05
"State of the Union." The White House. Viewed 02.03.05. http://www.whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2005/#3
"Statement by Andre Hollis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics Before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources." United States House of Representatives, 108th Congress. 07.09.03. Viewed 02.03.05. http://www.reform.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Hollis.pdf#search='AndrÃ©%20Hollis
McClain didn't agree to the demands right away, and protesters said they would continue their five-day sit-in.
"I find much in it with which I can agree," McClain said in a statement acknowledging that he had received the protesters' list of demands. "I have referred it to university counsel for the expeditious review and will have a response no later than Tuesday."
The protesters, who include students, faculty members and community members, including Native Hawaiians, said they "will maintain our occupation" until McClain responds.
"We are taking a stand against the threat to the soul and future of our university," said student Jessica Oshita, who was surrounded by about 60 protesters as she read the group's demands.
"We are resolved to continue our occupation because we care so deeply about our university," she said.
Citing Native Hawaiian concerns, protesters say the proposed University Affiliated Research Center, which would be the Navy's fifth on a U.S. college campus, would further militarize a state that is home to several military bases, including the Navy's Pearl Harbor and headquarters for the U.S. military's Pacific Command.
The university has denied protester accusations that the university would help develop weapons of mass destruction and says the center would help the school compete with the nation's top research universities and attract federal dollars in tight budget times.
Protesters want McClain to withdraw his approval of negotiations for a University Affiliated Research Center at the school and to suspend any further action by the Board of Regents until at least Oct. 1. The regents gave preliminary approval to the plan in November.
They also are demanding a full release of all documents and relevant information to the research center and want a public meeting where they can present relevant information, because they claim the negative impact of the research center has been hidden from the regents.
If McClain agrees with the demands, they want him to implement everything by May 12.
Protesters began their sit-in at McClain's office on Thursday. The university administration allowed them to stay through the weekend. The building was turned into a combination dormitory and study hall over the weekend for the student protesters, many of whom have final exams next week.
The students, faculty and community members oppose the university's plans to enter a five-year, $50 million dollar contract with the Navy to establish a research center on the Manoa campus. Officials estimate that about 15 percent of the center's work would be classified.
Contract negotiations with the Navy on the research center are expected to begin in as early as a few weeks.
The four Navy-backed research centers in the United States are located at Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington and Johns Hopkins University. Hawaii was recommended for the fifth center in July 2004.
RON STATON Associated Press HONOLULU © Centre Daily
ON THE NET
University of Hawaii: http://www.uhm.hawaii.edu/
Stop UARC: http://stopuarc.info/
Registrars, admissions officers and others who deal with student records have to thread a path between the requirements of the law and the requirements of other federal regulations regarding student privacy.
The Solomon Amendment, the law that gives military recruiters access to campuses and to certain types of student information, is a compliance mandate affecting all institutions that participate in federal student aid programs.
Though law schools have led most of the legal challenges to it, colleges and universities all must comply with the Solomon act in order to preserve federal funding.
"Our primary interaction with recruiters is twofold," said Baker. "The first is access to campus -- they want to come to campus to recruit and be able to have ROTC units on campus."
Under Solomon, institutions cannot prohibit ROTC, and they can't deny access to Army recruiters that is given to other recruiters. In that respect they must treat the armed services like any other employer.
In the second area, however, they are treated differently, Baker said.
"That is the releasing of student recruiting information," said Baker. "This is information that institutions are not required to give to others -- they are not prohibited from doing so, but they are not required to."
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act governs the release of such information in general, Baker said. "That's much broader, that's been in place for 20 years. That protects the students' rights to privacy. It tells us what we can release, and says that we can only release what's called 'directory information' without the student's written permission. Every college has an option of releasing it or not releasing it under FERPA."
Except with military recruiters. The Solomon Act requires institutions to turn over certain categories of such directory information to them.
"Since Solomon passed, we must release this eight or nine pieces of directory information. We could turn another organization down."
Those types of information are: name of student; student's address, local or permanent; student's phone number, local or permanent; age and/or date of birth; place of birth ("If we know it -- we are not required to get that information," said Baker); class level (freshman, sophomore, graduate etc.); academic major; degrees the student has received; student's most recent educational institutional enrollment before current institution.
"You'll note race, religion and gender are not included," said Baker. "They cannot say, 'Please give me all the minorities, or the veterans.' And we can only release information on students 17 and older who are registered for at least one credit."
Baker, who has given presentations on the Solomon act for several years at annual meetings of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, said that members have been told to continue "business as usual" in face of the litigation and upcoming Supreme Court hearing of Solomon Amendment challenges.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005 By Lillian Thomas, © Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(Lillian Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 412-263-3566.)
he Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether the nation's colleges and universities may bar military recruiters from their campuses without losing federal funding.
The case, to be heard in the fall, poses a clash between government money and free speech.
A coalition of law schools last year won an appellate court ruling that said their right to free speech included the right to refuse to associate with military recruiters. The law schools argued that the Pentagon's policies on gays and lesbians in the military were discriminatory.
If that ruling is allowed to stand, all colleges and universities would have that right.
But the justices voted to take up the Pentagon's claim that because colleges and universities accepted federal funds, they had an obligation to give the military the same right to recruit on campus as other employers.
"Effective recruitment is essential to an all-volunteer military, particularly in a time of war," the government's lawyers said. The Defense Department wants to recruit law school graduates to serve as lawyers or judges in the military.
Congress adopted the Pentagon's view in a spending provision, known as the Solomon amendment for its chief sponsor, then-Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y.), that was first attached to a defense authorization bill in 1994 and has been revised several times since. It allows the government to cut off money to colleges and universities that bar Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs from campus or that deny military recruiters "equal access" to students on the same basis as other employers.
Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy), a cosponsor of the amendment, said lawmakers wanted to "send a message over the wall of the ivory tower of higher education" that their "starry-eyed idealism comes with a price. If they are too good — or too righteous — to treat our nation's military with the respect it deserves, then they may also be too good to receive the generous level of taxpayer dollars presently enjoyed by many institutions of higher education in America."
Two years ago, a coalition of 31 law schools and law school faculties — including Georgetown, Stanford and New York universities — challenged the law as unconstitutional. They noted that since 1990, most of the nation's law schools had adopted a strict policy of nondiscrimination that said, among other things, that on-campus facilities would not be available to employers who "discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age or sexual orientation."
And because it does not allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is discriminatory, the schools contended.
In their suit, the law schools argue that under the 1st Amendment's protection for free speech, they have a right not to associate with persons or organizations that espouse discriminatory policies — and they are relying on a recent and controversial Supreme Court precedent for this view.
Five years ago, the justices ruled 5 to 4 that the Boy Scouts had a free-speech right not to associate with homosexuals and thus could exclude from their ranks an openly gay scoutmaster from New Jersey. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the author of the opinion, said the Scouts' free-speech right of "expressive association" trumped a New Jersey law that prohibited discrimination against gays.
The same is true in the military recruiting case, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said last year.
"Just as the Boy Scouts believed that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the Scout oath, the law schools believe that employment discrimination is inconsistent with their commitment to justice and fairness," the appeals court said in a 2-1 decision.
Bush administration lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court on behalf of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. They said the case turned on government money, not on the free speech of private organizations.
"If institutions do not wish to associate with military recruiters or their speech, they may decline to associate with the federal funding," said acting Solicitor General Paul Clement. "Institutions that voluntarily accept federal funding remain free to protest the military's policies and to make clear that they do not agree with them."
He added, however, that the Solomon amendment required colleges and law schools "to give the military the same access to their facilities and students as they choose to give outside employers."
For their part, the law schools say they are not opposed to the military recruiting their students. Rather, they should not be forced to aid its efforts.
"This is not a question of barring them at the gate," said Sharon Frase, a Philadelphia lawyer who has worked on the suit. "They don't want to affirmatively help them by posting job announcements and arranging interviews. They are saying, 'You can recruit, but we're not going to help you.' "
After the appellate court ruling, Harvard and Yale universities reimposed restrictions on military recruiters at their law schools. Most others, including USC, have taken a more cautious approach, providing the recruiters with regular access to their students while awaiting clarification of the ruling.
USC Law School Dean Matthew L. Spitzer said that would continue to be the case. "This doesn't change our situation at all for the moment," he said. "We'll wait for the Supreme Court to make a decision."
In 2002, the university's law school granted official access to the recruiters after it was warned that USC risked losing almost $300 million in federal funding — about 21% of its operating budget — if it did not.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the fall in the case of Rumsfeld vs. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights.
By David G. Savage Times Staff Writer May 3, 2005 WASHINGTON Times staff writer Rebecca Trounson in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
KUDOS TO the National Academy of Sciences for ably filling the breach caused by the absence of federal guidelines on human embryonic stem cell research. While we prefer that rules governing research on human tissues be federal and enforceable, the National Academy of Sciences' new voluntary guidelines are a necessary stand-in.
The administration's ban on federal funding for new-line embryonic stem cell research has not slowed its growth. States -- most notably California, through a $3 billion 10-year initiative -- have taken on the role of funder for this breakthrough, not-ready-for-profit science. But funding is just one role; another is ensuring that U.S.-based scientists hew to the same procedural and ethical guidelines so their research can be shared, easily compared and trusted.
States and private funders could require different recordkeeping, disagree on how many days the cells may be grown before testing -- or worse, not set rules at all. And should a promising treatment be found for Parkinson's disease, for example, it's not clear what standard the Food and Drug Administration should use to decide whether it is worthy enough to test on people.
The academy's guidelines include banning payments to embryo donors, requiring informed donor consent and allowing donors to withdraw their consent later; maintaining a database of stem cells listing their (anonymous donor) origin, who is using them and for what; and banning the transplantation of human cells into other primates and animal embryonic cells into a human embryo.
Most important is the idea of stages of review -- oversight committees at each research institution as well as a national group of laypeople and scientists -- to evaluate this important research. Scientists, who were vocal in asking for a solid standard, can now concentrate on their work.
The voluntary guidelines treat only the practical ethics; they do not enter the debate over when life begins and who makes that decision. But stem cell research is like a train that's already left the station. While Americans struggle to come to a consensus on the big questions, it's appropriate to have at least the basic tracks laid down.
Copyright © 2005, The Baltimore Sun
Golden light skims azure bay.
Dense air heavy with laurel.
Windless dusk smears to night,
Sonorous pool n a sheltered grove.
Though this world is turbulent, there are still days and places where we can be afforded some tranquility. When this happens, it is right to rest from the tribulations and striving of being in the world and to take advantage of what is offered. Sometimes it will be the peaceful feeling of sunset, when the blazing sun becomes reconciled with the horizon and a sense of acceptance lingers in the air. At other times, it will be the chance encounter with a secret place—perhaps a grove of trees that promises a mysterious comfort.
In such places, we can often find peace. Such stillness can even be precious, as when we notice the deep voice of a stream which we were always too busy to hear before. Indeed, sometimes we are so worn out by our daily activities that we forget to notice our need for recharging.
Renewal is a profound tonic. With sanctuary and rest, we can prepare to go forth again.
a reading list of books and interpretations of the Daodejing is available at
for a meditation sent to your email address each day, please write ‘subscribe tao’ in the subject line
and send to lisbeth at duckdaotsu
he Iraqis have thrown us another curveball.
Ahmad Chalabi -- convicted embezzler in Jordan, suspected Iranian spy, double-crosser of the United States, purveyor of phony war-instigating intelligence -- is the new acting Iraqi oil minister.
Is that why we went to war, to put the oily in charge of the oil, to set the swindler who would be Spartacus atop the ultimate gusher?
Does anybody still think the path to war wasn't greased by oil?
The neocons' con man had been paid millions by the United States to tell the Bushies what they wanted to hear on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. A year ago, the State Department and factions in the Pentagon turned on him after he began bashing this country and using Saddam Hussein's secret files to discredit his enemies.
Right after the invasion, the charlatan was escorted into Iraq by U.S. troops and cultivated an axis of Americans, Iraqis and Iranians. He got a fancy house with layers of armed guards and pulled-down shades and began helping himself to Iraqi assets. The U.S. occupation sicced the Iraqi police on his residence only after an Iraqi judge had thugs in the Chalabi posse arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, torture and theft.
Newsweek revealed that the United States suspected Chalabi of leaking secret information about U.S. war plans for Iraq to the Iranians before the invasion, and of perhaps leaking "highly classified" information to Iran that could "get people killed" if abused by the Iranians. Chalabi claimed the Iranians set him up.
In August of last year, while he was at a cabin in the Iranian mountains, the Iraqis ordered him arrested on counterfeiting charges, which were later dropped for lack of evidence.
Now, showing survival skills that make Tom DeLay look like a piker, the resourceful Thief of Baghdad has popped back up as one of the four deputy prime ministers and the interim cabinet minister controlling the one valuable commodity in that wasteland: the second-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia. He even has a DeLay-like talent for getting relatives on the payroll: a Chalabi nephew is the new finance minister.
Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Reuters that many Iraqis would consider the plum job for Chalabi "putting a fox in charge of the henhouse." The choice, he added, "is going to make it extremely easy for people to make charges about corruption."
Oil isn't on the front burner only in Iraq. President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney know that time is running out to pay back the Texas buddies who sent them here with an energy bill. So the oilmen are frantically pushing one loaded with giveaways to the oil industry at a time when it's already raking in huge profits because of high gasoline prices.
Meanwhile in Baghdad, we could wind up with a one-man Enron -- never underestimate the snaky charmer. And the draconian efforts of Chalabi and other Shiites in power to purge Baathists from the government will breathe fire into the insurgency.
Bush wanted Iraq to have a democracy like ours. It's on its way, nearing an ethics-free zone where a corrupt official can hold sway and a theocracy can curb women's rights.
Another big winner in the new Iraqi cabinet is Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric who scurried away like a rat across the desert after he led two armed uprisings and caused a lot of U.S. and Iraqi troops to die. His political movement got three ministries -- health, transportation and civil society -- and Sadr allies will try to give the scofflaw cleric legal protections so he can slink back into a leadership role.
Ayad Allawi, the Shiite who was supposed to keep the government secular and bring in Sunnis to blunt the insurgency, has been marginalized. That leaves the government to be ruled by men rooted in the sort of conservative Shiite religious politics that will not produce a new dawn of equality for Iraqi women.
The new prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, is a devout Shiite from the Dawa Party. As John Burns wrote in The New York Times Friday, the Dawa Party was "fiercely anti-American during their exile years under Mr. Hussein, and Dawa was implicated by American intelligence in terrorist acts across the Middle East, including a 1983 bombing of the American Embassy in Kuwait."
The bad news: This is not an Iraqi government that will practice Athenian democracy or end the insurgency. The other bad news: If Jaafari falls, Ahmad Chalabi will be there to pick up the pieces.
Maureen Dowd is a columnist with The New York Times.
© 2005 New York Times News Service. E-mail: email@example.com
© 1998-2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
wo weeks ago a person or organization hacked into the Free Voices website, erased several issues of Free Voices, eZine of the People, and attached a virus to a story.
Why would such an attack take place on our website? Perhaps that question can be better answered by looking at the story that was targeted.
"Young Marines: Militarizing Americaís Children"(see next blog article) is an essay I wrote to bring attention to the existence of the Young Marines Association, a military organization for children between the ages of eight and seventeen. Rather than simply exposing the abusivce practices of the organization, i discussed historical comparisons of similar programs and their disastrous consequences as a way to introduce the reasoning behind the expansion of the Young Marines in the US. Apparently this is something that someone does not want discussed.
Very little writing has been done about the Young Marines. The very few articles that question the practices within the organization do so in a very neutral manner. It is my personal belief that trying to remain neutral on a topic that is so heavily skewed and has so much evidence against it being beneficial in any healthy way is not just avoiding the truth, but serves to legitimize the improper, illegal, or damaging aspects of what is being discussed. This happens all too regularly in corporate media and it is the purpose of publications such as Free Voices to shout the truth no matter how harsh that truth might be.
Rest assured that the effects of the hacking have been remedied and there are no dangers of receiving a virus from our website. We will continue to monitor such intrusions and attempts to silence the voices of those whose writing appears here. Wherever we find information that is hidden or not easily accessible, we will make sure that you are informed. Whenever you feel stifled and unable to express yourself we will make your voice heard.
Copyright © 2005 by Brandon Batzloff
Some big guys don't have enough to do but to wander through the net discovering little guys to make note and send note to.... so if you had the chance to see it (or if you were quick enough and smart enough, and by gosh, someone just likes you) You may have a rarety... yes yes I mean that. We have been censored.
HEREIN LIES THE SAGA, and the reports back from Those Who Know Better :
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We have learned that you have posted the full text of Robert Kaplan's
article from the June 2005 Atlantic on your blog. You have also posted James
Warren's piece on Kissinger
While we are grateful for your interest in The Atlantic, do note that the
copyright to this work is held by Mr. Kaplan, Mr. Warren and Atlantic Media.
You are,of course, not permitted to republish it on your own site, where it
is publicly accessible.
Please remove it from your site at once and contact me within 24 hours to
confirm same. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter. I look
forward to hearing back at your earliest possible convenience.
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----- Original Message -----From: lisbethSent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 4:13 PMSubject: TOM:/ DANNY: COPYRIGHT CONCERN, PLS HELP!I got this today and wanted to know if you are aware of any kind of specific non "fair use" issue that they may have on this posting. I do subscribe to the zine and hence, get the online edition. I don't post the full disclaimer on every post but it is accessible in the margin of every blog page. Got any news I should be aware of and is this more of the blogger wars?
Think I send this to mediachannel as well. We'll see what comes of it.
posts are on www.duckdaotsu.blogspot.com and are RSS through feedburner, so it has been syndicated in many places.--
I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more
if only they knew they were slaves. - Harriet Tubman
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Some news outlets try to enforce their coprights. Others don't care. I don't
think they are threatening you......danny
> From: lisbeth
> Date: 2005/05/01 Sun PM 07:13:37 EDT
> To: information clearing house
> Subject: TOM:/ DANNY: COPYRIGHT CONCERN, PLS HELP!
> I got this today and wanted to know if you are aware of any kind of
May 1, 2005
How Far Will The Army Go?
How far will U.S. Army recruiters go to bring young men and women into their ranks? An Arvada West High School senior recently decided to find out. The following is CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger's report..
ast month the U.S. Army failed to meet its goal of 6,800 new troops.
Aware of this trend, David McSwane, a local high school student, decided he wanted to find out to what extent some recruiters would go to sign up soldiers who were not up to grade.
McSwane, 17, is actually just the kind of teenager the military would like. He's a high school journalist and honor student at Arvada West High School. But McSwane decided he wanted to see "how far the Army would go during a war to get one more solider."
McSwane contacted his local army recruiting office in Golden with a scenario he created. He told a recruiter that he was a dropout and didn't have a high school diploma.
"No problem," the recruiter explained. He suggested that McSwane create a fake diploma from a non-existent school.
McSwane recorded the recruiter saying that on the phone.
"It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School or something -- whatever you choose," the recruiter said.
As instructed, McSwane went on the computer to a Web site and for $200 arranged to have a phony diploma created that certified him as a graduate of Faith Hill Baptist High School, the very name the recruiter suggested. It came complete with a fake grade transcript.
"What was your reaction to them encouraging you to get a phony diploma?" CBS4's Rick Sallinger asked.
"I was shocked," McSwane said. "I'm sitting there looking at a poster that says 'Integrity, Honor, Respect' and he is telling me to lie."
McSwane also pretended he had a drug problem when he spoke with the recruiter.
The Army does not accept enlistees with drug problems.
"I have a problem with drugs," McSwane said, referring to the conversation he had with the recruiter. "I can't kick the habit ... just marijuana."
"[The recruiter] said 'Not a problem,' just take this detox ... he said he would pay half of it ... told me where to go."
Drug testers CBS4 contacted insist it doesn't work, but the recruiter claimed in another recorded phone conversation that taking "detoxification capsules and liquid" would help McSwane pass the required test.
"The two times I had the guys use it, it has worked both times," the recruiter said in the recorded conversation. "We didn't have to worry about anything."
Then the original recruiter was transferred and another recruiter, Sgt. Tim Pickel, picked up the ball.
A friend of McSwane shot videotape as Pickel drove McSwane to a store where he purchased the so-called detox kit.
CBS4 then went to the Army recruiting office and confronted Sgt. Pickel. CBS4 played him a conversation McSwane had with Pickel on the phone. The transcript of that conversation follows:
Pickel: Oh, OK so nothing major?
McSwane: Yeah, he said he would take me down to get that stuff, I mean I have no idea what it is, so you would have to show me. Is that a problem?
Pickel: No, not at all.
Pickel quickly referred CBS4 to his superiors.
CBS4 then played the tapes and showed the video to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Brodeur, who heads army recruiting for the region.
"Let me sum up all of this with one word: unacceptable, completely unacceptable," Brodeur said.
Hearing recruiters talking about phony diplomas and ways to beat drug tests left Brodeur more than a little disturbed.
"Let me tell you something sir, I'm a soldier and have been a soldier for 20 years," Brodeur said. "This violates trust, it violates integrity, it violates honor and it violates duty."
The army says it is conducting a full investigation. Brodeur said there is no pressure or punishment for recruiters if quotas are not met. They are, however, rewarded when their goals are surpassed.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Denver office released the following press release on April 29 in relation to this case:
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Brodeur, Denver Army Recruiting Battalion commander, said: "We began conducting an investigation immediately upon finding out about the allegations made toward these recruiters and are required to complete the investigation within 30 days.
"Recruiter misconduct is not acceptable and it violates honor, duty and trust.
"The Army takes a very serious approach to proper enlistment procedure and integrity. All allegations are investigated. We do not tolerate unprofessional behavior and our stringent guidelines for policing the recruiting force is evidence of that commitment."
(© 2005 news4colorado.com.
Army pair's tactics eyed
wo Army recruiters in Golden have been suspended from their jobs while military officials look into allegations the two men used improper tactics to get an Arvada high school student to sign up for duty.
The Denver Army Recruiting Battalion, which oversees recruiting for Colorado and parts of three other states, launched the investigation Friday after CBS 4 News broadcast a report the previous night about the alleged improprieties.
The report featured David McSwane, an Arvada West High School honors student and editor of his school newspaper, who was "curious" to see what recruiters at a Golden recruitment facility would do if he told them he wanted to join the Army as a high school dropout with a serious marijuana problem.
McSwane, 17, said he had read about the challenges the military was facing in recruiting and wanted to find out "how desperate they really are."
"Being my age and in high school, you see recruiters all the time. It's something that's affecting people my age," he told The Rocky Mountain News Friday.
Starting in January, McSwane met with two recruiters in Golden several times and secretly taped a series of phone calls with them. On the tapes, one recruiter is apparently heard encouraging McSwane to create a fake high school diploma to cover for the fact that he had dropped out.
"It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School or something — whatever you choose," the recruiter said.
McSwane said he bought a phony diploma, complete with a transcript, from a Web site for $200. He was told that it passed the Army's academic evaluation.
"At one point, I thought he would look up my academic record, but he never did," McSwane said.
McSwane got a friend to film another recruiter driving him to a store to purchase a detoxification kit to rid his system of supposed marijuana traces.
By the middle of March, McSwane was asked to sign a routine paper attesting that everything he had told recruiters was true.
"He wanted me to strip down and get on the scale and sign some papers — I walked out . . . and never came back," he said.
McSwane's story was published with his principal's approval in the high school newspaper, The Westwind, on March 17.
Debbie Cannon, public affairs chief for the Denver Army Recruiting Battalion, wouldn't comment on the allegations. She expected the investigation to be completed within 30 days.
"Recruiter misconduct is not acceptable and it violates honor, duty and trust," Lt. Col. Jeffrey Brodeur, the battalion's commander, said in a statement.
McSwane said he got the feeling from the recruiters he talked to that they were desperately trying to sign him up by a certain date so that they could meet a monthly quota.
"I'd like to see the Army investigate this thoroughly, not just two guys in this office," he said.
By John Aguilar, Rocky Mountain News April 30, 2005
ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) -- On the orders of their colonel, Army investigators went to the home of high school student David McSwane to collect his evidence.
The man in charge of recruiting in the Denver area, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Brodeur said "The first thing I have to do is aggressively investigate any improprieties, and there are apparently glaring improprieties."
The colonel asked McSwane to turn over tapes that he recorded on the phone and a videotape showing a recruiter driving him to purchase a substance to help him pass a drug test. McSwane had made up a story to see how far recruiters would go to enlist him.
On a taped conversation, McSwane said "I have a drug problem." The recruiter said, "OK." "My diploma and transcript isn't real," McSwane said. The recruiter said, "OK."
The recorded phone conversations includes recruiters instructing McSwane how to create a phony diploma.
"I hope they look into recruiting tactics and see that this is something that is going on," McSwane said. "People are in the Army that have gotten in this way."
CBS4 asked the colonel if the tactics could be due to pressure to meet quotas for new soldiers.
"Sir, listen, it doesn't matter what the quotas are, it doesn't matter if your quota is one or 10 for this month," Brodeur said. "It is unacceptable."
Brodeur called the Army an "All-Star Army" that doesn't need soldiers with drug problems or those who don't meet academic standards.
"The people of the United States of America and the state of Colorado deserve better," Brodeur said. "They don't need recruiters that are like this, if this is in fact true."
The Army's investigation into the recruiting tactics will be completed next month.
thank you to The Westwind
and the leadership of the faculty of Arvada West High School
for their support of high school investigative journalism
additional reporting © Rocky Mountain News
Glass shattered at recruit office
n Army and Marines recruitment center in Westminster was shot at eight times early Friday, an incident that police believe is related to the airing of CBS 4 News' report on alleged recruitment improprieties.
"The timeliness is too significant to ignore," said Westminster police investigator Tim Read. "The report was at 10 p.m. (Thursday night) and by 7 this morning, the damage occurred
No one was injured in the shooting, which shattered some glass at the front of the building at 7355 W. 88th Ave.
Debbie Cannon, with the Denver Army Recruiting Battalion, called the shooting an "isolated incident" and not the result of the broadcast.