Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
The SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999
CFR ECHOS BILDERBERG CALL FOR GLOBAL COURT
One-worlders want an ultra-powerful international "justice" system.
By James P. Tucker Jr.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Bilderberg's propaganda ministry, has echoed the call for an International Criminal Court and further surrender of American sovereignty.
With an attempted deference to national sovereignty, the CFR's new report said the court "will not routinely substitute itself for national for national courts...only when national court systems have broken down, or abusive governments insist on shielding criminal suspects from the legitimate investigation and prosecution, will the international criminal court step in."
President Clinton, a creature of Bilderberg, called for such a court in 1997. Because of public opposition and a Senate that would never ratify the treaty, he has been low-key on the subject recently and expressed some reservations.
However, the treaty drafted in Rome permits no "reservations" or "understandings" to be attached at ratification. Two authors of the CFR report urged the president to sign the treaty although the current Senate would never ratify it on grounds that it would involve the United States in the court. The treaty asserts jurisdiction over all nations, whether they sign or not.
It is "correct to assert jurisdiction even in countries not ratifying the treaty," said Kenneth Roth, head of Human Rights Watch and an author of the study.
A request by the United states, made while the treaty was being drafted in Rome, to allow this country to prosecute its own citizens was rightly rejected, Roth said as the CFR authors met with reporters July 15 in Washington.
The United States should sign on, Roth said, to avoid being left out of the decision making.
"This is the court we are going to have," Roth said. "The only question is will the United States be part of it."
While ratification by the current Senate is impossible, both authors agreed, Clinton should sign the treaty to make the United States a "partner."
"The rest of the world understands the Jesse Helms problem," Roth said, referring to the Republican senator from North Carolina who is chairman of the foreign affairs committee and opponent of the treaty.
The court will "hold governments accountable" for how they treat people in their own countries," said Ann-Marie Slaughter, a professor at Harvard and an author of the report. It will also hold individuals accountable, she said.
Could President Clinton and others be indicted as war criminals for invading a sovereign nation that posed no threat?
"Yes, theoretically, of course," Roth responded, looking uncomfortable. "Every NATO action in Kosovo was theoretically subject" to accountability.
He was rescued by Ruth Wedgewood, a senior fellow for international organizations and law at the CFR and a professor of law at Yale. Clinton and others would not be prosecuted under the treaty, she said, because it "respects good-faith judgments."
"Some critics contend that the International Criminal court would infringe on American sovereignty," the report said. "But there is no sovereign right to commit atrocities International law sets limits to how sovereign governments treat their own people.
The SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999
CLINTON, COHEN MAY FACE CHARGES
An international group claims the war crimes tribunal that charged Serb leaders should also have indicted American officials.
By Margo Turner
President Clinton and secretary of Defense William Cohen are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in former Yugoslavia in an indictment by the International Ethical Alliance (IEA), based in Sandy Hook, Conn.
The indictment also calls for the testimony of former President Jimmy Carter and other expert witnesses; replacing Louise Arbour, prosecutor for the International criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), with an independent prosecutor, and disqualifying five NATO justices.
The IEA, a non-profit criminal justice organization, electronically filed the indictment July 13 to the ICTY in the Hague, according to Jerone Zeifman, the group's general counsel.
Zeifman served as chief counsel of the House Judiciary impeachment committee in 1973. He is author of the book, Without Honor: The Impeachment of President Nixon and the Crimes of Camelot (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1996).
The IEA's indictment has specific points or what Zeifman refers to as "prongs."
Topping the list are charges against Clinton and Cohen for "Non-defensive aggressive military attacks on former Yugoslavia, which have not been necessary to defend the national security of the United States...and are defined the national security of the United States...and are defined and proscribed in the Charters of the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Aug. 8, 1945, and the Charter of the United Nations," Zeifman said.
Clinton and Cohen also are charged in the indictment for committing or aiding and abetting actions which "they knew, or had reason to know," would result in:
* The killing, injuring, terrorizing and destruction of homes of Thousands of Serbian and other civilians in former Yugoslavia from 25,000 sorties and 14,000 missiles and bombs, 4,000 of which were not precision-guided, as of May;
WHO STARTED IT?
In addition, Clinton and Cohen knew about the provocation of the Yugoslav government to "continue to increase the murder, terrorization and deportation of Albania civilians in Kosovo, "The IEA claims in its indictment. These actions are charged in the May 24 indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four senior associates. (See The SPOTLIGHT, July 12).
Also in the indictment, the IEA wants the ICTY to invite or summon expert testimony from witnesses, such as President Carter, Walter Rockler, former prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trial following World War II; Bishop Artemious of Kosovo; journalist Alexander Cockburn; and playwright Harold Pinter.
The IEA charges that there is "substantial evidence of conduct" by Mrs. Arbour to warrant her disqualification as ICTY prosecutor. These include:
* "Engaging in selective prosecution by intentionally failing to consider and act on evidence" that incriminates Clinton and Cohen and "other as yet unindicted officials of NATO countries";
The group has called for the appointment of an independent prosecutor who is not a citizen or permanent resident of a NATO country. Mrs Arbour is Canadian. The group favors an independent staff that is not compensated directly or indirectly from funds contributed by NATO countries.
The IEA claimed five of the 14 tribunal justices representing NATO countries, including chief justice Gabrielle Kirk McDonald of the United States, provide conflicts or appearances of conflicts of interest.
Ziefman said other charges against NATO leaders have already been filed by organizations in the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada and Greece.
"But IEA is the first private international organization to file an indictment that also calls for the disqualification of five of the tribunal's 14 justices and the appointment of an independent prosecutor and staff funded by non-NATO countries," he explained
The IEA has started organizing chapters in "a variety of countries, states and localities," Zeifman said.
The IEA also can be contacted at 203-426-3859. Its mailing address is P.O. Box 565, Sandy Hook, CT 06482.
The SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999
MANY NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS ARE NOT YET Y2K COMPLIANT
WASHINGTON -- Surprisingly, a number of America's nuclear power plants are not yet Y2K compliant, opening the door for questions on the safety of the nation from a nuclear incident when Y2K finally hits.
Many of the plants have projected the completion dates for later this year, with one, located in Farley, Ala, not scheduled for Y2K compliance completion until December 16, according to statistics released by the Nuclear regulatory Commission.
The following list contains the names of those nuclear facilities not ready for the new millennium and their projected completion dates:
Beaver Valley, Unites 1&2, Shipping Port, Penn.-Oct. 31;
The SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999
WILL THE Y2K BUG BITE TRAVELERS WHEN THE YEAR 2000 ARRIVES?
Transportation Systems Could Be at Risk
What happens if the computers in charge of transportation break down?
By F.C. Blahut
Recently there was a near riot at a Washington, D.C. Metro (that's the local subway system) station. The usually docile passengers had suffered weeks of delays, trains taken out of service and trains traveling at nearly half their normal speeds.
When ordered to get off a crowded train, for which they had waited an extra 15 minutes to begin with, many refused. Police were called in and order was finally restored with only one arrest.
The problem? The computers that control every facet of the Metro had been shut down. Computers tell the trains when to start and when to stop. They slow the trains when a train ahead is noted and indicate the location of every train in service at a central control.
But one day a train missed a signal and a system overhaul began. Humans were given the chore of operating the trains designed to be run by computers. It wasn't exactly chaos, but it wasn't any fun for tens of thousands of commuters.
Prospects of disorder associated with the Year 2000 (Y2K) millennium bug are using the Washington scenario as a cautionary tale. What if the Metro computers shut down by themselves instead of in a semi-orderly, planned operation?
Metro officials have been explaining to the local media how the system works with an "everything's going to be OK" spin. But between the lines, there's one fact that stands out: if the computers stop the trains stop.
The news is good and bad. With our computer-controlled signals, the trains shut themselves down. That's a safety measure. If you're on a train, you'll be happy there wasn't an accident. But you'll be late for dinner -- or work.
It may seem a minor inconvenience -- particularly to those who don't ride the Metro. But if it can happen to what has been touted as the best local light rail system in the United states, if not the world, what happens elsewhere?
How about planes, trains and automobiles?
First, one myth must be dismissed. Planes will not fall from the sky. They may not get up into the sky, but they won't fall down once they're up. Y2K isn't going to change the laws of physics having to do with things like lift and thrust.
But if you're up you may have trouble getting down at an airport whose computers have quit. Who wants to land without air traffic control?
No pilot wants to take off -- or fly for that matter -- if he doesn't know where other aircraft are. Consequently, Depending on the condition of air traffic control computers, flights could be seriously limited.
Just so you know, many professional American sports franchises have rearranged their flight schedules so their teams will not be flying on or about dec. 31, 1999. They consider it too big a risk what with tens of millions of dollars tied up in players and player salaries.
NO TICKET, NO FLIGHT
And just as a practical matter, you can't fly if you don't have a ticket. How does one get a ticket? "Let me chick the computer to see if there are any seats on the flight you want." Oops. How many times has an airline clerk told you, "Sorry, our computers are down," even without millennium concerns?
Ticketing is all by computer these days as are things like tracking luggage. If lost luggage was a problem when the computers were working, what happens if they stop functioning altogether?
Well, how about trains? They can't fall down, at least. But where are they? What train is carrying what to where and what stops should it make to pick up what?
Ask the computer. A two-year-old story in Barrons told another cautionary tale. It seems that the Union Pacific Railroad had just acquired the Southern Pacific in 1997. Everything was fine until they tried to integrate their computers. What followed was a minor disaster.
Prophets of breakdown point to his a view of the future.
Just like with the Washington area Metro, computers tell trains where to be. They control switches and warning devices.
There have been several serious train wrecks in recent years with operational computers. If computers stop operating, the trains will -- at the very least -- slow considerably.
The specter of consumer commodities not arriving on time - or at all -- has some people planning to stock up on basic supplies.
Driving to work could be a problem too. What happens if the computer controlling all of the traffic lights in your city malfunctions? If you've ever been in a situation where just one traffic light malfunctioned at a key intersection, extrapolate that into every traffic light. Chaos.
To date, every major transportation system claims that it will be ready by Y2K -- including the above-mentioned Union Pacific.
In Red China, the central government has ordered all its traffic bureaucrats to get on planes on the evening of Dec.31, 1999 and fly until the mornig of Jan. 1 2000. It is reported that the Chicoms are working feverishly to become computer compliant in the air. Don't expect to see any of our airline executives anywhere near a plane next New Year's Eve.
The SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999
ONLY ONE-FIFTH OF AMERICANS ARE PLANNING FOR Y2K
In a recent poll, only one-fifth of Americans responded that they were planning to prepare for possible Y2K-related disturbances, While the majority said they would do nothing. Respondents said they anticipated some problems but only 18 percent said they were going to stock up on food and water in preparation of possible disturbances caused by the year 2000 computer bug. Other precautions included keeping extra money on hand, copying electronic financial records and upgrading computers. Fifty-six percent of those polled said no one in their home was "thinking about doing anything."
The SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999
IS YOUR TOWN REALLY PREPARED FOR Y2K?
Is your town ready for Y2K? Don't say "yes" until you read this.
By William Carmichael
A recent survey of 403 large and small cities by the National League of cities (NLC) found that 92 percent of respondents said that all critical systems would be Y2K compliant by Jan. 1.
That's good, isn't it? Well, maybe not as good as Congress would like. A special congressional committee set up to make sure the United States is ready for any possible "millennium bug" computer glitches asked the NLC if America was ready.
The news was good and bad.
The NLC says the vast majority of cities, based on a recent survey, expect to be ready for any computer glitches that may occur in the new year. Bit some senators are skeptical.
Cities identified their top four systems as public safety, including emergency management and jails; water and waste-water treatment; utilities; and finance.
According to published reports, Brian O'Neill, a Philadelphia councilman who testified on behalf of the league in early July at a senate hearing on state and local Y2K preparedness was quoted: "We're ready."
But he didn't mean every city. Some 8 percent said their readiness will be 80 percent to 90 percent complete, and 81 percent expected to have continency plans by Sept. 1.
Senate Y2K Committee Chairman Robert Bennett (R-Utah) said the cities' compliance rate sounds good. But 8 percent non-compliant still means more than 1,400 localities still won't be fully ready.
"We all hope that the city or town where we live is not among those," he was quoted.
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), the committee's top democrat, warned cities and countries about delaying Y2K work until later in the year.
"Anyone who thinks they're going to get ready between October and December is traveling in a fantasy world," Dodd said at the hearing. "You' better have a contingency plan."
According to published reports, some witnesses said Y2K readiness may not be a major issue in very small or rural counties, where much business is still conducted on paper. Others, though, warned that conditions could be worse than surveys reflect, if only because municipal workers may hesitate to report Y2K planning failures to their superiors.
The league of cities didn't independently verify its survey results, which were more optimistic than a report released in early July by Congress' investigatory arm, the General Accounting Office (GAO).
The GAO found that nearly half of the nation's 21 largest cities won't complete work on coping with the Y2K computer bug until the final quarter of the year. Just two cities, Dallas and Boston, have finished preparations. None others expect to be fully ready by Sept. 30 and 10 cities say they will be ready between Oct. and the end of the year.
"A lot of people lie about their Y2K compliance," Randy Johnson, chairman of the Nennepin County, Minn., board of commissioners, told reporters. "It's much easier to say, 'Yeah, we're doing it, don't worry about it.'"
According to published reports, the association's April survey of 500 randomly selected counties found that 51 percent of respondents were finished with Y2K assessments and 31 percent were mostly finished with testing.
But no one checked to find out if they were telling the truth.
The SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999
ACCESS TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS OF MAJOR CONCERN
Your precious supply of medication could be caught in the 1900s if the Y2K problem isn't quickly solved by your pharmaceutical company.
Gartner Group's consultant Lou Maricco, who is an expert on the millennium problem, admitted at a conference in Chicago that "some shortages could occur" in drugs. That is a clear signal to all who depend on insulin or any other necessary maintenance drug (such as blood pressure or heart medication) to get ready.
Many pharmaceutical companies are based overseas, making obtaining their wares difficult now, but even more challenging if the airlines' and postal services' computers are confused. The world lags behind the United States in preparation for this crisis. Diabetics can't afford to miss a day.
If the drugs did get to the United States in a timely fashion, they could sit in an airport hangar, not will-known for its refrigeration, for weeks -- after all, the trucks that pick up shipments might not know where to go either.
End-times "drugstores" could pop up, full of out-dated and suspect medication. To take this chance with your children's lives is not worth the risk.
It is left to you how to get the extra prescriptions necessary to stock your refrigerator for the possible shortage. Call your doctor today and get him to write you an extended prescription that can carry you a couple of months into 2000. Many will understand your concerns about your medication and will be happy to comply. It is clear that not making arrangements for your prescriptions could cause you serious health problems if and when the worst-case Y2K-scenario occurs.
The SPOTLIGHT August 9, 1999
SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNAN DEMANDS GLOBAL COPS
Since soldiers can't police, the world government wants its own police force to keep the peace.
By Martin Mann
After years of scheming, policy intrigues and one-world propaganda, the UN has been finally authorized a global gendarmerie known as United Notions International Police (UNIP).
From Nigeria to Napal, recruiting offices are being opened to enlist 3,000 "experienced police officers" into an armed cadre sworn to enforce laws and regulations issued, not by a sovereign nation, but by an international bureaucracy.
The first 3,000 global guardians of order will also be tasked with forming and training additional UNIP units 'whenever circumstances tell us that we need more manpower," said Sven Frederiksen, a veteran Danish detective superintendent who has been named as the first commandant of the UN police force.
The SPOTLIGHT has repeatedly warned of an international police force. (See The SPOTLIGHT April 15, 1996, and others.)
For the moment, "circumstances" are telling the power-hungry global administrators that they need to organize an additional regional police force in Kosovo, where NATO troops have "wretchedly failed" to maintain law and order, as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan put it.
Ut was the recent discovery of the bodies of 14 Serb farmers found slain near the village of Gracko that gave Annan his long-awaited opportunity to add an armed law-enforcement auxiliary to his international bureaucracy.
At a special July 25 session of the UN Security Council, international commanders in Kosovo admitted that the NATO peacekeepers are simply not up to the task of policing their territory.
"The military is not equipped for police work," said Bernard Kouchner, the UN commissioner for Kosovo. "That takes trained policemen. We will organize such a force for Kosovo, but it will take several months before it becomes operational."
The breakdown of law and order in Kosovo demonstrated that the UN needed permanent police powers of its own. Annan argued. "We need authorization to organize an enforcement division of trained and well-armed officers ready for instant action in any emergency," he asserted.
As the debate ground into late afternoon on July 25, the UN Security Council granted Annan the enforcement authority he requested in a historic "flash" vote.
"Now is the time when Americans must wake up and act to preserve their heritage of independence, national sovereignty and constitutional governance," said Warren Hough, a veteran journalist who has covered the UN for almost 20 years.
If this relentless expansion of one world creed, "supranational" law enforcement runaway free trade, globalist economic institutions, offshore banking and cosmopolitan bureaucracy meets no resistance, "our identity as American citizens will be lost. We will become mere subjects ruled by international elites, meat for the rootless mongrel stew of global masses," he warned.
The SPOTLIGHT August 9, 1999
NEW, SUBTLE EFFORT TO IMPOSE UN TAXES
The United Nations is attempting to impose a direct tax on "world citizens" again.
By James P. Tucker Jr.
The 1999 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Program proposes a tax on e-mail to buy computers for poor countries.
Earlier efforts by the UN to impose direct taxes included a levy on oil that would be paid by anyone driving a car and on international travel and monetary transactions failed.
"That's why the latest attempt is being kept low-key, in hopes that it can become a fact of life before people realize it," a State Department official said. "Bilderberg believes it is essential for the UN to be able to tax people directly, as well as having its army and global court to function as a world government."
The UN report said the new tax will help poor countries enter the electronic community instead of being excluded from Internet commerce.
"The typical Internet user worldwide is male, under 35 years old, and has a university education and high income, urban-based and English-speaking," the report said. "The literally well-connected have an overpowering advantage over the unconnected poor, whose voices and concerns are being left out of the global conversation."
The UN complained that the United States has more computers than the rest of the world combined. On the other hand, southern Asia has 23 percent of the world's population and has less than 1 percent of the Internet users.
The UN proposes to tax this "discriminatory" market and transfer the revenues to poor countries.
"Market forces alone will not rectify the imbalance," the UN said. "Governance f the Internet should be widened to bring in the needs and concerns of developing countries. To ensure that the global communications revolution is truly global, funding is required."
The report proposes a "byte tax" of one cent on every 100 e-mails at least 10 kilobytes in size -- basically, a lengthy text or any e-mail with an attachment.
The UN agency estimated that this tax would have raised $70 billion if it has been in effect in 1996. With the revenue base of Internet users expected to leap from 140 million in 1998 to 700 million in 2001, potential revenues from the cyber tax are staggering.
"The psychology is to begin with a tax of only pennies without Americans or people from other countries realizing they are paying directly to the UN," the official said. "Then the tax rate will climb and be used by the UN's general fund. More taxes will be introduced.
"This is part of a Bilderberg pattern to build a world government with the courts and military power to impose it's well,' he said. Yugoslav President Slobadan Milosevid "still has it right," the official said, pointing to a recent speech to the people of India.
"Mankind is in great danger," because of an effort to "create a world from one center," Milosevic said, according to the Tanjug state news agency July 21.
"Certain nations and most of the people do not accept such a future for mankind and realize it threatens not only a free way of life but all life on the planet," Milosevic said.
Even while the bombs were raining on Belgrade in early June, Milosevic told the world that the invasion of his sovereign country was manipulated by Bilderberg to advance its cause of world government (SPOTLIGHT, June 21, 1999)*
The SPOTLIGHT August 9, 1999
NEW PARTY FORMED
Patriots who aren't satisfied with the two major parties or any of the other "third" parties have another alternative.
The Constitution Party, calling for a return to constitutional rule and morality," has been established. The chairman is retired businessman David Turenne.
The party's letterhead signals the direction the new party is going: "abolish the IRS -- no income tax -- no sales tax - tariffs only -- prosperity for all." But the platform is far more comprehensive than just that.
For more on the party, including its history and the complete platform write: The Constitution Party, 2517 Perch Drive, Willits, California 95490. (A donation of $5 to cover printing and postage is suggested.)
The SPOTLIGHT August 9, 1999
INTERNATIONALISTS TO PUSH NAFTA ARMY
A West Pointer has floated the trial balloon of bringing all of North America's armed forces under an individual controller.
By James P. Tucker Jr.
Another step toward turning the Western Hemisphere into an "American Union" replica of the European Union is underway: This time it's a proposal to merge the militaries of all NAFTA nations.
Initially, it would involve merging the militaries of the three current NAFTA countries: the United States, Canada and Mexico. But NAFTA is to eventually extend to all nations in the western Hemisphere.
As NAFTA expands, its 09-man commission will expand accordingly, evolving into the "American Parliament" version of the European Parliament. So too, will the military, creating a regional government capable of imposing its will on member "nations."
The proposal to merge the militaries of NAFTA nations was first reported by Linda Diebel of The Toronto Star.
The joint military command for the United States, Canada and Mexico was proposed by Lt. Col. Joseph Nunez of the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
"Moving from bilateral arrangements to a military organization that reflects regional economic and security concerns is a better strategy, particularly considering our burgeoning trade through NAFTA and the growing threat of terrorism that can penetrate through our borders," the report says.
Nunez said the joint command would replace the North American Air Defense Command that was established in response to a potential attack by the former Soviet Union.
Under the unified command, 'a lot of good things would evolve to the benefit of Canada and Mexico," Nunez said.
Nunez added that the joint command would expand as NAFTA spread to more nations in the western Hemisphere. If the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas becomes a reality, he said, the joint military force would stretch from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.
"A lot of the geographic considerations are a bit out-of-date and do not reflect current realities," Nunez, 43, a former West point instructor, told the Star.
The issue of surrendering sovereignty to an upcoming American Union is heating up in Canada.
The C.D. Howe Institute, described as "a conservative think tank in Toronto" by the Star, took the Bilderberg line and called for Canada to adopt the dollar in a recent report.
The SPOTLIGHT August 9, 1999
IS ALL QUIET ON THE SOUTHWESTERN FRONT?
As a NAFTA-like White House initiative absorbs the border along the United States and Mexico, communities in three states are being denied their right to manage their own resources by the federal government.
By Christopher J. Petherick
White House initiatives, in the form of Executive Orders (EO) may be quietly stripping communities along the U.S.-Mexican border or their right to self-governance by putting them into an international zone as elected officials stand by unaware.
Few elected officials contacted by The SPOTLIGHT seem to be aware of the federal government's program or intentions.
Calls placed to the offices of Arizona Gov. Jane Dee Hull (R), New Mexico Gov. Gary E. Johnson (R), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) provided little information.
Most of the spokes people The SPOTLIGHT spoke with said they knew nothing of the program and had to refer to other staffers. No calls were returned by the time the paper went to press. Even fewer federal officials could, or would, explain the program. After extensive research, however, The SPOTLIGHT was able to piece this much together.
The program began with a meeting in the early 1980s between U.S. and Mexican officials to formulate a plan to clean up nuclear waste along the border. As a result of this, the United States and Mexico agreed to begin to cooperate in the decision-making process regarding solutions to environmental problems in the region.
This "cooperative," called the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Protection and Improvement in the Border Area or La Paz literally meaning "The Peace" in Spanish was signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.
Later, a more formal agreement was reached, creating a 62.5-mile strip on either side of the U.S.-Mexican border that established an "open zone" for focusing on environmental problems known as Border Region XXI, the "Southwest Border," or the Southwest Border Region.
Border Region XXI went into effect, January 1, 1997. That area more than doubled to 150 miles when EO 13122 went into effect earlier this year. (See The SPOTLIGHT July 26.)
As a part of this agreement, federal agencies agreed to work in conjunction with Mexican authorities expanding their focus to address a wide range of environmental and natural resource issues.
The Environmental Agency (EPA) took the lead in the Border XXI program.
But critics see the program as yet another attempt to incrementally condition Americans into believing that anytime the federal government dabbles in the affairs of state and local governments, they are not violating the principles of the U.S Constitution.
Van Velsor, a former law enforcement official and a columnist for The Desert Journal, has written extensively on this issue.
"Nothing in the Constitution says the federal government can do what they've done," Velsor said. "The federal government has no business going into a state and taking land. They can't even buy it, except for a military base.
But researchers and astute local newsmen living in these areas say the controversy goes significantly deeper; that these directives affect the resources, decision-making and economic well-being of U.S. citizens living in these regions.
Luther Broaddus III, a rancher in Canton County, N.M., and a local newsman explained how the management of resources in his local community was completely undermined by the federal government.
"They're downplaying it," Broaddus said. "[La Paz] started out as a 30 page document, and evolved into a 3.2 lb. document that involves every facet of our lives."
Broaddus served on a local committee that wrote the Comprehensive Land Plan in 1995.
"Our plan said the government had to follow their rules to the letter," Broaddus said. "It effectively shut them down."
But according to Broaddus, with the federal government's program of Border XXI and EO 13122, the federal agencies ignored their own agreement and forced land owners to comply with federal guidelines anyway.
The federal government undermined a legal plan initiated by the community, costing area residents $36,000, to block federal management dictating their land resources.
For the community, either landowners cooperated with all the federal environmental guidelines or the whole community loses its federal funding. Specifically for many ranchers, who have to lease federal land in the region, if they did not participate in the federal environmental programs, they could not operate on government land.
"When you hold your hand out to the federal government, and you hear the clinking," Broaddus remarked. "It's not shekels you hear, it's shackles going onto your wrists."
THE OFFICIAL STORY
According to the EPA, U.S. federal agencies began to work with specific Mexican governmental agencies including the environmental office known as SEMARNAP, the National Ecology Institute, and the Water Commission.
The EPA saw this as a natural evolution for the region, because of the proximity of U.S. towns to neighboring "sister cities" across the border in Mexico.
"The two countries are right next to each other," said Darren Swatz-Larson, the director of the El Paso Border Liaison Office. "Even if there wasn't NAFTA, the two countries should talk to each other on how to clean up their environments. It's that close connection that brought together Border XXI."
Swartz-Larson says the federal government and Mexico have been working jointly under the new program to develop local projects. Successes included building a sewage treatment plant where there had never been one and reductions in air pollution.
As a part of this agreement, the Border Environment Cooperation Project and the North American Development Bank were created to fund the development projects from U.S. taxpayer dollars, Mexican tax dollars and international financial
To some officials in the Clinton administration, concerns about the program are nothing but paranoia.
"There's a lot of myths about this," said Pam Teel, the former EPA point of contact for the program. "There's no substance to this belief about a 'world order.' "
According to Teel, the EPA's role in the program was mainly to study the area and propose environmental planning, not to take power away from any of the communities.
The media has reported on the controversy surrounding international trade agreements such as NAFTA, the Caribbean Basin Initiative and Fast Track, and on problems stemming from these initiatives such as the resultant increases in drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
But the press has virtually ignored this cooperative pact whereupon the White House completely bypassed Congress to force a symbiotic relationship between Mexico and southwestern United States.
Critics see this as nothing more than a "federal government solution looking for a problem." To them, the plan to clean up the area expanded into a scheme for the White House to surreptitiously develop its globalist economic and political agenda, in spite of local communities and state governments.
The SPOTLIGHT on July 26, 1999, reported on Executive Order 13122, the Interagency Task Force on the Economic Development of the Southwest Border, signed May 25, 1999, which made the region larger, spanning 150 miles across on the U.S. side.
The SPOTLIGHT August 16, 1999
RANGERS BLAME WACO HOLOCAUST ON FBI
The federal account of what happened at Waco is under fire after a state investigation of the facts.
By Mike Blair
The Texas Rangers are holding evidence that the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety believes may prove that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was responsible for the holocaust that ended the 1993 siege at the Branch Davidian Church at Waco.
An investigation of the conflagration after the standoff supposedly revealed that it was caused by sect members. FBI and Justice Department officials have long maintained that FBI agents did not use any incendiary or pyrotechnic devices during their tear gas attack on the wooden buildings of the sprawling church.
However, James B. Francis Jr., chairman of the Texas department of Public Safety, has told The Dallas Morning News that there is "some evidence that it is at least problematic or at least questionable with regard to what happened."
"With the proper experts analyzing it," Francis continued, "it might shed light as to whether an incendiary device was fired into the compound that day."
The DOJ spokesman declined to comment further stating that the department faces a continuing wrongful death lawsuit filed in court by Branch Davidians and members of the families of the more than 70 people, mostly women and children, who died within minutes after a fire was started.
The material in the possession of the Texas Rangers, who were assigned to investigate and gather evidence after the fire, is believed to include six items that were found: a 40-millimeter shell casing, two40-millimeter shell casing, two 40-millimeter incendiary projectiles and a number of "flash-bang" grenades that are often used to stun suspects in hostage or terrorist suppression confrontations.
The grenades are routinely used by elite U.S. Special Operations, as well as FBI and BATF agents, during the urban warfare training missions that have been held in dozens of American cities over the past several years.
The Dallas newspaper reported that the devices are commonly used by law enforcement officers to stun suspects and they sometimes ignite fires in enclosed spaces because they emit a loud bang and flash driven by a small pyrotechnic charge."
As far as the 40-millimeter casings and projectiles are concerned they could be U.S. military shoulder-fired grenades that can be fired in a number of launchers, the M79, M203 and HK79, according to Jane's authoritative Infantry Weapons, 1993-94.
The evidence gathered by some 40 Rangers who combed the debris at the church was released to a Colorado film producer, Michael McNutly, by a Justice Department public affairs official, who has since left the agency.
The film maker's examinations of the items were supervised by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Johnston, the federal prosecutor in Waco who handled the branch Davidian case.
Johnston supported the decision to provide McNulty access to the material because "I didn't want to be a party to even a perception that we had something to hide."
The SPOTLIGHT August 16, 1999
NEW MEXICO OFFICIAL BLASTS REGION XXI
A state official has concerns about the federal government involving itself in an effort that has worked fine for 30 years without Washington.
By Christopher J. Petherick
Unlike many elected officials in the southwestern region, New Mexico Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley has looked into a series of executive orders affecting the U.S.-Mexican border and found that he has serious reservations about them.
The SPOTLIGHT reported Aug. 9, 1999, on the White House-sponsored initiatives known as the La Paz Agreement, Border Region XXI and the Southwestern Economic Development Region, that some say strip states and localities of self-governance, putting it in the hands of the feds.
The program began as a so-called "cooperative" known as the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Protection and Improvement in the Border, or La Paz, formulated to clean up nuclear waste along the border. President Reagan signed the imitative in 1983.
Since then, it has expanded into what became know as border Region XXI. Also called the Southwest Border Region, this initiative created a 62.5-mile strip along both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border, establishing a binational "open zone" for solving environmental problems bilaterally.
Border Region XXI went into effect on Jan.1, 1997.
In a related initiative, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13122, establishing a task force of high-ranking government officials to expedite an economic development program for the southwest border states.
This EO created a 150-mile region on the U.S.-side of the border that expanded the scope of the first program to include economic plans to address the low standard of living in the area.
Bradley said his main concern with the program is that it was supposed to be a "coordinated effort," yet elected officials from the four states involved 0 Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California -- were never included in any of the policy-making decisions.
Border Region XXI-driven initiative to get control of the border," Bradley told The SPOTLIGHT. "The whole program was put together as a 'participation,' but no one from New Mexico participated in writing the program."
Federal officials say that the program was not created to take power away from the states, but instead, to create a multilateral effort on the part of local communities, the states and the federal government. The federal government's role would be to coordinate states' efforts and act as the liason between the United States and Mexico.
Bradley said he thinks otherwise.
"At the top of the organizational chart is the head of the EPA and Mexico's environmental agency SEMAR-NAP in Mexico," Bradley said. "If the EPA wants to make us a true partner we need to have a key player...the four states should be allowed to vote to have one of their representatives at the top."
Bradley pointed to certain provisions in the agreement that he said over-stepped the authority of the federal government.
According to Appendix 5 of the EPA's Border XXI Framework Document, the water laws of the border states are significantly antiquated and outdated.
"Water belongs to the citizens in the states, not to any government," Bradley said. "My challenge to them was where do you get authority to write law in New Mexico."
Bradley raised other objections to the federal program in that it duplicated existing environmental and economic efforts of local communities and states.
Bradley said that the states had been already working on bi-national health agreements on pollution and health issues all along.
"Four U.S. states and six Mexican states have already been addressing these problems for the past 30 years," he added. "The EPA is jumping in and taking credit."
As a result of Bradley's concerns, New Mexico was the only state to sign on to the initiative with two registered caveats, or legal reservations, on the signature page.
The first caveat was that the federal government understand that Border Region XXI was a "voluntary program and created no new legal authority."
The second warning was that the EPA would send a letter guaranteeing there would be a rewrite of language in key sections that state officials found to be "offensive."
Bradley said he has yet to see anything from the EPA concerning New Mexico's second caveat.
"Really, why do I want to pay more money to play in a game that I'm already playing in," Bradley added. "It must be some kind of political agenda down here -- taking credit for our programs."
The SPOTLIGHT August 16, 1999
RULE BY SIGNATURE
If Congress doesn't stop Clinton's use of Eos, some fear the government conceived by the Founding Fathers is on the eve of destruction.
By Margo Turner.
Executive orders (Eos) have been used by American presidents since George Washington. The "father of our country" issued Eos as nothing more than internal memos through which to communicate to his staff, cabinet and department heads on how the executive branch would implement a new law or regulation enacted by Congress.
In recent years, presidents have used Eos as a way to create policy. President Clinton "has taken the practice to an art from," according to Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center in Herndon, Va.
Clinton's handiwork can be seen in EO 13061, which the president signed Sept 11, 1997, while Congress was on recess. DeWeese said EO 13061 "Represents one of the biggest federal land grabs of all time."
EO 13061 established the American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI) and created the American Heritage Interagency committee, composed of officials from more than a dozen federal departments and agencies.
Local communities were invited to nominate their river for AHRI designation. A panel of environmental, agriculture, mining and labor experts recommended rivers for Clinton to designate. Fourteen rivers were selected.(1)
The Clinton administration insists the AHRI supports community-led efforts relating to rivers that spur economic revitalization, protect natural resources and the environment and preserve historic and cultural heritage.
Many communities across the country have already made such strides, largely free of federal intrusion. This is believed by many critics to be the reason the rather than seek congressional approval or legislation, according to Alliance for America (AA), a coalition of grassroots organizations concerned with protecting the constitution property rights, humans and the environment.
The Clinton administration insists the AHRI is completely voluntary, non-regulatory and honorary. On the contrary, the program was implemented by various federal departments and independent agencies, each directed by a federally appointed "river navigator" with a $100,000 salary, observers point out. The bureaucracy, paperwork and cost of the program amounts to $5 million annually - funds not appropriated by Congress.
To get necessary funds for the AHRI, the Clinton administration had to "raid other programs already approved by Congress," DeWeese said. "In other words, the Rivers Initiative is nothing short of a raid on the federal treasury and a misappropriation of funds."
Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-Idaho) and other members of congress view the AHRI as a new federal program that creates a new layer of federal bureaucracy. They believe Clinton clearly violated the doctrine of separation of powers by bypassing Congress.
Clinton is using Eos to create policy or expend funds not appropriated by Congress, observers note. Congress, however, refuses to use its power to stop the Eos, thereby ignoring its responsibility.
"By its own inaction, Congress is helping to create a constitutional crisis, and as a result, bill Clinton is managing to change and restructure the United States to his liking," DeWeese said.
(1) AMERICAN HERITAGE RIVERS
Blackstone and Woonasquatucket in Massachusetts;
The SPOTLIGHT August 23, 1999
SNOOPING PROGRAM EXTENDS EAST AND WEST
U.S. officials consistently deny the existence of Echelon, an intelligence program designed to intercept civilian communications, in spite of a wave of damning evidence coming from abroad.
By Christopher J. Petherick
Martin Brady, director of the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) in Canberra, Australia, recently broke ranks with the international intelligence community, disclosing on Australian television the existence of a vast global surveillance network run by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) known as "Echelon."
The SPOTLIGHT reported Dec 14, 1998, That Echelon is the primary system of surveillance utilized by an alliance of five nations in a still-secret agreement known as UKUSA. The agreement brings together intelligence agencies from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand under the direction of the NSA.
Echelon consists of a complex network of "listening and reception" stations strategically placed around the world.. These stations are responsible for signals intelligence (SIGINT), focusing on intercepting civilian and commercial communications, as well those from foreign governments.
The key component to this SIGINT system are the supercomputers, known as dictionaries, that operate continuously, looking for information to intercept. The computer system has the ability to sort and red flag messages based on key words or certain criteria that has been entered into it.
Brady confirmed in a letter to an Australian television station that DSD maintains a network of giant, highly automated tracking stations operated by NSA officials, which indiscriminately pick up satellite communications and scrutinize every fax, e-mail, phone call or computer data message.
According to Brady, DSD's purpose in Echelon "is to support Australian government decision-makers and the Australian Defense Force with high-quality foreign signals intelligence products and services. DSD provides important information that is not available from open sources."
Brady's disclosure to Australian television had to do with growing concerns in the international community, especially in Europe, of the potential for its abuse.
"To ensure that our activities do not impinge on the privacy of Australians, DSD operates under a detailed classified directive approved by the cabinet and known as the Rules on SIGINT and Australian Persons," Brady wrote.
The primary base in Australia is located at Kojarena, in the western part of the country.
This ultra-modern SIGINT facility aims its satellite dishes to intercept Indian and Pacific Ocean communications satellites.
Kojarena Dictionary is told to look for North Korean economic, diplomatic and military messages and data, Japanese trade ministry plans, and Pakistani developments in nuclear weapons technology and testing.
New Zealand reporter Nicky Hager has been researching Echelon since news broke of its existence. He says that the majority of these intercepted massages are then sent directly to NSA and CIA analysts who scrutinize it for vital information.
U.S. officials consistently deny the existence of Echelon. The intelligence community hides behind a curtain of national security, revealing little about their involvement in the spying arrangement.
Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) Has introduced legislation with the intention of reining in U.S. intelligence.
Barr successfully introduced an amendment to the latest Intelligence Authorization Act last May, requiring the director of Central Intelligence, the NSA and the Attorney General's office to submit a report "in classified and unclassified and unclassified form describing the legal standards employed by the intelligence community in conducting signals intelligence, including electronic surveillance."
Since then, Barr's office told The SPOTLIGHT he has been unsuccessful in getting any detailed information on Echelon, but they are awaiting the release of information from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
HPSCI is chaired by former CIA officer, Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.).
The staff director at HPSCI, John Millis, denied there was a report specifically on Echelon and refused to comment on any NSA program.
"We've looked into the legality of every NSA program," Millis said. "We've found no indication of problems related to any of these."
The SPOTLIGHT August23, 1999
TAXPAYERS FOOT RUSSIAN TRAVEL EXPENSES
If you're struggling to afford a vacation this year, don't read this. It will only make you mad.
By Mike Blair
U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for travel expenses for 3,000 Russians to visit the United states in September.
The project, called "Open House -- Open World," is sponsored by the U.S. Methodist Church through its "Russian Initiative" and Rotary International.
Bringing the Russians to America, where they will stay at the homes of "volunteer families," is "is the brainchild of Dr. James H. Billington, a noted author, scholar and librarian at the Library of congress," according to a report in the July 14 issue of The Mountain Sun, published in Kerrville, Tex.
In addition to paying travel expenses for the Russians, the Library of Congress will provide a translator for each group of five Russians.
According to Methodist leaders in Kerrvile, the national church agreed to find temporary lodging throughout America for about one-third of the 3,000 visitors.
Lodging for others will apparently be arranged by Rotary International chapters across the country.
The host families will be responsible for providing food, lodging and transportation to take the Russians on tours to government offices and other facilities, which will, according to Methodist officials, "expose them to the American way of life."
Funding through the Library of Congress is not a normal route used to fund such a project, but it is just one of a number of programs that the Clinton administration has pushed to bring about closer ties between the United States and Russia, as well as other former communist bloc countries.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on travel expenses for military personnel from former communist countries to visit America for training with U.S. troops and to visit American military bases and facilities. The Russian government does not reciprocate in funding the travel of Americans to Russia.
The SPOTLIGHT August 30, 1999
THEY'RE COMING AFTER YOUR GUN -- AGAIN
Gun rights proponents are gearing up to defend against attacks on the second Amendment next month.
By James P. Tucker Jr.
When congress returns from the August recess, another big push to confiscate your gun will be undertaken.
The House of Representatives rejected new gun laws in its version of the Juvenile Justice act. But the Senate measure adds new gun laws which, liberal lawmakers hope, will be agreed to in a conference reconciling the two bills.
In addition, left-wing lawmakers plan to attach gun laws to appropriations bills in September.
Attorney General Janet Reno has some suggestions for congress. She wants the law to require prospective gun buyers to prove they have the knowledge, ability and inclination to use weapons safely and legally.
"I'd have them take a written and manual test demonstrating that they know how to safely...and lawfully use it," she said on Aug. 16. "And I would have a background check that would make sure they had evidenced the willingness and capacity to do so."
She called it "common sense."
Ms. Reno did not elaborate on how government bureaucrats would decide who -- if anybody -- is "qualified" to won a gun. Hit a bull's eye every time? Prove that your mother and grandmother did not argue when you were four yeas old?
'If we have one law that focuses on the user, ensures that they have the capacity and the knowledge to use it safely and lawfully, then we can really go after people who posses a gun without a license, because there is no excuse," she said.
She had no problem with the Constitution's Second Amendment guarantee of the rights of law-abiding citizens to own guns.
"We have got to look at each of our constitutional rights and make sure they are balanced," she said, second-guessing the Framers of the constitution.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has again come under fire from gun-rights advocates and congressmen for being too eager to compromise and allow some gun laws to pass.
The NRA is concentrating on killing a 72-hour waiting period for purchases at gun shows. But it is willing to allow several other provisions to become law, according to its lobbyist, James Baker.
This caused much criticism from senior Republican sources.
Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, said he and other gun advocates are also unhappy with the NRA for not taking a "more proactive position."
Baker defended the NRA's action as rational.
"If we had opposed everything, we would have lost everything,' he told The Hill, a weekly devoted to congressional affairs. "We had a responsible position."
The outcome will depend, many congressional sources said, on what lawmakers hear from the voters during the recess. When Republicans caucus on their return to Washington, it is important for members to tell their colleagues that more gun laws will backfire, they said.
Here's To Your Health July/August
START STOCKING UP ON DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
Millions of Americans are looking toward the upcoming millennium with caution and preparedness. Even if you think the fears and concerns are probably unwarranted, you don't know for sure. That's why the prudent person prepares.
One of the biggest concerns for millions of people is their immune ability. Will people be able to withstand microbial plagues and biological attacks that could attend a general breakdown in sanitation and food supply? That is an important question. Many people are preparing by stockpiling immune system support supplements that have a successful track record.
According to Dr. Morton Walker, "antibiotics don't work anymore. There is only one antibiotic left -- vancomycin -- and now it's no longer functioning against staphylococcus and streptococcus, both of which are very serious infections. In fact, staph overrides infections in the hospital, so you can go into the hospital without an infection and come out with one."
In addition, in times of chaos or diminished transportation and communications, which many expect at year's end, it could be much worse, The potential for microbial invasions of every imaginable kind would surely be heightened.
Even with the computer systems and power companies operating efficiently, our society suffers from a wide range of microbial onslaughts. Infectious microbes, including viruses, bacteria and protozoa, come at us from the water we use, the air we breathe and everything we contact, including the foods we eat. The immune system must be operating at a high level to keep you alive and well.
The microbial enemies are legion -- salmonella, E. coli 0157 and listeria outbreaks of food poisoning are regularly reported. Airborne pathogens that can cause respiratory infections are almost too numerous to list.
Your immune system is constantly battling this legion of enemies and many others, such as chemical pollutants. So the wise person is already supplementing to support the immune system and doesn't need the Y2K scare to move to action.
Walker, who has authored hundreds of books, has perhaps done his greatest service to fellow Americans with his recent book: Nature's Antibiotic -- Olive Leaf Extract.
In this easy-to-find paperback, published by Kensington, the medical journalist points out that the extract from olive leaves, when done properly in the European fashion, provides one of the greatest protections against all pathogenic microbes that people can get.
Walker told The SPOTLIGHT that he and his wife personally take two capsules every day as immune support and prevention. He said he is not the least afraid to give this non-toxic extract to his 14 month-old grandson.
The message is clear. The first order of immune support comes from this ageless source -- the olive tree -- which has only recently been widely available as a dietary supplement. Walker said a "therapeutic dose" would be none capsules per day until the symptoms disappear.
However, nothing is 100 percent, not even this easily stored olive leaf extract. The immune system is magnificently complex. It needs to be to serve us so well. The ability to kill pathogens (without giving them cause to mutate, incidently) is very helpful for the overworked immune system, but other support is also necessary.
One of the latest immune support supplements to reach the market is the protein from milk known as lactoferrin. This nutrient molecule is part of the natural package if immunity a mother's breast milk confers on the newborn infant. Studies have shown that synthetic formulas cannot provide the same immunological nor physiological value as the natural molecule, but scientists have discovered that lactoferrin from cow's milk will also enhance human immunity.
Research has also shown that infants who are not breast fed, whether they are in a developed or undeveloped society, suffer higher rates of infections and tend to have more iron deficiency anemia. Studies also show that people with lactoferrin deficiencies are felled more often by infectins than persons with abundant lactoferrin in their systems.
The molecule provides a unique benefit to people of all ages. The healthy adult body should continue to produce this immune support molecule.
Studies show that granules containing lactoferrin are released by white cells when your skin is cut. Also when a bacterial or viral infection occurs, the body's lactoferrin counts should rise.
Lactoferrin is found in perspiration, tears and along the mucous lining of the intestines, nose, ears, throat and urinary track - all places vulnerable to infection.
The "ferrin" part of the word refers to iron, and lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein that selectively binds harmful iron molecules, which it may encounter in the bloodstream. One of the chronic problems confronted by many Americans is too much of the wrong kind of iron in the blood. In addition, cancer cells, bacteria and viruses all utilize iron, but lactoferrin binds it and keeps it away from them. This same feature also serves to protect the body from dangerous free radicals.
Research also is showing that lactoferrin may switch on the genes that launch your body's immune responses. This unique ability puts lactoferrin into a category all by itself.
The lactoferrin molecule literally confronts anything it recognized as a foreign body and signals the white cells: "Hey, it's over here, come and get it." Thus, unlike other recently discovered molecules, such as the highly touted interleukin and interferon, lactoferrin has indeed been clinically proven to be an immune enhancement nutrient.
So, regardless whether the times ahead of us will be difficult or normal, it pays to enhance your immunity.
Here's To Your Health July/August
DO ELECTRIC FIELDS CAUSE CANCER?
By F.C. Blahut
For years, non-government health advocates have warned that lon-term exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) could be hazardous to your health.
For years, the government said there was nothing to worry about. Living in the vicinity of high tension lines presented no problem was Washington's position.
Then a funny thing happened. Plans were unveiled to string even more of these "harmless" high tension lines out West, in an area where the rich and famous live. One of those people was America's best-known French dhef, Julia Childs.
Whoops. Ms. Childs and her well-heeled, well-known friends mounted an attack against the lines which could, in Childs' words, "endanger my grandchildren."
Suddenly, a new study appeared. According to published reports, it indicated that, while there is only weak evidence linking electrical fields with cancer, scientists say it is still worthwhile to reduce exposure to the fields because of lingering concerns.
Six years of research produced little hard evidence that the magnetic fields around electric power lines cause cancer, according to a report sent to Congress in Mid-June by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) division.
Yet the analysis added that EMF exposure "cannot be recognized as entirely safe."
The problem is that some statistical studies of leukemia have indicated that it is more common in people exposed to electromagnetic radiation.
YES AND NO
But "virtually all of the laboratory evidence in animals and humans and most of the mechanistic studies in cells fail to support a causal relationship between the fields and cancer, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) said in its report.
The statistical studies, beginning with one in Denver in 1979, have found associations between electrical fields and childhood leukemia. Others linked EMF to chronic lymphocytic leukemia in adults exposed to the fields through their work, such as electric utility workers, machinists and welders.
Researchers at the University of Toronto reported that they had found an increase in childhood leukemia. Their findings were reported in the International Journal of cancer.
According to published reports, research is continuing on these "lingering concerns" and efforts to reduce human exposure to electromagnetic fields should continue, the NIH said.
In a public statement, NIEHS Director Kenneth Olden said: "The lack of consistent, positive findings in animal or mechanistic studies weakens the belief that his association is actually due to EMF, but we cannot completely discount the epidemiological findings."
Therefore, he said, since virtually everyone in the country is routinely exposed to EMF, efforts to reduce such exposure should continue.
For example, he said, the electrical industry should continue efforts to reduce the electromagnetic fields around large transmission line, and communities should enforce electrical codes to avoid wiring errors that can increase EMF.
The report concluded that there was no connection between and other problems, including Alzheimer's disease, depression and birth defects.
Last year a panel of scientists studying the issue concluded, in a 19-9 vote, that electromagnetic fields should be considered "possible human carcinogens," though the risk was "probably quite small."
That was at odds with a 1996 report by a National Research Concil panel of scientist. Those scientists evaluated about 500 studies on the health effects of high voltage power lines and found "no conclusive and consistent evidence" that electric and magnetic fields cause any human disease.
Here's To Your Health July/August
STUDY SHOWS OILS NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT
Studies are showing that hydrogenated vegetable oils are worse than thought.
By The SPOTLIGHT Staff
Hydrogenated vegetable oils abound in the modern store-bought diet and provide a substantial proportion of calories consumed for millions of people -- especially youngsters ages 13 to 14 who often overindulge in cookies, chips and cakes.
It has been nearly two decades since Dr. Mary Enig first challenged the edible oils industry on the issue of "trans" fatty acids in all the "partially hardened" prepared foods on the market.
It evidently takes a long time for the truth to will its way out when a very good money-making business is involved. But the evidence is slowly beginning to mount in peer-reviewed circles, where it eventually counts.
In the June 12, 1999, issue of The Lancet, four German doctors with the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) put their name to a research letter headlined, "Intake of trans-fatty acids and prevalence of childhood asthma and allergies in Europe.
The group probed the connection between intake of trans fatty acids and the prevalence of childhood asthma and runny nose, itchy eyes symptoms of allergy in 10 European countries. The data was available from 155 study centers in 10 different countries.
The doctors reported that the association between trans-fatty acids from hydrogenated vegetable oils and the chronic conditions remained significant after the scientists adjusted for the various confounding factors:
"The associations tended to be stronger when the analyses were restricted to estimates of trans-fatty acid intake form sources that contain predominantly hydrogenated vegetable fat, such as...biscuits, cakes and chips. Similarly consistent associations were not seen for intake of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids in 'cis' configuration."
In typical scientific understatement, the investigators concluded that: "Trans-fatty acids have been a typical part of the western diet and the hypothesis that they may play a role in the development of childhood asthma and allergies seems worth pursuing."
In fact, the research community should have been earnestly digging into this apparent association following the original paper by Enig in the early 1980s. Her original work pointing a finger at hydrogenated vegetable oils did cause a stir in the research community. Representatives of the edible oils industry quickly attacked her and tried to prevent publication of her paper.'
When will stonewalling special interest learn that the truth will come out, regardless how they try to subdue it?
Here's To Your Health July/August
REPORTS SAY WHITE BREAD STILL BAD, NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT
By Tom Valentine
Years ago a sign painted on the wall of an old-fashioned stone mill in Tennessee left a lasting impression on me. It read: "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead!"
Many health advocates have taken that admonition to heart, and bread making the traditional stone ground way remains important to their lifestyle. Therefore, it was pleasing to see what a professor of epidemiology from Harvard University had to say about white breads and other refined carbohydrates that dominate the convenience foods of our society.
A six-year study involving more than 65,000 women showed that those who consumed diets high in carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, pasta and potatoes had two-and-a-half times the risk for Type II diabetes than did those women who ate a diet rich in high fiber whole grain breads and pastas.
Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health has stated that these refined white flour products should be moved to the "sweets" category because "metabolically they are the same."
Willett's remarks were first featured in an article, "Against the Grain," by Dorothy Foltz-Gray in Hippocrates, November 1997. In her report, she noted:
"Fiber helps reduce the rate of carbohydrate absorption. In one summary of 15 epidemiological studies, researchers found that diets lacking in whole grains were consistently linked to higher risks of stomach and colon cancer. At least 12 breast cancer studies connect low fiber with a raised risk. Other studies credit whole grains with lowering the risk of uterine cancer and coronary heart failure.
Refining (milling) splits the whole grain into three parts - bran, germ and endosperm -- but also removes all but the endosperm, which is the kernel's starch center. Ground fine, the endosperm becomes flour that makes light and airy white bread, while the bran and the germ are pulled aside to be put into bran muffins or mixed into heavier breads that most Americans won't eat. Enriched flour is nutritionally stripped...
Willett stated very clearly that the health benefits of the carbohydrates are dependent upon the wholeness of the grain going down a continuum from "intact kernels to coarsely milled flour (stone ground) to finely ground whole wheat (roller milling) to white bread" which is so bad it needs to be "enriched" with synthetic vitamins.
According to Willett, people need to eat as many grains in as course a form as possible. This is not a vote of confidence in the supermarket breads and packaged goods consumed by the vast majority of Americans on a daily basis.
Here's To Your Health July/August
HMOs WEAKENED: CONSUMERS BEWARE
Expert sees hard times ahead for HMOs and consumers.
By Margo Turner
U.S. health maintenance organizations (HMOs) suffered a combined $490 million loss during 1998 with 56 percent of the companies reporting red ink, according to a study by Weiss Ratings Inc., which provides ratings of most HMOs.
This comes on the heels of $768 million in losses in 1997 when 57 percent of the companies reported negative results.
Large HMOs reporting the heaviest losses include Harris Texas Health Plan, a $99.1 million loss; Community Health Plan Inc. in New York, a $74.4 million loss; and Prudential Health Care Plan Inc. in Texas, a $63.6 million loss.
"This is not good news for the consumer," said Martin D. Weiss, chairman of Weiss Ratings Inc., which is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. "We're bound to see more HMOs dropping Medicare patients, more HMOs going under and more rate increases as the industry tries to boost profits."
Covering 576 HMOs, the Weiss study found that 100 HMOs failed to meet minimum risk-based capital guidelines recently adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Although the NAIC guidelines are expected to become law in most of the 50 states, they have so far only been approved in three states, Weiss said. Had they been fully in effect at year-end, state regulators would have been required to take control of 18 HMOs and would have had the authority to put another 19 under regulatory control if they deemed it in the best interest of policy holders. The remaining 63 HMOs would have been required to submit a plan of action to correct the HMO's financial problems.
"Risk-based capital regulations are long overdue in the managed care industry," Weiss said. "These new disclosures validate our previous warnings regarding financial weakness among HMOs.
Obviously the industry has a ling way to go before consumers are safe.
Here's To Your Health July/August
MERCURY STILL POISONING AMERICANS
Decades after the first incidents of contamination, mercury is still a health concern in the U.S.
By Tom Valentine
Two research physicians at Catholic University in Rome, Italy, used a new high-tech method of accurately analyzing trace amounts of elements found in the tissue of the left ventricle muscle and non-cardiac muscle of patients with IDCM (idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy), which is a technical term describing a malfunctioning heart due to unknown causes -- and there are a lot of those out there.
According to a report in the May 8, 1999 issue of The Lancet, the two doctors took biopsy samples from 13 known IDCM patients, 25 patients whose heart problems had a known cause and 14 people without cardiomyopathy of any kind.
Two trace elements -- mercury and antimony -- were present in the samples taken from the left ventricle of the patients with IDCM at concentrations 22,000 and 12,000 time greater, respectively, than the controls.
The mercury in the tissue of these patients was 22,000 times greater than the others. Since mercury is a known toxin, that would seem to explain why the patients had "left ventricular impairment." Of course the high amounts of antimony can't help, either. Antimony is another highly toxic heavy metal. It was used as a drug against certain parasites but has been discontinued due to its toxicity.
There were no significant differences in these trace-element concentrations between the groups of patients in any of the samples taken from non-cardiac tissue.
This would seem to indicate that for some unknown reason the mercury tends to concentrate in the tissue of the hardest working muscle in the body. The experts have proposed all kinds of mechanisms to explain this concentration -- viral, immune, genetic and toxic.
However, no one reported anything in the research paper about whether the patients with the high concentrations had mercury fillings in their teeth. The SPOTLIGHT has reported in depth about the potential toxic dangers of mercury in the so-called "silver fillings" placed in millions of Americans mouths every year.
One expert, Milton Packer of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, described the study as "provocative" and then added that it was "intriguing" that the researchers even thought of testing for trace metals in the tissue of the patients.
"It could very will be a report that opens up a whole new area, or it may identify another outcome of heart failure that may not need therapeutic attack," Packer said. "Another possibility is that the treatments we now use may somehow affect trace-element concentration in some was. These effects could be either good or bad."
We agree that this research has opened up a lot of new questions. We widh researchers would check into the fillings in the particular patients' teeth and see if any meaningful correlation might be uncovered.