Thursday, March 29, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 29, 2007

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Mother Jones

Banning Gay Adoption Would Cost Foster Care System $130 Million

Half a million children in the U.S. live in foster care, and more than100,000 await adoption.

Finding stable, permanent homes for these youth, "forever families," is apriority, and a proven way to positive outcomes for youth. Still, it's up tostates to recruit and evaluate potential foster and adoptive parents, andmost states turn away viable parents who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexualor transgender.

Currently three states-Florida, Mississippi and Utah-have outright bans onadoptive parents who are homosexual. Several other states have or areconsidering policies that would restrict LGBT couples and individuals fromfostering or adopting a child. Florida forbids "homosexuals" from adopting;Mississippi bans "same-gender" couples, and Utah bans all unmarried couples.

Some states: California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington DC,actually protect potential adopters by prohibiting sexual orientation frombeing used as a basis to prevent a prospective applicant from being aadoptive or foster parent.

But throughout most of the country LGBT folks face all kinds of barriers toadoption. This, despite the fact that they are already raising children insignificant numbers. According to census figures, gathered by the WilliamsInstitute in a new study leased today:

-More than one in three lesbians has given birth, and one in six gay menhave athered a child.

-65,500 adopted children are currently living with a lesbian or gay parent,amounting to four percent of all adopted children in the United States.

-10,300 foster children are living with lesbian or gay parents.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Christians appeal to international community over repressive laws
By staff writers
26 Mar 2007

Gay Christians in Nigeria are urging international action against a newrepressive law which is being backed by the Anglican church in the country.

The proposed law, that would impose brutal penalties on shows of affectionbetween lesbian and gay people, or even on those who would advocate forlesbian and gay people, has already been condemned by more than 250Christian leaders from the US, as well as the church in Canada and Christianin the UK. However, the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria is giving it hissupport.

The new measures would impose brutal penalties on all relationships,activism, advocacy, and shows of affection among lesbian and gay people. Itwould introduce criminal penalties for any public advocacy or associationssupporting the rights of lesbian and gay people, as well as for same-sexrelationships and marriage ceremonies.

The bill, entitled 'The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2006', goes much
further than the name suggests. The bill provides for five years'imprisonment to anyone who "goes through the ceremony of marriage with aperson of the same sex," "performs, witnesses, aids or abets the ceremony ofsame sex marriage" or "is involved in the registration of gay clubs,societies and rganizations, sustenance, procession or meetings, publicityand public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly inpublic and in private."

Any priest or cleric aiding or abetting such a union could be subject to thefive-year prison term. The law would also prohibit adoption of children bylesbian or gay couples or individuals.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Right Wing Watch

March 20, 2007
Robertson: Muslim Politicians Will 'Destroy' American Civilization

On today's "700 Club," Pat Robertson warns that Muslims becoming involved inpolitics, such as Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), want to "take over" and"institute Sharia."

"If the Christians don't get involved-We've been harassed by People for theAmerican Way, we have been harassed by Americans United for the Separationof Church and State, we have been harassed by the federal court system, butif the Christians won't stand up and not worry about the IRS, not worryabout whether you're going to lose your tax exemption, not worry aboutwhatever because you're going to lose your country if Christians don'tmobilize and vote," warned Robertson. He added that "The curse of God is tobring in people who don't share your point of view and then ultimatelydestroy your civilization. Well, that's what we're facing for our childrenand grandchildren."

Robertson's comments echoed statements denouncing Rep. Ellison as a threatby right-wing commentators such as Roy Moore and Dennis Prager, by Rep.Virgil Goode (R-Virginia), and by Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of theRobertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice.

Posted by Ezra at 6:14 PM


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The Gay Military Times

An Intolerant Minority
by Walter Brasch

Capt. Joan Darrah (USN-ret.) was the Navy's first female intelligenceofficer.

Lt. Col. William Winnewisser (USA-ret.) was a battalion commander, executiveofficer of the Army Operations Center at the Pentagon, and a White Housesocial aide.

Lt. Col. Hank Thomas (USMC-ret.) was an infantry and intelligence officerwho served two tours of duty in Vietnam ; he later served as assistantsecretary for international affairs in the Reagan administration.

Lt. Col. Steve Loomis, wounded in action in Vietnam , was awarded the BronzeStar with a "V" for valor.

Capt. Joe Lopez, a West Point graduate, and Blackhawk pilot, earned an AirMedal in Iraq .

Capt. Rebecca Kanis, a West Point graduate, was a company commander inSpecial Operations at the time she resigned her commission after nine yearsof service.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Colorado Episcopal parish to quit church
Neela Banerjee, New York Times
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One of the largest Episcopal parishes in Colorado has decided to leave theEpiscopal Church, prompting the diocesan bishop to dissolve the leadershipof the congregation and heightening tensions between theologicaltraditionalists and liberals in the denomination.

The parish, Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish in Colorado Springs, is alargely conservative congregation that disagrees with the Episcopal Church'sdecision to consecrate gay bishops and sanction same-sex unions.

The parish decided to leave the denomination over the weekend, in large partbecause of a decision made last week by the denomination's House of Bishops,said Alan Crippen, a parishioner and spokesman for the congregation.

Answering an ultimatum from archbishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion,the Episcopal bishops rejected a demand to create a parallel leadershipstructure for the minority of Episcopalians, like the members of GraceChurch and St. Stephen's, who oppose the church's stand on homosexuality.

"Our read was that it is just curtains for theological conservatives in theEpiscopal Church," Crippen said. "There was a lot of scrambling over theweekend. We thought that the House of Bishops would delay and obfuscate likethey usually do. Everyone here was just shocked that they were so decisivein spurning the rest of the communion."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Times Online

March 27, 2007

Drama at Abbey, Akinola 'comes out' on anti-gay law

Who exactly are the slaves of today, and why was this protester, ToyinAgbetu, so angry that he disrupted the slavery commemoration service at theAbbey today? Peter Akinola thinks he knows the answer to the first question.He has given an interview to Philip Groves, who head the listening processfor the Anglican Communion, in which he makes it clear that he is fullybehind the draconian anti-gay measures currently going through Nigeria'slegislature. The Abbey protester Agbetu was angry because there has been noformal apology from Britain's government for this country's complicity inslavery, in spite of calls from Archbishop of York John Sentamu amongothers.

Two further new developments - the Listening Process study guide is nowavailable, as well as the reports from each province on the ListeningProcess so far.

The Church Times last week ran an advertisement placed by the Lesbian andGay Christian Movement in which they describe Nigeria's bill as an exampleof modern slavery. Anglican Mainstream came out in support of Akinola. Theyargued that the sexual licence of modern Western culture threatened anotherform of bondage to nations of the South.

LGCM said: 'This debate is held against a global backdrop where over fiftycountries impose jail sentences, including life imprisonment, forhomosexuality. In nine other countries the punishment is death! In mostcountries lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face daily violenceand harrassment. The Church must ask itself what part it plays inencouraging this disgrace. If maintaining the 'catholic' nature of theAnglican Communion can only be bought at the price of silence and collusionwith such calumnies, this is not true catholicity in Christ.'

LGCM recently wrote an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury askingwhy the Primates had not condemned the Nigerian law at their recent meetingin Tanzania. In reply, Dr Williams wrote: 'I don't think there was a chanceof getting an agreed statement out of the Primates on this subject at themoment. I don't take any pride in that, but it's a fact.'


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Presentation and Book Signing Highlights Dangers of the 'Ex-Gay' Message, AsFocus On The Family Brings 'Ex-Gay' Road Show to Omaha

OMAHA - Fresh from an appearance on the Daily Show With John Stewart,
activist and author Wayne Besen will appear at Reading Grounds (7PM, April12) only days before Focus on the Family hosts its ex-gay road show, LoveWon Out, in Omaha. Besen will present the dangers of so-called 'ex-gay'groups and sign his acclaimed book, Anything But Straight: Unmasking theScandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.

"Ex-gay groups destroy families in the name of family values, offer falsehope to vulnerable people and portray a distorted view of gay life," saidauthor Wayne Besen, who is also the founder of Truth Wins Out, the onlyfull-time non-profit organization to monitor ex-gay groups. "It is importantto be in Omaha to help counter Focus on the Family's slick disinformationcampaign. I hope to educate people and serve as a resource on this explosiveissue."

In 2000, Besen photographed Love Won Out founder and Focus on the Family'sex-gay poster boy John Paulk in a gay bar in Washington , DC . He alsohelped uncover that Rev. Jerry Falwell's ex-gay leader, Michael Johnston,was having male partners, even after he proclaimed Jesus Christ had "healed"him.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Catholics must oppose civil unions, Italian bishops say

Catholic World News

Rome, Mar. 28, 2007 ( - The Italian bishops' conference hasreleased a statement saying that a bid for legal recognition of civil unionsis "unacceptable in principle, and presents a social and educationaldanger."

The bishops' statement, released on May 28, said that it would be"incomprehensible" for a Catholic politician to cast a vote in favor of thecivil-union proposal.

Although the bishops did not suggest any disciplinary action againstlawmakers who support the government's proposal, the statement said thatevery Catholic politician has "the moral duty to express his disagreementclearly and publicly," and to vote against any bill that would grant legalrecognition to same-sex unions.


National Gay News

Gay 'Day Of Silence' Meets With Protest
By Norm Kent

GLSEN was hoping its 'Day of Silence' next month would launch a campaignagainst discrimination of students in schools.

It may not come so easily. Instead, it has given birth to a significantChristian protest, including a federal lawsuit.

As it has in the past, GLSEN, the Gay and Lesbian Straight EducationNetwork, has planned a National Day of Silence for students nationwide nextmonth.

The project allows for students to be quiet all day in a yeoman's effort toprotest the discrimination, harassment and abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender students and their allies in schools.

The participating students will be wearing stickers and passing out'speaking cards' that read:

"Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating inthe Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence facedby lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies inschools.

My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment,prejudice, and discrimination. I believe that ending the silence is thefirst step toward fighting these injustices.

Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to doto end the silence?"

Schools across the country are supporting the effort. But at least one highschool student in Illinois is not.

Heidi Zamecnik, of the Chicago suburb of Naperville, has gone to federalcourt seeking the right to wear T-shirts one day later that declaresentiments such as "Be happy, not gay."

Zamecnik has become the focal point of a counter protest group, planned forApril 19, one day later, entitled 'A Day of Truth' ( is asking a United States District Court to order her school toallow her to express her family's "conviction that true happiness cannot befound through homosexual behavior."


Police: Elderly Detroit Gay Man Did Not Die From Bashing
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 29, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Detroit, Michigan) An elderly man whose death became a national cause forgay rights advocates died of natural causes, not from being beaten,authorities said Wednesday.

Police also said they intended to close the investigation into 72-year-oldAndrew Anthos' death.

"There's no evidence that an assault occurred," police spokesman James Tatetold The Detroit News.

According to family members, Anthos said he was riding a city bus home fromthe library on Feb. 13 when a young man asked him if he was gay and uttereda slur.

Anthos said the man followed him off the bus and confronted him again.Anthos said he told the man he was gay as he went to help a friend whosewheelchair was stuck in a snowbank, according to his cousin, Athena Fedenis.


Teacher Pleads Guilty For Arranging Marriage For Foreign Lover
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 8:00 pm ET

(Honolulu, Hawaii) A 65-year old Honolulu man has pleaded guilty for helpingto arrange a marriage for his Chinese lover so that the man could remain inthe US.

Federal officials alleged that Bob Loren agreed to pay a woman and herdaughter $6000 for the daughter to marry Hang Duan.

Loren met Hang Duan, 20 at the time, while Loren was teaching English inChina. When Loren returned to Hawaii, Hang entered the country on a 90-dayvisa.

Loren sought the help of Julia Bivit-Padello, an acquaintance who owns aHonolulu area barber shop and asked if she new anyone Hang could marry sothat he could remain in the US. She suggested her daughter Shara Padello,21.

Hang and Padello were married in August 2005. They then signed a"post-marital" agreement that called for Padello to receive $1,000 formarrying Duan and another $5,000 after he received his green card.


Ruling: Sex Change Doesn't Alter Alimony
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Clearwater, Florida) A woman's sex change operation does not free herex-husband from his alimony obligation, a judge said Wednesday.

Attorneys for Lawrence Roach, 48, had argued his 55-year-old ex-wife'sdecision to switch genders and change her name from Julia to Julio RobertoSilverwolf voided their 2004 divorce agreement.

"It's illegal for a man to marry a man and it should likewise be illegal fora man to pay alimony to a man," said John McGuire, one of Roach's attorneys.

Circuit Judge Jack R. St. Arnold, however, ruled that in the eyes of thelaw, nothing changed significantly enough to free Roach from his$1,250-a-month obligation.

The judge said since Florida courts have ruled sex-change surgery cannotlegally change a person's birth gender, Roach technically is not payingalimony to a man.


Partner Failed To File Domestic Partner Form, Man Now Battles For CommunalProperty
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Santa Ana, California) Legal papers were filed today in the CaliforniaCourt of Appeal in a case seeking the same protections for domesticpartners, who thought their relationships were registered with the state butwere not, as California family law provides to people who believed they weremarried but were not.

"Without access to marriage, same-sex couples are left with an inferior,confusing system that causes people like our client to fall through thecracks," said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Tara Borelli.

"In addition to dealing with what amounts to a divorce, people like DarrinEllis have the additional burden of demonstrating to the state why theyshould be treated as spouses are when they honestly thought they weremarried, but for one technical legal reason or another were not."

Ellis and David Arriaga were in a committed relationship for over fiveyears. On August 14, 2003, Ellis and Arriaga met with their attorney toexecute estate planning documents and their Declaration of DomesticPartnership. Arriaga was to send the notarized form to the CaliforniaSecretary of State's office, and Ellis believed Arriaga had done so.

It was not until the relationship ended in 2006 that Arriaga informed Ellishe had never mailed the Declaration of Domestic Partnership to the Secretaryof State.


Arab Lesbians Hold Historic Meeting
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Haifa, Israel) Arab lesbians quietly defied Islamist protesters and asocial taboo to gather at a rare public event Wednesday in a northernIsraeli city.

Many of the attendees said they were sad that the only place safe enough tohold a conference for gay Arab women was in a Jewish area of Haifa, whichhas a mixed Arab-Jewish population. Israel's Jewish majority is generallytolerant of homosexuality

"This conference is being held, somehow, in exile, even though it's ourcountry," said Yussef Abu Warda, a playwright.

Driven deep underground for the most part, only 10 to 20 Arab lesbiansattended the conference, organizers said. Most blended in with Israelilesbians and heterosexual Arab female supporters without making theirpresence known.

"We'd like all women to come out of the closet - that's our role. We workfor them," said Samira, 31, a conference organizer who came with her JewishIsraeli girlfriend. Samira agreed to be identified only by her first namefor fear of reprisals.


Pressure Mounting On Indiana Lawmakers To Deal With Anti-Gay Amendment
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Indianapolis, Indiana) Supporters and opponents of a proposed amendment tothe Indiana constitution to ban same-sex marriage are calling on lawmakersto deal with the issue - one way or the other.

State law already bars same-sex couples from marrying. The proposedconstitutional amendment would not only ban same-sex marriage but also wouldblock any recognition of unmarried couples.

It defines marriage only as the union of one man and one woman. But, it goesto say the state cannot provide the "incidents" of marriage on unmarriedcouples or groups.

The second part of the amendment would block domestic partner benefits frombeing offered state employees or institutions funded by the state,

Amending the constitution is a two stage process in Indiana, requiring votesin two consecutive sessions of the legislature. It already passed the firstphase and is now in the second round of approvals.


March 29, 2007
No charges for Foley in page scandal

Six months after resigning from Congress, former U.S. representative MarkFoley remains under criminal investigation for sexually explicit Internetcommunications with underage boys but has not been charged, authorities saidWednesday.

''I can't really give any more detail other than to say we're still in thepreliminary investigative stance and we are working with stateauthorities,'' said Debra Weierman, spokeswoman for the FBI's Washingtonfield office.

Florida authorities announced their own criminal investigation in Novemberbut have remained tight-lipped on the status since then.

Foley resigned September 29 after being confronted with the lurid messagesto male teenage pages who had worked on Capitol Hill.

He checked himself into an Arizona facility October 1 for what his attorneyssaid was treatment of ''alcoholism and other behavioral problems.'' At thetime, his attorney said Foley was gay and an alcoholic and had been molestedby a priest as a teenage altar boy in Florida.


Lesbian Tennis Great King Endorses Clinton
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 12:30 pm ET

(New York City) Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has secured the endorsementof Billie Jean King, the longtime tennis star who made history in 1973 whenshe defeated Bobby Riggs in the famed "Battle of the Sexes" match.

"What I learned when I first met Hillary, and what I know now, is that sheis qualified to lead this country," King, 63, said in statement. "As a youngwoman, mother, advocate, first lady and senator she has continually shown usshe is passionate about improving family issues, health care, equal pay andthe challenges that people all across this nation face on a daily basis."

King's support will be part of the campaign's "Women for Hillary" effortaimed at wooing female voters.

The King endorsement came amid a slew of high-profile events to showcasewomen's support for Clinton, who is hoping to make history as the firstfemale president.

Several of Clinton's top female advisers, including campaign manager PattiSolis Doyle and senior adviser Ann Lewis, were hosting a web chat Wednesdayafternoon, while NOW, the National Organization for Women, was announcingits endorsement of Clinton.


Fourth Gay Elected To NYS Legislature
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(New York City) Staten Island voters have elected their first openly gaycandidate for the state legislature - making Matthew Titone the fourth gaymember to serve in Albany.

Titone was elected in a special election to replace Assemblyman John W.Lavelle. The 57 year old Lavelle, who died of a stroke in January had been astrong supporter of LGBT rights.

Both Titone and Lavelle were Democrats and Titone's election was notaltogether a surprise. The district has been solidly Democratic in modernhistory.

Titone, 46, had the support of Empire Pride Agenda and the Victory Fund.

"Last night was an historic victory for our community," Pride Agenda's JoeTarver told


March 29, 2007
Former South Carolina coach reaches out to Chatman

Former collegiate women's basketball coach Pam Parsons, whose improperconduct with one of her players was made public 25 years ago, has reachedout to Pokey Chatman(pictured), who recently relinquished her position coaching the same sportat Louisiana State University because of allegations that she had animproper relationship with a former player.

Former University of South Carolina women's basketball coach Pam Parsons,whose improper conduct with one of her players was made public 25 years ago,has reached out to Pokey Chatman, who recently relinquished her positioncoaching the same sport at Louisiana State University because of allegationsthat she had an improper relationship with a former player, reports theAssociated Press.

With Parsons at the helm, South Carolina's Lady Gamecocks became one of thenation's most powerful teams. In 1980 she led them to a school record whenthey won a whopping 30 games for the season. However, her tenure came to anend when her sexual relationship with 17-year-old player Tina Buck becamepublic knowledge.

Chatman resigned because of an alleged sexual relationship with a formerplayer and hasn't spoken to reporters since leaving her post March 7. ButParsons, 59, isn't passing any judgment and is sympathizing with Chatman'sordeal by offering her open arms.

Parsons told AP that if Chatman called for advice, Parsons would "hug hercompletely and say, 'Oh, my gosh, I couldn't imagine anyone else in theuniverse would have a similar pattern to work through in life.'"


The Express Gay News

Ga. Supreme Court rejects lesbian adoption case
Arguments challenged the legality of second-parent adoption
ATLANTA | Mar 29, 6:31 AM

The Georgia Supreme Court has again sidestepped a challenge to the legalityof second-parent adoptions, a legal process sometimes used by gay parents.The court ruled today that it would not reconsider its Feb. 26 decision notto hear the case of Sara Wheeler, a woman who sought to revoke thesecond-parent adoption of her biological child by former partner MelodyWheeler.

The February decision was challenged by Anthony Zezima, who is Sara Wheeler'sattorney, in a March 6 motion for reconsideration.

The Wheelers' child was conceived using artificial insemination when theWheelers were a couple, and Sara Wheeler was the birth mother. DeKalb CountySuperior Court Judge Anne Workman approved Melody Wheeler's adoption of thechild in 2002, and upheld Melody Wheeler's parental rights in 2005 after thecouple split.

"It's very important in adoptions that after a period of time the adoptionbe final, and there be no threat to the parent-child relationship," saidGreg Nevins, a senior staff attorney in the Atlanta office of Lambda LegalDefense & Education Fund, a gay legal group that assisted Melody Wheeler.

"An adoption that had been granted years ago shouldn't be disturbed fouryears later - that's not a controversial principle," Nevins said after theGa. Supreme Court first declined to hear the case.


World News

Italian bishops spark gay vote row

ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- A directive by Italian bishops ordering Catholicpoliticians to vote against gay rights legislation has caused a politicaluproar and prompted fresh charges of Church interference in domesticaffairs.

The long-awaited note, issued on Wednesday by the Italian BishopsConference, was significant because it specifically targeted politicians asthey consider a law to give homosexual and heterosexual unmarried couplesmore rights.

While not specifying any punishment by the Church, it says Catholics couldnot hide behind "the principle of pluralism" or compromise on what it calledthe ethical needs of society.

The note said Catholic politicians had "the moral duty to clearly andpublicly voice their disagreement and vote against any proposed law thatwould recognize homosexual couples".

While some Catholic and centrist politicians welcomed the directive as foodfor thought, other lawmakers and civil rights groups condemned it asoutright interference.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Mar. 29, 2007
Colo. parish leader facing money charges

The leader of a breakaway Episcopal parish will face financial misconductallegations in the diocese's judicial system, officials said Wednesday.

The action came two days after leaders of Grace Church and St. Stephen'sParish in Colorado Springs voted to leave the denomination and join aNigerian-linked missionary diocese. They left because they were upset aboutthe liberal theological direction of the national church, particularly whenit comes to gay relationships.

Hours after the vote, diocese officials handed down the church equivalent ofan indictment against the Rev. Donald Armstrong but did not releasespecifics. Parish leaders criticized the action against him as the productof a "kangaroo court."

A letter to parishioners from Colorado Bishop Robert O'Neill, obtained by
The Gazette of Colorado Springs, accuses Armstrong of theft and mishandlingof hundreds of thousands of dollars over about 10 years. It also saysArmstrong failed to report about $548,000 in income and benefits on stateand federal tax forms.

Diocese spokeswoman Beckett Stokes confirmed the letter, but would notprovide a copy to The Associated Press. The diocese suspended Armstrong Jan.3 and barred him from the parish property because of the investigation.


The Washington Post

Uganda's Early Gains Against HIV Eroding
Message of Fear, Fidelity Diluted by Array of Other Remedies

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A01

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Students packed a grassy field at Makerere University inApril 1989 for a farewell concert by singer Philly Lutaaya. This symbol ofswaggering virility had grown gaunt, with splotchy skin and the fine, sparsehair of a baby. He sang hauntingly,"Today it's me, tomorrow it's somebody else."

Between songs, he warned the stunned crowd that having several sex partnerswas a sure way to die in the age of AIDS, echoing pleas also made bypolitical and religious leaders of the time. When Lutaaya died thatDecember, at age 38, the country already had begun its historic reversal ofthe epidemic, researchers say, because of the power of that single,terrifying message.

Despite this success story, unmatched elsewhere on this AIDS-riddencontinent, no country has entirely replicated Uganda's approach. Mostinstead have followed a diffuse palette of other remedies pushed by Westerndonors -- condom promotion, abstinence training, HIV testing, drug treatmentand stigma reduction -- while forgoing what research shows worked here: fearand a relentless focus on sexual fidelity.

Even in Uganda, these key ingredients have been lost as a new generationcoming of age years after Lutaaya's death indulges in the same recklessbehavior that first spread the disease so widely.

"We saw him. We saw him die. We abandoned the girlfriends," said SwizenKyomuhendo, a social scientist at Makerere, who was an undergraduate whenLutaaya spoke there. "When you look at the university students now, they arenot as terrified as we were then."


April 18, 2007 is the 11th annual Day of Silence -- one of the largeststudent-led actions in the country. The Day of Silence commemorates andprotests anti-LGBTQ bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.

Students and teachers take a pledge to remain silent all day to point outthe fact that LGBTQ youth and adults are often silenced by prejudice andbigotry.

There are many ways to observe the day of silence. For suggestions andideas click Day of Silence and Teaching Tolerance. What are YOU going to doto end the Silence?

If the links do not work, cut and paste the URLs below into your browser.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Lilly against gay marriage ban
By Mary Beth Schneider

March 28, 2007

Eli Lilly and Co. today became the latest large Indiana employer to oppose aproposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Tony Murphy, Lilly's senior vice president for human resources, sent aletter to House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, and otherlegislators saying the amendment could hinder Lilly's ability to attractemployees and also paint an image of Indiana as an intolerant state.

Murphy said in the letter that Lilly, which employs nearly 16,000 people inIndiana, has offered domestic partner benefits since January 2004. He saidthe company is concerned that the language of the amendment could put thosebenefits at risk.

In addition to defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, the amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 7, states that the constitution or anyother ndiana law "may not be construed to require that marital status orthe legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples orgroups."

"As a result of this uncertainty (over what the amendment's impact mightbe,)" Murphy wrote, "some employees may choose to leave Indiana to work in astate where these benefits are perceived not to be threatened. Given thegreat lengths Lilly takes to attract and retain top talent from around theworld, we oppose any legislation that might impair our ability to offercompetitive employee benefits or negatively impact our recruitment andretention."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Ban of use of sperm from HIV-positive men under review

Bill pending to let fertility clinics use 'washed' specimens

Greg Lucas, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sacramento -- Dan Hartmann, a 32-year-old Oakland graphic artist, met hiswife Susan six years ago, and like many couples they decided they wanted tostart a family.

There's a complication: A blood transfusion 20 years ago left HartmannHIV-positive.

Medical technology has existed for more than a decade to "wash" the HIV fromHartmann's sperm, which then could be used to add a new member to theHartmann household while mother and child remain HIV-free.

Except Hartmann can't get the treatment in California because the state bansthe use of sperm from an HIV-positive donor.

"We want to have a kid, but the law here doesn't allow fertility clinics tohelp a man who is HIV-positive," Hartmann said.

Legislation will be debated Wednesday in the Senate Health Committee topermit the use of washed sperm from an HIV-positive donor to impregnate aconsenting woman.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

Michigan's House of Representatives voted 59-50 today in favor of Matt'sSafe Schools Law!

Just twenty minutes ago, Michigan's schools came one vital step closer tobecoming safe for every student.

The House vote was witnessed by more than 150 citizen lobbyists who had cometo Safe Schools Lobby Day, an event organized by Triangle Foundation onbehalf of the Michigan Safe Schools Coalition and attended during a 1 p.m.gathering by Governor Jennifer Granholm.

"While we're ecstatic to see this bill pass the full House, we can't let themomentum die now," said Triangle Director of Policy Sean Kosofsky. "Now it'stime to turn our attention to the State Senate so we can deliver thisimportant legislation to Governor Granholm for her signature."

We achieved this victory because of you - your support, your calls to yourState Legislators, your donations. Help us take Matt's Safe Schools Lawthrough the Senate and into actual law with a donation today


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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Capitol Hill Blue

FBI director defends Patriot Act abuses

Tag it:?
Wednesday, 28 March 2007

FBI Director Robert Mueller struggled Tuesday to convince skeptical senatorsthat - despite recent abuses - the FBI should retain Patriot Act authorityto gather telephone, e-mail and financial records without a judge'sapproval.

"The statute did not cause the errors. The FBI's implementation did," the
FBI chief told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., served notice: "We'regoing to be re-examining the broad authorities we granted the FBI in thePatriot Act." House Judiciary committee members delivered a similar messagelast week.

The Senate panel's ranking Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, wentfurther: "The question arises as to whether any director can handle this joband whether the bureau itself can handle the job."

Grim-faced and sometimes even looking pained, Mueller testified at thepanel's second hearing into a Justice Department inspector general's reportthis month that revealed abuses in the FBI's use of documents callednational security letters to gather data.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Rocky Mountain News,1983,DRMN_23964_5446776_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html

'Open skies' could be boon to travelers
March 28, 2007

It took more than four years and there are still some details to be workedout, but the United States and the European Union have finally approved an"open skies" agreement that should make trans-Atlantic air travel cheaperand more convenient.

Basically, starting next March, it would allow airlines of the EU countriesto fly to any American city and allow U.S. carriers to fly to anydestination in the EU's 27 countries.

The agreement would replace a restrictive web of bilateral aviationtreaties. The impetus for the deal began in 2002 when a Europe-wide courtbegan ruling the bilateral agreements illegal under EU law.

The signers have high hopes for what open skies will do for the vitaltrans-Atlantic market that already accounts for 60 percent of allinternational air travel. EU officials estimate that within five years itwill add 26 million passengers to the 50 million who now fly each year,bring in $16 billion in additional revenues and add 80,000 new jobs here andin the EU.

The British were the most reluctant party to the agreement, one reason beingthey don't want to add to the four carriers, two British, two American,currently allowed to operate trans-Atlantic flights from busy Heathrow.


Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County -

The New York Times

March 29, 2007

U.S. Iraq Role Is Called Illegal by Saudi King

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 28 - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Arableaders on Wednesday that the American occupation of Iraq was illegal andwarned that unless Arab governments settled their differences, foreignpowers like the United States would continue to dictate the region'spolitics.

The king's speech, at the opening of the Arab League meeting here,underscored growing differences between Saudi Arabia and the Bushadministration as the Saudis take on a greater leadership role in the MiddleEast, partly at American urging.

The Saudis seem to be emphasizing that they will not be beholden to thepolicies of their longtime ally.

They brokered a deal between the two main Palestinian factions last month,but one that Israel and the United States found deeply problematic becauseit added to the power of the radical group Hamas rather than the moremoderate Fatah. On Wednesday King Abdullah called for an end to theinternational boycott of the new Palestinian government. The United Statesand Israel want the boycott continued.

In addition, Abdullah invited President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran toRiyadh earlier this month, while the Americans want him shunned. And intrying to settle the tensions in Lebanon, the Saudis have been willing tonegotiate with Iran and Hezbollah.


The New York Times

March 29, 2007
Pakistani Woman Freed in Brothel Case

Filed at 9:33 a.m. ET

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- A woman kidnapped by female seminary studentsand accused of running a brothel was freed Thursday after a hard-line clericforced her to repent in public -- an episode in vigilante justice that showsthe boldness of Islamic extremists in Pakistan.

Students in black burqas had seized the woman and several of her relativesfrom her home late Tuesday during an anti-vice campaign in the capital,taking the law into their own hands and embarrassing President Gen. PervezMusharraf's military-dominated government.

The students are disciples of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, vice principal of theJamia Hafsa seminary and a cleric at the adjoining Lal Masjid mosque. Themosque has a reputation for preaching hard-line Islam as well as links to anoutlawed militant group accused in sectarian attacks on Shiite Muslims.

With no sign of police intervention to force her release, the woman, knownas Aunty Shamim, was presented to reporters at the Jamia Hafsa seminary inIslamabad to meet Ghazi's demand that she stop ''spreading obscenity'' inreturn for her freedom.

''I apologize for my past wrongdoing and I promise in the name of God thatin future I will live like a pious person,'' said Shamim, only her eyes andpart of her nose visible beneath an all-enveloping burqa.


Forwarded from Susan Frishkorn
Tri-County -

Unprovoked wars of aggression are illegal. It is a crime against the peace.

March 29, 2007
U.S. Iraq Role Is Called Illegal by Saudi King

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 28 - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Arableaders on Wednesday that the American occupation of Iraq was illegal andwarned that unless Arab governments settled their differences, foreignpowers like the United States would continue to dictate the region'spolitics.

The king's speech, at the opening of the Arab League meeting here,underscored growing differences between Saudi Arabia and the Bushadministration as the Saudis take on a greater leadership role in the MiddleEast, partly at American urging.

The Saudis seem to be emphasizing that they will not be beholden to thepolicies of their longtime ally.

They brokered a deal between the two main Palestinian factions last month,but one that Israel and the United States found deeply problematic becauseit added to the power of the radical group Hamas rather than the moremoderate Fatah. On Wednesday King Abdullah called for an end to theinternational boycott of the new Palestinian government. The United Statesand Israel want the boycott continued.


Bush Forced To Withdraw Controversial Ambassador Nominee
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 28, 2007 - 8:00 pm ET

(Washington) President Bush on Wednesday withdrew the ambassadorialnomination of businessman Sam Fox after Democrats denounced Fox for givingmoney to a controversial conservative group that undermined Sen. JohnKerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

Kerry, D-Mass., had criticized Fox because of a $50,000 contribution thatFox made in 2004 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Many Democrats blame the group for sinking Kerry's presidential hopes thatyear after it aired a series of controversial ads that impugned Kerry'smilitary record in the Vietnam War.

The White House announced the withdrawal in a press release distributed lessthan an hour before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee gathered to voteon his nomination to be ambassador to Belgium. On Tuesday, Kerry's Vietnamcrew mates had sent a letter urging committee members to oppose Fox'snomination. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

"In our judgment, those who finance smears and lies of combat veterans don'tdeserve to represent America on the world stage," said the letter signed byJames Rassman and 10 other Vietnam Swift Boat veterans who served withKerry.Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said Tuesday he opposes the nomination because Fox"refused to apologize for his behavior" during his confirmation hearing lastmonth.


The New York Times

March 28, 2007
Tax Cut Advocate Forbes Endorses Giuliani in NY

Filed at 11:16 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fiscal conservative Steve Forbes on Wednesday endorsedformer New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's bid to become the Republican nomineefor president in the 2008 race for the White House.

Forbes, chief executive of Forbes magazine who unsuccessfully sought theRepublican nomination in 1996 and 200vative Sen. David Vitter of Louisianadespite Giuliani's past support for abortion rights, gun control and gayrights.


Senate's Bold Proposal for Iraq: Sugar Beets and Rural Schools -- in the

By Dana Milbank
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A02

Midway through the Senate debate yesterday over the "emergency" spendingbill for Iraq, Barbara Boxer rose to speak in favor -- of strawberries.

"There's a song called 'Strawberry Fields Forever,' " the CaliforniaDemocrat declared on the Senate floor, as an aide displayed a poster of anicy berry patch. "This is a strawberry field," Boxer continued, seekingfunds for frostbitten fruit farmers. "It looks like an ice rink. Thestrawberries are somewhere in there; they are destroyed. I also want to showyou oranges. . . . Here you can see the icicles near the avocados."

The relationship between crops and troops was lost on Sen. Lindsey Graham(R-S.C.), who backed an amendment that would remove spending for sugar beetsand other agricultural pursuits. "I don't see how the asparagus-spinachproblem helps us win in Iraq," he argued at a news conference. "This is abill designed to help people that are getting shot at."

Oh? Immediately after this righteous plea in the Senate television studio,Graham went downstairs to the Senate floor and voted in support of anamendment to the Iraq bill directing an additional $5 billion to ruralschools and counties -- right here in the U.S. of A.

It's common for lawmakers to complain that a spending bill is "loaded uplike a Christmas tree" with pet projects. But the Iraq EmergencySupplemental Appropriations Act going through the Senate this week isunusual in that it is loaded up with Christmas trees.


Circuit City fires 3,400 salespeople for making too much money
By Mark Clothier

Bloomberg News
March 29, 2007

Circuit City Stores Inc., the second-largest U.S. electronics retailer afterBest Buy Co., fired 3,400 of its highest-paid salespeople and will hirereplacements willing to work for less.

The company, with many stores in South Florida, said it's eliminating jobsthat paid "well above" market rates. Those who were fired can apply for thelower pay, company spokesman Bill Cimino said Wednesday. He declined to givethe wages of the fired workers or the new hires.

Circuit City, based in Richmond, Va., also hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. tostudy a sale of its 900 Canadian stores.

The moves will reduce 2008 expenses by $110 million and trim $140 million inannual spending in 2009. Sales may be volatile during the first half of thisfiscal year as the new salespeople learn their jobs, the company saidWednesday.

"Firing 3,400 of arguably the most successful salespeople in the companycould prove terrible for morale," Colin McGranahan, an analyst with SanfordBernstein & Co., wrote in an investment note.


The New York Times

March 29, 2007
Zimbabwean Opposition Leader Released

Filed at 9:46 a.m. ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- The country's main opposition leader was freedafter being held by police for several hours, party officials said Thursday,as southern African leaders gathered in Tanzania to discuss the crisis inZimbabwe.

Police denied arresting Morgan Tsvangirai Wednesday as he prepared to talkto reporters about a wave of political violence that left him brieflyhospitalized earlier this month.

''It doesn't matter how long he was deprived of his freedom, he was stillarrested,''
Tsvangirai's aide, Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, told The Associated PressThursday.

Tsvangirai, 54, had been arrested earlier this month along with about 50other people as opposition, church, student and civic groups tried to stagea prayer meeting. His supporters said police smashed his head against a wallrepeatedly.

State radio said Mugabe had left for Tanzania to attend a Thursday meetingof the Southern African Development Community on the political turmoil inZimbabwe amid concerns the crisis could threaten regional stability.


The New York Times

March 29, 2007
Mountaintop Rescue

Mountaintop mining is a cheap and ruthlessly efficient way to mine coal:soil and rock are scraped away by enormous machines to expose the buriedcoal seam, then dumped down the mountainside into the valleys and streamsbelow.

Mountaintop mining has also caused appalling environmental damage inviolation of the Clean Water Act. According to a federal study, mountaintopremoval has buried or choked 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams and damagedhundreds of square miles of forests.

No recent administration, Democrat or Republican, has made a serious effortto end the dumping, largely in deference to the financial influence of thecoal industry and the political influence of Robert Byrd, West Virginia'ssenior senator. But the Bush administration has gone out of its way toshield the practice. In 2002 and 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency -onfronted with complaints that mountaintop mining violated regulationsprohibiting the dumping of mine wastes in streams - simply changed theregulations to allow it to continue.

Now a federal judge has inspired hopes that this destructive nonsense can bebrought to a halt. In a case argued by two advocacy groups, Earthjustice andthe Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, Judge RobertChambers of Federal District Court halted four mountaintop removal projectson the grounds that the Army Corps of Engineers - which issued permits forthe projects - had failed to demonstrate that the damage would not beirreversible. He also said the corps had failed to conduct the necessaryenvironmental reviews.

Local residents who have watched the destruction of their landscape hope theruling will lead to tighter regulation of other mountaintop miningproposals. The greater hope is that the government can be persuaded to stopthe practice altogether.


The New York Times

March 29, 2007
45 Million Card Numbers Stolen From Retailer

Filed at 6:58 a.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- More than two months after first disclosing that hackersaccessed customers' financial data from its computers, discount retailer TJXCos. has revealed that information from at least 45.7 million credit anddebit cards was stolen over an 18-month period.

In a regulatory filing that gives the first detailed account of the breachinitially disclosed in January, the owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshall's and otherstores in North America and the United Kingdom also said another 455,000customers who returned merchandise without receipts had their personal datastolen, including driver's license numbers.

The data that was stolen covers transactions dating as far back as December2002, TJX said in the filing Wednesday with the Securities and ExchangeCommission.

TJX spokeswoman Sherry Lang did not immediately return a telephone messagefrom The Associated Press seeking comment late Wednesday.

But Lang told The Boston Globe, which first reported the filing Wednesdaynight, that about 75 percent of the compromised cards either were expired orhad data from their magnetic stripes masked, meaning the data was stored asasterisks, rather than numbers.


The New York Times

March 29, 2007
Immigrants Becoming U.S. Citizens at High Rate

Legal immigrants in the United States have opted to become American citizensin historically high numbers in the last decade, according to a studypublished yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The number of naturalized citizens in the United States population in 2005was 12.8 million, a record high, the study found. The number reflected notonly a growing number of legal immigrants coming to the United States, butalso a growing eagerness among them to adopt
American citizenship, the study reported.

Of all the immigrants now living legally in the United States, 52 percentare naturalized citizens, while others are permanent residents or have someother immigration status. The last time that citizens made up more than halfof all legal immigrants was in 1980, the study found.

The research, which is based primarily on census data, was done by JeffreyS. Passel, a demographer at the Pew center, a nonpartisan organization basedin Washington.

"It is clear that today's legal immigrants are signing on to a closerrelationship with the U.S. than was the case a decade or two ago," Mr.Passel concluded.


The New York Times

March 29, 2007
E-Mail Shows Rove's Role in Fate of Prosecutors

WASHINGTON, March 28 - Almost every Wednesday afternoon, advisers toPresident Bush gather to strategize about putting his stamp on the federalcourts and the United States attorneys' offices.

The group meets in the Roosevelt Room and includes aides to the White Housecounsel, the chief of staff, the attorney general and Karl Rove, who alsosometimes attends himself. Each of them signs off on every nomination.

Mr. Rove, a top adviser to the president, takes charge of the politics. Ascaretaker to the administration's conservative allies, Mr. Rove relays theirconcerns, according to several participants in the Wednesday meetings. Andespecially for appointments of United States attorneys, he manages the horsetrading.

"What Karl would say is, 'Look, if this senator who has been working withthe president on the following things really wants this person and we thinkthey are acceptable, why don't we give the senator what he wants?' " saidone former administration official. " 'You know, we stiffed him on that billback there.' "

Mr. Rove's role has put him in the center of a Senate inquiry into thedismissal of eight United States attorneys. Democrats and a few Republicanshave raised questions about whether the prosecutors were being replaced toimpede or jump-start investigations for partisan goals.


Uganda's Early Gains Against HIV Eroding
Message of Fear, Fidelity Diluted by Array of Other Remedies

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A01

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Students packed a grassy field at Makerere University inApril 1989 for a farewell concert by singer Philly Lutaaya. This symbol ofswaggering virility had grown gaunt, with splotchy skin and the fine, sparsehair of a baby. He sang hauntingly,"Today it's me, tomorrow it's somebody else."

Between songs, he warned the stunned crowd that having several sex partnerswas a sure way to die in the age of AIDS, echoing pleas also made bypolitical and religious leaders of the time. When Lutaaya died thatDecember, at age 38, the country already had begun its historic reversal ofthe epidemic, researchers say, because of the power of that single,terrifying message.

Despite this success story, unmatched elsewhere on this AIDS-riddencontinent, no country has entirely replicated Uganda's approach. Mostinstead have followed a diffuse palette of other remedies pushed by Westerndonors -- condom promotion, abstinence training, HIV testing, drug treatmentand stigma reduction -- while forgoing what research shows worked here: fearand a relentless focus on sexual fidelity.

Even in Uganda, these key ingredients have been lost as a new generationcoming of age years after Lutaaya's death indulges in the same recklessbehavior that first spread the disease so widely.

"We saw him. We saw him die. We abandoned the girlfriends," said SwizenKyomuhendo, a social scientist at Makerere, who was an undergraduate whenLutaaya spoke there. "When you look at the university students now, they arenot as terrified as we were then."


A Cry for Zimbabwe
A Moment to End the Repression -- Unless the World Retreats Into Silence

By Desmond Tutu and Madeleine Albright
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A19

Zimbabwe, long plagued by the repressive leadership of President RobertMugabe, has reached the point of crisis. Leaders of the democraticopposition were arrested and beaten, and one was killed, while attempting tohold a peaceful prayer meeting on March 11.

Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for Democratic Change, emerged fromdetention with a swollen eye and a fractured skull. Several days later,Nelson Chamisa, the movement's spokesman, was stopped en route to a meetingwith European officials andbeaten with iron bars. Other activists have been prevented from leaving thecountry to seek medical treatment for wounds inflicted by police.

Unrest has continued, as have the violent crackdowns. Mugabe, stubborn andunrepentant as ever, has vowed to "bash" protesters and dismissedinternational criticism as an imperialist plot. Although anti-governmentfeelings are prompted by the regime's lack of respect for human andpolitical rights, Mugabe's poor management of the economy is also to blame.The inflation rate, more than 1,700 percent, is the world's highest, whilean estimated four out of five people are unemployed. Zimbabwe, once Africa'sbreadbasket, has become, under Mugabe, a basket case.

The crisis in Zimbabwe raises familiar questions about the responsibilitiesof the international community. Some argue that the world has no businessinterfering with, or even commenting on, the internal affairs of a sovereignstate. This principle is exceptionally convenient for dictators and forpeople who do not wish to be bothered about the well-being of others. It isa principle that paved the way for the rise of Hitler and Stalin and for themurders ordered by Idi Amin. It is a principle that, if consistentlyobserved, would have shielded the apartheid government in South Africa fromexternal criticism and from the economic sanctions and political pressurethat forced it to change. It is a principle that would have prevented racistRhodesia from becoming Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe from ever coming to power.

We are not suggesting that the world should intervene to impose politicalchange in Zimbabwe. We are suggesting that global and regional organizationsand individual governments should make known their support for human rightsand democratic practices in that country, as elsewhere. We should condemn inthe strongest terms the use of violence to prevent the free and peacefulexpression of political thought. We should make clear our support for thestandards enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights andin the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Given Mugabe's consistentunwillingness to respect the legitimate complaints of his people, this isnot the time for silent diplomacy.


When the Woodshed Isn't Enough
By David S. Broder
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A19

In the midst of the travails of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, DavidStockman, Ronald Reagan's former budget director, burst into the news as thedefendant in a big corporate fraud prosecution in New York. It got methinking, not just about those two men but about the two presidents who hadto wrestle with whether to keep or fire them.

Is there something about tough-guy conservative chief executives that turnsthem squeamish when it comes to firing people? Reagan, who had no hesitationabout building up America's store of arms and telling the communists to"tear down this wall," couldn't bring himself to let Stockman go -- afterthe young budgeteer had committed an egregious breach of loyalty.

Now, Bush is hanging on to Gonzales to the detriment of the JusticeDepartment and the political embarrassment of congressional Republicans.

The parallels are striking.

For those who have forgotten -- or are too young to know -- the Stockmansaga offers a cautionary lesson on the dangers of brilliant egotism. When Ifirst met him in 1969, Stockman was a student at Harvard Divinity School,hiding out from the draft like many others and living as a babysitter withHarvard professor Daniel Patrick Moynihan and his wife, Liz.

I was on sabbatical at the Institute of Politics, teaching a noncreditseminar for undergrads, and Moynihan phoned me to say that he had thisgraduate student-roomer who was passionately interested in politics andwanted to be in the class. Of course, I made room for him.


The Seat Congress Can't Offer

By George F. Will
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A19

Lincoln supposedly said: If I call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog
have? Five? No, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg. Which brings usto the proposal to treat the District of Columbia as if it were a state.

Today's Democratic-controlled Congress wants to give the District, bylegislation, a full voting member in the House of Representatives. Havingfailed to achieve ratification of a constitutional amendment, sent to thestates in 1978, which would have conferred statehood on the District (only16 states ratified it, 22 short of the required number), Democrats now sayan amendment is unnecessary, and a statute will suffice to do essentiallythat.

Many clauses in the Constitution leave room for conflicting interpretations.What constitutes "commerce . . . among the several states," "establishmentof religion," "cruel and unusual punishments"? Regarding the composition ofthe House of Representatives, however, the Constitution is unambiguous.Article I, Section 2 says the House shall be composed of members chosen "bythe people of the several states."

Until the nation's flag has 51 stars -- at which point the District willhave two senators -- the city should not have a full member of the House.(Today, the D.C. "delegate" votes in committees and on floor amendments -- as long as the vote does not change the outcome -- but not on final passageof legislation.) But those -- mostly Democrats -- who favor full Housemembership for the District cite Congress's constitutional power "toexercise exclusive legislation" over "the seat of the government." They sayCongress can exercise its "exclusive legislation" power to nullify ArticleI, Section 2's requirement that House members be chosen by the people "ofthe several states."

But that is preposterous: If Congress's "exclusive legislation" powerconcerning the District can trump one constitutional provision, it can trumpany provision: Congress could establish a religion, stifle free speech orauthorize unreasonable searches and seizures in Washington.

And if Congress's power over the District allows it to award full Houserepresentation, why could it not also award two Senate seats? Today'sCongress is pressing House representation for the District partly because ofthat predictable next step: The District would be a reliable source of twoDemocratic senators.


The Washington Post

Emboldened Tax-and-Spenders

By Robert D. Novak
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A19

The new Democratic majority begins dancing the next phase of thetax-and-spend minuet in the House of Representatives today. Following theexample set by their Senate brethren last Friday, House Democrats will adopta budget resolution containing the largest tax increase in U.S. history amidmassive national inattention.

Nobody's tax payment will increase immediately, but the budget resolutionsset a pattern for years ahead. The House version would increase non-defense,non-emergency spending by $22.5 billion for next fiscal year, with suchspending to rise 2.4 percent in each of the next three years. To pay forthese increases, the resolution would raise taxes by close to $400 billionover five years -- about $100 billion more than what was passed in theSenate.

It had been assumed that the new Democratic majority would end PresidentBush's relief in capital gains, dividend and estate taxation. Thesimultaneous rollback of Bush-sponsored income tax cuts was a surprise. Thisreflects Democrats' belief that they can survive a long-term commitment tobigger government. Here is an audacious effort to raise the banner of fiscalresponsibility while increasing spending and taxes.

This Democratic strategy is encapsulated in what Harry Hopkins, PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt's main man, is alleged to have told a friend at NewYork's Empire City race track in August 1938: "We will spend and spend, andtax and tax, and elect and elect." While Hopkins denied ever saying thosewords, they represented successful Democratic government and politicalstrategy for the next two decades.

John F. Kennedy, reclaiming the White House for the Democrats for the firsttime in eight years, altered the pattern in 1961 with massive tax cuts. ButBill Clinton, taking power in 1993 after 12 years of Republican rule,returned to the Hopkins formula by proposing and passing what then was thebiggest tax increase ever. It was "tax" and "spend," but not "elect." TheClinton tax contributed to the Democrats' loss of control, for the firsttime in 40 years, of both houses of Congress.


The Washington Post

Texas Teen's Imprisonment Sparks Protests

By Sylvia Moreno
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A11

AUSTIN, March 28 -- Civil rights activists are rallying around a 15-year-oldblack girl who has been in a high-security juvenile detention center for ayear for shoving a hall monitor at her school and whose sentence was justextended for what authorities call possession of contraband: an extra pairof socks and a plastic foam cup.

One of 4,562 juveniles in the Texas Youth Commission's custody, ShaquandaCotton may have remained incarcerated in obscurity, fretted over by hermother and a handful of supporters in her home town of Paris, in northeastTexas near the Oklahoma border. But a Chicago Tribune article has promptedan inquiry by the Rev. Al Sharpton and spurred several hundred protesters totravel this week from Dallas to the courthouse where Cotton was convicted.Internet message boards and blogs have been flooded with postings crying"Free Shaquanda Cotton!"

Almost every bit of information in the Cotton case is in dispute -- from theallegation that on Sept. 30, 2005, Shaquanda shoved a 58-year-old whiteteacher's aide acting as a hall monitor to whether her mother was offeredthe opportunity keep the teenager at home under the less-onerous option ofprobation.

Her mother, Creola; the state NAACP; local African American activists and afew white lawyers in Paris contend that the girl and her mother are victimsof a discriminatory school system.

They say that the Cottons have been targeted by the Paris school districtbecause of Creola's involvement in a group that complained to the U.S.Department of Education about discrimination against black students. Aspokesman for the Education Department said it is investigating whether thedistrict discriminated during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years "in theadministration of its discipline policies."


Guantanamo Detainee Described as Lost Soul Seeking 'a Way Out'

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A09

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, March 28 -- When Australian David Hicks arrived atthis island prison as it opened in January 2002, the U.S. government paintedhim as one of the world's worst terrorists, someone who would doimmeasurable harm and needed to face justice. In the five years since, whilenearly 400 other detainees have gone home, Hicks has languished in a tinycell, often wondering, his defense team says, why he has been targeted asone of the chief enemies of the United States.

Hicks's guilty plea on Monday to one count of material support for terrorismwas the first step toward concluding his case, one that ultimately amountedto charges that he trained with al-Qaeda and worked with the Taliban afterthe attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But the U.S. government dropped allegationsthat he fired a single shot in the direction of U.S. or allied forces, and apretrial agreement could limit the amount of prison time he serves to a fewyears.

This case so far has been less about who Hicks is or what he did than aboutstarting the Bush administration's military commissions resolving aninternational issue with a close ally. Commission officials have praised thecase as showing a transparent and fair system; human rights groups havepainted the commissions as a sham with still-unwritten rules.

Lost in the process, in part, is Hicks. His attorneys describe Hicks, who ischarged with war crimes allegedly committed in late 2001, as a man who hasbeen terribly affected by years in this detention facility with little humaninteraction. In recent months he has lived in the highest-security area,growing his hair long so he can cover his eyes to keep out the light whilehe sleeps and reading up on fishing and organic gardening.

The 31-year-old from Adelaide, Australia, has been described by hisattorneys as a lost soul who at one point worked as a kangaroo skinner in ameatpacking plant. U.S. officials allege he moved toward extremism in thelate 1990s when he went to Albania to fight for the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Between 1999 and 2001 he allegedly converted to Islam, moved to Afghanistanand trained at various al-Qaeda camps. He later allegedly helped the Talibanby guarding a tank in Kandahar and moving briefly to the front lines of thewar against U.S. forces and the Northern Alliance. Hicks was caught whilefleeing by taxi to the Pakistani border.


McLean Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service
Plaintiffs Say Company's Database of Term Papers, Essays Violates CopyrightLaws

By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 29, 2007; B05

Two McLean High School students have launched a court challenge against aCalifornia company hired by their school to catch cheaters, claiming theanti-plagiarism service violates copyright laws.

The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, seeks$900,000 in damages from the for-profit service known as Turnitin. Theservice seeks to root out cheaters by comparing student term papers andessays against a database of more than 22 million student papers as well asonline sources and electronic archives of journals. In the process, thestudent papers are added to the database.

Two Arizona high school students also are plaintiffs. None of the studentsis named in the lawsuit because they are minors.

"All of these kids are essentially straight-A students, and they have nointerest in plagiarizing," said Robert A. Vanderhye, a McLean attorneyrepresenting the students pro bono. "The problem with [Turnitin] is thearchiving of the documents. They are violating a right these students haveto be in control of their own property."

Turnitin officials did not return calls for comment yesterday. A FairfaxCounty schools spokesman said the system would not comment on pendinglitigation.


Detroit News

March 29, 2007
Americans' income gap continues to grow, data reveal
New York Times

Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent ofAmericans -- those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 -- receivingtheir largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newlyreleased tax data shows.

The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, also reached alevel of income share not seen since before the Depression.

While total reported income in the United States increased almost 9 percentin 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, averageincomes for those in the bottom 90 percent dipped slightly compared with theyear before, dropping $172, or 0.6 percent.

Emmanuel Saez, a University of California, Berkeley economist who analyzedthe Internal Revenue Service data, said such growing disparities weresignificant in terms of social and political stability.


The LA Times,1,6066560,print.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

'Calm down' on Iraq, Pelosi tells Bush
Democrats urge the president to back away from his pledges to veto any warfunding bill that sets dates for a troop withdrawal.

By Noam N. Levey
Times Staff Writer
March 29, 2007

WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats, emboldened by their successes inadvancing timelines to end the war in Iraq, ratcheted up pressure Wednesdayon the White House to accede to limits on America's military involvement.

"Take a deep breath, Mr. President," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SanFrancisco) said as she urged President Bush to back away from threats toveto any war funding bill that sets dates for withdrawing U.S. forces fromIraq.

"Calm down with the threats," Pelosi said. "There's a new Congress in town.We respect your constitutional role. We want you to respect ours."

The Senate, which has endorsed a plan that sets a goal of withdrawing U.S.forces by March 31, 2008, inched closer Wednesday to passing its$122-billion version of the spending bill. Final passage is expected today.

On Friday, the House passed a $124-billion war spending bill that mandates awithdrawal no later than August 2008, and sooner if the Iraqi governmentdoes not meet a series of benchmarks.


Kennedy: Justice firings are keyed to '08 vote
By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | March 29, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Senator Edward M. Kennedy yesterday accused President Bush ofusing the Department of Justice to further his administration's "right-wingideology," saying that veteran prosecutors were replaced by politicaloperatives in key states to ensure that "reliable partisans" are in place intime for the 2008 presidential election.

Kennedy noted that the recent rash of firings among US attorneys put new topprosecutors in place in several presidential swing states, includingFlorida, Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Arkansas.

At least two of the eight US attorneys fired by the administration refusedto investigate spurious claims of voter fraud that were initiated byRepublicans, Kennedy said. Two of the new US attorneys, meanwhile, haddocumented records of pursuing GOP goals, one as a Justice Departmentofficial and the other as a top aide to White House political adviser KarlRove, he said.

"The administration views our system of justice as merely another arena forfurthering its right-wing ideology," Kennedy said in a speech at theNational Press Club. "The conclusion is inescapable that the administrationhas methodically placed reliable partisans in positions where they caninfluence the outcome of the 2008 election."

The speech by Kennedy, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee,came a day before a former top Justice Department official is scheduled toappear before the committee.


USA Today

Question for Hillary: What will Bill's impact be?

By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - The former leader of the free world cast a spell across astilled ballroom as he recalled his history with the woman he hopes will bethe next leader of the free world.

"We met and had our first date 36 years ago this month - this very month,"Bill Clinton told hundreds of donors at a fundraiser last week as his wifelooked on fondly. He said that by the next year, 1972, he was professing hislove to Hillary Rodham and his belief that she was the best leader of theirgeneration. "She's still the best," Clinton said to cheers, and he wrappedthe New York senator in a hug.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has no more enthusiastic supporter than her husbandin her bid to be the first female president. He is putting his strategicskills, fundraising clout and fabled charisma to work for her as the pairbuild a campaign juggernaut designed to crush her Democratic rivals.

The possibility of Bill Clinton returning to the White House he left sixyears ago raises some questions that are far touchier than whether Americansare ready for a "first gentleman." As an ex-president, how much influencewould he have in his wife's administration? Will memories of the MonicaLewinsky scandal haunt Hillary Clinton's campaign and drive away voters?What's the status of the Clintons' marriage - and does it matter?

In a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 70% of Americans say Bill Clinton will domore good than harm for his wife's campaign. Yet questions about theirmarriage - as well as the Lewinsky sex saga that led to Bill Clinton'simpeachment by the U.S. House in 1998 - remain close to the surface. Thereminders include a stream of jokes on late-night TV and even HillaryClinton's own words, such as her recent joking reference to her experiencewith "evil and bad men."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Dobson Says Fred Thompson "Not a Christian" (NewsMax)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:57 p.m. EDT
Dr. James Dobson: Fred Thompson 'Not a Christian'

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson has dealt a potentially devastatingblow to Fred Thompson's presidential aspirations, saying the former senatoris not a Christian.

"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the thingsthat the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson - considered the mostpolitically powerful evangelical figure in the U.S. - said in a phone callto Dan Gilgoff, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report.

"[But] I don't think he's a Christian. At least that's my impression."

Thompson's spokesman Mark Corallo took issue with the statement.


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FLORIDA DIGEST March 29, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Steroid probe casts shadow on Jupiter Christian's state wrestling title
By Luis F. Perez and Stacy Hicklin
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

March 29, 2007

Jupiter Christian School sits in a quiet neighborhood among small,single-family homes and one-story warehouses that belie the tumult it findsitself in.

Its connections to what prosecutors are calling a national steroid ringstunned many at the 600-student school, which offers pre-K3 through 12thgrade.

No one at the school has been accused of any wrongdoing. Still, thecontroversy threatens to tarnish one of its proudest achievements -- a statewrestling championship the school won last year.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records name people at a local clinicraided by authorities who have close ties to the school: a booster withthree sons who have wrestled on the team and the son of the team's coach.After these revelations, state scholastic athletic officials began aninvestigation this week into whether wrestlers used illegal substances.

With Jupiter Christian's ties to the steroids investigation on the frontpages of newspapers, supporters of the school and opposing coaches defendit, even as others question its rise to wrestling prominence.


Tampa Bays 10

High end homes may avoid property tax

By: Mike Deeson

Tampa, Florida - Home owners throughout Florida are saying they can't affordtheir homes because property taxes are so high. Many like Fred Diaz say theyfeel trapped in their homes
Fred Diaz:

"If you have to move you get socked with the property taxes. "That's why the top priority of the legislature and Governor is to deal withthe property tax crisis.

Governor Crist at his inauguration in January

"The time has come to expand Florida's homestead exemption as a shieldagainst burdensome taxes. "

In Hillsborough County alone instead of 3,000 homeowners paying no propertytax there would be 28,000 homeowners who would not pay property taxes. Thatwould include more than 100 homes worth several hundreds of thousands ofdollars.


Palm Beach Post

Speaker's adviser is longtime foe of taxes on wealth
By S.V. Dáte

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
Thursday, March 29, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - When House Speaker Marco Rubio wanted justification for hisplan to replace property taxes with an increase in the sales tax, he turnedto a familiar name in conservative economic circles: Donna Arduin, formerbudget director to Gov. Jeb Bush.

Arduin, who also worked for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is apartner in a consulting firm with Arthur Laffer - as in the Laffer Curve,the justification of President Reagan's massive tax cuts in 1981 - andStephen Moore, former head of the anti-tax Club for Growth.

Florida is paying the firm of Arduin, Laffer and Moore Econometrics $10,000a month under a six-month contract with the state House for Arduin'sservice, which so far has included delivery of a 16-page treatise thatargues that taxes on wealth are bad for the economy while taxes onconsumption are good.

"A rising tax on wealth has a negative impact on wealth creation," hewrote. "Because property taxes are a tax on wealth while sales taxes are atax on consumption," the sales tax "is less burdensome."

The advice jibes with Arduin's philosophy through the years. Bush, withArduin's help, eliminated the state's only tax that applied almostexclusively to the wealthy: the intangibles tax on stocks and bonds heldoutside of retirement accounts. The richest 4.6 percent of Floridians todaywould have been paying about $1 billion a year if the tax had beencontinued.


Florida Today

March 29, 2007

Lawmakers find room for pork in spending plan

By Aaron Deslatte

It may be a tight budget year, but state lawmakers can still find ways tobring home coveted cash for roads, parks, ports, campuses and pet projects.

Today, Senate lawmakers plan to unveil more than $4 billion in spendingspread throughout their $71 billion budget geared to speed up constructionprojects meant to spur economic activity.

They call it "Building Florida's Future,'' and it's also how lawmakers shorton revenue can still turn dirt in their home districts.

The list includes nearly $600 million to advance arterial road projects thatadd tolling lanes or help overtaxed roadway systems meet growth-managementmuster, money to jump-start construction of research facilities on stateuniversity campuses, and more to expand ports.

For example, the Senate bill includes $43 million to expand capacity at thePort of Jacksonville, and another $35 million for toll roads in northMiami-Dade County.


St. Petersburg Times

Crist leaves little doubt Bush reign has ended
Kind words don't mask the fact that state policies are changing.

Published March 29, 2007

For a guy who used to constantly refer to himself as "a Jeb Bush Republican"on the campaign trail, Charlie Crist is doing a number on Bush's image.

"It's a new day," Florida's new governor has been fond of saying, beggingthe question: Was something wrong with the old day?

Call it the de-Jebification of Florida politics.

There was Crist's debut state of the state speech when he never mentionedBush. And days after Crist took office, he pulled back 283 Bush nominationsto various state boards and commissions. That's standard practice for a newgovernor, but this was the first time a newly elected Republican had done itto another Republican.

"Jeb overreached on those appointments. He's been King Jeb for so long hedidn't know that anybody would challenge him," said former state GOPchairman Tom Slade. "I think basically Charlie's message was, 'Jeb, youdon't run the place any more.' And I don't think that's bad politics."


St. Petersburg Times

Florida may go green through fertilizer limits
Published March 29, 2007

Lush green lawns, verdant golf courses and tropical gardens long have been apart of the rich Florida landscape.

But that beauty has come with a price.

For years, state officials have blamed overfertilized lawns for many ofFlorida's water pollution woes.

With every rainfall, they said, excess nitrogen and phosphorus fromfertilizers would wash downstream, spurring harmful algae blooms, fish killsand deadzones in lakes and rivers.

This spring, Florida is poised to become the first state in the nation torestrict the content of fertilizer for lawns, farms, golf courses andlandscaping, according to industry officials.


Article published Mar 28, 2007

Senate proposes requirement for renewable energy in Florida

Florida would jump from lackluster ranks to having the most stringentrenewable energy requirements for electricity generation in the nation,under a bill to be considered Thursday by a Senate committee.

The Senate's energy plan (SB 996) would require half of new electricity inFlorida to be generated with renewable energies such as biomass, wind andsolar by 2017. The Sunshine State currently generates less than 10 percentof its electricity using nuclear power and other renewable fuels, insteadrelying primarily on natural gas, coal and petroleum - all fossil fuels.

The 50 percent figure may change during upcoming negotiations, but itsignals that some state lawmakers want Florida to join at least 20 otherstates and the District of Columbia, which currently have renewableportfolio standards for electricity production. Minnesota, for example, hasa requirement of 25 percent by 2025 - the highest percentage of any state todate, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

"I think it's very bold to set an aggressive goal like that," said SusanGlickman, a consultant for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. "I thinkit will certainly cause people to look at what's in the realm of thepossible for Florida."

However, the House energy plan (ENRC 07-01) approved Wednesday by theEnvironment and Natural Resources Council rejects a renewable energy mandateuntil a study can be conducted to recommend a requirement. It opts insteadfor tax incentives and grants to spur the production of renewable fuels suchas ethanol, which experts have said could be readily produced in Floridausing materials such as citrus and yard waste.


Youth Open Mic and Slam!

Hosted by San Francisco poet Paul Flores
with special guests - FREE

Friday, March 30, 2007
Open Mic 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Slam 7:00 - 8:30 pm
For teens 13 to 19 years

Miami Beach Regional Library
227 22nd Street, Miami Beach (just off of Collins Avenue)

Get a chance to arouse, provoke and inspire with spoken word poetry!

Pre-slam performances & workshops with poet Paul Flores week of March 26 at,William Turner Tech, Miami Senior, North Miami Beach High Schools, andAbriendo Puertas

Free roundtrip busses provided from these select schools directly to libraryslam on Friday

Paul Flores will also give a free reading for the general public at theCoral Gables Books and Books,265 Aragon Avenue, on Thursday, March 29 at 7:30 pm. Flores will be readingfrom his new book of poems,La Mezcla and his hip hop theater work-in-progress Representa.

For more information contact Tigertail at or 305 324 4337

Win a place on the Miami Team traveling to San Jose, California for the
Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival

The WordSpeak program and Paul Flores' residency is funded in part by agrant from the National Performance Network.


State may charge tolls on I-95 HOV lanes in Broward, Miami-Dade
By Anthony Man
Political Writer
March 29, 2007

Tallahassee - In a move that would alter the way people use Interstate 95,the Florida Senate is looking to allocate money to convert the free, HOVlanes to toll lanes from Interstate 595 in Broward to State Road 112 inMiami-Dade.

The high-occupancy-vehicle lanes currently allow vehicles with two or morepassengers and hybrid vehicles with just one occupant to zip along thehighway from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays while everyone else issitting in rush-hour traffic. The change would offer the privilege of thefast ride for anyone willing to pay.

The idea is a long way from becoming reality and faces stiff opposition fromBroward County legislators. But it got a boost Wednesday as drafters of theSenate version of the state budget included $35 million for the project.That would be matched by $35 million from the federal government, for atotal cost of $70 million.

The money, and the concept, isn't in the House version of the budget. Thestate spending plan doesn't get final legislative action until early May,and state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, chairman of theTransportation and Economic Development Appropriations Committee, said theHouse and Senate are "miles apart on money issues."

State Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Wilton Manors, his party's top budget negotiatorin the House and vice chairman of the Broward Legislative Delegation,opposes the plan.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Mar. 29, 2007

Motorola to cut 79 jobs in Plantation

Motorola expects to eliminate 79 jobs at its Plantation manufacturingfacility by mid-July.

Motorola, based in Schaumberg, Ill., announced in January that it intendedto cut 3,500 jobs -- about 5 percent of its 70,000-person workforce -- tosave $400 million over two years. The firings in Plantation represent lessthan 3 percent of the plant's staff.

Plantation is the home of Motorola's Integrated Digital Enhanced Network(iDEN) division. The technology combines the capability of wireless phonesand two-way radios.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Mar. 29, 2007
Lawsuit: Broward policy cheats white male contractors

Broward County's program to help minority-owned firms get county work isunconstitutional because it favors minorities and females, a federal lawsuithas charged.

The suit was filed by the same lawyer who has won similar suits againstMiami-Dade County, most recently in 2004. Atlanta attorney Herbert Schlangerfiled the Broward lawsuit on behalf of trade associations that representcontractors, engineers and architects.

The lawsuit contends that the county's policies put the associations at acompetitive disadvantage in bidding and force them to hire subcontractorsbased on race, ethnicity or sex -- not quality.

Filed March 15 in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, the suit asks forunspecified damages and seeks to force the county to evaluate bids withoutregard to sex or race. It alleges that the county has violated the federal
Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, whichguarantees equal protection under the law.

In Miami-Dade, Schlanger said his suits forced the county to drop a minorityset-aside program in favor of one to help small businesses compete forcounty contracts.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Mar. 29, 2007
Fix juvenile justice's 'broken' system

Not long after Gov. Charlie Crist appointed him to head the state'sDepartment of Juvenile Justice, Walt McNeil put himself on the record asrecognizing what many advocates for troubled youths have long known. DJJSecretary McNeil said that the state's juvenile-justice system is ''broken''and needs fixing. Mr. McNeil, a former Tallahassee police chief, has anuphill challenge.

Perennially underfunded

Part of the problem is that the DJJ -- which contracts 85 percent of itsprograms to private providers -- has been perennially underfunded. Last yearthe Legislature identified a $100 million deficit in DJJ's budget andallocated an extra $21 million, which upgraded salaries and benefits ofproviders' direct-care staff. A study found that the turnover rate for thesestaffers was 55 percent, prompting a crisis for providers. Some of DJJ'srequests for proposals have drawn no bidders or have been canceled becauseof a lack of experienced bidders. The reason is money, or lack thereof.

Though the Legislature faces a revenue shortfall this year, it should notforget the remaining $79 million deficit at DJJ. Advocates, acknowledgingthe shortfall, are asking for $45 million new dollars for next year.

One way you know that DJJ needs fixing is that, even though violent crimeoverall is down, the state has one of the country's highest rates of tryingjuveniles in adult court. If DJJ were more effective at turning aroundtroubled youth, fewer of them would be committing new crimes serious enough,or frequently enough, to land them in adult court. So while more money wouldhelp DJJ, Mr. McNeil needs to identify the most effective treatment andrehabilitation programs and be sure they are emphasized.

Also, laws passed in reaction to a 1990s crime wave that included severalkillings of tourists by teenagers toughened up the state's attitude towardjuvenile delinquents. It's time to revisit some of those changes.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Mar. 29, 2007
TV's Dog Whisperer coming to correct S. Florida canines

Pssst!!! Dog owners who are fans of The National Geographic Channel's TheDog Whisperer, take heed: Cesar Millan is coming to South Florida.

And Millan, the Dr. Phil of problem pooches, is seeking to rehabilitate yourdog and train you -- all for upcoming episodes of his hit television show tobe shot in Miami-Dade and Broward counties the week of May 6.

Just send in a five- to seven-minute video featuring you and your dog. Stateyour name, age, occupation and your dog's name, age and breed.

Describe problems your dog is having and how that is affecting your life.The video should show at least three instances of your doggy being bad.Don't forget to describe what you love about your dog, too.

When sending your video, include the bio sheet and release forms that can bedownloaded from


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