United States


Response: A few facts about unemployment in the past decade

Randy Black says; "I invite Professor Hilton to provide support for his statement that “a large proportion of the homeless…are veterans.” In fact, the opposite is true. Further, he comments on the “huge military population” as the source of jobs for persons who would otherwise be unemployed. Let’s look at military strength: 1973: 800,973 active duty Army personnel. 1983: 779,643. 1993: 572,423. December, 2003: 490,172. The other branches show similar number decreases. Total active duty personnel currently appears to be in the 1.4 million range (all branches), considerably less than over the past three decades.

Source: Department of Defense: http://web1.whs.osd.mil/mmid/military/miltop.htm

Finally, B.G. Burkett’s Stolen Valor (Verity Press, Dallas) overwhelmingly documents that the claim that large numbers of the homeless are Viet Nam, or other war veterans as a myth. B.G. Burkett, in over ten years of research in the National Archives, filing hundreds of requests for military documents under the Freedom of Information Act., uncovered a massive distortion of history, a distortion that has cost the U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. Mr. Burkett's work has toppled national political leaders and put criminals in jail. The author is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee. He served in Vietnam with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Vietnamese Honor Medal, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm".

RH: The document Randy quotes is very long. For the text, see http://www.newsmax.com/articles/?a=1999/6/14/115533

Randy continues: " In every category for which I could find statistics, Vietnam veterans were as successful or more successful than men their age who did not go to Vietnam. A Washington Post/ABC News survey released in April 1985, on the tenth anniversary of the fall of Saigon, reinforced the findings of the earlier Harris study. The Post/ABC survey randomly polled 811 veterans who served in Vietnam and Southeast Asia and 438 Vietnam-era veterans who served elsewhere. The poll revealed that only nine percent of Vietnam veterans had never graduated from high school compared to 23 percent of their peers. A Vietnam veteran was more likely to have gone to college than a man of his age not in the service; nearly 30 percent of Vietnam vets had some college education, versus 24 percent of the U.S. population.

That educational edge translated to employment rates similar to non-veterans of the war. In 1985, three of every four said their annual household incomes exceeded $20,000. Almost half made $30,000 or more per year. Seventy-eight percent were homeowners, paying mortgages on traditional, single-family homes -- and more likely to own a home than their peers who did not go to Vietnam. Eight of every 10 surveyed were married and 90 percent had children.

Strikingly, the Washington Post survey indicated that, despite the negative attitudes of the public, Vietnam veterans had positive feelings about their experience:

- Seventy-four percent said they "enjoyed their time in service."
- Eighty percent disagreed with the statement "the United States took unfair advantage of me."
- Fifty-six percent of Vietnam veterans said they benefited in the long run by going to Vietnam. Only 29 percent said they were set back.
- Ninety-one percent of those who served in Vietnam were "glad they served their country."

RH: My statement was based on an article I read recently; I did not note the citation. It may well have been wrong. From what Randy says, it would appear that the Vietnam veterans demonstrating against the war are a minority. He refers to the Vietnam war. I am surprised that 74 percent said they enjoyed their time in service. I am wondering about the Iraq war. The Pentagon is worried by the number of suicides and mental illnesses. It is obvious that for many the army is a job. Mike Sullivan receives messages about the high morale of the troops. I have no way of verifying this. I wonder if Cameron Sawyer knew B.G. Burkett at Vanderbilt.

Hank Levin replies to Randy Black: "It would be helpful for Mr. Black to delve into the underlying data on how the unemployment rate is calculated or miscalculated. It is one thing to report the unemployment rate. It is another thing to interpret it in a partisan way when the underlying numbers are not supportive of that interpretation. Alas, economic figures are thrown around by both sides without any attempt to understand how they are derived and what they mean, so I do not wish to single out Mr. Black for this sin".

Congress and the Defense budget

Randy Black tells us how the military budget works: "Please understand my consternation. For as long as I can remember, the military has ordered stuff that is in many cases, was unneeded, in many cases faulty and in all cases, overpriced and late. It doesn't make any difference whether it's Clinton, Bush, Reagan or Kennedy... it's always the same story.

Cheney actually killed the V-22 Osprey in 1989, but once he was out of office, it was resurrected during the Clinton administration. But that's not necessarily Clinton's fault. The Osprey was developed at Bell Helicopter (Textron) in the Dallas area, so it was supported by most of the Texas congressional delegation, but since Cheney is actually an honest businessman, not really a politician and notwithstanding what you think about Halliburton, he saw it for what it was (unnecessary, unsafe, overpriced) and killed the program.... for a while. The Osprey has been in development since 1982 and still is not in full service. They can't seem to work out the bugs in the system that allows it to take off like a helicopter and fly like a plane. The Marines and the Air Force still have no plans to accept it for active duty before 2007-8. So far, more than 30 have died in the damn thing.

I have this theory about government procurement: The military, just to pick on one group, says that they need two zillion widgets. Then the Congress beats up on their requests, reducing the outcome to only one zillion. Voila! They got more widgets than they needed or can waste or lose in the first place! And Congress can safely say to their constituents that they reduced the military's request by 50%. Much later, the US will donate the obsolete widgets to some Third World backwater and again, the Congresspeople will claim "credit" for helping the needy".

Defense Missile Shield

Retired US military officials have urged President George Bush to delay this year's planned deployment of a multi-billion dollar defense missile shield and to use those funds to secure potential terrorism targets instead, In a letter 49 retired US generals and admirals criticize the complex missile shield technology for being an untested and ill-conceived use of defense money, which is much-needed elsewhere. "As you have said, Mr. President, our highest
priority is to prevent terrorists from acquiring and employing weapons of mass destruction," As the "militarily responsible course of action", the signers urged that funds earmarked for missile defense go instead to bolster nuclear weapons depots and protect US ports and borders against terrorists. The missile defense shield - a network of four satellites in geosynchronous orbit and two in high elliptical orbit - is designed to detect enemy missile attacks and collect a range of technical intelligence. The initial phase of the project is meant to protect the country against a maximum of two warheads that could be launched by North Korea. The retired military officials, however, reminded Bush in the letter that the US already has the capability of determining the source of a ballistic missile launch, rendering the first phase of the expensive project redundant. "It is, therefore, highly unlikely that any state would dare to attack the US or allow a terrorist to do so from its territory with a missile armed with a weapon of mass destruction, thereby risking annihilation from a devastating US retaliatory strike," Bush has asked Congress for US$10.2 billion for missile defense in the fiscal year starting 1 October - a 13 per cent increase from the previous fiscal year. Over the next five years, the administration plans to spend US$53 billion on the project. And the project's costs have already begun to increase. The Pentagon's top space planner told Congress that the missile defense shield will cost more and take longer than originally planned. (ISN, 3/28/04). RH: While the letter makes sense, the military-industrial complex supports the missile shield. It will be interesting to see who wins.

Retired US military officials have urged President George Bush to delay this year's planned deployment of a multi-billion dollar defense missile shield and to use those funds to secure potential terrorism targets instead, Randy Black asks: "I wonder if these are the same generals and admirals who ordered such worthless weapons systems as the Osprey, a multi-billion dollar helicopter/plane program that is so full of faults that even the Vice President tried unsuccessfully to cancel it when he was Secretary of Defense in 1989, the B-2 bomber (21 planes, $45 billion and it is worthless if it's raining), $11 million for a power plant for a Navy shipyard that is closed, and more?" RH: I am sure Randy is right. It's always the other guy who is wasting money.

General Robert Gard says: "Generals and admirals don't "order" weapons systems. Weapons systems are proposed in the administration's budget request. Congress, not generals and admirals, then must appropriate the funds. The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation took the initiative in preparing the open letter to the president and recruiting the retired general and flag officers as signatories. Three 4 stars, 15 three stars, 21 two stars and 10 one stars from all services signed on. The deployment of an initial operationing capability of a strategic national missile defense system, designed to destroy incoming long-range ballistic missiles in the mid-course of their flight, is premature. Operational testing of the system is far in the future, and development testing of several of the components will not be completed for several years". RH: Well, generals and admirals let th administration know what they would like.

Bush and the executive privilige

Peter Orne writes: "I am observing momentous changes in attitudes in the White House toward executive privilege. The privilege of secrecy at that highest levels of government belongs only to men and women who deserve it. About your comment that Vice President Dick Cheney had initially restored a level of civility to the executive branch: I don't think he has been clearheaded or smart enough. Only the poorest leaders would use executive privilege
repeatedly as a smoke screen. The current administration has shown itself time and again as undeserving of these privileges, and has become an embarrassment.

From a New York Times (3/30/04) analysis: "I think it goes to a deep feeling, much of it surrounding Cheney and his office, that the powers of the presidency were eroded for years and that this administration has to claw them back," one senior American diplomat who has sat in on some White House strategy meetings said. "Then the pressure grows. And grows. And now people know that if you keep it on long enough, these guys will give way."
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/31/politics/31ASSE.html?hp

Outsourcing

A report prepared for the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) by Global Insight predicts that the continuing business trend of outsourcing white-collar jobs to low wage countries will ultimately lower inflation, create jobs and boost productivity in the U.S. Although the researchers believe that demand for U.S. software engineers will shrink through 2008, ITAA is emphasizing that outsourcing has damaged the job market far less than the dot-com meltdown of early 2000, when Internet startups, telecom companies and other companies eliminated as many as
268,000 positions. ITAA president Harris Miller says, "The myth is that we've started this long decline into the midnight of the technology work force. This report shows that, assuming the recovery continues, the number of IT jobs will actually increase." (AP/Los Angeles Times 3/30/04). http://tinyurl.com/yunzp

The Patriot Act

I said: "I believe civil libertarians are desperately looking for arguments against ID cards and CCTV". John Heelan protests: " Presumably you also consider the 250 resolutions passed by State legislatures against the Patriot Act also "giving up the fight against terrorists"? I stated already that I was generally in favour of national ID cards and welcome CCTV. I was merely pointing out the side-effects". RH: I have not studied the 250 resolutions John mentions. Is there a summary of them? The Patriot Act affects US relations with other countries, and so is of direct interest to WAIS.

I said: "I have not studied the 250 (?) state resolutions against the Patriot Act. Is there a summary of them? The Patriot Act affects US relations with other countries, and so is of direct interest to WAIS". Emory University Law Professor Marc Miller replies: "The relatively brief materials on Anti-USA Patriot Acts from the 2003-2004 annual supplement to my criminal procedure casebook (Marc Miller & Ronald Wright, Criminal Procedures: Cases, Statutes & Executive Policies (Aspen Publishers 2d. ed. 2003)) appears below. (On a different topic that has yet to catch the attention of WAISers but that raises issues of both national and international environmental policy and politics, I have a new edited volume in print on comparative studies of the regulation of harmful non-indigenous species in six countries -- Marc Miller & Robert Fabian, Eds., Harmful Invasive Species: Legal Responses (Environmental Law Institute 2004) (see http://www.elistore.org/books_detail.asp?ID=10930 or
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1585760730/qid=1080663069/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-1849585-4376024?v=glance&s=books ).

Anti-USAPATRIOT Acts. Three states and more than 130 local governments have enacted “Anti-USAPATRIOT” resolutions and statutes. See Adam Clymer, "In the Fight For Privacy, States Set Off Sparks", New York Times, 6/6/03). Some of these statutes and ordinances make a a statement of principle about the importance of privacy. Others try to limit state involvement in USAPATRIOT Act investigations. Still others request cooperative sharing of information by federal agents with local authorities. Consider the following resolutions: Are they invalid under the Supremacy Clause? Will citizens of these jurisdictions enjoy more privacy than citizens of jurisdictions without such resolutions and statutes?

Arcata, California Ordinance No. 1339

April 2, 2003

An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Arcata Amending the Arcata Municipal Code To Defend the Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties. The City Council of the City of Arcata does ordain as follows: Sections 2190 - 2194 are hereby added to the Municipal Code as follows: SEC. 2190: Purposes. The purposes of this ordinance are as follows:

A. To protect the civil rights and civil liberties for all and to affirm the City's commitment to embody democracy, and to embrace, defend and uphold the inalienable rights and fundamental liberties granted under the United States and the California Constitutions …; and

B. To ensure that local law enforcement continues to preserve and uphold residents' freedom of speech, assembly, association, and privacy, the right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings, and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, even if requested or authorized to infringe upon such rights by federal or state law enforcement agencies acting under new powers created by the USA PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security Act, or related Executive Orders, or by future enacted laws, executive orders or regulations.

SEC. 2191: No Unconstitutional Detentions or Profiling.

No management employee of the City shall officially engage in or permit unlawful detentions or profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or political or religious association that are in violation of individuals' civil rights or civil liberties as specified in the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

SEC. 2192: No Unconstitutional Voluntary Cooperation.

No management employee of the City shall officially assist or voluntarily cooperate with investigations, interrogations, or arrest procedures, public or clandestine, that are in violation of individuals' civil rights or civil liberties as specified in the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

SEC. 2193: Notification.

Management employees of the City shall promptly notify the City Manager when, in the course of City employment, the following occurs:

A management employee of the City is contacted by another law enforcement agency and asked to cooperate or assist with an investigation, interrogation, or arrest procedure under provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, Homeland Security Act, or related Executive Orders, or future enacted law, executive order or regulation, where such procedure is in violation of an individual's civil rights or civil liberties as specified in the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Upon such notification from a management employee, the City Manager shall promptly report to the City Council, specifying the law enforcement agency seeking cooperation or assistance and the actions requested of the management employee.
SEC. 2194: Defense. The City shall provide legal defense to any management employee who is criminally charged by another entity for his or her actions in compliance with this Ordinance.
SEC. 2195: Severability. If any section or sections of the ordinance is or are held to be invalid or unenforceable, all other sections shall nevertheless continue in full force and remain in effect….

Alaska, 23rd Legislature, 1st Session: A RESOLUTION: Relating to the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution of the State of Alaska, and the civil liberties, peace, and security of the citizens of our country.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:

WHEREAS the State of Alaska recognizes the Constitution of the United States as our charter of liberty, and that the Bill of Rights enshrines the fundamental and inalienable rights of Americans, including the freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, and privacy; and

WHEREAS each of Alaska's duly elected public servants has sworn to defend and uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Alaska; and WHEREAS the State of Alaska denounces and condemns all acts of terrorism, wherever occurring; and

WHEREAS attacks against Americans such as those that occurred on September 11, 2001, have necessitated the crafting of effective laws to protect the public from terrorist attacks; and

WHEREAS any new security measures of federal, state, and local governments should be carefully designed and employed to enhance public safety without infringing on the civil liberties and rights of innocent citizens of the State of Alaska and the nation; and

WHEREAS certain provisions of the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001", also known as the USA PATRIOT Act, allow the federal government more liberally to detain and investigate citizens and engage in surveillance activities that may violate or offend the rights and liberties guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the government of the United States of America in its campaign against terrorism, and affirms its commitment that the campaign not be waged at the expense of essential civil rights and liberties of citizens of this country contained in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that it is the policy of the State of Alaska to oppose any portion of the USA PATRIOT Act that would violate the rights and liberties guaranteed equally under the state and federal constitutions; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that, in accordance with Alaska state policy, an agency or instrumentality of the State of Alaska, in the absence of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity under Alaska State law, may not

(1) initiate, participate in, or assist or cooperate with an inquiry, investigation, surveillance, or detention;

(2) record, file, or share intelligence information concerning a person or organization, including library lending and research records, book and video store sales and rental records, medical records, financial records, student records, and other personal data, even if authorized under the USA PATRIOT Act;

(3) retain such intelligence information; the state Attorney General shall review the intelligence information currently held by the state for its legality and appropriateness under the United States and Alaska Constitutions and permanently dispose of it if there is no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity; and be it


FURTHER RESOLVED that an agency or instrumentality of the state may not,

(1) use state resources or institutions for the enforcement of federal immigration matters, which are the responsibility of the federal government;

(2) collect or maintain information about the political, religious, or social views, associations, or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business, or partnership, unless the information directly relates to an investigation of criminal activities and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct;

(3) engage in racial profiling; law enforcement agencies may not use race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin as factors in selecting individuals to subject to investigatory activities except when seeking to apprehend a specific suspect whose race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin is part of the description of the suspect; and be it;

FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature implores the United States Congress to correct provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and other measures that infringe on civil liberties, and opposes any pending and future federal legislation to the extent that it infringes on Americans' civil rights and liberties.

COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States; the Honorable John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the United States; the Honorable Frank Murkowski, Governor of Alaska; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.

RH: All this is less in volume and scope than I expected.

U.S. Military Expenditures

Miles Seeley says: "Am I to understand that Randy Black approves the defense missile shield and the expense of creating it and deploying it? If he does, then clearly huge amounts of money for controversial defense projects do not bother him; rather, he passes judgement on which projects are worthy. Does that mean he has more expertise than the 49 military men who signed the letter?

I do not have such expertise, and in my naivite wish that major amounts of the money spent by ther DoD could instead be used for peaceful and humanitarian projects like education and health care. So if so many men who spent their careers in the military and rose to high rank oppose the missile shield, I listen to them. Then I must decide if I think they are right, or the present administration is right. Just as I must decide whether I believe Dick Clarke or the White House and Condi Rice. I have made those decisions, based on the information I have (including some personal knowledge of Richard Clarke and his work), and mine are probably opposite to those of Randy Black".

Atlanta, Georgia

We quoted a quality of life survey which placed Vancouver at the top and most American cities in the middle range, Atlanta being at the bottom of the American list. Cameron Sawyer says: "I don’t know how so-called “quality of life” scales are made, but Atlanta, where I lived and practiced law for a number of years, is a very pleasant city, one of the best American cities, in my opinion.

I lived in the Grant Park neighborhood, and later in Virginia Highlands, next to Druid Hills, and never commuted more than 10 minutes to my law offices downtown. The climate is wonderful – Atlanta being at altitude, the summers are relatively mild for the south, and with very mild winters, and lots of sunshine. The old neighborhoods are very pleasant – Druid Hills was designed and laid out by none other than the great Frederick Law Olmstead, America’s greatest landscape architect of the 19th century, who designed, by the way, Stanford University, and the city of Palo Alto, as well as Central Park in New York and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Atlanta is set in wooded hills, and from the air looks like a forest with a few highrises in the middle. Physically, it is quite lovely. The Atlanta economy is quite vigorous and young people flock there from all over the U.S. for the career opportunities. More than half of Atlantans are not from there originally, and Atlanta is famous for its friendliness and openness to newcomers, something I certainly experienced myself when I moved there as a young lawyer in the 1980’s.

Atlanta has a few disadvantages: high taxes, relatively expensive real estate, horribly corrupt city government. The cultural life does have some bright spots, a world class symphony orchestra being probably the brightest, and another being the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, which deserves special mention. This absolutely unique and delightful institution consists of a top-notch theatrical troupe, the first American company to perform at the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London, whose productions of Shakespeare and other classical English theater are absolutely conservative and academic (that is, to my taste). What is unique is that these highly academic performances are held in an intimate, informal venue – a tavern, in fact, where one can have dinner beforehand and drink beer during the performance. For me the pleasure of opera and theater is immensely magnified in intimate venues, and although I presently live in the world’s capital of theater, there is no theater in the world I would rather attend than the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern.

For all of that, the cultural life of Atlanta is not up to what one might expect of a city nearly the size of Chicago. Other than the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, there are only a handful of dramatic theaters, some of which can be fun, but none of which reaches an international standard of quality. There is hardly any chamber music. The museums are not world class (the High Museum has a lovely building but a decidedly mediocre collection). The opera is part-time, and mounts only four productions a year, all warhorses, and performs in a barn-like, unsuitable venue (in comparison, the Houston Grand Opera mounts eight; Chicago’s two opera companies mount a couple dozen; and in Moscow, a city only 3.5 times the size of Atlanta, three full-time opera companies mount more than 150 productions a year, not counting operettas, meaning you could see a different production every other night). On the whole Nashville, a city one-fourth the size of Atlanta, probably has a better cultural life; Chicago, a city of comparable size, is on an altogether different level. For a hard-core urban dweller like myself, Atlanta is pleasant but not quite satisfactory. For a suburbanite content to get his opera from cable television, it is pretty nearly heaven".

RH: Cameron wonders how quality of life is defined; I wonder how Cameron defines heaven, or should it be Heaven? I trust that Marc Miller applauds Cameron's eulogy of his abode. He could have added that Atlanta is now a very important international air hub.

Marc Miller of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, writes: "I wonder how long it has been since Cameron Sawyer lived in Atlanta. I appreciate Cameron’s description of Atlanta, which well describes Atlanta circa 1990. But Atlanta in 2004 is different in most ways from what Cameron notes. James Howard Kunstler, in The City in Mind: Meditations on the Urban Condition (1993) noted with some excess, but with a good bit of truth, that Atlanta is a"giant hairball" of suburbs and "has become such a mess that really nothing can be done to redeem it as a human habitat.” This is the among the fastest growing urban centers on the planet, and among the least disciplined in that growth (among the first world urban centers -- I would not claim less disciplined than Mexico City, Calcutta, etc.). This growth was beautifully captured in images published by National Geographic measuring the spread of lights in urban centers, and highlighting the explosive growth in the Atlanta metro area.

I have spent time here since 1984, and lived here since 1988, with occasional time off for good behavior (a year in Palo Alto, as you know, a semester in Durham). There are many reasons we have stayed in Atlanta (friends, jobs, family nearby), but Atlanta itself is not one of them. We do find the people welcoming – both on the level of day-to-day interactions and in terms of access to power and cultural centers. But the traffic, air quality, and lack of attention to public space, public education, and public values reminds me of the worst parts of Los Angeles (where I grew up). The greenery Cameron celebrates is disappearing, despite (or perhaps because of) weak tree ordinances.

The economy remains relatively vigorous. The politics is better in some ways than Cameron suggests – at the local level, for example, race issues have been handled as well as in any other diverse city I know (perhaps because there is a large black middle and upper middle class, or perhaps that is the product of this positive history). But at the state level the politics are a loss – in the areas I keep track of (crime, environment, education) the policies reflect that state’s odd geographic, economic and wealth divisions. We have seen that just this year in the truly silly debates over the teaching of evolution; the state superintendent of education (!) proposed that the term evolution be removed from the school curriculum and the phrase “biological change over time” be substituted in its place.

Atlanta is an international air hub – it’s nice place to be if you like other places. Of course for many years Atlanta has been a dominant regional hub, leading many residents of smaller Southern towns (e.g., Montgomery, where I lived for a year) to say “the path to hell is through Atlanta.” And then there is the remnant of distinctive language and culture, reflected, once we are on the subject of air travel, by the infamous (and pre Sept 11!) flight where a passenger asked after 6 hours why the flight to Oakland was taking so long, and the flight attendant replied Oakland? This plane is going to Auckland …”."

RH: It looks as though the rating we quoted, putting Atlanta at the bottom of major US major cities in terms of quality of life, was not erroneous.

Larry Pippin, Professor Emeritus at the University of the Pacific, laments that the postings on Atlanta have failed to mention a graduate of that institution: "The various descriptions of Atlanta have not mentioned the Atlanta Zoo, which we hear much about. Its director is a graduate of Pacific, who went on to University of California at Davis for advanced degrees in psychology. As the zoo's head, he seems to have done wonders with its transformation into something world class. Perhaps it is an example that Atlanta has "potential", and is not the "lost cause" that has been suggested by some of the observations/experiences". RH. Atlanta does indeed have a good zoo: "This zoo has nearly 1,000 animals living in naturalistic habitats, such as the Ford African Rain Forest, Flamingo Lagoon, Masai Mara (re-created plains of Kenya), and Sumatran Tiger exhibits. Sibling gorillas Kudzoo and Olympia are always hits. Don't miss the popular Chinese panda exhibit, consisting of two precocious bears named Yang Yang and Lun Lun". I could not find the name of the director. All the stress is on the two pandas.

Advanced warning in the Bush administration?

David Crow writes: "A former FBI translator privy to top secret documents being evaluation by the 9/11 panel alleged that the Bush administration had advance warning of the attacks, including "specific dates" and "specific targets". Here's a link to an article in the U.K.'s Independent:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=507514
According to the article, the administration has invoked the "state secrets privilege" to issue a gag order against the translator".

Opposition to Patriot Act

An earlier posting gave a far too high count of the state legislatures which have passed resolutions against the Patriot Act. Most of these resolutions have been on the local level. Larry Pippin writes: "There is a list of 279 communities in 39 states that have passed resolutions. It has been updated updated to March 30, 2004 and
published by the ACLU (http://www.aclu.org/Safeand Free/Safeand Free.cfm?ID=1.). The list includes four state-wide resolutions. ACLU says that these communities represent approximately 49 million opponents of sections of the Act". RH: A state-wide resolution is not the same as a resolution by a state legislature. The opposition, which the ACLU inflates, is to sections of the act.


Ronald Hilton -


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