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Prison Planet.com Bill Gates And Neo-Eugenics: Vaccines …

 Neo-eugenics  Comments Off on Prison Planet.com Bill Gates And Neo-Eugenics: Vaccines …
Jun 262016
 

F. William Engdahl Financial Sense Friday, March 5, 2010

Microsoft founder and one of the worlds wealthiest men, Bill Gates, projects an image of a benign philanthropist using his billions via his (tax exempt) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to tackle diseases, solve food shortages in Africa and alleviate poverty. In a recent conference in California, Gates reveals a less public agenda of his philanthropypopulation reduction, otherwise known as eugenics.

Gates made his remarks to the invitation-only Long Beach, California TED2010 Conference, in a speech titled, Innovating to Zero!. Along with the scientifically absurd proposition of reducing manmade CO2 emissions worldwide to zero by 2050, approximately four and a half minutes into the talk, Gates declares, First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. Thats headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.1 (authors emphasis).

In plain English, one of the most powerful men in the world states clearly that he expects vaccines to be used to reduce population growth. When Bill Gates speaks about vaccines, he speaks with authority. In January 2010 at the elite Davos World Economic Forum, Gates announced his foundation would give $10 billion (circa 7.5 billion) over the next decade to develop and deliver new vaccines to children in the developing world. 2

The primary focus of his multi-billion dollar Gates Foundation is vaccinations, especially in Africa and other underdeveloped countries. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a founding member of the GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunization) in partnership with the World Bank, WHO and the vaccine industry. The goal of GAVI is to vaccinate every newborn child in the developing world.

Now that sounds like noble philanthropic work. The problem is that the vaccine industry has been repeatedly caught dumping dangerousmeaning unsafe because untested or proven harmfulvaccines onto unwitting Third World populations when they cannot get rid of the vaccines in the West. 3 Some organizations have suggested that the true aim of the vaccinations is to make people sicker and even more susceptible to disease and premature death.4

Dumping toxins on the Third World

In the aftermath of the most recent unnecessary Pandemic declaration of a global H1N1 swine flu emergency, industrial countries were left sitting on hundreds of millions of doses of untested vaccines. They decided to get rid of the embarrassing leftover drugs by handing them over to the WHO which in turn plans to dump them for free on select poor countries. France has given 91 million of the 94 million doses the Sarkozy government bought from the pharma giants; Britain gave 55 million of its 60 million doses. The story for Germany and Norway is similar.5

As Dr. Thomas Jefferson, an epidemiologist with the Cochrane Research Center in Rome noted, Why do they give the vaccines to the developing countries at all? The pandemic has been called off in most parts of the world. The greatest threat in poor countries right now is heart and circulatory diseases while the virus figures at the bottom of the list. What is the medical reason for donating 180 million doses? 6 As well, flu is a minor problem in countries with abundant sunshine, and it turned out that the feared H1N1 Pandemic new great plague was the mildest flu on record.

The pharmaceutical vaccine makers do not speak about the enormous health damage from infant vaccination including autism and numerous neuro-muscular deformities that have been traced back to the toxic adjuvants and preservatives used in most vaccines. Many vaccines, especially multi-dose vaccines that are made more cheaply for sale to the Third World, contain something called Thimerosal (Thiomersol in the EU), a compound (sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate), containing some 50% mercury, used as a preservative.

In July 1999 the US National Vaccine Information Center declared in a press release that, The cumulative effects of ingesting mercury can cause brain damage. The same month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted the public about the possible health effects associated with thimerosal-containing vaccines. They strongly recommended that thimerosal be removed from vaccines as soon as possible. Under the directive of the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the Food and Drug Administration also determined that infants who received several thimerosal-containing vaccines may be receiving mercury exposure over and above the recommended federal guidelines.7

(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)

A new form of eugenics?

Gates interest in inducing population reduction among black and other minority populations is not new unfortunately. As I document in my book, Seeds of Destruction,8 since the 1920s the Rockefeller Foundation had funded the eugenics research in Germany through the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institutes in Berlin and Munich, including well into the Third Reich. They praised the forced sterilization of people by Hirtler Germany, and the Nazi ideas on race purity. It was John D. Rockefeller III, a life-long advocate of eugenics, who used his tax free foundation money to initiate the population reduction neo-Malthusian movement through his private Population Council in New York beginning in the 1950s.

The idea of using vaccines to covertly reduce births in the Third World is also not new. Bill Gates good friend, David Rockefeller and his Rockefeller Foundation were involved as early as 1972 in a major project together with WHO and others to perfect another new vaccine.

The results of the WHO-Rockefeller project were put into mass application on human guinea pigs in the early 1990s. The WHO oversaw massive vaccination campaigns against tetanus in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines. Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization, became suspicious of the motives behind the WHO program and decided to test numerous vials of the vaccine and found them to contain human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG. That was a curious component for a vaccine designed to protect people against lock-jaw arising from infection with rusty nail wounds or other contact with certain bacteria found in soil. The tetanus disease was indeed, also rather rare. It was also curious because hCG was a natural hormone needed to maintain a pregnancy. However, when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier, it stimulated formation of antibodies against hCG, rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy, a form of concealed abortion. Similar reports of vaccines laced with hCG hormones came from the Philippines and Nicaragua.9

Gates Gene Revolution in Africa

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with David Rockefellers Rockefeller Foundation, the creators of the GMO biotechnology, are also financing a project called The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) headed by former UN chief, Kofi Annan. Accepting the role as AGRA head in June 2007 Annan expressed his gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and all others who support our African campaign. The AGRA board is dominated by people from both the Gates and Rockefeller foundations. 10

Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Syngenta and other major GMO agribusiness giants are reported at the heart of AGRA, using it as a back-door to spread their patented GMO seeds across Africa under the deceptive label, bio-technology, a euphemism for genetically engineered patented seeds. The person from the Gates Foundation responsible for its work with AGRA is Dr. Robert Horsch, a 25-year Monsanto GMO veteran who was on the team that developed Monsantos RoundUp Ready GMO technologies. His job is reportedly to use Gates money to introduce GMO into Africa.11

To date South Africa is the only African country permitting legal planting of GMO crops. In 2003 Burkina Faso authorized GMO trials. In 2005 Kofi Annans Ghana drafted bio-safety legislation and key officials expressed their intentions to pursue research into GMO crops. AGRA is being used to create networks of agro-dealers across Africa, at first with no mention of GMO seeds or herbicides, in order to have the infrastructure in place to massively introduce GMO.12

GMO, glyphosate and population reduction

GMO crops have never been proven safe for human or animal consumption. Moreover, they are inherently genetically unstable as they are an unnatural product of introducing a foreign bacteria such as Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) or other material into the DNA of a given seed to change its traits. Perhaps equally dangerous are the paired chemical herbicides sold as a mandatory part of a GMO contract, such as Monsantos Roundup, the most widely used such herbicide in the world. It contains highly toxic glyphosate compounds that have been independently tested and proven to exist in toxic concentrations in GMO applications far above that safe for humans or animals. Tests show that tiny amounts of glyphosate compounds would do damage to a human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells in a pregnant woman drinking the ground water near a GMO field.13

One long-standing project of the US Government has been to perfect a genetically-modified variety of corn, the diet staple in Mexico and many other Latin American countries. The corn has been field tested in tests financed by the US Department of Agriculture along with a small California bio-tech company named Epicyte. Announcing his success at a 2001 press conference, the president of Epicyte, Mitch Hein, pointing to his GMO corn plants, announced, We have a hothouse filled with corn plants that make anti-sperm antibodies. 14

Hein explained that they had taken antibodies from women with a rare condition known as immune infertility, isolated the genes that regulated the manufacture of those infertility antibodies, and, using genetic engineering techniques, had inserted the genes into ordinary corn seeds used to produce corn plants. In this manner, in reality they produced a concealed contraceptive embedded in corn meant for human consumption. Essentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm, said Hein. They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just shakes about as if it was doing the lambada. 15 Hein claimed it was a possible solution to world over-population. The moral and ethical issues of feeding it to humans in Third World poor countries without their knowing it countries he left out of his remarks.

Spermicides hidden in GMO corn provided to starving Third World populations through the generosity of the Gates foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Kofi Annans AGRA or vaccines that contain undisclosed sterilization agents are just two documented cases of using vaccines or GMO seeds to reduce population.

And the Good Club

Gates TED2010 speech on zero emissions and population reduction is consistent with a report that appeared in New York Citys ethnic media, Irish.Central.com in May 2009. According to the report, a secret meeting took place on May 5, 2009 at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, President of Rockefeller University, among some of the wealthiest people in America. Investment guru Warren Buffett who in 2006 decided to pool his $30 billion Buffett Foundation into the Gates foundation to create the worlds largest private foundation with some $60 billions of tax-free dollars was present. Banker David Rockefeller was the host.

The exclusive letter of invitation was signed by Gates, Rockefeller and Buffett. They decided to call themselves the Good Club. Also present was media czar Ted Turner, billionaire founder of CNN who stated in a 1996 interview for the Audubon nature magazine, where he said that a 95% reduction of world population to between 225-300 million would be ideal. In a 2008 interview at Philadelphias Temple University, Turner fine-tuned the number to 2 billion, a cut of more than 70% from todays population. Even less elegantly than Gates, Turner stated, we have too many people. Thats why we have global warming. We need less people using less stuff (sic).16

Others attending this first meeting of the Good Club reportedly were: Eli Broad real estate billionaire, New Yorks billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Wall Street billionaire and Council on Foreign Relations former head, Peter G. Peterson.

In addition, Julian H. Robertson, Jr., hedge-fund billionaire who worked with Soros attacking the currencies of Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and the Asian Tigen economies, precipitating the 1997-98 Asia Crisis. Also present at the first session of the Good Club was Patty Stonesifer, former chief executive of the Gates foundation, and John Morgridge of Cisco Systems. The group represented a combined fortune of more than $125 billion. 17

According to reports apparently leaked by one of the attendees, the meeting was held in response to the global economic downturn and the numerous health and environmental crises that are plaguing the globe.

But the central theme and purpose of the secret Good Club meeting of the plutocrats was the priority concern posed by Bill Gates, namely, how to advance more effectively their agenda of birth control and global population reduction. In the talks a consensus reportedly emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat. 18

Global Eugenics agenda

Gates and Buffett are major funders of global population reduction programs, as is Turner, whose UN Foundation was created to funnel $1 billion of his tax-free stock option earnings in AOL-Time-Warner into various birth reduction programs in the developing world.19 The programs in Africa and elsewhere are masked as philanthropy and providing health services for poor Africans. In reality they involve involuntary population sterilization via vaccination and other medicines that make women of child-bearing age infertile. The Gates Foundation, where Buffett deposited the bulk of his wealth two years ago, is also backing introduction of GMO seeds into Africa under the cloak of the Kofi Annan-led Second Green Revolution in Africa. The introduction of GMO patented seeds in Africa to date has met with enormous indigenous resistance.

Health experts point out that were the intent of Gates really to improve the health and well-being of black Africans, the same hundreds of millions of dollars the Gates Foundation has invested in untested and unsafe vaccines could be used in providing minimal sanitary water and sewage systems. Vaccinating a child who then goes to drink feces-polluted river water is hardly healthy in any respect. But of course cleaning up the water and sewage systems of Africa would revolutionize the health conditions of the Continent.

Gates TED2010 comments about having new vaccines to reduce global population were obviously no off-the-cuff remark. For those who doubt, the presentation Gates made at the TED2009 annual gathering said almost exactly the same thing about reducing population to cut global warming. For the mighty and powerful of the Good Club, human beings seem to be a form of pollution equal to CO2.

Resources:

1 Bill Gates, Innovating to Zero!, speech to the TED2010 annual conference, Long Beach, California, February 18, 2010, accessed in http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html.

2 Telegraph.co.uk, Bill Gates makes $10 billion vaccine pledge, London Telegraph, January 29, 2010, accessed in t: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/dav

3 Louise Voller, Kristian Villesen, WHO Donates Millions of Doses of Surplus Medical Supplies to Developing countries, Danish Information, 22 December 2009, accessed in http://www.theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2419%3Awhos-swine-flu-jab-donations-to-developing-countries-demarks-information-reports&catid=41%3Ahighlighted-news&Itemid=105&lang=en

4 One is the Population Research Institute in Washington, http://pop.org/

5 Louise Voller et al, op. cit.

6 Ibid.

7 Noted in Vaccinations and Autism, accessed in http://www.mercurypoisoningnews.com/vacautism.html

8 F. William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, Global Research (www.globalresearch.ca), Montreal, 2007, pp. 79-84.

9 James A. Miller, Are New Vaccines Laced With Birth-Control Drugs?, HLI Reports, Human Life International, Gaithersburg, Maryland; June-July 1995.

10 Cited in F. William Engdahl, Doomsday Seed Vault in the Arctic: Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we dont, Global Research, December 4, 2007, accessed in http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7529

11 Mariam Mayet, Africas Green Revolution rolls out the Gene Revolution, African Centre for Biosafety, ACB Briefing Paper No. 6/2009, Melville, South Africa, April 2009.

12 Ibid.

13 Nora Benachour and Gilles-Eric Seralini, Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical Embryonic, and Placental Cells, Chemical Research in Toxicology Journal, American Chemical Society, 2009, 22 (1), pp 97105.

14 Robin McKie, GMO Corn Set to Stop Man Spreading His Seed, London, The Observer, 9 September 2001.

15 Ibid. McKie writes, The pregnancy prevention plants are the handiwork of the San Diego biotechnology company Epicyte, where researchers have discovered a rare class of human antibodies that attack spermthe company has created tiny horticultural factories that make contraceptivesEssentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm, said Hein. They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just shakes about as if it was doing the lambada.

16 Ted Turner, cited along with youTube video of Turner in Aaron Dykes, Ted Turner: World Needs a Voluntary One-Child Policy for the Next Hundred Years, Jones Report.com, April 29, 2008. Accessed in http://www.jonesreport.com/article/04_08/28turner_911.html

17 John Harlow, Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation, London, The Sunday Times May 24, 2009. Accessed online in http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6350303.ece.

18 Ibid.

19 United Nations Foundation, Women and Population Program, accessed in http://www.unfoundation.org/about-unf/experts/

Full story here.

This article was posted: Friday, March 5, 2010 at 11:31 am

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Casino Gambling Web | Best Online Gambling News and …

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Jun 242016
 

The Top Online Casino Gambling News Reporting Site Since 2002! Latest News From the Casino Gambling Industry

Cheers and Jeers Abound for New UK Online Gambling Law May 19, 2014 The new UK betting law is expected to be finalized by July 1st and go into effect by September 1st. However, many are concerned the law could create another wild-west situation in the UK… Speculation on Casino Gambling Legalization in Japan Continues May 13, 2014 LVS owner Sheldon Adelson continues to create gambling news across the world, this time in Japan as he salivates at the possibility of legalization before the 2020 Olympics… LVS Owner Adelson Pulling the Strings of Politicians in the US May 8, 2014 Las Vegas Sands is playing the political system, and its owner, Sheldon Adelson, is the puppet master behind the curtain pulling the strings, according to new reports… New Jersey Bets Big on Sports Gambling, Loses – So Far… May 5, 2014 Governor Chris Christie may need a win in the Supreme Court to justify his defense for his initiative to legalize sports betting in the state… Tribal And Private Gaming Owners Square Off In Massachusetts April 28, 2014 Steve Wynn and the Mohegan Sun are squaring off in a battle for a casino license in Massachusetts, and the two have vastly different views of how regulations are being constructed…

Below is a quick guide to the best gambling sites online. One is for USA players, the other is for players in the rest of the world. Good luck!

As laws change in 2012 the internet poker craze is set to boom once again in North America. Bovada, formerly known as Bodog, is one of the only sites that weathered the storm and they are now the best place to play online. More players gamble here than anywhere else.

The goal of Casino Gambling Web is to provide each of our visitors with an insider’s view of every aspect of the gambling world. We have over 30 feeds releasing news to more than 30 specific gaming related categories in order to achieve our important goal of keeping you well updated and informed.

The main sections of our site are broken up into 5 broad areas of gambling news. The first area of news we cover is about issues concerning brick and mortar casinos like those found in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, the Gulf Coast Region, and well, now the rest of the USA. The second area of gambling news we cover concerns itself with the Internet casino community. We also have reporters who cover the international poker community and also the world of sports gambling. And finally, we cover news about the law when it effects any part of the gambling community; such legal news could include information on updates to the UIGEA, or issues surrounding gambling petitions to repeal that law, or information and stories related to new poker laws that are constantly being debated in state congresses.

We go well beyond simply reporting the news. We get involved with the news and sometimes we even become the news. We pride ourselves on providing follow up coverage to individual news stories. We had reporters in Washington D.C. on the infamous night when the internet gambling ban was passed by a now proven to be corrupt, former senator Bill Frist led congress, and we have staff constantly digging to get important details to American citizens. We had reporters at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas when Jamie Gold won his ring and changed the online gambling world, and we have representatives playing in the tournament each and every year.

It is our pleasure and proud duty to serve as a reliable source of gambling news and quality online casino reviews for all of the international gaming community. Please take a few moments to look around our site and discover why we, and most other insiders of the industry, have considered CGW the #1 Top Casino Gambling News eporting Organization since 2002.

The United States changed internet gambling when they passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), so now when searching for top online casinos you must focus your energies on finding post-UIGEA information as opposed to pre-UIGEA information. Before the law passed you could find reliable info on most gambling portals across the internet. Most of those portals simply advertised casinos and gambling sites that were tested and approved by eCogra, and in general you would be hard pressed to find an online casino that had a bad reputation. However, now that these gambling sites were forced out of the US they may be changing how they run their business. That is why it important to get your information from reliable sources who have been following the industry and keeping up with which companies have remained honorable. So good luck and happy hunting!

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), in short, states that anything that may be illegal on a state level is now also illegal on a federal level. However, the day after Christmas in 2011, President Barrack Obama’s administration delivered what the online gaming industry will view forever as a great big beautifully wrapped present. The government released a statement declaring that the 1961 Federal Wire Act only covers sports betting. What this means for the industry on an international level is still unknown, but what it means in the USA is that states can begin running online poker sites and selling lottery tickets to its citizens within its borders. The EU and WTO will surely have some analysis and we will keep you updated as this situation unfolds. Be sure to check with state laws before you start to gamble online.

The UK was the first high-power territory to legalize and regulate gambling online with a law passed in 2007. They allow all forms of betting but have strict requirements on advertisers. They first attracted offshore companies to come on land, which gave the gambling companies who complied the appearance of legitamacy. However, high taxes forced many who originally came to land, back out to sea and the battle forever rages on, but on a whole, the industry regulations have proven greatly successful and have since served as a model for other gaming enlightened countries around the world.

Since then, many European countries have regulated the industry, breaking up long term monopolies, sometimes even breaking up government backed empires, finally allowing competition – and the industry across the globe (outside of the USA) is thriving with rave reviews, even from those who are most interested in protecting the innocent and vulnerable members of society.

We strive to provide our visitors with the most valuable information about problem gambling and addiction in society. We have an entire section of our site dedicated to news about the subject. When a state or territory implements new technology to safeguard itself from allowing problem gamblers to proliferate, we will report it to you. If there is a new story that reveals some positive or negative information about gambling as it is related to addiction, we will report it to you. And if you think you have a problem with gambling right now, please visit Gamblers Anonymous if you feel you have a gambling problem.

In order to get all the information you need about this industry it is important to visit Wiki’s Online Gambling page. It provides an unbiased view of the current state of the Internet gambling industry. If you are interested in learning about other issues you may also enjoy visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling, a righteous company whose sole purpose is to help protect and support problem gamblers. They have a lot of great resources for anyone interested in learning more.

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Libertarian town hall: What to watch – CNNPolitics.com

 Libertarian  Comments Off on Libertarian town hall: What to watch – CNNPolitics.com
Jun 242016
 

The Libertarian presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, will face voters Wednesday evening in a town hall live on CNN.

The 9 p.m. event moderated by CNN’s Chris Cuomo marks one of the highest-profile moments in the Libertarian Party’s history, thanks to Donald Trump, whose victory in the GOP presidential primary has some conservatives and moderates alike looking elsewhere for an alternative to both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Johnson failed to make much of a splash in his 2012 presidential bid, but he hasn’t let that get him down this time around. Look to see how Johnson’s upbeat demeanor translates on stage.

He has a tranquil and occasionally goofy presence that can come across as down-to-earth in some moments — and aloof in others.

Johnson himself has admitted he isn’t always the most “articulate” speaker.

Still, in CNN’s live format, surrounded by questioning voters, Johnson will have to do his best to connect with as many people as possible, as credibly as possible.

What Johnson preaches is a relaxation of government involvement in all spheres. He wants to do away with government regulations, cut budgets and replace the tax code with an unorthodox tax plan called FairTax. He also wants to legalize marijuana, embrace gay rights and do away with gun laws.

For liberals and conservatives, this cross-cutting, grab bag of hard-line policy stances is heretical, even fringe. If Johnson and Weld can push through decades of Democratic and Republican messaging, they must start now.

The opportunity for a Libertarian breakthrough in 2016 rests largely on the idea that voters who can’t stomach Trump or Clinton will go somewhere else.

Trump’s campaign has been a whirlwind of controversy and combat. As the Republican primary showed, there is plenty to attack when it comes to Trump. The question is how Johnson and Weld approach him.

Shortly after his announcement that he was joining up with Johnson, meanwhile, Weld compared Trump’s immigration policy to Kristallnacht, literally the “Night of Broken Glass,” a pogrom within Nazi Germany.

In repeated interviews with CNN, Weld has likened Trump’s rise to the rise of the Nazis, calling the Republican presumptive nominee’s immigration proposals a “slippery slope.”

“I’ve studied Nazi Germany and the rise of the Nazis,” Weld said. “I do think that Mr. Trump has been demonizing them (undocumented immigrants), and that is partly what happened in Europe in the ’30s and ’40s.”

When it comes to attacking Clinton, Johnson has drawn a contrast between his worldview and hers.

Johnson is a skeptic of foreign military interventions. Clinton has a record supporting them. He has argued that major U.S. involvement in global affairs has only increased tension and violence the world over. Clinton been a key figure helping to shape U.S. foreign policy for years.

Attacking Clinton over this area — one that Trump and many Republicans have focused on — would either be a change of heart or a change of tack for Johnson’s running mate. It could also be an indication the two of them intend to go at Clinton with everything they can.

Johnson and Weld have to appeal to Republican voters who think Trump isn’t a true conservative and Democratic voters who think Clinton is not liberal enough. It’s a tough balancing act.

Some of their work has already been done for them when it comes to pulling support from the Republican Party.

2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, like Weld a former Massachusetts Republican governor, indicated he was open to supporting the Libertarian bid. His problem, however, was with Johnson’s support of marijuana, which he said, “makes you stupid.”

But the Libertarians are also going after the polar opposite of people like Mitt Romney: die-hard supporters of Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who challenged Clinton from the left. Socially liberal and skeptical of the Washington establishment, these voters could swing towards Johnson.

Johnson has said he favors abortion rights, is pro-gay and anti-drug war. Until recently he was even the CEO of a company selling cannabis. On the political quiz site iSidewith.com that he often touts, Johnson said the candidate he matches with most, besides himself, is Sanders.

But many of Sanders’ voters were drawn to the democratic socialist’s unabashedly progressive economic message. On that score, Johnson isn’t budging. He has espoused a near absolute preference for free market policies. Sanders’ calls for increased regulation, taxation and government benefits are anathema to Libertarians.

It has come to pass that the Libertarian presidential ticket, the one that wants to stamp out government, is the one with the most executive governing experience in the entire election.

Johnson and Weld, both two-term Republican governors in blue states, will have to demonstrate that they are ready to occupy the nation’s highest office.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life, and I was the two-term governor of New Mexico, and I think I was a successful governor,” Johnson said.

Both Johnson and Weld are sharply skeptical of the drug war and have invoked their respective experience on the matter. Johnson was a border governor and made his opposition to the war on drugs one of his signature issues. Weld nearly served as President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Mexico, but abandoned the bid after squaring off with Jesse Helms, an arch-conservative Republican senator from North Carolina.

On other matters, they have touted their record opposing their former party, the GOP, on all manner of issues including foreign policy.

Johnson has moved to make himself appear more ready for the task of leading the nation’s armed forces. For example, he said he has quit indulging in THC-laden edibles so he will be fully alert in the Oval Office, whatever the hour.

The former New Mexico governor has pushed back against people who call him or the Libertarian Party “isolationist,” saying instead that he favors diplomacy. He has cited North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a particular area of concern and advocated a diplomatic approach, involving pressure on the Chinese.

People will need to see if he can translate his messages of diplomatic support and concern into action.

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Libertarian town hall: What to watch – CNNPolitics.com

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Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012) – Rotten Tomatoes

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Jun 212016
 

http://movie-api-2.aws.prod.flixster.com/movie/771311191?include=%5B%22images%22%2C%22reviews%22%2C%22movieCast%22%2C%22movieCast.person%22%2C%22videoClips%22%2C%22criticSummary%22%2C%22reviews.critic%22%2C%22reviews.publication%22%2C%22genres%22%2C%22franchise%22%2C%22affiliates%22%2C%22affiliates.amazonInfo%22%2C%22affiliates.vuduInfo%22%2C%22affiliates.itunesInfo%22%2C%22audienceSummary%22%2C%22audienceReviews%22%5D&filter=%7B%22videoClipsLimit%22%3A20%2C%22reviewsLimit%22%3A24%2C%22movieCastLimit%22%3A1000%2C%22imagesLimit%22%3A20%7D { “id” : “771311191”, “type” : “movie”, “advisory” : “for brief language”, “lastModifiedDate” : “2016-06-21T07:58:40-07:00”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “rotten”, “value” : 4 }, “year” : 2012, “releaseScope” : “wide”, “studioName” : “Atlas Distribution”, “dvdWindow” : “on-dvd”, “heroImage” : { “id” : “n-31649”, “thumborId” : “v1.bjszMTY0OTtqOzE3MDEwOzEyMDA7MTIwMDs2MDE”, “height” : 601, “width” : 1200, “format” : “JPG” }, “synopsis” : “The global economy is on the brink of collapse. Unemployment has risen to 24%. Gas is now $42 per gallon. Brilliant creators, from artists to industrialists, continue to mysteriously disappear at the hands of the unknown. Dagny Taggart, Vice President in Charge of Operations for Taggart Transcontinental, has discovered what may very well be the answer to a mounting energy crisis – found abandoned amongst the ruins of a once productive factory, a revolutionary motor that could seemingly power the World. But, the motor is dead… there is no one left to decipher its secret… and, someone is watching. It’s a race against the clock to find the inventor before the motor of the World is stopped for good. Who is John Galt? — (C) Official Site”, “releaseDates” : { “dvd” : “2013-02-19”, “theater” : “2012-10-12” }, “runningTime” : 112, “title” : “Atlas Shrugged: Part II”, “creationDate” : “2012-06-28T06:30:13-07:00”, “posterImage” : { “id” : “m-11166914”, “thumborId” : “v1.bTsxMTE2NjkxNDtqOzE3MDk0OzEyMDA7NjAwOzg4MA”, “height” : 880, “width” : 600, “format” : “JPG” }, “vanity” : “atlas_shrugged_part_ii”, “officialUrl” : “http://www.atlasshruggedmovie.com/”, “cummulativeBoxOffice” : null, “mainTrailer” : { “id” : “11170711”, “title” : “Atlas Shrugged Part II”, “sourceId” : “759732”, “thumbUrl” : “https://content.internetvideoarchive.com/content/photos/8044/759732_093.jpg”, “duration” : 129, “clipType” : “TRL”, “source” : “VDD” }, “boxOffice” : null, “openingWindow” : “NA”, “mpaaRating” : “PG13”, “affiliates” : { “id” : “771311191”, “type” : “affiliates”, “vuduInfo” : [ { “id” : “106961”, “type” : “VDB”, “endDate” : “2020-01-01”, “price” : 9.99, “format” : “hd”, “currency” : “USD”, “startDate” : “2015-12-14” }, { “id” : “106960”, “type” : “VDR”, “endDate” : “2020-01-01”, “price” : 3.99, “format” : “hd”, “currency” : “USD”, “startDate” : “2015-12-14” }, { “id” : “106963”, “type” : “VDB”, “endDate” : “2020-01-01”, “price” : 9.99, “format” : “hdx”, “currency” : “USD”, “startDate” : “2015-12-14” }, { “id” : “106962”, “type” : “VDR”, “endDate” : “2020-01-01”, “price” : 3.99, “format” : “hdx”, “currency” : “USD”, “startDate” : “2015-12-14” }, { “id” : “106959”, “type” : “VDB”, “endDate” : “2020-01-01”, “price” : 9.99, “format” : “sd”, “currency” : “USD”, “startDate” : “2015-12-14” }, { “id” : “106958”, “type” : “VDR”, “endDate” : “2020-01-01”, “price” : 2.99, “format” : “sd”, “currency” : “USD”, “startDate” : “2015-12-14” } ], “sonicInfo” : [ ], “amazonInfo” : [ ], “itunesInfo” : [ ] }, “audienceReviews” : [ { “id” : “10816”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 6.0, “ratingDate” : “2014-09-22T05:17:35-07:00”, “userImage” : { “thumbnailUrl” : “graph.facebook.com/v2.2/100000440772572/picture” }, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike is a compelling and provocative film that brings Ayn Rand’s classic novel to life. The saga continues with Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden struggling to hold off a total economic collapse while an oppressive government tightens their control and leading industrialists mysteriously disappear. All of the major roles have been recast, which is rather off putting and doesn’t result in any noticeable improvements in the characters. However, the directing is a little better and delivers a clearer vision than the first film had. Additionally, the special effects are fairly well-done for an independent film, and are used quite effectively to add energy and excitement to the scenes. While Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike doesn’t live up to the quality of the source material, it still delivers a solid dramatic thriller.”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Dann Michalski”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10813”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 5.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-06-29T09:30:16-07:00”, “userImage” : null, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “Ayn Rand’s industrialists fight against the Fair Share Act, which further strangles the economy. nFirst, the most unfortunate thing about this film was the endorsement that the real Sean Hannity gave to the fictional Hank Rearden. Additionally, protesters directly referenced the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. The one-to-one relationship between the modern day right wing and Rand’s objectivists is bullshit, and it’s a shame that this film’s creators got sucked into Rand’s abduction by the right wing. After all the contemporary right wing is in the pocket of conservative Christians, yet Rand was an ardent atheist; the modern day right wing gives welfare to corporate fat cats whom Rand would consider looters. What does this have to do with the film? The iconography of the protesters and Hannity place the film in our historical moment, not Rand’s, which takes us out of the film’s world. nSecond, I was impressed with Samantha Mathis’s performance. Her Dagny was given more to human emotion, which played peek-a-boo amid Dagny’s characteristic stoicism. But her acting was the best of the cast. I particularly disliked Jason Beghe’s gravel-voiced Rearden. nFinally, the film is poorly paced. The speeches by Readen and Francisco belong in the film, but director John Putch should have taken a walking and talking page from Aaron Sorkin’s book to give the film some energy, and the montages of poverty do little to add to the plot. nOverall, this is a controversial film not because Rand is a controversial figure (even though she is) but primarily because the film doesn’t really get her.”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Jim Hunter”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10814”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 4.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-06-25T18:51:02-07:00”, “userImage” : { “thumbnailUrl” : “graph.facebook.com/v2.2/100001504732128/picture” }, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “What the heck happened here? They changed the actors for almost EVERY role from the part 1 of this saga. Whose bright idea was that?? This could have been an interesting continuing story, but I found the new actors way too distracting….were they all busy? sheesh…”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Cynthia S.”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10815”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 3.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-02-21T05:58:59-08:00”, “userImage” : null, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “You’d think after the horrible and horribly boring Atlas Shrugged: Part One that a promised Part Two might just disappear into the ether. If only we could have been so fortunate. Ayn Rand’s cautionary opus about the evils of big government is given another creaky adaptation that fails to justify its existence. I feel like I could repeat verbatim my faults with the first film. Once again we don’t have characters but mouthpieces for ideology, an ideology that celebrates untamed greed. Once again the “best and brightest” (a.k.a. world’s richest) are disappearing and the world is grinding to a halt without their necessary genius. Does anyone really think if the world’s billionaires left in a huff that the world would cease to function? The assumption that financial wealth equates brilliance seems fatally flawed. Once again it’s in a modern setting where America has gone back in time to value railroads. Once again the main thrust of the inert drama is over inconsequential railway economics. Once again people just talk in circles in cheap locations. Once again the government agencies are a bunch of clucking stooges, eager to punish successful business. Once again Rand’s Objectivist worldview is treated as gospel and value is only ascribed to the amount of money one can produce. This time we have a slightly better budget, a better director, and some recognizable actors like Samantha Manthis, Esai Morales, Ray Wise, Richard T. Jones, and D.B. Sweeney as the mysterious John Gault. The story transitions to a ridiculous government mandate that include such incomprehensible edicts like making sure no one spends more money than another person. Can you imagine the paperwork involved? This woeful sequel will only appeal to Rand’s most faithful admirers, and you probably don’t want to hang out with those people anyway. There’s your clue: if you see someone carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged: Part Two they either lack taste or are far too generous with movies. If there is indeed a concluding Part Three, it will be further proof that Rand’s market-based screeds are not accurate. The market has already rejected two of these dreadful movies.rnrnNate’s Grade: D”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Nate Zoebl”, “userId” : null } ], “meta” : { “totalCount” : 39 }, “reviews” : [ { “id” : “2110251”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “Seriously, if this is the best promotion of itself that the free market can manage, it really would benefit from the help of a Ministry of Culture or something.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : “2012-10-15T02:06:24-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-10-10/film/atlas-shrugged-part-two-why-can-t-the-free-market-make-this-movie-any-better/”, “publication” : { “id” : “472”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Village Voice” }, “critic” : { “id” : “14220”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2363”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMzYzO2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0Mg”, “height” : 42, “width” : 38, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Alan Scherstuhl”, “vanity” : “alan-scherstuhl” } }, { “id” : “2110231”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “Director John Putch struggles to find balance or generate a single spark from the clunky mix of romance, political diatribe and thriller.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : “2012-10-15T00:31:31-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-atlas-shrugged-20121015,0,3134211.story”, “publication” : { “id” : “268”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Los Angeles Times” }, “critic” : { “id” : “5517”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2608”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyNjA4O2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsxNTA7MTUw”, “height” : 150, “width” : 150, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Sheri Linden”, “vanity” : “sheri-linden” } }, { “id” : “2110230”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “The producers are going to have to hire a better director if they want moviegoers to be curious enough about this Galt guy to buy a ticket for the presumptive third and final chapter.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : “2012-10-15T00:28:05-07:00”, “url” : “http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/movies/atlas-shrugged-part-ii-with-samantha-mathis.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0”, “publication” : { “id” : “337”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “New York Times” }, “critic” : { “id” : “5988”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2630”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyNjMwO2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsxNTA7MTUw”, “height” : 150, “width” : 150, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Manohla Dargis”, “vanity” : “manohla-dargis” } }, { “id” : “2110082”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “It’s consistent with its predecessor as a somewhat awkward translation of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel to our current era, handled with bland telepic-style competency.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : “2012-10-13T15:43:49-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117948555?refcatid=31”, “publication” : { “id” : “466”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Variety” }, “critic” : { “id” : “3084”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : null, “name” : “Dennis Harvey”, “vanity” : “dennis-harvey” } }, { “id” : “2110051”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “A disaster as a film, Atlas also is laughable in its presentation of Rand’s ideology.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/4”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-13T10:27:38-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/movies/20121013_Atlas_Shrugged__Part_II__a_quick_taste_of_Rand_s_philosophy.html”, “publication” : { “id” : “361”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Philadelphia Inquirer” }, “critic” : { “id” : “12125”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : null, “name” : “Tirdad Derakhshani”, “vanity” : “tirdad-derakhshani” } }, { “id” : “2110050”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “If the novel Atlas Shrugged is ultimate libertarian porn, then the first two installments of the screen adaptation are soggy softcore.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : “2012-10-13T10:24:13-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/atlas-shrugged-part-ii-strike-378755”, “publication” : { “id” : “213”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Hollywood Reporter” }, “critic” : { “id” : “1284”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1663”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNjYzO2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs1Mg”, “height” : 52, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Todd McCarthy”, “vanity” : “todd-mccarthy” } }, { “id” : “2109921”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “The people behind the Atlas Shrugged series of films have things they want to tell you, and just to make sure that you know what they are, the movies tell you, and tell you, and then tell you again.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : 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The first one was far worse — mercifully, the cast and director have all been replaced.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : “2012-10-12T08:51:03-07:00”, “url” : “http://bostonglobe.com/arts/movies/2012/10/14/movie-review-the-shrugging-continues-atlas-shrugged-part/1evEnXfn5lf2jD7XSXKrlL/story.html”, “publication” : { “id” : “44”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Boston Globe” }, “critic” : { “id” : “1301”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1664”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNjY0O2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0OQ”, “height” : 49, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Wesley Morris”, “vanity” : “wesley-morris” } }, { “id” : “2109675”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “”Atlas Shrugged: Part II” is political economy written with crayon.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/4”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-11T20:34:30-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/saw_the_film_shrugged_fJIj4XwcW2XB6eW0TScgRI”, “publication” : { “id” : “336”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “New York Post” }, “critic” : { “id” : “6626”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1744”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNzQ0O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0MQ”, “height” : 41, “width” : 38, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Kyle Smith”, “vanity” : “kyle-smith” } }, { “id” : “2109589”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : true, “quote” : “Rather than refresh the cast with new actors, the producers would have done better to just digitally reanimate Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper, the stars of the 1949 adaptation of Rand’s The Fountainhead.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1.5/4”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-11T10:45:44-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/atlas-shrugged-part-2-either-or,1233956/critic-review.html”, “publication” : { “id” : “474”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Washington Post” }, “critic” : { “id” : “1186”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : null, “name” : “Mark Jenkins”, “vanity” : “mark-jenkins” } }, { “id” : “2260041”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “A greedy billionaire’s most feverish nightmare realized with all the amateurish panache of a daytime soap opera.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : null, “creationDate” : “2015-05-03T08:42:27-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/screen/reviews/atlas_shrugged_flicks_give_randians_their_own_battlefield_earth-174437651.html”, “publication” : { “id” : “362”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Philadelphia Weekly” }, “critic” : { “id” : “3462”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2563”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyNTYzO2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsxNTI7MTY4”, “height” : 168, “width” : 152, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Sean Burns”, “vanity” : “sean-burns” } }, { “id” : “2146723”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “There are ironic footnotes in cinema history because they champion the free market yet fail miserably in it.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1.5/5”, “creationDate” : “2013-06-09T08:32:17-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.7mpictures.com/atlas-shrugged-part-ii-the-strike-blu-ray-review/”, “publication” : { “id” : “1593”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “7M Pictures” }, “critic” : { “id” : “6773”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1747”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNzQ3O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs1NA”, “height” : 54, “width” : 38, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Kevin Carr”, “vanity” : “kevin-carr” } }, { “id” : “2129220”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “The determined, if questionably talented, cast and crew of Ayn Rand devotees continue to hack their way through the lionized author’s obtuse prose”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “2/4”, “creationDate” : “2013-02-18T11:29:07-08:00”, “url” : “http://www.becauseitoldyouso.com/2013/02/feb-19-blu-raydvd-reviews.html”, “publication” : { “id” : “2288”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “OK! 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Hard.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “0.5/4”, “creationDate” : “2012-11-05T03:43:00-08:00”, “url” : null, “publication” : { “id” : “1866”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Projection Booth” }, “critic” : { “id” : “12145”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2213”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMjEzO2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsxMDA7ODc”, “height” : 87, “width” : 100, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Rob Humanick”, “vanity” : “rob-humanick” } }, { “id” : “2111501”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “The acting is better than in Part 1 but the fact this is the middle segment leaves the audience that might like it dissatisfied”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “5/10”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-23T08:10:51-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.jackiekcooper.com”, “publication” : { “id” : “1557”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “jackiekcooper.com” }, “critic” : { “id” : “10513”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1770”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNzcwO2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0MA”, “height” : 40, “width” : 38, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Jackie K. Cooper”, “vanity” : “jackie-k-cooper” } }, { “id” : “2111190”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “The film’s excruciating unwatchability transcends politics.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/10”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-19T16:43:50-07:00”, “url” : “http://antagonie.blogspot.com/2012/10/no-galt-on-her-tail.html”, “publication” : { “id” : “1900”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Antagony & Ecstasy” }, “critic” : { “id” : “12682”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2219”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMjE5O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsxMDA7MTAw”, “height” : 100, “width” : 100, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Tim Brayton”, “vanity” : “tim-brayton” } }, { “id” : “2111061”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “Atlas won’t be the only one to shrug off this tiresome load.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/5”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-19T03:34:34-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.austinchronicle.com/calendar/film/2012-10-12/atlas-shrugged-part-ii/”, “publication” : { “id” : “28”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Austin Chronicle” }, “critic” : { “id” : “34”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : null, “name” : “Marjorie Baumgarten”, “vanity” : “marjorie-baumgarten” } }, { “id” : “2110734”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “fresh”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “Rand’s detractors will hate the movie as much as they do her, but her fans will be satisfied … “, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “3/5”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-18T06:05:08-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/atlas-shrugged-part-2/content?oid=8118808”, “publication” : { “id” : “599”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Sacramento News & Review” }, “critic” : { “id” : “3224”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2104”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMTA0O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDs5ODsxMjI”, “height” : 122, “width” : 98, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Jim Lane”, “vanity” : “jim-lane” } }, { “id” : “2110404”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “A niche movie on a par with any cheapjack faith-based picture, which is why it resembles one — and only the most ardently faithful need apply.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “.5/5”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-16T07:51:47-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/atlas_shrugged_part_ii”, “publication” : { “id” : “1020”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)” }, “critic” : { “id” : “5783”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1730”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNzMwO2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0NA”, “height” : 44, “width” : 38, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Ken Hanke”, “vanity” : “ken-hanke” } }, { “id” : “2110277”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “It’s still kinda bad, but at least this movie won’t be an industry punchline for years to come. … Oh, what a difference competence makes.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “4.5/10”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-15T05:06:41-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.craveonline.com/film/reviews/197977-review-atlas-shrugged-part-2”, “publication” : { “id” : “1906”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “CraveOnline” }, “critic” : { “id” : “14539”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2338”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMzM4O2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0Mg”, “height” : 42, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “William Bibbiani”, “vanity” : “william-bibbiani” } }, { “id” : “2110117”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “The portrait of American gloom and doom has its layers of meanings and philosophies, but I’d rather approach Atlas as a clumsy B-movie with occasional entertainment value.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “C”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-14T06:18:04-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.blu-ray.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Part-II-The-Strike/152217/?show=preview”, “publication” : { “id” : “2468”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Blu-ray.com” }, “critic” : { “id” : “2771”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2237”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMjM3O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsyNTA7Mjg1”, “height” : 285, “width” : 250, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Brian Orndorf”, “vanity” : “brian-orndorf” } }, { “id” : “2109950”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “New viewers aren’t expected to jump into the dense story now, and anyone coming back for seconds is predisposed to believing this is the most important movie of the year. Sean Hannity or another right-wing mouthpiece told them so.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “B-“, “creationDate” : “2012-10-12T09:31:55-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.tampabay.com/features/movies/review-atlas-shrugged-part-ii-upgrades-casts-action/1256106”, “publication” : { “id” : “1457”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Tampa Bay Times” }, “critic” : { “id” : “3876”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1710”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNzEwO2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0Mg”, “height” : 42, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Steve Persall”, “vanity” : “steve-persall” } }, { “id” : “2109891”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “A stupid person’s idea of what a smart movie sounds like. “, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/4”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-12T06:56:59-07:00”, “url” : “http://rogersmovienation.com/2012/12/30/movie-review-atlas-shrugged-ii/”, “publication” : { “id” : “2448”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Tribune News Service” }, “critic” : { “id” : “1238”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1654”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNjU0O2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0NQ”, “height” : 45, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Roger Moore”, “vanity” : “roger-moore” } } ], “audienceReviews” : [ { “id” : “10816”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 6.0, “ratingDate” : “2014-09-22T05:17:35-07:00”, “userImage” : { “thumbnailUrl” : “graph.facebook.com/v2.2/100000440772572/picture” }, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike is a compelling and provocative film that brings Ayn Rand’s classic novel to life. The saga continues with Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden struggling to hold off a total economic collapse while an oppressive government tightens their control and leading industrialists mysteriously disappear. All of the major roles have been recast, which is rather off putting and doesn’t result in any noticeable improvements in the characters. However, the directing is a little better and delivers a clearer vision than the first film had. Additionally, the special effects are fairly well-done for an independent film, and are used quite effectively to add energy and excitement to the scenes. While Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike doesn’t live up to the quality of the source material, it still delivers a solid dramatic thriller.”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Dann Michalski”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10813”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 5.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-06-29T09:30:16-07:00”, “userImage” : null, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “Ayn Rand’s industrialists fight against the Fair Share Act, which further strangles the economy. nFirst, the most unfortunate thing about this film was the endorsement that the real Sean Hannity gave to the fictional Hank Rearden. Additionally, protesters directly referenced the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. The one-to-one relationship between the modern day right wing and Rand’s objectivists is bullshit, and it’s a shame that this film’s creators got sucked into Rand’s abduction by the right wing. After all the contemporary right wing is in the pocket of conservative Christians, yet Rand was an ardent atheist; the modern day right wing gives welfare to corporate fat cats whom Rand would consider looters. What does this have to do with the film? The iconography of the protesters and Hannity place the film in our historical moment, not Rand’s, which takes us out of the film’s world. nSecond, I was impressed with Samantha Mathis’s performance. Her Dagny was given more to human emotion, which played peek-a-boo amid Dagny’s characteristic stoicism. But her acting was the best of the cast. I particularly disliked Jason Beghe’s gravel-voiced Rearden. nFinally, the film is poorly paced. The speeches by Readen and Francisco belong in the film, but director John Putch should have taken a walking and talking page from Aaron Sorkin’s book to give the film some energy, and the montages of poverty do little to add to the plot. nOverall, this is a controversial film not because Rand is a controversial figure (even though she is) but primarily because the film doesn’t really get her.”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Jim Hunter”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10814”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 4.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-06-25T18:51:02-07:00”, “userImage” : { “thumbnailUrl” : “graph.facebook.com/v2.2/100001504732128/picture” }, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “What the heck happened here? They changed the actors for almost EVERY role from the part 1 of this saga. Whose bright idea was that?? This could have been an interesting continuing story, but I found the new actors way too distracting….were they all busy? sheesh…”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Cynthia S.”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10815”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 3.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-02-21T05:58:59-08:00”, “userImage” : null, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “You’d think after the horrible and horribly boring Atlas Shrugged: Part One that a promised Part Two might just disappear into the ether. If only we could have been so fortunate. Ayn Rand’s cautionary opus about the evils of big government is given another creaky adaptation that fails to justify its existence. I feel like I could repeat verbatim my faults with the first film. Once again we don’t have characters but mouthpieces for ideology, an ideology that celebrates untamed greed. Once again the “best and brightest” (a.k.a. world’s richest) are disappearing and the world is grinding to a halt without their necessary genius. Does anyone really think if the world’s billionaires left in a huff that the world would cease to function? The assumption that financial wealth equates brilliance seems fatally flawed. Once again it’s in a modern setting where America has gone back in time to value railroads. Once again the main thrust of the inert drama is over inconsequential railway economics. Once again people just talk in circles in cheap locations. Once again the government agencies are a bunch of clucking stooges, eager to punish successful business. Once again Rand’s Objectivist worldview is treated as gospel and value is only ascribed to the amount of money one can produce. This time we have a slightly better budget, a better director, and some recognizable actors like Samantha Manthis, Esai Morales, Ray Wise, Richard T. Jones, and D.B. Sweeney as the mysterious John Gault. The story transitions to a ridiculous government mandate that include such incomprehensible edicts like making sure no one spends more money than another person. Can you imagine the paperwork involved? This woeful sequel will only appeal to Rand’s most faithful admirers, and you probably don’t want to hang out with those people anyway. There’s your clue: if you see someone carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged: Part Two they either lack taste or are far too generous with movies. If there is indeed a concluding Part Three, it will be further proof that Rand’s market-based screeds are not accurate. 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Even as he moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Rick grapples over complicated relationships with his brother (Wes Bentley) and father (Brian Dennehy). His quest to break the spell of his disenchantment takes him on a series of adventures with six alluring women: rebellious Della (Imogen Poots); his physician ex-wife, Nancy (Cate Blanchett); a serene model Helen (Freida Pinto); a woman he wronged in the past Elizabeth (Natalie Portman); a spirited, playful stripper Karen (Teresa Palmer); and an innocent Isabel (Isabel Lucas), who helps him see a way forward. Rick moves in a daze through a strange and overwhelming dreamscape — but can he wake up to the beauty, humanity and rhythms of life around him? The deeper he searches, the more the journey becomes his destination. 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His diary revealed he’d discovered gold — worth billions of dollars today — but he’d give it all away for a loaf of bread and a chance at survival. The gold has never been found. Filmmaker Luke Walker finds Lasseter’s 85 year-old son, still wandering the desert trying to find the gold that killed his father. Is it still possible to piece together the fragments of history Lasseter left behind? Armed with a camera, Walker chases his footsteps in hopes to unravel the tangle of myths, lies and legend that remain buried with Lasseter’s bones. But as he follows his last few steps he finds himself closer to the gold than anyone has been for 80 years. 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Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012) – Rotten Tomatoes

Offshore drilling – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jun 192016
 

Offshore drilling is a mechanical process where a wellbore is drilled below the seabed. It is typically carried out in order to explore for and subsequently extract petroleum which lies in rock formations beneath the seabed. Most commonly, the term is used to describe drilling activities on the continental shelf, though the term can also be applied to drilling in lakes, inshore waters and inland seas.

Offshore drilling presents environmental challenges, both from the produced hydrocarbons and the materials used during the drilling operation. Controversies include the ongoing US offshore drilling debate.

There are many different types of facilities from which offshore drilling operations take place. These include bottom founded drilling rigs (jackup barges and swamp barges), combined drilling and production facilities either bottom founded or floating platforms, and deepwater mobile offshore drilling units (MODU) including semi-submersibles and drillships. These are capable of operating in water depths up to 3,000 metres (9,800ft). In shallower waters the mobile units are anchored to the seabed, however in deeper water (more than 1,500 metres (4,900ft) the semisubmersibles or drillships are maintained at the required drilling location using dynamic positioning.

Around 1891, the first submerged oil wells were drilled from platforms built on piles in the fresh waters of the Grand Lake St. Marys (a.k.a. Mercer County Reservoir) in Ohio. The wells were developed by small local companies such as Bryson, Riley Oil, German-American and Banker’s Oil.

Around 1896, the first submerged oil wells in salt water were drilled in the portion of the Summerland field extending under the Santa Barbara Channel in California. The wells were drilled from piers extending from land out into the channel.[1][2]

Other notable early submerged drilling activities occurred on the Canadian side of Lake Erie in the 1900s and Caddo Lake in Louisiana in the 1910s. Shortly thereafter wells were drilled in tidal zones along the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast. The Goose Creek Oil Field near Baytown, Texas is one such example. In the 1920s drilling activities occurred from concrete platforms in Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo.

One of the oldest subsea wells is the Bibi Eibat well, which came on stream in 1923 in Azerbaijan.[3][dubious discuss] The well was located on an artificial island in a shallow portion of the Caspian Sea. In the early 1930s, the Texas Co., later Texaco (now Chevron) developed the first mobile steel barges for drilling in the brackish coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1937, Pure Oil (now Chevron) and its partner Superior Oil (now ExxonMobil) used a fixed platform to develop a field 1 mile (1.6km) offshore of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana in 14 feet (4.3m) of water.

In 1945, concern for American control of its offshore oil reserves caused President Harry Truman to issue an Executive Order unilaterally extending American territory to the edge of its continental shelf, an act that effectively ended the 3-mile limit “freedom of the seas” regime.

In 1946, Magnolia Petroleum (now ExxonMobil) drilled at a site 18 miles (29km) off the coast, erecting a platform in 18 feet (5.5m) of water off St. Mary Parish, Louisiana.

In early 1947, Superior Oil erected a drilling and production platform in 20 feet (6.1m) of water some 18 miles (29km) off Vermilion Parish, La. But it was Kerr-McGee Oil Industries (now Anadarko Petroleum), as operator for partners Phillips Petroleum (ConocoPhillips) and Stanolind Oil & Gas (BP) that completed its historic Ship Shoal Block 32 well in October 1947, months before Superior actually drilled a discovery from their Vermilion platform farther offshore. In any case, that made Kerr-McGee’s well the first oil discovery drilled out of sight of land.[4]

When offshore drilling moved into deeper waters of up to 30 metres (98ft), fixed platform rigs were built, until demands for drilling equipment was needed in the 100 feet (30m) to 120 metres (390ft) depth of the Gulf of Mexico, the first jack-up rigs began appearing from specialized offshore drilling contractors such as forerunners of ENSCO International.

The first semi-submersible resulted from an unexpected observation in 1961. Blue Water Drilling Company owned and operated the four-column submersible Blue Water Rig No.1 in the Gulf of Mexico for Shell Oil Company. As the pontoons were not sufficiently buoyant to support the weight of the rig and its consumables, it was towed between locations at a draught mid-way between the top of the pontoons and the underside of the deck. It was noticed that the motions at this draught were very small, and Blue Water Drilling and Shell jointly decided to try operating the rig in the floating mode. The concept of an anchored, stable floating deep-sea platform had been designed and tested back in the 1920s by Edward Robert Armstrong for the purpose of operating aircraft with an invention known as the ‘seadrome’. The first purpose-built drilling semi-submersible Ocean Driller was launched in 1963. Since then, many semi-submersibles have been purpose-designed for the drilling industry mobile offshore fleet.

The first offshore drillship was the CUSS 1 developed for the Mohole project to drill into the Earth’s crust.

As of June, 2010, there were over 620 mobile offshore drilling rigs (Jackups, semisubs, drillships, barges) available for service in the competitive rig fleet.[5]

One of the world’s deepest hubs is currently the Perdido in the Gulf of Mexico, floating in 2,438 meters of water. It is operated by Royal Dutch Shell and was built at a cost of $3 billion.[6] The deepest operational platform is the Petrobras America Cascade FPSO in the Walker Ridge 249 field in 2,600 meters of water.

Notable offshore fields include:

Offshore oil and gas production is more challenging than land-based installations due to the remote and harsher environment. Much of the innovation in the offshore petroleum sector concerns overcoming these challenges, including the need to provide very large production facilities. Production and drilling facilities may be very large and a large investment, such as the Troll A platform standing on a depth of 300 meters.

Another type of offshore platform may float with a mooring system to maintain it on location. While a floating system may be lower cost in deeper waters than a fixed platform, the dynamic nature of the platforms introduces many challenges for the drilling and production facilities.

The ocean can add several billion meters or more to the fluid column. The addition increases the equivalent circulating density and downhole pressures in drilling wells, as well as the energy needed to lift produced fluids for separation on the platform.

The trend today is to conduct more of the production operations subsea, by separating water from oil and re-injecting it rather than pumping it up to a platform, or by flowing to onshore, with no installations visible above the sea. Subsea installations help to exploit resources at progressively deeper waterslocations which had been inaccessibleand overcome challenges posed by sea ice such as in the Barents Sea. One such challenge in shallower environments is seabed gouging by drifting ice features (means of protecting offshore installations against ice action includes burial in the seabed).

Offshore manned facilities also present logistics and human resources challenges. An offshore oil platform is a small community in itself with cafeteria, sleeping quarters, management and other support functions. In the North Sea, staff members are transported by helicopter for a two-week shift. They usually receive higher salary than onshore workers do. Supplies and waste are transported by ship, and the supply deliveries need to be carefully planned because storage space on the platform is limited. Today, much effort goes into relocating as many of the personnel as possible onshore, where management and technical experts are in touch with the platform by video conferencing. An onshore job is also more attractive for the aging workforce in the petroleum industry, at least in the western world. These efforts among others are contained in the established term integrated operations. The increased use of subsea facilities helps achieve the objective of keeping more workers onshore. Subsea facilities are also easier to expand, with new separators or different modules for different oil types, and are not limited by the fixed floor space of an above-water installation.

See also ecological effects of oil platforms.

Offshore oil production involves environmental risks, most notably oil spills from oil tankers or pipelines transporting oil from the platform to onshore facilities, and from leaks and accidents on the platform.[8]Produced water is also generated, which is water brought to the surface along with the oil and gas; it is usually highly saline and may include dissolved or unseparated hydrocarbons.

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Offshore drilling – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Cloning – Food and Drug Administration

 Cloning  Comments Off on Cloning – Food and Drug Administration
Jun 192016
 

As a consequence of scientific and biotechnological progress during the past decades, new biological therapies involving somatic cells and genetic material are being investigated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) described existing legal authorities governing a new class of human somatic cell therapy products and gene therapy products in an October 14, 1993 Federal Register Notice.

On February 23, 1997, the public learned that Ian Wilmut, a Scottish scientist, and his colleagues at the Roslin Institute successfully used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to create a clone of a sheep; the cloned sheep was named Dolly. SCNT involves transferring the nucleus of an adult sheep somatic cell, into a sheep egg from which the nucleus had been removed. After nearly 300 attempts, the cloned sheep known as Dolly was born to a surrogate sheep mother.

SCNT is not reproduction since a sperm cannot be used with the technique, but rather it is an extension of technology used not only in research but also used to produce medically relevant cellular products such as cartilage cells for knees, as well as gene therapy products. On February 28, 1997, FDA announced a comprehensive plan for the regulation of cell and tissue based therapies that incorporated the legal authorities described in FDA’s 1993 guidance “Proposed Approach to Regulation of Cellular and Tissue-Based Products

On March 7, 1997 then President Clinton issued a memorandum that stated: “Recent accounts of advances in cloning technology, including the first successful cloning of an adult sheep, raise important questions. They potentially represent enormous scientific breakthroughs that could offer benefits in such areas as medicine and agriculture. But the new technology also raises profound ethical issues, particularly with respect to its possible use to clone humans.” (Prohibitions on Federal Funding for Cloning of Human Beings)

The memorandum explicitly prohibited Federal Funding for cloning of a human being, and also directed the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) to thoroughly review the legal and ethical issues associated with the use of cloning technology to create a human being.

“NBAC found that concerns relating to the potential psychological harms to children and effects on the moral, religious, and cultural values of society merited further reflection and deliberation.” The report, Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research, September 1999, describes 5 recommendations.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer holds great potential to someday create medically useful therapeutic products. FDA believes, however, that there are major unresolved questions pertaining to the use of cloning technology to clone a human being which must be seriously considered and resolved before the Agency would permit such investigation to proceed. The Agency sent a “Dear Colleague” letter which stated that creating a human being using cloning technology is subject to FDA regulation under the Public Health Service Act and the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. This letter notified researchers that clinical research using SCNT to create a human being could precede only when an investigational new drug application (IND) is in effect. Sponsors are required to submit to FDA

Recently, FDA sent letters to remind the research community that FDA jurisdiction over clinical research using cloning technology to create a human being, and to advise that FDA regulatory process is required in order to initial these investigations. (March 2001 letter)

On March 28, 2001, Dr. Kathryn C. Zoon, Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research gave testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States House of Representatives. Her statement described FDA’s role in regulating the use of cloning technology to clone a human being and further described current significant scientific concerns in this area.

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Cloning – Food and Drug Administration

::Cloning:: – Mount Holyoke College

 Cloning  Comments Off on ::Cloning:: – Mount Holyoke College
Jun 192016
 

CLONING Websites *Articles

a. Websiteswww.newscientist.com/nsplus/insight/clone/clone.html A special report from New Scientist that’s supposedly “everything you always wanted to know” Includes introduction, article index, FAQ, web sightings, bioethics, and news. Has links to New Scientist articles from March 1997-November 1999. The web sightings list some of the better sites on cloning and a couple of scifi things.

http://www.phrma.org/genomics/cloning/ Includes: General Information & News Ethical and Legal Issues Government Resources Research Institutions Advisory Committees & Studies Scientific Organizations Books on this topic Comments Stem Cell Research US State Cloning Legislation

http://www.humancloning.org/ The “official site” in support of human cloning

afgen.com/cloning.html Collection of articles on Bill Clinton’s stance on human cloning, cloned monkeys, legal battles, and theological questions.

library.thinkquest.org/19037/clone_links.html Thorough collection of links about cloning and related ideas including the facts, the future, diagrams, ethics, transgenics.

gaytoday.badpuppy.com/cloning.htm Gay Today’s series on cloning. Including “Human Cloning: a Promising Cornucopia” and “Staying youthful-Curing AIDS-Human Cloning” and “First Cloning Rights Group Led by Gay Pioneer”

http://www.pathfinder.com/TIME/cloning/home.html Time Magazine’s special on cloning. Excellent graphics, simply stated, but well covered.

http://www.sciam.com/1998/1298issue/1298wilmut.html A Scientific American article by Ian Wilmut. Also has other links and suggested further reading

http://www.ri.bbsrc.ac.uk/library/research/cloning/ The official site of the Roslin Institute.

http://www.teleport.com/~samc/clone/ Welcome to the clone age! A very thorough site with lots of links. Including about the recent announcement of a cloned monkey.

http://www.purefood.org/patlink.html CLONING AND PATENTS, Xenotransplantation: News, Articles and Links. Mostly newspaper articles about cloning and genetic engineering.

dspace.dial.pipex.com/srtscot/cloning.shtml The Church of Scotland’s page on the ethics of cloning. Covers both human and animal cloning. There are also pages on gene therapy and genetic engineering and human genetics and patents and environment, etc.

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b. Articles

Kluger, Jeffrey. (1999). “Goodbye Dolly.” Time. 153(22): 70. Abstract: More than 2 years have passed since the announcement of the successful cloning of a sheep known as Dolly. Scientists have anxiously awaited signs of aging in Dolly to determine if theories are correct that clones may grow old sooner due to the age of the parent cells from which they were cloned. Recent reports indicate that some clones may indeed age faster and, therefore, may have a shorter life span than a normal newborn. This aging appears to involve telomeres, bands at the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres can be said to cap the chromosome strand like the plastic sleeves at the ends of shoelaces. As animals age, the telomeres become shorter. This shortening causes chromosomes to fray and therganism itself to become frail. Researchers have studied the telomeres of Dolly and other cloned sheep and have found that the telomeres are shorter than those of normal sheep of the same age. They reported that Dolly had the shortest telomeres of all. Dolly had been cloned from a 6-year-old sheep, while the others had been cloned from embryos. Age of the donor cell probably plays a role in the shorter telomeres; however, researchers have discovered that the time the clone spends in the test tube before transfer to the womb can also affect the telomeres’ length. Cells normally go through 150 divisions in their lifetimes. Scientists note that cells in test tube culture can go through as many as 20 divisions, which is considered to be a significant percentage. The cloned sheep are not expected to meet their demise because of frayed telomeres, but rather from natural causes. However, if the much-longer-lived humans are ever cloned, rapid aging could be a great concern.

Fischman, Josh. (1999). “How to Build a Body Part.” Time. 153: 54, 55. Abstract: The discovery of stem cells, precursors to tissue and organ development, and other advancements in cellular biology have prompted 70 lawmakers to sign a letter petitioning the federal government to ban research into the growing of extra body organs for transplanting. By making use of ordinary cells, however, scientists have circumvented the controversy over using aborted fetuses and unwanted embryos for organ development. The technology of tissue engineering has enabled scientists to help patients across the U.S. A skin patch for healing sores and skin ulcers was the first engineered organ approved by the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Researchers have discovered how to use polymers to shape molds into which cells can grow and take shape; at this point the molds then dissolve. According to Francois Auger, an infectious-disease specialist and maker of artificial blood vessels at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, cells will do the prescribed work if they are treated properly. Proper treatment of bone cells by anethesiologist Charles Vacanti, who is also director of the Center for Tissue Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, enables him to grow bone tissue inside the voids of coral shaped to specifications. Other scientists have used shaped forms of polymer to mold cell growth into the shapes of fingers. Vacanti’s brother Joseph has used polymer and sheep-muscle to create blood vessels, which then are attached to a sheep’s pulmonary artery. The muscle cells are then exercised and gain strength. Anthony Atala, a surgeon at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, has used muscle cells from the outside of dog bladders and lining cells to grow tissue to cover and line the sides of a polymer sphere and successfully transplanted the artificial bladder into a dog’s urinary system. Although using the patient’s cells overcomes problems with rejection, the organ growth rates require as much as several weeks. Michael Sefton, who runs the tissue-engineering center at the University of Toronto, has conceived a ready-made heart that could be grown with genetically engineered cells that would block the signals that evoke immune responses of the host.

Healy, Bernadine. (1999). “Ian Wilmut.” Time. 153(12): 116. Abstract: British embryologist Ian Wilmut set out to improve the productivity of farm animals and in doing so, he successfully cloned the sheep known as Dolly. Dolly was reproduced from a single mammary cell from an adult ewe in 1997. This line of research had been abandoned by other major scientific research centers. Wilmut believes that any experimentation with humans should be kept to the level of cells and proteins and believes it is ethically unacceptable to use his technique to clone a human. It was, however, this aspect of his work that attracted the public’s attention. Physicist and self-trained researcher Richard Sneed soon proclaimed his intentions of cloning a human, and although few scientists found him credible, this was frightening to many people. Potentially, cloning could play a variety of roles in medicine: basic research, new therapies, infertility solutions, even the cloning of a dying loved one. What is not yet clear is whether clones will die young because of their older DNA or whether they will suffer environmental mutations acquired during the life of their adult parent. Dolly and the strangeness of her background seem remote to many people and irrelevant to everyday life, but cloning shakes ethical foundations, social norms, and religious beliefs. It raises questions such as what the role of clones in society may be; whether clones are an asexual variant on incest; whether they could become human slaves or organ donors; who their parents are; who their family is, and whether they are made in God’s image or man’s. It is difficult to discuss cloning in a world where there are widely diverging ethical values and where it often seems that anything is permitted. Israel, Australia, China and most European countries have already prohibited cloning, but the U.S. has not. The question remains whether cloning will sneak up on society so that one day a human infant may be produced in secret. Ian Wilmut, the father of cloning, is passionate about honoring the individuality of the child and believes that human cloning should be banned.

Stone, Richard. (1999). “Cloning the Woolly Mammoth.” Discover. 20: 56-63. Abstract: Japanese biologists are leading an attempt to find remnants of a woolly mammoth that may be preserved well enough to supply modern technology with viable sperm or oocytes that could be used in a selective breeding program. Woolly mammoths were most successful during the Pleistocene Epoch from 1.8 million years ago up to the end of the last ice age about 11,000 years ago. The last ones died out about 3,800 years ago. A few proteins and fragmented genes have been preserved well enough in the Siberian permafrost for scientists to recover and compare them with those of modern elephants. Kazufumi Goto, at Kagoshima University in Japan, believes that the resurrection of the mammoth merely requires well-preserved tissue. Goto experimented with bull semen and cow eggs and found that a sperm subjected to repeated freezing and thawing was essentially dead but still able to promote cell cleavage in an egg. Goto began a partnership with Akira Iritani, chairman of the department of genetic engineering at Kinki University in Japan. The researchers prepared for cloning DNA from a woolly mammoth, if suitable material could be found. The researchers set out for Duvannyi Yar, a renowned mammoth site in Russia that contains about 100 mammoth skeletons per square kilometer. Despite a few unsuccessful attempts at uncovering frozen sperm, the Japanese researchers plan to return in the summer of 1999 to known sites of mammoth remnants. Kinki University is also offering 1 million yen ($9,000) for mammoth tissue that is preserved sufficiently for tissue-cloning experiments, according to Iritani. A successful cloning experiment could mean that a woolly mammoth would be added to Pleistocene Park, a 160-square-kilometer preserve near Duvannyi Yar where 32 Yakutian horses, moose, reindeer, and American bison were recently placed.

Cohen, Philip. (1999). “Grow-Your-Own Organs: Adults May Have All the Cells Needed to Regenerate Their Own Tissues.” New Scientist. 161(2171) January 30, 1999, Abstract: Using a patient’s own tissue to grow replacement organs could be easier than anyone imagined, judging by the ease with which scientists have turned adult brain cells into blood. An international team says that simply injecting the brain’s neural stem cells (NSCs) into the bone marrow of mice is enough to promote this metamorphosis. If the same is true in humans, the technique could lead to new sources of perfectly matched transplanted tissue–without the controversial use of human embryonic stem (ES) cells, which are taken from aborted fetuses or discarded in vitro fertilization embryos. Until two years ago, the process of specialization, in which ES cells change to form individual tissues, was considered irreversible. The creators of the cloned sheep Dolly showed that the development potential of an adult cell could be recovered. Angelo Vescovi of the National Neurological Institute in Milan, Italy, and his team suspected that some reprogramming might happen without cellular surgery. Vescovi’s team injected NSCs from adult mice into the bone marrow of mice that had been irradiated to cripple the cells that form blood, hoping that this new environment might trigger reprogramming. After 5 months, the recipients developed new blood cells. Genetic analysis confirmed that many of these cells were direct descendants of the NSCs. Vescovi’s latest results suggest that the new blood cells are functional, since the irradiated mice that received the NSC transplant lived longer than the irradiated mice that received no transplanted cells. Vescovi believes that it may be possible to use stem cells from other tissues such as skin as the source of new tissue. These cells would be easier to obtain than the brain stem cells used in his work so far.

Watts, Jonathan and Kelly Morris. (1999).”Human Cloning Trial Met with Outrage and Scepticism.” The Lancet. 353(9146): 43. Abstract: Researchers at a Korean university infertility clinic announced recently that they had fused an adult cell with an enucleated egg to create an embryo that divided twice to reach the four-cell stage. The researchers then terminated the experiment to avoid flouting ethical guidelines, but claim that the next step would have been to transfer the embryo to a uterus. The researchers used the Honolulu technique, in which a somatic-cell nucleus is inserted into an enucleated egg, followed by ovification of the egg. This technique is a modification of the one used to clone Dolly the sheep, the first vertebrate cloned from an adult cell. The Korean researchers’ claims were challenged by scientists around the world. Some noted that the unpublished work of the Korean team is not part of a major cloning project. A Japanese researcher who cloned twin calves said he did not believe the report. A scientist at the Roslin Institute in Scotland where Dolly was cloned states that taking a putative embryo to the four-cell stage is not that important, because a human embryo is preprogrammed to divide to at least the eight-cell stage. He explained that the 100,000 genes in the somatic cell nucleus just be activated rapidly and perform perfectly for 9 months to produce a live healthy clone. The low success rate in animal cloning suggests that a cloned human embryo would likely be stillborn or die after birth. He stressed that nuclear transfer is not just a variation on in-vitro fertilization. In somatic-cell cloning there is also the potential for inheritance of somatic-cell mutations from the donor, since nuclear transfer bypasses mechanisms that correct DNA errors in germ cells. There is also a possibility that DNA in a cloned animal may behave like that of an animal with the combined ages of donor and offspring, possibly shortening the clone’s life. The concerns expressed by scientists add to the serious ethical reservations expressed around the world. In Korea, protesters demonstrated outside the university where the cloning experiments took place. Korean newspapers expressed a mixture of dismay and pride. There was a general agreement that Korea needs laws to curb cloning research.

Wilmut, Ian. (1998). “Cloning for Medicine.” Scientific American. 279: 58-63. Abstract: Innovations in cloning techniques have opened up a world of possibilities for biomedical researchers. It may soon be possible to clone genetically altered animals as organ donors for humans, so that they will not initiate rejection in the recipient. Animals may also be bred to produce cells used for replacing damaged human cells in such diseases as Parkinson’s, diabetes, and muscular dystrophy. Universal stem cells, or cells that are in very early states of development and may be genetically influenced to develop into certain tissues, could be another outcome of cloning technology. Although ethical questions would be raised, it may also be possible to raise animals affected with human diseases such as cystic fibrosis for research purposes. Herds of cattle may be cloned that will not be susceptible to bovine spongiform encephalitis, or mad cow disease. Early cloning techniques required scientists to genetically copy cells isolated from early-stage embryos. This process was tedious and impractical for widespread use. In 1995 lambs born at the Roslin Institute in Scotland were the successful offspring of a process that introduced genetic material into cultured embryo cells. Because cultured cells are relatively easy to work with, this technique was a breakthrough in practical cloning. The birth of the sheep Dolly in 1997 was another milestone in cloning techniques, because the cultured cells were taken from a mature ewe rather than an embryo. The process of transferring genetic material to cultured cells is repeatable, but limited in success; only 1-2% of such embryos survive. Transgenic, or genetically modified, animals are produced by injecting a constructed DNA sequence with a desired trait into fertilized eggs. Instead of injecting DNA into an egg, it has been discovered that eggs can be chemically induced to take up a DNA construct, making the process more practical and efficient. Polly, a transgenic sheep born in 1997, carries the gene for human factor IX, a blood-clotting protein, which is expressed in her milk. Transgenic animals have the potential to produce substances that may control or cure many human diseases.

Cohen, Philip. (1998/1999). “Cloning by Numbers.” New Scientist. 160(2165/6/7): 28-29 Abstract: The second group to clone an adult animal was a team led by Ryuzo Yanagimachi at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. Yanagimachi’s team produced a clone named Cumulina on October 3, 1997. Since then the group has produced some 80 cloned mice, giving further credence to the work by the Scottish team that produced the first adult animal clone, a sheep named Dolly. Media groups did not predict that Yanagimachi’s lab would be the next to produce a clone because the lab initially focused on mouse vitro fertilization, not cloning. Cloning a mouse is extremely difficult, given the small window of opportunity for gene reprogramming. A post-doctorate student named Teruhito Wakayama explored mice cloning as a personal project. Wakayama used cumulus cells, cells present on the egg surface, as donor cells. He removed the cell nucleus and injected the nucleus into an egg cell with its own genetic material removed to produce a living embryo. When Yanagimachi saw this initial success, the entire lab collaborated to produce a cloned mouse a couples of month later. It turns out both the novel technique of injecting a nucleus into an egg and the choice of cumulus cells, of which only some 2% produce clones, were what was needed for successful mice cloning. Since mice reproduce rapidly, the clones are useful tools in discovering more about the aging process in clones, the reasons for cloning success or failure, and the revitalization of dormant genes. This second attempt at adult animal cloning has been followed by the cloning of adult cows by a group in Japan and by a group in New Zealand.

Gearhart, John. (1998). “New Potential for Human Embryonic Stem Cells.” Science. 282(5391): 1061-1063. Abstract: Stem cells give rise to all of the different tissue types found in animals. Because these cells, which are present in the early stages of embryo development, are self-renewing, a cultured source of human stem cells able to differentiate into a variety of tissue types would be invaluable in basic medical research and in transplantation therapies. Now researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, have succeeded in growing human embryonic stem (ES) cells in culture. These cells were derived from two embryonic tissues: inner cell masses of blastocysts and primordial germ cells. The ES cell lines were continuously cultured over a 5-6 month period and expressed the high levels of telomerase activity typical of cells with a high replicative lifespan. Four cell lines tested produced termatomas (a type of tumor) when grown in immunocompromised mice. In these tumors, researchers detected differentiated cells derived from all three embryonic germ layers: ectoderm; mesoderm; and definitive endoderm. The potential use of human ES cells is far-reaching. ES cells could prove important to in vitro studies of normal human embryogenesis, abnormal development, human gene searches, drug and teratogen testing, and as a renewable source of cells for tissue transplantation, and cell, replacement, and gene therapies. Likely targets for tissue transplantation therapy include neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, spinal cord injury, and hematopoietic repopulation. However, because human embryos are involved in stem cell research, advances in this area are likely to spark public debate–a debate likely to center around the source of the cells, the potential for human cloning, and concerns about germ line modification.

Kaye, Howard L. (1998). “Anxiety and Genetic Manipulation: A Sociological View.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 41: 483-490. Abstract: While the announcement of the successful cloning of a sheep caused widespread panic and distrust, little has been done to understand and respect the nature of these fears. The public concern has been treated as an emotional response based in ignorance and superstition. Some scientists say that cloning offers no greater threat to human autonomy than does twinning, and no greater threat to the family than does artificial insemination with donor semen, in vitro fertilization, or surrogacy, and that identical genes do not make identical people. Those espousing this view believe that alleviating public anxieties requires better science education, not a permanent ban on cloning. The National Bioethics Association agrees, saying that much of the public’s fear is rooted in science fiction and gross misunderstandings of human biology and psychology. Many scientists think that the public’s moral intuitions are not solid enough to impede scientific progress and that they will embrace the technology when the first successful human clonings are achieved. Sociologists disagree. They say that the almost universal fear that cloning is a threat to the dignity and sanctity of human life should not be dismissed lightly. When it comes to taking a moral stand on unresolved issues, sociology can play a vital role. It can best serve moral life by helping people see clearly the ultimate meaning of their actions. It can help the public anticipate the means that might be necessary to achieve a particular end. It can confront them with consequences that they might otherwise not foresee by helping them understand the social and cultural contexts in which particular courses of action would be followed. Sociology can show the necessity of choice from among desirable ends and compel people to reexamine philosophical arguments and utopian aspirations in the light of lived human experience carefully observed in all its dimensions. In these ways it can help people make moral judgments on subjects such as ethics, transplantation, and cloning.

Pennisi, Elizabeth. (1998). “Cloned Mice Provide Company for Dolly.”Science. 281(5376): 495-496. Abstract: Researchers at John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu have succeeded in replicating the cloning of an animal from adult cells– the same process that produced the cloned sheep “Dolly” and made international headlines in 1997. The Hawaii research team reports the cloning of 50 mice so far. Other researchers who have analyzed Dolly’s DNA have confirmed that she is indeed a clone of the ewe whose cellular material was used in the experiment. In the Hawaiian cloning experiment, researchers used the same basic technique as the Scottish team that produced Dolly. Nuclei from adult cells were transferred into eggs whose own nuclei had been removed. But while the Scottish team triggered the fusing of the adult cells with the eggs by applying an electrical pulse, the Hawaiian team used a very fine needle to take up the donor cell nucleus and inject it into an enucleated egg. The Hawaiian team also differed from the Scottish team in the method used to trigger development of the eggs. While Dolly’s egg was jolted to development using an electrical pulse, the Hawaiian team put the eggs into a culture medium containing strontium, which stimulates the release of calcium from the internal stores, triggering the development of the fertilized eggs. This strategy proved most effective with cumulus cells, which surround an egg as it matures. The resulting cloned mice appear normal. The researchers have cloned some clones and mated others; all progeny seem normal and healthy.

Lemonick, Michael D. (1998). “Dolly, You’re History.” Time. 152: 64-65. Abstract: Reproductive biologists have concluded, following over a year’s research, that the famous cloned sheep Dolly is indeed, a bona fide clone. In her wake has come a veritable population boom of cloned mice, making what recently seemed a miraculous achievement now appear to be a routine procedure. The primary difference between a cloned animal and one normally conceived is that the clone is created from adult, differentiated cells, while normally conceived animals are derived initially from fetal, undifferentiated cells. A few years back, Japanese postdoctoral student Teruhiko Wakayama, who had studied cloning as a hobby at the University of Hawaii, began to work seriously on attempting to clone mice during his spare time. Although mice had long been considered all but impossible to clone because of the nature of their egg cells and the rapid development of their embryos, Wakayama overcame these problems. Just a few months after Dolly was born, Wakayama succeeded in cloning the cumulus cells that envelope the egg in the ovary. Unlike Wilmut, Wakayama did not use electric shocks to trigger the merging of a host egg with a donor cell. Instead, he injected just the adult nucleus into a nucleus-free host and let the hybrid cell “rest” for several hours before stimulating its division. An astonishing 3% of Wakayama’s clones survived, all of them normal in every way. Their DNA proved so robust that they themselves could be cloned and their clones cloned. Wakayama’s success has taken the possibility of the routine cloning of larger animals–including humans–a step closer to reality. While scientists point out the potential advantages, such as the mass production of research animals bioengineered to provide human-compatible transplant organs, ethicists point out that there are many problems inherent in human cloning.

Cohen, Philip. (1998).”Clone Alone.” New Scientist. 158(2133): 32-35. Abstract: Soon after Ian Wilmut announced in 1997 that he had produced a clone of a sheep, whom he named Dolly, some skeptics were not convinced. The research Wilmut and his group conducted at the Roslin Institute in Scotland is an amazing discovery, given the recent unsuccessful history of cloning adult animals. John Gurdon first attempted cloning frogs in the 1960s and 1970s. He had success with tadpole cells, but failed whenever he tried to use an adult frog cell as the donor cell. Cloning seemed to work as long as cells were not specialized, as is the case with an adult cell. Then Dolly came along. Researchers did not expect success so they were not concerned that their donor was dead with no trace of extra donor tissue. The cloning of an adult animal has not been repeated. This is one among many criticisms of the work of Wilmut. Some feel that the udder cells used to produce Dolly were not tested against adult cells. Norton Zinder and Vittorio Sgaramella wrote of their criticism of the Dolly experiment. First, they say that because Wilmut and his group never compared Dolly’s genes with the original adult sheep’s, they cannot say for certain that Dolly is a clone. Dolly has been shown only to be related to the culture line of cells that the donor genes originated from. Furthermore, Wilmut’s group compared only four regions of DNA to prove their connection between Dolly and the original cultured sheep cells. Zinder and Sgaramella also warn that since the original adult donating Dolly’s genes was pregnant, it could mean that Dolly’s cells originated from fetal cells. To counter their critics, Wilmut and his group will conduct more advanced analyses of Dolly. First, independent laboratories will carry out a more extensive analysis of Dolly’s DNA with udder tissue to determine the probability of a random match. Second, collaborators have found no evidence that fetal cells are present in the blood of pregnant ewes. Third, an independent lab will measure the length of chromosome ends, which will give an indication if Dolly has chromosomes similar to a 6-year-old sheep. The goal of Wilmut’s team is to prove that Dolly is indeed an adult clone until they are able to repeat the Dolly experiment.

Nash, J. Madeleine. (1998). “The Case for Cloning.” Time. 151: 81. Abstract: The benefits and risks associated with human cloning should be thoroughly evaluated before prohibitive legislation is enacted. However, fears that access to cloning will be easy and widespread have caused many legislators to hastily pass general bans against human cloning. In fact, the Clinton administration supports a proposal with a 5-year moratorium. In addition, House majority leader Dick Armey is backing a bill for permanently banning human cloning, while at least 18 states are considering regulations of their own. The reality that no legislation is sometimes better than bad legislation should temper this debate. California’s poorly written legislation temporarily bans human cloning, as well as a promising new infertility treatment. Cloning can have important medical implications. Biologists can parlay the technique used to produce Dolly the sheep solely for medical purposes. Biologists can extract healthy cells from a patient and create embryonic clones. The infusion of growth factors will ensure that the clone does not develop into a fetus, but into specialized cells and tissue for treatment purposes. For instance, cloned cells could provide a graft of new skin for a burn patient and a bone marrow infusion for a leukemia patient. The rejection danger is eliminated, as well as the need for immunosuppressive drugs. The dangers that exist in cloning advances are not in their identical clones that many fear will be churned out, but in the application for genetic engineering to humans. Initially, parents will want genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs to be eliminated. Then they may want familial predispositions to be eliminated. The ultimate danger will be the desire to enhance normal genetic traits. The issues to be dealt with are which risks and which potential benefits may be withheld from our society due to panic driven decisions.

Morell, Virginia. (1998). “A Clone of One’s Own.” Discover. 19: 82-89. Abstract: The birth of the now-renowned sheep Dolly, cloned from an adult cell, has opened up a maelstrom of public controversy and generated endless speculation by scientists, philosophers, doctors, and politicians. It has led to a media circus centered around eccentrics such as a Chicago physicist-turned-biologist Richard Seed, who wants to start his own human cloning business, and French chemist Brigitte Boisselier, who claims aliens had told her all about cloning years ago. On the purely practical side, cloning may eventually offer a way to provide an infertile or homosexual couple with a means to produce a biological child. Researchers say that although such a child may closely resemble their parent in many ways, the experiential differences from the womb on will ensure that such a child is completely unique. However, as most researchers are quick to point out, being able to safely clone humans–if indeed it ever becomes a viable possibility–is still a long way off. Some geneticists think that damage from aging DNA may be passed on to a cloned infant, and long-term studies of cloned mammals will be the only way to determine if this is so. Researcher Don Wolf of the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center has been working to clone rhesus monkeys as a way to create a supply of genetically controlled animals for medical research. Wolf observes that the cloning process is highly involved and far from certain in its results. When Dolly was created, for example, the adult cells from a sheep’s udder were placed in a growth serum and “starved” for 5 days to render them inactive. These cells were then fused with 277 different eggs. Of these 277 efforts, 276 failed. Only one–which became Dolly–was successful. Researchers still do not know which cell from the udder worked or why, nor if the serum starvation method will work on other species. Many scientists consider that it would be highly unethical at this stage to try cloning in humans. Nonetheless, cloning is likely being perfected by someone somewhere. And once that happens, it is only a matter of time before the first human clones appear.

Wills, Christopher. (1998). “A Sheep in Clone’s Clothing?” Discover. 18: 22-23. Abstract: Since February 1997 when Dolly, the world’s first successful clone of an adult mammal (a Dorset sheep), took the world by storm, debates over both the practicality and ethics of cloning have been ongoing. Previous attempts at cloning from adult animal cells failed because the cells were too metabolically active, in the wrong stage of the cell cycle, or had the wrong set of genes turned on. Ian Wilmut of Edinburg’s Roslin Institute, who cloned Dolly, compensated for these problems by starving the cells he used for several days before fusing them with enucleated eggs. This caused the cells’ DNA-copying machinery to cease, by stopping the cell cycle and forcing cells into a suspended metabolic state similar to that of an unfertilized egg. Nonetheless, Dolly was Wilmut’s only success in 277 tries.

Since then, ABS Global of Wisconsin has developed a technique that can create cow embryos from the skin, bladder, and udder cells of adult cows. Once these cells were fused with enucleated eggs, and the fused cells had begun to divide, a single cell was extracted and inserted into another enucleated egg. When an embryo began to form, it was implanted in a surrogate mother cow. ABS claims that as of this fall, the pregnancies appeared to be progressing normally. So what happened to Dolly? Researchers are watching the celebrity sheep to see what long-term physiological effects her unusual conception may have on her. Because she began life with a nucleus from an adult cell, it is possible she may prematurely age. On the other hand, the milieu of the egg cell may somehow be able to reverse the genetic damage due to aging–an exciting prospect. Meanwhile, Britain has already banned human cloning, and the U.S. is following suit. In June 1997, President Clinton said he feared cloning could lead to misguided and malevolent attempts to select certain traits, even to create certain kinds of children, making our children objects rather than cherished individuals. One of the main fears of opponents is that cloning represents total loss of individuality. Researchers argue that even identical twins are not really identical, because there is far more to development than genetics. A clone and its parent would not develop in the same mother, nor in the same uterus or egg. Although they will share nuclear DNA, clones will actually have less in common developmentally than twins. Researchers say that at present, the strongest argument against cloning is its likelihood of failure. In previous work with cells from embryos, three out of five lambs died soon after birth and showed developmental abnormalities. Similar consequences with humans would be totally unacceptable.

Pennisi, Elizabeth. (1997). “The Lamb That Roared.” Discover. 278(5346): 2038-2039. Abstract: In February 1997, a 7-month-old lamb named Dolly was the first animal cloned from an adult cell. Although animals had been cloned before, creating a sheep from a single cell of a 6-year-old ewe was a major technological feat that many had thought impossible. Dolly’s creation began when a team of researchers at the Roslin Institute outside Edinburgh, Scotland, suspected that previous failures in cloning were caused by donor DNA that was in a different stage of cell cycle than the recipient egg cell. The researchers used nuclear transfer to clone sheep from embryonic cells, and in 1996 announced the birth of two cloned lambs. Next, they cloned sheep from fetal fibroblast cells. And in partnership with a local biotechnology company, they attempted what everyone had said was impossible: to clone a sheep from adult cells. To do this, the team used cultured udder cells, taken from a 6-year-old ewe, and then starved them, forcing most of their genes to enter an inactive phase that the researchers hoped would match the cell-cycle stage of the recipient eggs. Once the udder-cell nuclei were transferred into the eggs, still-unknown factors coaxed that inactivated 6-year-old DNA to go back in time, so to speak, and apparently become totipotent once more, directing the eggs to develop into lambs. Out of 277 such eggs, only one produced a healthy living animal: Dolly. No one, not even the Roslin team, has made a second animal from an adult cell. Attention is focused on the handful of labs worldwide working on cloning in livestock. Most are starting with fetal say they too have cloned either sheep or cows from fetal cells, whose DNA can more easily be made totipotent. So far, several firms cells, and one group has cloned monkeys from embryonic cells. Nuclear transfer experiments are underway in other species too, ranging from zebrafish to rabbits. Among basic researchers, the Scottish group’s success has inspired new experiments looking at how DNA changes as a cell matures.

Morton, Oliver. (1997). “First Dolly, Now Headless Tadpoles.” Science. 278(5339): 798. Abstract: Eight months after it was announced that scientists had successfully cloned an adult sheep by transferring one of its cell nuclei to an egg, Britain’s best-selling broadsheet newspaper, the Sunday Times, ran a front-page headline about headless frogs. The researcher who created the tadpoles while studying developmental genes speculated about their practical use, stating that someday, organs grown through nuclear transfer, followed by strict control of developmental pathways, might provide compatible transplant material for people who otherwise could not get organs. Debate over the ethics of creating brainless humans for medical purposes ensued. Ethicists were quoted as saying the whole idea was deplorable, treating lives as means, and not ends. A developmental biologist said that there are no interesting moral problems at all raised by cloning organs: If the donor is never satient to begin with, what could be the harm? The researcher working on frogs was investigating the ability of homeobox genes to control development along the long axis of the animal. He mentioned his work and its possible long-term applications to a BBC documentary crew preparing a film about Dolly and the age of cloning. Clones as sources of spare parts are one of the constant components of the post-Dolly debate. Whether the technologies that have stirred public fears will ever become reality is difficult to say. PPL Therapeutics–the company that has licensed the technique from the Roslin Institute where Dolly was cloned, to produce transgenic animals–plans to engineer and clone pigs as donors for xenotransplants (transplants between species, e.g., animal to human). Cloning to produce just human organs, not people, might be an alternative, but there is not yet a real understanding of how this might be accomplished.

Wadman, Meredith. (1997). “U.S. Biologists Adopt Cloning Moratorium.” Nature. 389(6649): 319. Abstract: The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), one of the leading U.S. professional associations of biologists, announced in September 1997 a voluntary 5-year moratorium on the cloning of human beings. FASEB, however, is also seeking to keep open a window allowing research on human embryos that might otherwise fall under a wider ban on cloning- related research. The president of FASEB, which has 14 member societies representing more than 52,000 scientists, said that his association would regard cloning a human being as an “unethical and reprehensible act.” The FASEB moratorium defines cloning human beings as the duplication of an existing or previously existing human being by transferring the nucleus of a differentiated, somatic cell into an enucleated human oocyte, and implanting the resulting product for intrauterine gestation and subsequent birth. The text accompanying the moratorium makes a point of contrasting cloning intended for implantation and for in vitro research. In Washington, a bill was amended in July 1997 by the House of Representatives Science committee to ban federal funding for the use of cloning for in vitro research in human embryos as well as for producing human beings. FASEB officials deny that the moratorium is intended to respond to the House Science Committee’s vote to outlaw the use of cloning technology for in vitro research on human embryos. By permitting research on human cells in vitro, scientists would be able to better understand how adult nuclei are reprogrammed by cellular cytoplasm, possibly opening avenues to novel ways of repairing and regenerating human tissues, according to the FASEB.

Thompson, Dick. (1997). “To Ban or Not to Ban?” Time. 149(24): 66. Abstract: In response to President Clinton’s request, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission issued a report that recommends making the cloning of a human being a criminal offense in the U.S. Before Dolly had been cloned from the mammary cell of an adult ewe, scientists thought that the DNA of a mature mammalian cell was pre- determined to build skin, bones, or soft tissue, but not an entire organism. Scientists are eager to study how a differentiated cell was made to behave like an embryo. While examining the mechanisms by which genes are activated or deactivated, scientists might even find clues to the origins of cancer and diseases such as muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. Although the use of federal funds for research on human embryos has been prohibited, privately owned labs, including in vitro-fertilization clinics, grew through the 1980s. Some of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission members believe that rapid growth in private research will also occur with human cloning. The commission’s report, “Cloning Human Beings,” strongly recommends continuation of the ban on federally funded human-embryo research, but only requests that the private sector decide for itself not to deploy such research. Future hearings on the matter could beg the question of where to draw the line, much as the pro-life movement has been asking the question of whether life begins at conception. John Cavanough-O’Keefe of the American Life League attacked the commission on grounds that it was leaning toward allowing human-cloning research as long as cloned embryos are not implanted in a womb. Cavanough-O’Keefe finds the decision doubly wrong in creating human embryos and then predetermining their destruction. The commission members recommended that the cloning issue be re- evaluated periodically because of the possibility that society may one day find cloning more acceptable.

“Clinton Seeks to Ban Human Cloning but Not All Experiments.” New York Times. June 10, 1997: B10. Abstract: President Clinton said that he wants to ban the cloning of human beings but allow some cloning research while Americans debate the moral implications. He stopped short of banning the cloning of animals and certain human genes for important biomedical research. The President’s proposal is based on the bioethics panel’s conclusion that it is “morally unacceptable” to create a child through transferring the nucleus of an adult tissue cell and implanting it into a woman’s body. Scottish scientists used such a process to create the sheep named Dolly, the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. Before Dolly was born healthy and normal, the effort had failed 277 times. Some of the lambs were born with severe and lethal birth defects. After learning of Dolly in March 1997, President Clinton banned federal spending on cloning research until the ethical and moral issues could be sorted out while urging the private sector to follow suit.

Pennisi, Elizabeth. (1997). “Transgenic Lambs from Cloning Lab.” Science. 277(5326): 631. Abstract: Prior to the birth of the lamb named Dolly, cloned from the cells of an adult, three other lambs were cloned from fetal cells. The two institutions responsible for cloning the lambs, the Roslin Institute of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Scottish Biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics, have combined the fetal-cell procedure with genetic engineering, taking cloning a step further with the possibility of producing domestic animals with designer genomes. On July 4, 1997, the birth of five lambs cloned from fetal cells was announced. Different from Dolly and her cohorts, these animals carry extra genes that researchers introduced into the cells before they were cloned. A human gene was among the extra genes, although the biotechnology firm will not disclose the identity of the gene. This achievement could aid efforts to develop livestock for producing human proteins, such as blood- clotting factors. Fetal skin cells called fibroblasts were introduced to DNA that included both the human transplant gene and the undisclosed gene marker. After eliminating cells that did not express the marker gene, the researchers tested to see which of the remaining cells also took up the human gene. Following the same cloning strategy used to produce Dolly, they removed the nuclei from mature egg cells and used a brief electrical pulse to fuse the enucleated eggs with the engineered fibroblasts, which had been starved of nutrients. The pulse also jump-started the developmental program, with the genetic instructions now coming from the fetal-cell DNA. The eggs were then placed in the ewes to develop. All five of the new lambs carry the marker gene, and one has already proved to have the human gene in her cells. The birth of that lamb shows that the foreign DNA in the fibroblast genome did not disrupt the genetic instructions that guide the lamb’s development. The technique should facilitate the development of animals with customized genomes, including those that have had genes removed as well as added. The procedure could help in improving prospects for xenotransplantation by removing immunogenic proteins from pigs whose organs would be used for replacing ailing human ones.

Praded, Joni. (1997). “Cloning: The Missing Debate.” Animals. 130: 21-23. Abstract: Scottish embryologist Ian Wilmut and his fellow researchers at the Roslin Institute were the first to clone a mammal from adult cells. They extracted an egg from an ewe and replaced the genes of that egg with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from another adult ewe’s mammary gland. Contrary to prior scientific belief, an embryo developed. Wilmut inserted the embryo into a third ewe who gave birth 150 days later, in July 1996, to “Dolly,” an exact replica of the adult whose mammary gland was tapped. Dolly’s creation was first made public in February 1997, causing a public frenzy over the ethics of cloning humans. Soon after came the news that the Oregon Regional Primate Center had produced sibling rhesus monkeys from cloned embryos. In the midst of the debates over human cloning, concerns about the animals involved in or created by cloning experiments were hardly mentioned. Some animal advocates have reservations about creating any genetically altered animal–clone or not. Animals are being created with serious threats to their own health and welfare. While many believe the benefits of research outweigh the cost of animal suffering, a recent CNN poll reported 66% of the U.S. population opposes cloning animals. Some scientists argue that eventually cloning technologies could limit the number of research animals needed. However, the biotechnology revolution has given rise to two brand-new industries that will undoubtedly consume great numbers of animals: one looks to mass-produce animals that can generate pharmaceuticals; the other, animals whose organs can be humanized for use as spare parts. The resolution of this debate will hopefully come from a careful, widespread analysis of the issues at hand, intelligent regulation, and a greater sense of social responsibility among scientists and industry.

Coghlan, Andy. (1997). “Cloning Report Leaves Loophole.” New Scientist. June 14, 1997, 154(2086) Abstract: An ethics panel comprised of scientific experts appointed by President Bill Clinton delivered its conclusions to the President in June 1997, stating that human cloning should be banned in the U.S., but laws to control the practice should be flexible enough to allow a rethink in the future. The panel recommendations would allow researchers in the private sector to make cloned human embryos for experimental work, provided they are eventually destroyed rather than being implanted. The National Bioethics Advisory Commission was asked to review the implications of cloning immediately after researchers at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, announced the creation of Dolly, a lamb cloned from an udder cell from an adult ewe. Clinton introduced a moratorium on government funding for human cloning research, and asked the private sector to observe its own moratorium. The moratoria should be maintained for now, the commission suggests. Clinton launched a bill to ban the creation of children by cloning. The commission was unable to agree whether cloning should be outlawed on moral grounds, but did agree that safety concerns justify a ban on human cloning for the time being. One concern of commission members is that cancer-causing mutations in donor cells from an adult human would be inherited. Cloned children might also suffer from disruption to a phenomenon called imprinting, in which genes are normally activated differently depending on whether they come from the mother or the father. Another worry is that the clones would grow old prematurely. Advances in animal cloning should be reviewed every 3 to 5 years, according to the panel, to take account of medical techniques that might be used safely in humans. Cloning may bring medical advances such as the cloning of specific body tissues to repair injuries. The idea of the creation of human clones merely to serve as organ banks was termed “repugnant” by the panel.

Marwick, Charles. (1997). “Put Human Cloning on Hold, Say Bioethicists.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 278: 13-14. Abstract: According to the National Bioethics Commission, human cloning should be put on hold temporarily. President Clinton asked the group in February 1997 to review the legal and ethical issues surrounding the cloning. The president’s request was a response to the successful cloning in Scotland of Dolly the sheep. The commission recommends the enactment of federal legislation to prohibit anyone from attempting to create a child through somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning. The report called the procedure morally unacceptable at this time. However, the report continued, any legislation should be temporary and subject to review within a 3- to 5-year period, at which time the technological situations should be reevaluated and the ethical and social issues reviewed. Transferring the nucleus of a somatic cell into an egg and implanting it is the technique used by Ian Wilmut and colleagues that resulted in the sheep Dolly. However, commission members were concerned that human cloning by any technique, not just the one used by the Scottish researchers, was unacceptable. The commission concluded that to create children in this manner is unethical at this time because of the evidence that such techniques would be neither effective nor safe. The report noted that it took 277 tries before the Scottish researchers succeeded in creating Dolly. Even if safety concerns are resolved, significant concerns remain about the negative impact of the use of such a technology on both individuals and society.

Kolata, Gina. “Iconoclastic Genius of Cloning.” New York Times. June 3, 1997: B7, B12. Abstract: Dr. Steen Malte Willadsen is a leader in the field of embryology. He started out as a veterinarian in his native country, Denmark, then was a research fellow in England. Recently he was cloning cattle embryos in Texas and western Canada, and today he is a freelance innovator in Florida. Fellow scientists describe Willadsen as a “genius and iconoclast,” while some even rumor he was the first to clone an adult animal. Dr. Willadsen denies those rumors, though he was the first to clone an animal from embryo cells. He has even made chimeras animals half sheep and half goat — and even a sheep/cow combination. Human eggs are the subject of Willadsen’s current research where he is again pushing the envelope. At Cambridge in 1973 Willadsen immersed himself in work on farm animal embryology. In his perfection of methods for freezing sheep and cow embryos, wild and daring experiments were not out of the question for Willadsen. He split embryos in two to create twins and later with Carole Fehily (who later became his wife), he created chimeras by mixing cells from embryos of different species. The chimeras were a minor part of his research, with the main focus always animal breeding, a potentially lucrative business. In 1986 Dr. Willadsen published his embryo cloning work on sheep in the journal Nature. Since that time, he has worked for several genetic companies in the United States and Canada. As early as 1982 Willadsen began cutting-edge cloning research using embryos which were developmentally advanced. Rumors of this work led Dr. Ian Wilmut to question the old dogma that cloning differentiated and began his research on cloning from advanced cells. Wilmut cloned the first animal from an adult cell in 1997. Dr. Willadsen’s current work is on methods to freeze mouse and human embryos and on rejuvenating human embryos that have failed to develop. He believes that human cloning will happen in the future if it has not already accidentally occurred in infertility clinics, though he admits the chances are very small.

Coghlan, Andy. (1997). “Will Cloned Cows Rise from the Dead?” New Scientist. March 8, 1997, 153(2072) Abstract: Henrik Callesen and colleagues have been trying to clone cows using donor cells from cows that have been dead for about half an hour. To begin the experiment, adult cells and immature, unfertilized eggs called oocytes are removed from the cows’ ovaries. Next, the oocyte is emptied of its DNA. Using electricity, this empty cell is fused with an adult ovary cell and allowed to grow for 1 week. The researchers are still trying to get the cells to reach a pre-embryonic, division stage called a blastocyst. When a blastocyst develops, Callesen will transfer the cloned cell into the womb of a cow where it is expected to develop normally. Alan Trounson and an Australian team are also trying to clone cows. They get their donor either from fetuses or the ovaries of live cows. Like Callesen’s team, they have not achieved a pregnancy yet. Trounson believes cloned cows could be used to produce drugs like interferon more cheaply than standard methods. Cloning cows from dead cells has raised public concern that dead humans might be cloned. According to Trounson, cloning dead humans is not being considered by the scientific community. Cloning dead people would be extremely difficult since the DNA must be perfect and cells decompose very quickly after death.

Gordon, Meg. (1997). “Suffering of the Lambs.” New Scientist. 154(2079): 16-17. Abstract: Biotechnology companies like PPL Therapeutics in Scotland raise livestock that have been genetically engineered to produce milk with great medicinal value. At PPL, sheep have been manipulated to secrete in their milk a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin, which helps to treat cystic fibrosis. Genetic engineering for livestock has proven less than efficient, with some animals producing low yields, and some with high yields. If future generations of genetically engineered livestock could be cloned from a current herd’s top producer, the technique that recently created Dolly the sheep, pharmaceutical companies involved in such research would see their profits increase markedly. Now that cloning has the potential to turn a rare experimental procedure–the creation of transgenic animals–into a profitable, industrial process, ethicists, geneticists, agriculturalists, and animal welfare activists are warning that the new technology could encourage serious abuses of animal welfare. Current laws on transgenic animals are nonspecific. In the U.S., once an animal has been engineered to produce a protein that is to be tested as a medicine, its welfare is largely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the same laws that would govern a vat of cells. There are no safeguards in the U.S. to prevent a company from creating large numbers of transgenic animals before the company is certain that the foreign gene will not harm the animal or its offspring. Out of 10,000 eggs injected with foreign DNA, only about three make it to adulthood and produce the desired protein in sufficiently high quantities. The techniques used to create Dolly offer two possible shortcuts. One could create just one transgenic animal by conventional techniques and then clone it ad infinitum to create flocks for drug testing, or because Dolly’s genetic material came from cultured cells from adult sheep, the genetic manipulation could be done in these cells. Researchers concede that they have more work to do before cloning and transgenics can be combined. Some academics argue that the laws covering the protection of animals used in these technologies are not comprehensive enough. Some suggest that the only way to ensure the avoidance of abuses may be to have transgenic animals monitored constantly.

Wright, Robert. (1997). “Can Souls Be Xeroxed?: Your Clone Might Be Eerily Like You. Or Perhaps Eerily Like Someone Else.” Time. 149(10): 73. Abstract: What would the world be like if human cloning becomes a reality? Most likely people with high self- esteem would be the only ones using it–people who think the world needs more people just like them. The assumption is that psyches get copied along with the genes. However, although some people may be genetically prone to high self-esteem, everyone’s self-esteem depends greatly on social feedback. Early in this century an effort at behavioral genetics divided people into classes such as mesomorphs (physically robust and psychologically assertive) and ectomorphs (skinny, nervous, and shy). These generalizations don’t necessarily mean that ectomorphs have genes for shyness. It may just mean skinny people tend to get pushed around more and their personality adapts. Another assumption people have is that if they reared their clone they would experience an uncanny empathy with them. The truth is if you tried hard enough you could similarly empathize with people who weren’t your clone by relating common experiences. The cause of this clonal empathy wouldn’t be that your inner life was exactly like your clone’s. It would be seeing that familiar face, reminding you that you and your clone were essentially the same, driven by the same hopes and fears. You may feel you share the same soul because, in a sense, you share the same soul with everyone.

Kahn, Axel. (1997). “Clone Mammals…Clone Man?” Nature. 386(6621): 119. Abstract: In 1997 researchers cloned viable sheep from adult cells. Now, researchers are questioning the possibility of human cloning. There is no reason why humans should behave very differently from other mammals where cloning is possible. The cloning of an adult human could become feasible using the techniques reported. The topic of human cloning has been greatly debated. Scientists question the medical and scientific justification for cloning humans. Previous debates have identified the preparation of immuno-compatible differentiated cells lines for transplantation, as one potential indication. Researchers imagine everyone having their own reserve of therapeutic cells that would increase their chance of being cured of various disease, such as cancer, degenerative disorders, and viral or inflammatory diseases. Applying the technique used in sheep directly to humans would yield a clone of the father and not a shared descendant of both the father and mother. Nevertheless, for a woman the act of carrying a fetus can be as important as being its biological mother. The extraordinary power of such maternal reappropriation of the embryo can be seen from the strong demand for pregnancies in post-menopausal women, and for embryo and oocyte donations to circumvent female sterility. Moreover, if cloning techniques were ever to be used, the mother would be contributing her mitochondrial genome.

Anderson, Ian. (1997). “Will Many Clones Make Light Work.” New Scientist. March 15, 1997, 153(2073) Abstract: Scientists working on the cloning of animals are moving toward mass production. Australian scientists have created almost 500 genetically identical embryos, but they must still prove that mass-produced embryos, can result in healthy pregnancies. This technology could be combined with the technique for cloning adult animals pioneered in Scotland. This would make possible the creation of hundreds of copies of an adult animal. The Scottish team succeeded in cloning a single lamb from 277 sheep udder cells. There are several groups around the world currently experimenting with cloning. The Australians are collaborating with a farmer-owned cooperative interested in new technologies for animal breeding. They are developing a production process for genetically identical embryos. Embryos are produced and left for four or five days to divide into a ball of cells called a blastocyst. The researchers then separate up to 30 cells and, like the Scottish team, use an electric current to fuse them with the cytoplasm of an unfertilized egg cell that has had its own DNA removed. The resulting genetically identical embryos are grown and separated repeatedly. The egg cells are taken from cow ovaries obtained at slaughter houses. Previously, no group had produced more than 100 embryos from a single blastocyst but the Australians’ record is 470. The key factor is thought to be providing sufficient cytoplasm for each embryo. Most of the embryos produced by the Australians have not been implanted in surrogate mothers, but six calves, including one set of twins, have been born using the new technology. These calves did not come from the 470 genetically identical embryos. Researchers are attempting to find a technique for the production of cattle that is more efficient than artificial insemination (AI). AI allows farmers to fertilize many cows with the sperm of a bull with desirable genetic characteristics, but the cows may be of variable genetic quality. The new technique should permit fertilization of an elite cow’s eggs with sperm from a prize bull and subsequently produce hundreds of genetically identical calves. A member of the Scottish group said that the combination of this technique with his group’s adult cloning technique should have some useful applications. However, he added that the Australian group has yet to show that their mass-produced embryos produce healthy pregnancies and offspring, since cloned embryos often fail to develop.

Marshall, Eliot. (1997). “Mammalian Cloning Debate Heats Up.” Science. 275(5307): 1733. Abstract: In response to embryologist Ian Wilmut’s cloning of Dolly, a Scottish mountain sheep, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) began hearings on the cloning of humans. President Clinton banned all federally funded research until NBAC provides an opinion expected by the end of May 1997. Although the cloning of humans presents ethical questions, Harold Varmus, director of the National Institutes of Health, is focusing on the technological benefits of cloning. At a press conference, Varmus suggested that the technique might provide insight into how cells of the early embryo regulate gene function. The information could provide keys to enable scientists to activate good genes or deactivate bad genes. Varmus also added that the technique might enable researchers to create custom-designed transgenic animals that can mass produce human proteins, clotting factor, fibrinogen, or tissue for organ transplants. Varmus and Wilmut have asked Congress to wait for the results of the NBAC review before enacting new laws. However, three bills have already been introduced. One bill would prohibit federal funding for any research or project that involves the use of a human somatic cell for the process of producing a human clone. Another bill outlaws the use of a human somatic cell for producing a human cell. And a third bill bans the use of federal spending for research into human cloning.

Stephenson, Joan. (1997). “Threatened Bans on Human Cloning Research Could Hamper Advances.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 277(13): 1023-1026. Abstract: The announcement of a cloned sheep from the DNA in a single udder cell of a 6-year-old ewe has ignited a debate on ethical implications of cloning and sparked the imaginations of researchers regarding the scientific implications and potential of cloning. Several countries, including the U.S., have banned the cloning of human beings. There is definitely a need to analyze cloning because of ethical and legal issues related to reproduction, genetic manipulation, and rights to privacy as well as the public’s initial suspicion concerning any new technology that may play a role in the area of sexual reproduction. Many researchers feel that a temporary ban on cloning and an analysis by the National Bioethics Advisory Commission would reassure the public and forestall a rush to enact laws that go far beyond banning the cloning of whole individuals. Some researchers are worried that a broadly worded ban would block basic and applied research using cloning techniques on human cells, because this type of research has the potential to answer important questions in cell regulation and could pave the way for therapeutic advances.

Kluger, Jeffrey. (1997). “Will We Follow the Sheep?” Time. 149(10): 66, 70-72. Abstract: Recently Scottish embryologists announced that they had succeeded in cloning a sheep from a single adult cell. Even though this breakthrough took years to accomplish, science seems to have been the easy part. The social and philosophical implications are just beginning. One obvious question is how will the new technology be regulated? President Clinton recently took a step toward answering this and other questions by charging a federal commission with the task of investigating the legal and ethical implications of the new technology and reporting their findings within 90 days. Also, the House subcommittee on basic research will hold a hearing to address the same issues. Of all the reasons for using this new technology, pure ego is the most disturbing. Some argue that cloning is not very different from genetically engineering an embryo to eliminate a genetic disease like cystic fibrosis, or from in vitro fertilization. More palatable than the ego clone to some bioethicists is the medical clone, a baby created to provide transplant material, like bone marrow, for the original. If anything will prevent human cloning from becoming a reality, it is that science may not be able to clear the ethical high bar that would allow basic research to get under way. Even if governments ban cloning outright, it will not be so easy to police what goes on in private or pirate laboratories. Science needs to get its ethical house in order quickly.

Nash, J. Madeleine. (1997). “The Age of Cloning: A Line Has Been Crossed and Reproductive Biology Will Never Be the Same for People or for Sheep.” Time. 149(10): 62-65. Abstract: Researchers at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, have made possible what seemed like a scientific impossibility. From a cell in an adult ewe’s mammary gland, embryologist Ian Wilmut and his colleagues created a lamb named Dolly, who is a carbon copy of her mother. She is in essence her mother’s identical twin. Now that this biological barrier has been crossed, many exciting possibilities exist, from propagating endangered animal species to producing replacement organs for transplant patients. But the possibility of misuse of this technology exists as well. Cloning mammals by splitting embryos in half is not new, but cloning mammals from cells that are not embryonic is. To create Dolly, the Roslin team took cells from the udder of a Finn Dorset ewe. To stop them from dividing, the researchers starved the cells of nutrients for a week. An unfertilized egg cell was taken from a Scottish Blackface ewe. The nucleus, with its DNA, was sucked out, leaving an empty egg cell containing all the cellular machinery necessary to produce an embryo. The two cells were placed next to each other and an electric pulse caused them to fuse together. A second pulse mimicked the burst of energy at natural fertilization, jump-starting cell division. About one week later, the resulting embryo was implanted in the uterus of another Blackface ewe. After a gestation period, the pregnant Blackface ewe gave birth to Dolly, who is genetically identical to the original donor. Undoubtedly, this breakthrough has raised more questions than it has answered. So far, there is no talk of cloning humans, but policymakers will need to find ways to prevent abuses without blocking scientific progress.

Cohen, John. (1997). “Can Cloning Help Save Beleaguered Species?” Science. 276(5317): 1329-1330. Abstract: Since the successful cloning of a sheep (“Dolly”) in Scotland, conservation biologists are beginning to seriously explore the possibilities–and ramifications– of cloning endangered species. Since 1975, the San Diego Zoo’s Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) has been storing fibroblasts frozen in liquid nitrogen from several endangered species. The cells, originally destined for genetic study, could realistically be used one day to clone live animals. Kurt Benirschke, who launched the cell storage program, would like to see as many cells from endangered species around the world saved as possible. CRES geneticist Oliver Ryder believes that mixing genetic material from long-dead animals (through cloned creatures) with that of surviving members of a species could insure otherwise lost genetic diversity within a species. This practice could enable zoos to retain smaller herds while retaining genetic diversity. For animals that don’t breed well in captivity, cloning offers a needed resource. Some biologists fear that cloning as a way to preserve species could divert funds and efforts from other vital wildlife conservation efforts such as habitat preservation. Others point out the high rate of failure in assisted breeding efforts even in familiar domestic species (Dolly required 277 attempts) and the exorbitant cost to a branch of research already struggling with limited funding makes cloning undesirable as well as unrealistic. But most agree that cloning may prove to be the only remaining “window of opportunity” for some species on the brink of extinction.

Fackelmann, K. A. (1994). “Embryo Research Panel Ignites Debate.” Science News. 146(14): 212. Abstract: A National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory panel has released its proposed guidelines for federally funded research on very early human embryos. In general, the panel would allow experiments on embryos up to the 4th day after fertilization, a time when the nervous system and various organs start to develop. The U.S. has had a de facto ban on federal funding of any research involving human embryos since 1980. However, in 1993 Congress passed a law that paved the way for federal review and funding of such projects. Currently, embryo research in the U.S. is funded privately. The 19-member panel also recommended federal support for research on “spare” embryos, those that go unused at in vitro fertilization clinics. The panel also approved an experimental technique called preimplantation diagnosis, which involves drawing off one or two cells from a very young embryo in order to diagnose certain genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. The panel okayed the practice of determining the gender of embryos in order to avoid a sex-linked genetic disease, such as hemophilia. The group advised against the sexing of embryos for any other purpose. Another procedure the panel approved was the creation of “parthenotes,” or human eggs that have been stimulated with chemicals or an electric shock to divide. These dividing cells are not fertilized with a sperm and are grossly abnormal. However, researchers believe studies of such eggs may lead to a better understanding of the paternal role in fertilization. The panel came out against the transfer of human embryos to the wombs of animals for further development and urged a prohibition on crossing human and animal sex cells. The panel also recommended against providing federal money for twinning, or cloning human embryos, which could result in the birth of identical twins or triplets. Now the report gets passed on to another NIH advisory committee, which will consider the initial panel’s recommendations as well as public comments. It will then send its recommendations NIH director Harold Varmus who will make the final decision.

Voelker, Rebecca. (1994). “A Clone by Any Other Name Is Still an Ethical Concern.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 271: 331-332. Abstract: Public and private groups were to convene in February 1994 to lay the groundwork for future policy recommendations on how human embryo research should proceed and the types of clinical applications that may be considered appropriate. Much of the current controversy over such research has been fueled by intense media speculation and concerns surrounding laboratory efforts to duplicate polyploid embryos. Federally sponsored research on in vitro fertilization (IVF) has been held in abeyance since 1980 until last year, when Congress and the Clinton administration allowed such research to again receive federal support. Also in February, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) human embryo research panel was scheduled to recommend appropriate directions for government-sponsored research and guidelines for carrying it out. The group was not to consider research on or the ethics of human germ-line gene modification. Two weeks after the NIH has concluded its initial discussions, the private group National Advisory Board on Ethics in Reproduction (NABER) will meet to debate the scientific and ethical questions arising from research on the cloning of polyploid embryos done at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC. Specifically, NABER wants to know more about how the university review board decided to allow the experiment to proceed. Much scientific debate has focused on what a clone really is. Some scientists use a fairly broad definition: A clone is an identical replication, a duplicate copy. Others define cloning as taking the nucleus of a cell from the body of an adult and tranferring it to an unfertilized egg, destroying the genome of the oocyte of the egg, and letting it develop. This process is different from that done at George Washington, which has also been referred to as twinning. The process is also different from nuclear transportation–taking a nucleus from a 50- to 80-cell embryo and transplanting it to an unfertilized egg from which the nuclear material has been removed. Critics of the George Washington research argue that the duplicates produced could not have been identical because, among other factors, the chromosomes in daughter cells are not identical. The university researchers admit that they did not perform a genetic analysis of embryos produced in their laboratory to confirm whether they were identical copies. The researchers say they will not proceed with their research until the ethical debate matures and possibly provides some guidelines. They also note that their research has provided a unique opportunity for ethicists, scientists, physicians, and patients: The procedure can be debated well in advance of being used in a clinical setting.

Fackelmann, K.A. (1993). “Researchers ‘Clone’ Human Embryos.” Science News. 144(18): 276. Abstract: For the first time, scientists have “cloned” human embryos, a step that has raised a host of ethical and scientific issues regarding the brave new world of reproductive research. Although it is not unusual for researchers to clone animal embryos, this marks the first known attempt to split a human embryo into individual cells, a technique more accurately described as “twinning.” Twinning could have the practical application of increasing the chances of pregnancy among women who have undergone in vitro fertilization. The scientists, from George Washington University in Washington, DC, conducted their experiment with 17 very young, abnormal human embryos which could not be viable. They stripped the embryos of their tough coating called the zona pellucida then separated the individual cells which ranged from two to eight cells per embryo. The 48 resulting cells were coated with artificial shells and allowed to grow. The cells split from a two-cell embryo appeared best able to divide, with some reaching the 32- cell stage of development. These results suggest that this process could be used to create viable embryos if used with normal starting embryos. The question which must be answered now is whether or not the technique should be used.

Miller, S.K. and Gail Vines. (1993). “Human Clones Split Fertility Experts.” New Scientist. October 30, 1993, 140(1897) Abstract: American researchers have cloned human embryos in an experiment aimed at adding new options to the armory of the fertility clinic. Researchers from the George Washington University Medical Center performed the experiment on embryos obtained from women undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment. These embryos had the fatal defect of having been fertilized by more than one sperm, giving them three or more sets of chromosomes. The researchers split 17 embryos, each containing two to eight cells, then coated the individual cells with a gel-like substance to form an artificial zona pellucida, the protective membrane around an embryo. The most successful clones, which reached the 32-cell stage before dying, developed from embryos which had been split at the two-cell stage. The ultimate goal of the work is to increase the odds of pregnancy in women of low fertility. The IVF current practice is to give women hormones which induce them to produce multiple eggs which are then removed, fertilized externally and then implanted. Cloning would replace the need for hormone treatment. The U.S. has no national policy or agency regulating embryo research, although a long-standing ban on federal funding for such research was lifted by President Clinton when he took office. All parties involved realize the ethical implications of this type of research. If viable cloned embryos were frozen, parents could give birth to a twin at a later date, perhaps to replace a dead child, or to provide bone marrow or other organs for a sick child. Embryo splitting is considered unethical and is illegal in Britain.

Elmer-Dewitt, Philip. (1993). “Cloning: Where Do We Draw the Line?” Time. 142(19): 64-70. Abstract: In a landmark experiment at George Washington University, researchers Robert Stillman and Jerry Hall duplicated a human embryo. As part of a fertility treatment, eggs were removed from a woman and fertilized in a Petri dish. Some of these eggs were fertilized by more than one sperm–an abnormal condition. One such abnormal cell divided in two as the first step in development. The coating was removed with an enzyme, and the two cells were separated. Using a novel technique, artificial zona coatings were added, allowing development to proceed. The cells continued to divide, forming genetically identical embryos. Development stopped after six d, partly because the embryo was abnormal. To Hall and Stillman, human cloning is simply the next step in the logical progression that started with in- vitro fertilization and is driven by a desire to relieve human suffering–in this case, the suffering of infertile couples. But it was the start of the fiercest scientific debate about medical ethics since the birth of the first test-tube baby 15 yr. ago. Many of the uses envisioned for cloning are not particularly farfetched compared with things that are already happening. A few years ago, faced with the news that their daughter was dying of leukemia, the father braved a vasectomy reversal and the mother a pregnancy at 43 to have a child born for the purpose of providing the bone-marrow transplant that saved the older child’s life. Husband and wives who have been through in-vitro fertilization with some embryos left over have had to wrestle with the fact that they have a potential human being stored on ice. When the profit motive enters into the equations, ethical considerations tend to be forgotten. And private profit drives the infertility business in the U.S. There are already catalogs that list the characteristics of sperm donors–including one made up of Nobel prizewinners. Most people seem to respond to the idea of human cloning at a fundamental level. In a TIME/CNN poll, 58% said they thought cloning was morally wrong, while 63% said they believed it was against God’s will. On an international front, France, Germany and Japan expressed disapproval. More than 25 countries have commissions that set policy on reproductive technology. In October, a report by the Congressional Office of Technology recommended that the government step in. Under President Carter, a presidential commission was established that developed broad policy guidelines in some of the most controversial issues in medicine, such as deciding when brain death has occurred or when it is ethically correct for a doctor to withhold treatment. The commission was disbanded in 1983. It is now likely that some kind of national board will be established during President Clinton’s watch.

Nash, J. Madeleine. (1993). “They Clone Cattle, Don’t They?” Time. 142(19): 68. Abstract: To see the future of cloning, one could look at the livestock industry, the proving ground for reproductive technology. More than a decade has passed since the first calves, lambs, and piglets were cloned, and yet there are no dairy herds composed of carbon-copy cows, no pigpens filled with identical sows. While copying particular strains of valuable plants such as corn and canola has become an indispensable tool of modern agriculture, cloning farm animals, feasible as it may be, has never become widespread. Even simple embryo splitting, the technique used by the George Washington University researchers on human cells, is too expensive and complicated to take off commercially. But people have tried to turn livestock cloning into a booming branch of agribusiness. Wisconsin -based American Breeders Service, a subsidiary of W.R. Grace & Co., now owns the rights to cattle-cloning technology developed by Granada Biosciences, a once high-flying biotech firm that went out of business in 1992. The process calls for single cells to be separated from a growing calf embryo. Each cell is then injected into an unfertilized egg and implanted in the womb of a surrogate cow. Because the nucleus of the unfertilized egg is removed beforehand, it contains no genetic material that might interfere with the development of the embryo. In theory, then, it ought to be possible to extract a 32- cell embryo from a prize dairy cow and use it to produce 32 identical calves, each brought to term by a less valuable member of the herd. In practice, however, only 20% of the cloned embryos survive, meaning that instead of 32 calves, researchers generally end up with only five or six. While the success rate may improve, at present this method of cloning does not seem much better than embryo splitting, which typically produces twins and sometimes triplets. There have been other problems as well. Some of the calves produced have weighed so much at birth that they have had to be delivered through caesarean section. When cattle cloning is perfected, it may not be welcomed down on the farm. Using cloning to create large numbers of identical calves runs counter to what breeders strive to do. Breeders want to create cows better than even their prizewinners, and the only way to do that is by constantly reshuffling the genetic deck with a fresh supply of genes.

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::Cloning:: – Mount Holyoke College

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The Ethics of Human Cloning and Stem Cell Research …

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Jun 192016
 

“California Cloning: A Dialogue on State Regulation” was convened October 12, 2001, by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Its purpose was to bring together experts from the fields of science, religion, ethics, and law to discuss how the state of California should proceed in regulating human cloning and stem cell research.

A framework for discussing the issue was provided by Center Director of Biotechnology and Health Care Ethics Margaret McLean, who also serves on the California State Advisory Committee on Human Cloning. In 1997, the California legislature declared a “five year moratorium on cloning of an entire human being” and requested that “a panel of representatives from the fields of medicine, religion, biotechnology, genetics, law, bioethics and the general public” be established to evaluate the “medical, ethical and social implications” of human cloning (SB 1344). This 12-member Advisory Committee on Human Cloning convened five public meetings, each focusing on a particular aspect of human cloning: e.g., reproductive cloning, and cloning technology and stem cells. The committee is drafting a report to the legislature that is due on December 31, 2001. The report will discuss the science of cloning, and the ethical and legal considerations of applications of cloning technology. It will also set out recommendations to the legislature regarding regulation of human cloning. The legislature plans to take up this discussion after January. The moratorium expires the end of 2002.

What should the state do at that point? More than 80 invited guests came to SCU for “California Cloning” to engage in a dialogue on that question. These included scientists, theologians, businesspeople from the biotechnology industry, bioethicists, legal scholars, representatives of non-profits, and SCU faculty. Keynote Speaker Ursula Goodenough, professor of biology at Washington University and author of Genetics, set the issues in context with her talk, “A Religious Naturalist Thinks About Bioethics.” Four panels addressed the specific scientific, religious, ethical, and legal implications of human reproductive cloning and stem cell research. This document gives a brief summary of the issues as they were raised by the four panels.

Science and Biotechnology Perspectives

Thomas Okarma, CEO of Geron Corp., launched this panel with an overview of regenerative medicine and distinguished between reproductive cloning and human embryonic stem cell research. He helped the audience understand the science behind the medical potential of embryonic stem cell research, with an explanation of the procedures for creating stem cell lines and the relationship of this field to telomere biology and genetics. No brief summary could do justice to the science. The reader is referred to the report of the National Bioethics Advisory Committee (http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/nbac/stemcell.pdf) for a good introduction.

Responding to Okarma, were J. William Langston, president of the Parkinsons Institute, and Phyllis Gardner, associate professor of medicine and former dean for medical education at Stanford University. Both discussed the implications of the presidents recent restrictions on stem cell research for the non-profit sector. Langston compared the current regulatory environment to the Reagan era ban on fetal cell research, which he believed was a serious setback for Parkinsons research. He also pointed out that stem cell research was only being proposed using the thousands of embryos that were already being created in the process of fertility treatments. These would ultimately be disposed of in any event, he said, arguing that it would be better to allow them to serve some function rather than be destroyed. President Bush has confined federally-funded research to the 64 existing stem cell lines, far too few in Langstons view. In addition, Langston opposed bans on government funding for stem cell research because of the opportunities for public review afforded by the process of securing government grants.

Gardner talked about the differences between academic and commercial research, suggesting that both were important for the advancement of science and its application. Since most of the current stem cell lines are in the commercial sector and the president has banned the creation of new lines, she worried that universities would not continue to be centers of research in this important area. That, she argued, would cut out the more serendipitous and sometimes more altruistic approaches of academic research. Also, it might lead to more of the brain drain represented by the recent move of prominent UCSF stem cell researcher Roger Pedersen to Britain. Gardner expressed a hope that the United States would continue to be the “flagship” in stem cell research. Her concerns were echoed later by moderator Allen Hammond, SCU law professor, who urged the state, which has been at the forefront of stem cell research to consider the economic impact of banning such activity. All three panelists commended the decision of the state advisory committee to deal separately with the issues of human cloning and stem cell research.

Religious Perspectives

Two religion panelists, Suzanne Holland and Laurie Zoloth, are co editors of The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics and Public Policy (MIT Press, 2001). Holland, assistant professor of Religious and Social Ethics at the University of Puget Sound, began the panel with a discussion of Protestant ideas about the sin of pride and respect for persons and how these apply to human reproductive cloning. Given current safety concerns about cloning, she was in favor of a continuing ban. But ultimately, she argued, cloning should be regulated rather than banned outright. In fact, she suggested, the entire fertility industry requires more regulation. As a basis for such regulation, she proposed assessing the motivation of those who want to use the technology. Those whose motives arise from benevolence–for example, those who want to raise a child but have no other means of bearing a genetically related baby–should be allowed to undergo a cloning procedure. Those whose motives arise more from narcissistic considerations — people who want immortality or novelty — should be prohibited from using the technology. She proposed mandatory counseling and a waiting period as a means of assessing motivation.

Zoloth reached a different conclusion about reproductive cloning based on her reading of Jewish sources. She argued that the availability of such technology would make human life too easily commodified, putting the emphasis more on achieving a copy of the self than on the crucial parental act of creating “a stranger to whom you would give your life.” She put the cloning issue in the context of a system where foster children cannot find homes and where universal health care is not available for babies who have already been born. While Zoloth reported that Jewish ethicists vary considerably in their views about reproductive cloning, there is fairly broad agreement that stem cell research is justified. Among the Jewish traditions she cited were:

The embryo does not have the status of a human person.

There is a commandment to heal.

Great latitude is permitted for learning.

The world is uncompleted and requires human participation to become whole.

Catholic bioethicist Albert Jonsen, one of the deans of the field, gave a historical perspective on the cloning debate, citing a paper by Joshua Lederburg in the 1960s, which challenged his colleagues to look at the implications of the then-remote possibility. He also traced the development of Catholic views on other new medical technologies. When organ transplantation was first introduced, it was opposed as a violation of the principal, “First, do no harm” and as a mutilation of the human body. Later, the issue was reconceived in terms of charity and concern for others. One of the key questions, Jonsen suggested, is What can we, as a society that promotes religious pluralism, do when we must make public policy on issues where religious traditions may disagree. He argued that beneath the particular teachings of each religion are certain broad themes they share, which might provide a framework for the debate. These include human finitude, human fallibility, human dignity, and compassion.

Ethics Perspectives

Lawrence Nelson, adjunct associate professor of philosophy at SCU, opened the ethics panel with a discussion of the moral status of the human embryo. Confining his remarks to viable, extracorporeal embryos (embryos created for fertility treatments that were never implanted), Nelson argued that these beings do have some moral status–albeit it weak–because they are alive and because they are valued to varying degrees by other moral agents. This status does entitle the embryo to some protection. In Nelsons view, the gamete sources whose egg and sperm created these embryos have a unique connection to them and should have exclusive control over their disposition. If the gamete sources agree, Nelson believes the embryos can be used for research if they are treated respectfully. Some manifestations of respect might be:

They are used only if the goal of the research cannot be obtained by other methods.

The embryos have not reached gastrulation (prior to 14 to 18 days of development).

Those who use them avoid considering or treating them as property.

Their destruction is accompanied by some sense of loss or sorrow.

Philosophy Professor Barbara MacKinnon (University of San Francisco), editor of Human Cloning: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy, began by discussing the distinction between reproductive and therapeutic cloning and the slippery slope argument. She distinguished three different forms of this argument and showed that for each, pursuing stem cell research will not inevitably lead to human reproductive cloning. MacKinnon favored a continuing ban on the latter, citing safety concerns. Regarding therapeutic cloning and stem cell research, she criticized consequentialist views such as that anything can be done to reduce human suffering and that certain embryos would perish anyway. However, she noted that non-consequentialist concerns must also be addressed for therapeutic cloning, among them the question of the moral status of the early embryo. She also made a distinction between morality and the law, arguing that not everything that is immoral ought to be prohibited by law, and showed how this position relates to human cloning.

Paul Billings, co-founder of GeneSage, has been involved in crafting an international treaty to ban human reproductive cloning and germ-line genetic engineering. As arguments against human cloning he cited:

There is no right to have a genetically related child.

Cloning is not safe.

Cloning is not medically necessary.

Cloning could not be delivered in an equitable manner.

Billings also believes that the benefits of stem cell therapies have been “wildly oversold.” Currently, he argues, there are no effective treatments coming from this research. He is also concerned about how developing abilities in nuclear transfer technology may have applications in germ-line genetic engineering that we do not want to encourage. As a result, he favors the current go-slow approach of banning the creation of new cell lines until some therapies have been proven effective. At the same time, he believes we must work to better the situation of the poor and marginalized so their access to all therapies is improved.

Legal Perspectives

Member of the State Advisory Committee on Human Cloning Henry “Hank” Greely addressed some of the difficulties in creating a workable regulatory system for human reproductive cloning. First he addressed safety, which, considering the 5 to 10 times greater likelihood of spontaneous abortion in cloned sheep, he argued clearly justifies regulation. The FDA has currently claimed jurisdiction over this technology, but Greely doubted whether the courts would uphold this claim. Given these facts, Greely saw three alternatives for the state of California:

Do nothing; let the federal government take care of it.

Create an FDA equivalent to regulate the safety of the process, an alternative he pointed out for which the state has no experience.

Continue the current ban on the grounds of safety until such time as the procedure is adjudged safe. Next Greely responded to suggestions that the state might regulate by distinguishing between prospective cloners on the basis of their motivation, for example, denying a request to clone a person to provide heart tissue for another person but okaying a request if cloning were the only opportunity a couple might have to conceive a child. Greely found the idea of the state deciding on such basis deeply troubling because it would necessitate “peering into someones soul” in a manner that government is not adept at doing.

The impact of regulation on universities was the focus of Debra Zumwalts presentation. As Stanford University general counsel, Zumwalt talked about the necessity of creating regulations that are clear and simple. Currently, federal regulations on stem cells are unclear, she argued, making it difficult for universities and other institutions to tell if they are in compliance. She believes that regulations should be based on science and good public policy rather than on politics. As a result, she favored overall policy being set by the legislature but details being worked out at the administrative level by regulatory agencies with expertise. Whatever regulations California develops should not be more restrictive than the federal regulations, she warned, or research would be driven out of the state. Like several other speakers, Zumwalt was concerned about federal regulations restricting stem cell research to existing cell lines. That, she feared, would drive all research into private hands. “We must continue to have a public knowledge base,” she said. Also, she praised the inherent safeguards in academic research including peer review, ethics panels, and institutional review boards.

SCU Presidential Professor of Ethics and the Common Good June Carbone looked at the role of California cloning decisions in contributing to the governance of biotechnology. California, she suggested, cannot address these issues alone, and thus might make the most useful contribution by helping to forge a new international moral consensus through public debate. Taking a lesson from U.S. response to recent terrorist attacks, she argued for international consensus based on the alliance of principle and self-interest. Such consensus would need to be enforced both by carrot and stick and should, she said, include a public-private partnership to deal with ethical issues. Applying these ideas to reproductive cloning, she suggested that we think about which alliances would be necessary to prevent or limit the practice. Preventing routine use might be accomplished by establishing a clear ethical and professional line prohibiting reproductive cloning. Preventing exceptional use (a determined person with sufficient money to find a willing doctor) might not be possible. As far as stem cell research is concerned, Carbone argued that the larger the investment in such research, the bigger the carrot–the more the funder would be able to regulate the process. That, she suggested, argues for a government role in the funding. If the professional community does not respect the ethical line drawn by politicians, and alternative funding is available from either public sources abroad or private sources at home, the U.S. political debate runs the risk of becoming irrelevant.

“California Cloning” was organized by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and co-sponsored by the Bannan Center for Jesuit Education and Christian Values; the Center for Science, Technology, and Society; the SCU School of Law; the High Tech Law Institute; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Community of Science Scholars Initiative; and the law firm of Latham & Watkins.

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The Ethics of Human Cloning and Stem Cell Research …

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War on Drugs – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jun 172016
 

“The War on Drugs” is an American term commonly applied to a campaign of prohibition of drugs, military aid, and military intervention, with the stated aim being to reduce the illegal drug trade.[6][7] This initiative includes a set of drug policies that are intended to discourage the production, distribution, and consumption of psychoactive drugs that the participating governments and the UN have made illegal. The term was popularized by the media shortly after a press conference given on June 18, 1971, by United States President Richard Nixonthe day after publication of a special message from President Nixon to the Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention and Controlduring which he declared drug abuse “public enemy number one”. That message to the Congress included text about devoting more federal resources to the “prevention of new addicts, and the rehabilitation of those who are addicted”, but that part did not receive the same public attention as the term “war on drugs”.[8][9][10] However, two years even prior to this, Nixon had formally declared a “war on drugs” that would be directed toward eradication, interdiction, and incarceration.[11] Today, the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for an end to the War on Drugs, estimates that the United States spends $51 billion annually on these initiatives.[12]

On May 13, 2009, Gil Kerlikowskethe Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)signaled that the Obama administration did not plan to significantly alter drug enforcement policy, but also that the administration would not use the term “War on Drugs”, because Kerlikowske considers the term to be “counter-productive”.[13] ONDCP’s view is that “drug addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated… making drugs more available will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe”.[14] One of the alternatives that Kerlikowske has showcased is the drug policy of Sweden, which seeks to balance public health concerns with opposition to drug legalization. The prevalence rates for cocaine use in Sweden are barely one-fifth of those in Spain, the biggest consumer of the drug.[15]

In June 2011, a self-appointed Global Commission on Drug Policy released a critical report on the War on Drugs, declaring: “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.”[16] The report was criticized by organizations that oppose a general legalization of drugs.[14]

The first U.S. law that restricted the distribution and use of certain drugs was the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914. The first local laws came as early as 1860.[17]

In 1919, the United States passed the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, with exceptions for religious and medical use.

In 1920, the United States passed the National Prohibition Act (Volstead Act), enacted to carry out the provisions in law of the 18th Amendment.

The Federal Bureau of Narcotics was established in the United States Department of the Treasury by an act of June 14, 1930 (46 Stat. 585).[18]

In 1933, the federal prohibition for alcohol was repealed by passage of the 21st Amendment.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt publicly supported the adoption of the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act. The New York Times used the headline “Roosevelt Asks Narcotic War Aid”.[19][20]

In 1937, the Marijuana Transfer Tax Act was passed. Several scholars have claimed that the goal was to destroy the hemp industry,[21][22][23] largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.[21][23] These scholars argue that with the invention of the decorticator, hemp became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry.[21][24] These scholars believe that Hearst felt[dubious discuss] that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, United States Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the DuPont’s new synthetic fiber, nylon, and considered[dubious discuss] its success to depend on its replacement of the traditional resource, hemp.[21][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] However, there were circumstances that contradict these claims. One reason for doubts about those claims is that the new decorticators did not perform fully satisfactorily in commercial production.[32] To produce fiber from hemp was a labor-intensive process if you include harvest, transport and processing. Technological developments decreased the labor with hemp but not sufficient to eliminate this disadvantage.[33][34]

The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what Im saying? We knew we couldnt make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

Although Nixon declared “drug abuse” to be public enemy number one in 1971,[37] the policies that his administration implemented as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 were a continuation of drug prohibition policies in the U.S., which started in 1914.[38][39]

The Nixon Administration also repealed the federal 210-year mandatory minimum sentences for possession of marijuana and started federal demand reduction programs and drug-treatment programs. Robert DuPont, the “Drug czar” in the Nixon Administration, stated it would be more accurate to say that Nixon ended, rather than launched, the “war on drugs”. DuPont also argued that it was the proponents of drug legalization that popularized the term “war on drugs”.[14][unreliable source?]

On October 27, 1970, Congress passes the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, which, among other things, categorizes controlled substances based on their medicinal use and potential for addiction.[38]

In 1971, two congressmen released an explosive report on the growing heroin epidemic among U.S. servicemen in Vietnam; ten to fifteen percent of the servicemen were addicted to heroin, and President Nixon declared drug abuse to be “public enemy number one”.[38][40]

In 1973, the Drug Enforcement Administration was created to replace the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.[38]

In 1982, Vice President George H. W. Bush and his aides began pushing for the involvement of the CIA and U.S. military in drug interdiction efforts.[41]

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[42][43] which mandated a national anti-drug media campaign for youth, which would later become the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.[44] The director of ONDCP is commonly known as the Drug czar,[38] and it was first implemented in 1989 under President George H. W. Bush,[45] and raised to cabinet-level status by Bill Clinton in 1993.[46] These activities were subsequently funded by the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1998.[47][48] The Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 codified the campaign at 21 U.S.C.1708.[49]

The Global Commission on Drug Policy released a report on June 2, 2011 alleging that “The War On Drugs Has Failed”. The commissioned was made up of 22 self-appointed members including a number of prominent international politicians and writers. U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin also released the first ever National Prevention Strategy.[50]

On May 21, 2012, the U.S. Government published an updated version of its Drug Policy.[51] The director of ONDCP stated simultaneously that this policy is something different from the “War on Drugs”:

At the same meeting was a declaration signed by the representatives of Italy, the Russian Federation, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States in line with this: “Our approach must be a balanced one, combining effective enforcement to restrict the supply of drugs, with efforts to reduce demand and build recovery; supporting people to live a life free of addiction”.[53]

According to Human Rights Watch, the War on Drugs caused soaring arrest rates which deliberately disproportionately targeted African Americans.[55] This was also confirmed by John Ehrlichman, an aide to Nixon, who said that the war on drugs was designed to criminalize and disrupt black and hippie communities.[56]

The present state of incarceration in the U.S. as a result of the war on drugs arrived in several stages. By 1971, different stops on drugs had been implemented for more than 50 years (for e.g. since 1914, 1937 etc.) with only a very small increase of inmates per 100,000 citizens. During the first 9 years after Nixon coined the expression “War on Drugs”, statistics showed only a minor increase in the total number of imprisoned.

After 1980, the situation began to change. In the 1980s, while the number of arrests for all crimes had risen by 28%, the number of arrests for drug offenses rose 126%.[57] The US Department of Justice, reporting on the effects of state initiatives, has stated that, from 1990 through 2000, “the increasing number of drug offenses accounted for 27% of the total growth among black inmates, 7% of the total growth among Hispanic inmates, and 15% of the growth among white inmates.” In addition to prison or jail, the United States provides for the deportation of many non-citizens convicted of drug offenses.[58]

In 1994, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the “War on Drugs” resulted in the incarceration of one million Americans each year.[59]

In 2008, the Washington Post reported that of 1.5 million Americans arrested each year for drug offenses, half a million would be incarcerated. In addition, one in five black Americans would spend time behind bars due to drug laws.[60]

Federal and state policies also impose collateral consequences on those convicted of drug offenses, such as denial of public benefits or licenses, that are not applicable to those convicted of other types of crime.[61]

In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed laws that created a 100 to 1 sentencing disparity for the possession or trafficking of crack when compared to penalties for trafficking of powder cocaine,[62][63][64][65] which had been widely criticized as discriminatory against minorities, mostly blacks, who were more likely to use crack than powder cocaine.[66] This 100:1 ratio had been required under federal law since 1986.[67] Persons convicted in federal court of possession of 5grams of crack cocaine received a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in federal prison. On the other hand, possession of 500grams of powder cocaine carries the same sentence.[63][64] In 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act cut the sentencing disparity to 18:1.[66]

According to Human Rights Watch, crime statistics show thatin the United States in 1999compared to non-minorities, African Americans were far more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and received much stiffer penalties and sentences.[68]

Statistics from 1998 show that there were wide racial disparities in arrests, prosecutions, sentencing and deaths. African-American drug users made up for 35% of drug arrests, 55% of convictions, and 74% of people sent to prison for drug possession crimes.[63] Nationwide African-Americans were sent to state prisons for drug offenses 13 times more often than other races,[69] even though they only supposedly comprised 13% of regular drug users.[63]

Anti-drug legislation over time has also displayed an apparent racial bias. University of Minnesota Professor and social justice author Michael Tonry writes, “The War on Drugs foreseeably and unnecessarily blighted the lives of hundreds and thousands of young disadvantaged black Americans and undermined decades of effort to improve the life chances of members of the urban black underclass.”[70]

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided that the government needed to make an effort to curtail the social unrest that blanketed the country at the time. He decided to focus his efforts on illegal drug use, an approach which was in line with expert opinion on the subject at the time. In the 1960s, it was believed that at least half of the crime in the U.S. was drug related, and this number grew as high as 90 percent in the next decade.[71] He created the Reorganization Plan of 1968 which merged the Bureau of Narcotics and the Bureau of Drug Abuse to form the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs within the Department of Justice.[72] The belief during this time about drug use was summarized by journalist Max Lerner in his celebrated[citation needed] work America as a Civilization (1957):

As a case in point we may take the known fact of the prevalence of reefer and dope addiction in Negro areas. This is essentially explained in terms of poverty, slum living, and broken families, yet it would be easy to show the lack of drug addiction among other ethnic groups where the same conditions apply.[73]

Richard Nixon became president in 1969, and did not back away from the anti-drug precedent set by Johnson. Nixon began orchestrating drug raids nationwide to improve his “watchdog” reputation. Lois B. Defleur, a social historian who studied drug arrests during this period in Chicago, stated that, “police administrators indicated they were making the kind of arrests the public wanted”. Additionally, some of Nixon’s newly created drug enforcement agencies would resort to illegal practices to make arrests as they tried to meet public demand for arrest numbers. From 1972 to 1973, the Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement performed 6,000 drug arrests in 18 months, the majority of the arrested black.[74]

The next two Presidents, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, responded with programs that were essentially a continuation of their predecessors. Shortly after Ronald Reagan became President in 1981 he delivered a speech on the topic. Reagan announced, “We’re taking down the surrender flag that has flown over so many drug efforts; we’re running up a battle flag.”[75] For his first five years in office, Reagan slowly strengthened drug enforcement by creating mandatory minimum sentencing and forfeiture of cash and real estate for drug offenses, policies far more detrimental to poor blacks than any other sector affected by the new laws.[citation needed]

Then, driven by the 1986 cocaine overdose of black basketball star Len Bias,[dubious discuss] Reagan was able to pass the Anti-Drug Abuse Act through Congress. This legislation appropriated an additional $1.7 billion to fund the War on Drugs. More importantly, it established 29 new, mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. In the entire history of the country up until that point, the legal system had only seen 55 minimum sentences in total.[76] A major stipulation of the new sentencing rules included different mandatory minimums for powder and crack cocaine. At the time of the bill, there was public debate as to the difference in potency and effect of powder cocaine, generally used by whites, and crack cocaine, generally used by blacks, with many believing that “crack” was substantially more powerful and addictive. Crack and powder cocaine are closely related chemicals, crack being a smokeable, freebase form of powdered cocaine hydrochloride which produces a shorter, more intense high while using less of the drug. This method is more cost effective, and therefore more prevalent on the inner-city streets, while powder cocaine remains more popular in white suburbia. The Reagan administration began shoring public opinion against “crack”, encouraging DEA official Robert Putnam to play up the harmful effects of the drug. Stories of “crack whores” and “crack babies” became commonplace; by 1986, Time had declared “crack” the issue of the year.[77] Riding the wave of public fervor, Reagan established much harsher sentencing for crack cocaine, handing down stiffer felony penalties for much smaller amounts of the drug.[78]

Reagan protg and former Vice-President George H. W. Bush was next to occupy the oval office, and the drug policy under his watch held true to his political background. Bush maintained the hard line drawn by his predecessor and former boss, increasing narcotics regulation when the First National Drug Control Strategy was issued by the Office of National Drug Control in 1989.[79]

The next three presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama continued this trend, maintaining the War on Drugs as they inherited it upon taking office.[80] During this time of passivity by the federal government, it was the states that initiated controversial legislation in the War on Drugs. Racial bias manifested itself in the states through such controversial policies as the “stop and frisk” police practices in New York city and the “three strikes” felony laws began in California in 1994.[81]

In August 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act into law that dramatically reduced the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine, which disproportionately affected minorities.[82]

A substantial part of the “Drug War” is the “Mexican Drug War.” Many drugs are transported from Mexico into the United States, such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and heroin.[citation needed]

The possession of cocaine is illegal in all fifty states, along with crack cocaine (the cheaper version of cocaine but has a much greater penalty). Having possession is when the accused knowingly has it on their person, or in a backpack or purse. The possession of cocaine with no prior conviction, for the first offense, the person will be sentenced to a maximum of one year in prison or fined $1,000, or both. If the person has a prior conviction, whether it is a narcotic or cocaine, they will be sentenced to two years in “prison”, $2,500 fine. or both. With two or more convictions of possession prior to this present offense, they can be sentenced to 90 days in “prison” along with a $5,000 fine.[83]

Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug worldwide. The punishment for possession of it is less than for the possession of cocaine or heroin. In some states in the US the drug is legal. Over 80 million of Americans have tried this type of drug. The Criminal Defense Lawyer article claims that, depending on the age of person and how much the person has been caught for possession, they will be fined and could plea bargain into going to a treatment program versus going to “prison”. In each state the convictions differ along with how much of the “marijuana” they have on their person.[84]

Crystal meth is composed of methamphetamine hydrochloride. It is marketed as either a white powder or in a solid (rock) form. The possession of crystal meth can result in a punishment varying from a fine to a jail sentence. When the convict possessed a lot[clarification needed] of meth on their person, the sentence will be longer.[85]

Heroin is an opiate that is highly addictive. If caught selling or possessing heroin, a perpetrator can be charged with a felony and face twofour years in prison and could be fined to a maximum of $20,000.[86]

Some scholars have claimed that the phrase “War on Drugs” is propaganda cloaking an extension of earlier military or paramilitary operations.[7] Others have argued that large amounts of “drug war” foreign aid money, training, and equipment actually goes to fighting leftist insurgencies and is often provided to groups who themselves are involved in large-scale narco-trafficking, such as corrupt members of the Colombian military.[6]

From 1963 to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, marijuana usage became common among U.S. soldiers in non-combat situations. Some servicemen also used heroin. Many of the servicemen ended the heroin use after returning to the United States but came home addicted. In 1971, the U.S. military conducted a study of drug use among American servicemen and women. It found that daily usage rates for drugs on a worldwide basis were as low as two percent.[87] However, in the spring of 1971, two congressmen released an alarming report alleging that 15% of the servicemen in Vietnam were addicted to heroin. Marijuana use was also common in Vietnam. Soldiers who used drugs had more disciplinary problems. The frequent drug use had become an issue for the commanders in Vietnam; in 1971 it was estimated that 30,000 servicemen were addicted to drugs, most of them to heroin.[9]

From 1971 on, therefore, returning servicemen were required to take a mandatory heroin test. Servicemen who tested positive upon returning from Vietnam were not allowed to return home until they had passed the test with a negative result. The program also offered a treatment for heroin addicts.[88]

Elliot Borin’s article “The U.S. Military Needs its Speed”published in Wired on February 10, 2003reports:

But the Defense Department, which distributed millions of amphetamine tablets to troops during World War II, Vietnam and the Gulf War, soldiers on, insisting that they are not only harmless but beneficial.

In a news conference held in connection with Schmidt and Umbach’s Article 32 hearing, Dr. Pete Demitry, an Air Force physician and a pilot, claimed that the “Air Force has used (Dexedrine) safely for 60 years” with “no known speed-related mishaps.”

The need for speed, Demitry added “is a life-and-death issue for our military.”[89]

One of the first anti-drug efforts in the realm of foreign policy was President Nixon’s Operation Intercept, announced in September 1969, targeted at reducing the amount of cannabis entering the United States from Mexico. The effort began with an intense inspection crackdown that resulted in an almost shutdown of cross-border traffic.[90] Because the burden on border crossings was controversial in border states, the effort only lasted twenty days.[91]

On December 20, 1989, the United States invaded Panama as part of Operation Just Cause, which involved 25,000 American troops. Gen. Manuel Noriega, head of the government of Panama, had been giving military assistance to Contra groups in Nicaragua at the request of the U.S. which, in exchange, tolerated his drug trafficking activities, which they had known about since the 1960s.[92][93] When the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) tried to indict Noriega in 1971, the CIA prevented them from doing so.[92] The CIA, which was then directed by future president George H. W. Bush, provided Noriega with hundreds of thousands of dollars per year as payment for his work in Latin America.[92] When CIA pilot Eugene Hasenfus was shot down over Nicaragua by the Sandinistas, documents aboard the plane revealed many of the CIA’s activities in Latin America, and the CIA’s connections with Noriega became a public relations “liability” for the U.S. government, which finally allowed the DEA to indict him for drug trafficking, after decades of tolerating his drug operations.[92] Operation Just Cause, whose purpose was to capture Noriega and overthrow his government; Noriega found temporary asylum in the Papal Nuncio, and surrendered to U.S. soldiers on January 3, 1990.[94] He was sentenced by a court in Miami to 45 years in prison.[92]

As part of its Plan Colombia program, the United States government currently provides hundreds of millions of dollars per year of military aid, training, and equipment to Colombia,[95] to fight left-wing guerrillas such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), which has been accused of being involved in drug trafficking.[96]

Private U.S. corporations have signed contracts to carry out anti-drug activities as part of Plan Colombia. DynCorp, the largest private company involved, was among those contracted by the State Department, while others signed contracts with the Defense Department.[97]

Colombian military personnel have received extensive counterinsurgency training from U.S. military and law enforcement agencies, including the School of Americas (SOA). Author Grace Livingstone has stated that more Colombian SOA graduates have been implicated in human rights abuses than currently known SOA graduates from any other country. All of the commanders of the brigades highlighted in a 2001 Human Rights Watch report on Colombia were graduates of the SOA, including the III brigade in Valle del Cauca, where the 2001 Alto Naya Massacre occurred. US-trained officers have been accused of being directly or indirectly involved in many atrocities during the 1990s, including the Massacre of Trujillo and the 1997 Mapiripn Massacre.

In 2000, the Clinton administration initially waived all but one of the human rights conditions attached to Plan Colombia, considering such aid as crucial to national security at the time.[98]

The efforts of U.S. and Colombian governments have been criticized for focusing on fighting leftist guerrillas in southern regions without applying enough pressure on right-wing paramilitaries and continuing drug smuggling operations in the north of the country.[99][100] Human Rights Watch, congressional committees and other entities have documented the existence of connections between members of the Colombian military and the AUC, which the U.S. government has listed as a terrorist group, and that Colombian military personnel have committed human rights abuses which would make them ineligible for U.S. aid under current laws.[citation needed]

In 2010, the Washington Office on Latin America concluded that both Plan Colombia and the Colombian government’s security strategy “came at a high cost in lives and resources, only did part of the job, are yielding diminishing returns and have left important institutions weaker.”[101]

A 2014 report by the RAND Corporation, which was issued to analyze viable strategies for the Mexican drug war considering successes experienced in Columbia, noted:

Between 1999 and 2002, the United States gave Colombia $2.04 billion in aid, 81 percent of which was for military purposes, placing Colombia just below Israel and Egypt among the largest recipients of U.S. military assistance. Colombia increased its defense spending from 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000 to 4.19 percent in 2005. Overall, the results were extremely positive. Greater spending on infrastructure and social programs helped the Colombian government increase its political legitimacy, while improved security forces were better able to consolidate control over large swaths of the country previously overrun by insurgents and drug cartels.

It also notes that, “Plan Colombia has been widely hailed as a success, and some analysts believe that, by 2010, Colombian security forces had finally gained the upper hand once and for all.”[102]

The Mrida Initiative is a security cooperation between the United States and the government of Mexico and the countries of Central America. It was approved on June 30, 2008, and its stated aim is combating the threats of drug trafficking and transnational crime. The Mrida Initiative appropriated $1.4 billion in a three-year commitment (20082010) to the Mexican government for military and law enforcement training and equipment, as well as technical advice and training to strengthen the national justice systems. The Mrida Initiative targeted many very important government officials, but it failed to address the thousands of Central Americans who had to flee their countries due to the danger they faced everyday because of the war on drugs. There is still not any type of plan that addresses these people. No weapons are included in the plan.[103][104]

The United States regularly sponsors the spraying of large amounts of herbicides such as glyphosate over the jungles of Central and South America as part of its drug eradication programs. Environmental consequences resulting from aerial fumigation have been criticized as detrimental to some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems;[105] the same aerial fumigation practices are further credited with causing health problems in local populations.[106]

In 2012, the U.S. sent DEA agents to Honduras to assist security forces in counternarcotics operations. Honduras has been a major stop for drug traffickers, who use small planes and landing strips hidden throughout the country to transport drugs. The U.S. government made agreements with several Latin American countries to share intelligence and resources to counter the drug trade. DEA agents, working with other U.S. agencies such as the State Department, the CBP, and Joint Task Force-Bravo, assisted Honduras troops in conducting raids on traffickers’ sites of operation.[107]

The War on Drugs has been a highly contentious issue since its inception. A poll on October 2, 2008, found that three in four Americans believed that the War On Drugs was failing.[108]

At a meeting in Guatemala in 2012, three former presidents from Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia said that the war on drugs had failed and that they would propose a discussion on alternatives, including decriminalization, at the Summit of the Americas in April of that year.[109] Guatemalan President Otto Prez Molina said that the war on drugs was exacting too high a price on the lives of Central Americans and that it was time to “end the taboo on discussing decriminalization”.[110] At the summit, the government of Colombia pushed for the most far-reaching change to drugs policy since the war on narcotics was declared by Nixon four decades prior, citing the catastrophic effects it had had in Colombia.[111]

Several critics have compared the wholesale incarceration of the dissenting minority of drug users to the wholesale incarceration of other minorities in history. Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, for example, writes in 1997 “Over the past thirty years, we have replaced the medical-political persecution of illegal sex users (‘perverts’ and ‘psychopaths’) with the even more ferocious medical-political persecution of illegal drug users.”[112]

Penalties for drug crimes among American youth almost always involve permanent or semi-permanent removal from opportunities for education, strip them of voting rights, and later involve creation of criminal records which make employment more difficult.[113] Thus, some authors maintain that the War on Drugs has resulted in the creation of a permanent underclass of people who have few educational or job opportunities, often as a result of being punished for drug offenses which in turn have resulted from attempts to earn a living in spite of having no education or job opportunities.[113]

According to a 2008 study published by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron, the annual savings on enforcement and incarceration costs from the legalization of drugs would amount to roughly $41.3 billion, with $25.7 billion being saved among the states and over $15.6 billion accrued for the federal government. Miron further estimated at least $46.7 billion in tax revenue based on rates comparable to those on tobacco and alcohol ($8.7 billion from marijuana, $32.6 billion from cocaine and heroin, remainder from other drugs).[114]

Low taxation in Central American countries has been credited with weakening the region’s response in dealing with drug traffickers. Many cartels, especially Los Zetas have taken advantage of the limited resources of these nations. 2010 tax revenue in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, composed just 13.53% of GDP. As a comparison, in Chile and the U.S., taxes were 18.6% and 26.9% of GDP respectively. However, direct taxes on income are very hard to enforce and in some cases tax evasion is seen as a national pastime.[115]

The status of coca and coca growers has become an intense political issue in several countries, including Colombia and particularly Bolivia, where the president, Evo Morales, a former coca growers’ union leader, has promised to legalise the traditional cultivation and use of coca.[116] Indeed, legalization efforts have yielded some successes under the Morales administration when combined with aggressive and targeted eradication efforts. The country saw a 12-13% decline in coca cultivation[116] in 2011 under Morales, who has used coca growers’ federations to ensure compliance with the law rather than providing a primary role for security forces.[116]

The coca eradication policy has been criticised for its negative impact on the livelihood of coca growers in South America. In many areas of South America the coca leaf has traditionally been chewed and used in tea and for religious, medicinal and nutritional purposes by locals.[117] For this reason many insist that the illegality of traditional coca cultivation is unjust. In many areas the US government and military has forced the eradication of coca without providing for any meaningful alternative crop for farmers, and has additionally destroyed many of their food or market crops, leaving them starving and destitute.[117]

The CIA, DEA, State Department, and several other U.S. government agencies have been implicated in relations with various groups involved in drug trafficking.

Senator John Kerry’s 1988 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report on Contra drug links concludes that members of the U.S. State Department “who provided support for the Contras are involved in drug trafficking… and elements of the Contras themselves knowingly receive financial and material assistance from drug traffickers.”[118] The report further states that “the Contra drug links include… payments to drug traffickers by the U.S. State Department of funds authorized by the Congress for humanitarian assistance to the Contras, in some cases after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies on drug charges, in others while traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.”

In 1996, journalist Gary Webb published reports in the San Jose Mercury News,[119] and later in his book Dark Alliance,[120] detailing how Contras, had been involved in distributing crack cocaine into Los Angeles whilst receiving money from the CIA. Contras used money from drug trafficking to buy weapons

Webb’s premise regarding the U.S. Government connection was initially attacked at the time by the media. It is now widely accepted that Webb’s main assertion of government “knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers” was correct.[121] In 1998, CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz published a two-volume report[122] that while seemingly refuting Webb’s claims of knowledge and collaboration in its conclusions did not deny them in its body.[123] Hitz went on to admit CIA improprieties in the affair in testimony to a House congressional committee. Some of Webb’s work acknowledging is now widely accepted.

According to Rodney Campbell, an editorial assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, during World War II, the United States Navy, concerned that strikes and labor disputes in U.S. eastern shipping ports would disrupt wartime logistics, released the mobster Lucky Luciano from prison, and collaborated with him to help the mafia take control of those ports. Labor union members were terrorized and murdered by mafia members as a means of preventing labor unrest and ensuring smooth shipping of supplies to Europe.[124]

According to Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, in order to prevent Communist party members from being elected in Italy following World War II, the CIA worked closely with the Sicilian Mafia, protecting them and assisting in their worldwide heroin smuggling operations. The mafia was in conflict with leftist groups and was involved in assassinating, torturing, and beating leftist political organizers.[125]

In 1986, the US Defense Department funded a two-year study by the RAND Corporation, which found that the use of the armed forces to interdict drugs coming into the United States would have little or no effect on cocaine traffic and might, in fact, raise the profits of cocaine cartels and manufacturers. The 175-page study, “Sealing the Borders: The Effects of Increased Military Participation in Drug Interdiction”, was prepared by seven researchers, mathematicians and economists at the National Defense Research Institute, a branch of the RAND, and was released in 1988. The study noted that seven prior studies in the past nine years, including one by the Center for Naval Research and the Office of Technology Assessment, had come to similar conclusions. Interdiction efforts, using current armed forces resources, would have almost no effect on cocaine importation into the United States, the report concluded.[126]

During the early-to-mid-1990s, the Clinton administration ordered and funded a major cocaine policy study, again by RAND. The Rand Drug Policy Research Center study concluded that $3 billion should be switched from federal and local law enforcement to treatment. The report said that treatment is the cheapest way to cut drug use, stating that drug treatment is twenty-three times more effective than the supply-side “war on drugs”.[127]

The National Research Council Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs published its findings in 2001 on the efficacy of the drug war. The NRC Committee found that existing studies on efforts to address drug usage and smuggling, from U.S. military operations to eradicate coca fields in Colombia, to domestic drug treatment centers, have all been inconclusive, if the programs have been evaluated at all: “The existing drug-use monitoring systems are strikingly inadequate to support the full range of policy decisions that the nation must make…. It is unconscionable for this country to continue to carry out a public policy of this magnitude and cost without any way of knowing whether and to what extent it is having the desired effect.”[128] The study, though not ignored by the press, was ignored by top-level policymakers, leading Committee Chair Charles Manski to conclude, as one observer notes, that “the drug war has no interest in its own results”.[129]

In mid-1995, the US government tried to reduce the supply of methamphetamine precursors to disrupt the market of this drug. According to a 2009 study, this effort was successful, but its effects were largely temporary.[130]

During alcohol prohibition, the period from 1920 to 1933, alcohol use initially fell but began to increase as early as 1922. It has been extrapolated that even if prohibition had not been repealed in 1933, alcohol consumption would have quickly surpassed pre-prohibition levels.[131] One argument against the War on Drugs is that it uses similar measures as Prohibition and is no more effective.

In the six years from 2000 to 2006, the U.S. spent $4.7 billion on Plan Colombia, an effort to eradicate coca production in Colombia. The main result of this effort was to shift coca production into more remote areas and force other forms of adaptation. The overall acreage cultivated for coca in Colombia at the end of the six years was found to be the same, after the U.S. Drug Czar’s office announced a change in measuring methodology in 2005 and included new areas in its surveys.[132] Cultivation in the neighboring countries of Peru and Bolivia increased, some would describe this effect like squeezing a balloon.[133]

Similar lack of efficacy is observed in some other countries pursuing similar[citation needed] policies. In 1994, 28.5% of Canadians reported having consumed illicit drugs in their life; by 2004, that figure had risen to 45%. 73% of the $368 million spent by the Canadian government on targeting illicit drugs in 20042005 went toward law enforcement rather than treatment, prevention or harm reduction.[134]

Richard Davenport-Hines, in his book The Pursuit of Oblivion,[135] criticized the efficacy of the War on Drugs by pointing out that

1015% of illicit heroin and 30% of illicit cocaine is intercepted. Drug traffickers have gross profit margins of up to 300%. At least 75% of illicit drug shipments would have to be intercepted before the traffickers’ profits were hurt.

Alberto Fujimori, president of Peru from 1990 to 2000, described U.S. foreign drug policy as “failed” on grounds that “for 10 years, there has been a considerable sum invested by the Peruvian government and another sum on the part of the American government, and this has not led to a reduction in the supply of coca leaf offered for sale. Rather, in the 10 years from 1980 to 1990, it grew 10-fold.”[136]

At least 500 economists, including Nobel Laureates Milton Friedman,[137]George Akerlof and Vernon L. Smith, have noted that reducing the supply of marijuana without reducing the demand causes the price, and hence the profits of marijuana sellers, to go up, according to the laws of supply and demand.[138] The increased profits encourage the producers to produce more drugs despite the risks, providing a theoretical explanation for why attacks on drug supply have failed to have any lasting effect. The aforementioned economists published an open letter to President George W. Bush stating “We urge…the country to commence an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition… At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition.”

The declaration from the World Forum Against Drugs, 2008 state that a balanced policy of drug abuse prevention, education, treatment, law enforcement, research, and supply reduction provides the most effective platform to reduce drug abuse and its associated harms and call on governments to consider demand reduction as one of their first priorities in the fight against drug abuse.[139]

Despite over $7 billion spent annually towards arresting[140] and prosecuting nearly 800,000 people across the country for marijuana offenses in 2005[citation needed] (FBI Uniform Crime Reports), the federally funded Monitoring the Future Survey reports about 85% of high school seniors find marijuana “easy to obtain”. That figure has remained virtually unchanged since 1975, never dropping below 82.7% in three decades of national surveys.[141] The Drug Enforcement Administration states that the number of users of marijuana in the U.S. declined between 2000 and 2005 even with many states passing new medical marijuana laws making access easier,[142] though usage rates remain higher than they were in the 1990s according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.[143]

ONDCP stated in April 2011 that there has been a 46 percent drop in cocaine use among young adults over the past five years, and a 65 percent drop in the rate of people testing positive for cocaine in the workplace since 2006.[144] At the same time, a 2007 study found that up to 35% of college undergraduates used stimulants not prescribed to them.[145]

A 2013 study found that prices of heroin, cocaine and cannabis had decreased from 1990 to 2007, but the purity of these drugs had increased during the same time.[146]

The legality of the War on Drugs has been challenged on four main grounds in the US.

Several authors believe that the United States’ federal and state governments have chosen wrong methods for combatting the distribution of illicit substances. Aggressive, heavy-handed enforcement funnel individuals through courts and prisons, instead of treating the cause of the addiction, the focus of government efforts has been on punishment. By making drugs illegal rather than regulating them, the War on Drugs creates a highly profitable black market. Jefferson Fish has edited scholarly collections of articles offering a wide variety of public health based and rights based alternative drug policies.[147][148][149]

In the year 2000, the United States drug-control budget reached 18.4 billion dollars,[150] nearly half of which was spent financing law enforcement while only one sixth was spent on treatment. In the year 2003, 53 percent of the requested drug control budget was for enforcement, 29 percent for treatment, and 18 percent for prevention.[151] The state of New York, in particular, designated 17 percent of its budget towards substance-abuse-related spending. Of that, a mere one percent was put towards prevention, treatment, and research.

In a survey taken by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it was found that substance abusers that remain in treatment longer are less likely to resume their former drug habits. Of the people that were studied, 66 percent were cocaine users. After experiencing long-term in-patient treatment, only 22 percent returned to the use of cocaine. Treatment had reduced the number of cocaine abusers by two-thirds.[150] By spending the majority of its money on law enforcement, the federal government had underestimated the true value of drug-treatment facilities and their benefit towards reducing the number of addicts in the U.S.

In 2004 the federal government issued the National Drug Control Strategy. It supported programs designed to expand treatment options, enhance treatment delivery, and improve treatment outcomes. For example, the Strategy provided SAMHSA with a $100.6 million grant to put towards their Access to Recovery (ATR) initiative. ATR is a program that provides vouchers to addicts to provide them with the means to acquire clinical treatment or recovery support. The project’s goals are to expand capacity, support client choice, and increase the array of faith-based and community based providers for clinical treatment and recovery support services.[152] The ATR program will also provide a more flexible array of services based on the individual’s treatment needs.

The 2004 Strategy additionally declared a significant 32 million dollar raise in the Drug Courts Program, which provides drug offenders with alternatives to incarceration. As a substitute for imprisonment, drug courts identify substance-abusing offenders and place them under strict court monitoring and community supervision, as well as provide them with long-term treatment services.[153] According to a report issued by the National Drug Court Institute, drug courts have a wide array of benefits, with only 16.4 percent of the nation’s drug court graduates rearrested and charged with a felony within one year of completing the program (versus the 44.1% of released prisoners who end up back in prison within 1-year). Additionally, enrolling an addict in a drug court program costs much less than incarcerating one in prison.[154] According to the Bureau of Prisons, the fee to cover the average cost of incarceration for Federal inmates in 2006 was $24,440.[155] The annual cost of receiving treatment in a drug court program ranges from $900 to $3,500. Drug courts in New York State alone saved $2.54 million in incarceration costs.[154]

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War on Drugs – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jun 172016
 

The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal

House Budget Committee – Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution

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Read Facts and Summary

A Contrast in Visions

For years, both political parties have made empty promises to the American people. Unfortunately, the President refuses to take responsibility for avoiding the debt-fueled crisis before us. Instead, his policies have put us on the path to debt and decline.

The President and his partys leaders refuse to take action in the face of the most predictable economic crisis in our nations history. The Presidents budget calls for more spending and more debt, while Senate Democrats for over 1,000 days have refused to pass a budget. This unserious approach to budgeting has serious consequences for American families, seniors, and the next generation.

We reject the broken politics of the past. The American people deserve real solutions and honest leadership. Thats what were delivering with our budget, The Path to Prosperity. House Republicans are advancing a plan of action for American renewal.

Our budget:

Cuts government spending to protect hardworking taxpayers;

Tackles the drivers of our debt, so our troops dont pay the price for Washingtons failure to take action;

Restores economic freedom and ensures a level playing field for all by putting an end to special-interest favoritism and corporate welfare

Reverses the Presidents policies that drive up gas prices, and instead promotes an all-of the-above strategy for unlocking American energy production to help lower costs, create jobs, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Strengthens health and retirement security by taking power away from government bureaucrats and empowering patients instead with control over their own care;

Reforms our broken tax code to spur job creation and economic opportunity by lowering rates, closing loopholes, and putting hardworking taxpayers ahead of special interests.

At its core, this plan of action is about putting an end to empty promises from a bankrupt government and restoring the fundamental American promise: ensuring our children have more opportunity and inherit a stronger America than our parents gave us.

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The FY2013 Budget Resolution: Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for FY 2013 as Reported The Report on Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for FY 2013

Introduction by Chairman Ryan

Appendix I: Summary Tables

Appendix II: Reprioritizing Sequester Savings

CBO Analysis

Views and Estimates of Committees of the House Additional Information:

A Budget Presentation – Charts

Additional Fiscal Comparisons on The Path to Prosperity

The GOP Budget and America’s Future – Wall Street Journal op-ed, By Paul Ryan

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Seychelles: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture …

 Seychelles  Comments Off on Seychelles: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture …
Jun 172016
 

Republic of Seychelles

President: James Michel (2004)

Total area: 176 sq mi (456 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 91,650 (growth rate: .87%); birth rate: 14.54/1000; infant mortality rate: 10.77/1000; life expectancy: 74.25.

Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Victoria, 27,000

Monetary unit: Seychelles rupee

Current government officials

Languages: Seychellois Creole (official) 89.1%, English (official) 5.1%, French (official) 0.7%, other 3.8%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)

Ethnicity/race: mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab

Religions: Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 10.6% (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecoastal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6), other Christian 2.4%, Hindu 2.4%, Muslim 1.6%, other non-Christian 1.1%, unspecified 4.8%, none 0.9% (2010 est.)

Literacy rate: 91.8% (2011 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $2.404 billion; per capita $25,900. Real growth rate: 3.3%. Inflation: 4.3%. Unemployment: 2% (2006 est.). Arable land: 2.17%. Agriculture: coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), copra, bananas; poultry; tuna. Labor force: 39,560 (2006); industry 23%, services 74%, agriculture 3% (2006). Industries: fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages. Natural resources: fish, copra, cinnamon trees. Exports: $516.7 million (2013 est.): canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports). Imports: $846.4 million (2013 est.): machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals, other manufactured goods. Major trading partners: UK, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Saudi Arabia (2012).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 28,900 (2012); mobile cellular: 138,300 (2012). Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1 (2007).Television broadcast stations: 1. Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 247 (2012). Internet users: 32,000 (2008).

Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 508 km; paved: 490 km; unpaved: 18 km (2010). Ports and harbors: Victoria. Airports: 14 (2013).

International disputes: claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory).

Major sources and definitions

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Space Exploration News – Space News, Space Exploration …

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Jun 172016
 

The jagged shores of Pluto’s highlands

This enhanced color view from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zooms in on the southeastern portion of Pluto’s great ice plains, where at lower right the plains border rugged, dark highlands informally named Krun Macula. (Krun …

After decades of research to discern seasonal patterns in Martian dust storms from images showing the dust, but the clearest pattern appears to be captured by measuring the temperature of the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

Astronomers using the upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico have produced the most detailed radio map yet of the atmosphere of Jupiter, revealing the massive movement of ammonia gas that underlies the colorful …

On Pluto, icebergs floating in a sea of nitrogen ice are key to a possible explanation of the quilted appearance of the Sputnik Planum region of the dwarf planet’s surface.

Space station astronauts opened the world’s first inflatable space habitat Monday and floated inside.

The US government, in a first, is preparing to approve a private commercial space mission beyond the Earth’s orbit, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

(Phys.org)Discovered in 1983, the near-Earth asteroid Phaethon is an intriguing object, primarily due to its unusual orbit. Recently, an international team of astronomers has conducted a detailed study of this unique space …

For some comets, breaking up is not that hard to do. A new study led by Purdue University and the University of Colorado Boulder indicates the bodies of some periodic comets – objects that orbit the sun in less than 200 years …

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft took this stunning image of Pluto only a few minutes after closest approach on July 14, 2015. The image was obtained at a high phase angle -that is, with the sun on the other side of Pluto, …

One of Europe’s smallest states, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, cast its eyes to the cosmos on Friday, announcing it would draw up a law to facilitate mining on asteroids.

An important amino acid called glycine has been detected in a comet for the first time, supporting the theory that these cosmic bodies delivered the ingredients for life on Earth, researchers said Friday.

(Phys.org)As we become more advanced in astronomy, continuously searching and finding lots of potentially habitable extrasolar planets that could harbor alien life, it seems that it’s not a matter of if but when we will …

(Phys.org)In September 2016, NASA plans to launch its first-ever asteroid sample return mission loaded with tasks that will help us better understand the composition of asteroids, their origin, and possibly even Earth’s …

(Phys.org)The team that has posted a project called KickSat on crowd sourcing site KickStarter, has arranged to have the tiny satellite system sent to the International Space Station on July 6. KickSat is a satellite system …

Europe’s trailblazing spacecraft Rosetta has resumed its exploration of a comet hurtling through the Solar System after a “dramatic weekend” in which contact with Earth was lost for nearly 24 hours, mission control said Thursday.

Before humans could take their first steps on the moon, that mysterious and forbidding surface had to be reconnoitered by robots. When President John Kennedy set a goal of landing astronauts on the lunar surface in 1961, …

After the Apollo missions scooped up rocks from the Moon’s surface and brought them home, scientists were convinced for decades that they had proof our nearest celestial neighbour was drier than a bone.

Since its launch five years ago, there have been three forces tugging at NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it speeds through the solar system. The sun, Earth and Jupiter have all been influentiala gravitational trifecta of sorts. …

A tiny mirror could make a huge difference for scientists trying to understand what’s happening in the micron-scale structures of living cells.

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) detected a clear signal from oxygen in a galaxy located 13.1 billion light-years away from us. This is the most distant oxygen ever detected. Oxygen …

A new maker of self-driving vehicles burst onto the scene Thursday in partnership with IBM’s supercomputer platform Watson, and it’s ready to roll right now.

For the past 40 years, eye-tracking technologywhich can determine where in a visual scene people are directing their gazehas been widely used in psychological experiments and marketing research, but it’s required pricey …

A team of University of Miami researchers has developed a model to identify behavioral patterns among serious online groups of ISIS supporters that could provide cyber police and other anti-terror watchdogs a roadmap to their …

A facial recognition database compiled by the FBI has more than 400 million images to help criminal investigations, but lacks adequate safeguards for accuracy and privacy protection, a congressional audit shows.

In the Canadian province of Quebec, a study of more than 26,000 trees across an area the size of Spain forecasts potential winners and losers in a changing climate.

In an essay to be published on June 17, 2016 in Science magazine Susan Landau, professor of cybersecurity policy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), argues that the FBI’s recent and widely publicized efforts to compel …

The first eukaryote is thought to have arisen when simpler archaea and bacteria joined forces. But in an Opinion paper published June 16 in Trends in Cell Biology, researchers propose that new genomic evidence derived from …

Picture a singer, accompanied by a grand piano. As the singer’s voice dances through multiple octaves of range, the pianist’s fingers trip from one end of the keyboard to the other. Both the singer’s voice and the piano are …

China’s massive investment to mitigate the ecosystem bust that has come in the wake of the nation’s economic boom is paying off. An international group of scientists finds both humans and nature can thrivewith careful …

The supermassive black holes found at the centre of every galaxy, including our own Milky Way, may, on average, be smaller than we thought, according to work led by University of Southampton astronomer Dr Francesco Shankar.

(Phys.org)A team of researchers with the Carnegie Institution for Science and the University of Pennsylvania has developed a model that allows for accurately predicting how ferroelectric materials will behave when exposed …

New research shows permafrost below shallow Arctic lakes is thawing as a result of changing winter climate.

Moving through water can be a drag, but the use of supercavitation bubbles can reduce that drag and increase the speed of underwater vehicles. Sometimes these bubbles produce a bumpy ride, but now a team of engineers from …

Researchers at the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) at UT Dallas are working to develop an affordable electronic nose that can be used in breath analysis for a wide range of health diagnosis.

An exhaustive look at how bacteria hold their ground and avoid getting pushed around by their environment shows how dozens of genes aid the essential job of protecting cells from popping when tensions run high.

A new procedure developed at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) may revolutionize the culturing of adult stem cells. In their report that has been published online prior to its appearance in the August 6 issue of Cell Stem …

University of Iowa researchers are working with a California-based startup company to make clean energy from sunlight and any source of water.

The world won’t be able to fish its way to feeding 10 billion people by mid-century, but a shift in management practices could save hundreds of millions of fish-dependent poor from malnutrition, according to an analysis led …

Modern rockets and their launch vehicles commonly rely on hydrogen-oxygen mixtures as propellant, but this combination is highly explosive. The Challenger space shuttle catastrophe of 1986 is associated with self-ignition …

University of Utah materials science and engineering associate professor Mike Scarpulla wants to shed light on semiconductorsliterally.

The competition is fierce and only the strongest survive the obstacle course within the female reproductive tract. Of the millions of sperm that enter the vagina, only about 10 or so make it to the oocyte or egg, demonstrating …

The researchers have established that chickens – just like people – have colour constancy. For birds, this means that they, in different environments and under different lighting conditions, recognise the colour of, for instance, …

On December 26, 2015 at 03:38:53 UTC, scientists observed gravitational wavesripples in the fabric of spacetimefor the second time.

First postulated more than 230 years ago, black holes have been extensively researched, frequently depicted, even featured in sci-fi films.

Carbon dioxide emissions from dry and oxygen-rich environments are likely to play a much greater role in controlling future rates of climate change caused by permafrost thaw than rates of methane release from oxygen-poor …

(Phys.org)Cell phones and Wi-Fi devices typically transmit data using radio waves, but as the demand for wireless data transfer increases, congestion in the radio spectrum is expected to become more of a problem. One way …

When an astronomical observatory detected two black holes colliding in deep space, scientists celebrated confirmation of Einstein’s prediction of gravitational waves. A team of astrophysicists wondered something else: Had …

May’s temperatures broke global records yet again, as the northern hemisphere finishes its hottest spring on record, statistics released Tuesday by NASA showed.

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Cloning – definition of cloning by The Free Dictionary

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Jun 172016
 

Her call echoed a European Parliament vote for a ban in July, but Tory MEP Struan Stevenson warned that could trigger a trade war with meat exporters to Europe from where cloning is allowed, such as America. American scientists have been cloning deceased cattle for some time and are believed to be far ahead of British markets in resurrection technologies. Emma Hockridge, the Soil Association’s head of policy, There are no insists industry said cloning raised worrying issues about animal welfare, ethics, public safety, reducing genetic diversity within agriculture and the spread of animal diseases. Debates about cloning conjure up images of designer babies or a frightening future populated by people who are the exact replica of each other. The assessment was peer-reviewed by a group of independent scientific experts in cloning and animal health. To examine how a cell’s maturity affects its usefulness for cloning, Xiangzhong (Jerry) Yang of the University of Connecticut in Storrs and his colleagues worked with three types of blood cells from a mouse: stem cells that produce all types of blood cells, more-mature cells that can make only a few blood cell types, and fully mature white blood cells called granulocytes that can no longer divide. Featuring more than 20 actors, original sound effects, a full orchestral score, and a total running time of two hours on two CDs, Anne Manx On Amazonia from Radio Repertory Company Of America starring Claudia Christian, Barbara Harris, and Patricia Tallman is an superbly recorded science fiction story involving Anne Manx, a private investigator hired in aide of a clone of Amazonia’s queen in an attempt to attain perfection after a previous faulty cloning attempt (cloning being the means by which the succession to the throne of Amazonia is accomplished). The Island imagines a not-too-distant future in which a huge corporation has developed very advanced cloning technology. Hwang, the lead researcher, claims to oppose the idea of cloning to reproduce a human being because it is “unethical”. Some scientists and their political allies support human cloning for research purposes (which they call “therapeutic” cloning, although it has not produced any therapies). 1998 – The Food and Drug Administration announced it had the authority to regulate human cloning. In September 2004 President Bush strongly endorsed a United Nations resolution, proposed by Costa Rica, for a global treaty that would completely ban both reproductive cloning/that is, cloning to produce a baby) and therapeutic cloning.

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Why It’s Time to Repeal the Second Amendment

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Jun 172016
 

I teach the Constitution for a living. I revere the document when it is used to further social justice and make our country a more inclusive one. I admire the Founders for establishing a representative democracy that has survived for over two centuries.

But sometimes we just have to acknowledge that the Founders and the Constitution are wrong. This is one of those times. We need to say loud and clear: The Second Amendment must be repealed.

As much as we have a culture of reverence for the founding generation, it’s important to understand that they got it wrong and got it wrong often. Unfortunately, in many instances, they enshrined those faults in the Constitution. For instance, most people don’t know it now, but under the original document, Mitt Romney would be serving as President Obama’s vice president right now because he was the runner-up in the last presidential election. That part of the Constitution was fixed by the Twelfth Amendment, which set up the system we currently have of the president and vice president running for office together.

Much more profoundly, the Framers and the Constitution were wildly wrong on race. They enshrined slavery into the Constitution in multiple ways, including taking the extreme step of prohibiting the Constitution from being amended to stop the slave trade in the country’s first 20years. They also blatantly wrote racism into the Constitution by counting slaves as only 3/5 of a person for purposes of Congressional representation. It took a bloody civil war to fix these constitutional flaws (and then another 150 years, and counting, to try to fix the societal consequences of them).

There are others flaws that have been fixed (such as about voting and Presidential succession), and still other flaws that have not yet been fixed (such as about equal rights for women and land-based representation in the Senate), but the point is the same there is absolutely nothing permanently sacrosanct about the Founders and the Constitution. They were deeply flawed people, it was and is a flawed document, and when we think about how to make our country a more perfect union, we must operate with those principles in mind.

In the face of yet another mass shooting, now is the time to acknowledge a profound but obvious truth the Second Amendment is wrong for this country and needs to be jettisoned. We can do that through a Constitutional amendment. It’s been done before (when the Twenty-First Amendment repealed prohibition in the Eighteenth), and it must be done now.

The Second Amendment needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact. When the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, there were no weapons remotely like the AR-15assault rifle and many of the advances of modern weaponry were long from being invented or popularized.

Sure, the Founders knew that the world evolved and that technology changed, but the weapons of today that are easily accessible are vastly different than anything that existed in 1791. When the Second Amendment was written, the Founders didn’t have to weigh the risks of one man killing 49and injuring 53 all by himself. Now we do, and the risk-benefit analysis of 1791 is flatly irrelevant to the risk-benefit analysis of today.

Gun-rights advocates like to make this all about liberty, insisting that their freedom to bear arms is of utmost importance and that restricting their freedom would be a violation of basic rights.

But liberty is not a one way street. It also includes the liberty to enjoy a night out with friends, loving who you want to love, dancing how you want to dance, in a club that has historically provided a refuge from the hate and fear that surrounds you. It also includes the liberty to go to and send your kids to kindergarten and first grade so that they can begin to be infused with a love of learning. It includes the liberty to go to a movie, to your religious house of worship, to college, to work, to an abortion clinic, go to a hair salon, to a community center, to the supermarket, to go anywhere and feel that you are free to do to so without having to weigh the risk of being gunned downby someone wielding a weapon that can easily kill you and countless others.

The liberty of some to own guns cannot take precedence over the liberty of everyone to live their lives free from the risk of being easily murdered. It has for too long, and we must now say no more.

Finally, if we take the gun-rights lobby at their word, the Second Amendment is a suicide pact. As they say over and over, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. In other words, please the gun manufacturers by arming even the vast majority of Americans who do not own a gun.

Just think of what would have happened in the Orlando night-club Saturday night if there had been many others armed. In a crowded, dark, loud dance club, after the shooter began firing, imagine if others took out their guns and started firing back. Yes, maybe they would have killed the shooter, but how would anyone else have known what exactly was going on? How would it not have devolved into mass confusion and fear followed by a large-scale shootout without anyone knowing who was the good guy with a gun, who was the bad guy with a gun, and who was just caught in the middle? The death toll could have been much higher if more people were armed.

The gun-rights lobby’s mantra that more people need guns will lead to an obvious result more people will be killed. We’d be walking down a road in which blood baths are a common occurrence, all because the Second Amendment allows them to be.

At this point, bickering about the niceties of textual interpretation, whether the history of the amendment supports this view or that, and how legislators can solve this problem within the confines of the constitution is useless drivel that will lead to more of the same. We need a mass movement of those who are fed up with the long-dead Founders’ view of the world ruling current day politics. A mass movement of those who will stand up and say that our founding document was wrong and needs to be changed. A mass movement of those who will thumb their nose at the NRA, an organization that is nothing more than the political wing of the country’s gun manufacturers, and say enough is enough.

The Second Amendment must be repealed, and it is the essence of American democracy to say so.

Watch four pro-gun arguments we’re sick of hearing.

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Vacation Without Children (Childfree Getaways)

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Jun 152016
 

By Susan Breslow Sardone

Updated April 17, 2016.

You’re finally alone, ready to start your vacation. You turn to your beloved, about to speak. But then… “WAAAAH!” Suddenly, the sounds of silence are punctuated by a fretful, crying baby — and the child is wailing as if it may not stop until it reaches college age.

When one travels, this happens all the time….in airports, on trains, planes, in restaurants, even in hotels with thin walls. Peace of mind is shattered by ear-piercing cries from OPBs (Other People’s Babies).

What can you do?

Even if you have children, love kids, or are planning to start a family, you shouldn’t have to spend a romantic vacation surrounded by the sticky-fingered set. The good news is, you don’t have to. There are plenty of places that offer vacations without children; you just have to be selective.

Many all-inclusive resorts such as Sandals, SuperClubs, and Iberostar Grand Hotelsrestrict guests under age 16 or 18 — so any immature people you may encounter on a vacation at such properties will be emotionally, rather than chronologically, immature.

Also, numerous fine inns, especially those furnished with treasured antiques, do not accept youngsters.

I don’t know of any cruise line that restricts children, but if you want to avoid the little darlings, your best bet is a river cruise. More expensive than ocean cruises, they have zero facilities for children and tend to attract an older crowd. (The one exception is AmaWaterways, which partners with Disney on a few sailings and is launching some custom-built ships for family travelers.)

On an ocean cruise, sailing a longer itinerary to distant ports at times other than summer and school breaks certainly cuts down on the likelihood you will encounter toddlers to teens. Large cruise ships are starting to make concessions to adults:

I’ve spoken with many hoteliers and they tell me the best times to travel are what they call the “romance months” of May and September when kids are in school and couples season, which begins after Labor Day and ends before Thanksgiving. Personally, I’ve found October and early June relatively childfree times to travel as well. Also, immediately before a major holiday, such as the first two weeks in November or in February before spring break is a safe bet.

The term “family-friendly” is a red flag for me and should be for others who’d rather not vacation among children. If you book such a resort, expect children to be seen and heard throughout your stay.

We once took advantage of a Valentine’s Weekend package at a family-friendly resort expecting a reprieve from the shrieks of infants, but we were out of luck. That’s because it coincided with President’s Day weekend. And further to the consternation of childfree couples, new parents towed newborns along on what was intended to be a romantic interlude. One of the contributors to this site calls it “stroller shock.”

Still, some multi-generational resorts do make a concerted effort to keep romantic couples and rambunctious families separate. The more upscale a place you select, the more likely it will have facilities that segregate children from grown-ups. Most hotel spas are off-limits to kids, for example, and better hotels and cruise lines feature adults-only pools. Among them:

Beware of hotels that have adults-only swim hours, though: While you won’t have to put up with screams and splashing, you will be swimming in the same water where diapers may have dipped earlier.

Let the resort manager know how much you appreciate being in a serene, childfree space. The more you patronize places that cater exclusively to adults, the better it will be for everyone who likes to unwind without the presence of children.

Now if Disney would only make one day a month for adults on vacation without children, we’d be delighted.

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Oceania Cruises – Cruise Vacations & Cruise Deals | Mid-Sized …

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Jun 132016
 

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2017-18

Voyage Collection

On April 27, 2016, Sirena, the newest member of the Oceania Cruises fleet, was christened in Barcelona, Spain. Watch the event as it happened live, including opening remarks from Oceania Cruises President Jason Montague, Sirenas Godmother Claudine Ppin, the christening of the ship, and all the festivities!

Filled with a spectacular array of diverse and exotic destinations, your world awaits your discovery. There is simply no better way to explore it than aboard the elegant ships of Oceania Cruises. Our unique itineraries are wide-ranging, featuring the most fascinating destinations throughout the world. Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Sirena, Marina and Riviera are all intimate and luxurious, with each calling on the worlds most desirable ports, from historic cities and modern meccas to seaside villages and faraway islands. On a voyage with Oceania Cruises, each day offers the rewarding opportunity to experience the history, culture and cuisine of a wondrous new destination.

Relax on board our luxurious ships and savor cuisine renowned as the finest at sea, rivaling even Michelin-starred restaurants ashore. Inspired by Master Chef Jacques Ppin, these culinary delights have always been a hallmark that distinguishes the Oceania Cruises experience from any other. Considering the uncompromising quality, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of an Oceania Cruises voyage is its incredible value. Lavish complimentary amenities abound, and there are never supplemental charges in any of the onboard restaurants. Value packages ensure that sipping a glass of vintage wine, surfing the Internet or enjoying a shore excursion is both convenient and affordable.

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Harvard’s eugenics era | Harvard Magazine

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Jun 062016
 

In August 1912, Harvard president emeritus Charles William Eliot addressed the Harvard Club of San Francisco on a subject close to his heart: racial purity. It was being threatened, he declared, by immigration. Eliot was not opposed to admitting new Americans, but he saw the mixture of racial groups it could bring about as a grave danger. Each nation should keep its stock pure, Eliot told his San Francisco audience. There should be no blending of races.

Eliots warning against mixing raceswhich for him included Irish Catholics marrying white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, Jews marrying Gentiles, and blacks marrying whiteswas a central tenet of eugenics. The eugenics movement, which had begun in England and was rapidly spreading in the United States, insisted that human progress depended on promoting reproduction by the best people in the best combinations, and preventing the unworthy from having children.

The former Harvard president was an outspoken supporter of another major eugenic cause of his time: forced sterilization of people declared to be feebleminded, physically disabled, criminalistic, or otherwise flawed. In 1907, Indiana had enacted the nations first eugenic sterilization law. Four years later, in a paper on The Suppression of Moral Defectives, Eliot declared that Indianas law blazed the trail which all free states must follow, if they would protect themselves from moral degeneracy.

He also lent his considerable prestige to the campaign to build a global eugenics movement. He was a vice president of the First International Eugenics Congress, which met in London in 1912 to hear papers on racial suicide among Northern Europeans and similar topics. Two years later, Eliot helped organize the First National Conference on Race Betterment in Battle Creek, Michigan.

None of these actions created problems for Eliot at Harvard, for a simple reason: they were well within the intellectual mainstream at the University. Harvard administrators, faculty members, and alumni were at the forefront of American eugenicsfounding eugenics organizations, writing academic and popular eugenics articles, and lobbying government to enact eugenics laws. And for many years, scarcely any significant Harvard voices, if any at all, were raised against it.

Harvards role in the movement was in many ways not surprising. Eugenics attracted considerable support from progressives, reformers, and educated elites as a way of using science to make a better world. Harvard was hardly the only university that was home to prominent eugenicists. Stanfords first president, David Starr Jordan, and Yales most acclaimed economist, Irving Fisher, were leaders in the movement. The University of Virginia was a center of scientific racism, with professors like Robert Bennett Bean, author of such works of pseudo-science as the 1906 American Journal of Anatomy article, Some Racial Peculiarities of the Negro Brain.

But in part because of its overall prominence and influence on society, and in part because of its sheer enthusiasm, Harvard was more central to American eugenics than any other university. Harvard has, with some justification, been called the brain trust of twentieth-century eugenics, but the role it played is little remembered or remarked upon today.It is understandable that the University is not eager to recall its part in that tragically misguided intellectual movementbut it is a chapter too important to be forgotten.In part because of its overall prominence and influence on society, and in part because of its sheer enthusiasm, Harvard was more central to American eugenics than any other university.

Eugenics emerged in England in the late 1800s, when Francis Galton, a half cousin of Charles Darwin, began studying the families of some of historys greatest thinkers and concluded that genius was hereditary. Galton invented a new wordcombining the Greek for good and genesand launched a movement calling for society to take affirmative steps to promote the more suitable races or strains of blood. Echoing his famous half cousins work on evolution, Galton declared that what Nature does blindly, slowly, and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly, and kindly.

Eugenics soon made its way across the Atlantic, reinforced by the discoveries of Gregor Mendel and the new science of genetics. In the United States, it found some of its earliest support among the same group that Harvard had: the wealthy old families of Boston. The Boston Brahmins were strong believers in the power of their own bloodlines, and it was an easy leap for many of them to believe that society should work to make the nations gene pool as exalted as their own.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.A.B. 1829, M.D. 36, LL.D. 80, dean of Harvard Medical School, acclaimed writer, and father of the future Supreme Court justicewas one of the first American intellectuals to espouse eugenics. Holmes, whose ancestors had been at Harvard since John Oliver entered with the class of 1680, had been writing about human breeding even before Galton. He had coined the phrase Boston Brahmin in an 1861 book in which he described his social class as a physical and mental elite, identifiable by its noble physiognomy and aptitude for learning, which he insisted were congenital and hereditary.

Holmes believed eugenic principles could be used to address the nations social problems. In an 1875 article in The Atlantic Monthly, he gave Galton an early embrace, and argued that his ideas could help to explain the roots of criminal behavior. If genius and talent are inherited, as Mr. Galton has so conclusively shown, Holmes wrote, why should not deep-rooted moral defectsshow themselvesin the descendants of moral monsters?

As eugenics grew in popularity, it took hold at the highest levels of Harvard. A. Lawrence Lowell, who served as president from 1909 to 1933, was an active supporter. Lowell, who worked to impose a quota on Jewish students and to keep black students from living in the Yard, was particularly concerned about immigrationand he joined the eugenicists in calling for sharp limits. The need for homogeneity in a democracy, he insisted, justified laws resisting the influx of great numbers of a greatly different race.

Lowell also supported eugenics research. When the Eugenics Record Office, the nations leading eugenics research and propaganda organization, asked for access to Harvard records to study the physical and intellectual attributes of alumni fathers and sons, he readily agreed. Lowell had a strong personal interest in eugenics research, his secretary noted in response to the request.

The Harvard faculty contained some of nations most influential eugenics thinkers, in an array of academic disciplines. Frank W. Taussig, whose 1911 Principles of Economics was one of the most widely adopted economics textbooks of its time, called for sterilizing unworthy individuals, with a particular focus on the lower classes. The human race could be immensely improved in quality, and its capacity for happy living immensely increased, if those of poor physical and mental endowment were prevented from multiplying, he wrote. Certain types of criminals and paupers breed only their kind, and society has a right and a duty to protect its members from the repeated burden of maintaining and guarding such parasites.

Harvards geneticists gave important support to Galtons fledgling would-be science. Botanist Edward M. East, who taught at Harvards Bussey Institution, propounded a particularly racial version of eugenics. In his 1919 book Inbreeding and Outbreeding: Their Genetic and Sociological Significance, East warned that race mixing would diminish the white race, writing: Races have arisen which are as distinct in mental capacity as in physical traits. The simple fact, he said, was that the negro is inferior to the white.

East also sounded a biological alarm about the Jews, Italians, Asians, and other foreigners who were arriving in large numbers. The early settlers came from stock which had made notable contributions to civilization, he asserted, whereas the new immigrants were coming in increasing numbers from peoples who have impressed modern civilization but lightly. There was a distinct possibility, he warned, that a considerable part of these people are genetically undesirable.

In his 1923 book, Mankind at the Crossroads, Easts pleas became more emphatic. The nation, he said, was being overrun by the feebleminded, who were reproducing more rapidly than the general population. And we expect to restore the balance by expecting the latter to compete with them in the size of their families? East wrote. No! Eugenics is sorely needed; social progress without it is unthinkable.

Easts Bussey Institution colleague William Ernest Castle taught a course on Genetics and Eugenics, one of a number of eugenics courses across the University. He also published a leading textbook by the same name that shaped the views of a generation of students nationwide. Genetics and Eugenics not only identified its author as Professor of Zoology in Harvard University, but was published by Harvard University Press and bore the Veritas seal on its title page, lending the appearance of an imprimatur to his strongly stated views.

In Genetics and Eugenics, Castle explained that race mixing, whether in animals or humans, produced inferior offspring. He believed there were superior and inferior races, and that racial crossing benefited neither. From the viewpoint of a superior race there is nothing to be gained by crossing with an inferior race, he wrote. From the viewpoint of the inferior race also the cross is undesirable if the two races live side by side, because each race will despise individuals of mixed race and this will lead to endless friction.

Castle also propounded the eugenicists argument that crime, prostitution, and pauperism were largely due to feeblemindedness, which he said was inherited. He urged that the unfortunate individuals so afflicted be sterilized or, in the case of women, segregated in institutions during their reproductive years to prevent them from having children.

Like his colleague East, Castle was deeply concerned about the biological impact of immigration. In some parts of the country, he said, the good human stock was dying outand being replaced by a European peasant population. Would this new population be a fit substitute for the old Anglo-Saxon stock? Castles answer: Time alone will tell.

One of Harvards most prominent psychology professors was a eugenicist who pioneered the use of questionable intelligence testing. Robert M. Yerkes, A.B. 1898, Ph.D. 02, published an introductory psychology textbook in 1911 that included a chapter on Eugenics and Mental Life. In it, he explained that the cure for race deterioration is the selection of the fit as parents.

Yerkes, who taught courses with such titles as Educational Psychology, Heredity, and Eugenics and Mental Development in the Race, developed a now-infamous intelligence test that was administered to 1.75 million U.S. Army enlistees in 1917. The test purported to find that more than 47 percent of the white test-takers, and even more of the black ones, were feebleminded. Some of Yerkess questions were straightforward language and math problems, but others were more like tests of familiarity with the dominant culture: one asked, Christy Mathewson is famous as a: writer, artist, baseball player, comedian. The journalist Walter Lippmann, A.B. 1910, Litt.D. 44, said the results were not merely inaccurate, but nonsense, with no more scientific foundation than a hundred other fads, vitamins, or correspondence courses in will power. The 47 percent feebleminded claim was an absurd result unless, as Harvards late professor of geology Stephen Jay Gould put it, the United States was a nation of morons. But the Yerkes findings were widely accepted and helped fuel the drives to sterilize unfit Americans and keep out unworthy immigrants.The Yerkes findings were widely accepted and helped fuel the drives to sterilize unfit Americans and keep out unworthy immigrants.

Another eugenicist in a key position was William McDougall, who held the psychology professorship William James had formerly held. His 1920 book The Group Mind explained that the negro race had never produced any individuals of really high mental and moral endowments and was apparently incapable of doing so. His next book, Is America Safe for Democracy (1921), argued that civilizations declined because of the inadequacy of the qualities of the people who are the bearers of itand advocated eugenic sterilization.

Harvards embrace of eugenics extended to the athletic department. Dudley Allen Sargent, who arrived in 1879 to direct Hemenway Gymnasium, infused physical education at the College with eugenic principles, including his conviction that certain kinds of exercise were particularly important for female students because they built strong pelvic muscleswhich over time could advantage the gene pool. In giving birth to a childno amount of mental and moral education will ever take the place of a large well-developed pelvis with plenty of muscular and organic power behind it, Sargent stated. The presence of large female pelvises, he insisted, would determine whether large brainy children shall be born at all.

Sargent, who presided over Hemenway for 40 years, used his position as a bully pulpit. In 1914, he addressed the nations largest eugenic gathering, the Race Betterment Conference, in Michigan, at which one of the main speakers called for eugenic sterilization of the worthless one tenth of the nation. Sargent told the conference that, based on his long experience and careful observation of Harvard and Radcliffe students, physical educationis one of the most important factors in the betterment of the race.

If Harvards embrace of eugenics had somehow remained within University confinesas merely an intellectual school of thoughtthe impact might have been contained. But members of the community took their ideas about genetic superiority and biological engineering to Congress, to the courts, and to the public at largewith considerable effect.

In 1894, a group of alumni met in Boston to found an organization that took a eugenic approach to what they considered the greatest threat to the nation: immigration. Prescott Farnsworth Hall, Charles Warren, and Robert DeCourcy Ward were young scions of old New England families, all from the class of 1889. They called their organization the Immigration Restriction League, but genetic thinking was so central to their mission that Hall proposed calling it the Eugenic Immigration League. Joseph Lee, A.B. 1883, A.M.-J.D. 87, LL.D. 26, scion of a wealthy Boston banking family and twice elected a Harvard Overseer, was a major funder, and William DeWitt Hyde A. B. 1879, S.T.D. 86, another future Overseer and the president of Bowdoin College, served as a vice president. The membership rolls quickly filled with hundreds of people united in xenophobia, many of them Boston Brahmins and Harvard graduates.

Their goal was to keep out groups they regarded as biologically undesirable. Immigration was a race question, pure and simple, Ward said. It is fundamentally a question as towhat races shall dominate in the country. League members made no secret of whom they meant: Jews, Italians, Asians, and anyone else who did not share their northern European lineage.

Drawing on Harvard influence to pursue its goalsrecruiting alumni to establish branches in other parts of the country and boasting President Lowell himself as its vice presidentthe Immigration Restriction League was remarkably effective in its work. Its first major proposal was a literacy test, not only to reduce the total number of immigrants but also to lower the percentage from southern and eastern Europe, where literacy rates were lower. In 1896the league persuaded Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, A.B. 1871, LL.B. 74, Ph.D. 76, LL.D. 04, to introduce a literacy bill. Getting it passed and signed into law took time, but beginning in 1917, immigrants were legally required to prove their literacy to be admitted to the country.

The league scored a far bigger victory with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924. After hearing extensive expert testimony about the biological threat posed by immigrants, Congress imposed harsh national quotas designed to keep Jews, Italians, and Asians out. As the percentage of immigrants from northern Europe increased significantly, Jewish immigration fell from 190,000 in 1920 to 7,000 in 1926; Italian immigration fell nearly as sharply; and immigration from Asia was almost completely cut off until 1952.

While one group of alumni focused on inserting eugenics into immigration, another prominent alumnus was taking the lead of the broader movement. Charles Benedict Davenport, A.B. 1889, Ph.D. 92, taught zoology at Harvard before founding the Eugenics Record Office in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, in 1910. Funded in large part by Mrs. E.H. Harriman, widow of the railroad magnate, the E.R.O. became a powerful force in promoting eugenics. It was the main gathering place for academics studying eugenics, and the driving force in promoting eugenic sterilization laws nationwide.Davenport explained that qualities like criminality and laziness were genetically determined.

Davenport wrote prolifically. Heredity in Relation to Eugenics, published in 1911,quickly became the standard text for the eugenics courses cropping up at colleges and universities nationwide, and was cited by more than one-third of high-school biology textbooks of the era. Davenport explained that qualities like criminality and laziness were genetically determined. When both parents are shiftless in some degree, he wrote, only about 15 percent of their children would be industrious.

But perhaps no Harvard eugenicist had more impact on the public consciousness than Lothrop Stoddard, A.B. 1905, Ph.D. 14. His bluntly titled 1920 bestseller, The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, had 14 printings in its first three years, drew lavish praise from President Warren G. Harding, and made a mildly disguised appearance in The Great Gatsby, when Daisy Buchanans husband, Tom, exclaimed that civilizations going to piecessomething hed learned by reading The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard.

When eugenics reached a high-water mark in 1927, a pillar of the Harvard community once again played a critical role. In that year, the Supreme Court decided Buck v. Bell, a constitutional challenge to Virginias eugenic sterilization law. The case was brought on behalf of Carrie Buck, a young woman who had been designated feebleminded by the state and selected for eugenic sterilization. Buck was, in fact, not feebleminded at all. Growing up in poverty in Charlottesville, she had been taken in by a foster family and then raped by one of its relatives. She was declared feebleminded because she was pregnant out of wedlock, and she was chosen for sterilization because she was deemed to be feebleminded.

By an 8-1 vote, the justices upheld the Virginia law and Bucks sterilizationand cleared the way for sterilizations to continue in about half the country, where there were similar laws. The majority opinion was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., A.B. 1861, LL.B. 66, LL.D. 95, a former Harvard Law School professor and Overseer. Holmes, who shared his fathers deep faith in bloodlines, did not merely give Virginia a green light: he urged the nation to get serious about eugenics and prevent large numbers of unfit Americans from reproducing. It was necessary to sterilize people who sap the strength of the State, Holmes insisted, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. His opinion included one of the most brutal aphorisms in American law, saying of Buck, her mother, and her perfectly normal infant daughter: Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

In the same week the Supreme Court decided Buck v. Bell, Harvard made eugenics news of its own. It turned down a $60,000 bequest from Dr. J. Ewing Mears, a Philadelphia surgeon, to fund instruction in eugenics in all its branches, notably that branch relating to the treatment of the defective and criminal classes by surgical procedures.

Harvards decision, reported on the front page of The New York Times, appeared to be a counterweight to the Supreme Courts ruling. But the Universitys decision had been motivated more by reluctance to be coerced into a particular position on sterilization than by any institutional opposition to eugenicswhich it continued to embrace.

Eugenics followed much the same arc at Harvard as it did in the nation at large. Interest began to wane in the 1930s, as the field became more closely associated with the Nazi government that had taken power in Germany. By the end of the decade, Davenport had retired and the E.R.O. had shut down; the Carnegie Institution, of which it was part, no longer wanted to support eugenics research and advocacy. As the nation went to war against a regime that embraced racism, eugenics increasingly came to be regarded as un-American.

It did not, however, entirely fade awayat the University, or nationally. Earnest Hooton, chairman of the anthropology department, was particularly outspoken in support of what he called a biological purge. In 1936, while the first German concentration camps were opening, he made a major plea for eugenic sterilizationthough he emphasized that it should not target any race or religion.

Hooton believed it was imperative for society to remove its worthless people. Our real purpose, he declared in a speech that was quoted in The New York Times, should be to segregate and to eliminate the unfit, worthless, degenerate and anti-social portion of each racial and ethnic strain in our population, so that we may utilize the substantial merits of its sound majority, and the special and diversified gifts of its superior members.Our real purposeshould be to segregate and to eliminate the unfit, worthless, degenerate and anti-social portion of each racial and ethnic strain in our population, so that we may utilize the substantial merits of its sound majority.

None of the news out of Germany after the war made Hooton abandon his views. There can be little doubt of the increase during the past fifty years of mental defectives, psychopaths, criminals, economic incompetents and the chronically diseased, he wrote in Redbook magazine in 1950. We owe this to the intervention of charity, welfare and medical science, and to the reckless breeding of the unfit.

The United States also held onto eugenics, if not as enthusiastically as it once did. In 1942, with the war against the Nazis raging, the Supreme Court had a chance to overturn Buck v. Bell and hold eugenic sterilization unconstitutional, but it did not. The court struck down an Oklahoma sterilization law, but on extremely narrow groundsleaving the rest of the nations eugenic sterilization laws intact. Only after the civil-rights revolution of the 1960s, and changes in popular views toward marginalized groups, did eugenic sterilization begin to decline more rapidly. But states continued to sterilize the unfit until 1981.

Today, the American eugenics movement is often thought of as an episode of national follylike 1920s dance marathons or Prohibitionwith little harm done. In fact, the harm it caused was enormous.

As many as 70,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized for eugenic reasons, while important members of the Harvard community cheered andas with Eliot, Lowell, and Holmescalled for more. Many of those 70,000 were simply poor, or had done something that a judge or social worker didnt like, oras in Carrie Bucks casehad terrible luck. Their lives were changed foreverBuck lost her daughter to illness and died childless in 1983, not understanding until her final years what the state had done to her, or why she had been unable to have more children.

Also affected were the many people kept out of the country by the eugenically inspired immigration laws of the 1920s. Among them were a large number of European Jews who desperately sought to escape the impending Holocaust. A few years ago, correspondence was discovered from 1941 in which Otto Frank pleaded with the U.S. State Department for visas for himself, his wife, and his daughters Margot and Anne. It is understood today that Anne Frank died because the Nazis considered her a member of an inferior race, but few appreciate that her death was also due, in part, to the fact that many in the U.S. Congress felt the same way.

There are important reasons for remembering, and further exploring, Harvards role in eugenics. Colleges and universities today are increasingly interrogating their paststhinking about what it means to have a Yale residential college named after John C. Calhoun, a Princeton school named after Woodrow Wilson, or slaveholder Isaac Royalls coat of arms on the Harvard Law School shield and his name on a professorship endowed by his will.

Eugenics is a part of Harvards history. It is unlikely that Eliot House or Lowell House will be renamed, but there might be a way for the University community to spare a thought for Carrie Buck and others who paid a high price for the harmful ideas that Harvard affiliates played a major role in propounding.

There are also forward-looking reasons to revisit this dark moment in the Universitys past. Biotechnical science has advanced to the brink of a new era of genetic possibilities. In the next few years, the headlines will be full of stories about gene-editing technology, genetic solutions for a variety of human afflictions and frailties, and even designer babies. Given that Harvard affiliates, again, will play a large role in all of these, it is important to contemplate how wrong so many people tied to the University got it the first timeand to think hard about how, this time, to get it right.

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Harvard’s eugenics era | Harvard Magazine

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Hillary Clinton wavers on Second Amendment right to bear arms …

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Jun 052016
 

Hillary Clinton declined to say Sunday whether she believes in a constitutional right to bear arms, possibly opening the door to a fresh round of attacks from Donald Trump, who has already accused the likely Democratic presidential nominee of wanting to “abolish” the Second Amendment.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Clinton deflected twice when she was asked whether she agrees with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. The court ruled in 2008 that the Constitution affords private citizens the right to keep firearms in their homes and that such possession need not be connected to military service.

The wording of the Second Amendment has long made the extent of gun-ownership rights a point of contention.

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Questioned by George Stephanopoulos about her view of the amendment, Clinton talked about a “nuanced reading” and emphasized her belief in the rights of local, state and federal governments to regulate gun ownership. Stephanopoulos, formerly a top aide to President Bill Clinton, wasn’t satisfied by the response.

“That’s not what I asked,” he replied.

Clinton then discussed the right to own a gun as a hypothetical. “If it is a constitutional right,” she began her next answer, “then it like every other constitutional right is subject to reasonable regulations.”

Here’s the full exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the Second Amendment. As you know, Donald Trump has also been out on the stump talking about the Second Amendment and saying you want to abolish the Second Amendment. I know you reject that. But I want to ask you a specific question: Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right that it’s not linked to service in a militia?

CLINTON: I think that for most of our history there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice [Antonin] Scalia. And there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right as we do with every amendment to impose reasonable regulations. So I believe we can have common-sense gun-safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment. And, in fact, what I have proposed is supported by 90 percent of the American people and more than 75 percent of responsible gun owners. So that is exactly what I think is constitutionally permissible and, once again, you have Donald Trump just making outright fabrications, accusing me of something that is absolutely untrue. But I’m going to continue to speak out for comprehensive background checks; closing the gun-show loophole; closing the online loophole; closing the so-called Charleston loophole;reversing the bill that Senator[Bernie] Sanders voted for and I voted against, giving immunity from liability to gun makers and sellers. I think all of that can and should be done, and it is, in my view, consistent with the Constitution.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, and the Heller decision also says there can be some restrictions. But that’s not what I asked. I said, “Do you believe their conclusion that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right?”

CLINTON: If it is a constitutional right, then it like every other constitutional right is subject to reasonable regulations. And what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms. So I think it’s important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right. I have no objection to that. But the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory, responsible actions to protect everyone else.

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Hillary Clinton wavers on Second Amendment right to bear arms …

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Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics … – Libertarianism.org

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Jun 012016
 

Transcript

Trevor Burrus: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute. Im Trevor Burrus.

Aaron Powell: And Im Aaron Powell.

Trevor Burrus: Joining us today is Thomas C. Leonard, research scholar at the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University and lecturer at Princeton Universitys Department of Economics. He is the author of the new book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era. Welcome to Free Thoughts.

Thomas Leonard: Thanks. Nice to be with you.

Trevor Burrus: So Id like to start with the title which says a lot by itself. Why Illiberal Reformers?

Thomas Leonard: Well, everyone knows that the scholars and activists who dismantled laissez faire and built welfare state were reformers. They dont call it the progressive era for nothing. But its my claim that a central feature of that reform, central feature of erecting the regulatory state, a new kind of state, was the producing of liberties in the name of various conceptions of the greater good. Not just economic liberties, property rights, contract and so forth, thats sort of a well-known part of the transition from 19th century liberalism to 20th century liberalism, but also I maintain civil and personal liberties as well.

Trevor Burrus: And what time period, are we talking about just after the turn of the century or the turn of the 20th century or going back further than that?

Thomas Leonard: Well, the idea is the architecture, if you will, the blueprints were drawn up sort of in the last decade and a half of the 19th century and they gradually made their way into actual sort of legislation and institutions, government institutions in the first 2 decades of the 20th century. Sort ofto use the usual scholarly terms kind of late gilded age and then the progressive era.

Trevor Burrus: So, who are these people, these reformers? Are they politicians mostly or are they in some other walk of life?

Thomas Leonard: Eventually they are politicians, but the politicians have to be convinced first. So the convincers in the beginning are a group of intellectuals or if you like scholars. They are economists, sociologists, population scientists, social workers.

Trevor Burrus: Population scientists, are those basically Malthusians or?

Thomas Leonard: No. Today we call them demographers.

Trevor Burrus: We dont use that term anymore. We call them what today?

Thomas Leonard: No. No. Today, we would call them demographers.

Trevor Burrus: Oh, okay.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. Its not quiteit doesnt have to sound that sinister. But one of the interesting things, Trevor, about social science in this kind ofin its very beginnings in the late 19th century is itsits only beginning to become an academic discipline which is part of the book story. And a lot of social science kind of social investigations, fact-finding, research reports, a lot of that is being done outside the academy in the immigrant settlement houses, to a lesser extent in government administrative agencies, in investigations funded by the brand-new foundations and eventually in this brand-new invention called the Think Tank.

Aaron Powell: Was this increasing influence by what these people are ultimately working is largely academic, so is this new for academics or academics this influential before this?

Thomas Leonard: No. It is new. Its a revolution in academia. If we could transport ourselves backwards in time to Princeton, say, in 1880, we wouldnt recognize the place. American colleges, you know, just after the Civil War were tiny institutions. They werent particularly scholarly. They were denominational. They were led by ministers. In Princetons case, they would have been finishing southern gentlemen and you wouldnt recognize it at all.

If, however, we could transport ourselves back to, say, 1920, just at the end of the progressive era, you would recognize everything about the place. The social sciences had been invented and installed. Theres the beginning of the physical sciences in academia and its no longer just the classics, theology and a little bit of philosophy and mathematics. Part of the story of the rise of reform is the story of this revolution in American higher ed which takes place between 1880 and 1900.

Trevor Burrus: In the book, you discussed how Germany figures into this to some degree, which I thought was kind of interesting because Germany also figured into reforming our public education below higher ed but Germany status in the intellectual world was very influential on Americans in particular.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, thats quite right. The German connection is crucial for understanding the first generation of economists and other reformers. In the 1870s and into the 1880s, if you wanted to study cutting-edge political economy, Germany was where you went and all of the founders of American economics and indeed most of the other sort of newly hatching social sciences did their graduate work in Bismarck in Germany. And its only sort of beginning in the 1890s that American higher end catches up but, boy, does it catch up quickly. Thats why we use the term revolution.

But the turn of the century, you know, the number of graduate students in the United States getting Ph.D.s is in the thousands. You know, sort of after the Civil War even as late as 1880, it would have just been a handdful.

Trevor Burrus: So what did these people start thinking aboutI mean these illiberal reformers, what did they get in their head partially from Germany, partially from other sources which we can talk about later? But in the sort of general overview when they looked at society, what did they sort of maybe not suddenly but at that moment, what did they decide they wanted to do with it?

Thomas Leonard: Well, another thing to understand is that most of them, in addition to sort of having this German model of how an economy works and also a German model of how an economy should be regulated, there were also evangelical protestants, most of them grew up in evangelical homes, most of them were sons and daughters of ministers or missionaries and they had, you know, this extraordinary zeal, this desire to set the world to rights. And they looked around them during the industrial revolution and they saw what really was extraordinary, unprecedented, economic and social change which we cannot gather under the banner of the industrial or at least the American industrial revolution.

And when they looked around them, they saw injustice. They saw low wages. There was a newly visible class of the poor in the cities. They saw inefficiency. They saw labor conflict. They saw uneducated men getting rich and this upending of the old social order in their view was not only inefficient, it was also un-Christian and immoral and it needed to be reformed, and they were sort ofits important to say unabashed about using evangelical terminology. They referred to this is the first generation of progressives. They referred to their project as bringing a kingdom of heaven to Earth.

Aaron Powell: Then how did theyso theyve got this project. Theyve identified these issues that they want to change. How did they go about turning that concern and the expertise that they thought they had into control of the reins of power or influence within government?

Thomas Leonard: Great question. It wasnt easy. They understood that they had a tall task in front of them. They had to persuade those in power that reform was needed and reform was justified. And it helped that 2 other students, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson went on too famous as politicians and so did other progressives at lower levels too. Part of the idea of academic economics in this sort of beginning stage was that you didnt just spend time in the library or do blackboard exercises. Your job was to go out and make the world a better place.

So, I think the best way to think about it was they, along with many other reformers, wrote for the newspapers, went on the lecture circuits, bent the air of politicians first at the state level and then later at the federal level and said its a new economic world. The old economic ideas, laissez faire as they called it, are not only is it immoral, its economically obsolete and we need to build a new relationship not unlike the model that Germany provided between the state and economic life. And very gradually it happened.

Trevor Burrus: They were talking about also the emergence of the administrative state comes into this too because then they can take over posts in government that are not necessarily elected where their expertise is supposed to be utilized.

Thomas Leonard: Thats exactly right. The crucial point is that we think about the progressive era as a huge expansion in the size and scope of government and indeed it is that. But the progressives didnt just want bigger government. They also wanted a new kind of government, which they saw as a better form, as a superior form of government. Famously the progressives werent just unhappy with economic life which was one thing, they were also unhappy with American political life and with American government which they saw and rightly so as corrupt and inefficient and not doing what it should be doing to improve society and economy. So they wanted to not only to expand state power but also to relocate it, to move government authority away from the courts which traditionally had held quite a bit of regulatory power and away from legislatures and into what they sometimes called a new fourth branch of government, the administrative state.

Trevor Burrus: And youre right, youre right in your book which I think this is a very succinct way of pointing it. Progressivism was first and foremost an attitude about the proper relationship of science and its bearer, the scientific expert, to the state and of the state to the economy and polity. And so these expertsI also want to think we should make clear, this was not a fringe group of intellectuals and academic professors. This waswould you say it was the mainstream or at least a kind of whos who of American intellectuals and all the great Ivy League institutions?

Thomas Leonard: Absolutely. Its the best and brightest if I can use an anachronistic phrase. Now, we have to be a little careful with Ivy League because the centers of academic reform are at places like Wisconsin and to some extent at Columbia and at Johns Hopkins and to some extent at Penn. But the old colonial colleges like Harvard and Yale were a little late to catch up. It took them a while to catch on to this new German model of graduate seminars and professors as experts and not merely instructors.

Trevor Burrus: So how did they conceptualize the average worker that needed their help? You have this great line in your book which I think says something about modern politics too. Progressives did not work in factories. They inspected them. Progressives did not drink in salons. They tried to shudder them. The bold women who chose to live among the immigrant poor and city slums called themselves settlers, not neighbors. Even when progressives idealized workers, they tended to patronize them. Romanticizing a brotherhood that they would never consider joining.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. I think its fair to say and its not exactly a revelation that the progressives were not working class, but neither were they, you know, part of the gentry class. They were middle class and from middle class backgrounds, as I say sons and daughters of ministers and missionaries. So, they were unhappy when they looked upward at the new plutocrats who were uneducated and in their view un-Christian and potentially corrupting of the republic, but they also didnt like what they saw when they looked downward at ordinary people particularly at immigrants. If you dont mind, I feel like I should circle back to this fourth branch idea

Trevor Burrus: Please.

Thomas Leonard: as a conception of the administrative state. I didnt finish my thought very well. I think that the way that the progressives thought about the fourth branch is very important because the administrative state is as everyone knows has done nothing but grow since its blueprinting and its sort of first construction in Woodrow Wilsons first term. I think the key thingsort of these two key components that make this a new kind of government in the progressive mind. The first is that the independent agencies like the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission and the Permanent Tariff Commission were designed to be independent of Congress and the president. That was by design.

They were supposed to be in some sense above politics. They served for 7 years. They had overlapping terms. Oftentimes, they would be balanced politically and the president could not remove one of these commissioners except for cause and neither could Congress impeach them. So they occupied a kind of a unique place, a new place did these bureaucrats.

The second thing that matters I think for understanding the administrative state is that administrative regulations have the full force of federal law, right? Regulations are laws no different than you know, Congress had passed one. Moreover, the fourth branch, the administrators are also responsible for executing regulations and third, of course, theyre responsible for adjudicating regulatory disputes. So theres this combination of statutory and adjudicatory and executive power all rolled up into one, which is why I think the progressives called it the fourth branch. And the growth of administrative government I think is a much better metric for thinking about the success, if you will, or the durability of the progressive vision than simply looking at something like government spending as a share of GDP.

Aaron Powell: Can we decouple at least for purposes of critique the ideology of the progressives from the methods? Because obviously they ended up once they had the power, ended up doing a lot of really lamentable or awful things with it. But the basic idea of having experts in charge of thingsI mean you can see a certain appeal to that especially as, you know, science advances, technology advances, our body of knowledge grows. We understand more about the economy and more about how societies function just like you would want, you know, experts in the medical sciences overseeing your health as opposed to just laymen. Is there anything just inherently wrong or dangerous about the idea of turning over more of government to experts distinct from just the particular ideas of this set of experts?

Thomas Leonard: I dont think so. I think the question is more a practical one of what we think experts should do whether theyre working in government or in the private sector. And the progressives had what you might call a heroic conception of expertise. They believed that they not only could be experts serve the public good but they could also identify the public good and thats what I mean by a heroic conception. Not only do we know how to get to a particular outcome, we know also what those outcomes should be.

Now theres nothing about expertise per se that requires that heroic vision which in retrospect looks both arrogant and nave. It makes good sense for the state to call upon expertise where expertise can be helpful. So I dont think its an indictment of the very idea of using science for the purposes of state. Its more about what sort of authority and we want experts to have. Going as we sort of move into the new deal era, which is another great growth spurt in the size of the state, we get a slightly less heroic vision of what experts do. Thereswell, after World War I, that sort of nave heroic view of expertise is simply outmoded.

Trevor Burrus: So they definitelytheyre pretty arrogant as you mentioned. They haveso Im going to ask you sort of a few things about the way that theyre looking at society and what they think that they can do with it and what theyre allowed to do with it. So, how did they view individual rights and as a core layer, I guess, how do they think of society as opposed to the individual in terms of the sort of methodology of their science or state craft or whatever you want tohowever you want to describe it?

Thomas Leonard: Thats a great question. I think one of the most dramatic changes that we see in sort of American liberal thinking and its transition from 19th century small government liberalism to 20th century liberalism of a more activist expert-guided state is a re-conception of what Dan Rogers calls the moral hole, the idea of a nation or a state or a social organism as an entity that is something greater than the individual people that make it up. And I think this fundamental change is one of the sort of key elements in this progressive inflection point in American history. Up until that point if youre willing to call an era a point, forgive me. Up until that moment, I think thats what we should say.

Trevor Burrus: I think thats good, yes.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, right. We would have said the United States are and after the progressive reconceptualization, its the United States is. Instead of a collection of states of federation, now the idea is that theres a nation. Woodrow Wilsons famous phrase at least famous in these precincts was Princeton in the nations service and this desire to identify a kind of moral hole, a nation, a state or a social organism. They gave it different names. I think the great impetus to the idea that it was okay to trespass on individual liberties as long as it promoted the interests of the nation or the state or the people or society or the social organism.

Trevor Burrus: So how doesand this is another big factor because its kind of interesting. We have awe talk about them as evangelicals and then progressives, which a lot of people might be surprised, the people who call themselves progressives now. But we also have them as evangelical but with Darwin and evolution having a huge influence on their thinking which also seems to not go with the way we align these things today. How did Darwin and evolution come in to their thinking and what did it make them start to conclude?

Thomas Leonard: Right. Well, remember the quote you had before about progressivism as being essentially a concept that refers to the relationship of science to government and of government to the economy. The science of the day or at least the science that most influencedthe economic reformers was Darwinism. And theres just no understanding progressive era reform without understanding the influence of Darwinism. It was in the progressive view what made these brand-new social sciences just barely established scientific. Thats one of the reasons we do history. Economics today doesnt have a whole lot to do with evolution or with Darwinism and has a lot to do with mathematics and statistical approaches. But at the turn of the century and until the end of the First World War, evolutionary thinking was at the heart of the science that underwrote economics and the other new social sciences, which were at least in the progressive view to guide the administrative state in its relationship to economy and polity.

Aaron Powell: What does Darwinian thinking look like in practice for the policy preferences of the progressives? I mean I see were not just talking about we need to breed out undesirable traits or something of that sort. How does the specifics of Darwin apply to their broader agenda?

Thomas Leonard: Well, Darwin does many things for the progressives. Darwin by himself is sort of a figure that they admire, sort of hes a disinterested man of science concerned only with the truth and uninterested in profit like, say, a greedy capitalist, uninterested in power like, say, a greedy politician. I mean Darwin is kind of a synecdoche if you like for the progressive conception of what a scientific expert does.

More than that, I think that, you know, the progressives andand by the way, many other intellectuals too, socialists and conservatives alike, were able to find whatever they needed in Darwin. Darwin was so influential in the gilded age and in the progressive era that everybody found something useful for their political and intellectual purposes during the gilded age and the progressive era.

Take competition, for example. If you were a so-called social Darwinist, you could say that competition was survival of the fittest, Herbert Spencers phrase that Darwin eventually borrowed himself and that, therefore, that those who succeeded in economic life were in some sense fitter. The progressives could use other evolutionary thinkers and say Wait a second, not so. Fitter doesnt necessarily mean better. Fitter just means better adapted to a particular environment. So competition would be an example of Darwinian thinking that was influential in the way that progressives thought about the way an economy works.

Trevor Burrus: But they werent particular. I mean they werent laissez faire and I know at one point you mentioned that theI think you said that it was either the American Economic Association or maybe sociology was started partially against William Graham Sumner. Was it sociology? William Graham Sumner was very influential on creating counter-movements to him and he is sort of a proto-libertarian or a libertarian figure who was laissez faire but they were absolutely not.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. Thats quite right. Sumner is the bte noire of economic reformers. He was of a slightly earlier generation, the generation of 1840, and he was the avatar as you say of free markets and of small government and Sumner was the man ElyRichard T. Ely, sort of the standard bearer of progressive economics said that he organized the American Economic Association to oppose. Yeah, Sumner was in the end the only economist who is not asked to join the American Economic Association. So much was he sort of personally associated with laissez faire.

Trevor Burrus: Now, of course, they were accused and this is an important historical point because you mentioned the social Darwinism and I think I can almost hear your scare quotes through the line because that idea of Sumner and Herbert Spencer being Darwinists of a sort of wanted to let people die is a little bit overextended. Spencer definitely had some evolutionary ideas about society, but the social Darwinism doesnt only come in until the 50s if I understand correctly.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. Social Darwinism is really an anachronism applied to the progressive era. I think we can safely, you know, ascribe the influence of that term to Richard Hofstadter who coined it in his dissertation which was published during the Second World War. It is true, of course, that you could find apologists for laissez faire or you could find people who said that, you know, economic success was not a matter of luck or a fraud or of coercion but was deserved, was justified.

There were lots of defenders of laissez faire on various grounds and Spencer and Sumner find they fit that description. But neither of them were particularly Darwinian. Spencer was a rival of Darwins. He thought his theory waswell, it was prior. He thought it was better and he coined the term evolution. And Sumner really wasnt much of a Darwinist at all if you look through his work, its only dauded with a few Darwinian references. I think what Hofstadter did, and he was such a graceful writer, is he coined a new term that sounded kind of unpleasant.

And if you look through the entire literature which Ive done, you will be hard-pressed to find a single person who identifies him or herself as a social Darwinist. You wont find a journal of social Darwinism. You wont find laboratories of social Darwinism. You wont find international societies for the promotion of social Darwinism.

Trevor Burrus: But ironically, eugenics, you will find all of those things.

Thomas Leonard: You will find all of those things.

Trevor Burrus: Actually, could you explain what eugenics is before we jump into the truly distasteful part of this episode?

Thomas Leonard: Well, eugenics is just in the progressive era what it meant, the period of my book, is the social control of human heredity. Its the idea that human heredity just like anything else guided by good science and overseen by socially-minded experts can improve human heredity just like it can improve government. It can make government good. It can make the economy more efficient and more just and so too can we do the same for human heredity.

Trevor Burrus: And eugenics wasI mean I think big is even an understatement of at least the first two decades of the 20th century and into the third and fourth decade but especially the first two decades.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, there was an extraordinary intellectual vogue for eugenics all over the world, not just in the United States. Eugenics, its very difficult viewed in retrospect that is viewed through the sort of crimes that were committed by Nazi Germany in the middle of the 20th century. Its very difficult to see how what is a term that is a dirty word could actually be regarded as sort of the height of high-mindedness and social concern. But it was, in fact, at the time.

And across American society, eugenics was popular. It was popular among the new experimental biologists that we now called geneticist. It was certainly popular among the new social scientists, the economists and others who were staffing the bureaus at the administrative state and sitting in chairs in the university. And it was popular among politicians too. There were many journals of eugenics. There were many eugenics societies. They had international and national conferences. Hundreds probably thousands of scholars were happy to call themselves eugenicists and to advocate for eugenic policies of various kinds. Theres a book published in I think around 1924 by Sam Holmes who was a Berkeley zoologist and theres like 6000 or 7000 titles on eugenics in the bibliography.

Aaron Powell: How did the eugenicists of the time think about what they were doing or think about the people that they were doing it to?

Trevor Burrus: Well, first we should ask what they were doing. We havent actually got to that.

Aaron Powell: But I mean in generallike the attitude towards the very notion of this because we can even setting aside the horrors of what Nazi Germany did from our modern perspective looking back at this with the debates that we have and the struggle we have to allow people to say define the family, the way that they choose and just the overwhelming significance in, you know, the scope of ones life and the way one lives in that decision to have children and become a parent. And eugenics, no matterI mean no matter the details of it is ultimately taking that choice away from someone or making that choice for them and it seems just profoundly dehumanizing and did they consciously or unconsciously was there a dehumanizing element to it? Did they think of the people that they were going to practice this on as somehow less and so, therefore, deserving of less autonomy? Or was there a distancing from that element of it?

Thomas Leonard: Well, its important to rememberthe answer to the question is yes. The professionals, if you will, in the eugenics movement sort of the professionals and the propagandists certainly saw immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, immigrants from Asia, African Americans, the mentally and physically disabled as inferiors as unfit. Theres just no question about it. But what we needone important caution here again is that there were very few people at the time proposing anything like hurting inferiors into death chambers.

Eugenic policies were much less extreme. So when we encounter it in the context of, say, economic reform, it comes up In immigration, for example. If you regard immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and from Asia as unfit, as threats to American racial integrity or as economic threats to American working mens wages, thats a eugenic argument. Youre saying that when you argue that they will sort of reduce American hereditary vigor, thats a eugenic argument. It doesnt have to involve something as ugly as, say, coercive sterilization or worse.

Theres many ways of which I think are, you know, strange to us in retrospect of thinking about the law, be it immigration reform or minimum wages or maximum hours as a device for keeping the inferior out of the labor force or out of the country altogether.

Trevor Burrus: Yeah, lets goyeah, the last third of your book kind of goes with this. We have a chapter called Excluding the Unemployable. So can you talk a little bit about what that entailed?

Thomas Leonard: Sure. The unemployable is a kind of buzz phrase that I think was probably coined by Sidney and Beatrice Webb who were Fabian socialists, founders of the London School of Economics and whose work was widely read by American progressives and with whom American progressives had a very kind of fruitful trans-Atlantic interaction with. Its a misnomer, of course, because the unemployable refers to people who many of whom were actually employed. And the idea here is that a certain category of worker is willing to work for wages below what progressives regarded as a living wage or a fair wage and that these sorts of people who were often called feeble-minded when they were mentally disabled or defectives when they were physically disabled were doing the sort of transgressing in multiple ways.

The first thing was by accepting lower wages, they were undermining the deserving American working men or American really means Anglo-Saxon. The second thing is because they were willing to accept low wages, the American worker was unwilling to do so to accept these low wages and so instead opted to have smaller families. That argument went by the name of race suicide. The undercutting inferior worker because he was racially predisposed to accept or innately predisposed to accept lower wages meant that the Anglo-Saxon native, if you willscare quotes around nativehad fewer children and as a result the inferior strains were outbreeding the superior strains and the result was what Edward A. Ross called race suicide.

Trevor Burrus: Now that sounds like the movie Idiocracy. Have you ever seen this movie?

Thomas Leonard: Im not familiar with it.

Trevor Burrus: Oh, well. So, but I want to clarify something that might shock our listeners thatand you mentioned this briefly a little bit like for the economists, for members of the American Economic Association, at the time some of them thought of the minimum wage as valuable precisely because it unemployed these people. So whereas now were actually having this fight about whether or not the minimum wage unemploys anyone. It seems like there were a few doubts that it did unemploy people and the people it unemployed were the unemployable, unproductive workers who shouldnt be employed in the first place.

Thomas Leonard: Thats right. Theres a very long list of people who at one time or another just almost comically if it werent sad, long list of groups that were vilified as being inferior. As I say, physically disabled, mentally disabled coming from Asia or Southern Europe or Eastern Europe, African American, although the progressive werent terribly worried about the African Americans, at least outside the south until they started the great migration and became economic competitors in the factories as well. So, this very long list of inferiors creates a kind of regulatory problem which is how are we going to identify them and so you can, if you think for example that a Jew from Russia or an Italian from the mezzogiorno is inferior, how are you going to know that theyre Jewish or that theyre from Southern Italy. Their passport doesnt specify necessarily.

So one way, of course, is to take out your handbook, the dictionary of the races of America or another more clever way ultimately is to simply set a minimum wage so high that all unskilled labor will be unable to legally come to America because theyll be priced out.

Trevor Burrus: And that was also true ofit goes a little bit past your book but the migration of African Americans north had some influence on the federal minimum wage of the New Deal if I remember correctly.

Thomas Leonard: Yes, it did, and also Mexican immigrants as well. The idea of inferiors threatening Americans or Native Americans is a trope that recurs again and again and again, not just in the progressive era but also in the New Deal. And it is I suppose shocking and bizarre to see the minimum wage as hailed for its eugenic virtues. But one very convenient way of solving this problem of how do we identify the inferiors is to simply assume that theyre low-skilled and, therefore, unproductive and a binding minimum wage will ensure that the unproductive are kept out or if theyre already in the labor force, theyll be idled. And the deserving, that is to say the productive workers who were always assumed, of course, to be Anglo-Saxon will keep their jobs and get a raise. Its a very appealing notion.

And youre quite right that today, you know, most of the debate or a good part of the minimum wage debate concerns a question of how much unemployment you get for a given increase in the minimum. But theres no question that any disemployment from a higher minimum is a social cause thats undesirable. The progressive era was not seen as a social cause. It was not seen as a bug. It was seen as a desirable feature and this is why progressivism has made a virtue of it precisely because it did exclude so many folks who were regarded as deficientdeficient in their heredity, deficient in their politics, deficient in many other ways as well.

Aaron Powell: What struck me when you were running through the policies that they wanted so the minimum wage in order to exclude these people or the concerns about immigration is how many of them maybeI mean not in the motives behind them necessarily, not in the stated motives but in the specifics of the policies and some of the concerns look very much like what you hear today, you know. There seem to be conventional wisdom about the need to keep out unskilled immigrants. You hear stuff about, you know, theres too many of them in the population and that that will ultimately cause problems if they, you know, tip over into a majority or the existing minimum wage, but they dont seemthey dont have the what we think of as terrifically ugly motives behind them.

And so is therelike that historic change because it seems odd that if the motives and the desires and the attitudes have shifted, we would have seen the resulting policy shift. So how did thathow do we get that transition from, you know, keeping the desire for the policies of the progressive era but shifting our attitudes, our sense of virtue to something that would see the motives behind the policy of the progressive era as so repugnant?

Thomas Leonard: Well, I think that, you know, we teach freshmen in economics to make this fairly bright distinction between the so-called positive and the normative, right? So the positive question is what are the effects of the minimum wage on employment and what are the effects of the minimum wage on output prices and what are the effects of the minimum wage on the income distribution. And you can sort of think about these questions without sort of tipping over onto the normative side which isis it a good thing or a bad thing that a particular class of worker namely the very unskilled are likely to be harmed at all? So you canI think in a way its partly a parable about, you know, the capacity of sorting so-called scientific claims from so-called normative or ethical matters.

You know, my own view is one can be a supporter of the minimum wage, of course, without, you know, having repugnant views about the folks who are going to lose their job if we raise the minimum wage too high.

Trevor Burrus: Yeah, of course. That

Thomas Leonard: Goes with I think that goes without saying.

Trevor Burrus: Well, thats an interesting question about what are the lessons

Thomas Leonard: Yeah.

Trevor Burrus: from this. But I wanted to ask you about one more thing before we kind of get to that question which is aboutbecause theres another one that we didnt touch on which might surprise people, which is excluding women. So we gotwe went therethere were some sterilization, which weve been talking about much but you mentioned excluding unemployable. We had about immigration and now we also have excluding women and people might be surprised to hear that progressives were actually interested in doing this.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah. This is awell, all of these accounts are complex. The story of womens labor legislation is probably the most complex of all and thats partly because in the progressive era, most labor legislation was directed at women and at women only, not all but sort of the pillars of the welfare state which is to say minimum wages, maximum hours, mothers pensions which eventually evolved into AFTC and welfare. Those pillars werethose pillars that legislation was women and women only.

Now, there are different ways of thinking about it. I think that the thing to remember is that a lot of these legislation to set a wage floor to set a maximum number of hours to give women payments women with dependent children payments at home were enacted not so much to protect women from employment, the hazards of employment but rather to protect employment from women.

And when you look at the discourse, you do find a kind of protective paternalistic line where, for example, the famous Brandeis Brief which was used in so many Supreme Court cases in defensive labor legislation just sort of boldly asserts that women are the weaker sex and thats why women as women need to be protected from the hazards of market work. They didnt worry so much about the hazards of domestic work.

Trevor Burrus: And Brandeis was a champion ofI mean hes considered a champion of progressive era, but he did write this unbelievably sexist brief in Muller versus Oregon.

Thomas Leonard: Indeed he did and he collaborated with his sister-in-law, Josephine Goldmark, and its regarded as sort of not only the case but the brief itself is regarded as sort of a landmark in legal circles. So theres also a second class of argument which still lives on today, I might add, which is called the family wage and this is the idea that theres a kind of natural family structure wherein the father is the breadwinner and the mother stays at home and tends the hearth and raises the kids and that male workers are entitled to a wage sufficient to support a wife and other dependents, and that when women work for wages, they wrongly usurp the wages that rightly belong to the breadwinner. Thats another argument for regulating womens employment. Thats not really protecting women. Thats protecting men, of course.

And there were a whole host of arguments. Another argument was worried about womens sexual virtue that if women accepted, you know, low wages at the factory, theyll be tempted into prostitution. The euphemism of the day was the social vice and John Bates Clark pointed out that if 5 dollars a week tempts a factory girl into vice, then 0 dollars a week will do so more surely.

Trevor Burrus: Its really hard to decide when youre going through all this stuff and you include immigration and all these issues whether or not these people arewhen were talking about progressives, so thats the name we all call them now. But if were going to use modern term, are they liberals or are they conservative? I mean if the immigration thing looks conservative now and the protecting womens virtue and supporting the family looks conservative and the racism, you know, but the minimum wage wanting that. So there seemed to be a hodgepodge of something that doesnt really map to anything now.

Thomas Leonard: Yeah, I think thats right. I think its a mistake. I mean one of the problems that we face looking backwards from today is that progressivism todaya progressive today is someone on the left, someone on the left wing of the democratic party and thats not what progressive meant in the progressive era. There certainly were plenty of folks on the left who were progressives but they were also right progressives too. Men like Theodore Roosevelt would be a canonical sort of right progressive. Roosevelt ran as you know on that progressive ticket in 1912 handing the White House to Woodrow Wilson in so doing.

Yeah, I thinkyeah, one of the, you know, the historiographic lessons of the book is be careful projecting contemporary categories backwards in time. You know, the original progressives, they defended human hierarchy. They were Darwinists. They either ignored or justified Jim Crow. They were moralists. They were evangelicals. They promoted the claims of the nation over individuals and they had this, of course, heroic conception of their own roles as experts. Thats very different from what 21st century progressives are about. The 21st century progressives couldnt be more different in some respects. Theyre not evangelicals. Theyre very secular. They emphasize racial equality and minority rights. Theyre nervous about nationalism but they donttheyre not imperialists like the progressives were. Theyre unhappy with too much Darwinism in their social science. So, in these respects contemporary progressives are very different from their namesakes.

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