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Origins of Eugenics: From Sir Francis Galton to Virginias …

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Origins of Eugenics: From Sir Francis Galton to Virginias …
Oct 232015

Sir Francis Galton. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society. [2.1]

ENLARGE [2.2] Faces and Races, illustration from a eugenical text, Racial History of Mankind. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pickler Memorial Library, Truman State University.

[2.3] Harry H. Laughlin and Charles Davenport at the Eugenics Record Office. Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives.

Sir Francis Galton first coined the term eugenics in 1883. Put simply, eugenics means well-born. Initially Galton focused on positive eugenics, encouraging healthy, capable people of above-average intelligence to bear more children, with the idea of building an improved human race. Some followers of Galton combined his emphasis on ancestral traits with Gregor Mendels research on patterns of inheritance, in an attempt to explain the generational transmission of genetic traits in human beings.

Negative eugenics, as developed in the United States and Germany, played on fears of race degeneration. At a time when the working-class poor were reproducing at a greater rate than successful middle- and upper-class members of society, these ideas garnered considerable interest. One of the most famous proponents in the United States was President Theodore Roosevelt, who warned that the failure of couples of Anglo-Saxon heritage to produce large families would lead to race suicide.

The center of the eugenics movement in the United States was the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Biologist Charles Davenport established the ERO, and was joined in his work by Director Harry H. Laughlin. Both men were members of the American Breeders Association. Their view of eugenics, as applied to human populations, drew from the agricultural model of breeding the strongest and most capable members of a species while making certain that the weakest members do not reproduce.

Eugenicists attempted to demonstrate the power of heredity by constructing pedigree charts of defective families. These charts were used to scientifically quantify the assertion that human frailties such as profligacy and indolence were genetic components that could be passed from one generation to the next. Two studies were published that charted the propensity towards criminality, disease, and immoral behavior of the extended families of the Jukes and the Kallikaks. Eugenicists pointed to these texts to demonstrate that feeblemindedness was an inherited attribute and to reveal how the care of such degenerates represented an enormous cost to society.

The ERO promoted eugenics research by compiling records or pedigrees of thousands of families. Charles Davenport created The Family History Book, which assisted field workers as they interviewed families and assembled pedigrees specifying inheritable family attributes which might range from allergies to civic leadership. Even a propensity for carpentry or dress-making was considered a genetically inherited trait. Davenport and Laughlin also issued another manual titled How to Make a Eugenical Family Study to instruct field workers in the creation of pedigree charts of study subjects from poor, rural areas or from institutionalized settings. Field workers used symbols to depict defective conditions such as epilepsy and sexual immorality.

The American Eugenics Society presented eugenics exhibits at state fairs throughout the country, and provided information encouraging high-grade people to reproduce at a greater rate for the benefit of society. The Society even sponsored Fitter Family contests.

ENLARGE [2.4] Kallikak family of New Jersey Normal and Degenerate Lines (enlarge to view additional eugenical pedigree charts). Courtesy of Paul Lombardo.

ENLARGE [2.5] Eugenics Display. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society.

[2.6] Winners of Fittest Family Contest. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society.

[2.7] Harry H. Laughlin photograph. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society.

ENLARGE [2.8] Comparative Intelligence Chart. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society.

ENLARGE [2.9] Virginias Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (enlarge to view additional Virginia legislative acts). Courtesy of Special Collections, Pickler Memorial Library, Truman State University.

In 1914, Harry H. Laughlin attended the first Race Betterment Conference, sponsored by J. H. Kellogg. The same year, in his Model Sterilization Law, Laughlin declared that the socially inadequate of society should be sterilized. This Model Law was accompanied by pedigree charts, which were used to demonstrate the hereditary nature of traits such as alcoholism, illegitimacy, and feeblemindedness. Laughlin asserted that passage of these undesirable traits to future generations would be eradicated if the unfortunate people who possessed them could be prevented from reproducing. In 1922 Laughlins Model Law was included in the book Eugenical Sterilization in the United States. This book compiled legal materials and statistics regarding sterilization, and was a valuable reference for sterilization activists in states throughout the country.

Proponents of eugenics worked tirelessly to assert the legitimacy of this new discipline. For Americans who feared the potential degradation of their race and culture, eugenics offered a convenient and scientifically plausible response to those fears. Sterilization of the unfit seemed a cost-effective means of strengthening and improving American society.

By 1924 Laughlins influence extended in several directions. He testified before Congress in support of the Immigration Restriction Act to limit immigration from eastern and southern Europe. Laughlin influenced passage of this law by presenting skewed data to support his assertion that the percentage of these immigrant populations in prisons and mental institutions was far greater than their percentage in the general population would warrant.

Laughlin also provided guidance in support of Virginias Racial Integrity Act, which made it illegal for whites in Virginia to marry outside their race. The act narrowly defined who could claim to be a member of the white race stating that the term white person shall apply only to such person as has no trace whatever of any blood other than Caucasian. Virginia lawmakers were careful to leave an escape clause for colleagues who claimed descent from Pocahontasthose with 1/16 or less of the blood of the American Indian would also count as white.

The language of Laughlins Model Sterilization Act was used in Virginias Eugenical Sterilization Act to legalize compulsory sterilizations in the state. This legislation to rid Virginia of defective persons was drafted by Aubrey E. Strode, a former member of the Virginia General Assembly, at the request of longtime associate, Albert Priddy, who directed the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded in Lynchburg, Virginia.

2004 Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

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Origins of Eugenics: From Sir Francis Galton to Virginias …

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The Best Definition of Singularity

 The Singularity  Comments Off on The Best Definition of Singularity
Sep 082015

The term Singularity has many definitions.

The everyday English definition of Singularity is a noun that designates the quality of being one of a kind, strange, unique, remarkable or unusual.

For a more specific definition of Singularity we can search The Wiktionary where we get the following five Singularity definitions:

1. the state of being singular, distinct, peculiar, uncommon or unusual 2. a point where all parallel lines meet 3. a point where a measured variable reaches unmeasurable or infinite value 4. (mathematics) the value or range of values of a function for which a derivative does not exist 5. (physics) a point or region in spacetime in which gravitational forces cause matter to have an infinite density; associated with Black Holes

What we are most interested in, however, is the definition of Singularity as a technological phenomenon — i.e. the Technological Singularity. Here we can also find a variety of subtly different interpretations of the definition of Singularity.

John von Neumann was quoted as saying that “the ever accelerating progress of technology … gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.” His definition of the Singularity was that the Singularity is the moment beyond which “technological progress will become incomprehensively rapid and complicated.”

Vernor Vinge introduced the term Technological Singularity in his science fiction novel Marooned in Realtime(1986) and later developed the concept in his essay the Coming Technological Singularity (1993). His definition of Singularity is widely known as the event horizon thesis and in essence says that trans or post-human minds will imply a weirder future than we can imagine:

“Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. […] I think it’s fair to call this event a singularity. It is a point where our models must be discarded and a new reality rules. As we move closer and closer to this point, it will loom vaster and vaster over human affairs till the notion becomes a commonplace. Yet when it finally happens it may still be a great surprise and a greater unknown.”

I.J. Good, who greatly influenced Vinge himself, never used the term Singularity itself. However, what Vinge called Singularity Good called intelligence explosion and by that he meant a positive feedback cycle within which minds will make technology to improve on minds which once started will rapidly surge upwards and create super-intelligence. This definition of Singularity is also known as the intelligence explosion hypothesis.

Ray Kurzweil is associated with the third and most popular interpretation of the Technological Singularity, often referred to as the accelerating change thesis. In his book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology Kurzweil defined the Technological Singularity as:

“… a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. Although neither utopian nor dystopian, this epoch will transform the concepts that we rely on to give meaning to our lifes, from our business models to the cycle of human life, including death itself.”

Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired Magazine

Singularity is the point at which “all the change in the last million years will be superseded by the change in the next five minutes.”

James Martin, a world-renowned leading futurist, computer scientist, author, lecturer and, among many other things, the largest donor in the history of Oxford University.

Singularity “is a break in human evolution that will be caused by the staggering speed of technological evolution.”


Since all of the above refer to the same broad occurrence, I will simply define the Technological Singularity as the event, or sequence of events, likely to occur at or after the birth of Artificial Intelligence. (especially when AI surpasses human intelligence)

If anything, it has to be clear that we really do not know what the Singularity is (or will be) so we are just using the term to show (or hide) our own ignorance.

For more on this topic check out 17 Definitions of the Technological Singularity

Do you agree or disagree with the content of this page? Do you want to improve it? Do you want to post some great singularity content of your own? Why not share it here at Singularity Symposium?!

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THE singularitiy, not the tech one. Not rated yet I am puzzled that THE singularity is barely mentioned on this site – the singularity before which time, space, matter and energy did not exist – (not

Singuarity or Chaos?Not rated yet Perhaps it will be the time when the number of recongized, recorded & real-time shared “patterns” will be so unfathomably large that all around “us” will

Singularity And The Infinite InvisibleNot rated yet The Universe continues to expand from its point of origin (Alpha point) since its inception at the Big Bang. As such, time itself expands along with it,

D’Count Lessismore of Moran-OvaNot rated yet D&D’s take on all this is: That super AI equals human irrelevance. The soon to come very few super power leaders will voraciously control

The third factor of intelligenceNot rated yet I am thinking of a new theory. At least to me it is new. I am thinking of the point when artificial intelligence is measured as equal or greater than human

The SarkhhoobadNot rated yet Singularity is best explained by the “sarkhoobad”, a mysterious phenomenon which if unraveled would shed light on many of the difficult to explain questions

bliss to ignorance ratioNot rated yet singularity transcends human comprehension as a linear event, therefore if it occurs we will be incapable of detecting its existence. time, place and

Albert Not rated yet I agree that human evolution is heading in this direction, namely trans humanism. Earth will probably experience another extinction event, so humans should

Time TravelNot rated yet I do not believe that there is much more to be done technologically (in a vastly more incomprehensible way) than what has already transpired with the exceptions

Ananda Jaisingh, VedantinNot rated yet Singularity means Brahman, satyam gyanam anantam, brahman as it is the source of all knowledge and therefore must be conscious, without limit or boundary,

Noone ScientistNot rated yet Singularity is the initial point which everthing that exist, has existed and will exist, is acted upon by the magic magnetic first particle of matter,

singularityNot rated yet We would not be able to recognise a singularity in a future sense, we would experience the now or the present event prior to the singularity,then pass

Mr. Ronald finn.Not rated yet Singularity is where everything meets you, no matter where you are or whatever you are doing it still relates to you and only you. A single direction without

Dr.Not rated yet A singularity is a point in the future where an intelligence explosion takes place.

Splitting of the SpeciesNot rated yet Single body, many minds vs many bodies single minds. Singularity? Iit means individualism while joining with many others in a single unit. Single does

Margie Call ) artistNot rated yet If because of exponential growth, and thoughts are things it seems to me everything would get so entangled that there will be a big bang that converts

Paul BennettNot rated yet In the “Electric Kool-aid Acid Test” it is ‘said’ that you are either “on the bus” or “off the bus” in the event of a technological singularity you will

George Anstadt MD FACPMNot rated yet the Singularity: When the relentless drive of DNA to survive commands a being with the power of artificial intelligence.

Good, Bad, WeirdNot rated yet The Singularity, as defined above, is an unknown unknown. That means this whole thing is a random event. In the future there is a point, which statistically

Continuation of the Human RaceNot rated yet The essence of what we call the human race has to be evolved into a form of transmittable energy that will transcend the limits of the observable universe.

The Universal Grand IllusionNot rated yet This will be the point when the self-absorbed intellectual elites reach the apex of the Ego, becoming convinced that we have fully digested the essence

human beingNot rated yet singularity is the moment when we have the capacity to understand all knowledge from the past and from the future in the present

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The Best Definition of Singularity

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Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sep 072015

Early proponents

The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton, which originated in the 1880s. Galton studied the upper classes of Britain, and arrived at the conclusion that their social positions were due to a superior genetic makeup.[8] Early proponents of eugenics believed that, through selective breeding, the human species should direct its own evolution. They tended to believe in the genetic superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples; supported strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws; and supported the forcible sterilization of the poor, disabled and “immoral”.[9] Eugenics was also supported by African Americans intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Thomas Wyatt Turner, and many academics at Tuskegee University, Howard University, and Hampton University; however they believed the best blacks were as good as the best whites and “The Talented Tenth” of all races should mix.[10] W. E. B. Du Bois believed “only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the race’s heritage of moral iniquity.”[10][11]

The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from various corporate foundations including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.[6] In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.[8] The Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in 1911 by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport, using money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution. As late as the 1920s, the ERO was one of the leading organizations in the American eugenics movement.[8][12] In years to come, the ERO collected a mass of family pedigrees and concluded that those who were unfit came from economically and socially poor backgrounds. Eugenicists such as Davenport, the psychologist Henry H. Goddard, Harry H. Laughlin, and the conservationist Madison Grant (all well respected in their time) began to lobby for various solutions to the problem of the “unfit”. Davenport favored immigration restriction and sterilization as primary methods; Goddard favored segregation in his The Kallikak Family; Grant favored all of the above and more, even entertaining the idea of extermination.[13] The Eugenics Record Office later became the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Eugenics was widely accepted in the U.S. academic community.[6] By 1928 there were 376 separate university courses in some of the United States’ leading schools, enrolling more than 20,000 students, which included eugenics in the curriculum.[14] It did, however, have scientific detractors (notably, Thomas Hunt Morgan, one of the few Mendelians to explicitly criticize eugenics), though most of these focused more on what they considered the crude methodology of eugenicists, and the characterization of almost every human characteristic as being hereditary, rather than the idea of eugenics itself.[15]

By 1910, there was a large and dynamic network of scientists, reformers and professionals engaged in national eugenics projects and actively promoting eugenic legislation. The American Breeder’s Association was the first eugenic body in the U.S., established in 1906 under the direction of biologist Charles B. Davenport. The ABA was formed specifically to “investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.” Membership included Alexander Graham Bell, Stanford president David Starr Jordan and Luther Burbank.[16][17] The American Association for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality was one of the first organizations to begin investigating infant mortality rates in terms of eugenics.[18] They promoted government intervention in attempts to promote the health of future citizens.[19][verification needed]

Several feminist reformers advocated an agenda of eugenic legal reform. The National Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the National League of Women Voters were among the variety of state and local feminist organization that at some point lobbied for eugenic reforms.[20]

One of the most prominent feminists to champion the eugenic agenda was Margaret Sanger, the leader of the American birth control movement. Margaret Sanger saw birth control as a means to prevent unwanted children from being born into a disadvantaged life, and incorporated the language of eugenics to advance the movement.[21][22] Sanger also sought to discourage the reproduction of persons who, it was believed, would pass on mental disease or serious physical defect. She advocated sterilization in cases where the subject was unable to use birth control.[21] Unlike other eugenicists, she rejected euthanasia.[23] For Sanger, it was individual women and not the state who should determine whether or not to have a child.[24][25]

In the Deep South, women’s associations played an important role in rallying support for eugenic legal reform. Eugenicists recognized the political and social influence of southern clubwomen in their communities, and used them to help implement eugenics across the region.[26] Between 1915 and 1920, federated women’s clubs in every state of the Deep South had a critical role in establishing public eugenic institutions that were segregated by sex.[27] For example, the Legislative Committee of the Florida State Federation of Women’s Clubs successfully lobbied to institute a eugenic institution for the mentally retarded that was segregated by sex.[28] Their aim was to separate mentally retarded men and women to prevent them from breeding more “feebleminded” individuals.

Public acceptance in the U.S. was the reason eugenic legislation was passed. Almost 19 million people attended the PanamaPacific International Exposition in San Francisco, open for 10 months from February 20 to December 4, 1915.[29][30][31] The PPIE was a fair devoted to extolling the virtues of a rapidly progressing nation, featuring new developments in science, agriculture, manufacturing and technology. A subject that received a large amount of time and space was that of the developments concerning health and disease, particularly the areas of tropical medicine and race betterment (tropical medicine being the combined study of bacteriology, parasitology and entomology while racial betterment being the promotion of eugenic studies). Having these areas so closely intertwined, it seemed that they were both categorized in the main theme of the fair, the advancement of civilization. Thus in the public eye, the seemingly contradictory[clarification needed] areas of study were both represented under progressive banners of improvement and were made to seem like plausible courses of action to better American society.[32][verification needed]

Beginning with Connecticut in 1896, many states enacted marriage laws with eugenic criteria, prohibiting anyone who was “epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded”[33] from marrying.[citation needed]

The first state to introduce a compulsory sterilization bill was Michigan, in 1897 but the proposed law failed to garner enough votes by legislators to be adopted. Eight years later Pennsylvania’s state legislators passed a sterilization bill that was vetoed by the governor. Indiana became the first state to enact sterilization legislation in 1907,[34] followed closely by Washington and California in 1909. Sterilization rates across the country were relatively low (California being the sole exception) until the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell which legitimized the forced sterilization of patients at a Virginia home for the mentally retarded. The number of sterilizations performed per year increased until another Supreme Court case, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 1942, complicated the legal situation by ruling against sterilization of criminals if the equal protection clause of the constitution was violated. That is, if sterilization was to be performed, then it could not exempt white-collar criminals.[35] The state of California was at the vanguard of the American eugenics movement, performing about 20,000 sterilizations or one third of the 60,000 nationwide from 1909 up until the 1960s.[36]

While California had the highest number of sterilizations, North Carolina’s eugenics program which operated from 1933 to 1977, was the most aggressive of the 32 states that had eugenics programs.[37] An IQ of 70 or lower meant sterilization was appropriate in North Carolina.[38] The North Carolina Eugenics Board almost always approved proposals brought before them by local welfare boards.[38] Of all states, only North Carolina gave social workers the power to designate people for sterilization.[37] “Here, at last, was a method of preventing unwanted pregnancies by an acceptable, practical, and inexpensive method,” wrote Wallace Kuralt in the March 1967 journal of the N.C. Board of Public Welfare. “The poor readily adopted the new techniques for birth control.”[38]

The Immigration Restriction League was the first American entity associated officially with eugenics. Founded in 1894 by three recent Harvard University graduates, the League sought to bar what it considered inferior races from entering America and diluting what it saw as the superior American racial stock (upper class Northerners of Anglo-Saxon heritage). They felt that social and sexual involvement with these less-evolved and less-civilized races would pose a biological threat to the American population. The League lobbied for a literacy test for immigrants, based on the belief that literacy rates were low among “inferior races”. Literacy test bills were vetoed by Presidents in 1897, 1913 and 1915; eventually, President Wilson’s second veto was overruled by Congress in 1917. Membership in the League included: A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard, William DeWitt Hyde, president of Bowdoin College, James T. Young, director of Wharton School and David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford University.[39]

The League allied themselves with the American Breeder’s Association to gain influence and further its goals and in 1909 established a Committee on Eugenics chaired by David Starr Jordan with members Charles Davenport, Alexander Graham Bell, Vernon Kellogg, Luther Burbank, William Ernest Castle, Adolf Meyer, H. J. Webber and Friedrich Woods. The ABA’s immigration legislation committee, formed in 1911 and headed by League’s founder Prescott F. Hall, formalized the committee’s already strong relationship with the Immigration Restriction League. They also founded the Eugenics Record Office, which was headed by Harry H. Laughlin.[40] In their mission statement, they wrote:

Society must protect itself; as it claims the right to deprive the murderer of his life so it may also annihilate the hideous serpent of hopelessly vicious protoplasm. Here is where appropriate legislation will aid in eugenics and creating a healthier, saner society in the future.”[40]

Money from the Harriman railroad fortune was also given to local charities, in order to find immigrants from specific ethnic groups and deport, confine, or forcibly sterilize them.[6]

With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, eugenicists for the first time played an important role in the Congressional debate as expert advisers on the threat of “inferior stock” from eastern and southern Europe.[41][verification needed] The new act, inspired by the eugenic belief in the racial superiority of “old stock” white Americans as members of the “Nordic race” (a form of white supremacy), strengthened the position of existing laws prohibiting race-mixing.[42] Eugenic considerations also lay behind the adoption of incest laws in much of the U.S. and were used to justify many anti-miscegenation laws.[43]

Stephen Jay Gould asserted that restrictions on immigration passed in the United States during the 1920s (and overhauled in 1965 with the Immigration and Nationality Act) were motivated by the goals of eugenics. During the early 20th century, the United States and Canada began to receive far higher numbers of Southern and Eastern European immigrants. Influential eugenicists like Lothrop Stoddard and Harry Laughlin (who was appointed as an expert witness for the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in 1920) presented arguments they would pollute the national gene pool if their numbers went unrestricted.[44][45] It has been argued that this stirred both Canada and the United States into passing laws creating a hierarchy of nationalities, rating them from the most desirable Anglo-Saxon and Nordic peoples to the Chinese and Japanese immigrants, who were almost completely banned from entering the country.[42][46]

Both class and race factored into eugenic definitions of “fit” and “unfit.” By using intelligence testing, American eugenicists asserted that social mobility was indicative of one’s genetic fitness.[47] This reaffirmed the existing class and racial hierarchies and explained why the upper-to-middle class was predominately white. Middle-to-upper class status was a marker of “superior strains.”[28] In contrast, eugenicists believed poverty to be a characteristic of genetic inferiority, which meant that that those deemed “unfit” were predominately of the lower classes.[28]

Because class status designated some more fit than others, eugenicists treated upper and lower class women differently. Positive eugenicists, who promoted procreation among the fittest in society, encouraged middle class women to bear more children. Between 1900 and 1960, Eugenicists appealed to middle class white women to become more “family minded,” and to help better the race.[48] To this end, eugenicists often denied middle and upper class women sterilization and birth control.[49]

Since poverty was associated with prostitution and “mental idiocy,” women of the lower classes were the first to be deemed “unfit” and “promiscuous.”[28] These women, who were predominately immigrants or women of color[citation needed], were discouraged from bearing children, and were encouraged to use birth control.

In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead.[50][51] Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921,[52] the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions in 1927.[53]

Some states sterilized “imbeciles” for much of the 20th century. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974.[54] The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States.[55] Beginning around 1930, there was a steady increase in the percentage of women sterilized, and in a few states only young women were sterilized. From 1930 to the 1960s, sterilizations were performed on many more institutionalized women than men.[28] By 1961, 61 percent of the 62,162 total eugenic sterilizations in the United States were performed on women.[28] A favorable report on the results of sterilization in California, the state with the most sterilizations by far, was published in book form by the biologist Paul Popenoe and was widely cited by the Nazi government as evidence that wide-reaching sterilization programs were feasible and humane.[56][57]

Men and women were compulsorily sterilized for different reasons. Men were sterilized to treat their aggression and to eliminate their criminal behavior, while women were sterilized to control the results of their sexuality.[28] Since women bore children, eugenicists held women more accountable than men for the reproduction of the less “desirable” members of society.[28] Eugenicists therefore predominately targeted women in their efforts to regulate the birth rate, to “protect” white racial health, and weed out the “defectives” of society.[28]

A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of “mental defectives”, 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.[58]

In the 1970s, several activists and women’s rights groups discovered several physicians to be performing coerced sterilizations of specific ethnic groups of society. All were abuses of poor, nonwhite, or mentally retarded women, while no abuses against white or middle-class women were recorded.[59] Although the sterilizations were not explicitly motivated by eugenics, the sterilizations were similar to the eugenics movement[according to whom?] because they were done without the patients’ consent.

For example, in 1972, United States Senate committee testimony brought to light that at least 2,000 involuntary sterilizations had been performed on poor black women without their consent or knowledge. An investigation revealed that the surgeries were all performed in the South, and were all performed on black welfare mothers with multiple children. Testimony revealed that many of these women were threatened with an end to their welfare benefits until they consented to sterilization.[60] These surgeries were instances of sterilization abuse, a term applied to any sterilization performed without the consent or knowledge of the recipient, or in which the recipient is pressured into accepting the surgery. Because the funds used to carry out the surgeries came from the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, the sterilization abuse raised older suspicions, especially amongst the black community, that “federal programs were underwriting eugenicists who wanted to impose their views about population quality on minorities and poor women.”[28]

Native American women were also victims of sterilization abuse up into the 1970s.[61] The organization WARN (Women of All Red Nations) publicized that Native American women were threatened that, if they had more children, they would be denied welfare benefits. The Indian Health Service also repeatedly refused to deliver Native American babies until their mothers, in labor, consented to sterilization. Many Native American women unknowingly gave consent, since directions were not given in their native language. According to the General Accounting Office, an estimate of 3,406 Indian women were sterilized.[61] The General Accounting Office stated that the Indian Health Service had not followed the necessary regulations, and that the “informed consent forms did not adhere to the standards set by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).”[62]

One of the methods that was commonly suggested to get rid of “inferior” populations was euthanasia. A 1911 Carnegie Institute report mentioned euthanasia as one of its recommended “solutions” to the problem of cleansing society of unfit genetic attributes. The most commonly suggested method was to set up local gas chambers. However, many in the eugenics movement did not believe that Americans were ready to implement a large-scale euthanasia program, so many doctors had to find clever ways of subtly implementing eugenic euthanasia in various medical institutions. For example, a mental institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk infected with tuberculosis (reasoning that genetically fit individuals would be resistant), resulting in 30-40% annual death rates. Other doctors practiced euthanasia through various forms of lethal neglect.[63]

In the 1930s, there was a wave of portrayals of eugenic “mercy killings” in American film, newspapers, and magazines. In 1931, the Illinois Homeopathic Medicine Association began lobbying for the right to euthanize “imbeciles” and other defectives. The Euthanasia Society of America was founded in 1938.[64]

Overall, however, euthanasia was marginalized in the U.S., motivating people to turn to forced segregation and sterilization programs as a means for keeping the “unfit” from reproducing.[65]

Mary deGormo, a former classroom teacher was the first person to combine ideas about health and intelligence standards with competitions at state fairs, in the form of “better baby” contests. She developed the first such contest, the “Scientific Baby Contest” for the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, in 1908. She saw these contests as a contribution to the “social efficiency” movement, which was advocating for the standardization of all aspects of American life as a means of increasing efficiency.[18] deGarmo was assisted by the pediatrician Dr. Jacob Bodenheimer, who helped her develop grading sheets for contestants, which combined physical measurements with standardized measurements of intelligence.[66] Scoring was based on a deduction system, in that every child started at 1000 points and then was docked points for having measurements that were below a designated average. The child with the most points (and the least defections) was ideal.[67][verification needed]

The topic of standardization through scientific judgment was a topic that was very serious in the eyes of the scientific community, but has often been downplayed as just a popular fad or trend. Nevertheless, a lot of time, effort, and money were put into these contests and their scientific backing, which would influence cultural ideas as well as local and state government practices.[68][verification needed]

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People promoted eugenics by hosting “Better Baby” contests and the proceeds would go to its anti-lynching campaign.[10]

First appearing in 1920 at the Kansas Free Fair, Fitter Family competitions, continued all the way until WWII. Mary T. Watts and Florence Brown Sherbon, both initiators of the Better Baby Contests in Iowa, took the idea of positive eugenics for babies and combined it with a determinist concept of biology to come up with fitter family competitions.[69]

There were several different categories that families were judged in: Size of the family, overall attractiveness, and health of the family, all of which helped to determine the likelihood of having healthy children. These competitions were simply a continuation of the Better Baby contests that promoted certain physical and mental qualities.[70] At the time, it was believed that certain behavioral qualities were inherited from your parents. This led to the addition of several judging categories including: generosity, self-sacrificing, and quality of familial bonds. Additionally, there were negative features that were judged: selfishness, jealousy, suspiciousness, high temperedness, and cruelty. Feeblemindedness, alcoholism, and paralysis were few among other traits that were included as physical traits to be judged when looking at family lineage.[29]

Doctors and specialists from the community would offer their time to judge these competitions, which were originally sponsored by the Red Cross.[29] The winners of these competitions were given a Bronze Medal as well as champion cups called “Capper Medals.” The cups were named after then Governor and Senator, Arthur Capper and he would present them to “Grade A individuals”.[71]

The perks of entering into the contests were that the competitions provided a way for families to get a free health check up by a doctor as well as some of the pride and prestige that came from winning the competitions.[29]

By 1925 the Eugenics Records Office was distributing standardized forms for judging eugenically fit families, which were used in contests in several U.S. states.[72]

After the eugenics movement was well established in the United States, it spread to Germany. California eugenicists began producing literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sending it overseas to German scientists and medical professionals.[65] By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by California’s.[7]

The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs,[73] including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.[6][74]

Upon returning from Germany in 1934, where more than 5,000 people per month were being forcibly sterilized, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe bragged to a colleague:

“You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought . . . I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.”[75]

Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws.[76] In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler’s 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the “science of racial cleansing”. Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the “common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics.”[77]

After 1945, however, historians began to attempt to portray the US eugenics movement as distinct and distant from Nazi eugenics.[78]Jon Entine wrote that eugenics simply means “good genes” and using it as synonym for genocide is an “all-too-common distortion of the social history of genetics policy in the United States.” According to Entine, eugenics developed out of the Progressive Era and not “Hitler’s twisted Final Solution.”[79]

Read more:

Eugenics in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Negro Project and Margaret Sanger

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Aug 152015

The Negro Project Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Plan for Black Americans By Tanya L. Green posted at Concerned Women of America

May 10, 2001

‘Civil rights’ doesn’t mean anything without a right to life! declared Hunter. He and the other marchers were protesting the disproportionately high number of abortions in the black community. The high number is no accident. Many Americansblack and whiteare unaware of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s Negro Project. Sanger created this program in 1939, after the organization changed its name from the American Birth Control League (ABCL) to the Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA).1

The aim of the program was to restrictmany believe exterminatethe black population. Under the pretense of better health and family planning, Sanger cleverly implemented her plan. What’s more shocking is Sanger’s beguilement of black America’s crme de la crmethose prominent, well educated and well-to-dointo executing her scheme. Some within the black elite saw birth control as a means to attain economic empowerment, elevate the race and garner the respect of whites.

The Negro Project has had lasting repercussions in the black community: We have become victims of genocide by our own hands, cried Hunter at the Say So march.

Margaret Sanger aligned herself with the eugenicists whose ideology prevailed in the early 20th century. Eugenicists strongly espoused racial supremacy and purity, particularly of the Aryan race. Eugenicists hoped to purify the bloodlines and improve the race by encouraging the fit to reproduce and the unfit to restrict their reproduction. They sought to contain the inferior races through segregation, sterilization, birth control and abortion.

Sanger embraced Malthusian eugenics. Thomas Robert Malthus, a 19th-century cleric and professor of political economy, believed a population time bomb threatened the existence of the human race.2 He viewed social problems such as poverty, deprivation and hunger as evidence of this population crisis. According to writer George Grant, Malthus condemned charities and other forms of benevolence, because he believed they only exacerbated the problems. His answer was to restrict population growth of certain groups of people.3 His theories of population growth and economic stability became the basis for national and international social policy. Grant quotes from Malthus’ magnum opus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, published in six editions from 1798 to 1826:

Malthus’ disciples believed if Western civilization were to survive, the physically unfit, the materially poor, the spiritually diseased, the racially inferior, and the mentally incompetent had to be suppressed and isolatedor even, perhaps, eliminated. His disciples felt the subtler and more scientific approaches of education, contraception, sterilization and abortion were more practical and acceptable ways to ease the pressures of the alleged overpopulation.5

Critics of Malthusianism said the group produced a new vocabulary of mumbo-jumbo. It was all hard-headed, scientific and relentless. Further, historical facts have proved the Malthusian mathematical scheme regarding overpopulation to be inaccurate, though many still believe them.6

Despite the falsehoods of Malthus’ overpopulation claims, Sanger nonetheless immersed herself in Malthusian eugenics. Grant wrote she argued for birth control using the scientifically verified threat of poverty, sickness, racial tension and overpopulation as its background. Sanger’s publication, The Birth Control Review (founded in 1917) regularly published pro-eugenic articles from eugenicists, such as Ernst Rudin.7 Although Sanger ceased editing The Birth Control Review in 1929, the ABCL continued to use it as a platform for eugenic ideas.

Sanger built the work of the ABCL, and, ultimately, Planned Parenthood, on the ideas and resources of the eugenics movement. Grant reported that virtually all of the organization’s board members were eugenicists. Eugenicists financed the early projects, from the opening of birth control clinics to the publishing of revolutionary literature. Eugenicists comprised the speakers at conferences, authors of literature and the providers of services almost without exception. And Planned Parenthood’s international work was originally housed in the offices of the Eugenics Society. The two organizations were intertwined for years.8

The ABCL became a legal entity on April 22, 1922, in New York. Before that, Sanger illegally operated a birth control clinic in October 1916, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, which eventually closed. The clinic serviced the poor immigrants who heavily populated the areathose deemed unfit to reproduce.9

Sanger’s early writings clearly reflected Malthus’ influence. She writes:

In another passage, she decries the burden of human waste on society:

She concluded,

The Review printed an excerpt of an address Sanger gave in 1926. In it she said:

Sanger said a bonus would be wise and profitable and the salvation of American civilization.14 She presented her ideas to Mr. C. Harold Smith (of the New York Evening World) on the welfare committee in New York City. She said, people must be helped to help themselves. Any plan or program that would make them dependent upon doles and charities is paternalistic and would not be of any permanent value. She included an essay (what she called a program of public welfare,) entitled We Must Breed a Race of Thoroughbreds.15

In it she argued that birth control clinics, or bureaus, should be established in which men and women will be taught the science of parenthood and the science of breeding. For this was the way to breed out of the race the scourges of transmissible disease, mental defect, poverty, lawlessness, crime … since these classes would be decreasing in number instead of breeding like weeds [emphasis added].16

Her program called for women to receive birth control advice in various situations, including where:

Sanger said such a plan would … reduce the birthrate among the diseased, the sickly, the poverty stricken and anti-social classes, elements unable to provide for themselves, and the burden of which we are all forced to carry.17

Sanger had openly embraced Malthusian eugenics, and it shaped her actions in the ensuing years.

In 1929, 10 years before Sanger created the Negro Project, the ABCL laid the groundwork for a clinic in Harlem, a largely black section of New York City. It was the dawn of the Great Depression, and for blacks that meant double the misery. Blacks faced harsher conditions of desperation and privation because of widespread racial prejudice and discrimination. From the ABCL’s perspective, Harlem was the ideal place for this experimental clinic, which officially opened on November 21, 1930. Many blacks looked to escape their adverse circumstances and therefore did not recognize the eugenic undercurrent of the clinic. The clinic relied on the generosity of private foundations to remain in business.18 In addition to being thought of as inferior and disproportionately represented in the underclass, according to the clinic’s own files used to justify its work, blacks in Harlem:

Although the clinic served whites as well as blacks, it was established for the benefit of the colored people. Sanger wrote this in a letter to Dr. W. E. Burghardt DuBois,20 one of the day’s most influential blacks. A sociologist and author, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 to improve the living conditions of black Americans.

That blacks endured extreme prejudice and discrimination, which contributed greatly to their plight, seemed to further justify restricting their numbers. Many believed the solution lay in reducing reproduction. Sanger suggested the answer to poverty and degradation lay in smaller numbers of blacks. She convinced black civic groups in Harlem of the benefits of birth control, under the cloak of better health (i.e., reduction of maternal and infant death; child spacing) and family planning. So with their cooperation, and the endorsement of The Amsterdam News (a prominent black newspaper), Sanger established the Harlem branch of the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau.21 The ABCL told the community birth control was the answer to their predicament.

Sanger shrewdly used the influence of prominent blacks to reach the masses with this message. She invited DuBois and a host of Harlem’s leading blacks, including physicians, social workers, ministers and journalists, to form an advisory council to help direct the clinic so that our work in birth control will be a constructive force in the community.22 She knew the importance of having black professionals on the advisory board and in the clinic; she knew blacks would instinctively suspect whites of wanting to decrease their numbers. She would later use this knowledge to implement the Negro Project.

Sanger convinced the community so well that Harlem’s largest black church, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, held a mass meeting featuring Sanger as the speaker.23 But that event received criticism. At least one very prominent minister of a denomination other than Baptist spoke out against Sanger. Dr. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of Abyssinian Baptist, received adverse criticism from the (unnamed) minister who was surprised that he’d allow that awful woman in his church.24

Grace Congregational Church hosted a debate on birth control. Proponents argued birth control was necessary to regulate births in proportion to the family’s income; spacing births would help mothers recover physically and fathers financially; physically strong and mentally sound babies would result; and incidences of communicable diseases would decrease.

Opponents contended that as a minority group blacks needed to increase rather than decrease and that they needed an equal distribution of wealth to improve their status. In the end, the debate judges decided the proponents were more persuasive: Birth control would improve the status of blacks.25 Still, there were others who equated birth control with abortion and therefore considered it immoral.

Eventually, the Urban League took control of the clinic,26 an indication the black community had become ensnared in Sanger’s labyrinth.

The Harlem clinic and ensuing birth control debate opened dialogue among blacks about how best to improve their disadvantageous position. Some viewed birth control as a viable solution: High reproduction, they believed, meant prolonged poverty and degradation. Desperate for change, others began to accept the rationale of birth control. A few embraced eugenics. The June 1932 edition of The Birth Control Review, called The Negro Number, featured a series of articles written by blacks on the virtues of birth control.

The editorial posed this question: Shall they go in for quantity or quality in children? Shall they bring children into the world to enrich the undertakers, the physicians and furnish work for social workers and jailers, or shall they produce children who are going to be an asset to the group and American society? The answer: Most [blacks], especially women, would choose quality … if they only knew how.27

DuBois, in his article Black Folk and Birth Control, noted the inevitable clash of ideals between those Negroes who were striving to improve their economic position and those whose religious faith made the limitation of children a sin.28 He criticized the mass of ignorant Negroes who bred carelessly and disastrously so that the increase among [them] … is from that part of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.29

DuBois called for a more liberal attitude among black churches. He said they were open to intelligent propaganda of any sort, and the American Birth Control League and other agencies ought to get their speakers before church congregations and their arguments in the Negro newspapers [emphasis added].30

Charles S. Johnson, Fisk University’s first black president, wrote eugenic discrimination was necessary for blacks.31 He said the high maternal and infant mortality rates, along with diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid, malaria and venereal infection, made it difficult for large families to adequately sustain themselves.

Further, the status of Negroes as marginal workers, their confinement to the lowest paid branches of industry, the necessity for the labors of mothers, as well as children, to balance meager budgets, are factors [that] emphasize the need for lessening the burden not only for themselves, but of society, which must provide the supplementary support in the form of relief.32 Johnson later served on the National Advisory Council to the BCFA, becoming integral to the Negro Project.

Writer Walter A. Terpenning described bringing a black child into a hostile world as pathetic. In his article God’s Chillun, he wrote:

Terpenning considered birth control for blacks as the more humane provision and more eugenic than among whites. He felt birth control information should have first been disseminated among blacks rather than the white upper crust.34 He failed to look at the problematic attitudes and behavior of society and how they suppressed blacks. He offered no solutions to the injustice and vile racism that blacks endured.

Sadly, DuBois’ words of black churches being open to intelligent propaganda proved prophetic. Black pastors invited Sanger to speak to their congregations. Black publications, like The Afro-American and The Chicago Defender, featured her writings. Rather than attacking the root causes of maternal and infant deaths, diseases, poverty, unemployment and a host of other social illsnot the least of which was racismSanger pushed birth control. To many, it was better for blacks not to be born rather than endure such a harsh existence.

Against this setting, Sanger charmed the black community’s most distinguished leaders into accepting her plan, which was designed to their own detriment. She peddled her wares wrapped in pretty packages labeled better health and family planning. No one could deny the benefits of better health, being financially ready to raise children, or spacing one’s children. However, the solution to the real issues affecting blacks did not lay in reducing their numbers. It lay in attacking the forces in society that hindered their progress. Most importantly, one had to discern Sanger’s motive behind her push for birth control in the community. It was not an altruistic one.

Prior to 1939, Sanger’s outreach to the black community was largely limited to her Harlem clinic and speaking at black churches.35 Her vision for the reproductive practices of black Americans expanded after the January 1939 merger of the Clinical Research Bureau and the American Birth Control League to form the Birth Control Federation of America. She selected Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, of the soap-manufacturing company Procter and Gamble, to be the BCFA regional director of the South.

Gamble wrote a memorandum in November 1939 entitled Suggestions for the Negro Project, in which he recognized that black leaders might regard birth control as an extermination plot. He suggested black leaders be placed in positions where it would appear they were in charge.36 Yet Sanger’s reply reflects Gamble’s ambivalence about having blacks in authoritative positions:

Another project director lamented:

Sanger knew blacks were a religious peopleand how useful ministers would be to her project. She wrote in the same letter:

Sanger’s cohorts within the BCFA sought to attract black leadership. They succeeded. The list of black leaders who made up BCFA’s National Advisory Council reads like a who’s who among black Americans. To name a few:40

Even with this impressive list, Sanger ran into resistance when she tried to present a birth control exhibit at the 1940 American Negro Exposition, a fair that traces the progress blacks have made since the Emancipation Proclamation, in Chicago. After inviting the BCFA to display its exhibit, the Exposition’s board later cancelled, citing last minute changes in floor space.41

Sanger did not buy this and issued a statement urging public protest. This has come as a complete surprise, said Sanger, since the Federation undertook preparation of the exhibit upon an express invitation from a member of the Exposition board.42 She said the cancellation resulted from concerted action on the part of representatives of the Roman Catholic Church. She even accused the church of threatening officials with the withholding of promised federal and state funds needed to hold the Exposition.43

Her statement mentioned BCFA prepared the exhibit in consultation with its National (Negro) Advisory Council, and it illustrated the need for birth control as a public health measure.44 She said the objective was to demonstrate how birth control would improve the welfare of the Negro population, noting the maternal death rate among black mothers was nearly 50 percent higher, and the child death rate was more than one-third greater than the white community.45

At Sanger’s urging, protesters of the cancellation sent letters to Attorney Wendall E. Green, vice chairman of the Afra-Merican Emancipation Exposition Commission (sponsor of the Exposition), requesting he investigate. Green denied there was any threat or pressure to withhold funds needed to finance the Exposition. Further, he said the Exposition commission (of Illinois) unanimously passed a resolution, which read in part: That in the promotion, conduct and accomplishment of the objectives (of the Exposition) there must be an abiding spirit to create goodwill toward all people.46 He added that since the funds for the Exposition came from citizens of all races and creeds, any exhibit in conflict with the known convictions of any religious group contravenes the spirit of the resolution,47 which seemed to support Catholic opposition. The commission upheld the ban on the exhibit.

The propaganda of the Negro Project was that birth control meant better health. So on this premise, the BCFA designed two southern Negro Project demonstration programs to show how medically-supervised birth control integrated into existing public health services could improve the general welfare of Negroes, and to initiate a nationwide educational program.48

The BCFA opened the first clinic at the Bethlehem Center in urban Nashville, Tennessee (where blacks constituted only 25 percent of the population), on February 13, 1940. They extended the work to the Social Services Center of Fisk University (a historically black college) on July 23, 1940. This location was especially significant because of its proximity to Meharry Medical School, which trained more than 50 percent of black physicians in the United States.49

An analysis of the income of the Nashville group revealed that no family, regardless of size, had an income over $15 a week. The service obviously reached the income group for which it was designed,50 indicating the project’s target. The report claimed to have brought to light serious diseases and making possible their treatment, … [and] that 55 percent [354 of the 638] of the patients prescribed birth control methods used it consistently and successfully.51 However, the report presented no definite figures … to demonstrate the extent of community improvement.52

The BCFA opened the second clinic on May 1, 1940, in rural Berkeley County, South Carolina, under the supervision of Dr. Robert E. Seibels, chairman of the Committee on Maternal Welfare of the South Carolina Medical Association.53 BCFA chose this site in part because leaders in the state were particularly receptive to the experiment. South Carolina had been the second state to make child spacing a part of its state public health program after a survey of the state’s maternal deaths showed that 25 percent occurred among mothers known to be physically unfit for pregnancy.54 Again, the message went out: Birth controlnot better prenatal carereduced maternal and infant mortality.

Although Berkeley County’s population was 70 percent black, the clinic received criticism that members of this group were overwhelmingly in the majority.55 Seibels assured Claude Barnett that this was not the case. We have … simply given our help to those who were willing to receive it, and these usually are Negroes, he said.56

While religious convictions significantly influenced the Nashville patients’ view of birth control, people in Berkeley County had no religious prejudice against birth control. But the attitude that treatment of any disease was ‘against nature’ was in the air.57 Comparing the results of the two sites, it is seen that the immediate receptivity to the demonstration was at the outset higher in the rural area.58 However, the final total success was lower [in the rural area]. However, in Berkeley, stark poverty was even more in evidence, and bad roads, bad weather and ignorance proved powerful counter forces [to the contraceptive programs]. After 18 months, the Berkeley program closed.59

The report indicated that, contrary to expectations, the lives of black patients serviced by the clinics did not improve dramatically from birth control. Two beliefs stood in the way: Some blacks likened birth control to abortion and others regarded it as inherently immoral.60 However, when thrown against the total pictures of the awareness on the part of Negro leaders of the improved conditions, … and their opportunities to even better conditions under Planned Parenthood, … the obstacles to the program are greatly outweighed, said Dr. Dorothy Ferebee.61

A hint of eugenic flavor seasoned Ferebee’s speech: The future program [of Planned Parenthood] should center around more education in the field through the work of a professional Negro worker, because those of us who believe that the benefits of Planned Parenthood as a vital key to the elimination of human waste must reach the entire population [emphasis added].62 She peppered her speech with the importance of Negro professionals, fully integrated into the staff, … who could interpret the program and objectives to [other blacks] in the normal course of day-to-day contacts; could break down fallacious attitudes and beliefs and elements of distrust; could inspire the confidence of the group; and would not be suspect of the intent to eliminate the race [emphasis added].63

Sanger even managed to lure the prominentbut hesitantblack minister J. T. Braun, editor in chief of the National Baptist Convention’s Sunday School Publishing Board in Nashville, Tennessee, into her deceptive web. Braun confessed to Sanger that the very idea of such a thing [birth control] has always held the greatest hatred and contempt in my mind. … I am hesitant to give my full endorsement of this idea, until you send me, perhaps, some more convincing literature on the subject.64 Sanger happily complied. She sent Braun the Federal Council of Churches’ Marriage and Home Committee pamphlet praised by Bishop Sims (another member of the National Advisory Council), assuring him that: There are some people who believe that birth control is an attempt to dictate to families how many children to have. Nothing could be further from the truth.65

Sanger’s assistants gave Braun more pro-birth control literature and a copy of her autobiography, which he gave to his wife to read. Sanger’s message of preventing maternal and infant mortality stirred Braun’s wife. Now convinced of this need, Braun permitted a group of women to use his chapel for a birth-control talk.66 [I was] moved by the number of prominent [black] Christians backing the proposition, Braun wrote in a letter to Sanger.67 At first glance I had a horrible shock to the proposition because it seemed to me to be allied to abortion, but after thought and prayer, I have concluded that especially among many women, it is necessary both to save the lives of mothers and children [emphasis added].68

By 1949, Sanger had hoodwinked black America’s best and brightest into believing birth control’s life-saving benefits. In a monumental feat, she bewitched virtually an entire network of black social, professional and academic organizations69 into endorsing Planned Parenthood’s eugenic program.70

Sanger’s successful duplicity does not in any way suggest blacks were gullible. They certainly wanted to decrease maternal and infant mortality and improve the community’s overall health. They wholly accepted her message because it seemed to promise prosperity and social acceptance. Sanger used their vulnerabilities and their ignorance (of her deliberately hidden agenda) to her advantage. Aside from birth control, she offered no other medical or social solutions to their adversity. Surely, blacks would not have been such willing accomplices had they perceived her true intentions. Considering the role eugenics played in the early birth control movementand Sanger’s embracing of that ideologythe notion of birth control as seemingly the only solution to the problems that plagued blacks should have been much more closely scrutinized.

Planned Parenthood has gone to great lengths to repudiate the organization’s eugenic origins.71 It adamantly denies Sanger was a eugenicist or racist, despite evidence to the contrary. Because Sanger stopped editing The Birth Control Review in 1929, the organization tries to disassociate her from the eugenic and racist-oriented articles published after that date. However, a summary of an address Sanger gave in 1932, which appeared in the Review that year, revealed her continuing bent toward eugenics.

In A Plan for Peace, Sanger suggested Congress set up a special department to study population problems and appoint a Parliament of Population. One of the main objectives of the Population Congress would be to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population. This would be accomplished by applying a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation [in addition to tightening immigration laws] to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.72

It’s reasonable to conclude that as the leader of Planned Parenthoodeven after 1929Sanger would not allow publication of ideas she didn’t support.

Sanger’s defenders argue she only wanted to educate blacks about birth control’s health benefits. However, she counted the very people she wanted to educate among the unfit, whose numbers needed to be restricted.

Grant presents other arguments Sanger’s supporters use to refute her racist roots:73

These justifications also fail because of what Grant calls scientific racism. This form of racism is based on genes, rather than skin color or language. The issue is not ‘color of skin’ or ‘dialect of tongue,’ Grant writes, but ‘quality of genes [emphasis added].’74 Therefore, as long as blacks, Jews and Hispanics demonstrate ‘a good quality gene pool’as long as they ‘act white and think white’then they are esteemed equally with Aryans. As long as they are, as Margaret Sanger said, ‘the best of their race,’ then they can be [counted] as valuable citizens [emphasis added]. By the same token, individual whites who show dysgenic traits must also have their fertility curbed right along with the other ‘inferiors and undesirables.’75

In short, writes Grant, Scientific racism is an equal opportunity discriminator [emphasis added]. Anyone with a ‘defective gene pool’ is suspect. And anyone who shows promise may be admitted to the ranks of the elite.76

The eugenic undertone is hard to miss. As Grant rightly comments, The bottom line is that Planned Parenthood was self-consciously organized, in part, to promote and enforce White Supremacy. … It has been from its inception implicitly and explicitly racist.77

There is no way to escape the implications, argues William L. Davis, a black financial analyst Grant quotes. When an organization has a history of racism, when its literature is openly racist, when its goals are self-consciously racial, and when its programs invariably revolve around race, it doesn’t take an expert to realize that the organization is indeed racist.78

It is impossible to sever Planned Parenthood’s past from its present. Its legacy of lies and propaganda continues to infiltrate the black community. The poison is even more venomous because, in addition to birth control, Planned Parenthood touts abortion as a solution to the economic and social problems that plague the community. In its wake is the loss of more than 12 million lives within the black community alone. Planned Parenthood’s own records reflect this. For example, a 1992 report revealed that 23.2 percent of women who obtained abortions at its affiliates were black79although blacks represent no more than 13 percent of the total population. In 1996, Planned Parenthood’s research arm reported: Blacks, who make up 14 percent of all childbearing women, have 31 percent of all abortions and whites, who account for 81 percent of women of childbearing age, have 61 percent.80

Abortion is the number-one killer of blacks in America, says Rev. Hunter of LEARN. We’re losing our people at the rate of 1,452 a day. That’s just pure genocide. There’s no other word for it. [Sanger’s] influence and the whole mindset that Planned Parenthood has brought into the black community … say it’s okay to destroy your people. We bought into the lie; we bought into the propaganda.81

Some blacks have even made abortion rights synonymous with civil rights.

We’re destroying the destiny and purpose of others who should be here, Hunter laments. Who knows the musicians we’ve lost? Who knows the great leaders the black community has really lost? Who knows what great minds of economic power people have lost? What great teachers? He recites an old African proverb: No one knows whose womb holds the chief.82

Hunter has personally observed the vestiges of Planned Parenthood’s eugenic past in the black community today. When I travel around the country … I can only think of one abortion clinic [I’ve seen] in a predominantly white neighborhood. The majority of clinics are in black neighborhoods.83

Hunter noted the controversy that occurred two years ago in Louisiana involving school-based health clinics. The racist undertone could not have been more evident. In the Baton Rouge district, officials were debating placing clinics in the high schools. Black state representative Sharon Weston Broome initially supported the idea. She later expressed concern about clinics providing contraceptives and abortion counseling. Clinics should promote abstinence, she said.84 Upon learning officials wanted to put the clinics in black schools only, Hunter urged her to suggest they be placed in white schools as well. At Broome’s suggestion, however, proposals for the school clinics were dropped immediately, reported Hunter.

Grant observed the same game plan 20 years ago. During the 1980s when Planned Parenthood shifted its focus from community-based clinics to school-based clinics, it again targeted inner-city minority neighborhoods, he writes.85 Of the more than 100 school-based clinics that have opened nationwide in the last decade [1980s], none has been at substantially all-white schools, he adds. None has been at suburban middle-class schools. All have been at black, minority or ethnic schools.86

In 1987, a group of black ministers, parents and educators filed suit against the Chicago Board of Education. They charged the city’s school-based clinics with not only violating the state’s fornication laws, but also with discrimination against blacks. The clinics were a calculated, pernicious effort to destroy the very fabric of family life [between] black parents and their children, the suit alleged.87

One of the parents in the group was shocked when her daughter came home from school with Planned Parenthood material. I never realized how racist those people were until I read the [information my daughter received] at the school clinic, she said. [They are worse than] the Klan … because they’re so slick and sophisticated. Their bigotry is all dolled up with statistics and surveys, but just beneath the surface it’s as ugly as apartheid.88

A more recent account uncovered a Planned Parenthood affiliate giving condoms to residents of a poor black neighborhood in Akron, Ohio.89 The residents received a promotional bag containing, among other things: literature on sexually transmitted disease prevention, gynecology exams and contraception, a condom-case key chain containing a bright-green condom, and a coupon. The coupon was redeemable at three Ohio county clinics for a dozen condoms and a $5 McDonald’s gift certificate. All the items were printed with Planned Parenthood phone numbers.

The affiliate might say they’re targeting high-pregnancy areas, but their response presumes destructive behavior on the part of the targeted group. Planned Parenthood has always been reluctant to promote, or encourage, abstinence as the only safeguard against teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, calling it unrealistic.

Rev. Richard Welch, president of Human Life International in Front Royal, Virginia, blasted the affiliate for targeting low-income, minority neighborhoods with the bags. He said the incident revealed the racism inherent in promoting abortion and contraception in primarily minority neighborhoods.90

He then criticized Planned Parenthood: Having sprung from the racist dreams of a woman determined to apply abortion and contraception to eugenics and ethnic cleansing, Planned Parenthood remains true to the same strategy today.91

Black leaders have been silent about Margaret Sanger’s evil machination against their community far too long. They’ve been silent about abortion’s devastating effects in their communitydespite their pro-life inclination. The majority of [blacks] are more pro-life than anything else, said Hunter.92 Blacks were never taught to destroy their children; even in slavery they tried to hold onto their children.

Blacks are not quiet about the issue because they do not care, but rather because the truth has been kept from them. The issue is … to educate our people, said former Planned Parenthood board member LaVerne Tolbert.93

Today, a growing number of black pro-lifers are untangling the deceptive web spun by Sanger. They are using truth to shed light on the lies. The Say So march is just one example of their burgeoning pro-life activism. As the marchers laid 1,452 roses at the courthouse stepsto commemorate the number of black babies aborted dailyspokesman Damon Owens said, This calls national attention to the problem [of abortion]. This is an opportunity for blacks to speak to other blacks. This doesn’t solve all of our problems. But we will not solve our other problems with abortion.

Black pro-lifers are also linking arms with their white pro-life brethren. Black Americans for Life (BAL) is an outreach group of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots organization. NRLC encourages networking between black and white pro-lifers. Our goal is to bring people togetherfrom all races, colors, and religionsto work on pro-life issues, said NRLC Director of Outreach Ernest Ohlhoff.94 Black Americans for Life is not a parallel group; we want to help African-Americans integrate communicational and functionally into the pro-life movement.

Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, echoes the sentiment. Our mission is to protect the right to life of all members of the human race. CWA welcomes like-minded women and men, from all walks of life, to join us in this fight.

Concerned Women for America has a long history of fighting Planned Parenthood’s evil agenda. The Negro Project is an obscure angle, but one that must come to light. Margaret Sanger sold black Americans an illusion. Now with the veil of deception removed, they can choose life … that [their] descendants may live.

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The Negro Project and Margaret Sanger

THE Margaret Sanger

 Eugenics  Comments Off on THE Margaret Sanger
Aug 152015

Abortion clinics were originally set up with the intention of slowing the population growth of Afro-Americans and others racial groups considered mentally or otherwise inferior.

Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood is the major force behind the abortion and pro-choice/abortion movement in America. If you are proud of being pro-choice, you should know more about the most responsible person for the pro-abortion-rights movement and abortion industry in the 20th century.

“Lothrop Stoddard was on the board of directors (of Margaret Sanger’s Population Association of America) for years…. He had an interview with Adolf Hitler and was very impressed. His book, The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, was written while he served on Sanger’s board. Havelock Ellis, one of Sanger’s extra-marital lovers, reviewed favorably in The Birth Control Review”.

At a March,1925 international birth control gathering in New York City, a speaker warned of the menace posed by the “black” and “yellow” peril. The man was not a Nazi or Klansman; he was Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf, a member of Margaret Sanger’s American Birth Control League (ABCL), which along with other groups eventually became known as Planned Parenthood.

Margaret Sanger’s beliefs about social works of charity are revealing: She criticized the success– not failure– of charity… She called for the halt to the medical care being given to slum mothers, and decried the expense to the taxpayers of monies being spent on the deaf, blind and dependent. She condemned foreign missionaries for reducing the infant mortality rates in developing countries, and declared charity to be more evil than for the assistance it provided to the poor and needy. Sanger’s thinking moved to fascism in an elitist attitude that presumes to judge who is worthy to live and to die.

“Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are they being targeted? Isn’t that genocide? We are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population. If the current trend continues, by 2038 the black vote will be insignificant. Did you know that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society? The founder of Planned Parenthood said, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” Is her vision being fulfilled today?” quoted from

Adolf Hitler – Fuehrer of Nazi Germany “The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring. . . represents the most humane act of mankind.” Mein Kampf, vol. 1, ch. 10 from Hitler and Eugenics

Margaret Sanger – Founder of Planned Parenthood “. . .we prefer the policy of immediate sterilizarion, of making sure that parenthood is ‘ absolutely prohibited ‘ to the feeble-minded.” The Pivot of Civilization, p102

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

Now: The preborn child is often targeted for death if tests show that it may have a physical or mental handicap. The American eugenics program has no central sponsor but does have several large advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and the National Abortion Federation.

“In the past few years there has been a frantic effort on the part of Planned Parenthood ideologues to revise their own history. Much of the effort has been waged in an attempt to distance the organization and it’s founder, Margaret Sanger, from charges of radical racial bigotry. Mike Richmond draws from a selection of authors to demonstrate that Sanger and Planned Parenthood are rooted in eugenics, and have earned a despised place in history along with Adolf Hitler and the German Third Reich were.” from “Life Advocate, Jan.-Feb., 1998, Vol. XII, Number 10,

Another link between Margaret Sanger, American Eugenicist and Adolf Hitler, Eugenics practitioner: “The leaders in the German sterilization movement state repeatedly that their legislation was formulated after careful study of the California experiment as reported by Mr. Gosney and Dr. [Paul] Popenoe. It would have been impossible, they say, to undertake such a venture involving some 1 million people without drawing heavily upon previous experience elsewhere.” Who is Dr. Paul Popenoe? He was a leader in the U.S. eugenics movement and wrote (1933) the article ‘Eugenic Sterilization’ in the journal (BCR) that Margaret Sanger started. How many Americans did Dr. Popenoe estimate should be subjected to sterilization? Between five million and ten million Americans. “The situation [in the U.S.A] will grow worse instead of better if steps are not taken to control the reproduction of mentally handicapped. Eugenic sterilization represents one such step that is practicable, humanitarian, and certain in its results.”


First, put into action President Wilson’s fourteen points, upon which terms Germany and Austria surrendered to the Allies in 1918.

Second, have Congress set up a special department for the study of population problems and appoint a Parliament of Population, the directors representing the various branches of science: this body to direct and control the population through birth rates and immigration, and to direct its distribution over the country according to national needs consistent with taste, fitness and interest of individuals. The main objects of the Population Congress would be:

a. to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population.

b. to increase the population slowly by keeping the birth rate at its present level of fifteen per thousand, decreasing the death rate below its present mark of 11 per thousand.

c. to keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.

d. to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

e. to insure the country against future burdens of maintenance for numerous offspring as may be born of feebleminded parents, by pensioning all persons with transmissible disease who voluntarily consent to sterilization.

f. to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their ( another Pro-Choice) choice of segregation or sterilization.

g. to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons (sounds like a return to the plantation for a life of slavery) where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.

The first step would thus be to control the intake and output of morons, mental defectives, epileptics.

The second step would be to take an inventory of the secondary group such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection, and segregate them on farms and open spaces as long as necessary for the strengthening and development of moral conduct.

Having corralled this enormous part of our population and placed it on a basis of health instead of punishment, it is safe to say that fifteen or twenty millions of our population would then be organized into soldiers of defense—defending the unborn against their own disabilities.

The third step would be to give special attention to the mothers’ health, to see that women who are suffering from tuberculosis, heart or kidney disease, toxic goitre, gonorrhea, or any disease where the condition of pregnancy disturbs their health are placed under public health nurses to instruct them in practical, scientific methods of contraception in order to safeguard their lives—thus reducing maternal mortality.

The above steps may seem to place emphasis on a health program instead of on tariffs, moratoriums and debts, but I believe that national health is the first essential factor in any program for universal peace.

With the future citizen safeguarded from hereditary taints, with five million mental and moral degenerates (Sanger was known for her attitudes on free sex, adultery and abortion. Under this provision, Ms. Sanger’s sexual profligacy and pro-abortion – murder of the unborn- would have placed Sanger, herself, into this category) segregated, with ten million women and ten million children receiving adequate care, we could then turn our attention to the basic needs for international peace.

There would then be a definite effort to make population increase slowly and at a specified rate, in order to accommodate and adjust increasing numbers to the best social and economic system.

In the meantime we should organize and join an International League of Low Birth Rate Nations to secure and maintain World Peace.

“Summary of address before the New History Society”, January 17th, New York City

Highlights in red inserted by website author.

Margaret Sanger, Sterilization, and the Swastika by Mike Richmond Good assessment of Sanger’s beliefs and the affect of her influence

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THE Margaret Sanger

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Apr 112015


By: Jameel Rawls

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Seo Joon Yong takes Tour de Langkawi stage 5

 SEO  Comments Off on Seo Joon Yong takes Tour de Langkawi stage 5
Mar 132015

By Published Mar. 12, 2015 Updated 1 day ago Seo Joon Yong assumed a time trial position at the end of the Tour de Langkawi’s fifth stage. Photo: Tim De Waele |

Seo Joon Yong (KSPO) soloed to victory in stage 5 of the Tour de Langkawi Thursday in Malaysia.

Seo was riding in an eight-man breakaway before attacking with 25 kilometers left in the 200km stage from Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan. He time trialed his way to the finish line from there, crossing 13 seconds ahead of Jamalidin Novardianto (Pegasus) and Adiq Husainie Othman (Terengganu Cycling Team).

Two years ago in Kuantan, it was also a breakaway, but I lost in a sprint [to Colnago-CSF Inoxs Marco Canola], said Seo. So this time I didnt want that to happen again, and I didnt want to let it end the same way. Thus at 25km to go, I decided to launch an early attack to try and win on my own.

In the race for the overall, Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) holds a 17-second lead over Natnael Berhane and a 20-second buffer over Youcef Reguigui, both of MTN-Qhubeka, with three stages remaining.

When the breakaway went, we thought it would be okay, said Ewan. We could take a break and see how it goes after four days of hard racing in the heat. For us, it was okay, and we thought that if others want to give it a go and catch the breakaway then go for a bunch sprint, we would join in and help, but nobody looked interested.

The Tour de Langkawi resumes Friday with the 96.6km stage 6 from Maran to Karak.

I am proud of this win because it was hard-earned, said Seo. Every year I come to Langkawi, and I try to do something. This time I managed to win a stage.

FILED UNDER: Race Report / Road TAGS: Adiq Husainie Othman / Caleb Ewan / Jamalidin Novardianto / Natnael Berhane / Seo Joon Yong / Tour de Langkawi / Youcef Reguigui

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Seo Joon Yong takes Tour de Langkawi stage 5

Hovdey: Success may win over Pain and Misery

 Misc  Comments Off on Hovdey: Success may win over Pain and Misery
Feb 202015


On the face of it, Pain and Misery is just about the worst name you could give a racehorse. This is not to trample on an owners first amendment rights to freedom of speech and its more creative expressions (as upheld in The Jockey Club vs. Mike Pegram in the naming of Isitingood). But this is 2015, for Petes sake, and the tolerance for any whiff of a cold-hearted attitude toward the welfare of the animal has pretty much evaporated.

Furthermore, its not as if Pain and Misery is going away anytime soon. In his first race as a 3-year-old last weekend, which was also his first race for trainer Richard Mandella, the racy brown gelding just missed winning the $75,000 Baffle Stakes at about 6 1/2 furlongs down the hillside course at Santa Anita. He was caught in the last jumps by Bench Warrant, who was coming off a pretty good effort to Lord Nelson and Texas Red in the San Vicente, in a race that put some life in a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Pain and Misery was ridden by young Flavien Prat, who did not as Trevor Denman suggested at one point during his call of the race drop his whip in the heat of the battle. To Mandella it didnt matter much, since his expectations were modest, and he was pleased with both horse and rider.

He came here from New Mexico during the fall meet at Del Mar, Mandella said. But he needed to back off a little before he could go forward. After that he came along really good. I needed to get a race into him, and the 6 1/2 on the turf was the only thing around. He did it really well, so now we can think about something like the San Felipe with him.

The San Felipe Stakes, on March 7, is the next major West Coast stop on the Kentucky Derby Express. Pain and Miserys pedigree by Bob and John out of a Running Stag mare suggests that the 1 1/16 miles of the San Felipe should be no sweat, and if he can handle the dirt at Zia Park he will love the stuff at Santa Anita.

This is a sweetheart of a horse, Mandella said. Good-natured. Does everything right. Just a pleasure to be around.

Which begs the question why does such a nice horse have to be burdened with such a terrible name? In a column from his collection This Was Racing, Joe Palmer held forth on the naming of horses for reasons both naughty and nice. He brought up a fellow who called one of his horses Ugly Mary and another Losing Clon.

He approached this on a practical level, Palmer wrote. He said with those names female hunch players would not bet on them, and he would get better odds when they won.

Of course, this is both sexist and wildly incorrect, unless female hunch players make up considerably more of the pari-mutuel pools that weve been led to believe. Pain and Misery went off at 10-1 in the Baffle, but the price could be blamed more on the uncertain 2-year-old form he brought to town from New Mexico, by way of Zia Park, where he won a maiden race and then the Governors Cup last fall for trainer Henry Dominguez.

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Hovdey: Success may win over Pain and Misery

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The French Debate: Free Speech Versus Hate Speech

 Free Speech  Comments Off on The French Debate: Free Speech Versus Hate Speech
Feb 102015

French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, center, gestures as he exits the courtroom after his trial in Paris last Wednesday. He was ordered to pay $37,000 for condoning terrorism. His lawyer argues he was denied the same freedom of expression that the satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo received. Ian Langsdon/EPA/Landov hide caption

French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, center, gestures as he exits the courtroom after his trial in Paris last Wednesday. He was ordered to pay $37,000 for condoning terrorism. His lawyer argues he was denied the same freedom of expression that the satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo received.

When terrorists attacked a satirical magazine in Paris last month killing eight journalists, millions took to the streets in support of free speech. They waved pencils and carried signs in solidarity with the magazine Charlie Hebdo.

But in the weeks since those attacks, scores have also been arrested for condoning terrorism and inciting racial and religious hatred. Many now wonder if the government’s crackdown on hate speech is compromising free speech.

One of those arrested in the wake of the attacks was controversial stand-up comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’bala. Last Wednesday, a judge ordered him to pay the equivalent of a $37,000 fine for condoning terrorism.

The comic has faced prosecution many times in the past for his crude, anti-Semitic jokes. This time it was for posting “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly” on his Facebook page.

The judge said Dieudonne’s remark was clear support for Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed a police officer and four people in a kosher grocery store.

Dieudonne’s lawyer Jacques Verdier says his client is consistently denied the same freedom of expression that magazine Charlie Hebdo is granted.

“Dieudonne is constantly hounded and harassed, which is why he said he feels like a terrorist,” says Verdier.

In France, like in the United States, people are free to express their opinions. But in France that freedom of speech ends at insulting others based on their race, religion or sex.

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The French Debate: Free Speech Versus Hate Speech

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Iowa poll: Scott Walker leads GOP field

 Misc  Comments Off on Iowa poll: Scott Walker leads GOP field
Feb 012015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the top choice for Iowa GOP voters ahead of the 2016 caucuses in the state according to a new poll. But Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) is right behind.

Walker leads the field with 15 percent of voters, according to the poll from the Des Moines Register. His stock has been rising in conservative circles, especially in the Hawkeye State, after a strong showing at the Iowa Freedom Summit last week.

Paul is nipping at Walkers heels with 14 percent support. Iowa Republicans received the Paul family brand of libertarianism well in 2012, when Rand Pauls father, former Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), ran for president. The elder Paul initially came in third, and his campaign went on to secure the majority of the states delegates unbound by those results.

After that, support falls off. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) come next at five and four percent respectively. And a mass of Republican contenders, including Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (Texas), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and real estate magnate Donald Trump round out the group, with the lowest amount of support measured.

The Iowa caucuses are vital because they are the first contest in the presidential nominating process. But theres still a year left to go, and anything can happen.

Just months before the 2012 Iowa caucuses, former Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) won among Republicans in the Ames straw poll, a popular pre-caucus poll. She won five percent of the popular vote and zero delegates in the actual caucuses, prompting her to drop out of the race.

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Iowa poll: Scott Walker leads GOP field

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Liberty girls edge Emmaus in EPC swimming, Green Hornet boys win easily

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty girls edge Emmaus in EPC swimming, Green Hornet boys win easily
Jan 222015

It was competition at its finest. Tuesday’s girls swimming and diving meet between host Emmaus and Liberty came down to the final event the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The winner of the race would win the meet.

After three legs of the relay, Emmaus’ Kaitlin Hur and Liberty’s Julia McCarthy splashed into the water just a split-second apart for the final leg. McCarthy, one of the Lehigh Valley’s elite swimmers, incrementally pulled away over the final 100 yards and the Hurricanes earned a dramatic 96-90 victory the Green Hornets.

The boys meet was not as closely contested. Unbeaten Emmaus, a perennial state power which owns the last seven District 11 Class 3A team titles, doubled up Liberty 124-62.

Coach Tim O’Connor’s Green Hornet boys improved to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. Liberty’s girls are now 8-1 overall.

Numerous outstanding performances by swimmers on both girls teams set up the winner-take-all final race.

Liberty coach Reik Foust re-arranged the order of his 400 freestyle relay, putting Jocelyn Baker at the leadoff spot, Maggie Walters second, Kayla Drago third and McCarthy on the anchor leg.

“It could’ve gone either way,” the veteran coach said. “I wanted to shake things up a little bit and get them to focus on the race rather than the situation. It could’ve freaked them out, too. But I was confident in my girls.”

That confidence was rewarded. The team’s winning time of 3 minutes, 44.71 seconds was its fastest this season. Emmaus’ foursome of Casey Young, Samantha Mull, Tori Bingham and Hur clocked a 3:47.44.

The splits proved how close the race was throughout. Liberty trailed Emmaus by 17-tenths of a second after the first leg and 69-tenths after the second leg. The Hurricanes led by 12-tenths of a second when McCarthy dove in for the final 100 yards.

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Liberty girls edge Emmaus in EPC swimming, Green Hornet boys win easily

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Satire and Sanity: Where Do You Draw the Line? (News Analysis)

 Misc  Comments Off on Satire and Sanity: Where Do You Draw the Line? (News Analysis)
Jan 152015

“We have the right to make dumb jokes.”

— Tina Fey

I’m a free speech advocate. I’ve been arrested and I have served jail time for exercising my First Amendment rights. As a reporter, magazine editor and political cartoonist, I’ve received complaints (and a few rare death threats) for my work. So it goes without saying that I share the global outrage over the brutal murders of the cartoonists and staff at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. It chills the blood to imagine any American cartoonist being placed in the crosshairs of a Kalashnikov. No matter your race, religion, history or lifestyle, murder is a heinous crimefar worse than even the most wounding insult.

But after dwelling on the causes and effects of this tragedy, I find that I have some qualms about the argument that there should be no limits to the exercise of free speech.

My concerns begin with a question: “At what point does satire become bullying?” At what point does satire morph from a deftly wielded surgical tool into a blunt instrument of personal or cultural assault? As we have seen, a pen can draw a cartoon but a weaponized cartoon can draw blood. Does the cause of “free speech” bind us to defend slanders, lies and defamation?

Many advocates of free speech make a point of defending uncensored and fearless public expressionbut only so long as the speech does not veer into venomous and hateful rhetoric. When “free speech” devolves into racist or misogynistic invective, it can prove as devastating to public peace as yelling “Fire!” in the legendary “crowded auditorium.” Such mean-spirited expressions are classified as “hate speech” and are characterized by content that “offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.”

Unclothed Emperors Versus the Naked Masses

Satire, as a form of mockery, reads entirely differently depending on where and how it is directed. Ridicule directed against the powerfulwhether the target be a wealthy member of the elite or a multinational corporationis most easily recognized as the proper use of the satiric tool. However, ridicule directed against the powerless, the disenfranchised, or the disabled can be seen as inappropriate and coldhearted bullying.

Even hate speech can be nuanced by the interplay of social realities. It’s one thing for the oppressed to call for the elimination of the ruling classes; it’s another matter for the rulers to call for the elimination of masses. Regicide and genocide are both crimes but there is a vast difference in scale.

Satire, as defined by Wikipedia, is “a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.”

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Satire and Sanity: Where Do You Draw the Line? (News Analysis)

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Beaches are butt of joke

 Beaches  Comments Off on Beaches are butt of joke
Dec 202014

Elisha Taylor and Matthew Ross, from Responsible Runners Gold Coast, collecting cigarette butts from Gold Coast beaches. Source: Supplied

STATE laws that ban smoking are a joke with volunteers removing thousands of cigarette butts from patrolled areas at the citys best beaches.

The Responsible Runners group earlier this year began organising a handful of members to spend 30 minutes each weekend collecting trash at Burleigh beach and the Spit. CLIVE PALMER AIDE IN ALLEGED KIDNAPPING PLOT MAGIC MILLIONS TO BECOME AUSTRALIAS RICHEST RACE DAY

At Burleigh on a Saturday and Sunday, runners collect between 200-300 butts in each session.

A data log for both beaches, which is being forwarded to a national marine protection foundation, reveals beachgoers have tossed out more than 16,000 cigarettes at Burleigh and the Spit since March this year.

Responsible Runners Gold coast spokesman Naomi Edwards, a Griffith University researcher, told the Bulletin: It is just constant. We dont want to be picking up these cigarettes. Smoking is bad for you, and this is horrific for the environment.

Cigarette butts dont break down.

You have this toxin and poison leeching into the waterways.

The council last month gave the foreshores a clean bill of health in terms of sand and safety but the beach litter log puts the spotlight of state health enforcement on the citys most important tourist asset.

A Queensland Health spokesman said smoking had been prohibited at Queensland beaches since 2005 with the ban in place between the flags during patrol times.

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Beaches are butt of joke

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CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Excerpts: Liberty Media Chairman John Malone Speaks with CNBC's David Faber Today

 Liberty  Comments Off on CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Excerpts: Liberty Media Chairman John Malone Speaks with CNBC's David Faber Today
Nov 202014



In a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview, CNBC’s David Faber sat down with Liberty Media Chairman John Malone today, Wednesday, November 19th. Excerpts of the interview will run during CNBC’s Business Day programming.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.





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CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Excerpts: Liberty Media Chairman John Malone Speaks with CNBC's David Faber Today

Facebook, Google and Apple lobby for curb to NSA surveillance

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Nov 172014

Technology companies lobby Senate to pass USA Freedom Act to curb NSA surveillance powers and enhance transparency disclosures. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

A coalition of technology and internet companies is lobbying to curb US National Security Agency surveillance powers and for more transparency on government data requests.

The Reform Government Surveillance coalition, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Apple, added its support for the race to pass a bill through the US Senate before the end of the year, which would inhibit mass data collection from emails and internet metadata.

The Senate has an opportunity this week to vote on the bipartisan USA Freedom Act, said the coalition in an open letter sent to the Senate. We urge you to pass the bill, which both protects national security and reaffirms Americas commitment to the freedoms we all cherish.

The bill would also allow technology companies to disclose the number and types of data demands from government as part of the continued transparency push from the industry.

If the USA Freedom Act fails to pass through the Senate before the end of the year the process will have to restart in January, and will be scrutinised by a new Congress controlled a Republican party more favourable to government surveillance.

The USA Freedom Act was passed through the House of Representatives in May with bipartisan support and is now set for a vote in the Senate after Nevada Democrat and Senate majority leader Harry Reid filed a procedural motion to have the bill heard.

Privacy advocates and technology groups championed the bill originally but many revoked their support after compromises expanded the definition of what data the government can collect.

The Senate vote on 18 November will allow debate on amendments to begin on the bill, although whether enough senators will vote in favour is unknown.

Gary Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association, which represents hundreds of technology companies globally and hosts the largest electronics trade show in the world International CES, wrote an open letter urging support for the bill.

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Facebook, Google and Apple lobby for curb to NSA surveillance

In Disappointing Election, Gun Rights Activists Find Glimmer Of Hope

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on In Disappointing Election, Gun Rights Activists Find Glimmer Of Hope
Nov 082014

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s re-election victory last week marked a defeat for Second Amendment rights activists who enraged by the sweeping gun control legislation enacted last year had hoped to punish the governor in the first statewide vote since the Dec. 2012 Newtown massacre.

But softening the blow was a handful of wins in the General Assembly by candidates who support deregulating gun ownership and who were endorsed this year by the 15,000-member Connecticut Citizens Defense League. Malloy has promised to veto any legislation to roll back S.B. 1160 – the post-Newtown gun bill that included an assaults weapon ban, a 10-round limit on ammunition magazine size, and a universal background check requirement. But gun rights activists are hopeful that the pickups this year will help pave the road to a legislature more sympathetic to their cause.

“We would have been a lot more pleased if more pro-2A candidates were elected, but we are happy that we made some gains,” said CCDL President Scott Wilson, using the group’s colloquial name for what they describe as “pro-Second Amendment” candidates. Wilson added that in next year’s session, “The odds of anything that would be beneficial to gun owners are remote at best.”

The group instead plans to play defense, using their allies in the legislature to block any measures to further regulate guns. The first fight could be over a bill Malloy says he will introduce next year to ban anyone with a temporary restraining order from possessing a gun. CCDL has raised concerns about seizing a weapon without due process, and says that the proposal infringes on individual rights.

None of the state Senate challenger candidates who were endorsed by the CCDL won their races, but “we’re at least happy that there were some inroads made with the state house,” Wilson said, mentioning “newly elected pro-2a legislators that hopefuly will be able to have their voices heard in Hartford.”

Connecticut Republicans won 10 additional seats in the state House of Representatives Tuesday, riding a national Republican wave that allowed the party to take control of the U.S. Senate and pick up several gubernatorial seats in traditionally blue states.

In three districts, CCDL-endorsed challenger candidates won races against incumbents who had voted for the post-Newtown gun bill.

Republican Charles Ferraro of West Haven defeated incumbent Democratic state rep. Paul Davis of Orange in the state House’s 117th District, Cara Pavalock – a Republican who had included in her campaign platform a promise to promote “common sense laws that protect our right to bear arms” – won her race against state Rep. Christopher Wright of Bristol, a Democrat, and Republican Pam Staneski won against Milford Democratic state Rep. James Maroney.

Wilson said their goal this year is “to make sure that nothing gets passed that will harm gun owners.”

He does not expect any of the CCDL candidates who won to try to push through pro-gun measures next year.

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In Disappointing Election, Gun Rights Activists Find Glimmer Of Hope

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Why UC Berkeley got it wrong on Bill Maher's speech

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Why UC Berkeley got it wrong on Bill Maher's speech
Nov 012014

Theres been a great deal of celebration about UC Berkeley sticking to its invitation to Bill Maher as a commencement speaker. Free speech in the cradle of the free speech movement, students should be open to provocative views that differ from their own, and all that. Mahers invitation was decried by some student groups because of his recent questioning of Islam as a religion that he saw as perhaps inherently more violent and intolerant than others.

I think Cal is wrong.

Dont misunderstand. As a journalist and a fierce advocate of the rightthe necessityof providing forums for uncomfortable and dissenting speech, I think Maher and all manner of such speakers belong on campus, almost all the time.

Just not at commencement.

Commencement is a ceremony that belongs to the graduating students and their families. And though many of the best commencement speeches discomfit their audienceswhat better way to inspire people to action than by making them uncomfortable with the status quo?no racial, ethnic or religious group should be made to feel unhappily singled out on that day. Not that Maher would go out of his way to diss anyone during his speechthough you never know, the guy eats provocation for breakfastbut his comments would be hanging like a cloud over the ceremony for Muslim grads and their families.

In other events at school, students have the option of attending or not attending. In a classroom, theyre in attendance to learn about ideas that might not mesh with their own. But at a commencement ceremony, students are something like a captive audience, unless they want to give up this moment theyve been working toward all these years, at their own ceremony.

My two older kids are Cal grads, and I try to think of what it would have been like for us if the commencement speaker at one of their ceremonies had been Helen Thomas, the late White House correspondent who toward the end of her career said that the Jews should leave Israelwhich she refused to recognize at all, calling it Palestineand go back to where they came from, including Poland. In our family is an aunt who survived the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. She was one of Schindlers Jews. In a refugee camp after the war, she had nowhere to go, no country that would open its doors to her. She emigrated to then-Palestine, helping to found a kibbutz in the Negev where she still lives. Several of my husbands family live in Israel; he himself was born there shortly after it became a nation.

In many settings, I would have attended a speech by Thomas, who had many interesting things to say on a number of topics. I didnt need to feel comfortable with her or everything she says to listen to her. But not on the familys big day of celebration. We would have sat there seething the whole time, even if her speech was about the foibles of the Reagan White House. Or rather, our family would have skipped the ceremony. We dont need umbrage on that particular day.

Everything about college has become an arms race these days, including the race to find the biggest and often most controversial names as commencement speakers. I wish when they looked for provocative commencement speakers, they would define provocative a little differently: Stimulating deeper thought in all new grads and their families about whats happening around them, and their own role in world events. Personally, Id vote for finding less famous but nonetheless inspiring voices to give the commencement address, and donating the fat speakers fee to charity instead.

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Why UC Berkeley got it wrong on Bill Maher's speech

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SKORTON | Civility and Free Speech: Are They Incompatible?

 Free Speech  Comments Off on SKORTON | Civility and Free Speech: Are They Incompatible?
Sep 292014


In the first month of the fall semester, we have seen a growing activist spirit on many campuses, including our own, prompted by a wide array of local, national and international issues. Our Universitys financial contributions to the surrounding community, racial profiling and the militarization of police forces in the wake of events in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as escalating tensions in the Middle East are among the concerns that have prompted action by members of our campus community. One of the overriding issues of concern is the limits of free speech and the relationship between free speech and civility.

With very few exceptions, rallies, protests and other public events, as well as individual speech and writing intended to highlight the concerns mentioned above and others, are important, desired and expected features of our campus climate, and I commend everyone involved for allowing us to learn from each other while confronting important and difficult issues. But what of civility?

Civility is an important value in a university community and a community at large and one that we at Cornell must strive to maintain. However, as events on other campuses last spring and again this fall have shown, calls for civility in dealing with highly charged issues can be perceived as veiled assaults on free speech, which is also an essential university value and one deeply tied to academic freedom. Are these cherished principles of civility and free speech potentially antithetical? How can we reconcile them? Is there a bright line we must not cross?

It has been a fundamental precept of American law, reinforced by U.S. Supreme Court decisions, that odious, offensive or hateful speech is nonetheless protected speech. For this reason, hate speech codes at public universities that prohibited and punished persons for offensive speech that stigmatizes persons as a group on the basis of their race, national origin, sex or sexual orientation have been struck down as unconstitutional.

By contrast, disciplinary codes that focus narrowly on behavior or conduct that is threatening or harassing to individuals such as our own Campus Code of Conduct are consistent with First Amendment principles, and prudent to have as a policy matter.

As our Campus Code notes, In a university community, as in society as a whole, freedom of speech cannot be absolute. Speech that is libelous, or that incites a crowd to riot, deserves no protection. Perhaps no one, in real life, has ever falsely shouted Fire! in a crowded theater, but surely no one has a right to do so. Within such commonly accepted limits, however, freedom of speech should be the paramount value in a university community. Because it is a special kind of community, whose purpose is the discovery of truth through the practice of free inquiry, a university has an essential dependence on a commitment to the values of unintimidated speech. To curb speech on the grounds that an invited speaker is noxious, that a cause is evil, or that such ideas will offend some listeners is therefore inconsistent with a universitys purpose. [Article III A 2]

The Campus Code similarly recognizes that reasonable time, place and manner restrictions are appropriate to balance the right of free speech with other protected interests [Article III B 1]. Thistopic, controversial to some on campus, presently is the subject of discussion and review by the University Assembly.

Those who object to a speaker, as the Campus Code explains, also have rights to make their own position known by a variety of methods as long as they do not interfere with the speakers right to be heard or the right of others to listen. And, of course, they are free to organize their own events to offer alternate points of view.

In the interest of providing for the safety of all in our community, we cannot and must not tolerate speech that is harassing or threatening to individuals or that incites others to commit violent acts. As long as that line is not crossed, however, we must let free speech happen and, in fact, foster it. The antidote to odious, offensive or hateful speech must be more speech, not less speech. It remains the place of the University to encourage open and free expression, even about topics that generate strong feelings and even when the views being expressed may be seen by some as upsetting or offensive.

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SKORTON | Civility and Free Speech: Are They Incompatible?

Free speech needs no amending

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Free speech needs no amending
Sep 152014

As election season enters full swing, Senate Democrats are taking the opportunity to garner votes by attempting to rewrite the Bill of Rights, something that hasnt been done since those rights were enshrined. They want to ask the nation to change the First Amendment so that it protects political speech only up to a point.

The timing is right. Nationally eight Senate races have already received more than $10 million each in outside spending, according to the Federal Election Commission. In Michigan, huge amounts of outside money have flooded into the race between Rep. Gary Peters and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

The group of senators supporting such a drastic move know it will never pass the extensive process needed to amend the Constitution. But it gives them an opportunity to try to convince Americans once again that corporations and wealthy individuals who give money to political candidates or campaigns should be stripped of their fundamental right to free speech.

The move is blatantly hypocritical, since the supporting senators have all received huge donations themselves. But it is unfortunately the logical end of the flawed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) signed into law under former President George W. Bush.

The Supreme Court has upheld the principle that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech to individuals, organizations and even corporations, and that dedicating time and money to political candidates and causes is protected speech.

Though there are limits on what amount an individual can give to any one political candidate, most other extreme limitations on spending and speech have been struck down by the court.

As much as this debate has already focused on Republican donors chiefly the Koch brothers, who fund mega-PACs such as Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action and others Democrats benefit from huge campaign donations as much, if not more.

Climate change activist Tom Steyer has given more than $20 million to support Democratic candidates in this election cycle. Hes followed by former New York Mayor and gun control activist Michael Bloomberg, who has given more than $9 million this year, almost entirely to liberal groups.

Both sides take money from rich people and corporations. And certainly it would be nice if there were less money in politics.

But the Constitution does not permit politicians to place arbitrary restrictions on speech. Protecting the First Amendment should not give way to those so determined to gain a partisan edge that they are willing to rewrite the fundamental rights of Americans.

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Free speech needs no amending

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism