An intellectual freedom blog with an emphasis on libraries and technology

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Who was Ignatz Mezei and why should you care?


   This man, who seems to have led a life of unrelieved insignificance, must have been astonished to find himself suddenly putting the Government of the United States in such fear that it was afraid to tell him why it was afraid of him.

Shaughnessy v. Mezei, 345 U.S. 206 (1953) (Jackson, J., dissenting)

Many may have read or heard of Hale's Man without a country, but hardly anyone knows about the true story of Ignatz Mezei, who experienced such a lack of citizenship as no one before in U.S. history. Unlike the fictional lieutenant Philip Nolan, Ignatz Mezei led a very unremarkable life until 1948, when he tried to visit his dying mother in Romania.

He arrived in the U.S. in 1923 and lived in Buffalo, NY for most of his life from that time to 1948. He worked as a cabinet maker, and had no problems with the law except for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor of receiving stolen property (seven sacks of flour).

He was denied entry into Romania and had to stay in Hungary for 19 months while waiting for a visa to return to the country where he had lived for the preceding 25 years of his life. Upon his return to the U.S. the INS denied him entry on the basis of an emergency proclamation by the President issued during the Second World War. That proclamation stated that an alien could be excluded from the U.S. if his/her entry "would be prejudicial to the interests of the United States."

What we know about Mezei:

  • Member and briefly President of the International Workers Order Hungarian lodge in Buffalo, NY in the 1930s. (a.k.a.: the "Wobblies")
  • Worked as a cabinet maker
  • Lived without citizenship (of any country) from February 9, 1950 to the end of his life.

He found himself caught in an Alice-in-Wonderland legal battle during most of which he had to live in detention on Ellis Island. The legislation that authorized the Presidential proclamation allowed for the evidence against Mezei to remain secret. No other country would accept him once the U.S. refused his entry for reasons of national security. Attempts to deport him failed. The INS even sent him to England and France but each time those countries refused to let him off the ship. Mezei contacted15 other countries which all refused to issue him a visa. Mezei sued for his right to re-enter the United States and that's when he stepped "through the looking glass." After an initial victory and an immigration parole back to Buffalo in December of 1951 the case finally came before the U.S. Supreme Court in March of 1953. But the majority opinion found that Mezei had no standing before the court not only because he was not a U.S. citizen but also because his denial of entry meant that he did not reside in the United States. He returned to an indefinite detention on Ellis Island and entered a legal limbo within which he had no rights whatsoever. The legal fiction that he was not in the United States allowed the Supreme Court's majority to duck the entire question of secret evidence and the deprivation of due process in its decision. (The quote at the top of this page comes from Justice Jackson's minority dissenting opinion in this case).

Public opinion:
By 1951 stories appeared in newspapers such as The New York Times which described Mezei's situation. After the Supreme Court decision public opinion turned markedly hostile towards the Justice Department and in favor of Mezei. An editorial appeared in The New York Times on December 28, 1953 which denounced the Supreme Court's decision in the Mezei case. [*]
Although not legally required--the Attorney General won his case before the Supreme Court--public opinion forced the Justice Department to hold a hearing in February 1954.

The Hearing:
In keeping with the Alice in Wonderland metaphor of this biography, the hearing that took place unfolded as a kind of legal mad tea party. Hardly a heroic figure, Mezei did not make a good showing on the witness stand. He had made numerous contradictory statements, both on the stand and in INS paperwork he had filed over the years (for example, he had listed three different birth places in three different documents). [*] The government turned out two professional witnesses, Manning Johnson and Louis Reed, who accused Mezei of working as an active member of the U.S. Communist party. The fact that Johnson had already admitted to having made false statements under oath in previous cases and received sizable sums in return for his testimony over the years was unknown to Mezei's lawyer. The government also brought up Mezei's membership in the International Workers Order (on the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations, along with the NAACP), as well as his old misdemeanor conviction for receiving stolen property. [**] Given this evidence, the hearing revealed the travesty of the government's claims of national security in its case against Mezei. But in the context of the time, the evidence looked bad for Mezei.

The Conclusion:
Two liars and seven sacks of flour could have kept Mezei incarcerated on Ellis Island for the rest of his life. The Hearing resulted in an exclusion order. But the Board of Special inquiry made an off-the-record recommendation to the Attorney General to grant Mezei an immigration parole. "On August 9, 1954, the day the exclusion decision was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Attorney General announced that Mezei would be paroled. Ignatz Mezei was never admitted to the United States as a citizen or permanent resident, but he was at least able to return to Buffalo and to avoid life imprisonment on Ellis Island. " [**]

In looking back on the case today the pettiness of powerful public officials comes through with sickening clarity. Once the initial exclusion set events in motion the Attorney General and the INS had to continue their case against a man remarkable only in his total lack of any importance. An attempt to quit at any given stage of the legal battle would have looked like an admission they never had any realistic national security concern in the first place.

To this day later decisions by the Supreme Court failed to repudiate the Mezei decision, clinging to the legal fiction that he was not in the United States and therefore had no right to due process.[***]

Why you should care
In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks recent Anti-Terrorism legislation strips aliens of many civil rights. The creation of military tribunals that hear cases in secret and need not make evidence public to protect national security also violates the concept of due process. Many have defended the legislation and other developments as necesary measures in light of the terrorist attacks. Many people assume that these measures will only come into use against terrorists or other clearly dangerous people. But the odd case of Ignatz Mezei proves that small-minded and petty public officials have mis-used unchecked power to ruin the lives of innocent people.

Update: 2004
I write this as news of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal breaks. Many conservatives defend the use of abusive interrogation techniques and speak of the prisoners as very dangerous terrorists. But from the Red Cross Report: "Certain CF [Coalition Forces] military intelligence officers told the ICRC that in their estimate between 70% to 90% of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake." Mezei's case continues to serve as a cautionary tale of abuse of power and the injustices that occur in the absence of due process.

One Last Quote
"Liberty is too highly prized in this country to permit executive officials to imprison and hold heople on the basis of information kept secret from courts." [Justice Black, dissenting, Shaughnessy v. Mezei]


Proclamation No. 2487, 3 C.F.R. 234 (1938-1943), reprinted in 55 Stat. 1647 (1942). (The Presidential order that the INS used to deny Mezei entry upon his return from Europe.)
Act of June 21, 1941, ch. 210, 55 Stat. 252 (1942) (The Act of Congress that authorized the President to make the proclamation listed above).
the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

The words in red above ought to prevent the use of secret evidence since such secrecy violates the concept of "due process."
Manning Johnson and Louis Reed.

These two could be the subject of yet another Intellectual Freedom mini-biography. Former communists who made a good living testifying against others, accusing people and organizations of being communist before Congressional Committees or administrative hearings. Among the accused we find Dr. Ralph Bunche, the U.N. diplomat and winner of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize and the NAACP to name only two examples. Later in the same year as the Mezei hearing Johnson would face charges of perjury which abruptly stopped his appearances as a government witness. For more see ** below

*  The New York Times ran stories and editorials from 1951-1954. From 1955 on Mezei dissapears from the pages of newspapers and magazines.
"Bad security risk wins aid of court," Dec. 15, 1951 6:8
"Aliens are human, too" Dec. 28, 1953 20:6 (editorial denouncing the Supreme Court Decision): "Alien faces 'exile' on Ellis Island" Feb. 25, 1954 9:6

There is also a letter from Mezei printed in The New York Times:
"Barred alien's case stated" Jan. 1, 1954 22:7

**   You will find the most complete description of the Mezei case, including the Board of Special Inquiry hearing, in the excellent article by Charles D. Weisselberg "The Exclusion and detention of aliens: lessons from the lives of Ellen Knauff and Ignatz Mezei" University of Pennsylvania Law Review April, 1995.
***  Zadvydas v. Davis: the most recent of the cases similar to Mezei's, according to James Tyre, concerned whether an illegal alien who is in the U.S. could be detained indefinitely. The Court said no, in the face of the government's reliance on _Mezei_. It could have rebuked the decision, but instead chose merely to distinguish it on the basis of the legal fiction that Mezei, unlike today's detainees, wasn't actually in the U.S., even though he was.

For more information on the related case law (of primary interest to lawyers, para-legals and those with some legal training) see Wendy R. St. Charles "Recognizing Constitutional Rights Of Excludable Aliens: The Ninth Circuit Goes Out On A Limb To Free The "Flying Dutchman"--Dispensing With A Legal Fiction Creates An Opportunity For Reform" Journal of Transnational Law & Policy Spring, 1995.

The title of the document usually called "the Red Cross Report": Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the Treatment by the Coalition Forces of Prisoners of War and Other Protected Persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq During Arrest, Internment and Interrogation. February 2004. I have downloaded a copy of the report in .pdf format from the CBS news web site and found the quote above on page 8, paragraph 7.

Many thanks to Steve Benson of the Richardson (Texas) Public Library and Rita Liu for researching and sending me law articles for this biography.

And to James Tyre of Culver City, CA for his legal insights, research for this page and for bringing Mezei to my attention in the first place.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Deconstructing disinformation

As Brock explains in his article and forthcoming book (see Right-wing lie factory), Right wing publications, internet sites and radio shows repeat a baseless accusation and then chastise the "liberal" media for failing to cover the "story." Here is one example.

A recent (May 6, 2004) article by Larry Elder in features an interview with a "terrorism expert" who claims that Saddam Hussein snuck his weapons of mass destruction into Syria and Lebanon just prior to the war. Therefore, the President did not lie about the weapons of mass destruction and the imminent threat to the world they posed. The interviewer alleges that the media has "ignored" a major development. Notice the title of the article: The curious lack of curiosity about WMDs.

Let's start with basic logic:

1.) Their boy has the bully pulpit. Every conspiracy theory involving the allegedly left-wing media hits one big logical snag: if XYZ left-wing conspiracy to conceal information is true, the President can explode the "wall of silence" by calling a press conference. Why doesn't he? One would expect that if there were an Iraq WMD connection that the Bush administration would be howling about it from the rooftops like werewolves on steriods.

2.) How did the Iraqis sleep walk the weapons past arial surveillance? Both satellites and aircraft, including observation drones, somehow missed the truck convoys shipping tons of chemical and biological weapons across the Syrian border? How?! If not trucks then what? Bicycle messengers? Tourists?

The qualifications and credentials game. Let's take a careful look at the expert:

[From the Townhall article]: So, I interviewed terrorism expert John Loftus, who once held some of the highest security clearances in the world. Loftus, a former Army officer, served as a Justice Department prosecutor. He investigated CIA cases of Nazi war criminals for the U.S. attorney general. Author of several books, Loftus once received a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

What positions did this person hold? According to the first sentence, he held security clearances. So what. The government gives security clearances for a variety of reasons and applicable to a variety of jobs. Also, how old is that security clearance? They no longer remain in force after the person no longer holds the job that requires the clearance. We do not have a job title. Contrast this with people like Richard Clarke, John Stockwell and Philip Agee who can tell you what jobs they held and what sort of intelligence matters they dealt with.

Next sentence: He was an army officer and JD prosecutor.

Better, but not specific. Also not true. His qualifications receive a pretty devastating blow in a review of one of his books published in a peer-review journal, placed on the web with permission at

You can read how he was only a legal researcher, and not a prosecutor. The criticism by a career scholar of Loftus' research methods tells a very different story than Loftus' self-promotion. Also, in order to be a prosecutor he has to have a law degree. Can anyone find a bio of Loftus that tells where he received his J.D? Where did he pass the bar? You will not find his name in any bar association directories.

3rd sentence: He investigated CIA cases of Nazi war criminals...

What? Does this sentence even make sense? What CIA cases? Investigated how? This sentence is just Bizarre. According to the book review (link above) he did indeed work on prosecuting Nazi war criminals. But this is the only job that he had that required a security clearance. (No biographic information I could find on or by him mentioned anything else). What indication exists that his information about classified matters is at all current? Does his bio ever mention any anti-terrorist work? His security clearance expired ages ago.

Last sentence: He is the author of several books...Pulitzer Prize nomination.

And just what does he mean by "nominated" for a Pulitzer prize? Nominations are meaningless. Anyone can nominate anyone for a Pulitzer prize. It's fast and easy. Just fill out the form online at the Pulitzer prize committee's web site ( This web site also has an archive of winners and finalists. I did a search and his name turned up no results. Someone has to be one of the finalists in order to be in the archive. If you're not one of the finalists then your "nomination" fell into the round file. But technically if someone filled in the form correctly and sent it in with the $50 dollar fee then he can claim to be a nominee: instant credentials: just add BS!

Credibility of sources and "experts" has a fragile quality. Once you find one lie or distortion, you must ask yourself what else the person has falsified or misrepresented? People who claim to have inside information and special expertise are asking for your trust: "I have access to information you do not have access to, trust that I am telling you the truth as well as I understand it." Why believe someone whose biography contains one outright lie (he's not a lawyer), one distortion (anyone can claim to have a Pulitzer prize nomination after submitting the entry form), one exaggeration (His security clearance is so old it has dust on it), one glaring omission (No job experience related to the mid-east or terrorism) and only one truthful statement (author of several books)?

The Claim

Read the article and examine the sources. A Syrian journalist repeating second hand what his friends in Syrian intelligence told him. Loftus claims "The Israelis confirmed it" but does not give a source. A search of the Lexis-Nexis database did not find any reports that mention this. And remember the logic test: what possible motivation could the Bush administration have for keeping this quiet?!

My favorite sentence in the whole article: They know where the stuff is, but the problem is that the United States can't just go around invading Arab countries. Really? Since when!?!?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Right-Wing lie factory

I usually avoid inflamatory writing. But my new find is a man named David Brock who has already published one book (Blinded by the Right) and his new book, The Republican Noise Machine : right-wing media and how it corrupts democracy is due on May 18th. You can read an excerpt by Brock in The Mighty Wind Bags to find out what he experienced from the inside of several right-wing media enterprises. ( requires a subscription or forces you to endure an ad. It's well worth either for this article).

Summary: Brock describes himself as a reformed right-wing extremist who worked for the Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation. He explains that wealthy republicans subsidize pundits, radio shows, internet sites and print publications and how these publications take unsubstantiated stories and repeat them endlessly in what Rush Limbaugh calls the "Echo-chamber" -- the repitition of a story so many times that they force it into the "mainstream" media despite having no credible (or any) basis in fact. After a while many ask why the mainstream media ignores the "story" thereby forcing the baseless accusation into otherwise reputable publications.

Remember the "Gore is a liar and exaggerator" stories? Several polls found that most Americans believed that Iraqis participated in the September 11th attacks. These are just two examples of stories without any factual basis. No one could ever produce a quote of one of Gore's alleged lies or exaggerations from any public record of his speeches or writings. And the hijacker beastiary consists of 15 Saudi Arabians, 1 Egyptian, 1 lebanese and 2 from the United Arab Emirates.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"War reaches the depth of horror because of idiots who perpetrate acts of terror from generation to generation in the name of revenge."
--Guy Sajer, The Forgotten Soldier

Monday, May 10, 2004

More Conscription Contradictions

[Note: as of August 23, 2005 we still have not seen a return of the draft. My prediction from a year ago has not proven true. The war by this writing has lost much of its support (the poll results show less than half the U.S. population approve of the administration's handling of the war). Despite the fact that the prediction did not come to pass and regardless of why, I think that the questions I raised in this and other posts are only now showing up in the mainstream press. I will leave this and related entries as they originally appeared.]

Updated below

The recent stories about the abuse of inmates in Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq have revealed another important piece of information: the U.S. military does not have enough personnel. (See the earlier entry on this topic). According to numerous reports (some making excuses for the U.S. MPs) have mentioned that they were understaffed and overworked, that some personnel left when their time was up and were not replaced and that the population of the prison continued to rise without any additional guards (see the Toronto star story : Guards untrained and overwhelmed).

The point that no one, not even the congressional committee members, has called attention to the Bush Administration's continuing refusal even to talk about conscription until after the election. Have you ever heard the phrase "conspicuous by its absence?"

What I do not understand is why the Pro-War people have not clamoured for a return of the draft? (I also wonder why they don't volunteer, but one inconsistency at a time). The obvious lack of troops together with the Spanish pulling out paints a picture that contradicts the Pentagon's assurances that the draft remains unnecessary.

And here's a controversial idea: Consciencious objectors and anti-war people should welcome the draft as well. A "True" Consciencious objector refuses to fight in all wars (and does not pick and choose or use the phrase "un-just war") and is willing to face the consequences of performing alternate service. A draft would create a "hypocrisy problem" for a whole new generation of chicken hawks (Pat Buchanan, George W. Bush and Dan Quayle have all had powerful fathers who kept them out of combat, to name a few). It would also galvanize a new anti-war movement. Like it or not, many people stay indifferent until their's is the ass on the line.

Conscription is coming, and it's only a matter of time and of whether enough people believe that it will not happen.

Update March 6, 2009
While reviewing this blog's content I found that this entry looks badly out of date. My prediction of a draft proved incorrect. The best I can hope for is what writer David Brin calls the "self-preventing prophecy." By a large number of people paying attention to the possibility of a draft along with the growing unpopularity of the war, the plans for conscription turned into a third rail for the Bush administration. I have no way to take credit for this. who reads this blog?

I'm leaving the entries as I wrote them, as I enjoy pointing out the hypocrisy of the Congress and Bush & Co. sending other people to fight without their own grown children joining in. (Only a handful of relatives of Congress-people have served in either Iraq or Afghanistan as of this writing). And as President Obama tries to succeed where all others have failed in Afghanistan, we may yet see a draft.

Saturday, May 08, 2004


[Note, as of October 2006 my predictions of a draft in 2005 did not materialize. I am happy to be wrong.]
I wonder about contradictions in the official answers to the question of reviving military conscription. Despite the Pentagon's denials, the actions of Congress show clear indications that a draft will start in 2005 (see U.S. Preparing For Military Draft in Spring of 2005 and Pentagon denies need to revive military draft). But why has no one noticed that the 15,000 "security personnel" are doing the work of soldiers? The contractors working in Iraq hire their own security people to perform such tasks as guarding installations, body-guards for civilian workers, running motorcades for when workers move between armed compounds and other military duties. If the military does not need to implement conscription because its manpower needs are under control, then why do the contractors in Iraq need to hire private security?

The costs of these mercenaries (let's call them what they are) the civilian contractors simply charge back to the government. That is to say, back to us. A mercenary makes about $1000 a day. A reasonable estimate puts a private's combat pay at about $2000 a month. Does no one realize that the use of private security firms prevents the military from having to implement a draft before the election? The taxpayers provide cover for the Bush Administration through paying mercenaries to allow the Pentagon to tread water in Iraq until conscription can start.

Additional Sources:

If anyone can come up with a better estimate of a private's combat pay after looking over the Defense Finance and Accounting Service pay table, please let me know.

I have found the existence of and the pay for mercenaries in Iraq widely reported in the mainstream media. But I always like to document all facts I mention: Operation Hired Guns : Contractors earn $10 K to $60 K per month from the NBC San Diego site.

Old examples from my previous web site:

Specific examples of under-reporting,creative editing and "self-censorship"

"We paid $3 billion for these television stations. We'll decide what the news is. News is what we say it is." -- David Boylan (Fox Television Manager) cite

The word "Censorship" no longer accurately describes the various ways that government and media can conceal information. The outright banning of stories or reporters attracts attention. In modern times the never-ending flow of information makes picking out important facts and events extremely difficult. How do people in power hide damaging information and avoid the accusation of ham-fisted dictatorial style censorship? See the following examples:

Hiding in the noise

Spin-doctor caught
Burying the bad news: one form of subtle censorship comes in the form of "buried" news. Instead of ham-fisted banning or concealing information PR flacks can "bury" inconvenient news in a number of ways. Saturday issues of daily newspapers, the end or articles or the pages near the obituaries have often proven to have some of the most interesting news items that official sources would like as few people to read as possible.

Look carefully on the back pages when a major event takes place, such as innaugerations, elections, etc. In this way both news sources and publishers can avoid the accusation of outright censorship while limiting the dissemination of "bad news."

Well, one spin-doctor got caught: Jo Moore, a British "Special Advisor" to a cabinet minister sent an e-mail to the staff of the Ministry of Transportation suggesting that September 11th "was a good day to bury bad news." This craven opportunism was a bit too much even for hardened bureaucrats and the e-mail leaked to the press created a controversy in Great Britain that you do not see mentioned in the U.S. media.

More of the same: Jo Moore and Martin Sixsmith resign. Sixsmith suggests that Princess Margaret's funeral would be another "good day to bury bad news" and the e-mail leaked (from the UK Guardian)
Byer's Advisor apologises over e-mail from Ananova has links to the earlier coverage of Jo Moore's e-mail message.

Web Links:

Project Censored features an excellent selection of un- or under-reported current news stories.
Project Censored has a Yearbook page. You can read the top un or under-reported stories for 1989-present.
Progressive Review's Undernews

You can not even pay to be heard
Examples of advertisements that mainstream media refuse to run. If alternative viewpoints can not even pay for access to media what hope do democracy and free speech have? had the money to pay to run an ad during the Superbowl in 2004. But money was not enough. CBS shields pigskin fans from ads from

Horowitz on reparations for slavery Conservative Columnist David Horowitz has attempted to run an advertisement in college newpapers. Most have declined. Regardless of what one may think of his attack on the idea of paying reparations for slavery in the U.S., this example shows that dealing with unpopular ideas by supression happens on all sides of the political spectrum.

An ad naming 1998's "Golden Leash" winners from Public
-- a leading voice for campaign spending reform -- that the
New York Times refused to run. TDI (Transportation Displays Inc.) refuses to run anti-war ad on BART ([San Francisco] Bay Area Rapid Transit). The advertising displays that commuters watch on the monitors in subway stations comes from such sources.

Current politics

Do we have the right to vote?

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reports that the Florida vote in the 2000 Presidential Election was unfair. You can read The Commission's Report on the vote in Florida.

see the Blog Blackbox Voting for more details about the use and mis-use of electronic voting machines.

More on the 2000 election
The watchdog didn't bark By Harold Evans of Pay close attention to the end of the article. All of the pertinent information about George W. Bush and Harken Oil became public knowledge before the election.

President Bush links federal funding of religious organizations charitable activities to the anti-abortion campaign:
"It begins to affect the life issue," Bush said, "because
when you're talking about welcoming people of faith to help people who
are disadvantaged and unable to defend themselves, the logical step is
also those babies. My job -- listen, there will be legislative initiatives
and there will be the sort of money from Mexico, you know the thing there,
the executive order I signed about Mexico City. But there's a larger calling
. . . about changing the culture of the country. And that's the mission."
(First Two Trips Didn't Count, Washingon Post, February 1, 2001; A Section; Pg. A19)

Conservative Christians appointed by Bush to attend the U.N. Human Rights Conferences have been teaming up with nations such as Iran, Iraq, Lybia and Sudan to oppose abortion, gay rights and AIDS awareness worldwide. See the cartoon by Tom Tomorrow and for reference see the Washington Post 6-17-2002.

Miscarriages of Justice:
Tulia, TX community jails scores of blacks on the word (no evidence) of a single under-cover cop wanted for theft and fraud in another county!

Gov. George W. Bush ignores a murder confession that should exonerate two men still in jail. National media ignores this as well. Fortunately, the innocent men were eventually freed.

Unequal justice, or it helps to be white: Feds do not prosecute white collar coke heads. (New York Post Dec. 20, 2000.) [Story no longer in web archive]
Over 100 well-off "middle class" cocaine users did not face prosecution after a sting operation busted a cocaine delivery service operation in New York City.

Creative editing:

The "creative editing" of a letter to the editor to destroy the letter writer's credibility by the New York Times.

Nixon biographer [Anthony Summers, The Arrogance of Power] and the priorities of the New York Times. The NYT fixates on the weakest allegation in a scathing book filled with uncontrovertable facts about the crimes, bigotry and insanity of President Nixon. Watergate was among the least of his crimes.

Medicine and medical research:
Privitazation of Washington D.C.'s General Hospital directly and immediately resulted in overcrowded emergency rooms and long ambulance rides for critical patients. Hunger strike protest ignored.

  • One mainstream source: Health Care in Critical Condition; The city trashed a working system without having a suitable alternative.; [FINAL Edition]; The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.; Jun 3, 2001; pg. B.08

Patient dumping rampant. The practice of refusing medical treatment to uninsured and/or non-English speaking people has become epidemic.
A search on news and newspaper databases has shown hardly any attention
to this issue in the mainstream news sources.

  • Patient Dumping Piles Up from
  • One mainstream source: THE NATION; 10% of ERs Rejected Patients, Study Finds; Health: Hundreds, including 77 in state, broke law requiring treatment regardless of ability to pay.; [Home Edition]; The Los Angeles Times TED ROHRLICH; Jul 13, 2001.

HMO racketeering. The badly under-reported story of how HMOs can lie, cheat and steal and damn well get away with it:

Senate Committee Print 103-97 contains official government admissions of involuntary human experimentation on U.S. military personnel for the last 50 years. From the Gulf War Veterans Association.

The Over-prescribing of Ritalin to school children. Dr. Peter R. Breggin of the Center for Psychiatry and Psychology has denounced the use of Ritalin on healthy active children. Are we drugging the sort of restless children who in other times grew up to be fine artists, writers, and advocates of social change?

Adventures in Genetically Modified Foods and
Agri-business vs. reality

The Pusztai affair. Dr. Arpad Pusztai published a paper in the Medical Journal The Journal of Nutrition which found that a substance created by a gene implanted in genetically engineered potatos causes harm to the digestive and immune systems of lab rats. The fact that his research team added to regular potatoes the toxin called concanavalin A rather than the genetically engineered potatos became the pretext for his employer, the Rowett Research Institute in Scotland, to suspend him and his research. Dr. Pusztai himself have come under attack. This is a complex issue and sorting through the various accusations and information takes some time and careful reading.


Ewen, Stanley W B; Pusztai, Arpad. "Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine" The Lancet; London; Oct 16, 1999.

Pusztai, Arpad; Grant, George; Duguid, Tracey; Brown, David S; et al. "Inhibition of starch digestion by alpha-amylase inhibitor reduces the efficiency of utilization of dietary proteins and lipids and retards the growth of rats" The Journal of Nutrition, Bethesda; Jun 1995; Vol. 125, Iss. 6; pg. 1554, 9 pgs [the abstract on the first page contains the methodology that the Rowett Institute used as the pretext for firing him 3 years later].

Monsanto sues farmers after their crops have been contaminated with Monsanto patented Canola DNA from wind-driven cross polination. Regardless of how the Monsanto DNA gets into a farmer's crop, the farmer must find out and take action or owe Monsanto a licensing fee. From the Canadian Broadcasting Company's web site.
Also see a web site by the Saskatewan farmer who lost the patent lawsuit brought against him by Monsanto: Percy Schmeiser

The alteration of reality by business concerns: the London Guardian's Bob Woffinden reveals that 20 years ago the Spanish Government covered up the actual cause of poisoning that killed over 1,000 people.

Terminator seeds and traitor seeds, developed with tax-payer dollars, could increase poverty and starvation throughout the world. Despite condemnation from National Governments, the UN and the public the USDA continues to develop and support this technology developed by Monsanto and AstraZeneca. Check RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) for updates.

"Exposes" on genetically engineered foods somehow omit any mention of terminator seeds or traitor seeds. In addition,
genetically engineered foods creep into the human food supply despite restrictions.

An editorial in the Lancet describes what happened when Martin Cormican, a bacteriologist at University College Hospital, Ireland, asked Bayer for a supply of Bayer's antibiotic, ciprofloxacin, for tests with anti-biotic resistant bacteria. Bayer would not give him any without his signature on an agreement not to publish any research results without Bayer's consent. The Lancet, April 14, 2001.

The "Vegie Libel Laws" squash free speech: Shut up and eat everything on your plate lists specific examples of self-censorship or lawsuits to silence criticism of Agri-business. From Freedom Forum Online. (These pre-date the Ophrah Winfrey lawsuit).

What we don't know keeps hurting us - Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs, a report from the National Research Council of the National Academies. Ignored in the mainstream media.

Miscellaneous examples:

Class in the United States:

Among the many examples of how the media treats different classes of people differently, consider this example from Indianapolis, Indiana: An antiquated sewer system routinely belches billions of gallons of raw sewage to low-income communities downstream each year. Read The Cost of Clean from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for details. Then imagine what would happen if Bel Air or another wealthy area had the same problem.

Courtney Love does the math This unedited transcript from Courtney Love's speech to the Digital Hollywood online entertainment conference, given in New York on May 16 reveals much solid information and a perspective that you can not find in the mainstream news media.
A follow-up article from Salon: Four little words, gives more detail and an epilogue to what should be a scandal.

Citation for the quote at the top of this page: "Hold on a minute...Digger still plays dirty." by Nick Cohen. The Observer (London), July 5, 1998. p. 28.