M1: Technically defined this is the sum of: the tender that is held outside banks, travelers checks, checking accounts (but not demand deposits), minus the amount of money in the Federal Reserve float.
M2: The sum of: M1, savings deposits (this would include money market accounts from which no checks can be written), small denomination time deposits (where small is less than $100,000), retirement accounts.
M3: M2 plus the large time deposits (for any of you with more than $100,000 deposits you add to this...). Eurodollar deposits, dollars held at foreign offices of U.S. banks, and institutional money market funds.
Robert K. Musil, Executive Director of PSR wrote:
Torture—much in the news these days—is fundamentally a medical procedure that hangs the Hippocratic Oath, medical ethics, and military law by their heels. The Hippocratic Oath embodies the deepest, ancient moral values of the medical profession in its statement: “to the sick I will do no harm or injustice.” Torture inverts medical disciplines—internal medicine, orthopedics, trauma, psychology and psychiatry, cardiology, neurology—to inflict premeditated harm on a vulnerable human being. The usual practice is to cause sufficient suffering and bodily injury, short of death, to induce a patient to relinquish private information or confess. Torture is not only illegal; it is, in a word, abhorrent.
I have been proud to represent and speak for PSR at national events denouncing torture and actively opposing the nomination of Judge Alberto Gonzales—the author of the Administration’s pseudo-legal justifications for its torture of prisoners—for Attorney General of the United States. PSR has been joined in these efforts by other activist public health organizations, such as Physicians for Human Rights, as well as by the American Public Health Association, and even the venerable American Medical Association. All these groups have spoken out sharply against torture, in response to credible reports of its use by American military and intelligence personnel at Guantanamo Bay, in Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere. Indeed, the use of torture by the United States has for more than two years occupied the articles and commentary of leading medical journals such as The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, where it is roundly condemned on legal, medical, and ethical grounds.
What the American public and policy makers must understand is that physicians, nurses, medics, and other medical personnel who serve in the Armed Forces have an obligation to refuse to participate in torture, and to report such unethical and illegal behavior when they observe it or treat its victims. To date, to our knowledge, this has not happened. Instead, we have reports of doctors called to treat dislocated limbs and bruised genitals; of a nurse, asked to treat a detainee undergoing a panic attack, who observed piles of hooded, naked detainees, yet failed to report the abuse until after investigations began; and of physicians who have used medical records of detainees to help design effective interrogation techniques. Shockingly, the Department of Defense still maintains that doctors who cooperate in interrogations are not practicing medicine and are therefore exempt from the rules of warfare pertaining to physicians and the Hippocratic Oath. There is absolutely no precedent for such a view. Again, recent commentary in medical journals condemns it.
Given the nature of the psychological stresses and humiliations, beatings, other bodily injuries, and some resulting deaths that we now know about, the torture of detainees in American custody could not have occurred without being observed, condoned, or participated in by medical personnel. In his landmark study The Nazi Doctors, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton describes the process by which physicians in Germany were socialized to more extreme forms of torture. The habit of responding to command and authority—first in the medical profession, then in the military, and, ultimately, as leaders in the death camps—turned compassionate, even idealistic doctors into practitioners in a system of atrocities. That is why the Geneva Conventions are so explicit about the need for doctors to treat all parties humanely, to uphold the human dignity and worth of detainees, and to recognize as illegal any orders to do otherwise.
Physicians for Social Responsibility will continue to actively oppose torture and the war policies that give rise to it. We have joined with Veterans for Common Sense in a national letter campaign, and with MoveOn, Amnesty International, Win Without and War, and others in national media campaigns. We will not rest until this fundamental assault on human dignity, and the on core concepts of medical treatment and trust, is halted.
Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H. http://www.psr.org/home.cfm?id=exec
"David Sarasohn, for The Oregonian“
A new word on Mayfield, the Patriot Act Friday, April 08, 2005 David Sarasohn A year after he was released from prison with an FBI apology, Brandon Mayfield recently learned some more things about his arrest as a terrorist.
At the same time, Congress — holding hearings on the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act — learned a little more about the act, and about what happens when Congress gives government vast new powers without stopping to think about it.
Ever since the arrest and awkward release of Mayfield, on the mistaken grounds that his fingerprint was found on an item connected with the terrorist train bombing in Spain last March, the Justice Department has insisted that the Patriot Act had nothing to do with his arrest. That insistence continued through the opening of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee — and then ended a few hours into the testimony, when Gonzales said that, well, yes, a couple of the Patriot Act powers had been involved.
Gonzales told the senators that the FBI had indeed used new powers of electronic surveillance, as well as another section of the act, in its investigation of the Beaverton lawyer -- based on a mishandled fingerprint and, implicitly, his identity as a Muslim convert. Agents collected quite a bit.
At the end of March, as part of his lawsuit against the federal government, Mayfield's attorney received a statement:
”Mr. Mayfield is hereby notified that the following property was seized, altered or reproduced during (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) searches of his residence: three hard drives of three desk top computers and one loose hard drive were copied; several documents in the residence were digitally photographed; ten DNA samples were taken and preserved on cotton swabs and six cigarette butts were seized for DNA analysis; and approximately 335 digital photographs were taken of the residence and the property therein . . . Mr. Mayfield is also hereby notified that he was the target of electronic surveillance and other physical searches authorized pursuant to FISA.“
Nobody at this point thinks any of the material seized has any national security significance. Nobody now thinks the secret evidence behind the search meant anything.
People do know that anything collected can now be widely shared.
”There is no idea,“ says Steven T. Wax, federal public defender who first worked with Mayfield, ”how many hundreds and hundreds of people, in intelligence offices around the world, now have access to private materials on Mr. Mayfield, his children and perhaps some of his clients.“
Plus his family's DNA.
In fact, Mayfield can't know exactly what's out there.
”Worse still,“ says Rep. John Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, ”the department still refuses to give Mayfield a full accounting of what searches were conducted, when they were conducted and what exactly was seized. When an innocent man can't even find out the extent to which his rights have been violated, something is very, very wrong with our system of checks and balances.“
That fear, that something has gone off the rails, is why Gonzales was called to testify this week before the Senate and House judiciary committees, considering whether to reauthorize or amend the Patriot Act. It's why a bipartisan group of senators, led by Larry Craig, R-Idaho, has reintroduced the Security and Freedom Ensured Act, which would limit the government's powers to make secret searches without showing probable cause.
”I think we've got a chance to get some of it done,“ says Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001 and now a SAFE Act co-sponsor. Feingold notes that now even Gonzales is open to some limits — although the administration also wants other changes to expand its powers even more.
The Mayfield case, Feingold says, ”had a big effect on the whole attitude that anybody who criticized the law really wasn't concerned about terrorism.“ When Gonzales changed course and admitted a Patriot Act role in the case, ”That was noticed at the hearing.“
The case resounds in other places. In Salem this week, a Patriot Act-driven House bill to require state employees to stay within the Oregon Constitution was referred to committee. Last session, the state Senate passed a resolution calling for changes in the act, 23-2, the most bipartisan thing that happened there all year. Last month, the Montana House passed a similar bill, 88-12.
”The Mayfield case certainly does touch a red button for people here,“ says Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, co-sponsor of the House bill. ”It's one way we make the case that the Patriot Act has led to actions unacceptable to the state."
Last week, we learned more about the Mayfield case.
And just how far the Patriot Act can go.
David Sarasohn, associate editor of The Oregonian, can be reached at 503-221-8523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1903.02 Requests for copies other than additional certificates. Requests for copies of records, indexes, material from the authorization file, correspondence, and deposits should be made to the Certifications and Documents Section. Fees are charged for making copies, for any searches required to find the material, and for certification. Failure to provide a registration number and year date, or volume and document number for a recorded document, may result in a search charge to find the material. To minimize search fees and expedite copying, the request for copies should include the following information when available:
1) A clear identification of the type of records or deposits to be copied (for example copies of deposits, correspondence, catalog entries, etc.).
2) A specification of whether the copies are to be certified or uncertified.
3) A clear identification of the specific records to be copied including, where possible, the type of work involved (for example a novel, song lyrics, technical drawing), the registration number, if any, the year date or approximate year date of registration or submission to the Office, the complete title of the work, the author(s) including any pseudonym, the claimant(s), and if the requested copy is of an assignment, license, contract, or other recorded document, the volume and page number of the recorded document.
4) The telephone number and address of the requester.
See 37 C.F.R. 201.2(d).
April 21, 2005
The Canadian government this week approved the prescription sale of a liquid marijuana extract to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project reports. Sativex, produced by U.K. firm GW Pharmaceuticals, is a whole-plant extract that contains all of the naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids that are found in marijuana plants. MPP did not report when the product would be available in Canada, or whether health authorities would seek wider approval of Sativex to treat symptoms of other diseases, including HIV and cancer.
The U.S. government does not permit medical marijuana use, but 10 states--Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington--have passed measures that allow seriously ill people to legally use the drug for medicinal purposes. Maryland has a law that does not legalize medical marijuana use or stop police from arresting users, but prevents those who are arrested from being jailed. The only federally approved marijuana-related product available in the United States is Marinol, a pill containing a synthetic version of THC, an active ingredient in marijuana. The Bush administration claims there is no scientific data to show that medical marijuana offers any health benefits to patients who smoke or ingest it, and vigorously opposes state-level laws permitting its use.
But MPP says that the Canadian government's scientific review and approval of Sativex shows that Bush-administration arguments that marijuana has no medicinal value are false. ”If Sativex is safe and effective, marijuana is safe and effective,“ the organization says in a press release. MPP executive director Rob Kampia adds, ”With Canada taking such a significant step toward recognizing marijuana's safety and effectiveness as a medicine, it's becoming harder and harder for U.S. officials to defend arresting and imprisoning medical marijuana patients in our own country."
Marijuana medicine tests pot's potential Canada's approval of a cannabis-based medicine has people wondering what would be possible if a stigma could be removed.
By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN,
Times Senior Correspondent Published
August 1, 2005
BURLINGTON, Ontario - Since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 13 years ago, Alison Myrden has suffered from pain so intense it feels like ”lightning going off in my face.“
To reduce her agony, Myrden, 41, has long taken dozens of prescription pills a day, including the powerful Dilaudin. Now, though, she has a new weapon in her arsenal: Sativex, billed as the world's first cannabis-based drug.
”I think it has good potential,“ says Myrden, squirting Sativex into her mouth from a small sprayer. ”It's really fabulous that the government has taken marijuana seriously and is making a medicine of it.“
This spring, Canada became the first country to approve Sativex, a prescription drug for MS that contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and other active ingredients of the Cannabis sativa plant. The drug went on sale throughout Canada in mid June, just a week after the medical marijuana movement in the United States was dealt a major setback by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sativex is so new and expensive that few Canadians are using it so far. But given the timing of its debut, it has highlighted the divergent views on marijuana's therapeutic benefits.
Sativex ”is an important step, but why should this whole field be centered in Canada and England instead of the United States? It's because of the repression of science in the United States,“ says Rick Doblin, whose Sarasota-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies funds research of marijuana's medical effects.
But the U.S. government's Office of National Drug Control Policy, which deems marijuana a dangerous drug, says many of those touting its therapeutic use want to legalize its recreational use as well.
”Of course we would look at any medicine proven safe or efficacious,“ says spokesman Tom Riley. ”But the medical marijuana issue has been kind of larded with hype for a number of years by a lot of people with agendas in this area.“
Sativex was developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, a small British company that is trying to distance itself from the medical marijuana debate as it seeks U.S. and European approval of a potentially lucrative product.
”There is a clear distinction to be drawn between what you would call medical marijuana and Sativex, which is the name of a medicine,“ says Mark Rogerson, a GW spokesman. ”Medical marijuana is smoking a joint or baking a cake. This is a prescription medicine for MS.“
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves) that affects people in unpredictable ways. Some patients suffer from spasticity, causing the muscles to lock up; others, like Myrden, shake or have excruciating pain.
In Britain, GW has focused on Sativex as a treatment for spasticity. So far the British government has refused to approve it without more evidence it works for that purpose.
In Canada, however, Sativex has been approved for use in treating neuropathic pain, another common symptom.
Myrden, a disabled former corrections officer and one of 50,000 Canadians with MS, says Sativex helps relieve pain but is not as cheap or effective as the plant.
Unlike the other drugs she takes, Sativex is not covered by Ontario's health care program. A small bottle, with enough sprays to last Myrden just 31/2 days, costs $125.
For Sativex to gain wider use, ”it has to be cost effective,“ says Myrden, who lives on government disability and help from her mother and boyfriend. ”It's about $1,000 a month - where am I going to get money for my next prescription?“
By comparison, it costs Myrden about $400 a month to buy marijuana from compassion clubs, the quasilegal establishments that sell it for medicinal purposes. She is also among a few hundred Canadians licensed by the government to grow marijuana and smoke it wherever tobacco cigarettes are allowed.
Despite its high price, Sativex is less effective than regular marijuana, Myrden has found. She never used marijuana before developing MS, she says, but now smokes it several times a day and eats it in oatmeal cookies.
With the right strain of marijuana, ”I can get rid of the pain in minutes for two hours. I would rely on marijuana hands down - it's the only thing that gives me quality of life.“
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada considers Sativex ”just another“ treatment for MS-related symptoms.
That it comes in spray form and is obtainable only by prescription ”is a little more reassuring because it's less apt to be abused,“ says Dr. William McIlroy, the society's medical adviser. ”The majority of doctors in Canada don't want to be known as the primary source of smoked marijuana.“
In the United States, where MS afflicts 400,000, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society says anecdotal evidence suggests marijuana can help reduce MS-related pain. But it remains difficult to measure relief objectively: Participants in one study realized they were getting a cannabinoid-based treatment instead of a placebo when they developed the dry mouth and lightheadedness familiar to marijuana users.
”So far the studies that have purported to show the benefits of marijuana have not been well-blinded, and so people knew what they were receiving,“ says John Richert, the society's vice president for research. ”That makes it impossible to distinguish whether one is seeing a true effect of the treatment or whether it is a placebo effect.“
As for Sativex, ”there is still no good scientific study that proves its efficacy,“ Richert says.
GW Pharmaceuticals has yet to formally seek approval for Sativex in the United States, though it has ”started the process“ of talking to the Food and Drug Administration, says Rogerson, the GW spokesman. ”No disrespect to the FDA, but we would expect it be a longer process in the States.“
Advocates of medical marijuana claim the U.S. government has made it difficult to do scientific research into the plant's therapeutic effects. Researchers must get federal approval for their studies and must use marijuana from a government farm in Mississippi.
”This is the only drug in America for which the only source for research purposes is the U.S. government, and they have a reputation for producing not very good quality stuff,“ says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates more liberal drug policies.
Availability of the Mississippi marijuana used to be limited to those studying the plant's effects on behavior and reasoning. But the government began giving it to other researchers after a federal advisory panel found enough evidence of marijuana's medical benefits to warrant additional study.
”Except for the harm associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana are within the range of effects tolerated for other medicines,“ said a report by the Institute of Medicine.
Thousands of people with MS, cancer, AIDS and other diseases routinely use marijuana in California and the 10 other states with medical marijuana laws. (Florida is not among them.) In June, however, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government still can ban marijuana possession in states that have eliminated penalties for its therapeutic use.
That's unfortunate, says Myrden, who applauds the Canadian government for approving Sativex and allowing sick people to use marijuana in other forms as well.
”I'm really excited this is available,“ she says of Sativex, ”but you have to realize the natural form is just as good if not better."
--Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at email@example.com
© Copyright 2003 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved
'When the Hitler Youth was established, my brother was forced to become a member,' Ratzinger said in an interview in 1997. ”I was still too young, but later, when I entered the seminary, I also joined. But as soon as I had left the seminary, I never went to see them again. And this was difficult, because in order to be entitled to get a discount on the tuition fee, which I urgently needed, one had to prove that one was a member of the Hitler Youth.'
LA Times 9/18/02
At Home in War on Terror: Viet Dinh has gone from academe to a key behind-the scenes role. Conservatives love him; others find his views constitutionally suspect
Loretto, PA. – Viet Dinh is working the room. Viet Dinh, it seems, is always working a room.
The room itself isn't much, at least not by the standards of one of the rising stars of the Bush administration. A hundred or so faculty members and supporters at Saint Francis University in rural Pennsylvania are lunching in a nondescript student center to hear Dinh, advisor to U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and a point man in the war on terrorism, philosophize about how liberty and freedom can thrive even in a time of national crisis.
But look closer, and the Vietnamese-born, Southern California-bred Dinh has a more immediate agenda. Seated at lunch next to him is a local district judge, D. Brooks Smith, whose promotion to a federal appellate court has been imperiled by protests over his civil rights record. Literally and figuratively, Dinh is at Smith's side.
Amid Dinh's broad legal colloquies and historical references to Nathan Hale and William Penn, he delivers an impassioned endorsement of Smith. He steps up the drumbeat for local television reporters after his speech, decrying the ”liberal activists“ who have threatened to derail President Bush's nominee.
The scene is typical of Dinh and his remarkable ascent to power: Part law school professor, part political pit bull, Dinh has navigated seamlessly between the worlds of Ivory Tower academia and sharp-elbowed Washington politics to leave his imprint on a wide array of policy decisions.
If Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld are the face of the Bush administration's anti-terrorism campaign, Dinh and a small cadre of other behind-the-scenes advisors have emerged as its brain trust.
At age 34, he already has filled a resume befitting a man twice his age: boat refugee from Vietnam, Oregon fruit picker, Orange County burger-flipper, Harvard Law School graduate, U.S. Supreme Court clerk, Georgetown Law School professor, constitutional scholar, lawyer to a high-powered congressional committee. His is ”a spectacular American story,“ Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) said in introducing Dinh to the Senate during his confirmation hearings 16 months ago.
Dinh's current role as an assistant attorney general clearly has given him his most important platform yet. At first a somewhat obscure player in Ashcroft's Justice Department, his prominence in recent months has made him both a darling of the conservative movement and a lightning rod for criticism from liberal-leaning politicians and civil rights activists who assert that his views run roughshod over the Constitution.
On topics as far-ranging as gun control, cyber pornography, human trafficking and the selection of new federal judges, Dinh has played an increasingly critical role in shaping federal law enforcement policy. But nowhere has his impact been felt more keenly than in the Bush administration's highest priority: its aggressive war on terrorism.
Crafted Patriot Act
Dinh was the chief architect of the USA Patriot Act, the legislation approved by Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that gives law enforcement agencies vastly expanded powers to track terror suspects. He has been the official responsible for crafting a series of anti-terrorism initiatives that would, among other things, require the fingerprinting of potentially tens of thousands of visiting foreigners from Middle East countries and would put foreign students on a much tighter leash.
He revamped the law enforcement guidelines that Ashcroft announced in May to give FBI agents new powers to snoop in mosques and surf the Internet. And he is now working on a plan to promote better coordination within the Justice Department and with agencies such as the CIA, a task aimed at preventing the communication breakdowns that preceded Sept. 11.
”I did not sign up for a war,“ Dinh said in an interview. ”But it's a privilege, a profound honor really, to serve your country in a time of crisis. I can't imagine a better place for me to be right now.“
What is perhaps most surprising to Justice Department observers is that Dinh has achieved such influence as one of 11 assistant attorneys general in charge of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy. The office was once a low-profile, somewhat nebulous operation chiefly concerned with federal judicial nominations--''a backwater,'' one former employee, who worked for the department during Janet Reno's tenure, called it. But with Ashcroft's blessing, Dinh has expanded the office's reach into areas once considered far outside its domain. Ashcroft's a Fan
Dinh, a wiry, energetic man who spews out ideas and legal theory at a furious staccato clip, has turned his boss into one of his biggest fans.
”It's hard to point to a part of this department,“ Ashcroft said in an interview, ”that isn't related to sound legal policy, so [Dinh] has become an integral part of virtually every decision we make.... He operates on a gold-medal level.“
Dinh recalls the instructions Ashcroft gave him when he took over the job last year.
”He told me: 'The art of leadership is the redefinition of the possible. I want you to be the think tank to help me redefine the possible for the Department of Justice.' That was a great charge for an academic,“ Dinh said.
Some Republicans even speculate that Dinh could someday be a candidate for the first Asian American justice on the Supreme Court. But with success and visibility have come a growing chorus of critics who attack his policies and politics.
Democrats on Capitol Hill have publicly chastised Dinh for disregarding the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. An irritated former Secretary of State Warren Christopher challenged him at a law conference last summer by suggesting that the administration's refusal to identify terrorist detainees reminded him of Argentina's notorious practice of simply making prisoners ”disappear.“ And gun control advocates accuse Dinh of serving as Ashcroft's buffer on 2nd Amendment issues, helping to scale back regulations for enforcing gun laws.
”John Ashcroft has put together the most right-wing legal team in modern Justice Department history, and Viet Dinh is, by all accounts, a principal player. His impact has been felt across the department,“ said Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way, a liberal civil rights group.
Where Bush administration loyalists see an aggressive counterattack on terrorism, civil rights activists see an infringement on American liberties. Where supporters see well-crafted public policy, critics see far-reaching edicts made under a veil of secrecy.
”When you start acting by executive fiat, that's what leads to governmental abuses,“ Neas said, ”and that's why I'm so worried about what Viet Dinh and John Ashcroft have been doing in the last year.“
Nearly a quarter-century later, Dinh still becomes emotional when remembering one scene: his mother in a Malaysian port, wielding an ax that seemed bigger than she was, whacking holes in the side of the vessel so she and five of her children would not be sent back out to sea.
It was 1978. Dinh was 10. His father was being held as a political prisoner in the family's war-ravaged homeland, when his mother, Nga Thu Nguyen, tried to escape by sea with Viet and the other children. They were among 85 people crammed on a 15-foot-long boat, but as Dinh's mother recalled in a recent telephone interview from her Garden Grove home, ”after three days, the boat was broken. After seven days, there was no more food or water.“
After 12 days, she had lost nearly all hope. But they came upon a Thai fishing crew who gave them food and gas, helped fix the boat and pointed them toward land. They reached Malaysia--only to be met by gunshots from a patrol boat. The Malaysians didn't want them. Their boat managed to dock, but Nguyen realized that the port police would force them to leave the next morning, so she crept back out to the boat alone that night with an ax, she said. ”I just hit it and hit it and made holes everywhere,“ she said.
Dinh, recounting the events last year before the Senate Judiciary Committee as his nomination was considered, said it demonstrated for him the ”incredible courage“ of his mother and the ”incredible lengths“ to which people will go in search of freedom.
The administration's critics now find it ironic that Dinh, a refugee himself and an inspiration to many Asian Americans in Southern California, would advance policies that civil libertarians say place many Arabs and Arab Americans under a cloud of suspicion. But Dinh counters that his experience has given him a ”special sensitivity to what it means to be an American“ and how important it is to apply the law equally, regardless of race or ethnicity.
After six months as refugees in Malaysia, Dinh's family made it to Oregon for Thanksgiving of 1978. They picked strawberries for menial wages, sending money back to Dinh's father and a sibling hiding out in Vietnam. After Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980, the crop damage forced his family to relocate to Fullerton.
In Orange County, the teenager worked with his mother in a sewing shop and put in time at fast-food restaurants after school. The family's persistence paid off in 1983 when Dinh's father finally made it to America. Dinh's parents wanted him to be a doctor. But politics was his passion, an interest fueled by his mother.
''He had a hatred of the Communists because I made him understand it was the Communists who had taken his father away from the house and put him in prison,'' Nguyen said. ''I instilled that in him early on.''
Like many Vietnamese immigrants, Dinh's emotional experience in his homeland steered him toward the Republican Party because of the GOP's hard-line stance against communism.
Garden Grove Councilman Van Tran remembers Dinh, just out of Fullerton High School, volunteering to work the phone banks at an Asian American voter registration center set up by then-Rep. Robert K. Dornan.
”He used to call me anh, or 'elder brother.' He stood out even then as a lanky 18-year-old because he was someone who was very quick and very witty,“ Tran said.
Dinh's reputation as affable, bright and politically astute would follow him through Harvard University and Harvard Law School, which he attended with the aid of scholarships and graduated magna cum laude, and to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
”He was a wonderful law clerk,“ O'Connor recalled recently. ”I was so fascinated by his background and the fact that he had arrived on our shores with nothing but the clothes on his back, yet somehow he had persevered.“
By 1999, Dinh had firmly established his Republican credentials as a lawyer for two of the most bitterly partisan initiatives in Washington, working first for Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-N.Y.) in the Senate investigation into President Clinton's Whitewater dealings in the mid-1990s, and later for Domenici during Clinton's impeachment trial.
When the 2000 presidential election led to a landmark lawsuit, Dinh was there to write a friend-of-the-court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a group of Florida voters who backed Bush's position.
When Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general ran into widespread opposition in January 2001 over his record on civil rights and other issues, Dinh wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post extolling Ashcroft's ”deep compassion“ for minorities.
And when Dinh was nominated a few months after that article to become one of Ashcroft's top deputies, he contacted Tran and asked him to call Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) to see whether she would be willing to introduce him at his Senate confirmation hearings, even though he was a Republican nominee, Tran said. Dinh's nomination was confirmed by a 96-1 vote in the Senate.
Dinh was feted as a returning hero at a Vietnamese American festival in Orange County last year.
”Sanchez understood right away the political significance of such a gesture, and Viet got a bipartisan introduction“ before the Senate, Tran said. ”I thought it was a brilliant move on his part.“
Too brilliant, some of his Democratic detractors on Capitol Hill say. While demanding anonymity because of frayed relations with Ashcroft's office, several Democratic officials describe Dinh in terms such as ”rawly political,“ and have even coined a derisive nickname to describe his aggressive politicking: ”Viet Spin.“
Democrats whisper that during his days on the Whitewater investigation, Dinh was suspected of leaking confidential information to the news media in order to hurt Clinton.
Dinh vehemently denies the charge, but Democrats say lingering resentments over his Whitewater days--Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y) was the only senator to vote against his confirmation--have hurt his relations on Capitol Hill and caused tensions as the Ashcroft administration has pushed to expand its law enforcement powers.
No Time for Golf
If such political sniping has bothered Dinh, he doesn't show it. Indeed, about the only regret that Dinh, a bachelor, confesses is that his hectic pace has given him time to hit the golf links only once or twice since Sept. 11.
After reaching a pinnacle in his career, he insists his mind is squarely focused on the task at hand: revamping federal law enforcement to confront the threat of terrorism.
That has to be ”the overriding priority,“ Dinh said. ”The day that we relax is either the day that we have definitely won this war or the day that I get somebody else to continue my job."
"The Orange County Register 5/10/01“
Ex-refugee is nominated for Justice post: A Fullerton High grad gets praise at his Senate confirmation hearing.
Viet Dinh wiped tears from his eyes as a United States senator chronicled his remarkable journey from a 10-year-old fleeing Vietnam in a boat to a law professor facing a congressional panel Wednesday as a nominee for assistant attorney general.
For a young Dinh and his family it was the point of no return. They had fled Vietnam by boat in 1978. After 12 days with no food or water, they landed in a port in Malaysia, where they were met by gunfire and cast back into the South China Sea.
That night they swam ashore, sure their boat could not withstand another sea voyage. Dinh's mother, Nguyen, stayed aboard and, ”wielding an ax that was almost as tall as she was,“ put a hole in the side of the boat to sink it so they would not be forced back to sea, Dinh said.
”That image of my mother destroying our last link to Vietnam really stands in my mind to this day as to the courage she possesses, but also the incredible lengths which my parents, like so many other people, have gone to in order to find that promise of freedom and opportunity.“
”This is a spectacular American story,“ Sen. Pete Domenici said Wednesday as he introduced Dinh, formerly of Orange County, who was the New Mexico Republican's special counsel for President Clinton's impeachment trial. Dinh was before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which could vote as early as today on his confirmation as assistant attorney general for policy development.
”You've got a Vietnamese scholar who just 23 years ago was a young man out on a boat at sea who could just as well have drowned, and we never would have heard from him. But because of a loving family around him, they eventually ended up American citizens.“
As Domenici talked, Dinh's parents — who split their time between Garden Grove and Salem, Ore. — sat proudly next to their son. Dinh's lower lip quivered as he fought the emotion of the moment.
His journey and the patriotism for his new country came flooding back, he said, as he heard Domenici's words.
The young professor has seen much in his 33 years.
His family was separated in 1975 when his father, Phong Dinh, was imprisoned in a re-education camp after the fall of Saigon. His father escaped in 1978, and while he remained a fugitive in Vietnam, Dinh's mother, Nga Nguyen and his older siblings got on a boat with 85 other people and set out for freedom.
After their harrowing journey and a stay at a refugee camp in Malaysia, they made their way to the United States.
The family began their life in America in Portland, Ore., picking strawberries. But the eruption of Mount St. Helens volcano in 1980 wiped out their livelihood. They moved to Orange County.
Dinh was reunited with his father in 1983. In 1992, he was reunited with one of his sisters at a refugee camp in Hong Kong — a meeting filmed by NBC's Dateline newsmagazine show.
Those who knew Dinh during his teen-age years in Orange County are not surprised by his success at such a young age. They describe him as an outgoing, gregarious teen-ager with an incredibly bright and inquisitive mind.
Fullerton High School classmate James Campbell, called him a ”well rounded whiz kid. He seized all the things that a lot of us take for granted about this country,“ said Campbell, a spokesman for Supervisor Charles Smith.
Dinh will be honored by his high school alma mater this fall when he is added to Fullerton's wall of fame. He will share that wall with an ideological opposite, David Boies, former Vice President Al Gore's lawyer for the Florida recount.
Dinh was a familiar figure during that historical case, delivering sound bites on CNN and other network news shows. And Dinh filed a brief with the Supreme Court in favor of George W. Bush.
For many in the Vietnamese legal community in Orange County, Dinh is viewed as a trailblazer and risk taker.
”With his achievements, he puts the idea that a Vietnamese- American can be successful in law and on a national level,“ said Hao-Nhien Vu, a Garden Grove lawyer. If confirmed, Dinh will be the highest-ranking Vietnamese- American legal official in the nation. ”A lot of people will be watching what he does and learning from his example.“
And he honed his political skills early.
Van Thai Tran, a lawyer and Garden Grove councilman, first met Dinh in 1986 when the 17-year-old showed up at a voter-registration drive and volunteered to help.
”Even then he was quick-witted,“ Tran said.
Dinh is not expected to face a difficult confirmation. But Democrats and Republicans on the committee are feuding over the confirmation process for federal judges, and it was clear Wednesday that Department of Justice nominations are caught in the crossfire.
The only critical questioning Dinh faced was from Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt. Leahy asked Dinh how he could be in charge of reviewing judicial nominees when he has never been a trial lawyer. Dinh went directly from clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to a political post and then to Georgetown Law Center as a professor.
Dinh said he would look to those in the department with such experience for help.
It's traditional for lawmakers close to the nominee or from their hometown to formally introduce him to the panel. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, who represents a large part of the Vietnamese -American community in Orange County, introduced Dinh along with Domenici.
Sanchez met with him Tuesday. She said she was satisfied that ”as an immigrant himself, he wants to make sure the gates are open for other immigrants.“ She also talked to Dinh about racial profiling, an issue Attorney General John Ashcroft says is a high priority.
”He said that was of great interest to him,“ Sanchez said, ”because he himself has experienced that sort of discrimination.“
Dinh says he's not looking beyond his new job.
”It will be in the public service,'' Dinh said. “I am really enamored by the institutions of government. They protect the most precious aspect of America, the promise of opportunity and freedom.
”Even when I was in the refugee camp, I knew the value of this promise."
"Bill Berkowitz at TomPaine.com“
The most outrageous joke described the president’s early arrival at the ranch in Crawford, Texas: As a graduate of Andover and Yale, which “don’t have real strong ranching programs,” the president was ill-prepared. He was so out of his element that he tried to milk a horse—a male horse.
The first lady’s string of one-liners have been widely repeated in the weeks since the event. She started by interrupting the president—as per the script—and seizing the platform. Then, she mixed some light-hearted lines—”I am married to the president of the United States, and here's our typical evening: Nine o'clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I'm watching 'Desperate Housewives', with Lynne Cheney“ —with several sexed-up jokes — ”Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife. I mean, if those women on that show think they're desperate, they ought to be with George. One night, after George went to bed, Lynne Cheney, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and I went to Chippendales,"—the home of buffed male strippers.
"Roman Bystrianyk and Meryl Barr at oped.com“
On February 26,  Clear Channel Communications pulled Howard Stern off its six stations that carry his syndicated show as part of the radio giant's new “zero tolerance” policy against indecency on the airwaves. As a reason for the action, Clear Channel cited Stern's interview on Tuesday with Rick Solomon, the man who was filmed having sex with hotel heiress and Fox reality star Paris Hilton in a video widely distributed on the Internet. According to a transcript released by Clear Channel, Stern asked Solomon about his sexual practices and referred to the size of certain body parts. Using a racist term, a caller asked Solomon if he had ever had relations with any famous black women. “It was vulgar, offensive and insulting, not just to women and African-Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency,” said chief executive officer John Hogan.
Justice Stevens, dissenting
Appeals to prurient interests are commonplace on the Internet, as in older media. Many of those appeals lack serious value for minors as well as adults. Some are offensive to certain viewers but welcomed by others. For decades, our cases have recognized that the standards for judging their acceptability vary from viewer to viewer and from community to community. Those cases developed the requirement that communications should be protected if they do not violate contemporary community standards. In its original form, the community standard provided a shield for communications that are offensive only to the least tolerant members of society. Thus, the Court “has emphasized on more than one occasion that a principal concern in requiring that a judgment be made on the basis of 'contemporary community standards' is to assure that the material is judged neither on the basis of each juror's personal opinion, nor by its effect on a particularly sensitive or insensitive person or group.” Hamling v. United States, 418 U. S. 87, 107 (1974). In the context of the Internet, however, community standards become a sword, rather than a shield. If a prurient appeal is offensive in a puritan village, it may be a crime to post it on the World Wide Web.
The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) restricts access by adults as well as children to materials that are “harmful to minors.” 47 U. S. C. §231(a)(1) (1994 ed., Supp. V). COPA is a substantial improvement over its predecessor, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), which we held unconstitutional five years ago in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844 (1997) (ACLU I). Congress has thoughtfully addressed several of the First Amendment problems that we identified in that case. Nevertheless, COPA preserves the use of contemporary community standards to define which materials are harmful to minors. As we explained in ACLU I, 521 U. S., at 877-878, “the `community standards' criterion as applied to the Internet means that any communication available to a nationwide audience will be judged by the standards of the community most likely to be offended by the message.”
We have recognized that the State has a compelling interest in protecting minors from harmful speech, Sable Communications of Cal., Inc. v. FCC, 492 U. S. 115, 126 (1989), and on one occasion we upheld a restriction on indecent speech that was made available to the general public, because it could be accessed by minors, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U. S. 726 (1978). Our decision in that case was influenced by the distinctive characteristics of the broadcast medium, as well as the expertise of the agency, and the narrow scope of its order. Id., at 748-750; see also, ACLU I, 521 U. S., at 867. On the other hand, we have repeatedly rejected the position that the free speech rights of adults can be limited to what is acceptable for children. See id., at 875 (quoting Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U. S. 60, 74-75 (1983) (“[R]egardless of the strength of the government's interest” in protecting children, “[t]he level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox”) (quotation marks omitted)); Sable, 492 U. S., at 128; Butler v. Michigan, 352 U. S. 380, 383 (1957).
Petitioner relies on our decision in Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U. S. 629 (1968), for the proposition that Congress can prohibit the display of materials that are harmful to minors. But the statute upheld in Ginsberg prohibited selling indecent materials directly to children, id., at 633 (describing N. Y. Penal Law §484-h, making it unlawful “ `knowingly to sell ... to a minor ...' ”), whereas the speech implicated here is simply posted on a medium that is accessible to both adults and children, 47 U. S. C. §231(a)(1) (prohibiting anyone from “knowingly ... mak[ing] any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor ...”). Like the restriction on indecent “dial-a-porn” numbers invalidated in Sable, the prohibition against mailing advertisements for contraceptives invalidated in Bolger, and the ban against selling adult books found impermissible in Butler, COPA seeks to limit protected speech that is not targeted at children, simply because it can be obtained by them while surfing the Web.1 In evaluating the overbreadth of such a statute, we should be mindful of Justice Frankfurter's admonition not to “burn the house to roast the pig,” Butler, 352 U. S., at 383.
COPA not only restricts speech that is made available to the general public, it also covers a medium in which speech cannot be segregated to avoid communities where it is likely to be considered harmful to minors. The Internet presents a unique forum for communication because information, once posted, is accessible everywhere on the network at once. The speaker cannot control access based on the location of the listener, nor can it choose the pathways through which its speech is transmitted. By approving the use of community standards in this context, Justice Thomas endorses a construction of COPA that has “the intolerable consequence of denying some sections of the country access to material, there deemed acceptable, which in others might be considered offensive to prevailing community standards of decency.” Manual Enterprises, Inc. v. Day, 370 U. S. 478, 488 (1962).
If the material were forwarded through the mails, as in Hamling, or over the telephone, as in Sable, the sender could avoid destinations with the most restrictive standards. Indeed, in Sable, we upheld the application of community standards to a nationwide medium because the speaker was “free to tailor its messages ... to the communities it chooses to serve,” by either “hir[ing] operators to determine the source of the calls ... [or] arrang[ing] for the screening and blocking of out-of-area calls.” 492 U. S., at 125 (emphasis added). Our conclusion that it was permissible for the speaker to bear the ultimate burden of compliance, id., at 126, assumed that such compliance was at least possible without requiring the speaker to choose another medium or to limit its speech to what all would find acceptable. Given the undisputed fact that a provider who posts material on the Internet cannot prevent it from entering any geographic community, see ante, at 11, n. 6 (opinion of Thomas, J.), a law that criminalizes a particular communication in just a handful of destinations effectively prohibits transmission of that message to all of the 176.5 million Americans that have access to the Internet, see ante, at 2, n. 2 (opinion of Thomas, J.). In light of this fundamental difference in technologies, the rules applicable to the mass mailing of an obscene montage or to obscene dial-a-porn should not be used to judge the legality of messages on the World Wide Web.2
In his attempt to fit this case within the framework of Hamling and Sable, Justice Thomas overlooks the more obvious comparison--namely, the CDA invalidated in ACLU I. When we confronted a similar attempt by Congress to limit speech on the Internet based on community standards, we explained that because Web publishers cannot control who accesses their Web sites, using community standards to regulate speech on the Internet creates an overbreadth problem. “[T]he `community standards' criterion as applied to the Internet means that any communication available to a nationwide audience will be judged by the standards of the community most likely to be offended by the message.” 521 U. S., at 877-878. Although our holding in ACLU I did not turn on that factor alone, we did not adopt the position relied on by Justice Thomas--that applying community standards to the Internet is constitutional based on Hamling and Sable. See Reply Brief for Appellants in Reno v. ACLU, O. T. 1996, No. 96-511, p. 19.3
Justice Thomas points to several other provisions in COPA to argue that any overbreadth will be rendered insubstantial by the rest of the statute. Ante, at 14-15. These provisions afford little reassurance, however, as they only marginally limit the sweep of the statute. It is true that, in addition to COPA's “appeals to the prurient interest of minors” prong, the material must be “patently offensive with respect to minors” and it must lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.” 47 U. S. C. §231(e)(6). Nonetheless, the “patently offensive” prong is judged according to contemporary community standards as well, ante, at 11, n. 7 (opinion of Thomas, J.). Whatever disparity exists between various communities' assessment of the content that appeals to the prurient interest of minors will surely be matched by their differing opinions as to whether descriptions of sexual acts or depictions of nudity are patently offensive with respect to minors. Nor does the requirement that the material be “in some sense erotic,” see ante, at 15 (citing Erznoznik v. Jacksonville, 422 U. S. 205, 213, and n. 10 (1975)), substantially narrow the category of images covered. Arguably every depiction of nudity--partial or full--is in some sense erotic with respect to minors.4
Petitioner's argument that the “serious value” prong minimizes the statute's overbreadth is also unpersuasive. Although we have recognized that the serious value determination in obscenity cases should be based on an objective, reasonable person standard, Pope v. Illinois, 481 U. S. 497, 500 (1987), this criterion is inadequate to cure COPA's overbreadth because COPA adds an important qualifying phrase to the standard Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15 (1973), formulation of the serious value prong. The question for the jury is not whether a reasonable person would conclude that the materials have serious value; instead, the jury must determine whether the materials have serious value for minors. Congress reasonably concluded that a substantial number of works, which have serious value for adults, do not have serious value for minors. Cf. ACLU I, 521 U. S., at 896 (O'Connor, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part) (“While discussions about prison rape or nude art ... may have some redeeming educational value for adults, they do not necessarily have any such value for minors”). Thus, even though the serious value prong limits the total amount of speech covered by the statute, it remains true that there is a significant amount of protected speech within the category of materials that have no serious value for minors. That speech is effectively prohibited whenever the least tolerant communities find it harmful to minors.5 While the objective nature of the inquiry may eliminate any worry that the serious value determination will be made by the least tolerant community, it does not change the fact that, within the subset of images deemed to have no serious value for minors, the decision whether minors and adults throughout the country will have access to that speech will still be made by the most restrictive community.
Justice Kennedy makes a similar misstep, ante, at 2 (opinion concurring in judgment), when he ties the overbreadth inquiry to questions about the scope of the other provisions of the statute. According to his view, we cannot determine whether the statute is substantially overbroad based on its use of community standards without first determining how much of the speech on the Internet is saved by the other restrictions in the statute. But this represents a fundamental misconception of our overbreadth doctrine. As Justice White explained in Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U. S. 601, 615 (1973),“the overbreadth of a statute must not only be real, but substantial as well, judged in relation to the statute's plainly legitimate sweep.” (Emphasis added.) Regardless of how the Court of Appeals interprets the “commercial purposes” or “as a whole” provisions on remand, the question we must answer is whether the statute restricts a substantial amount of protected speech relative to its legitimate sweep by virtue of the fact that it uses community standards.6 These other provisions may reduce the absolute number of Web pages covered by the statute, but even the narrowest version of the statute abridges a substantial amount of protected speech that many communities would not find harmful to minors. Because Web speakers cannot limit access to those specific communities, the statute is substantially overbroad regardless of how its other provisions are construed.
Justice Thomas acknowledges, and petitioner concedes, that juries across the country will apply different standards and reach different conclusions about whether particular works are harmful to minors. See ante, at 12-13; Brief for Petitioner 3-4, 39. We recognized as much in ACLU I when we noted that “discussions about prison rape or safe sexual practices, artistic images that include nude subjects, and arguably the card catalog of the Carnegie Library” might offend some community's standards and not others, 521 U. S., at 878. In fact, our own division on that question provides further evidence of the range of attitudes about such material. See, e.g., id., at 896 (O'Connor, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part). Moreover, amici for respondents describe studies showing substantial variation among communities in their attitudes toward works involving homosexuality, masturbation, and nudity.7
Even if most, if not all, of these works would be excluded from COPA's coverage by the serious value prong, they illustrate the diversity of public opinion on the underlying themes depicted. This diversity of views surely extends to whether materials with the same themes, that do not have serious value for minors, appeal to their prurient interests and are patently offensive. There is no reason to think the differences between communities' standards will disappear once the image or description is no longer within the context of a work that has serious value for minors.8 Because communities differ widely in their attitudes toward sex, particularly when minors are concerned, the Court of Appeals was correct to conclude that, regardless of how COPA's other provisions are construed, applying community standards to the Internet will restrict a substantial amount of protected speech that would not be considered harmful to minors in many communities.
Whether that consequence is appropriate depends, of course, on the content of the message. The kind of hard-core pornography involved in Hamling, which I assume would be obscene under any community's standard, does not belong on the Internet. Perhaps “teasers” that serve no function except to invite viewers to examine hardcore materials, or the hidden terms written into a Web site's “metatags” in order to dupe unwitting Web surfers into visiting pornographic sites, deserve the same fate. But COPA extends to a wide range of prurient appeals in advertisements, online magazines, Web-based bulletin boards and chat rooms, stock photo galleries, Web diaries, and a variety of illustrations encompassing a vast number of messages that are unobjectionable in most of the country and yet provide no “serious value” for minors. It is quite wrong to allow the standards of a minority consisting of the least tolerant communities to regulate access to relatively harmless messages in this burgeoning market.
In the context of most other media, using community standards to differentiate between permissible and impermissible speech has two virtues. As mentioned above, community standards originally served as a shield to protect speakers from the least tolerant members of society. By aggregating values at the community level, the Miller test eliminated the outliers at both ends of the spectrum and provided some predictability as to what constitutes obscene speech. But community standards also serve as a shield to protect audience members, by allowing people to self-sort based on their preferences. Those who abhor and those who tolerate sexually explicit speech can seek out like-minded people and settle in communities that share their views on what is acceptable for themselves and their children. This sorting mechanism, however, does not exist in cyberspace; the audience cannot self-segregate. As a result, in the context of the Internet this shield also becomes a sword, because the community that wishes to live without certain material not only rids itself, but the entire Internet of the offending speech.
In sum, I would affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals and therefore respectfully dissent.
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