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COLUMN NINETY-FOUR, JULY 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)

FROM PORTSIDE
Portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a
news, discussion and debate service of the Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. It
says it aims to provide varied material of interest to people
on the Left. Heretofore , we were  under the impression that Portside  is the Internet's voice of the Left.  But it turns out to be the Internet's voice of the fundamentalist Far-Left, which, like all fundamentalist organizations, adheres to an orthodoxy and consequently refuses to post dissident or differing opinions from within the Left---such as HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT BUT LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, available to be read in SECTION ONE of COLUMN SEVENTY.  Fundamentalists, like fascists, will not tolerate any disagreements or variations from the fundamentalist orthodoxy.

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BRIEFS

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THE GOVERNOR WHO DISENFRANCHISED THOUSANDS NOW CLAIMS TO SPEAK FOR A WOMAN WHO CAN'T TALK

Subject: Jeb Bush -- zealous guardian of (fetal) rights
Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 00:33:53 -0400
From: portsideMod@netscape.net
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Irony and Personhood in Florida

By Ellen Goodman
Saturday, May 24, 2003; Page A31

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33405-2003May23.html 

BOSTON -- It's too bad she can't understand irony. What else would a 22-year-old make of the state of Florida's sudden interest in her? What else would she make of Florida's belated desire to stand guard over her body?

J.D.S., as she is known, was abandoned into the arms of the state before she was 3. When she turned 18 without in any way becoming an adult, the state failed to provide a guardian. When she was 22, the caregivers in the state-licensed group home failed to protect her from rape.

Only when the victim was five months pregnant did the entire system, including the governor, suddenly sit up
and take notice.

But J.D.S., who weighs only 88 pounds and suffers from seizures, autism and cerebral palsy, is mentally
retarded to the age of an infant. So she can't understand irony. Indeed, she can't speak. She can't
say who raped her. She can't evaluate the risks of pregnancy.

And she most certainly cannot understand how her body was transformed into a symbol, a linguistics test, by
opponents of abortion.

One thing is universally agreed upon. This pregnant rape victim needs someone else to oversee medical care,
to make decisions about her health, the health of the fetus, even to collect DNA evidence for the crime.

When the state originally asked for a guardian, there was no talk about an abortion. Nevertheless, the
governor, First Brother Jeb Bush, personally intervened to ask that a second and separate guardian be appointed for the fetus.

Now, maybe if you were Jeb Bush, you too would prefer to have the focus on a fetus. Florida's Department of
Children and Families, where J.D.S. languished, is a service so scandal-ridden that it "lost" hundreds of
children in the system, including a Miami girl missing for 15 months before department officials knew she was
gone.

But this was also a preemptive strike, a political pro-life ploy to give the "unborn" the same legal status as
the born. Bush's move is part of a well-calibrated attempt to legally define a fetus as an "unborn child"
and define a fertilized egg as a "person."

As an ally and antiabortion activist, Brian Fahling of the American Family Association said approvingly,
"Something has to be said, finally, about who occupies the womb." Well, something is being said. And not just
in Florida. 

We're witnessing a linguistic coup through laws and regulations designed to separate the woman from her
womb and, of course, from her right to decide.

Last year the other Bush administration, run by brother George, began allowing states to extend health care
coverage directly to the "unborn child." The regulations talk about enrolling fetuses in the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as if pregnant women were just minivans delivering them to the doctor.

This year, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is back before Congress, renamed for the horrendous murder of Laci Peterson, eight months pregnant with the son she planned to call Conner. Well, there's not a soul who
doesn't recoil from the special horror of violence against a pregnant woman. Many states have feticide laws that coexist with abortion laws. Others have laws, such as "Jenny's Law" in Connecticut, that add huge penalties for an assault on a woman that results in the loss of her pregnancy.

But the sponsors of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act have deliberately chosen a way to challenge law and
language. This bill would create a new class of federal crimes dealing with an assault on an "unborn child" --
fetus or fertilized egg -- as a separate "person." 

Language is not trivial. In 1989 the Florida Supreme Court ruled that fetuses can't have guardians because
they aren't legally people. This is the precedent that Jeb Bush is challenging.

If an "unborn child" carries the same legal weight as a woman, so much for abortion rights. If someone can be
convicted of murdering an "unborn child," how long before a doctor can be so accused, or a woman? If there
are two guardians arguing over health -- one for the rape victim, one for the fetus -- who wins? Can every
fetus have a guardian?

In a final irony, the state that failed this profoundly disabled woman in so many ways has failed her again. A
judge postponed the decision to appoint any guardian until June 2, past the point of pregnancy that may
effectively preclude any abortion option.

J.D.S. suddenly, briefly, cynically became the center of attention. Not as a woman but as a womb. We know
little about her health, less about her fetus's health. She was lost in a battle of words, a fight over language as biased as the label "pro-life." She now returns to her normal status: neglect.

(c) 2003 The Washington Post Company

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YOU CAN'T JOIN THE BILDERBERG CLUB

Subject: The Bilderberg Meeting in Versailles
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 01:06:20 -0400
From: portsideMod@netscape.net
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The masters of the universe

May 22, 2003 
THE ROVING EYE 
By Pepe Escobar

It may be instructive to learn what US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the "Prince of Darkness"
Richard Perle were doing last weekend. From May 15 to 18 they were guests at the Trianon Palace Hotel, close to the spectacular Versailles palace near Paris, for the annual meeting of the Bilderberg club.

Depending on the ideological prism applied, the Bilderberg club may be considered an ultra-VIP international lobby of the power elite of Europe and America, capable of steering international policy from behind closed doors; a harmless "discussion group" of politicians, academics and business tycoons; or a capitalist secret society operating entirely through self interest and plotting world domination.

The Bilderberg club is regarded by many financial and business elites as the high chamber of the high priests of capitalism. You can't apply for membership of such a club. Each year, a mysterious "steering committee" devises a selected invitation list with a maximum 100 names. The location of their annual meeting is not exactly secret: they even have a headquarters in Leiden, in the Netherlands. But the meetings are shrouded in the utmost secrecy. Participants and guests rarely reveal that they are attending. Their security is managed by military intelligence. But what is the secretive group really up to? Well, they talk. They lobby. They try to
magnify their already immense political clout, on both sides of the Atlantic. And everybody pledges absolute
secrecy on what has been discussed.

The Bilderberg mingles central bankers, defense experts, press barons, government ministers, prime ministers, royalty, international financiers and political leaders from Europe and America. Guests this year, along with Rumsfeld and Perle (US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is also a member) included banker David Rockefeller, as well as various members of the Rockefeller family, Henry Kissinger, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos of Spain, and high officials of assorted governments. The Bilderberg does not invite - or accept - Asians, Middle Easterners, Latin Americans or Africans.

Some of the Western world's leading financiers and foreign policy strategists attend Bilderberg, in their view, to polish and reinforce a virtual consensus, an illusion that globalization, defined under their terms - what's good for banking and big business is good for everybody else - is inevitable and for the greater good of mankind. If they have a hidden agenda, it is the fact that their fabulous concentration of wealth and power is completely dissociated from the explanation to their guests of how globalization benefits 6.2 billion people.

Some of the club's earlier guests went on to become crucial players. Bill Clinton in 1991 and Tony Blair in 1993 were invited and duly "approved" by the Bilderberg before they took office. There are innumerable shady, still unexplained connections between the early Bilderberg club and the Nazis, via Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the father of Queen Beatrix, who founded the club in Bilderberg in 1954 (the name is taken from a Dutch hotel), aiming to "increase understanding between Europe and North America".

Bernhard was a member of Adolf Hitler's SS. One of the founding members of the Bilderberg is Otto Wolff von Amerongen - who actively improved business links between Germany and the Soviet bloc and served on 26 boards of directors, including Deutsche Bank. Few people know him - and perhaps for some good reason: he has been linked to the Nazi's theft of Jewish holdings before and during World War II.  ##

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DEMOCRACY BRANDED FREE WORLD'S WHORE

Subject: Roy - Democracy
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 21:37:44 -0400
From: portsideMod@netscape.net
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Published on Sunday, May 18, 2003 by Agence France Presse
Democracy is the Free World's Whore, says Arundhati Roy

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0518-03.htm 

NEW DELHI -- Acclaimed author Arundhati Roy has blasted the US-led war in Iraq and branded democracy as "the Free World's whore" in a blistering article in a leading Indian magazine.

Roy, who makes the cover of the latest edition of Outlook magazine published this weekend, is well known as a social activist and critic of the United States and globalization.

Her article, a reprint of a speech she made in New York on May 13 at the Center for Economic and Social Rights, brands the US as the "American Empire" where "facts don't matter."

"Apart from the invented links between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, we had the manufactured frenzy about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," she said.

"We once again witnessed the paranoia that a starved, bombed besieged country was about to annihilate almighty America...

"The war against Iraq has been fought and won and no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Not even a little one. Perhaps they'll have to be planted before they're discovered."

Roy, who won the Booker Prize for "The God of Small Things" which has sold more than six million copies in over 40 languages, criticized US President George W. Bush and other leaders for not listening to public opinion against the war.

"Democracy, the modern world's holy cow, is in crisis... every kind of outrage is being committed in the name of democracy. It has become little more than a hollow word, a pretty shell, emptied of all content or meaning," she said.  

"Democracy is the Free World's whore, willing to dress up, dress down, willing to satisfy a whole range of tastes, available to be used and abused at will."

Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market means they are on sale to the highest bidder, she said.  ##

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