Monday, November 15, 2010

FETAL TISSUE TRANSPLANTATION -- Professional and ethical essays


Fetal tissues have important characteristics that make them more useful and superior to mature cells and in addition, tissues of fetal cadavers can be used instead of raising and killing innocent animals for tissues. Acquired from the abortion clinics, fetal cadavers are used in fetal biomedical research. The biotechnological researchers like Patricia Schrock states that there are numerous properties that make fetal tissues superior to adult tissues when used in transplantation. First, fetal cells are capable of proliferating faster and more often than mature, fully differentiated cells. This capacity is particularly important for application to disease of the brain, because adult brain cells essentially lose their ability to regenerate. Second, fetal cells lack most of the cell-surface markers that trigger immune responses in transplant recipients. Thus, the chances of graft rejection are greatly reduced. Third, fetal tissues can survive at lower oxygen levels than mature cells, making them more resistant to the ischemic (decrease in blood supply) conditions found during transplantation or in vitro situations.

The innocent lives of animals are spared by using fetal tissues from aborted babies. Animal activists agree that instead of using live animals to obtain tissues for medical research it is the right ethical decision to use “already dead” fetuses. These unique characteristics of the fetal tissues have led to fetal tissue transplant (FTT) experiments for the treatment of several diseases that were once thought to be irreversible or incurable. Fetal tissue transplant is not a Justice issue of killing a human being to save another is unfair. Moreover, FTT is not a Rights issue of harming a human being is always wrong. The fetal tissue is taken from the abortion clinics where the fetus is already dead.

FARM SUBSIDIES -- Click here for information on government bailout of agribusiness

EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION -- Click here for a synopsis of scientific research

Do some people have ESP? For my synopsis of what psychological science has to say, please click here (PDF document).

Evolution --- What is the evidence for evolution?


Lines of evidence: The science of evolution
The theory of evolution is broadly accepted by scientists — and for good reason! Learn about the diverse and numerous lines of evidence that support the theory of evolution.
15 evolutionary gems
This succinct briefing describes 15 examples drawn from recent research that demonstrate evolutionary theory’s power to explain natural phenomena, along with some of their supporting lines of evidence--from whale fossils to the latest in genetics.
This resource is available from Nature magazine.

Darwin's "extreme" imperfection?
Darwin used the words "extreme imperfection" to describe the gappy nature of the fossil record - but is this really such a problem? This article delves into the topic of transitional fossils and explores what we have learned about them since Darwin's time.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Webcast: Fossils, genes, and embryos
In lecture three of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley examines the original objections to Darwin's theory and shows how modern evidence supports the theory.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

Evo in the news: What has the head of a crocodile and the gills of a fish?
This news brief, from May 2006, reviews what is likely to be the most important fossil find of the year: Tiktaalik helps us understand how our own ancestors crawled out of the water and began to walk on dry land.

A closer look at a classic ring species: The work of Tom Devitt
The Ensatina salamander has been extensively investigated because it is a ring species — a species that demonstrates how geography and the gradual accumulation of genetic differences factor into the process of speciation. Biologist Tom Devitt continues the more than 50 years of Ensatina research by applying new genetic techniques and asking new questions about this classic evolutionary example.

Clair Patterson: Radiometric dating
Clair Patterson used radiometric dating to provide evidence that Earth (and the life on it) is ancient.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

Wallace and Wegener: Biogeography
Alfred Russel Wallace's studies of species ranges and Alfred Wegener's conception of continental drift provide compelling evidence that much of a species’ present distribution can be explained by its evolutionary history.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

EUGENICS -- The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics
By Edwin Black
Mr. Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust and the just released War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, from which the following article is drawn.

Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called "Master Race."

But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little known, role in the American eugenics movement's campaign for ethnic cleansing.

Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in "colonies," and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.

California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement. During the Twentieth Century's first decades, California's eugenicists included potent but little known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate and Polytechnic benefactor Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles M. Goethe, as well as members of the California State Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.

Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America's most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stamford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims.

Stanford president David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle "Blood of a Nation," in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.

In 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation's social service agencies and associations.

The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, trumped up confinement or forced sterilization.

The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

Much of the spiritual guidance and political agitation for the American eugenics movement came from California's quasi-autonomous eugenic societies, such as the Pasadena-based Human Betterment Foundation and the California branch of the American Eugenics Society, which coordinated much of their activity with the Eugenics Research Society in Long Island. These organizations--which functioned as part of a closely-knit network--published racist eugenic newsletters and pseudoscientific journals, such as Eugenical News and Eugenics, and propagandized for the Nazis.

Eugenics was born as a scientific curiosity in the Victorian age. In 1863, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if talented people only married other talented people, the result would be measurably better offspring. At the turn of the last century, Galton's ideas were imported into the United States just as Gregor Mendel's principles of heredity were rediscovered. American eugenic advocates believed with religious fervor that the same Mendelian concepts determining the color and size of peas, corn and cattle also governed the social and intellectual character of man.

In an America demographically reeling from immigration upheaval and torn by post-Reconstruction chaos, race conflict was everywhere in the early twentieth century. Elitists, utopians and so-called "progressives" fused their smoldering race fears and class bias with their desire to make a better world. They reinvented Galton's eugenics into a repressive and racist ideology. The intent: populate the earth with vastly more of their own socio-economic and biological kind--and less or none of everyone else.

The superior species the eugenics movement sought was populated not merely by tall, strong, talented people. Eugenicists craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. This group alone, they believed, was fit to inherit the earth. In the process, the movement intended to subtract emancipated Negroes, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark-haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the gentrified genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists.

How? By identifying so-called "defective" family trees and subjecting them to lifelong segregation and sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines. The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior--the so-called "unfit." The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population at a sweep, until none were left except themselves.

Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 "Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder's Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population." Point eight was euthanasia.

The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in America was a "lethal chamber" or public locally operated gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe, the Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the widely used textbook, Applied Eugenics, which argued, "From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution… Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated." Applied Eugenics also devoted a chapter to "Lethal Selection," which operated "through the destruction of the individual by some adverse feature of the environment, such as excessive cold, or bacteria, or by bodily deficiency."

Eugenic breeders believed American society was not ready to implement an organized lethal solution. But many mental institutions and doctors practiced improvised medical lethality and passive euthanasia on their own. One institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk from tubercular cows believing a eugenically strong individual would be immune. Thirty to forty percent annual death rates resulted at Lincoln. Some doctors practiced passive eugenicide one newborn infant at a time. Others doctors at mental institutions engaged in lethal neglect.

Nonetheless, with eugenicide marginalized, the main solution for eugenicists was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as more marriage restrictions. California led the nation, performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process. In its first twenty-five years of eugenic legislation, California sterilized 9,782 individuals, mostly women. Many were classified as "bad girls," diagnosed as "passionate," "oversexed" or "sexually wayward." At Sonoma, some women were sterilized because of what was deemed an abnormally large clitoris or labia.

In 1933 alone, at least 1,278 coercive sterilizations were performed, 700 of which were on women. The state's two leading sterilization mills in 1933 were Sonoma State Home with 388 operations and Patton State Hospital with 363 operations. Other sterilization centers included Agnews, Mendocino, Napa, Norwalk, Stockton and Pacific Colony state hospitals.

Even the United States Supreme Court endorsed aspects of eugenics. In its infamous 1927 decision, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough." This decision opened the floodgates for thousands to be coercively sterilized or otherwise persecuted as subhuman. Years later, the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials quoted Holmes's words in their own defense.

Only after eugenics became entrenched in the United States was the campaign transplanted into Germany, in no small measure through the efforts of California eugenicists, who published booklets idealizing sterilization and circulated them to German official and scientists.

Hitler studied American eugenics laws. He tried to legitimize his anti-Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in the more palatable pseudoscientific facade of eugenics. Hitler was able to recruit more followers among reasonable Germans by claiming that science was on his side. While Hitler's race hatred sprung from his own mind, the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 were made in America.

During the '20s, Carnegie Institution eugenic scientists cultivated deep personal and professional relationships with Germany's fascist eugenicists. In Mein Kampf, published in 1924, Hitler quoted American eugenic ideology and openly displayed a thorough knowledge of American eugenics. "There is today one state," wrote Hitler, "in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States."

Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. "I have studied with great interest," he told a fellow Nazi, "the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock."

Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race his "bible."

Hitler's struggle for a superior race would be a mad crusade for a Master Race. Now, the American term "Nordic" was freely exchanged with "Germanic" or "Aryan." Race science, racial purity and racial dominance became the driving force behind Hitler's Nazism. Nazi eugenics would ultimately dictate who would be persecuted in a Reich-dominated Europe, how people would live, and how they would die. Nazi doctors would become the unseen generals in Hitler's war against the Jews and other Europeans deemed inferior. Doctors would create the science, devise the eugenic formulas, and even hand-select the victims for sterilization, euthanasia and mass extermination.

During the Reich's early years, eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler's plans as the logical fulfillment of their own decades of research and effort. California eugenicists republished Nazi propaganda for American consumption. They also arranged for Nazi scientific exhibits, such as an August 1934 display at the L.A. County Museum, for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

In 1934, as Germany's sterilizations were accelerating beyond 5,000 per month, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe upon returning from Germany ebulliently bragged to a key colleague, "You will be interested to know, that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought.…I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people."

That same year, ten years, after Virginia passed its sterilization act, Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent of Virginia's Western State Hospital, observed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "The Germans are beating us at our own game."

More than just providing the scientific roadmap, America funded Germany's eugenic institutions. By 1926, Rockefeller had donated some $410,000 -- almost $4 million in 21st-Century money -- to hundreds of German researchers. In May 1926, Rockefeller awarded $250,000 to the German Psychiatric Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, later to become the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry. Among the leading psychiatrists at the German Psychiatric Institute was Ernst Rüdin, who became director and eventually an architect of Hitler's systematic medical repression.

Another in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute's eugenic complex of institutions was the Institute for Brain Research. Since 1915, it had operated out of a single room. Everything changed when Rockefeller money arrived in 1929. A grant of $317,000 allowed the Institute to construct a major building and take center stage in German race biology. The Institute received additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation during the next several years. Leading the Institute, once again, was Hitler's medical henchman Ernst Rüdin. Rüdin's organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.

Beginning in 1940, thousands of Germans taken from old age homes, mental institutions and other custodial facilities were systematically gassed. Between 50,000 and 100,000 were eventually killed.

Leon Whitney, executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society declared of Nazism, "While we were pussy-footing around…the Germans were calling a spade a spade."

A special recipient of Rockefeller funding was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin. For decades, American eugenicists had craved twins to advance their research into heredity. The Institute was now prepared to undertake such research on an unprecedented level. On May 13, 1932, the Rockefeller Foundation in New York dispatched a radiogram to its Paris office: JUNE MEETING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER THREE YEAR PERIOD TO KWG INSTITUTE ANTHROPOLOGY FOR RESEARCH ON TWINS AND EFFECTS ON LATER GENERATIONS OF SUBSTANCES TOXIC FOR GERM PLASM.

At the time of Rockefeller's endowment, Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a hero in American eugenics circles, functioned as a head of the Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. Rockefeller funding of that Institute continued both directly and through other research conduits during Verschuer's early tenure. In 1935, Verschuer left the Institute to form a rival eugenics facility in Frankfurt that was much heralded in the American eugenic press. Research on twins in the Third Reich exploded, backed up by government decrees. Verschuer wrote in Der Erbarzt, a eugenic doctor's journal he edited, that Germany's war would yield a "total solution to the Jewish problem."

Verschuer had a long-time assistant. His name was Josef Mengele. On May 30, 1943, Mengele arrived at Auschwitz. Verschuer notified the German Research Society, "My assistant, Dr. Josef Mengele (M.D., Ph.D.) joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as Hauptsturmführer [captain] and camp physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Anthropological testing of the most diverse racial groups in this concentration camp is being carried out with permission of the SS Reichsführer [Himmler]."

Mengele began searching the boxcar arrivals for twins. When he found them, he performed beastly experiments, scrupulously wrote up the reports and sent the paperwork back to Verschuer's institute for evaluation. Often, cadavers, eyes and other body parts were also dispatched to Berlin's eugenic institutes.

Rockefeller executives never knew of Mengele. With few exceptions, the foundation had ceased all eugenic studies in Nazi-occupied Europe before the war erupted in 1939. But by that time the die had been cast. The talented men Rockefeller and Carnegie financed, the institutions they helped found, and the science it helped create took on a scientific momentum of their own.

After the war, eugenics was declared a crime against humanity--an act of genocide. Germans were tried and they cited the California statutes in their defense. To no avail. They were found guilty.

However, Mengele's boss Verschuer escaped prosecution. Verschuer re-established his connections with California eugenicists who had gone underground and renamed their crusade "human genetics." Typical was an exchange July 25, 1946 when Popenoe wrote Verschuer, "It was indeed a pleasure to hear from you again. I have been very anxious about my colleagues in Germany…. I suppose sterilization has been discontinued in Germany?" Popenoe offered tidbits about various American eugenic luminaries and then sent various eugenic publications. In a separate package, Popenoe sent some cocoa, coffee and other goodies.

Verschuer wrote back, "Your very friendly letter of 7/25 gave me a great deal of pleasure and you have my heartfelt thanks for it. The letter builds another bridge between your and my scientific work; I hope that this bridge will never again collapse but rather make possible valuable mutual enrichment and stimulation."

Soon, Verschuer once again became a respected scientist in Germany and around the world. In 1949, he became a corresponding member of the newly formed American Society of Human Genetics, organized by American eugenicists and geneticists.

In the fall of 1950, the University of Münster offered Verschuer a position at its new Institute of Human Genetics, where he later became a dean. In the early and mid-1950s, Verschuer became an honorary member of numerous prestigious societies, including the Italian Society of Genetics, the Anthropological Society of Vienna, and the Japanese Society for Human Genetics.

Human genetics' genocidal roots in eugenics were ignored by a victorious generation that refused to link itself to the crimes of Nazism and by succeeding generations that never knew the truth of the years leading up to war. Now governors of five states, including California have issued public apologies to their citizens, past and present, for sterilization and other abuses spawned by the eugenics movement.

Human genetics became an enlightened endeavor in the late twentieth century. Hard-working, devoted scientists finally cracked the human code through the Human Genome Project. Now, every individual can be biologically identified and classified by trait and ancestry. Yet even now, some leading voices in the genetic world are calling for a cleansing of the unwanted among us, and even a master human species.

There is understandable wariness about more ordinary forms of abuse, for example, in denying insurance or employment based on genetic tests. On October 14, America's first genetic anti-discrimination legislation passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Yet because genetics research is global, no single nation's law can stop the threats.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ETHICS, Anti-Theory


A Bibliographical Survey of Selected Introductory Philosophical
Literature on Anti-Theory
Biliographical essays are drawn from Lawrence M. Hinman, Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory, 3rd Edition [Wadsworth, 2002] © 2002

The chapter, "Theories Against Theories: Recent Developments," has been omitted from the third edition of Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach. It is available free of charge on-line here.

Key Essays

One of the key essays to raise doubts about ethical theories as such was G. E. M. Anscombe's "Modern Moral Philosophy," originally published in 1958 and reprinted in her Ethics, Religion and Politics. In the next two years, Philippa Foot's "Moral Arguments" (1958) and "Moral Beliefs" (1959) continued this attack on traditional moral theory; these are reprinted in her Virtues and Vices (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978). More recently, Michael Stocker's "The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories," The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 73 (1976), pp. 453-66 has set the stage for the discussion of this issue, along with Bernard Williams' essays, especially his critique of utilitarianism in Utilitarianism: For and Against (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973); his essay on "Morality and the Emotions" in Problems of the Self (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973); and "Persons, Character, and Morality," "Moral Luck," and "Utilitarianism and Moral Self- Indulgence" in Moral Luck (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Stocker's most recent position on these issues is to be found in his Plural and Conflicting Values (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990); Williams' most recent work is Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985). A rather different perspective on the impossibility of moral theory appears in the eloquent opening chapter of MacIntyre's After Virtue, 2nd edition (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984) as well as his introduction to Revisions, edited by Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983).

Stanley Clarke and Evan Simpson have edited a good anthology of recent work on this topic in Anti-Theory in Ethics and Moral Conservatism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989); it also contains a very good bibliographical essay.

Moral Contextuality
For an account of the ways in which different types of moral theories may be appropriate to different contexts, see Virginia Held, Rights and Goods: Justifying Social Action. (New York: The Free Press, 1984), esp. Chapter 4: "Moral Theory and Moral Experience." Michael Walzer makes a similar suggestion in his Spheres of Justice (New York: Basic Books, 1983). Dorothy Emmet sketches out an account of the perspectival character of moral theories in The Moral Prism (New York: St. Martin's, 1979). Stephen Toulmin's The Place of Reason in Ethics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986) argues against the universality of ethical principles and in favor of the case-by-case approach to moral problems that characterized the casuistical tradition.

Moral Theory and Moral Experience
For discussions of some general issues about the relation between moral theory and moral experience, which has come under intensive scrutiny in recent years, see, especially Edmund Pincoffs, "Quandary Ethics," Revisions, pp. 92-112, and his Quandaries and Virtues: Against Reductivism in Ethics (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1986), esp. Part I; Cora Diamond, "Anything but Argument?", Philosophical Investigations , Vol. 5 (January, 1982), 23-41; Annette Baier, "Theory and Reflective Practices," and "Doing Without Moral Theory," Postures of the Mind (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1985), pp. 207-45; J. B. Schneewind, "Moral Knowledge and Moral Principles," Revisions, edited by Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), pp. 113-26; Amélie Oksenberg Rorty, Mind in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of Mind (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988) esp. Chap. 14, "Three Myths of Moral Theory." For a strong defense of moral theory in light of such criticisms, see Robert B. Louden, Morality and Moral Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

The importance of moral vision is stressed by Iris Murdoch, "The Idea of Perfection," The Sovereignty of Good (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970), esp. pp. 17 ff.; also see Murdoch's "Vision and Choice in Morality," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume XXX (1956), pp. 32-58. Among those deeply influenced by Murdoch, see especially the work of Lawrence Blum, including his "Iris Murdoch and the Domain of the Moral" Philosophical Studies, Vol. 50 (1986), pp. 343-67 and his "Moral Perception and Particularity." Working from a quite different background, Michael DePaul also makes a persuasive case for the role of perception in the moral life in his "Argument and Perception," The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 85, No. 10 (1988), pp. 552-65. This is also an important theme in the work of John Kekes; see especially Chapter Nine of his The Examined Life (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1988), and his "Moral Imagination, Freedom, and the Humanities," American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 2 (April, 1991), pp. 101- 11. One of the major issues in the discussion of the nature of moral vision is that of moral realism; for an introductory discussion of the questions surrounding this issue, see David McNaughton's Moral Vision (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988).

The Notion of a Moral Agent
For illuminating comments on the general "thinness" of modern conceptions of the moral agent, see Alasdair MacIntyre, "How Moral Agents Became Ghosts," Synthese, Vol. 53 (1982), pp. 295-312.

Impartiality and Particularity

The issue of impartiality and particularity has received a lot of attention of late. As usual, much of it begins with the work of Bernard Williams; see especially his "Persons, Character, and Morality." Most recently, the Symposium on Impartiality and Ethical Theory in Ethics, Vol. 101, No 4 (July, 1991) includes excellent essays by Lawrence Blum on "Moral Perception and Particularity," by Adrian Piper on impartiality and compassion, by Marcia Baron on "Impartiality and Friendship," and by Marilynn Friedman on "The Practice of Partiality," which provides a helpful refinement of our notion of partiality itself; Barbara Herman provides a subtle and tightly-woven defense of Kantian impartiality. In addition to Herman, some of the most able defenders of impartiality include Stephen Darwall, whose Impartial Reason (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983) is one of the best articulations of a Kantian view of moral reasoning; Derek Parfit, who argues in Reasons and Persons (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984) that ethics should be more impersonal; and, most recently, Shelly Kagan's The Limits of Morality (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) offers a penetrating discussion of this issue. Robert Adams provides an excellent discussion of the issues surrounding Parfit's claims about impersonality in his review, "Should Ethics Be More Impersonal?" Philosophical Review, Vol. 98, No. 4 (October, 1989), pp. 439-84. Also see the work of Thomas Nagel, especially his The View from Nowhere (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) and Equality and Partiality (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).

The emphasis on impartiality has led to a neglect of some traditional virtues. Loyality is one of the most interesting of these. On this issue, see Philip Pettit's The Paradox of Loyalty," American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2 (April, 1988), pp. 163-71, and especially George P. Fletcher, Loyalty: An Essay on the Morality of Relationships (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

Ethics and Literature
On the relationship between ethics and literature, see especially the following two symposia: "Symposium on Morality and Literature" in Ethics, Vol. 98, No. 2 (January, 1988); "Literature and/as Moral Philosophy" in New Literary History, Vol. XV, No. 1 (Autumn, 1983); on the moral power of stories, also see Robert Coles, The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989); also see the wonderfully rich analyses in Martha Craven Nussbaum's The Fragility of Goodness (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) and the conceptual framework elaborated by Richard Wollheim in his The Thread of Life (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984). Wayne C. Booth's The Company We Keep. An Ethics of Fiction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988) offers an exceptionally insightful discussion of the rhetoric of moral theories. Richard Eldridge traces the unfolding of Kantian moral themes in Conrad, Wordworth, Coleridge, and Jane Austen in his On Moral Personhood. Philosophy, Literature, Criticism, and Self-Understanding (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989).

Emotions and Morality
Several philosophers have discussed the issue of the place of the emotions in the moral life. Bernard Williams's "Morality and the Emotions," Problems of the Self (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), pp. 207-29 is an excellent starting-point. I have dealt with this issue in more depth in relation to Kant in "On the Purity of Our Moral Motives," The Monist, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April, 1983), pp. 251-67, as has Nancy Sherman more recently in "The Place of Emotions in Kantian Morality" in Identity, Character, and Morality, edited by Owen Flanagan and Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (Cambridge: MIT press, 1990), pp. 149-71. Justin Oakley's Morality and the Emotions (London: Routledge, 1992) offers a strong defense of the positive role that the emotions play in the moral life. Among recent works that stress the cognitive dimension of emotions, see especially Ronald de Sousa, The Rationality of Emotion (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1987); Patricia S. Greenspan, Emotions and Reasons: An Inquiry into Emotional Justification (New York: Routledge, 1988); Jerome Neu, Emotion, Thought and Therapy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977); Gabriele Taylor, Pride, Guilt and Shame: Emotions of Self-Assessment (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985); and Martha Craven Nussbaum's forthcoming The Therapy of Desire. In Wise Choices, Apt Feelings (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), Alan Gibbard articulates a theory of normative judgment in which emotions play a highly significant role.

Moral Saints
The literature on moral saints is growing quickly. In addition to Susan Wolf's "Moral Saints" The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 79, No. 8 (August, 1982), pp. 419-39 and Robert Adams' rejoinder, "Saints," The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 81, No. 7 (July, 1984), pp. 392-401, see Pincoffs' "A Defense of Perfectionism" and "Ideals of Virtue and Moral Obligation: Gandhi," both of which are in his Quandaries and Virtues (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1986) and Robert Louden's "Can We Be Too Moral?" Ethics, Vol. 98 (1988), pp. 361-78. For an excellent analysis of the issue of moral perfectibility in political theory, see Virginia Lewis Muller's The Idea of Perfectibility (Latham: University Press of America, 1985). Two recent philosophical works direct themselves to issues about the relationship between moral goodness and individuality: Owen Flanagan's Varieties of Moral Personality (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991) and John Kekes' Facing Evil (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990). Both Edith Wyschogrod's Saints and Postmodernism: Revisioning Moral Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990) and Robert Inchausti's The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991) contain detailed discussions of specific figures. Lawrence Blum's "Moral Exemplars," Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. XIII (1988), pp. 196-221 contains excellent discussions of specific figures, including Schindler, and a penetrating consideration of the question of flawed exemplars. For an excellent biography of Oscar Schindler's life, see Thomas Keneally Schindler's List. (New York, 1983).

Metaphors of Discourse
Comparatively little work has been done on metaphors of discourse. See the excellent discussion of argument as war in George Lackoff and Mark Johnson's Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981) and the discussion by Janice Moulton of "A Paradigm for Philosophy: The Adversary Method" and her "Duelism in Philosophy;" Maryann Ayim's "Violence and Domination as Metaphors in Academic Discourse;" and Susan Peterson's "Are You Teaching Philosophy, or Playing the Dozens?" (unpublished essay)in Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, edited by Sandra Harding and Merrill B. Hintikka (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1983), pp. 149-64.

The importance of dialogue is emphasized by Hans-Georg Gadamer in his Truth and Method (New York: Seabury, 1975); the idea of conversation, and the conditions necessary for genuine conversations, is developed by Jurgen Habermas, especially in his Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990) and in his exchanges with Gadamer. Some helpful essays on this theme are gathered together in Michael Kelly's anthology Hermeneutics and Critical Theory in Ethics and Politics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990). For a well-argued defense of dialogue that is couched in the language of contemporary Anglo- American philosophy, see Bruce Ackerman, "Why Dialogue?" The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 86, No. 1 (January, 1989), pp. 5-22

History behind the Equal Rights Amendment

The History Behind the Equal Rights Amendment

by Roberta W. Francis,
Chair, ERA Task Force
National Council of Women's Organizations


Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

As supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment between 1972 and 1982 lobbied, marched, rallied, petitioned, picketed, went on hunger strikes, and committed acts of civil disobedience, it is probable that many of them were not aware of their place in the long historical continuum of women’s struggle for constitutional equality in the United States. From the very beginning, the inequality of men and women under the Constitution has been an issue for advocacy.

In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John, "In the new code of laws, remember the ladies and do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands."1 John Adams replied, "I cannot but laugh. Depend upon it, we know better than to repeal our masculine systems."2

The new Constitution’s promised rights were fully enjoyed only by certain white males. Women were treated according to social tradition and English common law and were denied most legal rights. In general they could not vote, own property, keep their own wages, or even have custody of their children.

19th-Century Women’s Rights Struggles

The first visible public demand for equality came in 1848, at the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, who had met as abolitionists working against slavery, convened a two-day meeting of 300 women and men to call for justice for women in a society where they were systematically barred from the rights and privileges of citizens. A Declaration of Sentiments and eleven other resolutions were adopted with ease, but the proposal for woman suffrage was passed only after impassioned speeches by Stanton and former slave Frederick Douglass, who called the vote the right by which all others could be secured. However, the country was far from ready to take the issue of women’s rights seriously, and the call for justice was the object of much ridicule.

After the Civil War, Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth fought in vain to have women included in new constitutional amendments giving rights to former slaves. The 14th Amendment defined citizens as "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" and guaranteed equal protection of the laws – but in referring to the electorate, it introduced the word "male" into the Constitution for the first time. The 15th Amendment declared that "the right of citizens . . . to vote shall not be denied or abridged . . . on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude" – but women of all races were still denied the ballot.

To Susan B. Anthony, the rejection of women’s claim to the vote was unacceptable. In 1872, she went to the polls in Rochester, NY, and cast a ballot in the presidential election, citing her citizenship under the 14th Amendment. She was arrested, tried, convicted, and fined $100, which she refused to pay. In 1875, the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett said that while women may be citizens, all citizens were not necessarily voters, and states were not required to allow women to vote.

Until the end of their long lives, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony campaigned for a constitutional amendment affirming that women had the right to vote, but they died in the first decade of the 20th century without ever casting a legal ballot.

Victory for Woman Suffrage

The new century saw a profound change in the lives of women, as they joined the workforce in increasing numbers, led the movement for progressive social reform, and finally generated enough mass power to win the vote. Carrie Chapman Catt and the National American Woman Suffrage Association were a mainstream lobbying force of millions at every level of government. Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party were a small, radical group that not only lobbied but conducted marches, political boycotts, picketing of the White House, and civil disobedience. As a result, they were attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and force-fed. But the country’s conscience was stirred, and support for woman suffrage grew.

The 19th Amendment affirming women’s right to vote steamrolled out of Congress in 1919, getting more than half the ratifications it needed in the first year. Then it ran into stiff opposition from states’-rights advocates, the liquor lobby, business interests against higher wages for women, and a number of women themselves, who believed claims that the amendment would threaten the family and require more of them than they felt their sex was capable of.

As the amendment approached the necessary ratification by three-quarters of the states, the threat of rescission surfaced. Finally the battle narrowed down to a six-week seesaw struggle in Tennessee. The fate of the 19th Amendment was decided by a single vote, that of 24-year-old legislator Harry Burn, who switched from "no" to "yes" in response to a letter from his mother saying, "Hurrah, and vote for suffrage!" The Secretary of State in Washington, DC issued the 19th Amendment’s proclamation immediately, before breakfast on August 26, 1920, in order to head off any final obstructionism.3

Thus mainstream and militant suffragists together finally won the first, and still the only, specific written guarantee of women’s equal rights in the Constitution – the 19th Amendment, which declared, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." It had been 72 years from Seneca Falls to victory, and ironically, the most controversial resolution had been written into law first. But many laws and practices in the workplace and in society still perpetuated men’s status as privileged and women’s status as second-class citizens.

The Equal Rights Amendment

Freedom from legal sex discrimination, Alice Paul believed, required an Equal Rights Amendment that affirmed the equal application of the Constitution to all citizens. In 1923, in Seneca Falls for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Woman’s Rights Convention, she introduced the "Lucretia Mott Amendment," which read: "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction." The amendment was introduced in every session of Congress until it passed in reworded form in 1972.

Although the National Woman’s Party and professional women such as Amelia Earhart supported the amendment, reformers who had worked for protective labor laws that treated women differently from men were afraid that the ERA would wipe out the progress they had made.

In the early 1940s, the Republican Party and then the Democratic Party added support of the Equal Rights Amendment to their platforms. Alice Paul rewrote the ERA in 1943 to what is now called the "Alice Paul Amendment," reflecting the 15th and the 19th Amendments: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." But the labor movement was still committed to protective workplace laws, and social conservatives considered equal rights for women a threat to the existing power structure.

In the 1960s, over a century after the fight to end slavery fostered the first wave of the women’s rights movement, the civil rights battles of the time provided an impetus for the second wave. Women organized to demand their birthright as citizens and persons, and the Equal Rights Amendment rather than the right to vote became the central symbol of the struggle.

Finally, organized labor and an increasingly large number of mainstream groups joined the call for the ERA, and politicians reacted to the power of organized women’s voices in a way they had not done since the battle for the vote.

The Equal Rights Amendment passed the U.S. Senate and then the House of Representatives, and on March 22, 1972, the proposed 27th Amendment to the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification. But as it had done for every amendment since the 18th (Prohibition), with the exception of the 19th Amendment, Congress placed a seven-year deadline on the ratification process. This time limit was placed not in the words of the ERA itself, but in the proposing clause.

Like the 19th Amendment before it, the ERA barreled out of Congress, getting 22 of the necessary 38 state ratifications in the first year. But the pace slowed as opposition began to organize – only eight ratifications in 1973, three in 1974, one in 1975, and none in 1976.

Arguments by ERA opponents such as Phyllis Schlafly, right-wing leader of the Eagle Forum/STOP ERA, played on the same fears that had generated female opposition to woman suffrage. Anti-ERA organizers claimed that the ERA would deny woman’s right to be supported by her husband, privacy rights would be overturned, women would be sent into combat, and abortion rights and homosexual marriages would be upheld. Opponents surfaced from other traditional sectors as well. States’-rights advocates said the ERA was a federal power grab, and business interests such as the insurance industry opposed a measure they believed would cost them money. Opposition to the ERA was also organized by fundamentalist religious groups.

Pro-ERA advocacy was led by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and ERAmerica, a coalition of nearly 80 other mainstream organizations. However, in 1977, Indiana became the 35th and so far the last state to ratify the ERA. That year also marked the death of Alice Paul, who, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony before her, never saw the Constitution amended to include the equality of rights she had worked for all her life.

Hopes for victory continued to dim as other states postponed consideration or defeated ratification bills. Illinois changed its rules to require a three-fifths majority to ratify an amendment, thereby ensuring that their repeated simple majority votes in favor of the ERA did not count. Other states proposed or passed rescission bills, despite legal precedent that states do not have the power to retract a ratification.

As the 1979 deadline approached, some pro-ERA groups, like the League of Women Voters, wanted to retain the eleventh-hour pressure as a political strategy. But many ERA advocates appealed to Congress for an indefinite extension of the time limit, and in July 1978, NOW coordinated a successful march of 100,000 supporters in Washington, DC. Bowing to public pressure, Congress granted an extension until June 30, 1982.

The political tide continued to turn more conservative. In 1980 the Republican Party removed ERA support from its platform, and Ronald Reagan was elected president. Although pro-ERA activities increased with massive lobbying, petitioning, countdown rallies, walkathons, fundraisers, and even the radical suffragist tactics of hunger strikes, White House picketing, and civil disobedience, ERA did not succeed in getting three more state ratifications before the deadline. The country was still unwilling to guarantee women constitutional rights equal to those of men.

The Equal Rights Amendment was reintroduced in Congress on July 14, 1982 and has been before every session of Congress since that time. In the 110th Congress (2007-2008), it has been introduced as S.J.Res. 10 (lead sponsor: Sen. Edward Kennedy, MA) and H.J.Res. 40 (lead sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, NY). These bills impose no deadline on the ERA ratification process. Success in putting the ERA into the Constitution via this process would require passage by a two-thirds in each house of Congress and ratification by 38 states.

An alternative strategy for ERA ratification has arisen from the "Madison Amendment," concerning changes in Congressional pay, which was passed by Congress in 1789 and finally ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. The acceptance of an amendment after a 203-year ratification period has led some ERA supporters to propose that Congress has the power to maintain the legal viability of the ERA’s existing 35 state ratifications. The legal analysis for this strategy is outlined in "The Equal Rights Amendment: Why the ERA Remains Legally Viable and Properly Before the States," an article by Allison Held, Sheryl Herndon, and Danielle Stager in the Spring 1997 issue of William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law.

Under this rationale, it is likely that Congress could choose to legislatively adjust or repeal the existing time limit constraint on the ERA, determine whether or not state ratifications after the expiration of a time limit in a proposing clause are valid, and promulgate the ERA after the 38th state ratifies.

The Congressional Research Service analyzed this legal argument in 19964 and concluded that acceptance of the Madison Amendment does have implications for the premise that approval of the ERA by three more states could allow Congress to declare ratification accomplished. As of 2007, ratification bills testing this three-state strategy have been introduced in one or more legislative sessions in eight states (Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Virginia), and supporters are seeking to move such bills in all 15 of the unratified states.5

In her remarks as she introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in Seneca Falls in 1923, Alice Paul sounded a call that has great poignancy and significance over 80 years later: "If we keep on this way they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are. . . . If we had not concentrated on the Federal Amendment we should be working today for suffrage. . . . We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government."


1 Letter, March 31, 1776 (in Alice S. Rossi, The Feminist Papers: From Adams to de Beauvoir, New York: Columbia University Press, 1973).

2 Letter, April 14, 1776 (ibid.)

3 Carol Lynn Yellin, "Countdown in Tennessee, 1920," American Heritage (December 1978).

4 David C. Huckabee, "Equal Rights Amendment: Ratification Issues," Memorandum, March 18, 1996 (Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington, DC).

5Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.


House Moves to Protect Nation's Environment
Alphonce Shiundu
11 August 2010


Nairobi — Kenya's Parliament is asking the Government to enact green policies to protect the environment.

The unanimous decision came from the House on Wednesday morning as MPs approved a motion calling on the Government to develop emission standards, curb pollution and combat climate change.

Mr Chachu Ganya (North Horr, ODM) took the climate change battle to the House with a call on the government to put a "clean and secure environment" on the forefront, even as it trudges towards the country's development roadmap, the Kenya Vision 2030.

Mr Ganya said, the development envisioned in the next 20 years was "bound to generate high pollution and accumulation of toxic waste, and greenhouse gases contributing to climate change."

Dr Wilbur Otichillo (Emuhaya, ODM) and assistant minister Lee Kinyanjui backed the motion saying it was time the Government put the push for a "green economy" at the core of the development agenda.

Buoyed by his experience in Europe, Dr Otichillo proposed that the government can also build subways and introduce trams and electric trains as an alternative to the pollution from the exhaust fumes from vehicles.

"If you go to the Netherlands, most people go to work using bicycles. This reduces pollution. But here in Kenya, there's so much carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere due to the huge traffic jams in our city," he said. "The issue of pollution is causing a lot of health problems. Cases of respiratory illnesses are just too many and the main culprit is the transport sector. We have to act now."

Carbon Tax

The MP said the government can also introduce carbon tax so that "those whose vehicles and factories contribute most to pollution" are forced to pay for the dangers they are exposing the country to. He said the city has to be demarcated into "traffic zones" so that it is easier to manage pollution from vehicles. To enforce this, he said, car stickers will be essential.

The management of electronic waste - from computers, mobile phones, TV sets, radios and such -- also surfaced in the debate, with MPs saying it was important to look at how this are disposed of.

Relevant Links
East Africa
Sustainable Development
"We need to introduce a policy whereby people are forced to share cars, to pool cars," Dr Otichillo said. MPs also pushed for solar, biogas and wind energy as alternatives to the diesel and petrol engines used in factories and other manufacturing plants.

Ms Rachel Shebesh (nominated, ODM) said the government had to involve the people in the climate change debate. "So far, the debate has been technical and restricted to boardrooms and conferences. We need to enlighten our citizens," she said. "It is about time that the government clearly spells out the role of each ministry in climate change. The world is going green, there are green economies, we can't expect all data on climate change in one ministry. We need a central command to advise all ministries."

Mr Eugene Wamalwa (Saboti, PNU) said MPs ought to put the government on toes when it comes curbing the importation of old vehicles and nabbing unroadworthy vehicles.


The English Only movement is the organized effort to make English as the official language of the United States, led principally by a powerful right wing organization called U. S. English, whose founder is connected to anti-immigrant and population controlled organizations.

The premise of the movement is that the primacy of English language is endangered as more of more immigrants are moving into the United States who do not speak English and are coddled by bilingual services which have encouraged them not to learn English. The growing move to multilingualism, English Only advocates warned, will lead to disunity and separatism in the United States. The reality is that U.S. English and other English Only organizations are more concerned with the non-European and non-white characteristics of the recent immigrant population. Their xenophobia is shown by the anti-writings of its founders and the fact they are often associated with to anti-immigration organizations.

The goal of the English Only Movement is to make English as the official language of the federal government and the states, banning most interpreter services and limiting bilingual education. U.S. English has succeeded to lobby for the passage of English Only initiatives or legislation in 18 states since its founding in 1983 (There are presently 23 English Only states).


Who is Behind the English Only Movement?

The English Only movement is the organized effort to make English the official language of the United States. It's led principally by a well-funded multi-million dollar right wing organization called U.S. English, which boasts a membership of over 570,000. U. S. English has successfully lobbied for the passage of English Only laws in 18 states (out of 22 total English Only states) since its founding in 1983.

Although U.S. English's propaganda often suggests otherwise, the racism and anti-immigrant philosophies are readily evident when we examine some of U. S. English's roots. Dr. John Tanton, principal founder and architect of U.S. English, is also the founder and former chairman of the anti-immigration organization, FAIR ( Federaton for American Immigration Reform). FAIR is the leading national agency promoting the current wave of legislation and policy restricting immigration and denying benefits for immigrants. FAIR and U.S. English are on a list of anti-immigration and population-control organizations supported by Dr. Tanton's personal non-profit umbrella, U.S. Inc. Other organizations on that list include: the Center for Immigration Studies, Californians for Population Stabilization, and Americans for Border Control.

Dr. Tanton's racist views on immigrants, particularly regarding Latinos, were reflected in a 1986 memo that was leaked out - warning about the specter of an Hispanic take-over of the United States: " ... in a society where the majority rules... Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile... As Whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night?" As the result of the negative publicity related to the memo, Dr. Tanton was forced to resign as Chairman of U. S. English. However, U.S. English's propaganda machine has successfully deflected the Tanton controversy by reinventing some of its history. The late Senator S. I. Hayakawa of California, the former honorary chairman, is now described as the lone founder of U.S. English in all its literature.

Another questionable source of U.S. English's earlier funding was the Pioneer Fund, which supports eugenics research for racial betterment. Pioneer Fund was created in 1937 to support what it called "applied genetics in present day Germany", referring to Hitler's program of forced sterilization. In the 1970's, the Pioneer Fund also financed the research of William Shackle and Arthur Jenson on Blacks and lower IQ's.

The third principal funding source for U.S. English was Mellon heiress Cordelia Scaife May, who poured at least $5.8 to U.S. English, FAIR and other affiliated organization over the 1980's through her Laurel Foundation. May's Laurel Foundation sponsored the publication of The Camp of the Saints, a futuristic novel about the destruction of European civilization by third world immigrants.


Frequently Asked Questions About English-Only

Is the primacy of the English endangered?

Are recent immigrants resistant to learning English?

Would official English laws promote national unity?

Aren't "English Only" laws simply harmless symbolic acts?

1) Is the primacy of the English endangered?

No, the primacy of English is not endangered. It's already the de facto language of the United States. English is the de facto language of the United States. All public business, and most private business, is conducted in English. Foreign businesses who do business successfully in the United States require that their salespeople learn English. What we should support instead is the mastery of a second language or multiple languages. For American business to be competitive in our global market place, knowledge of other languages and cultures is crucial.

2) Are recent immigrants resistant to learning English?

No, newcomers recognize the primacy of English in our society and want to learn English. Over 95% of the people in the United States already speak English and over 85% are native speakers. Immigrants are experiencing a faster shift to English today than there was in prior generations. According to a 1985 Rand Corporation study, 95% of first generation Hispanic immigrants learn English; of their children, 100% speak English, and 50% speak only English. English Only legislation will not provide one penny towards the learning of English and will actually jeopardize the funding of bilingual education programs which help immigrants to learn English. There are thousands of people on waiting lists for English as Second Language classes around the country who want to learn English but cannot because classes are overfilled.

3) Would official English laws promote national unity?

No. Switzerland has three "official" languages and is a model of national unity, while Spain suffered three year bloody civil war when it had one "official" language. Social unity can only exist based on respect for people of different languages and cultures and not the repression of them. Language diversity does not cause social disunity. Similarly, monolingualism does not guarantee social unity.

4) Aren't "English Only" laws simply harmless symbolic acts?

"English Only" laws are not as innocuous as designating a state's official bird, song, or muffin. It is an attempt to limit access to governmental services for newly-arrived residents who may need language assistance in such crucial services as emergency medical help, child health immunization and public health and safety information, elderly and refugee services, employment and training information, etc.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Civil Rights Timeline
Milestones in the modern civil rights movement

by Borgna Brunner and Elissa Haney

1948 1954 1960 1967 1968 1971 1988 1991 2005 2008 2009

1948 July 26
Truman signs Executive Order 9981, which states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."
1954 May 17
The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation's first black justice.
1955 Aug.
Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, are arrested for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. They later boast about committing the murder in a Look magazine interview. The case becomes a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement.
Dec. 1
(Montgomery, Ala.) NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. As newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the boycott.
1957 Jan.–Feb.
Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience. According to King, it is essential that the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hatemongers who oppose them: "We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline," he urges.
Sept. (Little Rock, Ark.) Formerly all-white Central High School learns that integration is easier said than done. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine."
1960 Feb. 1
(Greensboro, N.C.) Four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South. Six months later the original four protesters are served lunch at the same Woolworth's counter. Student sit-ins would be effective throughout the Deep South in integrating parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities.
(Raleigh, N.C.) The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded at Shaw University, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement. The SNCC later grows into a more radical organization, especially under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael (1966–1967).
1961 May 4
Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of "freedom riders," as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), involves more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white.
1962 Oct. 1
James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops.
1963 April 16
Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal "Letter from Birmingham Jail," arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.
During civil rights protests in Birmingham, Ala., Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor uses fire hoses and police dogs on black demonstrators. These images of brutality, which are televised and published widely, are instrumental in gaining sympathy for the civil rights movement around the world.
June 12
(Jackson, Miss.) Mississippi's NAACP field secretary, 37-year-old Medgar Evers, is murdered outside his home. Byron De La Beckwith is tried twice in 1964, both trials resulting in hung juries. Thirty years later he is convicted for murdering Evers.
Aug. 28
(Washington, D.C.) About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
Sept. 15
(Birmingham, Ala.) Four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings. Riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths.
1964 Jan. 23
The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote.
The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a network of civil rights groups that includes CORE and SNCC, launches a massive effort to register black voters during what becomes known as the Freedom Summer. It also sends delegates to the Democratic National Convention to protest—and attempt to unseat—the official all-white Mississippi contingent.
July 2
President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation.
Aug. 4
(Neshoba Country, Miss.) The bodies of three civil-rights workers—two white, one black—are found in an earthen dam, six weeks into a federal investigation backed by President Johnson. James E. Chaney, 21; Andrew Goodman, 21; and Michael Schwerner, 24, had been working to register black voters in Mississippi, and, on June 21, had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arrested by the police on speeding charges, incarcerated for several hours, and then released after dark into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered them.
1965 Feb. 21
(Harlem, N.Y.) Malcolm X, black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is shot to death. It is believed the assailants are members of the Black Muslim faith, which Malcolm had recently abandoned in favor of orthodox Islam.
March 7
(Selma, Ala.) Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident is dubbed "Bloody Sunday" by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later.
Aug. 10
Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal.
Aug. 11–17, 1965
(Watts, Calif.) Race riots erupt in a black section of Los Angeles.
Sept. 24, 1965
Asserting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246, which enforces affirmative action for the first time. It requires government contractors to "take affirmative action" toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment.
(Oakland, Calif.) The militant Black Panthers are founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.
1967 April 19
Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), coins the phrase "black power" in a speech in Seattle. He defines it as an assertion of black pride and "the coming together of black people to fight for their liberation by any means necessary." The term's radicalism alarms many who believe the civil rights movement's effectiveness and moral authority crucially depend on nonviolent civil disobedience.
June 12
In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. Sixteen states that still banned interracial marriage at the time are forced to revise their laws.
Major race riots take place in Newark (July 12–16) and Detroit (July 23–30).
1968 April 4
(Memphis, Tenn.) Martin Luther King, at age 39, is shot as he stands on the balcony outside his hotel room. Escaped convict and committed racist James Earl Ray is convicted of the crime.
April 11
President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.
1971 April 20
The Supreme Court, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, upholds busing as a legitimate means for achieving integration of public schools. Although largely unwelcome (and sometimes violently opposed) in local school districts, court-ordered busing plans in cities such as Charlotte, Boston, and Denver continue until the late 1990s.
1988 March 22
Overriding President Reagan's veto, Congress passes the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which expands the reach of non-discrimination laws within private institutions receiving federal funds.
1991 Nov. 22
After two years of debates, vetoes, and threatened vetoes, President Bush reverses himself and signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991, strengthening existing civil rights laws and providing for damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.
1992 April 29
(Los Angeles, Calif.) The first race riots in decades erupt in south-central Los Angeles after a jury acquits four white police officers for the videotaped beating of African American Rodney King.
2003 June 23
In the most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court (5–4) upholds the University of Michigan Law School's policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers "a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body."

(See also: Affirmative Action Timeline.)
2005 June 21
The ringleader of the Mississippi civil rights murders (see Aug. 4, 1964), Edgar Ray Killen, is convicted of manslaughter on the 41st anniversary of the crimes.
October 24
Rosa Parks dies at age 92.
2006 January 30
Coretta Scott King dies of a stroke at age 78.
2007 February
Emmett Till's 1955 murder case, reopened by the Department of Justice in 2004, is officially closed. The two confessed murderers, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, were dead of cancer by 1994, and prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to pursue further convictions.
May 10
James Bonard Fowler, a former state trooper, is indicted for the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson 40 years after Jackson's death. The 1965 killing lead to a series of historic civil rights protests in Selma, Ala.
2008 January
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduces the Civil Rights Act of 2008. Some of the proposed provisions include ensuring that federal funds are not used to subsidize discrimination, holding employers accountable for age discrimination, and improving accountability for other violations of civil rights and workers' rights.
2009 January
In the Supreme Court case Ricci v. DeStefano, a lawsuit brought against the city of New Haven, 18 plaintiffs�17 white people and one Hispanic�argued that results of the 2003 lieutenant and captain exams were thrown out when it was determined that few minority firefighters qualified for advancement. The city claimed they threw out the results because they feared liability under a disparate-impact statute for issuing tests that discriminated against minority firefighters. The plaintiffs claimed that they were victims of reverse discrimination under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Supreme Court ruled (5�4) in favor of the firefighters, saying New Haven's "action in discarding the tests was a violation of Title VII."

•Black History Month Features
•"I Have a Dream" Speech
•Letter from Birmingham Jail
•Notable Speeches and Letters by African Americans
•Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
•Martin Luther King, Jr.

•Civil Rights Leaders

•Quiz: Civil Rights Heroes (for Kids) New!
•Black History Month

•African American History Timeline
•Civil Rights Cases Reopened

•Civil Rights