PHILADELPHIA - Less than three years after his retirement from the Presidency, George Washington died on Christmas Eve at the age of 69 at his Mount Vernon, Virginia plantation. He is mourned by millions of Americans.
Yesterday presented a scene of public mourning, of solemnity and respect, which this city has never before on any occasion witnessed in an equal degree.
At 11:00 o'clock, conformable to orders, the United States corps under Brigadier General Macpherson paraded in the center of Chestnut Street, opposite Congress Hall.
The Militia Corps composing the Republican legion, commanded by Colonel Shee paraded Fifth Street.
The procession commenced at twelve o'clock, with a troop of horse leading down Walnut to Fourth Street, where they turned to the left and crossed Chestnut, Market and Arch Street, until they arrived at the German Lutheran Church.
The bier was carried by six sergeants, pall supported by six veterans. The President of the United States and his lady were present.
[Editor's Note: The American Aurora news of Philadelphia, PA was a heroic little newspaper that reported what has become the suppressed history of our nation's beginnings. This year, just as on this day two centuries ago the next President of the United States will begin the new century, as leader of the greatest nation in the history of the world, and of a nation whose future may be in doubt. "...we stand all alone, what we are managing to do is alienate almost everyone," says James Schlesinger, former secretary of defense and energy. The danger, he says, is that the American people, who like to be loved, won't take well to being the world's target and "...will lose interest in the outside world." The challenges of the next 100 years could prove even more difficult than those since the death of President George Washington on this day in history.]
Copyright ©1999,The Daily Republican Newspaper. All rights reserved.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Judging from his work pace, it seems as if President Clinton got up from the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day and ran out the door on a race against time and term limits.
For five weeks Clinton has engaged in a burst of activity at a point when other presidents might have coasted. The drive reflects his quest for a legacy beyond being seen by history as a president impeached over a sexual liaison.
Executive orders have flown off Clinton's desk, mandating government action on issues from mental health to food safety. He worked to open markets for American products by allowing China into the World Trade Organization, applauded Northern Ireland for overcoming sectarian hatred and, just days ago, brought Syria and Israel together to in pursuit of peace.
That all came after Clinton went to Greece, Turkey and Italy just before Thanksgiving to talk with other world leaders about European security.
At home, Clinton signed three bills into law before departing for Thanksgiving at Camp David. Since then he has signed 60 more.
He flew to five states to talk up his agenda or raise money for Democrats. He would have gone to Texas, too, last week had he not been floored by a cold he attributed to spending too much time on airplanes.
``Certainly Clinton is aware that the clock is ticking,'' said Griffin Hathaway, a political scientist at Towson University in Maryland. ``Even with just a year to go, it's probably not going to be possible to accomplish something grandiose.''
One factor in all the busyness is the State of the Union address Clinton will deliver Jan. 27, which is expected to be his last. It will lay out his aspirations for the year, a mixture of old business and new and a reflection of the prosperity that accompanied his presidency.
Because negotiations with Congress for the 2000 budget dragged on, Clinton is behind schedule preparing the 2001 spending proposals behind the priorities of his final year in office.
So with his signature barely dry on the current budget, Clinton has been meeting with his economic team to begin work on his proposal for the next one, fully realizing there is little leeway for producing ideas dramatically different from his previous spending plans.
``Obviously we're trying, as we do each year, to present the president with choices,'' said Clinton's budget director, Jack Lew. ``The areas of interest are not going to come as an enormous deviation from areas of interest in the past.''
Meanwhile, Clinton jumped into legislative feuds, promising he will be back next year on some battles he lost: protecting the finances of Social Security and Medicare, enacting a patients' bill of rights, raising the minimum wage.
On the road and at home, he has talked repeatedly about the need for tighter gun restrictions while advisers worked out a strategy for going around Congress and act on the issue through executive authority.
He held a news conference and sat for a series of interviews on the meaning of the millennium. In nearly every speech, he reminded audiences that he has only 14 months left.
Leaving office appears to be a sensitive proposition for Clinton.
When he turns over the presidency to a successor, he will join Ronald Reagan as the only presidents in half a century to have served two full terms. Reagan, at this point, had secured his legacy in the fall of communism.
The difference is that Clinton will leave the White House at the relatively tender age of 54, still possessing a lot of energy. Aides joke that it is possible Clinton, before walking out of the Oval Office on his last day, might leave his successor a list of things to do.
Clinton's situation is further complicated by the fact that he is so solidly behind the candidacy of his vice president, Al Gore. It restricts his ability to take bold steps in an election year with a Republican Congress that is often hostile and with an American public that eventually will turn its attention away from him.
Hathaway said Clinton stands a chance of distinguishing himself in two areas: foreign policy and racial reconciliation. But both, he said, are ``too complex to solve in one year.''
Copyright ©1999, Associated Press. All rights reserved.
FRESNO -- Since 1793, when The Old Farmer's Almanac began tracking heavenly events and seasonal changes, the Moon has been full on the first day of winter just nine times. This year, 1999, marks the first time it has happened since 1980.
But we have to go back 133 years, to 1866, to match this year's rare gathering of winter solstice, full Moon, and lunar perigee (the point in the Moon's orbit that is closest to Earth).
The seasons occur because Earth's axis is tilted with respect to its orbit of the Sun. Thus, the hemispheres take turns reaching their maximum tilt toward the Sun, which occurs at the solstices. The equinoxes mark the intersection of Earth's orbit with the plane of the celestial equator, when the hemispheres equally face the Sun.
On December 22, 1999, the date of its nearest approach to us, the full Moon will appear measurably larger (about 14 percent) than it does when it's at apogee (the point in its elliptical orbit that is farthest from Earth).
Rising just after sunset, this Moon will be close by, high up, and shining at its most brilliant. Since Earth is several million miles closer to the Sun in winter, sunlight striking the Moon is 7 percent stronger. (Perihelion, our closest approach to the Sun, occurs just 12 days later, on January 3, 2000.)
The rarity of a solstitial full Moon -- the average interval is about 19 years -- reinforces the Moon's role as a beacon playing on human history. Although our research could not find a correlation between this lunar event and significant historical happenings on similar dates in the past, the combination of astronomical forces will certainly affect the tides on December 22.
As astronomer Bob Berman explains, "Not only is the Moon at perigee, but it is also the closest one of the year, since the Moon's orbit keeps deforming, and it will be at its most eccentric then. During this time of proxigean tides [unusually high tides due to the Moon's phase and proximity to Earth], coastal flooding could occur if there is one more little extra effect, such as a storm at sea, on-shore winds, or low barometric pressure. The situation is primed for damage."
If the solstice night of December 22 is calm and cloudless, with the full Moon beaming down on a blanket of snow, it will be irresistibly attractive, and electrical illumination -- even your car's headlights -- may seem superfluous. Let's hope for clear weather.
We did find that on the night of December 21, 1866, the Lakota Sioux staged a devastating retaliatory ambush of soldiers in the Wyoming Territory -- perhaps planning the attack for that bright night, whose lunar confluence was identical to this year's.
Copyright ©1999, Yankee Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.
FRESNO - In 1995, the Palo Alto Internet entrepreneuer from Fresno State, Tom Hobbs of WebPortal.com wrote an Internet script that would change the world. It came to full flower in the Tower2000.com Internet Web Site, a Fresno Calif. community node on the World Wide Web designed for the Tower District Marketing Committee and launched less than a year later.
The first of its kind, that model has now been emulated all around the world. Tower2000.com was an immediate sensation Hobbs' fame spread from Silicon Valley around the world as Internet designers studied Hobbs' style and the structured experience surfers were enjoying as they toured Tower200.com
Launching Tower2000.com in 1996 forced traditional stores to look into the face of the tiger, a high technology that every business now realizes is a powerful fast-moving technology. It has shaped local business decisions, drives politics and is opening a new portal to world intellectual culture across geographic borders, time-zones and language differences.
This internet economy is now a burgeoning $9 trillion national economy composed of borderless free markets in a global fast moving technology network of low-cost communications that has significantly lowered transactions costs between sellers and buyers.
"The Internet has given us the greatest rate of return on a public infrastructure investment ever," said Robert Litan, director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. "And it has flourished because we have not yet taxed or regulated it to death -- though those are live issues."
In the face of this Internet event economists are predicting that the economy will expand 3.9 percent this year, with inflation at 1.4 percent. For 2000, the consensus is growth of 3.2 percent and inflation of 1.7 percent. In February, the economy should set the record for the longest expansion, surpassing the 106-month record set in the 1960's.
Hobbs, says "For established companies with an Internet presence, the challenge will be to adapt to a new business strategy in the accelerated technological shift now taking place. Those who are not taking steps now to convert their traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to World Wide Web virtual e-stores are shutting out and turning away that bricks-to-clicks business activity and a valuable profit center."
"The Internet's electronic network has already transformed many business practices and is a new medium of informal communication with customers" he says.
The speed at which the Internet is morphing across the globe and pushing both the tools and values of high technology onto socieety is daunting. Hobbs predicts that the pace of technological change will not slow, and the willingness of customers to accept new technology suggests the "...last great frontier of economic opportunity for those who have access to a computer terminal and the skills to prosper in the new digital economy at the Millennium."
With the introduction of easy Internet access through WebPortal.com technology, there is excitement and a high-tech glamour in e-business. In fact, other Silicon Valley companies like Phone.com, the telephone Web browser company based in Redwood City, Calif., have just announced that next month, almost half the cellular phones sold will come equipped with the ability to surf the Internet. They predict the number of Web browsers in cell phones will exceed the number of personal computers in the world.
Wireless technology is well on the way in taking the Internet outside the home and office through all sorts of miniature communication devices based on cellular phone types of air signals.
Laurie Kobliska, a Fresno State alum, and founder of the world famous Fremont, Calif. InteriorDeco.com, predicted that e-commerce on-demand "...is providing mothers and working women with the ability to shop in their limited down-time in between working, child-care, and home-making activity.
"This marked change in behavior is wide-spread and is requiring that e-commerce sites, be designed to provide tons of informational content web customers demand. Retailers now are required not only to provide secure financial transactions, intractive product catalogs and fun, but they now must be able to quickly adapt to the limited time consumers say they have and the news and information they want on-site," she said. Kobliska is the editor & publisher of the widely acclaimed family oriented e-journal Mother Wire Magazine.
Copyright 1999 The Fresno Republican Newspaper. All rights reserved.
COLLEYVILLE, Texas -- Every Friday after school last year, Danny Blanco and four friends got together to design balsawood structures that could hold 520 pounds and to sew woodchuck costumes out of used fabric-softener sheets.
Those might seem strange pursuits, but the teenagers were cooking up entries for the Odyssey of the Mind competition, a problem-solving Olympics that attracts more than a million student contestants annually world-wide. Last year, Danny and his friends won their regional contest, finished 10th in the state and vowed to top that this year.
Yet most Fridays this fall, 16-year-old Danny idles in front of the TV. Why? Because the grownups who run Odyssey of the Mind have come up with problems too tough for most kids to solve. They cover such topics as alleged greed, profiteering and slander.
Leaders of OM Association Inc., the not-for-profit group that long ran the contest, have accused founder C. Samuel Micklus and his family of milking Odyssey of the Mind -- known as OM -- through the family's for-profit company, Creative Competitions Inc. In lawsuits filed in state and federal court in New Jersey, the Mickluses' accusers charged that, among other things, the family misappropriated OM assets -- in part by claiming copyright ownership of Omer, the cartoon raccoon that serves as OM's mascot.
The Mickluses countersued, and have accused OM Association Executive Director Robert Purifico of trying to stage a coup. "I feel like I've been in a septic tank for two years," says Dr. Micklus.
The dueling lawsuits threatened to kill this year's contest, until the two sides settled in September and split the organization into competing groups. But that only provoked the rival camps to blitz states, schools, coaches and even students with e-mail and other communiques urging them to choose sides. Longtime teams have broken apart to back different contests. Some schools are fielding two teams; others are fielding no team. Total student participation has shrunk this year by at least 20%, both sides say.
"It's like a divorce," observes Joelle Cabassol, a coach on Danny's old team in Texas. "No one wins, and the kids get hurt."
All in all, it isn't the lesson that longtime supporters of the contest want to impart. OM, founded in 1979, is open to students from elementary school through college. Volunteers -- mostly parents and teachers -- in each state organize and judge the competition.
The contest asks participants to solve one of five problems, like building a vehicle powered by elastic materials or recreating a Shakespeare classic in a different time period. Solutions are presented in eight-minute performances featuring original songs, costumes and inventions. Last year, more than 140,000 teams from 48 states and 22 countries competed.
"I can't say enough about the beauty and contribution of the idea," says John Silber, chancellor of Boston University.
It hasn't been pretty lately. Following the settlement, dissidents aligned with Mr. Purifico banded together in a new group called Destination ImagiNation, which has been endorsed by more than 35 OM state organizations. But the Mickluses control the original Odyssey of the Mind, and have plenty of loyalists.
In Texas, statewide contest organizers sided with the dissident Destination, but 125 Texas schools are sticking with Odyssey. In Colorado, regional OM director Doris Stillman resigned from the statewide OM board after it voted to join Destination. In Connecticut, schools siding with Destination are considering competing in Vermont or Rhode Island rather than in their own state contest, whose organizers are sticking with the Mickluses.
To the kids, the wrangling over OM is, like a lot of adult behavior, mystifying. Danny and many of his pals at their suburban Dallas high school had been on the same OM team for seven years. Friendships flourished as teammates pasted together a "Last Supper" mosaic from magazine clippings one year, and carved a woodchuck Statue of Liberty another. They shared failures, too, like the time a car they built wouldn't move in the state championship because the wheels were screwed on too tight. Team member Katie Gunn cried as she pushed the car through the course.
"OM was my childhood," says Danny.
OM had also been central to Donna Gunn, Katie's mom, and her Colleyville coaching partner Mrs. Cabassol, whose son is also a team member. But now, Mrs. Gunn backs the dissident Destination group. Mrs. Cabassol remains committed to Odyssey. Destination's revolt, she says, is "like working in a GM plant for years and taking GM plans for a car to use for another company."
Each tried to persuade the other. "It was a delicate negotiating effort," says Mrs. Cabassol. It failed. The women agreed they could stay friends only if they vowed not to talk about OM.
The source of all this trouble isn't easy to sort out. Last year, the nonprofit OM Association headed by Mr. Purifico collected $3.5 million in membership fees and corporate sponsorships, and paid the Mickluses' Creative Competitions $378,000 for permission to run the program. Creative Competitions also sold about $270,000 of T-shirts and other OM paraphernalia.
The OM Association filed the first suit against the Mickluses and their company in early 1997. Mr. Purifico says Creative Competitions was improperly profiting from the OM trademark and blocking attempts to open the problem-creating contract to bids. With four of the seven seats on the OM board, Creative Competitions was "preventing OM from conducting its business in several material aspects," he says.
The Mickuluses filed a suit of their own in 1998, alleging defamation of character and other bad behavior. Dr. Micklus, a former New Jersey professor, says the family never profited unduly from OM. "We haven't gotten rich off of this," he says. The September settlement resolved all the lawsuits between the rivals. It left the Mickluses in control of the original Odyssey of the Mind trademark -- and of Omer the raccoon.
The kids are left searching for answers. At a movie outing last summer, Danny asked Mrs. Gunn when OM practices would begin. They probably wouldn't, she said. "I was like, 'Oh, man, I can't believe this is happening,'" Danny recalls.
Danny heard about Destination and tried recruiting teammates to it. He also suggested that the group tackle one problem from Odyssey and one from Destination. In many ways, the two groups appear indistinguishable. One Odyssey problem this year asks students to build a structure of balsa wood and glue, while one Destination challenge requires pasta and glue. But team members were already getting busy with other activities.
Last month, however, as the group gathered to talk about their split, Mrs. Gunn and Mrs. Cabassol put aside their differences and proposed that the team compete in Odyssey. (Preparations for the contest usually begin early in the school year, but the first round of judging doesn't come until January.)
The teens are mulling it over-and pondering lessons learned. The rivals running the contests "create problems and teach us the virtues of solving them, but when they have problems, they drag it into court," says Danny. "It's sad."
Copyright 1999 The Wall Street Journal. All Rights Reserved.
PALO ALTO -- The former chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Elizabeth Bird, died here on Saturday after a long fight with breast cancer. She was 63.
Ms. Bird had been a patient at Stanford University Hospital for about two weeks where she was thought to be receiving cancer treatment.
This writer made her acquaintance in 1958 when she was a graduate student at the University of California. Rose and this writer were Ford Fellows in the California Legislature at the time.
Later, Bird began her law career as Santa Clara County deputy public defender. By 1976 Bird had several surgeries fo cancer in her right breast. It began to look like there was a bright future for Ms. Bird in 1977 when she was appointed Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court by Gov. Jerry Brown(D).
However, Bird had no judicial experience. The court began to overturn one death penalty case after another until more than 90 percent of death penalty cases had been reversed. Supreme court records reviewed by the Republican show that every death penalty case reviewed by Bird had been reversed.
Then in 1986 California voters ousted chief justice Rose Bird and two other justices from the bench in a record setting plurality of sixty-six percent against Bird. Also removed were associate justices Joseph Grodin and Cruz Reynoso.
Soon after the stunning defeat, Bird let her California Bar Association dues lapse. She never worked again, suviving on a meager monthly pension of less tan $1200.
After her removal from the Court she became a recluse in Palo Alto and rarely seen she did work for local charities and remained out of the public life, entirely.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California lauded her as late as 1997 as a jurist who voted her conscience and moved the law toward protecting the rights of workers, criminal defendants, the poor and minorities.
Rose Bird's rise to power was, perhaps, only made possible because, ironically, she got envolved in Jerry Brown's political campaign for governor in 1974 when she shuttled him around in her car from one campaign speech to another. When Brown he was elected he named her secretary of Agriculture and Services, a position traditionally held by a San Joaquine Valley farmer.
Her opinionated manner made a large impression on Sacramento where Bird was about the only woman making waves in Sacramento at the time impeccably dressed in pantsuits.
As agriculture secretary, she was no friend to growers and quickly sponsored 1975 legislation that gave California farm workers the right to unionize and strike.
In a short two-years after Brown appointed Bird to a cabinet post he held a news conference in which he suddenely announced he was advancing Bird to chief justice of the California Supreme Court. She was stunned, but even though she had no experience as a judge at any level in California or anywhere else, she accepted the appointment with enthusiasm.
She sold the Supreme Court's Cadillac, stopped the practice of holding California Judicial Council meetings at attractive resorts and stayed at modest motels when she traveled on court business. She baked cookies and at Christmas, she acted as Santa Claus and passed out gifts to the court's employees.
Bird went out of her way to file solo opinions, even if her views differed only slightly from the majority's, UC Berkeley law professor Steve Barnett told reporters."She was an intelligent and courageous judge dedicated to her job and to the law. Her opinions, while unfailingly or extremely liberal, were well researched and thoroughly argued. What she lacked was good judgment and restraint, a feeling of how far one could go."
As a consequuence of Bird's abrasive leadership style she became largely shunned by the legal establishment after her removal from the court. It is a singular dictinction that no California law school invited her to join its faculty. She was not invited to speak at Law School graduations nor did her name appear on any law review articles at Stanford.
In 1993, however, Bird volunteered her services at an East Palo Alto community legal aid clinic. She told them her name. No one recognized the name and the attorneys there assigned the former chief justice of the California Supreme Court to menial office duties photocopying and alphbetizing stacks of legal briefs. She soon left the leggal clinic and traveles to Australia where she found a short-term position teaching law.
Rose Bird was unable to practice law in California because her membership in the California Bar Association had lapsed for non-payment of dues.
Bird confided in a 1987 interview, "I would perhaps like people to say two things about me. That she cared and that she tried to be a good person."
[Editor's Note: Rose Elizabeth Bird was born Nov. 2, 1936, near Tucson, Ariz. Her mother, a factory worker, moved Rose and her two brothers to New York after her father died. Bird attended high school on Long Island, and then won a fellowship to UC-Berkeley in 1958, where she majored in political science. Rose Bird, a Liberal and Howard Hobbs, a Conservative political science/journalism major at Fresno State College were among the first Ford Fellow recipients in the nation and interned in the California State Assembly in the 1958 Session. She graduated Boalt Hall School of Law in 1965 and went on to become the Nevada Supreme Court's first female law clerk. Hobbs graduated from Fresno State College in 1958 where he founded the conservative student op-ed publication The Bulldog Newspaper and later earned the Juris Doctor degree at Chicago's William Blackstone School of Law in June, 1970 and a doctorate from University of Southern California in 1981.]
Copyright 1999 The Fresno Republican Newspaper.
NEW YORK - A Congo medical panel in Africa is reporting they have identified the possible link between an experimental oral polio vaccine being given in Leopoldville (Kinshasa) in 1959 and the origin of the devastating AIDS virus.
The virus could have originated in chimpanzee tissues that the report suggests were used to make the vaccine. The medical panel based its conclusion in part on a published finding that was later shown to be in error. And now made public by Edward Hooper, a British journalist.
In Hooper's book, The River (Little, Brown, $35), he reveals that an experimental [sugar-cube] oral polio vaccine may have carried contaminated chimpanzee tissue infected with the simian AIDS virus.
Hooper's report of research since 1990 finds a startling coincidence between the earliest cases of AIDS and the testing of the [sugar-cube] oral vaccine developed at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and, later, in two laboratories in Belgium. From 1957 to 1960, the vaccine was given to a million people in what are now Rwanda, Burundi and Congo.
Hoooper cites the 28 cases of AIDS acquired in specified towns in Africa through 1980. Of those, 23 were from the same towns where the experimental vaccine was given or within 175 miles of them. The area is the epicenter of the African epidemic, which is the worst in the world.
Possible contamination of the SV-40 ral vaccine in the United States could account for millions of Americans inadvertently infected in the late 1950's and early 1960's. By 1967, even laboratory workers were dying from the the virus being spread to lab workers through physical contact with imported African green monkeys.
The Wistar Institute a U.S. based independent medical research lab recommended testing the remaining stocks of the experimental oral polio vaccine.
Hooper's report comes at a time when 16 million people have died of AIDS and 33 million more are infected. Dr. Peter Piot, of the U.N. AIDS program, recently told reporters,"If it were possible to determine where AIDS came from, that would be important for science and the world to know."
[Editor's Note: Amy Williams assisted in the development of this story.].
Copyright 1999 The Fresno Republican Newspaper.
CLAREMONT - The first Thanksgiving Day came in Massachusetts in 1621. Of course, that was a day of friendship and giving. But this is made remarkable by what came before.
The Pilgrims came over to the New World. They arrived as the weather was growing cold. It was a strange land, and wild. They knew no one. Communication with the civilization from which they came could only happen once or twice a year at most. Soon enough, they began to starve. Many died. Down in Jamestown, an older colony, the settlers had met the same trouble, and then a strongman, Captain John Smith, introduced the principle of self interest. Everyone must contribute. No one could eat who did not work. The survival of all came to depend upon the self-interest of each. That is the first part of the Thanksgiving story.
In light of that first part, the second part begins to seem a noble respite from the rigors of a harsh and competitive world. In the second year, Pilgrims had made their first harvest. And so they determined after the harvest to have a feast and to thank their Maker for their survival and the little bit of prosperity they had won. Also they invited the Indians, strangers who had occupied the land before they arrived, and who for that reason were potential enemies, to join them in the feast. The Indians and the Pilgrims did not pray to the same God. But the Indians had helped the Pilgrims, despite this, and so they joined together to thank each other and the Almighty for their survival. This story, in this form, is a beautiful tale. We would do well to remember this tale upon Thanksgiving Day.
And yet this tale, for all its beauty and goodness, is not so beautiful as the true tale. This story of putting self interest aside for a day does not give a full enough account of the nature of man and the things around him. For self-interest cannot be said to be the driving force of human society. Self-interest is important. But it cannot be called either more or less important than another motive in the human breast. It is not separable from that other motive. Self-interest cannot be understood by itself.
Consider the expression, "charity begins at home." What does it mean? On Thanksgiving Day, most of us will have the great blessing of a feast with those we love most, with the members of our family. The meaning of the expression "charity begins at home" can be found within those families.
The experience of being a mother or father is of course the most fundamental in our lives. There is something special about it. It goes beyond success in business. It goes beyond our own birth, and even beyond our own death. Which of us would not be prepared to take a risk for ourselves rather than suffer our children to take it?
This love of children seems to us special, but in one sense there is nothing special about it at all. It is simply how things must be. When children are young, they are helpless. They will simply die, in a few hours, if we do not care for them. And in humans, this need for care lasts much longer than in the other species. The decision to have children is the commitment of one's lifetime.
Understand that without this charity, nothing in society could happen. It is not special. It is a more common driving force in the dynamic of human life than self interest or the motive for profit. Giving is the way with us. It is not only the most common thing we do, but it is essential to our own health and our own happiness. We are made better by it. We thrive as we do it.
Charity begins at home. Does it also end there? To answer that question, we must bring up politics for a moment. Politics is necessary here because it is the most authoritative form of community here in this life. All of the most important things we do together are powerfully affected by politics. Politics has a monopoly on force. If the law makes a statement, it settles the matter. That is why conditions among human beings, all part of the same species, can be so different from one country to the next. That is why we are specially blessed here in this country.
Because this country is special, and because of the way in which it is special, we can see here best of all why charity to those outside ourselves is simply crucial to our own self-interest. Because just as charity is essential in a family, so also it is essential in a community. Families are, after all, made up of only a few people. They cannot all be self-sufficient.
Misfortune befalls people all the time, and the weak are left helpless. But if they are not helped, then not just the weak inside one family will suffer, but the neighbors, and their neighbors, will be exposed to scenes of misery that will make their lives also a misery. When families break down, either there is charity, or else suffering spreads.
Think of the condition, not merely of families, but of neighborhoods where homes are broken and children lack care. We can see from this that the family is a natural form of association. It is the first form. But we can also see that it is not the only form. Charity begins at home. It does not stop there.
In America we accomplish charity outside the home in a unique way. In Europe, or in most of the old places on the earth, charity outside the home is the preserve of a few. And of course this means that those in need of charity must depend upon a few only for help.
This is bad for those in need. But it is bad for the rest of us, too. In a society where a few dominate, all the others, and not only they who depend upon charity, are left in a condition of dependence.
Americans are self-reliant and self-interested. But Americans are also charitable. Each and every one of us feels entitled to do something not only for ourselves, and not only for our own children, but also for others whom we do not even know. Each of us is a leader, because each of us is an equal citizen.
And so we see that self-interest is important, and the market is important. But they are not all. Self-interest and the market are one force in society, but they cannot be separated from another force. Self-interest and charity are one. Every society requires charity, as much as it requires self-interest and the market.
And here is the most important point: a free society, especially this particular free society, requires and allows each and every one of us to be charitable people. Either we will feed the people who cannot feed themselves, or else the government will feed them. But if the government feeds them, then we will not really be free men and women. We will be lesser people, not so great as the high potentates who have the real power and do the real work. Here, then, we see that we serve our own liberty—and therefore our own interest—when we take charge of the job of helping others.
From this point of view, the invisible hand is not just the market. The invisible hand is the hand of God. The invisible is us.
[Editor's Note: Larry P. Arn is President of the Claremont Institute. The mission of Claremont for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy is to restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. The Claremont Institute address is 250 West First Street, Suite 330 Claremont, CA 91711].
1999 copyright, The Claremont Institute. All rights reserved.
SACRAMENTO - Millions of Californians are going to court today in what has been called "fallout" from the November 8th U.S. District Court findings by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson declaring Microsoft had created a monopoly of the personal computer industry to kill innovation and competition, hurting the public.
The new California law suit accuses Microsoft of using its monopoly in operating systems software to overcharge buyers of Windows 95 and Windows 98. The complaint does not estimate the financial impact to Windows users, but the lawyers are seeking triple damages if the suit leads to an eventual finding of financial harm.
he California class action comes at a time when consumers may have bben charged nearly double for the Windows operating system because of Microsoft's market monopoly of the pc market.
A spokesperson for San Diego atrtorneys Gross, Daniel J. Mogin and Francis O. Scarpulla of San Francisco have told The Republican they will file the class action litigation in California Superior Court in San Francisco.
Copyright 1999 The Fresno Republican Newspaper.
WASHINGTON - The National Assessment of Educational Progress findings for 1998 were release on Thursday. They are grounds for concern and a call for action to remedy a serious deficiency in the education of American citizens.
Failure of students to do well on the NAEP study is a direct consequence of the widespread lack of adequate curricular requirements, teacher preparation, and instruction in civics and government.
Good programs in civics and government produce good results. They are the solution to the shortcomings identified in the NAEP results.
There is a need for a national campaign to insure that effective instruction in civics and government is provided to every student in every school in the nation.
The good news in the NAEP civics report card is that about 25 percent of our nation's students performed at the proficient or advanced level on the civics assessment. This is good news to many of us who have been working in the field of civic education for the past thirty odd years because we thought the number would be lower. The news that should concern us all, however, is that about 75 percent of our students at the 4th, 8th, and 12th grade levels performed at below basic (30 to 35 percent) and basic (39 to 48 percent) levels.
Further, according to the NAEP report, "the basic level is not the desired goal, but rather represents partial mastery that is a step towards Proficient."
The findings are not surprising. They are consistent with those of other studies of the knowledge of American youth about politics and government that have been conducted in recent years. Add to these findings the results of studies of the participation of our young people in the political life of their communities and nation and we have a picture of large numbers of our youth as being ill-informed about their government and not participating in it.
A study entitled the "New Millennium Project" commissioned by the National Association of Secretaries of State found that in the last presidential election less than 20 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18-25 bothered to vote. The same study revealed that 94 percent of our youth believe that "the most important thing I can do as a citizen is to help others." This is an admirable sentiment but it is also a conception of the role and responsibilities of citizenship that is totally inadequate in a nation that is supposed to have a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
y had been designed to determine how well our students could read, write, and speak Hungarian. Would anyone be surprised at the inevitable findings? No one expects our students to be proficient in Hungarian because it is not taught in our schools.
Suppose, however, that Hungarian was taught for one semester at the twelfth grade level and that was the only time most students received instruction devoted exclusively to the subject. Would they become proficient? Hungarian might also be integrated into world history classes or "infused" into social studies classes at elementary and middle school levels. Would that be likely to improve their performance?
I have stretched this analogy somewhat, but I would like to make the claim that this is pretty much the way civics is treated in far too many of our schools. We recognize that important and complex subjects such as mathematics, science, history, and language arts should be taught rigorously and with increasing sophistication from the elementary through the secondary years of school. Yet, we do not do this with civics and government. The vast majority of our students are simply not getting an adequate education in civics and government so their lack of proficiency should come as no surprise.
In response to the NAEP findings the noted scholar R. Freeman Butts has commented, "I agree that the results are not too surprising, but in any event they are deplorable, worse than 'not satisfactory'...the civics findings should trumpet a national alert that is even more disturbing than the weaknesses in other academic subjects. For our citizenship itself is at stake."
I will address three major topics in responding to the NAEP findings. They are (1) the inadequacy of existing curricular requirements and instruction, (2) the fact that research shows that good civics programs produce good results, and (3) the need for a national movement to see that education in civics and government is accorded the place in the curricula of our schools it deserves.
One of the major reasons our students did not do well on the NAEP study is that the vast majority are either not being taught civics and government at all or they are being taught too little, too late, and inadequately. Under these conditions, you can hardly expect them to do well on such a test.
One of the major reasons why civics is not taught adequately is that most of our states and school districts do not have sufficient requirements for instruction in civics and government.
With the assistance of more than 150 of our colleagues around the country the Center for Civic Education (Center) has developed the following standards that we think should guide the development of educational policy on civic education in every state and school district in the nation. We believe that education in civics and government should not be incidental to the schooling of American youth but a central purpose of education essential to the well being of American constitutional democracy.
Civics and government should be considered a subject on a level with other subjects. Civics and government, like history and geography, is an integrative and interdisciplinary subject.
Civics and government should be taught explicitly and systematically from kindergarten through twelfth grade either as separate units and courses or as readily identifiable parts of courses in other subjects.
Effective instruction in civics and government should include attention to the content of the discipline as well as to the essential skills, principles, and values required for full participation in and reasoned commitment to our democratic system.
We are not aware of any state or school district that meets these standards. To find out more about state policies and practices in civic education our Center commissioned a study by the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. The following is a brief summary of some of the major findings of that study.
State Constitutions. Thirteen (13) states' constitutions explicitly affirm that an informed citizenry is a worthwhile goal by mandating public education or otherwise promoting education. However, no constitutional provisions specifically require instruction in citizenship, government, rights, or liberties.
State Statutes. Twenty-six (26) states have enacted state laws specifically related to civic education. These statutes are of four types - statutes that require instruction in civics but do not require specific courses, standards, or assessments, leaving the details to regulatory authorities, school districts, or schools (11 states) - statutes that require some form of civics assessment or the specification of civics content in state standards (5 states) - statutes that require specific courses in civics, government, constitutions, or related topics, often mandating not only the instruction topic but also the year and length of the course(s) (10 states); and statutes that relate to civic education but do not fit any of the other three categories (where civic education curricula, authorize community service in schools, or require a state clearinghouse for information on character and citizenship education programs) (7 states).
tate Standards. States address civics topics in their state academic standards by adopting separate civics standards (3 states)or by including civics topics as an explicit section in social studies standards (23 states) or by integrating civics content in social studies standards (18 states, including the District of Columbia).
In spring 1999, 5 more states were planning to incorporate civics topics in their state standards; 1 state plans no standards with civics content; and 1 state plans no academic content standards in any subjects.
State Requirements for High School Civics/Government Course. Twenty-nine (29) states (including the District of Columbia) reported requiring that students complete one or more high school courses in civics/government. Only five of these states require a 12th grade "capstone" course.
State Assessments of Civics Topics. Thirty-one (31) states reported testing civics topics, with 11 more states (including the District of Columbia) expecting to institute new tests soon. Only 3 of the 31 states reported having a separate, stand-alone civics test, however; in the other 28 states, the civics topics are included in other state assessments. In 15 of the 31 states, student failure on these tests prevents high school graduation; in 2 of the 15 states, failure also prevents promotion.
State Certification to Teach Civics Topics. Thirteen (13) states reported offering certification in civics or government (or both) for high school teachers, with 10 states offering certification in civics or government for middle school or junior high school teachers. The most common state certification for teachers of civics topics is a broad history and social studies certification, although 3 states reported requiring only a general teaching certification. Twenty-three (23) states reported requiring teachers to pass some kind of standardized test of their civics knowledge before being certified to teach civics content.
State Professional Development for Teachers of Civics Topics. Twenty-one (21) states reported requiring professional development for teachers of civics topics. State-level in-service programs and conferences, university courses to refresh and update knowledge of civics topics, and training through community organizations (e.g., law-related education associations or offices) are among the professional development opportunities offered in 18 or more states.
Statewide Community Service Programs. Three (3) states reported having a community service program requirement for all students; 8 other states reported having statewide voluntary programs.
Promoting Civic Intellectual Skills in State Social Studies Standards. State social studies standards that promote students' use of higher-order thinking skills foster the development of students' civic intellectual skills. The 1998 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) civics framework categorizes these skills "as identifying and describing, explaining and analyzing, and defending positions on public issues." These categories correspond, respectively, to basic knowledge and comprehension skills, application and analysis skills, and the advanced synthesis and evaluation skills of importance to citizens. Whereas the 1998 NAEP civics assessment test items are distributed across these three skills categories as 25 percent, 40 percent, and 35 percent, respectively, the mean percentages of state social studies standards' civics statements associated with these three categories are 31 percent, 47 percent, and 22 percent, respectively. Thus, on average, the civics content in state standards over emphasizes the lower-order civic intellectual skills relative to the higher-order skills. Only 6 states' standards give a greater percentage of attention to the highest-order civic intellectual skills than is given in the NAEP framework (i.e., 35 percent), while in 7 states' standards less than 10 percent of the civic intellectual skills are of the highest order.
These policies clearly do not meet the standards we have outlined above. The question arises, regardless of the policies just described, what is actually happening in the schools? One study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 78.1 percent of high school graduates in 1994 had at least a 45-60 minute course at least once a day for half a year under the general heading "American Government and Politics."
The 1988 NAEP study in civics found that, by their own estimates, 90 percent of students had received a half a year's study of civics or government or more by the end of their senior year. Comparison with transcript data, however, suggests the students slightly overestimated the number of courses they had taken. Students also receive some instruction in civics in their courses in American history, but it is difficult to determine the quality and extent of exposure that is provided.
It appears, moreover, that most instruction at the secondary level focuses on descriptions of governmental institutions and omits development of an understanding of the fundamental principles and values of democratic government that provides the necessary context for a proper understanding of those institutions, contemporary issues, and political life.
I am not aware of studies of elementary instruction similar to the above. A review of course outlines and requirements compiled by the Council of State Social Studies Specialists reveals little attention devoted specifically to civics at the elementary level. Civics is usually "infused" in the social studies curriculum which means, more often than not, it is not treated rigorously, sequentially, or systematically.
Students gain some knowledge about politics and government from other subjects, the media, and merely by living in their communities. Fortunately, they are socialized into a democratic political culture from which they unconsciously assimilate democratic behaviors and values.
Anyone familiar with students and adults who have been socialized in authoritarian or totalitarian systems will recognize the debt Americans owe to their inheritance. However, learning about politics and government by socialization without examination and reflection is not adequate preparation for participation in our complex political system which can be bewildering to the ill-informed.
Given the evidence that there is some attention to civics and government in our schools and that many secondary students do take at least a one semester course in civics and government, why do these students perform so poorly on the NAEP test? Four reasons come to mind.
Inadequate teacher preparation and inadequate instruction. A thoughtful high school government teacher recently took a four-week summer institute on the history of American political thought conducted by our Center at the University of California at Los Angeles. When he completed the course he said that he wished he could bring back all of the students he had taught over the past thirteen years so he could disabuse them of many of the misconceptions he had given them.
Several years ago our Center conducted a small study to determine how well teachers of high school government courses could explain fifty-five key concepts in their field such as popular sovereignty, habeas corpus, judicial review, federalism, checks and balances, and the exclusionary rule. More than fifty percent of the teachers who took part in the study could not give adequate explanations of many of these key concepts.
The National Center for Educational Statistics reported in 1996 that more than half of all students in history and world civilization classes are being taught by teachers with neither a major nor a minor in history. No data currently are available on the subject matter qualifications of teachers of civics and government, but it is reasonable to assume that the numbers of teachers with majors or minors in political science or allied fields would be even fewer. I have little doubt that a study of the preparation of elementary teachers to teach civics would show it to be far less.
Teacher expertise has been shown to be one of the most important factors in raising student achievement. One study found that nearly 40 percent of the differences in student test scores were attributable to differences in teacher expertise, as measured by college degrees, years of teaching experience, and scores on teacher licensing examinations.
Emphasis on institutions and current events without providing a framework of fundamental democratic values and principles required for understanding and decision making. It is common for instruction in civics courses to focus upon memorization of the basic workings of government and governmental institutions and/or discussion of current events.
While this may be important, what often is lacking is the development of an understanding of the philosophical foundations, values, and principles of our democratic institutions and processes. Such an understanding is necessary in order to, for example, comprehend the reasons for institutional arrangements, provide a frame of reference for dealing intelligently with current events, and provide a set of standards for participating in the political life of one's community.
Lack of sequential development of the subject. Even when students do receive instruction in civics over a number of years, it is often repetitive and does not progress sequentially from basic treatment to an increasingly sophisticated treatment of the subject.
Methodology. Democracy requires citizens with the capacity to inquire, evaluate, advocate, and defend positions on civic matters. Democratic citizens must also learn how to monitor and influence their government in the many ways that are available to them.
Development of these capacities requires both attention to appropriate content and the use of methodologies that bring the subject to life and help students develop the necessary intellectual and participatory skills. There are many skilled teachers who do provide their students the kinds of educational experiences that enable them to develop such capacities. Unfortunately, such teachers are in the minority.
Good programs in civics and government produce good results. There is ample evidence that when students are taught well they gain valuable knowledge and skills, they develop reasoned commitments to fundamental values of American constitutional democracy, and they are more likely to participate in political life. For example, the following anecdote was reported by a civic educator from the State of Alabama. It illustrates what can be done by good teachers working with good programs and the support of their administrators and community.
Sixth graders at Bryan Elementary School in Morris, Alabama taking part in a civics project tried to get a traffic light installed at a busy intersection near their school. What they thought was a simple task turned out to involve the local city council and police department, the county sheriff's office, the county planning office, the state department of transportation, and other agencies. The students completed their project and presented their recommendations to their city council and police chief.
They were promised the light by a certain date. However, when it was not installed at that time, the students developed a lobbying plan and called the officials every week until the light was finally installed.
Several months later, the county commission announced its intention to build a new jail close to Bryan Elementary School on Turkey Creek and area that the students used as an outdoor science laboratory. Their parents objected to the building of the jail so close to their school. They tried a number of approaches and received a lot of media attention but had very little effect on the county commission.
Then the parents realized they already had "practiced experts in the political process" in their homes, and they began talking with their children about how to influence their county commission. The parents then talked with their children's teachers and obtained copies of the Project Citizen textbook their children had been using.
Advised by their children, the parents got organized. The "angry voters" began turning into "an educated citizenry," county commissioners started turning up at public meetings (instead of ignoring or insulting the parents who came to county commission meetings), and...the jail project was cancelled.
In an interesting additional twist, the students' interest in Turkey Creek skyrocketed and last spring six Bryan classes took part in a field day at the creek, doing trash cleanup, and environmental impact studies."
There are numerous anecdotes such as the one above that illustrate what can be accomplished by knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated teachers. There are also research findings that confirm the potential of civic education conducted by such groups as the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Street Law, Close-Up, and the Center for Civic Education. The following is a brief summary of several studies of the effects of these programs.
Studies of student knowledge. ETS studies. Three studies by Education Testing Service (ETS) found that students enrolled in the Center's We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution program at upper elementary, middle, and high school levels "significantly outperformed comparison students on every topic of the tests taken."
Even more impressive were the findings of a subsequent test in which ETS compared scores of a random sample of 900 high school students who studied the We the People… program with 280 sophomores and juniors in political science courses at a major university. The high school students outperformed the university students in every topic area and on almost every test item. The greatest difference was in the area of political philosophy where the participating high school students scored 14 percent higher than the university students.
Indiana University study. A study conducted by the Social Studies Development Center at Indiana University concludes that students using the Center's With Liberty and Justice for All textbook and participating in the We the People… program learn more about and develop greater understanding of the Bill of Rights than students in government and civics classes using other programs.
Constitutional Rights Foundation Study. The Constitutional Rights Foundation is deeply involved in the development of service learning in which youth service to school, neighborhood, and community is linked to the civic education curriculum. Studies of the Foundation's program conducted by Brandeis University and UCLA demonstrate increases in teacher and student understanding of and increased knowledge of how to achieve change in their communities as well as significant increases in teachers' use of interactive classroom methodology.
Studies of participation. Clark County Schools. In a study conducted in Clark County, Nevada, 80 percent of seniors participating in the Center's We the People… program registered to vote compared with the school wide average of 37 percent, confirming what educators taking part in the We the People… program have consistently observed: their students become more interested in political and civic life and in participating in government.
Studies of political altitudes. Professor Richard Brody, Stanford University. A study of the effects on political tolerance of the Center's We the People...curriculum was conducted by Professor Richard Brody of Stanford University. Professor Brody found that students involved in the Center's We the People... program displayed more political tolerance and felt more politically effective than most adult Americans and most other students. Findings reveal that these students exhibited more political tolerance in a number of ways including (1) placing fewer restrictions on the press, speech, and the advocacy of radical or unorthodox ideas; (2) being more willing to grant freedom of assembly to groups with diverse opinions; (3) placing fewer restrictions on due process; and (4) displaying a willingness to grant others wide latitude to speak and act politically.
Another important finding from this study is that the more involved a student is in the We the People… program's competitive hearings, the more politically tolerant he or she is likely to become. Participating students are more likely to support the right to freedom of assembly to unpopular groups and to extend due process and freedom of expression rights to groups and individuals that are "odd" and/or "threatening."
Close-Up study. Research of programs of the Close-Up Foundation suggests that students who become engaged in issues-centered instruction are likely to become more interested in the political arena, develop a greater sense of political efficacy and confidence, and become more interested and knowledgeable about the issues they have studied. Students in Close-Up programs report they feel more "connected" as a result of their experiences that help to demystify and humanize politics and politicians. Students report that they now know "the steps to take to influence law and politics."
National campaign to promote effective instruction in civics and government. There is a need to ensure that all students in the United States receive the kind of instruction in civics and government that will enable them to participate competently and responsibly in the governance of their nation. The accomplishment of this goal requires policy support at national, state, and local levels. To gain this policy support requires a national movement of concerned educators, parents, and others who find the current situation unacceptable.
The idea that American schools have a distinctly civic mission is not new. It has been recognized since the earliest days of the Republic. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, and other Founders realized that the establishment of well-designed political institutions was not in itself a sufficiently strong foundation to maintain constitutional democracy. The forefathers of America knew that ultimately a free society must depend on its citizens-on their knowledge, skills, and civic virtues. The Founders believed that the civic mission of the schools is to foster the qualities of mind and heart required for a successful government within a constitutional democracy.
The American public still believes that schools have a civic mission and that education for good citizenship should be a school's top priority. The 28th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll conducted in 1996, asked respondents what they considered to be the most important purpose of the nation's schools, apart from providing a basic education. The goal of a school considered "very important" by more people than any other goal was "to prepare students to be responsible citizens." When Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup conducted a follow-up poll of teachers the results were very similar, 84 percent of America's teachers said, "to prepare students for responsible citizenship" was "very important," while another 15percent called it "quite important."
Under the leadership of Secretary Richard Riley, the Department of Education has provided significant support for civic education. This has included funding of the NAEP civics assessment and innovative programs in civics and government in schools throughout the nation. Other agencies of the federal government also have supported civic education. These include the United States Information Agency (now integrated with the State Department), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Department of Justice, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. None of these programs, however, could have been accomplished without the support on both sides of the aisle of the U.S. Congress.
The federal government can play a leadership and catalytic role in promoting the improvement of civic education in our nation's schools. In our decentralized system of education, however, the major burden of providing our youth a sufficient civic education lies at the state and local levels where much work needs to be done.
The Center for Civic Education, with the assistance of many of our colleagues, has taken the first steps to launch a national campaign to promote education in civics and government in our schools. We are focusing first upon state legislatures and state departments of education in an effort to get them to establish policy support, curricular standards, and curricular requirements in civic education that meet the standards we have set forth above. We also are working with local school systems. Although our resources are limited, we do have the support of a national network of educators and volunteers who are committed to the goal. The National Conference of State Legislatures supports improvements in civic education. Other prominent groups that have recently focused on the need for improved civic education include the National Commission for Civic Renewal, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the Compact for Learning and Citizenship of the Education Commission of the States, and the National Council for the Social Studies
We need state and local policy establishing time requirements for civic education at the elementary level and specific course requirements at middle and secondary school levels. We also need policy requiring that civic education be appropriately addressed in related courses such as history, economics, language arts, science, and mathematics. The standards presented earlier in this paper should guide the development of educational policy in civic education at state and local levels.
Aristotle said, "If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in a democracy, they will be attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost." Participation alone is not enough. We need to develop enlightened participation and the best way to do that is through effective civic education. Our task should be to develop the student's capacity to participate competently and responsibly. This includes fostering among our students a reasoned commitment to the fundamental values and principles of American constitutional democracy. Thus prepared, they should have the capacity and the inclination to work together to preserve our democratic heritage, and narrow the gap between our ideals and reality.
[Editor's Note: Charles N. Quigley is Executive Director of The Center for Civic Education a non-profit, non-partisan corporation dedicated to the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values fundamental to American constitutional democracy. The Center specializes in civic education, law-related education, and international educational exchange programs for developing democracies. Programs focus on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; American political traditions and institutions at the federal, state, and local levels; constitutionalism; civic participation; and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. With its headquarters - 5146 Douglas Fir Road Calabasas, Calif. e-mail: email@example.com.
FRESNO - In contrast to the perceptions of many outsiders, residents of the Central Valley are content with life in the state's heartland, with over half believing that the region is the best place to live in California today.
However, a new survey just released by the Public Policy Institute of California and the Great Valley Center also reveals profound uncertainty about the future of the region, driven largely by conflicting views about the costs and benefits of growth.
The large-scale public opinion survey of the 18-county Central Valley region found that three in four residents rate their community as an excellent or good place to live. Fifty-five percent rate the economy in the region excellent (9%) or good (46%). Most residents are "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with the availability of public colleges and universities (48% and 38%), outdoor leisure activities (43% and 39%), and affordable housing (37% and 43%). Solid majorities say the quality of local public services they receive is excellent or good, including police protection (69%), parks and other recreational facilities (68%), public libraries (60%), public schools (59%), and local freeways, streets, and roads (58%).
"Interestingly, many quality of life measures in the Central Valley today are as good or better than those in coastal urban regions of the state," said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. "The one big exception is that people in the Central Valley are not as satisfied as residents in Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay Area with job opportunities in their region."
Although they are feeling good right now, Central Valley residents admit to having qualms about tomorrow. They are evenly divided when asked if the Central Valley will be a better place or a worse place in the future (37% to 33%), with only about one in four residents saying it will stay the same.
Much of the uncertainty about what the future holds for the Central Valley appears to stem from a common perception the region is growing at a tremendous rate. Seventy-seven percent believe that the population of the region has been growing rapidly in recent years, and 74 percent think that the population will continue to increase rapidly in the next decade.
When residents were asked to name the most important public policy issue facing the Central Valley today, a group of five growth-related issues took precedence. Nearly half of those surveyed said that water (13%), the environment and pollution (10%), population growth and development (8%), loss of farmlands and agriculture (8%), and traffic and transportation (6%) are the biggest problems.
Given the expectations and concerns about rapid growth, residents support a variety of policies--some of them contradictory--for improving the region's quality of life over the next 10 years. When residents rated eight policy options, protecting agricultural lands (52%) and preserving wetlands (49%) were identified as "extremely effective" policies by half of those surveyed.
However, only one-third said that restricting development to existing suburban and urban areas would be "extremely effective." Eighty-one percent also said they would support expanding the state's reservoir system to help the Valley meet future water needs.
"There is a real challenge here for local leaders," said Carol Whiteside, President of the Great Valley Center. "At the same time residents express support for policy prescriptions that would protect the natural environment and preserve farmlands, they want more water storage systems and are lukewarm about limiting development. Some tough choices lie ahead for Central Valley communities."
While many observers view the Central Valley as a bastion of conservative politics, in reality the region is less easy to label. Compared to all Californians, Central Valley residents are a little more likely to identify themselves as conservative (35% to 41%). However, relatively few Valley residents consider themselves to be "very" conservative (13%). The majority (58%) identify themselves as middle-of-the-road to somewhat conservative in their politics.
There are also significant regional differences within the Central Valley on many key issues, most notably among residents of the North Valley and people who live in the Sacramento Metro area. For example, North Valley residents are less likely to describe themselves as liberal, while fewer Sacramento Metro residents say they are conservative. North Valley residents are less likely to rate the economy as excellent or good (37%), while Sacramento Metro residents are the most positive (74%).
Paradoxically, North Valley residents are also the most likely (59%), and Sacramento Metro residents the least likely (47%), to agree with the statement, "The Central Valley is the best place to live in California today."
The views of Latinos--who represent a large and growing segment of the Valley's population--also differ sharply from non-Hispanic whites in a number of key areas. Latinos (24%) were less than half as likely as non-Hispanic whites (53%) to name a growth-related problem as the most important policy issue facing the region. By contrast, Latinos were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to name crime and gangs (12% to 7%), jobs (9% to 4%), and schools (8% to 4%) as the top issues.
While most Central Valley residents believe that the new University of California campus at Merced is important to the future economy and quality of life in the region, Latinos are far more likely (75%) than non-Hispanic whites (46%) to rate it as "very important."
Although they give the Central Valley high marks as a place to live, most residents do not appear to identify strongly with the region as a whole. If they were traveling outside the area and were asked where they lived, only one in five would say they were from the Central Valley, while two in three would name their city or community. People in the southern areas of the Central Valley were more likely than people in other regions to identify the Central Valley as their home.
"This survey points to the incredible geographic and social diversity of the area we call the Central Valley," said Baldassare. "While it is difficult to identify a common regional vision, there are many common challenges that could have profound effects on the state as a whole. State policymakers need to pay close attention to what is happening here-the region is poised to play an increasingly vital role in California's social, political, and economic way of life."
[Editor's Note: PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. The Institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. The Central Valley Survey--a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and the Great Valley Center--is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. The purpose of this survey is to provide the first comprehensive, advocacy-free study of the political, social, and economic attitudes and public policy preferences of Central Valley residents. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,016 California adult residents in the 18-county Central Valley region, interviewed from October 18 to October 24, 1999. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%.]
TROY, New York - Strangely missing from such gadget-oriented futurism is any sense of higher principle or purpose. In contrast, ideas for a new industrial society that inspired thinkers in the 19th and early 20th centuries were brashly idealistic.
Theorists and planners often upheld human equality as a central commitment, proposing structures of community life that matched this goal and seeking an appropriate mix of city and country, manufacturing and agriculture, solidarity and freedom. In this way of thinking, philosophical arguments came first and only later the choice of instruments. On that basis, the likes of Robert Owen, Charles Fourier, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ebenezer Howard, and Frank Lloyd Wright offered grand schemes for a society deliberately transformed, all in quest of a grand ideal.
As one of today's leading post-utopian futurists, Freeman J. Dyson places technological devices at the forefront of thinking about the future. "New technologies," he says, "offer us real opportunities for making the world a happier place." Although he recognizes that social, economic, and political influences have much to do with how new technologies are applied, he says that he emphasizes technology "because that is where I come from." In that vein his book sets out to imagine an appealing future predicated on technologies identified in its title: The Sun, the Genome, & the Internet.
The project is somewhat clouded by the fact that he has made similar attempts in the past with limited success. Infinite in All Directions, published in 1985, upheld genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and space travel as the truly promising sources of change in our civilization. Now, with disarming honesty, he admits that two of these guesses were badly mistaken and have been removed from his hot list. "In the short run, he concludes, "space travel is a joke. We look at the bewildered cosmonauts struggling to survive in the Mir space station." By the same token, artificial intelligence has been a tremendous disappointment. "Robots," he laments, "are not noticeably smarter today than the were fourteen years ago." From his earlier crystal ball, only genetic engineering still holds much luster. Evidently, Yogi Berra's famous maxim holds true: "It's tough to make predictions, especially when you're talking about the future."
What makes solar energy, biotechnology, and the Internet appealing to Dyson is that they translate ingenious science into material well-being; sources of wealth that, he believes, will now be more widely distributed than ever before. Because sunlight is abundant in places where energy is now most needed, improvements in photovoltaic systems will bring electric power to isolated Third World villages. Soon the development of genetically modified plants will offer bountiful supplies of both food and cheap fuel, relieving age-old conditions of scarcity. As the Internet expands to become a universal utility, the world's resources of information and problem solving will finally be accessible to everyone on the planet. Interacting in ways that multiply their overall benefit, the three developments will lead to an era of prosperity, peace, and contentment. The book's most lively sections are ones that identify avenues of research likely to bear fruit in decades and even centuries ahead. Of particular fascination to Dyson are instruments that were initially created for narrow programs of scientific inquiry (John Randall's equipment for X-ray crystallography, for example) but have a wide range of beneficial applications. Occasionally he goes so far as to suggest currently feasible but yet unrealized devices that scientists should be busy making. Both the desktop sequencer and desktop protein microscope, he insists, are among the inventions that await someone's creative hand.
The slapdash quality of the book's social analysis sometimes leads to ludicrous conclusions. In one passage, Dyson surveys the 20th-century history of the introduction of electric appliances to the modern home. In the early decades of this century, he notes, even middle-class families would hire servants to handle much of the housework. With the coming of labor-saving appliances, however, the servants were sent packing and housewives began to do most of the cooking and cleaning. Up to this point, Dyson's account is pretty much in line with standard histories of domestic work. But then his version of events takes a bizarre turn.
He recalls that middle-class women of his mother's generation, supported by crews of servants, were sometimes able to leave the home to engage in many varieties of creative work. One such woman was the distinguished archeologist Hetty Goldman, appointed to Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study in the 1930s. But for the next half-century until 1985, he laments, the institute hired no other women at all. "It seemed that there was nobody of her preeminence in the next generation of women," he writes. What accounts for this astonishing setback in the fortunes of women within the highest levels of the scientific community? Dyson concludes that it must have been the coming of household appliances. No longer supported by servants, women were chained to their ovens, dishwashers, and toasters and were no longer able produce those "preeminent" contributions to human knowledge they so cherish at the institute. "The history of our faculty encapsulates the history of women's liberation," he observes without a hint of irony, "a glorious beginning in the 1920s, a great backsliding in the 1950s, a gradual recovery in the 1980s and 1990s." Are there other possible explanations for this yawning gap? The sexism of the old boys' club perhaps? Dyson does not bother to ask.
The shortcomings in Dyson's grasp of social reality cast a shadow on his map of a glorious tomorrow. His book shows little recognition of the political and economic institutions that shape new technologies: forces that will have a major bearing on the very improvements he recommends. In recent decades, for example, choices in solar electricity have been strongly influenced by multinational energy firms with highly diverse investment agendas. In corporate portfolios, the sun is merely one of a number of potential profit centers and by no means the one business interests place at the top of the list. Before one boldly predicts the advent of a solar age, one must understand not only the technological horizons but also the agendas of powerful decisionmakers and the economic barriers they pose. Similarly, the emerging horizons of biotechnology are, to a great extent, managed by large firms in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. When compared to the product development and marketing schemes of the corporate giants, Dyson's vision of an egalitarian global society nourished by genetically modified organisms has little credibility. He seems oblivious to a growing resistance to biotechnology among some of the farmers in Third World countries, a revolt against the monopolies that genetically engineered seed stocks might impose.
Occasionally, Dyson notices with apparent surprise that promising innovations are not working out as expected. "Too much of technology today," he laments, "is making toys for the rich." His solution to this problem is technology "guided by ethics," an excellent suggestion, indeed. Once again, however, he does not explain what ethics of this kind would involve. Rather than argue a clear position in moral philosophy, the book regales readers with vague yearnings for a better world.
At this rapturous moment Dyson begins to use the pronoun "we," clearly identifying himself with the superior, privileged creatures yet to be manufactured. "In the end we must travel the high road into space, to find new worlds to match our new capabilities. To give us room to explore the varieties of mind and body into which our genome can evolve, one planet is not enough."
I put the book down. I pondered my response to its bizarre final proposal. Should we say a fond "Farewell!" as Dyson's successors rocket off to the Kuiper Belt? I think not. A more appropriate valediction would be "Good riddance."
[Editor's Note: Langdon Winner is professor of political science in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the author of The Whale and the Reactor (University of Chicago Press, 1986).]
WASHINGTON - University of Wisconsin-Madison students Scott Southworth, Amy Schoepke, Keith Bannach, Rebecca Bretz, and Rebecka Vander Werf sued the University Board of Regents claiming that the Regents' had used the students' mandatory activity fees to fund private organizations that engage in political and ideological advocacy, and that such activities abridged their right of Freedom of Speech and association, the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and various state laws. They sought both injunctive and declaratory relief.In 1995, in an opinion endorsing a Supreme Court ruling that public colleges may not deny student-fee support to groups simply because of their religious activities, Justice O'Connor issued a warning.
The legal theory of the law suit is that the Regents use of mandatory fees to support groups with political or ideological agendas is expressly prohibted by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constiution.
"I note the possibility," she wrote, "that the student fee is susceptible to a Free Speech clause challenge by an objecting student that she should not be compelled to pay for speech with which she disagrees."
In November 1996, a federal judge ruled that Wisconsin had violated the students' First Amendment rights not to speak and not to associate, by requiring them to subsidize organizations with missions they oppose. Lat Fal the judge agreed.
The California Supreme Court, however, drew a more stringent line on the issue in 1993, in Smith v. Regents of the University of California. The court declared that students should not be forced to pay fees if some of the money was used to support groups with missions they oppose, even if the organizations are part of a broader forum in which many political and ideological views are represented.
The idea was that even a neutral system which funds all groups is unlawful, if it happens to fund groups that you don't like.
A court decision barring the University of Wisconsin System from using mandatory student-activity fees to finance some campus groups was affirmed in 1996, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit refused to reconsider the case.
Four of the court's judges filed two dissents that said the full Seventh Circuit court should have taken the case, and warned that the earlier decision could stifle free speech on campuses.
Ruling on the case brought by three students at Madison, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit last August struck down the university's mandatory-fee policy, which the students alleged had forced them to finance 18 campus groups that they said were at odds with their political, ideological, and religious beliefs as self-described conservative Christians.
The appeals-court panel found that the university's support of private political or ideological organizations was not "germane" to its mission of education, and that there was no "vital policy interest" in its compelling students who objected to supporting such groups. The court directed the university to devise a fee system that did not force students to subsidize speech with which they disagree.
And on Tuesday November 9, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices reacted skeptically to each side of a dispute over whether public colleges can constitutionally force students to help subsidize campus groups that promote views the students oppose.
The Justices spent much of the hour allotted for oral arguments in the case aggressively questioning the lawyers for the University of Wisconsin System and for the several conservative Christian students who sued it over its expenditure of mandatory-fee revenues on political or ideological groups.
The Supreme Court's decision, expected by the end of June, could significantly change how the nation's public colleges [about 70 per cent of which now rely on mandatory student fees to finance various student organizations] support and regulate the activities of such groups. The outcome of the case also could affect the groups themselves, by depriving many of them of a key source of funds.
Most of the nine Justices this week seemed to be searching for a middle ground between the two sides. They pointedly rejected some of the most strident arguments offered, and concentrated heavily on trying to make sense of the complex system through which the University of Wisconsin collects mandatory fees from students and distributes part of the resulting revenue to about 140 groups.
"I wonder if the source of the funds is really the problem, or if the way in which the money is distributed is really the problem," said Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.
The Court talked a lot about the University allocating nearly $72,000 of student fees annually to the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group to pay a staff and use student volunteers to lobby legislators.
Copyright 1999 The Fresno Republican Newspaper. All rights reserved.
FRESNO -- The 19th Congressional District is currently represented by George P. Radanovich(R) in his Third Term. It covers California's Central Valley - Fresno and Madera counties.
The 19th is a fertile farm district that includes the heart of Central California's San Joaquin Valley. It includes all of Madera County and most of the city of Fresno, home to large numbers of Hispanics, Hmong and Armenians.
A Democratic district before 1992 redistricting, the 19th is now more rural and more Republican. Farmers and senior citizens, leery of government regulations and environmental protection laws, tend to be moderate conservatives. Farming and water issues are the perpetual hot topics and are becoming more significant as population growth means less water for agricultural use.
Fresno County, known as the "agribusiness capital of the world," produces about $3.2 billion in agricultural projects a year, more than any other county in the nation. Tourism at Yosemite National Park also helps keep the 19th's economy afloat, although the district suffers from high unemployment due to the seasonal nature of its driving industries.
Major Industry - Agriculture, dairy, tourism
Military Bases - Fresno Yosemite International Airport Air National Guard Base, 972 military, 389 civilian (1998)
Population - 573,077 (1990)
Cities - Fresno, 273,792 (1990); Clovis, 67,700; Madera, 36,350 (1998, est.)
Demographics [People] 68% urban; 11% age 65+ (ranks 19 of 52 in state; bottom third nationally); 57% married couples, 28% married couples with children; 20% college educated (ranks 30 of 52 in state; middle third nationally); 61% white collar (ranks 25 of 52 in state; middle third nationally), 22% blue collar (ranks 31 of 52 in state; bottom third nationally) (1990)
Race - 74% white, 3% black, 7% Asian; 23% Hispanic origin (1990)
Median Household Income $29,153 (ranks 42 of 52 in state; middle third nationally) (1990).
Unusual Features - During World War II, more than 5,000 Japanese Americans were interned at the Fresno fairgrounds; Yosemite National Park; Crashup Gas Station in Easton, where a two-seat prop plane crashed through the roof of a gas pump island and is still there.
The 20th Congressional District is currently represented by Cal Dooley(D). It reaches from Fresno to Bakersfield, through portions of Fresno, Kings and Kern counties known as the Westlands. It picks up Fresno's southeastern neighborhoods, which are home to many blacks and Hispanics who reliably support Democratic candidates.
The 20th still bears much of the burden of the San Joaquin Valley's urban and rural poor and is beset by crime and high unemployment. It also is one of California's most rural districts and has some of the state's poorest and least-educated residents, many of whom are Hispanic and Hmong immigrants who work in the district's farming community.
Farmers in the 20th grow a wide variety of products, including alfalfa, cotton, fruits, sugar beets, wheat and nuts. To assist the area's shaky economy, the 20th has attracted 19 state and privately run prisons. For years, the area has been debating a controversial proposal to build a new publicly financed baseball stadium for a private investment club in downtown Fresno. If ever completed it will likely not provide an economic boost to the reagion. Financial background of stadium promoters is so weak that private financing could not be obtained.
Major Industry -- Agriculture, dairy, prisons, government programs
Military Bases -- Lemoore Naval Air Station, 4,715 military, 1,092 civilian (1998)
Population -- 573,555 (1990 Census)
Cities -- Fresno, 80,410 (1990); Hanford, 39,700; Delano, 34,150 (1998, est.); Bakersfield, 19,904 (1990)
Demographics [People] -- 47% suburban, 27% rural; 9% age 65+ (ranks 40 of 52 in state; bottom third nationally); 60% married couples, 35% married couples with children;6% college educated (ranks 51 of 52 in state; bottom third nationally); 35% white collar (ranks 51 of 52 in state; bottom third nationally), 27% blue collar (ranks 15 of 52 in state; middle third nationally) (1990)
Race -- 49% white, 6% black, 6% Asian; 55% Hispanic origin (1990)
Median Household Income -- $21,140 (ranks 51 of 52 in state; bottom third nationally) (1990).
Copyright 1999 The Fresno Republican Newspaper.
Zero Tolerance For Idiocy
by Adam J. Bernay, Commentator
FRESNO - You may recall in late August the hubbub when the Gulfport, Mississippi school board blocked a student from expressing his freedom of religion by wearing a Star of David under a misguided "zero tolerance for gangs" on the pretext that a local gang symbol contained stars as parts of their gang regalia.
Well, Zero Tolerance has struck again, this time in Nevis, Minnesota, where the officials at Nevis High are refusing to allow a picture of senior Samantha Jones into the school yearbook since it shows her posing with a decommissioned cannon on the lawn in from of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
Samantha says that she wanted pose beside the cannon because she's joining the Army right after college. The school board Superintendent, Dick Magaard, says, "Whether it's in military, recreational or sporting form, anything shaped like a gun or knife is banned" under the Nevis district's "zero-tolerance" weapons policy.
The school board says they're deadlocked on the issue, despite the fact that there are war photos on the walls of the school. And I say that a decommissioned howitzer can't be brought to school to shoot people; even its commissioned use is on the battlefield to fight for this country.
Yes, we face a growing epidemic of school gun violence. Yes, we need to make sure kids don't bring guns to school. But we also need to make sure that we teach kids what the legitimate uses of guns are, one of which is by the military to defend this nation.
Of course, in the leftist world of academe, guns are evil and should be banned - never to be seen or talked about either...I guess they take their cues from Rhodes scholars who claim to loathe the military.
Samantha's mother says she backs her daughter and will sue the school board. Well, maybe Samantha's picture will make it into the yearbook, if the case is decided or settled by then. But the larger issue remains. While we certainly seek ways to stem the tide of shooting tragedies in our schools, the bigger tragedy is that the system refuses to acknowledge the importance of people with guns standing up for their country.
The issue is not the gun, it is the person who holds the weapon. Jack the Ripper committed serial murder with knives; I sincerely doubt Samantha Jones will commit murder with any weapon she is issued in the Army.
Instead, she just might stop those who seek to take the lives of those who so disrespected her and her calling that they wish to expunge that calling from their publication.
Copyright 1999, The Bulldog Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Wall Street awaits fallout
from Microsoft ruling
Mercury News Wire Services
NEW YORK - Branded a monopoly shortly after the stock market's Friday closing, Microsoft Corp. could put a drag today on Wall Street's record-setting rally as investors assess a judge's blunt antitrust ruling.
In the longer term, even if Microsoft agrees to certain punishments to settle its legal battle with the Justice Department, the Redmond, Wash., software maker may eventually emerge as a marked company like the leading tobacco makers, dogged by state and civil lawsuits aimed at its bank accounts.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson was extremely clear in his findings Friday, declaring that Microsoft had abused its dominance of the personal computer industry to stifle innovation and competition, hurting consumers.
But the decision was only a first step toward determining punishment that most likely will affect the entire technology industry. It's not clear whether investors will confine the initial punishment to Microsoft -- which just a week ago was added to the influential Dow Jones industrial index -- or lash out at the market's broader technology sector.
The Justice Department's top antitrust enforcer said for the first time Sunday that a breakup of Microsoft was within a range of remedies being considered in the government's antitrust suit against the software giant.
Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, said on the ABC News program ``This Week'' that a wide range of remedies were being considered in the wake of the court findings, and that a breakup ``is in the range.'' But he cautioned that Justice Department officials had not decided on any tack.
``We're looking at a lot of remedies, and it is premature for us now to get ahead of the story,'' he said.
Judging from the harsh response Friday in after-hours markets, where Microsoft's shares slid more than 4 percent from their Nasdaq close of $91.56 1/4, Jackson's ruling will present at least a temporary speed bump for both the Dow and the Nasdaq stock market, which has set record highs for six sessions in a row.
Coming amid such a powerful rally -- the Dow has risen 7 percent in the past three weeks while the Nasdaq composite has soared nearly 11 percent in just seven sessions -- the Microsoft ruling could sap the market's enthusiasm, or at least provide a handy excuse to protect some of the recent gains.
The market can easily weather such a loss unless the uncertain ramifications of the ruling undercut demand for technology shares in general, the main driving force for Nasdaq and the overall stock market. Either way, it may be hard for Microsoft, a favorite on Wall Street, to provide the type of leadership and gains investors have come to expect.
``I would expect to see pressure on Microsoft this week and in weeks to come, so it may be difficult for the stock to be an outperformer the way it has in the past,'' said Barry Hyman, senior equity analyst at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum, a New York-based investment firm.
Jackson handed the department a huge victory in its antitrust lawsuit, concluding that Microsoft had a monopoly in the operating-system market and used it to bully competitors and stifle innovation.
Still to come is Jackson's verdict, in which he will determine whether the facts he set out in his findings violate antitrust laws. If he rules against Microsoft early next year, as now seems likely, the verdict will be followed immediately by hearings on what remedies would be needed to ensure competition.
Microsoft has vowed to appeal any unfavorable decision. Some experts said they thought the harshness of the judge's findings last week were intended to press Microsoft into a settlement, and over the weekend both Justice Department and Microsoft officials expressed some interest in settling.
In a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post on Sunday, presented as a letter ``to our customers, partners and shareholders,'' Microsoft's co-founder and chairman, Bill Gates, said, ``Microsoft is committed to resolving this matter in a fair and responsible manner, while ensuring that the fundamental principles of consumer choice and innovation are protected.''
The company's chief operating officer, Bob Herbold, said on the Sunday talk shows that ``There's nothing we'd like more than to settle this case.''
Klein, who also appeared on three television programs, said, ``Obviously, settlement is always an option.''
But what happens if there is no settlement? After all, every attempt to reach an agreement, both before the trial and in the weeks after testimony concluded, came to nothing. Now, a settlement would seem even less likely, given that Jackson's findings give the Justice Department little incentive and Microsoft little room to compromise.
Assuming an eventual verdict in the government's favor, the case will move to the remedies phase.
On another Sunday talk show, CNN's ``Late Edition,'' Klein ruled out financial penalties against Microsoft. ``We're concerned with competition,'' he said. ``This is not a penal action.'' He said a proper remedy ``will make sure the market remains maximally competitive so that consumers can have real choices and so that everyone can innovate in this market.''
Microsoft's attorneys say it is far too early to talk about remedies.
``After all, the court still hasn't drawn any legal conclusions,'' said Charles Rule, a Washington lawyer and Microsoft adviser who held Klein's job at the Justice Department during the Reagan and Bush administrations. ``Everybody gets way ahead of themselves talking about remedies at this stage.''
The potential remedies that have been discussed by analysts and Microsoft critics fall into two categories: ``behavioral'' changes in the way the company interacts with customers and competitors, and more sweeping ``structural'' changes to the corporation itself.
The first route would basically compel the company to ``sin no more.'' It could, for example, prohibit Microsoft's contracts with computer manufacturers from requiring the purchase of other Microsoft products. It could require the publishing of pricing lists. It could require that Microsoft publish specifications for the Windows application program interfaces, or APIs, the operating-system code that rival software manufacturers must know if their products are to run on Windows as well as Microsoft's programs do.
But the Justice Department could also ask that Microsoft be required to license the source code of its Windows operating system to competitors, effectively selling the code and the brand to the highest bidders and creating instant competition in Microsoft's monopoly market.
The harshest remedy would be divestiture. One option could split Microsoft into three companies -- one to produce the Windows operating system, one to produce application software like Excel, Powerpoint and Word, and one to run its Internet and multimedia businesses.
Another breakup scenario would be the creation of a handful of new companies that would each have proprietary information for Windows and Microsoft's other software products. Starting on equal footing, these ``Baby Bills'' -- a pun that combines Gates' first name with ``Baby Bells,'' the local phone companies created by the 1984 breakup of AT&T -- would compete with one another.
Each potential remedy has pitfalls. The behavioral changes could institute a regulatory-oversight morass and, some fear, might not go far enough. Leaving the operating-system business under one roof, critics say, might not eliminate anti-competitive behavior.
And licensing the source code to other companies -- or breaking Microsoft into ``Baby Bills'' -- could lead to incompatible versions of the operating system and other software, which would be a nightmare for consumers and developers.
Copyright 1999 Mercury News Wire Service.
Point, Click, Plagiarize
By Tanya Schevitz
Web site nabs UC Berkeley students stealing from Net
By Tanya Schevitz
BERKELEY - A University of California at Berkeley professor turned the high-tech tables on some of his science students when he caught them with term papers plagiarized from online sources.
Professor David Presti caught 45 of his 320 neurobiology students last spring by using the same tools the cheaters had used -- a computer and the Internet.
Presti relied upon a new Web site, Plagiarism.org, that scans student papers against millions of pages on the Internet. His test of the site was so successful in identifying plagiarists that the university now wants to
The Web site, created by a UC Berkeley graduate student, is confirming what teachers at Berkeley and universities around the world have suspected for some time -- that the Internet has been a boon to students searching for a quick and easy way to write their research papers.
And for the most part, teachers are grateful that they now have a tool that can root out the miscreants.
``Plagiarism has always existed, but it was almost impossibly hard to detect because it was only where a professor recognized, `Oh, this looks familiar' or if it seemed more sophisticated than what the student had been doing,'' said Presti, who said he had never caught a student plagiarizing in 12 years of teaching.
Other UC Berkeley professors have already made their own deals to use the Web site this fall. And dozens of colleges and high schools here and abroad --from Georgetown University to Poland's Torun University -- are also testing the system as a way to combat plagiarism.
Cheating on university campuses is on the rise, according to recent studies, in part because the Internet has provided students with a treasure trove of information that they can plug into papers by just cutting and pasting.
``There is no question that plagiarism has been and continues to be an issue, and with the Internet, if there hasn't been an increase, it is likely coming. It is so easy,'' said Donald McCabe, a Rutgers University professor and founding president of the Center for Academic Integrity.
Some people on college campuses are balking at the idea of using Plagiarism.org more broadly, saying it breaches a trust between students and professors.
``If you put more trust in people, they are going to tend not to abuse that trust,'' said UC Berkeley senior Cristian Mueller, 24. ``The people who plagiarize will lose anyway. You are not going to learn if you aren't doing the work.''
But Theo Carlile, director of the collegiate seminar program at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, who headed the drive to get Plagiarism.org on her campus, said colleges cannot afford to turn their back on the problem.
``I would prefer to say this never happens, but unfortunately it does happen. In a big program like ours, it is very difficult to control, and it is unfair not to deal with it,'' she said.
Saint Mary's College is testing the program this semester on about 620 students in freshman classes on Greek thought and has contracted to use the site campuswide in the spring.
Carlile said she is most interested in the site's ability to build a database of papers over time so that students cannot recycle work previously handed in by another student.
That was the original idea behind the site, which was hatched by UC Berkeley biophysics doctoral student John Barrie, 31, while he was a teaching assistant for Presti in 1995. He posted all of the papers from Presti's class on a Web site to allow students to read each other's papers.
But the next semester, students started telling Barrie of previous papers being poached from the site for other classes.
So he started by creating a program to match papers with others previously submitted to the class. From there, he focused on the online term-paper mills that allow students to download an entire work with just the point and click of a mouse.
Next, he recruited eight other UC Berkeley alumni, and they got the site rolling last spring by scraping together their money, using their apartments as office space and obtaining donated access to a North Berkeley Internet server.
The Web project expanded beyond sites that offer ready-made term papers. Now it can run research papers through 20 of the largest search engines on the Internet, which in minutes can scan millions of Web pages -- from online encyclopedias to newspaper sites -- looking for similar phrasing.
The system can lock on to a stolen phrase as short as eight words, and it can catch copied material even if it has been changed slightly to appear original.
``If you can find something on the Internet, we can find it too,'' Barrie said.
Plagiarism.org produces reports highlighting passages that come verbatim from Web sites. The professor gets the report the day after the papers are submitted. It is up to the instructor to review the report to see whether the computer picked up a quote or material that was legitimately cited.
``The final result is a completely nonambiguous document that shows exactly how much you have taken from another person's Web site,'' Barrie said.
Those students who do plagiarize rarely make it difficult to detect, he said.
Presti's class was chosen to test the system last spring, and his students were warned at the start of the semester that their papers would be scrutinized. Had they not been forewarned, the number of students who plagiarized might have been even higher.
One five-page paper in Presti's class had only a few sentences -- or sentence fragments -- that were not flagged as having been plagiarized. The site picked up almost three full consecutive pages pulled from one source on the Internet, as well as verbatim paragraphs from five other sites.
Presti said students caught plagiarizing were required to redo the assignment, and the most egregious cases may be subject to a reduction in their grade or further punishment, possibly including community service.
None of the students will be suspended or dismissed from the university this time, because this was a pilot program, Presti said. However, next semester he plans to give a lecture on ethics and the correct use of citations and will report any plagiarism to the student conduct office.
The campus policy allows for a warning or assignment of community service for a first offense and suspension or termination for the second.
The site's scope is not limited to academia. Just last week, it unearthed plagiarism in an article about medical information on the Internet that was printed in the Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Barrie said.
Gunther Eysenbach, a professor at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, saw the article and sent it to Plagiarism.org after recognizing phrases from a previous article he had written.
Sure enough, it picked up several paragraphs that were taken almost unchanged from his article as well as from other Web sites.
Barrie said the author has retracted the article, and the case has prompted a call by Eysenbach, who is editor of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, for all journal articles to be similarly reviewed.
1999 San Francisco Chronicle