By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
The act has been introduced in 12 state legislatures and is expected to be scrutinized by every state legislative body sometime this year. Key provisions:
•Governors could declare a public-health emergency without consulting the legislature, courts or public-health officials.
•An "emergency" could be prompted by any "disease caused by a living organism" that "may or may not be transmissible from person to person, animal to person, or insect to person." This definition, in the eyes of some, could include the flu or other ordinary viral illnesses.
•Public health officials could quarantine people "suspected of having" an "infectious disease," make vaccination mandatory, order medical exams and fine doctors if they don't comply.
•The state could mobilize its "organized militia," presumably the National Guard, and seize control of private property, including "communication devices, real estate, fuels, food, clothing and health care facilities."
So far, three states—South Dakota, Utah and New Mexico—have enacted the law, and a version has passed the Florida legislature. Similar proposals have been defeated in four states: Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In New York, the law has been introduced and is being considered by the state senate's public-health committee.PENTAGON UNSCATHED?
The best-seller in Paris, according to Amazon.com's French operations, is Sept. 11: The Frightening Fraud (L'Effroyable Imposture) by lefty Green Party "journalist" and Voltaire Network luminary Thierry Meyssan. He claims that the Pentagon was never hit by a plane and that the U.S. establishment, led by the Pentagon disinformation gang, thought the whole thing up.
Dismissed as nuts by most French journalists, the book nonetheless has soared on the Internet. "This theory suits everyone," snapped Le Nouvel Observateur. "There are no Islamic extremists, and everyone is happy. It eliminates reality."
Some have suggested that the book is a spoof relying on the same French sense of humor that elevated Jerry Lewis to a comic genius.Additional reporting by Gabrielle Jackson, Meritxell Mir and Michael Ridley.