Could you be seen as the terrorist next door?

first_imgI was an ordinary American until Nov. 27, 2006, when I became a terrorist, or more accurately, what I call a “stand-by terrorist.” Perhaps I cannot truly own this newfound nickname until the government decides to prosecute me for word crimes, if that day ever arrives. Until then, I just think of myself as being on stand-by, just as are most – if not all – Americans, whether they realize it or not. You may wonder how words can amount to a terrorist act in the land of the free and home of the outspoken. It is not widely known, but Congress last year passed legislation called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which can be used to prosecute civil disobedience and speech as “domestic terrorism” when an animal-related business loses profits and property. The act also protects corporations that pollute and destroy the environment. You may ask: What does this have to do with me because I’m no nature fan or animal lover? Well, it could eventually have very much to do with you because the AETA – a natural child of the Patriot Act – is likely to be the first of many assaults on the social-justice movement in favor of corporations and other moneyed interests. If you think you may want to use your free speech some day to criticize something, anything, then you had better be very concerned. You should also be concerned about whether law enforcement protects you from the bin Ladens of the world or fritters away your hard-earned tax dollars investigating pacifists. The American Civil Liberties Union says the FBI uses “counterterrorism resources to monitor and infiltrate (nonviolent) domestic political organizations that criticize business interests and government policies.” An FBI special agent recently told me that planting undercover agents at legal, peaceful events – with hopes that they will somehow learn about illegal activities – is a favored tactic of the bureau. What are the parameters of AETA and who could be tangled in its web, slapped with prison time and branded a terrorist? Could Oprah Winfrey – the beloved and successful talk show host – and her former vegetarian guest, Howard Lyman, be prosecuted as terrorists if they were to repeat anti-beef comments made to Winfrey’s 15 million viewers in 1996? It is indeed possible, because the AETA is overbroad, vague and subject to the whims of law enforcement. That much was evidenced last year when six young, New Jersey Web site operators became the first individuals convicted on “animal enterprise terrorism” charges. The young people were part of the Stop Huntington Cruelty campaign, which targeted the Huntington Life Sciences animal research labs. The site operators did nothing more than assert their First Amendment rights: They posted videotape of tortured dogs inside HLS and reported the legal and illegal handiwork of activists, which eventually caused the corporation to lose profits and to be dropped from the New York Stock Exchange. The FBI was unable to catch the underground activists, so it targeted the Web site operators, who are serving up to six years in prison for their speech. If the government fails to catch a thief or saboteur, should it be allowed to pursue the CNN reporter who delivers the news? Or an outspoken op-ed columnist? Or six kids from New Jersey with a Web site? The AETA ignores Shakespeare’s recommendation, “Don’t shoot the messenger,” potentially stigmatizing a “speaker” with the most heinous, post-9-11 label in America: terrorist. America is about nothing if it is not about fairness and free speech. The AETA does not comport with this image. It is unjust and unconstitutional, and it interferes with the prosecution of real terrorism against the American people. Once we faced a “red scare”; now we are bombarded with a “green scare.” The time has come to ask yourself: Do you really want to be on stand-by or do you want to take a stand? And are you now, or could you someday be, the terrorist next door? Charlotte Laws, Ph.D., is the author of a chapter of the 2006 book, “Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of Mother Earth.” She is founder and president of the Los Angeles Directors of Animal Welfare and is a member of the Greater Valley Glen Council.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

JSE launches International Derivatives

first_imgThomson said that in the past, participating in international markets was an onerous process with complex administrative and approval requirements. Offshore investing Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Expanded list 5 November 2008 IDX plans to expand by including additional markets and companies over time, with futures on select US and Asian stocks, available from the first quarter of 2009. SAinfo reporter “We will hopefully list further derivatives products according to market appetite and we believe there will be great demand for these investment opportunities,” he said. The JSE has partnered with Deutsche Bank to launch International Derivatives (IDX), a new asset class that allows South African investors to trade single stock futures on internationally listed companies for the first time. “This is a new landmark in trading for the JSE,” JSE trading head Allan Thomson said in a statement this week. “For the first time, local investors will be able to gain exposure to international companies without dealing with an offshore bank or broker.” Thomson pointed out that individuals and corporate investors would not have any exchange control restrictions when trading International Derivatives on the JSE, though the fund management industry would have to comply with their foreign portfolio allowances. JSE derivatives specialist Magnus de Wet said that investing offshore played an important role in building a diversified investment portfolio. “The international companies being listed include companies from the oil and gal, telecommunications and pharmaceutical sectors,” he said. “This allows South African investors to further diversify their portfolios internationally, and in different industries.” Deutsche Bank will provide liquidity on futures over 21 top European companies, selected from both the FTSE 100 and DJ Eurostoxx 50 benchmark indices. The companies include major multinational corporations such as BP, GlaxoSmithKline, LVMH, Nokia and Vodafone. “In contrast, International Derivatives contracts can be traded through a JSE registered broker in the same way you would purchase any local derivatives product.” “This is an exciting initiative which provides SA investors convenient access to foreign markets” said Deutsche Securities equities head Max Koep. The contracts are priced and settled in South African rands, meaning that investors will benefit if the rand depreciates – and as such, De Wet anticipated that discerning investors would use International Derivatives as a rand hedge.last_img read more

Mahadayi ruling major victory: Goa government

first_imgThe Goa government on Tuesday claimed that the Mahadayi Inter-state Water Disputes Tribunal’s ruling, was a “major victory” for the State. On Tuesday, the tribunal decided that Goa will allot 13.42 TMC of water from the Mahadayi river basin to Karnataka, as against the latter’s demand for 36.55.The tribunal headed by Justice J.M. Panchal ruled that only 13.42 TMC water would be allotted to Karnataka. Karnataka had claimed 36.55 TMC water from the Mahadayi basin, which included 1.50 TMC for irrigation and drinking, 7.56 TMC for diversion to the already depleted basin of the Malaprabha river through the Kalsa-Bahnduri canal project and 14.97 for power generation.Goa Congress, however, called the verdict unfortunate and urged the State to appeal against it. Former chief minister Francisco Sardinha alleged that the verdict was manipulated by the BJP government at the Centre.“They should move the Supreme Court to get justice. If this is not done, then people of Goa will have to come on to the roads to remind the government that this is their job and they should do it as early as possible,” Mr. Sardinha said. Mr. Sardinha said that the members of the tribunal were appointed by the Central government and that the ruling was known before-hand, because BJP national president Amit Shah had promised the people of Karnataka of diverting the Mahadayi river water in the run-up to the polls in Karnataka.Rajendra Kerkar, senior environmentalist and leader of Mahadayi Bachav Abhiyan, an NGO which has been simultaneously fighting the case on the State’s side, said, “This is a loss to Goa, and a setback to its environment and ecology.”Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni said that the Goa government did not have any objection to Karnataka’s claim for use of water from the basin for consumptive purposes.“Karnataka has been allocated only 5.5 TMC of water which also includes 1.5 TMC of water for in-basin consumptive use for which the state of Goa did not have any objection,” he added.An official from the Goa Water Resources Department said that the 8.02 TMC water allotted to Karnataka for power generation, would not have much impact on Goa’s needs, because the water would continue to flow downwards along the river into Goa.Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar who had earlier said that the State would not share “one drop of water” from the Mahadayi with Karnataka, was unavailable for comment.Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently on a U.S. trip for a medical check-up, on Twitter, said, “I am happy that the Mahadayi Tribunal with its final verdict has done justice to Goa.” Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are locked in a dispute over the Mahadayi river basin. Mahadayi also known as the Mandovi river when it enters Goa, is considered a lifeline in the northern parts of the State. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through the territory of Maharashtra.While 78% of the basin of the Mahadayi river lies in Goa, 42.79% is located in Karnataka and a small portion comes under Maharashtra.last_img read more