DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: THE POLITICAL WINDS
SUBSECTION: COMMERCE BEING TREATED AS A CRIME
Revised 1/8/01

 

 

COMMERCE BEING TREATED AS A CRIME


Tobacco Companies
Microsoft Internet Browser
Guns
Intel

Meat

Fat

 

Reuters 11/13/98 ".In the second lawsuit brought against the gun industry by a major U.S. city, Chicago said Thursday it is suing firearms manufacturers and sellers to recoup the cost of urban gun violence. Chicago's $433 million suit, announced by Mayor Richard Daley and filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges gun makers and dealers violated public nuisance laws by knowingly designing, marketing and distributing firearms so they fall into the hands of the city's criminals. ``The Second Amendment doesn't allow these types of weapons in our communities,'' Daley said, referring to the constitutional clause that ensures the right to bear arms.."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 11/30/98 Bill Rankin ".In the past month, both New Orleans and Chicago filed suit against the gun industry seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Lawyer Wendell Gauthier and other prominent plaintiffs' attorneys who led a class-action lawsuit against Big Tobacco are bankrolling the New Orleans complaint, which closely imitates lawsuits filed by states that sought compensation for public expenses related to smokers' illnesses."

Washington Post 1/21/99 Saundra Torry ".The tobacco industry, caught off guard by President Clinton's threat to file a massive federal lawsuit against cigarette makers, lashed back yesterday, dismissing the plan as nothing but a "political gesture," the continuation of "a witch hunt against a legal industry." ."

The Heritage Foundation 1/29/99 Edwin Feulner ".If someone commits a crime with a firearm, most people would agree you hold the individual accountable. But there's a disturbing movement afoot to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the acts of criminals. In October, the city of New Orleans filed a lawsuit against leading gun companies, arguing that they should be held financially liable for the cost of handgun violence. Since then, Chicago has filed a similar lawsuit. And the mayor of Philadelphia has proposed that 100 or more cities file similar lawsuits simultaneously later this year-just to let everyone know how serious they are ."

AP 2/1/99 Freeper Jon in GA ".A Florida appeals court has overturned a landmark $1 million award to the family of a smoker who died of lung cancer. In June, a Jacksonville jury ordered Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. to pay the family of Roland Maddox $1 million. In an unsigned one-paragraph order, the appellate court on Friday vacated the award and ordered the case transferred to either Palm Beach County or Broward County in south Florida and not Jacksonville, some 275 miles away.."

Grassroot Republicans Website 2/7/99 Ken Carroll ".At least two groups composed of people vocally opposed to Clinton have been hit this week. Clinton is already trying to make life tougher on gun owners, bringing the National Rifle Association into a conflict, but it is his remarks regarding Christianity which are truly distressing. At an annual prayer breakfast hosted by congressional members, Clinton proclaimed that "Adolf Hitler preached a perverted form of Christianity." Not only is Clinton's statement historically inaccurate, but the context of his speech shows it aimed at Christian conservatives. Clinton said, " . . . throughout history people have prayed to God to aid them in war. People have claimed repeatedly that it was God's will that they prevail in conflict. I do believe that even though Adolf Hitler preached a perverted form of Christianity, God did not want him to prevail." Claiming what Hitler did, by any stretch of the imagination, could be referred to as "Christianity" whether it was "perverted" or not is extremely insulting to followers of Christ. The insinuation is that Christianity is not that far from Nazi beliefs. If you think those are innocent words, replace "Christian" with any other religion and see if it jogs your conscience a little. Would you openly tell a believer of any faith that Hitler preached a perverted form of their religion? Would you say it to a Moslem or a Jewish person? Clinton supporters may say it was a slip of the tongue, but that boat won't float. This is a man so careful in his phrasing and parsing of public words that he claims he misled and deceived people and still did not lie. Bill Clinton knew exactly what the ramifications of his words were and how this message would be taken. ."

Wall Street Journal 2/8/99 Robert Levy Freeper the Raven ".rather than go to war against the government's money grab, the tobacco companies tried to bribe the politicians. That capitulation--the unprincipled surrender of its right to market a legal product--has spawned Mr. Clinton's new assault on the industry: a proposed tax hike of 55 cents per pack and federal litigation to recoup health costs connected with smoking. ....Whenever Mr. Clinton needs money, he calls for Philip Morris. Mr. Clinton simply bypasses the legislative process--not to mention the Constitution--and asks federal courts to create new law. Never mind that the Justice Department has said repeatedly that the federal government has no statutory authority to bring a direct suit to recover smoking-related damages.."

AP 2/9/99 Freeper buffalo bob ". Following heavy lobbying by the National Rifle Association and others, the Georgia Senate has approved a bill that could bar Atlanta from pursuing its liability lawsuit against the gun industry. By a 44-11 vote, lawmakers on Monday approved legislation that would prohibit local governments from suing gun makers. The bill is expected to be passed by the House, which approved a similar measure last year, and signed into law by Gov. Roy Barnes.."

Charleston Post and Courier 2/18/99 Editorial ".Following the lead of the states' big-money settlement with Big Tobacco and further revealing society's retreat from individual responsibility, several U.S. cities are suing the gun industry. Such litigation previously sank under the weight of illogical justifications. But recent rationalizations for the cities' suits, including those filed by Chicago, Miami and New Orleans, tap into the noble-yet-vulnerable intentions of many Americans too easily misled on proper delineations between personal, business and government accountability. Suing cities now typically charge manufacturers with "negligent marketing." . Though the demonization of the gun industry - like the spreading demonization of other legal industries that make potentially harmful products - is grand news for lawyers, it is alarming news for those industries and their consumers. Equally alarming is the cities' cynical use of the civil court system to wage battles that should be fought in legislatures. Most of the cities suing the gun industry admit that their goal isn't to win, but to force a settlement - and possibly bankrupt the defendants. The gun industry's opponents would say, "Good riddance," to such an outcome. But is running firearm makers out of business the correct role of courts - or cities?.."

AP 2/20/99 Paul Shepard ".Since gun-related crimes hit minority communities at high rates across the country, the NAACP is considering joining the growing number of cities filing lawsuits against gun makers, NAACP president Kweisi Mfume said. ``We represent a significant constituency that is disproportionately affected by gun violence. The time has come for us to look at the proliferation of handguns,'' Mfume said at the association's annual meeting Saturday.."

WORLD Magazine 3/6/99 Bob Jones Freeper Stand Watch Listen "… Blame-shifting lawsuits are on the rise against the tobacco industry and gun manufacturers as plaintiffs seek to punish companies for how people use their products. So far, the judicial system seems unwilling or unable to kick the habit................MS ESTRICH, like other liberals, acknowledges that "courts, particularly federal courts, are anti-majoritarian, undemocratic institutions." But, she argues, if the democratic process doesn't yield suitably "progressive" laws, then it's perfectly proper for a handful of jurors to impose their will on millions of voters........Why not sue the Keebler elves to recover the social costs of obesity?…"

Fox News 3/4/99 Reuters "…Three Senate Democrats introduced legislation Thursday designed to give cities, counties and states more financial incentives to sue gun manufacturers. The bill offered by Sens. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Charles Schumer of New York, would let localities challenge gunmakers in court for federal as well as local costs associated with treating crime victims…"If enough cities successfully sue the industry it could be brought to its proverbial knees,'' Lautenberg said. He said the bill would fortify cities that already have filed gun suits and encourage more cities to do the same…."

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 3/10/99 Editorial Freeper starlu "…If a man wielding a maul fatally bludgeons another man, should the maul manufacturer be answerable in the dastardly deed? How about if a woman driving, say, a GMC Jimmy forces another vehicle off the high way in a fit of road rage. The second driver dies. Should General Motors be just as culpable as the Jimmy driver for vehicular homicide? No. And no. So, why do government officials in our cities keep insisting that gun manufacturers be held liable for those who use their products in unsafe and/or illegal ways? …"

THE WASHINGTON TIMES www.washtimes.com 3/10/99 Helle Bering Freeper Bayou City "…The toll taken by communism in its various forms in this century has probably on the whole exceeded that of fascism. Those who spend their time thinking about these dark matters, such as British historian Robert Conquest, place the death tally somewhere around 100 million people, covering the Soviet Union, Red China, Cambodia's killing fields, Latin America and Africa's communist insurgencies, etc…."

USA Today 3/17/99 Wendy Koch "…In a potential new front in the tobacco wars, the city of Philadelphia is considering a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover the costs of fighting fires caused by cigarettes. "We're looking at the fire department, this huge part of our budget, being expended because cigarette companies won't make safer products," says Stephen Sheller, a lawyer hired by the mayor to study a lawsuit's feasibility. Sheller says cigarettes cause 23% of the city's fires…."

Washington Post Reuters 4/2/99 Trailer Trash "...A Utah couple, fed up with a neighbor's smoking, has filed a lawsuit seeking to bar him from lighting up at home, saying his smoke is making them miserable. Matthew and Amanda Parrish of Centerville are suing Douglas MacFarlane, who lives downstairs in their condominium complex. The Parrishes claim his smoke wafts into their living quarters, state court clerk Shelby Brown said today. The lawsuit, which was filed in February in state court, is believed to be the first to challenge the right of people to smoke in their own homes, said a spokeswoman for attorney Michael Stout, who represents the Parrishes...."

Radio news report - WKY, 930 am Oklahoma City 5/13/99 "...The Oklahoma News Network has just reported that the American Airlines, the 2nd largest air carrier is being sued by the Dept of Justice. It seems that the AA is forcing out the competition at Dallas FortWorth Airport by driving the prices very low until the competition is unable to sustain biz...then the AA raises prices..."

ABC News.com 6/1/99 Sandra Sobieraj / AP Freeper dirtboy "..."The boundary between fantasy and reality violence - which is a clear line for most adults - can become very blurred for vulnerable children," Clinton said. The $1 million joint study by the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department, expected to take up to 18 months, will examine industry marketing practices much as the government investigated tobacco ad campaigns that it determined were aimed at tempting to kids to smoke...."

Reuters [OL] 6/2/99 via NewsEdge Corporation "... A Mississippi jury Wednesday handed the tobacco industry its latest courtroom victory when it ruled that the estate of a barber shop owner who died of cancer was not entitled to damages in a suit brought over second-hand smoke. The estate of Burl Butler had sought $650 million in compensatory damages plus additional punitive damages, claiming Butler had been the victim of second-hand tobacco smoke. But a Jones County jury ruled for the tobacco companies, according to Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., the U.S. unit of British American Tobacco Plc, which makes brands such as Kool, GPC and Lucky Strike. ``The industry showed that credible evidence does not exist to show that ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) causes lung cancer in nonsmokers even at the highest levels likely to be encountered in real-world environments,'' Andrew McGaan, attorney for Brown & Williamson, the U.S. No. 3 tobacco company, said in a prepared statement....."

Reuters 6/6/99 Gail Appleson "...At least 12 more municipalities are planning to sue gun makers this year and the first class action against the firearms industry is expected to be filed in the next few months, lawyers said Saturday. Their comments were made at a major gun litigation conference sponsored by the American Bar Association with participants from the gun and insurance industries, city and county governments as well as the personal injury bar...."

Freeper brityank Libertarian Party 6/6/99 "...A new federal commission that will study whether entertainment companies market violence to children is a case of "intimidation by bureaucrats" and almost certainly won't accomplish anything useful, the Libertarian Party said today. "America already has a mechanism to protect children against violent entertainment: It's called parents," said Steve Dasbach, the Libertarian Party's national director. "It's unlikely that a handful of bureaucrats will be as effective as tens of millions of concerned parents."...."

Baltimore Sun 6/11/99 David K. Martin "...WASHINGTON -- Critics of U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno have attacked her for either ignoring or whitewashing one Clinton administration scandal after another. Whether you agree with them or not, you have to wonder about the core competence of Ms. Reno's Justice Department when it asks Congress to provide $20 million to hire more lawyers and so-called "expert witnesses" to sue the U.S. tobacco industry. The Justice Department wants to spend $15 million to hire 40 new lawyers to make a federal case against the tobacco industry and throw in an additional $5 million to pay for "expert witnesses" in the trial. The department already has hired Minneapolis trial lawyer Michael Ciresi to give its new tobacco hires a primer on how to sue the nation's cigarette makers...."

Business News 6/16/99 Danny Westneat "…Bill Gates came to the U.S. Capitol yesterday and did a simple thing that may resonate for months to come: He talked. He talked about computers, about software, about patent laws, about how immigration laws are limiting his company's ability to hire top talent. He sat at round tables in small rooms and talked with all the top politicians here except the president…. The Microsoft chairman talked in public, at a hearing on technology. More important, he talked in private, to Democrats, Republicans, staffers, and to some of the city's media moguls. The gabfest was conducted with one goal in mind: to convince political leaders that Gates actually likes and respects government. Many politicians assume the reverse is true, especially as the Department of Justice engages the company in a landmark antitrust trial. "They have made huge progress on Capitol Hill, and the difference is noticeable from a year ago," Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., said of Gates and his company, which has become a major political-campaign donor. "They are doing a good job of coming here and reaching out, something they didn't used to do. "I believe that, among Republicans, Microsoft has made inroads here to the point that it has almost isolated (Sen.) Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) as the only one who now opposes the company."…."

AP 8/14/98 Bill Baskervill "A federal appeals court today said the Food and Drug Administration has no authority to regulate tobacco and threw out FDA restrictions on the sale of cigarettes to minors. .

Washington Post 9/6/98 Thomas Edsall "The nation's most influential and aggressive trial lawyers stand to win billions of dollars in fees from lawsuits against the tobacco industry and plan to use those sums in part to fund Democratic candidates and battle business in the courts, Congress and state legislatures.."

National Post 7/2/99 Alexander Rose "...In Nazi Germany, for instance, abstinence from tobacco was a "national socialist duty" (Hitler gave a gold watch to associates who quit the habit, though this didn't stop them lighting up in the Berlin bunker once they heard the Fuhrer had committed suicide).... Tobacco taxes were raised, unsupervised cigarette vending machines were banned, and there were calls for a ban on smoking while driving. Thanks to the Ministry of Science and Education, and the Reich Health Office, posters were produced depicting smoking as the typically despicable habit of Jews, jazz musicians, Gypsies, Indians, homosexuals, blacks, communists, capitalists, cripples, intellectuals and harlots. Zealous lobbyists descended into the schools, terrifying children with tales of impotence and racial impurity. One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel -- upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast -- liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths...... It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase "passive smoking" (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus ("Tobacco and the Organism"), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League....."

NAACP 7/14/99 "…Kweisi Mfume, President & CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced plans to file an injunctive class-action lawsuit to force gun manufacturers to distribute their product responsibly….. According to a 1998 National Vital Statistics Report, African American males between the ages of 15-24 are almost five times more likely to be injured by firearms than white males in the same age group. Black females in that category are almost four times more likely to be injured by firearms than white females. Firearm homicide has been the leading cause of death among young African American males for nearly 30 years…..The NAACP received funding for the first phase of the litigation from the Open Society Institute and the Irene Diamond Fund and is receiving the pro bono representation of Denise Dunleavy, Esq. and the Manhattan law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg. Joshua Horwitz, Executive Director of the Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence, and attorney Elisa Barnes, Esq., who earlier this year was victorious when a federal jury ruled against the industry’s negligent marketing practices, will both serve as co-counsel in the lawsuit…."

Philadelphia Daily News / Salon 7/16/99 "…When Paul Jannuzzo, vice president and general counsel of Glock Inc., the Smyrna, Ga., gun manufacturer, heard that the city of New Orleans was preparing to sue the gun industry, he couldn't believe the hypocrisy. Jannuzzo had been working with New Orleans to help the city swap around 10,000 guns in its possession - most of which had belonged to criminals - in exchange for 1,700 new Glock .40-caliber pistols for its officers. The deal was worth $613,000. Thus the city of New Orleans was dumping onto the street the same "unsafe" product it was now suing Glock and several other companies for distributing…."

Libertarian Party 7/15/99 George Getz "…The NAACP is making a "racist mistake" by filing a lawsuit against gun manufacturers -- and is following in the shameful footsteps of the Ku Klux Klan, the Libertarian Party charged today. "With this lawsuit, the NAACP is not only attacking the civil rights of African-Americans, but is also continuing the legacy of the KKK and other racist organizations that have historically tried to keep guns out of the hands of blacks," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director…"

WorldNetDaily.com 7/8/99 Jon E Dougherty "…For instance, the San Francisco Unified School District board just voted to ban -- of all things -- Oreo cookies, Nutter Butters, Snackwell products, Cheez Whiz and Jell-O puddings because they are made by companies owned by tobacco corporations. Amazingly the district chiefs do not see the irony -- and hypocrisy -- in their actions. One advocate for tobacco-free public places lauded the San Francisco school's decision, saying, "Teens need to show them (tobacco companies) that they can't be pushed around." And yet, the school district is pushing teens around by making this decision for them -- all because they think it's their right to do so and their place to do so. It makes you wonder if there is a single thinking parent in the entire school district -- just one or two who are capable of making such decisions for their children themselves…."

Opinion 7/12/99 Michael Rivero "…First it was the tobacco industry, sued in the name of covering health costs. Then it was the gun industry, sued in the name of paying the victims. Then it was the auto industry, sued for faling to anticipate drunk drivers recklessl driving into their product. Now, it's the health care industry, exposed to new lawsuits in the name of the patients "rights"…. Who gets rich? The lawyers and the government. Even the titular plaintiffs in the record setting GM settlement will only get a fraction of whatever the award is finally set to; the government gets the rest in taxes. The lawyers also pay taxes on their portion of the settlement. This is not justice; this is pillage, the looting and sacking of American industry by a goverment that cannot balance it's books and is out to grab all available cash by any means it can get away with…."

Augusta Chronicle 7/10/99 "…As head of the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General Janet Reno, with an annual budget of $20 billion, oversees more than 9,100 government lawyers. But that's not enough. She's now requesting Congress to come across with an extra $20 million so she can hire yet another 40 lawyers. The new personal injury litigators will be charged with ``recovering the expenses of federal health care programs for tobacco-related illnesses.'' Never mind that her own Justice Department attorneys have advised that this plan -- first proposed by President Clinton in his State of the Union speech -- likely won't fly in court, unless the feds can get a settlement from Big Tobacco, as the states did. But there is little incentive now, especially since Wednesday's big class-action victory against tobacco, for the industry to settle. There's nothing in it for them unless the government protects them from such suits. It's too late for that now…."

Wall St. Journal 7/23/99 "...Seems that Bill Gates can't even give it away. For most of the 1990s, of course, Mr. Gates has been tied up with a Justice Department that believes it knows the computer market better than any of its players. Ralph Nader accuses the Microsoft CEO of thinking he is "immune to public scrutiny." Now comes a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins who suggests that even the money Mr. Gates is donating to charity really doesn't fully belong to him...."

CASHILL NEWS 7/27/99 "...As writer Nora Ephron once said, "I get more cynical each day, and I still can't keep up." Case in point: A person can sing about alcohol, drugs and tobacco on a CD but is prohibited from buying air time and talking about them. I recently heard Eric Clapton's "Cocaine" on the radio and I couldn't imagine a better ad for the stuff. Similarly, a person is prohibited from advertising tobacco on a bill board, but is able to "billboard" tobacco use in a movie or even show a literal billboard with tobacco on it...."

Wall Street Journal 7/28/99 Paul Barrett "...The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering joining the legal assault against the gun industry, said people familiar with the situation. Such a move would sharply escalate the antigun court fight already being waged by 23 cities and counties around the country. A HUD spokesman said only that the agency is monitoring the litigation and has "no plans" to file a suit...."

Usatoday 7/29/99 Thor Valdmanis Paul Davidson "...After several failed attempts to settle a nasty antitrust battle out of court, the government is refocused on breaking up software giant Microsoft. Senior officials at the Justice Department have approached at least two leading technology investment banks in recent days, requesting a detailed analysis of how best to break up the world's most valuable company - a complex study that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Bankers at the two firms, who requested anonymity, said Justice officials wanted an assessment of where the logical breakup points of Microsoft were and a valuation of what the market reaction would be. Both firms declined, worried about the impact of siding with a Justice Department that they say is viewed in the business community as interventionist....."

Bloomberg - Top World News 8/7/99 Greg Wiles "...Los Angeles County and three county supervisors are suing gun makers, distributors and retailers, including Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Tomkins Plc's Smith & Wesson, claiming they illegally promoted handgun sales to criminals. The suit claims the gun manufacturers violated California's pro-consumer business law by engaging in unfair and deceptive practices, marketing the weapons to disreputable dealers and designing guns that appeal to criminals. The manufacturers also failed to sell handguns that incorporate reasonable safety features, the filing said..."

business week 8/16/99 William Symonds "...At the center of this hurricane are the world's gun manufacturers, a diverse group ranging from true-blue American brand names like Smith & Wesson and Colt's Manufacturing to foreigners like Italy's nearly 500-year-old Beretta to idiosyncratic tiny players like W.S. Daniel, a company in Ducktown, Tenn., that makes mail-order assault-weapon kits. They're all dependent on America as the world's largest consumer firearms market--and they're all running scared and increasingly divided on how best to defend themselves. ''I've been in this industry 36 years, and this is the most awesome set of circumstances I've ever seen,'' says Robert G. Morrison, chief operating officer of Miami-based Taurus International Manufacturing Inc., the U.S. arm of Brazilian handgun producer Forjas Taurus. Not since George Washington established the Springfield (Mass.) Armory to defend the young republic has the American gun industry faced a more serious crisis. Trouble looms on every front. Politically, the companies are facing the prospect of a Big Tobacco-like meltdown of their power in Washington and clout with state legislatures, a development that could lead to tough new regulations that aren't riddled with loopholes. While handgun registration is still unlikely, measures that would make it harder for criminals to buy weapons at gun shows and limit the number of firearms purchased at one time seem more viable every day. Legally, gunmakers are facing an onslaught of lawsuits they can barely afford to fight, much less lose. These cases are based on the controversial theory that manufacturers are partially responsible for gun violence. The suits seek millions to cover local government expenses for health care and policing. That's a scary prospect to many gun executives because the business is financially shaky. While 1999 will be a strong year, thanks in part to fears of new restrictions on ownership, most executives expect the market to steadily shrink over the long term. ..."

AP Wire 8/13/99 Kalpana Srinivasan The advent of casket stores, Internet sales of coffins and keen competition in the cemetery and funeral industries is prompting federal regulators to consider expanding a 15-year-old rule governing funerals. The funeral rule was issued to protect grieving family members from unnecessary costs and purchases at funeral homes. Now the Federal Trade Commission is looking at casting a wider regulatory net to include other providers of funeral goods...."

Smith-Wesson.com 8/15/99 L E Schutz "...On June 3, 1999 the City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission joined a number of other cities in filing a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson and other members of the firearms industry. As in several of the other cases, the complaint has been signed not just by attorneys employed by the City, but by outside lawyers from New York, Washington, D.C. and representatives of an anti-firearm organization, individuals with their own social agenda. Although those bringing the suit say it is not about money, it asks for $100 million plus, and the law firms will get 25% of whatever is exacted from the firearms manufacturers as their only payment for handling this matter...The implications of the suit are that Smith & Wesson has no concern about firearms safety, whether it be applied to the handgun itself, or to safe and responsible storage of the gun. Nothing could be further from the truth. For nearly a century and a half Smith & Wesson has been, and continues to be, a leader in firearms design, innovation, manufacturing quality, safety and training. Smith & Wesson has lawfully and responsibly manufactured firearms in the State of Massachusetts since 1856. Every Smith & Wesson firearm is sold with an owners manual that clearly warns the purchaser about the dangers and responsibilities that accompany ownership. Since 1997, before the President and Congress began debating the merits of gunlocks, Smith & Wesson was providing a Master Lock gunlock with every Smith & Wesson shipped. Even before that Smith & Wesson guns were being shipped in lockable boxes and before that with lockable trigger devices that owners could lock if they were not going to secure their gun in another manner. Since 1955, Smith & Wesson has offered semi-automatic pistols that utilize a magazine disconnect which renders the gun incapable of firing when the magazine is removed. This feature has been incorporated into the training of many police departments and is responsible for saving the lives of officers every year. The similar pistols shipped to the non-law enforcement market also contain this feature. Other features of Smith & Wesson handguns include manual safeties, firing pin safeties and hammer blocks. Smith & Wesson handguns also require significant pressure on the trigger to cause the gun to discharge. In order for a Smith & Wesson gun to fire, the trigger must be pulled all the way to the rear and held, thus preventing the gun from accidentally firing if the trigger is bumped or the gun is dropped...."

Wall Street Journal 8/16/99 Vanessa O'Connel & Paul M. Barrett "...Since last fall, 26 municipalities have sued the gun industry, accusing it of flooding the market with handguns, many of which end up in criminal hands. There is an incongruity in the municipalities position, though: Most of the cities suing the gun industry are themselves, in effect, gun suppliers--and some could be accused of a degree of carelessness in how they unload police weapons and confiscated firearms... The cities say they need to sell or trade in the weapons to cut the cost of obtaining new, higher-power model--much as old police cars are auctioned off for cash...Thousands of these castoff guns have turned up in crimes, such as last week's shooting rampage in Los Angeles by neo-Nazi Buford O. Furrow Jr...[T]he confessed killer allegedly murdered a mailman of Filipino descent with a Glock 26 pistol......But it wasn't an isolated incident. Data obtained by The Wall Street Journal under the Freedom of Information Act show that at least 1,100 former police guns were among the 193,203 crime guns traced last year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Because of inconsistencies in how the agency compiles gun-trace data, any such annual count of former police guns connected to crime "probably represents the tip of the iceberg," says Howard Andrews, a Columbia University bio-statistician who assisted the Journal in its analysis...."

Investors Business Daily 8/27/99"…Surprise, surprise. It seems the states are spending millions from the tobacco settlement money on items unrelated to anti-smoking programs. We knew the deal was just a cash grab for spending- addicted officials. Last year 46 states reached an agreement with U.S. tobacco companies. In return for protection against future lawsuits, the companies are paying $206 billion to the states. The out-of-court settlement was reached after the states filed suit against the companies to recover public money spent on tobacco-related illnesses. Less than a year after the deal, states have conveniently forgotten why they attacked the industry in the first place A report updated this week by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Heart Association reveals the settlement for what it is: a sham. Twenty-seven states have decided how they'll use their shares of the deal. Of those, only six will spend 25% on anti-tobacco programs. The groups think that's a fair figure. It seems low to us, though, if the goal of the high-minded states is to end the scourge of smoking. Six states have even decided they won't spend a penny on the intended purposes. …"

The Washington Post 8/30/99 Joan Biskupic "…Tobacco hasn't been the only business newly buffeted by this wave of juror outrage. In February, for the first time, a jury decided to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the criminal use of their products. Again, some jurors said the industry had it coming. Lawsuits condemning cigarettes and guns are nothing new. Advocacy groups have campaigned for years against the tobacco and firearms industries, using the courts as a weapon. What is new is that juries are listening. These verdicts coincide with a national trend of juries assessing harsher and harsher damages against corporate defendants, such as the $4.9 billion verdict returned last month against General Motors Corp. for six people whose car exploded -- and reduced on appeal last week to about $1 billion. But they add a new element. Jurors in these cases were staking out new territory in American law, asserting their interest in issues broader than the behavior of a single corporate defendant. Unlike past product liability verdicts, such as those against the Ford Pinto or the Dalkon shield, where a single company was targeted, juries are focusing on broad social problems -- smoking-related disease, gun violence -- that traditionally have been addressed through legislation…."

Investor's Business Daily 9/3/99 Kevin Butler "…Can gun makers escape the legal noose that hanged tobacco? Later this month, we may find out. Gun makers are trying to dismiss some of the lawsuits filed against them by 28 cities and counties o far). Local governments are hoping to repeat the states' lucrative legal victory over tobacco companies by suing gun makers for the criminal misuse of firearms. Their suits claim the $1.3 billion industry allows criminals to get guns. It's also liable for failing to install safety devices that could prevent gun crimes. Criminal-misuse suits are an emerging gambit in the product-liability game. Manufacturers have rarely been found liable for what criminals do with their products. That's one reason gun makers are seeking to dismiss some of the suits. But the cities and counties hope to start a trend. ….Some worry that if juries follow the Brooklyn court's lead on gun makers, other industries will be targeted. Lawyers may next target carmakers for designing sports cars capable of reaching unlawful, unsafe speeds. Plaintiffs may also blame alcohol makers for inducing criminal behavior. ''The gun cases are saying that a product is defective because the person who used (it) committed a wrongful act, and something should have been done to stop that wrongful act,'' said Victor Schwartz, a Washington lawyer and critic of the suits. ''Product liability has never been extended that far, in my judgment.'' It's not for lack of trying. Plaintiffs have sued the makers of air guns, carbon-dioxide cartridges, glue and even slingshots on criminal-misuse grounds - without much success. In 1996, plaintiffs failed in their quest to make producers of Black Talon bullets liable for the Long Island Railroad massacre. …"

 

Tampa Tribune 9/7/99 "…Until President Clinton announced that his administration would sue the tobacco companies to recover the costs that smoking supposedly imposes on Medicare and related programs, Attorney General Janet Reno and others in the Justice Department consistently insisted that the federal government did not have the authority to file such a lawsuit. Neither she nor any number of federal prosecutors working for her would do anything to help the states that sued to recover the costs of Medicaid payments made by them on behalf of sick smokers. Nevertheless, the department and Clinton thought the federal government would share in the spoils when the tobacco companies, neutered by state laws crafted to eliminate their legitimate defenses, agreed to a $260 billion settlement. When the states refused to share, Clinton abruptly reversed course and decided the federal government would sue on its own…..Reno's problem is that she has no statute to point to that authorizes the lawsuit, so she must devise a theory to justify the government's move. We suspect that's why the department wants the $20 million appropriation, and we agree with Gaziano that lawmakers should refuse to pay unless Reno can explain the department's change of heart. If Congress appropriates the money, the department is likely to take the position that an appropriation amounts to an authorization to sue, which may or may not be persuasive to a judge. For example, this newspaper topped a July story with the headline ``Justice Department gets clearance to pursue tobacco industry lawsuit'' after the Senate took a neutral position on the appropriation….."

Wall Street Journal 9/11/99 Paul Barrett "...Some Southern California companies well known for making inexpensive handguns are choosing to fold or seek bankruptcy-court protection, rather than fight a wave of municipal lawsuits. But larger mainstream gun makers are thought to be much less likely to take this approach, according to industry lawyers. At least three small companies that make so-called Saturday Night Specials, cheap weapons commonly associated with crime, so far have chosen to shut down or seek shelter from creditors under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code...."

Wall Street Journal 9/20/99 Johnathan Turley ".... Where there is war, there are war profiteers. The tobacco wars are no exception. In the wake of huge personal-injury awards and the U.S. tobacco companies' settlements with state governments, the war profiteers are racing to court to get their share of the spoils. The latest litigants include foreign governments, health-insurance companies and the federal government. All are seeking to claim their own shares of the tobacco purse. The new litigants have one thing in common: They have actually suffered no injury from tobacco. Their legal theories range from the implausible to the incredible, but hope springs eternal when billions of dollars are in the balance. Six countries have just consolidated their cases in a federal court in Washington, D.C. These newly found tobacco victims include Guatemala, Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela. A dozen other countries, including Russia, are reportedly considering lawsuits of their own. The six countries claim that they were shocked--shocked!--to learn that tobacco could be harmful to their citizens. This epiphany appears to have occurred shortly after U.S. tobacco companies agreed to fork over $200 billion to the states in the tobacco settlement. These nations now insist that, like the American states, they too were deceived about the risks of smoking and, due to this deception, they allowed their citizens to engage in a harmful practice. Now, racked with guilt, they have come to express their outrage--and seek massive damages....."

Washington Post David Vise Lorraine Adams 9/22/99 "...The Justice Department plans to file a mammoth civil lawsuit against the major tobacco companies as early as today, alleging that cigarette smoking costs the federal government billions of dollars annually in health-related expenses and seeking to recover those funds on behalf of taxpayers, sources familiar with the matter said yesterday. The lawsuit charges that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases that have resulted in an estimated $25 billion annually in health claims paid to veterans, military personnel, federal employees, and the elderly through Medicare payments. It also includes claims that tobacco companies engaged in consumer fraud by conspiring to conceal from the public the risks of cigarette smoking. In its allegations of industry collusion, the government plans to invoke the powerful federal civil racketeering statute, sources said....."

the Oregon Daily Emerald 9/17/99 Chris Aster "....In the age of political correctness and veggie burgers, there are few practices as popularly reviled as smoking. With cigarette prices skyrocketing thanks to taxes and the $209 billion settlement the tobacco companies made with the state government, smokers are beginning to receive what amounts to a bum deal. Even while lighting up in the smoking section of a greasy spoon diner, a smoker can expect dirty looks from adamant non-smokers sitting nearby. While fewer and fewer locations make concessions for smokers, the neighborhood tavern has always been a refuge. Now, however, even smoking in bars is a topic of heated debate. On New Years Eve 1997, the state of California put into effect a law that banned smoking in all enclosed public places. This included all bars and restaurants. ....In a study conducted by the American Beverage Institute, 59 percent of the bars surveyed had experienced a loss in business after the ban was established....."

http://news.excite.com/news/u/990922/15/news-tobacco-reax 9/22/99 UPI "....One of the targets of today's Justice Department lawsuit against the tobacco companies claims the court action is part of a White House "political agenda." In a statement, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. says, "The White House clearly is frustrated by its inability to advance a political agenda against the tobacco industry and its consumers.... "The White House has a pattern of attacking the tobacco industry when public attention is focused on other problems within the administration," the statement added. "President Clinton's calls for higher cigarette taxes or for a federal tobacco lawsuit have consistently appeared during high points in the impeachment controversy. Now that Congress and the public are focusing on the handling of the Waco, Texas, incident and the pardon of FALN terrorists, the administration is again trying to divert public attention by bashing the tobacco industry." ....."

Washington Post 9/23/99 Lorraine Adams David Vise ".... A massive Justice Department lawsuit against tobacco companies filed in federal court yesterday provoked industry outrage and raised questions about whether the Republican-controlled Congress would agree to fund the costly litigation. Cigarette manufacturers denounced the suit, which charges the industry with racketeering and seeks billions of dollars for federal health-care costs, as politically motivated and without legal or factual basis. They were joined by broader business interest groups that warned of possible ramifications for other politically unpopular industries. "I think the business community in this country should feel very insecure now," said Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "What's dangerous and new here, in a precedent-setting sense, is the concept of suing an industry for money to fund government programs, plain and simple." ...."

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation 9/22/99 Press Release "....On the day the Clinton Administration announced with great fanfare a lawsuit against the tobacco industry, the U.S. Department of Justice very quietly dropped its 5-year criminal investigation against the manufacturers. ``The Justice Department today admitted that its five-year investigation of alleged criminal activity within the tobacco industry has been closed with no findings of any wrongdoing,'' said Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation. ``The Justice Department's confirmation of 'no pending Criminal Division investigations of the tobacco industry' was buried at the bottom of a news release announcing the federal government's lawsuit against the tobacco companies. ``Over the past half-decade, Justice Department officials have selectively leaked information relating to secret grand jury inquiries in an effort to cast a cloud over the actions of employees of Brown & Williamson and others. ``Today's announcement by the DOJ confirms B&W's statements over the years that neither the company nor its employees have engaged in any illegal activities. ``Until today, the Justice Department refused to confirm for Brown & Williamson that the investigations had ended, despite news media reports over recent weeks that the probes had been concluded.'' ...."

USA Today 9/23/99 James Freeman "....The lawyers who helped state governments sue the tobacco industry are due to receive billions of dollars - dollars that rightly belong to taxpayers. The South Carolina law firm of Ronald Motley is taking home $304 million from the Mississippi case. Not to be outdone, Richard Scruggs, brother-in-law of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, was recently awarded $339.8 million for his work on the Mississippi case. Scruggs will collect a whopping $847.8 million in fees thanks to the settlements in Mississippi, Texas and Florida. Scruggs can take this huge pay-out because there's plenty to go around - lawyers will receive an amazing total of $8.2 billion just from those three cases. The lawyers who get to share in this legal jackpot were chosen by state attorneys general and (what a coincidence!) many of the lawyers were huge campaign contributors to the attorneys general. In Texas, the FBI is investigating how former Attorney General Dan Morales selected lawyers to participate in the Texas case against the tobacco companies...."

New York Times 9/26/99 Barry Meier David Johnston "….After five years and millions of dollars, the Justice Department's criminal investigation of the tobacco industry boiled down to this: one misdemeanor charge against an obscure biotechnology company. Prosecutors had scrutinized whether industry executives lied and perjured themselves in 1994, when they testified before Congress that cigarettes were not addictive. Investigators had plowed through corporate documents for evidence that cigarette makers manipulated the level of nicotine in their product. Whistle-blowers were interviewed by prosecutors, and company scientists testified before grand juries. But on Wednesday, Attorney General Janet Reno announced a broad civil lawsuit accusing cigarette makers of racketeering and fraud and seeking to recover billions in health-care costs related to smoking. Justice officials also publicly acknowledged a decision that had been clear for months -- that the criminal inquiry had been closed. "It was a case that the criminal division decided they were not likely to win," said a Justice Department official. How the government's investigation of an entire industry came to an end without producing indictments is the story of an ambitious effort made more difficult by the complex science of cigarette making, disagreements between federal officials, disappointing witnesses and an unfavorable court ruling. ….."

Washington Weekly 9/27/99 J Peter Mulhern "….


Once upon a time lawsuits were for resolving genuine disputes. Real people with real grievances went to court for justice. Resolving genuine disputes is a necessary function, but so is garbage collection. Generations of judges and lawyers have yearned for more glory. Gradually our understanding of litigation has stretched to the point that the courts share with administrative agencies the principal responsibility for directing public policy in the United States. The most striking contemporary example of government by lawsuit is the proliferation of suits brought by public entities against the tobacco industry. After years of letting state attorneys general have all the fun, the Department of Justice has finally gotten into the act by suing "big tobacco." Janet Reno announced the suit this week, no doubt hoping to generate some headlines that don't include the word "Waco." …… In common with all the state suits that preceded it, the federal government's tobacco case is a tissue of fantasy. It looks nothing like the traditional business of the courts. It doesn't present a genuine dispute at all. The government's goal is not the redress of any concrete grievance. Reno's gang is trying to litigate changes in public policy that the administration could never push through Congress. Let's assume the tobacco industry made every effort to disguise the deadly side effects of its product. So what. Did the industry fool anyone? How many people took up smoking or continued to smoke because of industry propaganda? …."

http://www.newsday.com/ap/rnmpnt04.htm AP 9/24/99 "….A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused the tobacco industry of violating the civil rights of blacks by specifically trying to sell them menthol cigarettes. U.S. District Judge John R. Padova ruled Thursday that federal civil rights laws do not bar tobacco product manufacturers from targeting a specific group of potential consumers in their advertising and marketing campaigns. The lawsuit filed last year claimed menthol cigarettes are heavily marketed in black communities and menthol compounds, when burned, create additional toxic substances that make such cigarettes more dangerous than other types. The plaintiffs included several black smokers and two black health groups. ….."

Enter Stage Right 9/20/99 Lawrence Henry "…..A learned friend of mine used an interesting, if sickening, word the other day. We were talking about smoking as a social issue, and he said, "Smoking has extrinsics." I presumed that he was talking about so-called "second-hand smoke." No, he said. "I mean smoking smells bad to other people." And so society, through government, is entitled to regulate and restrict smoking….. People drive by our house regularly with their car stereos turned loud enough to shake our windows. ….Other people park sloppily up and down my street, taking up extra spaces. Still others fire up circular saws, drills, and Shop-Vacs as they remodel their houses. In the yard behind us, tenants barbecue chicken on warm summer nights. A thrifty neighbor collects huge bags full of discarded soda cans. Every Tuesday, on trash collection day, Chinese and Vietnamese old people who live in the nearby housing projects tear apart our garbage sacks on the street, looking for recyclable aluminum and glass. School children leave chewing gum wads on the sidewalk. Dogs poop here and there, and some dog owners just leave it. My learned economist friend has a century-old sumac tree in his back yard, a tree he has decided not to cut down, even though sumac is widely reviled as a "weed tree" hereabouts. It provides him shade; it also sheds its leaves and seed pods on other people's yards, where other people have to clean them up….…..Today, I may get annoyed at my neighbors with their power tools and their loud music, their sloppy parking, their smoky barbecues, their hoorawing get-togethers around Monday Night Football, their ant-calling collections of empty soda cans. But I would never invoke the law to change their behavior - it seems ludicrous to me even to think of it…."

Enter Stage Right 9/20/99 Lawrence Henry "…..In mid-September, the Detroit Free Press reported on a Washington, D.C. gathering called "Obesity: The Public Health Crisis," described as "the first annual conference on obesity and public policy. The "obesity experts" in attendance - no surprise - called for "radical solutions" to the "ticking time bomb in the health care system" - i.e., to fat people. No surprise, those proposed "radical solutions" turned out to be government controls: taxes on fatty foods; a longer school day so children would get more exercise; "making insurers" cover weight loss programs; and spending (taxpayer) money on research into the causes of obesity (most of which money would go to these very conferees). Note that the conference followed the "extrinsics" argument in proposing its "radical solutions." That "ticking time bomb" in the "health care system" will cost everybody money in health premiums and government subsidies for the uninsured. Without that "extrinsic" effect, most Americans would probably shrug and say, "If people want to get fat, that's their business." This "extrinsics" argument, this high-profile (Washington, D.C.! First Annual!) conference on overweight, the obvious parallels to other social crusades (seat belts, air bags, environmentalism, smoking, guns), point the way to a host of arguments on a wealth of subjects. Indeed, Jacob Sullum, senior editor at Reason Magazine, and author of the indispensable "For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health," (Free Press, 1998) has forged an entire beat for himself around these subjects…."

http://partners.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/national/class-action-limit.html?Part 9/24/99 Stephen Labaton "….The House of Representatives approved legislation on Thursday that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring successful large class-action lawsuits against tobacco companies, gun makers and a wide variety of other businesses. The legislation was supported by many major industries, from automobile and chemical producers to small aircraft makers and insurance companies. It would require state court judges, who have often been more sympathetic to plaintiffs in such suits, to transfer most of their class-action lawsuits to federal courts. The federal rules on class actions are often more stringent than many state court procedures and, as a result, plaintiffs' lawyers have been making greater and more successful use of state courts in recent years in many kinds of lawsuits….."

The New York Times 9/24/99 Richard Epstein "…. With great fanfare, the Federal Government has announced that it and the American public have been duped in an adroit campaign by tobacco companies, a deception that has forced Medicare to spend billions of dollars in treating tobacco-related illnesses. The gist of the Government's racketeering and fraud lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday, is that for the past 45 years, the industry concealed the health hazards of smoking and the addictive effects of nicotine. This argument is entirely without foundation. In legal theory, the key element to any successful civil fraud claim is "differential knowledge" -- A cannot deceive B if B already knows the truth. In this case, therefore, it is not enough to show that tobacco companies hid information about the dangers of smoking. The Government must show that the companies knew something that the Government did not: that smoking was potentially harmful. That contention seems impossible to prove. The addictive properties of nicotine have been known and debated for ages, and for the last 40 years the Government has regulated all aspects of tobacco production and distribution. For instance, the Government has prevented tobacco companies from making certain health-related claims about their products -- like the assertion that lower levels of tar carry lower health risks. Since 1964, the Government has prescribed the warnings that go on all cigarette packages and advertisements. More recently, Congress conducted hearings intended to force tobacco executives into public confessions of wrongdoing. Given this evidence, could any claim that the Government did not know of tobacco's dangers be credible? ….."

http://www.nypostonline.com/editorial/14568.htm 9/24/99 "…. Lacking the courage to try and ban the sale of smoking products, the Clinton administration has launched an ill-conceived racketeering lawsuit against the entire tobacco industry. The Justice Department's $25-billion assault may score points on the Political Correctness front, but will do precious little that isn't already being accomplished on other fronts to attack the smoking habit. In the first place, the lawsuit is just the latest prosecutorial abuse of the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law. This statute, enacted in 1970, was designed for a specific purpose: to give prosecutors a powerful weapon to use against mob kingpins who could not otherwise be connected to specific violent crimes. RICO has served a useful and highly effective purpose in the war against organized crime - particularly when the mob has taken over legitimate businesses. But the statute's broad powers have been misused and abused for overtly political purposes, allowing the government to confiscate allegedly illegal profits from unpopular businesses and organizations. This suit marks the first time, however, that Washington has targeted an entire industry as a racketeering enterprise. It accuses the nation's tobacco companies of conspiring to mislead the public about tobacco's health hazards and nicotine's addictive qualities - of undertaking, the government charges, "an intentional, coordinated campaign of fraud and deceit." But if the tobacco companies have been less than honest about admitting that their products are harmful, they haven't been able to keep such information from the American public. Indeed, those hazards are spelled out quite clearly and unambiguously, right on the product's packaging itself - and have been for decades. Only someone awakening from 40 years of suspended animation could possibly be unaware that tobacco can kill you or that nicotine can be addictive. As evidence of alleged racketeering, the government cites a 1988 tobacco trade-group press release questioning nicotine's addictive qualities. But the evidence shows that most Americans have ignored such documents. The fact is that the anti-smoking effort has been one of the most successful public-education campaigns in years. The number of Americans who smoke has fallen 50 percent in the past 25 years. ….."

Bob Lonsberry 9/24/99 "…. It's about tyranny. And I don't use that word lightly. It's about a fundamental tyranny of the federal government. An unconstitutional theft of billions of dollars. A taxation without representation. The president is going to use assets and employees of the United States to sue the tobacco industry, hoping to take as much as $25 billion a year from it. In theory, this is an approximate compensation for federal expenses to treat smoking-related illnesses. In fact, it's armed robbery. And it's proof that power is corruptive and evil and that vigilance in the face of government excess is the obligation of every American. First, the weakness of the president's argument. Contrary to what the administration would have you believe, government is the prime beneficiary of smoking in America. Combined federal and state taxes on cigarettes are typically more than 10 times as much as the profit on those products. Repeated for emphasis: Government makes much more from cigarettes than does the industry that makes them. ….. The Founding Fathers had a pretty clear view of how greedy government could get. They had experienced it first hand. When they crafted the Constitution and the country it would define, they knew that taxes must be levied by a democratically-elected body with close accountability to the people. That way, the people could choke off government excess. The people would, in effect, be taxing themselves and therefore serve as a limit on government greed. It's a nice theory, and mostly it works. But President Bill has found a way around it. Instead of taxing by legislative decision, as the Constitution requires, Bill Clinton seeks to tax by judicial decision. Instead of having legislators levy a tax, he is hoping judges will do it. The problem with that is, judges do not have the constitutional authority. Period. They and the president may pretend otherwise, but they do so dishonestly. Because a fine or judgement of $25 billion a year is functionally the same as a tax of $25 billion a year. ….."

Wall Street Journal 9/24/99 Paul Barrett "….Efforts to settle litigation against the gun industry are intensifying, as representatives of the industry and the municipalities that have sued it prepare for a meeting scheduled for Monday in Washington. Also at the table, either in person or by means of a representative, will be public officials who have threatened to sue the industry but so far have held off, saying they would prefer to negotiate curbs on the marketing and distribution of handguns….."

CNSNews.com 9/24/99 Amy Ridenour "….The Clinton Administration Justice Department suffered yet another blow to its already sagging credibility September 22 when it announced the filing of a multi-billion dollar civil suit against U.S. tobacco companies. As with many pronouncements from the Clinton Justice Department, this one requires close scrutiny. First of all, despite Attorney General Janet Reno's comments in announcing the suit, the government does not lose money from smoking: it profits from it. An analysis by Professor W. Kip Viscusi, the former director of Harvard Law School's Program on Empirical Legal Studies, shows that because smokers have an 18-36 percent chance of dying sooner than they would if they did not smoke, smokers tend to use substantially less Social Security and Medicare benefits and other expensive government programs. This saves the government approximately 32 cents for every pack of cigarettes sold. In addition to saving 32 cents per pack, says Viscusi, government taxes average 53 cents per pack. So government profits 85 cents per pack of cigarettes sold in the United States. This figure, incidentally, does not include the $246 billion tobacco companies agreed to give state governments last year to settle state-initiated lawsuits. Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, tobacco companies make an average profit of 28 cents per pack. Government profits from tobacco more than tobacco companies do……"

US Newswire 9/23/99 Max McGarrity "….Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) applauds the U.S. Justice Department for filing a lawsuit against "Big Tobacco," but recommends it also begin preparing a case against major meat producers and retailers. "Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use," says Neal D. Barnard, M.D., PCRM president. "While President Clinton and many legislators are rightly concerned about lives and money lost each year to tobacco consumption, they're ignoring the devastating effect of meat consumption," Barnard says. A study conducted by PCRM and published in Preventive Medicine in 1995 calculated that meat consumption is directly responsible for as much as $61 billion in annual U.S. medical costs. The conservative study looked at just seven health problems linked to meat consumption, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. "An estimated 1.3 million Americans die of cancer, heart disease, and other heavily-meat related causes each year," Barnard says. "It's time we looked at holding the meat producers and fast-food outlets legally accountable. Without their powerful influence, America would have a healthier diet and a healthier national treasury."…."

Knight Ridder Newspapers 9/16/99 Usha Lee McFarling "….Obesity experts offered a radical agenda Wednesday to reduce the growing ranks of overweight Americans, including proposals to tax high-fat foods and make insurers cover weight loss programs. Calling the fat problem a "ticking time bomb in the health care system," many experts who gathered here for the first annual conference on obesity and public policy proposed several activist solutions. Among them: lengthening the school day to give kids more exercise, spending a lot more money to research the causes of obesity as well as the "fat tax" and expanded insurance for weight loss treatments. More than half of adult Americans, about 97 million, are estimated to be overweight. Of those, 39 million are considered obese, or more than 30 pounds overweight. More than 20 percent of children are overweight, a number that has doubled in recent decades. Extra pounds are more than unsightly. They contribute to 300,000 deaths each year. The annual cost of treating health problems related to obesity has been estimated at $100 billion. "While we have this two-day meeting, 1,800 people will be dead from problems related to obesity," said Judith S. Stern, a professor of nutrition at the University of California at Davis and vice president of the American Obesity Association. "This is a national emergency." Stern said her organization will push Congress for a fivefold increase in funding for obesity research at the National Institutes of Health, which now spends $103 million on it each year. The nation's top doctor, Surgeon General David Satcher, is already convinced. …."

 

F.R. Duplantier 10/3/99 "....In a recent issue of Foundation Watch, published by the Capital Research Center, editor Patrick Reilly offers "a list of key elements in the anti-tobacco campaign that are repeated in the current campaign for gun control." The first element he cites is the proclamation of a public health crisis. "Americans are generally less suspicious of government programs that appear to address health concerns, even when individual behavior and legitimate business practices are restricted," Reilly observes.....The focus on children is another element borrowed from the anti-tobacco campaign. "Many foundation grants awarded to gun control advocates are used to address the impact of gun violence on youth and children's access to guns," Reilly reports. "In truth," he points out, "the problem of youth access to guns is not as large as it has been portrayed, especially among young children. In 1996, only 40 children under age five died from accidental gun wounds." .....Making their case in courts rather than legislatures is another key element. "Foundations learned from last year's failed effort to pass federal tobacco-control legislation that lawmakers are hesitant to dramatically expand legal and regulatory constraints on major industries," says Reilly. "The courts, however, are not so reluctant..... Blaming the product and its manufacturer, rather than the negligent consumer, is yet another element common to both the anti-tobacco and anti-gun campaigns. "Anti-tobacco lawyers have argued that tobacco companies are guilty of negligent marketing, especially to minors," Reilly remarks. "Anti-gun forces have followed the same strategy, accusing the gun industry of negligence for failing to adequately prevent gun violence and for marketing in high-crime communities." The case against gun makers is patently absurd, of course, but then so was the case against tobacco merchants. Alan Gottlieb takes the threat seriously, and he's responding to it -- by suing the suers! His Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is sponsoring a "damage action" against the NAACP and various anti-gun mayors for "conspiracy to violate civil rights, abuse of process, and undue burden on interstate commerce. The anti-freedom politicians and the NAACP want to blame everyone but themselves for creating all the gun violence," Gottlieb contends. But the real purpose of their lawsuits, he claims, is "to win in the courts what has been rejected at the polls and to destroy gun makers," thereby effectively restricting gun ownership...."

WSJ 10/5/99 Review and Outlook "...Frolicking trial lawyers have become a fixture in the political garden, but now the stakes are higher than ever. It's increasingly clear that the Democratic Party, with virtually no ideological link to the private economy, is now reduced to redistributing income through litigation. This week the House will debate patients' litigation rights. Last month the GOP House slowed the law mills by passing legislation that would bust up the tort lawyers' class-action block party by transferring certain cases to federal court. The White House swore to veto the bill. Democrats in Congress are pulling out all the stops for their pals at the plaintiffs bar. The class-action bill has turned Rep. John Conyers into a states' rights convert, ignoring the Constitution's Commerce and Takings clauses, both of which seem to offer some protection against shakedowns by capricious non-federal courts. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat and Clinton flunkie, was last seen trying to tack a provision onto the bill to ensure it wouldn't apply to the tobacco and gun cabal. Message to two industries currently in the trial lawyers' sights: Don't look for any help from us.....Now the biggest pot of gold since tobacco is coming into focus: the HMOs. Last week Richard Scruggs, veteran of the tobacco and asbestos shakedowns, made clear the HMOs have moved to the top of his to-do list, and no doubt he's counting on Congressional Democrats to pry open the vault with a "patients bill of rights." ......The signs suggest Americans are losing patience with politician-protected lawyers who have recently moved on from tobacco and guns to tackle health issues like "toothbrush abrasion." The lawsuit lobby has no natural allies, unless you count the Naderites. Paying the lawsuit tax has become a fact of life for practically every industry across America. Sea World was just hit by a several-million-dollar lawsuit from the family of a 27-old man because it didn't post signs warning against the dangers of skinny dipping in the killer whale tank. Yet trial lawyer money talks loudest of all now to many Democrats. Mr. Conyers hails from an auto-making district where GM was just hit with a $4.9 billion verdict that even the New York Times called "outrageously high." You have to wonder whom he considers his real constituents. For our part, we're glad this battle is heating up when it is. American voters may have a chance to take back their politics in 2000...."

Los Angeles Times 10/4/99 Myron Levin ".....Mobilizing against smoking bans and lawsuits that could cost them billions, tobacco companies are engaged in a far-reaching campaign to discredit evidence that secondhand smoke is harmful to human health. Nowhere is the strategy more evident than in a legal battle over the evidence that has occupied at least 10 courts, including U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, where it appears likely to be resolved in the industry's favor. In the latest phase of the discovery battle, Philip Morris is fighting USC researchers to get access to a single computer disk containing raw data from an influential five-city study, known as the Fontham study, that found a causal link between lung cancer and secondhand smoke. The company wants to scrutinize the data in hopes of casting doubt on the evidence, which is weaker for secondhand smoke than for some other environmental hazards. ......Researchers from USC and other institutions involved in the Fontham study say the industry's relentless pursuit of the data could have a chilling effect on future health research.......The industry counterattack produced a big victory last year when a federal judge in North Carolina ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had made procedural and substantive errors in a landmark report in January 1993 that concluded that secondhand smoke is a significant cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Federal officials have appealed the ruling. ....... "Methinks," said Davidson, "they [researchers] doth protest too much." ..... "

Wall Street Journal 3/19/98 ".....The World Health Organization has completed the largest ETS study ever, involving 7 European countries. They compared 1,542 healthy people with 650 lung cancer patients. It examined people who were married to smokers, worked with smokers, both worked and were married to smokers and those who grew up with smokers. The study results are constant with the fact there is no additional risk of lung cancer from ETS. Also, "There is no association between lung cancer risk and ETS exposure during childhood". ...."

WSJ Interactive 9/29/99 Paul Barrett "....Colt's Manufacturing Co., the storied gun maker, is restructuring in a way that will shrink significantly its role in producing handguns for the consumer market. The restructuring stems from several causes, but in one sense it is the most drastic response so far by a major gun maker to the wave of municipal litigation pending against the firearm industry. Lawsuits filed by 27 cities and counties across the country specifically target the sort of handguns that Colt's is planning to move away from. Internal company documents show Colt's, West Hartford, Conn., is in the process of spinning off into a separate company its controversial project aimed at producing a high-tech "smart gun" that can only be fired by an authorized user. The documents also indicate the remaining core business will be focused more narrowly on production of military small arms, an area that Colt's has emphasized heavily over the past two years. New York financiers Donald Zilkha and John Rigas, who control the manufacturer, have used Colt's as a vehicle to acquire other makers of small military arms, and the restructuring appears to be another step in that direction. In fact, there are rumors in the gun business that Colt's is close to a new acquisition of a rival, but those rumors couldn't be confirmed......One risk the restructuring creates is a negative reaction from activist gun owners, who could perceive a withdrawal from the consumer handgun market as another indication of Colt's bending to gun-control proponents. Gun owners in New Jersey, California and other states mounted a boycott of Colt's products last year, partly in response to the company's development of the smart gun, which also was seen as a manifestation of weakness in response to gun foes....."

National Post Online 10/6/99 Jonathan Rauch "....Is former U.S. senator Bob Dole a racketeer? No other conclusion is possible once you have read the Clinton administration's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. It is, without a doubt, the most astounding legal document of our day, and not only because it reveals Bob Dole's life of crime. The tobacco companies, according to the administration's filing, have "sought to deceive the American public about the health effects of smoking." They denied that smoking causes disease, denied that tobacco is addictive and "consistently stated" that they did not market to children. The alleged result is that many Americans -- the administration does not say who exactly -- became addicted to cigarettes. "As a consequence of defendants' tortious and unlawful conduct, the federal government spends more than $20-billion annually for the treatment of injuries and diseases caused by defendants' products." But the suit contains a fundamental logical flaw: The government suffered no net damages. There is nothing to recover. Just the opposite. Washington's tobacco-related health spending is more than offset -- to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a year -- by the government's earnings from cigarette taxes, and by its savings on health and pension benefits that smokers don't live to collect. Making a profit and then suing for compensation is cheeky, even by lawyers' standards....."

National Post Online 10/6/99 Jonathan Rauch "....In Lawsuit Land, smokers were naifs fooled by tobacco giants. In real life, polls show that most have known since at least the early '50s that cigarettes are dangerous and hard to quit. Every pack and every ad has carried a warning since 1964. In standard legal theory, writes Richard A. Epstein, a University of Chicago law professor (who has consulted for Philip Morris), where there is no actual deception, there can be no civil claim of fraud. True, some individual smokers may have been deceived. But the administration seeks to build its case on statistics rather than on identifying any injured people. .... "

National Post Online 10/6/99 Jonathan Rauch "....The lawsuit's appendix lists 116 counts of illegal racketeering. Of those, fully 25, by my count, consist of press releases issued by the tobacco companies. Thus, on or about May 16, 1988, the defendants, through their trade group, "did knowingly cause a press release to be sent and delivered by the United States mail to newspapers and news outlets. This press release contained statements disputing the addictiveness of cigarette smoking." By mailing the release, the companies committed -- I am not making this up -- mail fraud......Counts 109, 110, 111, 112 and 113 consist of the testimony given before Congress, in 1994, in which the chief executives of five tobacco giants denied that smoking is addictive and denied manipulating the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. The hearings were televised: five counts of wire fraud....... So, does this mean that President Clinton should have been impeached for wire fraud when, on national television, he denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky? And poor Bob Dole. As a presidential candidate in 1996, he was asked in a televised interview if he thought tobacco is addictive. He replied, "Some people who've tried it can quit easily, others don't quit. So I guess it's addictive to some and not to others." You can send your contributions to the Bob Dole Racketeering & Wire Fraud Defense Fund to me at the National Journal. In its lawsuit, the Clinton administration has redefined fraud and racketeering to mean, in effect, publicly disagreeing with the Clinton administration...."

Ft Worth Star-Telegram/Washington Post 10/5/99 George Will "....Let us stipulate that the companies, without which the world would be better, have been deceitful about the addictiveness and harmfulness of cigarettes. But to prove fraud, government must show that its tobacco policy has been substantially affected by the companies' duplicities, and that the companies prevented government and the public from knowing the truth. Good luck. The government says, with a straight face: "Members of the public believed in the truth and completeness of the statements made by" the companies, and "relied upon the statements . . .and demonstrated that reliance by purchasing and smoking cigarettes, and by refraining from trying to quit or reduce their consumption of cigarettes." But there are about as many ex-smokers as smokers in America, and history suggests why....... The government's suit seeks recompense from tobacco companies for expenditures that the government, BECAUSE OF THE COMPANIES' FRAUD, incurred treating smoking-related illnesses. Well. The government knows something about tobacco-related fraud. Hundreds of jurisdictions have banned indoor smoking, partly because of a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency report that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) kills 3,000 Americans a year. In 1998, a federal judge accused the EPA of "cherry picking" the data for the report and said that the EPA "publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun"; violated procedural requirements in the pertinent law by excluding input from the tobacco industry; "adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the Agency's public conclusion", did not "disseminate significant epidemiologic information"; "deviated from its Risk Assessment Guidelines"; and "failed to disclose important findings and reasoning." EPA's fraud was minor compared to the government's pretense that smoking costs it money. Various studies demonstrate that government reaps substantial savings because of the premature deaths of smokers who (by the way, cigarettes are the most heavily taxed consumer good) collect few if any retirement health care and nursing home benefits. When you hear a figure like 427,743 "premature" deaths from smoking (according to the Centers for Disease Control, that is the annual average, 1990-1994), bear in mind that nearly 60% of those deaths were people 70 or older, nearly 45% were people over 75, nearly 17% were people over 85. With what certainty in those cases can the government establish "smoking-attributable mortality?" But, then, one certainty is that accuracy is not the hallmark of the government's tobacco policy. ...."

CNSNews.com 10/7/99 Susan Jones "....United Parcel Service reportedly plans to stop delivering handguns through its ground service, because of concerns that some of those firearms shipments may be stolen along the way. The Allentown, Pennsylvania Morning Call reports the new UPS Policy begins on Monday. "We're trying to protect ourselves from employees stealing and criminals stealing," UPS spokesman Bob Godlewski told the newspaper. UPS says it will continue to ship long guns by ground, but starting next week, it will ship handguns only by overnight air service, which would cost about $25 more per gun. ...."

The Associated Press, via News Plus 10/7/99 Katharine Webster "....In the largest study ever done on obesity and mortality, researchers reported today that people run the risk of dying earlier simply because they are overweight. The risk was there even among people who didn't smoke and were otherwise healthy during their middle years, according to the study of more than 1 million Americans. It was conducted by the American Cancer Society and published in today's New England Journal of Medicine. It settles once and for all any lingering questions about whether weight alone increases the risk of death and disease, said Dr. JoAnn Manson, a Harvard University endocrinologist and preventive-health specialist. "The evidence is now compelling and irrefutable," Manson said. "Obesity is probably the second-leading preventable cause of death in the United States after cigarette smoking, so it is a very serious problem." The study found an especially clear association between excess weight and a higher risk of dying from heart disease or cancer....."

Christian Broadcasting Network 10/14/99 David Snyder ".....Searching for a scapegoat in the battle against crime, municipalities around the nation have targeted the manufacturers of handguns. More than two dozen cities and counties have filed individual lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Their first victim was Colt's Manufacturing, inventor of the six-shooter, which announced this week it would severely restrict future retail sales of handguns. On the other hand, the first municipal lawsuit was resolved last week in the gunmakers' favor. An Ohio judge threw the lawsuit filed by the city of Cincinnati out of court on the grounds that it was vague and unsupported by legal precedent....."

The New Australian 10/4-10/99 Dr Aaron Oakley ".....An important characteristic of activists is that they are prepared to use any argument - true, half-true or false - to support their ideological agenda. Hence truth plays second fiddle to expediency. This article examines a canard popular with anti-nuclear activists - that there is no level of radiation which is safe. This myth will be exposed along with certain activists who have repeated it. since 1959, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has dictated that regulations be based on the assumption that the effects of low doses of radiation may be derived by linear extrapolation from the effects of high doses (this is called the linear hypothesis). For example, 10,000 mSv of radiation (a very high dose!) would be expected to kill those exposed within hours, and by assuming a linear relationship, we would expect that a dose of 1 mSv would kill 1 in 10,000 people. The fact that we are not dropping like flies (background radiation averages about 2.4 mSv/year globally) immediately brings the hypothesis into question...."

AP 10/15/99 ".... A federal judge Friday blocked Los Angeles County from banning gun sales later this month at the world's biggest gun show. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by the operators of the Great Western Gun Show, which opens Oct. 29 at the county fairgrounds. Great Western Shows Inc. challenged an ordinance that was enacted by the county Board of Supervisors in the aftermath of a shooting rampage at a Jewish community center last summer. ..."

Richmond Times-Dispatch 10/12/99 ".....Our favorite news blooper remains this 1997 Associated Press report about a health study: "Men and women who averaged one drink a day had a 21 percent lower risk of death than non-drinkers." And it's not because we love our Schlitz. It's because the sentence is so hilariously false: Drinkers face precisely the same risk of death as everyone else, which is 100 percent. The same goes for thin people. But don't tell that to Eugenia Calle, who works for the American Cancer Society and who has just finished a study on obesity. "The message" of the study, she said, "is we're too fat and it's killing us. We need to come up with ways as a society to eat less and exercise more." Harvard's JoAnn Manson concurs: "It's going to take a coordinated campaign to turn this around -- at the community level, at the environmental level, with changes in the food industry and marketing industry, having more bike paths and sidewalks." This is becoming a more and more popular view. A couple of years ago Yale's Kelly Brownell gained notoriety when he proposed a "Twinkie tax" on high-fat foods, just like the tax on cigarettes: "To me, there is no difference between Ronald McDonald and Joe Camel," he said. Last month, participants at an American Obesity Association conference declared obesity a "national emergency." Surgeon General David Satcher calls obesity "a major public health problem . . . that deserves much more attention than it receives." .......Ostensibly, obesity costs society money because of lost productivity, medical treatment for diabetes, clogged arteries, and so forth. Empirically, the assumption might not hold true any more than it holds true for smokers. Smokers incur higher medical costs, but because they pay steep cigarette taxes and die earlier -- thus saving expenditures on pensions, Medicare, and Social Security -- smokers save government more than half a dollar per pack, on average. The assumption behind the calculus, however, is that individuals have a re-sponsibility to stay fit not for their own good, but for the good of the collective. The slippery-slope argument gets woefully overused, but it is hard not to wonder: First cigarettes, then fat -- then what? Is the problem not really a gluttony for power? ....."

Reason Online 10/7/99 "....In 1994, when states started demanding that tobacco companies compensate them for the cost of treating smoking-related illness under Medicaid, critics wondered how many other industries could be sued on similar grounds. Don't be silly, these worrywarts were told. Cigarettes are unique. Yet even before the states had wrapped up their tobacco litigation in a $206 billion package, Round 2 had begun: Last fall, two major cities filed suit against manufacturers of firearms, seeking compensation for costs associated with gun violence. New Orleans claims that handguns are "unreasonably dangerous" because they do not incorporate safety features that would prevent unauthorized people from firing them. Chicago argues that gun makers have created a "public nuisance" by supplying too many firearms to dealers in the city's suburbs. Several other cities, including Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, have filed suits of their own, and still more are expected to join the list. And the NAACP also plans to file a suit of its own......The idea that guns are a public nuisance is closely related to the idea that guns are viruses causing an epidemic of violence, the subtext of research funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the April 1997 Reason, Don B. Kates, Henry E. Schaffer, and William C. Waters IV dissect the misuse of public health concepts by advocates of gun control. By using litigation to raise prices and drive manufacturers out of business, gun controllers can reduce access to firearms without confronting the Second Amendment. In the March 1996 Reason, Daniel D. Polsby considers what might happen if the courts treated the right to keep and bear arms like other constitutional rights. The hostility toward guns expressed in the New Orleans and Chicago lawsuits is shared by most news organizations. In the November 1995 Reason, William R. Tonso shows that sheer ignorance is an important reason for this attitude....... "

Los Angeles Times 10/14/99 James Pinkerton ".....Magicians call it misdirection: the art of getting audiences to look in the direction the magician wants them to, so they miss the trick. Today, politics itself is being misdirected. Some of the biggest controversies in the United States--debates over gun control, auto safety, health care policy and pharmaceutical development--are no longer being decided by the democratic process or by the rule of law as traditionally understood. Sure, the politicians continue to talk, but their words are increasingly just part of the illusion. The real tricks, and some very big bucks, are being generated by a small group of trial lawyers who are pulling the ultimate trick: They are making the substance of politics disappear. ....Why hasn't this angle been covered much? Two possible explanations. First, journalists mostly support this legal onslaught against industries and products they don't like. Second, to cover the story of how trial lawyers are preempting politics, elite newsies would have to travel to tort hot spots such as Hayneville, Ala. In 1996, for example, a jury there heard the case of one Alex Hardy, who apparently fell asleep at the wheel of his Chevy, leading to an accident that left him paralyzed. Yet plaintiff's lawyers claimed, against all reason, that the vehicle was defective. Hardy was awarded $150 million in a case that has set a low standard for auto liability cases since....."

Los Angeles Times 10/14/99 Henry Weinstein "....In the latest courtroom assault on corporations selling legal but controversial products, Rhode Island's attorney general on Wednesday sued eight companies that used to manufacture lead paint, which banned for residences in 1078 put continues to be a major health problem for children living in older buildings. The lawsuit is expected to be the first of many against the paint industry by state attorneys general, and Sen. Jack Reid (D-R.I.) is currently drafting legislation that would facilitate a federal suit against the industry. Rhode Island's suit seeks damages for tax money expended treating people made ill by lead and funds for an abatement program to 'get the lead out of Rhode Island's children, homes and buildings." ...."

FoxNews Mike Crissey 10/18/99 "....Texas became the ninth state to sue Publishers Clearing House over its sweepstakes Monday, saying its advertising was deceptive and primarily duped senior citizens. The lawsuit filed in Travis County asks for damages and an injunction against the Port Washington, N.Y.-based company. Texas Attorney General John Cornyn called the company's mailings "letter bombs, filled with deceptions." The state accuses the company of creating a false sense of urgency; inflating the likelihood of winning by sending people simulated checks, deposit slips and tax forms; and asking people to return a map telling the Prize Patrol how to get to their homes....."

Investor's Business Daily 10/21/99 ".....There are lots of ways for Americans to lose those freedoms they claim to hold so dear. They can be conquered by dictators, they can be over-regulated by bureaucrats and they can be sued by trial lawyers. It seems that no one is safe anymore from a growing pack of trial lawyers looking for deep pockets and a sympathetic jury. And while the plaintiffs may win, the rest of us lose our money and our freedom...... Last week, a jury returned a $2.3 million damage award to 13 American Airlines passengers ''traumatized'' in a 28-second bout of air turbulence on a Los Angeles-to-New York flight in 1995. Of course, $2.3 million is pocket change for these kinds of lawsuits, but more are expected to be filed soon.....Again the plaintiffs and their lawyers may win while the rest of us lose in this case - through higher ticket prices and a loss of freedom in the not-so-friendly skies. No industry or company is safe. Take health care. The House has just passed legislation that will permit trial lawyers to sue managed care companies and employers for punitive damages. That's on top of current efforts to sue managed care companies. But employers who buy managed care plans are in trial lawyers' sights too. Large companies that self-insure have been shielded from this type of litigation by federal law. The Senate version would keep that protection..... Is there a reason for this litigation explosion? Yes, and it's called the contingency fee, which makes the trial lawyer a stakeholder in the lawsuit....."

Fort Worth Star-Telegram 10/24/99 Bob Norman ".....Because of the criminal actions of a few, it has become politically correct to blame gun shows for the ills of mankind, even though the vast majority of guns used in crimes never came from any gun show. Although federal law provides for the unlicensed sale of one's personal gun collection, large or small, it has become apparent that because of the aforementioned criminals, it behooves responsible gun show promoters to take steps to insure that any gun sold at a gun show goes only to a purchaser who has had a background check. Starting with my February 2000 show at the Will Rogers Center, only persons with a federal firearms license will be allowed to sell guns. Although the law allows for the unlicensed sale of personally owned guns, there is no provision in the law for private individuals to conduct the background check. Only those with licenses have access to the checking system and it is illegal for licensees to not do the background check. Will this stop gun crime? Of course not, and I do not fool myself into thinking that it will. Classified ads in newspapers, flea markets, garage sales, notices on bulletin boards and Internet commerce, among other things, will insure that unchecked persons can still buy guns......"

U.S. News And World Report 11/1/99 Marianne Lavelle Angie Cannon ".....Even the mighty six-shooter is no match for trial lawyers this year. In recent weeks, after a small group of powerful attorneys had aimed two dozen cases at the gun industry, the legendary Colt's Manufacturing Co. threw up its hands, cutting back on sales of consumer handguns. About the same time, the stocks of managed health care organizations tumbled as much as 30 percent when some of the same litigators, calling themselves "the Re- pair Team," sued the HMOs. And another legal cadre-again, with many familiar faces-squeezed a $3.75 billion settlement for users of the dangerous diet drugs fen-phen- the largest pay- off ageement ever by a single company. But even that stunning figure fades beside the $246 billion the plaintiffs' bar smoked out of Big Tobacco companies last year. In recent months, the nation's loose-knit fraternity of trial lawyers-a dozen fabulously successful firms leading a vanguard of thousands-have emerged as an awesome force, shaking the courtroom, the boardroom, and the back room....... Perhaps the best illustration of their new political muscle is the behind-the-scenes tobacco machinations at the White House this year. President Clinton's advisers wanted to file a civil lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recoup federal Medicare costs, as the states had done. But the Justice Department had qualms. Who you gonna call? Tobaccobusters! The trial lawyers who had represented the states were summoned to the White House for brainstorming sessions to help fashion a strategy to persuade cautious Justice. "It was a first," says plaintiffs' lawyer Richard Scruggs of Pascagoula, Miss., about the confabs. What does it mean? "We are now . . . moving these issues with more substantive political participation, helping our friends with information and ideas," says Washington, D.C., attorney John Coale....."

San Diego Tribune 10/24/99 Dave Barry ".....There is big news in the War on Smoking. The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the cigarette industry, boldly charging that the industry was lying - and it KNEW it was lying - when it claimed that it never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, Whoops! Wrong lie! ....."

INSIGHT Magazine 11/8/99 Tobacco Suit YES Richard A. Daynard ".....The lawsuit filed on Sept. 22 is making two very different types of claims. First, it seeks reimbursement for the more than $20 billion each year that it asserts federal taxpayers have lost as a result of the industry's conduct..... The second claim of the lawsuit alleges that the tobacco companies' repeated use of mail fraud and wire fraud, together with their creation and use of front groups to facilitate the fraud, brings them squarely within the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. Under RICO, a court can require the defendants to disband their conspiracy and cease their misdeeds, to take steps to undo the harm they have caused (in this instance, by funding corrective advertising campaigns and smoking-cessation clinics) and to disgorge the full amount of their ill-gotten gains......"

INSIGHT Magazine 11/8/99 Tobacco Suit No Rep Bob Barr "...The theory underlying the lawsuit is legally and factually flawed. Even worse, it attempts to set a dangerous new precedent allowing unelected officials to engage in massive interference with private commerce. Factually, the lawsuit turns on the argument that smoking costs the government money. While that argument sounds right at first blush and is unquestionably accepted by political leaders and media pundits, it isn't actually true. Reduced to an issue of government "cost," cigarette smoking represents a net gain in government revenue. As studies by the Congressional Research Service and the New England Journal of Medicine have demonstrated conclusively, the government spends more money treating nonsmokers, because they live much longer than smokers. Combined with the massive tax revenues the government obtains from tobacco, it is clear the government has benefited greatly from the growing, sale and use of tobacco. Based on these facts, if the federal government gets involved in tobacco lawsuits at all, it should be as a defendant, not a plaintiff. Legally, this lawsuit is even more absurd and pernicious. As early as 1947, the Supreme Court ruled the federal government cannot recover medical damages from private companies without statutory authorization from Congress..... "

INSIGHT Magazine 11/8/99 Tobacco Suit NO Rep Bob Barr "....Another bridge was crossed a couple of years ago when state governments, correctly smelling a windfall in revenues for their cash-strapped treasuries, jumped into the fray. The tobacco companies, despite a string of victories in court, made a calculated -- but, as it turns out for the rest of us, disastrous -- decision to settle rather than fight. The die was cast. A green light was given to every aggrieved consumer and government entity aggressively to seek out and destroy whatever product met the criteria of the tobacco lawsuits: legal, widely used, profitable, disfavored by the ruling intelligentsia and the so-called national media and subject to some colorable claim that it harmed someone, somehow, somewhere. Virtually every major sector of our economy is now a potential defendant......"

INSIGHT Magazine 11/8/99 Tobacco Suit NO Rep Bob Barr "....Then, just a few months ago, a trial balloon was floated to gauge whether Congress and the American people would wake up and sense the danger (but they haven't). A federal agency very carefully, quietly and cleverly began to involve itself in the gun lawsuits being brought by big-city mayors and trial lawyers. The federal agency wasn't Justice. That would be too obvious; too much, too fast. It was HUD. That's right, the Department of Housing and Urban Development..... under such a theory, any federal agency would be justified in suing any manufacturer of any product found to have harmed anybody because, in today's regulatory world, there is always a "federal" dollar somewhere, administered by an eager federal agency enjoying lengthy and laudatory language in its enabling legislation about the public "good," "welfare" or "safety ...."

INSIGHT Magazine 11/8/99 Tobacco Suit NO Rep Bob Barr "....The most insidious element of this latest foray by our esteemed Department of Justice is the precedent it sets. The federal government's tobacco lawsuit is almost certain to be thrown out of court (hopefully before Justice can extort a settlement). The most pernicious aspect of this case -- and the other tobacco and gun lawsuits -- lies in its underlying assault on our legal system and its relationship to our system of commerce in the United States....... The principle at stake here is simple, and it has been recognized throughout America's history. To encourage free enterprise and reflect American ideals of freedom and self-responsibility, manufacturers have never been held liable for the misuse of a lawfully manufactured nondefective product. The reason for this bedrock principle had been, until now, consistently adopted by courts and supported by government action: If a manufacturer of a lawful, nondefective product was liable for the subsequent use or misuse of that product, manufacturers, not surprisingly, would not manufacture goods. If they did, they necessarily would subject themselves to liability based on acts of persons not under their control. ..... "

 

WorldNetDaily 10/26/99 Jon Dougherty "….As the United Nations and the World Health Organization put the finishing touches on a new global treaty designed to curb worldwide tobacco use and advertising, controversy has arisen from a previous -- but little publicized -- study completed by WHO in March 1998 concluding there is no link between second-hand smoke and cancer. According to the London Telegraph, which first publicized the study last year, researchers at the WHO found "that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer, but that it could even have a protective effect." ….. The study, seen by the Telegraph, also stated, "There was no association between lung cancer risk and ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) exposure during childhood." In an earlier report, the Telegraph published a story calling the mania over passive cigarette smoke a "false alarm" because researchers at Colorado State University found that lung cancer rates of women married to smokers are 60 percent lower than previous studies had shown, and that the extra risk may even be statistically "negligible." The Colorado team, led by Dr. Geof Givens, reexamined some 35 previous studies on the effects of passive cigarette smoke. They found that similar studies debunking the second-hand smoke theory were often overlooked because, according to the Telegraph, "scientists think that the results are not worthwhile, or they are rejected by scientific journals." ….."

AP 10/26/99 Robert Jablon "….Obesity is a U.S. epidemic that has surged in the past decade and now affects nearly one in five adults, killing some 300,000 a year, a collection of new studies suggest. The studies, which will be published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, are the latest to spread the warning that Americans are getting fatter - and that fat kills. ``Obesity is a major cause of mortality in the United States,'' concludes one of the surveys. One study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the number of Americans considered obese - defined as being more than 30 percent over their ideal body weight - soared from about one in eight in 1991 to nearly one in five last year. …."

Reuters 10/25/99 Elif Kaban "….The world's beleaguered cigarette makers faced the prospect of fighting on a new front Monday as U.N. talks began to hammer out the first international treaty to curb tobacco use and its advertising. The talks are aimed at agreeing on a legally binding and potentially industry-hobbling treaty against tobacco, focusing on a global ban on cigarette advertising, an increase in taxes on tobacco products and the right to a smoke-free environment. ….. The WHO has made the fight against tobacco a policy priority. This month, it launched an inquiry into the tobacco industry, alleging that it mounted a systematic global effort to undermine its policies against smoking……"

Jewish World Review 10/25/99 Mona Charen "….LEE SANCHEZ JR. was the victim of a terrible accident. He had parked his 1990 Chevy pick-up truck on a hill. Leaving the motor running and the transmission in park (so he thought), he got out of the truck. Somehow, the transmission shifted out of park and into something experts later called "hydraulic neutral." And since the truck was on a hill, it rolled backwards and over Sanchez. He died from his injuries. Naturally, this being 1990s America, Sanchez's relatives sued General Motors arguing that the company was liable for failure to design a slip-proof transmission......

Enter Stage Right 10/25/99 David Ridenour "…..When the federal government announced on September 22 that it was suing U.S. tobacco companies to recover funds the federal government spends each year on smoking-relating health costs, more than one person quizzically asked: But doesn't the government support tobacco farmers? Yes. This seeming inconsistency in the government's tobacco lawsuit is just one of many contradictions that ultimately show the lawsuit for what it truly is: a flawed legal filing designed more to build the political fortunes of a discredited and impeached administration than to do anything positive for the people or government of the United States. The federal government's tobacco lawsuit is insincere, deceptive and, ultimately, hypocritical. The government itself distributed cigarettes free to servicemen until 1974, a full decade after the famous 1964 Surgeon General's warning, in its report, "Smoking & Health - Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service," advising all America that smoking causes disease. To win the case, among other things, the government must prove that it paid Medicare benefits to smokers while unaware of tobacco's danger, despite the aforementioned Surgeon General's report made public before Medicare's creation….."

Washington Times 10/31/99 Bonner Cohen "….While the study's title, "Influence of Environmental Change on Degradation of Chiral Pollutants in Soil," seems innocuous enough, its findings are another matter. The study deals with chirality, a characteristic exhibited by chemicals with asymmetric molecules. The asymmetry causes molecules of the same chemical to exist as mirror images of one another. Since many of the building blocks of living organisms - including sugars, amino acids and proteins - are also chiral, the effects of chiral pollutants depend on how well the toxic portions of the pollutant fit together with molecules of living things. "Our study emphasizes the fact that much of the historical environmental data collected on pollutants is unreliable because so many of the chemicals are chiral, and the data do not distinguish which mirror images of certain chemicals were present and which were harmless," says Mr. Lewis. "The good news is that trace amounts of many of the environmental pollutants EPA is most worried about - including some DDT derivatives, PCBs and plasticizers - aren't as bad as previously thought." ….."On the other hand, he warns, "measures intended to protect the environment, such as using treated sewage sludge as a fertilizer, will likely increase the persistence of the more toxic forms of some pesticides." …."

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation 10/29/99 "….PRNewswire/ -- Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation today issued the following statement: Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation said today that a previously sealed FBI investigation uncovered by the news media ``has now exposed the truth behind the soon to be released film 'The Insider' and shows that the government's key witness lied to federal agents and fabricated death threats. ''The question now,`` said Brown & Williamson, ''is how can Disney continue to promote a film based on fabrications and lies?`` The FBI investigation also raises serious questions about the actions of CBS ``60 Minutes'' producer Lowell Bergman and the U.S. Justice Department's five-year investigation of the tobacco industry.

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation 10/29/99 "….The FBI's conclusions are outlined in the affidavit of an FBI agent responsible for investigating the 1996 Jeffrey Wigand death threat. Wigand, a former Brown & Williamson employee, is being portrayed in the soon-to-be- released film as a hero and ``the key witness on the biggest public health reform issue in U.S. history.'' In the affidavit, the FBI concludes that Wigand faked death threats and placed a bullet in his own mailbox. The agent found probable cause that Wigand committed a crime and as a result was seeking a search warrant of Wigand's home. The FBI agent's sworn affidavit includes a forensic analysis of Wigand's home computer by the FBI's crime laboratory in Washington, D.C. The document states that ``subsequent examination revealed fragmentary portions of the threat message were stored on the hard drive of Wigand's Compaq Presario 150 personal computer.''

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation 10/29/99 "….The FBI also reported that a CBS ``60 Minutes''-hired bodyguard apparently used Wigand's computer to type a copy of the threat letter and that it ``appeared to (the CBS-hired bodyguard) to be an exact match to a copy of the threat letter.'' The FBI's sworn affidavit concludes that Wigand's official statement to the FBI was ``untrue and misleading and in violation of'' federal law that makes it a crime to lie to a federal investigator. ``While Brown & Williamson has emphatically stated that we did not threaten Wigand or his family in any way, many media reports and Wigand himself have implied that Brown & Williamson was behind the threats. In fact, we think the Hollywood film, 'The Insider' accuses Brown & Williamson of this and has invented scenes in the movie to dramatize such threats,'' the company said. …."

NewsMax 10/29/99 Ollie North "…..Washington: When Bill and Hillary roared into Washington from the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, they brought with them the generous support of the trial lawyers lobby. And since Clinton & Clinton took charge of the White House, they have shown their gratitude by launching a rash of federally-inspired lawsuits aimed at the heart of legitimate, lawful, albeit politically-incorrect, American businesses. First, it was Microsoft, then "Big Tobacco." Now, it's the firearms industry. If the Lawyer-in-chief can't get what he wants through regulation, he tries legislation. When legislation fails, he turns the matter over to his cronies at the bar for litigation. The result is a Constitutionally contorted form of legal mayhem in which the executive branch uses the judicial branch to alter laws that were never passed by the legislative Branch……"

Florida Times-Union 10/28/99 "….Drug companies are about to find out what Kenneth Starr, Linda Tripp and others learned in the past few years. Interfering with the presidential agenda in this administration can be painful. To put it another way: Bill Clinton doesn't get mad. He gets even. When drug companies opposed his scheme to create a new federal entitlement for prescription drugs, they came into the cross-hairs. It wasn't just a matter of getting labeled ''special interests.'' That is pro forma when business interests get involved in politics. Nor was it a matter of being accused of disseminating ''falsehoods'' - although for this president to make that charge is ironic to an extreme. Now, however, the fun begins. Clinton has ordered a study of prescription drug costs. This is no in-depth study, to be done in scientific detachment. This study will be done in 90 days. Its purpose is clear. As the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, ''He will undoubtedly use the study to hammer Republicans and industry officials who oppose his plan to offer a voluntary drug benefit as part of the federal health program for the elderly.'' …."

Reuters 10/26/99 Edward Tobin "....New York state's highest court Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss five class action suits brought against U.S. tobacco companies, in a ruling industry analysts said highlights a trend in pending tobacco cases. A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration in New York told Reuters that the New York State court reaffirmed the lower appellate division's July 1998 decision to dismiss the cases. The 7-0 decision marks a reprieve for U.S. Tobacco companies that have watched their stocks plummet last week after a Florida state court ruling that could expose them to billions of dollars in punitive damages in connection with sweeping class action verdicts against them....."

Houston Chronicle 10/26/99 Cal Thomas ".... Vice President Al Gore said last week, in a bid for the largely uncommitted environmental vote, that if he becomes president, he will sign an executive order banning any new offshore drilling for oil and gas along the California and Florida coasts. What would the oil companies do with their 36 existing leases off California and 146 off Florida for which they have already paid billions of dollars, but have yet to begin drilling? Gore seems to be saying, "Let them eat crude."..."

Philadelphia Daily News 10/26/99 Gary Kleck "….If Eliot Spitzer, New York State's attorney general, has his way, more of the nation's gun manufacturers will follow the lead of the Colt's Manufacturing Co. and cut back big parts of their business to please the advocates of gun control. When Colt's announced it would cease making handguns for the civilian market, it cited financial problems attributable in part to pending lawsuits filed by 28 cities and counties against gun makers, including Colt's. New York State has not filed one of these suits, but Spitzer's threat of one has persuaded the gun makers to negotiate with him about his demands that they stop making lower-priced handguns and submit their businesses to oversight by an appointed monitor….."

San Jose Mercury News 10/26/99 William Rusher "…. BY now it is pretty well understood among thoughtful people that the savage attacks of the state and federal governments on the tobacco industry have nothing to do with the public's health and everything to do with money: hundreds of billions of dollars, which politicians have discovered they can gouge out of the tobacco companies (who of course pass the cost along to their customers) in lieu of more taxes. After all, the federal government kept on subsidizing tobacco farmers for decades after the Surgeon General began warning that cigarettes can cause cancer and other fatal illnesses. Bear in mind that Philip Morris nets just 28 cents on every pack of Marlboros it sells, but the government takes several times that amount. If the government were really serious about saving the lives of America's smokers, it would simply ban the sale of cigarettes. But no -- that cash cow has to be kept alive and producing at all costs.. .Since the greed of our politicians is literally bottomless, observers have been waiting to see which other profitable industry will be targeted next. A good many people think it will be the alcoholic beverage industry, which has tons of money and whose products kill many thousands of people and cause endless misery to afflicted families every year. The alcoholic beverage producers can hardly claim they didn't know the damage alcohol does, or didn't realize that, for certain people at least, alcohol is, quite literally, fatally addictive. Yet they keep on selling the stuff, and raking in billions…..Rather, my own guess is that the politicians' greedy glare will next fasten on the gun manufacturers (and indeed, the first lawsuits against them have already been filed). Here, the hysteria whipped up for more and more gun-control laws has already paved the way. The gun manufacturers will be easy to cast as cold-blooded villains….."

Cato 10/26/99 Doug Bandow "…..It's hard to be sympathetic to "Big Tobacco." The companies profit handsomely from a product that kills. Why shouldn't the federal government seek reimbursement for costs caused by smoking? "The tobacco companies should answer to the taxpayers for their actions," argues President Clinton. His argument is superficially appealing, but he should apply the principle consistently. For instance, poor people get into car accidents and the government pays their medical expenses. Why shouldn't Chrysler, Ford and General Motors have to reimburse the Medicaid program? Some people without adequate private health insurance get injured while hang-gliding, rock-climbing, skateboarding, surfing, and engaging in any number of other risky activities. The Justice Department should sue the product manufacturers and property owners. Moreover, the government covers the medical bills of people who are shot, abuse alcohol, fall off of ladders, get injured playing football, trip down stairs, and suffer heart attacks after a lifetime of eating high-cholesterol foods, red meat and sugar. Washington could fill the courts with reimbursement lawsuits……. Then there's the already high tax on cigarettes, averaging almost 53 cents a pack. That is pure government profit. It's obviously tempting to say: Let the tobacco industry pay. But constitutional principles as well as corporate revenues are at stake. Legal extortion has no place in a nation that claims to be governed by the rule of law. …."

NY Times 10/25/99 AP "… In one of its largest environmental enforcement actions, the government today filed lawsuits charging that 32 electric utility plants made illegal repairs to facilities, causing the release of massive amounts of air pollutants throughout the Midwest and East Coast. The lawsuits, filed by the Justice Department on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, seek to force the facilities to install appropriate air pollution control technology. The suits were filed in federal courts in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Tampa, East St. Louis, Ill. and Columbus, Ohio. The suits allege that 17 electric utility plants -- owned by American Electric Power, Cinergy, FirstEnergy, Illinois Power, Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company, Southern Company, Tampa Electric Company or their subsidiaries -- violated the Clean Air Act by making major modifications to many of their plants without installing the equipment required to control smog, acid rain and soot. ….."

Fox News/REUTERS 11/3/99 "….Armed with a slew of reports that Americans are getting fatter by the day, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Wednesday it was stepping up its assault on poor eating habits. Starting early next year, the department said it will launch a Web site where Americans can evaluate their diets and track changes in their eating. The USDA said it will also hold a national summit to focus more attention on healthy eating and will bring together researchers, academics and food industry experts to analyze why Americans eat what they do…..Glickman acknowledged the new guidelines would likely be controversial, but said it is the government's role to guide Americans into adopting a healthier lifestyle……"

American Lawyer Media 11/8/99 Robert Levy "…Judge Jackson defines the market as operating systems for single-user desktop PCs that use an Intel-compatible microchip. Thus, notes economist Alan Reynolds, Apple's 10 percent market share doesn't count because Apple uses a Motorola chip. Nor does Sun Microsystems' share -- Sun's sales were up 30 percent in 1998 -- because Sun, too, isn't Intel-based and its Solaris system is multi-user. As for the Linux craze, it came too late to be included in the market share calculations. Then there are hand-held computer systems -- sales climbed 61 percent in 1998 -- sub-notebooks and set-top TV boxes, each of which uses a non-Intel chip. Finally, 15 percent of PCs are marketed "naked" -- i.e., without an operating system….. The central point is this: The government's focus in this case has been to safeguard Microsoft's competitors rather than protect consumers -- which is, after all, the purpose of the antitrust laws. To be sure, the Justice Department tried mightily to link one objective to the other. But the government's own witness, M.I.T. professor Franklin Fisher, when asked whether consumers have been harmed by Microsoft, responded, "On balance, I'd think that the answer is no." Contrast that with Judge Jackson's assurance that Microsoft "harmed consumers in ways that are immediate and easily discernible." Even the Washington Post -- no fan of Microsoft -- conceded editorially that "the government's allegations of harm to consumers seem pretty speculative."….."

National Review 11/10/99 Lawrence Kudlow "….The Clinton administration is on a re-regulatory rampage, and Microsoft is just the tip of the iceberg. The Justice Department website brags about a hundred anti-trust suits filed since 1994: IBM, Georgia-Pacific, Cisco Systems, CBS, NBC, Time Warner, Sony, General Electric, Westinghouse, Alcoa, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, MCI, Sprint, Citigroup, Staples, and Intel, to name a few. Just the other day the department blasted off on seven utility companies. Numerous product liability and re-regulatory issues are now floating around Congress, the courts and the Clinton executive branch. Resolution of these issues could substantially affect steel, defense, property and casualty insurers, satellite broadcasters, tobacco, HMOs, hospitals and pharmaceuticals. And this list doesn't even include the myriad of economic sectors that may suffer from overzealous global warming policies….."

WorldNetDaily 11/9/99 Jon Dougherty "..... "It's the economy, stupid," was the theme of Bill Clinton's first presidential bid in 1991. The point, we were told, was that this man Clinton would be good for business. Uh-huh. The American economy, by all facts and figures, is indeed moving along swimmingly, but it is doing so despite the man who would be king for life, if only we'd let him. The Clinton administration's army of bureaucrats have foisted a ton of new costly regulatory burdens on U.S. businesses since 1992, and still many industries have succeeded anyway. Many more, however, have gone the way of the Dodo bird, leaving America's once receptive climes for the business-friendly environments of other countries awash in poverty. Therefore I can only conclude that the government's attack on Microsoft has more to do with a warped quest for power than sound legal principles. Success must really bother those in government who want Americans to rely only upon them for survival....."

New York Post 11/9/99 Jonathan Foreman ".... IT made $7 million over the weekend and won rave reviews from many critics, but "The Insider" might also earn the Walt Disney Co. a massive lawsuit from Brown & Williamson, the tobacco company that serves as the movie's villain. And the cigarette giant could well have a strong case. "The Insider" implies that company executives engineered death threats and suborned FBI agents. A company can sue for libel if it is portrayed in a false and defamatory light and if it suffers injury as a result. As for whether "The Insider" has injured Brown & Williamson, the company is now polling filmgoers outside cinemas in seven cities across the country to determine how negatively they perceive it after seeing the movie. ....Unlike many films that dramatize real events, "The Insider" doesn't trouble to change the name of the corporation it attacks. That's a big deal because it depicts unquestionably felonious conduct against Wigand and his family and strongly suggests that Brown & Williamson is responsible......"

WorldNetDaily 11/8/99 Llewellyn Rockwell, Jr. "… Is free enterprise legal in America or not? That is the fundamental question raised by federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's 207-page "Findings of Fact" against Microsoft. Here's a judge who has been openly biased from the beginning, who didn't know how to turn on a computer a couple of years ago, and who even the New York Times says had to learn about software as the trial progressed. This judge, pretending to know more than hundreds of millions of freely choosing consumers, now calls Microsoft a monopoly and demands that it be smashed. For all the mind-numbing rhetoric, the invocations of outdated economic models, and the intricate legalese, there is one enormous, gaping hole in the judge's argument: Microsoft committed no crimes in the normal sense in which that word is used. Nowhere does the judge show that Microsoft committed fraud, stole, coerced, broke contracts, or threatened anyone or any company with violence. It didn't take advantage of any government regulations to erect legal barriers to its competitors and it didn't benefit from any subsidies. The company has not aggressed on anyone's property or forced any producer or consumer to pay the company money, to sign any contract, or to buy its products……"

Cato Institute 11/8/99 Robert Levy "…. Here's the lesson that high-tech companies can glean from Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings in the Microsoft case: If you're sufficiently ambitious, competent, and hard-working; if you're willing to risk your time and fortune; if you succeed at rising above your competition by serving customers with better products; then watch out, because our government will come down on your neck with the force and effect of a guillotine. Jackson's knee-jerk recitation of the Justice Department's line is a mockery of objectivity, scornful of the facts, and congenial only to those who prefer a sterile marketplace in which vigorous competition becomes legally actionable….."

Denver Rocky Mountain News 11/8/99 Manny Gonzales "…. Some pawnshops and stores in Colorado are taking a second look at selling handguns because of delays in background checks and the public backlash against gun violence. State police have been effective in screening gun buyers since they took over criminal background checks from the FBI. But the new system has sellers complaining of added delays. Some pawnshop dealers in the Denver area said they may stop dealing in guns because it's not cost-effective. Also, there's the negative image after the Columbine High School shootings. "It's going to put dealers out of business quickly, and not just pawnshops but the standard dealer as well," said Dudley Brown, a pro-gun lobbyist for Rocky Mountain Gunowners. …."

FrontPage Magazine 11/8/99 Chris Weinkopf ".... RONALD McDONALD SHOULD be quaking in his red boots. After the trial lawyers and attorneys general have squeezed their last settlements and punitive damages out of the tobacco and gun industries, they will no doubt seek a new pot of gold, this time beneath the golden arches. They will have the evidence, the precedent, the international community, and the Democratic Party on their side. All that stands in their way is common sense and the will of the American people-no match for the powers of an activist judiciary. In the case of People v. Ronald McDonald, Exhibit A will be the October 25 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which features the Centers for Disease Control's study of obesity in America. Over half of all American adults, according to the report, are overweight, and nearly one in five is obese. Obesity, moreover, kills some 300,000 people a year-not far behind cigarettes, which are said to claim the lives of some 430,000. In 1997, the World Health Organization proclaimed that "Obesity 's impact is so diverse and extreme that it should now be regarded as one of the greatest neglected public-health problems of our time, with an impact on health which may well prove to be as great as that of smoking." Mr. McDonald, prepare for the Joe Camel treatment. That means paying up, as did the tobacco companies...."

Reuters 11/5/99 "….A U.S. federal judge [Thomas Penfields] ruled Friday that Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq:MSFT - news). wields monopoly power in personal computer operating systems and has issued a decision highly favorable to the government, sources briefed on the contents of the ruling said…."

Fox News 11/4/99 Russ Bynum AP "….Despite years of anti-smoking campaigns, lawsuits and bans, the smoking rate among American adults has hardly budged during the 1990s - namely because more and more 18-to-24-year-olds are lighting up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that 24.7 percent of adults smoked in 1997. As a result, the CDC expects to fall far short of its goal of reducing smoking to 15 percent of the adult population by 2000….."

Enter Stage Right 11/15/99 Amy Ridenour "…. Which government activity deserves funding from your tax dollars? * Funding lawsuits to stop public housing authorities from evicting criminals; * Funding a government lawsuit against gun manufacturers on the theory that criminal violence in public housing is largely the fault of gun manufacturers. As contrary as these two activities are, part of our government believes in doing both. The federal government's Legal Services Corporation allows its funds to be used to keep criminals - as long as the criminals are not committing drug crimes - from being evicted from public housing….."

Jewish World Review 11/14/99 Thomas Sowell "….The biggest question about anti-trust law is whether there really is any such thing. There are anti-trust theories and anti-trust rhetoric, as well as judicial pronouncements on anti-trust. But there is very little that could be called law in the full sense of rules known in advance and applied consistently. Federal judge John Penfield Jackson's recent ruling in the anti-trust case against Microsoft is a classic example of lawless "law." Just what specific law did Microsoft violate and how did they violate it? While Judge Jackson's long pronouncement opens with a brief reference to sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman anti-trust act, this is little more than a passing formality. What follows is a lengthy exposition of theoretical conclusions about the economic meaning of Microsoft's actions. Is Microsoft supposed to have violated a theory or to have violated a law? What was it that they should have known in advance not to do? …."

The NY Daily News 11/13/99 John Leo "… Philip Morris came under fire last week for targeting women and minorities in cigarette ads. An anti-smoking group charged that the "Find Your Own Voice" ad campaign is clearly aimed at impressionable ethnic girls. "It's a blatant act of racism," said Mohammed Akhter of the American Public Health Association. But attacking Philip Morris for advertising bias is wrongheaded. The tobacco industry isn't trying to kill minorities and women. It's trying to kill us all. So it pursues every segment of the potential death market. …."

The Wall Street Journal 11/12/99 Brown & Williamson Tobacco "…. Dear Disney Shareholders: We are compelled to communicate with you in this fashion because we have no other recourse. Your company is defaming us in a movie and has refused our repeated attempts to se the record straight. "The Insider" is a docudrama supposedly based on the true account of the relationship of former Brown & Williamson Tobacco employee Jeffrey Wigand and a producer for CBS' "60 Minutes" television news show. The film clearly suggest that B & W threatened Wigand. We state here categorically that B & W did not threaten Wigand or his family in any way. Contrary to what the movie shows, we did not send any threatening messages and we did not put a bullet in his mailbox. In fact, several months ago, Brills Content magazine reported that Wigand's own wife said that the e-mail threat was "total fiction" and that she believed that Wigand put the bullet in his own mailbox…."

The Wall Street Journal 11/12/99 Brown & Williamson Tobacco "…. Now, a previously sealed FBI sworn affidavit uncovered by the news media late last month confirms her belief. The FBI agent investigating the incident has since told Holman Jenkins, a Wall Street Journal op-ed page columnist, that "Wigant had produced and delivered a death threat against himself and his family." In a sworn affidavit, the FBI agent said the CBS-hired bodyguard also suspected the Wigant was responsible for making the death threat. The FBI said in the sworn affidavit that there was probable cause to believe that Wigant's accounts were "untrue and misleading and in violation of federal law .. ." …. By knowingly making false accusations against our company and our employees, Disney has acted unfairly and maliciously with a wholesale disregard for the truth. As shareholders of Disney, you are entitled to an explanation from your company as to why they would go to this extreme to sell more tickets. Signed, Nick Brookes Chairman & CEO…."

Washington Times 11/25/99 Stephen Moore "….In the wake of the Microsoft antitrust lawsuit decision it seems the only clearcut winner is the trial bar. The trial lawyers now are falling over each other to launch class action lawsuits on behalf of millions of aggrieved purchasers of Windows. Funny, but I know a whole lot of Windows users, but not one who feels that they were victimized by Microsoft. But the lawyers will rush to our rescue nonetheless. A strong argument can be made that the single greatest threat to our current prosperity and the bull market is the trial bar. No industry is safe from class action witch hunts…."

The Wall Street Journal 11/22/99 Collin Levey "…. It's the year of Littleton, "smart guns" and city lawsuits against gun makers. So where are the law professors speaking up for gun control? In the past few years, many of the premier constitutional experts of the left have come to a shocking conclusion: The Second Amendment must be taken seriously. Back in 1989, the University of Tennessee's Sanford Levinson became something of a maverick by writing an article in the Yale Law Journal called "The Embarrassing Second Amendment," in which he maintained that the amendment guaranteed an individual right to own guns. Mr. Levinson's argument flew in the face of the interpretation that had prevailed since a 1939 Supreme Court ruling, which held that the amendment's reference to a "well-regulated militia" meant it only guaranteed a "collective" right to bear arms……The most prominent of the converts is Harvard's Laurence Tribe, once touted as a potential Supreme Court appointee in a Democratic administration….."

Washington Post 12/2/99 "….BARELY HAD THE ink dried on Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings of fact in the Microsoft antitrust trial when plaintiff's lawyers began filing class actions against the software giant. One could hardly ask for a better portrait of everything that is predatory about class-action plaintiff's lawyers. Cases such as these have next to nothing to do with the interests of consumers but are essentially commercial ventures within the judiciary. The purported clients are little more than fictions designed to legitimize the enrichment of their self-appointed representatives. ….."

WorldNetDaily.com 12/1/99 Walter Williams "….Since Carnival Cruise Lines banned smoking on its "Paradise" ship, 14 passengers and one employee have been put off at the nearest port. One of the passengers was put off the ship after the steward simply found a pack of cigarettes. According to Carnival, she was guilty of possession. The Guest Choice Network also reports that Arizona has a new state law that prohibits the use or possession of tobacco products by any adult on all school campuses. Parents can be arrested for lighting up outdoors and subject to a $100 fine for carrying tobacco products ..."

Wall Street Journal 12/3/99 "….Nobody can question that tobacco has become democratically unpopular, so much so that 45 million smokers might as well not exist as far as politicians are concerned. But we're still a country of laws, thank heaven. This week the Supreme Court heard arguments on the Food and Drug Administration claim that, because the cigarette companies knew about nicotine, Congress must have intended the FDA to regulate cigarettes as a "drug" all along. In other words, the tobacco industry has escaped regulation until now only by fooling everyone about the nature of its product. This is another argument about the meaning of "is," an attempt to defy common sense and everyday knowledge with semantic tricks. Fortunately, the Justices seemed to be having none of it. Then again, the whole tobacco crusade has exposed the government as the worst disrespecter of the law, putting forth claims and arguments that no private citizen could hope to get away with. That helps explain why Blue Cross/Blue Shield and union health funds have thus far failed to cash in on the smoking-related illnesses bonanza even though they are presenting the same arguments used by state governments in the now-infamous Medicaid lawsuits. …..By now it's widely understood that the state financial claims were dubious. Smokers die on average six years earlier than non-smokers, saving the government money on its retirement and Social Security programs. With these savings and the taxes on cigarettes, the smoking habit represents a net government gain of about 85 cents a pack. The real issue here, however, is the 200-year-old doctrine of "subrogation," which means an insurer has a secondary claim for reimbursement only if the injured party has a claim. Jury after jury has found that smokers knew that smoking was bad for them and chose to smoke anyway. For that matter, insurance companies also knew smoking was bad and chose to insure smokers anyway. There is no claim. That's the law, and so far Blue Cross et al. are batting 0-for-4 at the appellate level. …."

AP 12/2/99 Jr Ross "….A gun dealer agreed Thursday to stop selling handguns and pay this violence-plagued city $10,000 to get itself dropped from Gary's lawsuit accusing the gun industry of putting weapons into criminals' hands. The settlement is believed to be the first in which a defendant in one of a series of lawsuits brought against the gun industry around the country has agreed to pay money. Mayor Scott King said Fetla's Trading Co. of Valparaiso will stop selling handguns once its current inventory is depleted….."

Star-Telegram 11/20/99 Linda Campbell RA Dyer "….The lawyers who represented Texas in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry agreed yesterday to accept the $3.3 billion in fees awarded them by a federal arbitration panel, and not to seek additional money from the state. The attorneys signed a contract in 1996 to take on the case for a 15 percent contingency fee, but they formally dropped that claim yesterday, saying their decision will save taxpayers billions of dollars. "My clients have never wanted to put the state on the hook," said American University law professor Michael Tigar, who represents the private firms. …."

Guardian Newspapers Limited (UK) 11/21/99 Tracy McVeigh "….. It's the message that legions of guilty smokers are desperate to hear, but few doctors would dare to air in public: smoking isn't so bad for you - if you tuck into a salad first. Only one month after the world's biggest tobacco company, Philip Morris, admitted for the first time that smoking can kill you, one of Britain's top experts on the effects of the habit has provoked outrage in the anti-cancer establishment by insisting it's fine to smoke 10 cigarettes a day, passive smoking is no problem, and the Government is wasting money telling people to quit. Dr Ken Denson, of the Thame Thrombosis and Haemostosis Research Foundation in Oxford, has spent the last decade studying smoking-related illnesses and concluded that the real problem isn't the cigarettes, but the poor diet of smokers. 'The risks attributed to the act of smoking, and especially passive smoking, have been greatly exaggerated,' said Denson. 'Nobody wants to rock the boat on smoking, but this has been swept under the carpet for too long.' …….However, Denson claims most of these studies are flawed because they haven't taken diet into account. Smokers have been shown to eat less fruit and vegetables and more saturated fats than non-smokers, a combination linked to cancer and heart disease. They tend to come from lower social classes already prone to bad diet……Denson also claims a 'nanny state' is so over-cautious on health issues that both smokers and drinkers are being deliberately misled on their habits' risk levels. David Hinchliffe, chairman of the House of Commons Health Select Committee, which is currently looking at smoking, gave the most cautious of welcomes to the findings. 'I can accept that there very well might be dietary evidence,' he said, 'although I don't doubt for a minute that smoking has a very clear link to premature death.' ….."

New York Post 11/19/99 Robert Samuelson "….EVER since 1890, when Congress passed the Sherman Act, the antitrust laws have sought to protect consumers and prevent the evils of concentrated economic power. No company seems to pose those dangers so starkly today as Microsoft. Yet, the case against Microsoft still isn't made, even after Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's denunciation of the company. The trouble is that Jackson's opinion doesn't show how Microsoft's brutal competitive behavior has hurt consumers. Companies compete, after all, to defeat their rivals. The social harm arises only if consumers suffer from excess economic power. Despite months of bad trial publicity and Jackson's scathing decision, most Americans still doubt the government's antitrust case. A Gallup Poll taken after the ruling found that, by a 67-to-16 percent margin, people have a favorable view of Microsoft. ….."

NCI Press Release 11/22/99 Max McGarrity "….. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced today the availability of the most comprehensive report on the health risks of secondhand smoke ever conducted. The monograph, "Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke: The report of the California Environmental Protection Agency," links secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), not only with lung cancer, but with heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), nasal sinus cancer, and a host of other diseases in both adults and children…….Except for the addition of the Surgeon General's preface, the monograph contains only minor editorial changes from the initial Cal/EPA report. The initial report was conceived and developed under the editorial direction of Lauren Zeise, Ph.D., chief of the Reproductive and Cancer Hazard Assessment Section at Cal/EPA, Oakland, Calif., and Amy Dunn, M.P.H., research scientist at Cal/EPA…."

Contra Costa Times 11/23/99 John Woolfolk SJ Mercury News "…..Owners of a smoker-frindly Santa Cruz bar believe they have found a loophole in the state's law against lighting up at pubs - and to prosecutors' frustration, at least one local judge has agreed. By calling their One Double Oh Seven pub a "club and smoking parlor" and keeping a humidor amply stocked with cigars, owners Mark and Beverly Swanson say they are exempt from California's no-smoking-in-bars law that took effect Jan. 1, 1998. The law allows smoking in "tobacco shops and private smokers lounges." "We feel we are within the law," Mark swanson said. "We're not just a bar. We run a multifaceted business here, and part of that is our tobacco products: cigars and cigarettes." ….."

Associated Press 11/28/99 Michelle Emery "….. It was bleak for Amanda Mae's Cafe after patrons were required to snuff out their smokes: regular customers disappeared, business plummeted 40 percent, and tips dried up for waitresses who needed them to feed their families. Owner Richard Hofsaes does not smoke, but his business sense told him he had better do something to lure his smoking customer's back. So he joined two other restaurateurs in Biddeford and Windham in thumbing his nose at state lawmakers who enacted a restaurant smoking ban described as the strictest east of the Mississippi. They say the state's ban that took effect on Sept. 18 is not about smoking, and it is not all about money. Instead, they are framing the issue in terms of freedom of choice, free enterprise, and preserving the constitutionally protected right to the pursuit of happiness. ''I'm not standing up for the smoker. I'm standing up for our rights,'' said Gerald ''Mouse'' McLaskey, the Biddeford restaurateur who was the first to flout the state's smoking law. Hofsaes, McLaskey, and Dick Metayer have turned their eateries into smoking establishments. And Hofsaes is launching a petition drive to get a referendum on the November ballot to repeal the ban….."

Creators Syndicate 11/23/99 L Brent Bozell III "…. Our nation's most influential journalists claim to hate moralists who snoop in people's private lives with their narrow-minded little prejudices. But rarely will you find a news report on the tobacco industry that isn't filled with evangelical fervor about the objectionable private choices people make, and how they must be stopped in spite of themselves. In a one-year study of TV news before the 1996 campaign, Timothy Lamer found tobacco and smoking were the subject of 413 news stories. The stories were stacked against tobacco, featuring 270 soundbites favoring more regulation to just 116 opposed. Eighty-five of those stories focused on President Clinton and his party's heroic efforts against the "tobacco lobby."….."

The Washington Times 11/26/99 "….. Now we know what the Microsoft anti-trust case is all about. It is President Clinton's payoff to the class-action lawyers who have bankrolled his seven-year reign of corruption. As soon as Justice Department patsy Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft was a monopoly, the race to the courthouse was on. . . . . Three notorious sharks of the class-action racket-Terry Gross, Daniel J. Mogin and Francis O. Scarpulla-have filed a class-action suit on behalf, they claim, of "millions of Californians." . . . . In fact, the three greed-driven lawyers have filed the suit on their own behalf. You can bet your last dollar that the three lawyers have not talked to "millions of Californians" or been given their permission to sue on their behalf……"

Washington Post 11/26/99 Sharon Walsh "…. As gun companies fight to survive an onslaught of city lawsuits and renewed interest in gun control, they have encountered yet another powerful adversary--their own insurers. With cases against the industry going forward in 28 cities and states, the legal defense costs already are in the millions of dollars and climbing. Gun companies, like any insured business, looked to their insurers to pay for their defense and contribute to any necessary legal settlements or judgments. But many firearms makers and sellers have been notified by their insurers that they have no intention of paying what could be astronomical legal bills or any judgments associated with the suits……"

WorldNetDaily 12/10/99 Jon Dougherty "…..But rather than take any personal responsibility for the failure to make government housing complexes safer, Clinton is blaming gun makers -- a sentiment echoed by his cadre of spokesmen-stooges from the various official government agencies. He's not blaming HUD Secretary Donna Shalala or the vast core of federal bureaucracies that oversee and "manage" these facilities, mind you. He's blaming Colt's, Smith & Wesson, and that little gun maker down the road who builds and sells perhaps as few as 100 guns a year……"

NewsMax.com 12/9/99 "....Shot down in Congress, his tenure running out, President Clinton is trying to get the drop on the gun industry in the courts. His administration makes no bones it is a deliberate attempt to bring about, by litigation, the gun-control regulation it has failed to obtain by legislation. And makers and sellers of guns, as more than one newspaper headline put it, are up in arms. Adding to their bafflement and outrage is the Clinton administration's sudden decision to sue at the very time it is in the middle of negotiations with the gun industry to reach some sort of compromise, short of going to court or back to Congress. ....Gail Laster, general counsel for HUD, had assured Congress earlier this year that her agency "does not plan to bring any action on its own against the gun industry." In fact, she testified, "HUD has no authority on its own to bring action." That prompted Rep. Robert L. Barr, R-Ga., to suggest Congress should take action against her for either misleading or lying to it......"

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 12/9/99 Paul Barrett "....The leader of the gun industry's main trade group voiced striking receptivity to the Clinton administration's desire to forge a settlement of municipal litigation against firearms makers and distributors. But some individual gun-company executives, as well as the National Rifle Association, condemned the White House for threatening to file a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of 3,200 public-housing authorities. During a broad-ranging news conference Wednesday in Washington, President Clinton reiterated his decision to use the threat of a massive federal suit to pressure the gun industry to accept marketing and manufacturing restrictions demanded by 28 cities and counties that have already sued the industry. Mr. Clinton said his goal wasn't to "bankrupt" gun companies, but to reform them. Still, a threat of additional litigation also entails the possibility of more legal expenses, as well as possible court judgments down the line. Industry representatives have held tentative talks with the municipalities that are suing, but there hasn't been any substantive agreement......"

NY Times 12/8/99 David Stout Richard Perez-Pena "....In a move to force the firearms industry to adopt safer ways of making and selling weapons, the federal government said on Tuesday that housing authorities around the country were planning to file a class-action lawsuit against gun makers. The White House and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have been laying the groundwork in recent months for the suit on behalf of the three million people who live in public housing projects, where shootings have taken a heavy toll for years. The move is being undertaken in the hope that the threat of such action will intensify pressure on the gun industry. The administration is throwing its weight behind suits filed by more than two dozen cities against gun companies in the hope that a far-reaching settlement might be achieved, said Housing Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo and Bruce Reed, President Clinton's domestic-policy adviser....."

World Net Daily 12/8/99 Jon Dougherty "..... The Ft. Worth Fire Department has issued a citation to a national military surplus distributor after prohibiting the company from stocking bulk amounts of small arms ammunition -- even though city fire codes actually allow it. In a Nov. 18 letter, Asst. Fire Marshall Chief Paul Rider told Michael Tenny, CEO of Cheaper Than Dirt, Inc., a Ft. Worth-based company that sells ammunition and military surplus gear nationwide, that the distributor had to limit the amount of ammunition carried in his store because he was in violation of Article 77 of the city's fire code, which addresses the storage of explosives. .....However, the provision -- a copy of which was provided to WorldNetDaily -- listed "small arms ammunition, when packaged in accordance with DOT (Department of Transportation) packaging requirements" as a covered exception. Also exempt under the provision are the armed forces, fireworks, and limited amounts of "sporting black powder." Tenny said all commercially-packaged ammunition meets Department of Transportation specifications......."

www.foxnews.com 12/8/99 Anne Gearan ".....The Clinton administration hopes the threat of a new, national lawsuit will persuade gun makers to negotiate with cities that accuse them of negligently allowing guns to fall into the hands of criminals. ...... "It's the traditional liability theory that is applied to every other product - negligence and product liability," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity...... Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation, said if the housing authorities sue, his group likely would file another countersuit on behalf of gun makers. Gottlieb claimed that the administration was encouraging suits against the gun industry in hopes of bankrupting gun companies. The idea, he said, was "file as many suits as possible. The industry can't fight hundreds of lawsuits - it would bankrupt them." ....."

Los Angeles Daily News 12/6/99 Terri Hardy "…..A foundation that received more than $1 million in cigarette taxes from a 1988 state initiative spent much of the money compiling an "enemies list" it suspected, sometimes wrongly, of being fronts for the tobacco industry, according to state records and interviews. State officials and the foundation's leaders said compiling the list was intended by Proposition 99, which raised cigarette taxes by 25 cents a pack to pay for information campaigns on smoking and health. But critics said California voters never intended for tax dollars to be spent monitoring and distributing information about people who speak at city council meetings, or investigating a judge as the foundation did. Officials from groups as diverse as the California Medical Association and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said the money should be spent on hard-hitting publicity campaigns about the dangers of smoking -- not monitoring people engaged in lawful activities. ….."

Pittsburgh Post Gazette 12/9/99 "…..America is gun-crazy and lawsuit-happy. That's a combustible potion when government tries to regulate an industry by threat of litigation. There are legitimate methods for controlling gun-manufacturing, a business that has profound consequences on crime, safety and life itself. The chief method is legislation by Congress and state assemblies. The Post-Gazette, in fact, has been a staunch supporter of many gun-control measures. But we draw the line at using the courts to harass a legal industry into submission. That has been the intent and tactic of two dozen cities around the country, and now it will become the policy of the Clinton administration as well. Under the guise of seeking compensation for costs incurred by city police departments, public housing programs and other agencies affected by the use and misuse of guns, governments are attempting to accomplish through protracted legal warfare the kind of regulations and limits that should be imposed by the nation's elected representatives…."

The American Spectator 12/14/99 John Corry "..... Waiting to Inhale The health police grow more brazen. Smoking upsets them very much, and they do what they can to stamp it out, no matter how reprehensible their tactics. In California, the Department of Health Services has been giving money to anti-smoking zealots in Berkeley, ostensibly to educate the public about the dangers of smoking, but actually to compile an "enemies" list of those who disagree with them. The list is made up of groups and individuals -- some with no connection to California -- who have written, spoken or otherwise commented on smoking in ways they consider unsuitable. The bureaucrats and the zealots say health concerns drove them to compile the list, but their desire to stifle discussion is more plausible. They undermine the right to free speech because they think they know what's good for us. And, of course, they use government funding to do it....... Meanwhile, like all good enemies lists, this one does not discriminate. It indicts big shots and small fry alike. Thus you may find on it the name and address of a man in Colorado who "appears to work for a research firm that represents the tobacco industry." You may also find the name and address of a man in Sacramento who "contacted the Chino Hills, Calif., city clerk, seeking information on the sponsor of a smokefree ordinance pending in Chino Hills." Obviously it took a lot of detective work to uncover miscreants like that, and as the Los Angeles Daily News reported last week, the tax-exempt Non-Smokers Rights Foundation spent part of the $1.2 million "monitoring people who attended and spoke on tobacco issues at city council meetings in cities throughout the state." It also reported that it investigated a federal judge in North Carolina who issued a ruling in a case involving second-hand smoke. ......"

Houston Chronicle 12/10/99 H Sterling Burnett ".... TRIAL lawyers, anti-gun activists, mayors and the Clinton administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development have a "simple solution" to the complex problem of gun violence: sue gunmakers for the public costs of criminal, negligent and self-destructive gun misuses. In the words of H.L. Mencken: "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong." The lawsuits threaten democracy because they would replace the will of the majority as expressed through the legislature with the determinations of an unelected judiciary. In our democratic republic, Congress, and Congress alone, is constitutionally empowered to regulate interstate commerce. But lawsuit proponents have given up on democracy. Unable to convince legislators that removing guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens will reduce crime, activists, trial lawyers, mayors and HUD are attempting to use the courts to impose their views on a skeptical public. Popular products cause harm, too. Thousands of people die or are injured yearly in automobile accidents and vehicular homicides, via faulty medical procedures and the misuse of prescription drugs, from eating fatty foods and as a result of alcohol abuse. If the civil law embraces the principle that companies like Anheuser-Busch, Bayer, Ford and McDonald's are responsible when people voluntarily use legal, nondefective products and bad results occur, then consumers will have fewer goods to choose from....."

MIAMI (AP) 12/13/99 Mark Long "….A judge dismissed Miami-Dade County's lawsuit against gun makers Monday, agreeing with the industry that the county has no standing because it has not suffered any direct injuries from guns. Mayor Alex Penelas said he will appeal. ``This is not unlike what happened in the early stages of tobacco legislation,'' he said. ``And we know where that stands now.'' Miami-Dade was one of about 30 cities and counties suing more than two dozen gun makers. The other lawsuits have had mixed success. A judge rejected a suit in Bridgeport, Conn., last week, and Cincinnati's suit was dismissed in October. But judges in Chicago and Atlanta have allowed suits to proceed and ordered the industry to open its files. …."

Denver Post 12/13/99 "…..It's not good news that the Clinton administration has decided to join a class-action suit against the nation's gunmakers. True, the administration has offered a lot of reasons why the suit is necessary, but we don't find them impressive. Lawsuits already have been filed by about 30 of the nation's cities, and under the White House plan this litigation would be joined by the nation's 3,100 local housing authorities. The contention of these plaintiffs, he says, would be that gun manufacturers have sold defective products or marketed guns in ways that increase the likelihood that they will fall into the hands of criminals. ….. Put another way, the administration admits it doesn't want this case to go to court. What it wants is to frighten the gun industry into submission so that it will agree to changes the administration wants….."

New York Post 12/12/99 "…. To obtain legal standing, the Clintonites say they'll file suit through the Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of federally-financed housing projects, where gun violence allegedly remains prevalent. Ironically, however, the announcement comes just weeks after the FBI disclosed that the homicide rate is at its lowest level since the nationwide crime explosion began in 1967 -- and that the drop is attributed to police effectiveness in removing guns from the streets. According to Clinton and HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, the lawsuit is mainly intended to pressure gun makers to settle 29 lawsuits filed by state and local governments. But, as usual, this administration is out to cripple a legal industry that uses perfectly legal methods to sell a legal product. ….."

Chattanooga Free Press 12/10/99 "…..President Bill Clinton has proved he can be relied upon to be honest about virtually nothing. But if he were honest in his opposition to "guns," why wouldn't he seek to amend the Constitution to eliminate the right of American citizens to own and bear arms? Why wouldn't he demand that Congress enact laws to make the manufacture, sale and ownership of guns illegal? He doesn't try to do those things because he knows he would fail. But he is dictatorially using the power of the federal government to threaten a harassing lawsuit against the law-abiding and legal gun industry to force it to surrender to his will. Instead of going after criminals who use guns in violations of the laws, Mr. Clinton is going after law-abiding Americans who are engaged in legal commerce. ….."

The Plain Dealer 12/10/99 Thomas Suddes "…..After agreeing to sweeten the bill to suit Democratic tastes, a 26-year plan to spend Ohio's $10.1 billion anti-smoking windfall won broad, bipartisan support yesterday in the GOP-run House. About half will go to fix or replace public school buildings, much of the rest to public health. …."

Washington Times 12/16/99 Kenneth Smith "....He was in a hurry to store his gun because he had friends coming over. But in his haste, the 23-year-old Massachusetts man pulled the trigger of his weapon while it was pointing at his abdomen and shot himself into an estimated $35,000 in medical bills and permanent disability. Under the circumstances, he did what any normal victim would do these days: sue someone. He went to court to accuse the gun manufacturer of negligence and of selling him a defective product. At trial in federal district court, it emerged that the gun maker had in fact supplied him with copious warnings that, stretched end to end, approximated the length of the Oxford English Dictionary ("Never point your pistol at anything you do not intend to shoot," and so on), but he hadn't bothered to read them. As a general rule, he acknowledged, the only product literature he read had to do with programming his VCR. Further the plaintiff had used the weapon twice at a shooting range where it worked "fine," according to his own testimony. ....."

SJ Mercury 1/5/00 Marilee Enge "….Al Tolbert says the California law banning smoking in bars is akin to the fascist laws imposed by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. So he hung a sign outside his San Carlos tavern mimicking the severe language of a Nazi posting: ``Achtung! Achtung! Rauchen Verboten. (Smoking Forbidden) By Order of the National Socialist Republic of California.ดด A swastika underscored the point. But the bitter humor has upset members of the Jewish community, who say the sign trivializes the horror of Nazi Germany and the genocide of millions of Jews. Tolbert has spurned several requests to remove the framed poster from the front of his El Camino Real establishment, although last week he blacked out the swastika at the request of a customer. But he maintained his right to protest a law he considers onerous and unfair. ``Iดm not only an owner here, Iดm a bartender,ดด he said. ``I canดt even smoke in my own bar.ดด The 1998 law extends a ban on smoking in public places to bars, restaurants and casinos. Some California bars have defied the law, but in San Carlos, most bars, including Tolbert's New Patio, have complied, said police Cmdr. Richard Cinfio. Although Tolbert obeys the smoking ban, ``It doesnดt mean Iดm not angry,ดด he said. The sign simply compares California lawmakers and local enforcement agencies ``to the Nazis they are,ดด he said. ….`We had a guy who was opposed to hunting, to private gun ownership. He was a vegetarian and a rabid anti-smoker. That was Adolf Hitler,ดด Tolbert said. ``It appears a bunch of his adherents are running Sacramento.ดด ….."

San Jose Mercury News 1/6/00 Joanne Jacobs "…. FIRST they came for the cigarettes. Now they're after your chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. And they won't be satisfied till you're eating broccoli -- hold the hollandaise -- and trudging on the treadmill to nowhere. The health crusaders who've sued and taxed Big Tobacco to the wall are aiming at another big, fat target: Big Fat. ….. That is, they'll establish high taxes on meats and sweets, and use the money to lecture us about our gluttony. Obesity is a ``ticking time bomb in the health care system,'' warned the American Obesity Association at a public health conference in September in Washington, D.C. The group called for a ``fat tax'' on high-calorie food to fund an anti-pudge campaign and urged laws requiring insurers to cover the cost of weight-loss programs. …."

The Wall Street Journal 1/5/00 Paul Barrett "….Gun retailers, worried that their interests aren't being represented by manufacturers in industry talks to settle municipal litigation, are forming a new trade group to demand a place at the table. The move is sure to stir controversy, because the dealers have hired an industry operative whose pragmatic approach has put him at odds with a number of major manufacturers and the National Rifle Association, which represents gun owners….. The operative, Robert Ricker, has already arranged for his new clients to meet Thursday with staff members at the White House….. Gun foes began a coordinated legal assault on the industry in late 1998. Since then, 28 municipalities have sued gun makers, distributors and retailers, seeking to recover the public costs of gun violence -- a demand that industry lawyers have branded improper, saying blame lies with those who misuse guns, not those who lawfully make and sell them. The real goal of the litigation isn't large damage awards but a settlement under which the industry would agree to more stringent regulation in an effort to keep guns out of the wrong hands. There have been several rounds of preliminary settlement talks, without a substantive accord….The choice of Mr. Ricker as a consultant is significant. He was effectively pushed out of a Washington-based industry-lobbying job last spring, after he angered the NRA and some gun manufacturing executives by trying to forge compromises with the White House and Congress on various legislative gun-control proposals….."

Los Angeles Times 1/6/00 Carl Ingram "…..Fearful that they could be accused of selling outlawed assault weapons, two major California gun dealers said Wednesday they have indefinitely suspended the sale of many popular hunting rifles. Executives of Turner's Outdoorsman, a big retail sporting goods chain in Southern California, and Trader Sports Inc. of San Leandro, a Northern California firearms retailer, said hundreds of rifles had been removed from sales shelves on Jan. 1. In interviews, they charged that recent administrative regulations by Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer to implement California's new assault weapons control law were so narrowly drawn that they would ban the sale and possession of many legal guns used for hunting deer, bear and wild pigs. Rather than risk potential arrest or other legal liability, spokesmen for the two dealers said the businesses decided to indefinitely suspend the sale of such popular hunting guns as the Remington 7400 and the Ruger Mini-14….."

 

NRA News Release 1/20/2000 "….NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre responded to today's announcement that the District of Columbia will file a lawsuit against lawful gun makers. "Today, the mayor of Washington, DC announces the most cowardly of solutions to gun crime: sue the firearm manufacturers," said LaPierre. "What they are NOT announcing is that gun criminals have a thousand to one advantage over their innocent victims here. Out of 2000 violent crimes committed in 1998, only TWO people went to jail under ALL federal gun laws. "Criminals are winning one thousand to one against tourists, families, citizens, and children in Washington, DC. It has become the criminals' winning casino where nine-hundred-ninety-nine times out of a thousand they go free. Should any family on vacation put their lives in that kind of danger? Should any family in the District of Columbia send their children out to play against those kinds of odds? "Americans need to know that in the cradle of freedom, criminals are freer than anyone….."

LA Channel 2 (CBS) 1/23/2000 "….The man who spearheaded the 50-cents tax on a pack of cigarettes is turning up the heat on the tobacco industry. Rob Reiner is worried that a new proposition that would repeal the tax is going to pass, CBS 2 News reports. The actor/political activist traveled from Hollywood to the mountains of Riverside County Friday to meet with Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono. He wanted to persuade her to support a continuation of the 50-cent tax per pack, which is solely dedicated to children and family development social programs around the state……. Two years ago, California voters barely approved Proposition 10, which slapped the 50-cents-a-pack tax on cigarettes. Now smokers are fighting back with Proposition 28, which would repeal that state tax. Prop. 28 was placed on the ballot by a chain of 500 cigarette stores. Cigarettes Cheaper, which sells cartons for up to $7 less than typical retail stores, launched the petition drive and more than 700,000 of its customers have signed it….."

Los Angeles Times 1/21/2000 Maura Dolan "….The California Supreme Court has decided to review a landmark ruling that would open the way for gun makers to be held legally responsible when their products are used in crimes. The court, acting on a petition by a gun manufacturer, agreed to review a Court of Appeal decision handed down in September that left gun makers vulnerable to negligence lawsuits in criminal shootings. The appeals court ruling is the only such decision by an appellate panel in the country so far. The state high court's ultimate decision in the case will affect several pending lawsuits filed against gun makers by Los Angeles, San Francisco and other California cities and counties. In addition, the justices already have agreed to review several other gun-related cases, including one challenging the constitutionality of the state's ban on assault weapons. Because of that, the court is likely to have a significant impact on gun control in California over the next year….."

Washington Times 1/21/2000 Ronald ansen "…. The District of Columbia, which has banned gun possession since 1976, Thursday filed suit against 23 gun manufacturers, seeking millions in compensation for Medicaid expenses the city attributes to the gun violence. "We're supposed to have the toughest gun prohibitions in the nation, and yet our streets are flooded with guns," Mayor Anthony A. Williams said. "For too long, the gun industry, in my mind, has profited while our best and brightest hopes for the future have been snuffed out by illegal guns that should never have been allowed to hit our streets. "Today, we're saying enough is enough." But the city's case, filed in D.C. Superior Court, could run into a congressional roadblock from Republicans who think criminals, not gun makers, deserve blame for shootings….."

Washington Times 1/11/2000 Frank Murray "…. Copycat anti-tobacco lawsuits filed by 19 union health trust funds were snuffed out yesterday when the Supreme Court rejected attempts to use federal racketeering laws to recoup triple what they paid for smoke-related illnesses. The justices' first action in the nationwide wave of tobacco lawsuits based on health costs also doomed any effort by commercial health insurers to sue cigarette-makers, union lawyers told the court. "Four courts of appeals have held unanimously that these third-party cases are without merit. Hopefully, this will put an end to them," said Herbert Wachtel, a lawyer for Philip Morris Inc……."

The Washington Times 1/20/2000 Anne M Hayes "…. Before the U.S. Supreme Court this term is a particularly important case: Food and Drug Administration vs. Brown & Williamson Tobacco et al. The issue: whether the FDA has authority to regulate tobacco. The number of "friend of the court" briefs filed on behalf of tobacco foes can be measured in pounds, rather than pages, as various public groups righteously proclaim the evils of tobacco. But the case is important not because of the controversy surrounding tobacco. Rather, it is important because it is about the legitimacy of government action. And the outcome may reveal whether democratic principles are alive and well in this republic, or, like so many other noble ideas, they will be sacrificed or redefined in the service of a lesser ethic: an empty assurance that our paternalistic government only has our best interests at heart. The case does not ask whether the FDA ought to regulate tobacco. The case asks whether the FDA has the power to regulate it. And how the court answers that question will have implications reaching far beyond tobacco, because it applies to every government agency that develops a hankering for more regulatory power - in other words, all of them…."

The Washington Times 1/20/2000 Bill Sammon "…. Settlement talks between gun makers and municipalities that are suing them have broken off because the gun makers objected to White House intervention in negotiations that had been scheduled for tomorrow in Las Vegas. Gun manufacturers are blaming White House meddling for the cancellation of tomorrow's talks, saying President Clinton injected politics into the negotiations. But administration officials said the gun industry is playing politics and blamed the "hard-line" stance of some gun representatives for the breakdown……. The cancellation will not necessarily prompt the administration to press forward with a federal lawsuit against gun makers that it threatened last month, he said. "We still want to give responsible voices in the industry a chance to explore an agreement," Mr. Reed said. "But we've also said from the beginning that if we can't reach a good settlement, we're prepared to go to court." …."

Washington Times 1/21/2000 Ronald ansen "…. The District of Columbia, which has banned gun possession since 1976, Thursday filed suit against 23 gun manufacturers, seeking millions in compensation for Medicaid expenses the city attributes to the gun violence. "We're supposed to have the toughest gun prohibitions in the nation, and yet our streets are flooded with guns," Mayor Anthony A. Williams said. "For too long, the gun industry, in my mind, has profited while our best and brightest hopes for the future have been snuffed out by illegal guns that should never have been allowed to hit our streets. "Today, we're saying enough is enough." But the city's case, filed in D.C. Superior Court, could run into a congressional roadblock from Republicans who think criminals, not gun makers, deserve blame for shootings….."

NY Times 1/19/2000 Michael Janofsky "…. Feeling pressure from a succession of lawsuits against gun makers, the trade organization that represents them is collecting millions of dollars from its members for legal defense and this week announced plans to support candidates and to lobby at all levels of government to fight greater gun restrictions. Until recently, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, representing companies that make all manner of outdoor products as well as firearms, had steered clear of political entanglements over gun laws and elections, leaving the fight to the National Rifle Association, an organization of gun owners that has long taken the lead on such matters…… And now, recent lawsuits filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and more than two dozen municipalities, the first major assault on gun makers, have forced the foundation to assert its own political agenda rather than to rely on the rifle group. As part of an initiative, many members are contributing 1 percent of their gross sales to help the gun makers defend themselves in the lawsuits, which are trying to force the companies to make safer guns. The money has been coming in since the program was announced at last year's trade show, and in an interview, Mr. Delfay predicted that the donations could reach as much as $10 million a year. The recent threat of a federal lawsuit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to force the companies into an omnibus settlement with the N.A.A.C.P. and municipalities has spurred further action by the industry group. For the first time, Mr. Delfay said, the foundation has formed a political action committee to influence elections in November….."

Washington Post - AP 1/8/00 "....The World Health Organization chief warned that tobacco could take a ghastly toll in developing countries unless nations act swiftly to control the substance. Tobacco kills half its consumers, and could take 10 million lives annually by 2030 with 70 percent from developing countries, WHO Director General Gro Harlem Brundtland said Friday at a conference in New Delhi. If countries do not act soon, tobacco will kill more people in the next 30 years than the combined toll from malaria, tuberculosis and child diseases, Brundtland warned. ..... India is the third-largest producer of tobacco, with nearly one million people involved in its cultivation. Some 4.5 million others are engaged in making bidis, cheap hand-rolled cigarettes. ...."

ETHERZONE NEWS WIRES 1/10/00 ".....In a legal victory for the tobacco industry, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to let union health funds in three states sue to recover money that the funds spent on smoking-related illnesses. ..... The lawsuits were patterned after similar claims by state governments. Those led to settlements in which the tobacco industry will pay the states $246 billion for health-care costs. The Justice Department also sued the tobacco industry in September. Monday's court action will not affect that case. Lower courts sided with cigarette-makers Seven union health funds in Pennsylvania and six each in Oregon and New York sued......"

Washington Times 1/20/2000 Bill Sammon "….Settlement talks between gun makers and municipalities that are suing them have broken off because the gun makers objected to White House intervention in negotiations that had been scheduled for tomorrow in Las Vegas. Gun manufacturers are blaming White House meddling for the cancellation of tomorrow's talks, saying President Clinton injected politics into the negotiations…… The cancellation will not necessarily prompt the administration to press forward with a federal lawsuit against gun makers that it threatened last month, he said. "We still want to give responsible voices in the industry a chance to explore an agreement," Mr. Reed said. "But we've also said from the beginning that if we can't reach a good settlement, we're prepared to go to court."…. The lawsuit would be modeled on the cities' suits, which accuse gun makers of selling defective products or marketing them in ways that increase the likelihood they will be used to commit crimes. The suit would parallel the massive federal litigation filed by the Justice Department against the tobacco industry. But unlike Big Tobacco, which has the resources to fight such litigation, the gun industry has narrow profit margins and might be overwhelmed by the cost of defending itself against various suits. Some gun makers have already closed up shop or reduced operations, rather than pay the hefty costs of defending themselves…."

 

The Reagan Information Interchange 1/26/2000 "….The Serbian government headed by Slobadon Milosevic has filed a class action lawsuit in the World Court against U.S. weapons manufacturers. The suit claims that the products produced by these companies are defective and, when used properly, can kill innocent people. The suit, which was modeled after Tobacco litigation in the U.S., is the first of its kind in the World Court. A spokesman for the Serbian government told BNN, "Only evil and lawless corporations would produce products that they know could kill people. Since the U.S. decided to use these defective products on our people we have decided to retaliate against the corporations that made them." …."

USA Today 1/24/2000 Wendy Koch "….The Clinton administration, which has waged an intense war on tobacco, has given four American Indian tribes grants to build ''smoke shops'' that sell discounted cigarettes, according to a Senate report being released today. The tribes have received $4.2 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 1997 to build six stores. Five are in Oklahoma and are part of larger ''travel plazas'' that sell many products. The sixth, in Verdi, Nev., is exclusively a ''smoke shop.''..."

WFTV Eyewitness News 2/1/2000 Ross Camp "....It may seem extreme to some people, but a governmental office has adopted a new hiring policy. The State Attorney's Office in Orange County will not hire you if you are a smoker. In fact, managers at that office have already turned one applicant away. Now, the policy is raising serious concerns about discrimination. Smokers are used to lighting up outside, but they're not used to being turned down for a job because of the habit. "I think it's ridiculous to mandate to people that they can't smoke to get a job. It's ridiculous," says smoker Brian McCauley. If you want a job with the Orange County State Attorney's Office now, you have to be a non-smoker. Applicants even have to sign a form swearing they haven't smoked in a year. "If you have used tobacco we will not go any further with your application," explains Lisa Roberson, the office administrator. ...."

USAJournal.com 2/2/2000 ".....A bankruptcy measure that gun makers said would have been catestrophic to their industry was defeated in a roll call vote on the floor of the Senate this afternoon by a vote of 68 - 29. Gun Owners of America, which had done an analysis of the measure, said the measure offered as an Amendment by Michigan Democrat Carl Levin to S. 625, the Bankruptcy Reform Act, said it would have taken "a major step toward eliminating the manufacture and sales of firearms in America." The Senate is considering other amendments to the bill. At issue was the Michigan Democrat's attempt to prohibit gun makers from declaring bankruptcy if courts found them liable in one of dozens of lawsuits filed by about 30 municipalities nationwide. Embattled by the suits, GOA said many of the manufacturers have already encountered trouble with insurers who said they will refuse to help many manufacturers defend themselves. "The Levin amendment would provide that, if a...[judge] entered an enormous judgment against a firearms manufacturer or dealer, the manufacturer or dealer could not avoid the judgment by declaring bankruptcy, even if the judgment massively exceeded the total assets of the manufacturer or dealer," the GOA said in a published statement......"

AP 2/2/2000 "....Partisan clashes over gun makers and anti-abortion protesters is marking Senate debate on legislation that would make it tougher for people to sweep away their debts through bankruptcy. An amendment proposed by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., would prohibit gun makers and dealers from erasing debts in bankruptcy that arose from successful lawsuits against them. Conservative GOP lawmakers have protested the amendment as anti-business...."

Washington Times 1/31/2000 John Lott Jr "....The concern about violence in public schools has quickly turned into hysteria. Fanned by politicians, notably President Clinton, and the media, what may have begun as misguided but reasonable concerns over safety has ignited into an implacable and unreasoned hatred of guns, or indeed anything that looks like a weapon. Across the nation, those entrusted with the care of children have transformed firearms into a symbol of menace and evil, attempting to purge guns from the consciousness of kids, even when all admit doing so would in no way improve safety. I had a firsthand glimpse of the hysteria last fall, when I took my four boys to the Yale University Health Service for their annual medical checkups. Prominently displayed posters on the walls warned about having handguns in the home. Along with the normal questions about medical histories, the nurse practitioner asked us whether we owned guns and whether they were locked up or loaded. Her tone made it clear she disapproved of our answers, and she was unmoved by the fact that the Centers for Disease Control could only identify 21 children under age 15 dying from accidental handgun deaths in 1996. But the hospital had no signs warning parents about 5-gallon water buckets, in which 40 children under the age of 5 drown every year, or about bathtubs, which claim 80 lives. No questions were asked about whether we kept our buckets stored away or our bathroom doors locked. Yet the hysteria Americans may face when they walk into their pediatrician's offices pales when compared to what is going on in our schools. Under a "zero tolerance" policy, students face suspension or expulsion for even carrying around pictures of guns or other weapons. Students ranging from elementary school to college have even been expelled for even bringing water pistols to school, though no one believes brightly colored plastic water gun can be confused with a firearm. ....."

Associated Press 1/30/2000 ".... Published: 1/30/00 Author: APMicrosoft Corp. expands its roster of powerful allies in its antitrust trial this week as former lawyers for Presidents Clinton and Bush and two former U.S. attorneys general argue in legal filings that the software giant didn't violate any federal laws. Lawyers aligning themselves with the company also include the man who was general counsel for AT&T Corp. when it agreed in the 1980s to split into the nation's Bell companies as part of another Justice Department lawsuit. An industry trade group, the Washington-based Association for Competitive Technology, confirmed Sunday that it will file the ``friend of the court'' brief later this week supporting Microsoft's arguments. ...... Along with Cutler, others supporting Microsoft now include Boyden Gray, counsel to President Bush until 1993; Griffin Bell, U.S. attorney general under Carter and a former federal appeals court judge; Howard Trienens, the former AT&T lawyer; and Nicholas Katzenbach, attorney general under Lyndon Johnson. ....."

Yahoo News 1/26/2000 Suzanne Rostler "….Fattening the price of certain food products could trim healthcare costs and help shape a healthier population, a British researcher reports. Halving the intake of ice cream, biscuits, cakes and other high-fat foods, replacing them with healthier alternatives could reduce British heart disease rates by over 10%, and prevent as many as 1,000 premature deaths each year, according to Dr. Tom Marshall of the University of Birmingham, UK. A tax would encourage these types of substitutions, he suggests. ``When... heart disease strikes, there are costs to the community... and to the health service. A case can therefore be made for using taxation to compensate for the external costs of an atherogenic (artery-clogging) diet,'' Marshall writes in the January 29th issue of the British Medical Journal….."

Washington Post 1/24/2000 William Raspberry "....why does it bother me that the D.C. government has joined the long line of cities seeking money damages from gun manufacturers for the harm their products do? Not that the District is a Johnny-come-lately to the idea. David Clarke, the late chairman of the D.C. Council, introduced legislation more than a decade ago modeled after the venerable dramshop laws that make the establishment that sold you your last drink responsible for the liquor-induced damage you do. I don't like that one either. And I don't like the idea that tobacco companies ought to be made to pay damages to people who get lung cancer from smoking. What's wrong with me? My first flaw, I suppose, is my distaste for the deep-pockets concept that has come to dominate our tort law. You know how it goes: A court finds the penniless driver of the car that broadsided you 98 percent responsible for your crushed spine, then finds the manufacturer of the headlights on your car (which, had they been stronger, might have let you avoid the collision) 2 percent responsible. The law lets you go after the headlight company for the entire claim....... "

The Detroit Free Press 1/24/2000 Melanie Eversley ".... The first battle in the national legal struggle over who is responsible for gun violence could play itself out in a Wayne County courtroom. The county's lawsuit against a number of gun makers and dealers is expected to come to trial in circuit court in the fall, the earliest trial date for any of 20 such lawsuits by 30 cities and counties. Three of the 20 suits -- by Miami-Dade County, Cincinnati and Bridgeport, Conn. --have already been dismissed by judges; appeals are scheduled. The District of Columbia, which filed a lawsuit against gun makers and distributors Thursday, was the latest jurisdiction to file. Two other lawsuits, filed against the industry by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, are expected to go to trial in federal court in New York before the end of the year. Claims vary. Wayne County and Detroit, in separate claims filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, are each seeking $400 million as compensation for the price of gun violence. No court date has been set for either case, but Wayne County has been pushing for an early trial, Mike Duggan, deputy Wayne County executive, said last month....."

LA Times 2/5/00 Richard Simon "…..With tougher gun control proposals languishing in Congress, President Clinton invoked his executive powers Friday to crack down on the small percentage of gun dealers who are the source of a majority of weapons used in crimes. Clinton ordered federal agents to target 1,020 gun dealers in what he termed the "most aggressive effort ever undertaken to ensure responsible behavior by gun dealers." The dealers make up only 1.2% of the nation's federal licensed gun dealers but accounted for 57.4% of nearly 200,000 guns traced to crimes in 1998, according to a new report by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Clinton ordered stepped-up inspections of the dealers cited in the report, including 132 that sold guns linked to 50 or more crimes. …."

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000204/ts/tobacco_clinton_1.html 2/4/00 Reuters "…. President Clinton hopes to stomp out youth smoking by fining the tobacco industry for selling tobacco to minors and raising the price of cigarettes, the White House said on Friday. The measures will be included in Clinton's budget for fiscal 2001, which will be announced on Monday. ``Every year, more than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related diseases; nearly 90 percent of them started smoking as children,'' the White House said in a statement. The statement said the administration hopes to cut youth smoking in half by charging the tobacco industry for every underage smoker. …..It said a $3,000 ``assessment fee'' for every smoker under age 18 would be put in place starting in 2004 if youth smoking has not been cut in half and would remain in effect until the youth smoking reduction goal had been met. ….."

AP 2/4/00 "…..Stepping up pressure on the gun industry, President Clinton today gave federal agents new powers to crack down on dealers and pawnbrokers who sell a disproportionate number of the weapons used in crimes. ``We're beginning the most aggressive effort ever undertaken to insure responsible behavior by gun dealers,'' the president said. ``Dealers whose guns most frequently wind up in criminals' hands will now be subject to intense scrutiny by ATF'' - the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. On another front, the White House said Clinton will ask Congress for a new, 25-cent-a-pack federal excise tax on cigarettes. In addition, he proposed that the tobacco industry be charged $3,000 for every smoker under 18 as part of a campaign to reduce sales to minors and eliminate advertising that could encourage children to smoke. ….Gun control and anti-tobacco initiatives are familiar elements of Clinton's agenda but also are the source of some of his biggest failures in Congress. Last year, for instance, Congress refused his requests for a 55-cent-a-pack tax on cigarettes and tougher restrictions on handgun purchases. Republicans are likely to view Clinton's latest tobacco proposal as yet another tax increase. ….."

Washington Post 2/7/00 Daniel LeDuc "….. It is the headquarters of Beretta USA, one the nation's leading firearms companies and the only gun manufacturer in Maryland. At the Accokeek factory, the company makes the U.S. military's standard side arm and supplies pistols to 2,000 police agencies in North America, including the Maryland State Police. A marquee name in the gun business, Beretta brought hundreds of jobs to the region when it located here in 1977. But now it finds itself fending off a high-stakes gun control initiative in its own back yard. The company has become the leading opponent of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's proposal to mandate that only so-called personalized, "smart" guns be sold in the state after 2003. Those guns require that some sort of electronic lock be disabled before they can be fired. Some prototypes have used radio transmitters; others have employed fingerprint scanners. Even as Beretta officials acknowledge researching how to make a smart gun, they say the technology isn't feasible. "It is something that doesn't exist in the market today," company owner Ugo Gussalli Beretta said in an interview. "We worry about the new legislation." ….."

U.S. Newswire 2/9/00 "….The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), issued the following statement by Jane M. Orient, M.D., executive director, in response to President Clinton's proposed $3,000 fine on tobacco manufacturers for each underage smoker: As physicians, we find reprehensible the use of excessive government intrusion and control to force changes in behavior affecting health and well-being. Many other voluntary activities are associated with adverse health effects, some more probable and more immediate than the hazards of tobacco use. What's next? Fining auto makers for each speeding driver, nailing Hershey for every diabetic who eats a candy bar, or gouging McDonald's for all obese people who order a Big Mac? Although anyone who doesn't live on Mars knows that tobacco is bad for your health, concern about health does not justify using Third Reich measures against corporations engaged in a legal business. (The Nazis, by the way, were health nuts and death on smoking.) How do we find every underage smoker without posting Big Brother in every home and on every street corner? And to impose punitive fines without benefit of reliable evidence, for behavior outside a company's control, without benefit of trial by jury or other rights, threatens the very foundations of our constitutional republic. If tobacco is so evil, why doesn't the government just outlaw it? For one thing, the government has a huge vested interest in having people continue to smoke so that its revenue stream will be uninterrupted. It could be that the government reaps more profit from this vice than cigarette makers do. Noted economist, Murray Rothbard, stated: "Once we bring in threats to person and property that are vague and future, i.e. are not overt and immediate, then all manner of tyranny becomes excusable." This Clinton directive would set a precedent for pervasive and intrusive interference with all aspects of private life, including diet, exercise, recreation, and sexual activities. Conduct Cop will be the next government job title……."

Science Daily Magazine 2/9/00 "….Exposures to environmental tobacco smoke may be lower than earlier studies indicated for bartenders, waiters and waitresses, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). While people who work as wait staff and bartenders may generally be considered to be more highly exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, data from our study suggests that the situation is more complex," said Roger Jenkins of the Chemical and Analytical Chemistry Division. The study, which involved 173 people employed at restaurants or taverns of varying sizes in the Knoxville area, concluded that exposures to respirable suspended particulate matter (RSP), for example, were considerably below limits established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the workplace……. While the higher estimates in earlier studies may be explained by the choice of the establishments in which the studies were conducted, another reason for the difference could be that today's ventilation systems are more efficient, Jenkins said. The Knoxville study also showed that for bartenders who live with smokers, the away-from-work exposure is at least as important as the at-work exposure. And people who are highly exposed at home tend to be more highly exposed at work, probably because they don't avoid it as much, Jenkins said……."

Science Daily Magazine 2/9/00 "….Over the last six or seven years, more data on personal exposure to tobacco smoke has become available and the methods for measuring and analyzing the smoke have become more sophisticated. The 16-cities study, the largest of its kind ever conducted in a single country, found the highest levels of environmental tobacco smoke nicotine levels in workplaces where smoking is permitted to be between 9.41 and 14.9 micrograms per cubic meter, far lower than the numbers assumed by EPA and OSHA. "A well-known toxicological principle is that the poison is in the dose," Jenkins said. "It's pretty clear that the environmental tobacco smoke dose is pretty low for most people." Extensive controls were employed in collecting and analyzing the air samples collected by the 1,564 participants in the study, Jenkins said. Test subjects also submitted to saliva tests that would reveal cotinine, a constituent of tobacco smoke. Smokers were excluded from the study. ….."

http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/Current_Releases/0209-124.html 2/9/00 "….The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), issued the following statement by Jane M. Orient, M.D., executive director, in response to President Clinton's proposed $3,000 fine on tobacco manufacturers for each underage smoker: As physicians, we find reprehensible the use of excessive government intrusion and control to force changes in behavior affecting health and well-being. Many other voluntary activities are associated with adverse health effects, some more probable and more immediate than the hazards of tobacco use. What's next? Fining auto makers for each speeding driver, nailing Hershey for every diabetic who eats a candy bar, or gouging McDonald's for all obese people who order a Big Mac? Although anyone who doesn't live on Mars knows that tobacco is bad for your health, concern about health does not justify using Third Reich measures against corporations engaged in a legal business. (The Nazis, by the way, were health nuts and death on smoking.) How do we find every underage smoker without posting Big Brother in every home and on every street corner? And to impose punitive fines without benefit of reliable evidence, for behavior outside a company's control, without benefit of trial by jury or other rights, threatens the very foundations of our constitutional republic. If tobacco is so evil, why doesn't the government just outlaw it? For one thing, the government has a huge vested interest in having people continue to smoke so that its revenue stream will be uninterrupted. It could be that the government reaps more profit from this vice than cigarette makers do. Noted economist, Murray Rothbard, stated: "Once we bring in threats to person and property that are vague and future, i.e. are not overt and immediate, then all manner of tyranny becomes excusable." ….."

BBC 2/11/00 "….Passive smoking may not be as dangerous as thought The risk of developing lung cancer from passive smoking may have been overstated, scientists have found. Research analysing the findings of 37 trials that examined the impact of passive smoking found there was an increased risk of lung cancer of nearly a quarter (24%) in people exposed to passive smoke. But a team from Warwick University argues that the finding is unreliable, and that in reality the increased risk of lung cancer is lower. Professor John Copas and Dr Jian Qing Shi say that research which suggests an increased risk is more likely to be published than research which does not. Therefore, an analysis of the published literature will give a false picture of the true risk. The Warwick team has re-analysed the 37 trials, taking account of the fact that the data is likely to be biased. They conclude that the increased risk of lung cancer from passive smoking is more likely to be around 15% as opposed to 24%. They therefore suggest that previous levels of risk should be interpreted with caution……."

Denver Post 2/12/00 David Olinger "…..Sixteen firearms dealers in Colorado have been targeted for thorough inspections under a new federal program that focuses regulatory attention on dealers that have sold the most guns traced from crime scenes. But only two will be getting a "demand letter" from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for records of their used-gun sales, an extra level of enforcement reserved for dealers whose guns have quickly ended up in the hands of criminals. The combination of frequent police traces and a short "time-tocrime," which ATF defines as less than three years from retail sale to police seizure, "provides two indicators that something's going wrong here," said Bill Kinsella, an ATF spokesman in Washington. ATF announced last week that 1 percent of the nation's firearms dealers sold 57 percent of the guns traced by police in 1998 - and promised to inspect them to find out why….."

Detroit News 2/12/00 AP "…A judge dismissed part of the city's $433 million lawsuit that seeks to recoup costs stemming from gun violence. Detroit and Wayne County are among other communities nationwide that have filed similar lawsuits against the gun industry -- patterned after states' lawsuits against tobacco companies. The Chicago lawsuit -- filed against gun makers, distributors and dealers -- accused them of negligence for manufacturing, distributing and selling guns that ended up in the hands of criminals. But Circuit Judge Stephen Schiller ruled Thursday that the city's allegation of "negligent entrustment" is mainly used to redress wrongs between two private parties and doesn't apply in this case. "It's a disappointment but it was not the main argument of our case," said Jennifer Hoyle, a spokeswoman for the city's law department. ….."

Daily Review 2/11/00 Kim Vo "….If the slogans and sound bytes about children vs. tobacco sound familiar, it's because Californians have heard this pitch before -- back in 1998 when they narrowly approved a tobacco tax to pay for children's programs. Now that tax is up for repeal on the March 7 ballot, via Proposition 28, which would not only overturn the tax but prevent any future tobacco taxes from being levied by the initiative process. Opponents of Proposition 28 -- which include director Rob Reiner, who spearheaded the original ballot measure, Proposition 10 -- say this is a mean-spirited attempt by the tobacco industry to take money away from babies. They want voters to say "no" to the proposition and keep the tobacco tax. ……In addition to supporting Prop. 28, CART has filed a lawsuit against Prop. 10 in California Superior Court in San Diego County. The association wants the tax to be overturned and all the money refunded. If victorious, the commissions may still exist, but the cash stream will be cut off. It shouldn't jeopardize any children's programs, Janigian said, because if Californians truly support the idea, they'll tax everyone to pay for them. "If it's of such great value, the state can fund it through tax dollars," he said. "Why attempt to harass and treat smokers like they are lepers?" ….."

Reuters Medical News 2/11/00 "……UK researchers contend in the February 12th issue of the British Medical Journal that the risk of lung cancer associated with passive smoking may be substantially lower than previously reported. Dr. J. B. Copas and colleagues of the University of Warwick, say that a previous analysis of 37 epidemiologic studies may have overestimated the excess risk of lung cancer at 24% because it did not allow for publication bias. Dr. Copas' team defines publication bias as "the possibility that published studies, particularly smaller ones, will be biased in favour of more positive results." …… If all possible studies of this type have been published, then an excess 24% risk of lung cancer due to passive smoking emerges, which agrees with the previous analysis. "However," Dr. Copas and co-authors say, "a significant correlation between study outcome and study size suggests the presence of publication bias." If it is assumed that only 60% of the studies have been published or included in the analysis, then "the estimate of excess risk falls from 24% to 15%," the researchers say. "A modest degree of publication bias leads to a substantial reduction in the relative risk," Dr. Copas and colleagues write. This suggests "that the published estimate of the increased risk of lung cancer associated with environmental tobacco smoke needs to be interpreted with caution." ……. Dr. Copas told Reuters Health that 15% still represents a substantial excess risk. "We are not questioning the view that inhaling smoke is bad for you," he said. He acknowledges that "in principle" the risk could increase if the "missing" studies resulted in a positive association. "But," Dr. Copas noted, "the evidence suggests the other way, that small studies have higher estimates, suggesting that it is the lower estimates that have been left out." ….."

ABCNEWS 2/11/0 Josh Gerstein "….. At an event last week, Clinton said his administration was "beginning the most aggressive effort ever undertaken to ensure responsible behavior by gun dealers." Aides who detailed the plan said focused, intensive inspections of gun dealers by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms would be one of the key elements of this crackdown. But Congress has put limits on ATF's ability to inspect gun dealers unless there's reason to believe that a specific dealer is breaking the law. Under current law, ATF can conduct routine inspections only once a year, meaning that some problem dealers might not get a full inspection until 2001. Why does Clinton's staff try so hard to make these half-measures sound so significant? They're under orders. Aides say that Chief of Staff John Podesta has sent down word that, whenever possible, the president's events are to include regulatory or executive actions designed to dispel the notion that he's a lame duck. In an e-mail response to questions from ABCNEWS.com, Podesta acknowledged that he has told the staff to search high and low for unilateral actions that the president can take. "We need to operate in a context which recognizes our authority, sometimes broad ... sometimes more limited," Podesta wrote. …."

Oklahoman Online 2/18/00 "…..WHAT'S President Clinton got against America's small businesses? This week he threatened to veto a bill that would protect firms with 25 or fewer workers from frivolous lawsuits. That came on top of his proposal to extend to smaller businesses a program requiring companies to give employees unpaid leave. Quite a one-two punch, we'd say. Clinton is against a bill passed by the House of Representatives last week that would limit small businesses' liability for punitive damages. He complained that the measure is "incredibly broad," but it sounded like he'd been listening to the trial lawyers who are against anything that might reduce the number of lawsuits filed. The bill wouldn't limit anyone's right to sue for lost wages, medical costs or pain and suffering. It would cap punitive damages at $250,000 or three times the total of compensatory damages, whichever is less. Courts could break the cap if it was judged a business had intentionally harmed someone. In addition, the bill would offer retailers of all sizes protection from joint and several liability, making sure that small business owners are liable only for damages in proportion to their fault. Protection is needed. Small businesses -- again, 25 or fewer employees -- can be wiped out by a single lawsuit. Even the threat of court action can put some out of business. The House bill is reasonable protection that would not block legitimate lawsuits in instances of serious injury….."

NRA-ILA FAX "ALERT" 2/18/00 James Baker "…..The National Rifle Association is backing a legal challenge to Cincinnati's reckless lawsuit against gun makers as a violation of the state's "good government" laws. The lawsuit was filed in Ohio State court on Tuesday, Feb. 15, on behalf of Cincinnati Councilman Charlie Winburn (R). The suit argues that the city's decision to appeal its case after last October's ruling to dismiss it with prejudice (see FAX Alert Vol. 6, No. 39) amounts to a misuse of public funds. A hearing is set for March 3. "Taxpayers have every right to challenge their government when tax dollars are being wasted," said NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker. "NRA has always maintained that these lawsuits are utterly frivolous, and this is abundantly clear in Cincinnati's case, where the court so thoroughly rejected the city's suit. The very notion of trying to hold a third party, who operates in total compliance with the law, responsible for the criminal actions of another flies in the face of common sense and our system of American jurisprudence, and the city's decision to appeal its case is completely irresponsible." Support of this suit represents just one more step taken by NRA as it leads the fight to put an end to reckless lawsuits faced by the firearms industry. In 1999, the NRA successfully worked to enact legislation in 14 states to prohibit municipalities from wasting tax dollars through reckless lawsuits against firearm manufacturers. Baker said NRA continues this legislative effort and will seek passage in as many as 20 more states in 2000, and will continue to promote U.S. Representative (and NRA Board Member) Bob Barr's (R-Ga.) H.R. 1032. Representative Barr's legislation would prohibit any litigation that seeks to hold manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers who deal in non-defective firearms responsible for the criminal or negligent misuse of their products, and is awaiting action by the U.S. House. …."

Chicago Tribune 2/17/00 "….Ald. Edward Burke (14th) introduced legislation at Wednesday's City Council meeting that would require Chicago merchants selling cigarettes to post photographs of body parts blighted by the effects of smoking--blackened lungs, cancerous mouths and the like. Burke says this would "further inform" smokers, who have become inured to printed warnings, about the health risks associated with tobacco. What nonsense! The end result of Burke's proposal would be to assault the senses of anyone who shops where tobacco products are sold and to abridge the 1st Amendment rights of storekeepers in order to "educate" smokers. The truth is, those who smoke cigarettes, pipes and cigars already know darn well the habit is bad for them but they choose to smoke anyway, as is their right. …..Martin Redish, a professor of law at Northwestern University who specializes in free speech issues, says the proposed ordinance raises serious 1st Amendment concerns because it could represent a form of forced speech by compelling store owners to espouse a government view they do not share……" Freeper aPerryBoy asks "…Will abortion clinics be forced to show the little bodies of murdered babies? Will car dealerships be forced to show mangled bodies after a car accident? I don't think so... "

World Net Daily 2/16/00 Walter Williams "….I've always warned that a lifestyle Nazi's work is never done. People applauded the Nazi attack on cigarette smokers and the tobacco industry. Now lifestyle Nazis are coming after fat Americans. The editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) wrote, "Obesity is epidemic." According to JAMA, the cause is "The availability of more food ... the growth of the fast-food industry, the increased numbers and marketing of snack food ... along with a custom of socializing with food and drink." JAMA points to the war against tobacco as the best way to fight obesity. The tactic is to talk about the cost of obesity to our health care and then terrorize and intimidate. The American Obesity Association calls obesity "a ticking time bomb" and demands "fat taxes" to fund anti-obesity education programs. Yale Professor Kelly Brownell says, "I recommend that we develop a more militant attitude about the toxic food environment, like we have about tobacco." U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher supports the association's obesity vision. Giving the keynote address at its recent conference, Satcher said, "Obesity is a major public-health problem and one that deserves much more attention than it receives." Department of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman is leading the agency's "anti-fat" campaign, which includes a planned "nutritional intervention" program in Mississippi. ….."

World Net Daily 2/16/00 Walter Williams "….Lifestyle Nazis have troops in the non-profit world in their war against America's fat people. Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, calls for attack on the large servings at Chinese and Mexican restaurants, saying, "It's high time that the (restaurant) industry begins to bear some responsibility for its contribution to obesity, heart disease and cancer." The soft drink beverage industry, according to Jacobson, is also responsible for obesity and heart disease, not to mention caffeine addiction. Emory University law professor Frank Vandall said, "I can't rule out that America's fast-food chains will be the next target." …..Daniel Akst, writing for the New York Times, said, "It makes perfect sense for the victims of fast food ... to sue, and the sooner the better; they might even succeed at deterring substantial harm." ….."

Reuters Health 2/11/00 "….. Secondhand smoke's cancer risk: lower than thought? NEW YORK, Feb 11 (Reuters Health) -- The risk of lung cancer due to secondhand smoke may be substantially lower than previously reported, according to UK researchers. However, this does not mean that there is no risk of developing lung cancer due to secondhand smoke, lead author Dr. John B. Copas told Reuters Health in an interview. ``Of course, we are not questioning the view that inhaling smoke is bad for you,'' he said. A previous analysis, which was based on 37 studies, suggested people who inhaled secondhand smoke had a 24% increase in lung cancer compared with those in a smoke-free environment, according to Copas and his colleague at the University of Warwick in Coventry. However, the analysis only included studies that showed a positive link between passive smoking and lung cancer, or those that showed a high risk. Studies showing no association between secondhand smoke and lung cancer or those showing a lower risk are unlikely to get published and thus would not have been available for the researchers to include in their analysis, the authors explain in the February 12th issue of the British Medical Journal……If it is assumed that only 60% of lung cancer-secondhand smoke studies have been published or included in the analysis, then ``the estimate of excess risk falls from 24% to 15%,'' the researchers write. This is ``a substantial reduction in the relative risk,'' Copas and his co-author note, and suggests ''that the published estimate of the increased risk of lung cancer associated with environmental tobacco smoke needs to be interpreted with caution.''. …."

The Independent 2/14/00 Michael McCarthy Peter Popham "….. Radical animal rights campaigners tomorrow take what they see as a momentous step by moving their successful attack on the wearing of fur to the wearing of leather. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), the US-based group which dumped a dead raccoon on the lunch plate of fur-wearing fashion editor Anna Wintour, will launch its campaign with an international denunciation of the Indian leather trade. In a land where cows are supposed to be sacred, the group says, thousands are subjected to agonising abuse to serve the leather industry, which exports to the US and Britain among other countries. It is releasing a video tomorrow showing mistreatment of Indian cattle, the scale of which is backed by The Independent's inquiries. Ingrid Newkirk, Peta president, believes there is "no question" wearing leather will one day be as socially unacceptable as wearing fur. "It's just hairless fur." Britain's leather trade says it is a by-product of the meat industry and the one will persist as long as the other. ….."

Associated Press 2/25/00 "…..The export of guns and ammunition to Canada has been suspended while authorities look into a surge in requests for handgun licenses, the White House said today. The United States nine months ago began requiring licenses to export weapons to Canada. Since last April, licenses have been issued for 115,000 handguns, 25,000 rifles and 200 million rounds of ammunition, according to U.S. government data cited today by the New York Times. A senior law enforcement official in Canada told the newspaper that the import figures were ``astonishing,'' given the country's strict firearms laws. ``I don't know where these handguns could be going,'' he said. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said exports were suspended after State Department officials who monitor gun sales to Canada noticed a ``large, increased surge'' in requests for licenses for handguns, rifles and ammunition. ….."

Reuters/Zogby (via Yahoo News) 2/24/00 "……Americans resoundingly rejected the notion that cities should be allowed to sue gun makers for not doing enough to deter crime in cities in which guns are used, a recent Zogby America poll reveals. The survey of 1,023 adults showed that 70.5% of the respondents were against allowing cities to sue for costs incurred as a result of gun violence, compared to only 24.3% who were for cities being allowed to file lawsuits. Republicans were far more opposed to cities being allowed to sue than were Democrats. …."

WorldNetDaily 2/23/00 Jon Dougherty "…..But don't ever imagine you can challenge their right to say and think what they wish. They're on the side of "righteousness," don't you know -- as defined, of course, by all the leftists. At one point in our country's history, we used to use that line of reasoning to control slaves and other "enemies" of "conventional wisdom." At one point, Hitler used it to control his political opposition. …… For example consider the ridiculous nature of anti-tobacco advertising. It's "against the law" to advertise cigarettes in most venues today, but the same people who have championed this ban don't mind seeing Budweiser lizards or Jack Daniels plastered all over the same venues. ...All guns are bad -- taboo -- Americans are constantly told. Even a large banking conglomerate like Citibank refuses to do business with people who do business in weaponry. But it's OK to do business with other businesses that hype sex and violence -- as if neither of those two vices actually hurt people. ……If you're a Christian and you talk publicly about your faith, you're either branded as some sort of extremist or you're disregarded as unrealistic. Witness the numerous sportscasters who were uncomfortable talking to St. Louis Rams' winning quarterback Kurt Warner who unabashedly credits his skill and performance to the Almighty. …….If you're white -- and specifically a white guy -- then you're inherently racist. But if your skin is any other color in this country, you're somehow immune from being a racist, even though you may espouse anti-white rhetoric and blame "whites" for everything that has gone wrong in your life. Anything "liberal" or associated with the Democratic National Committee is good. Anything "conservative" or associated with the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party or anything right of left is worse than bad -- it's dangerous…….Only kids who are educated in public schools learn the "right" things, while kids schooled at home or in parochial/private settings are considered freakish and disadvantaged. And the list goes on. …."

AP 2/21/00 Daniel Haney "….Despite its evil image, new research suggests that nicotine is a surprisingly potent drug for a variety of diseases that afflict the brain, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Tourette's syndrome. Many small studies over the past decade have explored the possible benefits of this ubiquitous drug. But the field appears to be taking on fresh life as doctors test nicotine patches for neurological diseases in both children and the elderly, and drug companies race to concoct nicotine substitutes that carry fewer side effects. At a conference Monday, doctors said the field's first gold-standard study - one in which dummy treatments are rigorously compared with the real thing - suggests the patch shows real promise in children with Tourette's syndrome, a strange affliction in which victims are beset by spates of tics, shouted obscenities and violent urges. Still, nicotine has many drawbacks, including its unsavory reputation as the addictive grabber in cigarettes. Some experts believe nicotine's real future is in fake forms of the drug. ….."

Frontpagemag 2/21/00 Chris Weinkopf "….IN 1937, the federal government got into the housing business, with plans to reclaim depressed urban areas and to replace old tenements with "decent, safe, and sanitary" housing. Some thirty years later, with that goal still not attained, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in a fit of Great Society zeal, declared that "the first challenge" of his administration's housing policy would be "to attack the problem of rebuilding the slums." Fast forward another three decades, and the federal government is the country's single largest slumlord, maintaining 1.12 million units in 14,000 public-housing developments nationwide-projects in varying degrees of disrepair; breeding grounds for gangs, drugs, illegitimacy, and countless other social pathologies. So who is to blame for the failure of federal housing? According to the Clinton Administration, it's-strangely enough-the gun industry. True, Washington has managed the projects for more than sixty years, but, as far as the White House is concerned, it is firearm manufacturers who have turned them into urban war zones, where one in five residents feels unsafe in his own neighborhood. Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Cuomo has issued "In the Crossfire: The Impact of Gun Violence on Public Housing Communities," a study on the rate of gun-related crimes in federal housing. It's a flimsy document containing 50 widely spaced pages padded with large charts, an appendix full of disconnected anecdotes, and a text that lists the same few points repeatedly, almost verbatim, throughout the document. Its findings are grim, but unsurprising: residents of public housing are more than twice as likely than the rest of society to be shot…"

The Miami Herald 2/20/00 Dave Barry "…..Just when you think the War on Smoking cannot possibly get any more entertaining, up pops a new batch of lawyers to save the day. Before I tell you about the latest legal wrinkle, let's review the key points in the War on Smoking so far . . .

POINT ONE: Cigarettes are evil, because smokers smoke them and consequently become sick or dead.
POINT TWO: The tobacco companies are evil, because they make and sell cigarettes.
POINT THREE: Therefore, in 1998 there was a big settlement under which the tobacco companies, by way of punishment for making and selling cigarettes, agreed to pay more than $200 billion to 46 states and numerous concerned lawyers.
POINT FOUR: The tobacco companies are paying for this settlement by making and selling cigarettes as fast as humanly possible.
POINT FIVE: At the time of the settlement, the states loudly declared that they would use the money for programs to eliminate smoking, which is evil.
POINT SIX: Perhaps you believe that the states are actually using the money for this purpose.
POINT SEVEN: You moron.
POINT EIGHT: In fact, so far the states are spending more than 90 percent of the tobacco-settlement money on programs unrelated to smoking, such as building highways.
POINT NINE: This is good, because we need quality highways to handle the sharp increase in the number of Mercedes automobiles purchased by lawyers enriched by the tobacco settlement.

So, to boil these points down to a single sentence: The War on Smoking currently is a program under which states build highways using money obtained through the sale of cigarettes. Is everybody clear on that? ….."

Washington Post 2/18/00 John Mintz "….. Tobacco industry lobbyists thought they could count on George W. Bush when the state legislature sent the newly installed governor a bill to prevent Texas cities from regulating cigarette vending machines. Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, was a consultant to Philip Morris Cos., the nation's largest tobacco company. Just in case, the cigarette makers had then-Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour phone Bush to remind him of tobacco's importance to the GOP. Instead, Bush vetoed the bill, stunning Texas anti-smoking activists, who had never before bested the cigarette lobby. But if Bush has not always done the industry's bidding, as the 1995 veto and several other episodes demonstrate, the Texas governor is also far from a fervent anti-tobacco crusader--and in the 2000 campaign, he is by far the industry's top choice for the White House. "The tobacco industry would be giddy with relief if Bush won," said Martin Feldman, an industry analyst for Salomon Smith Barney……."

Fox News 2/18/00 Robert Jablon "……Mayor Richard Riordan's plan to sacrifice up to $300 million from the national tobacco-settlement to pay for a barrage of anticipated lawsuits stemming from the city's police corruption scandal has quickly come under fire....... Mayor Riordan: 'This is the best use of these dollars' "The money from the tobacco settlement ... is supposed to save lives, not save face," said Dr. Richard F. Corlin, a Santa Monica physician and speaker of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates. "It is corrupt in and of itself to steal the tobacco settlement money to pay off the price of political problems and police corruption," Corlin said in a statement Thursday. Some members of the City Council said the money already is earmarked for street improvements mandated by the federal Americans With Disabilities Act. ..."

 

UK News Electronic Telegraph 8/19/98 Robert Matthews Victoria Macdonald "…..Issue 1178 PASSIVE smokers inhale the equivalent of just six cigarettes a year from other people's smoke, according to the largest ever study of actual exposure levels of non-smokers. The figure, which undermines previous warnings about the dangers of passive smoking, is a thousand times lower than that faced by direct smokers, and so tiny that it could not be measured statistically. Results from personal air monitors carried by more that 1,000 people in cities across Europe reveal that even the most highly-exposed passive smoker inhales the equivalent of 0.02 of a cigarette a day - 10 times lower than Government-backed estimates. The findings, published by an internationally respected UK-based team of air monitoring experts, are the biggest blow yet to the credibility of the Government's insistence that passive smoking causes fatal diseases. Until now, ministers have based calls for action on claims that those living with smokers face a 20 to 30 per cent increased risk of lung cancer…….. The reliability of such claims has now been thrown into doubt by the measurements of real-life levels of cancer-causing substances inhaled by passive smokers. A team led by Dr Keith Phillips of Covance Laboratories, an independent consultancy in Harrogate, has found that even passive smokers who live and work with smokers are typically exposed to just 0.1 per cent of the dangerous components of cigarette smoke inhaled by smokers. This suggests that passive smokers face a tiny excess lung cancer risk of around two per cent - 10 times lower than suggested by either the statistical evidence or estimates based on cotinine levels - a chemical linked to nicotine - in passive smokers. ….."

 

Fox Market Wire 3/8/00 David Armstrong "…..Need another reason to quit smoking? It could kill your career. Forget the hassles of having to go outside for a smoke during work. Smokers are used to that. And as long as you do your job, who cares? The battle between smokers and non-smokers is growing fierce. But increasingly, smokers say they're stigmatized by non-smoking co-workers and supervisors. New research shows that supervisors gave higher job performance reviews to their non-smoking employees than to those who light up, while other studies found that employees respected their non-smoking supervisors more than their smoking bosses...."

The Wall Street Journal 3/8/00 "…..President Clinton has announced that he is categorically opposed to medical errors. We're so relieved. This was the news recently on the heels of an Institute of Medicine study tallying the number of deaths due to "adverse events" at somewhere between 44,000 and 98,000 a year. Mr. Clinton's plan will make it mandatory that hospitals report all serious errors to Washington. There to provide assistance will be the shiny new Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. We're a little foggy on how the creation of new health care agencies is going to solve the problem. More likely, if mandatory reporting goes through, the system will catch a nasty rash of new malpractice suits, not to mention class actions on behalf of every patient a substandard hospital has ever treated. A 1990 Harvard study found that while only 3% of "harmed" patients sue, 80% of patients who sue never suffered any harm….."

The Macon Telegraph 3/9/00 Nancy Badertscher "….The Georgia House did an about-face Wednesday and overwhelmingly approved a $1.6 million tax break for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. after midstate legislators pleaded for help for the company's Macon plant and its 2,900 workers. "This industry is in flux ... and there's ... a chance Brown & Williamson might be closing," said state Rep. Robert Reichert, D-Macon. "This would be devastating to those of us in Macon and Middle Georgia." Company officials have not said publicly that they are considering a move, but have acknowledged that their industry has been shaken by the states' tobacco lawsuits, declining demand and other market factors. Their plan for a one-week furlough of 2,000 assembly-line workers beginning Saturday was brought up during the floor debate of the credit, which the House rejected by a vote of 68-60 Tuesday but passed by 127-32 Wednesday. …."

National Post 3/3/00 Mark Hume "…..A prison went on riot alert, a bar issued its employees gas masks, and now the layoffs have started. British Columbia is having a tough time facing up to new laws that make it illegal to smoke in public places, including bars and restaurants. Five operations have closed since the new regulations came into effect earlier this year. The latest victim: a popular Vancouver nightclub called BaBalus, where patrons used to smoke and drink the whole night through. "This is a former cigar and martini bar," Vance Campbell, vice-president of Granville Entertainment, said as he stood on the empty dance floor at BaBalus yesterday afternoon. "Now half that formula is missing." …….. BaBalus, one of the city's most successful nightclubs, is still a popular place to socialize. But after the smoking ban came into effect and the clouds of tobacco smoke lifted, the bar found 30% of its business had evaporated too. Yesterday BaBalus laid off nine workers and cut back on the hours of two more……."

Reuters 3/1/00 Lee Yanowitch "….On a catwalk disguised as a rain-spattered Paris pavement strewn with cigarette butts, the Paris rooftops looming in the background, Gaultier's ultra-chic models puffed away as they paraded his sleek black trench coats and liquid jersey dresses with hoods attached. ……. "

The Wall Street Journal 2/28/00 David Cloud "…..The Justice Department defended its civil lawsuit against the tobacco industry and asked a federal judge not to dismiss the case. The government said industry lawyers made "multiple legal errors" in a motion earlier this year seeking to have the massive suit thrown out. The 99-page Justice Department brief was filed Friday with U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, who has scheduled oral arguments on the motion to dismiss for June. The lawsuit seeks to recover billions of dollars the government says it has spent through Medicare and other insurance programs to treat smoking-related illness, as well as industry profits arising from what the department contends was a 45-year conspiracy to mislead the public about the dangers of cigarettes. ......"

 

CNN.com -- U.S. News 3/10/00 Terry Frieden "…..U.S. Justice Department officials are defending their proposed use of millions of dollars from other agencies to help pay for government litigation against the tobacco industry, despite a congressional accusation of "subterfuge." Justice said Thursday they may rely on a provision of the 1995 fiscal year appropriations act, which provides authority for the department to receive funds from client agencies. Attorney General Janet Reno had been criticized on Wednesday by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Kentucky), chairman of the House panel which funds the Justice Department, for continuing to fund the tobacco lawsuit after Congress last year vetoed Reno's $20 million request to help finance the suit. "I want to know the details of this and I want to know who is behind it and why there is this subterfuge in getting the money to finance a lawsuit that we denied you the money to do directly," he said. Reno replied, "I was not asked to do something, but to figure out how to fund the tobacco litigation, because I believe in it." ….."

Washington Times 3/17/00 "…….What's wrong with this picture? U.S. consumers are facing some of the biggest gas-price hikes in decades, increases that don't stop at the pump but ripple through the economy in the form of higher charges for food and other consumer goods. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is literally standing on the equivalent of billions of barrels of so-far untapped oil in Alaska that could provide them a measure of relief. Worse, if the Clinton administration has its way, no one ever will tap it, either. The ostensible reason for blocking oil exploration and development there is environmental. When the administration vetoed legislation in 1995 that would have allowed such work on a tiny portion of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced the administration had done so in the name of caribou, polar bears, swans, snow geese and musk oxen; any animal, in short, that might conceivably draw a breath in those barren climes and survive……..The fact that the Eskimos who lived in the vicinity of the proposed work backed the exploration as a way of generating tax revenues to support basic sanitation, education and health needs; that workers in the lower 48 wanted it for the jobs it would create; that the United States could have used it to reduce dependence on foreign oil of the kind that leaves consumers here so vulnerable to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) mattered not. The animals came first………. Awkwardly for the administration, there is evidence that far from harming wildlife, oil exploration and development has served as a kind of animal Viagra. When oil development began on the Arctic coast of Alaska at Prudhoe Bay, a herd of caribou located in the area numbered about 6,000. Today the herd in that area has grown to almost 20,000, and there are more caribou in Alaska than humans…….."

National Shooting Sports Foundation 3/17/00 Bob Delfay "…..The decision by foreign-owned handgun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, to forge an agreement with the most anti-gun administration in our nation's history has violated a trust with their consumers and with the entire domestic firearms industry, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the world's largest firearms trade organization. "For more than a year, the nation's major firearms manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson, have been in intense confidential discussions among themselves and with numerous government officials regarding the issues raised by lawsuits against the firearms industry. "Smith & Wesson has taken a list of suggestions and initiatives that have been discussed in confidential industry talks and run off and cut their own deal with the Clinton Administration and a list of anti-gun government officials," commented Robert Delfay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. ……. "It is a source of disappointment that Smith & Wesson representatives would elect to make this one-sided agreement with the Clinton Administration with no notification or consultation with the rest of the industry," Delfay added. "The discussions that Smith & Wesson had been a party to will continue with the objective of reaching meaningful and actionable industry programs and initiatives that will have a real impact on further reducing firearms accidents and the criminal misuse of firearms in our society. We are confident that no other major manufacturers will desert this coordinated effort in favor of their own individual deal." ……"

New York Times 3/18/00 Leslie Wayne Fox Butterfield "…..Smith & Wesson's decision to adopt gun safety measures in order to settle lawsuits brought by state and federal agencies has set off criticism within the gun industry and a debate among handgun control advocates. To many other gun manufacturers, the decision by the nation's largest gun maker was seen as a betrayal that would only alienate customers and could make Smith & Wesson an industry outcast. Gun control advocates were mixed in their views. Some said the agreement, which ends litigation against the company brought by the federal government and at least 11 cities, was an important first step toward ending gun violence. Others said the agreement was filled with loopholes that Smith & Wesson, a subsidiary of Tomkins P.L.C. of London, could easily exploit. ….."

Associated Press 2/14/00 "…..Although Gov. Ed Schafer supports it, none of his likely successors is willing to endorse a proposal to deduct at least $25 from the monthly pay of state workers who smoke. "I don't think that's any more fair than it is to force up the (health insurance) rates for someone who eats McDonald's hamburgers," said state Sen. Gary Nelson, R-Casselton, the Republican majority leader and one of two GOP candidates for governor. "Is the next attempt going to be to regulate what we eat, and how we eat, and how much we eat?" Nelson said. "It would seem to me if that were a bigger cause (of health problems) than tobacco, that should be maybe the first place they go after." Nelson, Republican rival John Hoeven and Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, the only declared Democratic candidate for governor, said they questioned whether it was fair to single out state workers who use tobacco. "It's the wrong message. It's the wrong direction. And it is unworkable," Heitkamp said. "How are you going to know (if someone uses tobacco)? Are you going to have random drug tests?" ….."

CBSNEWS.COM 3/26/00 "….."Nicotine is a drug. Cigarette smoking is addictive, I've said. So to me, we have a lot of common ground here," Steven Parrish, senior vice president for cigarette maker Philip Morris, told CBS News' Face The Nation on Sunday. That sounds a lot like one lawmaker who wants the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco. "It's in everyone's interest to have a regulatory scheme in place, so that the tobacco industry knows the rules and that we recognize that we've got to do something about a very real problem of children smoking," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on Face The Nation. ……"

CBSNEWS.COM 3/26/00 "….."Last week, the High Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that only Congress could authorize federal regulation of tobacco. Waxman regards that ruling as a green light to move forward....... Waxman added he hopes his legislation on FDA regulation will make it to the House floor, where he believes it would pass. "It's not my purpose to run them out of business," he said. "If at some point, people don't smoke and they go into another line of business, so be it but I don't think that's going to happen. My hope is that we can stop kids from smoking because most adults wouldn't take up this habit." ........ Parrish with Philip Morris replied, "If Congress decides that the Food and Drug Administration is the appropriate body to regulate us, I have no problem with that." But, he added, "it is a mistake for the FDA to regulate cigarettes as medical devices or pharmaceutical products, which was the proposal that the Supreme Court struck down" in its ruling. …."

Boston Globe 3/26/00 Judith Gaines "……When Hasbro Inc. set out to create a doll so lifelike it would respond to a child's actions with realistic sounds and expressions, executives turned to psychologist Gar Roper. Roper, a child development specialist with 20 years in New England schools and family practice, offered some advice: To keep children interested, make the doll burp, hiccup, and say ''uh-oh'' when it wets its diapers. Make it change its expression from a smile to a frown and back, to bring out a range of emotions from the child. Give it language that develops like a child's: from gurgling to full sentences. Have it giggle when being bounced on a knee. The result is My Real Baby, a cuddly, robotic doll soon to hit stores and already drawing raves from little-girl focus groups and trade shows. …….. But the growing involvement of psychologists in the selling of products to children is generating unease and outrage in his profession, with many colleagues saying those trained to heal children should not use that expertise for commercial purposes. ……"

Denver Post 3/25/00 Mike Soraghan "……. Colorado legislators are giving the gun lobby one of the things it wants most this year - legal protection for the gun industry. The Senate on Friday approved a bill that would block lawsuits against gun dealers, manufacturers and trade groups. The bill has been approved by the House, but Gov. Bill Owens has not taken a position on it. Cities around the country have been suing gunmakers, saying they bear some of the blame for gun violence. Supporters of the bill want to stop that trend. "I felt that we should make it clear that these suits should not be brought," said Sen. Ron Teck, R-Grand Junction, who noted that the threat of a lawsuit pushed gunmaker Smith & Wesson into an agreement with the Clinton administration. "Manufacturers are being blackmailed into agreements that are illegal." Stopping the spate of lawsuits is a top national priority of the National Rifle Association, and the group's lobbyist for Colorado watched over Friday's debate. ……"

www.foxnews.com 3/25/00 Gail Appleson "…….Some large cities are still reluctant to sign the Smith & Wesson Corp. settlement reached last week with other municipalities and the federal government because they want tougher terms, a gun control group said on Friday. Last week the Clinton administration said it had dropped its threat of legal action against the nation's largest gunmaker after the company agreed to marketing and manufacturing changes, including adding safety features to its handguns. About half of the 29 cities and municipalities that have sued gunmakers also agreed to drop their suits because of the deal. However, Joshua Horwitz, executive director for the Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence, a Washington-based legal group that is representing some of the cities, said that at least a dozen plaintiffs have still not signed due to concerns that the deal with Smith & Wesson, a unit of Britain's Tomkins Plc (TOMK.L), does not contain any monetary damages or oversight provisions. ….."

Idaho Falls Post Register 3/25/00 Paul Menser "……Smith & Wesson's decision to put tighter controls on sales of its handguns is going to cost the company business in eastern Idaho, local gun dealers say. The Springfield, Mass., company was the only gun maker to sign a settlement with several cities and states suing the firearms industry. As part of the agreement, brokered by the Clinton administration, 28 city and county law enforcement agencies said they would give preference to gun makers that follow Smith & Wesson's lead. The settlement has drawn strong criticism from the 3.5 million-member National Rifle Association. The other gun manufacturers that were asked to participate have so far refused. "I don't agree with what (Smith & Wesson) has done, by any means," said Paul Payne, vice president of Ross' Coins, an Idaho Falls gun dealer. "It will definitely have an impact on business." ……"

U.S. News & World Report 4/3/00 Angie Cannon "….A hammer fell on gun manufacturers last week as a group of local governments said their police departments would only buy guns from companies that adopt a new set of gun-safety measures. But at least one big gun maker, Glock Inc., wasn't budging. "It's repulsive and extortion," Glock Vice President and General Counsel Paul Jannuzzo told U.S. News. "It's a casebook study in the unworkable." Replies Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran: "When we say to Glock, you will not sell to government, Glock will face bankruptcy." ………. "

New York Times 3/23/00 Leslie Wayne "…..Now that they have triumphed over the tobacco industry, trial lawyers have found a new target, Gov. George W. Bush, and they have been spending huge amounts of money from the tobacco settlement to keep him and other Republicans from being elected. To trial lawyers, especially those involved in the tobacco litigation, Mr. Bush has become their worst nightmare. He has made attacks on lawyers a campaign centerpiece, pointing with pride to his record in Texas of curbing civil litigation, capping legal fees and limiting jury awards. It has all been under the banner of tort reform, or what Mr. Bush said were efforts to rid the legal system of junk lawsuits. The lawyers who have specialized in bringing civil lawsuits, however, saw Mr. Bush's statements not only as a threat to their livelihood, but also to their ability to hold corporate America legally accountable for its actions. To that end, while trial lawyers have long been heavy Democratic Party donors, the prospect of a Bush candidacy, along with the possibility that like-minded Republicans would retain control of Congress, has ratcheted up the stakes, and the donations. ……"It would be very, very horrifying to trial lawyers if Bush were elected," said John P. Coale, a Washington lawyer involved in the tobacco litigation, who has given over $70,000 to the Democrats. "To combat that, we want to make sure we have a Democratic president, House and Senate. There is some serious tobacco money being spread around." ……"

Heads Up 3/26/00 Doug Fiedor "…….The United States Supreme Court ruled last week that the FDA has no authority to regulate tobacco. Gee, who'd of thunk it, huh? A regulatory agency cannot make up its own authority. Wow, what a concept! [Note: FDA v. Brown, 98-1152, 2000, was decided very narrowly, as an agency authority vs. statute case. No Constitutional issues were discussed. That's a shame, too. This could and should have been a very important case.] Sometimes it seems that, even in spite of all those un-American socialists in government, the Court (five on the Court, anyway) is trying to nudge the federal government back towards the Constitution. Those important votes are usually 5 to 4 and sometimes 6 to 3 in favor of the Constitution. If we have a careful new president, judges can be placed on the Supreme Court who will vote strictly for the original intent of the Founding Fathers, which could cause freedom to blossom in this country faster than spring crocuses after the first warm rain. There's much to be done, too. We have thousands of laws, rules and regulations that are totally unconstitutional. Today's federal government is much more oppressive than the British were with the Colonists. And, as history teaches, the Colonists went to war for freedom. ……Well, we're not quite ready for war yet. We are, however, ready for a resurgence of good old fashioned American-style individual liberty. A vast majority of the American people agree, too. One outward sign is that half of the voting age people are so fed up with government they will not even vote anymore. ……"

A. P. 3/25/00 "…….Congress should give the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco, thus bypassing a Supreme Court ruling that the FDA lacks that power, President Clinton said Saturday. ``This is not a partisan issue. It's a health issue for our nation and a life-or-death issue for children,'' the president said in his weekly radio address. The Supreme Court ruled last week that the FDA does not hold the authority to regulate tobacco, a legal substance. That makes congressional action vital, said Clinton, speaking during a trip to South Asia. The ball is in Congress' court. They should ... give the FDA's tobacco regulations the force of law,'' the president said. ……A leading House Republican denied that intercession by Congress is the answer. Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., urged Clinton to provide ``moral leadership'' by using the bully pulpit of the presidency to help reduce the incidence of smoking by children. ``Instead of putting forth a courageous program, like Mrs. (Nancy) Reagan's `Just say no' campaign against drug use, President Clinton passes the buck and tells the American people, `The ball is in Congress' court,''' Watts said. ..."

Republican National Committee 3/25/00 "…….Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson issued the following statement today in response to the president's radio address on tobacco: ``Republicans and all right-thinking American strongly agree with the president's concerns about children and smoking,'' Nicholson said. ``Republicans hold a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the underage sales of tobacco to America's kids. What we see time and again from the Clinton-Gore Administration, however, is a get-rich-quick scheme for trial lawyers that leave children behind. Trial Lawyers are making untold tens of millions of dollars a lawsuit while not focusing on a single aspect of helping our children fight the temptation to begin smoking. ``It's no wonder trial lawyers have been rewarded so generously by this administration,'' Nicholson continued. ``Al Gore has received more money from trial lawyers than any other candidate running for president in American history -- almost $650,000 last week alone. Mr. President, let's put children first and not fat-cat trial lawyers money-grubbing for Al Gore's presidential campaign.'' ….."

Denver Post 3/23/00 Al Knight "……. President Bill Clinton and his political allies continue to reduce the precision of the English language as they flit from one public-policy issue to another. Because they are so intent on getting their own way, they damage or destroy useful words and concepts and never show a hint of regret. Two recent events illustrate the trend. The first has to do with last week's decision by Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest gunmaker, to give in to government demands and make a number of changes regarding manufacture and marketing. Smith & Wesson had been sued by about 30 municipalities, and the federal govern AL KNIGHT ment had threatened to join those suits. The company, faced with mountainous legal bills, finally surrendered to preserve its "viability." Viability means "capable of living" and "having the ability to grow, develop and expand." In other words, Smith & Wesson signed the agreement so that it would not die. Numerous press accounts, however, blindly reflected the administration's point of view that Smith & Wesson had voluntarily signed. "Voluntary" was a key word in followup articles and statements by either the administration or its allies. ……"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 3/23/00 "…..Smyrna-based Glock Inc. has decided not join a handgun settlement that the federal government reached last week with Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest gun manufacturer. Glock officials made the decision Tuesday afternoon during a one-hour conference call between the firm's Smyrna manufacturing plant and headquarters in Austria. The ultimate decision was made by Gaston Glock, the company chairman and inventor of the pistol that bears his name, said Paul F. Jannuzzo, Glock Inc. vice president and general counsel. "It's going to be more expensive this way, but we're doing it because our company is run by one man and he's a highly principled individual," Jannuzzo said. "He's just simply not going to kowtow to this kind of extortion." ……"

Philadelphia Inquirer 3/23/00 "…….. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's lengthy majority opinion explaining why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lacks authority to regulate tobacco products ends on this note: "By no means do we question the seriousness of the problem that the FDA has sought to address. The agency has amply demonstrated that tobacco use, particularly among children and adolescents, poses perhaps the single most significant threat to public health in the United States." It's important to be clear what a divided court said in its ruling Tuesday. It didn't say cigarettes are harmless or that tobacco companies are unfairly maligned. The 5-4 majority concluded that Congress had never given the FDA explicit authority to regulate tobacco and that the agency couldn't simply claim the authority for itself. The dissenters' opinion, arguing that the FDA hadn't overstepped, was persuasive…….."

Denver Rocky Mountain News 3/23/00 Carla Crowder "……. The fine print of Smith & Wesson's gun safety deal with the Clinton administration has triggered a backlash in the industry. One distributor is terminating business with the giant gun maker, and gun-rights groups are pushing for a boycott. As a detailed version of the agreement began circulating this week, many gun dealers learned that Smith & Wesson had signed on to a plan that requires much more than safety locks and background checks, which were touted last week in early reports of the landmark deal. "The actual agreement is far more onerous," states a letter from RSR Group, a wholesale gun distributor that decided this week to stop shipping Smith & Wesson products. …….. Most troublesome are fine print details the gun dealers say were downplayed in initial reports of the deal. For example, dealers who carry Smith & Wesson products must follow new restrictions on all brands of guns they sell. The "code of conduct" bans them from selling large-capacity magazines or semiautomatic assault weapons. It also prohibits dealers from selling firearms to customers who have not passed a safety class. And one of the most restrictive in the eyes of the gun industry is the "modified one-gun-a-month limit." Purchasers of handguns can take only one home the day of the sale and must wait 14 days to retrieve the others -- not just Smith & Wesson's, but any handgun. ......Gun store employees also must take annual training classes ……"

3/23/00 Joe Hughes "……. SAN DIEGO -- Dozens of police officers descended on the Kearny High School campus yesterday after racial tensions between groups of students escalated into pushing, shoving and fighting, authorities said. No one was injured. The only arrest was unrelated to the disturbance. Several students were briefly detained for questioning. The confrontation was the result of mounting racial tensions between Asian and black students, said Lt. Tim Smith of the San Diego Unified School District police. …… The one arrest was of a student smoking on campus, police said. ….."

Los Angeles Daily News 3/24/00 David Nyhan "…….. To understand why gun makers are caving in to gun control, and why high-paid gun lobbyists have gone nuclear, you have to peer through the smoke. Literally. Because what happened, to cigarette makers is what is happening to gun makers. As went the merchants of nicotine go the merchants of firearms. Light 'em up, baby. It was the concerted legal efforts of governments and of shrewd, well-organized and indefatigable activist groups that brought the mighty influence peddlers to heel. . Smith & Wesson smelled the coffee last week, giving in to the Clinton administration's muscle and the fear of being bankrupted by lawsuits that assail gun makers now just as the cigarette makers have been buried in legal challenges. The largest handgun maker agreed to curb gun show loopholes and dealers, restrict multiple sales, install gun locks, research "smart gun" technology, and stop foot-dragging on regulation…………..Just as Liggett Group jolted the cigarette lobby by breaking ranks in 1996 to settle with anti-tobacco interests, the Smith & Wesson move will likely trigger, pardon me, an industry-wide cave. High time. ….."

Reuters 3/24/00 Gail Appleson "……Some large cities are still reluctant to sign the Smith & Wesson Corp. settlement reached last week with other municipalities and the federal government because they want tougher terms, a gun control group said Friday. Last week the Clinton administration said it had dropped its threat of legal action against the nation's largest gunmaker after the company agreed to marketing and manufacturing changes, including adding safety features to its handguns. About half of the 29 cities and municipalities that have sued gunmakers also agreed to drop their suits because of the deal. However, Joshua Horwitz, executive director for the Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence, a Washington-based legal group that is representing some of the cities, said that at least a dozen plaintiffs have still not signed due to concerns that the deal with Smith & Wesson, a unit of Britain's Tomkins Plc does not contain any monetary damages or oversight provisions. "The deal does not address a lot of the concerns some of the municipalities have. Smith & Wesson is not giving up very much. There is no teeth in the agreement," he said. ……"

World Net Daily 3/24/00 David Limbaugh "…….Why do you suppose the framers were so insistent that only virtuous men serve as president? To set a moral example for the nation? Oh yes, but there's much more to it than that. Before you Clintonoids wrongly assume I am waxing nostalgic for impeachment and urge me "to move on," you should hear me out. Despite the brilliant scheme of checks and balances incorporated into the Constitution, the system is not foolproof against the devices of clever and deceitful men. ……… This week, President Clinton urged India to comply with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which the Senate soundly rejected last year, and the Kyoto (global warming) Treaty, which he hasn't even submitted to the Senate for ratification because he knows he doesn't have the votes. In utter disregard for the Senate's constitutional role in these matters, Clinton presses forward with the unabashed arrogance of a totalitarian dictator. ………. On to tobacco. In an excellent article in the American Spectator, Byron York chronicles the extensive efforts of the Clinton Justice Department to bring Big Tobacco to its knees.......In another audacious move, Clinton's FDA tried to regulate tobacco as a drug. Thankfully this week, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, slapped down the FDA's attempted usurpation of authority…… To top it all off, the administration this week bullied gun-maker Smith & Wesson into adopting gun safety measures that Congress had so far refused to legally mandate. In exchange, the company was released from liability in lawsuits brought by more than 15 cities, the Federal Housing Authority and other groups seeking to hold manufacturers legally responsible for violence caused by their weapons. The lawsuit was never about recovering money, but using the courts as a weapon to circumvent the democratic will of Congress. Adding insult to injury, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo has promised to use the economic coercion of the federal government to force other recalcitrant gun manufacturers to get on board. ……"

World Magazine 3/24/00 Bob Jones "…….Close, but no cigar. Or, more precisely: Close, but you can still keep your cigars. And cigarettes. And chewing tobacco. And constitutional separation of powers. In a 5-4 ruling on March 21, the Supreme Court decided the Clinton Administration had overstepped its bounds by attempting to regulate tobacco products as a drug. Writing for the majority, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor delivered a verbal slap to Mr. Clinton's Food and Drug Administration, which tried to claim powers that Congress had never granted: "No matter how important, conspicuous, and controversial the issue," Justice O'Connor wrote, "and regardless of how likely the public is to hold the Executive Branch politically accountable, an administrative agency's power to regulate in the public interest must always be grounded in a valid grant of authority from Congress. Courts must take care not to extend a statute's scope beyond the point where Congress indicated it would stop." ……."

NRA-ILA FAX ALERT 3/24/00 "……To his shock and surprise, Secretary of HUD Andrew Cuomo has been unable to coerce any other firearms company to collaborate with him and British-owned Smith & Wesson (see Special FAX Alert 3/20/00), as they work to destroy the Second Amendment. Other gun makers have stated they are unwilling to give away our Right to Keep and Bear Arms in negotiations with the most anti-gun administration ever to occupy the White House. And the outcry of "Betrayal!" has echoed across the country, resonating loudest within the gun stores. These are the same gun stores S&W must be praying will agree to the draconian standards it has set for "authorized" distributors or dealers of its firearms. The majority of gun distributers and dealers who have contacted NRA indicate they will simply drop S&W products. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported today that Braverman Arms, Pat's Sporting Goods, and Ace Sporting Goods, the largest dealers in the Pittsburgh area, confirm they'll discontinue carrying S&W products. Braverman Arms has even taken to tying black ribbons on the barrels of S&W guns currently in stock to show its dissatisfaction with the decision by the gun maker......."

NRA-ILA FAX ALERT 3/24/00 "……Pro-gun U.S. Representative Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) held a press conference Wednesday to announce the introduction of H.R. 4051, the "Project Exile: The Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act of 2000." The legislation is modeled after the "Project Exile" prosecution model originated in Richmond, Va., in 1997. The program has been credited with helping to drastically reduce violent crime in the capital of the Old Dominion. Rather than promoting new laws restricting gun owners, which is what the Clinton-Gore team and its anti-gun congressional cronies would like to see, H.R. 4051 provides $100 million in grants over the next five years for qualifying cities to use to enforce existing laws. McCollum stated, "This bill that we are introducing today is a bill that would require mandatory minimum sentences of five years for any person who uses or carries a firearm during or in relation to a violent crime." Please contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121 and urge him to support H.R. 4051.

NRA-ILA FAX ALERT 3/24/00 "……There has been some concern among members of the pro-gun community over S. 2099, an anti-gun bill introduced by anti-gun U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.). The bill seeks to amend the National Firearms Act (NFA) to treat handguns like fully automatic firearms, requiring they be registered, and adding $50 tax to any handgun transfer. While NRA opposes this legislation, there is no real threat of it passing at this time……"

National Review 3/20/00 Dave Kopel "……. Connecticut handgun manufacturer Smith & Wesson has earned the dubious honor of becoming Bill Clinton's favorite gun company. By agreeing to modify its product design and distribution, the company earned a promise not to be sued by Andrew Cuomo's Department of Housing and Urban Development, by the Attorneys General of New York and Connecticut, and got some - but not all - of the cities which have sued the company to drop their lawsuits. Smith and Wesson says that if it had not stopped the suits, the company would have gone out of business within a year, due to attorney fees. But it should be noted that other gun companies are under equally great financial pressure, and have not capitulated. ………. To be sure, the agreement will have only a moderate effect on the way Smith and Wesson does business. At the same time, the contract terms - if enforced against other gun companies - could drive them out of business. The application of the agreement to several of Smith & Wesson's smaller competitors, or to Glock (one of the largest and most successful handgun companies), would destroy them. Thus, Smith and Wesson gains an advantage, by agreeing to terms which will harm its competitors. ….."

National Review 3/20/00 Dave Kopel "……. Here's the first half of what's in the agreement, according to the official summary on the HUD website. I have decoded it in [brackets].
All handguns must meet the following safety and design standards:

* Second "hidden" serial number, to prevent criminals from obliterating serial numbers.
[Already done by many gun manufacturers.]
* External locking device sold with all guns within 60 days.
[S&W has been giving away locks with every handgun since 1997.]
* Internal locking device on all guns within 24 months.
[The lock that S&W will use can be left in the "open" position permanently.]
* Manufacturers commit 2% of annual firearms revenues to the development of authorized user technology [Smart Guns]. Within 36 months, authorized user technology will be included in all new firearm models, with the exception of curios and collectors' firearms. If top eight manufacturers agree, authorized user technology will be included in all new firearms.
[Note that the new technology is for new models only, not new production of current models. S&W has already been working at personalization technology. So far, solving the problem of putting a computer in a gun-and making the computer work 100% reliably-has proven extremely difficult. Buyer resistance to guns that only work 99% of the time is likely to be very serious. To the extent that this agreement helps pass legislation to mandate so-called smart guns, the agreement will put S&W's competitor Glock out of business; Glock has made a business decision not to invest millions of dollars in personalization technology that may never work reliably.]
* Child Safety. Within 12 months, handguns will be designed so they cannot be readily operated by a child under 6.
[S&W guns already conform to this. The revolvers have a 10 pound trigger pull, and the semi-automatic pistols require that the slide be pulled.]
* Performance test. All firearms will be subject to a performance test to ensure safety and quality.
[Common industry practice already.]
* Drop test. All firearms will be subject to a test to ensure they do not fire when dropped.
[No handgun manufacturer in the U.S. makes guns which fail the drop test.]

* All pistols must meet the following additional requirements:
["Pistol" in this context means a self-loading, semi-automatic handgun, as opposed to a revolver.]
* Safety device. Positive manually operated safety device.
[Already standard on S&W pistols.]
* Magazine disconnectors must be available on all pistols to customers who desire the feature, within 12 months.
[A magazine disconnect prevents the gun from firing if the magazine is not in the gun, and there is a round in the firing chamber. People who own handguns for defensive purposes, including law enforcement officers, generally prefer guns without magazine disconnects.]
* Chamber load indicators on all pistols, showing whether the pistol is loaded, within 12 months.
[To the extent that the people begin to rely on chamber load indicators, they will violate the fundamental firearms safety rule: "treat every gun as if it's loaded.]
* New firearm designs will not be able to accept large-capacity magazines that were manufactured prior to September 1994. (Manufacture of such magazines has been prohibited since that date.)
[So new S&W guns have to be incompatible with pre-1995 magazines. Here, S&W undercuts defensive gun use, by ensuring that people who buy new models will not be able to fire more than 11 rounds without stopping to change the magazine. There are many incidents in which defensive gun users have had to fire more than 11 rounds to stop multiple attackers, or even single attackers who are under the influence of drugs.]
* If law enforcement agencies or the military certify the need, exceptions to these requirements may be made. Manufacturers will ask that these guns not be resold to the civilian market.
[Law enforcement retains the ability to obtain reliable firearms. Since defensive gun use by ordinary people is immoral, it would be better for them to die rather than defend themselves with an effective firearm.]

NRA-ILA (Alert)! 3/20/00 James Baker "……. On March 17, British-owned Smith & Wesson, Inc. (S&W), became the first gun maker to run up the white flag of surrender and duck behind the Clinton-Gore lines, blindsiding other members the U.S. firearms industry, and leaving them to stand with lawful gun owners and carry on the fight for the Second Amendment. Of course, there is no Second Amendment in Britain, where subjects are barred from owning handguns and many rifles and shotguns, and S&W's parent company appears poised to sell it to anyone willing to invest in a company fast becoming considered a pariah within its own industry. S&W says the agreement with the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is intended to exempt the company from non-existent federal government suits, and to ensure that it would be dropped as a defendant in a handful of reckless lawsuits filed by municipalities. Yet the agreement dispenses with only a third of the municipal lawsuits, and binds only two federal agencies and two state attorneys general from filing future suits. The remaining city suits are unaffected, and other state and federal agencies can continue to threaten the industry, including S&W. The day following the announcement, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo and the mayors of Atlanta, Detroit and Miami moved to support S&W by insuring that their law enforcement agencies would purchase only the company's guns, making the agreement what appears to be an odd mix of extortion and bribe……"

Miami Herald Online 3/21/00 Henry Weinstein Myron Levin "…….State attorneys general are taking the extraordinary precaution of hiring bankruptcy lawyers out of fear that a colossal damage award in a Florida class action could trigger a tobacco industry bankruptcy and stop the flow of settlement payments to the states. Christine Gregoire, Washington attorney general, said a panel of attorneys general will interview bankruptcy counsel Tuesday, adding that the states ``have every intent of . . . holding [cigarette makers'] feet to the fire'' regarding payment obligations under $246 billion in settlements reached in 1998 with the states. The stakes are high: A host of new programs -- ranging from health care and public works to tax relief -- now depend on tobacco payments. Although the tobacco industry has not said it would seek bankruptcy protection, talk of bankruptcy stems from the threat of a punitive-damages award that could reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars in the Engle class-action case, which is nearing a critical phase in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. ......"

Union Leader 3/21/00 Bernadette Malone Connolly "…….. "We are still weighing the idea of bleeding to death with legal bills vs. the cost of complying," Glock executive Paul Jannuzzo told the Wall Street Journal yesterday, referring to his company's predicament over whether to join Smith & Wesson's monumental sell-out to the Clinton White House. But who can blame Smith & Wesson for giving in to the demands of the anti-gun lobby, considering the White House held a gun to its head? And who can blame Glock GmbH - or Beretta USA, or any other manufacturer - if it follows? Faced with bogus lawsuits for damages from gun violence from 29 cities and counties, Smith & Wesson came out with its hands up on Friday. In exchange for 15 of those entities dropping Smith & Wesson from their suits and Clinton's Justice Department promising not to sue Smith & Wesson specifically, the British-owned company agreed to install external trigger locks on all the guns they make, create internal locks, prevent their new weapons from accepting magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, sell their guns only to certain retailers who follow rules much more strict than current law, and curb their sales to gun shows. ………"

WorldNetDaily 3/21/00 Jon Dougherty "….. Airborne Express, one of the nation's largest package shippers, told an Oregon firearms maker that the company no longer permitted its carriers to ship weapons and ammunition, according to a policy company officials said was adopted last fall. Thomas A. Bowers, a federally-licensed firearms maker based in Hillsboro, Ore. told WorldNetDaily he was "shocked" last week to learn that the package carrier had such a policy, after a company official refused to ship a firearm -- despite Bowers' longstanding use of Airborne. Indeed, in an online version of the company's stated shipping policies, firearms are listed as items that are "not acceptable," along with alcoholic beverages, money, and fur or fur-lined clothing, among other items. Specifically, the weapons policy states, "Firearms (air or powder discharged) assembled or unassembled; ammunition in all forms regardless of hazard classification," will not be accepted by the company. ......"

Wall Street Journal 3/21/00 PAUL M. BARRETT, JOE MATHEWS and VANESSA O'CONNELL "….. In late January, two young Clinton administration lawyers flew to the Nashville, Tenn., airport, where they handed Ed Shultz, the chief executive of Smith & Wesson Corp., a list of gun-control demands. Agree to this, the government attorneys said, and the legal assault on the nation's largest handgun manufacturer would be called off. After perusing the proposed settlement, Mr. Shultz, a gruff 58-year-old with white hair, turned to one of the political operatives and asked sharply, "Max, how old are you?" "Thirty-four," answered Max Stier. "If you live a good long life," Mr. Shultz said, "you will not live to see this proposal happen." Two months later, Mr. Shultz signed an unprecedented settlement based on that very proposal. If rigorously enforced, the deal would significantly restrict the way Smith & Wesson firearms are made and sold. The agreement could force other handgun makers to seek similar terms, potentially effecting a more sweeping round of gun regulation than any single piece of legislation in 30 years. ……."

Reuters 3/21/00 "…… The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration lacks the power to regulate tobacco products, handing the Clinton administration a stinging setback in its efforts to curb youth smoking. The nation's highest court upheld a ruling that the FDA, a federal government agency, overstepped its authority in 1996 when it issued sweeping regulations involving cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The 5-4 ruling was a major victory for the tobacco industry, which has been hit with a number of civil lawsuits seeking huge damages for smoking-related illnesses. …."

Bloomberg.com 3/21/00 Jef Feeley and Vivien Lou Chen "…….Philip Morris Cos. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. must pay $1.72 million in damages to a California ex-smoker and her family, a state court jury decided in the third straight such defeat for the industry on the West Coast. The San Francisco jury deliberated almost seven days before agreeing that the industry designed cigarettes negligently and conspired to commit fraud. At least nine of the 12 jurors had to agree to assess damages. They will next decide whether to award punitive damages to plaintiff Leslie Whiteley, 40, a housewife and mother of four stricken with lung cancer. Analysts have said the verdict could be a bellwether in helping predict whether cigarette makers can fend off West Coast smokers' lawsuits. The verdict is the first to involve a plaintiff who began smoking after federally mandated warnings began appearing on cigarette packs -- a fact that should have bolstered the companies' defense……….. Chaber said asbestos and tobacco together might have enhanced the cancer's growth. If Whiteley hadn't sued the asbestos company, the tobacco companies would have told the jury asbestos was to blame for Whiteley's illness, Chaber said......."

Associated Press 3/21/00 Laurie Asseo "…..The government lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug even though tobacco use may be ''the single most significant threat to public health,'' the Supreme Court said Tuesday, throwing out the Clinton administration's main anti-smoking initiative. The 5-4 ruling, a victory for an industry under pressure from numerous lawsuits, said Congress did not authorize the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco. President Clinton and others immediately said Congress should pass a law letting the FDA reinstate its rules cracking down on cigarette sales to minors. ''If we are to protect our children from the harms of tobacco, Congress must now enact the provisions of the FDA rule,'' Clinton said in a statement issued while he was traveling in India. ….."

Newsweek 3/27/00 Matt Bai "……Ed Shultz is a hard guy to figure, even to fellow gunmakers. In a business often defined by ideology, Smith & Wesson's CEO is the ultimate pragmatist. A gruff Midwesterner, Shultz got his start in metals and office furniture-not firearms-and when the gun lobby and the White House start shouting at each other, it's not always clear whose side he's on. "I'm not willing to be a pawn in a political chess game," he says with typical bluntness. So when the industry abruptly decided to break off negotiations with the White House on new gun-safety rules early this year-and Shultz made it plain that he still preferred a deal-the other gun barons weren't sure if he was with them or not. ………They got their answer last week. Shultz broke ranks and secretly cut a sweeping deal with the White House to keep Smith & Wesson out of court, agreeing to wide-ranging concessions such as locking devices and required training for its customers. To a stunned gun lobby, and to some of his closest colleagues, it was an act of treason. "Wow," exclaimed Jonathan Mossberg, whose family makes the venerable Mossberg shotgun. "It would have been nice to be told." Shultz's old friends at the National Rifle Association instantly became his mortal enemies, faxing members a scathing alert with his office number attached. To Shultz, typically, it wasn't personal-it was business. "I'm concerned for the industry," Shultz told NEWSWEEK in an interview just after the announcement. "But at some point, the company has to save itself." ……"

LA Times 3/21/00 Mark Gladstone "……Top state officials Monday said they are troubled at the prospect that a Florida lawsuit might cause the eventual unraveling of the massive tobacco litigation settlement and cost California billions of dollars. The officials were reacting to a report in The Times that a huge damage award in the Florida class-action suit could prompt tobacco industry bankruptcies and cut the flow of settlement payouts to states like California and local governments. "I'll be aggressive about defending state and local interests," said state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer……. California has received $294 million and is expecting another $210 million next month. The state is projected to receive $25 billion over 25 years. ……At issue now is whether the Florida case will cut the flow of $246 billion in settlements reached in 1998 with the states. If the case goes against the industry, it could force one or more companies to file for bankruptcy. That, in turn, could reduce the money going to public agencies. ……"

Nando Times 3/22/00 Chad Roedemeier "…..Gun makers Glock Inc. and Browning will not sign voluntary gun-control agreements similar to the one reached last week between Smith & Wesson Corp. and the Clinton administration. The deal-breaker for Glock was the creation of an outside "oversight commission," made up of local, state and federal officials, who would supervise the gun manufacturer. "The commission is an absurd concept," said Paul Jannuzzo, vice president and general counsel of the Smyrna-based Glock, a unit of Glock GmbH of Austria. "It's overly broad. It's more powerful than any regulatory agency." Rich Bauter, vice president of firearms marketing for Browning, also said the company would not agree to an accord. ….."I would think that everybody in the country should be absolutely outraged, at not only Smith & Wesson's steps, but also the U.S. government's steps that have intruded into the legislative process," he said Tuesday. ….."

The Daily Oklahoman 3/22/00 "…..IT'S not hard to see why British firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson signed a pact with the Clinton administration last week. Having watched the federal government use lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits to herd the tobacco industry into a multi-billion dollar settlement, the gun maker saw a similar prospect on the horizon in suits against firearms manufacturers by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department and a number of municipalities. Smith & Wesson decided to cut and run, no doubt to limit its potential financial liability, but in the process earning the scorn of Second Amendment defenders -- other gun makers and the National Rifle Association -- left to soldier on against President Clinton's demagoguery. …….. More significant is the perception that the pro-Second Amendment forces' battlements have been breached and that more serious anti-gun measures, such as national handgun registration, now may be thinkable. The NRA says the agreement heads that way with a requirement that Smith & Wesson firearms contain a "ballistic signature" to help authorities trace a weapon from a bullet or casing. …….. Smith & Wesson's deal with the Clinton administration was a surrender of the high ground of the Constitution. It increases the likelihood of more government regulation that ultimately will hassle law-abiding gun owners much more than the criminals it is supposed to encumber. ..."

New York Times 3/23/00 Leslie Wayne "…..Now that they have triumphed over the tobacco industry, trial lawyers have found a new target, Gov. George W. Bush, and they have been spending huge amounts of money from the tobacco settlement to keep him and other Republicans from being elected. To trial lawyers, especially those involved in the tobacco litigation, Mr. Bush has become their worst nightmare. He has made attacks on lawyers a campaign centerpiece, pointing with pride to his record in Texas of curbing civil litigation, capping legal fees and limiting jury awards. It has all been under the banner of tort reform, or what Mr. Bush said were efforts to rid the legal system of junk lawsuits. The lawyers who have specialized in bringing civil lawsuits, however, saw Mr. Bush's statements not only as a threat to their livelihood, but also to their ability to hold corporate America legally accountable for its actions. ….."

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "…….In the final showdown of Bill Clinton's war on tobacco, the White House hopes to use a massive lawsuit to crush an entire industry. So who cares if there's no case?…….Fast forward to September 22, 1999. Walking into a conference room on the first floor of Justice Department headquarters in Washington, Attorney General Janet Reno announced that the government had filed a massive civil lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover money on behalf of...Medicare patients. The Justice Department was doing precisely what it had refused to do for years….."

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "…….What had changed? ………Department officials explained that they were prompted in part by the discovery of secret internal documents from the tobacco industry -- documents they said confirmed the existence of the industry's decades-long conspiracy to deceive the public and the government about the health risks of smoking. But many of those documents had been publicly available for years, having been released by the boxful by Democrats in Congress who were investigating cigarette makers……. Nor had there been any change in the law. Unlike the situation in some states, where legislatures passed new laws making it easier for the state governments to sue tobacco companies, there was no new federal statute that paved the way for the department's lawsuit........,"

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "…….Beginning in 1994, at about the time the state lawsuits were getting started, Justice lawyers began an extensive criminal investigation of cigarette makers. Hoping to bring a wide-ranging indictment against the industry and its leaders, prosecutors explored a variety of legal theories………While that investigation was going on, the states won their spectacular settlement. Big Tobacco was suddenly very, very vulnerable. The White House pushed Congress to intervene and put together a "global agreement" that would bring a large portion of any tobacco settlement to the federal government. But Congress refused; by the middle of 1998, there was no global agreement and no criminal case…….. "

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "…….On what legal grounds was the administration launching an unprecedented action against an entire industry? The government made its position clear in September, when Reno formally presented the 131-page lawsuit. But it was not until a few weeks ago, when the tobacco industry filed court papers sketching its initial defense, that the outlines of the legal battle began to come into focus. A close reading of the documents reveals that the Justice Department proposes to use a number of laws in novel, never-before-tried ways, and that the tobacco industry is preparing for protracted, point-by-point combat on each charge. "There's an old rule that says if a government agency pops up and says it has a certain authority that it has never, ever used, then that argument is inherently suspect," says an attorney working for one of the tobacco companies. It would be difficult to imagine a better illustration of that than United States v. Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, Lorillard, Liggett, and American Tobacco.........."

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "…….The operative phrase is somebody covered by government benefits. What once applied only to injured soldiers would, under the administration's reading, apply to every person covered by Medicare. It's an interpretation of the law that strikes some experts as almost breathtaking in its audacity. "If this law were intended to apply to Medicare, then anytime anyone who is on Medicare is injured, then the federal government would have a cause of action," says Stuart Gerson, who headed the Justice Department's Civil Division during the Bush administration. "The statute does not apply." ....……. But in a trial the department will have to balance that position against the act's long history. Through the years, the government has filed hundreds of thousands of claims (the majority of them stemming from auto accidents), and not a single one of them -- not one -- has sought to recover Medicare costs. "Not against negligent drivers," the tobacco brief says, "not against doctors responsible for malpractice; not against any business or individual in our nation who, during the 34 years since Medicare was enacted, has engaged in one or more forms of tortious conduct that cost the Medicare program money." ......"

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "……."It's a made-up theory," says Stuart Gerson. "Of all their claims, this one is the biggest stretch," adds Greg Little, associate general counsel of Philip Morris. The tobacco brief points out that the secondary payer law was designed to allow the government to go after insurers who are legally bound to provide coverage for their policy holders. The plain meaning of the law makes clear that it was targeted toward insurance companies. It has never before been used to go after the parties whom the government believes are responsible for the injury or illness that lands the insurance holder in the hospital. ……..Furthermore, both the Secondary Payer Act and the Medical Care Recovery Act authorize the government to seek payment on behalf of individual patients. In the example from 1978, the government filed 18,811 separate claims, each of which was evaluated on its own merits. But in the tobacco lawsuit, the Justice Department proposes to throw out that long-standing precedent and collect damages for a vast aggregate of patients; no individual cases would be examined, and damages would be calculated by using statistical models……… "

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "…….It is, to use the word one hears most in describing the lawsuit, a stretch. "The first thing we would emphasize is the absurdity of the federal government suggesting that it has been misled about the health risks of smoking," says Greg Little. "It was the federal government that issued the health warning in 1964 about the risks of smoking. The federal government has been involved in a very extensive and very effective anti-smoking campaign. For them to turn around and suggest that they have been unaware of those health risks doesn't have much credibility."………Yet that is precisely what Justice Department lawyers are saying -- but with a twist. Yes, they concede, the government knew something about the health risks of smoking -- it would be hard to disavow all those Surgeon General's reports. But the tobacco companies "misled everybody" about what the department views as the critical issue here: that smoking is addictive. "Everybody knew a certain amount," says the senior department official, "but, to take addiction, not much was known about addiction for a long, long time." And that was because, the lawsuit alleges, the cigarette companies concealed the truth about tobacco. "The average consumer has not been fully aware of the addictive properties of nicotine," the lawsuit says. "Members of the public believed in the truth and completeness of the statements made by defendants and their co-conspirators." But did they? Given more than a half century's worth of media images of smokers hooked on cigarettes or having a hard time trying to quit, it defies common sense to assert that the public had no idea that smoking can be addictive. And common sense is backed up by statistical evidence. In 1990, for example, when the Gallup organization asked smokers whether they considered themselves addicted to cigarettes, 61 percent said yes. That figure is 72 percent today………"

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "…….And of course the government also taxes cigarettes -- taking in $39.5 billion in just the last seven years alone. Reading the Justice Department's lawsuit, one might assume that those revenues are dwarfed by the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses, but in fact the opposite appears to be the case. In an influential 1994 study, Jane Gravelle and Dennis Zimmerman, economists at the Congressional Research Service, traced the cost that smoking imposes on the society at large. They estimated that cost to be about 33 cents for each pack of cigarettes that is consumed -- a figure that takes into account medical expenses, sick leave, higher life and fire insurance premiums, and other factors brought on by smoking-related illnesses. Then Gravelle and Zimmerman point out that federal, state, and local taxes on cigarettes average more than 50 cents per pack. The government, they conclude, not only does not lose money from the nation's smoking habit; it makes a tidy profit on the side.......…….All of which underscores the final dilemma for the Justice Department. The legitimacy of the attack on tobacco disappears if the government is complicit in the alleged crimes of the defendants. "The government comes to this case with dirty hands," says one former Justice Department official. "And that is the real problem with this lawsuit." …….."

The American Spectator 3/22/00 "……. Instead of caving, as they did in the state lawsuits, the companies might choose to wait the government out--and hope for a change in the White House. A victory by Al Gore this November would almost certainly mean a long legal battle with no letup from the Justice Department. After all, the vice president is the man who used a long and lugubrious account of his sister's smoking-related death to pledge his eternal opposition to Big Tobacco. But a victory by George W. Bush might bring the case to a quick end; several sources interviewed for this story believe that a Republican Justice Department would simply withdraw the suit……"

Denver Post.com 3/14/00 Mike Soraghan "……Gun-rights advocates say the flurry of lawsuits filed nationwide against gun manufacturers is a back-door way to take away people's guns. "What the people who want to take away our guns want to do is copy what's happened to the tobacco industry," said Aimee Rathburn, executive director of the Colorado State Shooting Association. "The idea is to bankrupt the firearms industry so they can take away our guns." Rathburn's group, along with the National Rifle Association, is backing legislation that would give gunmakers and gun stores immunity from lawsuits in Colorado. Getting state legislatures to block such suits is one of the top priorities of the NRA……"

The Hartford Courant 3/15/00 Tina Brown "….. EBay, one of the nation's most popular Internet auction Web sites, made a promise earlier this month to state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal that it would stop the traffic of realistic-looking fake guns to Connecticut residents. But as late as Tuesday afternoon, the look-alike firearms, mostly antiques and reproductions of German submachine guns, were still up for sale on the online auction service's site. Now companies that have disregarded a 1988 Connecticut state law banning the sale and possession of realistic-looking fake guns are becoming targets of a statewide crackdown. Blumenthal, Chief State's Attorney John M. Bailey and acting Hartford Police Chief Deborah Barrows said Tuesday that they would get the toy cigarette lighters that resemble weapons out of the hands of children and criminals. ……"

Cleveland live 3/17/00 AP "……A federal judge has ruled that the city of Cleveland may proceed with its lawsuit against the gun industry. The ruling was issued Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent, who rejected a gun-industry request to dismiss the lawsuit. James Dorr, an attorney representing the gun industry, said Friday that the defendants disagreed with the ruling but no decision had been made on a possible appeal. Last year, the city sued gun makers to force the industry to share the cost of police, ambulance and hospital services needed because of gun-related violence. ….."

The Cincinnati Enquirer 3/18/00 Earnest Winston "…… Tristate gun dealers criticized a deal announced Friday between Smith & Wesson and the Clinton administration calling for the gun manufacturer to provide locks on its handguns and other safety measures. In exchange, governments would drop lawsuits seeking damages for gun violence. Smith & Wesson agreed to a "code of conduct" for sales and distribution of handguns and not to market to juveniles or criminals. The agreement also calls for the country's biggest gun manufacturer to make its guns child-resistant within a year……"

St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/19/00 "….. The Housing and Urban Development Department and the mayors of Atlanta, Detroit and Miami moved Saturday to see that their law enforcement agencies give preference to Smith & Wesson when buying guns and called on others to follow suit. The preference would apply to "any gun makers that adopt a new code of responsible conduct." For the time being at least, that means only Smith & Wesson. The company agreed on Friday to include safety locks with all of its handguns to make them more childproof. ……"

Denver Post 3/19/00 David Olinger "….. Federal regulators let two Colorado gun stores stay in business long after investigators reported they had sold guns to criminals and were operated by men forbidden to possess weapons. In Lakewood, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms granted a new firearms license to Lawrence Lockert after state investigators concluded he repeatedly had sold handguns to people disqualified on background checks, including a convicted felon found running his shop. Lockert kept the license despite a 1998 restraining order prohibiting him from having weapons and a 1999 guilty plea to a domestic violence charge. In Delta, state and federal agents discovered in 1996 that Ronald Jackson Sr., a man imprisoned three times on kidnapping and weapons charges, was operating a store with a federal license to sell guns. The ATF let the shop, licensed in the names of his wife and son, sell guns until its license expired more than a year later. No charges were filed……."

Wall Street Journal 3/20/00 PAUL M. BARRETT, VANESSA O'CONNELL and JOE MATHEWS "…..Glock GmbH is the most likely major handgun manufacturer to follow Smith & Wesson Corp. in accepting sweeping restrictions on its business practices in exchange for protection from government lawsuits. A senior executive with the U.S. unit of Austria's Glock took part in the covert talks that led to Smith & Wesson's landmark plan, announced Friday, to settle much of the municipal litigation it faces and preclude a vast new federal suit threatened by the Clinton administration. "We haven't signed it," the Glock executive, Paul Jannuzzo, said, referring to the Smith & Wesson deal, "but we are still doing the balancing test. We are still weighing the idea of bleeding to death with legal bills vs. the cost of complying" with government demands. ….."

Washington Post 3/16/00 Daniel leDuc "…… A key Senate committee appeared ready to kill a proposal to mandate that all handguns sold in Maryland be high-tech guns designed to be fired only by authorized users, following the first hearing held on the issue yesterday. Even before testimony began before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, a majority of committee members led by Chairman Walter M. Baker (D-Cecil) said they would vote against a bill that is at the heart of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's agenda for this year's legislative session. "The technology is not there," said Baker, who comes from a rural Eastern Shore district that dislikes gun control. "Voting for the gun bill where I come from is like committing suicide." ….."

ETHERZONE 3/16/00 AP "…….An animal-rights group pulled its "Got Beer?" ad campaign Thursday after anti-drunken driving activists had criticized the campaign as a misguided promotion of underage drinking. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals unveiled the campaign on college campuses this week. The Norfolk-based group contends that milk cows and their calves suffer on factory farms and that the fat and cholesterol in milk make drinking beer look good by comparison. PETA said it stopped the campaign out of respect for concerns raised by Mothers Against Drunk Driving……"

Bloomberg 3/17/00 "…..The Clinton administration will sue gunmakers in an effort to stem the sale of handguns and force manufacturers to put new safeguards on weapons they sell, a senior administration official said today. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Andrew Cuomo, the director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will announce the lawsuit this afternoon, the official said. In December, HUD announced it would bring the lawsuit unless negotiations with weapons makers produced voluntary concessions on the restriction of gun sales and the introduction of new safety measures designed to make it harder for anyone but the gun's lawful owner to fire them. At the time, President Bill Clinton said HUD had grounds to bring a civil lawsuit because more than 10,000 gun crimes take place every year in public housing projects operated by the agency. ….."

NY Post 3/28/00 Dick Morris "……FROM now on, blame teen smoking on Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Donna Shalala. In perhaps the most blatant and disgusting act of political demagoguery in recent history, they torpedoed congressional passage of the tobacco settlement in order to keep the issue alive for the 2000 election. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has done what Donna, Bill and Al swore it would not do: strike down federal Food and Drug Administration regulation of cigarettes -- thereby invalidating the core of the administration's proposed anti-tobacco initiatives. The courageous state attorneys general had negotiated a settlement with their defeated tobacco-company adversaries: The attorneys general had secured Big Tobacco's agreement to accept FDA jurisdiction. The cigarette makers had even consented, with twisted arms, to grant the FDA the power to ban all tobacco products in 13 years. But Clinton -- having used the tobacco issue to win the 1996 election -- bowed to the liberals (Gore and Shalala) and turned his back on that settlement in order to keep the issue alive for the 2000 campaign. Now Clinton, Gore and Shalala are left holding a bag of nothing. The FDA has been stripped of the capacity to ban cigarette ads, to block sales to minors, to stop the spiking of cigarettes with extra-addictive nicotine and to protect kids from the wiles of Big Tobacco. The kids are fair game and tobacco can do its evil will. ….."

Liberty Free Press 3/27/00 Scott Carpenter "…..This week the British Columbia Provincial Court threw out WCB regulations regarding 'no smoking' in private establishments because, as the judge decided, there was not enough 'public consultation' on the issue. It seems that the yelling, screaming, protesting and plain old non compliance of the province's hospitality industry saved itself from an untimely end. At the same time the provincial NDP government is quickly backpedaling and distancing itself from the whole fiasco. The premier states that his government had nothing to do with the law - it was a WCB matter. How politically expedient of them. You would think we were getting close to an election year or something... oh... that's right - we are. Must be a coincidence? Admittedly, it is nice to see this asinine legislation go for one reason or another but I am constantly befuddled by the apparent lack of any sense of justice or foresight by the people of this country. Maybe you're wondering what I'm ranting about? Let's think about the ruling for just a moment shall we? The law was struck down not because it violated our rights to life and property but because there was not enough "public consultation" on it. ……"

San Jose Mercury News 3/29/00 John Woolfolk "……Now there's at least one pub in California where you can legally smoke inside, if you don't mind being in a fishbowl. Facing mounting legal bills in a battle with prosecutors, owners of a smoker-friendly Santa Cruz pub have agreed to put a wood and glass partition around the bar and bar stools along the right wall. In the rest of the One Double-Oh Seven Club and Smoking Parlor, patrons can now puff away over brews at pool and pingpong tables, dart boards and a big-screen TV without violating the state's law against lighting up in bars. Non-smokers can sit at the bar and watch the action through the glass, without having to inhale other customers' smoke. Neither prosecutors nor the pub's owners, Mark and Beverly Swanson, who have been active for years in fighting the state law, knew of another bar that has taken such a step. Since 1998, when the law took effect, most bars send customers out to the patio to puff. ….."

Newsday.com 3/27/00 Bob Egelko AP "……A dying ex-smoker was awarded $20 million in punitive damages Monday in her lawsuit against the nation's two largest tobacco companies. The Superior Court jury ordered Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds to each pay $10 million to Leslie Whiteley and her husband. The same jury awarded the couple $1.7 million in compensation last week after finding that the companies deceived the public about the dangers of smoking. The Whiteleys' lawyer had asked the jury for $115 million in punitive damages -- which they said would represent 1 percent of the companies' combined net worth. The lawyer said cigarette makers remain unrepentant for the harm they cause. …… "

New York Times 3/27/00 Reuters "…..Firearms manufacturer Browning, distributor of the Winchester brand rifle, announced on Monday it would not join competitor Smith & Wesson in a deal with the U.S. government, saying the agreement called for more than merely adding child safety locks to weapons. ``They're asking the companies to exercise regulatory authority,'' said Rich Bauter, vice president for Browning firearms marketing. On March 17, Smith & Wesson, the world's largest manufacturer of handguns, shocked guns-rights advocates by announcing it would sign an agreement with the U.S. government to install child trigger locks and develop so-called smart-gun technology, as well as make marketing changes. …..In a statement Browning said, ``After a careful review of the agreement signed by Smith & Wesson, we have determined that we cannot sign any similar agreement.'' ….."

Reuters 3/27/00 Gail Appleson "......With the U.S. tobacco industry facing mounting jury verdicts, the nation's attorneys general moved to hire bankruptcy counsel on Monday to protect landmark settlements of more than $240 billion with cigarette makers. If massive damage awards given to smokers and their families push cigarette makers into bankruptcy court, the states would become creditors seeking to keep their share of tobacco industry assets. Ironically, the state attorneys general won the settlements as reimbursement for Medicaid funds spent on sick smokers. A committee of the National Association of Attorneys General, the organization that represents the states' highest legal officers, had recently been interviewing potential bankruptcy firms. It selected the Los Angeles law firm of Pachulski Stang Ziehl Young and Jones on Friday. ......... "Given the complexity and duration of the tobacco settlement, it is rational to anticipate the possibility of a bankruptcy filing or filings at some point," Heitkamp said. ....... If skyrocketing damage awards should force tobacco companies into bankruptcy, the states could have to fight to keep their deals intact. ........ Some tobacco analysts and lawyers have said they fear the Miami jury could pummel the industry with an unprecedented award that could reach into tens and even hundreds of billions of dollars. Such a decision could potentially force some or all of the cigarette makers to seek bankruptcy court protection. ......."

New York Times 3/28/00 Barry Meier "......San Francisco jury yesterday ordered two cigarette makers to pay a total of $20 million in punitive damages in the first case decided in favor of a person who started smoking after the federal government required the tobacco industry to put warning labels on cigarette packages. The 12-member state court jury ordered the Philip Morris Companies and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings to each pay $10 million in punitive damages to Leslie Whiteley, a California woman who developed lung cancer. Last week, the same jury ordered the companies to pay a total of $1.7 million in compensatory damages to Ms. Whiteley and her family....... But legal experts said the verdict was significant because Ms. Whiteley began smoking after the government ordered that warnings appear on cigarette packages. Those labels, which first appeared in 1965, were strengthened by Congress in 1969. The United States Supreme Court held in 1992 that the 1969 labeling requirements pre-empted state juries from awarding damages to smokers on the grounds that they had not been adequately warned about tobacco's dangers. ......... "

CAL-NRA 3/28/00 ".......During the 76th Session of the Texas Legislature, Representatives Suzanna Hupp, Rick Green, Ron Clark, Bob Turner, Ron Wilson, and Senator Lindsay passed S.B. 717 to prohibit Texas cities from suing the gun manufacturers. Despite our efforts here in Texas, 28 cities across the U.S. have filed frivolous lawsuits against the gun manufacturers in an effort to achieve gun control through the courts and bankrupt the industry. Such lawsuits threaten the viability of gun stores in Texas and across the nation. Colt Manufacturing has already announced that because of the lawsuits they will no longer sell handguns to the civilian public. In addition, Colt is in the process of buying H & K manufacturing and has said that once the purchase is complete, H & K will no longer sell handguns to the public. Most recently, Smith & Wesson has announced it is up for sale. The events that have transpired as a direct result of the lawsuits against the gun industry do not bode well for gun dealers or gun owners. As such, we and a few other Texas legislators have concluded that more must be done to stop the assault on our constitutional rights. After consulting legal experts, we have concluded that legal action can and should be taken against the cities that have conspired to deprive us of our rights. We are in the process of drafting a complaint that will be filed in a federal district court in Texas. We will have at least four state representatives who will sue on behalf of themselves and their constituents alleging that the cities have conspired to violate their right to keep and bear arms by using the courts to impose gun control and threaten the gun industry with bankruptcy. ......"

CNSnews.com 3/28/00 Mark Schmidt Jerry Terry "......When the Attorneys General (AGs) of nineteen states signed on to the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, it symbolized a growing trend. From litigation against Big Tobacco, to suits against magazine companies and even toy makers, AGs are becoming increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of "consumer rights." Many observers applaud these stepped-up legal efforts as "David vs. Goliath" encounters pitting maverick public interest lawyers against relentless corporate juggernauts. But the reality is not so simple. Unfortunately, these suits often have far more to do with politics than with any alleged violation of law. In a political culture increasingly dependent upon litigation rather than reasoned debate and legislative action, this new activism by many of the states' top legal officials should raise cautionary flags. As former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich points out, "the era of big government may be over, but the era of regulation through litigation has just begun."1 We must ask ourselves who is really benefiting from these lawsuits. Is it the wealthy trial lawyers (who have received more than $18 billion in payments from the tobacco settlement alone), the reelection campaigns of AGs (who have received priceless public relations points and millions of dollars in campaign contributions from trial lawyers), or the taxpayers (who have seen very little -- if any -- benefit from this litigation intended to "protect" them)?..... In the recent government litigation to "protect" the taxpayers, nearly everyone got a piece of the pie -- trial lawyers received billions of dollars for their "service," AGs were lauded for saving us all from big business and received campaign support from the trial lawyers they enlisted to help, and legislators got more money to spend without having to vote for an unpopular tax increase. And the taxpayers received more bureaucracy, more government waste, more powerful special interest groups, and more hidden taxes; in short, more business as usual......"

The New Haven Register 3/28/00 James Gwinn ".......Cities have set their sights on firearms manufacturers. Since October 1998, 30 city governments from across the country have filed suit against a large number of gun makers. The legal theories they propose are legion, but the central claim is that the violence resulting from illegal handgun use has led to enormous costs that the cities must bear. Local governments, faced with rising police, medical, and emergency costs, have taken their plight to court. Faced with heavily armed lobbying firms and intransigent politicians, who curb expanded handgun regulation, cities such as Bridgeport have relied on litigation as the only alternative for massive reform. The same strategy paid off, quite literally, in 1997, when a concerted state effort led to the $246 billion master settlement agreement reached by cigarette manufacturers and 50 state attorneys general. ........ The firearms litigation promises to affect the future of products liability. To date, three judges have rendered opinions in municipal firearms cases, and none held manufacturers liable for costs associated with gun violence. Nevertheless, legal teams representing the cities have proposed such a variety of liability theories that one jurisdiction in 30 may be sympathetic to the arguments posed. ......."

World Net Daily 4/3/00 Geoff Metcalf "…..George Washington hit the nail on the head when he said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." Smith & Wesson did not have to comply with the contemptible coercion of the Clintonistas, and there is not a dark enough, hot enough place in hell for them to abandon all hope. Other gun manufacturers, faced with the same extortion demands from the hubris-plagued administration did not comply. Browning, Glock and Taurus have refused to ignore their fiduciary responsibilities and have refused government bribes. Government control of private-sector industry used to be called fascism. Today it is called the Clinton administration. ….."

World Net Daily 4/3/00 Geoff Metcalf "….. Taurus has already been incorporating these integral locks since 1997. It was designed and implemented specifically "to help prevent unauthorized use by children." And they did that without orders from government and this provision that S&W has two years to develop has been offered to them again and again. "Smith & Wesson was first offered the system in a letter sent to the Massachusetts gun maker one year ago, in March 1999," said Carlos Murgel, president and CEO of Taurus. ……"

World Net Daily 4/3/00 Geoff Metcalf "….. The conduct of Smith and Wesson has not been just cowardly -- it has been reprehensible and contemptible.. ……. Meanwhile, S&W, the Clinton administration and any other would-be coconspirators must be made to realize there are consequences to their actions. S&W allegedly rolled over to government threats in order to secure market share. However, government sales are not yet 100 percent of the gun sales market. I have heard from dozens of firearm dealers who tell me they are discontinuing sales of Smith & Wesson. Hundreds of private consumers have told me they will never again purchase any S&W product...."

UPI 4/3/00 "…….President Clinton said Monday that Smith and Wesson, the gun manufacturer, has taken "enormous abuse" for deciding to put safety locks on its handguns. Clinton praised California and Colorado, because of the Columbine high school massacre, for moving toward more gun control regulations and said he hoped other states will follow suit. ……"

Newsday.com 3/31/00 AP Paul Shepard "……Gunmaker Smith & Wesson's pledge to adopt landmark safety and responsibility standards is winning it a lot of business from local government officials. In the two weeks since President Clinton praised the Springfield, Mass., gunmaker for its stance, a total of 65 cities and counties have pledged to make Smith & Wesson their preferred source for police handguns. Thirty-seven of those local jurisdictions joined the list Friday, including Oakland, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; Buffalo, N.Y., and Richmond Va. ''Members of this coalition will use their considerable purchasing power to encourage gun manufacturers to make a safer products that cannot be accessed by criminals and children,'' Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Friday. ……. "

Wall Street Journal 3/31/00 "…… The state attorneys generals were always going to be the biggest obstacle to settling the Microsoft case. We were never fans of the lawsuit, preferring to let markets and technology chart their own course. But even Joel Klein has been careful to praise Bill Gates's contributions to the economy. And lead prosecutor David Boies has admitted to agnosticism on whether Microsoft broke the antitrust laws, saying we ought to find out how those laws apply in the software age. What in the world do the attorneys general from 19 states have to contribute to these questions? The answer, as Judge Richard Posner is finding, is not much except a penchant for pushing for extreme outcomes to keep themselves in the news. Mr. Posner, the Chicago appeals court jurist tapped to broker a settlement, has nearly conjured a rabbit into existence: Microsoft has reportedly offered a wide range of concessions, giving up much of its pricing freedom and intellectual property, and agreeing to sell a version of Windows without the browser……"

New York Times 4/4/00 Steve Lohr "…….In four months of settlement talks, Microsoft and the Justice Department prepared 19 proposals and counterproposals dealing with fine points of software in the technical parlance of "source code" and "application program interfaces." Microsoft executives say they were finishing a reply to the Justice Department's latest offer when the federal judge acting as mediator halted the talks on Saturday. At that point, the two sides had moved toward agreement on some elements but were still apart on others, according to people close to the talks. The Justice Department proposal on the table, people close to the discussions said, would have modified a range of Microsoft's business activities, from its contract deals to sharing information about its technology more openly with personal computer makers and software makers. ….."

AP 4/3/00 John Solomon "……A federal judge today found that Microsoft Corp. violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, legal sources said. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found that the company used its position to "monopolize the web browser market" to the detriment of competitors, the sources said. The judge found that Microsoft could also be liable under state anticompetition laws, said the sources, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. Throughout the trial, the judge had strongly urged both sides in the case to reach an out-of-court settlement. Those talks collapsed over the weekend, however, prompting Jackson to issue his ruling today. Both sides had reasons to settle the case. Among them: to avoid an appeals process that would likely keep the case in court for several years. The judge's ruling had been expected to go against Microsoft based on harsh assessments he outlined last November in his "findings of fact." In that document, Jackson found that Microsoft repeatedly engaged in anticompetitive behavior by taking advantage of its monopoly power. Microsoft stock was battered during the day, losing about 15 percent of its value. .,….."

Wall Street Journal 4/4/00 "……. And so it came to pass that Microsoft ended up under the tender mercies of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. Even Judge Jackson himself seems to have wanted to avoid this result, calling on Judge Richard Posner, one of the nation's most innovative legal thinkers, to work out a compromise. But Judge Posner threw in the towel over the weekend, and now Judge Jackson has defaulted to throwing the book at Microsoft. The company says it will appeal, and the Nasdaq's plummet Monday suggests the market sees a disconnect between the realities of the high-tech business today and the prospect of Microsoft spending years lurching through the courts the way IBM did in the 1970s, dragging with it Justice, a judge, boats of lawyers and all the harpoons envy can sink into its carcass. ......"

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 4/3/00 Charles Bloomer "….. The capitulation of S&W is the result of the government plan to drive gun manufacturers into bankruptcy. S&W had two choices, neither of them pleasant - either cave in to the government's demands or continue trying to defend itself in a massive lawsuit. The reward, such as it was, removed Smith and Wesson from the federal suit against gunmakers, and included a promise to encourage states and cities to give preference to S&W guns for their police departments. CATO Institute's Robert A. Levy says S&W had no alternative because of pending government litigation. "The real goal of the litigation was to bypass the legislative process," he says, and "that's no better than blackmail masquerading as law." The deal S&W made is imperfect and will require S&W to continue to spend money defending itself. Not all the parties to the suit have joined in the federal government's deal. At least 12 of the cities and municipalities involved in the lawsuit have decided not to accept S&W's surrender and will continue pursuing the destruction of the gun industry. In addition, the agreement effectively put control of S&W operations into the hands of an oversight board of five appointed members, only one of which is appointed by the manufacturer, providing a 4-1 anti-gun majority. Other gunmakers have decided to continue the fight….."

The Wall Street Journal 4/3/00 Rebecca Buckman "……Bill Gates isn't backing down. The breakdown of negotiations to settle the antitrust suit hanging over Microsoft Corp. sets the stage for a harsh court ruling and an appeals process that could drag on for years. But Mr. Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, sounded unrepentant in an interview Sunday. He said the company must continue to integrate the Internet into its Windows computer-operating system, even though that linkage lies at the core of the government's lawsuit. Indeed, Microsoft is preparing an event called Forum 2000 to discuss a new five-year plan to further unify Windows with various Internet services and software. Mr. Gates, who recently gave up the chief executive officer title to Steve Ballmer, was on one of his regular "think weeks" at his family retreat on the Hood Canal, west of Seattle, when he returned Friday night to cope with the crisis over the weekend. Here is an edited transcript of his remarks…….."

New York Times 4/3/00 Steve Lohr John Markoff "……. With the weekend collapse of settlement talks in its federal antitrust case, Microsoft finds itself facing a harsh legal road ahead that threatens to embolden private litigants, depress the company's stock price and erode its dominant influence in computing, according to industry analysts. "Microsoft is now back in the legal quagmire, and nothing good is going to happen to the company anytime soon," said David Readerman, a managing director at Thomas Weisel Partners, a technology investment firm in San Francisco……… Yet at Microsoft's corporate campus in Redmond, Wash., there is no evidence of panic. Its executive team, led by Bill Gates, the chairman, is taking the long view, planning to battle the antitrust case in the courts through appeals for years, if necessary. "We absolutely believe that the judicial system will ultimately rule in our favor," Gates said in an interview Sunday. And for Microsoft, the risks of that course clearly seemed preferable to offering further concessions in the mediation efforts abandoned Saturday. ….."

USA Today 4/17/00 Wendy Koch "…….At a gun show here, amid survivalist gear and ''Gun control equals people control'' bumper stickers, two men are selling semiautomatic handguns under different sets of rules. Jim Cyrus, a gun-store owner, is a licensed dealer. As at his store, he can sell only to buyers who pass federally mandated background checks, most of which are completed within a minute. About 10 tables away sits a retired Ford Motor pattern designer, who does a few shows each year so he can get time away from his wife. A hobbyist, he does not have to run checks on his buyers. This is the ''gun-show loophole.'' Critics want to close it because they say criminals can avoid background checks by buying from unlicensed sellers. The dispute has kept Congress from passing new gun-control measures in the year since the Columbine High School shooting last April 20, in which two teenagers gunned down 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves. ….."

Newsweek 4/24/00 Allan Sloan "…….. Well, the stock market had another record week-but not the kind that we've grown used to. The go-go Nasdaq market went-went, falling a sickening 25.3 percent. It was the worst one-week decline ever posted by a broad U.S. market index. Worse than legendary Black Friday week in 1929, worse than the week of the 1987 crash that sent the Dow industrials down 22.6 percent in a single day. The week ended on an especially nauseating note Friday, with stocks losing an amazing $1 trillion of market value, which Wilshire Associates says is the biggest one-day market loss since money was created. That raised the week's losses to a record $2.1 trillion. Frantic Friday was a trifecta, with the Nasdaq, Dow industrials and Standard & Poor's 500 all posting their biggest one-day point losses ever, and percentage losses among the highest. Yech! ……"

Newsweek 4/24/00 Allan Sloan "……..So what went wrong? You can probably date the swoon's start to April 3, when Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued his ruling in the Microsoft antitrust case. Microsoft promptly fell more than 15 percent, knocking around $80 billion from its stock-market value and starting the Nasdaq implosion. Instead of what you would expect-Microsoft tanking, rival companies' stocks rising-the contagion spread like a financial computer virus, infecting tech companies everywhere. Since Nasdaq is dominated by tech issues, it took by far the biggest percentage hit. The seemingly irrational reaction to a well-telegraphed event shows how volatile the climate was-and still is, for that matter. ……"

The Associated Press 4/17/00 Richard Carelli "…….The Supreme Court today shielded railroads from being sued over allegedly inadequate warning devices at rail crossings if the equipment installed was federally funded. The 7-2 decision in a Tennessee case is a potentially far-ranging victory for the nation's railroads. There are some 260,000 grade-level rail crossings nationwide. …….."

The Associated Press 4/17/00 Joel Stashenko "…….State senators gave final legislative approval Monday to a bill requiring tobacco manufacturers to sell only self-extinguishing cigarettes in New York. By mandating the sale of so-called fire-safe cigarettes starting in April 2002, advocates say the state would save the lives of careless smokers, people living with them and firefighters responding to the blazes they cause. "This bill will help end the carnage here in New York state" and pressure Congress into adopting similar national standards, said Joseph Bruno, majority leader of the state Senate. The bill was approved 60-0 after a short debate. Its chief Senate sponsor said the legislation is the first of its kind in the nation.

Kansas City Star 4/10/00 E Thomas McClanahan "…….Can Americans learn lessons from Chinese politics? Maybe so. A couple of decades ago, a recurring feature of the news from China was the mass political campaign. Someone at the top would decide once again to purge the country of internal enemies, and in due course unsuspecting individuals would find themselves accused of being "rightists" or "capitalist roaders," after which they would be carted off to a rural commune or labor camp. It was impossible to know in advance who might be targeted. China, then and now, is vulnerable to these mass hysterias because it lacks institutions we take for granted, such as periodic elections to hold officials accountable to voters. What's fascinating is the similarity between China's periodic frenzies and the equally unmoored American process of health-and-safety regulation through lawsuit intimidation. The difference is one of degree, not kind; in both cases powerful forces are operating outside any effective system of accountability. ……In the United States this has given us the $246 billion tobacco settlement and the more recent "voluntary" agreement involving a gun maker. …….. In the gun deal, Smith & Wesson freed itself from the threat of ruinous legal expenses by surrendering to a laundry list of demands covering the marketing of its products. The legal case was dubious, but Smith & Wesson's choice was surrender or face possible bankruptcy……Now that the technique has been perfected, there's no shortage of likely targets. Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, for example, says she wants to do a "Smith & Wesson-like thing" against DoubleClick, an Internet company facing charges of privacy violations. ………. "Conflict-averse businessmen love to grab at the excuse that, well, guns are different," writes Walter K. Olson of the Manhattan Institute of New York. "In the next rounds, lead paint, latex gloves, violent video games and managed-care insurance policies will be different, too." …….."

NY Times 4/11/00 Winnie Hu "……Legislation that would require tobacco companies to reduce the flammability of cigarettes sold in New York sailed through the Assembly today and is gaining support in the Senate, where its prospects remain unclear. If passed, the proposal would make New York the first state to regulate cigarette sales to help prevent the hundreds of fires ignited every year by discarded cigarettes. It has passed the Democratic-led Assembly for four years in a row, but has never come to a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. This year, 14 of the 36 Republican senators have signed on as co-sponsors. "This is a fire safety issue, this is not a smoking issue," said Assemblyman Alexander B. Grannis, a Democrat of Manhattan, who is the main sponsor of the bill. "It is a cause of human suffering that we can very simply do something about." ……"

Ajc.com 4/15/00 Jack Warner "……. In the handgun makers' first real victory against a lawsuit filed by the city of Atlanta, a judge has issued an injunction barring any further action in the suit until the state Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality. "We are absolutely elated," said Frank Segal, attorney for the Belgian gun maker Browning and the Austrian firm Glock, which assembles its U.S. guns in Smyrna. Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, chief judge of Fulton Superior Court, handed down the brief order dated April 12, saying that "it is important to preserve the status quo" until the Supreme Court can rule on questions of state constitutionality that the gun makers claim are at the core of the issue. "All parties are enjoined from taking any action to proceed with the case" until that is done, she ordered. Segal had filed for the injunction after Moore denied, in February, motions to bring the case out of state court and dismiss it due to the constitutional issues. ……"

LewRockwell.com 4/15/00 Lew Rockwell "…… With so many Americans invested to the hilt, falling stocks can inflict serious financial pain. But far more damaging to long-term economic prospects will be the largest avalanche of economic nonsense to tumble out since the 1987 crash. Hordes of crackpot financial thinkers are already calling for draconian government measures to stop the stock-market slide. There are indeed things that Congress and the Fed can do to alleviate the situation, but they consist in getting the government out of the economy, not involving it more. Let history record-though this has been widely ignored - that the market meltdown was brought on by the antitrust judgment against Microsoft. This was an appalling assault on the company that has done more than any other to commercialize the information-technology revolution and make it accessible to the masses. It is not coincidence that the April 3 news of the judgment sent stocks tumbling, and the market has experienced fits and starts ever since……. That is not to say that the judgment against Microsoft is the underlying cause of the crash. But like the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, the intervention took an unstable market setting and gave it a kick down the hill. In fact, George Bittlingmayer of the University of California at Davis has looked at the history of economic downturns in our century and found that many (1907, 1919, 1929, and 1937 in particular) were associated with increased antitrust enforcement……."

Reuters 4/13/00 "……New York State's revenues from cigarette taxes rose a mere $7 million to $60 million last month - though that was when the tax per pack was doubled to $1.11, Thursday's New Post said. The paper, citing figures provided by the state comptroller's office, said officials do not believe the drop in cigarette sales means people have quit smoking. Instead, New York smokers likely are buying their packs in border states that have lower taxes, on Indian reservations, or through the Internet. ……"

Forbes/TechnoPolitics 4/00 James Freeman "……. Does Bill Gates deserve the credit for the growth of the Internet economy? That question will evoke plenty of guffaws in Silicon Valley, but I think the answer may be yes. Hear me out on this one. Of course Bill Gates didn't invent the Internet any more than Al Gore did. And it's true that Microsoft did its best to ignore the Net until 1995. But since judging Bill Gates is the favorite political sport right now, let's judge him the way that anyone deserves to be judged--on results, not intentions. What had to happen for the Internet to move from being a niche tool for university researchers to the phenomenon that it is today? You can say that the killer application of the Net was e-mail, and I agree with that, but if e-mail alone was the crucial ingredient, why didn't half of Americans buy computers for their homes in the early 1970s? I think we have to say that the crucial ingredient was the widespread use of personal computers. There's no value in a global network to connect the world's PC's if nobody owns a PC, right?……… So we have to give credit to the person most responsible for putting machines on desks--not the innovator who created the most lovely fonts or the coolest Super Bowl ads--but the guy who sold people the tools they needed at prices they could afford. That guy was Bill Gates......."

Philadelphia Inquirer 4/13/00 Jonathan Weisman "……Smith & Wesson, America's largest manufacturer of handguns, has issued a "clarification" of its landmark pact with the federal government that would effectively eviscerate much of the gun controls trumpeted by the Clinton administration. Smith & Wesson's interpretation - posted on its Web site - has forced the company back into talks with the administration that could lead to a protracted court battle. Administration officials dismissed Smith & Wesson's interpretation as more of a public-relations gambit than a genuine change of heart, but said they would be willing to go to court to force Smith & Wesson into compliance. "The deal speaks for itself," Neal Wolin, general counsel of the Treasury Department, said of the agreement that Smith & Wesson reached March 17 with federal, state and local officials as a way to settle lawsuits it had faced related to gun violence. ….."

New York Times 4/14/00 Fox Butterfield Marc Lacey "…….In essence, Smith & Wesson agreed to impose restrictions on the way its dealers sold its products. One of the provisions of the original agreement would have required Smith & Wesson dealers not to sell firearms at gun shows if any other dealers were selling guns at those shows without conducting a federal gun background check. The provision represented an effort by the White House and the local governments to get around Congress's failure to pass a federal law mandating background checks on all guns sold at gun shows. Officials said that such a concession by such a major player in the industry would have significantly curtailed gun shows. ……….. The original agreement said all Smith & Wesson dealers must "make no sales at gun shows unless all sales by any seller at the gun show are conducted only upon completion of a background check." In its clarification, Smith & Wesson said the provision "applies only to Smith & Wesson products and does not apply to private sales" at gun shows. …….. That change makes the provision meaningless since it is merely restating existing law. All gun dealers are required to conduct background checks, wherever they sell guns. It is private sales at gun shows that are now exempt. …….Clinton administration officials hinted yesterday that the matter might end up in court if Smith & Wesson attempted to back away from a deal it had signed. "The agreement is a contract," said an administration official involved in the deal. "It says what it says. It will be implemented." ….."

Washington Post 4/14/00 AP ".....Government officials and Smith & Wesson pledged today to work out differences over the "clarifications" the gunmaker posted on its Web site concerning its landmark settlement with the Clinton administration. The clarifications relate to a small portion of the agreement dealing with restrictions at gun show sales. ......."

University of Houston Daily Cougar Newspaper 4/14/00 Adam Elrod "……. In my column two weeks ago, I examined the "Clinton Legacy;" what it is, what each political party wants it to be and what it should be. I noted that the true legacy of Bill Clinton should be that he has subverted many liberties that Americans enjoyed before his administration. However, I also made the point that the myriad scandals of this Administration and his inability to disrupt our Reagan-induced prosperity should also be noted. ……..However, given the recent events regarding the Microsoft anti-trust lawsuit and its effects on the NASDAQ and Dow Jones, it seems that I may have prematurely given Clinton credit for "his inability to disrupt our Reagan-induced prosperity." With lawsuits against tobacco corporations and gun manufacturers well underway, it seems that the Clinton Justice Department's latest capitalist target is within the booming technologies sector. The most recent victim of the Justice Department's wrath is America's most powerful and most successful software manufacturer: Bill Gates' Microsoft, which has fallen prey to allegations of monopolistic activities and violations of anti-trust laws. Though a punishment has not yet been decided on, it is likely that Microsoft will be broken up into several separate corporate entities, much like what occurred in the telephone industry a number of years ago. Unlike the telephone industry Microsoft can, by no means, be considered a monopoly. ……."

Wall Street Journal 4/14/00 Thomas Donlan "……. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson concluded months ago that Microsoft used anticompetitive methods to achieve a monopoly in the market for operating systems running on Intel-based microprocessor systems. By refusing a negotiated settlement of the case to limit the effect of that foregone conclusion on his company, Gates last week took a grave risk. In most such cases, companies knuckle under to the demands of imperious prosecutors, to avoid setting precedents for rapacious civil litigators. Brave Bill Gates insists that this case be settled in public, by appellate judges, who will make laws plainly, for good or for ill. America should have fewer antitrust laws, and certainly it needs clearer antitrust laws. Gates is taking a heroic stand for the cause of antitrust reform………… We recall, however, an adage about live cowards and dead heroes. Just as sending an antitrust case to a trial judge opens a company up to the risk that its rational behavior will be determined to be illegal, sending a case on to the nine judges on the United States Supreme Court opens the economy and the Constitution up to the risk that bad laws will be written by judicial fiat…………"

Baltimore Sun 4/13/00 Jonathon Weisman "……Smith & Wesson, America's largest manufacturer of handguns, has issued a "clarification" of its landmark pact with the federal government that would effectively eviscerate many of the gun controls trumpeted by the Clinton administration. Smith & Wesson's interpretation -- posted quietly on its Web site -- has forced the company back into talks with the administration that could lead to a protracted court battle. ………. Contrary to the government's interpretation, the gun maker says now, its agreement would compel Smith & Wesson dealers to impose background checks and other gun-sale restrictions only on buyers of Smith & Wesson products. The government maintains that under the agreement, dealers who wish to sell Smith & Wesson's products must impose such restrictions on buyers of all guns. ...... Moreover, the company says, the criminal background checks Smith & Wesson agreed to for gun show sales would not apply to guns sold by private citizens, only to those sold by licensed dealers. Gun show sales by licensed dealers are already subject to background checks. "We can't agree to control things that we have no way to control," said Ken Jorgensen, a spokesman for Smith & Wesson. ……."

Baltimore Sun 4/13/00 Jonathon Weisman "……The deal's negotiators reacted incredulously to the gun maker's interpretation. White House officials acknowledged that stark differences now exist between the administration's position and that of Smith & Wesson, which was hailed by President Clinton last month as a courageous and visionary company that risked being bankrupted by the rest of its industry. "I think [Smith & Wesson's] interpretation is utterly divorced from reality and has no legal significance whatsoever," said Dennis Henigan, legal director of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, who helped negotiate the accord. …….Besides Blumenthal, the attorneys general of Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, California and Florida have launched anti-trust investigations against other gun makers, saying the actions of Smith & Wesson's competitors could amount to illegal collusion. ………. Henigan, who represents 24 cities and counties that are suing the gun industry, insisted that Smith & Wesson's interpretation of the deal was more a public relations document to calm the gun world than its genuine understanding. But, he promised, if the company did not abide by the government's interpretation, his clients would try to hold Smith & Wesson in contempt of court. If that did not work, the lawsuits the agreement was supposed to settle could be reinstated. ……"

ABCNEWS.com 4/14/00 "……The Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq composite index both endured record one-day point drops today after a new inflation report ignited fierce selling among investors, a mood that turned into panic as the volatile trading session continued. The Dow industrials fell a record 617.78 points and the Nasdaq composite index also took a record fall of 355.49 points. The selloff capped one of the worst weeks ever for U.S. stocks. …….. The Dow Jones industrial average at one point tumbled 722 points before coming back somewhat in the final minutes. The Dow, Wall Street's best-known indicator, closed down 617.78, or 5.7 percent, at 10,305.77, its lowest level in a month. That surpassed the previous record one-day drop of 554.26 points of Oct. 27, 1997, but was far from a record decline in percentage terms. The slide today left the blue-chip index down 12 percent from its Jan. 14 record of 11,722.98…… The Nasdaq composite index tumbled 355.49, or by 9.7 percent, to 3,321.29 at the close, dropping deeper into bear-market territory and its lowest finish since Nov. 17, 1999. That surpassed the previous record one-day point loss, a slide of 349.15 on April 3, and also was the second-biggest daily percentage decline after the 11.35 percent of Oct. 19, 1987……With the latest decline, the technology-focused average was off 34 percent from its March 10 record of 5,048.62…….For the week, Nasdaq's plunge of 25 percent and 1,125.16 points both set records, while the Dow's drop of 805.71 points also was a record weekly slide……."

The Detroit News 4/4/00 Richard McKenzie "……..The Microsoft antitrust case has been baffling from the start, even after federal Judge Thomas Jackson's Monday ruling that the company violated antitrust laws. In 1998, Atty. Gen. Janet Reno and Assistant Atty. Gen. Joel Klein declared Microsoft to be a monopoly, even though it had never acted like one, that is, sought to restrict output to raise its prices. As the case progressed, it became evident that Microsoft stood accused of seeking to maintain and even expand its market position with an improved computer operating system. Now, Microsoft's industry market rivals, by way of their well-funded think tank, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, have compounded the absurdity of the case by pressing for a breakup of Microsoft. Given that the Justice Department may be following the advice of Microsoft's rivals and seeking a breakup in the upcoming remedy phase of the trial, the soft political underbelly of the case has been exposed. …… What did Microsoft do wrong circa 1998 and before? It dared to upgrade its Windows operating system by including Internet Explorer at no extra charge to consumers. As even the Justice Department concedes, Microsoft faced a competitive threat from Netscape that proposed to reduce Microsoft to, in the words of Marc Andreessen, Netscape's co-founder, "a mundane collection of not entirely debugged device drivers." ……"

Almance Independent 4/4/00 "……. Camden, New Jersey mayor Milton Milan is one of the mayors suing the gun industry for its alleged contribution to crime in his city. Unfortunately, Mayor Milan is alleged in a new indictment to have made his own major contributions to Camden's crime. Last Thursday, Milan surrendered to federal authorities after being indicted on Mar. 29, 2000 for taking bribes from city vendors and from organized-crime figures. Now out on $150,000 bail, he is charged with accepting cash, vacation travel, and even home improvements from city vendors as well as about $30,000 in bribes from Philadelphia mob boss Ralph Natale. He is charged with 19 counts - varying from mail fraud and wire fraud to bribery and money laundering, the latter for laundering drug-trafficking money; he faces 170 years without parole. ……Milan is also charged with skimming $7,500 in campaign funds to pay for his post-election victory vacation to Puerto Rico for himself, his girlfriend, and his cronies.. …."

Original Sources 4/4/00 Mary Mostert "……. "There are currently no products - and that there are not likely to be any in the near future - that a significant percentage of computer users worldwide could substitute for Intel-compatible PC operating systems without incurring substantial costs," the decision read. Now, there ARE other operating systems besides Microsoft windows. In fact, the IBM laptop computer I bought for $6,000 a few years ago had IBM's operating system in it. There are other computers, naturally, besides those designed to run on Intel compatible personal computers ("PCs"). In fact, I've been told for years by those who prefer, for example, the Macintosh or the Linux, that those operating systems are far superior to Microsoft Windows. It's not that they don't exist. It's just that people like me, who want to use their computers, don't want the hassle of coping with a DOS, or a Macintosh or a Linux system. And I HAVE used DOS, Macintosh and Linux systems. We prefer Microsoft and we like the wide variety of software that is available for the Microsoft system. Over the past few years hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created because of Bill Gates and his Microsoft Operating system. My job is one of them. …….. So, in order to claim that Microsoft has an illegal monopoly, the DEFINITION has been narrowed to mean, as Jackson wrote above, that "There are currently no products - and that there are not likely to be any in the near future - that a significant percentage of computer users worldwide could substitute for Intel-compatible PC operating systems without incurring substantial costs." ……… Breaking up Microsoft is no guarantee that the consumer will have MORE choices. That's not what happened when the U.S. government decided to stop the engine that was driving much of the 1920s economic boom - Radio Corporation of America (RCA). ……The 1990s prosperity, which Clinton likes to take the credit for, is based largely on an economy driven by the transition to the Internet and the technology developed most successfully by Bill Gates. Every other software company in America hopes to duplicate the success of Bill Gates………..RCA stock prices rose from $85 to $420. It was the Microsoft of the 1920s. Then, the Federal Government moved to "regulate" it with an anti-trust suit, just as the Clinton Administration moved to regulate Microsoft. RCA stock dropped 90% after the Anti-Trust suit and the rest of the Wall Street seemed to follow. First the wealthy stopped buying and then the working people stopped buying, fearful they would lose their jobs and the Great Depression was born. Was the move against RCA in the 1920s just bad judgment, or a deliberate effort on the part of the old industries to halt the new technology? Could it all happen again? Time will tell. Keep tuned. ……."

Taurus press release 4/4/00 "…….Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc. is recommending distributors suspend sales of its firearms to dealers in Massachusetts and recommending those dealers suspend consumer sales until Taurus products are certified to comply with new rules promulgated by the Commonwealth. Taurus expects to be notified of the requirements in the next 15 days. Taurus produces fine quality firearms, and was the first manufacturer to equip its guns with an internal locking system to help prevent unauthorized use by children. The Taurus Security System(TM), a patented integral locking device for firearms first available in 1997, is built into revolvers, semi- automatic pistols, rifles, and carbines sold by the Miami-based manufacturer. Owners of earlier models also have a requirement for securing handguns. Taurus provides a trigger block and lock to owners of Taurus handguns at no charge other than for postage and handling. ……….In advertising and marketing materials since 1997, the Taurus Security System has been offered at no additional charge, and Taurus reminds its customers that firearms safety and proper storage is the responsibility of firearms owners. ……... "

CNSNews.com 4/5/00 Jerry Miller "……Ed Shultz, president of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, a company that recently signed a gun control measure with the Clinton Administration, has warned states not to try regulating weapons through legislation. While insisting his company will abide by new and tough regulations implemented this week in Massachusetts by Attorney General Thomas Reilly, Shultz said regulation is best left to federal authorities. "This is something that should be left to the federal government and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or else we as manufacturers will end up trying to deal with different regulations in 50 different states." Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to attempt to regulate handguns, as it does other consumer products, using consumer protection laws. The regulations recently were upheld by the state's Supreme Court after a lengthy legal battle. Shultz said Smith & Wesson will follow the state's guidelines. However, Reilly said that he will help other attorneys general in drafting similar regulations. Such moves could result in a regulatory nightmare for gun makers, the very thing Shultz said he fears……."

elegraph of London 4/5/00 "…….. The greatest fear of Bill Gates, the Microsoft chairman and still the world's richest man, is that courtroom veterans of the cigarette wars will turn his company into the next Philip Morris, the tobacco giant that was laid low by litigation. Plaintiffs can win triple damages under the anti-trust laws that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled Microsoft had broken...."

Wall Street Journal 4/4/00 John R. Wilke, Rebecca Buckman, David P. Hamilton, WSJ staff reporters "……. In his wide-ranging ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found that Microsoft Corp. in the past has repeatedly violated antitrust laws. Now he must focus on the future. Ruling on a suit filed by the Justice Department and 19 states, Judge Jackson found that the software giant has repeatedly violated antitrust laws. In a powerful victory for the government, Judge Jackson ruled that Microsoft illegally protected its Windows monopoly against competitors and attempted to monopolize the market for browsers used to navigate the Web Microsoft immediately said that it would appeal the ruling and would remain open to negotiating an out-of-court settlement, despite the collapse over the weekend of talks aimed at such a resolution. "While we did everything we could to settle this case, and will continue to look for new opportunities to resolve it without further litigation, we believe we have a strong case on appeal," said Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman………. Though widely expected, the verdict came at a bad time for the Nasdaq market, after a week in which investors were actively fleeing technology shares. Monday, the Nasdaq Composite Index suffered its largest-ever drop in points, falling 349.15, or 7.6%, to 4223.68. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, buoyed by financial stocks, rose 300.01 points, or 2.75%, to 11221.93. Microsoft shares, a component of the industrial average, fell $15.375, or 14%, to $90.875 in 4 p.m. Nasdaq Stock Market trading Monday. In after-hours trading, the shares rose to $92.75…….."

CNN 4/4/00 Bob Franken Ted Barrett "……..House Speaker Dennis Hastert accused the Justice Department on Tuesday of pursuing its antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. as a means to "make headlines" to make up for a "lack of credibility in what they've done in the criminal justice side" of the department. Hastert's remarks, made in an exclusive interview with CNN, were his first comments on the antitrust case. "Anytime you over-regulate an industry, you're going to see that the vitality and growth of that industry is going to be reigned in," Hastert, an Illinois Republican, said. "Maybe that's what they wanted to do, but I think it's catastrophic," he said. ……"

Reuters 4/5/00 "……..The federal judge who found Microsoft Corp (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) in violation of antitrust law Tuesday said he might put an appeal of his verdict on ``a fast track'' to the U.S. Supreme Court, bypassing an appellate court to speed resolution of the case, the Washington Post reported. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson told lawyers for the government and Microsoft: ``My transcendent objective is to get this thing before an appellate tribunal -- one or another -- as quickly as possible because I don't want to disrupt the economy or waste any more of yours or my time.'' Such an expedited appeal could not occur until the judge rules on what sanctions to impose on Microsoft for its anti-competitive practices, attorneys told the judge, the Post said, citing a court transcript. Jackson, speaking during a scheduling conference Tuesday afternoon in his chambers, said he hoped to receive the detailed motions on penalties within two months, according to the Post report. ….."

4/4/00 John Fund MSNBC.Com "……..Microsoft has seen its stock price tumble as a federal district court judge ruled against it Monday in a case brought by the Justice Department and 18 state attorneys general. The nation's largest gun maker, Smith & Wesson, has agreed to controls on its products to settle lawsuits against it by 30 local governments. The real news in these stories isn't software or hardware, but the latest successes of a self-interested alliance between government and trial lawyers against corporations. ……… FIRST, TOBACCO. Then, guns. Now, Microsoft. Does anyone seriously believe the class-action legal industry will stop there? ……… Last month, the National Association of Attorneys General, whose intransigence helped sink a possible Microsoft settlement, met in Washington. Some of their members discussed a new check list of potential suits against everyone from car rental companies to health maintenance organizations to pharmaceutical firms. "No company is too big. No industry is exempt," says Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, who was the first to hire personal injury lawyers on a contingency fee basis to go after Big Tobacco. Tommy Wells, the chairman of the American Bar Association's Litigation Section, says the state AG's "are a throwback to the activist agenda of making social change through the court system." ……."

WASHINGTON TIMES 4/6/00 Greg Pierce "……. Rep. David Dreier, California Republican, asked software billionaire Bill Gates the question on everyone's mind yesterday at the U.S. Capitol: So, how does it feel to lose $11.2 billion in one day? Mr. Dreier, chairman of the House Rules Committee, inquired about Mr. Gates' loss in personal wealth during a meeting with House Republicans. According to those present, Mr. Gates spoke of his foundation that helps AIDS victims in Africa, and said he thought of how much the lost money could have aided people in need. Mr. Gates suffered his setback in Microsoft stock value after a federal judge ruled against the software giant Monday in the antitrust case brought by the Clinton administration……."

San Jose Mercury News 4/5/00 Jay Ambrose "…… Every time the government suffered a setback in its case against Microsoft, it pointed to some different monopolistic sin the software giant had supposedly committed, until finally and almost inevitably Microsoft was tripped up, like one of those towering military machines lassoed around its mechanical feet in a ``Star Wars'' movie. The firm's original sin was said to be ``bundling.'' The Justice Department's accusation was that Microsoft was using its monopoly as a provider of PC operating systems to establish a like monopoly as a provider of browsers. The firm was tying these browsers to its operating system package not because it wanted to serve the needs of consumers, the government said, but because it wanted to eliminate competition. …….."

www.berettausa.com 3/30/00 "…..Since October 1998, a number of city mayors and county officials have filed lawsuits against the firearm industry intended to force compliance with a wide array of regulatory initiatives that the American public has refused to authorize through constitutionally prescribed legislation. These government officials have openly and unashamedly challenged reputable and responsible firearm manufactures to either defend against these unfounded lawsuits at extreme financial cost or accept their ill-considered regulatory demands. One manufacturer has now capitulated to this blackmail. Beretta denounces this surrender, as well as the blatant disregard which these locally elected officials have shown for the U.S. Constitution, including the Separation of Powers, Due Process rights of firearm customers, dealers, distributors and manufacturers, and of the right of Self-Defense embodied in the 2nd Amendment.......... We object to the suggestion that any manufacturer who does not subscribe to the ill-founded demands of this handful of local officials is not dedicated to making the safest possible firearms and is not committed to the furtherance of safe and responsible use of our products. It is our dedication to such causes, along with the public education efforts of safety-oriented organizations such as the NRA, that has led to a 45% reduction in accidental firearms fatalities in the past 15 years and which promises continued reductions in the future. We remain committed to the coordination of funding of education and safety programs to further the safe and responsible use of firearms……… The attempt by local officials to compel compliance on a national level with their self-chosen gun restrictions is a distasteful misuse of litigation, wrong by any law, ethics and fairness…….We further maintain that the settlement agreement by one manufacturer, the lawsuits on which it is based and the reprehensible tactics currently being employed to further its adoption or an attempt to divert attention from the failure of the Clinton Administration and certain municipalities to responsibly enforce existing gun laws and to support proven safety initiatives………..Lastly, we object in the strongest possible terms to the incredible, distasteful efforts by proponents of this agreement to force law enforcement officials to place the extortionate scheme of these officials above the safety of local law enforcement officials by abandoning honest competitive selection of the highest quality firearms available for them in favor of preference to any manufacturer who has succumbed to the litigator's demands. ……."

CNSNews.com 3/30/00"…… Now that gunmaker Smith & Wesson has struck a deal with the federal government to avoid a federal lawsuit - the question arises, are Smith & Wesson's competitors engaging in illegal methods of retaliation? The states of New York, Connecticut, and Maryland have launched an antitrust investigation, to see if other gunmakers - and gun dealers - are conspiring to target S&W because it "caved in" to the federal government's demands......., "This is serious stuff." But Robert Delfay, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, denied the allegations: "I could not be more confident that these are just independent actions by businessmen," Delfay told the newspaper……"

CNSNews.com 4/6/00 Jerry Miller "….A multi-state antitrust investigation of gun manufacturers is developing, as attorneys general in at least six states take aim at those companies and gun-related organizations that they suspect of retaliating against Smith & Wesson for that firm's decision to sign an agreement with the Clinton Administration. Inquiries began last week in New York and Maryland. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he has issued nearly two dozen subpoenas this week to gun makers and distributors. According to Blumenthal, officials in California, Florida and Massachusetts are about to begin their own inquiries while the federal government also is considering its own investigation………"

Cincinnati Post 4/6/00 Kevin Osborne "……. Cincinnati officials rejected a settlement offer Wednesday from the nation's largest handgun manufacturer, saying the city should hold out for more concessions to make the weapons safer. City Council voted 8-0 to reject the offer from Smith & Wesson, based on legal advice from noted product-liability attorney Stan Chesley, who is handling the case. Council Member Charlie Winburn, who opposes the lawsuit and is suing the city in an effort to get the suit declared frivolous, abstained from the vote. Chesley told City Council that the offer was a positive step but didn't go far enough. Cincinnati and other cities suing manufacturers should use their leverage to push for more changes, he said. ''It's an incredible step forward,'' Chesley said. ''I like to look at (the offer) as a floor instead of a ceiling.'' …."

Wall Street Journal 4/6/00 Devon Spurgeon Paul Barrett "…..In the fall of 1998, the Chicago Police Department sent squads of undercover officers into area gun stores to see if retailers would bend or break the law on weapon sales. After purchasing 171 handguns from a dozen stores, the officers reported that firearm dealers were routinely facilitating illegal gun trafficking. Grainy surveillance video of the sting -- known as Operation Gunsmoke -- appeared repeatedly on local and national television, becoming Exhibit A in the antigun movement's campaign to hold the firearm industry financially liable for urban crime. Chicago made the investigation the centerpiece of its trailblazing civil lawsuit against the industry -- a legal action that helped inspire a wave of municipal antigun lawsuits from coast to coast. While the civil litigation launched by Chicago and other cities in late 1998 has moved at a predictably slow pace, one might imagine that gun dealers caught on video making allegedly illegal sales would be headed for prison, and fast. But almost two years later, Operation Gunsmoke hasn't made much of a mark. Only four out of 12 gun dealers, and a handful of employees, were indicted. The dealers have all denied wrongdoing, saying they follow the rules. The first case to go to trial, in January, ended with a hung jury. In a retrial late last month, another jury took just 10 minutes to acquit. The judge who presided over both trials went so far as to suggest in open court that the case never should have been brought. ……"

Reuters 4/5/00 Steve Holland "…..Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates set aside his differences with the government's antitrust case against him on Wednesday and appeared at a White House ``new economy'' conference that heard some alarm bells about the gyrating stock market. ``We're at the beginning of what the computer can do to change our lives. The best is yet to come,'' Gates told the conference hosted by President Clinton, two days after a federal judge ruled Microsoft broke the law by trying to control the market for Internet browsers. ……."

CBS Market Watch 4/5/00 Chris Kraeuter "…….Shares of Celera Genomics soared 54 percent on Wednesday to lead gainers on the NYSE in percentage terms, fighting back after President Bill Clinton said companies conducting genetic research should have the right to patent their discoveries. Celera (CRA: news, msgs) shares advanced 42 3/8 to 116. The Nasdaq Biotech Index ($IXBT: news, msgs) forged ahead 9.3 percent, while the AMEX Biotech index ($BTK: news, msgs) moved up 8.7 percent. The restatement of his administration's current policy, made at a White House conference on Wednesday, comes after comments made in mid-March by Clinton and U.K Prime Minister Tony Blair touched off a steep decline of stocks in the sector……"

4/3/00 AP "…..A federal judge today found that Microsoft Corp. violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, legal sources said. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found that the company used its position to "monopolize the web browser market" to the detriment of competitors, the sources said….."

TIME 3/31/00 Jessica Reaves "……But now the government says it is having to act to prevent its prize pupil from being beaten up. Because of Smith & Wesson's actions, according to a report in Thursday's New York Times, gun distributors and wholesalers are excluding its products from their stores and shows, and have made it clear the company is unwelcome at shooting matches. The company's legal counsel, which counts other gun makers among its clients, announced it would no longer represent Smith & Wesson. In response to this apparent stonewall - which the gun industry says is not coordinated - the government has moved quickly, launching antitrust investigations against industry leaders. ……"

NY Times 3/30/00 AP "……An antitrust investigation has begun into allegations that gun manufacturers are targeting Smith & Wesson in retaliation for its agreement to put safety locks on handguns, Connecticut's attorney general said. The probe is being conducted under state laws in Connecticut, New York and Maryland, said Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. He said more states were expected to become involved and subpoenas were imminent. Ken Jorgensen, a Smith & Wesson spokesman, said some gun dealers opposed to the settlement will no longer carry the company's models. He also said the Springfield, Mass.-based company has received reports of attempts to pressure gun publications into refusing Smith & Wesson advertisements. In addition, a gun wholesaler said after the March 17 agreement it would no longer distribute Smith & Wesson products. ….."

CBSNEWS.com 3/30/00 "……An antitrust investigation is underway to see if gunmakers are targeting Smith & Wesson in retaliation for its agreement to put safety locks on handguns. The probe is being conducted under state laws in New York, Connecticut and Maryland, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, told CBS Radio News. "The pressure is absolutely unprecedented and almost violent in nature [and] that raises the specter of joint activity," he said in a telephone interview. ……. Other gun manufacturers and dealers opposed to the settlement have since put financial pressure on Smith & Wesson, based in Springfield, Mass. A top wholesaler will no longer carry company weapons, retailers will not sell Smith & Wesson products and the National Rifle Association has accused the company of surrendering to Clinton administration demands, the New York Times reported…….Just as we sued the tobacco companies, our antitrust laws apply to collusion or conspiracy that seeks to retaliate or prevent a company from producing a safer firearm," Blumenthal warned. ….."

WorldNetDailey.com 3/30/00 Tanya Metaksa "…….It is important to understand (S&W CEO) Shultz's actions were motivated solely by Clinton/Gore's need to use the "gun issue" as part of their election strategy. Schultz's actions will be to try to demonize Bush and the NRA. The media is against you and will not report all the truth. Gun locks were already sold with guns and this industry is doing everything it can to prevent accidental misuse of our products and to try to prevent our products from falling into the wrong hands. Had Schultz hung on with the rest, Clinton would have been forced to react to the growing proof of effectiveness in enforcing existing laws. Now they have shifted the debate to negatively portray the NRA and the responsible firearms manufacturers. The other gun makers are under tremendous pressure to cave into this extortion. Beretta, Browning, Glock, Sturm Ruger and Taurus have already made a stand to resist. They need your support. So does your local dealer. Remember, he didn't cause this mess, Ed Schultz and Clinton/Gore did. Let the responsible gun makers know they (and only they) have your support. ……. What S&W received for its capitulation was the gun industry's version of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's "peace in our time." For those readers who have forgotten Neville Chamberlain, he was the British Prime Minister who met with Hitler in Munich and on Sept. 29, 1938, signed an agreement to allow Hitler to proceed with the annexation of Czechoslovakia without British interference. In return for British appeasement, Chamberlain was able to return to Great Britain and announce that he had secured "peace in our time." That peace lasted less than one year before Hitler invaded Poland and forced both Britain and France to declare war on Germany. ……"

WorldNetDailey.com 3/30/00 Tanya Metaksa "…….For detailed information check out Dave Kopel's excellent two-part review of the Clinton-S&W agreement for National Review. HUD's own press release includes the most onerous far-reaching parts of the agreement:

1. Guns cannot be marketed to appeal to children or criminals.
2. No sales can be made at a gun show unless background checks are performed for all sales.
3. A purchaser can take home only one gun at the time of purchase and must wait two weeks to pick up additional guns.
4. Within six months, packaging of new guns must include a warning on the risk of having a firearm in the home and suggestions for safe storage.
5. Gun stores must have a security plan and guns and bullets must be kept locked and separated.
6. Gun dealer employees must complete annual training and pass an exam.
7. Distributors can only sell to other distributors or dealers that agree to abide by the agreement.
8. Smith & Wesson agrees to work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to establish a system for firing each gun it makes and entering digital images of the casings into the National Integrated Ballistics Identification (NIBIN) system and accessible by ATF. This will make it easier for law enforcement to trace bullet casings used in crimes back to the guns that fired them.
9. Establishment of a trust fund by Smith & Wesson to implement a public service campaign to inform people about the risk of firearms in the home, proper home storage, the importance of proper disposal and need to reduce gun violence.

Elsewhere HUD's press release notes,

A commission made up of two representatives from local governments, one from states, one from Smith & Wesson and one selected by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will oversee the agreement.

The Oversight Commission will have the power to notify Smith & Wesson of any gun dealer violations. This notification will trigger penalties against gun dealers by Smith & Wesson and the Commission that could include barring dealers from selling Smith & Wesson products.

Is it any wonder that gun manufacturers are saying NO? Is it any wonder that as the full ramification of this odious agreement has become widely understood, firearms dealers are sending back thousands of dollars of merchandise to Springfield, Mass., and are telling Ed Shultz "we don't need your business"? ……"

CNN 3/31/00 "……The Department of Housing and Urban Development has asked the Justice Department to investigate reports of a possible "conspiracy" of gun manufacturers to punish Smith & Wesson for the company's decision to sign an accord to produce safer guns in an effort to avoid government lawsuits. Local, state and federal government officials who are part of the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition met last week and reported anecdotal evidence that might "suggest a conspiracy among manufacturers to put Smith & Wesson out of business," said HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo at a news conference Friday. "You can't pressure a company or try to put a company out of business as a conspiracy of other companies," he said. Justice spokeswoman Gina Talamona confirmed the department is "reviewing the matter." ….."

USA Today 4/14/00 AP "……Smith & Wesson is backing away from parts of its landmark agreement with the Clinton administration that called on it to crack down on gun dealers. A ''clarification'' posted on the company's Web site contends that the company's agreement requiring dealers of Smith & Wesson guns to make background checks and impose other restrictions on sales only applies to the sale of the gunmaker's firearms. The government claims all dealers wishing to sell Smith & Wesson products must apply the same restrictions to all makes of guns. The company also said that criminal background checks it agreed to for gun-show sales would apply only to firearms sold by licensed dealers and not by private citizens. ''We can't agree to control things that we have no way to control,'' Ken Jorgensen, a spokesman for Smith & Wesson, told The Baltimore Sun. ….."

 

Texas Fish and Game 4/20/00 Don Zaidle "..... Last year, a significant era in America's history came to a close and a proud tradition was lost when Colt's Manufacturing Company announced it was going out of the consumer firearms business. Colt was the first major player to fall prey to the latest stratagem of citizen disarmament proponents--civil lawsuits. ...... Following closely on the heels of successful anti-tobacco lawsuits by city, state, and federal governments, the same entities turned the extortive tactic on gun manufactures. Most recently, Smith & Wesson fell victim and was all but forced into an agreement with the suing entities. Under the agreement, S&W will impose an egregious "code of conduct" on its dealers and distributors. Trust me, the atmosphere of your favorite gun or sporting goods store is about to change dramatically, and not for the better......"

Texas Fish and Game 4/20/00 Don Zaidle ".....The truth of that claim is dubious at best, but let's be charitable and assume it is true--for if it is true, I hereby issue a challenge to those political entities: ......... According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41471 people died in alcohol-related traffic accidents nationwide in 1998--that's nearly 10,000 more than the number of alleged "gun victims." The cost of treating alcohol-related crash victims runs about $51 billion annually, another $60 billion for other alcohol-related violence, and $24 billion to treat alcohol-related illness and abuse. That's $135 billion annually, a VERY large chunk of which comes from taxpayer coffers. Once the politicos wring their money out of the booze vendors, they can then go to work solving other alcohol-related social ills. To aid in this effort, I offer the following modest proposals. Alcohol is far too easy for minors to get their hands on. Social workers deal with teenage alcoholics on a daily basis. Who knows how many teenage pregnancies have resulted from over-imbibing at a beer bust. Ergo, any person who allows a minor access to alcohol shall be heavily fined. If said minor is involved in any sort of violent crime or accident while under the influence, the alcohol provider shall be charged with a felony. All alcohol must be kept under lock and key to prevent minor access. No alcohol or related product may be packaged or advertised in a manner that is attractive to minors.

There is no control to block drunk-driving offenders access to alcohol. Merely taking away a drivers license does not stop anyone from driving or drinking, it just means they cannot do the latter legally, but what does that matter if driving while intoxicated is already illegal? Therefore, all sellers of alcohol must conduct a background check at time of sale to ensure that the purchaser is not a DWI or other alcohol-related offender. To prevent "straw purchases" and reduce the amount of alcohol on the streets, no individual may purchase more than one gallon of combined alcoholic products per calendar month. As an aid to enforcement, all liquor containers must be indelibly marked with a serial number, and the number recorded along with the purchaser's ID by the seller. Will anyone rise to the challenge to sue the liquor industry? Not likely......."

 

State House News Service 4/18/00 Trevor Hughes "...... Gun owners and dealers are drawing a fresh bead on Attorney General Thomas Reilly's new consumer protection firearm rules. At a press conference today held across the street from the state's highest court, a dozen gun dealers said Reilly's rules are confusing and possibly unconstitutional. They plan to sue the AG on behalf of the more than 700 licensed gun dealers. The dealers want compensation for sales lost after they pulled almost all firearms from their shelves over uncertainty about which ones are illegal. "We cannot sell firearms unless we understand the rules clearly. The explanation wasn't provided by the AG," said Greg Danas of A.G. Guns & Ammo of Lowell. Added Gun Owners Action League director Michael Yacino: "To the best of my knowledge, there are no handguns that can clearly be legally purchased today in the Commonwealth, with the very small exception of a few Smith and Wesson products." ......"

Boston Globe Online 4/18/00 AP "......Saying the state's new gun sale regulations are taking away their livelihood, gun dealers joined activists in a rally Tuesday to protest the consumer protection regulations that went into effect April 3. For the moment, the only new handguns that can legally be sold in the state are some models made by Springfield-based Smith & Wesson. And several dealers said they have pulled all the handguns off their shelves, because they were unable to get clarifications of the regulations. Dealers can face civil penalties of up to $5,000 for selling a weapon that fails to comply with the regulations. Some major gun manufacturers, including Beretta and Glock, have said that while their weapons can meet the general provisions, they fall short of other provisions, such as the force needed to pull the trigger and the number of serial numbers on the weapon. ......... Mike Yacino, executive director of the Gun Owners Action League, said its lawyers were planning to sue to block Attorney General Tom Reilly from taking further enforcement. ''This is nothing more than political posturing,'' Yacino said. ''Even gun models in police holsters all across the state are now officially unsafe and can no longer be sold.'' ......."

CNS News 4/18/00 Jerry Miller "......With the implementation of recently enacted gun laws, gun manufacturers and dealers are pulling out of Massachusetts, the state with the strongest gun controls in the nation. The restrictions went into effect last month after a two-year legal battle that ended up in the state's Supreme Court. The rules of state law include the banning of so-called "Saturday Night Specials" and the requirement that all weapons sold must bear childproof locks. They also require the issuance of safety warnings with each sale, tamper resistant serial numbers and a device on semi-automatic weapons that indicates whether there is a bullet in the chamber. The regulations exempt used handguns, police weapons and guns manufactured prior to September, 1998. ......... Under the guidelines, the only gun maker whose weapons qualify for sale is Smith & Wesson, a manufacturer located in Springfield, MA, in the western part of the state. ......."

AP 4/26/00 Paul Shepard "……Seven gun makers and an industry group sued the Department of Housing and Urban Development and 16 cities Wednesday over a plan to give preferential treatment to Smith & Wesson when buying guns for law enforcement agencies. The lawsuit filed in an Atlanta federal court alleges an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade. …….. The lawsuit names as defendants New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who helped draw up the agreement. Also named were the California communities of San Francisco, Berkeley, East Palo Alto, Inglewood, Oakland, and San Mateo; as well as Bridgeport, Conn.; Atlanta; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Gary, Ind.; Boston; Detroit; St. Louis; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; and the District of Columbia. ''We are demanding cities stop the effort of using their purchasing power to control the distribution and design of firearms,'' said Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta U.S.A. Corp, one of the seven suing companies. ….."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 4/27/00 Patrice Hill "…….The Justice Department's antitrust case against Microsoft has been pummeling Microsoft and other popular technology stocks, raising both political and economic risks for the Clinton administration, analysts say. Each major turn in the case -most recently, rumors this week that the government will move to break up the software giant - has precipitated not only steep losses in Microsoft's stock but in the Nasdaq Composite Index, which includes many of the nation's high-flying technology stocks. The Nasdaq saw a record one-day loss April 3 as investors braced for a ruling against Microsoft by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. Since then, the case has wiped out at least $150 billion of the wealth and retirement savings of some 80 million investors who own Microsoft stock directly or through mutual funds. "This case has rattled the markets," said Tom Hazlett, economist with the American Enterprise Institute. "This is the damning evidence that the market does not like the Microsoft case. The consensus on Wall Street is that the government is not going to make anything better. The government is perceived as a bigger problem."……"

New York Times 4/27/00 James Dao "……Seven of the nation's largest gun manufacturers filed suit today to keep New York State, Connecticut and 16 local governments from adopting purchasing policies favoring gun companies that agree to stringent rules governing the ways they make, sell and distribute weapons. …… Robert T. Delfay, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group that helped organize the lawsuit, said in a news conference: "We are here today to end an illegal attempt by a number of self-appointed and self-important government officials to violate the basic rights of a legitimate and a responsible industry and to foist on citizens across this country a nationwide gun-control scheme unapproved by Congress." ….."

Reuters 4/26/00 Lisa Richwine "…… A group of gun manufacturers filed suit against federal, state and local officials on Wednesday, charging that efforts to impose safety measures are a conspiracy that violate constitutional guarantees of free trade…. ``We are here t o expose a plan that brazenly places political self-interest above police and citizen safety,'' said Robert Delfay, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation that represents gun makers and distributors, at a news conference. ….The manufacturers who filed suit were Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Browning Arms Inc., Colt's Manufacturing Inc., Glock Inc., SIG Arms Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. and Taurus International Manufacturing. The National Shooting Sports Foundation also filed suit. ….."

Washington Post 4/28/00 James V. Grimaldi "……. The U.S. Justice Department today will ask a federal judge to split Microsoft Corp. into two competing companies whose business practices would be tightly restrained for up to 10 years, people who have seen the plan said last night. Lawyers for Justice and the states that joined the antitrust case are to present the breakup proposal to U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, igniting a historic debate about the future of one of the world's most successful companies. Jackson, who ruled April 3 that Microsoft broke federal antitrust law, could rule on the company's fate by summer. Microsoft has said it will appeal his decision, and a final disposition could be years away……"

Inside Denver 4/23/00 Carla Crowder "…….A major gun maker has announced plans to provide a free NRA membership with every gun sold, joining the gun lobby's major election-year push to boost membership. Taurus International, a Miami-based manufacturer that specializes in lightweight Titanium pistols and revolvers, will give buyers $35 vouchers - the cost of yearly National Rifle Association dues - to redeem for a new membership or renew an existing one, according to Taurus' Web site. Taurus is the only gun maker offering this deal, said NRA spokesman Jim Manown. "It's all tied to the election," Manown said. "Membership is important to our efforts politically."……"

The Detroit News 4/23/00 Thomas Bray "……. The papers Friday brought news of the death of Michael, who had collapsed at the age of 27 from unknown causes. Michael, in case you didn't know it, was a gorilla. Since 1976, researchers at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, Calif., had been working to teach him sign language. He was said to have mastered more than 500 signs. It was never quite clear whether Michael was using the signs to communicate thoughts or just to - so to speak - ape his handlers. But, declared Dr. Francine Patterson, who cared for Michael since he was imported from Cameroon, "He has been an inspiration to us all." Well, animals can certainly be inspiring in their own way. And there is no question that to a greater or lesser degree, many animals possess things that could be called intelligence and the capacity for feeling. Geneticists also are learning of striking similarities in the basic makeup of humans and animals (though it's not flattering that the fruit fly is still considered the best match for scientific purposes). …….. But one suspects an ideology at work in the fascination with Michael. If animals are similar to humans, goes the thinking, then perhaps they should be accorded similar respect and concern. Nor is this notion limited to radical groups like the one that allegedly bombed a Michigan State University animal-experiment lab last year or anti-fur cranks who regularly liberate minks from mink farms……..Traditional humane societies, with millions of members, are embracing versions of animal rights……"

Bloomberg 4/25/00 "…….Curbs on Microsoft Corp.'s anticompetitive practices would have ``important economic ramifications,'' said Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, explaining why White House officials are being briefed on the case by government lawyers. President Bill Clinton's top economic advisers and representatives of the White House counsel's office are meeting today with Justice Department lawyers to learn about a plan that will be submitted to the judge in the case by Friday. The Justice Department is drafting a proposal to split Microsoft into a company that makes software application programs and another that produces the dominant Windows operating system, people familiar with the proposal said. Windows powers about 95 percent of the world's personal computers, ......"

SF Examiner 5/9/00 "....... THE CONCEPT of fat rights, argued vehemently last week before an approving committee of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, got us to thinking about Bruddah Iz. With an angel's tenor voice and a very Hawaiian sweetness of delivery, the enormous singer came from a Polynesian culture in which fatness isn't scorned as some kind of character flaw. On the contrary, he was a musical alumnus of the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau, the all-Hawaiian, no-tourist island where a hefty body, associated with the ali'i aristocracy of old Hawaii, is admired and respected. ...... And respect is the goal of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, founded in 1969 to combat "fat oppression," "fatphobia" and the "fat hatred" described by one British writer: "Part of a complex web of social power relations and hierarchies, where particular social groups are marginalized, stigmatized and discredited." ....."

WorldNetDaily 5/9/00 David Limbaugh "……We now have irrefutable proof that the Democrats are scared silly about Republicans winning the White House and retaining control of both houses of Congress. Only such desperation could explain their bizarre lawsuit against Majority Whip Tom DeLay. …….. By threatening to withhold favorable action on legislation affecting them, DeLay allegedly pressured entities to make contributions to these organizations (extortion). And by falsely asserting that the organizations were not political committees they avoided the requirement that their donor lists be publicly disclosed -- even though the organizations passed these funds on to the Republican Party (money laundering). ……"

WorldNetDaily 5/9/00 David Limbaugh "……Kennedy chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and has a vested interest in obstructing DeLay's Republican fundraising efforts on behalf of congressional Republicans. Indeed, Kennedy acknowledged that he couldn't wait on the Department of Justice or Federal Election Commission to investigate because their investigation wouldn't be in time to prevent the organizations from flooding key congressional races with money. In the press conference announcing his lawsuit, Kennedy conveniently forgot to mention the fact that several top Democratic Party contributors have used similar techniques to keep their donors private. He also failed to reveal that his suit relies solely on hearsay gleaned through newspaper articles concerning DeLay's fundraising activities. No one was interviewed, nor was any investigation conducted prior to the filing of the suit. ……"

WorldNetDaily 5/9/00 David Limbaugh "……The Clinton administration has amassed quite a legacy in misusing the judicial system to circumvent the legislative process and force companies, such as tobacco and gun manufacturers, to take action in accordance with its dictates. Now its Democrat counterparts in Congress are following suit (pun intended). ….."

Reuters 5/4/00 "……U.S. gun companies, hoping that Republicans will win in November, have broken off talks toward a settlement in liability lawsuits filed against them by city and county governments around the country, The New York Times reported in its online edition on Thursday. The report, citing people on both sides of the litigation, said the gun companies are suspending settlement talks at least until they see if Texas Gov. George W. Bush (news - web sites) wins the presidency and the Republicans keep control of Congress in the November elections. The companies hope that Bush, who has been a defender of the gun industry, will help dampen growing public sentiment for gun control or even push through Congress a bill outlawing municipal suits against gun companies, the Times reported. ……"

Washington Post 5/7/00 "…… ONLY WEEKS after Gov. Glendening and the General Assembly agreed on a plan to spend $300 million in national tobacco-settlement money on an anti-smoking campaign, state officials are preparing to unload some 170,000 packs of cigarettes at an auction. What are they smoking, anyway? Why (gasp) is the state peddling cigarettes? ……… It's a case of supply and supply: The state's stash was seized from smugglers trying to get around Maryland's 66-cent-a-pack cigarette tax. Cigarettes have been piling up in two basement storage rooms in Annapolis. Officials say that under state law, the only way to get rid of the cigarettes is by auction……."

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 5/1/00 Vin Suprynowicz "…… In recent years, lawyers representing air travellers in a class action suit which charged airline price fixing collected $16 million in fees. The travellers they represented? They got "coupons, worth a few dollars off the next several tickets purchased," according to Forbes magazine. "Critics say not many have used them." A class action lawsuit forcing Bank of Boston to return some funds held in escrow for mortgage customers "takes the prize," the financial magazine reports in its May 1 edition. "Bank customers got quicker access to money that was eventually going to be returned to them anyway. They also got a few dollars of interest. The lawyers, meanwhile, got $8.5 million in fees, automatically drawn from those very same escrow accounts. Many customers only learned about the case after noticing $100 deductions on their monthly statements." Such abuses have become so commonplace there's actually a special website dedicated to the topic -- "overlawyered.com." And defense attorneys are finally coming forward to reveal that the opportunist attorneys who bring these suits routinely grant concessions damaging to their own clients, in exchange for promises from the other side not to challenge their fee structure when presented to the courts……"These lawyers are getting more brazen," says Lester Brickman, a professor at New York's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. "They bargain away class rights for a higher fee and are virtually never called to justice."..."

LP via Jim Quinn's show 5/3/00 "…….The Justice Department's plan to break up Microsoft is not just a bad legal decision -- it's a case of "bureaucratic grand larceny" that has already stolen more wealth from Americans than all the bank robbers in history, the Libertarian Party charged today. "Move over Jesse James, John Dillinger, and Willie Sutton. There's a new criminal in town that makes you look like amateurs -- and it's the antitrust gang at the Justice Department," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director. "With its decision to eviscerate one of America's most successful high-tech corporations, the Justice Department has committed the most costly and malevolent act of economic vandalism in American history." …….. Specifically, the Justice Department's announcement last month that Microsoft broke antitrust law -- and its decision last week to try to divide the Redmond, Washington-based corporation into two separate companies -- caused a massive meltdown in technology stocks. According to financial experts, the plunge in the stock market cost American investors $150 billion to $208 billion in lost wealth. ….."

Denver Post 5/6/00 David Olinger "……City officials have ordered one of Denver's largest gun dealers to shut down, calling his alley-based business location illegal. In a letter dated Wednesday, Denver zoning administrator Kent Strapko notified the building owner at 126 Acoma St. that the gun dealer, A&T Specialty Shop, and a taxidermy business had "relocated to an area at the rear" without a city permit in a residential neighborhood. He also asked the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which licensed the gun shop, "to take whatever action you deem necessary to assist me in eliminating the illegal firearms business address." Ash Johnson, the owner of A&T Specialty, said Friday that no action from ATF will be needed. "As of noon today, my records are out," he said. "I'm closing." ……"

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 5/8/00 Vin Suprynowicz "…… Broadcasters have always been able to earn "public service" credit by airing advertisements that dissuade kids from taking up tobacco……… Instead, will we soon see our governors calling on the stations to air footage of Bogie and Bacall sharing a match on their Pall Malls, with a voice-over urging kids to "give cigarettes a try -- they're cool; they're sexy; and lots of smokers never get lung cancer"?………. In fact, of course, "We'll use the money for sick smokers" can now be entered in the archives right next to "Of course I'll respect you in the morning." At least half the tobacco booty is now earmarked for programs not even remotely linked to health care -- from water projects to new jails to Nevada's "Millennium Scholarships." …….. Problem is, the public relations campaign to demonize smoking -- combined with a new 45 cents-per-pack price hike which effectively passes the settlement costs along to smokers themselves -- seems to be working…… "

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 5/8/00 Vin Suprynowicz "…… The Associated Press reports the 46 states which are party to the agreement "took a billion-dollar hit this month after their payments were decreased to reflect last year's 9 percent decline in U.S. cigarette shipments," under a "volume adjustment" clause of the settlement agreement. Even worse, the states now worry payments could be delayed for years in the event of a crippling punitive award in a Florida class-action suit involving an estimated 500,000 sick smokers. Why, there's even talk of big tobacco firms seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection!……… Still, Mr. Krolicki acknowledges the state could find itself in a risky position if the ability of Big Tobacco to make its promised payments starts to erode -- not to mention the slight discomfiture of all those "save-the-children" politicians now having to hope tobacco use doesn't slip too far. (Even before the settlement, Treasurer Krolicki points out, tobacco tax rates meant "Government makes far more money on a pack of cigarettes than Phillip Morris does.") ……… Therefore, Mr. Krolicki plans to present to the 2001 Nevada state Legislature a plan to "securitize these revenues, to sell bonds that are backed by these tobacco revenues…….. "For Nevada to be relying on an industry which is subject to this kind of litigation is imprudent," he says. "Instead, we should find investors willing to buy that risk."……"

TBO.com 5/8/00 AP "…..The grandfather of a boy put behind bars as one of the gunmen who killed five people at Westside Middle School in 1998 was dismissed Monday as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by victims' families. Also dismissed was a company that made one of the guns used in the shootings, Sporting Goods Properties Inc., formerly Remington Arms. Circuit Judge David Burnett said Andrew Golden's grandfather, Doug Golden, should not be held liable for the shootings, as he had taken precautions to keep guns at his house from getting into the wrong hands...."

ABCNEWS.com 5/2/00 "…… Government officials say Microsoft is stalling, possibly to delay a ruling on a remedy until the next presidential administration takes office. The company must file its response to the Justice Department's proposed remedy in the antitrust case with U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson by May 10. Jackson has scheduled a hearing for May 24, but has not laid out what that hearing will entail. …….. Microsoft wants to call witnesses and gather information about how the government arrived at the breakup proposal, company spokesman Jim Cullinan said. "A proper response to this ruling will require months and months of discovery and evidentiary hearings," Microsoft general counsel Bill Neukom said. ….."

New York Times 5/3/00 "…..The New York State Legislature has passed an important bill that would make the state the first to require the tobacco industry to make cigarettes sold within its borders more resistant to starting fires. Gov. George Pataki should sign the bill when it arrives on his desk. The legislation, which was approved unanimously in both the Assembly and Senate, would require that by 2002 cigarettes meet a fire safety standard set by the state's Office of Fire Prevention and Control……"

New York Times 5/2/00 Joel Brinkley Steve Lohr "……Fighting to defeat the government's proposal to break the company in two, Microsoft plans to ask the trial judge next week for broad authority to obtain hundreds of pages of government records on the case, and for permission to summon witnesses to argue that the proposal is unwarranted and out of bounds…….. "Their extreme request for relief invites questions on how they came to the observations and conclusions in their declaration," William H. Neukom, Microsoft's general counsel, said yesterday. …….. The effort could take many months, going "well into the fall," Mr. Neukom said. Government officials called the company's action simply a stalling tactic, possibly intended to delay the ruling until the next administration took office. Microsoft denied that intent, and outside experts noted that the company might not gain any particular advantage from a delay. ….."

newsmax.com 5/1/00 James Davidson "…… While Joel Klein and his Justice Department were publicly and distastefully celebrating Judge Jackson's decision, the market capitalization of Microsoft was dropping by more than $100 billion. That's not some theoretical figure. It is a loss in real wealth - in many cases, in retirement savings - of more than two million direct shareholders of Microsoft and of tens of millions more who have substantial holdings of Microsoft in their mutual funds and annuities. ... "

Cheyenne Tribune 5/1/00 AP "……Mayor Leo Pando has signed a pledge along with 190 other communities to prefer certain gun manufacturers in city gun purchases. He did so without telling the police department, angering at least one officer. "He never told anybody about it. It astounds me he did this," Sgt. Steve Wheeler said. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is promoting the Safer Guns Coalition and the accompanying pledge. "With over 30,000 people killed and several times that number injured by guns each year, ensuring safe communities is our highest priority," the pledge reads. "Many of these tragedies could be prevented through reasonable distribution and design reforms on the part of responsible firearms manufacturers." By joining the pledge, Cheyenne will prefer gun manufacturers that adhere to a code of conduct, assuming comparable equipment can be purchased at comparable prices. To date, the only company that complies is Smith & Wesson……"

Wall Street Journal 4/26/00 Holman W Jenkins Jr. "……. Form does not always follow function. Nominally the states in the 1998 tobacco settlement were plaintiffs in a lawsuit, and their lawyers were, well, their lawyers. Yet in all but name both parties have now become shareholders in the tobacco industry. The settlement has no termination date, so the states can expect to keep collecting roughly $13 billion a year forever -- or as long as people keep smoking. Likewise, because the industry's liability for the opposing attorneys' legal fees is capped at $500 million a year, and because an inflation adjuster is applied to the unpaid balance, chances are good these payments will continue forever too. Thus, the lawyers and the states have become, in perpetuity, major beneficiaries of tobacco revenues. In their new guise, they have suddenly discovered the virtues of tort reform. ……."

Wall Street Journal 4/26/00 George L Priest "…… It should come as little surprise that the Justice Department seeks to break up Microsoft. Antitrust chief Joel Klein has been hinting at that remedy since the lawsuit began. The important question is whether such a remedy is legally sustainable. Careful analysis of U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's conclusions of law suggests that it is highly unlikely a breakup would be sustained. Breaking up Microsoft into separate operating-systems and applications companies bears only a remote relationship to the court's judgment as to how Microsoft violated antitrust laws. Consequently, Judge Jackson himself might be skeptical of such a remedy, and the chance of a breakup surviving appeal is slender at best. …….. Judge Jackson's conclusions of law began with the finding that Microsoft had secured a monopoly in operating systems through its development of Windows. That monopoly is protected by what the court described in its earlier findings of fact as the "applications barrier to entry." In short, a challenger would have to duplicate the many Windows applications before it could begin to compete in operating systems. …….. Yet according to the court, possession of the monopoly alone isn't a violation. According to a 1966 Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Grinnell Corp., proof of illegal monopolization requires two elements: first, possession of monopoly; second, "the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power" as distinguished from "growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen or historic accident." As Judge Jackson puts it, a firm violates the antitrust laws only when "it attains or preserves monopoly power through anticompetitive acts." ……"

Reuters 4/26/00 "…….The U.S. Justice Department briefed President Bill Clinton's economic team on Tuesday on its proposal to break up Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news), but the White House appeared to keep a mostly hands-off stance. ……. The 1-3/4 hour session underscored White House interest in the potential economic impact of the case against the software giant, one of America's biggest companies. However, there were no indications that Clinton officials raised any major objections to the Justice Department's plan, which aims to increase competition in the software industry. ……"

WorldNetDaily 4/27/00 Paul Sperry "…… The politics of personal (wealth) destruction As Joel I. Klein and his trustbusters guzzled champagne earlier this month, working Americans with hard-earned cash in the stock market reached for the Pepto-Bismol. And they're still reaching. …… When a politically pliant judge officially agreed on April 3, Microsoft's shares tanked, dragging the tech-heavy Nasdaq -- and college and retirement funds -- down with it. Meanwhile, Klein celebrated. The smaller-cap index stood at 4572.83 on March 31, the last trading day before Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that the government now has the right to possibly dismember one of the most successful companies in history. After yesterday's loss, the Nasdaq shrank back to 3630.09. The index has now lost 21 percent of its value since the Microsoft news. Of course, the case against Microsoft is nonsense on stilts. Only government can create a coercive monopoly by erecting barriers to entry. Bill Gates built his empire in a free market, on the shoulders of happy consumers. ……"

WorldNetDaily 4/27/00 Paul Sperry "…… Many Microsoft shareholders may be interested to know that Klein got his start sitting in Vincent Foster's old chair in the White House counsel's office. He took over the late Foster's office -- and many of his scandal-containment duties -- in late 1993. Klein's top job was controlling political damage from the Whitewater investigation. When he wasn't doing that, he allegedly was digging up dirt on enemies and perceived enemies of the Clintons. A busy man for sure. Linda Tripp worked with Klein in the White House counsel's office in 1993 and 1994. "Joel Klein was someone who scared me," she said in a Jan. 6, 1999, deposition with Judicial Watch Inc., the first couple's vexatious litigant. ...... Histrionics? Maybe. But consider these specifics she offered in another deposition taken Jan. 22, 1999. Recalling a private chat with Klein's assistant Julie Mixell, Tripp said, "She said that you don't want to cross Mr. Klein. She intimated to me that he kept information on people who crossed him." ……Not just random information, but an inventory of files -- full of dirt.
Q: Where are these files stored?
A: In Mr. Klein's office.
Q: In a file cabinet?
A: Yes, in (a) file credenza, as I remember. ……… Bear in mind that Tripp wasn't saying all this in a relaxed setting, egged on by "Clinton-haters." She said it in the presence of a federal court magistrate and a phalanx of Justice Department lawyers. You have to wonder if the files moved with Klein to his Justice digs (he took Mixell with him). Do they include FBI dossiers? Is there a file on Bill Gates? ……."

WorldNetDaily 4/27/00 Paul Sperry "…… In 1994, Klein made a comment that stuck in Tripp's mind. After a meeting in his office, Klein came back out into the foyer with a number of other White House lawyers and said: "We are all good lawyers. But in order to survive, we have to be good politicians, too." There you have it, the Clinton formula in a nutshell: Politics + legal manipulation = survival and more power. ….."

 

yahoo.com 5/19/00 Reuters "……Animal rights group PETA is fighting for the rights of a new endangered species -- a fiberglass cow covered with vegetarian slogans. The organization known for its guerrilla tactics against fur wearers said on Thursday the organizers of ``CowParade New York 2000,'' an upcoming art installation of hundreds of fiberglass cows to be displayed throughout the city, had refused to exhibit the anti-carnivore cow. ......In a letter to CowParade New York 2000, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said it had entered a $15,000 contract to sponsor two cows, and gave the organizers a deadline of May 22 to change their minds ……. The cow in question was painted like a butcher's shop cow poster, but with each section of the cow linking beef consumption with heart attacks, cancer and even impotence. ......Slogans on the cow sculpture included: ``Eating meat causes impotence, because it blocks the arteries to all vital organs, including the penis'', and: ``Cattle are castrated and dehorned without anesthesia.'' ..."

WSJ online 5/17/00 Milo Geyelin "……. Maryland's highest court threw out an antitobacco class-action lawsuit, handing cigarette makers a significant victory as a similar suit in Florida enters a critical phase. ......The 4-3 decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals was issued yesterday. Now Dade County Circuit Court in Florida is the only venue in the nation where a statewide class-action suit seeking damages on behalf of people with smoking-related illnesses has been allowed to proceed to trial. …….. The Maryland decision is in line with some two dozen state and federal court decisions that have concluded that individual illnesses, and the extent to which smoking may have caused them, vary so much among people in class-action smoker suits that the claims must be tried one at a time. …….."

Newsweek 5/14/00 Matt Bai "…… Most nights now you can find Ed Shultz in his office, banging away at a computer. It's been several weeks since Smith & Wesson signed a landmark deal with the Feds requiring training and unlimited background checks for all its customers and new safety features in its handguns. The company's CEO has personally answered thousands of e-mails. Some customers write to support Shultz. Many more call him a traitor. A handful threaten his life. Lately the e-mails have let up a bit-but Smith & Wesson's troubles haven't. Its dealers and distributors are in revolt, and a consumer boycott threatens to drive down profits. Former friends in the gun world have attacked Smith-the world's largest handgun maker-with surprising venom. This weekend, when Shultz and his troops arrive in Charlotte, N.C., for the National Rifle Association's annual convention, no one's quite sure whether they'll be accosted in the lobby or shunned like a virus. Shultz feels as if he's living inside one of those "Whack-a-Mole" arcade games. "You're just sitting there," he says with a sigh, "waiting to get whacked." ……..Whether Smith & Wesson can survive the pounding is an open question. Smith has been signaling that it may try to back out if no other gunmaker signs on to the pact. …."

Los Angeles Times 5/16/00 Alisa Rubin "……Seeking to stop the federal government's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, key Senate Republicans. are lining up behind a provision that could stymie the Justice Department's ability to defend, or prosecute, most major civil litigation. The provision, expected to be taken up by the Senate this week, is buried in the massive 2001 spending bill for the Department of Agriculture. …… It would repeal language that allows the Justice Department to obtain reimbursement from other government agencies for major lawsuits it undertakes on their behalf. Roughly one-third of the department's budget for general civil litigation is paid With funds from other agencies, according to the department. ……In the case of the tobacco lawsuit, the Justice Department would also have to refund any money it got from other agencies to prepare the lawsuit. ……."

White House 5/12/00 Bill Clinton "……TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: I am pleased to transmit today for immediate consideration and prompt enactment the "Consumer Product Safety Commission Enhanced Enforcement Act of 2000." This legislative proposal would increase the penalties that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) could impose upon manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products who do not inform the CPSC when the company has reason to believe it has sold a product that does not meet Federal safety standards or could otherwise create a substantial product hazard. The proposal would also improve product recalls by enabling the CPSC to choose an alternative remedy in a recall if the CPSC finds that the remedy selected by the manufacturer is not in the public interest. ……."

APBNews 5/12/00 Hans Chen ‘……The U.S. Department of Justice today awarded a $300,000 "smart gun" grant to Smith & Wesson, the sole signatory to a gun lawsuit settlement that requires gunmakers to develop this technology. Smith & Wesson will use the money to study the feasibility and practicality of smart guns, which use miniature electronics to prevent anyone but the rightful owner from firing them. Critics say these guns are still too undependable and would endanger police officers on the street who relied on them. ….."

Washington Post 5/17/00 James Grimaldi "…..As Microsoft Corp. engages in the fight of its life against the government's plan to split the company in two, the software giant is cranking up a well-financed, sophisticated and fierce campaign behind the scenes to generate public support. In the past two years, Microsoft has given more than $750,000 in contributions to tax-exempt trade groups, think tanks and foundations that in turn have attacked the antitrust case brought by the Justice Department and 19 states. The total includes more than $215,000 to the National Taxpayers Union, which has lambasted state attorneys general who support a breakup and attacked a key witness in the trial……."

Enter Stage Right 5/15/00 Robin Roberts "…….Everyone recognizes the beginning of a classic protection racket. In movies, it often takes the form of a stereotypical broken-nosed thug with an Italian surname walking into a store and saying, "Nice place you got here. I'd sure hate to see anything bad happen to it." So it must have just been an ironic coincidence that the head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is named Cuomo -- Andrew Cuomo, son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. In the Clinton administration, the equivalent of "nice place you got here" is to have the Justice Department and HUD file frivolous lawsuits -- funded by the taxes of 270 million Americans -- against perfectly legal, but politically incorrect, businesses -- like gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson. ……."

Enter Stage Right 5/15/00 Robin Roberts "…….The company's chief sin seems to be the same sin that has made the tobacco industry such a favorite political target -- namely, that it sells a stigmatized product. The politically motivated nature of the suit is clear. When the same kind of lawsuit went to trial against Beretta in California, the plaintiffs who claimed that Beretta ought to sell pistols with trigger locks not only lost but were ordered to pay Beretta's legal fees. In fact, lawsuits against gun manufacturers charging "negligence" universally have failed....The reality is that firearms companies are not the deep-pocketed kind of corporation that trial lawyers fattened themselves on in the tobacco industry. ……"

TIME Magazine 5/15/00 Bill Gates "…… Two weeks ago, in response to the government's proposed regulatory scheme to break up Microsoft, I said that our company could not have created the Windows operating system if we had been prohibited from developing Microsoft Office as well. The symbiotic nature of software development may not be obvious outside the industry, but it is a phenomenon that has produced enormous consumer benefits. Windows and Office--working together and drawing on each other's features and innovations--have improved personal computing for millions. …….."

Yahoo News 5/10/00 Reuters "…..Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) has won a battle in its legal war with archrival Sun Microsystems Inc.(NasdaqNM:SUNW - news) after a federal judge ruled their dispute is a contract dispute rather than a more serious copyright violation, as Sun had claimed. U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose, Calif., issued two decisions late on Monday that dismissed Sun's allegations that Microsoft violated copyrights on Sun's Java programming technology. Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said the decisions mostly reaffirmed earlier rulings by Whyte on the issue and did not amount to a dramatic development in the case. ``We are pleased that this ruling supports Microsoft's position that this is a contract dispute between two large and sophisticated companies, and not a copyright case,'' Murray said. ….."

The Associated Press 5/10/00 Michael Martinez "…….Microsoft Corp. asked a federal judge to reject the Justice Department's "adventurous proposal" to break it into two parts, saying such a punishment would be too severe. In its legal response to the government's proposed remedy, Microsoft said Wednesday there was no basis for a breakup and that the issues involved do not warrant "such a radical step." "Microsoft is asking the district court to dismiss the government breakup proposal immediately," said William Neukom, the company's executive vice president for law and corporate affairs. "Breaking up this company would be a punitive proposal that would fundamentally harm consumers and the entire industry." Microsoft also maintained that no company that attained its monopoly power through growth - rather than acquiring its rivals - has ever been broken up. ……."

Telegraph [UK] 5/10/00 Roger Highfield "…… THE discovery that slugs, snails and flies apparently feel pain could change forever the way human beings treat the rest of the animal kingdom, it was claimed yesterday. Studies also found that cockroaches have the capacity to suffer, cows can react emotionally and sheep can distinguish one person from another, therefore possessing the concept of what it means to be an individual. Dr Stephen Wickens, of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare charity (UFAW), said society often looked to scientists to tell them where to draw a line in their concern for animals ..."

UPI 5/11/00 "…..A Chicago judge Thursday dismissed part of a lawsuit, saying gunmakers have "no duty to control the distribution of their products." The decision came in a suit filed on behalf of the families of a Chicago police officers and two others who were shot to death. Circuit Judge Jennifer Duncan-Brice, in an 11-page opinion, dismissed the portion of the lawsuit that claimed gunmakers should be held liable for what is done with their products. Duncan-Brice wrote gunmaker Smith & Wesson and others "owed no duty to control the distribution of their products to the general public."……"

Dallas Morning News 5/14/00 Wayne Slater "……Every three months, like clockwork, another $25 million arrives for the five Texas tobacco lawyers. So far, the attorneys who handled the state's case against cigarette makers have collected more than $400 million. And they are spending some of it exactly as the GOP feared - to defeat George W. Bush and fellow Republicans in November. According to the latest finance reports, the trial lawyers who represented Texas have contributed more than $2.2 million in unrestricted soft money to the Democratic Party this election. And they're promising more. ….."

Associated Press 5/31/00 "…..Vice President Al Gore, confronted by a handful of angry tobacco workers, said Wednesday he does not want to make cigarettes illegal and would do what he could to protect tobacco-industry jobs -- as long as it doesn't undercut efforts to keep kids from smoking. "I am happy to do anything I can to help you preserve your livelihood, but I am not going to say or do anything that in any way undermines or weakens the toughest possible measures to prevent children from ever getting into the habit of smoking. Now if that costs me votes, I'm willing to pay that price," Gore said at an open meeting with voters, where he was sharply questioned by employees of Brown & Williamson's tobacco manufacturing plant here. ……"

Newsmax.com/ 5/31/00 Joe Uliana "……No institution has advanced the liberal agenda more in the last forty years than the courts. At almost every turn, when the legislative and electoral process roared up to defeat liberal efforts to change social, economic or foreign policy, some court was there to try to stop conservative encroachments on activist government. When Californians voted to end affirmative action, the federal courts issued an injunction that thwarted the will of the people. When Florida's legislature passed sweeping education reforms that included school choice, the courts quickly stepped in to stop implementation of the legislature's action. And in the sixties, when almost every state enforced capital punishment, the Warren Court struck it down as unconstitutional. …….. Look beyond these individual court cases and you will see the rise in tort litigation, the expansion of criminal rights, the creation of class action law suits and the rise of regulatory policy making as an outgrowth of the left's activism in our legal system. ……"

Time Daily Online 5/29/00 Frank Pellegrini "…..Is the Microsoft Case Moving Too ... Fast? As Judge Jackson speeds things along, worries surface that cracks may appear in the case when it comes to appeal ……. Two ways, three ways, who cares? Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson wants Microsoft split up, and he's had this thing on his docket long enough. But while Jackson on Friday read over the government's re-recommendation that the software giant be split in two and gave the Redmond boys until close of business Wednesday to respond with the usual consternation, Microsoft's lawyers may be quietly rejoicing at Jackson's latest move: summarily denying them the chance to respond with witnesses to the breakup plan. "Jackson clearly has been around this case long enough. But this is the sort of due-process issue that might catch the eye of a sympathetic appeals court," says TIME legal and technology correspondent Adam Cohen. "It might even have been part of Microsoft's strategy, to get this judge angry and frustrate him into making mistakes." ….."

National Review online 5/30/00 Robert Levy "……..Just when you think the politicians have wasted their time and our money on every harebrained scheme imaginable, New York lawmakers prove that they haven't yet plumbed their potential for legislative foolishness. Both the assembly and senate unanimously approved a bill that would force tobacco companies to make fire-safe cigarettes within two years or risk having their product banned from the nation's sixth largest market. The goal is to prevent smoldering butts from igniting a larger blaze. ……. Gov. George E. Pataki had the good sense to veto the bill on May 24. But his press conference suggests that the issue is far from dead. "The principle of New York taking the lead to make sure we have fire-safe cigarettes, I wholeheartedly support," he declared. If legislators will "sit down with our staff, work out [a few] details, and send the bill back ... I will sign it into law." Those "details" include fines for retailers who violate the law, stiffer penalties for bootlegging, a ban on Internet sales, and 6 months rather than 30 days for tobacco companies to comply. The bill's sponsors quickly proclaimed that they had no objections to the governor's conditions and were already preparing new legislation. …….. So this time it's not cancer but fires that cigarette makers cause. That's right: If someone falls asleep with a lit cigarette, R.J. Reynolds is to blame. After all, Camels are loaded with chemicals that allow them to burn without constant puffing. When not snuffed out, cigarettes can smolder for a half hour or more. Why shouldn't the industry produce a fire-safe version? ……."

New York Times 5/23/00Joel Brinkley "…..Microsoft filed an unexpected brief with a federal judge today that quoted from a five-year-old government legal document in which the Justice Department argued that breaking up Microsoft would be "against the public interest" and "dangerous to the economy's welfare." ….The document was part of the public record from an older antitrust case against Microsoft, the Justice Department's first suit against the company. The nine-page brief gives Microsoft the final word before a hearing on Wednesday but risks irritating the judge, Thomas Penfield Jackson, who did not ask for another filing from Microsoft when he laid out the schedule for the remedy phase of the case. ……"

AOL news profile 5/24/00 AP "…..A judge Wednesday upheld a Massachusetts law that bans gun dealers from selling weapons out of their homes. Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez rejected a claim by six gun dealers that the 1998 law violated their rights. The law, in part, is designed to facilitate safety regulations on gun sales such as record keeping and police searches. …… ``This is a major victory in the battle to keep people safe from guns,'' said state Attorney General Thomas Reilly. ``If you want to sell handguns in Massachusetts, you better put safety ahead of profit.'' ……"

yhoo.com 5/23/00 AP "……China dropped an 11-year-old ban on the importation of American tobacco Tuesday on the eve of the House vote on whether to grant the Chinese permanent normal trade relations. In a letter to the U.S. trade representative announcing the end of the ban, Chinese Ambassador Li Zhaoxing said ``such good news will be conducive to the PNTR legislation in (the) U.S. Congress.'' China had claimed that a fungus on U.S. tobacco called blue mold could damage its domestic crop but had recently suspended research on the issue after scientists concluded that the fungus could not reproduce once the leaf is cured. ……"

The New York Law Journal 5/25/00 Andrea Foster "….. CORPORATE ATTORNEYS are putting their feet down. After years of caving in to pressure by federal prosecutors to hand over privileged material, attorneys now are accusing the government of betraying their confidences and of jeopardizing corporate efforts to uphold the law. On May 12, the American Corporate Counsel Association (ACCA) wrote a letter of protest to Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder criticizing guidelines enunciated in an internal memo he released in June 1999 that ACCA says encourages prosecutors to force corporate suspects to waive attorney-client privilege to cooperate with the government and to avoid prosecution. ……"

USA Today 5/22/00 "……Five law firms representing Ohio hit the jackpot this month: a combined fee of $265 million for suing Big Tobacco in one of the many cases that helped forge the national tobacco deal. Big as it was, their windfall is but a small portion of the record-shattering fees awarded in the past 17 months to trial lawyers who sued the industry on behalf of the states. The lawyers' take so far: $10.4 billion. Hard to fathom? Try this. The $575-million award for lawyers representing Louisiana works out to $6,700 an hour, according to an arbitrator's dissenting decision. …… Louisiana wasn't close to setting records. In Texas, seven firms got a total of $3.29 billion. Florida doled out the biggest prize: Twelve firms split $3.4 billion. ….."

www.sciencedaily.com 5/22/00 "……In a discovery that opens an important direction in the study of Parkinson's disease, Virginia Tech scientists have identified a compound in tobacco that inhibits an enzyme that breaks down key brain chemicals. Parkinson's disease, a central nervous system disorder, causes the gradual deterioration of neurons in the section of the brain that controls movement. The brains of patients with Parkinson's disease typically have less of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Studies have shown that smokers are 50 percent less likely to get Parkinson's than non-smokers, but no one has isolated a particular substance in tobacco that may be responsible for that phenomenon. ….."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 5/20/00 Mike Johnson Linda Spice "…..After attempting to entice college students to abandon milk for beer, an animal rights group now is trying to shoo complexion-conscious teens away from dairy products with a "Got Zits?" campaign. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals tried to place an ad showing a greasy-haired teen with pimples, and a white milk mustache, in dozens of high school newspapers in several states, but only one accepted - Brookfield Central. …… "One problem with dairy products is they cause acne. That's one thing kids care about," said Bruce G. Friedrich, who coordinates PETA's vegetarian campaign. "They also are concerned about the treatment of animals." But Sandra Chalmers, spokeswoman for the state's department of agriculture, blasted PETA's latest ad campaign, saying it had no basis in fact. ……"

Denver Rocky Mountain News 5/20/00 "….A national animal rights group has written a letter to Gov. Jim Geringer asking him to get rid of the bucking bronco on Wyoming license plates. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals of Norfolk, Va., said the picture of a cowboy on a bucking horse promotes and glorifies rodeo. Campaign coordinator Kristie Sigmon, who wrote the May 9 letter, said spurs, bucking straps and electric jolts are examples of inhumane treatment at rodeos. ….."

Reuters (thru CNet news by way of Netscape) 5/19/00 "……A centrist Democratic think tank said today that it will suggest measures to Congress next week to reduce piracy associated with controversial song-swapping company Napster and similar online services. The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a Washington, D.C.-based research organization for the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, will propose the measures in a paper Tuesday at a House Small Business Committee hearing……While Napster has claimed it is merely an Internet service provider and not liable for the actions of people using its service, it is required by law to bar people proven to be infringing on copyrights. The company recently barred 300,000 Metallica fans that the band said had infringed its copyrights using Napster. ……."

Financial Times 5/18/00 Christopher Bowe "……McDonald's, the US fast-food chain, lashed out on Thursday at groups that have been targeting its restaurants, saying that some would be content if the company sold "only beans and rice". The response to the vandalism by protest groups, made at the annual shareholders meeting, was one of the strongest yet from the company, and came as McDonald's outlined plans for further global expansion. The well-known and widespread McDonald's restaurants and their iconic American trademark Golden Arches have increasingly become the whipping boys in the US and elsewhere for a variety of attacks. ………. Protestors, including those decrying the onset of globalisation, have recently vandalised and attacked McDonald's restaurants. Windows were broken at a McDonald's in Davos, Switzerland, during a trade summit there, and a restaurant in France was damaged in a protest by farmers......."

yahoo.com 5/19/00 AP "……Gun-control opponents in Congress have amended a major defense bill to bar the Pentagon from giving preferential treatment to Smith & Wesson, the manufacturer that reached a gun safety agreement with the Clinton administration. The two-paragraph article in the 474-page bill states that no Pentagon funds may be used to give a preference to a marketer or vendor of firearms or ammunition based on an agreement with the government. The House approved the $310 billion defense authorization bill Thursday. While Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest pistol-maker, is not mentioned, lawmakers on both sides of the gun issue said it was the clear target. ……"

AP via www.myrightstart.com 5/19/00 Paul Nowell "….Smith & Wesson got a mixed reception as the National Rifle Association opened its annual convention Friday, with some people shunning the gun maker's exhibit because it made a deal with the government to put childproof locks on its pistols.. ……. "This will be the most important meetings in our history," Heston said in a taped message to the gathering. "We are about to have the most important election in this organization's history. "Our gun rights are truly in peril," he said. "When the sun comes up on Nov. 8, who wins the election will determine our freedoms into the next century." ......NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre described the group's plan to open a megastore in New York City's Times Square that would contain retail space, a restaurant and virtual shooting ranges. ….. In return for agreeing to the gun locks, smart technology and background checks, Smith & Wesson will be the preferred gun retailer for law enforcement officials in 190 U.S. communities. Seven other gun makers and an industry group have challenged that arrangement with a federal lawsuit alleging an illegal conspiracy to retrain trade. …….NRA opponents launched a slate of vigils and marches with a news conference at which Michael Barnes, president of Handgun Control and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence in Washington, D.C., pledged to "remind the public of the NRA's hypocrisy when it comes to preventing gun violence." ….."

 

6/2/00 David Willis in Seattle "…… British Columbia: A new home for Microsoft? As the US software giant Microsoft waits to hear whether an American judge will order its break-up, it has been revealed that the company is being encouraged to relocate its operations to neighbouring Canada. The authorities in British Columbia have offered to do a deal with Microsoft. They are promising favourable treatment which may include a loan to build a new headquarters if Microsoft agrees to move its operations 100 miles further north, to the other side of the Canadian border. ...... Microsoft currently has around 20,000 employees in Seattle. Transferring its headquarters could have a devastating effect on the economy of the north-west corner of the United States. ……But it would also frustrate the American authorities' attempts to break the company up. ……"

Associated Press 6/2/00"…… Tobacco companies asked a judge Friday to throw out the government's massive lawsuit seeking to recover billions of dollars spent to treat ill smokers. "This just absolutely, independently cannot fly," the companies' lawyer said. The government's claims "are entirely lacking in any foundation in law," the lawyer Herbert Wachtell told U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler. If the lawsuit "is not the largest lawsuit of all time, it certainly ranks high," he said. The government is trying to recover $20 billion a year spent by Medicare and other federal health plans to treat smoking-related illnesses. Justice Department lawyer Frank Marine urged Kessler to let the lawsuit go forward. ….."We have an overwhelming case to go to the next step. It's not whether we have proof at this point, it's whether we are entitled to put the proof before your honor" at trial, Marine said. ….."

Washington Post AP 6/2/00 "…..Effective Sunday, smoking will be banned on all scheduled airline flights between the United States and other countries, the Transportation Department announced Friday. The regulation bans smoking in the cabin or cockpit of flights by U.S. or foreign airlines. The Federal Aviation Administration estimated that 97.7 percent of flights between the United States and other countries are already smoke free - including all U.S.-carrier flights - due to voluntary decisions by the airlines. Smoking has been banned on domestic U.S. flights since 1990, but that rule did not cover international flights arriving in or leaving the country. …. "

Reuters 6/2/00 "…..A tax on snacks and soft drinks could be just the ticket to keeping Americans slim and trim, researchers said Friday. A study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Yale University found that people would support a small tax, and further study suggested it would raise a lot of money to fight obesity. "With obesity rates soaring and the costs of diet-related diseases in the stratosphere, it is essential that government fund major campaigns to promote healthful diets and physical activity," Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, said in a statement. "One way to obtain funding is to apply small taxes to foods that undermine health." ….."

New York Times 6/4/00 Barry Meier "…..In a few weeks, Mr. Baron, 52, will be the new president of the powerful Association of Trial Lawyers of America, which has vowed to do everything it can to defeat Gov. George W. Bush of Texas, who has long made curbing civil litigation and limiting jury awards and lawyers' fees a centerpiece of his campaign. But while Mr. Baron has given Mr. Gore a great fund-raising boost, he has also given the Republicans a ready target in their campaign to link Mr. Gore to the image of greedy trial lawyers. …….. Mr. Bush has long cited tort reform -- laws that restrict civil litigation and limit jury awards -- as one of his greatest accomplishments as governor of Texas, and has said that if elected president he would take it to the federal level. "This election goes right to where trial lawyers live," said Scott Harshbarger, the president of Common Cause and a former Democratic attorney general of Massachusetts. ……."

Newsweek 6/12/00 "…… One of the big stories of the past decade is how the lawyers have taken over government. By this I am not referring to lawyers' winning elections-something that dates to the republic's earliest days. What has happened is that lawyers, acting on their own and deploying various legal devices, are increasingly trying to set government policies by themselves. Litigation substitutes for political debate and legislative struggle. It's not a healthy development. You can glimpse this phenomenon on many fronts. There's Microsoft. The Justice Department's antitrust suit amounts to "industrial policy"-an avowed attempt to intensify competition and innovation in an industry where they're already plentiful, with unpredictable consequences. …….. Then there was Ken Starr's unending investigation of Clinton. You do not have to be a Clinton enthusiast (I am not) to think that the process got thoroughly out of hand. It did so because the special-counsel law barely limited Starr's power. …….Finally, recall the tobacco settlement. It effectively imposed a huge cigarette tax on the almost 25 percent of Americans who smoke, with the proceeds going to states and the trial lawyers who sued on the states' behalf. Congress, of course, did not approve this tax or the massive transfer to a small number of-perhaps a few thousand-lawyers. At last count the lawyers had been awarded about $11 billion in fees. (Although the tobacco industry pays the fees, the costs are mostly passed along in higher cigarette prices.) ........., What connects these apparently unrelated episodes-all huge news events-is the similarity of the process. In each case some contentious economic, social or political matter was transformed into an ostensibly "legal" issue. This enabled lawyers, following their own beliefs or interests, to drive and shape events. The process continues, most prominently in suits against the gun and health-care industries, and we can expect much more of the same. ……"

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 6/5/00 George Archibald "…..A Texas law firm's huge profits from the $17 billion tobacco industry settlement, supported by the Clinton administration, have netted the Democratic Party one of its largest soft-money campaign contributions in the current election cycle. Houston-based Williams Bailey Law Firm and its partners, who take credit for helping win the massive multistate personal injury lawsuit against tobacco companies, gave $703,500 over the past year to national Democratic campaign committees and Vice President Al Gore, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, according to Federal Election Commission filings......."

Excite 6/5/00 Reuters "….. An animal rights group is continuing to claim that eating meat can cause sexual impotence, this time on a billboard that was rejected in 13 states before being erected on the outskirts of Seattle. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shopped the ad -- featuring a woman clad in an American-flag bikini and holding links of raw sausage -- to billboard companies in 13 major meat-raising states, Bruce Friedrich, PETA's vegetarian campaign coordinator, said in an interview. …."

Detroit News 6/4/00 John Pepper "……Those in Michigan cheering state assaults on the tobacco industry and gun manufacturers may want to hold their applause. The only reason automobiles aren't on the list just yet is because they remain too popular, says Victor Schwartz, general counsel to the American Tort Reform Association. "You can't get courts to change the law until you vilify the defendant, the way tobacco, guns and HMOs were vilified," says Schwartz, who spoke Saturday to the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual policy conference on Mackinac Island. ......... "But if the plaintiffs' bar is successful in getting the industry vilified, and of changing the law as they did in tobacco, they could spread incredible economic pain to the (automotive) industry." ……."

Roll Call 6/1/00 Morton Kondracke "…… Obesity kills nearly as many people as tobacco and far more than alcohol, so why not tax fat and sugar in foods to discourage consumption and help finance health education? Too complicated and too intrusive, say Clinton administration officials. Also, given the failed 1998 effort to hike tobacco taxes, a "fat tax" or "snack tax" probably wouldn't be politically popular. But the idea has a lot to recommend it, especially the small tax proposed this week by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to finance nutrition education. ...... According to Shalala, four of the country's leading killer diseases - heart disease, some cancers, diabetes and stroke - are linked to diet and lack of physical activity, leading to about 300,000 deaths a year. Smoking kills 400,000 people a year. Alcohol abuse kills about 100,000, including those from auto accidents. Gun violence and accidents kill 33,000 and drug abuse 65,000 from overdoses and diseases like AIDS. ….."

Associated Press 6/2/00 Larry Margasak "……Unwavering in its insistence that Microsoft Corp. be split in two, the Justice Department won a surprise delay in its antitrust case against the software company while lawyers explore possible agreements on secondary issues. A schedule approved Thursday by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson requires the government to file legal papers Monday specifying areas of agreement. Microsoft has until Wednesday………. The moves provided a temporary breather just as tension mounted with a ruling appearing imminent. By Wednesday, the case once again could reach the stage where Jackson is ready to administer punishment for the anticompetitive practices he found in April……."

ETHERZONE 6/12/00 Chuck Morse "……The "Master Settlement Agreement", signed by big tobacco and the States, prohibits cigarette advertising that targets minors. In addition, a $1.45 billion "Public Education Fund" is carrying out a nation-wide advertising and education campaign to help reduce youth smoking. The rational for the lawsuit brought against the tobacco companies by the attorney generals, which led to this unprecedented settlement, was that smoking poses a serious health risk, particularly to minors. No argument there. Implied in the settlement as well, is the importance of protecting the morals of our youth from the seductive advertising associated with promoting the evil weed. For the same legal, public health, and moral reasons, our attorney generals should craft a similar agreement with the abortion industry. ….."

The Associated Press 6/4/00 "……Two attorneys hired to represent a 13-year-old accused of murdering his teacher said Sunday that their client fired the shot accidentally. Lance Richard and Robert Udell said eighth-grader Nathaniel Brazill did not intend to shoot Barry Grunow on May 26, the last day of school at Lake Worth Middle School. They say the fault lies with the .25-caliber Raven handgun. ….. "It is our contention that the gun malfunctioned," Richard said. He and Udell were hired by Brazill's family Sunday, replacing public defender Randy Berman. ……""He went back to Barry Grunow's class to see the two girls - he didn't go back there to shoot anybody. The real, underlying message is that this kid had access to a gun." ……"

Newsweek 6/12/00 "……America's oldest and most troubled gunmaker is getting shelled again-this time by the U.S. military. Reeling from lawsuits and struggling to pay suppliers, Colt learned last week that it had lost its critical role making M-16 rifles for U.S. soldiers. Instead, the Belgian gun manufacturer FN Herstal got the new contract, worth up to $50 million over five years. ……"

Denver Post 6/5/00 David Olinger "……For 20 years as a licensed firearms dealer, Trader Jim Gowda traveled from gun show to gun show, selling thousands of guns without paperwork. One employee at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Denver called Trader Jim's traveling business the largest gun-trafficking case in history. Another wrote that hundreds of guns were traced from suspected criminals to a single Colorado dealer. Another reported Gowda had sold thousands of weapons at gun shows in Colorado and other states, yet had only a handful of federal sales forms identifying customers. Gowda maintains he was just taking his personal weapons collection to the shows, and he didn't know federally licensed dealers had to document all their sales. Until recently, "I doubt that 80 percent of the dealers knew you had to keep a record of your personal sales," he said. Last November, a federal grand jury decided Gowda's business method was illegal. …….Its indictment reads like a simple case against a firearms dealer accused of selling eight guns in ways that violated federal laws. ……"

The Associated Press 6/14/00 Michael Martinez "…..A state judge in Oregon has dismissed a lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. that claimed consumers paid too much for Windows 98, giving the software maker one of its first victories in a string of consumer antitrust suits filed in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Multnomah County Circuit Judge John Wittmayer based his Tuesday decision on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that consumers cannot sue a company under antitrust laws if they did not purchase a product directly from the company. That not only covers computers purchased with the Windows operating system pre-loaded, but also software and upgrades purchased through retail outlets such as software stores and online e-commerce sites. Microsoft only sells directly to retail stores and computer makers, and does not offer direct sales to consumers. ….."

Shotgun News 6/10/00Neal Knox "…….There are signs that BATF-the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms-is making, and about to make, a major new assault against gun show sales. And, with steadily increasing resources combined with steadily declining numbers of Federally licensed dealers to "inspect" they're moving more into the realm of dealer harassment than ever before. Some of this activity is legitimate-if unwelcome-enforcement of Federal laws that should never have been passed (which is why I shudder every time NRA says "enforce existing gun laws," without discriminating between laws targeting criminal misuse and gun swaps that most states consider lawful). But, some "dealer oversight" over-steps BATF's lawful authority-which is anything but a new phenomenon. ……For instance, BATF inspectors have no authority to copy sales records, but licensed dealers seldom object. Few FFL's can afford the cost-either the legal expenses or the risk of increased trace requests and additional inspections. ……"

New York Times 6/14/00 Joel Brinkley "….Microsoft took an important step today in its effort to overturn the antitrust ruling against it, telling an appellate court that the trial judge had committed "an array of serious substantive and procedural errors that infected virtually every aspect of the proceedings." It added that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's order last week to break up the company was based largely on "hearsay declarations submitted by the plaintiffs." And it asserted that restrictions imposed by the judge, unless stayed immediately, would have "far-reaching and irreversible consequences." …….. The Microsoft appeals brief came amid a flurry of late-afternoon legal maneuvering. Microsoft filed the document with the Court of Appeals this afternoon, while the Justice Department filed a motion this evening to take the case directly to the Supreme Court. ......Almost as soon as the appeals court received Microsoft's brief, the judges issued a remarkable order saying the entire court, minus three judges who recused themselves, would hear the case "in view of its exceptional importance." ……But if the Supreme Court eventually decides to take the direct appeal, the Appeals Court will have to stand down. ……."

CBSNEWS 6/14/00 "…..Acting at its first opportunity, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reached out Tuesday and agreed to hear Microsoft's appeal of a sweeping breakup order imposed on it for antitrust violations. In a victory for the giant software manufacturer in legal maneuvering with the government, the court acted even before U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson could hear the government's request to bypass the Circuit Court of Appeals and send the case directly to the Supreme Court. …..Jackson ruled last week that Microsoft should be broken in two to prevent further antitrust violations. Jackson also imposed restrictions on Microsoft's business conduct while it appeals the dismemberment. Jackson himself delayed the breakup until the appeals are finished, but his restrictions on Microsoft's business conduct will go into effect in 85 more days unless some court grants Microsoft a stay. Microsoft asked Jackson to issue such a stay. …….The government wanted Jackson to consider both Microsoft's request for a stay and the government's request for a direct appeal to the Supreme Court. ……But the government couldn't file its request for direct appeal to the Supreme Court until Microsoft filed its appeal. So the government wanted Jackson to delay ruling on Microsoft's request for a stay. Jackson, the district court judge, ruled in the government's favor. Microsoft said it disagreed with Jackson's ruling. ….."

The Advertiser 6/14/00 "……A PUSH to ban smoking in cars has won support from Federal Health Minister Michael Wooldridge. Dr Wooldridge said yesterday through a spokeswoman it was "inconsistent" for national road safety laws to outlaw mobile phone use in cars, but not smoking. "He does believe there is a strong road safety argument for banning smoking in cars," the spokeswoman said. Doctors in NSW have called for the ban, arguing passive smoking in enclosed places endangers passengers, especially children. ……. But Dr Wooldridge's views are based more on road safety problems caused by drivers who smoke at the wheel and cause accidents through inattention. ….."

The Federalist (r) Brief 5/16/00 "….. The following is a copy of the text from a letter written by Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, regarding the Smith and Wesson quid pro quo -- compliance with Clinton's gun mandates in order to win federal and state law enforcement purchase contracts.

Dear General Spitzer:

I have received your letter inviting me to join in your effort to encourage various state and local governments to award law enforcement gun contracts only to gun manufacturers agreeing to a "Code of Conduct" which dictates various business practices, safety features, marketing strategies, etc., for both gun manufacturers and gun dealers at the wholesale and retail level. I must respectfully decline your invitation.

First let me say, if I believed the safety of my constituents were truly the issue, I would be much more considerate of your request. But we are not living in a country flooded with "unsafe" guns. It is their illegal use that endangers us -- that must be addressed through vigorous criminal prosecution.

Providing for guns safety locks is one thing and, in truth, only a small part of your "Code of Conduct." However, dictating how many guns a purchaser is allowed to take home on one day, banning sales at gun shows and prohibiting a minor from even entering a gun store without a parent or guardian are parts of a political agenda, not a push for "gun safety." Coupling the safety issue with a strict regulation of business practices is merely a maneuver to advance a decidedly political agenda under the guise of "public safety."

I am a strong proponent and defender of Americans' Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I also make every effort to be a responsible manager of my constituents' tax dollars. I ask the director of the Arkansas State Police to make purchasing and requisition decisions based on quality, service and price. I will not ask him to award a lucrative government contract in order to further a political agenda geared at controlling and ultimately destroying the firearms industry. I want Arkansas State Troopers to protect our citizens and themselves using the best guns available, not guns from the most "politically correct" manufacturer. ……

So the answer is a definite "no," I will not seek the capitulation of firearm manufacturers through the use of asinine lawsuits or the doling out of taxpayer-funded government contracts. I regret that you feel either of these tactics to be worthwhile endeavors.

Sincerely yours,

Mike Huckabee ….."

CNSNews.com 6/12/00 Cheryl Chumley "….Three months after refusing to produce what the Clinton Administration considers "safer weaponry", the Colt Manufacturing Company has lost a contract with the US Army that could be worth as much as $50 million. A spokesman for the Cato Institute in Washington called the government's decision "mighty suspicious", but a senior defense analyst said he sees no connection between the two incidents.Colt Manufacturing will stop selling its M-16 rifles to the Army in October, 2001...."

CBSNEWS 6/12/00 AP "…….In its biggest antitrust case since Microsoft, the U.S. government has taken Visa and MasterCard to federal court in New York. Prosecutors say the two together have "stifled" and "thwarted competition" and "lessened consumer choice." Visa and MasterCard are both owned by the banks that issue them, and require those banks not to offer any competing cards. It's a trillion dollar market controlled by two giant networks...."

The Modesto Bee 6/17/00 Garth Stapley "…..State agents who seized rifles from a Modesto gun store owned by Republican candidate Steve Wilson had no idea Wilson is running for Congress, a spokesman for the agents said Thursday. "None of us had any clue who this guy was," said Nathan Barankin of the state Department of Justice. During an inspection, an agent noticed someone wearing a "Wilson for Congress" campaign pin and remarked that he wasn't aware Pete Wilson was running for Congress, Barankin said. "The reply was, "Not Pete Wilson--it's him," Barankin said. "That was the first time we were aware he is a candidate for office. ……Wilson said Wednesday he was the victim of political harassment becuase he is running against Democratic incumbent Gary Condit of Ceres. Condit's chief of staff, Mike Lynch, vehemently denied the charge. ….."

U.S. News & World Report 6/26/00 Kit Roane "….Mickey and Bugs, take cover. The National Rifle Association is planning to open its own "family oriented megastore" in Manhattan's bustling Times Square. No way, says Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. But lawmakers, worried about the impact of a cafe-shop with a shooting-sports theme, aren't taking any chances. The City Council recently passed a resolution condemning the idea. And New York Sen. Charles Schumer-one of the gun lobby's favorite targets-has taken to talking of a "Dodge City" in his midst. …….There are no plans to sell guns at NRASports Blast, as the theme restaurant would be called. But if the new complex ever does open near the Disney Store and the Warner Bros. Studio Store, a promo video says it would offer a "virtual" firing range providing "fun for the whole family." And that's just for starters. Expect wild-game-platter entrees and souvenirs like actor-NRA President Charlton Heston shooting vests. ……"

Wired News 6/15/00 Declan McCullagh "……When Jonathan Zuck joined a trade association to fight the antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, he never thought he'd be battling corporate espionage instead. A private investigator appears to have spent thousands of dollars attempting to obtain documents that could be damaging to Microsoft and its free-market allies including Zuck, who became president of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) two years ago. ……. In addition, someone pried open the doors and entered the rooms of Microsoft's Dupont Circle offices earlier this week, according to Microsoft spokesman Rick Miller. Microsoft and ACT have each contacted the police, who are investigating the incidents. …..During the last year, two other groups that sided with Microsoft have seen confidential documents obtained by computer companies and leaked to journalists for articles that were critical of the Redmond, Washington, software giant. ……"

Wall Street Journal Page A3 6/16/00 Ted Bridis "……On the evening of June 1, Jose Lopez and Erminia Morales of P&R Enterprises were going about their normal office-cleaning duties when, they say, a woman approached them and offered in Spanish to pay between $50 and I $60 to each of them for the trash of the Association for Competitive Technology here. The trade group is heavily funded by Microsoft Corp. and has been relentlessly pro-Microsoft in its work. ……… The cleaners said the woman identified herself as Blanca Lopez and asked them to bring the bags of trash to Upstream Technologies, on the same floor of the building. The cleaners declined. Less than one week later-exactly one day before U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the breakup of the software giant-the value of Microsoft-related trash rose dramatically. …….. Lou DeLeon, the general manager for the cleaning service, said Ms. Lopez returned the evening of June 6 and repeated her request for the trash. This time she offered $500 each to the two cleaners and $200 more to their supervisor. When they again declined Ms. Lopez handed over a copy of her business card and asked that Mr. DeLeon call her, saying she was "investigating a criminal case and wanted the trash from these suites," according to the cleaning crew. Mr. DeLeon eventually got the business card but never called her. ….Upstream Technologies is itself shrouded in mystery, with no evidence that it exists as a corporation. Its three-month lease next to the Association for Competitive Technology was arranged to begin May 1 by a Robert Walters, according to a copy of the credit application he made for the property. …..An Upstream lawyer identified Mr. Walters as a former investigative reporter. A New York Times article in August 1998-identified a Robert Walters as a former newspaper reporter who had links to Investigative Group International Inc., a high-powered research firm led by Terry Lenzner that has been employed by lawyers for President Clinton. Larry Potts, former deputy director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is IGI's chief operating officer. ……"

UPI 6/15/00 "…..The New York state Legislature made an agreement Wednesday night with the governor to require the so-called "fire-safe cigarettes" to be sold in the state by mid-2003……. "This will change the entire industry," said Assembymember Alexander "Pete" Grannis, a Manhattan Democrat, the bill's main sponsor. The agreed-upon bill, was approved unanimously by both the state Assembly and Senate in what many believe are the waning days of the legislative session, calls for the tobacco industry to sell cigarettes that self-extinguish……… "

AP news 6/13/00 Ashley Grant "……The Justice Department is investigating whether a business-to-business Internet Web site being designed by six meatpacking companies violates federal antitrust law. In April, 10 Minnesota lawmakers asked the department's antitrust division to look into the joint venture to create an online marketplace for meat and poultry products, service and information. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Klein, head of the antitrust division, responded that the agency ``is aware of this new venture and is taking steps to determine if its formation or operation is likely to have anticompetitive effects on producers and consumers. ``You can be assured that if we conclude that the venture violates the antitrust laws, we will take appropriate action,'' Klein wrote in a letter received by state officials this week. …… The venture - still in its formative stages - would provide a single, convenient place for buyers and sellers of meat and poultry products to connect with each other and allow faster product comparison and price negotiation, reducing paperwork and other duplication, participants say. ……"

CBN 6/14/00 Paul Strand "……The fat stats are growing even faster than our bellies. The number of obese adults has doubled in just two decades. You can blame obesity for about $40 billion in extra health care costs. "The effects of unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are comparable to the effects of tobacco on Americans' health," says nutrition scientist Margo Wootan. Wootan works at the Center for Science and Public Interest (CSPI), which is now proposing a snack or soda tax to help fight obesity. "A small tax like a penny on a 12-ounce soft drink could raise about $1.5 billion a year." says Wootan. …But opponents, like Libertarian Party National Director Steve Dasbach, label that the "Twinkie(tm) tax."……Dasbach, who sees this anti-obesity move as the start of something big, says it's "the beginnings of a war on fat that really parallels what we've seen as the war on tobacco." ….."

AP 6/12/00 Jeff Donn "…..Smith & Wesson, which angered some competitors and consumers when it struck a federal gun-safety deal, reportedly plans to shut down two manufacturing plants during July. WGGB-TV in Boston, citing unidentified company representatives, reported Monday that Smith & Wesson was responding both to cyclically sluggish summer sales and consumer resistance in the wake of the gun-safety accord. The station said about 500 workers would be affected at plants in Springfield and Houlton, Maine. …….An employee who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, confirmed that an internal memo distributed to workers Friday said it was "necessary" to close some manufacturing departments for the month of July. ……."

MArket Watch 6/12/00 UPI "…..U.S. attorneys and lawyers for Visa and MasterCard vie with each other as the Justice Department's antitrust suit against the credit card giants opens in New York City Monday. The government is charging that Visa and MasterCard, who together control three-fourths of the credit card business, do not compete with each other but have cooperated to freeze out competitors. ….. The complaint was filed more than a year and a half ago by the Justice Department after an "extensive" investigation sparked by a complaint from American Express. ……."

NewsMax.com 6/8/00 "….With the Microsoft monopoly case almost behind them, Justice Department trust busters are setting their sights on their next target: Visa/MasterCard. The Justice Department and the owners of the Visa and MasterCard companies will square off Monday in Manhattan's federal courthouse in the first rounds of a knock-down-and-drag-out battle between the government and the banks that run both credit card giants. At issue is the perception that rather than being two separate companies, Visa and MasterCard are two peas in the same pod, and that since they have not competed in the credit card field in the full sense of the word, they are a monopoly that freezes out competitors such as American Express and Discover. ……"

Freeper flamefront "….From How Washington Really Works from "Shadows of Hope" By Sam Smith: Ron Brown, secretary of commerce: Represented foreign auto makers, American Express, Japan Airlines, Oman, Zaire, Baby Doc Duvalier, Gabon, and a coalition of 21 Japanese electronics producers. His firm has represented New York Life Insurance, Mutual Life Insurance, scores of Japanese firms and American multinationals, BCCI and Guatemala. …….. And lets not forget the relation to Vernon Jordan who is a director of American Express and had tried to get Monica hired over there. ….."

INSIGHT Magazine 7/3/00 Kelly Patricia O’Meara "…… A North Carolina exotic-meat business was forced to close by overzealous federal and state officials, who don't seem to understand what the law is regarding exotic game. On Nov. 15, 1995, agents from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, or NCWRC, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service arrived at Earl Peck's home-based business in Rocky Mount, N.C., to discuss whether he might be in violation of state wildlife laws by selling game from other jurisdictions where its commerce is legal. Peck invited the agents in, explained that through his exotic-meat business, International Home Cooking, he did indeed sell some black-bear meat purchased from a legal out-of-state distributor. So was the matter resolved amicably? Alas, not really. In a perfect world of courtesy and civility, where innocence is presumed until guilt is proved, the problem might have been played out as imagined above. But Peck was not afforded the benefit of the doubt and the events that unfolded that fall day have put him out of business and left him near bankruptcy. Indeed the investigation and raid resembled something out of television's popular Cops series, where SWAT teams and siege tactics are the norm. …"

http://www.bloomberg.com/ 6/11/00 Kim Dixon "….Microsoft Corp. must admit it harmed consumers in order to strike a settlement with the government in its antitrust case, said the U.S. Justice Department's chief antitrust enforcer. Microsoft must ``come to grips with the nature of the competitive harm'' it has caused consumers by linking its operating and applications systems, Joel I. Klein, head of the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division, said on the CBS news program ``Face the Nation.'' U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson this week ordered Microsoft to be split in two -- the first U.S. antitrust breakup since American Telephone & Telegraph Co. in 1984. The ruling marked the climax of a two-year court fight. ……"

Capitalism Magazine 6/8/00 Robert Tracinski "…… Only a month ago, the Justice Department filed its motion that the Microsoft Corporation be broken into pieces as a "remedy" under the antitrust laws. The government wants to split the company into two pieces, one to make the Windows operating system, the other to develop the specific software applications that run on that system. What this means is that the federal government is taking it upon itself to seize one of the world's largest corporations and to restructure the entire computer industry. It amounts to the declaration that Microsoft, and any other successful company, is state property, to be carved up and disposed of at the whim of bureaucrats and judges…….What are the damages that are being "remedied"? According to Judge Jackson's findings of fact, Microsoft has created an unspecified "confusion" among consumers. And by adding new features to its operating system-clearly a nefarious practice-Microsoft has caused computers to run more slowly and have more bugs. (Haven't you noticed how much slower your computer is than it was five years ago?) And thrown in with these claims are such minor complaints as the charge that integrating a browser into Windows makes it harder for employers to keep their workers from surfing the Web……..There are no dead bodies, no wrecked companies-under Microsoft's allegedly "stifling" reign, the software industry has grown by leaps and bounds-and no world-changing innovations that have been quashed. The "damages" claimed by the judge range from the vague, to the ridiculous, to the trivial……."

Reuters & AP 6/7/00"…… Microsoft co-founder files to sell 2M shares WASHINGTON -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 2 million common shares of the software giant, valued at more than $128 million. Allen -- one of Microsoft's biggest shareholders with a 4.1 percent stake as of May 23 -- made the filing on June 1, before the judge in the government's antitrust case announced Wednesday he planned to release his final decision in the matter later in the afternoon….."

David Ammons; The Associated Press "……. The recent drop in the value of Microsoft Corp. stock - reflected in the value of Microsoft employees' stock options - has cut personal income in Washington state by $5 billion, the state's chief economist said Tuesday night in Olympia. …….. But Chang Mook Sohn said the vibrant state and national economies are strong enough to offset the effect of Microsoft's woes in Washington, even if a judge orders the breakup of the company. …….. "

Reuters 6/7/00 James Vicini "……The landmark antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. may be headed toward the Supreme Court, but in all likelihood it would be taken up later rather than sooner. Now that District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has ordered the software giant split in two -- and with Microsoft set to appeal -- the federal government will have to decide whether to then try to take the case directly to the nation's highest court, bypassing the U.S. appeals court. Although the law allows for direct appeals to the Supreme Court and the judge in the case has expressed his preference for a speedy resolution, legal experts doubted the justices would want to hear the case immediately. …….. The government may want to dispose of any appeals by Microsoft quickly, and it may want to bypass the conservative-controlled appeals court, which already has sided with Microsoft in earlier rulings in the case, in one instance overturning judge Jackson. ……The experts said the Supreme Court would be highly reluctant to intervene in the case before the appeals court. ……"

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 6/8/00 William Glanz "…..Microsoft Corp. must split into two companies as punishment for breaking U.S. antitrust laws, a federal judge ordered in his final ruling in the landmark case yesterday. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's decision could lead to the first breakup of a major U.S. company since AT&T Corp. agreed in 1982 to a consent decree with the government that led to creation of the "Baby Bells" two years later. A breakup is necessary because "Microsoft as it is presently organized and led is unwilling to accept the notion that it broke the law" and unwilling to change its behavior, Judge Jackson wrote. A lengthy appeals process is likely to be the next step, and Microsoft could file an appeal as early as this week. The company does not have to split until the appeals process is finished, the judge ruled……."

TBO.com 6/7/00 AP "…..The federal judge who ordered Microsoft split in two Wednesday reached his decision with extreme reluctance and said he would favor a government motion to send the case quickly to the Supreme Court, The Washington Post reported. In an interview, rare but not unprecedented for a federal judge, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson said he had little choice but to accept the government's breakup proposal because he wanted to avoid a conduct-restraining order that required complex regulations. ……… ….."

Washington Post 6/8/00 Greg Schneider and Rob Garretson "….. Friends of Microsoft predicted yesterday that a federal judge's order to break up the software giant would never survive on appeal, while consumer advocates and some industry rivals hailed the ruling as a breakthrough in efforts to hold down prices and boost competition in personal computing. Some technology executives steered a cautious middle ground, though, voicing concern about government intrusion into their fast-paced business and resolving to withhold judgment until the legal process runs its course………. "We don't think it's going to change the demand for Microsoft products from the customers who want them," Dell Computers founder Michael Dell said in an interview yesterday with Washington Post reporters and editors. Dell added, though, that he is "not a big fan of this sort of thing. I think our business generally is one that has lots of competition and customers generally decide which products are successful and why."……"

Washington Post 6/8/00 James V. Grimaldi "…… Now that a federal judge has ordered the breakup of Microsoft Corp., it would seem to be the company's darkest hour. To the contrary, Microsoft executives and their attorneys believe that at long last their fate is back in their own hands. As the case goes on appeal, Microsoft officials believe they will have far more control over the process, whether the case finds a speedy track to the U.S. Supreme Court or takes a more routine route through the U.S. District Court of Appeals. If the Supreme Court takes the case right away, a final decision could be made as early as the end of the year. If it goes through the normal appeals process, it could take two years or more……."

U.S. Newswire 6/8/00 "…..John Frydenlund, director of the Center for International Food and Agriculture Policy at Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), ridiculed the idea of a national fat tax on soft drinks and snack foods. The tax was proposed by Profs. Michael Jacobson and Kelly Brownell in the June issue of American Journal of Public Health. "It is appalling that an otherwise respectable publication would allow itself to be used to promote such a costly expansion of the nanny state," remarked Frydenlund. "This radical proposal to tax each 12-ounce soft drink, and every pound of candy, chips, and other snack foods would impose a new national tax of $1.8 billion on American consumers." According to Frydenlund, state and local taxes on soft drinks and snack foods already amount to $1 billion each year. ……"

FWN via NewsMax.com 6/8/00 "….. London -- The judicial decision that ordered Microsoft Corp. to be split into two on antitrust grounds is "inconsistent" with previous rulings by the Department of Justice and is based on legal and factual errors, CEO Steve Ballmer said Thursday. "Any break-up would hold back the level of innovation and cause disruption to what we are able to do for the consumer," Ballmer said at a news briefing in Rotterdam, the Netherlands…….. Ballmer's comments echo those of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates made Wednesday in response to the decision. "This ruling is inconsistent with past decisions by the appeals court, with fundamental fairness and with the reality of the marketplace. Consumers every day see more competition, more pressures and an economy full of innovation," Gates said in a videotaped statement. ……."

Washington Post 6/9/00 Eric Pianin "….. Key members of Congress are attempting to derail a high-stakes Justice Department lawsuit against the tobacco industry by cutting off a vital source of funds to finance the government's litigation. The government is seeking tens of billions of dollars in damages from large tobacco companies to cover federal health care programs' costs of treating cigarette-related illnesses. The tobacco industry settled a similar lawsuit with the states in 1998 for $206 billion. As the industry pressed last week in federal court here to have the suit dismissed, some of its allies on Capitol Hill were adding provisions to fiscal 2001 spending bills that would effectively throttle the government's case. The effort is being spearheaded by tobacco state lawmakers - including Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) - who want to kill the lawsuit and appropriations committee leaders who disapprove of the administration shifting funds from the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services to underwrite the cost of the litigation……"

CNSNews.com 6/8/00 Bruce Sullivan "…..Wednesday's ruling by US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft Corporation should be split in two because the Redmond, Washington-based software giant constitutes a monopoly came as no surprise. However, some experts say the next big factor in the case may be the upcoming presidential election - especially if presumed Republican nominee, Texas Governor George W Bush, is the winner……… The US Justice Department's antitrust suit against Microsoft could theoretically go on for years, said Lars Liebeler, an antitrust lawyer for the Computer Technology Industry Association. However, if Bush wins the presidential election in November, by January 2001 a whole new cabinet will be in place, including a new attorney general and deputy attorney general in charge of the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust division, that prosecuted the Microsoft case……."

CBSNEWS.com 6/8/00 "……Microsoft Corp. co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday the software giant will not be bullied by the Justice Department and promised to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a judge's decision to split the company. …….. "I'm disappointed that we've had to go through this case at all," Gates said Thursday on CBS News' The Early Show. "The rules were clear. Microsoft followed those rules. Now we simply need to get the higher court to make that clear." ...... "

Washington Times 6/9/00 "….Thanks for your help, Bill Gates, but federal district Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson will take it from here. In announcing essentially a hostile takeover of Microsoft Wednesday, Judge Jackson said he would reorganize it into two competing firms, the better to bring Microsoft into compliance with his interpretation of the nation's antitrust laws. Further, the plan calls for his retaining control of Microsoft for up to 10 years, which would allow him to modify the breakup, as he put it, "to accommodate conditions changed with the passage of time." Consumers and company shareholders may not appreciate the idea of giving a federal judge the last word on Microsoft's plans in a complex, fast-changing industry, but it's no longer their choice………. Microsoft's "crime" in this case, the Justice Department charged and the judge agreed, was to leverage its dominance of operating systems into control of the browser market. Operating systems are the virtual platform from which consumers launch applications like word processing and financial spread sheets, and browsers enable users to get access to the Internet. Because browsers offered a competing platform from which to open applications, the department argued, the company set out to monopolize that market to the great detriment of consumers. Put another way, "it used illegal tactics to prevent [browser rival] Netscape from freely selling its browser," the New York Times editorialized. One would assume from such language that Microsoft must have held Netscape salesmen at gunpoint. In fact, what Microsoft did was to give away its own browser for free. Nothing stopped Netscape from continuing to sell its browser other than the fact that competition from Microsoft had driven the price of browsers to zero. If only Mr. Gates and Microsoft had tried to gouge consumers rather than to give them something for free, that would have been fine with the feds……"

Boston Herald 6/9/00 "…… Microsoft Corp. has never hesitated to throw its weight around. But it's done nothing to deserve dismemberment. Like many, Microsoft was blindsided by the World Wide Web. The Netscape browser was the first practical program that enabled a home computer user to use the Web - and its development could someday make operating systems like Microsoft's near-universal Windows unnecessary. So Microsoft integrated its own browser into Windows. This, claimed the Justice Department, was illegal. The government relied on the doctrine that a monopolist may not use tactics, even if otherwise legal, aimed at hurting challengers. ……. In a related case, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said integrating the browser into Windows could not be a violation as long as consumers benefited. (It took Microsoft four tries to make a useful browser. Monopoly doesn't always help.) The trial judge believes that ruling is wrong. Noting Microsoft internal e-mail that spoke of ``undermining'' and doing other harm to Netscape, he said the evidence that Microsoft intended to help consumers with a built-in browser was ``not credible.'' Apparently the judge is shocked - shocked! - to find that competitors try to damage to each other. It is unquestionable that consumers were helped by having an integrated browser. This was the direct and socially beneficial result of the Netscape-Microsoft blood feud. Intent was irrelevant. ……."

Newsweek 6/11/00 "…..Thomas Penfield Jackson didn't speak publicly during the trial. Last week he opened his doors to explain his legal reasoning in layman's terms. NEWSWEEK Contributing Editor Stuart Taylor Jr. talked to Jackson in his chambers at the Federal Courthouse in Washington. Excerpts:
TAYLOR: You weren't impressed with Microsoft's suggestions that your remedy would wreck the American economy?
JACKSON:I'm not an economist and I'm not a[n] economic policymaker. I was presented with what appeared to be a remedy which reflected the thoughtful work product of the officials of the Department of Justice and the attorneys general of 19 states, and they had the benefit of a lot of economic advice, and it appeared to me to address the violations that I had found, and to conform to the Supreme Court's prescriptions as to the appropriate form of a remedy in an antitrust case of this character. ……"

Newsweek 6/19/00 Steve Ballmer "……Microsoft's CEO was in Europe last week, promoting the company that now must appeal a judge's order to split itself in half. He spoke by phone with NEWSWEEK's Steven Levy.
LEVY: Were you at all surprised?
BALLMER: I can't say I was shocked by anything that's happened in the last few days. [But] I think our company and our industry has served consumers pretty well. I think our industry is incredibly competitive. [So] I am frankly stunned that there could be this kind of judgment entered. ……..
Obviously your stance has offended the court. Why not say you're sorry?
When you believe in the propriety, integrity and righteousness of what you've done, I don't think the thing to do is have a mea culpa. The thing to do, at least in the United States, is to argue your position, your innocence. …….
But at a certain point you might have to accept it as your possible fate. Are you anywhere close to that yet?
No. The proposal is so bad, bad for consumers. The cost that would be driven into this business would be amazing. The regulation prohibiting the enhancement of Windows. The expropriation of intellectual property from the Windows company. All of that would not only cut innovation but would certainly drive up the price of software, it would certainly drive up the price of personal computers. ……."

 

FindLaw Legal News 6/21/00 AP "…..Corrupt gun dealers and gun shows are illegally distributing large numbers of firearms, according to a report being cited by the Clinton administration to buttress its case for stricter controls. The report Wednesday by the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that while corrupt licensed gun dealers were involved in fewer than 10 percent of ATF's investigations, they were associated with the largest total number of diverted guns - 40,365. They also had the highest average number of guns per investigation, 354. ……… Gun shows, where licensed and unlicensed dealers sell, were associated with the second-highest average number of guns per investigation, 130, and accounted for nearly 26,000 trafficked firearms. But 14 percent of ATF investigations involved firearms trafficked at gun shows. ……."

Washington Post 6/24/00 Eric Pianin "……The House voted yesterday to allow the government to continue a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the tobacco industry, capping a remarkable weeklong turnabout in which fear of being on the wrong side of the issue helped prompt nearly two dozen Republicans to turn against Big Tobacco. The government filed suit in September seeking to recover billions of dollars in tobacco-related health care costs, in the wake of the tobacco industry's huge 1998 settlement with the states...."

CBS /WND 6/22/00 "……Animal-rights activists know the name PETA is an acronym for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But in cyberspace, the letters briefly stood for People Eating Tasty Animals. ……. From September 1995 to January 1996, a Maryland Internet entrepreneur used the Web address www.peta.org as the home page of the fictitious group. The site described itself as "a resource for those who enjoy eating meat, wearing fur and leather, hunting and the fruits of scientific research (and more!)." ……The animal-rights group wasn't laughing. They took Web site owner, Michael Doughney, to court and last week a federal judge ordered Doughney to relinquish the Web address to PETA and limit his use of domain names to those not "confusingly similar." ……… "He did a selfish and self-serving thing by trying to profit from the name of an organization that serves to help animals," Lisa Lange, spokeswoman for Norfolk-based PETA, said Tuesday………Doughney's attorney, G. Gervaise Davis, said he plans to appeal. He said Doughney was simply parodying PETA, which is protected speech under the First Amendment. "It's not a cybersquatting case at all," Davis said. "It simply presents a question: Can you use a trademark as a domain name for the purpose of creating a parody?" …….. Interestingly, PETA found itself on other side of a parody controversy earlier this year. In March, Mothers Against Drunk Driving protested PETA's "Got Beer?" parody of the "Got Milk?" ads, saying it encouraged underage drinking at colleges. ……"

WSJ 6/19/00 Ted Bridis "…... In two of the cases in the past year, both involving groups funded by Microsoft, confidential documents and even laptop computers have disappeared from the groups' offices. The pilfered information eventually appeared in the media, usually with embarrassing results for Microsoft. …….. The reports are the latest twists in a strange tale surrounding the Microsoft antitrust case. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that a woman with ties to Upstream Technologies, a largely unknown Maryland company set up by Investigative Group International, tried to buy bags of Microsoft-related trash for $1,200. The offer was made two weeks ago to the cleaning crew of the Association for Competitive Technology, of which Microsoft is a member. The cleaners turned down the money and reported the incident....... In yet another case, the National Taxpayers Union, also allied with Microsoft, reported that a succession of visitors have appeared at its Arlington, Va., offices pretending to be people they weren't. NTU president John Berthoud said he is convinced that unidentified opponents of Microsoft "have been conducting some type of corporate espionage against us." …… Earlier this year, Mr. Berthoud's group argued that because of the Microsoft antitrust case, public pensions funds that invested in the software maker's stock had lost $38.6 billion, thanks to the steep drop in the price of company shares……

Alabama Live 6/19/00 Alan Fram "……The House voted Monday to bar the Justice Department from accepting funds from another agency to help pay for the federal lawsuit against the tobacco industry, even as Attorney General Janet Reno warned that such steps would force her to drop the multibillion-dollar litigation. By a 207-197 vote, the House stood behind language in a spending bill that would force the Department of Veterans Affairs to abandon its plans to give the Justice Department $4 million to help it pay for the huge lawsuit. The legal action seeks to recover billions spent by Medicare and other federal programs to treat illnesses caused by smoking. …….Industry lawyers have called the lawsuit "blatantly political" and "the height of hypocrisy" because the government warned the public of smoking dangers in the 1960s. Tobacco companies have also challenged the government's right to recover payments it has made under Medicare. ......"

Yahoo 6/19/00 Donna de la Cruz AP "….. NEW YORK (AP) - The city plans to sue approximately 30 gun manufacturers for negligent marketing and distribution of guns, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Monday. The lawsuit, to be filed in federal court Tuesday, seeks unspecified damages but Corporation Counsel Michael Hess said it could run in the tens of millions of dollars. ``Manufacturers sell guns and have guns distributed in states with very weak gun laws, knowing that these guns will be transported from weak gun law states to strong gun law states,'' Hess said. …… The city will also cite deceptive advertising used by gun makers, such as saying that homes with guns are safer than homes without firearms. Hess said there are numerous studies that prove that theory wrong. Among the defendants will be Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest gunmaker, Hess said. Reached after business hours, the company said no one was available to comment. ……."

New York Post 6/19/00 "…… The ban-the-butts crowd smiled broadly in Albany last week as the Legislature adopted a bill outlawing the sale of all cigarettes in New York save for those that "self-extinguish" - whatever that means. Gov. Pataki has promised to sign the measure, which will take effect in 2003. Never mind that the technology needed to manufacture such a product doesn't exist. And never mind that, if and when they are finally available, "self-extinguishing" smokes will be more expensive than the traditional kind - which, in New York, already are the most expensive in America. ......"

New York Post Online 6/20/00 Paul Tharp "……Politicians are rallying around Toys "R" Us and luxury purveyor LVMH for taking a stand against the National Rifle Association in a Times Square showdown over a shooting gallery there. The two companies are refusing to sign leases in the glitzy new "Bow Tie" building if the NRA also moves in with its gun-themed showcase…….. Sources have told The Post that Toys "R" Us and LVMH are refusing to sign leases in 1530 Broadway unless they get assurances from the NRA and its president, actor Charlton Heston, that the NRA won't build a theme restaurant and shooting gallery there. ….."

San Francisco Chronicle 7/12/00 Kelly Zito "……After an hourlong phone conversation on June 30 with Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp.'s mercurial chief executive, Ray Lane saw the company's future. And it didn't include him. ……. While Lane, 53, Oracle's president and chief operating officer, was on vacation with his two daughters in Oregon, Ellison called him and essentially stripped him of most of his duties -- from the departments that reported to him to the deals that Lane usually cleared. …….. So Lane resigned, fueling speculation of a rift with Ellison or a tie-in to the now-infamous Microsoft-related Dumpster diving. But Lane, in his first interview since his resignation, told The Chronicle that neither was the case. Lane said it was his decision to leave, and he holds no bitterness toward the database software company that helped make him a billionaire. ``I just didn't fit'' within Ellison's new hierarchy, he said. ……."

The Associated Press 7/12/00 "…….A town ordinance banning motorists from using handheld cell phones has been overturned by a judge who said it bucked state traffic laws. Common Pleas Judge David Heckler granted a motion Tuesday to dismiss the charge against a man cited in February for using his cell phone while driving through Hilltown Township, near Philadelphia. Dan Young, 42, argued that the law should be uniform statewide, saying he did not know about the ordinance and had not been aware he was in Hilltown. "I am very concerned about safety. I think this is just kind of punitive," Young said. ......"

Bridge News 7/9/00 Whitt Flora "…..At long last, a judge has come down on the side of good old common sense in the often murky, always vitriolic debate over smoking bans in restaurants and bars. Ann S. Harrington, a circuit court judge in Maryland's affluent Montgomery County, recently found the county council's smoking ban violated several county and state laws along with the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause. ……. The council's smoking ban was widely hailed by anti-smoking groups when it passed in March 1999. It was the first in the Mid-Atlantic region and among the toughest in the nation. ……..To pass the law last spring, the Montgomery council went to the extraordinary length of reconstituting itself as the Board of Health, without first obtaining needed approval from the county executive. It also failed to advertise a hearing on the proposed regulation, as required by county law. …….Judge Harrington ruled the board illegally attempted to serve as both a legislative and an executive body and also violated the equal protection clause by excluding private clubs from the smoking ban. As it turns out, about half of Montgomery County's 1,403 restaurants already ban smoking completely……."

Bridge News 7/9/00 Whitt Flora "…..There's a certain governing mindset going back to the early days of the Puritans that wants to tell other people how to live their lives. Better living though regulation, to paraphrase the old DuPont Chemical commercial. …….. While puritanical takeovers are a recurring strain in American history, they almost always have been suppressed by a freedom-craving majority. As long as we aren't harming someone else, most of us simply want to be left alone. ......,What bothers me most about the current efforts to ban smoking is they don't deal with reality. The National Press Club, for instance, has a portion of its bar area reserved for smokers, but there are remarkably few takers, perhaps one or two in a given evening. ……. I've found this to be true in restaurants that allow smoking as well. The 25 percent of Americans that polls show still smoke apparently don't do it much around non-smokers. Perhaps they all congregate behind the proverbial barn. ….."

Bridge News 7/9/00 Whitt Flora "…..Still, there are some anti-smokers who will complain at the mere sight of a lighted tobacco product. I was at a tony restaurant in super-rich Fairfax County, Va., when a woman in the next booth demanded to see the manager. When he arrived, the woman complained angrily about two men, half a football field away, who had just lighted two torpedo-shaped cigars. ……..The manager calmly explained the two men were properly seated in the smoking section and, besides, the restaurant had just spent several hundred thousand dollars on a state-of-the-art ventilation system that sucked the smoke straight up. ......... "None of their smoke will come anywhere near another guest, including people seated at the next table," the manager stated. Indeed, even from across the room one could see a spiral of smoke ascending swiftly toward the ceiling. ……The woman was far from satisfied. "I'm filing a complaint with the authorities," she said as she got up to leave. "And I'm going to have my lawyer look into it, too. This has ruined my lunch." ……It dawned on me extreme anti-smokers aren't really as concerned about the altruistic pleasure of improving someone's life as they are about the self-indulgent thrill they get from controlling someone else's. …….."

Hartford Courant 6/17/00 David P Bauer "…… Bill Gates started Microsoft with the insight that people valued personal computer software and that they could be made to buy software that they were previously getting for free. Half a trillion dollars later, Microsoft's products are the standards of the personal computer software industry. …… Microsoft has been pursuing the other half of that trillion dollars too aggressively and needs to be forced to make some adjustments to its corporate philosophy. ……. The proposed breakup of Microsoft could reduce the PC operating system standards from one to zero, inducing chaos into the PC world and eliminating billions of dollars of wealth from our economy. …… Our federal government needs to stop acting like a bunch of angry lawyers and entertain more entrepreneurial solutions. The federal government has the clout to specify an operating system standard that is not Microsoft for all its PC's. ……."

Salt Lake Tribune 7/9/00 Barberi & Wilson "…… When people who have a basically good cause go over the edge, they take their cause with them. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a good cause. Members are concerned about the welfare of animals. It is a position I can appreciate. But when members of PETA start ranting about the people on CBS' "Survivor" island having rat-on-a-stick for dinner, they make fools of themselves. The chant, "Rats Have Rights" does little to garner sympathy. It makes people laugh at them, no matter what they say afterwards. …….. Another of their targets makes a real stretch. They want the Green Bay Packers to change their name to the Green Bay Pickers because the team originally got its name from the meat packing business that owned them back in the days of leather helmets and no teeth. The PETA crowd thinks that Pickers would glorify fruit and not meat packing. Today's Packers have no more relationship to meat packing than the University of Southern California Trojans have to condoms. …….."

Washington Times 7/12/00 Dick Thornburgh "…… Hot on the heels of Microsoft breakup headlines, the Justice Department's antitrust czar, Joel Klein, has announced another corporate dragon-slaying. The department will disallow the WorldCom/Sprint merger. The question is, despite all of their "new economy" rhetoric, do Mr. Klein and the administration he serves understand the damage denying this merger wreaks on the emergence of the very technologies that they praise and talk about fostering?……. WorldCom and Sprint argued their case in terms of assembling under one corporate roof the wherewithal to compete in a constantly changing communications market, where consumers demand more quality at lower costs, as well as the untethered access of wireless communications - and want to avoid hassles by buying bundled services from the same company…….."

Fox News 7/5/00 "……Anyone who's been to the zoo knows orangutans, gorillas and other great apes are intelligent, playful and sometimes act like people. But now a team of lawyers is trying to prove apes should have the same rights as their evolutionary cousins - Homo Sapiens. Being a person "is a legal term," said Steve Ann Chambers, a Seattle-based attorney who's also the president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. "It just means you have interests that deserve to be protected." Legal "personhood," adds Chambers, would protect great apes from confinement, torture and needless death. ……."Corporations are persons under the law, and municipalities are persons," he points out. But others say elevating apes to the same legal category as humans would be one giant leap backward for mankind. ……Critics say this could set a potentially dangerous precedent. If apes were to win civil rights, there would be little to stop Bessie the cow from suing McDonald's or Spot the dog from seeking an injunction against dry pet food. ……."

ctnow.com 7/7/00 Rinker Buck "……This may be just about the worst moment in history to be a firearms executive, and few can say that Ed Shultz has made it any easier on himself. …….The agreement won Shultz the plaudits of editorial writers and state attorneys general across the country, but it also brought down on him a vitriolic barrage of condemnation from his own industry and product boycotts by angry gun owners. National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston has accused Smith & Wesson's British owners of not valuing "the right to bear arms as much as Americans," and NRA lobbyist James Jay Baker has called Shultz's agreement a "futile act of craven self interest." Undeterred, Shultz continues to defend the agreement as a rational response to the sea change in attitudes toward gun control that has swept America since the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado last year. ……. In the process, the traditional alliances of the gun industry have been turned topsy-turvy. "I have enemies that I didn't know I had that professed to be friends previously," Shultz said. "I have friends that I didn't know I had that professed to be enemies previously." Within days after the Smith & Wesson agreement was announced in March, Shultz was flooded with more than 200 e-mails a day, a few favorable to his company's position, but most condemning it. The e-mails have since trickled to just a few a day. But Shultz said that he has answered more than 3,000 e-mails and letters. ……"

Washington Post 6/29/00 James Grimaldi "….. Soon after graduating from law school, Bill Clinton headed back to his home state and taught law at the University of Arkansas. One textbook he assigned was written by antitrust authority Robert Pitofsky of Georgetown University. …….When Clinton won the presidency two decades later, Pitofsky was tapped to advise the transition team. His opinion, which he summarized in a subsequent law journal article, was that Clinton's recent predecessors had mounted "about as minimal an antitrust program as can be imagined." Pitofsky suggested that under Clinton "antitrust enforcement would be more vigorous. Close questions in all areas would more often lead to government challenges. Unjustified nonenforcement at the federal level would end."…… Pitofsky, who became Clinton's chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Joel I. Klein, who took over the antitrust division of the Justice Department, have aggressively targeted companies suspected of abusing market dominance at the expense of consumers, innovation and competition………. "

Shotgun News 7/1/00 Neal Knox "…….Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) has been fighting virtually a one-man war to scuttle what the Wall Street Journal calls "President Clinton's landmark gun-safety deal with Smith & Wesson." Surprisingly, "the National Rifle Association essentially sat this fight out," the June 22 WSJ article reported. "Knowledgeable people said the NRA didn't want to anger House Speaker Dennis Hastert by using the appropriations process to wage its campaign against the (S&W) deal." ......... However, NRA said it declined to support the amendments because they wouldn't achieve what Mr. Hostettler intended. ……..In the past few days Rep. Hostettler has forced votes on three appropriations bill amendments to prevent the Clinton Administration from spending tax dollars to promote, administer or enforce the agreement negotiated between S&W and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. …….."

Denver Rocky Mountain News 7/7/00 Sue Lindsa "……It's now legal to swear in Colorado bars. The state has agreed to quit threatening restaurant and tavern owners with the loss of their liquor licenses for permitting profanity. The move settles a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Leonard Carlo, the salty-tongued owner of Leonard's Bar II in Colorado Springs. A state agent seized 29 signs - 21 of which included the "F" word - from Leonard's Bar II on Aug. 31, citing a 1979 regulation prohibiting profanity in bars. ..."

ZDNet News 6/28/00 Deborah Cage "……. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is making no apologies for funding an investigation of what he called "Microsoft's covert activities." At a pre-scheduled software strategy press conference at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif., Ellison said he was proud to inform the public about Microsoft's behavior because Microsoft's anti-competitive tactics are unparalleled in the high-tech industry. ……The Wall Street Journal broke a story late Tuesday night, linking Oracle to a campaign to surface the relationship among Microsoft and lobbying and trade groups supporting the software giant during its antitrust fight with the government. …… Ellison said Oracle's government affairs office in Washington hired the detective agency Investigative Group International Inc. (IGI) using a budget he had authorized a year ago to examine Microsoft's activities. He said he hadn't known the details of Oracle's activities in Washington, and had never heard of IGI until Tuesday, when reporters began calling him. "When we found out, we disclosed [our role]," he said. "We're helping Microsoft with their disclosure problem. I take full responsibility. I authorized the budgets, and I'm happy the information is out. It's healthy for people to have access to information." ……"

Washington Times 6/29/00 Sam Ryan "….. As part of its effort to get rid of fat people, the federal government announced that, for the first time in 20 years, it has revised its tools for measuring a child's growth. The 55 percent of Americans whom the government considers overweight or obese should find this very disturbing. …… Oprah says it's okay to be fat, especially if you're happy, too. And I agree. But the government does not agree. In its effort to torment more and more Americans, the feds have extended their notoriously useless weight measurement system, known as the Body Mass Index (BMI), to children as young as two and youths up to the age of 20. Most babies are chubby. But now the government can wag its potato finger and tell them so. The problem with accusing someone of being fat based on BMI, which basically divides a person's weight by his height (BMI = 704.5 x weight in punds/height in inches squared), is that BMI doesn't take different body types into account, ignoring a person's frame and body-fat percentage. According to the National Institutes of Health, anyone with a BMI of 25 or greater is "overweight" - 30 or above is "obese." But because muscle weighs more than fat, the results can be completely off-base, especially for people who are particularly muscular. For example, at 7 feet 1 inch, 315 pounds, Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal qualifies as "obese." At 5 feet 9 inches, 203 pounds, so does Dallas Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith. Nevertheless, getting accused of being fat, or doomed to become fat, by the oracle at the doctor's office is a time-honored ritual. ……..Let's be blunt about this campaign against obesity. The simple fact is that the federal government doesn't like fat people. It wants to eliminate them, just like it wants to eliminate smokers - just like it eliminated Newt Gingrich and the Branch Davidians. Miss Shalala snidely complains that "America as a whole is not getting any taller, only fatter." As one of those people who are getting fatter, not taller, I find her comment offensive. Make no mistake, Miss Shalala and her ilk want to turn America into a nation of tofu-snorting, Tae Bo obsessives. Well, she can have my bacon double cheeseburger when she pries it from my cold, dead fingers........."

Baltimore Sun 6/29/00 Peter Hermann "…… A Fells Point gun shop owner, long targeted by law enforcement agencies as the most prolific source of guns used in Baltimore crimes, has sued federal authorities who pulled his license to sell firearms. The lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court by the owner of Baltimore Gunsmith, Larry DiMartino, accuses the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of acting as "investigator, charging party, prosecutor and deciding entity" during an administrative hearing in February. ……… Federal officials declined to comment on the lawsuit but said they went after the store as part of a crackdown on illegal gun sales and after a proliferation of weapons traced to the shop turned up at city crime scenes. ……..A lawyer for the store said in the suit that it was impossible for his clients to defend against a dozen allegations of misconduct from 1991 to 1998, some of which were resolved in court with not-guilty verdicts against current and former owners. ……. The case has highlighted the problem of "straw purchases," people illegally buying guns for others, which enables the true purchasers to avoid stringent background checks. ……Prosecutors have difficulty winning such cases because they must prove that store owners knew the guns they sold were destined for someone not eligible to buy a weapon legally. Gun store owners have complained the law is difficult to abide by because it holds them responsible for what happens to guns after they are legitimately sold. Lipsitz wrote in the lawsuit that his clients sold weapons to people who filled out all forms and passed police background checks. "Yet despite all that, they now find themselves faced with an ultimate sanction, loss of licensure, because they were not wise enough to recognize deception practiced upon them by ATF agents," the suit says. …….In his 20-page defense of the store, Lipsitz argues that the government tricked the owners during several undercover stings. ……."Firearms dealers are not yet required to keep behind their counters either crystal balls, mind readers or polygraph machines to discern the intentions of prospective customers or the validity and truthfulness of statements made to them by prospective firearms purchasers," the suit says. ……."

Newsday 6/29/00 Paul Shepard AP "…..HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that support continues to grow for a gun safety coalition even though the House of Representatives recently voted to block federal funding of the program. Joined by Reps. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and more than a dozen police officials from around the country, Cuomo said at a press conference that more than 500 communities have signed up for the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition. …….. The coalition formed in March around a pledge signed by Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest gun maker, and federal officials seeking to make guns safer. As part of the pact, cities would give Smith & Wesson a preference when buying guns for law enforcement officials. The preference provision of the agreement is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by seven gun makers and a gun industry trade group. ….."

NY Times 6/29/00 John Markoff "…..In a raucous news conference on a sprawling Silicon Valley corporate campus affectionately called Larryland by its inhabitants, Lawrence J. Ellison, the chairman and founder of the Oracle Corporation, today defended his company's yearlong spying operation against Microsoft as a "civic duty" similar to investigative reporting by the press. "All we did was to try to take information that was hidden and bring it into the light," Mr. Ellison said. "I don't think that's arrogance. That's a public service." His remarks came a day after Oracle acknowledged hiring a detective agency in Washington, D.C., to document ties between Microsoft and three advocacy groups. ……… The news conference, at the end of a previously scheduled product announcement, was characterized by Mr. Ellison's determined defense of his business ethics and of his company's behavior as an appropriate method for combating Microsoft's business tactics. …… The hourlong session took on a surreal quality as questions about whether Mr. Ellison's behavior was "Nixonian" were interspersed with inquiries about Oracle's products and the company's market share in the Internet software business. ……"

WorldNetDaily 6/23/00 Ed Oliver "…..An Arizona man who manufactures and sells .50-caliber gun kits, arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in a raid last Friday, was released from jail on his own recognizance at a bail hearing yesterday afternoon, when the judge disallowed a last-minute effort by the government to enter an additional charge against him. …….. Cathy Colbert of the U.S. Attorney's office in Phoenix, told WorldNetDaily there would be a hearing in two weeks to see if Robert Stewart, 61, can continue his business while on pre-trial release. …….In the past week, talk show hosts on the Genesis Communication Network rallied listeners into faxing U.S. Magistrate Lawrence O. Anderson in support of Stewart. The judge held up a thick stack of the faxes in the courtroom, says Stewert, indicating he had read them. …….Stewart manufactures the Maadi-Griffin, a high-quality kit gun that requires a small amount of machining before it can be assembled by the customer. Because the unfinished receiver requires milling, the kits are sold without serial numbers and are not considered by Stewart to be firearms. Other Maadi-Griffin.50-caliber kit guns with finished receivers and serial numbers are manufactured at another location away from his home in a federal firearms licensed facility. ......"

WorldNetDaily 6/23/00 Ed Oliver "…..In 1994, Stewart was convicted in a Utah federal court for illegal possession of a machine gun. Contrary to the account given to WorldNetDaily by Bo Gritz in a previous article, court records show Stewart was indicted in May 1993 for possessing and transferring five automatic "Sten" guns. After pleading guilty to one count of possession, the other counts were dismissed, and Stewart was sentenced to two years' probation. Stewart says he was entrapped. Because of his felony conviction, Stewart cannot legally possess any firearms. A staunch Second Amendment advocate, Stewart believes all state and federal firearms laws are unconstitutional and illegal. He also says someone who has served his sentence should not be penalized afterward by having his or her Second Amendment rights restricted...."

WorldNetDaily 6/23/00 Ed Oliver "…..Stewart continued to manufacture his Maadi-Griffin kit guns after his conviction and advertised them without trouble until last week. …….. In last Friday's raid, the BATF arrested Stewart for felony possession of a firearm. Federal agents said they found 38 firearms in his home, including six machine guns, but the criminal complaint filed the day after the raid charged him with possessing a single Ruger New Model Blackhawk .357 magnum revolver. ……. Mangan said it is common to charge someone initially with only what is necessary in order to hold him. ……U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Sitver issued the warrant on June 14 at 5:37 pm, for a search to be performed on or before June 23. ….."

WorldNetDaily 6/23/00 Ed Oliver "…..On March 31, Bettendorf initiated an investigation into alleged firearm violations by Stewart and his wife Naomi. ….. Bettendorf obtained Stewart's criminal and motor vehicle records and sent an undercover agent to contact Stewart about buying a rifle kit. From the account by the undercover agent, Stewart spoke to him like he believed what he was doing was legal. Stewart told him he kept the operation at his home limited to the unfinished parts kits, and that assembly of the kits could not take place at his home. …….. The agent, however, said Stewart told him that he talked to an individual named "Williams" from ATF about the parts kit. "Stewart said that Williams was concerned that the receiver could be readily converted into a firearm. Stewart said he 'blew him off,' and it does not make any difference if it is easy or difficult to convert the receiver." …….."

WorldNetDaily 6/23/00 Ed Oliver "…..The .50- caliber rifle kit purchased by the undercover agent was sent to the ATF Firearms Technology Branch for examination. On June 1, Bettendorf received a report from Curtis Bartlett at the Technology Branch, which determined that the rifle kit, including the unfinished receiver, could be readily converted to expel a projectile and met the definition of a firearm under 18 USC section 921-(a) (3). ……..The particular code section cited by the technology branch reads, in part, "(3) The term 'firearm' means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon ." …..Bartlett reported that he made the required cuts on the receiver in approximately 35 minutes using a Dremel hand grinder. He then completely assembled the rifle and successfully fired it………"

WorldNetDaily 6/23/00 Ed Oliver "…..Bettendorf ran a check of ATF licensing records on June 7 to see if Robert or Naomi Stewart, Maadi-Griffin or JNS supply were licensed to sell or manufacture firearms. Bettendorf said he found none. The agent obtained a search warrant based on probable cause that Robert and his wife Naomi are manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license, and Robert is a felon shipping/possessing a firearm affecting interstate commerce. ……..The text for a radio ad for the Maadi-Griffin, which still runs on the Genesis Communication Network, reads in part, "When it's time to call out the big guns, it's time to call out the Maadi-Griffin and the .50-Caliber BMG ... Get this, there's no federal firearms license, federal firearms tax, or registration required -- ever. The kits can be assembled in less than an hour-and-a-half including millwork. Even though these babies are super high power and incredibly accurate at long range, the recoil is less than a twelve-gauge shotgun. . At Maadi-Griffin, they honor your Fourth Amendment rights -- no records, no serial numbers, no worries. All kits are complete and have a lifetime warranty ."

WorldNetDaily 6/23/00 Ed Oliver "…..Bob Stewart said he thinks the BATF was really after his customer list, and apologized on the air to his customers that he was unable to prevent his records, including credit card information, from being seized by the BATF. Stewart advised people who purchased his rifle to put it away someplace and be prepared for a knock on the door. ……"

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL via MSNBC 6/27/00 Glenn Simpson Ted Bridis "……Software maker Oracle Corp. acknowledged it hired a detective agency to investigate allies of Microsoft Corp. and disclose internal documents to the media about Microsoft's political activities. …….THE DETECTIVE FIRM, Investigative Group International Inc., used controversial tactics against technology trade associations and other groups allied with and supported by Microsoft - in one case, offering to buy their office trash - in an elaborate yearlong operation. …….. The new disclosures suggest Oracle, which is on the brink of eclipsing Microsoft as the technology industry's hottest software maker, waged an elaborate clandestine battle against its rival even as Microsoft was under siege from the federal government in its landmark antitrust case. ….."

The Nando Times - 24 Hour News 6/27/00 Michael Sniffen AP "……The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block the proposed $129 billion merger of WorldCom and Sprint, the nation's second- and third-largest phone companies, on grounds it would increase prices for millions of consumers. The companies almost immediately withdrew their merger notification filed with the European Commission, citing Justice Department opposition. But they denied they were abandoning the merger. …… "If, in the future, the parties decide to proceed with the merger, they will make such notifications as are appropriate under European merger laws," WorldCom and Sprint said in a joint news release. ……Sprint is still pursuing a merger with WorldCom, said Sprint spokesman Mark Bonavia. ….."

Green Bay Press Gazette 6/27/00 Thomas Content "…..Green Bay's football team should change its name because "Packers" symbolizes a profession that promotes bloodshed and harm to animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urged Monday. The request, in the form of a letter to Packers President Bob Harlan, risks riling football fans, but isn't likely to lead to a change. "We're going to stick with Packers. It's the first time since 1919 anyone's asked us to change the name," Harlan said. The request is the latest publicity-seeking missive from PETA, a group trying to urge Americans to stop animal cruelty by becoming vegetarians...."

Wired News 6/28/00 Declan McCullagh "…..Joel Klein is on a rampage. In the last few years, the 53-year-old assistant attorney general has launched a dizzying number of antitrust assaults on corporate America. ….. You know the defendants: Microsoft. Visa. Mastercard. American Airlines. Lockheed Martin. On Tuesday, WorldCom and Sprint joined the ranks of corporate amalgamations Klein has targeted as too threatening, too mean, or just too darn big for their own good. ……In fact, the DOJ's antitrust division says it has filed documents in over 430 lawsuits since December 1994, not counting some three dozen amicus briefs. …… The Federal Trade Commission, which shares antitrust authority with the DOJ, is a close second. Its attorneys have targeted Intel, Toys R Us, Cisco, Staples, and Office Depot. ……"

Wired News 6/28/00 Declan McCullagh "…..A March 1999 article in Reason magazine called "The New Trustbusters" blamed the DOJ efforts on lobbying by jealous competitors: "Testimony and e-mail messages (show) that high-tech companies regard government antitrust action as simply one more tool in their competitive arsenal, an alternative to price cuts or new products. And as the head of Netscape said when asked why he did not file his own suit, it is much cheaper to use the government's lawyers." …….Another criticism is that antitrust suits are largely political in nature. A 1990 article in the Journal of Law and Economics included a historical analysis of FTC antitrust suits, and concluded: "The marginal Wall Street Journal article raises the probability of a (merger) challenge 4.7 percentage points, and one additional congressional hearing raises the probability of a merger challenge by 4.2 percentage points. Thus, commission decisions are significantly influenced by political concerns." ……Klein is a former White House lawyer for President Clinton, and the prospect of undue political influence arose during his confirmation hearing. ……."

Wired News 6/15/00 Declan McCullagh "…… When Jonathan Zuck joined a trade association to fight the antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, he never thought he'd be battling corporate espionage instead. A private investigator appears to have spent thousands of dollars attempting to obtain documents that could be damaging to Microsoft and its free-market allies including Zuck, who became president of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) two years ago. ……… In addition, someone pried open the doors and entered the rooms of Microsoft's Dupont Circle offices earlier this week, according to Microsoft spokesman Rick Miller. Microsoft and ACT have each contacted the police, who are investigating the incidents. ……During the last year, two other groups that sided with Microsoft have seen confidential documents obtained by computer companies and leaked to journalists for articles that were critical of the Redmond, Washington, software giant. …….Both the Independent Institute and Citizens for a Sound Economy told Wired News they suspect corporate espionage, if not outright breaking-and-entering. ….."

Wired News 6/15/00 Declan McCullagh "…… The real private investigator turns out to be Walters, a former investigative journalist. "Robert M. Walters is licensed (as a PI) with the Investigative Group," said Detective Fern Francis of the DC Metropolitan Police Department. ……. A DC attorney, Martin Lobel, was hired by Upstream Technologies -- the company Walters claimed to represent -- to investigate what's going on. ….."So far all I've been able to ascertain is that Microsoft flacks have been passing (accusations) around," said Lobel, an attorney at Lobel, Novins and Lamont. …….. Microsoft said the illegal entry into its offices was part of a burglary of a "couple floors" of the building, with equipment stolen from other offices. But "we have not found anything missing," the spokesman said. …….The Investigative Group International is a firm headed by Watergate icon Terry Lenzner that says it "conducts confidential fact-finding around the world for corporations, law firms, financial institutions, public agencies, and private individuals." …….But nobody there was talking. "In response to your inquiries, I am writing to advise you that it is IGI's long-standing policy not to respond to media inquiries relating to client, personnel, or other business issues," said Edward Federico, director of IGI's Washington office, in an email to Wired News. ……"

Wired News 6/15/00 Declan McCullagh "…… George Vradenburg, general counsel at Microsoft competitor AOL is on IGI's advisory board and said he is a longtime friend of Lenzner. But Vradenburg said he has never attended any meetings and flatly denied any involvement with the incident. IGI's Federico said the same thing. "I can confirm that neither AOL nor Mr. Vradenburg is a client of IGI," he said. …… "I believe there's a lot of well-heeled players conducting a high-stakes political game in this town," said the 34-year-old Zuck of ACT. "There are certainly those who are willing to go to any length to win this." ……. Zuck says the timing is particularly suspicious: The two cash-for-trash offers happened as U.S. District Judge Thomas Jackson was weighing Microsoft's fate, and as the Senate Judiciary committee is preparing hearings on the topic. ......"

Dan Morgan 6/25/00 Washington Post "……. Minnesotans who knew Michael V. Ciresi as the trial lawyer who squeezed a $6.1 billion settlement out of the tobacco industry in 1998 did a double take last winter when ads featuring him appeared on television. …….Ciresi's transformation from dogged courtroom questioner to peripatetic candidate is emblematic of the growing role of trial lawyers in the Democratic Party, especially during the high-stakes 2000 campaign. With Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) vowing to press for federal legislation that would curb what he terms "junk lawsuits," personal injury lawyers - one of the country's richest and most politically savvy constituencies - see the race in intensely personal terms, and have mobilized accordingly……."

CBSNEWS 6/20/00 "…..The judge in the Microsoft Corp. antitrust case Tuesday sent the company's appeal directly to the Supreme Court for consideration, acting under a special law that permits him to bypass an intermediate court. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, in a surprising additional order, also granted Microsoft a request to stay, or freeze, stringent conduct remedies until a higher court acts. The remedies, or restrictions on the software giant's business practices, had been set to take effect on Sept. 5. …..The Supreme Court will hear the case, unless five justices vote to send it back to the U.S. Court of Appeals. …….The decision follows weeks of legal wrangling following Jackson's order to break the company up. ….."

Arizona Tribune 6/20/00 Matt Burgard "…… Federal agents are calling Robert Stewart a convicted felon who illegally distributed gun kits over the Internet in an effort to bypass gun control regulations and background restrictions. Gun advocates, however, are calling him a patriot. The 61-year-old Mesa man, a former high school history teacher who has been selling guns for 10 years, called himself a prisoner of conscience……. Stewart, who was convicted on a federal felony gun possession charge in 1994, was arrested once more Friday at his home in the 2800 block of North 34th Place. ATF agents issued a search warrant at his home about 7 p.m. and took Stewart into custody in his garage. His wife, Naomi, and their three children were inside the house……. Stewart and other gun advocates say the kit does not fall under gun regulations because it is technically incapable of being fired. But Mangan said the guns are so easily retrofitted to become operational that authorities felt Stewart was flagrantly violating gun regulations. "To say these weapons aren't meant for firing is a joke," he said. The kits require assembly of various parts that, when retrofitted, form a single-shot rifle capable of firing four-to-five inch shells. The shells are capable of firing up to 3,000 meters and can penetrate an inch and a half of steel, Mangan said. "We see no legitimate use for a gun like this unless you're in the military," he said. _"No vest in the world could protect a law enforcement officer from a gun like this."…….. Advertisements for Stewart's gun kits, both on the web and in periodicals such as "Shotgun News," frequently mention that the kits can be purchased with "No FFL" required. That means the kits require no federal firearm license, which is how authorities keep track of weapons, Mangan said……."

Washington Post 6/20/00 Eun-Kyung Kim "….A federal judge sent the landmark Microsoft antitrust case directly to the Supreme Court Tuesday, seeking to bypass a federal appellate court in the drawn-out legal battle. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson also delayed the part of his June 7 order aimed at imposing restrictions on Microsoft business practices found to have been anticompetitive. That order had automatically stayed the breakup of the company into two parts, pending all appeals.. ..."

WorldNetDaily 6/21/00 Ed Oliver "….Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Mesa, Ariz., home and workshop of a manufacturer who makes .50-caliber rifle kits, holding the man without bail at the Durango Jail in Phoenix. …… BATF spokesman Tom Mangan told WorldNetDaily that Robert Stewart was arrested Friday for felony possession of firearms after agents found 38 weapons, including machine guns, inside his home. ……. Stewart's Maadi-Griffin .50-caliber rifles are shipped to customers as a parts kit, the assembly of which requires a small amount of machining. The kit guns are significantly cheaper than assembled rifles and come without serial numbers. ……. According to Mangin, the BATF Firearms Technology Branch in Washington, D.C., determined that the kits Stewart is selling are firearms because they are easily assembled into guns. Because Stewart had a previous felony conviction for possession of a machine gun, he is not allowed to own or possess any firearms, according to federal law. "That was basically the premise for obtaining a search warrant to get inside his residence," Mangan explained. "Once we did get inside, agents found a number of guns. We found six machine guns, including one Uzi, a Sten gun and one street sweeper," Mangan said. "There were approximately six .50-caliber kit guns in various stages, some complete, some not complete. There were 17 rifles and eight pistols, including semiautomatics and revolvers." …….. When asked if the weapons found by the BATF belong to Stewart, Mangan said that remained to be determined, but that the issue was irrelevant because Stewart is a convicted felon and is not supposed to have any weapons at all inside his home. ……"

Wall Street Journal 6/20/00 David Rogers "……The House gave the tobacco industry a boost in its campaign to hamstring the Justice Department's ability to sue cigarette companies to recover federal health-care costs for treatment of smoking-related illnesses. The narrow 207-197 vote endorsed a provision that would bar President Clinton from tapping veterans' medical funds to help finance the suit, now pending in U.S. District Court. Attorney General Janet Reno has warned that she will be forced to drop the action unless Congress makes more money available, and accused her opponents of "trying to shut America's taxpayers out of the courtroom." ….."

CNS News 6/21/00 Jerry Miller "….. The president of gun maker Smith & Wesson now acknowledges that a "consumer boycott" over the company's agreement with the Clinton-Gore Administration is hurting the company and was a factor in his decision to suspend virtually all manufacturing at two plants during the month of July. The suspension is expected to result in the layoffs of as many as 400 of the 800 employees in Springfield, Massachusetts and Houlton, Maine. …….. Threatened with dozens of potential lawsuits from governments trying to recoup financial losses from gun-related violence, Smith & Wesson struck the controversial deal with the White House in March. ……… In exchange for immunity from the lawsuits, Smith & Wesson promised that its future weapons would be manufactured with trigger locks and smart-gun technology such as the so-called "ballistic fingerprints", which make it easier for law enforcement agencies to figure out which bullet was fired from which gun and biometric identification, which allows only the owner of the gun to fire the weapon. S & W also promised background checks would be imposed at the retail outlets where their guns were sold and at gun shows. ……….Any effort by the gun industry to organize and promote a consumer boycott against Smith & Wesson could result in a Department of Justice investigation and the filing of charges against participants, as a violation of the nation's anti-trust laws. ……. Larry Pratt, executive director of the Springfield, Virginia-based Gun Owners of America, told CNSNews a consumer boycott of the company "is something we have urged." Urging Smith & Wesson to "repudiate the agreement," Pratt added the pact has "enormous implications for dealers.""Smith & Wesson is continuing to be isolated. They depend on the civilian market for sales...the government can't turn on a dime and buy Smith & Wesson guns on a politically correct basis." …….. Pratt also accused the Clinton-Gore Administration of "acting like the Mafia...we won't block you, as long as you pay our extortion...so Smith & Wesson blinked. They're now being rewarded by the government with purchases." Pratt also characterized the agreement as "a monstrous introduction of Fascism into the economy, by the Clinton Administration...it's legislation without the legislature...It's an agreement, not a law, so it's not reviewable by the courts." ……"

Washington Post 6/21/00 Eric Pianin "…… The House yesterday reversed course and agreed to shift $4 million of Department of Veterans Affairs funds to help finance the Clinton administration's litigation against tobacco companies. But the action--approved abruptly by voice vote--marked only a temporary reprieve for the White House. A spokesman for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said Republicans intend to wage all-out war against the litigation when the House takes up another spending bill later this week that finances the departments of Commerce, Justice and State. …… "This isn't the big battle," said John Feehery, the aide. "The big battle will be over CJS." ……… "In the coming days and weeks there will be other attempts by Congress to block the federal government tobacco litigation with riders supported by the tobacco companies," Clinton said in a statement. "I call upon Congress to reject the interests of big tobacco and permit justice to run its course." …….."

10/14/94 UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Robert D. STEWART, Defendant-Appellant. "……Defendant was convicted in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, Bruce S. Jenkins, J., of illegally possessing and transferring machine gun, and defendant appealed his sentence. The Court of Appeals, McKay, Circuit Judge, held that although transcript of sentencing hearing revealed some ambiguity, taken as whole, transcript indicated that district court fully understood extent of its discretion to give downward departure from sentencing guidelines and properly exercised that discretion. …… The facts in this case are undisputed. Mr. Stewart, a gun collector, was requested by undercover police officers to obtain and deliver to them five World War II era "sten" machine guns, purportedly to be sold to another gun collector. Mr. Stewart purchased gun kits through a mail order magazine, constructed the guns, and delivered them as specified. At the sentencing hearing, Mr. Stewart argued that he should receive a downward departure under ง 5k2.11. This section, known as the "intended use" exception, allows a downward departure where the conduct does "not cause or threaten the harm or evil sought to be prevented by the law proscribing the offense at issue." ……….. United States Sentencing Comm'n Guidelines Manual, ง 5k2.11, at 368-69 (1994). Mr. Stewart argued that his conduct fell within this exception because he thought the guns were going to a legitimate collector, and because the type of gun involved is not an effective weapon and is generally purchased solely as a collector's item. For these reasons, Mr. Stewart did not believe that any violent crimes and/or loss of human life would result from his sale of the weapons. ……."

Yahoo News 6/20/00 Patrick Rizzo Reuters "……New York filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the firearms industry on Tuesday charging that the way guns are sold and distributed allows them to end up being used in crimes. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, added the voice of the country's largest municipality to the chorus of 30 other cities and counties that have sued gun makers and distributors for the damages caused by illegal gun use. It named 26 domestic and international gun manufacturers as defendants, including Smith and Wesson Corp. (a unit of Tomkins Plc. (TOMK.L) and the nation's largest gun maker), Sturm, Ruger & Co (NYSE:RGR - news), Glock Inc. (a unit of Austria's Glock GmbH), Colt's Mfg. Co. and Beretta U.S.A. Corp. Smith and Wesson was included even though in March it signed an agreement with federal, state and local governments to install trigger locks and take other safety measures in exchange for exemption from the lawsuits being brought against the firearms industry by other cities and counties. ……."

Associated Press 6/22/00 Alan Fram "…….White House officials are railing against a House vote to curb the administration's ability to bring more communities into the federal agreement with Smith & Wesson, the giant gun maker. The House voted 218-207 to bar the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs from working to expand or administer the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition. In return for Smith & Wesson's promise to use gun-safety devices and restrictive sales practices, the 411 localities that have so far joined the coalition have agreed to make the company's firearms the preferred gun for their law enforcement agencies. ……"

USA Today 6/21/00 "…..In a blow to the landmark agreement among the nation's largest gun maker, the Clinton administration and hundreds of communities, the House voted Wednesday to bar the federal government from helping to attract more muncipalities to the pact. By a 218-207 vote, the House voted to prevent the government from spending any money for the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition. In return for Smith & Wesson's promise to use gun-safety devices and sales practices, the 411 localities that have so far joined the coalition have agreed to make the company's firearms the preferred gun for their law enforcement agencies. Minutes later, the House muddled its message by voting 219-206 to reject a second provision that would have forbidden the federal government outright from enforcing the March 17 agreement between Smith & Wesson and the federal and local governments. The two votes underlined the pressure lawmakers are under on the hot button issue of guns, especially in an election year. ….."

Wired 6/21/00 Declan McCullagh "……The FBI computer that performs background checks on prospective gun buyers is sluggish and prone to unexplained failures, experts told Congress on Wednesday. Glitches in the massive database that records information on about 38 million Americans have blocked law-abiding citizens from purchasing firearms for personal protection and delayed one-quarter of all such transactions, witnesses said during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary committee. "Instead of an instant check, we have a system that too often causes needless delay to law-abiding citizens who are simply exercising their constitutional rights," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the panel's chairman. "System outages are a major culprit." ……… Hatch said he supports the concept of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), but blamed the Clinton administration and the FBI for not running it properly. Some Democrats, including Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), echoed the criticism. An FBI representative said the agency is trying to fix its technical problems. ……"

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "…… Robert Stewart's preliminary hearing was held today at 2:11pm in the Federal District Court in Phoenix, Arizona….The judge stated that just prior to this hearing that he had been handed an amended complaint adding a Count 2. Count 2 was for the same date as count 1, and was for unlawful possession of a machine gun. ……..Judge Anderson turned his attention to Stewart's defense attorney, Mr. Haney, asking him if " he had anything to add regarding the detention issue such as surprise, or prejudice. Mr. Haney indicated his surprise at the second count and asked how it was that the Grand Jury could add to the existing charges. ……… Judge Anderson made his first ruling in this case, stating that "this is a Preliminary Hearing on Count 1." He further stated "there is no need for a hearing on count 2." Judge Anderson denied the government's complaint on the second count and dismissed it without prejudice, stating that it was unfair to the defendant, Mr. Stewart. However, he also said it would necessitate a continuance and further detention of the defendant…….. ……Mr. Tannis stated that the kits "readily convert to a firearm and that Mr. Stewart does not have a Federal Firearms License."…….. The judge asked, "If only the wife worked in this business, would it be illegal?" Mr. Tannis replied in the negative and then gave a recitation of Mr. Stewart's assets. ……. The judge then said, "The defendant has only the one prior, with a light sentence and probation; doesn't sound like a danger to me." Mr. Tannis made an inaudible comment to which the defense attorney, Mr. Haney objected. The judge noted the objection and the prosecuting attorney did not repeat the behavior......."

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "……Mr. Tannis continued his litany against Mr. Stewart, stating that "Due to Mr. Stewart's unacceptance of the current gun laws, his prior conviction of 6years ago, and his staunch second amendment beliefs, and his sale of the kits, with the kits being "inherently dangerous....because, "who know where the guns will end up?" At this point, the court swore in ATF Special Agent Bettendorf as the only witness called to testify for the government……. Agent Bettendorf stated that he has been a Special Agent for the ATF for 10 plus years, and recited his relevent education and work experience. He said his primary duty is conducting criminal investigation, but when asked by Mr. Haney, how many investigations he has conducted, Mr. Bettendorf did not answer. The agent only said that he has been in this job several months. When questioned further, Agent Bettendorf answered that he received his investigatory information from ATF Inspectors who do the background checks on individuals and through surfing the Internet for gun sites and through reading gun specific magazines and newspapers, such as ShotGun News. ….. ……When asked by the prosecuting attorney about whether he did a background nexus check on the pistol, Bettendorf said he did. His information was that the pistol was made in Connecticut, and thus it was covered under Interstate Commerce……"

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "……. Mr. Haney then asked Bettendorf if "special agent Scott Tanaki identified himself to Mr. Stewart as an ATF agent. He said she was not. Haney then asked the agent, "Do the kits meet the definition of a firearm?" Bettendorf answered, "Yes" Mr. Haney then followed with, "Is this definition under ATF regulations? Bettendorf answered, "No, just under U. S. Code."…… Mr. Haney then asked, "What part of the kit is incomplete?" Bettendorf answered, "The receiver" …..Mr. Haney asked agent Bettendorf if he had heard of the criteria that said "Eighty percent or less isn't complete?" Bettendorf answered, "No, only from Mr. Stewart have I heard that statement."……..Mr. Haney then asked the agent if there were any other textual discussions, and he said that the field agents discussed the fact that the receiver was readily convertible by cutting out two holes. The judge then asked, "Would a machinist be able to do this? A child? An attorney?" He was answered, "Yes; you can use a Dremel tool. The judge asked if you could buy this tool at Home Depot? Agent Bettendorf said you could……"

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "……The questioning then turned back to where the pistol was made. Mr. Haney asked if the agent had a serial number directory and if the agent checked it. He said, yes he had a directory and he had checked it, stating that the gun was manufactured in Southport, Connecticut. This is also a hole in the government's case against Mr. Stewart, since this is the Corporate Headquarters, and as such, the stamping of the corporate headquarters does not mean that all products are manufactured at the corporate offices. ……Mr. Haney then turned back to the plant in Prescott. He asked if the agent had talked to anyone in the Prescott facility to ask if they did make the pistol. The agent said a firearm trace was made, but that he has not received a report from them. …..Haney then asked if Mr. Stewart was in the room? Did the agent know if Mr. Stewart slept in the room or not? ……..Haney then rattled off three more questions to Bettendorf rapid fire; "Did you dust for fingerprints on the pistol?" The answer was no. "Who took the pistol into evidence?" Bettendorf answered, "Agent Scott Tanaki." Haney asked, "Who owns the pistol?" Bettendorf answered, "There's been no return on the trace.".........Haney said, "So the weapon in the house is Stewart's because no one else has admitted ownership?" Bettendorf said no one admitted ownership. Due to the answers provided by Mrs. Stewart, the agent assumed that the guns were Mr. Stewart's. ......"

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "……Judge Anderson stated that the government's position is that the gun was found in the house, that meets the probable cause in the context of this case. But, in return, just because the gun is in the house, it is not reasonable to assume that Mr. Stewart is the owner……Prosecutor Dennis said that possession, NOT ownership is the issue and that since the other adult in the home, Mrs. Stewart thought the long rifle was a BB gun, it was a good assumption that Mr. Stewart was the owner and possessor of the weapons found in the home. …….Judge Anderson said the court finds the crime of felony possession under U.S. code, but that it is difficult for lay people to understand. He said that he has adopted the 2nd Circuits ruling of May 22nd of this year, where a crime of violence and felony possession is the same thing. So they must meet in this case. The judge said that the government failed to prove this. ……"

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "……The judge then addressed Mr. Stewart directly. "You are a law-abiding citizen with one flaw, you don't believe in gun laws. You don't believe they apply to you. I have read the Constitution and the Supreme Court cases on gun laws. I'm aware that there are two major views on the second amendment, one is the individual argument, where the right is an individual right, and two, protection of the states from the federal government, or the collective argument. I believe that the 1939 case of U.S. v. Miller adopts a collective right to gun ownership. This position was affirmed in 1980 Supreme Court ruling of U.S. v. Lewis and in the 9th Circuit's ruling of Hickman v. Block, 81 F. 3d. 98, which states those individuals can't assume an individual right for something that is collective. I also base my decision on Brigham Young University Law Review article from 1998, Lawyer's Guide to the Second Amendment. I do not interpret the law. That is up to the Supreme Court. They change the laws; I am just a lowly magistrate, and it is no reflection on you."......"

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "……At this point, the judge called Mr. Stewart and his attorney, Mr. Haney to the podium. The judge said, "I do find probable cause for dominion and control of the .357. I will also order you be released on your own recognizance..........Judge Anderson then asked Mr. Stewart if he had a passport. He didn't. The judge said, "Don't get one without the approval of the Court. Mr. Stewart, you may not possess firearms, destructive devices or ammunition, unless it is necessary to the continuation of your business. You may continue in your business until I say you can't. You must keep in weekly contact with your attorney. By every Friday at noon you must call his office and ask if there is a message for you from the Judge. If there is no message, then you have met the terms of the contact......."

Sierra Times 6/22/00 Liz Andreasen "……At this point the judge spoke to the attorneys, saying that the only remaining issue was the hearing on the business. …..The Judge asked why there was a problem with continuing the business. Mr. Haney stated that in the raid, the ATF took all the records of the business and the client lists, thus preventing Mr. Stewart from lawfully continuing his business. Mr. Haney asked if the records could be returned. The prosecutor said, "No, they are part of the evidence against the defendant and are a part of our case." (See? That I.Q. thing kept him from realizing that copies could be made and given to Mr. Stewart so that he might continue supporting his family.) Judge Anderson said that the hearing on the business "must happen." He set the time for two hours, one hour for each side to present their cases and any witnesses. The hearing was set for July 10th at 1:30 p.m. PST in Judge Anderson's court. ……"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 7/14/00 Raja Mishra "..... Boston's $100 million lawsuit against the gun manufacturers cleared a major hurdle Thursday as a state judge refused the firearm industry's request to dismiss the case. The decision makes the city's case the only one in the nation to survive challenges by gunmakers and legislatures. Similar lawsuits, which contend manufacturers bear some responsibility for the toll gun-related violence has taken on communities, have been dismissed in Cincinnati, Bridgeport, Conn. and Miami. Many of the counts in a suit by the city of Chicago were also dismissed. State lawmakers have blocked suits in Atlanta, New Orleans and Detroit. More than 20 others are still pending but have not progressed beyond the initial stage. ......"

Washington Times 7/14/00 John McCaslin "……A youthful group of twenty-somethings, the majority Libertarians, gathered at Dupont Circle North's Xando last evening for a smoke-in to commemorate the first daughter's recent choice to use tobacco. Various interns and staffers, hailing from Capitol Hill and beyond, organized the impromptu event after learing that Chelsea Clinton had been spotted smoking up a storm at the popular coffee shop over the Fourth of July weekend. ……"

sierratimes.com 7/13/00 Angel Shamaya "……After less than half an hour of arguments from both sides, U.S. Judge Lawrence O. Andersen ruled that Bob Stewart's Maadi-Griffin .50 Caliber Kit is a firearm, stating that "the preponderance of evidence shows that the kit can readily be made to fire a projectile." His ruling was largely based on U.S. vs. Smith, a case in which a non-firing machine gun was restored to a fully operational automatic weapon through welding and machining --in 8 hours. "The .50 caliber 'Mardi Gras' rifle is a rifle," said Judge Andersen. He ordered Bob Stewart not to sell or possess the 'rifle' he's been manufacturing and selling for several years, stripping the Stewart family of their source of income and putting smiles on the faces of the BATF representatives in the room. ……… "

Washington Post 7/15/00 James Grimaldi "…..Tobacco stocks slipped slightly on the news that the jurors in the class-action case had handed down $145 billion in punitive damages against Philip Morris Cos., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc., Lorillard Inc., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and Liggett Group Inc. Given the years of appeals that likely are ahead, legal experts differed on Big Tobacco's true financial risk. But stock analysts scoffed at the idea that the companies would ever have to pay penalties so severe they would be forced out of business…….."

Yahoo! News 7/26/00 AP "…..Mark Burnett is trying to be a survivor of alleged e-mail threats by getting a restraining order against an irate viewer. The ``Survivor'' producer received the threats from a woman who was angry about an episode that featured participants, stranded on an island, eating rats, according to court papers. Michael Zona, a psychiatrist who filed a declaration supporting Burnett's successful restraining order request, said Donna LaPerch's message read: ``Thankfully, there are people out there who have no qualms about (vengeance) against those who profit and glorify from the deaths of animals.'' ..."

New York Times 7/28/00 James Dao "……Asserting that gun manufacturers are in dire jeopardy from a raft of lawsuits by state and local governments, the firearms industry plans to start running commercials during prime-time coverage of the Republican National Convention next week attacking President Clinton and other politicians, mostly Democrats, who support the litigation. "We're being blamed for crime and violence by this administration and big-city mayors whose greedy lawyers are using your tax dollars to sue us," says the narrator in one of the two 60-second spots, which depict a well-dressed man, presumably a lawyer, carefully shredding an American flag. "So now, we need you." ………. The commercials by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry's leading trade association, are part of a broader effort by the group to hurt elected officials who have accused gun makers of being legally responsible for gun violence. The group has also created a political action committee and is using its nationwide network of retailers and gun clubs to register voters. ……."Companies have gone out of business, and will go out of business if this continues," said Robert Delfay, president of the organization that represents 1,800 companies. "This is a critically important election in our history." ……."

Cato Institute 7/27/00 David Boaz "…… Now that the government's case against Microsoft is on appeal, the discussion will revolve around arcane matters of law. But the essence of the earlier Microsoft ruling hasn't changed: They're stealing Bill Gates' company. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered that the company be split into two separate companies, as the Justice Department had proposed. Gates will be allowed to run either the operating systems company or the applications company. But half of the company he has built will be taken away from him. …….. And that's not all. Microsoft has been ordered to share with its competitors its application programming interfaces -- the asset it has spent billions of dollars to create. According to The Washington Post, "The judge found that Microsoft used access to the code to hurt its competitors and help its allies." It's a strange kind of free enterprise in which companies that create useful products have to give their competitors access to those products. ......"

Orange County Register (Orange County, CA) 7/20/00 Dr James Hamilton "…… Thank you for your July 18 editorial, "Tobacco ruling's a travesty of justice." It describes quite will the legal policy effects of turning a health problem into a religious crusade that depends on emotional fervor rather than facts and reasoning. You note that "Many smoking cessation programs exist," but that does not convey how effective these programs are. To quote President Reagan in a different context, stopping smoking "is simple, it's just not easy." In 26 years of family practice, including 13 years of treating addictive disease, I would say that less than 0.1 percent (yes, one-tenth of a percent) of mentally competent smokers cannot quit smoking. This is probably because of an unusual biochemistry. Stopping smoking nowadays is easier than ever because [of] advances in medications and understanding of the structure of addictive disease. ……..Blaming the tobacco companies for the actions of smokers only deters current smokers from trying to quit by supporting the impression that they are not in control of their own actions. This is simply not true and our legislators should be ashamed. They let attorneys take control of social policy in this area away from them in order to make this individually and socially destructive change. ……"

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 7/17/00 Ralph Reiland "……. Kudos to the spunk and noncompliance of Trib readers! Just the mention in my column last Monday that The New York Times had declared that the words "politically correct" should be erased from our vocabulary had the effect of filling my e-mail box with a wealth of comic tales from the political correctness battlefront. Here's a sample:…….First, there's Leonard Carlo, 66, a tavern owner in Colorado who's been swearing his whole life. Well, no more, say the state's alcohol control authorities……..Responding to a lone complaint, the liquor cops busted Mr. Carlo for not only his colorful language but also for the expletive-laden placards he'd put around his place, such as the ones on the rest room doors that read "z#$% men" and "%&z women.'' ………. Interviewed by John Stossel on his new "You Can't Say That!" ABC-TV special, Carlo's regulars at the bar seemed to have no problem with the ambiance. "It's a word," said one happy patron. "It's a noun. You can make a sentence out of it." As for me, I always thought that's why you would buy a bar in the first place, so you can say what you want at work………..In any case, what about the government's supposed goal of diversity? In California, all the bars are now the same, all non-smoking. Aren't we smart enough, without the Nanny State, to allocate ourselves into smoking and non-smoking bars? Or into cussing and non-cussing bars? Why one-size-fits-all? "Imagine, a tavern without four-letter words," says Deroy Murdock, a policy adviser at the Cato Institute. Imagine, too, how much Mr. Carlo wants to swear now, more than ever…….Those z#$% bureaucrats!……"

8/2/00? Reuters "……Report: U.N. Agency Alleges Tobacco Industry Scheme WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new World Health Organization (WHO) report accuses the tobacco industry of waging a secret campaign to undermine the agency's efforts to combat smoking, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. The Post said the 240-page report charges the industry with trying to pit other United Nations-affiliated agencies against the WHO, of trying to ``discredit'' the WHO and cut its budgets, and of hiring experts who grossly distorted the results of scientific research into the effects of smoking. ……Commissioned by the WHO last fall, the report was written by former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and three other international experts on public health and government relations. ......One chapter details a 1988 plan headed by Philip Morris Cos. (NYSE:MO - news) chief executive Geoffrey Bible, then head of the company's international tobacco arm, to attack WHO anti-smoking initiatives worldwide. The report concludes that many aspects of the effort, called the Boca Raton plan, are still being implemented today. ...... "

http://www.nandotimes.com 8/2/00 AP "……The fur flew when rocker Ted Nugent ran into a group of animal-rights protesters. Nugent, in town for two concerts, was shopping Sunday in Neiman Marcus while activists gathered to protest the chain's sale of furs. Nugent got into an argument with a protester as he left. "The guy made threats to Ted Nugent. That's why he was arrested," police officer Terrye Ivy said. Bhaskar Sinha, 21, a member of the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, was booked for investigation of two counts of attempting to terrorize and one count of battery. ……"

Wall Street Journal 8/1/00 John R. Lott Jr. "……Who could possibly oppose laws against "plastic" guns or "cop-killer" bullets? Dick Cheney, for one. According to the Gore campaign, only someone "far outside the mainstream" could vote "no." Yet, despite broad support from both the National Rifle Association and gun-control groups, both were bad laws. They provided placebo cures for imaginary ills…….. The hysteria over "plastic guns" arose in the mid-1980s when the Austrian company Glock began exporting pistols to the U.S. They were labeled "terrorist specials" by the press, and fear spread that their plastic frame and grip would make them invisible to metal detectors. Nobody mentioned that there was over one pound of metal in them. Try going through an airport detector with that. In fact, no guns have ever been produced without at least some metal, nor is there any evidence that such guns can be made……… So what did this supposedly crucial law do? The minimum metal requirement was set at 3.2 ounces, less than a fifth of the metal contained in the Glocks and significantly less than any other gun. The standard was picked because it did not affect anything. No gun maker was hurt, while politicians were able to pretend they were "doing something." The reliable and lightweight Glocks are now one of the favorite pistols of American police officers…….."

nra-ila 7/31/00 NRA-ILA FAX ALERT Vol. 7, No. 30 "……While Congress wrestles with defusing the timebomb created by the Smith & Wesson Sellout, the British-owned gun maker that brokered the landmark cave-in to anti-gun extremists continues to make news. Recent reports that S&W was forced to close two manufacturing plants for the month of July (see FAX Alert Vol. 7, No. 24) have led many to speculate that the gun maker is facing serious financial hardship due to the negative reaction from potential customers who feel S&W has been colluding with enemies of the Second Amendment. Perhaps in an attempt to bolster its sagging bottom line, S&W recently unveiled a new "Summer Savings Promotion," offering customers a $50 rebate on every new S&W handgun they buy between July 15 and August 31. To motivate the sales staff of its stocking dealers, S&W is dangling a $10 cash bonus for every gun they sell, and there lies the rub. ….."

Fox News 7/24/00 "…..Master Lock Co. of Milwaukee has voluntarily recalled about 752,000 gun locks, offering free replacements to customers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Monday. Two halves of some locks can be manually separated without a key, the commission said in a statement from Washington, D.C. The company, the statement said, reports no consumer complaints of disabled locks because of the problem. The recalled items are described as key-operated, trigger locks for some Smith & Wesson and Walther firearms. ……"

Lew Rockwell.com 7/24/00 D T Armentano "….. Joel Klein is really full of himself these days. The first-round Microsoft slayer and ex-Clinton White House lawyer recently told a London gathering of the American Bar Association (ABA) that antitrust was the only legitimate form of government intervention. He also praised the European Union for its help in scuttling the WorldCom-Sprint merger and he called for the creation of a global antitrust enforcement agency…….. Now let's see if I've got this straight. According to Klein, antitrust is a legitimate government intervention because it protects consumers from monopolies that can RAISE prices. And the monopoly problem is so pervasive that an international authority would be useful, much like Nafta. But if consumers (buyers) form organizations to purchase in large enough quantities to drive prices DOWN, then that, too, is a problem that requires antitrust regulation. Hugh??…….Robert Bork has long argued that the only legitimate mission of antitrust is to protect poor dumb consumers from greedy monopolists that would overcharge them. This has always been a debatable proposition at best. But now Klein comes along and says that consumers who cooperate and bargain effectively for lower prices also need some antitrust regulation (to protect them from themselves, apparently). This proposition is more than debatable; it's down right screwy. ….."

Lew Rockwell.com 7/25/00 Tibor Machan "……. A recent Rivera Live television talk program hosted several animal rights advocates who were given considerable air time defending their position in both analytical and emotion terms. Only a couple of skeptics offered some doubts about the idea that was the focus of the program. I watched and listened closely and found that the program offered hardly any measure of balance during the discussion. There was a law professor, for example, who raised some questions but gave no clear cut argument against the idea that animals have rights akin to human beings, the position widely shared about those who got nearly all the air time on the program…….."

Virginia Pilot 7/30/00 Matthew Barakat "……It may seem surprising that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- a group that often comes to the defense of rats -- euthanized more than 1,300 cats and dogs last year. But PETA President Ingrid Newkirk says it was the only humane thing to do. Last year, the Norfolk-based animal-rights group took in 2,103 companion animals. It was able to find homes for 386, and put down 1,325. (Transfers and reclamations by owners accounted for most of the rest of the animals PETA took in.) ……``It is a totally rotten business, but sometimes the only kind option for some animals is to put them to sleep forever,'' Newkirk said. ``I don't think a dog living in a cage walking in circles for the rest of its life in a dog prison is a swell thing.'' ……"

New York Post 7/30/00 Rod Dreher "…….The American Trial Lawyers Association, now holding its convention in Chicago, will presumably be more subdued when they greet Bill Clinton today. But in their hearts, they'll be whooping it up just as ecstatically. Clinton, the first U.S. president to address the organization, has defended the trial lawyers' money-grubbing jihad against common sense and the common good by terrorizing and vanquishing tort reformers at almost every opportunity. …….Though he has signed a few small tort-reform measures, the president has vetoed every major effort to rein in the berserk lawsuit culture, which is turning civil courts into casinos for trial lawyers and greedy plaintiffs. ………And the trial lawyers are returning the favor, pouring unprecedented gushers of cash into Democratic coffers. According to a study by Common Cause, the non-partisan Washington watchdog group, trial lawyers gave $2.7 million to the Democrats in 1999 - over twice what they gave in the same time period during the previous election cycle, and nearly 1,000 times what they donated to Republicans in 1999. ......Why the generosity this campaign season? Two reasons: the multibillion-dollar tobacco settlement has made a number of trial lawyers extremely wealthy, and George W. Bush is a champion of tort reform. ……."

ssociated Press 8/10/00 "..... CHICAGO - The surgeon general is calling upon states to use more money from their multimillion-dollar tobacco settlements on anti-smoking campaigns, citing a "failure to implement proven strategies." In a report released yesterday, Surgeon General David Satcher said enormous settlements are available to pay for major new anti-tobacco efforts. "I think states are missing a tremendous opportunity," Satcher said as he released his Reducing Tobacco Use report at the 11th World Conference on Tobacco in Chicago., ..."

CATO Institure 8/8/00 Deroy Murdock "……For the latest example of governmental bait-and-switch, look no further than your ashtray. Attorneys general from 46 states sold the public on the 1998 "Master Settlement Agreement" as a way to collect "damages" from the major tobacco companies and spend these sums to rescue teenagers from nicotine addiction. …….. But a recent report by the National Council of State Legislatures paints a far-less touching picture. The NCSL studied 44 states that plan to spend $8.19 billion in tobacco settlement funds this year and next - a small down payment on the $206 billion of tobacco industry money they expect to redistribute through 2025. Of this sum, $754.2 million or just 9.2 percent is dedicated to tobacco prevention. …… The oft-invoked "children" are seeing less than a dime of every dollar extorted on their behalf. ……."

CNS News 8/9/00 Justin Torres "……A lawsuit against an abortion clinic in Fargo, South Dakota, might be an opening for a series of class action suits against the abortion industry for failing to disclose the dangers of the procedure. The suit, Mattson v. Red River Women's Clinic, was filed 14 months ago on behalf of a woman who says she was the victim of false advertising because she was not informed of the connection between breast cancer and abortion. The suit centers on a clinic brochure given to women seeking an abortion that reads, "Anti-abortion activists claim that having an abortion increases the risk of developing breast cancer and endangers future childbearing. None of these claims are supported by medical research or established medical organizations." The suit alleges that "[b]y publishing and distributing a brochure stating that medical research does not support the claim that having an abortion increases the risk of developing breast cancer," the clinic violated informed consent laws requiring patients to be told the immediate and long-term risks of any surgical procedure……."

Yahoo 8/9/00 Jill Serjeant "……(Reuters) - Families of the victims of an extremist's 1999 shooting spree at a Los Angeles Jewish Center on Wednesday filed what lawyers called a groundbreaking lawsuit against gun makers -- saying they should be held responsible. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that six firearms manufacturers are liable for ``public nuisance and negligence.'' Three young boys, a teenage girl and a 68-year-old woman were wounded in the Aug. 10 rampage at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Granada Hills. A Philippines-born postman was shot dead minutes after the attack in a nearby suburb. ……."

The Associated Press 8/8/00 Naomi Koppel "…..GENEVA (AP) - Big increases in taxes on tobacco products could save millions of lives, above all in developing countries, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. "There is an expression that death and taxes are unavoidable. We argue that this is the one tax that can help you avoid death," said Prabhat Jha, co-author of the Tobacco Control in Developing Countries study. The 512-page report, the result of a three-year research project, argued that a 10 percent increase in tobacco taxes worldwide would persuade about 42 million people to give up smoking and could prevent about 10 million deaths - 9 million of them in developing countries. "There is absolutely clear evidence that higher prices reduce consumption, especially among youth," Jha said. "In Canada in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they significantly increased prices, consumption fell by 50 to 60 percent." ….."

NewsMax.com 8/7/00 Carl Limbacher "......Getrude Stein was referring to Oakland, Calif., when she said, "There is not there, there." Now we can so there is also no legal way to buy a gun there, there. Last weekend Oakland's only gun store had to close shop. For years Second Amendment advocates have warned that big government could infringe on gun rights by using taxes and regulations, rather than outright bans. Oakland seems to prove that belief. An Oakland city tax has forced Mara Siegle, the owner of the gun shop, to pay $24 for every $1,000 in sales. The business was shuttered after 57 years of family ownership. .......A string of prohibitions and regulations have helped to kill off legal gun purchases within city limits. ......."

ElectronicTelegraph 89/6/00 "…..THE American state of Colorado has passed a law to cut rural noise levels after complaints from townies and weekend home owners about animals. Farmers can now be fined a minimum of ฃ350 if their animals make too much noise or if their farmyards smell too much. The law was passed after city dwellers complained that their weekends away were being ruined by moos, cock-crows and farmyard odours. One rural resident said: "It's like living next to the zoo." The regulation outlaws loud, persistent and habitual howling, yelping, braying, whinnying and crowing. ….."

SF Chronicle 7/17/00 Craig Smith "……Janet Reno is not the only one worried about Bill Gates' software monopoly: China's leaders are, too. They are concerned that the country is growing overly dependent on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, which controls microcomputers running everything from banks to President Jiang Zemin's e-mail box. But the Chinese government, itself a master at monopoly, is taking its case against Microsoft not to the courtroom, but to the marketplace, albeit with a bit of administrative fiat. It is backing the Linux operating system, which was created by a Finnish university student in 1991 and is distributed free to anyone who wants it. ……. ``We don't want one company to monopolize the software market,'' said Chen Chong, a deputy minister of information industries who oversees the computer industry in China. With Linux, ``we can control the security,'' he added, so ``we can control our own destiny.'' ……"

8/18/00 robnoel "….. We have just received "Inside Information" BATF has now banned the importation of "Assault Weapon" Receivers and Barrels. This action will prohibit the importation of Foreign made original High-capacity Receivers and Barrels such as those being used to assemble in AK rifles, G-3 rifles, and FAL rifles. Our items effected by these measures are the AK-SAR1, SAR2, and SAR3 rifle. The FAL STG-58 rifle, The CETME G-3 rifle, and the Imbel FAL Metric Receivers. …..SOURCE: AIM "

Century International Arms 8/18/00 "..... On the day Al Gore accepted the democratic nomination for President, a legal committee at B.A.T.F. effectively banned an entire class of previously importable firearms. The following Century semi-auto rifles are affected and will no longer be available once inventory is depleted: SAR-1, SAR-2, SAR-3, MISR, STG-58, Centurion 58, FAL, Cetme and G3. In addition to the above, Garand rifles and parts for Garand rifles are no longer importable. Once we are out of our inventory they will no longer be available in the United States. ......"

New York Times 8/19/00 "…..Stocks fell yesterday as drug and tobacco companies declined after Vice President Al Gore criticized them as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination in a speech on Thursday. Semiconductor stocks extended their rally, meanwhile. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rose 2.1 percent, bringing its six-day gain to 20 percent. It is still down 10 percent since mid-July, when investors began to sell the shares on concern about a slowdown in sales growth for the semiconductor industry. Even so, the gains in semiconductor shares gave way to losses among telecommunications-equipment and biotechnology companies, sending the Nasdaq composite index to its first drop in six sessions. Pfizer, Merck and Philip Morris were among the big contributors to the broader market's decline. ……"

Denver Post 8/14/00 Mark Obmascik "……For the past 12 years, Roger D'Arcangelis' bosses in Can~on City called him a correctional officer. But if he shows up for work now with a pack of cigarettes in his pocket, he'll be called something else - a criminal. After deciding last year to prohibit the state's 16,000 inmates from smoking in Colorado prisons, the Department of Corrections last month extended the tobacco ban to guards and other employees. As of July 1, sneaking a smoke on the job can get a state correctional officer up to 18 months in prison and $100,000 in fines. "I used to smoke three or four or five cigarettes a day here. Now it's a felony," said D'Arcangelis, a correctional officer who once handled on-the-job stress by puffing Merits in outdoor smoking areas at the state's high-security Centennial prison in Can~on City. ….."

WorldNetDaily 8/12/00 Reuters "…..- Saying it did not want to open a "Pandora's box" for lawsuits against other industries, an appeals court has upheld a judge's decision to throw out a suit by the city of Cincinnati seeking to recover millions of dollars from gun manufacturers. In its unanimous decision Friday, the Ohio First District Court of Appeals likened the city suit to the "absurdity" of suing the makers of matches because of losses from arson. ……"

Excite.com News 8/15/00 Michael Sniffen AP "…..The Justice Department urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to decide quickly whether the giant Microsoft Corp. should be broken into two computer software companies. It said delay "could irreparably harm competition in a vital and rapidly evolving sector of the national economy," In a brief filed with the high court, the government opposed Microsoft's request that its appeal of a trial judge's breakup order go first to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia before reaching the Supreme Court. The court should agree to skip the intermediate panel for only the third time since 1974 because this case "has immense importance to our national economy," the government said. "It is especially important to the rapidly developing high-technology sectors, which need to know how they will be affected by the remedies resulting from this case." ……"

MSNBC 8/14/00 "…..Caffeine in soft drinks - which Americans drink more of than water - is added to addict consumers, not to enhance flavor as soft drink manufacturers claim, said researchers who compared caffeine's use in sodas to nicotine in cigarettes. …… "THE MARKETING parallels between nicotine and caffeine are pretty stunning," said psychopharmacologist Roland Griffiths, who directed the research. "Both are psychoactive drugs. Until recently, cigarette companies denied that nicotine is addicting and said it was added merely as a flavor enhancer for cigarettes. The same is being said for caffeine."……. Griffiths and other scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said most soda drinkers cannot taste the difference between caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks…….. The study appeared in Archives of Family Medicine, which is published by the American Medical Association, and concluded that caffeine was instead added to soft drinks for its addictive nature to boost consumption…….."

The Washington Times 8/13/00 Margie Hyslop "……Gun makers are mulling whether to limit shipments to Maryland, where new laws rquiring them to provide casings of bullets fired from handguns will go into effect Oct. 1. A casing bearing unique marks from a gun's barrel and firing pin is to be packaged with each handgun, then forwarded to state police after the guns are sold. Police can than more easily determine a gun's origin if it is ever used in a crime. …… Gun trade association and industry executives said most manufacturers are likely to begin recovering, packaging and shipping bullet casings regardless of where their guns are sold, noting that New York is set to implement a law similar to Maryland's on March 1. ….."

Florida Times-Union 8/9/00 Jim Schoettler "……Five Jacksonville gun dealers were arrested yesterday after being accused of selling guns without asking for information needed to ensure the buyers weren't convicted felons or otherwise not eligible. The men, three of whom own local gun shops, are accused of breaking federal law by selling 31 guns in a "straw purchase" scheme. A straw purchase occurs when the gun buyer uses someone else to fill out a federal firearms transaction form because he may be prohibited from buying the weapon, said U.S. Attorney Donna Bucella. ……Authorities said the seven-month investigation involved undercover purchases by two men who went into gun dealerships, bought firearms and indicated that someone else would fill out the paperwork. Such information as the name, age and place of residence of the two men wasn't recorded by the people who sold the weapons, court records said. …..Those arrested were: Wayne Miller, 55, owner of Southside Guns II; Jim Rose, 63, owner of Cassat Gun; Jim Webb, 62, owner of American Gold Exchange; Abe Farhat, 39, employee of Green Acres Sporting Goods; and Harvey Branch, 62, an employee of Fox Jewelry & Loan. ….." Freeper adds "….After speaking with a good friend who knows one of the accused personally, one of the questionable purchases involved a man who indicated he was purchasing the gun for his wife as a gift. Now help me here. I can buy a car for my husband, but not a gun as a gift? There goes his Christmas present! In all other aspects of life, especially when dealing with the IRS, the federal government recognizes a husband and a wife to be a joint entity - mutually responsible to the government. But guns are different??……"

Cincinnati Enquirer 8/12/00 Dan Horn "…..The city of Cincinnati lost again Friday in its legal battle to hold gun makers responsible for gun violence. An appeals court ruled the city would "open a Pandora's box" if a lawsuit it filed last year forced gun manufacturers to pay for damages caused by guns. The court concluded that suing the manufacturers because of gun violence makes about as much sense as suing match companies because of arson. "Guns are dangerous," Judge Ralph Winkler wrote in his majority opinion. "The risks of guns are open and obvious." The unanimous decision by the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals means city officials now must appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court if they want to keep their law suit alive. The decision also could be a blow to similar lawsuits that have been filed against gun makers in nearly 30 cities nationwide. …… "The legal opinions applied in this case should apply to other jurisdictions," said James Dorr, an attorney for the Connecticut-based Sturm & Ruger gun company. "These cases never had any legal basis." ….."

Houston Chronicle 8/20/00 C Boyden Gray J V Schwan "…… Trial lawyer money, power and synergies are approaching a zenith. The days of large corporations possessing greater resources and stamina than plaintiffs' law firms have disappeared. Trial lawyers received literally billions of dollars for their work in forcing the nationwide tobacco settlement. This money, coupled with their war chests from past ventures, has allowed trial lawyers unprecedented control of the legislative and regulatory process. The growing power of trial lawyers creates an environment where nearly everyone loses. Consumers lose by having less access to the courts, paying higher prices, receiving fewer services and living in a world where people's first inclination is to sue. Corporations lose by devoting precious dollars and resources to defending and settling lawsuits based on avoidance of extortion, rather than the merits. States lose by having their economies plagued by a civil justice system that encourages businesses to shrink or close forever. ……"

Newsday.com 8/22/00 Shannon McCaffrey AP "……Mayors suing the nation's gun makers said Tuesday they deserve equal television time to rebut a firearms industry ad that they allege attacks their patriotism. Actor Martin Sheen also jumped into the fray, accusing the gun makers of using his younger brother, Joe Estevez, to perform the ad's voice-over so viewers would believe it was him. Sheen is best know currently for his role as U.S. president on the television drama ''The West Wing.'' The brothers have similar voices. ''I want to set the record straight and place the gun makers' despicable deception on notice,'' Sheen said in a statement. Sheen was scheduled to attend the news conference in Washington with several mayors and federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo but he was delayed shooting his TV series in Los Angeles. ……Sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Federation, the ad shows a man plucking the stars and stripes off an American flag. It links the firearms manufacturers to the patriots at Gettysburg, the soldiers of Normandy and the heroes of the Mekong Delta. ……"

AP 8/26/00 "……..KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A gun giveaway at a used car dealership attracted lots of attention Saturday and new members for gun groups, but just three customers bought a vehicle and accepted a voucher for a free rifle. "No one bought a car today just to get a rifle, it was just icing on the cake," auto dealer Greg "Lumpy" Lambert told The Knoxville News-Sentinel as the sale ended. ……"

Miami Herald 8/27/00 Carolyn Salazar "…… In the face of a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association and a wide-scale recall of nearly a million gun locks, the city of South Miami kicked off its controversial gun-safety awareness initiative Saturday by giving away more than 325 gun locks. The city has launched an aggressive campaign, lining the streets with ''in-your-face'' advertisements on gun safety. After passing an ordinance requiring the use of gun locks within city limits, the city began offering gun-safety classes for adults and children. 'We're trying to protect the safety of the children in this community,'' said Mayor Julio Robaina. ''And this is just the beginning.'' …… Under South Miami's ordinance, weapon owners who do not use a gun lock will be slapped with a $250 fine the first time they are caught and a $500 fine for each subsequent offense. The NRA sued the city last month claiming the ordinance is unconstitutional. ……"

USA Network 8/27/00 "…… The USA Network broadcast an advertisement this morning which urges viewers to "Silence big tobacco--tear out cigarette ads" from magazines--behavior reminiscent of the public book-burning campaigns of Nazi Germany. The ad begins with a scene of a board meeting where a man is boasting of the success of a ficticious tobacco company's new products. The scene cuts to a man in his apartment reading a magazine. The man in the apartment starts to slowy rip a page from the magazine. With each tear, the scene reverts to the board meeting and the man speaking starts to lose his voice. When the man in the apartment finishes tearing out the page from the magazine, the man in the board meeting completely loses his voice. The scene fades to a green background as a voiceover intones, "Silence big tobacco--tear out cigarette ads," while the word "Truth" is flashed on the screen……….. "

www.jointogether.org 8/27/00 Wall Street Journal "…….. It appears that the gun-safety agreement that Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest handgun manufacturer, signed with the U.S. government has not turned out to be beneficial for the company, the Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 24. ……. In exchange, the company was supposed to receive preferential treatment in government gun purchases and be removed from government lawsuits. However, Smith & Wesson continues to be a defendant in all but one of the cases. Furthermore, preferential buying from government agencies has been slow to materialize. "Smith and Wesson is a long way from being satisfied," said one Smith & Wesson official. "So we've been a leader. Well, what has it got us?" ……."

LA Times 10/14/99 James Pinkerton "….. Magicians call it misdirection: the art of getting audiences to look in the direction the magician wants them to, so they miss the trick. Today, politics itself is being misdirected. Some of the biggest controversies in the United States--debates over gun control, auto safety, health care policy and pharmaceutical development--are no longer being decided by the democratic process or by the rule of law as traditionally understood. …….. Consider gun control. Gore has called for licensing new handgun purchasers, while Bill Bradley has called for licensing all handguns, new and existing. Meanwhile, Bush defends his policy of allowing Texans to carry concealed weapons. Yet any new gun policy could soon be all but mooted because, if present tort trends continue, there won't be any new handguns manufactured in the United States. Public officials talk, but it's private lawyers who take action. Now that's misdirection. ……. Newsweek reports that Colt's Manufacturing Cos. will soon stop taking orders for virtually all consumer handguns. Colt's disputes the story, but with legal costs mounting--the gun industry faces 27 lawsuits, and the $246-billion precedent of the tobacco settlement is staring it in the face--it's hard to see how shallow-pocketed domestic gun makers will survive the trial lawyer onslaught long enough for the politicians to get their whack at them. ……. Why hasn't this angle been covered much? Two possible explanations. First, journalists mostly support this legal onslaught against industries and products they don't like. Second, to cover the story of how trial lawyers are preempting politics, elite newsies would have to travel to tort hot spots such as Hayneville, Ala. In 1996, for example, a jury there heard the case of one Alex Hardy, who apparently fell asleep at the wheel of his Chevy, leading to an accident that left him paralyzed. Yet plaintiff's lawyers claimed, against all reason, that the vehicle was defective. Hardy was awarded $150 million in a case that has set a low standard for auto liability cases since……."

Washington Post 9/7/00 Mark Kaufman "…… In a major initiative against unapproved drugs being sold through Internet pharmacies, the Food and Drug Administration has targeted sites that sell laetrile, the unapproved but once very popular cancer treatment made from the seeds found in apricot pits. The FDA announced yesterday that it is seeking a permanent injunction against several related Florida companies that sold laetrile, sometimes called Vitamin B-17 or amygdalin, through the Internet to federal agents. The companies were temporarily closed last week by a federal judge. In addition, federal authorities have moved this year against online laetrile distribution sites based in Ohio and New York City. The Ohio case resulted in criminal charges while the New York operation was closed down……."

Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel 9/7/00 Sally James "…… CORAL SPRINGS -- Smokers who light up in city parks may soon have to take their butts elsewhere. Commissioners this week tentatively approved a controversial ordinance that would ban smoking in all 46 city parks -- a move that would give Coral Springs the apparent distinction of being the only municipality in South Florida to outlaw outdoor smoking in public parks. Neither the state nor Broward County bans smoking in any of their parks. ….."

Newark [NJ] Star Ledger 9/11/00 Brian T Murray "…… The State Police are getting new state-of-the-art pistols, nearly three years after a trooper was killed in a shoot-out in which his service weapon jammed. The Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistols, which have a 15-shot capacity, should be in the hands of all state troopers within the next six months. "A contract has been signed, a challenge to the contract has been resolved and by October we will get the first shipment of 600 new Smith & Wesson 9 mm handguns, which will go first to the approximately 1,700 troopers on the road," said John Hagerty, a State Police spokesman. The $1.3 million contract for 3,200 pistols was signed with Ray Sport Shop Inc. of Plainfield. The last hang-up was resolved Aug. 23 when the Treasury Department reviewed and dismissed a challenge by another bidder, said Hagerty. ……."

New York Times 9/12/00 "……. In threatening to aim punitive legislation at the entertainment industry, Vice President Al Gore has crossed a line that no Democratic presidential candidate should ever cross. His party has a tradition of protecting free expression. Mr. Gore and his running mate, Senator Joseph Lieberman, betray that tradition by advocating what would amount to government censorship…….. Mr. Gore's statements came as the Federal Trade Commission produced a report requested by President Clinton after the ghastly shooting at Columbine High School. In it, the commission charges that the producers of movies, music and computer and video games have marketed inappropriate material to young people, violating the spirit of their own ratings system. The F.T.C. recommended tightening enforcement of ratings curbs, a step that the industry should consider as a matter of civic responsibility and political prudence. ……But in delivering the report, the Trade Commission chairman, Robert Pitofsky, cautioned against setting up a federal "thought police." Mr. Gore tried to skirt that problem by saying he would back legislation to give the F.T.C. broader power to punish the entertainment industry for "deceptive advertising," but that he would do so in a way "consistent with the First Amendment." That is sophistry that seems to reinforce the charge by the Republican nominee, Gov. George W. Bush of Texas, that Mr. Gore will say anything to get elected. ….."

ABC News.com 8/12/00 Coulter Yang "…..Less than 12 hours after the Emmy Awards were the toast of Tinseltown, Hollywood woke up to a harsh hangover. This morning, the Federal Trade Commission released a report - ordered by President Clinton in the wake of the Columbine High School massacre - that takes the entertainment industry to task for marketing violent material to children. The movie, video game and music industries routinely try to sell adult-rated products to kids, it says. …….. "The FTC report says that some entertainment companies are engaged in marketing practices, that, if not illegal, are clearly wrong," the president said during an appearance in Scarsdale, N.Y. ……. Targets Revealed in Marketing Studies The yearlong study says that even R-rated movies - which require an adult to accompany children under 17 to the theater - and video games that carry an M rating - meaning they are suitable for people age 17 and over - are aggressively advertised on television shows and in magazines and other publications that appeal to young people. ……. The conclusions are derived in part from documents submitted by the industry itself, including marketing plans that demonstrate the efforts of companies to advertise to young audiences materials designated for adults. "A document recommends television ads to a primary male audience of 12 to 17," FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky said. "The younger the audience, the more likely they are to be influenced by television advertising ... A couple of other marketing plans even refer to a target audience as young as 6 and 8." ……"

San Francisco Chronicle 9/12/00 Henry Lee "……An Alameda County Superior Court judge reluctantly agreed to grant a new trial in a lawsuit that claims a gun manufacturer was liable in the death of a 15-year-old Berkeley boy who was accidentally shot by his best friend. Griffin Dix, the father of the victim, Kenzo Dix, voiced gratitude yesterday about Judge Richard Hodge's decision last week, even though the judge said the case against Beretta U.S.A. Corp. was weak and that a state appeals court mandated a new trial on the basis of alleged juror misconduct. ``We're delighted to get another chance to put it before a jury to decide whether there is foreseeable misuse of handguns and whether they should have safety features built into them,'' Dix, 57, said. ….. "

Las Vegas Review-Journal 9/13/00 "….. Joe Camel was just the beginning. The Federal Trade Commission, which once focused its regulatory efforts on companies that engaged in outright fraud, has now become a federal Truth Squad -- with the coercive powers of government to back it up…….. On Monday, the agency released a 104-page report accusing the entertainment industry of using ad campaigns to entice "children" -- defined as anyone younger than 17 -- into watching, listening to and playing violent movies, music and video games. The agency suggested it may file lawsuits against producers of materials with adult-oriented content. Congressional Star Chamber hearings will also convene this week. …… While it's certainly the right of individuals or private organizations to monitor the entertainment industry -- and criticize programming they find offensive -- threatening to unleash the awesome power of the regulatory state is back-door censorship, pure and simple……."

Des Moines Register 9/8/00 Staci Hupp "……A New Hampton man says vandals wiped out his family business Thursday when they released 14,000 mink from a Chickasaw County fur farm. A Canadian animal-rights group claimed responsibility, calling the release the "largest of its kind." "The war against the fur industry is far from over, as long as animals are kept in cages and killed for vanity luxury items," said David Barbarash of the North American Animal Liberation Front. Lenny Drewelow said he found every pen empty when he arrived early Thursday at the 60-year-old farm outside town. After an all-day search, he said, about half the animals had been found. Many had been run over by motorists……."

Reuters 9/8/00 "……. U.S. trial lawyers, the frequent butt of jokes equating them with sharks, complained Friday about what they called declining respect for their "noble profession" and urged law schools and others to address underlying problems. "Lack of respect and confidence seems to have developed in the public"s mind for the trial practice and trial practitioners of all types," the 400,000-plus-member American Bar Association (ABA) and other lawyers" groups said in a major policy statement. The lawyers" groups spelled out their concerns in a first-of-its-kind "white paper" aimed at improving the system that metes out justice in noncriminal matters such as torts, insurance and product liability cases. Publication of the paper capped a three-year effort that brought together a broad cross-section of lawyers" groups collectively known as the American Civil Trial Bar Roundtable. ……."

UPI 9/19/00 "......Though it's been public knowledge for weeks, Joel Klein, chief of the Justice Department's antitrust division, made it official Tuesday: He's leaving the department at the end of September. Klein, who shepherded the department's antitrust suit against Microsoft and greatly expanded his division's prosecutions, will be replaced by his principal deputy, Doug Melamed, as acting division chief until the end of the Clinton administration in January. ......... Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is poised to decide whether it will hear the Microsoft case this term or route it first through a federal appeals court in Washington. ......... In a ruling earlier this year after a trial, U.S. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson snapped the company in two and ordered Microsoft to curb its aggressive business practices. Jackson's order would break Microsoft into a Windows division and a rump company, but the judge stayed his own order until appeals are complete. .........Under the federal Expediting Act, the Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to hear the Microsoft case on direct appeal, bypassing the lower appeals court. However, Microsoft has asked the Supreme Court to reject a direct appeal, and instead route the case through the lower appeals court, which has reversed Jackson on earlier Microsoft rulings. ......"

Daily Press 10/2/00 AP "…..Two gunmakers who challenged Congress' authority to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of semiautomatic assault weapons lost a Supreme Court appeal today. The court, without comment, rejected an appeal that said Congress exceeded its power to regulate interstate commerce when it outlawed such weapons in 1994. The 1994 law, an amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968, defines semiautomatic assault weapons to include a list of specified firearms and "copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber."…….. Navegar Inc. and Penn Arms Inc. challenged the federal ban in 1995……. Florida-based Navegar, doing business as Intratec, manufactures two semiautomatic pistols, the TEC-DC9 and TEC-22, which are among the specifically banned weapons……..Pennsylvania-based Penn Arms makes the Strike 12, a 12-gauge revolving cylinder shotgun. All such shotguns are treated as semiautomatic assault weapons under the 1994 law………A federal trial judge and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the ban. In its ruling last year, the appeals court called the law a permissible "regulation of activities having a substantial effect on interstate commerce."......"

FrontPageMagazine.Com 10/3/00 Tanya Metaksa "….. Guns are still legal in the United States. But the law is no obstacle to determined gun grabbers. They are slowly but surely making it impossible to own, sell or manufacture firearms. Judges in Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and Illinois have thrown out class-action lawsuits against gun makers. Yet the lawsuits keep coming. The objective is plain: keep suing and the manufacturers will either be forced to settle or give up the business. Either way, gun banners win.... "

American Rifleman 10/00 "……. Desperately seeking to attract paying customers before its craven surrender to the Clinton-Gore Administration goes into effect, Smith & Wesson decided to hold a "Summer Savings Promotion" sale. The beleaguered British-owned handgun maker offered customers a $50 rebate on every new S&W handgun they bought between July 15 and August 31. To motivate the sales staff of it's stocking dealers, S&W dangled a $10 bonus for every gun sold, and therein lies the rub. …… S&W sent it's dealers a letter saying: "Sales personnel will need to keep track of their sales on the attached claim form. All requested information must be completed. They will also need to attach a copy of the ATF form 4473 for each sale. (Emphasis added by NRA) Remember, this is the same company that agreed to furnish the most anti-gun Administration in the nation's history "full access to any documents related to the acquisition and disposition of firearms... ."

AP 9/22/00 Nancy Zuckerbrod "…..President Clinton announced Friday that a commission will be appointed to study ways to help tobacco farmers. Republicans say it's an election-year ploy to give Vice President Al Gore a boost in tobacco-growing states``Tobacco growers, like many other farmers, have confronted difficult economic circumstances these last few years as tobacco companies increasingly turn to foreign tobacco,'' Clinton said in a statement.Republicans from tobacco-growing states say Clinton administration policies have hurt the tobacco industry and forced companies to look overseas for cheaper tobacco...."

AP 9/23/00 Brian Witte "…….BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A man acquitted of killing his infant daughter after taking a prescription drug that he says put him in a psychotic state is suing the drug's maker to recover medical, legal and funeral expenses. Ryan Ehlis, 26, of Grand Forks, had been taking Adderall, designed to improve mental concentration, when he shot 5-day-old Tyra on Jan. 30, 1999. Psychiatrists testified in court and the judge agreed that Ehlis lacked the capacity to understand what he was doing because of the drug. Its label warns that in very rare circumstances, it can cause "psychotic episodes at recommended doses." ………"

NewsMax 9/20/00 Walter Williams "...... The Federal Trade Commission has just released its year-long study showing how Hollywood's film industry, the music industry and the video-game industry have been deliberately targeting and marketing all manner of filth and violence to America's children......... Here's where I'm confused. What Big Entertainment has done to America's children makes what Big Tobacco has done pale by comparison. When Big Tobacco makes one of our children smoke a cigarette, death is not immediate and there's just a chance it might come 40 or 50 years later. But when Big Entertainment tells a child to pick up a gun and shoot a playmate, death or injury is immediate........ I'm wondering why the White House and Congress are not calling upon Attorney General Janet Reno to sue and try to reach a multi-billion dollar settlement with Big Entertainment like they did with Big Tobacco........ About 30 big-city mayors have either brought suits, or are contemplating suits, against gun manufacturers. The FTC report suggests that these mayors are mistaken and misguided. It's not Big Gun that's responsible for causing all the murder and mayhem in their cities, it's Big Entertainment that tells both children and adults to shoot up neighborhoods and schools. I'm guessing that we'll see no government suits against Big Entertainment. Why? Big Entertainment and Big Government are allies - they both contribute to one another's agenda......."

Fox News 9/19/00 "…….Despite America's growing economy, it is a tough time for tobacco farmers. Many are being forced to abandon their fields due to cut-backs of 50 to 70 percent of their crop - nearly erasing their profits. The decline is blamed on both cheaper foreign tobacco and attacks on the cigarette industry - an anti-smoking campaign that has left tobacco farmers hurting. "Not only is it affecting me, but it's having a devastating impact on our local communities that thrive off the tobacco industry and the turnover of these dollars... within the community," said Pender Sharp, a tobacco farmer. ……. But help may be on the way, as congressional sources said the Clinton administration plans to set up a commission to explore solutions to tobacco farmers' financial problems. ……. "It clearly looks like a political ploy by a lame duck president to help Al Gore in this election... I mean, for eight years he's done nothing for tobacco farmers and then all of the sudden in the bottom of the ninth... he says he's gonna go to bat for them," said Rep. Ernie Fletcher, R-Kentucky. ……."

St Paul Pioneer Press 9/19/00 Rachel E Stassen-Berger ".....Compliance with ban on smoking spotty Smokers must be 15 yards away from county buildings As of Monday, smokers are supposed to walk 30 paces from Hennepin County buildings before lighting their cigarettes. Already, though, smokers are breaking that ban. Monday morning, several smokers were casually puffing away less than the newly required 15 yards from the Hennepin County government center, without consequences. But other smokers are just taking those extra steps and lighting up. ``It's not that bad, but it will be in the winter,'' said Linnae Ebel ..."

Toogood Reports 9/19/00 Alan Caruba "......I thought that, maybe, because I read a lot across a broad spectrum of viewpoints that articles and commentaries on States seceding from the United States were mostly the opinions of those who have so despaired of any protection of the Constitution, they felt secession was the only option. Then I read the September 13th column by Walter Williams. ......My friend, this nation fought a Civil War in the mid-1800's. Secession would not be peaceable. Yet the fact remains that the Constitution has been and continues to be ignored. Section 8, for example, enumerates the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. As William notes, "Nowhere among the enumerated powers of Congress is there authority to tax and spend for Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank bailouts, food stamps and other activities that represent roughly two-thirds of the federal budget."........... I have another solution. I would like to see every American first read the Declaration of Independence and then the US Constitution. They used to teach about these documents in our nation's schools before saving rainforests and the proper use of a condom took precedence. You can, thanks to the Internet or your local library, actually read either or both. If you pick up a copy of The World Almanac and Book of Facts, it publishes both. (They are also available on this website!)......... I have looked in the US Constitution to find where it says whole industries can be attacked by the federal government so that billions can be extorted and the means to market a product can be curtailed as is the case of the tobacco companies. Or the threat of ruin can be enforced as government policy as in the case of gun manufacturers. Or the deliberate destruction of the most successful enterprise in the nation can be pursued as in the case of Microsoft. The Constitution says nothing that could be construed to permit any of these acts of governmental criminality........... "

Cato Institute 9/18/00 "...... A judge on Friday dismissed Chicago's lawsuit against the gun industry, ruling the city failed to show that gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers knowingly flood the city with handguns, according to Reuters. Judge Stephen Schiller of Cook County Circuit Court suggested that illegal gun sales would be more effectively pursued by the police and in the criminal courts. ......"

NewsMax.com 9/20/00 "….. A judge has thrown out Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's lawsuit against gun manufacturers charging them with flooding the city with handguns. Judge Stephen Schiller of Cook County Circuit Court told the city that stopping illegal gun sales should be the responsibility of the police and the criminal courts. He said the city had failed to show that the gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers had knowingly drenched the city with illegal handguns. The judge ruled that Chicago has put too much stress on statistical data governing the sales of guns later used in crimes. He suggested that police and prosecutors could more aggressively pursue the problem of weapons sold in suburban gun shops, where law enforcement has been successful. According to Reuters news agency, "in four recent cases brought against suburban gun shop owners by the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, two were acquitted, one was found guilty, and one pleaded guilty. They were charged with making illegal sales to 'straw' purchasers who clearly were reselling the weapons." ……"

UPI via NewsMax.com 9/19/00 "……Under the cover of darkness, animal "rights" fanatics broke into an Iowa farm recently, setting free nearly 14,000 mink. The extremists claimed there were deplorable living conditions at the Drewelow & Sons Fur Farm. But their actions resulted in the grisly deaths of many of the animals. "It's devastating. It's your worst nightmare, from a business standpoint, to wake up and find this," said Lenny Drewelow, 36, who raised the mink and sold their fur and oil to clothing and perfume makers. The farm in New Hampton, Iowa, has been in his family for three generations. Thank the Fanatics for a Slow, Gruesome Death ……He found many of the minks had been run over by cars. Most of the rest are expected to starve or freeze to death. ……"

cnn.com 9/27/00 AP "…..Russian airline giant Aeroflot said Wednesday that its envoys have urged the U.S. government to lift a smoking ban on regular airline flights between the United States and other countries. Aeroflot maintains that the ban, which went into effect June 4, breaks international law, and it has appealed to the International Air Transport Association to step into the dispute. Aeroflot representatives met with U.S. State Department officials in Washington last week to discuss lifting the ban, Aeroflot said in a statement...."

findlaw.com 10/6/00 Freeper Lurker "….. Glock has won their appeal before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to have the State of Georgias Class Action suit decertified. ….."

FoxNews 10/6/00 Steve Milloy "……The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week "the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. continued to grow in 1999, representing a serious public health threat to millions of Americans." …… Obesity rose 6 percent from 1998 to 1999, according to CDC. Obesity is defined as a body mass index — a ratio of weight to height — of 30 or higher. A BMI of 30 usually indicates an individual is about 30 pounds overweight. "The continuing epidemic of obesity is a critical public health problem," said CDC director Dr. Jeffrey Koplan. "As a nation we need to respond as vigorously to this epidemic as we do to an infectious disease epidemic, " he warned. "As obesity rates continue to grow at epidemic proportions ... the net effect will be dramatic increases in related chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future," Koplan predicted. ……."

FoxNews 10/6/00 Steve Milloy "……Because no "epidemic" lacks a body count, CDC also claimed, "Overweight and physical inactivity account for more than 300,000 premature deaths each year in the U.S." ……… The "fat police" have landed. ……. CDC's report is scientifically flaky and misleading, and promotes a disturbing agenda. Height and weight data were collected by telephone interviews of nearly 150,000 randomly selected individuals. This methodology is inherently suspect as CDC's researchers relied solely on the self-reports of the interviewees. No data collected — not even a sample — were ever verified for accuracy. ……. "

FoxNews 10/6/00 Steve Milloy "……Worse than the science is the downplaying of data not fueling CDC's agenda. CDC also developed data on "overweight" individuals — those with BMIs between 25 to 29.9. The prevalence of "overweight" individuals reportedly is unchanged since last year and only increased 10 percent since 1991. …….But the CDC didn't even mention that data in its media release or report, published in the October 4 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. ...... "

FoxNews 10/6/00 Steve Milloy "……Then there's CDC's nonsensical claim that "overweight and physical inactivity" account for 300,000 premature deaths each year. …….. As the New England Journal of Medicine recently editorialized, "the data linking overweight and death ... are limited, fragmentary, and often ambiguous. Most of the evidence is either indirect or derived from observational epidemiologic studies, many of which have serious methodologic flaws. Many studies fail to consider confounding variables, which are extremely difficult to assess and control for in this type of study. For example, mortality among obese people may be misleadingly high because overweight people are more likely to be sedentary and of low socioeconomic status ... although some claim that every year 300,000 deaths in the U.S. are caused by obesity, that figure is by no means well established. Not only is it derived from weak or incomplete data, but it is also called into question by the methodologic difficulties of determining which of many factors contribute to premature death." ….."

FoxNews 10/6/00 Steve Milloy "……Why is the CDC so willing to play fast and loose with the facts? The answer is bureaucratic entropy coupled with the agenda of some to control behavior. Government agencies tend to expand in terms of mission, budget and authority. But public health professionals have largely succeeded in eliminating the significant threats to U.S. public health, chiefly infectious disease. …….In search of an ongoing raison d'etre, public health bureaucrats have taken on an activist mantle, "medicalizing" unpopular or politically incorrect behavior such as overeating, eating the "wrong" foods, alcohol consumption, smoking, not exercising and even gun ownership. CDC's own survey is called the "Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System." Your behavior is being watched by disapproving bureaucrats. ……"

Washington Times 10/6/00 Jerry Seper "...... Attorney General Janet Reno asked Congress yesterday for $23 million to bring the tobacco industry to trial on racketeering charges, saying the government would "not be able to proceed" without the money. .......In urging lawmakers not to allow politics to "interfere with the conduct of litigation," Miss Reno said at her weekly press briefing it was "imperative we move forward to protect the American people and to give them their day in court."......"

Denver Post 10/5/00 Mike Soraghan ".....John McCain is bringing his maverick appeal to the Colorado campaign to close the so-called gun-show loophole. The Republican senator from Arizona is appearing in television advertisements, asking voters to approve a state ballot initiative requiring background checks at gun shows. The ads started Wednesday and will swamp the airwaves by this weekend. "I think that if the Congress won't act, the least I can do is support the initiative in states where it's on the ballot," McCain said in an interview. ..."

Rocky Mountain News 10/5/00 "......The "gunnies" are launching their campaign against a ballot issue that would require background checks on all gun-show customers. The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a gun-rights group so strident the National Rifle Association keeps its distance, will hold news conferences today in Denver and Colorado Springs to blast Amendment 22. "What we're telling everybody is that Amendment 22 is gun control, not some minor change in the law," said Dudley Brown, executive director of the group. "And people don't want gun control...."

Yahoo 10/5/00 Alan Fram AP "…… Inviting a pre-election veto, Republicans are ready to send President Clinton (news - web sites) a $23.6 billion measure financing energy and water projects that would block administration plans to alter water flows on the Missouri River. GOP leaders planned to ship the measure Thursday to the White House, where Clinton promised a veto that might have repercussions in the presidential race. The bill would bar the administration from increasing spring season water flows on the river once every three years, and reducing summer flows annually. The Fish and Wildlife Service says the move would help two shorebirds and a fish that are nearly extinct, but it has angered farmers and barge operators downstream in Missouri, a tossup state in the presidential contest. ….."

Fox News 10/5/00 Wilson Valentin "…… In a move biomedical researchers say could undermine lifesaving experimentation in this country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted legal protection to mice, rats and birds under the Animal Welfare Act. The agreement with an animal rights group that sued the agency in 1999, will require legal standards for food, water, housing and pain relief for laboratory animals. It will also require scientists to consider alternatives to the use of rats, mice and birds. …….. "I believe this proposed settlement is a reasonable resolution of this case," said Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman. "By initiating rulemaking, we ensure an open process with significant opportunity for public input ... I would strongly urge interested parties to actively participate in the rulemaking process to ensure that all points of view are fairly represented." ………. Johns Hopkins University, which tried to intervene in the suit on behalf of the biomedical research community, says the increased regulation will make laboratory experiments with these animals virtually impossible to conduct. …….The judge who is expected to approve the settlement may not have even considered the university's petition, said Dennis O'Shea, a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins. "It's a bad settlement and we will continue to oppose it." "The animal rights groups' true motive in this case is to halt all animal-based medical research in the United States, with total disregard to the human consequences," said Estelle Fishbein, vice president and general counsel of the university. ……."

Denver Post 10/2/00 Monte Whaley "…..SUPERIOR - This Boulder County town of 9,000 could be the first in the state, and possibly the country, to stomp out patio puffing. One bar owner calls the Nov. 7 vote to outlaw restaurant-patio smoking an attack by the area's newly transplanted soccer moms, who won't be happy until smokers are in the closet and the town's two watering holes are crippled. ……. But the proponents of snuffing out outdoor smoking say it's strictly a matter of good health. "When these so-called soccer moms start affecting my business because they have nothing else better to do, that's when I get upset," said Rob Schmidt, owner of Bleachers Sports Grille. ......Schmidt said Superior's indoor smoking ban costs him about $5,000 a week in sales. If the outdoor ban is voted in, he could lose more customers to nearby FlatIron Crossing mall in Broomfield, where there's no ban on patio smoking. Schmidt, a non-smoker, said he's never gotten a complaint about his patio smokers. ……"

Washington Times 10/11/00 Robert L. Woodson Sr. "……In D.C. Superior Court this week, the owner of the only pizza company that delivers to all of D.C., including its most dangerous urban neighborhoods, sits defending his company against a charge of racism. …….. Never mind that the Domino's store in question has an all-black staff - manager, cooks and delivery men. Frank Meeks and Team Washington are facing a $30 million lawsuit alleging discrimination because the driver delivering a Domino's Pizza to plaintiff Jim Bell refused to take the pizza to the door of his house on the unit block of Q Street SW. Mr. Bell, a lawyer, also is plaintiff for a similar case in the U.S. District Court and is the attorney for black clients in another suit (for $9 million) against Domino's in Prince George's County. In the D.C. case, he alleges that Domino's discriminates against blacks because the driver refused to get out of his car and walk up to his door……"

Wilson Valentin 10/10/00 "…..The fight over changes to the Animal Welfare Act and the future of laboratory testing in America has taken on broader dimensions, with Congress stepping into the fray. ….Sen. Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican and influential member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Friday added language to a bill outlining the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2001 budget that effectively blocks the agency's recent settlement with an animal-rights group. The settlement would have expanded protection to include rats, mice and birds used in medical experiments, a move that some research institutions say could have crippled live-saving medical research. ….. "It's a welcome development," said Dennis O'Shea, a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins University, which had tried to intervene in the lawsuit. ...... O'Shea said Cochran's rider will "give the research community a chance to make its case." Earlier, Johns Hopkins and others said the judge presiding over the case paid little attention to their concerns about the settlement. ......"

FOX 10/10/00 Patrick Riley "……. Government lawsuits against Big Tobacco and the gun industry gave Philadelphia city solicitor Kenneth Trujillo an idea: Why not unleash an aggressive team of lawyers, and fill the city's coffers with money from all kinds of businesses against which he could make a case? …… Critics say he's making a mockery of the legal system by trying to turn the courts into a cash cow. But Trujillo says he just wants justice, and to make culprits pay. ……. "This is not any kind of attempt to go out and make a business of suing businesses willy-nilly," he said. "We want to bring cases that have a good chance of success and where the payoff both in terms of policy and financially is high for the city." His in-house team of 145 lawyers, as well as private attorneys, is already researching cases to file. .........They'll consider everything from companies that dodge taxes to industries like gun manufacturers whose products the city thinks burden municipal services. Philadelphia already sued gunmakers in April, two months after Trujillo came on board, asking the court to make them pay for the costs of gun violence. ......"

Associated Press 10/7/00 "……A woman who claims she was permanently scarred after a hot pickle from a McDonald's hamburger fell on her chin is suing the restaurant for more than $100,000. Veronica M. Martin claims in a lawsuit filed in Knox County Circuit Court that the burn also caused her physical and mental pain. She is seeking $110,000. Her husband, Darrin Martin, is seeking $15,000, because he ''has been deprived of the services and consortium of his wife.'' The hamburger ''was in a defective condition or unreasonably dangerous to the general consumer and in particular to (Veronica Martin),'' according to the two-page lawsuit, which was reported in The Knoxville News-Sentinel on Saturday…….. "

New York Law Journal 10/6/00 Michael A Riccardi "…… THE HABITAT of endangered species - as well as the animals themselves - is protected under New York's Endangered Species Act, the Appellate Division, Second Department, has held in ruling that a fence may be banned if it curtails the creatures' habitat. The statutory term "taking" applies to habitat as well as the animals, and limitation of habitat that may harm the species provides enough justification for the State Department of Environmental Conservation to prohibit the fence, the court said. …… In a per curiam opinion, the Second Department unanimously affirmed a Dutchess County Supreme Court justice who had refused to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the State Department of Environmental Conservation from requiring a landowner to tear down a 3,500-foot-long, four-foot-high "snake-proof" fence that keeps timber rattlesnakes off its 213-acre property, where it intends to operate a mine. ……"

New York Times 10/7/00 Philip Hilts "….In what is seen as a significant victory for animal rights advocates, a federal court ruled yesterday that the most commonly used laboratory animals - mice, rats and birds - will have to be given care under the relatively stringent rules of the Federal Animal Welfare Act. Until now, the act was interpreted by the government as applying to large animals like dogs, cats and monkeys, but not to the most commonly used research animals. Animal rights groups sued the Agriculture Department last year to expand the welfare act to the smaller animals. Johns Hopkins University, which receives the most federal research dollars of any university, opposed the lawsuit on the grounds that putting mice under the welfare act would increase costs and severely disrupt research. Yesterday, Judge Ellen S. Huvelle of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Agriculture Department must bring the small animals under the law. Under the ruling, the department will write regulations for the care of mice, rats and birds, which will then be subject to public comment before being adopted. The procedure can take one to three years……."

Reuters/FindLaw 9/28/00 "……A federal judge on Thursday dismissed two key parts of the U.S. Justice Department's landmark lawsuit seeking to recover billions of dollars spent by the federal government on smoking-related illnesses, but allowed two remaining racketeering claims to go forward. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in a written opinion that the government could not use the Medical Care Recovery Act, or a second law involving Medicare Secondary Payor insurance provisions as a basis to try to recover government expenses related to sick smokers. ……. But she did rule the Justice Department could proceed with its two counts under the federal racketeering law to seek to force the tobacco firms to give up their "ill-gotten" profits obtained through fraud and deceit since the 1950s. ……"

WSJ Opinion Journal 10/16/00 "…… Around the world we've seen how government can be perverted into an instrument of kleptocracy. To be decided in our Presidential election this year may be the very important question of whether it will happen here. …… "Kleptocracy" is not too strong a word if you believe our tort system should be a means of compensating the truly wronged and not a means of transferring large amounts of wealth to those who are adept at manipulating the levers. What exactly distinguishes the 1998 tobacco settlement, which created a de facto cigarette cartel and spread the proceeds among politicians and lawyers, and Tommy Suharto's clove cigarette monopoly when his father was running Indonesia? Functionally, nothing except our confidence that, when such things happen here, it must somehow be different because we operate under a rule of law. ………Maybe this election is a good time to re-examine that confidence. ….."

www.calnra.org 10/30/00 Sarah Thompson MD "….. America Online has been known to gun owners for some time for their support of anti-gun organizations and policies. They've donated large sums of money to liberal, anti-gun Democrat organizations to support people like Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy....More recently, they've canceled accounts for firearms related web sites on the grounds that such material is no different from "pornography". Never mind that guns are entirely legal items owned by tens of millions of Americans. Never mind that AOL doesn't seem to think that disgustingly offensive rock music is a problem....... Now, in another step towards the final elimination of gun owners from "civilized society", AOL has fired three exemplary workers for having firearms in their cars in order to go shooting at a range on their own time!…….The three employees are Luke Hansen, Jason Melling and Paul Carlson. All three worked as "partner technical consultants" at AOL's Ogden, Utah facility, doing higher level technical support. The Ogden facility employs about 850 people, according to AOL's web site, and "handles a range of technical, billing, third-party and sales calls". According to Mr. Hansen, they had worked at AOL for two to four years, and all had good employee records and good reviews from their supervisors. Unfortunately (at least from AOL's point of view), the three young men also enjoy shooting……."

Los Angeles Times 10/25/00 Robert L. Jackson "......When cities and counties. first began filing lawsuits against the firearm industry two years ago, some gun control advocates hoped the nation's courts would act quickly to help reduce the gun-related violence that has plagued urban areas....... But. with 32 cities and counties now having initiated lawsuits, it is clear that success will come slowly. if at all. Some suits have been dismissed outright. Others, including 12 filed by communities in California, are proceeding slowly. ...."

Townhall 10/20/00 "….Smith & Wesson's agreement with the government to implement various gun control measures has led in part to the layoff of 125 workers at its Massachusetts plant, a communications official for the company said. "That's probably a contributing factor," said Ken Jorgensen, the director of marketing and communications for Smith & Wesson in Springfield, Mass., where the layoffs will take affect. "But the entire industry is down." ……..Massachusetts gun dealers - some of whom had predicted Smith & Wesson's March settlement would end in layoffs - were more blunt in their appraisals of the situation, also attacking Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's recent debate and campaign assurances to uphold the rights of hunters as another example of what they called Gore's political dishonesty. ……."I don't care if he suddenly warms up to the gun issue," said Chuck Fay, the former owner and current manager of Middleboro Gun Shop in Middleboro, Mass. "Everybody knows he's a liar, and why should this particular issue be any different? He's still a liar."……"

Peoria Journal Star 10/17/00 William Raspberry "…….. Maybe Jim Bell, whose discrimination suit was thrown out of court last week, really did believe Domino's Pizza intentionally discriminated against and "humiliated" him and his black neighbors in Southwest Washington by requiring them to come out to the curb to pick up their pizza deliveries. And maybe racism really is the reason pizza delivery companies across the nation are refusing to deliv er to certain parts of town. …….. But maybe it isn't. D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff thought it wasn't, at least in Bell's case. She ruled that Domino's policy of allowing its drivers to determine where they would make to-the-door deliveries and where they would require customers to meet them at the curb was a matter of driver safety, not racial profiling. ……. What interests me now, though, is the assumption behind the complaints: that if race is a possible explanation of the problem we're addressing, then it must be the explanation……. So many of our problems are made more intractable because we insist on viewing them exclusively through the window of race. We have trouble getting a grip on slavery in Sudan -- not because we are indifferent to slavery, but because it's harder to mobilize us when both the slaves and the enslavers are black. (Pre-liberation South Africa, with its clear black/white motif, may not have been easy to solve, but it was a snap to choose sides.) …….We don't know how to talk about the absence of chain-store outlets in some parts of the city except in terms of the corporations' unwillingness to serve black people. ……..We've virtually lost our ability to talk constructively about our failing schools -- not because we are incapable of generating ideas for improving education but because we've run out of white people on whom we can blame academic failure. (You can still get us motivated to oppose vouchers, if you are careful to describe vouchers as an anti-black trick of the white man.) …….."

New York Times 10/20/00 AP "…..Smith & Wesson is laying off about 125 employees, blaming slumping sales and a boycott by buyers angry about its gun- safety agreement with federal, state and city governments. The workers, including some managers, will be laid off in the next week in Springfield, home of 725 Smith & Wesson employees. "Some of the damage has been done by the pro-gun side," a spokesman for the company, Ken Jorgensen, said today...."

Associated Press 10/19/00 "......Smith & Wesson, the nation's biggest handgun maker, will announce the layoffs of hundreds of workers this week, a news report said Thursday. WGGB-TV in Springfield cited a memo posted at the company's Springfield plant. The station said the layoffs were confirmed by company officials it did not identify. The memo blamed the need for layoffs on "the extended decline in business." It said workers would receive details Friday. There are about 800 workers at plants in Springfield and Houlton, Maine. ....."

PRNewswire 10/18/00 Judie Brown "……. This is a special message for moms whose kids work for personal injury law firms. Mom -- if your son or daughter wants to make the really, really big money -- here's some motherly advice you need to give them. Don't waste your time going after industries like Big Tobacco, Big Guns or even Big Breast Implants. No, the new crew to sue is something called Big Abortion! That's right -- the previously untouchable abortion industry is about to find out that even they aren't immune to our country's insatiable appetite for big-money lawsuits. …….For 30 years, abortionists have been protected by the reluctance of injured women to admit they've had an abortion. But all that's starting to change real fast. More and more post-abortive women are beginning to understand how they were manipulated and lied to by the entire abortion complex -- from the media, to the feminist movement, right down to the abortionist who destroyed the baby in their womb. ...... They're asking important questions, like, "Why didn't the abortionist let me see the sonogram of my baby?" Or, "Why wasn't I told that having an abortion could increase my chances for breast cancer?" …… In many cases, when they get the answers to their questions, the next thing they get is a lawyer. And then they sue for all their abortionists are worth. ……"

Smith & Wesson 10/00 "…… George C. Colclough has been named president of Smith & Wesson replacing Ed Shultz. Shultz also serves as president of Murray Inc., a company that has now been sold by Tomkins PLC. He will remain president and part of the management team for Murray's new owners. Colclough is a 25-year employee of Smith & Wesson, most recently serving as vice-president of Administration. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY and received a law degree from Western New England College of Law, Springfield, MA. Colclough served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. He was on active duty as a Ranger qualified infantry officer in the U.S. Army from 1968 until 1975 and served in the Army Reserve until 1999 when he retired as a Colonel. He is a memeber of the Massachusetts Bar Association. ……"

Keep And Bear Arms website 11/15/00 Angel Shamaya "…… Jerry Michel of Specialty Firearms in Mesa, Arizona was raided on October 25. As the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was stealing 274 guns valuing over $300,000, he was told he'd failed to secure a $100 "pawn permit." After looking over the Statement of Probable Cause he and I picked up at the federal courthouse in downtown Phoenix, we discovered that they'd also accused him of conducting strawman sales, as well. ......And now the "taxing agency" who has killed and imprisoned quite a few people over technical gun violations has raided this man -- a man who heretofore had not even a parking ticket to his name -- a second time. …… This event took place on Friday, 10 Nov 2000. Jerry dropped by his ransacked store to take care of some very brief business Monday afternoon. Though he has felt uncomfortable being in his store since he was first assaulted, handcuffed, interrogated, lied to and about and after being forced to watch 30 or so armed "men" steal his life's gun collection, he stopped by the store anyway. He went in, locked the door and proceeded to the back of the store. Within a minute or two, the police began pounding on the door, saying, "Open up! Police!" Within moments, Jerry was whisked outside, frisked in front of his store and taken inside, all the while befuddled as to what these folks were doing -- and why. In a word: ammunition. Yes, ammunition. Jerry Michel was accused of manufacturing ammunition for resale without a license. The BATF confiscated -- this past Friday afternoon -- approximately 30,000+ rounds of ammunition, kegs of powder, cases of bullets in various calibers, primers, shell casings, etc. etc. -- ammo stuff. …….Funny thing is, Jerry doesn't sell the ammo he reloads from scratch. Never has. The only reloads he sells are those he purchases in quantities from licensed ammunition manufacturers. That was Jerry's personal ammo, for personal use. ….."

AP 11/15/00 "…..More than two dozen state lawmakers, a civil liberties advocacy group and some Texas gun retailers plan to file a lawsuit Wednesday to persuade a federal judge to throw out lawsuits filed against gun manufacturers nationwide. The lawsuit, to be filed in U.S. District Court in Lubbock, targets the more than two dozen cities and other entities _ including Los Angeles County, Miami and the District of Columbia _ that have filed lawsuits against the gun industry. It asks the lawsuits against gun manufacturers be dismissed and Texas gun store owners who have lost business receive damages. ……"

www.gunowner.org 11/5/00 Larry Pratt "…..Great news! Representative John Hostettler (R) this week secured a tremendous victory for gun owners when his "gun owner protection act" was signed into law. The need for this legislation began earlier this year, when President Clinton imposed a vast array of new gun restrictions upon gun owners -- restrictions that came about as part of the horrendous deal he cut with gun maker, Smith & Wesson. Thankfully, Hostettler responded to this sell-out by crafting legislation to protect your rights. He worked hard to get it passed into law. On Monday, Hostettler's "gun owner protection act" became law. ……. Clinton wanted the sell-out deal with Smith & Wesson to become a model for other gun makers. He was hoping that other manufacturers would "voluntarily" agree to impose further restrictions upon decent people like yourself. Clinton wanted to bypass the Congress and use private industry to tighten the noose around the necks of gun owners. …….. But something happened on the way to the gallows. John Hostettler forced his legislation through the Congress and by the President. His legislation (attached to the Defense Authorization bill, H.R. 4205) will prevent the DoD from rewarding S&W with fat government contracts when they buy their service weapons. Thus, the major incentive for other gun makers to join S&W is now gone. And the chances that President Clinton can get other gun dealers to impose restrictions upon folks like yourself are virtually gone. ……"

Modesto Bee Online 11/1/00 Steve Elliott "...... Gary Boucher is a very worried businessman. Boucher, owner of Gun Country in Modesto, is afraid that in a little more than two months, he may not have a product to sell. On Jan. 1, all handguns sold in the state must have been certified as safe and appear on a state list for a dealer to sell them. Right now, out of the 500 or so makes and models of pistols made, 15 are on the list, all Rugers. "I've never been more concerned with not surviving," Boucher said. "I opened my first gun shop 21 years ago, and it may be time to get out." What worries Boucher and other gun sellers is that they have no control of their inventory. If a gun maker submits a gun to a state-certified lab for testing and the weapon is found safe and added to the list, dealers can sell it. If it isn't, it's off the shelves. The new rules don't apply to rifles and shotguns. They also don't apply to sales between individuals, so only licensed dealers are affected. ......"

CNSNEWS/NEWSMAX 11/3/00 A California gun control law due to take effect in January could set the kind of precedent that will make it easier for other states to impose more regulations on weapons owners, the vice president of a national sports shooting agency said Thursday. The law at issue is California's 2001 requirement that all handguns manufactured and sold within the state receive a safety stamp of approval from the California Department of Justice, or be declared illegal. ….."

Christian Broadcasting Network 10/30/00 Dale Hurd ".......One of the biggest policy differences between George W. Bush and Al Gore is on the issue of tort reform. Bush has made tort reform a major issue. Tort reform in Texas has saved that state seven billion dollars. Gore, who generally opposed tort reform as a senator, has been largely silent on the issue, and money from trial lawyers is pouring into the campaign war chest. ........ Vice President Gore is under investigation for his involvement in a White House scheme to raise campaign cash from trial lawyers in 1995, just before President Clinton vetoed a crucial tort reform bill. The legislation would have limited multi-million dollar punitive damage awards. ......"More than any time in our history, wealthy personal injury lawyers are trying to influence this election," says Victor Schwartz, general counsel for the American Tort Reform Association. "Most of their money, but not all, is going to Democratic candidates. We're talking 12 to 15 million dollars." ....... Trial Lawyers, flush with cash from tobacco settlements, are dumping huge amounts of money into Democratic campaigns, particularly Al Gore's. They view Gore as the best defense against tort reform......."

UPI 10/30/00 Michael Kirkland "......The Supreme Court and the Clinton administration are being asked to make a decision soon in a case that hasn't drawn much attention, but that could have a profound effect on gas prices at the pump and on air quality...... The case pits the big oil and refining companies against a smaller California firm that won a fight in the lower courts for a patent on "cleaner" gasoline..... The stakes in the case are huge....... Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have filed a brief with the Supreme Court supporting the major oil companies. An appeals court decision "potentially allows (the California company) to monopolize the retail gasoline market, and significantly increase the price consumers pay for gasoline," the states told the justices......."

The Courier News 12/8/00 Joe Menard "……A local gun store owner said he is closing his business at year's end after city officials on Wednesday released a draft ordinance that would require stricter security measures at city gun shops. The proposed ordinance - originally requested by the police department - would require gun shop owners to have gates and bars over windows whenever their shops are closed. In addition, a gun store owner would have to have an on-site security guard during nonbusiness hours, or else keep all firearms in the shop locked in a safe. …..William Whistle, owner of B&L Rod & Gun, 557 N. McLean Blvd., said he is closing his store Dec. 31 because of the ordinance, which he believes is targeted at him. …."

Wall Street Journal 12/5/00 John R. Wilke and Julia Angwin Staff "……Microsoft Corp. is making mischief in the federal review of archrival America Online Inc.'s proposed merger with Time Warner Inc. Behind the scenes, the software colossus is raising questions with antitrust enforcers about the effect the merger would have on high-speed Internet access for consumers. Its effort effectively puts it in a spoiler's role and could complicate the deal's approval by the Federal Trade Commission. ….."

UPI 11/30/00 "…..The number of gun dealers in the United States has dropped more than 70 percent since 1993 when the Brady Bill was passed, a survey by the Violence Policy Center said Thursday. The study found much of the decline was due to the reduction in the number of so-called "kitchen-table" gun dealers who sell guns out of their homes rather than storefronts……"

The Associated Press 11/30/00 Deb Riechmann "…..President Clinton marked the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Brady gun control law on Thursday with a call to give law enforcement officers even more information about gun buyers who fail background checks. ...... ``This country is still too dangerous for our children. The crime rate is still too high,'' Clinton said. ……"

UPI 11/27/00 Michael Kirkland "….. Microsoft Corp. told a federal appeals court in a brief filed Monday that the Justice Department misinterpreted federal antitrust law in bringing its massive antitrust suit against the software giant, and the case should be dismissed……. The company also strongly attacked U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who ruled against Microsoft after a trial. Microsoft said….. Jackson's "public comments concerning the merits of the case," made outside the courtroom in media interviews, "require that the judgment be vacated and the case reassigned to another judge."……"

San Francisco Gate News 11/22/00 Jonathan Curiel "…..Gun dealers and manufacturers could be sued if their weapons cause injuries in San Francisco, under legislation approved yesterday by a Board of Supervisors committee. Arguing that gunmakers and those who sell them should pay for the cost of treating firearms victims, Supervisor Alicia Becerril said her legislation would impose "strict liability." That means gun manufacturers could be sued even if a plaintiff's injury did not result from a defective weapon. …… Every year, San Francisco pays $3 million to treat victims of gunshots, Becerril said. On average, shootings kill 60 people and injure 200 a year in the city, she said. "They should help to pay for destruction that their weapons cause," Becerril said at a meeting of the board's Housing and Social Policy Committee, which unanimously approved her measure. The full board will consider the proposal at its next meeting, which is Dec. 4. …….Gun-rights advocates criticized the idea, saying it is unconstitutional, would cause the price of firearms to skyrocket and would remove a measure of responsibility for gunshot injuries from the people who actually inflict them. "This is simply prohibition with another face," said David Golden, a San Francisco resident. "It's feel-good legislation." ……"

Bloomberg 11/21/00 "….. California's Supreme Court will review a lawsuit filed against closely held gunmaker Heckler & Koch Inc. by a police officer wounded in a 1997 shootout at a North Hollywood bank, Associated Press reported. The lawsuit by former Los Angeles Police Department Officer Martin Whitfield alleges negligence by Heckler & Koch, which made the .308-caliber semiautomatic assault rifle used by assailant Emil Matasareanu, AP said, citing attorney John P. McNicholas. ….. The suit seeks to hold gunmakers to the same liability standards as tobacco companies. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge in May, 1999 rejected the suit as too broad, and the state's 2nd District Court of Appeals upheld that decision. ……"

USDOJ 1/2/01 "…..A prominent group of neurosurgeons in Tulsa, Oklahoma, can no longer refuse surgical services to people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and will pay $50,000 in compensation and fines under an agreement filed today by the Justice Department. The agreement resolves a lawsuit that alleged that Neurological Surgery Inc. (NSI), a consortium of privately practicing neurosurgeons, discriminated against an individual with HIV disease in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). ……… The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, alleged that one of NSI's neurosurgeons refused to provide medical services to an individual because of the individual's HIV disease. The agreement, which is subject to approval by the court, prohibits NSI from discriminating against any person on the basis of disability, including HIV disease or AIDS. Additionally, NSI must provide the complainant with monetary compensation in the amount of $40,000.00, and will pay a $10,000.00 civil penalty to the United States. The agreement requires NSI to adopt a policy of nondiscrimination against persons who have HIV disease or AIDS, and the neurosurgeon who was alleged to have discriminated will attend training concerning the medical treatment of persons with HIV disease and AIDS and infection control in the workplace. "The Department of Justice will not stand idly by when doctors refuse medical services, including surgery to people with HIV disease," said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Bill Lann Lee. "A discriminatory refusal of medical care is especially egregious where, as here, the refusal affects a population so dependent on the availability of medical services." ……"

abcnews.com 1/3/01 Reuters ".....With the gun industry itself under fire, Smith & Wesson, maker of the .44-caliber Magnum carried by Dirty Harry, is up for sale. Smith & Wesson spokesman Ken Jorgensen said today that the nation's largest gun manufacturer has not yet engaged a specific buyer but that its parent company is shifting aim away from the firearms business....."

Standard-Times 12/20/00 Patricia O'Connor "..... WAREHAM -- The Board of Health last night voted unanimously to rescind the town's smoking ban for 90 days. During that time, they'll meet with restaurateurs in an attempt to craft smoking regulations that will both safeguard the public's health and the business owners' ability to run profitable establishments. During that 90-day period, 80 percent of an establishment's seating must be designated nonsmoking from the opening of business until 9 p.m. After 9 p.m., 20 percent of the seating will be designated nonsmoking to accommodate those establishments that serve primarily an adult clientele....."

Sun Sentinel 12/20/00 Jeremy Milarsky ".....The cigar-smoking man, along with his jumpy yellow dog, have been put in their place by the government. The dog may run free and happy, but only in one fenced-in park off the Sawgrass Expressway. His owner can light up his cigar, but only in certain designated areas in the city's parks, as of Wednesday morning. That's because the Coral Springs City Commission Tuesday night unanimously passed a law regulating tobacco smoking inside city parks. It is apparently the first law of its kind in Broward County. ......"

CNN.com 12/21/00 ".....PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A lawsuit the city filed against gun makers to recoup the costs resulting from gun violence was negated by an earlier state law, said a judge who dismissed the suit. A 1995 law and an amendment four years later stripped Philadelphia and other municipalities of the power to either regulate or sue gun makers, U.S. District Judge Berle M. Schiller said Wednesday.. "

Wall Street Journal 12/14/00 ".....This week, Friendship Heights, Maryland, earned the dubious distinction of being the least friendly place in America for smokers. On Tuesday, a Friendship Heights ordinance banning smoking on public property -- including sidewalks, lawns and parks -- was approved by the Montgomery County Council in a (no doubt "bitterly" contested) 5 to 4 vote. First-time offenders will be issued a warning, followed by a $100 fine. Many residents of Friendship Heights, a suburban community of 5,000 near Washington, D.C., are up in arms over the controversial ban, calling it extremist and an infringement on their rights. ....."

The Associated Press 12/11/00 Justin Pope ".....Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest gunmaker, agreed Monday to set aside 2 percent of nationwide firearms sales to develop safer guns and to make it impossible for the average 5-year-old to pull the trigger of one of its weapons. The agreement with the city of Boston mirrors one the company reached in March with the Clinton administration and some other states and cities. It promises external gun locks on new production and internal locks within two years. ...."

AP 1/4/01 Anjetta McQueen "....Millions of book covers sent to schools by cigarette maker Philip Morris show children on snowboards and skis and warn them: ''Don't Wipe Out. Think. Don't Smoke.'' The free covers have sparked protests from education and health advocates across the country, who call the brightly colored fold-over covers a smoke screen that violates a 1998 ban on tobacco advertising to children. ...."

Media Research Center 1/4/01 Brent Baker "….. Bizarre question of the day, is it "legal" for a company to raise the price for a product it makes? …… Tuesday night, as if by coincidence, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening shows all ran stories on the nefarious plot by food manufacturers to charge the same price for a package of a product, but with a smaller quantity. Rich Noyes, Director of the MRC's Free Market Project, figured out all the stories were prompted by a press release from the Consumer Federation of America, though none offered a source. ...... Rich will be writing a thorough analysis for MediaNomics next week, but in the meantime, check out this question on Wednesday's The Early Show from CBS's Julie Chen to Carol Foreman Tucker of the Consumer Federation of America: "So, I'm getting less chips, paying the same amount of money. Is that legal for them to do this?" ......"

LewRockwell.com 1/5/01 "….. Microsoft, one of the great success stories in the history of American enterprise, has spent hundreds of millions to defend itself against claim that it is a monopolist. But just as that ridiculous suit is burning itself out, particularly with the change of regimes in Washington, the enemies of Microsoft have launched another sneak attack. …… The company now stands accused of-what else?-racial discrimination in hiring and promotion. A $5 billion class-action suit has been filed by former and present employees claiming that they have been damaged by an institutionalized racial bias (a "plantation mentality") at Microsoft……… And guess who has been assigned to adjudicate the case? Thomas Penfield Jackson - the same judge who couldn't use a computer at the outset of the monopoly case but later divined that the company should be split into two parts, which is to say destroyed. This man has it out for the company…….."

AP 1/5/01 "…..The National Shooting Sports Foundation and seven major law enforcement firearms manufacturers today suspended their lawsuit against Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and 38 other government officials and municipalities, citing the imminent departure of Secretary Cuomo and the lawsuit's success in halting an illegal government conspiracy against responsible firearms manufacturers. …… The lawsuit, charging a violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, sought an injunction to halt efforts by Cuomo and others to impose arbitrary regulations on the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of firearms. The lawsuit was filed on April 26, 2000, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. ….."

The Times-Picayune 1/5/01 Laura Maggi "…..The $575 million in fees awarded to 200-plus lawyers who worked on Louisiana's lawsuit against tobacco companies is justified, a state judge has ruled. District Judge Gregory Lyons in Lake Charles found that the lawsuit challenging the fees, to be paid by the tobacco companies, was filed too late. ….."

Seattle Times 1/5/01 Leonard Pitts, Jr. "….. I'll make this as clear as I can. I hate smoking. Always have. It probably doesn't help that my parents, both smokers, died of cancer but truth is, I was no fan of the habit even before that. From the time I was a small boy, I considered smoking the filthiest custom imaginable……… I like smoking bans. Yet the community of Friendship Heights, Md., just imposed a new ban on smoking, and I'm against it. You know why? Because Friendship Heights has extended its ban beyond buildings to include outdoor spaces - parks, sidewalks, streets. It's the latest and the most stringent of the recent spate of laws nationwide seeking to regulate outdoor smoking. And it leaves me troubled and perplexed……… You regulate those who smoke in order to protect those who don't. Or at least that's what I've always assumed. And assuming the assumption is correct, then I'm at a loss to figure out what is supposed to be accomplished here……… Why ban smoking out-of-doors, where all one has to do to escape smoke is take a step or two away? You might say the issue is litter - Lord knows smokers despoil the environment - but if that's the case, why not ban gum chewing too? I'm sorry, but from where I sit, this ban seems less an attempt to shield people who don't smoke than an attempt to beat up on people who do......."

NRA Institute for Legislative Action 1/5/01 "….. Maryland's "ballistic fingerprinting" requirement has had a chilling effect on the lawful sale of handguns in the not-so-"Free State." Many new handguns, perfectly legal in most states, are simply not coming into Maryland, which means the supply for any law-abiding citizen who hopes to buy a new handgun is drying up. It seems that many gun makers are not able or willing to comply with Maryland's requirement that any handgun manufactured after October 1, 2000, that is intended to be sold in Maryland, include with the firearm a shell casing from a round of ammunition that has been fired from that handgun, along with identifying information on the handgun and the casing. The casing and information is then stored at the Maryland State Police Crime Laboratory, creating, in effect, a handgun registration system. ……"

Scripps Howard News Service 1/5/01 Bill Straub "…..President-elect George W. Bush apparently is moving toward an armistice in the federal government's war on tobacco. Bush, who rarely addressed health issues related to cigarette smoking during his campaign against Vice President Al Gore, has nominated two men who are sympathetic to the tobacco industry - both to sensitive administration posts. …… Former Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri is the Bush choice for attorney general and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson for secretary of Health and Human Services. …… Bush, himself a former smoker, has expressed doubts about the wisdom of carrying on the Justice Department's lawsuit charging the top five cigarette manufacturers with racketeering in an effort to recoup money the government spent treating the poor for smoking related illnesses under Medicaid. …….The moderated approach has caught the attention of Wall Street, where tobacco stocks have risen sharply since Bush's victory. Shares in Philip Morris, which produces the top-selling Marlboro brand, jumped 87 percent last year, while RJ Reynolds has seen its stock more than double over the last eight months. ……Anti-smoking activists are alarmed by the signals emanating from the Bush transition office. "What this portends is an uphill battle of gargantuan proportions,'' said Ahron Leichtman, executive director of Americans for a Tobacco-free Society. "There's no question that this is really devastating to the tobacco control movement. Is there anyone who can spell out the benefits from a Bush presidency as they relate to tobacco?'' ….."