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Text of Shea v. Reno Decision

Vol. 2, No. 343 -- July 31, 1996
The American Reporter appears below (Please scroll):

Thought: History does repeat itself.

			=Inside AR Today-

Briefly		Olympics Bomb Suspect Watches As FBI Tows Away His Pickup
Indonesia Government Arrests Key Union Leader In Post-Riot Crackdown
Reform Reform Party Leaders In 7 States Seek Perot Party Reforms
CDA New York Court in Shea v. Reno Rules CDA Unconstitutional
Strike Final Settlement Of Conrail Pact Ends Train Strike Threat
Perot With Pressure On Lamm, A Brother Tells Of Effort On Perot
Hot Tech Note To Olympic Coaches: It Works To Put Athletes On Ice
Editorial No Greater Gift
=The World Reporter- World Pinkerton Risk Assessment Service - The Internet Edition
=Top Of The News- Atlanta Bomb At Olympics Is Against Backdrop Of Heroism And Death
___________________________________ An American Reporter Special Report "Indonesia In Crisis" Rumors Bomb Threats, False Reports Of Fire And Riot Hit Jakarta
Indonesia Smoldering Downtown Jakarta Deserted In Riot's Aftermath
Divorce Advance in AI Transforms 'Split Up' Into A Divorce Judge
=Ideas And Columns-
American Way Growing Up As An Earlier Generation Did Isn't Done Today
On A Roll Generation Of Kids Spoiled By Adults Are Now Spoiling Us
Cyberland Wealth Of Data Is At Journalist's Fingertips On Web Site
Joan Smoking Is A Thing Of The Past, But It Comes Alight Again
My Gabriella A New Column By A New Dad On Raising His Kid In New York
Walking Small Dunning Deadbeats: The Art Of Searching For A Real Truth
Elinor Summer's Here, So It's Time She Starts Waiting For Winter
Scoreboard Medalists Of 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Major League Baseball
Put + in search utility to jump to stories. * * * BRIEFLY OLYMPICS BOMBING SUSPECT RICHARD JEWELL WATCHED IN APPARENT ANGUISH AS FBI OFFICIALS TOWED AWAY HIS PICKUP TRUCK FROM HIS GEORGIA HOME. SITTING ON A LANDING AT HIS APARTMENT BUILDING WITH HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS, AND SOMETIMES TALKING ON A CELL PHONE, JEWELL DID NOT RESPOND TO A HORDE OF REPORTERS AND CAMERAMEN WHO SURROUNDED THE BUILDING. JEWELL HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED WITH ANY CRIME IN CONNECTION WITH THE CASE. * * * _______________ INSIDE AR TODAY + by Andreas Harsono American Reporter Correspondent Jakarta, Indonesia 7/31/96 arrest 913/$9.13 INDONESIA ARRESTS KEY OPPOSITION LEADER IN POST-RIOT CRACKDOWN by Andreas Harsono American Reporter Correspondent JAKARTA -- The Indonesian government has apparently begun yet another bloody crackdown on dissidents and opposition groups in what is fast becoming a profound political crisis in the world's fourth largest nation. Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim population on earth, is an archipelago of 33,000 islands that include Java, Sumatra, Bali and parts of Borneo. The government, which reportedly engineered an armed forces takeover of the opposition party leadership at a rump convention in May, Tuesday arrested a key independent labor union leader, Muchtar Pakpahan, following a riot last weekend in which at least six people died and 34 buildings and more than 200 cars were burned. Meanwhile, the leader of Indonesia's largest Islamic religious organization said more than 100 demonstrators died when they resisted the army seizure of the opposition party's headquarters on Friday. Lt. General Syarwan Hamid, the Armed Forces chief of staff on socio-political affairs, said Wednesday that Muchtar Pakpahan was taken into custody late on Tuesday night as part of a probe into a left-wing political organization said to be "responsible for the riot." Syarwan said in a meeting with foreign journalists and diplomats at his office that the "communist threat" is real in Indonesia, which went through a coup attempt in 1965 blamed on the communists. He said the leftist People's Democratic Party (PRD) used rhetoric, tactics and a party structure similar to the now-banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). "History can be repeated. If you know the story of communism (in Indonesia) it happened in 1926, it was repeated in 1948 and it also occurred in 1965. This is a very real experience for us," said the three-star army general. Last Saturday, troops dispersed thousands of demonstrators who refused to leave an area around the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) in Jakarta after more than 1,000 anti-riot police seized control of the building. Angry demonstrators, helplessly watching their offices being seized by force, then rioted and looted buildings, resulting in the worst civil unrest here in decades. Officials of Budiman Pakpahan's Indonesian Labor Welfare Union (SBSI) said Pakpahan was taken into custody by officials from the Attorney General's office Tuesday night who were armed with a warrant saying that the 42-year-old unionist was arrested as part of an investigation into the subversive activities of Budiman Sujatmiko, leader of the PRD, and the group's members. The office also interrogated other outspoken figures, including reputed paranormal Permadi Satrio Wiwoho and Moslem activist Ridwan Saidi. The two are leaders of a coalition established to assist the embattled PDI chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri. The maximum penalty for subversion in Indonesia is death. Budiman Pakpahan, who met with U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson during his visit to Jakarta last week, was sentenced in November 1994 to three years in prison for inciting riots in Medan, the third largest Indonesian city, in northern Sumatra. He was freed in May last year by the Supreme Court. Sujatmiko and his colleagues were not available for comment. Activist circles in Jakarta said Budiman had evacuated his office Saturday night and went underground. Budiman, however, said in a statement that the allegation is groundless, adding that the takeover had angered people and that the problem began with the military's intervention in the internal affairs of the PDI. Meanwhile, this Asian capital of the world's forth most populated country was still struggling to recover from the riot. Military jeeps with eight soldiers each holding automatic rifles are patrolling Jakarta's streets. Last Wednesday Jakarta's military commander said he will allow his troops to "shoot on sight" at "troublemakers." When asked about this harsh measure, Syarwan said "only trained sharpshooters" would be used "under strict orders," but declined to elaborate further. In a related development, Abdurrahman Wahid, the leader of the 30-million strong Nahdlatul Ulama Moslem organization, visited the Jakarta bureau office of the Agence France-Presse on Wednesday and commented on the latest developments, telling a number of journalists there that he believed there were more than one hundred demonstrators died when Indonesian troops seized the opposition party headquarter's offices on Saturday. The Moslem leader, popularly known here as Gus Dur, is a close associate of Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of the late President Sukarno and leader of the opposition to current President Suharto, who is a likely presidential candidate in 1998. He said most of the victims died when the military took over the headquarters in the early morning of Saturday. Officials said only three people died in the riot, two of whom were killed in a burning building. Military officials went further and blasted "foreign" media speculation that the number of victims was greater than the three reported. Gus Dur also said that the allegation of communist involvement is totally groundless, adding that the government used the same tactic to suppress dissent in 1965, when 500,000 anti-government dissidents were killed, to strengthen their position with foreign investors after a five percent drop in the nation's stock exchange index on Monday. The PDI had earlier stated that they have "a list of 108 missing people," adding that witnesses have already testified that troops used bayonets to take over the PDI headquarters. -30- (Andreas Harsono is a freelance journalist based in Jakarta.) * * * _____________________ THE AMERICAN DECISION + Jack Breibart American Reporter Correspondent Sonoma, Calif. 7/31/96 reform 660/$6.60 STATE REFORM PARTY LEADERS SEEK REFORMS by Jack Breibart American Reporter Correspondent DALLAS - Ross Perot may have created a political Frankenstein when he founded the Reform Party late last year. Former Colorado Richard Lamm challenged him for the party's leadership and now a group of leaders of state parties are pressing for an ad-hoc committee to take over the operations of the party from the Ross Perot Reform Committee. The Texas billionaire's message has been that the party was not about him but about creating a new cleansing force in U.S. politics. He talked about seeking a "new face" to head the party and carry its banner in the presidential race -- a "George Washington II," he said. Many in the grassroots took him at his word, including leaders in established third parties in the states -- like the Independent Party in New York, the Patriot Party in Pennsylvania and the American Party in Oregon. They became part of the Reform Party. Lamm placed a high bet and gambled that Perot would not run for the party's presidential nomination. Lamm announced his candidacy, and the next night, Perot did the same. There is a major problem for state leaders and the Lamm campaign. The Perot Reform Committee and the Reform Party apparatus are the same. "The playing field is not level," Lamm has charged. The group of leaders pressing for an ad-hoc committee are in the largest and best organized states -- party leaders in New York, Californ- ia, Maine, Virginia, Oregon, Minnesota and Pennsylvania have been pressing the Perot committee to turn over the party's operations to an ad-hoc committee. The speed with which this should be done is in some debate. "There has to be three entities right now: Lamm's campaign, Perot's campaign and the Reform Party run by a non-partisan committee," Laureen Oliver, who has been a leader of New York's Independence Party since it was started 2 1/2 years ago, told the American Reporter. "We've got to know who's controlling what. You can't have a national party if no one except Perot is giving input. I've been a big protector of Perot, but I think he ought to listen now." Oliver said that the New York party has been asking for a national committee to run things since April. "We got no answer from them," she said. "The last time I talked to Perot was when he asked us to help get the Reform Party on the November ballot. We did and haven't heard from him since." Ron Barthel, vice chairman of the Oregon Reform Party, takes a less confrontational view on the shift of power. "I see it as setting up our priorities and moving in that direction," Barthel told the American Reporter. He said the party has accomplished its goal of nominating candidates -- Perot and Lamm -- and getting out the ballots for that vote. "Now we have to concentrate on setting up the convention (on August 11). We had discussions with Dallas about this and they seem open to ideas. "Yes, I think it would be better that an an-hoc committee be set up before the voting but I don't think it will be. More realistically, it will be after the candidate is named." Meanwhile, Perot on Tuesday turned down a debate with Lamm at the party's convention in San Diego on August 11 when the candidates will present the cases for their presidencies. The Perot campaign said he would be too busy with the convention and helping state parties getting organized to take part. In a statement issued at his Denver headquarters, Lamm said: We were promised a debate. This is not a hostile corporate takeover. It is a political campaign that must run on openness, dialogue and debate. How can members of a political party vote if they can't compare candidates?'' "How can Perot do this?" asked Oliver. "It's an insult." -30- (Jack Breibart is a former assistant managing editor/news at the San Francisco Chronicle.) * * * SHEA V RENO + Joe Shea American Reporter Correspondent Hollywood, Calif. 7/29/96 decision free COURT IN SHEA V RENO BLOCKS ENFORCEMENT OF C.D.A. by Joe Shea American Reporter Correspondent NEW YORK -- A three-judge Federal panel in Manhattan ruled unanimously on Monday that the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which would have regulated speech on the Internet, is unconstitutionally overbroad and issued a preliminary injunction against its enforcement. "Because neither of the affirmative defenses set out [in the CDA] can, with our current technology, effectively protect adult providers wishing to engage in constitutionally protected indecent communication, we reach the inescapable conclusion that [the law] will serve to chill protected speech," the court said. "We therefore find that the plaintiff has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim that [it] is constitutionally overbroad." The ruling also tested the recent Supreme Court opinion in Denver Area Consortium, where "strict scrutiny" of restrictions on broadcast speech were not applied to broadcasters in that medium. "We have no doubt that strict scrutiny should apply here," the court said, setting forth a new standard for any regulations aimed at Internet speech. The case was under advisement for six weeks due in large part, observers say, to the court's consideration of the six separate opinions in the highly complex Denver public access cable TV case. Again and again, the court refused to rewrite the law to satisfy constitutional requirements. The judges also chided Congress for not answering more of the questions raised by the law before it was passed. "We cannot uphold a statute against a First Amendment challenge in the uncertain expectation that future technology will remedy any constitutional infirmities," the court said in a 70-page opinion concurred in and signed by all three judges that also prodded Congress to come up with a better law that doesn't require "radical surgery" to make it constitutional. Answering the government's request that the court sever the "indecency" provision they found overbroad, the court said, "The construction of the statute urged by the government here would require the court to substantially redraft the statute -- in effect, to usurp Congress's legislative functions. We cannot accept the invitation to so reconfigure this statute and thus engage in judicial legislation," the judges ruled. Early in the opinion, the three judges signalled their discontent with the government's approach to legislation that may have constitutional problems by allowing the courts to deal with such flaws. "We are mindful of our obligation to construe a federal statute to avoid constitutional problems if it is possible to do so, but we are equally mindful of the limits of the judicial power under our Constitution and we decline the Government's invitation to perform radical surgery on a statute dealing with a difficult problem in a rapidly changing area of technology; in sum, we respectfully decline the invitation to legislate from the bench." In a 70-page opinion handed down late Monday afternoon, the court ruled that the statute passed, by an overwhelming margin in Congress and signed into law by President Clinton on Feb. 8 of this year, was fatally flawed. "In the instant case, the evidence suggests that the set of content providers whose speech would be consitutionally proscribed is in fact exceeded, perhaps even overshadowed, by the number of users whose speech is constitutionally protected. Under these circumstances, this Court may not leave to subsequent adjudication the task of defining the potentially expansive set of users who should be outside the statute's scope." "Our fundamental human freedoms are victorious today," Shea said on hearing the news from plaintiff's attorney Wayne Metelski in Washington. Shea was represented by the noted Washington law firm of Arent Fox, Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, which also litigated the famous "seven dirty words" case in FCC v. Pacifica, another landmark ruling on free speech. The American Reporter case was based on a controversial, deliber- ately obscenity-laced test article by First Amendment advocate and semi-retired Texas state criminal court judge Steve Russell, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The article was published by this paper in an act of civil disobedience on the day President Clinton signed the law, and represented the culmination of a promise to readers to oppose the law made by Shea in an editorial on June 14, 1995. Separately, Judge Russell and Randall Boe, the America On-Line (AOL) assistant general counsel who represented the paper as an attorney for Arent Fox until taking over his new post in late May, volunteered assistance to the paper and have cooperated on this issue ever since. -30 * * * + Leo King American Reporter Transportation Writer East Greenwich, RI rails July 30, 1996 212 / $2.12 RAIL STRIKE THREAT ENDS WITH CONRAIL PACT by Leo King American Reporter Transportation Writer EAST GREENWICH, R.I. -- The threat of a walkout following a dispute between the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE) and Conrail, an 11,000-mile freight railroad that has spread across the eastern U.S., ended on Tuesday. The labor union reached a tentative agreement with all of the nation's major railroads. The five-year pact, which runs through the end of 1999, is subject to ratification by BMWE members working on more than 30 railroads, which were collectively represented by the National Carriers Conference Committee. The mail ratification process is expected to take four to six weeks. The BMWE and the railroads agreed to extend the status quo pending the outcome of the vote. During intensive negotiations since the cooling-off period that expired July 23, the BMWE and Conrail were able to resolve all remaining issues. An agreement with the other railroads had been reached earlier, but disputes with Conrail had to be resolved before the national contract could be put out for ratification. "BMWE members asked for real wage increases, better working conditions, increased away-from-home expenses and job protection. I am pleased that we were able to deliver on all those goals through negotiations and without any service disruption," said BMWE President Mac A. Fleming. -30- * * * _____________________ THE AMERICAN DECISION + Jack Breibart American Reporter Correspondent Sonoma, Calif. 7/29/96 reform 1056/$10.56 PEROT BIG WINNER IN SURVEY by Jack Breibart American Reporter Correspondent DALLAS -- The Reform Party announced yesterday that Ross Perot and Richard Lamm would compete for the party's first presidential nomination. The Lamm campaign released partial results of a mail survey to choose nominees, and the numbers showed that the former governor of Colorado has a tough road ahead against the founder of the Party. It also showed that voting through the mail may not be the best way to do things -- or that there is a lack of interest in the contest. Only 43,058 ballots were returned of 980,000 sent out, 4.4 percent. According to the Lamm campaign numbers, he received 27.8 percent of the votes and Perot got 64.6. Lamm and Perot were the only names on the ballot. There were spots for "others," who got 7.6 of the votes. No other names were revealed. The Reform Party, which provided the preliminary results to Lamm at his insistence, said it would release full results today. When the Reform Party made the first announcement early yesterday, it did not give out any numbers -- saying only that Perot and Lamm were the nominees. "We're not happy," Eric Andersen, a Lamm press spokesman, told the American Reporter. "We want the entire results to be released. Like any election in America, we should have results released to the public. We want them to release the results but if they give them to us, we'll do it." And that's exactly what happened later in the day. The Lamm campaign has been complaining for a couple of weeks that they weren't playing on a level playing field because the Perot staff was controlling the nominating process. Two of the major gripes were that Lamm supporters were not receiving ballots and that the Perot campaign would not turn over membership lists. Russ Verney, who doubles as the Reform Party's national coordinator and Perot's chief of staff, replied that many of the balloting problems were caused by the growing pains of starting a new party and that the lists were not turned over because it would be a violation of federal elections laws. "I want to ensure each and every one that there is a fair and equal playing field," he said. Perot spent more than $4 million dollars in compiling the list and getting the Party on ballots for the November election Lamm said, "I'm obviously pleased to make the ballot. It's phase two of a great adventure." Next step in the nominating process is a one-day convention in San Diego on August 11. At that time, Perot and Lamm will make their presentation to become the Party's candidate. The following week will be spent in voting by mail, e-mail and phone. The winner will be announced at another convention in Valley Forge, Pa. on August 11. The voting process is being handled by a mail-processing company in Houston under the supervision of the national accounting firm, Ernst & Young. Although their backgrounds are vastly different -- Perot, a shrill self-made billionaire, and Lamm, a soft-spoken intellectual -- their political platforms are basically the same. Both want tougher policies, especially on social security and Medicare, and campaign and election reform. Both have pledged not to do any negative campaigning. One of the biggest differences in the weeks ahead will be money -- Perot has lots of it and Lamm virtually none. Perot also has name recognition. Lamm has to get more of it although he has been all over the media in recent weeks. Lamm has a staff of volunteers -- only a few of whom are even being paid expenses -- and most of them are under 30. Tom D'Amore, 53, who has been closely associated with former Senator and Connecticut governor Lowell Weicker, is the chief adviser. His closest aide is Tom Carson, 30, who came with D'Amore from Connecticut. Heidi VanGenderen is the operations director and Michel Brewer, 26, who worked for Perot in 1992, is handling the troops in the field. Eric Anderson, 29, a former reporter at the Denver Post, is a press spokesman. He covered Lamm's unsuccessful Senatorial campaign in 1992 against Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Dave Daley, who is also under 30, left a job as a reporter for the States News Service in Washington, D.C. to join the staff. Lamm's sister-in-law, Peggy, a Colorado state representative, is one of the active advisers. Verney, 49, who like Lamm is a former Democrat, runs Perot's campaign operation. He joined Perot's United We Stand America in February 1993 and then moved over to help start the Reform Party last September. Prior to joining United We Stand America, Verney was a consultant to the finance staff of Perot '92 and the Perot Petition Committee. In 1982 he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives from New Hampshire's second congressional district. Verney also has served as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. One of Lamm's campaign themes is that he is the "new face" that Perot earlier had called for to lead the Party. Perot had insisted that the Party was not about him and often said he would prefer not to run again. Lamm said he never got a "signal" from Perot. Gambling that Perot would not enter the race, Lamm made his entry. The next night, Perot casually made his entry on the "Larry King Show." Lamm told the Los Angeles Times last week that he now feels he may have been "suckered into the race." According to the Times, the Lamm camp made a final attempt to get an answer from Perot on June 2 at the Los Angeles Convention Center where the California Reform Party was holding a conference. Here's the Times' account of the meeting between Perot and Lamm's brother Tom, a lawyer: "Mr. Perot, my brother does not want to run against you in your own party. Are you going to run?" Tom asked. "Perot looked me right in the eye and said, 'I don't want to be the candidate.' " "I said, 'I understand that, but it's not an answer to my question. Are you going to be a candidate?'" he implored. "Mr. Perot said, 'I hope I don't have to be a candidate.' " "I smiled and said, 'That's still not an answer to my question.' To his credit he never gave me a clear answer. So, I can't claim in any way that we were misled." Lamm's 88-year-old father, a former certified public accountant and coal company executive, has his own view of the race. "My son has climbed 52 of the 54 tallest mountains in the state of Colorado, but this race is the toughest mountain he's ever encountered." -30- (Jack Breibart is a former assistant managing editor/news at the San Francisco Chronicle.) * * * HOT TECH + by Wilson da Silva American Reporter Correspondent Melbourne, Australia 7/30/96 athletes 739/$7.39 CHILLED ATHLETES LAST THE DISTANCE by Wilson da Silva American Reporter Correspondent MELBOURNE, Australia -- Endurance athletes looking for that extra edge at the Atlanta Olympics ought to take a cold bath before an event, according to the latest research from Australia. Working with a group of seven men and three women, physiologists at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia, found that immersing them in a bath of lukewarm water for an hour and then gradually lowering the temperature, triggered an immediate and marked improvement in performance speeds of between four and five percent. "If you try and put it into something tangible, they almost ran another lap of an oval," said Frank Marino, a lecturer in human movement at the university. "They actually ran faster." Together with fellow researchers John Booth and Dr Jeff Ward, Marino selected eight avid runners in good physical condition. Four of the subjects were made to recline in a custom-built bath filled with water at a temperature of 83.8 degrees F. Over a one-hour period, the water temperature was gradually lowered to 73.4 degrees F. Skin and rectal temperature, along with heart rate readings, were taken every 10 minutes. Measures of ventilation, oxygen uptake and respiratory exchange ratios were taken every 15 minutes. After immersion, the four volunteers were toweled down, slipped on running shoes and were put on a treadmill for 30 minutes. The other four subjects who had not undergone immersion were also put on a treadmill for half-an-hour, and their results compared with those who had. The ambient room temperature was 90 degrees F, and humidity at a constant 62 percent. After at least three days, the groups were swapped, allowing the researchers to compare the performance of individuals against themselves, as well as the performance of the two groups against each other. Those that underwent immersion ran between 270 and 320 yards more over the 30-minute treadmill exercise than they had without immersion. On average, the pre-cooled group ran four to five percent further than the non-immersed group. At the end of immersion, the core temperature of the athletes' bodies was an average of 97.7 degrees F, and skin temperature was around 79 to 81 degrees F. Immediately after the treadmill exercise, pre-cooling reduced the athletes' mean temperatures to between 102 and 93.7 degrees F. This compares with mean skin and rectal temperatures of between 103.3 and 96 degrees F for those not immersed. "We couldn't find a difference between the two in oxygen consumption terms, they worked at about 70 percent of their maximum rates," he said. "The difference between the two groups had to do mainly with being able to keep their body temperatures down." Lactic acid in the blood was significantly higher in the pre-cooled group: at least three millimoles higher, and skin temperature was always lower throughout the entire run, even at the end of the treadmill exercise. Normally, sustained physical activity like running on a treadmill generates excess heat at the muscles. Blood carries most of this heat to the skin, where sweating cools it, and the marginally cooler blood is returned to the muscles. Marino and his colleagues believe that cold immersion improved performance because the bodies were already cooled, allowing more blood to stay at the muscles and be used, boosting their effectiveness. "It's been known for a long time that if you can suppress the thermo-regulatory strain on the body, you'd be able to perform a lot better," said Marino. But previous attempts to do this had focused on skin temperature, using fans to cool athletes before a run, or making them wear "refrigerated jackets" immediately prior to a run. Marino said the key to his group's technique had been a focus on bringing down the core temperature of the body. A gradual reduction is also essential: it is known that if the body is exposed to cold too quickly, core temperature actually spikes higher, partly as a defense mechanism against sudden temperature extremes. The researchers are working on developing a tank design that can be used at a track. There has been some interest from the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, Australia, and from fellow sport researchers in Italy and South Africa. The study has been submitted for publication in the journal "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise," and the results will be presented at a conference of sport science in Canberra in October. -30- (Wilson da Silva is a Melbourne-based freelance writer) * * * _________ EDITORIAL + Joe Shea American Reporter Correspondent Hollywood, Calif. 7/30/96 cda free NO GREATER GIFT by Joe Shea American Reporter Editor-in-Chief It's hard to describe how it feels when you go up against the Congress and the President and the tens of millions they represented in their support for the CDA, and to turn their plans to censor the Internet right on their head. Good is hardly the word. You walk grinning down the street and everybody nods at you and gives you a little grin, like they've already heard the good news. In reality, I think they can tell you're happy about something, and they want part of it. I have plenty of happiness to share. The phone rings off the hook and the beeper goes off every 5 or 10 minutes, and the people on the other line are reporters whose words will reach millions of readers. And you get tired, awfully tired. For me Saturday ended at 4:30 a.m and Sunday started at 9; Sunday ended at 9 a.m. Monday, and Monday began at 12:30 Monday, when Wayne Metelski of Arent Fox called me about the decision. Monday ended at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, when I put up the Web page, and Tuesday began at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when I woke up to catch an early plane to San Francisco. My watch stopped at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, before I got back to L.A., and it's 10:40 p.m. Tuesday as I write this. In between the time the watch stopped I've posted stories, done interviews, gone to a meetingwith the LAPD with the MSNBC makeup still on, and started working again. Tonight I plan to sleep, and hopefully, I'll awaken tomorrow morning in time for an interview at 9 with the Netly News. Exhausting? Yeah. Exhilirating? Yeah. Fun? That, too. It's a long 15 minutes. The opinion handed down in Manhyattan is 70 dense pages of carefully reasoned, even intricate argument crafted by three of the best judges on the Federal bench, and one -- Jose Cabranes -- that they say is on the short list for the next nomination to a vacant seat on the high court. "And my great mind most kingly drinks it up," said Shakespeare; my not-so-bad mind struggles to absorb and understand it all. I was disappointed that the court did not find for us on the vagueness issue; what could be more vague than the word indecent applied to a vast panoply of human language splayed across the whole mighty pantheon of the Net? Indecent to who? Indecent about what? The most graphic descriptions of human mayhem or sexual behavior purposed to journalism is never indecent; purposed to idle conversation, perhaps it is. Who can live with a standard as vague as that? I'm hoping that we will yet cross-appeal and prevail on that issue in the Supreme Court, but it's not so simple as I make it sound -- believe me. It is nice to know I can say whatever I damn well please. That is the effect of the injunction, and while I don't plan to take advantage of it, I would sort of like to raise a prominent finger in the direction of Sen. James Exon; unfortunately, that's not my style. Let it suffice for now to say our great heritage of freedom, the jewels in its crown -- freedom of speech and of the press -- are still intact. There can be no greater gift to our fellow man than that. Randall Boe, Judge Steve Russell, the New York and Washington teams of James Stronski, Jill Newman, Fabienne Clermont and Arent Fox poartner Wayne Metelski -- who now directs our next stage of litigation -- performed with exceptional skill, and in Judge Russell's case, with exceptional courage. Our own Correspondents and subscribers supported us every step of the way. Pamela Mendels of the New York Times CyberTimes site, David Hipschman of Web Review, Rose Aguilar of C|Net, Chris Harper of Quill, E.W. Count of The American Reporter, Ryan Donmoyer of Internet World, John Schwartz of the Washington Post and the Keystone State chapter of Society of Professional Journalists all gave us a tremendous boost when morale might have flagged, as did newspapers like the Philadelphia City Paper and the San Francisco Chronicle, magazines like Harper's, and Web sites like Web Review, Netly News, CNN, MSNBC and other publications in this country and around the world. I am especially grateful to Max Bertola and Unlimited Visions On Line, now a division of Homestar Communications, for their unwavering moral and financial support of our cause, and to Emmy Award-winning producers Dan Leighton and Trace Percy of Fox Television, who paid our access bills and kept us online. There was not much cause to feel lonely in this fight, and a world of gratitude still to be felt. Thank you, all of you, for your love of freedom, and for the gift of it to the Internet. May God bless you all, and this great country, too, where the little guy can still prevail over the high and the mighty when our magnificent Constitution is on his side. -30- Copyright 1996 Joe Shea, The American Reporter All Rights Reserved The American Reporter is published daily at 1812 N. Ivar Ave., No. 5, Hollywood, CA 90028 5026 Tel. (213)467-0616, by members of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Internet discussion list. It has no affiliation with the SPJ. 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Daoust, Correspondent * * * __________________ THE WORLD REPORTER + PINKERTON RISK ASSESSMENT SERVICES DAILY RISK ASSESSMENT INTERNET EDITION Wednesday, July 31, 1996 "The first choice of business, industry and government for security threat information and risk assessment services." BURUNDI (Extreme Risk) - Violence continues after coup. Hutu rebels attacked a coffee plantation near Gitega on July 26, one day after the army announced a change in government. A factory and three tons of coffee were destroyed. The Tutsi-led army retaliated against the Hutu population in the region, killing as many as 50-150 people. PERSPECTIVE: Hutu rebel groups have made it clear to the new military leader, Major Pierre Buyoya, that they will not negotiate a peace. The Burundi situation has perplexed neighboring African leaders as they try to find a solution. The UN largely has been unsuccessful in amassing a peacekeeping force because most countries see it as a lose-lose proposition. GUATEMALA (High Risk) - Lynchings on the rise. According to a July 30 news report, between April and June of 1996 there were 31 known lynchings of alleged criminals throughout the country. In reality, there almost certainly were more. Officials acknowledge that many lynchings do not come to their attention. In the last few days, five people became victims of vigilante justice. Based on that figure, observers believe that the number this month will be higher than in previous months. PERSPECTIVE: Human rights groups deplore vigilante justice and cite it as a symptom of a judicial system which is not capable of protecting its citizens. Conversely, a spokesman for the government said that it is positive that the public is taking an active role in capturing criminals. The US Embassy in Guatemala City warns that kidnapping and armed robbery are a major problem and that no area within the country can be characterized as "always safe." It notes victims often complain about inadequate assistance from the police and that impunity from prosecution is a major concern. MOROCCO (Low Risk)/RUSSIA (Moderate Risk) - Group to target Russians in Morocco. Russia's Itar-Tass reported on July 24 that a previously unheard of group, the "House of Islam - Western Front," has threatened to attack Russian workers in Morocco. The Russian Embassy in Rabat has taken appropriate measures to enhance the security of Embassy workers and Russian citizens as local police investigate the threat. The group said it will take reprisals against Russians who it says "participate in the Judeo-Christian plot against Muslims in the Caucuses." PERSPECTIVE: The Russians have been relentlessly fighting a rebellion in predominantly-Muslim Chechnya. In that fight, the lines are drawn more along nationalistic rather than religious lines. However, the fundamentalist Muslim elements in Morocco may not see that nuance. Last year, a man was killed when he set-off a home-made bomb in the consular section of the Russian Embassy. A small poster with the word "Chechnya" written in Arabic was found on the attacker. PERU (High Risk) - Two additional Shining Path attacks, more predicted. Lima community leader Epifanio Santamaria Rodriguez was shot and killed inside his home in the San Martin shantytown by at least two Shining Path (SL) gunmen, police said on July 30. In Huancavelica Department, an estimated 30 SL insurgents destroyed equipment, burned a store and threatened road construction workers early on July 30. PERSPECTIVE: The SL is deemed responsible for two recent bombings in Lima (DRA 7/29/96). Police predict more attacks are in the offing and also say they have received unconfirmed reports that a battle has taken place between SL and government forces in Ayacucho Department. President Alberto Fujimori acknowledged that more attacks were likely when he said on July 29, "Terrorism does not frighten the Peruvian people anymore and we reaffirm...our decision to fight whatever new outbreak." RUSSIA (Moderate Risk) - Rebels blame FSB for attack on Chechen leader. Chechen rebels said on July 30 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had been behind a shooting attack two days earlier on a vehicle carrying Chechen rebel chief-of-staff Aslan Maskhadov. The assassination attempt came as Maskhadov was traveling near the village of Nozhay Yurt in southeast Chechnya. He escaped uninjured, but one of his bodyguards was injured and one attacker was killed. A rebel spokesperson said it was "absolutely obvious" that the FSB was directly involved in the attack. PERSPECTIVE: As Maskhadov has been described as one of the more moderate Chechen leaders favoring negotiations with the Russians, it appears he might be equally at risk from dissident Chechen units, as well as from pro-Moscow Chechens and Russian security forces. This attack, as well as the recent Russian offensive, appear to have stymied any efforts to restart peace talks. For now, at least, it appears the Russian military and the hard- liners in the Kremlin have gained the upper hand and are once again pushing for a military victory in Chechnya, as opposed to a negotiated settlement. SPAIN (Low Risk) - ETA hits French interests. Two car dealers selling French-manufactured vehicles were attacked on July 31. A package bomb injured the owner of a Citroen dealership and his child in the town of Calatayud in eastern Spain, and a Peugeot dealership in the Basque city of Bilbao was attacked and burned. Six vehicles were destroyed in the attack in Bilbao. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks but police suspect the Basque separatist group ETA. PERSPECTIVE: Businesses associated with French products and French interests periodically have been attacked by ETA since the French started cooperating with Spanish authorities in their anti-terrorism campaign several years ago. French authorities detained suspected ETA terrorist Julian Atxurra Egurola, alias "Pototo," one of Spain's most-wanted men, on July 23 (DRA 7/23/96). SRI LANKA (Extreme Risk) - Dehiwela police search for bomb assembly site. Police investigators are searching for the assembly site for the three bombs placed aboard a commuter train passing through Dehiwela, on the Indian Ocean just south of Colombo, during the evening rush on July 24. An unclaimed leather bag containing one of the explosive devices was removed from the train to a platform at the Dehiwela station when a soldier passenger became suspicious of its contents. Just after the suspect bag was removed and the train began to pull from the station, two other explosive devices detonated (DRA 7/25/96). As of July 31, the death toll in the twin blasts stood at 61. Twelve of 391 wounded persons being treated in hospitals are said to be in critical condition. The army bomb squad who disarmed the suspect explosive device removed to station platform report the device had a main charge of 12 trinitrotoluene (TNT) blocks weighing nearly 15 pounds. In addition to searching for the bomb factory, police are hunting the man seen carrying the leather bag aboard the ill-fated train. PERSPECTIVE: While the authorities credit the train bombing to separatist terrorists from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the LTTE has denied responsibility. Initial reports had placed the number killed in the blasts at nearly 80. THAILAND (Low Risk) - Iranian sentenced to death in aborted truck bombing. A Bangkok criminal court recently convicted Hossein Dasgiri, an Iranian, of murder and of conspiring to set off a massive truck bomb in Bangkok in 1994, and sentenced him to death. The deputy chief of the Iranian mission in Bangkok was quick to denounce the verdict and the sentence, claiming the case was the product of both a "Zionist conspiracy" and of pressure from unnamed "outsiders" from foreign countries. The Iranian diplomat said that Dasgiri was innocent and that an appeal of the conviction and sentence would be lodged. PERSPECTIVE: On March 11, 1994, the Middle Eastern-appearing driver of a rented water tank truck abandoned his vehicle after what apparently was a minor "fender bender" in central Bangkok. Several days later, when the truck's owner went to a police station to claim the impounded vehicle, an inspection discovered a one-ton improvised explosive device packed into the truck's tank. The tank also contained the decomposing body of a Thai driver detailed by the rental firm to deliver the truck to its customer. Discovery of the bomb, whose main charge was a mix of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, triggered speculation that the Israeli diplomatic mission, close by the accident site, was its intended target. The prosecution had 11 witnesses who tied Dasgiri to the bungled bomb attack and the murder of the Thai driver. UNITED STATES (Low Risk) - More bomb scares. Anonymous bomb threat calls on July 30 forced a US Air flight bound for Frankfurt, Germany, to return to Philadelphia, and a Southwest Airlines aircraft en route to Salt Lake City to return to Los Angeles. No explosives were found in either incident. PERSPECTIVE: As law enforcement personnel attempt to piece together the TWA Flight 800 crash and investigate the Centenial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, bomb threats are proliferating (DRA 7/30/96). Two threats were received on July 28 against the rail industry: one against an Amtrak train from Boston to Washington, DC; the other against Washington's Union Station. An anonymous caller reported to police on July 29 that two bombs had been placed at federal buildings in downtown Pittsburgh. One was at the federal courthouse, the other at the William S. Moorehead Federal Building across the street. A suspicious package containing batteries was located, but no bombs were found. Chicago's O'Hare Airport has had 16 bomb threats since the TWA crash, and one pipe bomb was found on the tarmac (DRA 7/23/96). WORLD VIEW ALGERIA (Extreme Risk) - Yet another bomb exploded in a cafe, killing one person and injuring four others. The explosion, the fourth in a series since July 19, occurred in the Bab El-Oued district of Algiers. COLOMBIA (High Risk) - The Colombian weekly La Semana reported that the country's drug kingpins effectively control about one third of Colombia's economy. The magazine also estimated that if the industry was legitimate, the drug empire would rank among the world's 12 largest enterprises. EGYPT (Moderate Risk) - Police in Mallawi, combing a sugar cane field for militants on July 30, found the headless body of a security guard who had been killed earlier as a suspected police informant. The previous day, militants shot and killed a traffic policeman in Abu Qurqas. GERMANY (Low Risk) - Two Palestinians told German authorities they had helped to plan the hijacking to Miami of a Havana-bound Iberia Airlines flight last week (DRA 7/29/96). The pair, detained by German police at Saarbruecken as they attempted to cross the border from France, said they backed out of the plan when they saw a chance to evade passport control at the Madrid Airport, authorities said on July 30. INDONESIA (Low Risk) - According to a report from Jakarta, President Suharto has issued orders to "shoot on sight" any persons engaged in rioting as witnessed in the Indonesian capital over the July 27-28 weekend. ISRAEL (High Risk) - A labor dispute, relating to privatization, is expected to delay air traffic at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport on July 31. MEXICO (Low Risk) - According to a July 30 article in La Jornada, the border town of Ciudad Juarez recently had its most violent night ever, when four people were murdered and 20 more were wounded by firearms. According to local authorities, no suspects have been taken into custody in any of the crimes. SUDAN (High Risk) - The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) warned the Canadian oil company Arakis Energy and its British backer, Venture Guarantee, Ltd., to suspend operations in the south. Accusing the companies of colluding with the Khartoum government, the SPLA said the companies were engaged in an "unlawful and dangerous game." UNITED STATES (Low Risk) - Police and FBI agents in Bellingham, Washington, arrested eight people, including four militia members, for conspiracy. The group had built pipe bombs and converted several weapons to full automatic capability. VENEZUELA (Low Risk) - The US FBI has contacted law enforcement authorities in Venezuela to request their assistance in tracking down suspected armed bank robber Victor Manuel Gerena, who they believe may be hiding in Venezuela. The suspect robbed a bank in New York, where he was employed as a security guard, and escaped with US$7 million. Copyright 1996 PINKERTON'S Inc., Pinkerton Risk Assessment Services 200 North Glebe Rd., Suite 1011, Arlington, Virginia 22203, Tel: (703) 525-6111, Fax: (703) 525-2454 -30- * * * _______________ TOP OF THE NEWS THE ATLANTA BOMBING + Steve Macko, Editor EmergencyNET News Chicago, Ill. 7/29/96 bomb 1232/$12.32 TALES OF HEROISM AND TERROR MARK OLYMPICS BOMB by Steve Macko Special to The American Reporter ATLANTA (ENN) - Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) agent Tom Davis, age 37, and eight other law enforcement officers are being credited with preventing Saturday morning's bombing at Centennial Olympic Park from becoming even a worse bloodbath than what is was. Davis, a 15-year veteran, was only trying to quiet some rowdy drunks when fate put him face-to-face with a bomb packed in a knapsack. Davis had originally been dispatched to handle some rowdy patrons at the concert site. By the time he arrived at the scene where there was supposed to be a disturbance, the rowdies were gone and a stage security guard pointed to a new problem -- an unattended green knapsack left under a picnic bench. At the time of the discovery, Davis was not aware of a bomb threat, which had been called into Atlanta's 911 operators. Some instinct made Davis highly suspicious of the bag, and he called for a bomb squad diagnostic team. The bomb experts looked at the bag and didn't like what they saw.. Twenty minutes after the discovery, as Davis and other officers were trying tactfully to steer people away from the area -- the knapsack blew up. Agent Steve Blackwell, also with the GBI, was also one of the officers who tried to usher people away from the light and sound tower. Blackwell said, "I didn't want to say we had a bomb. That would have created a panic." He added, "If I told you I wasn't scared, I'd be lying." Blackwell was injured in the blast. "My team and I spread out along the crowd and began to back it up and the bomb detonated. I saw a flash. I saw a puff of smoke. I saw the orange flame. Then something grabbed me and threw me across the ground." Small pieces of shrapnel tore into the 33-year-old's right leg. He was transported to Georgia Baptist Medical Center where, ironically, he was met by his wife -- an emergency room nurse at that hospital. Investigators said that the crude explosive device was a pipe bomb nails and screws in an attached Tupperware container. The bomber or a confederate apparently carried the backpack into the park and dropped it next to the light tower. "We are dealing with an improvised explosive device, what we would describe as an anti-personnel fragmentation device, a home-made bomb, FBI Atlanta Division Special-Agent-In-Charge Woody Johnson said. "I am certain that the evidence obtain from that will provide leads ... the evidence that we are now obtaining will be flown to Washington for evalustion by our lab, much of it today. "We have a fairly good idea where the 911 call came from and we are conducting investigations around that particular information," Johnson said. He added that there may have been more than one device in the knapsack, and some reports said there were three bombs in the bag and that one was recovered intact. Nail-sized chunks of deadly shrapnel from the explosion was hurled as far 100 yards by the blast. The lone victim of the bomb shrapnel was a 44-year-old woman from Albany, Ga., who died from massive head wounds. In a chilling sequel to her death, her husband returned to her home in Albany to find that their hosue had been burglarized when he went to Atlanta in response to news of her passing. A 40-year-old Turkish television cameraman died from a heart attack sustained as he rushed to the bombing site right after the blast. As President Clinton noted in his address to the nation on Saturday morning, the death toll would probably have been much higher if police had not been already trying to clear spectators away from the area before the bomb detonated. "They prevented a much greater loss of life," he said. At 1:07 a.m. EDT Saturday morning, Atlanta Police Dept. operators received a 911 emergency call from person warning that a bomb would explode in the park within 30 minutes. "We have listened to the tape of the individual who made the call to the 911 number," the FBI's Johnson said. "We believe it to be a white male with an indistingushable accent." The man is believed be an American. Troubles for the security personnel in Atlanta did not stop in the park on Saturday. After the explosion, there was a rash of prank bomb threats. "Since the device went off, we have had a number of phone calls and suspicious reports." Johnson said. "We had dispatched bomb disposal teams to 35 locations prior to 11:00 a.m. this morning." At 1:00 p.m. EDT Saturday, spectators at the boxing venue were not allowed to enter the stadium because of a bomb scare. The semifinal men's beach volleyball game was halted because of another threat. Bomb threats were received at a train station and at Grady Hospital, where many of the injured victims from the bomb blast were taken. In the late afternoon, bomb technicians had to conduct a controlled explosion of a suspicious package found on a train at a station adjacent to Underground Atlanta, an upscale shopping center. The package is believed to have only contained a iron for pressing clothes and a thermometer. The current wave of violence is beginning to undermine the once- confident view that many Americans have held that the U.S. is invulnerable to terrorist attacks. "There's a deep sense of unease in America today and this is just going to exacerbate that," said Neil Livingstone, a well-known terrorism expert. "I'm afraid we're just going to see ... more and more security as a response to the fears." Israeli terrorism experts, meanwhile, said Sunday that the bombing on Saturday morning in Atlanta more suggests the work of a rank amateur than of an international terrorist. David Tsur, an Israeli advisor to Olympic security officials and who is a former commander of Israeli police special forces, called the explosive device "amateurish." "It appears to be something improvised -- we believe it's not any sort of complex organization or that an international terrorist organization did this." Tsur said that he believes that the bomber was "a frustrated citizen" or a "redneck who hates the Establishment." The Israeli expert said "It seems more a local initiative which is part of the domestic terrorism in the United States that has become more and more troubling." Tsur said there are very few similarities between this bombing and the terrorist incident that struck the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, in 1972. "Munich is not exactly, in my opinion, the right example," he said. "It's correct these are the only times that at sporting events there were showcase attacks. "But Munich was different in substance from the present attack. Here there was an attack in a public center connected to the Olympics. But there is no resemblance here to the infiltration of the Olympic Village in Munich." Another Israeli expert, Hebrew University Professor Ehud Sprinzak called the event "the work of an amateur." "The world is full of lunatics and people who are awfully angry," Prof. Sprinzak said. In his opinion, he added, there was no link between Saturday's bombing and the downing of TWA Flight 800. "No pipe bomb can blow up a plane and there are truly no signs that it's the same target. It's definitely another story altogether." -30- (Steve Macko is an editor at Chicago's Emergency Response Research Institute.) * * * ___________________________________ AN AMERICAN REPORTER SPECIAL REPORT "Indonesia In Crisis" by Andreas Harsono + Andreas Harsono American Reporter Correspondent Jakarta, Indonesia 7/29/96 rumors 1034/$10.34 FALSE RUMORS SPARK EVACUATIONS, FEAR IN JAKARTA by Andreas Harsono American Reporter Correspondent JAKARTA, Indonesia -- False rumors widely circulated in Jakarta -- that bombs were planted in vital buildings and that another riot and fires had broken out -- prompted thousands of workers to flee their jobs Monday as this Asian capital of the world's fourth largest country struggled to recover from Indonesia's worst civil unrest in decades. Witnesses said the management of skyscrapers like Wisma BRI I and Wisma BRI II as well as the Chase Plaza on Jakarta's main thoroughfare, Sudirman Street, has asked their tenants to close their offices and evacuate their employees Monday morning. Soldiers with automatic rifles and tanks are seen guarding every corner of Jakarta. Buildings owned by businessmen closely related to President Suharto, like Bimantara, belonging to his son Bambang Trihatmojo, and Bank Central Asia , owned by Suharto crony and millionaire Liem Sioe Liong, are heavily guarded. Others rumors, which also proved to be false, said shopping centers such as the Citraland, in the western part of the city, and the huge Blok M mall in the southern part of Jakarta had already been ravaged by fire, and that Bank Universal, one of the biggest private banks in Indonesia, had its offices in Kampung Melayu in eastern Jakarta burned. Swarms of journalists roamed Jakarta's streets, finding the rumors to be totally groundless. "It's almost as jammed as usual," said one journalist with "Jakarta-Jakarta" magazine. The rumors nonetheless spread throughout the capital, leading the stock and money markets to sharp declines. The Jakarta stock composite index felt three percent or 20.572 points, down to 540.737 Monday evening. Last Friday the index closed at 561.31. The U.S. dollar against the Indonesian rupiah also fell, from 2334 to a dollar on Friday to 2351 on by 3:30 p.m. Monday . "It showed that the people do not trust the government explanation anymore," said an observer, referring to the tightly-controlled and biased local media, which only quoted government sources as saying "everything is back to normal" after rioters burned more than a dozen buildings and dozens of cars on Saturday. Observers believed that the most serious riot in Jakarta over the last 20 years occurred after angry students burned Japanese-related businesses in 1974 in the so-called "Malari Incident." The latest riot broke out after more than 1,000 security officers took over the headquart- ers of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) in the early hours of Saturday. Rumors circulated a few hours later that the military had used bayonets to kill activists defending the headquarters. The false rumors provoked stone-throwing protesters to flock to the disputed area and later burn government and commercial buildings. Jakarta military commander Maj. Gen. Sutiyoso said no one was killed in the seizure, although various non-governmental organizations doubted that -- on the grounds that more than 200 demonstrators were seriously injured and hospitalized in heavily guarded hospitals. The PDI said it had lost 47 of its activists, including women in charge of organizing and cooking daily meals for the activists who were inside their headquarters when the bloody seizure took place. Officials earlier said it had detained 206 people in connection to the riot. The military said two people died of heart attacks and another afterf falling from a burning building. In a related development, the U.S. government, whose State Secretary Warren Christopher left Jakarta one day before the seizure, issued a statement Monday saying the U.S. is "seriously disturbed by the use of violence to end what had been a peaceful assembly." In a carefully worded statement, the U.S. asked the Indonesian government, one of its most important allies in the Asian Pacific region, to guarantee that those arrested and detained are given due process, adding that one of its diplomats, political counselor Edmund McWilliams, was also beaten by Indonesian soldiers while observing the incident. Meanwhile, the Indonesian human rights commission also deplored the use of force in the seizure, saying that prior to the seizure it had talked to PDI puppet leader Soerjadi, who then hinted at his willingness to surrender the PDI's leadership to the democratically-elected Megawati Sukarnoputri. Political analysts believed the government sponsored a rump PDI congress on June 22 in which party dissenters replaced Megawati with Soerjadi following a proposal that the popular chairwoman challenge President Suharto in the 1998 presidential election. Despite the criticism, the powerful Indonesian military, however, stepped up their pressure on pro-democracy movement, alleging the riot was provoked by the radical People's Democratic Party (PRD), which had formed a loose coalition with the PDI. Maj. Gen. Syarwan Hamid, the military chief of socio-political affairs, charged the student-and-labor-based organization with using communist methods and structures similar to those of the banned Indonesian Communist Party to overthrow the government. He even distributed "classified documents" mentioning the names of the PRD activists as well as its connection to other "left-leaning organizations" in the region like the Philippine National People's Army (NPA), the Australian Labor Party, the Asian Student Association (ASA) as well as the London-based Amnesty International human rights organization. Indonesian media quoted his explanation and joined a choir to isolate the PRD, a move which, observers believed, will be a preliminary step to sidelining Megawati. Analysts said the military is likely to arrest PRD activists in the near future, using its old pretext of creating the "ghost of communism." The military-led regime has banned the Indonesian Communist Party and the teachings of Marx Lenin since 1966 following an abortive coup d'etat in 1965 blamed on the communists. Suharto has since replaced President Sukarno, Megawati's father, and built his absolute power in the military, business and bureaucracy. -30- (Andreas Harsono reports for the American Reporter from Jakarta) * * * + Andreas Harsono American Reporter Correspondent Jakarta, Indonesia 7/29/96 riots 858/$8.58 SMOLDERING CENTRAL JAKARTA TURNS INTO A GHOST TOWN by Andreas Harsono American Reporter Correspondent JAKARTA -- Jakarta's busiest area turned into a ghost town yesterday as thousands of soldiers used tanks and military trucks to prevent more of the rioting which began on Saturday following the seizure of the headquarters of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI). Witnesses said the military had also taken over a number of buildings located on strategic Jakarta streets such as the Diponegoro, the Salemba, the Matraman and the Proklamasi, and are guarding the area. Sporadic protests involving thousands of protesters, however, still occurred in separate locations in Jakarta on Sunday, but were quickly broken up by military personnel equipped with automatic weapons and anti-riot gear. "Mega will win, Mega will win," chanted the protesters, while throwing stones and other objects at anti-riot police. Mega is the nickname of Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of the late President Sukarno, the embattled chairperson of the PDI who was toppled in a military-spon- sored congress last month in Medan, in the northern part of Sumatra. Military commander Gen. Feisal Tanjung said 206 people were detained, adding those who were involved in the riot would be processed according to the law. "I warned people to obey the law and avoid the street protests again. It has turned into anarchy." In a statement made available to foreign journalists, Megawati, however, blamed the government, saying that the riot would not have taken place if the government had not sponsored the rump congress. She said the PDI office still belongs to her PDI camp, and that for this time being she will use her office at the House of Representatives to receive PDI delegates from the provinces and manage the PDI's day-to-day affairs. Megawati has been a member of the nation's chief legislative body since 1988. In a related development, workers began to clean up after more than ten buildings, dozens of cars and smaller shops and two police stations were burned. Most Jakartans preferred to stay at home, and if they have to go out, they drive the ring roads around the city to avoid army blockades in the central part of Jakarta. Downtown, meanwhile, has fewer operating taxis and public buses than usual, and journalists found it difficult to cover the damaged area. One said he had to walk more than 12 miles to and from the disputed PDI headquarters and his office. "I cannot use my car and no public transport was available. Drivers are afraid to go to the area," he said. Unconfirmed reports said at least five people were killed and more than 100 hospitalized when troops began to attack the headquarters Saturday morning, leaving more than 300 PDI activists guarding the office to retaliate by setting up blockades, burning tires and public buses. Jakarta military commander Maj. Gen. Sutiyoso, however, said none were killed. He said two people died from a heart attack and falling from a burned building, respectively. One of the victims was a security guard for the downtown Darmex bank building. He was trapped on the eighth floor of the building and tried to save himself by jumping. He died of serious head injuries. The nine-story building also hosts two bank offices and an editorial office of the D&R magazine. They were totally burned out. The PDI headquarters seizure has angered Megawati's supporters. More than 50,000 went to the street on Saturday afternoon and vowed to take it back from the red-shirted, military-backed PDI faction that took it over. But the military blocked the recapture, and leaders of thge proetest lost control of the demonstrators. The protesters destroyed several business and government office buildings, setting fires that on Sunday left them gutted in the most serious rioting Jakarta has seen in the past 20 years. D&R magazine is a subsidiary of TEMPO news organization, the second largest publication in Indonesia. The publishers planned to relaunch the banned weekly newsmagazine this week, and its journalists were frustated and dumfounded when their project, painstakingly planned for more than a year, vanished in only an hour. Looked tired and dispirited, editor-in-chief Bambang Bujono said on Sunday that all of the magazine's documents and still photographs were burned. "We thought, 'The military can handle the situation.' If I knew they were so unorganized, I would lead my men to stay and guard our offices ourselves. The protesters just did not understand that instead of the two banks, the building also has a magazine office." In Yogyakarta, around 500 kilometers east of Jakarta, dozens of students staged a protest on Sunday on the campus of Gajah Mada University under the close watch of the military. They blasted the military sponsors of the PDI faction that has taken the PDI building and vowed to keep supporting Megawati. Observers predicted more support will flow to Megawati from all corners of Indonesia. "The military did not predict that the seizure could end up in a more public protest," said one. -30- (Andreas Harsono covers Indonesia for The American Reporter.) * * * BREAKTHROUGH: ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE + by Wilson da Silva American Reporter Correspondent Melbourne, Australia 7/29/96 divorce 1,263/$12.63 DIVORCE COMPUTER STYLE SCARES SOME LAWYERS by Wilson da Silva American Reporter Correspondent MELBOURNE, Australia -- Need a divorce? Press enter. What began purely as a research project in Australia four years ago may well find its way to the desktop of divorce lawyers in the next few years: a computer program that mimics the thinking of a judge when deciding how to divide assets in a divorce. Dubbed "Split Up," it is the brainchild of Australian Ph.D. student Andrew Stranieri and Dr. John Zeleznikow of the Database Research Laboratory at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Housed in a 386 laptop with only 4Mb of RAM and very mundane graphics, it throws up a series of questions for the user to answer: How many years have the couple been married? What is the husband's salary? What is the value of the wife's investments? How many children at primary school age? Over a 15-minute period, it builds up a mental picture of the relationship, weighting answers or asking more detailed questions where required. When the program has enough information, it makes a determination on the likely outcome of an Australian Family Law Court case, dividing assets between the two partners. How does it do this? Partly through analysis and partly through precedent. The software was actually developed inside a neural network, an artificial intelligence technique that splits a powerful computer into a number of independent "brain cells" or neurons. Each neuron reacts to inputs, and delivers outputs, in a focused, task-specific way. When they are networked together and exposed to hypothetical problems, a remarkable thing happens: they learn from experience and appear to mimic human thought. As with a human being, the neural net had to be taught the basics. Inside a Unix shell at La Trobe's mainframe computer, the "Split Up" neural network went through a kind of Family Law 101: the statutes and rules that govern the Family Law Act in Australia were input and became the core of the program. The neural net was introduced to 400 Family Law Court cases of the past three years. All the financial and personal information tabled at the trials was entered: age, kids, investments, assets, etc. Then the judgments were entered. It was asked to study the judgments, and go back over each case to learn how the rulings were arrived at. Then Stranieri and Zeleznikow took a different and unusual tack: they asked the neural network -- without a human agent -- to ascribe different weights (or levels of importance) to particular factors in a marriage. "We instructed the machine to learn the weights that those judges have given to each factor," Stranieri told The American Reporter. "It learned how the human judges combined that data to produce a decision." In a sense, the neural net was asked to make decisions about what elements were more important in a case, and what factors deserved to have prominence over others. It created an inter-relational "tree" of facts and situations, and assigned numerical weights to each. The results were intriguing: when the neural net was asked to rule on the facts of a case without knowing the real-life outcome, it was uncanningly accurate. But there was one problem: it could not explain itself. While the decisions matched the real cases, the neural net had to be taught how to explain the reasoning behind its decisions. Two lawyers -- Renata Alexander of the Legal Aid Commission in Victoria state, and family law barrister Dr. Richard Ingleby -- were then brought in to help the neural net explain, in legal terms, how it had arrived at its decisions. These were added into the system, and became part of the inter-relational database used by the network. The next innovation was to reduce and convert the operation of the neural network into something that could be run on the average IBM-compatible laptop or desktop. "We had trained the neural networks on Unix, then stored every possible combination of the situations into the laptop," said Stranieri. "When we're actually running a case, we don't need to run the network -- which would slow the laptop right down. It just refers to the database." That was no mean feat: at any time, between 21 and 30 neural networks -- with between 32 and 10 logic inputs and outputs each -- were juggling the facts of each case in its electronic brain. The researchers had to convert this tree of inter-relational complexity into a database that could be quickly and easily accessed by the average computer. The reaction has been surprising: ranging from the hostile to the enthusiastic. "Some people who have looked at the system -- who are either going through divorce themselves or were just interested in trying it out -- they've said that they might be more willing to accept the advice from a machine than from a lawyer," said Stranieri. "Because they can be sure that the machine is not biased." Some of the resistance was driven by the unjustified fear that artificial intelligence might replace lawyers and judges, but Zeleznikow sees the system as a potential boon to lawyers. "They can trial-run a case, and in the reasonings get references to the precedents that were used to arrive at the decision," he said. But he agreed that it might take some of the business away from lawyers, especially those prone to advising clients to proceed with costly divorce litigation when the chance of winning is low. "When you go to see a lawyer in family law, he is going to encourage you to fight for what you can most get," said Zeleznikow. In a simulation of a fictitious couple which the researchers ran for this reporter, "Split Up" gave 45 per cent of the assets of the marriage to the husband. "The lawyer might tell a client, let's try for 60 per cent of the assets because you contributed more," Zeleznikow said. "There is a small possibility -- if a judge interprets things just the way you want it -- that you might get 60 per cent. What he doesn't tell the client is that if it does go to court, there's also a possibility he might get 30 percent. This, on the other hand, is going to be quick, with no emotional pain, and cheap. "This might encourage more people to settle out of court, because they can get additional and unbiased advice about what might happen if they did go to court," said Stranieri. "At the moment, that advice would be coming from their lawyers, who is an interested party." The researchers are now looking for commercial partners to refine the program and take it to market. In the meantime, they will be exposing the neural net to more cases, so it can build up its understanding of family law and what influences decisions. "It's very difficult to get the system exposed to as many cases as a real life judge does," said Stranieri. "The other problem is that a human exercising judgment always takes into account the facts of a particular case in a very human way. Sometimes a brand new fact emerges, which the system has never been exposed to, and it might not know how to react, whereas a human does." On the other hand, "Split Up" would never be influenced by personal biases or bigotry. "Judges may also make decisions on factors that are not necessarily relevant to the case, such as the appearance of the litigants," said Zeleznikow. While it might be just and proper that such factors be kept out of the program, he said, "you should also be aware that it does occur in real life." -30- (Wilson da Silva is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.) * * * _________________ IDEAS AND COLUMNS + Bill Johnson American Reporter Correspondent Oklahoma City, Okla. 7/30/96 youth 780/$7.80 OH, FOR THE CAREFREE YOUTH OF YORE by Bill Johnson American Reporter Correspondent OKLAHOMA CITY -- There's no such thing as a carefree childhood any more. There used to be. But it's dead now, a victim of the violence that is pervading every aspect of our society, a victim just as surely as the latest person gunned down on the street or the woman raped in her home. I've known this for some time, of course. But the awfulness of the situation seemed to hit me with brutal harshness this afternoon when my 10-year-old grandson, David, told me he was going to play with some friends. "If they can't play, I'll be right back," David said. "If they can play, I'll stay there." I responded automatically with the words that have become a sort of dirge to the time when children could be children, "If you're going to stay there, call me right away." Had David not come back or called within a couple of minutes, I would have been out the front door looking for him. Let me make this clear right here. We live in a pretty neighbor- hood of middle-income people who mow their lawns, carry out their trash and take pride in their flowers and trees. Some of our neighbors are retired, some mothers stay home but, as is the case everywhere these days, most couples work during the daytime. We watch out for each other. When someone goes on vacation or away for the weekend, neighbors are alert that nothing happens to their home. Mrs. Mohr, the 86-year-old who lives next door, volunteered to bring in our mail and newspaper while we were gone. All in all, it's a nice place to live. But, because of the times, there's that precautionary, "Call me." It has been drilled into David so long and thoroughly that he calls immediately if he leaves one friend's house and goes to another. He knows that I need to know where he is and how he is. And he knows he'll be grounded if I look for him and he isn't where he is supposed to be. During the summers when I was around David's age -- he is 10 -- my mother often wouldn't see me from the time I finished breakfast until dinner time. Neither she nor the mothers of my friends ever worried. In those days, it seemed, there was nothing, or no one, to hurt us. Depending upon where I happened to be living at that time -- I went to 11 different schools in a half-dozen states before I got to college -- my friends and I would hike across fields to go swimming in a creek, ride our bicycles to a park miles away from where we lived in a major city or just go to the movies and spend the entire afternoon. You could do that at the movies then, before they started ushering everyone out at the end of the film. I can still remember one magical afternoon when I stayed in my seat to watch two performances of Blackstone the Magician between showings of the movie. The only things our parents cautioned us about in those days was the water -- "Be careful and don't drown" -- and cars -- "Watch out for the traffic." Sure, we were warned never to get into a car with someone we didn't know. But no one I knew back then was ever even approached by someone who might not be on the up and up. It's not like that now. Just yesterday, a young girl was walking home past a park in suburban Edmond, where Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shannon Miller lives, when a young man jumped out, pulled her into an area with trees to block the view and raped her. This was within feet of a heavily traveled highway. I don't know why things have changed so much. Is it the violence on television and in the movies? Is it because people don't seem to have time or space any more? No one can tell me. In my childhood, we didn't have television, but we had some pretty scary programs on the radio. My friends and I went to summer camp for a week or two. But even summer camp isn't always safe anymore. A few years back in eastern Oklahoma, three young girls were dragged from their sleeping bags and killed. When I was a kid, we had tree houses, cookouts, sleepouts in our backyards But most of all, we had the freedom to roam and learn. I am really sorry that David and others his age and younger will never know that freedom. -30- (Bill Johnson raises his 10-year-old grandson alone.) * * * ON A ROLL + by Ted Rall New York, N.Y. American Reporter Correspondent 7/30/96 kids 1265/$12.65 KIDS RULE: FINALLY, CHILDREN ARE SEEN AND HEARD by Ted Rall American Reporter Correspondent NEW YORK -- For the first time in 30 years, kids are hot property. Americans have always claimed to value their offspring, but in reality the social value of children flip-flops as much as the stock market. The latest kid craze started in reaction to outrages such as the Polly Klaas murder and Susan Smith's drowning of her two young boys in a South Carolina lake. The latest wave of concern about kids continued with Hillary Clinton's book "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child," the enactment of "Megan's Law" -- a New Jersey statute which advises neighbors whenever a convicted child molester moves into the hood -- and a Republican-sponsored $500-per-child tax credit proposal. The last month alone has seen a cacophony of politicians and journalists calling for censorship of the Internet in order to protect children from pornographic images, presidential bullying to force television networks to broadcast three hours of educational programming a week, and Kathie Lee Gifford's teary testimony before Congress about child labor in New York and Honduras. By far the most memorable example of juvenile chic, however, was Bob Dole's bizarre, morbid appeal to voter-parents: "Let's just say you're dead. You're dead and your orphaned children need a stable guardian to raise them. Not some nutcase. Who do you trust with your own flesh and blood ... Bob Dole? ... or Bill Clinton?" Then a bomb blew a TWA 747 out of the sky near Long Island, killing all 230 passengers. Among the dead were 16 high school French students from Montoursville, Pa. Press and televised coverage of the disaster focused almost exclusively on the underage victims. Rescue workers talked of pulling dead babies and teenagers out of the Atlantic Ocean; cameras rested meaningfully on floating baby bottles and dolls. Breathless monologues about interrupted young lives were accompanied by advice on how to explain the explosion to children. President Clinton's first reaction was to the loss of the French students from Pennsylvania: "Let us remember the dream these children shared-the dream of making the most of their own lives," Clinton said on July 18. "As a nation, we should dedicate ourselves to encouraging all our young people to think that way, and to making sure that they all have the opportunity to live up to their dreams." The dead students' teacher, her husband and three adult escorts didn't rate a mention in the president's message. It's no coincidence that a few days later, on July 26, he proposed to the television networks his three-hour FCC rule. The next day, Clinton expressed reservations with a Republican welfare reform bill that he had previously planned to sign. In the new political climate, gutting social entitlement programs (many of which benefit children) became impossible. Instead, he warned, "we still have more work to do to promote work and protect children." Kiddie politics raged on unabated on July 27 as Clinton revived his long-forgotten campaign pledge to crack down on deadbeat dads. In Denver, he announced that post offices will display mug shots of absentee parents to shame them into paying up child support. He also unveiled a new Web site set up by the Health and Human Services Department's Office of Child Support Enforcement containing lists of dads and moms who've skipped town. "If you owe child support, you'd better pay it," Clinton said. "We'll track you down with computers, we'll track you down with law enforcement, we'll find you through the Internet." Early in the morning of July 27, a pipe bomb killed two people and injured 110 others at an Atlanta Olympics outdoor concert. Lead coverage in Sunday's New York Times emphasized interviews with emergency workers who encountered scores of victims suffering from puncture wounds caused by flying shrapnel. It ended with the following sentence: "The doctors found one fact to quietly celebrate. Of all those brought to them, there was not one child." Adults have become invisible, if not disposable. This is a huge switch from the anti-child mentality my generation grew up with during the '70's and '80's. Generation Xers attended schools decimated by budget cuts and misguided educational experiments (New Math, phonetics and the Open Space Concept). We went home to one-parent families destroyed by divorce and flipped burgers until the wee hours on school nights. Under presidents Reagan and Bush, federal college grants virtually disappeared and a yuppie-first economy prospered. Xers struggled to get by on working-poor salaries through the early 1990's. There were more teen suicides during the 1980s than soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. Adults forgot their primordial urges to nurture their children; instead they sought protection from their kids. Although the Boomer criminals of the 1960's benefited from revolving-door justice and slaps on the wrist, the 1970's saw the advent of "tough love" and "assertive discipline," trying kids as adults, unsealing juvenile court records and imposing lengthy sentences on 16-year-olds. In 1973, abortions became legal and the number of terminated pregnancies skyrocketed; one wonders whether the desire not to have kids in the first place was as responsible for this trend as economic necessity. Awareness of overpopulation has been with us since Thomas Malthus in 1798, but the Zero Population Growth movement began in the early '70s, not in the '60s or '80s when birth rates were much higher. Even popular culture reflected the demonization of children. The poster for the new TriStar film "Matilda" screams "KIDS RULE!", but we grew up with imagery of children as the devil incarnate in such movies as "It's Alive!" (1974), "The Omen" (1976), "Carrie" (1976) and "Children of the Corn" (1984). During this period, Disney laid off its cartoonists and the proportion of "G"-rated films of all movies released in the United States dropped from 41 to 13 percent. While Americans still scream for harsh treatment of underage murderers and gang members in the inner cities, children of the white middle-class are media darlings. What happened? Simply put, the average age Baby Boomer child is now 10. Boomers run the White House and dominate the mainstream media. Now that this privileged generation's coddled progeny have achieved sentience, it's unsurprising that the national attitude towards kids is finally coming around. It's too early to tell if the bullish attitude toward the next generation will result in meaningful improvements in children's lives, such as increased education spending or lower divorce rates, or if such changes will last. There is a tendency among Americans, as the world's most selfishly individualist people, to resent a new protectionism that many of them never enjoyed themselves. Typically, the pendulum of popular culture has swung too far to another extreme. Becoming obsessed with children to the exclusion of adults is just as destructive to society as the neglect of the last twenty years, during which one of the most intentionally neglected, abused and impoverished generations in American history grew up to become alienated and dispossessed. Putting kids first requires taking care of adults, too. -30- (Ted Rall, a syndicated editorial cartoonist and freelance writer, is working on a new book of essays and cartoons on generational issues.) * * * CYBERLAND + David Hipschman American Reporter Correspondent Casper, Wyo. 7/29/96 data 700/$7.00 FINDING THINGS OUT by David Hipschman CASPER, Wyo. -- A marvelous site for online research, although primarily aimed at journalists, will surely find a larger audience. Created by Robert Niles and called Finding Data on the Internet - A Journalist's Guide (, it is a well-organized package of links to databases rich in all species of information. Niles has organized the links into basic categories like agriculture, aviation, crime, economy and population, immigration, law, military and nonprofits. It may sound simple, but his cataloguing of links to the source Web poges of the CIA's 1995 World Fact Book or phone books from around the world or U.S. Department of Agriculture's State Fact Sheets, and too many more to mention, allows for time-saving, one-stop research. Niles' sister site, Statistics Every Writer Should Know ( needs to be bookmarked by reporters everywhere, but it will also help show you around means, medians, standard deviation, normal distribution and my cocktail-party and argument-with-my wife-favorites: percent and per capita. Finding things out, if you're not a detective, usually involves a trip to the library. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) keeps a site of Online reference works ( that includes links to English and foreign language dictionaries that are searchable; the Hacker's Dictionary/Jargon File; an Acronym Guide; Roget's Thesaurus and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and the UC-Davis LoQtus Quotation Resource Page. CMU also includes links to the modern English Collection at the University of Virginia ( and more than a dozen sites specializing in foreign language electronic texts. You can also connect to more than 100 other sites containing book catalogues that accept on-line orders. It doesn't end there. Visit the British Library (, many of its catalogues and databases are searchable from your computer. The same is true of Galen II, the Digital Library of the University of California at San Francisco (http:// Its site includes Internet resources in the health sciences. For full texts of online medical journals, Harvard University provides MedWeb ( Email A Massachusetts reader writes to say "More sports!" And asks where he can get his baseball fix on the Net. Your wish, as they say ... Instant Baseball ( provides instant access to scores and play-by-play coverage. It's Web pages includes descriptions of every play, as well as the current game situation, and are updated after every pitch. Instant Baseball also provides box scores for completed games and games in process -- edited after every half inning. This site even offers an Instant Update service -- it will email you information about your favorite team's progress in games that are underway, so even if you can't get to your computer in real time, information about the big game will be there when you sign on. Investigative Journalism The newest issue of the Consortium, Robert Parry's investigative reports brought to the World Wide Web, targets presumptive GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole. The Consortium's ( lead story seeks to determine if Dole's recent snarling at Katie Couric, Dr. Everett Koop and the NAACP means he is just grumpy or whether "Dole (is) reverting to his older style, as a corrupt political fixer?" Parry, who has won numerous awards for his investigative work, is a Washington, D.C. journalist of long standing. His Web site also links to an investigative book store containing titles like: Edgar Chamorro's "Packaging the Contras: A Case of CIA Disinform- ation," written by a former Nicaraguan Contra director, explains how the CIA used disinformation and propaganda to manipulate the U.S. public to support the secret war in Central America; Ari Ben-Menashe's "Profits of War," the first-person story of an Israeli intelligence officer who admits killing Mossad's Palestinian prisoners after beating them, and takes readers inside the secret network of arms traffickers; and John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton's surprise best-seller, "Toxic Sludge is Good for You!" Comments? Send email to -30- (David Hipschman is Editor of The Casper Star Tribune, Wyoming's only statewide newspaper.) * * * JOAN + Joan Silverman American Reporter Correspondent Boston, Mass. 7/29/96 smoking 494/$4.94 WHERE THERE'S SMOKE by Joan Silverman American Reporter Correspondent BOSTON -- I had just loaded the groceries into my trunk when he walked by. He was combing the parking lot, looking for shopping carts, when he saw mine. We smiled at each other; I handed him the cart. The entire exchange lasted, maybe, ten seconds. It took me back 15 years. What really happened was this: It was a sweltering summer day. The young man who took my cart was smoking a cigarette. He had just exhaled. The smoke hung in the air, motionless -- a cloud framed by heat. And the smell of the smoke hung, as well, with nowhere to go. Amid the foul city smells that day, cigarette smoke ranked high on the list. And yet I was tempted to linger, like the smoke itself, inhaling its stale, sweet stench. What is it that so tempts even an ex-smoker of long-standing? Instantly my mind compiled a catalog of cigarettes past: There were the after-dinner smokes whose pleasure exceeded that of most desserts; the cigarettes that bought time and distraction in a heated talk; and the cigarettes that served as punctuation -- the pause between thoughts. Cigarettes were an extension of the hand, a tool of the emphatic gesture. So encompassing was the habit that it became nearly inseparable from most activities and things. To breathe was to smoke. It is an odd habit, this sucking of dirt, which is what smoking really is. Yet I always envied those whose habit was well-modulated -- say, three or four cigarettes a day. It was the golden mean applied to an addiction -- a paradox, at best. For most of us, though, the average was more like 20, 30, maybe 40 cigarettes a day -- and most of those were smoked so hazily as to go nearly unnoticed. Which is why smokers sometimes have two cigarettes burning at once. It's as if we were smoking in our sleep; we practically were. We acquired smoker's cough and smoker's voice, yellowed fingertips and rank smoky smells on our clothes. Yet there was that handful of cigarettes each day that somehow justified the rest -- small pleasures so complete and self-contained that we couldn't resist. Back to the parking lot. So this is what we've come to: As former smokers, we inhale the smoke of others, pining (half-heartedly) for the habit we kicked. Indeed second-hand smoke was made for us; it is, at once, the perfect tease and compromise. I know an ex-smoker who urges friends to blow their cigarette smoke near her. Proximity is what counts. This is a taste of heaven -- a whiff of evil on an otherwise virtuous path. Perhaps they will develop a patch for the likes of us whose smoking is now entirely second-hand. Perhaps not. On the brighter side, though, there is an ecology to this issue. As former smokers, we no longer pollute our own, or other people's, air. We leave that to others, and just recycle what's left. -30- * * * MY GABRIELLA + American Reporter Correspondent New York, N.Y. 7/26/96 steps 1311/$13.11 LITTLE GIRL TAKES FIRST STEPS: FILM AT 11 American Reporter Correspondent NEW YORK -- I was on the phone with my wife this afternoon when she suddenly shrieked quite loudly. At first I thought the sprinkler system in our TriBeCa loft had again come uncapped, flooding the home I have mortgaged my existence against and bringing more firemen bearing huge canvases that they actually let us keep for a few days. Then I heard her exclaim, "Oh, good girl Gabriella ... Such a good girl!" She put down the phone to hug and kiss the baby, and I knew instantly that everything was all right in my neck of the world. Gabriella, you see, is our daughter. She's 54 weeks old today. The important thing to know about Gabriella right now is that she smiles a lot. She developed this proclivity after living on our planet about three months. I remember the day. Roxy, our curvy Chinese pug with the active thyroid, had spotted food in the distance and raced by, knocking into and spinning the baby three-quarters of a turn on the slippery wood floor. Gabriella saw obvious humor in this, and she broke into a wide, then-toothless grin. From that moment on, she's been noticing lots to smile about. She beams at Jenny McCarthy on MTV's Singled Out, especially when silly Jenny makes rubbery faces. Fred Flinstone cracks her up. When Mommy starts a gentle pillow fight, she dives into the oncoming foam, open-mouth first. Daddy imitating an ambulance is an absolute riot. I'm grateful I witnessed the dog body-checking her. It's proof that Gabriella's smiles emanate from an innate, still-developing sense of humor rather than a simple case of congenital gas. (New parents: You can always tell a kid who is "smiling" due to gas. It's more like a grimace with lips usually pursed.) I feel blessed to say that our girl is genuinely always happy. Well, almost all the time. Sure she cries when she needs a bottle, or when her diaper is, as they say, maxing out. But the fact is she smiles so much that on a recent visit to the Big City from South Carolina, my dad remarked, "Are you sure she's okay? Her face is going to crack." The other thing to know about Gabriella is that she's just starting to walk. Turns out my wife had cried out in joy on the phone for good reason: Gabriella had stood up from her patented catcher's squat and proceeded to stroll from the hallway to the foot of our bed, a distance of a good 20 feet. (Remember, 20 feet on a slippery wood floor to a kid 27 measuring inches tall who's never before propelled herself in an upright fashion is like you and me running the Boston marathon in a twister.) I'm considerably bummed, of course, that I was in mid-town, about 70 blocks north, diligently editing news releases that reporters will invariably be too busy to read and not observing my daughter's first breath-taking steps. I never seem to be near the important action to witness another whirlwind, much-too-brief chapter of our lives slamming shut and another new one opening. Then again, I was lucky to experience the milestone on the telephone. Listening to the sound track courtesy of NYNEX, I'd pictured every step: fuzzy chestnut brown hair sticking out all curly, wet bubblegum mouth wide open and panting, bare pudgy Michelin-tire legs still a little creaky from nine months balled up inside mommy. Yeah, I was there watching my little one's first daredevil act. Believe it or not, my wife takes Gabriella to Gymnastics class once a week. (You can never start 'em too early in New York. She's in a music class, too; has been for the last six months, but that's another column.) The class, which meets in the always-progressive Village, is called Gymboree. When Viviane broke the news that my 11-month old was working out on a trampoline, I thought I'd heard her wrong. "She loves it," Viviane explained. "If for one second, she stopped having fun, I'd take her right home." And she would. Gabriella is but a year old. But the choice is hers. She cries, and it's bye-bye trampoline. Kerri Strug made a similar choice a few nights ago. She knew what time it was. She went for it. And now the lynch mob is out pointing a "Child abuse!" finger. Let's say Kerri were a little boy. Want to bet we'd be hearing new synonyms for "courageous," "proud," "little warrior," and "all-heart," and less brouhaha about the agenda and psychological tendencies of pushy coaches taking advantage of helpless girls? Nike commercials aside, why can't little girls be warriors, too? In a land of freedom and personal responsibility, why can't we allow our females to decide matters for themselves? Why is there a reflexive blanket assumption that when a mature, responsible 18-year-old decides to go for it on a bad ankle, the coach (read: men; read: the Devil) made them "do it?" We were talking about Kerri's vault around the Xerox machine this morning. (There's no water cooler on this floor; we have bottled water.) One of our lawyers asked me: "Would you have let your little girl vault for a medal if she had a sprained ankle?" "It depends," I replied. "Are you talking gold?" -30- (Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a new American Reporter column written by a new Dad who for now must remain anonymous.) * * * WALKING SMALL + Sam Pace American Reporter Correspondent Rockville, Maryland 7/25/96 receivables 751/$7.51 DOLOR BILL? by Sam Pace American Reporter Correspondent ROCKVILLE, Md. -- One of the least desirable aspects of my job is bill collecting. When one of our big customers has not paid us after 90 days, I find a slip of yellow paper in my mailbox. I retrieve it with all the enthusiasm of a waitress who finds her tip is just coins. Across the top of the yellow sheet is the name of the customer, the contact, the phone number, and both the amount owed and what was purchased. At the bottom is always a cheery note from our accountant Betsy, like a bouquet of flowers for a guy headed to the electric chair. One time she wrote "Sam, these folks just filed Chapter 11, but the contact person went to school with me and is real nice" across the bottom of the page. Stunningly, the phone had been disconnected, so I never got to be nice back. Today was only a two yellow-sheet day, which is good. The worst ever was 13. I close my office door, sigh heavily, and pick up the phone. "Hello, Tom? Sam Pace with ---. You guys owe us $88,000 for some product you bought four months ago. When are we going to receive payment?" Let's review my negotiating position here. They have the product. They have the money. While they promised to pay within 30 days, this is apparently taken with the same seriousness with which we regard circus clowns. I could press for them to return the product but then we lose an $88,000 sale, which we no doubt already spent, at least figuratively. The salesman already received his salesman-of-the-month award. The service guys already installed it. The support guys already got it working right. The champagne cork is out of the bottle. "Sam, you are in the queue to be paid. That check should be cut this week." "Cut" apparently means "written and placed in a desk drawer." It does not mean sent to us such that we can race it to the bank to fill the $88,000 hole that Betsy notices every morning. I had a friend who collected consumer loans for a bank in a small town. He would go knock on the debtor's door, and when it was opened, he'd say a quick hello and walk briskly into their living room, taking a seat on the most comfortable chair. "I'm going to sit here until you find the money you owe us," he'd say. He sat for hours if necessary. They always found the money. Responses to my collection calls fall into three categories. Most popular is "the check will be mailed out in mere moments, perhaps even before we get off the phone." This is never true. Second is "the product you sold us is not quite working yet, so we are waiting until it does." It's often true that our product does not function flawlessly right out of the box, but this is never the real reason for non-payment. Third, and most refreshing, is "we just don't have the money." This one is often pure fact. Indeed, chances are they lack funds because they sold stuff to a bunch of people who are slow-paying them. Not passing the buck, if you will. Bill collecting is supposedly all about the squeaky wheel getting the grease. If you hassle your debtor gently but frequently, he will sooner or later pay up. I take a different approach. "Tom, I know you hate these calls. I hate making 'em! I'll tell you what I take you at your word. You say you're gonna send the check, I believe you. And I am not going to call you again. Because you sound like a guy who keeps a promise." Other companies are calling Tom and cursing him, telling him he's a liar, shouting that he is unethical. I, on the other hand, realize it is not Tom's money. Tom wants to be a straight guy. He wants to stick to what he says. This wasn't his first job choice. It's not like in college he said to himself, "well, I can be an investment banker or an electrical engineer, but I'd prefer to take phone calls all day from angry creditors." Let others trade rancor and recrimination. I believe in all the Toms. I buy into their yearning to do the right thing. If the truth fits, Tom will wear it. -30- (Sam Pace is a pseudonym for a real executive at a small high-tech firm.) * * * APPLES FROM PARADISE + Elinor Mosher American Reporter Correspondent Paradise, Nova Scotia, Canada 7/26/96 doldrums 407/$4.07 SUMMER DOLDRUMS by Elinor Mosher American Reporter Correspondent PARADISE, Nova Scotia -- I am ready for fall. If people want heat, they can go to Atlanta and watch people jumping and running. That's for people that don't want to run and jump themselves, I guess. Me, I don't want either one, and I don't want the heat, and if I want hot dogs, I can eat them here. I am listening to Paul Schafer being interviewed on the CBC, and he is just about as interesting as I am right now. Turned it off. It's bad enough to be bored with myself: I don't have to suffer it from other people. Wait for about six months, when we are buried in snow, and I will reminisce endlessly about the glories of summer -- not now, when I'm putting up with it. Well, I should be thinking about something cheerful. There's no challenge in going to the post office now. You walk up, collect your advertising and begging letters and walk home. In the winter, you spend 15 minutes getting dressed for your trek, then with your extra twenty pounds of clothes and boots, dig yourself out the back door and shovel to the sidewalk. Then, you come back in for a good hot cup of coffee before setting out on your expedition. This is about one-quarter to one-half mile, and can take from 10 to 60 minutes, depending on the state of challenge (severity of the weather). You struggle back into the house, exhausted, tingling and triumphant. You have duelled with nature and survived. In this country that is winning. There's no struggle to summer. I know of a Coast Guard captain who used to go up north every winter, and then came home for a bit, and then went up north for the summer. That's one way to do it. "Summer time, and the livin' is easy." That's the problem. I'm a Canadian. I'm not programmed for easy living. When the north starts acting south, I shrivel up and flop. The family used to go camping about this time of year; got pretty cold at night. You would wake up shivering and sometimes damp, climb into your clothes and get a hot breakfast into everybody as soon as possible, and be almost normal in an hour or two. It was wonderful. Never mind, in six to eight weeks, the maples will flame and drop their leaves, the wind will stiffen and bite, and we will have real weather, the genuine article, and dig out our winter jackets and boots and prepare for real life -- true, north, strong and free. In the meantime, I guess I'll go read about Scott of the Antarctic. -30- * * * ______ SPORTS THE SCOREBOARD + from Intelligent Network Concepts, Ltd. and The Daily Brief 7/30/96 scores free ______________________________________________ THE GAMES OF THE XXVI OLYMPIAD OF MODERN TIMES OLYMPIC MEDALS (Gold, Silver, Bronze) CYCLING Men Cross Country (Netherlands, Switzerland, France) Women Cross Country (Italy, Canada, USA) MODERN PENTATHLON (Kazakhstan, Russia, Hungary) SAILING Tornado Class (Spain, Australia, Brazil) SOFTBALL (USA, China, Australia) TABLE TENNIS Men Doubles (China, China, Korea) WEIGHTLIFTING Over 108 KG (Russia, Germany, Australia) ________ BASEBALL AMERICAN LEAGUE Angels (9) vs. Tigers (12) Blue Jays (3) vs. Indians (1) Mariners (3) vs. Brewers (4) Mariners (6) vs. Brewers (5) Orioles (16) vs. Twins (4) Red Sox (0) vs. Royals (7) White Sox (2) vs. Athletics (1) Yankees (2) vs. Rangers (15) NATIONAL LEAGUE Astros (4) vs. Reds (5) Braves (1) vs. Padres (2) Cardinals (7) vs. Phillies (8) Giants (0) vs. Cubs (4) Marlins (4) vs. Dodgers (5) Pirates (3) vs. Mets (4) Pirates (4) vs. Mets (5) Rockies (1) vs. Expos (3) _______________________________________________________________ This service is a product of Intelligent Network Concepts, Inc., and URL: -30- * * * The American Reporter: A Web Success, a web site that describes the origins and history of AR, and the people behind the paper. 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