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Re: Preventing terrorism

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  • write3chairs
    ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o4ohFfBOpQ&NR
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 3, 2007
    • Tarjei Straume
      ... She s impressive, Amy Goodman. A real work horse with a keen sense of humor, which is a must. At first I thought she was an ideologue of sorts, an ideology
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 3, 2007
        Mike H wrote:

        I Love Amy and Democracy Now. I used to watch her on FSTV along with a ton of other programs that require a bit of thinking from the watcher.

        She's impressive, Amy Goodman. A real work horse with a keen sense of humor, which is a must. At first I thought she was an ideologue of sorts, an ideology with which I had a lot in common, but nevertheless some political agenda. That initial perception was changed very quickly; it's simply critical journalism on a quest for human decency. I'm most of all impressed by AG's professionalism and versatility and scope, and her fascinating guests. People with credibility and long track records, people in Congress, former CIA people and retired generals, top investigative reporters around the world, and her special flashback, often connected to various anniversaries, feature old timers from the Black Panther Party and the Weather Underground, - and during the break introducing Weather Underground people who were on the run from the FBI and so on, we get to listen to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" with the fitting phrase, "You don't need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows....." . Yep, Democracy Now! is top of the line, and I'm a huge fan.

        One of AG's most recent interviews was a full hour with retired four-star general Wesley Clark, the guy who bombed Kosovo as NATO supreme commander. Here is one helluva spicy excerpt:

        http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/02/1440234

        GEN. WESLEY CLARK: (.............) About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

        So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” -- meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office -- “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

        AMY GOODMAN: I’m sorry. What did you say his name was?

        GEN. WESLEY CLARK: I’m not going to give you his name.

        AMY GOODMAN: So, go through the countries again.

        GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon, then Libya, then Somalia and Sudan, and back to Iran.

        Cheers,

        Tarjei
      • elfuncle
        ... That s fair enough, because people are also arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (which is far worse btw) and there are prescription meds
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 3, 2007
          Jennifer wrote:

          > The old cause and effect, sounds like. My "drug days"
          > are long gone; haven't puffed a pipe in many a year.
          > Yet merely being high is hardly cause for arrest,
          > although that's the reality. People *are* arrested
          > for it, while driving that way, for example.

          That's fair enough, because people are also arrested for driving
          under the influence of alcohol (which is far worse btw) and there
          are prescription meds that should not be taken if you're going to
          drive. So that's a public safety issue. Being high should be legal,
          but sobriety should be an absolute condition for driving on public
          highways; too many lives at stake.

          > But what about just being out in public that way, even
          > if no substance is found on your person? Is that
          > a crime? Can "highness" be proven? With drug testing,
          > yes.

          The problem with urinalyses, for instance, is that it shows if
          you've smoked marijuana during the past 30 days. There are several
          problems with this. You may not have smoked, because having been
          exposed to second-hand smoke may get you in trouble too. Another
          problem with this has been evidenced in Norwegian prisons where
          urinalyses are done regularly. So if an inmate wants to get high,
          but he also knows that marijuana will be in his blood for 30 days
          and show up on the next test, he'll opt for heroin instead, which is
          out of the body within 24 hours. So the epidemic of heroin addiction
          among prison inmates is directly attributable to this type of drug
          testing.

          > This is not really a related issue, but it sort of
          > is, in the way that it affects people. There is an
          > issue at large here in my community; I haven't been
          > paying much attention to it other than noticing
          > it's created a lot of controversy and strife. This
          > is the issue of illegal immigration and its effects
          > in neighborhoods. One one level, I say I don't care
          > because it doesn't directly affect me. If someone
          > is here illegally, managed to sneak into the country,
          > how does that affect *me* unless the person somehow
          > infringes upon my life. It's kind of a ripple effect,
          > though, like tossing a stone in water and watching
          > what happens. The illegal person must live, find
          > means of support somehow; and the choices s/he makes
          > can indeed affect me in some way, small or great.
          > What I'm getting at here is that with regard to
          > illegal immigrants *or* stoned people, I could say:
          > "Who cares," and continue minding my own business.
          > But if everyone thouht that way, then what?

          Let everyone think that way. There is no such thing as an illegal
          person. It's something invented by the government. I was an illegal
          in the US for over 10 years myself, actively promoting what I
          called "the virtues of anarchism and illegal alienism."

          Look, in Houston (where my 17 year old son lives these days) there
          is at least one huge facility, a maximum prison in fact, where
          illegal aliens have been incarcerated, and they're kept for years
          and years before they're deported. Children too, and they're locked
          up with serious criminals and have to sleep separate from their
          parents, can't play with the other kids, don't get any schooling,
          and many of these families are completely innocent even of so-called
          immigration violations. There was this Canadian family that returned
          from Iran, and because one passenger had a heart attack, they made
          an emergency landing in Puerto Rico, and for some strange freak
          reason the family ended up being arrested by US Homeland Security
          and are now locked up in Texas. The boy is 9 years old, and all he
          wants is to go home to Canada, but they're locked up indefinitely
          because "aliens" have no rights.

          26 years ago, in 1981, during my own illegal alien days, I wrote the
          following poem and delivered it personally to the INS office in
          Phoenix - I'm especially proud of my subtle reference to "wetbacks":

          Undocumented Aliens

          Undocumented aliens arrive from outer space.
          I saw one in the bushes with a funny-looking face.
          The papers say they're coming from some place in Mexico,
          but I have seen them jump out from a giant UFO!

          The Pentagon is worried about alien attacks.
          Some people tell me aliens have liquid on their backs!
          They went to Mars in search of them but could not find a trace.
          One immigration lawyer flew to Venus on a case.

          The INS is frantic, and they don't know what to do.
          They're handing out those green cards, but some aliens are blue!
          Red alert is on, and there's an awful lot of fuss -
          Rumors say that aliens look just like some of us!

          Undocumented aliens are roaming around wild.
          One could be your governor - another one your child!
          With eighteen federal files on every native motorist,
          they'd better find those aliens and add them to the list!

          Cheers,

          Tarjei
        • elfuncle
          Look, I ve posted this and the next from my email client,but it s not showing up, so it seems to me that Yahoo is busy copying whatever is of interest to the
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 3, 2007
            Look, I've posted this and the next from my email client,but it's
            not showing up, so it seems to me that Yahoo is busy copying
            whatever is of interest to the NSA and the DEA and the INS and
            Homeland Security and Bush's enemy list and what have you,
            especially with the hot spicy Pentagon memo leak from September 20,
            2001, so I'll do it from the web and apologize if these posts appear
            in duplicates.

            Mike H wrote:

            > I Love Amy and Democracy Now. I used to watch her on FSTV along
            with
            > a ton of other programs that require a bit of thinking from the
            > watcher.

            She's impressive, Amy Goodman. A real work horse with a keen sense
            of humor, which is a must. At first I thought she was an ideologue
            of sorts, an ideology with which I had a lot in common, but
            nevertheless some political agenda. That initial perception was
            changed very quickly; it's simply critical journalism on a quest for
            human decency. I'm most of all impressed by AG's professionalism and
            versatility and scope, and her fascinating guests. People with
            credibility and long track records, people in Congress, former CIA
            people and retired generals, top investigative reporters around the
            world, and her special flashback, often connected to various
            anniversaries, feature old timers from the Black Panther Party and
            the Weather Underground, - and during the break introducing Weather
            Underground people who were on the run from the FBI and so on, we
            get to listen to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" with the
            fitting phrase, "You don't need a Weatherman to know which way the
            wind blows....." . Yep, Democracy Now! is top of the line, and I'm a
            huge fan.

            One of AG's most recent interviews was a full hour with retired four-
            star general Wesley Clark, the guy who bombed Kosovo as NATO supreme
            commander. Here is one helluva spicy excerpt:

            http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/02/1440234

            GEN. WESLEY CLARK: (.............) About ten days after 9/11, I went
            through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy
            Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of
            the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of
            the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you've got to come in and
            talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you're too busy." He said, "No,
            no." He says, "We've made the decision we're going to war with
            Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, "We're
            going to war with Iraq? Why?" He said, "I don't know." He said, "I
            guess they don't know what else to do." So I said, "Well, did they
            find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?" He said, "No,
            no." He says, "There's nothing new that way. They just made the
            decision to go to war with Iraq." He said, "I guess it's like we
            don't know what to do about terrorists, but we've got a good
            military and we can take down governments." And he said, "I guess if
            the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a
            nail."

            So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we
            were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with
            Iraq?" And he said, "Oh, it's worse than that." He reached over on
            his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, "I just got
            this down from upstairs" -- meaning the Secretary of Defense's
            office -- "today." And he said, "This is a memo that describes how
            we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with
            Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing
            off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I
            said, "Well, don't show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago,
            and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn't show you
            that memo! I didn't show it to you!"

            AMY GOODMAN: I'm sorry. What did you say his name was?

            GEN. WESLEY CLARK: I'm not going to give you his name.

            AMY GOODMAN: So, go through the countries again.

            GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebanon,
            then Libya, then Somalia and Sudan, and back to Iran.

            Cheers,

            Tarjei
          • kmlightseeker
            Hi Mike, ... Interesting idea and one that should be given serious thought to. However, I wonder whose interests this will be serving. Sure, assuming this
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 4, 2007
              Hi Mike,


              Mike H wrote:
              >
              > http://proposal.permanentpeace.org/index.html
              >

              Interesting idea and one that should be given serious thought to.

              However, I wonder whose interests this will be serving. Sure, assuming
              this works, there will be greater peace but will there be a greater
              sense of wellbeing among *all* levels in the world's population?

              Will there be both prosperity and sustenance for all? Will there be
              equity and fairness for all in the peaceable society, or will this
              continuous peace serve to create a more passive, compliant society?


              Regards,

              Keith
            • write3chairs
              ... Please forgive me for snipping all that came before this. I just wanted to say thank you for such an enlightening post. When saying illegal, one must
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 4, 2007
                --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" wrote:

                > Undocumented Aliens
                >
                > Undocumented aliens arrive from outer space.
                > I saw one in the bushes with a funny-looking face.
                > The papers say they're coming from some place in Mexico,
                > but I have seen them jump out from a giant UFO!
                >
                > The Pentagon is worried about alien attacks.
                > Some people tell me aliens have liquid on their backs!
                > They went to Mars in search of them but could not find a trace.
                > One immigration lawyer flew to Venus on a case.
                >
                > The INS is frantic, and they don't know what to do.
                > They're handing out those green cards, but some aliens are blue!
                > Red alert is on, and there's an awful lot of fuss -
                > Rumors say that aliens look just like some of us!
                >
                > Undocumented aliens are roaming around wild.
                > One could be your governor - another one your child!
                > With eighteen federal files on every native motorist,
                > they'd better find those aliens and add them to the list!

                Please forgive me for "snipping" all that came before this. I just
                wanted to say thank you for such an enlightening post. When
                saying "illegal," one must ask: According to *whose* laws? What is
                happening with regard to immigration here now is that people of
                Hispanic heritage are being targeted for discrimination, and that is
                wrong. This is why all the controversy and hurt feelings
                (justifiably) are happening. It's kind of like the Black person who
                gets pulled over by the racist cop, simply for being Black. Same deal
                with Hispanic people, who are under scrutiny because the "illegals"
                here happen to be of that same heritage. Injustice is sometimes hard
                to fight for, especially when a person is in the midst of it.

                I think of Eli Wiesel, Holocaust survivor who said some very
                significant things with regard to his situation. He mistrusts words
                to convey accurately the horror of what he experienced in the death
                camps. He asks, "How does one describe the indescribable? How does
                one use restraint in recreating the fall of mankind and the eclipse
                of the gods? And then, how can one be sure that the words, once
                uttered, will not betray, distort the message they bear?"

                Some things in life are that serious. He goes on: "So heavy was my
                anguish that I made a vow not to speak, not to touch upon the
                essential for at least ten years...."

                Think of what he is saying here. This is a man who suffered
                unspeakable injustice, evil so great that it silenced him.

                Wiesel comes to this: "Maybe in a mystical way I thought I could
                purify language before using it for the sacred purpose of
                communicating the uncommunicable." He wanted to do it right, for
                justice to be served, finally.

                Thanks again, Tarjei.

                Jennifer
              • elfuncle
                ... is ... Oh yes, hispanics have always been racially profiled, targeted, for suspicion of illegal alienism. And the irony is that most of them are Indians,
                Message 7 of 16 , Mar 4, 2007
                  Jennifer wrote:

                  > Please forgive me for "snipping" all that came before this. I just
                  > wanted to say thank you for such an enlightening post. When
                  > saying "illegal," one must ask: According to *whose* laws? What is
                  > happening with regard to immigration here now is that people of
                  > Hispanic heritage are being targeted for discrimination, and that
                  is
                  > wrong. This is why all the controversy and hurt feelings
                  > (justifiably) are happening.

                  Oh yes, hispanics have always been racially profiled, targeted, for
                  suspicion of illegal alienism. And the irony is that most of them
                  are Indians, Spanish speaking Indians, whose ancestors were in North
                  America long before there were any white people there or any US-
                  Mexican border. As I said, I was an illegal alien for over ten years
                  by overstaying my six months' visa. But it wasn't a problem, not
                  even with my special type of name, because I was white, I was blue-
                  eyed, I spoke fluent American English and so on. The illegal alien
                  thing is basically racist; white Europeans, Canadians, and
                  Australians have no problems - well, not before the Patriot Act
                  anyway; now it's different, very different.

                  You know that poem, "Undocumented Aliens," which I wrote in Phoenix
                  in 1981, do you know what brought it on? I was a cab driver in
                  Phoenix in those days, and sometimes I had some interesting
                  assignments, I got the cab full of Mexicans who didn't speak a word
                  of English, but they managed to direct me, through Tempe and Mesa
                  and way, way out in the desert, where they paid their fare from the
                  meter, and then I saw they headed for some bushes where all their
                  buddies and maybe families were. In the bushes! They were illegal
                  Mexicans!

                  I remember bringing up the subject with my fellow cabbies on the
                  stands downtown Phoenix and at the Sky Harbor Airport, and they just
                  said "they're not supposed to be here." I almost said, "Well,
                  neither am I, I'm just as illegal as they are." But I didn't. I kept
                  shooting the breeze with the local police at coffee shops and bars,
                  nobody knew I was an illegal unless I told them. But those Mexicans
                  were petrified. At one time I didn't quite understand the directions
                  they were giving me, so I was about to ask a traffic cop for help,
                  innocent and naive as I was I guess, but they panicked at that,
                  which made me realize they were illegals, so I let it go.

                  Quite ironic that I, who had only been on the Western hemisphere for
                  a few years, and was indeed an illegal, could live openly like that
                  as a normal person, but those poor Mexicans who had been around for
                  millennia had to hide in the bushes!

                  So now you understand the phrase: "I saw one in the bushes with a
                  funny-looking face." That's them. And you also
                  understand: "Undocumented aliens are roaming around wild. One could
                  be your governor - another one your child!" And: "Rumors say that
                  aliens look just like some of us!" That's me.

                  Tarjei
                • Mike helsher
                  ... assuming ... Hey Keith. Good questions. I would personally speculate that yes, there would be greater sense of well being for all, to a degree. Mainly
                  Message 8 of 16 , Mar 4, 2007
                    --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "kmlightseeker"
                    <kmlightseeker@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Mike,
                    >
                    >
                    > Mike H wrote:
                    > >
                    > > http://proposal.permanentpeace.org/index.html
                    > >
                    >
                    > Interesting idea and one that should be given serious thought to.
                    >
                    > However, I wonder whose interests this will be serving. Sure,
                    assuming
                    > this works, there will be greater peace but will there be a greater
                    > sense of wellbeing among *all* levels in the world's population?
                    >
                    > Will there be both prosperity and sustenance for all? Will there be
                    > equity and fairness for all in the peaceable society, or will this
                    > continuous peace serve to create a more passive, compliant society?
                    >
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    >
                    > Keith

                    Hey Keith.

                    Good questions. I would personally speculate that yes, there would be
                    greater sense of well being for all, to a degree. Mainly because
                    there would have to be a greater population of people that actually
                    THINK for themselves, and have command of their feelings, for ideas
                    like this to perpetuate.

                    Depends too on what definition of Peace that we use. I think that
                    most people would agree that individual Inner peace, creates outer
                    peace. But, in our age, true personal inner peace is attained
                    individually, which is a product of whole human education (like what
                    Waldorf tries to create). "Our highest endaevor must be to develope
                    humans who are able themselves to impart perpose and direction in
                    their lives".

                    Individual perpose and direction, in accord with the kind of morality
                    that RS points to in the POF, where if we're truly thinking
                    intutively, we cannot but meet at the same intention (roughly
                    paraphrased) would not make more passive or compliant people. To the
                    contrary: I think it would create more lively and assertive
                    individuals that think with the unending possibilities that are
                    possible when we truly think "with the power of Love in spiritual
                    form".

                    A tall order for sure. But I think that initiatives like the link
                    above are pointing in a better direction, if not a perfect one.

                    Mike
                    >
                  • write3chairs
                    ... Oh, yeah. Don t get me started on that. You do know, don t you, that the Father of Education in Texas was a leading oppressor of Native Americans (he
                    Message 9 of 16 , Mar 5, 2007
                      Tarjei wrote:

                      > Oh yes, hispanics have always been racially profiled,
                      > targeted, for suspicion of illegal alienism. And the
                      > irony is that most of them are Indians, Spanish speaking
                      > Indians, whose ancestors were in North America long before
                      > there were any white people there or any US-Mexican border.

                      Oh, yeah. Don't get me started on that. You do know,
                      don't you, that the "Father of Education" in Texas
                      was a leading oppressor of Native Americans (he chased
                      them out of the state), a protector of slavery, and
                      much more. His name was Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar.

                      > As I said, I was an illegal alien for over ten years

                      Sorry, but this thought sends me into fits of laughter,
                      although I'm sure you had your moments of despair in
                      that situation. But Tarjei as an "alien" is amusing.
                      (Imagining your spacecraft.) Not to make light of your
                      circumstances at all, but just for the record, my
                      husband was an "illegal alien" in a sense, too, when
                      he first came to the U.S. He was a political refugee,
                      and went through all the legal hoops to become "legal,"
                      yet he wouldn't be allowed back into his home country.
                      So, again, legal according to *whom* becomes an issue.

                      > by overstaying my six months' visa. But it wasn't a
                      > problem, not even with my special type of name, because
                      > I was white, I was blue-eyed, I spoke fluent American
                      > English and so on. The illegal alien thing is basically
                      > racist; white Europeans, Canadians, and Australians
                      > have no problems - well, not before the Patriot Act
                      > anyway; now it's different, very different.

                      That's right, and one can never fully understand "white
                      privilege" from the perspective of the other unless one
                      has walked in the other's shoes.

                      > You know that poem, "Undocumented Aliens," which I
                      > wrote in Phoenix in 1981, do you know what brought it on?
                      > I was a cab driver in Phoenix in those days, and sometimes
                      > I had some interesting assignments, I got the cab full
                      > of Mexicans who didn't speak a word of English, but
                      > they managed to direct me, through Tempe and Mesa
                      > and way, way out in the desert, where they paid their
                      > fare from the meter, and then I saw they headed for
                      > some bushes where all their buddies and maybe families
                      > were. In the bushes! They were illegal Mexicans!

                      At the end of this posting, I'm going to copy and paste
                      an article I just found that details what is happening
                      here, the legal actions taken to fight illegal immigration.
                      My understanding is that this is making international
                      news, and conversations about it are ongoing. The
                      Dallas Peace Center has gotten involved, to try and
                      help smooth over some of the very bruised feelings.

                      > I remember bringing up the subject with my fellow
                      > cabbies on the stands downtown Phoenix and at the
                      > Sky Harbor Airport, and they just said "they're not
                      > supposed to be here." I almost said, "Well, neither
                      > am I, I'm just as illegal as they are." But I didn't.
                      > I kept shooting the breeze with the local police at
                      > coffee shops and bars, nobody knew I was an illegal
                      > unless I told them. But those Mexicans were petrified.
                      > At one time I didn't quite understand the directions
                      > they were giving me, so I was about to ask a traffic
                      > cop for help, innocent and naive as I was I guess,
                      > but they panicked at that, which made me realize they
                      > were illegals, so I let it go.
                      >
                      > Quite ironic that I, who had only been on the Western
                      > hemisphere for a few years, and was indeed an illegal,
                      > could live openly like that as a normal person, but
                      > those poor Mexicans who had been around for millennia
                      > had to hide in the bushes!
                      >
                      > So now you understand the phrase: "I saw one in the
                      > bushes with a funny-looking face." That's them. And
                      > you also understand: "Undocumented aliens are roaming
                      > around wild. One could be your governor - another one
                      > your child!" And: "Rumors say that aliens look just
                      > like some of us!" That's me.

                      Thanks for sharing your story, Tarjei!

                      Cheers,
                      Jennifer

                      ---
                      Farmers Branch OKs Illegal Immigration Measures

                      (AP) FARMERS BRANCH Council members in Farmers Branch unanimously
                      approved tough new anti-illegal immigration measures Monday evening,
                      including one that makes English the official language.

                      In a series of 6-0 votes, the council members also approved fines for
                      landlords and businesses that deal with illegal immigrants, and
                      allowed local authorities to screen suspects in police custody to see
                      if they are in the country illegally.

                      The votes were made in a room in City Hall packed with people who
                      clapped as the votes were tallied in favor of the measures. In a
                      parking lot outside, hundreds of protesters against the rules hoisted
                      American flags and sang the Pledge of Allegiance in English before
                      the votes were taken.

                      The vote came up in a public meeting Monday evening after an all-day
                      closed meeting with the city attorney where council members discussed
                      the legal ramifications of the proposals, intended to keep illegal
                      immigrants away from the city.

                      Opponents of the measures, meanwhile, collected signatures on a
                      petition urging the city not to become the first in Texas to pass
                      such strong anti-immigrant laws. They submitted more than 80
                      signatures to the mayor's office Monday.

                      Supporters say the ordinances are necessary because the federal
                      government has failed to address the issue.

                      But critics argued the proposals could lead to sanctioned
                      discrimination and racism.

                      "It's very much against the very fiber of this nation," said Mike
                      Ghouse, a homebuilder with a local group called Foundation for
                      Pluralism who has an office in Farmers Branch.

                      Attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational
                      Fund, a civil rights advocacy group, told city council members during
                      the closed meeting that the proposals could violate federal law.

                      The group said it would evaluate any measures approved by the council
                      to determine their legality.

                      The rules could force untrained business owners and landlords to
                      evaluate a wide array of immigration documents to determine if the
                      person carrying them is legally in the country, MALDEF staff attorney
                      Marisol Perez said.

                      "You're putting them in the shoes of an immigration officer," she
                      said she told council members.

                      More than 50 municipalities nationwide have considered, passed or
                      rejected similar laws, but until now that trend hasn't been matched
                      in the Lone Star State.

                      Such sentiments and the proposed ordinances trouble many people in
                      Texas, where many Latino families can trace their roots here to the
                      era before statehood.

                      Since 1970, Farmers Branch has changed from a small, predominantly
                      white bedroom community with a declining population to a city of
                      almost 28,000 people, about 37 percent of them Hispanic, according to
                      the census. It also is home to more than 80 corporate headquarters
                      and more than 2,600 small and mid-size firms, many of them minority-
                      owned.

                      "They're afraid that Farmers Branch is becoming Hispanic," said
                      Christopher McGuire, a resident of the city and spokesman for a group
                      called United Farmers Branch. "It's going to happen, and that's not a
                      bad thing."

                      The local debate over illegal immigration began in August and spawned
                      demonstrations by both sides.

                      The proposals follow a vote this year in Hazleton, Pa., to fine
                      landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, deny business permits to
                      companies that employ them and require tenants to register and pay
                      for a rental permit.

                      However, a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the
                      Hazleton ordinance while he considers a lawsuit against the town by
                      the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil
                      Liberties Union and other groups.


                      (© 2006 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may
                      not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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