Grassroot Perspective – July 8, 2003-Illegal Drug Imports Threaten Consumers’ Health; Segregation Alive & Well in 2003; Transportation Choice: Politics Versus Mobility

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”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”


– Illegal Drug Imports Threaten Consumers’ Health

By Grace-Marie Turner

Source: The Detroit News 5/11/03

Seniors who have been buying cheap drugs over the Internet from Canada
soon are likely to be searching for new suppliers, says Grace-Marie
Turner of the Galen Institute. The Food and Drug Administration is
threatening criminal and civil action against companies that aid in the
illegal practice in accordance with the law passed in 1988 to protect
U.S. citizens from fake and contaminated imported medicines. The effects
of counterfeit drugs can already be seen in the U.S. A Florida grand
jury says it’s happening in the southern borders of the United States,
where the state’s wholesale pharmaceutical industry has been “corrupted
by the infiltration of a criminal element which is making a fortune
while tainting our drug supply.” Sale and resale of the counterfeit
drugs through the state’s Medicaid program is costing taxpayers
millions of dollars. Full text:

– Segregation Alive & Well in 2003

By Jessica Peck

We walked into the room and were told to leave. Our offense? Having the
wrong skin color.

This is what happened this weekend at the University of Colorado when
organizers of a forum dedicated to exploring the effects of racism, saw
two individuals who “presented as White”, make an attempt to
participate in the forum open exclusively to “People of Color.”

The workshop, one of a series hosted by Stop Hate on Campus (SHOC), a
student-fee funded group on the Boulder campus, was titled the
Internalized Racism Workshop. It “was not designed for White people,”
we were told. Instead, my friend and I could go to a workshop being
held concurrently for individuals of our own skin color. When I told
the workshop organizer that we had attended that workshop the day
before, he was apologetic, but reiterated that we were not welcome to
stay for this one.

When I asked just exactly what “internalized racism” was, a young woman
in the room spoke up, “well, if you don’t know, you haven’t experienced
it, and you shouldn’t be here.” The room erupted in laughter.

It was a shocking moment. As a graduate student who has dedicated the
last two years to researching the role of race in higher education, I
was being taught perhaps my most important lesson: segregation and
separatism are alive and well on our college campuses.

When I told the organizer about my academic research and that we would
remain silent if only he would permit us to stay, he once again told us
we could not. He said the workshop was designed as a “safe space” for
“People of Color” and that the presence of someone of our racial
appearance would prevent an open and honest dialogue.

It is interesting that safety is the justification used for a racially
segregated workshop on a publicly funded university campus in 2003.
Indeed, this was the same argument used by the segregationists of the
1950s and 60s. They believed America would be a safer place if the
races were kept apart. We should all be grateful that the last forty
years have proven them wrong. America is a better place because racial
distinctions and discrimination have been-and continue to be-torn down.

The organizers of this weekend’s events will say the racial segregation
they upheld is fundamentally different than the segregation of the
past. In racially sensitive environments and discussions, such as the
one held Sunday, individuals should be with people of their own race,
they argue. Never mind an open and honest dialogue between people of
different races. To demand such would be asking too much.

Furthermore, they will tell you, as they told me, it is not the “White
person’s place” to tell “People of Color” whether or not they can
discriminate on the basis of race. They are mistaken. Segregation and
discrimination on the basis of race are always wrong, both legally and

The 1964 Civil Rights Act tells us that racial segregation, for any
reason, and perpetuated against any group, is not acceptable. More
specifically, Title VI of the statute prohibits discrimination based on
race, color, or national origin at institutions receiving federal
financial assistance. The University of Colorado, as a recipient of
federal funds, has a responsibility to ensure that every door on each
of its campuses is open to individuals of all races.

Maybe I should internalize my experience, believing that somehow I have
a responsibility to accept segregation if it can help others come to
terms with the state of race in America. If only I could convince
myself that segregation does anything other than tear down our past
progress and our future hope for honest interracial interaction.

To get beyond race, we must defy it. We must stop seeing each other as
varying shades of pigment. We must step out of our comfort zones, even
if it feels unsafe. Anything less simply won’t work, especially closing
doors in the faces of those who want nothing more than to bring an end
to racism.

Above article is quoted from the Independence Institute, Weekly
Newsletter 4/18/03

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

– Transportation Choice: Politics Versus Mobility

Author: Dennis Polhill

Published: The Heartland Institute 04/01/2003

The Texas Transportation Institute produces an annual report on
congestion nationally. According to TTI, congestion cost the U.S.
economy $68 billion in 2000. This is more than enough money to add an
additional lane to every interstate highway in the United States in
each direction. Less extreme proposals could instantly eliminate all
traffic congestion. The reason traffic congestion exists is political.

Americans are patient and tolerant. We trust elected officials to be
honest, conscientious, and diligent; generally, they are. The time
grows closer when tolerance for traffic congestion will cease. Perhaps
the many failed tax measures in the November 2002 election are a sign
of how thin patience is growing. To fix traffic congestion, systemic
and political problems must be attacked at their roots.

First, transportation finance is collectivized. Taxes are put into a
big pot so smart guys can do the right project in the right place at
the right time. The theory sounds good, but this Soviet-style model has
failed miserably in every trial. Expecting a different result is a
triumph of hope over experience. Wise public policy recognizes this
failing and seeks to decentralize planning by employing market-driven

Second, because the bosses of the smart guys are politicians,
transportation inevitably becomes politicized. Colorado politicians
have determined that nearly 60 percent of Denver-metro transportation
funding over the next 20 years will go to transit. This outlay is
expected to increase transit’s market share from a measly 1.53 percent
to just 2.23 percent of total trips. This policy means traffic
congestion and mobility will become much worse. The politicization of
transportation leads to the misapplication of limited resources.

Third, the Transportation Industrial Complex–the contractors,
consultants, suppliers, and bureaucrats whose survival hinges on
sustaining the status quo–resists change. Combined with the
demagoguery of special interest groups and government agencies, not
bound by service or truth, this Complex Plus makes up a formidable
political force.

Fourth, some interests intend harm. Damaging the nation’s
transportation system is just “collateral damage” incurred enroute to
their mission. Ray Barnhart, former head of the Federal Highway
Administration, reflected recently on his 1991 recommendation to
President Bush to veto federal transportation legislation: “If ISTEA
becomes law … politics, not engineering principles will determine.
… Congress has given official standing (to groups) not interested in
transportation per se, but rather in gaining control of transportation
programs in order to require … a social agenda.”

Out of Crisis, Opportunity

There is hope! Reform often comes as a byproduct of catastrophe. “A
transportation crisis is brewing. Commerce will snarl, costing
billions,” said the November 27, 2002 Kiplinger Letter. By 2009 there
will be a “12 percent slower average road speed and about a 10 percent
increase in the average delay.”

Tax subsidies to institutions yield bigger, more bureaucratic, less
accountable, and less efficient institutions. Conversely, subsidies to
individuals, when appropriate, empower consumers and create
accountability, choice, market growth, competition, lower prices, and
innovation. Proof is in the success of the food stamp and G.I. Bill

When groups such as the Progressive Policy Institute, an arm of the
Democratic Leadership Council of the Democratic Party, begin to suggest
that, “Our nation’s surface transportation system is broken” and fixes
must “harness market forces,” then a convergence of thought has begun.
If the contemplative elements of both the left and right concur, but
the politicians continue to refuse to lead, then is this because a
solution might diminish their importance?

When projects like converting the I-25 High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to
High Occupancy Toll lanes (mandated in 1999 by Sen. John Andrews’
Senate Bill 88) would do no injury, while relieving some traffic
congestion and raising revenue, yet are stalled for years by
governments, the true agenda of bureaucrats is revealed. Do and the
Federal Transit Administration perceive that a cheap and functional
method of solving traffic congestion without tax increases might
jeopardize their goal of more taxes and bigger bureaucracies?

Government monopoly of transportation is failing. The sooner this
failure is recognized, the sooner leaders can implement innovative
systems to increase mobility, job growth, and commercial viability.
Those who seek to diminish mobility, strive for the impossible and the

The “transportation choice” movement has started. As the term
“transportation choice” becomes part of the lexicon, intelligent debate
over how to implement and balance the wide variety of alternative
possibilities will commence. Let the debate over “transportation
choice” begin.

Dennis Polhill is a senior fellow at the Independence Institute.

Above article is quoted from The Heartland Institute Intellectual
Ammunition Spring 2003

”Evergreen (Today’s Quotes)”

“Unfortunately we live in a society where those who ‘have’ seek other
types of education and those who ‘have not’ are stuck. White students
are not attending schools in the public system because of the quality
of the schools. They turn to other types of schools because they can
afford to.” — Leonard Atkins, President of the Boston chapter of the
NAACP. (Boston Globe, January 25) Quoted in 1/13/03

“If they don’t agree to everything I want, we will be in impasse.” —
United Teachers of Dade President Pat Tornillo, describing his approach
to emergency labor negotiations with the Miami-Dade County School
Board. Quoted in 1/13/03

”’Edited by Richard O. Rowland, president of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, 1314 S. King Street, Suite 1163, Honolulu, HI 96814. Phone/fax is 808-591-9193, cell phone is 808-864-1776. Send him an email at:”’ ”’See the Web site at:”’