Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center, founded in 1982, discussed her organization's efforts to prevent vaccine injuries and death through education. Fisher began by telling the story of how her own son, at age 2 1/2, lapsed into a coma after receiving a vaccine, and now suffers from learning disabilities as a result of the incident. Fisher says that kids now typically receive 34 doses of vaccines and that vaccines are "sacred cows," yet after her organization pushed for a law requiring doctors to report vaccination-related injuries and deaths, over 14,000 such cases have been reported annually. Fisher discussed some of these cases of injuries and deaths, including cases of parents being forced to vaccinate kids with the same vaccine that killed one or more of their siblings. She called for "informed consent" provisions to give parents ultimate authority over which vaccines their kids receive. Fisher also discussed President Clinton's desire for a national AIDS vaccine. Fisher distributed information about her organization, including a "Consumer's Guide to Childhood Vaccines," and news articles, including a lengthy December 1996 Money magazine article, "The Lethal Dangers of the Billion-Dollar Vaccine Business." Contact Barbara Loe Fisher at 703/938-0342 or visit the NVIC web site at http://www.909shot.com.
John Meredith of the American Policy Center discussed what he termed the "radical green agenda" to "restructure American society." In particularly, he discussed a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Community Sustainability: Agendas for Choice-Making and Action) which calls for the elimination of single-family dwellings, curbing suburbs, reducing the population's meat consumption, imposing population control techniques and more. This document, Meredith said, was submitted to the June 1996 "Habitat II" United Nations Conference in Istanbul as official U.S. policy. Meredith also discussed his group's "fax alert system," designed to send information to interested members of the public. Contact John Meredith at 703/925-0881.
Ron Rissler of the Rutherford Institute described cases of Americans whose right to practice religion has been blocked. Saying that many people allege that these cases are rare, Rissler noted that all the cases he is discussing were reported to the Rutherford Institute between May 19-23, a time period in which the Rutherford Institute received 245 requests for legal assistance on religious freedom grounds. Among the cases Rissler discussed: 1) In Minnesota, elementary school students were told that they could participate in a talent show. A child tried to sing a religious song, but was blocked. 2) In Louisiana schoolchildren were told to write about Easter. One child wrote about Jesus and the resurrection. The teacher crossed out the word "Jesus" and told the child that she must replace the word "Jesus" with "Bunny Rabbit" or the essay would not be displayed along with the rest of the students'. 3) In Texas two employees of a non-profit organization were terminated after they anointed a company door with oil during a prayer meeting. The violation cited on the termination papers was "destruction of company property." 4) In Georgia a student at a public community college received a failing grade in a painting assignment when he included the words "Jesus Saves" in the background of the painting. Before the art teacher noticed the message in the background, the student had been given an "A" on the project. 5) In California the father of a fifth grade student contacted the Rutherford Institute after his daughter was singled out by her teacher for her religious beliefs. In the classroom, the teacher discussed the "coming out" episode of the television sitcom "Ellen" with the students, stating her opinion that Ellen was brave and a hero. When the child stated that she disagreed with the teacher's assessment, she was pulled out of the classroom and told that, no matter what her parents taught her, she should be open-minded and listen to other people's viewpoints. Contact Ron Rissler at 202/393-7008.
Rod Periman of the Christian Action Network announced that a warrant for the arrest of CAN president Martin Mawyer is being sought by the U.S. Capitol Police because Mawyer attempted to show "obscene" artwork on the U.S. Capitol steps. The artwork in question was funded by the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts. Contact Rod Periman at 202/547-7177.
Amy Myers of the Family Research Council discussed efforts by Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-PA) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to mandate that all insurance policies must cover all kinds of contraceptive devices, including those subject to current litigation. The FRC opposes this initiative, Myers said, because consumers should have a choice whether or not they wish to pay for this coverage. Myers distributed a two-page paper on this issue. Contact Amy Myers at 202/624-2030.
John Holmes of the Association of Christian School International discussed S. 514, Senator John Ashcroft's "Liability Reform for Volunteer Services Act." The legislation protects nonprofit organizations that are organized for the public benefit and operated primarily for charitable, civic, educational, religious, welfare or health (excluding health care providers), and unpaid volunteers to such groups or governmental entities, from protection from lawsuits provided that they are acting in good faith and within the scope of their official duties. He distributed a handout. Contact John Holmes at 202/789-2637. The handout is available at http://www.nationalcenter.org under Hot Topics.
Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL) discussed his legislation, which he introduced in the 104th Congress and plans to re-introduce soon, to prohibit race or gender preferences in federal government hiring and the awarding of federal government contracts. Canady said that he believes this legislation would pass the House if the House leadership were to support it, but, he said, Speaker Gingrich is "an impediment" . Other members of the leadership have been supportive, he said. "This is such a clear issue of principle," Canady said. Contact Rep. Canady at 202/225-1252 or email@example.com.
Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) discussed her effort to get the
Lautenberg Amendment, which bans police officers and military
servicemen (among others) from operating a firearm. Chenoweth
discussed the problems with this amendment, particularly its impact
on public safety. Contact Rep. Chenoweth at 202/225-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.