From the Center for
Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
February 14, 2005
Greetings! There's quite a bit of news for the past month. As you'll see,
the cognitive liberty umbrella transcends the traditional red-blue, right-left,
simplistic politics of today, in favor of a larger more integral and nuanced
approach. Cognitive liberty is good for everyone. If you support our work, which escapes traditional categorization,
we really do count on you for donations! Please give what you can:
To donate online blip to:
Special Gift For You: Axis of Evil: Perforated Praetur Naturam
Qualiatica generously donated a limited number of factory fresh
hard-bound copies of their new Axis of Evil book, which we are now offering as thank
you gifts for donations of $200 of more. This is a beautiful coffee-table
book with art and essays addressing the concept of "evil," something front
and center in today's politics. Many thanks to Qualiatica President Jim
Swanson for the gifts!
Welcomes Michael Ostrolenk as DC Policy Fellow
The CCLE is pleased to welcome Michael D. Ostrolenk as the new CCLE Policy
Fellow in Washington, DC. In addition to advocating for CCLE issues in
Washington DC, Michael will be providing reports, updates, and notes on
federal topics that are relevant to supporters of cognitive liberty. We're
excited to have Michael as part of the CCLE team. To learn more about
Michael, follow the above link. His "Liberty Watch" for this month is
Considers CCLE Suggestions
for Protecting Freedom of Thought
In late-January, the UN’s Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) and
International Bioethics Commission (IBC) met to review written comments to
guide the draft of an International Declaration on Universal Norms on
Bioethics. The CCLE recommended incorporating clear freedom of thought
protections and stressed the need to incorporate clear wording and
protections for brain privacy, autonomy and choice. We are still awaiting to
see if our suggestions are incorporated in the final draft. The CCLE’s suggestions can be
viewed by following the above link.
Medication Safety Act Passes as part of IDEA Bill!
Responding to parents who have been pressured by school officials to place
their child on a psycho-stimulant like Ritalin or be barred from attending
school, Congress finally has passed precedent-setting legislation protecting
parental choice. In 2004 the CCLE worked hard on this issue (see the above
link for more about our campaign) because we are opposed to the conditioning
of a public benefit on the mandatory use of a psychotropic drug. While the
new law is a big step in the right direction, there's much more to do. See
our Liberty Watch Report below for info on HR 181.
Provides Free Help to Australian Ayahuasca Case
An Australian court is currently deciding an ayahuasca case involving a man
who was arrested for allegedly possessing a small amount of ayahuasca. The
case is important because the legality of ayahuasca is currently contested
in a number of countries, and the US government continues to argue that US
prohibition is required under several international anti-drug treaties.
In January CCLE attorney Richard Glen Boire provided, pro bono, important legal
documents to the Australian case, arguing that while synthetic DMT is a
controlled substance, ayahuasca is not. A version of this argument was
rejected earlier in the USA UDV case, but we believe it is an argument with
merit that will hopefully receive review if a future appeal occurs in
the USA UDV case. This is an issue of first impression in the Australian
courts. In January, a French court ruled in favor of this argument in an
important European ayahuasca case.
Opposes National ID Bill
The CCLE joined the ACLU, Amnesty International, and a diverse coalition of
other privacy and civil rights groups in urging members of the
House of Representatives to oppose HR 418. If passed, the bill
will create a de facto national ID card.
Divinorum Under Attack - CCLE Responds
A misguided legislator in Missouri, Rachel Bringer, has introduced a bill
seeking to place the plant Salvia divinorum in Schedule I of the Missouri
Controlled Substances Act. On January 23, 2005, the CCLE sent Rep. Bringer
a letter and report pointing out that Salvia divinorum does not meet the
criteria for placement in Schedule I, and that criminal prohibition of the
plant would make matters worse not better. We directed her to a more
sensible solution which simply restricts sales of the plant to minors; a
solution utilized with success by the city of St. Peters in Rep. Bringer's
own state. See the above page for a link to our letter.
Shulgin Featured in New York Times Magazine
Dr. Alexander Shulgin, a member of the CCLE Board of Advisors, was profiled
in an article that appeared in the Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005 New York Times
Magazine. The article mentions the CCLE's drug education project Ask Dr.
We'll be posting a new answer by Dr. Shulgin in the next week. All those
subscribed to the Ask Dr. Shulgin announcement list will receive a
notification. To join that list go here:
Alexander and Ann Shulgin will be chatting live on the web with Ethan
Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
To join the
For Improving Human Performance
NBIC 2005: A 2-day conference
February 24-25, Kailua-Kona, HI.
For the third year in a row, the CCLE is proud to sponsor and present at
this prestigious conference, chaired by members of the National Science
Foundation. The conference looks at how nanotechnology, biotechnology,
information technology and cognitive science are converging on the human,
and thereby making it possible for improved physical and mental performance.
Simultaneously, these developments raise many new legal and ethical issues.
In the past years, we've found this conference to be a great place for
discussing and developing the multi-dimensional scope of cognitive liberty
with a diverse group of experts from government, industry, and academia.
Join us there!
Watch: 109th Congress
Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) in response to the Orwellian sounding New
Freedom Commission on Mental Health’s recommendations which include calling
for de-facto universal mental health screening of children in government
schools and other citizens has offered H.R. 181 "The Parental Consent
Act." H.R. 181 would forbid federal funds to be used to establish or
implement any universal or mandatory mental health screening program. Also,
parents cannot be charged with child abuse or neglect if they opt out of
screening programs. There are efforts in the Senate to introduce similar
In response to the bi-partisan efforts to destroy Americans privacy,
Congressman Paul has introduced H.R. 220 The Identity Theft Prevention Act.
H.R. 220 among many things would repeal the creation of the unique health
identifier which was required under HIPAA. The unique health identifier is a
government number given to all American which will be used to track all of
their healthcare information from birth to the grave. Up until now,
Congressman Paul has been able to defund its implementation. The bill would
also repeal the de-facto national id provisions in the Intelligence Reform
bill that passed in the 108th Congress. It would also require all
Americans to get a new social security number which can only be used for
social security and not any private or other government purposes.
The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics has joined the Liberty Coalition
which is a transpartisan coalition working to protect civil liberties. The
coalition partners include ACLU, American Conservative Union, Association of
American Physicians and Surgeons, Gun Owners of America, American Policy
Center, Pain Relief Network, Cyber Privacy Project, EdWatch, Americans for
Tax Reform, Meyda Online Info Security, Privacy, and Liberties Studies,
Fairfax County Privacy Council, EdWatch, Republican Liberty Caucus, Free
Congress, National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep
and Bear Arms, Citizen Outreach and the Center for Liberty and Community.
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE WHAT YOU CAN!
How do we do all this innovative work? Because unique people like you make
the CCLE one of the charities they actively support. The CCLE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit,
so donations are tax-deductible in the US. Big donations, such as transferring
appreciated stock, provide major tax advantages and really help us to plan
beyond the short-term. Please make a donation
today, and give whatever you can. Thanks!
Top Cognitive Liberty News is a
free service provided by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. The CCLE
is rights-based public policy organization dedicated to promoting freedom of
thought. The CCLE depends entirely on the private donations of individuals
who seek to protect and enhance freedom of thought in the 21st century.