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SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
Dec. 2000

(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.

-- C.A. Beard


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On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,
"Can the country and Congress support whomever becomes our next
President, and if not what can be done about it?"

First off, Bush does control both houses even though the Senate is 50/50. Recall that his VP will vote in tiebreakers. But, it this to fine anedge to get anything done? WIll Rep. crossovers undermine Bush legislative agenda? Perhaps. But on a deeper note, does it matter? I personally only care if Bush delivers on his tax cut, and to me that hand is made stronger with the imminant recession which we are about to enjoy. [Of course, for those of you who don't like the thought of tax cuts, and realy believe that the Clinton tax increases of his first term spurred the national economic growth of the past 15 years, no doubt the correct course of action now would be to raises taxes again."Taxes for prosperity!"]

Second, Reagen never enjoyed control of Congress, yet his affable fireside chats made direct appeals to the public, who then pressured their congress people to vote in Reagen's way. Will Bush Jr have the personality for this mode of policy making?

However, beyond tax cuts (and modernizing the military), does it really matter if Bush legislation is stalled? He will appoint constitutional conservative judges, which will be a welcome change. And gridlock is good for Wall Street; I look forward to the Justice Dept getting out of the marketplace (you can trace the current NASDAQ freefall to the decision on Microsoft). In this case, I think there is some cause for cautious optimism.

On an 8 year old Prediction;

From DetNews Nov 1992, "After a Clinton Presidency we will have:"

  1. A unified liberal Congress and White House will institute pay or play
     health care, 2-3 month's of (un?)paid child leave per year, punitive
     environmental legislation and higher business taxes.
  2. Continued fragmentation of tax rates, undoing the Reagan
     simplifications and benefitting those who can afford the legal firepower
     required to find tax loop holes. Look for 24%, 28%, 33%, 38% and 50%
     tax rates within the 1'st  Clinton term. [Why does the
     battle cry "SOAK THE RICH" get so much sympathy from voters. You
     shouldn't GIVE A DAMN if someone else's taxes are raised. You're only
     better off if YOUR'S ARE LOWERED.]
  3. The NA Free Trade Agreement will be scrapped by a protectionist
     liberal majority, dooming the US to economic insignificance relative
     to the emerging Pacific and European trading blocks.
  4. Unemployment and inflation will rise to double digits, but it will
     be OK because 90% of Americans will either work for the Federal Govt.
     or collect Welfare. The bill will be paid by the remaining 10% of the
     "evil rich" who were too sentimental to flee the US.
  5. Mid-East peace talks will break down 'cuz neither Arabs nor Israelis
     will trust Clinton's Secy of State (whoever that turns out to be).
  6. The price of gold will sky-rocket as a hedge against the also
     sky-rocketing inflation rate.
  7. The Congress will once again vote on Most Favored Nation
     Status for China, and this time the Pres. will sign it into law.

Point 1= Happened in the first 2 years of Clinton White house. Score 1/1
Point 2= Happened in the first 2 years of Clinton Admin. Score 2/2
Point 3= Was voted on after the Rep takeover of Congress in '94, so did not happen. Score 2/3
Point 4= Both are rising, but not to double digits. Score 2.5/4
Point 5= Has happened. Score 3.5/5
Point 6= Is happening (Greenspan trying to stop with interest hikes). Score 4.5/6
Point 7= He signed it May 24 2000. Score 5.5/7

78.6 % accuracy over 8 years.

In a later issue, I also predicted that what I defined as the misery index would be worse after Clinton's terms. That came true as well (more on it follows).

On Hanukkah;
Ok, so for those who don't know, the miracle of this holiday is that a lamp in a temple burned for eight days when it only had enough oil for one. So what's so great about that? Current EPA Chief Caroline Browner just signed a regulation that will require the average car to go from 20 miles per gallon to 25 miles per gallon. If Browner can rewrite the laws of thermodynamics with the stroke of an EPA pen, surely its no great feat for God to get more hours of light per gallon?

On a favor for Jeff;

For those who don't recall, last month a Mr. Henderson responded to a letter that Jeff Thorne wrote in 1995 regarding the position a North Carolina congressman on abortion. Henderson's main point, I think, is found here:

 " ... As a right-wing lunatic, I object to your reader's thought process and invite you to consider whether there is not a need to watch out for and educate one's followers about the danger of stereotyped thinking. Probably 90% of the harmful ideas people hold are transmitted by mob psychology: People are told that certain features identify an idea as lunatic (e.g. a minor official from North Carolina believes it), and that anyone who doesn't recognize these give-away features (to say nothing of those who actually believe the idea) is an idiot if not a menace. In the case before us, the writer tacitly invokes stereotypes of southerners as nincompoops, and of religious believers as nincompoops, the two classes overlapping. And the writer feels a glow of smug self-righteousness and a comeraderie with other sophisticates who share his disdain for religious rubes. ..."

In sum, I think what the author is saying is that when some people find a position they disagree with, they locate an obviously fringe and inflammatory holder of that belief (ie Jeff's Congressman), then pronounce that since this person is a fruitcake every other holder of that position must be too, therefore only fruitcakes hold that position - ergo the position is invalid. Or, in precise notation which will be less prone to preferential quoting;

If  (Jeff  !believe X) AND  (A believes X) AND (A = loon) then
    All X adherents = loons
    X = wrong
    Jeff = right

Now, I leave it to the reader to decide the validity of this method - or if Dr. Thorne's response below intentionally or accidentally avoids the point by muddying the waters with sidetracks on "nincompoop" or whether the religion question is germane.

Jeff  then asks that I provide some balance in this Rag, since it may the only source that some readers have for news. Well I really doubt that I hold that pivotal a role in anyone's life, but if there is truly any reader out there who only reads this rag, I invite you to mail in your name and address, so I can send you a subscription to the NY Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, LA Times or whathaveyou for the liberal balance. Nevertheless, in the holiday spirit, let the followiing example of non-biased reporting stand forth.

On a Balanced Report of the Florida Vote;

The following nonbiased replay of "White House Indecision 2000" rewards points for well played gamesmanship.

Tuesday 7 Nov 2000: During the first machine count, Bush won by a narrow margin. R1, D0

Wen 8 Nov. 2000: There was an automatic, all-state machine recount, Bush won. R2, D0

Thur 9 Nov. 2000: An agressive Gore team flies in lawyers to oversee hand recounts in key Dem precincts. R2, D1
Thur 9 Nov 2000: A Texas based telemarketing firm calls homes in Dem areas, suggests that they may have voted incorrectly due to a confusing ballot, and they should call their Congressman. R2, D2
Thur 9 Nov: Jesse JAckson calls rallies, suggests that Blacks and Jews were illegally disuaded from voting by "ballot shortages", "lost voter registrations", and guard dogs that chased away blacks. R2, D3

Fri 10 Nov: State DNC chair distributes memos to precincts that show how to find fault with military ballots  and disqualify them, but this strategy is not extended to include similar absentee ballots from Israel which are assumed to go Dem. (Drudge report). R2, D4

Sat 11 Nov: The state supreme court (6/7 appointed by Dem govrs) "volunteer" a decision without Gore's request that hand recounts can continue in Miami, Dade and Broward counties. R2, D5
Sat 11 Nov: Reps ask for 15-16,000 "overvotes" (punches for multi-presidential candidates) to be disqualified. R3, D5

Mon 13 Nov: The FL Secy of STate declares that she must certify the vote by the 14'th as per statute regardless of the recount progress. R4, D5
Mon 13 Nov: A Dem appointed appeal judge upholds Secy of State  R5, D5

Tues 14 Nov.: The FL Secy of State is about to certify the vote, but a prelimanary injunction by the state supreme halts her. Hand counts continue through Sunday 19 Nov.  R5, D6
Tues 14 Nov: Gore attorney Boise (of Microsoft anti-trust fame), wants  not just punched ballots, but dented chads to count for Gore. Sites as proof a 1988 case in IL where dented chads counted as a vote (as per a signed affidavit from the State attorney in teh case). R5, D7

Thur 16 Nov: The IL judge in the case shows that dented chads we not counted and the attorney who said otherwise is now under suspension. R5, D6 (foul)

Thu 23 Nov: Bush team asks US Supreme court to rule on the FL courts extension of hand count. They throw back decision to FL for clarification. No points

29 Nov. - 7 Dec: Counts continue, Boise tries to get dented chads to count. Not all precincts agree so different standards are applied for a marked ballot in Miami, Broward and Dade counties. R5, D7

7 Dec: The FL supreme court allows continued vote count. R5, D8

Sat 9 Dec: Bush team asks the US supreme court to rule on the Equal Protection clause issue raised by the differing vote standards used in the hand recount. R6, D8

Mon 11  Dec: The Rep. controlled Florida state legislature, as per statute, pick their 25 electors to avoid not being counted in time for the Dec 18 electoral college vote in Washington DC. They vote Bush. no points

Tues 12 Dec: The US Supreme Court by a 5/4 margin vote to throw out the FL hand recount. On the key issue of unfair vote counting practices, the vote was 7/2. R7, D8
Tues 12 Dec: Gore quietly calls Bush to concede. R7, D9

Thur 14 Dec: Gore concedes, Bush accepts on TV. no points

So it would appear on first blush that Gore should have won the election. Clearly he had the more aggresive players, and a better coaching staff. The Bush victory can only be attributed to external fortunate calls on the part of US supreme Court and the Florida legislature. But the game is not yet over. Eager to get beyond the rancor of the election, and return to the bipartisanship which has been a hallmark of the Clinton Admin, Senator Tom Daschle (D, S Dakota) has introduced in the lame duck session of Congress a bill to remove from all military personell the ability to vote via absentee ballot. In the event that an election was held while the service person was overseas, well ... (and nevermind that two wings of Pensacola navy flyers were sent out the eve before the election).

But the Rep have not been asleep either. For instance, there is now an investigation (instigated by Reps) that 14,000 New Yorkers were voting absentee in NY City, and then again locally in Florida . Also, GOP operatives have gotten the founder of the Votamatic Corp. (one of the main  makers of punch card voting machines) to make a video showing its use. In it, it is demonstrated that the only way one can get dimpled chads is to put more than 2 cards in the device at the same time (in other words - to vote multiple times). With a single card, the result was either no vote, a hanging chad, or a hole. And of course none of this has any bearing on the election in south Florida, where Florida Dem Congressmen. Irving Slosberg surrendered a Votamatic to the FL police on Nov. 11, two days after a TV news video showed him with the device at a hand recount table ( This leads nicely to this issue's "Quote of the Month".

On a refined Misery Index;

Back in January of 1993 when Clinton was sworn in, I defined the misery index, and predicted that it would be worse after Clinton's time in the WHite House. For this year, here it is again.

             | 1992    1993*    1994    1995    1996    1997    1998 ... 2K
Unemployment  | 7.2%    6.6%    5.6%    5.7     5.5     5.3     4.4     4.1
Inflation     | 4.7%    2.8%    2.9%    3.3     3.3     3.4     2.2     3.5
Interest      | 7.7%    8.3%    9.1     7.9     8.0     8.9     7.75    9.5
Fed. Inc. Tax | 28%     48%     48%     48      48      48      48      48
(top margin)  |
FICA          | 15%     15%     15%     15      15      15      15      48
Cap Gains     | 28%     28%     28%     28      15      15      28      28
Gasoline      | $0.15   $0.20   $0.20   $.20    $.20    $.20    $.20    $.20
(per gallon)  |  (0)    (+33%)  (+33%)
 MI (totl)      90.6    141.4   141.6   140.9   127.8   128.6   138.35  141.1

  *The astute reader will notice that Clinton is assigned
 the 1993 budget. Why? Because while Bush assembled
 most of the 93 budget, Clinton made his tax changes
 retroactive to before he was President. Nice huh?

Now, over time I've realized that this is not the best version of the index, but I did not want to be accused of changing the rules in the middle of the game. So, we will swear in a new president on Jan. 21 2001, but the 2001 budget will still be the one just signed into law by Clinton. This then seems a good time to introduce the new misery index MI2, and compare it with MI for the year 2000 data. For MI2, we group the data thus

Misery Index Two







Prime Interest


US Deficit (% of GDP)


US Trade Deficit (% GDP)




$0.20 (baseline 0%)

  Fed Income (top margin)




Cap Gains




Total MI2 (sum of %)


Lets also define something new, the Joy Index.

Joy Index



Dow Jones




US GDP Growth


Total JI (%)

5.25 (other data is baseline)

Now, let us track these over the Bush term. As you might expect, its good if the JI increases and the MI2 declines. This effort marks the first time to my knowledge that anyone has applied a concrete metric to measure the economic performance of the presidency - and you've had it here for the past 8 years. Given current trends, I would predict:

1. recession over the next year, due to the anti-business policies of  the previous Admin finally bearing fruit (taxes, regulation, Justice Dept. breakups of companies and induced market jitters).

2. Also, we can expect the US Deficit to increase, to rebuild the military and energy production facilities that have been allowed to decay under Clinton and fuel his economic "recovery".

3. This will all, of course, be blamed on the ineptitude of Bush. Which is why it would have been interesting to see what the blame meisters would have done to Gore.

Guest Editorial:

Jack Kemp
January 3, 2001

Truly a Golden Age, if we can keep it

In 1787 as the Constitutional Convention was concluding, Benjamin Franklin was asked that famous question, "What had
the delegates created?" Franklin's equally famous response was, "A republic, if you can keep it." Taking my cue from
Franklin, I would like to herald the advent of this New Year and the new millennium (according to the Gregorian calendar)
by reasserting my hopes and belief and echoing Franklin's words that America and possibly the world are entering a new
Golden Age, "if we can keep it." Last May I wrote about a trip my wife and I had taken to the Mediterranean and Aegean
seas following the footsteps of St. Paul. Reflecting on the conflicts and rivalries that plagued St. Paul's time as they plague
our own, I quoted Hegel, who said that "the only thing one learns from history is that no one learns from history."

I went on to express the belief that we have the chance at last to learn from the mistakes of the past and build a new
Golden Age of Democracy, freedom and peace provided that we practice the Golden Rule.

The bitter election battle of 2000 may set the stage for a new era of national achievement, invention and prosperity. But as
Franklin foresaw, there's always an "if." In this case the "if" is whether we truly can learn from the mistakes of the past and
join together as one people toward common goals: equal opportunity and economic prosperity for all, the continual
advance of freedom at home and abroad, and true compassion toward those least able to help themselves.

This is what President-elect George W. Bush and his running mate Dick Cheney appear to believe they can help achieve
for our nation. Nevertheless, while strong, wise and compassionate leaders are essential, they can only succeed if the
people as a whole share a common commitment to the cause of freedom, equality and democracy for the world.

My optimism that the new administration will succeed in bringing us together stems, in part, from the economic and
technological revolution through which we are living, truly a wonder in itself with little precedent in history. Yet as the last
year also shows, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic advancement should not be taken for granted, and the ability
of policymakers to throw a wrench into the proceedings with monetary policy mistakes, excessive tax rates and regulatory
overkill should never be underestimated. That's why I temper my optimism with Franklin's warning.

My friend Rich Karlgaard echoes these same sentiments in his Forbes magazine columns. Recently he observed that if we
can get through the current choppy waters of economic slowdown without major policy blunders, "the next five years will
be golden: stunning innovation, soaring rates of venture capital formation and yet more wild-eyed start-ups that change the

But for Karlgaard, too, Franklin's admonition looms large: "The caveat is always policy. Bad decisions on trade, taxes and
monetary policy turned a 1929 stock market hiccup into the 1930s-long Great Depression. Higher tax rates on capital
gains would flatten the uptrend in risk capital and bonk this boom, too."

Today we have it within our grasp to avoid the mistakes that would repeat the experience of the 20th century in which an
earlier promise of a golden age of freedom withered away under the crush of war, ideology, and racial and ethnic conflict.
"Life is a gift," Karlgaard reminds us, and "freedom is rare. Civilizations must be built a brick and a law at a time - and be
defended by blood."

That may sound harsh, but true optimism lies in a realistic assessment of what is at stake and a realization that with God's
providence and mankind's best efforts, we can truly be masters of our own destiny and good stewards of our earthly
realm. To believe otherwise is both naive and profoundly cynical, not sentiments to which I am prone.

The Christmas and Hanukkah season yielding to the New Year is always an extraordinary mix of reflection and
projection, reaching into the past and future all at once. But while history cautions us to guard our inheritance of freedom,
the promise of a fresh start itself inspires optimism. As I wrote last May, "I contend that freedom and free enterprise under
the rule of law are beginning to take hold in the hearts and minds of people all over the globe. ... If we get it right, this
century truly can and ought to be a century not of America alone, but one in which those values and ideals bequeathed to
us by our founders give meaning to life and also will bring progress, prosperity, freedom and democracy to the world."

Let us indeed get it right, and a blessed and Happy New Year to all my readers.


1. From Matt

Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 16:11:03 -0700 (MST)
From: Matt Birkholz <>

> Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 09:59:11 -0600
> A friend of mine is Pres. of Wis. Rapids League of Women Voters
> I thought you might be interested in taking part in their national effort.
> Adrienne

Oh, yes!  I can just imagine how the League of Women Voters thinks we
should reform the election system so as to avoid another close election:
disenfranchise the men?  Every household I can think of has ONE Democrat
and ONE Republican (well, except THIS one), so I am not surprised the 2000
election was evenly divided.  I AM surprised every OTHER election is not
split exactly down the middle.  After all, the ratio of women to men is
very close to 50/50.

If the League of Women Voters would like to avoid discord in the future by
devolving to single, Democratic Party rule, I'm all for it.  "If it doesn't
work, force it; if it breaks, it needed replacing anyway."  A few decades
of OVERT single party rule should put the last nail in.

> Election Reform
> A Statement from Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, President of the League of
> Women Voters December 14, 2000
> We've heard all the appeals for healing and unity. These appeals have to
> be bolstered by appeals for election reform. True healing comes best when
> we learn from experience -- and act to solve the problems that caused the
> divisions in the first place.  The League is moving to solve those
> problems. We call on elected officials and citizens across the country to
> join with us in that effort.

If they weren't being coy, they'd just point out that male sufferage is the
major cause of "division".

> We watched in frustration as Election 2000 revealed the disastrously
> outdated voting procedures used all across the country.

Punch cards are a 40 year old technology.  NOT antiquated by any measure
EXCEPT a myopic, computer-revolution standard.  I can't think of anything
more modern yet practical.  Keyboard and mouse?  I can't think of any more
disastrous method of data entry to use in Florida than a keyboard or mouse.

> The League believes that every vote should count, and count the same. Our
> organization was founded in 1920 as an outgrowth of the woman suffrage
> movement. One of our bedrock principles is that of one person, one vote.

Sounds like a safe position behind which to hide the REAL agenda.

> We have:
> * antiquated voting machines,


> * a crazy quilt of voting systems that vary from state to state and
> county to county,

Voting systems devised by the various people in the various states
according to whatever makes sense to them.  It would be better for Cowboys
and Creoles to vote as D.C. Brahmans do, eh?

> * ballot systems that confuse rather than clarify,

I'm sure that was unintentional.  I'm also sure there is no such thing as a
fool-proof ballot, nor ever will be.

> * overcrowded polling places that keep voters in line for hours,

Is there any service, public or private, that is NOT crowded directly after
quit'n time... or 5 minutes before closing time?

> * so-called "ballot security" measures that are used to intimidate
> voters,

I'm guessing "ballot security" is about fraud, not intimidation.  In fact,
I am SURE of it.

> * incomplete registration lists and absentee ballot procedures that
> disenfranchise voters, a federal government that doesn't pay for
> administering federal elections, and

Yes, we have an election administered by 50 separate governments.  It was
designed that way for good reason by very smart people (ok, GUYS, but

> * an Electoral College that is archaic and unnecessary.

Whatever.  Does it take two hands to count the number of times the
Electoral College has handed us a surprise?

> These are problems for which there are identifiable solutions. Congress
> should pass, and the new President should sign, legislation to help
> states implement "best practices" voting systems. We need a
> Constitutional Amendment to abolish the Electoral College and provide for
> direct election of the President. Beyond this, we also need meaningful
> campaign finance reform.

Speaking of hidden agendas, could this be one?  If there was a problem on
the above list that might be solved by campaign FINANCE "reform", I missed

As a member of a third party, I have a BIG problem with government funded
campaigning by "authorized" parties -- an even bigger problem than the one
I have with publically funded party functions like primaries (again, for
"authorized" parties).  Soak us twice, shame on US.

> History shows that the United States of America is a resilient
> nation. Let Election 2000 be a clarion for reform. Join with the League
> in making election reform a priority for the 107th Congress.

Y'all've got a LONG ROW TO HOE before you convince me the "choice"
between Republicrat Bore and Demoblican Gush is worth more than a coin
toss.  Even then... Short of shooting all the lawyers, you will ALWAYS be
in danger of the simplest thing turning into an interminable mess.

-Matt <>

The above political rant is not to be construed as an official statement by
the Lori & Erica Birkholz household.  Any opinions expressed therein are
the sole difficulty of that disenfranchised guy who keeps hanging around

2. From Jeff Thorne
Subject:         right-wing readers and rape
   Date:         Tue, 19 Dec 2000 20:33:00 -0500 (EST)
   From:         Jeff Thorne <>

Hi Stevey,

As I will not be getting around to sending a card this year, Merry Xmas!!

On other topics, I was just perusing the November 2000 issue of the Stevey Press.  In it, I happened to find a response to a message that I posted in the Stevey Press in 1995 (!).  Wow!  I guess my words really will live forever.  In my 1995 letter, I wrote

"...  I want to get my contribution to the next issue of
the Stevey Press  to you as soon as possible.  It's a quote from North
Carolina state representative Henry Aldridge.  Aldridge was speaking
during a  house committee meeting.  He was speaking in support of
eliminating money  that North Carolina currently provides to fund abortions
for women who are raped and become pregnant.  He was claiming that women who
are raped cannot get pregnant.  ..."

Then, I included Mr. Aldridge's statement...

"... The facts show that people who are raped, who are
truly raped, the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work, and
they don't get pregnant."

In the November 2000 issue, someone named Peter Henderson
responded with ...

"... As a right-wing lunatic, I object to your reader's thought process and invite you to consider whether there is not a need to watch out for and educate one's followers about the danger of stereotyped thinking. ..."

First of all, Mr. Henderson is incorrect when he refers to himself as a right-wing lunatic.  He cannot possibly be a right-wing lunatic because he invokes evolution later in his letter to support his argument. Right-wing lunatics do not believe in evolution. Alternatively, maybe this is just stereotyped thinking on my part.

Mr. Henderson supports the view of the esteemed North Carolina Republican legislator by writing ...

"...  I invite you to consider that there is no obvious
logical absurdity in  the idea that the body attempts to hinder the penetration
and successful transmission of semen during an act of forced intercourse.
From an evolutionary as well as a psychological point of view it
makes a certain amount of sense. There are many stranger things in human
and animal biology. ..."

The existence of "many stranger things in human and animal biology"  (as if  human biology is somehow fundamentally different than animal biology) does not make Mr. Aldridge's claim true.  Aldridge's claim is about "facts."   The claim was ...

"... The facts show that people who are raped, who are
truly raped, the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work, and
they don't get pregnant."

Where are the facts?  If someone finds sound evidence that women who are  raped cannot get pregnant, please let me know so that I can retract this and also my 1995 letter.

By the way, Mr. Henderson also believes the writer (me) "... tacitly invokes stereotypes of southerners as nincompoops,
and of religious believers as nincompoops, the two classes overlapping." Unfortunately for me, I am not capable of "tacitly" doing anything.

Plus, the word "nincompoop" is not in my working vocabulary. The fact that Representative Aldridge was an official in
North Carolina does not mean that I believe all Southerners are nincompoops.  After all, I live in North Carolina and I do not believe that I am a nincompoop.

Most importantly, what did my 1995 letter have to do with religion? The answer is that it had nothing to do with religion.  It seems to me that it is Mr. Henderson who is invoking stereotypes. The stereotype seems to be "if someone makes a stupid statement about rape then that person must be religious."  I don't believe in this stereotype and I hope Mr. Henderson does not believe it.

Now that the U.S. Presidential election has been "decided" by the U.S. Supreme Court, I hope I do not have 4 years of reading this sort of letter in store. By the way, I closed my 1995 letter with

P.S.  I think your last issue of the Stevey Press was on
target  regarding the slanted coverage of right-wing fringe groups
by the mass media since the Oklahoma bombing.  On the other hand,
I would be quite proud of you if you could spend some of the next issue
discussing how many of the views espoused by the the militia and
guns-rights groups are sheer lunacy.  I know such a discussion would be
contrary to your usual tone but you are smart enough to see the
weaknesses in some of the arguments put forth by groups to which you
are largely or partially sympathetic.  Also, it would be educational for
some of your more feeble-minded right-wing readers.  ..."

Stevey, you responded by claiming that coverage of right-wing lunacy could easily be found in the mainstream press.  However, I am afraid that some of the right-wing readers of the Stevey Press do not read the mainstream press and/or are unable to believe it. Therefore, I still think it would be a service to readers if you promote your  libertarian cause by educating some of your more helpless right-wing readers in the fashion that I suggested above.  You can think of it
as a Xmas present to me.

happy holidays, Jeff

3. Matt writes again.
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2000 22:03:30 -0700 (MST)
From: Matt Birkholz <>
Subject: last call

> Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2000 11:07:43 -0500 (EST)
> [...]
> "Can the country and Congress support whomever becomes our next
> President, and if not what can be done about it?"

No the country cannot support the President.  It cannot now any more than
it has in the last 40 years.  What WILL be done?  The special interests and
their sympathizers will continue to vote for higher taxes distributed
to... you guessed it... their favorite underdog (penguins?) if not their
own pockets.  Maybe Atlas will Shrug, maybe not.  I care not; I plan to be
long gone. :-)

If you don't believe in apathy, I'll let Hunter weave his spell.  Hunter
has a black heart, but it is in the right place:

        We live in cheap and twisted times.  Our leaders are low-rent
        Fascists and our laws are a tangle of mockeries.  Recent polls
        indicate that the only people who feel optimistic about the future
        are first-year law students who expect to get rich by haggling over
        the ruins...and they are probably right.
        -- Hunter S. Thompson, _Songs Of The Doomed_

Wait!  Here's an APPROPRIATE goodie by Lysander ("All hail, the Lysander!")
from the depths of what passes for my "mind" (a 4GB notebook disk):

        As long as mankind continues to pay 'national debts,' so called -
        that is, so long as they are such dupes and cowards as to pay for
        being cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered - so long there
        will be enough to lend the money for those purposes; and with that
        money a plenty of tools, called soldiers, can be hired to keep them
        in subjection.  But when they refuse any longer to pay for being
        thus cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered, they will cease to
        have cheats, and usurpers, and robbers, and murderers and
        blood-money loan-mongers for masters.  -- Lysander Spooner

I take "blood money" to mean money gained by putting guns (not figurative
guns -- REAL guns) to peoples' heads.  I.e. blood money = tax money

Just for the record, I have no problem with nonblood-money load-mongers, as
attested by forthcoming seducement of the capital industry to the tune of
several hundred thousand in cold, hard dollars.  (I'm hoping to build a
house. :-)

Merry Xmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, whatnot, AND
I wish all a Happy New Millenium (now that it actually approaches),


Quote(s) of the month:

"It doesn't matter who votes, only who counts the votes"
-- Joe Stalin, dictator.

Fix of the month:

"How do we teach people that it's not in their long term best interest to cede control to the govt of their lives?"



1. Olympia, Dec 7: Taking almmoost as long the presidential election, Dem challanger Maria Cantwell has beaten incumbent Rep Slade Gorton by less than 2000 votes. This makes the US Senate balance 50/50. Gorton said he was ready to retire, but may be picked up in the Bush appointments.

New York;

1. NY City, 13 Dec: Apparently, over 14,000 sunbirds dual registered to vote absentee in New York while voting locally in Florida. One lady who consented to be interviewed said, "That's illegal ???"

2. Dec. 20: Hillary is apparently selling off her upscale NY home (which she never paid for as the downpayment and first few payments have been covered by friends), to buy an upscale residence in Georgetown now that she's won the Senate chair. In the year that the CLinton's have owned the house, reality values on the neighborhood have shot up so that a tidy profit was made on the barely used residence. Its not know how the valules will move now that the ex first family are not going to be there.

Washington D.C.

1. 21 Dec: Sen Tom Daschle (D, SD) has introduced a bill to remove voting ballots from military bases and to prevent overseas military personnel from being able to use absentee ballots. He says this is to prevent future military voters from being disenfranchised due to incorrectly filled out ballots.

2. Dec 21: At the request of Reps, the founder of the Votamatic punch card voting machine (used in FLorida) made a videotape on the use of the machine. It demonstrates that the only way to get cards with dimpled chads is to put more than two cards into the device at once, and then to not have enough physical strength to penetrate them all. With only one card in the device, either no mark was made, or the punch produced a clean hole or hanging chad.

3. Dec 20: Figuring she has nothing to lose, outgoing EPA chief Carolyn Browner signed statutes that will require automakers to increase their fleet mile per gallon ratings by 25%, include emission controls on Deisel semis akin to what is on cars, and require makers of Diesel fuel to make it 90% cleaner than it is today. No mention was made if any of this is possible.

4. Dec. 21: Pres-elect Bush announces that New Jersey Rep. Govr Christine Todd-Whitmann will take over EPA.

Happy Holidays and New Millennium!


© Steve Langer, 1995-2001