On last month's Fix;
the answer to last month's Fix,
"Given the Oklahoma City bombing, should the US adopt police state tactics for the public safety?"
Gentle readers, I have a grave announcement to make. After all these years of extolling the virtues of individual liberty, I must confess that the savagery of this act is so profound, even I am swayed. There can be no further denial or delay. The American citizenry must be disarmed - now. Henceforth, I will call for the disinvestment of you readers from your weapons. This includes all firearms, suspicious combustibles, blades over three inches long, sharpened sticks and clubs. I know that Ben Franklin said,
"Those that can give up essential liberty to gain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
but he and the other Founders could not possibly have foreseen the invention of explosives.
Furthermore, since the "right to privacy" can be used seditiously, I will support bills in Congress to revert the nation's phone service to party lines, ban the use of encryption, require the use of transparent mailing envelopes, and make public the financial records of all citizens.
I now fully realize the folly of the fight for personal liberty that I have waged and take full responsiblity for the deaths which I have caused by engendering hatred with my words. I hope all of you will come to realize, as I have, that our only hope for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness lies in a central govt. of limitless authority and benevolence.
Summoning the Spirit of James Madison
by Joseph Sobran
I recently visited a gypsy and told her to put me in touch with the spirit of James Madison. "An unusual request," she muttered, "but I will try." The candle sputtered and a moment later a trembling voice said, "Who calls me from the other world?"
"I'm a journalist, Mr. Madison, and a reader of yours. I'd like to
ask you a few questions."
"I will try to answer", he said.
"I've studied the Constitution and the Federalist Papers Mr. Madison, and I'd like to know how you feel about the way things are going on down here."
"As you know, I cannot control events on Earth. I have no influence over them," the voice said.
"I know that Mr. Madison. Would you say that the present govt. of the United States is what you and Mr's Hamilton and Jay had in mind?"
"Oh certainly not! Hamilton favored a more vigorous federal govt. than I did, but even he would disapprove of your system now. Limitless central power, huge standing armies, extortionate taxes, stupendous debts, bad paper money - not at all what we were proposing."
"But sir," I said, "you did assure your readers that Federal tyranny would be nearly impossible under the Constitution. You said Fed powers would be few and well defined while the powers of the states would be numorous and indefinite. Today, as you know, the truth is the reverse of this."
"Only because the Constitution was not adhered to. If your politicians had kept their oaths to uphold it, you would still be enjoying your freedoms today."
"I agree," I said. "But you did ridicule your opponents for predicting exactly what has happened: that the national govt., given a few powers, would eventually seize more - 'usurp' I believe was the word used - and impose a consolidated govt. Would you now concede that they were right?"
"I can only take responsibility for the Constitution as we left it. The original document and the first 10 amendments. Later amendments, especially the 14'th and 16'th, changed the whole system. They allowed the Fed to bully the states and the people."
I had him on the defensive now, and pressed the attack. "But even these ill considered changes would not have been possible under the Articles of Confederation. Don't you agree?"
"Well, yes. I suppose you have a point."
"So if you had to do it over, would you still urge ratification of the Constitution?"
" I don't know. It seemed like a good idea at the time."
"Does it seem like one now?"
"Well there were many things we couldn't foresee: Lincoln, Wilson, the two Roosevelts, that horrible Lyndon Johnson ..."
"That's the point," I said. You didn't see what your opponents did, that ambition would overwhelm your meager safeguards."
"Can I go now?" the voice whined to the gypsy.
"Yes, go back to your rest," she said, then turning to me, "You should not torment these souls. If they know they are going to be baited, they will no longer come when I summmon them."
Too bad. It was a promising avenue for investigative journalism.
But there is something a little phony about this doomsday scenario. Statistics overlook the fact that there has been a reduction in family size. On a per capita basis, discretionary income (adjusted for inflation) is up nearly 50% since 1970. Non-cash income - health insurance, pensions and other fringes - has also increased real wages. Over the last 20 years, the proportion of higher income families has grown faster than lower income ones.
It is the way we measure living standards that yields the conclusion that we are worse off than we were 20 years ago. Quality of life does not show up in the statistics. Houses are about 1/3 larger, with bigger kitchens, central air, cable TV and garages. People work fewer hours, take more paid vacations, and retire earlier.
Ed: I would question each of those assumptions.
One reason why perception may not mesh with reality has to do with the way we measure inflation, which may be overestimated by as much as 50% according to Fed Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan. This may explain why buying power seems to have declined. Why then is the gap so huge between happy individual experience and the perception of the economy as a whole? One reason is the stereotype of the mass layoff, siezed upon by the politicians and the media. But the future looks bright. Productivity is at a 20 year high and the US now ranks as the No. 1 exporter.
Ed: I would remind the reader that we just had a huge drop in the dollar's value, thus making our goods cheaper.
Maybe it's time to comtemplate the possibility that America's historical optimism is justified once again.
>From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Apr 25 23:13:07 1995 Subject: Jeff's contribution to the Stevey Monthly Hi, 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. Here is what the North Carolina Republican said: "... 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." hope all is well, Jeff Thorne 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.Ed: Well Jeff, of course you are right. There are lots of right wing loonies too, as your snippet from the NC legislature points out. But I think that they hardly need exposition by me. If you want to hear about them, turn on any major news broadcast, or read the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Utne Reader, Rolling Stone, The Progressive, Atlanta News and Constitution, ad infinatum ad nauseum. They can and do a fine job of exposing conservative lunacy.
2. Keeweenaw Paul provides an interesting tidbit.
>From email@example.com Thu Apr 27 10:04:56 1995 Knoxville, TN; April 24: A 16 year old boy in Knoxville was found dead in his bedroom by firefighters. He was nude with the remains of a cow's heart attached to his genitals. Wires were attached to the cow's heart and plugged into a wall socket. Apparently one of his porno mags described a sex toy where batteries and a circuit make the heart beat. The news report (AP Newswire) claims that this is becoming popular in the rural South.
3. Rafe Donahue writes from Kansas City.
>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon May 1 16:13:15 1995 X-Sender-Info: Rafe Donahue, MMD Statistics Steve, Thought you might like parts of this. Feel free to edit as desired. Rafe *** Forwarding note from NM08178 --SYC 10/18/94 14:40 *** To: MBM-ADST--SYC Bruce Morrill WARNING LABELS THAT ARE P.C. (PHYSICALLY CORRECT) As safety experts and concerned citizens, we applaud the recent trend towards legislation that requires the prominent placing of warnings on products that present hazards to the general public. yet we must also offer the cautionary thought that such warnings, howeverwell-intentioned, merely scratch the surface of what is really necessary in this important area. This is especially true in light of the findings of 20th century physics. We are therefore proposing that, as responsible professionals and science enthusiasts, we join together in an intensive push for new laws that will mandate the conspicuous placement of suitably informative warnings on the packaging of every product in every category offered for sale. Our suggested list of required warnings appears below: WARNING: This Product Warps Space and Time CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight. HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles per Hour. CONSUMER NOTICE: Because of the Uncertainty Principle," It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving. ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Known as "Tunneling," This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result. READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of a Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting This Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years. PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Product, In Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe. NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER: The Manufacturer May Technically Be Entitled To Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are "Rolled Up" Into Such a Small "Area" That They Cannot Be Detected. PLEASE NOTE: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State. IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe, Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot Be Guaranteed ********************** *********************** Dispatched weekly to 71 countries AND the Club House Motorcycle Bar and Repair Shop in Rancho Cordova, California, it's... THIS is TRUE for 14 May 1995 Copyright 1995 by Randy Cassingham - ------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Due to a request by the author the humor that we included in this space has been deleted. The author is very angry that we enjoyed his article enough to reprint it. We apologize profusely and instead give you a link to the page on which he discusses why he forbids people to share clips from his site. http://www2.freecom.com/true/true/true-faq.html"
4. A previous lab mate from Detroit, Geza Erdos, writes;
>From email@example.com Wed May 3 14:15:56 1995 Subject: About LINUX Hi Steve, I haven't contacted you long. Yes, and I have no excuse, except I am kind of busy and am working for you know WHO. But I took time to read the R. News and I'm as puzzled as you are what on the earth gun control has to do with fertilizer. Guns are not my favorit toys you know that, but this type of reaction to Oklahama I find simply stupid. Well, it is propably lot more then stupid, it is like asking for gun control after Eastonia sunk at the Baltic sea, just completly out of line. Leatly I was busy learning about networking, internet and stuf like that. Last monday night I down loded HoTMetaL, next day evening I wrote a home page for myself, and wednesday night I downloaded and instald a server (HTTP). Last week I played a litle with the system and I got to realise I should learn more about UNIX systems, so I decided I will setup LINUX on my machine at home. David just told me you was going to buy a system preloaded with Linux, can you tell me about the vendor? More, I would like to play with Linux based servers, internet browsers, remote access, and of course htm authoring. I guess you are the best person to give me some direction. You migth think I set my aims to high but beleave me I am a fast learner. By the way if you want to see my home page try: http://22.214.171.124/. Some of the links are purposefuly meaning less they served only to practice linking or whatever. I will leave my machine on untill friday just to give you a chance to visit it. I did not put on much security so I usually turn it off, anyway I use it for playing with it only. Thanks for any help, Geza Geza Erdos Ph.D. Radiation Oncology Res. Lab William Beaumont Hospital e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
5. Atlanta Joe writes;
>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon May 22 13:23:42 1995 From: Joe Nottoli <email@example.com> In response to the question of the month: In a word: "No!" In more words: We already have plenty of law enforcement powers at the disposal of our law enforcement agencies to do their jobs. The problem would seem to be one of the courts who mitigate the sentences imposed, or let crimanals go as fast as our law enforcement agencies can throw them in. We cannot cede any of our rights in return for the *promise* of more protection. This is foolish at best, an opening for tyrany at worst. Although the OK City bombing was a horrible and henious terrorist act, let us note that terroism does NOT happen on US soil often (I will also recall the NY Trade Center here)... We do not need knee-jerk political reactions that would have doubious benefits. Clinton, et.al are clearly using the bombing for political gain. He is very quick to jump into the National spotlight and say that we must give up some of our rights for "security." He says he wants to add about 1000 FBI (and other types of) Federal agents. Recall that his 1995 proposed budget calls for the elimination of over 1000 of these types of Federal agents. Now, do we need protecting or don't we? (only from Pres Bill's Double Speak)... --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joe Nottoli / MCI ID: 596-8958
6. London's David Gay pens;
>From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue May 23 01:52:29 1995 Steve, > "Given the OK City Bombing, should the US adopt police state tactics?" Of course this is an excellent way to handle crises like this. I suggest the federal government sponser a few more [bombings] then they will not have any trouble establishing a police state. People (some) will be screaming for it. Just think, isn't it easier to set up and maintain a police state than to actually try and solve societies problems? Seriously, no matter how tight the security is, there will be nothing anybody can do if a small group decides to use fertilizer to blow up buildings. Here in London, when the IRA was still bombing, the ones that they caught seemed more like chance. So really, by making cars and trucks illegal to own and operate, more lives would be saved. This eliminates the delivery system of choice for terrorists and saves more lives each year than the Vietnam war killed. This would save more lives than elimating guns which is the government's current solution. On the lighter side: I travel to work on the London Underground. For the Underground and British Rail, they have these wonderful public address systems they call "Tannoys". Tannoy of course is the corporation that manufactures them. They have this incredible artifical intelligence feature that can anticipate important works. For example the operator might say "The train on platform 5 has been diverted to Glouchester immediately", while you will hear "The train on platform 5 hmmm...zzzz... immediately". One morning I was travelling to work and they announce that the Earls Court station was closed. When I arrived at my destination, I learned that the station was closed due to a defective public address system. This had never stopped them before! Maybe, it was working!?! Dave Gay
7. Our under cover man, somewhere in the Pacific writes;
>From email@example.com Tue May 23 14:02:51 1995 Steve, > And please include your response to last month's survey. > > "Given the OK City Bombing, should the US adopt police state tactics?" > Well, Chuck would say that we already have a police state. I would ask " What do you means by police state tactics" It's a loaded question without a definition. But using the assumed definition of police state stactics, I say no. resoundingly no. Our greatest weakness in dealing with the terroristproblem is also our countries greatest strength. Our freedom as individuals comes with a price -- responsibility -- and a cost when those choose to abuse that freedom. Someone once said "ever vigilant" or some quote involving that thought comes to mind. As for humerus stories, a sailor was getting off the liberty boat, slipped, and broke his arm. Later on, Mike GrimmEd: "Eternal vigilance is the price of Freedom."
8. And Texas Tom with some "news".
>From ApogeeTom@aol.com Tue May 23 18:40:17 1995 > "Given the OK City Bombing, should the US adopt police state > tactics?" Only toward subversives, like those publishing politically-oriented newsletters. In my new house today, man, TomEd: Cool, send me some electronic pix of the homestead for the next issue.
"I think if you were to take a poll of the American people and ask them who they're more frightened of, the BATF and FBI, verses conservative right wing radical hate groups, they'd choose the hate groups." --Rep. Charles Schumer (D, New York) in his speech on the Hill supporting a bill to ban private militias (see this month's Net News)
2. St. Paul, May 21: Neighborhood Ice Cream trucks are to be banned from the glorious worker's paradise of Minnesota. Yes, it's true. By beguiling innocent children with their siren's song, ice cream trucks lead youngsters to their deaths. Or rather, they may someday. Not one child has yet to be run over by an ice cream truck, but they MAY be someday and that is enough to send the evil capitalist pig peddlers of ill gotten animal by-products packing. All hail the Glorious STATE!
Feds administer over half the land in many Western states, a situation that many find intolerable. In Nevada, "There are some areas we don't go into anymore," says BLM's Michelle Barret. The BLM office in Idaho offered war-zone guidlines to officers: stay in radio contact, travel in pairs, plan escape routes, and carry "how-to-cope" cards in case of arrest by local officials.
I don't believe that the average US citizen has that many guns [Nichols had 33], pamphlets about Waco or literature about govt warfare."
Ed. Better get rid of those Waco videos guys, we may be next ...
2. May 17, NPR: Janet Reno has found sufficient evidence to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the charges against Secy. of Commerce Ron Brown. Brown, formerly Chair of the Democratic National committee before the Clinton appointment, has been accused of using campaign finance funds to pay off a previous mistress.
3. May 15: Pres. Clinton has announced that he favors former Pres. Bush's decision to renounce his lifetime membership in the NRA. Bush published his resignation letter, calling it his way to voice displeasure with recent adds run by the NRA wherein NRA V.P. Wayne LaPierre denounces BATF officers as "jack-booted thugs." Clinton said that noone, including ultra right wing groups such as the NRA, has the right to denigrate law enforcement officers.
Ed: Of course, Clinton neglects to mention that Michigan Dem. Congressman John Dingell, who is also a lifetime member of the NRA, appeared in an NRA promo video in 1981. In the video, Dingell called the BATF, "jack booted storm troopers ...". Curiously, Dingell has not been labelled an unpatriotic, right wing, radical.
>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu May 4 17:15:15 1995 Evidently, even the Boy Scouts are now on the hit list of the feds. Realize that every gun club, the Boy Scouts, most summer camps, and the various "Outward Bound" type things for corporate V.P.'s fall under the definition of "paramilitary"...your kids could go to prison for up to 10 years for getting their Eagle Scout badges. Forwarded message: > HR 1544 > 104th CONGRESS > 1st Session > To prohibit the formation of private paramilitary organizations. > IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES > May 2, 1995 > Mr. Nadler introduced the following bill; which was referred to the > Committee on the Judiciary > A BILL > To prohibit the formation of private paramilitary organizations. > Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the > United States of America in Congress assembled, > SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. > This Act may be cited as the `Domestic Insurgency Act of 1995'. > SEC. 2. PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATIONS. > (a) In General: Chapter 115 of title 18, United States Code, is > amended by adding at the end the following: > `Sec. 2392. Paramilitary organizations > `(a) Whoever knowingly participates in a paramilitary > organization shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more > than 10 years, or both. > `(b) As used in this section, the term `paramilitary > organization' means two or more individuals acting together, > organized in a military or paramilitary structure, who knowingly-- > `(1) possess firearms, explosives, incendiary devices, or > other weapons or techniques capable of causing injury or death > to individuals; or > `(2) provide or participate in training in the use of any > such weapons or techniques; > with the intention that such weapons or techniques be used > unlawfully to oppose the authority of the United States or of any > State or for any other unlawful purpose.'. > (b) Clerical Amendment: The table of sections at the beginning of > chapter 115 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding > at the end the following new item: > `2392. Paramilitary organizations.'. > > -------------------------------------------------------- > AEN NEWS BBS - The American Justice Federation
2. See if the following letter seems a bit anti-familiar.
Newsgroups: alt.politics.usa.constitution Subject: open letter to president clinton Date: 4 May 1995 03:59:19 GMT Dear Mr. President: Recent violence proves you correct about the government's responsibility to protect citizens from the fear of violence. I think you will agree my ten-point plan is an effective extension of Senator Feinstein's Assault Wapons Ban, the Brady Bill, your Crime Bill, and your pending Anti-Terrorist Bill. My points: -First, we must censor individuals and groups (religious and secular) who incite children and the weak-willed to acts of violence; -Second, those espousing views influencing violent crime should be considred co-conspirators and prosecuted; -Third, the powers of federal police agencies should be increased to include investigation of anyone they suspect of advocating violence; -Fourth, the depth of suspect investigations should not be hindered by the courts; -Fifth, there should be no limitation on the types of punishments inflicted upon those found guilty of acts of violence; -Sixth, any violent crime suspect found innocent should be liable for retrial should new evidence arise; -Seventh, local and state courts should be replaced by a single more efficient federal court system; -Eighth, the grand jury and jury systems should be replaced by more efficient federally-appointed judges; -Ninth, all firearms manufactured, sold, and registered in the United States should be solely for hunting and one-shot only; and -Tenth, United States military personnel and traveling federal police should be boarded in the homes of citizens, deterring crime and saving billions of dollars in barracks costs and hotel/motel rooms. Honest citizens have nothing to hide and would consider it an honor to help rid their country of violent crime. In order to protect the citizens of this country, this plan should be instituted right away. Please let me know how quickly you can enact this legislation. Respectfully, RW Rawnsley
Last Updated 05/25/95.© 1996 PPSA Consulting