Heads Up

A Weekly edition of News from around our country

August 15, 1997 #48

by: Doug Fiedor fiedor19@eos.net

Previous Editions at: http://mmc.cns.net/headsup.html


When an old friend, who is a career federal bureaucrat above the "GS" level, called one afternoon last week to chit-chat, I should have realized there may have also been an ulterior motive. He was, after all, calling from work. About ten minutes into the conversation he asked why this publication is so hard on the people working for the federal regulatory agencies.

'Because they are there, and should not be,' I wanted to answer. But I did not. Instead, I played the game, began my own opening gambit, and turned it around so he was on the defensive.

"How many search warrants did your agency serve these past few weeks?" I eventually asked.

"A few," he reluctantly answered.

"How many with guns drawn and agents looking and acting like a SWAT team?" I then inquired.

"That is for the protection of the agents. . . . . ." he tried to jive me.

Uh huh. Sure.

Lately, even FEMA and EPA started doing that. Where once, regulators came in dressed in normal business attire, now they bring a "team" wearing bullet proof vests and brandishing military-style guns.

Reports are that a FEMA team "raided" a county flood management office recently, vested and guns at the ready. They even brought along a search warrant. Except that the only thing on the warrant was the judges signature and the word "sealed." They confiscated box- loads of public documents -- documents that were always available for anyone in the world to walk in and read. And, of course, they terrified (or is it terrorized?) the staff working the office in the process.

Same with the EPA. Nowadays, if they visit a business suspected of spilling hazardous materials, they often bring along a SWAT team and act like they're going after a gang of armed bank robbers. Just a few years ago, that type of thing was handled by one man carrying nothing more ominous than a notebook.

This is called lack of respect. It's the "them" against "us" mentality. Each year, the federal government ramps-up the aggression level. Today, many federal regulators act like they have absolutely no respect for the American public. Sure, they are not all like that -- yet. But, how many of these reports do we need before we voters start putting pressure on elected officials to get them stopped?

IRS used a SWAT team to "take over" a day care center, kids and all. FDA brought along a SWAT team to "raid" a vitamin store. The BLM brought an armed posse to confront two hunters. Fish and Wildlife delivered a SWAT team by armed military choppers. Yet, in none of these cases was any wrongdoing ever proven.

The problem is, neither was any of these agencies punished for use of excessive force (or stupidity!). Clearly, these people are out of control.

It's our fault, too. These are, after all, public servants. Therefore, we can, with a little effort, have them fired. Federal agencies like FEMA, EPA, BLM and OSHA do not need guns. There are only a few real federal police agencies: Marshals, DEA, FBI and BATF immediately come to mind. These other agencies are only regulatory and tax collection agencies.

Worse yet, for the most part, these armed regulators are people with no firearms training. Police academies last at least ten or twelve weeks. Many of the armed federal bureaucrats confronting American citizens do not even have ten or twelve minutes firearms or police training. In fact, some of them never even had a firearms safety course. Yet, in some cases, they're carrying fully automatic weapons. This is not good!

For the safety of the American public, all federal regulatory agencies should be completely disarmed.


Words mean things, as Rush Limbaugh likes to say on his national radio program. And lawyers, so they would have us believe, are the legal word merchants of the United States. So it is with great interest when we notice that the rooms full of lawyers working in the White House, Department of Justice and FBI all seem to be having a definite problem understanding some of the simplest words in the English language: "Shall Not."

For instance, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution clearly states that: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Notice the words "shall not be violated"?

Recently, the Supreme Court said that in all but a very few circumstances, officers serving a search warrant must knock, announce their reason for being there and wait to be let in. No "dynamic entries" are allowed unless the police are going after known killers, or some such demonstrably dangerous perpetrators.

American citizens are to be informed of what is to be searched, and what police are looking for, BEFORE the search begins. Police are to show the person to be searched the warrant, and allow them to read it, before the search takes place.

The right to be secure against government intrusion in your "persons, houses, papers, and effects" would also include a ban against pat-downs on the street; looking through medical and financial records; reading of mail; recording private conversations; reading computer e-mail; and listening to telephone conversations.

Police may stop you and ask questions. But a free citizen need not answer if they do not wish. And, unless the officer indicates that you are being detained, a free citizen may leave the presence of the officer at any time. In other words, except during the performance of a criminal investigation (and civil citations), or in an emergency, a police officer has no special powers over and above any other citizen.

Yet, the Department of Justice and the FBI cannot understand "shall not." Rather, they have plans to monitor thousands of American citizen's telephone calls simultaneously. They are also gearing up to monitor many American citizen's e-mail every day. And, all this, they hope, without the necessity of a court approved search warrant.

The Fourth Amendment words "shall not," of course, bar these federal government activities. But, federal law enforcement does not seem to feel that the Constitution applies to their functions. Neither do two members of the Senate (McCain and Kerry), as evidenced by S. 909, which would allow federal agents access to all computer correspondence, without the necessity of first obtaining a court approved search warrant.

We, of course, have some recourse in this matter. First, we should do all we can to insure that S. 909 and other such bills do not pass Congress. Second, we should start randomly encrypting some of our e-mail messages.

Recently, Qualcomm, Inc. announced that they have mated PGP with their very popular e-mail software, Eudora Light and Eudora Pro. We have not seen it yet, but were told that it is very easy to use.

Regardless, we should all make an attempt to tell the federal government that we will resist any and all intrusions into our personal privacy. We would never consider giving government agents the keys to our house and car, just in case they may want to snoop through our stuff someday. We shouldn't give them our encryption keys so they can intercept our communications, either.


This Internet, made up of web pages, newsgroups, e-mail "lists," and what have you, is an effective public forum. And generally, it is also an uncontrolled public forum.

To say the least, this is very disconcerting to the political powers and the "establishment" media. On one hand, many politicians and their sycophants in the media want strict controls placed on the flow of information over the Internet. On the other hand are the courts, which for the moment support the free flow of ideas found here. Free speech, it's called.

Often, the Internet "scoops" the major media on important news items by a day or two. And sometimes, a great deal of important information can be found here that is not related by any major media source.

The problem is that a lot of "information" available via the Internet is not sourced. It cannot be verified. Some is hear-say information, and sometimes it is just obvious misinformation placed to cause unnecessary concern. So, unless you trust the sender, the rule should always be 'reader beware.'

The courts struck down a law censoring information on the Internet as a violation of free speech. But the courts did not say that anything goes here. As with any public forum, there are limits imposed by society.

One limit is that of slander, defamation of character, and whatever else it may be called by the legal-eagles. In a public forum, it is necessary for one to be somewhat careful about things we say about others. It is very doubtful that the courts will allow defamation of character to pass as free speech -- especially for those who, at the press of a button, can instantly transmit a message to a couple thousand people.

Normally, one can get away with saying a great deal about public officials, especially if it has some basis for truth. For instance, we have called public officials socialists, un-American, stupid, drunks, and a few other rather unflattering things. Those are all public attributes -- mixed with a bit of opinion.

We do not, however, delve into the private characteristics of public people. For instance, we have never written that Governor Clinton did some of his shopping for sex at the local university. That wouldn't even be news, anyway. Nor would we list the twenty-some known drug abusers, the numerous gays, or those who go off on alcoholic binges, working in the administration.

All that is their own personal problem, not ours. Our problem, our interest, is what they are doing that affects normal American citizens, not how they choose to categorize or abuse themselves in private.

So when we saw the Drudge Report saying Sidney Blumenthal -- that Clinton media apologist who recently turned White House aide -- has a spousal abuse past, we cringed.

It is true that Blumenthal is a public figure, and therefore open to most any ridicule in the press. But, was this pushing the envelope a little too far? Probably not, but it may be. The problem is that you never really know until you spend the money to get it to court.

The political-media cabal in Washington would like nothing better than to stymie the flow of information on the Internet. Blumenthal is both political and media. Therefore, he will be receiving encouragement from both groups to pursue this case and put the Drudge Report out of business.

To them, silencing the popular Matt Drudge will provide the perfect "example" for the rest of us. If they stop the Drudge Report, you can be sure other lawsuits will follow.

Therefore, we must not let that happen.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, -- the federal agency that demands long warning labels (that no one ever reads) be affixed on anything that looks like it may be used as a tool of some sort -- does not follow its own rules and regulations.

OSHA is legendary for writing up businesses for violation of all kinds of stupid regulations that mean nothing to anyone with a little common sense. They'll fine a business for silliness like a stairway railing being one inch too low or water being on the floor in a butcher shop. OSHA has hundreds of rules, regulations and standards they regularly bother businesses with. Most of them are nonsense, but they all come with big fines attached.

Evidently though, they do not enforce serious violations in their own buildings. We know this because the OSHA offices in West Virginia were closed for a few days this week. According to UPI, OSHA officials were forced to send their workers home and shut down the building because of harmful bacteria found in the office's cooling system.

Whoops! Poor maintenance and inspection practices, resulting in bacteria growing in the office cooling system. Yup, Legionnaire's disease at the OSHA office.

Wanna bet that no fines were imposed?

Also this week came a message from FEMA. Apparently, FEMA is picking up the slack for OSHA, because the FEMA message informed us that: "The fire safety features required by the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 can apply to colleges and universities."

The FEMA memo warned that: "In a recent opinion, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's General Counsel confirmed this policy. The opinion stated any establishment not owned by the federal government used for activities funded fully or partially with federal monies must have meeting facilities, rooms and services that meet the fire prevention and control guidelines under the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act."

As it turns out, FEMA is quietly getting so large it now has its own agencies. One is the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). And, Administrator Carrye Brown, the head of the USFA, writes that, "This law encourages the lodging industry to improve the fire safety features of its properties. It limits federal government travelers to stays in places of public accommodation that comply with the law. The federal government is also required to only hold meetings in complying facilities. Our General Counsel has made it clear that for colleges and universities this includes any dormitories or other buildings used to house federal attendees at meetings, conferences, or other activities."

She also said that they will be compiling a list of complying universities and whatever, which will be published at a later date. Oh yeah . . . and she also noted that regulatory changes will be published in the Federal Register for comment. Yup, we'll bet you can count on that one to happen!

Now remember folks, this was from FEMA, not OSHA. Obviously, FEMA is branching out some.

There was some news from the Post Office, too. Well, actually this time the news is coming from the office of the Post Office's Inspector General.

The IG reports that a Marjorie Brown was installed as postmaster last Jan. 10, in a ceremony held in the Atlanta City Council chamber. She is the first woman to hold the Atlanta post, which oversees 45 post offices and 2,400 employees. So . . . they had a little party to celebrate. A $45,593 party!

First, they spent $21,348 to produce a video about Ms. Brown's life, the IG report said. An additional $9,911 was spent on air fare for out-of-town postal workers who attended -- and, of course, for the limousines necessary to drive the guests to and from the party.

Then there was another $4,738 charge for a photographer, audio-visual support and postage. The postage was necessary for the $2,405 worth of programs, invitations and thank-you cards. Rounding it off was the $4,800 for the buffet lunch to feed the 300 attending the party, and for the breakfast for 30.

The House subcommittee on the Postal Service originally asked for the accounting.

This could give new meaning to the term "going postal."


By this time, most readers know that significant action is being taken to fight the UNESCO and U.S. Man and the Biosphere land grab program. UNESCO already formed two "International" biosphere reserves here in Kentucky, and they are ultimately planning on grabbing about one- quarter of the State's land mass. UNESCO has similar plans for most states.

When we published this information over a year ago, few people cared. In fact, we were flamed by international lawyers, college professors and assorted liberals from around the world for about three weeks straight. Apparently, even though we write the truth, we were wrong -- err, not politically correct -- for mentioning the program. That was supposed to be their little leftist-liberal secret, and we went and blabbed to the world.

What changed this year? Well, first, a very influential Kentucky State Senator noticed that his family's 600 acre farm was smack dab in the middle of a proposed biosphere. . . Yeah, that helped some. . . . Youbettcha!

A resolution against the Bio-Diversity Treaty (mandating hundreds of large biospheres in the United States) and the UNESCO and U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program sailed right through the Kentucky State Senate at warp speed, without so much as one word of dissent! You see, when other State Senators started looking at that UNESCO biosphere map, they did not like what they saw either.

And, that's good news. So last June, we took the plunge and wrote about the subject again. This time, we received hundreds of letters of encouragement, and not one flame. We also helped Lance Crowe of the American Constitutional Campaign Committee send out a very strong press release, which was published in dozens of newspapers around the country.

Then, a lot of you called Congress. A LOT of you contacted Congress! Which, we should add, made a difference. Because, Congress added an amendment to quite a few agency appropriations bills declaring that, starting next year, no money may be funneled into the Man and the Biosphere Program.

Your calls and letters put Congress on notice. They got part of the job done last month. Now, we want them to finish the deal. Oh, and incidentally, we also want them to punish the wrongdoers in government -- and there are quite a few. Here's a quick wrap-up of why:

In the 1970's, the United States (Carter) joined into limited agreements with UNESCO. Part of that was to form a few small biosphere reserves in the center of national parks. Thirteen federal regulatory agencies and the State Department formed the U.S. and UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Committee for that purpose.

By 1984, the Reagan administration noticed that UNESCO was ripping American taxpayers off for hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and we were getting nothing in return. So, we backed out of everything. All agreements were off. All programs were canceled. It was all over.

However, that U.S. and UNESCO Man in the Biosphere (MAB) Committee didn't see it that way. They just kept right on with the UNESCO plan, making biospheres wherever they could get away with it. Today, we have 94 biosphere reserves in the U.S., which have a total combined land area (at least) the size of the State of Colorado. That is land which is no longer able to be used by American citizens -- for any purpose.

Not only that, but they created buffer and cooperation zones around the biospheres and placed strict land-use regulations on the people living there. All this with no authority. Remember, the MAB Committee should not have even existed after 1984, let alone bothered American citizens with all those land-use regulations.

Of course, the MAB Committee never bothered to ask Congress if they could use federal land as biosphere reserves. Nor did they ever have authorization to spend taxpayer funds on the project. The fact is, the MAB Committee misappropriated both the land and the money. They had no authority. And, as anyone who has ever been in the military or worked for government knows, they broke the law.

Kentucky State Senator Dick Roeding (whose district is not affected by any existing or proposed biospheres) noticed that misappropriation point even before we presented all of the information to him. He volunteered to tell his colleagues at this week's annual American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Convention. And, since there will be about 2,500 state legislators from around the country there, we expect there might be a little action forthcoming.

ALEC, for those of you who don't know, is a national, Tenth Amendment, Jeffersonnian type group of State legislators. They are very interested in this type of thing. So . . . when Senator Roeding called to see if he could get on the agenda to present this, he got a "yes" back within about five minutes. It was presented to the Task Force on Property Rights yesterday. If they approve, it goes before the group as a whole. If the group as a whole approves, they collectively "inform" Congress.

In that case, they will inform Congress that the U.S. and UNESCO Man in the Biosphere Program must end now. They will also call for a Congressional Investigation into why this unauthorized MAB Committee was allowed to function for thirteen years, and harass American people.

And maybe, just maybe, the misappropriation angle will also be approved. Regardless, we voters can push that aspect of the problem. Because, once an investigation starts, they will have to ask where all the money was coming from all these years. Everyone in Congress already knows, of course. But, by actually admitting under oath that they diverted unauthorized funds into an unauthorized program, they will have admitted to a federal crime.

That should put a lot of federal bureaucrats -- regulators, one and all -- out of work at once. It may even lead to a few going to prison.

We might also add at this time that there are 30 to 40 other such frauds perpetrated by the far left on the American public via the federal regulatory bureaucracy. This biosphere business is just the most visible of the unauthorized programs at the moment. A win by the American people on this matter will have a very interesting domino effect on the others.

So, if your legislator suddenly starts looking like he or she wants to lead this "dump the biosphere" parade, please encourage them. In fact, line up behind them and make sure they don't stop till you're sure that it's all over.

Next week, it will be time to get cards and letters to Congress ready. A simple handwritten postcard to your three Members of Congress is all that will be necessary. This is important, too. It looks like we can see the end on this one, folks. One or two more big pushes and it looks like we're there.

-- End --