A Weekly edition of News from around our country
October 10, 1997
by: Doug Fiedor
Previous Editions at: http://mmc.cns.net/headsup.html
JUST SAY NO TO EPA
Here comes the beginning of the new round of oppression from the Environmental Protection Agency. This time, they are targeting 22 states for tougher air pollution controls as part of the "effort to reduce smog- causing chemicals that travel across state boundaries."
The 22 states immediately affected are: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The harshest restrictions are expected to be placed on states in the Midwest and the Ohio Valley.
EPA is to release details of the new requirements within the next day or so. The directive will include the amount of emissions reduction each state is ordered to achieve.
The announcement said that the new requirements are necessary as part of the EPA's efforts to curtail the flow of pollution across long distances, and to help East coast states meet the controversial new air quality "health standards" announced last summer. No word, though, how EPA plans to control the actions of the many millions of people living in large metropolitan areas like New York City. Apparently, the administration's primary target is the Midwest states -- farm country.
Affected States will get one year to study, and challenge, the new EPA requirements. Then the States get another year to show how they plan to obey the federal order. If states fail to obey, or to meet the pollution reductions in a timely manner, the federal government would withhold federal highway funds.
We have another opinion. In the famous words of a former First Lady: "Just say No!"
First, State governments should confiscate all gasoline taxes (highway funds). If States do not send gasoline tax money to Washington, they would not have to go hat-in-hand asking for some of it back.
Second, there is some very applicable "controlling legal opinion" on this that we must honor. The federal government may not 'require' State governments to do anything. Period! This is the law of the land, as per our United States Constitution, and as recently interpreted by the United States Supreme Court.
Just this year, in the Printz opinion (95-1478), the Supreme Court ruled: ". . . the Court's jurisprudence makes clear that the Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program."
Or, if that is not quite clear enough as "controlling legal opinion," the Court also said in Printz that: ". . . opinions of ours have made clear that the Federal Government may not compel the States to implement, by legislation or executive action, federal regulatory programs."
Therefore, any federal official attempting to force compliance by a State or local government, or any State or local government official enforcing federal regulations, is committing an unconstitutional act.
This is the law. This is the opinion of the United States Supreme Court. Any public official violating the separation of powers (between State and federal), should be immediately removed from office and then prosecuted.
Furthermore, as the Supreme Court said in New York vs. U.S. (91-543, 1992), "A departure from the Constitution's plan for the intergovernmental allocation of authority cannot be ratified by the 'consent' of state officials, since the Constitution protects state sovereignty for the benefit of individuals, not States or their governments, and since the officials' interests may not coincide with the Constitution's allocation. Nor does New York's prior support estop it from asserting the Act's unconstitutionality."
For more information on why the federal government may not require State and local governments to enforce these silly federal mandates and regulations, please see the September 12 issue of Heads Up (The Tenth Amendment Lives). Then, copy the information and give it to your State legislators and public officials.
It's time that we citizens demand that all public officials obey the law. Here's a good place to start. The operative word is, "No!"
U.N. INVESTIGATES U.S.
We are under investigation. Not you and I personally, of course. They're investigating our American legal system. More specifically, our justice system is under investigation by the United Nations.
Waly Bacre Ndiaye, a U.N. human rights investigator, is the person sent here to do the investigation. He's from Senegal, wherever that may be, and he is to conclude his 18-day mission this week.
According to news reports, Ndiaye said his trip was prompted by several allegations to a Geneva-based commission about an increase in U.S. executions, racism in the use of the death penalty, and executions of mentally retarded prisoners and those convicted as minors.
Ndiaye checked out a few death row inmates and met with representatives from federal and local governments. And, of course, he met with human rights groups. The U.N. says the aim of his trip was to look at how the United States has implemented world standards relating to capital punishment. And -- now, get this -- he wants to investigate any deaths that have resulted from the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.
Apparently Mr. Ndiaye has no knowledge of our FBI and BATF, never heard the names Waco and Ruby Ridge. But that's just as well. We already have enough problems and don't really need a bunch of foreigners snooping around.
The humor of the investigation came when Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, learned this guy was investigating our legal system for human rights violations. Jesse says the United Nations has no business sending an investigator around the United States to look into capital punishment as a human rights abuse.
"Please reverse any and all State Department cooperation with this absurd U.N. charade," Senator Helms said in an angry letter to U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson at the United Nations. "Bill, is this man confusing the United States with some other country, or is this an intentional insult to the U.S. and our nation's legal system?" Helms wrote to Richardson. "It is clear that Mr. Ndiaye's strange 'investigation' is intended to be merely a platform for more outrageous accusations from U.S. critics at the United Nations."
During an interview with reporters, Ndiaye acted surprised when informed of Helms' letter. "If the U.S. can refuse, all other countries can do the same thing," he told the reporters. "This visit is a clear indication of the government's willingness to cooperate with the U.N. on United States' shortcomings."
It's nice to know that at least one person in Washington has the right attitude on this issue. Senator Helms is exactly correct. Throw the bum out! Better yet, throw all of the U.N. out of the United States.
And while were on the subject, it would be very interesting to know exactly which so called "Americans" alerted the U.N. to this so called "problem" in the first place. Furthermore, we would like to know who allowed Ndiaye to enter our country and why. Is the U.N. investigating the United States going to become a pattern? If so, it may be time for the sovereign citizens of the United States to launch a little protest.
We know that some prosecutors lie a lot. But it's not often that we get to hear attorneys from the Department of Justice admit it -- and openly try to defend it in court. That's pretty much exactly what happened this week, though. Tuesday, lawyers told the Unites States Supreme Court that prosecutors who lie when seeking arrest warrants should always be shielded from being sued by innocent people who are jailed as a result.
Really! A Justice Department lawyer said that. . . .
Heads Up reported the story in the March 28 issue: Rodney Fletcher of Auburn, Washington was arrested in 1993 and charged with stealing computer equipment from a school in Seattle. Problem was, he didn't do it. The charges were quickly dropped, but not before he spent a night in the King County jail.
To get the warrant against Fletcher, Lynne Kalina, the county deputy prosecutor, filed documents that said Fletcher never had been associated with the school and did not have permission to enter it. She also said someone identified Fletcher as the man who tried to sell computer equipment taken from the school. Both of these statements were false.
Fletcher later sued Kalina, alleging that she had made statements she should have known to be false when seeking a court warrant for his arrest. Kalina tried to have Fletcher's lawsuit thrown out based on her claim of absolute immunity. A federal trial judge, and later the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, refused to do that.
Generally, the Court rulings have given prosecutors absolute immunity when they act, even dishonestly, in initiating and prosecuting a criminal case. But, prosecutors do not have absolute immunity when they perform administrative or investigative work.
Kalina's lawyer said that the act should be protected because, while investigating, she was simultaneously deciding to begin the process of prosecuting Fletcher. "The sensitive decision to initiate a criminal prosecution is what is protected," he contended.
Justice Department lawyer Patricia Millett also agreed, arguing that Kalina "was performing a hybrid function" that should qualify for absolute immunity because part of it was prosecutorial. However, several Justices did not seem to accept that argument.
For instance, Justices O'Connor and Souter, persistently interrupted Maleng, noting that a police officer carrying out the same procedure would not be entitled to absolute immunity.
"It all boils down to how you analyze the function," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked Maleng, "How can the same act be prosecutorial if done by one person but investigatory if done by another?"
Fletcher's lawyer stuck to his guns, arguing that his client deserves his day in court to prove his case against Kalina. "Our fundamental complaint is false arrest," he told the Court. "Our claim is Lynne Kalina manufactured false evidence against Rodney Fletcher."
Another important point is that no person should be above the law. All Americans are to be equally responsible for their actions under our system of law. Therefore, no person should ever have immunity from the law -- not any person, and not for any reason. Furthermore, in a case like this, where perjury by a public official is involved, severe penalties should be swift and mandatory.
This will be a good case to watch. Look for the Court to finally open the door for citizens to take action against prosecutorial misbehavior.
The case is Kalina vs. Fletcher, 96-792.
SLEAZE, OBSTRUCTION AND FELONY
Arlen Specter said it's like another "shoe dropping everyday" with the Clinton administration. Actually, it's more like obfuscation, obstruction of justice and out and out lies being discovered each and every day.
That was a cute trick the administration pulled with the video tapes. They delivered the tapes eight months after they were subpoenaed by Congress. That may be a little quicker than Hillary does things, but it was not what the Senate's Thompson Committee had in mind.
Attorney General Janet Reno seems to be effectively out of the picture. Not only does the White House not cooperate with her, her own FBI does not keep her informed. Of course, with all the restraints she placed on the FBI campaign finance investigators, the investigators are probably totally demoralized and intentionally not doing much of anything. Reno does not want to know anything that could put her bosses in jeopardy, and that is exactly what she is being told: Nothing. So, it's perpetual coffee and donut time for the cops charged with looking into the campaign finance fraud.
It was interesting to note how quickly they can go after others though. When Haley Barbour testified before the Senate Committee, it sounded like he might have made one little breach of campaign finance law. Thereafter, it only took the Department of Justice about two weeks to get him before a grand jury.
Same thing with Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), Chairman of the House Committee looking into the Clinton, Clinton & Gore campaign finance wrongdoing. In retaliation for his looking into Clinton misdeeds, the Department of Justice did a complete background investigation on Burton, subpoenaed all his campaign records, and quickly took him before a grand jury.
The Department of Justice is quick as a flash when they want to be. Just not when it's the Democrats at fault.
Oh . . . Does anyone remember a Senator named Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)? Last year, Dodd had an opinion on everything. Remember him? Last year, Dodd was on TV spouting off with the Democrat's socialist rhetoric just about every day. He wouldn't shut up.
This year, Senator Christopher Dodd is nowhere to be found. There are no TV and radio appearances for Dodd. There are no newspaper interviews for Dodd. And we hardly ever even see Dodd speak on the floor of the Senate anymore.
There's a reason for that. Senator Christopher Dodd is now one of the protected ones. Therefore, he stays in the background, out of the limelight. It's an out of sight, out of mind type thing. Even the Senate Republicans can't touch him. Washington wants us to completely forget about Christopher Dodd, the Senator from Connecticut.
However, we will not forget. Chris Dodd was co-chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the last election. Therefore, Senator Dodd is responsible for all of the sleaze, fraud, felonies, and campaign finance misdeeds that happened at the DNC last year. Dodd shouldn't be in the Senate, he should be in different type of federal facility.
Anyway, the administration is playing hardball. And so far they've easily won every inning. Anyone going against King Clinton gets the full force of the administration's investigatory agencies unleashed against them. And, as many have already learned, that can cause considerable problems.
These Congressional hearings will do little or nothing, except maybe raise public perception on the true amount of sleaze systemically infesting this administration. This is truly the most corrupt administration this country has had since Roosevelt. The only real fix, the only action Congress should take, is impeachment.
EPA's ACTION CAN HARM YOU
By: Don Harkin, The Idaho Observer
The fact that EPA's mandated replacement for Freon in our automobile air conditioning units causes liver damage in humans is "interesting but not relevant" says EPA. . . .
A report published in The Lancet Journal August 23, 1997, presented powerful and well-documented evidence to suggest that hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which have been used to replace banned CFCs [like Freon], are responsible for a world-wide epidemic of liver disease.
The EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program Refrigerants Analyst, Jeffrey Levy, commented, "The report in The Lancet was interesting but not especially relevant."
"In 1992, an international group of experts concluded that 'on repeated exposure HCFC 123 induces liver toxicity...," said the Lancet report entitled, "Epidemic of liver disease caused by hydrochlorofluorocarbons used as ozone-sparing substitutes of chlorofluorocarbons."
Research efforts for the report were headed by Dr. Perrin Hoet. The list of scientists and research facilities in the U.S., France and Belgium, which contributed to the report and participated in the five- year study, is a who's who of the world's leading medical minds and medical research departments from hospitals and laboratories throughout the world. The research team interpreted the study results by stating that: "Repeated exposure of human beings to HCFCs 123 and 124 can result in serious liver injury in a large proportion of the exposed population."
So convinced that increasing use of HCFCs as replacements for CFCs represents an imminent threat to the public, the authors of the study went on to comment, "In view of the potentially widespread use of these compounds, there is an urgent need to develop safer alternatives."
Hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerant producer OZ Technology (OZ), of Rathdrum, Idaho, a company that has been attempting to achieve "acceptable" CFC alternative status for its HC refrigerants through Levy's SNAP Program since 1992, forwarded The Lancet's website address to Levy so that he could review the study in the interest of public health and safety.
Levy's review of the study downplayed the grave concerns regarding public health and safety issued by the authors of the report by suggesting that improper use of HCFCs is the cause of liver disease. "...the company violated numerous safe handling practices, beginning with using plastic piping..," said Levy who was referring to one case of "hepatoxicity," or liver disease, that was described in the report.
The SNAP program refuses to list HC refrigerants such as OZ's HC-12a(r) as "acceptable" CFC alternatives because, according to Levy, OZ has not provided enough data to "demonstrate safety."
HCs are non-toxic, inexpensive, readily available, thermally efficient and organic refrigerants which produce no toxic byproducts throughout its production-to-end use cycle. HCs, however, are flammable refrigerants. Though the EPA is unable to provide one example of an HC refrigerant being at fault for accident or injury, it maintains that the "potential" threat to public safety makes HC refrigerants "unacceptable" CFC alternatives.
HCFCs, listed as "acceptable" CFC alternatives by the EPA SNAP Program, have been proven to be toxic and possibly carcinogenic to humans. The production of HCFCs generates tons of toxic wastes each year. The use of HCFCs is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years which will increase the likelihood of people being exposed to dangerous levels of HCFCs in occupational settings as well as the ambient living environment.
The report concludes by stressing the warning that safer CFC alternatives must be developed. "The marked hepatoxicity of HCFCs in human beings as well as their possible carcinogenicity raise concern about their widespread use as a replacement for CFCs. Safer alternatives should be developed urgently," the authors of the report concluded.
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Not said in the article above is that there is not now, nor ever has been, any problem with Freon. The only problem with Freon is that Dow Chemical's patent ran out. Thereafter, Freon suddenly became banned. It must also be stressed that these two things were coordinated to happen within months of each other.
Simultaneous with Dow's patent running out, and Freon being banned, Dow Chemical came out with a "new and improved" replacement for Freon. However, as you can see from the article above, it may be "new," but it is far from "improved." It is, nonetheless, patented and EPA approved. And, interestingly enough, Dow's substance is the only replacement for Freon that is currently EPA approved.
Clearly, there is quite a lot more to this story that we know about at the moment.
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