The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 4, Issue 12

Week of April 14, 1997

[I propose that we send the following story to each of our Representatives and Senators. -Ed.]

Public Monies and Private Supplications

By Davy Crockett

"Several years ago, I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could.

"In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them.

"The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

"The next summer, when it began to be a time to think about the election, I concluded that I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up.

"When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly. I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and ..'"

"'Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett, I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'

"This was a sockdolager ...I begged him to tell me what was the matter."

"'Well, Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have no capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest ...but an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth having, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.'"

"I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question."

"'No, Colonel, there's no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?'"

"Well, my friend, I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly no one will complain that a great and rich country should not give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women, particularly with a full and overflowing treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there you would have done just as I did."

"'It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of, it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is, the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give him anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20 million as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines nor stipulates the amount, you are at-liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper.'"

"'You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people, on the other. No, Colonel. Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this district as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about 240 members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably. And the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give.

"'The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that dopes not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'"

"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him: "'Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'"

"He laughingly replied: 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'"

"'If I don't," said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say, I will come back this way in a week or 10 days, and if you will get up a gathering of people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbeque and I will pay for it.'"

"'No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbeque, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbeque. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.'"

"Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say goodbye. I must know your name."

"'My name is Bunce.'" "Not Horatio Bunce?" "'Yes.'"

"Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend."

"It is one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely l should have had opposition, and been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before. Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before. I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him no, that is not the word - I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbeque, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted - at least, they all knew me. In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying: Fellow citizens - I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only. I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying: And now, fellow citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error. It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so."

Tyranny just over the hill in Hong Kong

On April 9, 1997 Mr. Tung Chee-hwa, the Peoples Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party's designate to be the new chief executive of Hong Kong after the takeover on July 1, announced his plan to revoke the part of Hong Kong's bill of rights involving the rights to protest, organize and associate.

This follows previous announcements: to abolish the elected legislature and replace it with appointed Beijing-controlled stooges; to remove the freedom of speech; and initial warnings, which were later withdrawn, to religious institutions not to hold certain gatherings after July 1 (In China, Christian church services are illegal and are replaced with "state" church services, one of which was attended by Newt Gingrinch on Easter Sunday).

The United States House of Representatives declared on March 11, 1997 by a vote of 416-1 these actions a violation of China's treaty obligations. The 1984 official agreement to give Hong Kong to China was approved of by the United States. Hong Kong Island had been ceded in perpetuity to England under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking.

The elected leaders of Hong Kong claim the that the U.S. government could stop the removal of their basic rights and freedom.

The President of the United States refuses to meet with the elected leaders of Hong Kong. Vice President Gore deliberately did not stop in Hong Kong on his trip to Asia at the wishes of China. Gore toasted Li Peng, known as "the butcher of Beijing" for his excellent work in murdering 2,000 peaceful demonstrators at Tiananmen Square, and met with American corporate campaign contributors while in China. Gore's turning his back on 6 million helpless people in Hong Kong, is perhaps the most despicable and loathsome act of cowardice in this century.

At the request of U.S. congressmen, Mr. Tung has requested comments from the public on the new proposal.

Any comments should be directed to:

Ms. Anna Yuen,
Senior Executive Officer (Committees)
Chief Executive Designate's Office
By Telephone : (852) 2878 3347
By Facsimile : (852) 2509 0577

(1) Mr. Tung's office is located in the Hong Kong branch of The Citi Bank of New York. The Citi Bank is one of the largest banks operating in New York, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and other locations.
(2) Mr. Tung also is involved in the shipping business.
(3) Senator Feinstein describes Tung as a good friend. The LA Times reported in the March 28, 1997 edition that Feinstein's husband, Dick Blum, has extensive investments in China and Hong Kong. His partner in Hong Kong is also an advisor to COSCO.

Why aren't the politicians responsible for Tuskegee syphilis experiments being prosecuted?

WASHINGTON, DC -- An apology isn't enough. The politicians and government employees responsible for the Tuskegee syphilis experiments should be prosecuted by a Nuremberg-style tribunal, the Libertarian Party demanded today.

"It's outrageous that President Clinton thinks he can pay off four decades of suffering with an apology and a check," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national chairman. "The politicians who authorized this experiment and the government employees who administered it should be hunted down, prosecuted, and punished for their crimes against humanity."

Clinton announced this week that he would issue a formal White House apology to the survivors of the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments -- 400 impoverished African Americans who were left untreated for 40 years as part of a secret government study.

When publicly exposed in 1972, the experiment was finally terminated, and the federal government paid $10 million to the survivors.

"Please note: This disgraceful experiment ended just 25 years ago," said Dasbach. "This means the cold-blooded scientists who medically tortured the Tuskegee victims may still be employed by the government. The bureaucrats who administered this experiment may still have their jobs. The politicians who voted to fund this barbarous project may still be in office -- and getting paychecks from taxpayers.

"Why is there no effort being made to track down and punish the guilty bureaucrats and politicians? Why is there no public outcry? Why does no one seem to care that for 50 years, the federal government has routinely treated its citizens like laboratory rats?" he asked.

The underlying problem, said Dasbach, is that the Tuskegee experiments aren't the exception -- they're the rule.

"For five decades, the federal government has waged a war against its own citizens -- a war in the form of gruesome, secret medical experiments," he said. "Americans have not only been left to silently suffer from syphilis, but have also been injected with Plutonium 239, blistered with mustard gas, dosed with LSD, and sprayed with bacteria. And the victims of these experiments were usually the most vulnerable members of society: Poor African Americans, hospital patients -- and even mentally disabled children.

"It's time for the American people to cry out for justice. It's time for the guilty politicians and bureaucrats to be punished for these war crimes."

Not convinced? Just look at the list of medical atrocities the government has admitted to, said Dasbach.

* In March, the Department of Energy paid $6.5 million to the families of 17 individuals who were injected with plutonium and uranium in secret government Cold War-era experiments.

* In November 1996, Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary paid $4.8 million to the families of another 12 victims of government radioactivity experiments.

* As many as 20,000 other lawsuits have been filed against the federal government for secret biochemical experiments conducted from the 1940s to the 1960s.

* As many as 500,000 Americans were endangered by secret defense- related tests between 1940 and 1974 -- including covert experiments with radioactive materials, mustard gas, LSD, and biological agents, according to a Congressional subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC on September 28, 1994.

"All these experiments not only violated the rights of the victims, they violated the spirit of America," said Dasbach. "It would be a crime if the politicians and bureaucrats responsible for these outrages aren't punished for what they've done."

The Libertarian Party

Germany Indicts CompuServe Official

Prosecutors in Bavaria, Germany announced on April 16 that they had indicted Felix Somm, the Managing Director of CompuServe operations in Germany and Central Europe, on February 26 for allegedly distributing illegal pornography and other materials.

Somm is charged with being an accessory to the dissemination of pornography because CompuServe provided access to Internet newsgroups that contained sexually explicit materials in 1995 and 1996. He is also being charged for CompuServe's distribution of computer games that are excessively violent and a game which contained swastikas and images of Adolf Hitler, which are banned in Germany.

This appears to be the first case in which an Internet service provider has been indicted for merely providing access to materials available on the Internet. The Bavarian prosecutors assert that CompuServe could have configured its system to block individual newsgroups.

In December 1995, CompuServe blocked worldwide access to 200 newsgroups after Bavarian authorities claimed that they contained child pornography. The online service later reinstated access to all but a few of the groups and offered a commercial filtering program for members to use.

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