M., a Georgia state representative, writes:
"Vin -- Got your piece about drivers license security and the '94 federal Privacy Act. Here in Georgia they now fingerprint for drivers licenses. Any thoughts on the constitutionality on a federal level for this? 1st Amendment -- religious, 4th -- secure in their persons, 5th -- self-incrimination, etc.? Help is needed in Georgia."
I replied: Hi, M. -- There is a basic principle of negotiation that is understood almost everywhere, apparently, but among the political opponents of statism. If management offers a 1 percent raise, and a union negotiator hopes to end up at 4 percent, the union's initial demand will be not 4 percent, but ....7 or 8 percent. Duh.
Yet those of us who oppose creeping fascism in the form on "fingerprints for drivers licenses," "deadbeat dad employment registries," or whatever, offer as our first proposal "Let's revoke the fingerprint stuff and put it back just the way it was." Then, we're surprised when the resulting "compromise" ends up "waiving the fingerprint requirement for retired police officers and military personnel, only." Duh.
The proper approach is to say, "See, we always warned you this 'drivers license' stuff had precious little do to with certifying that people know how to drive, and EVERYTHING to do with creating a police numbering and inventory system ... stuff right out of the police-state textbooks of Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler.
"Therefore, our proposal today is to make Georgia the first state in the nation to repeal its drivers license law. We will issue them no more, nor shall our police retain any authority to ask for them.
"By law, beginning on July 1, 1998, the presumption shall be that anyone driving on our highways has a right to freely travel where he pleases, without being required to present on demand any form of 'internal passport.' And just as Vermont allows out-of-state residents to carry concealed firearms without a 'permit,' so our police will no longer ask out-of-state drivers to present their 'licenses,' either ... in the hopes this enlightened step toward freedom will be copied elsewhere.
"The statutes against reckless driving, driving in such a way as to kill or endanger life, and fleeing the scene of an injury accident or violent felony, shall remain in effect. Suspects apprehended on those charges will be immediately taken into custody , until their identity can be ascertained down at the station. All the other routine 'traffic offenses' (which really only serve as excuses to pull over minority youths in hopes of catching them with a gun or a reefer -- in violation of the Fourth Amendment) are also hereby repealed. If insurance companies want drivers who they insure to carry 'photo IDs,' they are free to issue them, but no state requirement will apply.
" 'Traffic tickets'? Good riddance. Suddenly, our available police for staking out and pursuing real, violent felons will effectively double overnight. Suddenly, we'll have enough 'extra' judges and courtrooms to put real, violent felons on trial the same week they're apprehended. Suddenly, drivers seeing a police cruiser in the rear-view mirror will actually be glad the officer is there to watch out for violent predators, giving him or her a smile and wave, instead of feeling that stomach-churning moment of panic as they worry whether the taillight has a minor crack, whether they've been caught inadvertently driving 11 miles above the arbitrarily-set 'speed limit' (most of which are purposely set more than 10 mph below median recorded speeds), etc.
"After all, the NINTH Amendment says 'The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.'
"Was George Washington, in his entire lifetime, ever waved over to the side of the road and ordered by an officer of the law to present evidence that he had a 'license' to ride a horse of operate a carriage? Was he ever fined for failing to display on his horse some kind of metallic plate with a 'registration number'? Did this ever happen ANYONE before 1910?
"Clearly, for more than 120 years, the citizens retained an 'unenumerated right' to travel the public roads without paying any kind of fee, or acquiring any 'license' or 'registration plate.' Nowhere in Article I Section 8 is the Congress granted any power to limit, restrict, or regulate this pre-existing right. And, as we all found out during the Civil Rights movement, no individual state can 'abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.'
"Now, shall we move right along to getting rid of these 'registration plates,' which represent nothing but a hidden, unauthorized property tax on automobile ownership, anyway? ..."
Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The column is syndicated in the United States and Canada via Mountain Media
Syndications, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas Nev. 89127.
All Washington scandals are the same. So are the quotes. Simply attach the name of whoever is in trouble to the following standard issue boasts, explanations, evasions and laments:
We will be the most ethical administration in history.
Every new administration has these problems.
Some members of the other party refuse to accept the mandate of the American people.
These accusations are mean-spirited, partisan and politically motivated.
We're proud of the money we raised.
Our internal investigation shows the charges are completely groundless.
A congressional investigation is unneeded.
Congress should spend its time on our initiatives to bring quality education, health care and TV programming to America's children.
We haven't done anything illegal.
We haven't done anything that a controlling legal authority has found to be illegal.
We haven't done anything any other administration hasn't done.
The other party does the same thing, only it does it better and does more of it.
Everybody does it.
This isn't Watergate.
A few overzealous young aides may have inadvertently overstepped the bounds.
I have demanded and received the resignations of those who have betrayed not only my trust but also the trust of the American people.
We pledge to be the most ethical administration in American history.
Mistakes were made.
Nixon was worse.
It's time we put this whole unfortunate business behind us and get on with building a secure future for America's children.
FBI files? What FBI files?
It was a routine request for information. We did not seek to influence the investigation or its outcome.
We welcome the appointment of a special prosecutor and are confident that once the investigation is complete we will be completely exonerated.
This is a fishing expedition.
This is a witch hunt.
These charges are misdemeanors, no more serious than a traffic ticket.
An indictment is not the same as a conviction.
It is with deep regret...
Dale McFeatters is a Washington columnist for Scripps Howard news Service.
In a cautious first foray into gun control, a UN experts' panel recommends that the world organization help destroy leftover guns once conflicts have ended, and convene a global conference to fight small-arms trafficking worldwide.
The report, not yet published, also calls for high-tech "marking" to make guns more traceable.
"This report recommends practical measures to reduce and prevent future accumulations," UN Secretary-General Kofl Annan says in a foreword urging endorsement by the General Assembly, which opened its 1997-98 session Tuesday.
To some panel members, the recommendations are too limited.
"The producers of small arms are mainly the Western countries and there is this fear about reducing that industry. That's one reason we couldn't go deeply into the problem of illicit trafficking," said panelist Prasad Kariyawasam, a diplomat from Sri Lanka, where an ethnic insurgency has thrived on weapons smuggled in from abroad.
"I would have wished much more practical measures," he said.
The National Rifle Association on the other hand, believes the UN has gone too far.
The report "starts the UN on a path I'm not sure it really wants to go down," said Tom Mason, a representative of the US anti-gun-control lobby.
The government of Japan, whose criminal gangs rely on the United States, supported the study with a $200,000 grant.
Among other things, the report recommends that the United Nations:
Support, possibly through its peacekeeping troops, the collection and destruction of small arms left over once conflicts are settled.
Consider organizing an international conference on the illicit trade in small arms, estimated to equal half of all small-arms trade. Study the feasibility of marking weapons from time of manufacture. Today's standard serial numbers are often erased by traffickers. Study the possibility of restricting production and trade of small arms to manufacturers and dealers authorized by states, and of establishing a global database of licensees.
The NRA's Mason described the proposals as "Pollyannish gun control solutions that in the long run probably impact legitimate users of firearms."
But Washington's representative on the panel, Herbert Calhoun of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, said the recommendations would not affect law-abiding Americans.
"There's nothing in this report that threatens any US interests or law," he said.
In May, the Vienna-based UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice endorsed a resolution calling for the UN secretary-general to initiate development of a "UN Declaration of Principles on Firearms." In July, the 54-member UN Economic and Social Committee approved, without objection, a draft resolution recommending such policies as the licensing of all firearms businesses, creation of amnesty programs to encourage the surrender of illegal weapons, and a serial-number system to help track firearms. The resolution also invites Interpol to expand its information-sharing roll with member nations. The August 25th Washington Times quoted Jonathan Winer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and head of the US delegation to the UN crime commission, as saying, "Generally speaking, the US view is that it would be helpful to have international norms to deal with the import and export and transnational movement of firearms. To a very considerable extent, it is my understanding that [the recommendations] are consistent with US domestic law."
The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action has been closely monitoring the UN's gun control agenda. NRA spokesman Thomas Mason cautions that the pending resolution represents the first step down a road likely to lead, first, to a non-binding UN declaration that would serve primarily as a propaganda tool, but eventually to a binding international convention. Mason warns: "If the UN were to pass a universal declaration of firearms, that document could be used at every licensing debate in the United States. And if a convention were to be proposed and we think it will, all it would take is ratification by the Senate to become binding."
- Did you know that automobile accidents and homicides claim over 28,000 lives per year? In two years this casualty total exceeds that of the ENTIRE Vietnam War.
- Did you know that there is NO state-mandated waiting period to purchase an automobile? And that you may purchase AS MANY automobiles as you wish in any month?
- Did you know that importation of 'assault' sports-cars, IS STILL LEGAL IN THIS COUNTRY? These assault-cars usually have engine capacity in excess of 6 cylinders and are capable of speeds of 120 MPH (or more) and serve no useful driving purpose.
- Did you know that there are NO restrictions on owning FULLY AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS?! These transmissions are the preferred gear-shifting method of criminals and gangsters everywhere!
- Did you know that there is NO criminal background check before purchasing a car? That you can go into any sleazy car dealers and purchase a snub-nose 'Saturday Night Special' Sub-Compact Economy car on nothing more than a signature, if you have the money?
THE BLOODSHED MUST STOP! WE MUST *TAKE* *BACK* OUR STREETS!
No more, will we sit idly by as our young people crash into one another and kill one another with depraved indifference to human life. Not one more innocent bystander shall be mowed-down by an out-of-control driver who 'snaps'!
Now, there is a group dedicated to controlling and eventually Banning the automobile:
AUTOMOBILE CONTROL INC
Our goals are straightforward:
1) A national 7-day waiting period before a car may be delivered, after purchase
2) Total bans on all 'assault' sport cars.
3) Total bans on all snubnose 'Saturday Night Special' Sub-Compact cars.
4) Eventually, a total ban on all automobiles.
Let me introduce our spokesperson, Sarah Brainless.
Sarah: "You may know my husband, Jim Brainless. During the Attempted assassination of The President, Jim was hit in head by an out-of-control car...and..(sniff)...well, he's (sniff) never been the same since... (sniff, sniff, HONNNKK). So I dedicated the rest of my life to banning this evil object, the automobile. I know that there are a bunch of groups who will fight back against my efforts, such as the AAA. These whackos would like to see a car in every garage! ...and those Merchants of Death themselves, the Big Three carmakers...
"As you know, the AAA claims that there is a constitutional right to travel. Well, I dispute that - If you read the whole amendment like WE do, it is clear that the founding fathers only intended that STATES may be allowed to travel...it is NOT to be construed as an individual right to travel!"
If you join Automobile Control Inc, we will send you the following:
- A really neat pin that shows a car with a red line through it.
- A fact sheet that dispels the myths of those who would argue for the owning cars.
- A subscription to One Cylinder Short, the magazine that reflects the goals of ACI.
- A really cool bumper sticker that says: "This car should be banned."
Call: 1-800-BAN-CARS. Have a credit card ready.
While the UN works to disarm civilian populations, the US military recently scrutinized publicly for the first time an arsenal of exotic Russian weaponry that is up for sale. Demonstrations at a police shooting range and a Navy base in Panama City Beach, Florida included guns that can be fired under water and low-noise ammunition that precludes the need for a silencer.
A demonstration in a pool at the Navy base featured, as reported by the Associated Press on August 27th, "an SPP-1 pistol firing a 4.5 mm bullet, even smaller than the common American .22 caliber, and a Special Underwater Assault Rifle firing a 5.66 mm. round, slightly larger than a .22-caliber round."
Marine Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Verzer was quoted by AP as saying that it was "an opportunity of a lifetime" to fire high-tech weapons produced by a former Cold War foe. "I never thought I would ever see a Russian team specifically demonstrate Russian weapons with the intent of potentially marketing them to the US," he said. "It's a new world order and both countries are cautiously going forward."
"What kind of society would there be if people decided which laws they'd obey or disobey?"
"That might be a problem, but let's look at it. During several visits to South Africa, during its apartheid era, one of my many remarkable discoveries was the widespread disobedience and contravention of its apartheid laws. Whites rented to blacks in open violation of the Groups Areas Act. Whites hired blacks in defiance of job-reservation laws that set aside certain jobs for whites. Would you have insisted that whites obey apartheid law?
"In Nazi Germany, it was illegal to conceal Jews or assist them in escape. Some Germans violated the law. Would you have prosecuted them? In our country, the Fugitive Slave Act (1850) forbade and set penalties for anyone aiding, abetting or concealing a runaway slave, or interfering with his capture.
"Once again, how many Americans think that those assisting runaway slaves should have been prosecuted? For decent people, laws shouldn't be blindly obeyed. They should ask not whether the law has majority support, nor even whether it's constitutional (apartheid laws were part of South Africa's constitution). Instead, they should ask whether the law is moral.
"Morality can be a contentious issue, but there are some broad guides for deciding what laws and government actions have moral sanction. Lysander S. Spooner, one of America's great 19th century thinkers, put it this way: No person or group of persons can "authorize government to destroy or take away from men their natural rights; for natural rights are inalienable, and can no more be surrendered to government -- which is but an association of individuals -- than to a single individual."
"French economist-philosopher Frederic Bastiat's test for an immoral government act is: "See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."
"By these criteria, most acts of Congress do not have moral sanction, which is not to say Congress doesn't possess the brute force to command obedience. Most of what's enacted by Congress consists of various ways of taking from one American to give to another. That's a criminal act -- theft -- if done by a private person.
"The moral principle undergirding our Declaration of Independence is natural law. The essence of natural law (those "unalienable rights") is that each person owns himself. Accepting that principle, what's moral and immoral is simplified. Murder, rape, theft, done privately or collectively, is immoral -- it violates self-ownership rights.
"By the same token, seemingly innocent acts, like government forcing people to protect themselves, is immoral. Take the minor examples of speed limits and seat-belt laws. Driving at inappropriate speeds places others at risk. Not wearing a seat belt places a driver at risk. We have rights to take risks with our own lives but not that of others. Therefore, speed laws have moral sanction, whereas seat-belt laws don't.
"Slowly but surely, liberty-minded Americans are increasingly faced with the dilemma of either obeying their moral consciences or obeying the law. It's a hard decision because doing what's moral and exercising one's natural rights can lead to fines, loss of property, imprisonment and possibly death at the hands of the agents of Congress.
"But most of my heroes are those men brave enough to risk all and opt for the more moral. We'll be celebrating some of these men on July 4. But unfortunately, Americans will give our Founders' values and sacrifices lip service, not commitment."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves! Thank you Mr. Williams!
"...Two Yale University researchers recently attacked the
food industry for providing food "...high in fat, high in
calories, delicious, widely available and low in cost."
We're not joking
--Kelly Brownell, director of Yale's Center For Eating and
Weight Disorders, actually said this. We can only assume
that Ms. Brownell would prefer that Americans eat a steady
diet of nasty tasting, expensive, and hard-to-find food."
OR, perhaps, instead of blindly parroting this misinformation, YOU could ask what Professor. Brownell would prefer. But be careful, most male professors in my experience don't take kindly to being called "Ms."
So if you asked, he probably would reply that he would prefer food "...low in fat, low in calories, delicious, widely available and low in cost." Have you got a problem with that?
Maybe you should take just a teensy bit more time to understand what you're spreading around.
But then you couldn't strut around and lambast people you don't understand in order to agrandize yourself.
>From Yale's web page, found in about 2 minutes:
Kelly D. Brownell
Ph.D., 1977, Rutgers University
The theme underlying my research, which deals primarily with eating and body weight regulation, is an interest in the intersection of behavior and health. One focus is the conflict between culture, which shapes the perception that our bodies and our health can be controlled, and the genetic, environmental, and other factors which limit actual personal control. We are studying the degree to which body weight and shape can be altered, and how this is influenced by factors such as genetic predisposition, body fat distribution, life stress, the modern diet, and psychological status.
We are currently investigating a number of issues related to eating disorders, obesity, and more generally, health psychology. Projects are underway on the effects of stress and depression on eating, the association of physical and sexual abuse to the etiology of eating disorders and obesity, the psychological consequences of obesity, cognitive predispositions to eating disorders, interpersonal and cognitive-behavioral treatments for eating disorders, disordered eating and body image problems in athletes, exercise and body weight regulation, and the effects of weight cycling on behavior, metabolism, and health.
In the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty take part in both clinical work and research pertaining to bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and obesity. The stimulating environment provides multiple opportunities for clinical training and for research on all aspects of eating problems, ranging from etiology through prevention.
Brownell, K. D., & Rodin, J. (1994). The dieting maelstrom: Is it possible and advisable to lose weight? American Psychologist 49, 781-791. Brownell, K. D., & Fairburn, C. G. (Eds.). (1995). Eating disorders and obesity: A comprehensive handbook. New York: Guilford.
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