The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 4, Issue 40

Week of October 27, 1997

Half of World's Small Arms in U.S.

9.53 a.m. EST (1453 GMT) October 27, 1997
By Andrea Shalal-Esa

WASHINGTON _ More than 500 million small arms _ military-style assault rifles, hand grenades and land mines _ are in circulation worldwide today, and fully half are in the United States, according to a new report. That means one weapon for every man, woman and child in America, Worldwatch Institute said in a report over the weekend entitled "Small Arms, Big Impact: The Next Challenge of Disarmament."

Senior Worldwatch researcher Michael Penner said violence fed by the uncontrolled spread of these weapons was further destabilizing societies already ravaged by war, poverty, and environmental degradation.

Police on the streets of Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city, last month were given U.S. Army surplus M-16 assault rifles to match the increasing firepower of criminals, often wielding Russian-made Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles. And more weapons are under way to U.S. shores daily.

President Clinton is expected to announce a presidential directive, possibly as early as this week, to halt imports of semi-automatic weapons modified to circumvent a 1994 law banning assault rifle imports. Some lawmakers want Clinton to go further and stop the import of other models already being sold here.

A White House spokesman, Eric Rubin, called the matter "something of concern we will be addressing," although he could not confirm any timetable for presidential action. The presidential directive is expected to suspend pending and future applications to import modified assault weapons, while examining the criteria used to allow imports of nonsporting weapons and adjust them if necessary. "We are expecting a decision within two to three days," said one source familiar with the gun control debate. The expected White House action on assault weapons comes after 30 U.S. senators wrote Clinton last month urging him to block the proposed import of thousands of reconfigured Uzi and Galil assault weapons from Israel.

Naomi Paiss of Handgun Control Inc. said the Israeli weapons were particularly attractive to youth gangs and other criminals because they can be fired from a hip-held position. "They don't belong on American streets," she said. The Worldwatch report said an increasing number of such weapons were winding up in the hands of criminals, civilians and paramilitary forces in the aftermath of the Cold War, and as civil wars were winding down worldwide.

New arms were being produced daily, but second-hand military equipment was also popular. Excess equipment from the United States, Russian and European armies was routinely given away or sold cheaply to other countries, the report noted. Renner estimates that some $3 billion of small arms and light weapons cross international borders each year, although he noted a lack of reliable data about the scope of the trade. He said the "line between legitimate and illicit transfers is often blurred," and weapons frequently were directed against soldiers or civilians of the selling countries. But the light weight and small size of the weapons made it difficult to get a handle on the burgeoning black market.

Echoing a United Nations report released last month, Renner called for tough measures to curb the proliferation of these weapons, including a detailed inventory and destruction of collected weapons after the end of civil wars. Industrialized nations should destroy surplus weapons instead of selling them, he said. The report also called for better customs controls and standardized export regulations, and adoption of an international code governing arms sales which restricted transfers to any countries which routinely violated their citizens' human rights and flouted democratic procedures. c Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved

Dumb Times Ahead With Fuzzy Math

By Richard Grenier, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/24/97

There were four birds in a nest and one flew away. How do you think the bird felt that flew away from the nest? This was a "math" question that a baffled parent in Pennsylvania discovered was asked of her child in a public school in Norwin, Pennsylvania, as reported by the Washington Times' Carol Innerst.

How does the bird feel indeed? Sad, perhaps? Lonely? Regretful? And how many birds were left that didn't fly away? You might think the school would be interested in a numerical answer here since the number of birds left in a nest can at least be quantified. But no, the test's values lie elsewhere. If we hadn't been told, we might wonder in what academic department such a question would be likely to be asked. Social Relations? Human Relations? But it was indeed mathematics, and you'd better get yourself ready because a brand-new academic discipline known as Whole Math, and by its detractors as fuzzy math, is sweeping the country.

As you might have heard the U.S. places way down in international student math tests -- number 21 out of 41 countries tested -- which is a disgrace given what we spend on education. But in the hands of a new generation of math teachers, with as much help as President Clinton can give them, we're headed straight for the bottom. For leaders of the National Association of Math Teachers are converts to Interactive Math -- but what outsiders whose children are lurching through it call fuzzy math, new new math, whole math, touchy-feely math, or even rainforest math, because of the focus on fashionable left-liberal subjects like the environment.

In the free discussion period in a fourth-grade class in fuzzy math, students are likely to engage in an enriching debate, not about math, of course, but about global warming, oil spills, overpopulation, or traffic congestion. Some versions incorporate art lessons, African-American math, and math as revealed in fairy tales. One mother reports that her eighth-grader needs a calculator to figure 10 percent of 470. And another mother, with her daughter one year short of college, was told by an outside examiner that the daughter had the math skills of a second-grader.

How in heaven's name did such a monstrosity as fuzzy math ever get started? But America, it must be recognized, is the land of fads. No country can match us when it comes to the exploitation of novelty. Mathematics, of course, is a comparatively staid discipline. And my personal view is that the prime mover behind this insane new reform is a blind urge to do something new -- "blind" because there's absolutely no evidence that fuzziness works as a learning technique. Any more than there's evidence that "self-esteem" works to propel students to a higher academic achievement (and look what a ride social engineers have gotten out of that one). But when your everyday elementary math teacher thinks of the spectacular advances made in the other "hard" sciences, she yearns to do something new and exciting.

What these New Age math teachers have brought to arithmetic isn't mathematical at all, naturally, or even really new, but a bag of threadbare ideas from the 1960s. First, the dominance of the teacher had to go as authoritarian. When the time comes for the class to learn long division, for example, we divide it up into little groups, leaving little clusters of pupils to their own devices to democratically invent long division. And if they don't succeed in inventing long division, the class moves on to something else anyway, with no long division. Because that's what life is like, isn't it? Fuzzy math also humanizes arithmetic and makes it "relevant," which helps the student understand that professional athletes and corporate CEOs make too much money, and that we should have a fairer distribution of wealth.

A central principle of fuzzy math is "cooperative" learning, with no one instructing ignorant students but other ignorant students, everyone equal. Individual grades have typically been replaced by "group" grades. And when it comes to Whole Language, teachers liberate students to invent their own spelling, freeing them from the despotism of the cultural power structure. This is the same Whole Language that drove students in California to dead last among the 50 states in reading aptitude until it was stopped last year by Gov. Pete Wilson. Fuzzy math cherishes the cult of the natural self, as the most profound conviction of fuzzy math people is that knowledge is only meaningful when we construct it ourselves.

According to former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lynne Cheney, the fuzzy math people, having now taken control of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics -- with a strong assist from the Clinton administration -- are working to "pull the wool over the entire country's eyes about the most ambitious mathematical assessment the nation has ever undertaken," the national test in mathematics to be administered annually to eighth graders starting in 1999. When the president first announced his plan for national testing in last January's State of the Union address, he seemed very much against fuzzy math, but he's reversed himself, now complying with the wishes of the National Council.

A recent survey shows that 86 percent of the American people think using calculators in the class room impedes the development of a child's mental math skills. But the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and apparently now Mr. Clinton, thinks calculators free the child's mind for conceptual thinking. A Long Island school district recently decided to screen future teachers with a multiple-choice reading comprehension test. Just 202 of the 758 applicants got a passing grade. So stick around. Real dumb times are coming.

Sussex County Delaware: Home Searches w/o Notice


SUSSEX COUNTY Code Supervisor will perform unannounced code inspections of "private" homes according to new "private" living standards that are a part of DELEWARE SUSSEX COUNTY CODE. [we are talking homes that people own, not renters, I am sure they have even fewer "privileges"] These in home searches under the new code can be performed without prior notice at any time night or day!

A meeting is taking place right now in the Sussex County council chamber due to the outrage at this orwellian new code.

Those not allowing county code inspectors into their "private" homes can be imprisoned for 30 days and fined $2500 first offense. Subsequent refusal to allow county code compliance inspections will result in home "owners" eviction and sale of home !

These county code "private" living standards include refrigerator temperature being too hot or cold, general cleanliness, bathroom odors and up to 36 pages of new standards that you can only obtain by driving to the Sussex County Delaware county seat and pay for it. i.e. they will not mail it to you.

More as I find out about it. Apparently Delaware is involved in a number of new International Government programs wherein socialist programs are permeating through local governments grass roots style. At this juncture this is all I have, please advise. Email Sussex County Delaware
Accounting - 855-7850, Administration - 855-7741
Board of Assessment, Bldg Permits - 855-7720
Building Code - 855-7860, Information - 855-7700
Community Development and Housing - 855-7777
Economic Development - 855-7770

Update from 'Roby' Ridge:

According to Tom Wayne, who just returned from there, Shirley Allen's water has been hooked back up and her electricity is back on, after authorities were informed that a civil rights suit will be filed in federal court.

He also informs me that they shot 9 canisters of pepper gas into her home, breaking the windows, and sent a dog in to find her. She shot the dog, chasing it off (the dog is OK).

Vice President's Unconventional Agenda Hits Home

Anti-Violence Guidelines Exemplify New Focus on Small, Family-Oriented Programs
By Ceci Connolly, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, October 28, 1997; Page A04, The Washington Post

It was another one of those small-potatoes events not many in Washington take notice of. But outside the Beltway, the public -- especially suburban women -- have been taking a lot of notice.

Vice President Gore yesterday unveiled new federal guidelines for dealing with domestic and workplace violence. The initiative, contained in a dry 135-page report, is not only near to the vice president's heart but also right on point with voters, Gore advisers said.

"Often what the federal government can do for families seems smaller than NATO or the Cold War," said Robert Squier, a longtime Gore political consultant. "But to families, if you can provide a cop on the beat in the neighborhood and drive down crime, that's a big deal to a family."

The guide helps federal agencies develop violence prevention programs using case studies, security tips and advice from experts such as psychologists. There are chapters on writing a prevention policy, spotting the warning signs, managing a crisis and helping victims to move on after an incident.

Like his boss in 1996, Gore is increasingly focusing his public events on seemingly small, non-traditional government proposals that fit into a larger family values rubric. Over the weekend, he celebrated "Net Day" by laying cable at an Iowa school. Last week, he announced a new digital TV commission that will focus on quality family programming. And this fall, Gore has served as the administration's most vocal anti-tobacco spokesman.

The new domestic violence handbook, filled with advice on how to spot victims of abuse and intervene, is a way for the government to set an example, Gore said.

"We're determined to expand awareness further and make sure the signals are quickly recognized," he said in a ceremony with victims' advocates, corporate leaders and a woman who had been abused by her husband for 15 years.

"Things like this are a symbol of the kind of government that President Clinton and Vice President Gore stand for," said pollster Mark Penn, who helped choreograph the last campaign. "They are representative of a government that's going to help families combat situations like domestic violence."

And they are the kinds of things that help separate Democrats from many conservative Republicans who espouse a less-government-is-best philosophy, he added.

Polling data show the unconventional agenda is helping Democrats woo baby boomers who find themselves overwhelmed by the demands of work and family. In the 1996 campaign, Clinton picked up 9 percent more of the women's vote than in 1992, while Democrats overall have seen their support among women climb from 34 percent in the 1970s to 53 percent last year, Penn said.

Gore's involvement in family matters goes back to his days in the Senate when he began hosting an annual round table in Nashville dubbed the Family Reunion, said Elaine C. Kamarck, his former senior policy adviser.

"He's got a genuine track record in this whole area," she said, pointing to his previous efforts on drug prevention, the television V-chip and the importance of fatherhood. "It has not missed the attention of women."

Publications such as Parenting magazine and Self magazine have trumpeted the administration's efforts.

"It's not something that makes the White House press corps sit up, but it makes people out in America who are concerned about these things every day notice," said Kamarck.

An ABC News-Washington Post poll earlier this month found the vice president is more popular with female voters. His favorability rating among women was 48 percent, compared with 42 percent among men.

Linda DiVall, a Republican pollster, said overall support for the Clinton-Gore team has been falling steadily as the campaign finance controversy unfolds. She expects that will continue to chip away at his popularity, especially with women.

"Gore's mask of integrity has been cracked by this issue," she said. "Women are usually harsher judges of character on playing by the rules."

But Irene Natividad, head of the Women's Vote Project, said that by raising the profile on women's issues Gore is helping to ensure more women vote in the future. "I suspect there will be many more of these such events in the future," she said. "And that's what he needs to do."

Staff writer Terry M. Neal contributed to this report.

America's Schools

They've Got To Be Carefully Taught
SUSAN BRADY KONIG (Mrs. Konig has been an editor of Seventeen, staff writer for the Washington Post, and contributor to Travel & Leisure, Ladies' Home Journal, and Us.)

AT MY daughter's pre-school it's time for all the children to learn that they are different from one another. Even though these kids are at that remarkable age when they are thoroughly color-blind, their teachers are spending a month emphasizing race, color, and background. The little tots are being taught in no uncertain terms that their hair is different, their skin is different, and their parents come from different places. It's Cultural Diversity Month.

I hadn't really given much thought to the ethnic and national backgrounds of Sarah's classmates. I can guarantee that Sarah, being two and a half, gave the subject absolutely no thought. Her teachers, however, had apparently given it quite a lot of thought. They sent a letter asking each parent to contribute to the cultural-awareness effort by ``providing any information and/or material regarding your family's cultural background. For example: favorite recipe or song.'' All well and good, unless your culture isn't diverse enough.

The next day I take Sarah to school and her teacher, Miss Laura, anxious to get this Cultural Diversity show on the road, begins the interrogation.

``Where are you and your husband from?'' she cheerily demands.

``We're Americans,'' I reply -- less, I must confess, out of patriotism than from sheer lack of coffee. It was barely 9:00 A.M.

``Yes, of course, but where are you from? '' I'm beginning to feel like a nightclub patron being badgered by a no-talent stand-up comic.

``We're native New Yorkers.''

``But where are your people from?''

``Well,'' I dive in with a sigh, ``my family is originally Irish on both sides. My husband's father was from Czechoslovakia and his mother is from the Bronx, but her grandparents were from the Ukraine.''

``Can you cook Irish?''

``I could bring in potatoes and beer for the whole class.''

Miss Laura doesn't get it. ``Look,'' I say, ``we're Americans. Our kids are Americans. We tell them about American history and George Washington and apple pie and all that stuff. If you want me to do something American, I can do that.''

She is decidedly unexcited.

A few days later, she tells me that she was trying to explain to Sarah that her dad is from Ireland.

``Wrong,'' I say, ``but go on.''

``He's not from Ireland?''

No, I sigh. He's from Queens. I'm from Ireland. I mean I'm Irish -- that is, my great-grandparents were. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of my heritage -- but that's entirely beside the point. I told you we tell Sarah she's American.

``Well, anyway,'' she smiles, ``Sarah thinks her Daddy's from Iceland! Isn't that cute?''

Later in the month, Miss Laura admits that her class is not quite getting the whole skin-color thing. ``I tried to show them how we all have different skin,'' she chuckled. Apparently, little Henry is the only one who successfully grasped the concept. He now runs around the classroom announcing to anyone who'll listen, ``I'm white!'' Miss Laura asked the children what color her own skin was. (She is a light-skinned Hispanic, which would make her skin color . . . what? Caramel? Mochaccino?). The kids opted for purple or orange. ``They looked at me like I was crazy!'' Miss Laura said. I just smile.

The culmination of Cultural Diversity Month, the day when the parents come into class and join their children in a glorious celebration of multicultural disparity, has arrived. As I arrive I see a large collage on the wall depicting the earth, with all the children's names placed next to the country they are from. Next to my daughter's name it says ``Ireland.'' I politely remind Miss Laura that Sarah is, in fact, from America and suggest that, by insisting otherwise, she is confusing my daughter. She reluctantly changes Sarah's affiliation to USA. It will be the only one of its kind on the wall.

The mom from Brazil brings in a bunch of great music, and the whole class is doing the samba and running around in a conga line. It's very cute. Then I get up to teach the children an indigenous folk tune from the culture of Sarah's people, passed down through the generations from her grandparents to her parents and now to Sarah -- a song called ``Take Me Out to the Ballgame.'' First I explain to the kids that Sarah was born right here in New York -- and that's in what country, Sarah? Sarah looks at me and says, ``France.'' I look at Miss Laura, who just shrugs.

I stand there in my baseball cap and sing my song. The teacher tries to rush me off. I say, ``Don't you want them to learn it?'' They took long enough learning to samba! I am granted permission to sing it one more time. The kids join in on the ``root, root, root'' and the ``1, 2, 3 strikes you're out,'' but they can see their teacher isn't enthusiastic.

So now these sweet, innocent babies who thought they were all the same are becoming culturally aware. Two little girls are touching each other's hair and saying, ``Your hair is blonde, just like mine.'' Off to one side a little dark-haired girl stands alone, excluded. She looks confused as to what to do next. She knows she's not blonde. Sure, all children notice these things eventually, but, thanks to the concerted efforts of their teachers, these two- and three-year-olds are talking about things that separate rather than connect.

And Sarah only knows what she has been taught: Little Henry is white, her daddy's from Iceland, and New York's in France.

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