The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 4, Issue 43

Week of November 17, 1997

Is There Nothing Sacred?

By Paul M. Rodriguez

Burial plots in the national war cemeteries, including Arlington, allegedly have been 'bought' by fat-cat donors to Clinton's reelection committee and the DNC who aren't even veterans.

Pressure from political bigwigs at the White House and within the Democratic Party apparently helped gain coveted waivers from top brass at the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs for dozens of big-time political donors or friends of the Clintons -- civilians who wanted themselves or family members buried in America's most precious grounds, the national war cemeteries including Arlington National, Insight has learned. Such waivers for unqualified people wishing to be interred at U.S. national cemeteries were approved by Clinton officials, including Secretary of the Army Togo West, who now wants to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA. Arlington National Cemetery, the resting place of many of the nation's greatest military heroes, is controlled by the Army, while 114 other national cemeteries located in 38 states are operated by the National Cemetery System, or NCS, under the authority of the VA.

Burial in the national cemeteries is open to members of the armed forces and veterans discharged under honorable or higher conditions. Their spouses, unremarried widows or widowers, minor children and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children also are eligible for such burial. Also eligible are members of reserve components and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, public health service officers, World War II merchant marines and certain "others" designated by the secretaries of the Army, VA or Air Force.

An Insight investigation of "waivers" needed for an otherwise ineligible person to be buried at any of these cemeteries, especially Arlington National, reveals that even eligible individuals often have a difficult time being placed. For example, a U.S. Marine with three Bronze Stars including a "V" denoting combat action could not be buried at Arlington because of new rules requiring a minimum of a Silver Star or a Purple Heart. "It's very tough to get buried at Arlington, even for those who seemingly qualify or qualified without a doubt in earlier years," says an official at the cemetery. "We are overcrowded and therefore we are forced to select only the most decorated or the most service-qualified." But a review of confidential waiver lists held by Department of Defense, or DoD, sources suggests that far more than Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers and presidential kaffeeklatsches were exchanged for large donations to the Clinton-Gore campaign or DNC. In fact, Clinton & Co. may have "sold" not only burial plots for recently deceased but also future rights to those hallowed grounds without regard for the deceased's status as a veteran.

"The numbers right now are small [estimated to be about a dozen or 20], but what price can you place on such ground?" asks one of several senior military, legal and VA officials familiar with this brewing scandal. "Look at the roll call of the men and women who lay buried at these cemeteries. This does more than cheapen their sacrifice -- it cheapens the honor of what it means to be granted rights to such hallowed ground," says a high-level source speaking on condition of anonymity. "If nothing else, this is corruption of the worst kind and it ought to be prosecuted because it is against the law to sell 'public lands' in any fashion," says the same source. "It is an outrage if even one plot was 'waived' for political money."

A DoD source who works with the Army says the "sale" of burial plots came to light amid nervousness of senior Clinton administration officials about the ongoing fund-raising scandals. "They didn't want this information coming out," the official said. "There are not many [political waivers] with respect to Arlington [of the percentage of total requests], but there are a few and some of them clearly do not qualify."

Waiver requests, which the Army says number in the thousands and come from high-ranking officials in both political parties, are granted only after careful consideration of an individual's background and service to the country. Apparently the White House has cleared at least half a dozen and West about a dozen or so, according to documents held by Arlington National Cemetery officials. Lists at other national cemeteries suggest similar incidents, say sources. In some cases, West overruled cemetery administrators for what some believe were political considerations. Repeated calls to West and Army spokesmen able to discuss the issue were ignored.

"The requirements are very difficult, and most requests are denied," says an Arlington source. Beyond the fact that most veterans can't even qualify, the requirements for nonveterans is substantially higher, according to other cemetery sources. "You're talking about an elder statesman or somebody of tremendous personal stature -- for example, a senior ambassador or a speaker of the House or a first lady."

"It doesn't happen often that requests for waivers of completely unqualified people are granted," says one former political/military officer. "You'd have to be a real jerk to try and get somebody in who has no veteran status and doesn't fit the exceptions rule concerning status," this source says. When asked what criteria might be cited to explain why some or all of the waivers were requested and approved, one military source said: "Some gave money to Clinton" -- in a few cases, tens of thousands of dollars.

A well-placed DNC official confirms that military brass quietly have been making inquiries to determine whether recent burials -- or those approved for future burials -- may have received waivers as a result of political pressure by the White House or by West. Sources tell Insight that answers have angered career military personnel and, in turn, their politically appointed civilian superiors are in full panic. "We've had some people crawling around here lately asking us to put together our lists," a source at Arlington says, identifying the visitors initially as "low-levels" working for West -- then identifying them as "very senior DoD people" after press inquiries began. Attempts to reach Defense Secretary William Cohen and the White House were unsuccessful. All these offices and others, including offices of national cemetery directors, failed to honor repeated requests for official comments.

Insight's queries were prompted by military families who had heard rumors of alleged sales of burial plots. The Army Times reported in mid-June that West had granted an unusual number of waivers since 1993, whereupon the Army secretary denied his motives were political. Following further investigation by this magazine, a hush-hush review began at the highest levels of the Army. This led to "field orders" asking for the names of any reporter or news organization seeking access to the waiver lists. "I was to inform [Togo West's office] immediately if any of [the press] asked for a copy of these lists," says one of the cemetery officials who refused to comply with what they believe is a political coverup.

"It is a huge honor to be buried at one of our sites," says a national cemetery official -- especially to be buried at Arlington. "It is also a huge dishonor to bury anyone there who has not rightly earned it. It'd be a big scandal if the country were to learn that this hallowed ground was being sold for political contributions."

This source and Arlington National sources talked to Insight because, they say, they are outraged that the Clinton White House has applied pressure to gain waivers for fat-cat political donors. "This has been going on for years," one of the sources says. But while past administrations have done it, they granted waivers only to civilians who had served in the military and were pillars in private sector. This could not be confirmed immediately but is generally believed, military sources say. Under West and Clinton, the number of such waivers has quadrupled to approximately 60 to 75 in the last four to five years.

"It's a disgrace what's happened lately," says one of the military sources. "And now with all these [Clinton fund-raising] investigations going on, they're trying to keep it out of the press."

A review of some names on the waiver lists does, in fact, show that some individuals approved for burial at the national cemeteries -- including Arlington National -- gave large sums of money to the Clinton-Gore campaign and to the DNC. But based on an ongoing review of these lists, the number of political moneybags remains small compared with the full roster of names. "That doesn't make any difference," says an Army official familiar with the issue. "If there's even one person on there only because he gave Clinton money, that's one person too many. It's disgraceful."A disgruntled national cemetery official adds, "Congress ought to look into this." Another source says, "There are names that clearly don't belong.... These plots are sacred. They belong to the men and women who died or risked their lives bravely for their country. They don't belong to the politicians."

"If [former Rep. Dan] Rostenkowski can go to jail over the selling of a few office chairs, then somebody over at the White House and Pentagon ought to be convicted for selling America's most sacred public property," says a high-ranking administration official briefed on the situation. Indeed.

Global Warming "Scientists"

From Washington Times article, False advertising

Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, says there is something odd about those 2,600 scientists that President Clinton cites as warning against global warming.

"Well, CSE Foundation went looking for their credentials, and what we found would be funny if the issue wasn't so serious. These so-called experts on global warming have some rather interesting backgrounds. One is a hotel administrator. Another is a gynecologist. There's also a shrink. Seven sociologists. A linguist. Two landscape architects. A philosopher. Even a guy with special knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine," Mr. Beckner said in a commentary on NET television.

"In fact, nearly 90 percent of the people signing that letter --which we're supposed to take as proof that global warming exists and we humans are to blame --nearly 90 percent don't have the training or experience to be considered experts on global warming."

Gore's Global Warming Fairy Tale

Editorial from the Investor's Business Daily

Now we know why Clinton administration officials say they have science on their side when they call global warming a threat to life as we know it. It doesn't take much, in their view, to qualify as an expert on the subject.

In July, Vice President Al Gore referred to ''more than 2,600 scientists'' who ''have signed a letter about global climatic disruption.'' Last month, Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner scolded CNN ''Crossfire'' host John Sununu by saying, ''I am surprised that you would reject the word of 2,500 international acclaimed scientists.''

But just who makes up this army of experts? That's what Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, a free-market think tank, wondered.

It turns out that Gore and Browner were referring to a cautionary letter by the environmental group Ozone Action, signed by 2,611 people with quite varied backgrounds.

The CSE Foundation did some research on those backgrounds and found a few experts on weather and climate - but not many. It also found lawyers, two landscape architects, a philosopher, a dermatologist and a diplomat.

In all, the foundation found that only 182, or 11%, of the signatories were in specialties that might have some bearing on the study of climate. And most of these were in geology, oceanography, geography and physics - fields that focus mainly on other subjects. Just a handful - 15 - clearly specialized in climate, weather or other atmospheric science.

What about the other 89%? These were all over the lot, from a pair of anatomists to 73 zoologists. They may be experts in the science of something, but not of weather or climate. They have no right to pose as authorities on the question of global warming and its causes.

And even if Ozone Action could get hundreds of real atmospheric scientists to sign one of its letters, that would still leave out most of these professions. The American Meteorological Society, for instance, has about 10,000 members. The CSE Foundation counts about 1,000 climatologists worldwide. Groups like Ozone Action are trying to stampede the nations of the world into a treaty that would roll back the Industrial Revolution. But their political agenda has a much thinner scientific facade than they would like you to think.

Termite "Toots" and Global Warming

The next time you are awakened from slumber by what you think are the structural yawns and groans of a settling house, think again: The sounds could be termite toots.

Not many days ago, Great Britain's Natural Environment Research Council announced that scientists, after 5 years of research, have determined that termite flatulence may make up as much as 20% of the methane produced annually on earth. Termites release an estimated 176 billion pounds of "greenhouse gas" per year. One must remember that 240 quadrillion termites are scrabbling about the planet--60 million for every man, woman and child--and that the billions of tiny, burrowing Isoptera float "air biscuits" every second of every day. "It doesn't surprise me," said a professor of entomology. "They cause more damage than all the fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes put together."

"I'm sure termite flatulence is something to be concerned about," he said. "I'm not sure how alarmed we should be."

Other scientists have castigated creatures for being hoist by their own petard. For decades, they have indicted cattle, sheep and other belching ruminants for their burped contributions to global warming. Paleontologists recently have suggested that dinosaurs contributed to their own demise by creating a noxious methane cloud of such mass that it melted part of the polar icecaps. Glacial ice may have squashed 30-ton brontosaurs like Roseanne dancing the flamenco on garden slugs.

As for termites: The purpose of the English study was to determine just how large a slice of the methane pie can be attributed to the pesky little creatures.

Farm livestock produce a hefty 100 million tons of methane a year; termites release nearly as much: 88 million tons. A more alarming prospect: The average size of termite colonies worldwide is much larger than thought. Moreover, now that the world uses more insecticides that have less residual killing power, the termite population could keep increasing.

My question has less to do with the greenhouse effect than with the historical role of termites in the presumably supernatural phenomenon of spontaneous self-incineration.

A farmer, say, strolls out to check his pole beans at dusk as his wife watches from the porch swing. Suddenly, he bursts into flames and disappears. His wife sells the story to Unsolved Mysteries and runs off with a parking-lot attendant named Hernando. But I digress.

My question: Could the farmer have been standing atop a termite colony when he flicked his Bic to light his pipe, unaware that he had been haloed with an aura of methane? Kaboom! All that the neighbors can find, when the smoke clears, is a piece of a shoelace and a scorched pair of suspenders. A mystery? Maybe not. A peril to the future of humanity?

Think about that when you pull the blanket to your chin tonight and hear a cryptic squeak that sounds like one flea giving another the Bronx cheer. It could be the beginning of the end.

The Daily Outrage!
Wednesday, November 12, 1997


Are you outraged by the fact that British nanny Louise Woodward has been freed by Judge Zobel after a jury convicted her of murder in the death of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen?

Since the DO is part of the progressive intellectual vanguard, we know that it doesn't make much difference whether Woodward really killed that baby or not. As Steven Pinker and Michael Tooley have explained to us, killing babies is really no big deal.

This DO is NOT about abortion -- one way or the other. (And please spare us your diatribes on abortion, regardless of your point of view.) Today's DO is about killing babies who have very much been born. Babies like Matthew Eappen.

On Sunday, November 2, the New York Times, America's newspaper of record, carried an article by Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at the august Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Pinker argues as follows: Killing a newborn infant should not be penalized as harshly as killing an older child. "To a biologist, birth is as arbitrary a milestone as any other," Pinker says. Pinker says babies aren't real people because they don't have "an ability to reflect upon (themselves) as a continuous locus of consciousness, to form and savor plans for the future, to dread death and to express the choice not to die. And there's the rub: Our immature neonates don't possess these traits any more than mice do."

According to Pinker, "Several moral philosophers have concluded that neonates (infants) are not persons, and thus neonaticide (killing an infant) should not be classified as murder."

Pinker favors a system where "A new mother will first coolly assess the infant and her [sic] situation" and then decide whether to keep the baby or kill it.

Pinker is not the only academic arguing for infanticide. Michael Tooley, a philosophy professor at the University of Colorado, makes the SAME argument. Tooley has argued that there should be "some period of time, such as a week after birth, as the interval during which infanticide will be permitted." Other "philosophers" have argued that parents should be able to kill their children "up to the time the (baby) learns how to use certain expressions."

Tooley believes that parents would like to kill infants "suffering from severe physical, emotional, or intellectual handicaps;" in other words, children that would be a burden to their parents or to society. However, Tooley does not indicate how you determine that a one-week-old suffers from "emotional or intellectual handicaps."

Furthermore, he believes that if moral objections to infanticide were removed "the happiness of society could be significantly and justifiably increased." Interesting argument. We imagine the same argument could be used to justify the killing of the mentally ill, the retarded, the severely handicapped, the clinically depressed, and street people. Do you find arguments in favor of infanticide outrageous? Think about this -- if you're an American taxpayer, you help subsidize such thinking. Both MIT and the University of Colorado, like most every other bastion of "higher education" in the United States, are subsidized with tax monies.

We're hoping that Louise Woodward's next position is as nanny to either Steven Pinker or Michael Tooley.

If you would like to submit an editorial, commentary, or news story from your perspective on something you have been keeping an eye on, please e-mail it to xxx and it will be evaluated for entrance. Thanks.

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