The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 5, Issue 23

Week of July 6, 1998

Teaching our Children to Hate the Militia

The following was submitted by

I work in an academic library in southern Michigan where I process new books for cataloging. I have seen plenty of materials come into the library that have dealt with the subject matter of militia movements. However today a book came in that deeply alarmed me, especially because this book was written for children.

The book in question is _Camouflage_ by Gloria D. Miklowitz; published by

Harcourt Brace; copyright 1998. ISBN#0152014675. The synopsis printed in the book is as follows: While visiting his father for the summer, fourteen-year-old Kyle finds himself gradually becoming emeshed in a militia's plot to wage war on the federal government. It gets worse. The setting for this fictional work is an unnamed small town in Michigan. The local militia, headed by the main character's father is plotting to bomb the federal building in Lansing because one of the members owes the IRS back taxes for his farm. Earl Johnson, the owner of the farm won't pay because he believes that the government has no right to tax him. Kyle finds himself in the woods shooting guns and suffering through a military style hair cut which other children in town who are not part of the militia inform him that to his hair cut is the same as a member of a gang wearing certain colors.

Another teenage boy in the militia is Hiram Johnson, the son of Earl Johnson. His purpose in the book apparently is to spout one bigoted cliche after the other. Their is even a disclaimer in the book informing the reader that the character does this only so the author could convey Kyle's proper negative reaction to Hiram's statements.

The author acknowledges that she has never actually been to Michigan, and has used other people's descriptions to write her book. It supports all of the usual stereotypes that are associated with the mass public's understanding of the patriot movement. This is the first book that I have seen that was directed specifically at a juvenile audience. What's next? The pop-up book of hate crimes and the people who commit them?

ACLU Sues Small Missouri Town

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The harmless-looking little Christian fish symbol adorning Republic's city seal has brought hatred and harassment to the small southwestern Missouri town, a federal lawsuit claims.

A woman who wrote an editorial criticizing the fish lost her newspaper job and saw her family subjected to harassing phone calls and hate mail, the American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for Jean Webb and removal of the fish, a symbol of Christianity dating to Roman times, from the seal.

Mayor Doug Boatright was out of state on business Wednesday and other officials could not be reached for comment. City officials have said, however, that the symbol is intended only to show Republic's strong commitment to religion and not to endorse one religion over another.

But the ACLU said Ms. Webb, a practitioner of the pagan Wicca religion - similar to the ancient Druid faith - hid her beliefs after learning of the symbol and told her children to lie if they were ever asked about their religious background.

Adherents of Wicca believe in the sacredness of nature and practice witchcraft as part of their religious observances.

When she wrote an editorial for The Republic Monitor criticizing the symbol, the lawsuit said, local residents responded with hate mail and harassing phone calls and she eventually lost her job.

Monitor officials were not available to comment. A call placed to the newspaper after business hours Wednesday rang unanswered.

Ms. Webb was one of several people who complained to the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri about the symbol, said Dick Kurtenbach, the group's executive director. But she is the only one taking part in the lawsuit, he said. Others were afraid to do so, he said.

"Many people who initially spoke up against the seal do not want to be named publicly," he said. "Given what I've seen so far, I can't say I blame them. Jean Webb is a very brave woman."

In a statement released by the ACLU, Ms. Webb said she was reluctant to proceed with the lawsuit and was concerned about its financial and emotional cost to the small town 10 miles southwest of Springfield. But she said the constitutional issues must be resolved. "This has never been about one religion vs. another, but legal and constitutional versus illegal and unconstitutional," she said.

The battle over the symbol began in March, when the ACLU asked Republic to remove the fish from its four-cornered city seal. Symbols in the other corners show Republic's place on a Missouri map, an extended hand representing city hospitality and a silhouette of a family.

City officials refused and instead asked residents to raise $100,000 to fight any legal challenge the ACLU might bring.

About $12,500 has been raised so far, said Paula Howell who is helping lead the fund drive.

"I wasn't surprised," she said when told of the lawsuit. "That's what we've been planning for, that's what we've been working for."

China predicts closer ties with US military

WorldNet Daily

China says it is planning joint military exercises with the United States in an effort to reverse years of mistrust between the two countries.

A report in the official China Daily newspaper said there could also be exchanges of military officers at junior and senior levels, as well as possible small-scale joint exercises in areas such as sea rescue and anti-piracy.

Piracy is a growing problem for maritime security in the seas around China and South-East Asia.

The report said that the recent summit in Beijing between China and the US was significant for agreements on nuclear proliferation in South Asia as well as the limiting of chemical and biological weapons and landmines.

The two sides also agreed to stop targeting nuclear weapons at each other.

In recent months US defence strategists have invited a growing number of Chinese officers to visit and, in some cases, study in the US whilst Beijing has already said it will send observers to US naval and air exercises in the near future.

These latest signals from Beijing are seen as an attempt to diffuse the kind of tension which surfaced over the question of Taiwan in 1996.

Then, in a bid to calm growing tensions between Taiwan and the mainland, two US aircraft carriers were sent to the region.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a 'renegade province' and described American actions at the time as interference in China's internal affairs.

A BBC correspondent in Beijing says that although the military relationship between the two countries is increasingly close, with both sides talking in terms of a constructive partnership, China is suspicious of American strategic goals in the region and significant divisions remain.

Civil Liberties Strangely Defined

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked to intervene in an anti-discrimination case in Seattle. The ACLU is supporting the University of Washington Law School, which has discriminated against a white applicant, Kuturia Smith. This kind of affirmative action can turn civil liberties upside down.

Smith, through the Center for Individual Rights, is suing because she was denied admission to the law school despite very high grade point averages and LSAT scores. She was rejected for only one reason -- her color. The ACLU sees nothing wrong with that.

As I wrote in my May 9 column, I demonstrated during a lecture before the dean and many of the faculty of that law school that race was her only stigma. I pointed out that she had overcome poverty and worked at low-wage jobs throughout her education.

I asked them what would have happened if she had not revealed her race on her application. If, considering her first name, she had been taken for black, would she -- given her academic record and character -- been admitted? The dean said she would have been.

Yet the ACLU, in defending the law school in Smith's anti-discrimination suit, is saying that only the right color would determine who gets in for diversification purposes. Here is the oldest and most visible civil liberties organization telling this young woman that who she is beneath her skin and what she has accomplished do not matter.

In its court papers in this case, the law school notes that its admissions policy has been adjusted somewhat over time. One factor was "a highly publicized case in which the Law School denied -- but the Harvard Law School accepted -- the application of a white welfare mother with good but not outstanding academic qualifications."

"Our admissions committee concluded that the applicant was not a member of a racial or ethnic group subject to state-sanctioned discrimination and, therefore, she could not be considered as contributing significantly to the diversity of the class," the University of Washington Law School concluded.

I wonder how many other members of that class were welfare mothers. Surely that applicant could have contributed some diversity of experience and ideas, even if she was the wrong color.

Despite that embarrassing incident, the degree to which the law school continues to focus on "diversity" -- thereby shutting out Kuturia Smith, among others -- is indicated by the University of Washington's policy, followed by the law school, that "affirmative action will be taken to increase substantially the number of minority group members . . . in educational programs in which they have been traditionally underrepresented."

Having been rejected at the University of Washington Law School, Smith went to the less prestigious and more expensive law school at Seattle University. She took out student loans and kept on working at clerical jobs between semesters.

When she first came to the Seattle University Law School, she says, "People were staring at me. And students, some of them black, hung up derogatory signs all over the place with photocopies of newspaper stories about me and my lawsuit."

On graduating, Smith says she lost several jobs with Seattle law firms because she had had the temerity to file the lawsuit against exclusionary "diversity." She now is working for the National Association of Securities Dealers.

"I lost a lot of money because of what happened," she tells me. "But I was right to do this. If they don't think the scores are accurate predictors, then throw them out for everybody. Let's look at each individual."

I asked her if she felt differently about gender-based preferences for admission. "I feel the same about gender," she said. "It would be insulting to me to say I can't compete because my plumbing is different."

Thinking back, she finds it interesting that the black students who put up signs attacking her never spoke to her directly. "There was one black person whom I overheard speaking to a secretary. He was very angry at me. I recognized his voice. Yet he and I often had friendly conversations in the hallways. But he did not know my name then. Once he did connect my name to the person he actually knew, there was no anger. He even said, 'I support you.'

"I just want to be treated like everybody else," says Smith. But in these cases, the ACLU has lost sight of individuals. The ACLU has reinterpreted "equal protection of the laws" to exclude persons because of their color. This is Orwellian civil liberties.

Clinton to Bypass Congress in Blitz of Executive Orders

Policy: President will use strategy to move his domestic agenda past GOP resistance. He starts today with announcement of warning labels for unpasteurized juices.

WASHINGTON--Frustrated by a GOP-controlled Congress that lately has rebuffed him on almost every front, President Clinton plans a blitz of executive orders during the next few weeks, part of a White House strategy to make progress on Clinton's domestic agenda with or without congressional help.

His first unilateral strike will come today. According to a draft of Clinton's weekly radio address obtained by The Times, he plans to announce a new federal regulation requiring warning labels on containers of fruit and vegetable juices that have not been pasteurized. Congress has not fully funded Clinton's $101-million food safety initiative, which among other things would pay for inspectors to ensure that tainted foods from other countries do not reach American consumers.

After that initiative, Clinton will take executive actions later in the week that are intended to improve health care and cut juvenile crime, according to a senior White House official.

While not far-reaching, Clinton's proposals are intended to make gradual progress on largely popular social reforms until Republicans in Congress start to cooperate--or lose power after the November elections.

"He's ready to work with Congress if they will work with him. But if they choose partisanship, he will choose progress," said Rahm Emanuel, senior policy advisor to the president.

The power to issue executive orders originally was intended to give presidents rule-making authority over the executive branch. But many have used it instead for sweeping public policy decisions.

Fresh from what aides view as a triumphant trip to China, Clinton is reportedly eager to exercise his executive powers to the hilt.

"He always comes back from these trips with a big head of steam, and this trip has been especially remarkable," said Paul Begala, another senior advisor. "This president has a very strong sense of the powers of the presidency, and is willing to use all of them."

Mindful of the recent Supreme Court decision striking down the line-item veto authority Clinton won last term, the president also hopes his executive-order offensive will pressure Congress to enact his legislative priorities, Emanuel said. "I am doing what I can to protect our families from contaminated food," Clinton says in the draft of today's radio address. "But Congress must do its part."

The latest series of executive orders is illustrative of a president who has used his unilateral authority more robustly and frequently than most of his predecessors.

Just last month, after the Senate rejected sweeping anti-smoking legislation, Clinton announced a survey on what cigarette brands teenagers smoke--in hopes of shaming the tobacco companies into getting serious about cutting teen smoking.

On the same day, eager to make health care fixes that Congress has not, he announced new coverage under the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and charged federal agencies with signing up millions more poor children for Medicaid.

Some in Congress have argued that Clinton's use of executive authority has gone too far, and several outside critics agree. "Clinton is pushing the envelope," says David Schoenbrod, a professor at New York Law School who is an expert is the field. "He's consistently trying to take more power than Congress gives him."

With most of his executive orders, no matter how incremental, Clinton hopes to prod Congress to pass more ambitious versions. For instance, last year he extended broader family leave provisions for federal employees while pushing Congress to pass legislation to provide similar opportunities for all other workers.

Clinton forewarned the country about his zeal for exercising executive powers in his 1992 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, saying: "President Bush: If you won't use your power to help people, step aside, I will."

Of course, other presidents have used executive authority to meet their policy goals. Abraham Lincoln used it to declare the slaves free. Franklin D. Roosevelt used it to help set up the New Deal. Harry S. Truman used it to integrate the armed forces.

But Clinton has rewritten the manual on how to use executive powers with gusto, some professors and analysts argue. His formula includes pressing the limits of his regulatory authority, signing executive orders and using other unilateral means to obtain his policy priorities when Congress fails to embrace them.

Clearly, the growing antagonism between the president and Congress makes it likely that Clinton will continue to govern by fiat.

"It depends on the political environment whether presidents push their limits or not," said Marci Hamilton, professor of constitutional law at Cardozo Law School in New York. "Clinton has more incentive to do it because he's stuck with a Congress that is not politically aligned with him."

This is all the more true this year, since Congress feels empowered to ignore the president as a result of the legal crisis he faces because of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's investigation.

"This president has extraordinary lame-duck status," Hamilton added. "There is very little incentive for Congress to go along with him. A president who has a strong working relationship and looks powerful to Congress is less likely to push the limits."

But analysts charge that Congress continues to create the problem by ceding so much authority to the president. In one recent example, Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission to subsidize the wiring of schools, libraries and rural health care facilities for high-speed Internet access, but did not provide the money to do so. Now it blames the FCC for passing on costs to telephone companies, which are in turn passing on costs to consumers.

"The bottom line is the Congress gave the administration power to do this. But they'd like to have it both ways," said Jeremy Taylor. "They want to say: 'I voted for universal Internet service, but I did not vote for a tax hike to pay for it.' It's this lack of responsibility on the part of Congress that has transformed American politics."

None dare call it fascism

WorldNet Daily, By Joseph Farah

What if a U.S. administration announced it was violating the Constitution and no one cared? That seems to be what's happening today as President Clinton moves to amass what can only be described as "imperial powers" without as much as a whimper of protest heard in the land.

In May, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13083, a frontal assault on 10th Amendment-protected powers of the states and individuals. No one noticed, or cared.

Congress allowed it to become law by not lifting a finger. No governors or state legislatures protested. The media didn't even report on the federal power grab.

Having gotten away with the cold-blooded, broad daylight murder of one constitutional principle, President Clinton has decided to use his enormous, new-found dictatorial authority more frequently in the final two years of his term. He plans to issue more and more executive orders, beginning as early as today.

The first order of business will likely be an executive order promoting more federal control over the health-care needs of federal employees. During that ceremony, Clinton plans to urge Congress to enact his "Patients' Bill of Rights" legislation setting national standards for managed medical care.

As top White House aide Paul Begala arrogantly put it: "Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool."

Yeah, cool dude. Meet the hip, new face of fascism in America. Whatever it takes to rule, so be it. The Constitution be damned. We've got important public policy reforms to enact. If the Congress won't cooperate, then we'll make the Congress irrelevant -- go over their heads. Mussolini would be proud -- not to mention Jiang Zemin.

"He's ready to work with Congress if they work with him," Rahm Emanuel, senior policy adviser to the president, explained. "But if they choose partisanship, he will choose progress." Translation: Unless Congress gets on its knees a la Monica Lewinsky and gives the president everything he wants, he will resort to governing by decree.

Is Clinton within his rights as president to use the power of the executive order? There's no question other presidents have abused the practice.

But none more than Clinton.

Executive orders were originally intended to give presidents rule-making authority over the executive branch -- to allow him to preside as the chief executive officer of the White House and its vast number of employees and departments. Clinton has reinvented the executive order as a form of presidential law-making authority -- something in direct contradiction with the Constitution.

In fact, as recently as June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in its line-item veto case, that the president of the United States cannot initiate legislation. If followed to its natural conclusion, this ruling would invalidate all executive orders -- past and present.

The problem, of course, is that it takes some bold person in Congress, or even at the state government level, to challenge this grotesque usurpation and centralization of power. So far, they're all scurrying away from this issue like rats fleeing a burning Reichstag.

What's at stake here? Well, just consider the fact that one of Clinton's executive orders empowers him to declare a national emergency and set up the Federal Emergency Management Agency to direct federal, state and local governments. This provision replicates the executive powers laid down in the 1933 War Powers Act and would allow FEMA to control all communication facilities (including, presumably, WorldNetDaily), power supplies, food supplies, airports, transportation of any kind, seaports, waterways and highways. Congress would not even be able to debate the president's declaration for the first six months of totalitarian rule.

The president could implement this draconian plan under "any threat to national security, perceived or real." Do you trust Bill Clinton with that kind of authority? Apparently, the Republican-controlled Congress does. And so does the corporate media establishment. No one is speaking out against the prospect of American fascism -- not even the American Civil Liberties Union.

I would just like to remind my "progressive" friends that it was a similar arrangement under which Adolph Hitler suspended the German constitution by presidential decree.

Do you really think it can't happen here? Is it inconceivable that America could ever lose its freedom? If the only thing that prevents evil from triumphing is for good men to do nothing, it seems our nation is well on its way down the road to destruction.

Scoundrel or simpleton

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." - Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, 1791

"There should be strict adherence to constitutional principles." - President Bill Clinton's Executive Order on Federalism, 1998:

Bill Clinton swore to uphold and defend the Constitution. Yet in measuring his record by the supreme law of the land, only one of two conclusions can be drawn: He's a scoundrel or a simpleton.

The latter option can be dismissed. This president is no fool.

But he's deceived many with the rhetoric of liberty, distracting them from his pursuit of a despotic agenda. An example of the latter came in May, when he signed Executive Order 13083, a sham reaffirmation of federalism.

The 10th Amendment is the foundation of federalism, a system for foiling the tendency of central governments to amass authority at the expense of freedom. Yet a generation after the amendment's ratification, Thomas Jefferson perceived "rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of the rights reserved to the States, and the consolidation in itself of all powers foreign and domestic."

Thomas Jefferson wasn't speaking of William Jefferson Clinton. But the former's concern is far more warranted today.

Liberty under assault

Nearly 11 years ago, Ronald Reagan reasserted the ideals of federalism in Executive Order 12612. Less than two months ago, Mr. Clinton replaced Reagan's edict with his own. Judging by the second quotation atop this column, let alone much of the document's wording, one could fairly ask why the Democrat revisited the subject. To a great extent, Clinton echoes Reagan's directive and the founders' convictions.

However, buried inside 13083 are some rather stark differences.

In Section 3, the president essentially mocks his commitment to "constitutional principles" by specifying regulatory rationalizations for overriding the 10th Amendment, to wit:

"When decentralization increases the costs of government thus imposing additional burdens on the taxpayer."

Bill Clinton, champion of the taxpayer?

"When States would be reluctant to impose necessary regulations because of fears that regulated business activity will relocate to other States."

At the EPA, they're probably already calling this the "Make Pennsylvania an offer it can't refuse" clause.

"When placing regulatory authority at the State or local level would undermine regulatory goals because high costs or demands for specialized expertise will effectively place the regulatory matter beyond the resources of State authorities."

Translation: Just because central planning has failed everywhere else doesn't necessarily mean it won't work here.

"When the matter relates to Federally owned or managed property or natural resources, trust obligations, or international obligations."

Nothing unambiguous about that. Any trucker sitting atop 18 wheels could drive through that "international obligations" loophole with plenty of room to spare.

"Nowhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights is there any mention of such justification for federal regulatory activity," asserts Heritage Foundation scholar Adam Thierer. "President Clinton's version of federalism would make individuals more, not less subservient to the federal government."

But that's precisely what one should expect from this administration. In a well-researched 1997 review of the incumbent's record, the Cato Institute denounced Clinton for having "exhibited utter disdain for the 10th Amendment, for the doctrine of enumerated powers, and for state policies with which he personally disagrees. His repeated attempts to consolidate all power in the federal domain are indefensible."

The same could be said for congressional refusal to confront this noxious disregard for the Bill of Rights. Thierer's prescription: Congressional invalidation of Clinton's executive order through legislation that restricts the powers of regulatory agencies to within 10th Amendment boundaries.

It's a sound proposal, one we urge readers to commend to their representatives and senators for implementation.

GOP Tries to Kill National ID Cards

Responding to a crescendo of criticism over a federal law which mandates the creation of a national ID card by October 1, 1999, two US congressmen are planning on introducing a bill next week that will prevent the federal government from requiring such a document in the future.

Rep. Ron Paul [R-TX] and Rep. Bob Barr [R-Ga.] said they plan to introduce the Freedom and Privacy Restoration Act next week, when Congress returns for the remainder of the summer session.

In a strongly worded letter to Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, the congressmen listed several oppositions to the departments "proposed rule implementing Section 656[b] of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996," and demanded that Transportation withdraw it "immediately."

"This rule, if implemented, will require states to follow several specific procedures to reduce fraudulent duplication of state-issued identification cards," the letter said. Those procedures would "constitute an expensive mandate for states," which the congressmen estimated at more than $70 million for the first year, and about $50 million each year afterward.

The letter cited a US Supreme Court ruling, which forbade Congress and the federal government from using state governments to enact rules on their behalf.

According to a ruling in New York v. United States, if "a federal interest is sufficiently strong to cause Congress to legislate, it must do so directly; it may not conscript state governments as its agents."

But the biggest concern was in the area Barr and Paul called congressional intent.

"It was never the intent of Congress to mandate a nationally-standardized identification card," they said. "In fact, the law in question explicitly provides that it does not authorize the establishment of such a card."

Patrick Poole, Deputy Director for Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation [FCF], said the introduction of this bill could prove to be a winner for the GOP in the fall elections.

"The Republicans could win back the confidence and votes of a great deal of disenfranchised and discouraged conservatives by backing this bill," Poole said in a telephone interview. "Our position [at FCF] is that this is a winner for the GOP and the leadership should jump on it."

Lisa Dean, Director of Technology Policy for FCF added, "We are pleased that some members of Congress are as equally outraged as the American public to these draconian national ID regulations."

According to FCF, an odd coalition of ACLU and conservative League of American Families members joined forces to defeat a legislative effort that would have implemented the federal ID mandate in New Jersey recently.

"The AccessNJ card would have created a drivers license that met the federal standards and incorporated such intrusive private tracking features as medical records, ATM access codes and transportation information," said an FCF press release.

"People are just tired of being treated like criminals by the federal government," Dean said. "With the present congressional leaderships pathetic record of protecting citizens privacy from unwarranted government snooping, its time that grassroots America wake up and realize that it is only the mass outrage of voters that gets Congress attention."

Taiwan Fatally Compromised

Parris Chang, a member of Taiwan's legislature, says President Clinton's cave-in to China not only undercuts his country, but makes a military confrontation more likely.

Mr. Clinton, during his visit to China, changed U.S. policy to explicitly back Chinese demands that Taiwan eventually surrender its sovereignty.

"Mr. Clinton apparently thought he could temper his sellout remarks by insisting that Taiwan's 'reunification' should be accomplished peacefully. It doesn't take a rocket scientist from Loral to know that any such unification will come on China's terms -- and with Taiwan kicking and screaming all the way," Mr. Chang said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.

"While Mr. Clinton urged Taiwan and China to reopen dialogue and negotiate a peaceful settlement, any negotiations between Taiwan and the mainland now will be fatally compromised, because Taiwan can no longer negotiate from a position of strength as another claimant to Chinese sovereignty and as a de facto independent state with the backing of the U.S. Now the assumption will be that the U.S. will push Taiwan toward accepting mainland sovereignty.

"In fact, Mr. Clinton's concession to Beijing may make a military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait more likely. That's because the Chinese will interpret his remarks as a sign of weakness that they can exploit."

A Year 2000 fix?

Small company claims to have an answer, and customers, for Y2K bug

NEW YORK - Amid all the dire warnings about the impending doom associated with the Year 2000 problem, a little-known company in Waltham, Mass., is claiming to have a solution and some big-name customers for it.

Data Integrity Inc. says its product, called Millennium Solution, can drastically reduce the time necessary to prepare a database for the year 2000 -- a date change that has many computer programmers panicked.

Such heavyweight organizations as Citibank, NationsBank and the Interior Department are using the product, according to the company. The product was cleared for a U.S. patent in June, Data Integrity said.

And technology companies already are lining up at the door to take ownership of the technology.

Millennium Solution, developed by Data Integrity founder Allen Burgess, treats the Year 2000 dilemma as a math problem, whereas other products search for dates.

Because older computer systems, such as those used by banks or government institutions, use only the last two digits of the year, a system wouldn't know if 00 is 1900 instead of 2000. The two-digit method particularly becomes a problem when a computer attempts to figure out a person's age.

In the year 2000, older computer systems could calculate the age of a person born in 1902 as negative 2 instead of 98. Such errors would wreak havoc on personal finance and other important records.

Millennium Solution searches for the math in a software program, then instructs the program to add 50, then add 50 again.

Burgess said other Year 2000 bug fixes rely on requiring programmers to add the extra two digits to each occurrence of the year in a database.

"They use what's called the glossary approach, which requires finding where each instance occurs and replacing it with four digits," he explained. "That means there's human interaction and human intervention, and that means mistakes. The most accurate [solution] I've seen is only 95-percent accurate."

Data Integrity says Millennium Solution's method significantly reduces the time it takes to test a system because it makes fewer changes to a system's code than other products.

Along with its high-profile customers, Millennium Solution also has earned an endorsement from computer industry market research firm Aberdeen Group, which evaluated several Year 2000 tools last month.

Also, as one might have guessed, Burgess has been approached by a number of big-time technology companies looking to strike a deal to buy the Millennium Solution technology.

Burgess declined to name any of the companies, only pointing out that Data Integrity has been involved in several discussions but isn't close to making a deal.

Despite all the positive vibes surrounding Millennium Solution in the last few months, analysts and users of the system are hesitant to say a cure has been discovered.

"My initial reaction was that it's a neat solution, but whether or not it did the job was to be determined," said Tom Oleson, Year 2000 analyst at International Data Corp.

Bob Osmond, an independent consultant hired by Citibank to help solve its Year 2000 problems for its worldwide securities operations, said Millennium Solution's approach is strong but that it's only a piece of the puzzle.

"It helps give programmers an idea of what needs to get fixed and how to fix it," he said. "The strength of this is it frees the programmer from expanding the dates. It satisfies the calculation as if it were four digits."

For some operations, however, Osmond said programmers still need to make corrections manually.

And even with the big-name clients and ringing endorsements, most organizations haven't exactly been beating down Data Integrity's door to try its Year 2000 solution.

"I think the simplicity of [Millennium Solution] scares them," Osmond said. "That and they're not a huge company like IBM."

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 and it will be evaluated for entrance. Thanks.

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