The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 6, Issue 2

Week of January 18, 1999

Clinton's State of the Union speech reveals astonishing "wish list" of government growth

WASHINGTON, DC -- President Bill Clinton's State of the Union speech demonstrated that "good news may be the worst news for taxpayers," the Libertarian Party said today.

That's because a robust economy and a growing budget surplus have unleashed the president's big-government instincts -- leading him to advocate 29 new federal programs, 25 expanded federal programs, and more than $3.4 trillion in new federal spending, noted Steve Dasbach, the party's national director.

"The floodgates have opened. The State of the Union address was Bill Clinton's astonishing wish list of new government programs, expanded spending, and increased meddling in the lives of Americans," said Dasbach.

"Instead of using economic prosperity and peace as an opportunity to reduce the role of the federal government, President Clinton wants to use it to make the government bigger, costlier, and more intrusive."

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Clinton said the nation is "strong," the economic news is good, the federal government will generate budget surpluses for 25 years, and crime rates are falling.

To deal with this surge of good news and prosperity, Clinton proposed 54 new or expanded federal programs costing upwards of $3.4 trillion.

"Crime rates are falling, so Clinton proposed spending $1.3 billion on 50,000 more police officers. America is at peace, so Clinton proposed spending $110 billion more on the military. The stock market is booming, so Clinton proposed spending another $2.7 trillion to prop up the government's bankrupt pension program, Social Security. The welfare rolls have been cut in half, so Clinton proposed spending another $1 billion on welfare-to-work programs," noted Dasbach.

"Apparently, there is no news so good that it doesn't necessitate more federal spending, more federal programs, and more federal laws."

Clinton also proposed spending more money on summer schools, raising the minimum wage, expanding the Family & Medical Leave Act, doing more to prevent mental illness, spending more on computer research, expanding the Brady Bill to cover juveniles, mandating trigger locks for guns, spending more on his AmeriCorps "paid volunteer" project, funneling another $600 billion to prop up Medicare, filing a federal lawsuit against tobacco companies, spending billions to curb urban "sprawl," and passing a federal hate crime bill.

As the speech went on, the spending proposals continued to pile up: $7.5 billion more for child care subsidies; $1 billion to expand federal "wilderness" land; $84 million for increased civil rights spending; $2 billion to dismantle Russian nuclear weapons; $3 billion for early learning programs; $600 million for after-school programs; and $1 billion to help people without health insurance.

But it didn't stop there, said Dasbach.

"At that point, Clinton turned his attention overseas and promised to work to overthrow the governments of two foreign nations (Cuba and Iraq); to intervene in the affairs of another 11 foreign nations (Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Jordan, Korea, India, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine, and Nigeria); to raise labor standards around the world; to help the Caribbean rebuild after recent hurricanes; and to start a Radio Democracy for Africa. When it comes to meddling in people's lives, the whole world is Bill Clinton's stage."

The bottom line for Americans, said Dasbach: Clinton's speech contained profoundly bad news for liberty that no amount of economic prosperity can drown out.

"In this speech, Clinton acknowledged that he has no respect whatsoever for the traditional, Constitutional limits of the government -- and that come depression or prosperity, deficits or surpluses, war or peace, he will continue to work to make the federal government larger, more expensive, and more intertwined in our lives," he said.

"What we heard from Bill Clinton was not, in fact, a State of the Union speech, but a State of the Government speech. And under his administration, the state of the federal government is strong -- and getting stronger every day."

Checkpoints for seat belt compliance?

Federal government spends millions on new plan

The U.S. Department of Transportation is spending millions of dollars to help states and local police agencies establish random checkpoints on the nation's highways solely for the purpose of enforcing seat belt compliance.

DOT is calling the plan "High Visibility Enforcement," and, according to information posted on its Website, "High visibility enforcement means using stepped up enforcement, such as safety checkpoints or other enforcement strategies, in coordination with an earned or paid media campaign supporting the enforcement effort.

"When people in the community understand that law enforcement is serious about enforcing occupant protection laws -- and actually witness officers enforcing those laws -- they are more likely to buckle up and buckle up their children," DOT said.

The department has initiated a program called, "Buckle Up, America," which encourages local police agency use of checkpoints to gauge compliance with state seat belt laws. DOT literature repeatedly stresses the importance of such measures "to ensure the safety of children."

The provisions enabling funding for the "Buckle Up, America" program are contained within the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, signed into law by President Clinton June 9, 1998. A total of $2.7 billion was authorized for non-construction highway safety programs, $500 million of which was budgeted "for a new program of incentive grants to encourage states to increase seat belt use rates" through fiscal year 2003.

The DOT also encourages "Members of 'Buckle Up, America' [to] help law enforcement in their efforts to develop enforcement programs that are both effective and visible. It might mean assisting them with safety checkpoints, promoting enforcement activities, or donating merchandise or coupons that law enforcement officers could distribute to properly buckled occupants."

Liz Neblett, a public information officer with the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, said that members of the "Buckle Up, America" program consisted of local volunteers who help police administer the program.

Asked what volunteers actually do to "assist law enforcement personnel with safety checkpoints," Neblett said, "Volunteers make sure seat belts and child safety seats are properly installed in your car." She said police officers themselves were also able to provide such assistance, but "sometimes it's easier to get a volunteer" to do it.

Neblett also said that the "High Visibility Enforcement" aspect of the Transportation Equity Act was the primary aspect of enforcing seat belt laws, but could not explain what "other enforcement strategies" mentioned in NHTSA literature actually meant.

"I'll have to get back to you on that," she told WorldNetDaily. She did not.

Critics have questioned the legal validity of such random enforcement measures in the past. They say that without probable cause, agencies and police departments violate basic constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure when they stop motorists they otherwise would not suspect of being guilty of any crime.

Others are merely skeptical of the Clinton administration's ability to execute these kinds of laws.

"One can't trust the Clinton administration to administer any program in an efficient and/or non-corrupt manner," said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.

Clinton To Ban Private Gun Sales

by Robert K. Brown "No background check, no gun, no exceptions."

On 7 November our Commander in Chief, "Zipper Willie," gave a radio address concerning gun shows and private gun sales. If the Zipper's plan is implemented, as outlined in the radio address, it will be the most drastic change in gun ownership ever. His intention is to ban all gun sales without a background check.

If you are wondering why our headline states that Clinton intends to ban private gun sales when he only said: "No background check, no gun, no exceptions," the reason is simple. Every sale will involve a background check and the associated record keeping. The sale will not be private. This means no gifts of a gun to your children or grandchildren without government approval. No casual trades with a friend.

How will this be administered?

Will ordinary gun owners have to maintain the same records as a dealer?

Will our records be subject to audit by the BATF? If our records are not adequate what kind of penalties will we face? Will we have to call a number and do an instant check on our neighbor or grandchild?

Will this end gun sales between private individuals?

We believe that any regulations promulgated by this antigun administration will be intentionally onerous and fraught with penalties for simple oversights in record keeping. The obvious goal is to chill all such sales. Many people will choose not to make a sale to an individual because of the possible consequences.

How bad can it get? Don't think it will end here. The next step or even this first step may include a demand for a complete inventory of all your firearms. After all, how can the BATF be sure you haven't sold a gun without government approval if they don't know what you started with? If you believe that the records of transfers will be deleted after some limited period, then you believe that Bill Clinton never tells a lie.

As usual, his speech included outright lies, misrepresentations and obvious contradictions. Clinton said: "But at too many gun shows, a different, dangerous trend is emerging. Because the law permits some firearms to be sold without background checks, some of these gun shows have become illegal arms bazaars for criminals and gun traffickers looking to buy and sell guns on a cash-and-carry no-questions-asked basis." Since the law permits some sales without background checks the sales are not illegal!

He also said, "I believe this should be the law of the land: No background check, no gun, no exceptions. Therefore, I am directing Secretary Rubin and Attorney General Reno to report back to me in 60 days with a plan to close the loophole in the law and prohibit any gun sale without a background check. We didn't fight as we hard as we did to pass the Brady Law only to let a handful of unscrupulous gun dealers disrespect the law, undermine our progress, put the safety of our families at risk. With this action, we are one step closer to shutting them down." Since gun dealers are already required to make background checks at gun shows, this is another lie.

How will the ban be implemented? Clinton can issue an executive order. An executive order gives the president virtual dictatorial powers and is not subject to the usual checks and balances. Or, he can go to congress with proposed legislation. A Republican-controlled congress may resist such drastic legislation. We say "may." After all, Brady passed only because of Republican support.

Phone your congressmen now! 202-224-3121.

Write your congressman too: U.S. Senate, Washington D.C., 20510; or, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., 20515.

Medical Tests Without Consent

Albany - A New York Post article by reporter Gregg Birnbaum revealed a state Health Department draft report which endorses "conduct(ing) risky experiments on mentally ill and disabled adults - even if they're incapable of giving their consent"

The report acknowledges that such research presents an "ethical problem," but states that such experimentation would encourage discoveries that could be of "great benefits to others in the future."

Advocates for the disabled want such experiments to be outlawed in New York without the subjects specific consent prior to their incapacitation. Under the plan revealed by the report people could be enrolled in studies by a legal guardian, court, family member or close friend.

A Health Department Spokeswoman, Frances Tarlton, said that state officials are seeking input on the draft report and may make changes before any regulatory rules are put in place.

The Health Department also plans to develop additional rules to safeguard another vulnerable group often used in experiments - kids.

Airman Could Be Court-Martialed

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Air Force airman faces a possible court-martial for refusing an anthrax vaccine that some servicemen fear may be linked to Gulf War illnesses.

The Pentagon has ordered the shot for all 1.5 million active-duty service members and 1 million reservists. Airman 1st Class Jeff Bettendorf refused, and was told he could be court-martialed as early as Friday.

Military officials insist the vaccine is safe and necessary because rogue nations such as Iraq are suspected of storing anthrax in their arsenals.

Anthrax is an infectious disease that occurs naturally in livestock. Its dry spores can be stored in weapons and even microscopic amounts can be fatal.

But Bettendorf and other military personnel have complained about possible side effects of the vaccine, including headaches, nausea and dizziness. Critics also worry it could lead to cancer, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome and infertility.

More than a dozen Marines have refused the shot.

``I can tell you there are a lot of people who are afraid of getting this shot,'' Bettendorf said.

Some Gulf War troops blame experimental vaccines given during the 1991 conflict for illnesses they contracted.

Under military law, anyone convicted in a summary court-martial faces 30 days of confinement, a demotion in rank and forfeiture of two-thirds pay for one month. Conviction would not mean a dishonorable discharge from the military.

Defense Secretary William Cohen in 1997 ordered development of a program to inoculate troops against anthrax. All military forces are expected to be immunized by 2004 or 2005. An annual booster shot is needed.

Some members of the military have previously refused the shot and some have been discharged.

Travis spokesman Maj. Mike Halbig said if Bettendorf is punished, it will be because of a refusal to follow an order.

Centralize education?

Bill Clinton used to enjoy a reputation as a policy wonk, a person who puts political pragmatism and detail ahead of conviction and dogma. But with his State-of-the-Union education proposal, he plunges headlong into hardcore statist ideology. His idea comes down to this: let the federal government have more control over local schools and their services will improve.

Is there an honest man alive who actually believes that? After 50 years of progressively centralized educational control, is there a parent in the land who truly trusts the feds to control their child's teaching? If anything is axiomatic in American politics it is this: the more the feds run the schools, the worse they get.

For 50 years, children have been cruelly used as guinea pigs in educational experiments conducted by the courts, the Congress, and the executive branch. These planners have combined school districts, bused children out of their neighborhoods, imposed far-flung theories of reading and math, paid for a vast and expanding educational bureaucracy, and told parents to butt out until the experiments are over.

Well, they are over and the result has been disastrous. For vast numbers of parents in this country, educating their children isn't simply a matter of finding the right service to fill a need. Instead, it is a gargantuan struggle against bureaucracies and special interests. It means moving to the right school districts, fighting the teachers' unions, and worming your way through a system that seems designed to force everyone into mediocrity.

Such problems always arise in public institutions. The producer-consumer relationship isn't the same as it is in the rest of the economy, and public institutions too often squeeze both. But the crucial difference in the postwar period of education has not been the shift from private to public -- that occurred a century earlier -- but from local control to state and then federal control.

Right-thinking conservatives in the late 1970s began to understand this problem, and swore that if a Republican ever captured the White House, the Department of Education would be the first agency to go. Well, it didn't turn out that way, because some wrong-thinking conservatives believed they could do more good by exercising power than by dismantling it.

Here we sit nearly 20 years later with an educational system more controlled by the federal government than ever before. The means of control have been the usual two: coercion and bribery. The coercion has taken place via court-ordered demographic shufflings that keep children and families in constant turmoil. The bribery has come in the form of hundreds of billions in federal aid to education.

In threatening to cut off money to local and state school systems that don't obey Clinton's Department of Education, he is merely calling in the bribes. As Clinton knows, this kind of proposal is tough to argue against. Shouldn't taxpayers get their money's worth? And after all, even if the person who pays the piper doesn't call the tune initially, the piper eventually comes around to favor the tastes of those who pay his bills.

And what tune does the federal government favor? It's a very familiar one. It asserts that all children are equally educable, that diversity is always a strength, that children need socialization more than real skills, that educational professionals should have more rights over their subjects than parents, that all teachers should join the union, and that any attempt to chart an independent course must be crushed.

It's hard to believe, at this late date, that there needs to be any discussion about whether these nostrums can really be the basis of quality schools. In every state, we see popular movements working to undermine the influence of social engineers and to restore something of the old idea that education ought to be a local function, controlled by parents and teachers working together.

But when Clinton proposes more federal control, he is careful not to invoke all these tired liberal cliches. Instead he talks about standards, discipline and the basics. Cut away the speech writer's rhetoric, however, and what you have is old-fashioned leftist ideology working hand-in-glove with special-interest politics.

The special interest in this case are the teacher's unions, who know that if they are ever to exercise total control over America's schools, it is going to be by working at the federal, and not the state, level. This is also the basis for his wildly underfunded, mandate-imposing suggestion to hire an additional 100,000 teachers across the country. It's a sop to the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, two of the activist groups he can depend on for unswerving political support.

There's a lesson here for conservatives too. Those who have been seduced by the prospect of educational vouchers need to realize that it necessarily means government control over private schools. Voucher-taking schools will, in time, become exact copies of the public schools, and fully roped into the federal educational regime.

Clinton says he will cut off aid to school districts that don't obey him. Fine. Let principled Republicans take the first step, and gut federal educational spending. That's the first step to restoring some semblance of local control, which means a step away from decades of failure.

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