"The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty." ~ Justice William O. Douglas
Federal Register Watch
What freedoms have you lost this week?
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week.
Instructions for subscribing to the Federal Register can be found at the end of the column.
MARCH 17, 2003:
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION - $500,000 GRANT FOR HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND MONITORING IN SOUTH AFRICA
This notice by the Centers for Disease Control announces the intent to award $500,000 for the expansion of HIV/AIDS, STD, and tuberculosis laboratory activities in the Republic of South Africa.
A noble cause, no doubt. But the ends do not justify the means. And the means are half-a-million taxpayer dollars taken by force or threat of force.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT - FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION (FAR); SMALL DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS PROCUREMENT CREDITS
FAR requirements dictate the conditions upon which the federal government buys goods and services from the private sector. These conditions are not based upon which company has the best price or provides superior service. Instead, government procurements are largely dependent upon race and class designations.
This example refers to information collection requirements for the Small Business Procurement Credit Program that gives "small disadvantaged businesses" (minority-owned businesses, in government doublespeak) preferences for government contracts.
LAND MANAGEMENT BUREAU - MEETING OF THE WILD HORSE AND BURRO ADVISORY BOARD
That's right. The federal government has a Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Their purpose is to "manage and protect wild, free-roaming horses and on the Nation's public lands."
Is there anything that the federal busybodies don't want to control and regulate?
PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS - ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FOOD FOR EDUCATION AND CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
This program is authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, the super-subsidied bill that moved us closer to Soviet-style central planning of the nation's agricultural industry.
MARCH 18, 2003:
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY - TRANSURANIC RADIOACTIVE WASTE FOR DISPOSAL AT WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT
This announcement concerns the disposal of high-level radioactive waste produced by the federal government at the Savannah River Site during the production of nuclear weapons.
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE - CRITICAL HABITAT DESIGNATION FOR THE LARKSPUR
The FWS announces its designation of critical habitat for two species of larkspur, the yellow larkspur and the Baker's larkspur. The larkspur is a perennial herb in the buttercup family.
The critical habitat designation for these two plants totals approximately 4,353 acres in Marin and Sonoma counties, California.
According to the FWS, "critical habitat designation and Federal listing of species do not impose on a private landowner any additional costs if future land uses are not changed by the designation and listing."
This analysis assumes that no future development will occur in the designated critical habitat area due to existing county land use restrictions. Otherwise, private landowners will face the wrath of the environazis if land use restrictions are lifted and they dare do with their property as they please.
MARCH 19, 2003:
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE - RAISINS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA; REDUCTION IN PRODUCTION CAPS
This rule reduces the production cap for the 2003 diversion program for natural seedless raisins from 2.75 to 2.0 tons per acre. The cap is specified (mandated) under the Federal marketing order for California raisins.
Under the raisin diversion program (RDP), producers receive certificates from the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC) for curtailing their production to "reduce burdensome supplies."
The certificates represent diverted tonnage. Producers sell the certificates to handlers who, in turn, redeem the certificates with the RAC for raisins from the prior year's reserve pool.
Sounds like raisin producers are getting paid by the government for NON-PRODUCTION of raisins.
Only government could be this inefficient and get away with it.
INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE - GRANTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH INITIATIVE
$700,000 in taxpayer-funded competitive grants to be awarded to Tribal, Urban and non-profit Indian organizations for the support of American Indian/Alaskan Native health promotion, wellness, and recreation.
Any program that's "for the children" must be good for America.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION (ITA) - ANTIDUMPING DUTY ON CHINESE WAX CANDLES
The ITA imposed "antidumping duties" on Dongguan Fay Candle Co., and all other Chinese candle producers of 65.02% and 54.21%, respectively.
Why was this done? The ITA concluded that they were selling their goods in the U.S. market at "less than fair value." This means the importers were selling them at prices that were "too low," in the eyes of the federal manipulators.
The federal government is doing its incompetent best to guarantee that consumers cannot buy the best goods at the lowest prices.
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