"Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires." ~ Bertrand Russell
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.
AUGUST 11, 2003
OFFICE OF FEDERAL HOUSING ENTERPRISE OVERSIGHT ' SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS FOR STRATEGIC PLAN
This agency is seeking comments on a new five-year plan, and like all five-year plans in which the government socializes the economy, it ain't pretty.
This agency's job is to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure that they don't fail. This is absurd; no matter how much money these quasi-governmental entities lose, more money will continue to be thrown at them, because they're too politically powerful. Never expect a government agency to be fiscally responsible. Any show of oversight is a sham.
Want the housing market to be more reasonable? Get rid of the property and other taxes that drive up real estate prices!
OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE ' CONTINUATION OF EXPORT CONTROLS
Bush signed an executive order continuing export controls on certain advanced technologies that have been in effect since 1977. Cited as the explanation for this meddling is 'the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States ' caused by the lack of such controls.
The government consistently discovers various 'national emergencies' to justify its arbitrary and rapacious policies. Call it perpetual war for perpetual greed.
AUGUST 12, 2003 :
INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION (ITC) - ANTIDUMPING DUTIES PLACED ON VIETNAMESE FROZEN FISH FILLETS
After complaints from domestic catfish producers, the ITC determined that its original figures on the extent to which Vietnamese frozen fish fillet imports are sold at "less than fair value" were too low, and has now placed larger duties on these imports.
I'm sure that American consumers, seeking the best values for themselves and their families, would disagree with this definition of 'fair value.' After all, they don't get their meals purchased by lobbyists.
AUGUST 15, 2003 :
UNITED STATES MINT ' REQUEST FOR ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS
The U.S. Mint is seeking members for its Citizens' Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), which advises the Mint on the designs of the coins and medals it strikes. Especially desired are individuals who have 'an understanding of American culture, history and patriotism.'
Even as the government continues to churn out more and more of its fiat money, rendering it more worthless, it is designed to inculcate love of the government, so that people believe that the phrase 'legal tender' is honestly an indication of sound money.
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