"The most common characteristic of all police states is intimidation by surveillance. Citizens know they are being watched and overheard. Their mail is being examined. Their homes can be invaded." ~ Vance Packard
Federal Register Watch
Federal Register Watch
by Nick Ebinger
January 12 - 15, 2004
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.
MONDAY, JANUARY 12:
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) - FOR U.S. TAXPAYERS, IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL
FEMA has given notice that a natural disaster occurred in the Federated States of Micronesia - which, due to a nasty typhoon that recently hit the area, is probably an accurate description of what happened. (Click here for photos and maps of the typhoon.) The problem is that every time FEMA declares a natural disaster, taxpayers throughout the United States are forced to pay for cleanup and relief efforts. Nobody should have money involuntarily taken from them to subsidize people who live in areas prone to suffer from natural disasters.
Furthermore, what is the U.S. government still doing funding Micronesia? The history of U.S. occupation there is an excellent example of the state's behavior when it acquires territory. (It must be noted that the Germans and the Japanese were horrid colonial masters in Micronesia as well.) The United States seized the islands from the Japanese during World War II, and then proceeded to use the islands for nuclear weapons testing. (Another note: The government, well aware of where it gets its votes and, by extension, its legitimacy, tests its deadliest weapons on islands--such as Vieques and Bikini Atoll--where only poor, non-Western non-whites live.) The federal government proceeded to heavily subsidize these islands, resulting in their dependency on U.S. funds. To this day, despite being semi-independent (the U.S. controls its international relations and monopolizes military use of its territory), the Federated States of Micronesia survives only as a virtual welfare state, as the U.S. taxpayer money flooding into the country has developed an economy of dependence and reliance, as opposed to a proper economy based on free market yearnings for an honest living. This is the legacy of the state.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS (NARA) - NO HABLAN COMMON SENSE
A subsidiary of NARA, "[t]he National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States." Considering how all three branches of the federal government have either ignored or rewritten U.S. history, this is, on its face, a fairly unobjectionable goal, even if the state frequently tries to push an inaccurate version of history on the public.
Unfortunately, NARA has decided that the NHPRC has discriminated against people of various national origins because it too frequently publishes and preserves historical documents only in the English language.
The United States was, and continues to be, populated primarily by English speakers. U.S. taxpayers are stolen from enough as is; forcing them to pay for translators as well is absurd. However, in this politically correct age, those who suggest that the government operate only (or almost completely) in English as portrayed as racists.
Eh, what's this? If you were to move to a non-English-speaking country, wouldn't you consider it obnoxious to expect them to provide for you in English? If those in another country were gracious enough to accept me to live on their property, I would either learn their language or provide a translator. Whenever I travel abroad, I always make the effort to learn the basic phrases and words I'll need to get by, even if it involves exploring a new alphabet. It may be a crude effort on my part, and I'm certainly pleased to encounter an English-speaker, but I consider it a basic tenet of courtesy that I make the effort to accommodate my hosts . . . and I would never seek citizenship or residency elsewhere without having a solid grasp on the language. Bureaucrats, however, think otherwise.
This should come as no surprise, though. Statism is not just immoral . . . it's rude!
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14:
OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE - CORRUPT OFFICIALS CANNOT ENTER THE U.S.?
According to this edict, the United States is taking efforts to prevent officials of foreign countries who have benefited from corruption to enter this country. (Would this include its former allies, Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein?) The U.S.'s federal system is based upon politicians who gather votes and campaign funds from special interests that demand favors from the government . . . and inevitably get them.
Government is hypocrisy in action.
OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE - REPUDIATION OF THE INTENTIONS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS
Here, President Bush officially declares Thailand to be a major non-NATO ally. This means that Thailand is yet another country that will be supported with U.S. taxpayer money to defend against the bogeymen that Bush's troika declares as the "Axis of Evil." Recall that one of the major points of those who declared our independence from England was that the colonists didn't support all of the foreign wars the English empire was engaged in. And where are we now? Same ol', same ol'.
Look familiar? It should. We were here 230 years ago!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15:
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - TAXPAYERS CONTINUE TO SUBSIDIZE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S FOLLIES
The Department of Transportation is extending its support for the insurance coverage of U.S. airlines, despite the fact that a considerable amount of the danger they face is due to international meddling by the feds in the first place. This results in multiple instances of humiliation: first by the taxpayer, who has to subsidize such ridiculous schemes, then by the consumer, who has to pay higher ticket prices as a result, and last by the flyer, who is unnecessarily molested by the tyrannical TSA after paying these inflated prices.
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