Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 07:40:59 -0800 From: (Johann Opitz) Subject: [ca-liberty] Should the Forest Service Have Money to Burn? To: (ca-liberty) Cc: LibertyUS:;

Should the Forest Service Have Money to Burn? On Dec. 12, the Bush administration proposed several new rules intended to speed up Forest Service initiatives to "thin" federal forests. According to proponent s, removing deadwood, underbrush, and densely packed younger trees will prevent the large fires that engulfed parts of the West in 2000 and 2002. The proposal follows Bush's ea rlier "healthy forests initiative," which calls for thinning 2.5 million acres o f federal forests a year for 10 years while relaxing environmental standards tha t might slow th process. Yet the very fires that motivated the new policies show that they will not protect the forests or the homes of people who live nearby. There is a bett er solution. Bush announced his initiative last summer at the site of the Squire s Peak fire nea Medford, Ore. The government had previously thinned 400 acres in that area, but environmental delays forced them to leave 80 acres untreated. A fire entered th ose 80 acres and burned uncontrollably, eventually spreading to 2,800 acres and costing $2.2 mi

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Enter Command: T Message #116 (128 is last): Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 07:40:59 -0800 From: (Johann Opitz) Subject: [ca-liberty] Should the Forest Service Have Money to Burn? To: (ca-liberty) Cc: LibertyUS:;

Should the Forest Service Have Money to Burn? On Dec. 12, the Bush administration proposed several new rules intended to speed up Forest Service initiatives to "thin" federal forests. According to proponent s, removing deadwood, underbrush, and densely packed younger trees will prevent the large fires that engulfed parts of the West in 2000 and 2002. The proposal f ollows Bush's earlier "healthy forests initiative," which calls for thinning 2.5 million acres of federal forests a year for 10 years while relaxing environment al standards that might slow the process. Yet the very fires that motivated the new policies show that they will not protect the forests or the homes of people who live nearby. There is a better solution. Bush announced his initiative last summer at the site of the Squires Peak fire near Medford, Ore. The government ha d previously thinned 400 acres in that area, but environmental delays forced the m to leave 80 acres untreated. A fire entered those 80 acres and burned uncontro llably, eventually spreading to 2,800 acres and costing $2.2 million to suppress . The lesson the administration learned from Squires Peak is that environmental delays are bad. That's the wrong lesson. The real lesson is: Unless you thin eve ry acre, you might as well not thin any at all.,2933,73291,00.html

Lott's Lost Power Let me be clear. I do think that Trent Lott is a bigot. In a perfect world, he'd have been ousted in the late 1990s when revelations surfaced about his unseemly involvement with the neo-Confederate Council of Conservative Citizens. ... If T rent Lott remains majority leader for the 108th Congress, you can bet the planta tion that the Democrats will couch every contentious piece of legislation that c rosses Trent Lott's desk in terms as racially incendiary as possible. You know h ow this works. "Support funding increases for the Department of Education, or yo u hate poor black children in the inner city who need an education." "Support se t-asides of federal contracts for minority-owned firms, or you're opposed to the idea that minorities should own firms." With Trent Lott in the majority leader' s office, expect more of the same, only worse. ...,2933,73290,00.html

Study: Colleges encourage racial separatism Civil-rights group slams 'official campus apartheid policies' Colleges and universities around the country foster racial separatism under the guise of "cultural diversity," according to a new study released by a civil-righ ts group. "Amidst all the hue and cry over affirmative-action programs, little a ttention has been given to the color-conscious policies of colleges that permi t or encourage - and, oftentimes, fund - a balkanized campus environment," said the non-partisan New York Civil Rights Coalition in an executive summary of the study. "While proclaiming their dedication to a phenomenon of so-called 'ethnic identity,' 'choice' and 'diversity,' the officials of many colleges regard the s elf-segregation of minority students on their campuses as supportive of their ef forts to foster the comfort of a culturally, economically, geographically and ra cially diverse group of students," the summary said. "Stripped of its paternalis m, their policies and funding actually support a new form of ethnic and racial s egregation in higher education. They proudly and increasingly pursue a segregati onist agenda."

The Truth about Taxes Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something l ike this: The first four men-the poorest-would pay nothing; The fifth would pay $1: The sixth would pay $3; The seventh $7; The eighth $12; The ninth $18. The tenth man-the richest-would pay $59. That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every d ay and seemed quite happy with the arrangement-until one day, the owner threw th em a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to redu ce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the oth er six-the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that ev eryone would get his "fair share?"

J.J. Johnson: I Don't Want to be Black Anymore Written: 02.28.00 It's not working, folks. I have tried to do everything I can to be the African-A merican I'm supposed to be, but I just cannot continue. I am hereby resigning my self from the Black Race. And before I get death threats from my Black brethren out there, hear me out. I have almost made it through another Black history mont h, in which I'm supposed to do all I can to insult White people for 28 days. I g uess I should even say the Black History month is a racial conspiracy by White p eople since they only gave us 28 (or 29) days to rip their dignity to shreds, wh ile the other months have 30 or 31 days. I guess it's just another example of th e Black man not getting his fair share. Frankly, many of my Black brothas and si stas' are starting to well... embarrass me. Can I turn on the television and no t hear some Black liberal puke complaining about something? I'll start there - t elevision. First we had the NAACP (Notorious African American Communist Pigs) la mbasting Hollywood for not having enough Blacks in front of (or behind) the came ras. "We don't see enough Black folk on TV." ... I'll sign the papers, dammit. I 'll file the lawsuit. I'll start the boycott this time. I have every right. I am sick of these media-selected Black prostitutes making a mockery out of my count ry, out of everything America stands for. I'm sick of them giving everyone else a reason to hate me. I quit. I no longer want a prefix in from of my label. From this point forward, I, J.J. Johnson, DEMAND that I be simply called American.

Walter Williams: Double standards During World War II, ex-Ku Klux Klansman, now U.S. senator, Robert Byrd vowed ne ver to fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this belove d land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest spe cimen from the wilds." Just a couple of years ago, Byrd lectured us on the floor of the Senate that "there are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers i n my time." I wonder whether he was talking about whites who act like blacks. Sa n Francisco's esteemed mayor Willie Brown once described a successful legislativ e battle this way: "We beat those old white boys fair and square." Spike Lee sai d in disapproval of interracial marriages: "I give interracial couples a look. D aggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street." The National Ass ociation of Black Social Workers drafted a position paper calling white adoption s of black children "cultural genocide." They warned against "transculturation . .. when one dominant culture overpowers and forces another culture to accept a f oreign form of existence." Donna Brazile, Al Gore's presidential campaign manage r, called Republicans "white boys" who seek to "exclude, denigrate and leave beh ind." At a celebration for retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., Sen. Trent Lott , R-Miss., said that Mississippians were proud to have voted for Thurmond in his 1948 presidential campaign "and, if the rest of the country had followed our le ad, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years." Which among t he above statements are the most racist, which have received the most media cove rage and which caused the most angst? Clearly, Lott's statement received the mos t media coverage and created the most angst, but it doesn't begin to qualify as the most racist.

Forest Fights Roadlessly transforming national timber reserves into national parks. The courts are once again refereeing fights between the Bush administration and the environmental lobby over our national forests. At issue is the "roadless rul e" a lame duck regulation issued by President Clinton just 15 days before he lef t the White House. This rule prohibits the building of roads in untouched parcel s of federal forest at least 5,000 acres in extent and applies to some 58.5 mill ion acres of national forests. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups st rongly backed the rule. After all, the Sierra Club wants to end all commercial l ogging in our national forests. "America's first National Forests were establish ed for the people more than one hundred years ago," the Club declares. "Since th en the timber industry has turned our publicly owned National Forests into a pat chwork of clearcuts and logging roads." With that comment, the Sierra Club is st uffing the reason why national forests were established down the memory hole. At the turn of the 20th century, President Teddy Roosevelt created the national fo rests largely for the purpose of being logged someday. Why? Because he thought t he country was about to run out of wood. "So rapid has been the rate of exhausti on of timber in the United States in the past, and so rapidly is the remainder b eing exhausted, that the country is unquestionably on the verge of a timber fami ne which will be felt in every household in the land," warned Roosevelt in his A nnual Message to Congress in 1907.

CA: Analysts: Budget plan would cost 7,000 state jobs Meeting Gov. Gray Davis' goal of cutting the state's payroll by $470 million wi thout cuts to state employee salaries or benefits would cost 7,000 state workers their jobs, legislative analysts told lawmakers Tuesday. If job cuts were appli ed evenly across the state, more than 2,400 of the job cuts would occur in the f ive-county Sacramento-area region. Thirty-five percent of all state employees wo rk in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Solano counties. Union officials representing state workers pushed lawmakers at a Tuesday hearing to look for gov ernment waste and raise taxes before cutting personnel. [Isn't most of CA's gov't spending just "waste, fraud, & abuse"? Won't raising taxes further hurt CA's ill economy? Those union officials need to take some ba sic course in economics.]

CA: Banks duck millions in state taxes through trust shuffle The bankers' avoidance of California income taxes works this way: KPMJ, an inte rnational accounting firm, sets up a real estate investment trust in Maryland as a subsidiary of a bank and the bank then "sells" its real estate mortgages to t he trust. The trust collects payments on the mortgages and uses the proceeds to buy even more mortgages from the same bank, and the trust's purchase payments to the banks are booked as state tax-free dividends. KPMJ collects a hefty fee -- reportedly the first year's tax savings -- for its services to the bank. Is it l egal? KPMJ and the half-dozen or so banks that have availed themselves of the st ratagem say it is, while California tax officials believe it may violate a law t hat says a transaction concocted to avoid taxation, with no other legitimate pur pose, is prohibited. The federal government's own tax rules prohibit the "nowher e income" scheme, and so while the feds collect shares of the trust's payments a s income taxes, the state doesn't.

Journalistic bias? Part II The question posed in my previous column--"Does a (still) largely liberal news m edia (still) exhibit a largely liberal bias?"--can be answered both as a matter of logic and as a matter of fact, and in both cases, the answer is: Sure. As to logic: "The essential argument by the media is that, yes, most mainstream journa lists may be left of center, but they operate in the tradition of objectivity, s o this doesn't affect their coverage of the news," notes S. Robert Lichter, pres ident of the independent Center for Media and Public Affairs. "What this argumen t fails to grasp is the way bias works in people. Yes, journalists tell the trut h--but, like everyone else, they tell the truth as they see it." As Lichter has written, "Even the most conscientious journalists cannot overcome the subjectivi ty inherent in their profession, which is expressed through such everyday decisi ons as whether a topic is newsworthy or a source trustworthy.'' To this, we jour nalists argue that we -- unique among humans -- are able to see the world and it s events free from the prejudices of our own vantage points. How can this be? Be cause, we say, of our professional training and discipline. But we don't have an y professional training or discipline. Journalism is not a profession in the sen se of medicine or law or science. Journalists do not go through years of brutal academic apprenticeship designed to inculcate adherence to an agreed-upon code o f ethics (such as the Hippocratic oath) or an agreed-upon method of truth-determ ining (such as the method of scientific inquiry). We are not required to meet an y standards of knowledge. We are not certified. We operate under no mandated pro fessional set of rules. We need not even be decently educated, as consumers of n ews frequently notice. And even if we really were trained professionals, we stil l would not be able to attain the godlike ability to perceive and present the "o bjective'' truth on all matters that come before us. Because we are, in fact, no t unique among humans. As to fact: In 17 years o ng news broadcasts, Lichter's Center for Media and Public Affairs has consistent ly found evidence of liberal bias, and this has not changed in the past few year s. Some recent findings from content analyses of the nightly network newscasts:

David Horowitz: Trent Lott must go It doesn't matter whether Lott's apology is sincere or not; it doesn't matter wh ether his statement was racist or not. At the very best, he is tone deaf to the most important domestic issue of our time. His continued presence as majority le ader will destroy the prospects of his party, and seriously damage the President 's ability to wage the war on terror. For these reasons Trent Lott must step dow n as the Majority Leader of the Republican Senate. ... Those of us who fought th e struggle for equal rights for all people regardless of skin color in the early 60's have come to realize that the party of race, the party of racism, is the m odern liberal party (the Democratic Party) that glorifies skin color (and gender and social class) over all things including freedom, right and wrong, and equal protection under the law. These modern liberals, (these Democrats) mock the tru th when they label conservatives and Republicans who decry reparations, quotas, and the racism of "lower expectations" as "racists" rather than "liberators." Bu t if Lott remains the leading spokesperson of the Republican Party in the U.S. S enate, the liberal attack will be true in the public mind and therefore an elect oral reality. The domestic mission of conservatives and the Republican party mus t be to liberate all individuals from the oppression of "the vision of the anoin ted" -- the vision that elite liberals wish to impose on all people especially m inorities and the poor. Senator Lott will do his party and his country a service if he steps down. If he does not, the Party must remove him.

The problem with the right ... The problem with the right is that it spawns ideologies incapable of the com promises success demands. For now, conservatives, both paleo- and neo-, make com mon cause, which explains their electoral success. But at any time the right cou ld split, spinning off Pat Buchanans to the right, libertarians to the left, lea ving the cause reduced to a few lonely readers of Edmund Burke. ... The problem with the right is that it tends to get caught up in its own intrigues. It loses sight of first principles. It's a problem the right shares with the left: The me chanics of politics become so absorbing that the object of politics disappears f rom view. ... The problem with the right is that it often invokes the past, but learns so little from it. The problem with the right -- and left -- is that both confuse mere political power with moral suasion. ...

Hate crime hoax at Ole Miss A terrible racial incident took place at Trent Lott's alma mater last month. But you won't hear about it from Dan Rather or Time magazine or The Washington Post or the NAACP. That's because what happened at the University of Mississippi in the early morning hours of Nov. 6 has all the markings of a fake hate crime: An apparent racial hoax committed by black students against black students, but bla med on whites -- until the suspects were nabbed last week. Three black freshmen were accused by the college of scrawling racist graffiti on the doors of two oth er black students in the Kincannon residence hall on the Oxford campus. Among th e hateful epithets: "F-----g N----r" and "F-----g Hoe N----r." Also left on wall s and doors spanning three floors of the dorm: A tree with a noose and hanging s tick figure and vulgar references to genitalia drawn in blue window chalk. The financial damage was estimated at roughly $600. But the cultural and psychologic al damage caused by such crude and twisted acts of Tawana Brawleyism is inestima ble. The element of racial animus cloaks the hate crime hoax with a false sense of legitimacy. It's a manipulative attempt to exploit old tensions and deflect s uspicion from the actual perpetrators. ... But now that the race of the suspects has been revealed, some are seeking to minimize the crime as a "prank." The col lege will not be bringing criminal charges against the trio. Instead, each suspe ct faces charges involving five violations of the student code of conduct -- not only for the racially explosive vandalism, but also for allegedly making false and misleading statements to investigators. That's right. It wasn't enough for t hese accused sickos to adopt racial terror tactics, destroy property, cast false suspicion on others, and cast doubt on all bona fide victims of such perfidy. T hey apparently tried to lie their way out of it, too. ... All well and good, bu t why allow a double standard of justice to prevail? If the attackers had been w hite, they faced possible federal prison time. B equence they face is expulsion. Welcome to equal treatment under the law, 2002-s tyle. ... Segregation is back all right. But while the media elite's crack repo rters are busy rummaging through the dustbins of old history in an effort to pai nt all conservatives as racially insensitive relics, they continue to ignore one of the outrageous race scandals of the 21st century: how the young beneficiarie s of the civil rights movement are squandering and desecrating its legacy of equ al respect and justice for all.

Canadia: Airport Security Finds Retractor Left In Patient's Abdomen Woman Complained Of Stomach Pain Since June It took a trip to the airport for a Canadian woman to learn her surgeons had goo fed in a big way. The woman set off the metal detectors at an airport in Regina, Saskatchewan. It turns out that surgeons had left a more than foot-long metal r etractor in her abdomen. She had undergone surgery last June and had been compla ining of stomach pain ever since. The woman was X-rayed following the airport in cident and the retractor was discovered. The patient's lawyer says the woman was horrified by the doctors' mistake. The lawyer says they are now considering leg al options. [And this is the medical system the liberals want to impose on the U.S.?]

NY: Nation's Largest Law Enforcement Agency Vies for Total Spying Power The NYPD Wants to Watch You The enemy could be anywhere. So the authorities say they must look everywhere. S ince the September 11 terrorist attacks a vast network of government agencies, f rom federal to local, has amassed extraordinary powers to inspect what ordinary Americans say, do, and believe in the course of their daily lives. As the nation 's largest law enforcement agency-nearly twice the size of the Federal Bureau of Investigation-the New York City Police Department could be the biggest Big Brot her of all. Yet it faces quite a stumbling block. A long-standing federal order, imposed after a landmark lawsuit revealed rampant surveillance abuses of politi cal activists, prevents the NYPD from spying on whomever it wants. Now the NYPD is fighting to gut the order and get its old powers back. Police currently canno t investigate people who are exercising their constitutional rights, no matter h ow unpopular the cause, unless there is some indication of a crime. Street prote sters are the most obvious beneficiaries. But also covered are those who pray, a ttend community meetings, write editorials, or express their views in almost any other way. The police department insists it needs broader authority to hunt ter rorists, who may masquerade as regular law-abiding folks until the moment they s trike. But if police win this bid, the followers of "extremist Muslim fundamenta lism" they have mentioned won't be the only ones in their sights. Everyone becom es fair game.

Concerning Purity ... The issue of "purity" has become a divisive one in the Libertarian Party. Ne w and even older members are complaining more and more of the existence of a so- called "purity police" mentality that allegedly dominates the direction of the p arty. For those so pejoratively labeled as "purists", no charge is so damning as the one that shows them as holding a passionate, consistent and dedicated view of what is meant by the word "Libertarian". What this means in practice is that the "purist" Libertarian advocates, among other things, private roads, unrestric ted immigration, the absolute separation of school and state, and an end to comp ulsory taxation. Critics of such "extremist" beliefs dismiss as "knee jerk" or " libertine" those who hold them-but without ever explaining why. It is taken for granted today that an ardent Libertarian should be discounted as "utopian", or " out of touch"-not by mainstream Americans, but by their fellow Libertarians! It' s often argued that abolishing public schools or the income tax, or even repeali ng all gun control laws simply isn't "practical". Of course it isn't! The overwh elming majority of Americans subscribe to the socialist/fascist worldview, and s o are absolutely opposed to such ideas. Though this is certainly a problem, it i s our problem as Libertarians to fix; educating the masses about principled gove rnment is the cross we bear. For those Libertarians who oppose presenting our id eas in full because of the PR nightmare that would ensue, it might be necessary to remind them that appeasement has never been an effective way of fighting tyra nny. More importantly, those pushing the anti-purist mentality now rearing its h ead in the LP should have the courage to define exactly what it is that's wrong with being a "purist". It simply isn't enough, in rational debate, to say we're wrong-the compromisers in our midst should declare exactly how it is that our po sition on the issues-all of the issues-is in any way inconsistent with the Liber tarian pledge they signed! If the half-way Liber e it upholds, is outdated, absurd, or just plain wrong, then there is no time li ke the present to have that discussion, as well. ...

MS: Barnett serving on nation's new Homeland Security Task Force A Brookhaven lawmaker is helping to shape national policy as part of the new Hom eland Security Task Force. ... For security reasons, Barnett was unable to discuss some topics that came up during the meeting with President George W. Bush. Ideas that Barnett were able at to talk about included the possibility of a national identification card syst em and an under-the-skin capsule that would contain a variety of information abo ut the wearer. The subcutaneous capsules would be voluntary, Barnett said. ... 2&rfi=6

Pentagon announces data project Critics warn of 'outsourcing Big Brother' in massive collection It is a classic dilemma for a society that thrives on the right of privacy: How do you balance those rights with the need to protect against a future terrorist attack? The Pentagon has a major project under study, headed by a controversial figure from the past, that digs deeply into the personal activities of individua l Americans - and a good deal of the early work is going to private contractors. Is this a classic example of government going too far?

-- Johann Opitz <> RKBA!

"Throughout recorded history, without exception, it has been the sole accomplishment of organized government to deprive their populations of liberty and of their property." -- John C. Calhoun

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