Time: Fri Dec 12 06:40:50 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: "Land-Mine Legislation," by Claire Wolfe (fwd)
Bcc: sls

>                LAND-MINE LEGISLATION
>                  by Claire  Wolfe
>Let me run by you a brief list of items that are "the law" in America today.  As you read, consider
>what all these have in common.
>1. A national database of employed people. 
>2. 100 pages of new "health care crimes," for which the penalty is (among other things) seizure of
>assets from both doctors and patients.
>3. Confiscation of assets from any American who establishes foreign citizenship.
>4. The largest gun confiscation act in U.S. history - which is also an unconstitutional ex postfacto
>law and the first law ever to remove people's constitutional rights for committing a misdemeanor.
>5. A law banning guns in ill-defined school zones; random roadblocks may be used for enforcement;
>gun-bearing residents could become federal criminals just by stepping outside their doors or getting
>into vehicles.
>6. Increased funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, an agency infamous for its
>brutality, dishonesty and ineptitude.
>7. A law enabling the executive branch to declare various groups "Terrorists" - without stating any
>reason and without the possibility of appeal.  Once a group has been so declared, its mailing and
>membership lists must be turned over to the government.
>8. A law authorizing secret trials with secret evidence for certain classes of people.
>9. A law requiring that all states begin issuing drivers licenses carrying Social Security numbers and
>"security features" (such as magnetically coded fingerprints and personal records) by October 1,
>2000.  By October 1, 2006, "Neither the Social Security Administration or the Passport Office or
>any other Federal agency or any State or local government agency may accept for any evidentiary
>purpose a State driver's license or identification document in a form other than [one issued with a
>verified Social Security number and 'security features']." 
>10. And my personal favorite - a national database, now being constructed, that will contain every
>exchange and observation that takes place in your doctor's office.  This includes records of your
>prescriptions, your hemorrhoids and your mental illness.  It also includes - by law - any statements
>you make ("Doc, I'm worried my kid may be on drugs...... Doc, I've been so stressed out lately I
>feel about ready to go postal.") and any observations your doctor makes about your mental or
>physical condition, whether accurate or not, whether made with your knowledge or not.  For the
>time being, there will be zero (count 'em, zero) privacy safeguards on this data.  But don't worry,
>your government will protect you with some undefined "privacy standards" in a few years.
>All of the above items are the law of the land.  Federal law.  What else do they have in common?
>Well, when I ask this question to audiences, I usually get the answer, "They're all unconstitutional."
>My favorite answer came from an eloquent college student who blurted, "They all SUUUCK!" Also
>But the saddest and most telling answer is: They were all the product of the 104th Congress. Every
>one of the horrors above was imposed upon you by the Congress of the Republican-Revolution --
>the Congress that pledged to "get government off your back."
>                           BURYING TIME BOMBS
>All of the above became law by being buried in larger bills.  In many cases, they are hidden sneak
>attacks upon individual liberties that were neither debated on the floor of Congress nor reported in
>the media.  For instance, three of the most horrific items (the health care database, asset
>confiscation for foreign residency and the 100 pages of health care crimes) were hidden in the
>Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HR 3103).
>You didn't hear about them at the time because the media was too busy celebrating this moderate,
>compromise bill that "simply" ensured that no American would ever lose insurance coverage due to
>a job change or a Pre-existing condition.
>Your legislator may not have heard about them, either.  Because he or she didn't care enough to do
>so.  The fact is, most legislators don't even read the laws they inflict upon the public. They read the
>title of the bill (which may be something like "The Save the Sweet Widdle Babies from Gun
>Violence by Drooling Drug Fiends Act of 1984").  They read summaries, which are often prepared
>by the very agencies or groups pushing the bill.  And they vote according to various deals or
>It also sometimes happens that the most horrible provisions are sneaked into bills during conference
>committee negotiations, after both House and Senate have voted on their separate versions of the
>bills.  The conference committee process is supposed simply to reconcile differences between two
>versions of a bill.  But power brokers use it for purposes of their own, adding what they wish.  Then
>members of the House and Senate vote on the final, unified version of the bill, often in a great rush,
>and often without even having the amended text available for review.
>I have even heard (though I cannot verify) that stealth provisions were written into some bills after all
>the voting has taken place.  Someone with a hidden agenda simply edits them in to suit his or her
>own purposes.  So these time bombs become "law" without ever having been voted on by anybody.
> And who's to know?  If congress people don't even read legislation before they vote on it, why
>would they bother reading it afterward?  Are power brokers capable of such chicanery? Do we
>even need to ask?  Is the computer system in which bills are stored vulnerable to tampering by
>people within or outside of Congress?  We certainly should ask.  Whether your legislators were
>ignorant of the infamy they were perpetrating, or whether they knew, one thing is absolutely certain: 
>The Constitution, your legislator's oath to it, and your inalienable rights (which precede the
>Constitution) never entered into anyone's consideration.  Ironically, you may recall that one of the
>early pledges of Newt Gingrich and Company was to stop these stealth attacks.  Very early in the
>104th Congress, the Republican leadership declared that, henceforth, all bills would deal only with
>the subject matter named in the title of the bill.  When, at the beginning of the first session of the
>104th, pro-gun Republicans attempted to attach a repeal of the "assault weapons" ban to another
>bill, House leaders dismissed their amendment as not being "germane."  After that self-righteous and
>successful attempt to prevent pro-freedom stealth legislation, Congress people turned right around
>and got back to the dirty old business of practicing all the anti-freedom stealth they were capable of.
>Three other items on my list (ATF funding, gun confiscation and school zone roadblocks) were also
>buried in a big bill - HR 3610, the budget appropriation passed near the end of the second session
>of the 104th Congress.  No legislator can claim to have been unaware of these three because they
>were brought to public attention by gun-rights groups and hotly debated in both Congress and the
>media.  Yet some 90 percent of all congress people voted for them including many who claim to be
>ardent protectors of the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  Why?
>Well, in the case of my wrapped-in-the-flag, allegedly pro-gun, Republican congressperson: "Bill
>Clinton made me do it!"
>Okay, I paraphrase.  What she actually said was more like, "It was part of a budget appropriations
>package.  The public got mad at us for shutting the government down in 1994.  If we hadn't voted
>for this budget bill, they might have elected a Democratic legislature in 1996 - and you wouldn't
>want THAT, would you?"  Oh heavens, no I'd much rather be enslaved by people who spell their
>name with an R than people who spell their name with a D.  Makes all the difference in the world!
>The Republicans are fond of claiming that Bill Clinton "forced" them to pass certain legislation by
>threatening to veto anything they sent to the White House that didn't meet his specs.  In other cases
>(as with the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill), they proudly proclaim their misdeeds in the name of
>bipartisanship - while carefully forgetting -to mention the true nature of what they're doing.  In still
>others, they trumpet their triumph over the evil Democrats and claim the mantle of limited
>government while sticking it to us and to the Constitution.  The national database of workers was in
>the welfare reform bill they "forced" Clinton to accept.  The requirement for SS numbers and
>ominous "security" devices on drivers licenses originated in their very own Immigration Control and
>Financial Responsibility Act of 1996, HR 2202.  Another common trick, called to my attention by
>Redmon Barbry, publisher of the electronic magazine Fratricide, is to hide duplicate or
>near-duplicate provisions in several bills.  Then, when the Supreme Court declares Section A of
>Law Z to be -unconstitutional, its kissing cousin, Section B of Law Y, remains to rule us.
>Sometimes this particular form of trickery is done even more brazenly; when the Supreme Court, in
>its Lopez decision, declared federal-level school zone gun bans unconstitutional because Congress
>demonstrated no jurisdiction, Congress brassily changed a few words.  They claimed that school
>zones fell under the heading of "interstate commerce."  Then they sneaked the provision into HR
>3610, where it became "law" once again.  When angry voters upbraid congress people about some
>Big Brotherish horror they've inflicted upon the country by stealth, they claim lack of knowledge,
>lack of time, party pressure, public pressure, or they justify themselves by claiming that the rest of
>the bill was "good".
>The simple fact is that, regardless of what reasons legislators may claim, the U.S. Congress has
>passed more Big Brother legislation in the last two years - more laws to enable tracking, spying and
>controlling - than any Democratic congress ever passed.  And they have done it, in large part, in
>Redmon Barbry put it best: "We the people have the right to expect our elected representatives to
>read, comprehend and master the bills they vote on.  If this means Congress passes only 50 bills per
>session instead of 5,000, so be it.  As far as I am concerned, whoever subverts this process is
>committing treason."  By whatever means the deed is done, there is no acceptable excuse for voting
>against the Constitution, voting for tyranny.  And I would add to Redmon's comments: Those who
>do read the bills, then knowingly vote to ravage our liberties, are doubly guilty.  But when do the
>treason trials begin?
>The truth is that these tiny, buried provisions are often the real intent of the law, and that the
>hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pages that surround them are sometimes nothing more than
>elaborate window dressing.  These tiny time bombs are placed there at the behest of federal police
>agencies or other power groups whose agenda is not clearly visible to us.  And their impact is felt
>long after the outward intent of the bill has been forgotten. 
>Civil forfeiture - now one of the plagues of the nation was first introduced in the 1970s as one of
>those buried, almost unnoticed provisions of a larger law.  One wonders why on earth a "health care
>bill" carried a provision to confiscate the assets of people who become frightened or discouraged
>enough to leave the country.  (In fact, the entire bill was an amendment to the Internal Revenue
>Code. Go figure.)
>I think we all realize by now that that database of employed people will still be around enabling
>government to track our locations (and heaven knows what else. about us, as the database is
>enhanced and expanded) long after the touted benefits of "welfare reform" have failed to materialize.
>And most grimly of all, our drivers licenses will be our de facto national ID card long after
>immigrants have ceased to want to come to this Land of the Once Free.
>                             CONTROL REIGNS
>It matters not one whit whether the people controlling you call themselves R's or D's, liberals or
>conservatives, socialists or even (I hate to admit it) libertarians.  It doesn't matter whether they vote
>for these horrors because they're not paying attention or because they actually like such things.
>What matters is that the pace of totalitarianism is increasing.  And it is coming closer to our daily
>lives all the time.  Once your state passes the enabling legislation (under threat of losing "federal
>welfare dollars"), it is YOUR name and Social Security number that will be entered in that employee
>database the moment you go to work for a new employer.  It is YOU who will be unable to cash a
>check, board an airplane, get a passport or be allowed any dealings with any government agency if
>you refuse to give your SS number to the drivers license bureau.  It is YOU who will be endangered
>by driving "illegally" if you refuse to submit to Big Brother's procedures.  It is YOU whose psoriasis,
>manic depression or prostate troubles will soon be the reading matter of any bureaucrat with a
>computer.  It is YOU who could be declared a member of a "foreign terrorist" organization just
>because you bought a book or concert tickets from some group the government doesn't like.  It is
>YOU who could lose your home, bank account and reputation because you made a mistake on a
>health insurance form.  Finally, when you become truly desperate for freedom, it is YOU whose
>assets will be seized if you try to flee this increasingly insane country. 
>As Ayn Rand said in Atlas Shrugged, "There's no way to rule innocent men.  The only power
>government has is the power to crack down on criminals.  Well, when there aren't enough criminals,
>one makes them.  One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to
>live without breaking laws." 
>It's time to drop any pretense: We are no longer law-abiding citizens.  We have lost our law-abiding
>status.  There are simply too many laws to abide.  And because of increasingly draconian penalties
>and electronic tracking mechanisms, our "lawbreaking" places us and our families in greater
>jeopardy every day.
>The question is: What are we going to do about it?  Write a. nice, polite letter to your
>congressperson?  Hey, if you think that'll help, I've got a bridge you might be interested in buying.
>(And it isn't your "bridge to the future," either.)
>Vote "better people, into office?  Oh yeah, that's what we thought we were doing in 1994.  Work
>to fight one bad bill or another?  Okay.  What will you do about the 10 or 20 or 100 equally
>horrible bills that will be passed behind your back while you were fighting that little battle?  And let's
>say you defeat a nightmare bill this year.  What, are you going to do when they sneak it back in, at
>the very last minute, in some "omnibus legislation" next year?  And what about the horrors you don't
>even learn about until two or three years after they become law?  Should you try fighting these laws
>in the courts?  Where do you find the resources?  Where do you find a judge who doesn't have a
>vested interest in bigger, more powerful government?  And again, for every one case decided in
>favor of freedom, what do you do about the 10, 20 or 100 in which the courts decide against the
>Bill of Rights?
>Perhaps you'd consider trying to stop the onrush of these horrors with a constitutional amendment -
>maybe one that bans "omnibus" bills, requires that every law meet a constitutional test or requires all
>congress people to sign statements that they've read and understood every aspect of every bill on
>which they vote.  Good luck!  Good luck, first, on getting such an amendment passed.  Then good
>luck getting our Constitution-scorning "leaders" to obey it. 
>It is true that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and part of that vigilance has been, traditionally,
>keeping a watchful eye on laws and on lawbreaking lawmakers. 
>But given the current pace of law spewing and unconstitutional regulation-writing, you could watch,
>plead and struggle "within the system" 24 hours a day for your entire life and end up infinitely less
>free than when you begin.  Why throw your life away on a futile effort?
>Face it.  If "working within the system" could halt tyranny, the tyrants would outlaw it.  Why do you
>think they encourage you to vote, to write letters, to talk to them in public forums?  It's to divert
>your energies.  To keep you tame.  'The system" as it presently exists is nothing but a rat maze.  You
>run around thinking you're getting somewhere.  Your masters occasionally reward you with a little
>pellet that encourages you to believe you're accomplishing something.  And in the meantime, you are
>as much their property and their pawn as if you were a slave.  In the effort of fighting them on their
>terms and with their authorized and approved tools, you have given your life's energy to them as
>surely as if you were toiling in their cotton fields, under the lash of their overseer. The only way
>we're going to get off this road to Hell is if we jump off.  If we, personally, as individuals, refuse to
>cooperate with evil.  How we do that is up to each of us.  I can't decide for you, nor you for me. 
>(Unlike congress people, who think they can decide for everybody.)  But this totalitarian runaway
>truck is never going to stop unless we stop it, in any way we can. Stopping it might include any
>number of things: tax resistance; public civil disobedience; wide-scale, silent non-cooperation; highly
>noisy non-cooperation; boycotts; secession efforts; monkey wrenching; computer hacking; dirty
>tricks against government agents; public shunning of employees of abusive government agencies;
>alternative, self-sufficient communities that provide their own medical care and utilities.
>There are thousands of avenues to take, and this is something most of us still need to give more
>thought to before we can build an effective resistance.  We will each choose the courses that are
>right for our own circumstances, personalities and beliefs.
>Whatever we do, though, we must remember that we are all, already, outlaws.  Not one of us can
>be certain going through a single day without violating some law or regulation we've never even
>heard of.  We are all guilty in the eyes of today's law.  If someone in power chooses to target us, we
>can all, already, be prosecuted for something.  And I'm sure you know that your claims of "good
>intentions" won't protect you, as the similar claims of politicians protect them.  Politicians are above
>the law.  YOU are under it.  Crushed under it.  When you look at it that way, we have little left to
>lose by breaking laws creatively and purposefully.  Yes, some of us will suffer horrible
>consequences for our lawbreaking.  It is very risky to actively resist unbridled power.  It is
>especially risky to go public with resistance (unless hundreds of thousands publicly join us), and it
>becomes riskier the closer we get to tyranny.  For that reason, among many others, I would never
>recommend any particular course of action to anyone - and I hope you'll think twice before taking
>"advice" from anybody about things that could jeopardize your life or well-being.  But if we don't
>resist in the best ways we know how and if a good number of us don't resist loudly and publicly - all
>of us will suffer the much worse consequences of living under total oppression.  And whatever
>courses of action we choose, we must remember that this legislative "revolution" against We the
>People will not be stopped by politeness.  It will not be stopped by requests.  It will not be stopped
>by "working within a system" governed by those who regard us as nothing but cattle.  It will not be
>stopped by pleading for justice from those who will resort to any degree of trickery or violence to
>rule us. 
>It will not be stopped unless we are willing to risk our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honors to
>stop it.  I think of the words of Winston Churchill: "If you will not fight for the right when you can
>easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly,
>you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a
>precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is
>no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
>NOTES on the laws listed above: 
>1. (employee database) Welfare Reform Bill, HR 3734; became public law 104-193 on 8/22196;
>see section 453A. 
>2. (health care crimes) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, HR 3103;
>became public law 104-191 on 8/21/96. 
>3. (asset confiscation for citizenship change) Same law as #2; see; sections 511-513. 
>4., 5., and 6. (anti-gun laws) Omnibus Appropriations Act, HR 3610; became public law 104-208
>on 9/30/96. 
>7. and 8. (terrorism & secret trials) Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; S 735;
>became public law 104-132 on 4/24/96; see all of Title III, specifically sections 302 and 219; also
>see all of Tide IV, specifically sections 401, 501, 502 and 503. 
>9. (de facto national ID card) Began life in the Immigration Control and Financial Responsibility Act
>of 1996, sections III, II 8, 119, 127 and 133; was eventually folded into the Omnibus
>Appropriations Act, HR 3610 (which was itself formerly called the Defense Appropriations Act -
>but we wouldn't want to confuse anyone, here, would we?); became public law 104-208 on
>9/30/96; see sections 656 and 657 among others. 
>10. (health care database) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, HR 3103;
>became public law 104-191 on 8/21/96; see sections 262, 263 and 264, among others.  The
>various provisions that make up the full horror of this database are scattered throughout the bill and
>may take hours to track down; this one is stealth legislation at its utmost sneakiest.
>And one final, final note: Although I spent aggravating hours verifying the specifics of these bills (a
>task I swear I will never waste my life on again!), the original list of bills at the top of this article was
>NOT the result of extensive research.  It was simply what came off the top of my head when I
>thought of Big Brotherish bills from the 104th Congress.  For all I know, Congress has passed 10
>times more of that sort of thing.  In fact, the worst "law" in the list -- 
>#9, the de facto national ID card -- just came to my attention as I was writing this essay, thanks to
>the enormous efforts of Jackie - Juntti and Ed Lyon and others, who researched the law.  Think of
>it: Thanks to congressional stealth tactics, we had the long-dreaded national ID card legislation for
>five months, without a whisper of discussion, before freedom activists began to find out about it.
>Makes you wonder what else might be lurking out there, doesn't it?
>And on that cheery note - THE END 
>Copyrighted by Claire Wolfe.  Permission to reprint freely granted, provided the article is reprinted
>in full and that any reprint is accompanied by this copyright statement

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