THE HANDSTAND

may 2005

 

DOREMUS OBSERVES : MATTERS OF INTEREST

Doremus Jessup, editor of the Fort Beulah The Daily Informer, in Sinclair Lewis' famous book "It Can't Happen Here", at its conclusion, "drove out saluted by the meadow larks, and onward all day, to a hidden cabin in the Northern Woods where quiet men awaited news of freedom.....still Doremus goes on, into the sunrise, for a Doremus Jessup can never die......
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Cover Story: Soldier boy
http://www.pointblank-dm.com/archive/2005/mar/033105/cover.shtml
By Tim Schmitt

Colin Hadley spends most of his days after school skateboarding or Halo II on his new X-Box with friends. He sleeps until noon or later on weekends and rarely, if ever, does any schoolwork outside the classroom, where he pulls down solid C's and a few D's - just enough to get by. He's the typical 15-year-old American boy: cocksure in demeanor, certain the world revolves around him, and confident that life is going to serve him well.

And he's the new "target of interest" for U.S. military recruiters who've begun signing up boys as young as 14 for military service, which they will be required to begin when they turn 18.

"It's a sweet deal," says Hadley, who boasts that he bought his X-Box with the enlistment bonus he received after signing up last month. "I don't have to do hardly anything for three years, but they're paying me now." Hadley's windfall was made possible under the Pentagon's "pre-enlistment program" that was quietly authorized last month in an effort to ensure the number of military troops available for combat remains steady for at least the next few years. The conditions of the program are simple. A young man who is at least 14 years old and has a parent's permission can enlist in
the U.S. military, but will not report to duty until he reaches the legal age. The future soldier agrees to remain "physically and mentally fit" and to undergo annual physical examinations at the Military Entrance and Processing Station (MEPS). In exchange, the government provides him a $10,000
sign-on bonus that is paid in yearly installments of $2,500 until the age of 18, at which time any remaining balance is given to the recruit.

And while waiting to report to duty at 18, the new recruits are paid a modest stipend and allowed access to funds granted veterans for education. Because combat duty is a requirement of enlistment, the program is currently open only to young men, and it has been authorized for only three years, so Congress will have to renew the program again in 2008. "The program is still in the early stages, but we're certain it will prove a valuable tool for the U.S. military while providing future soldiers with much-needed financial assistance so they can start planning for the future
now," says Lt. James Pederson, a spokesman for the U.S. Pentagon's Office of Recruitment and Retention.

With the war in Iraq still taking a toll, and potential conflicts on the horizon in Iran, North Korea, Syria, the Philippines and elsewhere, the U.S. military is faced with a shortage of manpower not seen in decades. The Army National Guard met only 56 percent of its recruiting quota in January, and the Marine Corps fell short of its recruiting goal that month for the first time since 1995. The Army missed its February recruiting goal by 27 percent, and the numbers for March and April are not expected to improve. And though the Bush administration has explored the idea of re-instituting the draft, the idea has been met with such widespread resistance that doing so seems unlikely.

"More and more of our troops are choosing to leave service when their enlistment period comes to an end, and the number of new recruits entering military service is at a 20-year low," says Pederson. "We've had to become more and more creative in our efforts to fill the ranks of departing
soldiers, and that's meant reaching out to new target groups and making them offers they simply can't refuse."

Currently, the National Guard is offering enlistment bonuses of up to $15,000 for new members, who may also receive matching funds to be used as a down payment on a new home. In addition, the Army announced last week that it is raising the maximum age for new recruits by five years, up to 39. It has also increased by 33 percent the number of recruiters on the street and has developed a sales pitch to appeal to parents who otherwise might not approve of their child's enrollment
"We're going to appeal to the patriotism of parents," says Pederson. "Parents have to understand that their children are needed in a time of war and that sacrifices need to be made for the good of the nation."

And once these kids sign up under this program, they are committed to serving in a combat zone and face strict punishment if they refuse duty when they come of age. If any refuse to show up for duty they will be charged with desertion in a time of war and be subject to military court martial,
which, theoretically at least, could result in the death penalty. Pederson says the program is a necessary step. "Is it unfortunate that we have to recruit children to serve in battle? Absolutely," he says. "But most countries have had children soldiering for centuries. We're just leveling the playing field."

Montana Lawmakers reject the Patriot Act

  Montana House
  Condemns Patriot Act
  By Jennifer McKee
  Billings Gazette State Bureau
  4-3-5
www.rense.com

          HELENA - Montana lawmakers overwhelmingly passed what its sponsor called the nation's most strongly worded criticism of the federal Patriot Act on Friday, uniting politicians of all stripes.           The resolution, which already galloped through the Senate and passed the House 88-12 Friday, must survive a final vote before it officially passes.           Senate Joint Resolution 19, sponsored by Sen. Jim Elliott, D-Trout Creek, says that while the 2005 Legislature supports the federal government's fight against terrorism, the so-called Patriot Act of 2001 granted authorities sweeping powers that violate citizens' rights enshrined in both the U.S. and Montanan constitutions.

          The resolution, which does not carry the weight of a law but expresses the Legislature's opinion, encourages Montana law enforcement agencies not to participate in investigations authorized under the Patriot Act that violate Montanans' constitutional rights. It requests all libraries in the state to post a sign warning citizens that under the Patriot Act, federal agents may force librarians to turn over a record of books a person has checked out and never inform that citizen of the request.

          The resolution asks Montana's attorney general to review any state intelligence information and destroy it if is not tied directly to suspected criminals. It also asks the attorney general to find out how many Montanans have been arrested under the Patriot Act and how many people have been subject to so-called "sneak and peaks," or government searches of a person's property without the person's knowledge.

          Elliott, a Democrat and rancher from northwestern Montana, sponsored the resolution, but it garnered support from Republicans on the far right of the political spectrum.

          "Sometimes we just take liberty for granted in the country," said Rep. Roger Koopman, R-Bozeman, who keeps a plant called "the Liberty Tree" on his legislative desk.           Koopman said his Liberty Tree was "blooming for this bill."

          "Frankly, what it says to me is that civil liberties are a bipartisan issue in Montana," said Rep. Rick Maejde, R-Trout Creek, who led the House debate for the resolution.

          Elliott said he was "very, very pleased" the resolution had such support.           "Montana isn't the first state that passed a resolution, but this resolution is the strongest statement against the constitutional violations of the Patriot Act of any state and almost every city or county," he said.

          Twelve representatives - all Republicans - voted against the measure, including Rep. Bob Lake, R-Hamilton.
"I don't like resolutions because they do absolutely nothing," he said in an interview after the vote. He also said the resolution was too vague. Is it a sacrifice of personal liberty to not be able to take a gun on an airplane? he asked. Is that the kind of thing this resolution objects to?           "So, they're going to get this thing back in D.C. and say, 'O.K., Montana doesn't like what we're doing. So what?,' " he said. "It has no meaning to it."

          Copyright The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.

Thanks to Bill Richer for this information about the Montana Legislature's actions on the USA Patriot Act.   Provisions of the USA Patriot Act are up for review in Congress.  The United States Attorney General is pressing for the retention of all current provisions and many new ones.  This act should not be renewed or expanded but should be rescinded. 

The Independent American Party has submitted a Bill to Congress to rescind the USA Patriot Act.  It can be accessed at:
http://www.usiap.org/ActionItems/PatriotBill/PatriotBillText.html   The USA Patriot Act should be rescinded for the following reasons:  
1.  The Representatives and Senators who voted for it had not read nor understood it before voting.   2.  Provisions in the USA Patriot Act trample on the right of American citizens to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.  Since this God-given right is guaranteed by the Constitution and abrogated by the USA Patriot Act, the USA Patriot Act is in itself unconstitutional.
  3.  The USA Patriot Act increases the power of the Executive branch far beyond the limits envisioned and enumerated by the Founding Fathers.   Montana is the fifth state to pass a resolution against the USA Patriot Act.  Montana's resolution is also the strongest.  There are 373 states, counties and municipalities who have passed resolutions against the USA Patriot Act.  There is a groundswell of public opinion against this act.  We ask you to join the groundswell by taking the following actions.  
1.  Print or copy the Patriot Act Recision Bill at: http://www.usiap.org/ActionItems/PatriotBill/PatriotBillText.html and send it to both of your Senators and your Representative asking them to sponsor this bill.  
2.  Contact your state legislators and have them sponsor a resolution patterned after the resolution in Montana. http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/2005/billhtml/SJ0019.htm  
3.  Write a letter to the Editor urging Congress to rescind this Act and urging your state legislature to pass a resolution urging Congress to rescind this Act.  
4.Study information on the USA Patriot Act at: http://www.bordc.org/index.html  
5.  Study your Constitutional rights at: http://stores.ebay.com/Independent-American-Books_
W0QQsspagenameZMEQ3aFQ3aSTQQtZkm   For Freedom,   Will Christensen National Vice Chair Independent American Party http://www.usiap.org/  

The Independent American Party will hold a convention the 15th & 16th of April in Salt Lake City.  Details are at:  

http://www.usiap.org/Events/EventsIndex.html     

Those who are interested in retrieving our government  from the Insiders are invited to attend.



  Woman Sentenced For  'Anti-Semitic' Comments
  4-16-5
          ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- An Orange County judge handed down an unusual sentence for a woman accused of yelling anti-Semitic comments at her Jewish neighbor.           Geraldine Ballard wasn't charged with a crime. What happened in court Thursday will not show up on her record unless she violates the conditions of her probation.           Orange County judge Mike Murphy handled the sensitive case by drafting a creative sentence for Ballard. Ballard is accused of threatening Lisa Green and her children by shouting derogatory remarks at them as they walked in front of her property on their way to the Jewish Community Center in Maitland.           "I truly have to say, the system worked, it really worked," said Green.           The judge sentenced Ballard to 180 days of probation with the condition she either serve 50 hours of community service or visit one of three holocaust museums in Washington DC, St. Petersburg or the Jewish Community Center located in her own neighborhood.

          Ballard has denied the accusations against her all along and Thursday she refused to talk about the conditions of her probation.           Ballard must also undergo a mental health evaluation. If she fails to comply, she'll be back in court where she could be criminally charged.           Ballard will have to pay $250 in court costs and she cannot have any contact with Green and her family.
          http://www.wftv.com/news/4379642/detail.html


Congressman Ron Paul rejects World Trade Organisation

February 28,  2005 

The World Trade Organization, which the United States joined in 1994, has been disastrous for American sovereignty.  A tax bill passed last year provides a vivid example of just how blatantly Congress is surrendering our sovereignty to quasi-governmental bodies like the WTO.  For years, high-tax Europe has objected to how we tax American companies on their overseas earnings.  The EU took its dispute to the WTO grievance board, which voted in favor of the Europeans.  The WTO ruling was clear: Congress must change American law to comply with European rules.

Make no mistake about it: WTO ministers tell Congress to change American laws, and Congress complies.  In fact, congressional leaders obediently scrambled to make sure the corporate tax bill passed before a WTO deadline.  Thousands and thousands of bills languish in committees, yet a bill ordered by the WTO was pushed to the front of the line.

Americans should expect to see more of the laws we live under being dictated by international bodies.  Later this year, all European Union countries will unify their food supplement laws to conform with rules established by a United Nations commission.  This commission, called Codex Alimentarius, calls for strict control of dietary supplements.  Under the Codex rules, Europeans will need a doctor's prescription to obtain even basic vitamins.  Thanks to the WTO, Americans may find their supplements similarly restricted in an attempt to harmonize the regulatory playing field between the U.S. and Europe.  After all, this is the new reality in the WTO era: no nation may enjoy an "unfair" trade or regulatory environment.

This affront to our national sovereignty was of course predictable when we joined the WTO.  A Congressional Research Service report was quite clear about the consequences of our membership: "As a member of the WTO, the United States does commit to act in accordance with the rules of the multi-lateral body.  It is legally obligated to insure that national laws do not conflict with WTO rules." 

Our membership in the WTO is unconstitutional, which is to say illegal.  The Constitution grants Congress, and Congress alone, the authority to regulate trade.  Congress cannot cede that authority to the WTO or any other international body, nor can the President legally sign any treaty that purports to do so.  When Congress in essence transfers its authority over trade matters to the WTO, it acts illegally.

Fortunately, Congress has an opportunity this year to withdraw our membership in the WTO.  When the U.S. first joined the organization in 1994, a rushed lame-duck Congress inserted a 5 year review clause to garner some last-minute votes.  This clause allows members of Congress to bring a resolution every 5 years calling for a vote on our continued membership.  I plan to join with other House colleagues this year in demanding withdrawal from the WTO.  Our sovereignty is a precious national asset, and the American people are tired of watching Congress sell out one constitutional principle after another.

Norman Kirk Singleton
Legislative Director
Congressman Ron Paul
203 Cannon
Washington, DC 20515
202-225-2831