(Note: This fine article was written to show how 'projects' -- never permitted in the Constitution of the United States of America -- have been used to steal America's economic health by language deception. Theft is still theft, no matter what name is put on it. This is an important article of historic proportion. The more blatant language deception words and phrases have been underlined for ease in spotting.)
By John D’Aloia Jr.
St. Marys, Kansas
Mark Twain’s observation "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session" is timeless.
The Heritage Foundation has reported that our 'fiscally conservative congressmen' have passed the fiscal year 2005 Omnibus spending bill, a $388 billion bill that contains a record amount of pork.
Only six years ago, the number of pork projects -- called "earmarks" because the particular spending is directed to a specific congressman’s district -- was under 2,000. In the FY 2004 budget, there were 10,656.
More than 11,000 earmarks are in the 2005 budget, with a total cost of over $23 billion.
Representative Bill Young, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee is quoted as saying "This is a lean and clean package that adheres to the budgetary limits agreed to by the Congress and the president."
It is so easy to spend other peoples’ money -- so easy to rob Peter to pay off your favorite Paul and buy some votes in the process. Such largess was not what the Founders envisioned.
Thomas Jefferson: "The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys."
Where, oh where is the Omnibus bill sending your dollars?
Some examples noted by the Heritage Foundation:
$450,000 to the Baseball Hall of Fame (New York), $350,000 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (Ohio), $250,000 to the Country Music Hall of Fame (Tennessee), $200,000 to the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum (Ohio), $150,000 to the Coca-Cola Space Science Center (Georgia), $1 million to the Trailways Station Revitalization and Visitors Center (Georgia), $100,000 to the Pennsylvania Hunting and Fishing Museum, $100,000 to the National Railway Museum (Wisconsin), $1 million for a 'Wild American Shrimp Initiative' (location unstated), and $250,000 for "traffic calming" in Windermere, Florida. Kansas was not left out. $100,000 is going to the City of Ottawa for a municipal swimming pool.
Is it really a rational public purpose to have government use its power to tax and print money so it can enrich a private museum? I think not.
What is the Wild American Shrimp Initiative? A marketing campaign.
According to "SeaFood Business", the Southern Shrimp Alliance formed Wild American Shrimp this summer to oversee the effort. The alliance, an eight-state group of shrimp fishermen and processors from North Carolina to Texas, is funding the campaign using federal aid.
Fox News reported that Senator John McCain, a perennial critic of pork-barrel spending, denounced the shrimp pork on the Senate floor, asking "are shrimp so unruly and lacking initiative that the government must spend $1 million on them? Why does the U.S. taxpayer need to fund this 'no shrimp left behind' act?"
"Traffic calming" -- it sounds so innocent, so peaceful. Do you know what it means? One clue -- it has nothing to do with road rage (though it could well create road rage). It is another example of placing a sound-good smoke screen name on what is actually an effort to separate you from your car and to drastically modify the basic contract between citizens and their government.
In a nutshell, "traffic calming" is the design of a road so as to deliberately force all drivers to drive below the speed limit and to make it difficult to park your car anywhere near your destination.
Examples are reduction in the width of lanes, indiscriminate speed bumps, corner curb bump-outs which make right-hand turns more difficult, extra-wide bicycle lanes, planters in the middle of an intersection, the reduction in length of parallel parking spaces by planters, ensuring that only the smallest of cars can make use of them, extensive use of one-way streets, the dead-ending of streets -- all are means deliberately used to severely restrict traffic flow and add delays to travel times.
Susanna Jennings, writing in the "Advance Bulletin", stated that "traffic calming" is a demonstration that elected officials do not support "the Natural Law perspective on which are system of government is based -- namely, that a person is innocent until proven guilty."
She states that "this perspective implies that all our rights spring from the government, and that the government can restrict our freedom of mobility in order to prevent any lawbreaking that might occur."
Jennings points out that these elected officials have a perspective found in the tenets of mid-20th C. German Socialism; they are corrupting the American system of government.
Why? Because citizens are electing people who do not understand our founding principles (or do not believe in them) and who do not stand up to protect individual rights.
The same perspective can be found in other laws on the books -- draconian zoning laws come to mind.
See you TRACKSIDE.