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
3. Confiscation of assets from any American who establishes
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
or getting into vehicles.
6. Increased funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, an agency infamous for its brutality, dishonesty and
7. A law enabling the executive branch to declare various groups
"Terrorists" - without stating any reason and without
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
classes of people.
9. A law requiring that all states begin issuing drivers licenses
carrying Social Security numbers and "security features"
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
takes place in your doctor's office. This includes records of
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
feel about ready to go postal.") and any observations your
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
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
My favorite answer came from an eloquent college student who
all SUUUCK!" Also true.
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
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
the floor of Congress nor reported in the media. For instance,
three of the most
horrific items (the health care database, asset confiscation for
and the 100 pages of health care crimes) were hidden in the
Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
1996 (HR 3103).
You didn't hear about them at the time because the media was
celebrating this moderate, compromise bill that "simply"
ensured that no
American would ever lose insurance coverage due to a job change
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
Fiends Act of 1984"). They read summaries, which are often
prepared by the
very agencies or groups pushing the bill. And they vote according
deals or pressures.
It also sometimes happens that the most horrible provisions
are sneaked into
bills during conference committee negotiations, after both House
have voted on their separate versions of the bills. The conference
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
available for review.
I have even heard (though I cannot verify) that stealth provisions
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
bombs become "law" without ever having been voted on
And who's to know? If congress people don't even read legislation
vote on it, why would they bother reading it afterward? Are power
capable of such chicanery? Do we even need to ask? Is the computer
which bills are stored vulnerable to tampering by people within
or outside of
Congress? We certainly should ask. Whether your legislators were
the infamy they were perpetrating, or whether they knew, one thing
The Constitution, your legislator's oath to it, and your inalienable
precede the Constitution) never entered into anyone's consideration.
you may recall that one of the early pledges of Newt Gingrich
was to stop these stealth attacks. Very early in the 104th Congress,
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
and got back to the dirty old business of practicing all the anti-freedom
they were capable of.
STEALTH ATTACKS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
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
passed near the end of the second session of the 104th Congress.
can claim to have been unaware of these three because they were
public attention by gun-rights groups and hotly debated in both
the media. Yet some 90 percent of all congress people voted for
many who claim to be ardent protectors of the rights guaranteed
by the Second
Well, in the case of my wrapped-in-the-flag, allegedly pro-
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
government down in 1994. If we hadn't voted for this budget bill,
have elected a Democratic legislature in 1996 - and you wouldn't
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!
HOW SNEAK ATTACKS ARE JUSTIFIED
The Republicans are fond of claiming that Bill Clinton
"forced" them to pass certain legislation by threatening
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
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
publisher of the electronic magazine Fratricide, is to hide duplicate
near-duplicate provisions in several bills. Then, when the Supreme
declares Section A of Law Z to be -unconstitutional, its kissing
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
bans unconstitutional because Congress demonstrated no jurisdiction,
brassily changed a few words. They claimed that school zones fell
heading of "interstate commerce." Then they sneaked
the provision into HR
3610, where it became "law" once again. When angry voters
people about some Big Brotherish horror they've inflicted upon
the country by
stealth, they claim lack of knowledge, lack of time, party pressure,
pressure, or they justify themselves by claiming that the rest
of the bill was
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
ever passed. And they have done it, in large part, in secret.
Redmon Barbry put
it best: "We the people have the right to expect our elected
read, comprehend and master the bills they vote on. If this means
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."
means the deed is done, there is no acceptable excuse for voting
Constitution, voting for tyranny. And I would add to Redmon's
Those who do read the bills, then knowingly vote to ravage our
doubly guilty. But when do the treason trials begin?
BILLS AS WINDOW DRESSING FOR AN UGLY AGENDA
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
sometimes nothing more than elaborate window dressing. These tiny
are placed there at the behest of federal police agencies or other
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
country. (In fact, the entire bill was an amendment to the Internal
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
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.
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
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
legislation (under threat of losing "federal welfare dollars"),
it is YOUR name and
Social Security number that will be entered in that employee database
moment you go to work for a new employer. It is YOU who will be
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
license bureau. It is YOU who will be endangered by driving "illegally"
refuse to submit to Big Brother's procedures. It is YOU whose
depression or prostate troubles will soon be the reading matter
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
home, bank account and reputation because you made a mistake on
insurance form. Finally, when you become truly desperate for freedom,
YOU whose assets will be seized if you try to flee this increasingly
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.
when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares
things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live
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
because of increasingly draconian penalties and electronic tracking
our "lawbreaking" places us and our families in greater
jeopardy every day.
STOPPING RUNAWAY GOVERNMENT
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
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
you try fighting these laws in the courts? Where do you find the
Where do you find a judge who doesn't have a vested interest in
powerful government? And again, for every one case decided in
freedom, what do you do about the 10, 20 or 100 in which the courts
against the Bill of Rights?
Perhaps you'd consider trying to stop the onrush of these horrors
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
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
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
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.)
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;
disobedience; wide-scale, silent non-cooperation; highly noisy
boycotts; secession efforts; monkey wrenching; computer hacking;
against government agents; public shunning of employees of abusive
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
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,
Not one of us can be certain of going through a single day without
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
intentions" won't protect you, as the similar claims of politicians
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
purposefully. Yes, some of us will suffer horrible consequences
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
many others, I would never recommend any particular course of
anyone - and I hope you'll think twice before taking "advice"
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
publicly - all of us will suffer the much worse consequences of
living under total
oppression. And whatever courses of action we choose, we must
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
NOTES on the laws listed above:
1. (employee database) Welfare Reform Bill, HR 3734; became
104-193 on 8/22/1996; see section 453A.
2. (health care crimes) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
1996, HR 3103; became public law 104-191 on 8/21/96.
3. (asset confiscation for citizenship change) Same law as
#2; see; sections
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
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;
folded into the Omnibus Appropriations Act, HR 3610 (which was
formerly called the Defense Appropriations Act - but we wouldn't
confuse anyone, here, would we?); became public law 104-208 on
sections 656 and 657 among others.
10. (health care database) Health Insurance Portability and
of 1996, HR 3103; became public law 104-191 on 8/21/96; see sections
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
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.
all I know, Congress has passed 10 times more of that sort of
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
efforts of Jackie - Juntti and Ed Lyon and others, who researched
law. Think of it: Thanks to congressional stealth tactics, we
long-dreaded national ID card legislation for five months, without
whisper of discussion, before freedom activists began to find
out about it.
Makes you wonder what else might be lurking out there, doesn't
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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