Remember, voting is a responsibility… NOT just a right.
Congratulations to George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America,
on his second term in office.
When was the last time you actually READ the U.S. Constitution? Here it is, along with ammendments, in all it's glory. Did you know that the 16th Ammendment (the one that authorized the FederalIncome Tax, was rejected (and never subsequently ratified) by Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah.
Also, the Constitution, with some interesting hyperlinks, including biographies of the signers along with pictures of them,is available here, the National Archives site.
The following is an email I recently received: For release: February 21, 2001
For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
Lemon drop drugs and paper guns: Zero-tolerance laws get bizarre
WASHINGTON, DC -- Three cheers for the American Bar Association's decision to oppose zero tolerance policies which allow kids to be kicked out of school for possession of "drugs" like lemon drops and Kool-Aid, and for "weapons" like fingers and rubber bands, the Libertarian Party said today.
"Finally, some sanity about America's zero tolerance nonsense," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director.
"In a country where students can be expelled for sniffing Kool- Aid, for sharing candy, and for brandishing potato chip canisters, the American Bar Association has interjected a note of common sense."
On Monday, the leadership of the ABA voted to recommend an end to zero-tolerance policies in the nation's 14,000 school districts.
The 400,000-member lawyer's organization, which held its winter meeting in San Diego, said such policies are a misguided "one-size- fits-all solution to all the problems schools confront" and have "redefined students as criminals."
Zero tolerance policies -- many mandated by state law after the tragic school shootings in Columbine, Colorado -- require government- run schools to expel or suspend students for any violation of weapons or drugs regulations.
Such policies have led to bizarre results, including:
* A 6-year-old in Colorado was suspended for violating the school's anti-drug policy after a teacher saw him share a lemon drop candy with a friend. The school also called an ambulance for the lemon- drop-eating friend.
* In New Jersey, a 9-year-old was suspended -- and forced to undergo psychiatric counseling -- for threatening to shoot a classmate with a rubber band.
* A 10-year-old in Colorado was expelled because her mother put a small knife in her lunchbox to cut an apple. When the girl realized the knife could violate the school's anti-weapons policy, she turned it over to a teacher. The school then expelled the girl.
* Three grammar school students in Colorado were suspended for possessing a weapon -- a water pistol.
* A 13-year-old in Arizona, inspired by the movie October Sky, built a rocket -- fueled by three match heads -- out of a Pringles potato chip canister. When he brought the potato chip canister to school he was suspended for a year for having a "weapon." The school also reported him to the police.
* In Michigan, a third-grader was suspended for showing his classmates a gun-shaped medallion, slightly larger than a charm for a necklace. He had found the piece of jewelry in a snowbank. "State law requires us to take action even though it was a toy," said a school administrator.
* A school in New Jersey suspended two kindergarten students for playing "cops and robbers" on the playground. They had pointed their fingers at each other like guns and shouted, "Bang bang!"
* In Maryland, a school suspended a 9-year-old after he drew a picture of a gun on a piece of paper.
* In Virginia, eight students were suspended for one week after they were caught sniffing Kool-Aid. They were charged with "possession of contraband" because they were "using Kool-Aid in a way that imitated the use of illegal drugs," school officials said.
Given such ridiculous results, zero tolerance policies are clearly ineffective, said Dasbach.
"Expelling children for possession of a rubber band, a water pistol, or a finger doesn't keep anyone safe," he said. "Schools don't seem to recognize that there is a difference between a psychotic student with a semi-automatic weapon and a 6-year-old with a rubber band.
"And to the degree that these policies force school officials to pay attention to such trivial transgressions while ignoring real potential dangers, students may actually be less safe. That's bad news for parents whose children are trapped in government schools."
At their worst, the kind of zero tolerance policies opposed by the American Bar Association send a chilling message to children, said Dasbach.
"These policies teach children that justice is inflexible, and doesn't care about circumstances, or fairness, or good sense," he said. "And they teach children that they have no rights -- that they are criminals if they play innocent childhood games, say the wrong thing, or share a lemon drop candy with a friend."
No joke: The USDA is debating the proper size of holes in Swiss cheese
WASHINGTON, DC -- Department of Agriculture bureaucrats are trying to decide how big the holes in Swiss cheese should be (no, that's not a joke) -- which proves once and for all that the Washington, DC bureaucracy is an "out-of-control muenster," says the Libertarian Party.
"We know federal bureaucrats don't have enough to do, but when they start to cheddar-chatter about the correct size of the holes in Swiss cheese, well, they ought to be dipped in a fondue pot," said the party's press secretary, George Getz.
"The fact is, the only holes that need to be regulated are the holes in the heads of federal bureaucrats."
Late last month, the USDA released a proposed new 15-page regulation that would require the holes in Swiss cheese to be reduced from an average of eleven-sixteenths to three-eighths of an inch in diameter in order to qualify for a federal Grade A rating.
The new guidelines -- which will replace federal Swiss cheese standards established in 1987 -- were revealed by the Washington Post this month, and have already been criticized by Citizens Against Government Waste and Gourmet magazine.
For Libertarians, the new Swiss cheese rule -- and the fact that federal bureaucrats care about such trivial issues as the size of cheese holes -- is just another example of how the federal government is up to, well, no gouda.
"Something smells here, and it isn't the Limburger," said Getz. "It's these federal bureaucrats who think they should be able to tax, regulate, mandate, subsidize, prohibit, or micromanage every area of our lives -- up to and including the size of the holes in our Swiss cheese.
"Frankly, Americans are getting feta up with this kind of meddling. If these federal busybodies are not stopped, what will they regulate next? The size of the holes in doughnuts? The holes in onion rings? The holes in Bill Clinton's alibis?"
The USDA claims it is considering the change because of lobbying from the cheese industry, which wants the more popular smaller-hole cheese to qualify for the government's Grade A rating. Currently, the smaller-hole cheese gets a Grade B rating, which reduces the price that cheesemakers can charge for it.
But the solution is not to lobby the government -- and have high-priced, tax-funded "brieaucrats" research and debate the proper size of cheese holes -- but to turn it over to the free market, said Getz.
"There is no reason why a cheese industry board, funded by manufacturers, can't set quality standards for cheese," he said. "And there's no reason why cheesemakers can't offer Swiss cheese with differently sized holes to consumers, and let them buy whatever kind they like best. The federal government doesn't need to be involved in such decisions."
Instead of worrying about such trivia, federal cheese dips should just leave Americans' provolone alone, said Getz.
"Americans don't need Monterey Jack-booted thugs from the USDA messing with our Swiss cheese," he said. "The bottom line is that this cheese regulation is to the proper function of government what Cheese Whiz is to real cheese."
In Memoriam: Tony “Buzz” Buzzanco passed away April 27, 2003. He will be missed dearly by his wife Pam, and his two children, Anthony & Lauren.
Tony’s political ties were with the Libertarian party. We thus are leaving the above text on the subject that he believed in so much. Buzz, we miss you.