L. Neil Smith's

Number 22, February 15, 1997.

Brief History of a Banana Republic

Compiled by L. Reichard White

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

from Reason, March 1991, "In From the Cold War" p. 25:

(Virginia) POSTREL: If you like democracy in Zaire, what gives you the right to decide that Joe Jones in Kansas ought to pay for your fomenting of democracy in Zaire, even assuming that you could be successful at it?

(Joshua) MURAVCHIK: The right seems to me perfectly clear: We are a nation, we have an agreement that there are such things as common purposes, and we have a system of government which is predicated on the idea that if a majority, through our processes of government, decides that certain purposes are in the common interest, such as giving welfare to poor people, or --

(Charles) KRAUTHAMMER: Going to the moon.

MURAVCHIK: Or going to the moon, or whatever in foreign policy, and as long as these common purposes don't involve curtailing the rights of our own citizens, but involve only taxing them, making them contribute some money, it is fundamental to our way of government that we have the right to do that.

* The NEW Misery Index: Taxes, Social Security, medical bills, and interest payments amounted to 24% of a worker's pay in 1980; now it is 40% of pay. -Bill Clinton, 27-Nov-91 [The original misery index was used by Jimmy Carter against Gerald Ford, and revived by Ronald Reagan against Carter.]

* The American Academy of Sciences believes there are far more "working poor" than previously admitted because essential living expenses, health payments made by workers, and taxes should be subtracted from gross income before making that determination. -NBC News, 30 April 1995, 10:46:50 AM

* "In 1950, American families sent 1 of 50 of their hard earned dollars to Washington: Today it is 1 in 4." -Rep. John Ensign D-NEV, C-SPAN I, 4 April 1995, 11:03 AM EST

* According to House of Representatives testimony government at all levels, including regulation, costs Americans 53% of their income. -C-SPAN, 4 April 1995

* QUESTION: How long did Americans work to pay taxes in 1995? ANSWER: January 1 to July 9, 1995. -CNN Factoid, 15 April 1996 ~12:20 PM

* "This huge inventory of taxes has reduced once-proud Americans to the status of chattel slaves." -Paul Roberts in his Feb. 7, 1996 column

* A pipe bomb planted near a Reno, Nevada IRS building failed to explode, although the fuse had been lit. -CNN 19 Dec 1995

* "The Index of Social Well-Being," prepared annually by Fordham University, largely based on how a society treats its most vulnerable members such as children, shows that America's social well-being, as measured by government figures, dropped from a high of 77.5 in 1973, and has been falling ever since, to a low of 37.5 in 1994. The index shows a consistent decline of well-being extending through both Republican and Democratic administrations. -Synopsis of presentation by Dr. Marc Miringoff of Fordham University, CNN Today, Oct. 14, 1996, ~14:17

* The average teen hasn't had an uninterrupted ten minute conversation with either parent in the last month. Half have used tobacco, two thirds have used alcohol, and one third "illegal" drugs. -CNN & COMPANY, 19 Oct 1995

* The reason there is a breakdown in family values is that there is no parent at home. The reason there is no parent at home is that one parent works to support the family and the other to support the government. -Representative from Family Research Council, CNN & COMPANY

* Of the top US high-school students, 51% feel stressed out, 76% have cheated, 12% don't feel safe in school, 26% have considered suicide and 50% say it's easy to get drugs in school. -CNN HEADLINE NEWS, 13 Nov 1996, 1:36 PM EST

* All [14] Washington D.C. schools were closed by a telephone bomb threat today. The explosions were supposed to happen at 12 noon. There have been twenty-five bomb scares in Washington D.C. schools so-far this year. -CNN HEADLINE NEWS, 24 Oct 1996, ~12:40:48 PM EST

* According to the Concorde Coalition [headed by Republican Warren Rudman and Democrat Paul Tsongas], without the national debt, the average US family income would be $50,000 rather than $35,000. -Olympia Snow, R-MAINE, C-SPAN II, 19 May 1995 ~5:20:07 PM

* 55% of U.S. Residents say they sometimes fret over money. -CNN factoid, CNN Headline News, 15 May 1995 10:18:10 AM

* The Medicare System is slated to go busted in 2002, the Social Security System in 2029. 25% of Americans think they'll get full Social Security benefits, 51% think they'll get reduced benefits, and 25% think they'll get no benefits when they retire. -CNN Headline News, 13 Dec 1996

* Six in ten "baby boomers" [60%] say they don't earn enough to save for retirement" -CNN Headline News, 16 May 1995 ~ 2:48:59 PM

* The budget fight is over whether the budget should grow 5% [Democrats] or 3% [Republicans]. Newt Gingrich says his generation is at the moment of truth. "Are we going to do what's necessary to balance the budget, or are we going to continue to borrow from our grandchildren?" -CNBC, 16 May 1995 ~12:44:24

* According to Clinton's Office of Management and Budget (OMB), if the growth of the federal deficit isn't stopped, children born after 1992 will pay between 84% and 94% of their income for local, state and Federal taxes. -Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-Illinois, C-SPAN, 17 May 1995 ~3:57:40 PM [This figure has been repeated by many others, including John Kasich, R-Ohio, Ross Perot, etc. and is attributed to page 24 or 25 of the Clinton 1994 budget in a section entitled "The Prospects for Inter-generational Warfare"]

* A congressman quips, "We used to pay off the mortgage and leave our kids the farm. Now we hock the farm and leave our kids the mortgage." -C-SPAN

* "If the American people ever allow private banks [the Federal Reserve] to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations which grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." -Thomas Jefferson

* Houston children help the homeless by passing out gift-wrapped blankets. -CNN 18 Dec 1996, 1:04PM

* About 9:00 AM a homeless man with a knife, living in a park across from the White House charged a park policeman and was shot and critically injured. He later died. The park police are reportedly putting pressure on the homeless who live in the park. -20 Dec 1994

* Former president George Bush resigns his NRA life membership in protest to an NRA fund raising letter that calls BATF agents "jack-booted thugs." -CNN Headline News, 15 May, 1995, 9:32:51 AM

* In what turns out to be the most expensive law enforcement operation in history, BATF agents begin assault on the Branch Davidian church compound near Waco, Texas, culminating with the incineration of 60 church members, including 25 children. The BATF agents, dressed in battle gear, are indeed wearing "jack-boots." Government agents, participating in this massacre, including Larry Potts, are rewarded with advancements and medals. No government agent is prosecuted for any crime in connection with this action.

* US Marshal William F. Degan, after killing the Weaver's dog, and shooting their fourteen-year-old son Samuel Weaver in the back, killing him instantly, is himself killed, apparently by friendly fire. Also in battle gear, Degan is wearing "jack-boots."

* FBI Hostage Rescue Team sniper Ron Harucci shoots Vicki Weaver through the head while she is holding her ten-month old infant daughter. In battle gear, he is also wearing jack-boots.

* An Idaho jury finds Randy Weaver innocent of all but minor charges, and in a nearly unprecedented event, the U.S. Government pays what's left of the Weaver family over $3 million in damages. This payment for damages comes from taxes and/or Federally borrowed money.

* The much hullabalooed line "jackbooted thugs" used in the controversial NRA fundraising letter was originally "jackbooted fascists" and used by Congressman John D. Dingell D-MICH, in [1981.] -C-SPAN, 24 May, 1995 ~~0800

* A gang of policemen is video-taped beating Rodney King.

* A California Highway Patrol officer is indicted for raping and killing several female motorists. Motorists are advised when pulled over by the police, to go to a well-lighted public area before stopping.

* The Los Angeles County Police force is being investigated by Amnesty International for persistent human rights violations.

* "He's too hung up with rules. He doesn't lie. ... He's not a cop at heart." -LA cop Mark Furhman in excerpt from his taped interviews with Laura Hart McKinney, writer subpoened by O.J. Simpson defense, CNN HEADLINE NEWS, 19 Aug 1995

* FBI agent Michael Kahoe is indicted and pleads guilty to obstruction of justice charges for attempting to cover-up details of the Ruby Ridge murder of the Weavers. Although chief FBI agent Larry Potts (promoted for his role in the Waco massacre) is suspended, the other participants in the Weaver murders are awarded medals and given advancements, hailed as heros and "models for all law enforcement officers".

* Five FBI agents plead the Fifth Ammendment when appearing at Congressional hearings concerning the FBI coverup of the Ruby Ridge incident. The disciplinary action taken was equivalent to what would happen if an agent used a government car to take his child to school. -ATTORNEY GENERAL CONFERENCE, C-SPAN2, 23 Nov 1995, ~6:09:03 PM PST

* Michael Thames, a six-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, says corruption begins at Police Acadamey where recruits unofficially learn the "code of silence" -- you never rat on a brother officer. This is enforced by peer pressure during a cop's career. "No one wants to ride with you otherwise." According to Thames, the motto of the New Orleans police he worked with was "Always go home from work with more than you came with." Thames claimed that in the six years he was a New Orleans cop, all but two of the other officers he worked with "were corrupt one way or another." "Cops regularly lie on the [witness] stand," Thames said. "It's called 'institutionalized corruption.' Can you trust your police?" asked reporter [Bobi?] Andersen. Thames after pause: "I guess you have to. The corruption isn't going away." -Synopsis of interview aired on CNN, 10/10/95

* Richard Jewell won't take another FBI lie detector test because the FBI lies to suspects and isn't trustworthy. For example the FBI told Jewell they were going to use him in a training video as a ploy to get him to talk to them. Quite often the FBI asks completely innocent suspects to take lie detector tests to prove they're innocent; although they pass the tests, the FBI won't release the results, and though they know better, still claims the innocent person is a suspect. -Lin Wood, Richard Jewell's attorney in the Olympic Park bombing investigation, CNN, 8 Oct 1996 1:04 PM

* "When you see those cop shows, and they show them in their locker room, do you wonder why they all lock their lockers?" -Gallagher

* Los Angeles police officer Mark Furhman pleads "No Contest" to charges he lied on the witness stand in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. He was fined two hundred dollars, and will be on probation for three years. -CNN BURDEN OF PROOF, 4 Oct 1996, 12:31:41 PM

* After serving eleven years in prison [Orlando?] Cruz was exonerated on charges of killing a little girl because police finally admitted lying on the witness stand. The police had no evidence, but they testified that Cruz had made incriminating statements to them. The case was finally re-opened when another man confessed to the crime. -Las Vegas Channel 3 News, 11-04-95 09:13am PST

* "Just through post-conviction DNA testing, we're now at a point where 39 people have been exonerated [from death row] in the last few years who have done terms of ten, fifteen years -- in one instance recently, up to seventeen years. ...Mr. [Gallagher?] is the ninth person in the state of Illinois who has been exonerated off death row and there have been only seven executions since they reinstated the death penalty. So out of sixteen people since the death penalty has been reinstated [in Illinois], nine have been exonerated off death row, seven have been executed." ..."We know from a book, [Bedot & Ratliff?] called 'In Spite of Innocence,' that since 1900 we have something like 476 instances of people on death row who were exonerated and some instances of people where they've been able to document were executed who were not guilty." -Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project, CNN Burden of Proof, 12 Nov. 1996

* A grandmother was arrested and handcuffed, thrown in a police cruiser and put in jail for helping someone she didn't even know. Her crime? She put a nickel in a stranger's expired parking meter. -This Week with David Brinkley, 27 Oct 1996 [In a follow-up story, though escaping hard time, the grandmother was going to be fined $1000 for her crime. -CNN & COMPANY, 20 Dec 1996]

* The United States has more of its citizens per capita in prison than any other country in the world. With 455 citizens per 100,000 in prison (about one in every 220 of us) the US is way ahead of the second place nation, South Africa, which has only 311 per 100,000 (about one in every 320) incarcerated. By way of comparison, Canada has only 111 (less than 1/4 the US rate) and Japan, 42 (less than 10% of the US rate). -data from FBI, Bureau of Justice Statistics, The Sentencing Project, published in TIME, Feb. 7, 1994 pg 58. [The united states also have more cops per captia and more things against the law than any other alliance in the world. -LRW]

* A routine traffic stop by two policemen in St. Petersburg, FLA, results in twenty-eight buildings, including a police sub-station, and various vehicles being burned in what is described as a riot. Two white city police claim they shot an eighteen-year-old black motorist five times when he tried to run one of them down with his car. There is a conflicting version from eye-witnesses. -CNN, NWI, etc. 24/25 Oct 1996

* In a related story, a TV cameraman, injured on the scene in St. Petersburg said, "When I answered the call, I thought I was just going to cover a routine police shooting." -American Journal, 26 Oct 1996

* Three Pittsburgh, Pa. police officers are indicted, two for homicide, one for involuntary manslaughter, in the death of Johnny Gammage. Gammage, a healthy man in his early twenties, was strangled and smothered by the three officers who claimed they thought the cellular phone he was carrying was a gun. -CNN 27 Nov 1995 10:03:05 AM PST [Eventually charges are reduced, and because of reluctant testimony and irregularities, no prosecutions are successful.]

* "We're the cops. Who's going to catch us?" -New York City policeman, being investigated for corruption

* On the aniversary of the Waco incineration of 35 Branch Davidians and 25 of their children by the FBI and BATF, the Murrah Federal office building in Oklahoma City is blown up.

* The killing of a homeless man, [ ] Poole, by Chicago policeman Gregory Becker, sparks a massive protest. -CNN 11 Sep 1995 ~8:16:01 PM

* Riots break out in St. Petersburg, FLA, when a panel decides no action will be taken against the two policemen who shot an eighteen-year-old black motorist. Once again there is wide-spread arson, a policeman is wounded and a police helicopter, shot several times, is forced to land. -CNN HEADLINE NEWS, 14 Nov 1996

* In a conversation with Roger Ailes, Nadine Strossen, Chairwoman of the liberal American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), indicates that every president since and including at least FDR should have served prison time for violating their oath of office to uphold the US Constitution. Ailes, a conservative, doesn't object. It's suggested presidents would serve their prison time AFTER they were out of office. -A recap of segments from America's Talking, CNBC, 21 or 22 May 1995

* A woman runner tells President Bill Clinton "You're nothing but a draft-dodging, yellow bellied liar." while he's on a beach exercise run. A caller at the end of a news cast comments, "I don't see why that woman was arrested, she was only telling the truth." -WTAE PGH Channel 4 11 O'Clock News, 17 Oct 1996.

* "President Clinton is so successful because he's an unusually good liar." -US Senator Bob Kerry D-Nebraska

* "How can we hope to teach our children right from wrong with Bill Clinton in the White House?" -Presidential Candidate Lamar Alexander, quoted in "TIME", 26 Feb 1996, p.25.

* Man sprays White House with bullets from Chinese "assault rifle" -~October 29, 1994.

* Four to six bullets are found on the White House grounds after shots are heard on the Pennsylvania Avenue side. One of the bullets is reported to have penetrated a window of the State Dining Room just below the Clintons' bedroom. -~16 December, 1994

* A man runs from a car he parked near the White House. When apprehended, he claims it's a car bomb. When the police examine the car, they find no explosives of any kind. Another man is apprehended in the vicinity of the White House with an unregistered, concealed handgun. No one is injured and both incidents are chalked-up as "copy cat" incidents. -CNN 23 Dec 1994

* Lwelln Majesky, a 37 year old former Pizza Hut delivery man with a master's degree in [political] science, climbs the fence around the White House carrying an unloaded pistol, is tackled by a uniformed Secret Service agent and shot in the arm by another. -23 May 1995

* Pennsylvania Avenue, in front of the White House, is blocked to traffic because of fear for the President's safety.

* A thirty-eight year-old man is killed, apparently trying to crash his Cessna into the Clinton's White House bedroom. Unbeknownst to the pilot, the president and first lady are sleeping elsewhere. -CNN, 09-10-94

* Jay Leno does spot showing a new sign on the White House door: "President carries less than $20.00 in cash."

* Bill Clinton is re-elected President of the United States. Once again he wins with less than half the popular vote. The voter turnout is lower than anytime since the 1920's -- fewer than half of eligible Americans bother to cast a vote. -5 Nov 1996.

* US House of Representatives Sargent-at-Arms wants to evaluate Newt Gingrich's "threat level" to determine if extra security precautions are necessary -CNN, 13 Dec 1994 ~4:04:10 PM

* Only 19% of Americans trust the government.

* 48% of surveyed Americans say they WOULDN'T give up any of their rights (including their rights to bear arms) to fight crime, feel more secure or for any reason. 38% said they WOULD give up rights, 15% were undecided. -CNN Headline News, 12 May 1995, 12:06:31 AM

* 18% of Americans believe they have the right to arm themselves to resist the government. 25% believe that Americans have the right to purchase and store large amounts of arms and ammunition. -CNN Headline News, 15 May 1995, 9:34:51 AM

L. Reichard White lives six houses up from the old Black HorseTavern, a birth place of the Whiskey Rebellion -- which explains alot. His current project involves the notion that altruistic drives evolved because they caused small-group humans to preserve their knowledge base -- which existed only in the minds of group members. He has supported his writing habit for over twenty years by beating casinos at their own games.

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