Bits, pieces, letters and thoughts
By Claire Wolfe
Lightening up a bit this week after some recent Very Heavy columns. ...
Every time I open the Hardyville mailbag, I find it filled with e-messages from astrophysicists, MDs, systems analysts, biochemists, JDs, DDS's, geologists, ecologists, LLBs, hydrologists, psychologists, DVMs and even the occasional extraterrestrial xenozoologist -- as well as the most intelligent bunch of cops, soldiers, housewives, bus drivers, retired waitresses, farmers and writers I've ever met.
All the while, the mainstream media keeps insisting the freedom movement is oozing with inbred, snaggle-toothed, beer-gutted, xenophobic Billy-Bobs who can't count beyond .357 magnum and who have to go to bed at night with tinfoil in their ears to keep alien voices from sending them on homicidal rampages with their high-capacity, fully automatic, pump action 20 gauge assault shotguns.
Hey, either all you people signing off as astro-geo-bio-ologists are havin' me on, or the media is ... no, they couldn't be. They just couldn't be. Not that.
Does anybody know anything about an institutional millennium work strike? If so, e-mail me. Somebody sent a very mysterious snail on this. No return address. No contact info.
Bruce Stanton writes to suggest that we take the trigger locks Congress is going to require us to buy with our guns, tie a tea bag to them and send them to Washington. I suggest that, while rushing to buy stock in trigger lock manufacturers, you check to see how many cousins of congressthings are among the major shareholders.
Outrage against an activist? A state makes marijuana legal. OK, just a teeny bit, tentatively, cautiously legal -- for sick people. Activists get to work doing what the state law allows. The fedgov, feeling its power threatened, retaliates. Here's one young activist they're willing to pursue to the ends of the earth. Please help Renee Boje if you can.
Several weeks ago, I deliberately insulted Kansas. Twice. Not a single person wrote to say I was a perfidious bigot, not fit to print my opinions on a parakeet cage liner. Could it be we've finally discovered one thing in the world -- besides gun owners -- that it's still politically correct to libel?
Got a call from the Centers for Disease Control the other day. They were doing a survey to "prevent childhood disease" -- not a survey to learn anything, mind you, but to "prevent disease." Hmm. Must be some powerful survey. Whaddoo they do? Squirt Hepatitis B vaccine through the little holes in the receiver?
I said I don't participate in surveys and hung up. Couple days later, there they are, ringing my unlisted line again. This time they just started asking the questions, as if I had no option to say, "No." As I hung up, I could hear the woman continuing to pressure me.
Same thing happened two years ago. Took three calls to get rid of 'em -- and this was no mistake; they knew I'd already refused and each time sent a more high-pressure agent. Who do these people think they are, anyway? The government? The slimeballs who call about the "fabulous prizes" I've "already won" have more integrity.
Keep handy the whistle you use for obscene phone callers.
Speaking of surveys, picture this:
Your phone rings.
"Hi, there, I'm from the U.S. Justice Department. Do you keep weapons in your house?"
What do you do? (I know it's a toughy. I'll give you a few minutes to think of an answer.)
Riiiiiight! You lie! Either that or you get out that whistle. That's why I was so fascinated by the Arizona Republic article sent by pal Tina Terry. According to a June 6 story in that snoozepaper, 39 percent of the folks in Knoxville, Tenn., said, "Yep" to that question in a survey conducted by "... the Justice Department's statistics bureau and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services." So did 31 percent in Tucson and about the same percentage in Savannah and Spokane.
Now, anybody in the West or South knows that's a ridiculously low percentage. Thirty-nine percent "yeps" probably means about 80 percent weapon-owners. (The article didn't say what weapons.) But what was even more interesting was that the same survey found that 7 percent of the folks in Washington, D.C., and 8 percent in New York City admitted to keeping weapons in their homes. Wonder how many more of those officially disarmed folks really have grampa's old 1911 or something much more interesting in the closet.
End racism in America? Speaking of creative versions of the truth, from a reader named Ed comes an elegant idea for foiling the plans of the single most race-obsessed organization in America -- the federal government.
Next year's census will have the most politically correct array of choices about race you've ever seen. Now, for the first time, you can say you belong to more than one race or list yourself as being of "other" race.
If you check "other," then write "mixed" when asked to describe what "other" means -- and if millions of other race-weary folks did the same -- there wouldn't be any way for the fedgov to keep its upside-down version of Jim Crow racism alive. And it's true, isn't it? As Ed points out, he's "Celtic-Hungarian-Mongolian-whatever" and most of us are some sort of melting-pot mutts.
Life follows fiction. The latest Internet hoax - about the Post Office planning a $.05 tax on every e-mail -- reflects a 1996 story by Carl Bussjaeger that's archived on my Web site, Wolfe's Lodge. In Carl's imaginative fiction, people did a lot more than just write their congresscritters.
This message going around is just a hoax. But don't think the P.O. wouldn't love to try. ...
They're becoming awfully ambitious these days. You've read, in the reports by Stephan Archer and Vin Suprynowicz that the U.S.P.O. is imposing absurd conditions on the two-million-plus holders of private mailboxes. But you might not have groked the worst.
Did you realize that one of their strangula ... I mean regulations ... requires that -- just ten days from today -- all companies like Mail Boxes Etc. must turn names, addresses and other personal information about customers (including, in some cases, your SS number) over to the P.O. to be put into a database?
Yep, all us folks who want privacy are going to be federally databased for our "crime." Never mind that these regulations violate various federal laws, like the Privacy Act and the Unfunded Mandate Act.
"Wait a minute!" you say. "So what? Mailbox businesses have always required ID and postal paperwork." Yeah, but this is different. Way different. The old paperwork usually just sat around at the local P.O. or the mailbox place itself, gathering cobwebs. We're talking national database now. We're talking more invasive forms. And we're talking two forms of ID, one of which must have your verified home address. Also, if you do business at your private mailbox, your paperwork -- including everything a stalker or an identity thief needs -- will be available for public inspection.
They also say by October 24 they'll quit delivering our mail if everyone who sends us letters doesn't put "PMB" for "private mailbox" on envelopes addressed to us -- and put it on a separate line, yet (as if we had any control over what people put on their envelopes!). Under the very worst interpretation the P.O. could require mailbox businesses to check their paperwork on June 24 -- and return the mail of any customer who hasn't filled out the new paperwork and provided "approved" ID. This isn't likely to happen. But the possibility remains.
So what do you do? Some maybes, depending on your willingness to take risks:
Rick Merritt and Postal Watch are totally within the system, and Rick has made it clear that he doesn't endorse resistance. However, he does point out that the U.S. Sixth District Court of Appeals, in a lawsuit brought by Federal Express, has already decreed that the P.O. cannot claim governmental immunity against lawsuits.
Finally, I apologize to everyone who's written and gotten no answer. I try to respond to all messages, but lately ... whoof, you people have knocked me on my e-tail. I'm slowly getting to the messages that absolutely require responses, but I might never make it through the entire heap. I can only say I'm as overwhelmed with gratitude as I am with mail -- and that when you finally get my reply, it'll come in tax-free e-mail, without a $.33 stamp on it.
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