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web posted April 1998

Bush wins Southern Republican straw poll

The month of March began with a vote of support for the potential presidential candidacy of Texas Governor George W. Bush.

Bush won 18 per cent of about 1,000 votes cast despite being the only major prospective candidate who did not attend the conference.

Conference attendees were asked who their first choice for the GOP nomination would be. Bush was followed by millionaire publisher Steve Forbes with 15 per cent, former Vice President Dan Quayle with 12 per cent and Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson with 10 per cent.

Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft won 9 per cent, 1996 GOP presidential candidate Lamar Alexander took 8 per cent and House Speaker Newt Gingrich got 6 per cent.

Asked who they thought would win the nomination, 31 per cent said Bush, with Quayle following at 14 per cent and Forbes with 11 per cent.

Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts was the top choice for vice president, winning 26 per cent, with Elizabeth Dole following at 16 per cent.

While the results are impressive for Bush, it should be noted that Texas Senator Phil Gramm won several straw polls before being hammered in the primaries.

Notably, Bush decided to skip the Houston's Harris County Republican Party convention on March 28. To the bewilderment of conservatives, Bush was in Austin campaigning for candidates and in San Antonio attending the NCAA basketball tournament semifinals. He is facing re-election in November.

Conservatives who did make it included Forbes and Washington activist Gary Bauer.

Brock apologizes to Clinton

Former conservative attack dog David Brock has been attacking less and kissing up more with the Clintons recently.

In the April issue of Esquire, Brock apologized to U.S. president Bill Clinton for his 1993 American Spectator piece which exposed the alleged encounter between Clinton and Paula Jones.

"I wasn't hot for this story in the interest of good government or serious journalism. I wanted to pop you right between the eyes," writes Brock.

Brock has defended himself and the piece since it was published, but of late he has made overtures to the First Family. Besides this apology, Brock also wrote a flattering book about First Lady Hillary Clinton.

The turnabout on the Jones story? It turns out that Brock is now having doubts about the credibility of the Arkansas State Troopers who fed him the information for his piece. Years after they helped him make his name, Brock now calls the troopers "slimy" and "greedy." Brock does, however, still defend his original piece as accurate.

So what maybe the real reason for Brock's apology? Once dismissed as a fringe writer with a right-wing agenda, he is working hard to win newfound respectability as a mainstream journalist.

Brock is on the right track. Since the rest of mainstream journalism displays a startling level of sycophancy towards the president, it can't hurt your career to mimic the rest of the field, right?

Brock should be happy now. In introducing the story, CBS anchor Dan Rather stated."President Clinton got an unusual public apology today from the journalist whose 1993 article in a Republican-connected journal, helped set in motion, among other things, the Paula Jones case."

Balanced budget? Don't count on it says Greenspan

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said March 4 the performance of the U.S. economy in 1997 would be hard to match and urged lawmakers not to become too optimistic about projected budget surpluses.

"We must remember that projections of surpluses are based on an extrapolation of steady economic growth and subdued inflation in coming years," he told the House Budget Committee in prepared remarks.

"Achieving such a performance in these uncertain times, with the U.S. economy now subject to a fine balance of powerful forces of expansion and restraint, will provide policy-makers with a considerable challenge," Greenspan said.

The reason for Greenspan's cautious pessimism is the continuing economic crisis in Asia. He was too polite, however, to reveal the U.S. budget surplus for the scam it is. Take money from Social Security, throw it into general revenues, use that money to save Social Security. Far too polite.

Who is really responsible for the America's economic strength?

The Congressional Budget Office says that for the fiscal year 1998, the deficit has been eliminated and the United States is now operating with an $8 billion surplus. Bill Clinton scurried to a podium to take credit for the fictional surplus, even though his original 1993 budget proposal would have bequeathed the nation with a current deficit of between $202 and $250 billion. Once again...there is no “budget surplus” unless you count excess revenue from the Social Security Trust Fund, the one Mr. Clinton is trying to “save.” Without such “smoke and mirrors,” the projected budget deficit would be $95.7 billion. And, since only Communist governments can legitimately claim credit for a nation’s economic condition, the credit for America's booming economy and thus, overflowing tax coffers, is due to the prolific creativity and industry of working citizens.

Ban dead white male authors, pushes school board

Shakespeare, Melville, Chaucer and Dickens may be on the way out in San Francisco, where school board officials are considering a proposal that up to 70 percent of school reading should be books by "authors of color."

San Francisco Board of Education officials said the proposed change would force high school teachers to select up to seven books by non-white authors for every three traditional classics by white writers.

"Most of us feel this is long overdue," said board member Steve Phillips, co-author of the multicultural initiative due for a final vote on March 24. Phillips said the proposal was aimed at making school work more "relevant" to young people in San Francisco's public schools, where whites make up only 11.8 percent of the student body.

"We recognize that public education has been failing African-American and Latino students," Phillips said. "Part of the reason is that the curriculum is not engaging them. Students get more interested in reading and language when they see themselves in the curriculum."

Other board members said the proposal would address a number of problems with traditional high school reading lists, which they said perpetuated outdated concepts.

"Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn,' for instance, has a bias against African Americans," board member Dan Kelly told the San Francisco Examiner. "And Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales,' while a great work, has an economic bias. It characterizes people based on their class."

The Examiner said the measure appeared to have the necessary votes for approval, and is supported by the Board of Education president. If passed, the school superintendent would issue a list of "appropriate" books developed by a curriculum committee of teachers, administrators and parents.

Some teachers oppose the plan, however, saying it would put their students at a disadvantage when competing against traditionally-educated young people.

Denise Chandler, chair of the English Department at George Washington High School, attacked the proposal as "silly, offensive and ridiculous," the Examiner said.

"Quality literature doesn't glorify Europe or any other geographical place; it explores the human condition," Chandler said.

Politics in geography? Thank Bill Clinton for this latest intrusion into science

Most school children are taught that there are five Great Lakes...Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Huron.

Without fanfare or even a routine announcement, President Clinton signed a bill March 6 giving Lake Champlain official designation as one of the Great Lakes.

The measure allows Lake Champlain to be considered one of the Great Lakes for the purposes of competing for research funds under the National Sea Grant Program. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, got a line inserted into the legislation to expand the eligibility to Lake Champlain.

"If Lake Champlain ends up as a Great Lake, I propose we rename it 'Lake Plain Sham,'" Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, co-chairman of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, said.

Champlain, though sizable, is puny when compared to the real Great Lakes. It covers 490 square miles. The smallest of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario, is 7,430 square miles. Map (63.2K)

More proof that politics doesn't enter into the funding of research....right? right?

That's not the end of the story. On March 24, the Senate agreed unanimously to revoke Lake Champlain's short status as the nation's sixth Great Lake.

"I understand the symbolic issue that this has become with our friends in the Midwest," said Sen. Leahy, the very man who created the furor in the first place -- and helped undo the confusion.

What's in a name? Plenty, Michigan Sens. Carl Levin, a Democrat, and Spencer Abraham, a Republican, told the Senate.

"This is not just a tempest in a teapot. This is a matter of identity," Levin said.

"The designation of any lake beyond the original five is simply unacceptable," said Abraham.

Their compromise with Leahy: a sentence added to the spending bill asserting that the term "Great Lakes" would apply only to the historical five: Michigan, Superior, Huron, Eire and Ontario.

At the same time, the amendment makes the University of Vermont on the shores of Lake Champlain eligible for the Sea Grant money.

"And in the meantime, this has all ben a great tourism ad for Vermont," Leahy said.

The amendment was attached to a $2.8 billion spending bill. It must also be approved by the House and signed by the president for Lake Champlain to officially lose its Great Lake designation.

Are you in American? You paid good money for this stupidity?

Cuban-American legislators attack Canada for support of slave labour

Canada is guilty of a racist double-standard on human rights because it embraces a white dictator in Cuba while condemning black tyrants in Africa, charge Cuban-American members of Congress.  They said this was in addition to employing "slave labour" in Cuba.

"Canadians were the outspoken leaders in speaking against the Nigerian dictatorship" but show hypocrisy by supporting Cuban President Fidel Castro, Florida Republican Lincoln Diaz-Balart said in early March.

"Certainly in a slave economy, it is very cheap to operate the way Canadian investors pay the Castro regime in (U.S.) dollars (then) the Castro regime pays the worker in undervalued pesos,"  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican.

"It's as though it's evil for a black man to impose a dictatorship on a black population, but it seems as though by the Canadian policy, it's all right for a white man . . . to enslave a racially mixed population," Diaz-Balart told a news conference called by Indiana Republican Dan Burton, co-author of the Helms-Burton Act.

"There's a total double-standard in the Canadian policy," Diaz-Balart said.

While Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen are entirely right about Canadian hypocrisy, Americans shouldn't rush to judgement over the subject of slave labour, lest all their possessions made in China by enslaved political prisoners burns their hands.

UT administration ignores First Amendment, attempts to muzzle student group

Students for Equal Opportunity (SEO), a University of Texas student organization started to oppose racial preferences which hosted a widely publicized press conference featuring distinguished UT Law Professor Lino Graglia, is now the target of an attempt by the UT administration to stamp out free speech. In a letter from UT Associate Dean of Students Glenn Maloney dated February 26, 1998, it is stated that "SEO has had its privileges to sponsor or co-sponsor public events suspended until May 30, 1998."

SEO President Marc Levin said "I am outraged by the University's blatant attempt to use their institutional power to silence the message of a student group they don't agree with. If this decision is allowed to stand, student groups will always have to look over their shoulders in fear that the wrath of the UT administration will come down on them like a ton of bricks. At an institution of higher education that should be devoted to free thought and discussion, such suppression of speech is intolerable."

Levin announced that SEO would immediately appeal the decision through the University and is exploring legal action if this appeal is not successful.

This punitive action intended to muzzle SEO's message is based on alleged violations of UT's Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities at a November 5, 1997 lecture by conservative commentator and former Bob Dole speechwriter David Horowitz, which was sponsored by SEO. One of the infractions cited is the posting of a Young America's Foundation placard on the podium at which Horowitz spoke. The Young America's Foundation, a Washington educational organization, helped bring Horowitz to UT. Levin said "it is a grave affront to the First Amendment, which has clearly been held to protect symbolic speech, to prohibit us from displaying a placard in a campus room we reserved for our speaking event."

Another alleged violation was the distribution of off-campus publications at the speech, which included the newsletter of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, a group which Horowitz founded as well as brochures from the Young America's Foundation. Levin stated, "A recent court decision involving Southwest Texas University in San Marcos found the University cannot suppress the distribution of off-campus publications. Isn't it utter hypocrisy that the University allows commercial newspaper distribution racks and soda machines on campus, but prohibits student groups from distributing educational literature? Isn't a college campus supposed to foster, not muzzle, the discussion of ideas? This kind of suppression is more fitting for a totalitarian police state than an enlightened college campus."

The final alleged violation concerns the signing of books by Horowitz. Levin stated, "it is ludicrous to suggest that a best-selling author should be banned from signing books when he speaks on campus."

Levin recalled that "Mr. Maloney's assistant, UT administrator Cheryl Wood, arrived some twenty minutes before the Horowitz speech to harass me and my group in an attempt to disrupt our event. Yet, at a January 31 Student Government Student Forum with the American Civil Liberties Union on free speech, Ms. Wood failed to enforce the rule against giving out off-campus publications even though I pointed out to her that the A.C.L.U. had a variety of pamphlets arrayed on a table in the room." In fact, when A.C.L.U. Educational Director Ruth Epstein asked Ms. Wood if A.C.L.U. publications could be made available, she responded affirmatively. Ms. Wood also looks the other way when UT students and faculty go around campus selling The Socialist Worker. Levin concluded, "How can it be that some student groups can distribute off-campus publications, but others cannot? Perhaps Ms. Wood only wishes to enforce the rules against conservative groups with whom she disagrees."

Will they be taught freedom?

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced on March 10 that Cuba would receive $1.45 million over the next three years through a UNDP aid project to support economic modernization and reform.

The money will help to provide for training and experts for state institutions directly involved in economic reforms in the communist-ruled country, including the Central Bank of Cuba and the ministries of Economy and Planning, Finance and Prices and Labor and Social Security.

Officials in the Central Bank would receive training in banking reforms, and the Labor Ministry would learn about labor restructuring techniques and social security reforms.

Never trust your opponents to use the real numbers...a Canadian gun control example

"Last July, the Commissioner of the RCMP accused officials in the Department of Justice with misrepresenting RCMP firearms statistics by overstating the number of firearms involved in violent crimes. He also criticized the use of these false and misleading statistics during the debate of the still controversial Bill C-68, the Firearms Act," revealed Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville.

The Saskatchewan MP released copies of the Commissioner's damning letter which was obtained through an Access to Information Request. Here are some excerpts from RCMP Commissioner J.P.R. Murray's letter to the Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice dated July 21, 1997:

"The RCMP investigated 88,162 actual violent crimes during 1993, where only 73 of these offences, or 0.08%, involved the use of firearms."

"'The Firearms Smuggling Working Group was concerned with the number of long guns involved in crime.' This statement is not significant when we consider that in 1993, the RCMP investigated 333 actual homicide offences, including attempts, but only 6 of these offences involved the use of firearms according to the statistics provided to the Firearms Control Task Group."

"We determined that our statistics showed that there were 73 firearms involved in a violent crime compared to the Department of Justice findings of 623 firearms involved in a violent crime."

"It is of particular concern that the Minister of Justice and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police relied on these statistics while Bill C-68 was being processed in Parliament as evidenced by statements in the report, 'Illegal Firearm Use in Canada'."

"The incorrect reporting of RCMP statistics could cause the wrong public policy or laws to be developed and cause researchers to draw erroneous conclusions. Considering the data is clearly marked as belonging to the RCMP, we must accept ownership and responsibility for the harm the data may cause. For these reasons, something must be done to remove it from circulation," stated the letter.

"We depend on public servants to implement laws passed by Parliament, however, we don't expect them to manipulate RCMP statistics to help politicians achieve questionable political objectives. How will we ever know when Justice Department officials are telling the truth? Justice Minister Anne McLellan has to tell us if she and her predecessor, Allan Rock, knew about and condoned the use of these false statistics by their officials. Public servants should not be playing politics." concluded Breitkreuz.

Taxes...what Americans think

There are a few notable tax plans being circulated around Congress, and the authors of those plans should take note of a recent public survey on taxation of family income. The statistical survey asked, "How much, as a percentage of their weekly income, should a family of four pay in
taxes?" Fifteen percent of the respondents said 5 per cent should be the maximum tax rate while the largest block of respondents, twenty-six percent, indicated that 10 per cent of income was the maximum a family should pay in taxes. Twenty four percent of respondents said 15 per cent of income should be the maximum, and seventeen percent said 20 per cent of should be the maximum rate. Thus a sixty-five percent majority of Americans think tax rates should not exceed 15 per cent of income. (One percent of respondents chose a rate higher than 35 per cent. Apparently a few Democratic legislators ended up in the random sample.)

The Tax Foundation recently reported that the combined federal, state and local taxes in 1997 for the median two-income family earning $54 910, will be 38.2 per cent of their income.

Enemy of the Week, says American Spectator

From the AS' website. Howard Kurtz was named American Spectator Enemy of the Week for March 4-10, 1998

In any event, what ultimately concerns us are those who know more than they let on, particularly if they're a journalist working for a major daily who decides to keep hot scoops out of public reach for a year or two until he can publish them in a book that will win him new fame and fortune. Someone like Washington Post media critic and author of the hot new book Spin Cycle Howard Kurtz. Lately Mr. Kurtz has spent a great deal of his time questioning the ethics, morality, and professionalism of such figures as the Internet's Matt Drudge.

So it was a surprise to learn a few weeks ago that he'd known for well over a year that Hillary Clinton has commissioned a taxpayer-funded attack report on the Clinton-scandal reporting of the Washington Post's Susan Schmidt. Where was the outrage? It was being saved up for Kenneth Starr, who was close to subpoenaing a former journalist who now works as chief attack dog at Clinton guerrilla headquarters.

Now we learn that Kurtz was on to other information -- e.g., press secretary Michael McCurry's crack that the 500-year-old Inca mummy that Clinton had said he was tempted to make a pass at was preferable to the mummy he was currently, er, seeing (and McCurry wasn't referring to the first lady). Is it any surprise that stonewalling and suppressed evidence are a Clinton staple when key journalists do their part to keep the public in the dark? Ultimately, though, it's people like Kurtz who are left blind. And so we have him writing on page 89 of Spin Cycle that "the first lady was portrayed as a broomstick-riding witch in The American Spectator." Look again, Howard: she wasn't riding a broomstick; she was flying atop Air Force One, this in a drawing for a cover story on the Travel Office firings. If you missed the meaning of a picture, that may explain why you miss the meaning of much else. But here's your first award for Spin Cycle: Enemy of the Week honors; hope they don't shrink your earnings or leave you covered in lint.

An elected Senate, demand Western Canadians

While American's likely couldn't imagine a country where their Senate was chosen by the President, Canada and England know exactly what it is like. In Canada, the Senate is named by the Prime Minister, making it yet another patronage hole...another place for those who can buy influence with an administration.

On March 5, Alberta Reform MPs announced a campaign  to force Prime Minister Jean Chretien to appoint one of their own for the next vacancy in the Senate.

"It's time he starts listening to Alberta," said Edmonton MP Rahim Jaffer. "Alberta wants an elected Senate. Alberta and the rest of the country want representation in the Senate. No more is this going to be a haven of patronage and irresponsibility and unaccountability."

Jaffer said Senate election legislation similar to Alberta's has been passed in British Columbia and is being considered in Ontario. Alberta Tory caucus members, many of whom are Reform supporters, agreed to change the Senatorial Selection Act to allow a slate of potential Senate candidates on municipal ballots this fall.

"We're looking at the notion of electing two senators-in-waiting and if a vacancy becomes open, we'll be pressing the prime minister to appoint one of those individuals," said Alberta Premier Ralph Klein.

While it is a bit silly to have senators-in-waiting, especially considering the next vacancy for Alberta in the Senate likely will not open until 2001, the idea of elected senators is a worthy one. Now we just have to see if Canada's leadership really believes in representation directly decided upon by the people.

Firefighters take heat for speaking English on radio

If you caught the 60 Minutes story about Quebec's jihad against English signs, then this next tidbit shouldn't surprise you.

Two volunteer firefighters in the Outaouais region of western Quebec are the latest people to come under fire from Quebec's language police, for holding a brief two-way radio discussion in English.

Michel Charbonneau, mayor of the town of Cantley, has been taking heat from pro-francophone Quebecers since November over town employees using English at work.  Now Charbonneau has once again sent a letter to volunteer firefighters in the town, about 15 kilometres north of Ottawa, reminding them that Bill 101 stipulates French be used at all times by municipal employees.

The letter followed a complaint lodged in late February by a Radio Canada reporter who overheard firefighters speaking English on two-way radios while answering an emergency call.

What was the heinous crime committed? Deputy fire chief Garry Blackburn was overheard giving a street number in English.

Jean-Paul Perrault, president of the francophone rights group Imperatif Francais, says the use of English at work by municipal employees is a security issue because some people don't speak it.

"The city is obliged to ensure that the rights of employees are upheld," said Perrault, who pressured Charbonneau to reprimand employees. "What surprises me in all this is that Quebec municipalities hire people who are unable to speak French."

Ironic to hear Perrault speak of rights...

One more argument for Newt Gingrich to leave...

Underscoring division among Republicans, House Speaker Newt Gingrich said March 5 that federal surpluses should for now be used to strengthen Social Security but not for tax cuts.

The remarks by Gingrich, R-Ga., amounted to a shift in position and put him at odds with many GOP conservatives, who want to use expected surpluses to help finance big tax reductions this year. It also demonstrated how President Clinton's call in his State of the Union address to "save Social Security first" has weakened and divided Republicans. Though many Republicans, including Gingrich, consider tax cuts one of the GOP's defining issues, many of them worry that Clinton's proposal to use surpluses to strengthen Social Security is too politically appealing to challenge.

Gingrich reiterated that he wants a tax cut this year, paid for with spending reductions and what he said is likely tobacco money, either from a settlement with the tobacco industry or a cigarette tax boost.

"We should focus the surplus on Social Security," he told reporters, until the government achieves black ink without the big Social Security trust fund surpluses it now relies on. If we get an operating surplus (without using Social Security surpluses), I want the operating surplus to go back to the taxpayers," he said.

Senate votes to keep some minority set-asides...one more reason why a whole whack of Republicans need to go...

On March 6, the Senate killed an attempt to eliminate "set-asides" for minorities and women in the awarding of federal highway and transit contracts.

Senators voted 58-37 to reject an amendment forwarded by Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell. The measure sought to strike the 15-year-old Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program from the pending reauthorization of the broad Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA).

DBE seeks to award 10 percent of federal transport contracts to businesses owned by minorities and women.

McConnell would have replaced DBE with a requirement that states assist small and new businesses competing for highway and transit contracts, with no regard to race or gender.

The McConnell effort, the first congressional test of such preferences this year, gained support from only one Democrat, Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings of South Carolina, with the other 36 votes in favor all Republican.

Sen. Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and an opponent of the amendment, said the DBE program was not a quota program and was a fair way to correct patterns of discrimination.

"In 1978, 2 percent of federal highway construction dollars were going to firms owned by women or minorities. Today, under DBE it is 15 percent. That's progress," Baucus said.

Progress would be that color-blind society we've been hearing about...

Memo to Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot and unions in general: Free Trade does create jobs

The vast majority of North American firms surveyed by a Canadian bank say the North American Free Trade Agreement hasn't hurt wages or jobs as feared.

About half say they've actually hired more workers. A Bank of Montreal survey released in early March shows 47 per cent of companies said their workforce has grown since the pact between Canada, the United States and Mexico took effect Jan. 1, 1994.

Another 41 per cent said their workforce has remained stable and 11 per cent said they had lost workers. One per cent said they didn't know if the size of their workforce had changed.

``Instead of the giant sucking sound we were warned about, what we hear now are the winds of opportunity for millions of workers across the continent,'' bank vice-chairman Jeffrey Chisholm said. ``The race to the bottom was more rhetoric than reality.''

Despite warnings that NAFTA would funnel American and Canadian jobs to Mexico, 50 per cent of Canadian firms surveyed said they've hired more workers and 39 per cent said the size of their workforce hasn't changed since 1994. The figures for U.S. companies were virtually identical.

In Mexico, 40 per cent of companies have hired more and 40 per cent said their workforce is the same size. Most firms said NAFTA didn't affect wages at all - 91 per cent in the U.S. and 89 per cent in Canada - and 8 per cent or less reported trade-related wage drops.

While NAFTA can't take all the credit, economic indicators are proof of its success, said the bank's chief economist, Tim O'Neill.

Economic growth in NAFTA nations has improved since 1994 and forecasts are for continued prosperity, he said.

Unemployment has decreased and is expected to keep dropping in the three countries; and in each, real wage gains are continuing, O'Neill added

Declining popularity forces Greenpeace to change tactics...kind of

Greenpeace plans to keep international attention on logging British Columbia's central coast, but is changing its tactics.  The environmentalist organization came under fire last year when it brought in people from foreign countries to protest near Bella Coola.

Greenpeace plans to concentrate on promoting economic alternatives for the local communities that depend on forestry, Greenpeace spokeswoman Tzeporah Berman said in Vancouver, though she wouldn't rule out future use of blockades and demonstrations

Direct action tactics aimed at physically blocking B.C. logging last summer backfired spectacularly when anti-Greenpeace protests began.   Angry workers turned the tables on the environmentalists and blockaded their vessel, Arctic Sunrise, in Vancouver's harbour.

Greenpeace International, which collected $136.8 million US in donations worldwide in 1996, made campaigning against logging on B.C.'s central coast one of its priority causes more than a year ago.

Patrick Moore, a spokesman for the pro-industry Forest Alliance of B.C., was in London to try to counter Greenpeace publicity.  Studies show only 11 per cent of the central coast is even amenable to commercial forestry over a 100-year period, he said. "Greenpeace has no science on its side."

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

In the case of U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, it's also an expensive thing too.

Gore announced March 13 that NASA will develop and launch an innovative new satellite that offers a 24-hour-a-day picture of the earth that would be available to internet users and television viewers.  The sources say the endeavor is a pet project of the vice president's and that he persuaded NASA officials to embrace it. The satellite is estimated to cost $20 million to $50 million and is projected for launch in 2000 aboard a NASA rocket.

So what does this innovative new satellite do? Not much apparently.

Officials involved in the project said the satellite would orbit at a point of equal gravity between the earth and sun - so that unlike traditional satellites that orbit the earth, this one will provide a constant picture of the sliver of Earth that is getting sunlight.  Gore's primary purpose in pushing the project was his belief that science buffs would be fascinated by the chance to access an around-the-clock snapshot of Earth.

"I believe there is tremendous scientific value in having constant live television pictures of the Earth," said Mr. Gore. "With global warming a growing concern...this will be of tremendous value."

What do the feminists do now? Have boys killed?

Removing boys from the classroom fails to improve girls' performance in school even though it leaves them more confident, according to a new study.

The report, released March 12 by the American Association of University Women, comes six years after the group asserted that girls were receiving an inferior education in the nation's public schools.

The AAUW's original study found that boys and girls begin school with equal skills, but that girls fall behind by high school, particularly in math and science. The report found girls faced routine discrimination by teachers, in textbooks and by male students.

That sparked interest in all-girls' schools and girls-only math and science classes. Since then, a handful of public school systems in New York, Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, Illinois and California have created single-sex classes or girls-only schools.

The AAUW surveyed dozens of studies on single-sex education and found that while many girls report increased confidence and improved attitudes about math and science, they do not show a measurable improvement in academic skill.

So what's the cure?

"We went in with an open mind, and what the research shows is that boys and girls both thrive when the elements of good education are there, elements like smaller classes, focused academic curriculum and gender-fair instruction," said Janice Weinman, executive director of the Washington-based group.

Gender-fair instruction? Is there a feminist math and science on the way?

Teamster leaders: Free speech for me, but not for thee

From a recent The National Center for Public Policy Research mail out...

Pro-union literature claims "payroll protection" legislation "makes it virtually impossible [for workers] to participate in the political process." So do union rules, it seems. The Teamsters fined United Parcel Service employee and Teamster member Stephen Beard $10 000 for appearing on CNN criticizing the fact that union members were not allowed to vote on last yearıs UPS strike. Beard has also been the victim of threats, hate mail and workplace sabotage he and his lawyers attribute to his exercising his right to free speech.

If you are pro-life you're anti-environment, says group

From a recent The National Center for Public Policy Research mail out...

John Rishel of the House Resources Committee distributed the League of Conservation Voters' voter guide. Among the LCV's listed "environmental" votes for which they grade Members of Congress as, in their opinion, either pro or anti-environment, are two abortion votes (pro-abortion votes are ranked as pro-environment). Another supposedly pro-environmental vote is one increasing the authority of the United Nations. The LCV gives campaign money to candidates, about 95 per cent of whom are Democrats.

Union bosses fight workers rights

From a recent Political Money Monitor publication...

Strong Support for "No Taxpayer Money for Politics"; Labor Unions  Assess Members $60 to Fight Oregon Initiative

With public support in Oregon strongly favoring a proposed November  ballot initiative to stop public resources from being used to collect  money for political activity, a public employee labor union  -- fearful of losing its political power -- is assessing its members $60 over the course of 1998 to defeat it.

Oregon Taxpayers United is only 10,000 signatures short of the 120,000 it needs to collect by July to place the "No Taxpayer Money for Politics" initiative on the ballot.  If passed, it would amend the state constitution to ensure that "no public funds shall be spent to collect or assist in the collection of political funds."  This ban applies to any "public employee time, public property and public equipment and supplies" used to raise money for contributions to candidates, campaign committees, independent political expenditures and ballot initiatives. This prohibition also extends to circumstances where an entity may offer to reimburse the government for such activity.

Polling indicates that over 60% of likely voters would cast their  ballots for the initiative.

To counter this overwhelming support, the Oregon Public Employees  Union (OPEU) board of directors endorsed a $5-a-month special dues   assessment to be collected during 1998 to raise $1.4 million to fund its   "Fight Back in '98" campaign against the initiative.  Other unions   joining OPEU's opposition include the Oregon Education Association, Oregon School Employees Association and the American Federation of State,  County and Municipal Employees.

AFL-CIO Raises Member Dues to Fight Paycheck Protection

AFL-CIO leaders are planning to raise $13 million to fight "paycheck protection" ballot initiatives and legislation through a special assessment of its membership.   If paycheck protection were in effect, labor unions would not be allowed to use member dues in this manner unless members first gave the union explicit permission to do so

Some Greenhoax scientists are more equal than others...

As reported in Still Waiting for Greenhouse

Trinidad was the recent venue chosen by IPCC scientists to discuss "Aviation and the Global Atmosphere."

Their spokesman, Sir John Houghton, (who heads the IPCC), wants a tax on aviation to reduce the demand for international travel, which is adding to atmospheric greenhouse gases.

There are no climate researchers based in the Caribbean, and more aviation fuel was used getting to Trinidad than if they had met in Britain or the USA (where most of the researchers are based).

This was obviously a vote for a warmer climate on their part!

NOW remembers it's supposed to be on Lewinsky's side...well, kind of

"Based on public reports, it appears that Monica Lewinsky gave different versions of her relationship with President Clinton in a deposition and on tape to a co-worker. We will watch the evidence closely as it becomes available to ensure that Ms. Lewinsky is not (and has never been) coerced by any involved party, including President Clinton, Vernon Jordan, Linda Tripp and Kenneth Starr, among others. If credible evidence of wrongdoing by any party emerges, we will speak out and urge women's rights supporters across the country to make their voices heard."

National Organization for Women press release, January 28, 1998

Perhaps NOW's newfound caution can be traced the group's reaction to the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas affair. Ms. Hill, too, gave conflicting accounts of her alleged harassment when initially interviewed by the FBI and when later testifying before Congress. The notorious anecdote about a pubic hair found on a coke can, for example, was not part of her original account.

Well, things changed ever so slightly in March. The head of NOW said March 15 the new charges leveled against President Clinton by a former White House volunteer would amount to sexual assault if proven true. In a prime time interview on the CBS "60 Minutes" program, Kathleen Willey alleged Clinton kissed her on the mouth, touched her breasts and put her hand "on his genitals" during a 1993 incident outside the Oval Office.

The revelations prompted predictable expressions of outrage by Republicans, but also harvested criticism from the nation's leading feminist group, NOW -- which has kept a low profile in public debate about other sexual allegations against Clinton.

NOW President Patricia Ireland told CNN's "Late Edition" the latest charges could spell serious trouble for Clinton. "This is not just sexual harassment. If it's true, it's sexual assault," Ireland told CNN. "He put his hand on her breast ... He put her hand on his erection. That's a pretty serious charge if true. I think it's a very big problem."

"It's unwanted, unpermitted touching ... and it's a sexual assault in many ways," Ireland said. "I don't know if you could prove it in a criminal case, but I think it certainly is a much bigger problem than a question of womanizing or of private sex life that's really between him and Hillary and their beliefs."

Ireland denied that NOW had failed to show its support for other Clinton accusers, including Paula Jones, who is suing the president for sexual harassment over an alleged 1991 incident when he was governor of Arkansas. Clinton denies the charges.

She said NOW had always maintained that Paula Jones deserved an open and impartial hearing, and had offered the former Arkansas state employee legal advice, which Jones rejected.

If that's true, then why did a North Carolina NOW chapter threaten to leave over the Anita Hill/Paula Jones -- Monica Lewinsky double standard? Now all we have to do is mock Clintonista Gloria Steinhem into living up to her philosophy.

Censorship is not dead (warning this item contains racist language)

I would add comments to this story, but CNN's piece illustrates beautifully the insanity of this incident. Instead, I'll italicize certain parts for emphasis.

CNN - Swamped with complaints and a threatened boycott about the definition of "nigger" in its dictionaries, Merriam-Webster is reviewing how it defines offensive words.

The 150-year-old publisher for the first time in its history has assigned a task force to consider whether to change the practice of listing definitions historically, with the oldest -- and often the most objectionable -- uses coming first.

Still, there are no plans to remove words the publisher concedes are offensive and derogatory -- such as "queer," "redneck" and "white trash" -- from its adult dictionaries.

"That would be censorship," said Deborah Burns, marketing director for the Springfield-based publisher. "As a reference tool, the dictionary would not be a comprehensive tool if it did not list the words used in our language."

Merriam-Webster's most recent Collegiate Dictionary defines "nigger" first as: "a black person -- usually taken to be offensive." Other definitions refer to "a member of any dark-skinned race," and "a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons." 

An accompanying paragraph on usage notes that "nigger" is "perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English" and is "expressive of racial hatred and bigotry."

Burns said that the company has fielded about 2,000 letters, notes and phone calls about the word's definition since two Michigan women launched a protest last fall.

One of the women, Kathryn Williams, curator of the Museum of Afrikan American History in Flint, Michigan, suggested that Merriam-Webster omit the word from the dictionary.

And the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People threatened to lead a boycott against the publisher if the word wasn't revised.

In response, a special review committee of senior editors, as well as outside linguists and other language experts, began reviewing offensive words this year for Merriam-Webster.

The publisher has also received a number of complaints recently about its definitions of "honky," "cracker," and "kike," Burns said.

Other words being reviewed include: "Chink," "fairy," "gringo," "half-breed," "Kraut," "Paddies," "pig," "Polack," "queer," "redskin," "spic" and "whitey."

Any changes could be included in the 1999 update to its Collegiate Dictionary, Burns said.

The style of listing definitions historically might be a problem, she said, because some readers have "become so angry that they haven't read beyond the first entry." Revising that policy, however, would mean changing all entries in the dictionary to conform.

By comparison, the American Heritage Dictionary flags the word at the beginning of the entry, which may be why it has received few complaints, said Joe Pickett, executive editor for the dictionary published by Houghton Mifflin.

The American Heritage Dictionary's Collegiate edition defines "nigger" this way: "offensive slang. Used as a disparaging term for a Black person."

Merriam-Webster officials were surprised at the public reaction to their listing, given that the dictionary entry emphatically warns that the word "nigger" is inflammatory and insulting.

After hearing of Merriam-Webster's task force, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said, "We are gratified that Merriam-Webster finally got the message."

But he said the NAACP will ask for company records on buying, employment, promotion and the makeup of the board of directors "to determine if a culture within the company has made it difficult for them to recognize why this definition is unacceptable to millions of Americans."  Williams, the museum curator, approved of the publisher's move, but said she would prefer that all racial and ethnic insults be expunged from the dictionary.

"If the word is not there, you can't use it," she said.

Black teen suicide study alarming, yet misleading; African-American Leadership Network says youth are not killing themselves because their families are doing better financially

Members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 reject a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention study on teen suicide that says African-American teens reared in upwardly mobile families are not able to cope with the "stressful" environment created by black prosperity.

The study shows the suicide rate of African-Americans between the ages of 10 and 19 has increased by 114% since 1980. In southern states, the rate has grown by 214%. Some scholars and the study's authors say that a consequence of rising prosperity and social integration for blacks over the last few decades has caused a loss of racial identity and a distance between families, children and the community. Members of Project 21 say the situation is not so simple.

Project 21 Director Roderick Conrad said, "Headlines on the increase in the black teen suicide rate, while troubling, are hardly 'news.' While many loud, liberal and radical voices have decried the (quote) genocide (unquote) perpetrated by mainstream society, clearly the larger problem has always been an internal cultural suicide. How can we really be shocked at [these] numbers when 'black-on-black' crime -- often an extension of drug and gang-related activity -- has been raging for years?"

"The root cause is the chaotic result predicted decades ago by Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan," states Phyllis Berry Myers, president of Black America PAC's Leadership and Training Institute. "It is a liberal bureaucratic welfare state, which has eroded the most effective tools to producing stable, nurturing environments for young black Americans -- an intact family and safe, effective educational learning systems."

Robert George, a Project 21 member and adjunct fellow at the Washington-based Center for New Black Leadership says, "Given the collapse of urban family and educational institutions, should we be surprised at the spiritual emptiness which causes our young people to make often fatal choices? Whether they passively drift into the gang-war lifestyle or defiantly turn deadly weapons on themselves, the result is the same: A lack of self-esteem turning into self-hatred turning into self-destruction. Clearly, these are not factors of race -- they are factors of culture, spirituality and morality. Unless a commitment is made to strengthening the basic family unit, reforming our urban schools and re-energizing the spirit of our communities, these awful numbers will only increase."

Clinton's "dialogue" on race continues to net results...or how the world is beginning to sound like a nightmare Ayn Rand once had

A town hall meeting on race relations turned into a shouting match March 23, when Native Americans protested the exclusion of a representative on President Clinton's race advisory board.

Energy Secretary Federico Pena tried unsuccessfully to restore order when about 20 protesters, some wearing handkerchiefs and ski masks, refused to let board member John Hope Franklin speak, demanding to know why no Indians were on the board.

"This is serious business," Pena told the jeering crowd. "We can either have a dialogue or a shouting match."

Actor Edward James Olmos, a member of the town hall panel, took the microphone and said indigenous people of North America, including the Indians of Chiapas, Mexico, have been ignored for too long by the U.S. government.

"We're really not able to understand the root of this problem because indigenous people are not being given a voice," Olmos said. "The people of Chiapas and indigenous people in this room must be heard," he said to shouts and beating drums from the crowd.

The meeting was organized as part of the President's Initiative on Race, in an effort "to help us become One America in the 21st Century."  The board had hoped to inspire dialogue, said spokeswoman Lydia Sermons.

Denver's recent struggle with hate crimes made it an ideal place to examine ethnic stereotyping, she said.

Judith Winston, executive director of the Race Initiative, angered the protesters when she said there was no room for them on the board.   "It was not intended to represent the composition of the United States, we can't have that with only seven people," she told the crowd in reference to the size of the panel.

How to protect yourself against competition

On a 5-0 vote, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) rejected on March 24, Texas billionaire Ross Perot's claim that he was illegally excluded from the 1996 presidential debates.

The commission overruled a report by the FEC's own general counsel, Lawrence Noble, which concluded the Commission on President Debates and the campaigns of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole violated the law by excluding Perot and a fourth candidate, the Natural Law Party's John Hagelin.

FEC commissioners offered no explanation for their decision. Russell Verney, chairman of the Reform Party, told The Washington Post the decision showed that "the Republican and Democratic political appointees on the FEC turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to justice." Verney said Perot's lawyers would seek a court ruling to reverse the decision.

I've heard racists say a lot of things...but never this

After losing to Martina Hingis at the Lipton Championships on March 24, Serena Williams -- whose sister Venus went on to win the championships -- declared her loss would teach racists a lesson.

"A lot of people think that black people can't rally and just think they're athletes and can't think," she said. "As you can see, that's not true. I can rally. Venus can rally."

The civil rights movement must be proud...years of struggle so Williams can refute those who believe "black people can't rally."

Majority would drop health coverage if patient protection bill is approved

More than half of America's small businesses are likely to stop offering health coverage for workers and dependents if new patient protection legislation currently before Congress becomes law, according to a recent survey.

The poll, conducted for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also shows 57 percent would be "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to drop coverage if a liability provision in the legislation is also approved.

The provision, part of the Patient Access to Responsible Care Act, would allow covered employees to sue their employers if they disagreed with health benefit decisions.

U.S. Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Donohue said the survey showed it's vital for Congress not to take employer-sponsored health coverage for granted.

"Any action by Congress which puts these workers' coverage in jeopardy isn't about patient protection or consumer rights," he said.

The survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies Inc. of Alexandria, Va., also showed 46
percent of employers would be likely to stop providing coverage if legislated mandates hiked premiums by 20 percent. Sixty-three percent said employees would have to pay a greater share if costs rose as much as 10 percent.

Also, 61 percent of those surveyed would be less likely to support their Congressional delegation if the member supported legislation.

Proving that people who work at Barnes & Nobles, Verso Publishers and Barney's should be slapped repeatedly

A new edition of "The Communist Manifesto" aims to make Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels the latest in radical chic. The slender volume is being republished as a glossy, $13 hardcover for release in New York and London on May Day. The fashionable department store Barneys is thinking about it for a window display.

The publisher says the 1848 work speaks to a sense on Wall Street that the party can't go on forever.

"There's a sense of anxiety tied to the millennium. People don't believe things will just carry on, with markets rising forever," says Colin Robinson, head of Verso publishers, which is printing 20 000 copies on the 150th anniversary of the manifesto.

"Marx's description of a capitalist system prone to shocks and convulsions captures that mood."

With a handle attached, the book could make a snazzy accessory to a designer dress, says Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys on Madison Avenue. One could sashay toward the new millennium, the 19th-century words of Marx and Engels dangling at one's side.

Doonan is toying with the idea of featuring the "Manifesto" -- along with red lipsticks -- in the window as "conceptual art." His assistants are looking for the right lipstick -- preferably with a Russian-sounding name.

With communism gasping around the world, "it's OK to look at the book as camp," he says.

Around Wall Street, the very capital of capitalism, the Borders bookstore at the World Trade Center plans to give the book center display in the front of the store. Barnes & Noble will likewise market the "Manifesto" at its 483 superstores as "a storefront feature."

"Enough time has passed since the fall of the Iron Curtain so Marxism can again be seen as a utopian philosophy," says John Kulka, a Barnes & Noble merchandise manager. Kulka forgets, of course, the millions killed by the practioners of that slender volume.

The Communist Party U.S.A., which is based in New York and claims 25 000 members, could use a little marketing. "Cool," spokeswoman Terrie Albano says. "It wasn't too long ago when everyone was saying communism was dead. Here it is, resurrected."

Philosophy teacher banned from campus after anti-Christian comments

As students chanted "Let her teach," a university professor was arrested for defying orders that banned her from campus.

"I'll be back," Laura Waddey, an adjunct philosophy professor at East Tennessee State University since 1989, yelled back to her supporters on March 26 as police officers escorted her off university property.

Waddey was banned from teaching the day before after a faculty panel recommended that she be fired over nine charges alleging misconduct and insubordination.

When she arrived the next day to teach her course on ethical issues about women, police charged her with aggravated criminal trespass. Waddey was released on $2 000 bond shortly after her arrest.

The university alleges that Waddey used profanity during a confrontation with a philosophy department secretary and two students, swore at the department chairman and told another student to drop her course because she had a "Christian agenda."

Waddey denies the allegations. Ed Kelly, legal assistant to ETSU's president, said course content was not an issue. "The issue is treatment of students," he said.

Waddey's supporters were upset at the professor's treatment. "She tries to introduce ideas contrary to the beliefs around here," junior Marc Helm said. "I think ETSU has done a really bad job of handling this."

Others said the university had done the right thing. "Basically, this woman has got some problems and I hope she gets some help," said Zella Shumaker, the student Waddey accused of having a religious agenda.

A second faculty panel will decide whether Waddey's dismissal stands.

Anyone want to take bets that Waddey's back teaching within a few months?

Just in case you thought things changed...

From The Federalist Digest (March 27, 1998)

"Mega Demo-donors have anted up to $175,000 for a free pass on Air Force One with Mr. Clinton [in regards to the recent twelve country African tour], who is peppering his tour with apologies for various and sundry infractions committed by “European-Americans.” Among the ride-a-longs is AFL-CIO President, John Sweeney.  We expect that, in honor of the $119 million in union dues he has schlep over to the DNC since 1996, he can sit anywhere on the plane he chooses!"

Wyoming is freer today

The Wyoming legislature approved a bill on March 12 making it illegal for labor unions to force their members to make contributions to political campaigns or causes without their written consent. Governor Jim Geringer’s signature on the bill makes Wyoming the second "Paycheck Protection" state. Washington State also has a similar law. California Gov. Pete Wilson is predicting that voters will pass a similar initiative, Prop. 226, in California in June.

Wyoming is a right-to-work state where labor union membership is  voluntary. Proponents of a paycheck protection ballot initiative in  Nevada, which is also a right-to-work state, see the passage of the Wyoming legislation as significant since its opponents say such a protection is unnecessary where union membership is not mandated. A recent lawsuit filed against the "Workers Rights Initiative" by organized labor and supported by Nevada Governor Bob Miller (D) argues that "because no worker is required to belong to any union ... the voluntariness of workers' contributions to their unionıs political activity does not justify its impairment of the membership contract between union and workers."

Drew Carey lights up for freedom

It's hard to find anyone in Hollywood who hasn't succumbed to collectivism, but we're happy to report that comedian Drew Carey isn't one of them!
On March 31, non-smoker Carey showed his libertarian leanings and engaged in some civil disobedience.

Carey is up in arms about constant encroachments on cigarette smoker’s rights — like the California smoking ban — and held a "smoke-in" that morning at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood.

The ABC sitcom star lit one up for the cause along with Jacob Sullum (non-smoker), a senior editor for Reason magazine and author of the forthcoming book For Your Own Good: the Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Free Press).

Carey, a supporter of Reason (a political journal with a libertarian bent and a circulation of 55 000), and Sullum quickly schemed the PR event after meeting in Dallas at a "Reason Weekend" retreat on March 13.

"Drew and I got to talking about the smoking ban, and he said he thought it was ridiculous," Sullum said. "It clearly deserves to be flouted."

Cary wasn't fined for his cigarette but the restaurant received a $100 fine and was given a warning.

If business ran like the government...you know the rest

For the first time in history, the Clinton administration has produced a detailed financial statement for the federal government showing its assets and liabilities...kind of.

Congressional auditors, however, contended that the document is badly flawed and shows how much needs to be done to get control of the government's books.

The General Accounting Office, which reviewed the financial statement prepared for 24 major agencies, said it showed that billions of dollars in government transactions and property can't be properly accounted for.

"Significant financial system weaknesses ... prevent the government from accurately reporting a large portion of its assets, liabilities and costs," the GAO said in a review that was the subject of a congressional hearing on April 1.

But Vice President Al Gore, who has led the administration's effort to improve the efficiency of government operations, said the administration deserved credit for tackling the job of trying to reconcile the government's books.

"The first-ever audited financial statement has taken a lot of time and hard work to put together and only now can we see what so many decades of neglect have produced," he said March 30 in a statement.

The "Consolidated Financial Statements of the United States Government" was produced under a 1994 law that ordered the executive branch to begin producing annual financial statements by this April 1. The law directed the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, to audit those statements, performing the same function as outside auditors perform for financial statements of companies.

The GAO gave a passing grade to only seven of 24 major government agencies that it reviewed. Among this group were the Energy Department and the Social Security Administration.

The GAO found major deficiencies in the books of many of the other government agencies with the Defense Department having some of the biggest problems.

The congressional auditors said that the government could not properly account for billions of dollars of property, equipment and supplies and was unable to determine the full extent of improper payments made in many programs "that are estimated to involve billions of dollars annually."

The GAO also faulted government agencies for their inability to properly estimate the true cost of various liabilities including retired government workers' pensions and health benefits.

It said the government's books also vastly understated the true cost of cleaning up environmental waste sites on federal land.

Gore conceded many of these deficiencies, but he said the administration, which backed passage of the law requiring the annual financial reviews, was working to correct the flaws in time to obtain a "clean opinion" from the GAO by 1999.

"The financial statement provides a roadmap to help us solve these ... problems," Gore said.

The administration's financial statement said that the complexity of the federal government made it impossible to come up with a single bottom-line figure of the government's net worth.

The federal government's "operations and scope are much too complicated to be summarized in any single number," the administration's report said.

On the asset side, the financial statement did not attempt to put a price tag on the value of nuclear warheads or the national parks. On the liability side of the ledger, the financial statement did not include $647 billion the government has borrowed from the Social Security trust fund on the grounds that the amount represents money the government owes itself.

With these and other omissions, the government's financial statement put assets at $1.6 trillion and liabilities at $6.6 trillion for a net position of a negative $5 trillion on Sept. 30 of last year, the end of the 1997 budget year.

Of the $1.6 trillion in assets that were counted, 63.5 percent came from property, plant and equipment. On the liability side, 57 percent consisted of debt in the form of Treasury bonds held by the public.

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