The Monster-Bill Factory at Work

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Ron
Paul says that the bill to create a Department of Homeland Security
is a monster that came out of the DC Monster-Bill Factory at blinding
speed. It's that Bill-Factory I'd like to consider briefly.

Here's
some of what Paul
said as posted November 15 on LRC
:

Fiscally
conservative members of Congress were even told that the bill
would be budget neutral! Yet, when the House of Representatives
initially considered creating a Department of Homeland Security,
the legislative vehicle almost overnight grew from 32 pages to
282 pages — and the cost had ballooned to at least $3 billion.
Now we are prepared to vote on a nearly 500-page bill that increases
federal expenditures and raises troubling civil liberties questions.
Adding insult to injury, this bill was put together late last
night and introduced only this morning. Worst of all, the text
of the bill has not been made readily available to most members,
meaning this Congress is prepared to create a massive new federal
agency without even knowing the details. This is a dangerous and
irresponsible practice.

My
question is how is the miracle of production achieved that puts
together nearly 500 pages (484 exactly, Paul says later) overnight.

Answer:
it is not done, not even with zippy computers and an army of high-speed
flacks typing faster than a man can talk.

I
am reminded of a visit to a New York City typographer's shop years
ago, when computerized so-called cold type was just getting going.
In those days, long before PCs, the copy was typed on clunky electric
keyboards and a machine produced punched paper tape that would then
be fed into the actual type-composing unit. The whole thing depended
on getting low-pay typists to go at dazzling speeds. The queen of
that shop was a tiny young black woman who could input (I think
they said) at well over 100 words a minute. I asked how come. Answer:
she had total concentration, great dexterity, and absolute incuriosity
about the material she was copying. She went from a on the page
to a on the keyboard in a nanosecond or less. No intervening mentation.
Maybe they have a lot of these young ladies in DC.

But
then somebody has to compose the copy, that is, think it and write
it. And something tells me that was not done overnight. No, while
I can say with certainty that Ron Paul is telling us God's truth
that the monster bill appeared out of nowhere in no time at all,
it was not so produced. The thing was planned with great cunning;
the copy was long in preparation (actually we've been hearing about
this great new department since shortly after 9-11). It was only
the last step – the high speed wrap-up and assembly –
that was done "overnight," for the obvious purpose of
minimizing the possibility of study and debate by the congresspersons,
who can only get in trouble by trying to understand what they are
doing. These worthies are expected to "get the general idea,"
not bother with fussy details, pay attention to what their betters
are telling them to do, and get with the program.

The program, that is, as dictated by the Amurrican peeple in the
recent great election, which huge numbers of Amurrican peeple carefully
stayed away from so as not to be thought complicit in the doings
of the feddle gummint.

I
applaud Congressman Paul for complaining about this and for sticking
with so clearly corrupt and stupid an institution as our Congress,
in an effort to try to inject a little true patriotism and intelligence
into their daily longueurs.

Paul
hints that the dice they are playing with in Congress are loaded.
The game is rigged. Well, but of course. The questions as always
are who is doing the rigging and for what purpose.

The
Net is alive with conspiracy theories, many of which look more and
more reasonable the less and less reasonable are our national affairs
and policies.

I just finished a book written in 1969 that makes as a major point
that, of course, FDR was not a traitor, so people accusing
him of being one had to be crazy, right? No, wrong, because it has
now been established by reasonable people – at least at the
level of citizens who have read carefully enough into the case,
that by any reasonable standards FDR was indeed a traitor, because
he knowingly and willfully put American servicemen and their weaponry
into jeopardy – and indeed thousands were killed – when
he failed to warn them of an attack he knew was coming, precisely
because he had "engineered" it.

FDR's
treasonous deed occurred more than 50 years ago. If there are any
honest historians left fifty years from now, what will they be saying
about the present mess?

With
the last fifty years to review for lessons, it has to be obvious
to the people in charge, whoever they are, that the recording of
events needs to be under much more rigid (Orwellian) control than
government managed following WWII, so that the truth of our time
does not get out. Thus the Department of Homeland Security. But
it is equally obvious to me and I suppose many others that no such
effort can ever succeed. It is anti-natural and anti-human, and
so condemned to fail. Not that it won't cause much unpleasantness
in the meantime. That you can count on, because it seems to be almost
the chief business of government in our time. We live in a time
of unpleasant government and ugly art and weak-kneed religion and
spineless politics. But you don't have to let it all get you, which
it is threatening to do to me as I write this. Where, I ask myself,
is my sense of humor? It has apparently got up and git, as the old
song had it.

A
friend who just emailed me uses this salutation: "Whistle while
you trudge." Trudge it is, but one can whistle. Or as Samuel
Johnson put it a couple of hundred years ago (and remember, you
have to make allowances for shifts in the language): "The needy
traveler, serene and gay, walks the wild heath and sings his toil
away."

Or,
as the Master said, "In the world, ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

November
16, 2002

Tom
White [send him mail] writes
from Odessa, Texas.

Tom
White Archives

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