"Then what is freedom? It is the will to be responsible to ourselves." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Federal Register Watch
What freedoms have you lost this week?
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week.
Instructions for subscribing to the Federal Register can be found at the end of the column.
MARCH 4, 2003 :
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION - ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE
This is a notice of 17 firms applying for 'trade adjustment assistance.' Companies file petitions for trade adjustment assistance when they believe that increased imports of goods that are directly competitive to those produced by the firm lead to a decrease in their sales or a reduction in their workforce.
If company's petition receives a favorable ruling from the Department of Commerce, they become eligible for adjustment assistance, which includes reemployment services, job search allowances, relocation allowances, and 'free' training. It also provides weekly trade readjustment allowances for eligible workers who exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits!
All at taxpayer expense, of course.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) ' NATIONAL AGENDA FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND AGING
In October 2002, the EPA launched an Aging Initiative to study 'the effects of environmental health hazards on older persons and examine the impact that a rapidly aging population will have on the environment.'
Huh?!? I wonder if this is anything like that study from a few years ago that claimed cow flatulence contributed to global warming. Well, I suppose we do tend to lose control of some body functions as we age.
STATE DEPARTMENT ' IMPORT OF CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT ART OBJECTS FOR EXHIBITION
The State Department has determined that the 'Christian Schad and the Neue Sachlichkeit' art exhibit, to be displayed at the Neue Galerie in New York City , is 'in the national interest.'
MARCH 6, 2003 :
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ' $12 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR THE 'IMPROVING LITERACY THROUGH SCHOOL LIBRARIES' PROGRAM
The purpose of this program is to 'improve student literacy skills and academic achievement by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; a well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media center; and well-trained, professionally certified school library media specialists.'
Government schools in the United States spend, on average, around $7,000 per year for every pupil ' more than many private schools charge for annual tuition. Often, the very worst public schools spend far more than that.
For example, the City of Atlanta schools, acknowledged as the worst public school system in a state ( Georgia ) that ranks 49th of the 50 states in government education, spends an astounding $13,000 per year on every pupil. More spending is no guarantee of a better education.
Nonetheless, every idea proposed by the bureaucratic, wasteful government education monopoly includes more spending.
Education in the United States will not improve until parents, not the government, decide where their children attend school. This means an open market in education -- and the separation of school and State.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS) ' EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
This ruling contains minor modifications to the provision in the tax code that allows people who DO NOT pay taxes to steal money from people who DO pay taxes.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION ' ANTIDUMPING DUTY REVIEW, MUSHROOMS FROM CHINA
After review, the Department of Commerce has decided to maintain 'antidumping duties' on various Chinese producers for the heinous crime of importing mushrooms into the United States at 'less than normal value.'
The petitioner in this case is the 'Coalition for Fair Preserved Mushroom Trade.' The coalition includes several American mushroom producers, including L.K. Bowman, Inc., Modern Mushroom Farms, Inc., United Canning Corporation, and others.
Once again, American companies are using the coercion of government to prevent consumers from buying products at lower prices.
The preliminary determination applies tariffs as high as 200% on some mushroom imports from China .
Confucius say, 'No shiitake without surcharge by Uncle Sam.'
PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS ' $165 MILLION DRAWDOWN AUTHORIZATION FOR AFGHANISTAN AND JORDAN
President Bush authorizes $165 million of defense services and military training from the Department of Defense -- $158 million to Afghanistan and $7 million to Jordan to assist in operations in Afghanistan . In the 'national interest,' of course.
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