Issues

There are a number of issues of particular interest to concerned citizens of all persuasions. On many of these, Republicans have been accused of taking extreme positions. "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..." In fact, there are organized groups which go far beyond what most Congressional Republicans advocate, and the truth is that Republican proposals have been quite moderate.

Smart Growth

Of particular local interest is the Land Use Plan passed by the Athens-Clarke County Commission. This plan incorporates the notions of the "New Urban" or "Smart Growth" crowd. Check it out and let your Commissioner know what you think. It's too late to stop it, but maybe we can get it repealed.

"Landmine Legislation:" your liberty at peril

The continuing threat which government poses to our liberty has in no way diminished with the election of a Republican majority in congress in 1994. The threats to liberty enumerated in this essay by Claire Wolfe have all incresed since the 1994 election. Everyone should read this.

Smart Growth Environment Economic Policy and Taxation Asset Forfeiture
Tobacco Privacy Second Amendment Education
 

Tobacco and health

Would the government lie to you about the health effect of tobacco? It took years of nerd-wrestling the statistics to come up with the Surgeon Generals Report in the 1960's. The connection just wasn't that clear then, and is grossly exaggerated now. Read "Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking Related Deaths" and decide for yourself whether the anti smoking crusade isn't really about money and a socialist attack on business.

 

Environment

Green versus black
Thomas Sowell

"Among the many luxuries that wealth can buy is insulation from reality -- the most dangerous luxury of all. Another dangerous luxury is a sense of being one of the wonderfully special people with superior wisdom and virtue. Environmental extremism flourishes among those who can afford both luxuries.

"Did you know that people in the wealthy San Francisco suburb of Sausalito, across the bay, own 80,000 acres of land in Kenya? What are they doing with it? They are setting it aside as a nature preserve, in order to keep poor people in Kenya from hunting animals for food on those 80,000 acres."

Read the whole article

Economic policy and taxation

Most of the following would not consider a 15% tax cut to be much of a change at all. Most advocate throwing out the entire tax system.

Asset forfeiture

Guess what. The government can take your property without convicting or even accusing you of a crime. Bet you thought the Constituion prohibited stuff like that.
Check out the FEAR (Forfeiture Endangers American Rights) page.

Our own Senator Max "Blammo" Cleland has introduced a bill allowing any law enforcement officer who finds you with $10,000 to take it. This dropped grenade threatens to blow away more of our constitutional rights if we can't get the pin back in before it passes.

Privacy

Big Brother wants to read your mail and snoop in your bank accounts. These organizations don't think that is such a great idea.

A recent article in The Nation gives a good account of what the FBI is up to. Click to read “The FBI, a Special Report.”

WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW

The FBI, CIA, NSA and other law enforcement agencies are pressuring Congress to pass legislation to force anyone who wants to protect his privacy on the Internet to use programs with built in "key recovery" features -- virtual back doors which would allow law enforcement (and anyone else sophisticated enough to find a weakness) access to your private communications.

This effort by the Clinton Administration to force the domestic use of government approved "key recovery" encryption represents a very real threat to your privacy and security in the Information Age.

Fortunately, a bill known as the "Security and Freedom Through Encryption Act" (HR 695) is making its way through the House of Representatives. The bill, known as SAFE, would help protect privacy and security on the Internet by:

* Prohibiting the government from imposing key recovery or key escrow encryption inside the United States or abroad.
* Allowing Americans the ability to use whatever form of encryption they choose.
* Encouraging the widespread availability of strong, easy-to-use encryption technologies by relaxing cold war-era export restrictions.

SAFE enjoys support from a bi-partisan majority of 250 Members of the House of Representatives, and has been endorsed by civil liberties and public interest groups from both sides of the political spectrum, as well as a broad cross section of the computer and communications industries.

The SAFE bill has recently cleared two key House committees and is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives in September.

As your Representatives in Congress head home for the August recess, now is a great time to let them know that the folks back home care about protecting privacy on the Internet.

Committee action has changed this bill to the opposite of the original, requiring that your encryption keys be available to the government. Write to Rep. Linder, who was a sponsor of the original bill, and tell him that you cannot support the bill as amended.

The second amendment

School shootings and High School football killed the same number of students in 1999. Nobody wants to ban football. The primary defender of the second amendment is the National Rifle Association. They must be doing a good job, because the liberals and their media lackeys, are doing thier best to demonize them. Other organizations devoted to preserving our rights under the second amendment are: The left is doing its best to creat anti-gun hysteria in the aftermath of the Columbine High incident. Read Charlie Reese, in the Orlando Sentinel, for the facts on the "danger" of guns in America.

Educational issues

Liberals and conservatives differ greatly over education, and the dispute is not merely over who is to be in charge of the public schools. For some thoughts on education that may not have occured to you, check out the Separation of School and State Alliance.

The Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Education Choice

presents in a succinct manner the case for school vouchers.