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Washington's Agenda is Strictly Ideological

by Ralph Heller

he evidence showing us what government has really been up to in recent years is piling up pretty fast as occasional bureaucrats find themselves so astonished at what’s going on that they "leak" assorted documents to the press. A classic example of such an eye-opening document is a memorandum to all Department of Commerce employees three years ago alerting them to something called "Asian/Pacific Heritage Month." The memo is a hymn to political correctness and simply quoting portions of it is like reading a trendy liberal newspaper column:

"In our efforts to value diversity, we continue to highlight, understand and embrace the differences the people of the Department of Commerce bring to the workplace…the celebration will be held May 18 and will be sign language interpreted…the keynote address will be delivered by J.D. Hokoyama, president of Leadership in Education for Asian Pacifics…the program will close with the Moving Forward Dance Company…

"… a panel discussion on immigration, affirmative action and welfare reform is planned for May 11. On May 16 a workshop on the glass ceiling will be held…a panel discussion, ‘Bonds of Harmony: Multi-Cultural Interactions,’ is scheduled for May 22. Several movies will be shown during the month: ‘Filipino-American,’ ‘Slaying the Dragon’ and ‘Mississippi Marsala.’ All programs will be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for aids should be directed to Tin Shat at the Department’s Office of Civil Rights."

This is what the Department of Commerce was all about under the leadership of the late Secretary Ron Brown. Previously Brown had been a partner in Patton Boggs, one of Washington’s most influential lobbying firms where his own special client was Haiti’s Baby Doc Duvalier, although it’s doubtful that your local newspaper ever mentioned Brown’s client.

But it makes clear why a bill was introduced in Congress three years ago to simply abolish the Department of Commerce, period. This month NPRI brings you not one but three cover stories—a "trilogy," your favorite English professor might say—about some of the unpublicized and far more threatening activities of another branch of government, the U.S. Forest Service,to deprive ranchers and other Nevadan’s of their rightful heritage and even their ranches. Organized by NPRI Research Analyst Steve Miller, the tale begins with an article by Miller himself about how the Forest Service is blatantly re-writing Nevada history, after which comes a detailed article about the little understood topic of western water law by water rights specialist Carl Haas.

Rounding out our "trilogy" is the unsettling story of one rancher’s struggle against the federal behemoth by NPRI Research Analyst Diane Alden, literally the story of a struggle for survival we call Wayne Hage’s War.

Elsewhere in this issue imaginative Managing Editor Erica Olsen reports on some public education spending comparisons you probably have never seen before, Elko’s favorite journalist, Dan Steninger, makes clear for all that Congress isn’t much more trustworthy than the Department of Commerce or the U.S. Forest Service, and Paul Farago of Oregon’s Cascade Policy Institute spells out the details of Oregon’s plan to bid adieu to the Social Security system.

From Lois Gross in Las Vegas comes the improbable story behind Clark County’s voting machine troubles, suggesting that government "closer to home" is sometimes no more reliable than the feds. And finally this month we introduce a new feature NPRI is calling "Second Thoughts," which will provide monthly scrutiny of issues that tend to bedevil all of us.

Accordingly, with a magazine fairly bulging with compelling articles, there simply wasn’t room for a story about the article in the prestigious Chronicle of Higher Education addressing the "stressful" but of course "rich and rewarding" lives of "transgendered scholars" on campus. But one sentence from the article will suffice as this month’s commentary on today’s higher education:

"Before he delivers a lecture on gender identity to his philosophy class this semester Michael A. Gilmore must decide what to wear. Most likely he will put on a knee-length skirt, a long-sleeved blouse, and low pumps."

And then there’s the news that the Department of Defense has been paying Linda Tripp a salary of over $88,000 to work at home, and the description of John Quincy Adams in U.S. News & World Report as a "Hollywood hunk." As such stories continue to gush forth you should probably play it safe by keeping your psychiatrist’s phone number handy.

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Ralph Heller is Senior Consulting Editor for Nevada Journal.


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