tives in America) reiterated his oppositionrnto national preference—and to anyrnidea of French nationhood—declaringrnin a televised speech: “I do not see anyrnmotives compatible with our humanist,rndemocratic, and republican principlesrnthat would allow us not to give foreignersrnthe same rights that we give to thernFrench.” The good news from France isrnthat although President Chirac continuesrnto sell out his country as every sensiblernperson on the left and right knew thatrnhe would, a few establishment figuresrnhave read the handwriting on the wallrnand realized that it is not written inrnFrench.rnHere in America, where we do notrnhave the long tradition of national patriotismrnthat is still felt in some Frenchrnhearts, there is still no sign that any establishmentrnpolitician in either party isrnan “honnete homme,” much less a patriotrncapable of making hard choices.rn—Thomas FlemingrnTHE FEDS now control my backyardrn—in direct defiance of the Ninthrnand Tenth amendments. I have heardrnand read many stories over the yearsrnabout imperial intrusions into private affairs,rnbut I recently learned about thesernfirsthand when I tried to refinance myrnmortgage to take advantage of lower interestrnrates. I immediately ran up againstrnthe benevolent wall of FEMA (the FederalrnEmergency Management Agency)rn—you know, those nice folks whorntake care of you when disaster strikes. (Irnwonder how folks got along before wernhad all these nice agencies to take care ofrnus.) There is a tiny creek at the back ofrnmy property that has occasionally overflowedrnslightly into my back lot, which isrnquite large. The slight flooding has justrnabout been eliminated since the countyrndid some work up the line a few yearsrnago. Flooding has never offered thernslightest threat to my house, and all surveysrnhave shown no reasonable possibilityrnof it doing so. Neither I nor my neighborsrnhave ever felt the need foriloodrninsurance.rnBut it appears that the benevolentrnboys from FEMA made maps picturingrnmy house potentially under water—arnpreposterous error. (What does this havernto do with emergency management, byrnthe way? And what were they doing inrnmy back yard without permission?) As arnresult, the mortgage lender is now requiredrnto require me to take out flood insurancern— or no loan. This requires arnnew survey and a “federal elevation certificate.”rnSo, profits for the surveyor, thernlender, and the insurance company. Forrnme, delay—nearly annihilating the benefitsrnof low interest rates. (I find that severalrnof my neighbors decided that thernquest was not worth it.)rnWill FEMA ever do anything for me?rnNo. Do I want them ever to do anythingrnfor me? No. I will be grateful if heavilyrnarmed imperial storm troopers don’t descendrnupon my house, as documented inrnthe August Chronicles (“Desert StormrnTroopers”). I am reminded of what happenedrnin the aftermath of the major disasterrnwe had here in South Carolina withrnHurricane Hugo a few years ago. Withrngreat fanfare, Congress passed a $100rnmillion relief bill, pushed by our twornpowerfiil senators. (The vote was 100-0rnin the Senate, as I recall.) A while laterrnwe learned—in the small print—that werngot almost none of the “victims’ relief”rnIt all went to Puerto Rico and the VirginrnIslands, where nobody had any insurance.rnIt does no good to talk about “conservatives”rnand “liberals” in the context ofrnsuch outrages, much less to complainrnendlessly about the evils of Clinton.rn(Does anyone really believe that the governmentrnterrorist/bureaucrats wouldrnhave behaved differently at Waco if itrnhad occurred on George Bush’s watch?)rnThe Republican “conservatives” havernbeen promising to reduce governmentrnfor a generation now. They lie. Tworndecades ago, I stood not far from candidaternRonald Reagan on the steps of ourrnstate capitol and heard him promise tornreduce fraud, waste, expenditures, andrnregulation in every government agency.rnHe lied. But we have a much deeperrnproblem here than mere politicians’ lies.rnITie Republican Party, in its very originsrnand raison d’etre, was a vehicle for activistrngovernment. It was devoted to regulationrnand subsidy for the benefit of railroads,rnbankers, industrialists, and for suppressionrnof “Rum, Romanism, andrnRebellion” (i.e., the behavior of Southernersrnand Catholics). The “conservative”rnBob Dole was completely in characterrnand tradition when he sponsored arnDisabilities Act that regulates every parkingrnlot and building in every town andrncity in the land (including rural churches).rnHe began his public career, after all,rnas the New Deal poster boy for “rehabilitation,”rnpart of the p.r. campaign to softsoaprnthe public about the sufferings ofrnthose citizens who were mangled in thern”Good War.”rnThe problem is more than one of efficientrn”public policy.” It is a problem ofrnnational character. We cannot hope forrnany relief from the imperial state untilrnenough people resume the habits of selfgovernment,rnif that is possible.rnI have just learned from a surveyor, byrnthe way, that FEMA based its maps onrnan aerial survey, which has a large marginrnof error. What was FEMA doing flyingrnover my back yard?rn— Clyde WilsonrnT H E PARENTS OF Amy Biehl, thern26-year-old Fulbright Scholar who wasrnhacked to death by black militants inrnSouth Africa in 1993, are perfect examplesrnof liberals as defined by ThomasrnFleming: people who would refuse torntake their own side in an argument. Ms.rnBiehl, a Stanford graduate researchingrnwomen’s rights and helping to registerrnvoters in South Africa, was murderedrnwhile driving some friends to Gugeleto,rna black township. A band of black SouthrnAfricans ripped her from her car andrnstabbed her repeatedly in the head,rnchanting “one settler, one bullet.” OnrnJuly 28, the South African Truth andrnChronicles is seeking an editorial assistant.rnTo be considered for this position,rnplease send a letter, resume, and writing samples to:rnAssistantrnChroniclesrn928 N. Main St.rnRockford,IL 61103rnOCTOBER 1998/7rnrnrn