Serving God & Country....Defending Faith & Freedom

An Outreach of What's Right What's Left Ministry

 

 

Phyllis Schlafly

 

 

Repeal The Bradley Amendment

 

Terminate Foreign Language Ballots

 

Is A War Going On In Texas?

 

Census has Grown Beyond its Bounds

 

Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, "A Choice Not An Echo". She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization now called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative. She was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies' Home Journal.

Mrs. Schlafly's monthly newsletter called The Phyllis Schlafly Report is now in its 38th year. Her syndicated column appears in 100 newspapers, her radio commentaries are heard daily on 460 stations, and her radio talk show on education called "Phyllis Schlafly Live" is heard weekly on 45 stations. Both can be heard on the internet.

Mrs. Schlafly is the author or editor of 20 books on subjects as varied as family and feminism "The Power of the Positive Woman", nuclear strategy "Strike From Space" and "Kissinger on the Couch", education "Child Abuse in the Classroom", child care "Who Will Rock the Cradle?", and a phonics book "Turbo Reader". Her most recent book, "Feminist Fantasies", is a collection of essays on feminism in the media, workplace, home, and the military

Mrs. Schlafly is a lawyer and served as a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, 1985-1991, appointed by President Reagan. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Mrs. Schlafly is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University, received her J.D. from Washington University Law School, and received her Master's in Political Science from Harvard University.

Phyllis Schlafly is America's best-known advocate of the dignity and honor that we as a society owe to the role of fulltime homemaker. The mother of six children, she was the 1992 Illinois Mother of the Year.
 

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*****

Repeal The Bradley Amendment

March 15, 2006

When our supposedly-compassionate federal government pokes its nose into areas that, under our principle of federalism, should be none of its business, the result is often unintended consequences, gross injustices, and of course, massive costs. A prime example is the 1986 federal Bradley Amendment, which mandates that a child-support debt cannot be retroactively reduced or forgiven, even if the debtor is unemployed, hospitalized, in prison, sent to war, dead, proved to not be the father, never allowed to see his children, or loses his job, or suffers a pay cut.

The result of this incredibly rigid law is to impose a punishment that makes it impossible for any but the very rich to get out from under a Bradley debt. Thousands of fathers are sentenced to debtor's prison (a medieval practice we thought America had abolished centuries ago), and thousands more have their driver's license confiscated (making it extraordinarily difficult to get a job).

There is no requirement that, if and when the Bradley debt is paid, the money be spent on the children, or that the debt be based on an estimate of the child's needs, or even that the so-called children actually be children (some states require the father to pay for college tuition). The Bradley debt is misnamed "child support"; it is a court-imposed judgment to punish men, and extract money from them to support some mothers, and a $3 billion federal-state bureaucracy.

Take the case of Larry Souter, as reported recently in the Grand Rapids Press. He was released after spending 13 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of second-degree murder.

He was then summoned to court to explain why he should not be convicted of contempt for non-payment of his Bradley debt, that kept rising during his years in prison: $23,000 in back support, plus interest and penalties that raised the total to $38,082.25. The ex-wife's attorney argues that Larry should pay because she "has endured the substantial burden of raising her two children, without defendant's contribution of child support."

Since the children are now adults, this case proves that the Bradley debt has nothing to do with child support. It has to do with court-ordered transfer payments, from which the state gets a cut.

This case is not an anomaly. Clarence Brandley spent ten years in prison, before he was exonerated and released in 1990, whereupon the state hit him with a bill for nearly $50,000 in child support debt that accumulated while he was in prison.

Many other cases prove that men cannot escape the Bradley debt, even if DNA proves that they are not the father. The law even forbids bankruptcy to alleviate the Bradley debt.

Three years ago, a Maine court ruled that Geoffrey Fisher no longer had to pay child support, for a child that wasn't his. But, Maine nevertheless demands that Fisher pay $11,450 in back child support, and Maine took away his driver's license for failure to pay up.

The Bradley debt makes no allowance for the growing problem of paternity fraud committed by mothers, estimated by some to be up to 30 percent of DNA-tested cases. Our compassionate government demands that a mother seeking welfare identify the father of her child, and, like greedy lawyers, greedy women often target the man with the deep pockets.

A few states have passed a recent law to end so-called child support if DNA proves a man is not the father, but that doesn't get rid of the Bradley debt accrued before DNA results came in. We haven't heard of any women being prosecuted for paternity fraud, and, of course, the man who was cheated doesn't get any refund.

There is no excuse for Congress and state Legislatures allowing these injustices to continue. Court-ordered child support should not be final, until DNA proves paternity.

Feminist defenders of the Bradley Amendment claim that the Bradley debtor could have reduced his debt by going into court and challenging the amount of support when his income decreased. That argument is legalistic cynicism taken to the extreme.

Most Bradley debtors cannot possibly afford a lawyer to advise them about, and to defend their rights, yet they are up against government or government-paid lawyers; the system has built-in incentives to set the support as high as possible, because collections bring bonuses to the state bureaucracy; and, according to the Los Angeles Times, roughly 70 percent of fathers in L.A. County are not present when the court (not biology) rules on paternity, and irreducible monthly obligations are set in concrete.

President Bush's initiative to promote marriage is a non-starter, so long as the Bradley Amendment exists. Who would marry a man with a Bradley debt hanging over his future?

Shakespeare famously wrote, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones." Since the author of the Bradley Amendment, former Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ), is still alive, he should tell his pals in the Senate to terminate his evil law, before any more injustices take place.

 

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*****

 

Time to Terminate Foreign Language Ballots

By Phyllis Schlafly

Led by U.S. Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y. and Steve King, R-Iowa, 56 members of the House of Representatives are urging House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to oppose the renewal of the section of the Voting Rights Act that mandates foreign-language ballots.

The two Kings say that these ballots "divide our country, increase the risk of voter error and fraud, and burden local taxpayers."

Their letter correctly explains that foreign-language ballots encourage linguistic separatism - which would give us problems like Canada has with the French language - and "contradict the melting pot ideal that has made the United States the most successful multiethnic nation on earth."

Foreign-language ballots don't make civic sense. Only citizens can vote - at least legally. To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, the law requires that a person demonstrates "an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write and speak ... simple words and phrases ... in ordinary usage in the English language."
Foreign-speaking citizens have the same legal protection of their right to vote as have millions of English-speaking U.S. illiterates. They can request assistance in the polling place, or take a crib sheet or interpreter into the booth, or get an absentee ballot and obtain help translating it.

The use of ballots in multiple languages greatly increases the likelihood of errors because of difficulty in translations. In a 1993 election, New York City mistakenly printed Chinese language ballots with "no" in place of "yes," and in a 2000 election, six polling places in Queens reversed "Democratic" and "Republican."

Foreign-language ballots are an open invitation to fraud because the Voting Rights Act requires foreign-language election information, notices, forms, instructions, and assistance in addition to ballots.
This, plus the widespread availability of voter pamphlets and absentee ballot applications, gives unscrupulous party operatives countless ways to deceive voters about issues and candidates, and increases the likelihood that non-citizens will vote illegally.

Foreign-language ballots are a direct attack on our "civic unity," which the late Barbara Jordan said must be promoted by public policies that override the problems posed by our cultural and religious diversity. She added, "Such policies should help people learn to speak, read, and write English effectively." The right to vote should function as a motivation to immigrants to learn English.

The 56 Congressmen are also correct that foreign-language ballots are a burden on local taxpayers. Remember how the Republican Congress elected in 1994 promised to rid us of unfunded mandates?

Foreign-language ballots are a good place to start because they function like a tax Congress imposes on state and local taxpayers in the 466 local jurisdictions across 31 states that must provide foreign-language ballots.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Los Angeles County taxpayers spent $1.1 million to provide ballots and election materials in five languages in 1996, escalating to $3.3 million in seven languages in March 2002. In several counties, the cost of foreign-language ballots is more than half the entire election expense.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is coming up for reauthorization next year, was an important civil rights law because it eliminated barriers that historically had kept many black citizens from voting.
Blacks didn't and don't need foreign-language ballots but, during the law's reauthorization in 1975, it was hijacked by those who wanted to pander to foreign-speaking minorities.

The choice of minorities is very discriminatory. The foreign-language mandate was limited to Americans of "Spanish Heritage," Asian Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives, while Italian, German, French and other languages are excluded from the law.

Before each election, the U.S. Department of Justice issues regulations that require states and counties to provide foreign-language ballots if more than 5 percent or more than 10,000 citizens of voting-age belong to one of the favored language groups.

The number and the complexity of languages makes the mandate for foreign-language ballots completely impractical. For example, there might be enough Filipinos to meet the threshold for foreign-language ballots, but the Filipinos themselves might speak any one of mutually unintelligible languages.

The self-proclaimed National Commission on the Voting Rights Act (a private group), which includes such partisan activists as Bill Lann Lee, John H. Buchanan, and Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree, slyly admits that it doesn't want Congress to make the foreign-language section permanent because it would be vulnerable to constitutional challenge as "race conscious." These partisans just want to continue the fiction that this section is "temporary."

The foreign-language sections of the Voting Rights Act should be allowed to expire in 2007. This will be a major step toward more honest elections and the achievement of our national motto, e pluribus unum, out of many, one.

 

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*****

Is A War Going On In Texas?

by Phyllis Schlafly, Feb. 15, 2006

If you don't have access to Texas newspapers or the internet, you may not have heard the sensational news about the enormous cache of weapons just seized in Laredo, Texas. U.S. authorities grabbed two completed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), materials for making 33 more, military-style grenades, 26 grenade triggers, large quantities of AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, silencers, machine gun assembly kits, 300 primers, bullet-proof vests, police scanners, sniper scopes, narcotics, and cash.

That sounds like a war is going on in Texas! If bomb-making factories and firearms assembly plants are ordinary day-to-day business in the drug war along our southern border, the American people need to know more about it.

The Val Verde County chief deputy warned that drug traffickers are helping terrorists with possible al Quaeda ties to cross the Texas-Mexico border into the United States. A government spokesman in Houston said "at this point there is no connection with anything in Iraq."

We are not so easily reassured. We wonder what our government is doing to fulfill its duty to "protect each of them [the states] against invasion," as called for in the U.S. Constitution, Article IV.

The Department of Homeland Security now admits that there have been 231 documented incursions by Mexican military or police, or drug or people smugglers dressed in military uniforms, during the last ten years, including 63 in Arizona, and several Border Patrol agents have been wounded in these encounters. This admission comes after years of pretending that such incursions were just "accidents."

Homeland Security sent a confidential memo in January to our Border Patrol agents warning that they could be the targets of assassins hired by alien smugglers. The alert states that the contract killers will probably be members of the vicious MS-13 Mara Salvatrucha street gang (whose 17-year-old killers will be protected from capital punishment by a recent U.S Supreme Court decision).

There is, indeed, a drug war going on between rival drug gangs, but the U.S. government seems to be just a bystander without manpower or weapons to take action. Are we going to continue to leave our Border agents sitting ducks for Mexican snipers?

Rep. Tom Tancredo reported that sheriff deputies spotted a military-style Humvee near El Paso, Texas, with a mounted .50-caliber machine gun escorting a caravan of SUVs bringing illegal drugs into our country. Our outgunned and outmanned sheriff deputies and state highway patrol couldn't do anything except take pictures.

The Mexican government is unwilling or incapable of doing anything to stop the wide-open lawlessness on the Mexican side of the border. Our Border Patrol agents say they are often confronted by corrupt Mexican military units employed to protect and escort violent drug smugglers.

Meanwhile, the news media have shown us pictures of the just-discovered sophisticated 2,400-foot tunnel running under our border to a warehouse in San Diego. U.S. authorities recovered more than two tons of marijuana, and it is unclear how long the tunnel has been in operation or how many tons of drugs already passed through.

The Bush Administration whines that it can't (i.e., won't) do anything to implement border security unless its guest-worker/amnesty proposal is part of the legislative package, and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff looked pathetically weak when interviewed on television by Bill O'Reilly. When is our government going to protect us from the crime, the drugs, the smuggling racket, destruction of property, the endangerment to U.S. residents along our border and our undermanned Border Patrol?

In charge of protecting Americans against this war is 36-year-old Julie Myers, to whom President Bush gave a recess appointment after her Senate confirmation bogged down because of her total lack of law-enforcement experience. Her qualifications are her connections: she is the niece of former Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers and the wife of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff's chief of staff.

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) says that if you visit the border, you will find that almost everyone who lives there is armed for protection from illegals. Just imagine if you had to carry a gun to go to the grocery store or take your kids to school!

For the best up-to-date analysis of what our government should do, read Rep. Hayworth's new book called "Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror." He calls for a security fence, 10,000 border agents, enforcement of penalties on employers who hire illegal aliens, cooperation between the feds and our 700,000 local and state police officers to enforce our immigration laws, more detention centers to keep illegals until they can be deported, and an end to the racket of giving U.S. citizenship to babies born to illegal aliens.

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*****

Census has Grown Beyond its Bounds

 By Phyllis Schlafly

While the Patriot Act and National Security Agency wiretapping have received enormous attention and criticism from the mainstream media, another federal agency has been quietly gathering far more personal information about U.S. residents than those laws ever can. And this unreported project affects thousands more people.

Our inquisitive federal government has been demanding that selected U.S. residents answer 73 nosy questions. They are threatened with a fine of $5,000 for failure to respond.

When I first heard about this from a reader in Lake Geneva, Wis., I thought it might be a joke or an anomaly. But when another in Ishpeming on Michigan's Upper Peninsula received the same questionnaire, I realized something is going on nationwide.

These nosy questionnaires come under the friendly name "American Community Survey." But this is not a Gallup or a Harris poll; the interrogator is the U.S. government and has the power to compel and computerize your responses.
The U.S. Constitution authorizes the government to take an "enumeration" every 10th year in order to reapportion the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to accord with the "respective numbers" of each state's population. The Constitution thus authorizes a count of people; it doesn't authorize the government to find out with whom you share your bed and board.

Beginning in 1960, the 10-year census-taking significantly changed. The government began sending a long form with many questions to a limited number of people, randomly selected, and a short form with only six questions to all remaining U.S. residents.

The government is jumping the gun on the 2010 census, and without public announcement is already sending out an extremely long form, starting with a few thousand mailings each month to a handful of residents in widely scattered small towns that don't generate national media. Recipients can't find neighbors who received the same mailing, so it's difficult to avoid the impression that the project was planned to avoid publicity and citizen opposition.

The person filling out the new long form is labeled "Person 1." That person is required by law to list the name of every other person in the household, giving his or her birth date, sex, race, marital status and relationship.

 Other people can be husband, daughter, grandson, in-law, etc. Others can also be "unmarried partner" (defined as a person "who shares a close personal relationship with Person 1") or "roommate (someone sharing the house/apartment but who is not romantically involved with Person 1").

Person 1 must answer 25 questions about his residence and the size of the property. What kind of a home, apartment or condo do you live in, when was it built, when did you move in, are you operating a business in your home, how many rooms and how many bedrooms do you have, what kind of bathroom and kitchen fixtures do you have, and what is the market price of your residence?

The survey asks how much you pay each month for electricity, gas, water, rent, real estate taxes, fire or flood insurance, plus six very specific questions about your first and second monthly mortgage payments. There are questions about your telephone and automobile, and about how many months of the year you and others occupy the residence.

The survey then gets really personal, seeking the answers to 42 questions about you and about every other person who resides in your household. Person 1 is used like a private investigator to extract the information from everybody else, and warned that if anyone doesn't want to answer your nosy questions, you must provide the name and telephone number of such person so Big Brother can follow up.

The information demanded for you and every other person includes very specific questions about what kind of school you and each other one attended and to what grade level, what is each person's "ancestry or ethnic origin" (no matter if your ancestors came here hundreds of years ago), what language you speak at home, how well you speak English, where you lived one year ago, what are specific physical, mental or emotional health conditions, and whether you have given birth during the past year.

More questions demand that you tell the government exactly where you are employed, what transportation you use to get to work, how many people ride in the vehicle with you, how many minutes it takes you to get to work, whether you have been laid off or absent from your job or business, how many weeks you worked during the last year, what kind of a job you have (for-profit company, not-for-profit company, government, self-employed), what kind of business it is, exactly what kind of work you did, what was your last year's wage or salary, and what was your other income from any other source.

The Census Bureau warns: "We may combine your answers with information that you gave to other agencies." (Does that mean IRS? Social Security? New hires directory? Child support enforcement? Criminal databases? Commercial databases?)

The questionnaire promises that it will take only 38 minutes to answer these questions. Of course, that estimate fails to include the hours it takes to collect the required information from so many different sources.

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