This essay is an attempt to go into some of the basics behind the modern militia movement. It will deal with the philosophical, ethical and moral considerations underlying the militia movement. It will also deal with some of the similarities and differences between modern militia units and professional military units.
Those who have already done some studying of the concept of militias comprised of the whole body of the people realize that it has a history that dates back at least as far as the Anglo-Saxons who inhabited England over a thousand years ago. It is not the purpose of this essay to delve that far back into time to discuss the origins of the militia. Rather the time and place that will be used for most of our references will be in America, just shortly before, during and after the Revolutionary War.
The first thing that we will look at for the basis of the militia is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was not instrumental in the formation of the militias that fought against the British Crown. In fact, the Revolutionary War had begun approximately 1 year and 3 months before the Declaration was written. However, the Declaration does a beautiful job of summing up just what it was that the militias were fighting for, and discussing the philosophical and moral basis for their existence. The following quotation is taken from the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:
"WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security." (1)
Thus, as explained by the Declaration of Independence, it is the body of the people as a whole that determines the legitimacy of a given government. To the extent that the government governs with the consent of the people and does not abridge or usurp their rights, then the government is legitimate. However, if the government abridges the rights of the people, abuses them, governs without their consent, and in general reduces them to slavery and debt servitude, then the people may abolish their government.
In practice, however, the abolition of a despotic government is much easier said than done. This is the main reason that there are so many of them in existence today. The only method for abolishing a genuinely despotic government that has proven to work even part of the time is to take up arms against it. The various different methods that people have developed for civil disobedience are all very well, but if the government decides that it would just as soon execute all who oppose it then they will be of limited utility. One has only has to look at the example afforded by the millions who perished under Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung in this century to see the truth of that.
While the Founding Fathers were unfamiliar with the more recent examples of despotism and tyranny, they were well acquainted with the history of the Greek and Roman civilizations. Also, many of them belonged to groups that had come to America in the first place to escape persecution at the hands of government officials. It was their intention to ensure that despotic and tyrannical governments would not come to have power either over them or their descendants. Indeed, as voiced in the Declaration, they felt that an absolute duty existed to rebel against a tyrannical and oppressive government.
Now, in order for a people to successfully rebel against a government that has become tyrannical, they need to have weapons and they need to have units which can put those weapons to use. Isolated individual actions have proven time and time again to have limited utility in forcing governments to do things that they do not want to do. The people with the weapons must be able to coordinate the use of those weapons, and thus the ability to form militia units is as vital to the ability of a people to protect itself from tyrannical government as the ability to possess weapons is.
It should go without saying that as the purpose of the militia is to ride herd over the government and provide the final check on its use of power that it would be counterproductive to give the government total control over the militia. If one studies the Constitution which was adopted after the Revolutionary War, the Bill of Rights, and the arguments put forward by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers for the adoption of the Constitution, it can be shown that the national level government was never intended to have total control over the militia.
In order to make this more clear we shall first look at what the Constitution itself has to say on the matter. The first quotation we will examine is taken from the enumerated powers of Congress found in Article I section 8 of the Constitution.
...To declare War, grant letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; ... (2)
Thus we can see by examining the enumerated powers of Congress that the national level government was never intended to have total control over the militia. The State level governments were to have the most direct control over the militia, and the national level government was only responsible for setting forth such ground rules as would be needed to enable all the State militias to integrate together effectively. Thus, Congress only calls forth the militia for three very specific purposes, it does not create the militia. The Congress only has the authority to govern that part of the militia which has actually been called into the service of the United States.
This issue has also been somewhat clouded in modern times by the wording that the Founding Fathers chose when they adopted the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The Second Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (3) Many people are in doubt as to what exactly the Founding Fathers referred to when they were talking about a "well regulated militia", and what relationship this had to the people's right to keep and bear arms. However, a quick reading of what Alexander Hamilton had to say in the Federalist, number 29 is most enlightening as to what was meant.
The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it.
To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of a million pounds. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not be long endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year. (4)
Thus, we see in the wording used by Alexander Hamilton, indicating the usage of the Founding Fathers at that time, a "well-regulated militia" was a militia unit that could execute standard tactical drills with a high degree of proficiency. This was differentiated from the term "militia" which from the context was obviously the entire body of the people. It was felt that the "militia" or the entire body of the people, could not be trained to the level that they could all be described as "well-regulated militia" because it would be too time consuming a task. Thus, what does one do when one can not have the entire body of people trained well enough to execute the standard tactical drills that would be required of a line infantry unit? The answer is that one at least ensures that they have all the weapons and equipment that they will need. Thus, the Second Amendment to the Constitution, interpreted in light of what Hamilton had to say, guarantees to the entire body of the people the right to keep and bear arms, because the formation of the "well-regulated Militia" that is "necessary to the security of a Free State", is based on having the entire body of the people armed and equipped with the prerequisites they need to function as members of a line unit.
Alexander Hamilton then goes on to say the following in the paragraph that immediately follows the one I quoted previously from the Federalist number 29:
But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate size, upon such principles as will really fit it for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have a body of well-trained militia ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.
This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist. (5)
Thus, we can see that Alexander Hamilton wanted the States to form select militias that would be well trained enough that they could take the field whenever the defense of the State required it. The national level government was discouraged from raising and maintaining armies, but could call up the select militia from the States for service in times of specific need. Thus, the lack of a national level standing army would not put the nation as a whole at risk, because each State would have ready forces under its direct control that it could use to respond to invasions, insurrections, etc.. And, should a problem arise that would require the resources of more than one State to deal with it, the national level government would coordinate things.
Also, we see that Hamilton intended that these select militias in the service of their respective States would be used to put down an army maintained by the national level government if such action became necessary in order to preserve the rights of the people. Given that these select militia were dependent on the ability of the people as a whole to keep and bear military quality arms, that right was guaranteed to the people as a whole under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Also, the vast majority of State Constitutions also have clauses and passages guaranteeing the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This was to ensure that the fundamental prerequisites for keeping a tyrannical government in line, arms and people who could use them organized into units that could put those arms to use effectively, would always be outside the scope of the government's ability to legally negate their existence.
It is especially important to keep in mind as we think about what Hamilton had to say that he was one of the Founding Fathers who wanted to have a relatively strong central government. So, when you find one of the people who wanted a strong central government arguing that it was the State level governments and the people who were to have proportionately more force at their disposal than the national government, I feel that it is highly significant.
At any rate, we have now done some study about what the Founding Fathers intended the militia to be like. It will also be illustrative to see what they actually did immediately before and during the Revolutionary War.
As the size and repressive character of the standing army increased, many Americans began to arm and to organize themselves into independent militias. In 1774, George Mason and George Washington organized the Fairfax County Militia Association, which was not subject to the control of the royal governor and which in fact arose, in part, as a defense force against the regular militia.
"Threat'ned with the Destruction of our Civil-rights, & Liberty," (as stated in the resolution drafted by Mason), the members of this independent company of volunteers, who elected their own officers, pledged that "we will, each of us, constantly keep by us" a firelock, six pounds of gun powder, and twenty pounds of lead.
In praising the Fairfax County model, a writer from Georgia implored that "the English troops in our front, and our governors forbid giving assent to militia laws, make it high time that we enter into *associations* for learning the use of arms, and to choose officers ..." [emphasis in original] (6)
Thus, we see that at least some of the Founding Fathers began by organizing militia units without any support at all from, in fact in opposition to, the "legitimate" government at the time. As the problems with Great Britain progressed, other areas of the country took other actions as their local customs dictated.
As Samuel Adams and his Massachusetts colleagues were meeting in Philadelphia, the colony's towns had elected delegates to a new Massachusetts Provincial Congress after the dissolution of the House by General Gage.
Convening in Salem, with Hancock as president, the delegates launched the colony's first government independent of the British king. They ordered money held back from the royal collections and channeled into their own accounts. They set up elite units within the militia-companies of fifty privates who were instructed to move at the shortest notice. And they established Committees of Safety to oversee those shock troops, who were calling themselves Minute Men. (7)
The good people of Charlotte, North Carolina, chose to arrange their affairs in a different manner. Among the resolutions that they adopted on May 31, 1775, were the following:
4. That the Inhabitants of this County do meet on a certain Day appointed by this Committee, and having formed themselves into nine Companies, to wit, eight for the County, and one for the Town of Charlotte, do choose a Colonel and other military Officers, who shall hold and exercise their several Powers by Virtue of this Choice, and independent of Great Britain, and former Constitution of this Province.
5. That for the better Preservation of the Peace, and Administration of Justice, each of these Companies do choose from their own Body two discreet Freeholders, who shall be impowered each by himself, and singly, to determine all Matters of Controversy arising within the said Company under the Sum of Twenty Shillings, and jointly and together all Controversies under the sum of Forty Shillings, yet so as their Decisions may admit of Appeals to the Convention of Select Men of the whole County; and also, that any one of these shall have power to examine, and commit to Confinement, Persons accused of Petit Larceny.
6. That those two Select Men, thus chosen, do, jointly and together, chose from the Body of their particular Company two persons, properly qualified to serve as Constables,who may assist them in the Execution of their Office.
7. That upon Complaint of any Person to either of these Select Men, he do issue his Warrant, directed to the Constable, commanding him to bring the Aggressor before him or them to answer the said Complaint.
8. That these eighteen Select Men, thus appointed, do meet every third Tuesday in January, April, July, and October, at the Court-house, in Charlotte, to hear and determine all Matters of Controversy for Sums exceeding Forty Shillings; also Appeals: And in Cases of Felony, to commit the Person or Persons convicted thereof to close Confinement, until the Provincial Congress shall provide and establish Laws and modes of Proceeding in all such Cases. (8)
Thus, we see that initially George Washington and George Mason formed a militia unit in opposition to the government of the colony of Virginia at that time, and also in opposition to the local militia forces controlled by that government. Later, up in New England, where there was a strong tradition of local government at town hall meetings, the people there set up new local governments and simultaneously created militia units that were responsible to those local governments. Later still, the people in Charlotte, North Carolina, pretty much set things up so that for all practical purposes it could be argued that the local militia was the local government. So, it can be seen that the Founding Fathers pretty much did what they felt they had to do in the specific instances to get good, viable militia units formed, and also to set up what local government they needed. In most cases, the militia units so formed had a political role which was much greater than that of their purely military counterparts that fought on the side of the British crown.
The British military units were merely the servants of the king who employed coercive force at his behest, and for whatever reasons seemed best to him. The militia units in many cases were able to wield significant power within their local governments by reason of the number of votes that they represented in their individual members at the town meetings, and or because of the way the provisional local governments had been constructed, giving those who would have to fight and die for what they were trying to create a level of control over things that a purely military unit would not have. This should not be taken to mean that the militia units had an absolute and total lock on the local government, far from it. But I am trying to point out that their role and their voice in the decisions that sent them into harms way were much greater than that enjoyed by a purely military unit. They had a much greater say over just what circumstances would require them to use coercive force and the situations in which they would try to bring it to bear.
In effect, I am saying that militia units play a political role because those ends which they desire to achieve are in the final analysis political ends. Our Founding Fathers did not form militia units in potential opposition to the British until they felt that the political system which they were under as British subjects had broken down to the extent that the British government was no longer their legitimate government. Their rights were no longer being protected against abuses and usurpations, their voices were not being heard, their legitimate needs were not being met, and their consent was no longer being obtained by the government for the actions that it took that effected them. Thus, under such circumstances, they felt that they had an absolute duty to rebel.
It is important to note that some of the most respected military theorists who have ever written on the subject of war see it as being intimately related to politics.
Thus, therefore, the political object, as the original motive of the War, will be the standard for determining both the aim of the military force and also the amount of effort to be made. (9)
The object in war is to attain a better peace-even if only from your own point of view. Hence it is essential to conduct war with constant regard to the peace you desire.(10)
The First Factor is MORAL POSITION. You must operate from such a strong sense of moral justification that even the threat of death will not deter you from your course.
You need such a firm sense of moral resolution to overcome the debilitating effects of the inevitable dangers, setbacks and hardships which will accompany any war.
For a nation to have this moral strength and resolution, the government must have the support of the people. The people must agree that the reasons for the war are necessary, just and deserving of the utmost sacrifice. Leaders who would wage war without this strong moral justification, and without the support of the people, will find their own power bases quickly crumbling when setbacks and hardships occur. (11)
So, given that an array of military theorists from Clausewitz to Liddell Hart to Sun Tzu are telling us in effect that one cannot divorce war from politics, I think that it is a very good idea to pay attention to what they have to say. Now, a professional military unit simply applies coercive force when and where its political leaders tell it to. However, in a true militia type unit, the military unit and its political leadership are effectively one and the same. Hence, it will be the unit that determines for what reasons that it fights and how hard, and at what cost to itself. So, to say that a militia unit should have no role at all in politics is to miss the boat entirely. Under the situation we have right now in America today, the militia units would not be forming to begin with if the political system were working properly and the people's legitimate problems were being dealt with by the system. But that is not happening, and the system is not responding that well to the standard corrective measures which have been used in the past to take care of such problems. Indeed, we have effectively seen the system bending over backwards to avoid taking into consideration some of the clearest voter mandates from the people that have occurred in decades.
We also see the government making continuing overtures that many people see as the prelude to weapons confiscations. The confiscation of our weapons is something that has to be prevented at all costs if we are to maintain a political system in this country anything at all like the Founding Fathers intended for us to have. But, isolated individuals acting on their own will accomplish little. Trained troops will usually triumph over unorganized armed mobs without too much effort. Just look at what the Israelis were doing on a regular basis to their opponents in relatively recent history. And there are few militia units in the United States today that are as well armed, trained and equipped as the Arab units were which were slaughtered wholesale in those battles.
The well regulated militias whose officers were appointed by the State governments, and whose training was the responsibility of the State governments have ceased to exist. The National Guard does not fill that bill as its officers are appointed by the national government and more and more we are seeing the national government either disbanding National Guard units or employing them overseas. The net result is to render them ineffective as any sort of check over the power of the national government. We have also seen that the State level governments as a rule do not seem to want to recreate their Constitutional State Militias. Indeed, more often than not, the State level governments permit themselves to be subordinated to a greater and greater degree to the national level government. Hence, the most effective check that the Founding Fathers placed on the power of the national level government has all but disappeared.
Given that this is the case, those people who see the problems in this situation have little choice but to exercise their rights as the Founding Fathers did initially and organize militia units regardless of the level of support or hostility that they receive from their national, state and local governments. The alternative is to permit yourself to be rendered all but helpless to reply to the threat of significant military force in any reasonable manner.
It is important to realize that those people who do this have the full support of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Common Law on their side. This is because if the government is not fulfilling its responsibilities, then it becomes the absolute duty of the citizens of this Republic to step in and fill the gap. The only limitations that they are effectively under is that banding together in a militia unit does not give the group as a whole any more legal rights or privileges than the individual members had to begin with. Regardless of what they call themselves or how they choose their officers, or what beliefs they may espouse, they do not have to authority to go and break the Common Law. Hence, the coercive force that they are practicing and learning to wield effectively can only be used in a defensive situation, when the government has finally gone beyond the pale. Now, while things in this country are bad and getting worse, they have not reached that point yet. So, militia units may effectively only meet, organize, equip and train until such time as the government forces them to take action to prevent its unjustified use of coercive force against the people.
There are several other matters which need to be mentioned in passing. Essentially, any militia unit which forms of its own accord and is not under government auspices is a volunteer unit. This means that the only reasonable method for it to use to select its officers is by the members of the unit electing one of their own to be the leader. It matters not what level of "military qualifications" the leader either has or does not have. It is expected that everybody is going to be vigorously training and improving their level of knowledge anyway.
Furthermore, in my time in the service I have observed senior military officers who could not pour piss out of a boot with the directions on the heel and would have a hard time leading dogs to chase cats. I have also encountered senior enlisted personnel on Flag Officers' Staffs who were as capable of leading a large scale unit as any officer could ever hope to be. The only way you can tell whether you are dealing with a good officer or a bad officer, or a good enlisted or a poor enlisted, is by personal interaction with them and observation. There is and should be no hard and fast rule which says that because somebody was only a sergeant in a branch of the military he can not be an officer in a militia unit. Furthermore, there are officers in the service who some people might not want as a stretcher bearer in their unit. There are also civilians who either by natural talent or by long study have developed a grasp of military strategy and tactics that would rival that of the most professionally competent military leader. You have to take each person as an individual and judge them by their merits.
The only way for a volunteer unit to make the choice as to which individual is to lead them is to elect that person. That also is no guarantee of getting good people either, but at least it leaves the members of the unit as the ones who bear the responsibility for picking the individual who will make their success as a unit or put most of them in body bags. It also gives them the flexibility to replace people at need. For volunteer organizations this is the only way to fly.
One of the other important decisions that needs to be made is whether the group wants to be an open, overt unit, or a closed, covert unit. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ways of doing things, and in the final analysis this should be left up to the people who are forming the unit. Now, there are those who do not like the idea of people forming "covert" militia units. To them I say, as long as a group of people is not breaking the Common Law, then why should it matter what they do in private? If they are breaking the Common Law, then they are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly. But if they are not breaking the Common Law, then it shouldn't be anybody else's business what they are or are not doing, where they chose to do it or not do it, and with whom.
Those who want to form covert units are well advised to keep them small, and composed of people who have known each other for a long period of time. There is no need to worry about growing in size, per se. The value of the covert unit is in its ability to stay in an area without getting noticed long after the balloon has gone up. To this end, a well trained and integrated squad size unit which has not been infiltrated is much more valuable than a platoon size unit which has been infiltrated and probably hasn't trained together that well either. The larger the unit the harder it is to train as a general rule, and the more land it has to have available to it so it can train without drawing attention to itself. You may want to have one member try to keep half an eye on any overt units in the area. If for no other reason than down the road it will give you a better idea of who you may want to try to integrate with.
Those people who want to try to form open units have to realize that public relations and education of the populace as a whole are going to end up being a large part of their mission, even if they did not plan for it initially. Try to select one member who is better at dealing with the press and appoint them as the Public Affairs Officer or Spokesman to handle any press releases or statements that need to get made. Get the rest of the group in the habit of referring any reporter type individual with questions to the spokesman. I would also recommend that at least one person from the unit make a courtesy call to visit with the local police chiefs and sheriffs. Remember that part of the mission of an open, above ground unit should be to support local law enforcement personnel with any reasonable and legitimate assistance they might need. So, at the very least, you can say that you have done at least minimal coordination with your local law enforcement people. If you get treated hostilely by the local law enforcement in spite of your best efforts to be reasonable and nonconfrontational, then perhaps you should consider "disbanding" the public unit and letting some of the members form covert units if they desire to. At the very least, you may want to partially reorganize as a Political Action Committee to try to get somebody more reasonable into office.
Beyond just using plain old common sense, everything else is pretty much left to the discretion of the individual units. Realize that if you are setting yourselves up to be the defenders of the Constitution and the Common Law, then you are bound by their dictates. Also realize that anything you end up doing is going to require at least the passive support of your community over the long haul. So there is little to be gained by antagonizing your neighbors. Good luck and may God grant that our exercises stay academic.
- Mike Johnson/North Central Florida Regional Militia
PGP Public Key fingerprint BF EB 27 F4 D2 86 EB 45 A9 63 A6 6F E3 6B 4A 8C
"There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; or as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common sense are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits, and interests?"
- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist # 29 (12)
=============================Notes=============================== (1) Declaration of Independence (2) United States Constitution, Article I, section 8 (3) United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, 2nd Amendment (4) Clinton Rossiter, editor, THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, Mentor Books, 1961, ISBN 0-451-62451-2, pp 184-185. (5) IBID, p. 185 (6) Stephen P. Halbrook, THAT EVERY MAN BE ARMED, THE EVOLUTION OF A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT, University of New Mexico Press, 1984, ISBN 0-8263-9764-7, p. 60. (7) A.J. Langguth, PATRIOTS, THE MEN WHO STARTED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, Touchstone, 1989, ISBN 0-671-67562-1, p. 217 (8) Resolves Adopted in Charlotte Town, Mecklenberg County, North Carolina, May 31, 1775 (9) Carl von Clausewitz, ON WAR, translated by Col. J.J. Graham, edited and with an introduction by Anatol Rapoport, Penguin Books, 1968, ISBN 0-14-044427-0, p. 109. (10) B. H. Liddell Hart, STRATEGY, SECOND REVISED EDITION, Meridian, 1991, ISBN 0-452-01071-3, p. 353. (11) Sun Tzu, MANUAL FOR WAR, translated and edited by T.W. Kuo, Atli Press, 1989, ISBN 0-910169-02-0, p. 18. [PS: This is the best translation I have run across and I recommend it highly - Mike] (12) Cinton Rossiter, op. cit., pp. 185-186. ================================================================= Permission is given to copy, repost and print this file out as many times as desired as long as I am given credit for writing it and it is used for educational purposes only. -- Mike Johnson, June 12, 1995.
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