Commentary magazine had an article in its April issue called, "The Era of Big Government Is Not Over," which includes a discussion of the way in which government is expanding its power in subtle but very effective ways. One the most effective of these is by implying -- but not specifically threatening -- punishment if one does not comply.

I was glad to see someone bring this up. I have seen it in action for many years.

Federal agencies are able to get away with specifying race quotas by calling them "goals." This does not sound like a quota. All the agency says is that, if you follow the rules they don't call rules, you will be safe from government action.

These guidelines can be enforced on big companies by implying that they will be denied government contracts if they don't comply. With small businesses, it's even easier.

Many conservatives were surprised to find that small businesses often supported specific racial quotas. The reason for this is that, while large firms have permanent legal staffs, small business is lucky if their response to agency actions, even legal letters, only costs them one or two hundred dollars an hour.

In other words, legal fees amount to a fine on small businesses for doing anything an agency can QUESTION. If you don't meet their "guidelines," you can expect a substantial fine in the form of legal fees, which very soon becomes a burden that can put a small company out of business. An agency can destroy a small business without even bringing a serious action against it.

So when it comes to the hopeless complexity of hiring by race, sex, sexual preference, disabilities, and a dozen other things, small businesses are apt to say, "Please just give a straight, simple QUOTA!"

The latest example of this sort of extralegal takeover by Federal agencies is now occurring between the Justice Department and the Los Angeles Police Department. The Justice Department is deciding whether it will charge the police with civil rights violations. They are openly saying that they won't charge Los Angeles police if the police department adopts "reforms" specified by the Justice Department.

So if the police accept dictation from the central government, there will be no prosecution. Once again, we have here centralization of police authority, not by open fiat, but by threat.

Back when the parents of missing children were trying to get a national tracking system for missing children, liberals fought it tooth and nail. Liberals said it would lead to a "national police force." As always, liberals were afraid the police would unite against their clients, the repeat felons liberals love so much and degenerates in general.

But now that a national police policy is being enforced by the Justice Department for liberal goals and race quotas, we don't hear a peep from the liberals.