Short Takes, July 1999
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Landslide for Webb
The Rocky Mountain News reported May 5 that Webb won 80% of the votes cast, but only 15% of those registered to vote even bothered to show up at the voting booths. In addition, only around 80% of those known to be eligible to register choose to do so, and not all who are eligible to register are known to the statisticians.
And the News refers to this election as a "landslide for Webb." A landslide of apathy and cynicism, perhaps. - Ari Armstrong
Al "Capone" Gore
Mona Charen, a columnist I hardly ever read, happened to write a great piece which ran in the June 17 Rocky Mountain News. She wrote, "[T]he vice president said preschool should no longer be voluntary but should encompass 'every child, in every community in America.'" That's all we need -- children spending less time with their parents and more time with government officials. We also need to pay higher taxes to put more education bureaucrats on the government dole. Why didn't I think of that?
Gore strikes me as one of the more decent individuals running for president. But why does Gore evade the simple fact that he's attempting to bend people to his will in the political arena by forcing them to pay for programs they don't want? If people do want such programs, then they will pay for them voluntarily, without Gore implicitly threatening a prison sentence. Politicians, like Mafia gangsters, just don't play nice. - Ari Armstrong
Suing for Peace
According to the Constitution, "The Congress shall have Power... To declare War..." (Article I, Section 8). I suppose it depends on how you define "war." It depends on what your definition of "shall," is. - Ari Armstrong
Madison Warned Against Presidential Wars
The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war [and] the power of raising armies...
Madison also details how war leads to the loss of liberty, through higher taxes, more executive power, and the expansion of government. Freedom Daily is published by The Future of Freedom Foundation. - Ari Armstrong
It's fairly well substantiated that Clinton is a rapist and that hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians have been killed under his watch (including American women and children at Waco). While his policy in Yugoslavia is stupid and his ineptitude in handling military security with regards to China is frightening, hopefully Clinton harbors no secret desire to enter another world war. However, surely he has increased the risk of catastrophic war, if unintentionally.
In the immediate future, there seems to be greater risk from Clinton imposing martial law over Y2K problems, though I'm not looking for that to happen, either. We could see serious problems, though, if several events converge: a significant Y2K problem, on top of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, on top of Russian unrest, on top of U.S. inflation (say if Greenspan has a heart-attack or something), and we could find ourselves in deep trouble. Again, I'm not looking for such a convergence, even though possible dangers dot the horizon. -Ari Armstrong