Short Takes, July 1999

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Short Takes, July 1999

Send us your short takes, to ari@oneimage.com.


Landslide for Webb
Denver Mayor Wellington Webb won his third term in office May 4, 1999 with less than 9.6% support from those eligible to vote.

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
Mafia gangsters gain power by using force to create monopolies for themselves in certain markets. That's what Al Gore is trying to do in the education market for young children. The difference is that the Mafia breaks laws to use force against others, while Al Gore is trying to pass laws to do so.

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
Congressmen Bob Schaffer and Tom Tancredo sued President Clinton in May over the legality of the war in Yugoslavia (Rocky Mountain News May 5). It would seem that some take seriously their oath to uphold the Constitution.

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
Freedom Daily passes along this wisdom from President James Madison:

The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war [and] the power of raising armies...

A delegation of such powers [to the president] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.

The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.

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


Worst-Case Scenario
Brian J. Monahan writes in, "Just as Franklin Roosevelt arranged Pearl Harbor by embargoing the shipment of scrap iron to Japan in the 1930s and seeing to it that the military in Hawaii were not notified of the Japanese fleet's approach, rapist-murderer Clinton is hoping for an attack on the U.S. by China and/or Russia so that he can declare martial law and remain in office indefinitely."

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

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