Freedom Updates: December 6, 2000

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

Freedom Updates: December 6, 2000

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.

Economic Euphoria

Today the lead headline of the Rocky Mountain News reads, "Economic euphoria." The markets are up following Alan Greenspan's suggestion that he'll cut interest rates. The News' choice of words is interesting: according to my Random House, "euphoria" means "a feeling of well-being, esp. an exaggerated one having no basis in truth or reality."

If the market follows Greenspan's every move, what happens the day he dies of a heart attack?

(Somehow, I doubt our rulers will consider Greenspan's previous suggestion that we adopt a pure gold standard.)

Alpine Valley School

Alpine Valley School will be holding an open house December 7. Its postcard says,

Is school harming your child? Your child, who used to be energetic and happy, is now bored and frustrated. Some would suggest to "fix" the child with counseling or drugs. We say: fix the school. Create an environment where all sorts of students can thrive.

I disagree with some of Alpine Valley's policies, but overall I think the school gets it right. For more information, call 303.271.0525 or visit The Report hosted a series of articles about the school: see

Government Propaganda Centers

Government schools often can't find the time to teach the basics: history, math, literature, and writing. Yet the schools seem to have little trouble making time for propaganda. Politicians set the rules for their schools, establish the bureaucracies, dole out education welfare, and pay the teachers with tax funds. How could government schools not be centers of government propaganda?

On August 22, the Rocky Mountain News published a short piece from the Associated Press. It stated: "About nine out of 10 students said they favored completing a required safety course and obtaining a license before buying a handgun. The same number favored criminal background checks. And 96 percent supported registering the weapons, said Dennis Gilbert, a sociology professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., who designed the survey."

I would be curious to find out how much class time was devoting to reviewing "information" from Handgun Control, Inc., relative the amount of class time devoted to studying the history of the Bill of Rights.

In a January article for Liberty Magazine, "K.R. Mudgeon" reviews the sorry state of government education:

Teachers learn the techniques of pedagogy but acquire little or nothing of substance to impart to their students... [The] system of education... never has burdened [students] by requiring that they learn a great deal, if anything at all. [These students] regularly display their ignorance about history, math, science, geography, philosophy. Critical thinking and logic seem to be beyond them... [T]hey have been schooled in getting and keeping in touch with their feelings, in feeling good about themselves, in getting along with others in the sandbox, in how to have good sex.... Nothing too hard, no facts, nothing about the background and context [of world events].

This is a generalization, not a universal, of course. Some schools do better than others, and some teachers focus on real learning. (In fact, eighth graders at Cherry Creek West Middle School were on the whole better informed and more thoughtful about the issue of civil arms when I talked there than was a group of college students from the University of Denver.) Some students escape into Advanced Placement courses or the International Baccalaureate program, while others learn on their own or from their parents. However, problems in government schools are severe enough that I will never send my children to them, and I will continue to advocate market education.

Rocky Mountain News Columnists Take Side of Freedom

I was happy to read two columns published in the News today. The first, by Peter Blake, took the Supreme Court to task for ignoring the law and allowing premature SAFE signatures to stand:

The new rule is as unfair as it is illogical. As attorney Paul Grant noted in a petition for rehearing, "that interpretation [of the SAFE ruling] would lead to mass confusion, as proponents would have no way of knowing when or whether their titles would be approved, yet the six-months' clock would be ticking."

...Clearly, the Supreme Court has been given far too much discretion in controlling the fate of initiatives. The justices can sit on the ones they don't like for as long as they want before rejecting the title, and then the circulators won't have the time, money or energy to start collecting signatures anew.

I already knew Paul Grant was right and the Supreme Court was wrong. But it's nice to see a widely read columnist acknowledge that fact.

Also, Bill Johnson criticized the Denver police officer whose incompetence cost the life of an innocent man. Ismael Mena was killed last year in a botched military-style police raid over a $25 drug allegation -- and police got the wrong address. Johnson writes, "[H]ad Joseph Bini's sloppy police work resulted in the killing of a rich man, he'd be serving time now" ( Johnson also calls for Bini's removal from the force.

The Colorado Freedom