Freedom Updates: December 16, 2000

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Freedom Updates: December 16, 2000

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.


How to Rein In Bush

Here we go. Bush has promised to "unite the country" by working with Democrats. That's euphemism for "expand government."

Bush is likely to continue an interventionist foreign policy (http://antiwar.com/justin/j121500.html), putting America's sons and daughters at risk around the world. Bush has promised to further socialize both health care and education, along with other sectors of the economy (http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=570&FS=Now+the+Bad+News).

It's hard to figure out where Bush poses the greatest threat to liberty. However, the issue with which we have the greatest chance to preserve our liberties is self-defense. Here, too, Bush has taken the anti-individual rights stance, even giving support to Colorado's top disarmament group, Sane Alternatives to the Firearms Epidemic, the name of which likens gun ownership to a disease. (Bush told the Denver Post he supports universal Brady registration checks at gun shows.)

If gun owners want to preserve what's left of their rights, there is one possible effective strategy when it comes to "Dubya." They must pledge to vote Democrat in 2004, if Bush signs even one disarmament law or order (which means any measure which interferes with the rights of peaceable citizens to purchase or use the tools of self-defense).

Republicans have got to understand -- right now -- that if they cave on the gun issue, they will lose the White House. The only way gun owners can follow through with that threat is to vote Democrat in retaliation if necessary, so that their votes count doubly, once against Bush, and once for the Democrat.

Or have gun owners already forgotten the betrayals of Bush Senior? I for one am sick and tired of groveling for my rights.


Guardian of the Rule of Law

On his December 14 radio show on the American Freedom Network, Mark Call skewered Justice Stevens' Supreme Court dissenting opinion on the Gore case. Stevens wrote:

It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today's decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this years Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law. (http://www.foxnews.com/election_night/121200/recount_scotus_dissenting.sml)

Call disagreed. He pointed out that the true "backbone of the rule of law" is a working knowledge of Constitutional principles among the general populace. We're not supposed to trust judges to uphold the Constitution -- we're supposed to guard that document ourselves and assume that judges, left unobserved, will become partial advocates of their own goals.

In response to Stevens' dissent, Call offered the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin (who arguably could be said to know a thing or two about the U.S. Constitution): "It is every American's right, and obligation, to read and interpret the Constitution for himself."


Gulag for Gardeners

The fate of Steve and Michele Kubby will be decided by a jury -- of course, a jury hand-selected by the prosecution and directed by the judge to ignore their own common sense (http://www.auburnjournal.com/display/inn_news/NEWS1.TXT). We'll hope for the best. The Kubbys are charged with felony gardening. That is, with growing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

J.D. Tuccille writes of the Kubby case: "The drug warriors have lost the war for hearts and minds and hold on only through the raw power of federal law enforcement and state-level collaborators" (http://civilliberty.about.com/newsissues/civilliberty/library/weekly/aa121300a.htm).


John Lott: Hero of Reason

One of the most inspiring defenses published recently of Yale Professor John Lott begins: "When Galileo dared insist the Earth was not the center of our universe, he was denounced for heresy and locked away. Lest you assume 367 intervening years have enlightened us, consider the experiences of Professor John Lott" (http://www.charlotte.com/observer/opinion/pub/pvalone1213.htm).

The piece describes the persecution Lott has suffered at the hands of the nation's disarmament lobbies. Lott has not backed down, however. He has continued to write articles, and the Second Edition of his book More Guns, Less Crime updates his research. Lott's book can be purchased at

http://www.laissezfairebooks.com/product.cfm?op=view&pid=CU8370&aid=10025


Rock On, Ted

Rock star Ted Nugent is taking a terminally ill teenager bowhunting in Africa (Associated Press article published in the Rocky Mountain News, December 16). Way to go, Ted. The trip is being arranged by Hunt of a Lifetime (http://www.huntofalifetime.org), a group formed after the Make-A-Wish Foundation refused to sponsor hunting trips for sick children. Nugent said,

Make-A-Wish just makes me want to puke my guts out... What could be more pure than the last wishes of a young child? And to deny that because of political correctness? That's just outrageous... Let me tell you, when you go hunting with Ted Nugent, there is no Janet Reno around to stop you. There is nothing more beautiful than that.

Amen.


Don't Split Colorado's Electoral Vote

Ron Tupa has moved from the Colorado House to the Senate. He already has big plans -- he wants to split up Colorado's electoral vote for president. Then the candidates would pay even less attention to Colorado than they did this year. Great thinking, Ron.

Here's a simple hypothetical that makes clear the significance of the electoral college. Say for instance that Candidate X won 49 states by 5,000 votes per state, but Candidate Y won California by a landslide. According to a national popular vote, Candidate Y would win. Candidate Y would also tend to serve the interests only of Californians. By assigning all our electoral votes to one candidate, we make sure our state gets at least a little consideration.

(I don't want to knock Senator Tupa too much; sometimes he thinks "outside the box" and comes up with some good ideas.)


Will of the People

Thomas DiLorenzo argues that the "will of the people" can find expression only with the free market. Politics, on the other hand, allows some persons to exert their will over others.

http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=571&FS=Will+of+the+People%3F


Global Warming and Hot Air

Todd Hartman of the Rocky Mountain News wrote an article December 15 entitled, "Antarctica warmed fast long ago." It begins, "An abrupt and dramatic rise in temperature hit Antarctica about 19,000 years ago, suggesting that modern-day global warming may not be gradual but fast and furious."

Hartman speculates: "Scientists believe the pollution caused by America's raping of the environment was caught in a temporal vortex and trasported to ancient Antarctica, thereby causing the global warming."

Actually, Hartman didn't write that. But what he did write is almost as bad: "[H]umans' relentless combustion of fossil fuels could show little impact. Then, suddenly, temperatures could soar."

Hartman's quote isn't substantiated much better than my make-believe quote. An objective journalist would note that the case of ancient warming casts doubt on the contention that humans are a major player in climactic changes. O-well; at least Hartman concedes that "significant climate change" is "quite possibly exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels." It's also quite possibly not.


Laugh a Little

Why are some things funny? I'm still not entirely sure, but I got some idea of what other people have to say on the matter from a clever article from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/09/arts/09LAUG.html).

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