The Colorado Freedom Report

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

The Colorado Freedom

Freedom Updates: January 10, 2001

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.

McCarthyites Smear Norton

The left is smearing Gale Norton as an "extreme anti-environmentalist" and a "property rights zealot" (Mike Soraghan, "Norton assailed for 1989 remarks," Denver Post, January 11). In more positive terms, Norton values human beings as much as she values the environment and she believes property rights should not be ridden over roughshod by the federal government. Norton is a champion of civil rights and limited government. Both positions are unacceptable to the rabidly massive-state left.

After combing through every last word ever written or uttered by Norton, the "extreme anti-humanists" and "anti-property rights zealots" hit upon two quotes which, while innocuous, are adequate for the spin doctors to do their dirty work. Upon examination, both quotes are actually sensible.

The first quote, which Norton gave in 1996 at the Independence Institute, reads as follows:

Again, we certainly had bad facts in that case where we were defending state sovereignty by defending slavery. But we lost too much. We lost the idea that the states were to stand against the federal government gaining too much power over our lives.

Certainly the quote does not represent one of Norton's most eloquent moments. But her meaning is clear: slavery is a great evil which was unfortunately tied to the distinct issue of states' rights. We should achieve the dual purpose of condemning slavery in all its forms while still upholding the ideal of a limited national power. That's a noble sentiment, and one for which Norton should be commended. (The quote was published in the Denver Post on January 11, from a story from the Washington Post by John Mintz, who spun and respun the quote.)

In 1989, Norton said in another speech at the Independence Institute,

Interestingly, we might even go so far as to recognize a homesteading right to pollute or make noise in an area.

The only thing wrong with Norton's statement is that it isn't strong enough. For example, I grew up working in the peach farms of Palisade. Well, it so happens that peach farming makes some noise and causes some strange smells sometimes. Now, with all the new people moving in from out of state, the peach farmers are facing threats from the newcomers over these noises and smells. However, the peach farmers have pre-existing property rights which should be upheld. Thankfully, the Colorado legislature acted last year to protect the rights of peach farmers. So the "extreme anti-humanist" environmentalists can jump off the nearest cliff if they think they can threaten my friends in the peach farming business in Palisade. Maybe if the pencil-pushing lawyers and spin-meisters of the extremist environmental movement would put in one honest day of work in their lives, they wouldn't rush to dishonor the hard-working men and women of Colorado's Western Slope.

The Independence Institute released the following commentary January 11:

The attack against Gale Norton hit an all-time low today.

Those opposing Gale's confirmation as Secretary of the Interior have parsed words from a speech Gale made at an Independence Institute Symposium to attack her character. My immediate reaction is - is this all they can do? Read the spun story from the Washington Post:

This personal attack only shows how little ammunition they have to use against our former Senior Fellow and current Board Trustee. Quite simply, they cannot use her record against her. In her eight years as Attorney General of Colorado Gale made our environment a top priority, forcing the cleanup of Superfund sites and even taking the federal government to task for its pollution.

Take two minutes and read Melissa Seckora's piece on Gale's record on National Review Online:

Chavez Takes a Beating

Friends, I broke down crying when I read Jeff Jacoby's January 11 article, "The Fanaticism of Linda Chavez" (Boston Globe). Honor is all but forgotten in national politics. Chavez was punished for doing the right thing. The downfall of this women illustrates a point made in the February edition of Liberty Magazine by Edward Rahn: "[A]s the new millennium begins, politics is no longer primarily about ideology: it's about money and power." Jacoby writes,

What was Chavez thinking? Was she out of her right-wing mind? How could she and her husband have allowed Marta Mercado to share their home while trying to get her life in order and obtain a green card? How could she have driven Mercado to English classes? Or showed her how to get around on the subway? Or occasionally given her -- of all things! -- spending money? She must have been deranged to think she could extend such compassion to another person and get away with it.

Lady Liberty is hiding Her face in shame.

If you can stomach it, you can read more at and

Response to Media Bias

My dad had a great idea -- the next time your local newspaper runs a story about something bad involving a gun, write a letter to the editor about something good that happened to you involving a gun. Cite the original article. While you're at it, you might mention that the 20,000 plus disarmament laws on the books only handed the advantage to the criminals.

The Colorado Freedom