Freedom Updates: April 3, 2001
All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
Campaign Finance Deform
Senate Bill 92 would require political activists to register with the state before exercising their rights of speech. The bill would also force public disclosure of financial sources. Sorry, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay -- the anonymous pen-name "Plubius" would be unacceptable. As would be pamphlets reprinting the works of "Cato," "Centinel," and "Brutus."
Campaign "reform" laws don't need to be extended -- they need to be repealed. There should be no such legal entity as a 501(C)(3), (C)(4), Political Action Committee, or the like. The notion that a person has to register with the state to get PERMISSION to speak freely is repugnant.
Part of the problem is that the income tax requires a differentiation between "for profit" and "non profit" entities. Of course any such demarcation is largely arbitrary. And it has let the camel in the tent in terms of government meddling in political activities. The solution to this problem is simple, if politically difficult -- repeal the income tax. Legally, all persons and cooperations of persons should be treated equally.
The April 2 Rocky Mountain News wrote a fine editorial denouncing bill 92. In addition to the constitutional problems, the bill arbitrarily exempts newspapers. It also exempts communication from a group's leaders to its membership, yet "membership" is impossible to clearly define.
By the way, campaign finance deform laws serve only to further entrench incumbents and the major parties, making it almost impossible for upstarts to gain momentum.
It's no accident that both the First and Second Amendments are under attack today. It's no accident that remaining freedoms are referred to as "loopholes" in both cases. In terms of political freedom, our two most important rights are those of free speech and self-defense.
Bob Glass Show
Take a Flying Leap
Edmund L. Andrews reports for the New York Times (April 1 in the News), "'Irresponsible,' 'arrogant,' even 'sabotage' are just a few of the words that Europeans have leveled at Bush since he announced his refusal to follow through on the treaty, the Kyoto Protocol."
Europeans called the American Revolutionaries similar names. Finally Dubya has done something worthy of admiration. As for global warming, Americans could reduce their wealth by a third and still fail to make a significant dent in the release of CO2. It hasn't even been established that humans contribute to global warming. The only way to achieve both environmental progress and a high quality of life for humans is to allow the unfettered market economy to advance technology.
Creeping Police State
The officer asked me if I lived in the area. I'm still kicking myself that I answered him. I should have said, "It's none of your business where I live, and unless you have probable cause to suspect me of a crime, I will be on my way." I did pull over down the road and tell another officer I wasn't happy about being harassed.
It turns out the police were out to deter "cruisers," teenagers who drive around town in circles. Officers were ticketing teens for breaking curfew.
What is it called when adult citizens are pulled over by the police for doing nothing more than driving home? It is called a POLICE STATE.
I sympathize with the residents who have to put up with loud traffic late at night. I also sympathize with the police, who are pressured by city council to "do something" about the problem. But if the cost of living in a free society is a little extra noise, that's a price I'm willing to pay.
The case proves the point once again that social controls breed more social controls. The government owns the roads, which creates poorly defined property rights. The government tries to lock away hormonal teens and then wonders why they get antsy. The government infantilizes the same teens by forcing them into torturously boring "schools" where they are dumbed down and kept from mingling with adults, and then we wonder why their source of fun is driving around in circles. The final result is that I am pulled over by the noise police for driving home. Sheesh.
Hope In Our Children
However, I am continually impressed by the ability of most kids to maintain a positive outlook. Over the past few years I've met so many good kids. All my siblings are younger than me, so I had the opportunity to interact with their friends. In my work I meet high school kids all the time. The March 31 edition of the News contains a letter by a Denver teen named Miriam Morales. Young Morales displays the kind of good sense and proud independence lacking even in many adults in our modern welfare state. She writes,
I would like to respond to the many letters that have been sent to the News pertaining to teens and drug usage. I have read some of these letters with disgust.
Jared "The Schmuck" Polis
Of course Polis is the guy who funded the Democrats' senate victories. In exchange, Mike Feeley set him up with a race for state board of education, which Polis barely won after outspending his opponent $1,286,444 to $10,092. (Polis made his millions by turning his parents' company into a "dot com" and selling it.) Incredibly, Polis whined about campaign finance even as he paid off Feeley.
Apparently Feeley, the old dog, neglected to mention to Polis that, by the way, his six-year term would be cut short after two years with redistricting. Peter Blake writes of the situation in his March 28 column in the News. The at-large member maintains office only so long as the number of congressional districts is even. With the 2000 census, Colorado gains a seventh district.
Poor Jared. Never have the words rung truer: What a schmuck!
Perhaps that's the best argument for privatizing the post office.
Meanwhile, in the same edition of the News, the AP reports about e-mails sent by police in Washington, D.C.: "Some of the e-mails reportedly include content about illegal drug use by officers and sexual activity on the job." Other e-mails were "vulgar, racist and homophobic."
So Long, Tom
Associated Propaganda Pimps Inflation
Anonymous quotes; gotta love 'em. To which "economists" is Aversa referring? Keynes is dead, along with his theories. Many "economists" who continue to support inflationary policies are the ones who profit directly from them, at the expense of the rest of us. Inflation can never improve the economy: it can only serve to perpetuate mal-investment. Next time, Aversa should ask an economist of the Austrian tradition.
Why don't we start with the lesson, "Thou shalt not steal?" Perhaps if Matsunaka took this lesson to heart he would stop forcing people to pay for government schools they don't want.
Schools run by tyrannical regimes have taught "character education," too. As Senator Ron Teck said, "Somewhere in my gut is a feeling that we're opening a door that we're going to wish we hadn't opened at some point in time" (March 27 News).
Any parent who would let politicians and bureaucrats teach their children about morality is simply abnegating parental responsibility. Legitimate character education for our children is crucial, which is why we must never allow politicians to have a say in it.
The Five Mom March