Freedom Updates: June 4, 2003

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

The Colorado Freedom

Freedom Updates: June 4, 2003

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.

Hickenlooper By 29%!
STOP THE PRESSES! EXTRA! WHOA-NELLY! Denver's Mayor-Elect John Hickenlooper (I like to call him "The Hickler") won a whoppin' 12.5% support from Denver's residents! Yes, that's right -- a whole 69,526 people voted for him out of a total population of 554,636! By comparison, opponent Don Mares won 38,126 votes, or a mere 6.9% support from the population. It's easy to see, then, that Hickenlooper (oops -- "The Hickler") represents the "Will of the People" -- it's a regular Looptacular mandate, by golly!

All the papers say so:

"A brew pub owner who won the mayor's race by a landslide with promises of new ideas turned his attention today to finding key staff members to help pull the city out of an economic slump." -- AP

"The Honorable Mayor Landslide -- John Hickenlooper, brew pub owner and onetime geologist, is now Denver's mayor-elect with a stunning landslide mandate from voters. Perhaps even more remarkable, he will take office without established political enemies or powerful interest groups pledged to frustrate him. Even the men and women he defeated seem to bear little rancor toward this fledgling politician." -- Rocky Mountain News

"Hickenlooper wins in landslide -- Denver voters overwhelmingly picked political novice and restaurant owner John Hickenlooper as their first new mayor of the 21st century, continuing a trend of plucking longshots from the pack. Hickenlooper won 69,526 or 64 percent of the vote as he trounced city auditor and veteran politician Don Mares, who won 38,126 or 35 percent when all 107,652 votes were counted." -- Denver Post

I'm counting kids, you say? Denver claims an "active registration" of 241,445 people. In other words, 43.5% of the total Denver population are "actively registered" to vote, and Hickenlooper earned 28.8% of those votes. And why does Denver use "active registration" instead of good-old-fashioned actual registration? One reason is that people tend to move out of the city without filing a change of address. Another is that, damn it all, it's just too difficult to maintain the Democratic facade when only 108,216 people show up to vote out of a total population of 554,636. I mean, 29% (rounded up) seems low enough.

I've got to say, even though The Hickler's not my mayor, I kind of like the guy. "The fundamental nonsense of government." That was a great line. Of course, he seems to have some fundamental nonsense of his own all lined up and ready to roll, but hey, it's Denver -- what can we expect? I understand his wife made the "spy files," which is totally cool. In a word, here's my reaction to the mayor's race: it's Hickenloopericious!

Bill Clinton for President
[Author's Note: Ralph Shnelvar, my friend and a member of the Board of Advisors, believes the following commentary is not sufficiently funny, nor is the sarcasm sufficiently obvious. The reader has been duly warned. Those who wish to avoid dumb humor may want to skip to the next section. However, I think it makes an interesting point. Ralph also points out that it's perfectly legal for Bill Clinton to run for Vice President, then become President upon the resignation of the elected President, and that this process could legally go on indefinitely.]

As a May 30 Rocky Mountain News editorial points out, "Former President Clinton has floated an intriguing proposal: Two-term presidents should be allowed to run again after sitting out a term... Standing in the way of that not unreasonable idea, however, is the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution." Offhand, I can't think of anything funnier than the prospect of Bill and Hillary battling it out in a primary.

But the News obviously misreads the Constitution. You see, it depends on what the meaning of the words, "no person," is. The 22nd Amendment states, "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice..." But clearly Bill Clinton is not "no person;" he is instead "some person." The obviousness of this proposition is as plain as the stain on Monica's dress. Therefore, the obvious meaning of the 22nd Amendment is, "Some person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice."

Similarly, the Second Amendment, which states, "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," actually means, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be infringed." Along these lines, the Tenth Amendment, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution... are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," actually means the national government has the unlimited authority to do whatever it pleases.

Let's say that some "Constitutionalist" redneck hick conspiracy-theory-nut black-helicopter-fearing wack-job were to make the ridiculous assertion -- and one that has never been supported by the Supreme Court! -- that the 22nd Amendment precludes "some person" from running for President more than twice. What an idiot that person would be.

But, for the sake of argument, let's humor the fools. Other key provisions of Amendment 22 also support the reasonable, common-sense, child-protecting interpretation of the Constitution which so clearly allows "some person" to run for President more than twice. Article II says the President "shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years..." Clearly, then, when we vote for the President, we are voting to allow him or her to "hold his [or her] office." We are not electing the President only "to the office" -- it's not as if we want to the President to walk up "to" the office, then turn around and go home. Even if the 22nd Amendment prohibits politicians from running "to" the office of President more than twice, Bill Clinton obviously wants to "hold his office." And that's totally different.

Let us look finally at the final phrase of the introductory clause to the 22nd Amendment. Again, it depends on what the meaning of the phrase, "more than twice," means. Are we to interpret the provision to mean, "any number greater than two?" That view is problematic. One number greater than two is 2.5. Yet it makes little sense to argue that a person could run for President 2.5 times. Another number greater than two is infinity. Yet do we really believe the authors of the 22nd Amendment thought it possible for "some person" to run for President an infinite number of times? The idea is absurd. Therefore, the meaning of the phrase, "more than twice," clearly does not mean, "any number greater than two." A more reasonable interpretation of the phrase, "more than twice," is simply "three times." Thus, even if Bill Clinton were not deemed to be "some person," and even if he were running only "to" the office, he would still be allowed to run for president four times, and the Constitution would clearly prohibit any challenger from competing against him the fourth time, so as to avoid the (hypothetical) restriction against running only three times.

To summarize, a careful reading of the 22nd Amendment clearly allows Bill Clinton to run for President in 2004. I'll call this theory the "sophisticated collectivist rights" theory, because (besides being sophisticated) it recognizes the clear rights of the collective of U.S. voters, and it allows telegenic collectivists to run for President as often as they like, which clearly benefits our efforts "to form a more perfect Union," as the preamble puts it.

So I say, Bill Clinton for President. The Constitution practically demands it.

Media Notes

Blue Laws -- The Rocky Mountain News editorialized May 31, "[T]he blue law tradition in other states is eroding. Delaware acted in May to drop its ban on Sunday liquor stores. And New York did the same, although the legislature had to muster the votes to override the governor's veto. No such luck in Colorado, where even a simple majority is out of reach. Rep. Paul Weissmann, D-Louisville, has been seeking to change the laws for years, but concedes he hasn't got the votes. We don't see any reason for distinguishing liquor stores and car dealerships from other lines of work, or granting special privileges to their owners..."

Women Buying Guns -- CNN reports that after 9/11 there was a "doubling in the number of women signing up for the National Rifle Association's courses on how to handle a gun."

The Government for Government PAC -- Fox and many other media outlets reported the congressional effort to give the "drug czar" a budget to run political ads attacking medical marijuana initiatives. This move is very ominous. If ever it becomes established practice to use tax dollars to directly skew elections, the entrenchment of the power elite will be nearly complete.

Amber (As in Red) Alert -- The Rocky Mountain News points out June 1, "[T]he Amber Alert bill... could, in principle, mean that the owners of concert venues could have their property confiscated because of audience behavior - fighting, drug-taking - that no realistic level of security could prevent." I.e., if you're a business owner, it is now your job to enforce fascist laws. And who gets to decide whether you're being sufficiently diligent in serving the Fatherland? The police and prosecutors, of course.

DPD Snipers -- A June 2 article in the Denver Post is interesting: "[T]he Denver Police Department is purchasing a super-accurate, large-bore sniper rifle capable of hitting a human well over half a mile away. The weapon is a .50-caliber Robar BMG rifle..." Why do the Denver cops need a .50? "Increased terrorist activity..."

Typical Anti-Liberal -- I sent the following letter to the Post concerning a June 2 letter: While I agree with letter-writer Sam Frizell's assessment that Jim Spencer "relies on the ignorant and untutored to support his preconceived dogma that permitting law-abiding citizens to carry guns is bad," I must nevertheless quibble with Frizell's assertion that Spencer's essay was "typical of liberal journalism." The political agenda to disarm law-abiding American citizens (but not militarized police forces or the standing army) is profoundly anti-liberal. That some self-professed "liberals" promote such an agenda merely proves they are hypocrites who are ignorant of the liberal tradition.

Focus on the Feds -- A June 3 editorial in the Denver Post notes Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave is trying to prohibit gay marriages: "Musgrave has introduced the Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution..." Well, at least she realizes that, as written, the Constitution doesn't allow the national government to meddle in such affairs. Thankfully, her efforts are doomed to failure. But she already knew that.

Drug Runners -- "A car purchased at a U.S. marshal's auction four years ago had a hidden surprise for its new owner: 119 pounds of marijuana hidden in the bumpers. The buyer, Jose Aguado Cervantes, didn't know about the hidden stash until he was stopped at the U.S.-Mexican border three months later. Cervantes, 67, spent three months in jail as a result. Cervantes is seeking damages for the government's error..." (AP) This, friends, is your government on the drug war.

Quiet Revolt -- "U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced convicted marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal to one day in federal prison with credit for time served, essentially setting him free" (AP, June 4). Wait a minute: a judge acting on common sense and human decency? I thought that was illegal.

Tabacco War -- The Washington Post reports June 4: "Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona said yesterday that he supports the banning of tobacco products..." But what the hell is HE smoking?

Canadians Balk at Gun Registration -- "Ontario is refusing to prosecute anyone who fails to register a rifle or shotgun because it's a dumb law, Attorney-General Norm Sterling said yesterday."

Letters to the Editor

Fort Collins Land Regs

They now require builders to treat and till the topsoil (so it's better for grass and landscaping) before a CO will be issued for the home. If it isn't prohibited, it will soon be mandated seems to be the logo around here. I don't know how much of the surrounding soil this applies to (5' perimeter, 10' perimeter, whole yard regardless of size?).

Of more note is...

"In another conservation move, the council made null and void the covenants of any home-owners' associations that prohibit drought-tolerant xeriscape landscaping or mandate the use of turf grass. The ordinance also applies to covenants that bar solar panels -- so long as they're installed flush with the roof line -- backyard clotheslines and odor-controlled compost bins. The ordinance, approved unanimously, applies retroactively to all neighborhood covenants."

Seems they're not OK with our self-governance through mutual contracts (covenants) - they've gotta make more decisions us property owners are obviously unable to make for ourselves. They also get to mandate good soil. Sure, [they] might be the best choices... but they should be choices - not requirements.

One more reason I'm glad to live 200' outside city limits,

Craig Latzke, June 4

Welcome Back


Welcome back to the LPCO news!!! (Thank God!!) As a person with a degree in journalism, I couldn't be happier. I moved to Colorado, and started to read the LPCO news in the middle of your last run, and was extremely flustered when you left. I am very excited to see what will happen now. I will also offer my services to you. Let me know if you need them.

Shannon Ceranski, May 31

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