Freedom Updates: January 17, 2004

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

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com

Freedom Updates: January 17, 2004

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.


Political Notes
Bush wants to spend more tax money sending people to the moon. Of course, this will supposedly happen in the distant future, long after Bush has left office, at a cost probably scores of times what Robert Zubrin estimates it should cost to send people to Mars within a decade. Bush also wants to spend federal tax money on marriage counseling. Offhand, I'm hard pressed to think of something Bush doesn't want to spend other people's money to fund.

The feds want to extensively check our personal information every time we fly. If you needed yet another reason to boycott commercial flights, the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) should do it. Our government is growing hysterical. Data mining is not going to make airplane travel safer. Now, Americans realize that terrorists must be met with immediate resistance. The feds should get completely out of the airline business, and let individual airlines and airports compete on the basis of safety and privacy. Me, I'll take the airline that hands out frangible ammunition at the gate.

Here in Colorado, Congressman Tom Tancredo is thinking about placing a measure on the Colorado ballot limiting non-emergency tax-funded services for "illegal" immigrants. The problem with his proposal is that it entrenches the notion that "legal" residents somehow are uniquely qualified to take other people's money by force. Tancredo is correct that "illegal" residents should not get a tax-funded college education. But neither should "legal" residents. Where is the Republican willing to stand up for economic liberty in this matter?

Interestingly, Jack Kemp has provided good leadership on the immigration issue, writing, "For years, everyone has acknowledged that our immigration system is dysfunctional, unfair and hopelessly out of touch with reality. Between 8 and 11 million people live and work illegally in America, and to round them all up and send them back to their homelands would require a fascist police state inconsistent with the individual rights and personal freedoms on which our democracy rests."

State Senator Mark Hillman wants to ban lawsuits against fast-food chains for selling fattening foods. This has a great deal of common-sense appeal. This also presents an interesting problem for libertarians, who generally are skeptical of legislative solutions and who often call for civil alternatives to criminal statutes.

Representative Ray Rose of Montrose is trying to get the ball rolling in fixing Amendment 22, the law that requires registration checks for private gun sales at gun shows. Peggy Lowe writes for the Rocky, "On [January 15], a House committee took the initial step toward changing the voter-passed law, approving a bill requiring gun sellers to run background checks only when there's a sale, not when there's an 'attempted' sale." This strikes me as a fairly trivial correction -- the legislature should simply repeal the entire provision.


Crickenberger Ill
The national LP forwarded the following message about Ron Crickenberger. I've had the privilege of meeting with Ron, and he is a contributor to The New Prohibition, the forthcoming book edited by Sheriff Bill Masters. Please do what you can to help Ron through this difficult time. -Ari

A personal message from Dr. Helmut Forren, state chair of the Georgia LP

Dear Friends:

Ron Crickenberger has been diagnosed with a very painful form of cancer in his bones. More specifically, he has melanoma, normally thought of as skin cancer, in two lymph glands and in his bones. (melanoma info: http://www.melanoma.com/melanoma/index.jsp)

Up until the mid 90's, Ron was a local Georgia activist within the Libertarian Party. He did such a good job that the National Libertarian Party hired him to be their Political Director. Since that time, Ron has been both National Political Director and National Executive Director.

This past July, Ron lost his job at LP National during the final wave of cost-cutting efforts. Recognizing Ron's superior ability and dedication, and in need of a new Executive Director ourselves, the Libertarian Party of Georgia has been in the process of raising funds to hire Ron -- a job that Ron has already tentatively accepted.

But then suddenly Ron fell ill. He won't be able to move back to Georgia. He'll need to stay in Virginia. Having lost his job with the national party, he also lost his health insurance. Fortunately, he was able to get COBRA health insurance coverage prior to being diagnosed. It's expensive, but at least he has coverage. But COBRA will only last another year or so, after which Ron isn't sure how much his health insurance will cost, if he can still get insurance at all. (COBRA info: http://www.cobrahealth.com/thelaw.htm

Ron can't work due to the severe pain he's suffering, so his partner Noelle has been stuck with paying the excessive financial costs -- not to mention the emotional costs over the condition of the man she deeply loves. There are complications that prevent her from simply adding him as spouse to her own health insurance coverage. Their future is clouded with uncertainty.

For now, all we can do is hope and pray for Ron and Noelle. Well, that's almost all. We can also help them pay the premiums in order to ensure that Ron always has the best medical care possible. The Libertarian Party of Georgia is helping by administrating the Ron Crickenberger Medical Fund at http://www.lpgeorgia.com/ron . You can use this link to contribute by either check or credit card. We all thank you for your support. (Ron Crickenberger Medical Fund: http://www.lpgeorgia.com/ron


Nicks to Debate Baker on KBDI
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

For Immediate Release [by the Travis Nicks Campaign]

Travis Nicks to Debate Tracy Baker on Live TV
Peter Boyles Show on KBDI January 28

ARAPAHOE COUNTY: KBDI today agreed to host a debate for those on the ballot in the Tracy Baker recall election.

"I found out about Baker's challenge to debate other candidates by reading the Littleton Independent," said Travis Nicks, the Libertarian candidate for County Clerk and Recorder. "I called a meeting of my campaign staff and we worked out a plan to respond to Mr. Baker's challenge."

"Baker threw down the gauntlet when he challenged the candidates to a debate," said Ralph Shnelvar, Nicks' Media Contact. "We contacted the good people at KBDI and they agreed to host. We then contacted Mr. Baker directly telling him of KBDI's offer and he agreed."

"I'm prepared to show the voters that I'm the best person to run the County Clerk's office. On February 24th the voters will agree," said an obviously confident Travis Nicks. "We know how to get things done."


Molôn Labé!
The following information was released by Boston T. Party.

Dear Readers and Distributors,

Yes, the time has finally come!

Molôn Labé! (mo-LAWN lah-BAY) is now at print for an early February release! Begun in 1997, the story was so sweeping and the details so numerous that writing it took Boston 6 years. He describes the 454 page Molôn Labé! as "a book of thought for action people; an action book for people of thought."

After a decade of retaking their stolen freedoms, the people of Wyoming (many of them newcomers) are forced to finally confront their jealous masters in the U.S. Government. Can a lone, courageous state successfully resist federal tyranny, or has the Bill of Rights been reduced to a myth? Can an allegedly free people act free, or is our liberty just a 4th of July farce?

These issues weigh heavily on the shoulders of Governor James Wayne Preston, a decorated Desert Storm Marine helo pilot. Elected in 2014 on the Laissez-Faire Party ticket, he enjoys nearly full support of the legislature to return Wyoming to a long-lost era of liberty. But how far can he and the people of his state go before Washington, D.C. feels compelled to act? Will Wyoming's free and independent course reach actual secession? Will President Melvin Connor suppress the maverick Western state with federal troops? Will anybody come to Wyoming's aid?

Molôn Labé! captures the probable headlines of 2005-2020. As our Potomac masters increasingly try to run our lives and wipe out state prerogatives, organized resistance in some form is assured. Boston believes that while it is too late to "take back" America, the time is ripe to converge on an already comparatively free state and forge the Jeffersonian ideal of local autonomy and liberty.

Molôn Labé! is a fictional account of a real-world blueprint for a free state initiative focused on Wyoming. If just 40,000 freedom-loving individuals will relocate there under a useful pattern, they can "liberate" the Cowboy State on many levels. In Wyoming we could truly enjoy our rights of gun ownership, privacy, schooling, health and diet, unrestricted travel, and property. Boston shows us how it actually can be done! Very soon he will debut his organization to spearhead the initiative (details to follow on our redesigned website).

Retail price of Molôn Labé! is $24 + $6 s&h.

However, if you send $25 cash (no checks or M.O.s) postmarked by 31 January 2004 you will get an early signed postpaid copy!

Javelin Press P.O. Box 31M Ignacio, Co. 81137-0031

Pent-up demand for Molôn Labé! is tremendous, and Boston's readers have been clamoring for it since 2000. Prepare yourself for the most exciting read since Unintended Consequences and Patriots!

Order today to save $5 and be "first on your block" to enjoy Molôn Labé!

See you in Wyoming!


Spirit and Opportunity
Al Neuharth wrote a touching story about the Mars rover for the January 8 USA Today. I hadn't realized an 8-year-old had named the two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Sofi "was born in Siberia and spent her first two years in an orphanage in that most desolate part of the Russian federation. Then she was adopted, sight unseen, by a single mother from Scottsdale," Arizona. NASA sponsored an essay contest and selected hers. She got to watch the launching of Spirit at the Kennedy Space Center.

Sofi wrote, "I used to live in an orphanage. It was dark and cold and lonely. At night, I looked up at the sparkly sky and felt better. I dreamed I could fly there. In America, I can make all my dreams come true. Thank you for giving me the 'Spirit' and the 'Opportunity'."

America is a lovely land, despite the flaws of her present-day leaders. My fear is that, someday, American children will look up at the stars and dream of a life of freedom and opportunity in far-away lands.


Howling Pig
The Howling Pig, a political web page in Greeley, recently has been covered by Rolling Stone, USA Today, and the editorial pages of the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post.

The local ACLU issued a release on January 8:

"The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado today filed a lawsuit in federal district court to stop Weld County law enforcement authorities from pursuing a criminal investigation and prosecution of Thomas Mink, the publisher of a satiric Internet-based publication called 'The Howling Pig.' 'There is no legitimate place for a criminal libel statute in a free society,' said Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado. 'Civil lawsuits provide an adequate remedy for defamation. No one should be threatened with jail for what they write or publish.'

"Mink began publishing The Howling Pig last fall. The online newsletter contains satiric commentary on issues of concern to the University of Northern Colorado community. After three issues, according to the ACLU lawsuit, officers with the Greeley Police Department appeared at Mink's home with a search warrant, announced that they were investigating a felony charge of criminal libel. The police confiscated Mr. Mink's computer and all electronically stored files and data. Police said they were acting on a complaint filed by Junius Peake, a well-known UNC professor who is spoofed in Mink's publication.

"But as the ACLU said in legal papers, a criminal prosecution under Colorado's criminal libel statute violates the right of free expression and freedom of the press.

"'This case illustrates the danger of permitting overbroad unconstitutional statutes to remain on the books,' said Marcy Glenn, a Holland & Hart attorney who is co-counsel for the ACLU along with Bruce Jones of the same firm. 'Police relied on this unconstitutional statute to search Mr. Mink's home and cart off his computer and all his files on the ground that they provide 'evidence' of crime.'

"The ACLU is asking for a declaratory judgment that the criminal libel statute is unconstitutional and an emergency order blocking prosecution. The lawsuit also alleges that the search and seizure violates the Fourth Amendment and seeks the immediate return of Mink's computer and files. Defendants in the lawsuit are Weld County District Attorney A.J. Dominguez, Jr., the City of Greeley, and Detective Ken Warren of the Greeley Police Department. The lawsuit also names John Doe #1, who is identified as the unknown assistant district attorney who reviewed the application and approved the application for search warrant."

Offhand, I can't figure out which party is the greater idiot: Junius Peake, who made the complaints; the police, who took his whining seriously; or the judge, who issued the ridiculous search warrant. But I do find it hilarious that Peake, because he's a cry-baby, has earned national attention for the Howling Pig, which otherwise might have been read by a handful. Genius, Junius.


Gresh Joins Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition Leadership
Steve Gresh sent out the following announcement on January 9:

Thanks to the kind of team effort that the Broncos could only wish they would have had against the Colts, the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition now has members on its Political Action Committee and some other board members who are NOT just another cheerleading squad for ALL of El Paso County's Republicans-In-Name-Only...

The PPFC elections produced the following results:

The four at-large members of the PAC are Dave Willard, Carolyn Myers, Ted Robertson, and Larry Carlson.

Amy Willard is the Programs Director and I'm the Secretary... For those of you who aren't familiar with the PPFC, almost every officeholder from El Paso County -- state senators, state representatives, county commissioners, city council members -- seeks the PPFC's endorsement. I've attended meetings where ten or more incumbents have been present...

My county commissioner, Wayne Williams, was at the meeting. Bernie Herpin, the PPFC's President, recruited Wayne to run for one of the PAC's at-large positions. I don't know what Wayne's vote total was, but it appears to have been less than half of the vote total for the person who received the fourth highest number of votes.

Three non-RINO Republicans who I support have announced their candidacies. Douglas Bruce is running for El Paso County Commissioner, District 2. (One of his opponents is Bernie Herpin.) Bill Jambura is running for state representative, HD 16. (His opponent, Larry Liston, has RINO venom dripping from his fangs.) Karen Kataline is running for state representative, HD 9.

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