SpaceShipOne Flies! -- Freedom Updates: June 21, 2004

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SpaceShipOne Flies! -- Freedom Updates: June 21, 2004

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.


SpaceShipOne Flies!
It's not often these days I get to read the morning news reports with tears of joy in my eyes. But today was one of those days.

This morning, June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne became the first privately-funded ship to fly a person into space. CNN reported: "MOJAVE, California (CNN) -- SpaceShipOne left the Earth behind on Monday morning and made its indelible entry in the history books as the first private spacecraft to carry humans into space. It touched down safely at Mojave Airport at 11:15 ET."

The driving force behind the effort is Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites. The financier is Paul Allen of Microsoft fame. The test pilot for today's voyage was Mike Melvill. Melvill, who is 63 years old, flew over 62.2 miles above the earth. If Rutan's team can carry three people into space and repeat the performance within two weeks, it'll win the Ansari X Prize.

And so humanity takes an important step into the next stage of civilization -- the settlement of the stars. Thank you, Mike Melvill and co. It is a glorious day. Onward!


Firefly Party
Firefly is the best, most inspiration television series I've ever watched, thankfully one with a group of loyal fans. Last Saturday I participated in a Firefly marathon, 15 hours (including breaks) of viewing the single-season, science-fiction series that was created by Joss Whedon. It was the third time I'd watched the series -- available for purchase on DVD -- and I've enjoyed it more with each viewing. Currently Whedon is filming a movie called "Serenity" that expands the Firefly story. The film is set for release on April 22, 2005.

The story involves the nine-person crew of the Firefly-class ship named "Serenity" -- also the name of a valley where Captain Malcolm Reynolds ("Mal") once fought a losing battle against the Alliance. After the independents lost the war, Reynolds bought the ship and became a space trader. Because of the authoritarian nature of the new gummit, Reynolds sometimes takes work smuggling or stealing from the state. Thus, he's something like Ragnar in space.

A central story line involves a young fugitive on whom government agents experimented before she was rescued. Another character says when discussing her, "A government is a body of people, usually -- notably -- ungoverned."

While all the characters are terrific, the jewel of the series is Reynolds, the sometimes juvenile, sometimes repressed space-capitalist who nevertheless always shows remarkable character and integrity. He is the greatest hero of television, and one of my favorite fictional heroes of all time. Long live Serenity!


Libertarian Doctor Approves Medical Marijuana
NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF COLORADO
1425 Brentwood Street, Unit 18
Lakewood, CO 80214
(303) 837-9393
=============================================
For Immediate Release: June 20, 2004
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Contact: Desiree Hickson, Media Director
Phone: (303) 380-5810, (719) 459-0570
Email: MediaDirector@lpcolorado.org
Website: http://www.lpcolorado.org
=============================================

Libertarian Doc Signs Rock Jock Up for Medical Marijuana

Denver, CO-When "Uncle Nasty" aka Gregg Stone found marijuana to be the best control of post traumatic knee pain he would have for life he contacted Dr. Glazer to sign him up for legal use under state law. She not only did so but agreed to do so in the studio in an interview to be aired on KBPI-106.7 FM on Monday [June 21].

Dr. Glazer asks more doctors to step up to the plate and sign medical marijuana paperwork for their patients. She explains: "Colorado Doctors need to realize they are NOT signing PRESCRIPTIONS for marijuana but merely a RECOMMENDATION that it may be useful for the patient. So, neither their licenses nor DEA numbers are at risk. The Colorado Board of Medical Examiners reviews this in their last newsletter. Even Kaiser Permanente, Colorado's largest HMO has posted a statement on their website permitting their physicians to sign medical marijuana certificates at their discretion."

"This is an issue of free speech," says Dr. Glazer. "How can we call ourselves healers unless we consider all options available for patients."

Dr. Glazer is also a candidate for State House of Representatives district #24 and is available for media interviews...


Cough-Syrup Abuse
A June 21 article in the Rocky Mountain News by Bill Scanlon reports, "Calls to the Rocky Mountain Poison Center about cough and cold medicine abuse shot up 20 percent to 275 reports last year, topped only by calls about sleeping pills and painkillers. And, in the past two months, attempts to get high on cough or cold medicine killed a 20-year-old Westminster man... Cough- and cold-medicine abuse is not unique to Colorado. In Cheyenne, it has become one of the biggest problems in schools, according to Dawn Gay of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration."

This story demonstrates several points. First, people can abuse many substances that are usually used responsibly and moderately. Some people huff gas. There's simply no way to prevent people from abusing substances, if they choose to do so. Not even locking them in prison works. Second, the media can create a scare story out of about anything. The problem here is not the cough syrup: the problem is irresponsible behavior on the part of a small minority of the population. Third, government schools are not the best places for children. Responsible parents will avoid those pathological institutions.

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