Monday, February 28, 2005

Making the world safe from tobacco

Reported yesterday by Ania Lichtarowicz, BBC News health reporter:
"The world's first global health treaty -- the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control -- has come into force.

"The anti-smoking pact has been signed by 168 countries, and ratified by 57 of them, which will now have to tighten their anti-tobacco laws.

"The treaty demands health warnings on cigarette packets and bans on tobacco advertising within five years.

"Every year five million people die from smoking-related diseases -- a number set to double by 2020 if nothing is done.

"So the World Health Organization has designed the FCTC to force countries to implement stricter tobacco legislation.

"Dr. Douglas Bettcher, the co-ordinator of the FCTC Unit, explained why the world needed binding international law on tobacco:

" 'The world community was faced and appalled by the mushrooming number of needless deaths due to tobacco-related diseases.' "
Meanwhile, millions of people continue to die needlessly at the hands of the State, through war, regulation, genocide...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Welcome to Sin City

"So what upcoming movie are you most looking forward to?" I've been asked. "Batman Begins? Fantastic Four?"

Well, sure, I'm looking forward to both of those releases this coming summer. But before either of those hit theaters, Sin City debuts April 1, just a month away. And I know, I know, I shouldn't get my expectations up, but sorry, I can't resist. This film has all the marks of being a killer, and it's my Hot Pick for the spring.

First of all, it's based on not one but three of Frank Miller's terrific noir-inspired Sin City graphic novels: Sin City, The Yellow Bastard, and The Big Fat Kill.

Second, it's co-directed by Robert Rodriguez (one of my favorite directors: Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and Frank friggin' Miller himself. I understand that Rodriguez either got bounced from or left the Directors Guild because he insisted on a co-directors credit (a Guild no-no).

Third, it's got a wicked line-up of stars -- Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen -- plus several of today's greatest hotties: Jessica Alba, Jaime King, Alexis Bledel, and Rosario Dawson (pictured above).

And finally, it just looks HOT. Visit the movie trailer at the link above. It's like the Miller graphic novels have jumped right off the printed page and onto the screen. Black-and-white with occasional splashes of color here and there. Actual Miller drawings sprinkled throughout.

I can't wait.

Protecting the Homeland

Friday, February 25, 2005

What would Mr. Blackwell say?

Robin Givhan reviews Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's wardrobe at the Wiesbaden Army Airfield in this morning's Washington Post:
"Rice boldly eschewed the typical fare chosen by powerful American women on the world stage. She was not wearing a bland suit with a loose-fitting skirt and short boxy jacket with a pair of sensible pumps. She did not cloak her power in photogenic hues, a feminine brooch and a non-threatening aesthetic. Rice looked as though she was prepared to talk tough, knock heads and do a freeze-frame Matrix jump kick if necessary. Who wouldn't give her ensemble a double take -- all the while hoping not to rub her the wrong way? ...

"...she walked out draped in a banner of authority, power and toughness."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Reilly: Ace of Spies

For my money, the best TV "mini-series" ever was Reilly: Ace of Spies, first broadcast in 1983 on PBS's "Mystery." Starring Sam Neill, who later appeared in such things as Jurassic Park and The Hunt for Red October, the 12-episode series dramatized the real-life story of Sidney Reilly, a charming but ruthless freelance spy for the British government from, oh, 1900 to his execution in Russia in 1925. The first six shows detail Reilly's efforts to secure the West's access to oil in the Middle East (shades of, well, today!), and they're extraordinary. But the series really takes off during its final half, when Reilly goes head-to-head against Lenin, then Stalin, while trying to (almost singlehandedly) overthrow the Bolsheviks after the Russian revolution through assassination attempts against Lenin, then Stalin.

I watched Reilly when it first aired on PBS in the '80s, videotaped it, watched and rewatched those poorly recorded tapes for a decade, then bought the "official" boxed set of five VHS tapes when they were released about seven years ago. I've watched those so many times that they've begun to deteriorate.

Happily, A&E Home Video this week released Reilly: Ace of Spies in a nice box of four DVDs, which includes a 25-minute bonus documentary, "Life of Reilly: Superspy," from A&E's Vanishings series. Anyone interested in European history, the corruption of governments, shady weapons dealers, and unscrupulous espionage agents must see this series. You'll find it fascinating. What's more, you'll learn something.

I give Reilly: Ace of Spies FIVE STARS (out of five).

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In Memorium: SEK3 (1947-2004)

One year ago, this very day, I lost one of my libertarian "plumb lines," Samuel Edward Konkin III. Sam was a radical Rothbardian, author of New Libertarian Manifesto, editor-publisher of New Libertarian magazine, and founder of the Agorist Institute, the Karl Hess (Supper) Club in Los Angeles, and the Movement of the Libertarian Left (the logo of which graces this blog).

I knew Sam for two decades, spoke several times at the Hess Club, and even edited and published (under his guidance) the final issue of Tactics of the Movement of the Libertarian Left (May Day 2001). Sam was an often gracious, often difficult, friend. I never spent a moment with him that I didn't value.

This afternoon, I've lifted a pint of Guinness in his memory. I hope other comrades will do the same (with their preferred beverage).

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The futility of political labels

On today's, James Leroy Wilson takes us on a wonderfully entertaining journey through the changing world of political labels. His essay ends with this:
"So, call me Federalist, or Anti-Federalist. Patriot or Rebel. Progressive or Populist. Liberal or Conservative. Libertarian. Call me American for supporting Jeffersonian principles. Or call me Anti-American when Jeffersonian principles conflict with the policies of our Glorious Leader, President Bush. Call me Right-wing because I want taxes cut. Call me Left-wing because I think everyone deserves a fair shake.

"Call me whatever you like. I don't know if it matters anymore. All I want is what the Revolutionary leaders wanted, to get our freedoms back."

Monday, February 21, 2005

HST: his wave finally broke and rolled back

Writing doesn't get much better than this...
"Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era -- the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run...but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. ...

"There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. ... You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. ...

"And that, I think, was the handle -- that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting -- on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. ...

"So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

-- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, 1972

The going just got weirder...

One of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's most memorable taglines was "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

The going just got weirder. Last night, Thompson's son Juan found him dead of a gunshot wound to the head in his Woody Creek, Colorado, home -- an apparent suicide.

I wrote about the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on this blog last August. You can find that post right here. I have nothing else to say.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bumper-sticker of the Week

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The War on Terror, 1942

Sixty-three years ago, Executive Order 9066...
" virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action to be necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any persons to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restriction the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. ..."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt, February 19, 1942

On government-mandated smoking bans

"Jude" at the analysis blog has posted a terrific "letter to the editor, published today in our local paper back home." I reprint it here for those who tell me they love freedom but draw the line at smoking.
I would like to commend the Free Press editorial board for its candor: The Burlington City Council did "stand up and say public health trumps all arguments" (Feb. 10). Of course one of those other arguments was the human's right to freedom of association, but three cheers for the Council's "courage" anyway. The same goes for their bold action in forbidding U.S. military veterans from smoking in the privacy of their own club. They've survived shrapnel, tank artillery, machine gun fire, and hand-to-hand combat, so we should probably "save" them from their own smoking habits. I'm sure these veterans all salute the Council for stamping out the freedoms many have fought to protect.

And congratulations to the Council and Free Press editorial board for assuring that "no employee -- whether in an insurance office or a private club -- should be forced to breathe smoke-filled air when he or she goes to work." I suppose it's only a minor detail, but there has never been an employee forced to work in such an environment here in Vermont; to assert this is to misunderstand what forced means throughout the rest of the world. North Koreans are forced to work at certain locations and in certain professions. An employee of a bar in the United States is free to leave at any point to seek another job. A typical worker in Cuba or Zimbabwe is afforded no such luxury. Yes, smoking can be harmful, but then again, so can fascism.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Keep your hands off Bugs!

Y'know, you can use images of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to sell tampons, for all I care. But don't friggin' mess with the real important icons from my childhood!

The WB network is taking the great Looney Tunes characters and "updating" them for a new Saturday morning kids' series next fall. For example, they've retooled the great anarchist figure Bugs Bunny into a 28th Century superhero named Buzz Bunny.

"We all flipped for it," says David Janollari, president of the Kids' WB. "We just said, 'Wow, what a great way to take the classic Looney Tunes franchise that has been huge with audiences and bring it into the new millennium.' "

Wile E. Coyote should drop a 10-ton anvil on that idiot's pinhead.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

"Bloggers again?!"

Samuel Francis RIP

I was saddened to hear that Dr. Samuel Francis died this past Tuesday at the much-too-young age of 57. I first became familiar with Dr. Francis in 1991 through The Rothbard-Rockwell Report and then Chronicles magazine, where he served as a columnist and political editor. Soon after, I had the pleasure of meeting him and hearing him speak at several gatherings of the John Randolph Club in Arlington, Virginia, and San Mateo, California.

Francis was a major voice in the Paleo-Right movement and espoused a consistent philosophy of genuine conservatism (as opposed to hawkish neoconservatism, with which he warred for many years). His critiques of the managerial state were always thoughtful, often brilliant.

You can find one online archive of his work right here.

Sleeping with the enemy

What's your definition of a Good Citizen? I think we know what the cops in Gulf Breeze, Florida, think...
GULF BREEZE, Florida (AP) -- To slow traffic and deter reckless driving, a Pensacola suburb is putting homemakers, business people and retirees behind the wheel of police cars to serve as decoys.

The volunteers can't write tickets or make arrests, but the program, begun last week with 10 volunteers, lets police increase visibility without expanding the 19-member department. ...

The volunteers carry no firearms, but they can radio for a police officer for serious violations, jot down license numbers of traffic offenders, and aid crash victims. ...

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is looking at the inexpensive program, whose cost is mostly limited to fuel, as a possible national model...
Good little soldiers.

How many?

I receive a lot of very bad jokes in my email each day, and the Internet is filled with 'em. But I like this one, found at
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Remembering Frank Chodorov

Radical individualist, essayist, and newsletter publisher Frank Chodorov was born on this day in 1887. One of my favorite Chodorov essays is titled "Washington, the American Mecca." It was first published in Human Events in June 1954. Here's how it begins:
"It's June in Washington. It's June all over the country, of course, but to the capital city the month has special significance. It inaugurates the annual trek of gaping sightseers from all over the country to this American mecca.

"Soon the vacationing schoolteachers will be ah-ing and oh-ing before the wondrous temples of government, while prizewinning high school students will pay their worshipful respects to the pompous dignitaries and official hirelings who carry on the affairs of state. Honeymooning couples, already taking one another for granted, will transfer their admiration and adoration to the indicia of political power, while farmers, satiated with the wonders of nature in their native habitats, will be propitiating the gods of government in their air-conditioned apses. In summer, it is the proper thing for Americans to come to Washington and view with awe."
Chodorov's writing was always a beautiful mix of elegance and vitriol, as the above quote shows. And his essays were always inspirational and challenging. Quoting again from "Washington, the American Mecca":
"The debunking of Washington is the great need of the country. It is a colossal job, seeing that billions are spent each year for the specific purpose of deifying political power. But, it is a job that ought to commend itself to the young writer looking for a rather virgin field to work in. It will require the satirical skill of a Stephen Leacock, the epigrammatic ingenuity of a Charles Graham Sumner, the classical incisiveness of an Albert Jay Nock. Perhaps a Gilbert and Sullivan would be most effective."
Frank Chodorov died in 1966. I read my first Chodorov essay in 1991. For five years in the '90s, I published out of step, an independent political newsletter that was produced in memory of Frank Chodorov and took its name from the title of his autobiography. And last summer, I launched this blog, again under the Chodorov banner, out of step.

Frank Chodorov lives on.

Democracy: the scum also rises

I love the White House spin on the Iraqi election results announced Sunday in which pro-Iranian forces clobbered Bush favorite, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who finished third in the race.

"It's a great thing that democracy is emerging in Iraq," said Bush spokesman Scott McClellan. He later added, "This is an Iraqi process and the Iraqi leaders have made clear they are committed to a representative government, a government that's inclusive."

You could almost hear the beginning of a sob in his voice.

The Bush administration and its neoconservative cheerleaders arrogantly thought that if they spent $300 billion to crush Saddam and stage democratic elections, any Iraqi vote would have to go their way and Iraqis would choose to "Westernize." Well, no...

By the way, to those who use the words democracy and freedom interchangeably (as the White House always does, no matter who's in office): democracy isn't freedom, folks. It's just a method of replacing one master with a potentially crappier one.

Breaking the Rules

From Gene Callahan's "London Diary":
Tuesday, Jan. 25: Breaking the Rules

While getting on the escalator at the underground station tonight, I noticed a sign reading:


Well, I was standing on the right, I was holding the handrail, and I certainly had no stroller. But I wasn't carrying a dog!

Luckily, no one noticed. But I'm thinking of getting something small -- a rat terrier? -- so as to avoid trouble in the future.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The World According to Lord Greystoke

Many libertarians claim to have been introduced to ideas of freedom by reading the novels of Ayn Rand or the sci-fi of Robert Heinlein.

Me? My first real taste of libertarian thought came via the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. By age six, I was familiar with the movie Tarzans, but not until I read the original Tarzan of the Apes in the seventh grade did I get it. The Tarzan stories were about freedom vs. authority. They were about a young boy who'd taught himself how to survive, how to read, how to "get along" in his world. They were about the importance of self-reliance. When Tarzan discovers that he's heir to a fortune, that he's in fact Lord Greystoke, he learns to live in the "civilized" world when he must, but he never feels comfortable there. He always prefers freedom (i.e., the jungle).

These past few months, I've been re-reading the early Tarzan books (they become a bit formulaic after the first dozen novels). They still shout the freedom message loud and clear.

It's good to return to the seventh grade every so often.

"Be seeing you!"

David Millward of the UK's reports this morning that a large black ball, originally designed by Swedish scientists for use on Mars, may be used as a high-tech security guard. Capable of traveling at 20mph, this robot ball can detect intruders with both radar and infra-red sensors. Once alerted, it can call for help, sound an alarm, or pursue the badguys, taking pictures all the while.

This news reminds me of Rover (pictured above), the robotic weather balloon security guard from the classic "Prisoner" TV series of the 1960s. Rover made sure all the numbered citizens of the Village -- particularly Patrick McGoohan's No. 6 -- didn't leave town.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Loving "Beyond the Sea"

Granted, I was interested in seeing Beyond the Sea, Kevin Spacey's biopic of the late Bobby Darin. But my expectations were absolutely zero, based in part on the largely lackluster reviews the film had received and the fact that the movie was ignored as far as Oscar nominations go. Being a child of the 1960s, though, I've always had a soft spot for Darin, and I've been a Spacey fan ever since he played Mel Profitt on the Wiseguy TV series back in the late '80s. So we went to see Beyond the Sea today.

In short, I was blown away. I loved it. I adored it. Spacey -- who wrote, directed, and stars -- is a genius. His script is very clever. His acting and direction are superb. And he does his own singing! Kate Bosworth makes a fine Sandra Dee. John Goodman, Bob Hoskins, Greta Scacchi...hell, they're all top-notch in this. William Ullrich, the kid who plays "little Bobby Darin," is a standout. And then there's the music, and the dance numbers... I was grinning through the whole movie. I can't recommend it highly enough.

So what's with the movie critics? And the Academy?

Go figger.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Happy birthday, Abe!

"...Lincoln was a ruthless dictator and he set the precedent for what is known as the 'Imperial Presidency.' He was the most evil, damaging, aggressive, abominable, and destructive president ever to defy American liberty. Happy birthday, Abe."
-- Karen DeCoster
On this, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, you owe it to yourself to read in its entirety Karen DeCoster's extraordinary essay Beheading the "Great Messiah."

WARNING: If you want to continue to believe everything you learned in grade school, do NOT read DeCoster's piece! Do NOT go here.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Needed: more libertarian femme fatales

Maybe what this often stodgy movement of ours really needs to help with recruitment of activists are more provocative freedom-fighters like "anarcho-objectivist" Angela Keaton, station manager of KOOP 91.7 in Austin, Texas, and host of the weekly "Liberated Space" radio program. She writes of herself:
"Utterly devoid of spirituality, she is an atheist, spinster and cranky old maid. ... The New York born loner runs an editing service out of her root cellar. She often answers her phone with the greeting, 'Jesus Christ! Who the hell is it now?!' "
Angela's site features lots of archived radio shows (very good interviews with the likes of James Bovard, Joseph Sobran, and L. Neil Smith), some hardline anarchist and antiwar ranting, and plenty of cheesecake photos of Angela like the one featured here.

It's nice that libertarianism has some sex appeal.

Why not reclaim liberalism?

About three years ago, I posted an essay on Strike-The-Root-com called "Why Not Reclaim the Left?" In that piece, I explained that until the rise of socialism in the mid-19th century, classical liberals (i.e., laissez-faire libertarians) were considered the Left, the party of liberty, peace, and progress. "Then liberals," I wrote, "allowed socialists to outflank them strategically and pose as 'the Left.' Political terminology was turned on its head. Socialists became liberals. Liberals became conservatives." In my essay, I suggested that we libertarians reclaim the Left and the "liberal" label for ourselves.

Well, the argument continues...

In the latest issue of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, editor Sheldon Richman offers a terrific piece titled "I, Liberal." Richman reports that he and some colleagues traveled recently to Tbilisi, Georgia, one of the former USSR's imperial possessions, to lead a student seminar on the political economy of freedom. He writes:
"Aside from the countless amenities extended to us, it was also nice to be in a place where the word 'liberal' is understood. In the linguistically challenged United States, to be a liberal is to favor the government over the individual. Before the word was hijacked in the Progressive Era by devotees of what Ludwig von Mises called 'statolatry,' a liberal supported private property, free markets, and the rule of law as a bulwark against the state. The words 'liberal' and 'liberty' obviously share the same root. They originate in the Latin word for 'free.'

"But that's all forgotten. Now that 'liberal' is associated with bully government, it has become a dirty word, especially during elections, and no one wants it anymore -- not even the advocates of bully government."
Richman joins the editors of The Economist in saying he'd prefer that Left and Right continue to shun the word "liberal" and leave it to "its original owner[s]. That will free 'liberal' to be used exclusively from now on in its proper sense..."

Historian Ralph Raico, whose translation of Mises' Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition is readily available from, has said he prefers the term "liberalism" to "libertarianism" (largely due to that word's hijacking by the so-called Libertarian Party).

Maybe it is time we reclaim the lexicon that was once ours.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

District of Mordor

A bumper-sticker needing no comment... Thanks, Lew.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Greenspan calls on the wisdom of Sherlock Holmes

Lifted in part from the Associated Press on Monday:
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) -- U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Monday that as an economic detective he has long found inspiration in the wisdom of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

Greenspan's comment came in a speech at the University of Edinburgh, where he received an honorary degree in a ceremony led by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

Wearing a gown of scarlet cloth with gold trim, Greenspan, 78, praised the University of Edinburgh, "whose traditions of academic inquiry and innovation run so very deep through the history of this land and perhaps inevitably the history of the world.

"As an economic detective of sorts, I find kinship in the words written by this university's world-renowned alumnus, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose Sherlock Holmes -- while speaking of the art of detection -- unknowingly unlocked the well kept secrets of monetary policy making."

Greenspan said that Conan Doyle's famous character spoke of "balancing probabilities" and the "scientific use of the imagination."

"He sounds like a stock portfolio manager of one of Edinburgh's premium investment houses. What is true for detectives and financial risk managers is true for monetary policymakers, and is, I am certian, also true for the young minds taking shape here on these grounds."
My dad introduced me to the great Conan Doyle stories more than 40 years ago, and I've been a diehard Sherlockian since then. In the 1970s, I was a very active member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of Los Angeles and even edited their newsletter for awhile. In the 1980s, I founded my own Holmes society in the L.A. area, The Blind German Mechanics (named for Von Herder, the inventor of the air-gun used in an assassination attempt on Holmes in "The Adventure of the Empty House"); I relaunched that group here on the Central Coast last summer. For the past decade, I've been a member of the Hounds of the Internet email list. I have re-read the 56 short stories and four novels that make up the Holmes Saga again and again. And I can tell you this...

Sherlock Holmes knew about everything from Indian swamp adders, to the distinctions between tobacco ashes, to the tracing of footsteps, to bee-farming. But he didn't know shit about economics.

Monday, February 07, 2005

L.A. Times: "Era of big government is back."

Writes Janet Hook in today's L.A. Times:
"Even as President Bush proposes deep cuts in healthcare, farm subsidies and other domestic programs, his new budget makes one thing clear about the legacy of his first term in the White House. The era of big government is back.

"Bush's $2.6-trillion budget for 2006, if approved by Congress, would be more than one-third bigger than the budget he inherited four years ago. ...

"No longer are Republicans arguing with Democrats about whether government should be big or small. They are at odds over what kind of big government the United States should have."
Actually, government never shrinks. It's grown bigger and more intrusive under every presidential administration, Republican or Democrat. The only real difference between the two parties has been rhetoric. Now, even much of the rhetoric is the same.

NEW tonight on The WB!


When two madcap former presidents are asked to head up tsunami relief efforts, almost anything can happen...and it does on The WB's new Beltway Buddies! In tonight's hilarious episode, the boys hit Las Vegas to drum up donations and shoot a new public service announcement. But when George lets on that he's a bit down about missing another Fat Tuesday with wife Barbara, mischievous Bill buys his uptight and unsuspecting pal a lap dance to lift his spirits! Then the high jinx really begin!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Look, up in the sky, it's..."Libertarian" Girl!

Almost 30 years ago, the late Ronald Reagan called himself a "libertarian" on CBS's "60 Minutes." Several years back, Bill Clinton referred to himself as a "libertarian" in an interview.

Still, people sometimes ask why I often avoid the "libertarian" label in describing my philosophical leanings. Well, you need look no further than the blog of the so-called "Libertarian Girl," whose pro-war, pro-State ravings qualify her as the Jessica Simpson of modern libertarianism. Check out her latest post.

Cute as a button, dumb as a brick.

Exposing the State's child custody "experts"

From Chuck Shepherd's "News of the Weird" column, an item that speaks for itself:
"After five years of the New Mexico government always accepting Viola Trevino's child support claims against Steve Barreras (over the vasectomied Barreras' objections), a court in Albuquerque finally ruled in December that the child never existed. The judge concluded that Trevino had lied numerous times and had forged DNA evidence, birth certificates, and other documents and that Barreras had been unjustly forced to pay $20,000 in support, even though Trevino had never publicly produced the child. In December, having run out of excuses, Trevino borrowed a little girl from a stranger on the street and took her into the courtroom to be her and Barreras' daughter (but the stranger followed Trevino inside and exposed the ruse). Gov. Bill Richardson ordered an investigation as to how so many state officials had been hoaxed for so long."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Making good little citizens

USA Today reported yesterday that 32% of high school students surveyed believe the press enjoys "too much freedom"; 36% say newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing.

Who says government schooling (aka "public schools") doesn't work? As Claire Wolfe has remarked, it certainly works for the government!