The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bad Apple

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Friday, October 07, 2005


I got this via email today. I'm sure it will make me a popular guy by repeating it here:

Relief Worker Perspective #1:
Yesterday I chatted with a friend who had gone down to N.O. to help out for
a couple of weeks. She said the stories of rapes, beating and crime in the
Superdome were absolutely true and not to believe the current lie-beral
media stories about them having just been bad rumors that somehow got into
the press before they could be confirmed.

Shortly after arriving in lilywhite Utah, 150 or so of the refuggers opted
to go to Houston or Dallas. Watch for significant increase in crime there.
Rebuilding N.O. only makes sense if we can put a 30-feet tall wall around it
to keep the natives inside. (What prison? It's flood control!)

Another perspective from a relief worker in Utah:
Let me tell you a few things about the wonderful group of evacuees we
received here in Utah. The first plane arrived with 152 passengers. Of the
152; 10 were children. 3 of these children had been separated or abandoned
by their parents.

As these passengers attempted to board the plane, the National Guard removed
from their person; 43 handguns (it is Illegal to own a Handgun in New
Orleans), 20 knives, one man had 100,000 dollars in cash, 20 pounds of
Marijuana, 10 pounds of Crack, 15 pounds of Methamphetamines, 10 pounds of
various other controlled substances including Heroin. Upon their arrival
here in SLC, two people immediately deplaned and lit up a joint.

During the course of medical evaluations, it was discovered that parents
were using their kids to carry loads of looted jewelry (price tag still on),
and other items. One third of the people who got off the plane were angry
that they didn't get to go to Houston or San Antonio.

Over the course of the next 36 hours we received an additional 430 evacuees.
Most of these, like their predecessors had to be relieved of illegal items.
Additionally, most of them, were the owners of exceptionally prolific
criminal records, just like those in the first flight.

By the second night in the shelter, there was one attempted rape of a relief
worker, sales of drugs ongoing and a gang had begun to rebuild. When the
people arrived at the shelter, they were given the opportunity to dig
through piles of donated clothes from local church groups. Many complained
that they were second hand clothes.

The state set up a reception center with relocation assistance, Medicaid and workforce services among many assistance groups.

This past Saturday, workforce services held a job fair. 85 of the 582
evacuees attended. 44 were hired on the spot. 24 were asked back for a
second interview. Guess the others had no desire to work. Yesterday we
began relocating evacuees to be with family or friends who had agreed to
take them in as well as three to the county jail.

Now in the health arena: 4 with Aids, 15% of those 582 had some form of STD,
one case of TB, 2 Heroin withdrawals, 15 mental health admissions, one brain
tumor and 15 nursing home patients. Like everyone in this nation, I watched
as the news media blasted FEMA and President Bush for the "poor response".

While everyone on TV saw nothing but people being let down by government, I
saw people letting down people. Who would have ever thought that we would
reach a point in time that US citizens would lie around in piles of trash
complaining that no one had come to pick them up out of it.

What ever happened to people pulling together to make their circumstance
better? Why couldn't they get up and move on their own or at least just
clean up the area where they had to wait for evacuation? Why did they feel
the need to take a crap in the aisle of the superdome? FEMA did not fail
them. FEMA is not a response agency. State and local government is
responsible for the first 72 hours. But more important, we all have a
responsibility to help ourselves and neighbors.

Poverty is not an excuse to behave like animals. The rest of the Gulf Coast
did not have problems like this! Difficult situations are not an excuse to
loot your neighbor 24 hours before the storm even hits. I have always said
New Orleans was a toilet! Now everyone has proof that not only was it a
toilet, but a toilet long overdue for a flush.

Matthew Anderson, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Real Crisis Facing Public Education


In ninth-grade science classes in Dover, a little town in Pennsylvania, teachers are required to read a statement to their students that Intelligent Design should be considered as an alternative view to evolution as an explanation for life as we know it. Eleven parents have sued the school board and the school district, claiming that Intelligent Design is not science but religion and hence constitutionally off-limits in public schools.

The consensus seems to be that this case will wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet accounts of this issue are missing the real problem.

The crisis today is not defining religion or science but education itself. And we have lost perspective how education has suffered as result of it being a government-controlled monopoly.

This has important implications in general on the quality of education we provide our kids. Furthermore, it has produced a hopeless situation in inner city schools.

News from China this week is that state censorship agencies have issued new rules about what kind of news may be published on the Internet. The rules established 11 "forbidden zones" and include a ban on anything that might promote religious beliefs.

Is it a little eerie to think that we run our public schools like the Chinese communists run their marketplace? The point of education was not a mystery to one of the pioneers of American public education, Horace Mann. For Mann, whose ideas on education reflected those of such men as Benjamin Franklin, "with universal suffrage, there must be universal elevation of character, intellectual and moral, or there will be universal mismanagement and calamity."

The reason we require schooling, according to Mann, is that a free country needs responsible, enlightened citizens to function. Accordingly, Mann says, in school curricula "principles of morality should be copiously intermingled with the principles of science."

We clearly live in a country today far different than the 19th-century America of Horace Mann. To even suggest, as part of a public school curriculum, that religion is a legitimate way to address the mystery of life will land you in court. So the task of the lawyers defending Intelligent Design is not to prove that it is science, but to show that it is not religion.

Given that public schools today do not permit Horace Mann's "principles of morality" to be copiously intermingled, or even gingerly intermingled, with the "principles of science," the best face that can now be put on public education is to call it vocational education.

We've lost sight of the goal of public education producing better people and citizens. We can't even agree about what this means.

The parents in Dover who are suing say that parents, not schools, should be responsible for a child's religious education.

This may work OK with kids who come from intact families. But in today's America, with high divorce rates, and where almost three of 10 babies are born to unwed mothers, this is becoming increasingly rare.

In inner-city black America, disrupted families are, unfortunately, the rule rather than the exception. Most black kids in inner-city schools come from single-parent homes.

The result is these kids come from directionless homes and go to directionless schools. Half wind up dropping out, and the ones who make it through graduate with eighth-grade reading skills.

However one chooses to rationalize how the black family got into such bad shape, we have now only the fact. And we have only the fact that black poverty and the black underclass will persist for another 50 years if black children do not get educated.

Value neutral, or as is more often the case, politically correct, government schools will never educate black children who live in social chaos.

Rather than trying to rationalize religion and morality back into public schools, the only reasonable approach in today's America is to fight government control of schools.

Allow parents to choose where to send their kids to school. Parents, not judges or bureaucrats, should decide whether to send their child to a school that teaches Intelligent Design.

And black kids should be given the opportunity to go to schools that are allowed to teach how to live as well as what to learn to get a job.

(Star Parker is author of "Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do about It" and president of CURE, Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education,

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lynndie England Tells of Worse Torture

"They never screamed like that when we were humiliating. But this guy was
like screaming bloody murder. I mean it still haunts me I can still hear it
just like it happened yesterday."

(AFP) A US soldier convicted of abusing Iraqi prisoners said, in remarks
recently made public, she knew of "worse things" happening at Abu Ghraib and
insisted military commanders were fully aware of what was going on in Iraq's
infamous jail.

The comments, made by Private First Class Lynndie England in her first
post-court-martial interview, contradicted assertions by top Pentagon
officials that a small group of out-of-control soldiers were responsible for
abuse at Abu Ghraib, and that no matter how repulsive that mistreatment was,
it did not amount to torture.

England, who became the face of the scandal because of a photograph of her
holding a naked prisoner by a leash, was sentenced last Tuesday to three
years in prison and ordered to be dishonorably discharged from the Army
after a military jury found her guilty of maltreating prisoners and
committing an indecent act.

The trial capped a damaging scandal that erupted in 2004, following
publication of pictures that showed Abu Ghraib inmates piled up naked on the
floor in front of US soldiers, cowering in front of snarling military dogs,
chained to beds in stress positions and forced to stand naked in front of
female guards.

But England, appearing on NBC's "Dateline" program, said the pictures did
not convey the full extent of the abuse that took place in the cell block.

"I know worse things were happening over there," admitted the 22-year-old

She said one night she heard blood-curdling screams coming from the block's
shower room, where non-military interrogators had taken an Arab detainee.

"They had the shower on to muffle it, but it wasn't helping," she recalled. "They never screamed like that when we were humiliating. But this guy was like screaming bloody murder. I mean it still haunts me I can still hear it just like it happened yesterday."

The interrogators were not identified, but several investigations into the
abuse have disclosed that Central Intelligence Agency operatives worked at
Abu Ghraib alongside US military intelligence, mining for useful

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Business Finds an Upside to Katrina


Hurricane Katrina is a godsend for the business community, which long has sought to unravel government regulations. The federal government has used the hurricane-relief effort to relax trucking regulations, to suspend costly requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act that sets higher wages on government contracts, and to lift provisions under the Jones Act allowing only U.S.-flagged ships to carry goods from port-to-port in the United States.

Labor unions are screaming. But the Heritage Foundation, which has the ear of White House deregulators, is lobbying for more, contending that President Bush hasn't been aggressive enough in cutting red tape and providing broader regulatory relief that would speed rebuilding New Orleans.

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