Federal Register Watch
What freedoms have you lost this week?
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week.
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Thomas Paine, Revolutionary
George F. Smith
In the summer of 1774, Thomas Paine arrived in London out of work and out of sorts. Recently dismissed as an officer in the excise tax corps, Paine had petitioned Parliament the previous winter hoping to secure a wage increase for himself and his fellow excisemen. The stuffed shirts ignored him. When he returned to his home town of Lewes , his supervisor, wishing to get rid of a troublemaker,...
Let's Go Dutch
As a criminal defense attorney in the U.S., I represent people charged with prostitution, pot, hashish, and hallucinogenic mushrooms. As I write this, I am in the Netherlands, where those activities are not prosecuted. The Netherlands Libertarian Party has invited me to speak at the Hague about U.S. drug laws. I advocate repealing prostitution and drug laws to make the U.S. freer than the...
Uncle Sam Is YOU
Bloated and paranoid addicts of sugar, salt, lard, beer, nicotine, aspartame and MSG '
Oh, Boobus Americanus, carnivorous sheep, slaughtering and led to slaughter '
Uncle Sam is YOU!
The Great Violet Massacre
Ok, I'm a sap. My lawn in the spring and fall is a mass of violets; white ones, purple ones, white-and-purple ones too ' and forget-me-nots, dandelions, etc. I don't care much for manicured lawns (especially when I'm the manicurist) but for the sake of neighborly relations, today I mowed my lawn. Massacred hundreds, thousands of violets . . . I feel like a murderer. All those sweet little...
Fossils and Elected Officials
One day last fall I windsurfed across the Potomac River in the heart of Washington, D.C . The day was beautiful, sunny and 70 degrees. Peaceful groups demonstrated for ALS awareness, tourists strolled and snapped pictures of the marble monuments, young men filled the playing fields beside the Potomac, bicyclists and joggers passed families ambling along the river's edge while boaters cruised...
The Supreme Court, our unelected and irrefutable legislature of nine, now ponders, or pretends to ponder, the legitimacy of racial discrimination in collegiate admissions. Oh good. One assumes of course that, with unrebuttable presumptuousness, they will merely dress their prejudices in constitutional-sounding awkward English. Still:
What is one to make of racial preferences?
First, some de-...
The Two-Edged Sword of Power
You are locked into your suffering and your pleasures are the seal. ~Leonard Cohen
In the spring of 1903, most people in upstate New York woke up in the cold. Their stoves were downstairs in the kitchen, and not much heat made it upstairs into the bedrooms.
George W. Bush: A Designer President by Karl Rove
Dorothy Anne Seese
The White House has taken a cue from the success of producer/director Steven Spielberg, a confessing liberal communicant, and Karl Rove has created from a patrician family's spoiled son, errant investor and baseball fan both a governor for the state of Texas and now, a true "designer" president for Americans who are hungry for a hero to worship and a leader to follow. In fact, Rove's masterpiece...
Teen Pregnancy: From the Government With Love
One of the funniest lines I've ever heard at the alternative school where I work came from one of our inner-city born and bred teachers. When asked if a female student in his class was pregnant he said 'No, but the guys are working on it.'
A humorous quip but poignantly true. Teen pregnancy at my low-income, inner-city school is not out of the ordinary. It's part of the infrastructure of our...