Death's Head: Piracy, Plunder and Foreign Policy
Christopher Moody's Flag, circa 1720
Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer, and then itself marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills? ~ Kahlil Gibran
Piracy is a poor type of foreign policy.
The lawless practice of seizing ships for commercial gain that plagued the coasts of the Americas in the late 17th...
When I got home from work today, I heard on the news that Dr. Steven Hatfill, the guy the feds once thought was behind the anthrax caper, was given a ticket this weekend after a federal officer hit him with his car. The ticket stated that he had created an accident. According to the news snippet, the "accident" was precipitated by Dr. Hatfill's taking a photo of the agent who was "secretly"...
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.
Instructions for subscribing to the Federal...
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-...