Category: Liberty

Matters of Public Insertion

Aside from their protective utility, latex condoms aren’t anyone’s first choice for a sexual accoutrement. Claims to the efficacy of certain “ribbed for her pleasure” varieties notwithstanding, folks use them to prevent pregnancies and transmittable diseases, not because rubbers enhance sex. Sure, the old putting-it-on-with-your-mouth trick, redolent of European brothels and Asian massage parlors, has...

Ten Years Later

For a brief and beautiful time after the attack, we were united. We regarded our fellow Americans with respect and courtesy and kindness, with a commonality of purpose befitting our country’s name. In the aftermath of a national calamity, we were brothers and sisters. For an even briefer time, the rest of the world –...

Paying Attention

Attention! Everyone and everything, especially the ones and the things with stuff to sell, wants our attention. This essay wants your attention – and if it hasn’t grabbed it by now, the author is probably in big trouble. Lacking curvaceous breasts, a sparkling smile, or the imprimatur of a certifiably important celebrity to give it...

A Lost War

On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” And thus was the war on drugs commenced. This week marks the 40th anniversary of another failed American war effort. The numbers, courtesy of the folks behind the next California “legalize...

Our Environment: Another Drug War Casualty

Our failed War on Drugs has cost us vast treasure, ruined the lives of harmless citizens, and fueled a growing empire of violent crime. To continue with this national folly would be stupid at best and catastophic at worst. It’s time to legalize marijuana, treating it as we do tobacco, alcohol, caffiene, and other widely...

Standing Together, Singing

This week twenty-five years ago, in 1986, Filipinos ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos with a non-violent massive protest on Manila’s main highway, EDSA. The movement was known as “People Power,” an apt description of the force that overthrew a tyrant. It wasn’t bombs or kidnappings or guerilla warfare that toppled the criminals in charge. The...

Gays in the Military

Justice has been done! The U.S. Military’s pernicious ongoing discrimination against heterosexuals has been outlawed.  Now it’s all out in the open. Now straight people won’t be the only (majority) group permitted to suffer unimaginable indignities, grievous disfigurement and injuries, and painful death while protecting the business interests of those richer than they. Now straight...

Drugs Are Bad

In the aftermath of last week’s voting, in which Californians roundly rejected Prop 19, the initiative to decriminalize marijuana, the Los Angeles Times hinted that maybe possibly it was time to have a frank discussion about our nation’s failed drug policy. The paper, which ran editorials denouncing Prop 19, endorsed a “no” vote, and ignored eloquent voices...

The Broken Contract

The deal is supposed to go like this: In a capitalist society, we all agree to allow the Marketplace, that divine arbiter of value, to determine how much each individual is worth to everybody else. The more people who like you or need you (or your work), the better off you’ll be. If you invent...

Recipe for Destruction of a Culture

If for some unknown reason you were committed to destroying a native society, you probably could not do a better job than the European colonial powers in Africa and Asia. The formula goes something like this: conquer the natives militarily; indoctrinate them in foreign religions; forbid birth control; convince them that the way out of...