Tagged: liberty

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...

No Free Parking

The idea behind Congestion Pricing is to charge people more to use things — city streets, toll roads, cellphones — during peak times. By raising the cost you reduce demand, freeing up more space. And if demand stays constant you earn higher revenue and then raise the price some more. Such programs are in place...

Why I Wrote “Reefer Gladness”

My new book, coming out in a couple of months, is about marijuana. Fans of my gambling and golf and dog books have been wondering what gives. Why this? Aside from not wanting to repeat myself, I sought a subject that’s moving to the forefront of our ongoing cultural conversation, a subject about which people...

Marijuana Lies: Rebuttal Central

California could change the course of American History in November. Proponents of legalizing marijuana use, possession, cultivation, and distribution have successfully placed on the ballot a referendum that would end nearly a century of ignorance and injustice. Currently, one must be “sick” to own and use marijuana. If the law passes, everyone will be entitled...

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...

Guest Author: “Chapter One”

For the first time in the history of this space, we have a guest author. This person, who must remain anonymous for reasons that will soon be clear, has written what he calls “a report” about extraordinary events in the place where he lives. We’ve read the whole memoir, and it made us cry and...

A Modest Proposal: Criminalize Coffee

Let us resolve to do the right thing. Let us put aside our selfish obsessions and protect those who cannot or will not protect themselves. We must unite for the common good, to insulate American society from a growing and real menace that originates overseas but infects each of our United States.  It’s time to...

How Police Officers Make Themselves Easy to Despise

IN MEMORY OF KELLY THOMAS, MURDERED BY FULLERTON, CA. POLICE OFFICERS In most “developing” countries, law enforcers develop nothing but bribes and shakedown money. They’re seen not as upholders of justice but as uniformed thugs to be assiduously avoided, officially sanctioned criminals who serve no one but themselves. Here in the United States, most police...

Getting it Wrong on Prop 8

This weekend, a number of dear friends, some straight, some gay, will be picketing in front of Los Angeles City Hall, venting their anger at an empty building. The protesters are furious about the passage of Proposition 8, which amends the California Constitution to permit holy matrimony solely between a man and a woman. Prop...

President Obama: Reasons to Celebrate

For those who came of age in segregationist America, while Jim Crow laws still littered the South and neighborhoods in the North observed pernicious unwritten boundaries, Barack Obama’s victory feels like a hot shower after an interminable day spent toiling in a filthy, disease-ridden swamp. Even for people of my generation, who grew up post-Martin...