Sunday, April 30, 2006


This week's POLITICAL UPDATE focuses on immigration. Illegal aliens are planning to show their love for America by sabotaging our economy on the communist holiday of Mayday. The battle to defend America continues.

R. Cort Kirkwood writes that America is being taken over by illegals.
William Jasper writes that American elites continue to promote amnesty.
Thomas Eddlem destroys myths about illegal immigration.
Ann Coulter writes that illegals are making demands of America.
William Jasper exposes the communists behind the illegal immigrant protest.
Rep. Charlie Norwood exposes the racism of La Raza and MECHA.
Phyllis Schlafly explains that illegals take American jobs.

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Evaluating Bailey

Now that the semester is over, it seems like as good a time as any to evaluate the performance of Judy Bailey, President of Western. Bailey's tenure has been characterized by a series hare-brained Wile E. Coyote-style get-rich-quick schemes. The consistent pattern is that she attempts to manipulate people into generating more money for the school. This happens through arbitrary changes to the rules, rather than actually improving Western as an institution. Consider the following:

Flat-rate tuition

Previously, Western has the eminently reasonable system that you pay more for each credit hour that you take. This made sense because each hour cost more in instructor's time, etc. The flat rate tuition plan changed this so that if you take between 14 and 17 credit hours, you pay the same amount. This helped the people who normally take 17 credit hours, but many people can't do that.

The goal of this plan seems to be to wring more money out of the people who will continue to take 14 credit hours. Flat-rate tuition was recently repealed for summer classes, but remains in effect during the regular school year.

Graduate student hours

Western recently proposed changing the minimum number of credit hours that graduate students are required to take to be considered full-time from 6 to 9. The theoretical justification had something to do with helping grad students get done faster. The problem here is the same as before. Graduate classes are pretty difficult, and not everyone can take three of them in one semester. Even when this is possible, it may not be desirable. Many graduate students are teaching assistants, or have other jobs, to help pay for school. Changing these requirements would have threatened assistantships and scholarships. Why not simply let students go at their own pace?

The administration shelved this plan after graduate students launched an email campaign to stop it. This was a contributing factor to the success of the unionization of grad students.

The Medallion Program

The Medallion is a scholarship given to the top students at Western each year. It was $32,000 over four years ($8000 per year). It is funded mainly by private donations, and is given to twenty-some students every year (depending on available funds.)

When I went through the program, the recipients were selected as follows. Students applying to Western were invited to a competition based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores. The competition took place over the course of a Saturday (two different weekends). Students were required to write two essays and engage in two group problem solving sessions. The essays were not the usual cookie-cutter "Why do you want to come to Western" or "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" They were difficult, challenging questions that required students to think. (One of the questions that I got asked me to compare Dostoevsky and Freud on the nature of man. I sat for twenty minutes thinking before I started to write anything.)

The group problem solving was similarly challenging. Participants were given a question such as "Rank the following charitable activities in order of value" or "Make a list of the most influential Americans." (I got Ronald Reagan and George Washington onto my group's list.)

In summary, the competition was challenging and rigorous. It measured the sort of skills that GPA and a typical essay couldn't.

Anyhow, two years ago, the administration announced that the competition was being scrapped in favor of a single ten-minute interview. There was outrage from the Medallion Scholars across the political spectrum (we were required to work at the program). The administration had hired a consultant firm from Chicago (which had never actually seen the program in action) to analyze the program, and they had recommended the changes. None of us understood what the university could be thinking. Basing a scholarship on the subjective impressions of many different interviewer was a self-evidently terrible idea. (When I confronted Bailey about the elimination of the essay requirement, she said that it wasn't necessary because if someone was going to Western, he must already be a good writer.)

A while later, the truth came to light. All but one of the interview questions were fairly innocuous. However, one question was weighted much more heavily than the others. That being: "Would you come to Western if you don't receive this scholarship?" The presumption being that if the competitor said "yes" he wouldn't get the scholarship. That's not the sort of question that you can ask on an application, you have to spring it on somebody. Hence the interview.

The plan apparently was to use the scholarships only to induce people to come to Western who wouldn't have otherwise. (Even then, it seems unlikely to work because the data gathered from the surprise question wouldn't be reliable.)

I should point out that these changes were made without consulting or even notifying the donors, whose money was actually used for the scholarships. I launched a campaign to have the scholars email their donors to apply pressure to the university. Needless to say, the administration wasn't very happy about that. Some honorable people within the administration fought the changes.

Some combination of our efforts succeeded in getting the competition changed back to close to the way that it was before. The amount of the scholarship was also increased to $10,000 per year, which given spiraling tuition costs, is what should have happened in the first place.

Image over substance

Finally, there are efforts to improve Western's image at the expense of the actual health of the university. A few years back, one of Bailey's initiatives was to hire 60 (I think) new faculty members. Did we need 60 new faculty members? Not really, particularly given our declining enrollment.

Some of the new campus construction may also fall into this category. I don't have enough information to know for sure. There are questions about where the funding for these buildings is coming from. Until recently, the focus has been on new construction rather than renovating the dilapidated buildings on campus. This appears to be changing, with the renovation of Brown, Kohrman, and Sangren on the way.

What are your thoughts on Bailey?

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science

I just finished reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science by Tom Bethell. This is a very interesting book. I won't attempt to summarize all of the arguments in the book, but I will briefly summarize its conclusions:

Human causation of global warming is a myth.

Nuclear power is safe.

Small amounts of dangerous chemicals and radiation are actually good for you. (This one was completely new to me.)

The ban on DDT has killed millions of people.

The extinction of species is greatly exaggerated.

African AIDS is greatly exaggerated.

Cloning and stem-cell research are based on hype.

Almost nobody ever believed in a flat Earth, and there is no war between religion and science.

The evidence does not support evolution.

If you have doubts about any of these conclusions (or if you don't) I suggest that you read this book.

Beyond these conclusions, the theme of the book is that government influence corrupts true science. This happens through government regulations and bureaucratic agencies with their own political agendas. It also happens through government control of science research dollars, which effectively lets it silence opposing theories.

The lesson here is that just because something is good, like scientific research, doesn't mean that the government should do it. Socialism still doesn't work. Scientific breakthroughs are more likely when private interests have their own money at stake, and are not influenced by politics.

Liberals eagerly cite the harm caused by private interests through pollution, etc. But all the harms caused by private businesses combined come nowhere close to the harm that the government has caused just by its ban on DDT. Remember: when you give government the power to save you, you give government the power to kill you.

Friday, April 28, 2006

None Dare Call it Treason

I hope that everyone has read the lead article in this week's POLITICAL UPDATE. It is entitled The United States of North America. It examines the proposed Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

"In the early years of the 21st century, elites in three nations — the United States, Canada, and Mexico — are busy creating a new political configuration called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). It would broaden and deepen the relationship between the three nations created in 1994 through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in dramatic ways."

The goal of the SPP is more-or-less openly admitted.

"Following his election in 2000, Mexican president Vicente Fox told an audience in California that his government would "use all our persuasion and all our talent to bring together the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments so that in five or ten years, the border is totally open to the free movement of workers." Fox was similarly candid in a 2002 address to an audience in Madrid: "Eventually, our long-range objective is to establish with the United States, but also with Canada, our other regional partner, an ensemble of connections and institutions similar to those created by the European Union.""

In another article, John Leo explains the ideology of transnationalism. It is also called internationalism or post-Americanism. This helps to explain why so many elites support plans like the SPP.

Significant articles about the SPP have also been written by Phyllis Schlafly and William Jasper.

Read them all, if you dare.

Short Items

1. I've got to hand it to the Michigan Republican Party. They continue to keep up the pressure on Granholm. This is the kind of no-holds-barred activism that we need more of.

2. I've said before that I believe that Tom Tancredo has a real chance to be elected President. Now, there is evidence. A new poll shows that a third party candidate running on immigration could be elected President.

There is also supporting evidence in the fact that last year, a third party candidate got 25% of the vote running on immigration reform. He actually won on election day, but not amongst the absentee ballots.

3. This article from the Western Herald is a couple years old, but I still remember it. Sometimes you have to find the humor in everyday life. The article focuses on diversity and multiculturalism. Liberals take this very seriously.

One of my frequent complaints about politics is that people don't define the terms they use. Thankfully, that's not the case here:

"As stated: "Diversity at Western Michigan University encompasses inclusion, acceptance and respect. This means understanding that each individual is unique and that our commonalities and differences make the contributions we have to offer all the more valuable."

Diversity is defined as consisting of "the dimensions of race, ethnicity, national and regional origins; sex, gender identity and sexual orientation; socioeconomic status, age, physical attributes and abilities; as well as religious, political, cultural and intellectual ideologies and practices."

Multiculturalism relates to issues of human diversity, cultural pluralism, human rights and social justice. It originates "from the full spectrum of cultures," according to the draft."

I hope that clears things up.

4. Aside from the parts that are torn up by construction, campus is beautiful this time of year. One of the nice things about campus is the landscaping. Western has all sorts of flowering trees that are now in bloom. It's too bad that more students don't get to see them.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Political News

A few short items:

1. The state House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to prevent illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer funded scholarships, grants, and mortgages. It isn't entirely clear from this item, but it appears that this would not affect a privately funded illegal alien scholarship like the First Step Scholars program.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Bob Gosselin. He is currently running for State Senate in the Troy/Royal Oak/Bloomfield Hills area and faces a tough primary. Conservatives should rally behind his campaign.

2. Apparently, John McCain is attempting to buy support in Michigan. He is donating $100,000 and spreading it around to all the district and local parties in the state. This moves comes as Michigan moves up its primary to attract more attention in 2008.

3. The Mayday counterrevolution continues to gain momentum.

4. Pro-lifers continue to make progress. A new poll shows that a majority (54%) of Americans want to ban abortion in most cases. The poll also shows that many people do not understand what Roe v. Wade actually did.

Thanks to Human Events' blog The Right Angle for items 2-4.

"Stand Your Ground" moves forward

On Tuesday, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a "stand your ground" self-defense bill. This bill have been attacked by liberals as a "shoot first bill". Such laws have been passed in a number of states, most recently Idaho, Arizona, and Kentucky. Michigan would be the first state that voted for Kerry to pass such a bill.

What is particularly interesting is that the bill passed by a 90-16 vote. That means that a clear majority of Democrats voted for it.

The anti-gun movement in Michigan seems to have essentially collapsed. The last controversial gun rights bill in Michigan was the shall-issue concealed carry law that was passed in 2000. Since then, most if not all pro-gun bills have passed the state house with more than 100 votes. That includes restaurant carry, extending permit time to five years, carry in state parks, and some others that I don't recall.

The margin of victory indicates that the Democrats know better than to try to stop this bill. It also means that Granholm will sign it. If she intended to veto it, she would have told the Democrats in the legislature to put up more of a fight.

One of the few Democrats in the legislature who tried to kill this bill was Kalamazoo's own Alexander Lipsey. He offered an amendment to sabotage the bill. Thankfully, he is term-limited this year. This is one more reason for Republicans to make sure that he is not elected to be Attorney General or anything else in 2006.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

POLITICAL UPDATE--National Sovereignty

This POLITICAL UPDATE focuses on national sovereignty. America's independence is under attack from forces both at home and abroad.

Steven Yates exposes the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), which would merge the U. S., Canada and Mexico under a single government.
John Leo explains the ideology of transnationalism, which leads many American elites to oppose defending our borders.
Burt Purlesky explains why we should kick the UN out of America.
John McManus exposes the anti-Americanism of UNESCO.
Rep. Ron Paul shows that the United Nations wants to impose taxes on America.
Frank Gaffney provides more information on the drive for international taxes.

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Fourteen for Freedom

The unionization vote is over and the results are in. As I expected, more than 90% of graduate assistants voted to unionize. The vote was 290 to 14 for unionization. That's 95.4% for, 4.6% against. A total of 304 out of 672 graduate assistants voted, a turnout of 45.2%.

Because of this vote, all WMU graduate assistants will be forced to pay money to the union, whether they want to or not.

This is a perfect example to support my contention that most people don't really support freedom. When I wrote this some time back, many of you disagreed with me. However, the fact that only fourteen graduate students voted against taking away freedom from their fellow students is strong evidence for my case. Of course, it's unlikely that most graduate students thought about it that way. But that doesn't change the facts of what they did.

This vote also illustrates the limitations of democracy. Clearly, the consent of the people does not necessarily protect freedom. This was direct democracy in action, so there no politicians to blame. The casual equation of freedom and democracy needs to stop.

Illegal Immigrants are Criminals

One of the arguments that is regularly employed by illegal aliens is "We aren't criminals or terrorists. We just came here to work." How could anyone be against that? Why would anyone want to deport people who just want to make an honest living?

The obvious first point is that illegal immigration is illegal. Hard-working, honest people don't violate our laws by crossing our borders illegally, staying here illegally, and using phony documents illegally.

More importantly, though, illegal immigration should be illegal. Letting in anyone who wants to work would amount to a policy of unlimited immigration. No country has such a policy. It would be a disaster, particularly in a country that people actually want to live in, like America. Almost everyone concedes that there must be some limit on immigration.

But why? Well, consider the alternative. What are the problems with unrestricted immigration? Terrorists, drug runners, and gang members could come into our country. Tens, perhaps hundreds of millions would flood in, artificially reducing American wages are costing us billions in social welfare payments. They would not assimilate to our culture but would overwhelm it, making our country like those from which they came.

For these problems to be avoided, there must be some limits on immigration. There must be some screening process to exclude those who should not be allowed into our country. These rules must be enforced. For these rules to have meaning, those who break them must be deported, and those who aid them with illegal documents and jobs must be punished.

The illegal alien might respond, "but I'm not a terrorist!" However, the millions who break our immigration laws make it harder to catch those are. If terrorists, drug runners, and gang members were the only people sneaking across our borders, they would be much easier to catch. Thus illegal aliens make terrorist attacks, drug addiction, and gang wars more likely.

The illegal alien might say, "I'm just here to work!" But there are no jobs that Americans won't do. Illegal aliens take jobs that Americans would have done for more money. Even if illegals don't intend to use government services, they still cost our schools and hospitals millions of dollars. Even if they don't cost us tax money, they make it easier for the millions who do to sneak in to this country.

Similarly, the illegal alien may not intend to cause cultural disintegration, but it happens anyway. Culture is what you do without thinking about it. The differences in the areas that have already become dominated by illegals are all too obvious. Furthermore, illegals make it easier for those who do want to retake the Southwest to come here. They also provide a more sympathetic audience for those who preach reconquista. This is true even when this is not their intent.

A helpful analogy is to compare illegal immigration to drunk driving. Drunk drivers don't want to kill anyone. However, they put everyone at greater risk through their actions. Illegal immigrants may not want to hurt anyone. But they cause harm in all the ways listed above. In both cases, what matters is not intentions, but results.

Illegal immigration is a crime, and illegal immigrants are criminals. As they should be.

Ethanol is not the answer

As gasoline prices continue to climb, people are understandably upset. (Why they aren't more upset with a government that steals half their money is another matter.) In situations like this, all the usual myths about energy are trotted out once again.

One such myth is that ethanol is a solution to our nation's energy needs. A Congressman has sponsored legislation to mandate more ethanol in our gasoline. However, this simply won't work. A recent post at Human Events points out that ethanol mandates actually make things worse. In addition, studies have shown that a gallon of ethanol requires more than a gallon of gasoline to produce. Using ethanol not only wastes money, it wastes gasoline.

Sometimes ethanol is defended as a solution to our dependence on foreign oil, since it is produced domestically. But we need oil to produce ethanol. Barring drastic and unlikely changes to the state of the world, we will never be independent of foreign sources of energy, anyways. What ethanol really is is disguised welfare for farmers.

The lack of economic understanding in this country is highly destructive. It ought to be obvious that people will naturally choose the cheapest way of accomplishing a given job. Hence the most efficient source of energy is whatever people freely choose to use. If ethanol were really a viable energy source, then people would choose to use it without government subsidies and mandates. What sense does it make for the government to pay people to waste money? The case of ethanol is one more example of how government just makes things worse.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Schwarz screwed Western

One of the perennial complaints at Western is the low funding from the state of Michigan. Western gets much less per student than schools including University of Michigan and Michigan State. Why is that? My research led to a surprising answer: Joe Schwarz. What follows is an article written by former State Senator Dale Shugars, who represented Kalamazoo County from 1994 to 2002. It appeared in the September 11, 2001 Kalamazoo Gazette.


WMU funding needs have fallen on deaf ears

In the too-often divisive world of politics, sometimes a deserving entity does not receive needed support. Western Michigan University is a prime example. The Michigan Higher Education Budget process is steeped in unneeded politics and an incoherent higher education policy. For many years, Western Michigan University has been on the short end of the stick of the state funding process, which results in higher tuition for WMU students and families.

Residents of Southwest Michigan experience the positive impact that the university has on our area every day. With enrollment in the fall semester expected to climb to a record level of over 29,000 students, WMU's success is no secret. Additionally, the university has acted as a dedicated community partner, working together with job providers, neighborhood organizations and political leaders in our region to find new ways to enhance the quality of life.

WMU President Elson Floyd has dedicated a significant amount of time and energy into building strong relations with the state officials in Lansing, yet repeated attempts to improve state support have fallen on deaf ears in Lansing. When measured by per-student funding, Western receives 42 percent less than the other research universities in Michigan. Here is just one example: Wayne State University receives $10,983 per student in state funds while Western Michigan University receives $5,504. Both institutions enroll roughly the same number of students and are similar in scope yet Wayne State University receives twice as much state funding as Western Michigan University.

The House of Representatives in late March passed a version of the Higher Education budget bill giving WMU the highest percentage increase of state universities. Unfortunately, the Senate stripped all of the gains during the House process.

In fact, the Senate subcommittee, chaired by Senator Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek, reduced WMU's recommended increase by nearly half. I am puzzled by the lack of support from my colleague from Battle Creek for a university that has a significant economic and educational presence in his home district. [emphasis mine]

The politics of the higher education budget in Lansing may never go away, and a fair funding mechanism has been elusive for many years. One thing is very clear. WMU has struggled to achieve funding parity, and with one year left as chairman of the Higher Education Senate Subcommittee, Senator Schwarz has one more chance to do the right thing for area families and job providers. It's time for Western Michigan University to receive its fair share.


In other news, I now know how to use a microfilm machine!

What Jane Roe says about Sarah Weddington

On Wednesday, Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who won Roe v. Wade, spoke at Western. I thought that it would be interesting to find out what Jane Roe thinks about Sarah Weddington. Jane Roe's real name is Norma McCorvey. She wrote a book entitled Won by Love: Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, Speaks out for the Unborn as She Shares Her New Conviction for Life. Here are the relevant excerpts:

“As soon as Sarah Weddington had my name on the affidavit, I had served my purpose. She called be back, all right—four months after my child had been born. …
Though Sarah had passed herself off as my friend, in reality, she had used me. …
I was of no use to her unless I was pregnant.” (pg. 29)

“Sarah Weddington and company didn’t want me to shine. I was chosen because they needed someone who would sign the paper and fade into the background, never coming out and always keeping silent.
Ideally, in their minds, I would have just stayed quiet, got on with my life, and quietly suffered, perhaps eventually committing suicide. I would have been much more useful to them … if I had died young. As long as I was alive, I was a danger. I might speak out.” (pg. 33-34)

“Not that Sarah had a problem chasing money when the opportunity presented itself. In 1995 she ran into some controversy of her own when she was chastised for lobbying on behalf of a New England power plant seeking to dump radioactive waste near a largely Hispanic, poor community in West Texas. Sarah [was willing] to throw her principles to the wind for a big payoff.” (pg. 35)

“On many occasions, Sarah Weddington had made it clear that to her I was nothing more than a name in a class-action lawsuit. Jane Roe was all that mattered to Sarah; the real Norma McCorvey was irrelevant.” (pg. 162)

“The truth came out in that interview. Sarah confessed, ‘I don’t care about Norma McCorvey. I care about Jane Roe. Norma McCorvey was just a name on a class-action lawsuit.’” (pg. 194)

“The affidavit did not happen the way I said it did. I lied! Sarah Weddington … needed an extreme case to make their client look pitiable. Rape seemed to be the ticket. What made rape even worse? A gang rape! It all started out as a little lie. …
Sarah knew the truth, the real truth, long before he ever went to the Supreme Court in 1971. Yes, the stated reason for my abortion is based upon a lie, a great lie. So the entire abortion industry is based on a lie. …
Sarah [was] looking for somebody, anybody, to use to further [her] own agenda.” (pg 241-242)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What Honest Liberals Say About Roe v. Wade

Quite apart from the evil that resulted from the Roe v. Wade decision, it was a legal monstrosity. It was simply made up. Trying to follow the "reasoning" in the case leads to the infamous emanations of a penumbra. (It came out of the shadows...) Many liberal legal scholars have admitted that on the merits, Roe was wrongly decided.

Tim Carney has complied a list of liberal criticisms of Roe v. Wade. A few excerpts:

Laurence Tribe — Harvard Law School. Lawyer for Al Gore in 2000.

“One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”

“The Supreme Court, 1972 Term—Foreword: Toward a Model of Roles in the Due Process of Life and Law,” 87 Harvard Law Review 1, 7 (1973).


Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

“Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”

North Carolina Law Review, 1985


Alan Dershowitz — Harvard Law School

Roe v. Wade and Bush v. Gore “represent opposite sides of the same currency of judicial activism in areas more appropriately left to the political processes…. Judges have no special competence, qualifications, or mandate to decide between equally compelling moral claims (as in the abortion controversy)…. [C]lear governing constitutional principles … are not present in either case.”

Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000 (New York: Oxford) 2001, p. 194.

Read it all.

Monday, April 17, 2006

What teachers unions want

People who have not examined the issue may believe that unions exist to promote the best interests of their members. Most of the time, however, the unions promote their own interests and radical political causes at the expense of their own members.

For example, consider the political activities of the National Education Association (NEA). The NEA has passed many resolutions having nothing to do with collective bargaining. The following information comes from the August 2005 Phyllis Schlafly Report.


The summer 2005 NEA convention passed resolutions on the following subjects having nothing to do with education:

Support for a "proposal calling on the NEA to "develop a comprehensive strategy" to deal with the attacks on gay curricula, policies and practices by what the NEA calls "extremist groups" (that's the NEA's term for parents). A delegate who asked for respect for ex-gays was loudly booed, while the delegates cheered the speaker who pronounced that there is no such person as an ex-gay."

a call to boycott Wal-Mart

support for statehood for the District of Columbia

support for affirmative action

opposition to private accounts in Social Security

opposition to capital punishment

support for gun control

support for "single-payer health care" (i.e., government medicine)

endorsement of the International Criminal Court and the UN Declaration on Human Rights

NEA resolutions pertaining to education called for the teaching of global, multicultural, suicide, environmental, and bilingual education.

NEA resolutions endorsed all feminist goals:


Comparable Worth

the Equal Rights Amendment

taking over the baby-sitting of children "from birth through age eight"

The gay lobby's influence extends even over infants, whom the NEA wants to provide with "diversity-based curricula" and "bias-free screening devices."

The NEA continues to call for mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.

The NEA resolutions demand that the public schools assume a bigger role in providing sex instruction, with teachers protected from any interference by parents.

The NEA asserts that it is the right of every child to have freely available information about sex, birth control, diversity of sexual orientation, sexually transmitted diseases, incest, and homophobia.

The NEA delegates want to ban homeschooling (unless parents are government-approved teachers).

The NEA also demanded that the homeschool curriculum be approved by the state department of education.

The NEA resolved that "homeschooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools."


It is clear that the NEA is a radical left-wing organization. Of course, the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are not the same organization. However, the fact that they have similar political agendas can be inferred from the fact that the leaderships of the two unions tried to merge a few years back. (The merger was approved by AFT members but shot down by NEA members, apparently thanks to turf battles.) The millions of Americans who have been forced to join teachers unions are being used to force liberalism on America.

Grad assistants to vote on unionization

WMU's graduate assistants, who teach many of the lower level classes at Western, particularly in the Math and English departments, will vote on whether to unionize. This follows a successful effort to obtain signatures from a majority of grad assistants authorizing a vote.

According to an email from WMU Provost Linda DeLene, the election will take place April 19-20, 12-3 and 4-6PM in room 201 of the Bernhard Center. Grad assistants will cast a secret ballot and will have a choice between "Teaching Assistants Union/AFT" and No Union.

If a majority votes for the union, it will control the negotiation of salary and benefits for WMU grad assistants. If a majority of grad assistants vote to unionize, the rest will be forced to abide by its decisions regarding negotiations whether they want to or not.

Several complaints have led to this vote. One is that grad assistants at Western are paid less than at some other government universities. Another is that health care costs are rising. Another is that a recent change in the way assistantships are calculated will lead to higher tax bills for grad assistants. Finally, some students were upset by an aborted attempt by the university to increase the number of credit hours that grad students had to take per semester.

Union dues have not been determined at this time, but would likely be between 1 and 2 percent of grad assistant salaries. This translates to $100 to $300. Grad assistants would not necessarily be required to join the union, but they would be forced to pay a "service fee" which would be almost as much as union dues.

The prospective union would be called the Teaching Assistants Union (TAU). It would be affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The AFT, in turn, is affiliated with the massive labor conglomeration the AFL/CIO.

The AFT and AFL/CIO are well-known as far left organizations. The AFL/CIO contributes many millions of its members dollars to political campaigns. (Its members probably think that the money is used for collective bargaining.) Almost all of this money goes to Democrats. In addition, it supports particular candidates in primary elections. For example, unions supported David Bonior over Jennifer Granholm in the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Its members' money is used whether or not they support or oppose the candidates in question.

The AFL/CIO is controlled by far left-wing activists. It has taken positions on many issues that have nothing to do with collective bargaining. This is also true of the National Education Association (NEA), a distinct but similar teachers union.

Based on my impressions of the opinions of graduate assistants, the unionization vote is likely to be successful.

You can view the manifesto of the Teaching Assistants Union here.

For more information on unionism see the websites of National Right to Work Foundation, National Right to Work Committee, Stop Union Political Abuse and Eagle Forum.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

POLITICAL UPDATE--Money and Government

As the tax deadline looms, government continues to debase our money and take away our freedom.

Ron Paul writes that government engages in counterfeiting to hide debt.
Ron Paul then writes that government debt is a scandal.
Rep. Paul further writes that the federal budget is a disaster.
Walter Williams explains that lobbying scandals are caused by government power.
Thomas Sowell writes that entitlement programs are bankrupting America.

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

On the attack

A number of items are worthy of your attention.

1. You must check out The Republican Attack Machine. A female firebrand conservative at Vanderbilt University took a stupid assignment in her sculpture class to make a chair that reflected her personality and created a masterpiece. Check out more pictures of her and the chair. We may have a rival for the title of best college republican group in the country.

2. The title of Ann Coulter's newest book has been revealed. It is Godless: The Church of Liberalism. It will be released on June 6, 2006. Apparently, Coulter argues that liberalism is a religion. This is very interesting since I have thought of this analogy for a while. I'm not sure that it is sufficient to describe the fundamental nature of liberalism, though. In any case, I'm very interested to hear what she has to say.

For what it's worth, I like her original title, which she told us at dinner, better. That was Mark of the Beast.

3. Following on the heels of Dan Roth's prophetic call, Mac Johnson of Human Events has called for conservatives to buy stuff on Mayday. It's very interesting to see that illegal aliens have chosen Mayday, a communist holiday, to launch a boycott. That says a lot about their real motivations.

4. Steve K notes that a liberal scientist has advocated a worldwide plague. Liberals really do want you dead.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Larry DeShazor

Larry DeShazor, the guy who is challenging State Rep. Jack Hoogendyk in the Republican primary is claiming that Jack broke into his house.

From the Gazette article:

Larry DeShazor is wondering why state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk entered his home without his permission, [who says the Gazette is biased?] while the two-term lawmaker says he stopped by DeShazor's house as part of his constituent outreach in the neighborhood.

DeShazor, who has served on the Portage City Council since 2002, plans to challenge Hoogendyk in the Republican primary in August. Hoogendyk represents the 61st District, which includes Portage, Parchment and several townships.

``Jack (Hoogendyk) was standing in the middle of my house, and I just want to know why he was there,'' DeShazor said of the encounter that occurred about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. ``I did not give him permission to come in or invite him.''

The idea that Jack Hoogendyk would break into Larry DeShazor's house is beyond ridiculous. The allegation that he did so to give him campaign material is so absurd that it defies belief.

The article ends: "DeShazor said he still has many questions.

``It's hard to describe the emotion,'' he said. ``Just think about it. There's someone in your house.''"

This appears to be a bid for attention. DeShazor needs media attention somehow. It would seem that he is trying to play up this incident.

It still isn't entirely clear why DeShazor is running. His campaign literature so far does not contain one word about his position on any issue. In contrast, Jack's campaign literature (which the piece in question was not) makes clear the principled stands that he has taken.

It is with good reason that the WMU College Republicans have endorsed Jack Hoogendyk. If I wasn't motivated to work for Jack before, I certainly am now.

Taxpayers Association revived

The Kalamazoo County Taxpayers Association has been revived after several months of dormancy. It was shut down after its founder, former Kalamazoo County Commissioner Ray Wilson resigned due to fatigue.

Taking over the group is 22 year old legislative aide Isaac Morehouse:

"Morehouse, a staff member for state Rep. Leon Drolet, R-Macomb County, was raised in Kalamazoo and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Western Michigan University in 2003. He's also worked for Republican state Reps. Scott Hummel and Fulton Sheen.

``I've always been interested in politics,'' Morehouse said, noting that his interest in the taxpayer's association is an outgrowth of that. ``They believe in what I firmly believe in -- less government, lower taxes and more personal freedom.''"

If you do the math, you'll see that Morehouse graduated from Western at age 19. He was home-schooled.

The taxpayers association is a great group. They have helped to defeat many attempted tax increases in this county. Most recently, they killed the overblown justice facilities millage proposal. Before that, they defeated many government school millage requests.

The KCTA is on the front lines of the fight for limited government. They have saved the taxpayers of Kalamazoo County millions of dollars. Much of their work has been made possible by the Headlee amendment, which requires that local tax increases be submitted to the voters for approval.

There are more potential tax increases on the horizon, including in the Kalamazoo government school district. The website of the KCTA ( has not yet been updated to reflect the change.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ann Coulter can do math!

Human Events just put together a list of the top ten stupidest questions asked at college campus lectures. I particularly liked number 3:

"How could people contribute $20 when the average was $50?" -- Anonymous student at a lecture given by HUMAN EVENTS Legal Affairs Correspondent Ann Coulter on November 21, 2002 at Roger Williams University.

Coulter's answer: "Well, some gave $100, some gave $10, some gave $20, what you do is add them up and divide by the number of contributors, that is how you get an average."

I guess if students don't learn math in the classroom, at least they can learn it at a Coulter lecture!

We could put together a list of similar questions just at Western. Here are a few of the ones that I remember.

I'll never forget the German lady's five minute long speech at Ward Connerly's lecture. I don't remember any of what she said, just that it went on and on. She asked a similarly long question at Dinesh D'Souza, to which he replied "I'm like the mosquito at the nudist camp; I don't know where to start."

Ann Coulter's speech brought out stupid questions in record numbers:

"Why don't you encourage College Republicans to join the military?"

"How can you attack liberals when John Locke was a liberal?"

"Do you have stairs in your house?"

What other questions deserve to go on our list?

Most harmful government programs

Human Events recently conducted its fourth annual survey of conservative leaders to determine what they believe is the most harmful government program. The results of the survey are here. The process is explained here. Here are the results:

1. Social Security
2. Medicare
3. Income Tax Withholding
4. McCain-Feingold (campaign finance reform)
5. Contraceptive funding
5. Farm Subsidies
7. Medicaid
8. Affirmative Action
9. Earmarking
9. Davis Bacon Act

One thing that I dislike about this process is that it unclear whether the programs are being judged relative to their size. It seems like they are now, but that wasn't the case three years ago, when the Legal Services Corporation won.

I don't see too much to disagree with on this list. I would have liked to see United Nations dues and the Federal Reserve make the top ten, though.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Rich White Boys, Liberal Profesors, and the Media

In the past few weeks, the Duke University Men’s Lacrosse has been under fire for allegedly raping a stripper at a team party. The allegations have (as yet) no proof – the only evidence is that the allegation of rape exists. (On Tuesday, Durham area police released findings that there is no DNA evidence supporting the stripper’s claim.)

Rather than stand behind their students, several Duke professors have very openly assumed that the team was guilty and berated them in the news for their actions. The team’s season has been cancelled, their coach has resigned, and the players have been alienated by much of the university community. The national media has taken to this story like Ted Kennedy to scotch and now everyone in America knows that these boys must be guilty.

The last time that I checked, judges and juries declare people guilty, and only after that guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Unless there is some evidence that has yet to exposed, the players are innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is an interesting occasion to bring forward an interesting view on rape:

“In a patriarchal society all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give consent.” – Catharine MacKinnon (author of “Sexual Harassment of Working Women”)

However, it seems the Dukies didn’t even have sex with her, so, even MacKinnon cannot allege rape here, yes? Well, perhaps, as Daphne Patai (author of “Heterophobia”) said on the subject of being accused of sexual harassment in the workplace: “I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’ ‘Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?’ Those are good questions.”

This story is about more than just a bunch of rich white lacrosse players being accused of rape by a stripper. Three strippers were brought to the party – none of the stories they have told to reporters about the night line up – but all of the strippers are African-American. (The only black player on the Duke team is the goalie – the other 46 players are white.)

In summary, a black stripper accused a handful of rich white lacrosse playing college students of rape. Rather than wait for any evidence, the media, the Duke community, and many others assumed guilt. Clearly this situation has a great deal to do with "racial issues," however, the issue is the media taking what seems to me to be a fairly racist stand against a group of white people.

(Note: I am not in favor of the practice of inviting strippers to a party where drinking is taking place – I’m not defending that decision. I’m not even saying that the players are innocent of rape – only that the evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.)

Another opinion on the subject from a similar perspective

A good run-down of what is proven and what is unproven on this story

Monday, April 10, 2006

Just a thought I had

I was thinking about Michigan's campaign today and something I found interesting came to mind. During the past few years, we've seen plenty of Michigan jobs head to other countries. It's quite the irony that Michigan's governor during this time is FROM another country.
I just thought it might provide why maybe Granholm doesn't seem to care that much about Michigan's job loss.

Scalping the Pioneers

One of the big ways in which liberals are trying to improve the lot of mankind these days is to tear down a statue in Bronson Park. The statue, entitled "The Fountain of the Pioneers," depicts an Indian bowing before a Pioneer. (See a picture here.) So far, the debate has gone roughly as follows:

Point: The statue depicts the oppression of the noble native American by the evil white colonialists, so it should be torn down.
Counterpoint: The statue depicts the oppression of the noble native American by the evil white colonialists, so it should maintained as an eternal monument to how horrible America is.

Everyone seems to think that the statue depicts something horrible. Am I the only person who is glad that the Pioneers won?

I, for one, am glad that America was settled. Can anyone seriously defend the notion that the Pioneers shouldn't have won?

Yes, I know, some bad things happened to the Indians, blah, blah, blah. The Indians did some bad things, too. Bad things always happen, particularly in wars. That doesn't change the fact that the Pioneers were in the right.

Western civilization is culturally superior to what it replaced. What? How dare I insult the native peoples! Doesn't multiculturalism say that all cultures are equally valid? Well, they aren't. Cultures that have practices such as slavery, cannibalism, bride-burning, child sacrifice, genital mutilation, etc. are, all else being equal, worse than those that don't.

The Indians had a stone-age society. They hadn't even invented the wheel. (That might have something to do with why they lost.) Western Civilization has given us cars, computers, houses, books, indoor plumbing, and advanced education.

Even assuming that there is no moral difference between the two, we can deduce the superiority of Western Civilization based on the fact that none of the people who advocate tearing down the statue actually live like Indians. Their actions prove the superiority of Western Civilization even if they won't admit it.

It seems that after combing through the ten million works of "art" occupying space on our nation's public lands, liberals have found the one statue that is pro-America. Naturally, they want to tear it down. When conservatives objected to taxpayer funding for the desecration of crosses and pictures of the virgin Mary, liberals cried that we were horrible "censors" trying to silence ideas that we don't like. Now, who are the censors?

Make no mistake. Liberals object to this statue specifically because it says that it is good that America exists. If this doesn't prove to you that liberals hate America, nothing will.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

POLITICAL UPDATE--National Security

This POLITICAL UPDATE focuses on national security. While the debate over immigration continues, there are many other threats that we must be aware of.

Richard Miniter explains the threat posed by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, which can wipe out all electronics.
Marvin Olasky reminds us of the threat of nuclear terrorism.
William Jasper exposes the fact that communist China will screen for nukes at our ports.
James Plummer explains the threat to our sovereignty posed by the Cybercrime treaty.
Gawain Towler describes the problems with the European Galileo system.

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Friday, April 07, 2006

News around campus

A few short items from around campus:

1. Congratulations to Amanda Grove and Andrew Hooley for their smashing victory in the WSA elections. They won a majority in a three-way race. After a baseless challenge, the results were made official at the last meeting.

2. Just when I was starting to think that the Western Herald is staffed entirely by fools, I read an interesting column in Thursday's edition. Andrew VanSingel makes the point that increasing government subsidies for colleges may have the unintended effect of increasing the cost of college. He writes:

"The theory behind this is: If a community college’s yearly tuition is $2,000, and the individual stands to take a $1,500 tax reduction from the cost of tuition, the community college could raise tuition by 50 percent (to $3,000) and the student would still be better off than before the policy, with a net cost of $1,500 for tuition, $500 cheaper than the original amount."

He points out that tuition has doubled in the past nine years:

"Check the history — tuition at WMU in 1997 was $98.75 per credit hour for freshman and sophomores. The same student would pay a base rate of $194.18 per credit hour last year, an annual increase around 8 percent over the last nine years — of course, this may vary a little due to the flat rate."

There's some nonsense in there about tax cuts for the rich, but the overall point is still a good one. This is why understanding economics is so important. Deducing this outcome is easy if you understand a few basic principles. The supply of college education is relatively fixed. If government subsidizes it, demand will increase. If demand increases, then price will increase.

Of course, anyone who votes to limit government college subsidies will be attacked as against education.

3. Apparently BAMN held an event tonight on campus. It's interesting that liberals are perfectly willing to tolerate, if not support, a communist group. Communists, you will recall, murdered more than 100 million people. Communism as such has gone out of fashion, but the mindset of liberals is the same now as when they defended Alger Hiss, if not worse.

4. The WMU College Republicans just held an election for our executive board for next year. You can view the results on our news page. Congratulations to Tom Barrett for being elected Chairman, and to the rest of the winners. These are the people who will be giving liberals and the administration migranes over the next year.

The coalition for higher tuition

Liberals on campus are demanding that Western pay higher prices for labor. The "Living Wage Campaign Coalition" staged a protest march to the administration building. They demanded that Western pay higher wages to janitors.

Here's a question for you. Suppose that you want to buy something. Would you choose to:
a. pay a low price
b. pay a high price
Liberals would choose the high price. At least, if they can make you pay it. The LWCC ought to be called the coalition for higher tuition.

Once they got to the administration building, they taped a check for $7 to the wall. Then, (I'm not making this up) they had a dance party in the administration building.

They were kicked out by the police.

No word on whether they had puppet shows, drums, masks, burnings in effigy, or any other standards of liberal protests.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Anyone up for a Capitalist Day?

As the illegal immigrant debate continues, so do the actions of the anti-American far-left. This morning I was watching clips from the O'Reilly Factor on They had a guy on who's behinda massive May 1 boycott. This boycott calls for everyone to not to go to work, school, or do any business during that day. Well I look at this as a prime opportunity to show them how much we want the illegal immigration to stop by going to work, school, and do business. So I'm calling for a Capitalist Day on May 1 (I would call it America First Day, but we've already got one of those). On May 1, I urge my fellow conservatives to make a point to do some sort of business. How great would it be that on this day of a nation-wide boycott we see retail sales that rival those of the Christmas season? So I ask that everyone goes to a store like Meijer or Best Buy and buy something. It could be something as simple as a candy bar or as big as a house.

America is under attack

We heard news last week of massive protests against the immigration security bill currently being debated in Congress. The liberal media has been all too eager to hide the real meaning of these protests. These were not protests for civil rights, or equal treatment, or for integration of immigrants into the American mainstream. These were anti-American protests.

America is under attack. If you doubt me, examine these pictures from Michelle Malkin's blog:
A. J. has already written about the Mexican flag being raised over the American flag at one school and the banning of American flags at another.

These protests are one more step in a slow-motion invasion of this country. The illegal aliens are essentially saying that they will refuse to follow our laws, respect our flag, assimilate to our culture. To a significant extent, this movement appears to be based on racial identity ("La Raza," MECHA, "brown is beautiful," etc.).

Many of the protestors seem to be driven by a sense of historical grievance based on a myth. Specifically, that the Southwest was really Mexican land and it was stolen by America. In reality, that land was only part of Mexico for a few decades. There were only a few thousand Mexicans in most of that land. The only reason that that land was part of Mexico at all is because it was colonized by Spain, and that's how far they got. When Spain gave up Mexico, the Southwest went along for the ride. Aside from a few Indians, the Southwest was essentially vacant until it was settled by Americans.

Can anyone seriously argue that the Southwest would have been better off if it had stayed with Mexico? If Mexico is so great, why do so many Mexicans want to come here?

The problems with illegal immigration fall into three categories: national security, economics, and culture. As big as economics and national security are, I believe that culture is ultimately the most important. Any society is ultimately the way that it is because of the people who comprise it. Mexico is the way it is because Mexicans make it that way. If the Southwest is populated by Mexicans, it will become like Mexico. Is that what we want?

These protests are another example of the importance of culture. Because culture is subconscious, the bad can and all-too-often does drive out the good.

Who is behind these attacks? They are being sponsored and encouraged by the Mexican government, which regularly commits military aggression against America. In addition, they have been supported by a number of left-wing groups. In addition, many of our elites believe in transnationalism, alternately designated internationalism or post-Americanism. This belief encourages tearing down our borders and national identity to make us "one with the world."

There is much more at stake here than simply who gets which jobs or which benefits. If we lose this American culture, we lose America.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Delay to retire

Congressman Tom Delay, the former House Majority Leader, has announced that he will retire from Congress. I have mixed feelings about this, but overall I think it is for the best.

On the plus side, Delay was clearly the most conservative member of the House leadership. He helped to make sure that the assault weapons ban was not renewed, and he helped to advance other conservative causes.

Delay has been indicted on completely bogus charges by partisan Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle. Some of these charges have already been thrown out, and the others appear to be equally baseless. They allege a highly technical violation of campaign finance law.

However, there are also questions regarding Delay's involvement with corrupt lobbyist extrordinaire Jack Abramoff. While it is unclear exactly what Delay might have done, this appears to be a more substantive issue. It remains to be seen whether Delay's retirement is outracing some new revelation, or just based on concern about his chances of victory, as he has said.

What I find really unconscionable about Delay is what he did to former Rep. Nick Smith, who represented Michigan's 7th district. When Delay was trying to round up votes for the despicable prescription drug entitlement, he offered what was in essence a bribe to obtain Smith's vote. Specifically, he offered to help funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign of Brad Smith, Nick Smith's son, who was running to succeed his retiring father. Otherwise, he threatened to make Brad Smith lose. Nick Smith did the right thing and voted against the prescription drug bill. The Chamber of Commerce then endorsed the underwhelming Clark Bisbee, funneling him donations that might otherwise have gone to Brad Smith. Both Smith and Bisbee lost, and liberal republican Joe Schwarz won the primary with a measly 28% of the vote.

Other random thoughts: I hope the GOP nominates ultraconservative former congressman Steve Stockman to succeed Delay.

I wonder what the chances are that Bob Ney, the other Abramoff-tainted congressman, will be on the ballot in November?

Sunday, April 02, 2006


This POLITICAL UPDATE focuses on immigration. The battle to protect our nation from disintegration continues. Mobs have flooded the streets demanding the downfall of America.

Phyllis Schlafly reports on the war in Texas.
Mac Johnson writes that illegals are just "mobbing the streets that Americans won't mob."
Terry Jeffrey reports that John McCain and Hillary support illegal immigration.
Michelle Malkin describes the anti-Americanism of illegal alien protestors.
Mark Krikorian debunks the fallacy of guest-worker programs.
Thomas Sowell shreds the notion of "jobs that Americans won't do."
Jeff Emanuel writes that the Georgia legislature is fighting illegal immigration.

Check out previous POLITICAL UPDATES on immigration from February, December, and November.

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

MCRI on the ballot

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative is finally, officially, on the ballot after the State Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge to the measure. The group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), a front for the communist splinter group Revolutionary Workers League (more on that another time) which has led opposition to the measure.

I don't know why they bothered, given that Michigan has the best state Supreme Court in the country (thank you, John Engler). They aren't about to put up with the sort of nonsense that BAMN tries to pull.

You can find more information on the initiative at the site:

Everything bad about government with none of the power

After having spent a year as a senator in Western's student government, the Western Student Association (WSA), this article adequately summarizes my views on student government. The author, a student at Texas A & M, writes:

"Where did people get the stupid idea that, since there are a bunch of students on campus, they ought to elect a president? Maybe they got it from Hobbes, but I doubt many are able to read at that level. Of course, to the government there is great benefit to the existence of such silliness. It gets students used to the idea that all identifiable groups need a Great Leader. The ludicrous nature of the campaign process makes it perfect training for those interested in a career in Parasite Service. I spoke to some of those very interested in the race, and asked them why the heck a bunch of students needed a President. Even most of their standard reasons for having governments didn’t apply here. After all, the Student Body President does not maintain law and order, nor does he order the invasion of neighboring schools or countries. They concurred with what I expected – the students need a President to direct the wise use of the mandatory student fees. Not enough money is paid by this fee to simply fund anyone who wants to do a fun activity, so we need someone to decide what the most fun project is and direct money to that."

He also critiques the idea of mandatory student fees:

"Wouldn’t we eliminate the need for such a Wise Leader if we just let students spend money on what they wanted to do? Might this not save me a lot of annoyance for 2 weeks per year, plus also increase total funness (if such is a goal anyway?) No, say our illiterate teachers, this would be too expensive. It boggles the mind that people can believe that spending money on your actual activities is more expensive than pooling all this money, devoting large chunks of it to funding a meaningless election, and then holding regular meetings to decide what to fund. What they mean, of course, is that the private-property idea would be too expensive for them, the people who enjoy partaking of many campus activities. It would not be more expensive to those who prefer things like going to class and working. The present system allows them to live like parasites on the rest of us. If we complain, they respond that it’s our own fault – we should take advantage of those activities too!"

He concludes: "First, ‘student government’ can be taken two ways. Not only does it govern the students, but it also trains future governors. So, if you want to know who your future enemies will be at any campus, look to the student government."

I've said before that student government displays everything that is wrong with real government, except that it has no power. I think the past year in the WSA proves me right.

I'll conclude with an ironic note. The outgoing WSA President is a purported libertarian who I have it on good authority reads the libertarian website ( in which this piece appeared.