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Absurdity Then, Absurdity Now

There’s a famous quip by one English intellectual about another. “Oh, you know what so-and-so’s idea of a tragedy is: A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact.” Well, don’t I know it. I wrote a column, recently, for Townhall.com, entitled “The Buxom Bailout Babes of the Umpteenth Brumaire.” In

Don’t Outlaw the First Amendment

Should Doug Guetzloe go to jail for speaking his mind? I say No. That’s not State Attorney Lawson Lamar’s answer. Lamar tried to imprison Guetzloe for 14 years. In 2006, Doug Guetzloe distributed a flyer about mayoral candidate David Strong to Winter Park, Florida, residents. It pertained to an embarrassing

More than a Breach of Professional Ethics?

The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority has a mission, to provide “Public Television For All of Oklahoma.” And its top-listed production is news. And yet when the non-profit organization I work with, the Citizens in Charge Foundation, sent out a press release to OETA — that’s the outfit’s acronym — OETA

The Oklahoma Three, Free at Last

It seemed hardly necessary. The handcuffs and leg-irons, I mean. I wasn’t a threat to anybody. Neither were Rick Carpenter and Susan Johnson. We had been charged with “conspiracy to defraud the state of Oklahoma” for our work to put a spending cap on the ballot. The metal constraints were

Annoyed by Anti-Annoyance Law

I’m annoyed by a new law passed in the Michigan town of Brighton City. According to the ordinance, police may fine anyone who is too annoying in public. Up to $500. The ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for a person to engage in a course of conduct or repeatedly

Feeling Sorry for Oklahoma?

I’m beginning to feel sorry for Oklahoma. That may seem a little strange to regular readers. They know that Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is prosecuting me, along with two other activists, for work on a 2005 petition drive to cap state spending. He’s trying to throw us in prison

An Unfair Doctrine

What is the “Fairness Doctrine”? And would it be fair to bring it back? The Fairness Doctrine is a kind of assault on broadcast speech that has not been enforced since the 1980s. It compelled broadcasters to give so-called “equal time” to the so-called “opposing viewpoint” . . . as

Florida Anti-Speech Tyranny

The Broward Coalition of Condominiums, Homeowners Associations and Community Organizations, Inc., regularly puts out newsletters. No surprise. Lots of organizations do. This Florida organization, though, does something more. Its newsletters regularly feature political subjects. Nothing shocking about that, either. This is America, right? Well, yes. But the First Amendment has

Shocker: Criminal Web Links!

Aliens take over government! Soviets control U.S. weather! Ancient Mayan temple has Sandisk flash drive! If you’ve ever been to a supermarket, you’ve seen these and other ludicrous mile-high headlines blaring from the newsstands. Here’s another impossible headline that might issue from the pen of any zany, unscrupulous tabloid fabulist:

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson?

Can you get arrested for celebrating Jefferson’s birthday? I’ve just received an alert from Jason Talley, the former publisher of Bureaucrash.com. Jason remains active trying to get people to think about freedom. He’s made a lot of noise . . . by being silent. His most recent effort seemed innocuous

I&R’s Great Track Record

Do citizen initiative rights give voters or give special interests “too much” power to pass bad laws? Sure, bad initiatives sometimes pass. But as Eric Dixon points out at the Show-Me Institute blog, our intermittently esteemed representatives do not religiously avoid passing bad bills. Lawmakers enact lousy laws galore. Dixon

Canada’s Kangaroo Court

Hurray for the new media. Two years ago, Ezra Levant edited a magazine that reported on the bitter controversy over cartoons featuring the prophet Muhammed. The cartoons first appeared in a Danish newspaper. Levant reprinted them. The reprint angered a Muslim living in Canada. So he complained to Alberta’s so-called

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