Family Values

Orange County Review
12 Oct. 2000

To the editor:

Tamara Jones’s letter in your Oct. 12 issue advises people to vote in the upcoming elections not with regard to “the economy” but with an eye toward supporting the idea of “the family.” I’d like to argue that families often stand or fall because of economic matters, such as the declining wages most Americans are receiving for increased hours at work.

Jones blames smaller paychecks on taxes, but taxes have not read more

Voting for Nader

This letter was printed in an edited form in the USA Today on Oct. 10, 2000.
4 October 2000

To the Editor:

I’m glad to hear Philip Meyer is planning to vote, and hope he votes for the candidate I favor. But what are we supposed to make of his list of reasons not to bother voting? He suggests that people do not vote because they are content. No doubt, there are some of these. But I know a lot of people who do not vote because they don’t see a candidate they like and are disgusted read more

Supermaxes

The Washington Post reported Oct. 3, 2000, that people locked up in a supermax prison in Virginia were complaining of excessive force, including the use of guns, stun guns, and restraints. But why are such things “excessive”? If you are going to lock people in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and treat them as worthless, it is unavoidable that they are going to lose their minds and attack you and pelt you with feces and urine. This experiment of isolating people was run nearly read more

WWII Memorial

Bob Dole wants a WWII memorial built on the Mall in the next three or four years, or else, he fears, no WWII veterans will be around to see it.

Well, if the idea is to have a memorial for WWII veterans to see, I say we build it as fast as physically possible. We won’t use marble, but we could put up a pre-fab memorial constructed with the techniques used in building a Wal-Mart and have it operational by, say, next Thursday. Then – to prove that our failure to honor slaves, Native read more

Military Fat

Gregg Easterbrook’s “The Myth of the Hollow Military” (The New Republic, Sept. 11, 2000) is, if anything, restrained in its rejection of the myth of a weak U.S. military. Easterbrook does do a good job of pointing out that the military would have even more money if it didn’t waste so much – an idea familiar to many conservatives in the area of education – where, however, there isn’t much waste. How often have we heard “Money can’t fix our read more

Fight Communism With Sprawl

The biggest threat to continue promoting sprawl — or at least the sprawl-promoting force I find most bewildering and difficult to imagine a remedy for — is also what makes sprawl so much worse in the United States than anywhere else. I don’t have in mind the geography of North America or American “individualism” exactly, not in any general form that could be said to have existed for centuries. The main problem, I suspect, is — and I know I’m writing read more

The Science of Bidness

Four weeks ago I wrote:

For the past month I’ve had a job writing for two newsletters at a company based in Washington, D.C., one newsletter for union leaders and one for management. I’m the third person on two three-person staffs. The other writers/editors write for one newsletter or the other. I switch back and forth. When I write for unions I almost enjoy it. There’s not much original reporting involved, not much of a challenge, mostly re-working other people’s read more

Verizon

Walking through downtown D.C. in recent weeks, it was hard to miss the Verizon workers picketing in front of the building they worked in before going on strike for decent pay and a decent chance at keeping their union alive in newly developed parts of the newly re-named company. The banner that hung from a window promoting this glorious company seemed a little ludicrous in light of the marching and chanting going on beneath and the long string of cars honking in support as they passed.

But it read more

Lieberman

Back when the press was smart enough to take the governing of a nation more seriously than the sexual adventures of an elected representative, the public would have really cared had it been informed of some of those adventures. Now the public is smarter and the press dumber, only the public can’t seem to grab the microphone away.

So we diverted millions of dollars and all kinds of political energy to the analysis of a few blowjobs. The blowjobee was condemned for lying about the blowjobs read more

Hartland

Imagine a community where people of all ages, nationalities and genders, can come for short stays and enjoy friendship and relaxation — a place that teaches love and kindness, encourages a strictly vegan diet, and demonstrates healthy ways of cooking and exercising. In this place troubled people develop confidence and wisdom while enjoying all sorts of massages, therapies and exercises. They learn to care for their bodies and to care for other people. They are exposed to the ideas of read more