20 Years Ago May 1999
"Earth Day is a designer holiday crafted to dramatize the ascendancy of style over substance, a feel-good feast enabling sentimentalists to live out the ultimate power fantasy: patronizing an entire planet. Nobody has calculated the cost of Earth Day in terms of wasted resources, but during the nearly 30 years since its founding, this foolish fête has surely racked up billions."
"In 1999, Washington discovered the politics of the insane. President Bill Clinton, fresh from procedural exoneration in a dismal impeachment trial, was credibly accused of having brutally raped a woman 21 years earlier. Then, nothing happened."
Charles Paul Freund
"The President in the Attic"
"It's the public policy version of one-stop shopping. Those who manufacture the problem sell you their solution. When a policy flops—hey, who better to peddle the next sure-fire fix? The marketing campaign is impressive and well-established: congressional hearings, press conferences, cable talk shows, the televised speech on C-SPAN."
Thomas Winslow Hazlett
30 Years Ago May 1989
"When the vice president of the United States argues for Stealth weapons technology because he reads about it in a Tom Clancy novel, when television preachers lose their pulpits in sex scandals straight out of a Jackie Collins miniseries, when Spiderman gets married before 55,000 people at Shea Stadium, and when Americans take their drinking-and-driving advice from a dog named Spuds, we can only come to one conclusion: the boundary between fact and fiction has been breached!"
T. Keating Holland
"Modern Living: The Movie"
45 Years Ago May 1974
"The minute the very idea of decriminalizing crimes without victims rears its head, the conservative 'movement' falls into pieces, one side, mine, taking a strict libertarian line, the other retreating to the collectivist fold: let us have government enforce morality, by all means, by any means, some say. Mr. Stanmeyer's forthcoming book should make its case well, as he did in debate with me in Philadelphia. I fear that his view is destined to prevail for some time yet, perhaps for many decades more. It is repugnant to the libertarian mind, but then, the American is no more a libertarian than he is a vegetarian, perhaps less the former than the latter."
"The Individual, the Government, and YAF"
"It is worth noting that, at least since the Renaissance, the frauds and thefts of monetary history have been interwoven with a new element: lunacy. The alchemists of the Middle Ages, for instance, searched in vain for the philosopher's stone that would change lead into gold. The alchemists of today (often known as 'new economists') haven't found the philosopher's stone either—but they have found a substitute: the Keynesian stone. It turns gold into paper. Which is not too bad. Paper, after all, is a worthwhile commodity."
"Gold: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow"
"Why does our government declare it illegal for us to own gold? Is it not because Congress steadily abdicated its functions in favor of the President until in recent years he became sovereign? He alone engages us in wars. Control of money was given by Congress to the Federal Reserve, a bureaucracy held in fief by the sovereign. Constitutionally both war making powers and the regulation of money are Congressional functions. When power is so centralized, it is fought over by power hungry men. From such conflicts emerge men unfit to govern. Instead they steadily restrict our freedoms so that they can rule without restraint. The freedom to own gold is among the first to be lost."
Alden Rice Wells
"The Federal Reserve vs. Sound Money"
50 Years Ago May 1969
"Student terrorists have succeeded in bringing down campus after campus in much the same way that any random collection of gas and dust rushes in to fill a vacuum: by default. For decades, the American university has been in a state of virtual philosophical bankruptcy. Eventually an accounting had to come. And it has, in the form of gun-toting, slogan-chanting leftists who, swooping down on universities like vultures, plan to use the charred remains, the burned-out libraries and lifeless classrooms, as revolutionary staging grounds."
"No One To Stop Them"
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "From the Archives".