15 YEARS AGO
"Ashcroft's immediate response to the 9/11 attacks was to sink into a dark Orwellian morass of secret detentions, warrantless wiretaps, and eavesdropping on lawyers."
"John Ashcroft's Power Grab"
"Havana is famously seething with Cubans trying to pump dollars from tourists. Walk through the central city as a blond man in a white T-shirt, and you'll spend your days hearing the hissing 'kss-kss!' sound of people trying to grab your attention. It isn't all about money scams, cheap cigars, and prostitutes. Just as often—maybe more often—the approaching strangers and instant friends just want to talk, to practice their foreign languages, to pepper you with questions about the outside world."
20 YEARS AGO
"Personally, I don't care whether the 'cyber-rich' give away their millions (unless, of course, they give them to REASON). Through their own good work, they've already contributed enormously to the betterment of human life. They do, however, have a 'social responsibility' to take their money seriously: to resist suggestions that they should rush to give it away without considering the effects on the very freedoms that have made them prosper."
"How Green Is the Valley?"
"The threats are everywhere, we are told: If children are not hounded by ritual satanic child abusers at day care or by perverts on the Internet, then they're sucking in too much asbestos at school, or chewing on too much lead at home; if television, purportedly the babysitter of choice in the overwhelming majority of American homes, hasn't transformed kids into underperforming, slackjawed dullards, it has overstimulated them into feral children who must be tamed with Ritalin and Prozac; if we haven't failed the kids by not spending unlimited amounts of tax money on them, then we have transformed them into shallow consumers who can only measure affection in terms of dollars spent; if they're not at elevated risks of brain cancer from -eating hot dogs, then they're likely to become punch-drunk from heading soccer balls; and on and on."
"Child-Proofing the World"
30 YEARS AGO
"The great myth of ideological crusades is to assume that once you exorcise the devil, there won't be another devil popping up. Once the Soviet Union is removed, there will be some other power, some other system, that you will find just as flagrant and just as egregious."
"The Reagan Doctrine"
"A university is a haven for free inquiry where ideas—including unpopular or controversial ones—can be discussed freely and peacefully, where the pursuit of knowledge is the highest value. That's what I expected, anyway, when I enrolled as a journalism student at California State University, Northridge. I am sad to report that…the marketplace of ideas is heavily regulated in order to promote 'sensitivity' to minority groups."
35 YEARS AGO
"The real solution to California's water problems—and the only one that is ever going to work in the long run—is to begin treating water like any other good, allowing it to be bought and sold in the marketplace. As Garrett Hardin finally concluded, 'The tragedy of the commons…is averted by private property, or something formally like it.' Someone must claim ownership to water and market it in order to maximize both rents and profits. Otherwise, it will simply remain in a political taffy-pull, with everyone claiming inalienable 'rights' and 'needs' and the government frantically running around trying to fulfill its self-assumed responsibilities, until there are no resources left to be had."
"Billions Down the Drain"
"What disheartened me is the way the social welfare system set up in Sweden has affected the moral behavior itself of the Swedish people. I am led to the conclusion that social welfare provisions…engender misuse."
"Cynics and Cheats"
Photo Credit: Sandra Higashi