L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 118, April 23, 2001
Just Another Thursday Past
Send to TLE@johntaylor.org
CAN SOME FREEDOM "SURVIVE" AS OTHER FREEDOMS PERISH?
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said on Tuesday he will try to accommodate Oklahoma City bombing victims who want to watch the execution of Timothy McVeigh on closed-circuit television, but a decision will not be made until later this week. ...
"Freedom will always survive terrorism when justice is sure. We serve justice when we respect each other and we restore freedom," Ashcroft said.
The attorney general said he had not decided whether McVeigh would be allowed to speak to reporters as his execution neared, but that he did not want to give "this convicted murderer" a forum for his right-wing political views. ...
"We want the closed circuit to be here and we want to see Tim McVeigh die," said Dan McKinney, whose wife Linda was a Secret Service agent killed in the blast.
"For me, it's going to be the end of the chapter of Tim McVeigh controlling my life. April used to be a beautiful month, but for six years it's been hard on me. I cry 15 times a day," he said tearfully.
THE JOHN ASHCROFT SPRINGER SHOW:
Timothy McVeigh's execution for the Oklahoma City bombing will be shown on closed-circuit television to the more than 200 survivors and victims' relatives who want to watch him draw his last breath.
Attorney General John Ashcroft announced his decision Thursday, saying it may help the group "close this chapter on their lives."
"It just pleases me to no end," said Dan McKinney, whose wife, Linda, died in the bombing. "I'm very thankful. I don't know what we would have done if we didn't get to see it."
The U.S. government has not carried out an execution since 1963. McVeigh's lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., on May 16 will also mark the first time it has broadcast an execution.
The broadcast will be shown at a still-undetermined site in Oklahoma City. ...
Those watching the broadcast will be able to see McVeigh on the execution table and hear any final statement he might make.
Some in Oklahoma City wish he did not have that right.
"Anything that he says now is something to try to open our wounds deeper," McKinney said. "It's not going to work. He's done all that he can do to me. After May the 16th, that man can never, ever, to any degree, bother me again." ...
"As an American who cares about our culture, I want to restrict a mass murderer's access to a public podium," Ashcroft said. "As attorney general, I don't want anyone to be able to purchase access to the podium of America with the blood of 168 innocent victims. Please do not help him inject more poison into our culture. He's caused enough senseless damage." ...
Paul Health, a survivor and one of the original petitioners, said he was proud of the government Thursday.
"The Constitution wins again, the same Constitution that Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier planned to destroy when they bombed my city," he said.
BREAD AND CIRCUSES:
... experts are split on whether McVeigh's death will truly bring satisfaction to the more than 200 bombing survivors and relatives who will now see it.
"I would expect that the people still looking for closure aren't going to find it," said Richard Small, a psychologist and grief counselor from Reading, Pa. "But the people who already felt good about him being found guilty may be further satisfied." ...
"In a perverse way, the bombing survivors are actually lucky because they have the opportunity for a kind of closure that very few violent crime victims ever get," [psychologist Laurence] Miller said. "It's one of the few cases where there actually is a beginning, a middle and an end." ...
Miller cautioned, however, that watching the execution could be traumatic. "Even if it's something they want to do, many are going to need some kind of help," he said. ...
"This is becoming a public execution," [Small] said. "Up to now, executions in no way have been a show. But now we're opening something up. If this is a catharsis for these survivors, why not for the rest of the city, the rest of the country. We should be cautious about seeing executions as therapeutic for the victims."
In one case, a government contractor was even given ownership of all the information collected from a Web site, said the congressional report released yesterday.
The scope of the problem hasn't been nailed down. For example, the report said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration hasnīt determined how many Web sites it operates so officials don't know how many might be gathering the information. ...
A GOOD READ!
Is it possible for a nation to go from wide-open freedom for a civil liberty, to near-total destruction of that liberty, in just a few decades? "Yes," warn many American civil libertarians, arguing that allegedly "reasonable" restrictions on civil liberty today will start the nation down "the slippery slope" to severe repression in the future. In response, proponents of today's reasonable restrictions argue that the jeremiads about slippery slopes are unrealistic or even paranoid.
This Essay aims to refine the understanding of slippery slopes by examining a particular nation that did slide all the way down the slippery slope. When the twentieth century began, the right to arms in Great Britain was robust, and subject to virtually no restrictions. As the century closes, the right has been almost obliterated. In studying the destruction of the British right to arms, this Essay draws conclusions about how slippery slopes operate in real life, and about what kinds of conditions increase or decrease the risk that the first steps down a hill will turn into a slide down a slippery slope.
Source: "All The Way Down The Slippery Slope: Gun Prohibition In
England And Some Lessons For Civil Liberties In America"
THE CIRCUS ADDS A NEW ACT
A federal judge will rule Friday whether to allow an online entertainment company to record and broadcast over the Internet the execution of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
The decision will be posted online at http://www.insd.uscourts.gov
Source: Really Really LONG URL
BORN TO BE WILD
A record 1.3 million babies were born out of wedlock in 1999, marking the first time that a full one-third of all U.S. births were to unwed mothers, the federal government said yesterday. ...
The 1999 data also demonstrate that the number of unwed births hasn't declined, despite high hopes associated with the 1996 welfare reform law, which made curbing illegitimacy a primary goal. ...
THUS ENDS ...
Italy, it seems, has a new law which defines web sites, especially those which are periodically updated, as "editorial content," and makes them subject to the laws covering newspapers. What that means, essentially, is that Italian web sites must:
Those interested in the details can see Come mettersi in regola con le norme sulla stampa ("How to comply with the press regulations") on the InterLex site. http://www.interlex.it/tlc/0162_1.htm (The text, strangely enough, is in Italian).
The attitude behind this whole thing, perhaps, is best summarized by this quote from Paolo Serventi Longhi, the secretary of the Federazione nazionale della Stampa (the national journalists' union), as found in Punto Informatico:
Thus ends, at least in Italy, the absurd anarchy which allows anybody to put information online without regulation, controls, or guarantees of a minimal quality or standards to the user of information products...
(Translation by the editor [of LWN]).
Source: http://lwn.net/bigpage.php3 Linux Weekly News April 19, 2001
THEY COULDN'T HIT A PANDA AT THIS DISTANCE!
Police shot and killed at least two people in a dawn raid meant to force destitute residents of a farm village in southern China to pay an agricultural tax, people in neighboring villages said Friday.
Police sealed off Yunxing village in Jiangxi province after the attack by some 600 officers Sunday, said residents interviewed by phone from Beijing.
Villagers who had tried to keep police out by blocking a road with an iron gate fought back with shovels, sticks and other improvised weapons, said a resident of nearby Xidan, who gave only his surname, Wu. He said two people were killed and at least 18 injured. ...
Police vans appeared on the edge of the village early Sunday morning, residents said. Officers fired warning shots in the air, but villagers battled on, some shouting that police "wouldn't dare fire at the people," Wu said.