October, 2000



Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush are pushing through to the finish line in the closest Presidential race since 1976.  Unfortunately, other political parties and so-called parties have not made much of an impact in this election so far.  There is no reasonable scenario from which to dream they will make a lasting impact this year (or anytime soon).  The era of federal arrogance in American history is certain to continue. 

 Beyond debating how voters can be energized to actively support greater freedom in their lives, we serfs need to also look at what the immediate future holds at the federal level: Gore or Bush.

The challenger of sorts, George W. Bush, is certainly the candidate for greater freedom judging from the rhetoric alone.  He supports allowing workers to own 16% of their federally mandated retirement money.  He wants to reinvent federal medicine by allowing more choices to seniors and the poor.  These changes may be piddling, but they certainly are a mild improvement over the present system.

George Bush

Unfortunately, these policies come in a package that is not nearly as attractive overall.  Republican drug warriors are at least as rabid as Clinton and Gore in trampling on privacy and common sense; Bush included.  Bush favors federalizing all commercial and personal injury litigation.  Maybe his greatest policy initiative is to skew the tax code as much as possible in favor of his base constituency.  He wants to pour more mega-billions into the military/industrial complex without a hint of increased accountability at any level, including a self-defeating Star Wars dream.  Bush has no plan to scale back government at any level or to pay off the National Debt.  If a Bush Presidency were to join with a Republican Congress the right wing social agenda would gets its strongest hearing yet in Washington.

The incumbent of sorts, Al Gore, seems to be a moderate fellow, but his rhetoric and his record in office say something quite different.  Even more so than Bill Clinton, Al Gore seems to believe that solutions to all of society’s ills lie with an omnipotent federal government. 




He champions the wasteful and fraud ridden federal entitlement programs seeking to expand their grip on retirement earnings and the practice of medicine.  Gore calls for protecting the monopoly status of the failed public schools while throwing untold billions and billions of federal dollars at schools already proven incapable of effectively teaching their trapped students.  Gore is a big part of the problem in this greatest failure in American society.  The Clinton/Gore administration has also arguably done more to trash the protections within the Bill of Rights than any previous government.  The War on Drugs has become a pretext to allow the feds to rate the suitability of television programming, to secretly enter our homes, to look through private records on a whim and to forcibly disarm the public.  Big Brother is watching us much more now than ever before.  If these trends continue, America can expect the world-wide-web to ultimately become much more of a tool of government repression than a breath of freedom.

The best result from Election 2000 then is a resumption of divided government in Washington.  That way the Republicans can deny the Democrats their hopes for bigger government.



Former Governor and present second term Senator Chuck Robb is the most successful Democratic politician in Virginia.  Former Governor and Congressman George Allen could easily make the same claim to fame from the Republican ranks.


 The November election for a Virginia Senate seat though will be much more than the end of one of these high- powered political careers. It could also make the difference in which political party will be running the Senate for the next two years.


Money is pouring into the Virginia race from everywhere.  The airwaves are full of Robb and Allen already.  Which man will be better suited (or least unsuited) to advancing the cause of freedom?

One is hard pressed to find any policy differences of importance between the two.  Both favor the usual conservative mantra: increased military spending, the death penalty, restrained domestic spending, the Drug War, military hegemony in global affairs, big pork for big business.  Allen has expressly dropped his deeply held view during his days as Governor that federal social spending, especially in primary and secondary education, should be drastically reduced or abolished.  Indeed, Allen is trying to convince the public he is a socialist as much as Robb is trying to convince the public he is not a socialist.  Allen has also dropped his convictions about gun ownership in the face of adverse polls on the issue.  Robb has defended his record for supporting increased taxation as something no longer required.  Robb remains philosophically committed though to a huge role for the federal government in every citizen's life.  Allen is just willing to look the other way while Uncle Sam runs things for all of us.



When there is not a dime's worth of difference on policy grounds should the candidates' character be the decisive difference?  If your answer to that question is yes, this paper suggests you choose the combat Marine who sticks by his mistaken beliefs over the son of celebrity whose sophistry is as flexible as it is hollow.  At least then the voters know what they are getting.  Chuck Robb is no freedom fighter in Washington, but he may become a fail-safe against Republican policies that are even a greater threat to the nation's freedom than his own are.



Tens of thousands of military homes in Hampton Roads grieve this week over the consequences of war.  Seventeen American families bear the ultimate price.  The hole blown into the hull of the USS COLE echoes an eerie warning to the American people: Enter our battles, then expect to become a casualty as well.


Is the price one that is too high to pay?     


USS Cole

Our national leaders say that keeping a dominant Navy force in the Middle East is in our vital strategic interests.  Why is that?  Are Palestinians throwing stones likely to invade New York harbor anytime soon?  Are the corrupt autocrats of the Arabian Peninsula really a threat to our shores?  Indeed, if we did not maintain a bully's presence in the Middle East and elsewhere would not the only reason for terrorism directed at the United States disappear entirely?  The shadow of the Soviet Bear passed long ago.  With it, so did any need to take sides in foreign wars.


The other reason commonly given for our role in the Middle East is, in a word, absurd.  Are we really asking American servicemen to risk death on foreign soil in order to hold down (or up) the price of oil from the Persian Gulf?  Is this the ultimate corporate welfare for foreign despots?  How does violence along with an arms race half a world away serve the American economy anyway?  There must be a less painful way to fuel our Hondas and SUVs.


The unspoken reason for foreign adventures in the Post-Cold War era is "Nation Building".  This could also be called excessive egotism: imperialism: the Ugly American syndrome.  If our beliefs in free markets and free people are so convincing why do we need to rely so much on the force of arms to advance them?  Is the Pentagon mission overseas to save oppressed people from a chosen few dictators?  Or is it to satisfy the ethnic preferences of swing voters?  Neither purpose is legitimate national defense.  Neither could ever justify the loss of a single American life.

Yes, folks.  The price paid this week for the Middle East is one far too high.  It is time the United States let the warring peoples across the globe find their own solutions and their own heroes.



Workers have been contracted finally to eradicate the amoebae-like, greenish, blackish slime that afflicts the exterior of the Norfolk Federal Courthouse.  After the debacle several years ago when the façade of the Norfolk Federal Building simply fell down, the last thing Norfolk needs is another eyesore from Uncle Sam.  How can the Drug War be won and all of Washington’s regulations enforced in a building that looks like it suffers from a fatal disease?


Speculation has been feverish concerning the source of the problem.  Conventional wisdom has it that the steamy eastern Virginia climate creates a good environment for the slime to form.  But why is this one building so badly affected?


A local attorney asked a foreman on the job what they were facing.  The foreman whispered that the condition was much worse than even the most negative speculation has it.  The weather was a factor, yes, but the root cause was coming from within the building’s walls.  His prediction was that the slime would reappear each year so long as nothing changed.


Has there ever been a more visible reason for establishing libertarian government?




Two important political campaigns visited Norfolk last month.


The Harry Browne Presidential campaign accepted interviews on the Tony Macrini Show on 790 AM and Joel Rubin’s On the Record on Channel 13.  He also held a rally/press conference in Ghent that attracted almost seventy people on a weekday morning.  (Media Sweetheart Ralph Nader attracted only twenty-seven people to a Richmond rally the day before.)  Harry pronounced the obvious: If you want your vote to favor meaningful change in this country do not waste it on Al Gore or George W. Bush. 


Thanks for the success of the Browne visit goes largely to Robert Dean: a former Virginia Beach councilman and longtime freedom fighter who has just recently formally signed up with the good guys.


The other campaign visiting Norfolk that day was the Sharon Wood campaign for Virginia’s First Congressional District.  The first Libertarian to ever get on the Congressional ballot there, Sharon has been rampaging from Newport News to Fredericksburg with a message of freedom. 
The effects have been considerable.  Sharon is scheduled for four debate appearances with the Democrat and the Republican opponents.  If you cannot find Sharon between press interviews, you may find her in a parade or pressing flesh at business forums or school meetings.  She is as energetic as she is committed to liberty philosophy.

Call for large and small ways you can help the Sharon Wood for Congress Campaign!


















Contact:  The Hampton Roads Freedom News, 757-623-4200




The Harry Browne Campaign: Highs & Lows.

The Electoral College Vetoes the Electorate (?)