Friday, August 30, 2002

Eugene Volokh on Home Schooling
...modest testing requirements are generally a political boon to the home schooling movement. California's attempt to clamp down on home schooling reflects the reality that many people, in the education establishment and out, are skeptical of these sorts of do-it-yourself measures. They probably shouldn't be skeptical, but they are. Politically, which is the more effective way fight this skepticism? By saying "OK, impose these testing requirements; you'll see the great results that home schooling produces, and won't have to worry about the possibility that some kids won't be learning their reading, writing, and arithmetic"? Or by saying "No, we will educate our kids ourselves, and we refuse to let you impose any testing requirements"?

In fact we have a genuine historical test of which method works best. From the dawn of compulsory state schooling until the 1970s it was accepted that home schooling (save under unusual circumstances) was illegal. Today, homeschooling is (effectively) legal in all 50 states.

What method was employed to work this change? Did homeschoolers "petition the government for redress of grievances". No. They deliberately violated the law and dared the authorities to arrest them (or quietly violated the law and ignored the authorities). There was a lot of litigation and some politicking but the primary tool was civil disobedience. They didn't trade "testing requirements" for legalization.

By any measure their approach succeeded completely. They achieved a complete reversal of the law in a decade or two. Mostly by civil disobedience and by forcing the courts to recognize that compulsory attendance laws were much more limited than was previously believed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Avowed Utah Polygamist Could Go to Jail for Life

The man who lived with five wives and 29 children and has gone on national television to talk about his life was convicted in June of raping Linda Kunz Green after he married her in 1986, when he was 37 and she was 13. The marriage produced a son, Melvin.

His wife was the same age as Juliet when she married Romeo.

This is a new stupid marketing ploy by legislators. They changed the name of the crime from "statutory rape" to "child rape" without changing the nature of the crime at all. Pure marketing -- it's not rape at all it's "unlawful sexual intercourse". I haven't heard any of the recent perps or their lawyers point this out. Probably not sensitive to history or language.

Juab County prosecutor David Leavitt, brother of Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, said investigators started looking into the case after seeing Green and his wives on television.

Classic example of selective prosecution based on exercise of a constitutional right. I hope he's preserved that argument for appeal. It even works in rare cases.
Libertarians accuse Senate candidate of promoting violence

So what's with the Colorado LP?

It's not a violation of the LP "oath" to advocate violence. It's merely a violation to advocate the "initiation of force".

In any case, once a party becomes an "official state party" it has to accept all comers and can't impose any "oath". That's the downside of the political route.
Free Ajmad Radwan.

The Wall Street Journal advocates freedom for the 19-year-old American trapped in Saudi Arabia because of lack of an exit visa.

Why not leave anyway? Small boat to Qatar or Iran or US warship in the Gulf, or somewhere. Meet mom with passport. Centuries of smuggling in Saudi.
In matters of Peace & War and Order & Law I always ask myself WWHD.

What Would Heinlein Do?

It helps.

Monday, August 26, 2002

There are probably good arguments against attacking Iraq but the anti-war crowd aren't making them.

We're stuck with stupid arguments about getting UN approval, Allies approval, Arab approval, Congressional approval, etc.

Those are weak arguments

I guess the opposition is too chicken to risk being called chicken. They should say "Invading Iraq would violate the Treaty of Westphalia" or "War is wrong" or something. But they don't want to.