From: ("Reason Express")
To: ("Reason's e-mail newsletter")
Subject: Reason Express - November 26, 2002
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 04:16:45 -0800

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Reason Express

Reason's Weekly Dispatch
By Jeff A. Taylor and the Reason staff

Back Issues:
Send Feedback:
Visit for the plain text version of
Reason Express.
Visit for the html version.Reason

November 26, 2002
Vol. 5, No. 49

In this issue:
1. Freedom is Info
2. Money Trail  
3. Pier to Pier  
4. Quick Hits
5. Forced Feeding - and other highlights from Reason Online
6. From Reason's print edition
7. News and Events

Debunking the Doomsters! Environmental fear mongers have succeeded in spreading their dismal visions of a poisoned, overpopulated, resource-depleted world spiraling down into ecological ruin. In his new book, Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths, Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey assembles some of the most respected researchers in the country to explode the myths behind these doom and gloom scenarios, and expose how the environmental movement uses false science to scare us to death and stymie progress. Buy it now!
Reason Express is made possible by a grant from The DBT Group ( ), manufacturers of affordable, high-performance mainframe systems and productivity software.
1. Freedom is Info That great American political impulse to do some thing rather than the right thing has finally birthed the Homeland Security Department, in all its mutant glory. It is hard to imagine that a 484-page bill could contain so many bad ideas, but there is one theme that unites them: that the federal government requires more information about private citizens in order to keep them safe from harm. But that has it exactly backwards. Private citizens need more information about their federal government in order to stay safe from harm. A torrent of info washing over the federal watchers will merely help to obscure actual threats. And under the new info-hoarding rules, the failures of the system will never trickle out to the public, making corrective action impossible. The net result will be less security, not more. All that is wrongheaded with the Homeland approach is evident in the Total Information Awareness program it will help bring into being. This Pentagon research project aims to develop a database of every transaction in the country. Why? Because "knowledge is security." And don't worry about privacy, the program's boosters assure us. "I find it somewhat counterintuitive that people are not concerned that telemarketers and insurance companies can acquire this data but feel tremendous trepidation if a government ventures into this arena," attorney David Rivkin told Fox News. "To me it just smacks of paranoia." Well, one big difference just might be that we know what telemarketers want to do. They want to sell us stuff and make money. There is literally no telling what the government will do with the same information. Travel and financial transactions will be monitored, as will the purchase of dangerous materials, which certainly means guns and someday might mean "too much" motor fuel. Pay for the wrong item in the wrong place, and you might just end up on some kind of watch list. That list may or may not be cross-checked against other databases in order to build up a "profile." After all, it isn't possible to tell if you've deviated from your profile in some suspicious manner unless there is a profile of you. Read between the lines and you'll see that that's clearly what the info warriors have in mind: a constant churning of data in order to "flag" suspicious activity. But there is not one shred of evidence that the terrorists of 9/11 failed to send up enough flags. Everything from their visa applications to their pilot-training alarm bells to their demeanor boarding their planes/missiles flagged them as suspicious characters. Yet all were missed by the same feds who want a few trillion more bits of information to mull over.,2933,70992,00.html Senior Editor Jacob Sullum peers into the Total Information Awareness laboratory:
2. Money Trail Yet another example of a threat hidden in plain sight comes from the revelation that the very inner circle of the Saudi royal family may have indirectly routed money to some of the 9/11 hijackers. An investigation by House-Senate Intelligence Committee has found evidence that money originating in an account held by the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. made its way to Khalid al Midhar and Nawaf al Hazmi. The FBI and the Bush administration have resisted efforts to publicize the connection out of fear of what it might do to U.S.-Saudi relations. And defenders of Princess Haifa al Faisal, the wife of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, have made the rather weak defense that even if the money did end up in the hands of terrorists, it surely wasn't intentional. But the relevant issue is that the Saudis have for years followed a policy of sending money to radical Islamists. It's a form of bribery that has served them well, and it is more than a little bit fanciful to claim that the princess's "charities" were alone in vetting the beliefs of recipients of gifts. Beginning in earnest with fundamentalists' bloody occupation of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in November 1979, the Saudis have tried to buy themselves some breathing space by funding all manner of fundamentalist causes. So far, it's worked. The Bush administration, though, is loathe to do anything to "embarrass" the Saudis because their cooperation -- tacit to the point of being invisible, if need be -- is needed in order to wage war on Iraq, whose connection to the 9/11 terrorists remains tenuous at best. Associate Editor Jesse Walker questions the U.S.-Saudi relationship:
3. Pier to Pier Add cadets at the Naval Academy to the list of no-good rotten thieves. The sailors stand accused of downloading copies of music and movies from the Internet. Academy officials have seized about 100 laptops as an investigation into the matter continues. Last month the Recording Industry Association of America sent a letter to the academy, among other institutions, warning that their charges were using high-speed connections to get copies of copyrighted material. The RIAA's position is that every downloaded piece of music represents a lost sale, and hence is theft. If the academy takes that same view, then offending cadets could face a court martial over the offense. Of course, the academy could just delete the material, tell the cadets to knock it off, and ask the RIAA to take a long walk off a short pier. Associate Editor Brian Doherty says not to cry for the record industry:
4. Quick Hits - - Quote of the Week - - "The funny thing was, I was on drugs! I was on Benedryl, my allergy medication, so I was really out of it anyway." --Ellen Feiss, icon to stoners everywhere thanks to her Apple computer TV ad, putting to rest the rumor that made her a Web celeb. - - Hide the Tequila - - The Bush twins turn 21, allowing the Secret Service and bouncers nationwide to end their clumsy games of cat and mouse. Jenna and Barbara are free at last. - - Goodie Package - - The Bush wish list includes some sort of stimulus package for the idling economy, likely including an acceleration of tax cuts already on tap and expansion of contribution limits for IRAs and 401(k)s. - - Spam Spurt - - It is not just your imagination. Spam is growing by leaps and bounds. As much as 50 percent of all e-mail may be spam, up from less than 10 percent just last year. 5. New at Reason Online Forced Feeding Do teens really have no choice but fast food? Jacob Sullum Special Education Confidential How schools use the "learning disability" label to cover up their failures. Lisa Snell Volunteer Nation America's Secret Weapon in the War on TerrorAmericans. Jonathan Rauch And much more!
6. The Print Edition Get your personal copy of the latest issue of Reason's print edition each month -- before it hits the newsstands and before it's posted on the Web! Subscribe Today!
7. News and Events Buy Reason T-shirts and coffee mugs! **** Click here for the latest on media appearances by Reason writers. **** Want even more Reason? Sign up for Reason Alert to get regular news from Reason Magazine and Reason Public Policy Instiute, as well as advance notice about media appearances and events.

Visit the Crazy Atheist Libertarian
Check out "David Dorn" - Hate Monger
Check out Atheists United - Arizona
Visit my atheist friends at Heritics, Atheists, Skeptics, Humanists, Infidels, and Secular Humanists - Arizona
Arizona Secular Humanists
Paul Putz Cooks the Arizona Secular Humanist's Check Book
News about crimes commited by the police and government
News about crimes commited by religious leaders and beleivers
Some strange but true news about the government
Some strange but real news about religion
Interesting, funny but otherwise useless news!
Libertarians talk about freedom
Cool Useless Photos, Cool gif files, Cool jpg files
Legal Library
Gif, JPG, and other images you can use on your web pages
David Dorn Insuranse