J.D. Tuccille
"A statesman is a dead politician. Lord knows we need more statemen." — Opus
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  • Here abide some of the columns and articles that I've written.

    Verde Independent March 8, 2012: Behind the times: There is more to life than politics
    It’s easy to get the impression that politics comprise the sum total of what’s important in the world. Of course, not only is that untrue, it’s almost the opposite of the truth.

    Arizona Republic February 27, 2009: Cameras are fallible and should not be trusted
    Traffic cameras are dumb revenue machines that are easily fooled, often inaccurate, actually increase the frequency of some accidents, and that have been used to spy on us.

    Arizona Republic December 7, 2008: Rebellion mounting vs. speed cameras
    The governor's enthusiasm for the money-making speed traps is easily matched by opponents' visceral distaste for the automated spy-eyes - a distaste that has translated into a clever campaign of sabotage.

    East Valley Tribune November 3, 2008: The inevitable presidential power trip
    What kind of president will the winner of today’s election be? If history is any judge, the nation’s next chief executive, whether Democrat Barack Obama, or Republican John McCain, will be hungry for more power than the office already has.

    East Valley Tribune September 28, 2008: Obama's involuntary volunteerism
    "You gotta serve yourself," John Lennon sang. "Nobody gonna do it for you." But if a leading presidential hopeful has his way, we'll all be serving the government before we ever get around to ourselves - although the route to his conscription scheme is a bit roundabout.

    Las Vegas Review-Journal September 2, 2008: Cindy McCain in same business as Greg Gibson
    What's the reward for peddling a little stress relief? If you're the wife of a presidential candidate with her hand in the beer trade, it can mean tens of millions of dollars. But if you're just a guy who peddles the wrong buzz-delivery system, it can be years of hard time.

    Verde Independent August 23, 2008: Unenforceable laws lead to police abuses
    The hidden secret of law enforcement is that it's largely dependent on public cooperation. When laws have less than near-universal support -- when they're a majority preference jammed down the throats of the minority - they beg for defiance.

    Verde Independent November 1, 2006: Keep Arizonans secure in their homes and businesses
    Arizonans have the right to be secure in their homes and businesses. They deserve to know that they will not be deprived of the use of their property for any but the most important reasons - and that they'll be compensated for their losses.

    Las Vegas Review-Journal September 13, 2005: Disaster relief too important to leave to government
    Let the politicians have fun bashing each other on TV; it's one of the few tasks at which they excel. Serious people should get about the business of preparing for the next disaster -- without any "assistance" from the government.

    Verde Independent June 15, 2005: Medical marijuana falls victim to administration's zeal for power
    It's no surprise that the Bush administration is gloating over the Supreme Court's dishonest Gonzales v. Raich decision allowing federal authority to trump state medical marijuana laws.

    Verde Independent November 22, 2004: Who loves big government now?
    In an odd way, liberal Democrats won a historic victory in this year's presidential election. Unfortunately for them, that's not good news.

    Denver Post September 30, 2003: Designated decoys
    Fortunately, not all of us feel bound to obey the illiberal will of the majority; some people remain wedded to the idea that they have a right to run their own lives no matter what happens at the ballot box.

    Arizona Daily Sun June 21, 2003: A word to the wise: Beware of food cops
    The food cops seem to share a common belief in their own wisdom, reinforced by contempt for the decisions that the rest of us might make if not poked and prodded in the "right" direction.

    Arizona Daily Sun April 12, 2003: War's taxing burden
    One of the oddities of American politics is that, in broad terms, opposition to the war in Iraq is concentrated among people who like activist government at home. Conversely, some of the biggest fans of expensive military adventures resent the tax man in peace time.

    Arizona Daily Sun January 25, 2003: Total Information Awareness a complete invasion
    The Pentagon's high-profile effort to fulfill every paranoid Orwellian nightmare, the Total Information Awareness project, is itself under scrutiny. Members of Congress angered by competition to their own fervent efforts to turn American society into an ant farm are raising loud objections to the high-tech snooping scheme.

    Arizona Daily Sun December 21, 2002: Return of "Hillarycare" wrong prescription
    This seems like an odd time for politicians to tout government-controlled health care. Less than a decade ago, the Clinton administration was shaken by the negative reaction to its "Hillarycare" proposal for a government medical monopoly.

    Arizona Daily Sun November 30, 2002: State officials don't need taste of Internet commerce
    Suffering depleted coffers and unwilling to seriously trim spending, state-level politicians once again hungrily eye Internet commerce as a feeding trough to satisfy their appetite for new revenue.

    Arizona Daily Sun November 23, 2002: Is government using '1984' as a how-to book?
    Polls show Americans regaining their skepticism of government and demanding that respect for civil liberties figure in anti-terrorist policies. But government officials don't appear to be paying attention.

    Tulsa World October 13, 2002: Tax havens are refuges for oppressed
    If politicians really want money and businesses to stay at home, they should curb their appetites, and let people keep their hard-earned cash.

    Arizona Daily Sun October 12, 2002: Beware when 'reform' means 'censorship'
    House Majority Leader Dick Armey recently made headlines when he was caught tailoring legislation to penalize a newspaper that criticized his son. Armey's staffers deny that revenge motivates their boss, but the legislative strong-arm move supports charges that politicians are exploiting concerns about media power and campaign finance to silence independent voices in politics.

    Arizona Daily Sun September 28, 2002: Jurors with conviction may be able to free defendants
    The long debate over the role of juries in the courtroom has grown increasingly heated in recent years, with some judges ejecting and even jailing jurors who show too much independence.

    Arizona Daily Sun September 21, 2002: Drug costs are a bitter pill to swallow
    There's no doubt that medications can be expensive. Medical science can now alleviate the worst effects of many once-untreatable ailments — but treatment comes at a cost. According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, the average cost to develop a new prescription drug is $802 million.

    Arizona Daily Sun August 31, 2002: Congress forfeiting power to president in new war
    Rarely has the point been made so baldly as in recent claims by the White House that President Bush has the power to wage war against Iraq on his own say-so. And rarely has such a claim been rebutted so feebly as it has been by lawmakers who suggest little more than that it'd be nice if the president dropped by for a chat.

    Washington Times August 23, 2002: A habitat for half-truths: World Summit on Sustainable Development and Agenda 21
    "Sustainable development" sounds like a good thing — one of those noncontroversial ideas over which we need not squabble. Few of us are for things that can't be sustained. So what is there to argue about? Quite a bit, actually.

    Arizona Daily Sun August 10, 2002: FBI like Keystone Kops — but not as funny
    Just weeks ago, Attorney General John Ashcroft assured the country that the scandal-ridden federal law enforcement agency is finally on the straight and narrow and worthy of our trust. The faint echo from his words could still be heard when the feds were hit with not one, but two eruptions that eroded the foundations of claims about the agency's integrity and basic competence.

    Arizona Daily Sun July 20, 2002: School vouchers: Chance for choice or abuse
    In a much-discussed ruling, the Supreme Court said that the First Amendment is in no way threatened just because some parents may use school vouchers to send their kids to institutions with a religious bent. School choice advocates immediately — and justifiably — claimed victory.

    Arizona Daily Sun July 13, 2002: Give power over the forests to the people
    As the smoke of raging wildfires filled the skies over the West in the past few weeks, more than a few Americans paused to wipe cinders from their eyes and ponder a common question: Is the federal government really doing such a great job of managing all that land it controls?

    The Providence Journal July 26, 2002: Government vs. homeowners
    A bill pending in Congress may push both landowners and local officials to the sidelines and give federal bureaucrats the final word.

    Arizona Daily Sun July 6, 2002: A little rebellion can be a good thing
    Not all rebellions are necessarily good, but Thomas Jefferson may well have had it right when he wrote, "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing."

    Arizona Daily Sun June 29, 2002: These United (police) States a danger to all
    It became cliche after Sept. 11 to remark that "everything is different now." We didn't know what was different, but something had changed. Months later, after the detention of hundreds of people without charges and the unleashing of the FBI to spy on U.S. citizens, we have a better idea of where the differences lie.

    Farmington Daily Times (and Arizona Daily Sun June 23, 2002: 'Star Wars' offers insights into the U.S.
    Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi take on heavyweight status in the profoundly timely treatment of the transformation of a sclerotic republic under pressure from internal opportunism and external threat.

    Arizona Daily Sun June 8, 2002: Should we reward the FBI for failure?
    There's an old and very cynical saying about people rising to the level of their own incompetence. As applied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that might be too kind a way of characterizing that organization's troubles.

    Arizona Daily Sun May 4, 2002: Why do cities 'sprawl' and what can officials do?
    In an age of technology and mobility, forcing people to stay put is a non-starter. But city officials might accomplish some of their goals if they'd stop wasting effort on coercive policies and try to make their communities attractive places to live with respect for people's wallets and liberties.

    Arizona Daily Sun April 27, 2002: Forget what you've heard: Speed doesn't kill
    Nobody has yet come up with a way to make speed limits effective, and as the latest data shows, it's just as well. Driving pretty much as fast as they please, Americans are reaching their destinations in as timely a fashion as ever. And they're making their journeys on swiftly moving roads that are safer by the year.

    Arizona Daily Sun April 20, 2002: More parents at home in the classroom
    After years of struggle on the fringes, homeschooling appears to have emerged victorious. With a string of successes under their belts, and positive research demonstrating the effectiveness of their approach to education, homeschoolers are stepping into the mainstream of American life.

    Farmington Daily Times April 27, 2002: When intolerance is the law
    We might be forgiven for suspecting that government officials see American citizens as wayward children as they increasingly apply zero tolerance to laws and policies that reach far beyond the playground.

    Arizona Daily Sun April 6, 2002: Cheating on returns a taxing problem
    According to a recent much-reported Roper poll, about one in four Americans says it's OK to "cheat" on taxes. Eleven percent said it was OK to cheat "a little here and there," with 5 percent saying people could cheat "as much as possible" — a surge in support for creative tax-filing since the last poll in 1999.

    Arizona Daily Sun March 23, 2002: Government shouldn't take home and castle
    Battling the abusive use of eminent domain isn't just a matter of stamping out isolated injustices; it has serious implications for society at large.

    Arizona Daily Sun March 2, 2002: When campaign finance 'reform' isn't
    A glimpse of what lies at the core of campaign finance "reform" comes in the form of a proposed amendment to otherwise unrelated legislation. Sen. Robert G. Torricelli wants to force television stations to offer candidates for federal office the lowest advertising rates. Of course, the cheap rates wouldn't apply to ads run by individuals and private groups that criticize politicians.

    Arizona Daily Sun February 16, 2002: Fight over surveillance photos won't end soon
    The popular wisdom these days is that anything goes so long as it can be remotely justified in the name of security. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the move to keep the public under the watchful eyes of surveillance cameras.

    Arizona Daily Sun January 26, 2002: Battling for a borderless Internet
    Since the Internet burst onto the scene, beneficiaries of the online world's free-flowing exchange of information have included software vendors, publishers of adult content, gamblers and the long-suffering subjects of authoritarian governments. Politicians, though, have been less than thrilled by a medium that defies borders and legal restrictions.

    Arizona Daily Sun January 19, 2002: Make Iron Curtain at airport optional
    More than a few travelers have noted over the years that airports are among the few places on the planet where the Iron Curtain never came down. But since Sept. 11, fear of terrorism has pushed security to the top of the priority list, eclipsing concerns over privacy, constitutional protections — and even simple decency.

    Arizona Daily Sun January 12, 2002: The stimulating debate over the economy
    Letting individuals hold on to a greater share of their hard-earned dollars is the sort of economic stimulus that will help the country not just now, but for years to come.

    Arizona Daily Sun December 15, 2001: Defending liberty without compulsion
    The latest calls for conscription go farther than schemes of the past. Gerber wants to swell the ranks of Americorps with conscripts. Moskos and Glastris plan to use draftees as border guards, customs agents and even FBI agents. They would subject us to social workers and law enforcement officers who were forced into their jobs under threat of fine or imprisonment.

    Washington Times August 16, 2001: High on democracy
    What does it mean when a former top-level conservative politician comes out in favor of legalizing marijuana - and then is promptly trumped by the head of the prison system, who says all drugs should be legal? Well, it means you've woken up in Britain, for one thing.

    Arizona Daily Sun (and Arizona Republic May 12, 2001: Cut red tape, not big box stores
    What does it mean when a former top-level conservative politician comes out in favor of legalizing marijuana - and then is promptly trumped by the head of the prison system, who says all drugs should be legal? Well, it means you've woken up in Britain, for one thingSome urban planning professionals seem to view the everyday business of buying household goods as a quaint folk activity. They lose sight of the fact that the world consists not of so many Colonial Williamsburgs created for their amusement, but of real people satisfying their evolving needs.

    Arizona Daily Sun July 15, 1999: Preserve Flagstaff's vistas and freedom
    Sprawl, growth, development — whatever you call it, it's an 800-pound gorilla of an issue across the country and one that has landed in Flagstaff with a deafening "thud." But we can keep our vistas — and our tradition of respect for private property and personal liberty.

    Full Automatic

    An occasional outlet for my thoughts about the state of the world. These columns sometimes appear in daily newspapers or elsewhere on the Net They pretty much read as you'd expect.

    Orphaned Articles

    Don't be Big Brother (Link dead) Small Business Computing: Web-site privacy policies aren't just a nice idea — they'll save you loads of legal headaches.

    Night of the living e-mail (Link dead) A piece for Small Business Computing on the legal risks companies face from their e-mail, chat, and bulletin board systems.

    Prevent computer viruses (Link dead) Also for Small Business Computing, the lowdown on computer viruses for you entrepreneurial types.

    I Peddled My Ass to Science People sometimes ask me what makes me so mean. Science, folks. Science made me mean. Well, that and periodic bouts of involuntary celibacy. See the results in this piece for Penthouse.

    Net Watchman

    For a brief time at mostNEWYORK, the New York Daily News’ online edition, Net Watchman looked at how the information revolution is changing the world around us.

    Deutschemarks and the Digital Age My employers don’t always have the taste that the gods gave a Bowery bum. Here’s the first entry in a column that died an unnatural death. Read on about online finance.

    Information Wants to Be ... Inescapable? Dead-end column numero dos: the happily difficult task of censoring the Internet.

    Radio Free Internet And here it is: the very last dying gasp — well ... just about — of the column that almost was. (A tense, intriguing, even ... fascinating look at the promise of online audio and video.)

    Someone To Watch Over Me Would you ask for permission to put a lock on your door? Well, that’s where encryption comes in.

    Online — Buy the Book Fine literature at your fingertips, courtesy of the Internet.

    To the Barricades (at 28.8K)! Can’t get your message through the mandarins of the media? The Net was made for you.

    Copyright 1999, 2000 Jerome D. Tuccille. E-mail