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There is the quaint notion that practicality or sheer necessity will eventually wake a dreamy ideologue and bring him to his senses. That theory took a hit when Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission adamantly refused to let 3M service their public library checkout counters until the company signed on to its “nuclear free disclosure form”. Mark Steyn writes:


“Berkeley’s public library will face a showdown with the city’s Peace and Justice Commission tonight over whether a service contract for the book check-out system violates the city’s nuclear-free ordinance.” How’s that for an opening? In the entire history of civilization, has any human society so ordered its affairs that it would seem entirely normal to combine those words in that order in a single sentence?

The answer of course, is yes. It is entirely normal to read sentences like that when the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. But don’t laugh. The success with which institutions like the “Peace and Justice Commission” have met underscores the unpleasant fact that irrational demands are more often granted than rational requests. Sheer pressure gets results. Reason has nothing to do with it. The real rules are apparently that whoever screams the loudest and makes himself the biggest nuisance gets his way. Today your library checkout. Tomorrow the world.


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