Colorado Activist Johanna Fallis Dies

johanna-fallisJohanna Fallis, a longtime Libertarian activist in Colorado, died in early January, reports her partner and fellow activist Lloyd Sweeny. She had had health problems for some time.

Fallis was a former treasurer of the state Libertarian Party (LP), a Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State in 2000, and a retired information systems designer.

I spent time with Johanna at an Austrian economics study group hosted by Ken Riggs, at local LP meetings, and at the 2000 national LP convention (at which I took the photo of her shown).

Johanna was both spirited and friendly; she once told my wife, “You get prettier and prettier every time I see you.”

She will be missed.

Ferguson Rioters “Wanted to Injure Police”

Image: Loaves of Bread
Image: Loaves of Bread

Antonio French, part of the peaceful protests in Ferguson, Missouri, tweeted early this morning, “I can tell you firsthand that some of the people that remained tonight were armed. Were ready for a fight. And wanted to injure police.” Politicus USA has reproduced that tweet and others; hat tip to Fox News. Fox reports that one of the rioters fired a gun at police but didn’t injure anyone. Fox and others also report that one rioter was shot during the night and that that person is in critical condition, but no report I’ve seen clarifies who was shot or who did the shooting.

What is clear here is that the violent rioters in Ferguson—as distinguished from the peaceful protesters—are smashing and looting stores, intentionally trying to hurt police, and in general proving to the world that a forceful police response there is warranted. They are foolishly and self-destructively taking attention off of whether the shooting of Michael Brown was justified, and putting attention onto the criminal fringe of Ferguson. The rioters’ behavior is shameful, to say the least.

Colorado Activist W. Earl Allen Dies in Plane Crash

earl-allenW. Earl Allen, long active in Colorado libertarian and free market organizations, died August 9 in a plane crash. See my brief write-up about Earl and the Denver Post‘s report about the crash. Just a few months ago I gave Earl some old flying videos that I’d collected. I’ve known Earl for many years, and I’m deeply saddened by his passing. The photo shown is of Earl at a 2009 event I organized to protest legal restrictions of beer sales.

W. Earl Allen Died Doing What He Loved

earl-allen-1W. Earl Allen, long a libertarian activist in Colorado, died August 9 in a plane crash. The Denver Post reports, “A Broomfield flight instructor and his student died Saturday when the small plane they were flying crashed near Steamboat Springs. Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg identified the two as William Earl Allen, 62, and a flying student, Terry Lynn Stewart, 60, of Houston.” This is devastating news to the many people who knew and loved Earl.

Of those aspects of his life with which I was familiar, three of Earl’s loves stand out: His love of liberty, his love of flying, and his love of public speaking. I knew him from his political activism. In answering a survey a couple years ago, Earl said he read Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose when he was a college teacher, and he owns “three copies of Atlas Shrugged, one of which is falling apart at the seams due to overuse.”

Earl promoted a free-market in health care while at a 2010 rally (see the 2:55 mark in the video). In 2009, he joined me and other activists to protest legal restrictions on beer sales. Following is a photograph from that event; Earl is at left, with Amanda Muell, Justin Longo, Dave Williams, and me.

Regarding his flying, Earl was featured in a 2011 student video about his career as a flight instructor.

Earl’s death is a great loss to his family, his friends, and his fellow advocates of liberty.

August 13 Update: I just received an email from Earl’s wife with the following notice: “William Earl (Earl) Allen was born on March 18, 1952 in Provo, Utah and passed away on August 9, 2014 in Routt County, CO at the age of 62. He is survived by his wife Maralyn Mencarini; his mother Donna Sharp (Norman); siblings Edward (Madalyn), Eric (Ying), Esther (Nathaniel), and Evan (Rachel); eight nieces and nephews; and six great-nieces and nephews. . . . As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made at to the EAA Young Eagles Program.”

Ebola “Uncontained and Out of Control in West Africa”

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Ken Issacs of Samaritan’s Purse has some grim news about the Ebola outbreak in western Africa. Isaacs says “this present outbreak is going to surpass” the number of fatalities and known cases of the past three decades. ” He continues, “The disease is uncontained and it is out of control in West Africa. The international response to the disease has been a failure.” Isaacs further claims that the World Health Organization’s estimates of some 1,700 cases and some 930 deaths represent only around a quarter to a half of the real numbers.

Egypt Dissolves Muslim Brotherhood

Image: Agencia Brasil
Image: Agencia Brasil
“Egypt’s administrative court on Saturday dissolved the political party of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and ordered its assets liquidated, the state news agency reported,” the Associated Press re-reported yesterday.” News Sandwich opines, “Despite our government’s attempt to put the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt, the better people in that country continue to marginalize their ‘Freedom and Justice Party.'” Hat tip to Amy Peikoff.

ISIS, Tick Bites, and More News and Views for 8/8/14

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Here are some of the big news stories of the day, and some interesting opinions:

Iraq: As no doubt you’re aware, the U.S. military launched airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Overall, U.S. engagement in Iraq has been a disaster, and certainly many Iraqis are now much worse off than they would have been had the U.S. never intervened. Now, it seems, the U.S. is faced with a variety of no-win outcomes.

Tics: The Associated Press reports, “Doctors across the nation are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick.”

Fracking: David Biederman writes for the Objective Standard, “Europeans can continue to blame American frackers for producing lower-cost energy in America, or they can liberate European energy producers to do the same.”

Catcalling: Buzz Feed has a good video out critical of catcalling:

Tiny Houses: And Reason magazine has out a fascinating video about minimalist “matchbox” houses—and government’s war against such houses.

Khmer Rouge and More: Breaking News for 8/7/14

Image: Adam Carr
Image: Adam Carr

Here are some of today’s important news stories:

“A U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Cambodia sentenced the two top surviving cadres of the Khmer Rouge regime to life in jail on Thursday after finding them guilty of crimes against humanity for their roles in the 1970s ‘killing fields’ revolution,” NBC News reports. Under the bloody regime, “At least 1.7 million people—a fifth of Cambodia’s population at the time—died of starvation, disease, overwork or execution,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Iraqi militants seized control Thursday of the country’s largest Christian city [Qaraqoush]—reportedly telling its residents to leave, convert or die,” Fox News reports.

Meanwhile, “Islamist insurgents from Boko Haram killed at least 50 people as they stormed a town in northeastern Nigeria,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Growing political heat and possible customer backlash helped dissuade Walgreen from trying to trim its tax bill by reorganizing overseas as part of an acquisition,” the Associated Press reports.

“About half of the nation’s federal criminal cases last year were filed in regions near the U.S.-Mexico border,” Kristin Tate reports for

“[T]he average age of industrial equipment is now almost 10.5 years old. That’s the oldest it has been since 1938,” John Azis writes for the Week.

How Not to Stop Ebola: Attack Doctors

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Recently I listed some reasons why people in America are much less likely to contract the Ebola virus than are people in Africa. Here’s another reason: Some people in Africa, thinking Ebola-related symptoms are a “curse,” have thrown rocks at health care workers and “become very violent,” one observer told the Global Post. Not physically attacking the doctors and other medical personnel trying to help you would be a good first step toward not dying from the virus.

Deadly Earthquake in China; Disasters in the U.S.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

An earthquake in China has killed some 400 people and injured nearly two-thousand more, as the Associated Press reports. California mudslides have killed one and trapped thousands, Fox reports. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people in and around Toledo can’t drink the tap water; “sewage from treatment plants and fertilizer from farms streamed into the lake, triggering an algae bloom near an intake valve that sends water to Toledo,” poisoning the water supply, reports NBC. And of course the Ebola crisis continues in Africa. A couple observations: The more prosperous people are, the better equipped they are to minimize the damages of natural and man-made disasters. The greater the rule of rights-respecting law, the more government tends to discourage (and the less it tends to encourage) negligent behaviors that can worsen the effects of natural disasters and cause man-made disasters.