20 YEARS AGO
"So now we find out: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 empowers federal judges to rewrite the rules of golf, after deciding that the right to play in the elite PGA Tour is a 'public accommodation' like the chance to patronize a lunch counter or motel. It's hard to see a reason in principle why enfeebled base runners now shouldn't ask for motorized buggies to help in their attempts to steal third, or why slow pawn pushers shouldn't get double time on the tournament chess clock if they bring in a note saying they're learning disabled. College applicants already get double time on the SATs that way, after all. Every Olympics a Special Olympics!"
30 YEARS AGO
"The past 20 years have witnessed some profound gains for human freedom, thanks to the power of ideas and the liberating influence of new technologies. The next time a doom-and-gloom friend starts telling you how the world is going to hell in a handbasket, ask him if he'd really prefer the violent, constrained world of 1968. If so, he deserves it."
ROBERT W. POOLE JR.
"Things Are a Lot Groovier Now"
"Many people think fantastic ideas are limited to the likes of Harmonic Convergences, quartz crystals that ward off cancer, or, at worst, harebrained theories about who killed JFK. Unfortunately this is not the case. Two of the most fecund areas for cheap fiction are politics and economics. Which brings me to Marxism."
"You Say You Want a Revolution"
"When the Framers set out to 'form a more perfect union,' it is apparent they assumed that by their very nature humans are incapable of perfection and capable of doing great injustice. Were this not their vision of man, they might have spared themselves considerable controversy and debate by leaving us the Constitution's Preamble as the law of the land."
WALTER E. WILLIAMS
"A More Perfect Union" "The year 2008 will be more different from today than we can imagine. But if I had to guess--and I do--I'd predict a future where individual political rights exist and political debate continues, but where... there is less emphasis on autonomy and more on interdependence, and where tightly knit groups provide an oasis in which individuality can flourish."
"Beyond Blade Runner"
40 YEARS AGO
"In 1928, less than 50 years ago, government at all levels--federal, state, and local--spent less than 10 percent of the national income. Two-thirds of that was at...