Although we tell ourselves that we live in a free country, where all of us are equal before the law, where one's privileges and immunities are independent of one's class, the reality is somewhat different.

For example, Martha Stewart told a lie that led to the death of not a single person. President Bush told a lie that led to war, which has caused the deaths of thousands of people. Martha Stewart was sent to jail for lying while President Bush was re-elected. What's up with us? Have we lost our marbles?

"It is amusing observe the inconstancy with which truth is treated in our modern culture," writes Butler Shaffer, at For example, Oliver Stone's latest film is being criticized for taking liberties with details regarding the

life of Alexander the Great. Stone's fibbing has produced neither war nor deaths. It produced film for the entertainment of theater audiences.

Schaffer writes, "I might have given little pause to the current demand for truthfulness in film-making, were it not for the political and social setting in which it is being voiced." It is astonishing that men and women can be critical of a man whose work is admittedly that of fictionalized entertainment while, at the same time, they ignore the president's blatant lying and other factual distortions that have thus far produced the slaughter of over 100,000 people!"

The bizarre discrepancy between the way we react to government functionaries and to all others outside of government may be caused by our religion. Although we may describe ourselves as Christians, Jews, or what have you, the truth is, we are statists to the core. The State is our God. It can

do no wrong. Anyone of a number of its many sycophants will be able to explain it to you.

You're not happy, you say, with the government cutting a road through your property? You will be told that it's an "administrative" matter so shut up and go home.

Jack Dennon