The pages of the Orange County Register just got a little more predictable.
On March 16, after 30 years with the newspaper, columnist Alan Bock, wrote in the Register's "Orange Punch" politics blog, that he's retiring from journalism. Bock, who has previously written about his recent struggle with cancer, had returned to the newsroom in January after months working from home while dealing with chemotherapy. But apparently doctors have discovered new tumors and are telling him that he's unlikely to beat the illness.
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Bock is the last of the true libertarian columnists at the paper; in his wake, he leaves scribes that range from moderate conservative to neoconservative, with a few occasionally hilarious (in a bad way) xenophobic hacks like Mark Steyn thrown in for good measure. In his final missive, in fact, Bock reminds readers that the two most important and shameful examples of "big government" are America's ill-considered and costly interventionist foreign policy and our so-called U.S. war on drugs. (Bock expanded on his powerful reporting on the medical marijuana movement in his 2000 book Waiting to Inhale).
Bock also notes that while the current global outlook is full of cause for concern, there are also reasons for optimism, chief among them the political upheaval in the Middle East. As he argues, "the restiveness of the ruled....show that the desire for liberty is also a constant--that most people sense that they can make decisions about their own lives better than a bureaucrat in a faraway capital and that it is their natural right to do so."
Speaking of optimism, Bock writes that he refuses to concede his life to cancer without a fight. "I believe in miracles and we've been looking into alternative therapies," Bock writes.
We at the Weekly who've admired his writing for the past 16 years, wish Bock the best. His sanity, humor, and most of all, his steadfast support for true liberty rather than corporate conservatism and class-based selfishness, will be missed.