Liberty and Power

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  • QUOTE OF THE DAY

    by Steven Horwitz

    Thanks to Chris Coyne, graduate student extraordinaire at George Mason's Economics department, I give you my quote of the day:

    "The immense majority strives after a greater and better supply of food, clothes, homes, and other material amenities. In calling a rise in the masses' standard of living progress and improvement, economists do not espouse a mean materialism. They simply establish the fact that people ar


  • The Bloodletting Begins

    by Radley Balko

    I'm no fan of The Undertaker (though he is reasonably pro-free enterprise for a Democrat), but it's amusing to watch the right wing slip into full attack mode now that he's the presumptive nominee. Where just weeks ago it was Howard Dean sporting horns and tail, it's now John Kerry who's a threat to democracy, morally bankrupt, poorly shaven, and regularly takes from the"give a penny, take a penny" cup, but rarely gives.


  • Denial, and then more denial

    by Pat Lynch

    It's been fun this week to watch the Bush administration handle David Kay's painfully blunt assessment of the WMD situation in Iraq. While Dick Cheney continues to flatly deny reality in front of conservative groups, Powell and Bush have been trying to have it both ways in the mainstream press by simply arguing that the intelligence suggested WMD was a problem without flatly denying the weapons don't exist. All this silliness hit new heights at a news conference with Polish president Aleksan

  • EYES WIDE SHUT

    by Roderick T. Long

    [Cross-posted at In a Blog's Stead]

    Today's Opelika-Auburn News contains a piece from the Mississippi Press of Pascagoula discussing the Jose Padilla and Guantanamo Bay cases. The piece affirms that"the right to counsel is sacred and should be granted to every American citizen," but notes that"not all the detainees are American citizens," and concludes:"In no way are they entitled -- nor should they be -- to legal r

  • THE HUTTON REPORT

    by Mark Brady

    I don't know how many readers follow events in the UK and in particular the Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly. Today saw the publication of his report (although readers of The Sun newspaper were able to read a leaked summary of its findings over breakfast this morning). For news and comment visit the newspaper websites to which I linked in my previous post and also BBC News and ITV News online.


  • ON SHARPTON, SILVER SCREENS, AND SILBER

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    I've already talked about"Al Sharpton, Comedian." Now, as we await the results of the New Hampshire Democratic primary, the New York Daily News publishes a piece on The Tao of Rev. Al. His political ideology might make you cringe, but at least the guy retains a sense of humor.

    Meanwhile, as the voting ends in New Hampshire, and the voting begins for the


  • IF YOU REELECT BUSH, YOU DESERVE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU GET

    by Arthur Silber

    Many others have made this point, but it's worth making any number of times: the central problem in combatting genuine terrorist threats to us does not lie in the fact that the government does not have enough power. No, the real problem lies in the fact that the government was, and appears to continue to be, remarkably incompetent and inept in using the power it already has -- and the power it had long before 9/11.

    Here are two stories from today alone that demonstrate th


  • Nanny State Update

    by Radley Balko

    Looks like efforts to ban public smoking in Washington state have stalled, at least temporarily. Similar statewide bans are under consideration in Maryland, Rhode Island and Georgia.

    Meanwhile, in D.C., the fascists nannies have decided to circumvent the D.C. City Council and go right to the voters, apparently feeling they have a better chance of squelching personal freedom through direct democracy


  • ZERO GRAVITY

    by Keith Halderman

    One of my friends sent me an e-mail, which contained some quotations. He did not provide any sources so unfortunately I cannot provide a link. However, the one below was so good I feel the need to pass it on anyways. If I had Mark Shields’ e-mail address I would certainly forward it to him.

    ”When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 million develop


  • NEW ARTICLE BY BOB HIGGS

    by Ivan Eland

    Here is a great new article on the real cost of America's"security" by Bob Higgs, Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute. He says that the actual U.S. budget for security is almost double the already whopping $400 billion that's usually cited.

    "The Defense Budget Is Bigger than You Think"

    When President Bush signed the defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2004 on November 24, 2003, the event received considerable attention in the news media. At $401.3 billion, the publi


  • WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ARE OVERATED AS A THREAT TO AMERICA

    by Ivan Eland

    David Kay, the president’s hand-picked weapons of mass destruction snoop in Iraq, has resigned and criticized U.S. intelligence for not realizing that such Iraqi weapons programs were in disarray. He now thinks that the stocks of chemical and biological weapons were destroyed in the 1990s—out of fear that they would be discovered by U.N. weapons inspectors—and that new production was not initiated. He also believes that Iraq’s nuclear program had been restarted but was only at a very primit


  • DIRTY HARRY IS A LIBERTARIAN

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    The guy in the White House may not be a libertarian, but Clint Eastwood is. In USA Weekend, Ol' Dirty Harry tells us:"I don't see myself as conservative, but I'm not ultra-leftist. ... I like the libertarian view, which is to leave everyone alone. Even as a kid, I was annoyed by people who wanted to tell everyone how to live."

    And also unlike the guy in the White House, Clint adopts a laissez-faire view on

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