Liberty and Power

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  • MY VERY FIRST BLOG

    by Mark Brady

    I'm Mark and I'm your guest blogger this week. Thank you, David, for your kind invitation to blog at Liberty & Power. I'm looking forward to the week ahead.

    For those who don't know me, I've been a libertarian for well over thirty years. I was born in Windsor and grew up in Egham, a small town southwest of London and very near Runnymede, where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215. I have resided in the U.S. for twenty of the past twenty-five years. For many years I taught econom


  • PAUL O'NEILL'S BOOK OF REVELATIONS

    by Gene Healy

    Here's a revelation from the Paul O'Neill book that isn't getting nearly as much play as it deserves:

    Mr. O'Neill also pushed the president to set aside $1 trillion of the projected surpluses to fund one of Mr. Bush's big ideas during the campaign: the privatization of Social Security. Allowing people to invest Social Security contributions into private retirement accounts would reduce the government's future re


  • UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA CENSORSHIP: MOBILE REGISTER ARTICLE

    by David T. Beito

    Sean Reilly from the Washington Bureau of the Mobile Register has penned a lengthy article about the University of Alabama's ban of the Alabama Observer. The Observer is the newspaper of an organization I head, the Alabama Scholars Association. The article begins:

    "A conservative faculty organization at the University of Alabama is accusing administrators of censorship after the group was barred from using the campus mail system to distribute its newspaper without regular postage.

    Lea


  • POLITICAL MUSINGS

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    For political junkies, like myself, this is the kind of competitive season on which I feast. No, I'm not talking about the return of"American Idol" (which is always a hoot to watch). I'm talking about the Presidential primary season.

    Arthur Silber has some very nice musings on the subject of the Iowa caucus and the Presidential race, especially the need for a pos


  • CONSUMER SOVEREIGNTY

    by Roderick T. Long

    Another point about consumer sovereignty: producers are consumers too. Suppose you want to hire me to teach a philosophy course with only multiple-choice tests, but I refuse to offer the course unless I can give essay tests. Does this conflict with consumer sovereignty? Not at all. Teaching the course my way is a consumption good for me; it's part of the price I demand for my services. And of course each of us is free to take or leave the

  • ARE STUDENTS CUSTOMERS?

    by King Banaian

    No, says Joe Nathan:The best relationship between educators and families is via partnership. And this is not at all the same kind of thing that's involved when a family goes to a restaurant or a grocery store to buy food, or a department store to buy clothing. Although I may return to the business if I'm pleased with the food or clothing, there is no need for ongoing conversation between the busi

  • In Defense of the Caucus!

    by Will Wilkinson

    As an irrationally proud and defensive Iowan, I am annoyed by the headline of the top story on the Slate front page. It says:"The Phantom Pollbooth: Why You'll Never Know who won Iowa." (The headline over the story itself reads, cryptically,"The Vanishing.")

    The implication here is that there is something wrong with the caucus system, as if there is some one right, especially legitimate, way to choose dele


  • "Embedded"

    by Wendy McElroy

    The international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders -- Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) -- has completed its investigation of the US Army's attack on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on April 8, '03 in which two reporters staying there died. RSF concluded that the deaths"were not a deliberate attack [by the US] on the media. However, it [RSF] said US soldiers should have been told by their commanders that many journalists were


  • FELONIOUS MONK

    by Roderick T. Long

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

    There's been some discussion recently on L&P (see here, here, and here) as to whether ex-felons should have their Second and Fifteenth Amendment rights restored. Let me add a couple of points in favour of this.

    a) The most funda

  • DIDN'T DO A GOOD JOB WITH THIS ONE.

    by King Banaian

    Ed at The Captain's Quarters has a story today of a student who doesn't quite understand TANSTAAFL. By far the funniest of these was a young lady from our state, who described herself as a college student and a Republican who wants socialism and doesn't think Bush can deliver it. Medved, obviously amused, asked her what she meant by soci

  • SPACECRAFT AS SOULCRAFT

    by Gene Healy

    I totally agree with Will's sentiments on the President's federal" couples counseling" initiative. Not only is it a risibly stupid idea, it illustrates the administration's utter contempt for constitutional limits.

    Lately I've had my eye out for stories that illustrate what a collosal joke the Bush administration has been. Here are a couple:

    Describing the


  • HUSSEIN, BIN LADEN, AND GRAMSCI

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    While the debate over the yet-to-be-found Iraqi WMDs continues, let's not forget that one of the other prime reasons for the US invasion was alleged evidence of"ties" between Al Qaeda and the Hussein regime. Because there were networks of Al Qaeda and Iraqi interests, some Bush administration officials suggested a full-fledged alliance was afoot.

    I've no doubt that there were informal networks and, perhaps, even a few formal meetings between various Iraqi and Al Qaeda representati


  • BERNSTEIN, LIBERTY OF CONTRACT, AND CIVIL RIGHTS

    by David T. Beito

    David Bernstein shows again why he is one of the more thought-provoking of the new libertarian scholars who write on black history and the history of civil rights. I often learn something new about history when I read his published work and his posts at the Volokh Conspiracy (though we sometimes disagree on foreign policy).

    In his latest post, he writes"I'm teaching the Civil Rights Cases (1883) tomorrow which invalidated the Civil Rights Act of 1875's prohibition of discrimination by i

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