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Liberty and Power

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  • UNDERSTANDING "HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS"

    by Arthur Silber

    Senator Rick Santorum was in a pedagogical frame of mind: A Republican senator delivered a blistering attack yesterday against Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards, describing North Carolina’s junior senator as an “empty suit” who lacks understanding of how government works.

    U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania made his remarks yesterday afternoon, in an interview with senior editors


  • RE: BARBARIANS AND WIMPS

    by Steven Horwitz

    Will's post below is right on the money, especially this bit:

    Conservatives tend to see the feminist movement and the so-called sexual revolution as perverse, willful repudiations of the sorts of regulative convention that make civilization possible. Yet here we are; civilization remains. And they fail to relate these cultural shifts to the ongoing development of capitalism, which, in other moods, they are on


  • What About O'Neill's Performance

    by Keith Halderman

    While it is certainly amusing seeing George Bush being portrayed as an alternately detached or conniving incompetent by his ex-Treasury Department head Paul O’Neill, according to two good columns in today’s Washington Times, one by Stephen Moore and the other by Bruce Bartlett, it seems O’Neill was no great shakes as Treasury Secretary himself

  • We're the Government. We're Here to Help!

    by Will Wilkinson

    This is just nauseating. The New York Times reports that the Bush administration is planning to provide"$1.5 billion for training to help couples develop interpersonal skills that sustain 'healthy marriages.'"

    This is apparently what compassionate conservatism comes to: the intrusion of the state in even the most personal spheres of life; social engineering through therapy.

    "We know this is

  • Barbarians and Wimps

    by Will Wilkinson

    Terence O. Moore is worried that manhood is ailing, and that our culture now produces only barbarians and wimps. While there is some truth to his complaints, my issue with this kind of conservative social criticism is its utter lack of imagination. The world has changed, and despite Moore's loathing of whiners, all he seems to manage is a mannered, whining lament for classical"thumotic" masculinity. One hopes for more f


  • ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

    by Arthur Silber

    I continue to find it altogether remarkable that many conservatives and even many"libertarians," who don't trust the government to do much of anything very well on the domestic front, still believe that the same government has the wisdom to remake large portions of the globe, and to bring"democracy" to oppressed countries.

    Well, they're probably right. Two years after 9/11, it seems that everything here in the United States is going


  • RUSH LIMBAUGH, FOOTBALL, AND JAIL TIME

    by Keith Halderman

    Two recent events have brought Rush Limbaugh into my thoughts. The first was yesterday’s NFL playoff win by the Philadelphia Eagles against the Green Bay Packers. Near the beginning of the season Limbaugh lost his job as a football commentator for ESPN because he expressed the opinion that Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb received favorable treatment from the press because the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed. Many inter

  • Introduction & Provocation

    by Will Wilkinson

    I want to thank David Beito for inviting me to join Liberty & Power for a week. I know some of the members of the L & P roster fairly well, and others not at all. I'm dork enough that a number of my most treasured friendships began on the internet. So I hope I come out of this with more couches in other cities where I could in principle crash.

    A little about me... Until the middle of November, I worked at the Mercatus Center in the Mas


  • A BUSH-GERMANY COMPARISON WORTH NOTING

    by Arthur Silber

    Your Bush-Germany, or Bush-Hitler, comparison for the week -- or more likely the year -- does not come from me. No, no: it comes courtesy of a new report on the war on terror from the Army War College, the Army's"premier academic institution." And as noted in the Washington Post story about the report: [Jeffrey Record's] essay, published by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institu


  • THE UNTHREATENING STORM

    by Gene Healy

    Slate is featuring an online chat on second thoughts by liberal hawks. It features center-left pundits and analysts who backed Bush on Iraq and explores whether they're having misgivings. Participants include Jacob Weisberg, Paul Berman, Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens, Fred Kaplan, George Packer, Kenneth M. Pollack, and Fareed Zakaria. So far only Weisberg and Pollack have weighed in--each with more self-examination and criti

  • POSTREL ON HAYEK AND HAYEK & GAY MARRIAGE

    by Steven Horwitz

    I don't know if folks saw these two pieces by Virginia Postrel on Sunday. The first is a long Boston Globe"ideas" piece on Hayek that is very well done. There's a companion piece on Hayek and gay marriage here. I post these not just because they are of possible interest but also because I'm quoted in

  • TAKING ANOTHER LOOK AT POLLACK

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    Excellent post by Arthur Silber here at L&P. I really do appreciate Kenneth M. Pollack's new discussion of the Iraq situation. It's better than what one reads from most of those on the"pro-war" side of this debate who are still trying to justify the means by the end of Hussein's reign, as if Hussein's regime was, in itself, an imminent threat to the security


  • MUSICAL MADNESS

    by Arthur Silber

    Well, I had at first hoped that this entry would not have anything at all to do with politics. No such luck. Regulators appear to have entered the clinical insanity stage, seeking to control everything on earth -- including classical music.

    As someone who has passionately loved classical music (and especially opera) all my life, I was intrigued by this NYT story about a phenomenon th


  • ADOBE PHOTOSHOP AND COUNTERFEITING

    by Steven Horwitz

    A friend just sent me this piece on Adobe including code in Photoshop that prevents users from copying and manipulating images of many of the world's major currencies, presumably to prevent counterfeiting. There are a couple of worrisome things here, including the state apparently requesting/demanding that such code be included in private software, and Adobe agreeing and not informing cus

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