Liberty and Power

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  • With Friends Like These, U.S. Enemies Don't Seem as Bad

    by Ivan Eland

    The media made much of President Bush’s “axis of evil” -- much as administration “spinners” had hoped. The excessive demonization of the admittedly autocratic Iran, North Korea, and Iraq allowed the administration to build public support for an aggressive invasion of Iraq as well as hard-line policies toward these “rogue” states. But a more appropriate moniker might be “axis of exaggeration.” The Bush administration has failed to find unconventional (nuclear, biological and chemical) weapons


  • THIS IS DISGUSTING

    by Gene Healy

    The Stupid Party and the Evil Party (which one's which again?) want the fuzz to pull you over if you're not buckled up. Hillary! Clinton and John Warner are cosponsoring a bill that will push the states to adopt"primary enforcement" seat belt laws. As Eric Peters explains on the American Spectator site today:"Primary enforcement means the police can screech out of alleyways, turn on their sirens and pull you over, hands on thei

  • CLARK, JUDGES, AND PRECEDENT

    by Steven Horwitz

    I saw this piece from the Manchester Union-Leader on Wes Clark and couldn't help but notice this comment:

    The retired four-star general said he will discern a prospective judge's position on abortion not with a litmus test, but by reading his previous decisions to ensure that the judge has never upset existing judicial precedent.

    "I don't believe people whose ideological agenda is to burn


  • SCALIA ON DRUG TESTING AND THE DANGERS OF "SYMBOLIC" ACTS

    by R. Reid McKee

    I try to keep an eye out for good quotations in my day-to-day law practice. Today, I just happened to come across an excellent passage in a case written by Justice Scalia, and I thought I'd share it with the L&P readership.

    This excerpt may come in handy in some common debates between liberals, libertarians and conservatives for the following reasons. 1) It serves as a nice defense against critics of Justice Scalia who think that the good Justice reflexively panders to the every need a


  • GEORGE H.W. BUSH AND IRAQI QUAGMIRES

    by David T. Beito

    I received this little tidbit this morning from the list serve of Historians Against the War:

    In his 1998 book, A World Transformed, George H.W. Bush describes his reason for not going after Saddam at the end of the first Gulf war:"Extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq . . . would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. . . . We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad . . . [and] rule Iraq. . . . Under those circumstances there would have been no viable ex


  • THE PRODUCT OF MAN'S MIND

    by Franklin Harris

    A interesting quirk in Ayn Rand's theory of property creation seems to have major implications for the concept of intellectual property and may explain why libertarians are somewhat divided on the issue.

    Rand seems to go to great lengths to distance her theory from John Locke's, trying to avoid the idea that mixing one's labor with an unowned resource transforms that resource into owned property. Instead, Rand always speaks of property as the"product of man's mind," not his physical labor.


  • ARTISTS AND ECONOMICS

    by Franklin Harris

    Over at my blog, Franklin's Findings, I have linked to a debate which has arisen between a few comic-book writers and the fans who buy their comics. Long story short, a couple of writers are complaining that those fans who prefer to wait for publishers like Marvel Comics and DC Comics to issue trade-paperback collections are destroying the market for 22-page monthly comic books.

    Now, wh


  • DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO

    by Franklin Harris

    Listening to the radio news as I drove into work, I heard Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge admit that when asked by the president if he would want a member of his family to fly he answered,"no." Yet Ridge and the rest of the Bush Administration urge all of us to go about our business, lest our inaction cause the economy to tank in the middle of an election year.

  • Hello all!

    by Steven Horwitz

    My apologies if my html is bad in this first post.


    I just wanted to post a quick hello and to thank you all for inviting me on board. I've been a reasonably regular reader for the last few months and have enjoyed your contributions. It's particularly nice to be here with several folks I know (Dave, Don, Chris, Sheldon) and others (such as Rod, Gene, and King) who I've met briefly over the years. King may not remember when we met - I interviewed for a job at SCSU back in 89 and didn'


  • WELCOME TO STEVE HORWITZ

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to welcome to the Liberty and Power Group Blog our newest participant: Steven Horwitz. Steven is Associate Dean of the First Year, and Interim Director at the Center for Teaching and Learning, and Professor of Economics, at St. Lawrence University. You can find out more about Steve here. Speaking personally, I'd like to say that he is one of my favorite hot-s


  • NICKY ARNSTEIN, NICKY ARNSTEIN...

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    ... what a beautiful, beautiful name. Okay, so maybe I don't like Barbra Streisand's politics, but I really liked the movie"Funny Girl." So sue me. Omar Sharif, the"Hello Gorgeous" Egyptian-Lebanese actor who played Fanny Brice's husband in the film, has shown that he's also pretty astute on Middle Eastern affairs. (Perhaps he learned a thing or two when he played Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish in"Lawrence of Arabia"...)

    At the Capri-Hollywood Film & Music Festival, Sharif criticized the


  • WHY IS LIBYA DIFFERENT FROM IRAQ?

    by Sheldon Richman

    The announcement that Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi has agreed to give up his quest for biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons and submit to inspections raises two questions. First, has Gadaffi promised to turn Libya into a democracy? If so, I missed that part of the news release. The Bush doctrine isn’t supposed to be simply about “weapons of mass destruction.” It’s also purportedly about bringing democracy to the Middle East. Second, in Libya’s case President Bush is content to forgo regi

  • NEOCONSPIRACY THEORY

    by Gene Healy

    I sure wish we could get beyond this dishonest, debate-squelching notion that"neocon" is a code-word for"Jew." Folks on the political Right, veterans all of campus affirmative action debates where ideological opposition automatically prompts charges of racism, ought to know better than to engage in this sort of well-poisoning tactic. Yet it's increasingly becoming a favorite trick of conservatives, as witnessed by Joel M
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