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Liberty and Power

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  • Happy '04!

    by Wendy McElroy

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to one and all. I have a good feeling about '04. Hooray to Dave Barry's 'year in review' column! Barry advises,"2003 is finally, we hope, over. But before we move on, let's put our heads between our knees and take one last look back at this remarkable year." For more sobering commentary, try David Martin's

  • THE UNTHINKABLE, THANKS, GOODBYE, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

    by Sam Koritz

    Some things are literally unthinkable. For example, Frederick W. Kagan's,"The art of war," an article in the November 2003 issue of The New Criterion, presents compelling evidence that attempting to dominate the world militarily will fail and lead to national ruin, yet Kagan, a teacher of military history at West Point, advocates just such a policy, and apparently sees no need to defend this choice. Excerpts follow:


  • NEW AND IMPROVED LIBERTY AND POWER

    by David T. Beito

    As you can see, our software has been modernized. The biggest change for readers is that each blog now includes a comment section. They can also finally have a real hope that the permalinks will actually work! Hopefully, Rick Shenkman and the folks at the History News Network can now have a respite from our pesky and and frantic questions about technical glitches which were legion under the old software. All hail HNN!

  • ECONOMICS EDUCATION MALPRACTICE

    by King Banaian

    You want to see what we're up against? Joanne Jacobs links to an article by Neil Boortz on how bad some economic education really can be.The children sit in a circle. Some are wearing mittens; others are waiting expectantly with little plastic shovels. The rules of the game state that a few of the children must do nothing but sit and watch as

  • MIXED ECONOMY 101

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    The NY Times tells us that James Baker's call to service in Iraq is all well and good, but that he"is far too tangled in a matrix of lucrative private business relationships that leave him looking like a potentially interested party in any debt-restructuring formula. The obvious solution is for him to sever his ties to all firms doing work directly or indirectly related to Iraq." The editorial continues:

    Mr.


  • NEW REPUBLICANS: MEET THE OLD REPUBLICANS

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    The New York Times has an editorial in today's paper on The New Republicans, which argues that the 21st-century GOP has embraced big government in a way that is very much at odds with its allegedly historic support for"smaller government."

    That's news to me. The modern GOP has been"me-tooing" the growth of government for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Some have tried to slow the increase in gove


  • THE UNITED STATES AS BRUTAL, VIOLENT -- AND HATED -- PARENT

    by Arthur Silber

    I have argued, as have many others (including Friedrich Hayek, and historian Barbara Tuchman) that the idea of centrally-planned"nation-building" is a delusion doomed to failure, and that history conclusively demonstrates that not everyone in the world wants freedom in precisely the form in which it has manifested itself in the West, and particularly in


  • NOW THAT'S ONE FUNKY DJ!

    by R. Reid McKee

    It looks like support for citywide smoking bans is literally coming out of the woodwork in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg police say that they never would have found the decomposing body of a DJ hidden in the wall of a local nightclub if it weren't for their city's smoking ban.

  • AL SHARPTON, COMEDIAN

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    I have never been a fan of Al Sharpton, but he did a pretty good James Brown imitation during his monologue last night on"Saturday Night Live." On the campaign trail, Sharpton has been resident comedian of the Democratic Party. On hearing that President Bush wanted $87 billion for his new Great Society program in Iraq, Sharpton said:"Why doesn't Bush just run for president of Iraq?" But he's been no kinder to his Democratic foes. Asked if


  • REQUIRED VIEWING: TONY KUSHNER ON "ANGELS," LIFE, POLITICS, LIFE, WHATSISNAME — AND MORE LIFE

    by Arthur Silber

    I just posted some thoughts about Tony Kushner's extraordinary play,"Angels in America," which will be shown on HBO beginning tomorrow night. And I've offered some ideas about why, even though I disagree with all of Kushner's explicit political beliefs (he's a committed socialist), I find the play to be marvelously rewarding. Here is part of what I said:

    The play is set in the mid-1980s, but I doubt that you'll find it dated at all. Even though


  • BEWARE NATIONAL GOALS

    by Sheldon Richman

    Oh great. The Bush people are looking for “unifying national goals” for the second term. Ideas being kicked around include going to the moon (again?), extending life spans, and eradicating childhood illnesses. According to the Washington Post, “One person consulted by the White House said some aides appear to relish the idea of a ̵

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