Liberty and Power

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  • CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM DOUBLE STANDARDS

    by Keith Halderman

    In Monday’s Washington Times there are two excellent columns concerning the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. In the first one Nat Hentoff, quite possibly America’s staunchest defender of the First Amendment, highlights some of the arguments made by the dissenting judges. Their points are so valid that they leave one with a sense of wonderment as to how t

  • HARD-LINE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: SYMBOLIC GAIN, REAL PAIN

    by Ivan Eland

    Lately, the Bush administration and its neo-conservative supporters have been crowing about how President Bush's hard-line foreign policy caused Muammar Qaddafi to end his unconventional (biological, chemical and nuclear) weapons programs and open them to international inspections. They have also been implying that the tough U.S. policy will continue to make bad regimes capitulate. But the gains from Qaddafi's abandonment of such programs are mostly symbolic. In contrast, the p

  • SUNSTEIN ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

    by R. Reid McKee

    Cass Sunstein is calling the Supreme Court's approval of the new campaign finance reform law,"a surprising endorsement of congressional authority."

    I couldn't agree more. Considering the text of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law..."), I'd say that the Court's approval of a federal law sharply regulating political speech prior to an election is surprising, at the very least.

    The only di


  • VAE VICTIS

    by Roderick T. Long

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

    Who should try Saddam Hussein?

    The Nuremberg trials have had both a positive and a negative legacy. The positive legacy is the affirmation of a higher moral standard to which government rulers are subject and in the name of which they can be called to accouint. But the negative legacy is the notion that the vanquished may legitimately be tried by the victor.

    As Joh

  • KEEPING THE TRUE SPIRIT OF KWANZAA!

    by David T. Beito

    Ann Coulter is not one of my favorite people but she does often show a talent for good one-liners such as this one, “Is it just me, or is Kwanzaa becoming way too commercialized?”

  • SOWING AND REAPING

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    Speaking of sowing and reaping, here's a report from the Washington Post that is worth reading. WP reporter Dana Priest writes:

    Donald H. Rumsfeld went to Baghdad in March 1984 with instructions to deliver a private message about weapons of mass destruction: that the United States' public criticism of Iraq for using chemical weapons would not


  • TERMS OF DISENGAGEMENT, 12-19-03

    by Sam Koritz

    Jim Zwick has an excellent site, with the unclear-on-the-concept name of boondocksnet.com, dedicated to the history of the American Anti-Imperialist League. The historical documents archived on the site are particularly valuable, but the essays by Zwick and others are also worthwhile (though I have significant disagreements with them), especially for those of us interested in issues of liberty and power. The arguably successful, in my view


  • DEAN: AN ECHO, NOT A CHOICE?

    by Gene Healy

    From Dean's major foreign policy address on Monday:"I have supported U.S. military action to roll back Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, to halt ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, [and] to stop Milosevic's campaign of terror in Kosovo...."

    Now, I guess that's not surprising. But Dean's argument against the Iraq war has focused on the idea (I'd


  • THE NEW JERSEY CONSPIRACY

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    First it was the (intentional?) leak of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's memo, which brought into question the administration's effectiveness in the"War on Terror." Rumsfeld may have been born in Chicago, but he was educated at Princeton University. In New Jersey. Hold onto that fact for a moment.

    Then, it was former EPA head and former governor of New Jersey (do you sense a pattern he


  • SADDAM & U.S. COMPLICITY

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    I have been debating"pro-war" advocates on several lists over the newest developments in Iraq, but it seems that I've earned the disapproval of at least one antiwar advocate too, because of my"Death to Tyrants" approach to Saddam Hussein.

    Let me say, in response, that I am second to none in my appreciation of the role of U.S. foreign policy in engendering the demons it now seeks to exorcise from the world stage. I a


  • GUEST BLOGGER THANKS & INTRODUCTION

    by Sam Koritz

    Like previous guest bloggers I'd like to thank David Beito for inviting me – and also for creating this high-caliber blog. I don't believe that I've met any of you regular L&Pers in the real world (that I've heard so much about) but I have read and admired a number of your books and articles (enough said), so I feel privileged to be able to share my thoughts with you all. Please feel free to comment on and criticize what I write, as I think conversations and debates are ofte


  • JUST TRIAL THEN EXECUTE

    by Wendy McElroy

    he was moved to compassion as he saw"this man destroyed, being treated like a cow as they [the US military] checked his teeth." The media and military treatment of Saddam looks like vengeance, not justice...and this could turn Saddam into an object of pity for some, a rallying point for others. Bush may yet snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    For one thing...why mention the death penalty? It was akin to throwing gas on a raging fire for the joy of making sparks. As