Liberty and Power

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    by Keith Halderman

    In his post just below Radley Balko quotes pundit Mark Shield as saying,"It's an insult to Americans when a politician stands up and says that Americans know better how to spend their own money than the government does. I'm tired of it."

    Have we considered the possibility that maybe the government really does know how to spend Mark Shields money better than Mark Shields does? I have been watching Shields on TV, off and on, for years and I have never heard him say anything remotely intellig

  • Funny. I Don't Feel Insulted.

    by Radley Balko

    Friday night on Newshour With Jim Lehrer, Washington Post columnist Mark Shields declared, crankily,"It's an insult to Americans when a politician stands up and says that Americans know better how to spend their own money than the government does. I'm tired of it."

    I think it might be applesauce time for Mark Shields.

    Now, it is an insult when President Bush says such things, as he did in the SOTU. Because he doesn't mean them.

    But Shields was spea

  • Sometimes It Really Is All About Oil

    by Radley Balko

    Leslie Stahl reports on 60 Minutes tonight that as CEO of Halliburton in the mid to late 1990s, now Vice President Cheney oversaw the construction of a Cayman Islands-based subsidiary that was created for the sole purpose helping Iran extract and process oil -- an effort to get around U.S. State Department rules forbidding U.S. companies from doing business with countries that sponsor terrorism.

    To th

  • Hello Again

    by Radley Balko

    Thanks to David for inviting me in for permanent residence here at L&P. I'm honored to be in such esteemed company.

    Your Cliff's Notes bio of Radley Balko: I was recently hired as a policy analyst for the Cato Institute (read my first paper for them here). My issues include the range of"nanny state" issues, which would include alcohol and tobacco control, drug prohibition, obesity, and to a lesser extent, issues like gambling,


    by Gene Healy

    Lebanon. Noah Schactman at Defensetech sends along a report from Jane's Intelligence Digest about the next front:

    US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld is considering plans to expand the global war on terrorism with multi-pronged attacks against suspected militant bases in countries such as Lebanon and Somalia...

    Sending US troops into lawless Somalia would not be new, nor is it likely to cause serious diplomatic waves.

  • Nonfiction Titans

    by Radley Balko

    Interesting dichotomy in the lists of Modern Library's editors' picks and readers' picks for best nonfiction titles. The reader list is chock full of libertarian titles, which makes me think there may have been some sort of email campaign to skew the results. I'd love to believe that scads of people are rediscovering Paterson and Hazlitt, and reading the likes of Rummel and Friedman, but the evidence just isn't borne


    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    In one of my very first undergraduate political science courses at New York University, I studied with H. Mark Roelofs, who wrote Ideology and Myth in American Politics. I'll never forget the first class: I swear ... he sounded like a villain out of an Ayn Rand novel."There is no such thing as objectivity," he bellowed."This class will be devoted to my opinion. You can certainly try to interject your own opinions, but I won't be listening." I figured it would be downhill fro


    by Gene Healy

    An Associated Press canvass of the candidates on what album they'd most like to pop into their CD players turns up gospel, opera, hip-hop, country and rock.

    The rock fans are Wesley Clark, who likes Journey's"Greatest Hits"; Sen. John Edwards,"The Essential Bruce Springsteen"; and Sen. John Kerry, the Beatles'"Abbey Road."

    Howard Dean singled out the music of Grammy-winning hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean. Rep. Dennis Kucinich chose country's Willie Nelson (who has endorsed him), and

  • Moon/Mars

    by Wendy McElroy

    To the amazement of many, Bush is championing the boondoggle known as NASA in a bid both to set up permanent human digs on the moon and to reach Mars. At the same time he shows no interest in privatizing space and exploration despite private entrepreneurs almost begging to do so at their own expense. Conspiracy theories abound. Wired claims that Bush's pro


    by Keith Halderman

    On Comedy Central’s The Daily Show tonight they did a story on the Iowa Caucus and Stephen Colbert said that Howard Dean’s numbers had “dropped like a duck on Demerol.”

    I agree with Chris Matthew Sciabarra when he said in his post yesterday, referring to the Democratic Party nominating process after the Iowa results, that, “This might actually be fun to watch.” Though, I hope it is not too much fun because that could mean a brokered


    by R. Reid McKee

    Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch the History Channel's documentary on Little Big Horn this weekend, but I did happen to catch the promos for the show which billed the event as"America's bloodiest race war."

    Beyond the smart-alecky observation that this curious terminology sounds both politically correct and Mansonesque at the same time, I don't have much comment on this. Howe