Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

Archive for December, 2006

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

It’s been an interesting year, including some good, some bad, some ugly. Here’s hoping that 2007 is better. And, in some ways, there are interesting signs of improvement. We’ll see how that plays out. In any case, happy new year to all of you, contributors and loyal readers both. Adam

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Is The Enlightenment Alive?

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

I recently became acquainted with The Philosophy Podcast, and was going through their older stuff. One selection was Immanuel Kant’s What Is Enlightenment. I was reminded by Mike’s “Exhibit B” of just how damaging this is to humanity. We have created an entire class of people who live in perpetual childhood. These are people who [...]

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The Power of the Minority

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

I know it is common, in this country, to believe that our government acts based upon the so-called will of the majority. This leads to another idea we refer to as the “tyranny of the majority”. Unfortunately this set of ideas is completely false in a representative government that is based on the idea of [...]

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Our “Shadow Government”

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

I suspect these three items are related; I leave it to you to figure out how. Exhibit A – “Most Americans Want Public Policies to Prevent Obesity.” An excerpt: “In addition, 73 percent said they’d support government incentives for companies that reduced the cost of health insurance for employees who had healthy lifestyles and shed [...]

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Why Aren’t They Upset About Hollywood’s Obscene Wealth?

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

As always, I enjoy reading Thomas Sowell. Many times I don’t agree with him, he is much more socially conservative than I am. But, economically, I rarely disagree. And his most recent piece in the National Review is no exception. It’s on income inequality and he makes some good points in it. But the best [...]

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A New Year, A New Front In The War Against Free Speech

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

In Sunday’s Washington Post, George Will writes about a case that may yet begin to challenge the tangled web that is campaign finance regulation: A three-judge federal court recently tugged a thread that may begin the unraveling of the fabric of murky laws and regulations that traduce the First Amendment by suppressing political speech. Divided [...]

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The End Of The Smoke-Filled Room

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, the District of Columbia will join many other jurisdictions around the country in banning smoking in virtually all public places: Smoking in District bars is about to be snuffed out, but not without a last, hazy hurrah. The Jefferson Hotel plans to pass out cigars and cigarettes [...]

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The GOP In Microcosm

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

The Washington Post writes today about the troubles of the Republican Party in Kansas, which seem to be only a smaller version of the GOP’s problems nationwide: Republicans lost their U.S. House and Senate majorities and 350 seats in state legislatures across the country. The early post-election Kansas experiences show that a recovery could be [...]

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Is Taxation Really Theft ?

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

One of the more well-known slogans of hard-core libertarians is “Taxation is Theft.” It’s an easy slogan for those who believe in it, and it’s message is pretty clear — to a true believer, there is no moral distinction to be made between an IRS tax collector and a mugger who demands your wallet at [...]

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The Nanny State: Manhattan Edition

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

The New York Post chronicles the list of things that the City of New York has tried to ban this year, sometimes successfully: Trans-fats. Aluminum baseball bats. The purchase of tobacco by 18- to 20-year-olds. Foie gras. Pedicabs in parks. New fast-food restaurants (but only in poor neighborhoods). Lobbyists from the floor of council chambers. [...]

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Death Of A Dictator

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Say what you will about the current situation in Iraq and America’s place in it, but there can be no question that the death of Saddam Hussein is good news for anyone who believes in human freedom: BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 — Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, who rose from humble beginnings to build the Arab [...]

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Another Stupid Law

Friday, December 29th, 2006

The New York Times reports today on a Greenwich, Connecticut family-run coffee stand owner being kicked out of its spot thanks to a law that favors the blind: [A]fter eight years serving the hedge fund traders, chief executives and other New York-bound professionals who stream through the station in the Old Greenwich neighborhood each morning, [...]

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Washington D.C. Picks Tax Revenue Over Blue Laws

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Ordinarily, you can’t buy hard liquor in Washington, D.C. on a Sunday and the bars have to close by 2pm. Conveniently, though, the City Council created an exception this year for two particular Sundays that happen to be very big for the liquor business: Liquor stores will be open Sunday in the District, and last [...]

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The Taxman Wants Your Gift Cards

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Not content with all of the available avenues of taxation one Wisconsin legislator has his eye on that Best Buy Gift Card you got for Christmas: Madison – Rep. Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) said today that the value of unused gift cards should go to the state treasury – not to the merchant – and that [...]

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The Economic Legacy of Gerald Ford

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Over at Cato@Liberty, Daniel Griswold notes that the “accidental President” was among those Republicans who led the GOP away from it’s history of economic isolationism: It is easy to forget today, but before World War II, the Republican Party was the protectionist, isolationist party. Republicans sponsored the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff bill that deepened and prolonged [...]

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Chinese Rent-Seekers Get Evicted

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Much is made of the Chinese “threat” of economic hegemony. Well, I’m not buying it. I personally believe that if America would re-liberalize our economy, we would have no trouble competing with the Chinese. But right now, the Chinese are shooting themselves in the foot. They’re making economic success partially dependent on political pull, which [...]

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Gerald Ford’s Parting Shot

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

With the death of former President Ford comes the release of a 2004 interview in which he harshly criticized the Bush Administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq: Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. “I don’t think I would have [...]

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If I had $2,500…

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

…Would I spend it on this? “This historical project will consist of forty-six titles spanning the entire writing career of Robert A. Heinlein. The Virginia Edition will contain all of Heinlein’s novels and short stories. It will also include all of his non-fiction titles along with the vast majority of his interviews, social commentaries, speeches [...]

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Saddam Death Sentence Upheld

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Today, Saddam Hussein’s death sentence has been upheld and he will be executed in 30 days. It’s important to take a look at how he was sentenced and how his trial was conducted. Human Rights Watch released a disturbing report in November that detailed possible fundamental flaws in Saddam’s trial. Some of the flaws identified [...]

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For Discussion: Property Rights in Virtual Markets

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

I’m no expert on this, so I’m offering it for your consumption. How do you define property rights for a virtual store, selling virtual wedding gowns, to virtual people, in exchange for virtual money? Veronica Brown is a hot fashion designer, making a living off the virtual lingerie and formalwear she sells inside the online [...]

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