Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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The Rule of Law versus the NSA

In the wake of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s traffic scandal, in which Christie’s aides were punishing a New Jersey mayor for not loyally supporting Christie’s reelection bid, critics were suggesting how dangerous it would be to have Christie in charge of the NSA. Imagine what he could do, people suggested, with all that personal information with which he ...

Is Life So Dear?

There really isn’t anything shameful about being a serf. What is shameful is the willingness to accept one’s serfdom for the sake of being kept safe and secure. That’s the trade that unfortunately all too many Americans have made, with respect to both the warfare state and the welfare state. On the warfare state side of things, people are willing to ...

If We Had No Constitution and Bill of Rights

What would life be like without the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? For the answer, all we have to do is look at places where the federal government operates independently of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Consider Guantanamo Bay, for instance, a federal installation that the president and the Pentagon announced from the very beginning would be ...

Unlimited Government

One of the charades that all too many Americans, especially conservatives, continue to subscribe to is the notion that the federal government is a “limited government” — that is, one whose powers are limited in nature and scope. They like to say that this is what distinguishes the U.S. government from totalitarian regimes. Limited government was the original idea behind ...

Martin Luther King, the White Rose, and the NSA

Several days ago, the New York Times reported that German officials had found the guillotine that they believe was used to execute Hans and Sophie Scholl and other members of the White Rose organization. I wrote about the White Rose in my essay, “The White Rose: A Lesson in Dissent.” Why did German officials execute the Scholl siblings? They ...

The Immoral Foundation of the Welfare State

Permit me to propose a welfare program that will expose the foundation of immorality and wrongdoing that undergirds the welfare state way of life. Here’s my proposal: The federal government gives every single American adult an annual dole of $10,000. The money will be free, with no strings attached. No doubt both conservatives and liberals would enthusiastically embrace my proposal. ...

A Warped Measure of Success in the War on Poverty

Proponents of the federal government’s war on poverty say that even though the war has not defeated poverty after 50 years of fierce warfare, it has been somewhat successful in alleviating poverty. What is the principal measure of success that welfare-statists point to? They point to the large number of people who have been put on the federal dole ...

A Totally Free Market System Is the Way to Defeat Poverty

In response to my blog post of yesterday, “Failure, Failure Everywhere,” which discussed the manifest failure of the war on poverty, the war on drugs, and military empire and foreign interventionism, a progressive reader wrote me the following: Is freedom the right of corporate entrepreneurs to drive wages to frightfully low, existence-levels so that people who work ...

Failure, Failure Everywhere

Those of us living today have been accorded the opportunity to witness the manifest failure of the America’s welfare-warfare state, as evidenced by three of the most important welfare-warfare programs of the federal government: the “war on poverty,” the “war on drugs,” and military empire and foreign interventionism. The war on poverty was declared by President Lyndon Johnson, a man ...

Master and Servant

Imagine that you are a billionaire who, along with your spouse and children, lives in a mansion with 20 full-time servants. One day you discover the existence of a secret video camera in your bedroom. You hire an investigative team that scours your home for other cameras. It discovers that there is a secret camera in every room in ...

The Pipe Dream of NSA Reformers

The pipe dream of many of those who are complaining about the NSA’s massive surveillance scheme is that the NSA can be “reined in” by some type of congressional legislation. They just don’t get it. As long as the NSA exists, it’s going to do whatever it needs to do to protect “national security,” even if that means breaking ...

Morality versus the National Security State

One of the horrible consequences of the national-security state apparatus that was grafted onto America’s governmental system is how it has oftentimes placed Americans in the position of choosing between morality and obedience to the law. Just this week, we have been reminded of the conflict between morality and law back in 1971, during the height of the Cold War, ...
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