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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A Government without Spies

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the NSA’s previously super-secret surveillance scheme over the American people violates the U.S. Constitution, which sets forth the powers and restrictions on power that we the people have established for U.S. officials. Calling the NSA’s surveillance scheme “almost Orwellian,” Judge Richard Leon’s ruling is an amazing one, especially given the long history of ...

Morality and Conscience versus the CIA

In 2007 American Robert A. Levinson disappeared in Iran while on a spy mission for the CIA. The New York Times learned that he was a CIA agent in late 2007 but, at the request of the CIA, kept the information secret until now so as not to jeopardize the life of the agent, who is presumed to be ...

Unilaterally and Immediately Lift the Cuban Embargo

Much ado is being made about President Obama’s decision to shake hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. People are wondering whether the handshake could be the start of a thaw in the fifty-year state of hostility between Cuba and the United States. To no one’s surprise, Cold War anti-communist dead-enders are objecting to Obama’s handshake, ...

What Divide Between Liberals and Conservatives?

An op-ed in today’s New York Times indirectly highlights how fundamentally different libertarians are from both conservatives and liberals. The op-ed is entitled “The Appalling Stance of Rand Paul” and is written by liberal Times columnist Charles M. Blow. Why is Blow taking conservative Paul to task? He quotes a statement Paul made last Sunday on Fox News:

The U.S. National Security State Loves Egypt’s Dictatorship

In a Washington Post editorial “Egypt’s Wrong Road,” the Post calls on the U.S. government to suspend U.S. aid and cooperation with Egypt until the Egyptian regime “frees political prisoners and adopts a genuine democratic path.” The Post just doesn’t get it. The Egyptian military dictatorship is precisely what the U.S. government loves, respects, and admires. Let’s keep in mind ...

The Wall Street Journal’s Blind Spot

Conservatives are fascinating people, in part because of their eagerness to point out the faults of foreign regimes while turning a blind eye to the faults of their own government. A good example of this phenomenon occurred yesterday in an editorial published by the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Putin Media.” The Journal took Russian President Vladimir Putin to ...

The U.S. vs. Robert Kahre: A Horrible Miscarriage of Justice

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the criminal conviction of Robert Kahre, the man who incurred the wrath of the IRS by paying his employees in gold coin. Since the face value of the gold coins was significantly below the legal threshold that triggers withholding taxes, the Court held that Kahre didn’t do his duty to ...

Federal Debt, Detroit, and Greece

If ever-growing federal debt is a good thing, they pray tell: Why is the Detroit city government in bankruptcy? They’ve been incurring lots of debt. Is there really some kind of special difference between a national government and a local government? Of course not. Government is government, whether at a local, state, or national level. No government is exempt from ...

Will Oceania, I Mean America, Re-Embrace Syria?

In George Orwell’s novel 1984, Oceania is in a state of perpetual war, with the official enemy shifting back and forth between Eurasia and Eastasia. Whenever a shift in official enemies is made, the people are expected to automatically conform their mindsets to the new reality — that Oceania now has a new official enemy, one that has always ...

Welfare and Regulation: The Scam That Protects the Rich

In yesterday’s blog post, “Are the Minimum Wage and the Drug War Racist?” I pointed out how the federal government wages war against black teenagers with its minimum-wage laws and its drug laws. Actually, the problem is much worse than that. The entire panoply of programs in the welfare state and regulated economy are an attack against the poor ...

Are the Minimum Wage and the Drug War Racist?

At what point can one legitimately call a government program racist? Segregation laws were obviously racist given that their expressed aim was to separate whites and blacks in public and private facilities. But what about government programs whose adverse effects, year after year, fall disproportionately on blacks? If such programs are knowingly kept in existence, notwithstanding their obvious adverse ...

Killing Unnamed Children in Afghanistan

When I read this Washington Post article about the two-year-old child that U.S. forces just killed in Afghanistan, I wondered what the child’s name was. Nowhere was it to be found in the article. Maybe the Post hadn’t acquired the name. Or maybe it just doesn’t matter. It’s just one more death among the countless Afghan deaths at ...
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