Civil Liberties & Privacy

The Most Important Argument against the Draft

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As neoconservatives and some “liberals” contemplate bringing back the draft, it is time for all friends of liberty to prepare for a national debate of the utmost importance. Restoring conscription would be a monumental assault on individual liberty in America, one of the worst asaults since the ... [click for more]

The Backdoor to Military Rule in America

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Without any doubt, the most dangerous threat to the freedom of the American people in our lifetime lies with what might be called the Padilla doctrine, an exercise of such raw military power that, if upheld, will totally transform life in America as we know it. Unfortunately most Americans remain blissfully unaware of the ominous implications of this doctrine. On ... [click for more]

Foreign Policy Threatens Our Freedom

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There are four important pending U.S. terrorism legal cases, which separately and together present ominous and dangerous threats to the freedom of the American people. The Jose Padilla case Padilla is an American civilian who was initially arrested at the international airport in Chicago and held as a “material witness” in ... [click for more]

Henry David Thoreau and “Civil Disobedience,” Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Thoreau’s criticism is aimed at the form of obedience that springs from a genuine respect for the authority of the state. This obedience says, “The law is the law and should be respected regardless of content.” Through such attitudes, otherwise good men become agents of injustice. Thoreau dissects the notion that ... [click for more]

Book Review — Against Leviathan

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Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society by Robert Higgs (Independent Institute, 2004); 405 pages; $18.95. The era of big government is over, famously proclaimed President Bill Clinton. Alas, a decade later Leviathan is still with us, an ever-present threat to our liberties. In his new book, Against Leviathan: Government Power ... [click for more]

Book Review: Against Leviathan

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Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society by Robert Higgs (Independent Institute, 2004); 405 pages; $18.95. Readers familiar with the writings of the 16th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes will immediately understand the thrust of this exceptional book. Hobbes attempted to justify an ... [click for more]

The Bill of Rights: Unenumerated Rights

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A common misconception among the American people is that their rights come from the Constitution. Even lawyers and judges are guilty of believing this, oftentimes suggesting that whether a right exists or not depends on whether it is listed in the Constitution. Law-enforcement agents read criminal suspects “their constitutional rights,” which ... [click for more]

An End to Eminent Domain Abuse?

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Among the many ways in which American citizens have become less secure at the hands of government is the possibility that they will be victimized by eminent domain. At one time limited only to seizures of land necessary for some public use — and then only with ... [click for more]

Henry David Thoreau and “Civil Disobedience,” Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Although many Quaker writers had argued from conscience for civil disobedience against war and slavery, Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” essay is not tied to a particular religion or to a specific issue. It is a secular call for the inviolability of conscience on all issues, and this aspect may ... [click for more]
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