Civil Liberties & Privacy

California’s Blow Against Property Rights

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California likes its reputation as the trend-setter of the nation, but let's hope it won't be true this time. On New Year's Day, it will become the first state where smoking is forbidden in bars. Most people don't smoke, so they may be pleased with this news. But that would be short-sighted, ... [click for more]

Ruining People’s Lives for Fun and Profit

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In recent years, entrapment schemes have exploded as government agencies seek to distract attention from their failure to protect citizens from real criminals and to maximize their power to intimidate the citizenry. Entrapment is "the act of officers or agents of the government in inducing a person to commit ... [click for more]

Should Hate Be a Crime?

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Some policymakers in Washington want to make it easier for the federal government to prosecute people for what's in their minds. Among those who support that idea are President Clinton and Senators Edward Kennedy and Arlen Specter. The foolishness, as you can see, is bipartisan. Kennedy and Specter are cosponsors ... [click for more]

Laundering: The Criminalization of Everything

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Money-laundering statutes epitomize how the government has shirked going after violent criminals and instead is routinely impaling innocent citizens and penny-ante misfits in order to maximize its number of convictions. If the government cannot catch the guilty, at least it can scourge the innocent. In the same way that ... [click for more]

Freedom in Transactions

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On entering Paris, which I had come to visit, I said to myself — Here are a million of human beings who would all die in a short time if provisions of every kind ceased to flow towards this great metropolis. Imagination is baffled when it tries to appreciate the vast ... [click for more]

A Vision of a Free Society, Part 5

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Libertarians, unlike conservatives and leftists, believe that people should be free to live their lives any way they wish, as long as their conduct remains peaceful. That is, as long as people do not murder, rape, steal, loot, plunder, defraud, and so ... [click for more]

A Vision of a Free Society, Part 4

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 In a primitive, economically poor society, a person has to do a lot of basic jobs just to survive. He has to be a master of many trades. But as a society becomes wealthier and more complex, people begin to specialize at ... [click for more]

The Campaign Finance Red Herring

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That campaign-finance nonsense is again on the public agenda. The recent episodes involving the Democratic National Committee, the White House, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich have renewed for the umpteenth time the calls for a drastic overhaul of how politics is funded in America. The DNC unilaterally announced it would ... [click for more]

Smoke If You Want, and Pay for It

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Tobacco has become a four-letter word. The cigarette companies are getting it from all sides. The federal Food and Drug Administration wants to regulate tobacco as a drug. State governments are suing to recover Medicare money spent on elderly people with tobacco-related illnesses. Heirs of long-time ... [click for more]
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