Free Society

Voting Rights as Bogus Panaceas

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The Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act last June. “Liberals” were horrified and reacted as if the Civil War had been fought in vain. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg denounced the decision for its “hubris,” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) condemned it as a “dagger” stab at civil rights, and Attorney General Eric Holder ... [click for more]

America’s Surveillance State

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J. Edgar Hoover and the Anti-Interventionists: FBI Political Surveillance and the Rise of the Domestic Security State, 1939-1945, by Douglas M. Charles (Ohio State University Press, 2007), 197 pages. The domestic surveillance state is sometimes called the electronic police state. Those in political power use law enforcement to closely monitor the opinions and peaceful behavior of citizens in order ... [click for more]

Gun Control and Drug Control

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The Democratic attempt to enact additional or more draconian gun-control legislation is dead. Liberals in and out of Congress — many of whom would prefer that only members of the military, the Department of Homeland Security, and the police be armed — have lost the momentum they thought they had after the Sandy Hook school shooting last year in ... [click for more]

Government Is the Problem

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Last spring Barack Obama told the graduating class of Ohio State University, Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems.… They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is ... [click for more]

TGIF: What an Honest Conversation about Race Would Look Like

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Ever since George Zimmerman’s fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin hit the national headlines last year, calls for an “honest conversation about race” have been heard throughout America. (Up until then, apparently, we’ve had only conversations about having a conversation about race.) However, one need not believe that the Zimmerman shooting and verdict were about race — I watched the ... [click for more]

Creating a Culture of Denunciation

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On June 10, the Guardian featured an article entitled “Edward Snowden: Saving Us from the United Stasi of America” by Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame. He stated, The NSA, FBI, and CIA have, with the new digital technology, surveillance powers over our own citizens that the Stasi — the secret police in the former “democratic republic” of ... [click for more]

Book Review: Slightly Limited Government’s Nearly Last Hurrah

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Coolidge by Amity Shlaes (New York: Harper, 2013), 456 pages. I am for economy. After that, I am for more economy. — Calvin Coolidge (1920) Amity Shlaes’s Coolidge is a compelling biography of John Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933), 30th president of the United States. It is a well-paced narrative with elements of novelistic plotting and repeated themes both great and small. Indeed, ... [click for more]

Why Is the Drinking Age 21?

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Last month, the parliament in Turkey passed legislation ostensibly designed to curb alcohol consumption among Turkish youth. Retailers may not sell alcohol between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. No alcohol may be sold within 100 meters of educational or religious centers. Educational and health institutions, sports clubs, and gas stations will be banned from selling alcohol. Although the advertising of ... [click for more]

TGIF: National Servitude

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To make citizens, we must facilitate the shared experiences that cultivate civic pride and responsibility. This should mean a period of full-time national service as a rite of passage for every young American, ages 18 to 28. Such service could be military or civilian. Young adults could choose the Army or Peace Corps, Marine Corps or AmeriCorps, the Navy or ... [click for more]

Destroying Freedom in the Name of Equal Opportunity

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The Obama administration is finding new ways to use civil-rights laws to attack freedom and common sense. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year issued a byzantine “enforcement guidance” to browbeat businesses into ceasing to conduct criminal-background checks on job applicants. The agency’s edict will chill hiring and spur a backlash across the nation. The 1964 Civil Rights Act ... [click for more]

The Worst Protection

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You feel safe in your neighborhood, but worry about the small chance of a break-in or act of vandalism. To protect yourself from those risks, you pay a security company to look after your house. It costs a little more than you’d like, but you determine it’s worth it. They put an unarmed guard in front of your house at ... [click for more]
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