Free Society

The Streets of America Feel Different

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Zeitgeist: noun, German. The spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time. The word zeitgeist occurred to me while reading a March 22 headline in the New York Post: “Military-Style Drones Will Patrol NYC.” The report sprang from comments made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his weekly radio ... [click for more]

Restrooms and a Free Society

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We have all done it. While on a trip across the country with the family, we have all exited the Interstate and pulled into a McDonald’s or some convenience store to use the restroom — and then driven away without making a purchase. A woman in Tennessee will probably never do that again. She stopped at a restaurant in Erin, ... [click for more]

TGIF: Freedom Overlooked

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The idea of freedom counts for little in public discourse. It may come up now and then, only to be quickly shoved to the rear as something quaintly outmoded if not suggestive of paranoia. Examples abound, and this week saw its share. The first that comes to mind is New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s legal setback in his attempt to ... [click for more]

The Democratic Way of Killing: The President as Judge, Jury, and Executioner

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One wonders whether Americans felt pride when they discovered that, according to the New York Times, their president was “a student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.” As a result, Barack Oba-ma believes that “he should take moral responsibility” for U.S. policy, including killing anyone and everyone seen as a terrorist threat to the United States. ... [click for more]

The Calling: I Have Seen the Future of Freedom

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Even before I started writing regularly for The Future of Freedom Foundation, I had thought a lot about the future of freedom and how those of us who care deeply about liberty in all its dimensions are going to bring about the world we want to see. For the over 30 years I’ve been involved in the libertarian movement, ... [click for more]

Discounts and a Free Society

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We have all been there: a nice restaurant, a quiet evening, a companion of the opposite sex — only to have the experience shattered by loud, ill-mannered, or unruly kids. From coast to coast, some restaurants have begun placing signs on their doors and menus saying things such as, “We love children, especially when they are tucked in ... [click for more]

TGIF: Government Undermines Social Cooperation

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I should know better than to take seriously the insipid words of presidential speechwriters, especially those who composed an inaugural address. Still, I can’t let some of the words President Obama read at Monday’s inauguration pass without comment. For example, Obama said this: Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet ... [click for more]

TGIF: What’s Need Got to Do with It?

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Recent public-policy debates have taken an ominous turn. Proponents of new government impositions increasingly justify their proposals by asserting that the individuals who would be adversely affected should not complain because they do not need whatever the government action would deny them. We've heard this during debates over both higher taxes on upper-income people and gun control. Those favoring higher ... [click for more]

The Heroism of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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A destructive myth hangs over the history of World War II. It is that a flaw within the German character allowed the rise of Hitler and Nazism. How else can you explain the coming of the Holocaust from one of the world’s most cultured nations? Oddly, no one seems to consider Mussolini as indicating a flaw in Italians or ... [click for more]

Charity, Not Welfare

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As long as human beings have gathered together in society, provisions have been made for the aid of the poor. In Europe, it was the church that came to shoulder most of this burden, granting a percentage of its income to those in need. In their excellent work, Life in a Medieval Castle, Joseph and Frances Gies ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Year That Was

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The year coming to an end has hardly been a banner one in the cause of liberty. Once again, high points are tough to find, but low points abound. In mainstream public discussion, freedom counted for nothing, if it wasn’t ridiculed outright. The presidential election saw the marginalizing (again) of the only figure in the race — Ron Paul — ... [click for more]
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