Freedom Daily Archive

The Great Writ

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The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror by Anthony Gregory (Independent Institute/Cambridge University Press 2013), 390 pages. Among libertarians generally, there is a somewhat dependable tendency to hark back to the halcyon days of a supposed free age somewhere in the past, and to spotlight certain related features of Anglo-American ... [click for more]

The Origins of America’s Warfare State

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Given that most Americans living today were born and raised under a massive military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, a large number of Americans very likely believe that the United States has always had this type of government. Not so, as Michael Swanson shows in a new book, The War State. Swanson points out that America’s warfare state didn’t ... [click for more]

One Hundred Years of the Federal Reserve

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Two days before Christmas 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, creating America’s latest and current central bank, the Federal Reserve System. It’s a sobering thought that in the 100 years since the Fed’s creation, the dollar has lost 95 percent of its value. Had the Fed never been created, America would be dotted with Nickel Stores ... [click for more]

A Supreme Rebuff for the USDA’s Ruinous Raisin Regime

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The Supreme Court in June finally opened the door for farmers to escape from one of the most dictatorial bureaucratic regimes in the federal government. But it remains to be seen whether farmers will secure freedom and justice or be dragged into another endless array of court battles and appeals. The latest squabble has its origins in the New Deal. ... [click for more]

Roger Williams: The Separation of Conscience and State

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There was a whole country in America ... to be set on fire by the rapid motion of a windmill in the head of one particular man ... one Mr. Roger Williams. — Cotton Mather, New England Puritan minister Roger Williams (c. 1603–1683), founder of Rhode Island, was a key figure in forging the distinctive American character. The American was ... [click for more]

“Trust Us”

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On June 7 Barack Obama made his first public statements about the NSA surveillance programs leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. After justifying the programs as subject to congressional and judicial oversight, he insisted he did not want “to suggest that, you know, you just say ‘trust me, we’re doing the right thing, we know who the bad guys ... [click for more]

The Killing Years

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The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth by Mark Mazzetti (Penguin Press 2013), 400 pages. Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill (Nation Books 2013), 680 pages. The young man reached across the table and pushed the timer’s red button. Looking up ... [click for more]

Egypt’s Lessons for Americans, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 The ambivalent reaction of the U.S. government to the Egyptian coup should not have surprised anyone. While U.S. law requires a termination of U.S. foreign aid to Egypt in the event of a coup, the Obama administration ignored the law by simply refusing to declare that the coup was actually a coup. Keep ... [click for more]

The Phony Trade-Off between Privacy and Security

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Most people take it for granted — because they have heard it so many times from politicians and pundits — that they must trade some privacy for security in this dangerous world. The challenge, we’re told, is to find the right “balance.” Let’s examine this. On its face the idea seems reasonable. I can imagine hiring a firm to look ... [click for more]

AmeriCorps: Idealistic Triumph or Usual Buffoonery?

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National service is the latest fashionable panacea for all that ails America. Time magazine ran a July cover story, “How Service Can Save Us,” on the potential benefits of pressing all young people into service. The article approvingly quoted a retired Air Force veteran: “There isn’t an 18-year-old boy who doesn’t need to get his butt kicked by someone ... [click for more]

The Fault in Fairness

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The coffee aisle at the supermarket has become the latest front in the crusade for “social justice.” Coffee roasters proudly tout their allegiance to the ideals of the fair-trade movement, which ostensibly aims to elevate the economic and social welfare of disadvantaged Third-World farmers. Despite its meteoric rise in popularity, does fair trade translate its stated intentions into tangible results? ... [click for more]

Freedom of Speech: Abridge to Nowhere

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Americans, known for their outspokenness on matters of politics, sports, American Idol contestants, and practically every other topic, would appear to treasure few things more highly than their freedom of speech. Why, it’s even right there in the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law  ... abridging the freedom of speech.” In America, everyone is allowed to speak his mind ... [click for more]
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