Freedom Daily Archive

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]

Beware Grand Inquisitors and Psychology Professors

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For some people, there are a limitless number of reasons individual freedom is not the great good libertarians believe it to be. The “in” reason at the moment is that freedom to choose among a large number of options makes people unhappy. The leading theoretician among the choice-is-bad set is Barry ... [click for more]

Uncle Sam’s Iron Curtain of Secrecy

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The Bush administration is subverting the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). On January 31, the People for the American Way publicly protested that the Justice Department claimed it would cost the group a minimum of $372,999 for the feds to search their files (in response to an FOIA request from the group) for cases in which the Justice Department ... [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]

Book Review: Christianity and War

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Christianity and War; And Other Essays against the Warfare State by Laurence M. Vance (Pensacola, Fla.: Vance Publications, 2005); 118 pages. When asked to name his favorite political philosopher in late 1999 during a debate with other Republicans in the campaign for the presidential nomination, George W. Bush named Jesus Christ. Bush’s ... [click for more]

The Bill of Rights: Bail, Fines, and Cruel and Unusual Punishments

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Like the Sixth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment deals with the administration of criminal justice. The Eighth Amendment reads as follows: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. This is how bail works: When federal officials arrest someone suspected of having committed a crime, they are required to take him promptly ... [click for more]

Medical Marijuana Is Not a Libertarian Cause

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“Medicine by regulation is better than medicine by referendum.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said that during arguments in the much-watched medical-marijuana case, Ashcroft v. Raich. Breyer, in other words, prefers that any change in the government’s prohibition of marijuana use be accomplished by an appeal to federal drug-enforcement authorities rather than by a public vote in the ... [click for more]

Ashcroft, 9/11, and Government as Victim

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John Ashcroft resigned as attorney general last November. Unfortunately, few Americans are aware of how profoundly Ashcroft botched his job and abused his power. He continues to be revered by many conservatives, despite his role in dragging the Bill of Rights into the mud. Nothing better illustrates both Ashcroft’s arrogance and verbal manipulations than his testimony last April 13 to ... [click for more]

Ashcroft v. Raich: Whither Federalism?

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Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution provides that “Congress shall have the power to prohibit citizens from consuming or ingesting any substance that it deems hazardous to the health, safety, or morals of the people.” On the basis of that grant of authority, Congress has carefully investigated the effects of numerous substances and has chosen to ban ... [click for more]
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