Freedom Daily Archive

Another Bloody American Century

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The Violent American Century: War and Terror since World War II by John W. Dower (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017; 184 pages) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) was livid. “In the dead of night,” the California Democrat wrote on Twitter in July, House Speaker Paul Ryan did something “underhanded and undemocratic.” He stripped out her bipartisan amendment to repeal ... [click for more]

Homeland Security’s Multibillion-Dollar Comedy Show

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After the 9/11 attacks, Congress and the Bush administration pretended that unlimited federal spending was one of the best ways to thwart terrorist threats. In 2002, Congress created the Homeland Security Department (DHS), sweeping some of the most inept federal agencies, such as the Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), into the new mega-department. Congress also ... [click for more]

What Americans Should Know about the Constitution

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Having just finished reading a new biography of H.L. Mencken, I was intrigued when I discovered that the Washington Post had an online section about politics called “Monkey Cage.” It was Mencken who said, “Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.” “Monkey Cage’”s mission “is to connect political scientists and the political conversation by ... [click for more]

Slavery and Segregation Were Federal Programs

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Americans are afflicted with a “collective amnesia” that surrounds the subject of segregation, complacently assured that it was, if anything, a “minor factor” in the striking wealth gap that today divides white from black Americans. In his book The Color of Law, the Economic Policy Institute’s Richard Rothstein argues that not only have Americans forgotten the true legacy of ... [click for more]

Felix Morley, Champion of the American Republic

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The American socialist Ed Sard is reported to have originated the concept of a “permanent arms economy” as a way to explain why America experienced a post–World War II boom, while World War I had been followed by recession. Sard concluded that the United States retained many of the characteristics of a war economy, including what today is called ... [click for more]

A Bad Attack on Libertarian Economics

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Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality by James Kwak (Pantheon Books, 2017; 237 pages) There is a nasty genre of writing: books and articles that seek to build the case for socialism and interventionist government policies by smearing those of us who oppose them. That approach appeals greatly to Progressives who think that they are virtuous and their ... [click for more]

The National Security-State and JFK, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 In 1970 — twenty years after the election of Jacobo Arbenz as president of Guatemala — the Chilean people did what the Guatemalan people had done. They democratically elected a self-proclaimed socialist and communist named Salvador Allende to be president of their country. Since ... [click for more]

Will Trump Reduce Federal Spending?

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Donald Trump’s first proposed budget took a step towards draining the swamp in Washington. His proposal was the first one since the Reagan era in which a president has sought a wholesale demolition of boondoggles. On the other hand, Trump’s defense and homeland-security spending increases will squander bounties that should be reserved for taxpayers, not bureaucrats. Regardless of whether Trump ... [click for more]

Feeling Helpless Against the IRS?

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Although I enjoy looking at billboards on road trips because it breaks the monotony, I don’t pay too much attention to them when I am driving around town. However, one recently caught my eye because it had to do with something I frequently write about: taxes. The billboard said, “Feeling Helpless Against the IRS?” Since I don’t like handing my ... [click for more]

The Supreme Court’s Destruction of Liberty of Contract

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Found in Article I, Section 10, of the Constitution, the Contract Clause is a failed attempt to prevent the government from taking actions that would compromise the integrity of contractual obligations — failed, in large part, because of the 1934 Supreme Court case Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell. Blaisdell is arguably the centerpiece of the Supreme Court’s ... [click for more]

The Quirin Decision of 1942 Revisited

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In Ex Parte Quirin (1942) the U.S. Supreme Court justified the trial by military commission of eight German soldiers “captured” on American soil. Edward S. Corwin called the case “a ceremonious detour to a predetermined goal” (Total War and the Constitution, 1947). Louis Fisher notes the “common perception … that Quirin was a contrived decision without anchoring ... [click for more]
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