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Drug Laws versus Freedom

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People who live in a society in which there are drug laws are living in an unfree society, no matter how much they believe otherwise. That’s because in a genuinely free society people have the right to ingest whatever they want without being punished for it by the state. It never ceases to amaze me how both conservatives and liberals are unable to grasp this fundamental point about freedom. Even progressives who are now, finally, calling for the legalization of marijuana insist on keeping drug laws in place with respect to heroin, cocaine, meth, opioids, and other illicit drugs. They just don’t get it. For example, the New York Times today has an editorial calling on Congress to reform federal marijuana laws to match up with the marijuana legalization/decriminalization trend among the states. Yet, there was silence in the editorial regarding the legalization of all drugs. Let’s assume that a person is ...

The Dangers of the New Democratic Socialism

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In the ancient world, there was often a philosophy of life that the events surrounding man and the world he lived in went in circles and cycles. It certainly seems that way with the recent revival of the case for democratic socialism. After seeming to have been relegated to the dustbin of history following the collapse of Soviet-style socialism in the early 1990s, the idea of “socialism” is once again declared to be both relevant and alive as an alternative to the existing institutions of a still-market-based and still-liberal society. For most of the last century, socialism was identified with political totalitarianism, comprehensive government central planning, and a terror state that tortured and murdered tens of millions of people in the name and promise of a wonderful and beautiful collectivist utopia to come that, it was said, would justify all the tragedy and torment that was needed to bring it about. Socialist Disaster and Destruction For those of us who had an ...

Obama’s Forgotten Frauds and Debacles

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Former President Barack Obama is again busy lecturing Americans on politics. His speeches have contained many snappy lines that would deserve attention if they came from an untainted source. But Obama as president was guilty of many of the things against which he now warns his fellow citizens. Last September, Obama received the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government at the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana. Obama told students that “the biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism” and called for “a restoration of honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government.” Obama flailed cynicism as in the glory days of his 2008 presidential campaign. He declared that “making people cynical about government ... always works better for those who don’t believe in the power of collective action.” He also warned that “the more cynical people are about government, the angrier and more dispirited they are about the prospects for change, the more likely the powerful are able to ...