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The Federal Government Has Damaged Our Country

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As the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, an increasing number of Americans are now questioning the wisdom of President Bush’s decision to invade. While the primary reason for people’s increased level of dissatisfaction is the number of U.S. troops killed and wounded, there are many other important reasons that Americans should be questioning not only the U.S. invasion but also U.S. foreign policy in general. With its foreign policy and its invasion of Iraq, the federal government has wreaked great damage and brought great shame on our country. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, President Bush suggested various rationales for the invasion. All of them revolved around the fact that Saddam Hussein, the unelected ruler of Iraq, was a tyrannical and dangerous dictator, one who possibly possessed WMDs. Yet, in dealing with Saddam Hussein, Bush himself assumed dictatorial powers, thereby signaling to the world that there’s nothing wrong with a political ruler in a democracy who exercises dictatorial powers in ...

Machiavelli and U.S. Politics Part 4: War

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 On the subject of war, Machiavelli offers simple advice (chapter 14): Thus a prince should have no other object, nor any other thought, nor take anything else as his art but that of war and its orders and discipline; for that is the only art which is of concern to one who commands. Again it is important to remember that Machiavelli’s chief concern is not the freedom or well-being of citizens. His sole interest is a ruler’s ability to acquire and maintain power. In contrast, James Madison, fourth president of the United States and author of the U.S. Constitution, enumerated the many evils caused by war: Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; ...

Hornberger’s Blog, August 2005

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005 Maybe it’s too much to hope for rational economic thinking among Louisiana and Mississippi government officials, but residents in those hurricane-stricken areas ought to hope that their politicians don’t follow the lead of Hawaii politicians and bureaucrats, who recently imposed price controls on gasoline, which will inevitably produce shortages, long lines, angry tempers, and nasty words hurled at OPEC. All too often, political rulers believe that they can simply repeal the laws of supply and demand. The price system is nothing more than the intricate message-sending part of the free market. Skyrocketing prices send an urgent message to consumers: “Conserve!” and they (along with the prospect of high profits) send an equally urgent message to suppliers: “Supply!” When government officials impose mandatory price controls, they screw up this intricate messaging system. By enforcing artificially low prices, the wrong message is sent to consumers: “No need to conserve,” and the wrong message is sent to suppliers: “No ...

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 ...