Tag: American History

Small Business Suffers: The Riots, Past and Present »

Several years ago, I wrote an article for The Independent Review on the urban riots of the 1960s (and the Rodney King riot of 1992). Watching the events unfold in Ferguson, it seems those in charge of riot control learned nothing. Once again, the victims were small business owners—many of them African Americans (as...
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I’ll Take Market Forces Over Government Force Any Day »

Responding to their customers’ increasing demand for privacy in the aftermath of revelations by whistle-blowers that the government is capturing and indefinitely storing every conversation, email, location, online transaction, and more, Apple, Google, WhattsApp, and others are developing new encrypted phones and services to thwart this now-universal warrantless spying. Simultaneously, a bill that would...
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The Power of Ideas »

Today marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the most thrilling event of my lifetime: when oppressed individuals came together and laid claim to their birthright of liberty. Also known as “The fall of the Berlin Wall.” It wasn’t supposed to have happened this way. “Everyone” knew the Soviet Union was the strongman. The intellectuals dismissed...
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Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 »

President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act on October 24, 1978. That law phased out the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) over the next four years, ending five decades of federal regulation of passenger airfares on interstate commercial flights and entry into the airline industry. One of prime movers behind this first legislative initiative...
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Happy Birthday, Tea Party! »

October 16, 2014, marks the 241st anniversary of an event that helped launch the American Revolution against King George III, eventually leading the thirteen colonies to independence from the British Empire. On that same fall day in 1773, the first public assembly to protest the Tea Act convened in Philadelphia. (The more famous Boston...
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Never Forget »

...that 9/11 was successfully carried out because American government agencies with very large budgets, and with more than sufficient spying authority, ignored multiple reports that had been spoon-fed them by their own agents: In a memo from the Phoenix FBI to headquarters, the agents recommended an urgent nationwide review of flight schools “for any...
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California Lawmakers Mandate Students Study about Obama »

You know your presidential popularity must be tanking when a state legislature has to pass a mandate requiring students to study about you in school. Recently the California State Legislature passed a new law (AB 1912) requiring the Instructional Quality Commission, which helps oversee the state’s Common Core standards, to consider revising the social...
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Muckraker or Special Pleader? »

In “A Brief History of Media Muckraking”, the Wall Street Journal’s Amanda Foreman traces the contributions of “reform-minded journalists from Ida Tarbell to [Bob] Woodward” and a few others who spilled newspaper ink writing about abuses of power by the private and the public sector. Obviously a fan of the progress made during the...
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A Hundred Years of War »

One hundred years ago today, Austria-Hungary fired the first shots of World War I, sparking its conflict with Serbia. Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, had assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Mutual defense agreements ensured that the political clash did not remain regional. Austria-Hungary got support from Germany, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. Serbia found allies...
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Who’s Behind IRS Targeting? Don’t Ask NPR »

As I’ve mentioned before, “All the President’s Men” is one of my all-time favorite movies, depicting the heroic efforts of two cub reporters relentlessly pursuing a story of little interest to others until their efforts eventually resulted in bringing down the entire Nixon administration. When it was discovered in the course of the Congressional...
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