Tag: Liberty

NSA Chief Recommends Severely Curtailing Spying. Obama Won’t. »

  A few weeks ago, Obama triumphantly announced NSA spying “reforms” that got lots of front page coverage, but amounted to: Absolutely No Change. Further, his speech carried his full endorsement of the sweeping collection and storage in bulk of private phone calls, emails, email address books, online transaction information, location data, and more,...
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The Hayekian Liberty of Ender’s Game »

Finally, after much encouragement from my college freshman daughter, I just finished reading Ender’s Game, the best-selling science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card that won the Nebula and Hugo awards when it was published in the mid-1980s. The story follows the cultivation of a 6-year-old, boy-wonder, military tactician, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, as he...
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Believe It: NSA Collects and Stores Content, Not Just “Metadata” »

President Obama has repeatedly attempted to obfuscate the issue of NSA’s actively spying on Americans by repeatedly referring to “metadata”: information about where, when and to whom people make phone calls, but not the actual phone conversations. Most recently, he garnered wide press coverage by promising to limit the collection of phone metadata. But...
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Habeas corpus Still Dead, NSA Records Now Assist: Obama Signs NDAA 2014 »

As most Americans were contemplating where to put their new Christmas presents, President Obama on Thursday signed into law the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual federal law that provides the budget for the Department of Defense—and lately has delivered a whole lot of power to the Executive, to boot. As reported...
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The Independent Review—Winter Issue Now Available »

The winter 2014 issue of The Independent Review is hot off the press! This edition of the Independent Institute’s 160-page scholarly journal includes a stimulating mix of timely topics and enduring themes, including a symposium on Nobel laureate economist James M. Buchanan and classical liberalism. Read it and gain a deeper understanding of the...
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Catching the Hint of Liberty in “Catching Fire” and “The Hunger Games” »

Catching Fire, the second installment in the trilogy of films based on The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins, is burning through the box office, raking in revenues of more than $360 million since its November release. This makes the movie the third highest grossing movie of the year. And this bodes well for...
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Immigrants and Poor Kids Aren’t to Blame for Poor PISA Performance »

Recently I wrote about the latest PISA results for American 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science. (See PISA Results Show We’re No. 1...in Spending, Not Performance.) One commenter stated that she saw “very little control for demographics” with international assessments such as PISA. In particular, the commenter objected that while other countries may surpass...
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Carpe Diem: Washington’s Foundations Are Showing Cracks »

After 12 years of seemingly inexorable blind faith in an ever more powerful and intrusive government, a spate of recent polls finally shows support crumbling for Washington’s hubristic overreach: The new Gallup poll: “Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat: Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big...
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Rationing Schooling Freedom in Collectivist Oakland »

You can’t have too much of a good thing—unless you mean freedom and you live in Oakland, apparently. Oakland Unified School District school board member Jody London says enough’s enough when it comes to parents looking out for their own kids’ education. What does she mean? Oakland has the highest concentration of charter schools...
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FBI Successfully Foils Another FBI Plot »

Despite Dianne Feinstein’s claims to the contrary, there’s no actual evidence that the U.S. surveillance apparatus has foiled any actual, independent plots of terrorism. There is, in fact, far more actual evidence that the surveillance state has missed numerous signals of plots: from 9/11 to the Boston bombings. In its latest attempt at P.R....
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