Tag: Liberty

Aircraft Targeted for Unconstitutional Searches »

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits searches and seizures without probable cause. Since 9/11 searches without probable cause have increased alarmingly, as most Americans must know. Here is another case that applies to a narrow enough population that most Americans are probably unaware of it. That population is general aviation pilots and the...
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Life, Liberty, and the Threat of Abortion Ambivalence »

I happened to catch the headline on AOL News the other day promoting an on-line Huffington Post Live interview with 27-year-old porn star Stoya. The seven-year veteran of adult entertainment was remarkably poised, even if unsurprisingly candid, but her comments raised more than a few interesting questions about life and liberty from a broader...
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Bono: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid” »

Our Research Fellow George Ayittey met the Irish rock star Bono in July 2007 during a TED conference. Professor Ayittey was speaking and in knowing that Bono would be in the audience, he explains that “I made a special effort to rip into the foreign aid establishment.... Later, Bono said he liked my speech...
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NSA Spying Threatens Law-Abiding Americans »

I was talking with an older German citizen about the NSA’s data collection program that has recently been the subject of much debate. He worked for the East German government during the Cold War and viewed the NSA’s activities as similar to the Stasi’s under communist rule, but potentially more threatening. The argument often...
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Not Even Achieving an Impossible Libertarian Dream Will Suffice »

Libertarians dream of cutting back the bloated Leviathan under whose weight people now struggle simply to catch their breath—breathing freely being almost beyond imagination. A few of us dream of eliminating the state altogether, however much we recognize the impossibility of doing so. Many more libertarians, however, believe that in propitious circumstances, the state...
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NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication »

It has been interesting to me that the most frequent question that I have been asked in the aftermath of our, “Civil Liberties and Security in an Age of Terrorism,” is regarding my description of our cell phones as a government listening device. Even though the information that U.S. surveillance agencies can remotely turn...
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Star Trek Films Fail Because Freedom Has Progressed »

I was underwhelmed leaving the theater after watching Star Trek: Into Darkness, and I found the reaction puzzling. I remain a fan of the original TV series, despite welcome advancements in special effects, and this movie was largely faithful to the series and characters. Plus, the movie was well crafted with plenty of action...
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Government Claims It Can Legally Prevent People from Telling Others What It Is Doing to Them »

Among the many facts recently revealed about the NSA’s constitutionally questionable collection of personal information, one that I find especially troubling is the government’s claim that it can legally prevent people from telling others what government is doing to them. The NSA has apparently ordered Microsoft to turn over some information to them, but...
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How John Locke Should Have Saved The Lone Ranger »

I had a glimmer of hope for the 2013 film The Lone Ranger when I read that young U.S. attorney John Reid, aka The Lone Ranger, arrives in untamed west Texas with a copy of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. After watching the otherwise entertaining summer action film, I left the theater wondering...
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Neither Snow nor Rain nor Dark of Night Will Prevent the Post Office from Spying on You »

It’s no wonder the federal government is having to spend $2 billion to build a new facility to hold 5 zettabytes of data (for context, according to Wikipedia, the entire World Wide Web contains one-half zettabyte of information). It has now been revealed that in addition to capturing and indefinitely storing everyone’s email and...
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