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What Memorial Day Should Mean »

This Memorial Day we remember and honor our fellow citizens who were willing to defend our American liberties to the death. Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman was a leading proponent of ending military conscription, or the draft, because forced military service is incompatible with a free society. Thanks in no small part to his...
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Progressivism: Rhetoric versus Reality »

Contemporary supporters of an expanded role for government are increasingly moving away from calling themselves liberals and toward referring to themselves Progressives, so it is worth considering what the ideology of Progressivism entails. Progressivism began in the late 1800s as a political movement that advocated expanding the role of government. Before the Progressive era,...
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The Ex-Im Bank Redux »

Adam Smith, the first and still best of all of the world’s economists and moral philosophers, once wrote in opposition to all systems of “preference and restraint”. That lesson is lost on most politicians and all special pleaders who support re-authorization of the taxpayer-financed Export-Import Bank, whose funding is once again set to expire...
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Another Urban Legend? The Middle Ages Were the “Dark Ages” »

As the culture wars intensify in America, let’s consider some of the roots of these contentious conflicts. With the “Age of Enlightenment” of the 17th and 18th centuries, a “modern” narrative was invented to explain the history of the West, the wider world, and humankind’s place in the universe. This narrative claimed that liberty,...
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Authority and Easter »

Easter is the day of liberation—the day the greatest earthly power has done its best, unleashed its ultimate weapon—and been defeated. I’ve previously posted (here and here) a few thoughts on Easter’s significance to me, and this year turn to the insights of N.T. Wright—the renowned New Testament scholar, former Bishop of Durham and...
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Celebrating Human Action—Ludwig von Mises’s Masterpiece »

September 14 marked the 65th anniversary of the publication of Ludwig von Mises’s masterpiece Human Action. I have been studying Mises’s classic text very carefully the past two years, as I’ve completed the manuscript for a forthcoming Independent Institute book, Cooperation and Enterprise: The Economics of Choice, that crystallizes the essence of Human Action...
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Chicago Teachers Union Boss and Classic Champagne Socialism »

It’s a busy time of year for Chicago Teachers Union President, Karen Lewis. Two years ago just in time for Labor Day, she was helping organize the city’s first teachers’ strike in more than 25 years—a move that was highlighted at the Midwest Marxist Conference. Last year she was busy blaming the Chicago Public...
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Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
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More States Abandoning the Sinking Common Core Ship »

“Barbarians at the gate.” That’s what Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called opponents of Common Core national standards several weeks ago. His remarks are symptomatic of just how far elected officials within and outside Arizona have strayed from our Constitution, which doesn’t even contain the word “education.” Supporters claim Common Core will...
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New Video with Ron Paul: “Defining Liberty: The Future of Freedom” »

How can Americans overcome record government spending and debt, escalating healthcare costs, intrusive federal surveillance, endless wars, ongoing economic malaise, high unemployment, failing schools, and increasing abuses of civil and economic liberties? In this superb, new video from the recent, sold-out event sponsored by The Independent Institute and The Smith Center for Private Enterprise...
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