Tag: Totalitarianism
Where’s the Outrage?

Several weeks have passed since the world received Edward Snowden’s revelations of the massive scope of the U.S. government’s invasion of privacy by means of collecting and storing millions of persons’ emails and website visits, as well as information about their telephone calls. The public appears fairly equally divided about whether these revelations constitute…
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What Would Obama Have Done with the Leaks in the Pentagon Papers?

“I’m sure that President Obama would have sought a life sentence in my case.” That is what Daniel Ellsberg says would have happened had Obama been in power in the 1970s. His interview is available at Wonkblog. As readers might recall, Ellsberg gave a reporter a copy of United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967:…
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The Totalitarianism of Universal Background Checks

Finally, some sanity, and from a somewhat unexpected source. The ACLU is concerned about the civil liberties implications of the new Harry Reid Senate bill to establish so-called “universal background checks” for firearms purchases. The organization has tended toward silence on gun rights, but at least now it recognizes aspects of the problem with…
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The FISA Model for Summary Execution?

Dianne Feinstein and some liberals have suggested that, if the president’s targeted killing policy is too unilateral, the remedy might be found in something modeled after the FISA court. Make no mistake: Such a court would be nothing more than a rubber-stamp. At best. In 1978, after Church Committee hearings exposed massive abuse of…
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The Relentless March of the U.S. Police State

Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, wrote recently: An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a…
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Newtown and the Bipartisan Police State

In immediate response to the Newtown massacre, every pundit began pointing fingers and giving their answers. The problem was gun culture. No, the problem was feminism. Violent video games. Insufficient funding for programs for the mentally ill. Hollywood. Rightwing paranoia. And so on. Now, I have my own views about the cultural conditions in…
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Greatest Hits of 2012

Which articles on the Independent Institute’s websites and blogs received the most views last year? We thought you might be wondering! To satisfy your curiosity, we’ve put together two lists—each one shedding light on what most attracts the attention of our Internet audience. The first list of “articles” includes blog posts from The Beacon…
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The WSJ Mis-Characterizes Ray Bradbury’s Oeuvre

What was the Wall Street Journal thinking of? Announcing the sad news of his passing at the age of 91 on June 6th 2012, reporter Stephen Miller misreads completely the burden of Ray Bradbury’s contributions to the literature of science fiction. (No, despite what you and I may think, Bradbury was not a macroeconomist!)…
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I Pocket Knife: A Tale of Petty Tyranny and the TSA

By the time you read this, I’m probably little more than a glob of metal, like so many millions of my brothers and sisters. And I did nothing wrong. For a while, I blamed my owner—didn’t he know that the TSA wouldn’t let him take me on an airplane? But, of course he did….
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Libertarian Heroes in Fiction, Part 1

My previous posts on The Hunger Games prompted a reader to question whether Katniss Everdeen, the 16 year-old protagonist in the trilogy and movie, should really be celebrated if she is, as I describe her, “Randian.” It’s an interesting question, and it prompted me to think about the different ways that libertarian or libertarian-leaning…
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