Posted: July 8, 2018 Filed under: History, Reading Room, Think Tank | Tags: Freedom, Jonah Goldberg, Libertarianism, Liberty, Nick Gillespie, Reason.tv
The Suicide of the West author explains his anti-Trumpism, evolution on culture-war issues, and growing attraction to libertarianism.
In his new book, Suicide of the West, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg talks of what he calls “the Miracle”—the immense and ongoing increase in human wealth, health, freedom, and longevity ushered in during the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.
At turns sounding like Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, and economist Deirdre McCloskey, Goldberg writes, “In a free market, money corrodes caste and class and lubricates social interaction. Capitalism is the most cooperative system ever created for the peaceful improvement of peoples’ lives. It has only a single fatal flaw: It doesn’t feel like it.”
As his book’s title suggests, Goldberg isn’t worried the world is running out of resources. He’s troubled by our unwillingness to defend, support, and improve customs, laws, and institutions that he believes are crucial to human flourishing.
“Decline is a choice,” he writes, not a foregone conclusion. While he lays most of the blame for our current problems on a Romantic left emanating from Rousseau, he doesn’t stint on the responsibility of his own tribe of conservative fear-mongers and reactionaries. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 2, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Education, History, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: 1940s, American exceptionalism, Anti-fascism, Bill of Rights, Don't Be a Sucker, Educational Film, Fascism, Freedom, Liberty, propaganda, Subversive, video
Posted: June 19, 2017 Filed under: Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Berkeley, David French, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of speech, Lawsuit, Liberty, National Review, SCOTUS, Ted Wheeler, United States, University of California
Free Speech Wins (Again) at the Supreme Court
David French writes:
… Given existing First Amendment jurisprudence, there would have been a constitutional earthquake if SCOTUS hadn’t ruled for Tam. The Court has long held that the Constitution protects all but the narrowest categories of speech. Yet time and again, governments (including colleges) have tried to regulate “offensive” speech. Time and again, SCOTUS has defended free expression. Today was no exception. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Alito noted that the Patent and Trademark Office was essentially arguing that “the Government has an interest in preventing speech expressing ideas that offend.” His response was decisive:
[A]s we have explained, that idea strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”
Quick, someone alert the snowflakes shouting down speeches on campus or rushing stages in New York. There is no constitutional exception for so-called “hate speech.”
Indeed, governments are under an obligation to protect controversial expression. Every justice agrees. The ruling is worth celebrating, but when law and culture diverge, culture tends to win. The law protects free speech as strongly as it ever has. The culture, however … (read more)
Source: National Review
In two First Amendment rulings released this week, the justices argue they’re saving would-be censors from themselves.
Matt Ford reports: The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two notable victories for free-speech advocates on Monday as it nears the end of its current term. The two First Amendment cases came to the Court from starkly different circumstances, but the justices emphasized a similar theme in both rulings: Beware what the free-speech restrictions of today could be used to justify tomorrow.
In the first case, Matal v. Tam, the Court sided with an Asian-American rock band in Oregon named The Slants in a dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The PTO had denied band member Simon Tam’s application to register the group’s name as a trademark, citing a provision in federal law that prohibits the office from recognizing those that “disparage” or “bring … into contempt or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 5, 2017 Filed under: Art & Culture, History, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: 1960s, American exceptionalism, Barry Goldwater, Democratic Party (United States), Freedom, JFK, Liberty, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Republican Party, RFK, Ronald Reagan, United States, USA, video, White House
A video crash-up covering the political landscape of the 1960’s, featuring MLK, RFK, JFK, Malcom X, Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater.
Posted: January 21, 2017 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Academic Left, American Enterprise Institute, Barack Obama, Capitalism, Christina Hoff Sommers, Democratic Party (United States), Donald Trump, Economic freedom, equality, Factual Feminist, Feminism, Free market, Imperialism, Liberty, media, news, Patriarchy, patriot, Republican Party (United States), United States, video
Gender scholars like bell hooks argue that American is an imperialist, white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. Is she right? The Factual Feminist responds. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 29, 2016 Filed under: Education, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: America, Bernie Sanders, Character, Cultural Marxism, Democratic Party (United States), Dennis Prager, Diversity, High school, Identity Politics, Individual, Left-wing politics, Liberty, pluralism, race, School Principal, Teacher, United States
If every high school principal said this, it would change students’ lives and would change America. So what exactly should every high school principal say? Dennis Prager explains.
Posted: June 29, 2016 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Capital, Capitalism, Equality under the law, Free market, Industrial Revolution, Liberty, Rule of Law, The Enlightenment
What are the biggest misunderstandings about capitalism? Deirdre McCloskey, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, argues that contrary to common belief, it’s not the amount of capital that has been amassed which sets the last two centuries apart, but rather the explosion of innovation—which in turn has made the capital investment worth it.
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Posted: December 23, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, History, Humor, Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: Classical, Greece, Law, Liberty, Rome, Tacitus
Posted: December 15, 2015 Filed under: History, Politics | Tags: American History, Bill of Rights, Civics, Civil Libertarianism, Civil Rights, Congress, Liberty, U.S. Constitution, United States
Posted: November 13, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Mediasphere, The Butcher's Notebook, U.S. News | Tags: America, Flag of the United States, Freedom, Liberty, Liberty Bell, New York, One World Trade Center, Photography, Staten Ilsand, Statue of Liberty, Twitter, United States, United States Capitol
Posted: November 13, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, History, War Room | Tags: #ParisAttacks, 11-13-2015, Eugène Delacroix, France, French Revolution, Jihadism, Liberty, Liberty Leading the People, Painting, Terrorism
Source: Eugène Delacroix
Posted: November 1, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, History, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: America, Famous Quotes, Fred Thompson, GOP, Liberty, National Review, Quotation, USA
Posted: September 11, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Global, History, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: 9-11, America, Freedom Tower, Liberty, New York City, NYC, Twin Towers
Posted: September 7, 2015 Filed under: Economics, Think Tank | Tags: Capital Economics, Consumer confidence, Disposable and discretionary income, Economic growth, Federal Reserve System, Liberty, Output (economics), prosperity
Chelsea German writes: According to Gallup, more Americans think of themselves as “have-nots” today than at any point since Gallup began posing the question almost thirty years ago, while fewer Americans see themselves as “haves.” (Please see Emily Ekins’s earlier post for an in-depth analysis from a different angle). But do Americans actually have less in 2015 than in 1988? Let’s dig into the data to see whether Americans might have more than they realize.
2015 is the first year when Americans spent more money dining out than they spent on groceries. Let’s examine why that might be. In 2015, U.S. GDP per person (adjusted for inflation) reached an all-time high. At the same time that average personal wealth is rising, many necessities like food are going down in price. As a result, spending on the basics takes up a smaller and smaller share of an American’s personal disposable income—dropping from 39% in 1988 to 32% in 2013. This means that Americans have more money left at the end of the day, which they can then choose to save, invest, or spend on luxuries like dining out.
Not only are Americans wealthier on average, but they are also working less. The average American worker in 2015 works 30 fewer hours in a year than her counterpart in 1988, and yet is almost $18,000 dollars richer in real terms.
HumanProgress.org advisory board member Mark Perry recently pointed out that today’s young Americans may actually be the luckiest generation in history, based on what they can buy with earnings from a summer job….(read more)
Source: Cato @ Liberty
Posted: January 9, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Breaking News, Censorship, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Charlie Hebdo, France, Freedom, Freedom of speech, Freedom of the press, Islamism, JE SUIS CHARLIE, L’arc de Triomphe, Liberty, Paris, Paris Massacre, Terrorism, Twitter
Posted: January 7, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Comics, Global, Religion, War Room | Tags: #CharlieHebdo, Cartoonists, Civil Rights, Freedom of speech, Freedom of the press, Islamism, JE SUIS CHARLIE, Jihadism, Liberty, Massacre, Paris
Posted: January 7, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Global, Mediasphere, Religion, War Room | Tags: blogs, Charlie Hebdo, Civil Rights, Freedom of speech, I AM CHARLIE, Islamism, JE SUIS CHARLIE, Jihadism, Liberty, Magazines, murder, Newspapers, Terrorism
Posted: November 27, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, Think Tank | Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Barack Obama, Benjamin Franklin, equality, Freedom of speech, Liberty, Rule of Law, Self Government, Slavery, Thomas Jefferson, United States, United States Declaration of Independence
David Boaz writes: Not long ago a journalist asked me what freedoms we take for granted in America. Now, I spend most of my time sounding the alarm about the freedoms we’re losing. But this was a good opportunity to step back and consider how America is different from much of world history — and why immigrants still flock here.
If we ask how life in the United States is different from life in most of the history of the world — and still different from much of the world — a few key elements come to mind.
[Check out David Boaz‘s book “The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties” at Amazon]
Rule of law. Perhaps the greatest achievement in history is the subordination of power to law. That is, in modern America we have created structures that limit and control the arbitrary power of government. No longer can one man — a king, a priest, a communist party boss — take another person’s life or property at the ruler’s whim. Citizens can go about their business, generally confident that they won’t be dragged off the streets to disappear forever, and confident that their hard-earned property won’t be confiscated without warning. We may take the rule of law for granted, but immigrants from China, Haiti, Syria, and other parts of the world know how rare it is.
Equality. For most of history people were firmly assigned to a particular status — clergy, nobility, and peasants. Kings and lords and serfs. Brahmans, other castes, and untouchables in India. If your father was a noble or a peasant, so would you be. The American Revolution swept away such distinctions. In America all men were created equal. Thomas Jefferson declared “that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.” In America some people may be smarter, richer, stronger, or more beautiful than others, but “I’m as good as you” is our national creed. We are all citizens, equal before the law, free to rise as far as our talents will take us.
Equality for women. Throughout much of history women were the property of their fathers or their husbands. They were often barred from owning property, testifying in court, signing contracts, or participating in government. Equality for women took longer than equality for men, but today in America and other civilized parts of the world women have the same legal rights as men. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 20, 2014 Filed under: History, Mediasphere | Tags: 1623, America, Colonial America, Farming, Harvest, Liberty, Magazine, media, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, vintage
Posted: November 17, 2014 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: 20th century, America, Citizenship, Ellis Island, EUROPE, Immigration, Liberty, media, Migration, Washington Post
Ellis Island, past and present: Tracing the first steps of millions to America.
Posted: September 18, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Education, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion, Think Tank | Tags: Ayann Hirsi Ali, censorship, Freedom, Intolerance, Islam, Jihadism, Liberty, Muslim Students Association at Yale, William C. Buckley Jr. Program
Womens-rights activist and Islamic critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at Yale University earlier this week, at the invitation of the university’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program for an event titled “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West.” Ryan Lovelace covers the event for NRO
Posted: July 8, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Humor, Politics | Tags: Capitalism, counterculture, design, graphics, Liberty, Marxism, Poster Art, satire, typography
Posted: April 17, 2014 Filed under: Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Declaration of Independence, Democracy, George Will, James Madison, Liberty, Pacific Legal Foundation, Stephen Breyer, United States
George F. Will writes: In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitutionis “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.
The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.
Now the nation no longer lacks what it has long needed, a slender book that lucidly explains the intensity of conservatism’s disagreements with progressivism. For the many Americans who are puzzled and dismayed by the heatedness of political argument today, the message of Timothy Sandefur’s “The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty” is this: The temperature of today’s politics is commensurate to the stakes of today’s argument.
The argument is between conservatives who say U.S. politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy. Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.
Read the rest of this entry »