Pileus blogger Jason Sorens is the founder of the Free State Project. Thus our regular readers may be interested in hearing about the progress of his baby in this article in the June edition of Reason magazine. Like libertarian academics before him such as Milton Friedman, Sorens is both an idealist and a realist - which is part of the reason … Continue reading Reason on the Free State Project – Achieving Liberty in Our Lifetime, One Step at a Time
A recently published paper by Ravi Iyer and coauthors on the "libertarian personality" has been getting a great deal of attention. To recap the findings, Compared to self-identified liberals and conservatives, libertarians showed 1) stronger endorsement of individual liberty as their foremost guiding principle, and weaker endorsement of all other moral principles; 2) a relatively … Continue reading Must Libertarians Be Amoral?
It looks as though the Yuri Wright affair may finally now, mercifully, be over. Yuri Wright is a senior in high school; but not just any student at not just any high school: he was a nationally recruited cornerback at football powerhouse Don Bosco in New Jersey---or at least he was until recently, when Bosco expelled him. … Continue reading Character and Dignity in the Wild World of High School Football Recruiting
English poet John Milton (1608-1674) with some thoughts on the English Revolution that might be helpful for those contemplating or participating in the Arab Spring? That a nation should be so valorous and courageous to win their liberty in the field, and when they have won it, should be so heartless and unwise in their … Continue reading Sunday Morning Quotation – Milton on Losing Liberty (Arab Spring Edition?)
1. In the below video, Senator Rand Paul criticizes John Pistole and his TSA for their ham-fisted and invasive pat-downs, especially on children. Senator Paul makes several good points. What struck me in particular, however, is one part of Mr. Pistole's response. He said that pat-downs on children and seniors are driven---and, apparently, justified---by … Continue reading This Week’s Rants and Raves, TSA Edition
On Monday we will celebrate the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This is one of the few official holidays that I actually celebrate, one of the few that I think everyone in America should celebrate. I plan to spend time with family, and to talk about what is in the … Continue reading Independence Day
Pileus blogger Jason Sorens recently released his co-authored study "Freedom in the 50 States." This is now the second edition of the report, and it has deservedly generated a lot of attention. Even Paul Krugman has added his two cents. At Salon.com, Andrew Leonard criticizes the report under the sarcastic headline, "Why do liberals hate freedom so … Continue reading The Pharaoh’s Freedom
Listening to the American citizens claiming that they don't mind the pornographic body scanners or the "enhanced" pat-downs, as long as those conducting them are from the government and as long as it's for "safety" and for "security," I am reminded of this quote from Jefferson: Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of … Continue reading Fit Tools?
There is a lot of talk these days about the need for enlightened and educated people to help guide---nudgeif you will---people's choices. Academics especially have a penchant for believing it their right, perhaps even their humanitarian duty, to protect others from their own bad decisions. Albert Jay Nock called this a "monstrous itch" to run … Continue reading Thank God for the South
With many international observers focused on the Cheonan incident in Korea which killed 46 South Korean sailors, it is a good time to remember another tragedy at sea - and one that has become a pretty much forgotten episode in American history. On June 8, 1967, the U.S.S. Liberty - a Navy electronic intelligence ship sailing in international waters off … Continue reading U.S.S. Liberty
A conversation with a student prompts this question: Suppose all the countries in the world today are arrayed before you like spaces on a craps table. You have to put all your chips on one country. The time horizon is your life span, plus that of your children, plus that of your grandchildren. Allowing reasonable … Continue reading Where Do You Put Your Chips?
I've always found this to be one of Adam Smith's most powerful quotations: Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. But is … Continue reading Was Smith right?