Liberty & Power: Group Blog
David T. Beito
Just to let you know, the US Marines have blocked access to “Wonkette” along with numerous other sites such as personal email (i.e. Yahoo, AT&T, Hotmail, etc), blogs that don't agree with the government point of view, personal websites, and some news organizatons. This has taken effect as of the beginning of February. I have no problem with them blocking porn sites (after all it is a government network), but cutting off access to our email and possibly-not-toeing-the-government-line websites is a bit much.
Initially all web blocking was done locally at the hub sites in Iraq. If you wanted a site “unblocked” you just had to email the local administrator with a reason (like, “I'd like to read my email, please.”), and if it wasn't porn or offensive, they'd allow it. Now, all blocking is done by desk-weenies at the USMC Network Operations Center in Quantico, VA, who really don't care if we get our email (or gossip) out here, as they get to go to happy hour after working 9 to 5 and go home to a nice clean, warm home with a real bed! (Sorry, I'm a little peeved.)
If this story is true (and I would still like more confirmation), can we expect Instapundit, Little Green Footballs to rally for the freedom to read of soldiers just as they properly have when it comes to the freedom to read of Danes?
Hat tip Justin Raimondo.
David T. Beito
Critics of Franklin D. Roosevelt have blamed his administration for many sins: a prolonged depression, the creation of a federal welfare state that fostered dependence, establishment of the imperial presidency in foreign policy, Japanese internment, the Brown Scare, retrograde civil rights policies, etc. Only a few have emphasized, however, that Roosevelt was also the father (at least indirectly) of redlining.
Amy E. Hillier has a carefully researched article on the subject in a recent issue of Social Science History. Redlining is a practice of denying credit to certain neighborhoods because of their racial or ethnic composition. The origin of the term can be traced to the color-coded “Residential Security Maps” of major American cities produced by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), a New Deal agency created in 1933. Each map had four different classifications ranging from most to least desirable: green, blue, yellow, and red.
Most desirable were the green areas. They were ethnically “"homogeneous” and worthy of loans in “good times or bad.” The second and third grade areas were blue and yellow. Least desirable were the red areas. According to the maps, they had “detrimental influences in a pronounced degree” and an “undesirable population [disproportionately black] or an infiltration of it.” During the late 1930s, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) used the maps as a basis for its loans. It rarely gave loans to red areas, hence the term redlining. The federal government provided the maps to banks and developers who often used them as a basis for their own loan ratings.
That edition of the paper also contains a review of Bartlett’s new book in which Claude R. Marx unfairly accuses the author of having a “generally tedious writing style.” As a regular reader of Bartlett’s essays, I can testify that they are well written, interesting, and that they often contain very revealing information. The reviewer takes a more substantial shot when he writes that, “It is easy to criticize an administration (of either party) when you don't have to answer to voters or 535 members of Congress, each with his or her own agenda.” However, Mr. Marx needs to be reminded that in each and every case the programs cited by Bartlett were enthusiastically embraced by the Bush Administration not imposed upon them by the opposition.
The left, for its part, still fails to understand the other side of the coin. On the front is the image of the president, on the back is the institution of the state. If Bush is ever immortalized on coin, his denomination will almost surely follow the pattern of all presidential tyrants numismatically eternalized before him. Turning over his image will reveal that of a government building or memorial, made permanent in the metallic disc and representing the state’s impersonal, cold inhumanity whose obfuscation is the role of the chief executive engraved on the flipside.
Roderick T. Long
Guess the mystery philosopher:
I was a Russian Jew by birth, but an American and an atheist by choice. In early adulthood I fled Russian tyranny to come to America, where I became involved in the fledgling libertarian movement. One of the chief libertarian newspaper writers of that era was my friend and intellectual mentor, though we later had a somewhat acrimonious break. I never held an official academic post, but I wrote widely on philosophical and political questions, favouring secularist rationalism, ethical individualism, and extreme economic and political laissez-faire. After an early flirtation with a somewhat Nietzschean version of egoism, I developed more of a natural-rights approach, drawing on the classical liberal tradition. Later in life, I annoyed many of my former associates by sharply condemning libertarianism especially in its anarchistic form. My spouse pre-deceased me by several years.
Who am I?