Liberty and Power

  • A Very American Story

    by Liberty and Power

    Christopher Turner, author of Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex (London: Fourth Estate), describes here how J. D. Salinger, Saul Bellow and Norman Mailer were all devotees of the orgone energy accumulator, whose inventor, Wilhelm Reich, claimed that better orgasms could cure society's ills.  Over the years some libertarians have been interested in Reich, not least because he was a victim of FBI and FDA repression.

  • An Open Letter to Senator Barbra Mikulski

    by Liberty and Power

    I sent Senator Mikulski a message in support of Ron Paul and Barney Frank's bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level and she replied "I'm against legalization of marijuana." My response is below:

    Dear Senator Mikulski


  • Looming Treasury “Default”: Theater of the Absurd

    by Liberty and Power

    For weeks, we have been treated to comic opera in D.C.’s theater of the politically and economically absurd. On the stage, the actors — President Obama, the Secretary of the Treasury, congressional leaders — hop about, shouting moronic lines about the national “default” that will occur unless the government’s statutory debt limit is raised, reciting Chicken Little lines about how such a default will trigger worldwide economic catastrophe. According to a report in yesterday’s Christian Science Monitor,

    Facing an Aug. 2 deadline, Congress and the White House are stepping up face time to avert what the Treasury Department has called “catastrophic economic and market consequences” of a default on the national debt.

  • Has the American Revolution’s Rationale Lost Its Force?

    by Liberty and Power

    The heart of the Declaration of Independence adopted by the thirteen united colonies of British North America on July 4, 1776, is as follows:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

  • Marriage 2000: A Time Odyssey

    by Liberty and Power


    The following passage (CHT Jesse Walker) from Ehrlichman’s Witness to Power: The Nixon Years, quoting Nixon on same-sex marriage in 1970 –

    I can’t go that far; that’s the year 2000! Negroes [and whites], okay. But that’s too far!

    – irresistibly reminds me of these lines toward the end of the recent Doctor Who episode “Day of the Moon,” set in 1969:


    DOCTOR:Canton just wants to get married. Hell of a reason to kick him out of the FBI.

    NIXON:I’m sure something can be arranged. … This person you want to marry – black?

    CANTON:Yes …

    NIXON:I know what people think of me, but perhaps I’m a little more liberal –

    CANTON:he is.

    NIXON:I think the moon is far enough for now, don’t you, Mr. Delaware?

    CANTON:I figured it might be.

  • Read It and Weep

    by Liberty and Power

    I don’t know which brought tears to my eyes—the negligence on the part of the famed Great Books school, the University of Chicago,  or Joe Bast’s
    extraordinary devotion to  learning. You will not read this unmoved: “My Eight Years as an Undergraduate.”

  • World War II: Still Being Touted as the Quintessential Keynesian Miracle

    by Liberty and Power

     Someone must have imagined that my hopes for improved economic understanding might be excessively optimistic today and thus needed to be curbed to restore my normal emotional balance, because that person undertook to smash any such hopes to dust by e-mailing me a link to a HuffingtonPost article by Paul Abrams, “Economically, World War II Was Stimulus on Steroids.” This screed turns out to be an ostensible macroeconomics lesson composed in equal measure of economic foolishness, historical ignorance, and ideological tendentiousness – the veritable epitome of a worse-than-worthless contribution to public enlightenment.

    The opening paragraphs indicate the direction of Abrams’s argument:

    The next time someone argues that the New Deal failed, and only the Second World War ended the Depression, as ‘proof’ that government spending does not work, one can respond with the details of economic growth and unemployment reduction up to 1940, or one can ignore the claim and thank them for making your case for massive government spen

  • Money versus Monetary Base: A Basic Yet Critical Distinction

    by Liberty and Power

    As more and more people have taken an interest in monetary affairs — especially in the Fed and its various operations — in recent years, many people have joined the discussions related to these matters, especially on the World Wide Web.

  • Op-Ed: The Unchanging Imperial Paradigm

    by Liberty and Power

     Despite President Obama’s trumpeted force drawdown in Afghanistan, by the end of next summer more than twice as many U.S. troops will be fighting in that country’s civil war as there were when he became president in 2009. His soothing words notwithstanding, a force of about 70,000 will remain there at least until the end of 2014.

  • Vote for Ron Paul

    by Liberty and Power

    This is the best interview with Ron Paul that I have ever seen, hands down. It was done at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orlean by Mike Church. I think I will vote for this guy.

  • Obama's Economics Lesson

    by Liberty and Power

    President Obama apparently thinks that until the latest recession, no business realized it might reduce its workforce by substituting machines and other high-tech devices.

  • The Great Escape

    by Liberty and Power

    This would make a good movie.

    The West likes to think of the Taliban as brainwashed fanatics, but their wit and guile in combat – and beyond – is not to be dismissed. And an audacious prison break has proved this beyond doubt, argues Patrick Cockburn.