Freedom Articles

A Broad Freedom Agenda

11:46 AM, Nov 13, 2015

A thought-provoking email in response to my editorial, "The Self-Destruction of the American University:"

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The False Assurances of Anthony Kennedy and Barack Obama

7:09 AM, Jun 29, 2015

Justice Anthony Kennedy, while dictating one of the most sweeping social changes in history in his opinion in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage across America, waxes magnanimous towards foes of the expansion of the millennia-old definition of marriage.

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Happy Birthday, Magna Carta

4:30 PM, Jun 15, 2015

On June 15, 1215, a band of frustrated and rebellious nobles forced King John to sign a “Great Charter” at Runnymede, a swampy field twenty miles west of London. At the time, few would have suspected the importance of the document, which was annulled by the Pope a mere nine days later.

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Jindal: Christians Being Discriminated Against

11:20 AM, Apr 05, 2015

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal talked about religious liberty on NBC's Meet the Press this morning:

"Well let me ask you this," Todd said. "Do you agree with some other folks and conservatives that you think Governor Pence and Governor Hutchinson in Arkansas and Indiana have essentially caved too much pressure?"

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Obama: Roe v. Wade Is About the 'Rights, Freedoms and Opportunities' of 'Our Daughters'

4:08 PM, Jan 22, 2015

 Late Thursday, the White House released via Twitter President Obama's annual statement commemorating the anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.

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Islamist Terror Attack in Paris

11:25 AM, Jan 07, 2015

The Islamist terrorist attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which, so far, has resulted in 12 deaths and many more wounded, should come as no surprise.

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Hunkering Down

Who stands with Hong Kong’s democrats?
Oct 20, 2014

Hong Kong
On the evening of Saturday, October 4, enormous crowds gathered in downtown Hong Kong at the main site of the democracy protests that have dominated the affairs of this city of 7.2 million for weeks. They filled an eight-lane thoroughfare in the center of the Admiralty business district, spilling out around the adjacent government office complex. Banners hanging from overpasses demanded democracy and denounced the deeply unpopular, Beijing-appointed chief executive, CY Leung. 

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Didn’t a Couple of Those Founders Fight a Duel Over That?

9:19 AM, Aug 04, 2014

School bakes sales, that is, and the authority to regulate them.  Agrarian types thought, quaintly, that authority as to the suitability of chocolate should be reserved to the states.  Those who dreamed of a mightier union thought otherwise.

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A Defeat for Obama, Obamacare, and the All-Intrusive State

1:14 PM, Jul 01, 2014

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Obama administration has violated federal law in its implementation of Obamacare. Specifically, it has violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a law passed (almost unanimously) twenty years ago by a Democratic House and Senate and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton. Adam White provides a nice overview and analysis of the ruling. I just wanted to highlight a few aspects of it.

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Religious Liberty Wins at Court

9:38 AM, Jun 30, 2014

The Associated Press reports:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.

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Carney: 'I Felt Liberated' Working for Obama

9:01 AM, Jun 19, 2014

Outgoing White House press secretary Jay Carney says he felt “liberated” when he left Time magazine to work for the Obama administration.

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Ghosts of Tiananmen

9:35 AM, Jun 04, 2014

Twenty-five years have passed since a lone man stood in front of Chinese tanks and dared to defy Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. His bold challenge to the Chinese Communist Party was one of history’s most profound reminders of the insatiable human desire to live free even in the face of terrifying state power.

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Brandeis and Double Standards

5:01 PM, May 12, 2014

Support for the decision of Brandeis University not to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree, after previously announcing it would do so, has coalesced around the notion that while Islamic radicalism can be criticized, even condemned, one cannot criticize Islam itself.  By condemning both, and by implying strongly that Radical Islam and Islam are indistinguishable, Ms. Ali—so the argument goes—not only does not deserve an honorary degree; she is, in fact, a bigot.

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‘A Disgraceful Act’

7:14 AM, Apr 11, 2014

The distinguished intellectual historian Jeffrey Herf, whose Ph.D. is from Brandeis, has written an eloquent and powerful letter to Brandeis president Fred Lawrence. Prof. Herf concludes:

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Obama at the U.N.: Still Absent on Freedom and Democracy

11:15 AM, Sep 24, 2013

In his speech today at the United Nations, President Obama continued his administration’s odd and somewhat schizophrenic policy with respect to freedom, human rights, and democracy.

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A Hot Dog for the 4th!

10:11 AM, Jul 04, 2013

The hot dog is in decline in America, writes Paul Lukas at Bloomberg, and one thinks, "What isn't?" What institution, anyway.  If everything were not in decline, then what would there be for journalists to write about (see Andrew Ferguson  on George Packer and Haynes Johnson) and what would politicians have to campaign about?

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Happy July 2!

11:00 PM, Jul 01, 2013

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress declared independence. George Washington declared that day that “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves....The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.” A useful reminder for us, in a week when we rightly celebrate a Declaration, a document embodying a great idea, that speech needs to be backed up by arms, and that all still depends on the "courage and conduct" of our armed forces.

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June 17, 1953

11:21 AM, Jun 19, 2013

Today, speaking at the Brandenburg Gate, President Obama paid appropriate tribute to the brave East Germans who rebelled 60 years ago against Communist dictatorship:

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Margaret Thatcher on Capitalism and Freedom

2:53 PM, Apr 09, 2013

An old episode of William F. Buckley's show Firing Line, featuring Margaret Thatcher:

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Obama: 'The World Has Lost One of the Great Champions of Freedom and Liberty'

9:16 AM, Apr 08, 2013

President Obama's statement on the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher:

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High Noon for Marriage

6:32 AM, Mar 27, 2013

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as being between couples of the opposite sex. Today they’re hearing them on the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman at the federal level. Like Roe v. Wade, the high court’s decision on these cases is likely to fuel the culture war for a generation or two, at least. Unlike with Roe, the Court seems to understand that it’s been handed an issue of enormous consequence.

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Homeland Only Fully Approves 10% of Freedom of Information Requests

FOIA staff of 400; costs over $38 million.
3:32 PM, Feb 05, 2013

According to an annual report for 2012 just released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DHS processed a total of 205,895 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests during the year. The report, presented by Acting Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer Jonathan R. Cantor, shows that DHS reduced the backlog of such requests by 30 percent during the year. However, a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the agency only fully granted just over 10 percent of FOIA requests that were processed.  

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Obama: Centralized Power Is the Source of Freedom

8:40 AM, Jan 23, 2013

In his second inaugural address, President Obama made every effort to tie his political philosophy to the ideals and principles of the American Founding, even as he made clear how little he understands those ideals and principles.  The gist of Obama’s speech was that only government can grant freedom.  Or as he put it, “[W]e have always understood…that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

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Jim Manzi Talks Science, Knowledge, and Freedom

3:56 PM, Dec 11, 2012

Jim Manzi recently delivered this talk on science, knowledge, and freedom at Harvard University, which features interesting colloquy with Harvey Mansfield:

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U.N. to Seek Control of the Internet

2:48 PM, Nov 26, 2012

Next week the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports.

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Remembering 9/11

11:00 PM, Sep 10, 2012

Two lasting memories. The first, from the White House on the evening of September 11, 2001:

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Gun Fights

3:30 PM, Jul 26, 2012

It was inevitable that after the massacre in a Colorado movie theater, the matter of gun control would come up and that the president would weigh in on the subject. And, according to this report by Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times, he has:

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Our Dignified Constitution

Fourth of July reflections on the Queen’s Jubilee.
Jul 16, 2012

It was perhaps inevitable that our Fourth of July celebrations last week might have seemed anti-climactic after the four-day festivities a month ago accompanying the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Fireworks, however spectacular, cannot compare with the thousand-boat flotilla on the Thames cheered on by masses of river-side spectators (shivering and soaking in torrential rain) or the horse-drawn carriage procession (again, the streets lined with people) from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace, the Queen regally bedecked and costumed.

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