Archives

Aftermath of Tornado in Moore, Ok

The Libertarian Alamo

June 20, 2013

The horrible tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma reminds one that libertarians are people who like gambles in which heads, they rake it in; tails, you pay. They object to government regulations, even those of local municipalities, that would require residents in tornado-prone areas to include a life-saving “safe room” in their homes — objecting even to requirements that these rooms be included in schools. They then proceed to complain bitterly when federal aid for cleaning up and rebuilding their homes is delayed.

FSA rebels cleaning their AK47s

The Moral Minimum in Arming Rebels

June 11, 2013

The debate about whether to arm the Syrian rebels is centered around the question which groups are “good” rebels (those who favor democratic regimes and the United States) or “bad” rebels (various kinds of jihadists). The Obama administration is widely reported to be reluctant to aid Syrian rebels due to the difficulty of identifying “leaders who are committed to a unified, democratic Syria that respects minority rights” as opposed to “militants who might turn them against Western interests.” In Dissent, Michael Walzer finds that his readers “would be happy to see the victory of Syrians who have been studying John Stuart Mill or who take their cue from Swedish social democracy,” which he warns is not going to happen.

Secretary of State John Kerry with Israeli President Peres (left) and Palestinian President Abbas (right)

What John Kerry Can Learn From John F. Kennedy

June 06, 2013

“Some say that it is useless to speak of peace… until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitudes, as individuals and as a Nation, for our attitude is as essential as theirs,” said former President John F. Kennedy as he stood at American University on June 10, 1963. The rarely discussed reset of U.S.-Soviet relationship that followed Kennedy’s speech has significant implications when it comes to both present-day U.S.-China relations and the restarted Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.