Liberty

Stephen Ware: Debate on masks, freedom

Stephen Ware: Debate on masks, freedom

Can libertarians accept a mask mandate? This op-ed by Kansas University Law Professor and noted libertarian Stephen Ware shows how libertarians can tolerate, if not embrace, a government mandate to wear masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It is free to read in the Topeka Capital-Journal here. Here is an excerpt that I believe presents the heart of the reasoning: In that sense, a mask requirement is less like a seatbelt law designed to protect the wearer and more like a law against driving under the influence of alcohol. Many deaths have been caused by drunken drivers who…
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In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again — and again

In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again — and again

In Wichita, we see another example of how once government starts a surveillance program, the urge to expand it is irresistible. Earlier this year the City of Wichita installed 70 cameras in Old Town for the purpose of enhancing public safety. [1. Leflier, Dion. If you think someone’s watching you in Old Town -- they are. Wichita Eagle, June 22, 2017. Available at http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/article157654759.html.] Now we've learned two things, according to Wichita Eagle reporting: The cameras aided in making one arrest for a serious crime, and the role of the cameras has expanded to include traffic enforcement. [2. Manna, Nicole.…
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In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again

In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again

In Wichita, we see another example of how once government starts a surveillance program, it probably won't produce the promised results, yet will be expanded. This week the Wichita City Council will consider adding more surveillance cameras to Old Town. City documents don't specify how many video cameras will be installed as part of the $618,261 program (for one-time installation costs only), except that it may be "as many as 100." The city is also asking council members to pass an ordinance with bonding authority of up to $750,000 to pay for this project. In other words, the city is…
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The unprecedented campaign against free speech

The unprecedented campaign against free speech

The political left's campaign to silence opponents and reorder society in accordance with their personal beliefs is in many ways the single greatest threat to America's experiment in self-governance, writes Mark Holden. The unprecedented campaign against free speech By Mark Holden. Originally published in The Hill. The liberal Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once warned of the biggest danger facing free speech: "If you have no doubt of your premises or your power, and want a certain result with all your heart, you naturally express your wishes in law, and sweep away all opposition." Yet many lawmakers today are…
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AFP Foundation wins a battle for free speech for everyone

AFP Foundation wins a battle for free speech for everyone

Americans for Prosperity Foundation achieves a victory for free speech and free association. Must donors to non-profit organizations live in “fear of exercising their First Amendment right to support” any organization, which effect is to “diminish the amount of expressive and associational activity?” Should these people be denied the right to their speech? The constitution says, no. Non-profit organizations file a form known as IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. [1. Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (2016). Irs.gov. Available at www.irs.gov/uac/About-Form-990.] The first part of this form is public information and may…
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