Freedom

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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WichitaLiberty.TV: Russ McCullough, Ottawa University and Gwartney Institute

WichitaLiberty.TV: Russ McCullough, Ottawa University and Gwartney Institute

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Dr. Russ McCullough of Ottawa University introduces us to the Gwartney Institute and explains the importance of economic freedom. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 194, broadcast April 28, 2018. Shownotes Website: Gwartney Institute Economic Freedom Basics Dr. Russ McCullough is the Wayne Angell Chair of Economics at Ottawa University in Kansas. He is also the Founder/Director of the Gwartney Institute for Freedom, Justice and Human Flourishing -- A think tank that explores the evidence of social institutions around the world including faith and economics. He joined OU in 2011 coming…
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Year in Review: 2016

Year in Review: 2016

Here are highlights from Voice for Liberty for 2016. Was it a good year for the principles of individual liberty, limited government, economic freedom, and free markets in Wichita and Kansas? Also be sure to view the programs on WichitaLiberty.TV for guests like journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman; Radio talk show host Joseph Ashby; David Bobb, President of Bill of Rights Institute; Heritage Foundation trade expert Bryan Riley; Radio talk show host Andy Hooser; Keen Umbehr; John Chisholm on entrepreneurship; James Rosebush, author of "True Reagan," Jonathan Williams of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Gidget Southway, or Danedri Herbert;…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Keen Umbehr

WichitaLiberty.TV: Keen Umbehr

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Keen Umbehr is an attorney from Alma. Besides setting a precedent protecting free speech in the United States Supreme Court, he's an advocate for criminal justice reform and a former candidate for governor. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 118, broadcast May 1, 2016. Shownotes Keen Umbehr on Facebook The U.S. Supreme Court case: Board of County Commissioners, Wabaunsee County, Kansas v. Umbehr. Small Town Showdown, the true story of Keen A. Umbehr, a trashman who dared to challenge the powers that be in his hometown of Alma, Kansas, population 850.…
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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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In Wichita, revealing discussion of property rights

In Wichita, revealing discussion of property rights

Reaction to the veto of a bill in Kansas reveals the instincts of many government officials, which is to grab more power whenever possible. When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it. -- Frederic Bastiat Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that gives cities additional means to take blighted property has produced reaction from local officials in Wichita. The bill is Senate Bill 338. As has been noted…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Jeffrey Tucker and ‘Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World’

WichitaLiberty.TV: Jeffrey Tucker and ‘Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World’

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Jeffrey Tucker talks about his most recent book “Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World” and how Bitcoin and other distributed technologies are affecting the world. View below, or click here to watch in high definition at YouTube. Episode 97, broadcast October 4, 2015. Tucker's website is www.jeffreytucker.me. The book's page at Amazon is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World. Liberty.me is here.
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Friedman: Laws that do harm

Friedman: Laws that do harm

As we approach another birthday of Milton Friedman, here's his column from Newsweek in 1982 that explains that despite good intentions, the result of government intervention often harms those it is intended to help. There is a sure-fire way to predict the consequences of a government social program adopted to achieve worthy ends. Find out what the well-meaning, public-interested persons who advocated its adoption expected it to accomplish. Then reverse those expectations. You will have an accurate prediction of actual results. To illustrate on the broadest level, idealists from Marx to Lenin and the subsequent fellow travelers claimed that communism…
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Friedman: The fallacy of the welfare state

Friedman: The fallacy of the welfare state

As we approach another birthday of Milton Friedman, here's an insightful passage from the book he wrote with his wife Rose: Free to Choose: A Personal Statement. It explains why government spending is wasteful, how it leads to corruption, how it often does not benefit the people it was intended, and how the pressure for more spending is always present. A simple classification of spending shows why that process leads to undesirable results. When you spend, you may spend your own money or someone else's; and you may spend for the benefit of yourself or someone else. Combining these two…
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‘Love Gov’ humorous and revealing of government’s nature

‘Love Gov’ humorous and revealing of government’s nature

A series of short videos from the Independent Institute entertains and teaches lessons at the same time. The Independent Institute has produced a series of humorous and satirical videos to present lessons about the nature of government. The Institute describes the series here: Love Gov depicts an overbearing boyfriend -- Scott “Gov” Govinsky -- who foists his good intentions on a hapless, idealistic college student, Alexis. Each episode follows Alexis's relationship with Gov as his intrusions wreak (comic) havoc on her life, professionally, financially, and socially. Alexis's loyal friend Libby tries to help her see Gov for what he really…
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Myth: Markets promote greed and selfishness

When thinking about the difference between government action and action taken by free people trading freely in markets, many myths abound. Tom G. Palmer has written an important paper that confronts these myths about markets. The second myth -- Markets Promote Greed and Selfishness -- and Palmer's refutation is below. The complete series of myths and responses is at Twenty Myths about Markets. Palmer is editor of the recent books for Students for Liberty: The Morality of Capitalism, After the Welfare State, Why Liberty, and Peace, Love & Liberty. Myth: Markets promote greed and selfishness Myth: People in markets are…
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Foundations of a Free Society

Described as "An introduction to the core principles that define a free society," I highly recommend this short book. It's written by Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute and published by Institute of Economic Affairs, a British think tank whose mission is to "improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems." (Being written in British English, a few words are spelled wrongly now and then.) The book may be purchased or downloaded at no charge at Foundations of a Free Society. Here is…
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Religion and politics; two subjects that divide friends and family members alike

By Eileen Umbehr, wife of Libertarian Candidate for Kansas Governor Keen Umbehr November 1, 2014 As this campaign draws to a close, my heart is heavy. Not so much because Keen was treated as a second-class candidate who didn't deserve a seat at the table with his Democrat and Republican opponents, but because of the way I've seen God used as a selling point in politics. For example, Keen is solidly pro-life. He believes in freedom as long as you do not cause harm to another human being, and a baby is a human being. But because he also acknowledges…
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Third annual Kansas Freedom Index released

Third annual Kansas Freedom Index released

From Kansas Policy Institute. 3rd Annual Kansas Freedom Index Released Support of Freedom About More Than Politics, IDs Role of Government and Freedom of Citizens July 1, 2014 -- Wichita -- Kansas Policy Institute released a new scorecard tracking votes from the 2014 legislative session. The third annual Kansas Freedom Index takes a broad look at voting records and establishes how supportive state legislators are regarding economic freedom, student-focused education, limited government, and individual liberty. The Index is intended to provide educational information to the public about broad economic and education freedom issues that are important to the citizens of our State. It…
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Defining liberty: The future of freedom

From The Independent Institute, an important video on current and future issues relating to freedom and liberty. How can Americans overcome record government spending and debt, escalating healthcare costs, intrusive federal surveillance, endless wars, ongoing economic malaise, high unemployment, failing schools, and increasing abuses of civil and economic liberties? In this superb, new video from the recent, sold-out event sponsored by The Independent Institute and The Smith Center for Private Enterprise Studies (CSU-East Bay), former, twelve-term Congressman and Presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul, takes a candid look at America’s increasingly dysfunctional political system. Drawing on his 24 years in Congress, he highlights the need to rein in unchecked government…
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Meet ALICE. Who knew?

Meet ALICE. Who knew?

Progressives criticize "bill mills," but the movement has its own. Criticism of policies based simply on their sources is a weak form of argument. But this is the substance of criticism leveled against ALEC, or American Legislative Exchange Council. Opponents of ALEC say it is a "bill mill" that "pushes" legislation upon unsuspecting state legislatures. Since the goal of ALEC, according to its website, is to "advance limited government, free markets, and federalism at the state level," it's good that legislators are being advised by an organization with these goals. There are, of course, forces on the other side that…
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Cronyism is welfare for rich and powerful, writes Charles G. Koch

Cronyism is welfare for rich and powerful, writes Charles G. Koch

"The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism." That's Charles G. Koch writing in the Wall Street Journal. The article is Charles Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society, and is available to read without subscription or payment. In the article, Koch explains his involvement in public affairs: Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates,…
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Recommended reading: Foundations of a Free Society

Described as "An introduction to the core principles that define a free society," I highly recommend this short book. It's written by Eamonn Butler and published by Institute of Economic Affairs, a British think tank whose mission is to "improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems." (Being written in British English, a few words are spelled wrongly now and then.) The book may be purchased or downloaded at no charge at Foundations of a Free Society. Here is the summary of the book,…
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Zoltan Kesz on collectivism and racism in Hungary

Zoltan Kesz on collectivism and racism in Hungary

Zoltan Kesz, founder of the Free Market Foundation in Hungary, speaks to a luncheon gathering at the Wichita, Kansas Pachyderm Club on February 21, 2014. For more about this topic, see In Hungary, the rise of nationalism and racism. View the video below, or click here to view at YouTube. Paul Soutar is the videographer.
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Wichita planning documents hold sobering numbers

Wichita planning documents hold sobering numbers

This week the City of Wichita held a workshop where the Community Investments Plan Steering Committee delivered a progress report to the city council. The documents hold information that ought to make Wichitans think, and think hard. The amounts of money involved are large, and portions represent deferred maintenance. That is, the city has not been taking care of the assets that taxpayers have paid for. The time frame of this planning process is the period 2013 to 2035. Under the heading "Trends & Challenges" we find some troubling information. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer hinted at the problem last year…
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