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Liberty

Whitewater, Wisconsin’s Temporary Mask Ordinance: 7 Points

Updated evening of 7.22.20 with meeting video. (The discussion on Whitewater’s mask ordinance runs from 31:09 to 3:37:50.) At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, the seven-member council voted unanimously for a temporary mask ordinance, taking effect 8.1.20 and running through 12.31.20, requiring masks in parts of buildings open to the public, and…

Individual Responsibility in Conditions of Pandemic

Economist Robert Samuelson, writing Americans are historically unhappy. But there’s a lesson to learn here, observes that The connecting threads of these pessimistic surveys are the novel coronavirus and its devastating impact on the economy. Nearly everyone is affected in one way or another. There’s a clash between America’s individualistic culture (“You can’t make me wear…

An Example of Bottomless Ignorance in Walworth County

Some residents of Walworth County, Wisconsin object to public health measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. So hysterical is their opposition that one reads Opponents say county’s coronavirus safeguards are ‘like Russia’: Confronted by a raucous crowd of opponents fearing government intrusion, Walworth County Board members have backed away from a measure…

Israeli Discipline, American Disorder

Free expression is not a rejection of reason, including reason in public health. Libertarian politics – of free markets in capital, labor, and goods, of responsible government, of individual liberty, and of peaceful international relations – requires a mature discipline. I do not support recent protests against temporary public health measures during this pandemic.  And…

Yegor Zhukov’s Message

At the New Yorker, Masha Gessen translates A Powerful Statement of Resistance from a College Student on Trial in Moscow (‘Yegor Zhukov’s message about responsibility and love at his trial, for “extremism,” shows what political dissent can be and seems to describe American reality as accurately as the Russian one’). (Zhukov was accused of “extremism”…

Forget the Tender Feelings of a Pernicious Faction

Over at the Journal Sentinel, Craig Gilbert writes about the political divide in For voters in this purple part of Wisconsin [Richland Center], the impeachment fight is a symbol of broken politics. The story establishes a false equivalence between those who support impeachment and those who oppose it, as though the conflict between these views…

Statement and Testimony of Dr. Fiona Hill

These many years, across generations, many (including libertarians) have wanted peaceful relations abroad, but have found instead a relentless, scheming dictatorship under the Soviets and, not longer after, under Putin. This question in foreign policy confronted us: what is to be said, what is to be done, about imperialistic dictatorships? Some (including sadly some isolationist…

Statement and Testimony of Gordon Sondland, American Ambassador to the European Union

There’s an oft-repeated saying that all politics is local. It’s false, at least in our time: in hamlets, villages, towns, and cities our politics is national (and constitutional). In fairness, I’ve always inclined to this view, but it would be better to be wrong than to be proved right under these conditions. It should be…

Why Transparency Matters in Local Politics

From 2015, Libertarianism.org offers a podcast (posted on YouTube) with Kevin Glass, then of the Franklin Center. (Now called the Franklin New Foundation, it’s a center-right organization; many of Glass’s comments – he now works elsewhere – on open government are, however, non-partisan.) There are similar projects with a center-left focus.  In Wisconsin, for example,…

After This Conflict Is Won

These last years have been difficult, and one can reasonably expect worse from Trumpism before that ideology is consigned – as it will be – to the political outer darkness. A necessary condition for optimism is an understanding of the present from which one can build a better future. (Local boosterism and babbittry are failures…