Obama’s creepy “call to service”

The Distributed Republic
by Reason


Well, it appears that this wasn’t just standard electioneering pablum, because Obama’s new website expounds on his plan ‘to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.’ This program is disturbing, representing a new government intrusion into private life cloaked in the patriotic rhetoric of ’serving America,’ and a crowding out of private enterprise by government-created programs using forced labor. So it would seem that the nation’s first black president wants us to work for free...


What fundamental change?

Tibor's Space
by Tibor R. Machan


Senator Obama won over millions of voters by promising fundamental change in America under his leadership. He was not specific about what kind of change but there were hints here and there and by now a fairly clear picture of the proposed basic change has emerged...


Which party wins from inequality?

The Fly Bottle
by Will Wilkinson


I think Democratic gains in the last election have almost nothing to do with inequality. Most of the gains are just part of the political business cycle, and so indicate nothing much other than that the candidate from the incumbent party doesn’t do well when saddled with an unpopular war and a recession. I think the more likely permanent gains, among the young and rich, for example, have a lot to do with the general (I think salutary) social liberalization of American moral culture. The GOP is intolerably socially conservative for an increasing share of Americans...


American commissars

Rebirth of Reason
by Tibor R. Machan


Back in 1859 Abraham Lincoln noted that ‘All this [the economic success of America] is not the result of accident. It has a philosophical cause. Without the Constitution and the Union, we could not have attained the result; but even these are not the primary cause of our great prosperity. There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something, is the principle of ‘Liberty to all’ — the principle that clears the path to all — gives hope to all — and, by consequence, enterprise, and industry to all.’ In a related vein, Lincoln also said that ‘No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent.’ However much actual public policy may have departed from these strong moral convictions, it was at least acceptable back then to openly declare them. In contrast, what many very prominent public thinkers proclaim these days has a rather different ring to it...


The responsibility of elites for the last eight years

by Glenn Greenwald


Some political issues, including ones that provoke intense passion, have many sides, but not all do. Not all positions are worthy of respect. Some actions and policies require outrage and condemnation, to the point where it becomes irresponsible to comment on them without expressing that. Some ideas are so corrupted and dangerous and indefensible that they do reflect negatively on the character and credibility of their advocates, on the propriety of treating those advocates as though they’re respectable and honorable. Most of all, elites who seek out an opinion platform have a responsibility to accept that their ideas and arguments have consequences and they should be held accountable for what their actions spawn …


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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