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Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger (1 Jan 1950-) is the founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


28 Jan 1950, Jacob George Hornberger, in Laredo, Texas


The Future of Freedom Foundation, Founder, President

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Jacob G. Hornberger Biography
Includes photo, biographical profile and links to his latest writings
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country ...


Jacob Hornberger's Blog - The Future of Freedom Foundation
Posts from April 2003 to the present


The Great Writ Then and Now, by Wendy McElroy, The Freeman, Nov 2009
Chronicles the history of the writ of habeas corpus from the Magna Carta through the American Civil War to Guantanamo Bay and "enemy combatants"
In his article "Habeas Corpus: The Lynchpin of Freedom," Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation explains how habeas corpus is the enforcement arm of all other rights. Using First Amendment guarantees of free speech as an example, he writes, "[H]ow is that provision enforced? Editors, critics, and protestors would be languishing in some military detention center. ... The president and the military would be in charge. ... The doors to the cells would remain locked. ... The prisoners would be prohibited from going to court to complain or to seek redress. That's where habeas corpus ... comes in."
In Search of a Word: Limited Government versus 'Anarchy', by Spencer H. MacCallum, The Voluntaryist, Oct 1996
Contrasts the positions of Hornberger, who endorses "limited government, with that of Baldy Harper, who preferred to hold "the ideal of a 'total alternative' to political government" as a guiding light towards a voluntary society
Bumper Hornberger, once remarked in a letter to me that in early life he had called himself an 'anarchist' but that now he endorsed the concept of 'limited government.' He indicated he'd had many discussions leading to his change of mind, discussions that had pretty thoroughly covered the field, he felt, and now he wanted to put his attention elsewhere. I was puzzled but didn't pursue it, as Bumper hadn't invited me to and, in any case, I had no wish to divert his attention from the demands of the Future of Freedom Foundation which he and Richard Ebeling were just getting well launched.
The schism organism: The Life of the Party, part three, by Thomas L. Knapp, Rational Review, 19 Feb 2003
Delves into ethical controversies within the Libertarian Party, describing in particular the tension between Jacob Hornberger and Jim Lark, and the effect this had on the former's candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in Virginia in 2002
For many years, Jacob G. "Bumper" Hornberger has had a well-deserved reputation as one of the LP's most fiery and charismatic activists. Nobody speaks to audiences of all kinds like Bumper can. Few organizations publicize the libertarian perspective via op-ed pieces as effectively as his Future of Freedom Foundation. And Hornberger has also enjoyed a reputation as the LP's internal ethics watchdog, playing an important role in bringing to light ... the "Willis Affair." Unfortunately, at some point, Hornberger fell into a habit of making accusations ... that were simply unsupported by the facts ...


An Anti-Democracy Foreign Policy: Guatemala, 11 Feb 2005
Describes the 1954 CIA-engineered coup d'état in Guatemala and the subsequent military regimes, also touching on the attempts to seek regime change in Cuba and the 1973 CIA-supported ouster of Allende in Chile
Unfortunately, the CIA "success" in Iran, which produced the CIA's ouster of Iran's democratically elected prime minister, bred a CIA "success" in another part of the world, Latin America. One year after the 1953 coup in Iran, the CIA did it again, ... in Guatemala, where U.S. officials feared the communist threat even more than ... in Iran ... Americans would be better served by studying the history of the U.S. government's foreign policy, including its anti-democracy "successes" in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile, to get a grasp on why so many people around the world hate the U.S. government ...
An Anti-Democracy Foreign Policy: Iran, 31 Jan 2005
Discusses the history of Operation Ajax, the CIA-led 1953 coup d'état in Iran that removed the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh, and which eventually led to the 1979 Iran hostage crisis
When Iranians took U.S. officials hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, Americans were mystified and angry, not being able to comprehend how Iranians could be so hateful toward U.S. officials, especially since the U.S. government had been so supportive of the shah of Iran for some 25 years ... While Iranians certainly have not forgotten the U.S. government's support of Saddam Hussein and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War during the 1980s ... the root of Iranian anger lies with the anti-democracy foreign policy of the U.S. government, by which U.S. officials ousted the ... democratically elected prime minister ...
Anti-Life Ethics in Iraq, 15 Dec 2006
Criticizes the conclusion by George Weigel, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, that the March 2003 invasion of Iraq was a "just war"
As the debacle of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq continues to spiral downward, sucking countless more people into its death throes, some of those whose philosophy contributed to the fiasco remain steadfastly unrepentant for the death and destruction they have wrought ... Americans would be wise to reflect ... on the following two principles: (1) It is morally and ethically wrong to invade and occupy countries that have not attacked the United States; and (2) It is morally and ethically wrong for one nation to subordinate human life to the achievement of regime change in another nation.
Related Topics: Ethics, Iraq War
The Bill of Rights: Antipathy to Militarism, Freedom Daily, Sep 2004
After quoting the text of the Third Amendment, discusses standing armies in the historical context and in modern times
The Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that "no Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law." Obviously, the Third Amendment has little relevance today ... In determining the future direction of our nation, the choice is clear: Do we continue down the road of empire, standing armies, foreign wars ... Or do we change direction and move ... toward ... a nation in which the Statue of Liberty once again becomes a shining beacon for those striving to escape the tyranny and oppression of their own governments?
The Bill of Rights: Due Process of Law, Freedom Daily, Nov 2004
Describes the origins of due process in the Magna Carta, the basic requirements of "notice" and "hearing", other guarantees (e.g., assistance of counsel, trial by jury of peers), habeas corpus and comments on the current state of affairs
One of the most deeply rooted principles in American jurisprudence is the concept of due process of law, which is enshrined in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." ... Given the government’s conduct in Iraq and Cuba, where criminal suspects have been arbitrarily ... detained indefinitely ... and given the Pentagon's attempt to arrest ... and punish American citizens accused of "terrorism," every American should be enormously grateful that our ancestors enshrined due process of law in the Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights: Eminent Domain, Freedom Daily, Dec 2004
Discusses the eminent domain protections of the Fifth Amendment and how they were undermined by cases such as Berman v. Parker (1954) and Poletown (1981), and the positive outcome of Wayne County v. Hathcock (2004)
One of the bedrocks of a free society is a system of private property. The concept of economic liberty is founded not only on principles of free enterprise but also on the principle that people have the right to accumulate the fruits of their earnings. If government has the power to arbitrarily seize a person's wealth or property, then a person cannot truly be considered free in an economic sense ... By limiting the just-compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment to its original intended purpose, we help to restore the sanctity of private property ... Of course, by repealing it we would help restore it even more.
The Bill of Rights: Freedom of Speech, Freedom Daily, Jul 2004
Part of a series examining the Bill of Rights, this covers the freedom of speech clause as a barrier to censorship by government (and not by private entities)
When the Constitution was being proposed to our American ancestors in 1787, many people expressed the concern that the document failed to specify the fundamental rights of the people that would be immune from assault by federal officials ... The most important principle involved in free speech is this: The true test of a free society in terms of freedom of speech is not whether popular and "responsible" speech is protected from government assault but instead whether the most vile and despicable speech receives such protection. After all, even in North Korea people are free to publish popular and "responsible" materials.
The Bill of Rights: Reserved Powers, Freedom Daily, May 2005
Discusses the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the system of federalism and the breakdown that occurred in 1937 when the Supreme Court held that the federal government could regulate economic activity
The Constitution brought into existence the most unusual government in history. It was a government whose powers were limited to those enumerated in the document itself ... Fearful that the newly formed government might try to break free of that enumerated-powers straitjacket, the American people, through their duly authorized representatives, enacted the Bill of Rights ... As our forefathers understood so well, the greatest threat to people's freedom and well-being lies with their own government, and express constitutional restrictions on the exercise of government power are necessary ...
The Bill of Rights: Searches and Seizures, Freedom Daily, Oct 2004
Discusses general warrants (and the British case of Entick v Carrington) and writs of assistance in colonial America as precedents for the framing of the Fourth Amendment and the latter's imporance in the present
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is rooted in the horrific government abuses arising from "general warrants" in English history and "writs of assistance" in British colonial history in America ... On the other hand, throughout history there have been those for whom liberty is their highest value, which has motivated them to impose and maintain constraints on government power. The Fourth Amendment, which safeguards our homes and businesses from tyrannical power, stands as a living testament to the fact that the lovers of liberty can prevail over the supporters of tyranny.
The Bill of Rights: The Rights of the Accused, Freedom Daily, Feb 2005
Discusses the various clauses of the Sixth Amendment, with the rationales behind them and citing relevant court decisions
Among the legitimate purposes of government is the punishment of those who violate the rights of others through the commission of violent or forceful acts, such as murder, rape, robbery, theft, burglary, or trespass. ... however, ... an important inquiry immediately arises: How do we ensure that people are not convicted of crimes they haven't committed? ... As ... attorney Edward Bennett Williams put it, "Civil liberties are a great heritage for Americans. They are not rights that the government gives to the people, they are the rights that the people carved out for themselves when they created the government."
The Bill of Rights: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Freedom Daily, Aug 2004
Discusses the fallacies in gun-control arguments, comparing possible gun prohibition to the war on drugs, highlighting the behavior of U.S. officials in occupied Iraq and concluding with several quotes by Founding Fathers and Framers
Arguably, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should have been made first in the Bill of Rights because without the right to keep and bear arms, such rights as freedom of speech and freedom of the press would be treated as nothing more than meaningless "privileges" bestowed and taken away by government officials at will ... Perhaps a good way to conclude ... would be to restate the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and the Framers: ... "No free men shall be debarred the use of arms." — Thomas Jefferson ... "... Everyone who is able may have a gun ..." — Patrick Henry
The Bill of Rights: Trial by Jury, Freedom Daily, Jan 2005
Explains why a trial by a jury of ordinary people was considered an essential constitutional guarantee and discusses jury nullification in real and hypothetical cases
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads in part as follows:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed. ...
Trial by jury is one of the essential prerequisites of a free society ... [I]t is plain that, instead of juries being a "palladium of liberty"—a barrier against the tyranny and oppression of the government—they are really mere tools in its hands, for carrying into execution any injustice and oppression it may desire to have executed.
The Bill of Rights: Unenumerated Rights, Freedom Daily, Apr 2005
Examines the rationale and history behind the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citing both James Madison and Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
A common misconception among the American people is that their rights come from the Constitution. Even lawyers and judges are guilty of believing this, oftentimes suggesting that whether a right exists or not depends on whether it is listed in the Constitution. Law-enforcement agents read criminal suspects "their constitutional rights," which leads some people to infer that the Constitution is the actual source of people's rights ... What we need in America is a rebirth of freedom, one in which the American people restore the vision of freedom and constitutionally limited government that formed the foundation of our nation.
But Foreign Aid Is Bribery! And Blackmail, Extortion, and Theft Too!, 26 Sep 2003
Comments on Ted Kennedy's observation that U.S. foreign aid was being used as bribery, expanding to discuss other perverse and destructive consequences of such aid programs
Horrors! Sen. Edward Kennedy has thrown the Washington establishment into turmoil by making the shocking observation that the Bush administration is using U.S. foreign aid to bribe foreign governments to support its occupation of Iraq. "My belief is this money is being shuffled all around to these political leaders in all parts of the world, bribing them to send in troops," Kennedy said ... Senator Kennedy has obviously stirred up a Washington firestorm by stating the truth about U.S. foreign aid. It is bribery, and it's also blackmail, extortion, and stealing ... how can we be surprised ...?
Classical Liberalism in Argentina: A Lesson for the World, Freedom Daily, Jul 1994
Highlights Argentine history from the 1810 revolution to the late 20th century, arguing that the period from 1852 to 1930 demonstrated the validity of Adam Smith's writings, also discussing 1958 visits by Leonard Read and Ludwig von Mises
Two centuries ago, Adam Smith asked a very fundamental question: what are the nature and causes of the wealth of nations? Note that Smith did not ask ... what are the causes of poverty? Smith understood that poverty had always been the natural state of mankind ...
Argentina from 1850 to 1930 serves as a real beacon to all who wish to crack the never-ending cycle of poverty and misery ... Today, the South American liberals are leading their respective nations to liberty and prosperity. Perhaps they will lead the world—including the United States—as well.
The Constitution and the Rule of Law, Aug 1992
Describes, using some of F. A. Hayek's writings, the concepts that individual rights do not stem from the U.S. constitution, that the latter is meant to "straitjacket" the government and the misunderstood (or forgotten) "rule of law"
In 1944, Friedrich A. Hayek wrote one of the most thought-provoking books of our time—The Road to Serfdom. Hayek warned that Great Britain and the United States were abandoning their heritage of liberty and adopting the economic principles of the Nazis, fascists, and socialists ... What will it take to abandon the road to serfdom ...? ... [S]ince our government has become destructive of the ends for which it was formed, to alter or abolish it and implement new government designed to protect, not destroy, our lives and fortunes. Herein lies the road to freedom.
The Critical Dilemma Facing Pro-War Libertarians, 14 Feb 2007
Discusses the contradictions faced by U.S. libertarians and conservatives who endorsed or encouraged imperial and interventionist foreign policies following the attacks of 11 Sep 2001
The 9/11 attacks exposed a major fault line in the libertarian movement. On one side of the divide were those libertarians who contended that the 9/11 attacks were a direct consequence of U.S. foreign policy—specifically the bad things that the federal government had done to people overseas ...
As Ludwig von Mises put it,
No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result.
Decimating the Constitution with Military Tribunals, 27 Sep 2006
Discusses what would become the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA); note: in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled section 7 of the MCA unconstitutional, which led to the MCA of 2009
Given all the glorification being bestowed on three U.S. senators for displaying "principle" in standing against President Bush's plan to amend the Geneva Convention to permit torture of detainees, followed by their quick compromise ..., it is easy to lose sight of something much bigger: The military tribunals ... the enactment of the tribunal legislation will reflect once again how the American people's fear of terrorism is causing them to look away while their federal officials decimate the Constitution and dismantle a criminal-justice system whose principles stretch back centuries.
A Democratic Dictatorship, Freedom Daily, May 2006
Posits that "ever since 9/11 Americans have been living under dictatorial rule", examining the justifications given by Bush for exercising dictatorial powers
Amidst all the discussion and debate about whether President Bush has violated the law by ordering the National Security Agency (NSA) to record telephone conversations, we must not overlook an important fact: the United States is now traveling in uncharted waters, ones in which the ruler of the nation is exercising omnipotent power over the American people. ... Time will tell whether that love of liberty is still a powerful force within the hearts and minds of the American people — sufficiently powerful to overcome the fear and quest for "security" that currently hold people in their grip ...
Does John Ashcroft Understand the Constitution?, 22 Oct 2004
Uses a comment by John Ashcroft on Supreme Court decisions affecting "enemy combatants" to highlight the misunderstandings of the Attorney General, the Pentagon and the public in general, about rights, civil liberties and the U.S. Constitution
Learning that the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the rights of habeas corpus, right to counsel, and due process of law in the Yaser Hamdi, Jose Padilla, and Shafiq Rasul cases, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft commented, "The Supreme Court accorded to terrorists, in a variety of cases this week, a number of additional rights." ... the Court wasn't giving "more rights" to terrorists, as John Ashcroft mistakenly thought. It was instead enforcing centuries-old procedural guarantees in the administration of justice that our ancestors had the wisdom and foresight to enumerate in the Constitution.
Do Hadithans Hate Us for Our Freedoms?, 2 Jun 2006
Probes the premise voiced by U.S. government officials that terrorist acts are motivated by hatred of American "freedoms and values", rather than by episodes such as the Iraqi sanctions, torture at Abu Ghraib and the Haditha massacre
Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. officials announced that the terrorists were motivated by anger and hatred for American "freedoms and values." In other words, the terrorists hated the First Amendment and rock and roll and, therefore, decided to attack our country ... After all, they'll remind us, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq have brought love, peace, freedom, and democracy to the Iraqi people — well, at least to those who are not dead. The only question will be: How many gullible Americans will buy it the next time?
Do Our Rights Come from the Constitution?, Freedom Daily, Jun 1999
Dispels the myth that rights are granted to the people by the Constitution or the Bill of Rights
It is commonly believed that the rights of the American people come from the Constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth. Throughout history, the standard belief was that people were unconditionally subject to the commands of their government ... So the next time someone refers to your "constitutional rights," remind him that people's rights don't come from the Constitution. And if you really want to stimulate thinking, ask him whether he believes that today the federal government is destructive of the very rights it was designed to protect.
Eisenhower Was Right, 16 Feb 2004
Comments on the announcement of a 30,000 person increase in U.S. military, not authorized by Congress, but under "emergency" power by the Secretary of Defense and reflects on the wisdom of Eisenhower's 1961 warning about the military-industrial complex
A small article on ... the New York Times is revealing with respect to the extent of the power of the military-industrial complex in American life. The article reports that the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, told the House Armed Services Committee that he is going to increase the size of U.S. forces by 30,000 ... Once the American people begin to appreciate the wisdom and foresight of the Founding Fathers in opposing an enormous standing military force ... we will be able to begin the journey toward making America once again the model for the world in terms of liberty, peace, prosperity, and enjoyment of life.
The Endless War on Terrorism, 1 Sep 2004
Reflects on President George W. Bush response ("I don't think we can win it") when asked about the War on Terror
It feels good when a public official, especially the president of the United States, speaks the truth, which is what happened on Monday when President George W. Bush uttered words that The Future of Freedom Foundation has been publishing ever since 9/11 — "I don't think you can win [the war on terror]." ... Unfortunately, while speaking a partial truth, President Bush failed to tell the whole truth — that by altering U.S. foreign policy to prevent meddling, intervention, and killing ..., the war on terrorism ... would come to an end for the simple reason that foreigners would no longer be suffering the deep anger ...
The Federal War on Gold, Part 1, Freedom Daily, Aug 2006
Discusses some of the clauses in the U.S. constitution regarding coinage and the issuance of paper money by the federal government
Given the rising price of gold and the fact that federal spending is totally out of control, the prospect of gold confiscation and criminalizing the private ownership of gold by federal authorities inevitably rears its ugly head. There are few things that federal big spenders hate more than gold .. [Abraham Lincoln's and Franklin D. Roosevelt's] actions culminated in a monetary system that has enabled federal authorities ... to fraudulently plunder and loot the American people, even to the point of denying them the ideal means—ownership of gold—by which to protect themselves ...
The Federal War on Gold, Part 2, Freedom Daily, Sep 2006
Continues with the brief monetary history of the United States, discussing Abraham Lincoln's war loans and legal tender law, and the Supreme Court cases of Hepburn v. Griswold (1870) and Knox v. Lee (1871)
Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt revolutionized the monetary system of the United States and set the nation on the road of inflationary plunder ... The actions of these two presidents also provide a textbook example for understanding the animosity and antipathy ... toward precious metals ... as a medium of exchange ... The revolution began with Lincoln. But it would culminate in one of most massive assaults on private property in U.S. history—President Franklin Roosevelt's nullification of gold clauses in contracts and his confiscation of gold from the American people.
The Federal War on Gold, Part 3, Freedom Daily, Oct 2006
Describes Franklin Roosevelt's 1933 executive order confiscating gold held by U.S. citizens and the congressional act nullifying gold clauses in contracts, its constitutional ramifications and subsequent related history
It is impossible to overstate the significance of the Franklin Roosevelt administration's confiscation of gold and its nullification of gold clauses in contracts. It is one of the most sordid episodes in American history. To get an accurate sense of Roosevelt's actions, it would not be inappropriate to compare what he did with the domestic economic policies of ... Fidel Castro ... Both solutions would necessarily entail the abolition of one of the most powerful engines of financial destruction in American history—the Federal Reserve System—as well as the repeal of all legal-tender laws.
Fourth Circuit Moussaoui Ruling Is a Loss for the Constitution, 30 Apr 2004
Discusses the rulings of a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, with respect to compelling witnesses in the accused's favor in accordance with the Sixth Amendment
Although the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals paid the obligatory lip service to the Sixth Amendment in the Zacharias Moussaoui case, in an audacious act of judicial activism, its ruling effectively rewrote and negated the Sixth Amendment to account for the government's new "war on terrorism." ... If the government instead decides to prosecute an accused terrorist in its "war on terrorism" in U.S. district court, ... it can deny him his Sixth Amendment right to compulsory process of witnesses and, by implication, other constitutional guarantees as well — and threaten to transfer him to the military jurisdiction ...
Freedom of Education, Mar 1993
Imagines a potential discussion between an advocate of religious freedom, a proponent of a system, established one hundred years ago, of public, i.e., government-sponsored, churches and an advocate of religious "vouchers"
What if, one hundred years ago, the American people had decided to amend the Constitution to provide a system of public churches in towns across America. Imagine the following conversation in 1993:
Advocate of Religious Freedom: We have a terrible problem with the public-church system. It was a big mistake to set up public churching in America ...
... Principles cannot be compromised. They can only be abandoned. The only solution to America's religious woes is to repeal compulsory-attendance laws and church taxes and to sell off the public churches. It is time to end public churching.
Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 1, Apr 1994
Examines some of the reasons why so many believe that drug legalization is a bad idea and that the war on drugs should go on, pointing out that not even penitentaries, German concentration camps or police states are drug free
When the surgeon general of the United States, Joycelyn Elders, announced that drug legalization was an idea worth studying, the reaction among politicians, bureaucrats, conservatives, and even those on the political left was immediate. "Immoral!" "You favor drug abuse?" "Have you ever held a crack baby?" ... What kind of self-esteem can a person ever develop when he is beset by these continual reminders provided by the state? And once a person becomes convinced that he is fatally flawed—that he is bad, uncaring, ...—then don't drugs ... provide a convenient way to escape the resulting shame?
Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 2, May 1994
Provides examples from taxes, the "dole", public housing and licensing that show how the welfare state and managed economy undermine human well-being, contrasting life in Russia under socialism vs. the supposed freedom in the United States
The welfare state and the managed economy do more than destroy individual self-esteem. They also destroy hopes of improving one's life. Now, we know that money cannot buy happiness, but certainly the hopes of improving one's own economic well-being provide a stimulus to happiness ... Like their predecessors who waged the war on the destructive drug alcohol, most now see the futility of legislating morality. Equally important, they are beginning to see that the only way to achieve a more stable, virtuous, compassionate society is by freeing the American people.
Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 3, Jun 1994
Explains the counterintuitive notion that in order to achieve a caring, compassionate, "good" society it is necessary to allow everyone the freedom to be irresponsible, to do anything they want as long it does not infringe on others' equal freedom
Despite their good intentions, the proponents of the welfare-state, managed-economy way of life have ended up with results that are opposite from what they intended. The war on poverty was supposed to end poverty. It did not, and the situation is worse than when the war started some thirty years ago ... Americans have now suffered under one hundred years of statism, and they are starting to see that the road to their salvation lies not in reform, but rather in the principles of freedom of their ancestors — principles that will bring a society not only of freedom, but one of virtue and responsibility, care and compassion.
Free Mark Cuban and Abolish the SEC, 19 Nov 2008
Discusses Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark Cuban (17 Nov 2008) insider trading case, concerning the latter's sale in June 2004 of shares in
Billionaire Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has been targeted by the SEC for insider trading. According to the SEC's complaint, in 2003 Cuban was the owner of about 6 percent of the stock of a company named An executive of the company advised Cuban that [it] was going to issue a public offering of stock ... Abolish the SEC, one of the most tyrannical, destructive, useless agencies in American history, and repeal all economic regulations, including insider-trading laws. Or to put it another way, restore free enterprise — that is, enterprise that is free of government control — to our nation.
Habeas Corpus: The Lynchpin of Freedom, 11 Oct 2006
Commenting on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, discusses a hypothetical U.S. war scenario where the president extends MCA cancellation of habeas corpus to U.S. citizens criticizing the war and thus "aiding the enemy"
In the recently enacted Military Commissions Act, Congress acceded to President Bush's request to remove the power of federal courts to consider petitions for writ of habeas by foreign citizens held by U.S. officials on suspicion of having committed acts of terrorism ... [Americans'] indifference to the cancellation of the Great Writ—the writ of habeas corpus ...—is an affront [to] those who struggled for centuries to ensure its enshrinement and protection. It also constitutes one of the gravest and most ominous threats to freedom of the American people in the history of our nation.
Hard Cases Make Bad Law, 23 Mar 2005
Discusses the attempt by members of the U.S. Congress to have U.S. federal courts intervene in the Terri Schiavo case, already decided by a Florida district court
The issue in the Terri Schiavo case is not whether the Florida district court originally entered a correct judgment or not. The issue is whether this is a nation in which the American people are going to continue permitting their Washington politicians and bureaucrats to continue trampling on the Constitution and the rule of law, even while these people go abroad and hypocritically preach the importance of these principles ... The American people had better decide soon whether they are going to continue letting these power-hungry people in Washington to continue running roughshod over the Constitution ...
Hitler's Mutual Admiration Society, 29 Oct 2003
Describes the mutual admiration society that existed in the 1930s between Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini
During his campaign, California's governor-elect, Arnold Schwarzenegger, got himself into hot water with his praise of Adolf Hitler's oratorical skills. Maybe he should have reminded people of a dark secret that went down the public-school memory hole long ago ...: the mutual admiration society that existed between Hitler and other Western leaders during the 1930s ... Maybe the dark secret that Schwarzenegger's praise of Hitler's oratorical skills has reminded us of will help show Americans how far our nation has strayed from its heritage of economic liberty and free markets in favor of socialism and interventionism.
Killing Iraqi Children, 19 Jun 2006
Comments on a Detroit News editorial condoning the bombing, rather than the arrest and prosecution, of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the "collateral" death of a five-year old girl
In a short editorial, the Detroit News asked an interesting question: "Some war critics are suggesting Iraq terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi should have been arrested and prosecuted rather than bombed into oblivion. Why expose American troops to the danger of an arrest, when bombs work so well?" ... [M]any Americans have yet to confront the moral implications of invading and occupying Iraq ... [T]he idea will be that the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis, including countless Iraqi children, will have been worth it. It would be difficult to find a more morally repugnant position than that.
The Legacy of Leonard E. Read, Freedom Daily, Sep 1991
Reflects on the influence of Read on the author and other "freedom devotees", recounting two illuminating examples of Read's "deep dedication to integrity and principle"
Few people have had a bigger impact on my life than Leonard E. Read, the founder of The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York. I shall never forget the day I discovered a set of books entitled Essays on Liberty which were published by FEE long ago and which included many essays by Read. My life has not been the same since! ... While it remains important to continue planting seeds of liberty for future generations, it is also incumbent on us freedom devotees living today to pick the ripening fruit off the vine. What greater tribute could we pay to Read and his associates than to achieve freedom in our lifetime?
Lessons about Our Constitution from Abu Ghraib, 26 May 2004
Argues that constitutional protections and restraints on government are needed more than ever to prevent abuses such as have happened in U.S.-occupied Iraq
Those who think that the U.S. Constitution is an antiquated document with no relevance to modern times might want to consider how federal officials would operate in the absence of constitutional restraints. The best evidence for such a thought experiment exists in Iraq, where U.S. officials have had the omnipotent power to run that country for the past year ... The next time someone ridicules the Constitution or the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, ask him whether he would prefer living under U.S. occupation in Iraq, where no such restraints or guarantees exist.
Libertarianism Is the Key to Our Future, Freedom Daily, Jul 2006
Examines three reasons—freedom, morality and pragmatism—that suggest that Americans will eventually return to their libertarian heritage
Why do I remain convinced that the American people will return to their libertarian heritage, especially given the continued trend toward socialism and interventionism in Washington, D.C.? There are three reasons: freedom, morality, and pragmatism ... Libertarianism, not socialism ..., is the cornerstone of our nation's heritage of freedom. Libertarianism succeeds in producing rising standards of living, nurtures voluntary charity, and promotes harmonies among people. It is a philosophy grounded in the moral foundations of freedom. Libertarianism is the key to the future of our nation.
A Libertarian Visits Cuba, Part 1, Freedom Daily, May 1999
Reviews Cuban history from their independence war, through the Batista regime, the Castro revolution, the Bay of Pigs invasion and more current events, leading up to a week's visit to Cuba to study their socialist system
Last March, I spent a week in Cuba, which turned out to be one of my most fascinating experiences. I had applied for a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury ... to conduct an informal study of the country's socialist economic system ... When I arrived in Cuba, ... four Cuban dissidents were being tried ... My visit to Cuba, however, revealed that if the Cuban authorities persist in jailing people on the street for criticizing Cuban socialism, they just might have to come up with a five-year plan for prison expansion.
A Libertarian Visits Cuba, Part 2, Freedom Daily, Jul 1999
Describes the meetings Hornberger had while conducting an informal study of socialism in Cuba, with "hard-liners" and reformers at research centers as well as people on the street
My trip to Cuba last spring entailed talking primarily to two groups of people—those in research centers at the University of Havana and people whom I encountered in daily life in Cuba. The meetings with the research centers were arranged by the Cuban Interest Section ... While everyone in the research centers ... was friendly ..., it was always apparent that they chose their words very carefully ... It was different out on the streets. Relating and interacting with the Cuban people ... turned out to be easy for me, and the result was a candor about their country from many of them that disarmed me.
A Libertarian Visits Cuba, Part 3, Freedom Daily, Aug 1999
Describes how, when asked to explain libertarianism, Hornberger highlighted American socialist programs, challenged by libertarians but similar to those in Cuba, and then various conversations he had with ordinary Cubans
Even though I knew that it is a serious criminal offense to criticize Cuban socialism, I was determined to deliver a presentation of libertarian principles ... I got my chance when one of the research centers I visited asked me to explain libertarianism to its staff ... Whenever I asked people on the street, "Why are you so courteous to me after what my government has done to your country?" their response ... was revealing: "What responsibility do you have for what your government has done?" My visit ... reinforced my hatred of socialism, but it also engendered ... affection for the Cuban people.
A Libertarian Visits Mexico, Freedom Daily, Nov 1998
Describes parts of a two-week visit to central Mexico, including some of the history of the Mexican independence struggle, discussions about current Mexican migration to the U.S., government interventions and the attitudes of the Mexicans encountered
Last summer, I spent a two-week vacation studying Spanish in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I thought that the readers ... might find some of my experiences to be of interest. San Miguel de Allende is located in the heart of Mexico, about three hours north of Mexico City ... Despite the poverty and suffering, one cannot help but notice the widespread feeling of inner happiness among the Mexican people. Every night, people would crowd into the plazas ... One can only imagine how much more exciting and enjoyable life would be if the Mexican people could throw off the shackles of state control over their lives and fortunes.
Related Topics: Libertarianism, Mexico, The State
A Libertarian Visits South America, Freedom Daily, Mar 1999
Relates Hornberger's trip to give lectures and participate in debates at the Instituto de Estudos Empresariais in Brazil and the launching of the Fundación Atlas para una Sociedad Libre in Buenos Aires
Last fall, I was invited to South America by two free-market think tanks — the Instituto de Estudos Empresariais (IEE — Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies) in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and the Fundación Atlas para una Sociedad Libre (Atlas Foundation for a Free Society) in Buenos Aires, Argentina ... Both Brazil and Argentina have suffered severe economic problems in the past. The future for both nations lies with dedicated libertarians like Roy Ashton and Felipe Goron and their associates at IEE in Brazil and like Gabriel Salvia and his associates at the Atlas Foundation in Argentina.
Milton Friedman, R.I.P., 17 Nov 2006
In memoriam, relates three personal interactions with Friedman which where "big personal highlights" for Hornberger
I will leave it to others to remind people of the enormous contributions that Milton Friedman, who died yesterday, made to economics and liberty during his long life. I thought instead that I would relate three times that my life intersected with Friedman, all of which were big personal highlights for me. ... Moreover, Friedman said in the article that The Future of Freedom Foundation was "doing good work and having an impact." Friedman had a big impact on my intellectual development as a libertarian and he also provided me with three great highlights in my life. I shall always be grateful to him.
Related Topic: Milton Friedman
Monopoly, Competition, and Educational Freedom, Mar 2000
Discusses monopolies and competition in the religious, postal delivery and educational realms and criticizes a speech by Gary Becker about competition in religion and education
Unfortunately, while many scholars understand the nature and benefits of the free market in general, they seem to lack a firm appreciation of pure free-market principles in the area of education. An example was a recent speech entitled "Competition" that was delivered to the conservative Heritage Foundation by Gary S. Becker ... Why shouldn't families, rather than the state, have the same authority over educational decisions as they have over religious decisions? Why shouldn't suppliers be as free to compete in supplying education as they are in supplying religion?
Patriotism along the Southern Border, Part 1, Freedom Daily, Dec 1998
Discusses patriotism, loyalty to a country, and treason, in the historical context of Texas between 1821 (as a territory of Mexico), 1836 (when it became an independent republic—not recognized by Mexico) and 1846-48 (the Mexican-American War)
Not long ago, the patriotism of Mexican-Americans was called into question at an international soccer match in Los Angeles. Anglo-Americans were outraged that Mexican-Americans booed during the playing of the American national anthem and then cheered for the Mexican, rather than the American, soccer team ... Issues involving political boundaries would ultimately be determined by the Mexican War in 1846 and by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. That war and that peace agreement would also make such things as family, language, history, and culture—as well as patriotism—along the southern border more complicated than ever.
Patriotism along the Southern Border, Part 2, Freedom Daily, Jan 1999
Continues discussing patriotism and treason in the historical context of Mexico and the territories annexed by the U.S. after the Mexican-American War, up to the early 20th century; includes parallels in more modern contexts
In February 1846, the independent nation of Texas was annexed as a state in the United States of America. The citizens of Texas were now American citizens. However, there was one major glitch. Mexico still considered the Texas territory to be part of Mexico ... Travel across the border after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was not difficult because the border ... remained open for some 75 years. It was this open-border policy of our American ancestors that would continue to affect deeply the lives of the people along the southern border of the United States, especially during the Mexican Civil War that began in 1910.
Patriotism along the Southern Border, Part 3, Freedom Daily, Feb 1999
Continues discussing patriotism along the Mexico-United States border starting with the Mexican Revolution (1910-20), through the creation of the INS, the repatriation policy of Franklin Roosevelt and present day immigration policies
In 1910, Mexico celebrated the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war for Mexican independence from Spain. The political climate in Mexico was peaceful and orderly. It would not last. In 1867, Mexican forces had defeated the French occupation army and had captured and executed Hapsburg Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, ... emperor of Mexico ... For more than 75 years, the American people had a rational and humane immigration policy: one of openness and friendship ... This is the only policy that is consistent with principles of economic liberty and loving thy neighbor as thyself.
Pentagon Learns About the Sixth Amendment, 30 Jul 2004
Discusses how the Supreme Court decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld affected the Pentagon handling of the case of Ali Saleh al-Marri, one of three "enemy combatants" (the other two being Yaser Hamdi and José Padilla)
The Pentagon is learning that things work differently here in the United States than they do in Iraq. In this country, when the judiciary issues an order, the Pentagon is required to obey it. That’s why the government is now permitting Ali Saleh al-Marri to meet with his attorney as part of his habeas corpus proceeding in federal district court in South Carolina ... That’s the way things work here in the United States. Of course, that’s not the way things work in Iraq, where the Pentagon is still prohibiting Saddam Hussein from meeting with his attorneys.
Related Topic: Right to Trial by Jury
The Pentagon's Power to Arrest, Torture, and Execute Americans, 28 Feb 2007
Discusses the power to "arrest, torture, and execute" anyone (Amrican citizen or not) claimed to be an "enemy combatant" by the U.S. president and the military, and the shenanigans in the José Padilla case
The president and the Pentagon now wield the omnipotent power to arrest, torture, and execute any American they label an "enemy combatant." It is impossible to overstate the significance of this power. It has totally upended the relationship of the military and civilian in the United States ... It is the ultimate power that any government can wield over its citizens and, in fact, is a power wielded by such tyrannical regimes as those in Burma, Pakistan, China, North Korea, and Cuba. A necessary prerequisite for the restoration of a free society is its removal from the arsenal of federal powers.
Price Controls Are No Answer to Isabel, 19 Sep 2003
Explains the counterproductive effects of government setting price controls, such as forbidding selling of candles at a price higher than before Hurricane Isabel struck
Five states have declared a state of emergency as a result of Hurricane Isabel. Citizens in the affected states should hope that government officials don't do what they often do during such emergencies—impose price controls, especially on important items, such as water, ice, batteries, candles, and building supplies ... By interfering with ... vital information to consumers, price controls distort the market economy’s ability to allocate scarce resources. Hurricane Isabel has produced a natural disaster for millions of people. Let’s hope that state officials don’t make things worse with a state-produced one.
Related Topics: Prices, The State
Reform Social Security ... or Repeal It?, Freedom Daily, Jul 2000
In the prelude to the 2000 U.S. presidential election, counters Bush's proposal to reform Social Security and Gore's claims of jeopardizing it, with a call for outright repeal
With the presidential campaign season here, the quadrennial debate over Social Security has begun. Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush is calling for Social Security reform. He says that people should have the right to have their Social Security funds invested in the stock market ... For the first 150 years ..., the American people rejected Social Security ... and other aspects of the socialistic welfare state, ... having faith that most people care about others. Twentieth-century Americans chose an opposite course, one that traded freedom for the illusion of government security.
Related Topics: Social Security Tax, Taxation
The Repeal of Social Security, Freedom Daily, Nov 1995
Argues for the outright repeal of the Social Security Act of 1935 quoting Bastiat in his advice against using the law as an "instrument of equalization"
Sixty years ago—on August 14, 1935—President ... Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. It was one of the major political events that transformed the United States into a welfare state. It was a law that enabled government to use the force of taxation to take money from the young and productive and give it to others ... [R]egardless of how other Americans choose to go, the advocate of liberty must not assist the advocate of socialism with "free-market proposals" to save socialism. The advocate of liberty must advocate ... quite simply, the repeal, not the reform, of Social Security.
Sanctions: The Cruel and Brutal War against the Iraqi People, Part 1, Freedom Daily, Jan 2004
Tells the history of the U.S. government sanctions against Iraq imposed by the United Nations before military action in the 1990 Gulf War, exacerbated by military targeting during the war and kept in place after the war
Immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush and other U.S. officials announced that the attacks had been motivated by hatred for America's "freedom and values." Nothing could have been further from the truth, and U.S. officials knew it ... And it was all happening because of a 12-year U.S. government obsession with a man who had formerly been a close U.S. ally — one who had never attacked or even threatened to attack the United States and, in fact, one to whom the United States had entrusted weapons of mass destruction to use against others.
Related Topics: James Bovard, Children, Iran, Iraq
Sanctions: The Cruel and Brutal War against the Iraqi People, Part 2, Freedom Daily, Feb 2004
Continues the account of the U.S. government sanctions against Iraq, describing the "oil for food" program, the resignations of two senior United Nations officials in protest and the influence on the 11 Sept 2001 attacks
By 1996, an increasing number of people were speaking out against the sanctions against Iraq, which motivated U.S. officials to embrace a diplomatic fig leaf that would protect them from adverse public opinion while, at the same time, enabling them to continue their cruel and brutal policy against the Iraqi people ... The people who paid the price for their cruelty and brutality were the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The best thing Americans could ever do to honor their memory is to permanently prohibit the U.S. government from ever again utilizing economic sanctions and embargoes as tools of foreign policy.
The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 1, Freedom Daily, Aug 1990
Contrasts, using a Christian religious context, the attitudes of 19th century and earlier Americans with respect to economic liberties (such as income taxation and occupational licensure) with those of later Americans
No myth is more pervasive among the people of the United States than that which claims that the American economic system is based on the sanctity of private property. The American people have been taught since the first grade in their government schools that America is the bastion of private property ... If only we 20th-century Americans had the same strength of conviction with respect to our lives and earnings. If only we would render our lives and property back to God instead of Caesar ... Myths die hard—but if we fail to kill them, we shall continue to reap what we sow.
The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 2, Jan 1991
Contrasts the attitudes of 20th century American citizens towards international trade and the oil business to citizens in communist countries, the former believing they live under a "private property" system which is not socialistic in nature
The last thing which Americans of today wish to face is that they have abandoned the principles of private property on which the United States was founded. In last August's Freedom Daily, I pointed to two examples of where the American people have permitted their public officials to assume absolute and total control over private property ... As our American ancestors understood so well, only those nations which have a political system which protects free economic activity are those nations in which the citizenry are blessed with peace, prosperity, and harmony.
Shssh! Don't Tell Americans How We Treat "Enemy Combatants", 21 Mar 2007
Comments on the cases of José Padilla, John Walker Lindh and other accused terrorists, and efforts by U.S. officials to prevent them from disclosing the treatment they received under military or CIA custody
The case of accused terrorist Jose Padilla is moving toward a jury trial on April 16 in U.S. District Court in Miami. It is still unclear whether the presiding judge in the case, Marcia Cooke, will order an evidentiary hearing on Padilla's motion to dismiss the charges based on the government's outrageous pre-trial conduct ... What [Bush] obviously meant was the "freedom" of the CIA and the Pentagon to continue taking "enemy combatants," both Americans and foreigners, into custody, treating them accordingly, and then keeping what they do to them secret from the American people and the world.
The Soviet-Style Attack on NORFED, 21 Nov 2007
Discusses the federal raid on the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code (NORFED) and the differences between a criminal search warrant (used to justify the raid) and an injuction used in civil proceedings
It would be difficult to find a better example of federal heavy-handedness than the recent six-hour federal raid on NORFED, the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code. In fact, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish the NORFED raid from similar raids conducted by Soviet and Chinese communist officials ... Unfortunately, in the post-9/11 world in which we now live, anything goes as far as federal power is concerned. The heavy-handed, perhaps even fraudulent, Soviet-style attack on NORFED is proof-positive of that.
Related Topics: Law, Due Process of Law, Money
Terrorism Comes with Empire, 8 Jul 2005
Reflects on the 7 July 2005 London bombings (and 1993 and 2001 attacks in New York and the Pentagon) and why England and the U.S. were the targets rather than Switzerland
Question: Why didn't the terrorists strike Switzerland instead of England? After all, the two countries share the same "freedom and values," don't they? Answer: The Swiss government didn't attack Iraq. It doesn't meddle in the Middle East ... For those who want lives of freedom, normality, peace, prosperity, and harmony, there is but one solution: Dismantle the empire; bring the troops home and discharge them into the private sector; stop meddling in the affairs of other nations; stop trying to dominate and control the world; stop going abroad in search of monsters to destroy; stop trying to be the world's policeman.
Thank You ... for a Free Market, 30 Jun 2006
Explains why so often both parties to a commercial transaction express gratitude toward the other
Have you ever noticed how often both sides to an economic transaction say, "Thank you" to each other? For example, when the cashier at the grocery store says to the customer, "Thank you," more often than not the customer responds, "Thank you," rather than "You're welcome." ... [T]he wider the ambit of opportunities to enter into economic exchanges with others, the easier it is for people to raise their standard of living. So the next time you're at the grocery store and the cashier says, "Thank you," you might respond with, "And thank you for making my life better by raising my standard of living."
Related Topics: Free Market, Labor
They Deserved to Lose, 8 Nov 2006
Comments on the results of the 2006 United States congressional elections and finds the Republican Party losses well-deserved
Having lost control over the U.S. House of Representatives and possibly also the U.S. Senate, Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. They deserved to lose. For years, Republicans have used libertarian rhetoric in their political campaigns ... while Republicans and Democrats share the same ... big-government philosophy, there is one big difference between them: Democrats make no bones about being advocates of big spending and big government, while Republicans continue to wrap themselves in libertarian limited-government rhetoric. It is hypocrisy like that makes the Republican loss a deserving one.
They Lied About the Reasons for Going to War, 23 Oct 2006
Examines various items of circumstancial evidence that would lead most reasonable people to conclude that George W. Bush and his administration lied about the rationales for invading Iraq in 2003, and then explores the real purpose behind the invasion
In determining whether someone has lied, circumstantial evidence can oftentimes be as critical as direct evidence. For example, suppose someone says, "I was outside all last night and it did not rain." A person who was inside might be tempted to conclude, "Well, since I wasn’t outside, I must assume that he is telling the truth." ... [W]hile it is entirely possible that Bush and Cheney would have invaded Iraq anyway if the American people had known the truth about why they were invading, at least the war and occupation would not have received the moral sanction of a deceived people.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Iraq, Iraq War, War
Trapped in Lies and Delusions, 20 Nov 2006
Predicts that U.S. troops would not withdraw from Iraq for at least two more years, because it was politically implausible for Bush and Cheney to backtrack on their positions, and laments American attitudes towards the war and countless interventions
I could, of course, be proven wrong but my hunch is that the United States will be trapped in Iraq for the indefinite future. Despite the recent election results and increasing demand among the American people for a withdrawal, I believe that there is no possibility that President Bush is going to order a withdrawal any time soon ... The long-term solution instead involves returning ... to our nation’s founding principles ... — principles that are contrary to our nation's current paradigm of militarism, standing armies, empires, ... foreign entanglements, .. assassinations, coups, sanctions, and embargoes.
The Troops Don't Defend Our Freedoms, 21 Oct 2005
Examines whether foreign invasion, terrorists taking over the government and the federal government, through the President and its orders to a "loyal and obedient" standing army, are plausible threats to the freedom and well-being of Americans
How often do we hear the claim that American troops "defend our freedoms"? The claim is made often by U.S. officials and is echoed far and wide across the land by television commentators, newspaper columnists, public-school teachers, and many others ... One vision — the vision of militarism and empire — will bring America more violence, death, destruction, impoverishment, and loss of freedom. The other vision — the vision of a limited-government, constitutional republic with citizen-soldiers — would put our nation back on the right road of peace, prosperity, harmony, and freedom.
The Ultimate Tax Cut, Freedom Daily, Dec 2007
Explains how tax cuts promised by political candidates are fraudulent, since the government expenditures still have to be paid somehow, either by taxation or through monetary inflation, and asks a fundamental question regarding the role of government
Since it is presidential campaign season, we will inevitably be treated to the usual discourse about tax cuts. Some candidates will call for tax cuts ... as a way to bribe voters into voting for them. Others will resist the call ... in fear that their favorite government program might not receive desired funding ... By limiting the role of government ... [t]he citizenry would have the freedom to keep everything they earn in the marketplace, accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth, and decide for themselves how to dispose of it. Herein lies the key to a free, prosperous, and harmonious society.
Up from Serfdom, 9 Apr 2010
Response to criticism by David Boaz on "Up From Slavery" (6 Apr 2010) to Hornberger's "Liberal Delusions about Freedom" (Freedom Daily, Nov 2009)
In his article "Up from Slavery," David Boaz points out that in my article "Liberal Delusions about Freedom" I failed to except American slavery from my reference to the freedom enjoyed by early Americans. His point is valid and well taken. In the past, I have always made a point of mentioning that tragic exception when discussing the history of American freedom ... By hewing to our principles, libertarians have the opportunity to use what our ancestors accomplished as a foundation for leading the world to the highest reaches of freedom ever seen by man.
U.S. Hypocrisy in Cuba, 26 May 2006
Comments on a propaganda billboard posted by the U.S. Special Interest Section in Havana for Cubans to read, one of its messages stating "In a free country you don’t need permission to leave the country. Is Cuba a free country?"
If there was ever a charge against the U.S. government on which most foreigners would agree, it is the charge of hypocrisy. Most Americans continue to view their federal government as a beloved parent, one who never lies to them; who takes care of them and gives them "freedom" in the form of welfare ... Maybe the Cuban Interest Section in Washington ought to construct its own billboard and post the following message for Americans to read, "Johann Goethe said that none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. Who are freer—the Cuban people or the American people?"
Related Topics: Cuba, Socialism, United States
U.S. Regime Change, Torture, and Murder in Chile, 24 Nov 2004
Discusses the unwelcome reception given to George W. Bush on a visit to Chile and various reasons for Chilean animosity towards the U.S. government, contrasting it with general opinion about these matters in the U.S. and the lack of action by Congress
President Bush's recent trip to South America provides a valuable foreign-policy lesson for Americans. The president was greeted in Santiago, Chile, by some 30,000 angry demonstrators. But it was not only Bush's invasion and war of aggression against Iraq that Chileans were angry about. ... Come to think of it, the "We're here to support you and not ask questions" attitude of Congress toward ... the U.S. government's "war on terrorism" is no different than it was when the U.S. government was "regime changing" and participating in the murder of an American journalist during the dark days of Chile's "war on terrorism."
The "Value" of Public Schooling, Freedom Daily, Nov 2006
Examines public schooling, first comparing it to military boot camp and the draft, then discussing indoctrination in "officially approved" ideas via approved textbooks, and imagining a teacher going against the established doctrines
There are two major values of public schooling, from the perspective of government officials. One, this institution provides the means by which government officials can slowly but surely, over a period of 12 years, mold the mindsets of children into one of conformity and obedience to authority ... Government schooling has proven invaluable to government officials all over the world ... [A] mindset of conformity and obedience ... has historically been the best friend of government officials. The good news is that the malady is not incurable, as so many libertarians who are products of public schooling, including myself, can attest.
Warfare-Welfare in Yugoslavia, Freedom Daily, Jun 1999
Criticizes U.S. involvement in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) during the Kosovo War, viewing it as continuation of the American warfare-welfare empire that stretches back to U.S. entry in World War I
More than 80 years ago, the United States entered World War I with the express purposes of making the world safe for democracy and making that war the one that would end all future European wars. The intervention was a radical departure from the foreign policy that George Washington had enunciated in his Farewell Address ... Our nation ... was a shining beacon of hope for people all over the world. The time has come to recapture that vision by bringing the troops home and dismantling the warfare-welfare machine that has caused so much misery and destruction around the world.
Why No Indictment for Bernard Kerik?, 15 Dec 2004
Comments on the lack of indictment for Kerik who withdrew himself from consideration as head of DHS for having employed an illegal immigrant, while executives from Tyson Foods and Walmart were charged or possibly being indicted for the same reason
Amidst all the hubbub over Bernard Kerik's decision to remove himself from consideration as director of Homeland Security owing to his reported hiring of an illegal-immigrant nanny, no one ... seems to be asking an important question: Why aren't the feds seeking a criminal indictment against him? ... When laws are not enforced equally on everyone, people tend to lose respect for the law in general. Given that the feds give a pass to the rich and powerful who are accused of violating the law ..., the only proper course is for Congress to repeal the law and pardon those select few who have been charged and convicted of it.
Related Topics: Business, Rule of Law
Why Not a Free Market in Education?, 25 Mar 2005
Examines an op-ed by Bill Gates arguing for reforms in the public schools, countering with the paradigm used in the software and computer industries: the free market, and suggests an answer to educating the truly poor
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is a smart man. Such being the case, why isn't he able to recognize the real solution to the woes of public schooling? Gates recently published an op-ed ... in which he stated, "Our high schools are obsolete. By obsolete, I don't just mean that they are broken, flawed and underfunded—although I can't argue with any of those descriptions ..." ... Yes, a free market in education! ... How would the truly poor get educated? Just ask Bill Gates. He and his wife have been voluntarily donating millions of dollars to help others get an education.
Would You "Support the Troops" in Bolivia?, 27 Dec 2006
Discusses U.S. military contracts and the hypothetical case of a soldier objecting to being deployed for an invasion of Bolivia on orders from the President, contrasting it to the real scenario of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Soldiers who join the military voluntarily sign a very unusual contract with the federal government. It is a contract that effectively obligates the soldier to go anywhere in the world on orders of the president and kill people as part of an invasion force against other countries. It doesn't matter whether the intended victims deserve to die or not ... How wise is the surrender of conscience, both among the troops and the citizenry, in both the short term and long term, especially in a country that prides itself on Judeo-Christian principles? In my opinion, not wise at all.
Yahoo! We Have Free Speech, 1 Mar 2001
Discusses a French court's order to Yahoo to stop selling Nazi memorabilia and contrasts attitudes regarding freedom of speech, recalling the story of "The White Rose" resistance group in 1940s Nazi Germany
A recent ruling by a French court in a lawsuit brought against reflects the dramatically different way in which Americans and Europeans view the importance of individual liberty. The case involved Yahoo’s online auctions of Nazi memorabilia. In France, as in Germany, such sales constitute a severe criminal offense. ... So, the next time you see Nazi memorabilia being advertised and sold in the United States, count your lucky stars that you live in a society in which the Founders rejected the old European mindset of control and chose liberty instead.


Jacob Hornberger Interview, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Scott Horton, The Scott Horton Show, 12 Mar 2005
"Scott talks with Jacob Hornberger about immigration, trade, Padilla and the Great Writ, and empire's effect on the dollar"
Libertarian Outlaw: An Interview With Jacob Hornberger, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Karen De Coster, 16 Nov 2000
Issues discussed include the Libertarian Party differing performance at the national level versus the state and local level, the philosophical views held by LP members, gradualism versus repeal, religion, the Constitution and the future of the LP
Jacob, you pulled out of the process of running for the Libertarian party 2000 presidential nomination ... why is the Libertarian Party failing ...?
That's a question that every LP member has to examine. I truly believe it's because there's a disconnect within the Libertarian party. The state LPs are extremely successful, by and large ...
Where will you be in 2004? Are you looking at an LP presidential run?
In the next 2 or 3 years, we need to concentrate on building the party, and not who is going to run for president. We should build the parties at the local level, because that is where the base is.

Books Authored

The Case for Free Trade and Open Immigration
    by Richard Ebeling (editor), Jacob G. Hornberger (editor), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1995
Collection of essays by Ebeling, Hornberger, Samuel Bostaph, Jim Bovard, W.M. Curtiss, Bettina Bien Greaves, William M. Law, Ludwig von Mises, Leonard Read, Lawrence W. Reed, Gregory F. Rehmke, Sheldon Richman and Ron K. Unz
Related Topic: Free trade
The Dangers of Socialized Medicine
    by Richard Ebeling (editor), Jacob G. Hornberger (editor), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1994
Collection of essays by Ebeling, Hornberger, Dominick T. Armentano, Williamson M. Evers, Milton Friedman, Lawrence W. Reed, Sheldon Richman, David B. Rivkin Jr., Thomas S. Szasz, Lawrence D. Wilson and Jarret B. Wollstein
Related Topic: Health Care
The Failure of America's Foreign Wars
    by Richard Ebeling (editor), Jacob G. Hornberger (editor), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1996
Collection of essays by Ebeling, Hornberger, Doug Bandow, Robert Higgs, Simon Jenkins, James Madison, Ralph Raico, Sheldon Richman, Wesley Allen Riddle, Joseph Sobran, Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner and Daniel Webster
Related Topic: War
The Tyranny of Gun Control
    by Richard Ebeling (Editor, contributor), Jacob G. Hornberger (Editor, contributor), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1997
Shows why gun control poses a threat to liberty; a collection of essays by Ebeling, Hornberger, James Bovard, Richard J. Davis, John L. Egolf Jr., Benedict D. LaRosa, Sheldon Richman and Jarret Wollstein


Leonard Liggio on the Rise of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Leonard Liggio, 9 Mar 1995
Talk given at Vienna Coffee Club (Future of Freedom Foundation). Liggio starts off with the New Deal and covers many events and individuals both at the core and the periphery of the modern libertarian movement