Exploring the Archives: February 2024

5 years ago
February 2019

“Civil libertarians have no love for [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] or the surveillance state, but facial recognition technology is likely here to stay. If Amazon won’t sell it to law enforcement, someone else will. Haranguing any one company in hopes that it won’t provide services that are perfectly legal only delays the inevitable, without addressing the fact that we need more oversight over how law enforcement agencies use surveillance technology.”
Declan McCullagh
“Deplatforming Is a Dangerous Game”

20 years ago
February 2004

“Arrogant, abusive, incompetent, and expensive, the [Transportation Security Administration] is, in the words of the House Appropriations Committee, ‘seemingly unable to make crisp decisions.…unable to work cooperatively with the nation’s airports; and unable to take advantage of the multitude of security-improving and labor-saving technologies available.’ The attacks of September 11, 2001, changed many things, but they did not make the federal government more competent or effective, and they did not make it more willing to respect the dignity or liberty of its citizens.”
James Bovard
“‘Dominate. Intimidate. Control.'”

“The resurgence of anti-Semitism worldwide, fueled largely by the backlash against Israel since the start of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000, has been the subject of much heated discussion. At the heart of the debate is the question: Has criticism of Israeli policies become a vehicle and a cover for anti-Jewish prejudices that are otherwise unspeakable in polite society? Or, conversely, has the charge of anti-Semitism become an all-too-convenient way to silence critics of Israel and of the policies of Ariel Sharon’s government?”
Cathy Young
“Hating Jews”

25 years ago
February 1999

“We don’t agonize that the country is racing to the bottom because secretaries are replaced by voice mail, or because bank employees are replaced by ATMs. What, then, is so special about the fact that some labor-intensive manufacturing operations are being replaced by Third World factories? All of these trends are part of a larger process: the process of raising productivity, of squeezing more value from less effort. Far from provoking a race to the bottom, this process is the essential precondition for continued increases in our overall standard of living.”
Brink Lindsey
“Fast-Track Impasse”

“Technocracy is by nature hostile to diversity and freedom. Its goal is control—a uniform future shaped by experts. It recognizes only one best way. So it overrides the judgments and desires of individuals, curbing choice, experimentation, and learning in the name of ‘scientific’ wisdom. Now, however, our technocrats aren’t keeping their side of the bargain. They’re destroying not only choice but progress, attacking not only liberty but truth. They have joined forces with those who seek to quash technology, innovation, and ‘unnatural’ inventions—to create a static society by defamation and decree. By attacking the innocent and emboldening the malevolent, spreading rumors and defying their own experts, they have betrayed the public trust.”
Virginia Postrel
“Rumor Mongers”

30 years ago
February 1994

“Our intellectual roots leave us poorly prepared to analyze the limits to subsidies. The modern Western tradition treats government as a cornucopia, an inexhaustible source of everything that people might need. Government has a bulging treasury of hundreds of billions that it showers in subsidies in every direction. A closer look reveals, of course, that this appearance of wealth is deceptive. Government does not create wealth. It is simply an agency for coercively shifting it about. The helping state is not a complete economic system; it is merely the attractive face of an equal and opposite ‘hurting state,’ a government that day by day inflicts privation upon its citizens, taking their money away from them.”
James Payne
“Where Have All the Dollars Gone?”

45 years ago
February 1979

“I’m appalled that federal courts say it’s all right for the government to go to the telephone company and check on the phone calls of a news organization without that organization even knowing the check is being made. Do you know what that is? That is the thinking of mentally obsolescent judges who are unable to relate sound old constitutional principles to new technology.”
Bill Monroe
“Unchain the Electronic Media!”