Sunday, April 26, 2009

My two latest at C4SS


"The best defense," 04/24/09:

Two things you get when your government spends so much on "defense" are more enemies and more wars.

Politicians are loath to just leave a military establishment as large and expensive as that maintained by the United States lying around -- soldiers in domestic barracks, ships in domestic ports. They want to use it, if for no other reason than to provide a continuing justification for its existence. Theodore Roosevelt's "big stick" isn't something politicians can bring themselves to carry at their sides while speaking softly ... rather, they're constantly tempted to wave it around while yelling at the tops of their lungs.


And "Think globally, bully locally," 04/27/09:

"Would you tell me please, Mr. Howard," asked Benjamin Martin, a fictional character loosely based on Revolutionary War figure Francis Marion and portrayed by Mel Gibson in The Patriot, "why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away?"

In the film -- and in the making of America’s Revolution against Britain -- the question was whether rule by a domestic elected legislature was really any better in principle than rule by a distant foreign king.

The same question can still be reasonably posed in cities and towns across that same America more than 200 years later. While "states' rights" claims and other arguments in favor of decentralization and localized rule are characteristic of the American political tradition, local government often makes the best case against delegating power to government at all."

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