Is Leon Panetta a Saint—or a War Criminal?

David R. Henderson’s Introduction: The first part of this article’s title is absurd, right? How could the head of the CIA, a man who sends drones to kill alleged terrorists and ends up killing not only terrorists, but also many innocent people, be a saint? Well, you probably don’t live in the Monterey area. I … Continue reading “Is Leon Panetta a Saint—or a War Criminal?”

Adm. Mullen’s Spinning vs. Prof. Hayek’s Insight

Introduction In 1945, the flagship journal of the American Economic Review published one of the ten most important economics articles of the 20th century. Entitled “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” it was written by an Austrian economist named Friedrich Hayek. I deal with this article in every economics course I teach. (For the notes … Continue reading “Adm. Mullen’s Spinning vs. Prof. Hayek’s Insight”

Trudeau’s War Measures Act: A Reminiscence

On Friday, Oct. 16, 1970, I woke up at about 7:00 a.m. and turned on the radio. At the time, I was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The news I heard shocked me. In the middle of the night, Canada’s Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had invoked the War Measures Act. What was that? I had never … Continue reading “Trudeau’s War Measures Act: A Reminiscence”

An Afternoon With Paul Chappell

“How can we humanize people in the Middle East and not humanize people in our own country?” That was a wise question in the midst of a speech full of wisdom from former Army captain and West Point graduate Paul Chappell. He gave the speech at a Sept. 5 event sponsored by the Peace Coalition … Continue reading “An Afternoon With Paul Chappell”

P.J. O’Rourke’s Progress

In the 1990s, I was a fan of economic humorist P.J. O’Rourke. One of his best books is Eat the Rich, which I described in a Fortune book review as an “Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations with a laugh on every page.” And if you think O’Rourke’s understanding of the actual Wealth of Nations is … Continue reading “P.J. O’Rourke’s Progress”

Life in the USSA

Last week, the Washington Post ran an excellent three-part series on the growing national security state. The series, written by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, was titled “Top Secret America,” and the articles were titled “A Hidden World, Growing Beyond Control,” “National Security, Inc.,” and “The Secrets Next Door.” This series, said the Post‘s … Continue reading “Life in the USSA”

Supreme Mediocrity

“Your modesty overwhelms me, Yogi.” “Why not, Boo Boo? I’ve got a lot to be modest about.” Those are my two favorite lines from The Yogi Bear Show, a cartoon I watched when I was a kid. After his reply to Boo Boo, Yogi looks self-conscious as he realizes what he has just admitted about … Continue reading “Supreme Mediocrity”

On ‘Collateral Murder’ and Stephen Colbert

Much has been written in recent weeks about "Collateral Murder," the Wikileaks audio/video of a 2007 attack by U.S. soldiers on an unarmed reporter and other men (I’m not sure whether they were armed) in Iraq. However, I’m not writing this simply to repeat what others have said, but to give my own perspective because … Continue reading “On ‘Collateral Murder’ and Stephen Colbert”

End the Wars

Last Saturday, the Peace Coalition of Monterey County held an antiwar rally on the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Lawrence Samuels, co-chair of Libertarians for Peace, one of the member organizations, organized the rally with help from Phillip Butler of Veterans for Peace, another member organization. We began with four speeches, broken … Continue reading “End the Wars”