Thomas Jefferson on the Military Draft: “The last of all oppressions”

Sometimes it comes down to the question of what is more important, the rights of individuals or the existence of the nation state? In this case, in the face of serious difficulties faced by the colonists in their war against the British Empire, Jefferson came down on the side of individual liberty.

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A Good First Step: California Governor Signs Anti-Surveillance Bill into Law

SACRAMENTO – California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday originally intended to deny resources to federal agencies engaging in unwarranted and illegal spying. The final version was much narrower in scope, but privacy and civil liberties advocates call the new law something to build on in 2015.

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James Madison on “Parchment Barriers” and the defense of liberty

Although in the Federalist Papers James Madison urged ratification of the U.S. constitution, he was also concerned about things it left undone. He thought that many of his contemporaries were too focused on the threats posed by the executive branch, which he thought understandable given the fact that they had just fought a revolutionary war against…

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James Monroe writes to Thomas Jefferson on State vs Federal Governments

Written May 4, 1801 The Writings of James Monroe. Edited by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton. 7 vols. New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898–1903. There is a subject to which I wish to engage yr. particular attention. Before I came into this office I was of opinion that the correspondence between the Executive of…

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Spinning Common Core, Again

The annual Education Next survey is out, and its headliner is the Common Core. Unfortunately, it features basically the same incomplete, answer-skewing question it employed last year, and reports the same dubious finding of majority support. But even with that, the direction in which opinion has moved speaks volumes about the serious trouble the Core is in.

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