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James Bovard

James Bovard



Articles by James Bovard

The 200th Anniversary of a Great American Demolition of Tyranny

7 days ago

This year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of one of the best American books on trade policy by one of the most thoughtful and least appreciated political analysts of the Founding Fathers era. I ran into John Taylor of Caroline when I was roaming the shelves of the Library of Congress in 1987. …

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The Never-Ending Battle between Leviathan and Liberty

23 days ago

Few political follies are more hazardous than presuming that one’s liberties are forever safe. If liberty is God’s gift to humanity, then why were most people who ever lived on Earth denied this divine bequest? Original Article: “The Never-Ending Battle between Leviathan and Liberty” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated …

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The Deadly Precedent of the Waco Whitewash

25 days ago

The easiest way to achieve sainthood in Washington is to cover up a federal atrocity. Thus, it is no surprise that former senator John Danforth continues to be treated by the Washington Post as a visionary statesman. The Post showcased Danforth’s attack on Donald Trump in October after Trump derided the Commission on Presidential Debates. Danforth, a permanent member of that commission, is one of the top five “useful idiots for Leviathan,” according to the revised rankings after the death of John McCain.
In the 1990s, Danforth received plaudits for being a “moderate” Republican who supported gun control. But his true claim to establishment fame arose from his contortions to suppress the truth about Waco. Danforth appointed

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One Year Later: The Police Still Won’t Come Clean on Duncan Lemp’s Death

28 days ago

Local politicians have pretended the Lemp killing never happened and the media let them get away with it—the same way that most of the New York media covered Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home catastrophe last year. Original Article: “One Year Later: The Police Still Won’t Come Clean on Duncan Lemp’s Death” This Audio Mises Wire …

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The Never-Ending Battle between Leviathan and Liberty

March 18, 2021

The notion that Americans will always be free is part of the catechism that is force-fed to public school students. For hundreds of years, philosophers, politicians, and reformers have touted a law of history that assures the ultimate triumph of freedom. “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The urge for freedom will eventually come,” Martin …

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The Biggest Lies of the Impeachment Saga

February 25, 2021

The latest impeachment saga simply confirms Thomas Paine’s adage: “The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.” Score another victory for the Swamp. Original Article: “The Biggest Lies of the Impeachment Saga” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by …

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The Biggest Lies of the Impeachment Saga

February 20, 2021

The Senate impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump confirms historian Henry Adams’s adage a century ago that politics “has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” The impeachment process was a farce that should fortify Americans’ disdain for Washington. Considering how Democrats are using the January 6 clash at the Capitol to justify enacting a …

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Troop Deployments in Washington Are a Disaster Waiting to Happen

February 10, 2021

“Tyranny in form is the first step towards tyranny in substance,” warned Senator John Taylor two hundred years ago in his forgotten classic, Tyranny Unmasked. As the massive National Guard troop deployment in Washington enters its second month, much of the media and many members of Congress are thrilled that it will extend until at least …

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In a Paranoid Nation, “Treason” Is Everywhere

January 31, 2021

In a free society, peaceful citizens deserve the legal benefit of the doubt. In an age where government agents have endlessly intruded onto people’s land and into their emails, citizens should not be scourged for transgressing unknown or unmarked federal boundaries. Original Article: “In a Paranoid Nation, “Treason” Is Everywhere” This Audio Mises Wire is …

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In a Paranoid Nation, “Treason” Is Everywhere

January 26, 2021

FBI agents across the nation are tracking down and arresting Trump supporters who walked into the US Capitol during the January 6 protest that turned into a brawl. Scores of protestors have already been charged with unlawful entry—“knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.” The media is treating this as …

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Let’s Abolish Those Presidential Medals of Freedom

January 19, 2021

The Washington Post is outraged that Donald Trump has sullied one of Washington’s most hallowed honors—Presidential Medals of Freedom. After the White House announced plans to bestow the medals on two Republican members of Congress and a football coach, the Post thundered that “Trump just underlines his own unworthiness when he makes a mockery of …

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A Collection of Bovardian Epigrams

October 30, 2020

Wisdom from James Bovard on the train wreck that is American democracy.  Original Article: “A Collection of Bovardian Epigrams​”.   This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros.  

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Will Democracy’s Myths Doom Liberty?

October 27, 2020

If Biden is elected, we will hear the same “redemption” storyline that was trumpeted when Obama replaced (temporarily) disgraced George W. Bush. The  media will insist that Biden’s inauguration purifies Uncle Sam. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Will Democracy’s Myths Doom Liberty?”.

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Will Democracy’s Myths Doom Liberty?

October 23, 2020

The Supreme Court declared in 1943, “There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature or origin of its authority.” In reality, the cardinal doctrines of contemporary democracy are layer upon layer of mystical claptrap. The phrases which consecrate democracy seep into many Americans’ minds like buried hazardous waste. …

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Pandemic Follies: Tyranny Won’t Keep Us Safe

October 16, 2020

Because politicians have no liability for the economic damage they inflict, they have no incentive to minimize the disruptions they decree. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “Pandemic Follies: Tyranny Won’t Keep Us Safe”.

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Pandemic Follies: Tyranny Won’t Keep Us Safe

October 13, 2020

Politicians have destroyed more than 13 million jobs this year in a deluge of edicts aimed to fight the covid-19 pandemic. More than two hundred thousand Americans still died from the coronavirus, but the anticovid government crackdowns probably did far more damage than the virus. The covid crisis has also shown how easy it is for politicians to fan …

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Roosevelt’s Fraud at Yalta and the Mirage of the “Good War”

September 21, 2020

The fact that Yalta can now clearly be seen to have been a betrayal is another reason to be wary when pundits and talk show hosts jump on the bandwagon for the next killing spree abroad. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Roosevelt’s Fraud at …

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The FBI’s Forgotten Crimes Against Richard Jewell

September 19, 2020

A new movie about Richard Jewell is reminding Americans of one of the forgotten travesties of the 1990s. When he died in 2007 at age 44, his New York Times obituary was headlined, “Richard Jewell, Hero of Atlanta Attack, Dies.” But his heroism was recognized only after the FBI and the media sought to destroy him.
On July 27, 1996, a pipe bomb went off at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, where the world’s athletes and media were gathered for the Olympic games. The FBI decided that 33-year-old security guard Richard Jewell, who had found the bomb and helped clear the area and minimize fatalities, had also planted the bomb. FBI agents lured Jewell over to their Atlanta office and asked him to help them make a training film about

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Roosevelt’s Fraud at Yalta and the Mirage of the “Good War”

September 7, 2020

This year is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War II. One of the biggest frauds of the final stage of that war was the meeting at Yalta of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, British prime minister Winston Churchill, and President Franklin Roosevelt. Yalta has become a synonym for the abandonment of oppressed people …

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Roosevelt’s Fraud at Yalta and the Mirage of the ‘Good War’

August 26, 2020

This year is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. One of the biggest frauds of the final stage of that war was the meeting at Yalta of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President Franklin Roosevelt. Yalta has become a synonym for the abandonment of oppressed people and helped inspire the 1952 Republican campaign theme, “20 years of treason.”
The American media uncorked a barrage of tributes to Roosevelt on the 75th anniversary of his death in April. CNN, for instance, trumpeted Roosevelt as “the wartime president who Trump should learn from.” But there was scant coverage of one of his greatest betrayals.
Roosevelt painted World War II as a crusade for democracy — hailing

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Why I Write

August 11, 2020

I was born in Iowa, raised in the mountains of Virginia, and attended Virginia Tech sporadically from 1974 to 1976 before dropping out to try my luck writing. At some point in the late 1970s, individual liberty became my highest political value and I resolved to do what I could to defend it. I had …

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Collecting Old Coins Taught Me to Never Trust the Government

July 11, 2020

Old coins vaccinated me against trusting politicians long before I grew my first scruffy beard. I began collecting coins when I was eight years old in 1965, the year President Lyndon Johnson began removing all the silver from American coins. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original …

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Anti-Slavery Zealot John Brown Is No Hero

July 10, 2020

Many Americans have been aghast at violent mobs toppling statues and the widespread looting and destructive rampages that followed the killing of George Floyd. Media coverage often ignores the damage inflicted by righteous rioters and the businessmen, black and white, whose livelihoods have been destroyed. Instead, activists are portrayed as heroic because of their  political rhetoric and demands for radical changes.
Soaring political animosity is sparking fears of much greater conflicts in the coming months. More than 160 years ago, a similar pattern paved the way for a conflict that ravaged much of the nation. Few people are aware of how one of America’s most respected philosophers helped inflame the divisions that led to the

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How Collecting Old Coins Taught Me to Never Trust the Government

July 2, 2020

Old coins vaccinated me against trusting politicians long before I grew my first scruffy beard. I began collecting coins when I was eight years old in 1965, the year President Lyndon Johnson began eliminating all the silver in new dimes, quarters, and half dollars. LBJ swore that there would be no profit in “hoarding” earlier …

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Repealing Useless and Abusive Laws Might Do More Good Than “Defunding” the Police

June 23, 2020

“Defund the Police” is the latest rallying cry for protestors in many cities across the nation. Many activists, enraged by the brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, are calling for completely disbanding the police, while others are seeking reductions in police budgets and more government spending elsewhere. However, few activists appear to be calling for …

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The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities

June 11, 2020

George W. Bush has resurfaced to pander to the Left and the media in hopes of getting some attention. Apparently, Bush’s brutal history of lies, wars, and torture is all fine now since he said some nice things condemning racism. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original …

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The Media Have Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities

June 5, 2020

Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”
Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and

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