A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America

Some people believe in the lost continent of Atlantis and in unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Others worry about an 18th-century secret society called the Bavarian Illuminati or a mythical Zionist-Occupied Government secretly running the United States. What if these disparate elements shared beliefs, joined forces, won a much larger audience, broke out of their intellectual […]

Is Saudi Arabia Our Enemy, Too?

The time has long since passed when the United States should be referring to Saudi Arabia as an ally. It is our enemy and an unprecedented demand for the bank account records of the Washington, DC Saudi Embassy in November 2003 demonstrates that the National Security Council’s working group on terrorism is seeking to determine […]

Martha Stewart and Insider Trading

As Martha Stewart’s trial moves into a third week, an important question remains unasked: Why are the feds prosecuting someone for receiving inside information, anyway? Isn’t the criminal the corporate official who acts on knowledge that the public doesn’t have? The government charges that on Dec. 27, 2001, Stewart learned from her broker that Samuel […]

Love and Selfishness

Every Valentine’s Day a certain philosophic crime is perpetrated. Actually, it is committed year-round, but its destructiveness is magnified on this holiday. The crime is the propagation of a widely accepted falsehood: the idea that love is selfless. Love, we are repeatedly taught, consists of self-sacrifice. Love based on self-interest, we are admonished, is cheap […]

Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

“The family enjoys the protection of the state. Marriage is based on the free consent of the woman and the man; the spouses are completely equal in their family relations.” This sounds much like an initial draft of a constitutional amendment for the United States constitution to “protect” heterosexual marriage. Conservatives and liberals both get […]

I’m Mad as Hell at PeopleSoft

Antitrust laws are supposed to protect us little guys, right? Think again. Here’s the story of how PeopleSoft chief executive Craig Conway is using the antitrust laws to deprive his own shareholders of the opportunity to sell their shares at the best price. I’m a PeopleSoft shareholder — and I’m mad as hell about it. […]

Exporting Lou Dobbs and John Kerry

What’s gotten into Lou Dobbs? Once a sensible, if self-important and sycophantic, CNN anchor, he has suddenly become a table-thumping protectionist. Dobbs has been running a series — praised by the AFL-CIO’s Rich Trumka as a “nightly crusade” — called “Exporting America.” Slanted and inflammatory, it decries “outsourcing” or “offshoring” — that is, U.S. businesses […]

Democrats Unlearn 9/11

For about a year, Republicans and Democrats agreed on the need vigorously to prosecute the war on terror. No longer. Nearly all the Democratic presidential contenders as well as other heavyweight Democrats have spoken out against the war on terror, preferring it to be a police action against terror. Howard Dean, replying to a question […]

Conversation with Nancy Reagan

Conversation at the Ronald Reagan Library, Simi Valley, Calif., Friday, Feb. 6, 2004: Larry Elder: Let me tell you what an honor this is. This is like meeting royalty. Nancy Reagan: Thank you very much. Thank you. Elder: Tell me what you consider your greatest accomplishment. Reagan: My greatest accomplishment. Well, I think raising the […]

Bush or Kerry? You Bet!

I love markets. Just think of all the things they make possible. Whenever there’s a way for people to trade with each other, they always find ways to make money and reduce risk. So whenever market principles get applied in new ways, the world becomes a better place. Right now it’s happening in the realm […]

The Brotherhood of Man

Those of us who believe in the brotherhood of man have to be able to accept the negative, as well as the positive, aspects of that belief. For example, a stupid and counterproductive idea that catches the fancy of one part of the human race in one part of the world in one era is […]

Governed By Rules, Not Men

Having been deserted by her husband, my mother worked. That meant that my one-year-younger sister and I often lunched by ourselves during our pre-teen years. Being bigger and stronger than my sister, quite often there wouldn’t be a fair division of the food, especially the desserts. Coming home from work, Mom would be greeted by […]