2010 non-fiction book edited and introduced by Adam Bellow< read all 1 reviews
As this conservative observer sees it the attacks on personal freedom in this country by the Obama administration and their allies in Congress over the past two years has been nothing short of breathtaking. Millions of Americans like me are deeply concerned about this phenomenon and have become engaged in movements like the Tea Party in an effort to reverse the direction in which America is now headed. Slowly but surely our liberty is being eroded and our choices taken away. Yet, millions of people still don't get it! In "New Threats To Freedom: From Banning Ice Cream Trucks In Brooklyn To Abandoning Democracy Around The World" editor Adam Bellow has assembled an impressive group of 30 writers from around the nation to spell out from their own unique perspectives some of the insidious new threats that are lurking out there. Many of these threats are quite obvious to anyone who is paying the least bit of attention to what is going on while some others outlined in these articles prove to be real-openers. There is simply no doubt about it. Time is of the essence. The freedoms that we take for granted in America are under attack and unless we reverse course right away the America that we grew up in and cherish will quickly become a distant memory.
So just what kind of threats to our freedom are we talking about here? Clearly, the majority of Americans are very concerned about government at all levels that seeks to oversee every phase of their lives. In an article entitled "The Urge To Regulate" Max Borders tells the story of the obstacles he faced in trying to market his homemade barbecue sauce as a sideline. Max just wanted to earn some extra cash in the same way that his resourceful grandparents might have done. He would peddle his concoction at flea markets and church bazaars. Max made the mistake of contacting a local government agency to see what was required and was told that his kitchen would have to be inspected by the county, that he would need a business license and that the county also required proof of business insurance. Absolutely ridiculous! In much the same way officials all over the country are trying to put an end to the "pot luck" suppers that churches and fraternal organizations have been putting on for centuries. Their argument is that someone might get sick from contaminated food brought from home. My goodness, how have we survived all this time without our government protecting us at every turn? There seems to be no end to the "nanny" state mentality in this country.
Among the other topics covered in "New Threats To Freedom" are the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", the ever-growing welfare state, the freedom to fail, Multiculturalism, censorship on college campuses and the increasing attacks on philanthropic freedom. I found Naomi Schaefer Riley's article on that topic to be particularly disturbing. I thought that the most thought-provoking article in the book was Jessica Gavora's "Single Women as a Threat To Freedom". In this article I learned that there are currently some 49.5 million female citizens over the age of eighteen who are single, separated, divorced or widowed. And as the author points out single women reliably pull the lever for Democrats and are largely in favor of most of the social programs being touted by the liberals in this country. Many of them seem more than happy to substitute the security provided by a government program for that which a husband might have given them. What is even more interesting is that according to Tom Smith of the University of Chicago "once divorced and separated women get married again, they start to vote like married people again". Really, I had never even thought about single women in this way but when you stop to think about it the author's arguments make perfect sense.
As you might expect in a book containing some 30 articles some topics are going to interest you more than others. Overall, I thought this was a great idea for a book and a very timely one indeed. I think that you will find "New Threats To Freedom: From Banning Ice Cream Trucks In Brooklyn To Abandoning Democracy Around The World" to be well worth your time. Highly recommended!
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In New Threats to Freedom, editor and author Adam Bellow has assembled an all-star line up of innovative thinkers to challenge these insidious new threats. Some leap into already raging debates on issues such as Sharia law in the West, the rise of transnationalism, and the regulatory state. Others turn their attention to less obvious threats, such as the dogma of fairness, the failed promises of the blogosphere, and the triumph of behavioral psychology. These threats are very real and very urgent, yet this collection avoids projecting an air of doom and gloom. Rather, it provides a blueprint for intellectual resistance so that modern defenders of liberty may better understand their enemies, more effectively fight to preserve the meaning of freedom, and more surely carry its light to a new generation.
Contributors include: Anne Applebaum, Bruce Bawer, Peter Berkowitz, Max Borders, Richard Epstein, Jessica Gavora, Michael Goodwin, Daniel Hannan, Alexander Harrington, Mark Helprin, Christopher Hitchens, James Kirchick, William Kristol, Greg ...