Letters to the editor
A champion of human liberty
Milton Friedman was indeed a brilliant economist (“Nobel-winning economist Friedman dies at 94,” Nation, yesterday).
Mr. Friedman also was a virtuoso debater. When, to endorse conscription over the volunteer military, Gen. William Westmorland said that he did not want to command “an army of mercenaries,” Mr. Friedman piped up and asked, “General, would you rather command an army of slaves?”
Milton Friedman was one of history’s greatest champions of liberty and human dignity.
DONALD J. BOUDREAUX
Department of Economics
George Mason University
Pelosi’s ethical yardstick
When House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi pledges to make the next Congress the “most honest, ethical and open” in history, readers ought to remember that ethics has a very different meaning for far left Democrats from San Francisco (“Pelosi’s purge?” Editorial, Wednesday). Mrs. Pelosi endorsed Rep. John Murtha for a leadership position in the new Congress with full knowledge of his dubious ethical past. However, Mr. Murtha’s connection to the Abscam scandal years ago is not nearly as important as where he stands on the great moral issues of today.
For Mrs. Pelosi, morality is not measured with a red-state yardstick, but by how fully one embraces a progressive agenda. Opposing the war in Iraq, assuring access to abortion and smoothing out the inequities between rich and poor are far more important to her than any traditional understanding of ethics. While red-state values demanded the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley, Florida Republican, for sending sexually inappropriate e-mails to male pages, blue-state values supported the re-election of former Rep. Gerry E. Studds, now deceased, to Congress after it was revealed he had had sex with a male page.