Few journalists have James Bovard's gift for making readers' blood boil with righteous fury. But as readers of his books—which include Lost Rights, Freedom in Chains, Feeling Your Pain, and most recently Terrorism and Tyranny (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)—can attest, the government does much of the work for him. In "Dominate. Intimidate. Control." (page 24), he takes on the Transportation Security Administration. The 47-year-old Bovard did a lot of flying for a recent book tour, and he notes that airport security personnel are doing the country some good: "They seem to be helping the donut businesses a great deal."

When computer programmer turned writer Gene Callahan began to date his future wife, he was surprised to learn that in her job as a financial analyst, she traded in derivatives. "Is this woman in some sort of scam business?" Callahan wondered—and then read up on derivatives to convince himself she wasn't. Callahan is the author of Economics for Real People (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002). His coauthor, Arkansas Policy Foundation chief Greg Kaza, served for six years in Michigan's state legislature. When a local municipality lost millions of taxpayer dollars in derivatives, Kaza persuaded fellow legislators that the problem was a lack of transparency, not derivatives as such. The duo's article, "In Defense of Derivatives" (page 32), explains this much-maligned risk-management tool.

Carl F. Horowitz doesn't have much patience for "radical culture war types, right or left," or for self-appointed media watchdogs who "think that to depict is to advocate—or to 'glamorize,' as they love to say." That attitude made him an odd fit at the Heritage Foundation, where he was a housing and urban affairs analyst in the early '90s. Horowitz later worked as a correspondent for Investor's Business Daily and is now an independent consultant. He takes aim at two hand-wringing "for the children" books on media influence in this issue ("Teenage Wasteland," page 50). Horowitz is an avowed fan of Clint Eastwood and John Woo but, miraculously, has never gone on a shooting spree. Yet.