Issue CXLVII 

March 10-15, 2008

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Ethics
Enabling Ethical Behavior Through Free Markets:
G. Stolyarov II

March 10, 2008
Contrary to widespread belief, free markets do not substitute self-interest for morality. Mr. Stolyarov argues that free markets enable moral action by channeling existing self-interest into conduct benefiting both the individual and those around him. Free markets harmonize self-interest and morality by ensuring that individuals prosper by bringing valuable services to others. Furthermore, free markets have inaugurated some of history’s greatest moral advances – including the advent of religious toleration in the Western world. Free markets accomplish widespread moral improvement by facilitating peaceful coexistence of divergent beliefs, preferences, and behaviors – eliminating enforced homogeneity of ideas, tastes, and actions.

Fiction
Sisyphus Vindicated:
G. Stolyarov II

March 10, 2008
The story of Sisyphus does not end with his famous punishment to keep moving a boulder upward only to have it inevitably roll down again. In this short story, Mr. Stolyarov explores the manner in which Sisyphus turns his punishment into a magnificent opportunity.

Poetry
Meaning Without Words:
G. Stolyarov II

March 10, 2008
Do words suffice to describe the entirety of human experience and the value of life, or are there reasons for living that much of Western teleology misses through its exclusive focus on language? This sonnet by Mr. Stolyarov explores such questions.

Music
Piano Composition #1, Op. 3:
G. Stolyarov II

March 10, 2008
This is one of Mr. Stolyarov's first compositions, written in 2001 but released to the public for the first time. This pleasant, harmonious piece was written for piano and brought to you by the wonders of MIDI formatting technology, which was able to actually play and record the piece simply by reading its text from a musical notation program.  Length: 3:35. Right-click to save to disk.

Piano Composition #2, Op. 4:
G. Stolyarov II

March 10, 2008
Mr. Stolyarov's fourth musical opus was composed in 2001 and has an atmosphere reminiscent of some of the lighter dances of the 18th-century classical era.  Length: 2:27. Right-click to save to disk.

March #2, Op. 9:
G. Stolyarov II

March 10, 2008
This upbeat, structured work is the second of Mr. Stolyarov's piano marches - composed in 2002.  Length: 2:01. Right-click to save to disk.

Politics
A Primer on Oil Prices:
Alan Caruba

March 10, 2008
The U.S. energy policy, as it presently stands, is designed to drive up the cost of oil and its derivatives for every American because it will not permit exploration and extraction, and it will not encourage or permit new refineries to be built. The mandate for ethanol use also increases costs. In addition, it is likely to increase gasoline taxes at some point. Alan Caruba explains the dangers of American politicians' current approach aimed at rendering vast amounts of oil off limits to ordinary Americans.

America's Bakers March on Washington:
Alan Caruba

March 15, 2008
On March 12, the American Baking Association, representing 85% of the total baking industry,  led a “Band of Bakers March on Washington.” Representatives from more than 50% of the nation’s largest baking companies called on Congress to correct the policies it has created over the years that have led to soaring food and oil prices. Alan Caruba writes that the nation’s bakers are going to be joined by many more marchers in the weeks and months to come if this economic horror story is not put right.

Thoughts on the Spitzer Sex Scandal:
Chuck Baldwin

March 15, 2008
Should New York Governor Eliot Spitzer have resigned? Of course. Elected officials who practice adultery betray more than their families; they betray the trust of the people who elected them. That said, there is a nagging question in the back of Dr. Chuck Baldwin's mind. Why did the hammer fall on Governor Spitzer now? After all, it is no hyperbole to say that when it comes to big league politics, adultery and fornication are, sadly, par for the course. Why are numerous other politicians permitted to continue their misbehavior with impunity?

Conservatives Offer No Hope:
Chuck Baldwin

March 15, 2008
After witnessing the philosophizing, postulating, and pontificating of  various conservative speakers, Dr. Chuck Baldwin was left with the very profound and distinct impression that the so-called conservative movement is dead. It is not dying: it is dead. Totally and thoroughly dead.

"The fundamental facts that brought about cooperation, society, and civilization and transformed the animal man into a human being are… that work performed under the division of labor is more productive than isolated work and that man's reason is capable of recognizing this truth." 
~ Ludwig von Mises

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