December 12-16, 2008

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Thoughts on Voting, Persuasion, and Methods of Bringing About a Free Society:
G. Stolyarov II

December 14, 2008
In a continuation of his discussion with Kyrel Zantonavitch, Mr. Stolyarov considers which approaches would work best at educating people about the value of liberty and convincing them to refrain from voting for anti-freedom Republican and Democratic candidates. Mr. Stolyarov also addresses possibilities for bringing about a free society more generally, without reliance on the majority of people voting a certain way.

Cheerful Remarks at the Funeral:
Alan Caruba

December 15, 2008
In an era when the Nobel Prize is given to charlatans like Al Gore, people will still thirst for the truth and they are not finding much of it in today’s daily newspapers and news magazines. Alan Caruba, himself an experienced journalist, explains why the mainstream media is rapidly coming out of fashion and being replaced by the Internet as people's primary source of reliable news.

The Ignoramus Americus:
Selwyn Duke

December 16, 2008
Selwyn Duke has often written about the ignorance that has resulted from decades of pathetic, dumbed-down parenting and schooling, and, sadly, there's no shortage of material on this subject.  In fact, you could probably read three large volumes on it and not know all Americans don't know about what they should know.  However, one short article recently written by economics professor and columnist Dr. Walter Williams perhaps tells us all we need to know.  It is called "Ignorance reigns supreme" and relates the findings of a national survey measuring people's knowledge of civics titled "Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions."  Its findings are staggering, although not at all surprising to Mr. Duke.  For starters, 71 percent of Americans surveyed failed the test, and the average score on it was 49 percent. 

The Neo-Alchemy of the Federal Reserve:
Ron Paul

December 15, 2008
As the printing presses for the bailouts run at full speed, those in power are no longer even pretending that the new giveaways will fix our problems.  Now that we are used to rewarding failure with taxpayer-funded bailouts, we are being told that this is “just a start,” more funds will inevitably be needed for more industries, and that things would be much worse had we done nothing. Congress should reject the central bank as a failure for its manipulations of money that have brought our economy to its knees.  Rep. Ron Paul is hoping that in the 111th Congress his legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve System gains traction so that the central bank can no longer destroy our money.

The End of the U. S. Piano Industry:
Jeffrey A. Tucker

December 16, 2008
Look at the years between 1870 and 1930. As surprising as this may sound today, the biggest-ticket item on every household budget besides the house itself was its piano. Everyone had to have one. Those who didn’t have one aspired to have one. It was a prize, an essential part of life, and they sold by the millions and millions. However, as economic events unfolded, the U. S. piano industry dwindled into insignificance. Jeffrey Tucker writes that, thankfully, the government did not choose to bail out the piano industry. No catastrophic consequences emerged from the lack of such a bailout.

Evidence That the Fed Caused the Housing Boom:
Robert P. Murphy

December 16, 2008
Despite claims to the contrary, it appears that Alan Greenspan’s ultralow interest rates — which went hand in hand with monetary growth rates comparable to those of the 1970s — were at the very least a large contributing factor to the housing boom. Dr. Robert Murphy feels confident in claiming that the housing boom would not have occurred if money and banking had been left in the hands of the private sector, as opposed to the state-organized cartel that we currently “enjoy.”

Man's Struggle Against Death, Op. 57:
G. Stolyarov II

December 12, 2008
Mr. Stolyarov's latest composition is a triumphant celebration of the effort to overcome the greatest peril that has ever faced humankind -- death by senescence. This work entails seven variations on a single theme -- the fight against death -- with each variation representing the defeat of one of the causes of senescence. At the end of the work is a passage evoking the last line from John Donne's "Death, Be Not Proud." This work is an example of superclassical music, music composed with traditional harmonies but using a computer program to play the instrumental parts in ways that human players would not be able to execute. Length: 2:18. 

Economic Freedom or Socialist Intervention?:
Ron Paul

December 15, 2008
The freedom to fail is an essential part of freedom.  Government- provided financial security necessitates relinquishing the very essence of freedom.  Last week, the big 3 American automakers came back to Capitol Hill with their hands out to the government. Rep. Ron Paul is afraid the American auto industry will soon learn that having billions rain down from Washington will not be the blessing one might expect.

Gun Control: Protecting Terrorists and Despots:
Ron Paul

December 15, 2008
According to emerging accounts of the events in India, about a dozen well-armed and devastatingly well-trained terrorists laid siege on the city of Mumbai, killing almost two hundred people, and terrorizing thousands. How were these terrorists able to continue so long, relatively unchallenged, killing so many? Rep. Ron Paul argues that Americans should take away a valuable lesson about real homeland security and gun control from this tragedy.

Why We MUST Invoke Our Individual Rights - Now:
Gen LaGreca

December 15, 2008
America today is a nation in trouble. The great fortress of liberty, the country of the most productive, prosperous, and happy people in the world, is now in grave danger. America is under siege by the Dark Side, the forces of statism, while its Knights of Liberty are disarmed, demoralized, and suffering near-fatal wounds. The country that once elected leaders whose ideas upheld liberty now elects leaders whose sweet-sounding platitudes and woozy promises are all that is required, and whose actual, dangerous ideas need not be examined until after Election Day. Gen LaGreca provides an extensive list of ideas and approaches that will be necessary to win the intellectual war for freedom in the United States.

"And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die." 
~ John Donne

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