December 27-30, 2009

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How to Improve the Culture:
Jeffrey Tucker
December 29, 2009
The culture is going to hell in a handbag, we've been told for hundreds of years, and the free market gets a large share of the blame. The observation stretches from Left to Right and everywhere in between. It is universally agreed that letting markets run loose runs roughshod over all the finer things in life, from books to arts to clothing to manners. Jeffrey Tucker disagrees with this notion and argues that what we need is not the overthrow of private property but more freedom for cultural entrepreneurship, and more individual initiative to do more than complain that the world is not conforming to one's own values.


John Cassidy Fails in His Critique of Markets:
Robert P. Murphy
December 29, 2009
John Cassidy, author of the new book How Markets Fail, first caricatures the case for free markets, then tries to demonstrate the hypocrisy of a "free-market" financial bailout. Yet his arguments obviously don't bear on whether markets fail or need government supervision. Indeed, Cassidy himself acknowledges that what happened at the end of the Bush administration was anything but the free market. John Cassidy did not convince Dr. Robert Murphy that markets fail.

Sticking to the Official Narrative:
William L. Anderson
December 29, 2009
In a politicized society, it seems to Dr. William Anderson that the true believers really don't have conversations as much as they deliver monologues of talking points. One of the characteristics of people who perpetuate political talking points is their inability to be "confused with facts." In such a society, one sticks to the narrative no matter what. So it is, writes Dr. Anderson, with Paul Krugman.

Eastern Europe 20 Years Later:
Edward Hudgins
December 28, 2009
The December of 1989 marked the end of one of the most extraordinary six months of the century. Over that short period of time, all of the communist-run dictatorships in Eastern Europe collapsed as the people of those countries sought freedom. The execution of the Romanian tyrant Nicolae Ceauşescu on Christmas Day of that year brought the revolutions to an end with a bang. In December 1989, Dr. Edward Hudgins participated in the first conference on free-market reforms behind the then-crumbling Iron Curtain. He recalls his experience of that time.

Tyranny and Finance (1959):
Frank Chodorov
December 30, 2009
Dionysius, the storied tyrant of Syracuse, was a consummate financier. His gift stood him in good stead on the day he found himself in bankrupt condition, having borrowed from the citizenry more than he could repay. In this short essay, Frank Chodorov writes that many subsequent politicians who resort to borrowing and inflation have actually followed a more sophisticated version of what Dionysius did to extricate himself from his predicament.

Rondo #2, Op. 65:
G. Stolyarov II
December 27, 2009
This energetic, intricate composition is in rondo (or quasi-rondo) form, with a variation of the main melody occurring between any two developments. The overall structure of this piece is ABA’CA’’B’A’’’, although each segment contains some variation within it as well. The entire composition was created in Anvil Studio for three piano parts, with the third part involved in only the A’’’ segment. Most of it is in the key of C minor, although there is a transition to C major, which characterizes the A’’ and B’ segments. This is Mr. Stolyarov’s most technically advanced composition to date, and it manages to combine powerful chords and exquisite ornamentation while maintaining clarity, directedness, and a sense of continual motion. Length: 3:52

Healthcare Reform is a Lump of Coal:
Ron Paul
December 28, 2009
Last week on Christmas Eve, after many backroom deals were made, the Senate passed the healthcare reform bill with a strictly partisan vote.  Rep. Ron Paul was pleased that his colleagues in the GOP are on the right side of this bill. While the Senate patted itself on the back last week for delivering a Christmas gift to Americans, time will prove it was instead a great big lump of coal.

Taxpayer Robbery Gate:
Paul Driessen
December 28, 2009
Senator Barbara Boxer
is doing her level best to divert attention from the Climategate scandal, cover up the fraud, obstruct justice – and ram through another legislative power grab … this one over our energy and economy.
“This isn’t Climategate,” the California Democrat insists. “It’s email theft gate.” Wrong. It’s not theft gate. It’s Taxpayer Robbery Gate. We, the taxpayers, paid billions of dollars for this bogus “research.” We have been ripped off – robbed. And, writes Paul Driessen, the perpetrators need to be investigated and punished.

It's Not Socialism; It's Communism:
Alan Caruba
December 28, 2009
If you felt a frisson of fear on news that the Senate had passed Obamacare the day before Christmas, then you now know what it was and is like to live in a dictatorship. The voice of the People was ignored in a demonstration of raw political power.  Alan Caruba writes that the Medicare “reform” recently passed by the Senate expands “socialism” in America, but it is an example of naked Communism at work. It is a bill put together behind closed doors and so extensive that its control of the lives of Americans literally determines who lives and who dies. It will wreck the best healthcare system in the world, albeit one that has its flaws.

The Right to Work (1948):
Cecil B. DeMille
December 30, 2009
One of the most fundamental of individual rights is the right to work. In this 1948 speech before the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives, famous film director Cecil B. DeMille submits that the time has come for Congress to declare it to be the public policy of the United States that every individual should have the right to work, when he pleases, where he pleases, for himself or for whomever wants to hire him — and that the full protection of the government should be put behind this right to work.
"The main political problem is how to prevent the police power from becoming tyrannical. This is the meaning of all the struggles for liberty." 
~ Ludwig von Mises