Issue CCXXVIII

January 3-4, 2010

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Art
Saira:
Wendy Stolyarov
January 3, 2010
Mrs. Stolyarov presents this new work of fan art for Nifflas's new game "Saira". This is the title character. Mrs. Stolyarov has released two videos demonstrating her painting process on this work: Part I; Part II.

Kima:
Wendy Stolyarov
January 4, 2010
This is a painting of Kima, a fictional character developed by Mrs. Stolyarov’s friend, Temiel. Mrs. Stolyarov has published three videos detailing the process by which she created this painting: Part IPart II; Part III.

Culture
The Book and Music Killers:
Jeffrey Tucker
January 4, 2010
One theory of copyright is that it promotes the production and distribution of literary works. Well, writes Jeffrey Tucker, that myth is completely shattered in chapter five of Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrine and David Levine. The chapter is pithy, thorough, dead on in its practical analysis, and deeply radical. It is the perfect illustration of why Mr. Tucker thinks this is one of the most original and compelling books on economics in a generation. This article argues that the copyright law is a just another bogus modern institution we can do without.

Economics
Keynesianism Delivers a Decade of Zero:
Ron Paul
January 4, 2010
This past week we celebrated the end of what most people agree was a decade best forgotten.  New York Times columnist and leading Keynesian economist Paul Krugman called it the Big Zero in a recent column.  He wrote that “there was a whole lot of nothing going on in measures of economic progress or success,” which is true.  However, Krugman continues to misleadingly blame the free market and supposed lack of regulation for the economic chaos. It was encouraging that he admitted that blowing economic bubbles is a mistake, especially considering he himself advocated creating a housing bubble as a way to alleviate the hangover from the dotcom bust.  But, writes Rep. Ron Paul, we can no longer afford to give prominent economists like Krugman a pass when they completely ignore the burden of taxation, monetary policy, and excessive regulation.


Mankiw's Baseless Arguments:
Robert P. Murphy
January 4, 2010
Greg Mankiw's recent blog post carries a rather risky title: "The Monetary Base Is Exploding. So What?" Dr. Robert Murphy really is trying to understand the viewpoint of the wide range of economists (including Mankiw, Paul Krugman, Scott Sumner, Mike "Mish" Shedlock, Bryan Caplan, and David R. Henderson) who think the dollar is not going to fall sharply in the foreseeable future. But Dr. Murphy has yet to see a convincing explanation as to how Bernanke (or his successor) is going to avoid large price inflation, given the corner the Fed and the feds have painted us into. Mankiw's latest post recapitulates many of the standard arguments coming from the "no worries" camp, so it's worth explaining their deficiencies.


Politics
Why on Earth Does Obama Think He Can Run the Car Companies?:
Bradley Doucet
January 3, 2010
Bradley Doucet nearly fell off his chair when he read that President Barack Obama had fired the CEO of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, in late March of 2009. Granted, his dismissal was just a condition of continued government assistance to the troubled carmaker. GM could have walked way from the deal and retained its independence. Still, the move does set a disturbing precedent. Now, one might ask, why wouldn’t government money come with strings attached? Recipients of taxpayer funds should be held accountable for spending those funds wisely, shouldn’t they? And who better to hold them accountable than taxpayers’ representatives in government, who doled out this largesse in the first place? Bradley Doucet answers these questions and argues that accepting bailout money is a Faustian bargain.

The Battle in the States: Freedom versus Protection:
Tom DeWeese and Mark Lerner
January 4, 2010 
Across the nation, state legislatures are struggling to take back their Constitutional rights as they also seek ways to protect us from outside threats. This has led to some near-schizophrenic legislative sessions with laws swinging widely from left to right. To address these issues, three very distinct, but widely variant, legislative actions have appeared in the states. Tom DeWeese and Mark Lerner comment on both the encouraging and the threatening legislative proposals that have recently emerged.


Videos
Against YouTube's Policy of Censorship - Video:
G. Stolyarov II
January 3, 2010
Freedom of peaceful expression is one of the most fundamental values of a civilized society — and one of the basic rights of human beings. YouTube’s automatic bannings and restrictions on users who violate no laws, initiate no force, and whose speech would be inoffensive to reasonable audiences, are intolerable. The mere accusation of wrongdoing, however maliciously motivated and grounded in falsehood, can currently lead to videos being removed and accounts being suspended. There is no adequate due process, no presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and no opportunity for users who have been penalized to present their case to YouTube. This, argues Mr. Stolyarov, cannot be allowed to continue.

Painting "Saira" - Part II - Video:
Wendy Stolyarov
January 3, 2010
In this video, Wendy Stolyarov finishes painting Saira, the title character from Nifflas’s new game. See Part I of the painting process here. See the finished work here.

Painting "Kima" - Part III - Video:
Wendy Stolyarov
January 4, 2010
In this video, Wendy Stolyarov finishes painting Kima, her friend Temiel’s character. See Part I and Part II of this video series.
                                                              
"Reason is the main resource of man in his struggle for survival." 
~ Ludwig von Mises