Issue CCXXXI

January 10-15, 2010

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Art
Young Judoka:
Wendy Stolyarov
January 15, 2010
The most recent painting by Mrs. Stolyarov, inspired by the idea of young children becoming master practitioners (judoka). See Part I and Part II of the painting process. 

Culture
Why on Earth Are We So Afraid of Flying?:
Bradley Doucet
January 10, 2010
Fear is only a problem when it becomes untethered from a realistic assessment of the facts and overrides one’s reasoning mind instead of serving it. In such cases, fear becomes a liability instead of an asset, harming rather than helping one to live a successful and fulfilling life. Bradley Doucet believes that an example of such unreasonable fear is the fear of flying.

Writers Can Prosper Without Intellectual Property:
G. Stolyarov II
January 13, 2010
It is commonly supposed that, whatever its moral and theoretical standing, intellectual property is necessary for creators of written works to make a living and — even more importantly — to continue to create. Here, Mr. Stolyarov sets aside the theoretical status of copyright and focuses on existing and emerging possibilities for writers to earn a living in a world where no copyrights exist. A free MP3 audio file of this article, read by the author, is available for download.

Economics
Incentives Matter... On the Margin:
G. Stolyarov II
January 10, 2010
One of the favorite expressions of economists is “Incentives matter.” There is much truth to this idea, but it is instructive to examine how it works a bit more closely. Mr. Stolyarov does just that in this short essay.

Why the Fed Likes Independence:
Ron Paul
January 11, 2010
Last week it was revealed that when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, he urged AIG officials not to disclose to the Securities Exchange Commission relevant details of agreements with banks to bail out Goldman Sachs.  Apparently he felt at the time that regulators and the public would be angry that taxpayer money was used to fully compensate bankers who made some horrifically bad investment decisions.  These banks, writes Rep. Ron Paul, should have suffered the consequences of the huge risks they were taking.  After all, they kept plenty of rewards when times were good.  Instead, the Fed found a way to socialize these major losses so these banks could survive and continue making more bad decisions, at the expense of the American people and the value of the dollar.

Does the Government Own the Whole Economy?:

Robert P. Murphy
January 14, 2010
In a recent New York Times op-ed, economist Robert Shiller (coproducer of the famous housing-price index) recommended that the US government begin to sell claims on fractions of Gross Domestic Product. Besides the practical problems with his proposal, it rests on the premise that the US government owns the entire economy. Dr. Robert Murphy believes that it will be instructive to parse Shiller's column to see just how badly his collectivist thinking misleads him.

Literature
Determinism in The Fountainhead?:
William R. Thomas
January 11, 2010
William Thomas answers a reader's question about apparent deterministic characterizations in Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. So did Rand portray her characters deterministically? Are her journal entries evidence of determinist ideas in her work? Mr. Thomas explores these issues.

Politics
Will 2010 Be the Year of the Tenth Amendment:
Tenth Amendment Center
January 15, 2010
Will 2010 be the year of the 10th? According to
Tenth Amendment Center founder, Michael Boldin, "With people looking to resist D.C. through state laws on everything from national health care to medical marijuana, the 10th Amendment appears ready to be front and center in the national debate this year."

Is India Important to America's Freedom?:
Edward Hudgins
January 15, 2010
The visit to the U.S. of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November of 2009 focused on important geo-political and economic issues. But this visit also should focus attention on the role India might play in an emerging global culture of freedom, helping both America and India. Friends of liberty should take note, writes Dr. Edward Hudgins.

Videos
Painting "Young Judoka" - Part II - Video:
Wendy Stolyarov
January 14, 2010
In this video painting demonstration, Mrs. Stolyarov continues to paint the Young Judoka. See Part I of this video series here.
                                                               
"The more a person can train himself to persevere in the face of significant externally imposed costs, the more likely that person is to succeed despite such obstacles. Such successes are the building blocks upon which all human civilization has been built." 
~ G. Stolyarov II