December 25, 2010

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Abstract Orderism Fractal XXIV:
G. Stolyarov II

December 25, 2010
This fractal by Mr. Stolyarov is designed to appear transparent, in the manner of ornamental blown glass. It is composed of a delicate interplay of loops, curves, and circles.

Rise of the Free-Market Zombies:
Robert P. Murphy

December 25, 2010
For his Sunday column, Paul Krugman wrote a piece titled "When Zombies Win". Krugman claims that "free-market fundamentalists" — including Ron Paul — have been successful politically, despite being thoroughly discredited by recent events. As Dr. Robert Murphy shows, it's a good thing that these ideas of shrinking government refuse to die, no matter how often Krugman attacks them.

How Much Faith Should We Put in Keynesian Models?:
Robert P. Murphy

December 25, 2010
Jim Manzi is a private-sector expert in statistical analysis. He Dr. Robert Murphy's favorite commentator on the economics of climate change, because he dove into the IPCC reports and found that the proposed legislative "cures" (cap-and-trade or carbon-tax laws) are arguably worse than the disease, even according to the "consensus" numbers. Lately, Manzi has been challenging mainstream economists to defend their models, which tout the benefits of fiscal and monetary "stimulus." Manzi has repeatedly asked why he should put any faith in the predictions of these models. In this article, Dr. Murphy highlights the hilarious response of Manzi's debate opponent, Karl Smith.

Black Pigs and Free Enterprise:
Jeffrey A. Tucker

December 25, 2010
Recently, Jeffrey Tucker has seen two sets of neighborhoods with ripped-up lawns. The neighborhood in West Texas had destroyed grass caused by the remarkable proliferation of this monstrous black pig. No one knows for sure where they came from. Some say they walked from Mexico. Some say they are indigenous but just recently out of control. No one doubts that they are a serious problem. On the other hand, Mr. Tucker's own neighborhood is also festooned with torn-up grass, and not because of pigs. A new Internet service provider is in town, a company that is stringing the entire city with fiber-optic cables in anticipation of a massive win against the existing competition. The company drives up its trucks, digs holes in people's yards, lays down cable in ways that are seemingly up to the company itself, even when it means traipsing on and destroying private property. The company never asked permission of homeowners.

My Christmas Wish:
Charles N. Steele

December 25, 2010
There is something in particular Dr. Charles Steele would like to request as his Christmas & New Year's wish: could someone please get the Too Big To Fail banks and banklike entities under control?

Distoring the Tax Policy Debate:
Ron Paul

December 25, 2010
George Orwell warned us about the use of “meaningless words” in politics, words that are endlessly repeated by sloganeering politicians until they have no meaning at all.  Meaningless words certainly were on display during last week’s congressional debate over the latest tax bill.  Over and over again we heard trite, empty phrases like “tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%,” “tax giveaways,” “tax earmarks,” and “borrowing money to give to millionaires.”  Time and time again the same falsehoods were presented as fact, and reported as such by a credulous media.  But, writes Rep. Ron Paul, all of these clichés about taxes are based on the presumption that government has a right to all of your income, and so government “gives” you something when it allows you to keep a portion of that income. 

Awaiting the Storm:
Fred Reed

December 25, 2010
Fred Reed believes that a storm of fascism, totalitarianism, and oppression is brewing in the United States. He describes some of the warning signs of a federal government that has gotten completely out of control.

WikiLeaks: Who's Hiding What and Why:
Fred Reed

December 25, 2010
Fred Reed writes that two ways exist of looking at WikiLeaks, the site that publicizes secret military documents and videos. The first is held self-interestedly by the Pentagon and by Fox News, the voice of an angry lower-middle class without too much education. These believe that WikiLeakers are traitors, haters of America, who give aid and comfort to the enemy and endanger the lives of Our Boys. The other view, held usually by people who have some experience of Washington, is that the Pentagon is worried not about the divulging of tactical secrets, but about public relations. WikiLeaks doesn’t endanger soldiers, insists this way of looking at things, but the war itself, and all the juiceful contracts and promotions and so on entailed by wars.

Hype Versus Reality on Climate Change:
Willie Soon and Selvaraj Kandasamy

December 25, 2010
Astrophysicist Willie Soon and his colleague Selvaraj Kandasamy have written an excellent column that pulls the rug further out from under the climate-crisis alarmists. While its main focus is on India, the article offers two important lessons for the United States. (1) It underscores that India is forging ahead to lift its people out of poverty, primarily with hydrocarbon energy – so even draconian measures by the USA will have no measurable effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. And (2) it demonstrates, yet again, that there is simply no compelling evidence, in the Indian Subcontinent’s history or elsewhere, that we face a manmade global warming disaster.

Scrooge and the Welfare State:
Gary Wolfram

December 25, 2010
Early in Charles Dickens's famous 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol in Prose, two men enter Scrooge's office seeking Christmas donations. Dr. Gary Wolfram believes the ensuing intercourse is worth repeating this Christmas season, as it illustrates how coercive programs to "help the poor" actually reduce the incentives for private charity.

"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." 
~ François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire