A Journal for Western Man :  Issue LXXXV

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Culture

 

The Characteristics and Evolution of Computer RPGs:

G. Stolyarov II

December 30, 2006:

Mr. Stolyarov writes that the characteristics which distinguish a good computer role-playing game (RPG) resemble in many ways those which one will find in a good book. The overarching story of the RPG needs to draw in the player via an intricate plot, an interesting conflict, a steady progression of events, well-developed characters, a complex and detailed background universe, and an emphasis on themes and issues universal to the human condition. Yet the RPG adds to the fantasy genre an entirely new level of experience which books and even films lack, a facet generated by its interactive nature. No longer does the “audience” of an RPG consist of mere spectators. Rather, the players are themselves participants in the RPG’s world: not only participants, but often the key determinants of that world’s fate. In this article, Mr. Stolyarov describes the recent evolution of this interactive aspect of RPGs and its implications.

 

A Lump of Coal for Kwanzaa:

Selwyn Duke

January 1, 2007:

This humorous piece by Selwyn Duke discusses the origins of the holiday Kwanzaa forty years ago. Kwanzaa was invented by Maulana Karenga, a black racist and criminal whose principles included a “seven-fold path of blackness,” which is to “. . . think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black”-- hardly a recipe for racial integration and tolerance. Karenga also intended Kwanzaa to celebrate communistic principles of economic and social organization.

 

Economics

 

The World's Reserve Currency:

Rep. Ron Paul, M. D.

January 1, 2007:

The financial press reported last week that the euro, the new currency created only five years ago and used by most European nations, has supplanted the U.S. dollar as the most widely used form of cash internationally.  There are now more Euros in circulation worldwide than dollars. Rep. Ron Paul writes that the rise of the Euro internationally is another sign that the U.S. dollar is not what it used to be.  There is increasing pressure on nations to buy and sell oil in euros, and anecdotal evidence suggests that drug dealers and money launderers now prefer euros to dollars.  Historically, the underground cash economy has always sought the most stable and valuable paper currency to conduct business. Unless the U.S. government dramatically restrains its profligacy, the American economy may be greatly undermined in the years to come.

 

Globalization: The Long-Run Big Picture:

Dr. George Reisman

January 2, 2007:

Globalization, in conjunction with its essential prerequisite of respect for private property rights, and thus the existence of substantial economic freedom in the various individual countries, has the potential to raise the productivity of labor and living standards all across the world to the level of the most advanced countries. In addition, it has the potential to bring about the radical improvement in productivity and living standards in what are today the most advanced countries, and to provide the strongest possible foundation for unprecedented further economic advance everywhere. Dr. George Reisman gives the economic arguments for why globalization has these effects; Dr. Reisman also refutes the critiques of globalization advanced by Paul Craig Roberts and Gomory and Baumol.

 

The Return to Sound Money (1953):

Ludwig von Mises

January 3, 2007:

Ludwig von Mises writes that the classical or orthodox gold standard alone is a truly effective check on the power of the government to inflate the currency. Without such a check, all other constitutional safeguards can be rendered vain. This essay offers Mises's recommendations for how a country can transition from the inflationary mode of fiat currency back to a gold standard.

 

Yellow Journalism at The Weekly Standard:

Dr. Robert P. Murphy

January 3, 2007:

Dr. Robert P. Murphy critiques Irwin Stelzer's recent piece in The Weekly Standard, which alleges that the Chinese policy of pegging the yuan to the dollar threatens U.S. economic health. Dr. Murphy writes that American consumers are not harmed by any Chinese government attempts to assist Chinese exporters.

 

Filosofy

 

Every Day a New Year:

Dr. Edward Hudgins

January 1, 2007:

New Year's is traditionally when we reflect upon the year gone by and make solemn resolutions for the 12 months to come. Surveys find that self-improvement rather than saving the world is most often on Americans' minds. But many New Year's resolutions are abandoned shortly after the New Year. Dr. Edward Hudgins offers a new way to look at self-improvement, which will enable the better keeping of those resolutions: to remember that one's life is a 365-day-per-year project and thus that every day is New Year's Day and to keep in mind that the goals one envisions are constituted in the means one uses to pursue them.

 

Politics

 

Time to Leave Iraq:

Alan Caruba

January 1, 2007:

Alan Caruba writes that the moral justification for removing Saddam from control was valid. The fact that Iraq sits atop the second largest reserves of oil in the region is equally valid. That oil is the true reason for the conflict as Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq battle for its control while the Kurds gird to protect their oil fields as well. However, Mr. Caruba thinks that now is the time for the U. S. troops to leave Iraq so as to avoid losing further American lives to the typical intra-Islamic strife that is escalating in that country.

 

The Socialism of Mr. Shaw (1945):

Albert Jay Nock

January 2, 2007:

In this review of George Bernard Shaw's Everybody's Political What's What?, Albert Jay Nock critiques Shaw's proposal for a better and more complete socialism as a proposal fundamentally incompatible with the tendency-- universal to human nature-- of trying to obtain maximum satisfaction for minimum exertion. Such a tendency, combined with vast state powers of the kind Shaw envisions, would inevitably lead individuals with exploitative ambitions into positions of power.

 

Global Warming on Steroids:

Alan Caruba

January 3, 2007:

Alan Caruba writes that we have entered a period of global warming on steroids. It is a period in which every possible effort will be made to impose this Big Lie on all of us. The reason for this is the increased skepticism of everyday Americans who have concluded that there is no massive increase in global warming. Nothing-- including bullying, stifling of dissent, and systematic spreading of misinformation-- will be beneath those who seek to stifle our economic growth and prosperity and to impose a single socialistic government on the world.

 

"The only real cure for poverty is production."

 

~ Henry Hazlitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

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