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  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: At the beginning of The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy, William Dobson states a fact that is all too clear for anyone who studies history or reads the news: Authoritarian governments rarely fret over United Nations sanctions or interference from a foreign rights group that can be easily expelled. Indeed, the mere threat of foreign intervention, whether from the United States, the United Nations, or a body like the International Criminal Court, can be a useful foil for stirring up nationalist passions and encouraging people to rally around the regime. (p. 9)
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Mr. Natelson discusses state-driven amendments to restrain federal spending, the processes of proposing and passing or rejecting such amendments, the safeguards in place for preventing a "runaway convention" that might fundamentally alter the U.S. Constitution, and more.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Welcome to the Spring 2013 issue of The Objective Standard.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard M. Salsman
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Explains why central banking should be terminated and how it can be, focusing primarily on the U.S. Federal Reserve System.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The modern welfare state began to take shape in the 1880s in Otto von Bismarck's Germany, and it took off in the United States in the 1930s under Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal." Now that the welfare state is thoroughly entrenched throughout most of the world, is there any reason to question its existence or any way to eliminate it? There is a reason and a way, and these are the subjects of the essays in After the Welfare State.
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ross England
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: On June 14, 1940, when the German army entered an undefended Paris, the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces took full control of the city. But one door remained, at least temporarily, closed to them. When the Wehrmacht arrived at the Pasteur Institute and attempted to enter the basement crypt where the bodies of Louis Pasteur and his wife, Marie, were interred, they found an aging concierge blocking the path. The guard steadfastly and courageously refused to permit them entry to the tomb. This guard was not alone in his devotion to Pasteur. In a 1922 speech, the French ambassador to the United States, Jules Jusserand, described the incredibly high esteem in which Pasteur was held among the French people:
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: To stop a Nazi plot, an American agent pimps the woman he loves to a dangerous Nazi. This is the premise of the drama and thriller Notorious, one of director Alfred Hitchcock's best films. Written by celebrated screenwriter Ben Hecht, Notorious was released in 1946 and stars Cary Grant as U.S. agent Devlin, Ingrid Bergman as the daughter of Nazi Alicia Huberman, and Claude Rains as Nazi Alex Sebastian. What lifts Notorious above the level of good thriller is the lead characters' internal conflicts and the story's ironic suspense. To set these up, Hitchcock masterfully establishes the characters' premises and problems to create a situation that he will play throughout the film.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Joshua Lipana
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: In Treason, Ann Coulter chronicles the anti-American actions of the leftist “liberals” in the United States from the Cold War to the beginning of the “War on Terrorism.” However, the book concentrates primarily on the Cold War, and fortunately so, as this is where Coulter shines.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrew Bernstein
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: On the morning of September 11, 2001, Mohammed Atta and his minions flew stolen planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, destroying the former and murdering thousands of innocent civilians. What motivated this atrocity? What filled the murderers with such all-consuming hatred that they were willing to surrender their own lives in order to kill thousands of innocent human beings? The clear answer is that these were religious zealots engaged in holy war with their primordial enemy—the embodiment of the modern secular West: the United States of America.In their evil way, the Islamists provide mankind with some clarity. They remind us of what real religion is and looks like—not the Christianity or Judaism of the modern West, watered down and diluted by the secular principles of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment; but real faith-based, reason-rejecting, sin-bashing, kill-the-infidels religion. The atrocities of 9/11 and other similar terrorist acts by Islamists do not clash with their creed. On the contrary, they are consistent with the essence of religion—not merely of Islam—but religion more broadly, religion as such. This is an all-important lesson that humanity must learn: Religion is hazardous to your health. Unfortunately, conventional views of religion hold just the opposite. Many people believe that religion is the necessary basis of morality—that without belief in God, there can be no ethics, no right or wrong. A character in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov famously expressed this view: “In a world without God, all things become permissible.” In the 21st century, many people still believe this. But the converse is true. A rational, fact-based, life-promoting morality is impossible on religious premises. Indeed, religion clashes with every rational principle and factual requirement of a proper, life-advancing ethics. A proper ethics, one capable of promoting flourishing human life on earth, requires the utter repudiation of religion—of all of its premises, tenets, implications, and consequences. To begin understanding the clash between religion and human life, consider the Dark Ages, the interminable centuries following the fall of Rome in the 5th century AD. The barbarian tribes that overran Rome eventually converted to Christianity, which, in the form of the Catholic Church, became the dominant philosophic and cultural force of medieval Europe. Unlike the essentially secular classical world, or the post-Renaissance modern world, the medieval world zealously embraced religion as the fundamental source of truth and moral guidance. What were the results in human life?
  • Topic: Health, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Imagine how great it would be to have your own inside tour guide to the modern financial crisis, someone able to comment on the crisis not as an onlooker, but as the leader for two decades of one of America's strongest financial institutions.
  • Topic: Government, Law
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Ted Gray
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Did you know that the U.S. government subsidizes forced sterilization of women throughout the Third World, and that both Republican and Democratic administrations have supported this policy? This is just one evil among many that Robert Zubrin documents in Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Roberto Brian Sarrionandia
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The United States of America is heavily regulated and heavily taxed. For instance, in the “Dodd–Frank” Act—an 848-page federal law regulating almost every part of the U.S. financial services industry—one section, known as the “Volcker Rule,” lists 1,420 sub-questions that a bank must answer before it is allowed to engage in proprietary trading. Likewise, the Environmental Protection Agency dictates, among countless other things, where energy companies may and may not dig or drill for resources, how much and what kind of fuel or energy they may produce, and what kind of automobiles, air conditioners, and other machinery Americans may purchase and use. The list of federal laws and regulations goes on and on.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Private-sector colleges and universities, also known as career colleges or for-profit colleges, educate more than three million people annually in the United States. These colleges—which include the University of Phoenix, ITT Technical Institutes, Kaplan University, Strayer University, Capella University, and Monroe College—provide vital services to Americans seeking to improve their lives. Programs in career colleges range from information technology and business administration, to commercial art and interior design, to allied health care and nursing, to accounting and finance, to criminal justice and law. These highly focused, career-specific programs enable people to achieve their occupational goals and to become productive, self-supporting, prosperous, and happy. These colleges are, for many people, pathways to the American dream. Unfortunately, certain individuals and agencies in the U.S. government are seeking to cripple and destroy these schools via an assault that includes fraud, collusion, and defamation. Before turning to the details of this assault, however, let us take a closer look at the enormous life-serving value provided by career colleges.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The U.S. Memory Championship is an annual event at which contestants compete to memorize a list of 300 random words, 1,000 random digits, and a shuffled deck (or two) of playing cards. In 2005, Joshua Foer went to the event expecting to meet, and write an article about, a group of savants. However, the contestants he interviewed claimed that they were merely average people who started off with average memories, and that anyone could learn to do what they do. These claims were tough for Foer to swallow. But after many there encouraged him, Foer decided to attempt what he thought was impossible. Remarkably, after a year of practice, Foer returned to the competition and won. In Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Foer tells how he did it and what he learned along the way. It is a fact-filled journey with lessons and characters you will not want to forget. Consider S, a Russian journalist who could remember everything. Unlike most, “When S read through a long series of words, each word would elicit a graphic image,” and “whether he was memorizing Dante's Divine Comedy or mathematical equations [they] were always stored in linear chains.” As Foer explains: When he wanted to commit something to memory, S would simply take a mental stroll down Gorky Street in Moscow . . . or some other place he'd once visited, and install each of his images at a different point along the walk. One image might be placed at the doorway of a house, another near a streetlamp, another on top of a picket fence . . . another on the ledge of a store window. All this happened in his mind's eye as effortlessly as if he were placing real objects along a street. . . . When S wanted to recall that information a day, month, year, or decade later, all he would have to do was rewalk the path where that particular set of memories was stored, and he would see each image in the precise spot where he left it. (pp. 35–36) According to Foer, this is how the Memory Championship contestants—known as “mental athletes”—performed their seeming superhuman feats. By “converting what they were being asked to memorize into images, and distributing those images along familiar spatial journeys,” they had “taught themselves to remember like S” (p. 40). This became Foer's goal as well. . . .
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Gary Johnson currently campaigns as a candidate for U.S. president with the same outspoken fidelity to free markets, limited government, and fiscal responsibility that guided his two terms as governor of New Mexico. Aside from making headlines earlier this year with his strong opposition to an antihomosexual Republican-circulated marriage pledge, which he called “offensive” and “un-American,” he has been neglected by the mainstream press and has been excluded from several televised debates. He presses on in a struggle from which higher-polling candidates have already dropped out. Johnson started a one-man handyman company in 1976 and over the next two decades developed it to employing one thousand people. Against the odds, he launched his campaign for governor in 1994 and carried his win to a second term, a governorship marked by his stand for “freedom across the board.” During his eight years in office, his main focus was responsible management of the government pocketbook, and he earned the nickname “Governor Veto” by vetoing more bills than the other forty-nine governors combined. He cut twelve hundred state job positions, cut taxes, reformed Medicaid, promoted school vouchers, privatized prisons, and helped eliminate the state's budget deficit. An unconventional Republican, he supports the right to abortion, the legalization of marijuana, and legal equality for homosexuals. Today he retains popularity among New Mexico's voters. Goal-driven, independent, and with a zest for life, he has competed in multiple Ironman Triathlons, summited Mt. Everest, and personally built his current home in Taos, New Mexico. He's a divorced father of two and lives with his fiancée. I spoke with him just before his strong campaign push in New Hampshire at the end of August. —David Baucom David Baucom: Thank you for speaking with me, Governor Johnson. Gary Johnson: Absolutely. DB: With the decline of the U.S. economy and the emergence of the Tea Party movement, people in America are finally asking questions to the effect of, What is the proper role of government? As a candidate for president of the United States, what do you regard as the proper purpose of government? GJ: The proper purpose of government would be to protect you and me against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm, whether that's from a property perspective or physical harm. And that would also apply to other countries. DB: Relating to that, how would you define “rights,” and where would you draw the line for what individuals can properly claim as a right? GJ: You know, my definition of it, I guess, is the whole notion that we have too many laws. And that when it comes to rights, that they really have a basis in common sense, that they really have a basis in natural law, if you will. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That government gets way, way, way too involved in trying to define that, as opposed to you and me working that out. DB: President Obama calls for “sacrifice” from everyone, but especially from “rich” individuals and corporations, whose taxes he wants to raise. You've said you don't think raising taxes on the rich is the way to deal with the financial crisis. As president, what would be your solution to the crisis? GJ: Well, I'm advocating the FairTax. I think we should scrap the entire tax system that we have and replace it with the FairTax. I'm talking about FairTax.org, for those who aren't aware of this proposal that I think has been around now for about ten years. By all free market economists' reckoning, it is what it is: it's fair, and it simplifies the existing tax system. So, by “simplify [the] existing tax system,” it abolishes the IRS and does away with all existing federal taxes: income tax, Social Security withholding, Medicare withholding, unemployment insurance, business-to-business tax, corporate tax. Replacing the current system would be a one-time federal consumption tax of 23 percent, which is meant to be revenue neutral, so we would still need to cut our spending by 43 percent, believing that part of revitalizing this country is balancing the federal budget and replacing it with the FairTax. . . .
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: I recently sat down with Sandra J. Shaw to ask her about her work, her views on art, and how she became a sculptor. Ms. Shaw's sculptures are owned privately throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in England, Australia, Bermuda, Singapore. Her work can be viewed on her website, www.sandrashaw.com, or by appointment. The interview is accompanied by several images of the works discussed. —Craig Biddle Craig Biddle: Thank you for joining me, Sandra. I know our readers will be delighted to hear from you and get a peek inside your fascinating world. Sandra Shaw: My pleasure. CB: Why did you choose a career in sculpture, how and when did it begin? SS: I didn't set out to become a sculptor; I had no interest in being an artist. I grew up in Canada, which did not have a thriving fine art culture that I was aware of, or a fine arts profession that was promising to me. The art schools where I grew up were preoccupied with anti-art. So I was not attracted to the art world or the lifestyle that I thought artists lived. That being said, I ended up becoming an artist simply because I love making art. I just couldn't get away from it. I tried. I did other things. For instance, I enjoyed writing and pursued a career in journalism for some time, which I thought would be an interesting living. But I never gave up my art. I've always made art from as long ago as I can remember. I drew throughout my childhood—that was my passion—and I knew I was developing a facility for art. So I always knew that I would have art in my life. While in high school I attended night classes at a couple of colleges to explore journalism and commercial art. I even made some headway in the commercial art business, making some album covers and posters for the music industry, of all things. But by the time I'd graduated high school, I knew I didn't want a career in commercial art. Sculpture came to the forefront when I was in my freshman year at university. I'd decided to pursue journalism and went to university so that I could become a knowledgeable writer. I didn't want to have writing skills without knowing something about the world. To pay tuition, I got a summer job working in the art department for the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto. At that time they were making a series of dioramas on the history of North American natives. A museum diorama is a three-dimensional scene that typically has figures and a painted or photographic backdrop. After a while it was apparent to me that the diorama project would be improved if they made better headway making the human figures. I knew the scenarios they wanted for the dioramas, so I drew up designs of the figures and showed these to the head of the art department. That's how I got the job of sculpting nine life-size human figures—my first job in sculpture, and three important years of studio experience in sculpture. I picked the simplest, most fully draped figures to do first, and left the mostly nude figures for last. This way I could master the head and hands in the beginning, and after a couple of years was able to sculpt the full figure. That was great training. It was how I converted my brain from drawing to sculpting in three-dimensional form. At the end of that project, I knew that I loved sculpture so much that it would be terrific if I could do this for a living. The idea of casting a figure into a permanent medium was thrilling to me, so I tried casting some small figures in bronze. And I eventually found that I could sell my bronzes. I continued to study the figure in life drawing classes, and advanced my skills at the National Academy in New York. CB: What have been the greatest influences on your work? SS: The great art of the past and the human figure per se. I think the greatest inspiration and influence began with the drawings of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. I don't remember how I got my hands on them, but for some reason I had access to Renaissance drawings before I was ten. I suspect that they were featured in art books that my parents had. I remember being thrilled by the line work and the kinds of human beings that Michelangelo and Leonardo portrayed. Although I didn't know it at the time, I was responding to the possibilities that those gorgeous, heroic figures suggested—they were god-like human beings with overarching gestures, physiques, demeanors. They captivated me. I examined and copied those master drawings. Later I had the opportunity to draw from Greco-Roman statuary in the ROM antiquities collection. That was long before I'd thought about sculpture, but I found classical form intriguing and pleasing. Those works showed a world of glorious men and women that stayed with me. Anatomical drawings also had a big impact on me—both master drawings and drawings in anatomy books for artists. Around age twelve I started copying anatomical drawings. I also recall drawing a human skull at a natural history museum. The facts of anatomy were core to my understanding of what I was looking at in the Renaissance works, and the structures of the human body fascinated me. Around the same time I became interested in the human face and in how a portrait can convey a kind of soul. I drew from photographs and from life—friends and classmates. The human figure and face have remained inspiring sources that translate for me a certain kind of life. . . .
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: At the start of A Time to Betray, Reza Kahlili writes that this is "a true story of my life as a CIA agent in the Revolutionary Guards of Iran." As such, you might expect it to be a fast-paced thriller-and, if so, you'd be partially correct. A Time to Betray involves many intense moments, but its primary focus is on the choices that Kahlili and his two childhood friends made growing up in Iran, along with the sometimes-deadly consequences. One of those friends, Kazem, always took religion seriously, hated the Shah, and, when the Shah was overthrown, became a supporter of Khomeini and a devoted member of the Intelligence Unit of the Revolutionary Guards. Soon after the Shah's overthrow, Kazem asked Kahlili to join the Guards. Having just returned from studying in the United States and being eager to help improve his country, Kahlili joined. Looking back today, he explains that, like many Iranians, he naïvely believed Khomeini and the mullahs would keep their promise not to force their faith on Iranians. Kahlili's other childhood friend, Naser, was not so naïve. Although he, too, was happy to see the Shah overthrown, Naser began speaking out against Khomeini soon after. He explained his reasons to Kahlili: "Look around, Reza. Everything is changing. Banning the opposition parties, shutting down the universities, attacking whoever disagrees with them. They're taking our rights away. They're arresting innocent people for nothing more than reading a flyer." I tried to calm him down, attempting to soothe my own rattled nerves at the same time. "We're in a transition, and change is always difficult. Maybe you should be more careful. Things will get better, you'll see." Naser took a moment before speaking again. When he did, there was pain in his voice. "I wish I felt the same way, Reza. I don't want to argue with you, but if people don't speak up now, it will only get worse." (p. 60) Numerous times, we see the young Kahlili not wanting to take sides, simply wanting everyone, in spite of everything, to get along. Indeed, this approach appears to have been his MO from childhood. Kahlili writes that, as a child, he found it tough just to stand up to his mother and friends. How could he, as an adult, stand up to the government of Iran? Something compelling would have to happen-something that threatened or assaulted his values on a personal level. Unfortunately, something did. . . .
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Joseph Kellard
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Ayaan Hirsi Ali gained international recognition in 2004 after she and Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh made Submission, a documentary about the brutal oppression of women under Islamic law. In response to the film, a radical Muslim savagely murdered van Gogh on the streets of Holland and posted a note on the filmmaker's body in which he threatened Hirsi Ali's life as well. Nevertheless, in 2007 Hirsi Ali wrote Infidel, in which she recounts the horrors of growing up female under the rights-violating Islamic cultures in Somalia and Saudi Arabia; how she fled to and settled in Holland, worked menial jobs, attended university, and collaborated on Submission; and how, in 2003, she ran for and was elected to the Dutch parliament as a candidate with a single issue: to stop the oppression of and violence against Muslim women in Holland. In Infidel, Hirsi Ali championed the Western secularist ideals that she came to adopt as true and right—free inquiry, the equal rights of the sexes, individualism, and personal liberty. Since then, she has moved to the land that she declares in her follow-up book, Nomad, to be her final home: the United States. In this latest book, Hirsi Ali shares the observations and emotional journey she has made since leaving Europe and arriving in America, even as radical Muslims continue to threaten her life for her uncompromising condemnation of Islam. In some respects Nomad demonstrates that Hirsi Ali has not only retained the intellectual independence and moral courage at the heart of her prior book, but that she has also strengthened and developed her thinking on the secular values she came to embrace. For example, in Nomad she elaborates on Enlightenment principles, including free inquiry, individual freedom, and property rights, exercising a thought process that grasps fundamentals: Every important freedom that Western individuals possess rests on free expression. We observe what is wrong, and we say what is wrong, in order that it may be corrected. This is the message of the Enlightenment, the rational process that developed today's Western values: Go. Inquire. Ask. Find out. Dare to know. Don't be afraid of what you'll find. Knowledge is better than superstition, blind faith, and dogma. (p. 214) Hirsi Ali proceeds to correctly identify Enlightenment principles as this-worldly and thus incongruent with Islam: The Enlightenment honors life. It is not about honor after death or honor in the hereafter, as Islam is, but honor in individual life, now. It is about development of the individual will, not the submission of the will. Islam, by contrast, is incompatible with the principles of liberty that are at the heart of the Enlightenment's legacy. (p. 214) She powerfully illustrates her development in the contrasts she draws between herself on the one hand, and, on the other, her relatives and other devout Muslims, both of whom cling unquestioningly to their religion and clannish traditions such as “family honor.” . . .
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Many books have documented horrible details of what happens under dictatorship. The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe presents some of the most horrific. In it, Peter Godwin captures the recent and ongoing struggle of Zimbabweans under a reign of lawlessness and terror. The book begins in 2008, as Godwin is on his way "home to Zimbabwe, to dance on Robert Mugabe's grave" (p. 5). Despite rigging the latest elections and intimidating the voters, as he has for many years, the aging dictator has been rejected so resoundingly that it seems he will have to accept defeat. After flying into Harare, the capital of this formerly rich and now starving country, Godwin says that "[Mugabe's] portrait is everywhere still, staring balefully down at us." From the walls of the airport, as the immigration officer harvests my U.S. dollars, sweeping them across his worn wooden counter, and softly thumping a smudged blue visa into my passport. From the campaign placards pasted to the posts of the broken street lights, during our bumpy ride into the reproachfully silent city. Watched only by the feral packs of hollow-chested dogs, [Mugabe] raises his fist into the sultry dome of night, as though blaming the fates for his mutinous subjects. The Fist of Empowerment, his caption fleetingly promises our insect-flecked beams. (pp. 5-6) As Godwin makes his way into Harare, pickup trucks crowded with armed officers repeatedly pass him by. "The atmosphere," he says, "is tense with anticipation" (p. 8). Something historic is about to happen. Unfortunately, however, Mugabe does not concede defeat, and there is "no political grave upon which to dance"-at least not one belonging to Mugabe (p. 14). But there will be many graves soon, an untold number of them, as Mugabe and his goons "know the places they didn't do well" and plan to ensure they do better by terrorizing the local populace into changing their votes (p. 28). Godwin skillfully shows what led up to the impending massacre. According to him, there was no single point at which Mugabe the "liberation hero" became Mugabe the "tyrannical villain." And that, says Godwin, is because there was no metamorphosis: "Robert Mugabe has been surprisingly consistent in his modus operandi. His reaction to opposition has invariably been a violent one" (p. 30). Referencing the massacre of around twenty thousand civilians in Matabeleland soon after Mugabe first gained power, Godwin goes on to describe the nature and purpose of the latest postelection terror: [T]he murders are accompanied by torture and rape on an industrial scale, committed on a catch-and-release basis. When those who survive, terribly injured, limp home, or are carried or pushed in wheelbarrows, or on the backs of pickup trucks, they act like human billboards, advertising the appalling consequences of opposition to the tyranny, bearing their gruesome political stigmata. And in their home communities, their return causes ripples of anxiety to spread. The people have given this time of violence and suffering its own name, which I hear for the first time tonight. They are calling it chidudu. It means, simply, "The Fear." (p. 109) Although the name is new, Godwin points out that nothing has changed and that fear has always been the base upon which Mugabe's power has rested. If that truth does not always seem real to Zimbabweans, it is-at least according to Godwin-in part because of how so many have chosen to deal with it. In this dictatorship, he says, people use subversive nicknames to mollify the nature of what exists. . . .
  • Political Geography: United States, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Lee Sandstead
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Author's note: An extensive gallery of original photography of the National Gallery of Art and its superb collection can be found here. If, like me, you hold that art is a necessity of ardent living, then experiencing art is one of the most crucial aspects of your life. And just as food is not meant only to be looked at in magazines but eaten—so too paintings and sculptures are not meant merely to be looked at in books, but devoured in person. This requires visiting museums, where most great art is housed. Photo credit: Lee Sandstead My favorite museum, after years of travel and thousands of hours spent in museums, is the West Building of the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, D.C. Although there are larger museums with bigger collections—most notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City—the NGA has a first-rate collection, a top-notch preservation policy, and a spectacular architectural setting. In America, museums on the East Coast have the strongest collections. Those such as the NGA, Met, and Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston—recipients of the generosity of America's 19th- and early-20th-century collector-industrialists—contain the largest, most-diverse group of masters and masterpieces. Museum collections in the western and southern parts of the country tend to consist more of second-tier artists and artworks. The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, for instance, is a well-endowed museum with a large but relatively weak collection. It has no original Vermeers, merely a copy of one. Likewise, its A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros is not the original by 19th-century master William Bouguereau, but rather a much smaller reproduction done mostly by his assistants. Although the Getty does have a Raphael, it is a minor, early portrait, rather than one of his celebrated Madonnas. The museum's Canaletto is not one of his giant panoramas of Venice, but a minor painting of the Arch of Constantine. By contrast, the NGA has four Vermeers, five Raphaels, and nine paintings by Sir Peter Paul Rubens; no West-Coast museum comes close to having masterworks on this scale. Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de' Benci, ca. 1474/1478. Housed at the NGA, this is the only painting by da Vinci in the United States. Although only in his early twenties when he painted Ginevra de' Benci, Leonardo was at his innovative best in this painting, placing the sitter in an outdoor setting, positioning the body in a three-quarter pose, and using a new medium—oil painting. Photo credit: Lee Sandstead. Created by an act of Congress in 1937, the NGA was formed largely from the donated collections of Andrew Mellon and Samuel Kress, and it features a robust collection of Renaissance, Baroque, rococo, neoclassical, Romantic, and American art. It houses the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the United States and important works of several masters, including Rembrandt, Boucher, Fragonard, David, and Bierstadt. . . .
  • Political Geography: Uganda, United States, Washington
  • Author: Gideon Reich
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New York: Threshold Editions, 2011. 223 pp. $25 (hardcover). Reviewed by Gideon Reich In This is Herman Cain, Herman Cain attempts to convince the reader to support him in his run for president of the United States by telling the story of his life, with emphasis on his amazing business accomplishments. Although the impressive story is somewhat undercut by Cain's mixed politics and religious (even superstitious) beliefs, this self-confident, ambitious, and capable business leader appears to be an admirable man. Cain recounts his early childhood, growing up in segregated Atlanta “po', which is even worse than being poor” (p. 1). His father “worked three jobs: as a barber, as a janitor at the Pillsbury Company, and as a chauffeur at the Coca-Cola Company”; and his mother worked as a maid (p. 15). Nevertheless, thanks to his father's influence, Cain had a positive attitude: My attitude then—as it is to this very day—was that you take a seemingly impossible goal and you make it happen. That was one of the many lessons I learned from Dad: He never allowed his lack of formal education to be a barrier to his success. And he never allowed his starting point in life or the racial conditions of his time to be excuses for failing to pursue his dreams. Dad taught me the value of having dreams, the motivation to pursue them, and the determination to achieve them. (p. 14) According to Cain, he was ambitious from a young age, pursuing a series of ever more-challenging goals. He studied mathematics in college, then went to work in the U.S. Navy as a mathematician. When he learned that he was being passed over for promotions because he had only a bachelor's degree, he studied computer science at Purdue University and earned his master's degree in “one intense, demanding year” (p. 42). He did get promoted, and, at twenty-seven, achieved his first goal—a job that earned more than $20,000 a year (p. 44). . . .
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 237 pp. $20 (Kindle edition). Reviewed by Daniel Wahl Already battered by slowing automobile sales due to the 2008 recession, Toyota faced a second crisis: claims that its management had put short-term profits ahead of their customers' safety. With commentators in the United States harshly criticizing the Japanese car manufacturer, Jeffrey K. Liker felt compelled to rise to Toyota's defense. Liker is the author of six books on the company, including the international best seller The Toyota Way, which shows readers the principles and operations that enabled Toyota to become both highly regarded by its customers and one of the most consistently profitable companies ever. In short, Liker knows Toyota more intimately than most, and the claims he was hearing in 2009 didn't correspond to that knowledge. But before he rushed to defend the company, Liker paused. A friend reminded him that blindly defending the company wasn't “the Toyota way,” and he had to agree. The Toyota Way demands that any problem be thoroughly investigated before any conclusions are reached. It demands that problem solvers “go and see” the problem firsthand and not rely on abstract, thirdhand reports. It demands thoughtful and critical reflection to find root causes and develop effective solutions. Most of all, it demands that every team member openly bring problems to the surface and work to continuously improve what is within their control. I wasn't doing any of these things. Whether Toyota was living up to its principles or not, I wasn't. (loc 165) So Liker set aside his defense of Toyota and set out to investigate what happened at Toyota during these crises; Toyota Under Fire: Lessons for Turning Crisis into Opportunity presents his findings. Together, Liker and coauthor Timothy N. Ogden went to plants across America and Japan to see whether Toyota was still the same company that Liker profiled in his earlier books—a company living up to its principles. As it turned out, Liker was glad he paused.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, New York, America
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Thank you for publishing Paul Beard's excellent article regarding the California Coastal Commission. Perhaps it was intended to be implied, but nowhere in the article was it stated that Pacific Legal Foundation, whose Coastal Land Rights Project Mr. Beard now heads, has represented the property owners in all of the cases he described.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Paul Hsieh
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: When medical students graduate from medical school, they take an oath-the Hippocratic oath-in which they solemnly swear, above all, to use their best judgment in treating their patients. Doctors hold this oath as sacrosanct; they regard upholding it as morally mandatory, and violating it as out of the question. But in order to uphold this oath, in order to practice medicine in accordance with their best judgment, doctors must be free to practice in accordance with their best judgment. Unfortunately, U.S. politicians are working feverishly to prevent doctors from upholding the Hippocratic oath. How so? By implementing government-run health care. Politicians' efforts to impose government-run health care include their goal of "guaranteeing" health care to everyone. But whenever the government attempts to "guarantee" health care, it must also control the costs of that service-which means, it must dictate how doctors may and may not practice. Toward this end, as Harvard professor Martin Feldstein notes, advocates of government-run health care call for "comparative effectiveness" practice guidelines. Quoting the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Feldstein points out that these guidelines are designed to ration health care and reduce spending by "implementing a set of performance measures that all providers would adopt" and by "directly targeting individual providers . . . (and other) high-end outliers."1 ("High-end outliers" is government-speak for "physicians who order more tests or perform more procedures than the government deems appropriate.") An example of such "effectiveness" guidelines is the new federal recommendations for screening mammography. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently recommended restricting mammogram screening to women over age fifty, despite the fact that medical organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology-whose conclusions are based on years of peer-reviewed scientific research-have long recommended that women begin routine mammography at age forty.2 The USPSTF argues that eliminating mammograms for women between ages forty and forty-nine would result in only one additional cancer death per nineteen hundred women screened-an increase in death that they evidently consider acceptable.3 The announcement of these new guidelines caused so much public controversy that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius quickly backpedaled and stated that these particular USPSTF recommendations would be "nonbinding."4 But what does "nonbinding" mean when it refers to the guidelines of a government agency? The government is an agent of force. Any government "recommendations" come with at least the implicit threat that recalcitrant doctors may face negative consequences. Not surprisingly, government medical agencies have already adopted the new guidelines. The California state government has begun using the USPSTF guidelines to determine which services patients in the Medi-Cal program may and may not receive.5 (Medi-Cal is the California equivalent of Medicaid in other states.) Government-funded health programs in New York and Ohio have already begun turning away women under fifty seeking mammograms.6 And, Sibelius's reassurances notwithstanding, Congress is considering giving the USPSTF legal authority to determine which screening tests will or will not be covered for patients with private health insurance.7 How are American physicians responding to these developments? Fortunately, many have chosen to ignore the guidelines, to continue practicing according to their best medical judgment, and to order mammograms on their female patients between ages forty and fifty as they see fit.8 But bear in mind that the White House Council of Economic Advisers has already pejoratively labeled such physicians "high-end outliers." If the government decided to enforce its "comparative effectiveness" guidelines, such doctors could be punished at any moment. And bear in mind what the punishment would be for: upholding their Hippocratic oath, their promise to practice according to their best judgment for the best interests of their patients.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alan Germani, J. Brian Phillips
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: For centuries, few have questioned the idea that waterways-streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans-are or should be "public property." The doctrine of "public trust," with roots in both Roman and English common law, holds that these resources should not be privately owned but rather held in trust by government for use by all. The United States Supreme Court cited this doctrine in 1892, ruling that state governments properly hold title to waterways such as lakes and rivers, "a title held in trust for the people of the state that they may enjoy the navigation of the waters, carry on commerce over them, and have liberty of fishing therein freed from the obstruction or interference of private parties."1 This "public ownership," however, is increasingly thwarting the life-serving nature of waterways as sources of drinking water, fish, and recreation. Predictably, when a resource-whether a park, an alleyway, or a pond-is owned by "everyone," its users have less incentive to protect or improve its long-term value than they would if it were owned by an individual or a corporation. Users of "public property" tend to use the resource for short-term gain, often causing the deterioration of its long-term value-the well-known "tragedy of the commons." This phenomenon is perhaps nowhere clearer than in the case of waterways. "Public ownership" of waterways has led to, among other problems, harmful levels of pollution and depleted fish populations. Many waterways around the world have become so polluted that they are no longer fit for human use. In 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that one-third of America's lakes and nearly one-fourth of its rivers were under fish-consumption advisories due to polluted waters.2 In 2005, officials in China estimated that 75 percent of that nation's lakes were contaminated with potentially toxic algal blooms caused by sewage and industrial waste.3 And the World Commission on Water has found that half the world's rivers are either seriously polluted or running dry from irrigation and other human uses or both.4 By one estimate, the contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation that result from pollution and low water levels account for five to ten million deaths per year worldwide.5 In addition to containing harmful levels of pollution, many of the world's waterways are being fished in a manner that is depleting fish populations and threatening with extinction fish species such as red snapper, white sturgeon, and bluefin tuna-species highly valuable to human life.6 By 2003, primarily due to fishing practices associated with public waterways, 27 percent of the world's fisheries (zones where fish and other seafood is caught) had "collapsed"-the term used by scientists to denote fish populations that drop to 10 percent or less of their historical highs.7 In 2006, the journal Science published a study that offered a grim prediction: All of the world's fisheries will collapse by 2048.8 Whether or not all of the world's fisheries will collapse in a mere forty years, the data clearly show that current fishing practices are depleting supplies of many species of consumable fish. At best, at the current rate of fish depletion, many fishermen will lose their livelihoods and consumers will have fewer and fewer species from which to choose, species that will become more and more expensive. What solutions have been proposed? Federal and state governments have attempted to remedy these problems through regulation-violating rights and creating new problems in the process. For example, twenty-five states prohibit or severely restrict the use of laundry detergents containing phosphates, substances that harm aquatic life when present in water in high quantities.9 A growing number of state and local governments-including Westchester County, New York, and Annapolis, Maryland-are enacting similar regulations on phosphate-containing fertilizers.10 These laws violate the rights of detergent and fertilizer manufacturers by precluding them from creating the products they choose to create-and they violate the rights of consumers who want to buy such products rather than more-expensive, less-effective alternatives. Further, these rights-violating prohibitions have proven impractical in achieving their purpose: Despite many such regulations having been in effect for nearly forty years,11 an estimated two-thirds of America's bays and estuaries still contain harmful amounts of phosphates.12 Regulations regarding sewage treatment have proven similarly impractical: Since 1972, the federal government has forced water utilities to spend billions of dollars upgrading water treatment facilities, and yet, during the past four years, record numbers of beaches have closed due to pollution from sewage.13 And, for what it is worth, the EPA predicts that by 2016 American rivers will be as polluted by sewage as they were in the 1970s.14 Government efforts to address depleted fish populations have proven similarly impractical. The history of the halibut industry in Alaska is an illuminating case in point. In the 1970s, the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC)-a U.S.-backed intergovernmental regulatory agency-established a five-month fishing season in public waters off the Alaskan coast with the hope of maintaining halibut populations, which had become severely depleted. But forcibly limiting the time during which fishermen could operate did little to improve the fishery's viability: Fishermen simply worked more vigorously during the season, and the halibut population remained at historically low levels. So, in the 1980s, the IPHC attempted to remedy the problem by reducing the five-month fishing season dramatically-to as few as two days.15 During these shortened windows of opportunity, fishermen took extreme risks to maximize their catches, only to be "rewarded" onshore with the plummeting prices of a glutted market. And, in the end, the huge catches brought in by fishermen on these days were still large enough to jeopardize the halibut population.16 So, in 1995, the IPHC dropped the idea of a short fishing season and instead introduced a "catch share program," through which it limits each fisherman's yearly catch to a percentage of what it deems to be a "safe" overall halibut harvest. But neither has this policy helped the situation; today, after more than two decades of shifting regulations, the usable halibut population in Alaskan waters is less than in 1985.17 Although some claim that still more government regulations are required to combat the ongoing problems of pollution and depleted fish populations, any such coercive measures are in principle doomed to failure because they attempt to treat problems in the waterways while ignoring their actual cause: "public ownership." Government force may provide a disincentive for certain behaviors, but this disincentive does not motivate the users of waterways to maintain or enhance the life-serving value of these resources. As a result, America's waterways remain largely and significantly polluted, and fish populations, even where they are stabilizing, remain at levels insufficient to meet the growing demand for seafood. . . . Endnotes The authors would like to thank Craig Biddle, Dwyane Hicks, and Thomas A. Bowden for discussions that aided the authors' understanding of the issues discussed in this article, and Matthew Gerber, Ben Bayer, and Steve Simpson for helpful comments made to earlier drafts. 1 Illinois Central R.R. Co. v Illinois (1892) 146 U.S. 387, 452. 2 Jaime Holguin, "Pollution Overtaking Lakes, Rivers,," CBSNews.com, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/08/24/tech/main638130.shtml. 3 Antoaneta Bezlova, "China's Toxic Spillover," Asia Times, December 2, 2005, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/GL02Cb06.html. When consumed by fish, shellfish, and livestock, such hazardous algae can enter the human food chain. 4 Mary Dejevsky, "Half of World's Rivers Polluted or Running Dry," The Independent, November 30, 1999; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/half-of-worlds-rivers-polluted-or-running-dry-1129811.html. 5 http://www.grinningplanet.com/2005/07-26/water-pollution-facts-article.htm. 6 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishwatch/species/red_snapper.htm , Species l ist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/SpeciesReport.do?groups=E=L=1; http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/07/060724-bluefin-tuna.html. 7 "Catch Shares Key to Reviving Fisheries," Environmental Defense Fund, http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=8446. 8 Cornelia Dean, "Study Sees 'Global Collapse' of Fish Species," New York Times, November 3, 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/03/science/03fish. 9 http://enviro.blr.com/enviro_docs/88147_9.pdf. 10 Juli S. Charkes, "Board Votes to Ban Phosphate Fertilizers," New York Times, May 1, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/nyregion/westchester/03lawnwe.html; Karl Blankenship, "Annapolis to Ban Use of Fertilizer with Phosphorus in Most Cases," Bay Journal, http://www.bayjournal.com/article.cfm?article=3511. 11 Michael Hawthorne, "From the Archives: Banned in Chicago but Available in Stores," Chicago Tribune, April 4, 2007, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-daley-phosphates,0,2871187.story. 12 http://www.grinningplanet.com/2005/07-26/water-pollution-facts-article.htm. 13 http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/titinx.asp and http://epa.gov/beaches/learn/pollution.html#primary. 14 Martha L. Noble, "The Clean Water Act at 30-Time to Renew a Commitment to National Stewardship," Catholic Rural Life Magazine, vol. 45, no. 2, Spring 2003, http://www.ncrlc.com/crl-magazine-articles/vol45no2/Noble.pdf. 15 http://www.fishex.com/seafood/halibut/halibut.html. 16 Halibut populations continued to decline, and the IPHC decreased the allowed catch more than 26 percent between 1986 and 1995. http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/commerc/limits80299.htm. 17 The total catch share for halibut-which is based on "exploitable biomass"-declined between 1985 and 2009. For 1985 limits, see http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/commerc/limits80299.htm. For 2009 limits, see http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halcom/newsrel/2009/nr20090120.htm.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Audra Hilse
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: In 1970, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a man named Norman Borlaug. His achievement? Saving hundreds of millions of people from death by starvation. Yet today, few people in America and the West even know his name. This is unfortunate, for his story is heroic. Borlaug was a geneticist and plant pathologist who discovered ways to produce heartier and faster-growing varieties of wheat and other grains, brought these methods to various parts of the world, and taught people how to implement them. Thanks to his work, farmers and agriculturalists were-and are-able to produce orders of magnitude more food than they could prior to his discoveries. Borlaug was born in Iowa on March 25, 1914. His parents were farmers, and he was educated in a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade. He did well in high school, and wanted to pursue a college degree. In 1933, on the recommendation of a friend, and despite the onset of the Depression, he hitched a ride north to enroll at the University of Minnesota. He started in the General College, and later chose forestry as his major. He earned his degree in 1937, and was planning to enter the Forest Service until he attended a lecture presented by Dr. E. C. Stakman, a plant pathologist. That talk, Borlaug later said, "changed my life, my whole career."1 Stakman\'s lecture, "These Shifty Little Enemies that Destroy our Food Crops," discussed the spread of plant "rust" that was killing off grains across the United States.2 Borlaug was so fascinated by the subject that, instead of joining the Forest Service, he enrolled in the university\'s graduate program for plant pathology, where he proceeded to earn both a master\'s degree (1937) and a doctorate (1942). After receiving his doctorate, Borlaug took a job as a microbiologist with the DuPont de Nemours Foundation, but he did not stay there long.3 In September 1943, the Rockefeller Foundation offered him a position running a joint program with the Mexican government, helping Mexican farmers to improve agricultural technology and increase their wheat production. Borlaug accepted the job, moved to Mexico with his wife and children, and launched the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program. . . . End Notes 1 Vicki Stavig, "Bread and Peace," Minnesota, January-February 2004,http://www.alumni.umn.edu/Bread_and_Peace (accessed December 29, 2009). 2 Mark Stuertz, "Green Giant," Dallas Observer, December 5, 2002, http://www.dallasobserver.com/2002-12-05/news/green-giant/ (accessed December 29, 2009). 3 Stavig, "Bread and Peace" (accessed January 6, 2010).
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Dina Schein Federman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The founding of the United States was among the most dramatic and glorious events in history. For the first time, a nation was founded on the principle of individual rights. Those interested in learning about America's founding and its cause may turn to history texts. But history texts, even when their content is accurate, tend to be dry accounts of events. They lack the excitement of an adventure novel. Yet most novels set in the Revolutionary period are not good sources of information: Being works of fiction, they may take liberties with historical fact; and they often employ the American Revolution merely as their setting, not as their focus. What if one could find a work that combined the accuracy of a well-researched historical work with the dramatic presentation of a work of fiction? Fortunately, such a combination exists-the Sparrowhawk series of six novels by Edward Cline. Cline's purpose in this series is to dramatize America's founding: Most nations can claim a literature . . . that dramatizes the early histories of those countries. . . . But, except for a handful of novels that dramatize . . . specific periods of events in American colonial history, America has no such literature. The Sparrowhawk series of novels represents, in part, an ambitious attempt to help correct that deficiency (foreword to Book Three, p. ix). The series is set in the decades preceding the Revolution, beginning in the 1740s in England and concluding in 1775 in colonial Virginia. Throughout, the books dramatize important events leading up to the war, such as the liberty-constraining acts of British Parliament against the colonies and the colonial response to them. But Cline's theme is that the fundamental cause of America's declaration of independence from Great Britain was not mere events, but certain ideas Americans held. "[D]oing justice . . . to the founding of the United States . . . has meant understanding, in fundamentals, what moved the Founders to speak, write, and act as they did. Those fundamentals were ideas" (foreword to Book Three, p. ix). According to Cline, these fundamental ideas led inexorably to the Revolution: "The juggernaut of Parliamentary supremacy collided with the American colonies' incorruptible sense of liberty, which could be neither crushed nor flung aside. The result was a spectacular explosion: the American Revolution" (foreword to Book Six, p. 1). . . .
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Paul Hsieh
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known colloquially as "ObamaCare"), declaring that the law would enshrine "the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care."1 But, for reasons I have elaborated in previous articles in TOS, far from establishing security regarding Americans' health care, this new law will make quality health care harder to come by and more expensive for everyone. Unfortunately, until our politicians rediscover the principle of individual rights, choose to uphold it, and reverse this monstrosity of a law, we Americans are stuck with it and will have to cope the best we can.
  • Topic: Government, Health
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Heike Larson
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: One of the most important issues in life for anyone who has or is planning to have a child is the matter of his education. And the first stage of (formal) education with which parents need to be concerned is preschool through lower elementary. What is the best approach to education for children in this age range? What approach is consistent with the facts of reality, the requirements of the child's developing mind, and his need of self-esteem? The answer, in three words, is: The Montessori Method.
  • Topic: Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, Italy
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Very few economists predicted an economic catastrophe in 2007. Even following the crash, many continued to claim that our present economic course was fine. As for today? “Three years into the mess, economists now offer remedies that strike most people as frankly ridiculous. We are told that we must go deeper into debt to fix our debt crisis, and that we must spend in order [to] prosper” (pp. xi–xii). The source of such seeming obliviousness, according to Peter and Andrew Schiff, is the early-20th-century economist John Maynard Keynes. According to the Schiffs, Keynes taught that governments could smooth market volatility, increase employment, boost growth, and raise living standards simply by going into more debt and printing more money. Although they grant that Keynes was smart, the Schiffs say he developed some very stupid economic ideas—ideas that are false, dangerous, and causing the collapse of America's economy. The Schiffs set out to counter these harmful ideas in How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes. The book is an extended allegory of U.S. economic history, with supplementary discussions and illustrations. It begins with three men living on a tropical island, each subsisting on one fish per day, which he catches with his bare hands. One of the men, Able, devises a better way to catch fish: a net. Thus equipped, he hopes to catch more fish, and faster, leaving himself spare time to make new clothes. . . .
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Dahlen
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: For most of human history, the vast majority of people lived in squalor and bitter poverty. People labored hard in grueling conditions but produced little wealth for their efforts; food was scarce; disease was rampant; child mortality was about 50 percent; and life expectancy was twenty to thirty years. To borrow from Thomas Hobbes, life was “nasty, brutish, and short.” ©2008 Frankie Roberto http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:James_Watt%27s_Workshop.jpg Today, by contrast, in developed countries such as Britain and the United States, the relatively few people who are considered “poor” typically work in comfortable jobs (if they work at all); have refrigerators, electric light, indoor plumbing, televisions, telephones, and the like; and can expect to live into their seventies. Their “poverty” appears rather fortunate compared to the wealth of kings past. The average person today works in even greater comfort; has a car, a computer, a cell phone, countless other devices of luxury, and a lifestyle that would make any king living in the pre-industrial era look like a peasant. The dramatic transformation from universal poverty to widespread wealth began in the late 18th century with the Industrial Revolution, which originated in Britain. The Industrial Revolution was just that: a revolution of industry—a revolution in which an enormous increase in the commercial production and sale of goods changed the world and improved man's standard of living by orders of magnitude. As historian Eric Hobsbawm remarks, “No change in human life since the invention of agriculture, metallurgy and towns in the New Stone Age has been so profound as the coming of industrialization.”1 To see what caused this dramatic transformation, let us look first at the political climate and living conditions of the medieval era that preceded the British Industrial Revolution; then we will consider the politico-economic system in which the Revolution occurred, several related developments that illustrate the nature of the era, and the economic growth that these developments brought about.
  • Topic: Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Very few economists predicted an economic catastrophe in 2007. Even following the crash, many continued to claim that our present economic course was fine. As for today? “Three years into the mess, economists now offer remedies that strike most people as frankly ridiculous. We are told that we must go deeper into debt to fix our debt crisis, and that we must spend in order [to] prosper” (pp. xi–xii). The source of such seeming obliviousness, according to Peter and Andrew Schiff, is the early-20th-century economist John Maynard Keynes. According to the Schiffs, Keynes taught that governments could smooth market volatility, increase employment, boost growth, and raise living standards simply by going into more debt and printing more money. Although they grant that Keynes was smart, the Schiffs say he developed some very stupid economic ideas—ideas that are false, dangerous, and causing the collapse of America's economy. The Schiffs set out to counter these harmful ideas in How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes. The book is an extended allegory of U.S. economic history, with supplementary discussions and illustrations. It begins with three men living on a tropical island, each subsisting on one fish per day, which he catches with his bare hands. One of the men, Able, devises a better way to catch fish: a net. Thus equipped, he hopes to catch more fish, and faster, leaving himself spare time to make new clothes.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrew Schiff
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The author and investor discusses his book, the state of economy, the cause of America's financial problems, and investment possibilities under the circumstances
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: “From a standing start as refugees with virtually no capital, a person with the last name Patel today owns one out of every five motels in the United States” (p. 132). According to hedge fund investor Mohnish Pabrai, one word identifies how these Indian immigrants have achieved this extraordinary success in a little more than thirty years: Dhandho.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States