Archive | March, 2013

The Answer

March 30, 2013


I’m travelling over the Easter break so instead of the usual weekly post I’m leaving you ‘The Answer’ by one of my favorite poets, Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962). The Answer Then what is the answer?—Not to be deluded by dreams. To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence, and their tyrants come, many times […]

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Removing The Velvet Glove

March 23, 2013


A lifetime ago, in a college political science course, I remember spending an inordinate amount of time studying the concept of ‘legitimacy’, how people come to believe in the authority of government and what makes them obey or feel loyal toward their governments. In earlier times legitimacy may have been conferred by, say, a belief in […]

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Copyright and Patents – What a Racket

March 16, 2013


Growth comes from competition. Anything that stifles competition has a negative effect on the incentive to innovate. Protect a company completely from competition by giving it a monopoly, like the United States Postal Service, and stagnation is virtually guaranteed. The granting of monopolies and special privileges to certain people or corporations was popular under the […]

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Laughing at Cancer

March 9, 2013


“Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” said the surgeon. Without waiting for a reply he blurted out “You do have cancer”, but he followed it up quickly with the ‘good’ news, that “if you are going to have cancer this is one of the best kinds to have, a rare […]

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Land, Labor and the State

March 3, 2013


I have just finished reading Wolf Hall, a smart historical novel by Hilary Mantel, which portrays the machinations behind Henry VIII’s attempt to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could free himself to marry Ann Boleyn. The central figure in this drama is Thomas Cromwell, who engineered the annulment by passing […]

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