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Category: Interviews

Return of the C Podcasts

I must be in a rut as I’m not sure why all the sources for these podcasts from Friday again begin exclusively with the letter ‘C’, but they do.

As before, the following is a list of podcasts that I consumed the other day.  In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast.  Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment.  In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.

1) The Trader Principle (2010-06-04 Cultivating the Virtues)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Kelly): Helping a child manage her frustrations, Topic: The Trader Principle (begins at 5:51), and Q&A: Toothbrushing Tactics (begins at 17:07).

Related to the Trader Principle, the Ayn Rand Lexicon identified the following passage from her novel Atlas Shrugged:

The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread—a man of justice.

2) After Words: Mia Bay, “To Tell the Truth Freely” (2009-08-01 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy B, Quality B+ – Mia Bay, associate history professor at Rutgers University, recounts the life of 19th century suffragist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells in her book, To Tell the Truth Freely.  Ms. Bay recalls Ida B. Wells appeal to the Supreme Court after being removed from a seat on a train due to her race, her assistance in founding the NAACP in 1910, and her international campaign against lynching.  Mia Bay discusses her book with Elsa Barkley Brown, associate history and women’s studies professor at the University of Maryland.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUpWpOnDUqs]

3) Organized Crime and Transnational Threats (2009-11-18 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?, undertaken in collaboration with the Latin American Program and Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and made possible by the generous support of the Hauser Foundation, Tinker Foundation,  and a grant from the Robina Foundation for CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program.  This panel featured: David Holiday (Program Officer, Latin America Program, Open Society Institute),  William F. Wechsler (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, U.S. Department of Defense), and Lee S. Wolosky (Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; Former Director, Transnational Threats, National Security Council).

Wechsler and Wolosky are coauthors of Terrorist Financing.

4) Local and National Policy Responses (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?  This panel featured:  Ramon Garza Barrios ( Mayor, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico) and Rodrigo Pardo García-Peña (Director, Cambio; Former Foreign Minister, Republic of Colombia).

5) After Words: Harry Stein, author, “I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican,” interviewed by Stefan Kanfer, City Journal (2009-07-25 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy C, Quality B – In I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican, Harry Stein uses humor to describe being a conservative locked in a community of liberals, both in his neighborhood and in his professional life.  He details the difficulties he’s had with family members since crossing the political spectrum from left wing to right, and he talks about being misrepresented as a racist by the Dallas Morning News.  The interview was conducted by author and journalist Stefan Kanfer.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LQ_4bhOzGY]

6) Academic Conference Call: Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality C – Paul Stares is coauthor of CFR’s special report “Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action.”  Few would dispute that preventing conflict, instability, and humanitarian disaster is preferable to confronting these problems after they arise. Preventive measures are generally less expensive than remedial ones. They also allow policymakers to address potential crises before they threaten international stability, U.S. interests, and human lives. Building an effective U.S. government capacity to take preventive action, however, has proved an elusive goal. And the challenges to achieving it have perhaps never been greater.

7) After Words: Joe Scarborough. “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise” (2009-07-11 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy C, Quality C – From BookExpo America in New York City, Joe Scarborough on his book, The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise.  The former Republican congressman and current host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe presents his thoughts on the Bush administration, the current state of the Republican party, and the Obama presidency.  Joe Scarborough discusses his book with Peggy Noonan, columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHDBxznrbuw]

8 ) Foreign Aid, Civilian Capacity, and U.S. National Security (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy C, Quality C – U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (Chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs) discusses how if only more money was spent on diplomacy and development through the subcommittee that she leds, then there would be less conflict for the military to resolve.  Isn’t it always the case with the cardinals of the Appropriations Committee: the key to a better world is more money under their domain.

I could not find a book by her as evidently ideas and words make her head hurt.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXaC6ubCxww]

9) How Should Governments Drive Industry Change? Lessons Learned from the Global Automotive Sector (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy C, Quality D – Carlos Ghosn (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Renault-Nissan Alliance) and Steven L. Rattner (Former Head, U.S. Treasury Department’s Auto Task Force) discuss government led industrial policy in the auto industry.

Ghosn is author of Shift: Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival.  Rattner is author of Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry.

10) After Words: Edward Humes interviewed by Matthew Kahn, UCLA (2009-07-18 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy F, Quality F – The Pulitzer Prize winning author profiles the multi-millionaires and high-profile people who are trying to take the planet green.  The episode was filmed on the C-SPAN bus at the L.A. Times Festival of Books about his latest book Eco Barons:  The Dreamers, Schemers and Millionaires Who are Saving Our Planet.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p11P-f782zw]

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A Very C Collection of Podcasts

I’m not sure why all the sources for these podcasts from Thursday begin with the letter ‘C’, but they do.

As before, the following is a list of podcasts that I consumed the other day.  In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast.  Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment.  In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.

1) Free Range Parenting (2010-05-27 Cultivating the Virtues)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Jenn): Dealing with pointless bickering, Topic: Free Range Parenting (begins 4:26), and Q&A: Childhood Fears (begins 18:45).

This discussion references Lenore Skenazy’s book Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry).

2) Cold War Reflections and Today’s Realities (2009-11-16 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, at cfr.org, leads a discussion about “Cold War Reflections and Today’s Realities” with Bob Kimmitt, who’s now with WilmerHale, but in those times was undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, and later became, probably, our first ambassador to the unified Germany; and Jim Goldgeier, who is the senior fellow for transatlantic relations at the council, and also is a professor at George Washington University.

Goldgeier is author of Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy Toward Russian After the Cold War.

3) After Words: Schmidle interviewed by Peters (2009-05-29 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Nicholas Schmidle went to Pakistan in 2006 to learn about the country and the people who live there.  He stayed for two years and wrote about his experiences in his book “To Live or to Perish Forever.”  Mr. Schmidle talks about his book with Ralph Peters, columnist for the New York Post and strategic analyst for Fox News.

4) State and Local Officials Conference Call: U.S. Immigration Policy (2009-11-18 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Edward Alden discusses the results for a bi-partisan task force on immigration.  The task force’s report examines immigration into the United States in a foreign policy context. It broadens the debate by analyzing issues of economic competitiveness, terrorism and national security, human rights, and public diplomacy in the context of globalization. The report then offers recommendations for a twentyfirst-century immigration policy that serves U.S. economic, diplomatic, and national security interests.

Alden is the coauthor of U.S. Immigration Policy: Independent Task Force Report No. 63.

5) Trial of Accused 9/11 Terrorists (2009-11-08 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality C+ – The decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the accused mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, in federal court in New York has elicited strong reactions from across the political spectrum. CFR Adjunct Senior Fellows John B. Bellinger and Steven Simon  support the Obama administration’s decision, arguing that it gives the United States the opportunity to demonstrate globally the administration’s commitment to fair trials for detainees.

Simon is coauthor of The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam’s War Against America and The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting it Right.

6) Update on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2009-11-12 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality C – CFR’s Steven A. Cook discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict in light of the release of the Goldstone Report, which was recently completed by the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, as part of CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

Cook is author of Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey.

7) After Words: Wangari Maathai, author of “The Challenge for Africa” interviewed by Nicole Lee (2009-05-26 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy C, Quality C – 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai talks about her latest book, “The Challenge for Africa.”  In the book, Ms. Maathai looks at the problems facing the continent and provides advice on how to improve things there.  She discusses her book with Nicole Lee, executive director of TransAfrica Forum.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEpcQ-3oJas]

8 ) After Words: Eduardo Galeano, author of “Mirrors” interviewed by John Dinges (2009-06-20 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy B, Quality D – Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano talks about his latest book, “Mirrors,” a history of the world told through 600 brief stories.  Mr. Galeano is interviewed by Columbia University journalism professor John Dinges, author of “The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents.”  The two men also discussed Mr. Galeano’s 1971 book, “The Open Veins of Latin America,” which Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave to President Obama during the Fifth Summit of the Americas.

This would have a more interesting interview if Dinges had not been such a smitten fanboy, and had engaged and exposed Galeano’s premises.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMFMbIky_8c]

9) After Words: Tierney Cahill, author, Ms. Cahill for Congress, Interviewed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC (2009-05-28 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy C, Quality D – The story of how an elementary school teacher told her class that anyone can run for Congress and was challenged by them to prove it.  With a $7,000 initial campaign chest and her students as her campaign staff, she won the 2000 Democratic nomination in Nevada’s 2nd district, which includes Reno.

Cahill is coauthor of Ms. Cahill for Congress: One Fearless Teacher, Her Sixth-Grade Class, and the Election That Changed Their Lives Forever.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33BPJiKUWnk]

10) The Challenge of Somalia (2009-11-05 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality F – Bronwyn E. Bruton proposes a strategy of “constructive disengagement” to combat terrorism and promote development and stability in Somalia. Instead of supporting Somalia’s unpopular Transitional Federal Government, Bruton argues that the United States should accept an Islamist authority as long as it does not impede international humanitarian activities or support international jihad. Bruton also advocates for a decentralized approach to U.S. foreign aid distribution by working with existing local authorities. And she counsels against an aggressive military response to piracy, making the case instead for initiatives to mobilize Somalis themselves against pirates.

Burton’s book is Somalia: A New Approach.

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Wednesday’s Podcasts

The following is a list of podcasts that I consumed Wednesday.  In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast.  Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment.  In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.

Also, check out this week’s Objectivist Round Up for insightful posts.

1) Temperment (2010-04-24 Cultivating the Virtues)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (by Kelly), Topic: Temperament (begins around 4:54), and Q&A (begins around 28:17).  Yes, we went REALLY long on our topic, partly because it’s a favorite one of ours, and partly because we forgot to watch our time!

This podcast mentions two books: Elaine Aaron’s The Highly Sensative Child and Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.

2) Why Non-Punitive Discipline? (2010-05-03 Cultivating the Virtues)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Jenn): A child models correct behavior for another child, FTW!  Topic: Why Non-Punitive Discipline/The Ambassador Analogy (begins 3:42)  Q&A: Celebrating Holidays as non-religious parents (begins 12:55)

RationalJenn provides a number of resources related to this podcast at her site, including How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

3) Independence (2010-05-12 Cultivating the Virtues)

Relevancy A, Quality A – This podcast features a discussion on the virtue of Independence and how parents can encourage independence of thought and action in children. Here’s the lineup:  Situation of the Week (Kelly): Handling conflict with a child/choosing battles, Topic: Independence (begins 5:30), and Q&A: What are some ways to deal with kids interrupting? (begins 19:06).

4) I Am Murdered: George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson, and the Killing That Shocked a New Nation (2009-08-02 C-SPAN Q&A)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Bruce Chadwick recalls the murder of George Wythe, who represented Virginia at the Constitutional Convention and was a close friend and teacher to Thomas Jefferson.  Mr. Chadwick examines what he deems America’s first “trial of the century” as former representative Wythe lived long enough after his deliberate poisoning to attribute the murder to his grandnephew, George Wythe Sweeny.  However, despite Mr. Wythe’s claim and the first-hand account of his maid, Lydia Broadnax (who survived the poisoning), Mr. Sweeny was never found guilty of the charge.

I have added I Am Murdered to my Amazon wishlist.  Also discussed in this podcast is Chadwick’s book Triumvirate: The Story of the Unlikely Alliance That Saved the Constitution and United the Nation, which is about Madison, Hamilton, Jay and the Federalist Papers.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMGjgayvh_w]

5) Neil Sheehan, Author, ”A Fiery Peace in a Cold War” (2009-09-20 C-SPAN Q&A)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Neil Sheehan is the author of a new book, ”A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon.” The book tells the story of the nuclear arms race and the intercontinental Ballistic Missile through the eyes of Air Force General Bernard Schriever. In 1954, General Schriever was the head of a research team that led to putting satellites in space and the development of missiles like the ICBM.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q-vOZUoVsg]

6) Fiscal Irresponsibility Clouds The Future Of The United States (2009-11-04 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy A, Quality C – Richard A. Posner, judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, analyzes how past fiscal irresponsibility has led to challenges to the global standing of the U.S. financial markets.

Posner has written A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression.

7) Christopher Caldwell, Author, ”Reflections on the Revolution in Europe” (2009-09-13 C-SPAN Q&A)

Relevancy B, Quality C – Christopher Caldwell  is the author of the new book, ”Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West.” The book looks at the immigrant experience in Europe, specifically immigration from non-European countries. Caldwell explains that there are 1.7 million new arrivals in Europe each year, half of which are followers of Islam. In his book, he says, ”Europe’s future peace and prosperity depend on how easily these newcomers (and their children and grandchildren) assimilate into European life.’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1sBXX6WhH8]

8 ) Tracy Kidder, Author, ”Strength in What Remains” (2009-10-11 C-SPAN Q&A)

Relevancy C, Quality C – Pulitzer Prize Winning author Tracy Kidder  talks about his newest book, ‘‘Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness.” It’s the story of a young man from Burundi who comes to the United States after narrowly escaping civil war and genocide in his home country. With little money and few English skills, he works delivering groceries, sleeping in Central Park. Eventually, he meets people who help me in his quest to become a doctor. The man, named Deogratis (Deo), returns to Burundi and builds a clinic and health care system through his organization Village Health Works.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shNPGX-v40Y]

9) International Security: A World Free of Nuclear Weapons: Illusion or Possibility (2009-11-04 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy A, Quality F- – Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speak about the current nuclear situation, threats to stability, and ways to further promote nonproliferation.

10) T.R. Reid, Author, ”The Healing of America” (2009-09-06 C-SPAN Q&A)

Relevancy B, Quality F- – This week, our guest is T.R. Reid (Reed), author of the new book ”The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.” The former Washington Post reporter traveled to a variety of  countries, including France, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, and the United Kingdom, for a first hand look at their health care systems. He also looks at the moral question of the right to equal health care notwithstanding ability to pay.

Reid makes a moral argument founded in altruism; thus his book, perspective, and conclusions are utterly EVIL. For an objectively moral investigation of the health care issue see Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM).

[youtube=http://www.westandfirm.org/; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxNhOBemsic]

11) After Words: Peniel Joseph author of ”Dark Days, Bright Nights” interviewed by Kevin Merida (2009-01-16 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy D, Quality F – Peniel Joseph recalls the black power movement in his book, ‘‘Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama.” Mr. Joseph contends that the 1965 Voting Rights Act played a significant role in the ascendancy of black radical politics and assisted in paving the way for future African-American political leadership. Peniel Joseph profiles several of the movement’s key figures, including Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, and Paul Robeson. He discusses his book with Kevin Merida, national editor of The Washington Post.

Having studied this subject myself, I find Joseph’s historical analysis to be ideologically corrupt in a way that would make Karl Mannheim proud.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwxnmDWKkek]

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This Weekend’s Podcasts

The following is a list of podcasts that I consumed this weekend.  In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast.  Of couse, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment.  In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.

1) Yaron Brook on The Wall Street Shuffle (11/11/09)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Yaron Brook is a guest on The Wall Street Shuffle. Topics include government health care and cap-and-trade legislation.  A collection of information created by the Ayn Rand Center for Individiual Rights and related to health care legislation is available at their health care issue focused page.

2) eBay Jim Griffith TJMax Story (9/17/2009)

Relevancy B, Quality B – When Susan Su asked Griffith for any secrets on getting inventory to sell on eBay, he said, “think local.”  Instead of thinking only about how to sell YOUR stuff on eBay (like your old stereo, computer, designer jeans), think about how to make a micro business selling OTHER stuff on eBay, that you obtain locally…

More information on rethinking your personal finances from Ramit Sethi is available in his book I Will Teach You to be Rich.

3) Letters of Bess Truman (2009-10-29)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Pres. Harry S. Truman’s grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, spoke about the letters written from Bess to Harry Truman at the National Archives in Washington DC.  Previously, Daniel has written the book Growing Up With My Grandfather: Memories of Harry S. Truman.

4) Public Pulse interview with Elan Journo (2009-09-14)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Elan Journo is interviewed on Public Pulse about his book, Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism.

5) Simon Johnson Reports (2009-02-09)

Relevancy B, Quality C – MIT Sloan interview with Prof. Simon Johnson on the financial crisis.  Johnson is co-author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown.

6) The Teachings of Ayn Rand (2009-08-28)

Relevancy A, Quality A – In this interview from the “Taking Back America” podcast, Onkar Ghate offers an overview of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, the importance of the self, and philosophical reasons for today’s erosion of freedom.  Ghate is a contributor to Postmodernism and Management, Volume 21: Pros, Cons and the Alternative (Research in the Sociology of Organizations).

7) Job Board Scams (2010-03-16)

Relevancy B, Quality B – WNYC’s Brian Lehrer interviews Ask the Headhunter (Nick Cocodilos) about bogus and misleading job advertisements.   Cocodilos’ book is Ask the Headhunter: Reinventing the Interview to Win the Job

8 ) Marc Kudisch in Terrence McNally’s Golden Age (2010-03-10)

Relevancy B, Quality C+ -Terrence McNally’s new play Golden Age, which just had its successful debut at Philadelphia Theatre Company…Actor Marc Kudisch takes us on the journey of this new play – from workshops to rewrites to the debut in Philadelphia,  to more rewrites with a new director, and finally to the Kennedy Center.

I don’t know anything about McNally although this interview raised my interest.  I see a couple collections of his plays on Amazon Three Plays by Terrence McNally (The Lisbon Traviata, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, It’s Only a Play) and Terrence McNally, Vol. 1: 15 Short Plays.

9) Sale Process Engineering Conference Call (2010-04-12)

Relevancy B, Quality A – Justin Roff-Marsh of Ballistix discusses salles process engineering as a preview to his presentation to Constraint Management Group’s annual conference.  His book is Reengineering the Sales Process.  Roff-Marsh is an advocate of applying Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints to the sales process, see Goldratt’s book The Goal as an introduction.

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Quick Hits 3/17/2010

My eyes are green so no pinching me today.

>> Education <<

C-SPAN has recently posted their video archives on-line. I found lectures by Thomas A. Bowden, C. Bradley Thompson, Andrew Bernstein, and Yaron Brook. A search for “Ayn Rand Institute” found 6 entries, including Jeff Britting, Peter Schwartz, and Gary Hull.

>> Health Care <<

Andrew Bernstein, author of The Capitalist Manifesto and Capitalism Unbound, wrote: “If the government takes over health care, I will refuse to buy their package, refuse to pay the fine imposed, and make them arrest me. I will broadcast my refusal to cave to socialism on my website, on Facebook, to my students, in my lectures, and on the radio. I will fight this in the courts–or will the DC Fascists suspend the right to trial by jury? I suspect–and hope–that millions of Americans will do the same.”

Based upon survey results, the Medicus Firm reports “If health reform passes…7.4% of physicians stated that they would quit practicing medicine…21.8% said they would retire early, bringing the total loss of physician workforce to nearly one-third of physicians leaving medicine.”  This data raises several questions relevant to your life:

  • Have you asked your doctor whether he/she will be quitting?
  • If so, would you be able to find a new doctor?
  • Will the US need to import lower-skilled doctors, or may you need to travel to obtain medical care?

Health care legislation has not even passed the House yet, and they may not even vote upon the Senate version, but the Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli has promised to sue the federal government to challenge the constitutionality of the law.

>> Foreign Policy <<

Let us continue on the theme of the other day: the Obama Administration’s failure to improve foreign relations as promised.  At the Center for Security Policy David Satter–a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former special correspondent on Soviet affairs for the Wall Street Journal–makes two points about Russian-US relations:   (1) the reset/apology was misinterpreted by Russia as America admits its faults therefore there is no Russian faults, and (2) that Russia has become less cooperative with the US, even when it would be in Russia interest to do so as its leaders interest are not necessarily the same as the country.

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGw5_wPN5fE”]

I have seen increasing references to a new Obama Intifada of Palestinian violence.  Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has been actively undermining our relationship with Israel and blaming Israel for lack of diplomatic progress in the “peace process war.”  Concurrently, on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV in Gaza, the Palestinians are indoctrinating their children to suicide missions against Israelis.  The below children’s cartoon depicts a young girl being kill while throwing a rock at an Israeli soldier, and through the act of her death the child wounds the Israeli.  How much concern do President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton express over the welfare continuing abuse of these Palestinian children by the Palestinian leadership?

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEf3AFMePQY”]

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My New MP3 Player

Although I have purchased four Ipods for my kids, I have never had an MP3 player. As part of my choices to increase my productivity this year, I purchased a Creative Zen 2 GB player, as it was compatible with the NetLibrary on-line audio book service offered by my local library.

Although I’m still having some trouble working out issues with permissions related to the library files, I just filled my player with lots of good stuff.

Since November, I have been accumulating audio files through my RSS feed that I have not had time to enjoy yet. Now, I have started copying these files to my player so that I can consume them during unproductive time driving Ms. Daisy, or multitask while doing things around the house like chores or painting.

What kinds of good things have I added to the player and will be adding to my life?

* Art lectures from the National Gallery of Art.
* Author interviews from C-SPAN.
* Interviews and commentary related to business from Wharton
* Philosophic answers from Leonard Peikoff’s weekly pod cast
* Interviews by Prodos on SolidVox

The player was like $50, but the increased access to great ideas is priceless.

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Interview with Nick Provenzo

I have started doing an interview program called “Over the Top” through Prodos’ Solid Vox network.

My first interview was with Nick Provenzo of the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, where he shares some of his experiences in activism.

The interview is available at HERE.

BelowÂis a summary of the show

The mission of the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism. What is the key to activism? The talk Nick ProvenzoÂgave to a group of very intelligent, business-oriented high school students at a Washington, D.C. conference. What tools did Nick offer to these students?

Why are young audiences easier to engage? Activism on college campuses ! two ways that Objectivism (the philosophy of Ayn Rand) can be introduced to students at university. Nick’s debate at George Mason University on whether the US should invade Iraq.

If we want to change the direction of a culture, what realm must we come to know and command? Nick’s lecture to the State Medical Society of Colorado on the subject of anti- trust in health care. Doctors and HMOs – the restrictions on doctors in their negotiations with HMOs. What surprised the doctors about Nick’s lecture? What made dealing with this audience difficult?Â

Why is it important to try to communicate with the members of the 3 branches of government about the necessity of protecting individual rights? How the Center utilizes Amicus curiae or “Friend of the Court” briefs. CAC’s brief on Affirmative Action to the Supreme Court of the United States. Why are these Supreme Court briefs effective?

Â

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Wafa Sultan

Having been dealing with some domestic terrorism issues, I am behind the times internationally. I just saw an excellent statement against Muslim violence and for the advancement of reason and science by Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan, originally broadcast on Al-Jazeera 2/21/2006.

In part she says about the bin Ladin-Huffington argument for a clash of civilizations paradigm:

The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.

Originally spoken in Arabic, this is an excellent example of eliciting backlash both external to the terrorist organizations but also amongst its loosely affiliated supporters.Â

Wanting to find out a little more of her, I found the following interesting information on Wikipedia:

Sultan revealed to the Times that she is working on a book to be called The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster, and says she was shocked into secularism by the 1979 atrocities committed by the Muslim Brotherhood against innocent Syrian people, including the machine-gun assassination of her professor in her classroom in front of her eyes at the University of Aleppo where she was a medical student. “They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting, ‘God is great!’ ” she said. “At that point, I lost my trust in their god and began to question all our teachings. It was the turning point of my life, and it has led me to this present point. I had to leave. I had to look for another god.”

Video Link

Transcript LinkÂ

Sultan of Enlightenment (3/16/2006)

Image Source: Cox and Forkum

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Wolf Against Capitalism

In his consistent willingness to advocate the use of government power to prevent the free exchange of values between individuals when the choices others violate his own subjective whim, Rep. Frank Wolf is no friend of Capitalism.

As an instance of this fact, look at his recent call for limiting oil company profits.

If he is such a nice guy who tries to solve problems, why does Rep. Wolf advocate such injustice against businessmen? In a recent opinion piece, conservative intellectual leader Bill Buckley explained the hostility of President Bush toward Capitalism because he “can hardly endorse unrestrained capitalism and pursue the grace of Christ.” Given Rep. Wolf’s application of his faith to public policy, the same premise applies to him as well.

Philosophy professor Andrew Bernstein has a new book which makes the moral case for Capitalism in contradiction to Wolf, Bush, and Buckley. He recently spoke with Stuart Goldsmith about this book titled The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire.

In the book, Bernstein explains the value that Wolf rejects:

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    The policy of laissez-faire–of “leave it be”, of “hands off”–is simply the application of the moral principal of individual rights to economics. The principle of individual rights means that consenting adults are free to perform any actions they choose, so long as they do not initiate force or fraud against others. This means that men are legally restricted from criminally interfering with the quest for values undertaken by other men. Economic activity is the production and exchange of goods and services–the goods and services upon which man’s life depends. If men produce and exchange voluntarily, then their mutual pursuit of values is reciprocally enhanced by the productive work of each other.Â

    The government’s proper role in economics is a straightforward application of its broader moral role as the protector of individual rights: by providing a rule of law–by protecting private property and safeguarding contracts–it establishes a legal context conducive to the creation of values. By punishing criminals–and only criminals–by limiting government involvement in the marketplace to its proper function in all areas of human life–to the prevention of the initiation of force or fraud–the government of a properly capitalistic society provides an incalculable benefit to men’s lives: it protects those who create values and restrains those who destroy values or physically interfere with the creators. Since value achievement is the essence of life’s requirements, any governmental policy that promotes it is a boon to man’s life. [p. 212-213]

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But if government is not the fixer of everybody’s subjective pain, then what is a congressman like Wolf to do? In the book, Bernstein observes:

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    Statists deride the laissez-faire system as “do-nothing government.” Two points must be made to refute this claim. First is that such a government protects individual rights, including property rights, an enormous task and achievement in the service of men’s lives–and one possible only to the government. This is hardly a “do-nothing” policy. Second, such governmental protection liberates the entire population of a society to engage in the creation and exchange of life-giving values, including material ones. The so-called “do-nothing” government is actually a political-economic system of “free-to-do” individuals–of “do much” productive citizens–who, protected by the principle of individual rights, create the enormous abundance so characteristic of all capitalist societies. [p. 213-214]

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While Rep. Wolf has been loud and proud about his ability to seize loot from the federal revenue to return to the district, most every time he does so he is actually missing an opportunity to protect our rights by opposing the programs that interfere in the market. It is past time for Rep. Wolf to focus upon the most critical role of legislators, which is the protection of individual rights.

For more about what Capitalism is and by inference Rep. Wolf is not, Stuart Goldsmith’s program on the Solid Vox network is available on-line [Click HERE for the interview with Andrew Bernstein]. In the discussion of how Capitalism is the only moral social/political system, the topics covered included the morality of Capitalism versus the evil of altruism, the failures of government run schools, the historical achievements of Capitalism, and the threat environmentalism poses to individual rights.Â

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Labor Market Reform

Prodos Worldwide on SolidVox has a 30 minute interview with Gerard Jackson about how economics and history refutes calls for state intervention in the labor market.

It has some important facts that are relevant to mid-term congressional election issues related to minimum wage increases proposed by Democrats and tax reductions proposed by some Republicans.

Mr. Jackson’s comments on how the depletion of capital leads to lower wages, which caused me to recognize how federal taxes attack capital accumulation. When it comes to Republican efforts to lower these taxes, they would benefit from instruction in valid arguments against these taxes by Mr. Jackson. Perhaps, if they were willing to be objectively correct, these congressman could be so bold as to eliminate the capital gains tax instead to hoping only to limit its damage by lowering that tax rate.

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