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Economics/News/Politics

The Trump Rally: Stocks Fly High As Confidence Surges

The election of President-elect Donald Trump last month has awakened, what some people are calling, the “animal spirits” of capitalism. Anyone with a 401k or money in the stock market could tell you that things are going very well at the moment. The election of President-elect Trump and conservative, pro-market Republican majorities in the House and Senate represents a turning of the page from eight years of growing tax burden, government spending, and red tape. The Trump Rally, as some pundits are calling it, has resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping 1,600 points since 2016’s election day. Such a large jump — well up into the nineteen thousands — has many market watchers discussing the prospect of the Dow breaking 20,000 points. The result has been nearly two trillion dollars in wealth generated for the tens of millions of Americans with money in the stock market. Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

Today In History: Cicero Is Assassinated

December 7, 43 BC What does it take to be a philosopher-statesman? To dedicate one’s life to public service, to approach the issues of the day with a level head, to remain reasonable in the face of radicalism, and, above all, to carry your convictions through to their logical end, even if it costs your life? Marcus Tullius Cicero lived to see the greatest political moments in western history over the course of his 63-year life and his political, legal, and academic careers spanning nearly as long. But he didn’t just see it. He was an integral part of it. He served in the highest offices of the late Roman Republic, including the Consulate (chief executive) and the Senate, when he wasn’t finding spare time to translate into Latin, summarize, and write commentaries on the classic works of the Greek philosophers and craft a few philosophical tomes of his own. His writings on the Republic and the Laws remain to this day, in this author’s humble opinion, essential reading… Keep Reading

History/World

Today In History: Constantine And Christianity

October 29, 312 – To the victor goes the spoils, but even the victor lives and dies by the ideas he brings with him. Roman General Constantine, then claimant to the imperial throne of Rome and all her glory, paraded into the eternal city at the head of his victorious legions. Constantine, who is known more affectionately to history as St. Constantine the Great, had navigated the dangerous path to imperial supremacy through the favor of the Senate and ultimately civil war. Many attributed his success to political and military genius. He preferred to attribute it to the favor of no less than God Himself, itself a mark of political genius. According to legend, it was on the eve of his fateful Battle of the Milvian Bridge when Constantine came out of his tent and saw a vision of the Cross of Christ. Heaven opened to show him a blindingly bright cross of light and a voice thundered from the Throne of the Almighty: “By this sign, thou shalt… Keep Reading

History/World

Today In History: United Nations

October 24, 1945 – The United Nations is founded in San Francisco as a very well-intentioned check against the excesses of failed states and colonial imperialism. The Weimar Republic, left to its own devices, had swept Hitler’s Nazi Party into power with a mere quarter of the popular vote. The fanatical regime of Premier Tojo bowled over the moderates in Japan, bringing the military to power with its intent to enslave the surrounding region in the name of the Empire. This recipe left the world ripe for the inevitable collapse into total war. The United Nations, we are told, must exist as a counterbalance against radicalism if we are to avoid repeating the horrors of the world wars or the threat of nuclear annihilation. Fast forward several decades to a time when world war seems unthinkable and the threat of nuclear exchange has become a relic of the Cold War. Right-wing and libertarian parties around the world are still reeling from the United Nations’ latest, if unsurprising, development. While… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Today In History: Republic Of Texas

October 22, 1836 – Freedom isn’t free, but sometimes it is more costly to live for than to die for. Deep in the hill country of south Texas, Col. William Barret Travis and 181 of his fellow patriots hunkered down in a crumbling adobe church and fended off over a thousand professional soldiers under the command of Antonio Lopez Santa Anna for thirteen days of heroic sacrifice. Thirteen days that the Texian reinforcements under General Sam Houston desperately needed. Now we all know they won their freedom, but I’m interested in what came afterward. October 22, 1836, marks the anniversary of the swearing in of the first President of the Republic of Texas, and a whole new adventure in the perils of liberty. What happened after those fateful battles at the Alamo, Goliad, and San Jacinto was not a new enterprise in human history, but one for which Texas could look for inspiration from the founding of America. They had to craft a constitution and form of government that… Keep Reading

History/World

Today In History: Trafalgar

October 21, 1805 – The social order of the western world hung in the balance. Britannia’s mighty empire hailed its heritage of Magna Carta, Parliamentary rule, and “God and my right” in the face of a revolutionary invader. The war coffers of her far-flung realms were strained to the breaking point by the horrors of war on the continent of Europe. But now, the enemy was crossing the narrow channel that had been her natural defense since the invasion of William the Conqueror seven centuries before. Napoleon was coming. The War of the Third Coalition was a final, many at the time said desperate, attempt to stop the spread of revolution and chaos that was sweeping Europe one kingdom at a time. What hung in the balance was no mere geopolitical chess game. It was the survival of civilization as they knew it. The French Revolution had begun decades earlier when Charlemagne’s ancient kingdom of France came face to face with the inevitable consequence of its centuries-long course. The… Keep Reading

Economics/Philosophy/Politics

Economics & History: Why This Connection Matters

In a recent article of mine, I debunked the red herring of  the “roads” argument that many modern socialists throw around. It turns out that lately this article has gotten some pretty lively responses from its critical readers. One such commenter was someone I might have expected to be on my side (politically speaking) as he was presumably a libertarian himself, but the road forked for us at economics. It seemed as if this gentleman was an adherent of the Austrian school (a.k.a. the fantasy football of economics), and he had a thing or two to say about my reasoning behind my aforementioned debunking. But before we get to that, it might be prudent to first scan briefly the shoal of my original argument: the modern socialist mantra is to call their capitalist fellows “hypocrites” for accepting such “socialist” elements of society as roads and a postal service. My rebuttal to that claim is simple enough in that these very elements of public convenience (as well as many others) predate socialism’s inception; therefore… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

About a White House Built By Slaves

“I wake up every morning in a house built by slaves,” Michelle Obama declared at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The ensuing uproar neatly comprised of censure from the right and adulation from the left, thus demonstrating the deep ideological divide that defines our present politics. Though the speech on Tuesday received the most media attention, it does not represent the first instance in which Obama cited the White House’s slave legacy. The line made an appearance in her commencement address at New York’s City College in June, and her husband also made note of the same in March 2015 at the fiftieth anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama. In keeping with leftist orthodoxy, Obama imagines American history as a series of transgressions against the dignity and lives of helpless peoples, and reduces the White House to a mere artifact of that ugly past. Not surprisingly, bastions of the left such as The New York Times and Huffington Post lauded the First Lady for using the… Keep Reading

Politics

Demanding Change And Bending History

You cannot ask to join something older, larger, and farther reaching than yourself, and then declare it is solely yours by demanding it be taken away from someone else. You cannot demand that something that has shaped entire arcs of history conform to your view and change into something it is not, cannot be, nor has ever been. Imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination, and positive change mostly comes very slowly, through incremental changes, one inch at a time. It is not wrong that your demands have not been met, that your opinions have not been agreed with, that your views have not been endorsed, that your perspective has not been accepted. You have the right to earn a place; you do not have the right to be put upon a pedestal. You have the right to speak; you do not have the right to have your voice heard. You have the right to prove yourself correct; you do not have the right to unearned legitimacy. Those things must… Keep Reading

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