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Starting with an 1852 quotation from the great Frederick Douglass, David Hart reflects realistically on America’s history.

George Leef disputes David Colander’s and Roland Kupers’s proposed revision of Leonard Read’s justly celebrated essay “I, Pencil.

I’m delighted that Alex Pollock likes my Hayek book.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Jeremy Bulow and Kenneth Rogoff ponder Greece’s largely self-inflicted predicament.  (gated)  A slice:

The real question isn’t how Europe responds, it is how Athens responds. Greece must somehow find a way to shape itself into a modern European state. That remains possible in the long run, but it is discouraging to hear elements of the Syriza brain trust still seemingly intent on turning their country’s economy into Cuba’s or Venezuela’s

Lawrence Samuels explains the socialist nature of fascism.  A slice:

Interestingly, Mussolini found much of John Maynard Keynes’s economic theories consistent with fascism, writing: “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics. There is scarcely anything to object to in it and there is much to applaud.”

Shawn Regan on the economics of bees.

Matt Ridley explains that policy-based data are all-too-common in today’s climate science.  A slice:

Today’s climate science, as Ian Plimer points out in his chapter in The Facts, is based on a “pre-ordained conclusion, huge bodies of evidence are ignored and analytical procedures are treated as evidence”. Funds are not available to investigate alternative theories. Those who express even the mildest doubts about dangerous climate change are ostracised, accused of being in the pay of fossil-fuel interests or starved of funds; those who take money from green pressure groups and make wildly exaggerated statements are showered with rewards and treated by the media as neutral.

Look what happened to a butterfly ecologist named Camille Parmesan when she published a paper on “Climate and Species Range” that blamed climate change for threatening the Edith checkerspot butterfly with extinction in California by driving its range northward. The paper was cited more than 500 times, she was invited to speak at the White House and she was asked to contribute to the IPCC’s third assessment report.

Unfortunately, a distinguished ecologist called Jim Steele found fault with her conclusion: there had been more local extinctions in the southern part of the butterfly’s range due to urban development than in the north, so only the statistical averages moved north, not the butterflies. There was no correlated local change in temperature anyway, and the butterflies have since recovered throughout their range.  When Steele asked Parmesan for her data, she refused. Parmesan’s paper continues to be cited as evidence of climate change. Steele meanwhile is derided as a “denier”. No wonder a highly sceptical ecologist I know is very reluctant to break cover.


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