There’s no shortage of adequate writers and an adequate supply of opinionators. This is my (b)log.

Complete history of the Soviet Union

in under seven minutes


George Orwell’s 1984 free audio

Downloadable and free (who doesn’t like free?). Work for All Network »


The Nolan Chart

This survey can help participants define their political persuasion beyond the conventional two-dimensional left-right axis. The categories are centrist, conservative, liberal, libertarian and statist. Results include listings of public figures according to category.
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It’s a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and
Public Crimes

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

Excerpt: We are surrounded by miracles created in the private sector, particularly in the digital universe, and yet we don’t appreciate them enough. Meanwhile, the public sector is systematically wrecking the physical world in sneaky and petty ways that really do matter.

Jeffrey Tucker, in this follow-up to his Bourbon for Breakfast, draws detailed attention to both. He points out that the products of digital capitalism are amazing, astounding, beyond belief – more outrageously advanced than anything the makers of the Jetsons could even imagine. With this tiny box in hand, we can do a real-time video chat with anyone on the planet and pay nothing more than my usual service fee. This means that anyone on the planet can do business with and be friends with any other person on the globe. The borders, the limits, the barriers – they are all being blasted away.
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The Index of Economic Freedom

Excerpt: For over a decade, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom.

What is economic freedom?
Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.
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Rank 2010/2012 (score from 1 – 100 | change/trend)

2010                                                                  2012
1 ]   Hong Kong   89.7  |  0.0 / 0.3-                   Hong Kong   89.9  |  .2+
2 ]   Singapore   87.2   |  1.1 / 1.0-                   Singapore   87.5   |  .3+
3 ]   Australia   82.5   |  0.1 / 0.0                       Australia   83.1   |  .6+
4 ]   New Zealand   82.3  |  0.2 / 0.1+               New Zealand   82.1  |  .2-
5 ]   Switzerland   81.9  |  0.8 / 1.7+                  Switzerland   81.1  |  .8-
6 ]   Canada   80.8   |  0.4 / 0.1-                       Canada   79.9   |  .9-
7 ]  Ireland   78.7   |  2.6 / 0.9-                          Chile    78.3   |  .9+
8 ]  Denmark   78.6  |  0.7 / 1.7+                       Mauritius   77.0   |  .8+
9 ]  United States   77.8  |  0.2 / 2.7-                 Ireland    76.9   |  1.8-
10] Bahrain   77.7  |  1.4 +                                 United States   76.3   |  1.5-

A related study with slightly different results can be found from the Fraser Institute »


List of countries by Failed States Index

From Wikipedia

Excerpt: This is a list of countries by order of appearance in the Failed States Index of the United States Fund for Peace. A failed state has several attributes. Common indicators include a state whose central government is so weak or ineffective that it has little practical control over much of its territory; non-provision of public services; widespread corruption and criminality; refugees and involuntary movement of populations; sharp economic decline.
Read on »