News and Events - October 2000
Objectivist Center Fall Conference
The Objectivist Center holds it’s fall event this year during the October 14-15 weekend at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, Times Square, New York City. The theme is "Individualism: The Once and Future Reign of an Ideal." Speakers include David Kelley, Ed Hudgins, Jose Pinera, Frank H. Brooks, and Nell Robinson. John Stossel will deliver the banquet address on Saturday evening. Prices range from $75-$250.
Program details and online registration form are available at http://www.objectivistcenter.org/events/Fall2000.asp or call 1-800-374-1776.
Cato University 2000
The Cato Institute heads to Montreal for 2-1/2 days of talks from October 19-23. Cost is $850 for individuals and $1400 for couples. Speakers include Tom G. Palmer, Ted Galen Carpenter, Alan Kors, Charles Murray and Roger Pilon. Additional details and registration information are available on-line at http://www.cato-university.org or call (202) 842-0200.
Stupid Things Clinton’s Doing, Part 674
President Clinton formally inaugurated a $1.3 billion "Plan Colombia" U.S. aid package to fight drugs in Colombia, insisting that the commitment of U.S. troops and military hardware would not lead to another Vietnam-style quagmire.
Ayn Rand’s New York
"And Here’s To You, Mrs. Rosenbaum" was the title of Gary Shapiro’s column in Forward, a Jewish weekly last month. Shapiro follows Ayn Rand trivia buff Fred Cookinham on his walking tour of "Ayn Rand’s Manhattan" where he points out the places Rand had a connection with. The text is available on-line at www.forward.com/BACK/2000/00.08.18/knickerbocker.html.
Libertarians Get Ugly
For the second time, Harry Browne was voted the Libertarian Party’s Presidential candidate, defeating Don Gorman, Barry Hess and late-entrant Jacob "Bumper" Hornberger by a wide margin. Art Olivier joins the ticket in the Vice-Presidential slot. Behind the scenes, things got pretty nasty, with the Hornberger and Browne camps exchanging harsh words and accusations. See http://www.jacobghornberger.com for the gory details.
Bootlegging Beyond Napster
The best commentary yet on the complex legal issues raised by the lawsuits against the makers of the music piracy facilitation program "Napster" was published in Reason magazine. The piece discusses the implications of the technology it represents for the recording industry, and how the Internet is changing the relationships between music publishers, artists, customers and broadcasters. See http://www.reason.com/0010/fe.jw.music.html.
• James Bovard, Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years. St. Martin’s Press, 2000. HC $26.95. 352 pp. To read a sample chapter of Feeling Your Pain, check out http://www.jamesbovard.com.
• Joel Slemrod (ed.), Does Atlas Shrug? The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich. Harvard University Press, 2000. HC $55.00. 640 pp.
• Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling, Jr. The Satanic Gases: Clearing The Air About Global Warming. Cato Institute, 2000. SC $10.95. 224 pp.
• Richard L. Stroup and Roger E. Meiners (eds.), Cutting Green Tape: Toxic Pollutants, Environmental Regulation and the Law. Transaction Publishers, 2000. SC $26.95. 278 pp.
Antitrust Czar Joel Klein Whimps Out
On January 18th, Klein told an audience at North Carolina State University that his conviction in the merits of antitrust regulation is so strong, "I will debate that anytime, anywhere, with any libertarian" ("He Plays Monopoly for Keeps" by Christina Dyrness, The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC,1/19/00). Robert Latham, Public Affairs Director at the Independent Institute, couldn’t refuse the challenge and wrote to Klein to take him up on what proved to be an empty offer. Six months later, his office sent out a reply backing out of any "public debate relating to United States v. Microsoft Corp." See http://www.independent.org/ for more on this issues.
Where is Howard Roark When You Need Him?
In the Sports section of The New York Times on Thursday, August 31, George Vecsey has an article on watching the U.S. Open tennis tournament. He bemoans the fact that the new Arthur Ashe Stadium is so big that there are "tiers of seats stretching up to the Delta Shuttle," and that many of the seats are empty. He says "... nobody has yet performed the Fountainhead thing and pushed the plunger, so they could start all over."
Government Spending Is Still out of Control
In Stephen Moore and Stephen Slivinski’s "The Return of the Living Dead: Federal Programs That Survived the Republican Revolution," (http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-375es.html) the authors document that government spending in exactly those programs and departments tagged for abolition by the "Contract With America" in 1994 have spiraled upwards.
The growth in living-dead programs is part of an overall budget expansion. From fiscal year 1998 to FY 2000, nondefense domestic spending has grown by more than 14 percent, after adjusting for inflation. A major reason for all the new spending is the inability or unwillingness of Republicans to eliminate virtually any government program.
Weed, Gary Johnson, and the Freedom to Inhale
A New York Times Magazine (8/20/00) story on "the iconoclastic governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson" answers the question "how did a hokey role model like Johnson come to be viewed by the drug policy establishment as a threat to the nation’s youth?" The answer: "By acting like the uncompromising heroes in the Ayn Rand novels. See http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/20000820mag-drugwar.html.
Free-Market.net Celebrates Five Years
The biggest, baddest libertarian portal on the planet is five years old. Kudos to Chris Whitten and colleagues for all their hard work.
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