by John Charalambakis
Lorenzo the Magnificent (the scion of the Medici banking family), whose lending institution dominated not only Florence but much of Europe, was also a poet influenced by Horace and Catullus. The Latin phrase above reflects the first two lines of one of his sonnets. Here is a translation of the beginning of that sonnet:
“How vain is every hope, each breath.
How false is every single plan.
How full of ignorance is man
Against the monstrous mistress, Death”by
The Western and pro-European Reform Party reached 30 out of total 101 seats and re-affirmed its position as the strongest political force in the parliament. Social Democrats, the current coalition partner of the Reform Party, gained 15 seats. Both ruling parties suffered minor losses in the number of seats compared to the year 2011. Centre Party, the opposition leader, won 27 seats, which means an improvement by one mandate, and is the second strongest party. However, it is likely to end in the opposition again as none of the established parties is keen on cooperating with it. A three-party coalition seems inevitable.by
by Alfredo Pascual
I just came back to Germany after attending the last International Students For Liberty Conference (“http://isflc.org/”) in Washington DC. More than 1,700 libertarians from all over the world poured into the biggest libertarian conference organized by and for students.The program was very promising, featuring a variety of great speakers such as Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, Vicente Fox, Justin Amash, David Boaz, Deirdre McCloskey, and Edward Snowden via videoconference. Nevertheless, those big names and many others were just a part of the picture. Libertarians gathered together there, not only to hear speakers talk, but also to network with other fellow students, exchange ideas and last but not least, to have a lot fun.by
One of the social mythologies of our time is that it is in the power and ability of governments to remake society in any image or shape that those with political authority consider “good,” “right,” and “just” for mankind. No other idea has caused more horror and hardship in modern times.
The extreme attempts at such “social engineering” in the twentieth century were in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. The communists believed that man is the product of his social institutions.by
The starting point for any serious reflection on our subject is the fact that money production does not bring about uniform and simultaneous changes. An increasing money supply tends to entail a higher money price level, but the individual prices change at different points of time and each to a different extent (i.e., Cantillon effects).by
by Anton Toursinov
People suffering from mental disorders, vulgarly called “mad,” sometimes provoke smiles, or in the worst cases, discrimination and shame. Many of them are inoffensive, while some are secluded in psychiatric hospitals where they are supported and monitored away from society, in case they prove a danger to their families or other people.
And although the saying goes that “the wise man learns from the mistakes of others,” it perhaps seems that the people, those who take decisions in democracies, would rather play Russian roulette than learn from the mistakes of history.by
by Sydney Williams
For those of us in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, February seemed longer than twenty-eight days. March, which in three weeks will welcome spring, arrived just in time. Temperatures in the single digits, with piles of snow that while beautiful appear will never melt, defined our days and nights. The wind whistling across the river left drifts as high as the stockade fence that separates us from our neighbor.by
by Iain Martin
From outside the US it is easy to see the 2016 presidential election purely in terms of a dynastic clash between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Will Hillary overcome the concerns that she wants to win but cannot figure out what she wants to do with the office other than be President? Can Bill behave himself during the campaign? Is the likeable Jeb too tainted by association with his brother to win the Republican nomination even though the former Governor of Florida is raising a lot of money? Can Jeb’s advisors convince him to invest in some decent suits and ties that don’t look as though they were bought 10 years ago at Walmart?by
A triumph of “free expression and democratic principles”? How stupid do they think we are?
It’s been painful to watch the gradual tightening of government control in the name of net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to rewrite the rules and declare the Internet as a public utility seals the deal. It cartelizes the industry and turns a “Wild West” into a planned system of public management — or at least intends to.by
The cultural panic about the enormous commercial success of 50 Shades of Grey has gone on for years, and, from that, you might get the impression that the story romanticizes unspeakable things.
Though I’ve not read the book, my impression from the movie was entirely opposite. It is not a hymn to the secret glories of BDSM. It is a sophisticated allegory that takes apart, and ultimately condemns in the strongest terms, the psychological foundations of seemingly consensual human relationships that are actually based on dependency, abuse, and power.by