Assorted Links (9/28/2011)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Christian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces potential execution

www.washingtonpost.com

“Just days after Iran released two Americans accused of spying in Iran, an Iranian court has upheld the apostasy conviction and execution sentence of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.”

Jessy Dixon, Gospel Legend, Dead at 73

www.spinner.com

This morning, I was saddened to hear of Jessy Dixon’s passing. I had the privilege of touring with Jesse as a member of the Jessy Dixon Singers (I didn’t sing, rather, I played sax and flute) from 1978-1980. Jessy was a wonderful Christian man, and I have many fond memories of playing in concerts with him and the likes of the Thompson Community Singers, Andre Crouch and the Disciples, Billy Preston, the Hawkins Family, the Mighty Clouds of Joy and others. Rest in peace, Jessy! (be sure to watch his performance of “I am Redeemed” (at http://bit.ly/ozEcqZ) on the steps of the US Capital!)…

The Heresies of Chris Christie

www.theatlantic.com

“In his speech at the Reagan Library, the outspoken New Jersey governor challenged his fellow conservatives on four vital points.”

The President’s third goal for tax reform: raise taxes

keithhennessey.com

“The President’s goal of raising taxes undermines his goal of increasing investment and growth.”

John Steele Gordon: A Short History of the Income Tax

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, John Steele Gordon writes that one original sin was the separation of the corporate and personal tax, giving lawyers, accountants and the wealthy a chance to game the system.”

McGurn: Granholm’s Perfect Bad Example – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Main Street columnist William McGurn writes about former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s failures—and what they tell us about the Obama administration.”

Matt Ridley: From Phoenecia to Hayek to the ‘Cloud’ – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Matt Ridley writes that human progress has always depended on spontaneous collaboration to harness dispersed knowledge.”

Merrill Matthews: Perry Is Right—There Is a Texas Model for Fixing Social Security – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Cross Country column, Merrill Matthews writes that public employees in three Texas counties have benefited from an ‘Alternate Plan’ for 30 years.”

Susan Collins: The Economy Needs a Regulation Time-Out – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Maine Senator Susan Collins says that creating more rules for American business will drive jobs overseas.”

Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian: Stimulus and the Depression—The Untold Story – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian say that government manipulation of aggregate demand did not rescue the country from the Great Depression. Increased productivity led the recovery.”

Sally Pipes: The Census, ObamaCare and the Uninsured – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Pacific Research Institute President Sally Pipes writes that the percentage of Americans lacking health insurance will not decline until the economy recovers, but ObamaCare’s taxes and regulations will retard economic recovery.”

Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite! | Video on TED.com

www.ted.com

“TED Talks Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension — and our creative thinking. So why do we still feel embarrassed when we’re caught doodling in a meeting? Sunni Brown says: Doodlers, unite! She makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen.”

Good CEOs plan ahead

KeithHennessey.com

“The problem with the President’s tax increase argument is that good CEOs plan ahead.”

Amateur Hour at the White House – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“But at the U.N., Obama stands tall, while Perry makes himself small, Peggy Noonan writes.”

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

mises.org

“Ever since Rick Perry derided Social Security as a Ponzi scheme, economists and other pundits have jumped into the fray. Progressive blogger Matt Yglesias says it’s “nuts” for anyone to talk like this, because Social Security merely relies on future economic growth — just like a private pension plan. Free-market economist Alex Tabarrok responded to Yglesias with links to arch-Keynesians (and Nobel laureates) Paul Samuelson and Paul Krugman, both comparing Social Security to a “Ponzi game.””

Bing West: The Afghan Rescue Mission Behind Today’s Medal of Honor

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Bing West tells the heroic story of Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer, writing that inside a village on the Pakistan border in September 2009, America’s defining values were on display.”

Nicolas Lecaussin: The Trouble With French Banks – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

This article helps to explain (in part) why global stock markets have been selling off at such a torrid pace. Incidentally, economic historians such as Dartmouth University professor Doug Irwin also blame the French for “causing” the Great Depression by hoarding gold – see http://reason.com/blog/2011/03/23/great-depression-a-fistful-of. The main difference now is that the French are effectively “hoarding” sovereign debt of various financially profligate countries like Greece, Italy and Spain…

Jack Bogle: Why Mark Cuban Is Wrong on Investing

online.wsj.com

“Buying and holding stocks and bonds for the long term and maintaining a diversified portfolio are still the smartest strategies for the average investor, says Vanguard founder Jack Bogle.”

Judith Miller: How the NYPD Foiled the Post-9/11 Terror Plots – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Judith Miller writes that New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly allocates some $330 million of his annual budget and 1,200 of his staff to counterterrorism, at home and abroad.”

The Weekend Interview with Michael Mukasey: Two Decades of Pursuing al Qaeda – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, James Taranto interviews Michael Mukasey, the former attorney general who as a federal judge in New York City on 9/11 already knew all about a free society’s vulnerabilities to mass terrorism.”

Michael J. Boskin: The Obama Presidency by the Numbers

online.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Michael J. Boskin writes that President Obama constantly reminds the American people that he was dealt a difficult hand when it comes to the economy—but the evidence is overwhelming that he played it poorly.”

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