Summer book sale @Cato Institute!


Cato Institute
Substantial savings on some of our most popular books.
Save 50% off all Cato e-books.Visit Cato.org/store to view our complete catalog.
The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power
Examines how Americans have expanded presidential power over recent decades by expecting solutions for all national problems, and concludes by calling for the president’s role to return to its properly defined constitutional limits.
Hardback $16.95 $7.95
The Right to Earn a Living jacketThe Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law
Charts the history of the fundamental human right of economic liberty—a right America’s founders thought so basic it didn’t need to be mentioned in the Bill of Rights—and reveals the many ways in which the right to earn a living is threatened today.
Hardback $25.95 $12.95
This antidote to a rising tide of protectionist sentiment offers a defense of free trade, which tells the underreported story of how a more global U.S. economy has created better jobs and higher living standards for American workers.
Hardback $14.95 $7.95
The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves
An inspiring journey into the lives of families and teachers in the poorest communities of India, Africa, and China who have successfully created their own private schools in response to failed public education.
Hardback $12.95 $6.95
Crisis of Abundance jacket Crisis of Abundance:  Rethinking How We Pay for Healthcare
America’s health care troubles largely stem from a great success: modern medicine can do much more today than it could in the past. So, what’s the trouble? How to pay for it. The way we finance health care matches neither the needs of patients nor the way medicine is practiced.
Paperback $7.95 $4.95
How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution jacketHow Progressives Rewrote the Constitution
This book explores the fundamental shift in political and economic thought of the Progressive Era and how the Supreme Court was used to transform the Constitution into one that reflected the ideas of their own time, while undermining America’s founding principles.
Paperback $7.95 $5.95
The Best Laid Plans jacketThe Best Laid Plans:  How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future
Reveals how government attempts to do long-range, comprehensive planning inevitably do more harm than good by choking American cities with congestion, making housing markets more unaffordable, and sending the cost of government infrastructure skyrocketing.
Hardback $14.95 $7.95
The Politics of Freedom jacketThe Politics of Freedom: Taking on the Left, the Right, and Threats to our Liberties
One of the leading libertarian commentators in the nation, David Boaz offers his unique and often surprising views on such hot-button issues as federal spending, individual rights, drugs, immigration, the war on terror, education, and government intrusion into private lives.
Hardback $22.95 $11.95

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Reason.tv: Universidad Francisco Marroquin (aka University of Free Marketeers)


I am a proud member of the faculty and an alumni of Universidad Francisco Marroquin and I was very happy to watch the latest video of Reason.tv.  The video was filmed a couple weeks ago at UFM campus by the team of Paul Feine & Alex Manning who did a wonderful job.

Video: Reason.tv – Universidad Francisco Marroquín

As their website reads,

Guatemala’s Universidad Francisco Marroquín, which economist Walter Williams described as an island of economic sanity in a sea of socialism, is a truly unique place.

Founded by “Muso” Manuel Ayau in 1971, the mission of Universidad Francisco Marroquín is to teach and disseminate the ethical, legal and economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons. In other words, the people at UFM want the people of Guatemala to be free. This is, of course, no small task in a country that has been plagued by political corruption and socialist policies for so long.

However, as UFM graduate Alfredo Guzmán told us, “sometimes thoughts become things.” And Guzmán knows what he’s talking about. In the late 90s, Guzmán and other UFM graduates successfully privatized Guatemala’s state-run telecommunications monopoly and opened up the market to competition. How did that free market experiment work out? In 1995, there were only 300,000 phones in Guatemala; today, 13 million Guatemaltecos own more than 18 million phones.

Audiolibros y podcasts para lectores exigentes


Hace algunos días un lector del blog  escribió preguntando en qué lugares podía encontrar Audiobooks y acá les preparo un listado con 6 sitios que tienen distintos tipos de audiolibros en formato mp3.

Mi sitio favorito por el momento es Audible.com por la calidad de los libros y la excelente producción (Siempre tienen geniales promociones de prueba por un mes).  Este sitio tiene disponibles libros clásicos gratuitos. Sin duda, este servicio de audio libros ha evolucionado de manera impresionante desde que leí (escuché) mi primer audiobook hace más de un lustro.

Los primeros sitios recomendados tienen libros en idioma español (tienen muchas opciones gratuitas):

y estos tienen títulos en inglés:

Además, les recomiendo utilizar el servicio de Podcasts que tiene itunes.  Los podcasts que más escucho de literatura son los siguientes:

Algunos de los títulos que encontrarán en los sitios anteriores son:

  1. War Machine
  2. The Zombie Chronicles: Escape
  3. Space Casey
  4. The Chameleon Chronicles: Colors of Fate
  5. BloodCast, Season 1
  6. Black Star Passes
  7. Murder at Avedon Hill
  8. Crescent
  9. The Prophet of Panamindorah, Book II Wolflings and Wizards
  10. The House of Grey
  11. The Zombie Chronicles: Escape
  12. Iron Dragons: Book 1 – The Saramond Quests
  13. DarkAge
  14. Faithful Warrior
  15. Theft of the Master
  16. The Secret Society of Seven Sorcerers
  17. Spiral
  18. BloodCast, Season 2
  19. Mr. Dead Eyes
  20. Earthcore
  21. 7th Son: Book One – Descent
  22. Singularity
  23. Ancestor
  24. Heaven – Season One
  25. The Immortals
  26. 7th Son: Book Two – Deceit
  27. Brave Men Run
  28. Max Quick 1: The Pocket and the Pendant
  29. How to Succeed in Evil – Volume One
  30. Henry David ThoreauCivil Disobedience y Walden
  31. Plato’s Apology
  32. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  33. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  34. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  35. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  36. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
  37. Dreams from My Father…by Barack Obama
  38. Fortunata y Jacinta
  39. El Retrato de Dorian Gray
  40. Bastiat, Economic Sophisms (1845)
  41. Bastiat, The Law (1850)
  42. Burke, Vindication of Natural Society (1757)
  43. Erasmus, The Complaint of Peace (1521)
  44. Grampp, Economic Liberalism: The Beginnings (1965)
  45. Grampp, Economic Liberalism: The Classical View (1965)
  46. Grampp, The Manchester School of Economics (1960)
  47. Hamilton, Madison, Jay, The Federalist (1787)
  48. Hodgskin, An Essay on Naval Discipline (1813)
  49. Hodgskin, Natural and Artificial Right to Property (1832)
  50. Humboldt, Sphere and Duties of Government (1792)
  51. Jasay, The State (1998)
  52. Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1689)
  53. McIlwain, Constitutionalism: Ancient and Modern (1947)
  54. Mill, On Liberty (1859)
  55. Mill, The Subjection of Women (1869)
  56. Milton, Areopagitica (1664)
  57. Mises, Liberalism (1962)
  58. Mises, Nation, State, and Economy (1919)
  59. Molinari, The Society of Tomorrow (1899)
  60. Smith, The Rationale of Central Banking (1936)
  61. Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)
  62. Spencer, Social Statics (1851)
  63. Trenchard and Gordon, Cato’s Letters (1724)
  64. Voltaire, Candide (1759)
  65. Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

y cientos de clásicos, ensayos, obras de ficción y no-ficción!

Luego de 4 años de prisión para un bloguero


Hace cuatro años un amigo me contó la historia de Kareem.  Desde entonces, publiqué muchos artículos con su historia en mi blog (hackeado en agosto, 2009).  Kareem, es un blogger egipcio que fue encarcelado con tan sólo 19 años de edad.  El gobierno egipcio lo acusó de de traición por escribir en protesta por la dictadura presidencial establecida en Egipto por Hosni Mubarak. La sentencia fue emitida el 22 de febrero de 2007 bajo los cargos ataques contra la religión Islámica suní (3 años de prisión) y 1 año de prisión por difamar al Presidente.  Su tiempo en prisión lo terminó y lamentablemente me he enterado que sigue preso y ha sufrido palizas y tortura por la Inteligencia de Seguridad Estatal Egipcia.

Mi apoyo a este escritor me hizo percatarme por primera ocasión hace cuatro años del poder que la palabra escrita es capaz de generar.  Y a la vez, fue una prueba clara de la importancia que el derecho de libertad de expresión tiene para los ciudadanos de cualquier sistema de gobierno.  Kareem se encuentra preso acusado del crímen de HACER VALER SU DERECHO DE LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN.

El 06 de noviembre de 2008, movimientos alrededor del mundo se organizaron y apoyaron con manifestaciones enfrente de las embajadas de Egipto.  Desde entonces muchos mitines se siguieron organizando y participé en dos ocasiones.

Acá les dejo un link a post previos que he escrito luego de conocer la historia de Kareem: posts sobre Kareem.  Recuerden que la mejor manera para evitar la violación de nuestros derechos es defender el derecho de todos a expresarse en libertad.  Divulguemos esta historia y expliquemos a quienes conozcamos cuan valiosa es la libertad de expresión para continuar en la búsqueda de nuestra felicidad.

¡Recuerden que son libres de expresar sus ideas y sentimientos sin que el gobierno pueda censurarlos!

On Liberty!

Artículos (en inglés):

Your Blessings, O Azhar!
Date written: October 28, 2006
Original (Arabic): بركاتك يا أزهر !!!!
English translation: HTML or PDF
Italian translation: HTML (Translated by eternauti.it)

● There Is No Deity but the Human Being
Date written: September 11, 2006
Original (Arabic): لا إله إلا الإنسان
English translation: HTML or PDF
Italian translation: HTML (Translated by dalMondo.info)

● The University of Terrorism… And An Exposed Security Connivance
Date written: May 7, 2006
Original (Arabic): جامعة الإرهاب .. وتواطؤ أمنى مفضوح
English translation: HTML or PDF

● Posts on the Al-Azhar Investigation and Expulsion
Dates written: March 15 & 17, 2006
Original articles (Arabic): وقائع محكمة تفتيش أزهرية and وحطمت القيود الأزهرية !
English translations: HTML (Partial translations by ‘Free Copts’)

● I Passed the Test, Successfully
Date written: November 20, 2005
Original article (Arabic): وإجتزت الإمتحان … بنجاح
English translation: HTML (Partial translation by ‘Egyptian Blogger’)
Note: This was written shortly after his release from his first arrest in 2005 because of his condemnation of the 2005 Alexandria riots.

● The Naked Truth about Islam As I Saw It In Maharram Beh
Date written: October 22, 2005
Original article (Arabic): حقيقة الإسلام كما شاهدتها عارية فى محرم بك
English translation: HTML (Translated by J. Ahmed Salib)
DISCLAIMER: The creators of the Free Kareem campaign would like to stress the fact that they do not agree with the contents of this article.

● Al-Azhar University and Its Apartheid Policy between Male and Female Students: Shut Down Al-Azhar University
Date written: November 11, 2004
Original (Arabic): جامعة الأزهر …. وسياسة الفصل العنصرى بين الطلبة والطالبات – أغلقوا جامعة الأزهر
English translation: HTML or PDF
(Top)

Lo dijo Mike Wallace hace medio siglo


Los puntos de vista de Ayn Rand son aún relativamente poco conocidos en Estados Unidos.  Pero si alguna vez llegaran a prevaler, revolucionarían nuestras vidas.

La anterior es la opinión del famoso periodista y entrevistador estadounidense Mike Wallace que de esta manera hizo la presentación de Ayn Rand y sus ideas en el programa que grabó en el año 1959.  Han pasado 51 años desde que esta grabación se hizo popular y solamente en el año 2009 se vendió más de 1 millón de obras de sus obras en Estados Unidos.  Sus estudios en filosofía, política y economía son más relevantes que nunca.  Los invito a escuchar esta entrevista dividida en tres partes para conocer su visión de un mundo posible, un mundo en el que los hombres podríamos buscar la felicidad y en el que no habría incentivos para delinquir o violar los derechos de los demás.

¿Y cuál es esa filosofía?

En la filosofía de vida que reconoce que,

  • la realidad existe como absoluta y objetiva,
  • que la mente del hombre utiliza la razón para percibir lo que existe,
  • que la moral es racional y objetiva, y puede explicarse por medio de la lógica.  Es una moralidad que no se basa en la fe, en caprichos arbitrarios o en emociones irracionales,
  • la moral se basa en la vida del hombre como el estándar de valor para tomar decisiones,
  • la razón es absoluta y es la única guía de acción,
  • el hombre debe seguir los juicios independientes de su propia mente,
  • que el logro más importante para el hombre es conseguir su propia felicidad,
  • que el hombre debe respetar a otras personas y no forzarlas a hacer nada, tal y como, esa persona no debe aceptar ser forzada por nadie a actuar contra su voluntad,
  • que cada hombre debe vivir como un fin en sí mismo y perseguir su propio interés racional,

Parte 1

Parte 2

Parte 3

Was it “Give me privacy, or give me death!”?


If you are aware of the philosophy behind the famous The Twilight Zone anthology series created by Rod Serling in the 1960s and then revived in the 1980s you can see what a terrible world we could actually live in.  If you don’t remember this show, I will tell you a little bit about it in order for you to grasp my analogy with the title of this post.

The Twilight Zone is a story in which men live in a sort of gray area in which almost everything (real or fantastic) can occur.  It a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, suspense, and horror that often concluded with a macabre or unexpected twist.  This idea caught my attention when I read the New York Times last weekend.  The title of the article read: “When American and European Ideas of Privacy Collide” and it explored the worth of the ideas of Liberty and Privacy, and of how both terms had a different worth in the codes of values of Americans and Europeans.  As the article read, European courts believed and interpreted customs by acknowledging that the right of an individual to privacy was above the right of any individual to freedom of speech.  As such, the framework in Europe is that of “privacy as a human-dignity right,” while in the U.S. it is only enforced as a  “consumer-protection right.”

It seems that the reason why privacy has such an important stand in European legislation goes back to Nazi Germany.  Fred H. Cate, a law professor at Indiana University explains that “The privacy protections we see reflected in modern European law are a response to the Gestapo and the Stasi” and in the way they kept under surveillance their citizens during the hardest times of the national-socialist government.

While there are historical precedents for this change of perspective, its justification is philosophical.  European Constitutional law regards in the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights that, “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”  This means that an individual in Europe can be free only if he doesn’t violate whatever is to considered private by someone.

It is in that article of the European Convention of Human Rights that the philosophical dilemma exists.  Who’s to determine what privacy, and a violation of it, actually is will depend on the case by case evaluation of evidence regarding a demand.  As such, in Europe men are free only if they do not violate what a privileged group will consider to be private or not.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution on the other hand, regards freedom of speech as one of the most important rights of men.  As such, It considers it is considered by American framework that an individual’s right to free speech is necessary for him to claim that his rights to privacy have been violated.  The article reads,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

To consider of privacy as a right above an individuals’ right to speech will take us into a horrendous time travel fantasy of sorts in which men will not be free at all to speak their minds.  It will only allow for a -Twilight Zone- world in which the interests of a small group of privileged men, corporations and corrupts will be protected and enforced by government.  Government will then be able of practicing censorship to those individuals that they consider to have violated someone’s privacy.  It will open the doors to a fantasy world in which a men would have never been able of screaming like Patrick Henry did in March 23, 1775, at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia,

Give me Liberty, or give me Death!