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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

1. Of what relevance is freedom of speech to a businessman? In her re-posted review of Steve Simpson's Defending Free Speech, Jaana Woiceshyn answers in part:
The ability to adhere to reality, to apply the principle of rationality, has one crucial social condition: freedom. If companies cannot freely implement the business ideas they have, by choosing what to produce, who to employ, how to finance the operation, to whom to advertise, they are reduced to mere tools of the state in a centrally-planned economy. Such state-controlled businesses cannot flourish, nor can the rest of us who depend on the material values that can only be created by adhering to reality (as opposed to by government bureaucrat's arbitrary decree that ignores facts, such as market demand, costs, innovation, etc.).

An important aspect of the freedom to exercise reason is the freedom of speech: the liberty to express opinions and to persuade others, whether to advertise one's products, to raise capital, to contract suppliers, or to recruit employees. Taking this freedom away also severely undermines companies' ability to create material values.
This is a timely post, especially given the disappointing number of conservatives lately who have been threatening freedom of speech (in the form of proposals to regulate social media companies) in the name of protecting it.

2. Have you ever felt guilty about an unfinished daily agenda? If so, head on over to Thinking Directions. There, you will find some advice on understanding the emotion and how to act on the knowledge. Part of her advice underscores the importance of quickly determining whether you really deserve to feel guilty:
If you decide the guilt was unearned, the relief is immense. Then I recommend you switch the thinking to, "how can I troubleshoot this concrete problem so I can achieve what's most important to me?"

If you decide the guilt was earned, I recommend you mourn for a moment, and then you switch your thinking to, "How can I be the person I want to be? How do I repair or remedy this situation?" Your willingness to recognize a mistake and take action to correct it reinforces your sense of pride -- your moral ambitiousness -- and will give you the confidence to continue.
But there's much more in the rest of the post, which I recommend reading in its entirety.

3. Did you miss out on the recent OCON 2019 in Cleveland? If so, you can get a sense of it from Scott Holleran's review:
Though I was unable to attend several major lectures and courses, I enjoyed Shoshana Milgram's newest work on the splendor of Victor Hugo and I would've liked to have seen Dr. Milgram, an English literature professor and Rand's biographer, on the arts panels. My personal favorite presentation was Stephen Siek's marvelous, two-part lecture about and biographical introduction to Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose struggle, work and life are as larger than life, passionate and inspiring as his music. This type of mini-course makes OCON uniquely enriching. OCON ought to let those who attend be greedy for more.
As someone who has been unable to attend in years, I found it interesting to read Holleran's thoughts and observations on how OCON has changed over time.

4. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, what is it? If you're a jurist with the Court of Appeals First District of Texas, you might answer, Peacock!:
I'd call this a duck. (Image by Zdeněk Macháček, via Unsplash, license.)
Whether historic preservation is part of a zoning ordinance or not is irrelevant. Historic preservation and zoning share a fundamental characteristic: Both prohibit owners from using their property as they choose without first obtaining government permission. Both subject property owners to the demands and dictates of others.

That the preservation ordinance applies only to specific areas of the city does not change its fundamental nature. It is zoning applied to specific districts.
I agree with the folks at the Texas Institute for Property Rights on that assessment.

-- CAV

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