Archive for Education

Even More Cartoons

Dave Killion — March 26, 2012

It turns out that Harding College helped produce more than the three cartoons that G and I blogged about. Here is a fourth, called “Why Play Leapfrog?” –

Each of these animations were produced by John Sutherland, who worked with Disney in the 1930s and 40s before going on to start John Sutherland Productions. During that time he created several more animations concerning the free market and its workings. Here are a few –




I know this is a lot of material, so just remember they’re here for you to come back and enjoy one at a time.

More Cartoons

Dave Killion — March 24, 2012

G, I don’t if you knew it, but that cartoon you posted yesterday (Make Mine Freedom) was only one of a series of animations produced in part by Harding College (now Harding University). Here are the other two –

“This series… (was) produced by John Southerland Productions as part of a concerted propaganda program to fight against the perceived threats of communism at the beginning of the Cold War using popular media. The animations portray mainstream American values, some of which might now be considered politically “liberal,” yet at the time, they were meant to contrast with the values of Soviet and Maoist socialism. The initiative represented a central concern of Harding president George S. Benson, who believed that fighting socialism was a moral imperative, causing him to abandon the pacifism and political disengagement championed by founding influencesJames A. Harding and David Lipscomb, reversing the university’s course and setting it on its current conservative political trajectory.”

Despite exhorting the value of racial tolerance, there is a stereotypical portrayal of a chinese worker that is unfortunate, but its fun to imagine a “progressive” watching the film and hyperventilating over urban sprawl, pollution, worker exploitation, and so on. Not that those aren’t serious issues, but since the animations are too brief to speak to those subjects, they leave a lot of room for anti-free enterprise types to complain. And as a libertarian, I find the message a little too pro-government for my taste. All the same, they are nice pieces of work. Thanks for reminding me of them.

I Don’t Like the Looks of This

Dave Killion — March 7, 2012


Well, when you put it like that...

British Columbia teachers are on the third day of a three-day strike, the apex of which was a march to the provincial Parliament Building, where teachers protested the bill aimed at forcing an end to their labour dispute  –

“Union leaders looked over an estimated crowd of 5,000 striking teachers and union supporters on the lawns of the legislature at noon Tuesday and hailed it as a shining example of solidarity.

“This is what democracy looks like,” said Susan Lambert, president of the B.C. Teachers Federation.”

She’s right. A powerful special interest group, highly motivated by the possibility of concentrated benefits, lobbies the state with vigour. Meanwhile, the great majority of the public, over whom the costs are spread, find little incentive to fight back.  That is, precisely, what democracy looks like.


Who are the enemies then?

G — March 5, 2012

Investigative journal exposes some of the myths circulating the media recently in its feature article 6 BS Myths you probably believe about America’s enemies.  Too often we’re led to believe the enemies are ‘them’ by those locals capitalizing on existing prejudices or fears of people for their own advantage.  Even the most worldly of libertarians might find some surprises in this gem which leaves one asking… who are the enemies then?

Economic Feeding Frenzy!

Dave Killion — February 26, 2012


This clip features Kevin O’Leary from the ABC show Shark Tank. I first heard of the program from a post at the Mises blog back in July, but never watched it until EconLog’s David Henderson discussed the show last week. I have since been watching one episode after another, and enjoying it very much. The premise is that entrepreneurs get to pitch their ideas to a panel of five wealthy investors, who then grill the candidate for relevant details. The results range from rejection and ridicule to bidding wars between the investors. The show is a gripping demonstration of capitalism in action, and to call the format a success would be an understatement – there is some version of Shark Tank in each of 22 different countries, including Canada.

Watching the show, it struck me that all the investors give much less weight to potential than I would expect. Several times I have seen what I think a brilliant idea, only to see the Sharks reject it based on what they perceive as inadequate performance to date. I suppose experience has taught them to calculate the risks they take very carefully. But I calculate the risk that you will not enjoy Shark Tank to be very small, so by all means, invest a little time.

Well, He DID Learn a Lesson…

Dave Killion — January 31, 2012

His fellow teachers found nothing wrong with his conduct.

A student in Oklahoma used a cell-phone to take a photo of a substitute teacher sleeping on the job. Justice was swift –

The student was later suspended…

… officials said, “A student may possess a telecommunication device while on school premises, but the use of a telecommunication device is not permitted during the school day.

Presumably, everything would have been just hunky-dory if the picture had been taken with a camera. So really, the rule is meant to say that a telecommunication device may not be used for telecommunicating during the day. But then, that would make it harder to punish children for collecting evidence of their parents’ tax dollars being slept away. So remember, kids: the next time you gather proof of bad behaviour on the part of one of your public-sector overlords, be sure to leak it anonymously.

Via Reason.Com


Let the Good Times Roll

Dave Killion — January 25, 2012

Antony, I understand your frustrations exactly (The Burden of Knowledge). Happily, libertarian scholar Walter Block has some good advice for us

“... the fight is so much FUN! So, forget about whether we win or lose. You’re right, we’ll probably lose, at least in the short run. In the long run, who knows?

I urge you to focus, instead, on the sheer pleasure of undermining the world view of the mainstream media, and all those other blowhards in the pulpit, in academia, etc.

Until I read Block’s article I hadn’t realized how much pleasure and satisfaction I have derived from straightening out loud-mouthed economic ignoramuses and know-it-all political naifs. Not to mention providing answers to questions from the more polite and open-minded. It really has provided a great deal of enjoyment. So go on, have a good time!

BTW, that was an outstanding video from Leonard Read and FEE. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Thank Goodness for Exploitation

Dave Killion — January 18, 2012

It’s been too long since we heard from our friends at Calgary Libertarian, so I was delighted to find a new post. It seems Ross Mann doesn’t want this to escape our attention –

“Edgar the Exploiter” is a crowd-funded follow-up to “George Ought to Help“, about which LBC member G posted some time ago. I’m glad to see it, and hope to see more in the not-too-distant future.

Eye Opener

Dave Killion — January 18, 2012

I don’t know what effect the anti-SOPA protest will have, but I won’t be surprised if it results in an increase in donations to Wikipedia. I really had no idea how many times a day I visited their site. Definitely going to send them some money soon!

A fountainhead of Objectivist books

Dave Killion — January 4, 2012

Provided you pledge to read it, a copy of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, or any other Ayn Rand book can be yours, free for the asking. Courtesy of Free Objectivist Books

“This site gets donors to send Objectivist books (books by Ayn Rand or about her philosophy of Objectivism) to students who would like to read them. Our goal is to get more students reading Ayn Rand.”

“Students create a simple public profile with their name and school, and say what book they want to read. Donors browse a list of students and choose which ones they want to send books to. The donors send the books to the students directly.”

Already read Rand? Then go sign up to be a donor, and help save some poor student from the indignity of becoming a progressive or a neo-con.