Lecturas 09.12.2012

Por la libertad de Calixto, por Lilianne Ruíz.

Pido a mis lectores solidaridad para con Calixto y que me ofrezcan alguna idea pensada con objetividad y ateniéndose a las actuales circunstancias, para conseguir sacarlo de la cárcel adonde ha sido arrojado de la manera más arbitraria y tramposa, como pretendían hacerlo con Rodiles, como lo han hecho con tantas personas antes.

Starving for Historical Accuracy, by Don Boudreaux.

After defeating James II in 1690, victorious protestants subjected Catholics – Ireland’s majority population – to cruel restrictions on land ownership and leasing. These policies led most of Ireland’s people to farm plots that were inefficiently small and on which the Irish had no incentives to make long-term improvements. As a result, agricultural productivity in Ireland stagnated, and the high-yield, highly nutritious, labor-intensive potato became the dominant crop. In combination with other discriminatory measures that obstructed Catholics from participating in modern commerce – measures that kept far too large a portion of Ireland’s population practicing subsistence agriculture well into the 19th century – this over-dependence on the potato spelled doom when in 1845 that crop became infected with the fungus Phytophthora infestans.

Shale gas could cut energy bills, by Matt Ridley.

Cheap energy is the surest way to encourage economic growth. It was cheap coal that fuelled the Industrial Revolution, enabling British workers with steam-driven machinery to be far more productive than their competitors in Asia and Europe in the 19th century. The discovery, 12 years ago, of how to use pressurised water (with less than 1 per cent kitchen-sink chemicals added), instead of exotic guar gel made from Indian beans, to crack shale and release gas has now unleashed an energy revolution almost as far-reaching as the harnessing of Newcastle's coal.

Cartoon lessons, by Don boudreaux.

The very same process is true of factories and machines and workers. It might be that the entrepreneur with the best idea for how to use a particular factory and its machines and workers to produce maximum value is an American. But fewer than 5 percent of the world's people live in America. So it is inevitable that the best and most creative ideas for how to use particular assets that are located in America will often be possessed by non-Americans.

Guinea: Step Up Efforts to Ensure Justice for Stadium Massacre, by Human Rights Watch.

The 58-page report, “Waiting for Justice: Accountability before Guinea’s Courts for the September 28, 2009 Stadium Massacre, Rapes, and Other Abuses,” analyzes Guinea’s efforts to hold those responsible for the crimes to account. On that day, several hundred members of Guinea’s security forces burst into a stadium in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters peacefully gathered there. By late afternoon, at least 150 Guineans lay dead or dying, and dozens of women had suffered brutal sexual violence, including individual and gang rape. More than three years later, those implicated have yet to be held accountable.

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