The Mystery of Capital

Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
by Hernando de Soto

He keeps saying the same thing over and over again: In the Third World and in former Communist countries, the poor have accrued a huge amount of capital, but they are unable to access this capital in the same way that people are in “the West.”

It is a very interesting book. I think it would be better if the author had a few examples besides real-estate, which stands in for capital throughout most of the book.


a Defense of Human Life
by Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen

A non-Theological defense of the position that from fertilization (either natural, In-vitro, or cloned) a human embryo deserves all the protection extended to adult humans.

After responding to arguments against this position, the authors call for:
1. legislation to protect human embryos from being destroyed for research
2. regulation of the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process so that surplus embryos are not created
3. for fertility clinics and adoption agencies to work together to save the huge number of embryos that were created by current IVF practices.

Matthew 7:3-5

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

From my daily interactions with people, I think that many people would be surprised to find out the sentence after “Hypocrite!” has a practical way to help your brother and yourself so that you can both go forward with clear eyes instead of something like this:

Go away and leave your brother alone, it is none of your dang business what may or may not be in his eye.