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NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | September 3, 2013
Shepherdstown's Really, Really Free Market reopened Sunday to wide acclaim from many of its former patrons. However, it was not on the wall in front of McMurran Hall, where it ran for four years, but just around the corner on North King Street, sandwiched between Reynolds Hall and Town Hall. This time around, the market is out of the reaches of Shepherd University. In April, the three-member McMurran Hall board of trustees kicked it off the wall. The board members are appointed by the university to manage McMurran Hall “in the public interest.” The trustees and university officials ruled in April that “The use of the grounds of historic McMurran Hall by the Really, Really Free Market is not in keeping with its institutional polices for use of the facility.” At that time, it had just opened for its fifth season, said Robbie Glenn, 24, a local resident and Shepherd senior, who organized the market with a handful of volunteers in 2007.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | April 21, 2013
The Really Really Free Market, a public exchange of unwanted stuff, has occupied the wall in front of Shepherd University's McMurran Hall in downtown Shepherdstown one weekend a month for the last five summers. It was a popular greeting spot, a place where the discards of daily living are dropped off to be taken to another home to be reused, reread or reworn. It was all of those things and more until earlier this month, when Shepherd University officials told the free market organizers that they could no longer set it up on the wall.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | April 28, 2013
The wall in front of Shepherd University's McMurran Hall Sunday was again graced with the unwanted flotsam of daily living in open defiance of an edict earlier this month by the McMurran Hall Board of Trustees and university officials that evicted the community Really Really Free Market. Two maverick downtown businesswomen, Lillian Potter-Saum, owner of The Local Source at 133 1/2 W. German St., and Maria Allen, owner of Maria's Taqueria at 111 W. German St., said they reopened the market on their own to protest the closing and to show support for the volunteers who established it five years ago. Robbie Glenn, a 24-year-old Shepherd student, organized the market with three friends as a community service and greeting place where residents could drop off or pick up unwanted household and other goods.
NEWS
by GEORGE MICHAEL | July 16, 2006
With gas prices creeping back up again, we will be hearing a lot of whining about big bad oil companies and "price gouging. " The term "price gouging" was in the news a lot last fall during the big spike in gas prices following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In free markets, price gouging is not an issue. It is only an issue in socialist economies and in markets where no competition is allowed. For instance, a beer at Camden Yards sells for $3.50, which works out to more than $20 a gallon.
NEWS
By ALLAN POWELL | December 10, 2009
The outrage at the unconscionable behavior of the financial elite is appropriate. We now hope that the halls of Congress are vibrating because of the populist fury. Reports of committee hearings are encouraging about the clarity of rebuke they deserve and the will to put checks on their excesses. At this moment, stories of financial abuse continue to show a lack of shame and little interest for reform. AIG, for example, was saved from collapse by the infusion of $180 billion of taxpayer money.
OPINION
By ALLAN POWELL | July 18, 2012
Thom Hartmann, author of “Threshold,” is a well known and admired radio talk-show host. Thom is an idealist, dreamer and reformer with energy to burn. His research data is accurate and up to date. But one wonders if there is an interested audience for three abstract topics: environmental deterioration, free market myths, and the population explosion? Reduced to its bare essence, Hartmann argues that, “The world is right now tottering atop three major thresholds: an environment that is so afire it may soon no longer be able to support human life; an economic “free market” system that is almost entirely owned, run, and milked by a tiny fraction of 1 percent of us and has crashed and in many ways is burning around us; and an explosion of human flesh on the planet that has turned our species into a global Petri dish just waiting for an infective agent to run amok.” None of these conditions is new and yet one gets the distinct impression that the general public is neither interested nor concerned.
OPINION
By ALLAN POWELL | June 1, 2012
The recent disclosure of JP Morgan Chase's losses of more than $2 billion in a few weeks generated two types of alarm. One was that we were too lax in our regulatory measures that restrain risky investment bank speculation. Others were alarmed about the possibility of an overreaction that would result in hasty controls which would stifle the free market. After all, they argued, JP Morgan Chase has assets of more than $2.3 trillion, which makes it evident that neither they, nor the economy, were endangered by this momentary embarrassment.
NEWS
By ALLAN POWELL | May 20, 2009
On the first program of the new year of 2009 (Jan. 4), John McLaughlin, the feisty moderator of "The McLaughlin Group," made a bold prediction: American capitalism would undergo a significant alteration in the coming year. Since then, a literal "flood" of analysts have written columns of support for this thesis. McLaughlin suggested the term "managed capitalism" to describe this altered politico-economic arrangement. This shift leftward, it is asserted, is the consequence of the failure of the free market economy which brought about massive financial aid dubbed "Wall Street Socialism" and "Corporate Welfare" by critics.
OPINION
May 24, 2013
Jeremy Rifkin's “The Third Industrial Revolution” is so rich in important ideas that it seemed worthy of more attention than a single column. Rifkin's big idea is that we must recognize the consequences of trends that threaten the very existence of our planet. Our massive use of fossil fuels is spoiling plant and animal life. Rifkin is a significant force in leading all responsible governments to shift to the use of renewable sources of energy: solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass.
NEWS
June 2, 1997
In the past 20 years, we've seen grocery stores come and go in downtown Hagerstown. Grand Union on Baltimore Street became Community Market, then closed. The A&P on Potomac Street became Sword's Market, then closed. The Martin's Supermarket on Cleveland Avenue, on the fringe of downtown, moved to a larger location on U.S. 40 East. None of these decisions were driven by a dislike of downtown, or the people who live there. It was business, pure and simple, and getting a store to provide better service to downtown residents will take more than the petition drive currently under way. What will it take?
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | September 3, 2013
Shepherdstown's Really, Really Free Market reopened Sunday to wide acclaim from many of its former patrons. However, it was not on the wall in front of McMurran Hall, where it ran for four years, but just around the corner on North King Street, sandwiched between Reynolds Hall and Town Hall. This time around, the market is out of the reaches of Shepherd University. In April, the three-member McMurran Hall board of trustees kicked it off the wall. The board members are appointed by the university to manage McMurran Hall “in the public interest.” The trustees and university officials ruled in April that “The use of the grounds of historic McMurran Hall by the Really, Really Free Market is not in keeping with its institutional polices for use of the facility.” At that time, it had just opened for its fifth season, said Robbie Glenn, 24, a local resident and Shepherd senior, who organized the market with a handful of volunteers in 2007.
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OPINION
May 24, 2013
Jeremy Rifkin's “The Third Industrial Revolution” is so rich in important ideas that it seemed worthy of more attention than a single column. Rifkin's big idea is that we must recognize the consequences of trends that threaten the very existence of our planet. Our massive use of fossil fuels is spoiling plant and animal life. Rifkin is a significant force in leading all responsible governments to shift to the use of renewable sources of energy: solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | April 28, 2013
The wall in front of Shepherd University's McMurran Hall Sunday was again graced with the unwanted flotsam of daily living in open defiance of an edict earlier this month by the McMurran Hall Board of Trustees and university officials that evicted the community Really Really Free Market. Two maverick downtown businesswomen, Lillian Potter-Saum, owner of The Local Source at 133 1/2 W. German St., and Maria Allen, owner of Maria's Taqueria at 111 W. German St., said they reopened the market on their own to protest the closing and to show support for the volunteers who established it five years ago. Robbie Glenn, a 24-year-old Shepherd student, organized the market with three friends as a community service and greeting place where residents could drop off or pick up unwanted household and other goods.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | April 21, 2013
The Really Really Free Market, a public exchange of unwanted stuff, has occupied the wall in front of Shepherd University's McMurran Hall in downtown Shepherdstown one weekend a month for the last five summers. It was a popular greeting spot, a place where the discards of daily living are dropped off to be taken to another home to be reused, reread or reworn. It was all of those things and more until earlier this month, when Shepherd University officials told the free market organizers that they could no longer set it up on the wall.
OPINION
By ALLAN POWELL | July 18, 2012
Thom Hartmann, author of “Threshold,” is a well known and admired radio talk-show host. Thom is an idealist, dreamer and reformer with energy to burn. His research data is accurate and up to date. But one wonders if there is an interested audience for three abstract topics: environmental deterioration, free market myths, and the population explosion? Reduced to its bare essence, Hartmann argues that, “The world is right now tottering atop three major thresholds: an environment that is so afire it may soon no longer be able to support human life; an economic “free market” system that is almost entirely owned, run, and milked by a tiny fraction of 1 percent of us and has crashed and in many ways is burning around us; and an explosion of human flesh on the planet that has turned our species into a global Petri dish just waiting for an infective agent to run amok.” None of these conditions is new and yet one gets the distinct impression that the general public is neither interested nor concerned.
OPINION
By ALLAN POWELL | June 1, 2012
The recent disclosure of JP Morgan Chase's losses of more than $2 billion in a few weeks generated two types of alarm. One was that we were too lax in our regulatory measures that restrain risky investment bank speculation. Others were alarmed about the possibility of an overreaction that would result in hasty controls which would stifle the free market. After all, they argued, JP Morgan Chase has assets of more than $2.3 trillion, which makes it evident that neither they, nor the economy, were endangered by this momentary embarrassment.
OPINION
February 3, 2012
“Let's talk about the caller from Williamsport's view on President Obama and what he has done in the past three years. Who do you think gave the declaration to Panetta to take out Osama bin Laden, and the night of the State of the Union, to rescue those two hostages held in Somalia for three months? Did you give those declarations, or did Mickey Mouse? Of course not. It was our great president. You need to wake up. I would be ashamed to be so out of touch.” - Hagerstown “This is on the president's State of the Union address.
OPINION
By ALLAN POWELL | July 1, 2011
One might be accused of insanity for attempting to tackle the likes of Adam Smith in their “sunset years.” Still, it seemed worth a try and, on reflection, it was worth the effort. Smith’s monumentally famous, “An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” is considered to be one of the most remarkable books ever written. It has been in demand since first written and has been translated into many languages. Adam Smith was well-prepared to author what has been called “the Bible of capitalism.” He is described as a polymath who lectured in logic, science and moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow.
OPINION
By GEORGE MICHAEL | skythorn33@aol.com | April 27, 2011
The Obama administration announced last week that it would be investigating oil companies and oil markets to uncover possible fraud, price gouging and manipulation by speculators.   Are you kidding me? The president knows that the public is generally suspicious of oil companies, so this plays well politically. He also needs a scapegoat. It is sheer hypocrisy to affix blame to the oil companies when it is the administration's very own policies that are contributing to the problem.
NEWS
By ALLAN POWELL | December 10, 2009
The outrage at the unconscionable behavior of the financial elite is appropriate. We now hope that the halls of Congress are vibrating because of the populist fury. Reports of committee hearings are encouraging about the clarity of rebuke they deserve and the will to put checks on their excesses. At this moment, stories of financial abuse continue to show a lack of shame and little interest for reform. AIG, for example, was saved from collapse by the infusion of $180 billion of taxpayer money.
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