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The Con in Economics

March 5, 2013 by Tony Noerpel filed under Columns, Sustainable Planet 2 Comments
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“In so far as a theory can be said to have assumptions at all, in so far as their realism can be judged independently of the validity of predictions, the relation between the significance of a theory and the realism of its assumptions is almost the opposite of that suggested by the view under criticism. Truly important and significant hypotheses will be found to have assumptions that are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality and, in general, the more significant the theory, the more unrealistic the assumptions.” Milton Friedman [1].

I first read this remarkable passage by Milton Friedman a few years ago in Steve Keen’s book Debunking Economics [2]. Keen is one of only twelve economists to have predicted the recent great recession [3] so he is entirely credible. Still I’m a skeptical person and with due respect to Friedman I had to read the original paper. Even assuming Keen’s quote is accurate and it is; it may have been taken out of context, and it is not. I found Friedman’s remark so outrageous that I had to comment on it, and apparently so did a whole lot of other people. I came across the original paper along with several critiques by other economists, including Paul Samuelson, and philosophers, including Ernest Nagel, in Bruce Caldwell’s book Appraisal and Criticism in Economics, A book of Readings [4]. Economic methodology is an esoteric subject even for economists but the selections in the book are interesting and expose us to yet another example of how not to think.

Unfortunately, the book contains no critiques of Friedman’s paper by scientists who seem to have ignored him. Scientists at the time were perhaps paying more attention to debunking that other but far less dangerous pseudo scientist Immanuel Velikovsky [5]. While Velikovsky garnered a small following of ordinary people then; he is now largely forgotten. Friedman, on the other hand, had outsized influence with many powerful political leaders including the Iron Lady, the Great Communicator and Pinocchio (for those of you much younger than me: Maggie Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and the ruthless dictator Augusto Pinochet). And though he died in 2006, his ideology still dominates American conservative economics.

While Friedman doesn’t use the term, the methodology he describes in his 1953 paper is called instrumentalism. The economist Lawrence Boland confirmed, from private communications with Freidman that it was still his methodology of choice in 1980 [6] at the height of his influence. To understand what instrumentalism is, it is useful to contrast it with science or the scientific method, which instrumentalism is not.

Science is the collection of data by very careful observation such as the position of the planets and other heavenly bodies and by experiments such as rolling balls down incline planes and carefully recording velocity and acceleration. These are the activities which Johannes Kepler, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei and other scientists exhaustively performed. Scientists then propose hypotheses which explain the collected data. These hypotheses are used to analyze the data and make testable predictions. In the scientific realm hypotheses include their assumptions. This process is a loop where each experiment or observation or calculation produces a better hypothesis or redefines more realistic assumptions over which it applies.

Newton’s law of gravity, which Friedman calls the “law of falling”, predicts the acceleration and velocity of a mass being acted on by a gravitational field in a vacuum. It turns out to accurately explain the orbit of the moon, which is moving in a vacuum, and also quite accurately explain what happens to a hammer if we drop it off a roof which isn’t moving in a vacuum but close enough. And it also explains, despite Friedman’s protestations, the movement of a feather dropped off the same roof and why it will eventually hit the ground even in a gale force wind. It will not achieve escape velocity. Newtonian mechanics explains the motion of a feather provided we include all the forces acting on it as it falls. And as the astronomer David Scott, on Apollo 15, demonstrated, on the moon, in a vacuum, a hammer and a feather do fall at exactly the same rate and hit the moon’s surface at exactly the same time [7]. The point is one cannot separate the theory of gravity from its assumptions. The assumptions are part of the theory and inform us when the theory applies directly and when we must consider other forces or better theories.

Using the “law of falling” to show that unrealistic assumptions, a vacuum, lead to significant theories was an unfortunate choice for Friedman since a vacuum is hardly an unrealistic assumption. In reality the density of atoms in the universe is on the order of a single hydrogen atom for every four cubic meters of volume [8] and thus the assumption of a vacuum holds nearly everywhere in our universe and it is rather parochial to assume that everything takes place in the very thin veneer of the Earth’s atmosphere.

There are other assumptions of Newtonian mechanics which are more limiting such as an absolute space-time reference and that the objects of interest must be traveling much slower than the speed of light. Friedman might have made hay with those but again the reality of the assumptions are part of the theory and the assumptions of Newtonian Mechanics are good enough approximations to reality to put a man on the moon not because Newton’s assumptions are unrealistic but because they are.

Instrumentalism is an entirely different matter. While the goal of science is to understand the natural world; the goal if instrumentalism is to make predictions. According to Friedman, assumptions need not be realistic at all in order to derive a theory, the more unrealistic the better. And the theory can only be judged on the accuracy of its predictions and not the reality of the assumptions. Samuelson points out [9] that Friedman’s use of “unrealistic” is a euphemism for “empirically dead wrong.” Friedman’s argument, which goes on for forty pages, turns out, at least according to Samuelson, to be a rather elaborate justification for the perfectly competitive laissez faire model of the economy and the maximization of profit hypothesis [10]. Keen discusses [2] in great detail why the assumptions leading to Freidman’s economic model and hypothesis really are unrealistic and why exactly that undermines them. Defending rubbish rather than admitting one might be wrong is what Samuelson dubs the Freidman Twist. Paul Samuelson wrote [9]: “The whole force of my attack on the F-twist is that the doughnut of empirical correctness in a theory constitutes its worth, while its hole of untruth constitutes its weakness. I regard it as a monstrous perversion of science to claim that a theory is all the better for its shortcomings; and I notice that in the luckier exact sciences, no one dreams of making such a claim.”

In review, Friedman began with “assumptions that are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality” and when caught instead of the expected mea culpa, he dug a deeper hole defending an untenable position with a weirder hypothesis. Why would such a smart person do this? In The Believing Brain [11], the psychologist Michael Shermer writes “smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.” This is the Friedman Twist.

In my last article I stated that falsifying the assumptions does not disprove any resultant conclusion or theory but after reading the variety of opinion in Caldwell’s book, I’ve changed my mind. If the assumptions are shown to be false or unrealistic or if the logic is unsound then the resultant theory is not likely correct and even if it was shown to be capable of making a prediction which turned out to be true, one cannot possibly know whether or not this was by pure chance, or what limitations might or might not apply if the assumptions were unrealistic. If the assumptions are unrealistic, one has no understanding. A theory derived from “assumptions that are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality” gives no insight into the underlying physics. In other words, one knows nothing about such a theory and it is impossible to test. Ernest Nagel, in a half-hearted attempt to defend Friedman [12], writes: “Sound conclusions are sometimes supported by erroneous arguments, and the error is compounded when a sound conclusion is declared to be mistaken on the ground that the argument for it is mistaken.” I submit that we can reformulate this statement more accurately: “Conclusions supported by erroneous arguments are not sound and cannot be confirmed based on a few presumably successful predictions. The error is compounded if one assumes the predicted outcome was a confirming outcome rather than having happened by chance.”

Friedman’s Wikipedia page [13] says this about his paper. “Friedman’s essay “The Methodology of Positive Economics” (1953) provided the epistemological pattern for his own subsequent research and to a degree that of the Chicago School.” His paper wasn’t just a one off bit of obfuscating nonsense but describes the core methodology of the American conservative movement.

The page continues, “[A] useful economic theory should be judged not by its descriptive realism but by its simplicity and fruitfulness as an engine of prediction. That is, students should measure the accuracy of its predictions, rather than the ‘soundness of its assumptions.”

In his paper, Friedman writes that such theories “can be used to predict the consequences of changes in circumstances.” Let’s assume for the sake of the discussion that Friedman is indeed correct that theories based on unrealistic or erroneous assumptions can be true and that this can be proved if they make accurate predictions. Let’s indiscriminately put all of neo-classical economic theory to Friedman’s test. How many neo-classical economists and their theories predicted the 2006 housing bubble bursting, 2007 start of the great recession, and 2008 bank failures and credit crises. Indeed, the economist Dirk Bezemer of Groningen University argues [3]: “The credit crisis and ensuing recession may be viewed as a ‘natural experiment’ in the validity of economic models.” By this simple experiment, we prove that the entire body of neo-classical theory failed utterly [3]. During the ensuing bloodbath, economists assured us that “nobody” could have seen it coming, where “nobody” in this case is a euphemism for “no neo-classical economist”. Although much shorter than forty pages, that line is a classic Friedman Twist. Rather than admitting the obvious truth: “we were wrong and therefore something is seriously wrong with our theories and our assumptions about how the economy actually works and our strange methodology,” economists tried to tell us the events were impossible to predict. On December 9, 2008, Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia asserted: “I do not know anyone who predicted this course of events. This should give us cause to reflect on how hard a job it is to make genuinely useful forecasts;” [3] not more “accurately” how hard a job it is to derive useful theories from assumptions that are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality.

That these events were predictable and predicted I know with certainty since even I predicted them, despite having never taken an economics course in my life. I didn’t do this in a vacuum, of course. Twelve economists did make quite accurate predictions [3] and I was lucky enough to have discovered six of them quite early on: Dean Baker, Stephen Keen, Kurt Richebächer, Nouriel Roubini, Peter Schiff, and Robert Shiller. I’m only taking credit for having reasonably good judgment as to which experts to heed; I’m not claiming to be an expert on the economy. I’m not even taking credit for being a “nobody”.

Why is neo-classical economics then such a failure? This is precisely because, believe it or not, their assumptions are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality. Keen documents an abundance of false assumptions on the part of neo-classical economists using economic theory itself. In Frustration, he concludes that his own discipline is not a science at all and needs rescue from real scientists. One gets the impression that Samuelson’s attack on Friedman was motivated by a desire to defend the discipline. Luckier exact sciences don’t have such knuckleheads. Economics is full of them. Personally, I feel bad for those economists like Samuelson who tried to represent the field with scientific dignity and honesty. The kicker is that even the credible Keen though misses several of the most egregious false assumptions in all neo-classical economic models: one, the assumption that infinite exponential economic growth is possible, two, the assumption that there are no limits to low entropy resources, three, the assumption that high entropy wastes can be ignored, and four, the assumption that greed is good and that unregulated perfectly competitive laissez faire economies can exist or if they did that this would actually be good for us.

The first three wildly inaccurate assumptions are related to the economic community’s denial of the second law of thermodynamics. This is unequivocally fatal as pointed out by the physicist Arthur Eddington [14]:

“The law that entropy always increases-the second law of thermodynamics-holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations-then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation-well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

There are two schools of economics which do recognize the entropy law and these are ecological economics, founded by the economist Herman Daly [15], and the biophysical school of economics founded by the ecologist, Charles Hall [16]. In his book Debunking Economics, Steve Keen lists a few economic schools he suggests might be able to reform economics. He does not list ecological or biophysical economics. I asked him why and he replied that they were too small to show up on his radar.

The economy is an irreversible process and therefore subject to the second law of thermodynamics, the entropy law. One cannot unscramble an egg, reconstruct it and shove it back into the chicken and redistribute all the money that changed hands along the way from the consumer, to the grocer, to the distributor, to the farmer and so on. The economic process is not reversible. We can increase the level of difficulty by trying to reconstruct the scrambled egg after we’ve eaten and digested it. Though the odds of this happening are much less than once in the entire existence of our universe, having managed that, it would be interesting to see if any grocer would take it back, knowing what the egg had been through. There is no hope for neo-classical economics.

The fourth false assumption economists make, that is perhaps more relevant to the events that began in 2006, is that consumers and producers are rational. In fact, Kevin Phillips’ law [17] holds that “Bad capitalism drives out good capitalism.” We all know this. In fact in Sunday’s Washington Post there is a wonderful three page story about a local professional cyclist, Joe Dombrowski. Dombrowski says “No matter what it is, whether it’s sports, business, whatever, people are always going to cheat.” And when regulation is slack or non-existent and one bank inevitably cheats then the rest have to cheat to compete. This is one reason Friedman’s perfectly competitive laissez faire model of the economy is unrealistic. Economists assume greed is good and consumers and producers are rational and that may be the most irrational, unrealistic assumption in Friedman’s quiver.

What does the failure of neo-classical economics and in particular Friedman’s conservative economic ideology mean for us? How can we apply this knowledge? The National Association of Manufacturers represents a self-contradiction in Friedman’s belief system. Friedman opposed organized labor because it disrupted the efficient operation of the free market but a natural outcome of his ideology is the organization of capital which because of the concentrated wealth and power has a far more disruptive influence on the market. The National Association of Manufacturers [18] released an economic study recently which predicts that a carbon tax will cripple the economy. The underlying assumption of this report, that we can ignore the Entropy Law, is “empirically dead wrong” and we can advisedly reject the findings out of hand. What we do know from this physical law is that if we do not introduce a rather large carbon tax and very soon, there will be no economy. As energy economist Vaclav Smil [19] laments: “Everything has to get worse. We are behaving so badly.” We are behaving like Friedman.

For an excellent description of Friedman’s ideology in action, please read Naomi Klein’s well researched book, The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Economics [20].

Human-Caused Global Warming update: Australia has just experienced their hottest summer ever. See Figure 1 below. Perhaps another disaster for the Friedmanites to take advantage of.

Figure 1. Devastating wildfires swept through many areas of Australia during January 2013, the nation’s hottest month on record. In this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, a wildfire near Deans Gap, Australia, crosses the Princes Highway Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/NSW Rural Fire Service, James Morris http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2359 )

[1] Milton Friedman, The Methodology of Positive Economics, in Essays in Positive Economics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953, pp. 3-43.

[2] Steve Keen, Debunking Economics,

[3] Bezemer, Dirk J, “No One Saw This Coming”: Understanding Financial Crisis Through Accounting Models, Groningen University, 16. June 2009, Online at http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15892/

[4] Bruce Caldwell, ed., Appraisal and Criticism in Economics, A Book Of Readings, Allen and Unwin, 1984. Friedman’s, Samuelson’s, Boland’s and Caldwell’s essays can all be found in this book and much more.

[5] Michael Gordin, The Pseudo-Science Wars, Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe, University of Chicago Press, 2012,

[6] Lawrence Boland, A Critique of Friedman’s Critics, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 17, June 1979, pp. 503-522.

[7] A link to the video of David Scott on Apollo 15. : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mTsrRZEMwA

[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe

[9] Paul Samuelson, Theory and Realism: A Reply, American Economic Review, vol. 54, September 1964, pp736-9.

[10] Paul Samuelson, Problems of Methodology – Discussion, American Economic Review, vol. 53, May 1963, pp. 231-6.

[11] Michael Shermer, The Believing Brain, 2011

[12] Ernest Nagel, Assumptions in Economic Theory, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, vol. 53, May 1963, pp. 211-219.

[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman

[14] http://brleader.com/?p=2025Eddington, A.S., “The Nature of the Physical World,” [1928], The Gifford Lectures 1927, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1933, reprint, pp.74-75.

[15] Herman Daly and Joshua Farley, Ecological Economics, Principles and Applications, Island Press, 2004.

[16] Charles Hall and Kent Kitgaarrd, Energy and the Wealth of Nations, Understanding the Biophysical Economy, Springer, 2012.

[17] Kevin Phillips, Bad Money, Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, Viking, 2008.

[18] http://www.nam.org/~/media/ECF11DF347094E0DA8AF7BD9A696ABDB.ashx

[19] http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-02-27/can-we-live-again-in-1964-s-energy-world

[20] Naomi Klein, The Shock doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Metropolitan Books, 2007.

2 comments

  1. james Van Sant says:

    A brilliant article debunking the sacred conservative views of Friedman’s economic theory. Classical physics and economics sort of give some correct answers part of the time in a chaotic world . A broken clock is right once a day. Corporations demand Infinite growth yielding infinite profits on a finite planet which is impossible.
    Ecologists ask what is the carrying capacity of the planet? We have 7 billion humans now all wanting to live the American lifestyle. If they all demand an automobile, a cellphone and an HDTV to watch while eating three MacBurgers a day can the finite resources of the planet sustain that demand? What if the population doubles again? The size and composition of the sphere we call Earth
    is unlikely to double to meet corporate growth and profit demands. Time for a better economic theory?

  2. [...] [6] Tony Noerpel, The Con in Economics, March 5, 2013, http://brleader.com/?p=10734 [...]

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Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

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Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 6, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

VAL Movies Under the Stars

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August 6, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last.

  • August 6 – Fan Favorite – vote on Facebook or at the movies for your favorite flick!
    • Superman (original) PG   151 mins
    • Willy Wonka G 98 mins
    • Surf’s Up  PG 85 mins
    • Smurfs  PG  102 mins

Movies Under The Stars

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August 6, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Come enjoy free movie screenings at Village at Leesburg. July 23rd Despicable Me (Rated PG) will be shown. August 6th will be the winning fan favorite vote. Choices are: Superman (original-Rated PG), Willy Wonka (Rated G), Surf's Up (Rated PG), and Smurfs (Rated PG). Vote on Facebook!August 20th Frozen (Rated PG) will be shown. Free event chair or picnic blanket will be given to the first 50 families!

7

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 7, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

8

Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers Summer Camps

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August 8, 2014

38327 Charles Town Pike
Waterford, 20197
540.454.8639

The Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers are offering two, fun summer camps!  If you've never clogged before, join us July 28 - Aug 1 for our Novice Camp.  Hours are 9:00am - 12:00pm.  If you are an experienced clogger, join us Aug 4 - Aug 8 from 9:00am - 12:00pm for our Experienced Camp.  Ages 8 through adult.  $50 per camp.

9

Summer Saturdays

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August 9, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

Acoustic on the Green Presents Two-Time Grammy Award Winner Jon Carroll

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August 9, 2014

Leesburg Town Green
25 West Market Street
Leesburg, VA

Jon Carroll’s long and diverse career has garnered him recognition in the Washington, D.C. area. He is a multiple Wammie winner (Washington Area Music Association) as a vocalist, player and songwriter as well as national notoriety and a two-time Grammy award winner with Starland Vocal Band (“Afternoon Delight”) for his vocal arranging and as Best New Artist. Additionally, in 2011 the Washington Area Music Association named Carroll Musician of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Pop Rock Instrumentalist of the Year. After recording five albums with Starland Vocal Band, he worked with a myriad of artists, penned two musicals and had his songs recorded by artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Tom Jones and Kenny Rogers. He released recently his first solo album in over a decade, “Love Returns.” For more information on Carroll, visit http://www.joncarroll.org/home.html.

Free and open to the public. Picnics are encouraged. Please no smoking, alcoholic beverages or pets. For more information, visit http://www.acousticonthegreen.com or info@acousticonthegreen.com or call 703-737-7144.

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11

Red Cross Blood Drive

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August 11, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA
314-602-1325

Schedule your appointment online or call 1-800-Red Cross.

Space next to Swoon and across from AT&T

2 - 7:30 p.m.

  • Monday, August 11

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FREE Live Music - Adam Bruno

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August 16, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Singer/songwriter Adam Bruno is a Tampa native, now living in Loudoun County. Adam has a powerful, soulful sound, blending all the best of pop, rock and acoustic music. His melody-driven songs and thoughtful lyrics make you an immediate fan!

Notaviva Vineyards will have wine for purchase by bottle or glass to any customers 21 years of age or older. Lite snacks are also available for purchase, or feel free to bring your own lunch and enjoy a picnic while listening to the tunes of Adam Bruno

Summer Saturdays

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August 16, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

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18 19 20

VAL Movies Under the Stars

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August 20, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd.
Leesburg, 20175
USA

FREE VAL Lawn Chair or Picnic Blanket for the first 50 families each week! Check out your film favorites at our NEW summer outdoor movie series. Grab refreshments from your favorite VAL restaurant, bring your own lawn chair and have fun! Go to VillageAtLeesburg.com for full schedule. For inclement weather updates, visit Facebook.com/VillageAtLeesburg. One giveaway per family, while quantities last.

  • August 20  – Frozen (sing along) PG  108 mins

 

 

Movies Under The Stars

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August 20, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Come enjoy free movie screenings at Village at Leesburg. July 23rd Despicable Me (Rated PG) will be shown. August 6th will be the winning fan favorite vote. Choices are: Superman (original-Rated PG), Willy Wonka (Rated G), Surf's Up (Rated PG), and Smurfs (Rated PG). Vote on Facebook!August 20th Frozen (Rated PG) will be shown. Free event chair or picnic blanket will be given to the first 50 families!

21 22 23

Artful August

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August 23, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents the 2nd annual juried Art Show. Free Application. Free display space. Free contest entry. Submit up to five (5) artworks for judging by jury and show attendees for The People's Choice Awards. Free festival for all! July 3rd applications are opened, artists will be notified of acceptance within 14 days of application. Jury selected winners will be announced August 23rd at 6:30 PM.  August 20th People's Choice winners will be announced. For more information please visit villageatleesburg.com/artfulaugust

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Summer Saturdays

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August 30, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

31

Donna Clark "Mindscapes"

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August 31, 2014

6474 Main Street
The Plains, 20198

 August 31 - September 28, 2014, “Donna Clark - Mindscapes” A unique solo exhibit by acclaimed regional artist Donna Clark.  “I paint in series - images that are not place specific.  I consider them personal dreamlike mindscapes of imagined locations in my natural world.”  The public is invited to an opening reception on Sunday, September 7, 5:00 - 7:00PM.  In addition, Clark will demonstrate her distinctive painting technique on September 14 at 2:00PM.  This is a great opportunity to watch her paint and ask questions of this very talented artist.

Summer Saturdays

Close

August 31, 2014

Village at Leesburg
1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Leesburg, 20175
USA
5712912288

Village at Leesburg presents a music concert series. Come listen to various artists on Saturday July 19th, Saturday August 2nd, Saturday August 9th, Saturday August 16th, Saturday August 30th, Sunday August 31st, and Monday September 1st at Village at Leesburg in Fountain Court. There will be performances by Paul Pfau & Connor Pledger (R&B former The Voice contestants), Julian Roso (Acoustic Pop), Todd Wright Band (Alternative Pop Covers), Poorhouse Rd (Americana Blues), Music Bone (Electric Rock/Jazz), Gina de Simone & The Moaners (Swing/Dance), AJ Sith & The Apollo (Indie Rock) on alternating nights. For the full music schedule please visit villageatleesburg.com

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View From the Ridge

I Wanna Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Undo It

6 Aug 2014

blueridge2

There’s a popular country western song that tells the story of a young woman who gets swept up in a night of partying and wakes up to find she has a ring on her finger, a new last name and a new husband. Knowing she had been duped but determined …

(1 comment)

Editorial

War Madness

25 Jul 2014

dying gaul

The Dying Gaul By John P. Flannery In a world that prefers to war, can’t get enough of it, innocents are killed, and those senseless incidents in turn provoke more war. It happened in the Ukraine and the testosterone is running high. Ukraine calls to the West to put up or shut up with military force, not just economic sanctions. …

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Bed and Breakfasts – Boon or Threat to the Rural Economy?

3 Jun 2014

malcolm_pamela_011

By Malcolm and Pamela Baldwin Breaking news, in case you missed it: the Board of Supervisors has created new rules for bed-and-breakfast establishments in Loudoun, among them an increase in the number and frequency of events – such as weddings – B&Bs are allowed to host on their properties. At the same time, the board also tightened fire safety, building …

(3 comments)

Lifestyle

Salamander Resort and Spa Celebrates First Anniversary

19 Aug 2014

Activities On Friday, August 29 – exactly one year after it opened its highly anticipated doors – the resort will host a Birthday Bubbles celebration from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Filled with bottomless sparkling wine, birthday sweets and live entertainment, the event will take place on the Grand Terrace and Lawn. Admission is $30 per person. On Saturday, August 30, there will …

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Legally Blonde Coming to Franklin Park August 21-23

18 Aug 2014

LB

By Sarah Smith What do Harvard law students, UCLA sorority girls, and a group of high school thespians from Loudoun County have in common? They all are in Piedmont Arts Foundation’s summer production of Legally Blonde the Musical. The show takes the stage on August 21 at 7:30, August 22 at 7:30, and August 23 at 2:30 and 7:30. Every …

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Motorcycle Poker Run Fundraiser & Awareness for Loudoun County Project Lifesaver

16 Aug 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014 Each Poker Hand $20.00 Family Activities with food – Raffles – Live music -McGruff, Loudoun County Sheriffs Office Motor Squad Demos- Fire Apparatus, Vendors and much more! 100 Mile Poker Ride with Three Stops Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Hamilton Safety Center, Harmony Hall- Kickstands up at 9:00 am. Return to Hamilton Safety Center for Meal …

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Wild Loudoun

Mighty Little Crayfish

6 Aug 2014

wildloudoun

Several years ago I was walking along W&OD Trail in Reston when I saw a mighty little thing – maybe two inches long – strutting directly toward me in a very menacing way. It was moving pretty fast and had two large claws raised. I didn’t know if this was how this thing behaved – vulnerable and out in the …

(2 comments)

Around Virginia

VDOE Names Chief Academic Officer

Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples today announced that John William “Billy” Haun of Charlottesville will become the Virginia Department of Education’s chief academic officer, taking the position of assistant superintendent of instruction on September 1. “I am delighted that Billy is bringing his knowledge, leadership and innovative ideas …

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LaRock Appointed to Joint Commission on Technology and Science

Dave_larock

Speaker of the House William Howell has appointed Delegate Dave LaRock as a member of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), effective immediately and lasting for the duration of his term in the House of Delegates. The Commission meets several times throughout the year to “Study all aspects …

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Virginia Earns Top Special Education Rating from U.S. Department of Education

Virginia is one of only 18 states and territories earning a “meets requirements” designation under the US Department of Education’s (USED) new results-driven accountability model for rating state compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Previously in rating states, USED focused on procedural requirements such as timelines …

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Sports

Little League Season Update

8 Aug 2014

ulll

By Carri Michon This spring 2014 Upper Loudoun Little League season found drenching rains making fields unplayable on a regular basis. Over 100 games were rescheduled due to wet, soggy fields, said league president, Norris Beavers. “The most I have ever remembered in my 28 years of volunteering with Upper …

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Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League Registration Ends July 28

20 Jul 2014

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Registration for the Fall 2014 NFL Flag Football league is currently ongoing for boys and girls, ages six to 14, and spots are filling fast. To secure a spot in the league, participants must register by Monday, July 28, 2014. The Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League is the premier …

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Letters

Good News – Virginia Budget Passed

3 Jul 2014

speak

I hope folks have heard the good news that Virginia has passed a two-year budget, and passed it without allowing our new governor to force …

(3 comments)

T-Mac Does an O’Bama

24 Jun 2014

blueridge2

Everyone by now has heard that the Virginia Legislature was able to pass a budget without medicaid expansion. This has infuriated the Governor who has …

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De-couple Medicaid Expansion from the Commonwealth’s Budget

11 Jun 2014

blueridge2

At a September 25, 2103, debate sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, then Mr. McAuliffe declared, “No budget will be shut down in Virginia …

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