Week in review

Quote of the week

“[W]hat is the point of keeping Madoff in prison? He represents no threat. Rather than pay $30,000 per year to keep him locked up, we suggest that he be forced to do community service work. He should be pressed into service as the next head of the Federal Reserve after Ben Bernanke’s term expires in December. With Madoff in the big office, there would be no longer any illusions about what sort of bank the Fed is running.” – Bill Bonner

California, Here We Come!

by Pat Buchanan

“In just a few weeks time, California hits the wall. And Americans should take a good, long look at the fiscal and social wreck of the Golden Land, because California is at a place to which all of America is heading.” more…

Carbongate

by Investor’s Business Daily

“Little evidence? Outdated U.N. research? No reason to rush? This is not what the Obama administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were telling us when they were rushing to force a Friday vote on Waxman-Markey. We were given the impression that unless we passed this cap-and-tax fiasco, polar bears would be extinct by the Fourth of July.” more…

Whose Right Is It, Anyway?

by Art Carden

“If I give a government the power to force you to accept my values, I also give them the power to force me to accept your values at some point in the future. Another way of saying this is that any government with the power to take an atheist’s money and give it to my church is also a government with the power to take my money and give it to Planned Parenthood. When we use force to restrict others’ liberty, we endanger our own.” more…

Too Much Spending, Not Enough Savings: Destruction of an Economy

by Byron King

“For every U.S. household that SAVED part of its income last year (you know who you are), there was another that spent more than it took in (and YOU know who YOU are, as well). On the surface, it may seem like there’s nothing wrong with households spending the whole wad. After all, it’s OK if income and expenses are in balance, right? Wrong.

“The problem with households not saving is that over the long run, it ruins the economy.” more…

Inefficiency, Transaction Costs Plague Health Care

by Allen M. Parkman

“On closer scrutiny, the problems with this industry should be viewed differently, as purchases of health care are often inefficient with unnecessary transaction costs. Let me explain. They can be inefficient because consumers are not exposed to the true cost of the services they are receiving and, consequently, the benefits may not justify the costs. In addition, there are unnecessary costs associated with each transaction. In contrast to a simple credit card purchase at a grocery store, health care expenses covered by insurance require additional paperwork for the provider and then administrative scrutiny from the insurance company.” more…

Is It Obama’s Economy Yet?

by Carl M. Cannon

“Someday quite soon, like maybe tomorrow, this mess of an economy will belong to Barack Obama and his administration. He will own it, not his predecessor. This is as it must be – we only have one president at a time — and public-opinion polls suggest that millions of Americans feel that this is already the case, their numbers increasing with each new round of the deteriorating economic news that has greeted each of Obama’s five-plus months in office.” more…

In the news…

  • June economic summary in graphs.
  • Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
  • The first quantum processor has been created by Yale researchers.
  • Comic book writer detained by TSA for carrying a script depicting terrorist attacks. Arguably this could be a hoax, but it’s still believable, and that in and of itself says something.
  • Honduras suffers a coup. But have you really heard the whole story?
  • Michigan offers to house prisoners for California.
  • Toyota develops mind controlled wheel chair.
  • Firefox 3.5 is released.
  • Poll says voters back public health insurance option, but wouldn’t want to actually use it.
  • Washington Post offers lobbyists paid access to Obama regime as well as its own political editors and reporters, then backtracks.
  • Human implantable RFID chips. Yummy.

Videos

  • “I Want Me Some TARP” or “The Stimulus Song“.

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 8,280.74 (-157.65/-1.87%)
S&P 500 – 896.42 (-22.48/-2.45%)
VIX – 27.95 (+2.02/7.79%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3327.135 (+198.714/6.35%)
BSE 500 (India) – 5,646.62 (+60.29/1.08%)
MICEX (Russia) – 974.07 (+13.91/1.45%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 50,934.691 (-550.918/-1.07%)
RICI – 2,858.74 (-73.44/-2.50%)
Gold/oz – 932.50 (-8.50/-0.90%)
Silver/oz – 13.425 (-0.68/-4.82%)
Copper/lb – 226.45 (-4.45/-1.93%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 65.61 (-3.31/-4.80%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 529.00 (-5.25/-0.98%)
Corn/bu – 358.00 (-46.25/-11.44%)
EUR-USD – 1.398 (-0.0076/-0.54%)
USD-JPY – 96.04 (+0.855/0.90%)
USD-BRL – 1.9534 (+0.017/0.88%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.15 (-0.02/-11.76%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.98 (-0.13/-11.71%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.50 (-0.04/-1.13%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.32 (-0.02/-0.46%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 11,489,560,999,310.69 (+126,046,634,945.50/1.11%)
U.S. Public Debt (actual est.) – 61,865,775,000,000.00 (+314,146,000,000.00/0.51%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3,520.00 (-183.00/-4.94%)

I asked a question last week: “What are the ties that bind our nation?” Sadly, the response was underwhelming. Here were the answers I got (in no particular order):

  • Blind faith
  • Love of cash, although this person noted love of cash binds the world
  • English
  • “Multicultural America is a proud, strong, productive and free society — we kick serious ass”

So we’ll discount #1 and #2 as sarcasm and leave it at that.

English was one of the things I was thinking about when I asked the question. Indeed the commonly used language tends to change at the borders of countries. Still Brits, Australians, New Zealanders,  and quite a few Indians speak English as a first language. Language seems to be a component, and perhaps it is a key component, necessary but not sufficient is my conclusion on English.

The last response is interesting and perhaps hits the nail on the head. If enough people believe this then America is America and we are bound. I take issue with this explanation only in so far as it is becoming less and less true with each passing day. Just ask yourself the question, are we becoming freer? Are we more free than our grandparents? What is the current trajectory and how long have we been on it? Without freedom can we be truly productive? Without productivity can we be strong? And at that point what is there of pride?

Some other possibilities that cross my mind are:

  • Christianity
  • The “live and let live” mindset
  • A common enemy
  • Commerce
  • Geography
  • Sense of a shared destiny
  • Our founding documents
  • Debt
  • A common currency
  • The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc…
  • Other cultural things like music, movies, and art
  • A shared past
  • Habit

I plan on doing some more thinking on this. Will share updates when it’s useful.

So strangely, I didn’t read any more or any less than I usually do this week, but wow there were some good articles out there as you can tell from the fact that I linked six articles as opposed to my usual three or four. And seriously, there were at least two other pieces that would have made it on an average week. I’m not sure what the pattern is or if in fact there is one at all, but perhaps everyone was writing good stuff because it was the end of the month or maybe its because Independence Day is on Saturday.

Speaking of Independence Day. Please make the time to read our Declaration of Indepdence this weekend. Also, there are many many gatherings around the country on Friday and Saturday where liberty loving individuals will be meeting to discuss current events and plan for the future. Please attend one of these events and make some new friends! Alone we are nothing, but working together we might move mountains. To that end I will be in Manchester on Saturday.

Okay that’s it! Long winded today I was.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Independence Day!

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