Week in review

Quote of the week

“Things change… As far as I’m concerned, America has disappeared. America was an idea, not a place, and it’s been replaced with the United (by force) States.” – Doug Casey

“[T]he United States staggers under the weight of its eternal wars…its imperial illusions…and its everlasting efforts to provide bread and circuses. If it kept its books like a private enterprise, it would be broke. If it were a public corporation, it would be de-listed.” – Bill Bonner

Hold On to Your Assets

by Radley Balko

“This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Alvarez v. Smith, a challenge to the state of Illinois’ Drug Asset Forfeiture Procedure Act (DAFPA). The six petitioners in Alvarez each had property seized by police who suspected the property had been involved in a drug crime. Three had their cars seized, three had cash taken. None of the six were served with a warrant, none of the six were charged with the crime. All perfectly legal, at least until now.” more…

America’s Military Empire

by Jake Towne

“As I wrote earlier this year, one of the sticking points I encounter in conversation is when someone challenges me that America does not have, as I allege, a military empire. However, they never seem to be able to rattle off any facts or statistics to the contrary. This updated article is my attempt to document those facts. The Department of Defense last issued information on troop deployment in March 2009.” more…

A Free-Market Guide to Fixing Healthcare

by Mises.org

“It’s a near-universal assumption of the healthcare debate that the current system is a market system and it is broken, and hence we should try a government system. The people who assume this aren’t considering the last 100 years of healthcare policy. Government is deeply involved at all levels, from medical licensure and patents, to direct subsidies and provision, to employee mandates and insurance-pooling controls, at all levels.” more…

Why Is Plaxico Burress in Jail?

by Wilton D. Alston

“There are consequences for behavior. All people, be they professional athletes, politicians, or run-of-the-mill citizens should realize this. However, this event is not about bad behavior – not in the slightest. From the libertarian and more importantly, from the moral standpoint, Plaxico Burress did nothing wrong. He injured himself with his own property. Let that sink in for a moment.

“An acquaintance of mine remarked that ‘Burress deserves to be punished for being stupid. People could have been injured!’ Really? That anyone would cheer this outcome is proof that Queen Amidala was right when she noted, ‘So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause.’ If people can be put in cages for what might have happened, and frankly the U.S. is well along that course, it’s just a matter of time before the erstwhile mistakes you made become offenses punishable with jail time.” more…

In the news…

  • Comics.
  • HR1207 (Audit the Fed) will make it out of committee.
  • Healthcare workers in New York, and in Albany in particular, are fighting against forced vaccination. Here’s another article on that.
  • Federal Judge rules that video games are expressive works covered by First Amendment.
  • More on the sound cannons that the Pittsburgh police turned on United States citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.
  • Bingaman and Udall and trying to turn more of New Mexico over to the Federal Government.
  • PATRIOT Act has been used for drug cases.
  • Massive voter fraud in New York linked to ACORN.
  • British intelligence shows that Iran has a secret nuclear arms program.
  • Some states seek to opt-out of any national healthcare scheme.
  • The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution not withstanding, civil asset forfeiture is being used to combat online gambling.
  • Chart of Federal education spending and test scores over the last 40 years or so.
  • Interim Michigan State budget passed in Lansing.
  • Chicago will *not* get the Olympics in 2016.

Videos

  • Bloomberg interviews Ron Paul about the Federal Reserve Bank’s complicity in the destruction of our money and economy.

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 9,487.67 (-177.52/-1.84%)
S&P 500 – 1,025.21 (-19.17/-1.84%)
VIX – 28.68 (+3.07/11.99%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,004.805 (-53.723/-1.76%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,556.29 (+137.33/2.14%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,175.83 (-12.03/-1.01%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 61,171.988 (+816.258/1.35%)
RICI – 2,879.04 (+41.16/1.45%)
Gold/oz – 1,004.30 (+12.70/1.28%)
Silver/oz – 16.23 (+0.17/1.06%)
Copper/lb – 268.15 (-5.90/-2.15%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 68.07 (+2.96/4.55%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 441.25 (-8.50/-1.89%)
Corn/bu – 333.50 (-0.50/-0.15%)
EUR-USD – 1.4576 (-0.0113/-0.77%)
USD-JPY – 89.805 (+0.17/0.19%)
USD-BRL – 1.782 (-0.0082/-0.46%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.09 (-0.01/-10.00%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.86 (-0.12/-12.24%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.22 (-0.10/-3.01%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.00 (-0.09/-2.20%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 11,920,519,164,319.40 (+149,839,348,513.30/1.27%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2357.00 (+174.00/7.97%)

This whole business of civil asset forfeiture is ugly and another (if not the prime reason) to oppose the “drug war”. Depriving a person of their property without having been duly convicted by a jury is just wrong. Ironically police departments generally have a financial incentive to partake in this manner of looting. That despite the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which for what it’s worth (increasingly less methinks) reads:  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Ahh but what is reasonable you say?

The official national debt number is nearing $12 trillion. Just a year ago it was a little over $10 trillion… Yikes!

Not a whole lot else to tell this week. Breakfast tomorrow in Saline at 8AM at the City Limits Diner…

The Broncos are playing the Cowboys this weekend and it’s on my local Fox station! Yay! Michigan and Michigan State are playing tomorrow… Go Blue!

As for me, I’ve got a pile of reading, which will probably fill most of the next two days or so.

Have a great weekend!

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