Week in review

Quote of the week

“Ignoring popular opinion takes courage. Admitting that what you thought you knew may be wrong and acquiring the ability to consider views, analyses and facts that run counter to personal convictions takes even more courage.” – Trends Research Journal

Warren Harding and the Forgotten Depression of 1920

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

“It is a cliché that if we do not study the past we are condemned to repeat it. Almost equally certain, however, is that if there are lessons to be learned from an historical episode, the political class will draw all the wrong ones – and often deliberately so. Far from viewing the past as a potential source of wisdom and insight, political regimes have a habit of employing history as an ideological weapon, to be distorted and manipulated in the service of present-day ambitions. That’s what Winston Churchill meant when he described the history of the Soviet Union as ‘unpredictable.'” more… [I highly recommend this article. Buried in it is a good discussion of the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle and why current Keynesian policies are doomed to fail. If you are not familiar with these terms definitely read on!]

Wall Street’s Naked Swindle

by Matt Taibbi

“The counterfeit nature of our economy is troubling enough, given that financial power is concentrated in the hands of a few key players — ‘300 white guys in Manhattan,’ as a former high-placed executive puts it. But over the course of the past year, that group of insiders has also proved itself brilliantly capable of enlisting the power of the state to help along the process of concentrating economic might — making it less and less likely that the financial markets will ever be policed, since the state is increasingly the captive of these interests.” more…

Who Needs a Central Bank?

by Bill Jenkins

“[W]e all should be well aware by now, central banks exist for one purpose and one purpose only: to bailout their banker buddies who, in the pursuit of greater profit, have made risky loans… to bail out large industries in order to preserve the job base… and to make sure that the taxpayers foot the bill. They will masquerade it in the best of terms, but at the end of the day, we are paying for their foolish business practices.” more…

Pro-Obamacare Republicans in the pay of the health industry

by Timothy P. Carney

“As the White House dismissed the insurance lobby’s critiques of the Senate health care bill as self-serving corporate disinformation, President Obama used his weekly radio address to laud four former Republican officials for supporting the push for ‘reform.’ But Obama failed to mention that these pro-‘reform’ Republicans — whom he lauded for ‘ris[ing] above the politics of the moment’ — are all in the pay of the health care industry and could personally profit from ‘reform.'” more…

100 years of Big Content fearing technology—in its own words

by Nate Anderson

“For the last hundred years, rightsholders have fretted about everything from the player piano to the VCR to digital TV to Napster. Here are those objections, in Big Content’s own words.” more…

In the news…

  • Comics
  • 3D finger printing is on the way.
  • Budget deficits, slow growth, and low interest rates – signs of the dollar’s troubles.
  • Global warming or global cooling? There are more reasons to be skeptical of the academic-media-government climate change complex.
  • China’s foreign exchange reserves rise to over $2.2 trillion.
  • George Soros will put his money where his mouth is and fund clean technology to the tune of $1 billion. He’s also “investing” $100 million in a climate change pressure group.
  • Florida teen set on fire by his peers.
  • ACORN immortalized in the latest episode of South Park.
  • 12 million digit prime number discovered.
  • Augmented contact lenses are on the horizon.
  • Government moves to delay the release of telecom lobbying documents.
  • Current political events quiz by Pew Research. Twelve questions ranging from healthcare to Afghanistan.
  • UN Human Rights Council lambastes Israel.
  • End the Fed picture on GOP.com.
  • What the CBO and the rest of the thugocracy are not telling you about the cost of the new and improved healthcare legislation.
  • Ireland may need IMF aid.
  • GOP 2012 – Huckabee 29%, Romney 24%, Palin 18%.

Videos

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 9,995.91 (+130.97/1.33%)
S&P 500 – 1,087.68 (+16.19/1.51%)
VIX – 21.43 (-1.69/-7.31%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,241.709 (+78.001/2.47%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,710.61 (+274.54/4.27%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,317.07 (+8.93/0.68%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 66,200.492 (+2,129.48/3.32%)
RICI – 3,161.32 (+164.11/5.48%)
Gold/oz – 1,051.50 (+2.90/0.28%)
Silver/oz – 17.42 (-0.27/-1.53%)
Copper/lb – 284.55 (+0.75/0.26%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 76.99 (+6.99/9.99%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 498.75 (+30.75/6.57%)
Corn/bu – 372.00 (+9.75/2.69%)
EUR-USD – 1.4906 (+0.0174/1.18%)
USD-JPY – 90.891 (+1.106/1.23%)
USD-BRL – 1.71 (-0.031/-1.78%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.06 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.95 (-0.01/-1.04%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.41 (+0.03/0.89%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.24 (+0.02/0.47%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 11,946,703,132,807.30 (+47,750,381,862.80/0.40%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,728.00 (+33.00/1.22%)

I read a bit about how the healthcare reform plan that is being considered won’t work unless young people are involved. Of course young people have the least incentive to get insurance because they are generally healthy. And therein lies the insight. If you mandate (i.e. the state uses violence or threat of violence) that they have coverage then their contribution will essentially prop up everyone else. They (as a group) will be net losers on their insurance plan as they will pay for more services than they use. Of course the system will “work”. A new Amerikan value: steal from the young and give to the old. Fantastic!

The climate change/global warming/whatever-catch-phrase-we’re-using-today crowd has a very fundamental conflict of interest that continues to keep me quite skeptical of them. These scientists are funded by governments. Their results indicate a problem that only government can solve. Government grows. They get more funding. We must always ask one question: “cui bono?”  Or put another way, follow the money.

In general I have found scientists, and most especially social “scientists”, (most of them are probably better termed wannabe-social-engineers) to be quite sycophantic. But that’s a story for another day.

The story about the kid who got set on fire in Florida is really sad. What kind of person would do that? What kind of teenager would do that to another person? What kind of parent raises that kind of teenager? It boggles my mind that we do not execute these kinds of people out of hand. They are not children, but rather monsters. A public hanging or two would stifle this kind of behavior methinks.

Finally back to healthcare… It turns out that the price tag over the next ten years is quite misleading. You can read more about that elsewhere, but suffice to say that 4 of the 10 years the cost is estimated at zero because it doesn’t kick-in right away. So basically they are quoting the price tag 40% short, and seriously, that’s a best case scenario. On top of that they suppose that medicare will see spending decreases. And I’m gonna grow wings out of my ass, fly to New Mexico and hug my mom tonight.

Anyway if this whole thing passes you can bet that ten years from now they’ll be braying about how the system is bankrupt and only a full government take over will save it. Well that’s working under the assumption that things continue on the trajectory that 95% of the people assume they will. That the dollar doesn’t collapse… The next 10 years will probably surprise the hell out of all of us.

If you’re in the area the bi-monthly liberty breakfast is at the City Limits Diner in Saline starting at 8AM tomorrow morning. Hope to see some of you there.

Have a nice weekend!

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