Week in review

Quote of the week

“[Monetary inflation] may be described as a tool of antidemocratic policy. By deceiving public opinion, it permits a system of government to continue which would have no hope of receiving the approval of the people if conditions were frankly explained to them.” – Ludwig von Mises

American Idea

by Walter E. Williams

“We Americans, as human beings, are no different from any other people, including Germans, Russians, Chinese, Africans and other people who have produced tyrannical regimes such as those of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Idi Amin. As such we are just as capable of committing acts of gross evil that have been a part of mankind throughout his history. We’ve not been a perfect nation but we’ve never approached the level of hideousness seen in other nations. That’s despite the fact that our population consists of people who have for centuries been trying to slaughter one another in their home countries, whether it’s between the French and Germans, English and Irish, Japanese and Chinese, or Palestinians and Jews, Igbos and the Hausa of Nigeria. Thrown into the American mosaic are religions that have been in conflict for centuries such as Catholic and Protestant, and Christian and Muslim. The question is: Why is the United States an exception and will it remain so?” more…

Macro for Dummies

by Bill Bonner

“It is safe to assume that no one working at the Federal Reserve or at the White House has a picture of Warren Gamaliel Harding over his desk. Yet, if American presidents were ranked on the basis of how well they faced up to financial disaster, Warren G. Harding might be somebody. His handsome face would be carved on Rushmore. His likeness would grace the $100 bill. Harding was the last American president to deal honestly with a major financial crisis. Every president since has tried to scam his way out of it.” more…

An Update on Peak Oil from ASPO

by Byron King

“Marcio Mello, the former explorationist from Petrobras (PBR: NYSE) and now independent petroleum consultant, electrified the Denver meeting of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO).” more…

Could an independent Texas survive economically? The facts say ‘Yes’

by Dave Mundy

“Many of those who scoff at the notion of Texas independence do so by trying to paint a portrait of a trailer-park redneck republic which slides rapidly into Third World status without the many intricate connections to its sister states fostered by the benevolent government in Washington, D.C.” more…

Is Adulation of the Military Really Patriotic?

by Ivan Eland

“A recent article in the New York Times reported that the military has become frustrated with President Barack Obama because he hasn’t quickly decided to risk more of their lives in an Afghan war that is likely to be unwinnable. In a post-World War II world that has featured a non-traditional militarized foreign policy of profligate interventions into the affairs of other nations, the U.S. military and its opinion have acquired great prestige and are accorded hushed reverence in American society. The military and flag are worshiped as never before. But is this really patriotism?” more…

Regulars

News and stuff

  • Here’s a nice graphical summary of the outmoded overly-simplistic left-right political paradigm.
  • Feds back down on medical marijuana. Will respect local/state laws regarding it.
  • Who is Anita Dunn? An admirer of Mao Zedong and a top-Obama advisor. Yikes.
  • Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas
  • 49% say no healthcare reform would be better than what is being considered. 39% disagree.
  • Nancy Pelosi responds with “are you serious?” to the question: “Where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” An aide later remarks: “That is not a serious question.”
  • Maker of Russia’s #1 virus software is calling for the end of online anonymity, promotes the notion of “online passports” for all.
  • Senate to seek increase in debt limit in a “defense” (read war) appropriations bill.
  • US spies buy stake in company that monitors blogs, tweets.
  • Senate healthcare bill uses the word tax 124 times.
  • Some Senators are trying to water down the Audit the Fed bill.
  • Patient’s own stem cells used to grow facial bones.
  • An inflation calculator. Fun times!
  • Ayn Rand gains traction in India.
  • George Soros says that Wall St. profits are a gift from the state.

Videos

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 9,972.18 (-23.73/-0.24%)
S&P 500 – 1,079.60 (-8.08/-0.74%)
VIX – 22.27 (+0.84/3.92%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,413.252 (+171.543/5.29%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,546.75 (-163.86/-2.44%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,365.09 (+48.02/3.65%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 65,058.84 (-1,141.652/-1.72%)
RICI – 3,247.69 (+86.37/2.73%)
Gold/oz – 1,056.40 (+4.90/0.47%)
Silver/oz – 17.723 (+0.303/1.74%)
Copper/lb – 303.45 (+18.90/6.64%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 78.92 (+1.93/2.51%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 547.75 (+49.00/9.82%)
Corn/bu – 397.75 (+25.75/6.92%)
EUR-USD – 1.5008 (+0.0102/0.68%)
USD-JPY – 92.06 (+1.169/1.29%)
USD-BRL – 1.7173 (+0.0073/0.43%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.05 (-0.01/-16.67%)
2 Year Treasury – 1.00 (+0.05/5.26%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.49 (+0.08/2.35%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.29 (+0.05/1.18%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 11,896,808,244,570.30 (-49,894,888,237.00/-0.42%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3,043.00 (+315.00/11.55%)

I was walking on campus Wednesday and there were some kids trying to get passers by to write letters to Michigan’s two United States Senators – the venerable hack Carl Levin and the hack in training Debbie Stabenow. Well I didn’t know exactly what they were doing at first, so I asked. Not surprisingly they were trying to support some hare-brained big government bull crap. You know, it’s the University of Michigan. What else would you expect?

In fact, they were supporting “Cap n’ Trade”. They had their talking points on a clip board and would just ask for a moment of your time to transcribe said talking points into a letter. Then at some future date they would deliver those letters to Levin and Stabenow. I have to admit that’s a pretty damn good tactic. One that we could use to our benefit.

Anyway I struck up a conversation with one of the scumbags in training and asked him where the money was going to come from to fund this monstrosity. “Well you know,” he said, “alternative energy sources will bring thousands of jobs to Michigan and besides we import so much coal into this state anyway.” So I asked again, “where is the money for this going to come from? You know we ran like a two trillion dollar budget deficit this year, it’s not getting any better, and well our currency could be destroyed.” “Well you know, we’re all just here on this rock in the middle of space and money doesn’t matter too much in the big scheme of things.” Seriously, that’s what he said. People this freaking stupid and shallow shouldn’t be involved in politics. Uggg…

Since my ride was not due for another fifteen minutes or so, and since I was just going to sit around anyway, I thought I’d try to keep the idiot’s attention for a while longer. So we talked in circles. Finally he says, “you know, I really can’t talk to you because if I stand here and debate you I won’t get any letters written.” But I kept talking. Finally he become adamant about getting back to his “job”. I asked who was paying him. He didn’t say, but he didn’t say he was a volunteer either. But in any case he had to “get back to work”. He wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything just talking to me. I smiled at him and said, “exactly”, and then walked off.

I think that’s another tactic we can use. If you’ve got a bit of time to kill, or just for fun anytime, hijack an activist.

And that brings me to my larger point, which is inline with what Walter Williams said above. Basically there is no conception in this society about the limits of government power. It is assumed that government may do anything it wishes, if only a majority supports it. That is a prescription for despotism indeed.

Can you believe Nancy “are you serious” Pelosi? Shallow and stupid, or malevolent? I keep asking that question… On the other hand does the answer really matter if the destination is the same?

Focus on the states… That’s what I need to keep reminding myself of.

Have a nice weekend.

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