Week in review

Quote(s) of the week

“Central bankers are politicians with tenure.” – Professor Joe Salerno

“As many tea party movements have been hijacked and populated by pro-war neocon republicans newly opposed to ‘Obama’s big government’ after supporting eight years of Bush’s big government, it’s important to keep focused on the true enemies and interlopers whose only goal is to promote their brand of statism and tyranny.” – Martin Hill

In Defense of Senate ‘Obstructionism’

by Gene Healy

“Liberals are screaming bloody murder about Republican obstructionism. But thank God for obstructionism, and the Senate rules facilitating it — because the longer this debate goes on, the less Americans like what the Dems are trying to sell them.” more…

Putting Government in the Hands of Bureaucrats and “Experts”

by William L. Anderson

“’Progressives’ such as Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Croly, believed that people had become so advanced through ‘science’ that they no longer needed to be subjected to the messy and (to them) ‘chaotic’ processes of private markets and legislative debate. The ‘experts’ already knew what needed to be done, and anything done by legislatures and markets to delay the directives of the ‘experts’ should be swept away.” more…

The Command Economy

by Charles Goyette

“America is transforming itself, without forethought, debate, or pause, into a command economy. A command economy is a top-down, state-controlled economy directed by planners and bureaucrats, boards and bodies, administrators and authorities. A command economy is not characterized by mutuality of interest and agreement between parties. It relies on edict. A command economy, as the name implies, orders the affairs of a nation by coercion. In a free economy goods and services are bought and sold by consent; business transactions are based on agreement; contracts depend upon a meeting of the minds of the parties involved. In a command economy government sets prices, controls and directs resources, and oversees production and consumption. Free economies produce prosperity; command economies produce poverty. The transformation of America is already taking place at breakneck speed, even before the current economic crisis is full blown. Historical precedents insist that as conditions worsen, the transformation into a command economy will accelerate.” more…

Libertarianism in Ancient China

by Murray N. Rothbard

“The three main schools of political thought: the Legalists, the Taoists, and the Confucians, were established from the sixth to the fourth centuries BC. Roughly, the Legalists, the latest of the three broad schools, simply believed in maximal power to the state, and advised rulers how to increase that power. The Taoists were the world’s first libertarians, who believed in virtually no interference by the state in economy or society, and the Confucians were middle-of-the-roaders on this critical issue. The towering figure of Confucius (551–479 BC), whose name was actually Ch’iu Chung-ni, was an erudite man from an impoverished but aristocratic family of the fallen Yin dynasty, who became Grand Marshal of the state of Sung. In practice, though far more idealistic, Confucian thought differed little from the Legalists, since Confucianism was largely dedicated to installing an educated philosophically minded bureaucracy to rule in China.” more…

Who Knows Who Your Facebook Friends Are?

by Tim Jones

“[T]he social graph is actually the most important information to keep private. The threats here are more fundamental and dangerous-unexpected inference of sensitive information, cross-network de-anonymisation, socially targeted phishing and scams.

“It’s incredibly disappointing to see Facebook ignoring a growing body of scientific evidence and putting its social graph up for grabs. It will likely be completely crawled fairly soon by professional data aggregators, and probably by enterprising researchers soon after. The social graph is powerful view into who we are—Mark Zuckerberg said so himself—and it’s a sad day to see Facebook cynically telling us we can’t decide for ourselves whether or not to share it.” more…

Regulars

News and Stuff

  • An analysis of the changing relationship between the United States and Japan.
  • Tennessee State Representative Susan Lynn has asked the Tennessee Attorney General to be ready to take the healthcare legislation t court.
  • Here’s a round up of nullification efforts.
  • Tae Kwon Do monkeys attack trainer. Is it real? “We report you decide!”
  • By executive order INTERPOL now has some serious new power to operate within the United States.
  • Learn about the Fully Informed Jury Association.
  • Congress is attempting another power grab, this time to control all of the water in the United States.
  • Offensive” Tea Party, signs, or or says Huffington Post. On the other, some are pretty over the top.
  • Rand Paul is leading in the polls for the Kentucky Senate primary. You can learn about his campaign here.

Technology

  • The genomes of two cancers have been successfully mapped.

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,520.10 (+191.21/1.85%)
S&P 500 – 1,126.48 (+24.48/2.22%)
VIX – 19.47 (-2.21/-10.19%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,424.783 (+33.048/0.97%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,798.44 (+221.41/3.37%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,357.11 (-11.32/-0.83%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 67,588.859 (+794.648/1.19%)
RICI – 3,223.23 (+62.43/1.98%)
Gold/oz – 1,104.80 (-6.70/-0.60%)
Silver/oz – 17.44 (+0.12/0.69%)
Copper/lb – 329.00 (+15.15/4.83%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 76.31 (+2.56/3.47%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 524.50 (-3.50/-0.66%)
Corn/bu – 408.50 (+10.75/2.70%)
EUR-USD – 1.4412 (+0.0074/0.52%)
USD-JPY – 91.107 (+0.612/0.68%)
USD-BRL – 1.763 (-0.0172/-0.97%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.04 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.96 (+0.17/21.52%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.80 (+0.26/7.34%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.68 (+0.22/4.93%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 12,102,603,428,507.70 (+4,904,645,963.80/0.04%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3,005.00 (-253.00/-7.77%)

We are entering my favorite week of the year, that time between and including Christmas and New Year. It’s such a calm time. So much nicer than the weeks and days leading up to Christmas. There’s just something in the air that makes you want to relax and take stock of it all.

I typically use this week for reflection, visiting friends and relatives, and plotting out my course for the new year and the more distant future.

For any who might care we’ll all be in Albuquerque next week and several days following New Year. In fact we’re having a small gathering on New Year’s day. Please consider this your inviation, and email me if you’d like directions. I have not seen most of you in over a year and it’d be nice to visit.

As for Christmas it was very nice, my daughter’s first. No doubt she will not remember it. Misty and I will though. I made blueberry coffee cake for breakfast.  Misty made some posole for Christmas dinner and I made some red chile sauce. That will will become lunch and dinner for today as well.

Unfortunately Misty had to work a night shift last night. Funny thing, she works on the burn unit of the hospital in “Detroit” the news keeps mentioning… I heard it was quite the zoo.

Something sort of interesting on the posole front. If you walk into a grocery store in Albuquerque around this time of year and ask for pork for stew they have it in abundance, precut, packaged and ready to go. They had to cut up a bone-in pork chop on the spot for me here… Apparently not too many people make pork stew in Ann Arbor. Their loss… :)

Gotta get some red chile powder when I’m in ABQ next week.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and had lots of fun with their friends and families. Here’s to a happy and productive New Year!

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