Week in review

Quotes of the week

“What good is it being the best-looking horse in the glue factory?” – David Walker

“There are some general features of a socialist enterprise, whether it’s the Post Office, schools or the war on drugs. The enterprise is inefficient, expensive, very advantageous to a small group of people and harmful to a lot of people.” – Milton Friedman

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” – Samuel Adams

Plunder or Enterprise: The World’s Choice

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

“Today practically everyone agrees that some kind of market economy is essential if the less-developed countries are to progress to developed status. There are differences of opinion, to be sure, and the so-called ‘new development economics’ of the past decade holds far more peril than promise. But that the terms of the debate have shifted there can be little doubt.” more… [If you’ve got a bit of time I recommend this.]

Welcome to the Constitutional Crisis

by Brian Roberts

“Through recent actions, the federal government has demonstrated that absolute power is its sole desire. They have ignored the message delivered through tea parties and have now directly engaged in political battles with state governments empowered by their citizenry. If “we the people” lose these battles, ALL power will centralize in Washington D.C. and the dynamics of our free country will rapidly change from a government that serves the people to a government that dictates to the people. The crisis ultimately revolves around this question:” more…

What’s More Important: Liberty Or The Entity That Protects It?

by Chuck Baldwin

“America’s founders desired a land in which men might live in liberty. By declaring independence from the government of Great Britain (and instituting new government), Jefferson, et al., did not intend to erect an idol (government) that men would worship. They created a mechanism designed to protect that which they considered to be their most precious possession: liberty. In other words, the government they created by the Constitution of 1787 was not the object; freedom’s protection was the object.” more…

Army Preps for Tea Party ‘Terrorists’

by Mark Alexander

“Whether this is complacency by officers who do not see such orders as a problem, or worse, officers who recognize the problem but do not insist the orders are changed, this is a serious problem. We are discussing the training of American citizen soldiers in the use of potentially deadly force against a specific group of political dissenters. There is never a time in an officer’s career in which he does not have a duty to apply critical thought to the orders he is given and asked to give. It is my opinion that any officer that has allowed these orders to persist, to reach the level of junior officers and soldiers, has demonstrated a lack of judgment or apathy towards what his duty requires of him. Either way, we should demand more of the commissioned officers, who we as a nation empower to lead our sons and daughters into battle.” more…

Renouncing American Citizenship

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

“[T]he rise of emigration, expatriation, and citizenship renunciation is a trend that is not going away. It is rising and will get more significant. In some ways, it is completely expected. When regimes over-control, over-tax, over-regulate, they gnaw at the innate sense of the right to be free. When this gets worse and worse, people tend to look around for better environments.” more…

The Welfare State Meets Mathematics

by Dan Denning

“Politically, the centralising principle, as emotionally successful as it has been in winning market share/votes (let us live at one another’s expense) is being exposed as economically fraudulent (as well as morally wrong to coerce other people to your way of thinking through taxation). It’s a nice idea, but it may be unaffordable without literally mortgaging the future or destroying our standard of living in the pursuit of a social welfare utopia.” more…

Let Greece Have Its Default

by Henrik Raeder Clausen

“Greece is rightfully making headlines these days, hovering on the edge of what would be a quite embarrassing default – an open admission that the country will not be able to pay back its staggering debt.

While such an admission would cause turmoil, and probably a career change for several politicians, it remains the least harmful of available options.

“The core problem is debt, massive amounts of debt. The debt-to-GDP ratio of Greece is well above 100 percent, estimated to hit 124 % in 2010 and 131 % in 2011. While Greek economical estimates are notoriously unreliable (more on that later), this is plenty bad enough. For no plan exists to actually pay back that mountain of borrowed money.” more… [In a similar vein, here’s some commentary about the outlook for the Euro.]

Regulars

Politics and Such

  • Nationally 60% favor local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone the officer believes to be an illegal immigrant. Granted illegal immigration is a problem, and local police should check the status of anyone they find breaking another existing law. But seriously this sounds like an acceptance of, “may I see your papers please?” (Well as long as it’s for a good reason. It’s your patriotic duty.)
  • May 20th is “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day“.
  • Protect your access to local food.
  • GM pays back loans, or simply finds a way to refinance debt at lower rates?
  • 80,000 US military troops ready to be deployed in the United States.
  • The circus begins in Arizona.
  • Report issues by Health and Human Services says healtcare bill will raise costs. The report was finished one week before the vote on the bill, but was withheld so as to not influence the vote. Can you say Totally Freaking Corrupt?
  • A little goody tucked in the “healtcare bill” will have small businesses filing many many more 1099 forms with IRS. It occurs to me that this will hurt small businesses a lot. Not just in the obvious way, in that filing the papers will be a burden. But rather in the way suppliers are chosen. A business owner would most likely seek to file as few 1099 forms as possible and so to accomplish this would try to find companies that could supply his business with many things. This versus buying a few things from many suppliers. So who do you suppose can supply lots of things? Ahh, large businesses. So this will further encourage small businesses to do business with large suppliers. Thus small businesses are damaged.
  • Spain’s credit rating downgraded from AA+ to AA.
  • Greece’s credit rating is now at the junk level – BBB-.
  • In case you actually wanted to renounce your US citizenship, here are some brief instructions. The comments on the article are also instructive.
  • In Flint, Michigan arson is on the rise after cuts to local police and fire departments.
  • Q1 GDP came in up 3.2%. Obama says it’s a sign we are recovering. Others say we’ve papered over one disaster and are getting set up for another larger one.
  • The bailout bill (aka financial reform) would create an agency to track all financial transactions (yours included) and use them “as permitted”. It’s just another power grab disguised as a “reform” or a “consumer protection”. Watch the right , watch the left, watch the center, and watch your back.
  • New Russian weapon can be hidden in a shipping container, and is capable of taking down an aircraft carrier. Question: how useful are aircraft carriers in this new paradigm of warfare – the one where any container ship can sink an aircraft carrier with little to no warning?
  • Copper theft is on the rise

Miscellany

Education

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 11,008.61 (-195.67/-1.75%)
S&P 500 – 1,186.69 (-30.59/-2.51%)
VIX – 22.05 (+5.43/32.67%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,067.365 (-122.638/-3.84%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,042.68 (-6.94/-0.10%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,436.04 (-31.58/-2.15%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 67,529.727 (-1,979.765/-2.85%)
RICI – 3,288.80 (-16.48/-0.50%)
Gold/oz – 1,180.70 (+27.00/2.34%)
Silver/oz – 18.639 (+0.416/2.28%)
Copper/lb – 335.35 (-17.70/-5.01%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 87.44 (+0.19/0.22%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 503.00 (-2.50/-0.49%)
Corn/bu – 375.25 (+14.25/3.95%)
EUR-USD – 1.3294 (-0.009/-0.67%)
USD-JPY – 93.85 (-0.122/-0.13%)
USD-BRL – 1.7394 (-0.017/-0.97%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.15 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.96 (-0.11/-10.28%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.65 (-0.16/-4.20%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.52 (-0.14/-3.00%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.35 (+0.03/9.37%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 12,853,100,126,888.40 (-19,501,143,976.00/-0.15%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 3,354.00 (+341.00/11.32%)

Yikes! That was a lot of stuff this week.

It’s also very late.

One thing. Baby Girl is crawling! She’s chasing the dogs. That’s a sight!

Otherwise breakfast in Saline tomorrow at the City Limits Diner – 8AM.

Have a great weekend!

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