Week in review

Quote of the week

“[T]he essence of market transactions is a kind of reciprocal altruism, enforced by contract.” – Greg Mankiw

“[T]he fixers have no idea what they are doing. All they have is a crackpot theory about the way an economy works. They stick with it despite the fact that it makes no sense in theory…and has never actually worked in practice.” – Bill Bonner

Rand Paul was Right on Civil Rights Act

Posted by Red State

“When Title II of the Civil Rights Act was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Katzenbach v McClung, it was ruled to be ‘Constitutional’ based on the ‘Commerce Clause’ which grants Congress the power ‘To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States.’ Although some parts of the ‘Civil Rights Act’ are based on the post-civil war Amendments, these were ruled by the District Court inapplicable to private businesses absent any action by the government. The same Supreme Court which ordered desegregation and bussing recognized that there is no ‘civil right’ to access the private business premises of another without giving the owner any choice in the matter. In actuality, the entire Constitutional justification of the law is that it makes it easier for ‘interstate commerce for one can hardly travel without eating.'” more…

A Hidden History of Evil

by Claire Berlinski

“In the world’s collective consciousness, the word ‘Nazi’ is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.

“For evidence of this indifference, consider the unread Soviet archives. Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can’t get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can’t get anyone to take much interest in them at all.” more…

A Legal Analysis of the New Arizona Immigration Law

by Ilya Shapiro

“None of these provisions, on their face, appear to be unconstitutional, in the sense of Arizona intruding on federal authority over immigration policy. Indeed, as reported last week by the Washington Post, this conclusion is backed by a 2002 memo from the Office of Legal Counsel — the Department of Justice unit that acts as the executive branch’s ‘outside counsel.’ This memo concludes: first, that states have ‘inherent power’ to make arrests for violating federal law and, second, ‘federal statutes should be presumed not to preempt this arrest authority.’ OLC memos are not law themselves but they are the DOJ’s official position on various legal issue. Having said that, an OLC memo can at any time be withdrawn or replaced — as indeed the 2002 memo replaced an earlier 1996 memo on the subject (or, more famously, Jack Goldsmith withdrew the so-called ‘torture memos’). And, of course, Congress could pass a law saying states shall not enforce federal immigration laws.” more… [On the other hand boycotts of Arizona by various city councils could be unconstitutional.]

Regulars

Politics and Such

  • Interesting political ad from Dale Peterson, candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner.
  • GOP wins House Seat in Hawaiian special election. He will serve out the remainder of the 2010 term and will stand for reelection November. Of note, he won in a three way race.
  • Frog Puppet mocks Holder, Napalitano, and other ignoramuses for not having read the Arizona immigration bill before they open their mouths to opine about it. Oh, and it is sponsored by the Arizona governor.
  • Question emerges as to whether the Obama administration offered a job to Joe Sestak in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary election, which he finally won while simultaneously ousting Arlen Specter. Such behavior (the job offer bribe) is illegal.
  • Alan Grayson introduces the “War is Making You Poor Act“. Ron Paul has co-sponsored.
  • If you can co-opt a TEA Party Candidate, destroy him.
  • Obama will not visit the Tomb of the Unknown Solider on Memorial Day.
  • Private pay shrinks to lowest levels ever as government payouts increase.
  • Some landscape workers find it easier to take unemployment benefits than a job.

Miscellany

  • Some benefits of caffeine and coffee in particular.
  • Play PAC-MAN on Google.
  • Learn about Wickard v. Filburn.
  • Algerian rocker covers Rock the Casbah. He performs this song live in the Middle East. Note the lyrics: “Sharia don’t like it, Rock the Casbah.” That’s some stones.
  • Net worth of US Presidents past and present.
  • Challenging the standard narrative of “civilization.”

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,136.63 (-56.76/-0.56%)
S&P 500 – 1,089.41 (+1.72/0.16%)
VIX – 32.07 (-8.03/-20.02%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,850.302 (+81.511/2.94%)
BSE 500 (India) – 6,728.78 (+136.41/2.07%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,309.09 (+44.18/3.49%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 61,946.988 (+1,687.66/2.80%)
RICI – 2,949.09 (+45.00/1.55%)
Gold/oz – 1,215.00 (+38.90/3.31%)
Silver/oz – 18.422 (+0.771/4.37%)
Copper/lb – 310.45 (+4.35/1.42%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 74.02 (+2.34/3.26%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 457.75 (-14.25/-3.02%)
Corn/bu – 359.00 (-10.00/-2.71%)
EUR-USD – 1.2274 (-0.0296/-2.35%)
USD-JPY – 91.059 (+1.064/1.18%)
USD-BRL – 1.8171 (-0.0363/-1.96%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.16 (+0.01/6.67%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.77 (+0.01/1.32%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.29 (+0.05/1.54%)
30 Year Treasury – 4.21 (+0.11/2.68%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.54 (+0.04/8.00%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 12,987,916,782,708.60 (+94,110,279.5996/0.00%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 4,078.00 (+234.00/6.09%)

Well, we made it to Albquerque. The train ride was nice. Saw lots of antelope today. The dogs are in good hands at home. The lost bag was found. Baby Girl is sleeping…

Soon I will be too.

Have a great weekend!

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