Week in review

Quote of the week

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” – Henry David Thoreau

The Declaration of Indepdendence

by Thomas Jefferson

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.” more… [There is a particular quote that I love in this: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”]

Defusing the Foreign Policy Time-Bomb

by S.J. Masty

“You munch popcorn while, up on the silver screen, James Bond has 16 seconds in which to defuse the fiendish thermonuclear device. Does he clip the blue wire or the red wire? A mistake will destroy the planet.

“In a comedy film, 007 would walk around to the back and unplug it, but this isn’t a comedy. Neither is American foreign policy. Yes, it has gone frightfully wrong, yes it is now unaffordable, yes it is in the worst interest of American people, the US economy and maybe much of the world. But the order of reform is all-important. Clip the wrong wire first and it’s not a happy ending.

“The objective, one presumes, looks like Switzerland without the cuckoo-clocks. The closest that the Swiss ever come to meddling in other countries is its admirable International Committee of the Red Cross, staffed by valiant youth who run hospitals in other peoples’ war-zones, and who monitor human rights and then negotiate quietly with the perpetrators, maintaining access and dialogue by avoiding publicity.

“Otherwise, the Swiss just do business by minding their own business. Their government issues no daily announcements about the private affairs of nearly every nation on earth, they do not keep troops in half of the nations on the planet, nor do they launch wars to solve other countries’ ancient, intractable problems.

“It works. Nobody crashes jetliners into Swiss skyscrapers. Everybody uses their banks and eats their chocolate. This is the foreign policy that General Washington recommended to Americans, one fully ignored by big government and its profiteering contractors against which another general-turned-president, Eisenhower, warned convincingly.” more…

The Government is Sending You a Message

by Simon Black

“[T]he G8/G20 summits took place over the weekend in Toronto, and everything about these events simply boils my blood.

“To me, there’s nothing more utterly worthless than a bunch of corrupt, irrelevant, incompetent bureaucrats who generate enormous pomp and circumstance to gather together at taxpayer expense in order to accomplish absolutely nothing.

“It reminds me of that quote from the very prescient book, 1984, ‘[i]f you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.'” more…

Some Other Founding Documents


Politics and Such

  • An 86 year old woman was tasered in her bed by El Reno, Oklahoma police officers. A lawsuit has ensued.
  • China sources gold straight from miners, urges its emerging middle class to own gold.
  • Prepare for “monster quantitative easing“, says a cheerleader for quantitative easing. Don’t forget to peek at the comments.
  • Interesting take on McDonald vs. City of Chicago in light of the 14th amendment. I agree with
  • Omaha woman charged with felony after son makes and detonates dry ice bombs. FYI: A dry ice bomb comes down to this. Take a two liter soda bottle. Put a SMALL amount of water in the bottom. Put some dry ice in it. Cap it. Run away. Don’t try this at home. We used to make these when we were kids, but we didn’t live in the city. Not sure what the big deal is. It’s not like he destroyed anything with it.
  • Brief pictorial history of coinage in these United States. Quite interesting actually.
  • A somewhat pro-market view on net neutrality from the Huffington Post.


  • How the Amish fought the IRS and won.
  • Advertisers have a certain way of perverting our tastes. Witness the rise in women smoking in the 1920s.
  • Rent a white man? In China maybe…

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 9,686.48 (-457.33/-4.51%)
S&P 500 – 1,022.58 (-54.18/-5.03%)
VIX – 30.12 (+1.59/5.57%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,534.105 (-202.182/-7.39%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,023.58 (-8.95/-0.13%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,288.05 (-59.53/-4.42%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 61,429.789 (-3,394.039/-5.24%)
RICI – 2,897.93 (-130.00/-4.29%)
Gold/oz – 1,207.70 (-48.50/-3.86%)
Silver/oz – 17.719 (-1.433/-7.48%)
Copper/lb – 291.60 (-19.50/-6.27%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 71.65 (-6.47/-8.28%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 503.00 (+32.00/6.79%)
Corn/bu – 384.50 (+24.00/6.66%)
EUR-USD – 1.2566 (+0.0197/1.59%)
USD-JPY – 87.75 (-1.48/-1.66%)
USD-BRL – 1.7721 (-0.0152/-0.85%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.16 (+0.03/23.08%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.62 (-0.03/-4.62%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.98 (-0.13/-4.18%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.94 (-0.12/-2.96%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.53 (UNCHG)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,178,317,356,215.70 (+140,237,372,497.30/1.08%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,280.00 (-221.00/-8.84%)

I’m thinking about starting a “founding documents” section, wherein I will link to one founding document per week. Various federalist papers are obvious candidates, as are some of the anti-federalist papers, early presidential addresses, articles leading up to the Constitutional Convention (like Madison’s “Vices” paper), and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. If anyone has suggestions with respect to particulars, like “hey Craig, you better include Federalist #53”, well I’d like to hear from you.

Whew! It’s late. Work has been crazy busy. I see the end of the tunnel though, so that’s good. Unfortunately it has me working this weekend. But it’s nice to see a project wrap up, especially one that you’ve been working on for over six months.

Canada was fun last weekend. We caught quite a few fish, and just about every possible species for that lake – Lake George. We ended up keeping three walleye and maybe a half-dozen perch. I cooked some of the walleye up a few nights ago and it was very good.

Visiting the upper peninsula was really nice. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I was alone since moving to Michigan. Of course Little Wife and Baby Girl were there, but there wasn’t a farm house every quarter mile or very many cars at all. You just can’t beat that “middle of nowhere” feeling. It’s pretty common out west, but like I said it’s the first time I’ve experienced that in a couple of years. It was refreshing.

It also turns out that Michigan is not as flat as I thought it was. There’s quite a few large hills up north and something you might even call mountains around Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario.

Also, I’ve added a new section on my blog, reading, which is just a list of the things I’m currently reading, have recently read, and recommend. I’m also working on getting my short list up there.

So that’s it for tonight. We have breakfast in Saline tomorrow at 8AM at the City Limits Diner.

Happy Independence Day!

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