Week in review

Quote of the week

“I think conscription ought to be forbidden since forced military service is a form of slavery. Moreover, a healthy republic with a virtuous citizenry fighting a war in the national interest should not require conscription.” – Randy Barnett

“We could not maintain the gold standard nor the silver standard. We could not maintain the copper standard, and now we cannot even maintain the zinc standard. Paper money inevitably breeds inflation and destroys the value of currency.” – Ron Paul

Our Totalitarian Regulatory Bureaucracy

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

“It may sound shocking to some, but modern-day America compares ‘favorably’ to fascist Germany of the 1930s with regard to the degree to which the state interferes with and controls economic activity. First of all, government expenditures at all levels of government account for about 40 percent of national income. It differs by a few percentage points, year by year, but it has been in the 40 percent range in the past few years. This doesn’t count all of the off-budget government agencies that exist at the federal, state, and local levels of government as James Bennett and I documented in our book, Underground Government: The Off-Budget Public Sector. If this is included, government expenditures as a percentage of national income would be at least 45 percent, which is not so far from the 53 percent in Nazi Germany that Hayek alluded to.” more…

The Continuing Crisis in the New World Order

by Jacob Steelman

“The [Great Financial Crisis] is a crisis in the ruling elites’ government-run and -supported financial system which threatens the world economy but it is not a crisis of the free market as so many pundits in the media suggest in their effort to place the blame other than where it belongs – government warfare and welfare expenditures, taxation and intervention in the financial system through central banks and fractional reserve banking. After having created and spent trillions of fiat dollars, pounds, euros and yen on bailouts, nationalizations and stimuli it still has not worked. The market wants a correction of the malinvestments caused by the excessive debt and spending which caused the problem in the first place. This is why unemployment remains high, the recovery is very slow and the threat of a double-dip recession looms on the horizon.” more…

The Ruling Elite Called

by Jim Q

“I just got off the horn with the Ruling Elite. We had an emergency conference call and to tell you the truth, they ain’t happy. You little people are not responding the way you are supposed to. A significant portion of you are not getting more optimistic because they tell you to. Instead of just reading the headline on Bloomberg that durable goods orders skyrocketed in June, you actually read the details that said durable goods orders plunged. It is getting difficult for the ruling elite to keep the masses sedated and dumbed down. These damn bloggers, with their facts and critical thinking, are throwing a wrench into the gears. Obama and his crack team are working round the clock to lock down the internet, but it will take time. Not that they are totally dissatisfied. They’ve been able to renovate their penthouses and purchase new mansions in the Hamptons with the billions in bonuses you supplied through TARP. The $1.2 trillion supplied by your children and grandchildren to buy up toxic mortgages off their balances sheets was a godsend. They will never call you suckers, to your face.” more…

The Muni-Bond Debt Bomb

by Steven Malanga

“Taxpayers are slowly realizing that their states and municipalities face growing costs—above all, debt and pension obligations—that will be hard to reduce. The squeeze is already forcing cities and states to cut basic services, since they can’t risk defaulting on their debt. But these politically unpalatable moves are troubling more and more observers of the muni market.” more…

Are You “Out of Touch”?

by Simon Black

“By the late summer of 1939, Hitler’s forces had absorbed Austria and Czechoslovakia into his growing empire, and Germany’s military was massed at the Polish border clearly preparing for invasion. “In an astonishing display of perhaps the greatest complacency in the history of the modern world, however, Polish people sat lazing about their lakes, beaches, and riverbanks worrying about more pressing matters– like how to beat the summer heat.” more…

‘A Commandeering of the People’

by James Taranto

“‘What is the individual mandate?’ Mr. Barnett says. ‘I’ll tell you what the individual mandate, in reality, is. It is a commandeering of the people. . . . Now, is there a rule of law preventing that? No. Why isn’t there a rule of law preventing that? Because it’s never been done before. What’s bothering people about the mandate? This fact. It’s intuitive to them. People don’t even know how to explain it, but there’s something different about this, because it’s a commandeering of the people as a whole. . . . We commandeer people to serve in the military, to serve on juries, and to file a return and pay their taxes. That’s all we commandeer the people to do. This is a new kind of commandeering, and it’s offensive to a lot of people.'” more…

Regulars

Politics and Such

  • Chase Ingersoll answers the Michigan State House District 53 (Ann Arbor area) Candidate Questionnaire. Don’t you wish you had someone like this to vote for?
  • Heritage Foundation: 2010 Index of Economic Freedom
  • Everything is okay… get back to your shopping. (video ~8:00)
  • Kucinich and Paul challenge U.S. military activity in Pakistan. They have forced a debate on it in the house.
  • Senate Republicans block DISCLOSE Act. Ah, a modicum of success.
  • Paul Ryan destroys Chris Matthews (video 6:09)
  • It’s no surprise than the financial regulation bill is full of surprises.
  • Oil eating microbes help clean up the Gulf.
  • HR5741, introduced by Charles Rangel on July 15th, would mandate two years of “national service” for everyone between the ages of 18 and 42. It has no co-sponsors. Hopefully it stays buried in committee.
  • Of course Rangel is now in trouble.
  • Some of Arizona’s controversial immigration bill has been blocked by a Federal Judge.
  • Atlas Shrugged coming to a theater near you. It’ll be a trilogy.
  • DOJ pushing expanded warrantless access to Internet records.
  • IEEE Spectrum calls Chevy Volt a costly mistake.
  • CIA and Google collaborate on web monitoring.

Miscellany

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,465.94 (+41.32/0.40%)
S&P 500 – 1,101.60 (-1.06/-0.10%)
VIX – 23.50 (+0.03/0.13%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,868.846 (+75.77/2.71%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,205.22 (-71.35/-0.98%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,397.12 (+16.26/1.18%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 67,515.398 (+1,192.406/1.80%)
RICI – 3,184.47 (+92.29/2.98%)
Gold/oz – 1,183.90 (-3.90/-0.33%)
Silver/oz – 18.003 (-0.098/-0.54%)
Copper/lb – 331.15 (+12.65/3.97%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 78.18 (+0.73/0.94%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 661.50 (+65.25/10.94%)
Corn/bu – 406.75 (+22.25/5.79%)
EUR-USD – 1.3052 (+0.0143/1.11%)
USD-JPY – 86.47 (-0.994/-1.14%)
USD-HKD – 7.7668 (-0.0013/-0.02%)
NZD-USD – 0.726 (-0.0013/-0.18%)
USD-BRL – 1.7549 (-0.0189/-1.07%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.14 (-0.01/-6.67%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.55 (-0.03/-5.17%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.91 (-0.08/-2.68%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.99 (-0.02/-0.50%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.45 (-0.04/-8.16%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,246,508,860,572.10 (-2,644,765,298.30/-0.02%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 1,967.00 (+141.00/7.72%)

Looks like I’m late. There was a party last night. My intention was to finish the newsletter when I got home… So much for that.

I wrote a blog post this week about a convention for dealing with dropped cell phone calls. Basically it’s this: If the call drops its the responsibility of the person who originated the call to call back. This way the conversation resumes quickly without multiple trips to each other’s voice mail.

Here’s a link to the Weatherman Manifesto. I’m just a few pages in on this. The people who wrote this thing are just unbelievably idiotic. Unfortunately they are fairly close to the reins of power in this country so it’s probably worth understanding them.

The Heritage Foundation published its 2010 Economic Freedom Index. I always enjoy looking at this.

The Michigan primary election is this Tuesday. I approve of the following candidates: Randy Bain (R) – State Senate District 17, Dave Franklin (D) – State House District 54, Rick Olson (R) – State House District 55, Chase Ingersoll (R) – State House District 53.

For what it’s worth Wife and I are running for Precinct Delegate in our precinct, but since no one getting this lives in our precinct it would be rather pointless for me to ask for your vote…

Otherwise I think we’re headed out to the Toledo Zoo today. It was either that or walking my precinct, which I may yet do tomorrow or Monday evening. Work was just rough this week. One of the guys went off to India and some of the stuff he was responsible for blew up. So I had to pinch hit. Happily the problem is solved, and in retrospect it was a rather minor explosion.

Baby Girl is walking and becoming much more vocal.

Alright, that’s it for this week. Have a great weekend!

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