Week in review

Quote of the week

“We’re told this morning that the last U.S. ‘combat brigade’ has left Iraq, and ‘combat operations’ there are over. Of course, 56,000 U.S. troops remain there. Most of them used to be ‘combat troops,’ in fact. But now they’re ‘transitional troops.’ You can be forgiven for thinking that nothing’s changed much. Ditto for what we’re told about ‘the recovery.'” – Addison Wiggin

Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong

by Steven Hill

“Based on such a miserable track record, I’m shorting economists and financial experts of all stripes. Most of them are wrong more than they are right. But that doesn’t prevent them from pontificating like an order of self-righteous priests. Considering how much damage they have caused, how many economic experts have lost their jobs or been otherwise defrocked? Indeed, many of the same people who caused the disaster—Fed chief Ben Bernanke, Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin, the latter two being Clinton treasury secretaries who got deregulation done, then split for Harvard and Citigroup, respectively—are still calling the shots. Summers, of course, is President Obama’s top economic adviser. Their economic priesthood protects its own, no matter how offending they have been, relocating them to another university or think tank, another government job or talking-head show.” more…

The Free-Marketeers Strike Back

by Guy Sorman

“Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, had their savings wiped out, or foreclosed on their homes. Any number of suspects have been blamed for the chaos, but according to an influential cadre of liberal economists, the real culprit is the free market. In his new book Freefall, for example, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz declares that “market fundamentalists” and “deregulators” are to blame for the mess. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, also a Nobel winner, demands ever more public spending to lift the U.S. economy out of recession—another blow for statism.” more… [I do not agree with all of this, but it does offer an alternative description of recent events. The part about the recession causing the financial crisis, as opposed to the other way around, is spot on IMO.]

10 Signs The U.S. is Becoming a Third World Country

by Activist Post

“The United States by every measure is hanging on by a thread to its First World status. Saddled by debt, engaged in wars on multiple fronts with a rising police state at home, declining economic productivity, and wild currency fluctuations all threatening America’s future.” more…


Politics and Such

  • China has taken over Japan as the world’s second largest economy.
  • Stop REAL ID in Michigan.
  • Chart of City/County government workers per capita in New Mexico.
  • Idealogical warning labels are disproportionatly applied by the “mainstream” media  to conservative and libertarian groups, while liberal/leftist groups typically do not garner them.
  • Is gulf seafood safe?
  • Florida is in some serious fiscal trouble. Expect bailouts.
  • Is all of the humdrum concerning Iran really about nuclear weapons or are we just fabricating a pretext for attack?
  • The Cordoba Initiative – the folks behind the much discussed mosque in NYC.
  • Seattle approves urban farming ordinance.
  • Maybe 75% of the oil in the gulf is NOT gone after all, but rather submerged. Fantastic… Only one question, did BP do this purposefully?
  • The fascist “food safety” bill has reared its head again. Watch out.
  • National education standards look to be on the way.


And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 10,213.62 (-89.53/-0.87%)
S&P 500 – 1,071.69 (-7.56/-0.70%)
VIX – 25.49 (-0.75/-2.86%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,898.333 (+42.786/1.50%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,469.14 (+119.97/1.63%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,366.32 (-5.14/-0.37%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 66,677.156 (+412.726/0.62%)
RICI – 3,110.63 (-37.87/-1.20%)
Gold/oz – 1,228.80 (+12.20/1.00%)
Silver/oz – 18.041 (-0.124/-0.68%)
Copper/lb – 331.15 (+3.90/1.19%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 74.26 (-0.85/-1.13%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 712.00 (-22.25/-3.03%)
Corn/bu – 436.25 (+9.00/2.11%)
EUR-USD – 1.2712 (-0.0052/-0.41%)
USD-JPY – 85.615 (-0.521/-0.60%)
USD-HKD – 7.7742 (+0.0022/0.03%)
NZD-USD – 0.7067 (+0.0003/0.04%)
USD-BRL – 1.7562 (-0.0158/-0.89%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.15 (UNCHG)
2 Year Treasury – 0.49 (-0.04/-7.55%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.61 (-0.06/-2.25%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.66 (-0.20/-5.18%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.33 (-0.04/-10.81%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,363,227,573,941.70 (+46,178,736,424.60/0.35%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,756.00 (+288.00/11.67%)

It’s been a pretty good week. Classes start two weeks from Tuesday. Yikes! That sure crept up fast. Gotta order my book.

I’ve got a number of things I have got to get done between now and then before I have basically no extra time. Happily one of those things is finished. The other includes finishing my outline of the Pre-Socratic section of Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy. And happily that is almost done too. The final thing is to tie up some loose ends on the first features of a Ruby on Rails app I’ve been working on. Much more about that later… The details are a secret for now. :)

I’m curious, does anyone know any good TV shows for Baby Girl? None is, I suppose, a possible answer here, but there must be something that would be beneficial. Anyway, would appreciate suggestions.

Little Wife has been working nights, and in fact is working a night shift tonight as well. Then tomorrow too. Ugg. Then two more weeks of that crap. Double ugg. Poor thing.

Made some noodles and spicy black bean eggplant for dinner tonight. Yummy, healthy, and easy. Gotta love it.

Tomorrow we have breakfast in Ann Arbor at the Classic Cup Cafe starting at 8AM. Then at 9AM we are going to get a visit from Bill Schuette, who is a Republican candidate for Attorney General. You’ll definitely want to attend if you’re a delegate to the state convention. He’s going to take questions and speak about issues related to his race.

Alright, that’s all! Have a great weekend!

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