Quote of the week
“In most places in America today, physical violence of any kind is frowned upon as indicative of an earlier, unenlightened, more barbaric age. Yet I wonder whether the fact that people know with a high degree of certainty that they will get no punch in the nose no matter what they say has not contributed to the general coarsening of manners. People today may say the vilest things with relative impunity, and so increasingly more of them do. If, by contrast, they knew they ran a real risk of the punch in the nose if they used coarse language or manners publicly, might that not act as a disincentive to do so—and a greater disincentive than the mere risk of having another use vile language aimed at oneself?” – James Otteson
by Doctor Zero
“Equality before the law would disintegrate Big Government as we know it. The entire enterprise is built on unequal treatment, based on race, sex, income level, and many other factors. The leviathan State would become an anemic corpse if inequality was drained from its bloodstream.
“True equality before the law is, perhaps, the greatest and most intimidating concept yet produced by human philosophy. Centuries after our Founders worked to contain this concept within the luminous words of our Constitution, we are still grappling with its ramifications. Understanding that equality leads to freedom from tyranny, oppression, and discrimination is relatively easy. It’s far more difficult to accept that it also means citizens cannot impose their demands on each other, using the power of the State… or that free people cannot be coerced into following even the most brilliant and compassionate central plans.” more…
by Ivan Eland
“Even though Obama’s speech marks a largely empty milestone, he has reduced U.S. combat forces in Iraq by 95,000 since taking office. He can’t be denied that accomplishment, but we should take this opportunity to assess whether the conflict was worth fighting in the first place. The answer: The war has been disastrous on almost every count.” more… [I highly recommend reading through this short piece, especially if you still support our overseas interventions.]
by Simon Black
“Traditionally, groups defined themselves through common characteristics like geography, language, and DNA. Certainly in the past, people who shared common geography or ethnicity likely shared the same core philosophies and values… but this is no longer the case.
“In 2010, crude divisions like the color of one’s skin, or the color of one’s passport, should no longer bind individuals together. Technology frees us to explore the world, either digitally or in-person, and seek out the people to whom we are the most philosophically aligned.” more… [There is a nice bit about the Iraq draw down in here too.]
by Anthony Gregory
“It is natural for libertarians to identify more with the side out of power. In a democratic system, those not wielding government force are, categorically, less guilty of crimes against individual liberty. Their rhetoric tends to be much better. An appeal to constitutionalism, founding principles or balanced budgets is much more often heard from those not at the reins of the state. It is music to libertarians’ ears, even when we know the song was ripped off and is being lip-synced.” more…
by Keith Johnson
“If you want to know the real purpose behind Glenn Beck’s expensive, heavily publicized ‘feel good’ extravaganza, you need only watch the first ten minutes of the speech he delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.” more… [Start at the “We’re being prepped for war” paragraph. Anyway, despite its own flaws, this is the best critique of Beck’s rally I have seen. My take: Whoever you follow, don’t be a lemming. FYI: As this speech shows, Martin Luther King was anti-war. As well, I think social-democrat describes him MLK.]
by Adam de Angeli
“I declare the convention to have been a resounding success. Thanks to all the organizers, all the delegates, and all of the volunteers, we got what we fought for. Campaign For Liberty had the best vendor booth at the show, we got to meet hundreds of grassroots leaders across the state, and we had a great time.
“Let’s build on this success through Election Day. A lot of politicians need our vote, and we need to tell them what them what they must do to earn it.” more… [Report on the Michigan Republican Party state convention.]
- The Bain Report: Articles that Affect You and Your Family
- For the second week in a row no bank failures.
- Amazon best sellers (#1 is Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design)
- Bill Bonner – Print Money and Be Damned
Politics and Such
- An excellent interview with Tom Woods on Nullification. (15:00)
- Two Michigan State legislators are demanding a slightly watered down state version of the Read the Bills Act.
- Fully body scan technology deployed in street roving vans.
- Internet “kill switch” may ride through in a “defense” appropriations bill.
- Tracking preschoolers with RFID tags in California.
- Cato summarizes Bernanke on monetary policy.
- Gary Johnson is campaigning in Iowa.
- Your stimulus dollars at work – Albuquerque’s bike bridge to Wal-Mart.
- Litter on the Washington Mall after Glen Beck’s rally versus Obama’s inauguration.
- S.510 would hand over unprecedented powers over our food supply to Homeland Security. Of course our very good friends at Monsanto are heavily involved. Here’s the break down on who owns their stock.
- Another gulf oil rig has exploded.
- What’s the deal with purple ties?
- Nullify Now could be coming to a location near you.
- The earth is running out of readily available helium?
- Is eating local best – perhaps not.
- Heavy drinkers outlive tee-totalers.
- Failure Friday
And now the numbers…
DOW Jones Industrials – 10,447.93 (+297.28/2.93%)
S&P 500 – 1,104.51 (+39.92/3.75%)
VIX – 21.31 (-3.14/-12.84%)
CSI 300 (China) – 2,920.205 (+61.639/2.16%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,439.08 (+128.14/1.75%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,410.16 (+43.66/3.20%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 66,678.617 (+1,093.476/1.67%)
RICI – 3,198.76 (+54.35/1.73%)
Gold/oz – 1,251.10 (+13.20/1.07%)
Silver/oz – 19.949 (+0.875/4.59%)
Copper/lb – 350.00 (+11.55/3.41%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 76.67 (+0.02/0.03%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 741.25 (+46.25/6.65%)
Corn/bu – 464.50 (+28.50/6.54%)
EUR-USD – 1.2896 (+0.0134/1.05%)
USD-JPY – 84.311 (-0.914/-1.07%)
USD-HKD – 7.7708 (-0.0075/-0.10%)
NZD-USD – 0.7207 (+0.0098/1.38%)
USD-BRL – 1.7328 (-0.0172/-0.98%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.12 (-0.02/-14.29%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.51 (-0.04/-7.27%)
10 Year Treasury – 2.70 (+0.06/2.27%)
30 Year Treasury – 3.78 (+0.09/2.44%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.29 (-0.07/-19.44%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 13,442,057,367,029.30 (+65,867,627,335.70/0.49%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 2,876.00 (+164.00/6.05%)
I’m pretty tired tonight so I’ll just say that the Washtenaw County Liberty Breakfast is tomorrow morning at the City Limits Diner in Saline at 8AM. Have a nice weekend!