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Month: May 2010

Monday miscellany

I know this is last week’s news and it’s already gotten a fair bit of circulation. But I think it’s worth a second read. Or a third: “Warning: Crash dead ahead. Sell. Get liquid. Now.” Paul B. Ferrell. I know that much doom-gloom needs to be taken with a healthy sprinkling of salt. But you do gotta wonder when we’re finally going to teeter over this brink we’ve been wobbling on. “The part of me the Watchers couldn’t see.” Encouraging. And apropos of nothing except a coincidence of wording (and some evils of government), I’m currently re-reading one of my…

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Friday follies

Total follies: How wonderful! The federal government is going to pay for Medicaid expansion so we won’t have to. Seriously. If allegedly astute commentators spew stuff like that, it’s no wonder that 24 percent of Americans believe the fedgov has its own money supply, completely independent of taxpayers. (And we’re not talking about the famous printing press here.) And hey, while we’re still partying along on other people’s money, how about lifetime mortgages in which the principal is never paid? In the old days, I do believe we’d have called that “rent.” But Aussies are apparently up for it. And…

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BOHICA: Consumer “protection”

Okay, we all knew the Wall Street regulatory bill wasn’t really going to regulate Wall Street. And we could be sure that the new “consumer protection” bureaucracy the bill proposes wasn’t going to protect consumers, right? But there was still a shoe that hadn’t dropped. We hadn’t yet heard about the inevitable something in the bill, the teeny, tiny little let’s-not-mention-this provision that would turn out to be the real purpose of the upcoming new law. The shoe has struck. Via LRC.com, here it is: The bill, if it becomes law, would create the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and…

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Karl Hess

P.T. reminded me that today is the birthday of the late, great (and sometimes rather quirky) Karl Hess. She pointed me toward his 1969 Playboy article, “The Death of Politics.” Yeah, bits of it are dated now. But even those parts give an interesting look at the way politics and government never fundamentally change, even as the world shifts around them. If I have one hero in the ranks of libertarians and market anarchists, it’s Hess. Whatever else the man did, he seriously tried to live by his principles and implement them in the real world. 0

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Monday miscellany

A touch of humor on the Euro-debacle. Funny how comedians get what most economists miss. Speaking of which, is this a sign of the contagion moving beyond Greece? A few mainstream commentators do get it, though. Here’s the sort of vaguely-libertarianish-when-he’s-in-the-mood-to-be Tyler Cowen in the New York Time, telling some truths about Greece. And speaking of missing the obvious … Lessee … You note that a particular function of government is bloated, inefficient, and dysfunctional. So you propose adding yet another layer of bureaucracy. The government (no surprise) hastens to follow your recommendations. Then you are shocked, simply shocked that…

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High-wind warnings

This is my first full spring in the desert and I’m not loving it. I knew, from word and brief visits, that it could be windy here in springtime. “Heck, it’s windy anywhere that time of year,” I thought. But wind here is something cosmic — even worse at times than the howling gales that are part of Wyoming’s very identity. We’re under high-wind warnings two to three days a week right now. And that’s not to say that the other days are calm. Merely that they’re windy enough to be annoying and to make havoc of both your housecleaning…

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Saturday stuff

I don’t care what their stated intentions are, or how innocent the people involved. To call this tasteless would be like calling the Titanic’s iceberg encounter “a scratch.” I’m no particular Rand Paul fan. But the flap over his “racism” is nothing but a nonsensical refusal by the media to recognize that public issues are subject to nuance. What kind of world is it in which “yes” or “no” are the only possible answers to every question? It’s good to see David Weigel of the Washington Post defend Paul on exactly the right grounds. Let me get this straight. Priests…

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Naughty, naughty

Okay. It’s Friday. It’s May. The weekend is coming. The sun in shining. It’s a good day for being naughty here at the blog. Don’t tell Dave Duffy (aka The Boss), but today let’s cover things strictly illegal and fattening. To wit: You just know cannabis is finally out of the Reefer Madness days and inching toward the mainstream when the New York Times runs a straightfaced article on how chefs’ and other staffers’ personal use of the herb is influencing both food and atmosphere at restaurants. Well, makes sense. Cannabis. Munchies. Yeah. And along those lines: Dan D. Lyon,…

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Markets, politicians, and other maunderings

I tried. I did. I really tried to work up enthusiasm about Tuesday’s red-hot primaries. I mean, Arlen Spector being thrown out, Rand Paul being thrown in (maybe) … that oughta be exciting. Especially to an old political junkie like me — who started collecting politicians’ autographs when she was 12 (I still have my Richard Nixon) — who used to stay up into the wee hours to track election results — who, as recently as 1994 actually went to the local courthouse to be among the first to get precinct results. But no. Couldn’t even work up a good…

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Tuesday miscellany

Is this the best fake-ID site on the planet? So some have said. On a more respectable note: Has anybody here ever used SmartyPig.com, the goal-oriented savings site? It pays higher interest than your local bank probably does, and for amounts that can be very small. (But as with the fake-ID site, I don’t have any personal experience. So caveat emptor and all that. And “high interest” these days is still, relatively speaking, a joke. Trillions go to foolish, but well-connected banksters; peons pocket a pittance.) More from Freedom’s Phoenix: Gotta love that Ernie Hancock. Here’s what happens when a…

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