Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ben Bernanke Could Lose for Same Reason as Olympic Sailor

The Right Map
Illustration by A. Babar
Ben has the right map. That’s the assumption about Ben Ainslie, the U.K.’s top sailor, as he competes in the Olympics this week.
The rest of us can’t see what charts Ainslie follows or precisely what he does. We can’t even see him perform unless a TV camera uses the correct high-powered lens. But we know Ainslie knows which maps to use, and how to read them, even if he has a challenge ahead to win his fourth career gold medal.

If Only Conservatives Were More Like Libertarians

Have you ever wondered why conservatives are so opposed to government interference in the marketplace yet so tolerant, even welcoming, of its role in our personal lives? You could say the same about liberals, whose preferences for government involvement run in the opposite direction.
Either way, it strikes me as inconsistent. If you believe in the principle of live-and-let-live, it should apply to all aspects of your life. When the Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page invokes “free markets, free people,” I always wonder, what happened to the free-people part?

Paul Ryan’s Democratic Fan Club

If Barack Obama’s campaign officials were happy over the weekend about Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, they’re ecstatic now.
The Obama camp is guarding against overconfidence and still betting the U.S. presidential race will be close. But aides traveling with Obama pointed with glee to headlines from Florida, Iowa and elsewhere that lash the Republican ticket to Ryan’s plan for deep cuts in Medicare, the nation’s most popular social program after Social Security.

How Obama Created the Greatest Threat to His Presidency

Here’s the weird thing about Paul Ryan being named to the Republican presidential ticket: It’s all part of Barack Obama’s campaign plan -- a plan that’s working better than his strategists could have hoped. It could also backfire more disastrously than they have ever imagined.
It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time, not long ago, when Ryan was no better known than Democrat John Spratt of South Carolina, his predecessor as chairman of the House Budget Committee. And the Republican Party’s leadership was eager to keep it that way.

November’s unenviable choices

November’s unenviable choices

Both candidates bad on spending

We are in terrible straits this presidential election. We have a choice between a president who has posed more of a danger to personal freedom than any in the past 150 years and a Republican team that wants to return to Bush-style big government.
President Barack Obama has begun to show his hand at private fundraisers and in unscripted comments during his campaign. The essence of his revelations is dark. His vision of a shared prosperity should frighten everyone who believes in freedom because it is obvious that the president doesn’t. He believes the federal government somehow possesses power from some source other than the Constitution that enables it to take from the rich and give to the poor. He calls this “a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared,” and he declared, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Europe in limbo

Europe in limbo

Germany balks, Greece teeters while Canada offers answers

Limbo does exist because Greece is stuck in it. The Greek economy is shrinking for the fifth year in a row, and no savior is in sight to pull it out. Unless Athens pursues serious internal reform, the country won’t be able to stay in the eurozone or renew economic growth.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for another bailout, but 54 percent of the German electorate is against throwing more money into Greece or taking on debt to provide more bailouts. She is likely to find an equally cool reception this week in Canada, where Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty refuse to contribute to further handouts engineered by the International Monetary Fund.

Iran admits giving WMDs to terrorists

Iran admits giving WMDs to terrorists

Rogue state threatens Israel over Syria

Israel will be obliterated by chemical, microbial and nuclear bombs, Iran is warning, but those weapons of mass destruction will be used first on Tel Aviv by Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad at the start of a decades-old Muslim dream of destroying the Jewish state.
An alarming commentary last week in Mashregh, the media outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, confirmed that the Islamic regime not only has WMDs but has armed its terrorist proxies with them. Mashregh speaks for the regime.

Helen Gurley Brown’s pernicious legacy

Helen Gurley Brown’s pernicious legacy

Working girl who worked the system

Helen Gurley Brown, former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, passed away this week, but her toxic legacy for the American woman lives on.
To put it kindly, she lived a life focused on getting what she wanted by working the system. She was the embodiment of the worst female stereotype as a master manipulator. Her whole life was a stunning example of how the “me” generation flourished. Everything that Gurley Brown wrote in her extraordinarily prolific career as a celebrity author, glamorous New York personality and three-decade editor of Cosmopolitan promoted the idea that women have to look out for themselves, make their own rules and work the system in order to get ahead.
And work the system she did.

Afghan attacks on allies alarm departing nations

By Ashish Kumar Sen and Rowan Scarborough

Western nations preparing to withdraw from combat in Afghanistan increasingly are alarmed by Afghan security forces turning their weapons on allied troops, attacks that the Taliban claim as proof of their sway over local troops.
Five such attacks have occurred in the past week — the deadliest on Friday, when six U.S. troops were killed by Afghan security personnel in two separate incidents.
The so-called green-on-blue attacks have heightened tensions and frayed nerves among coalition troops as international forces aim to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Tax on God

Tax on God

D.C. wants to bilk companies that use parks

It took God six days to create the earth, but it took only one vote for the District to charge you for using it. Mayor Vincent C. Gray proposed taxing people who use public parks for things like popular boot camps, tennis lessons or baseball camp. While the city’s leaders are always thinking of creative ways to bilk residents, charging for use of the air and earth has taken things too far.

Obama’s fuel follies

Obama’s fuel follies

‘We can’t wait’ for cheaper gas, Mr. President

Don’t look now, but gas prices are beginning to bite hard again. That’s bad news for President Obama, who, until now, might have thought he had gotten lucky when prices dropped earlier in this critical election year. As the energy issue makes the campaign trail bumpier, Mr. Obama has no one to blame but himself.
The average price of a gallon of gas at the pump has jumped to $3.70, more than 30 cents higher than just six weeks ago. This means the cost has climbed more than halfway back to its high for the year, which was $3.94 in April. Market analysts point the finger at a host of factors for the rapid escalation, including fears of conflict with Iran, summer-driving-season increases, a better-than-expected July jobs report that boosted oil futures and, most recently, a California refinery fire that could reduce West Coast gas supplies by nearly 10 percent. Some gas stations in the Los Angeles area already are selling fuel at $4.50 a gallon.

Ecuador grants Assange asylum; UK vows to ‘carry out’ extradition anyway

Ecuador grants Assange asylum; UK vows to ‘carry out’ extradition anyway

Ecuador's foreign minister announced on Thursday that the country would grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, defying threats by the British government to storm the Ecuadorean Embassy and extradite Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in cases of alleged rape and sexual molestation.
"We have decided to grant political asylum to him," Ricardo Patino said at the end of a long televised statement from the Ecuadorean capital of Quito, where he criticized the U.S. and U.K. governments for failing to protect Assange from political persecution.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NDAA on trial: Obama Administration fights ban on indefinite detention o...

Housing May Push Consumer Inflation Higher

Why Investors Are Putting Their Money Down Under

Why Paul Ryan Is Really Different

Rove: The GOP's Medicare Advantage

Rove: The GOP's Medicare Advantage

Democrats have long had an issue edge on Medicare. Republicans cowered in fear. Here's why it's different in 2012.

Predictably, Democrats went after Mitt Romney's new running mate immediately, describing Paul Ryan as a "certifiable right-wing ideologue" whose views are "extreme" and "radical." They focused on Medicare, warning that Republicans "would end Medicare as we know it," making it "a voucher system" that costs seniors "thousands of dollars in health care costs."
Some Republican hand-wringers moaned. They failed to consider that Democrats were going to level these charges no matter whom Mr. Romney picked as his running mate. And they ignored the ammunition the party has to turn the issue against Democrats.

What If Public Schools Were Abolished?


In American culture, public schools are praised in public and criticized in private, which is roughly the opposite of how we tend to treat large-scale enterprises like Walmart. In public, everyone says that Walmart is awful, filled with shoddy foreign products and exploiting workers. But in private, we buy the well-priced, quality goods, and long lines of people hope to be hired.

The Apocalyptic Vision of The Road


The Road
What is the "means of production" and what significance does it have to society? How is it created, expanded, or merely sustained? What is the relationship between the prevailing moral order of a society and its accumulation of capital?
These are questions that economists and political philosophers have considered throughout the history of economic thought. If you have ever enquired into the differences between capitalism and socialism you will have heard of the means of production, and you will be aware that this is very important to the organization of society. You might have heard of this, but you might not have spent much thought on the relationship between capital and moral order. Indeed, why should ordinary people care about such things? Isn't the means of production just something that one reads about between bong hits in the dorm rooms at university? Or is it perhaps something that is the domain of accountants and corporate managers, concerned with the proper techniques of double-entry bookkeeping? What is its great significance?

Why the Deflationists Are Wrong

Mises Daily: by

An inflationist is someone who believes that price inflation is the result of two things: (1) monetary inflation and (2) central-bank policy.
A deflationist is someone who believes that deflation is inevitable, despite (1) monetary inflation and (2) central -bank policy.
No inflationist says that price inflation is inevitable. Every deflationist says that price deflation is inevitable.
Deflationists have been wrong ever since 1933.

Lies, Damned Lies and Government Statistics

Lies, Damned Lies and Government Statistics

[Editor's note: the following post is by Jim Karger, TDV Legal Correspondent]
My grandmother grew up in the backwoods of Arkansas.  She had a fourth grade education and worked in the fields. When she was 12 years old she threw down her cotton sack and took a train to Texas to live with an aunt she had never met.  She lived a hard life, never had much of a chance, and yet she was one of the wisest people I have ever known.
She taught me many life lessons that have served me well, one of which went like this:  "Jimmy," she would say as she waved her finger in my face, "most folks will lie even when the truth works better."
Not a particularly rosy view of humanity, but it was, and is, deadly accurate.

Dear Slavey -

Dear Slavey - August 14th Edition

Dear Slavey,
I am stuck in the USSA because of family. I have a small amount of money in the bank, have a mortgage on a house, a shabby job, a wife who is not on board and grandchildren. What is the best advice you can give me for what is coming? How can I best prepare for the insanity that is soon to come? I live in a townhouse in the Philadelphia, PA, suburbs. I have also been very vocal about my political opinions in public and online. I believe one hundred percent in what TDV says. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Dave in PA 
Dear Dave:
The keys to survival for the USSA middle class in the long term before, during, and after the coming economic collapse are both psychological AND financial. Here are a few tips:
1)  Eliminate toxic people. If someone is adding more to your stress than taking it away – turf them from your life. And if you aren’t allergic, get a dog. The unconditional love and fun they’ll bring you will help maintain your sense of hope.

The Reagan in Romney


While some of my conservative colleagues are criticizing the Romney campaign for one thing or another, I want to make a distinct point that is largely being overlooked: Mitt Romney is the most fiscally conservative Republican standard-bearer since Ronald Reagan.
Looking back through his speeches, interviews and programmatic proposals, I see an emphasis on economic freedom, free enterprise, low tax rates, deep federal spending cuts, free trade, and a free-market approach to tough social problems, such as health care, education and poverty. Meaning no disrespect to George W. Bush, John McCain, Robert Dole and George H. W. Bush, not one of these former Republican leaders was the consistent and comprehensive free-market advocate that Romney is.
A few recent examples help illustrate my point.

Obama's Ironic Lie About an American Icon

Terence P. Jeffrey

To justify expanding the power of the federal government and increasing the burden of debt on federal taxpayers, President Barack Obama has repeatedly lied about a peerless icon of America's pioneering spirit — the Golden Gate Bridge.
"During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge," Obama said in his January State of the Union Address. "After World War II, we connected our states with a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today."
Obama suggested here that the federal government invested in the Golden Gate Bridge. Elsewhere, he has used a royal "we" to seemingly credit the federal government.

Confiscating Your Property

John Stossel

In America, we're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Life, liberty and property can't be taken from you unless you're convicted of a crime.
Your life and liberty may still be safe, but have you ever gone to a government surplus auction? Consumer reporters like me tell people, correctly, that they are great places to find bargains. People can buy bikes for $10, cars for $500.
But where did the government get that stuff?
Some is abandoned property.
But some I would just call loot. The cops grabbed it.

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