Archive for August 20th, 2007

If your eyes glaze over at the mere mention of economics, read this article about what’s really going on at your bank! (We love this Mr. Rothbard’s picture – he looks like a cross between our Econ professor in college and our Grandad!)

By Murray N. Rothbard

It was a scene familiar to any nostalgia buff: all-night lines waiting for the banks (first in Ohio, then in Maryland) to open; pompous but mendacious assurances by the bankers that all is well and that the people should go home; a stubborn insistence by depositors to get their money out; and the consequent closing of the banks by government, while at the same time the banks were permitted to stay in existence and collect the debts due them by their borrowers.

In other words, instead of government protecting private property and enforcing voluntary contracts, it deliberately violated the property of the depositors by barring them from retrieving their own money from the banks.

…….

Our favorite line and the key to all of this –

Obviously, such a system, which is considered fraud when practiced by other businesses, rests on a confidence trick: that is, it can only work so long as the bulk of depositors do not catch on to the scare and try to get their money out.

Read the entire article here.

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We love Garrison Keillor! Sit back and enjoy his take on Karl Rove – aka “Turd Blossom” from Salon.com.

Aug. 15, 2007 | What truly cheers me up through these dog days of summer is the thought that two old friends of mine are up north on a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and that I am not there with them. I am here, reading the paper, and if I wanted to go to a movie, I could go, and if I wished to use a flush toilet, I could do that, too. But for the grace of God, I could be sitting on the ground, filthy, embittered, a homeless person, eating freeze-dried food and listening to the Master Woodsman tell you what a great experience you’re having and meanwhile the woods are not lovely, just dark and deep, and a cloud of mosquitoes has come out to avenge the white man’s colonizing of North America. I have been on canoe trips, I know what goes on.

Every canoe trip has a self-appointed Master Woodsman. In civilian life he may be a mild-mannered clerk in a cubicle, but out on the trail he is transformed into the song leader, pathfinder, the great helmsman, the tier of correct knots, and the authority on bears. He shows you how to do everything except the things you really need to do, such as 1) move your bowels in some dignified manner and 2) get out of here and find a hotel. Your body aches from sleeping on the ground, your bowels have turned to stone, and you are thinking about “Lord of the Flies” and what it says about the fragility of civilization, but he is relentlessly upbeat. And then it dawns on you: Your suffering is what turns him on. The man is a sadist.

Read the rest.

Since this is our blog, we’re going to use it today to make an observation outside our normal limits. This post has virtually nothing to do with politics but rather the general ideology of our time.

Several years ago, there was a problem with tanker trucks and legislation had to be enacted to prevent truckers who carried hazardous materials from carrying anything else. You see, a surprising number of truckers were hauling hazardous chemicals one way and orange juice the other, with a just simple rinse between trips. The fact that laws had to be made to make this activity illegal is appalling to us. When does common sense and plain human decency come into play?

What reminded us of this scenario was a story about the quandary Mattel now faces with the volume of recalled Chinese toys tainted with lead. (Read the story.)

To risk contaminating ground water if they are sent to a landfill is unbelievable. Worse to us is the fact that many of the toys may end up in thrift stores – sent there either by Mattel or by parents who purchased the toys from a retail outlet and now just want them out of reach of their own children.  That these toys could find their way into the homes of poor kids whose parents shop at thrift stores because their income is low is unconscionable – whether on the part of Mattel or another parent.

We watch our “leaders” act without conscience or integrity and rage at their behavior. What does the tanker episode or now the recalled toy disposal say about the rest of us? We forget sometimes that we’re all in this together – and if each and every one of us doesn’t take a stand for personal integrity, we deserve what we get!

Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.

VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)

Read the rest of their amazing post from The New York Times.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A couple arrested at a rally after refusing to cover T-shirts that bore anti-President Bush slogans settled their lawsuit against the federal government for $80,000, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday.

Nicole and Jeffery Rank of Corpus Christi, Texas, were handcuffed and removed from the July 4, 2004, rally at the state Capitol, where Bush gave a speech. A judge dismissed trespassing charges against them, and an order closing the case was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Read the story to find out what their shirts said.