After The Gold Rush II – Kentucky Coal and Japanese Stocks
If you have based your hope for prosperity on what Globalization Guru Thomas Friedman referred to as The Electronic Herd, this morning you probably feel like one of the pigs that Christ sent over the cliff when he exorcised “Legion.” For today, at least, there is no hiding from the stupid. The Nikkei 225 crashed and burned yesterday and Business Insider describesjust what traders in American Equities markets woke up to this morning.
Markets around the world are deep in the red. England’s FTSE is down. 1.7%. France’s CAC 40 is down 2.3%. Germany’s DAX is down 2.4%. Spain’s IBEX is down 1.4%. Italy’s FTSE MIB is down 2.5%. In the U.S., the S&P 500 is down 0.8%. This follows sell-offs across Asia. Japan’s Nikkei fell by a stunning 7.3%.
I’m sure the parrots at CNBC Squawk Box are remarkably charming this fine and wonderful morning. And Jim Cramer has probably exploded and totally made a mess all over the set at “Mad Money.” However, you can get the same level of news content and far more entertainment by watching this Alien’s clip linked here. What staggers the mind is that all of this is caused by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dropping hints that he might choose to reduce the rate at which he hands out free money to banking institutions via QE.
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Restoring The Republic III – Curing The Sickness Known As Healthcare
Don’t get me wrong. I like O-Care about as much as I like getting a prostate exam. The bill is typical of unthinking, boilerplate socialism’s response to the negative externalities that result from market failure. We should therefore trash Obamacare, but let’s just make that the warm-up set. The real heavy lifting required to fix our healthcare system involves addressing the causes of a market failure so catastrophic that something as obviously stupid as Obamacare seemed like a palatable solution.
Karl Denninger explains why poor people often can’t afford health insurance. The care provided is so badly overpriced that health plans are paying out more vastly more than the goods and services provided can possibly be worth. He describes the price mark-up of a common chemotherapy drug below.
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Iraq’s Descent Back into Civil War Makes the Case for American Energy Independence
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-George Santayana (HT: Wikiquote)
America now faces a typical conundrum that has plagued all of our recent Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower all the way forward to President Barack Obama. We depend upon the Middle East for much of the energy that provides our motive power. As a result of this debilitating dependence upon people who hate us and practice a system of ethics and morals totally alien to our own, we are increasingly compromised and forced into courses of action that do not benefit our national commonweal. If we produce enough of our own energy, while curbing our domestic consumption, we can break this cycle of self-sabotage. If we don’t break the cycle, every US President going forward will wage his own, pointless version of a Punic War in Western Asia. I describe the current state of play below.
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Tags: Energy Independence
, Flavious Josephus
, Groundhog Day
, Middle East
, North Dakota
, Sack of Jerusalem
Hitting The Brakes on Foxx as Transportation Secretary
Last Sunday’s news of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx’s nomination as the next transportation secretary came without much ado. However, for those who live around the Charlotte area and know the history of local public transportation, the pick of Foxx at the very least deserves some consideration. According to the Charlotte Observer (who no doubt was up late Saturday night scrubbing their website): Flanked by Foxx | Read More »
Urban Apartheid In New Haven, CT
The New Haven, CT NAACP has looked at the statistical trends that they feel will drive the future of African-American prosperity in New Haven. What they have seen does not make them happy. In an effort to draw attention to this set of troubling tends; they regrettably entitled their recent report Urban Apartheid. This I find to be historically inaccurate and unjustly polemical in nature. I will lay out my reasons for saying so below.
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Tags: 2010 US Census
, al sharpton
, De Facto Segregation
, De Jure Segregation
, LA Riots
, New Haven
, Property Values
, Urban Decay
, White Flight
, White Interlopers
Dishonest Environmental Scientists Have Pretty Much Killed Earth Day
It was a damp, rainy Saturday in the land of Global Warming and vapid, rentier capitalism. My little boy and I went to run in his Montessori School’s Annual Spring Zing 5K fundraiser for the school. When I picked up the swag-bag that included my race shirt and number, I found a green-colored water planet that encouraged us all to save the planet in honor of Earth Day. Then I remembered something: it was the first time all week I had heard jack about the !MANDATORY! and creepily ubiquitous Earth Day.
What has happened to America’s faddishly PC !MANDATORY! celebration? Our occasion for compulsory fun has gone from being like a nationwide company picnic you pretend to enjoy if you can’t squirm away from, to being an embarrassment to those who once lauded its !MANDATORY! civic virtues. Earth Day has collapsed under the irresistible weight of its own brave sierra.*
I personally decided that Earth Day had completed its predictable fridge-nuking operation about two winters ago thanks to George Monbiot. His column “That snow outside is what global warming looks like” did the trick.
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Robert J. Samuelson Discusses Risk, Reality and America’s Future
Back when I worked as an Operational Tester for Sam’s Army, I was at Ft. Campbell working in my data shed. I took a break to talk to an LTC on my test team. I was talking to him about things he saw over in Iraq.* It stunned the man that Iraqis cared so little about personal safety. They rode around in flatbed trucks with no headgear or seatbelts. They routinely worked in 100 degree + weather with no shirt, no canteens and probably no suntan lotion. He just couldn’t reconcile this with the safety-first risk-averse mentality of the successful Army Staff Officer. These people actually allowed Negative Chance Deviations.**
The soldier I bantered with while my data forms came in from the test range was a great American. He just didn’t realize something that we all seem to be learning now to our demise. Having the resources, time and knowledge to take the risk out of literally everything is a luxury. It is a luxury that we increasingly no longer have. You don’t have to wear shades anymore. The future isn’t bright enough for you to afford that awesome pair of Oakley’s. If Robert J. Samuelson is accurate; we are entering into a new age of risk. He explains below.
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Does The US Welfare System Benefit Jihadists?
Our government, our media and the increasingly auto-beclowning supporters of our current national Zeitgeist strive manfully athwart ratiocination to rapidly disconnect the dots on The Boston Marathon Terror Bombing. Like the brilliant government bureaucrat who classified the Major Nidal Hasan’s Fort Hood Jihad Spray-Job as workplace violence, they aren’t lying per se. They’re just bull-(radio edit). Like the evil Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men, their operational assumption with respect to the American People is “You can’t handle the truth.”
The truth we supposedly can’t handle, quite simply is this.
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State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home. In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state. The news raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money *
A Non-Ethics Problem With The Gang Of 8 Bill: It Won’t Work.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Oh Good. We have Comprehensive Immigration Reform being set before the US Senate. It’s the brainchild of a Gang of 8. Perhaps I can be forgiven for wondering if that means this bill will be twice as odious as the intellectual deep thoughts of Mao Tse Tung’s Gang of Four.
Now I understand that this was catty and mean, but I’m just getting really tired of these comprehensive master plans from the desks of our elected mental midgets. Attempting to do everything at once with regards to a difficult, complex issue leads us to the type of legislation where you have to pass it first to find out what’s in it. That, I fear is what will happen with the latest Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposal.
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A Comedy Party With Senators Baucus and Rockefeller
Senator Franken from Minnesota may have worked once as a Comedian, but he’s got to brush up his act if he wants to win a comedy slam against Montana Senator Max Baucus or West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller. You see, both of these gentlemen were quite the dashing cocksmen during the lamentable fathering of the Senate version of Obamacare. Now, like the prototypical cad served with a paternity suit, they both want to sing the refrain made famous by the rap-artist Shaggy.*
Senator Jay Rockefeller kicked off Improv Night with the following description of his own legislative handiwork. What? You mean your own piece of legislation was bad, Senator Rockefeller? Yepper, Daddy was a pistol, now Obamacare is a son of a gun.
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The View From The Border: The Gang of 8 Offer A Failed Plan
So there’s a big push these days to reform immigration laws. Given the importance and sensitivity of this venture, maybe the eight leading lights of the US Senate putting together a grand strategy should invite over the people who actually enforce the border and hear some words of wisdom from those whose boots are on the ground. You would think. But somehow that hasn’t transpired, so the National ICE Council (a union representing about 7,000 border guards and staff) decided to opine at large. Christopher Crane offers their perspective.
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“The plan of the Gang of Eight appears to be legalization, or amnesty first, and then enforcement. That is a big problem for us,”… “If we don’t take care of the enforcement part of this first, it will never happen. The only thing that will happen will be that 11 million illegal aliens will be legalized, and 10 to 20 years from now the nation will again be facing the influx of another 10-20 million illegal aliens,” he said. “And all the problems and expenses associated with that we will be right back to where we are right now, with a failed immigration system.”
Calculating The ‘Prevailing Wage’ Costs Of A Bad Immigration Compromise
On Friday, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka and U.S. Chamber head Thomas Donahue reached a “compromise” that would allow up to 200,000 immigrant workers (the numbers dependent on the industry) work visas, so long as a government-imposed wage rate is applied.
Aside from the basic problem of the government dictating artificially high wage (and benefit) rates–known as prevailing wages–the problem is that most do not know what constitutes a “prevailing wage rate.”
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The Slipperiest of Slopes: Immigration ‘Compromise,’ A Really Bad Deal In Any Economy
Although details are still somewhat sketchy at this point, based on press reports, it appears that AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Thomas Donahue reached a deal Friday night on immigration reform.
If, by what is being reported, the deal reached on low-wage immigrants is true, the impact on the private sector–and, thus, the economy–may be profoundly and negatively impacted for years to come as the deal reportedly establishes premium wage prices for those employers who traditionally employ low-wage immigrants.
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Rep. Bill Owens: Budget Nihilist
Last week the House voted on 6 different budget frameworks. Surprisingly, with so many budgets to choose from, Rep. Bill Owens couldn’t bring himself to support a single one. He’s a budget nihilist. Owens’ refusal to support any budget last week is a classic case of a Washington politician trying to have his cake and eat it too. By opposing everything and failing to offer | Read More »
Christine Quinn and the NY City Council Punish The Creation of Jobs
It would be hard to design a more obvious example of why New York City employers should be terrified of Christine Quinn’s Mayoral ambitions than the passage earlier this month of an unprecedented bill allowing lawsuits for damages by unemployed job-seekers against any employer that tries to hire in the City: When the law takes effect in three months, the city will be the fourth | Read More »