It’s popping!

It’s popping, the stock market bubble that is, and it’s a long ways back to the pre-2008 bubble top and a lot farther to that bubble’s bottom. And remember the Tech Bubble in 2000? Good luck especially if you’re a Nasdaq investor. RBS a few days ago advised it’s clients to sell everything except high quality bonds. With the trillions of dollars of “stimulus” (borrowed money) the governments of the world have thrown into re-inflating the stock market this, many knew, would be the ultimate result. I have a page of raw material prices you could look at in case you’re wondering if the economy is really weak. This is a lesson many experts have forgotten. If people aren’t buying material things then you don’t need raw material inputs which means that these prices are going to decrease. Yes, that has happened in all sorts of raw materials.


The high cost of college athletics

collegesportscostWhy is the cost of education increasing at most colleges? One reason is the cost of college athletic programs, according to a report published at the Huffington Post. Only six major university athletic programs didn’t require subsidies to break even between 2010 and 2014.

  • LSU
  • Ohio State
  • Purdue
  • Texas
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma.

All of the others, including the UW – Madison, received subsidies ranging from taxpayer-paid administrative overhead to $172 million for Rutgers. I wonder if New Jersey taxpayers and Rutgers students are happy with that. And Rutgers isn’t the only college in New Jersey with a subsidized athletics program. When you’re watching, if you do watch, the championship round of the so-called “College Football Playoff” next week keep in mind that nearly all of the colleges and universities offering sports programs do with substantial financial burden on students and taxpayers.

Richard Prince Finally Sued for Ripping Off an Instagram Photo – DIY Photography

This is great news! This “artist” has made a fortune ripping off other photographers. Maybe now it will come to an end.

Back in May artist (and I use that term lightly in this case) Richard Prince enraged photographers worldwide when he took photos from Instagram, added a comment on the photos and sold them in a New York gallery for up to $100,000 a piece. All this was done without getting permission from the owners of […]

Source: Richard Prince Finally Sued for Ripping Off an Instagram Photo – DIY Photography

In case you’re looking for a new diet

Happy New Year, Everyone!

You’ve probably heard or read about the “paleo” diet, you know, getting back to eating raw stuff, like the cave women and cave men did. Here’s something to think about.

… the mummies from Kagamil and elsewhere have excited the interest of scientists who say what they have learned from the remains challenges a central tenet of conventional thinking about what we ought to eat.

Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S., is often blamed on modern diets and a sedentary lifestyle. According to this thinking, if only people ate the “right” foods and exercised more, they could live longer. This view is encapsulated in the current version of the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are under review and being reissued soon. They have long recommended dietary habits deemed good for your heart — lower intakes of saturated fat and salt, more emphasis on lean meat and seafood.

But examinations of the bodies of the Unangans from Kagamil Island and other pre-modern people indicate that, in fact, the modern scourge of heart disease is not at all new, and that people who exercised more than we do as a matter of necessity, and whose diet was free from modern temptations, also suffered striking levels of heart disease, according to the researchers.

So, does this mean we should relax and enjoy life rather than eating grass and exercising ourselves to death? I’d feel a whole lot better about the last ten days of Christmas and New Years festivities if that’s true.  :-)

Packers WR James Jones reflects on growing up homeless in powerful interview

If you have a couple of minutes watch the interview with James Jones. It’s quite a story.

Source: Packers WR James Jones reflects on growing up homeless in powerful interview

Shocker: Vegetarian diets worse for climate than eating bacon

Holy Pork Bellies, Oscar Mayer!

In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie. Published in Environment Systems and Decisions, the study measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated with U.S. food consumption patterns.

Source: Shocker: Vegetarian diets worse for climate than eating bacon

Statist Policies Create Unjust Forms of Inequality

He’s right. You find Big Government handing out ordinary people’s money hand-over-fist to the rich friends of Big Government. It’s a outrage!

International Liberty

I don’t like the inequality debate because it’s a distraction from the far more important issue of how to generate more growth.

Nonetheless, I feel compelled to once again address the topic. Let’s start with a moral observation: There’s nothing wrong with the kind of inequality that results from honest exchange.

Bill Gates earns far more money than me, but his earnings and wealth are the result of voluntary exchange (at least as far as I know). Consumers voluntarily give him money because they value the goods and services produced by Microsoft.

So it would be nothing but self-destructive envy for me to grouse and complain. And it would be immoral for me to steal his money, either acting on my own or using the coercive power of government.

Dennis Prager elaborated on this principle in National Review.

…what most matters…is whether the wealthiest class has attained its wealth…

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Sheldon Richman on “The Phony Mystery of Why ‘They’ Hate Us

Why-Do-You-Hate-UsSheldon Richman has a terrific essay in Reason Magazine this morning about why so many people have in the US have been unable to figure out why “They Hate Us”. Here are just a few excepts.

What do Barack Obama and Donald Trump have in common? Among other things, they have—or pretend to have—no clue why some Muslims hate us.

Note that Trump includes himself among those who haven’t figured it out, or else he surely would have told us. He either does not know, or does not care, why people are willing to kill Americans.

Let’s give these members of the American elite their due: one has to work hard to make a mystery of anti-American (and anti-Western) terrorism emanating from the Middle East. It takes prodigious effort to maintain an air of innocence about San Bernardino and Paris, because no one who claims to be informed can plead ignorance of the long history of U.S. and Western imperialism in the Muslim world. This includes the CIA’s subversion of Iranian democracy in 1953; the U.S. government’s systematic support of compliant, autocratic, and corrupt Arab monarchies and dictatorships; its empowering of Iraqi Shi’ite Muslims; and its unconditional backing of Israel’s brutal anti-Palestinian policies. (The savage 2014 war on Gaza killed many noncombatants.)

In the 10 years before the 9/11 attacks the administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton bombed Iraq while maintaining an embargo, most especially on equipment for the water and sanitation infrastructure the U.S. Air Force had destroyed during the Gulf War. Half a million children died. This was also when U.S. officials promised, then reneged on the promise, to remove U.S. forces from the Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia.

From the air Americans routinely kill noncombatants in Syria and Iraq, most recently this week, when “at least 36 civilians, including 20 children, in a village in eastern Syria” were reportedly killed, according to McClatchy DC. Do Americans notice? Of course not. That’s why San Bernardino and Paris can be made to appear so mysterious.

Things like this happen all the time. The U.S. attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was especially egregious against this background of war crimes.

The U.S. government has conducted war by remote-controlled drones since 2001 in a variety of places, including Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. Do Americans have a clue what it must be like to live under the drone threat? You know the answer is no. But many Muslims do, and many others can sympathize.

Since the San Bernardino shooters both had roots in Pakistan, it might be worth focusing on the drone war there, part of the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Steve Coll, in his Nov. 24, 2014 New Yorker article “The Unblinking Stare: The Drone War in Pakistan,” notes that that country “has absorbed more drone strikes—some four hundred—than any other country.”

Obama has claimed that the drone war kills few noncombatants, but this is rejected by many authoritative sources, including, Coll reports, a team of NYU and Stanford law students who found that “C.I.A.-operated drones were nowhere near as discriminating toward noncombatants as the agency’s leaders have claimed.”

The kill estimates vary, but the totals are significant—to the families and friends, and to distant Muslims who see their coreligionists slaughtered while minding their own business.

What turns an angry and anguished Muslim into someone willing to kill Americans indiscriminately? That’s a hard question to answer completely. But when violence such as that inflicted by the United States drives a Muslim to the most “radical” form of the faith in search of revenge, the explanation is far more political than religious. If terrorism were happening during peacetime, that might tell another story. But it is not.

It’s not “moderate” Muslims who need to take the lead in ending terrorism. It’s the U.S. foreign-policy makers, whose daily atrocities make targets of Americans at home.

Pearl Harbor memorials

Thinking of Pearl Harbor a bit since yesterday, I find myself reading again the names of the sailors and marines killed on December 7, 1942. When we visited last June I just stood there inside the Arizona Memorial wondering about these men. I eventually took a photo so I’d have a reminder of them and their sacrifice. Did any of you have friends or relatives killed at Pearl Harbor that fateful day?

US cops trained to use lethal Israeli tactics

Police departments in the US should avoid any association with the murderous tactics used to subjugate Palestinians.

Dispatches from the Underclass

My latest at The Electronic Intifada:

US police officers are being tutored by Israel on how to employ the tactics that have brought death and serious injury to huge numbers of Palestinians in the past few months.

Officers from 15 US police agencies recently traveled to the Middle East for lessons from their Israeli counterparts.

For 10 days in late November, police officers from New York, Miami, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and US Customs and Border Protection observed the daily operations of the Jerusalem police, the Israeli Border Police and the Shin Bet secret service, all of which play a vital role in administering Israel’s system of control over Palestinians.

The training junket was hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neoconservative think tank that claims to have organized Israeli training sessions for some 9,500 law enforcement officials since 2004 through its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP).


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