The Court of Public Relations

Sam Dodson does a great job deconstructing the concept of statist justice.

“You don’t question me, sir!”

From the LRC Blog

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Headline of the day

Lack of bank note paper threatens Zimbabwe economy

The country, already suffering hyperinflation, is on the brink of financial collapse, analysts say.

And they are in danger because… they can no longer print money!

Unemployment at the printing press…

The printing operation drastically slowed. Two-thirds of the 1,000-strong workforce was ordered to go on leave, and two of the three money-printing shifts were canceled.

This is yet another instance where economic laws have been ignored, or legislated against. Yet, like the other laws of nature, they are oblivious to political pressure. It takes a hyperinflation to bring that realization to most people, but it would take a lot more for that dim bulb who wrote the article.

One principled UK politician

The surveillance “anti-terrorism” state is finally getting some opposition from within. It’s been a long time coming, but welcome nonetheless.

Great anti-war songs

After something of a hiatus…

Eric Bogie – Waltzing Matilda (sang by Priscilla Herdman)

Bob Dylan – With God on our Side

Donovan – Universal Soldier

Letter to an Independent editorialist (On Market Fundamentalism)

Dear Mr. Hari,

I have read your opinion piece in the online edition of The Independent :

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-has-market-fundamentalism-had-its-day-798314.html

and I feel that, while well meaning, your comments may not be directed at the right target.

The present crisis in the world’s financial markets cannot be unequivocably blamed on “market fundamentalism”. It is not obvious at first, but the large financial institutions (linked closely to the central banks) are not themselves fundamentalists. For if they were, they would not be begging the government or the central banks (institutions of government) to rescue them at this time. They are also not what we might call institutions of the free market, of which profit, but also loss is a fundamental aspect.

Don’t believe my word, this is what Alan Greenspan is saying:

“To the extent that there is a central bank, that is not a free market; and most people call it ‘regulation'”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x56MpWZh88s

If these bad lenders would be allowed to pay for their mistakes (go bankrupt, or shrink their operations), then they can’t be called institutions of the free market. “Moral hazard” is often mentioned and real in such a case. Financial institutions have been working on the assumption that they have a lender of last resort and a buyer of last resort. As such, they have been more reckless than otherwise in awarding loans and managing the capital with which they are entrusted.

On the premise of saving the financial markets, the central banks (the US Federal Reserve in particular) have sought to divert resources from other parts of the economy by awarding preferential credit to these loss-stricken companies. In this way, they are pulling away productive capital from elsewhere and pouring it into the Wall Street and the other financial centers.

So not only do we have a massive misallocation of resources from the mortgage crisis, capital is still driven into these proven failed ventures. Instead of being “market fundamentalists” and letting the dice fell where they may, central banks are taking an active role in regulating the markets.

We may disagree about the benefits or shortcomings of markets, but we cannot attribute this crisis on markets per se. Instead, we should look at the non-market forces coming to play and take them into account as well.

Please refer to this little clip for a more down-to-earth explanation of the crisis:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ_qK4g6ntM

I hope the above makes sense and I’m looking forward
to your input.

Yours Sincerely,
XXX

Andorra is not in Africa, ONN report

Priceless

We thought it was a war-torn African country, so we kept sending them money.

Please check all that apply (Bingo board)

Courtesy of Francois Tremblay

Michael Crichton on Social Phobias

Natural disasters, media manipulation and the information casualties.

Quick quote from it:

“If there is no news, we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were”

Guns of the future

Reserved for the military for use against civill…, err… enemy combatants.

From on the LRC  blog

Andy Warhol on Capitalism

“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”

From the LRC blog.