Thursday, January 18, 2018

Women and Low T

Low T and Women
There is a debate over the preventative benefits of testosterone therapy for testosterone deficient men. But there may be, hidden from the stats, a great advantage to society's social and physical health. What is the largest subset of the American population with low testosterone? And what area of inequality is most obvious? Female gender. The largest subset of humans suffering from low testosterone in America is women.
Despite the fact women are healthier than men and live longer, perhaps they would be healthier and live even longer if they took testosterone. And perhaps that would decrease whatever gap there is in social vulnerability and pay equality. And it would likely decrease unwanted pregnancies.
Now, in this time of gender fluidity, might just be the right time to broach this obvious and important topic.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


“I never gave anyone hell. I just told the truth and people thought it was hell.”--Harry Truman

There is a lot of criticism toward a voting public that would elect Trump. In a famous poem, written in East Germany in 1953, Brecht quotes a contemporary as saying that the people have lost the trust of the government. Would it not therefore be easier, Brecht slyly asks, to dissolve the people and have the government elect another one?

"Much of our common response to liberalism’s triumph today is a celebration of our completed liberty, but it takes the form of discussions and debates over the ways in which we can lessen the unease accompanying our powerlessness and dislocation as we submit terms of surrender to ungovernable forces in politics and economics. ....Liberalism is failing not because it fell short but because it was true to itself. Liberalism is failing because liberalism succeeded."
This is from a very confident review of liberalism and its guises, classical and progressive. But this appears to be a slight of hand to me. The argument seems to be that they are similar because they end at the same point of discontent but classical liberalism, as Tocqueville predicted, creates the problem. Once liberated, the individual no longer has reliable personal networks and instead looks for the assistance of the state, which grows further to meet these insistent demands. Progressive liberalism comes later, disguised as a solution with little in common with classical liberalism's origins. Or am I wrong here?

According to the teachers' federation in Quebec, 1/2 of students identify to some extent as LGBT. "to some extent."

Who is...Laurel Hubbard?

Taiyesha Baker, a nurse, allegedly posted a tweet Friday under the account "Night Nurse," saying that white women are raising sons who are "rapists," "racists" and "killers."
This is becoming wearying.

At the G-20, Obama said he spoke to Putin about cyberwarfare, amid revelations that Russian hackers have been interfering in our political campaigns. "We are more technologically advanced, both offensively and defensively, in this arena than any of our adversaries," said Obama, "but we really don’t want another Cold War–style arms race. Instead, we must all adhere to norms of international behavior." "Putin and the norms of international behavior."

Laurel Hubbard has been named to the New Zealand women’s weightlifting team for the Commonwealth Games, sparking controversy in the sport.
Hubbard, 39, will be the first transgender sportsperson to represent New Zealand. 
After being cleared by the International Olympic Committee and Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand (OWNZ) last week, it was confirmed that she would be one of 12 athletes in the Kiwi home state’s weightlifting team on the Gold Coast.
Hubbard will compete in the women’s +90kg category, introduced by the International Weightlifting Federation at the start of the year.

Bad news for the Pirates:
Jung Ho Kang wanted to use a stint in the Dominican Winter League to get back into playing shape. Aguilas Cibaenas wanted an impact player.
Kang did not deliver, so on Monday he was booted from the Aguilas roster.
Kang batted just .143 in 24 games with Aguilas Cibaenas. He hit one home run, collected 10 RBIs, led the team with 31 strikeouts and made four errors at third base.

Golden oldie:
The second book on Climate Change is "Global Crisis: War, Climate Change; Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century," by Geoffrey Parker, whi...

Yahoo headline: Celebrity elephant kills owner in Thailand
Celebrity elephant.

A 2009 Pew poll suggests that academics overwhelmingly self-define as "liberals", with barely 2% of them self-defining as "conservatives".  The survey of scientists was conducted with a sample of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

There is a debate over who should replace Lauer; presumably an affable, conversant pre-pubertal kid. Or a woman.

What exactly is Ivanka doing?

Scruton offers as an example of what he calls fake culture, the American composer John Cage. Cage was at Wesleyan when I was there and handled with reverence by all. "With a singular skill for self-promotion, yet no prior evidence of musical competence, Cage made his reputation with his celebrated piece 4’33” (1952) — a happening in which a pianist in concert dress sits silently at the piano for exactly four minutes and 33 seconds. On the strength of this and a few similar pranks, Cage presented himself as an original composer, ‘putting in question’ the entire tradition of Western concert music. Critics hastened to endorse his high self-opinion, hoping to share in the glory of discovering a new and original genius. The Cage phenomenon quickly became established as part of the culture, able to call upon subventions from the cultural institutions, and recruiting a raft of imitators for whom, however, it was too late to cause a stir as Cage had done, by doing nothing." Interestingly, he says that fake culture is like a good joke, it can not be easily repeated, so each foray into the entrepreneurial field requires an original deviation from the true artistic foundation.

Major insurer Nationwide, one of the biggest covering sexual harassment settlements and legal costs, reports a 15% surge in policy sales in the last year. Nearly half of employers with over 1,000 workers now carry such coverage.

The practice of stashing profits in places like the Cayman Islands has become so absurd that one single, five-story office building there is now the official legal “home” to more than 18,000 corporations. (From a Bernie Sanders letter)

The Bitcoin is a phenomenon. A market is emerging with futures contracts available. One guy commented he would not form an opinion on any asset until he could short it.

President Trump retweeted videos posted online by a British far-right nationalist that purport to show violent acts carried out by Muslim men, drawing rebukes from the U.K. prime minister, the Netherlands and U.S. civil-rights advocates.(wsj) Is this because there is a dearth of available anti-ISIS material? What's wrong with this guy?

A classmate of mine has died. This is part of his obit: "Kirt graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1961 and from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1965.  He was a Fulbright scholar in Freiberg, Germany, in 1965-1966.  He received a master’s degree in Physics from Stanford University in 1967, and a PhD in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973.  He was devoted to the life of the mind and read voraciously in three languages."
No other occupation is noted.

AAAAAaaaaannnnnnndddddd.....An interesting chart:

Dark Money

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


A small and obviously idiotic effort to sow discord and animosity recently may point to an affirmation of  success on this day that remembers Martin Luther King.

In a discussion about legal immigrants bringing their extended families into the U.S., a loophole known as "chain migration," (the bringing of a "chain" of people,) Senator Durban said this:  “Do you realize how painful that term is to so many people? African Americans believe that they migrated to America in chains. And when you speak about ‘chain migration’ it hurts them personally.”

This, of course, is simply made up out of whole cloth. Yet however twisted this may be, it is not the simple stupid albeit tender banning of words like "Niggardly," or books like  "Huck Finn." Or mindless albeit desperate symbolic acts like attacking statues. Or the blatant albeit ill-informed falsification of history like the Ferguson killing. Rather it is the creation of an empty calumny past its time, the declaration of something because of its very absence.

It is the confession of a thing's obverse, something King would probably see as a sign of progress.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


“What if after you die, God asks you: ‘So, how was heaven?’” - Vishal Lahsiv

“If you invested $10,000 in bitcoin in 2010, you would have $710,458,109 today.” (internet) But who in their right mind would have done that? And how would you have held on? This is great stuff, the essence of envy and greed urging you to jump in on their Ponzi.

We are coming off the 100th month anniversary of this economic cycle, the third longest ever and almost double what is normal.

I have been reading about the origins of the revolution in Boston. This is a remarkable time and the Revolution a more remarkable event. Some many peculiar conflicts. And what were those guys doing on the green in Lexington? It appears that the whole Liberty movement--which was quite separate from any Independence movement--got taken over by rural French and Indian War vets. Astonishing story. And who were the militia and the citizens most worried about? A Cromwell figure taking over the militia and the country.

In the $14 billion U.S. mattress market, online mattresses only made up $300 million in sales two years ago; this year, sales may reach $1.2 billion.
Many of the on-line mattress analysts are paid commissions.
A mattress industry analyst recently told Freakonomics Radio: “You have to be a strong marketer to be in the mattress industry, because they’re really selling identical, rectangular slabs.”

I watched "Rupture" with Noomi Rapace. If it could fly a flag, it would be a plague warning. This is a terrible waste of your time and could be harmful. Avoid.

According to Alphabet Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, the single most desired robotic function desired in large surveys is kitchen cleanup.

A study suggests that being left-handed is a particular advantage in interactive sports where time pressures are particularly severe, such as table tennis and cricket -- possibly because their moves are less familiar to their mostly right-handed opponents, who do not have time to adjust. "The data suggests that the heavier the time constraints are operating in a sport, the larger the proportion of left-handers," said the study's author, Dr Florian Loffing of the University of Oldenburg in Germany. "We are less used to playing lefties, and [so] might end up in not developing the optimal strategies to compete with them." While it is thought that about 10-13 percent of the population is left-handed, it has long been noted that in certain interactive sports there is often a surprisingly high proportion of left-handers playing at elite levels.

Some Uber customers report being billed in roubles for taxi journeys they had not taken in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Homicide Det. Sean Suiter, the Baltimore police detective who was fatally shot in the line of duty last week, was scheduled to testify in a federal case against officers indicted earlier this year, the Baltimore Police Department confirmed Wednesday. The killer is unknown.

A strike in Italy's Amazon distribution hub was planned.

Opponents of the "Net Neutrality" laws of the Obama administration object that their repeal could pave the way for tiered internet service and pay-for-play premium access to internet consumers. A summary from an advocate of the repeal of Net Neutrality: "Net neutrality closed down market competition by generally putting government and its corporate backers in charge of deciding who can and cannot play in the market. It erected barriers to entry for upstart firms while hugely subsidizing the largest and most well-heeled content providers.
So what are the costs to the rest of us? It meant no price reductions in internet service. It could mean the opposite. Your bills went up and there was very little competition. It also meant a slowing down in the pace of technological development due to the reduction in competition that followed the imposition of this rule. In other words, it was like all government regulation: most of the costs were unseen, and the benefits were concentrated in the hands of the ruling class."
So is "Net Neutrality" having someone else pay for what you get?

African governments are demanding action after slave trading was caught on tape in post-Gaddafi Libya.

There is a strange anti-free market argument abroad, that of "sustainability." This sounds, and is, global warming in drag but has an oblique thrust as well. Sustainability as a concept is not new and is championed by some good and admirable thinkers--Abby and Wendell Berry come to mind--but there is a subtle mental shortcut necessary: Surplus must be curbed. Sustainability implies excess, as in "wretched." But it also is close to subsistence, it is production without wealth. Or trade. Nothing is less like us. I know this brings up the dreaded "naturalistic fallacy" objection--why do we have to be limited by how we have behaved before. But there are some realities here. The question is always what is basic and what is culturally layered on and slough-able. But I think growth, expansion, improvement and the participation in the interactive social structure is as much of what we are as altruism.

The wolf does not knit.

Compared to 1986, the inflation-adjusted cost of a turkey dinner today is more than 23% cheaper, and 31% cheaper measured in the “time cost” for the average worker.

Estevadeordal and Taylor(2008) find that, on average, countries that engage in free trade reforms see considerable accelerations in economic development relative to the control group, such that the income per capita of the liberalizers is 25% higher after a quarter-century.

Unsealed court documents reveal that the firm behind the salacious Trump Dossier, Fusion GPS, was paid $523,000 by a Russian businessman convicted of tax fraud and money laundering, whose lawyer was a key figure in the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.

She's back. Who is.....this woman?

There is a coffee house chain in Washington whose baristas wear bikinis. The city is trying to outlaw them, arguing that the women are risking inciting violence against themselves. Now I am having a lot of trouble explaining the behavior of these Weiner/Weinstein guys but this solution sounds compatible with the Koran.

American students consistently are outperformed by Asian students, especially in math. A study by Sadoff raises some interesting and disturbing questions. She offered students from China and America cash rewards for test performance. The Chinese had no improvement--no difference in performance, the Americans did much better when given a financial incentive.

One could wonder and talk about those results all day.

Golden oldie:

There is a lot to think about in the gay pride rainbow flag; there is more there than they know.   Color has been a signal in the gay...

I am fascinated by the criticism of "cultural appropriation." It demands a stasis and rigidity that does not exist and denies the dynamism of dialectic conflict and resolution that I know the critics of "cultural appropriation" admire. But one of the geniuses of the species sapien is its ability to hold contradictory positions without too much emotional turmoil.

This idea that young girls are taught deference in childhood that becomes a risk in adulthood could be expanded. Why, for example, do males lead in the dance?

An asteroid--named “3200 Phaethon” after the Greek God Phaethon, son of the Greek sun god Helios– will come within two million miles to Earth on December 17. It is three miles wide--pretty big, as the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs is believed to have been six miles wide. It appears to have been larger but chopped up by previous close passes to the sun.

Google Home will answer the question "What's the temperature inside?" with the temperature in the city of Side, Turkey.

"If y'all, this is how I feel, if y'all think I did it, I know that I didn't do it so why don't you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what's up." This is what Warren Demesme said talking to the police after he voluntarily agreed to be interviewed over accusations he sexually assaulted a minor. Citizen Demesme later sued that his rights to a lawyer were denied; the state said that only an unambiguous request for a lawyer need be heeded. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled against the good citizen because a "lawyer dog" does not exist.

The CIA is releasing tens of thousands of files and videos from bin Laden’s compound today, except his DVDs of ‘home on the range’ and ‘ice age: dawn of the dinosaurs’ and his copy of final fantasy vii, because those are copyrighted.

"Home on the Range?"

Pope Francis has requested a debate over allowing married men in the Amazon region of Brazil to become priests. Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the president of  the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon, according to a news report in Brazil
reportedly asked Francis to consider ordaining so-called viri probati, married men of great faith, capable of ministering spiritually to the many remote communities in the Amazon where there is a priest shortage, and evangelical Christians and pagan sects are displacing Catholicism.
Monsignor Erwin Krautler, the secretary of the Episcopal Commission, has also suggested that the bishops attending the synod in 2019 on the Amazon, now being prepared in Rome, should consider ordaining women deacons as priests. 
Pagan sects?

In a twitter exchange with a Clinton aide on Friday, former secret service agent Dan Bongino threatened to reveal new details about Bill Clinton’s 26 documented trips aboard notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, nicknamed the “Lolita Express." 
The disingenuous righteous with the bit accidentally caught in their teeth.

AAAAAAaaaaaannnnnnddddd.....a graph:
more efficient use and better conservation of water.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Testosterone's Ups and Downs

Testosterone's Ups and Downs

A wonderful misconception is hidden in our national obsession with "scientific consensus." Diets, climates, exercise, drugs all appear upon the stage preening and fretting against a background of "scientific consensus" when it is actually as real as CGI. The Testosterone therapy debate is a case in point.

For years evidence has been collected that testosterone therapy in testosterone deficient males improved cardiovascular health. A total of 46 studies imply, at least, that the replacement of testosterone to raise the hormone to normal levels results in a population with less cardiovascular problems, heart attacks and strokes. Then, in 2013, a retrospective study of a collection of patients treated with testosterone showed the opposite: Testosterone treated patients did not do as well as those not treated. There was nothing known about this population, only that they were prescribed the drug. It was not even known if they took the drug. Nor was their baseline health known--for example testosterone is give in some terminal and wasting disease-- and, on review, 10% were women.

A subsequent study--where the patients were collected from insurance form claims!--showed a similar risk.

So was the scientific consensus of the 46 studies wrong? Did everyone insist on better studies? Did anyone ask how the discrepancy between the previous studies and the new ones could be explained? Did anyone ask if 10% of the study population being  women might imply some inaccuracy? No. Instead, the NYT wrote an editorial about the scourge of overprescribing of medicine in the U.S., the FDA immediately put qualifiers on the medication inserts and 4000 people sued the pharmaceutical companies. 

Settled science.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


The Scourge of Success
Think about this for a minute: Wilfred M. McClay of the University of Oklahoma decries higher education's "dysfunctional devotion to meritocracy," which he says is subverting the ideal that one's life prospects should not be substantially predictable from facts about one's family. Meritocracy, "while highly democratic in its intentions, has turned out to be colossally undemocratic in its results" because of "the steep decline of opportunity for those Americans who must live outside the magic circle of meritocratic validation." Or this, written about recently by Will: 'In "A Theory of Justice," the 20th century's most influential American treatise on political philosophy, John Rawls argued that "inequalities of birth and natural endowment are undeserved."'

Undeserved. I originally misread that as "underserved." But no. Good and bad qualities are inflicted upon an undeserving person by harsh fate. The luck of the draw is not just luck, it is a perversion of justice.

This is an astonishing step for the social homogenizers to take, apparently without criticism. What is under contention here is the nature of man. Are those distinguishing characteristics, that we so worship in diversity, evil when they become practical impairments? A bright student has an unfair advantage, a diligent one the same. But it gets worse. There is a selective process insidiously working through this system. Bright men, bright women seek each other thus perpetuating the injustice. Their children have a better chance of being bright. And their homes are more encouraging toward success than their less fortunate competitors.

If you can't improve the failures, harm the successes. No society could consider a more damaging self-inflicted wound. Years ago Vonnegut had a society where, for the sake of equality and the self-esteem of the less able audience, wonderfully talented athletic and coordinated ballet dancers had to wear weights to hamper their movements. But he was writing about esthetics and art, fields a culture can chose to ignore. The culture can not ignore the quality of its people and their production.
Has there ever been a more unreasonable time in history where such nonsense would be taken seriously?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.

~Alexander Tytler, historian

From Rogoff's The Curse of Cash: "Any economist who takes income and wealth inequality seriously realizes that, despite the enormous progress of the past three decades, differences across countries simply swamp the within-country inequality that Thomas Piketty and others worry about. The 2015 Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, author of the 2013 book The Great Escape, has forcefully made this point. International migration from poor countries to advanced ones create massive welfare gains for the immigrants."

What is (was)....Awamiya?

Tesla is losing $8,000 a minute. Articles are being written that state the company is developing a concept that will benefit others, not itself or its shareholders. That is to say, Tesla's investors have taken a horrific loss to benefit "the commons."

Another slant from Sam Jaffe, battery analyst for Cairn Energy Research in Boulder, Colorado: The Tesla Roadster is promised to be the quickest production car ever built. But that achievement would mean squeezing into its tiny frame a battery twice as powerful as the largest battery currently available in any electric car. These claims are so far beyond current industry standards for electric vehicles that they would require either advances in battery technology or a new understanding of how batteries are put to use, said  Jaffe.
But Jaffe reaches an interesting conclusion. "I don't think they're lying. I just think they left something out of the public reveal that would have explained how these numbers work."
In a similar vein, I just saw an interview with an investor with a large short position on Tesla. He says the company makes no money, is years behind Ford and the Germans in engineering and is planning a car in 2020 for which no production facilities are yet built. He say the company is worthless. Worthless.

American survey:

Only 13% of people don’t think global warming is happening, and only 30% don’t believe it’s human-caused. 23% of people think scientists mostly believe global warming’s not human-caused, suggesting that most skeptics aren’t disbelieving scientists so much as unaware of them. Also, 39% of Americans say that there is a greater-than-even-odds chance that global warming will cause the extinction of the human race.

Saudi Arabia recently destroyed an entire civilian town, Awamiya,  in the country's Shia-dominated east in a sectarian driven campaign to crush dissent.

Black Friday 2017 was all about digital sales. American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours of Black Friday, 2017. That is a 16.9% increase in dollars spent online compared with Black Friday 2016, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks 80% of online spending at America's 100 largest retail websites... Meanwhile, malls and big-box retailers were left only slightly emptier. Early estimates from ShopperTrak, a data analytics company that measures the number of shoppers at stores, said foot traffic "decreased less than one percent when compared to Black Friday 2016."
Strangely Bitcoin was up as well.

A study on hiring and college experience is interesting.
The study's author tells The Street that companies are "[looking for] somebody who is just job-ready to just show up." The irony is that college graduates will ultimately be paid a higher salary -- even though for many jobs, the study found that a college degree yields zero improvement in actual performance.
The Street reports that "In a market where companies increasingly rely on computerized systems to cull out early-round applicants, that has led firms to often consider a bachelor's degree indicative of someone who can socialize, run a meeting and generally work well with others." One company tells them that "we removed the requirement to have a computer science degree, and we removed the requirement to have experience in development computer programming. And when we removed those things we found that the pool of potential really good team members drastically expanded."

If you are in love with a belief or process that has been shown over time to be untrue or unworkable, is that idealism or just plain dumb?

Meghan Markle, another free woman asteroid captured by the Royal gravity.

The interest the young have recently shown in socialism and communism is surprising; the nature of these destructive concepts have not  changed--but youth has. This generation is absolutely enamored with individual expression, with one's own definition and practice. So the rather obvious question of sexuality in this generation can actually be the subject for debate. Both socialism and communism have, as one single and overriding feature, the subordination of the individual to the state. In both of these economies, the autonomy of the individual is not just discouraged, it is anathema. How the modern young square this with their personal preoccupation with individual expression has yet to be explained.

The term “GULAG” is an acronym for the Soviet bureaucratic institution, Glavnoe Upravlenie ispravitel’no-trudovykh LAGerei (Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps), that operated the Soviet system of forced labor camps in the Stalin era.

Arizona State fired Todd Graham. I am thrilled.

An interesting take on liberalism by Deneen:
While classical liberalism looks back to a liberalism achieved and lost—particularly the founding philosophy of America that stressed natural rights, limited government, and a relatively free and open market, “progressive” liberalism longs for a liberalism not yet achieved, one that strives to transcend the limitations of the past and even envisions a transformed humanity, its consciousness enlarged, practicing what Edward Bellamy called “the religion of solidarity.” As Richard Rorty envisioned in his aptly titled 1998 book Achieving Our Country, liberal democracy “is the principled means by which a more evolved form of humanity will come into existence.… Democratic humanity…has ‘more being’ than predemocratic humanity. The citizens of a [liberal] democratic, Whitmanesque society are able to create new, hitherto unimagined roles and goals for themselves.”

Golden oldie:

This is the Sun on January 6, 2014 with a "small" area at about ten o'clock off center. That is a sunspot about the size of the earth. Sun...

The Matt Lauer firing means something. Women are simply being taken more seriously and their complaints matter. This--and the surprising evolution of opinion on Bill Clinton-- is a big deal. But maybe not. Co-anchor Savannah Guthrie said: "I am heartbroken for Matt..."

San Francisco City Supervisor Jane Kim worries that automation, by eliminating large numbers of particular jobs in coming decades, will lead to chronic unemployment.  And so Ms. Kim wants to tax employers each time they replace workers with robots or algorithms. That is, essentially, a tax on innovation and productivity, sort of like taxing thumbs.

Oil prices are rising. At one point they were over $64 a barrel. Some of this is the result of rising interest rates which might impede fracking expansion but some might be the problems in the Middle East which, so far, have not merited much U.S. press attention. Iran and the Saudis are ratcheting up their religious war into a geopolitical one. Iran has the advantage of financing remorseless terrorism through various subsidiaries and one, the Houthis, recently fired a rocket at Saudi Arabia. Right now  the Houthis are mining the Bab el-Mandeb,  a narrow chokepoint separating Eritrea and Djibouti on the west and Yemen on the east. This narrow area is the exit point for oil transports from the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. This area is seen to be so important to world trade that the Chinese have military units there.

This year alone, the U.S. Treasury has confidentially paid $934,754 to settle sexual harassment and other complaints against members of Congress and their staff.

"Anyone can lie. One need only have the requisite intention — in other words, to say something with the intention to deceive. Faking, by contrast, is an achievement. To fake things you have to take people in, yourself included. In an important sense, therefore, faking is not something that can be intended, even though it comes about through intentional actions. The liar can pretend to be shocked when his lies are exposed, but his pretence is merely a continuation of his lying strategy. The fake really is shocked when he is exposed, since he had created around himself a community of trust, of which he himself was a member. Understanding this phenomenon is, it seems to me, integral to understanding how a high culture works, and how it can become corrupted." This is Scruton writing about the decline of, what he calls, "high culture."

To command consumers by law, to force them to buy only in the national market, is to infringe on their freedom and to forbid them an activity, trade, that is in no way intrinsically immoral; in a word, it is to do them an injustice.--Bastiat

And this from Adam Smith: Whether the advantages which one country has over another be natural or acquired is in this respect of no consequence.  As long as the one country has those advantages, and the other wants them, it will always be more advantageous for the latter rather to buy of the former than to make. 

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in New York doled out $3.25 million in bonuses to prosecutors from its asset forfeiture fund since 2012, according to records obtained by Newsday through a Freedom of Information request. Amazing.

AAAAAaaaaannnnnddddd.....a picture: