Thursday, May 18, 2017


It is truly miraculous that the following proposition continues to be held as proven: Anything that an individual steals from the whole is a general profit. Perpetual motion, the philosopher’s stone, or the squaring of the circle have fallen into oblivion, but the theory of Advancement through theft is still in fashion.--Bastiat

Herodotus describes a king who locked a newborn in a cave with no human voice so he could hear the baby's first word and thus learn the first language of the world. The Middle Ages saw quasi-theological, quasi-mystical attempts to recover the perfect, prelapsarian language of Adam. The Enlightenment brought a new focus on philosophy and science and the concomitant desire for a language that would express the new scientific truths clearly and perfectly.
Is it a Platonic idea that language has a perfect form?

Omar Khayyam is famous in the West for his poems but is better known in the East--in academic circles--as a mathematician. He was also eyed unfavorably because of his distinctly open-minded religious notions. For example:

Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give -- and take!
(From The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)
Thomas Hardy so liked the atheistic spirit of this quatrain that he had it read to him on his death-bed.

Dental work debt is the new school debt.

A lot of people who think they love freedom balk at gender crossing. Conservatives who read my writing on the glories of free enterprise are often on board—even enthusiastic about reading such sentiments from a woman—right up until the moment that they learn my backstory. --McCloskey

"Extraction processes would also need to be extensive, a form of strip-mining, and this raises more ethically-focused concerns about planetary protection. Would it be ethically defensible to transfer environmentally damaging practices from the Earth to the Moon?" This is from an article on the economics of space exploration. We have an excess of minds and time if we, in this complicated and dangerous world, can worry about the ethics of strip-mining the moon.

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned.
That, of course, is unimportant as we emphasize borders and nations less and less now, right?

At the end of the 19th Century there was an interest in the creation of common languages, as if a human brotherhood could be stimulated by the same language, a wish upset by the first war. Creators of International Auxiliary Languages (IALs) used elements of existing natural languages to largely utilitarian effect: these languages were practical and easy to learn. Ludwik Zamenhof’s Esperanto, borrowing mostly from Romance languages, is perhaps the best known. But nearly 150 other such IAL projects were devised during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including Volap√ľk, Ido and Novial.

In Japan, there is a slang term, “moe”, for those who fall in love with fictional computer characters.

So it appears that Trump's accusation of his being wiretapped is untrue--or, at least, mistaken. But, according to Buchannan,  "while the FBI is still searching for a Trump connection, real crimes have been unearthed – committed by anti-Trump bureaucrats colluding with mainstream media – to damage Trump’s presidency.
There is hard evidence of collusion between the intel community and the New York Times and the Washington Post, both beneficiaries of illegal leaks – felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
While the howls have been endless that Trump accused Obama of a “felony,” the one provable felony here was the leak of a transcript of an intercepted conversation between Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.
That leak ended Flynn’s career as national security adviser. And Director Comey would neither confirm nor deny that President Obama was aware of the existence of the Flynn transcript."
Oh, well.

Comey's testimony, from Yahoo: ....the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia’s hatred of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was so intense, Moscow would do anything it could to help her opponent. Clinton sometimes butted heads with the Kremlin in her role as secretary of state. When Trump started to lag in the polls and his chances of victory narrowed, the Kremlin shifted its focus to doing as much damage to Clinton’s campaign as possible, Comey said.  
“When Mr. Trump became the nominee, there was some sense that, ‘It’d be great if he could win, it’d be great if we could help him, but we need to hurt her no matter what.’ And it shifted to, ‘He has no chance, so let’s just focus on undermining her.’ That was the judgment of the intelligence community.”
Hilary just makes everyone so mad.

So the Rube-publicans could not pass a bill in a legislative chamber they controlled. The Democrats and the press seem elated. But how is not fixing the ACA, which is beginning to fall apart, a good thing? This is like the draft horses hoping the trace-horse fails.
Though 75 per cent of Jews living in France before the war survived, only 2.5 per cent of those deported came home.

The title of the first and most famous volume of Maya Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, came from a Paul Laurence Dunbar poem:

    I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
    When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
    When he beats his bars and he would be free;
    It is not a carol of joy or glee,
    But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
    But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings,
    I know why the caged bird sings!

Two days before an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot dead in broad daylight in Kiev Thursday, a lawyer for the family of a slain Russian whistleblower was injured in a mysterious fall from his fourth-story apartment near Moscow.

In 1927 a group with  Ludwig von Mises set up an institute to explore business cycles. They concluded that these cycles were caused by central banks setting interest rates too low — encouraging excessive borrowing, investment and spending. But low rates also discouraged saving, and when funds dried up, investments had to be abandoned and people were thrown out of work. Sound familiar?

Descartes’ wrote a treatise titled Le Monde in which he would explain “all the phenomena of nature” and which also included a heliocentric account of the cosmos. When the Church attacked Galileo, rather than incur the wrath of the Church, Descartes decided not to publish The World after all.

Happiness economics is based on the idea that once you achieve a certain wealth level, more wealth makes you no better off. But wealth isn’t just about more and better stuff.  Economic growth is not an isolated, individual thing except in the restricted economic world we have escaped in the last three hundred years. Wealth is organic; it infiltrates its neighbors and raises all levels. 
Stendhal served twice in Napoleon's army, the second on the Emperor's failed mission to Russia. Not until Bonaparte fell from power did Stendhal begin his literary career. His final novel, The Charterhouse of Parma, now on many 'Top 100' lists, was just five months in the making.

AAAAaaaaannnnnnddddddd.......a graph:
Chart of the Day

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