Saturday, May 6, 2017


"The 9th Circuit, in effect, granted Minnesota and Washington standing to represent the due process rights of Yemeni nationals who've never set foot in the United States — an imaginary harm to states that presupposes imaginary rights for Yemenis." -- Krauthammer"....economic freedom is part of total freedom; if freedom is an end in itself, as our society has traditionally asserted, then economic freedom is an end in itself, to be valued for itself alone and not just for its instrumental value in serving other goals.
If this thesis is accepted, there must always exist a tremendous presumption against each and every proposal for governmental limitation of economic freedom.  What is wrong with a state system of compulsory social security?  It denies to the individual his freedom, his right to choose what he will do with his own money [and] resources.  What is wrong with a governmentally enforced minimum wage?  It denies to the employer and the employee their individual freedoms, their individual rights to enter into any voluntary relationship not involving force or fraud.  What is wrong with a tariff or an import quota?  It denies to the individual consumer his right to buy what he wishes, wherever he wishes."--Rogge

We think of Shakespeare as Elizabethan but some of his most prominent plays, including King Lear (1605), Macbeth(1606), and The Tempest (1610), were written during the reign of James I.

Who is ....Harriet Beacher Stowe?

Standard economic estimates say that letting all the world's talent flow to wherever it's most productive would roughly DOUBLE global prosperity.  That's an extra $75 TRILLION of extra wealth per year.  How is this possible?  Because even the world's lowest-skill workers produce far more in the First World than they do at home. 

The Obama administration’s former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has made an impassioned video which seems to encourage public and violent resistance to something, I am unsure what. But whatever it is, it sounds very serious.
“I know that this is a time of great fear and uncertainty for so many people,” Lynch says. “I know it’s a time of concern for people, who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on and even being rolled back. I know that this is difficult, but I remind you that this has never been easy. We have always had to work to move this country forward to achieve the great ideals of our Founding Fathers.”
Lynch goes on to say: “It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.”
This has become a time of disproportion.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was originally attacked as inaccurate. This motivated Stowe to collect the documentary evidence -- laws, judicial records, etc. -- a process which left her thinking that, "much as I thought I knew before, I had not begun to measure the depth of the abyss. ' She continued her public anti-slavery life and received a lot of hate mail, and one box containing a black human ear.
The Sunrail train project in Florida is a sizable monorail system owed in part to Obama's stimulus package and supported by Florida taxes. It is a real trainwreck; it cost more to issue tickets than the tickets take in. It is worth looking up. "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."--Hayak

George R. R. Martin only describes his languages in the book series but when the HBO team decided to use them on screen, they hired a linguist. David J. Peterson developed Dothraki, the language of the eponymous horse-riding warriors in the books, based on Martin’s rather scant information. The Dothraki phrase “Ana dothrak chek” means “I am well” but the literal translation is “I ride well”.

During the Bush administration the New York Times published reports about a secret -- but legal -- anti-terrorism program intended to track the global movement of terrorist funds despite being asked by the government not to publicize it as it was a helpful tool against the terror network. The high-minded press published it anyway; apparently our safety is secondary to the aims of the press. Our curious disproportionate public reaction to the current political state of affairs is reminiscent of that decision.

Sweden’s government re-instated military conscription.

Because of Japan’s import restrictions on foreign goods, Japanese citizens pay $53 for jeans that cost us Americans $32.  A spark plug costs them $8.60; we can get one for $1.69.  They pay $2,000 for a laser printer that costs us $1,100.
Trade restrictionists like Trump think the U.S. should respond to this outrage the Japanese government perpetrates against its own people by retaliating against its own people by creating tariffs that raise the expenses to its own, American, citizens.

Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG wines (established in 2011) must be made form 90% Sangiovese grapes, and aged for a minimum of 17 months (including 12 months in barrel, and 4 months in bottle). This region of Tuscany first made wine under the Etruscans.

Chinese bank assets hit $33 trillion at the end of 2016, versus $31 trillion for the eurozone, $16 trillion for the US and $7 trillion for Japan. The value of China’s banking system is now more than 310% the size of its GDP, compared to "only" 280% for the eurozone and its banks. China's bank assets are projected to grow by $3.3 trillion in 2017.
MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Boston University have teamed up to create a robotic system that can be controlled by human brain waves. A friend of mine asks, which waves? And can the robot distinguish fantasy from non-fantasy?
(There is, in the current model, only two options so those questions are too elaborate for the problem--for now.)

Golden oldie:
Of the data collected on disc in history, 90% has been collected in the last 2 years. This campaign period has been just brutal. No nation ...

CNN aired 'spy cam' footage of a "fiery" meeting in the Oval Office, presumably to advance their "dysfunctional White House" theme. But is that kind of intrusion on a private--and maybe classified--discussion good? Or Legal?
Only 10 U.S. states derive more than 10% of their state GDP from exports: Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. Of these 10 states, four derive more than 4% of their GDP from exports to just one country. Michigan and North Dakota are highly dependent on exports to Canada. Texas is inordinately dependent on exports to Mexico, and Washington is heavily reliant on exports to China.

They may be unemployed but they will have fewer cavities. With sales slumping because of the new Philadelphia sweetened beverage tax, bottling giant Pepsi said it will fire 80 to 100 workers, or about 20% of its total employees in the city. The layoffs come in response to the beverage tax, which has cut sales by 40% in the city.

AAAAAaaaaannnnnddddd......a cartoon:

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