Friday, August 07, 2009

Jonathan David Price, On Wasting Time
Thomas Woods responds to Benedict XVI: Truth & Charity
Time To Haul Manure
Gene Logsdon, Dave Smith, Organic To Be
I never knew why August was a good time to apply barn manure to farm and garden and Fall even better. We just did it then because there is usually a lull in other pressing farm work. Now I find out from the consensus of opinion among the experts on barn manure a century ago that we’ve been doing the right thing.

(original)
Economy on a Scaffold By MIKE WHITNEY

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The War We Can’t Win
Afghanistan & the Limits of American Power

Andrew J. Bacevich
Temporary Recession or the End of Growth? by Richard Heinberg

He, like Dmitri Orlov, believes that the unprecedented rise in oil prices several years ago precipitated the current economic crisis. Orlov's interview on KPFA.org.
Tea at Trianon: Judith Richards' Biography of Mary Tudor
Kelley Vlahos, ‘Prince’ of War Going Down?
Athanasius, Caritas in Veritate, the bane of Austrianism
Paul Craig Roberts, The Expiring Economy

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The right to health care

And one's responsibility for taking care of one's health--

One has a duty to take care of one's body and one's health; both for one's own sake, and for the sake of others and for the community at large. Sin taxes may not be unjust, because those who engage in vicious behaviors that are detrimental to their health put on an additional burden to the "health care system." Moreover, their behavior should be discouraged, since they are making themselves physically unfit members of society.

Libertarians may believe that government should not legislate to curb bad behaviors, but traditional conservatives and Catholics [should] believe differently? This however does not give the government license to micromanage or to replace the judgment of the individual with rules that cannot but be general and thus fail to take into account different individual cases. For example, in the case of temperance, who else but the individual can judge whether one has eaten enough? Who can determine what suffices? What law can possibly substitute for prudence's governing of a particular appetite? Better knowledge of nutrition can help prudence, but can guidelines and regulations replace prudence with respect to eating, the drinking of alcohol, and so on?

Even if one does not "own" one's body, as the libertarians may believe, this does not mean that it is owned by someone else (except, perhaps, God). Similarly, that a citizen is a part of a whole and, as a member, has duties to the community does not entail a state being totalitarian.

A community may have an interest in the bodily well-being of its members, since those members are not mere private individual but are members of that community. (They are not tools for some abstract public good, but they nonetheless contribute to each other's flourishing.) Still, the primary responsibility of maintaining health fall on the citizen.(Those who are under the authority of another because they are incapable of exercising authority over themselves will also have their health supervised?)

For the sake of the following discussion, I'll assume that there is some right to health care (I am not convinced that there is):

If one has a right to health care, can it also be said that one has a duty to maintain it? If an individual fails to take care of his health, and is culpable, can his share of health care be reduced? How can he be held responsible for his actions if the state intervenes to make him healthier? Unless he is to shoulder a greater financial burden for his health in the future? Similarly, does a right to health care give the state a right to manage his life and ensure that he does not become a drain on public resources?

It seems to me that health cannot be regulated (that is to say, transgressions cannot be punished) except after an individual fails to take proper care of himself; either he gets sick because of lifestyle choices (eating too much) or he fails to attain some fitness standard (for example, as a member of the militia). What sort of positive incentives to stay healthy are possible, other than health itself?

Conversely, if the government is responsible for health care expenditures and makes payment out of the public treasury, how can it not require that people live up to their responsibility and avoid bad habits? How can it not punish (not necessarily with rationiong) those who make poor decisions regarding their body and health? How can it not distinguish between those who are afflicted with illness through no fault of their own and those who are responsible for their bad health? Would it not be unjust for the government to pay for the care of those who do not take care of themselves with taxes on those who are responsible?

As for the obesity epidemic, what if it can be shown that it is largely due to bad nutritional guidelines put forth by the government and other experts?

Miscellaneous links:
http://www.naturalmoney.org/short.html
http://www.naturalmoney.org/full-theory.html
The Distributist Review: Sample Chapter, TOC, and Index of Jobs of Our Own Now Available
Mike Whitney, Bernanke's Shell Game .

It means the revered professor Bernanke figured out a way to circumvent Congress and dump more than a trillion dollars into the stock market by laundering the money through the big banks and other failing financial institutions. As Kessler suggests, Bernanke knew the liquidity would pop up in the equities market, thus, building the equity position of the banks so they wouldn't have to grovel to Congress for another TARP-like bailout. Bernanke's actions demonstrate his contempt for the democratic process. The Fed sees itself as a government-unto-itself.

Over at Zero Hedge, Tyler Durden did the math and figured that the recent 45 per cent surge in the S&P 500 had nothing to do with the fictional economic "recovery", but was just more of the Fed's hanky panky. Durden noticed that the money that's been sluicing into stocks hasn't (correspondingly) depleted the money markets. That's the clue that led him to the truth about Bernanke's 6 month stock rally.

Zero Hedge: "Most interesting is the correlation between Money Market totals and the listed stock value since the March lows: a $2.7 trillion move in equities was accompanied by a less than $400 billion reduction in Money Market accounts!

Where, may we ask, did the balance of $2.3 trillion in purchasing power come from? Why the Federal Reserve of course, which directly and indirectly subsidized U.S. banks (and foreign ones through liquidity swaps) for roughly that amount. Apparently these banks promptly went on a buying spree to raise the all important equity market, so that the U.S. consumer whose net equity was almost negative on March 31, could regain some semblance of confidence and would go ahead and max out his credit card. Alas, as one can see in the money multiplier and velocity of money metrics, U.S. consumers couldn't care less about leveraging themselves any more."

So, the magical "Green Shoots" stock market rally was fueled by a mere $400 billion from the money markets. The rest ($2.3 trillion) was main-lined into the market via Bernanke's quantitative easing (QE) program, of which Krugman and others speak so highly.


And Dave Lindorff, The Recession Isn't Over, By a Long Shot
Anthony Esolen, Victims Unseen
(via Crunchy Con)

Monday, August 03, 2009

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM OR DISEASE INDUSTRY? By Walter Goodpastor

via Carolyn Baker

The demise of the middle class
by Damien Perrotin (EB)

It makes one wonder what Aristotle is talking about, when he refers to what is translated as the "middle class." Are members of Aristotle's middle class also slave owners? How large is their household, and what do they produce? What sort of property do they have, and what are their sources of wealth?
Pam Martens, Millions of Americans Pushed Into No-Law System by Colluding Banks

Catherine Austin Fitts

She was having a chat with Georgy Noury last night on Coast to Coast AM. Her wiki entry. She didn't have much positive to say about the economy for the next 6 months; and she was also critical of national health care. She calls the current system "the central banking and warfare model."

Links:
The Solari Report
Blog
Financial Permaculture Institute

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Grassley statement on Sotomayor

Links:
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Adam K. Webb, “On the Grid”: When Electricity (and Other Things) Came to the Countryside
Walking through the Milpitas Library, you will see photos of old Milpitas, courtesy of the Milpitas Historical Society. Cupertino has something similar. How many inhabitants of either city have roots in the community for more than a century? Why bother with fostering such historical memories, when a sense of place is deliberately destroyed in the name of progress and industry? And when very few plan on having their family set roots in the area for a long time?