Monthly Archives: August 2008

Gas prices haven’t risen as fast as oil prices

Courtesty of Donald J. Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek . . .

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“In 2004 . . . a gallon of gasoline retailed for about $2.00 while a barrel of oil sold for about $33. Today, oil’s price is higher by 275 percent while gasoline’s price is higher by only 100 percent.”

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The Knowledge Problem

Our elected representatives are good at getting elected. We know this for the simple reason that they were elected. They passed the electoral test. But how much does the electoral test really tell us?

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We got a big response on the REAL ID campaign — it points the way to the future

Quote of the Day:
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:::”All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
:::– attributed to Edmund Burke
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:::Subject: We got a big response on the REAL ID campaign — it points the way to the future
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:::Our message yesterday about the exchange between Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff and Governor Schweitzer of Montana got a big response. So many DC Downsizers tried to take action all at once that it overwhelmed our website. Some people had trouble sending messages as a result. We’ve fixed part of the problem, and our capacity is about to get better as we install our new servers.
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:::This is a good problem to have. Thank you to everyone who took action yesterday.
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:::The fight against the REAL ID Act points the way to the future. It used to be that the American people just rolled over and submitted every time Congress passed a bad law. No more. Now the American people are fighting back.
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:::We must do the same thing with regard to the vote on the FISA warrantless spying bill that we lost recently. Congress may think the issue is settled, but we must make sure that it is not settled.
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:::We are in negotiations with our coalition allies about the best strategy for overturning the warrantless spying law.::::::

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Overwhelmingly Sufficient Grounds for Impeachment Will Be Sufficient

Jeremy Rabkin, George Mason University Professor of Law, was one of the Republican, anti-impeachment experts to provide testimony at the Judiciary Committee, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Impeachment, Non-impeachment Hearing,” on July 25, 2008. Since I’m in support of impeachment and he’s not, it might surprise you to learn that I thought he uttered the most important and spot-on statement of all the panelists.

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In his opening statement, Rabkin essentially suggested that if George W. Bush was really guilty of intentionally lying the country into war, that was an impeachable offense.

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And if that charge were true — and here’s the important part — then all the other stuff about politicizing the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys, warrantless wiretapping, using signing statements to violate the laws passed by Congress, and so on, were all sideshows. (I’ve tried to find both video or a free transcript online; C-SPAN moved/removed just the portion that included Rabkin’s opening statement.)

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The sin of lying the country into war such that 4,100 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died is so heinous that every other charge dilutes this essential point. This one argument, were it valid, would deserve an impeachment hearing all to itself.

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Of course, Rabkin thought that anyone who could imagine that Bush or any President could do such a thing was “demented.” But that demonstrates that Rabkin lacks imagination.

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It also shows that Rabkin doesn’t think too highly of the Founding Fathers who designed a government based on suspicion of power. Suspicion is, after all, merely a particular form of imagination. I can only imagine what bad things Rabkin says in private about someone like Lord Acton, who was demented enough to suggest that, “power tends to corrupt.”

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Instead,

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Chertoff threatens governor, governor threatens Chertoff

Quote of the Day:
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:::“Do you want our government to have the ability to track where you went, how you went, how you got there and when you got home? It would be naïve for someone to think this information will not be abused in the future. Virtually every decade these kinds of files have been used to violate people’s privacy.”
:::– Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana
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:::Subject: Chertoff threatens governor, governor threatens Chertoff
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:::We knew that the state of Montana was resisting the REAL ID Act, but we just learned some of the details of that resistance. The story is so good we had to share it, in case you hadn’t heard . . .
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:::Brian Schweitzer, the governor of Montana, wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The letter informed Chertoff that Montana would not be complying with the REAL ID Act. Our quote of the day supplies one of the reasons for Governor Schweitzer’s rebellion. In response to the letter . . .
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:::Secretary Chertoff called Governor Schweitzer and threatened him.::::::

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How Big is the Money Supply?

Quote of the Day:
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:::”We make money the old fashioned way. We print it.”
:::– Art Rolnick, former Chief Economist, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank
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:::Subject: How big is the money supply?

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:::The value of your money depends on the amount of money in circulation. Is it possible for you, as a layman, to learn and understand how large the money supply is, and whether it’s growing or shrinking?
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:::Probably not. There are many measurements of the money supply, and there seems to be no consensus about which measurements are best. These measurements go by the names M-zero, M1, M2, M3, and MZM. There’s even something called the “True Money Supply,” devised by Murray Rothbard, and reported at the website of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
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:::The “True Money Supply” page will also give you numbers for M1, M2, M3, and MZM, but the numbers are only updated through April, and the M1 measurement, for some reason, is only current through February of 2006.
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:::Well, you could try the Federal Reserve instead. They ought to know, right? Well, there are problems there too. The Fed doesn’t report M3 anymore, which some people think is the best measurement. The Fed also provides two different numbers for M1 and M2, one seasonally adjusted, and one not, without explaining what the seasonal adjustment entails. Worse still . . .
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Does drilling harm or help the environment?

Offshore platform.jpeg

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Some environmentalists are now in favor of offshore drilling. Here’s why . . .

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Doing More With Less: Introducing the Micro-microscope

Micro-microscope.jpg

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Human beings constantly learn how to do more and more with less and less. The latest example is a field microscope that doesn’t even need a lens, and that can be made for less than $10.

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The Price of Pessimism

From an excellent article by W. Michael Cox, the senior vice president and chief economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and Richard Alm, the bank’s senior economics writer . . .

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Huge Radio Announcement

Today’s Downsize DC Conference Call, MY two-hour radio show, sponsored by DownsizeDC.org and Gun Owners of America…
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:::…begins my final month as a regular, live, on-air radio host with his own program.
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:::I’m calling it quits after nearly three-and-a-half years.
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:::On today’s (Sunday) program, which starts at 3:06 PM Eastern (2:06 PM Central, 1:06 Mountain, and 12:06 PM Pacific), I will spell out why I’m doing this and what comes next for me — including my future in radio (yes, there is a future).
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:::But for now, there are only four more episodes to go.
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:::So I’m going to wax a bit eloquent today, and explain why I’m so excited about the future — the wonderful prospects for our country. This week, I plan to publish an article on our blog (now featured on the front page of our website), describing why I think DownsizeDC.org is both strategically optimistic and tactically incremental in its approach.
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:::But are you hopeful about the future? Do you believe that Constitutional freedom and small, limited government will prevail? Are you excited about DownsizeDC.org? Or do you think the federal government is collapsing our rights, headed for totalitarianism, and the only thing that will save us is a revolution?
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:::I’d like to hear your thoughts. The best CALLER to today’s show will::::::

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