Human Condition

     

 

 

Offending People Left and Right

Bill Bonner, whose Diaries we republish here, is well-known for being an equal opportunity offender  – meaning that political affiliation, gender, age, or any other defining characteristics won’t save worthy targets from getting offended. As far as we are concerned, we generally try not to be unnecessarily rude to people, but occasionally giving offense is not exactly beneath us either.

 

offendThe motto of the equal opportunity offender….

 

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From Subject to Citizen

BALTIMORE – June 5th, the Swiss cast their votes and registered their opinions: “No,” they said. We left off yesterday wondering why something for nothing never works. Not as monetary policy. Not as welfare or foreign aid. Not in commerce. Not never, no how. But something for nothing is what people most want.

 

nothingThe future Switzerland just managed to dodge… for now

 

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House of Reprehensibles

On May 19, the House of Reprehensibles passed a proposal that would essentially ban the display of Confederate flags from national cemeteries.  The amendment was added to a Veteran Affairs spending bill.

 

1confedBanned: confederate flag

Photo via natsentinel.com

 

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Who Cares What Voters Want?

BALTIMORE, Maryland –  There were two newsworthy developments last week, neither of them really important – the first because it won’t happen, the second because it won’t matter. First, the Fed let it be known that it has “normalcy” once again in its sights.

 

Moral compass and career path concept with a human head and a compass as a brain on a grunge old parchment textureIt’s all in your head…and that’s where it shall remain!

Illustration via thesurvivalchannel.com

 

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Gassy Hacks and Big Quacks

Today, we recall the “commencement” at the end of four years at the University of Vermont. The university itself is imposing and a little intimidating. The rest of the world works in warehouses or common office spaces. Academia labors in hallowed “halls” and prestigious “centers.”

 

vermontThe path to the hallowed halls of the University of Vermont

Photo via hercampus.com

 

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Hazards and Benefits

Rubbernecking at the economic train wreck of central planners is not without hazard.  A strained collar and dry eyes, for instance, are common perils.  So, too, is the lasting grimace of disbelief that comes with the roll-out of each zany scheme to save us from ourselves.

 

rictus-1Hazard of the dispassionate observer: the rictus of disbelief will get etched in one’s face.

 

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Political Correctness Comedy

We have recently come across a video that is simply too funny not be shared. It also happens to dovetail nicely with our friend Claudio’s recent essay on political correctness and cultural Marxism. Since this is generally a rather depressing topic, we have concluded that having a good laugh at it might not be the worst idea.

 

safe spaceHow to most effectively create a “safe space” on campus

Cartoon by Nate Beeler

 

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The Wild 1990s

Not so long ago, during 1990’s, the connecting world of the connected world we now know was literally and comprehensively in the development stage during those wild crazy go go years before the crash in technology stocks in 2000.

 

Nasdaq BubbleThe infamous tech bubble of the 1990s – to this day the greatest stock market bubble ever seen in the US (in terms of multiple expansion, intensity, public participation, speed and extent of the blow-off phase) – click to enlarge.

 

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Insulting Mr. Erdoğan Can Be Dangerous

Most of our readers are probably aware by now that the German government finds itself in a rather awkward situation over its relations with Turkey’s government again – with which the EU has just struck a widely criticized and very expensive deal to help it stem the flood of refugees.

One thing is absolutely certain about Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: He has no sense of humor whatsoever.  As of early March 2016, 1,845 lawsuits were pending in Turkey for “insulting the president”. To see how extremely ridiculous most of these cases are, consider the one involving the pictures below:

 

 

golloerd22aBilgin Çiftçi was fired from his job at Turkey’s public health service last October and detained after comparing Erdoğan to Gollum. He could face up to two years in prison. His lawyer Hicran Danisman said she was forced to argue in court that “Gollum is not a bad character” because she “got nowhere with a defense case based on freedom of expression”. The trial has now been adjourned to give the court time to “consult with a group of experts on whether Gollum is a good or a bad character”.

 

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Lost From the Get-Go

There must be some dark corner of Hell warming up for modern, mainstream economists. They helped bring on the worst bubble ever… with their theories of efficient markets and modern portfolio management. They failed to see it for what it was. Then, when trouble came, they made it worse. But instead of atoning in a dank cell, these same economists strut onto the stage to congratulate themselves.

 

KeynesThe scalawag himself. Keynes provided governments with the “scientific” fig leaf fore interventionism that economists had previously denied them. The cost in terms of economic and technological progress is incalculable.

Photo via MIT Press

 

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What the Establishment Wants, the Establishment Gets

If a person has no philosophical thoughts, certain questions will never cross his mind. As a young man, there were many issues and ideas that never concerned me as they do today. There is one question, however, which has intrigued me for the longest time, and it still fascinates me as intensely as it did back then: Does spirit precede matter or is it the other way around?

In other words, does human consciousness create what we perceive as our reality and physical existence or vice versa; does the pre-existing material world determine our sentience and shape our cognition? In essence, what really lies beneath the surface of this question is the following: is man born as a conscious being with free will and self-determination or not?

 

thought policeYou may think citizen, but it will be best if you confine yourself to approved collectivist thought. In case you find yourself unable to do so, you may need to be reeducated.

Illustration by LibertyManiacs.com

 

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The Evil of the Scarcity Meme

In order to avoid misunderstanding, let us make clear from the outset that scarcity is an unavoidable fact of life – it is the very thing that impels economic activity. If all material human wants were satisfied and we were living as immortals in the Land of Cockaigne, there would no longer be a reason to plan for the future, to save and invest, and to weigh the opportunity costs of different choices.

 

NapThe_Land_of_CockaigneWaking up in the Land of Cockaigne. At the time this Utopia was made up, how to obtain sufficient amounts of food was the foremost concern of people.

Image by orph.us

 

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