US spends $7 billion to eradicate opium crop, Crop 50% bigger in 2014 than in 2012

Afghan labourer destroys poppies during a campaign against narcotics outside Balkh province

Rest assured that none of the $7 billion dollars went directly to war lords and other avowed enemies of the United States. I am sure the money didn’t go to fund new “deep wells” which enable poppy cultivation in previously inhospitable places, or to finance the transport of heroin into Europe, China, and North America.

Nope. That money. That taxpayer money, was money well spent.

Click here for the article.

GOP Michigan Governor bans Tesla direct sales, GM smiles

Tesla shocking the marketplace.

Tesla shocking the marketplace.

Crony capitalism is deep in the DNA of both major parties. Republicans do it. Democrats do it. This is a case in point.

GM is a cronyism vortex. The closer one gets to the company the stronger the crony force is. Taxpayer dollars disappear into it and are gone forever. Common sense too. The free market and genuine innovation? They long ago passed over the event horizon.

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The market is rigged? No : ‘Plunge protection’ behind market’s sudden recovery

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The “plunge protection team” (PPT) used to be something which was whispered about. Now it’s openly discussed in the New York Post. Hell will become a frost covered plain before The New York Times  will ever mention the PPT of course.

As I have written before, there is an understanding among traders post-2008. If the market heads into a nose dive the Fed will intervene. It will actively buy futures (and likely whatever else it has to) in the market to buoy the market.

The PPT is kind of like the Israeli nuclear program. No one acknowledges it officially but almost everyone thinks it exists and as such this impacts markets.

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The crony casino move against online gambling

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Gambling is not a particularly good thing. But it is something which millions, if not billions of people enjoy responsibly. Many of those people go to casinos now. The casinos however are afraid that if gambling is legalized online in the USA many of those customers will never again walk through casino doors. As such the gambling industry has mounted an anti-online gambling campaign in Congress.

But the tack the casinos have taken is just insulting. Their argument is that online gambling will increase moral depravity and encourage the vice. The CASINOS are making this case.

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Ending Crony Capitalism in the Michigan Live Entertainment and Sports Industries

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By Andrew Langer

A coalition of Michigan sports fans, consumer groups, and free market advocates are locked in a battle over the right to resell tickets. Michigan is one of the few states that still prohibits consumers from reselling their tickets on the secondary market for more than face value, without the venue’s permission.

In addition to representing a gross interference by the government in the free market, the 83 year old law has enabled big ticket companies like Ticketmaster and StubHub to create a state-sanctioned monopoly on reselling tickets for more than face value.

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The Death Rattle of Europe’s Statist Dream

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By Rick Ackerman

 

Europe’s all-too-predictable relapse into recession is gathering force, threatening not only the pipe dream of economic and political unity, but eroding grandiose illusions that have helped prop up the world’s financial house of cards. The unwillingness of France in particular to play by the EU’s — i.e.,  Germany’s — rules appears to have doomed the EU dream. The idea of a borderless Europe bound by a common currency and a shared desire to forever banish war from the Continent was a lofty one, but it was mired from the start in deeply rooted political animosities, grass-roots skepticism and bureaucratic overreach. Now these problems, along with a great many others, have turned the EU project into a Tower of Babel. A million pages of meticulously codified EU rules might as well have been written in cuneiform, so inscrutable and arcane have they become.

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Rothbard’s ‘Left and Right': 40 Years Later | Roderick T. Long (Video)

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Another libertarian political thought video. Roderick T. Long discusses Murray Rothbard’s examination of where libertarianism falls on the political spectrum (of his time) Left, Right, or elsewhere.

Given the fairly nuanced discussions which sometime happen on this site exploring what constitutes “fascism,” “socialism,” “freedom,” “liberty,” etc. I thought this speech would be of some value to our wonkier readers.

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Pro Publica: When U.S. Companies Help the NSA

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We have long covered what happens the in the shadowy alleyways where the NSA and corporate America have gotten together in their unholy unions. Sometimes these unions are voluntary. We have seen also that many of these relationships were not and that companies have no choice but to work with the NSA.

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The NFL and politicians love to take money from taxpayers

The Rams are threatening to move back to LA?

I just got used to them in Saint Louis.

I'm sorry but this looks like a pretty cool stadium to me.

I’m sorry but this looks like a pretty cool stadium to me.

As we’ve said before, for many pro sports is a religion. As such the fervor and irrational behavior of adherents to the creed are manipulated by the people who run the show. Just like any religion.

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