The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

01 September 2011

Thomas Jefferson's relationship with slave Sally Hemmings disputed -- new scholarship

In a book due out Thursday, eminent scholars say it’s unlikely that Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings‘ children, disputing a decade’s worth of conventional wisdom that the author of the Declaration of Independence sired offspring with one of his slaves.

The debate has ensnared historians for years, and many thought the issue was settled when DNA testing in the late 1990s confirmed that a Jefferson male fathered Hemings‘ youngest son, Eston. But, with one lone dissenter, the panel of 13 scholars doubted the claim and said the evidence points instead to Jefferson’s brother Randolph as the father.

The scholars also disputed accounts that said Hemings‘ children received special treatment from Jefferson, which some saw as evidence of a special bond between the third president and Hemings.

“It is true that Sally’s sons Madison and Eston were freed in Jefferson’s will, but so were all but two of the sons and grandsons of Sally’s mother Betty Hemings who still belonged to Thomas Jefferson at the time of his death. Sally’s sons received by far the least favorable treatment of those freed in Thomas Jefferson’s will,” said Robert F. Turner, a former professor at the University of Virginia who served as chairman of the commission.

read the rest.

31 August 2011

Our debt crisis explained so simply that even a Congressman can understand.

This was posted as a comment below a post on  It sums up in a few lines what no MSM journalist can ever seem to spell out in a 10 minute report. 

Simply stated, and therefore brilliant:

The below states the U.S.A. financial position succinctly:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000

Now just remove eight zeros and pretend it is a household budget--

Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total budget cuts: $385

Do you understand why I like to say that knowledge of economics should drive your politics?

With that income, how do you even pay the interest on the debt?  You can't.

Time to cut the fedgov down a few pegs, wouldn't ya say?

Cartoon of the Day 8/31

Read the sign being written in the lower left hand corner, and marvel. This was in the Chicago Tribune in 1934, during the New Deal:

29 August 2011

The indirect way the Federal Reserve contributes to our debt-slavery

...and undermines Capitalism:

July personal income and expenditures were quite surprising in that while many were expecting the drop in the market to force consumer saving to upshift (lower spending than income), not only was this not true, but expenditures spiked by 1 whole percent from -0.2% to 0.8%, on expectations of 0.5%, even as Personal Income came in line with expectations of 0.3%, up from a revised 0.2% (concurrent with extensive prior data revisions). This was the biggest difference between a monthly change in income and spending since October 209. The net result was a plunge in the savings rate from 5.5% to 5.0%. And while on the surface this would be good news, as in Americans are spending again, a quick look at the PCE components indicates that virtually the entire surge is due to a spike in Energy goods and services. In other words, the entire spike in spending was to... pay for gas and associated energy expenses. Which makes sense: in June this was a drop of -4.5%, it is only logical that the subsequent jump in Brent and WTI forced American savings to drop.

All in all: in July Americans continued to max out their credit cards to pay for gas. As for the income side, transfer payments as a % of spending refuse to budge: thank you Uncle Sam.

link to Zero Hedge post.

No mention of the Federal Reserve above, right?

Here is the bottom line, as understood by the Austrian school of economics:

We can't save money because our expenditures continue to rise as our income is stable or contracting. The squeeze is on. Oil costs no more to produce now than it did before. Commodities like oil and gold tend to go up in price in $ when the dollar is less valuable from the Fed doing their Quatitative Easing (printing digital money not worth the paper it's not printed on, to quote Gerald Celente).

If you can't save, you cannot extract yourself from debt-slavery. If the country cannot save, it cannot use it's capital (i.e. saved wealth) to reinvest in industry to increase the country's productive capacity. That, by the way, is the definition of Capitalism. Keeping an economy going by blowing savings on purchases, by definition, has a finite time in which to do it. Eventually your savings is gone, and you go into hock. Look at chart above during pre 2008 housing bubble. No savings, living off real estate equity. When real estate bubble pops, savings rate has to increase. Individuals realize they must do what their grandparents always said: save for a rainy day, save to invest, save, save save.   I, for one, sooo regret not taking that to heart, even though I knew better.


(Anyone with a more sophisticated grasp of Austrian theory feel free to correct me in the comments.)