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Archive for December, 2011

While we tended to get quite off track last Friday, the discussion was meaty and much needed.  As agreed to, we will take a break from heavy reading due to the length of our last selection and the hecticness of the upcoming Christmas season.  In its place, we will review 2 documenteraries on the workings of the Fed.  Monopoly Men and Money Masters will be digested and discussed either the weekend of the 13th or 20th of January.  Please let me know if you have any preference of the date.  Also, be sure to check out the chatter in regards to Brad’s book suggestion in the comments section.  Feel free to debate away!

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Friday night dinner at the Institute served at 6:30pm (pregame at 5:30pm).  At that time the Institute will not disclose its balance sheets nor divide its interest between Life, Liberty, or the Pursuit of Happiness in order to continue its monopoly on the symbolic idolization Alex Jones and Glenn Beck.  For anyone that wants to hold the previous sentence against Britton’s imminent presidential campaign, it was total sarcasm.  Below are some extracurricular readings if you are so studious.
It sounds like the Longwood gang has continued to delve into some interesting topics during my absence.  I happened to listen to “Fresh Air” today on NPR which I rarely do because I am not the biggest Terry Gross fan.  However, she actually had an interesting topic today that could be a wonderful topic for the Longwood Lackeys 🙂  Today’s guest was Jeffrey Rosen who just co-wrote a book entitled “Constitution 3.0:  Freedom and Technological Change” in which he addresses “how basic constitutional principles find themselves under stress from stunning [technogical] advances….” (From Amazon description).  If you have a chance to listen to the Fresh Air podcast it is well worth it (just to reiterate, I am surprising even myself by recommending listening to Terry Gross).  Topics range from Facebook/Google (and the fact that they hold more power over our private lives than the gov’t), geolocational legislation and Supreme Court judgement (pending), Patriot Act (ughhh!), and many other thought provoking subjects.

The book has not been released yet, but, when it is I would be very interested in participating in a Longwood gathering to discuss it (maybe Jan or Feb?). – The guy who has been here less than Alex (Brad Crockett)

http://blogs.knoxnews.com/draft/Me

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_BastiatThe guy across the street (Bill Dunn)

If we play with those last two numbers a bit, as David Thomas of Equitas Capital Advisors did in a client letter last spring, we get a federal “budget” that looks something like this:

  • U.S. income: $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
  • April budget cuts that averted a partial government shutdown:
  • $38,500,000,000 (about 1% of the budget)

“It helps to think about these numbers,” Mr. Thomas wrote then, “in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.”

  • Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
  • Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
  • Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Amount cut from the budget: $385

– D. Brookean honorary Instituter

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