Sentimental Journey


I would like to invite you to my concert Sentimental Journey: Threeton & White Do Songs of the 30’s & 40’s, on Saturday, October 12.

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The Presumption of Truth

For all those who wish to give more power to the state.

From Ken White at Popehat:

Armando Saldate, Jr. had been adjudged to be a liar on four occasions and a lawbreaker on five others.

No rational person would accept his word as an adequate basis to do anything of importance — let alone as a basis to take a life.

But we do not speak of rational people today. We speak of the criminal justice system. And the criminal justice system is choked with people it has thoroughly captured — people irrationally convinced of, or indifferent to, the credibility of people like Armando Saldate, Jr.

That’s because Armando Saldate, Jr. was a police officer.

The State of Arizona, based on almost nothing but Saldate’s word, has been trying to kill Debra Jean Milke for nearly a quarter-century. Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said they can’t.

[From The Presumption of Truth]

Please, read the whole thing.

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Beware of these scammers

In recent weeks I (and my family and clients) have been exposed to a number of scams. I thought I should highlight them to help others avoid falling for them.

  • Both sets of my in-laws received a call from (302) 464-5393. The caller, a male who spoke with a heavy Indian accent, claimed to be from Microsoft and stated that their machine had been hacked, but that they could repair it remotely. You can see reports of similar scam calls from this number at, &
  • A client was having issues with their ATT/Yahoo! email, and was trying to find a number for customer support. The number that they found, 888-307-9126, is for a company that is not related to AT&T or Yahoo, and may or may not be legitimate. The correct number for AT&T support is 877-722-3755 (or 800-288-2020 for U-verse).
  • There was a young woman trolling our neighborhood stating her name as Angel Germain, claiming to be a neighbor and that she’s a mechanical engineering major at UT working on restoring a P51 Mustang. She said that her dad is making her get off her duff and raise funds so that she can go work with Boeing on the restoration. But “do to laws” she couldn’t fundraise directly, so was selling books that would be donated to Texas Children’s Hospital, and a portion of the proceeds would help her group (she then shows me the her laminated certificate with Angelica Germain on it…ooh, official!). When I told her we had a household policy of not donating at the door but asked her for a website for the group working on project, she stormed off in a huff, saying if I couldn’t help her the way she asked, then not to bother.

    Glad I had finished my remote clients early in order to play detective: then drove around and found her at a neighbor’s house…too late to save them from giving her a couple of bucks, but while she was still at the door I asked the homeowner what name she had given…this time, it was Zimmerman. As she started to leave, I asked her for her actual address. “2005 Addison.” Doesn’t exist. She then started leaving in a hurry, saying I was harassing her. “On the contrary, you’re scamming my neighbors.” She was last seen walking west down Holcombe (to which I also advised the local constabulary). White female, ~5’5″, early-mid 20’s, skinny, glasses, two long braids in fabric wrappers.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there…keep your wits about you.

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Only Big Government Can Save Us from Big Storms, Says the New York Times. Ummm … Really?

Maybe it’s true that “disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of ‘big government,'” But we should probably take that job away and let people who know what they’re doing handle the heavy lifting. [From Only Big Government Can Save Us from Big Storms, Says the New York Times. Ummm … Really?]

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I love Don Boudreaux

I wish I had a tenth of his letter-writing skills.

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Have you noticed the enormous increase in greedy speculation in the northeast over the past two days? It’s quite something! In advance of hurricane Sandy, consumers are now artificially increasing the scarcity today of the likes of bottled water, canned goods, batteries, and medicines by stocking up on these goods.

And all of this self-interested speculation – done merely in anticipation of staple goods being much more scarce after Sandy strikes than they are today – is applauded and even encouraged by the news media and government leaders!

What gives? Many of the same people who today publicly encourage us to speculate (“Make sure your family has ample supplies of batteries!”) are among the loudest critics of speculation at other times and in other markets.

But in fact the oil speculator who, say, buys oil today in anticipation of oil becoming more scarce tomorrow does just what a consumer does today in a supermarket in anticipation of a disruptive storm: both persons usefully transfer resources across time. They both stock up on resources that are today relatively abundant in order to preserve these resources for consumption at a time when they are relatively more scarce (and, hence, more precious). Both persons transfer resources from today – when the consumption of any one bottle of water or gallon of gasoline provides relatively less benefit – to tomorrow when the consumption of that same bottle of water or gallon of gasoline will provide relatively more benefit.

Anticipating the future and taking actions to allocate goods and services from times of relative abundance to times of relatively greater scarcity is an immensely useful activity. And we all perform such speculation whether or not we are popularly identified as “speculators.”

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

[From Speculators Storm Safeway!]

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