Odds and Enders for March 6

~ Beware of atheist

Oklahoma state Rep. Todd Thomsen presented a resolution opposing the speaking engagement of famed atheist Richard Dawkins on the University of Oklahoma campus today. If he had his way, Dawkins would be shut up because his “published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.”

Most ironically, as the Ronald Bailey points out, Thomsen “introduced another bill in January entitled the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act.”

~ How to end up on a terror watch list

In reality, this simple list of the potential troublemakers was designed to be a secret intel tool for investigation purposes. Unfortunately, it has morphed into a symbol of governmental inefficiency. Because people are inherently lazy, in leiu of doing any kind of elementary investigation, circumstantial evidence has become the norm for placement on this list.

(via COEDmagazine.com)

~ So four months after being elected, the president still hasn’t proposed any banking reforms

Charles Krauthammer wants to know where President Obama’s priorities lie.

And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing-in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis. What’s going on? “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. “This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.” Things. Now we know what they are. The markets’ recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions — the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic — for enacting his “Big Bang” agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society. Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy — worthy and weighty as they may be — are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

~ Quote of the Day

So you can take a market and beat it, tax it, regulate it, subsidize it, flood it with fake money, punish its performers and reward its losers, hobble its capital sector, strangle consumers, nationalize stuff at will, and erect every barrier to trade and cooperation, and STILL call it a market. When the scheme fails, it’s the free market that failed, so clearly we need the totalitarian state to sweep into action. – Jeffery Tucker

(via lowercase liberty, via Mises.org blog)

~ Past returns do not guarantee future results, we hope

When the president said yesterday at a press conference that now was a good time to jump into the stock market, you know we haven’t hit bottom. Worrisome still, he doesn’t understand a straightforward financial comparison tool like P/E ratio, and yet he wants to change the very “foundation” of the economy, as he said in his address to congress two weeks ago. Very alarming.

It looks like we have a good while to go until the P/E ratio does get into some historical norms, according to smarter people than me.

Obama cleartly doesn’t know what he is talking about and his apologists should be ashamed. If you were to follow his suggestion and apply the “Price to Earnings Ratio” to current market prices – you would not invest in the Market at this time – you would sell. Using the “Price to Earnings Ratio” as a guide, the S & P will need to drop to 500 (it is currently at 702.80) a fall of additional 200 points or an additional loss of 28% before becoming an attractive buy prospect. The “Price to Earnings Ratio” would indicate that the DJIA should be trading at 5500 not the 6781 it is currently trading at – so the DJIA would need to fall an additional 1300 points (a 20% loss) before becoming an attractive “buy” prospect.

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