So Ed Meese wants to talk “conservative values”. Is drug running conservative? Slabbed reports you decide.

Barry Seal, after the hit

This has been an exceptionally brutal week at for me as is normal for a private practice CPA in February. In my world Mardi Gras day is simply another workday and I’m lucky if I can make it to get some ashes the next day.  As is often the case with some of the topics we cover on Slabbed our posts derive from what are seemingly unrelated subjects and indeed some of our best blogging IMHO has derived from such serendipitous events. So a late night glance at a recent WaPo story re-printed in the Nation and World section of the Sun Herald earlier this week which mentioned Ed Meese coupled with me researching a tip that Lewis Unglesby (of Slabbed butt call fame) was part of the legal team involved on the back end of the Sherry murders is the genesis of this post.

So what does Ed Meese have to do with Lewis Unglesby and conservative values? How about drug running for starters as we take a look back in time to the mid 1980s and examine the case of CIA operative Barry Seal, specifically his murder, which was pinned on the Columbian Drug cartels. The Washington Weekly told the story about a decade later in August 1997 and it is there we begin:

“The biggest drug smuggler in American History was a CIA Agent.”

That’s the mind-boggling conclusion of a 6-month investigation into the life and death of Barry Seal, a pivotal figure of the Iran/Contra ’80s. Seal’s C123 military cargo plane figured prominently in two of the biggest and least-understood events of the decade, the Sandinista ‘drug- sting’ operation, designed to be the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Incident’ in a US- Nicaragua war, and the downing, six months after Seal’s assassination, of his beloved Fat Lady cargo plane over Nicaragua, with Eugene Hasenfus onboard, precipitating what came to be known, mistakenly, as Iran/Contra.

We have learned that the official cover-up of Seal’s CIA affiliation began before his body was cold. Continue reading “So Ed Meese wants to talk “conservative values”. Is drug running conservative? Slabbed reports you decide.”

OMG it’s Friday – a TGIF end to a WTF week

“Stop the world, I want to get off!” It’s been that kind of WTF week and Law Comix AKA lawyer-slash- artist , “on hiatus from cartooning to paint and do pen and inks”, provides the visual for TGIF! When you’re out and about over the weekend, take time to stop by his new place and take a look around.

Wilson v Scruggs and the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows

“And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!”

Just a few months after finally reaching a settlement with Dickie Scruggs in a lawsuit stretching back 15 years, attorney William Roberts Wilson has moved into the office space that once housed his nemesis’ law firm on Oxford’s Square.

“Ever since watching ‘Intruder in the Dust,’ I’ve wanted an office on the Square,” Wilson said. He had previously worked out of Tuscaloosa, but he said that, after a decade and a half of financial issues, he could afford to make the move.

Faulker’s Intruder in the Dust may have inspired Wilson.  However, it is the similarity of Wilson’s story to what one source called the “social hyporocrisy” and “irresistible comedy” of Twain’s  The Prince and the Pauper that comes to mind.

“Social hypocrisy” and “irresistible comedy” are so common on the Square that Wilson –  a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows attempting to assume the role of the King of Torts – should feel right at home.

The government made his move even more affordable today when it settled Wilson’s claim Continue reading “Wilson v Scruggs and the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows”

Slabbed takes the regulatory challenge part 2: Which school do you belong to?

Ok folks, we had some fun in part 1 where the good people at econstories.tv contrasted classical economist Friedrich Hayek (Austrian School of Economics) with the father of Keynesian economics John Maynard Keynes via a well done rap song. Our friends over at Greenbackd are unabashed adherents to the Austrian model (Toby has written several excellent posts on the topic) while Team Obama thus far has favored the Keynesian school in their economic policy with programs like stimulus and cash for clunkers. These distinctions are important as they fundamentally shape how their adherents view the regulation of our financial system which is a vital subject given the implosion of our financial system in late 2008. Before I give my thoughts let’s visit with Wiki and get some background, first on the Austrian School:

According to Austrian School economist Joseph Salerno, what most distinctly sets the Austrian school apart from neoclassical economics is the Austrian Business Cycle Theory:

The Austrian theory embodies all the distinctive Austrian traits: the theory of heterogeneous capital, the structure of production, the passage of time, sequential analysis of monetary interventionism, the market origins and function of the interest rate, and more. And it tells a compelling story about an area of history neoclassicals think of as their turf. The model of applying this theory remains Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression.

Austrian School economists focus on the amplifying, “wave-like” effects of the credit cycle as the primary cause of most business cycles. Austrian economists assert that inherently damaging and ineffective central bank policies are the predominant cause of most business cycles, as they tend to set “artificial” interest rates too low for too long, resulting in excessive credit creation, speculative “bubbles” and “artificially” low savings.

According to the Austrian School business cycle theory, the business cycle unfolds in the following way. Low interest rates tend to stimulate borrowing from the banking system. This expansion of credit causes an expansion of the supply of money, through the money creation process in a fractional reserve banking system. This in turn leads to an unsustainable “monetary boom” during which the “artificially stimulated” borrowing seeks out diminishing investment opportunities. This boom results in widespread malinvestments, causing capital resources to be misallocated into areas which would not attract investment if the money supply remained stable. Economist Steve H. Hanke identifies the financial crisis of 2007–2010 as the direct outcome of the Federal Reserve Bank’s interest rate policies as is predicted by Austrian school economic theory. Continue reading “Slabbed takes the regulatory challenge part 2: Which school do you belong to?”