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October 2013

"This Free Course in Music Engineering Teaches You with Music You Love"

But hurry, the class starts this Friday.

The Play With Your Music course is a completely free, hands-on class in music production and engineering. You'll group with students who like the same music you do to learn mixing, audio editing, remixing, and more. If you're interested in learning the ins and outs of making music, it's worth a look.

"Obama's Valerie Jarrett: Often Whispered about, But Never Challenged"

John Fund on the President's senior advisor:

Whether Jarrett’s influence is all too real or exaggerated is unknowable. What is known is the extent to which she has long been a peerless enabler of Barack Obama’s inflated opinion of himself. Consider this quote from New Yorker editor David Remnick’s interview with her for his 2010 book The Bridge.

 “I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

And in case you missed it, Ms. Jarrett apparently set a modern U.S. political record for mendacity when she tweeted this:

FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.

"How to Pay Millions and Lag Behind the Market"

Here's a probable government mistake that we've been warned about early and often.

Today’s low-interest-rate environment has made the hunt for investment income tougher than ever. Many overseers of public pension funds, desperate to bolster returns and meet ballooning retiree obligations, have turned from traditional investments like stocks and bonds to hedge funds and private equity. . . . 

Fans of alternative investments argue that they can generate higher returns. But the increased risks, higher fees and lack of transparency associated with such investments make them problematic. A 2007paper by Fiona Stewart at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris said that “lack of transparency makes the level of risk and type of exposure hard to gauge” in hedge funds.

See also "The Real Reasons We Have a Public Pensions Crisis".

Wall Street greed isn't to blame for the public pension crisis. Fund officials are in a frantic search for high returns, having been led to a desperate state by politicians.

(The pacesetter for the "alternate investments" craze, Yale's endowment, has already started to throttle down. Will government pension funds pay attention? I wouldn't hold my breath.)