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Keyword: whiskersvanity

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  • (Vanity) The Lawyer's Escape Clause, or Social Uncertainty Principe

    10/01/2007 4:30:32 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 519+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 10-1-2007 | grey_whiskers
    This article is in honor or the opening of the latest session of the Supreme Court. There is a famous law in Physics known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. If you have only heard of it in the mainstream press, you may have heard of it incorrectly. Some think it means that you cannot tell where anything is – like your car keys, or the last pair of socks in the dryer, only worse. The actual scientific definition is more complicated, and it says that you cannot simultaneously know the position and the momentum of a particle with infinite precision; in...
  • (Vanity) Getting the Point on Ayers, or, An Act of War

    09/23/2008 7:14:44 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 7 replies · 735+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 9-23-2008 | grey_whiskers
    There has been a groundswell among the right-of-center blogs, concerning William Ayers and his relationship with Barack Obama. There have been two main points in this story so far. The first is Ayers' connection with the Weather Underground, which was involved in bombings of the US Capitol Building, the Pentagon, and police buildings in New York City. The money quotes have been "Guilty as sin, free as a bird...what a country!" and "We didn't go nearly far enough." And finally, some members of the mainstream press--well, OK, Fox News, if you insist -- have begun to notice. Bill O'Reilly actually...
  • (Vanity) The Rush to Judgment, or, Pin the Fail on the Donkey

    10/01/2007 7:38:58 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 5 replies · 631+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 10-1-2007 | grey_whiskers
    Today (Monday October 1), the Rush Limbaugh radio talk show featured an astounding interview with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, but I was equally intrigued by some of the programming which aired after the interview. As it turns out, a number of Democrats in the United States Senate (in conjunction with some liberal groups) have been trying to make a stink over some remarks Rush Limbaugh said in conversation, about our fine troops in Iraq. Well, not exactly. I listen to Rush on occasion, and I heard his original remarks—far from being disparaging of the troops, they were harsh words...
  • (Vanity) Great Hoax from Little Acorns Grow, or, Are The Polls Nuts?

    10/11/2008 4:14:43 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 23 replies · 1,166+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 10-10-2008 | grey_whiskers
    An theme which has come up in the past week is "Democrat Landslide". The first I recall seeing of this was the Democrat flack strategist David Paul Hume, in the Politico. In his piece, he suggested that if Obama were to sweep Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida, then he would have a landslide. And that would indicate that Obama would take "Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, ...Iowa...[and] Missouri." OK, that's fair. So I propose a counterexample. If McCain were to take Michigan and Pennsylvania, he would have a landslide, which would indicate he would take Washington, Oregon, New Hampshire, Minnesota,...
  • (Vanity) Hillary Loves the Little Children, or This Bun {in the oven] For Hire

    09/30/2007 4:57:50 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 5 replies · 573+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 9-30-2007 | grey_whiskers
    During a recent campaign appearance, Hillary Clinton proposed the idea that each and every baby born within the United States be given a $5,000 baby bond in order to help pay for college or pay for a new house. The problems with this idea are too many and too obvious to mention here, but glaring difficulties have never stopped Democrats (or even politicians in general) before. In fact, one could argue that common sense and lack of patronage funds are a greater obstacle to politicians than anything else...but I digress. The question is (to use the Latin), “Qui bono?” That...
  • (Vanity) Annotated Tolkien and the Election Cycle

    10/12/2008 3:12:59 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 9 replies · 881+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 10-12-2008 | grey_whiskers
    ‘… But you, John Sidney, Lord of the Mark of Republican, are declared by your noble devices, and still more by the fair countenance of the House of McCain. O worthy son of John the Thrice-renowned Admiral! Why have you not come before, and as a friend? Much have I desired to see you, mightiest Senator of western lands, and especially in these latter years, to save you from the unwise and evil counsels that beset you! Is it yet too late? Despite the injuries that have been done to me, in which the men of Bush, alas! have has...
  • (Vanity) Allah and Man at Columbia, or Say it Ain't So, Mo!

    09/24/2007 7:22:45 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 4 replies · 532+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 9-24-2007 | grey_whiskers
    The news has been full of stories of the visit of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York, and more specifically to Columbia University, where he was to deliver a speech and answer questions from the audience. Before today’s talk, the coverage was full of debate, with the usual arguments from both sides. Liberals tended to describe the occasion as an opportunity to advance freedom of speech, while conservatives portrayed this as just one more example of leftists ignoring the greater good of the country in order to practice various platitudes. (One other example of this during the visit to...
  • (Vanity) A Brief Comment on the Election

    11/04/2008 10:23:12 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 18 replies · 1,896+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 10-05-2008 | grey_whiskers
    Well, the election has come and gone like a shot, apparently. After the interminable round of primaries, Operation Chaos, PUMAs, the conventions, Sarah-cuda, and all the rest. In one night Obama and Biden have won. This means we have a troika: Reid, Obama, Pelosi. The "rulers of peace" (ROP). But this also means, they can no longer blame Bush and the evil Republicans for anything that goes wrong. This includes: the economy the Middle East taxes tainted food from China immigration crime unemployment gas prices Let us never lose an opportunity to loudly proclaim: "OBAMA'S FAULT!" Secondly, can we now...
  • (Vanity) The Era of Cheap Crap, or, You Don't Get What You (Don't) Pay For

    05/30/2007 6:36:08 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 9 replies · 1,075+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 5-30-2007 | grey_whiskers
    By now, everyone has heard of the scandals involving the adulterated wheat gluten from China, and how it made its way first into pet foods, then into the lower reaches of the human food supply (as livestock feed). Understandably, there has been outrage, as Americans are devoted to Fido and Fluffy. “Do what you want to me, but don’t you DARE touch my pet!” is the war-cry. And at least on the surface, there has been action. China has executed the erstwhile head of its FDA for bribery. Other countries are looking askance at imported Chinese goods, such as the...
  • (Vanity) Give Us This Day, or, Lead Us Into Temptation

    01/04/2009 5:42:35 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 10 replies · 972+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-4-2009 | grey_whiskers
    "For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:16) I was watching TV last night with my family (if you are curious, it was The Smoking Gun presents: The World's Dumbest). The show is a "countdown" of video clips of accidents or mishaps invovling a common theme, punctuated by commentary from a bunch of B-list actors and ex-celebrities (Danny Bonaduce from The Partridge Family, Leif Garrett, Tonya Harding, Gary Busey and some others(*)). It...
  • (Vanity) The Amnesty Act of 2007 (Discussion of Text from the Bill)

    05/20/2007 12:37:52 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 65 replies · 2,603+ views
    Thomas (Library of Congress) ^ | 5-20-2007 | grey_whiskers
    I am reading the text of the new immigration bill. Just as the Patriot Act was a grab bag for every illegal and unconstitutional fantasy on the part of law enforcement, this bill is a grab bag for the globalists, those who wish to destroy the American middle class, and those who want amnesty. The site I am reading from is here. Here are some of the horrible things in the bill. It allows for the elimination of existing backlogs (apparently by fiat), section 501. From 501(b)(2)(A):”(2) VISAS FOR SPOUSES AND CHILDREN- `(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraph...
  • (Vanity) The Internet is Mightier than the Sword, or, aprčs moi, les Allemands

    01/11/2009 1:42:00 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 9 replies · 778+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-11-2009 | grey_whiskers
    A French writer has recently been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Aside from the fact that the Nobel Selection committee's skills have fallen off lately (Al Gore winning a Nobel "Peace" Prize? Yasser Arafat??!!), his comments upon being selected have stirred up a bit of controversy. In his Nobel lecture, the Frenchman, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, was quoted as saying the following:"Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler's criminal plot would not have succeeded - ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day" In the light of remarks like this,...
  • Vanity (The Christian Church and Multiculturalism)

    05/20/2007 8:13:53 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 7 replies · 1,039+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 5-20-2007 | grey_whiskers
    One of the complaints made most often about Christianity (aside from the fact that it is Christianity) is that it is outmoded for today’s modern world. Why, from creation vs. evolution, to the role of women in society (“barefoot and pregnant”), to rejection of homosexuality, to tacit approval of slavery, to endorsement of—shudder—CAPITAL PUNISHMENT! There is no place for such a narrow, culturally irrelevant document. And speaking of narrow, the Bible absolutely encourages bigotry and intolerance! So goes the screed. But that got me to thinking about the whole “tolerance, acceptance, diversity” thing. (Thanks to Liddy and Hill of KKNT,...
  • (Vanity) Cloward-Piven and the Markets, or "He Played on Our Fears! He BETRAYED This Country!"

    01/15/2009 4:23:03 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 39 replies · 2,371+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-14-2009 | grey_whiskers
    Wall Street, it is said, is driven by the swing of the pendulum between two extremes -- excessive greed and excessive fear. And we have had plenty of greed, with the Dot-Com boom, followed by the mortgage boom. Each of these has been followed by a bust. The Dot-Com bust, together with 9-11, led the powers-that-be to try to re-stimulate the economy by artificially lowering interest rates, to the lowest level in a generation. This was combined with strong pressure on the lenders to make housing affordable for *all* Americans -- including, apparently, those who had no business borrowing in...
  • (Vanity) The One-Way Ratchet

    05/20/2007 6:00:42 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 4 replies · 844+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 5-20-2007 | grey_whiskers
    It is interesting to consider the platitudes of politicians and the chattering classes when considering controversial topics. There seem to be two main threads. One of them is the old chestnut, “I’m personally opposed to X, BUT the will of the people is…”. The other one is “I know that some (probably misguided) polls show that the public wants X, but I must be guided by higher standards than mob rule.” Let us see how this works on three of the common hot-button issues of the day: abortion, illegal immigration, and global warming. For abortion, let us pick on both...
  • (Vanity) The Wind and The Trees, or, When You Wish Upon A TARP

    01/18/2009 9:41:37 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 11 replies · 923+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-18-2009 | grey_whiskers
    With the inauguration of Barack Obama imminent, all eyes are focused on Washington. Questions abound. Will there be enough security at the inaugural? How will he handle the Gaza situation, the war on terror? What about the Supreme Court nominations? All of these are important, but of more immediate impact is, what will his approach be towards the economy? To answer this, let us look at what has been done so far. We have the TARP program -- the vote that is widely credited with sinking John McCain in the polls and giving Obama the Presidency. This bill, rushed through...
  • (Vanity) A Look Back at Immigration, or Fifty Years of Lies

    05/19/2007 4:07:09 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 11 replies · 5,419+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 5-19-2007 | grey_whiskers
    Here is a quote on Immigration, from a sponsor of a famous bill:"I believe that this nation is the last hope of Western civilization and if this oasis of the world shall be overrun, perverted, contaminated or destroyed, then the last flickering light of humanity will be extinguished. I take no issue with those who would praise the contributions which have been made to our society by people of many races, of varied creeds and colors. America is indeed a joining together of many streams which go to form a mighty river which we call the American way. However, we...
  • (Vanity) On Inauguration Day, Let Me Be the First To Say...

    01/20/2009 8:10:56 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 27 replies · 1,325+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-20-2009 | grey_whiskers
    Don't Blame Me. I voted forMcCainPALIN!
  • (Vanity) The GE Way, or, How to Welch on Your Promises

    04/09/2007 5:36:58 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 4 replies · 1,008+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-9-2007 | grey_whiskers
    One of the most influential CEOs of recent memory has been Jack Welch. He first gained fame as the hard-driving CEO of General Electric, and his fame at that time was due to several rules which he implemented. First, GE was to be either first or second in every industry in which it had an interest. Second, GE insisted that the bottom 10% of all performers every year be culled from the company. While this had the immediate effect of increasing the performance, and a longer-term effect of forcing everyone to scamper like frightened rabbits, lest they be perceived or...
  • (Vanity) The ROP vs. RPS, or, The Schoolyard Guide to Politics and The War on Terror

    01/25/2009 5:45:18 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 6 replies · 775+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-25-2009 | grey_whiskers
    During the time while Barack Obama occupied the fictitious "Office of the President Elect" a lot of people noticed that his air and demeanor had changed since the campaign. Some people attributed it to his desire to appear more august, to project gravitas. Others called it the look of the dog chasing cars who has finally caught one -- "Now what do I do with it?" But the best explanation, I think, is that he had now begun receiving the same national security briefings as President Bush: and he has begun wetting his pants on a daily basis. Some of...
  • (Vanity) Hillary meets McCain-Feingold, or, This Runt for Hire

    04/05/2007 6:30:50 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 3 replies · 870+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 4-5-2007 | grey_whiskers
    The latest buzz out of the punditsphere is the news of the campaign warchests amassed by the different candidates. For the Republicans, Duncan Hunter has merely half a million dollars, Giuliani has $15 million, Mitt Romney $20.6 million, and John McCain $12.5 million. It would seem from this that the RINOs do indeed have a commanding lead within the Republican party. For the Democrats, everyone expected a Hillary cakewalk, but instead Barak Obama is holding his own—she has $26 million and he has $25 million, and Obama has collected from far more individual donors than her, indicating a far broader...
  • (Vanity) The Nation's First Black Jimmy Carter, or, The Unbearable Lightness of Barry

    02/01/2009 8:39:32 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 9 replies · 1,270+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-1-2009 | grey_whiskers
    The latest news (aside from the SuperBowl) is that the Republicans in Congress have attempted to have their castration reversed. That's right: for some reason, they finally decided -- after the election, and therefore too late -- to act like conservatives: the House has rejected the Stimulus Bill in a bipartisan fashion, with not a single Republican vote. Let me repeat that. Not a single Republican vote. Do you realize what that means? It means that, after the $700 billion dollar "emergency bailout" (Epic FAIL!), the Congress has received such an earful from its constituents, that even after the shellacking...
  • A Republic If You Can Keep It Part II: The New Feudalism Tweedledum and Tweedledee go to Washington

    03/30/2007 5:51:53 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 2 replies · 727+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-30-2007 | grey_whiskers
    In a recent vanity, I wrote of some of the temptations which the founding fathers foresaw for our Republic. In particular, the piece treated of the fact that the Constitution has been subverted by two main factors: unaccountable bureaucracies, hiding behind legislators who have (by accident or design) lost their own accountability to the electorate. This piece will follow up and elaborate on that theme, and considers some of the societal fallout. We have seen, quoting from Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville, that the Republic as founded is subject to monetary corruption. That is, the legislators, given the power...
  • (Vanity) Obama's Sovereign Socialist Remedy for Swollen Executives, or, Preparation H

    02/04/2009 8:55:28 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 20 replies · 1,331+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-5-2009 | grey_whiskers
    President Obama has decided to take time off from his busy schedule of refusing reporters' questions, nominating tax amnesiacs, and reading children's books to give his thoughts on the financial crisis. One of the ideas he has floated is the concept of limiting executive pay, for companies receiving bailout money, to $500,000 per year, and to control any stock options given so that they vest years in the future. The hue and cry has gone out from both sides. "Socialism, socialism!" cry the conservatives, and "Why not do this for ALL companies?" says Barney Frank. Obviously, the remark has touched...
  • (Vanity) Why Johnny Can't Add, or The Hell of Gates

    03/28/2007 6:16:00 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 4 replies · 809+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-29-2007 | grey_whiskers
    One of the most controversial topics of the past few years (and yet, one which has flown under the radar of many of the mainstream media) has been the topic of outsourcing, or more specifically, offshoring. This is the practice of major corporations sending large number of jobs to be done in low-cost locales, while laying off thousands of previously well-paid Americans. The reasons given by the companies are many and varied, from “we need a presence in emerging markets” to “the industry is consolidating, it’s no longer a specialized skill” to “no American has a right to a job”...
  • (Vanity) A Lesson from the Buffalo, or, Let the Chips Fall Where They May

    02/08/2009 2:34:29 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 10 replies · 1,226+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-8-2009 | grey_whiskers
    It seems to be a commonplace, taught everywhere from elementary schools to colleges, that modern Western culture (in particular, America) sucks. We are told that our society is self-indulgent, uninformed, out of touch with nature, and not given to sustainable practices. In this, we are contrasted both with "developing countries" and with primitive societies, whose practices we are supposed to imitate. With this in mind, it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at one of oft-cited examples -- the Plains Indians in the United States, and their relationship to the Buffalo. Indians were (before being cruelly starved, harrassed,...
  • (Vanity) Code Punked, or The Laws of the Medeas and Persians

    03/25/2007 8:13:53 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 3 replies · 832+ views
    Code Pink's website and grey_whiskers ^ | 3-24-2007 | grey_whiskers
    Most FReepers have heard by now of the seizure of 15 British sailors by Iran. A number of threads have mentioned the possibilty of torture; and it has come out that at least one of the detainees is a woman. With that in mind, I decided to surf over to the website of a well-known group of women activists who are concerned with the treatment of prisoners, to find their take on the matter. Yes, Code Pink. Or as I will call them from now on, Code Punked. “CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to...
  • (Vanity) The Multiplier Effect, or, Stimulate This! (Why Adam Smith Only Uses One Hand)

    02/15/2009 9:25:04 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 10 replies · 1,119+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-15-2009 | grey_whiskers
    With the debate over the "Porkulus" bill in Congress (or, as I like to call it, "Pork and Awe"), there has been a great deal of related discussion over why the bill will work, or won't work, to stimulate the economy and create much-needed jobs and economic growth. However, much of the debate has devolved into partisan bickering. It might help to take a step back, and consider the differences between government and private spending in a more general sense. To begin with, what does the stimulus package claim to do? Apparently, it authorizes the government to spend money, in...
  • (Vanity) A Republic, If You Can Keep It, or Go Fly A Kite

    03/25/2007 6:35:56 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 7 replies · 1,185+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-25-2007 | grey_whiskers
    It has been recorded that sometime around the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked the question, “Well, doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin’s reply was both laconic and prophetic. He answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.” There have been a number of threats to our Republic—from the Barbary Pirates (“…to the shores of Tripoli”) to The War of 1812. The growing pains of the early 1800’s and divisions over slavery and State’s Rights, culminating the in temporary dissolution of the Union and the Civil War. World War I...
  • (Vanity) The Gospel of Matthews Chapter 5:1-20, or, The Barackitudes

    02/22/2009 6:27:10 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 21 replies · 1,339+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-22-2009 | grey_whiskers
    1 When Hussein saw the crowds, he went up to the podium; and after he sat down, his disciples in the press came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and did teach them, saying: 3 ‘Blessed are the working families, for theirs are the 95% tax cuts. 4 ‘Blessed are those who were ashamed of their country, for they will be comforted. 5 ‘Blessed are the Unions, for they will inherit the earth. 6 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for stimulus, for they will be filled. 7 ‘Blessed are the tax evaders, for they will receive...
  • (Vanity) The Other Face of India, or, The Social Climber

    03/11/2007 1:15:26 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 19 replies · 1,097+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-11-2007 | grey_whiskers
    A lot has been made over the last several years over the economic miracle taking place in India. In particular, there is an impression given within much of the press that the reason India is doing so well is that it is blessed, if not overrun, with a huge contingent of supremely-motivated, highly educated, eager, young, and generally invincible workforce. If this impression were solely from Indians themselves, they might be dismissed as mere bombast. However, this impression is also fostered by highly-placed executives at major Western firms, including household names such as Google, Intel, GE, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, and...
  • Obama's Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun (apologies to William Shakesepeare)

    03/01/2009 8:34:13 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 12 replies · 891+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-1-2009 | grey_whiskers
    Obama's eyes are nothing like the sun; Karl is just as red as his lips' red; His mom is white, why then he's a black man's son; If hairs be wires, grey wires grow on his head. I have seen Ayers unmasked, red and white, As thorns on the roses in the stimulus he seeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than the cigarette breath that from the Messiah reeks. I love to hear him speak, yet well I know He'll talk our economy into the ground; I grant I never saw a goddess go but Sarah Palin,...
  • (Vanity) Newspeak and the Pipsqueak, or Light in the Briefs

    03/08/2007 9:26:17 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 9 replies · 908+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-8-2007 | grey_whiskers
    By now, everyone has had their say on the most recent Ann Coulter brouhaha. I say most recent because she has had a history of saying things which offend many on the left, scare away moderates, and allow easy stereotyping of those on the right. Earlier examples of such quotes include her remarks on the proper reaction to 9-11: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.” Or her opinion of a certain set of 9-11 widows (conveniently chosen by the left to attack President Bush): "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so...
  • (Vanity) Rush Limbaugh in Alinsky's Crosshairs, or, Gunfight at the EIB Corral.

    03/07/2009 5:38:46 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 29 replies · 1,543+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-07-2009 | grey_whiskers
    A few days ago, The Politico broke the story that Democrat consultants, including Paul Begala and James Carville, were working with Rahm Emmanuel to demonize Rush Limbaugh, and present him to the public as the face of the GOP. That Rush is villified within Democrat circles is nothing new, of course. Bill Clinton attempted to link him in the public mind with the Oklahoma City bombing. And President Obama told Congressional Republicans that "You can't listen to Rush Limbaugh and get anything done." But the sophistication and depth of this current effort deserves a little more scrutiny. According to The...
  • (Vanity) Al Gore and the Kyoto Treaty

    03/02/2007 7:22:09 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 4 replies · 1,435+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-2-2007 | grey_whiskers
    By now, everyone has heard the buzz about Al Gore and his receipt of an Oscar for the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”. Following close on the heels of this has been the outcry from the blogosphere, particularly from conservative sites, about Gore’s hypocrisy. As it turns out, not only does Mr. Gore travel in a private jet from place to place, not only does he drive a large SUV, but even his own household energy use is extravagant. According to publicly available figures, the electric bill on Gore’s mansion was $1,200. Per month. This is about twenty times the usage...
  • (Vanity) Barack Obama and Reinhold Neibuhr, or, He Finds Your Lack of Faith Disturbing

    03/14/2009 2:27:46 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 18 replies · 1,155+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-14-2009 | grey_whiskers
    During the course of last year's Presidential campaign, a lot was made out of Barack Obama's crossover appeal. This included evangelicals (Rick Warren), trust fund conservatives (Christopher Buckley), columnists (Kathleen Parker), rich businessmen (Warren Buffet), and even the the token RINO of The New York Times David Brooks. The recriminations of many of these people have come fast and furious, and the more so as the new Administration has begun to channel the spirit of Jimmy Carter (Dhimmi - GA): and their belated awakening to the magnitude of their own folly is insufficient penance. Did I say recriminations? Yes, from...
  • (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part V, or, The Melting Pot

    03/01/2007 10:57:30 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 2 replies · 644+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-2-2007 | grey_whiskers
    This is the final in a series on geopolitics, considering the fate of the West (primarily the United States and Europe), and possible successor powers. In the piece (Vanity) As the World Turns, or The Wild, Wild, East , the issue was introduced; in (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part II, or Back to the Future , I considered the threat posed by resurgent Islam; in (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part III, or, The Year of Lipstick on a Pig the strengths of mainland China were considered, and in (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part IV, or The New...
  • A Living, Breathing Document or, The Messiah and the Money-Changers

    03/19/2009 6:55:39 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 4 replies · 695+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 3-19-2009 | grey_whiskers
    The Big Story over the past couple of news cycles seems to be the uproar over the bonus payments to some members of the Wall Street crowd. Wall Street has had a long history of paying bonuses, but times are different. In particular, for companies which have not only experienced EPIC FAIL, but have threatened the stability of the global financial system, why should anyone receive bonuses? Indeed, the question is a powerful one, fanned by all of the class-envy that Democrats can muster. Consider some of the following quotes from leading Democrats on this matter:"This is disgraceful, this is...
  • (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part IV, or The New Dealhi

    02/22/2007 9:07:02 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 5 replies · 793+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-22-2007 | grey_whiskers
    This is the next-to-last in a series on geopolitics, considering the decline of the West (primarily the United States and Europe), and possible successor powers. In the (Vanity) As the World Turns, or The Wild, Wild, East , the issue was introduced; in (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part II, or Back to the Future , I considered the threat posed by resurgent Islam;(Vanity) As the World Turns, Part III, or, The Year of Lipstick on a Pig the strengths of mainland China were considered; and this article will consider some of the possible challenges facing India. The last part...
  • (Vanity) The Endangered Specie Act, or, The Tax Footprint (Save the Greenbacks!)

    03/22/2009 8:59:48 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 7 replies · 652+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | March 22, 2009 | grey_whiskers
    There are two major initiatives currently being persued by the crop of liberals in power. One is the ongoing set of bailouts of various groups of voters, and financial institutions, being advocated by those officially in power in DC, and the other, the "green movement" being pushed by powerful special interests, with backing from DC (and the UN, and Brussels, and...). While I applaud their good intentions, and their skill in paving, I'm not particularly impressed with the destination. Let's take a brief look at each of these trends, and see if we can't come up with a counterproposal. First,...
  • (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part III, or, The Year of Lipstick on a Pig

    02/18/2007 10:14:56 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 23 replies · 1,396+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-18-2007 | grey_whiskers
    This is part of a continuing series on possible changes in geopolitical power, concerning the decline of the West and the rise of other powers. In (Vanity) As the World Turns, or The Wild, Wild, East , I raised the idea of the West’s decline and considered three heirs-apparent: the Muslim World, China, and India. In (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part II, or Back to the Future, I looked at the Muslim world and some of the flaws within its culture which might keep it from rising to a true World Power. In this piece, I reconsider China more...
  • (Vanity) Bodacious Tatas, or, India Steps on the Gas

    03/25/2009 4:57:43 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 22 replies · 2,477+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | March 25, 2009 | grey_whiskers
    India has made a big splash over the last few days with the announcement by Tata Motors of its new mini-car, the Tata. Even though the car's release was originally scheduled for last year, everyone is still very excited. Finally, an affordable ($2,000 US) car for the masses! (A $60 down payment is all it takes, I have heard.) There are a number of implications of this situation, and reactions from different sides. Let's take a look at a few of them. First, there is the collective *gasp* from the "peak oil" crowd, followed by hysterical Oh Noes. One Australian...
  • (Vanity) As the World Turns, Part II, or Back to the Future

    02/15/2007 9:53:50 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 24 replies · 1,115+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 12-15-2007 | grey_whiskers
    In my prior article, (Vanity) As the World Turns, or The Wild, Wild East I considered the possibility that changing demographics, upheavals in culture, and changing markets may bring the centuries-old preeminence of the Western World to an end. Three main heirs-apparent were mentioned: a renewed Islamic Caliphate, China, and India. I considered some of the weaknesses of the West and some of the cultural strengths of the others. In this and the following pieces, I wish to consider the potential Achilles’ heels for the rivals. I begin with Islam, with a detour into US politics and recent history. As...
  • (Vanity) Hillary and the Drug War, or, Keep Your Nose Clean

    03/27/2009 5:43:41 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 5 replies · 587+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | March 27, 2009 | grey_whiskers
    Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the massive instability in Mexico (7000 murders in the past year, including multiple decapitations of policemen) is the fault of the United States. And this, despite the fact that the violence is spilling over into our borders. What on Earth is going on? Is this more of the "blame America first" crowd shooting from the hip? Well, given the speaker, one might be tempted to think so. But in this case, she just may have something of a point. Even the Cato Institute, that known libertarian/rightwing stronghold, has hosted discussions...
  • (Vanity) As the World Turns, or The Wild, Wild, East

    02/10/2007 6:32:33 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 14 replies · 1,317+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-10-2007 | grey_whiskers
    Much has been written lately about the inevitable decline of the West into insignificance. Between the cultural decline (watch any episode of Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” or American Idol), population demographics (thanks to gay marriage, fault free divorce, and the like), it is felt that the West has had its day in the sun. The heir apparent for the West is still unclear. Is it to be Islam resurgent, mounting a late-inning comeback following their humiliating defeats since the Crusades? A new Caliphate, this time astride the decaying continent of Europe? Will it be China, home of over 1 billion people,...
  • (Vanity) A Modest(o) Proposal, or, Keeping California Green

    03/29/2009 6:23:17 AM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 5 replies · 713+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | March 29, 2009 | grey_whiskers
    One of the interesting things about the economy is how fortunes change with time. In the 1970's, the Rust Belt was hit particularly hard; in the (Web 1.0) era, vast fortunes were made in California; today, it is the Deep South who prospers -- Louisiana has actually gained jobs, while New York as the financial center, and California, with its profligate spending, have fallen upon hard times. Everyone seems to know about the travails of the banking industry. What about California? First of all, recall that their problems are not new. The Governator (and Kennedy spouse!), if you recall,...
  • (Vanity) A Merck-y Decision, or, Is Pfizer Wiser?

    02/10/2007 4:46:15 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 6 replies · 902+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 2-10-2007 | grey_whiskers
    Lately, I have been seeing a lot of advertisements for medicines on TV. These ads have a number of features in common. First, they have an individual (carefully selected to match the target market for the drug) or a group of people (also in the target market) engaged in a stereotypical happy or active pursuit. One of the group usually is singled out, as suffering from some condition or other. Then the voice over recommends medicine X, available only by prescription. The trade name is given, then a scientific, medical-sounding name, which is in fact NOT the scientific name. (*)...
  • (Vanity) Perverse Incentives, or, P.J. O'Rourke Meets Milton Friedman

    04/06/2009 8:55:29 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 15 replies · 1,259+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | April 6, 2009 | grey_whiskers
    The Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman had a brief description of how money is spent. In an interview with Fox News in 2004, he said the following:"There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but...
  • (Vanity) Big Pharma and the Broken Window, or, Look at These Drug Prices, It's a Crime

    01/14/2007 1:54:10 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 5 replies · 855+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-14-2007 | grey_whiskers
    With the recent ascent of the Democrats to the majority party in both Houses of Congress, we are seeing a number of changes in the direction and focus of proposed legislation. Among these are the minimum wage increase, “paygo” (a good idea if not used solely as a trojan horse for tax increases), rollbacks of subsidies for Big Oil. And with it, a change in the attitude towards Big Pharmaceutical Industry. The last time we had Democrats in power, it was under Bill Clinton, when Hillary attempted to take over the US medical care system. And we all know how...
  • (Vanity) President Charlie Brown, or The Sins of the Fathers

    01/03/2007 11:52:16 PM PST · by grey_whiskers · 619+ views
    grey_whiskers ^ | 1-4-2007 | grey_whiskers
    In the aftermath of the anti-Republican bloodletting in the recent elections (in case you were busy with Britney Spears scandals, the Republican Party lost effective control of both the House and the Senate), there have been a lot of changes. Donald Rumsfeld has resigned; the Iraq working group has produced their working surrender documents; and a host of Democrats, instead of fleeing the sinking ship of Democratic Party National Prospects, have begun clambering on board the hulk and declared their Presidential aspirations for 2008. There have been changes on the Republican side as well. The Republican Party at some points...