Monthly Archives: April 2006

Supply and Demand at Work: Liberal Economist John Kenneth Galbraith Called Home

Liberal economists are as rare as trucks on the highway, but I always took a bit of a liking to John Kenneth Galbraith. Why? Because he never ran from the accurate title he earned: liberal. It’s rare to find a liberal who doesn’t get mad when they’re called a liberal.

Anyway, the guns and/or butter finally got the best of Mr. Galbraith:

John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard professor who won worldwide renown as a liberal economist, backstage politician and witty chronicler of affluent society, died Saturday night, his son said. He was 97.Galbraith died of natural causes at Mount Auburn Hospital, where he was admitted nearly two weeks ago, Alan Galbraith said.During a long career, the Canadian-born economist served as adviser to Democratic presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, and was John F. Kennedy’s ambassador to India. 

As an economist at a party might euphemize, “God put the Pareto Optimality into effect”.

The departure of Galbraith now leaves Noam Chomsky carrying almost the full burden of liberal economic misinterpretation.

More credit where credit it due- Despite battling chronic liberal syndrome his entire life, Galbraith is the creator of some great quotes. Here are a couple:

–“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists”.

–“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything”.

And, of course, Galbraith took jabs at people of my particular political leaning. Ya can’t have a Cambridge cotillion without it:

–“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness”.

Since we’re in mourning for Mr. Galbraith, I’ll not point out that I’d rather have a people searching for a superior moral justification for selfishness than the way liberals would like it done, which is the insufficient immoral justification for theft. So, instead, we can only say “rest in peace, Mr. Galbraith”.

Side note:

On a completely unrelated topic, I’m now watching “The Aviator”, the film about Howard Hughes. It’s interesting to note that this is one of those rarest of films: biopics that are actually longer than the life of the person they’re depicting.

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If You're Alone In Fiji and Keith Richards Falls From a Palm Tree, Does It Make a Coherent Sound?

Keith Richards, Rolling Stones guitarist and the man to whom the Cryptkeeper once said, “dude, you’re lettin’ yourself go”,  fell out of a palm tree in Fiji, hit his head, and suffered a concussion.

Friends and family fear brain damage because they can now understand every word Keef says.

Fell out of a palm tree? Oh, I’ll bet there’s a fun story behind that.

This isn’t the first time Keef has been befuddled by gravity. Eight years ago, Richards fell off a ladder at his home in Connecticut while trying to get a book off a shelf in his library. Keef hurt his ribs and chest, and a tour was postponed. The world was in shock: “Keith Richards has a library?

What was he doing on a ladder in his home? You guessed it: because there aren’t any palm trees in there.

After the ladder incident, Keef’s agent said he definitely “had not been drinking“. Entertainment industry translation: he’d been drinking.

Get well soon, Keef!

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If You’re Alone In Fiji and Keith Richards Falls From a Palm Tree, Does It Make a Coherent Sound?

Keith Richards, Rolling Stones guitarist and the man to whom the Cryptkeeper once said, “dude, you’re lettin’ yourself go”,  fell out of a palm tree in Fiji, hit his head, and suffered a concussion.

Friends and family fear brain damage because they can now understand every word Keef says.

Fell out of a palm tree? Oh, I’ll bet there’s a fun story behind that.

This isn’t the first time Keef has been befuddled by gravity. Eight years ago, Richards fell off a ladder at his home in Connecticut while trying to get a book off a shelf in his library. Keef hurt his ribs and chest, and a tour was postponed. The world was in shock: “Keith Richards has a library?

What was he doing on a ladder in his home? You guessed it: because there aren’t any palm trees in there.

After the ladder incident, Keef’s agent said he definitely “had not been drinking“. Entertainment industry translation: he’d been drinking.

Get well soon, Keef!

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If You Stop Buying Pigmeat, Looking at Editorial Cartoons, and Paying Attention to Lars Ulrich, The Terrorists Win

The world’s most wanted man is ranting about cartoons and the purchase of canned meats. We’ve seen it all now.

From CNN:

The complete version of Osama bin Laden’s most recent audio message appeared Thursday on Islamist Web sites, four days after excerpts appeared on the Arabic language TV channel Al-Jazeera.

Al Qaeda’s leader focused much of his almost 52-minute message on what he continually referred to as “a Zionist-crusader war on Islam,” which he said was shown most explicitly by the Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Bin Laden’s video appeared on… you guessed it: Al Jazeera - the Middle Eastern TV network best known for their “two-fer Tuesday” back-to-back airings of classic hits from al-Qaeda and any other unhinged spiral-eyed crazy with access to video equipment and a FedEx guy.

Bin Laden’s now doing something new, however. He’s putting a little Jesse Jackson action into his repertoire and calling for a boycott. In this case, a boycott of all Danish products. Industries such as… uh. Well, there’s…  I’ll get back to you…

So, in short, if you want to fight terrorism, support our Danish brothers and sisters and buy pigmeat, give Lars Ulrich of Metallica some serious attention, and keep reading those editorial cartoons, except for Tom Toles. It’s okay to boycott him.

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Immigrants to Boycott… Themselves?

On Monday, May 1st, pro-illegal alien activists are planning a protest which they hope will shut down American cities:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pro-immigration activists say a national boycott and marches planned for May 1 will flood U.S. streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it debates reform.

This is being called a “boycott”. What will the protesters be boycotting?

They vow that America’s major cities will grind to a halt and its economy will stagger as Latinos walk off their jobs and skip school.

So, no income for a day and no education? Sounds to me as if what they’re boycotting is themselves. What a lesson for their kids. Got a beef? Don’t go to work or school. Yeah, perpetuating poverty and denying yourself an education is a great way to get back at the gringo!

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Counterproductivity at Work: Government Bashes, Takes Stock In, Big Oil

Here’s an interesting, but typical, government tidbit.

In my state, Michigan, there’s a petition on the government website that citizens can sign to “lower gas prices!”

Keep that in mind, and now read this little bit of research from Mark Hornbeck of the Detroit News:

While Gov. Jennifer Granholm pushes for a federal cap on what she calls “exorbitant” oil profits, the state is reaping big benefits from energy companies for its retirement system.

The pension system for state workers, public school employees, judges and state police has $2.5 billion invested in energy companies, including 12.8 million shares of Exxon-Mobil worth $832 million — the largest holding in the state portfolio.

So, if government had their druthers, it would mean slashing oil profits and trampling, mad elephant style, on stock value.

Consider the situation: those state workers who run the Michigan website, operate that petition to “lower gas prices”, or are involved in supporting same, are getting paid to urge people to assist in devaluing their own pension funds.

Is that a “your government at work” story, or what? In this case, however, the government’s at work against themselves. I guess they don’t mind though, since it’s all your money anyway.

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Porn Star Planned to Launch Rocket Near Bill Clinton – Usually It's The Other Way Around

Bill Clinton, a female porn star, rockets, and golf. In other words, “business as usual” for Bubba.

Some days the material writes itself. This from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

President Clinton’s round of golf had a porn star connection the other day.

Clinton was preparing to hit his second shot on the fifth hole at Las Vegas Country Club on Saturday when Secret Service agents halted a birthday party fireworks event.

 

It’s a birthday that Savanna Muirhead, the 5-year-old daughter of 28-year-old porn star Sophia Rossi, won’t forget.

Savanna was preparing to launch a remote control 18-inch rocket when Clinton’s bodyguards “came out of nowhere” and had the launch scrubbed.

How was the launch scrubbed? “Think about baseball” is the most likely scenario.

More from the LVRJ story:

Rossi, a busty blonde who grew up in Las Vegas, is one of the stars in Jenna Jameson’s Club Jenna lineup. “I’m just disappointed I didn’t get a photo with him,” said Rossi.

“If we’d known it was Bill Clinton, we would have invited him to the party,” said McKelvey.

And we’re sure that if Bubba knew that Rossi looked like this (second from left – anybody got a tire pressure guage?), he would have invited himself.

In spite of all this, Bill probably ended his round at the golf course, having taking 213 shots in 18 holes and somehow still finishing 3-under-par, and went home to his loving wife. Just kidding… about that last part.

If this story involved George W. Bush, the headline would have read, “President shuts down 5-year-old girl’s birthday party”, but Bill gets a pass when members of his extended family are involved.

My guess is that all this is as good an explanation as any as to why Bill is missing his wedding ring in his portrait at the Smithsonian Institution.

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Porn Star Planned to Launch Rocket Near Bill Clinton – Usually It’s The Other Way Around

Bill Clinton, a female porn star, rockets, and golf. In other words, “business as usual” for Bubba.

Some days the material writes itself. This from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

President Clinton’s round of golf had a porn star connection the other day.

Clinton was preparing to hit his second shot on the fifth hole at Las Vegas Country Club on Saturday when Secret Service agents halted a birthday party fireworks event.

 

It’s a birthday that Savanna Muirhead, the 5-year-old daughter of 28-year-old porn star Sophia Rossi, won’t forget.

Savanna was preparing to launch a remote control 18-inch rocket when Clinton’s bodyguards “came out of nowhere” and had the launch scrubbed.

How was the launch scrubbed? “Think about baseball” is the most likely scenario.

More from the LVRJ story:

Rossi, a busty blonde who grew up in Las Vegas, is one of the stars in Jenna Jameson’s Club Jenna lineup. “I’m just disappointed I didn’t get a photo with him,” said Rossi.

“If we’d known it was Bill Clinton, we would have invited him to the party,” said McKelvey.

And we’re sure that if Bubba knew that Rossi looked like this (second from left – anybody got a tire pressure guage?), he would have invited himself.

In spite of all this, Bill probably ended his round at the golf course, having taking 213 shots in 18 holes and somehow still finishing 3-under-par, and went home to his loving wife. Just kidding… about that last part.

If this story involved George W. Bush, the headline would have read, “President shuts down 5-year-old girl’s birthday party”, but Bill gets a pass when members of his extended family are involved.

My guess is that all this is as good an explanation as any as to why Bill is missing his wedding ring in his portrait at the Smithsonian Institution.

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