WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Litigocracy at its finest

Powerlineblog has a good take linking Al Gore to Ukraine -- but what about Washington state?

Decrepit caveman adopts Jesse Jackson tactics

Bin Laden calls for boycott! I was on the right track!

Another beneficiary of the Schwarzenegger amendment?

The A.P. says Osama bin Laden wants to transform from terrorist to politician.

Could that be because he is now pathetic and impotent as a terrorist?

World-class comedienne

Barbra Streisand is an entertainer without peer -- unintentionally, though. She is the William Hung of political discourse. In her latest published mental spasm, she declares, "The idea of a liberal media bias is simply a myth... Frankly, the idea that the media is sympathetic to conservative causes rather than liberal ones is obvious, for reasons of ownership, economics, and outside pressure."

As for little counter-examples like RatherGate, "As we have known for years, the details of Bush's service record offered in the story were true... although the document presented in the piece is in question." So if the left-wing anchor presents blatantly forged documents obtained by his left-wing producer from a partisan political operative, and defends these documents for a week in the face of overwhelming evidence that they are forged, that's not media bias, it's a case of "real journalists who objectively present the news in order to allow the audience to make up their own minds."

RatherGate is just anecdotal evidence of media bias though. For a thoughtful, clear and convincing analysis of media bias, look to this academic study. Incidentally, CBS News ranks rather biased in the study.

Guns 'n lawyers

I haven't been a big fan of the Bush/Ashcroft Justice Department, but this (via Instapundit) is beautiful. It's about time somebody finally stood up and interpreted plain English as it was intended. The asinine argument that the "militia" subordinate clause negates the entire meaning of the whole amendment is central to the authoritarian effort against the right to bear arms, and this brief smashes the argument well.

How the mighty have fallen

Remember when Bin Laden was the terrifying face of evil, and struck fear in the hearts of Americans everywhere?

In October, he revealed that he had been reduced to a whiny Democrat complaining about Bush like Al Franken and Janeane Garofolo. Now that smiting the infidels seems a bit out of reach, he encourages devotees, "Go on and try to prevent them from getting oil." What's next, executive producing Michael Moore's next movie? Joining Jesse Jackson to boycott American companies that discriminate against terrorists?

What a pathetic, impotent jackass. Looks like the Global War on Terror is working.

Oh, the irony!

This from the Americans for Civil Liberty Usurping.

Not going to happen

The Economist editors reckon that Arnold Schwarzenegger should be allowed (subscription required) to run for president, although they don't want to see him win (groping and eerie similarities to Hitler -- both are from Austria! -- bother them too much).

It's not going to happen. The Constitutional amendment process is too difficult, and requires 38 states' legislatures to ratify. Democrats in control of many of these legislatures will never allow Arnie to become the face of the Republican Party. Arnie is a charismatic, socially tolerant, fiscal (sort-of) conservative. He'd easily win 55% of the popular vote, and likely make the Democrats a permanent minority party. Hell will freeze over before Democrat legislatures commit political suicide like that.

Commiserating with Soros?

The Club for Growth racked up an impressive record in the 2002 elections, but lost a few high profile elections (Specter vs. Toomey, for one!) this year. Did they win anything in 2004? You wouldn't know from their web site!

UPDATE: A pretty successful 2004 record is revealed, but only for members (free membership login required).

Wish I was there

Oh, to be back in San Diego for a day.

Endless summer

Time to buy beachfront property in Canada.

FASB on the job

A good step forward. Let's hope the evil Senator Boxer doesn't get her way and prevent the Financial Accounting Standards Board from setting financial accounting standards.

And here's a persuasive piece from an unimpeachable organization.

More bad news...

about the war.

Gimli down under

Robert Reich visited Australia recently, and compared the U.S. (unfavorably) to Ukraine. Warning: contains foreign journalist's standard gratuitous characterization of the American public as morons.

Is the First Amendment alive?

Finally, some welcome news from the out-of-control FCC.

Global warming

This is the first concise explanation of the Kyoto Protocol I've read.

Thoughts: "converging" to emissions caps on a per capita basis is ludicrous. Wealthy economies naturally will have higher emissions than poor countries that have little industry and few cars. A better idea would be to keep the caps based on economic output, and better still to allow trading of emission credits. This would encourage countries to develop policies that maximize output and minimize emissions, and would discourage unproductive causes of emissions such as gas-guzzing cars.

Shhh! Don't tell anyone we have good content!

I can't understand why MSN.com doesn't more prominently feature one of its best columnists, MSN Money commentator and hedge fund manager Bill Fleckenstein. His weekly piece is always insightful if always bearish. His columns should be required reading for those leveraging themselves to the hilt in real estate.

MSN, however, doesn't list his column on the MSN Money home page. Clicking into the "Investing" section still doesn't show a trace of Fleckenstein. Even an MSN search for "Fleckenstein" shows a dozen other irrelevant hits before listing his column.

Way to hide your talent, MSN!

Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Richard Lees of Richard Lees Capital Management insults market commentators and professional investors, calling them "gridiots," "so-called pro's," and the "wRONg Insana crowd" for disagreeing with him on monetary policy or the market.

Meanwhile, he creates a shockingly incorrect graph by entering the exchange rates upside down:

As the US dollar has fallen since mid-2002, foreign investors in US-dollar-based assets have lost money. So even though the S&P 500 has rebounded 40-50% in dollar terms, Europeans have lost much of those gains as the dollar has lost 30-40% against the Euro. Richard, however, appears to have entered the numbers wrong in his charting software, with the result that Euro-based investors look like they gained, rather than lost, from this currency movement.

This erroneous graph then becomes the basis for a long diatribe. In between boasts of his past brilliant market calls, he raves:

"No one has fared better in the rise of the S&P since the lows of 2002 than those whose stake has been funded in Euro’s [sic].... In fact, in Euro terms -- and only in Euro terms -- the US stock market has now gone to an all time high even higher than the Y2K high!"

As the great John McLaughlin would say, "WRONG!!!"

It takes some kind of investment pro to believe that European investors who buy US dollar-based assets profit as the dollar falls. It's bad enough that he doesn't know how to use his charting software. But anyone with the most basic understanding of finance should realize how wrong this chart is before publishing a smug 1200-word essay that relies on it. This guy is actually in the investment business with other people's money?!?

I'm not going to put a lot of weight on this guy's endorsement of Greenspan.

UPDATE (12/15): The column has been heavily edited, without comment. Gone are the graph, much of the text, and most of the braggadocio and name-calling.
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