Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New York Blog City Baby

Ahhhhh, I'm back.

I didn't know how much I missed this city until I arrived back this evening. I'm sorry, it may be heresy for a life long Chicagoan to say it, but I love New York.

Oh, it's nothing like Chicago; I would never live here unless I had billions, but what a great place to visit. It's busy, hot, loaded with wonderful restaurants, challenging and buzzing with an energy that I've never found in any other city in the world. Oh and did I mention the women? Talk about dressing! Even the bad dressers have their own style. A smorgasbord for the eyes.

I began my day on the tarmack (I love that word, so 60's cold waresque as in "I hit the tarmack") at Ohare with a two hour delay. It was almost comical. Our 7a.m. flight was delayed by storms in NY. Then we were notified that the storms had cleared and we were ready to go, when storms hit in Chicago. When the Chicago storms cleared, NY closed down again. This pattern went on for two hours, but I didn't care, I had my Times (all the treason fit to print), my Journal and a cup of could have been worse.

After some meetings in Darien, I took the metro line into Grand Central and the city I've missed. This trip held great nostalgia for me. Back in the late 90's I worked in Connecticut and commuted into the city every night were I had a permanent hotel room - I lived in Chicago on the weekends. So my trip into the city reminded me of the ride I used to take into Grand Central and the walk home to my room. It was tough being away from the family so much, but the business environment was challenging and I was doing and learning so much cool stuff from people I respected that it all was worth the effort.

And then there was the night time. Man, I had access to the best dining in the world, AND a killer expense account. I've got to tell you the cholesteral I poured into my system in those years was damn near life threatening, but since I'm still alive I guess I can say it was worth it. Chanterelle, Montrachet, Baboo, Franklin Park Cafe, Pierre au Tunnel, Nobu, Sushi Say and many, many more. Yes, I had a good time.

So on my return tonight I went to one of favorite places in NY, Il Tinello. Now, I'm not saying this is the best place in the city, but it is so reliable and they take such good care of me when I'm dining alone that I find myself returning time and time again. Tonight I dined on Pasta ala "Regis"; a plate of agnolotti, filled with mushrooms and accompanied by tomatos, sliced almonds, aspargus, small pearl onions and a creamy tomato sauce. Regis? You ask. Yup, I've been there several times when the Reg has been at the table next to me, so I've always told the girls when they see him on TV that we've had dinner together several times.

After the pasta I enjoyed Veal Milanese, a chop pounded flat breaded and fried. No big deal so far, but then boys pile on julienned arugula and chopped cherry tomatos to finish it off. A wonderful dish. Finishing up the meal I enjoyed some profiteroles with chocolate sauce and a double espresso.

Can we talk about profiteroles for a second? I've been to so many restaurants where I've ordered this dish and had it served with the profiteroles stuffed with ice cream. Ice cream! People this is an abomination! If I wanted fried ice cream I'd go to the county fair, not an Italian restaurant. I can't tell you how many times I've come close to assaulting waiters for having the temerity to put such an afront before me and then charge me for the experience. Properly prepared profiteroles should be filled with mascarpone cream and nothing else. Period.

There, I feel better.

And so that ended my day. I'm now up by Central Park, so I took the opportunity for a little walk around the park while I phoned Mrs. P and then came up to post for you guys. Such dedication, I know.

Over and out from NYC baby, it's back to Chicago tomorrow and the Fourth of July weekend!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My Latest

Sorry no post today, I felt I had to help my buddy Trumpet keep his readers.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Worthy Link I Found via Sullivan

God, do you know how hard it was to type that? Well, credit where it's due I suppose, and even Andy has something worthwhile every now and then.

Big news; Coulter is a Deadhead. I know, in a weird way it makes sense. Thank goodness she isn't into the drugs, because then, you know it would really start getting weird.

UPDATE: She said she didn't smoke pot......but then I found this item over at Drudge. Coincidence?

Good News

Lein Shory's (The Irate Savant) son had open heart surgery today. The update is here....go over and wish Lein and his family well, it makes a difference. All apparently went well, which is terrific news. Say a prayer for the little guy and his family and let's hope he continues to get better.

Parade of Fools

Not much time this morning, but here is a couple interesting news items to depress you at the start of the week. First we have Ole White Flag who, not satisfied with calling our troops murderers, now says that the US poses the top threat to world peace. The good news I suppose is that even the witless folks who continue to re-elect this guy, have got to run out of patience at some point.

Secondly, we bi-partisan foolishness. Apparently the new Prime Minister in Iraq has suggested that certain members of the insurgency should be granted amnesty if they put down their arms and join in the governmental process. For those of you in Congress who might be a tad slow, this would mean that we won. A good thing. Yet, there seems to be a bi-partisan out cry this morning against this proposal. Clearly our founding fathers were on to something when they gave responsibility for running foreign policy to the Executive Branch

Saturday, June 24, 2006

This Weekend's Rockin' Tune: The Pixies

Not a lot of time to rave about another fave band of mine, but really, what needs to be said. Highly influential, progressive, a lingering pop sensability, simply a great band.

Headed up to Stefano's pizza place, Il Rotrovo, for lunch. I'll blog about it later.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

The Pursuit Movie Review:

Any movie with the line, "I shot him with a small revolver I keep near my balls" is a winner with me. Great movie, highly recommended.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ole White Flag

Sometimes I could just whack myself.

I enjoy mocking the foolish, visiting liberal blogs and making snide remarks that really are below me, and from time to time I'll engage in a debate I don't believe in just for the fun of it all. Yes, I'm a deeply troubled man.

So, it confounds me then why, in this post, I pulled my punches with Congressman Murtha. I guess it was the whole combat veteran thing. I honored his service, despised what he was now doing, and suspected that there might have been some dark motivation. At the time I wondered to myself, "is this guy trying to make himself untouchable in the press, because he knows something corrupt is going to surface?" I so wanted to suggest this, but instead just questioned his timing:

"So he's a good guy and a patriot, by virtually everyone's account. Which makes this all the more puzzling. Why, dare tell me, would a decorated veteran declare his support for a six month pull out? I could understand a lot of things, but this? It doesn't make sense."

After that I flinched. Pussy.

Today, I came across to items that make me wonder if I was - just possibly - on to something. First there was Bob Novak on the past.

"I had forgotten that federal prosecutors designated him an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam investigation 26 years ago."

Wow, that is pretty damning stuff! I wonder why the press hasn't reminded us about ABSCAM? I mean, it is more recent than his war duty, and they can't stop talking about that.

Then there was this, today

Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported how the ranking member on the defense appropriations subcommittee has a brother, Robert Murtha, whose lobbying firm represents 10 companies that received more than $20 million from last year's defense spending bill. "Clients of the lobbying firm KSA Consulting -- whose top officials also include former congressional aide Carmen V. Scialabba, who worked for Rep. Murtha as a congressional aide for 27 years -- received a total of $20.8 million from the bill," the L.A. Times reported.

In early 2004, according to Roll Call, Mr. Murtha "reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco." Laurence Pelosi, nephew of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the time was an executive of the company which owned the rights to the land. The same article also reported how Mr. Murtha has been behind millions of dollars worth of earmarks in defense appropriations bills that went to companies owned by the children of fellow Pennsylvania Democrat, Rep. Paul Kanjorski. Meanwhile, the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign-finance watchdog group, lists Mr. Murtha as the top recipient of defense industry dollars in the current 2006 election cycle.

So what are we left to think? This certainly sounds as bad as the Denny Hastert deal that was recently disclosed, and some ways worse. After all, White Flag's actions seem to have directly benefited his political allies.

I suppose we'll see where this all comes out, but I still do wonder; why did Ole White Flag decide out of the blue to become the poster boy for the anti-war movement?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Liberal Myopia or fifth column?

My buddy, the Functional Ambivalent, has an interesting post this morning regarding the President’s use of propaganda in the War on Terror, and the underlying facts surrounding the capture of an Al Queda member. Tom explains in full here, but for those of you who don’t want to click over to his fine site, the basic gist is this: If we promote the capture of a “top level operative” and the facts suggest that the guy we captured was really a go-fer for other top level operatives (who new terrorists had go-fers?), then are we not damaging our credibility in the eyes of the enemy who knows the truth?

When I first read Tom’s post, my immediate temptation was to post a snide comment about how Tom must be thrilled with his amazing revelation that governments over-hype their successes in wars, and down play their set backs. While this would have been fun, and completely in line with my typical modus operandi, I had a little issue this time. The problem, it seemed to me, was that he actually had a point – over stated perhaps since Al Queda, as much as any enemy we’ve ever faced clearly understands the importance of media manipulation in a war, but still, a valid point.

In the case Tom sites, it isn’t fully clear to me that this man was as low on the Al Queda totem pole as some would have us believe since Jordan has sentenced the man to death for his alleged involvement in the millennium bombing (see here FOLLOW UP NOTE: Link has apparently been taken down since it was linked to by another blogger earlier today) and the 9/11 commission also viewed him as an important figure (see here). Despite these quibbles, what seems clear is that the administration intentionally exaggerated his status as a top-level operative and this would tend to make us look either desperate or silly in the eyes of the enemy.

That said, Tom is not the first liberal to bring this point up and I think it alludes to a much more important point that our liberal friends like to ignore. If, as they suggest, exaggerating our accomplishments beyond all reason is damaging to the war effort, then what do our liberal friends think undermining the war effort does? Oh, they all try to protect themselves from this charge by suggesting, as Tom does this morning, that Bush supporters claim criticizing the President hurts our effort, but nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives, and Bush supporters, who have criticized the President in the War include Kristol, Fukyama, the Krautmaster General, and George Will to name just a few. I’d include myself in that group, but the name Pursuit, just doesn’t carry that much weight compared to those guys. Yet.

So it isn’t criticism that we believe undermines the effort, but instead, it is the ongoing crusade of the left in this country to exaggerate our faults that damages the war effort and puts our troops in greater danger. Certainly, the suggestions that our justification for entering the war was a lie, and the (primarily) Democratic politicization of this war for electoral gain are dangerous actions that embolden our enemy. Indeed, we’ve seen both in the Al Queda training manual and in captured documents, numerous statements of how gaming the media is a critical strategy for our enemy.

None-the-less, although they are in possession of this knowledge, loyal liberals remain virtually silent when it comes to criticizing these far more damaging acts. Instead my liberal friends remain silent in the face of:

o Ugly posts, such as those on certain beagle loving sites, that attempt to make political hay out of the torture and murder of our soldiers

o The exploitation of a grieving mother

o An ex-presidential candidate who calls for our near immediate surrender

o A once valiant (I’m told) serviceman, now turned bloated Pennsylvanian representatives, who insists that we cannot win and calls our marines murderers before he is in possession of all the facts

o Koran abuse controversies

o Over blown torture allegations

o Demands of due process for enemy combatants

The fact is that our enemies must be emboldened when they hear such things and I’m left thinking that compared to such dangerous acts, complaining that the President’s exaggeration of a captured enemy’s status might send the wrong message to our enemy seems like a strange place to start.

So I wonder when our loyal liberal friends will stand up for more than their politics. Countless conservatives have taken issue with the President’s tactics, and a few have even been against the Iraq war from the start. I’m left hard pressed though to come up with a liberal who has called for their side to cease and desist with their anti-American acts. Joe Lieberman comes to mind, but the consequence for Joe has been virtual banishment from the party he loves.

Sadly, I don’t see much hope that anything will change soon. The Democratic party seems to have pinned its hopes this fall on their anti-American message, and while this doesn’t seem like a winning strategy from my point of view, I’m afraid their fully committed. I know there are others out there who do put country above party, and I hope that they will soon see that this must end..

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

We Don't Need No Stinking Heroes

Our Heroes are dead, or even worse they never really existed at all.

At least this is what the media and the left (I know, I’m being redundant) in this country would like us to believe. Why we aren’t allowed our heroes in this post-modern age is beyond my comprehension.

This morning, on page 3 (page 3!) of the New York times I was greeted by a grainy picture of the fabled Sergeant York, and an extensive article that took a critical look at this hero’s exploits in WWI. For those of you who haven’t heard the tale or seen the Gary Cooper movie, the story is one of legend. Sergeant York, on patrol with 16 other fine American doughboys unexpectedly encountered a vastly superior German force, but through sheer will, courage and determination, won the battle, capturing over 130 Germans. Sergeant York himself is credited with single handedly taking out 35 German machine gun nests through the employment of his sharp shooting skills. So adept was this ex-Tennessee mountain man at picking off Nazi vermin that the German leader reportedly offered surrender if Sergeant York, would just stop shooting! The good Sergeant became such a hero as a result of these exploits that he was feted with a NY ticker tape parade.

At the time that the story was reported there were some members of the Sergeant’s platoon that disputed the tale, but the media at the time didn’t seem to think that alternate facts, particularly those that might have contradicted such a fantastic tale needed to be overly reported. In fact, according to the Times, contrary opinions were brought up only to the extent necessary for them to fully discredit. Yet, any level headed view of the York legend was most likely accompanied by a healthy amount of skepticism anyway; lets face it, one man taking out 35 machine gun nests in densely wooded hills is a bit much to swallow.

Despite the story’s implausible nature, the York legend was not only told, but celebrated at the time, and subsequently used for a cinematic example of U.S. heroism at the start of WWII when the Gary Cooper movie was made. Why, I think we have to ask, were this and other similar tales allowed to surface in the past? Certainly, in our post-Vietnam period, such fantastic exploits would never see the light of day. In fact, we live in such a cynical time that the Times feels compelled to tear down our heroes of yesteryear, lest we look to the past for patriotic inspiration.

The difference between now and then, I think, is that a large portion of the left no longer believes in American exceptionalism. In previous wars Americans were free to disagree politically, but we held a common view that our country was different; in fact we believed our country was better than other countries. For proof of this fact we looked to our ingenuity, our freedom, and the growth of our industrial base. I suppose we also created certain myths as further proof of our country’s greatness. One of these was the Sergeant York story, but there were also others. The Father of Our Country, George Washington, could not tell a lie. Abe Lincoln grew up as an industrious rail splitter in the Indiana and Illinois countryside.

There were others, of course, and we may still believe some of these myths. That is until our betters at the New York Times feel it’s necessary to destroy them for us.

It is astounding to consider how different things are today. Myths, and we still are treated to many, are still told but they tend to be used to underscore how bad America is. This war all by itself has treated us to many such myths: We were lied to about the war, The Jews knew about 9/11 ahead of time, the Koran was abused at Gitmo, Saddam wasn’t trying to buy yellow cake in Nigeria, Iraq had no ties to terrorism. These tales are accompanied by other stories that, while they contain elements of the truth (to be generous), are over emphasized to paint the U.S. in the worst of lights. We’ve had the Abu Gahrib story, the hysterical tales of torture, the secret prisons and many, many more.

All of these tales are told by the left in this country, and the temptation is to believe that they do this out of political spite or hatred of George Bush for beating Al Gore. In my view this really doesn’t go to the core of the issue though. While the left has increased both the intensity and frequency of its attacks on American excellence in recent years, the trend pre-dates George Bush and goes back to the Vietnam era.

Vietnam was when everything began to change for this country. I don’t think it was the war so much as it was the new way in which people followed the war. Where most Americans in previous global conflicts got their news once a week in newsreels at the local movie house, Americans were for the first time treated to nightly reports from the battlefield in right, square in the middle of their living rooms. The immediacy of the reporting, and the reality of the carnage were, for the first time in human history, an undeniable presence for citizens who otherwise would only have been treated to the romanticization of the conflict.

As most conservatives are well aware, our brothers on the left have built their political beliefs through their emotions. For this reason, the Democrats have been extremely successful in selling political programs with the imagery of victims and down trodden special interest groups. Similarly, the Democrats fight Republican reforms with images of starving children, coat hanger abortions and grandmothers cruelly thrown out of their homes into the snow. None of this squares with facts, but liberals generally aren’t all that concerned with facts, especially when the story evokes all the appropriate emotions.

I mention this because I think all those images of patriotic heroes led, over time to a certain piety on left. Where members of the right might have heard the tales of Sergeant York and George Washington and gone along with the stories because, while they themselves weren’t completely factual, the reality they represented was. Members of the left though used these stories to feel good and invested in the stories on an emotional level that made the stories their reality.

This is why Vietnam became a turning point for the left. The images of war with all its attendant horror and violence created a level of cognitive dissonance in the members of the left which could not be reconciled with their pious beliefs about the country. Conservatives, a more reality based community, were able to distinguish the awful means from the noble goals. Liberals had no such ability.

The logical result……the only result possible was for liberals to revolt. The sense of betrayal was profound and liberal’s need to strike back was not unlike that of a child full of anger upon finding out that there never was any fat man who flew around the world delivering presents to every boy and girl. The sad lesson that the left learned was that if our heroes weren’t exactly all they were supposed to be, then by emotional extension, neither was our country

Thus began the liberal crusade; never let any child ever again be fooled by the worship of false idols. Our heroes must be brought back to earth lest they be used to fool others about our country’s greatness, and we must look everywhere for the corruption and deceit that is surely present at the rotten core of our leadership.

Most ironic in all of this is that liberal piety continues to this day, but with a small difference. Where once liberals worshiped our heroes as evidence of our greatness, they today worship the great liberal warriors who have “brought truth to power”. Woodward, Bernstein and many others are the false idols that they now embrace with the desperate grip of a drunk on his last bottle of hooch. That Woodward sources anonymously, is overlooked. That Bernstein hasn’t produced much of anything in years is not mentioned. That Rather was involved in a very shady looking Memogate problem is simply not mentioned. After all, even if stories aren’t purely true, they certainly are representative of the awful truth that liberals know exists.

Frauds, such as the historically unfortunate Sergeant York are out of luck. W simply can’t have their kind around anymore.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Idiot

I've been a little distracted lately so I apologize for not posting more often. I've tried to get some things up, but I've decided that this site isn't about posting for the sake of posting since that approach generally leads to an embarrasing decline in my writing skills.

Still, there is so much going on that I want to discuss, so hopefully I'll be able to get back in the swing of things soon. Tomorrow the girls leave for four weeks of camp, so that alone should free up some time for me. I'll try to have something of interest then.

Until then, I found myself thinking of the Gipper today; you remeber him, he was the last man the Democrats said was an idiot. Oh, they loved the amiable dunce, with his dreams of Star Wars defense and raising revenues through tax cutting. What a laugh!

So today we have Kim Il Jong fueling up a missle that supposedly can hit the U.S., Australia and other allied countries. To bad the Democrats thought Star Wars was a waste of time and money. To bad they didn't have faith in America, and said we'd never develop a workable system. Every step of the way, they reported testing failures with glee, and found problems with every success that wasn't perfect. So we've been trying to realize Mr. Reagan's dream with half a country tied behind our back. So to speak.

Today's Democrats: The party with no vision and even less confidence in America's ability. Do they really think anyone views them as a viable alternative to Mr. Bush and the Republicans?

I'll leave you with the words of President Reagan over 23 years ago on March 23, 1983:

"What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?

I know this is a formidable, technical task, one that may not be accomplished before the end of the century. Yet, current technology has attained a level of sophistication where it's reasonable for us to begin this effort. It will take years, probably decades of efforts on many fronts. There will be failures and setbacks, just as there will be successes and breakthroughs. And as we proceed, we must remain constant in preserving the nuclear deterrent and maintaining a solid capability for flexible response. But isn't it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war? We know it is.

In the meantime, we will continue to pursue real reductions in nuclear arms, negotiating from a position of strength that can be ensured only by modernizing our strategic forces. At the same time, we must take steps to reduce the risk of a conventional military conflict escalating to nuclear war by improving our non-nuclear capabilities.

America does possess -- now -- the technologies to attain very significant improvements in the effectiveness of our conventional, non-nuclear forces. Proceeding boldly with these new technologies, we can significantly reduce any incentive that the Soviet Union may have to threaten attack against the United States or its allies."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Inconvenient Truth Indeed

Poor, poor Al Gore. Even the Canadians aren't buying his environmental hokum. What is the man to do? He tried the pitchfork carrying populist who was "mad as hell" act and it didn't work. He tried the bearded professor bit, and people just talked about how fat he had become. Now he is trying the environmental statesman act, and a Canadian publication is fact checking him.

And the find Al is lacking. A group of Canucks!

The fact is we do not know the cause, nor can we predict the effect of "global warming". Further, we can't even be sure if we're seeing a short term aberration, a long term change, or something in between. The one thing we do know is that anyone who makes statements of metaphysical certitude, such as the ones Mr. Gore is making, is both full of hot air, and unfit to lead this nation.

Poor Al.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Anguished Cries of the Left

One of the great lefty complaints about W is that he lowered taxes in war time. Apparently the left believes that we were supposed to suffer during war - I never quite understood how watching our men and women serve wasn't tough enough for these folks....unless they really don't support the troops... - and that keeping taxes high, or raising them was the thing to do. This, of course, is a monumentally stupid theory as underscored both by history and our ongoing experience.

History teaches us that lowering marginal tax rates, as President Bush did, increases government revenues. Ongoing experience demonstrates the enduring truth of this proposition; Government revenues are soaring and Bush may cut the deficit in half three years ahead of his schedule. Well done I'd say.

Now, if he would just control spending.

Via: Instapundit who never links to me so, you know, don't bother.

What Is Bernanke Up To?

I don’t know what has gotten in my food supply, but something is definitely amiss. As you all know, I’m generally a pretty easy goin’ guy. Ok, I’ve got a temper; I’ll admit that, but the good thing about being a bit mercurial is that I can vent and move on.

So, I’m a bit troubled that, after a lovely week off from blogging, I find my self back and pissed. First, there was Daniel Schorr, a man whose name I spit from my mouth like the vilest of explicatives. Now today…..well today….. our new Fed Chairman has got me a bit ticked off.

Why has Uncle Ben Bernanke got me riled? Cuz the man is talkin’ non-sense folks; it’s as simple as that. Even worse, the man is talkin’ stupid non-sense and in the process he is scarring the markets, which by definition is damaging the net worth of one Mr. Pursuit and this makes me a very unhappy man.

So today I’d like to talk about Uncle Ben’s incessant chatter about the threat of inflation; why it is driving me nuts, and how deeply disturbing it is to find that he very well might be driving Fed policy from this wildly incorrect view. Now stay with me here because while I know its economics, I promise not to be dull and hopefully can provide some food for thought for the next time you see a talking head on one of the cable business shows.

So let’s start with a bold proclamation. If there is one thing that is absolutely certain about today’s market it is this:

There is no threat of any inflation in either the near or medium term in today’s U.S. economy.

There, I’ve said it, go ahead and print it, save it to disk and hold me to that statement. Oh I’m aware that the popular business press likes to talk about the threat of inflation due to “oil prices” or our “growing economy that may be overheating” but anyone, who knows anything about economics knows that neither of these factors has anything to do with inflation. Think I’m wrong? Well then let’s get a definition for what inflation is:

Inflation: “Inflation is an increase in the price of a basket of goods and services that is representative of the economy as a whole.”

Actually that definition, provided by is wrong, or at the very least over simplified. Let’s try again with

Inflation: a general and progressive increase in prices; "in inflation everything gets more valuable except money"”

Hmm…..well still a little too simple, but the idea regarding the steady devaluation of money is getting us a little closer to the truth. Let’s try Wikipedia:

Inflation: is a fall in the market value or purchasing power of a money. This is equivalent to a sustained increase in the general level of prices. Inflation is the opposite of deflation. Typically the term is applied to a given economic region in which a currency is used, however it may apply to smaller or larger regions also.”

Ta daaaa! Frankly the last place I’d expected to find the truth turned out to provide the most succinct, accurate definition. To put a fine point on it, inflation, as Mr. Bernanke and friends discuss it, is purely a monetary phenomena that is separate and distinct from price changes that arise from the laws of supply and demand. So, when we hear in the popular press’s reporting on inflation due to oil price rises, commodity price rises or our economy’s high rate of growth, the proper reaction is not to hide in fear but to mock these foolish dolts with every last ounce of our vastly superior intelligence!

Well, mock and cringe that is. I know I may seem a bit wonkish to be concerned about what could be viewed as a purely academic issue, but this stuff is important because of the impact a wrong policy choice can have on our lives. As I stated above inflation is purely a monetary problem; specifically it is a problem of having too much money available in the marketplace, which is typically the result of a “loose money” policy by the Fed. The presence of too much money in the economy leads to a devaluation of the purchasing power of the money so prices rise specifically because money is worth less. There is only one known cure to inflation, and that is for the Fed to restrict money supply.

The problem is that when prices rise because demand for a good out strips supply, as is the case with oil today, the temptation is to blame inflation. This is wrong because there really is no reason to blame anything at all; The rise of the price of a good in response to increased demand is not a bad thing. In fact it is quite assuredly a good thing in that it is the market’s reaction and recognition that an adjustment in the good’s value is necessary. As that good becomes more valuable as a result of this adjustment, more investors are encouraged to make, discover or create more of that good (or substitutes for that good) for the general use.

With this perspective it becomes clear that misreading a market based adjustment such as inflation is quite a bad mistake; tragic even. For if Uncle Ben and his pals at the Fed continue to raise interest rates to fight non-existant inflation, they are only serving to slow the economy down – possibly pushing it into recession even – and punishing the market mechanism that is working as it should be!

So I wonder what in the world Mr. Bernanke is thinking. Could it possibly be that some jamoke in Chicago with a keyboard and an internet connection knows more about the workings of our economy than he does? Well, I suppose anything is possible, but we probably can say that this is unlikely.

In the extreme!

More likely is the possibility that Mr. Bernanke and his fellow Fed Governors are proving their “street cred” with investors and politicians in the wake of Alan Greenspan’s retirement. You see, one of the absolutely worst aspects of fighting inflation in an economy is breaking participant’s expectations of future price increases. For the Central Banker who wants to leave a legacy of stable prices and a growing economy, rule number one is to ensure that these expectations never get started.

Looking at the economic circumstances that Uncle Ben has taken office in, his talk of fighting inflation begins to make a little more sense. We have had a huge, and very visible increase in the price of a major input into our economy – oil – and we’ve had much inaccurate talk in the press about how this could lead to inflation. Uncle Ben, fearful that people’s expectations of inflation will get started is anxious to prove he is in control and eager to ensure that we maintain a stable value in our currency. In other words proving his ‘street cred” in much the same way the new kid in the neighborhood has to beat somebody up to demonstrate the dangers of pantsing him at recess.

Let’s hope Uncle Ben can keep this fine balance in tune. Otherwise it may be us who must endure the swirly.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Vile Old Gas Bag

Daniel Schorr pisses me off.

Really, the man just sends shivers down my spine the same way a creepy old uncle who always seems to hang out by the bathroom when any young males in the family happen to be there does. I'm sure this is an irrational reaction to a man who is old, irrelevant, and stupid, but I can't help myself; the guy is simply the most loathsome broadcaster in business today - my opinion, but who could argue? Worst of all, my tax dollars in one way or another are most likely paying this crackpot's salary!

Usually when I hear the voice of that aging old liberal come across NPR's publicly financed air waves I lunge for the tuner on my radio and change the station immediately. Anything will do; Swapshop, radio bingo, even the harrowing voice of Al Franken - assuming he is still on - is better than the awful, awful sound of Creepy Uncle Danny's voice. Today, though I was caught off guard.

We had just gotten back from a road trip and I was busy unpacking when the old toad's voice came on. Of course, his topic was the poor suicide jihadi's at Gitmo. It seems today, Danny was upset because a General, I didn't hear who, had described the triple suicide as an "asymmetrical attack" on the U.S. in our war on terror. Of course, any normal American with a functioning brain would have recognized this statement as the truth. A triple suicide, carried out by jihadi's, near the time when the U.S. Supreme Court is about to announce that Gitmo is A-OK with them can only be viewed as such. Further, any newscaster with an IQ warmer than room temperature (tall order, I know) would realize that these suicides were the efforts of a failing cause to create some propaganda in lieu of anything that actually could, you know, hurt people.

Of course, they were relying on the lefties in this country to exploit these deaths, but let's face it, that wasn't much of a gamble given the way this war has been reported by our brave, brave press.

And of course Danny didn't disappoint. Not Danny....oh no....this was an opportunity to politicize the war on terror, and we simply couldn't let that go by could we? It looks to me like this foul man saw this as an opportunity for the dearly departed jihadis to accomplish what world opinion, and legal efforts of the left most likely will not; the closing of Gitmo. How do I know that this is what he thinks? Well that is what he said. In a way, it almost sounded to me like he was celebrating the efforts - I mean the suicides - of these fine young jihadis!

Er, um, but to be sure, Danny supports the troops.

Earlier in the day I was listening to Limbaugh who I haven't heard in quite a while. While Rush, as usual, didn't have much to say, he did have a caller with an opinion that I thought held some merit. The caller, speaking about the left, said that they feel free to politicize the war on terror because they really don't see any chance that the terrorists will win, so they might as well score points off of George Bush by attacking his actions in the war.

Listening to NPR's Pungent Liberal Gas Bag today, I find it hard to disagree.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Now twice as catty, with all the Excitable Boy hysteria that you love!

Rockin' Tune of the Weekend: Johnny Cash Sings Trent Reznor

Check it out. I don't know who had this idea, but it was brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Great video too.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

It's A Beautiful Day!

Congratulations to President Bush, Tony Blair, the U.S. Military and the Iraqi People.

Now is the time to press the advantage.


UPDATE: Timing, as they say, is everything

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The Father of Our Country

Amazing what those darn liberals have hidden from those of us who suffered through the public education system in this country. I knew the Father Of Our Country was great, but I didn't know he was 'effin great.

Definately not a thing you want to play at work. Via: Goldstein

Oh, and me? Just had to take a break this week. I'll be back by Tues.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

This Weekend's Rockin' Tune: The Dandys

I first heard The Dandy Warhols in the late '90's when their rockin little diddy, "Not if You Were The Last Junkie On Earth" came to my attention. They reminded me a little of "My Bloody Valentine" with maybe a slightly cooler, poppier, sound. Last Junkie was a great tune with an alternative sound, a pop sensibility and the catchy refrain, "herion is so passe"; I mean who couldn't like a song with that killer combination?

While this weekend's tune, "Bohemian Like You" is not necessarily my fave song by these guys, it is the one that I seem to always come back to. Although I am not unaware of its rich satirical take on the boho's, it does in many ways remind me of my college years when I was a rock and roll fool stranded in the Izod obsessed Greek culture of IU. Thank goodness B-Town with it's hippy holdouts and great music at The Bluebird (although looking at their website today, it appears they've gone a bit more upscale since I was last there) were there as a life raft of sanity. Not that things were all that bad; afterall, being the lone stalwart holding out against Docksiders and up turned Polo collars did attract a certain sort of female........

Whoa, we almost had to cue the dream sequence music there!

In the last few years I haven't heard much from these guys so I don't know if they're still in business. I'll go surf around and see what I can find out and you can stay here and give the Dandys a listen. While you're listening consider this; who else could pull off using the words "dig" and "pad" and still sound cool in the late '90's?

Even if they didn't really mean it.