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Showing posts from November 4, 2001
Remora Idiocy, open idiocy, in public, like nudity in public, has a certain low erotic charm. So Limited Inc should have been pleased to read an article that, from beginning to end, is a tissue of error, misreading, illogic, and special pleading. Not since Clinton defended oral sex as a form of non-sex have we seen something like this. It is Jonathan Rauch, who seems to have the brains of a damaged green pea, writing in the Atlantic about why Bush one was right to stop his big bad war before we had taken out (if you'll remember) a man who was "another Hitler". Somehow, though, Limited Inc.'s joy in the piece was mitigated by its racism, its vile sense of American privilege, and our sense that it is depressingly representative of conservative foreign policy thinking. Rauch gives various implausible and weasily reasons for Bush's great foreign policy failure. His big Ace, which he draws like everybody in the house is going to gasp, is that the fall of
Dope Going to New Mexico to kill a man -- that was Limited Inc's brainstorm a few days ago, when it occured to us that there was a feature story in Texas sending a crack team of hangmen, out of our well known heart, to our needy neighbor, New Mexico, to help inject a killer and child rapist with a lethal fluid. Texas and New Mexico refused to give the names of the bourreaux, our Lone Star Rosenkranz and Guildenstern, but it suddenly occured to Limited Inc that some magazine somewhere would be interested in this story. Too late: on the same day, Clark, the childkiller, was murdered by the state. The Albuquerque Tribune ran a big story about Terry Clark, the killer and killed . Joline Gutierrez Krueger had the byline. Here are the crucial grafs: "Terry Clark does not seem like a monster in letters and phone calls from death row, rare glimpses of a man few have come to know - or have wanted to - since that day 15 years ago when he put three bullets in a 9-year-old g
Remora Story of the day is the further melt-down of Enron. Remember Enron? Company voted most likely to be evil during the Bushy era? The company that once traded at 80 dollars per, and now is trading at a tenth of that? The company that might be sold to Dynegy (not, alas, Dynasty, which would have been soooo appropriate -- all Texas companies bear an uncanny resemblence to tv shows about Texas, and though Enron is based in Houston, the Dallas comparison, down to the match between J.R. and Ken Lay, Enron's CEO, is downright separated at birth). A year ago, the idea that a no-name would acquire one of Wall Street's hot shot companies - a company that treated California much like one of Marquis de Sade's heros treated the unfortunate Juliette -- would have been an ultra-giggle. Now, of course, those who are still invested in the energy trading or whatever it does company are praying this is the good news. The story in Fortune by Bethany McLean is a pretty good intro to th
Limited Inc is starting from the fourth chapter of Ezekial tonight. So get a stiff drink. "And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege. Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof. And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink. And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight." Yes, from time to time thou shalt drink; from time to time even eat meat, twenty shekels worth. This, my readers, is the emblem and
Dope Two posts tonight! Limited Inc.'s limited readership should appreciate this, although maybe they will groan over the verbiage. Sorry. Ahem, vee vill begin our lecture mit ein simple fifisection of a wabbit... Oops, sorry about that, ladies and germs -- wrong set of notes! In the November 5th New Yorker there is a column by the astute but limited James Surowiecki, who makes the standard case against breaking the Bayer patent on Cipro. The case goes like this: to come up with an antibiotic takes years of R & D, and R & D costs beaucoup millions; so if in the end, the anti-biotic isn't a moneymaker, then R & D into other anti-biotics will be inhibited. Thus it is socially advantageous not to bust Bayer's balls, so to speak. Unfortunately, as Surowiecki sleepwalks through his econ 101 lecture, he adds a number of facts that contradict his larger point, and support the idea that monopoly actually has an inhibiting effect on medically important R &
Notice Hey, my hypocritical readers, what is up with you all? What is up, what is up/ in the house? I install this great little commenting widget, and I'm expecting, oh, I don't know, some damn disagreement. I mean, I'm trying to take controversial stands here! I'm trying to be a contrarian! What am I doing wrong? I mean, here I am alone in my apartment, nobody to argue with, and I think I'll just continue the enrag� tradition of the situationalists, breed the polemic fury of Trotsky with the goofiness of Wodehouse, I think this is gonna stir em up in the streets when I cut and paste my postings, and Alan tells me I made a grammatical error on one of the posts, and that is the breadth and the depth! Surely I can't be representing the bien pensant opinion -- surely I'm not mister average Joe! Oh say it ain't so! Okay, enough with the exclamation marks (I just think they are funny). How bout those economic heresies I casually spout, though? Or my AC/DC fe
Remora The New Statesman, "rather provocatively" focuses, this week, on American Imperialism . Ah, that phrase! We at Limited Inc used to let it roll off our tongue with a certain jouissance (and we use to let jouissance roll off our tongue with a certain frisson, don't you know? and so we pleasantly descended, on angel wings, the sub-Barthesian ladder, full of grad school certainty and hot air). And it is still a useful phrase, but we can't but take issue with the New Statesman's take on the Cold War: "In this issue (pages 18-19), we publish a map, showing US interventions overseas since 1945 and entitled, rather provocatively, "The original rogue state". It is not an exhaustive catalogue. It does not show some of the more recent examples such as Somalia, the Balkans and Iraq; it subsumes Cambodia and Laos into Vietnam; it has no room for El Salvador or Cyprus. A similar map, published to show Soviet interventions up to 1989, would have high
Remora Right after 9/11, Eric Boehlert published a nice compendious look at the WTC buildings. His sources were agreed that the buildings were an exercise in elephantiasis, the bigger is better aesthetic of despots, pharaohs, and Rockefellers. Nelson and David were the men behind the WTC. The financing, the shady way the Port Authority suddenly had extra port authority to build the things, the running off of small merchants, the choice of an architect/drone, Yamasaki, were all about what NYC was in the seventies -- a sort of Trojan graveyard in which the buzzardly rich picked the bones, while the angry poor cried among them, scrapped up livings from the broken streets, and were instilled with the ethic of hopelessness. Yamasaki was type-cast: he'd processed modernism into a plutocratic pleasing tic, discarding its utopian beginnings, and distilling its totalitarianism into pure Brasilia; his own eccentricities simply made things worse: "And then there were the unu
Remora Limited Inc plans, God willing, to take a trip on a plane again some day (correcting an earlier version of this post that pinged on Alan's grammatical radar -- see comments). Nobody, to put it mildly, has been calling for our services lately. Is media dead, or like Elvis is it out there in hiding, its death a huge fake-out? Well, that's a story to cry about at some later point. More relevant point is that we would like, really, not to have to confront villains on our flight. It is part of the wish list that includes not running out of gas, getting the dinner from the first phase of when the hosts are handing them out (I hate it when I have the seat that is just above the dividing line, so I get the dinner and drinks last), and not setting next to a whacko. Yes, I prefer flying undisturbed by gun or knife or even tweaser toting loonies stalking down the aisle, none of that. But securing airline customers from such unpleasantness seems to be a very low priority in D.C.
Remora It is a barbarous place. Men are tortured by being confined for years to silent underground chambers. Some are cast into prison for violating taboos against using unclean plants, and left to rot the best portion of their lives away. Others, for petty thefts, can receive what amounts to a life sentence. No, we aren't speaking of some Moslem republic in Central Asia -- we are of course describing the legal system of California, in many respects more regressive than the penal system of England, circa 1815. In such darkness, untouched by the recently much vaunted fruits of Western Civilization (Limited Inc is exaggerating -- there are some very sweet sex videos coming out of the Valley), a small but astonishing victory for reason was reported by the AP's David Kravets in this story: Federal court throws out 50-year 'three-strike' sentence for shoplifter in California lede graf: "A federal appeals court threw out a shoplifter's 50-year se