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Showing posts from December 30, 2001
Remora Tom Paine got Colin Woodard, whose book, Ocean's End, was one of our favorite books last year, to put the heat on The Skeptical Environmentalist . But Tom Paine is a little late to the game, compared to Limited Inc., as our lucky readers (the few, the bold, the brave, the ones looking for girles+Arabia+sex) know. For those of you who missed it, this is a reprint of our post in August about Lomborg's miserable tract: 8/8/2001 10:40:02 AM Bjorn Lomborg seems set to be the most quoted environmentalist of the season. The reason? He has a conversion story. There he was, according to himself, your average know nothing Greenpeace schmoe, kvetching about mass extinction and Global Warming on Planet Gaia, when he got knocked down (spiritually, that is) by libertarian skeptics of the environmental model. No doubt, like Saul, he had his days of reclusion and blindness, the night sweats, the fever - but a vision of Gale Norton apparently visited him, saying, in an unea
Remora Limited Inc realizes that our fascination with some of the tedious arguments in the dismal science is not winning this site any popularity awards. Actually, according to our site meter, our most popular posts inevitably include the words Lolita, or tits, of sex, or girles -- so we included them in this sentence to trap the unwary, horny surfer. Ha ha. But Limited Inc has always pricked up its ears at the sound of a trumpet, the old gray battle horse within stirring to scenes of past Agincourts. Today, the trumpet resounds from the Center for Economic Policy , curtesy of a link on the Arts and Letters site. Let us go then, you and I, to the article entitled A Closer Look at the World Bank's Most Recent Defense of Its Policies by Mark Weisbrot, Dean Baker, Robert Naiman, and Gila Neta. You'll notice the date on this paper -- August 2000. We can't explain why the A & L people spotlighted it a year later, but the paper foregrounds some future post we will no
Dope Some further comments on Senator Torricelli's Houdini like escape from prosecution seem called for. The question on the mind of the spectator must be: why would the Repugs go along on this deal? After all, damn Senator T with the black spot and Senator Lott will once more be the majority leader, talked to, even, by tv reporters and such. Well, let's speculate a little bit, children. When one of D.C.'s pirates is caught with his hand in the till, very often a delicate situation arises. Because so many other pirates on the ship have been quietly amassing as much loot as their natural greed allows them. It is a tradition that goes back to the Roman senate. So if Senator T.'s skin is graciously unflayed, one looks around for who else could be outrageously vulnerable to charges of pilfering. And the eye alights on a certain Texas senator, Phil Gramm. Phil and his wonderful and rich wife, Wendy, have made quite a killing in the past decade from their association
Remora Here are three grafs from the story announcing Senator Torricelli won't be prosecuted for his buyability . "Even before Ms. White took over the case from the campaign task force early last year, many legal experts had emphasized the difficulty of successfully prosecuting sitting politicians in cases involving bribery or illegal gifts. Such cases have been especially difficult when the accusers had legal problems of their own. In Mr. Chang, the prosecutors had a witness whom they themselves had called a liar before he agreed to plead guilty. The senator himself has never denied that he accepted gifts from Mr. Chang, but said merely that he considered Mr. Chang a friend and that he never took any "illegal gifts." Congressional ethics rules allow legislators to accept certain gifts from friends when they are of limited value and are promptly reported." Limited Inc is only mildly astonished that there will be no trial before a jury of Se
Remora It is said that passengers of the great dirigibles experienced flight in a much different way than the passengers of other aircraft: for the passengers on the Hindenburg, the landscape moved by in vast visionary sweeps. The commentariat often write themselves into a sort of dirigible view of events, vast visionary sweeps which, unlike those available to those lucky balloonists of yore, have nothing to do with this or any other planet. Limited Inc has just finished Stan Crock's column in Business Week on the "third reason" for toppling Saddam Hussein's regime and the feeling of dreamy irreality couldn't be more complete. Here's the middle grafs, bodying forth his argument: "But let's consider the Unspoken Argument. The cumulative impact of seeing secular moderates such as the opposition Iraqi National Congress assuming power in Baghdad so soon after a moderate secular regime came to power in Kabul could have a transforming impact
Remora We recommend the Round Table in today's NYT Biz section . if you want a pretty good cross-section of Wall Street thinking about the economy. Limited Inc, of course, is not a consensus type of entity -- that the predictions of the three players interviewed average out to a Dow around 11-3 -- that in other words, the p/e will continue at around 23 -- seems incredible. However, the incredibility of a figure has never stopped Wall Street from hitting it. The question is, why should we care. There is something wierd going on in the economy, and everybody knows it. The weird thing is what, exactly, the equities markets are measuring. Here's a quote from one of the roundtable guys (Byron Wien) which should be plumbed slowly: "You've got to look at what you're entitled to as an investor. In my view all you're entitled to is the profit growth plus the dividend. In the 20-year period from 1981 to 2001, that was about 10 percent. The market during that perio
Remora We admire The Economist. Hell, we've written for The Economist. And since we venerate the great media ancestors - the Smart Set Crowd, the Blackwoods writers, Ford Maddox Ford's transition, Dwight McDonald's politics -- we of course find the fullblooded Tory history of the Economist cause for awe and bending of the knees. It is in the pantheon. But even so... in the Christmas edition's article about the Bridget Jones economy -- the political economy of affluent singlehood that is shaping urban culture -- we are bugged. Bugged by the writing. Now, Limited Inc isn't so snobbish as to think that trendspotting articles are automatically idiotic. And this one is about a genuine trend. A NY Magazine article of recent memory, the one about single Japanese girls with beaucoup disposable income in Tokyo, also spotted this trend, which means that it is a trend -- the relationship between trend and spotting being one of those performative truths. Wel
Dope Limited Inc and a friend spent some time by a highway last night, looking at the moon. It was a moon well worth looking at. "Well," our readers comment, jejeune to the point of jaundice, "a moon's a moon's a moon, right? Excuse me, but once we sent a few retread fighter pilot types up there and line drived a few golf balls, that was it with the moon thing. Like, boring, lifeless, dusty, full of craters, and there goes ten billion dollars." Yes to all of the above. The moon is certainly a de-mystified object, it is certainly the victim of a sort of cultural pollution -- there's no awe in us anymore about it, there's a false sense that we've peed on it, that now the territory is claimed -- but Limited Inc loses all skepticism in the ghostly white shimmer of it, feels that there is definitely a werewolf pull to the moon, some obscure but distinct disturbance in the blood, some ritual passage negotiated between eros and thanatos that e