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Showing posts from January 13, 2002
Remora Adam Smith has presciently analyzed the peculiar psychological defects of Limited Inc. in this passage in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, concerning passions that derive from the imagination: " Even of the passions derived from the imagination, those which take their origin from a peculiar turn or habit it has acquired, though they may be acknowledged to be perfectly natural, are, however, but little sympathized with. The imaginations of mankind, not having acquired that particular turn, cannot enter into them; and such passions, though they may be allowed to be almost unavoidable in some part of life, are always, in some measure, ridiculous. This is the case with that strong attachment which naturally grows up between two persons of different sexes, who have long fixed their thoughts upon one another. Our imagination not having run in the same channel with that of the lover, we cannot enter into the eagerness of his emotions. If our friend has been injured, we read
Remora In a previous post, Limited Inc had speculated about the triangle between point a, the provision of a bill passed in December, 2000, that exempted energy trading from oversite by the commodity futures commission, b., the Gramms (Mr. and Mrs.) support for the bill, and c., Senator Gramm's retirement. Limited Inc. stands corrected by an article in the Times this morning. Doing the calculus of sleeziness in the Clinton era, one should always include the Clinton variable: that if something looks reactionary, pandering, against the public interest, and connected to big money, Clinton will probably be behind it. And so it turns out on this bill, which set in motion the events that blacked out California while the bandits made out like energy companies... uh, I mean, while the energy companies made out like bandits. Two explicatory grafs: " the latter months of 2000, both Gramms were frustrating the company's Washington lobbyists. Senator Gramm, for reaso
Remora Go when the going's good department Perhaps now that Bushypoo has established himself as this generation's FDR, he should resign. That way, he'd not suffer the inevitable debilitating fall in polls and status that happens to all Bushes in office. The reason for that fall is that Bushes can only exist in a rare environment, one in which the air is constantly perfumed by millions of dollars. Usually that is no problem in the White House, where you can secretly confab with Ken Boy and co. on global warming and such, but sometimes a Bush is thrust out into the normal atmosphere -- especially when the Bush has to campaign, or meet with (ugh) environmentalists and those civil rights leaders -- and eventually the Bush starts to wilt and get all cranky. As a monument to Bush idiocy, the NYT has a profile of SEC chairman Harvey Pitt today. Here we have a fairly common specimen of the higher idiocy so typical of the nineties, when the word deregulation began to be
Remora Griboyedov. Limited Inc imbibed Dostoevsky with our mother's milk, and have contemplated, for years, a sequel to the Underground Man entitled the Upside Down man (autobiographical, of course); Tolstoy was an event in our spiritual life that took two good years (20-22) to get out of the system, two years we will never get back, mind you; we've been a fan of Sologub's Petty Demon forever, The Master and the Margarita is one of the ur-texts in our inner cranial library, we've taken a prose style, down to dashes and parentheses, from Bely, we've read all the Nabokov one mortal could stand, Babel is a hero, Mandelstam and his wife are heroes -- what we are saying is that we are Russian out the ass. Always have been. But Griboyedov is pretty much a new one for us. So we enjoyed this Financial Times review of his biography. Griboyedov is known for one play. Apparently, that play is the Russian equivalent of Moliere's Misanthrope. But the review neces
Remora Why do they hate us department. Limited Inc means the CEOs of major corporations. And the us in question are the poor sweating masses who labor, pay taxes like suckers, and regularly get shellacked on both ends -- corporations who claim that utter faith in the market should prevent any government interference in spreading their costs to third parties (witness revelations about Monsanto's pollution fiesta in a small Alabaman town in the WP : In 1966, Monsanto managers discovered that fish submerged in that creek turned belly-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as if dunked into boiling water. They told no one. In 1969, they found fish in another creek with 7,500 times the legal PCB levels. They decided "there is little object in going to expensive extremes in limiting discharges." In 1975, a company study found that PCBs caused tumors in rats. They ordered its conclusion changed from "slightly tumorigenic" to "does not app
Remora Limited Inc. was temporarily out of our gourds, this morning. Look, once you settle on a term, it sticks -- like a bad tattoo, maybe, but so it goes. So we apologize to our many constant, passionate readers for this aberration, and hope we haven't harmed our brand. We are going to focus group about that, later. Will Hutton has a very enjoyable time knocking around that old corrupt mushball, Enron, in his Guardian column. Most startling graf in the column is not in the bludgeoning of America's political culture, but in the dissing of American productivity. Could this be true? "... Enron could not have made the progress it did without the intellectual backdrop that all regulation and taxation is bad - and that the more the US deregulated, the better its economy performed. This was, and is, balderdash. Recent work by economists, notably at investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston, shows that after making the necessary accounting adjustments and including dow
Acoustic shadows This is the new name Limited Inc has chosen to head media-linked posts, instead of Remora. It isn't poetry, reader. If you will dig through the Echos newsletters in your closet -- you know, the ones the Acoustic Society of America sends you -- you will find an explanation in the winter, 1999 issue : "Unusual acoustics due to atmospheric conditions or to terrain are sometimes given the catch-all name "acoustic shadows." The first recorded incidence of the phenomenon occurred during the Four-Day Battle in 1666. The naval battle was fought between the coasts of England and Holland, and sounds of the battle were heard clearly at many points throughout England but not at intervening points. Passengers on a yacht positioned between the battle and England heard nothing. A number of other examples have been recorded since that time. Guns fired at the funeral of Queen Victoria in London in 1901 were heard in Scotland, but not across a wide region in bet