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Showing posts from October 30, 2005

where does that money go to?

LI didn’t know what story to go for this morning. The one in the Telegraph about the Japanese schoolgirl whose livejournal blog was extra, extra special – it recorded her experiment in poisoning her mother? (best graf in the story: "She is said to have kept severed body parts of animals in her room,including a cat's head. Teachers from her school told the Japanese media that she seemed to be a serious student, intense but otherwise apparently normal.") Or the story in the Guardian of the French director who discovered Valerie Paradis. He is currently being sued by four actresses. This director’s idea was to rehearse the erotic atmosphere of his upcoming film by inviting actresses to come to his apartment, or to go to restaurants with him, and masturbate. Sometimes, he was so caught up in his art that he masturbated too. This is known in some circles as non-consensual sex. The director, of course, views it as artistic license. But instead, in honor of the President’s tr

the LI curve

Among LI’s most precious trumpeted and sometimes trumpery opinions is our belief that the suppression of the market in drugs – cocaine, methamphetimines, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy, etc – can’t work in any system in which there is something like free enterprise and something like democracy. We’ve gone over and over the reasons that bans on consumer products that are a, easy to supply, and b., have an enduring demand are not only going to be inefficient, but will also create more harms as they become more efficient. Call this the LI curve. Like the Laffer curve, you can draw it on a napkin. Please feel free to do so. The interesting thing about this is that the original ban on narcotics made the elementary mistake of assuming that narcotics was like the feathers of endangered species – the act was specifically modeled on acts forbidding interstate commerce in eagle feathers. The supply of eagles, and hence eagle feathers, is inelastic – making it relatively easy to ban without a signif

I voted for a zombie

The Democrat’s collective experiment in suspended animation was interrupted, yesterday, by a bit of Inspector Clouseau-ism. The Senate Democrats seemed to have noticed 92 Americans died in Iraq last month. Not to speak of some 900 Iraqis – because there is a difference between headlinable and non-headlineable mortality. Now, this is six months after Cheney had pronounced the last rites on the dwindling insurgency, and the American Enterprise Institute’s man in Iraq, in a burst of giddiness, had announced that the war was over, and that we won. Which was after the purple revolution had solved all our problems, which was after Allawi had become the most popular leader ever seen in Iraq, which was after the Coalition’s springtime of painting and building schools, which was after all the good news in Iraq wasn’t being reported, which was after Mission Accomplished. Of course, we are heavily editing the incidence of slavish headlines pumped into the bloodstream of the American behemoth by

shilling post

Okay, I finally made the Dopamine Cowboy Movement button link to the site. These things aren't easy for LI -since we put up our first webzine, Calumny and Art, a long time ago, the software has proliferated but to do certain, intermediate work cheaply has gotten harder. Or so it seems to us. So remember, if you enjoy Freshly Released Air, or the Newshour with Atilla the Hun, which you can only get on LI, send us 10 to 50 bucks. And if you are a Department of Education official looking for some shill to push that great leap backwards, the No Child Left Behind act, think about 200,000 bucks. Or if you are a Russian kleptomillionaire with tax problems and you think you need pliable mouthpieces in the West, a small oilfield in Siberia would be nice. Whatever level you can accommodate for whatever corruption we can manufacture, you can trust us at LI to be rooting, tooting, garrulous, and full of controversial p.o.v.

How do I make this last a lifetime?

The perils, the perils! LI, like a frostbitten salt on a ghost ship, wants to ring a little leper bell for the excellent 8000 word article by Roger Lowenstein (one of my favorite business journalists – both When Genius Failed and The Origins of the Crash keep up the best traditions of the mandarin muckraker, rather like Chapters of Erie or The Robber Barons) on the end of the pension in the NYT Mag . In my clippings about the evitable decline of the guarantor state, this article will definitely have pride of place. Lowenstein’s article touches on an area LI avoided, in sketching out the large scale picture of the rivalry between two models of the social welfare state that deepened in the Reagan era. One of the characteristics of that era was the capture of foreign investment by American firms, which then floated the re-structuring of those firms. This, of course, happened within another re-structuring, as manufacturing finally sought the low labor costs of the third world. These two mo

Chapter 10 – Party of the Jealous God

LI’s far flung correspondent and part time hitman, Mr. T. in NYC, thinks this is the worst chapter in the book so far. He might be right. Certainly it is… facile comes to mind. A little too facile. But I need these characters, I need the sound of their voices, and I think I know why. Anyway, please comment. Chapter 10 – Party of the Jealous God (first three pages) Alexander Stitching’s first intimation of fame reached him in 1974, when he led the neutralist side in a debate at Oxford (“Resolved: A Curse on both their Houses”). The debate was televised. Stitch’s team narrowly lost, which led to much shedding of admonitory and horrified ink in the Tory tabloids (“A Generation of Vipers”), and an editorial in the Times. Stitch had ventured the opinion that Harold Wilson, the Labor Prime Minister, was a “wart on the big bare bottom of capitalism,” which was, as he hoped it would be, much repeated. This remark was all the more newsworthy in that Stitching’s father had served in the cabine

the gods come down to earth, a high ranking official said

One would have hoped that the Plame case would be a wake up call… to the press. Alas, business goes on as usual. The D.C. journalism that pours out is of such poor quality that one’s only hope is in the declining numbers reading this gruel. Two examples, one merely of idiocy – Adam Nagourney’s specialty – and the other of D.C. cliquespeak, punctuating an otherwise comprehensive article in the Washington Post. Nagourney is almost on LI’s informal list of people not to make fun of or pay attention to – people like Ann Coulter and the like. But his political analysis of the Republican Party’s problems is such a typical paste whatever job, the usual stuff he turns in, that one wants to wring some kind of example from it, if only to compensate for the minimal degradation reading it brings to the old retina. So notice, first the article gives us a banal overview of the Bush and Rove plan to “overhaul the nation’s political architecture.” This is a use of language in which language has faded