Monday, June 22, 2009

Told you.

I know I haven't blogged in a long, long time. That's mainly because, well, I've been on Facebook.

However, I return to this venue to say that I told you so.

In this post, way back in 2006, I explained about my ability to predict new cool things (despite my relative lack of coolness and complete lack of ability to make money knowing these things, and noted the following:

Now, nobody believes me when I say I saw these trends happening and wasn't merely a hanger-on, so I make my prediction, on a time-stamped blog, of the next fad:


That's right, I said snuff. The powdered, aromatic tobacco product that the aristocrats of the 19th century liked.

So in a year or two, when there are snuff bars all over Manhattan, and there's a big glossy 300 page "Snuff Afficionado" magazine on all the newsstands, and you see a clip of Paris Hilton putting something in her nose that is (amazingly) not white, you will remember -- you saw it here first.

It took a few years, but take a look at this article all about snuff, from Wired Magazine:

One of history’s most esoteric methods of satisfying a tobacco jones is making a resurgence as a new generation of hipsters trade lungs full of smoke for a nose full of snuff.

Stay tuned for the next thing, as soon as I figure out what it is.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Rally for Human Rights and Freedom on May 3rd in Manhattan.
We urge you to participate and please forward this flyer to your contacts.
Stuart Kaufman
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke

Friday, March 20, 2009

AIG and Sharia Finance

"...The nationalization of AIG is forcing the American taxpayer to support a very different kind of toxic asset. I refer to AIG's promotion of Sharia (Islamic law)...."

The Thomas More Law Center (bless them), in association with SANE (the Society of Americans for National Existence, has filed suit against the Federal government for funding AIG in its business of insuring Sharia complant investments. These are investments that are ostensibly in compliance with the requirements of Islamic law. Although this might sound benign, it is, in fact, intensively subversive to the security of the United States. In addition to inuring us to the concept that Sharia Law should be acceptable to us, it is even more invidious as a practical matter. The structure of these investments puts in place “Sharia Compliance Boards” which among other things, require that the sponsoring institutions make contributions to certain sanctioned “charities,” which are not necessarily benign to the interests of the United States and the Constution. AIG has developed a substantial business in insuring these investments.
What is especially amusing is that “in its motion to dismiss, the Department of Justice claimed that the government does not control AIG….” (
Isn’t it past time for the people of the United States to wake up?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Congressional Chutzpah

In light of the current state of what passes for Congressional action on the economic situation, I thought that it would be appropriate to cite some knowledge that ought to be “common,” but appears to be uncommon in the Capitol:

"No State shall… pass any pass any… ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…." US Const Art I, sec. 10
This basic precept of the Constitution (made applicable to the Federal government by Amendment XIV) seems to have escaped most of the Congressional worthies who are tripping over themselves to get to the cameras for the purpose of trying to force AIG to rescind the “bonuses” that have been promised to various of it’s employees. If AIG made a contract with its employees, the government has no authority to interfere (you could look it up). Furthermore, today, the House voted by a vote of 128 to 93 to tax 90% of the AIG bonus receipts (ex post facto law, anyone?)

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." P.J. O’Rourke

"Politics is largely the process of taking credit for oneself, and putting the blame on others – regardless of the facts." Thomas Sowell
Let’s consider some of the prime recipients of AIG cash: Christopher Dodd… what do you know???!!! Now we can begin to understand the basis for the “Dodd Amendment” to the “porkulus bill (which featured the ratification of the AIG bonuses). Just watching the machinations of Senator Dodd (who was pleased to take credit for the “Dodd Amendment” before the rest of us learned what was in it) twisting himself into a pretzel before his superiors ordered him to confess his responsibility for it, is enough to prove the wisdom of Thomas Sowell and P.J. O’Rourke (as if that were even necessary).

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Gerald Ford
Just watch some of those worthies: Barney Frank, Charles Schumer, Carolyn Maloney, threatening citizens with the invocation of confiscatory tax laws. Watch, my personal favorite: the Hon. Gary Ackerman, of the 5th Cong District of NY – my very own congressman. Watch this unaccomplished, undistinguished backbencher wax eloquent in his scolding of the captive Chairman of AIG (a man who is serving for no compensation while trying to clean up Congress’ mess). It would be infuriating, except that Ackerman (with his ever present lapel flower) makes me think of “Chuckles the Clown” whenever I see him. This turkey is making policy that will have dire consequences for my grandchildren. The most amazing thing is that he has the chutzpah to call attention to himself in public.

Reacting to news Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA Championship, Mike Krzyzewski says, "the economy is something that [the president] should focus on, probably more than the brackets."
Let the President tend to his knitting. And let the members of Congress who are engaging in this Kabuki play, blaming everyone but themselves, slither back into the slime and leave us alone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Contrarianism re AIG

I have been listening to the sewage that is being spewed about the AIG "bonuses" with increasing exasperation. Why, for instance, are we assuming that these "bonuses" are "performance bonuses?" In many instances, applying the word "bonus" to this type of compensation is misleading. Frequently, these payments represent nothing more than deferred compensation. Companies and employees (or prospective employees) agree to lump sum payments to be paid after a certain time, rather than partially paid over a period of time (i.e. bi-monthly salary checks). Furthermore, it should not be surprising that these "bonus" agreements exist in AIG's case. These types of agreements are frequently used by companies that are in difficulty, to induce talented people to work for them.
It appears obvious to me that the sturm und drang that has ensued from the AIG "bonuses" is more a result of political calulations aimed at distracting attention from the true culprits (i.e., Congress), than from valid concerns.
The point of it all is that the government has no business in business. Providing public money for private companies is an invitation to the invocation of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Self Protection

Since the election (and, if truth be told, significantly before that), I have experienced an increasing amount of frustration, accompanied by acid reflux and much gnashing of teeth. My stepbrother-in-law suggested that I blog to relieve the pressures that build up in my system as a result of the continued assaults upon this county's future by those whom we (in our foolishness) have elected to govern us. So, I will try doing this as a method of self protection.
There is so much that is making me nuts.
The very existence of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd is sufficient unto itself to fill me with despair. This corrupt duo should be spending their lives in cells adjoining Bernard Madoff instead of in positions hat provide them with subpoena power.
.... What do you know!? Just being able to write that has made me feel better. I may try this again.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Seersucker revisited

I have, in the past, given my father significant amounts of crap for his seersucker suit predilection.

However, in the interest of fairness I feel obligated to note that my opinion that seersucker is silly looking unless you are Mark Twain is evidently now the minority view.

According to and poll, a clear plurality, 42.9% of respondents, deemed seersucker suits a "classy summertime staple." So my father is slightly vindicated by people who have so little to do that they can take the time to answer dumb internet pools.

The Starland Vocal Band is still considered terrible, though.

My Mother Responds...

Still don't know how to post, so I'll just respond to you and if you want to post it on my behalf, feel free:
I'm obviously one of those rare people who have to admit I agree with the poll! I think a sense of humor is what you need to get through life. Of course, I admire most someone who appreciates MY sense of humor. I will readily admit that although I watch a ton of television, I rarely watch PBS -- except for the Britcoms and Mystery -- but I also don't watch any of the so-called "reality" shows, which I think are totally moronic and completely boring and cannot for the life of me understand their popularity. And that includes American Idol. Lately, I've been partial to the History Channel and the Discovery Channel, and when all else fails, there are always reruns of "Friends." Now, I'm not denying that looks are important -- my husband is a dead ringer for Sean Connery (just ask him) (my husband, not Sean) -- and marrying for money is always a good thing (although not very predictable if you're marrying young unless your fiancé is royalty). But looks and money are transitory. Money comes and goes. Men lose the hair on their head (although it returns on their backs, noses and ears), get a beer belly and snore. (Even women are known to get a little bit the worse for age, but that's a different story.) But your sense of humor is always with you. My husband and I share at least one really good laugh a day. Still. And we've been married for 39 [wonderful] years!
Oh, and you did so date in high school!
David's Mom

New Theory

I was discussing this at work with some colleagues, and I have come up with a new theory as to why, in all of the "Cosmo" polls, "Sense of humor" is inevitably listed first among qualities women look for in men, when as indicated by my high school dating record (or relative lack thereof), it is demonstrably untrue. (For those of you playing at home, I'm pretty sure "Wavy hair and a BMW" were the actual top answers for my high school.)

It's like PBS. When asked by pollsters what television stations they prefer, people inevitably rank PBS far higher than its ratings indicate, because people don't want to admit that their favorite station is the WB (or whatever it's called now) and their favorite show is "Fear Factor," followed by "What About Jim." I think women are embarrassed to list "Looks like Brad Pitt" first on the list, so they put in "sense of humor," which is more "acceptable."

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Freedom of Religion?

OK, I know I haven't blogged in a little while, but this is absolutely absolutely Kafkaesque.

The Spring Valley NAACP is suing an Orthodox Jewish-run medical clinic, alleging that "the clinic's practice of remaining closed Saturdays in observance of operators' Jewish Sabbath, unlawfully imposes their religious beliefs on others."

Evidently, "[t]hose who work — more than 80 percent of the clinic's clientele are Hispanic or black, according to a letter the clinic sent to the Human Rights Commission earlier this year — would find it convenient to visit their doctors on a Saturday when they had the day off, Trotman[, the director of the NAACP] said yesterday."

What would you say is the bigger violation of religious freedom? The "convenience" of some clinic patients (who, presumably, can find another clinic on Saturday or go another day) or a governmentally imposed ruling ordering people to violate their religious beliefs?

Friday, March 24, 2006


I just learned about this. Evidently, while up for parole in 1982 for the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy, Sirhan Sirhan advised the parole board that:

"If Robert Kennedy were alive today, he would not countenance singling me out for this kind of treatment."

Wow, what bad luck for Sirhan Sirhan. The one guy who would have supported him, and he killed him!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Just needs a little Velveeta...

Ok, this recipe might conceivably be the most horrifying dish ever developed.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Fresh, new look...

OK, you may have noticed that I have changed the template of the blog. This was mainly motivated by the fact that our comments and trackbacks totally didn't work right. So, being a completely hopeless HTML coder, I used one of the stock Blogger templates and tried to bring back that which I could of the old template.

Anyway, the comments work again, the trackbacks work again, and most of you couldn't care less that I did this. But I didn't want to let it go with absolutely no mention...

Back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Time to settle.

It seems that Wal-Mart and a bike importer are being sued, on the basis that they've knowingly distributed "bikes whose front wheels have a tendency to fall off because of faulty quick-release levers.

Well, Wal-Mart, as part of its defense, gave the jury a bike so that jurors could get familiar with the bike doohickey at issue. It seems that 5 hours after the jurors began deliberations, the deliberations stopped as "the forewoman explained to a Marin County judge how a quick-release lever on a bicycle had broken off in the jury room."

Oops. On the other hand, it's fairly easy to argue that Wal-Mart didn't "knowingly" sell faulty bikes -- would you knowingly give a faulty bike to this jury?

UPDATE: The jury found in favor of Wal-Mart!!!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Deported Playmate tries to get back into the U.S.

Evidently, a deported former Playboy playmate is trying to get readmitted to the U.S. under an "extraordinary ability" visa.

Tucker Carlson interviewed her lawyer. My favorite lines?
CARLSON: So that—you think that that‘s a valid criterion for entry into the country, having an extraordinary body, having a cute butt. That‘s sort of—you know, all the girls with the dumpy butts don‘t get in. But the ones with the cute ones do.


CARLSON: Do you think—is there a porn shortage in this country, do you think? I mean, is there a lack of homegrown porn actresses? Is this a crisis?

FELDENKRAIS: I do not believe it‘s a crisis. There‘s definitely a lot of talent out there. And but that doesn‘t stop us from...

CARLSON: Why should we flood the market with cheap foreign imports, thereby forcing our own porn actresses out of work and oppressing their wages?

FELDENKRAIS: I don‘t think we‘re flooding them. I think one person, two people. This is not an area where you‘re going to have 200 million people coming in as porn actresses. But you will have a select few, a very good few, that will be able to do what she does. And you‘re not necessarily letting the floodgates and allowing half a million people come in just because they have a cute butt. No.