Monthly Archives: March 2011

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

It’s the ideas that are failing, not the labels.

Some Random thoughts: Home prices are falling. Is this a bad thing? Hasn’t the misguided federal housing policy sought to expand home ownership?  Could they be more successful in their failure than they thought they were when they were ‘successful’? …

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How to Make Fools Look Competent

Unquestionably, some people have become very rich through the use of borrowed money.  However, that’s also been a way to get very poor.  When leverage works, it magnifies your gains.  Your spouse thinks you’re clever, and your neighbors get envious. …

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The PhD Standard Has Replaced the Gold Standard

“We have moved to the PhD standard from the gold standard.” A very short but very wise assessment from James Grant. Mr. Grant makes a point that explains more than just the Fed and an obvious failure in monetary policy.…

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On Competence

Having observed and experienced various degrees of success and failures for nearly 40 years I have tried to distill what is critical to success and what seems common to failures. I have yet to find any simplistic secrets to success. …

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Top Down vs Bottom Up Politics

There was once an effort to counter the effect of conservative talk radio by launching a liberal talk radio net work, Air America. It failed. Now there is an effort to counter the Tea Party movement with the progressive alternative-…

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Ruthlessness and Patience

The Syrian dictatorship possessed in the extreme two qualities particularly dangerous in a military adversary- ruthlessness and patience.  Like all dictatorships, the regime had the advantage of not needing to cater to its domestic opinion.  It could do whatever it…

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The False Certainty of Anticipation

Earlier in the war we had received several reports of supposed sightings of both Mullah Omar and bin Laden, which all proved to be false. At one point I watched a Predator video feed of a tall, lanky man wearing…

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All Inequality is Not Equal

The bitter and partisan debate on extending the Bush tax rates was another manifestation of the debate on the inequality in the distribution of income and wealth in our country.  There are those who contend that our inequality is making…

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Whose Property is It?

Somewhere in the debate on inheritance or death taxes lies the core of the difference in the two parties. The difference is not in which party favors the rich over the common man, which party feels entitled to privilege at…

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How Your Feet Make Your Vote Count

According to the most recent census Texas will gain four seats, and Florida will gain two seats.  New York and Ohio will lose two seats. Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington will each pick up a seat.  Illinois,…

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Then… It’s not about the children?

from the ‘never waste time killing those who are busy committing suicide’ files…. NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin explains what is truly important to the teacher’s union:

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Free Alan Gross

Alan Gross was sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban jail for the crime of trying to bring internet access to the Cuban people. The Wall Street Journal reported, “A 61-year-old contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Mr. Gross has…

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An Elegant Lunch

Powell had an engaging sense of humor and could poke fun at himself and some of the sterotypes of the State Department.  On one occasion, Cheney, Rice and I were at the State Department for one of our regular lunches, which…

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Fighting Change

When I learned, for example, that the Pentagon had been spending $225 million every year to maintain our forces in Iceland, I sent a memo to Powell recommending that we make a change.  I pointed out that our aircraft originally…

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My Vote for the Dominant Military Power

I was listening to the Neal Boortz radio show in the road to Atlanta last week and he fielded a caller who was likely a young Libertarian who was advocating the rejection of the U.S. as a welfare state and…

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Selective Indignation

U.S. journalists, economists, an political figures rarely express indignation about the super-high incomes of anyone except corporate executives.  Scarcely anyone professes outrage about Forbes list of the twenty best-paid  actors, who average $23 million apiece in 2005. U.S. business magazines…

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An Instrument of Plunder

It would be impossible to introduce into society a greater evil than… the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder. No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree, but the safest way to…

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Conspiracy Theories

Mistakes are undramatic. We all make them, but many would prefer the drama of sinister motives and conspiracy theories  to the realities of bad judgment and human error. It makes for better headlines and fodder for book titles. Conspiracy theories…

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The Difference Between Rights and Markets

When the Constitution was written and adopted it carefully balanced the need for a strong central government with the need to restrict the power of the central government.  It’s genius is in striking that balance. Rights were addressed in the…

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