"Irony sensors. . .overloading."

First, Canadian Muslim groups drag Mark Steyn before their ridiculous Human Rights Commission because they were deeply offended by his assertion that Muslim groups would be likely to drag people like him before silly commissions when offended.

Today, I learn that liberals are so worked up by Jonah Goldberg’s new book, Liberal Fascism, that they are behaving like jackbooted fascist brownshirts. . . who are liberal.

This afternoon, I see that some Ron Paul-loving shadowy militia-thug, soldier-of-fortune type is subtly threatening NRO with violence and OKC-style terrorism for linking to a New Republic story that. . .wait for it. . . suggests that Paul used to have a constituency of shadowy militia types.

Ahh, to be so blissfully non-self-aware.

By the way, I used to receive a couple of those Ron Paul newsletters that were the focus of that New Republic piece. They were among the “gold bug” publications I mentioned in this post. And I see Paul is disavowing them, saying he didn’t write them.

The Future Moscow That Never Was


If Marxism/Communism hadn’t proven to be an utter, abject failure economically, Soviet architects had some kicking projects planned. Stuff like the above. And this.


Of course, it was such a miserable flop at generating wealth, the Soviet’s built nothing but soulless concrete bunkers with all their good architecture having been built under the Czars.

See more of these amazing renderings of unbuilt Soviet buildings here, at the “Unrealised Moscow” site. Very, very cool.

On the Other Hand. . .

There is a lot—a whole lot—that Ron Paul advocates that I agree with. So much in fact, it’s easier to mention where I differ. Paul’s true-believer libertarian purist backers were dismayed to see his new anti-illegal immigration ad today, but I thought it was fantastic.

Among those differences I mentioned, here’s two:

Paul’s neo-isolationism—Sure, we’d be more popular in the U.N. and save a lot of money if we just withdrew, but I don’t think we’re living in world where that’s possible. I sure don’t think we’d like the one that would result.

His monetary reform—This is almost an obsession with Paul. He mentions in constantly. I know where he’s coming from when I hear “fiat money” decried and the Federal reserve system condemned. I used to get all those gold bug newsletters.

 The newletter writers were all Ludwig Von Mises Institute types and they all had gold coins and bullion to sell. The also all were predicting imminent economic apocolypse fueled in large part because America’s money had been taken off the gold standard and the Federal Reserve’s house of cards was going to collapse at any moment. This was 1985, ’86, ’87. But in these newsletters it was always 1929 all over again.

Like the broken clock that is right twice a day. Their predictions of an eventual spike in the price of gold has finally come to pass—two decades later.

Supposing I’d had $10k to invest back in 1986 (which I didn’t), how would I have faired in gold bullion vs. an S&P 500 index fund?

Gold was about $400 an ounce in January of ’86, so I could have purchased roughly 25 oz. of bullion.

A share price of an S&P 500 index fund on January 1, 1986 was $211.78, so I could have purchased 47 shares.

The value of these investments today would be:

25 oz. Gold Bullion @ $847.70  =              $21,442

47 Shares S&P 500 Index @ $1411.63 = $66,346 (with no dividend reinvestment. Reinvisting dividends would have made the return much, much greater.)

To be fair, the gold was and is supposed to be a hedge in the event of that imminent economic collapse and ensuing breakdown in social order that’s been just around the corner for 20 years now.

I’m not an economist. I’m just a simple unfrozen caveman writer. But it seems to me that David Frum has written a pretty devestating take down of the whole “fiat money” is the devil argument. Read it here.

It’s clear and compelling. But I’d be happy for someone to point out any flaws in his logic or facts. Otherwise, a key component of Ron Paul’s appeal for a lot of people is the thing that is flawed.

Libertarians Gone Wild

Here’s some video of what can only be described as  “mob” of angry Ron Paul supporters chasing Sean Hannity’s car down the street.


Yes, I know every campaign attracts its share of eccentrics, nut jobs and ne’er do wells. But some attract a lot more than others. 

 Andthere is something about the crowd Paul has energized that feels a lot like the folks that put Jesse “The Body” Ventura in the governor’s mansion in Minnesota (for one disastrous term) or the ones here in Texas who wanted to make Kinky Friedman govorner.

Of course, there is no comparison between the qualifications of Dr. Paul and those two novelty candidates. But I’m not talking about the candidates. I’m talking about those most visible and vocal in their support. The aroma is very familiar.

One Car Purchased, One to Go

Back in early November I mentioned that I was in the market to buy two cars—cheap and preferably with cash. One for me. One for FOU #2 who turned 16 back in August.

I finally got around to buying one the other day. When I first bought it, I thought it was for the child, but after driving it around for a week or so, I decided I liked it too much to give it to a mere teenager. So I’m still looking for something for her.

I found one of these, pretty darned cheap.


Now to add one more to the fleet.

Justice Never Goes Out of Style

Even if nehru jackets do.


The first season of The Mod Squad recently came out on DVD. This show debuted when I was nine and I love it. I had a major crush on Peggy Lipton. And I wanted to be “Pete Cochran,” the character played by Michael Cole.

See the silk neckerchief sported by Cole in the photo above? Had some! Wore ’em!

After the show ended, I never noticed any of these guys in anything in again until Clarence Williams III popped up as Prince’s abusive Dad in Purple Rain.

Although I see from IMDB that Peggy Lipton has stayed fairly busy and was a regular on the two seasons of Twin Peaks (a show I never bothered to watch though it generated tons of buzz. David Lynch gives me the creeps) and was in a few episodes of Alias.

I see Williams III makes a small uncredited appearance in Denzel Washington’s highly-praised new film, American Gangster.