Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dartmouth Professor Sues Students?

An irate Ivy League lecturer says she is suing her freshman students because they were mean to her in class...."Class Action", Emma Haberman, Cynthia Fagen, NY Post, 4/30/2008 -- no link


Few of the professor's students deny disliking her; they just say it had nothing to do with race, gender, or any other federally-protected characteristic. Rather, the lecturer embodied that special brand of neurotic pedagogical tyranny that includes making rules against questions, refusing to interact with students, and cancelation of class for a week after the class applauded a student who contradicted Venkatesan’s opinions about post-modernism...Putting the Class in Action,, 4/30/2008

It had to come to this sooner or later, eh? We already know from Wonker's history, which is a paradigm of what it's like to work in academia if you're not on the Left, how professors treat each other -- ad hominem attacks, lawsuits, denial of tenure assaults, usually regarding preposterous and unprovable claims about racism, sexism or homophobia. The list of lawsuits and other mean stuff surrounding those disputes is campus legend. It only follows that, sooner or later, professors would start treating their students the same way. Still, as Ivygate's writers note:

Spontaneous applause during a class on literary criticism? Obviously, there is something very wrong with this picture, so outrageously shocking as to shake Venkatesan to her very core: In a class at an Ivy League university, students were paying attention. Worse: They were engaged, and they cared....Putting the Class in Action,, 4/30/2008, cont'd.

An obvious extension to this -- trial lawyers, take note! -- is to sue parents for allowing their children to have wrong opinions.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Gore Conveniently Silent on BioFuels & Food Crisis

With prices for rice, wheat, and corn soaring, food-related unrest has broken out in...Haiti, Indonesia, and Afghanistan...There is even talk that governments could fall if they cannot bring food costs down...One factor being blamed for the price hikes is the use of government subsidies to promote the use of corn for ethanol production. An estimated 30% of America’s corn crop now goes to fuel, not food...“I don’t think anybody knows precisely how much ethanol contributes to the run-up in food prices, but the contribution is clearly substantial,” a professor of applied economics and law at the University of Minnesota, C. Ford Runge, said. A study by...the International Food Policy Research Institute, indicated that between a quarter and a third of the recent hike in commodities prices is attributable to biofuels...Ethanol was initially promoted as a vehicle for America to cut back on foreign oil. In recent years, biofuels have also been touted as a way to fight climate change, but the food crisis does not augur well for ethanol’s prospects...“It takes around 400 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol...roughly enough to keep an adult person alive for a year.” Mr. Senauer said climate change advocates, such as Vice President Gore, need to distance themselves from ethanol to avoid tarnishing the effort against global warming. “Crop-based biofuels are not part of the solution. They, in fact, add to the problem. Whether Al Gore has caught up with that, somebody ought to ask him,” ...Mr. Gore was not available for an interview yesterday on the food crisis....Food Crisis Eclipsing Climate Change, Josh Gerstein, The New York Sun, 4/25/2008

Yup. Mr. Gore was unavailable for what is increasingly the most inconvenient truth at all, that Green fads don't solve problems. An ecology, local or global, can't be examined in terms of any given fix without taking into account the consequences. If the DDT ban catastrophe is any indication, very few leading ecological thinkers seem able to conceive of problems and solutions in an ecological fashion.



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Stupidity: Ethanol and the Food Crisis

---Price of corn in February 2006: $2.06
---Current price in 2008: $5.93

Oh, those Greens in their miraculous cures for all that ails the planet. Notice the nearly tripling of the price of corn in the last year and a half. You know why corn meal in Haiti and even in California is being rationed? You guessed Global Warming? WRONG!!!!!!!!! It's ethanol, that great fix for reducing bad gases in the air, also known as the great farmers boondoggle of the decade (a great favorite of Bill & Hillary Clinton, whose understanding of green may be somewhat different than when it's capitalized). Ethanol is produced from corn. Vast amounts of US cornfield acreage is being harvested to produce this fuel additive but -- oh-oh....

Factories that convert corn into the gasoline additive ethanol are releasing carbon monoxide, methanol and some carcinogens at levels "many times greater" than they promised, the government says....Ethanol Pollution Surprise, AP, cited on CBSNEWS.COM, 5/3/2002

Okay, okay, they must have cleaned that up already, but wait!

Switching from gasoline to ethanol — touted as a green alternative at the pump — may create dirtier air, causing slightly more smog-related deaths, a new study says..."It's not green in terms of air pollution," said study author Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University civil and environmental engineering professor. "If you want to use ethanol, fine, but don't do it based on health grounds. It's no better than gasoline, apparently slightly worse."...Scientist: Ethanol Would Cause More Pollution Than Gasoline,, 4/18/2007

Doesn't sound good, does it? And it's not a new story.

With a corn-to-ethanol conversion rate of 2.7 gallons per bushel (a rate that many state-of-the-art facilities are already surpassing), the U.S. ethanol sector will need 2.6 billion bushels per year by 2010—1.2 billion bushels more than it consumed in 2005. That’s a lot of corn, and how the market adapts to this increased demand is likely to be one of the major developments of the early 21st century in U.S. agriculture. The most recent USDA Baseline Projections suggest that much of the additional corn needed for ethanol production will be diverted from exports....Ethanol Reshapes the Corn Market, Allen Baker & Steven Zahnizer,, April 2006

We knew in advance. So, what gives? Somebody must get something out of this. Whoever could that be?

Soaring land values, increasing debt and a reliance on government subsidies for ethanol production have prompted economists to warn that what some describe as a golden age of agriculture could come to a sudden end...Amid Strong Farm Economy, Worry About Increased Debt, KansasCity.Com, 4/20/2008

There you go, you starving Haitians, no corn meal for you today. To keep American farmers subsidized, the Congress has legislated that the government pay them to produce corn for ethanol, which causes farmland use for food crops to be sharply restricted, which causes prices to rise, which causes rationing. You have to be pretty green not to see that!

Oh, you Greens. Not content with the thirty million dead because of the finally lifted, thirty-year DDT ban, now you want to starve people who won't drive a Prius fueled by corn ethanol. What will you think of next?


Friday, April 18, 2008

Citigroup Fire Sale: More Bad News for New York

Citigroup Inc. said today it lost $5.1 billion during the first quarter as poor bets on mortgages and leveraged loans lopped billions of dollars from its investment portfolio...Write-downs related to mortgages and turmoil in the credit markets reached about $12 billion...The most recent quarterly shortfall at the nation's biggest bank by assets is not as massive as the nearly $10 billion loss it suffered in the fourth quarter of last year...Citigroup Posts $5.1 billion Loss, Washington Times, 4/18/08

As bad as this is, both for Citigroup's stockholders and employees and for New York, it's a good example of how private business handles a recession. It sells off assets that aren't helping the bottom line. It cuts costs. Its objective is to change its balance sheet from a disaster to a report indicating a future for the company. Once that's achieved, investors (not to mention depositors large and small) will begin putting money into Citigroup's financial products again. It's brutal, but it's real. They should send an emissary to Albany to meet with the Legislature's leaders and with Governor Paterson.


Governor Paterson's First Month

"What I want you to understand is that this is not a new governor responding to an economic crisis. This is a new governor trying to create fiscal reality.” [Governor Paterson of NY, April 7] The governor’s words give some hope that he is serious about fixing New York’s budget problems, slowly easing the tax burden, and staunching the losses from a fleeing middle class...But New Yorkers need action, not words—and certainly not the nearly $122 billion state budget that Paterson is expected to sign barely a week after his speech. While he has pared almost $2 billion from earlier budget proposals, state spending will still rise by close to 5 percent this year. To balance the budget, Paterson and the legislature did what past governors and legislatures have done: find creative ways to levy nearly $1.5 billion in new taxes and fees on New York residents and businesses....Words Not Deeds, Nicole Salinas, City Journal, 4/14/2008

For those seriously considering moving out of state to join the hundreds of thousands of tax refugees from New York City and New York State, Governor Paterson's speech was almost as startling as hearing Bill Clinton chime in with New Gingrich in 1995 about welfare reform. It was a direct assault on the assumptions that guide New York's waltz into bankruptcy. Perhaps Governor Paterson forgot something, however.

Even though Paterson is the head of a state government, an unelected Governor has no mandate to do anything but follow the legislature's lead. This bodes ill for New York State's future, because the legislature in Albany, and not just the Democrats as George Pataki's last term demonstrated, is leading the state on a spending and taxation binge that, as Mayor Bloomberg noted yesterday, is more likely to drive wealth out of state than balance a burgeoning budget. What's worse is that in New York State's major cities, including the biggest one, political discourse is entirely one-sided. In New York City, a Republican office-seeker is rarer than a snail darter in Tennesee. The local party has had to adopt Democrats, such as Mike Bloomberg, to offer serious candidates. A state lurching on the edge of bankruptcy, without serious political discussion, is more like a tottering socialist country in South America than an American state. The primary option for protecting one's self, one's family, and one's company is taxpayer and employer flight.

As Galinas and many other writers have made abundantly clear, as have we on this blog, the heart of New York State's economy is an industry that could move in toto to Jersey City in eighteen months. Modern markets or, for that matter, modern stores, don't depend on brick and mortar headquarters in a given city or state. That's why New York City has thrown billions of tax rebates to the wolves of banking and Wall Street. That same industry, financial services, is also stumbling into a major recession with the current credit crunch. Tax collection in New York State from financial services businesses, as Governor Paterson pointed out, is down 75% from last year. Bonuses will shrink, further suppressing tax revenues. Tens of thousands are likely to be laid off.

Unless the Governor can start making a governing alliance out of members of his own and what's left of the other party, and now, New York State is going to slide backwards toward 1975, a generation's work of reconstruction gone to waste.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Market or The Fed? We'd Better Decide

Bank holding companies including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. have the thinnest safety cushion against losses in seven years...Credit ratings on $704 billion of bonds have been cut this year following the collapse of the U.S. housing market. Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said last week that the downgrades may compromise bank capital ratios enough that some of the largest institutions will no longer be considered well capitalized....Falling below a regulatory benchmark that is intended to maintain a minimum level of capital to protect depositors against losses would subject banks to more scrutiny from regulators than they have ever experienced....Citigroup, Wells-Fargo May Fuel Recession by Curtailing Lending,, 4/8/08

It's that big, folks. As noted below in remarks about Senator McCain's thoughts on the subprime mortgage mess and the consequences of a panic, markets respond swiftly and efficiently. Government intervention causes increasingly dangerous problems. Why is this important?

As Fed Chair Bernanke's ill-advised bailout of Bear Sterns demonstrated, the only way for the government to rescue a badly managed institution is to print money, to paper over a financial collapse. When you do that, as time-honored a practice in Argentina as in recent years in the US, you devalue the currency. How? When value doesn't change, but the dollars that represent it increase, the dollars become worth less. That TIAA-CREF account you have that's valued at $700,000 -- check again after one of these bailouts. It may be worth ten percent less, even though the numbers stay the same. The Bear Sterns story isn't over either. Class actions suits by shareholders in both Morgan Chase and Bear Sterns are highly likely. Why? When the government intervenes to force a deal, as the takeover of BS by Morgan Chase, it sets a price which may not be indicative of real value. The Fed allowed a valuation of Bear Sterns at $2 a share, down 95% from the previous week's listing on the exchange. A little welcome flexibility got that up to $10 a share, which may put off the legal threat, but don't count stockholders out yet. Lawyers feed off this kind of thing.

The market, in Citibank's case, reinforced by regulation on capital reserves, has sent a clear message to borrowers: if prospective borrowers don't have strong collateral, long-term stability, and a substantial down payment, don't issue any paper to them. They are not creditworthy in today's market. It's an honest assessment. The Fed can't help this. That was $704 billion in questionable paper, a big chunk of which is in the hands of Citibank and Wells Fargo. Questionable paper, for all intents and purposes, may as well be toilet paper for all the value it has as an asset. If things get worse, this questionable stuff will become an expensive writedown. Then, policy trends by lending officers will become official bank policy.

These things happen. Take a smaller example. Let's say that, feeling flush after a big raise, you borrowed $82,500 to buy yourself a new Escalade. Then, eight months into the sixty-month payback schedule for the auto loan, you discovered that you couldn't afford the payments. Hey! you complain; I can't help it. Well, the people's whose jobs depend on your paying back that $82,500 loan don't have many options here. You've taken $82,500 out of their capital, which you've agreed to pay back at -- these days -- very modest interest. Now you won't meet the payments schedule. What choice do people have whose livelihoods depend upon you making responsible use of their depositors' money?

You guessed right. They send repo man. They sell the Escalade and get back maybe fifty cents on the dollar. It's not a great system for the bank, but at least they got half the money back and can loan it to somebody else. That you might have to drive an old Plymouth for a while isn't their problem. If you'd paid attention to something real in budgeting, you might have bought a Voyager instead of an Escalade. The problem here is that if they let everybody off the hook who didn't pay back auto loans, there would be no money to loan to buy cars, no employment for loan officers who issue auto loans, and layoffs at General Motors.

But wait! Here come de spitzer! (see below). The spitzer says that this loan payback business is immoral, and that you, the poor citizen, were victimized by the Satanic car salesman, who convinced you against your will to buy a car that you couldn't afford. The spitzer says "let the taxpayer buy this man's car." Or house, or see where this is going.

Once you start down the road of what's called moral risk there's no stopping. The more forgiveness there is of bad credit, the more dollars will be dumped into the economy to paper over the bad debt. The more dollars there are in circulation without an increase in value (such as paying back loans) the less those dollars will be worth. Inflation, back to the 1970s! Everything costs more and what you thought was your retirement (or house or vacation) fund is worth a lot less. Let's be honest here. This kind of "forgiveness" is nothing but government theft, transferring taxpayer money to settle accounts for people who refuse to do it on their own dollar.

Back to the real world: a lot of buyers and mortgage brokers suffered irrational exuberance in the last five years. Prices and the instruments for financing them became mindboggling. Houses that were on the market in Brooklyn for $50,000 in 1996 were, for a time, valued at $900,000 in 2006. No equity loans? What's the difference between that and rent? And what's the incentive to stay for the "buyer"? Whacko thinking! Deranged financing? Tulip market redux!

We know why this happened. It was exciting. Everybody would own something. And nobody in the banks or among buyers wanted anyone to be disappointed. This was America, where nobody ever loses. Fantasy can't be sustained in any real world. Sooner or later, the market has to be adjusted to actual conditions. Hope is not enough. A lot of people can't afford these amazing prices and the saner bank officers will have to start looking at the real basis for financing credit. A good place to start: the introductory rate on a mortgage, dear lender, and dear lendee, is not a basis for budgeting next year's monthly payment. It's a sale price for the first year. The lesson always comes and it is always harsh. Contracting the mortgage market by raising standards is how this lesson is taught.

The alternative of the kind of intervention the Fed engaged in with Bear Sterns, though, is a debased currency and the risk of explosive inflation. Want to go back to the 1970s? Want your retirements accounts to decline in value by 10% or more a year? That's what Citibank and Wells Fargo, by responding to real conditions in a real market, are trying to avoid. Unfortunately, the spitzers and the Fed, during an election year especially, don't want us to remember what happens when you pour good money into a pool of bad debt.

In sum, in this election year, we're faced with spitzer promises that could sink us in stagflation for a decade, or a few years of rocky roads as credit markets recover and credit standards are constructed along more rational lines.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Global Warming Curve Upside Down? UN Not Sure

Average global temperatures in 2008 are forecast to be lower than in previous years, thanks to the cooling effect of the ocean current in the Pacific, U.N. meteorologists say....The World Meteorological Organisation's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, said it was likely that La Nina, an abnormal cooling of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, would continue into the summer..a small number of scientists doubt whether this means global warming has peaked and the Earth has proved more resilient to greenhouse gases than predicted, but Jarraud insists this is not the case and notes that 1998 temperatures would still be well above average for the century...."When you look at climate change you should not look at any particular year," he told the BBC. "You should look at trends over a pretty long period and the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming..."La Nina is part of what we call 'variability'...."
UN Forecasters: Global Temperatures to Decrease, FoxNews.Com, 4/4/2008

Oh, that dog of variability, that cursed beast of contingency! For ten years, the trend of global temperatures has been slightly down, not up. That's not a very long time, but it almost exactly corresponds to the rising hype regarding global warming.

The problem, as Michael Crichton has described it (see State of Fear), is the use of calculated models as a substitute for evidence, what was once derisively described in the early PC days as spreadsheet knowledge. The problem with models is easy to describe. If you miss a key variable, what in the real world is described as a contingency, you will calculate utterly false results.

A classic example of this was a model developed by the Club of Rome in 1970. It calculated the demise of the human species by the 1980s. We were all going to devolve into starvelings in a universal war of attrition over diminishing resources, especially diminishing food resources. Evidently, the Club of Rome had never heard of Norman Borlaug. Food production more than doubled by the time we were all supposed to starve to death. That was one key variable. Population growth, especially in the northern hemisphere and South America, sharply declined. That was another key variable missed. Put the two together and all that remained of the Club of Rome's model by 1985 was an artifact of an era, something one might put in an exhibit at the Woodstock Museum that Senator Clinton would like the government to subsidize.

Before computer modeling came to attain the status of experimental evidence, such speculations were usually reserved to a certain class of science fiction. Antiquarians will point to some of the more spectacularly errant ideas realized in these novels and short stories, a staple of the paper pulps in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. One that arose, as computers were developed in the 1940s, was that the day would come when a few individuals with supercomputers would control the world. The writers who followed this lede had no way of knowing that more computing power than was available to the entire world in 1947 could be found in a $299 sale item at Wal-Mart in 2008. This kind of science fiction is almost always wrong, because the future is far too difficult to predict, especially in a free market economy.

It was easy to debunk this kind of fiction when the stories were bound in covers that looked like softcore pornography. (Old issues are now art collectibles on eBay.) But, after the startling realism of 2001, A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968, director), the silly symphony approach to science fiction movies, even so-called serious ones like Metropolis, gave way to an increasingly popular perception that science fiction might have a thing or two to say about things to come, as it were. That perception is very big today, but needs closer examination. Take Bladerunner.

As 2001, A Space Odyssey became after 1968, Bladerunner after 1982 became an iconic film, an artifact not only of its maker's imagination (and that of Philip Dick), but of a burgeoning political paradigm. Human beings were hurtling into a future where the environment would be poisoned by the very technology that allowed us to advance; only the rich would have havens of safety; only the rich would ever see sunlight. Beautifully designed, presented with convincing noir realism, the film's setting and background became how many people saw an impending, doomed world.

Bladerunner was released twenty-six years ago. The closest environments today to that depicted in the movie are found in China and in the wreck of the Soviet Union, not in the West. Environmental cleanups in the the Americas and Europe are so dramatic that New York, where one could feel the soot falling out of the sky in 1968, now seems like the windswept port city that it has always been. Even the air over Los Angeles, a city thicker with cars now than ever, has been transformed. An area in New Jersey west of the city where the waterways and swamps were green with toxins in 1970 is now a protected wildlife preserve. The weirs that held industrial waste are gone, the waste with them. There are more trees in the Appalachians now than there were in the 1700s. And, far from the populations reduced to serfdom as in the movie, we have more problems with overconsumption in 2008 than with workers slaving in fiery mills. Those mills are gone. The new ones are startlingly clean, the workers well paid. The Bradbury Hotels of New York have been either torn down, or have been renovated as condominiums. The hulks of tenements torched for insurance in the Bronx in the 1970s have been rebuilt or replaced. The vision of the movie, utterly convincing, of a dystopian world of the future, while it may have encouraged us to do better, was as wrong in its forecast of the future as was 2001, A Space Odyssey.

But, both are fiction. Fiction, onscreen or on the page, is an art form. Its plausibility isn't based on how true it is, but on how well it's done. Writers and filmmakers who propose futures are almost always wrong; they're creating art. And it's too complicated to imagine all of the possible variables of the next fifty to one thousand years. But, surely,the immensely powerful software and processors of today's computers, networked by the millions, can outdo a single man or filmmaking team. That must have been the temptation that drew scientists away from their initial scorn for computer calculation as a substitute for fieldwork and paperwork.

Take the weather. For five decades, the US Meteorological Service has requested more and more powerful computation assets. They've generally gotten them. Weather, a natural system, is a big problem. Ask any citizen of New Orleans. Trouble is, we've known for almost four decades that there are limits on computation of weather patterns. 48 hours is the most we can forecast. After that, you might as well flip coins. (Compare any local weather forecaster with actual results for a week.) A lobbyist pitching for more computational power for the USMS would be lying if he or she claimed that more computers would allow deeper projections into the future. It won't. Lorenz proved that in the early 1960s. Weather is a chaotic system, relatively stable, but never the same. What more computer power will do, however, and this is why the money is worth spending, is to allow richer detailing of those forty-eight hours. There, the difference between 1960 and 2008 is astonishing.

But the weather, like all other global patterns, is still a chaotic system, not a neat problem for a spreadsheet or more complicated software. As such, even with the vast computational power of the US Metereorological Service in 2005, New Orleans citizens didn't know that a) the storm would head into Lake Ponchartrain and defeat the levee system, and b) that the political leaders in the city would completely fail to meet the test the storm presented.

The same applies to any chaotic system. Such systems fall into similar patterns as they repeat processes, but they never do exactly the same thing twice. It's the difference between a hurricane striking harmlessly on a vacant part of east Texas or fatally in a direct hit on Galveston. Based on science that's now over four decades old, it's easy to aver the following: presuming to project a hundred years into the future on a global system like temperature patterns is as arrogantly presumptive as the Club of Rome predicting that we'd all starve to death in 1985.

The trouble is that computation in the abstract, working without the messy interference of contingency, such as physical evidence, is in its own way a kind of fiction factory where, instead of a year to develop and shoot a feature film, a new fiction can be produced with each variable introduced to the software. As Crichton has pointed out with considerable force, politics can introduce its own variables to so-called objective calculation. We can (and do) deny that certain physical evidence is relevant, because the evidence is politically unacceptable. And we're still left with the fact that a computational model is just that, a model, not the real thing. Taking exactly the same model, and introducing a random element (the way real events can be), we might find it just as easy to forecast an ice age. Oh,but wait: that was done before. Those who read history, or who were there, will remember the reputations put on the line in the 1970s to predict global cooling.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Kay Hymowitz's Wail About Immature Men

Young men especially need a culture that can help them define worthy aspirations. Adults don’t emerge. They’re made....,Child-Man in the Promised Land, Kay Hymowitz, City Journal, Spring 2008

When first reading this, it seemed that the author was describing young men in a blaxploitation movie set in Harlem in 1973. Directionless, overgrown teenagers, abandoned by society, seeking out pleasures, licit and illicit, utterly uninterested in the larger consequences of sexual relationships, high on one thing or another -- this was the foundation of a new hooliganism, sometimes called the Quiet Riot.

But, wait, this long and windy complaint is a general description of single young men in 2008. It's no longer Them (dark, foreboding, handsome, good at basketball); it's all single young men. While young women have become the New Woman, young men have become idle, video game freaks who just want some trim before breakfast.

Single women in their twenties and early thirties are joining an international New Girl Order, hyperachieving in both school and an increasingly female-friendly workplace, while packing leisure hours with shopping, traveling, and dining with friends...(Child-Man in the Promised Land, cont'd)
Of course, Hymowitz fails to point out that it's illegal for there to be a New Boy Order, you know, where guys work together toward helping one another, where they're regarded as a disadvantaged class in school and therefore given vastly more assistance than so-called "advantaged" students. When was the last time you heard about a public education campaign to assist the huge number of male students at the tipping point of dropping out of school? When was the last college campaign you heard about to help male students over the hump of required courses in areas where many may have problems?

And on the job, the writer's own experience suggests that the virtues of the New Girl (aggressive, assertive, hard-charging, and in control) are denied to the New Boy. The motivation to succeed has been undercut by a new privileged class and the order's enforcers in upper management.

Fact is, the game now is not a transformation of the old game, where boys were somewhat advantaged (except for little matters like required military service). The new game simply inverts the old. At least in the old days the girls had marriage and motherhood to look forward to. Funny thing -- some of these brilliant columnists should read a serious anthropologist like Robin Fox -- men unmotivated by the prospect of being a part of family and society tend to turn into video game freaks, drunks, and losers. It is also worth noting that, for thirty years, the propaganda from all points of the compass has been that men are dangerous, destructive, over-aggressive tyrants. After a while, the target of constant propaganda may begin to believe the lies and start saying "yeah, that's what I'm really like."

There is also some doubt in this writer's mind about the superiority of a New Girl culture of shopping, travel and dining. When that culture is upheld by the necessity to wage war for resources, this writer knows who pays. It ain't the New Girl driving the Escalade.


Senator Clinton: Lying A Career Style?

The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes...Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career...Why?...“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”...Watergate-Era Judiciary Chief of Staff: Hillary Clinton Fired For Lies, Unethical Behavior, Dan Calabrese, North Star Writers Group, 3/31/2008

Oh, Hill and Bill, those naked days of youth are coming back to haunt you. Change the rules midstream? Hillary will do it. Violate the Constitution? Hillary can find a way. Show contempt for Congress? Hillary can. The Empress's new suit is nakedly lawless. Even the Democrats are saying so now.