Saturday, December 23, 2006


Moved to the East Bay just in time! Three quakes here in four days. Smart. Bunch of real thinkers in this outfit.

We have one more trip (I hope) to the old house, and then we are officially out of there.

In the meantime, we are wading through boxes, and lurching sideways when tremors strike.

Newsletter I never finished reading…
My name is Justice Litle.

You could say I'm an odd bird.

See, long before I hit the scene as a top resource-investing expert, I had my nose deep in a different kind of research - of all things, philosophy and classical literature - at prestigious Oxford University in England.

I was ready, in fact, to get my Ph.D.

And if it weren't for a mega-rich investor named Jim Rogers, I might have done just that.

But then I read about Jim's famous worldwide journey in search of investing profits in his now-famous book Investment Biker. And I was hooked.

Jim, as I'm sure you know, cut his teeth as a partner and co-founder of the Quantum Fund, along with billionaire George Soros. Then and now, Jim is a genius in piling up resource riches. He's made a fortune of his own doing it. And he inspired me and many others to do the same.

That's when I put my Socrates and Aristotle on the shelf.

The best Mayan action/adventure movie I’ve never seen.

I got this from ATLAS SHRUGGED, typos and all:

“Need a one of kind Christmas gift for that impossible, pain in the ass person? Here it is!
The bloggers cookbook. Yes folks, Atlas' most delicious recipe- De-vickle De-kroit- is in there (and it goes back generations -Austria! or is it Latvia? whatever) along with so many of your favorite bloggers crazy concoctions over at Eat Your History;

“It's here! This is the first cookbook (that I know of) containing favorite recipes submitted by some of the world's most-read bloggers.

“The recipes are written in each blogger's own words, which makes it a hoot of a read.

“Some of the recipes are world-class and some are down-home family favorites. Others are joke recipes. I'm talking side-splitting funny joke recipes. You have to read every page of the book as if it were a novel to discover them….”

President Bush is pondering, always an iffy occasion. He may move in 30,000 troops to Iraq, as part of a new Iraq strategy. In the time-honored military fashion, this operation has a name; it is called a “surge.”

I dunno. I possess several surge protectors. I associate surges with blackouts, meltdowns, and the smell of burnt circuitry.

Time’s Person of the Year is: You
“… Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites [Beats me. mk] at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?

“The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.”

I’m flattered, I guess. But where’s my check?

Pundits, who must find problems, or they will die, kind of like when a shark stops swimming, are now debating whether a black man, a white woman, and/or a Mormon could muster enough votes to become President.

Question found on Yahoo!
“Am i gonna die?

“i was brushing my teeth, then i just started walking around upstairs. i went to the play room and started looking at my old toys and books and all my old memories. the toothbrush was still in my mouth. then all of a sudden, i sneezed. i didn't want the toothpaste to fall on the ground, so i put my head up instead, and the toothpaste went in my mouth by accident. i tryed to get it out by coughing, but no use..... i went to look at the toothpaste tube, and it said contact the poison control thing if swallowed.

“but am i gonna die if i did swallow it?”

A dentist responded: no.

Greetings to the Person of the Year.
Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Victor David Hansen Blog

Victor David Hansen gets whimsical.
“Has there been an upsurge in the vocabulary of cynicism, sarcasm, and nihilism? On the old philologist’s dictum that words alone reflect reality (in graduate school, we were often asked in seminars on Xenophon or Thucydides to support grand assertions about ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom’ with precise words in the ancient Greek vocabulary [together with citations to ancient texts])**—do our newly created phrases tell us something about our postmodern mind? I heard on campus last week a barrage of the usual slang: ‘Whatever’; ‘I don’t think so…’; ‘Duh?’; ‘Hellooo?’; ‘See yaaa’.

“I was wondering whether on the farm our ancestors used to employ the same language—as in…

‘Cyrus, are we going to in get the crop?’

‘Emma, did you get the butter churned?’

‘Langford, did the freeze hurt the blossoms?’

“And when you compare the relentless smirking and snickering of a David Letterman or Bill Mahr [sic] with past variety hosts of the 1950s, or TV shows like Desperate Housewives or Sex in the City with Bonanza or Paladin [actually, HAVE GONE WILL TRAVEL- mk], then we get a good glimpse of the rapid devolution to a postmodern society. Not that we don’t have genius and flair in our midst, but the gap reminds me a lot of the change in temperament of a Juvenal or Petronius compared to an earlier generation of Horace and Virgil. While Trimalchio and his bunch argue over stuffed song birds and dancing catamites, some legionary is on the Rhine or Danube holding back the tide. One wonders about an audience’s taste that went from Fibber McGee and Molly to Howard Stern in less than 50 years.”

Dancing catamites? What? Is he upset that we’re not listening to radio comedies any more? If it’s any consolation, I still do. Though I prefer Vic and Sade to Fibber McGee and Molly. And I’m a liberal! And Howard Stern sucks. Oh wait. I mean, “Howard Stern is further evidence of the devolution to a postmodern society.”

BTW, according to Wikipedia: “A catamite was the younger partner in a pederastic relationship between two males in the ancient world….” What that has to do with soldiers “holding back the tide” beats me the hell out of me. It seems to me that a country’s taste in popular culture and its foreign policy bear little in common, outside of the whole bread and circuses thing.

*This is my problem with “education.” Just because you can cite some ancient in the original language, in “precise words” how does that lend credence to whatever “grand assertion” you may have about “democracy” or “freedom?” Reason, not footnotes! Cicero said that. Not.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Britney Blog

From a brief note on her website: “…[T]hank God for Victoria’s Secrets’ new underwear line!”

We hope Britney has come to her senses, and will resume wearing underpants, if not her singing career.

Britney! And the very large thoughts of Camille Paglia.
Camille Paglia in US ONLINE:

“A great promise was contained in the moment when Madonna kissed Britney at the MTV Awards. She in a sense was saying, “I’m passing the torch to you.” It was a fabulous moment. Britney looked toned, in control of her career and it was up to her to take the next step. Literally from that kiss, from that moment onward, Britney has spiraled out of control. It’s like Madonna gave her the kiss of death! Britney is throwing it away!”

We hope Britney has come to her senses, and will resume wearing underpants, if not her singing career. We also hope that Ms. Paglia will re-examine her conception of “great promise.”

George W.S. Trow RIP
From WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF NO CONTEXT: “Television is dangerous because it operates according to an attention span that is childish but is cold. It simulates the warmth of a childish response but is cold. If it were completely successful in simulating the warmth of childish enthusiasm — that is, if it were warm — would that be better? It would be better only in a society that had agreed that childish warmth and spontaneity were equivalent to public virtue; that is, a society of children. What is a cold child? A sadist.”

Iraq Study Group: My Mom says it’s okay to meet at my house tonight.
I’m no expert on foreign policy, but then again, who is these days? But I find myself wondering, “Iraq Study Group?” What? Doesn’t that sound like a gaggle of high school kids getting together to make a poster?

Lee Hamilton and James Baker do look like assistant principals of a high school, come to think of it. You know, the grown-ups in charge of discipline.

At first, it was weird and oddly reassuring to see these figures from the past arise again like shades summoned by the spirit of Ronald Reagan to show the stubborn yet clueless kids how statecraft is done. These are the guys with red ties who know how to get it done, or – failing that – spin failure into success. The Bush administration was very good at spin, until it wasn’t (around the time of “Heckuva job, Brownie,” I believe). For a brief moment it seemed like we were going back to a time when administrators knew what they were doing, and even if we didn’t believe in what they were doing, we had confidence in their ability to do it.

Memories of the whole Iran Contra thing grow dim, and all we remember is the Berlin Wall coming down, the Soviet Union falling apart, the economy booming, the first cell phones coming on the market - weighing ten pounds or so -, and everybody thinking of Mel Gibson as an action hero, and not a weirdo.

But what did these grown-ups come up with? They conclude that Iran and Syria are a problem.
They say that Iraq needs a stable government that can protect its people. We need to train Iraqis. The situation is “grave and deteriorating.” Crikey. I could have told the President that.

All in all, they come up with 79 recommendations. I say it’s Power Point, and I say the hell with it.

Best ALL THINGS CONSIDERED lead of the week:
“Some people don’t like camels.”

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Abbreviated Blog

Radioactive world
The death of Alexander Litvinenko has prompted a flurry of feature stories, including a recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle, about a company in New Mexico that sells polonium-210 online. It’s only a trace amount, sold in 0.1 microcurie units, at $69 a pop. It seems that the deadly substance has industrial applications – cleaning dust from film and tape, among other things. More interesting, the company that sells the stuff is owned by Bob Lazar. Remember him? He’s the man who claimed to have worked on alien spaceships at Area 51.

Short blog
I am in the middle of moving this week and next. Entries will therefor be abbreviated. I would direct your attention, however, to, where we are offering a five CD box set retrospective of thirty years of Duck’s Breath audio – bits from All Things Considered, Ian Shoales, Dr. Science, Randee of the Redwood, bits from live shows, snippets from our series, Homemade Radio. Close to five hours of hilarity. Twenty-five bucks. Just in time for Christmas! Check it out.