Daily Archives: February 12, 2010

Individually, Chinese are great people. By the billion, they’re pains in the ass

Chinese shopper calling her chef

Demand for tiger private parts doom the animal. They aren’t helping sharks, either.


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Unless he’s senile, toss away the key

73-year-old robs banks “to pay mortgage”. First of all, if he’s that old and still has a mortgage, the old fart’s been refinancing to play Lotto, so screw him. Second, when did a mortgage payment achieve the moral stature of, say, medical treatment for a sick child? I’d put this right down there with supporting a crack habit – which, judging from the perp’s pic, is likely – so again, unless he’s fried those neurons, send him off to three hots and a cot.


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God Damned people!

Boulder, CO residents speak green with their tongues but lust after big screen TVs. And the eco-cops can’t stop them. But they’re stepping up their efforts.

In 2006, Boulder voters approved the nation’s first “carbon tax,” now $21 a year per household, to fund energy-conservation programs. The city took out print ads, bought radio time, sent email alerts and promoted the campaign in city newsletters.

But Boulder’s carbon emissions edged down less than 1% from 2006 through 2008, the most recent data available.

By the end of 2008, emissions here were 27% higher than 1990 levels. That’s a worse showing than the U.S. as a whole, where emissions rose 15% during that period, according to the Department of Energy.

“If a place like Boulder that regards itself as being in the environmental forefront has such a tough time, these types of efforts are not going to work as a core policy” for the nation, says Roger Pielke Jr., who studies the political response to climate change at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Big duh of the day

Collapse of the Euro is inevitable. Well of course it is, as is the collapse of western civilization. My hope is that the Euro will go long before civilization – say, three years? Two? But I’m confident our bankers will make money all the way down.


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12 Doubling Road

Thanks to readers I’ve been alerted to a previous owner of this estate, one J. Arthur Warner, a Wall Street  crook of the first water. Nice to know that Greenwich has always attracted the illustrious. Here’s just one article about him from Time Magazine, 1953:

In cafe society, Broker J. (for James) Arthur Warner, 52, has long cut quite a figure. A wavy-haired frequenter of Manhattan’s Stork Club and other elegant pubs, he numbered among his friends such leading lights as Walter Winchell, Ginger Rogers and Cinemogul Joseph Schenck. By cafe society standards, Warner really arrived two years ago when his second wife, a beauteous Hollywood B-movie player named Kay Buckley, walked out after exactly 21 days of marriage, with a wedding present of $100,000 in cash.

In Wall Street, Warner had arrived long before. The son of a Boston house painter, he worked his way through New York University, graduated with honors, and in 1932 set up a brokerage house of his own in Manhattan, later branching out into New England. Specializing in “over-the-counter” securities, J. Arthur Warner & Co. flourished, became one of the nation’s biggest dealers in unlisted securities, with assets of $8.8 million.

But for Warner, 1951 was a bad financial as well as marital year. Acting on complaints from some of his customers, the Securities and Exchange Commission started investigating him and his company, turned over its findings to the Justice Department. Last week in Boston, a federal grand jury returned a 70-count indictment, against Warner, two of his office managers and seven of his salesmen.

Core of the indictment: Warner and his associates had traded “customers in & out, and in again, at frequent intervals . . . and at net losses to the customers.” J. Arthur Warner & Co. had thereby indulged in the “fraudulent practice known … as ‘churning,’ by means of which a large part of the customers’ invested capital was taken … in the form of repeated commissions, charges and profits.”

A favorite Warner & Co. trick, said the indictment, was to advise customers to buy stocks that were about to declare a dividend, then trade them out when the stock went ex-dividend, without explaining that the price had fallen by the amount of the dividend. Thus the customers broke even in the market but actually lost money because of Warner’s commissions.

The grand jury, did not undertake to estimate how many of J. Arthur’s customers had been bilked of how much. But five of them have already filed suit to recover a total of $270,000.

UPDATE: The poor guy had trouble with his love life, too. I’m sending this to my pal Bernie Yudain and I’ll see what he remembers of this fine citizen.


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The best argument against a VAT in America

The politicians keep raising it.  Britain is going to raise its to 20% and thus keep even with its European counterparts. Whatever low rate a VAT were to be introduced at into  this country, it would soon soar.


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Ooh, how could this happen?

Obama may abandon civilian trial for 9/11 terrorist. But but, things are so … complicated!!!


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