Working with Roman Polanski

Written by Fritz on September 30th, 2009

‘I never paid much attention to what Mr. Polanski did, but when I discovered the details last weekend, I was horrified. Althouse has written the best piece I have yet read.

However, I have not seen mentioned the one thought I keep having on the matter:

How has anyone been able to work with this guy? If you’re an actor, and he’s directing you, how do you not imagine and recoil at the image of his heinous act? If you’re an investor, and having a meeting about putting money behind his next project, how do you not imagine and recoil at the image of his horrendous act? If you’re a woman who is a mother, and you meet him in a room, any room, how do you not recoil at the image of what he has done? How do you not wonder how he is actually in that room, a pedophile roaming free so your children remain unprotected?

I love the movie Chinatown. It is one of my favorite films. I don’t know if I can watch it again without getting angry.

I have a sixteen year old daughter. This girl was thirteen. I just can’t imagine it without recoiling in horror. If there is any justice, this guy Polanski won’t be let out of prison, ever again.


First They Came for the Banks…

Written by Fritz on September 22nd, 2009

…and I did nothing. Then they came for the car companies, and I did nothing. Then they came for the insurance companies, and when I objected, I was abandoned by all the other insurance companies.

That’s what I’d think if I were a Humana executive, but I’m not. And I worry about how the rest of the industry has gotten in bed with Baucus and can’t see the trap.

Come on you guys, don’t you see your fate? Can’t you see it’s time to rally together and stand up to these incursions? As long as you allow it, they will keep taking, and taking and taking. It’s only inevitable if you enable it.


It IS a Tax Afterall

Written by Fritz on September 22nd, 2009

When I first read the transcript of Obama’s interview with Stephanopoulos, the criticisms from the blogosphere looked hyperbolic. I only saw Obama getting mired in details that wouldn’t make much sense to most people. This quibbling has been his MO for obscuring parts of the debate he doesn’t want to have illuminated.

But then I read in the WSJ that the CBO estimates that “the Senate’s individual mandate will result in new revenues of some $20 billion over 10 years.” What? The editorial then asks “If that $20 billion doesn’t count as tax revenue, then what is it?”

So, Joe Wilson is correct? Obama’s quibbling has more to it than obfuscation.

It’s to hide the lies.


Bowing Obama

Written by Fritz on April 9th, 2009

‘The White House claims:

The White House is denying that the president bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London, a scene that drew criticism on the right and praise from some Arab outlets.

“It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah,” said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

He did not. Why would the white house say this when the video is there for all to see. Obama’s second hand was down until after the bow, Obama’s head was well below the potentate’s.

This arguably puts them beyond lying into a realm of unreality. Plain goofy.


Let’s Abolish Contracts!

Written by Fritz on March 17th, 2009

‘The most frightening thing I’ve seen in the Washington Post, today:

The populist anger at the executives who ran their firms into the ground is increasingly blowing back on Obama, whom aides yesterday described as having little recourse in the face of legal contracts that guaranteed those bonuses.

Horror of horrors! Little recourse? What don’t people get about contracts? Why are they mad at Obama? The people should be overjoyed! Does anyone recognize that when a government can arbitrarily void private contracts, our system of law and justice will fall apart? Why would anyone bother to create a contract if it were in jeopardy of not being a contract, if it could be arbitrarily voided by a politician?


Trust Me!

Written by Fritz on March 15th, 2009

I think that not just the Chinese government, but every investor can have absolute confidence in the soundness of investments in the United States… -Obama

This makes me as nervous as hearing from someone, in almost any context: “trust me.”


Freeman’s Scapegoats

Written by Fritz on March 12th, 2009

From the International Herald Tribune:

On Foreign Policy magazine’s Web site, Freeman blamed pro-Israel groups for the controversy, saying the “tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth.”

Well, this measured quote certainly isn’t taken out of context…


Recipe for Destruction

Written by Fritz on March 12th, 2009

New York Governor David Paterson writes yesterday in the Wall Street Journal:

What is sometimes lost in the public discussion of our current economic crisis, amid the $787 billion stimulus package and the multibillion dollar bailouts of banks and insurance companies, is the root cause. The economic downturn began as a mortgage crisis and will not end until we solve that problem.

What is usually lost in the public discussion is the real root cause…

Here’s a government recipe for distorting (destroying?) the marketplace:

  • Start with the CRA instructing banks to do what they otherwise wouldn’t do.
  • Enable community organizers to stage protests or initiate lawsuits that pressure banks to provide loans to the unworthy.
  • Provide a path to offload the questionable loans by creating a quasi government bank to bundle them as securities.
  • Call the securities triple A and feed them into the market.
  • Blame the market and demonize the banks when the real contents of the securities are discovered.

Why is anyone surprised by the result? The path of least resistance is just another government induced moral hazard.

And now Mr. Paterson wants to force the banks to renegotiate their contracts. I’m guessing none of the re-negotiations will favor the banks.


Greenspan Speaks Out (Finally)

Written by Fritz on March 11th, 2009

There are at least two broad and competing explanations of the origins of this crisis. The first is that the “easy money” policies of the Federal Reserve produced the U.S. housing bubble that is at the core of today’s financial mess.

The second, and far more credible explanation agrees that it was indeed lower interest rates that spawned the speculative euphoria. However, the interest rate that mattered was not the federal-funds rate, but the rate on long-term, fixed-rate mortgages. Between 2002 and 2005, home mortgage rates led U.S. home price change by 11 months. This correlation between home prices and mortgage rates was highly significant, and a far better indicator of rising home prices than the fed-funds rate.

See the whole thing
(requires subscription)
It’s always a pleasure to see Friedman quoted.


Who’s the Villain, Really?

Written by Fritz on March 11th, 2009

If a detailed, factual study were made of all those instances in the history of American industry which have been used by the statists as an indictment of free enterprise and as an argument in favor of a government-controlled economy, it would be found that the actions blamed on businessmen were caused, necessitated, and made possible only by government intervention in business. The evils, popularly ascribed to big industrialists, were not the result of an unregulated industry, but of government power over industry. The villain in the picture was not the businessman, but the legislator, not free enterprise, but government controls.

Ayn Rand, “Notes on the History of American Free Enterprise” – Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.