March 31, 2008


Let us recognize hookerblogging as a genre along with dogblogging and photoblogging. My co-smuthound, Dave, points out that Dick Morris is the US entry in the toe-fetish Olympics. Moreover apparently:
“When not nibbling on the toes of the $200-an-hour call girl, he let her eavesdrop on phone conversations he had with his client, President Clinton.”
So the image presents itself of Dick Morris in flagrante, speaking by phone with the President, also in flagrante, possibly toying with a cigar, possibly with a senator on hold on line 2 and Yasser Arafat twiddling his thumbs in the Rose Garden. Meanwhile Mrs Clinton was surging in Tuzla. I think I could pitch that script. The funniest part is that 44% of American voters prefer the Clintons back in the White House to John McCain.


Oh well, while the Uncorrelated romper room is empty, I'll link some recent photos of ringmaking in France where the Jura plateau meets the Burgundy plain. The music is the prelude to The Valkyrie, from The Ring Cycle.


Here's an antidote to human cruelty. The term 'anthropomorphize' is often a misnomer. Seeing love, fear, playfulness etc in other species than homo sapiens isn't unscientific. That these are cross-species traits is self-evident to any mind free of the anthropocentrism that normalizes atrocities like vivisection.

March 30, 2008

Vroom vroom

The delight of the Eliot Spitzer story was seeing a Malvolioesque hypocrite get his comeuppance. The actual sex was banal as far as we know, lacking the absurd details that take the farce to another plane. British politicians have little quirks like toe-sucking or wearing a Chelsea soccer shirt - apologies if these are standard practices in northern Utah, no offence.

But, lo.. there comes a sex scandal worthy of the highest comic imagination. South Park, eat your heart out. It's this (do not open at work!)...

I'd say this is pretty good, but what takes it to comedy heaven is that Max Mosley is the son of Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists whose blackshirts my grandfather fought in the East End of London in the 1930's. Mosley père was immortalised by P.G.Wodehouse as Sir Roderick Spode, leader of The Black Shorts, amateur dictator and designer of women's undergarments. Max Mosley's parents were married in Goebbels' home, A.Hitler in attendance. That gives a twist to the headline "F1 boss Max Mosley has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers."

Another teensy detail is that The News of the World (aka The News of the Screws) is owned by one Rupert Murdoch who also happens to own The Times which happens to be the subject of an unrelated libel suit by the FIA, run by....Max Mosley. The ss Mosley is holed below the waterline, but I hope she goes down all guns blazing. To adapt Wodehouse: You can be the boss of Formula 1 motor racing or you can star in a 5 hour video of a sadomasochistic Nazi sex orgy, but not both.

March 28, 2008

They make a nice couple

The sun rises earlier in London than in Utah, so let me get in first to say how much better my coffee and croissant tasted from reading this story about McCain and Romney campaigning together in Salt Lake City. The body language and mood music seem pretty good. Accounts of Romney suggest he's far more likeable close up than the slightly stiff public persona (I like stiff, but I'm repressed). Some contrast with Hillary/Obama! Guys, make a bitter old right-winger happy. I'll throw the confetti.

March 27, 2008

The Disgrace of Liberalism

I enjoyed this piece for its long perspective and quality invective. Extracts:
The chief puzzle concerning Hillary is how, being so blatantly what she is, she succeeds in holding onto any support whatsoever. There's a process in quantum mechanics called "renormalization", in which certain quantities with values of infinity are arbitrarily dropped back to a more manageable "zero" for the sake of solving the equation. This encapsulates Hillary's political career: truly mindboggling levels of corruption and ineptitude have been continually renormalized by fellow politicians and the media to enable her to survive. These people made a particular type of bargain when they bent the rules for Hillary. Now the ground is opening up under their feet....
Obama has ascended on a cloud of pure moral superiority and nothing else....
That's the Democratic Party [....a] party whose entire leadership cadre, including presidential candidates, state governors, and Congressional leaders, are corrupt or incompetent or both, a party more suitable to ruling a Balkan or Central African peapatch than the world's reigning superpower.

March 26, 2008

What's that trampling sound?

In Missouri McCain's gone from level with Obama to a 15 point lead in a month:
Missouri is a classic swing state in Presidential Elections that almost always awards its Electoral College Votes to the candidate who wins the
Pastor Wright ain't gonna go away. Profane audiobooks ain't gonna go away. Liberal voting record ain't gonna go away. Clintonian Machiavellianism ain't gonna go away. Zilch executive credentials ain't gonna go away. Surrender monkeyism ain't gonna go away.

McCain will massacre Obama and liberals must be starting to get it, but it's too late. I feel their pain..exquisite.

Turning the enemy's weapons

First Rush, now Rove.

Chris Matthews is right

The Clintons are now campaigning for McCain:

Unless the Clintons have a secret weapon against Obama (four in a bed?), Hillary's doomed in 2008, so their only hope for 2012 is that Obama loses this time. Hence the cooing noises about McCain. I guess the Clintons' core constituencies now are middle aged white women, Hispanics and union members. Blacks, youth and elites swoon for Obama. The Clintonian voters could well be swayed to McCain and Bill's silky tongue may work magic for a more substantial candidate than his wife, making it respectable for a Democrat to vote McCain. The game then is to isolate Obama from middle America, red and blue, so that he's massacred in the general election and out of the running in 2012. Since Obama is fluff at best, I think it's likely he'll lose nearly every state as the nominee of a divided party. If the rest of the Democratic field in 2012 is as weak as 2008, Hillary stands a good chance of gaining the nomination after 4 more years of high profile Senate work probably co-operating with McCain.

March 25, 2008

Revenge is a dish best eaten cold

A riposte to Hillary Clinton's lies about sniper fire in Bosnia:

General Petraeus may allow himself a quiet smile.

March 22, 2008

An actor and a theatre major

Paul Scofield died. I saw him in King Lear and the film of that production is beyond price. It is modest, transparent and to the point, high praise for a treatment of such a text. Similar theatrical virtues were practised in Nicol Williamson's Hamlet. Both are available on DVD through Amazon UK and/or US.

Last night I watched a spellbinding talk about his book, House to House,  by former Staff Sergeant, former theatre major, David Bellavia. The book describes the US assault on Fallujah. It's not a cheap shot to require that the Commander-In-Chief be not unworthy of such men. 

March 18, 2008

Tap, tap....tap, tap...

Well I'm tapping my fingers, waiting for the Fed, short Euro/$ with a just now tightened guaranteed stop @ 1.585 to enable me to sell again higher.

My forecast:

33% chance of 1% (100 basis point) rate cut -----> expected -------> some noise then down within a few days.

33% chance of > 1% -------> goes to $1.60+ very fast then the confirmation gets heavily sold within days or hours.

33% chance of < 1% -------> Euro down today, possibly hard down.


Update: Well it was a 75bp cut, but so far the Euro/$ level is about unchanged....I'd expected the Euro to be sold off.
Oh well, tight stop....75 points before it's hit.
I'd love to be in at the start of a major $ rally.

Update2: Some Euro weakness showing now as the Dow recovers fast from the smaller than expected rate cut. Of course what I'd like to do is stand up on my surfboard at the crest of an incipient $ wave. A long way to shore yet. The market's been so hurt by the dollar for years that it's taking a while to get the courage to be long it. My position is essentially another catch a falling knife trade like the NYT trade I lucked out with recently. Children, do not try this at home.

Update3 at the close: Today's Euro/$ range was 136.35 - 138.33, closing at the low. A good start. For my gamble that we're at the turning point of a 7-year trend to be correct we need to see a complete mindset change back towards the USA as the ultimate store of value. It's long odds against this as that turning point. Aesthetically I'd expect to see $1.60 first, but the Bear Stearns collapse may have signalled capitulation in a lot of markets as the underlying psychology gets wrenched around. Another day, another dollar.

Exchange with a bearish banker

Email exchange this morning - I'll leave in the jargon for flavour:

Me: I've shorted Euro/$ here ahead of the Fed for the possibility of a gap down if very aggressive rate cut expectations aren't met. Also I feel the Goldman Sachs' results are somewhat calming and may encourage the Fed to stay calm.

He: This is just the financial scare as a result of initial writedowns, real problem will be when the data turns bad. If you get payrolls print at -200k then you'll get some panic, more defaults, more writedowns, lowerequities etc etc. I don't see how this could end here.

Me: Well, calling the bottom is foolish, but there are plenty of positive signs:

-Bear Stearns handled swiftly without caving in to moral hazard.
-GS and others bouncing off long-term technical supports.
-McCain looking stronger in the polls - this factor is too little weighed in the conscious market. A big government left-winger is the last thing the markets need.
-Euro way overvalued for PPP* (tho I accept other reasons why Euro has/may appreciate).
-Gold at $1,000 / Oil at $110 / Euro at $1.58 /Yen < 100 / CHF and loonie reached $ parity.

In other words there's tremendous amount of $ and market bearishness priced in.

Dangerous to extend the trend at this point. If the Fed cuts a mere 75bp today the Euro might drop and the market might leap on the basis that the Fed's confident and the credit crisis is getting fixed. Once the credit market starts moving there'll be a buying frenzy.

Stay nimble. A banker can get bamboozled by knowing too much.

*PPP = purchasing power parity

He: Give them job losses and recession, which is surely where the numbers will say we are next month, then you'll see the real panic.

The problem is if the fed does 75, then next week there's a lack of confidence and the market sells off, the fed's run out of ammo. Then you get panic..

March 16, 2008

"Perhaps Marc or Dave will contribute something..."

Prompted by Mick....

Stream of consciousness....

1. I guess I'm the only one qualified for drunk-blogging, tho I've just taken a little sip after an exacting day in the market which started with a little fantasy about the car I'll buy with today's winnings from long Apple and short crude (new Subaru Forester - basic model with manual shift) and continued 5 minutes later with a 5 hours of mental strife starting with the virtual bankruptcy of Bear Stearns which triggered an initial rout.

2. My name is Mark with a 'k' for kommandant.

3. The Obama/Pastor Wright stuff meets my comic criterion. I almost wish that he wins the Presidency and appoints his spiritual adviser as Secretary for Reparations and Perpetual Apologies. Michael Tomasky in today's Guardian illustrates the mindset, but I'm on my 2nd sip and am too lazy to make the link.

4. I'd never noticed Dr Laura until she pronounced on Spitzer, but now I'm a fan, the more so because she's a fallen woman and I'm a fallen man. Too bad she's not 40 years younger,but I'll look out for her 'The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.' Apparently if you treat me right and feed me right and love me right, I'll swim across shark-infested waters to bring you a glass of lemonade. Duh!

Political writing block

All the big questions about Obama, Hillary and McCain are settled except the casting and counting of votes and I have nothing more to say, so I'll say it.

Obama's beliefs, if any, are a mist of Swedenism and liberation theology. President Barack H. Obama will neutralize America as between Iran and Israel, Judaeo-Christianity and Islam, government and the individual. His wife will stink up the joint with her sense of entitlement. Hobgoblins from academia and black Islamo-Christianity will come to power. Slightly more discreet versions of Samantha Power and Pastor Wright will run government. If I seem to be imagining demons, then look at the monsters and sprites who run congress now...Murtha, Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy....but then add ideology to the witches' brew. I suppose it would be stimulating to blog about, but I'm old and crabby and misanthropic and want my enemies beaten into a pulp as well as mocked.

President Clinton would be a repellent nanny and the other President Clinton has lost his charm. It would be Forward to the Past co-sponsored by NOW and Viagra.

McCain is in some ways the most interesting...vain, mean,irritable, spiteful, stupid and a noble story from 35 years ago, which he somewhat tarnishes by exploitation in political ads. His pick for running mate may define his Presidency. Romney stands out in every department and overshadows any possible alternative. Has McCain the presidentiality to pick him? No way.

March 12, 2008

A wish

I am a sneering onlooker at Eliot Spitzer's destruction. May he rot. But I do not sneer at his wife standing beside him in his and her humiliation. May I find that grace in me when tested.

I've been on a journey..

..from London to Jerusalem, Newark, Grand Cayman, New Jersey, Scottish Highlands, Geneva, French Jura, London. Seen Al Aqsa, affectionate stingrays, a nor'-easter at Newark, a blizzard blowing in from Skye, the Forth Rail Bridge at dawn, fine cheese for a pittance. Little has changed meanwhile apart from Spitzer's unzipping. I'm still peeved at the awfulness of all the candidates for President, tho the comic potential is ok. Maybe a Clinton Restoration would inoculate America against nannyism for a few decades. Maybe an Obama Assumption would inoculate America against liberal crushes for a few decades. How about 'Obaminable Snowman' as a sobriquet for this privileged, socialist coke-sniffer? Maybe McCain will pick Romney for VP, then explode from a burst blood vessel and Romney will become President and I will win my bets.

I'm agonizing over which Mac should replace my G5 Mac Pro which works fine (apart from mild fan hum compared to the silence of newer machines), but I lust for novelty and I need an Intel machine to work with the compressed video format of my new videocam (Canon HG10 AVCHD 40GB High Definition Camcorder - a miracle for $640). I unpacked an iMac for my mother-in-law recently and it's gorgeous. Form, function, grace, virtually wireless, floats in the air - I think I'm in love. Maybe I'll get a 24" iMac and link it to a 22" screen, tho logic dictates a 15" MacBook Pro so that I just use a single machine wherever I am. That + a large screen is pretty joyful. Mick's struggles wiith Windows may be a professional necessity, but I suggest he get a MacBook to run that baroque software in parallel to OS X so that he can access a modern platform as well.

I'm also impressed with my iPod Touch. It's wi-fiability, synchronicity, sdk and acceptable screen are crucial advances. Apple is taking over. Resistance is futile. Pass the pills.