I broke my blog

Or something. Does anyone have any idea why the sidebar is showing up in Mozilla, Mozilla Firebird and Opera, but not Internet Explorer. Yes, I know that Micro$oft blows, but I’d like those poor benighted souls who are still trapped in Windows to be able to view things properly too without having to make the Great Migration.

Any ideas?

UPDATE – TZ, I tried to paste the code in here to see how it should be modified, but Blogger won’t cooperate and it doesn’t show up – looks like it’s either the script for the comments or the Alliance, since those are the only two. Can you email me to show they should be changed in order to work properly for everyone?

Loathsome abortionettes

The Alan Guttmacher Institute explains why women have abortions:

Woman is concerned about how having a baby could change her life: 76 percent

Woman can’t afford baby now: 68 percent

Woman has health problems: 7 percent

Woman was victim of rape or incest: 1 percent

Strange, all we ever seem to hear about are rape, incest and health of the killer. A lot of things change with marriage; if you’re concerned about how your mother-in-law could change your life, is it cool to stick a fork in her head too?

Why the media hates bloggers

Tasty Manatees sums it up very well – competition, and dangerous competition at that: What’s important is that Goldberg and his fellow pundits have almost no idea how the Federal regulatory process works when they write about the Environmental Protection Agency or why Senator So-and-So chose blue socks this morning. They mostly rely on the opinions of experts like me who spent years in school and practice learning how to do what we do or insiders who see what goes on behind the scenes. There are no required qualifications for writing other than knowing how to write competent and interesting prose in the English language, a task that many of the “experts” can do quite well (other than myself, of course). Now, the inside men and the experts that the journalists and pundits have relied on for years don’t need them to get their points across. Most of us don’t realize it, yet, but in time, we will.

It’s true. I realize that most of you probably view me as a media figure, but I’m not. I’ve never had a regular day-job at a newspaper or magazine, and while I’ve got a reasonably respectable publishing history, it’s pretty much been done as a hobby. I did not take a single English or journalism course throughout my college career, which is probably why I actually know something about a variety of industries – having worked in them – unlike many cradle-to-grave journalistas. I consider this blog to be as important to me as my column; more important in some ways.

There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between. The dirty little secret of journalism is that most career journalists have a very broad but shallow knowledge base. Interestingly enough, they tend not to be very intellectual, so they tend to be poorly read as well. Also, as verbally oriented people, they tend to overrate verbally facile people and underrate those whose intelligence manifests itself in less immediately obvious ways.

This post brought to you courtesy of Blackfive, the paratrooper of love.

It’s the apophasis, stupid!

Eponymous isn’t actually stupid, and even in this post purporting to deny that Kerry insulted Bush’s service in the National Guard she is amusing. But if you are familiar with the art of the rhetorical insult, you will be immediately notice that the senator used a combination of apophasis and parallelism to first deny that he was making a point of that to which he specifically wished attention to be drawn, and equating National Guard service with fleeing to Canada. The statement has plausible deniability from a pure grammatical perspective, but none from a rhetorical one.

I don’t blame Kerry for contrasting his service record with Bush at all; he’d have to be crazy not to. But considering that politics is nothing if not the practice of rhetoric, there’s no doubt that he did insult both Bush and the National Guard. For a victorious Commander-in-Chief, Bush is very weak on the military front, but based on this little incident I don’t expect Senator Kerry to be able to exploit it effectively.

I’d marry you if my phylum were Homo Harpyopsis

Desert Cat write in response to Paul Craig Roberts: Good Lord! I ought to try writing like that, just for the invigoration. There’s nothing quite so invigorating as the discovery of angry hordes clamoring for your hasty demise…

Yeah, I’m anticipating a spot of that on Monday. It may actually make the response to Spiting Their Pretty Faces look downright reasonable, although perhaps not since there’s almost nothing you can say to upset a woman more than telling her that she’s unmarriageable. I think my favorite response to a ranting 30-something single woman who is up in arms about how breathtakingly desirable she is and how any rich, good-looking Ivy League grad would be hitting the lottery to have her is: “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll make some man very unhappy someday.” In any event, here’s a list of the predictable responses:

1) Assertions that women don’t respect men and have every reason for not doing so. So there.

2) Assertions that I’m just bitter and hate women because I can’t a) get laid; b) a date. And in truth, Space Bunny does tend to frown on the latter, although she was trying to set me up with one of her friends* recently. Is that a bad sign?

3) Assertions that I’m a) sexist; b) stupid; c) poorly educated; d) all of the above.

4) Improperly punctuated hysteria that is hard to read, much less make any sense of.

I think I’ll post examples of all four this week. Yes, hatemailers of America, that’s how boringly predictable you are. And while it may superficially appear as if I’m indifferent to what you have to say, it’s only that I’m crying on the inside.

*Oh, relax. I’m just teaching her friend how to shoot at the range.

Toxic update

The Original Cyberpunk is out for the weekend, so don’t expect any updates on the Toxic Pool until Monday evening. In the meantime, check the Comments to make sure that your date is free before picking one.



Mailvox: Gold and money supply

ME writes: Why do you care about the money supply? Did you not hear that Friedman admitted he was wrong in the June 6, 2003, Financial Times? The money supply is useless trivia unless you know the money demand also. You do realize that the demand for money changes, right? The price of gold tells you both the demand and supply, as it is the intersection point. Would you agree that as the dollar price of gold fell from over $400 in March of ’96 to $257 in Sept. of ’99 this signaled a lack of adequate liquidity and thus a deflation?

Because even if you only know one-half of the equation, it is still useful information. Especially when the supply curve shows a worrisome anomaly that has not often appeared before. Of course I heard about Friedman; no economist didn’t. And I absolutely disagree that the decline in the price of gold signaled a lack of liquidity; the very notion is absurd considering the asset inflation that took place during that time. That decline – which has now been reversed – was a very simple matter of vastly increased “supply” as the central banks dumped the majority of their gold holdings “during” this time, so much so that Portugal, Canada and Australia are almost out. Considering how influenced the price of gold is by the furious water-treaders at the central banks, it’s a very unreliable indicator of anything except of the banks’ ability to keep things afloat. For the time being.

Why the quotes? Because it is starting to appear that the bullion sales may have taken place long prior, and the Washington Agreement may merely be a cover to convert the leases on the book – de facto sales – into de jure sales for the record.

”Keep in mind that when central bankers talk about selling gold, they usually mean writing off as sold their leased gold, gold that is long out of the vault and already sold into the market and a dangerous liability for the bullion banks that borrowed it…. the Bank of Canada continues to announce (almost monthly) the sale of a little more of what’s left of our gold reserves, which are now less than ten tonnes. That too is a crock. When I published my essay When Irish Eyes are Smiling: the story of Brian Mulroney and Canada’s gold, the good folks at the Bank of Canada told me that there had been no physical gold in the bank vaults for years.”

Speaking of gold, the Relative ratio dropped to 1.048 at $395 yesterday before climbing up to 1.073. I hope that’s not it for the trough, as I was looking to buy at $375… now $380.

UPDATE: “Gold lending was a small activity during the 1980s. It was a much bigger activity during the 1990s, so obviously it was a business that was occurring on an increasing scale. If the discrepancy was 4000 tonnes over ten to fifteen years, 300 to 400 tonnes a year—well, then it was probably 200 tonnes a year in the 1980s and it was probably nearer 600 tonnes a year by 1995. That meant supply and demand were underestimated by something like 600 tonnes a year.”