A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the
heaviest element yet known to science. This new element has been tentatively
named "Administratium." Administratium has
1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 111 assistant deputy
neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held
together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of
lepton-like particles called peons. Since Administratium has no electrons, it
is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which
it comes into contact. A minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to
take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.
Administratium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay but instead
undergoes a reorganization, in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and
deputy neutrons and assistant deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact,
Administratium's mass will actually increase over time, since each
reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons forming isodopes. This
characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that
Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in
concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass."
You will know it when you see it...
VeeJay highly recommends some New
York Times articles.
The Two Enron System, by Frank Rich, February 16,
Democrats want to believe that Enron is the Republicans' Armageddon.
Republicans hope Global Crossing will prove the Democrats' comeuppance. Dream
And In This Corner, March 8, 2002
All the President's Enrons, by Frank Rich, July 6,
"Mr. Bush says that only "a few bad actors" are at fault. Why is the
administration so lax about bringing them to justice? That may have something
to do with who those "few bad actors" are. Speaking on ABC's "This Week,"
Richard Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, tossed out a range of
1 to 15 as the rough count of corporate culprits, "in comparison to more than
10,000 publicly traded corporations." The fact remains that so far at least
five members of that theoretically tiny club have direct ties to the Bush
administration: Enron, Halliburton, Andersen, KMPG and Merrill Lynch - the last
three all former clients of the president's choice as Wall Street's top cop,
the S.E.C. chairman Harvey Pitt. Five for 15."
"On Wednesday a judge threw
out an S.E.C. action against the accounting firm Ernst & Young because the
S.E.C. could not muster the quorum of conflict-free commissioners required by
law to bring its case; both Mr. Pitt and another Bush S.E.C. appointee had
previously worked for Ernst & Young. Mr. Pitt's conflicts also include
meeting privately with Xerox and KPMG executives while their companies are
under investigation by his agency. 'It's like the mob's consigliere running
the F.B.I,' in the words of Marshall Wittmann, a T.R.-minded conservative
Republican at the Hudson Institute."
Succeeding in Business, by Paul Krugman, July 7,
"the administration has so far gotten the press to focus on the least
important question about Mr. Bush's business dealings"
The Cycles of Financial Scandal, by Kevin Phillips, July 17,
"In the new management handbook as rewritten by finance, the concerns
of employees, shareholders and even communities could be jettisoned to raise
stock prices. Major companies could make (or fake) larger profits by financial
devices: writing futures contracts, investing in stocks, juggling pension
funds, moving low-return assets into separate partnerships and substituting
stock options for salary expenses. Enron was only the well-publicized tip of a
"Whether the current proposals are the beginnings of that
debate or mere window dressing remains to be seen. "
Some Washington Post articles
Deception As a Weapon, by Richard Hart Sinnreich, February
"What disturbed my father was not the overflight program, which he
probably would have approved had he known of it. He was, after all, a military
man. Rather, what devastated him was the public exposure of the president of
the United States as a liar, to his own citizens and the world's. For Dad, an
immigrant from the Old World, the U.S. government's reputation for telling the
truth however embarrassing was among America's most powerful weapons, our
strongest defense against the propaganda that had become a standard feature of
totalitarian regimes. He simply could conceive of no momentary political
advantage, however compelling, that would justify the sacrifice of that
Stalled Venture In Gaza Shows Enron's Daring
Lying in Style, by Michael Kinsley, April 19,
"Honest administrations are all alike, but each dishonest
administration is dishonest in its own way. Actually, there are no honest
administrations. But each presidency does bring its own unique style to the
task of deceiving the citizenry. And at least you can derive some truths about
a president from the way he chooses to lie to you. Consider the latest three."
The Can-Do Brit, by Sebastian Mallaby, May, 5,
"Which is why Tony Blair is fascinating. He is the quintessential
winner, from his two electoral landslides to his outsized grin. He has imported
the American art of spin doctoring, which is to say he's constantly claiming
that his policies are wonderful. He embraces the Clintonian 'Third Way,'
meaning that he aims to succeed at everything, even at tasks that seem mutually
exclusive. He is, in other words, profoundly unBritish."
Economists in Denial, by Mark Weisbrot, August 4, 2002
"This week's trip to South America by Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill is Washington's latest response to growing
discontent about economic failure in the developing world. O'Neill, who has become known for his blunt remarks about
economic policy, should take an honest look at what has happened to most low- and middle-income countries during the past
20 years. For these countries, the last two decades of the 20th century were witness to the worst economic failure since the
VeeJay recommends articles from the
New York Times.
Elephant's 'E' Irks G.O.P., by Amy Harmon, February 16, 2002
"It comes as no surprise that the Republican Party of Texas does not find
the Web site www.EnronOwnsTheGOP.com as amusing as the Texas Democrats who run
1 Country, 2 Futures, by Thomas L. Friedman, February 27,
"The China school dismisses the idea that Saudi Arabia will collapse in
five years. It notes, instead, that for 50 years, someone has come out with a
study every five years that says Saudi Arabia has only five more years.
Which school would I bet on? Ask me in five years."
U.S. Rejects All Support for New Court on Atrocities, May 7,
2002, by Neil A. Lewis
Washington, May 6 - "Bush administration officials
said today that the new International Criminal Court should expect no
cooperation from the United States, and that its prosecutors would not be given
any information from the United States to help them bring cases against any
"'By putting U.S. men and women in uniform at risk of
politicized prosecutions,' Mr. Rumsfeld said, the court 'could well create a
powerful disincentive for U.S. military engagement in the world.'"
America the Scofflaw May 24, 2002 By Paul Krugman
what good are new agreements if we won't honor the old ones?"
W.'s Grand Tour, by Maureen Dowd, Moscow, May 26, 2002
Bismarck's Lessons for Bush May 29, 2002 By Josee Joffe,
"What is the critical strategic problem for the United
States, a nation that dwarfs all others in terms of "hard" (military) and
"soft" (cultural-economic) power? It is how to prevent the rest of the world
from unifying against No. 1. After unification in 1871, Bismarck's Germany
found itself in a similar position in Europe: more powerful than any other
country, yet threatened by the resentments of all. The United States is
Bismarck's Germany on a global scale. Its power is more overwhelming than that
of any previous hegemon since the Roman Empire."
Heart of Cheapness, by Paul Krugman, May 31, 2002
Bono. He got stuck in a moment, and he couldn't get out of it. In one of the
oddest enterprises in the history of development economics, Bono - the lead
singer for the rock band U2 - has been touring Africa with Paul O'Neill,
secretary of the treasury."
Global Warming Follies June 8, 2002
"On Tuesday Japan
ratified the Kyoto agreement, as have the members of the European Union. These
countries do not expect Mr. Bush to drop his opposition to Kyoto. But they have
a right to expect something more than a casual rejection of inconvenient
'A New Kind of Science': You Know That Space-Time Thing?
Never Mind, June 9, 2002, by George Johnson
The Hypocrisy of Wall Street Culture, July 14, 2002, by Kate
"In 'The Devil's Dictionary,' Ambrose Bierce famously defined a
corporation as 'an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without
individual responsibility.' Bierce and his wicked definition came to mind when
President Bush called for a 'new ethic of personal responsibility in the
business community' during his Wall Street speech."
"'The savings of many in
the hands of one.' - Eugene Debs"
Enron Execs Remain Free -
Bush/Cheney Co.'s Used Offshore Shelters
got caught yesterday in another stunning example of what is becoming a string
of contradictions between his own corporate behavior and his newfound angst
over crime in the suites. Bush confided to reporters early yesterday that he
was "troubled" by the growing practice of US companies sneaking offshore to
avoid taxes. "I think we ought to look at people who are trying to avoid US
taxes as a problem," he said. "I think American companies ought to pay taxes
here, and be good citizens." At that very moment the New York Daily News was
breaking the story that Bush's own Harken Energy Corp., a Texas oil company,
had itself set up an offshore presence in 1989 to hide potential revenues from
its new Bahrain drilling operations. Later in the day, the White House
confirmed that Harken Energy Corp., where Bush was a director from 1986 to
1993, set up a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands. It was also reported that Vice
President Dick Cheney's company, Halliburton, registered as many as 44
subsidiaries offshore while Cheney was chief executive from 1995 to 2000. When
asked later about his own company's move offshore, Bush was clearly unprepared,
and stammered, "Ah, as far as the Harken issue, we'll try to answer all your
questions on that." Previous questions about Harken's business dealings have
been deflected with suggestions that reporters can find the answers in Harken's
own board meetings and SEC documents. But, the administration has refused
repeated requests for them to call for Harken and the SEC to make those records
THE WASHINGTON POST
Economic crisis swells in S.
America, Argentina's neighbors swept up in turmoil; investors jittery, by
Anthony Faiola, Montevideo, Uruguay, July 31
"The crisis, which analysts
had hoped would be contained to Argentina's financial meltdown six months ago,
has now spread to its neighbors Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. It has threatened
to engulf other politically unstable economies in the region as well, including
Bolivia and Venezuela, where analysts predict deep recessions for this
The Signal Quality of Money, Tom
Robertson, July, 5, 2002
Issues related to inflation/deflation have
mainly to do with the signal quality of money, e.g., to what extent do the
abstract values we place on money (relative to time and place) relate to the
complex dynamic and energetic reality money can only partly represent. Further,
when, as noted in the TV documentary "Commanding Heights," when world trade in
goods and services amounts to $8 Trillion dollars and world trade in currencies
stands at 36 times that amount, at $288 Trillion dollars, this has to be some
kind of a warning that the signal quality of our current economic system is
open not only to question but considerable rethinking and revision.
particularly serious when more or less official national inflation rates are
said to be around 1 to 3 percent or so, with the dollar only increasing some
ten times since 1800. This suggests that as electronic funds transfer and
manipulation came on line in the early 1970s, we have the "official" inflation
rate signaled by traditional inflation--and we have the actual inflation by
"electronic money" that is many times that "official" rate. Thus we begin to
get a good reason why it is important to not only account in monetary terms,
but to also run complementary accounts based on the on the physical (energetic)
processes in which our society finds itself.
In the first place, with
combined money and energetic accounting, we would have a way of knowing among
other things, the free work the natural system does to support our economy; we
would have better indications of the relative merit of our energy
resource/technologies and the net work they let us do; and we will get more
effective warnings of when the signal quality of our money-based economic
system goes berserk, as Enron, WorldCom, and the high levels of
personal/corporate debt are suggesting is happening. And so it goes...
Robertson, Moderator, EnergyResources Group (39°53'N 76° 59'W)
An Open Letter to George W. Bush from Michael Moore
only thing that surprises me more than all the Enron henchmen who ended up in
your cabinet and administration is how our lazy media just rolled over and
didn't report it. The list of Enron people on your payroll is impressive.
Lawrence Lindsey, your chief economic advisor?
former advisor at Enron!
? Former CEO of Alcoa, whose lobbying firm,
Elkins, was the #3 contributor
to the your campaign! Who is Vinson and Elkins?
law firm representing Enron!
Who is Alcoa?
polluter in Texas.
Thomas White, the Secretary of the Army?
former vice-chair of Enron Energy!
Robert Zoellick, your Federal Trade Representative?
former advisor at Enron!
Karl Rove, your main man at the White House? He owned a
dollars of Enron stock
. Then there's the Enron lawyer you have nominated to be a
federal judge in Texas, the Enron lobbyist who is your
chair of the
, the two Enron officials who now work for House Majority
Leader Tom DeLay, and the
of Texas Senator Phil Gramm who sits on Enron's board
. And there's the aforementioned Mr. Pitt, the former Arthur
Andersen attorney whose job it is now as SEC head to oversee the stock markets.
George, it never stops!"
Truth is out there. The beautiful thing about a
democracy is that the truth is so easy to obscure with nonsense. You need to be
an expert in semantics to figure out the contextual ramifications of each word.
Honorable. Right. The honorable Trent Lott says that the right thing has been
done to the American people. What a relief. Then he says that you can't trust
Paul Harvey is no longer with us. It is hard to know the rest
of the story.
Here's what we
Health care insurance, what a foolish mental straight
jacket. The one thing that insurance companies and their actuarial tables do
for health care is to make health care more like something which is dependant
upon a roll of the dice. That's unassuring. We surely would be reassured if the
unsureness of insurance were completely removed from the health care
It's astonishing how many people think that there is no useful
information in the news. It's there. You sometimes have to follow the story for
an extended period of time. Eventually you may be able to figure out whether
Social Security will make society secure or insecure. Bill Buckley has finished
with the Firing Line program. Maybe he heard about the new kid, Paul Krugman.
Krugman means tavern owner in German. Paul Krugman gets the story right quite
often. Disclosure: Krugman is a Princeton professor. What does he profess? Read
the New York Times.