Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Golden Moments

In his book, The Soul of a New Machine, Tracy Kidder quotes Tom West, the leader of the development team for Data General's "Eagle" computer (and a project where I was on the outside looking in), as saying, "there are no golden moments."  In other words, there is never a time when the road to success is assured. Such was with Mitt Romney's twin victories in Michigan and Arizona yesterday ... it was not a golden moment.

Mitt Romney is still in a slog up to the August Republican nomination convention.  I expect him to have setbacks and his share of gaffs prior to Tampa, but I do see him eventually to be (reluctantly) anointed to go up against our sitting President in the fall.  And the final contest might best be compared to his running a 400 meter dash after having just completed a marathon.  So, it will clearly not be easy for Romney ... The Barry will have the money edge and the bully pulpit.  Even the LasVagas oddsmakers have Obama's chances of winning at 6 to 4 (see: Intrade Odds).

But I still have faith that Romney will be our next President ... for no other reason than, if he isn't, I sincerely believe we are toast.

Monday, February 27, 2012


When I was growing up the main-stream media clearly had a right-leaning bias.  Some time around the early 1970's things there flipped dramatically to the left.  I suspect it was a result of the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon's resignation.  However, the events in Viet Nam and the resulting protests ... along with Walter Cronkite's declaration of our eventual defeat by the Viet Cong ... and the publishing of the Pentagon papers by the New York Times ... all clearly presaged Woodward and Bernstein's triumph.  After that, the media fully realized its transformative powers and believed that its primary mission was bringing about even more social change ... as opposed to just reporting,  This coupled with the Supreme Court's decisions emasculating libel laws gave the U.S. media an extraordinary headwind to port.

The question then poses itself -- when will our media's bias flip back to the right?  (And I can confidently predict that this will happen someday ... the question is, of course, when?)  Clearly the Fox News network and the successes of the right-leaning talk radio (and some blogs) suggests that there is some movement in this direction.  However, the media tally (mostly network news, newspapers, Hollywood, and news magazines) is still overwhelmingly liberal.  My wife posed this very question to me this morning while watching Morning Joe on MS/NBC (which was sans Joe Scarborough, and, thus, a little hard to digest without some antacid tablets ... Mika Brzezinski's continued smirks exacerbated my dyspepsia.)

Over the course of today, I've attempted to answer this question many ways ... perhaps a Democrat scandal of the magnitude of Nixon's ... perhaps when Fox News's ratings match those of the combined network news programs ... perhaps even when a right-slanted movie takes the country by storm (Act of Valor?).  All these things are possible indications, but, upon much reflection, I have come up with what I believe to be the acid test ... that would be when that political chameleon, Arianna Huffington, flips back and, once again, becomes a conservative.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Have you ever noticed that almost everyone on television has a gleaming set of pearly whites ... a departed friend of mine used to call them Chiclets?  (I have to put on my sunglasses to watch the smiling women ... in particular Andrea Tantaros and  Kimberly Guilfoyle ... on The Five on Fox at 5:00 PM.)  That is except sometimes, when some of the more frugal among them give that big open-mouth grin, you can see that their back molars are a darker shade of gray.  Has everyone in the nation's eye adopted this new fad and had radical bleach treatments of their teeth? 

Prediction: five years hence, some twenty million dollar government study will show that those who have slavishly followed this dental mania will be doomed to suffer terminal gingivitis.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pond Scum

Pond Scum
TV and radio personality, Dom Imus has a favorite slur.  He often calls those people he doesn't like "pond scum."  (If you have ever watched or heard Imus, he likes very few people.)  Recently the price of gasoline in the U.S. is sky-rocketing ... which presents a headwind for Barack Obama's re-election in the fall.  But President Obama is not fazed.  He is now pontificating about turning this sow's ear into a silk purse ... he feels that algae (pond scum) will be America's next source of renewable energy (@ $26 per gallon).  For those who don't understand politics, The Barry's new pronouncement is a way of changing the subject and showing future voters that he "feels their pain" (and shame on Republicans for now licking their lips over high gasoline prices.)

Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox New commentator, has his own mocking assessment of this new energy initiative on Obama's part ... see: Fox News Report.   I anxiously await Don Imus's next assessment of Obama.


There is a proposed memorial to Dwight David Eisenhower (Ike), our 34th President (1952-1960), that is now under discussion to be erected on the mall in Washington, D.C. (see: Powerline Critique). There is clearly not unanimity of the selected design ... in fact David Eisenhower, Ike's grandson, has resigned from the memorial commission to protest this decision.  I concur.

Prior to his Presidency, Ike was instrumental in winning World War II in Europe and exposing the genocidal atrocities that occurred therein.  I think the historical perspective is that Eisenhower wasn't a great President ... but he was a damn good President ... something we have had a dearth of in the ensuing years.  He championed the interstate highway system, ended the Korean war, helped rebuild Europe, desegregated public schools, and kept Israel from being swallowed up by its belligerent neighbors.

I have my own personal memorial to Ike.  It is a letter he wrote to my mother after she had written to tell him that her 3rd grade student, David Eisenhower, had told her why he wanted his grandfather to be re-elected in 1956.  She had related that David had answered her question with, "Because I want to swim in the White House pool for another four years."  Here is the content of that letter that Ike returned to her:

                     The White House

                               November 10, 1956

Dear Mrs. Burns:

I cannot tell you how delighted I was to receive
your letter.  One of the most compelling reasons
that I decided to stand for re-election was the
hope that I might be able to contribute in a small
way to a better world for David and his class-
mates, and children like them all over the world.
And, too, I hope that David's next four years
bring him no more serious problems than when
he can next swim in the White House pool!

Mrs. Eisenhower joins with me in deep appre-
ciation of your prayers and good wishes.


                       Dwight D. Eisenhower (signature)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Juxtaposition XXXI

Obama Sings Al Green
Joey Voices Sings Sinatra

Burning Up Ants

For me, the analogy that best fits the Republican presidential-primary race is one of a small child burning up ants on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass.  The child is the national media who seem to be taking a sadistic puerile pleasure in incinerating the candidates one by one with opposition research, innuendo, gotcha debate questions, and sneering asides.  And it has worked beautifully.  Tim Pawlenty, pffft!  Michelle Bachmann, pffft!  Herman Cain, pffft!  Rick Perry, pffft!  Jon Huntsman, pffft!

Who's next? 

Mitt Romney barely escaped the searing magnifying-glass flash when George Stephanopoulos, as a debate moderator, asked him in early January if a state could ban contraception (see: Contraception Question).  This out-of-left-field question was so bizarre that Romney deftly batted it away.  But it clearly presaged the current White House tactic to eliminate a GOP candidate or two by swinging the focus away from the economy and onto social issues.  Does Stephanopoulos's then-silly question seem staged to you now?

Unfortunately, poor Rick Santorum has taken this media bait on the White House's "social issue strategy" and is slowly frying under the ensuing media magnification.  And the Democratic machine is now taking the unusual tactic of spending part of its huge war chest to run opposition ads against Romney in the Michigan primary ... since the convenient media narrative is that he must win there to have a chance at the nomination.  And I think the Democrat strategy with Newt Gingrich seems to be that his ego is so big that he will seek out the seering sunlight focused beam all by himself ... thinking it is the spotlight.

And, looking back on things, I can see that the decisions that were made by Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, and Sarah Palin to stay out of this nomination melee were quite perceptive.  I think that they must have seen that big magnifying glass in the sky ...

Monday, February 20, 2012


Irises by Van Gogh

"The meaning and purpose of life is living." -- A Grizzled Guru

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paying the Piper

The current administration's Internal Revenue Service gives with one hand and takes away with the other.  I have just been working on my 2011 income taxes and am surprised to find two (to me) significant changes (i.e., no Schedule M and a decreased lifetime limit on energy tax credits) that increase my taxes by well over a thousand dollars.  I find it interesting that these changes have been slipped into the tax code with little fanfare while, at the same time, I hear the political hoopla about the continuation of reduced payroll taxes.  The difference still seems a net gain for The Barry's tax collectors.  To see a detailed list of this year's changes go to: Tax Code Changes.

Understand, I am not here objecting to paying more in taxes, but, not being in the 1%, I am wondering what other changes are still in the works (hopefully, removal of the carried interest tax rate.)  And I have to speculate what might be the effect on total tax receipts given our sluggish level of economic activity.  If aggregate government tax receipts increase substantially this year (as I expect) and if our deficit still lingers in the stratosphere, then I am beginning to see the outlines of regressive taxing on the part of those who tout progressive tax reform ... as well as continued fire-hose-like government spending.  Given the incessant shifting of the tax-code, no wonder U.S. businesses are sitting on their hands.  Clarity and direction would surely improve things.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Political Digs

I have be criticized for the sliming of Obama on this blog (maybe justifiably so.)  However, Willie Geist took a silly hypercritical dig at Mitt  Romney this morning on Morning Joe when he asked the Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, how tall the trees were in his state?  This was because yesterday Romney was extolling the virtues of Michigan at a pre-primary rally.  He said, among many things, that in Michigan  "The trees are just the right height." Has Willie Geist never heard of hyperbole?  Shall we ask Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion if the children in Lake Wobegon are truly "all above average?"

Now, I have generally found Geist to be even-handed and unbiased.  However, being inculcated on MS/NBC (the cable channel that has just blacklisted Pat Buchanan... see: MS/NBC Blacklisting) for all these many moons, I guess such things are inevitable.  And I suppose that he has to read what is on the teleprompter.  It's too bad that these inane slights against both candidates will have to happen in the run-up to the Presidential election.  (I'll try to do my part here.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In the Weeds

There is a popular media putdown for anyone who tries to explain anything more complicated than how to take an aspirin.  This goes something like "you're too far in the weeds on this."  In other words, "the American public is too stupid (or distracted) to understand the details of what you are trying to say."  And so, the viewers or listeners seldom get the real story beyond the superficials on any issue.  And to continue the thought on my previous blog (A Master Politician) ... politicians have come to rely on this tropism and convolute their messages so as to win the soundbite contest.  A perfect example of this trend is the current back and forth between religious freedom and HHS Secretary Sibelius's edict on medical-insurance coverages.  I won't go into the weeds on this issue, but you decide which message is directed to a dumbed-down American electorate.

Apparently this was not the case when Ross Perot was running for President in 1992.  He could pull out his many financial charts on the Larry King Live show and expound for an hour on how the United States was going down the tubes.  And we listened to him ... and, if he had not gone a little paranoid toward the end of his candidacy, we might well have elected him.  What has changed?  I wish I was smart enough to figure out this conundrum.  But, if I could, I doubt if many would stick around long enough to read my analysis.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Master Politician ...

President Barack Obama

And gifted orator ... yet a fiscal fool.  His 2013 budget proposal is so ludicrous it should have been written with crayons on shirt cardboards and floated into Congress affixed to helium balloons tied to hyenas's tails.  Even the liberals are laughing (see: The Atlantic Story).   It cynically would produce at minimum a $1.3 trillion deficit for our next fiscal year ... a suicide note.  And yet Obama has backed the Republicans into a corner politically so that they cannot force the Democrats to cut spending to pay for the payroll tax cuts ... in order to try to keep the Social Security program solvent for our children. 

Silly Democrat Harry Reid brought last year's Presidential budget submission to a vote in the Senate.  It lost 97-0.  He won't make the same mistake this year ... it won't even be brought up for a vote.  Yet the President will say this is another instance of a do-nothing Congress.  And the American people won't understand this inane and dangerous jester-prank.

In fact this is a good way to differentiate good policy from good politics.  Good policy is a statesman's attempt to do right by the country ... whereas good politics is the demagogue's attempt to push any agenda no matter how damaging if it is beyond the comprehension of the American public.  And the media will cooperate to make it sound like good policy.  Unfortunately we have a consummate politician at our helm ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Canard Test

There is a somewhat suspicious old saying that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.  We now have a true-to-life test of this canard in that our uber-liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and his guests were recently robbed by a machete-wielding intruder in his Nevis vacation home (see: Fox News Story).

Side Bar: Does anyone believe that any vacation home on Nevis is only worth between $100,000 and $250,000 ... as reported by Breyer in his latest financial disclosure statement?  Or is this the real canard?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Greasing the Skids

Greece erupted in disturbing violence yesterday in response to the austerity measures that are being required of it to get the next round of bailout money.  I won't go into the details of this rioting ... you can read about it here.  The point of this blog entry is to reprise two data points I heard this AM on television.  First, in 2010 Greece passed a set of austerity measures to get the first round of bailout money - $61 billion.  It implemented not one of them.  Secondly, this time around the European Union (read Angela Merkel) is not taking the Greek Parliament at their collective word.  It is requiring the Greek party leaders to sign personal pledges to implement the measures that were passed into law yesterday before the $160+ billion of bailout money will be released to them (see: Wall Street Journal Article).

This sounds to me a little like the Treaty of Versailles that was foisted upon and humiliated Germany after World War I ... which many feel set the stage for World War II.  One wonders what this forced-fed dirt dish will eventually elicit from Greece?  Enter the drachma [stage right] ... ?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hanging Crepe

That gifted singer, Whitney Houston, has died ... resulting from a presumed overdose of whatever drug(s) ... see: EOnline Story.  Much of our nation and media are gnashing their collective teeth at her passing.  However, I prefer to hang some black crepe for the thousands of innocent Mexicans who have died at the hands of the drug lords down there.  They have been supplying, at great profit, Whitney and her ilk among the Hollywood glitterati the pills, powders and plants that alter their minds ... so they cannot see the grievous damage they are inflicting on others.  All too often anyone who stands in the way of these feel-good suppliers is brutally offed

When will these nose-knows nabobs ever learn?

Saturday, February 11, 2012


First Bachmann, then Santorum, then Romney, then Gingrich, then Romney, then Romney again, then Santorum, then Santorum again, then Santorum once again, and now Romney again ... I am getting a bit of vertigo from this rapid changing of front-runners in the the Republican Presidential nomination race.  Still the handicapper "pundits" think that Romney will be in front when all the ballyhoo is over in Tampa in August.  As a regular reader of this blog might know, I want Romney to win this carousel derby.  However, the whirligigging of this race has been a little unnerving, but I can find some solace in that I haven't seen a dark horse rider reaching for the brass ring ... yet.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Teaching to the Test

Apparently the Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, roared a little too loudly when he helped construct the "No Child Left Behind" legislation during the early Bush-43 years.  For now, about ten years later, another Democrat reformer, The Barry, has declared this law too draconian and granted ten states exemptions to its provisions (with 28 more states to follow) -- another of the many examples of executive ukase under this regime. (See: L.A. Times Story). In announcing this one of his many end-runs around Congress, Obama declared that this attempt to increase students' proficiencies across our nation was "teaching to the test."  This is precisely the same liberal canard that has been used in Massachusetts to deprecate the MCAS testing here (Massachusetts, of course, was one of the ten states granted a waver.)

And this is despite (or maybe "because of"?) the dramatic spending increases that Arne Duncan has enjoyed during his tenure aas head of the Department of Education -- $39.9 billion in his first year (fiscal 2009) with the President's budget calling for $68.0 billion in fiscal 2012 (see: Department of Education Spending and click on the Excel table).  And I seem to recall the hoopla surrounding Duncan's appointment where his credentials and rhetoric suggested that his entire raison d'être was to improve the testing results of United States students.  Apparently the air has gone out of this balloon ... to be replaced by a condom?

For more of my thoughts on this subject see: Duncan Donuts.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Culture Warrior

Apparently the race for the Republican Presidential nomination has shifted away from fixing our economic malaise and reining-in our national deficits toward the remedying of traditional right-wing cultural issues ... abortion, gay marriage and sterilization services.  The evidence for this is Rick Santorum's three primary/caucus victories in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri on Tuesday.  Some of the precipitating events for these upsets occurring, I think, may be the better-than-expected unemployment statistics that were recently released by the Obama administration ... coupled with the recent HHS's Sebelius's abortion/sterilization health-care-coverage edict that has roiled the Catholic Church ... and the recent overturning of the gay-marriage ban in California by the 9th Circuit of Appeals.

My take on this political sea change is that it is a huge mistake on the part of American conservatives.  To paraphrase James Carville ... "it was, is and will be the economy stupid."  I honestly believe that we have not yet even begun to reverse our forced march toward national penury.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Navy SEAL hopefuls in the surf

I find it interesting how the purposeful shifting of semantics is often used to achieve social and political ends.  There is currently a brewing brouhaha at Dartmouth College about hazing ... spawned, in my opinion, by a vindictive fraternity member who was ratted out by his brothers for his drug use and then, also in my opinion, concocted a bizarre story about his hazing experiences.  He has now gone national with this narrative and, as a consequence, hazing is rapidly becoming a cause célèbre.  The word "hazing" is taking on a relatively new and ominously pejorative tone that is being used not only to bash such previously tacitly accepted practices ... but also to attack fraternities in general.

Let me be clear, initiation rites when practiced with sadistic intentions are wrong, but finding a bright line between cruelty and those ordeals designed to encourage institutional loyalty and unit cohesion is sometimes difficult to define.  May I present some examples to illustrate my point:

- The Navy SEALs undergo extreme and rigorous "training" (see: Navy SEAL Training) in which the drop-out rate is about 90%.   This training is quite successful ... witness the series of dramatic victories this unit has achieved in recent years.  However, this training does include one section that one might classify as somewhat sadistic, viz:
Another important part of basic conditioning is drown-proofing. In this evolution, trainees must learn to swim with both their hands and their feet bound. To pass drown-proofing, trainees enter a 9-foot-deep pool and complete the following steps with their hands and feet tied: bob for 5 minutes, float for 5 minutes, swim 100 meters, bob for 2 minutes, do some forward and backward flips, swim to the bottom of the pool and retrieve an object with their teeth, and then return to the surface and bob five more times
- The Stations of the Cross that Jesus Christ had to endure ... possibly even endorsed by God himself ... have always appeared to be a bit sadistic. Flogging, spearing, a crown of thorns, a vinegar drink, etc. ... as well as the crucifixion itself, may all have been ordeals ordained to create a cohesive empathy among the Christian community.  I think it has worked.

- Discipline aboard British naval sailing ships was quite brutal and often sadistic.  However, it did help propel the English navy to world dominance.  One needs only read some of Patrick O'Brian's books such as Master and Commander to understand how the savage discipline aboard these man-o-wars was required to insure that the crew acted as a well-oiled unit when the bigger tests came ... naval battles when all their lives were on the line.

- Even though it is just mythology, the Twelve Labors of Hercules were ordeals mandated by Hera to test Hercules's strength and make him atone for his crimes. However, being made to clean the Augean stables in one day seems a little over-the-top sadistic to me.

There are numerous other examples of initiation ceremonies ... such as the sometimes weird Neptune frivolities celebrated when crossing the equator aboard ship, "boys will be boys" pranks in English public schools (read a few Harry Potter books), the current exposure of bullying in U.S. High Schools, and even that which is shown in al Qaeda propaganda training films. 

Although a noble objective, the current mania to banish sadism from the human psyche may (hopefully) cause pause among some initiators ... but I seriously doubt that "hazing", under whatever semantic form, will ever disappear entirely from our societies ... because it sometimes does seem to have a meaningful purpose.

Monday, February 06, 2012


I have been threatened with excommunication from the Church of Conventional Wisdom unless I stop my incessant attacks against Barack Obama on this blog.  So I am duely cowed and will herein provide some selected kudos to the White House and its apparatchiks for their successes over the last three years.  As well as I can remember I now offer these paeans to our President for:

1) The Navy Seals' 2009 sniper killing of those Somali pirates after they had captured a U.S. merchant vessel (see: ABC News Account)
2) The increased tempo of U.S. drone attacks in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan which have killed many al Qaeda and Taliban higher-ups.
3) The Navy Seals' bold 2011 attack inside Pakistan and the resultant killing of Osama Bin Laden (see: ABC News Account )
4) The Navy-Seal recent rescue of two Americans aid workers in Somali (see: ABC News Account)
5) The Navy Seals' early 2011 killing of two Somali pirates after they had killed four Americans in their yacht off the Somali coast (see: NY Times Account)
6) Last year, the U.S.'s. seccessful backseat overthrow and snuffing of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya (see: Reuters Account)

Other than Obama's examplar family life, this is all I can immediately bring to mind without contacting David Axelrod for help.

Actually, come this fall, I might be tempted to write in a vote for the head of the Navy Seals for President ...

Friday, February 03, 2012


Lucille Ball
you got some splainin' to do" ...  In this case "Lucy" is the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  We were greeted this morning with some encouraging employment numbers (see: LA Times Story).  In particular, this nation's unemployment rate has dropped to 8.3%.  As is my wont, I then went to the source data at the Bureau to see what was what (see: CPS Tables and click on the HTML version of the A-1 table under Monthly Household Data).  And what I found was puzzling ... the civilian noninstitutional population (a non-seasonally-adjusted number) increased by almost 1.7 million in the month of January alone.  This compares to an average increase throughout all of 2011 of around 140 thousand per month.  This makes the current figure over 12 times higher than what might be considered normal!  This is certainly an outlying statistical jump and needs to be explained if one is to understand (and maybe even trust) these new good unemployment numbers.

My guess -- perhaps it is the huge jump in foreign nationals entering the U.S. to take jobs not given ... or maybe not even offered to U.S. citizens (see: Numbers USA) and this needs to be accounted for by the Bureau ... and it chose to do so all in the month of January.

And also please note the very large pop in the number of people who have left the labor force in January  ... almost 1.2 million versus an average of 215 thousand per month throughout 2011.  This is up by a factor of almost 6!  I find this too to be somewhat strange.

So, although the reported unemployment numbers do appear to be encouraging for our economic prospects, I am not doing cartwheels quite yet.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Safety Net

Mitt Romney recently said that he is not worried about the poor ... they have a safety net ... and if the net is broken, he will fix it.  Most "pundits" on the left and the right consider this a major gaff that Romney needs to walk back.  I'm not quite so sure.  I believe that the safety net that our European-style welfare economy has constructed is nearly as universal as humanly possible ... and our politicians constantly vie to outdo each other finding even newer benefits.  I recently wrote about how the poor in this country are now getting free cell phones (see: Alphabet Soup).  Now I read that our safety net includes another goodie -- nearly free high-speed Internet access (see: NY Post Article).  Wow!  We middle-class schlubs are paying north of $50 per month for broadband Internet access.  So this reduced fee ($10 per month) then amounts to about another $480 per year of cost forgiveness (this time, courtesy of The Barry) to those who already have a myriad of government benefits.

I would really love to see a definitive financial spreadsheet of all this government largess (Section-8 housing, heating assistance, Medicaid, free school lunches, free cell phones, SSI, cash aid to dependent families, food stamps/EBT cards, free transportation, earned-income tax credits, reduced Internet costs, educational grants, etc. etc.) that a go-getting welfare family does, in fact, receive.  I suspect such a compendium would show few if any holes in the safety net and shock the American public into a movement toward real welfare reform.  Were this to happen, Romney's words may not be so damaging after all.


I have an incurable disease ... old-fogeyism.  As a result I have no business blogging about Facebook.  I don't understand its popularity.  And I don't understand its intricate mechanics ... nor do I care to learn.  Somehow I have gotten registered as one of its billion or so users and keep getting those annoying messages that there are things pending for me there.  Yawn ...  It is just one more cyber-technology I would prefer not letting into my life.  Ditto Twitter.  Texting has me perplexed.  Why would one take the time to type a message to someone when one's voice message is oodles more efficient?  And I keep hearing ominous things about how Facebook is using or is going to use all the dumb things (I must be careful here ... my daughter is a big user) that its users post on its tens of thousands of racked computers to invade their privacy bubbles.  No thanks.

Now, this stupid company is going public this spring with a stock offering which will probably value it close to $100 billion.  That's billion ... not million (see ENews Account) ... enough money to rescue Greece from its financial predicament. And that 27-year old puke, Mark Zuckerberg, will become a multi-multi-billionaire (sidebar: I haven't seen the movie, Social Networking, either, nor will I).  Is this rational?  Not to me ... but it clearly is to the millions of Facebook aficionados who will be clamoring to buy this initial public offering (IPO) which might value Facebook at something like twenty-five times its trailing annual revenues (see: IPO Details).  This clearly is insane ... but then so was Google's IPO that came out at $85 per share and is now selling for $580 per share (= a market valuation of $188 billion).  So Facebook should get this hyperbolic initial market valuation which will likely then be even more insanely eclipsed by its soaring stock price during its first day of trading.

Caution to all of you who want to take part in this Wall-Street mania ... yes, you might make a pot of money if you buy this stock early-on.  But caveat emptor ... at some point this bubble will burst and Facebook will take a faceplant ... it might take days or months or even years.  But, be assured, it will happen ... mainly because Facebook's product is so ephemeral.  (It might take somewhat longer, but the same fate should also eventually happen to Google.)

Gotta go ... I have to take my Studebaker in for an oil change.