Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fascinating Tidbit To FLG

Apparently, there was Royal Navy class of ship called Arethusa, and one of those was named HMS Galatea.

Some Quick Responses

Galatea wrote:
What if benefits from lightbulb or window replacement do indeed outweigh greater cost, but over a decent span of time -- say, a year's worth of energy bills?

The example I am really thinking of here is air conditioning. A cheap window unit air conditioner cost me $100. A wall-mounted efficient Japanese beast would have cost me $1000. I didn't have $1000 when I moved in. But a year later, I'd spent more cooling the bedroom than I would have with the Mitsubishi.

Paying me to make the efficient choice would have been a way of expanding my capability to make a long-term decision. Instead, I made the short-run choice: I want to not have heat stroke now, and lose money later.

FLG doubts that the Mitsubishi would've saved you $900 in energy bills over a year. Over five or ten years? Okay. The question is whether the savings, spread out over years, is worth more than $900 when discounted to today. Maybe, maybe not. To be honest, FLG'd rather have the government increase the cost of energy through a tax rather than subsidizing initial purchases. It's less distorting that way.

Now, one thing that increasing the cost of energy doesn't do, which you pointed out, is deal with liquidity issues. If you don't have $1,000 and are unable to borrow $1,000, then there's an issue. If, however, you are able, but unwilling to borrow the $1,000 to purchase the Mitsubishi, then FLG has less issue. It's just a straight up investment decision. The investment in the the more efficient AC unit just doesn't pay out. Again, raising energy prices through a tax may change this calculation.

Dance wrote over at Prof Mondo's place:
Also, really? Comparing IQs? Is that ever a useful line of discussion? (note: I come from a household where my mother taught a one-room schoolhouse and took kids diagnosed as special-Ed and brought them up to/past grade level. Let’s improve nurture before worrying about nature. (are those short-term/long-term categories, FLG?))

Not sure if they are long-term versus short-term. FLG is all for improving Nurture wherever and whenever possible, but to ignore Nature entirely seems a bit unwise. But he certainly agrees that talking about IQs is not particularly useful or helpful.

Uncertainty Part Three

JTL responds:
Now you're just talking-points-mongering. No major spending or regulation legislation in the last generation has been well-understood in its details prior to passage by legislators, to say nothing of the people in the private sector affected by it. Medicare Part D certainly wasn't. The fact that one supporter of the ACA committed the Kinsley gaffe of saying this out loud doesn't mean that the ACA is actually any different.

You get increases in uncertainty from retrospective changes in the rules-- as was true for the treatment of creditors in the GM bailout, but as was also true for TARP. But "in the future legislators will do some damn thing or another that affects the further future" is just the nature of the game.

How about this: Current law has the Bush tax cuts all expiring in < 2 years. That's nice and clear. Along comes a Republican presidential candidate promising to keep them in place and a bunch of Republican Congressmen proposing to screw around with the debt ceiling unless the expiration is repealed. Where do you place responsibility for the accompanying increase in uncertainty about what tax rates will be three years out?

Alright, FLG ain't no Republican talking points shill, so he must assume that his previous posts miscommunicated his meaning. So, he'll back up a bit and start again.

FLG asserts that while uncertainty always exists, not just in politics, but in life on this planet; however, the level of uncertainty varies. Or, to put a finer point on it, whether the actual level of uncertainty varies is almost irrelevant because the perception of the level of uncertainty varies. FLG would argue that as the perception of uncertainty increases, this has adverse effects on long-term planning, including but not limited to investment decisions.

This distinction between uncertainty and the perception of uncertainty, FLG thinks, allows from common ground between FLG and Jacob here. Perceptions are influenced by biases, etc. If we assume that corporate honchos are more wary of regulation than deregulation and more taxation than less taxation, then their perceptions of the level of uncertainty will be adversely affected, even if the overall uncertainty level remains constant.

Is it fair? Not really. Does it matter? FLG'd argue, yes. These corporate types make long-term investment decisions. Maybe their worldview is unfairly or unreasonably biased against regulation and taxation, but that doesn't change that their level of perceived uncertainty looking forward adversely affects investment decisions. Obviously, Democratic administrations will face an uphill battle, but since we are dealing with perceptions, the messaging surrounding the health care bill is certainly something that didn't help. That's the point FLG was trying to make when bringing up Pelosi, not to score talking points.

One last, important point: it's not just conservatives that point to regulatory uncertainty as something that inhibits investment. When it comes to alternative energy and other environmental issues, it's the left that is arguing regulatory uncertainty is inhibiting investment.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goings On At Georgetown

FLG finds this all very funny:
the three students — two of whom are current staffers of the student media outlet The Voice — fled to The Voice's office on the fourth floor of Leavey with the officers in pursuit, according to Smith. The three locked the door of the office and then decided to avoid capture by breaking through the drop ceiling panels and crawling into the adjacent offices, Smith said.


Two of the students turned themselves in after the destruction, but one of the suspects exited through a fourth-floor window and was found on the outcropping overhang connected to the second floor. That suspect sustained serious injuries after dropping two stories and is currently recovering at the Georgetown University Hospital.

Odds that they had several hurricanes in preparation for the hurricane?

Uncertainty Continues

Jacob T Levy writes:
I've never understood this claim at all. Uncertainty about political outcomes is endemic to politics. There's never a fixed point of tax policy or regulation policy, and anyone whose business model depends on there being no changes in the tax or regulatory environment ever doesn't actually have a business model. The next relevant election is never more than two years away; there's *always* uncertainty.

As happy as I am to have sticks with which to beat high taxes or overregulation, I just can't see that it's the case that there's any asymmetry with respect to uncertainty. If I'm investing under a low-tax low-regulation president, I'm uncertain whether those conditions will still hold two years out-- not to mention being uncertain whether the normal meat grinder of politics will result in my rivals getting a tax subsidy or protectionism cutting off my supply chain or, or, or. Your ostensibly low-tax president might or might not decide that he's going to buy re-election with an unfunded prescription drug entitlement; who knows? It might or might not pass; who knows?

High taxes and lots of regulation might be (in my view generally are) bad. But having a president who wants to increase both doesn't increase *uncertainty* any more than having a president who wants to decrease both. It's having politics at all that throws us into that uncertain world.

You've set it up as sort of a dichotomy, either there is the possibility of regulatory change or there is none. But it's more of a spectrum. I could get hit by a meteor at any time, but I don't lose sleep over it because the possibility is so remote. That there is uncertainty surrounding it is not really a factor.

I'd argue that the Obama Administration is farther toward the greater uncertainty side of the spectrum than previous administrations. A prime example was the insistence of moving forward with a controversial, and I'd argue unpopular at the time and still unpopular, health care reform bill. That really did spook many of the corporate types I know.

Perhaps they were spooked because of their political inclinations, but I don't think that's all of it. I think there is real uncertainty when people say we need to pass bills to find out what is in them.

Think About Things For More Than Three Seconds Before You Try To Make A Public Political Point

So, Rick Steves, travel guru, donated $1 million to a local arts center.

Steves says he's alarmed that the tax burden on rich people has dropped while public funding for important local programs has been slashed.

Steves is encouraging other people who are financially well off to make similar donations.

Holy fucking shit, is this guy an idiot or what?

Look, Rick, if you wanted to make a political point about your tax burden, then you should've cut a check to:
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220

You'd see, if you'd turned on your tinsy-tiny brain for a second, that the Bush tax cuts that you are protesting, in fact, allowed you to choose the very program that you wish to support with your money. Rather than it going to the general federal fund, to be allocated by a mish-mash of branches and departments, you sent it directly to where you thought it would do the most good. This is pretty much one of the pillars of the conservative argument that private charity can fill the void of many government programs.

And so, in your witless attempt at political spectacle, you support the side you intended to impugn. Bravo, Rick Steves. Bravo!


Via PEG, FLG learns that Matt Yglesias has discovered, praise the Lord, that regulatory uncertainty increases risk for entrepreneurs:
Walking around Washington, DC it’s difficult not to notice that there are a lot of vacant storefronts in the non-downtown portions of the city. There are also a lot of unemployed working class people, even as the college educated professionals in town enjoy one of the strongest labor markets in the country. It’s a bit of a puzzling situation. Why don’t markets clear? Surely these idle resources—vacant retail spaces, unemployed workers—should be mobilized to some purpose? In most of the country, I think these kind of problems can be attributed primarily to a shortfall of demand. That’s not the case in DC. There’s plenty of demand for bars and restaurants. There’s plenty of space where bars and restaurants could open. There are plenty of people who need jobs. What’s more, there are plenty of people who could use the increased social services that higher tax revenue would provide. Instead, we’re doing this. Not just one restaurant shut down, but a sign to would-be entrepreneurs everywhere that their potential investments are much riskier than a superficial read of market conditions would suggest.

Is it so far a leap to say that uncertainty about what precisely the Obama Administration meant/means to do about taxes, health care, and regulation might just have adverse effects on a national scale? If FLG remembers correctly, Matt felt this was entirely suspect.

This isn't to say that insufficient aggregate demand isn't a problem, or even the primary problem, but it seems clear that the many of the same dynamics that apply to liquor licenses also apply to a variety of government interventions in the economy broadly.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Time Horizons: Utopia Edition

FLG isn't quite sure what to make of this article on the meaning of Utopia, but he did find it rife with time horizons references. Here's one of the opening quotations, all bolds are FLG's emphasis:
Even among bourgeois economists, there is hardly a serious thinker who will deny that it is possible, by means of currently existing material and intellectual forces of production, to put an end to hunger and poverty, and that the present state of things is due to the socio-political organization of the world.

— Herbert Marcuse, “The End of Utopia”

FLG's beloved Plato gets a large mention:
Plato’s “Republic” is commonly described as the first philosophical utopia. But this usage of the notion of utopia is quite illegitimate, because utopia, by its very etymology, means without-place, whereas Plato’s republic absolutely does not correspond to this definition. It is, in fact, that which par excellence has a place in the intelligible world.

By contrast, for Plato what has no place is the perceptible society of the here and now, in perpetual change, subject to all sorts of evils and incapable of taking human beings to where their true essence leads them. For Plato the organization and laws of the republic have to be inscribed in the perceptible world, however difficult this may be.

But for Machiavelli there is no elsewhere. It is no use escaping, dreaming about imaginary states. One has to stay here and now, and return to the “effective truth of the thing” in politics.

What makes this piece troubling for FLG is the contrast between Utopia, no place, and what the author, or rather the translator, describes here and now. As if there is nothing between the instantaneous present and some hypothetical world that doesn't exist. This sort of false dichotomy is most glaring when the author addresses Plato.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Object Sex

Caught this on the National Geographic Channel:

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Conversation

Coworker: FLG, yesterday you came into the office in a seersucker suit and a pink tie. Today, you're wearing a pink Hawaiian shirt. Yet, you pulled both of them off. I could never do that. Heck, I don't wear pink at all. What's the secret?

FLG: Secret? There's no secret. I simply very comfortable wearing those clothes because I'm always serenely insouciant, but only because I possess an unwavering self-confidence.

Coworker: I'm not sure what that means.

FLG: It's a fancy way of saying that I'm such an egotist that I don't give a fuck what other people think of me. In fact, at a deeper level, I find it all very amusing. Thus, I feel perfectly comfortable in seersucker, Hawaiian shirts, or pink.

Couple Of Things

First, FLG wishes he were in London for this because as far as he's concerned China doesn't have any soft power to speak of and so he'd love to hear what challenge this supposed soft power poses.

Second, The Ancient is convinced that the League of Ordinary Gentlemen is inappropriately beneath the level of FLG's ire, and FLG reluctantly agrees. So, from now on, he'll find more becoming targets to insult and annihilate.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Time Horizons: An Eyebleedingly Dumb Idiot Edition

Look, FLG didn't think LOG could get any worse than when Freddie was blogging over there. But then Rufus went around intellectually sodomizing the Western canon like a baboon with rabies and the clap. Ever since, FLG has been less enthusiastic about peeking in to see what's going on over there. Apparently, in the mean time, they've gotten a new contributor, named Elias Isquith. Jason Kuznicki highlighted much of the paragraph below in the post that FLG initially read, but then here's the whole thing.

All FLG can say is Holy fucking fuckitity fuck.

I’m going to agree with this. In general, I’m not fond of the strain that I see sometimes in politics (on the right and left) that advocates policies which are kind of paternalistic in essence, whether it’s the “save you from yourself” kind or the “learn the consequences of your actions” kind. Let’s just try to do our best not to use the law to teach lessons, and simply focus on creating policy with first-degree benefits. Inflicting pain on the assumption that it will inevitably lead to better behavior doesn’t even work for training dogs, so why think it’ll work any better for human beings?

Alright, there are a bunch of things wrong here, including that training dogs has fuck all to do with how human beings learn but FLG will leave that aside for now. Pain might not work for dogs, but might work for humans because, I dunno, hypothetically speaking, HUMANS ARE SMARTER AND CAN DEDUCE THE SOURCE OF THE PAIN AND WHY IT'S OCCURRING?! Don't get FLG wrong. He's not arguing for pain for pain's sake or even for pain in general, but holy fucking fuck what a fucking idiot this Elias guy is.

But then, let's get to the real issue, FLG has, which, entirely unsurprisingly, ties back into FLG's Time Horizons theory. To recap for those new to FLG's place, FLG's time horizons theory states that conservatives are relatively more concerned about the long run and consequently tend to give more credence toward the theoretical, second-order/unintended effect and less emphasis on empiricism. Liberals, on the other hand, are more present, short run oriented, and are concomitantly more focused on empirical results, first-order effects, and relatively less on theory.

FLG says theory rather than ideology, even though many liberals pride themselves on being practical and finding practical, effective solutions rather than dogmatically pursuing policies (See Klein, Ezra), but this entire outlook is actually undergirded by the normative assumptions above that the present matters more than the future and that empricism is more important than theory. Again, relatively speaking.

Okay, FLG, where are you going with this?

Glad you asked. Let's focus on this one sentence:
Let’s just try to do our best not to use the law to teach lessons, and simply focus on creating policy with first-degree benefits.

What is this actually saying? It's saying don't worry about future, unintended, and second-order effects. Instead, worry only and narrowly about the direct and immediate impact of a policy.

To put it more proverbially, Elias is arguing:
The law shouldn't teach a man to fish, thus feeding him for a lifetime. It should provide a fish. What about the next day? It should give him a fish again.

Look, as FLG has said before, his time horizons theory, despite most other people's initial reactions, isn't meant to be normative, but positive. How much to weight the present versus the future, an individual's discount rate if you will, is something reasonable people can disagree about. In fact, FLG thinks by couching the argument in terms of present versus future we'd be more likely to come to some sort of agreement rather than accusing one side or the other of bad motives or stupidity.

For example, present unemployment is so high that it trumps the concerns about long-term fiscal problems is a reasonable and perfectly legitimate stance.

The thing that irks FLG, however, is that liberals (and FLG is probably swerving into normative and less conducive to productive disagreement here) are far too often completely ignorant of their blindspot when it comes to the future. They look at present conditions, empirical data, and then make a decision. Anything contrary to that must be insane or based upon bad motives. And these implied motives are almost always rooted in the present. Some short-term advantage or wielding of power. Rather than potentially legitimate concerns about future and less direct effects.

FLG thinks conservatives are less blind on these types of issues. It's easy to understand the moral case for alleviating present suffering. That doesn't mean it's always the right thing to do. It could, like putting butter on a burn, exacerbate the problem over the long run.

However, Elias, as it seems from this one post, is largely oblivious to this flaw in his reasoning to the point where he seems to imply that he wants the law to explicitly ignore these concerns as irrelevant or inherently suspect.

Time Horizons: Bioethics Edition

FLG often gets pushback from people about his time horizons theory. Applies to economics questions, they say, but less true for other issues, particularly moral and ethical dilemmas.

Here's Ross Douthat:
From embryo experimentation to selective reduction to the eugenic uses of abortion, liberals always promise to draw lines and then never actually manage to draw them. Like Dr. Evans, they find reasons to embrace each new technological leap while promising to resist the next one — and then time passes, science marches on, and they find reasons why the next moral compromise, too, must be accepted for the greater good, or at least tolerated in the name of privacy and choice. You can always count on them to worry, often perceptively, about hypothetical evils, potential slips down the bioethical slope. But they’re either ineffectual or accommodating once an evil actually arrives. Tomorrow, they always say — tomorrow, we’ll draw the line. But tomorrow never comes.

Tomorrow's worries are so far away when you live in a Eternal Now. An Eternal Today. There's a tangible, measurable benefit right now. How can a hypothetical future consequence even be seriously considered as relevant?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Libyan Motives

FLG noticed that Chris Petersen, over at Through a Glass Darkly, seems a bit perplexed by the international community's (IC) rush to see the Colonel in Libya gone.

He writes:
The best that I can surmise is that the IC has always been nervous that Qaddafi might backslide to his former ways so that when the rebels looked like they were going to achieve a quick victory the IC jumped at the opportunity to back the group that they believed would quickly topple Qaddafi. But it soon became clear that the rebels were not going to achieve victory on their own. Worse still, it looked as if Qaddafi would be successful in crushing the rebellion. This probability I believe made the IC quick to intervene. Why? Because they realized that if Qaddafi regained complete control of his country he wouldn't forget how quickly the IC abandoned him. From Qaddafi's point of view there would no longer be any incentive for him not to support (and conduct) terrorism, to pursue WMDs, to completely renationalize Libya's oil, to return to a harsh position against Israel, etc. In other words, Qaddafi's foreign policy would once again become troublesome, if not more so. Of course, the ostensible reason the IC decided to militarily intervene in the Libyan civil war is because of a human rights issue, namely, Qaddafi's brutal crackdown of protesters (clearly they weren't going to secure a UN resolution otherwise hence the requisite human rights language). But I don't believe it's the real reason. Though it was denied again and again, even by President Obama, the goal has always been regime change. Because again, I think they realized their folly and in order to ensure Qaddafi wouldn't return to power and once again become a menace to them the IC decided to intervene in the conflict. To sum up, the fear of a return of a Pre-Lockerbie Bombing Qaddafi is the principal reason why the IC wants Qaddafi gone and not because he was in violation of the UN's human rights charter.

FLG looked at this a bit differently. Basically, in FLG's view, the IC didn't drive this so much as the UK and France. The UK and France have, over the years and to greater and lesser extents, carried water for/turned a blind eye toward the Libyans. The most obvious examples that come to mind are banning the US from using French airspace during the '86 bombing, the UK pressuring Scotland to release the Lockerbie bomber, and generally allowing the sons to cavort around London and Paris, including allowing Saif to earn a PhD from the London School of Economics.

Now, they did this because of the oil, but they rationalised by saying Qaddafi had reformed himself. When it became clear that he hadn't and was going to hang onto power by any means necessary, including large amounts of violence, then they couldn't abide by their rationalisation any longer.

Anyway, so it was the UK and France. They then got acquiescence from Russia and China because they realised, correctly, that the Brits and French would have a hell of a problem projecting power even across the Med. So, it would be no big deal. Any resolution wouldn't really ahve teeth. Where Russia and China miscalculated, FLG thinks, is that they assumed the US would act rationally -- no real strategic interest, already fighting two wars, economic problems at home -- and wouldn't get involved. They were wrong.

Regardless of the outcome, FLG still maintains the US shouldn't have gotten involved. As far as he's concerned, taking action against Syria makes more sense and we haven't even hinted at that. (Just to be clear, however, FLG isn't in favor of taking action in Syria either.)

To summarise:
FLG sees this entire intervention as the result of the UK and France being embarrassed about being taken for suckers by a crazy mad man and his offspring.

FLG is currently listening to

On Breaking Windows

Matt Yglesias:
The fact that breaking windows would make a society poorer (fewer windows) is precisely why nobody ever proposes stimulating the economy by deliberately smashing windows. But the way the dialogue works is that first a Keynesian observes that fiscal stimulus can increase growth in a depressed economy. Second, as an attempted reductio, a conservative says “if that was true, then you could increase growth by breaking a bunch of windows.” Third, the Keynesian accurately points out that you could, in fact, increase growth by breaking windows. Fourth, the conservative accuses Keynesians of wanting to break windows or believing that window-breaking increases wealth. But nobody ever said that! The point is that we have very good reasons to think smashing windows would be a bad idea—there’s more to life than full employment—and that’s why Keynesians generally want to boost employment by having people do something useful like renovate schools or repair bridges.

As regular readers know, FLG is very fond of bringing up the window breaking analogy, but not because of stimulus. That's silly.

It's the damn green technology incentives that pay people to replace lightbulbs and, as a matter of fact, replace perfectly good windows that are a much better example.

(This is where somebody insists that the existing windows aren't perfectly good; they're inefficient. To which FLG replies, if they were so much better, then people would replace them without an incentive. If you need a rebate to make it happen, then FLG thinks people would be worse off making the switch sans rebate and it is, in fact, paying people to break windows.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quote of the day II

Megan McArdle:
Welfare enabled people to make bad long-term decisions that were rational short-term choices. Welfare reform changed that. That's good news.

Ah, how FLG loves his time horizons theory...

Quote of the day

Kee Hinckley:
A person with a persistent pseudonym lives and dies on one thing; reputation. If they lose their reputation, they lose their voice. They won't get followers because of their job, or because they are famous, or because they worked on interesting projects. All they have is what they say. So in fact, they are more inclined to carry on a respectful conversation.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quote of the day

Felix Salmon:
If the US is serious about getting its fiscal house in order, a consumption tax of some description is likely to be necessary.

Roads Ripped Up

This probably won't be of interest to many of you, but road construction has made West Georgetown a disaster area. Even in the best of times, Georgetown's road network is stressed. There's little parking, narrow often one way streets, and lots of traffic. With massive holes in the roads resulting in entire streets being closed in certain directions, traffic is going to be a fucking clusterfuck when the semester starts and all the students come back in a couple weeks. Clusterfuck, FLG tells you.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Quote of the day

Joseph Nye:
The point of reciting all this is to tell you that don’t believe anything you hear that is based on extrapolation from short run trends. There’s a great tendency to take recent things in the news and try to assume that this is the beginning of something long-term.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


While FLG was in Delhi, he had two suits made. The tailor is still working on one of them, a very small check glen plaid suit that looks solid dark gray, almost black, from afar.

However, FLG was able to bring back a brown mohair number that looks astonishingly like this suit worn by James Bond. The only differences are that FLG's has peaked lapels, slanted pockets, and, since Daniel Craig won't be wearing it, a touch less waist suppression. Nevertheless, FLG is super happy with it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quote of the day

"A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth's atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions," the report states.

One more consequence of climate change -- annihilation by aliens.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Over the last couple of days, FLG has heard the word "presage" spoken on television three times. Every one of those times the word was pronounced pri-ˈsāj.

FLG has always pronounced this word ˈpre-sij. According to Merriam-Webster, both are correct. But we all know that's poppycock. The correct way is pre-sij.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Of Course It's Going To Take A Long Time To Recover

Look, FLG gets that most people haven't taken and don't get economics. Although, the economic knowledge of his fellow MBA classmates does often bug him because they mostly just repeat what they hear and read on the news.

But FLG got in a bit of a debate with one of his classmates when he said that the slow recovery of the economy was easily foreseeable to anybody who knew anything. After a bit of back and forth, FLG had to break it down like this, which he's pretty sure he's done here on the blog before:

People can do one of two things with their money -- consume or save. Consume means spending it now. Save means consume in the future. Once you've added savings, however, this makes borrowing possible. Borrowing is spending money you haven't earned yet. Financial crises are so painful and take so long to recover from because, pretty much by definition, the crisis was caused by people borrowing too much, .i.e. too much leverage. Thus, people have lost money they haven't earned yet and so it will take a longer time to recover because people have to 1) earn money in the weakened economy and 2) then pay it back to the people whom they owe that money before they can start spending again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lord of the Rings

So, FLG was walking into the bathroom at Heathrow when he saw a condom machine. No big deal, a condom machine. They have them lots of places. But then FLG noticed that the machine didn't just have condoms, but also disposable, vibrating cockrings. Seriously, even FLG couldn't make this up.

Immediately, FLG began to wonder, who, exactly, decides, whilst in a bathroom at Heathrow, that he must have a disposable, vibrating cockring? What instigates this purchase?

Is there a guy somewhere who feels that some hot stewardess, however lukewarm to his request for her assistance in joining the mile-high club, will, upon seeing the disposable, vibrating cockring and the almost endless potential that it implies, happily submit to his advances? Does he already have a partner on the same flight, a wife, a girlfriend, a mistress, all ready-to-go but for whom merely having sex at 30,000 feet in a very small closet has lost its appeal and only battery-powered stimulation will rekindle a thrill?

But then FLG wondered who exactly feels the need to purchase even a condom at the airport? Somebody who wants to hit the ground fucking? As soon at they hit central London they are gonna score so fast that they don't have time to visit any number of establishments that sell condoms? Or vibrating cockrings for that matter?

How often do they have to refill these machines? FLG wondered. Is there a massive demand for safe sex products in airports? Does the ladies room have an equivalent machine? Does it sell sponges?

Quick Comments

First, everybody in Delhi kept asking FLG whether the US would double dip. Most of FLG's colleagues thought it wouldn't. Whereas, FLG thinks that the US will double dip.

Does he have any data to back this up? No. He just gets this feeling like the economy, which had been held up by fiscal and monetary stimulus, is starting to deflate.

Second, FLG thinks the US debt downgrade has buried Obama's reelection chances. If the Republican challenger keeps hammering that the US lost the golden AAA rating for the first time under Obama, then FLG thinks that's enough, combined with the overall state of the economy, to convince independents that Obama needs to go.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Traveling Done

So, FLG is back stateside. One thing key thing is he learned on the trip is that Indian MTV is a vastly underappreciated channel.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


If any readers are ever in Delhi, then FLG highly recommends they eat here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quote of the day

Sudeshna Sen in The Economic Times:
I just don't get the people who run the world; how exactly does anybody, including the S&P, think that America or Italy or Greece are going to be able to reduce their deficit in the long term, or show happy quarterly GDP growth figures, if everyone is insisting that they cut down to size? How are these economies expected to generate jobs if they are being told to slash them?


Saturday, August 6, 2011

FLG is currently listening to

Happy Anniversary, baby!

Friday, August 5, 2011


FLG hasn't been blogging much and probably won't be blogging much, as he'll be here by way of here. Well, not in the buildings exactly, but in those cities.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quote of the day

Handl, 31, said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quote of the day

A remote-controlled mini-helicopter, which can fire tasers, grenades and shotgun shells, is being used to track pirates off the Horn of Africa

Is it wrong that FLG longs for the day when pirate didn't have RPGs and Kalashnikovs and the people chasing them didn't have sniper rifles and mini-helicopter-drone-super-weapons? Are cannons, cutlasses, muskets, and flintlock pistols too much to fucking ask for?
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