Saturday, January 7, 2006

Smearing Samuel Alito

The Democrats' strategy to sink the Samuel Alito nomination is unfolding, and it's pretty ugly, as you might have expected. The plan is, evidently, to smear him with guilt by association. Here's what Matt Drudge has discovered about one part of the battle plan to destroy a man's reputation:

Senate Democrats have put into place a plan that includes one last push to take down the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito as he heads into his confirmation hearing next week, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Senate Democrats intend to zero in on Alito's alleged enthusiastic membership to an organization, they will charge, that was sexist and racist!

Democrats hope to tie Alito to Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP). Alito will testify that he joined CAP as a protest over Princeton policy that would not allow the ROTC on campus.

THE DRUDGE REPORT has obtained a Summer 1982 article from CAP's PROSPECT magazine titled "Smearing The Class Of 1957" that key Senate Democrats believe could thwart his nomination! In the article written by then PROSPECT editor Frederick Foote, Foote writes: "The facts show that, for whatever reasons, whites today are more intelligent than blacks."

Senate Democrats expect excerpts like this written by other Princeton graduates will be enough to torpedo the Alito nomination.

One Democrat Hill staffer involved in their strategy declared, "Put a fork in Scalito. It doesn't matter that Alito didn't write it, it doesn't matter that Alito wasn't that active in the group, Foote wrote it in CAP's magazine and we are going to make Alito own it."

However, a Republican insider contacted about the situation said, "It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The reason CAP was formed was to protest against people like Drujack who think killing chickens is similar to what happened at Auschwitz. I don't understand how what a guy named Foote wrote in some magazine has anything to do with Alito."

The final witness on the Senate Democrats newly unveiled witness list for Alito's hearing is freelance journalist Stephen Dujack. Dujack is a '76 Princeton graduate and a longtime critic of CAP.

Dujack was the author of a highly critical 1986 op-ed in the PRINCETON ALUMNI WEEKLY titled "The Contradictions Of CAP." Dujack slammed the group for its policies opposing Princeton's decision to admit women and minorities.

Dujack now says: "Judge Alito will have to explain to the Senate Judiciary Committee why he paid dues to an outfit... that was overtly racist and sexist for its entire 14-year existence - at times passionately so, too."

Dujack adds: "There is no way for Alito's backers to claim his association with the organization does not imply endorsement of its views, for opposition to women and minorities at Princeton was as central to CAP as opposition to drunken driving is to MADD."

However, THE DRUDGE REPORT has learned the Democrats' star witness comes with baggage of his own. Dujack penned an op-ed in 2003 that compared farm animals to Holocaust victims and gave money to the Kerry presidential campaign.

In the April 21, 2003 LOS ANGELES TIMES, Dujack wrote: "Like the victims of the Holocaust, animals are rounded up, trucked hundreds of miles to the kill floor and slaughtered." Dujack went on, "To those who defend the modern-day Holocaust on animals by saying that animals are slaughtered for food and give us sustenance, I ask: if the victims of the Holocaust had been eaten, would that have justified the abuse and murder?"

THE DRUDGE REPORT has also uncovered a purported $2,000 donation Dujack made to John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004.

The thinking on the Left, apparently, is that if a man is clearly qualified on the basis of intellect and judicial record then he must be crucified even so by finding evidence in his past of something nefarious, even if it has to be invented. Nice people, these Democrats.

Best Ten of the Year

Earlier this week we linked to a site that listed the top ten best conservative movies of the last decade. If you like that sort of thing then you might want to peruse the selections by both Roy Ankar and Peter Chattaway over at Books and Culture. Ankar and Chattaway give their opinion of the top ten films of 2005. It's interesting that there's very little overlap between their lists.

Back Home

I'm just back from a great week in the highlands of Costa Rica chasing after the marvelous birdlife down there. It's hard to describe to someone who is not particularly interested in the beauty of the natural world how incredibly gorgeous many of the Costa Rican species are - certainly the pictures in the field guides don't capture the richness and subtlety of the colors of many of the birds and butterflies. For those who do have an appetite for nature's beauty, Costa Rica is a wonderful place to attempt to satisfy it.

I've revelled in every moment of my time there each of my three visits (at least I have once I've been able to get clear of the San Jose airport), and if it weren't for the fact that my family is here I'd have had a hard time leaving.

Anyway, I had prepared a few things for Bill to post in my absence, and he helped fill the gap with some of his own thoughts, for which I'm grateful. I hope to have more to post tonight.

There Are No Pigs

There's an expression on Wall Street that goes: "There are Bulls and there are Bears...but there ain't no Pigs." Why is that? Because their greed causes them to either go broke or, in the case that follows, be left on the sidelines.

Over the last couple of weeks I read several articles from some of the "experts" in the industry suggesting that since gold had hit its highest price for the last 24 years that gold had "gotten ahead of itself", was a little "toppy", due for a "substantial correction" or "pull back". And so they were recommending that people sell their gold and wait on the sidelines until the "correction" was over where they expected a gold price of around $450 - $460 per ounce. At that time, of course they would give the "all clear" signal that it was time to jump back in for the next leg up of the gold bull market. Imagine that, knowing exactly when to sell high and when to buy low.

Given the chart at this link, we can see where the price of gold reached about $337 not too long ago. Then, as our learned pundits declared, the price surely corrected, but only to around $496. In a dramatic "whip saw" action, the price climbed to the recent high of around $540 as quickly as it had dropped.

Now our little piglets have a problem. They sold their gold at the previous high, and seeing that they were correct in their prognostications, probably sold more of it as the price dropped. Now they're out of the market...on the sidelines waiting to get back in at around $460, but the gold price has returned to a new high. Ouch!

Sure, the gold price could have dropped further and our piggies would have cleaned up. In any event (here's where it really gets exciting) at some point, our sellers will decide to take their lumps and buy back into the market at considerably higher prices. Their greed will compel them to do so...and suppose the gold price corrects to $460 a day or week later. D'oh!

In a bull market such as we have in gold, attempting to time the market is particularly risky, especially when it's so unnecessary. A safer strategy is simply to buy and hold for the long term and perhaps make an additional purchase during those ubiquitous corrections as they occur if one is inclined to add to their portfolio. One thing is for certain, it sure is easier on the nerves.

The only other consideration I would have regards the question of how long this gold bull market will continue. While no one can say precisely, I believe I have a reasonably solid method of determining the answer to that question which is: for as long as the fundamental issues that are driving the price of gold higher continue their trend. Some of these fundamentals are:

  • Increasing trade deficit
  • Increasing budget deficit
  • Increasing inflation / increasing cost of commodities (oil, gas, copper, silver, gold, etc.)
  • Increasing Middle East tension
  • Increasing demand by China and India for energy
  • Increasing interest by foreign countries to diversify out of their US dollar reserves into other currencies and hard assets

I think it's safe to say that if and when these fundamentals start to slow down or decline, it might be time to reassess the portfolio. Personally, I don't see that happening anytime soon rather they continue to accelerate.