Tag Archives: environmentalism

Mexican Bond

THE BODY sprawled by the pool on the first page of Ian Fleming’s novel From Russia With Love sported, among other things, a Gerard-Perregaux wristwatch.

He may have seemed dead, but he traveled in style. Fleming called the Gerard-Perregaux a “badge of the rich man’s club.” I also wear that badge in spite of not being rich.

Mine.

I found the watch in 1998 in an antique store in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The watch was inoperative, frozen, and I knew nothing of the brand. It was a time two years before I became Mexico’s Bond.

The watch was priced cheaply because it did not work. I forget how much I paid, but I immediately left it in a repair shop where it was resurrected for about $100.

Gerard-Perregaux, founded in 1791, is a Swiss maker of very high-end watches that sell new for thousands of dollars. They are every bit as good as Rolex though they make fewer watches and don’t crow about it so much.

I bought the watch for one reason. It was motion-activated. Battery-run watches screech to a halt on my wrist in a matter of hours. You may have heard of this odd phenomenon.

It is no myth.

I can only wear motion-activated watches or the old style you actually wind up. Try and find that these days. So, it’s motion-activated, or no watch at all for me.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it was easy to find motion-activated watches, but they gradually vanished until the late 1990s when it was almost impossible to locate one. These days, they have become popular again, considered “eco” or “green.”

I wore my Gerard-Perregaux for about five years, totally unaware of its snazzy rep, till it stopped dead again in Mexico. I took it to a humble repair shop, and the guy got it running — for about a week. I tossed it into a drawer and bought a Citizen.

Sometime during the decade it sat in the drawer, I learned what it was that I had, but I did nothing about it. But six months ago I fished it out and took it to the repair desk at the Liverpool department store in the state capital.

A month later and with my wallet over 3,000 pesos lighter, I picked it up, and it’s been running like a watch ever since. I pray this will continue for the rest of my days. I rather like being Mexico’s Bond, or at least resembling him in one small way.

Seems about right to me.

Clueless Bernie-ites

HILLARY FINALLY said a true thing. She said Bernie Sanders is a one-issue candidate, and she’s correct. He’s all about battling “Wall Street,” she rightly observes.

But then there’s also the “free stuff.” Socialism is all about “free stuff,” which isn’t free at all, of course, but it sounds super.

I just read a column by Stephen Moore, an economic consultant with Freedom Works. The headline is Socialism’s Strange Appeal with a subhead Bernie Sanders and socialism are for those who cannot handle reality.

bern
Young Bern

I’ll put a link to the column later, but I know those who disagree will be as disinclined to read it as I am disinclined to read Salon, Mother Jones, and Huffpost, so here are a few key points:

  1. The remarkable thing about the rise of Bernie Sanders is that his popularity runs counter to how socialism is actually working around the world. Bankrupt Greece, just one example, is modern socialism on steroids.
  2.  Leftists enjoy pointing to Sweden and Denmark as socialist success stories while Sweden and Denmark are back-pedaling as fast as they can.
  3. Economic freedom is the opposite of socialism.

Nations that are economically free have free trade, small welfare states, low taxes, a light hand of regulation, private ownership of the means of production, and the rule of law.

Countries that are economically free have five times the average income ($55,000) of countries that are the least economically free ($9,000). Not only that, economic freedom is also highly correlated with better education, improved health, and a cleaner environment.*

The poor do better in nations that are economically free and worse in Bernie Sanders land. You can read Moore’s complete column here. It ain’t that long.

* * * *

* Most of this is lifted verbatim from Moore’s column.