Friday, October 31, 2008

These deck chairs are out of place...

Check out this article from the AP:

"Here's a shocker: almost half of Nevada homeowners with a mortgage owe more to the bank than their homes are worth."

If you owe more on a secured asset than it's worth, I don't think you can claim to own it. I think "home-possessors" would be more accurate.

But even that might be too generous in a few months.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In the words of Happy Gilmore...

"I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good-looking. I'm not very attractive." -Happy Gilmore

Seriously. Watch this video. It's from June 26, 2008. These two clowns won't let Schiff talk. They cut him off, and "explain" why the market is in great shape. I'd like to see a rematch about now.

Please, if you can, read this article on the Consumer Price Index. It explains why many, including me, believe the official government numbers under-report inflation. This leads to Really Bad Things.

Click here, just in case you're curious who Schiff endorsed for president.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

K-10 is a deathtrap

Something like 5-6 people have died on K-10 in the last week or two. It's crazy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stupid business decisions

The "Wide-Receiver Formerly Known as Chad Johnson" legally changed his name to "Chad Ocho Cinco" before the football season started. In case you hadnt heard, he wanted to change his jersey to match his new name, but the NFL wouldn't let him unless he reimbursed Reebok for the cost of the previously printed jerseys.

By not waiving this requirement, Reebok failed basic marketing. They should have eaten the cost, printed up a new batch of Ocho Cinco jerseys, and sold them like Tickle-Me-Elmos. Fans with "Johnson" jerseys would have bought new ones, and there was huge potential in the novelty market.

Next year, the novelty will be gone, and that crowd won't buy them. The joke is already getting old. Not many fans will buy the leftover jerseys anyway, now that they know the new ones are coming? Haven't they heard of the Osborne Effect?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From bad to worse

The Chiefs started the season with one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. He was injured before halftime of the first game, and replaced with a backup that was (supposedly) not as good.

This week, our original terrible quarterback returned, and less than two quarters later, was done for the season. Our original backup followed shortly thereafter.

The Chiefs must face the bulk of the season led by the third-choice of their universally bad quarterbacks.

I think Herm Edwards must have insulted a mummy at some point.* He's cursed.

*Astonishingly, this linked list is missing the last three injuries to Edwards quarterbacks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

If you hired a plumber to install your faucet...

...and he ended up negligently destroying your water heater while doing it, you wouldn't want him to install the replacement, would you? What if he stole your TV while he was at it?


Then why is everyone looking to the Fed to fix the financial mess? See this article, for some good insight on why what happened happened.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


From a while back.

Who's listening?

I am. I hope you are, too. See this article. Here are some good snippets, in case you're too busy/lazy/apathetic to read the link. The part about pay day lenders is especially insightful.

[O]ur nation’s “negative savings rate” reflects the habits of private citizens, showing those habits to be not tremendously different than the habits of the public sector.
[P]ay day loan companies...are nearly always set up in lower-income neighborhoods. These people, who are struggling to buy food and pay rent, get addicted to the credit drug. Their standard of living is only further depressed by the interest payments on these loans that make them profitable to their providers. Thus, the recipients are left even less capable of paying for items such as food and housing in the long run, without using this credit again and again.
Capitalism does not exist without capital and debt is not, has never been and will never be a form of capital.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Put a fork in him

McCain's cooked. He missed his last best chance to overtake Obama.

Had he voted against the bailout, he could have come out on the same side of the election's biggest issue as the vast majority of Americans, AND put Obama in the uncomfortable position of voting for a drastically unpopular Bush proposal. A "no' vote could have instantly demolished Obama's "Bush clone" attacks, made McCain's "maverick" appeal more believable, shored up his base, and appealed to many swing voters.

Instead, he fell in line with Bush AND Obama. In doing so, he gained no points with the undecideds. His base, which was temporarily enamored/deluded with the Palin selection, felt betrayed. And no one takes his earmark veto threats seriously now that he voted for this disaster.

McCain might have pulled it off had he voted against the bailout. Then he could hit Obama with a lot of "I told you so" now that it's not working. Personally, I think he was afraid that if he voted against it, the Republicans would have fallen in line with him, and it would have failed. Then Obama could do the "I told you so" thing against him, when the economy didn't rebound.

By voting for the bailout, McCain screwed up three different ways. First, because you can't play it safe when you're behind. Second, because you don't want to vote for something supported by only 7% of the population. But most importantly, because voting "no" would have been the right thing to do.

This guy is not a hero

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart has refused to carry out any more foreclosures in the Chicago area. He's getting a lot of positive press, and many people support his actions as "sticking up for the little guy."

This is very bad.

America became great because its government operates under the rule of law. Here are two quick explanations:

"The rule of law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law."

"Perhaps the most important application of the rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps that are referred to as due process."

This isn't some abstract theory with no real world application. This is the reason why George W. Bush will leave office this January, and not stick around as long as he feels like it. It's the same reason why the government can't send troops into my house to steal my stuff at gunpoint. Don't laugh. These aren't abstractions. That kind of activity has existed since the first crude, caveman government was formed. It still does in many places. The lack of rule of law is why Third World dictators like Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe stick around long after their legitimate authority ends. It's also a big part of why countries like Zimbabwe are still stuck in the Third World.

The Sheriff believes that it is unjust to carry out these foreclosures. Many people agree. But it isn't his decision to make. Thousands of years of human experience led to the foundation of our democratic government, which absolutely relies on a separation of powers. When executive figures do what they want, as opposed to what's legally required or allowed, you end up with things like dictatorships, extra-judicial killings, and warrantless wiretapping. Sheriff Dart may claim to have good intentions. But as an elected official responsible for enforcing the law, he should be ashamed that he's chosen to ignore it. This is a democracy, not an autocracy.

Still not convinced?

What if you were wrongfully charged for a crime, acquitted by a jury, and the Sheriff refused to release you, because he didn't believe you were innocent? What if someone vandalized your house every week, and the Sheriff refused to do anything, because you didn't vote for him? What if the Sheriff forced you to attend his church, because he believed it was a good idea? What if he prevented you from attending any church, because he didn't believe in God?

All kinds of people violate the law. But we shouldn't applaud when the government does it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Good to see the stock market doing so well

I give all the credit to the central banks. World-wide cooperation, world-wide calamity. It's nice that we're all in it together.

In related news, an African diplomat was pleading with Western nations not to cut off foreign aid. Because it's so effective at eliminating poverty in Africa, you know. Ron Paul described foreign aid as "taking money from poor people in rich countries, and giving it to rich people in poor countries." That seems to be accurate. Look at the Myanmar situation, for example. The aid that went into the country was used by the authoritarian regime in charge to strengthen its grip on power. Sanctions aren't any better. Both cost us money, and don't help the bad situations.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Who does she think she is...OJ?

Check this out.

Britney Spears was filmed committing a hit and run, as shown in the video above. yourself the frustration and take my word for it. Ultimately, she was allowed to skate completely for that. However, at the time, she did not have a valid driver's license as required by California law, so the prosecutors charged her for it.

Her attorney is absolutely furious that the prosecutors wouldn't allow her to plead to an infraction, for which she'd be assessed a $10 fine. Keep in mind that literally millions of people worldwide have watched her commit the crime.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I'm confused.

The bailout passed, but the stock markets are plummeting. Congress, the Fed, the Treasury, the President, and both the guys trying to replace him said this wouldn't happen! Who would have suspected they could be wrong? Oh, And this guy.

Friday, October 03, 2008