Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Bein' in love with your a** ain't cheap"

Another raunchy slice of heaven from Cee-Lo Green (rated M for language):

Epic Boyfriend Fail

The guy got the tickets. He knew it was tough spot. The young lady said, "I'm going to get hit." Candy-ass boy said, "No, honey, I'll catch it!"

Then the ball comes, and he not only ducks, he GETS UP AND RUNS. The ball hits her, hard.

And pussweiler boy is happy that "they" got a baseball. He's grinning. He tells the interviewer he "lost it in the lights." Oh, so THAT'S why he ran squealing, because he didn't see the ball. (Though he does now have a facebook page, with some very racy pictures of his girlfriend Sarah...)

If I did that to the LMM, my ass would be so fried for so long I might as well just kill myself.

I would HOPE I might have done it this way. This guy is a fine demonstration of how you act with a date at a baseball game.

1. Stand up, staying still, placing your body between ball and lady.
2. Lady hides behind you.
3. You catch ball.
4. You hand ball to lady; "Here, my love, I got this for you."

Now, there is another way to do it. Lady brings glove, lady defends self, that's all good. But there should be some agreement in advance. As in fact there was, with Bo the Bailer. He agreed he would be in charge of catching the ball.

(Nod to Angry Alex)

It's Win-Win-Win at Chez Angus

Our "putting the cd collection onto a hard drive while retaining great sound" project is going better than I expected. The MacBook - Iomega external drive combo is super quiet. It and our refurbished Wavelength Audio Brick USB dac actually sound notably better than my stand alone CD player ever did, so there's a Win for sound quality.

(Note to the haters out there, I am ripping my cds into AIFF, no compression of any kind. You can clearly hear the difference between Apple Lossless and AIFF on my stereo.)

Plus there is this fantastic iPhone ap called "rowmote" that lets you control iTunes from the phone. The only time I ever have to get up is to adjust the volume on my preamp (I turn all the iPhone and iTunes volume controls to their max and adjust the sound level with the much higher quality attenuators in my preamp). That's a huge win for convenience.

Finally, the ladder-style cd racks in our living room and den are thinning out and even disappearing as we rip the cds to the hard drive. Thats a win for de-cluttering.

I'd like to thank Gordon Rankin of Wavelength for his help and for making such a great product, and also the developer of the rowmote ap.

Now if I could only get Mr. 2T to learn how to rip our cds to the hard drive......

Libs are interesting to the press, so long as they don't win

Interesting piece by David W, on libertarians, Libertarians, the press, and the public.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tight fit...

A tight fit. The LMM has a hard time parking in our DRIVEWAY. Doubt that this garage would work.

The Sloth

Will W is drawing pictures and posting them on his blog.

And the picture (in a delicious "Art imitates life") is of a....sloth.

I think the Bible says "Blogfullness is next to slothfullness" or something like that. Right?

Of course, if I am going to make fun of Will the Sloth, I have to own up myself. This video suggests that, while Will is a sloth, I am a boob.

On Dr. Laura

On the subject of the well-deserved demise of Dr. Laura, Ezra blogged the needful things. So I'll second that.

Bankers v. Consultants

I'm not sure this is "good," but I laughed a lot. Lot's of inside jokes, you have to listen four or times to get them.

My prediction: Frequent commenter BR will give this two thumbs up.

Animal crackers

Actually, I don't think even the Marx brothers could have thought of this, the latest entry in the bad ideas for African development sweepstakes:

JUBA, Sudan – A city shaped like a giraffe? A rhino-shaped town? Even one that looks from above like a pineapple? Southern Sudan has unveiled ambitious plans to remake its capital cities in the shapes found on their state flags, and an official says the government is talking with investors to raise the $10 billion the fanciful communities would cost...

Juba — the capital of Southern Sudan — is to be reshaped into a compact rhino with two pointy horns. The new area will be called "Rhino City."

Officials said the plan would bring order to the city's chaotic layout.

"Juba is made up of slums," said Jemma Kumba, the minister of housing and physical planning.

Detailed architectural drawings of Rhino City show that Central Equatoria's police headquarters would be situated at the rhino's mouth, an amusement park at the ear, an industrial area along the back and residential housing throughout the four legs.

Hmmmm, well I think I know where to put the legislature!

The only good thing I can say about this is that at least it isn't being foisted on Sudan by aid agencies or western celebrities; it's homegrown stupidity for once.

Fahrenheit 69

It's no "Rock Me Amadeus," and it's NOT SAFE FOR WORK. But this young lady likes science fiction, and especially Ray Bradbury.

(Nod to Anonyman, who likes to read a little himself)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hey, Jerk, Can't You See I'm On My Break

A nice policy, if it works.

Chase Bank: Just Walk Away

(Nod to Anonyman, who would say, "Excuse me, EXCUSE ME, you left this note. Please throw it away!")


"It takes a heap of Harberger triangles to fill an Okun gap" -- James Tobin

Ignore Hayek at Your Peril!

Referencing a piece by Amar Bhide, Robert E writes:

The paper discusses specifically how we've moved away from decentralized home loan lending: "Home buyers would apply for loans from their local bank, with which they often had an existing relationship. A banker would review each application and make a judgment, taking into account what the banker knew about the applicant, the applicant’s employer, the property, and conditions in the local market. The banker would certainly consider history—what had happened to housing prices, and the track record of the borrower and other similarly situated individuals."

... towards a more centralized system: "The brokers’ role in the credit process is mainly to help applicants fill out forms. In fact, hardly anyone now makes case-by-case mortgage credit judgments. Mortgages are granted or denied (and new mortgage products like option ARMs are designed) using complex models that are conjured up by a small number of faraway rocket scientists and take little heed of the specific facts on the ground."

And the author argues that this centralization is in conflict with Hayek's thesis (It was the Hayek shout-out that kept me reading the piece):

"The great twentieth-century thinker Friedrich Hayek made the classic argument for decentralized choice in his essay “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” The stability of the economy depends on constant adjustments to small changes, he believed—“B stepping in at once when A fails to deliver.” No single individual has the knowledge to make those adjustments; rather, it is widely dispersed across many individuals. But information about “the circumstances of the fleeting moment” cannot be quickly and accurately communicated to a central planner. Therefore, individuals who have on-the-spot knowledge must be allowed to figure out what to do."

Anyway this idea of a non-coercive or autocratic centralization was a little new to me (I hear mostly of centralization by the state, or perhaps by the firm to lower transaction costs) and I wondered if there is merit to it. After all, the decision of Finance to resort to more models with simplifying assumptions at the expense of - perhaps costlier in the short run? - case-by-case and on-the-ground assessments by lenders was completely voluntary as far as I can tell.

Interesting. I had not seen that paper. Please discuss.


This is pretty good, though there is a debate about it's authenticity:

However, this one is, if anything, better and at least some of the shots appear to be real:

Don't worry, they probably aren't very interesting people!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wired Article: Apps, Not Browsers

The Web is Dead. Long live the Internet.

Two articles. Interesting. Google dies, in this world.

(Nod to Kesav)

George Washington: Libertarian

David Boaz has a nice essay on Washington.

Overtime Party: We lost your paperwork again!

We DO get letters....

From Anonyman:

I've been reading your postings on citizenship issues. And I think I've found a clear method to resolve the debate - have everyone who advocates repealing the 14th amendment go through the citizenship process at CIS (formerly INS).

My wife went to take the citizenship test this morning. After thousands of $s in fees (as this isn't supposed to cost the tax-payer anything) this is about the 25th trip we've made due to unreadable fingerprints (done on the computer, which by definition should be readable), lost forms, incorrect info printed on her green card, interviews, etc.

The first thing the clerk says is that he can give her the test, but canNOT make a determination on her citizenship as CIS has 3 files (for unexplained reasons) on her containing the thousands (literally!) of pages we've submitted to support her application BUT, they can't find any of them. Two are supposed to be in DC and one says it's in Nebraska. So if no one can find them in the next 30 days they'll be declared lost, and then he'll need to make a determination based on the very thin file in front of him.

We were prepared and brought copies of all the vital documents, but he said it would still take at least 30 days as he would need the files to be officially declared lost. I then asked how long would it take from that point for her to be sworn in, and he said they are behind on their processing stats and are starting to work overtime to meet their target by the end of the fiscal year (Oct. 1). So it should be before then, but may be on a Sat. as they are working 14 hour days 6 days a week. Not being able to shut up, I then ask how often this happens and he said last year he was able to buy a new car AND motorcycle based on his overtime for Sept. I was going to ask him if this happens every year, but my wife was shooting daggers and me through her eyes.

We thanked him and got up to leave, and he said he would let us know as soon as they do, or don't, find the three missing files. I then asked if our fees could be refunded if none are found, and he smiled and said no one had ever asked that before.

So, if people really won't to repeal the 14th amendment and have every single person in the US apply for citizenship, I think they process would change a lot of people's minds.

Two lost, one in Nebraska. Once again, for all you half-wits who jabber about the people who "try to do things right," we make it IM. POSS. IBLE. for people to do it right. What part of illegal don't I understand? What part of stupid f*****g law don't YOU understand? The goal of our policy is to make legal immigration hard, and illegal immigration easy, for the economic benefit of corporate interests and the political benefit of xenophobic demagogues. It is the Babtist and bootlegger coalition reborn.

Canada Celebrates Its Freedoms, Until Thugs Show Up

Multiple ironies, sad threats.

Now, I have been to the LSS before, myself. It is way out in the country. It is held on the grounds of a very large (40 acre) plot of land. The main structures on the plot are some outbuildings, and a legally zoned bed-and-breakfast.

No one parks on the street, and nothing is visible from the street.

Now, it is true that they have amplified speeches, and amplified music on Saturday night.

But the local gubmint thugs are after them for:

1. Health concerns. So they had the food professionally catered, instead of cooking it on bbq grills as in the past.

2. Sanitation concerns. So they had port-o-potties brought in, in the proper ratio for such an activity, with that many people.

3. Ex post giant d*ckhead concerns about this being a permanent commercial activity. Hard to predict the ex post part, to the tune of a $50k fine. This is already a commercially zoned property, by the way, because of the b-n-b. And the Institute for Liberal Studies is a registered non-profit. The LSS breaks even, every year. What makes it commercial? If five of us split the cost of some chicken, and cook it, would that be commercial? This was less than 75 people, one event per year, for two nights. Sure, if it was every weekend, that might be commercial.

But this is just thuggery. The local government is doing this because they can.

People who need people to the back of the bus!

It's been out for a while now, but I want to go on record as saying that "This is Happening" by LCD Soundsystem is an excellent recording. On a first listen, I didn't think maybe it was as good as "Sound of Silver", but after 5 listens, I think it is the best work James Murphy has done. Highly recommended.

Here's a bizarre video for the song "Drunk Girls":

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Poll Cats

Steven T makes an interesting point with polling data on opposition to the Cordoba Center in lower Manhattan.

What is this "sand" of which you speak?

Wow, this has got to be one of the "worst" good years ever. First Dustin Johnson melts down in the final round of the US Open at Pebble, then he takes a boneheaded penalty on the 18th whole at the PGA to miss out on a playoff.

Sir Dustin says, "Walking up there, it never once crossed my mind that I was in a sand trap,"

But as the video below shows, he was clearly and obviously in a sand trap! Of course so were a bunch of the spectators.

Danish realize extending unemployment benefits bad idea

Really, they did. Check the NYT story.

Money quote: "The cold fact is that the longer you are out of a job, the more difficult it is to get a job,” Claus Hjort Frederiksen, the Danish finance minister, said during an interview. “Four years of unemployment is a luxury we can no longer allow ourselves.”

Darned facts!

Lou Dobbs v. Tom Palmer


Matt Ridley: When Ideas Pitch Woo

Monday, August 16, 2010

P-Kroog Gets Schooled

Cato's Alan Reynolds reams P-Kroog a new one.

To get called on such obvious sophomore undergrad mistakes....well, P-Kroog would be embarrassed, if he had not long ago sold his soul to the goddess Fame.

What We Need is an IDIOT tax

In their effort to improve border security, the Obama admin / Dem Congress has seen fit to find new sources of funding.

So, to finance enforcement efforts against ILLEGAL aliens....

...these half-wits are going to tax LEGAL aliens.

Makes perfect sense, right? Well, except that:

1. These are people with PhDs, advanced skills, highly trained and motivated. In short, exactly the people that even the most xenophobic Americans would likely still admit into the country.
2. These are the people who are trying to do things LEGALLY. They are paying their fees, filling out their paperwork, and standing in line.
3. Could anyone actually believe that raising the cost, and extending the wait time, for legal immigration will discourage illegal immigration?

As always, we make it more difficult to immigrate legally, so that we can continue to encourage illegal immigration, thereby enslaving tens of thousands for the benefit of meat-packing, construction, and agricultural interests. The so-called "border enforcement" will have no impact, because the Dems have no interest in a border control policy.

An idiot tax, even a small one, would raise BILLIIONS, I tell you, BILLIONS. Taxing members of Congress alone would pay for a lot of new border guards.

Mr. Greene: Howl and Wail

Alvin Greene howls and wails during interview, upset over indictment.

Dave Weigel asks (on Twitter): "At this point, how is this different from making fun of the mentally disabled kid in junior high?"

Well, golly. This guy is the Dem nominee for US Senate. In the primary, no one in the media pointed out that he is a bit erratic, and he..... WON the primary.

At some point, don't you have to give a U.S. Senate candidate a chance to explain? The whole "he's too pathetic, leave him alone" thing would only work if he withdraws from the race. Until then, the man is fair game.

(And I thought it sounded more like singing than wailing. NOOOOOOOOO and GOOOOOOOOO. At least they rhyme).

The General Will in "Catch 22"

A letter from a "fan"

I nearly posted a sarcastic comment re: Rousseau on your blog but decided against it last minute....

"Too bad, I was just getting into this book I haven't read in awhile called "Analytical Politics" but the authors can't seem to stop talking about Rousseau beginning on page 7, so I guess I'll just toss it - since it must be an epic fail."

Sarcasm often doesn't translate well on the 'nets... so I decided against. Anyway, I haven't figured out your conclusions on the "majority will" so it might have made me look like an idiot anyway... and I doubt I'll find out in the very-near future since I'm reading catch-22 for the first time in a decade and i'm laughing so hard it hurts. some quotes on majority will, slightly different than Rousseau:

Yossarian: "I don't want to fly milk runs. I don't want to be in the war any more."
"Would you like to see our country lose?" Major Major asked.
"We won't lose. We've got more men, more money and more material. There are ten million men in uniform who could replace me. Some people are getting killed and a lot more are making money and having fun. Let somebody else get killed."
"But suppose everybody on our side felt that way."
"Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?" ch 9

and as for how to direct the general will (if it exists) :

Milo: "But how will I get the government to [buy all my Egyptian cotton]?"
"Bribe it," Yossarian said.
"Bribe it!" Milo was outraged and almost lost his balance and broke his neck again. "Shame on you!.... Bribery is against the law, and you know it. But it's not against the law to make a profit, is it? So it can't be against the law for me to bribe someone in order to make a fair profit, can it? No, of course not!"
"I wish you'd come with me," Milo remarked. "I won't feel safe among people who take bribes. They're no better than a bunch of crooks."
"You'll be all right," Yossarian assured him with confidence. "If you run into trouble, just tell everybody that the security of the country requires a strong domestic Egyptian-cotton speculating industry."
"It does," Milo informed him solemnly. "A strong Egyptian-cotton speculating industry means a much stronger America."
"Of course it does. And if that doesn't work, point out the great number of American families that depend on it for income."
"A great many American families do depend on it for income."
"You see?" said Yossarian. "You're much better at it than I am. You almost make it sound true.".....
"I wish you'd put your uniform on instead of going around naked that way," [Milo] confided pensively before he climbed back down again and hurried away. "You might start a trend, and then I'll never get rid of all this goldarned cotton." ch 24

(As the old saw goes: Countries that want to be ruled by the general will, will generally be ruled by the will of a general)

NYTimes Articles on the Academy

Tenure? Mandatory retirement? Surgically targeted airstrikes on the Soc dept?

An interesting set of articles

Big Country, Big Message

A gentleman writes a really big message.

Perhaps using a GPS tracker. Perhaps using a freehand white line in "paint."

Since there is no way to tell, I would have used the freehand white line, I think.

Anyway, here's why, according to the guy.

(Nod to Barb H., who drives quite a bit herself)

The culture that is Japan

Great article in Sunday's NY Times about how a lot of Japan's alleged centenarians are actually long dead. One 73 year old man claimed his father was out of town and that he was merely still collecting dad's pension "just in case" he came back!

Money quote:

“Living until 150 years old is impossible in the natural world,” said Akira Nemoto, director of the elderly services section of the Adachi ward office. “But it is not impossible in the world of Japanese public administration.”


I got your uncertainty right here!

In the blogoscopic debate about the importance of policy uncertainty for the weak recovery, not so much attention has been directed to monetary policy uncertainty.

In a great post over at Carpe Diem, Mark Perry shows that inflation has become much less predictable in the recent past. Here's a chart from his post:

GARCH is "generalized auto-regressive conditional heteroskedasticity". I can't tell from the graph though if MP is plotting the conditional variance or the conditional standard deviation.

In addition, I have written papers with Mark and others showing that inflation uncertainty lowers output growth.

Makes you think, no?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

He was only 5'2" but girls could not resist his stare

Great article featuring Kevin Durant in the NY Times.


“He’s 7 feet tall and maybe one of the best shooters in the world,” Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni said of Durant, listed at 6 feet 9 inches. “I don’t think they’ve invented a game of basketball yet that he wouldn’t be perfect for.”


It's a funny old world

Pundits on the left decry the evil "deficit hawks" and demand more stimulus. They however are in favor of raising taxes on "the rich" because somehow it won't hurt economic activity and hey, we gotta start on that deficit sometime, right?

Pundits on the right decry deficits but also oppose raising taxes on "the rich".

(I am sorry for the quotation marks but a two earner family of 4 or 5 whose parents' combined income is $250,001 is not really rich!!)

Intellectual consistency is apparently far too heavy of a burden to impose on our chattering classes.