Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

WATCH CLOSELY as a "conservative" tries to explain away corruption by the gang of criminals patrolling Orange County. Aw, corruption and kickbacks, that's just the price we pay for self-government.

The Claremont Institute
guys provide LJ with hours of entertainment.
"NO, I DON'T SUPPORT THE TROOPS" Here is an excellent Memorial Day post.
MAX BOOT: We are running out of cannon fodder! Let the women and gays serve!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

WE WERE INVITED! I gotta say, not even I could come up with something like this. Of course the regime you put in power is going to "invite" you to stay, they wouldn't be there otherwise.

And I'm not pointing to this because it's funny. It's just so incredibly lame.

Monday, May 23, 2005

CATO ON SOCIAL SECURITY Boy, they sure do know how to waste time and donor money. Producing ads urging politicians to let me stick a portion of my money in a "private account." Oooooh. What a refreshingly innovative idea.
CHINA AND US CONSUMER DEBT The middle class running up debt to fuel lavish lifestyles. Isn't it great that, in America, uneducated, non-skilled laborers (for instance, waiters, waitresses and mortgage bankers) drive nice SUVs and live in expensive homes?

And it's not just because LJ is a big tipper. It's the democritization of credit! The democratization of money! I think everything should be democratized. Why didn't mankind think of this idea earlier, say, 2,000 years ago? Man, these modern financial innovations (collectivized banking and monetary system) really do eliminate scarcity and generate massive wealth!
MITCH MCCONNELL When I lived in D.C. and interned at a think tank I went with a senior staffer to a party in the backyard of Mitch's home near the Capitol. There's really no point to the story, just a little FYI. But, since we're on the subject of D.C. interning, what's this I hear about female interns raising hell over being hit on by politicians. I see two problems with this (not that they have anything to do with the issue): 1) D.C. females are not hot. I think I saw one gorgeous girl the entire time in DC. One. She was at the YAF event featuring John Stossel. 2) Male interns get harassed, too. We generally don't cry about it.
AMERICAN IDOL I'm still trying to figure out how you people find the time to watch that garbage? One friend suggested: use your TiVo. You just don't get it. How do you find the time to watch shows you've TiVoed? The last time I actually sat down to watch something I picked On the Waterfront. "I could have been a contender . . . "
GARDEN GROVE, a horrible city in Orange County (in fact, there are several "Orange County" cities I think should be booted out of the County), is considering putting up a "Vegas-style" casino. Folks, if you aren't from around here, that's basically right down the street from Disneyland. Steven Greenhut has a great take on the issue, I just don't agree with his assessment of Prop. 13.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

BILL GROSS ON THE DOLLAR (KIND OF)

Bill Gross of PIMCO, based out of, ahem, Newport Beach, on Treasuries, inflation and the world's reserve currency. Quote:

They say never sell America short and with good reason. Any country whose equity market has been able to crank out 6.8% real returns annually over the past century stands as a formidable obstacle for any speculator willing to bet the "don't come" line. The odds of winning a long-term wager laid against the U.S. "house" have been about as bad as heading out to the track and betting on your favorite color of jockey silks. Even when the bear gets his facts right, the timing and the wait often spell his doom; the "house" has more chips, especially a house with reserve currency status like the U.S., so a wager must be done prudently in order to conserve capital for that prospective rainy day.
The Gross forecast on the U.S. economy:

Our point on the "Pump" then, is to suggest that in combination with a globalized free trade-based economy exhibiting a surfeit of cheap Asian labor, it will be difficult to generate U.S. inflation higher than our current 3% even if interest rates fall further. If 3% inflation is all we can get from the past 5-years' asset inflation, it's hard to believe that we get more from what's left. The potential to reflate via interest rates is nearly over. We draw the same conclusion for Euroland and Japan. Japan, of course, is the primary example of how 0% nominal yields can fail to generate any inflation whatsoever, is it not? Continued disinflation not reflation, then, will rule our fragile future kingdom, with the potential for 1-2% CPI prints in most years between 2006 and 2010 throughout much of the global economy. Readers may remember our past few years' Secular Forum descriptions of the tug-of-war between disinflation and reflationary forces. We have proclaimed a winner based on our observation of massive fiscal and monetary global stimulation described above, the limited inflationary response, and the lack of further ammunition. Long live our disinflationary King.
Calling Cards House review http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/Late+Breaking+Commentary/IO/2005/IO+May-June+2005.htm

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CHRISTIANS DO NOT RULE AND RULERS ARE NOT CHRISTIAN

A beautiful post considering the role of "Christians" in government and politics on The Shining Wire blog:
Much of the outrage has been focused on Rev. Chandler's position, or implicit suggestion at any event, that one party is more godly than another, or that it is more godly to support President Bush than the Democrats, and that true Christians will be found in one camp and not the other. Democrats have seen this as yet another example of the ongoing conservative assault on them as "godless Libs" and a growing "American Taliban" or "Jesus jihad." The critics' main thrust has been to maintain, and argue for, a separation between religion and party affiliation, to uphold the view that one can be a good Christian and be either a Democrat or a Republican.

However, there is another view that is, well, more extreme, and that is that a "Christian" does not participate in, or uphold, the state at all - either as politician, soldier, policeman, member of a jury or as a voter. This view is based on Christ’s teachings, and has support in writings of the early Church fathers. In somewhat more recent times this view was passionately advanced by the Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy. His argument why a Christian does not rule, and why rulers are not Christian, is excerpted below.

In what follows it is important to recognize that what Tolstoy means by "Christian" is one who acts in accordance with Christ's teachings, not one who knows or believes that he has been saved by the blood of the Lamb, the latter apparently (judging by the phenomenon of warmongering "Christians") being a solipsistic, perhaps narcissistic, pre-occupation that appears to have little, if not an inverse, correlation to the actual practice of Christ's teachings. I can only surmise that Luke 6: 46 is not much propounded from the pulpit, or read for self-instruction.
Read the rest and read Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You.International Phone Cards
I LOVE IT Why is the Bush Administration trying to shake-up China and the dollar standard? Are they really that ignorant about the position they enjoy?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

LOCAL ZONING LAWS

Lew Rockwell in an article on wine freedom:

Why? The positive case is that, over time, laws are least bad and oppressive when they are closest to the people. In these conditions, we are more likely to experience government by the people. If that is not the case, smaller units of government permit people to move from one jurisdiction to another, and the competition between units drives the whole system towards greater liberalization. Capital and labor flow to areas that permit more liberty, even as despotic jurisdictions drive away new wealth and talent.

We see this in local governments all the time. Neighboring towns frequently compete with each other on the rules by which the residents live. It can be a small matter of the local sales tax which can cause a business to locate on this instead of that side of the tax jurisdiction. Zoning laws can drive companies and developers from one town to another.
I recall a few bloggers running their lips about how Wal-Mart's strategy is to set-up on the edge of towns to drive business away from traditional downtown establishments. Well I can't speak to Wal-Mart's strategy, but I can tell you for certain that cities in California want retail commercial development on the edge of town in hopes of enticing consumers from neighboring cities to stroll across municipal lines and drive up taxable sales. If the sale is made there, a trickle of the tax revenue returns there from the State of California . . . eventually. Notice this revenue stream has NOTHING to do with municipal service demands. You see, even if we were to take government provision of public goods seriously, we would still have to conclude that local government is a miserable, miserable failure. International Phone Cards

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"IS COMMERCE MORE IMPORTANT THAN SELF-GOVERNMENT?" Ken Masugi, asking the really important questions.

Of course, I'm guessing Masugi doesn't really want to carry his argument to its logical conclusion. Why stop at the state level for trade restrictions? Why not the county? The municipality? The private neighborhood organization? How about each man decides what the heck he wants to buy and sell? If he did, he'd have to come out in favor of secession and anarchy! Bring on self-government!

How do I donate money to the "local liberty" institute?
PREFERENCES Do preferences exist outside the mind of man? Is "action" the only empirical evidence of a man's preferences?
STANDING UP TO THE WORLD'S BULLY Does this mean someone is contemplating the toss of a stone? Note: LJ does not support the use of violence against bullies. Only nonviolence will prevail as an effective strategy.
SOMETHING YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT? "My iPod and my BlackBerry." -- Kelly Clarkson. That's true spit, without a doubt.

REAL ESTATE BUBBLE

Excellent comments in today's Wall Street Journal on the ridiculous real estate market and America's consumer debt accumulation:

If you borrow $350,000 with an interest-only mortgage that carries a fixed rate of roughly 4.8% for the first five years, here's what you will pay:

-The monthly payment on the loan would be $1,403 during the initial period.

-Even if interest rates don't rise, the monthly payment would jump to $2,008 after five years.

-If rates jump by two percentage points instead, the monthly payment would jump by 73% to nearly $2,500.

[...]

In California, where home-price growth has been sizzling, interest-only loans accounted for 61% of the mortgages taken out to buy homes in the first two months of this year, up from 47.1% in 2004 and less than 2% in 2002, according to an analysis prepared for The Wall Street Journal by San Francisco researchers LoanPerformance, a unit of First American Corp. Just 18% of California households can afford to buy a median-price house using a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to a report issued this month by the California Association of Realtors.

In another report issued this month, mortgage strategists at UBS AG called the shift to ARMS and nontraditional mortgage products such as interest-only loans 'symptomatic of...the end of the housing cycle. The thing that all of these loans have in common is that they allow homeowners to buy a more expensive home than they could have qualified for with a 'traditional' loan.

[...]

Since 1990, income for the median American household has risen only 11% after adjusting for inflation, while median household spending has jumped at 30%, according to an analysis by Economy.com. How could the typical family afford to spend so much? Median household debt outstanding has leaped 80%.

Despite the dicta of old sages, many economists--led by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan--see the expansion of credit to lower-income families as a sign of progress. Some speak of the "democratization" of credit. In an April speech, Greenspan said that in colonial times through the late 19th Century, only the affluenct had access to credit and raters were high. In the early 20th century gasoline companies and retail stores started issuing credit cards, but cards didn't spread widely until the late 1960s when banks piled into the business. Now, Mr. Greenspan says, "innovation and deregulation have vastly expanded credit availability to virtually all income classes.


The funniest strategy: purchasing a house on interest only or ARM and then recruiting your friends to pay your rent so you can afford to make the mortgage payment. Disaster waiting to happen. International Phone Cards House review

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Monday, May 16, 2005

THE CHILI DOG DIET! Wienerschnitzel moves in to compete against the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet and the Cocaine Diet.
EDGAR SANTANA Does anyone know why this clown Edgar Santana is rolling around in a CCCP sweatsuit? Is that supposed to be funny?
THE FUTILITY OF WAR InstaGlenn links to an article on a pro-war film. The appearance of a film like this is meant to justify the Iraq War? What's amazing is these pro-war guys still searching for meaning out of this mess...does a film like this make them feel better?

"Through violence you may solve one problem, but you sow the seeds of another." -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
GAWD Can you imagine if Cheney actually runs for President?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

"THE CRIB'S GOT KILLER VIEWS AND SQUARE FEET, they'd have to film MTV Cribs for a week" Reviews rolling in for the new Jackass Luxury Beach Villa. Overnight guests report that the amenities rival a spa, complete with RainShowers installed in the bathrooms, a a wide array of scented bath products and ambience candles, and the Gucci linens. Some have mentioned that the chinchilla blankets send things a bit over the top. Oh well, we did it just to hurt their feelings.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

SHAME ON AMERICAN SOLDIERS If this is true. Whatever it is our government is trying to achieve, I think it will ultimately fail with these tactics. Take note: "This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."
ARE YOU AN INVESTOR OR A SPECULATOR?, the question was asked. Investment is speculation. In fact, isn't all action speculative?
CONSPIRACY I think there's some kind of conspiracy going on here in Newport Beach. It seems like some evil organization is going around the world, kidnapping the most beautiful women and then forcing them to live in my City. I may form a protest group. This is an outrage.
99 PROBLEMS BUT A CHICK AIN'T ONE How to handle a routine traffic stop? Wow, Christiana is such a rebel!

I've been spending a lot of time listening to Jay-Z lately. The Blueprint is my favorite when throwing the hardware around at 24 Hour Fitness. When jumping the speed rope, I tend to favor the Jay-Z/LP album.
SIDEWAYS "If anyone orders f**king Merlot, I'm leaving." I just watched that movie the other night. Clearly not the greatest movie ever made, but it had a special impact after my recent adventures along the Central Coast. Solvang, Buelton, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles. What about Cambria though? You must visit Cambria.

More importantly: Is the movie fueling the recent popularity spike in Pinot Noir? Come on, people, Pinot Noir?

Oh yeah, I went to a wine tasting the other night in CDM. All Spanish wine and tapas. I think you can tell a lot about a woman by her taste in food and wine. For starters, it's good to actually have taste.
MORE SMEAR TACTICS Where I come from, we call this talking sh*t. Karen De Coster points to this attempt from FrontPageMag. And what's the point of the author's "extremist pacificist" comment? Why does advocating unconditional non-violence generated so much hatred from conservatives?
SO THAT'S WHY COKE PRICES HAVE SURGED LATELY The FBI has been hogging the supply in order to run sting operations on other goons on the government payroll.
IS MICHELLE MALKIN FOR REAL? Some of the crap she puts out is so bad I can't help but wonder. Take, for example, a column written in March, "In Praise of Police": "When was the last time you thanked a cop? And wouldn't it be nice if, for just a brief moment, the mainstream media would hold a ceasefire in its incessant cop-bashing crusades?"

Thank a cop? For what? Driving around town looking for people to pull over?

UPDATE: More Malkin insights here. You do realize that most gangs organize and thrive as a result of non-market institutions, right? I think the point you are missing is that gang crime does pay.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

CHINA'S FOREIGN RESERVES are stacking up quickly. I gotta say, not even the Austrians have come with a decent explanation on this (well if they have, I haven't read it). Everyone is acting like China is just stashing away cash like a little kid in his piggie bank, carefully saving for any future disaster. LJ's quick take: This is nonsense. The reserves are evidence of China's massive credit expansion and impending banking system collapse. If my entire banking system teetered on insolvency, gee whiz, I'd hope to have plenty of dollars stashed away. Yuan/remnibi appreciation? It may be more interesting to be on the other side of that bet.

What do you think? You heard it here first . . .
EVERYONE'S A SPECULATOR NOW! Get rich in real estate! It's easy. My brother just told me that a few guys we went to school with are starting a mortgage company. I can't tell you how funny this real estate bubble is becoming for me.
GREENSPAN OR BUFFETT? Greenspan or Buffett? Do you even have to ask?

Greenspan has to be one of the biggest failures ever produced by the free market movement. You do realize that, without the Fed, none of the government's massive programs of destruction -- both of life (military destruction) and wealth (redistribution) -- would be possible on this scale?
STEVE NASH: ANTI-WAR BALLER Yes, Steve Nash looks like Tom Cruise in the second half of Vanilla Sky, but, man, the kid can dish and cut. And he beat out FAT SHAQ for MVP Honors. Counterpunch points out it's an even better honor, considering Nash's rather outspoken behavior in regards to the disgusting attack on Iraq. Props to David Zarin for that article.

http://www.counterpunch.org/zirin05102005.html
CHICKS MAD AT US BECAUSE THEY CAN'T HAVE US We walked into this place the other evening and the first thing I notice is a young lady, her jaw dropped, staring at my boy. They exchange greetings, but it was clear she was not happy with him. I learned it was a girl he had been dating. Why did they stop? His explanation: "She told me that she was more in love with me than I was with her."

Probably true, but is that a reason to be upset with the guy?

Monday, May 09, 2005

WHY I LOVE THE DAILY RECKONING

Because we are on the same page -- TDR and I. Today they took on Trash Vegas:

In the homeland, meanwhile, prices are still going up - especially in that Mecca of the absurd and extravagant, Las Vegas. Prices of residential real estate rose 47% last year. And Donald Trump reports that every one of the 1,282 units in his 64-story hotel/condo are already reserved by buyers - despite the fact that not a single shovel has yet hit the sand. So many other high-rise projects are being discussed that builders are talking of the "Manhattanization" of the desert city - with skyscrapers full of luxury condos all up and down The Strip. If anyone knows why people would want to live in Las Vegas, he does not work here at The Daily Reckoning headquarters. Still, the city attracts 5,000 new residents every month.
If anyone knows why people would want to live in Las Vegas, he doesn't know what he's talking about. My guess is that the Vegas residential market will be one of the hardest hit in the crash, considering most of the population depends entirely on tourist spending to support their living. Hello, recession! Goodbye, Vegas tourists! Did you know Vegas generates more revenue off retail commercial development than casino gaming? It's true. Calling Cards Drug tests Alcohol tests

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

WRISTBANDS Someone asked: should libertarians wear advocacy wristbands? Are you for real? See, this is the problem with so-called libertarians: you are all way too serious. That's why your message will always fail. It has nothing to do with the radicalism. You just annoy people.

As for wristbands, I, myself, had been rockin' at least 5 wristbands, including the LiveStrong that is now the Gold Standard. At the moment, however, I just have two, baby blue "Cultivate Peace" wristbands -- one on each wrist.

I look good.
ORANGE COUNTY As an Orange County resident I guess I should spend a bit more time covering local issues. That's what they tell me anyway. Here's a quiz to verify your knowledge of OC. If you don't perform well on the quiz, please stay away from my City. And, yeah, you can call me anti-immigration. I don't want you here. Stop crying and get over it.
TRUMP IS A CHUMP Trump is traveling the country putting on real estate seminars (he gets $1 million a pop to speak). If this isn't an indication of the ridiculous real estate bubble, what is? What's he going to reveal? Buy early, buy cheap, discover the "next hot market" and sell high?

Of course, Trump says we don't even have a bubble!
MOTHER'S DAY I slipped on the all-white linen outfit and went to Sunday Mother's Day Brunch at a tiny restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At one point during the meal, a plate crashes to the floor, shattering into tiny pieces and the restaurant goes silent. As if off a script, my brother yells out: "Job Opening!"

Everyone laughs.

Damn, that kid is funny. Who did he learn this from?
PETITION FOR BUDGET CAPS I was walking out of Target earlier and a young kid asks me to sign a petition "to limit government spending in California." I asked him if these petitions ever work. His response: if enough people sign it, yes.

My response: if you think that's how government operates you really need to get a clue, brother.

Same goes for all you "Washington, D.C. Libertarians." Leave the swamp immediately.
PATENT LEATHER JORDAN'S I just got a new pair of patent leather Air Jordans. These shoes are so hot I plan to wear them with a tux. No jokes. (Shout out to the homeboy Jigga for extracting them from the Nike Outlet in Trash Vegas.) Here's an article on Jordan's arm of the Nike corporation -- now worth $500 million.

That's right, folks, Jordan brings in more money than FAT SHAQ and he's 5 years removed from the league.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

THE MOST EXPENSIVE ZIP CODES IN 2005 Forbes details the most expensive zip codes in the United States. Pay close attention to #4 and #21. Slide show available at the bottom of the page.
THE MOST DANGEROUS ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD has a guy carrying around the super-duper-top-secret information in a notebook? A notebook? What a joke.
DERBY DAY It's hard to believe it's already Derby Day again -- some of you may remember LJ's post last year. Unforunately the Derby folks did not get rid of the idiots on the infield. Shame. Regardless, I must give a Shout Out to my stylist, who flew out to Kentucky for the event. Come to think of it, my stylist is rarely around anymore. Last week she sent me a text message from Las Vegas and next week she is off to . . . Tokyo? Aw, the life of luxury...
THE BEACH VILLA We've had some trouble getting the wireless network up inside the gates of the Libertarian Jackass Luxury Beach Villa, but the new living room and dining room arrived today.

It's beautiful stuff. I like to call it a Tuscan-themed home.
BOY, OH BOY, do I have some stories to tell now.

Previous Stories

» Human race will 'split into two different species'...
» Random Thoughts on Our Tax System
» The Problems of Pro-Trespassing Libertarians
» Bush tours Latin America to isolate Chavez...
» Internet Gambling - THE END?
» H.R.4411 - The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcem...
» APOLOGY
» JUST WAR THEORY
» IRAQ AND CONSERVATIVE IDIOTS
» POLITICS AND DATING