Sunday, October 09, 2005

Open invitation to Ivy League bootlickers upset over HM

All of y'all can kiss my natural black ass. Thank you very much.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

testing archiving

This post should appear on a separate page

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

This one is for Steph...

The word is that the next Harry Potter book will feature the death of a major character. Naturally, London bookies are taking bets on who will suck the pipe - the current odds are listed here.

From the stats, Dumbledore looks like a goner...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

More lefty economics -

The best thing about the internet is that you can click directly from to - an act of pure intellectual subversiveness. Mother Jones is a reliable source for old-school, unreformed liberalism - but every once in a while something new stands out. This interview with Princeton professor of Sociology and Public Affairs Douglas Massey about his new book is one of those: his goal is to try to reconcile the left with the market economy and use it to advance their causes and values.

Read the whole piece - the professor's aim is a good one, and his ideas sound pretty reasonable on their face. The key element is the bright-line divider between conservative and liberal thought that Massey identifies: whether you believe markets are a natural-state condition or a purely social construction. I think it is impossible to understate the importance of this distinction no matter which side of the line you fall on. This core belief colors almost every policy position of both right and left.

Predictably, I am firmly in the natural-state camp. Massey repeatedly asserts that a market cannot exist without government because government creates the rules and institutions of the market, and ensures fairness in competition. The problem is that reality simply doesn't bear this out: black markets existed in every non-capitalist society from Bolshevik Russia to communist Vietnam in the face of the most extreme measures to eradicate them, just as the markets for heroin and cocaine thrive today in spite of governmental opposition. There is a market wherever there is a demand - it arises out of individual wants and needs.

Massey believes that markets flow from institutions, however. It's clear from his statements that he views command economies and market economies simply as different breeds of the same horse - only that the command economies resulted in widespread deaths and abuses of power, while market economies have produced better results. The underlying assumption here is that economic power comes from the top down - government determines the system and values, not the people. Honestly, this is a fascistic and pessimistic philosophy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I bet he didn't think they were so evil when he cashed his advance check...

You've got to love artists. Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin spouts off here about how shareholders are "the great evil of this modern world."

Let's see, buddy: are these the same shareholders who fronted the money to provide a forum, record your tracks, stamp your CD's, give you access to a marketing and distribution system, and subsequently account for and distribute your royalties to you? Do you really believe you don't owe them anything in return? This is about the time we here the airy calls for full government funding of the arts...

The other day I read a review of the new Michael Moore-style documentary Corporation that seems to espouse the same kind of anti-corporate philosophy. It appears that a large part of the commentary comes from Noam Chomsky, who believes the corporate entity itself is inherently evil.

What was most telling in the sections quoted was the sheer ignorance of how markets work to match people's wants with their needs, and how much focus/fetishizing there is of the simple idea of the corporation. Chomsky suggests that the corporate structure itself be abolished, and that people would be better off contracting on an individual-to-individual basis! Specialization of labor, economies of scale, comparative advantage - how can anyone hold themselves out to be a public intellectual on the subject of 'political economy', for want of a better word, and not even have a passing familiarity with these concepts?

Make Fred Spew...

Check this one out - our buddies at PETA have a website for kids that includes fun games like:

Make Fred Spew

You can also throw rotten tomatoes at fur-wearers and liberate soon-to-be-broiled lobsters. But Fred is the best: a sweet-mullet-sporting redneck complete with trailer and barbecue grill that must be horribly lactose-intolerant. PETA has a grudge against the dairy industry, who they call milk-thieves. Their motto is that cows make milk for their babies, not for ours.

I wonder if they appreciate the irony of their most famous spokeswoman, Pamela Anderson, whose trademark feature happens to be her HUGE MAMMARIES??

Monday, May 16, 2005

You tell 'em, Vincente...

The zapato-in-mouth award goes to Mexican President Vincente Fox, who declared on a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta that Mexican illegals in the US do the work that "...not even the blacks want to do in the United States."

It's a damn strange world...

What kind of age are we living in when the Temple of Soulless Buzzards can link directly to a blog post by Charles Manson, which itself contains a link to

On a lighter note, Chappelle doesn't appear to be crazy or in drug rehab - just chillin' with a friend in South Africa.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Fireworks in Uzbek-land

Islam Karimov has a real live armed insurrection on his hands. Couldn't have happened to a better despotic dictator. The war on terror was the best thing to come along for this bum - otherwise he'd have been tossed out a long time ago. Look for this one to get worse before it gets better, buzzards...

Come see the elitism inherent in the system...

Don't look now, buzzards - it's the snarkiest, up-turned-nosiest review of Revenge of the Sith yet. It even features the oh-so-clever scatalogical anagram of Sith. Now that's top-notch writing - I bet he learned that at Ivy League J-school...

Don't worry, Kellus - no spoilers included.
This article from Slate proves that it's better to be smooth than cool. Economists analyzing the music business found that due to the demographics of concert-goers and the fact that artists now make a higher percentage of their revenues from touring instead of CD sales, that:

Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond out-earn Britney Spears and Kid Rock

Celine Dion edges out Rod Stewart

I'll bet that on a net-net profit basis, Celine Dion pockets more than almost anyone. She plays the same venue in Vegas every night just down the street from her home, making her overhead a fraction of what a touring act would incur.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

It's a bait and switch, bitch!

The headlines show that to take up the slack in recruiting the Army is offering enlistments for terms as short as 15 months of active duty. Don't fall for it, buzzards!

After 15 months of active duty, the plan is to switch to Army Reserve or National Guard for two years, then be classified as Individual Ready Reserve for 7 years. In reality, this does not offer any shorter term risk for deployment, since you can still be called up all the way to the end.

In the short term, I don't see how the Army, and especially the Reserve, is going to make up for short-falls. Why join the Reserve when you know you're going to get called up immediately? If you wanted to go that bad, you'd already be in the regular Army. They have extended the age for Reservists from 34 to 39, which is good. One thing holding back the regular Army is that after the age of 30, a recruit has basically no chance of becoming an officer based on talks I had with recruiters a year ago. Why would anyone over 30 want to go in enlisted if they qualified for OCS? It seems to me that this really limits your pool of recruits to kids under 20, and that's it.
OK, this one is just sick. This kind of stuff is the reason Kellus will never be a Republican, and I don't blame him.

Everything that rises must converge...

For those into convergence, check out this article on using classical economic theory to explain the growth of fundamentalist churches such as the Pentacostals.

Iannacone's invocation of the free rider problem here struck me as particularly interesting. You buzzards from small town North Texas will certainly remember the Babtist Christ-o-toreum phenomenon, where the church with the best youth group, as defined by ski trips and raquetball courts, was the winner. I think we'd all agree the free rider problem there was epidemic - long on lip service, short on substance. This aptly sums up the mega-church movement, which generates a faith of breadth, but little depth.

All cups are half empty in the world of Bob Herbert

Today's New York Times editorial from Bob Herbert offers some first-class hand-wringing over the fact that in April the economy produced 274,000 jobs. For Herbert, nothing is good news that occurs under W - but he has to try pretty hard to find the lead lining in this cloud:

(free subscription required)

Here are the best parts:

College graduates today are doing better in real economic terms than college graduates in the 1970's. But everyone else is doing less well. "If you look at families headed by someone without a college degree," said Professor Sum, "their income last year in real terms was below that of a comparable family in 1973. For dropouts it's like 25 percent below where it was. And for high school grads, about 15 to 20 percent below.

and -

In Illinois, fewer than one in every three teenage high school dropouts are working.

This is bad thing why? Doesn't it prove that the economy is producing the kind of real, career-level jobs that sustain growth as opposed to the low-level, low skill jobs that people like Herbert are constantly warning us are taking over in the US? Why in the world would we want to have better job opportunities for high school dropouts???
So thats how you get it
Get what you want
Pay off to get off Steal, beg or taunt
Now I really hope to bug you and rain on your parade
You treat the whole world as if it is your stepping stone
I pray I am standing your way

The words of the pestilent poet...