This is BruceJ's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following BruceJ's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
BruceJ
Recent Activity
When banks finance mortgages, they don't generally say, "Here's $500,000 to spend on whatever you wish." They say, "Here's $500,000 to buy that house you want to buy." The money can only be used for that purpose. Except, during the height of the bubble, this wasn't actually the case. Lots of lenders were offering absurd sums of money, 'Jumbo loans' and the like, loans for greater than the appraised value of the houses with the premise "Buy your new house and go on vacation!" As a bit of personal anecdote, err, I mean small batch, hand curated, artisan data our mortgage had a balloon payment due in 2005-ish, as things were in a major boil, and I was told I could have a lot more money than I needed to refi the house that I could use for 'anything I want'. It's ok, you're good for it! When lending was decoupled from risk, and the lender's profit merely depends on the size of the loans they can make, of COURSE they're going to abuse that to make more money.
1 reply
Charles Murray is a "public intellectual"?? Who knew the bar for 'public intellectual' was so low!
1 reply
"Liberal Fascism" was the book I was talking about, and it was indeed one of Goldberg's attempts at 'littritchur'.
1 reply
Damn, Nils beat me to it...and as a bonus here's a wonderful sample of Chaos Manor in those days....http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/95q1/jpreviews.html
1 reply
" But what, exactly, would they propose instead?" Why, Mr. Lord, they would propose the Goldfinger paradigm: "I don't expect you to talk, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" They have no plan; mainly because they have no plan for anything, beyond saying "NO!"
1 reply
Just last year we saw that 'people dying in the street for lack of healthcare' is a winning position for a GOP politician, at least winning a nomination or their congressional seat. It won't win national elections, but the GOP has pretty conclusively shown that winning national elections simply does not matter so long as they can control Congress via gerrymandering and voter suppression. "Intellectuals" like Ponnuru simply have no traction in the modern GOP. Hell, I think they'd call Bill Buckley a RINO. I think the Congressional loss of 2010 will go down in the annals of the Democratic party (and American history) as the worst Congressional defeat ever, and it was largely self-inflicted; ever concerned about appearing to be the party in charge, they let the GOP and conservadems hijack the Healthcare bill process for a summer of rioting. While Fox News screamed about "death panels" and teabaggers screamed at town halls about socialism, and 'get the Gummint's Hand's off mah Medicare!' the Dems retreated, then ignored their base for the 2010 elections, setting up not only the path to obstruction in Congress but the wholesale flipping of state houses to the wing nut right, just in time for the Census and redistricting. A simple plan of "Medicare for everyone" would have instantly resonated with a broad swath of the population and would have undercut the right wing. The healthcare industry would have howled bloody murder, but I think the kinds of mass opposition based on complte fabrications would have failed; after all, most folks could relate to Grandma and her health care plan. That wingnut surge is, at last, fading (witness my own Gov, Jan Brewer, finally supporting the reforms, and taking considerable wingnut heat for doing so. However she was able to get together a coalition of GOP legislators with at least one foot in reality and the solid support of State Dems to pass both medicare expansion and a slightly less austerity-y budget. This against the will of both the State House Speaker and Senate Leader. She purportedly had the votes to unseat both of them in the Lege.) Dems cannot go on winning national elections and losing local ones and get their policies implemented. Look at California, finally coming out of decades of insanity. 2016 is important. We NEED to keep a Dem in the White House. Flipping the House would be really nice. But the 2020 state races are as Stalingrad was for the Russians, something which cannot be lost, the last, best chance to turn the tide of battle. If we let the GOP control redistricting two decades in a row, we'll be assured of more of the same.
1 reply
Omega Centauri is correct…there is, a pyramid-shaped distribution of jobs versus skills and education. No matter how many courses they take, the world needs fewer automotive engineers than autoworkers. We cannot turn all the unemployed autoworkers into engineers. This effect is rapidly being exacerbated by automation and increased productivity per worker. Quite simply even at the base level of manual assembly-line work, it takes fewer people to make things than it used to. (for an endlessly fascinating education in this process, watch 'How it's Made' on the Discovery Science channel. If you're a machine junky you get to watch astonishingly complex lines making everything from cookies to fire trucks. Watch the effects of automation…people are left to put the stuff into boxes at the end, and drive the trucks. Google can drive cars autonomously now. So much for the truck driving job...) We're making more and more people in a world where it takes fewer and fewer people to provide for their needs. It's hit the first world first, because we have the cheap labor of the third to replace most of our old jobs that a high school grad could do, but it will continue to proceed down to them. What's left? Those jobs which cannot yet mechanized: basic, low-wage sevice jobs like making hamburgers, emptying bedpans, and somewhat better-paying service jobs likeplumbers and electricians. Even the latter jobs are increasingly reduced to replacing 'black boxes' in the correct form, because we've increased the efficiency, both via materials (PEX tubing instead of copper pipe, for example) and subassemblies (it's cheaper to replace an entire fixture than replace a leaky faucet cartrige..I did this myself just last weekend. A ceramic cartridge (washers? what are these 'washers' of which you speak?') for our leaking bathroom faucet was $19.98 at Home Depot. A complete faucet was on sale for $17.95. So we need fewer plumbers and electricians. There was a brief flurry of interest a year or so ago around a book by Matthew Crawford 'Shop Class as Soulcraft' where he argues that we should re-emphasize shop class because that can inspire people to become someone like him, who has a doctorate in Philosphy, but found his calling as a motorcyle mechanic, a "radical re-appraisal fo the value of skilled labor". It's a wonderful read, entirely divorced form the real world. He makes his living building and repairing motorcylces owned by wealthy clients; without whom he'd have no business. A lovely read, and some good advice ( I certainly appreciate the skills I gained in shop class all those years ago), but ultimately, not a solution to the problem. The best analogy I can find is in biology. All these folks pushing higher education, (or in Crawford's case specialized skilled labor) as a solution for the jobs crisis, and fatuous pundits like Tom Friedman proclaiming that we must all become entrepreneurs are akin to somone looking at a population of wolves and deer and coming to the conclusion that we should all be wolves, because the deer get eaten. We can't all be visionary engineers, we can't all be skilled laborers, and we can't all dwell in Lake Woebegone, where everyone is above average. As you move up the education/skills pyramid, there's room for fewer and fewer people. You can't all be wolves. What I find very few people even thinking realistically about is 'what are we going to do when the majority of people on the planet realize that they're never going to have it better.' because all the education in the world isn't going to help when There Are No Jobs. And until they're being defenstrated from their penthouse offices and the guillotines are oiled and sharpened, the 1% will continue to ignore this issue because it simply does not affect them, and by then it's way too late. The French Revolution was not a pretty thing.
1 reply
Welcome to your petard, Cato, hope the view is at least interesting as you tumble through the air... As an institute you've spent nearly 40 years painting an intellectual gloss onto a political philosophy best summed up in a single line: "I've got mine, Jack, fuck off!", and now that your own intellectual philosophy is being applied against you, you cry out for help. Permit me to play the worlds tinyiest violin for a moment... The one eternal political Truth that can be discerned from the span of human history , the rise and fall of empires, tyrannies, revolutions, and wars is: "Might Makes Right". No human at any time in history has had any more freedom or liberty that the most powerful person near them has allowed. The Libertarian principle of a weak central state and magically rational markets is no more than a juvenile fantasy; it has never worked that way, ever in human history, certainly never once we progressed past hunter-gatherers. Thus the eternal tension in a modern democratic society like ours is 'how to manage that Might so that all are fairly treated'. We chose a representative government that would, at least in theory, be responsive to all; the Cato institute, along with their other Koch puppet organizations, have spent vast sums and time to bending that representative government to serving the 0.1%, or more directly, serving the interests of our putative tyrants, the Koch brothers. Might makes Right. He who has the Gold makes the Rules. That's all it is, for all the intellectual puffery that the Cato institute has produced, that's all it ever boiled down to. And now that the mailed fist has shown itself to them, they're at last being forced to confront that elemental truth.
1 reply
I don't know but there's a sentence in the US Constitution that's pretty damn clear on the subject: " All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." But when you think the constitution consists of the second and tenth amendments I guess this is what you sound like, which is pig-ignorant. And indictable, because if he isn't a US citizen and he voted in the last election that;'s that very election fraud he's so keen to stop.... ;
1 reply
Trent is backpedaling as fast as he can after his truly execrable victim-blaming interview where he said that Gabby brought this on herself by holding a public event without security. What Eric said was wrong, and pretty clearly in the heat of the moment (I'd like to see Trent keep his cool after getting shot in a massacre like that) this does NOT absolve Trent for all the virulent rhetoric he's spouted. He's got a LONG way to go to get on the positive side of the balance sheet. Sorry to be not all happy happy about Trent acting like a decent human for a bit, but I just saw another one of these obscenities on the back of some yahoo's pickup truck. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/17/21550917_2a6e32749b.jpg Makes it kinda hard to trust 'em when they say right up front that you're a subhuman animal. I'll believe Trent when he comes out in favor of increasing taxes and regulating insurance companies to provide better mental health care. In other words, when he walks the walk he's talking about.
1 reply
Cue the couch-fainting and pearl clutching about how meeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaan Fitz is in the Letters of the Star.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2011 on Fitz beat me to it at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
What will happen is that we will have our Social Security and Medicare stolen from us, plus any other things that the madmen of the Tea Party wish to extort from the Democrats because the Teabaggers DO NOT CARE IF THEY BURN THE WHOLE PLACE DOWN. Their insane followers will cheer madly as their own futures go up in smoke...it will only validate their victimhood.
1 reply
Sadly, I suspect that it's because in the King Russell Pearce legislature, the Democrats do not count. Last session they were literally locked out of the Legislature during budget 'negotiations' and the agents of those tactics are the folks in charge now. King Russell and his cronies are going to push HARD for electing judges because that's the one branch of government in AZ they do not control absolutely. They want to change that. They want judges who can be bought or at least leased.
1 reply
"Fails it's readers"? Oh, 'Meanie, you naive child! You still belive that newspapers exist to inform the public! They have but two jobs: to sell the public things contained in their advertisements, and to propagandize for their right-wing owners. We had a short, glorious time in the middle of the last century where journalists actually took their jobs seriously. Since then it's all gone rapidly back to the William Hearst model of yellow journamalism. Doncha know, Obama is a huge failure, the entire economic downturn was his fault! He caused it with the bailouts! Him and those socialists ar Fannie and Freddie who were giving all those greedy poor brown people home loans they couldn't afford because of Jimmy Carter and ACORN. Also Algore is fat hahaha and it's snowing yah smelly hippie so global warming is all a lie by those socialist climate scientists conspiring with George Soros to destroy Freedom and Liberty and Christianity and establish a IslamoMarxist state where all god-fearing white folks will be put into FEMA re-education camps so young bucks can enjoy their cadillacs and steaks, served by gold-plated public employees and their pensions consuming 90% of the economy, while everyone is forced at gunpoint (tasteful, color-coordinated gunpoint with designer camouflage) to gay marry in the Army! On second thought, the Republic wouldn't print stuff like that...they'll leave that to the Star.
1 reply
Less politely, screw David Frum. He had his chance back when he was actually working for the President, and he failed the American public miserably. 'Bravely' pointing out how irrational the Republicans are when you were instrumental in promulgating that very irrationality is the height of hypocrisy. This is the guy who coined 'Axis of Evil', almost single-handedly derailing US/Iran relations (which at the time were finally beginning to thaw, ever so tentatively) and which pretty much got Amedinejad and the rest of the hard-liners elected, and helped North Korea build a nuclear weapon. (Remember, until Bushes cowboy antics, North Korea's nuclear fule enrichment reactor was cold , under international surveillance and sealed. North Korea HAD NO active nuclear weapons program and no bombs when Bush took office. ) He worked for an Administration that presided over the destruction of the US economy, the deadliest terrorist attack in US history, and HIS OWN WORDS helped start a completely pointless (and utterly illegal) war of aggression while IGNORING those who actually attacked us. If he's an example of a 'sane' Republican, we're doomed. That he's correct in this case is largely only proof of blind squirrels finding nuts and stopped watches being right. When Republicans who ACTUALLY have some power start saying this sort of stuff, then I'll be re-assured.
1 reply
But that's EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO! All the 'wackadoos' have to do is shout 'Commie' or 'Socialist' and point their fingers at someone brown and their hordes will gleefully back whatever they do because 'gubmint is evil; them (insert racist epithet here) are all leeches and cheats, and My DAM Taxes are too high!' These people have been voting against their own self-interests since 1980, when Ronnie the RayGun told them it was Morning in America as he slipped their wallets out of their pockets. Americans are so stupid that 60% of us believe that Obama raised our taxes. Americans are so stupid that 30% of us believe that the presdident is a foreign-born Muslim. Glenn and Rush and Sean and the rest of the Conservative Puke Machine all tell 'us it's the evil libberal-socialists-jews fault! And every-damn-body else in the journalism bizness tut-tuts and says how UN-civilized it is when someone points out that these guys are liars. The people of Arizona, and the rest of the country, for that matter, I've come to believe, are just bone stupid in a totally irredemable way. People may say they don't like the Republican agenda, but THEY WENT AHEAD AND VOTED THE F*CKERS IN ANYWAY. What do they POSSIBLY think is gonna happen? We're in for another eight to twelve years of rape/pillage/burn at the heands of the R's, by which time I doubt there will be much left to fight over...we'll be a nation of 50% unemployment, no social safety net, unpaved roads, struggling to learn Mandarin so we can do scut work in the new world economy for our new masters. The Chinese middle class will be bitching at the horrible accents and stupid advice that those morons in offshore call centers in America all give out for their new computers. The 2% who are the true rulers of the US won't care...they got theirs, jack, fuck off. They'll be living on a beach somewhere enjoying the remnants of the wealth of the American Middle Class. People won't notice until the bread&circuses suddenly stop that they're screwed. And they'll STILL listen to bloated gasbag millionaires who tell 'em it's all the feminazis fault. As Rand Paul said in a rare moment of truth: We all just work for rich people.
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2010 on Mandate Schmandate at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
I don't think you all understand. We're not going to be allowed to 'fight back'. Citizens United just set the price tag for purchasing democracy in this country. As Rand Paul said in his acceptance speech "We all work for rich people or sell things to rich people." Welcome to serfdom.
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2010 on Descent Into Madness at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
Well, first...not even half the voters in this state could be bothered to get off their lazy asses and vote. Turnout was 43% Secondly, the GOP doesn't have to produce results. ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS CONTINUE DOING WHAT THEY'RE DOING. The Dems accomplished a hell of a lot for the American people in the last four years and got obliterated for their troubles. All we're going to get from the Goopers is government shutdowns, endless showtrial hearings and impeachment attempts, and in the holy Name of Bipartisanship the D's will probably go right along with them, because as a mass they're just too damned chickenshit to stand up to 'em. Rand Paul was uncharacteristically candid in his acceptance speech "We all either work for rich people or sell things to rich people." He made it clear who our masters are. They just bought the US government. We're just their serfs now. You don't REALLY think that anything is going to get done, do you? That would be a waste of money, money better put to use buying solid gold bathroom fixtures. They want to strip us of our healthcare, our social security. They're done looting the Treasury and robbing the poor, now the 1%-ers have their eyes on the rest of us. They're simply stealing homes, embezzling our investments, defrauding us right and left, and no one is standing up to them. They've proven over and over and over that they can do WHATEVER they want to us, and we'll go on listening to Limbaugh and Beck and Hannity and the rest of the millionaire's-club Republican Puke Funnel feed us whatever lies they decide will best keep the proles energized against their own interests. Boehener is talking about "Our way or the highway" and Obama is fatuously blithering about "...a new pragmatism and bipartisanship." He's bringing a goddam squirt gun to a firefight...again. The Local R's WANT Arizona to be a third-world hellhole. They WANT to be able to pay miners $5 a day to go die in their mines so they get an extra 1% profit. They love it when 5-Star Joe feeds prisoners on a dollar a day and puts them in a camp that more closely resembles a Japanese POW camp than a jail. They get their rocks off on that stuff. We're ruled by people who hate us. They want all our schools to resemble Albania's because they hate education. Ignorant proles are MUCH easier to lead by the nose. They ESPECIALLY hate it when brown children get into schools, which is why we approved the White Male Natural Superiority proposition 107. Of course the whole country will get the shaft when the rest of the world passes us by BUT THEY DON'T CARE. "I got MINE, Jack, f*ck off!" is their ONLY philosophy, guiding principle and motto. When pure sociopathic narcissism is your creed, it's simple to just let everyone else die. Running the country into the ground is a WIN for them and their plutocratic overlords. THEY won't suffer. rant over for now...
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2010 on I Was Wrong Wrong Wrong at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
And Tengrain says it best, as usual: http://www.mockpaperscissors.com/?p=39117
1 reply
You gotta love Kelly's gall. If he says it loud enough and sincerely enough, that makes it true for Jesse Kelly. Actually this is the standard operating procedure for the entrety of the 'conservative' movement. The truth is whatever gets shouted the loudest.
1 reply
I got one from the 'Republican Hall Of Fame' yesterday asking me who I wanted to vote for Prez in 2012: Mitt Romney Mike Pence Mike Huckabee Newt Gingrich or Barack Obama. (??) Very odd, as there is one giant glaring, winking omission there, you betcha. I've gotten other robocalls, pushpolling for repubublicans, but I'm in LD 27, not 30.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2010 on GOP automated poll in LD30 at Blog For Arizona
1 reply
I'm not so hasty to accept a third-hand "Media Psychologist's" dignosis any more than I'm willing to accept Bill Frist's diagnosis-by-soundbite of Terri Schiavo's conciousness status. Random speculation, even if it is educated random speculation does not take the place of a proper diagnosis. More to the point: I've been there...my first (and only) experience teaching a class of any sort had one episode where I just completely mind-locked and stood there; I think I manged to get 'ah um err' out of my mouth. It lasted much longer than 16 seconds... No drugs, no booze, no mini-stroke necessary, just an old-fashioned stage fright/panic attack. It happens to perfectly competenmt and utterly incompetent people alike, folks doing it for the first time, or folks doing it for the ten-thousandth. It just happened to her at a very bad time.
1 reply
Now I'm hoping someone actually looks into his alleged service. Tht trait is NOT valuable in a soldier, certainly not in the alleged best of the best that the Special Forces are supposed to be. I've personally known Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, and this kind of stupid bragging about "how meany dead iraqis I piled up" sounds pretty uncharacteristic of them. This ain't the movies, the training and vetting process for Special Forces is designed to weed out the kind of guys who get off on killing people, because psychopaths make bad decisions and get others killed. Also, technically speaking, Frankie helped his fellow soldiers disobey lawful orders....something the Army tends to frown upon.
1 reply
I'll ask the same question I've asked Rep. Giffords: "Why the HELL do you think that conservatives will vote for a fake republican this time around?" I'd much rather see someone like Alan Grayson run (Who is, by the way HEAVILY favored in his very red district). Dear god what do we have to do to get some Democrats with frakking BALLS in this country? Someone to stand up and say "Hey, it's been 30 goddamn years of them trickling down on us and all it's ever gotten us is broke, wet and smelling of piss. You all are RIGHT to be angry !" THERE is a candidate I'll get out and crawl through rusty nails and Republican neighborhoods to support.
1 reply
"I think it's reasonable, however, to expect reporters to learn from experience and look with a jaundiced eye on everything cranked out by the G.I. machine. " Well, reporters yes, but the professional stenographers that are all we have left at the corporate newspapers, not so much...
1 reply