Implied Dissent

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My new hero

He's kind of a dick, but it's impressive to watch him parry with the criminal officers in this video.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The upside of it

The last two times that I was looking for apartments, I made extensive use of Craig's List. I was looking at 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments, with 2's the expectation. So I was generally looking to move in with someone that I didn't know. I looked at quite a few places in person, and tons of places online. Sometimes I'd go to see a place and the prospective roommate(s) was weird in some way that made me think that I didn't want to live there, even though the place itself was good. A frustrating waste of time. A lot of times when looking at listings, I could tell that the apartment was not for me. Every once in a while, the listing would look really good, and then I'd see that the lister had put something like only "white people", or "no Asians". Thank goodness that they were able to put that stuff in their ads; if they hadn't I might have wound up seeing the place, liking it and thinking that they were normal, and moved in. Selfishly, I want racist people like that to be free to express their racism in (non-violent) acts and expressions; I want to know who these assholes are, so I can avoid them.

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Monday, May 24, 2010


in a "I hope she isn't like this in 10 years" kind of way.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Debt vs an Equity Like Substance

Boone and Johnson have a very good post on the problems in Europe, and I recommend that people read it. It's not too long, and you'll get a lot better understanding of the challenges facing the EU, the Euro, Greece, and so forth. I do want to add my two cents though, and offer a partial solution. I initially thought it was more novel on my part than it turns out to be, but hopefully that will mean that it will actually be implemented (ok, ok, probably delusional on my part to expect anything other than the stupid bailout to go thru, but bear with me).

Without the bailout, Greece would need to either renegotiate or default on its debts. The problem with outright default is it makes it way way harder to get financing going forward, as Greece will need to do. Renegotiation/restructuring, if done in a straight forward manner, and to the extent needed, would be nearly as bad from the standpoint of future borrowing. So, offer to take back the already issued bonds, at a discount of course (maybe a price of 70% of par?), in exchange for Greek GDP bonds. Maybe make it a timed offer, where the discount grows over time, or some such. I'm not sure how good an idea GDP bonds are for the US at this time (I don't 100% agree with Merkel as to why, but he raises some important points), but they are way cheaper in the short-run, which, combined with the discounts, should reduce the interest payment requirements on the Greek government, and so enable it to make its spending cuts of a politically acceptable size. Apparently, something very similar was done in Argentina, with good results.

Of course, independent of this idea, I still think that the European Central Bank is keeping monetary policy excessively tight. Moreso from the Greek perspective than the rest, but probably for every EU country. Loosening by the ECB would smooth the process of recovery for all of Europe, but especially for the most at risk economies (Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland). It would probably help us over here in the US as well. They need to be careful how they do it to avoid the opposite problem and thus ignite destructive inflation (NGDP futures markets would help immensely), but they don't even seem to be aware that they're a big cause of the current difficulties.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Krugman blogged what he sees as the Nth reason libertarianism doesn't work (no hints as to what A thru M are, nor if part O is forthcoming). Various bloggers respond negatively (here, here, and here, for instance). I have to say, though, Paul's right. Libertarians (at least the vast majority) are in favor of the government; we want much less of it than other people, but libs still support the institution. Every institution requires good people in decision-making positions (we'll interpret Paul's "incorruptible" as "honest" or the like). I guess what Paul misses is that shrinking an institution's role reduces the damage that comes from having not-so-good people in charge of it; conversely, expanding an institution makes the damage that comes from having those people in charge much worse. As a negative bonus, bad people tend to be attracted to more powerful institutions. Libertarianism is far more robust to the inevitable occurrence of bad people in positions of power than is big government

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's the Opposite of Cui Bono

Say what you will about Pat Buchanan (and I've said some things, positive and negative), he's spot on about anti-US terrorism.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Best Thing You'll See All Day

Seriously. This man is a genius. I'd probably rank it second to Carl Monday on the list of great things found by Deadspin.

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Monday, May 10, 2010


Who drinks the most?


Monday, May 03, 2010

Apartments in disguise

More rooms than meets the eye. (via MR)

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

ID Reloaded

Getting back into it, with some quick hits:
On Arizona's illegal immigration bill, this is just about right.
On a related note, when dealing with the police, know your rights and how to defend them.
Sowell on the limits of power, examining the ultimate case. Whatever problems I have with him on foreign policy (largely because he doesn't apply his domestic/economic thinking consistently there), he almost always spot on with this kind of stuff.
Shorter Paul Krugman: When Democrats are in favor of something, it's because they're good people. When Democrats are against something, it's because they're good people. When Republicans are for something, it's because they're bad people. When Republicans are against something, it's because they're bad people. Glad we got that straight.

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