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  • On 8 Jul 2013 in Impact of recent interest rate jumps., Kevin said:

    Nobody buys sfh with 6 month rent back periods. My new house won't be ready yo move in until January.

    There's basically no price I could get for it that would make it worth moving out now.

  • On 8 Jul 2013 in Bundesbank Warns China's Currency On Its Way To Becoming Global Reserve Currenc, Kevin said:

    You're a moron if you bet on this happening.

  • On 8 Jul 2013 in Civil War Brewing in Egypt? Muslim Brotherhood Calls for Uprising, Kevin said:

    Murder is legal now? Sign me up.

  • On 15 May 2013 in I don't understand Paul Krugman, Kevin said:

    gsr says

    iwog says

    The high bond yield was the RESULT of forced austerity, not the cause of it

    That's a complete nonsense. Who is imposing austerity in Kenya or Pakistan? Their bond yields are higher than that of Greece. No one preventing them from printing more money.

    Bond yields are usually determined by productivity of people in a country, and how much their government can extract wealth out of that productive population.

    Bond yields are a function of the perceived risk of not getting repaid. PERIOD NOTHING ELSE.

    Many things can cause a given bond to be perceived as risky. Kenya and Pakistan are unstable countries with roving bands of various militia and terrorist factions causing trouble. Austerity in greece is driving bond yields because investors see the continuing inability of the greek government to get their fiscal house in order as a risk to getting paid back. At some point they are going to have to choose between defaulting on debts and facing (more) riots from starving people. It doesn't take an ivy league economist to figure out which choice is more likely.

  • On 12 May 2013 in Exit! Stage Left, Kevin said:

    Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

  • On 10 May 2013 in Austrian test, Kevin said:

    Please don't mix physics with economics. Social sciences are fuzzy, but they still work with the scientific method.

  • On 6 May 2013 in Sell or rent old house?, Kevin said:

    It's in the Seattle area.

    I'm mostly interested in whether you think I can actually make a profit on renting it long term. I have zero experience as a landlord. An extra $500+ a month is tempting, but not if it's going to cost me $1000+ to earn that.

  • On 27 Apr 2013 in why such high numbers ?, Kevin said:

    jaldi1 says

    why are there no terrorists from that part ?

    Are you fucking kidding me? South America is FULL of terrorist groups. They just don't target the US. Same in Africa. Entire villages are slaughtered regularly for the purpose of frightening people into some specific action. Do you believe there aren't any terrorists from those places because you've never heard them mentioned by mainstream US news sources? Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_designated_terrorist_organizations

    I mean, shit. Talk about ignorance!

    Terrorism has existed for as long as human civilization has existed. It is a tactic used by a (morally compromised) weak force against a strong force that they have no hope of defeating conventionally. Frighten the people and maybe the people will turn against the enemy that you're fighting. It's a shitty tactic, and sadly it actually works.

    Since your only concern is clearly Islamic terrorist acts against the west, I would suggest you look no further than the recent history of western relations with the Arab world (yes, there are Islamic terrorists from non-arab states, but they pretty much all trace back to the same source). Instead of listening to right wing nutjobs make their claims about why islamic terrorists target americans, just listen to the nutjobs themselves, since they're pretty clear. They hate us (the west) because we support Israel. They hate us for the memory of colonialism. They hate us for our constant interference with their local politics.

    If the west didn't have military bases and wasn't exerting political influence throughout the middle east, you wouldn't see terrorist attacks against us. You'd see the same kind of localized, tribal terrorism like you see in Africa and south america. It would still exist, but you wouldn't care because it wouldn't be mentioned in a cable news ticker.

    Every terrorist, whether they be Osama bin Laden, Timothy McVeigh, or Anders Breivik, have the same basic motivations:

    - They feel that they've been harmed by a much stronger power.
    - They know that they can't defeat the power by conventional means.
    - Their hatred for their perceived enemy overwhelms human emotions like guilt, and allows them to commit terrible acts.

    Would you like to do a "scientific study" as to why such a large proportion of terrorists are white, politically conservative men? Why such a large proportion are mexican drug runners? Why such a large proportion are African warlords?

    The basic claim that there are "such high numbers" of Muslim terrorists isn't even something you should take at face value. In terms of body count, exclusive of one single event (9/11, which skews things tremendously due to how successful it was), you'll find that the vast majority of terrorist kills of westerners were done by white conservative men. In terms of total number of attacks, the majority again come from white conservative men (even including 9/11). Do you have any idea how many terrorist attacks have been committed over the years by groups like the KKK, FARC, the IRA or the LRA? These are all groups with completely different motivations, and they all use the same tactics, and all for the same reasons.

    (I say "conservative" here because, while the vast majority of these folks have been Christians of one flavor or another, it's hard to lump them together since religion wasn't their driving ideology: anti-government, anti-liberalism was).

    Now, I'm being facetious here, of course. The whole reason for this thread is simple xenophobia, coded in the "can anyone explain?" format, which is what bigots generally use to defend their bigotry. Just say what you mean.

    There have been literally hundreds of studies about the root causes of terrorism, from religion to poverty and everything in between. The answers keep coming up the same, and it's what I've mentioned here. The present scourge of Islamic terrorism is not unique in either its root cause or its continued existence. We are already seeing a sharp decline in terrorist activity originating from the muslim world. Much like the IRA a few decades ago, the muslims are coming to the conclusion that they can accomplish more politically than they can with car bombs.

    Our great grandchildren will still live in a world where terrorism exists, but it won't be those weird hyper religious people in the desert that they associate it with.

  • On 26 Apr 2013 in why such high numbers ?, Kevin said:

    "Is it politically incorrect to investigate this scientifically"

    I don't think you understand how science works.

    Modern-day terrorists (this distinction is important!) are disproportionately muslim for a few reasons:

    - Poor transition in the post-colonial era.
    - Overwhelming poverty
    - Lack of opportunity for young men
    - Real and imagined slights against predominantly islamic sovereign nations (various puppet dictatorships, coups, etc.) by western powers.

    When these conditions exist, charismatic leaders with a cause convince desperate people to do terrible things. Today it's Muslims, half a century ago it was Europeans.

    Islam has been around for thousands of years. Islamic terrorism has only been a major issue for a few decades.

    This era will pass in a few more decades. At that point, southern Europe will likely be the poorest industrial region of the world, and most of the terrible violent acts will come from that area. Maybe people will blame Catholicism for it.

  • On 23 Apr 2013 in Outlawing Islam, Kevin said:

    Islam and conservatism aren't comparable. There are conservative and liberal Muslims.

    The super far right crazy shit that Muslim extremists do is what the ultra conservative Christians would do if they weren't being held in check by liberals.

  • On 16 Apr 2013 in The end of the gold bubble, Kevin said:

    Probability of the gold bugs on this forum changing their tune? Zero.

    There are an awful lot of buy high sell low "investors" around here. You'd think after being wrong two or three times they'd try something different.

  • On 7 Apr 2013 in CA prop 13 and Step up basis is a lethal combination, Kevin said:

    drew_eckhardt says

    coriacci1 says

    repeal prop 13!

    While my salary usually keeps pace with inflation, I haven't had a raise in five years which means I'm actually making 7.5% less in real terms than in 2008.

    It would be unfair to tax me substantially more because my neighborhood became more popular and/or too many of the new comers decided to use their seven figure stock pay offs to bid up prices.

    A fairer solution is _expanding_ proposition 13. The taxable value step up on sale should be eliminated so a property has the same fair taxes regardless of how often it changes hands.

    No. Rising house prices should force people who can't afford the area out. This results in a self correcting pricing mechanism. Like what most states have.

    No state with California's density and income level should have California's housing prices.

  • On 7 Apr 2013 in CA prop 13 and Step up basis is a lethal combination, Kevin said:

    Most people don't live in California. This argument is stupid.

  • On 3 Apr 2013 in Rich Americans pay very little in taxes, Kevin said:

    Nobody in the US pays those rates, either. If you pay anything more than 30% combined state and federal, you fucked up.

  • On 22 Mar 2013 in What does it cost to tear down and rebuild in the bay area, Kevin said:

    New Renter says

    Might want to think about putting in a basement if the house does not already have one. Also do what you can to keep the original fireplace.

    Most of that area is on fill and has a high water table. Unless its on a hill side, a basement is a bad idea.

  • On 17 Mar 2013 in The Utility of Violent Crime, Kevin said:

    In most cities the gaps are larger. In crowded cities, yeah, this happens.

    Low income doesn't have to equal high crime. Unemployment, education, and childhood nutrition can all be managed to o prevent it. There are plenty of low income and low crime areas of the world.

    Unfortunately our stupid society would rather spend money on prisons and cops than on schools and food.

  • On 5 Mar 2013 in Geeks destroying San Francisco's bohemian culture, Kevin said:

    Dan8267 says

    How ironic. In college all the art majors snubbed the geeks and wouldn't invite them to any parties. Now the geeks can party all they want in neighborhoods that the art majors can't afford. Too bad that pretty art major thought dating an engineer was beneath her in college. Now she'd love to be his husband living a life style he could afford her. Talk about Revenge of the Nerds.

    It isn't 1980. Tech majors get laid as much as anybody.

  • On 5 Mar 2013 in Housing should be priced at 1968 or earlier?, Kevin said:

    Except "countries that appreciate them" are usually terrible places to do business. Or live in.

  • On 3 Mar 2013 in Housing should be priced at 1968 or earlier?, Kevin said:

    Bigsby says

    Kevin says

    Reality says

    The big change in the late 60's and early 70's was LBJ's massive money printing

    No, the big change in the 60s and 70s starts with a "C" and ends with "hina".

    Yeah, China was massively influential on US real estate during the 60s and 70s.

    Read original post please.

  • On 2 Mar 2013 in AAPL to $500?, Kevin said:

    People spend billions on watches because a $10000 watch is a high end piece of jewelry. A $200-300 watch will never fit that category. You can't brag about the techie equivalent of a Timex.

    Smart watches could be interesting, but it'll take a really killer app to make them shine.

  • On 2 Mar 2013 in Housing should be priced at 1968 or earlier?, Kevin said:

    Reality says

    The big change in the late 60's and early 70's was LBJ's massive money printing

    No, the big change in the 60s and 70s starts with a "C" and ends with "hina".

  • On 2 Mar 2013 in 16 signs that the middle class is running out of money, Kevin said:

    EInvestor says

    A simple solution to all the budget problems exits:

    Public employee wages and benefits are bankrupting USA. Just cut them by 5% every year for straight five years WITHOUT LOSS OF A SINGLE JOB which should result in NO REDUCTION IN THEIR PRODUCTIVITY so the customer ( taxpayers ) get no cuts in services with same number of public employees working !

    Public employee costs (wages aren't the issue, its the overly generous retirement benefits for cops and firefighters that really do it) are only an issue in certain states, and not at all at the federal level.

    Cutting public employee wages wouldn't do anything to improve the lives of the middle class. Your taxes won't go down one cent if they cut.

    The american middle class was harmed because of free trade. That's all there is to it. You can't compete with Chinese labor unless you want polluted cities and rivers, elimination of workplace safety standards, and a dramatic cut in wages. None of which would improve lives for Americans.

  • On 20 Feb 2013 in Cost of War to the United States, Kevin said:

    Dan8267 says

    Your missing the point. Again,

    China has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. And the country is pushing equally hard to build nuclear reactors and the most efficient types of coal power plants.

    These efforts to dominate renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China.

    I'm not saying China is doing science for the sake of science. I'm saying China is taking the technological lead because economic power is the political and military power of the 21st century.

    And I'm saying you're wrong because the us spends many multiples of China on r&d every year. We have the most Nobel prize winners, most frequently cited research papers, 30 of the top 50 STEM universities, and most innovative tech companies.

    Meanwhile, China us full of degree mills that publish research that wouldn't be acceptable in us highschools, plagiarizes European research papers, and routinely steals IP for its domestic market because it can't develop its own.

    China isn't anywhere close to "taking the lead". They've got at least a dozen countries to surpass before they can even think about it.

  • On 20 Feb 2013 in FHA; Is May 6, 2013 the Day of Reckoning for the New Housing Bubble?, Kevin said:

    evilmonkeyboy says

    robertoaribas says

    it is a minor deal for the market... maybe a bit more major to a home buyer....

    1. Buy home. Mortgage payment = $900... in five years it drops to $850

    2. Buy home. Mortgage payment = $900. forever.

    minor deal...

    numbers made up, I don't care enough about this to even make up real numbers, because if the payment seems reasonable to a buyer today, they will buy; the fact the insurance doesn't disappear isn't going to make a bit of difference.

    Maybe in your market it is a minor deal.

    1. Buy home in Bay Area. Mortgage payment = $4000... in five years it drops to $3500.

    2. Buy home in Bay Area. Mortgage payment = $4000 forever.

    $3500 is a $900k home. That's well above median even in sfba.

    Very few people will ever have such a large mortgage.

    And anyway, $900k doesn't qualify for an FHA loan.

  • On 20 Feb 2013 in Cost of War to the United States, Kevin said:

    Dan8267 says

    China has built entire cities for purposes other than war. China most certainly invests in R&D to acquire economic advantages. Just look at China's research into energy: China Leading Global Race to Make Clean Energy

    China, unlike America, realizes that the wars of the 21st century will be economic wars, not military wars. These wars will be won by dominating technologies and markets. To China, economic security is national security. The American government, in contrast, is still thinking with a Medieval mindset. The last time a country fought a war using the last war's tactics, France was overran by Germany almost immediately.

    China builds empty cities and unused highways to nowhere in order yo appear as a financial powerhouse. That has nothing to do with r&d.

    Ask any Chinese researcher about getting a grant sometime.

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