Dr. Darwin Award

The most surprising thing about this is that the intrepid stalker was an actual doctor as opposed to a mental health specialist:

Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac had been missing since last week, a day after she went to the house of a man whom she had been dating, Bakersfield police Sgt. Mary DeGeare said…. Bakersfield firefighters spent five hours dismantling the chimney and flue from the outside of the home from Saturday to early Sunday to get to the body, DeGeare said. Detectives initially investigated the death as suspicious, but police said Monday that all the evidence indicates Kotarac voluntarily went to the roof, removed the chimney cap and slid down the flue feet first.

Apparently they don’t teach spatial relations at med school. The tragedy is that she didn’t even need to do herself in to win a Darwin award, her odds of NOT being an evolutionary dead end dropped considerably the day she applied to medical school.

Mailvox: reflections on RGD

Stilicho’s summary:

I received my copy of RGD on Friday and finished it last night. Excellent work. Funnily enough, just as I was starting to read the Saint Bernanke/green shoots scenario at the end, there was a power outage and I finished by flashlight. How apt. At any rate, I’m not sure I’ve grokked the full implications of your theories yet, but the first reading sure was an eye opener. There are a lot of thoughts I had while reading that are still bouncing around in my head that may take a while (and more reading) to fully digest, but I’ll share a couple with you:

1) The conventional Austrian theory that a switch from capital production to consumer production causes contractions doesn’t seem logical to me. Rather, it seems that such a switch would be a symptom rather than a cause. I don’t think you classified it as such, although you did express doubt that it was a casual factor. Why did the Austrian school think it was a casual factor?

2) I too was quite sympathetic to the WZI scenario until recently. I still think there may isolated incidents as certain industries or sectors experience mini bubbles induced by an excess of credit that is available and actually used in said industries/sectors. However, after reading your thoughts about the depth and breadth of secular debt issues, I don’t think that general inflation will be an issue for some time. If and when there is some recovery on the far side of TGD 2.0, do you think the WZI scenario is likely to occur given the monetary authorities adherence to neo-keynesian and monetarist theories?

3) I wonder how long we can keep limping along in what amounts to great recession mode until the bottom finally drops out? Isn’t that what Japan’s lost decade(s) amount too? A great recession scenario? But given the world-wide nature of the current crisis, you have convinced me that the bottom will drop eventually. How many bullets does Bernanke have left?

4) The neo-keynesians must have an absolute disdain for microeconomics. Either that, or it would be just too damned inconvenient to acknowledge verifiable microeconomic principles that might cast doubt on their macro theories. A bit of both perhaps?

1) I simply don’t know. My feeling is that because so much Austrian theory was not developed ex nihilo as so much Marxian and Keynesian theory was, but built rationally on the work of previous economic theorists, the conceptual model was somewhat influenced and therefore limited by the various pre-classical, classical, and neo-classical ideas that influenced them. What is strange about it to me is that Rothbard points out the exact limits of demand that I propose as a causal mechanism, but he only applies it to the market for labor. In any event, I agree, the shift from one form of production to another is a symptom rather than a cause. This probably makes me impure from the doctrinaire Austrian perspective, but hardly a heretic. The model works to describe and correctly predict regardless of which mechanism is favored. The advantage of my “limits of demand” mechanism is the way it explains how Austrian theory applies to financial services and other markets in which there is no distinction between capital and consumer goods.

2) No, I think the entire structure will collapse of its own weight first. Debt implodes faster than money can be printed. And I reject what appears to be the revised inflationist notion that a deflationary loss of confidence in a currency can be reasonably labled hyperinflation.

3) Not long. Not any. Most of the positive exit scenarios involve the Federal Reserve being either thrown aside by the US government or supplanted by the IMF.

4) Yes, they have ever since Keynes first voiced the idea that perhaps a macroeconomy behaved in a different manner than a microeconomy writ large.

A strategy for the short run

Many women tend to get their panties in a bunch whenever I point out that their suffrage has led to less freedom and more government and their increased preference for paid employment has led to lower wages for everyone. But their protestations are more than a little amusing in light of the fact that one of the arguments against cutting the size of government is the negative effect this will supposedly have on women:

Women, recent studies here show, are far more dependent on the state than men. Women are thus set to bear a disproportionate amount of the pain, prompting a legal challenge that could scuttle the government’s fiscal crusade and raise fairness questions over deficit-cutting campaigns underway from Greece to Spain, and in the United States when it eventually moves to curb spending.

One major target in Britain, for instance, is the bloated public sector, with as many as 600,000 government jobs – or one in 10 – potentially on the chopping block. But 65 percent of state employees are women, including single mothers in part-time job programs, setting them up to suffer more than men.

Overall, a report published by the House of Commons indicates, women stand to bear the burden of 72 percent of the government’s cuts.

This is rather like people who oppose income tax cuts getting upset that the wealthy will pay less tax. Of course they will pay less taxes, because you can’t cut taxes from people who aren’t paying any, the perverted Bush spendable “tax credits” notwithstanding. Women disproportionately benefited from the great debt-funded expansion of government over the past four decades, so now that governments have to start shrinking due to falling tax revenues and debt-deflation, women should be expected to disproportionately suffer.

One point that those who favor more women in the workforce have never addressed is how counterproductive most of the additional women were. (Remember, one-third of women always been in the labor force; “women in the workforce” actually means “educated middle class women who in the past would have gotten married and had children but instead chose to join the workforce”). So, in summary, women got the vote, then used it to vote for politicians who would go into debt in order to hire them to harass the private sector. And we’re supposed to be suprised this didn’t work out well?

Not exactly confidence-inspiring

The purported defection of China’s chief central banker would not appear to bode well for the so-called recovery:

Rumors have circulated in China that People’s Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan has left the country. The rumors appear to have started following reports on Aug. 28 which cited Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based news agency, saying that because of an approximately $430 billion loss on U.S. Treasury bonds, the Chinese government may punish some individuals within the PBOC, including Zhou.

I doubt it’s going to help the animal spirits much either if he quietly turns up dead. Of course, if he did defect to Panama or some other offshore center, one has to wonder if Ben Bernanke is giving some thought to joining him soon.

UPDATE – STRATFOR says Zhou hasn’t defected after all:

People’s Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan has not defected from China to the United States, authoritative sources have informed STRATFOR. The Washington Post has also spoken with unnamed officials who said there was no indication that Zhou had defected, that he was not in U.S. custody and that the rumors on Chinese internet discussion forums should be ignored.

WND column

A Presidency of Lies

Ever since Joseph Farah launched WND’s national “Where’s the birth certificate?” campaign, supporters of President Soetoro have come up with a panoply of increasingly bizarre justifications for his continued concealment of his birth records, school records, publication records and pretty much everything else that might provide the American people with more information about who this Obama character is.

Or Soetoro. Or Soebarkah. Or something.

Setting aside the obvious lunacy of accusing someone who believes that Bill Ayers was Soebarkah’s ghostwriter of being a birther or thinks that Soetoro was the beneficiary of some extraordinary affirmative action in getting into both Columbia and Harvard Law despite being an exchange student who didn’t score well enough on his PSAT to qualify for National Merit– the correct terms would be “authorer” and “colleger,” respectively, there remain a remarkable number of questions about the man who has managed to destroy the Democratic Party’s electoral chances faster than George W. Bush eviscerated the Republicans.

VPFL rosters

The coaches for the open spots were randomly selected and were then randomly assigned to teams. For the sake of continuity, we recommend you either change the team location or the nickname, but not both. An email with the league access information will be sent out shortly. The draft is September 4th, so post your three keepers here on or before September 1st otherwise one of the commissioners will choose your keepers for you. The draft will be in the reverse order of last year’s finish with the order flipping in each round.

The Meerkats will be keeping Aaron Rodgers, Visanthe Shiancoe, and either Chad Ochocinco or Austin Collie or Larry Johnson or Matt Forte while wondering how they made the playoffs last year.

Greenfield Grizzlies
Coach: White Buffalo

Bernard Berrian (Min – WR)
Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG – RB)
Tashard Choice (Dal – RB)
Braylon Edwards (NYJ – WR)
Greg Jennings (GB – WR)
Jeremy Maclin (Phi – WR)
Donovan McNabb (Was – QB)
Carson Palmer (Cin – QB)
Pierre Thomas (NO – RB)
LaDainian Tomlinson (NYJ – RB)
Carnell Williams (TB – RB)
Kellen Winslow (TB – TE)
Kris Brown (Hou – K)
Pittsburgh (Pit – DEF)
Seattle (Sea – DEF)

Winston Reverends
Jason Marianna

Joseph Addai (Ind – RB)
Antonio Bryant (Cin – WR)
Matt Hasselbeck (Sea – QB)
Vincent Jackson (SD – WR)
Peyton Manning (Ind – QB)
Hakeem Nicks (NYG – WR)
Greg Olsen (Chi – TE)
Darren Sproles (SD – RB)
Chester Taylor (Chi – RB)
Reggie Wayne (Ind – WR)
Roy Williams (Dal – WR)
Ryan Longwell (Min – K)
Matt Stover (Ind – K)
Dallas (Dal – DEF)
Green Bay (GB – DEF)

Bane Silvers
Red Cornett

Cedric Benson (Cin – RB)
Brent Celek (Phi – TE)
Donald Driver (GB – WR)
Brett Favre (Min – QB)
Calvin Johnson (Det – WR)
Marshawn Lynch (Buf – RB)
Brandon Marshall (Mia – WR)
Terrell Owens (Cin – WR)
Adrian Peterson (Min – RB)
Kevin Smith (Det – RB)
Kevin Walter (Hou – WR)
Kurt Warner (Ari – QB)
Mason Crosby (GB – K)
Kansas City (KC – DEF)
Philadelphia (Phi – DEF)

Black Mouth Curs

Marion Barber (Dal – RB)
Dwayne Bowe (KC – WR)
Steve Breaston (Ari – WR)
Dallas Clark (Ind – TE)
Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ – WR)
T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Sea – WR)
Mario Manningham (NYG – WR)
Laurence Maroney (NE – RB)
Knowshon Moreno (Den – RB)
Santana Moss (Was – WR)
Tony Romo (Dal – QB)
Jonathan Stewart (Car – RB)
Garrett Hartley (NO – K)
Baltimore (Bal – DEF)
New York (NYJ – DEF)

Alamo City Spartans

Miles Austin (Dal – WR)
Kevin Boss (NYG – TE)
Ronnie Brown (Mia – RB)
Jason Campbell (Oak – QB)
Fred Davis (Was – TE)
Andre Johnson (Hou – WR)
Maurice Jones-Drew (Jac – RB)
Eli Manning (NYG – QB)
Mike Sims-Walker (Jac – WR)
Alex Smith (SF – QB)
Jason Snelling (Atl – RB)
Wes Welker (NE – WR)
Beanie Wells (Ari – RB)
David Akers (Phi – K)
Arizona (Ari – DEF)

Valders Valkyries
MS Quixote

Anquan Boldin (Bal – WR)
Jay Cutler (Chi – QB)
Jermichael Finley (GB – TE)
Ryan Grant (GB – RB)
DeSean Jackson (Phi – WR)
Fred Jackson (Buf – RB)
Derrick Mason (Bal – WR)
Rashard Mendenhall (Pit – RB)
Ben Roethlisberger (Pit – QB)
Jeremy Shockey (NO – TE)
Steve Smith (Car – WR
Benjamin Watson (Cle – TE)
Dan Carpenter (Mia – K)
Denver (Den – DEF)
New England (NE – DEF)

Judean Front

Drew Brees (NO – QB)
Marques Colston (NO – WR)
Pierre Garcon (Ind – WR)
Anthony Gonzalez (Ind – WR)
Tony Gonzalez (Atl – TE)
Steven Jackson (StL – RB)
Randy Moss (NE – WR)
Ray Rice (Bal – RB)
Steve Smith (NYG – WR)
Michael Turner (Atl – RB)
Ricky Williams (Mia – RB)
Vince Young (Ten – QB)
Rob Bironas (Ten – K)
Lawrence Tynes (NYG – K)
Minnesota (Min – DEF)

Masonville Marauders
Rob Bright

Deion Branch (Sea – WR)
Vernon Davis (SF – TE)
Antonio Gates (SD – TE)
Frank Gore (SF – RB)
Jerome Harrison (Cle – RB)
Santonio Holmes (NYJ – WR)
LeSean McCoy (Phi – RB)
Sidney Rice (Min – WR)
Philip Rivers (SD – QB)
Matt Schaub (Hou – QB)
Hines Ward (Pit – WR)
Roddy White (Atl – WR)
DeAngelo Williams (Car – RB)
Nate Kaeding (SD – K)
New Orleans (NO – DEF)

Keynesians are so predictable

I’m so good, I can not only tell you that a mainstream economist is going to be wrong, I can even tell you what his excuse for being wrong is going to be. Here’s Paul Krugman’s ex post facto explanation for why the stimulus failed:

What’s going on here? It’s basically the Fifty Herbert Hoovers problem. Because state and local governments can’t run persistent deficits, and because aid to those government was shortchanged, cutbacks at lower levels of government have undermined expansion at the federal level. Overall government purchases have actually grown more slowly than the economy’s potential output.

This is, of course, his alternate explanation. His primary explanation, which everyone anticipated, was that the stimlus was too small. Even though it was $187 billion larger than he said it had to be. It should be noted that Krugman is attempting to kill two errors with one rationalization here, as he’s also attempting to explain why he was wrong to predict that Germany’s economic performance would be worse than the USA’s due to their rejection of further stimulus.