WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Oh, the Places You Won't Go!

Cal State San Marcos President Karen C. Haynes finds an unusual selling point for a university:
Eighty-five percent of our alumni stay in the region, contributing their talents to the economic recovery of our cities [...]
Haynes did not give the percentage of CSUSM graduates living with their parents and thus contributing to household laundry efforts.

HT: Logan Jenkins

The Collaboration of the Fourth Estate

Democracy depends on an independent, investigative, even "adversarial" press.  Without the disinfectant of sunshine, corruption runs rampant in the halls of power.

We've discussed ad nauseum on this blog the corrupt elite in Washington and New York who are enriching themselves while crushing the middle class and destroying the American ideals of liberty and free enterprise.  For a refresher, see this excellent post by Charles Hugh Smith.
Politically, a Tyranny of the Majority comprised of those who draw direct transfers/benefits from the Federal government, is ruled by the top ½ of 1% financial aristocracy who own the majority of income-generating assets. The minority, who pay most of the taxes (the 24.5% between the majority and aristocracy), will see their taxes rise as the aristocracy buys loopholes and exclusions [WCV note: not just loopholes and exclusions, but immensely profitable  government contracts and bailouts!] while the bottom 50% pay no income tax.

Financially, the Federal government’s spending has outrun the tax revenues being collected. Structurally, Federal expenditures for entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Veterans Administration, etc.) will rise as Baby Boomers retire en masse over the next 15 years, while tax revenues will stagnate along with earned income.

There is no way to square these circles.

The political foundation of America is starkly unjust. An entrenched financial Aristocracy buys the complicity of the bottom 50% and retirees with Federal transfers – a Tyranny of the Majority. The 24.5% below the Aristocracy who pay most of the Federal taxes are dominated by this alliance. This may be legal, but is it just? Even more critically, is it sustainable?
It is obviously not sustainable and will end very badly, but that is a discussion for another day.

While the trend toward corrupt, self-dealing statists buying a permanent voting majority with other people's money has been in place a long time, the collaboration of America's once proud press is stunning and new.

The print and broadcast media still dominate the national dialogue, and have succeeded in downplaying to outright non-coverage of everything damning to the Obama regime.  It's as if Woodward and Bernstein helped Nixon cover up Watergate, and outed and smeared Deep Throat as a subversive crank.

Consider the economy.  Remember the relentless drumbeat of "recession," "hardship," and "struggling families" stories during the George Bush I re-election campaign?  We got none of that during the Obama re-election, despite the economy being much worse now than in 1992.

How about Benghazi?  The incompetence, utter disregard for American lives, and cover-up should have been the final nail in Obama's re-election campaign, a Jimmy Carter foreign policy disaster after four years of a Jimmy Carter economy.  But the media were more interested in criticizing Romney's statement on Benghazi than covering what actually happened.

Fast and furious, Black Panthers, warrantless wiretapping, drone strikes... the list goes on and on.  How much did you hear about those in the mainstream media and how much would you have heard if a Republican were in office?

Journalists have always been left-leaning as a group and overwhelmingly always vote Democrat.  But even when Journolist-ing, though they were using unethical tactics to manipulate an election, they could at least rationalize it by the notion that they were opposing those currently in power, i.e. a truly "adversarial" press.  Now that their guy is entrenched in power, they no longer have that fig leaf.

Journalism didn't just die.  It went to work for the enemy.

Student loans are the new herpes

New York Times: nobody wants to date a deadbeat:
Lauren Dollard, a 26-year-old assistant at a nonprofit in Houston, said her low credit score had helped to stall her romantic plans. Her boyfriend is wary of marrying her until she can significantly pay down the more than $150,000 she owes in student loans and bolster her credit score, she said.

Ms. Dollard’s credit score is so low, around 600, that she hasn’t been able to qualify for a car loan. She sympathizes with her boyfriend’s position because he “doesn’t ever want to be accountable for the irresponsible financial decision I made,” she said.
While the article focuses on credit scores, singles would be wise to pay attention instead to the type of debt. Credit card debt is like gonorrhea or chlamydia: it can be easily eliminated with the wonder antibiotic of bankruptcy (and who hasn't run up $20K at Macy's or screwed a stranger unprotected in a bathroom stall?). Student loans, however, are immune to bankruptcy just as herpes and AIDS are incurable. Avoid student debtors like you'd avoid a needle-using Haitian prostitute.

How Phil Spector and a talentless limey hack screwed Darlene Love out of fame and forture

Mish has the story of how perennial Letterman singer Darlene Love got screwed out of fame and fortune by Phil Spector (better known for being a psycho killer) and the "British Invasion."
Phil Spector (the producer for the Crystals, Ronettes, etc.) promised Love that He's a Rebel as well as follow-up singles would be released under her name, but Spector reneged on that promise and instead released all of Love's hits under the Crystals name.

In 1964 the "British Invasion" began (Beatles, Herman's Hermits, Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five, etc.). The "British Invasion" coupled with the "Surf Sound" (Beach Boys), and the "Motown Sound" (Supremes, Temptations, etc.), marked the end of the line for the traditional girl groups from the early 60's. Darlene Love never got the recognition she deserved.
Watch Darlene Love on Letterman here:



You know who was part of the "British Invasion?" This guy:



With all the good will this time of year, you know how hard it is to write a bad Christmas song? I can think of one bad Christmas song, McCartney: yours.

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

Really, McCartney? That pathetic line that could have been written by a third-grader is your contribution to the holiday? I hope you get dumped by a one-legged gimp.

A Christmas Carol

... from williambanzai7 at ZeroHedge.


Happy Festivus!



If there ever was a time for Airing of the Grievances, it's now. More from our friend Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection.

A Tale of Two Empires


(click to enlarge)

Source: Season Investments

Life in a constitutional democracy

Can the cops or anybody else open your packages without warrant or notice these days? Sure, why not. This is the third time in a week a box has arrived like this, without explanation.


My best guess is that the po-po are cutting boxes open at will and letting their dogs have a sniff at the UPS sorting facility.  In case Amazon had a different opinion, I tried their chat help:

Chat

Close Window
You are now connected to Anthony from Amazon.com.
Me:Hi, is there any good reason that my deliveries have been cut open when they arrive at my door? This has happened to three of my last four boxes.
Anthony:Hello, my name is Anthony. I'll be happy to help you.
Me:Hi Anthony, thanks.
Anthony:I'm sorry about the late deliveries with your order.
Me:That is not the issue.
Nothing was late.
Anthony:I'm really sorry that your order was delivered with open condition.
Me:Do you know why this is happening?
Anthony:I'm sorry; I'm unable to determine this for you.
Is UPS the shipper of the item?
Me:Yes.
Anthony:Thanks.
I'll forward your feedback about UPS to our shipping department. I know they'll want to hear about this.
I'm really sorry about the problem you had with this shipment.
Me:Just so you know, they appear to cut open the Amazon tape but not open the box entirely.
Anthony:Sure, Charles.
Me:Thanks for your help. I love you guys.
Anthony:You're welcome.
Is there anything else I can do for you today?
Me:What, no "I love you" back?
Anthony:We look forward to seeing you again soon. To close this window, please click the "end chat" link.
Me: That's cold, dude.
Anthony from Amazon.com has left the conversation.

Boner FAIL!

The markets are freaking out this morning over Boner's failed "Plan B."  In an incredibly ill-conceived plan, Boner built up expectations for a bill for which he didn't have the votes, then bullied and threatened Republicans in vain.

The best outcome now would be to go over the fiscal cliff.  That would bring baby steps toward fiscal responsibility.  The Republicans could then use the debt ceiling as leverage to get entitlement reform.  Icing on the cake would be the Republicans throwing Boner out as speaker, which looks a lot more likely now that they've stood up to him once.

The more likely outcome, unfortunately, is that the MSM wing of the Democratic Party blames Republicans and hounds them mercilessly.  In early January, cowardly Republicans then surrender, just as they have at every opportunity in the past.  They undo most of the modest tax increases and spending cuts, and let Obama keep running trillion-dollar deficits.  They probably surrender on the debt ceiling too.

No relation

Sean Varone charged in burger rage attack:
According to cops, Varone became irate on November 30 after he “found his sandwich had cheese on it which was not what he ordered.” After he was provided a second hamburger--which also had cheese--Varone parked his vehicle and entered the McDonald’s.

Inside the restaurant, Varone allegedly began yelling at workers (one of whom he called a “fucking bitch”) and demanded a refund. After getting his money back, Varone knocked over a trash can and “picked up a children’s high chair, hoisted it above his head and threw it towards another dining table” in the crowded restaurant.

As Varone departed the eatery, McDonald’s manager Kathy Vazquez followed him out to the parking lot in an attempt to copy down his license plate number. When Varone realized he was being tailed, he allegedly grabbed Vazquez, placed her in a headlock, and grabbed a cordless phone from her hand and smashed it on the ground.

When a second McDonald’s worker confronted him, Varone reportedly warned that he would fight the employee if he tried to stop him from leaving the parking lot.

Vazquez suffered a sprained knee and a fractured tibia during the scuffle with Varone, according to a medical diagnosis provided to a Springettsbury Township Police Department officer.

In addition to the two misdemeanor charges, Varone was also cited for criminal mischief for damaging the $50 cordless phone belonging to McDonald’s. A preliminary hearing date has yet to be scheduled for Varone.
There's a reason the West Coast Varones gave up meat.

Happy Christmas

It's been a tradition of this blog to play the Pogues' Fairy Tale of New York at Christmas time.

The song is not only a fine, traditional, inspirational, Christmassy tune, but also a story of optimism and hope, good intentions and failure, and human frailty. And a necessary reminder of working-class struggles to a consumer class that would rather not consider them.



Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones, however flawed they (or you) may be.

Labor Unions, God, Girls Soccer

Remember kids, when democracy expresses itself, in Michigan, and you don't agree with its result the best thing to do is hire a man of god and imply the threat of bodily harm to the daughter of one of those who practices democracy. I'm pretty sure that's how Jesus would do it....

The honorable Rev. Charles Williams II:
"Just know one thing, Rick Snyder: You sign that bill, you won’t get no rest. We’ll meet you on Geddes Road. We’ll be at your daughter’s soccer game. We’ll visit you at your church. We’ll be at your office. Because Michigan workers will not take it laying down — by any means necessary!"

Libertarian charities

As you're doing your year-end giving, please remember these organizations which are performing a heroic effort in pulling us back from a centrally planned economy and police state.

- Reason Foundation
- Institute for Justice
- Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
- Cato Institute
- Ludwig von Mises Institute

Am I missing any? Let me know & I'll contribute.

If you've been following the WCV blog for long, you've no doubt got some highly appreciated GLD ETF.  Now that we know better and only want physical gold, why not use some of that GLD to set up a donor-advised fund?  You save the capital gains tax and get a deduction for the full market value.
"Dear baby Jesus, if I die, please let it not be part of some mass tragedy where the politicians all line up to pretend they have souls. Amen." -Charlie McDanger's page-a-day calendar

Greenspan's Body Count: 69667 Northhampton Avenue, Cathedral City. Joanne Hasapes, Honorata Jastrzebski, Stanislaw Mlodowski?

Cathedral City is near Palm Springs, an oasis in the desert east of California's Inland Empire, the #2 most depressing place in America.

And it was the last place three people saw yesterday. AP:
Three people were found shot to death in a Riverside County home and investigators suspect a double murder-suicide.

Cathedral City Police Lt. Charles Robinson says officers were called to the house in Cathedral City late Wednesday morning.

They discovered a woman and her adult daughter shot to death in a bed. In another bedroom, the body of the older woman's common-law husband was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The home was purchased in March 2003 for $170,000, was Zillowed up to $399,000 in the bubble, and is now back to $175,000.

But lookie here.  The tax assessment jumped by $106,000 in 2007.  Because of California's Prop 13, you only get a jump like that if you make major improvements to the house.  It looks like these guys did a major remodel, likely funded with a home equity suckout.  That would have left them deeply underwater after the crash.


The only thing that outwardly distinguishes the home is the upgraded garage door, while the neighbors all retain the plain tract home garage doors.


From the satellite view, it's clear they didn't add any square footage or a pool.

It looks like this double-murder-suicide came down to a broke man angry over not getting enough of his dying wife's assets.
Investigators say the woman had been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, and her common-law husband was upset over her plans to divide her assets after her death.

The daughter was visiting from Florida to help put her mother's affairs in order.
Killing over the assets of the dying, murdering for the last scraps in a desperate America.  That's what the Greenspan-Bernanke Fed have brought us to.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 233.

UPDATE: That tax assessment increase may have been just this partial ownership transfer, where Honorata Jastrzebski stayed on the title but Stanislaw Mlodowski came off and Joanne Hasapes went on.  A new mortgage at inflated 2006 prices would be likely in that type of transaction.



Joanne Hasapes' LinkedIn profile puts her in Longwood, Florida, so she is likely the daughter victim.

Disappointment

... is seeing this on Drudge


... and then realizing it's not about Boner being voted out as Speaker, but just another stupid "fiscal cliff" story.

On the other hand, it's kind of funny to see Obama showboating about how Boner is his little bitch:

As the clock ticks toward a tax hike on all Americans in 20 days, President Obama predicted Republicans would join Democrats to extend current rates for 98 percent of earners before the end of the year.

"I'm pretty confident that Republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to trying to protect tax cuts for high-income individuals," Obama said today in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters. 

Translation: no entitlement reform for you!

Zimbabwe Ben, meet Zimbabwe Timmy

It turns out that Ben Bernanke isn't the only one with the unlimited power to print infinite amounts of money.

Timmy the Tax Cheat has a little legal clause that allows him to make platinum coins in whatever insane denominations he imagines.  Trillion?  Heck, why not go for googolplex?

WaPo:
Thanks to an odd loophole in current law, the U.S. Treasury is technically allowed to mint as many coins made of platinum as it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would produce (say) a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Fed then moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations for the next two years — without needing to issue new debt. The ceiling is no longer an issue.
Yeah, the ceiling is no longer an issue. The fact that the U.S. is still running trillion-dollar deficits and printing money out of thin air to fund them? Kinda still an issue.

Congress created this monster in 1996 with the following:
 (k) The Secretary may mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.
Ostensibly, this was an oversight and they thought they were just giving Treasury the power to make commemorative coins for sale for a few hundred or thousand bucks, and they never intended to let Timmy go Full Zimbabwe.  Cynics might say the bill's author knew exactly what he was doing.

Back to WaPo:
“I like it,” says Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There’s nothing that’s obviously economically problematic about it.”
In theory, this is much like having the central bank print money. But, says Gagnon, the U.S. government would simply be using the money to keep spending at existing levels, so it wouldn’t create any extra inflation. 
Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics has shit for brains. Running 7% GDP deficits and printing the money out of thin air "wouldn't create any extra inflation?"  How does that work, Joe?

If it's not clear to you yet that the dollar is a complete farce and is grounded in absolutely nothing, you're not paying attention.  Have you seen your gold dealer recently?

Is minting trillion-dollar platinum coins insane?  Of course it is.  But so is our current debt crisis.  And with every passing trillion spent, any remaining sane exit strategies are increasingly closed off.  And the Washington Post, a favored mouthpiece of the regime, has been flogging this idea for more than a year, so it's obviously a trial balloon the regime wants to keep floating.

The least painful way out of our current debt crisis would be a combination of austerity and devaluation (as we did post-WWII): Boner and Barry agreeing to serious entitlement reforms and spending cuts and tax increases, and monetization of existing debt via platinum seigniorage or the Dirty Fed just forgiving debt or maintaining a permanently huge balance sheet. But neither Boner nor Barry want austerity, so we'll get more devaluation instead.

The dollar has already been massively devalued by Obama's reckless spending and the Dirty Fed's enabling monetization.  You just haven't seen most of it yet in consumer prices because people are still afraid to spend.

Monday massacre: Boehner purges fiscal conservatives from key committees as he prepares unconditional surrender to Obama

Because that's clearly the message of the last election, right? That Americans don't want fiscal responsibility.

Roll Call:
Speaker John A. Boehner initiated today a small purge of rebellious Republicans — mostly conservatives — from prominent committees; it’s the latest instance of the Ohio Republican’s clamping down on his fractious conference.

The decisions were made by the GOP Steering Committee at a Monday meeting, which reviewed a spreadsheet listing each GOP lawmaker and how often he or she had voted with leadership, three sources said.

Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter Jones of North Carolina were booted from the Financial Services Committee. Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas were removed from the Budget Committee.

According to a source, Schweikert was told that he was ousted in part because his “votes were not in lockstep with leadership.”

[...]

All of the lawmakers other than Jones were rebellious right-wingers. Huelskamp and Amash, for instance, both voted against the budget proposed by Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin in committee and on the floor, because it did not cut spending fast enough. They also voted against the current continuing resolution that is funding the government through the end of March.
As a new Washington Post poll confirms, the MSM wing of the Democratic Party has the masses primed to blame Republicans for any breakdown in talks. Obama knows this, so he is negotiating in bad faith and offering nothing. Boehner knows this too, so he is preparing to unconditionally surrender just as he has at every other opportunity.

We will get tax increases that raise a trivial amount of money relative to the deficit, no real spending cuts or entitlement reform, and no path to fiscal sustainability. Thanks, Boehner.

Empire of Lies

"If we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and the further reforms in entitlements that I’m prepared to make, then we’re going to have to see the rates on the top two percent go up."

- President Barack Obama, December 4, 2012




Source

Who are you going to believe, the Obamessiah or your lyin' eyes?

Libertarians


Seen on Facebook.

Obama "compromise": $1.6 trillion in tax increases in exchange for spending... increases?

Wow.  Obama is being a real dick about this. 

Republicans may have to just walk away and let us go over the fiscal cliff, and then use the debt ceiling to force entitlement reform and a path to long-term sustainability.

As if Boehner the surrender monkey would have the backbone for that.


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