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Archive for the ‘Captain Capitalism’ Category

Dear Readers:  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  And, may the Goddess of Capitalism act ever in your favor.

I wanted to start the new year with some heartfelt thanks to 3 gentlemen who made the struggles of 2012 a little more bearable, and who have been really wonderful friends of the Shrine.

  • Silvio Canto Jr., who does the innovative and informative Canto Talk BlogTalkRadio.com show – and is one of the pioneers in the new mode of podcast-based talk radio that I think is the wave of the future.

Capitalist Heroes 2012

I also want to give a big thank you to the SLOBS – SAN DIEGO LOCAL ORDER OF BLOGGERS, who are part of a dynamic punditry team covering local, state and national issues. A special mention needs to go to our tech guru, Charles of Doo Doo Economics.

Now, for today’s news. It seems that the Golden State is set firmly on a path to self-destruction. A new wave of fiscal badness is about to hit our shores: Higher down payments could be compromise Prop. 13 reform

Could simply requiring higher down payments on home loans be a compromise reform of Proposition 13?

The Democratic Party supermajority in the state legislature is presently pushing for reforms of Proposition 13, the 1978 initiative that limits property tax increases to 2 percent per year until a property resells.

Some of the legislature’s proposed reforms include  eliminating Prop. 13 for commercial properties and lowering the voter threshold for school parcel taxes to 55 percent from the current two-thirds.

But there may be a better way.

The culprit involved in state budget deficits is not Prop. 13.  It is low down-payment requirements and interest rates on home purchases combined with the effects of slow-growth management and environmental laws. Growth-management laws cause the excessive housing booms and busts that throw state and school budgets out of balance, as well as causing upside-down home values.

That Proposition 13 is being target by the Democratic Supermajority should be especially concerning to Californians. It is about the only taxpayer friendly legislation passed in the past 50 years, and makes living in the state quasi-affordable. Any “reform” will tsunami-like fiscal repercussions.

Speaking of Tsunamis: The United States and New Zealand conducted secret tests of a “tsunami bomb” designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive tidal waves.

The tests were carried out in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World War and showed that the weapon was feasible and a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami capable of inundating a small city.

The top secret operation, code-named “Project Seal”, tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests, first in New Caledonia and later at Whangaparaoa Peninsula, near Auckland.

The plans came to light during research by a New Zealand author and film-maker, Ray Waru, who examined military files buried in the national archives.

“Presumably if the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people,” said Mr Waru.

“It was absolutely astonishing. First that anyone would come up with the idea of developing a weapon of mass destruction based on a tsunami … and also that New Zealand seems to have successfully developed it to the degree that it might have worked.” The project was launched in June 1944 after a US naval officer, E A Gibson, noticed that blasting operations to clear coral reefs around Pacific islands sometimes produced a large wave, raising the possibility of creating a “tsunami bomb”.

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Dear Readers:  I was thrilled to be able to join SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition President Dawn Wildman and her husband Geoff for a fun-filled day of citizen activism Sunday, Oct.7th at the West LA Federal Building at the “Wake Up America” Rally.  Most of my posts this week will be related to the wonderful chats I had with fellow patriots and the connections I made with other independent-minded people.

SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition Co-founders Dawn Wildman (l) and Leslie Eastman (r).

I am happy to report that the event was well-attended for a Sunday afternoon, with 1000-plus people in the audience to hear wonderful speakers like Dennis Prager, Mark Meckler, and a personal favorite of mine — Bill Whittle. This was despite the fact President Obama was in the neighborhood, sucking away at the teat of Hollywood one more time. I would not be surprised if the Once looses LA Basin, as people are tired of the hideous traffic in the wake of one of his visits.

Butt, I digress. (Homage to Michelle’s Mirror).

One aspect that I found the most fascinating is that most people were not focused necessarily on the speakers, but on connecting with each other. They were checking in on the status of elections, taking a look at California Tea Party Recommendations for the Nov. 6th election, and congratulating each other for displaying “Survivor Skills”:

A lot of sassy signs were on display. Given the Shrine’s most recent focus on #EyeCandy and the Women’s Vote, I had to vote Megan Barth’s masterpiece for “MUT’S SIGN OF THE DAY”.

(MUT’s Note: The is now NO GENDER GAP! Women are evenly spilt 47% to 47%)

One nice thing I noticed is that cars were constantly honking support for the event and its participant. The only downside was that it made it hard for me to interview. However, I did come across a great example of citizen activism I wanted to share.

Meet John Cormie of the Surf City Tea Party, who was working a busy booth when I stopped by:

John reported his memberships has been steadily growing, with over 350 members and regular meetings twice monthly with over 100 in attendance.

“When I started, I had know idea what a union-run socialist city council we had,” said John. “We have been focused mostly on the local election process. His group has been working to get Erik Petersen and Devin Dwyer into the Huntington Beach City Council this election.

“One of the things we are working toward is passing Proposition Z”, explained John. The Orange County Register offers details on this innovative, taxpayer-friendly measure:

Outgoing Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen’s farewell gesture to Orange County’s fourth-largest city is a ballot measure that would do away with the portion of the city’s annual property tax assessment that goes to some city employee pension costs….

Huntington Beach is the only city in Orange County, and one of the few in California, that imposes extra levies on property owners to subsidize public employee retirements.

The anachronistic provision of the city’s charter dates to 1966. And it only applies to Huntington Beach’s retirement obligations that existed in 1978, before Proposition 13 became state law.

Yet, even with the limits imposed by Prop. 13, the Huntington Beach City Council has increased the pension property tax assessment five times, for a total of 115 percent, since 2002.

“The unions have been totally dishonest with their campaign”, said John. “They have been putting up signs that say NO ON Z – NO NEW TAXES, but the taxes come with the yes vote. Surf City Tea Party is working on getting everyone informed about this lie.”

John explained he was working hard to get out both the independent and the Republican vote. If the reaction to the Chicago Teachers Union strike AND Californians upset over gas prices, November will arrive with voters unhappy with union shenanigans and more money taken because of government regulations.

I will follow-up with John to find out what the final vote is — after I recover from my celebratory hangover on Nov. 7th.

One last note about the event: I had the privilege of watching Bill Whittle film one of his impressive videos. During the shoot, he was explaining how you really kind fight an enemy effectively using PC-terms. For example, in WWII, the American press was just fine using words such as Nazi, Panzer and Luftwaffe. However, during the War on Terror, it seems the only time its OK to use such a term is when extreme leftists are insulting Republicans.

As I was away from my camera, and on we were poised to leave event, I will direct you to Bill’s latest excellent Afterburner video: The Incredible Shrinking Man. Fortunately, I had a chance to thank him for his great work and note that his “Star Trek” piece was my absolute favorite.

A couple of quick notes about some out-of-state friends:

* Captian Capitalism: An Exercise in Liberal American Economic Thought

Hop in the Captain’s F-22 fighter jet and let’s go for a ride. We’re going to do an exercise in liberal economic thought. Specifically, we are going to follow the typical American liberal’s economic model or beliefs to their logical conclusion or end, and in doing so learn a lesson I think all people in the political spectrum can appreciate.

It is excellent, including a great graph!

* Lonley Conservative, Circle of Mom’s #1 Political Blogging mom will be joining me on Canto Talk this Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST. I will be discussing her wonderful work more tomorrow, as the topic of our show will be “Blue State Blues”.

- Poll: Americans Don’t Believe Higher Taxes Would Go To Debt Reduction
- Obama’s Lead Vanishes, GOP Voters Show Much More Enthusiasm
- Black Actress Endorses Mitt Romney, ‘Tolerant Left’ Shows True Colors

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PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO SUPPORT OUR OWN DAWN WILDMAN’S WALK TO CURE PSORIASIS!

Dear Readers: Now that Team Obama has managed to fail so spectacularly in foreign policy, its time to turn and cause a little mayhem with domestic policy.

Before we begin, I want to do an opening rant. The left and its elite media minions have been have been having the vapors after Romney stated a bald-faced truth (i.e., he is not likely to win the approval of the entitlement-embracing voters).

Hey, elite media: I have some eye-popping news for you. Obama said this in 2008 about a good portion of the American electorate and STILL MANAGED TO GET HIS SORRY POSTERIOR ELECTED: And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

I utterly defy the elite media to release the full speech that Romney made.

Now, back to the latest domestic policy chestnut from Team Obama: Quantitative Easing III – better known GRANDSON OF FED FISCAL FAIL. We will be having Doo Doo Economic’s fiscal guru, Charles Fettinger, on tonight’s CANTO TALK program to discuss the fine details (7 pm Pacific Time, 9 pm Central Time — click HERE).

To bring those of us who are NOT versed in the arcane wisdom of fianace, here is a summary:

Quantitative easing is a monetary policy under which a central bank tries to stimulate growth by lowering borrowing costs by buying up debt, thus pushing yields lower. It also puts a lot of money in the hands of people who otherwise had those securities it just bought, so they can go out and buy something else, which has included U.S. stocks.

In the U.S. this has been done through the Fed’s purchases of Treasury and mortgage-related debt (the latter specifically targeting housing finance, with the idea that lower borrowing costs would revive the battered and important housing sector.)

The first two rounds of quantitative easing — QE1 and QE2 — are a big part of what pushed mortgage rates and Treasury yields to record lows recently. So, in theory at least, QE3 would be good for bonds because you have a new, deep-pocketed buyer. (How it plays out in real life is more complicated because of lots of other influences, such as the European debt crisis.)

But it’s a fairly controversial policy, because having a central bank buy up a lot of securities is essentially the same as if it printed money.

The SLOBs economic experts are none too pleased, as I note below:

DOO DOO ECONOMICS: QE3 IS DOO DOO ECONOMICS

Workers take into account inflation when considering compensation. Government welfare programs act as an alternative to work and are adjusted for inflation. Crime is an increasingly viable alternative to work. When employment is high and interest rates are above inflation, additional money supplies can entice workers into participating to get a piece of the new wealth. When available workers cannot keep pace with inflation and fail to see wealth creation around themselves, there is no significant incentive.

It is my contention that because interest rates are below the level of inflation, there is a negative influence upon traditional asset investments, and worker’s investment in their own skills. It is not reasonable to invest money in an asset that does not generating wealth. It is not reasonable to invest in an asset that is paid through welfare and cannot increase its generation of wealth. Money supply does not influence this.

Lets call this what it is, an excuse to devalue the dollar in order to deal with the massive Obama deficits. It is a hidden tax. It has little to do with employment, and Ben Bernanke knows it.

Give me liberty or give me debt.

The Liberator Today: The Most Dangerous Easing Yet

And I don’t mean Obama’s mideast policy, whatever that is; I can’t figure it out. I am talking about the Fed’s latest Quantitative Easing (QE3) which was announced today. This is the most dangerous move yet by the Fed, as Bernanke has committed to buying up mortgage debt. From Reuters:

The Federal Reserve said it will expand its holdings of long-term securities with open-ended purchases of $40 billion of mortgage debt a month in a third round of quantitative easing as it seeks to boost growth and reduce unemployment.Mortgage debt? This seems a straight up political move designed to lift the stock market and prop up the housing market prior to the election. I summarized the futility of zero percent long term interest rates as explained by David Einhorn some time ago. The method by which the Fed pumps liquidity matter little.

A quick recap:

  • Low interest rates make it harder for retirement eligible to actually retire, they are getting little return for their money.
  • Interest rates are a measure of the time value of money. By setting it at zero, there is no urgency about investment decisions.
  • Because those who live on fixed savings, have less to spend, they spend less, harming the economic recovery.
  • Investment isn’t increasing at zero rates, because once rates fall below the rate of inflation, the only consideration is whether the principle can be paid back. If inflation is at 2.5%, then reducing interest rates from 2.5% to 1.5% or even zero percent will have no effect on investment, so there is no offset to the fact that savers have less to spend.
  • Zero rates allow otherwise worthless loans to appear to be performing, as the borrower can make nominal payments. But it delays the necessary economic unwinding necessary for real economic recovery.

WC VARONES: QE 3 : Zimbabwe Ben goes Full Retard

Translation: we will print $40 billion a month out of thin air because, despite the experience of the past three years, we still believe that printing money fixes the economy.

Translation: we will keep printing, and maybe even start printing faster, as long as the employment market sucks.

It’s going to be a LONG time before the outlook for the labor market improves “substantially.” Inflation will be a problem long before that. We’ll have $5 gasoline long before we have 5% unemployment and normal labor force participation rates.

Printing money doesn’t create jobs. So Bernanke has just committed to giving us stagflation for as long as he can until inflation gets too out of control.

A post at Left Coast Rebel sums it all up: ‘Whatever has been done, or not been done, in Washington over the past 4 years just ain’t working!’

I will give Team Obama credit — they have implemented at least one novel policy idea successfully. Debt as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

As my good friend Captain Capitalism says: Sit back and enjoy the decline!

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Dear Readers: I wanted to share the podcast from last night’s CANTO TALK program. Aaron Clarey, Captain Capitalism, stopped to call in during his travels to share items from his wonderful book, Worthless. Please click HERE to listen to an amazing and informative discussion on the value of specific college degrees and the impact the choice of these degrees have on the economy.

I think I shocked both gentlemen when I said I had actually smoked women’s cigars before! It was a great evening, and we left with Captain Capitalism promising to come back to chat about Crusaderism, the Housing Bubble, and retirement plans! So much information, so little time.

I was also thrilled to chat with Celtic Music artist Marc Gunn, who described his career from an army brat in Texas to an innovate musician who utilizes the new media to share his passion and creativity. If you love both traditional and original Celtic music, check out his website: MARC GUNN – Celtic American Musician and Podcaster.

And, as I am part Scottish in heritage, here is a gem from Marc: The Flower of Scotland (the unofficial national anthem).

And for those of you who love cats, Marc has a whole album of ballads tailored for felines:

I am now off to pick up my Divine Mother from the airport, so reports from the Shrine may be sporadic for the next few days. However, after Labor Day, it’s four-on-the-floor and focused through Nov. 6th!

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Dear Readers:  Plenty of exciting news to share with you today.  I had a chance to interview Captain Capitalism, Aaron Clarey, in anticipation of his appearance on CANTO TALK tonight (7 pm Pacific Time/9 pm Central Time).   It seems Aaron arrived safely home from his most recent adventures, and was calling from a bistro and enjoying a cigar while we discussed the upcoming program.

Aaron’s book, “Worhless” offers some salient and pithy warnings about the economic hardship induced by picking the wrong major in college. The tome offers heart-felt warnings by Aaron, who thinks he has one of the “worthless” majors. “The kids are really the victims in all of this,” said Aaron. “My book, “Worthless“, is apolitical, non-partisan. The only thing that Big Education serves is Big Education”. At that point, I commented about a striking graphic in his book — the comparison between the spending on Big Education vs Big Oil.

I have to admit, Aaron has produced some of the most interesting YouTube videos that I have seen. I uncovered this gem as I was doing show-prep for tonight:

The Higher Education Bubble is a topic I have been following for some time, as I have an eye toward the future of the Young Prince. I read Glenn Reynold’s wonderful analysis on the subject (click HERE to be directed to this excellent book).

Glenn reported that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney actually offered fiscally sensible advice to students: Avoid getting into debt while obtaining a degree. However, as Obama serves the Big Education elite (which supplies him with lots and lots of donations), the soon-to-be-ex-President chided Romney. As Obama spends without thought to the future, it seems that he considers himself quite the role model for the next generation.

After all, OBAMA IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON IN THE ROOM…EVAH.

Which reminds me of this chestnut, “The Most Arrogant Man in the World”:

(MUT Note: Aaron just posted some sage fiscal wisdom for the young today: Why Gen Y and Gen X Should Not Save for Retirement ).

So, this is going to be an amazing show. Now, for something a little more disconcerting: The Ulsterman Report posted an interesting article yesterday: WHITE HOUSE INSIDER ISSUES WARNING – FALSE FLAG PLANNED FOR GOP CONVENTION?

Here is what I know to this point. At least what I am comfortable sharing with you:

-Biden scheduled for event Monday prior to official opening of the GOP convention.

-There is to be some form of altercation, protest, outbreak, etc. Not sure on specifics. Purpose is to make VP look sympathetic but more important, give media portrayal of “radical” conservatives a timely visual upon which to build that right through to Election Day.

When I shared this information with the SLOBs (San-Diego Local Order of Bloggers), several were reminded that infiltration was one of the tactics used in the early stages of the Tea Party movement. Basically, our opponents decided to insert themselves into our event with racist, tasteless signs to smear the entire citizen protest movement. WC Varones takes us back to those heady days: Fake Tea Partier doesn’t fool anyone

Hat-tip: WC Varones

It may be worthwhile downloading “Not one of Us” signs and review strategies in handling such distasteful False-Flag tactics:

Dealing with INFIL-TRAITORS! Downloadable “Not One of Us” Signs!

Good times, my friends, good times.

As Glenn Reynolds/Instapundit notes: Of course, you can now assume that Obama operatives are presumptively to blame for any disturbances.

An American Thinker piece asks the following question: Will Obama Keep Power ‘by Any Means Necessary’?I am surprised the question even needs to be asked: BUTT OF COURSE!

Happily, it looks like those tactics just won’t work. Featuring a piece from Professor Jacobson’s new site, College Insurrection: U. Colorado Profs Predict Romney Win

One last note: Silvio has kindly invited Celtic musician Marc Gunn onto tonight shows, as he has noted that I featured such music on MUT’s MUSIC MIX. So, I wanted to conclude with Marc’s rendition of one of my very favorite songs: STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN.

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Dear Readers:  Today is a bit of show preparation, which allows me an excuse to highlight some great work by one of the Shrine’s dearest heroes:  Captain Capitalism.  The Captain, also known as Aaron Clarey, will be chatting with Silvio Canto Jr. and myself this Thursday, Aug. 23rd at 7 pm Pacific Time/9 pm on CANTO TALK.

Today, I would like to feature 2 of his works. “Worthless” is a fabulous book covering the outrageous tactics of big education to direct students into degrees that are of no significant economic benefit to them or the country (but enrich big education types needlessly). This leads to his lecture series, “Crusaderism”, which tends to be the ultimate career direction for those who have obtained “Worthless” degrees.

Before I describe both, I want to highlight the fact Aaron is perhaps the best example of a Renaissance Man that I know. He is savvy about economics and finance, which is his profession. He teaches ballroom dancing. He is an amazing photographer, and a badass motorcyclist. He is a wonderfully succinct and engaging author. He has extensive knowledge about cigars and fine alcohol-based beverages. For links to his site that direct you to his varied interests (e.g., Independent Analytics, Seminars/On-Line Courses, Dance Lessons, and Books) – CLICK HERE.

My favorite line from “Worthless” is: THE TRUTH IS NOT OPTIONAL. However, young students are persuaded to obtain college degrees that do not give them skills at real wealth production, as they are persuaded to pursue the “interests” instead of obtaining something actually marketable. In an environment in which the Internet and social medial allows one readily to engage in boutique hobbies, we are in dire need of people who can design and manufacture computers, iPods, DVD players… or materially produce the energy to run them (e.g., petroleum engineers, chemists). As a result, Americans are losing the ability to generate real wealth for themselves, which damages or bottom-line/generantional Gross Domestic Product and directs them into “crusader” careers that steals the wealth from those of us who manage to actually get a worthy degree.

An excerpt that gives your a feel for Aaron’s exceptional sense of humor blended with compelling data to prove his case:

“Here are some [college] degrees that cost you roughly $30,000 in tuition, their much cheaper replacements, and the savings you’d realize:

…Since none of these degrees help increase your employability, you might as well avoid these majors and do it on your own.”

The degrees that are “Worthy” are STEM: Science-Technology-Engineering-Math. Fortunately, I have degrees in Chemsitry, Biochemistry, and Geology; otherwise, I think I would have felt really bad. (I would like to admit, however, that I got the Geology degree because the guys were cute and I like gems: I AM the Goddess of Capitalism, after all!!!). But Aaron did get me thinking about why there seems to be a “wage-gap” between men and women: If you pick a worthless degree, don’t complain when you don’t make as much money as someone who took the time to work toward one that actually was a money-maker!

Ladies: If I can get several science-based degrees, so can you. BONUS – Some of your fellow students will be HOT! As a matter of fact, you can check my ABOUT page to scope out what a dish my geologist husband is. :)

One of the most galling aspects brought to my attention was the fact “Big Education” directs students into worthless degrees because they don’t have to spend quite so much on supplies and equipment (e.g, the cost of chemical analytical machines can range from $1000 into the hundreds of thousandsof dollars). I spent hundreds of dollars for lab courses for supplies and materials. The worthless degrees are basically cash-cows — little money is spent on chairs and podiums, students are forced to buy massively overpriced and inane texts, and the credit hour costs are high. I am constantly hearing about the evils of Big Oil. Actually, oil companies supply something essential to sound economics. Frankly, I consider Big Education to be the villainous entity…especially when you consider this graphic:

Big Education gets away with this theft because it is not PC to attack education. I think that Americans have gotten over “PC” crap, in light of the continuing Tea Party movement. I suspect getting our children into meaningful education programs, or directing them to trades (e.g. Mike Rowe Works) will be a focus of future activism — especially after Instapundit/Glenn Reynolds has documented the “Higher Education Bubble” most thoroughly. I also plan to highlight the fact that this book is also valuable for the “non-young” person looking to get some retraining for a new career.

Finally, those who get worthless degrees tend to become pains in the posterior to us producers. In fact, many of them go into politics! So, I am going to conclude with a compendium of Aaron’s “Crusaderism” video-series. I promise to come back and opine more on this, though I am a little nervous to do so: I somewhat resemble a “Sean Hannity Trophy Wife”(see the second video down the list) . :)

Please watch: These videos are brilliantly entertaining and highly informative.

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