Open Thread 12-6-2008

Jesus of Suburbia — Green Day

Irvine Renter will be speaking at the monthly meeting of the Green Party of Orange County on Sunday, December 7, 2008, at 2:00 at the offices of the Irvine Ranch Water District located at 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Also speaking will be Dave Levy, a valued return Green Party visitor from Orange County Fair Housing Council. He will speak about public and private ways to protect the quality of life in Orange County by ensuring equal access to housing opportunities, an important way to foster diversity and preserve dignity and human rights. December’s GPOC meeting topic will cover the importance of housing in these uncertain times, and will focus on the Green Party’s Key Value of Social Justice. “Radical Housing for Radical Times” will concentrate on novel approaches to help reach the goal of affordable, stable, quality housing for all.

Everyone is invited, so if you are interested in hearing a discussion of this issue, please stop by.

Does anyone have any good news they would like to share? I have been reading all the headlines lately, and I can’t find anything even remotely positive going on in the economy or the housing.

I don’t care what topic it is on. You can make it personal if you like. Just give me some good news…


I’m the son of rage and love
The Jesus of Suburbia
From the bible of none of the above
On a steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin
No one ever died for my sins in hell
As far as I can tell
At least the ones I got away with

And there’s nothing wrong with me
This is how I’m supposed to be
In a land of make believe
That don’t believe in me

Get my television fix sitting on my crucifix
The living room or my private womb
While the moms and brads are away
To fall in love and fall in debt
To alcohol and cigarettes and Mary Jane
To keep me insane and doing someone else’s cocaine

And there’s nothing wrong with me
This is how I’m supposed to be
In a land of make believe
That don’t believe in me

Jesus of Suburbia — Green Day

35 thoughts on “Open Thread 12-6-2008

  1. granite

    I filled my tank up for $1.79 a gallon yesterday. I marveled at paying only $40 instead of $90 to fill my minivan. That’s fifty bucks in my pocket! That put a smile on my face.

    The cost of gas used to be in the headlines everyday. Now its on page 6.

      1. Robert

        do you all know what the drop in gas prices means?

        Housing prices are going to bounce back and probably even go higher.

        Better get in now or lose out on the recovery 😉

  2. DMac

    granite is right! I filled up for 2.09 a gal yesterday. I also bought porterhouse steaks for 5.98 a lb instead of the 9.98 a lb they were a few months ago.

    1. SnowKat

      My husband and I bought the same steaks …we walked by the them at the grocery store yesterday and saw that the prices were cut in half! 🙂

  3. Forbear

    My Sony LCD was delivered by Abes of Maine last Tuesday and their delivery company tried to extort $50 per floor to carry it to my apartment. I carried it the 3 floors myself. The good news is I’m not in jail for wanting to rip their heads off and shit down their necks!

  4. IrvineResident

    Today’s good news:
    Rents are going down in Irvine, We should be looking for a new place in next year.

    Tomorrow’s good news (indication of the above):
    Home prices will fall further to pursuade renters to buy.

    All provided that I’ll keep my job, (-:

  5. no_vaseline

    My Grandmother has terminal cancer and likely has about sixty days to live. The doctors have her pain under control, and she will be able to peacefully pass at home.

    How is this good news?

    She had a lovely 89 years of excelent health, until now. I would hope to be so lucky.

    1. ozajh

      If you follow the Blogroll link to Calculated Risk, you will see that some people are less fortunate than your grandmother.

  6. Mike

    I’m surprised Irvine Renter is speaking at a Green Party get together. When it comes to economics they are typically out of their depth. For example, all these ‘radical’ housing plans pretty much require a suspension of the laws of economics and supply and demand.

    Isn’t this type of thinking partly responsible for where we are economically today?

    What gives IR?

    1. IrvineRenter

      They asked me to come speak, so I am. They may not want to hear everything I will have to say…

      1. Mike

        Have a good time with the Greens and please let us know how it went. I’d be interested to hear their reaction/feedback. Cheers.

    2. LC

      You really don’t know what you are talking about. The people that I know like that are keenly aware of economics. They also have a sense of ethics and morality that distinguish them.

      1. Mike

        Yes, I must say that I do know of what I speak. I live in Canada and we do in fact have a functioning Green Party here.

        The common term for the Canadian Greens is “Watermelons”. Green on the outside, but the same old socialist Red on the inside.

        That sense of “ethics and morality” that you speak of – is actually hubris.

        I’m not trying to start a flame war (really) so I’ll just ask a question – rather then make statements. Name a ‘Green’ type issue (take your pick) and describe the free market solution as proposed by the Green Party/Movement.

        1. djd

          “…but the same old socialist Red on the inside.

          Most people turn out to be socialists when asked what the proper function of the government is. If you answered anything other than “nothing,” congratulations, you’re a socialist. (I know this is not the conventional definition, but it is the way that Mike seems to be using it – to indicate anything other than an unfettered free market.)

          Name a ‘Green’ type issue (take your pick) and describe the free market solution as proposed by the Green Party/Movement.

          If you believe that a free market solution must exist to justify a government program, then why not abolish the government entirely in favor of said free market solutions?

          1. djd

            To restate more clearly (and more politely):

            There is room for argument as to what government policies should be, and what the most cost-effective implementations of those policies are. But if the government only does what the free market would do, then there is really no point to having a government at all.

            Perhaps an example is in order. As a bonus, I’l address a green issue. Let’s say I establish a business on my land which emits toxic vapors that then contaminate your land, damaging your business. What’s the free market solution? I keep contaminating your land. This actually happened to farmers near the Anaconda Reduction Works around 1900.

            So the question really should be “how much transfer of harm is acceptable?” Greens typically rely on the answer being very small or zero – notwithstanding the fact that zero is practically impossible to achieve. I think that that is the approximate reason behind the remark about greens not understanding economics. That is also why I am not a green – my tolerance of harm transfer is inversely proportional to how likely I think I am to be the one onto whom it’s being transferred, and I think it’s very unlikely.

          2. MIke

            What you speak of is not a issue of ‘free markets’ rather of “Economic Rent Seeking”.


            In your scenario, the polluter is gaining an economic benefit at little to no cost, by damaging adjacent property.

            If you look at the original post from IR that kicked this discussion off is some of the speaking points from the Green Party meeting that he is speaking at. Perhaps IR will come back and tell us that there is a free market solution for today’s speaking point of “foster(ing) sic, diversity and preserve dignity and human rights”. It’s a safe bet that their solution is some type of government program or regulation applicable against individuals (or companies) that are not ‘Rent Seekers’.

            And what does any of this have to with environmentalism – which is supposed to be the Greens reason for existence?

          3. djd

            What you speak of is not a issue of ‘free markets’ rather of “Economic Rent Seeking”.

            So you admit that the free market can not prevent rent seeking? If that is true and you continue to insist that only free market solutions are acceptable, you are saying that rent seeking is acceptable.

            If there is any situation where interference with the market is desirable, then the fact that something is not a free market solution does not imply that it is undesirable.

            It’s a safe bet that their solution is some type of government program or regulation applicable against individuals (or companies) that are not ‘Rent Seekers’.

            More generally I think the greens want to provide inventives against a “tragedy of the commons.” If we value “diversity … dignity and human rights”, then individuals (or companies) who take advantage of their underpricing are rent seekers.

            I disagree with the greens on the need for regulation to prevent rent seeking on a global basis, since I believe that appropriate policy will be enacted worldwide on a distributed basis without need of policy here to promote it. After all, many countries have already done so. In other words, any people who bear the costs of rent seeking have an incentive to seek local regulation against rent seeking, so we need not make regulations here to protect them, even if rent seeking is currently occuring.

            And what does any of this have to with environmentalism – which is supposed to be the Greens reason for existence?

            I supplied an example showing that environmental degradation can occur – and has occured – in a free market without external constraints on rent seeking. I thought its relevance to environmentalism was obvious.

            If you are asking why we are discussing human rights and social justice instead of only environmentalism, then I can only point out that many green parties have had these as part of their platforms (e.g. the four pillars) for decades, so you were mistaken about the “Greens reason for existence.”

  7. calhousingbear

    Well over on CR they have an article about Bill Fleckstein (know I mispelled) who is exiting his hedge fund focused on shorts. Personally I think this is very good news — one of the biggest perma bears is becoming bullish on the long end.

    I know its corny, but it is always darkest right before dawn….and I do think this time next year the general economy will be better with house prices lower.

    1. alan

      Back in the Great Depression, the market bottomed out in 1930 while the recession didn’t bottom out for another 3 years. There was also extreme volatility in the market in 29-30. I think Mr Fleckstein is thinking the same thing, that market should bottom in the next 6 months and seen though it wouldn’t come back for 5-10 years we may be getting close to the time to go long on the quality companies that will be the survivors.

    2. zoiks

      “Personally I think this is very good news—one of the biggest perma bears is becoming bullish on the long end.”


      Former bears turning into semi-bull/bears – all that means is we haven’t come close to capitulation yet.

      The market has clever ways of separating money from the many and handing it to the few. If you really think you’re one of the “few” then knock yourself out. I don’t trust current stock levels any further than I can throw them.

      For hundreds of years the stock market was a place where vast fortunes were made and lost – amongst the capitalist rich. 80%-class drops are more the rule than the exception, in the sense that it wouldn’t be the stock market if we didn’t get any more 80% drops in the future. It has always been a roller coaster making vast swings up and down. It still is.

      I tell folks that stock markets are inappropriate for most people. Either you have a legitimate edge (very few do) and can make money trading, or you have to wisely invest with a decades-long time horizon. If you are anyone else, you’re just casino gambling and can count on the stock market to punish you for your stupidity.

      When people start agreeing with me that the stock market isn’t for most people, that could be a possible clue you’re at a market bottom. I don’t see that now.

  8. Gremlin2000

    I read in the LA Times yesterday that the Treasury Dept. will attempt to lower mortgage rates to 4.5%.
    Once that happens I am going to attempt to become one of IR’s subject of fodder by becoming a serial refinancer. Maybe I can top those “lottery winners” earlier this week.

    Man! Did you read that one?!? OVER $800,000!!!


    1. tlc8386

      I run a thyroid support group and one of our girls is finally pregnant after 9 years of trying. We got her on a correct dosage of thyroid meds. We teach people how to help themselves. Anyway we are having a Surprise virtual baby shower for her (she does not have much at all and just lost her mother(she is married) so I am hoping we can get her any kind of baby items in for xmas to keep her spirits up. Even a card would help or one of those target gift cards she could buy baby items. She is a person in real need not a company. Write to me at and I will give you her address if anyone is interested.
      Below is thyroid group–fyi

  9. Walter

    I work at Panasonic in Lake Forest and we are still hiring.

    I know of a few positions:
    Oracle developer
    Telelogic admin
    Development Tester
    Software Engineer

    I know, mostly geeky positions, but in case anyone is looking, this might be good news. If anyone is interested, post here and we can see how to get the info to you.

  10. Rocky

    Good news: My mom thought her cockapoo had a stomach tumor so I took him to the vet yesterday. Turns out he’s just fat. He’ll probably outlive me.

  11. DAve

    Just did the calculations tonite:

    Distance to Grand Canyon: 460 miles

    Mileage of little Ford Escort: approx 30 mpg.

    Price of gas: approx. $2/gal.

    Gallons required each way: approx. 15


    A trip to the Grand Canyon for a carload of people would now cost about $60 round trip.
    Will it ever be any cheaper?
    Why are we still here?

  12. Mooser

    Good News! The Moose (Alces Alces), North America’s largest ungulate, the one French trappers referred to breathlessly as “L’Orignal“, still reigns supreme over forest and stream.
    Or so they say.

  13. Mooser

    IR, to me you will always be the Jesus of Suburbia! And in these web-pages is contained Your Gospel.

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