did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - Interest-only mortgages backing bonds

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As a side note, I remembered the concept of CDO but not the acronym itself and had to do some digging to remind myself.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 8:56 AM
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I freaked out a bit when I saw that; I only slightly calmed down when I saw it was only commercial mortgages. Still, it's worrisome, especially as the total amount of money in CMBS has been growing rapidly.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:22 AM
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Don't worry. The destructive trade war will kill the economy before another real estate crash can.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:29 AM
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2: Ah, I missed that part.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:29 AM
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I guess I assumed commercial was modifying bond, not mortgage.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:30 AM
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Bond. Commercial Bond.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:31 AM
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Whereas a non-destructive trade war would generate Keynesian full employment via increased production of customs forms.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:31 AM
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6 made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:35 AM
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I have always been one to cut off my nose to spite my face, so I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this trade war. I hope it completely wipes out the CA almond export market. IF Trump goes down at all, it looks like he'll take the politicians I've long hated with him. Without Trump, I could never have pictured anything that would interrupt their careers. This is all a horrible double-or-nothing bet, but if double plays out, it will be more than I ever dreamed.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:37 AM
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Wow, I had completely missed that China's retaliatory tariffs included nuts.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:39 AM
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No more exported Truck Nutz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:41 AM
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Regarding the OP, the linked article is based on warnings from Moody's, and that's a hopeful sign. I'm not sure we could have gotten the 2008 bubble and crash if Moody's hadn't been in on the scam.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:43 AM
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Make Nuts
Not Bonds


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:47 AM
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I guess I'll have to read up on tranches and all that again.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 9:57 AM
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Well, this is encouraging.

"There is a whole generation of people in finance who never knew or forgot what the problems were with synthetic CDOs," said Janet Tavakoli, a 30-year veteran of the financial markets who runs a consulting firm and has written books on structured credit and CDOs.

What are they, mayflies?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:20 AM
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This time, Citigroup says, it's doing things differently. The deals are tailored in a way that insulates it from any losses, while giving yield-starved buyers a chance to reap returns of 20 percent or more.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:21 AM
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Are there not credit unions everywhere? Why would anyone bank anywhere else? And I really don't know why anyone would bank with the likes of Wells Fargo when they'll defraud you and get away with it.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:23 AM
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There's nothing to worry about! The only way this could fail is if everyone stopped making payments all at once. That could never happen!


Posted by: Opinionated Mayfly | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:25 AM
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Wells Fargo has an ad campaign about earning back our trust!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:30 AM
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I hope it completely wipes out the CA almond export market.

Great! More almond milk for us.


Posted by: Opinionated Hipsters | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:30 AM
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As do Facebook and Uber. Just look at all those young women confidently taking Ubers alone!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:34 AM
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11: Actually, Truck Nutz are legumes.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:34 AM
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19. 21,22: I've noticed those, and wondered if they were all produced by the same ad agency.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 10:36 AM
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Are there not credit unions everywhere? Why would anyone bank anywhere else? And I really don't know why anyone would bank with the likes of Wells Fargo when they'll defraud you and get away with it.

When moving and getting a new bank account, I asked on Facebook once whether anyone could think of a reason to use one bank rather than another bank. Small local bank versus big bank, credit union versus other. Many responses, but nobody could think of any reason why different types of banks are different from each other. Let alone why you would choose one big bank over another, despite their ceaseless ad campaigns.

These seem to be the factors that make for a good bank:
- doesn't charge you for having a checking account
- has conveniently located ATMs

Now if you're trying to get a loan, or set up a business account, maybe there are differences between banks.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:08 AM
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Big banks don't post their consumer loan rates IME. Lots of credit unions do.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:22 AM
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12: Not just Moody's, but all the agencies, no? And was there any kind of reckoning for them?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:31 AM
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Everybody insulted them, said they were feeble, and then waited at least a good six days before using their ratings to justify investments as safe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:40 AM
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Reckoning is for poor people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:42 AM
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I don't think Congress ever tried to push the fees back onto ratings-users rather than ratings-receivers, did they?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:46 AM
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I asked first.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:50 AM
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Moody's is publicly traded, market cap dropped by 75% 2007-2010. For a rough comparison, NDAQ (the exchange, a company that also profits from financial market activity without originating loans, not the index) dropped by 50% in the same period.

Congress didn't do anything directly to them or S&P.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:57 AM
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31: Thanks.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 11:59 AM
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They made Fitch cut back on the underage homo-eroticism in its ratings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 12:00 PM
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What is the basic issue with an interest only loan? That seems like what any credit card (or other form of entry level credit) is. A mortgage is bigger than a credit card from a balance perspective, but I don't see much of a difference in the basic formula.

A CDO is a little more complex as a product, but the math around pooling and associated default risk is not much more complex than basic high school math with some entry level statistics thrown in.

I guess I am asking, what is the problem with each of these ideas in basic concept, excluding predatory lending / used car salesman stuff / fraud concerns?

*first time poster - be nice please!


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:03 PM
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Wait. We can just ask people to be nice?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:05 PM
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Anyone can ask.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:08 PM
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Same Same, but Different?


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:10 PM
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And god knows that I'm no one's idea of a finance expert, but it's hard to picture a circumstance where a balloon mortgage -- where you pay interest for years, and then have the balance you originally borrowed come due at the end -- is a good idea for an individual. It's all the risks of homeownership with none of the advantages of building wealth through increasing equity. (I suppose it's a good deal if and only if home values are guaranteed to go up significantly, but recent history tells us they aren't.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:12 PM
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34: Just to get an idea of the context you may or may not need, were you around for the housing collapse 10 years ago?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:15 PM
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Topically, in the housing market in the U.S., I don't see how you could separate interest-only loans from predatory lending and/or fraud.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:16 PM
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It also probably means that more people/companies are getting loans that might not be sustainable, or might only be sustainable in certain economic situations. It's a riskier bet, and if more people are making riskier, correlated bets, there's a higher probability our economy is going to explode.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:16 PM
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38: That sounds like renting, but if house price goes up you benefit?


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:17 PM
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39: I was asking if the idea was bad, not what happened in 2008 (fraud, falsified docs, etc.).

40: Fair enough. Maybe my assumption of a vacuum / all else unchanged is impossible in this instance.


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:21 PM
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If house price goes up you benefit only if you can sell and move, which you may not be able to or want to. If you don't want to move, or if you can't sell when you need to, you're at the mercy of the market for loans to be able to borrow enough to cover your balloon payment or you're bankrupted (under the assumption, which is almost always going to be true, that you can't come up with the value of the house in cash). Even if you do move, and values do go up, you've only made a profit if your mortgage and maintenance costs were sufficiently low compared to rental over the same period.

It's not absolutely impossible for a homeowner to do okay off a balloon mortgage, but it's always going to be a giant risk for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:24 PM
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Leaving aside humanitarian concerns about the people in the houses, interest-only loans leave the holders of the loans vulnerable to downturns in the value of the underlying real estate. Up to 2009, banks issued the loans without looking too closely at either the properties or the lenders because they sold the loans pretty much immediately. The issue was a huge amount of low-quality loans creating a credit bubble and instability, not whether a small volume of marginal mortgages is interest-only.

Tangentially-- even 30-year loans exist I believe only because of US gov't financial support for homeownership-- in the rest of the world that I know about, much higher down payments and shorter loan terms are all that is possible.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:25 PM
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43.1: Recall then, it wasn't just fraud - it's the correlated risk issue in 41, arguably inherent to the concept, not just the implementation, for CDOs to be attractive on the market. Paper (from Wikipedia citations).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:28 PM
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44: This seems right. Assuming basic stuff about people, as you stated, renting is the same and so is every other option out there? Getting off track, though. I guess I would not see much difference than renting in this case.

45: Yes, that happened. What is the deal with interest only mortgages though? Maybe they should be excluded from federal guarantees (I know nothing about how to get a mortgage guaranteed by the government, but given 2008 events, that seems like a good start?)


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:31 PM
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45.2 gets at what I think is the main issue. The interest-only loans exist outside of that subsidized, comodified world o' American support for middle class wealth accumulation. I'm sure you could make a interest-only loan that wasn't so bad if you started from scratch, but the existing market steers most of the banks and borrowers elsewhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:33 PM
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I guess I would not see much difference than renting in this case.

Renting doesn't have any potential for requiring you to pay the full value of a house. That's the risk.

Are interest-only mortgages conventional where you're originally from? If they are, does that work well for people?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:35 PM
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49: Yes, the balance is bigger than renting, but it is the same thing, but with (maybe) more legal stuff to deal with? If you don't pay rent on an apartment contract, you can be hounded for breaking a lease through the same avenues as defaulting on a mortgage. Certainly the credit agencies deal with it similarly.


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:43 PM
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If house price goes up you benefit only if you can sell and move, which you may not be able to or want to.

I'm not sure that's true. In most places, if house prices go up, rents go up. You can be priced out of your current home if you rent. It happened to my neighbor who looked like 70s-Jesus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:56 PM
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48: this makes sense.

As some background, I am in a rent or buy situation and had an adj Rate mortgage option. Seemed like a bad deal but the headline of post piqued my comment.


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:56 PM
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48: this makes sense.

As some background, I am in a rent or buy situation and had an adj Rate mortgage option. Seemed like a bad deal but the headline of post piqued my comment.


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 1:57 PM
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Adjustable rate is different from interest only. The adjustable-rate mortgages are not the default (or at least not what people think of as the default)) but they are more common than interest-only by far.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 2:03 PM
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If you can bear the risk of a (fairly substantial) loss and aren't particularly attached to living in your home, obtaining interest-only loans for residential property can be an easy way to make money in a rising market without *too* much risk. I know a lawyer who had an extremely lucrative side-business as a house-flipper, and whose credit and access was such that he could get interest-only loans even after 2008. Basically, you can buy the house and flip it and keep (most) of the profit if prices rise when you sell, if prices fall but not by TOO much and you're liquid enough to pay off the difference between the foreclosure price and the loan balance, the risk isn't too bad, compared to the reward. Anyhow, this guy did it and got pretty rich from it, rich enough to retire, but bought a bunch of houses he didn't live in and didn't care about rapidly moving from the ones he did live in b/c he had no family and zero compunction about moving.

So basically if you're already kinda rich and want to live your life as a hedge fund embodied in human form and are relentlessly finance-focused and don't mind moving a lot, and live in a place with rapidly-rising house prices, then interest-only home loans can work for you. Not exactly an argument for applying them widely.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 2:06 PM
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The resistance to adjustable-rate mortgages appears to be a cultural US thing (I'm resistant too, don't get me wrong). Lots of countries have them as the most popular option, apparently because people in those countries don't think they'll be more mad about rates potentially going up than they will be happy about lower initial payments and rates going down.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 2:10 PM
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I still have one, acquired back before the bust. I suppose I should have gotten it refinanced, but it turns out that costs like thousands of dollars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 2:11 PM
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56. Lots of countries have mortgages in someone else's currency. ARMs are great for the bank, while fixed rate loans, especially long-term fixed rate, are subsidized by US gov guarantees: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=qHw

Absent these guarantees, fixed-rate is market behavior, as is a much higher down payment.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 2:31 PM
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This article mentions property values three times in their discussion of why the City of Del Rey opted against including managed retreat in their sea level rise plan. (Their reasoning would make me crazy with rage at their denial, but I am all out of rage at people's denial.)

So, they say they can't create a managed retreat strategy despite having hundreds of houses in the path of rising seas because that will cause property values to drop immediately (accurately incorporating risk into their property value). Which means that they hope to maintain or extract the current inaccurate valuation, right? They want the NEXT people to be the ones flooded out (who will have equal incentive to maintain property values). I was trying to think if there was any way to get around it, and wondered, what if peoples took out huge second mortgages (converting their house back into cash), then voted for a sea level rise plan including managed retreat, then let the bank foreclose. That's the closest I can come to a solution for their dilemma.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 2:45 PM
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Waiting for Baby Boomers to die, hoping we aren't worse?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 2:48 PM
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43: Maybe my assumption of a vacuum / all else unchanged is impossible in this instance.

I think this is it. Here's your original question:

I guess I am asking, what is the problem with each of these ideas in basic concept, excluding predatory lending / used car salesman stuff / fraud concerns?

I mean, the basic idea is kind of genius: You've got high-risk mortgages, and you want to turn them into safe debt to sell to suckers investors. So you find ways to slice the debt so that parts of it are low-risk. You do this by making the owners of the low-risk debt to be the first to collect as loans are repaid.

As I say, genius! The problem is, this makes the loans themselves a product for sale -- and a lucrative product with a high demand. So when banks offer a mortgage to a home-buyer in this environment, they are only incidentally providing a service to the recipient of the loan. What they are really doing is manufacturing a product that is packaged into CDOs and sold.

This incentivizes the banks to make loans that they don't have any particular interest in seeing repaid. Repayment is not their problem, and the ratings agencies have, after all, certified that this is a great product.

But the real genius is the way credit default swaps were added to the mix. CDSs are like insurance for bad loans. So when you buy your CDO, you get a CDS too, and if there's a default, then you get paid anyway. It's 100 percent guaranteed!

The only way this can go bad is if people are making so many bad loans that the CDS seller gets swamped and can't pay off. Which we know can't happen, because systemic risk and counter-party risk aren't real things.

But you wanna know what the really, really genius thing is? If you sell CDOs and CDSs and it all blows up, it doesn't matter to you. Your company goes bankrupt (or gets bailed out), but you only get burned if you actually invested in the company yourself. Otherwise, you take the money and run.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 3:02 PM
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I'm wondering if I should move investments to something safer than stocks, there are a lot of signs of the end of an expansion, but there's the whole predicting five of the last three recessions thing.
I remember Citi was $1 after the last crash (really $10, I think it reverse split 10x) and I thought I should put a few thousand in it but chickened out. $67 now so missed 6x return, although nowhere near it's pre-crash peak of $600(!)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 4:18 PM
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Speaking of liquid investments, I finally bought a bidet seat. I hope you're still getting commissions, ogged.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 4:20 PM
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Capitalist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 4:34 PM
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We had a variable rate, then converted to fixed when interest rates bottomed out. Then refinanced again when it turned out they could go even lower!

I don't actually recall our rate (it's been like 10 years), but it's on the order of 3%. At this point, variable would be bad.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 5:10 PM
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That's the theory, but I expect Trump is going to fuck up the economy before the fed can keep interest rates enough to make it worth our while to pay refinancing costs. Or I'm lazy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 6:16 PM
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Thanks. Helpful discussion!


Posted by: Montissimoo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 6:58 PM
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||
Show of hands: Who's feed at yon other place is peppered with bullshit pro-Assad articles by formerly respectable academic leftists? 'Cause it's getting pretty old for me.

But Jesus H. Christ on a goddamn popsicle stick: There are so many out-and-out fascists in this country. I always knew there were more than centrist liberals wanted to believe, but I was off by an order of magnitude. It's horrifying.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 7:40 PM
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65: See, that's the other way I've been coming at this: Sure, there are a lot (9%) of people who are underwater still, but there's also a lot of people who did manage to refinance just fine. How's THAT going to mess with the markets in the future? Probably just concentrating more wealth in fewer hands like everything else in this joke civilization.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 7:43 PM
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68.1: Not me.

68.2: Yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 7:50 PM
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68.1: some leftist academics do seem to put theory over evidence. I've been reading materials from the last hundred years, looking for "our people" from each era, trying to figure out how "we" would have reacted to the issues of the day. It's humbling. "We" were often right, but not always. And it's amazing how often we were not even wrong -- emphasizing things that were true, but at the opportunity cost of things that really mattered.

68.2: I wasn't surprised at the percentage of fascists. I was surprised at how the power elites were either impotent to squelch the fascists or else didn't want to stop them.


Posted by: FB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 8:18 PM
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71.1: Frex?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 4-18 8:27 PM
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72: my bookmarks are on my other device, and I don't remember the name, but when asked whether he supported or opposed the practice of mothers breastfeeding their infants, a famous 20th-century writer strongly opposed it as a primitive practice. While there are good reasons a woman may choose not to breastfeed, a man opining on it as "primitive" is not one of them.

Lots of liberals in the 1930s regarding Stalin.

Some might protest the inclusion of Chomsky as an "us", but his contemporaneous prognostications on the Khmer Rouge are a great example of saying many true things while getting the bigger picture shamefully wrong.

Yggles and Drum early-on regarding war with Saddam's Iraq.

This one might be a bad example, but Steve Gilliard seemed to suggest we were setting ourselves up for Muqtada al-Sadr to wipe out a huge percentage of the US troops in Iraq. Just one example: "lucky to escape with our army"
https://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2004/04/why-democrats-are-wrong-about-iraq.html?m=1

Kunstler on Peak Oil.


Posted by: FB | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:45 AM
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Tangentially-- even 30-year loans exist I believe only because of US gov't financial support for homeownership-- in the rest of the world that I know about, much higher down payments and shorter loan terms are all that is possible.

It's not so much shorter loan terms, as shorter fixed-rate terms. It's very unusual indeed, absent some Fannie/Freddie/FHA type entity, or an idiosyncratic market structure like Denmark's, to have 30-year fixed rate mortgages with no prepayment penalties. In the UK, you can get 30 year mortgages just fine, but it's pretty hard to get a fix that goes beyond five years. Two years is the norm. And if you prepay during that period, you pay for it.


And god knows that I'm no one's idea of a finance expert, but it's hard to picture a circumstance where a balloon mortgage -- where you pay interest for years, and then have the balance you originally borrowed come due at the end -- is a good idea for an individual.

In the long run, absent a dedicated (and sufficient) repayment vehicle or big tax incentives (eg the Netherlands until recently), it's generally not. I/O mortgages were a big thing in the UK during the 80s and early 90s, basically because there was relatively little mortgage regulation and it was cheaper for borrowers, and now there's this big overhang of balloon payments coming up in the next five years with no obvious means of repayment outside of sale or refinancing. On the plus side, if you've held onto the same house for the last 30 years, you probably are sitting on a pretty big increase in value outside a handful of locations in the UK. But that doesn't mean you can refinance easily if you're in retirement or unemployed.


On commercial mortgages, I'm not convinced it's the harbinger of the apocalypse, though it is definitely one of many indicators of weakening underwriting standards. Given that amortisation in commercial mortgages tends to be pretty nominal anyway (a handful of percentage points over the life of the loan, typically) I'm more worried about things like looser covenants and higher leverage on worse/riskier property. In Europe at least we're not seeing levels like in 2005/2006, but we're almost certainly headed for a downturn in the next year or two. With a hard Brexit, it'll be inevitable.


The resistance to adjustable-rate mortgages appears to be a cultural US thing (I'm resistant too, don't get me wrong). Lots of countries have them as the most popular option, apparently because people in those countries don't think they'll be more mad about rates potentially going up than they will be happy about lower initial payments and rates going down.

There's a cultural aspect (UK borrowers certainly value a low initial rate more than they should), but it's primarily financial and policy related. The US 30-year fixed rate is popular because the government gives an extremely valuable free option to the borrower. In almost any other jurisdiction, if you took out a 30-year mortgage at, say 5%, and three years later rates fell to 2%, you'd still be on the hook to pay that 5% for the remaining 27 years. You can't refinance without paying some sort of makewhole.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:57 AM
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73.5 I really miss Steve Gilliard.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 4:35 AM
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And SEK who was recently referenced in another thread. Both of them so entertaining and illuminating to read.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 4:36 AM
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||

So Halford's claim that there isn't anything Trump can't ruin has been falsified. Trump has just made the Eagles Super Bowl victory even more awesome.

|>


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 4:56 AM
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This year at Christmas, I'm going to throw a battery at Santa Claus in honor of their fans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:17 AM
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Finance is full of crooks, but the real problem is not just finance -- it's also everybody else. There's a perfectly sensible way to save money for the future: buy stock. It's risky, but the return is usually high. But people don't want high-risk, high-reward. They want risk-free investments with high rewards. When they can't have that, they go with the next best thing: carefully disguised risky investments that some handsome dude-bro assures them is risk-free.

We had the pets.com bubble in the 90s, and the ensuing recession was pretty mild, because the stock market doesn't pretend to be riskless. The financial crisis was so bad because it involved banks, and everyone pretends that banks and bank products are mostly riskless.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:20 AM
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AIPMHBALO, in the 90s there was a guy (lawyer) working in the office next to mine who was putting like 40% of his salary into Janus tech funds and planning, in all earnestness, to retire at 40.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:24 AM
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Outside of an earnestness, he's probably not retired yet. I forgot his name, so I can't look it up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:25 AM
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Speaking of houses, I saw this article in Yglesias's twitter feed. Seems on topic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:27 AM
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83

In the UK, you can get 30 year mortgages just fine, but it's pretty hard to get a fix that goes beyond five years. Two years is the norm. And if you prepay during that period, you pay for it.

Yeah. Mine was 20 years, of which two years were fixed-rate. You could prepay up to a certain amount (10%) of the outstanding balance every year without penalty, but if you wanted to pay off more then there was a charge.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:44 AM
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73: Interesting. On the face of it most of that* can be explained by movement leftward at all costs.
*Even breastfeeding, since on cursory googling Fascist Italy was big on that.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:53 AM
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83: What if you sell the house?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 5:58 AM
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You pay the prepayment penalty.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:04 AM
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77 - honestly at this point the Eagles are America's Real Team. I can't think of another non-LA franchise (especially one that's winning!) that I've come to like more. Fly Eagles Fly.

74 - I vaguely knew about US policy supporting 30 yr fixed, but the real lesson is this: never claim that something is "cultural" that has materialist foundations, or you will feel shame.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:06 AM
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86: That sucks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:07 AM
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70 is also me.

I think the surprise for me, RE fascists, is how quickly people turned*. I mean, it didn't take years of official propaganda, or incremental steps by cunning schemers, or subtle disguising of intentions. It's like the old Dave Barry joke:

German 1: How many Poles does it take to screw in a light bulb?
German 2: I don't know, how many?
German 1: Let's invade and find out.
Millions of other Germans: OKAY!

Trump: Mexicans are rapists.
Millions of Americans: I couldn't find the pants for my replica SS uniform, are these khakis OK?

*not so much turned from "respectable conservatives" to fascists, but turned from people who ostensibly bought into American norms into blood-and-soil authoritarians.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:11 AM
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SOMETHING is clearly deeply weird about UK housing prices/supply. I was reading somewhere that the UK outside of London is now, at least in terms of GDP per capita, equivalent to the poor European countries, and the UK has had pretty much the worst recovery of any rich-ish country except Italy. Yet when I fantasy shop for my fantasy house on Shetland or Orkney, everything is still super expensive even by coastal California standards.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:13 AM
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Have you tried creating a fantasy involving the Midlands?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:18 AM
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82: I saw that, but I don't understand the context. What was the "stop-go" macroeconomic framework? Was it some economic planning thing that was supposed to prevent recessions or something?

Even if so, it seems insane that they never fully unleashed housing, since that's (in the US anyway) one of the strongest avenues for getting a slumped economy back on track. It's like saving for a rainy day, including when it's raining.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:18 AM
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I didn't actually read anything but the abstract.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:20 AM
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92: I'm guessing they were more concerned with inflation in that period, which would make it make more sense.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:23 AM
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They probably figured if there were more houses, a bunch of Irish people would come over and take their jobs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:25 AM
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I was mostly surprised by the complete lack of patriotism they've demonstrated. Also by how buffoonish and transparently corrupt their leaders are, but I guess that's always the case isn't it.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:26 AM
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86: That sucks

Which is why, among other reasons, almost nobody fixes for very long. Like I say, the no-prepayment penalty thing is an enormously valuable option for US borrowers.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:27 AM
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73 link is impressively weird. I'd say it's broadly right at the political level of analysis* but laughably wrong at the military level.
*In Iraq. I don't remember what the domestic US context was and know nothing of any efforts to secure troops from Muslim allies or India.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:27 AM
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I was reading somewhere that the UK outside of London is now, at least in terms of GDP per capita, equivalent to the poor European countries

That's not really the case, see helpful Map 1 here http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/GDP_at_regional_level#Regional_GDP_per_capita

There are a few bits of the UK (Wales, South Yorkshire) that are as poor as basically the whole of former WP Europe. And most of the UK regions (except southern England and NE Scotland, where the oil comes ashore) are below EU average, but then the same is true of France.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:46 AM
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BP brings the oil to shore in NE Scotland using pipes and tankers. They just let it wash up on the beach in Louisiana.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:48 AM
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90: If you're willing to consider nearby Caithness for your fantasy, this ten bedroom will cost you what a 2,000 square foot house in Palo Alto goes for.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:48 AM
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When the property, having been run as a hotel between the late 1960s and early 70s, came onto the market in 1974, interest was shown by the rock band Led Zeppelin and even Woody of the Bay City Rollers showed interest as a buyer. Of more infamous nature, the outside of the House was used as an eery backdrop to a horror film in the 1970s.

Only one? Not eery enough.

Whilst the House is in need of modernisation/refurbishment the numerous development options (subject to any required permissions) could include a hotel, bed and breakfast or serviced apartments all geared towards the strong demand for local outdoor pursuits as well as taking advantage of the hugely popular North Coast 500 route which passes within a stone's throw of the House and Estate. Of course, another option would be to become Laird of The Manor and create a stunning family home.

Or, of course, you could also become Laird of The Manor and NOT create a stunning family home.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:51 AM
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One could even create an increasingly eerie family home while also saving on upkeep costs.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:53 AM
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I just want to throw stones at the North Coast 500.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:53 AM
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I was hoping the North Coast 500 was a Formula 1 race (Formula 2? Formula 3? Is there a minor league?) but it's just an "epic scenic route" you can drive if you want to.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:56 AM
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If I wanted a house that's been used as a backdrop in a horror film, I could just stay in my current house.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:57 AM
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It's an awesome drive. Except for the part where it's a single-track road and it takes two hours to go thirty miles--and since that's going around a sea loch, it's more like three miles as the crow flies. I'd love to do it again, but life circumstances are unlikely to allow for it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:59 AM
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Surely by any objective standard, the NFC East is the most despicable division in pro football, so it's heartening to see the Eagles take a stand.

But it's also really discouraging to see the way that this has been reported. I was watching CBS this morning, and they quoted the Trump statement: "They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."

Only later did CBS note that none of the Eagles took a knee or stayed in the locker room during the anthem in 2017. This is typical Trump journalism: prominently display the accusation, while the truth ends up in the footnotes at the end of the story.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:06 AM
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It's call "The Big Lie."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:08 AM
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This whole thing either burns through America and people get immune to this bullshit or America as we know it ends. No big deal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:20 AM
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Either way, we're set for life.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:36 AM
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109: Has Godwin formally suspended his law? It seems obsolete nowadays.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:37 AM
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The Tories deliberately crushed the UK economy for years, because they knew that Labour would be blamed. And then when Brexit passed, they eased up, so that everybody would think that Brexit was no big deal.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:38 AM
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Godwin tried to suspend his law during the Bush II administration, but it was too late. He had already doomed America. Really, he should be blamed for everything that's happened since 2000.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:39 AM
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It's perfectly possible to be a Highland laird and not live in a stunning family home. My father remembers childhood visits to see the Captain of Dun/staffn/age, who lived in a Nissen hut. My father was rather impressed; he reckoned that the Captain had life pretty well sorted out. Who needs the hassle of having an actual house?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:42 AM
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If you could have afforded a 'q', he could have lived in a Quonset Hut.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:46 AM
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Has Godwin formally suspended his law? It seems obsolete nowadays.

There's a tweet somewhere from him authorizing anyone who wants to call the current crop of lunatics Nazis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:46 AM
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https://twitter.com/sfmnemonic/status/896884949634232320

There.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:47 AM
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Anyway, I could never be a laird because there's just no way I could pull-off Presbyterianism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:47 AM
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I think laird-ship is compatible with Catholicism -- aren't there a fair number of Scottish Catholics?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:48 AM
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I think those are mostly recent(ish) immigrants from (mostly) Ireland.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:51 AM
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I blame the failed Jacobite risings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:54 AM
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Since 115 is unsigned, we can only assume it comes from Bob McManus.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:06 AM
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I think those are mostly recent(ish) immigrants from (mostly) Ireland.

A lot of them, but by no means all. Scotland's never been all Presbyterian; the 1745 Jacobite Rising was largely Catholic vs. Protestant and the Catholic side didn't all convert or emigrate. There are still Catholic-majority areas in the Highlands and especially the Western Isles. I'd guess that most Scottish Catholics are descended from other Scottish Catholics; the rest are descended from Irish Catholics (mainly in Glasgow and the surroundings) or Polish Catholics.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:17 AM
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Or Italian, I suppose. There's a fair-sized Italian community.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:32 AM
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123 I think you've just insulted ajay.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:32 AM
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Native Scottish culture is surprisingly polycentric. The Western Isles especially, where as you go from north to south you travel from what might be the most Presbyterian to the most Catholic part of the country, but all very Gaelic.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:36 AM
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Apparently there's a fairly large community of Poles descended from Scots because there was a big migration from Scotland to Poland in the 17th Century (one of the biggest European migrations of the 17th Ventury). Let me see if I can find a link to back up this factoid.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:39 AM
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126 - it was a compliment because 115 was peak top tier Ajay.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:40 AM
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129 But of course.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:42 AM
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I guess it was more like 1550-1650. Apparently Lech Walesa may have been a Wallace.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:43 AM
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Are there any modern day Jacobites? Given that there are active 9/11 truther and flat Earther communities, a contemporary Jacobite community doesn't seem like that much of a stretch.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:46 AM
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I, for one, would support Franz, Duke of Bavaria, for the crown. He's got a better record on the Nazis than the average Windsor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:52 AM
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He's also younger than QEII, but not by much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:53 AM
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Didn't we talk about this here? IIRC the problem is there isn't a great current pretender, the current guy is Franz of Bavaria who rejects the claim, and then it will pass from him to his brother to the Princess of Lichtenstein to her son. My idea was that Scotland breaks up with England, retains the monarchy and stays in the EU, and has personal union with a continental possession, Lichtenstein. But my movement isn't a major political force -- yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:53 AM
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Liechtenstein, tragically, is not in the EU.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:58 AM
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Yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:02 AM
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Apparently Lech Walesa may have been a Wallace.

Fantastic. I never knew that. (Everyone knew about Mikhail Lermontov, though, right?)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:06 AM
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There is a contemporary Jacobite movement, apparently:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Stuart_Society


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:08 AM
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The Prince of Liechtenstein is also apparently, through his mother, pretender through an Angevin line, not that anyone's pining for that. If he would just have a kid who would marry one of William's kids of the appropriate gender, (possibly with a small number of strategic murders) this sordid issue would be all wrapped up.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:10 AM
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140 - Back off. I am going to be the guy who advises the Prince of Lichtenstein on how to take over a major European country, not you. And let's just say that my reward in fiefdoms will be [high pitched squeal] awesome.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:31 AM
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The soggy parts of the Netherlands?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:32 AM
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Getting Scots riled up for independence to keep the monarchy's going to be a tough pickle, though. I don't think any number of strategic murders is going to get you that.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:38 AM
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[high pitched squeal] awesome.

Nice Archer impression.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:39 AM
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Somehow I have to figure out how to depose the Windsors in favor of the House of Lichtenstein while also making Meghan Markle queen. Oh well, no one said that my path was the easy path.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:39 AM
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There was briefly a Scottish Jacobite Party that was republican. But ach, they weren't true Jacobites. Trying to find evidence that Jacobite socialists exist, as that would be hilarious.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:46 AM
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Actually, this is already pretty hilarious as is.

The SJP originally aimed to establish a Scottish republic by 2007, which would claim 31% of the assets of the British state (as Scotland makes up 31% of the landmass of the United Kingdom). It aimed to transform Scotland into a tax haven and a more popular tourist destination, also stating that congestion charges would be introduced during the peak tourist season.
The party also proposed to move the Anglo-Scottish border southwards to run from Morecambe Bay to Flamborough Head along line of latitude 54°7'N (thus adding Carlisle, Durham, Sunderland, Teesside and Tyneside to Scotland). Consequently, Newcastle United F.C., Sunderland A.F.C., Middlesbrough F.C. and Carlisle United F.C. would be transferred into the Scottish Premier League. It advocated that all football teams in this league be nationalised, with television revenues being split equally amongst all participating clubs. Foreign players would also be banned from playing in Scotland.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:53 AM
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how to depose the Windsors

I swear to god I read this and thought "How hard can coming up with some kind of action that would make discovery necessary be?" before reading the rest of the sentence and realizing that you meant the other kind of deposing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 9:54 AM
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Trying to find evidence that Jacobite socialists exist, as that would be hilarious.

Jacobin Jacobites?

There probably are some. They'd attract the same sort of person; fondness for lost causes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 10:01 AM
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Somehow I have to figure out how to depose the Windsors in favor of the House of Lichtenstein while also making Meghan Markle queen.

Make her queen of America? Then your neo-Angevin irredentist plans can continue undisturbed in the Old World.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 10:02 AM
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Yes. Descending from extremely extreme to moderately extreme detachment from reality, I am absolutely in favor of Meghan Markle being queen of America. I was thinking during the royal wedding Dying for freedom or democracy or the constitution or whatever seems like bullshit, but Meghan Markle -- there is something to die for. Now I get monarchy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 10:25 AM
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84: what do you mean by "movement leftward at all costs"?

75, 98: I really appreciated reading SG back then. But re-reading his old posts now, it is interesting to remember how I collapsed multiple issues into a simple left-right dichotomy. Our people could be totally right about Iraq being a clusterfuck, but that didn't mean they were always right about important details, especially in terms of actionable next steps.


Posted by: FB | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 10:25 AM
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152.1: eg. Stalin is the leftmost party in the issue under discussion, therefore I shall side with him, at the cost of recognizing that he's a monster.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 10:39 AM
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The Jacobite movement, such as it is, is led by the Duke of St Albans, who is, rather disappointingly, a retired Chartered Accountant. It makes sense insofar as he's descended from a by-blow of Charles II with Nell Gwyn. His son made an arse of himself on the floor of the House of Lords during the vote on reform in 1999 (He was agin it). Neither of them are likely to harbour secret socialist yearnings as far as I can see.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 10:47 AM
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I feel like maybe we need a Duke or something to be figurehead of the Markleite movement.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:04 AM
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You could try asking the Duke of Sussex? He seems to be something of a fan.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:10 AM
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The SJP originally aimed to establish a Scottish republic by 2007, which would claim 31% of the assets of the British state (as Scotland makes up 31% of the landmass of the United Kingdom). It aimed to transform Scotland into a tax haven and a more popular tourist destination, also stating that congestion charges would be introduced during the peak tourist season.

I mean, substitute Scotland for England and that's basically BoJo's vision of Brexit.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:10 AM
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153: that makes sense. But of course, the examples I gave aren't a representative sample, so I would be hesitant to generalize. Maybe don't let theory override data?


Posted by: FB | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:13 AM
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158: Yes. Though I think "theory" is far too kind a word. I think it's overwhelmingly tribal loyalty. And of course "our people" have no monopoly on that failing. If you performed the same historical exercise with right-wingers I expect the results would look the same or worse.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:20 AM
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I still think of Meghan Markle as the actress who appeared on the first two episodes of season 3 of Fringe.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:41 AM
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159: well said.


Posted by: FB | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:43 AM
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147: The United Kingdom acceded to their demands, on the condition that Newcastle United F.C., Sunderland A.F.C., Middlesbrough F.C. and Carlisle United F.C. be transferred into the Scottish Premier League.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:59 AM
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My fantasy house is the mushroom house outside Rochester, NY: http://www.mushroomhouse.com/


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 12:12 PM
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By the way, do you know about the Principality of Sealand and its titles of nobility. I think you don't have to actually live there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 12:15 PM
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I was considering spending £250 to become a lifetime member of the Royal Stuary Society, but at $199.99 becoming a Count of Sealand is a steal.

£29.99 to be a Lord/Lady of Sealand is a not-unreasonable price for a pointless novelty gift.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:02 PM
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I have found a solution to the housing crisis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:04 PM
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166: Here we are literally plunking down Tuff Sheds.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:06 PM
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That's because you have no style.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:09 PM
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No you personally.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:20 PM
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+t


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:21 PM
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165. Schleich makes detailed, high-quality paleontologist-guided so plausibly realistic dinosaur models for less. Or honestly, a glitter alien and rockets phone case is more tasteful.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:27 PM
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Paul Manafort is going to buy a title and then claim that he can only be tried by a jury of his peers, not a bunch of commoners like in juries you get in America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:30 PM
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171: That sounds exactly like what a peasant would say.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:33 PM
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165 When I was a freshman at Cal, there was a guy who sold real estate on the moon. I should have bought some of that.

I also should have gone to see the Flaming Lips last night. Looks like folks had fun.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 1:38 PM
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Apparently there's a fairly large community of Poles descended from Scots because there was a big migration from Scotland to Poland in the 17th Century (one of the biggest European migrations of the 17th Ventury). Let me see if I can find a link to back up this factoid.

There was also a fair amount of emigration from Ireland to France and Spain in the same period or a little later, eventually resulting in the famed Chilean independence hero General Bernardo O'Higgins.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 2:59 PM
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quite a bit later: his father was born in Ireland.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:06 PM
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How do we know O'Higgins didn't live to 400 years old?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:23 PM
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Either one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:23 PM
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Maybe not O'Higgins, but it resulted in General Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, hero of Napoleon's army.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:34 PM
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Yeah, fair enough, the Irish emigration was mostly eighteenth century.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:40 PM
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All the cool Irish people left in the 19th century and landed further north.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:41 PM
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Other remarkably named members of it included Jean-Jacques de Macarty-Mactigue, Commandant of the Illinois Country, and Alejandro O'Reilly, Governor of Spanish Louisiana.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:42 PM
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General summary with lots of examples.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:49 PM
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Oh my.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 3:52 PM
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Amateur. He didn't even call the people trying to stop him pedophiles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 4:14 PM
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Anyway, among the lesser results of the Flight of the Earls was a college roommate of mine going through the window of a Lincoln bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 4:29 PM
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- lesser. That's at least as important as Napoleon. Fuck him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 4:33 PM
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183: Woah, one of Che Guevara's surnames was Lynch.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 6:18 PM
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I had a friend whose mother dated a guy who was some European royalty because he got some royal woman pregnant so they had to give him a title to make the baby a legit heir to its mother's line.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:20 PM
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To be clear, my friend's mother was not the royal.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:21 PM
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The Earl of Yourmomseasy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:23 PM
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Honestly, "Princess impregnator" sounds like a pretty great career path.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:24 PM
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Makes me think I really should have focused more on abs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:27 PM
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SP's friend's mom dated the Earl of Snowdon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:37 PM
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Of course, he was in the business before men were expected to have defined abs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:43 PM
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Back when people were classier, it used to require nothing more than a winning smile, a smooth manner, and a horse-sized cock.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:52 PM
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I'd rather have forty cock-sized horses.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 7:57 PM
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And that's why all the royal lines of Europe kept producing centaurs.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:15 PM
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True. It's right there on the Parthenon.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 8:49 PM
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"it resulted in General Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, hero of Napoleon's army"

I suspect he was Scottish not Irish. That summary also claims Lauriston as Irish; again, no.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-18 11:18 PM
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Jacob Jacobean Jacobin Jacobite Jacobs, jack-of-all-trades


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 12:04 AM
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Still going on, with a notable example being David McAllister, former Minister-President of Lower Saxony. He's now a Member of the European Parliament.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 12:46 AM
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I was somewhat surprised when visiting London recently that it's so so much less dense than NYC (the very densest parts are only as dense as the Bronx/Brooklyn average) and the houses are also noticeably cheaper than NYC/SF. (Though my understanding is the mortgage rule differences may mean they're no more affordable than NYC/SF, and all three are clearly insane.)

Having also been to the Shetlands and Orkneys recently, the Shetlands are a bit of a weird case with a booming housing market that has grown more than the rest of the UK except a few parts of London. I'm surprised about the Orkneys though, which I wouldn't expect to be so expensive. If you're willing to consider the Orkneys (which are certainly less beautiful than the Shetlands, though they do have an advantage in whisky) I'd also highly suggest looking at other beautiful and obscure Scottish locations. In particular, in addition to the Shetlands we'll also be fantsy shopping for fantasy houses in Ullapool.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 12:51 AM
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For example, what about this place?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 1:02 AM
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At any rate, I just don't believe you about the Orkneys. You can buy a whole church for 150K pounds!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 1:04 AM
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which are certainly less beautiful than the Shetlands, though they do have an advantage in whisky

And beer.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 1:51 AM
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Or if you prefer your housechurch to come already renovated...


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 2:07 AM
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And beer

Do they have an advantage?

Everything's so bloody dear,
A bloody bob, for bloody beer,
And is it good? - no bloody fear,
In bloody Orkney.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 3:38 AM
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Evidently Chickentown


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 5:11 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IK1nvEMqPo


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 5:12 AM
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204/205: That's more consistent with what I've seen. A few years ago (I linked to it here) there was a sizable island (attached to South Ronaldsay by causeway) with homestead for something like £600k. Ullapool's also stunningly beautiful and that house in 204 is amazing. Hell, just about everywhere north of the Central Belt (well, I haven't been to Northeast Scotland yet) would do.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 8:39 AM
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Anyway, on monarchism, I would only be mildly surprised if sometime in my lifetime one of the Commonwealth Realms decides they want to stay a monarchy but don't want the doofuses over the sea in Britain, and ask if they can have Meghan and Harry start a cadet branch.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 6-18 8:43 AM
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188:
Have you seen this?
https://www.spailpin.com/en/t-shirts/adults-unisex-t-shirts/che-guevara-che-mo-laoch-t-shirt-detail
And of course while the song referred to in its current form was rearranged in the 1970s, the words are from an (Irish) 18C Jacobite poem lamenting Bonnie Prince Charlie.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06- 7-18 4:59 AM
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