Insert Cock Joke Here

In the same week that the city of Los Angeles criminalized home remodeling over a certain size, dreary Councilwoman Janice Hahn is trying to see to it that homeowners only get one cock per walk:

Under her proposal, residents would need a permit to keep one rooster, and people who wanted to keep up to three would need to seek special permission from the city.

Speaking of "affordable housing" illiteracy, this L.A. Times story on Washington's latest subprime bailout bill contains a gem of a quote from Republican Congressperson Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida:

No one wins when a house in the neighborhood is foreclosed. Absolutely no one, because it brings down the value of those properties.

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  • ||

    I'm not touching this one with a ten inch rod.

  • ||

    Two words: Dick Cheney.

  • ||

    I was gonna make a joke but this deals with cock fighting and that's cruel.

    BTW, I advocate the libertarian principle that one should be able to do whatever one desires as long as it doesn't involve force or fraud against other folks, with the exception that I would male cruelty to animals illegal.

  • ||

    No one wins when a house in the neighborhood is foreclosed. Absolutely no one, because it brings down the value of those properties.



    She's right on the smaller point. Saw an article awhile ago about neighborhoods with multiple housing foreclosures in a suburb of Cleveland where the houses rapidly became unsellable because scavengers ripped all of the plumbing out of the walls to sell the copper. The banks couldn't afford to repair or even bulldoze and clear what remained, the property values for everyone else plummeted, and crime shot up because squatters moved in and the cops couldn't or wouldn't do anything.

    Problem with the bailout solution is, while the bailout might help the people in that particular neighborhood, it makes things worse for everyone else. And that's not acceptable.

  • ||

    Hmm, I'm already starting a garden this year. Maybe a chicken roost with a cock would be the ticket I need for my eggs and poultry as well. Thank you Los Angeles for the fine idea.

    Also, a small investment in razor blades could pay off once the cock is "past his prime".

  • ||

    with the exception that I would male cruelty to animals illegal

    So, you would force everyone to be vegetarians, since presumably killing animals in a slaughterhouse is cruel?

    Would it be OK if it was "female cruelty", since you specified "male cruelty"?

  • ||

    No one wins when a house in the neighborhood is foreclosed. Absolutely no one, because it brings down the value of those properties.

    The people buying the foreclosed property are better off. The people whose property taxes go down because of the price drop who aren't planning to sell soon are better off.

  • ||

    justify my advocacy of the proscription of the deliberate and unnecessary cruelty to animals cruelty to cuz of their biological kinship to us.

    So would I protect the libertarian rights of space aliens against force or fraud too? For sure.

  • ||

    Shoulda been: "I justify..."

  • Ben||

    COCKS PENIS

  • ||

    prolefeed,

    The people whose property taxes go down because of the price drop who aren't planning to sell soon are better off.



    Assuming that the local government recognizes the drop in property values on their annual valuations...otherwise you have to hire an appraiser and appeal it (with no guarantee that it will change anything). You're correct that the people buying on foreclosure will benefit, but that's also assuming that the bank can a) find a buyer and b) do so before the property gets scavenged.

  • ||

    F**k! Ok, here it is right. Sorry. I'll step away from the keyboard now.

    I justify my advocacy of the proscription of the deliberate and unnecessary cruelty to animals cuz of their biological kinship to us.

    So would I protect the libertarian rights of space aliens against force or fraud too? For sure.

  • ||

    She's right on the smaller point. Saw an article awhile ago about neighborhoods with multiple housing foreclosures in a suburb of Cleveland where the houses rapidly became unsellable because scavengers ripped all of the plumbing out of the walls to sell the copper. The banks couldn't afford to repair or even bulldoze and clear what remained, the property values for everyone else plummeted, and crime shot up because squatters moved in and the cops couldn't or wouldn't do anything.

    If this result is common enough to justify a bailout, is it too much to ask that it be financed by a temporary raise in property taxes?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Speaking of cocks, Peacocks are louder than roosters, which are illegal in most cities for the same reason that loud parties are. It's also the same reason why we have mufflers on the politically incorrect SUV instead of open headers.

    I'm not sure that keeping roosters should be illegal, but the guy around the hill from me has dozens, and when I walk around the mountain in the morning, Dude, they are loud. And technically, I think he's only allowed three.

    And don't get me started on those jack ass neighbors down the hill. No, literally, you haven't lived until you've been rousted by a braying jack ass at 4:30 in the morning.

    Think: Dying screaming rabbit in a coyote's jaws amplified through Megadeth's sound system.

    I'll take any of that over ten minutes of uncorked expansion chambered dirt bikes.

    Su-ZOOOO-kee kee kee kee kee

  • ||

    In the affected areas, I forgot to say.

    OTOH, I realize this sounds a lot like raising taxes in economically depressed areas, which is a no-no.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Meant to mention that a one-size cock ban in LA doesn't really makes sense anyway. I'm pretty sure that the city still has a lot of rural land where people own horses and cows. Or is the Valley completely paved these days.

  • Matt Welch||

    Echo Park, close to downtown, is still full of chickens & other critters. And the Valley still has several horse-zoned areas.

  • ||

    Juan,

    If this result is common enough to justify a bailout, is it too much to ask that it be financed by a temporary raise in property taxes?



    Although I sympathize with responsible people who are affected by this, I don't think it deserves a bailout, even if it were a lot more common. So that's also a no on raising property taxes...long-term the market will adjust to what's happening if we leave it alone.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Thanks, Matt.

    Echo Park is cool. I bet there's still a lot of chickens in East LA as well. I don't think chickens are generally illegal.

    No one wins when a house in the neighborhood is foreclosed. Absolutely no one, because it brings down the value of those properties.

    I think it's the other way around, the property values decline and the economic incentive to keep making payments goes away for people who are in over their head (upside down is the technical term). So, they walk.

    Also depends on the neighborhood. Lots of people in the neighborhood where my kids go to school have lost their homes. But it is a nice area and investors are snapping up the re-po's before they are even listed for sale.

  • ||

    Wine Commonsewer,

    Good point...although that also depends on the market you're in too. If you're talking about someplace people always want to move to (like California) then long-term the foreclosures won't be as much of an issue. If you're up in the Rust Belt, though, things aren't quite so rosy.

  • tarran||

    UCrawford,

    I must respectfully disagree on the banks being unable to profitably repair a property.

    A bulldozer only costs a few thousand dollars. Constructing a new house costs about $60,000, and there are plenty of contractors whoe are looking for work.

    By not developing the properties, the banks are walking away from money. I strongly suspect that something else is in the way. In the case of the rust belt probably onerous regulations that make it nigh impossible to build new houses.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    tend to agree Tarran, but, it does seem that banks, who are not in the housing business but are in the loan business, don't seem to take very good care of the repossessed housing stock.

    UC, even in the Ca there are areas that are in bad shape, not what you describe, but certainly there are places where there are so many repossessions that it has depressed the resale market. But, to where? To a balancing point?

    TWC

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Except Amboy , that is. Where the entire town was sold to the Juan Pollo guy for $425,000.00.

    TWC

  • peta||

    Animal testing and research is unnecessary, hunting and fishing is unnecessary, zoos and circuses are unnecessary, meat eating is unnecessary, pet ownership is unnecessary.

    Any animal exploitation is cruel and unecessary.

  • ||

    There is a difference between declining prices and declining values. Declining prices benefit buyers at the expense of sellers. Declining values don't provide much benefit to anyone. The congresswomen is arguably correct that foreclosures destroy value because it leads to neglect and empty neighborhoods.

    It's still stupid legislation, but her comment is defensible.

  • ktc2||

    Eat me PETA.

    The other PETA (People for Eating Tasty Animals) I like.

  • ||

    Foreclosures are a real problem, but I'd like to see it addressed at a more localized level. Get people on the block or the neighborhood to pitch in to buy these places; with costs spread out enough, it should be doable, and the important thing is that ownership is kept local, so you don't end up with out of town investors scooping it up at the firesale prices.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I'm still waiting for SIV to weigh in on cocks.

  • ||

    There is a difference between declining prices and declining values.

    Interesting. While I suppose that is technically correct, it's a bit disingenuous at best. There is a direct causal relationship between the falling values and the falling prices.

    Also, I don't think that's what she meant.

  • ||

    tarran,

    By not developing the properties, the banks are walking away from money. I strongly suspect that something else is in the way. In the case of the rust belt probably onerous regulations that make it nigh impossible to build new houses.



    That's pretty much what I was getting at (along with the declining industrial sector in that region). You're completely right, and I should have mentioned that. The suburb of Cleveland I referenced earlier had so many regulations on land use and cleanup requirements that once the houses got scavenged it wasn't feasible for the banks to fix them because repairs were apparently impossible with that level of damage there was no way they were going to turn a profit after clearing the land (which they had to do to government's satisfaction first) and then rebuilding. An argument could be made that the banks should have protected their property with private security to stop vandalism, and I'm not really sure why they didn't, but being as I work in that area a little I also know that not all banks have the resources to provide that kind of protection for property they hold. That's another reason why banks actually don't want to foreclose if it's avoidable...property is often a huge liability for them, not an asset.

    Of course, just to be clear, I wasn't taking the position that there should be a bailout (I think you know me well enough to know I'm pretty much never going to take that position)...I was just agreeing with the Congresswoman on a very select bit of what she was saying about massive foreclosures being bad for a lot of people. FXKLM's comment stated what I was trying to say pretty well. And I think dead_elvis' proposal is much more viable than bailout legislation.

  • ||

    TWC,

    even in the Ca there are areas that are in bad shape, not what you describe, but certainly there are places where there are so many repossessions that it has depressed the resale market. But, to where? To a balancing point?



    To be honest, I'm not really sure. The standard free market argument is probably that once property values get depressed enough, then gentrification will occur, the area will be rebuilt and values will rise again. Unfortunately, as tarran noted, government regulations interfere with that in a lot of areas so sometimes when prices decline significantly they won't rebound and the people who stay just get the shaft permanently (like the people unfortunate enough to live in the State Fair area of Detroit).

    http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/4797

    The solution, of course, is to get rid of the regulations that prevent people from making profitable use of their land, but unfortunately that would entail convincing city politicians to give up power and trust in the people to fix their own problems, and we all know how well that usually goes...

  • ||

    Und ze name "Hahn" means "cock" or "rooster" in Churman. Ha! Very funny!

  • iratereader||

    This publication has gone down considerably since I began to subscribe 15 years ago. At one time it was one of the best in its field with many timely articles, a great deal of wit and an unparalleled air of quality that was the envy of all similar journals. I blame this on recent changes in the editorial staff where editors have been brought in who are clearly not knowledgeable of the subject matter. Also the website content is quite weak. For a magazine that calls its self, Dick Lovin' Bi-Babes there is hardly any porn content on your internet site at all! And that spread on page 36 of the most recent issue, you can't tell me that that lady with the six rings in her bottom lip would actually go for heterosexual sex with the potential equipment malfunctions that would likely occur if she ever did. No truth in advertising! So, go ahead and cancel my subscription.

  • jtuf||

    Getting council members to relax zoning laws so that builders can make affordable house is a big challenge. The most middle class voter see the lack of poor people in their neighborhoods as evidence that restrictive building codes eliminate poverty. They also believe that expensive homes are a source of wealth, because they have seen housing prices rise for several decades. Confronting that belief might be the key to changing their mind set. For example, my home is mostly and end product. The kitchen helps in producing meals, the garden produces flowers, and the den has a computer I do work on, but the other 90% of my home just contributes to personal comfort. Even though homes are important end products, they have minimal potential for creating wealth. That means all those zoning laws don't affect wealth creation. They just agglomerate wealth.

  • tarran||

    Being a former Garfield Heights resident, I can assure you, from personal experience, that Cleveland has a pretty intrusive city government. It's almost like they want to be like Detroit.

    It's sad; east Cleveland used to be known as millionaire's row. Now it's a dump.

  • Jennifer||

    They also believe that expensive homes are a source of wealth, because they have seen housing prices rise for several decades. Confronting that belief might be the key to changing their mind set.

    I see a similar mindset in my own home, a small and relatively poor city in a mostly rich state, thus giving my city a poor-cousin inferiority complex. So the council keeps making zoning codes more and more restrictive, driving out businesses like job-lot outlets and discount-food stores that cater to a poor clientele. The idea is that you can eliminate poverty by outlawing the businesses that sell to the poor.

    There's an idea: let's wipe out our economic problems by changing zoning codes so that every new business which opens in town must be either a Ferrari dealership or a Neiman-Marcus.

  • ||

    An argument could be made that the banks should have protected their property with private security to stop vandalism,

    An even better argument could be made that the fucking cops should have done their fucking jobs.

    Banks pay taxes, after all; they had already paid for the security for their property.

  • Vroom Vroom||

    An even better argument could be made that the fucking cops should have done their fucking jobs.

    And take precious resources away from fighting the pot/meth/satvia/cheese/etc epidemic?

  • Mad Max||

    The LA city government thinks that if it regulates its chickens strictly enough, they won't come home to roost.

  • robc||

    Vroom Vroom,

    And take precious resources away from fighting the pot/meth/satvia/cheese/etc epidemic?

    You left out bacon dogs.

  • ||

    tarran: I thought "Millionaire's Row" was only a reference to the University Circle neighborhood... granted, most of those homes don't exist anymore anyway (mainly due to estates dying off or fires), but yeah... the only real prosperity to speak of in that area would be CWRU and University Hospitals.

    As for Congresscritter Brown-Waite's remark, I doubt it's the act of foreclosure that lowers the property values, but the act of the house remaining shuttered up and derelict for months on end... wonder if there's some sort of a way to incentivize an accelerated sell-off or demolition of foreclosed properties, as that would accomplish the same thing for property values without the expensive buyout option. After all, it's not one person's economic misfortune that lowers property values, it's the perception of blight...

  • ||

    prolefeed had it correct.

    The Congresswoman was foolish because she claimed that no one benefits.

    Falling home prices lowers home prices, which benefits people who don't own a home and want to buy one. It creates _more_ "affordable housing."

    Now, that doesn't mean that falling home prices is a good thing on the whole. Or
    that government intervention to prevent foreclosures is a bad idea. Those who pointed
    out that foreclosures cause problems are correct. Whether having the government do
    anything about it, is another question.

    It is just, "no one benefits" from falling home
    prices is foolish.

  • ||

    An even better argument could be made that the fucking cops should have done their fucking jobs.

    If I may expand on that oh so valid point. Here in Detroit, (Cleveland, you wish you were like Detroit), when houses get scavenged the neighbors know about it. When squatters move in to an abando, the neighbors know about it. Too often in poorer neighborhoods, two mindsets work in conjunction to keep the neighbors from getting involved.

    1) It's not my property. No skin of of my nose. Fuck those rich MoFos at the bank. It's shortsighted thinking but that is an all too common trait among H. sapiens.

    2) The police are not perceived as agents of justice, but instead viewed as the enemy. See ~600 Balko posts for the reason this attitude exists.

    Ten houses get foreclosed on in a nice neighborhood and none of this property rape happens. The neighbors will not stand for it and the police respond rapidly to complaints.

    UCrawford - I've noticed nature reclaiming vast swathes of Detroit myself. We have wild foxes, pheasants, waterfowl, raccoons, opossumns, and even birds of prey living inside of the city limtis. I havent seen any, but I've heard credible reports of coyotes as well. When you consider that > 1 million people have left the city, nature reclaiming sections of it is not too surprising. I think it's kind of cool in a way. Left alone, vacant property in SE Michigan rapidly (20 years, max) reverts to forest.

  • ||

    wonder if there's some sort of a way to incentivize an accelerated sell-off

    A good first step would be for the government to stop telling people (on both sides of the transaction) they will be "rescued" from any adverse consequences of their errors.

  • ||

    "....pet ownership is unnecessary."

    My cat is getting a kick out of PETA's comment.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    When you consider that > 1 million people have left the city, nature reclaiming sections of it is not too surprising. I think it's kind of cool in a way. Left alone, vacant property in SE Michigan rapidly (20 years, max) reverts to forest.



    It's not so cool if you're one of the homeowners stuck there, surrounded by decaying buildings while you're trying to build equity in your house. 20 years waiting for it to become scenic rural countryside is a long time to hope your investment works out. Of course, once it's back to nature some enterprising developer will eventually be able to do something with the land (assuming that the city regs let him) and whoever is left standing may be able to get a nice deal out of...maybe buy up some surrounding land really cheap and make themselves a nice little estate :)

  • ||

    I'm living in a house that was on the verge of foreclosure. The first time I viewed the place when it went on the market, I was in and out in less than 5 minutes, told my wife "Nice house, too expensive. Next!" Ended up buying it for about 2/3 of the price it originally was listed for. So, yes, some buyers benefit from foreclosed or nearly so houses.

    If you have decaying, abandoned housing with no buyers snapping it up, generally it's one of the two following scenarios:

    (rare) You have a former boomtown based on resource extraction that is dying a natural death

    (way too common) You have a government that has screwed up the local economy, and has magnified the death spiral with legislative "fixes" that make things worse (see Michigan, Detroit), and which would recover if the local government would cease and desist with their "helping"

  • ||

    It's not so cool if you're one of the homeowners stuck there, surrounded by decaying buildings while you're trying to build equity in your house.

    True. It's also not cool that 8 of 9 city council members and the mayor got re-elected the last election. (the one who didn't, Lonnie Bates is being (has been?) prosecuted by the feds for corruption. He was replaced by Martha Reeves without the Vandellas. So, should the good folks in Farmington Hills, MI and Seattle, WA come to the rescue?

  • ||

    UCrawford | May 10, 2008, 2:43pm | #
    It's not so cool if you're one of the homeowners stuck there, surrounded by decaying buildings while you're trying to build equity in your house. 20 years waiting for it to become scenic rural countryside is a long time to hope your investment works out.


    A house should never be viewed as a short term investment. Indeed, if it is your primary residence, it shouldn't be viewed as an investment at all. 20 years is short in the lifespan of a house and if you are using your property as an investment vehicle you can't expect quick returns, the last 5 years not withstanding. A house is a place to live, not a retirement fund so don't treat it as such.

  • ||

    An argument could be made that the banks should have protected their property with private security to stop vandalism, and I'm not really sure why they didn't...


    I have noticed that banks view repossessed property (houses, cars, etc) with a very short term view.
    Case in point was a middle unit townhouse across the street from mine that was foreclosed upon. The bank took possession of it and promptly shut down all services to the unit(Gas and Electricity).
    The bank, being located in California, failed to contemplate the actions of turning off heat to a building in Alaska in December, particularly when the water was provided by a common well (service of which they failed to disconnect). Probably two weeks after the shut-off we had a bitter cold snap (-15F for a week). Pipes froze and now the bank is saddled with a unit that needs repair PLUS the repair of the units to either side.

  • Jennifer||

    Pipes froze and now the bank is saddled with a unit that needs repair PLUS the repair of the units to either side.

    What idiots. I'm surprised they don't wind up being forced to pay penalties as well. In every apartment I've ever lived in, keeping the heat and electricity on were mandated by the lease, almost certainly to avoid problems like this. (And every apartment I've ever looked at thinking to live there, the heat and electricity were on in the landlord's name while the place was vacant.) I'd imagine condo complexes have similar obligations for its tenants.

  • ||

    prolefeed,

    I'm in complete agreement with you.

    J sub D,

    So, should the good folks in Farmington Hills, MI and Seattle, WA come to the rescue?



    If you're asking if they should be forced to come to the rescue (via a bailout), then no...if they do it of their own accord, I've got no problem with it.

    Kwix,

    I actually work for a financial company where I manange real estate assets for clients (farms, houses, commercial, etc.). Generally, once the client dies and the property is placed into trust we try to sell the property as soon as is reasonable because it becomes a major liability for us and only in a few circumstances is the money we pour into it for upkeep worth it for the utility our client or their trust receives. Unless there's a lot of income coming in from the property, it's better to sell and let someone interested in developing the property deal with it...banks (especially smaller ones) don't always have the resources at their disposal to manage non-income producing property in a manner that works in their clients' best interests. So I can kind of understand why the Cleveland banks are having problems managing their foreclosed properties if they have a lot of them.

  • Jennifer||

    banks (especially smaller ones) don't always have the resources at their disposal to manage non-income producing property in a manner that works in their clients' best interests.

    Especially not when the banks burned through whatever resources they had offering mortgage loans to people who couldn't possibly pay them back. If I loan $250,000 with no down payment to a guy whose annual pretax salary is one-tenth that, it doesn't take a math genius to figure out I'll probably never see that money again.

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    I completely agree with you My comment was meant to refer to all properties, though, not just foreclosures. To a developer or a homeowner, property is an investment...to a bank acting as caretaker, it's often a liability.

    But the banks were being stupid to throw around their money so easily. And the government's being stupid if they think a bailout is a good idea.

  • ||

    It's sad great; east Cleveland used to be known as millionaire's snob row. Now it's a dump affordable housing.

  • Untermensch||

    And don't get me started on those jack ass neighbors down the hill. No, literally, you haven't lived until you've been rousted by a braying jack ass at 4:30 in the morning.



    Slow that sound down enough and you get the scream of the Nazgul from the Lord of the Rings movie. Seriously, they made it by processing a donkey's bray.

  • The Odd Couple||

    McCain / Welch 2008

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