- Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes and sparks panic – I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THESE MOTHERF$CK!N
SNAKESALLIGATORS ON THIS MOTHERF$CK!N PLANE! Doesn’t have the same ring, does it?
- Dallas Exhibit Gives Look at Bush Archives – includes this rubbing-it-in graph: “A new exhibit will give the public its first glimpse into the archives of former President George W. Bush, including the bullhorn Bush used when he visited ground zero days after Sept. 11 and the pistol taken from Saddam Hussein when he was captured.“
- Rent Is Too Damn High Candidate Doesn’t Pay Rent – Of course not, it’s TOO DAMN HIGH! At least he is giving maintenance work in exchange for living space. Both he and the landlord are probably getting a better deal out of it than if they dealt in paper dollars.
- Water on the Moon: a Billion Gallons – what’s next, a penal colony? (autoplay warning)
Finally, an environment where ACU blends in!
ALWAYS keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Apparently, the 1960s Secret Service had a severe problem with this rule. If Bonar Menninger’s theory is correct (JFK was shot first by Oswald intentionally, then by a Secret Service agent accidentally), then this story illustrates why the first rule is the most important, followed by rule #2 (keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target). A telling excerpt:
The new president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had just rounded the corner, and Blaine had the gun pointed directly at the man’s chest. In the blackness of the night, Johnson’s face went completely white.
A split second later, Blaine would have pulled the trigger …
He broke both rules right there. Remember, they are not suggestions.
Saw this on the downtown mall the other day:
The sign references Matthew 23:14, which in the King James says this:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
The New American Standard (my preferred translation) uses “condemnation” instead of damnation, and has a footnote that says “This v[erse] not found in early m[anu]s[cript]s”.
Now, ignoring the liberality he’s taking with the English language (a scribe back then was not necessarily the same as a lawyer today, but that’s another topic) note the ellipses on the sign. The first one is unnecessary, as the scripture has no words he left out between “receive a” and “greater damnation”. The second is likewise unnecessary, as the verse ends with “damnation”, so the ellipses are taking the place of no text. So why put them in?
What he’s omitting is context. Jesus was delivering His Sermon on the Mount, which aside from being a life’s study in and of itself, delivers a fine point on hypocrisy in the verse in question. It’s not that lawyers or scribes are damned by default because of their occupation, it is what they are doing that damns them. They rob widows and give a public appearance of piety, expecting righteousness but receiving condemnation. The problems here are (1) oppressing the poor, compounded by (2) false piety. A lawyer that defended the poor would presumably not be more greatly damned.
Which brings us to the Wall Street Journal editorial today. It’s subscriber-only, but read through the comments and you’ll get the general idea: the editorial board came out in favor of the banks who are foreclosing on delinquent homeowners (and in some cases, people who were not late and at least one who had no mortgage on the house at all) despite what amounts to fraudulent (read: perjured) court filings. They wrote of how it is a good thing the Obama hasn’t created a foreclosure moratorium, as that would be bad for the banks who didn’t do anything except try to collect the surety on delinquent debts.
Umm, no, sorry guys. The banks perjured themselves (a felony) when the filed court documents that were fraudulent – documents where the signer swore they had reviewed them, even though they had materially not done so. It is impossible to review a foreclosure document when you’re signing 8000 a day. That amounts to 7.2 seconds per document if you put in a 16-hour workday. Less if you take a lunch break. The news today that B of A has restarted 102,000 halted foreclosures is merely admission of 102,000 felonies. “Audacity, audacity, always audacity.” as General Patton would say.
The Journal is defending those who drive the poor out of their houses and claim innocence in the public sphere. No one is denying that these people failed to pay their mortgages. But the banks failed to follow the laws, both of foreclosure proceedings and document recordings. They are trying to collect on debts whose paperwork they destroyed. They are the ones responsible for eliminating the chain of custody for the note attached to the mortgage. Without that, they cannot collect (at least, if the judge follows the law they can’t). What is needed is a Resolution Trust Corporation.
Put the title owners monthly payments into an escrow account held by a third, unrelated party. Put the (alleged) mortgage owners on the hook for producing the complete documentation for the note, lacking nothing, no ifs, ands, or buts. If the title owner doesn’t pay, establish a lien against the property. If the mortgage owner can’t show the note, they can’t foreclose, and the debt is dissolved. This does a number of things.
First, it gives everyone a reason to stay engaged in the matter until it is resolved. Everyone involved has a stake in finding clarity; the homeowner wants the funds back or applied to the mortgage, the bank wants the house seized if there’s no payment or cleared off it’s books if they can’t, and the county (where the property taxes are collected) wants the house eventually sold, which can only happen with a clean title.
Second, it puts forth clear penalties for failure to comply and clear rewards for compliance.
Third, and most important going forward, it clears titles for future sale. Without a clear chain of custody for the title no one will buy a property, fearing a future lawsuit. Even if a title chain is complete, liens that are called into question will hamper property sales for years. The RTC process provides a way for the liens that are questionable to be worked out of the system, while preserving clean mortgages.
The WSJ has praised Obama for doing nothing. What he should be doing is calling Congress back into session to draft an RTC bill. If the WSJ paid attention to the poor instead of banksters who are trying to play fast and loose with the law to cover their own laziness, they would see the good an RTC would bring. Unfortunately, I see neither the WSJ or Obama doing either of those things.
My initial prediction for the 2010 elections:
- Republicans will take the House
- Democrats will keep a bare majority in the Senate
- Some key races will be surprises (more on this later)
- The best we will be able to hope for is absolute gridlock. No positive movement will be made.
- Because of this, both parties will claim you need them more than ever.
- Two years from now, no one will remember that this year is analogous to 2005/2006, and we’ll end up doing this crazy merry-go-round all over again.
I bought a new rifle yesterday, a CVA Wolf .50 caliber muzzleloading rifle. Why do I need a new rifle?
It is never about need, although I would need one to hunt in muzzleloading season. It is about want. Firearms ownership is a fundamental right, not subject to justification unless one is a violent offender of the rights of others.
Besides, in the day of self-loading 30 shot repeaters, it does a rifleman good to slow down his rate of fire to 2-3 shots per minute. And it gives me two extra weeks of hunting time. So there.
Take a look at this chart of Bank of America’s stock price, year to date until yesterday:
(chart courtesy of Stockcharts.com)
Note the volume sell spikes (red bars in underlying bar graph) in January,April, May, July, and October. Each corresponded to a major drop in the stock price that set a new local low or defined an inflection point in the graph. Some of the drops (January, May, and July) were followed by recoveries, but these did not return to the previous close and were followed by new lows being set (January’s low was followed by a new low in February, May preceded the new lows set in late May and early June, and July was followed by a new low in the last days of August). Now we see a new low in October coupled to a massive volume for the day. This can not be considered good by any stretch. Note also that the slopes of the 50, 100, and 200 day moving averages are all negative, which means that the situation is bad and getting worse.
Now, skeptics will point out that you can’t judge the future by the past, and you can’t assume that this is not a bottom for this stock. True. However, you can’t say that this time it is different just because it matches the pattern we’ve seen before. Without major changes in the day to day operations of the company or the state of the economy, we have no reason to believe that B of A will not plumb new lows before the end of the year.
Look at it another way: banks are allowed to mark unsellable assets at whatever market price they want, which is known as “mark-to-model bookkeeping” in the banking industry, and “fraud” everywhere else. The stock has dropped approximately 41% since it’s high back in April. The company has halted the foreclosure process on all its defaulting mortgage accounts in the country. It cannot account for or establish a chain of title for (dare I say any of?) the properties it is taking payment for. Would you consider investing in a company that fabricates accounting entries or fails to account for its holdings legally?
Neither would I.
Who knew? Glad to see she’s free of it though.
The foreclosure mess: no one wants to have anything to do with it, and with good reason. To be a borrower that stopped paying is to be shunned by society for not keeping your word (though that’s an overgeneralization). To be an investor means you are either took it in the shorts when the house collapsed in price and you couldn’t sell it, or you took it in the shorts when your Mortgage Backed Securities blowed up real good. But to be a banker that screwed up the paperwork, well…
That’s just a wee tiny little miniscule bit worse. Like “malicious fraud” worse. The kind of “malicious fraud” that, in a just society, ends with someone wearing pink underwear, orange overalls, and chromed bracelets.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for that, though. Instead, do something productive, like learning what the whole mess is about. Go to Market Ticker and just start reading. In short, it isn’t about foreclosing on properties that didn’t need foreclosure (though that has happened as well), nor is it about foreclosing on houses while the paperwork is incomplete (also illegal, though that has happened as well). It is about deceiving buyers into thinking they could afford the payments, dispensing with the legally necessary paperwork in the name of “efficiency”, combining the notes and selling shares in the resulting security, and quoting Han Solo (“It’s not my fault!”) when the original purchasers you deceived failed to make the payments on the balloon loans you sold them.
Oh, and because you dispensed with all that paperwork to save time and money, you may no longer legally be able to foreclose to recover some of your losses. But don’t worry, the politicians will let you fleece us in the middle class to bail you out. And as a bonus, those of us who kept up on their payments (like me) and even did the responsible thing in refinancing to get a lower payment (like me) aren’t going to be able to sell their house in the future because you went off and F$CK3D UP THE TITLE CHAIN, AND I CAN’T GET A CLEAR CHAIN OF TITLE YOU LITTLE [redacted]. So I’m stuck with the house, possibly permanently.
Why does the word “jackass” suddenly come to mind?
Just remember: if the law does not protect us from their predations, morally it does not protect them from our retributions. That door swings both ways, which is the way of things in a state of nature where there is no law. A place where I definitely don’t want to go, and I hope you don’t either.
There were 3 rebellions in the United States after the end of the Revolution – Shays’ Rebellion, The Whiskey Rebellion, and Fries’ Rebellion. William Hogeland writes and admirably readable (and listenable) popular history of the one not named after a person.
After the Constitution was adopted, Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury, wanted to build the credit of the United States. He chose to do so through a bill that would, among other things, assume the war debts of the states and tax people and products for payment. He got in a big shouting match with Washington’s Secretary of State (Thomas Jefferson) and the two went back and forth quite a bit on the subject. In the end, Hamilton won out.
One of the products taxed was whiskey, and Hamilton’s scheme involved local regulators prowling the countryside, looking for stills. When they found one, they demanded to see the license and tax documents. If they didn’t have them, he would demand payment, which was gauged based on the capacity of the still, quality of the liquor, and other various measures. It ended up affecting small back-country distillers more than big city/high volume distillers, and anger stirred.
The people of the countryside around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in particular did not care for the situation, and performed what should rightfully be described as one of the first post-Constitution secession attempts. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the Steelers, they ended up losing. Hogeland tells a wonderful story of how that all happened.
Alexander Hamilton comes off, rightfully so, as the counterrevolutionary villian, intent on his ambitious plan to build an American Empire that would rival Britain. His nature appears tyrannical, eager, and vain. Other characters, including Herman Husband, a leader in the rebellion, appear as a well-meaning but clearly flawed actors in the story, setting out with good intentions but failing in the heat and pressure of violent action against oppression. One reads of tar-&-featherings and house & farm burnings by the rebels, intimidation and abuses of power by the authorities, and a particular tendency towards collectivism on both sides of the debate.
Hogeland paints a clear picture of an American cautionary tale. While talk of revolution, peaceful or otherwise, is bandied about in today’s society, it would behoove you to pick up this volume and read it through, learning the lessons of a previous revolutionary attempt. One lesson I’ve taken away is that tyrants tend to come out on top, even if the intentions of their resisters are good.