Thursday, May 25, 2006


This is a nation of immigrants. Millions upon millions of them and their families sought a better life and opportunities here.

They came. They followed the rules. Rules that required: a job, regular notification to the government where they were; no access to government welfare/benefits; in many cases, sponsorship. They worked very hard. They did their adopted country and families proud.

They are watching millions cheat their way in and their politicians helping them.

and are they pissed.....

Get it?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

No to Incumbents

I have started a new website called No To Incumbents. After listening to some of the proclamations coming out of Washington on illegal immigration and high gas prices, it is no longer a one issue problem. Congress has collectively lost it's mind. Republicans thought $100 check from the government was a good idea to combat higher gas prices and Democrats said that ILLEGAL immigrants were not criminals.

Good people whom I respect have told me that they can not vote for people in the opposition party, despite overwhelming disgust with their current representatives because the opposition is just on the wrong side of core issues. Their choice of voting for someone they disrespect and find personally offensive or voting for someone with opposing core beliefs leaves them holding their nose but voting for their incumbent. Or, as almost 60% of the population does in most elections, staying home. People would rather NOT vote than vote for the lesser of two evils, having gotten tired of the lesser evil.

This has had a perverse effect on our system. First, people of high caliber will not stand against an incumbent that can raise millions in support of their re-election. Second, challengers have to take increasingly shrill positions just to get some traction. Challengers that campaign on the basis that they hold the same core beliefs but would vote different on one or two issues leave voters saying, why bother changing? We end up with opposition candidates that look like the worst caricature an incumbent can dream up.

Those of us that want to vote out every incumbent must make the case that voting out the incumbent, voting for the challenger, is in the best interest of all of us.

So, how do we make the case? Parts of this country have re-elected someone caught on tape buying and using illegal drugs and others have voted for a dead man, who won. It is obvious that rational people are either not voting, or are acting very irrationally in the voting booth.

Can you accept the argument that having a challenger that is unacceptable win, encourages a stronger challenger the next time around? Can you accept the argument that any potential damage that might be done to your deeply held beliefs by a challenger while in elected office can be undone?

Even if you did, can you have sufficient faith that while you are voting out your party's incumbent in your district, your fellow citizens are voting out their party's incumbent in their district? Part of the problem is that while all 435 congressmen are standing for re-election and therefore we could have 435 freshmen congressmen, only 32 senators are standing for re-election...68 of them will be returning next year.

I don't think any argument we make will convince you. You have to make a choice. If you accept the premise that your single vote counts, they you must accept the premise that your one vote for a challenger, no matter how unpleasant the option, will help change our current dilemma.

Saying no to incumbents takes a commitment. A willingness to accept the consequences of wiping the slate clean. Someone once said that a democracy would degenerate into a welfare state as people voted for those that could be counted on to handout government favors and those paying for them became a minority. So it has become. Churchill said democracy was the worst form of government, except for all other forms. Corruption, even the most minor of infractions, is normal behavior by our elected officials. It is a learned survival trait. The longer in office, the more ingrained it becomes.

We need to hit the reset button.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hey, it's only 10%...

If this description fits you, you are in deep trouble:

Homebuyer in the last 5 years; have 2 or more credit cards; shop at Walmart

The FDIC has a very bleak outlook for you. According to the report, you are facing a liquidity squeeze. Rising credit card payments, higher gas prices, higher interest rates on equity refinancing are all forcing you to reduce spending....and that means, for just 10% of you, a recession in 2006-2007.

The report is concerned with the very large percentage of current mortgages tha are sub-prime AND have taken a significant bite out of home equity.

(Note: they are clear that up until 2005, equity was growing faster than refinancing was taking it out primarily because of the hot housing price market, an event 'heading for a soft landing' is how I have heard it portrayed this past week. However, it looks like that sequence has stopped and 2006 will be the first year that equity refinancing will exceed both equity growth AND personal income growth.)

As noted here, foreclosure rates are soaring: 72% increase nationwide over last year.

Last year over 2 million families filed bankruptcy. This year, it is expected that over a 1.2 million families will face foreclosure. These numbers represent less less than 1/2% of our families, so why do I feel nervous?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Foreclosures - A WARNING

When credit card companies and banks complained that more than a million people were filing bankruptcy and that was costing them a lot of money, people defended THE BANKS AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES...and so did Congress with the passage of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005. Of course, there has been no rush to reduce interest rates by credit providers as suggested by some supporters there would be....

If Congress can protect credit card companies from a million bankruptcy filers, what will they do with a million foreclosures?

Irvine, Calif. April 25, 2006 RealtyTrac(, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its 2006 Q1 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which showed that 323,102 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure in the first quarter of 2006, a 38 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 72 percent year-over-year increase from the first quarter of 2005. The nation'’s quarterly foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 358 U.S. households was higher than in any quarter of last year.

Over 850,000 properties were forclosed on last year, a 38% increase would mean 1,173,000 foreclosures this year. However, the current increase is 72%, if that were to hold 1,462,000 properties would be foreclosed on by the end of the year.

The expectation from the report is over 1.2 million foreclosures. Gas prices might not be having much impact on driving, but the homeowner is getting squeezed.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The trouble with America is...

Many pundits have called the looney left, anti-American. I have always been a little uncomfortable (just a little) with that characterization because I believe many actually have a high regard for America, just not what it stands for...which is a little like supporting the troops but not the war. Anyway, after the recent spate of name calling I wondered what exactly was it that the left disliked. I think I have an answer.


The left does not like capitalism. Consider the evidence. There is a vocal movement opposing American 'globalization'. Most of us dismiss this out of hand because McDonald's wouldn't have a chance in France or anywhere else if people didn't actually BUY what they were selling. People around the world demand American goods and services, the marketplace provides them. There is no global conspiracy to put a Starbucks in every gulag or hamlet on the planet. There is I am sure a corporate conspiracy in Starbucks however to do just that! There is a cost however to having American corporations descend upon a foreign market, local companies get squeezed. Even here in this country, communities fight Wal-Mart on the basis that a Wal-Mart store will kill the small mom-pop places that line the quaint streets of their community. Capitalism has winners and losers. In the long run, for the greatest majority, capitalism is a net plus. For specific people, families, or businesses, capitalism can sink them. Adapt or die is a fundamental principle of capitalism.

Another piece of evidence. How many entertainment industry celebrities support anti-capitalism political positions? Many. How many SPORTS celebrities do so? I will state few but over the last 48 hours I have been unable to think of ONE! Why?

When Tiger Woods wins a tournament there is no denying the accomplishment. No one can say he won because he was politically connected, or he was well liked on tour, or that he won because the crowds wanted him to win. His scorecard clearly indicates the result of his efforts. Compared to equally fine golfers, on that particular four days, he was the best golfer.

When George Clooney works for 7 months on a film at a foreign location, putting in 15 hour days in terrible conditions and gives his honest best, the result can easily fail to make even a small ripple in the marketplace. His best efforts do not result in acclaim or material gain (other than the millions he makes as a fee). His best effort is ignored, counted as less than viable. Where is the fairness in the marketplace?

Liberals want to reward best efforts. Capitalism does not award honorable mentions. As long as capitalism is the system of economic activity that drives the United States, liberals and the looney left will continue to claim a fundamental unfairness in the system. They will seek to create programs and restraints that work to reduce the competitive outcomes inherent with capitalism.

Everything the left tries is tied to mitigating the effects of capitalism in our everyday lives. In schools: eliminating grading systems because it results in competitive winners and losers without considering effort. For most people such a situation is stupid on it's face. If Johnny can't read but he tries really hard, he CAN'T READ. Promotion or posturing that his effort is commendable ignores the result, he CAN'T READ. If anyone suggested that Phil Mickelson should get the same trophy and prize money as Tiger just because, despite coming in second, he tried really hard, they would be laughed off the course. How much more damaging is it to a child in the second grade that has mastered reading to find themselves promoted to third grade with someone else that can not read. What are we teaching them? Don't try so hard...promotion will happen anyway.

Even culture suffers competitive pressures. If democracy and capitalism succeed, then socialism fails. If France's economy continues to decline, if it's culture increasingly becomes irrelevant on the world stage, then can we say that France is being out-competed? Capitalism favors the strong and penalizes the weak. Liberals do not like that the weak suffer just because they are weak. It is fundamentally unfair. They want to claim that France's culture is just as important and relevant as American culture even if the obvious decline suggests the contrary.

It informs immigration as well. If someone comes here looking for a job, or to have a better life, why can't we just let them? Because they are cheating. No one expects Tiger to start on the second hole when everyone else has to start on the first. To the immigrants that came here legally, illegal immigration is a slap in the face. It is the third grader that works hard but finds his second grade friend on the same page despite failing.

To liberals, failure is part of what is wrong with our system of democracy and capitalism. It is the fundamental error of liberalism. Equal effort does not lead to equal outcome. Nor should it. As long as liberals continue to hold America and capitalism in low regard and joyfully assist other losers in cheating a system they see as flawed, we will be weaker than we should be and the Osama's of the world will continue to take advantage of that weakness.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006



Republican Congressmen that support ANYTHING but deportation for illegal immigrants because they might appear to be insensitive towards immigrants. Legal immigrants are disgusted that illegals are being treated with kid gloves and pandered to. Apparently, the only other group that is being coddled as much as illegal immigrants is convicted child-molesters.

Politicians that support a windfall-profits-tax as a response to high gas prices when for the last 20 years they have opposed virtually every attempt at increasing the level of production of fuel from domestic sources (which they have also opposed increasing).

The Left for failing to support this country and it's troops in a time of combat. That's right, failure to support the country and troops. Those troops are serving voluntarily and have been doing so in many cases by RE-ENLISTING. Those calling for the withdrawal are willing to let the people of other nations suffer under dictatorships. Don't bother bringing up any other country currently with a dictator unless you are SPECIFICALLY calling for us to commit troops and resources to their overthrow - which you are most emphatically NOT. If the passengers on United 93, faced with certain death, can do the right thing, then you in your comfortable homes and lives can either support the war on terror OR SHUT UP.

The ACLU for supporting the Westboro Baptist Church. The Phelps family leads the list of 'hate groups'.