Friday, October 26, 2007


How many of the attacks on the soldier Beauchamp, author of some hideous libel on fellow soldiers in Iraq, were a call for revenge upon him? Really?

Rep. Pete Stark jumped the entire shark pond by suggesting last week that soldiers getting their heads blown off in Iraq was for the amusement of the President. He apologized this week.

O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel called Stark a patriot for apologizing. And he has gotten a lot of shit for it.

Michael Yon has posted a story about Beauchamp you need to read - if you don't already read Michael regularly, you should. His reporting from Iraq is the best balanced reporting available.

Forgive and never forget...something I tend to practice. All that is required is an apology. Stark apologized. I wouldn't call him a patriot for doing what is right. Beauchamp has apparently apologized to his comrades if I might infer from what Michael reported.

Beauchamp can write stories from Iraq if he wants, no one should believe a word he writes. Stark can talk all he wants about Iraq, but not a word should be paid the least bit of attention to. But neither deserve our further attention. Like all small people with a stage, both have proved their inability to justify the attention. It is a wasted effort, as is all revenge.

Housing prices

To my friend Tom Blumer at Bizzyblog: Tom, the numbers, they be a lyin' to ya.

Friends are trying to sell their house, two doors up, one street over. The house next to them, same style, size, one year newer, but without landscaping, sold for 315k last summer. Our friends had their home on the market for 3 months at buyers, two lookers. They put it with a realtor, bumped the price up, had an open house, no one came. Two months with the broker, one showing. That house is only in the stats since going with the realtor, and the price they're asking represents a profit (not a big one) but it will not sell there, apparently.

A single example? Too close to the forest....maybe? But we do see people every week in trouble. Client bought house in 03. Lost job in late 06. Purchase: 157k On market for 165k, no buyers or lookers. Bankruptcy filing, trustee took house on condition (approved by court and mortgage lender that he would list it for NO MORE than 144k - he listed it for 147k). Owed 121k to lender. One offer, 120k, trustee countered at 135k, no deal. House is back in lenders hands.

Prices reported are for homes sold. The backlog represents a dangerous truth. Prices are going to continue down, alot, for a long time. And it is not because the market has been talked down, credit has dried up for the majority of people. Clients that recently lost their house had a $2500 a month mortgage payment, their GROSS income was 32k a year, and has been for at least 3 years? How did they get such a loan?

If your credit score is above 670, have a good payment history and at least 10, but preferrable 20% down, loans are available and rates are great. If your score is under 640, forget a loan unless you are putting down 30% or more. That is from a local broker. For the moment, subprime is dead, and that means a lot of people will not be able to buy, or refinance.

Something read: only a first time home buyer takes a home off the market. Otherwise, every buyer of a home, is selling a home.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm sorry, did I miss something?

Apparently, two banks from OTHER countries, have been authorized to borrow money from the United States Federal Reserve System. I realize we don't have a central bank like most countries, and that in general, the Fed is in fact private, however....

Just because those banks invested in our private individuals mortgages, does not mean our banking system needs to bail them out.....right??

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Can anyone that reads this blog please tell me why, when faced with signing a contract with 30 or more pages of fine print, the vast majority of people in Wisconsin won't even bother to have an attorney LOOK at it????

Oh, and why do Real Estate Agents NOT recommend an attorney for every single one of their clients buying and selling a home??

Monday, October 15, 2007

An independent voice..

I was one of many voices (though quite alone in this area) that suggested a loss for Republicans in the last election would not be a bad thing. I also suggested that Republicans could sit out the 2006 elections given the lack of quality Republican candidates running.

I have also clearly stated that I consider myself an independent, that I no longer considered myself Republican.

That said, it would be a mistake for anyone to believe that I think not voting in 2008 was a good idea, or that voting for a democrat was also a good idea.

The next President will nominate one or more supreme court justices. Time for Republicans to understand that with the exception of the GWOT, no other issue is as important for conservatives than the nomination of supreme court justices like Roberts and Alito.

I will be voting Republican in 2008 and so should every conservative.

On a similar note...

If America is the evil empire of the left, can they point to a non-evil empire that they want America to aspire to?


For most of my adult life I have tried to understand opposing viewpoints. Think about it. Reasonable people can come to different conclusions about various topics despite viewing the same information.

However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand the stupidity of the far left. It is clear they either refuse to acknowledge information/facts that undercut their position, or they believe any information/facts that undercut their position are false regardless of the source.

Commentary and discussion about General Sanchez's speech to a room full of reporters where he absolutely blasted the media. Headlines however only note his relatively short blast at Bush.

ht: My Pet Jawa

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Repubican Debate - #2

You can be a Republican and be against the war, however, you can NOT be a Republican Presidential Candidate and be against the war.

Ron Paul, yes, that means you. Please exit, stage left.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Republican Debate

I have finally watched a debate. If you are so inclined, there are discussions and comments on two of my favorite sites, Powerline and Townhall.

One of the things noted was online polls of Republican debates are heavily influenced by Ron Paul supporters. Frankly, those polls reminded me of something...

Do you think Ron Paul and Sanjai are related?

Western Values

I am going to do something I seldom

The debate motion: We should not be reluctant to assert the superiority of Western values.

When : 6:45pm at Royal Geographical Society, London.

Ok, no one here would have been able to make it, but what makes this interesting is that it is even a matter of debate! No, I mean, it is great that someone doesn't automatically dismiss the idea that Western values ARE SUPERIOR!

What was great was that voting after the debate indicated over 60% voted for the motion!

ht: Little Green Footballs

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The 2nd Amendment

First, let me state: I do not own a gun - that could kill or even bruise someone.

Second, if I want a gun, I want to be able to have a gun.


To make sure that I can shoot anyone who thinks I should not have a gun...especially if they are "from the government and are here to help..."

Bankruptcy Reform Act

From 1998 until 2005, the lending industry complained that bankruptcy laws needed changing because consumers were being allowed to game the system: run up large credit debts and then discharge them in bankruptcy. Consumers were described as deadbeats, irresponsible, and in a few cases, 'thieves'.

Well, the Bankruptcy Reform Act (BARF for those of us in the biz) passed in 2005 with a fair amount of publicity over the resulting wave of bankruptcy filings...some 2 million filed that year, a 33% increase over the year before. Many people predicted what would happen after the law passed and in large part, they were right. Let's look at a few.

Credit counseling was mandated but considered a waste of time, a burden on consumers and a boon for the credit counseling industry - an industry supported by their parasitic relationship with lenders. Reports have shown that the credit counseling has been of no particular use. 97% of consumers taking the counseling had no means to repay any of their debt (study from earlier in 2006) yet almost 40% actually filed chapter 13...meaning they tried anyway. Some have noted that as many as 10% that have taken the counseling did not file, meaning that the counseling helped them in some other way. There is no evidence that those that did not file entered into alternative debt management programs. It is equally possible - I might suggest considerably more likely - that they simply could not AFFORD to file bankruptcy due to the increased costs. The credit counseling industry did benefit by getting many, many new clients, but they are overburdened by the flood of people paying a small fee (small in relationship to their claimed costs).

Means test: This has been a disaster. This was supposed to be a bright line test to determine the potential for a debtor to repay debts. More than 85% of filers pass the means test - they have insufficient income to repay debts, BUT, almost 40% of debtors are filing chapter 13s!

Early last year, less than 6 months after passage of a 'perfect' bill requiring no amendments, Congress amended the law to allow charitable contributions into the means test...leading the way was Senator Hatch....consigliere of the original bill. Further, there have been complaints that the test lets debtors with high secured debts off the hook. It is true, the more secured debt you have, the less you will end up paying to unsecured creditors (the main supporters of the reform). The means test has led to many interesting outcomes, including a ruling that a family with over $2500 a month in disposable income needed only to pay $1500 a month as specified by the means test.

Filings would go down: Duh. For the three months after the law went into effect, filings were minimal compared to previous years. Many that would have filed anyway in 06, filed before the law changed. But filings have steadily increased. Even with increased costs, document burdens and longer preparation times, filings have already reached levels seen in 2000/2001 with no indication that they are leveling off. The current rate of increase, if maintained, will find filings near pre-BARF levels by the end of next year. There is still a strong perception that bankruptcy is no longer that perception wears off, filings will grow faster.

Those that need bankruptcy will still be able to file: Many attorneys that filed bankruptcies before, have stopped. Fees have double in almost all areas (higher in some) and the filing fees and counseling fees have added to the burden of those least able to afford it. Too broke to go broke. Fewer attorneys, higher fees, higher costs, heavier burdens. This has fallen dis proportionally on those least able to afford it. It appears that 90% of bankruptcy filers are BELOW their states median income. The drop off in filings are right in this group.

Lenders would reduce interest rates: HA, HAHAHA, have you seen any reduction? Proponents said that easy bankruptcy added $400 to the cost of everyone. Apparently, only the lenders have benefited from the 'reduction' in this cost as across the board, profits have never been higher...except....

now. Foreclosures, defaults on mortgages, are creaming lenders. Bankruptcy might help debtors keep their homes and default on less mortgages, but bankruptcy is less available and those lenders involved in mortgages also are getting hammered. Many will file bankruptcy, because you see...the Reform Act of 2005, all but ignored Chapter 11 changes...

Welcome to the bankruptcy court fees are paid first....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Speaking Truth to Power

There has been a lot written about the President of Columbia's speech calling the President of Iran a 'petty and cruel dictator' as speaking truth to power. Frankly, that's crap. When you speak truth to power, it is to it's face. Stupid though they may be, the protesters that stand up in Congress or at press conferences and call out their targets are speaking to power - I don't always agree they are speaking truth however - are living examples of the consequences our Founding Fathers knew all too well. Speaking truth to power has consequences, and absent those actual or potential consequences, what you get is a President of Columbia University jabbering like an adult in a Peanut's sketch.

THIS is speaking truth to power.