March 25, 2012

Bits Bucket for March 25, 2012

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 00:44:38

The 1% versus the 99% never got uglier than in this movie. Except perhaps under the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and the Romans of the gladiator era.

In ‘The Hunger Games,’ fantasy reflects reality
The Philadelphia Inquirer
March 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Harry Potter … Bella Swan … Katniss Everdeen?

If the bespectacled boy wizard of the “Harry Potter” books and films and the sulky high schooler-turned-vampire-wife of the “Twilight” saga have long been imprinted in the collective consciousness, is it now time for the teenage heroine of “The Hunger Games” to join them?

With the Suzanne Collins book perched atop the children’s and young-adult best-seller lists pretty much since its publication in late 2008, and with advance ticket sales for the $100 million Lionsgate film adaptation — which opened Friday — outpacing the inaugural “Harry Potter,” there are strong indications that Ms. Everdeen is indeed heading for that rarefied realm of pop iconography.

“The film has sold out over 1,000 showtimes,” and it represents about three-fourths of ticket sales today, reports Harry Medved of Fandango, the online box-office service. “It’s among the top-selling titles on Fandango — ever.”

But “The Hunger Games,” which has its share of fantasy elements, colorfully over-the-top costumes and comically coiffed characters, is in many ways rougher stuff than “Harry Potter” or “Twilight.” Collins’ books (there are two sequels: “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay”) are set in the postapocalyptic ruins of North America, where the capital city of Panem teems with the rich and effete, while many of the 12 districts are home to struggling farmers and coal miners, the hungry, the underclass.

And every year, the leaders of each district enter two of its children, a boy and a girl, in the Hunger Games — a nationally televised event in which 24 young “Tributes” fight one another. Fight to the death, until only one remains.

Yes, it’s kid-lit about the 1 percent vs. the 99, about the weird spectacle of reality TV, about kids killing kids.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 07:57:21

Lots of movie critics have interpreted the plot of The Hunger Games to represent the wealthy 1% forcing children of the 99% to fight to the death. I haven’t yet come across any reviews which take it to the next level, of a metaphorical parallel to a policy regime of an endless war, which enables the 1% to profit in perpetuity off the early deaths of the 99%.

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 08:30:09

Wouldn’t that be because the fight is a reality tv show, not a war?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:38:27

Political metaphors should not be interpreted too literally.

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Comment by polly
2012-03-25 08:51:06

The name of the country, Panem, is from the Latin for bread and circuses. The Romans had a lot of war, but they distracted the population with entertainment. We are getting absurdly little reporting about the current permanent state of war, the occasional “mistake” notwithstanding. The wars are very profitable to the 1%, but they aren’t being used to distract the general population from their daily lives (except for a bit at the beginning of Iraq and the dumb stunt on the aircraft carrier). We are encouraged to ignore the wars as much as possible - by watching reality TV and sports. When was the last time you saw a long report from an embedded reporter? I haven’t seen one in years.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:10:03

Polly, I agree, but again, political metaphors shouldn’t be taken too literally. For example, as you point out, the current trend in reporting is towards less, not more, information about what actually goes on in battle. By contrast, the Vietnam War was the first one to invade the sanctity of American living rooms through the TV screen; look at all the political opposition that resulted, and you can see why the trend has been towards less, not more, live reporting from the battlefront.

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 09:58:21

Not taking a political metaphor seriously is one thing. Calling something a metaphor for one thing that is happening in our society when it blantantly isn’t is silly. The games in Panem are much, much, much more analagous to The Voice and American Idol and Survior than the wars.

Look, the powers that be tried to make the war reporting into entertainment. The embedded reporter program was kind of brilliant in that respect. As expected, the reporters got close to the units they were with. They admired the guys who protected them by shooting back. It was all they could have wanted, until people started dying/getting hurt and/or the viewers had to watch another reporter emotionally breaking down about the problems their unit had to face. Too much reality. What are the stats? Something like 2% of the population are closely related to someone in the service? It turned out that keeping the impact as limted to that 2% as possible was the right way to go.

You, of course, can read anything into the books/movie you want. Shakespeare saw Shylock as a comic villain, not a tragic hero. But don’t expect me to agree with you. As for the author herself, I don’t think her intent is as deep as all that. I’ve known/met a lot of them. Most are way more interested in putting interesting characters in challenging situations and seeing where it goes than plotting out deep social commentary.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 10:10:17

“But don’t expect me to agree with you.”


Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 10:19:24

When LotR first came out, people tried to see all kinds of analogy in it. Was the One Ring the nuke bomb? The all powerful destructive weapon tha must not be used lest you become the evil you are fighting? Was Mordor the USSR?

Tolkien was adamant that it was just intended to be a grand, epic story without intentional analogy to the modern world.

Didn’t stop people from seeing all that they wanted to see in it.

Hunger Games is likely the same.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 11:06:22

“…people tried to see all kinds of analogy in it.”

I went to college with a guy whose dad was some kind of Tolkien specialist in academia. My mild suggestion that Tolkien’s Ring Trilogy bore resemblance to Richard Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen was met with harsh rebuke, a reaction I have never to this day understood.

Wagner’s Ring and Tolkien’s Ring

J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings (1937-1949) shares elements with Der Ring des Nibelungen; however, Tolkien himself denied that he had been inspired by Wagner’s work, saying that “Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases.”[18] Some similarities arise because Tolkien and Wagner both drew upon the same source material for inspiration, including the Völsungasaga and the Poetic Edda. However, several researchers posit Tolkien was also indebted to Wagner for some of the latter’s original concepts, such as the ring giving its owner mastery of the world, the ring’s inherently evil nature, its consequent corrupting influence upon the minds and wills of its possessors, and the necessity for its destruction so that the world can be redeemed.[19][20]

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 13:07:25

Panem, is from the Latin for bread and circuses.

Panem is Latin for bread. ‘Panem et circenses’ means ‘bread and circuses’.

Comment by ahansen
2012-03-25 22:48:34

“…When was the last time you saw a long report from an embedded reporter? I haven’t seen one in years….”

You should watch The Newshour on PBS; in-depth reporting nearly every night. Excellent coverage of Syria of late with Jonathon Rudman. Ray Swarez in Japan. Margaret Warner in Europe. Then in further detail on PBS Frontline. BBC and Al Jazeera also do in-depth coverage of war issues.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:01:07

Published: 3/23/2012 - Updated: 1 day ago
Big-budget ‘Hunger Games’ gets it right

The Hunger Games, the first in the trio of Suzanne Collins’ dark and engrossing young adult novels about a dystopian society and those who challenge it, is a wonderfully addictive read.

Director and cowriter Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit), along with screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, State of Play), prove the perfect pair to shepherd her work to theaters.

Unlike directors whose egos errantly convince them they are bigger than the phenomenon — book and film — Ross has the sense to mostly stay out of the way; his presence is as much about what he doesn’t do as what he does.

Set sometime in the future, The Hunger Games adroitly weaves social and political commentary, and a romantic triangle through an engaging science-fiction tale. The heroine is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a flinty 16-year-old girl, skillful with a bow and arrow, whose mental and physical strength will be challenged in unimaginable, horrific ways.

As Katniss, Lawrence is the heart of the film, and delivers a tender-tough performance that rivals her Oscar-nominated breakthrough in the 2010 indie-thriller Winter’s Bone.

An unlikely pair, the sci-fi allegory and backwoods nightmare drama share a common theme: hard-bitten young woman struggling in rural poverty to overcome her circumstances — a wisp of a mother and absent/dead father — and raise her siblings, whose life is upended by a quest of personal and familial salvation.

In Winter’s Bone she braves a hillbilly mafia to find her derelict and bail-skipping father; in The Hunger Games she volunteers in place of her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) as a contestant in the blood bath known as the Hunger Games.

The games exist as mandatory penance to a decades-old rebellion by the 12 districts of Panem (what is now North America) against the nation’s seat of authority, the Capitol. Each year a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 from every district are chosen at random to represent their state. To the sole survivor of the to-the-death contest goes unimaginable riches and spoils. To the colorful and pitiless residents of the Capitol — looking like extras from 1997’s The Fifth Element — comes violent sport for entertainment and gambling.

Along with Katniss, a kindly school classmate named Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is selected to represent their home, District 12, the poorest of Panem’s dozen sections. The pair have a brief history; Peeta once gave a starving Katniss loaves of bread to survive, and has secretly harbored a crush on her since. But there is another man in Katniss’ life, albeit only a friend who also pines for her in secret, Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth).

The Hunger Games is a fictional reflection of the 99 percent and 1 percent masquerading as a young adult book. Katniss and her family struggle in abject poverty, while the wealthy Capitol residents, living in a gleaming, sprawling metropolis, sit smugly atop the backs of their forced labor. Among them is prim and proper Effie Trinket (an unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks in pink and blue wigs, and clown-white make-up); kindly soul Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), who helps Katniss and Peeta dress to impress the wealthy Capitol denizens; Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) who’s in charge of the games; the game’s host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), and Panem’s President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who figures to play a more prominent role in the films to come.

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 08:15:08

You could say it reflects the poor vs. rich in the USA. OR, you could say that it reflects the USA and the rest of the world.

Comment by rentor
2012-03-25 13:16:30

Or it reflects the worlds poor vs. the worlds rich. I believe the worlds rich are colluding to control the worlds masses. I first evolved to this way of thinking when I saw Outsourcing and offshoring eat away at peoples standard of living in one place and improve it for the masses in other places.

Which came first offshoring or oursourcing? Offshoring high tech maufacturing. I didn’t hear a big outcry when that happened. By the time outsourcing happened there was no place for people to hide and make a decent living.

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 13:22:33

The Hunger Games is a fictional reflection of the 99 percent and 1 percent masquerading as a young adult book.

Thank you, OWS, for changing the way America thinks and talks (really the same thing), and making both agree more with reality. America now realizes that most of our wealth is held by a tiny portion of the population, something that was relatively unknown by most, until the protests.

Now we see very popular books and movies reflecting that idea, and working with it. It’s becoming part of our common culture, much to the chagrin of the 1%ers, who preferred it when people were under the delusion that wealth was for more widely distributed than it has become.

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 08:10:43

The rich also put their kids into the Hunger Games. The difference is the rich put thier kids in training academies to better prepare them.

Acording to my 13 y/o daughter that has read all the books, the books put a much greater emphasis on the TV Ratings, Reality Show aspect of it. The movie let’s you know it is televised and watched, but it is 2.5 hours even when most of the TV Ratings manipulation being just glossed over.

I think the reason so many see so much politics in it, is because the author just blobbed together a bunch of stuff. It is certainaly a commentary on the rich holding down the poor. At the same time, it has a strong message that you should distrust the government. It is also a commentary on the current state of television and its heavy use of unscripted “extreme game shows”.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:17:44

Good points, all of them. The rich menu of adult themes with contemporary relevance in a kid’s story is what makes the movie (and books) appealing to all ages.

Comment by talon
2012-03-25 09:14:53

Haven’t seen it, but if true, this (from one of the reviews) makes me less likely to:

“Sadly the camerawork for the most part is dreadful, visually incomprehensible whenever there is any action like fighting or chasing or running; the chaos of ultra-heavy-hand-held detracts from the film’s ambitions.”

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:29:07

I took the blurring of the gore as part of the production strategy. But as I always say, “De gustibus non est disputandum.”

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 10:04:40

That was the one thing my wife and I did hate about the movie. In many places it uses the same horrid, shaky camera, “‘MTV style”, motion sickness inducing style that makes some fell like they are in the action, but makes me wonder if the stunt men were just so bad that they needed to make the scenes nearly incomprehensible.

But, as Cantankerous says, it is used at the most violent of times and does remove most of the gore. It would have been very difficult to keep the PG13 rating without either using the shaky camera or looking like a 1950s western.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 10:12:21

Having attended the show with 11-year-olds who did not seem unduly disturbed by the violence, I appreciated the shaky camera.

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 10:20:27

Unduly? Kids forced to kill kids?

I’d call that duly disturbed by the violence.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 10:58:46

11-year-olds who did not seem unduly disturbed by the violence,

I’m not sure that’s a good thing; are we inuring kids to the violence while not letting them see enough to be repulsed by it?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 11:10:58

“…are we inuring kids to the violence while not letting them see enough to be repulsed by it?”

I dunno, but as a parent, I would not take kids to see a movie with violence I considered gratuitously disturbing. I believe the movie gets its point across without crossing the line.

Not everyone agrees:

British censors demand seven seconds of ‘blood’ cut from ‘Hunger Games’
Entertainment Weekly
By Marc Snetiker,
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Wed March 21, 2012

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 00:47:25

Foreclosures expected to soar
Analysts predict waves of home defaults in Middle TN
1:22 AM, Mar. 25, 2012

Buyers hoping to pick up a bargain on a foreclosed home won’t have much luck in Green Hills or Belle Meade, where only a few dozen borrowers defaulted last year.

But homes by the hundreds faced foreclosure during 2011 in Antioch and a few neighboring ZIP codes, creating potential opportunities for deal hunters.

And if predictions hold up, there will be no shortage of deals in 2012.

Amid growing signs that foreclosures have tapered off and the local housing market is recovering, it now appears that another string of foreclosures could hit Middle Tennessee.

The foreclosure reprieve has offered a false sense of confidence to the local housing market, according to real estate analysts, since several factors expected to come together in 2012 may trigger a rash of new foreclosures.

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 06:37:13

How do you like the burrito economy? No bubble here, move along muppet.

Comment by Ben Jones
2012-03-25 07:09:52

I went to a Chipolte’s once. They were putting a bunch of rice in these giant flour tortillas along with the rest of the stuff. I know it is done elsewhere too, but how did we as consumers start accepting putting rice in a tortilla?

Anyway, along the same line:

Yahoo! News

‘A new installment to the all-time bestselling series of apps has landed today, with the iconic Angry Birds catapulted into space. The new Space game has retained the classic Angry Birds gameplay but turns the franchise on its head with 60 fresh levels and a number of new features. Close to a billion Angry Birds apps have been downloaded in total, turning Rovio Entertainment into a gaming behemoth worth a reported £5.6bn ($9bn).’

‘Finnish-based Rovio has already begun to explore the vast possibilities of the franchise after announcing they will create a number of Angry Birds-themed activity parks across the UK’

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 07:19:17

All we need is more apps to keep people distracted.

Chipolte claims they use free range chicken meat.

Were talking burritos folks. This is a business that is easily duplicated and no real technology behind it. Competition is sprouting up. Something seems real out of whack here.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2012-03-25 07:21:48

Forget burritos, invest in donuts! Donuts!

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 07:31:58

I remember when krispy kreme opened up? People sitting in their cars lined up for blocks in the drive through. The stock went to the moon. Then they had some accounting issue and it tanked. Went into bankruptcy and then reemerged. Classic pump and dump.

I do like dunkin donuts. They have a strong brand and have been around a while. I dont think they have any in CA. Funny how a lot of businesses in AZ are not found in CA.Cracker barrel ends in yuma.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:03:49

“Forget burritos, invest in donuts! Donuts!”

And Splenda.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2012-03-25 08:51:46

Winchell’s doughnuts was where we used to get our fat pills on Sunday mornings. Torrance Bakery is my favorite even more than King’s Hawaiian in the South Bay.

In-n-out opened it’s second Torrance location in a good location, on the north side. My colleague and I tried goung there for lunch. Packed. So we went to The Habit, which we like. We used to worry about finding a place at The Habit to sit. Not anymore. Seems a lot of their regulars are gone since In-N-Out opened.

Have to admit that I went last night and got a three by three with onions. Yeah it was good. Now I must donate money to Planned Parenthood or atheist organizations to offset it. I am told In-N-Out is owned by a very religious family. My colleague says this.

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 09:33:33

is winchells out of business? I havent seen any lately?

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2012-03-25 12:04:08

Someone told me there are a few scattered around L.A. I don’t look for them. I’m focused on keeping a flat stomach (hard to do while over 52)and am so close to the “six pack abs” that I have to keep getting more disciplined!

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2012-03-25 12:40:05

Rolling Pin donuts my guily pleasure.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2012-03-25 17:25:59

Do the 7-11’s in NoVA still sell Montgomery donuts? Now those were fat pills; they were huge! At least they were back in the late 1980’s.

Mmmm, donuts!

Comment by San Diego RE Bear
2012-03-25 17:34:46

“And Splenda.”

Yuck, bad, horrible stuff. Stevia all the way!!

Can be purchased at Sprout’s, Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods, and almost anywhere. Our local higher end market (think a very nice Ralph’s) has stevia soda. If they come out with a Diet Coke version it’s all over for the other fake sugars.

Which one does Dick Cheney own a big stake in?

Comment by jeff saturday
2012-03-25 07:48:33

Outgunned! Sturm Ruger Says it Can’t Keep Up with Orders, Shares Surge

Written By Dunstan Prial
Published March 22, 2012

Shares of Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR: 48.07, +0.14, +0.29%) soared as much as 9% on Thursday after the gun maker said first-quarter orders were so strong the company is temporarily suspending new orders.

The Southport, Conn., company said it received orders for more than one million units in the first three months of 2012.

The shares were up $3.29, or 7.8%, at $45.59 in Thursday trading.

“Despite the company’s continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders. Consequently, the company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders,” Fifer said in the statement.

Sturm Ruger hopes to be accepting orders again by the end of May, the company said.

Shares of the company’s rival gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) have risen in sympathy, surging more than 12% to a 5-year high. The stock was recently up 88 cents, or 12.7%, at $7.78. - 56k -

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 08:03:35

They busted some dude at the sacramento airport headed to phx that had 3 guns in a carry on bag and one gun concealed on him. They also found he had 8 guns in a car in the parking lot. WTH was this guy thinking?

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Comment by Montana
2012-03-25 18:08:47

Just another retard from Montucky…lol…

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 08:17:55

PE of 61? Really?

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 10:13:53

does this stock look frothy?

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 00:56:42

Who claims the future appreciation on these “owner to rental” workouts BoA is offering?

My hunch: They believe prices have been hammered down as far as they will go in this cycle. If they evicted a current owner-occupant in default, they would have to take possession of REO and sell into a depressed purchase market. By instead turning owners into renters, BoA captures the future appreciation on the property while covering costs out of current rental payments. Sounds like the bailed-out bank wins and the former owner gets to either start throwing away money on rent or get some boxes and hit the road.

Bank Of America Deal Would Turn Owners To Renters
by Chris Arnold
All Things Considered
March 23, 2012

Bank of America is reaching out to some distressed homeowners with a deal. They can stay in their homes, but as tenants. They would need to turn over the deed to the bank. Bank of America says it will help avoid foreclosures, but housing advocates don’t like the plan.

Comment by palmetto
2012-03-25 05:59:33

Lead into gold. Alchemy, I tell you, alchemy!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:05:48

Perfect metaphor…(another good one: BoA is trying to make silk purses from sow’s ears…)

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 06:00:17

Sounds like a great deal for the future muppets.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:07:35

Muppetallica rocks!

Comment by SaladSD
2012-03-25 17:51:19

Just in case this hasn’t been mentioned before, but “muppet” doesn’t have the same cutesy connotation in Britain, it’s their slang for a nitwit. The guy who wrote the Op-Ed in the NY Times worked in the London office of Goldman Sachs.

Comment by oxide
2012-03-25 06:33:54

Renting out to the FB at market rates was predicted right here on HBB a couple years ago, if I recall. It does save face for the FB but that’s about all.

In the article, housing advocates say that “the banks need to modify the mortgages to keep them as homeowners and not to set up this program that will benefit investors and make these homeowners into renters.”

F B’s have no legal right to a mod.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:11:29

It’s not about rights; it’s about avoiding price discovery.

I don’t think it will work, but I don’t want to give the reasons here, because I am looking forward to watching this program fall on its face, along with all the other market allocation schemes that Megabank, Inc has executed in recent years.

Comment by Lisa
2012-03-25 09:04:59

Avoiding price discovery and keeping those monthly payments coming rolling in…rent payment, mortgage payment, whatever.

Still leaves the housing market with first timers and investors to keep it afloat, and not much else.

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Comment by GrizzlyBear
2012-03-25 10:59:43

The housing market in the hardest hit areas of Nevada is rife with infestors “snapping up” anything which can even remotely provide positive cash flow. Anyone waiting for a deal will be sorely disappointed due to the feeding frenzy. Couple that with AB284 which has essentially stopped foreclosures in their tracks, taking Nevada from the highest foreclosure state to perhaps the lowest, and you’ve got an MLS inventory shortage in a state which overbuilt in the most grotesque fashion. Bizarro world.

Comment by San Diego RE Bear
2012-03-25 17:37:51

Aren’t banks prevented from turning foreclosures into rentals? I thought that was a problem in the S&L downturn. Or is that another sane rule that has been destroyed through deregulation?

Comment by rms
2012-03-25 10:21:55

It’s not about rights; it’s about avoiding price discovery.

“When Stalin says dance, a wise man dances.” -Nikita Khrushchev

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 11:06:12

and not to set up this program that will benefit investors and make these homeowners into renters.”

Oh yeah, it’s so much better to keep up the fiction that they were owners; in reality, many of these FBs were renters all along (e.g no downpayment, no principal payments, no equity).

But these advocates apparently prefer fiction to reality.

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 07:12:50

well it will stop them from being Deadbeats…..

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:20:16

Or else make it easier to kick the deadbeats out. Think about it: Evictions are a lot easier to execute than foreclosures.

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 13:31:39

exactly then they can be just like me.. a lowly ugh renter..

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Comment by jeff saturday
2012-03-25 10:28:31

“Bank of America is reaching out to some distressed homeowners with a deal. They can stay in their homes, but as tenants.”

Would the house stay on B of A books at the homeloaner turned renter`s purchase or refi price? I`ll bet it does.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 11:10:12

Would the house stay on B of A books at the homeloaner turned renter`s purchase or refi price?

Of course it would—due to the miracle that we call FASB.

Comment by GrizzlyBear
2012-03-25 12:36:34

This is what is so rotten about the whole charade. When, if ever, are they going to stop this cooked books accounting bullsh!t?

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Comment by Bill in Carolina
2012-03-25 17:31:39

Yes, but now the entire amount of the mortgage loan must be written off ‘cuz it will never be repaid.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 15:14:25

Key element in Megabank of America’s foreclosure-to-lease plan: They will sell the homes to investors (i.e. the 1%) rather than having to expose REO homes to what the 99% (i.e. people without access to Fed-funded zero percent financing) can afford. Since the investors are likely to have deep pockets, access to zero-percent financing or both, Megabank of America will make more money selling the foreclosure homes to Wall Street buyers in backroom deals than they would if they had to sell into local market demand.

Bank of America hopes underwater homeowners become renters to avoid foreclosure
By Kenneth R. Harney, Published: March 23

If you’re seriously underwater and headed to foreclosure, what would you say if the lender suddenly offered you the chance to remain in your home as a tenant for an extended period plus have your mortgage debt wiped away? Would you say yes?

Or would you instead conclude: Hey, why pay rent? It’s going to take the bank more than a year to complete the foreclosure and evict us, so why not just stay put and save some money?

One of the country’s largest banks is about to find out which choice significant numbers of distressed owners make in response to a new foreclosure-avoidance plan it calls “mortgage-to-lease.”

Bank of America is sending proposals later this month to upward of 1,000 customers in Arizona, New York and Nevada. If the reaction is positive, the program is likely to be expanded to other states, and it could become a model for the biggest players in the mortgage market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here’s how it works: The homeowners in the initial pilot tests have all previously been offered a variety of alternatives to foreclosure: loan modifications, forbearance on payments, short sales and “deeds-in-lieu,” where the borrower hands the property title back to the bank and moves out. But these homeowners either have not been able to qualify or have not responded to the bank’s proposals. They’re now essentially at the end of the line: There are no other standard lender remedies available to keep them out of foreclosure. In fact, most lenders are now speeding up the pace of foreclosures to get heavy loads of defaulted mortgages off their books.

In the mortgage-to-lease plan, a borrower is expected to deed back his home to the bank; in exchange, he gets multiyear lease terms at or slightly below the going market rent for the unit, provided he has monthly income to make the payments. When the lease expires, there is no guarantee that he will have a shot at repurchasing the home.

Bank of America officials acknowledge they are unsure how many homeowners will take them up on the offer. “This is an experiment — we just don’t know,” said Dave Steckel, the bank’s home retention strategy executive. It’s entirely possible, he concedes, that some owners will simply choose to proceed to foreclosure.

The plan has clear benefits for Bank of America. Since foreclosures generally trigger deeper losses to lenders than deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, the bank gets back troubled properties at lower costs. Since it intends to sell those houses to investment groups as rentals with income-qualified tenants already living on the premises, the bank expects to obtain overall higher returns than it would by selling them as vacant, post-foreclosure units.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2012-03-25 17:34:32

FB home “owner’s” thought process: “Let’s see, I can agree to become a renter and pay them XXX dollars a month starting now, or I can do nothing and continue to live here for free for some additional number of months. Hmmm, tough choice!”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 18:12:08

Megabank of America’s thought process: Any FB who doesn’t accept our offer to allow him linger as a renter is legitimizing our decision to kick him to the curb post haste.

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Comment by palmetto
2012-03-25 05:09:45

I was reading some of the comments about The Hunger Games in yesterday’s bits bucket and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie myself. There aren’t too many movies that come out that I’m all that interested in even seeing, let alone go to the theater.

After reading about the plot and viewing the trailer, two older works immediately came to mind:

1) The Long Walk, written by Stephen KIng under the name Richard Bachman, published in 1979. Never saw the flick, but the book was awesome. I think it might have been his first book, or at least one of his first books.

2) The Lottery, a classic short story by Shirley Jackson, written and published in the New Yorker in 1948. This short story was required reading when I was in the 8th grade. And believe me, it was understandable to me even then. Although I understand that Jackson received some hate mail over that story.

Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is that Hunger Games is definitely variations on a theme and I’m hoping it belongs up there with The Long Walk and The Lottery.

Comment by palmetto
2012-03-25 05:22:24

Also I’m noticing the use of this phrase “dystopian” to describe the society in which The Hunger Games is set. Is not our own society “dystopian”? That woman who was the emcee for the choosing of the tributes from District 12 immediately brought to mind the vile Sharon Osbourne.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:23:03

‘Is not our own society “dystopian”?’

So far as I am aware, “dystopia” is both the old and new normal for societal status.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 13:41:36

Dystopia? As long as a white guy can chase down and shoot an innocent black kid- in self defense- then all must be well.

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Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 14:46:58

alpha sorry but not an innocent kid.. until we find out what exactly he did to deserve 5 day suspension from school……had he been a good kid he would have never been in that gated community…..

notice they also don’t show a recent picture of him…too thuggish?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 15:02:20

until we find out what exactly he did to deserve 5 day suspension from school


had he been a good kid he would have never been in that gated community

USA Today
“Martin[the kid who got murdered], who was from Miami, was staying in the neighborhood with his father and father’s fiancee and was returning from a convenience store with Skittles and a can of iced tea when the confrontation took place. He was not armed.”

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 15:45:47

was staying in the neighborhood with his father and father’s fiancee

DJ, why did you assume that a black kid couldn’t be _living_ in the “gated community”?

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 16:49:47

Ok maybe the father had section 8 but the kid was in trouble at school, so he was shipped off to the gated community for a couple of days and probably acted ghetto to zimmerman when asked where do you live. Since i dont think zimmerman ever saw him before.

Why was he suspended at his school?

And why didnt he act normal by answering Zimmermans questions and taking him to where he was living?

feral belligerent and probably racist…probably called him a sp!c and he a coon back….name calling almost always is both ways

still lots of unanswered questions…..but we may be finally ending political correctness once and for all.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 17:53:03

Ok maybe the father had section 8

Because only black people on section 8 can afford to live in gated communities? Is Herman Cain on section 8?

And why didnt he act normal by answering Zimmermans questions and taking him to where he was living?

How do you know he didn’t? It’s hard to get his side of the story.

feral belligerent and probably racist…probably called him a sp!c and he a coon back….name calling almost always is both ways

These are total figments of your imagination. Do you have any proof that this happened? And even if it did, does it justify shooting somebody? Does being black mean that anyone can pursue you, demand to know what you are doing, and shoot you if they feel threatened during the exchange?

still lots of unanswered questions

Yeah, like can a black guy walk home without being pursued by a vigilante and shot dead? If the black guy were to fight the pursuing vigilante, would that not be self-defense? What if the youth had shot the pursuing vigilante- who was pursuing and confronting the youth for no reason. Would that not be self-defense too?

Comment by San Diego RE Bear
2012-03-25 17:53:11

“Ok maybe the father had section 8″

Yes, because there’s no way a black man would ever have a job that would allow him to live in a nice neighborhood. And only the worst kids even have problems in school as teenagers. I’m proof - I got suspended for wearing stripped socks one day and that crime set me off robbing liquor stores.

Jeez, DJ. Your racist rants, stereotypes, and assumptions are getting worse and worse. We get it. You think all blacks are bad. You think anything they produce is destroying America and American Culture. You know that if someone with low-hanging jeans walks by you there’s an 89.467% chance that he will shoot you. So if you are on the phone to the police and they tell you to quit following the guy and leave him alone, you have no choice but to follow him and blow his criminal teen head off. And if you make 46 911 calls (46!) in the months before shooting, it just shows you’re a concerned citizen not a racist paranoid that never should have had a gun.

“And why didnt he act normal by answering Zimmermans questions and taking him to where he was living?” Would YOU take some guy to your house that was following you and making you nervous? I sure as heck would not.

Sorry for the rant - most of you know I don’t tend to tear apart posters no matter how much I disagree with them. (Right Eddie?) But this is getting ridiculous and one racist supporting another is disgusting.

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 18:43:00

Well does anyone know what his father or girl friend or mothers jobs are? This is a housing blog so are they underwater?

You people always gripe about some air head reporter not asking these questions, when people claim the bank screwed them.

Boy this brings out the PC people…..Alpha… zimmerman spotted a stranger and wanted to know if he was up to no good.

You think all blacks are bad…not at all…..just the opposite we have allowed the criminal black element to get away with 8000 murders a year…and we all pay for it, jails bars on windows gated communities, alarm systems more cops…..Im saying lets focus on the real killers, not 2 stupid fools who should have known better.

Comment by Blue Skye
2012-03-25 12:01:11

“Is not our own society “dystopian”?

Not this corner of it. Some improvements are desired but life is overall really enjoyable.

Comment by Hard Rain
2012-03-25 05:34:50

7th grade .. “here ya go Davie”.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:21:50
Comment by polly
2012-03-25 10:40:27

Lord of the Flies is about the violentsociety the boys create when returned to a “state of nature” without civilized expectations to reign them in.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 11:11:25

Not merely violent, but also hierarchical & class-based.

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Comment by polly
2012-03-25 12:12:31

Hierarchical definitely. Class-based? They are all students at an English public school - priviledged by definition. It has been a while since I read it, but I don’t remember any particular references to any of the boys being scholarship kids. What I do remeber is that the leader was the one who was tall and good looking. Piggy was ostracized mostly because of his appearance and bad eye sight and partially because he wanted to keep to rules of the society they had lost because those rules kept someone like him safe.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 14:25:09

Class-based? They are all students at an English public school - priviledged by definition.

I wasn’t referring to their class before ending up on the island. But they rapidly invented a class-based society on their own—there were the hunters and the non-hunters. Hunters had social status that non-hunters did not.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 11:13:02

Are we somewhat obsessed with literal matching?

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Comment by polly
2012-03-25 12:19:01

Not even remotely obsessed by literal matching, but there should be some plausible way to argue a connection before you declare A as a metaphor for B.

As near as I can tell the only connection between Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies is that there are children who hurt each other and an isolated location. You might as well say that King Lear is a metaphor for the evil brought on by the decline of traditional family structures because Edmund (the bastard) is not a nice character.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 13:50:39

“…there are children who hurt each other and an isolated location.”

You are absolutely right: There is no similarity whatever of The Hunger Games to The Lord of the Flies.

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 15:54:45

You know what, Bear, you are right. I do appologize. I thought you had at least a high school level understanding of literary criticism. I was clearly wrong. I won’t make that sort of assumption again.

I look forward to your next commentary on how the themes of Peter Pan and the Sherlock Holmes stories are identical because Watson and Nana both carry umbrellas.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 16:22:22

I wonder who would win a Hunger Games contest between Peter Pan and Sherlock Holmes.

That could be a good sequel.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 18:13:22

“I thought you had at least a high school level understanding of literary criticism.”

Don’t overrate me. I claim no background in literary criticism or the law.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 18:47:20

“Peter Pan and Sherlock Holmes.”

For good measure, throw in The Terminator, Harry Potter, The Iron Man and Tintin.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 18:51:10

For good measure, throw in The Terminator, Harry Potter, The Iron Man and Tintin.

Dude, you are so money. We’ve gotta get a patent on this.

Polly, you’re a lawyer, will you write us one up?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 20:06:57

Don’t expect highfalutin literary critics to jump onto screenplay ideas targeted at the unwashed masses.

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2012-03-25 12:43:50

The Lottery was required reading for me also Palm. That was one intense short story. I remember my stomach doing flip flops. Shirley Jackson was a great writer

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 16:07:24

Hey Gal! Long time no see.

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2012-03-25 19:11:48

Hi alpha, glad to see you still posting.

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Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2012-03-25 19:12:54

Hi alpha, glad to see you’re still posting.

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 19:35:12

It’s all about pacing.

Comment by ahansen
2012-03-25 23:12:15

;-), gal.

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2012-03-26 07:23:27

Happy to see you posting also lady. :)

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Comment by Dale
2012-03-25 13:12:31

Surprised no one has mentioned/compared “The Hunger Games” to “The Running Man” with Arnie S. (1987)

A wrongly-convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a TV game show.

Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2012-03-25 06:46:09

Realtors Are Liars®

Comment by jeff saturday
2012-03-25 07:03:51

Just saw this maybe things are going better than I thought.

Feeding America PSA with Matt Damon - YouTube
Nov 18, 2010 … Matt Damon takes on his toughest role yet: playing Steve, a man trying to keep his family from going hungry each night in Minnesota. Find more … - 137k - Cached - Similar pages

Comment by Ben Jones
2012-03-25 08:06:48

‘Former vice president Dick Cheney finally underwent major heart surgery on Saturday after waiting more than 20 months on the transplant list, his office said. Cheney, 71, suffered a long history of cardiovascular trouble including five heart attacks, before receiving the new organ from a mystery donor.’

Read more:

This just in on the HBB newswire: ‘The mystery heart donor for Dick Cheney has been identified as Senator John McCain from Arizona. The Senator had his heart removed years ago, and the delay in the operation was attributed to the inability to locate the organ, as it was stored in a house McCain had forgotten he owned. The house is a 12 bedroom, 36 bath mansion in Scottsdale, AZ. When asked about the unusual number of bathrooms, McCain spokesman Gollum said, ‘The Senator has a really small bladder.’

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:28:11

I was discussing Romney’s ginormous La Jolla spread with a colleague from work yesterday, who responded, “Don’t all Republican presidential candidates own large homes in La Jolla?”

I expressed my surprise at the notion, to which he responded, “John McCain owns a home in La Jolla Farms. Of course, he owns about ten other homes around the country as well.”

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2012-03-25 08:57:11

McShame has a place in Sedona, also at least two Phoenix addresses, one of them a loft. Imagine owning a loft in the same building and the awkwardness of riding the same elevator with him every now and then.

Comment by Ben Jones
2012-03-25 09:43:32

Actually it’s in Page Springs, which is a few miles south of Sedona.

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Comment by Posers
2012-03-25 09:18:50

Where are all of Bruce Springtseen’s manses? He has several.

I had no idea that Springsteen was a Republican.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 11:13:30

Springsteen was a Republican.

One sure wouldn’t get that impression from all his rusting-steel-belt-lament songs.

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Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 17:21:02

Tax deductions plus he probably has 1 favorite he converted into his recording studio…lots of musicians have a crash pad studio home…nobody really lives there unless they are recording..

Where are all of Bruce Springtseen’s manses? He has several.

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Comment by Anon In DC
2012-03-25 18:54:57

Probably the same place as the mansions of the rest of the limousine liberals*.

* Recently re-branded as “progressives.”

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Comment by polly
2012-03-25 08:41:41

Sunday edition had a fairly long piece on it, this morning. Interesting point from their report: Cheney is 71 and most people can’t even get on the list if they are over 65 because the number of available hearts is so small. They also noted that the average wait time for a heart is 9 months and he was on it for 20 months.

Interesting thing I noted: The Cheney’s donated a huge sum of money to create an advanced cardiac center at George Washington University Hospital, the closest hospital to the White House and the one that took care of his issues when he was VP. The transplant took place in a hospital in Fairfax, VA. Now it could be as simple as the cardiac center at GW specialized in something other than transplants and the one in Fairfax did specialize in tranplants. But I do wonder if the ethics committee at GW refused to do his procedure because at his age it meant that someone was making an exception to the general rules to get him a heart at all.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:44:57

“Cheney is 71 and most people can’t even get on the list if they are over 65 because the number of available hearts is so small.”

Does having a small heart make it easier to get on the list?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 11:15:02

Does having a small heart make it easier to get on the list?

LOL… Nice.

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Comment by howiewowie
2012-03-25 14:28:12

You know why it took 20 months for Cheney to get the heart? That’s how long it took the guy they were waterboarding to relent and give it up.

Comment by ahansen
2012-03-25 23:15:21

Well, at least he finally got one. Only took him 71 years….

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-26 00:22:33

LOL!!! Awesome, Allena… :-) :-)

Hope I didn’t wake my gf up with the LOL… :-)

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Comment by butters
2012-03-25 09:15:25

All I can hope that this new heart makes him more kinder, gentler and compassionate towards the misfoutunates……..and muslims.

Comment by Blue Skye
2012-03-25 12:05:15

Those emotions come from the liver.

Comment by oxide
2012-03-25 14:51:27

20 months?!? Geez, that’s even longer than the wait under the health system in Canada. :roll:

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:37:27

How about just a little more economic bullshit from the commercial real estate investor owned UT-San Diego?

To put a point on it, the reason so much of downtown San Diego is vacant is because the rental rates are too high for current commercial real estate demand to fill the buildings. Lower the rents, and the businesses will come. What’s needed to fill downtown office space and revitalize the downtown economy are lower, not soaring, rents.

Report: Urban San Diego may not get new high-rise until vacancies plunge and rental rates soar
Written by Roger Showley
12:01 a.m., March 25, 2012
Updated 7:16 p.m. , March 23, 2012

Downtown San Diego, once the default “central business district,” is no longer central or drawing the area’s top businesses, based on an analysis of the top 20 office towers by the Jones Lang LaSalle real estate money management and services firm.

In its recently released “Skyline20” report on downtown’s 2011 leasing and sales activity, analysts said the overall vacancy remained unchanged at 17.7 percent as 100,000 square feet was vacated and a nearly equal number was rented. While that figure is somewhat lower than the regional vacancy rate of 18 percent, downtown’s future is in flux. The ideal vacancy rate historically for a successful office building is less than 10 percent.

Why isn’t downtown full? According to Jones Lang tenant broker Misty Moore, many traditional office tenants, such as law firms, accountants and corporate headquarters, prefer North County locations because that’s where their top executives live.

“You may have a company with 50 employees and a quarter live around downtown or love to be down there,” she said. “Unfortunately, you have the top three executives living in Rancho Santa Fe and make the decision that they want to be in Carmel Valley.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:49:25

I see an encouraging plurality of views emerging among regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents. I know FPSS thinks nothing matters unless the guy doing the talking is from NYC or DC.

We’ll see about that in due time.

Fed’s Bullard: Not Feasible, Desirable To Reflate Housing Bubble
Friday, February 24, 2012 – 11:36 — By Vicki Schmelzer

NEW YORK (MNI) – The U.S. housing market continues to faces significant “headwinds, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said Friday.

Bullard offered his observations on a piece “Housing, Monetary Policy and the Recovery,” co-authored by Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase, Ethan Harris, co-head of global economic research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Amir Sufi, professor of finance at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Kenneth West, professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin, which was presented at the Forum, sponsored by the Chicago Booth School of Business.

“The authors counsel that improvement is likely to be very slow and that in any case, there is no presumption that a booming housing market would be desirable in the aftermath of the collapse of the bubble,” Bullard said.

“The belief that drove the bubble cannot be reconstituted and therefore we say that the bubble has collapsed — it is neither feasible nor desirable to reinflate such a damaging bubble,” he stressed.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:31:07

Not bubble reflation:

Bernanke urges action to heal housing markets

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the outlook for the U.S. Monetary and Fiscal Policy on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 7, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida | Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:52pm EST

(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday issued a call to action to restore U.S. housing markets, saying depressed house prices and sales are a serious drag on the economic recovery.

“The state of housing has been an impediment to a faster recovery,” he told a home builders’ conference. “We need to continue to develop and implement policies that will help the housing sector get back on its feet.”

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 09:45:30

home equity and stock market gains are the economy.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 10:14:20

At least according to the Greenspan-Bernanke Doctrine they are.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 08:51:15

Fed’s Fisher sees no need for more monetary easing

Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, answers a question from the audience after delivering the 2009 Albert H. Gordon Lecture about the current financial crisis at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts February 23, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

CHICAGO | Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:44pm EDT

(Reuters) - The economy is in much better shape and does not need further help from the central bank, a top Federal Reserve official known for his hawkish policy views said on Thursday.

Although growth is “slower than we would like,” Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told Fox Business Network, “it’s gaining momentum.”

“We will not support further quantitative easing under these circumstances because there’s a lot of money lying on the sidelines, lying fallow,” he said according to a transcript provided by the network. “We don’t need any more monetary morphine.”

The Fed has kept benchmark interest rates near zero since December 2008 and has bought $2.3 trillion in bonds to stimulate growth, a program known as quantitative easing.

At its March policy meeting, the Fed nodded to recent economic improvement but reiterated concerns about high unemployment and its expectation that subpar economic performance will require keeping rates near zero through late 2014.

Among analysts and investors, however, expanding manufacturing and improving labor markets in recent months have lifted hopes for recovery. In February unemployment was at a three-year low of 8.3 percent. The housing sector also appears poised to improve, with permits for homebuilding this week approaching a 3-1/2-year high.

Traders have reacted by betting the Fed will start raising rates as soon as July 2013.

Fisher, who is not a voter on the Fed’s policy-setting panel this year, said he is not worried about inflation, which he expects to come down to around the Fed’s 2 percent target.

“The real problem in our country is job creation and prosperity,” he said. “And we need to get better fiscal policy to complement what we at the Fed have done, because it’s not working as effectively as it should.”

With rates near zero, pushing borrowing costs lower simply will not create more jobs, Fisher said.

“I don’t see what more would do,” Fisher said. “And I especially could not justify it if the economy continues to improve along the path which has been indicated recently.”

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 09:01:27

Well, back home from vacation. Vacation was mostly spent in Reno visiting my daughter, SIL and new grand baby. However, we did make a 2-day side-trip into San Fran.

I understand why every town across the nation wanted to turn their downtown into a Manhattan/San Fran. However, it was always doomed to fail.

San Fran doesn’t have $1 million, tiny condos simply because it has light rails and people built tall buildings with $1 million condos in them.

The San Fran peninsula is tiny, packed, no room for new construction, TONS of cool stuff to do, surrounded by water, PIA to commute into over a limited number of access routes, etc. etc. etc.

It was STUPID to think you could put a light rail across Mill Ave in Tempe, then build 30 story condo tower and sell the condos for $500K-$2 million when your potential customers can buy a house 3x the saze, for half as much, 1/2 mile away.

Throwing up that condo tower didn’t magically surround Tempe with oceans, bays, mountains and other transportation limiting bottlenecks and land limitations.

Throwing up that condo didn’t give Tempe dozens of 100+ year old churches, a large number of museums, rich cultural and ethnic interest, or millions of people living in a couple dozen square miles.

It was just silly. Silly……

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 09:44:22

I hear the casinos in reno and Tahoe are hurting bad. Silver legacy in deep trouble.

I went to atlantis casino this week and it was a ghost town in there.

Thunder valley casino near Sacramento reportedly brings in a million dollars a day in profit. Indian casinos are taking all the business away.

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 10:04:09

Is there something particular about the Indian casinos that makes them attract all the business? Are the cheaper? Newer? Better locations? I’d be interested in the why of them getting most of the business.

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 10:12:09

Here in Phoenix, the indian casinos are right in or on the edge of town. Nevada casinos are several hours away. I think that location is the main draw.

As for Sacramento… 2 hours from San Fran. Reno/Tahoe is more like 4-5, and has that nasty “Donnar Pass” with its horrid driving conditions much of the year.

Neither my wife or I are gamblers. We did drop $20-30 playing carnival games in the top of Circus Circus for about an hour and have half a dozen stuffed animals to show for it. Oh, and I lost $1 on quarter video poker in the airport while waiting for the flight home.

We were in the casino in the afternoon on a Monday. Hard to judge from that, but it was empty. Circus Circus was advertising rooms for $29 a night mid-week, 3-night minimum stay. That is way down from the $100+ they were asking back in 2006ish.

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Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 10:20:55

Actually reno is only about 2 hours from sacramento. driving conditions can be bad (white knuckle) in the winter but most of the year good.

I really think the drive is why people tend to stick around here at local casinos. thunder valley serves like 4 counties around sacramento. there are also other casinos around here.It is big entertainment for a lot of people.

I actually like the odds in reno better but the drive can be a drag.

Comment by Darrell_in_PHX
2012-03-25 13:12:43

I was using San Fran as the starting point. Sac is 2 hours, and Reno 4-5 depending on road conditions.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 10:16:24

Closer to home — like Darrell pointed out. Oil price considerations make this observation all the more pertinent…

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:07:08

According to FPSS, you can safely ignore anyone who speaks through a microphone on the MSM bully pulpit about how to fix the U.S. financial system. I’m looking forward to pointing out His Smugness’s folly on this point, a few years down the road.

My personal view is that the DC-NYC death grip on financial and political power is holding our country back, and I expect the political consensus to gradually but inexorably converge on this insight.

Break Up The Banks! Dallas Fed President Calls for The End of “Too Big To Fail”
By Christopher Matthews
March 22, 2012

Since 2008, there have been plenty of calls to forcibly dismantle the “Too Big To Fail” (TBTF) Banks, but few of those calls have come from those in positions of real power. But the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President, Richard Fisher, has been consistent and vocal in his belief that our economy will not reach its full potential until those bloated financial institutions are cut down to size.

3/22/2012 @ 2:00PM
Only Bank Breakups, Not Bailouts, Will End ‘Too Big To Fail’

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is out with its 2011 annual report Thursday, and it should come as little surprise that the district overseen by inflation hawk Richard Fisher is making something of a splash.

“If you are running one of the “too-big-to-fail” (TBTF) banks—alternatively known as “systemically important financial institutions,” or SIFIs—I doubt you are going to like what you read in this annual report essay written by Harvey Rosenblum,” Fisher writes in his letter prefacing the report.

Why it’s time to break up the ‘too big to fail’ banks
January 18, 2012: 10:56 AM ET

Customers would benefit, the U.S. government would benefit, and - believe it or not - the big banks themselves would do better.

By Sheila Bair, contributor

FORTUNE — America is downsizing. Whether it’s the food we eat, the cars we drive, or the houses we live in, Americans are concluding that smaller is better. Even U.S. corporations are starting to see the benefit of more Lilliputian institutions; the impending — and widely hailed — breakups of McGraw-Hill (MHP) and Kraft (KFT) are two examples.

So what about banks? It would surely be in the government’s interest to downsize megabanks. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) continues to push his bill to split apart the largest institutions. Regulators have new authority to order divestitures under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. From a shareholder standpoint, government breakups have a pretty good outcome. It worked out well for John D. Rockefeller, whose shares in Standard Oil doubled after it was ordered to break up. Ditto for those who owned stock in AT&T (T).

Yet with gridlock in Washington, don’t count on politicians for a solution. Shareholders, however, have an interest in demanding that big banks split apart. Comparing the valuation for the supersize banks (Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), and J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM)) with their simpler, leaner competitors isn’t pretty. Price/earnings per share for the supersizers averages 5.8, compared with 8.1 for smaller, more focused Wells Fargo (WFC) and 8.1 for the bigger regional banks like U.S. Bancorp (USB) and PNC (PNC). More telling is the ratio of share price to tangible book value. For the supersizers, the average is 72% of book, compared with 165% for Wells and 142% for the big regionals. Chase’s strong performance holds up the average for the supersizers, but even its price to book is only 110%. Wells’ superior performance suggests that complexity is a bigger drag on returns than size is. Even though Wells’ assets exceed $1 trillion, it has pretty much stuck to its basic business of taking deposits and making loans, and in the process has consistently delivered solid returns.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:26:31


I love that word, and use it often here as a symbol of the people of Main Street America who make this country great! ;-)

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 10:06:10

And PNC manages that even though they don’t charge for people from other banks to use their ATMs. I pretty much always use PNC ATMs to save USAA from having to reimburse the fee.

Comment by CarrieAnn
2012-03-25 09:09:19

For your enjoyment…..Maybe Polly can check it out and report back to us.

REALTORS®: Register to attend the Rally

Associations: Review our Rally Resources. Tell us what you need. Use our promotional materials.

Help Build the Buzz. Send your friends and colleagues our Rally ECard.


A Message from NAR President Moe Veissi

Our industry is facing a crucial moment. Never before in the history of our great nation have housing and real estate been forced to defend the benefits they provide our country. The very foundation of civilization is no stronger, nor more enduring than the integrity of the homes on which they rest.

We must have a sustainable, durable housing economy for generations to come. Congress and the President should see their job as bolstering the housing economy and strengthening our commitment to the country’s health. If the housing market continues to falter, the economy cannot fully recover. Over the next 18 months Congress will begin reshaping the role of housing in achieving the dream of owning a home. That is what we are facing. REALTORS® have something to say about this. And this is our opportunity to ensure housing remains the fiber that binds together the fabric of America.

continued at the following link

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 09:39:41

now that is hilarious.

Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2012-03-25 10:22:48

What pandering sanctimonious liars Realtors are.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-03-25 11:34:18

I just threw up a little in my mouth…

Realtors are Liars, alright…

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Comment by polly
2012-03-25 10:35:33

Well, its a Thursday and they are rallying between 9:30 and 11:30. I’m not generally available at that time. The schedule of events page is very funny. I might bump into a few of them on the Red Line. That is how I get to work. I might be able to report about clueless people trying to figure out how to use the fare cards to exit the subway.

Comment by CarrieAnn
2012-03-25 13:20:53

Didn’t mean to shanghei you there, Polly. Just knew they were in your general vicinity. I like the reimbursement page. They only paid for one night’s stay untess you spent over $300 for accomodations and then they’d help you out. Sounds like a program a housing professional could love.

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 14:53:42

By the way, the rally is absolutely secondary to any purpose they have. That is just to try to grab 10 seconds on the news. It doesn’t accomplish anything. Most of the time, they bring people in because they need constituents to bring materials to the Congress critters. The local staff can’t get access the way a contingent of people from the home district/state with a photographer can.

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Comment by oxide
2012-03-25 15:07:42

The NAR is going to give them a round-trip farecare too. At least that will save the rest of us from long lines at the machines.

I’m so glad I no longer have to take Metro. I used to really like Metro. Now, it’s all delays and breakdowns and station closings and non-stop useless announcements (Is that your bag? Such small words can mean so much…)

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:17:59

Even Central Bankers Have Had Enough … WSJ dot com

March 24, 2012, 9:51 p.m. ET

Too Big To Bank There

We have finally reached the point in our financial history where even bankers hate bankers.

Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas issued its 2011 annual report with a 34-page essay, “Why We Must End Too Big To Fail—Now.” The report stops short of calling our nation’s largest banks terrorists, but it does dub them “a clear and present danger to the U.S. economy.”

It begins with a letter from regional Fed president Richard Fisher. “More than half of banking industry assets are on the books of just five institutions,” he complains. “They were a primary culprit in magnifying the financial crisis, and their presence continues to play an important role in prolonging our economic malaise.”

This is not the Tea Party. This is not Occupy Wall Street. This is not some disgruntled Goldman Sachs guy firing off a nastygram to the New York Times on his last day. This is a member of the Federal Reserve itself—an institution that bears responsibility for our banking system devolving into an untenable oligarchy that buys off politicians, captures regulators and eats up our money. This is a member of the establishment saying Too-Big-To-Fail, or TBTF, must die.

The term TBTF disguised the fact that commercial banks holding roughly one-third of the assets in the banking system did essentially fail, surviving only with extraordinary government assistance,” the essay reads.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:22:57

Suppose there was a watershed moment in U.S. financial history, and the stupid, lame, bought MSM media nearly missed it entirely?

Dallas Fed Blasts Too-Big-To-Fail Institutions
By Michael Kraus on March 23, 2012

Richard Fisher, President of the Dallas Fed is an interesting guy. It’s well established that he is not a fan of the too big to fail banks. He consistently dissented from Fed statements advocating zero interest rate policies over the past two years over possible inflation, and is a noted opponent QE3 (remarking that QE3 is the economic equivalent of medical malpractice).

This background makes the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’s annual report (“Choosing the Road to Prosperity: Why we Must End Too Big to Fail – Now“) a must-read for me. The report unloads on TBTF banks with both barrels. To wit:

In addition to remaining a lingering threat to financial stability, these megabanks significantly hamper the Federal Reserve’s ability to properly conduct monetary policy. They were a primary culprit in magnifying the financial crisis, and their presence continues to play an important role in prolonging our economic malaise.


The TBTF insitutions that amplified and prolonged the recent financial crisis remain a hindrance to the very ideal of American capitalism. It is imperative that we end TBTF.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 09:32:26

Let them eat cake crumbs.

States receive crumbs from mortgage settlement
By Cate Long
February 10, 2012

The $25 billion mortgage-fraud settlement that was announced yesterday came after 18 months of coordinated action by the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and 49 state attorneys-general. The settlement is carved up so that homeowners and governments at the state and federal levels each receive some compensation. Given the scale of national losses, it’s a tiny penalty for banks that engaged in egregious servicing and foreclosure practices, and it will do little to repair the widespread economic damage.

More important for states, the amount they are set to receive far from covers the shortfalls they will suffer from lower property tax collections, which are pegged to property values.

A little background: Municipalities and school districts collect substantial revenues from property taxes, and they benefited from inflated housing values during the boom. With higher property tax collections, they ramped up municipal services. Starting in the first quarter of 2010, property taxes began to flatten, but property appraisals did not, as they lag behind property values by several years. We are just now starting to experience what could be a big decline in property tax collections.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 11:19:47

The Bloomberg article comes up with a count of two, but my count comes up as three.

What am I missing here?

Bloomberg News
2 Fed Presidents Oppose Buying More Bonds
By Joshua Zumbrun, Jeff Kearns and Craig Torres on March 24, 2012

Two Federal Reserve district bank presidents said the strengthening U.S. economy is reducing the need for additional monetary easing.

“As the U.S. economy continues to rebound and repair,” additional steps “may create an overcommitment to ultra-easy monetary policy,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said in a speech yesterday in Hong Kong. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said in Washington that “we should hold the balance sheet where it is for the time being and watch how the economy evolves.”

The remarks from Lockhart and Bullard, who have never dissented from a decision by the Federal Open Market Committee, reflect broadening sentiment on the panel against further steps to spur growth. The Fed has held interest rates near zero since 2008 and purchased $2.3 trillion in bonds to spur growth after unemployment rose to as high as 10 percent in 2009. The jobless rate is now 8.3 percent, and the economy has been expanding for more than two years.

The Fed is hosting a two-day conference in Washington to examine challenges for central bankers, including the use of asset purchases to sustain liquidity during times of financial turmoil. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke opened the gathering yesterday by saying central bankers “have had to deploy a variety of new tools and approaches to carry out their responsibilities regarding monetary policy and the provision of liquidity, tools about which we still have more to learn.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 11:24:39

Are “Masters of the Universe” prophesies inexorably self-fulfilling?

The Masters of the Universe are starting to challenge Bernanke
March 23, 2012

It started subtly, about a month ago, in the fed funds futures market, where investors had come to view U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s word as deed: first, the August pledge to hold the benchmark rate near zero until mid-2013; then, on Jan. 25, the extension of that target date to late 2014.

Investors priced fed funds futures contracts accordingly. At least they did until early February, when traders started to challenge the Fed’s forecast ever so slightly. (The contracts are cash-settled against the effective federal funds rate for the particular delivery month.)

The March 2014 contract, for example, peaked at a high of 99.77 on Jan. 30, an implied yield of 0.23 per cent, within the Fed’s current 0- to 0.25-per-cent target. The yield rose to 0.65 per cent earlier this week. Volume and open interest shot up, as well. Even the late-2013 contracts are starting to suggest zero isn’t a sustainable equilibrium.

Last week, the unthinkable happened: Long-term notes and bonds took a shellacking even as the Fed gobbles up the equivalent of the Treasury’s long-term issuance.

Not content merely to project a path for overnight rates, the Fed has engaged in several rounds of bond buying since 2009 — more than $2 trillion of Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities — to ensure that long rates don’t start thinking independently. A manipulated market leaves little room for self-expression, even among those gunslinging Masters of the Universe.

In keeping with its policy of greater openness, Bernanke has made it clear that additional quantitative easing (QE) is on the table.

Economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley expect the Fed to announce another round of QE as soon as the April 24-25 meeting — even before the effort to drive down long-term rates ends in June. (The Fed’s latest attempt to twist the yield curve involves the purchase of $400 billion of longer-term Treasuries and the sale of an equivalent amount of short-term securities.)

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 11:28:20

March 23, 2012, 3:55 p.m. ET

RATE FUTURES REPORT: Traders Fatigued At Fighting The Fed

–Fed maintains low-rate view despite noting moderate economic growth

–Traders pare bets for fed-funds rate to rise in late 2013

–One-year spreads see short-term rates climb at slower pace

By Howard Packowitz

CHICAGO (Dow Jones)–Traders of U.S. interest rate futures grew increasingly weary this week of establishing positions running counter to the Federal Reserve’s intention of holding short-term yields near record low levels for at least another two years.

Speculation intensified that rates would move up at a quicker pace after the Fed issued a slightly more upbeat view of economic conditions at its March 13 policy meeting.

However, the central bank’s rate outlook hadn’t changed. The Fed expects the short-term federal-funds rate will remain “exceptionally” low at least through late 2014. Also, this week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said policy makers should not be too quick to remove stimulative measures that are aiding the economy.

Bernanke’s comments “reminded people that it doesn’t pay to take the other side of the trade with the central bank,” said Chuck Retzky, director of futures sales at Mizuho Securities USA.

Also, weaker housing data, along with recession fears in China and the European Union, prompted traders to price in diminished expectations for the Fed to start raising the funds rate late next year.

Eurodollar futures prices rallied this week from multimonth lows, as traders generally believed yields will climb at a more modest pace.

The narrowing of a closely watched one-year calendar spread was also indicative of sentiment toward a more gradual rate increase.

Comment by Spookwaffe
2012-03-25 11:58:23

You all may have already discussed the event, but I want to run something past you all since I have not seen it discussed anywhere else.

I strongly suspect the physical part of the interaction between Zimmerman and Martin occured when Zimmerman attempted to DETAIN Martin.

I have no proof, but based on what he muttered to the dispatcher “they always get away”, I strongly suspect the attempted detention of Martin by Zimmerman is what initiated the physical struggle in which it appears Zimmerman was losing and therefore decided to shoot Martin.

When I was 17 I was about the size of Martin and had no interest in fighting a 28 year old man that out weighed me by 25 pounds, let alone 100.

But if corner, I would probably fight to get away for some man, ESPECIALLY one that looked like George Zimmerman (He’s no Andy Griffith and you know it)

Furthermore, law enforcement has always had the option, and I would go so far as to say the privilege of killing any black male and being completely cleared of any charges by simply saying these 5 words:






The “Stand Your Ground” law simply extends this privilege to the average person.

I hope Zimmerman is charged, tried and ACQUITTED; then and only then will all these house bi66ers, uncle toms and Obama koolaid drinkers wake up and realize you can’t “reform” or “rehabilitate” a white supremacist system by trying to make nonwhite people “equal” to white people.

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 12:59:46

So what do you suggest for reforming the white supremacist system? Seriously. Waiting another 200 or 300 or 500 years until increasing intermarriage evens out the skin tones seems impractical.

As of now, the conservatives seem to be adopting the “this isn’t what stand your ground means” line. It is what the person who originated the law in Florida was saying - that stand your ground doesn’t mean harass, pursue, attack and then shoot when the person defends against the attack. I’m sure it wasn’t what he meant, but it seems to be what the Florida police think it means, or they at least think that they don’t have the responsibility to make sure that wasn’t what happened.

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 17:35:23

Polly all this over 1 stupid act… i pointed out before trayvon was suspended from school and should have never even seen zimmerman if he was a good kid.

Now how do we get a million hoodie march over the real killers of 8000 black people a year…niggazs gangstas and thugs?

see polly the death of political correctness will be Ohbahmas legacy….and we will all be better off by it.

Comment by M
2012-03-25 21:03:01

“let Polly do the printing”

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 22:30:37

Possibly new info:

The Martin family uses a Photo taken years ago of their
hoodie “Kid” in fact as he looked when was killed , he was sort of scary he was over 6 feet tall and had hiphop gold teeth looking like target practice for the police i.e. tuff.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 13:56:52

Churches see surge in foreclosures
Carolyn Said
Sunday, March 25, 2012

[PHOTO: A congregant reacts at last Sunday's service at Without Walls International Christian Fellowship in S.F. Like some other small or mid-size fellowships, the storefront church in Hunters Point is facing foreclosure.]

Standing in front of windows overlooking the San Francisco Bay, an exuberant choir clapped and danced as it sang “He Is Lord” last Sunday at Without Walls International Christian Fellowship in Hunters Point.

“We are asking for deliverance in this house,” said the Rev. Henry Davis, speaking from the pulpit in the modest storefront church as about 80 congregants, ranging from lively toddlers to elderly ladies, murmured agreement. “This is our house; this is holy ground.”

But the church, like a growing number of religious fellowships around the country, may lose its house of worship to foreclosure.

“More and more churches are facing this problem,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition civil rights advocacy group. Its 1,000 Churches Connected Project acts as a mediator between struggling churches and their lenders. Program Director Axel Adams said he’s talked to about 40 churches in California and many more nationwide that are straining to make property payments.

“Churches are full of members who lost jobs, who face home foreclosures themselves,” Jackson said. “Church is their place of refuge. If the refuge closes, they have no place to go.”

Comment by azdude
2012-03-25 16:18:05

now that is amazing. I guess folks don’t have any cash to support the church? Aren’t you suppose to give like 10% of your pay to them?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 16:23:58

The Lord’s deadbeats. Sic ‘em, Jeff.

Comment by Spookwaffe
2012-03-25 14:37:12

“So what do you suggest for reforming the white supremacist system? Seriously. Waiting another 200 or 300 or 500 years until increasing intermarriage evens out the skin tones seems impractical.”

Polly, racism isn’t really morphology, its BEHAVIOR. Zimmerman isn’t even a white person, but look at his behavior?

“he looks suspicious…he’s on drugs… he’s up to no good…”

People that look like you are not necessary for the existence of a white supremacist system.


Because white people are only white in terms of their BEHAVIOR; their skin ain’t white and often their teeth ain’t either.

Let me rephrase my statement so you can better understand it:

you can’t “reform” or “rehabilitate” a CONCENTRATION CAMP by trying to make JEWS “equal” to NAZIS.

Now do you get it?

You can’t improve, reform, rehabilite a concentration camp because it should not even exist in the first place.

Once everybody looks the same, race conflict gets even worse because then its clear to everyone that its all nothing but BEHAVIOR.

exhibit A: Israelis and Palistinians

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 14:59:05

Nope, I still don’t get it. Stop talking in riddles.

You are just going to wave your hands and get rid of the police? the police state?

What about this young man’s behavior was his race? The iced tea? The skittles? The cell phone. The hoodie? The walking?

Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2012-03-25 19:38:25

What’s up Doc? ;)

Comment by ahansen
2012-03-25 23:33:21

“…exhibit A: Israelis and Palistinians.”


Or Protestants and Catholics.
Or Baptists and gynecologists.
Or North High vs South High

My guess is that a crew-cut blonde kid in a business suit would have encountered similar suspicions on Union and 106th St., in downtown LA.

Comment by Spookwaffe
2012-03-25 16:18:29

“What about this young man’s behavior was his race? The iced tea? The skittles? The cell phone. The hoodie? The walking?”

Polly, the young man HAS NO RACE, thats what makes him SUBJECT to the racists, like all non white people are.

You are confused because you don’t understand (or you are pretending not to) that racism=white supremacy.

COLOR is only a factor associated with racist mistreatment FOR NOW; if we ever start to get to be the same color, the white supremacists CAN and will just pick something else to focus on as a qualification for mistreatment.

The ability to qualify people for mistreatment is key for the white supremacists, what that qualification is, is not as important.

You act like you can’t understand what Im saying and accuse me of “talking in riddles”; but Im not describing anything that every Jew doesn’t already know.

Is it too difficult to accept when it comes from a nonwhite person like myself?

Comment by Realtors Are Liars®
2012-03-25 17:38:52

Are you a green martian?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 17:58:00

Is it too difficult to accept when it comes from a nonwhite person like myself?

I don’t think you are black, spookwaffe. Never really have. I think you’re a white moron.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 18:16:16

“…white moron…”


Comment by Spookwaffe
2012-03-25 19:01:07

Alpha, is it because of my BEHAVIOR?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 19:10:19

It’s because of your posts.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2012-03-25 20:07:52

No “race” has a monopoly on moronic.

I worked with a blue eyed blond haired German supremicist accountant once. She was very abusive to us whites of different geographical/linguistic origin.

I occasioned to remark that her folk had the blond hair only because of the raping and pillaging by my Viking ancestors up the river valleys of Northern Germany.

I had considerable trouble getting my expense reports approved after that.

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Comment by aNYCdj
2012-03-25 18:08:55

How do you explain feral belligerent racist black middle school kids?

he State Attorney’s Office has released surveillance video of a 14-year-old WHITE girl getting beaten up on a school bus. Deputies tell us the teenager was riding that bus for the first time on Friday, January 6, to what would have been her first day at Liberty Middle School in Ocala.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 18:56:09

Prepare yourself for a shock, dj. The music you base your career on is black music . You owe your career to black people.

Zydeco music was born in the late 1860s as a blend of Cajun music and two other “new” American music styles: blues and rhythm and blues. Haitian rhythms were also added, as Haitian natives moved to Louisiana to help harvest the new cash crop - sugarcane.

Comment by polly
2012-03-25 22:58:59

How on earth am I supposed to know your race/color/or any other physical characteristic of you?

Comment by Spookwaffe
2012-03-26 03:40:39

I just told you.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 17:50:12

Land of the Free? New York and California come out at the bottom of individual freedoms study
By Mark Duell
UPDATED: 12:51 EST, 15 June 2011

New Hampshire, South Dakota and Indiana ranked at the top

It might be the ‘Land of the Free’, but some states certainly aren’t living up to the words of America’s national anthem.

New York, New Jersey and California are the least free in the U.S., based on an index of public policies affecting your individual freedoms.

The rankings are based economic, social and personal freedoms of Americans - and include measures such as taxes, government spending and regulations.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2012-03-25 18:46:34

But New Hampshire, South Dakota and Indiana are the most free states in the U.S., according to Virginia think tank the Mercatus Center…

“The Mercatus Center at George Mason University (GMU) in the United States is a non-profit[1] market-oriented research, education, and outreach think tank affiliated with the Koch family.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 18:55:17

Remember the mid-1990s, when U.S. economists lectured Japanese bankers on how they should manage their financial crisis?

What goes around, comes around.

The Fed Archives
March 24, 2012, 7:47 p.m. EDT
Fed warned not to keep rates too low for too long
By Greg Robb, MarketWatch

Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa warns U.S. central bank in rates.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Two experts on monetary policy warned Saturday that the Federal Reserve should be wary of keeping monetary policy too easy for too long.

With Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke looking on from the audience, Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, and Jaime Caruana, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, said extremely easy policy is appropriate in response to a crisis but the costs of the policy rise as time goes by.

The Fed has kept short-term interest rates close to zero since December 2008 and has bought over $2 trillion of Treasurys and other asserts (SIC) to support the economy.

“As crisis management gives way to crisis resolution…there is a risk that the balance sheet costs against the benefits could significantly worsen,” Caruana said.

Easy monetary policy can “buy time” for reforms, but at the same time “make it easy to wait” and do nothing, he said.

“While aggressive monetary easing is definitely needed after the bursting of bubbles, its side effects and limits should also be taken into consideration,” Shirakawa said.

He pointed to rising commodity prices as one of the unintended consequences of the Fed’s low rate policies.

“While it is understandable that central banks would pursue the stability of their own economies in the conduct of monetary policy, it is increasingly important to take into account the international spillovers and feedback effects on their own economies,” Shirakawa said.

Caruana said that prompt action to fix bank balance sheets was the best way to end financial crises and get the economy back on its feet.

And easy monetary policy can actually slow this process down, he said.

Low interest rates can delay recognition of losses, allowing non-performing loans to remain on balance sheets. It can also undermine operating profits of the banking sector, he added.

In addition, low rates can kick off a renewed round of risk-taking that may get out of hand, he said.

Banks may favor unproductive trading activity over making long-term investments.

“Absent more fundamental measures that go to the root of the problems, the risk is the post-crisis recovery could be slowed and weak,” Caruana said.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 20:17:29

ft dot com
March 25, 2012 7:55 pm
How to ensure stimulus today, austerity tomorrow
By Lawrence Summers

Economic forecasters divide into two groups. There are those who cannot know the future but think they can – and then there are those who recognise their inability to know the future. Major shifts in the economy are rarely forecast and often not fully recognised until they have been under way for some time. So judgments about the US economy have to be tentative. What can be said is that for the first time in five years a resumption of growth significantly above the economy’s potential now appears a substantial possibility. Put differently, after years when growth was more likely to surprise below expectations than above them, the risks are now very much two-sided.

As winter turned to spring in 2010 and 2011, many observers thought they detected evidence that the economy had decisively turned, only to be disappointed a few months later. Several considerations suggest that this time may be different. Employment growth has been running well ahead of population growth for some time now. The stock market level is higher and its expected volatility lower than at any time since 2007, suggesting that the uncertainty weighing on business has declined. Consumers who deferred purchases of cars and other durable goods have created pent-up demand that now seems to be emerging. At last the housing market seems to be stabilising. For years now, the rate of new families setting up households has been well below normal as more and more young people have moved in with their parents. At some point they will set out on their own, creating a virtuous circle of a stronger housing market, more “family formation” that boosts demand, further improvement in housing conditions and so on. And, assuming there is no punitive regulation, innovation in mobile information technology, social networking and newly discovered oil and natural gas seems likely to drive investment and job creation.

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

What are the implications for macroeconomic policy? Such recovery as we are enjoying is less a reflection of the American economy’s natural resilience than of the extraordinary steps that both fiscal and monetary policy makers have taken to offset private sector deleveraging – a process that is far from complete. A convalescing patient who does not finish their course of treatment takes a grave risk. So too the most serious risk to recovery over the next few years is no longer financial strain or external shocks, but that policy will shift too quickly away from its emphasis on maintaining adequate demand, towards a concern with traditional fiscal and monetary prudence.

On even a pessimistic reading of the economy’s potential, unemployment remains 2 percentage points below normal levels, employment remains 5m jobs below potential levels and gross domestic product remains close to $1tn short of its potential. Even if the economy creates 300,000 jobs a month and grows at 4 per cent, it would take several years to restore normal conditions. So a lurch back this year towards the kind of policies that are appropriate in normal times would be quite premature.

Indeed, recent research suggests that, by slowing investment and increasing long-term employment, such policies could seriously damage the economy’s long-term performance. Brad Delong and I argued in a recent paper that premature and excessive fiscal contraction could even, by shrinking the economy, exacerbate budget problems in the long run.

Comment by rms
2012-03-25 23:10:31

By Lawrence Summers

Not going to read this scumbag’s chit.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-03-25 20:22:57

Strong majority backs California Gov. Brown’s tax-hike initiative
Los Angeles Times
Published: Sunday, Mar. 25, 2012 - 1:00 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California voters strongly support Gov. Jerry Brown’s new proposal to increase the sales tax and raise levies on upper incomes to help raise money for schools and balance the state’s budget, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they supported the governor’s measure, which he hopes to place on the November ballot. It would hike the state sales tax by a quarter-cent per dollar for the next four years and create a surcharge on incomes of more than $250,000 that would last seven years. A third of respondents opposed the measure.

Brown’s new plan, rewritten recently amid pressure from liberal activist and union groups that had a competing proposal, relies on a larger share of revenue from upper-income earners than his original measure. Correspondingly, it leans less upon sales taxes, which are paid by all California consumers. The poll shows that taxing high earners is overwhelmingly popular.

“These poll results illustrate that Brown was very smart to put together this initiative the way he did,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California.

Shirley Karns, 74, an independent voter from the Northern California town of Lakeport who backs the governor’s new plan, said the wealthy should pay more.

“Those who have an unbelievable amount more than those who do not should contribute more,” she said. “And on the sales tax, the more you buy, the more you pay. It’s pretty tough on low-income people who have to pay an extra nickel here and there, but we’ve got to get the money from somewhere.”

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