December 8, 2013

Bits Bucket for December 8, 2013

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

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Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-08 05:20:20

Jack Frost has arrived in So Ca. This morning it’s 43. It’s cold! I know, were wimps. I read it was
-20 in Montana. No thanks.

Got the basic faux tree up last night. What a pita. I beginning to lose my Christmas decorating spirit. I do love the lights and music of the season, but I can’t stand the “more stuff” interior and exterior aspect. Maybe I have a touch of “The Grinch” this morning.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 05:41:39

Save it for facebook.


Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 07:45:51

A rental will never feel like a real home.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 08:01:47


Renting a house is half the monthly cost of buying one.

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Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 09:29:52

Rent for thirty years and be left with nothing but an empty bank account.

Buy a home, build equity with every mortgage payment, and after thirty years you have a paid off house as you begin the retirement of your dreams. Decorating your home for the holidays, hosting all of your children and grandchildren in your family home, you’ll never create memories like that living in a rental.

Comment by tj
2013-12-08 10:13:05

Rent for thirty years and be left with nothing but an empty bank account.

buy at an inflated price and be stuck with a huge loss that will probably be hard for most to pay back.. why? they are poor shoppers. they don’t know value. they got suckered.

Buy a home, build equity with every mortgage payment, and after thirty years you have a paid off house as you begin the retirement of your dreams.

you’ll pay much more if you buy at inflated prices than if you wait until the bubble bursts. the difference could be huge in one’s life. you’re giving bad advice amy. karma is hurting you.

Decorating your home for the holidays, hosting all of your children and grandchildren in your family home, you’ll never create memories like that living in a rental.

memories are built whether ‘owning’ (renting from the government) or renting. you’re being a deceiver amy. is it intentional or do you believe what you’re saying?

even if you’re just making fun, you should stop. some people will believe what you say.

Comment by ethan in norfolk va
2013-12-08 11:43:01

If I bought at the peak, wouldn’t that mostly have been cancelled out by now? 8 years into a 30 year loan later? I guess another piece is to always pay some extra on the principal.

Comment by Anon In DC
2013-12-08 12:25:01

Hi. I’ve rented for the past 10 years after selling a house.
The difference between renting and owning for me has been ~$1500 per month. I’ve put it in REITs. So I have ~$200K of liquid, well diversified, real estate. Hardly nothing. I can easily move for work and had to once. I live in nice well kept rentals with responsible landlords. Renting can be very beneficial from lifestyle and financial perspective.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-08 12:31:22

‘Decorating your home for the holidays, hosting all of your children and grandchildren in your family home, you’ll never create memories like that living in a rental.’

And that is why we are a poorer nation for it. The end.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 13:11:59

“I’ve rented for the past 10 years after selling a house.
The difference between renting and owning for me has been ~$1500 per month.”

You’ve saved $180k by renting instead of buying. Personally, just from avoiding the mistake of paying a grossly inflated price for a house from 2000-2013, I’ve banked nearly almost $300k…. cash. That’s not including my normal high rate of savings. I’ve very close to being a millionare simply by not buying a house and saving since 2000.

Bill from LA, care to chime in with your success at renting?

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 15:14:32

Hi. I’ve rented for the past 10 years after selling a house.
The difference between renting and owning for me has been ~$1500 per month. I’ve put it in REITs. So I have ~$200K of liquid, well diversified, real estate. Hardly nothing. I can easily move for work and had to once. I live in nice well kept rentals with responsible landlords. Renting can be very beneficial from lifestyle and financial perspective.

Your $200k in REITs probably yields you $8,000 per year. It covers over five months rent which is substantial, compared to the sorrows of being a home moaner: Live an idyllic life in your “castle” you bought and find that at the end of one summer your neighborhood has a new multiple unit housing development full of section 8, then over the following years you wonder why comp house prices in your hood are less than what you paid for it. No section 8 tenant occupies my REIT fund! Or find out a halfway house or assisted living house full of dementia types bought the house next to you.

Or you find some nut case (lefttard) like Rio moves next door and tells you that he hates guns. You then put a “This house has no Firearms” sign out in front of that leftard’s house! LOL

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 15:18:00

Actually I was wrong to assume your rent is $1500. Perhaps more, perhaps less. But your point is you can save $1500 more per month by renting than by owning. So you are in much better shape than I even assumed in the first place!

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 15:46:09

Anon, was it an equivalent property? At least in my part of DMV metro, the only way I could have knocked rent by $1500 is to live in a box.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 15:51:15


Price per square foot in DC is double the monthly rental rate per square foot and you damn well know it.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 18:40:13

H.A. wrote Bill from LA, care to chime in with your success at renting?

By all means.

I made mortgage payments on a house in a military town. Military was the only business in town. I was a federal employee of the DON. My job was secure. The value on my house was not. Its followed the contractors leaving that town.

It took me six years to cobble up enough cash to pay the difference between what I owed and what I was able to sell it for. I had $20,000 in a 5% money market fund in the mid 90s.

I was free - NO LONGER A SLAVE to a mortgage by taking a 20% loss.

How could I measure the savings? Well I could not. But to put it in perspective, my income was $52,000 the year I sold the house and moved to a much larger city with jobs. I rented ever since. The renting allowed me ahelluva lot more opportunities to take better paying jobs when they came along.

I rented a tape once of a financial guru who explained why having a couple years of savings leads you to higher net worth. He said those who have two years of savings can take on opportunities that others cannot afford to risk.

That is exactly what I put into practice. I got so into it that I hopped from job to job across the US starting in 2000. If I still owned that house I would have seven more years of mortgage payments but far less net worth and I would be on the treadmill. Hopeless and in my early 50s.

I prefer being financially secure and in my early 50s. I don’t need hope anymore. I rent instead.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 18:44:26

Compared to the $52,000 in 1996, my peak income and overtime was in 2005 and was above $223,000. I never ever would have done that had I still been in that small town as a DON employee. I lived well below my means all the time so that the excess income after taxes went to Series I savings bonds, precious metals, stock funds, municipal bond fund, TIPs, and US treasury notes and bills.

The best thing I ever did.

All because I got out of real estate in the mid 90s and used my short leases on rents to my advantage to take money making opportunities home moaners could not take.

Moral: Do not enslave yourself in any form of debt. No debt is good debt.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 18:46:32

I’ll put it this way very softly…No Debt is good debt!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 18:52:00

Another successful and very lucrative rental story. Thank you Bill.

Anyone else?

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 19:44:28

“Anyone else?”

Sure, could Bill please reply his story, but imagine being married and two children, and they cannot move too far from the mother-in-law either. Bill? :)

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 19:45:28

“Sure, could Bill please reply his story…”

Sure, could Bill please replay his story…

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 20:09:23

Well that’s the thing. Bill will never have to replay that story because avoiding marriage/kids was part of the strategy. The way his posts are read, I suspect that renting and moving around would take priority. He would simply leave the wife and kids with the mother-in-law.

That kind of lifestyle is lucrative but it’s not for everybody.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 20:29:47

People don’t travel to advance their careers?

Now Toxide…….

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 20:38:03

The year 2000 was the razor’s edge. I lost my dad and an aunt to cancer. I had a girlfriend age 36 who was completing her Phd and her biological clock alarm was going off - the snooze alarm actually. She was trying and trying for marriage. But I was averse to marriage. She was offered a job paying 30% more than me but that still did not phase me. I had issues at my current employer. I hated that employer for how it treated me - long story.

Long story short - after our split, within a year (we last saw each other in March 2001), she’s pregnant and married. I contact her a few years later and found out. When I contacted her she said she was divorced and has a girl and a boy.

Close call. The girl is the oldest. I asked her if the girl has some of my features, if you know what I mean. She said no.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 21:37:05

Thanks for the follow-up, Bill.

The “end of the cold war” recession was in full bloom when I got married, and we put off children for a few years until my engineering coursework was behind me, well almost.

Supporting a family introduces constraints that a single guy can’t imagine until he/she is completely immersed. Add in a parasitic financial system that owns our bankrupt government, and that family guy has few choices. The kids college expenses are looming, and all I see are officials congratulating themselves for creating additional financing options for “American families.” I have no plans to sign-up for sack jhit.

FWIW, I just pissed away $60 on a Christmas tree today. Yeah, I had a choice, but the $60 was W-A-Y cheaper; trust me.

Comment by tj
2013-12-08 08:03:06

A rental will never feel like a real home.

a ‘real home’ can be taken away if you don’t pay the property taxes. it happens. people lose their incomes for various reasons and can’t afford the taxes. it’s what spawned a bill in n. dakota to end all property taxes. unfortunately, it was defeated.

There’s one thing you’ll never be able to insure against, and that’s your landlord deciding to raise your rent when your lease is renewed.

another thing you can’t insure against is the government deciding to raise property taxes as it gets desperate for new revenue. renting from the government might get very expensive..

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Comment by Ben Jones
2013-12-08 13:49:33

‘Decorating your home for the holidays, hosting all of your children and grandchildren in your family home, you’ll never create memories like that living in a rental.’

Hmm. I guess that’s why I’ve hauled so much Christmas stuff to the dump from foreclosures. Maybe it goes like this: “Ma, don’t bother packin’ that plastic tree or those Jalapeno Pepper shaped lights. We’re goin’ to a rental and we’ll never celebrate Christmas again.”

But then again, they leave so much other junk too. Like treadmills. “Pa, don’t put that tread mill on the truck, we’re gonna be fat, lazy renters forever now.”

Or the 50 pairs of shoes in every closet. “Little Timmy, you just go on and leave those shoes behind. They don’t allow footwear at the trailer park.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 09:16:43

Because it does not have that ball and chain feel?

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 10:10:04

My Phoenix apartment feels like home. My Orang County place does not.

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Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 10:25:53

An apartment will never feel like a real home.

Comment by tj
2013-12-08 10:35:15

An apartment will never feel like a real home.

it will also never instill the kind of fear that losing a home through debt will instill. that kind of chronic fear can ruin your health.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 13:13:46

A rental house at half the monthly cost of buying it feels like home filled with loose cash.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 15:02:55

Cash, platinum, and gold.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-08 10:36:01

I thought hyper-inflation was coming?

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Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 10:41:03

If it was, home buyers’ mortgage payments will never increase.

Meanwhile renters will pay higher rents every year.

Comment by tj
2013-12-08 10:46:57

Meanwhile renters will pay higher rents every year.

then homeowners will find fewer and fewer renters every year.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 11:52:28

then homeowners will find fewer and fewer renters every year.

They will import renters. Problems solved.

Comment by tj
2013-12-08 12:21:49

They will import renters. Problems solved.

mostly they are subsidized liberal voters or squatters and gang soldiers.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 13:15:36

Why sign up for a massive mortgage payment when you can rent the same square footage for a fraction of the price?

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-08 10:40:09

Same goes for your wash.rinse.repeat dribble day after day, HA. I don’t do Facebook. But live and let live. Even you!

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-12-08 05:58:13

The decorations they sell at the Dollar Store are sickening.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-08 06:08:49

I just gave away lots of $1 ornaments and such. I replaced them with Costco stuff. No more cr*p. If we don’t really need it, it isn’t being purchased. We’re not gifting this year, and I’ve told people not to buy us. A holiday party (we have a player grand) and a fun night, that’s our gift.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 05:58:22

Where I live the temperature is 40. Loan me a couple of degrees and I’ll pay you back next summer.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:04:17

Global Warming has gotten so severe here on earth that it ended up wiping out all the sunspots.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 06:11:50

Never mind that China’s coal usage has increased from 1.5 billion tons in 2000 to 3.8 billion tons in 2011, because the Drudge Report links to articles about cold weather.

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Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:26:05

Instead of burning 3.8 billion tons of coal China would be better off sending this coal to General Electric to be turned into diamonds. Then with all the wealth contained in these diamonds China could then be able to buy the world, and if they bought the world then they could live any place they want, which includes Southern California, which, because of the weather, is the place everyone wants to live even though the temperature in the Southern part of the state is currently nippy 40 degrees.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 07:14:10

I was watching some of the international news on PBS yesterday evening and they were showing extensive video of some urban areas in China. Or I should say, trying to show the video, because what I saw was mostly just a gray mass with a few faintly human forms and what looked like vehicles moving around.

Looks like some drill for nuclear winter.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 07:19:59

“where everyone wants to live…” - how about work? Even with the confiscatory taxes if your after tax income is higher than a low tax state like Arizona, you are better off working in California. However I pay full Arizona state income taxes on all my income in California. My effective tax rate in Cali is around 5% when it otherwise would be north of 10%. California gives tax credit to Arizona, Oregon, Indiana, Guam, and Puerto Rico. My rent in Orange County is reasonable. My commutes are short and I can alternate between driving I-5 or go north on my street all the way to Irvine.

All the same, I want to spend most of my time in Arizona. Got lots of range time to spend with my firearms that I keep in Arizona.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 07:34:20

“how about work?”

Not a problem. When one is not making money acting or writing a screenplay he/she can always utilize his/her walk score of 50-or-so to make it to the nearest freeway off ramp and, with his/her cardboard sign, work the clog of drivers stuck behind the wheels.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 09:18:01

LMAO! Thanks for the laugh.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 08:51:57

“Where I live the temperature is 40. Loan me a couple of degrees and I’ll pay you back next summer.”

It has warmed up a bit this morning to 6-degrees and no wind. Last evening when I took out the kitchen garbage bag the wind chill was reported at -11-degrees. It’s all good though as the dew point has been much lower, so no ice or snow, and the skies have been clear and sunny. Eastern Washington’s Columbia Basin.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-08 06:03:34

Now it’s 33 degrees (just before dawn effect). Freak’in cold!

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:10:12

Yeah, well that’s because the sky is clear.

Hang in there, Mr. Sun is scheduled to come out and save us.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 08:46:45

Global cooling followed by global warming followed by global cooling.

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Comment by tresho
2013-12-08 15:28:20

Now it’s 33 degrees (just before dawn effect). Freak’in cold!
It was over 170 degrees inside my local sauna. I brought a plastic water bottle that had frozen inside the car. I stayed in the sauna until I could drink all the water. I forgot about the weather outside.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 07:19:44

I like the look of one candlestick in every window. I’d rather spend the money on food for the food bank during the spring, which is when they need the food. IMO it’s a little closer to what Christmas is about.

Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 07:48:04

Many rentals restrict the type or amount of holiday decorations you can display.

When you own your own home (unless you have HOA restrictions), you can decorate your home however you want.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-12-08 07:57:48

“(unless you have HOA restrictions)”

That’s another big plus, Amy, this idea that a buyer may have the opportunity to join a HOA - something that a renter will be excluded from doing.

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Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 10:28:04

When you buy a home, you don’t have neighbors above or below you or sharing walls.

And when you buy a home, you can paint the walls any color you like.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 08:56:29

“When you own your own home (unless you have HOA restrictions), you can decorate your home however you want.”

+1 A great reason to go $500k plus into debt. LOL!

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Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 09:25:14

I look at an HOA as a form of insurance!

It prevents my neighbors from doing what I don’t happen to like. I can be all bitchy, fussy and choosy AND have 200 pages of by-laws to protect me!

No geraniums in the front yard for you, buster. And the grass should be cut north-south only. No east-west grass cutting. That’s tacky.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-12-08 08:29:25

Christmas gifts are about tribute to the King of the Universe. These days most people think that is themselves.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 08:59:02

“Christmas gifts are about tribute to the King of the Universe.”

+1 Looks like the king has expanded his horizons. Greedy.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-12-08 09:07:16


Greed is good.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-12-08 09:05:50

“These days most people think that is themselves.”

In my case this goes beyond just thinking it is so; In my case it happens to be so.

It’s good to be the king. It’s good to be doing God’s work.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 05:40:04

Denver Post headline: “Obama declares health care law is working”

Which is an Associated Press piece (obviously, because the Denver Post sucks).

“Obama declares”

What else will he declare?

Obama declares New Economic Policy at the Tenth Party Congress

Obama declares liquidation of the kulaks in Ukraine

Obama declares national Trayvon Martin holiday to honor his fallen son

et cetera

Comment by Mr. Bitcoin
2013-12-08 05:53:34

Will he declare me to be a currency?

I am in need of some sort of validation. My sense of self worth has been deteriorating quite a bit during the past several days.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 06:00:55

No, but he was considering minting a different coin.

Huffington Post - The Obama Administration Took The Platinum Coin Option More Seriously Than It Let On:

“The Obama administration was serious enough about manufacturing a high-value platinum coin to avert a congressional fight over the debt ceiling that it had its top lawyers draw up a memo laying out the legal case for such a move, The Huffington Post learned last week.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which functions as a sort of law firm for the president and provides him and executive branch agencies with authoritative legal advice, formally weighed in on the platinum coin option sometime since Obama took office, according to OLC’s recent response to HuffPost’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. While the letter acknowledged the existence of memos on the platinum coin option, OLC officials determined they were “not appropriate for discretionary release.”

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:14:54

Why bother with a coin? Why not take anything, say a pebble found at the beach, and declare the pebble to be annointed with a certain value and then use this annointed value as collateral for borrowing?

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-12-08 06:19:49

Why not confiscate a whole truckload of pebbles and then just spend them?

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:32:01

Pebbles are a bit bulky to carry around. I move that dollar-sized pieces of papers be printed up that could be easily carried around in place of the pebbles and that the value of the papers would be backed up by the value of all the pebbles contained in the truck.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 06:51:56

I will donate my fresh p00p so that Obama adminstration can back their trillion dollar coin with it.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:58:28

Stick it in a can and call it art and it just might work.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 07:01:54

I like your idea. Obama was planning to do just that anyway.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 08:44:36

Obama’s bubblenomics vs. China’s supply side economics (Reaganomics) guess who is winning:

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Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 06:56:13

Bitcoin discussion is a waste of bandwidth. I’d rather hear a Lola rant on Reagan. Yeah we get it, blah, blah, blah, Bitcoin. I am beginning to think these posts about Bitcoin are a deliberate distraction. It affects 1/1000 of 1% of people or less.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 08:50:04

The “production” of bitcoins is a waste of energy and the discussion of them is a waste of energy. Help clean the air in China, end the bitcoin mania.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-08 23:31:12

Modern asset pricing theory more or less posits that no asset price is established in a vacuum. So the spectacular rise and fall of Bitcoin is symptomatic of other developments in the financial economy.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 07:21:13

I’m surprised no one yet has said what is most often discussed when a high politician “declares,” Martial Law.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-08 10:33:51

Bonuses for defense contractors?

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 05:48:14

Hope and Change

“Cherry Creek North is seeing its biggest construction boom in decades, fueled by developers offering a live-work-play experience in the tony neighborhood.

Five major projects are under construction or in advanced planning stages for the area just north and east of the Cherry Creek shopping center. More are in the pipeline.

The first round of development will produce 70 condos, 444 apartment units, 13 floors of office space and dozens of ground-floor retailers.

“Cherry Creek appears to be hitting its full potential,” said real estate broker Stuart Zall of Denver-based Zall Co. “It’s already a premier shopping district. Now, the office and residential markets are developing. Clearly, it’s a desirable location.”

Ironically, developers also were slowed by the very concept that has defined Cherry Creek North — an assemblage of small and largely independent retailers, many of whom own the real estate on which their stores sit.

The development companies were challenged by the prospect of negotiating to buy multiple small parcels of land that collectively became project sites.

Developers also were tasked with seeking approval from the neighborhood groups surrounding the Cherry Creek North commercial district. Some of the neighbors remain dismayed with the scale of the proposed projects.”

Comment by jane
2013-12-08 17:17:00

Oh. For a moment I thought you were referring to the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point. Then I caught myself.

Off topic disclosure: my DS finished his term of enlistment in 2012. Got out, got organized, checked out NC and DC, didn’t find them productive for employment in supply chain, drove across the country to Long Beach, and got hisself a job within two months of arriving. He could not have done that before the Marine Corps experience.

When he was in college in a tough science major, he hated it. When he was in the Marines, the experience was exhausting from a different perspective, he says.

Today, he looks back on his college experience fondly. While he doesn’t speak in glowing terms about his term of enlistment, he does give credit where credit is due.

Personally, I think the Corps was a good formative experience. It got him to a point where he now evaluates alternatives quickly and clearly, without emotional overload, while keeping the human element as a factor in the equation (cf. Marine Corps “team cohesion” value). One would have hoped he’d have internalized these skills during his education in science.

One proof of his increased capability: within six months of being in CA, he began b*tching about the taxes and freeloaders. Having seen a few of his cohort finance pickups with hazardous tours that did not work out well, he is delighted as all get-out to be on a cash basis. No talk at all about being a debt donkey.

Net: for those of us who do not learn from others’ experience, hard lessons are hard to learn (that has certainly been true in my case, lol!)

Comment by tresho
2013-12-08 19:41:03

One would have hoped he’d have internalized these skills during his education in science
What sort of skills? Taking the human element into account? That wasn’t part of my education in science. At one point after my final degree I paid out of my own pocket to learn more about the “human element.”

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-12-08 20:43:56

I was gonna say…the only thing I learned getting my BSEE was how to do more math and circuits and programming. But I was already married and paying my own bills at that point. The army is where I got everything she is talking about.

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Comment by jane
2013-12-08 21:35:29

No, lol! - and point taken.

What I meant was cutting through a morass of data to create clear alternative courses of action (or investigation, in the science curriculum).

The human element part of it becomes important if you want people to work with you to help you execute. Can’t do everything yourself.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 06:21:35

Sad Panda boo-hoo

Washington Post - NSA morale down after Edward Snowden revelations, former U.S. officials say:

“Morale has taken a hit at the National Security Agency in the wake of controversy over the agency’s surveillance activities, according to former officials who say they are dismayed that President Obama has not visited the agency to show his support.

A White House spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, noted that top White House officials have been to the agency to “express the president’s support and appreciation for all that NSA does to keep us safe.”

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 06:33:33

Of course it would after finding your own wives or spouses are secretively having an affair.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 07:22:47



Ugh..what a horrible name! Who came up with something so bad anyway? Competes on the same level as Madison. Brittany and Tiffany, too.

Why not just name you daughter Shaquila instead?

And no, I don’t care if I insulted anyone here.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 07:53:03

The coastal sh*tlibs and snobs come up with some doozies don’t they?

Conrad, Alistair, Putnam, Talbot, Bentley and Winthrop are the latest sh*tlib tripe. What makes this really fun is I manage to get everyone around people with these names to use some twisted version of it. And yeah… I’m surrounded by these limpwristed fools.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 08:04:06

Tell you what. If I had two job candidates of equal talent, skill and work ethic, I wouldn’t hire the one named Caitlin.

Jeez, how can you do that to your kid?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 08:14:55


Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 08:34:51

It’s amazing how many people hamstring their newborn’s future by saddling them with a stupid, precious, “clever” names.

Stupid (i.e. “pseudo-intellectual”) names for white girls such as Caitlin, Madison and Brittany are no different than stupid names for black girls such as Diamond, Unique and Precious.

Same is true for boys. Talbot? Winthrop? Really? Good way to tag your son as the Boy Prince from the get-go. Are you trying to ensure he gets hired as a bellhop at the local Marriott? Or maybe as a limo driver?

Li’l Tabby will get sh@t from his classmates for years. Good job, parents. Hell, why Talbot? Just name the little turd Farley and see how far that gets him.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 09:11:55


Here’s one for Winthrop. Call him Winthrop The Pooh.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-08 10:41:12

Caitlin is the Irish version of Catherine.

You guys should stick to discussing real estate and stop demonstrating your ignorance.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 12:30:05

Just because it’s Irish doesn’t mean it’s not stupid.

Caitlin is an awful name. It sounds like something only a pseudo-intellectual elitist would name their special snowflake. With a special snowflake spelling to boot!

Ooooo…lookit me. I know that Caitlin is Irish for Catherine. Knowing that makes me an intellectual.


Guess what? The name still sucks. Every bit as laughable as Shaquila.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 13:06:15

Speaking of $50k/yr sh*tlibs.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-08 14:03:06

‘Just because it’s Irish doesn’t mean it’s not stupid. ‘


Comment by SV guy
2013-12-08 10:10:58

My favorites are when people names their spawn after cars they can’t afford.

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Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 12:17:38

That cracks me up as well…

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 13:37:26

Kia Smith?

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2013-12-08 15:51:04

Yugo Pinto

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 16:22:05


Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 07:55:02

Some names are like tattoos, they don’t age well.

Until few months ago, I had never known or met anyone older than me named Tyler. I have always associated Tyler to be one of those cutesy names for the little boys born after the 90’s.

When I saw the name Tyler Xxxxxx, I was expecting someone in his 20’s or 30’s at most…imagine my surprise he was in his 60’s. He should have been Bob or David or John.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 11:25:43

I think Tyler is a girl’s name now.

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 20:33:02

Ha Ha! I know one Tyler - in his 40s.

Here’s my pet peeve: “Micah.”

When did that name start being used? I haven’t seen such a name ten years ago.

Did someone not know how to spell “Michael?” and use Micah?

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Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-08 22:07:55

Micah is a biblical name. Micah wrote the Book of Micah and lived in ancient Judaea around 800 BCE.

I guess I am an elitist for being knowledgable of Judo-Christian religious texts.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-09 05:51:39

You’re the only one who opens up and reads jewish literature?

Sanctimonious drama queen.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 06:26:28

What is your walk score?

Where I live is 77.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:36:48

OMG! My walk score is 50!

Should I be concerned?

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 06:41:32

That’s a fake walk score. Wear a pedometer for a day or two find walk score that matters to you.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:51:32

“That’s a fake walk score.”

Should I seek a second opinion?

(Up until now I felt at peace, now that I have discovered that my walk score is only a 50 I’m feeling a bit stressed. Damn, I used to love reading this blog everymorning, now I’m not so sure that doing so is healthy for me.)

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Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 07:03:07

On a serious note, body movement all day is the key. I am sure you knew that already.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 09:07:40

Should I seek a second opinion?

How about the thigh gap?

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 06:47:04

Should I be concerned?

No, you shouldn’t be. There’s plenty of parking here:

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 07:49:57

Gotta love it … escalators into the fitness center.

Maybe its a video game fitness center.

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Comment by Overtaxed
2013-12-08 06:44:16

Mine is a 0. Seriously.. A 0..

I need to find a “bike score” calculator, because, while things are kind of far from me (a few miles) for walking, S. FL in general is a great place to ride bikes; especially this time of year!

I’m sure places like NYC and Denver have high walk scores. Except that, for 4-5 months a year it’s so blindingly cold that anyone who can afford it will do anything to not walk. ;)

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 06:48:35

“S. FL in general is a great place to ride bikes; especially this time of year!”

LOL, here I’ve been reading about how most of the US is in a deep freeze, and I’ve got the AC on!

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 06:53:54

Yeah, but you don’t have movie stars and celebrities walking around everywhere as we do.

So, eat your heart out.

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Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 06:59:59

Do “real” movie starts still live in LA metro? All I hear and read is Kardashians, Miley & Kanye.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 07:02:56

I think my walk score should be raised because of all the movie stars and celebs. I’m a bit uncomfortable with only having a 50.

Plus with a temperature of only 40 my comfort level really took a dump.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 07:07:38

“Do ‘real’ movie stars still live in LA metro.”

Everywhere you go you end up running into them, restaurants, fast food - just about everywhere.

The guy or gal waiting on your table? He or she is most likely an actor or an actress.

The closer you get to Hollywood the more likely this becomes. Trust me on this.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 07:10:58

The guy or gal waiting on your table? He or she is most likely an actor or an actress.

You are right about them. “Struggling” is the operative word I believe.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 07:15:13

And not only actors and actresses but screenwriters as well.

As you near Hollywood you can stop just about anybody on the street and ask them about the progress they are making in writing their screenplay …

… and they will tell you.

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 09:11:54

That was not very nice Palmy….its 49 here and I am squealing like a baby…

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Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 09:26:28

Lol, I’ll be squealing like a baby when I get the power bill. Although it does cost less to cool down a house than it does to heat it.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 07:05:34

How about a “can your kids ride bikes down the street” score. If HGTV programming took kids and school districts into account most of those shows would be off the air.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 07:46:29

Except that, for 4-5 months a year it’s so blindingly cold that anyone who can afford it will do anything to not walk.

Denver isn’t that cold. Sure, we have cold snaps like now. But last week through Monday it was in the 60’s. I washed my car last Sunday, on Dec 1st, on the driveway with a hose and bucket.

I would say that the total of “blindingly cold days” (the kinds where I wouldn’t venture outside) per year are less than 30.

Plus the locals are a sturdy bunch. Right now we are going through one of the worst cold snaps in years. The wife and I went to do some shopping. The mall in Loveland is outdoors.

Even thought it was 7F, it was crawling with shoppers. It was hard to find parking.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 08:24:24

It’s a beautiful day out there, just don’t breathe.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 09:17:16

Gotta love a good thermal inversion! What’s a little brown cloud between friends?

Got coal?

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 09:17:26

I learned much about Colorado weather when son attended Metro State U….In many was it mirrors our weather here other that the short hits with storms…

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 09:32:37

Well, it is colder than SoCal in the winter.

People move here from places like Wisconsin and the Dakotas for the “mild winters”

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 12:21:59

Yes I know colorado…I am in Northern Cali so we are cooler than southern cal…But you have some really nice blue sky days even during the winter…Maybe because you are mile high it can be 65 but feel like 75…

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 14:31:20

Maybe because you are mile high it can be 65 but feel like 75

The dryness does take away some of the cold’s bite.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-12-08 09:56:29

“for 4-5 months a year it’s so blindingly cold that anyone who can afford it will do anything to not walk…”

This is just no so. It is “bitter cold” for two months, and then only every other week. We wear different kinds of clothes in the winter, big surprise. I go for long walks in the winter without hesitation. Well there is a slight pause to pull on the insulated boots.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 07:01:24

Walk score is communist urban planner propaganda. They want everyone to live like the rich New York intelligentsia.

Sienfeld is a very funny tv show. But it ain’t life.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 07:06:07

Blah blah agenda 21 et cetera

I grew up in outer suburbia where being a teen without a car was social death.

And vowed never to live in places like that again, therefore I don’t.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 07:18:29

To each his own, but did you really choose where you wanted to live based on not having a car in high school?

I’m not a huge fan of raising kids in an urban environment.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 07:25:21

I’m not an Al Gore bedwetter. In fact, I am a single occupant, two vehicle household.

We had no movie theater, no record store where I grew up. I used to ride my bike 30 miles roundtrip to buy CD’s (and get honked at and have sh*t thrown at me by passing motorists).

I don’t begrudge anyone’s choice of where to live, just don’t expect any sympathy from me when you complain that you spend six hours a day in the car to shop, run errands, and ferry kids to/from school and assorted sports and activities.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 07:39:50

Walkscore…… a phony metric invoked by coddled cowards and $50k/yr Sh*tLibs as if it means something to someone else.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 08:52:41

It is very similar to a pocket pool score.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 09:52:18

Walkscore - another tool used by the realtors to flimflam the yuppies.

With that said, it is nice to live in an area where you don’t have to take that 1000lbs metal just to go get a coffee.

Comment by jane
2013-12-08 17:28:54

You don’t need to, regardless. Try brewing yourself a pot sometime.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 07:28:17

What is your walk score?

It depends where you line in my little burg. This address had a scored of 74.

My nabe, which isn’t downtown, scored a mere 17.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 09:07:30

Mine is a 37 but it is off to the gym soon. It is open 24/7.

Comment by ethan in norfolk va
2013-12-08 12:11:21

77 where I live.
Want to move to the suburbs :-)

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 07:35:10

Oh that was fun! Where I had an apartment in L.A. my walk score is 89. Two grocery stores, medical offices, hospitals, restaurants, movie theaters, drug store, shopping mall, banks, haircut places, gyms, big fitness pools (2 of them), but still had to drive ten miles to the precious metals bullion coin shop.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 09:09:34

When they figure out the walk score did they factor in the being mugged or for women being raped score, if they walk?

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 10:13:26

In the part of L.A. Where I lived, it was very safe, even at night or in the wee hours of Dawn. Mostly Asians and east Asians lived there.

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Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 11:33:38

And I’m sure they factor in going to the grocery store… but not getting back from the grocery store, which is a different proposition altogether. That’s part of why so many people eat processed food. It’s not easy to haul raw ingredients to cook at home. If you don’t have a car or if you don’t have the money to eat out at a very good restaurant every day, then food becomes a 1/4 time job. I know, I did it for years.

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 14:56:24

In that case you do like the French people do: You buy for a day or two. You go back out in a couple of days and buy more. Another reason why the French are skinnier than Americans. They don’t have a “bigger is better attitude:” Bigger SUVs, supersize fries, bigger load of groceries, and so on. The only bigger thing they like is the nanny state.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 15:30:33

You buy for a day or two. You go back out in a couple of days and buy more.

Did you miss the part about the “quarter time job?”

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 18:01:57

It costs about the same per unit to buy your own groceries at the walkable grocery store every two days than it does every week - that is until we become like 1970s Brazil, where inflation was 4 digit gain per year. I did not refer to eating at restaurants daily at all. Make your own food. It’s far healthier.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 20:22:08

Bill, I’m not disagreeing with that the price is different. I’ve tried to cook my own food and eat healthy for 20 years, ever since I left the dorm and got a kitchen. I’m saying that it takes time. Daily shopping takes time, washing and chopping and cooking takes time. And work.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 20:30:46

It takes little time. You can multiplex too, listen to music or something while you chop vegetables. You organize it so that things finish at the same time.

Health is my priority. Not partying, not going out at night. But the healthiest food and avoiding obesity. I am totally flunking my own boss’s test and evangelism that most of his employees latched onto - marriage, real estate, children, and 4 hours of sleep per night.

Well excuse me but I have to sleep 7 hours per night and I have been a workout freak since the age of 17 (37 years). There is more to life than reproducing and becoming a cow (sedentary). Far more.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 21:42:13

“There is more to life than reproducing and becoming a cow (sedentary). Far more.”

+1 I’ll be stuck indoors until spring; 15th frozen winter.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 07:37:56

I actually did walk a lot when I lived in L.A. Because if you had a good parking space you would not want to give it up. Drive to the movies, come back, and you end up parking a quarter mile away, sometimes a half mile.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-12-08 07:55:43

Like here in NYC alternate side parking for the street sweepers.. that trick comes in very handy, doing some work down in park slope brooklyn..for a friend so monday and thursdays its 1130-1pm…so i am there at 1245 to catch a space in front of his brownstone …same with Rockaway beach, park in the front row and the beach is right there…

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 10:16:50

Thursday was street sweeper day. I got a ticket once for not moving my car. Then found a website explaining which streets and which days were street sweeping days.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 08:30:50

Los Angeles Times - Healthful living may soon be built into new communities:

“A New York developer may be the first home builder to integrate wellness into its products. But if a major real estate education and research group has its way, healthful living will soon be incorporated in many of the places we live and work.

The Urban Land Institute is embarking on a two-year effort to educate its members and the development community at large on how they can build healthful communities and workplaces where people can thrive.

“We are looking at city building through the lens of health and wellness as a way to measure sustainability and long-term prosperity,” said Lynn Thurber, chairman of the Washington nonprofit. “With this effort, wellness is the intent, the designed outcome, not just an additional benefit.”

In the face of withering sales during the economic downturn, many resort communities have placed wellness above golf and other amenities over the last few years as a way to entice more buyers. But otherwise few residential builders and developers — or commercial office building developers, for that matter — have seen the need.

But consider these statistics from the Urban Land Institute:

By 2030, more than 1 out of every 11 Americans will be at least 100 pounds overweight.

The cost to treat illness consumes 19% of America’s gross domestic product.

13 million school days are missed annually because of asthma-related illness.

At the same time, the institute says the ability to deliver on health directly translates into market value, and therefore, “makes good building sense.” Here’s proof:

Nearly two-thirds of Gen Y-ers think proximity to a park is an important buying consideration. And 3 out of 4 feel the same about walkability.

Homes in neighborhoods with good walkability are worth $34,000 more on average than similar places in neighborhoods with average walkability.

A dozen bicycles can fit into one parking space.

More than half of us want to live in a community that has transit.

“This is not just about building a walking trail or upgrading a fitness center,” said Patrick Phillips, chief executive of the Urban Land Institute. “Building healthy places is about improving all aspects of the environment in which people live, from the air we breathe to the places where we work.”,0,2360594,full.story

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 09:20:19

“By 2030, more than 1 out of every 11 Americans will be at least 100 pounds overweight.”

So people are going to be losing weight, cause it has to be more than 1 in 11 now.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 09:35:19

Lecture titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” by Dr. Robert Lustig:

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Comment by reedalberger
2013-12-08 10:26:03

Exercise. Works every times it’s tried…A little secret the food police don’t want you to know.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 11:33:31

I agree. I maxed out a weight machine by mistake today. I did five reps before I saw where it was set at 285 pounds. I will probably pay for that in the morning, I usually do only 215 pounds on that machine. One silver lining, the twenty something that came up to me when I getting off the machine said “are you done with the machine, SIR”. Such politeness is rare at my gym. BTW, he set the machine at about half the weight I used.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 11:39:01

Exercise. Works every times it’s tried…A little secret the food police don’t want you to know.

False. I gave a couple of examples the other day, of the triathlete 20 pounds overweight, the weight-lifter and biker who couldn’t keep off 45 pounds. Wheat and corn is the very big secret that the food producers don’t want you to know.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 12:35:57

“Wheat and corn is the very big secret that the food producers don’t want you to know”

Yup. The squad is going paleo on 1/1/2014 as part of training for the Pikes Peak Ascent half marathon on 8/16/2014. I’ll be passing all the wheat bellies on the trail while they huff and puff and I soar to victory.

Comment by reedalberger
2013-12-08 15:03:35

“False. I gave a couple of examples the other day, of the triathlete 20 pounds overweight, the weight-lifter and biker who couldn’t keep off 45 pounds. Wheat and corn is the very big secret that the food producers don’t want you to know.”

I can only speak for myself and others in my circle, exercise works. Building and keeping lean muscle mass (not body building) will enable you to burn more calories even when you are not exercising. Sedentary folks should eat less or eat foods that are less likely to add fat and bloat, their failure to do so has nothing to do with the types of food we produce in this country.

You can not paint with such a broad brush, your idea of bad food and mine are probably completely different, however I would rather get down on my knees and thank god that we have farmers and corporations producing the amazing variety of food products and delivery infrastructure we have in this country.

The food police are in the business of taking away choice by using Alinsky tactics which target their enemy foods. The daily onslaught of nanny state progressive authoritarians shoving their idea of clean living down our throats is thankfully starting to conjure negative responses from an increasingly skeptical public.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 15:43:40

Good luck with the paleo, goon! Just an observation… when you convert from regular American diet to low carb (low-carb being ~100-125g carb/day all from veggies and some fruit), there’s a ~one month adjustment period. It might be a good idea to NOT train while your body gets used to using different hormones and metabolic pathways.

reedalberger… whatever. Paleos have nearly an opposite viewpoint. And except for some purists, I would hardly classify the paleos as the Food Police. Save that label for the food processors who shove “clean living” down our throats in the most effective way — by bribing politicians and media to cheerlead their monocropping products in a food pyramid which turned out to be a recipe for diabetes.

Yeah yeah I know… Micheal Bloomberg. I didn’t think that was a good idea either. Here’s a fun youtube ad against food taxes: What’s so ironic about this ad is that the lady has a cart full of healthy food, but when she talks about what the taxes are on, it’s “soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, even flavored waters.” No one should be drinking that anyway, no matter what diet you’re on.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 10:19:56

Would be nice to have more grocers with organic produce. I am a whole Foods fan. For nonorganic I tend to buy a Subway salad for lunch.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 11:35:58

I love Costco’s spinach salad. Real bacon and eggs may not be the most healthy food to add but it sure makes it easier to eat.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 11:50:08

P.S. It is just bacon bits. Bacon is bad for you and I do strictly limit my intake but I do love the taste.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 20:26:08

So wait, you’re lecturing me to make my own food because it’s healthier, but you “buy a Subway salad for lunch.” Priceless. :grin:

I’m surprised you don’t have more organic in Commie Cali. But you should have farmer’s markets up the wazoo. Local isn’t necessarily organic, but it’s better than conventional.

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 20:55:36

Check the cholesterol, sodium carbs and calories of the subway salad. Then get back to me.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 21:00:43

280 cals
670 sodium (where 2400 is maximum for someone under 40 and 1500 is maximum for people over 40)
20% vitamin c
15% iron
8% vitamin a
30% calcium
15% iron
46 gms carbs

Now take a look at the basic six dollar burger. Over 1,000 calories and 1500 mg sodium

You get all your servings of vegetables in a foot long subway sandwich but get a lot of carbs. Better to do that in a salad. Then as a snack you do unsalted almonds. For dinner baked salmon and a glass or two of red wine.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 09:04:21

What is your walk score?

Walk Score = 8. “car dependent”

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 09:08:36

85 where I am headed…

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-08 14:53:48

In my new address in OC my walk score is in the 60s. And in my Phoenix place it’s in the 40s. I think that should be reversed. The traffic in my OC place is nuts - people daily run red lights. One pedestrian was killed near my place I was told. There is only one pub, a Starbucks, and a few junk food places within easy walk. Movie theaters are several miles away.

In Phoenix I can do a lot in a two mile walk, including go to Movies. An extra mile and I can eat at Fleming’s or Roy’s. Once I did walk the two miles and took care of three errands. You don’t want to do that in summer of course. I have easy access dedicated bike paths near my Phoenix digs. The nearest bikepath in OC is a mile from here and you have to risk contention with motorists.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 06:30:41

Book review of “Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror” by Erik Prince

Asia Times Online - A bunch of sexy, badass patriots

“It’s the late 1990s’ Clinton boom-boom years. You are a young millionaire US patriot with a Navy SEAL background. What are you gonna do? You invest in a badass private army start-up and you go fight “terra, terra, terra” across Dar al Islam. A single owner; no pesky stockholders; no board of directors; no government bureaucracy. You can be “nimble and aggressive”. You become - literally - the Prince of War. What’s not to like?

This is Erik Prince’s My Way, told with some measure of “contract humor” and the obligatory pious references to a “life’s mission” to “serve God, family and the United States”; this is the inside story of how Blackwater turned into “something resembling its own branch of the military” and “the ultimate tool in the war on terror”. In the manner of Audi extolling the merits of Vorsprung Durch Technik, Prince hails it as a “proud tale of performance excellence and driven entrepreneurialism”.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 08:46:50

Mercenaries. How long have they been around in the history of the world?

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-08 11:18:31

I don’t think Prince was really a mercenary. He enjoyed killing, it gave him power. He would have done it for free. If he grew up poor, he would be on death row.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-08 11:34:05

Bottom Line - there is no nightly death count when die on the evening news. Cindy Sheehan doesn’t care if they die.

But then again - when obama got elected the MSM dropped all that anyways.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-12-08 16:50:35

Mercenaries. How long have they been around in the history of the world?

“Now some men like the fishin’
and some men like the fowlin’
And some men like ta hear,
ta hear cannon ball a roarin’

Me I like sleepin’
specially in my Molly’s chamber
But here I am in prison,
here I am with a ball and chain yeah”

– Whiskey in the Jar, Thin Lizzy / Metallica

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-12-08 20:56:19

My nephew died working for him. The video is available online but I won’t post it.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 06:34:14

Asia Times Online - Welcome to the digital memory hole:

“What if Edward Snowden was made to disappear? No, I’m not suggesting some future CIA rendition effort or a who-killed-Snowden conspiracy theory of a disappearance, but a more ominous kind.

What if everything a whistleblower had ever exposed could simply be made to go away? What if every National Security Agency (NSA) document Snowden released, every interview he gave, every documented trace of a national security state careening out of control could be made to disappear in real-time? What if the very posting of such revelations could be turned into a fruitless, record-less endeavor?

Am I suggesting the plot for a novel by some twenty-first century George Orwell? Hardly. As we edge toward a fully digital world, such things may soon be possible, not in science fiction but in our world - and at the push of a button. In fact, the earliest prototypes of a new kind of “disappearance” are already being tested. We are closer to a shocking, dystopian reality that might once have been the stuff of futuristic novels than we imagine. Welcome to the memory hole.

Even if some future government stepped over one of the last remaining red lines in our world and simply assassinated whistleblowers as they surfaced, others would always emerge. Back in 1948, in his eerie novel 1984, however, Orwell suggested a far more diabolical solution to the problem. He conjured up a technological device for the world of Big Brother that he called “the memory hole”. In his dark future, armies of bureaucrats, working in what he sardonically dubbed the Ministry of Truth, spent their lives erasing or altering documents, newspapers, books, and the like in order to create an acceptable version of history. When a person fell out of favor, the Ministry of Truth sent him and all the documentation relating to him down the memory hole. Every story or report in which his life was in any way noted or recorded would be edited to eradicate all traces of him.

In Orwell’s pre-digital world, the memory hole was a vacuum tube into which old documents were physically disappeared forever. Alterations to existing documents and the deep-sixing of others ensured that even the sudden switching of global enemies and alliances would never prove a problem for the guardians of Big Brother. In the world he imagined, thanks to those armies of bureaucrats, the present was what had always been - and there were those altered documents to prove it and nothing but faltering memories to say otherwise. Anyone who expressed doubts about the truth of the present would, under the rubric of “thoughtcrime”, be marginalized or eliminated.

maybe Dianne Feinstein can hire some “real journalists” to work on this …

Comment by reedalberger
2013-12-08 10:32:28

Sounds like a progressive’s utopia.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-08 20:27:09

Sounds like a really bad place to invest in bitcoins. :razz:

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-08 07:04:14

37 walk score in my city. I guess my 30 minute (minimum) daily treadmill session is a good thing.
Yeah, this is a “walk to” score. Your mileage may vary.

Your AC, Humidity issue?

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-08 07:05:56

“H” s/b “h” - it’s early

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 07:08:41

“Your AC, Humidity issue?”

Yep. It’s warm and humid here right now. As opposed to summertime hot and humid. Local weatherpersons keep talking about how we have a July weather pattern, though. We may even experience an afternoon shower, like in the summer.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-08 07:24:06

Southern California had a shower once.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 07:38:25

Let the sea swallow is…it’s only natural.

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Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 08:03:19

If what I’m reading about Fukushima is true, looks like the West Coast is going to be glowing in the dark in the not too distant future.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 08:07:51

Love it. Hope it glows in the dark….had an ex gf who would love to fool around under the black light.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 08:53:04

Yes, well, you may just get your wish. Ultimate payback for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What goes around comes around, sooner or later, and not always in quite the same way it originally went down, but close enuf for rock and roll.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 08:55:18

Never use a black light in a no tell, motel.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 08:57:31

Yes, well, you may just get your wish. Ultimate payback for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What goes around comes around, sooner or later, and not always in quite the same way it originally went down, but close enuf for rock and roll.


Mess with the karma, and you will will glow in dark.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 09:01:16

Those glass fishing floats from Japan used to be much prized by west coast beachcombers, especially in the PNW. Some of them fetched a pretty penny on ebay, in fact I think some of them still do. But I sure wouldn’t be touching anything that washes up from Japan these days.

Comment by jose canusi
Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 07:09:52

So there is insurance to indemnify against;

-Structural failure
-Falling hazards(trees, windstorm,etc)

Is there insurance against cratering prices on a rapidly deprecating house at a grossly inflated price?

It’s a Christmas Crater for Donkeys.

Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 07:49:45

There’s one thing you’ll never be able to insure against, and that’s your landlord deciding to raise your rent when your lease is renewed.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 07:54:37

Rents could double and they’d still be half the carrying costs of buying at current asking prices of resale housing.

Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 09:26:38

When you pay rent you throw money away every month and pay your landlord’s mortgage.

When you buy a home, you build equity with every mortgage payment.

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Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 10:59:33

Just out of curiosity how long does it really take to build real equity with a 30 year mortgage?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 12:28:58

When you rent from the bank, you throw away every month and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When you rent a home, your costs are less than half the cost of renting it from the bank.

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 14:01:47

your landlord has you by the b@lls doesn’t he?

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-08 11:04:22

Really? You’re evidently a young guy.
That might be your point of view, or
your path, but we all walk different ones. One size doesn’t fit all.
So many variables:

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 13:26:19

$55/sq ft construction costs(lot, labor, materials and profit) anywhere in the country isn’t a point of view. It’s reality and we do it every single day.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 13:52:23

I read that last one as “Goats”. You can’t have goats in a rental.

Comment by jane
2013-12-08 20:46:21

This is a somewhat housing related request for advice from HA, ahansen, ex-Fixr, Resistor (?Muggsy?), Blue Skye, and anybody else who understands rural life (apologies for leaving anybody out) -

I have an uneasy relationship with the DC Metro area. Good for making a living. Problematic for every other aspect of life.

Even if housing WERE affordable, I dislike the area to such a degree that I would not invest in it. I’d be holding my nose every time I touched my own doorknob. As Oxy notes, renting is not inexpensive either. However, it has the advantage that your crapshack hasn’t shackled you.

That being said, I found a couple of areas in the state where I WOULD be willing to plunk down my hard earned pennies. I might be able to buy riverfront on a trout stream and have a woodlot, some pasture and a hill to use as a failsafe for target shooting, in some of the areas I have explored. I’m waiting for Great Capitulation II, but I also think there are other factors at play.

These are areas that are gorgeous (to my eyes), and have been hollowed out by the collapse of local industries. Coal. Timber/furnituremaking. Ten per cent population losses, twenty five per cent vacancy rates on primary (not ‘vacation’) houses, consistently over a decade. Although a house may be bought for $60K, it won’t sell because local move-up buyers (on $400/wk household incomes) don’t have the cash. Hence, half the occupied houses are rentals, going for $3-400/month.

The re sales people price ‘recreational’ (e.g., garbage) land at $15K/acre for smaller parcels under 10 ac or so. Such pricing for vanity property is discouraging, and although I crave the surroundings, I won’t part with that much cash to get them. I think hope springs eternal. Rich tourists from NYC/LA/China are right around the corner. OTOH, my Westchester sister acted as if she was under imminent threat of attack by bears when she left the car, the one time I coaxed her down with me. So it’s not a likely prospect.

I suspect most of the transactions in my target area are on the quiet side. You have to live there to know about them. Too bad for me as an outsider. What’m I gonna do, live out of the back seat once I leave DC Metro?

For the realtors (who are women for the most part), as long as you bring in your fair share of household income ($2-300/wk net), you don’t actually need to sell more than $300K/yrs’ worth of ’stuff’. People who are not of the .01% ‘work out’ - e.g., develop as many income streams as they have hours to manage, some of which are at $7.50/hr, some of which are $2/hour. Some are piecework (collect rents; arrange for property maintenance; drive a bunch of folks twenty miles back and forth to the nearest town for errands).

In this circumstance, a person of moderate means from “away” is at a disadvantage. You need to be part of the community to hear that Ann’s Uncle Joe needs cash to manage the new roof, catch up on support, buy tires or make bail. I suspect I’ll be viewed as a cash cow until I’m one of the people being called to help out in working out, or otherwise become known as a provider of a needed barter service.

How do I go about getting a) my moonshinin’/trout fishin’ ten acres at the local price; b) immunity once I get there and c) local handyman rates? I’d much sooner be walking my dog, learning how to fly fish/garden/raise egg chickens/ride a mule or go to the dentist, rather than to deal with inanimate objects that have teeth and an attitude. I’m not kidding. Until I learn how to use a hammer, in my hands it somehow behaves like a deadly projectile.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-12-08 21:08:23

I’d say keep your powder dry. At this point in the bubble I don’t think there are any “local price” deals. Somebody somewhere may scrape up an example of an exception but you’re not going to find one IMO until the dumb borrowed money goes away.

Comment by jane
2013-12-08 21:40:09

Carl, thanks for your insight, as always.

Comment by Dudgeon Bludgeon
2013-12-08 21:49:15

Have you seen Winter’s Bone?

Comment by jane
2013-12-09 00:38:54

You bet I have. It was a dark movie, and powerful. Saw it twice, in fact - the cinematography was compelling.

Unless I am very much mistaken, the little towns that I like a lot lack that quality of mean poverty. There’s different flavors, as you are aware from asking the question.

A town that has drawn a core of writers, artists and craftsmen has one kind of poverty. That kind has softer edges. A town that depends on cooking meth for its cash economy - that’s quite a different matter. As you already know, you can intuit the ‘quality’ of the poverty within minutes of being there.

Now that ’shine has gone up on the food chain (there’s ‘craft’ product selling like hotcakes in the Virginia ABC stores!) it doesn’t make much sense for a person such as myself to attempt a foothold in the market. Plan B is to open up an Appalachian Moonshiner’s Costume store, sort of like a pirate store. That way I’d only have to rent a storefront and work a couple months a year. Plan C is to establish an educational foundation (heaven knows I have enough books, lol!) and hold reading hours a couple times a week. Whaddaya think? (lol!)

I need a couple years to detox from the kinds of conversations I’m having. They are exercises in positioning. See something other than concrete and asphalt. Hear water and chickens (spent my childhood on a village farm in Northern Europe, too bad none of the know-how rubbed off). If I can also learn how to garden, fish, get my own eggs, and tame a hammer, I’ll be money ahead.

In which case I’ll go back to the world and the nearest clutch of kin in Charlottesville, with a fishing camp in the woods and some tribal knowledge. Being that the rule of law still applies, mostly, we’ll always have title to the place. Who knows - the kids might take up a fondness for fishing.

While I’m there, word will filter out that I’ve got a shooting range and buy a reasonable amount of ammo. My Akita is around me enough that he’s quite well behaved. Just another aging hippy with a dawg who makes good cakes for church socials.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-09 07:44:45

rural VA is real nice country.

I’m with Carl… keep your powder dry. And I believe every word I say when I say “you’re going to need it”.

Comment by jane
2013-12-10 00:41:08

HA and Carl - you better believe I believe you!!!

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 07:17:02

Hope and Change (note that the squad contributed a vote last month to defeat the tax increase of Amendment 66, which went down in flames, despite an avalanche of Bloomberg cash supporting it)

Politico - Teachers unions face moment of truth:

“The National Education Association has lost 230,000 members, or 7 percent, since 2009, and it’s projecting another decline this year, which will likely drop it below 3 million members. Among the culprits: teacher layoffs, the rise of non-unionized charter schools and new laws in states such as Wisconsin and Michigan freeing teachers to opt out of the union.

The American Federation of Teachers has been able to grow slightly and now represents 1.5 million workers — but because many new members are retirees or part-timers who pay lower dues, union revenue actually fell last year, by nearly $6 million, federal records show.

Moreover, the membership of the NEA and AFT overlaps considerably; some 663,000 workers show up on both rolls because their locals maintain dual affiliations. That double counting inflates perceptions of the teacher lobby’s combined strength. Total union membership isn’t 4.5 million — it’s 3.8 million.

The unions and their affiliates still control huge resources. They collectively bring in more than $2 billion a year, most of it from member dues. Yet there are signs of financial strain. The NEA has cut spending by 12 percent in the last two years, in part by reducing its staff. And after years of posting surpluses, the AFT has been running deficits. It wrapped up the most recent fiscal year owing $3.7 million on its line of credit, up from $916,000 the previous year, according to records filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.”

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 07:30:01

New hires in the Loveland school district do not get pensions. Instead, they get 403b’s (with very generous matches)

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 08:01:32

Good. This is as it should be.

Future generations should not have to assume the responsibility of supporting elder generations economically.

Today’s Xers and Millennials will pay out the nose for the rest of their lives.

There’s no reason why the yet-to-be-born should have to pay for Xers and Millennials in their old age. Stop the generational Ponzi schemes and the ongoing government theft. Both are immoral and unethical.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 10:56:46

They might be better off with the 403b accounts. PERA, Colorado’s state pension fund is in dire straights, and TABOR will put the kibbosh on any state funded bailout.

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Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 09:23:52

Are charter schools non union? That should be an interesting experiment.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-08 11:37:44

It is a great experiment.

Charter schools typically do better than the nearby union goon public schools. With less money. That is why the teacher’s union fiercely opposes them - no matter how poor the surrounding schools are. It is all about the children don’t cha know.

They don’t do nearly as good as Catholic schools which cost even less money.

But charter schools still are government schools.

But a step in the right direction.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 13:55:03

Public charters seem to be all the rage in the Phoenix area. I think the tuition at the religious schools is a pretty penny these days.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 07:19:23

Hope and Change

“Rush Limbaugh on Friday slammed President Barack Obama for trying to do “everything and anything he can to link himself to” Nelson Mandela in the wake of the death of the anti-apartheid leader and former South African president.

Limbaugh told his listeners that the White House, along with the media, “is in on” making Mandela’s death all about Obama. Limbaugh pointed to the White House tweeting out a picture of Obama in Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island and a CBS News report that stated Mandela kept a photograph of him with Obama in his office as proof Obama and the media are working together.

“Now, forgive me, but if you are a low-information voter and you’re watching the CBS Evening News last night, you would come away with the impression that the important thing about Nelson Mandela’s death was that he had looked up Barack Obama when he came to town and had a picture of Obama when he died,” Limbaugh said, according to a transcript.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 07:35:13

The so called conservatives are so tom petty, it boggles my mind. Obama & democrats are all scum…we get it….can we move on?

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-08 11:28:29

Hopefully we can all get back to howGay Marriage destroying the country.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-08 11:39:43

It gives hope to all the terrorists in prison now for bombing railway stations and killing women and children.

You too can be a hero one day with the correct marketing and MSM backing.

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Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 11:40:50

Bait bait bait…..

OR We can very well go back to how gays not getting a marriage certificate from the state is akin to slavery.

Always baitng racism, gayism, sexism….
Thank you for your participation.

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Comment by reedalberger
2013-12-08 15:31:39

Mandela was a communist and a terrorist. Not sure why Rush is peeved, maybe because the progressives and the media have been successful at creating an image of Mandela as a freedom fighter. There should be no shock that the President not only revered Mandela but would also like to be thought of as a freedom fighter, when quite the opposite is true.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 21:25:06

My raving lefty ex girlfriend in Oregon and my fuzzy headed ex colleague in LA were both gushing about Mandela last week on FB. How embarrassing. I think they each got one sympathetic “like” from a weak-kneed friend who wanted to be counted as stylish for gushing about a commie.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 07:23:27

Notes on the Pussification of America, and why women these days have no business teaching boys:

He makes some very good points.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 07:41:30

I’ve been reading a number of books about gender relations lately. Such as:

“The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Our Culture” by Liza Mundy

“Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters” by Helen Smith

“Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family” by Stephen Baskerville

“The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men” by Christina Hoff Sommers

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 07:54:36

Ever hear of Karen Straughan? If not, watch the attached.

Ecofeco, if you’re still passing through HBB, Ms Staughan would interest you as well.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-08 16:26:37


Somehow I missed that one last spring

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Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 08:35:15

Sun Sentinel - Divorce law firms’ specialty: to serve man

“In a family court system that some say is tilted to favor women, attorney Kenny Leigh makes no apologies — he is in business to serve man.

Leigh, who has six offices with 13 lawyers from Boca Raton to Jacksonville, said he started gearing his practice to men about 10 years ago, when he realized that women often were given the benefit of the doubt, at men’s expense, when it came to divorce settlements, alimony and child custody arrangments.

“In family law, men are not treated fairly,” said Leigh, 43, who is based in Jacksonville (and is happily married with four children). He criticized the court system for reducing many fathers to being “a visitor and a paycheck.”

“Anyone who practices family law knows I’m right,” he asserted.

Leigh’s website and billboards are explicit about seeking an exclusively male clientele. And his firm is not alone.

While the specialty remains uncommon, a handful of firms throughout Florida have taken a similar approach. It’s a narrow market, lawyers say, but most major cities have at least one firm dedicated to men. There are also firms that focus on women, but their numbers are smaller, American Bar Association officials said.”,0,7641221.story

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 08:41:09

Yes, well, my mother was the one who actually had to pay the alimony in my parents’ divorce.

Comment by goon squad
Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 09:34:13

Men teaching boys in a all boys school yes…You have to have your head examined to be a male teaching in bi-gender environment no matter what grade level…You are “ripe” for accusation, the implication of which not only ends your career with information technology nowadays it follows you the remainder of your life….Thats why, IMO, you see the large percentage of teachers K-12 being women…Men know the risks and do not pursue teaching as a career…

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 09:56:33

+1. Although the interesting thing here in the Tampa Bay area is that the Hillsborough County school system has had a rash of female hose-monster teachers who like to diddle their male students. Debra LaFave is the best known offender, but there are others too numerous to mention, sadly.

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 12:28:12

Yes, that occurred even way back when I was in High School and I am sure in continues today…But, the interesting part is how few get exposed…I suspect its because the male teenager is having the time of his life and does not want to spoil a good thing by running his mouth…A teenage girl on the other hand, will likely feel violated/ashamed even if she was a willing participant in the early stages…

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Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 14:00:09

a male student getn some action would probably be the most popular student.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-08 14:24:48

Also, the pay and prestige is not all there for guys. Sure, teaching is celebrated but bashed because teachers “make too much money while having their summers off” but kids see how male teachers are not as alpha as their friends’ dads or even their own. My stint sub teaching showed me the politics of schools a bit. Getting the karma handed back to me as a sub was on par. We made a sub cry once in 4th grade because of our lack of discipline. So, the suffocating atmosphere and colleague rivalry, you can get that anywhere, sometimes for more pay and don’t have to worry about minors going Chris Hansen on you.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-12-08 15:41:05

The lack of prestige is interesting. There are so many people in this country who talk endlessly about the importance of education. If it’s so important one would think that teaching would be held in high esteem.

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 21:35:09

I’ve read columns by Fred Reed for years. He has a unique and fresh perspective. He is genuine and that is what I like about him.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-08 07:32:15

Police state: County censors government employee who dares criticize Obamacare

6:01 AM 12/08/2013
Eric Owens

A California county has banned a veteran employee from criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because a coworker who overheard the criticism was offended.

The employee is Norina Mooney, who has logged some 20 years of work experience with Santa Clara County, the epicenter of Silicon Valley.

According to Mooney’s attorneys with the Pacific Justice Institute, she made some water-cooler talk with a fellow employee about the high number people who have had their insurance policies canceled under Obamacare.

Later, a supervisor called Mooney into a private meeting and allegedly dressed her down for the attempt at chitchat because an unidentified person had overheard the small talk and been offended.

In the future, the supervisor said, Mooney must exit the government building should she have anything adverse about Obamacare or otherwise political to say.

Mooney’s attorneys noted that this edict is an odd one considering Mooney’s claim that the office environment is replete with pro-Obama paraphernalia. She noted that her coworkers openly wore Obama campaign attire to work at election time as well.

The longtime employee currently works for the child support enforcement division, which doesn’t involve the promotion or implementation of the controversial heath insurance legislation.

Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus noted the obvious, numerous concerns with the way Mooney was treated.

“Just when we thought the disastrous ObamaCare rollout couldn’t get much worse, the county of Santa Clara is compounding those problems by claiming that criticism is off-limits,” Dacus said. “Liberals and conservatives alike should be able to agree that this type of censorship is chilling and unconstitutional.”

Mooney’s attorneys have sent a letter to Santa Clara County officials demanding answers and seeking an affirmation of public employees’ rights to comment on matters of public concern. Several weeks have passed with no response.

They are now contemplating legal action.

The Pacific Justice Institute is a conservative legal defense organization.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-08 07:50:09

Seems to me that it’s time to send a deluge of anti-ObamaCare letters to Santa Clara County officials.

Any takers?

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-08 11:41:58

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” - Voltaire

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-08 07:34:15

70% Of Calfornia’s Doctors Expected To Boycott Obamacare

Zero Hedge
December 8, 2013

“We need some recognition that we’re doing a service to the community. But we can’t do it for free. And we can’t do it at a loss. No other business would do that,” exclaims the president of the California Medical Association, as The Washington Examiner reports, independent insurance brokers estimate 70% of California’s 104,000 licensed doctors are boycotting the exchange.

“The Covered California board says we have plenty of doctors, and they allege they have 85 percent of doctors participating, but they’ve shown no numbers,” and if a large number of doctors either balk at participating in the exchange or retire, the state’s medical system could be overwhelmed.

“Enrollment doesn’t mean access, because there aren’t enough doctors to take the low rates of Medicaid,” warns one health director. “There aren’t enough primary care physicians, period.”

Via The Washington Examiner,

An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange and won’t participate, the head of the state’s largest medical association said.
“It doesn’t surprise me that there’s a high rate of nonparticipation,” said Dr. Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association.

California offers one of the lowest government reimbursement rates in the country — 30 percent lower than federal Medicare payments. And reimbursement rates for some procedures are even lower.

“Some physicians have been put in the network and they were included basically without their permission,” Lisa Folberg said. She is a CMA’s vice president of medical and regulatory Policy.

“They may be listed as actually participating, but not of their own volition,”

This article was posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 6:29 am

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 08:26:15

What a clusterfark. But as far as I’m concerned, the true outrage is that Congress and the administration is exempt. That tells you all you need to know about what a complete abortion O-care is.

Oh, wait, now I get it, this “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” was aimed at CONgress, a useless body of flesh if there ever was one.

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 08:57:44

nothing more than attempt to get for free stuff for constituents right?

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 09:44:15

the true outrage is that Congress and the administration is exempt ??

Nothing new here…Move on…

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 09:55:10

Seems like a lot of people have chosen to sit on the couch cause they have a better life getn all the freebies. Too much incentive vs getn a low paying job thats out there.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 10:58:34

Too much incentive vs getn a low paying job thats out there.

Assuming that there is even a job out there for them. When retail and restaurant jobs are taken by college grads, what are the bottom feeders supposed to do?

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 12:31:45

+1 AZ…

When retail and restaurant jobs are taken by college grads, what are the bottom feeders supposed to do ??

I agree Colorado, the job opportunities are quite disturbing…With that said I guess my answer is you got to do “something” in return for the support…Must give three days to a soup kitchen or just anything…At the minimum maybe they will get some self respect in that they did something for the check they are getting…

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 14:01:14

I think this is what sticks in most people’s draws the most, the not having to work or do some type of community service in exchange.

I know, I know the response,
But if they are “disabled” how?
But if they have kids, how?

I think we could figure that out.

Comment by polly
2013-12-08 20:48:45

While you are figuring out how to administer that with disabled people (you could probably put together some sort of unnecessary busy work that would fit within the person’s disability, but you are going to have to find it, prove it is safe, and get that person transportation to and from the workplace) and people with kids (lots and lots of expensive day care), you can also figure out what all the non-disabled people without kids are going to DO. And figure out how to pay to set up workplaces and supervisors and supervisors for the supervisors and an investigation branch to make sure the supervisors aren’t being bribed to check people as present when they aren’t and, oh, lots of things like that.

Aren’t you supposed to be one of the small government types?

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-08 11:44:54

Doctors going galt.

You can tax me but you can’t make me work.

And will we wonder one day why 75% of the American economy is on the blackmarket. Just like most 3rd world banana republics.

Don’t worry obama and the socialists will call them greedy and impose even more socialism to fix the socialism that has not worked.

Google Venezuela

Comment by scdave
2013-12-08 12:33:00

Give the Obama caused it all a rest 2-fruit…

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 12:35:47

You can tax me but you can’t make me work.

A couple of drones on your way and we will see about that.

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 08:24:41

the stock market highs reek of fraud and corruption.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-08 08:26:02

Dr. Jim Garrow

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 08:35:06

heh, just read it. Scary chit, man. What immediately came to mind was that Clinton, Bush and O-man are going to be “out of town” over the next couple of days or so attending at funeral in South Africa.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 08:43:55

If true, however, I think we may be looking at a military coup in the near future. Would not surprise me, what the heck, the rule of law has been pretty much voided in the US, in practice if not in theory. Some are subject, some aren’t.

It may be the only practical solution at this point.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 09:23:16

Be careful about what you wish for … your wish might come true. History shows us that when the Generals take over they are reluctant to let go.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 09:36:04

Colorado, I really don’t wish for it and your point is well taken. But what remedy is there for a civilian government gone completely insane?

On another note, what’s your take on the guys south of the border who unwittingly stole the radioactive material, dumped it, then turned themselves in for medical treatment? When I first saw the stories, I sort of wondered if maybe they weren’t at risk in the first place if they didn’t open the container, but the media kept saying they were likely doomed, and it seemed it might be a ruse to panic them and thus capture them.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-08 10:52:18

I’m guessing they were just stealing the truck and that they had no idea what the cargo was.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 11:13:35

Yes, I think that’s pretty much a given. I was just wondering if the media reports that they were doomed to die were deliberate in order to lure them to turn themselves in after dumping the cargo.

Theoretically, at least, if they didn’t tamper with the case that the material was in, they should have been OK and not suffered any more exposure than the people who had been transporting the material to begin with. It seems as if it was the crane on the truck that they were really after.

Anyway, I guess they did turn themselves in for medical treatment. Radiation poisoning is a nasty way to go, that’s for sure.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 08:40:46

Denver Post - Pocket hookahs proliferate with young marijuana users, sources say:

“They can look like nondescript writing pens or asthma inhalers. Some resemble lip-gloss sticks and come in the same hot pink or sparkly purple as teenage girls’ smartphone cases.

Others are bullet-like cylinders hanging on fat gold neck chains like gangsta bling. Some come boxed in a rainbow of neon colors looking a lot like marking pens.

Portable pot vaporizers — called “vapes” or “pocket hookahs” by users — are going hand-in-hand with the proliferation of electronic cigarettes and taking the marijuana world by storm. They are so well disguised and can be used so clandestinely that they are setting off alarm bells with those concerned about keeping legalized pot out of the hands of minors.

“This is incredibly concerning,” said Bob Doyle, executive director of the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance. “The marijuana vaporizing industry is as advanced or more advanced than the e-cigarette industry. The products are appealing to kids, and they promote the ability to hide marijuana use.”

That is “absurd,” said Mason Tvert, co-founder of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation. He said the vaporizers have been developed as a safer way for adults to consume marijuana without smoking it and without creating secondhand smoke.

The pocket vaporizers are made up of an atomizer and a battery unit that acts as a heater to create a breathable vapor. The batteries are charged with small wall plug-ins.

The fact that the vaporizers are tiny electronic devices with chargers like those used for other popular electronic devices prompted Rolling Stone magazine, in its June issue, to refer to them as “the iPod of getting baked.”

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-12-08 08:42:44

Illegals/Anchor Babies/Choose The Politically Correct Name Du Jour Want Tuition Assistance Now. Happy Sunday!

Comment by Resistor
2013-12-08 09:19:44

Do you even understand your own comment, Djbewanna?

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-08 09:37:51

I understood it, but it took a couple of times through. Punctuation matters!

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 08:51:01

New York Times - Alaska’s Thin Line Between Camping and Homelessness:

“From 2011 to 2012, Alaska’s overall homeless rate declined 10 percent, according to a report this year by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a federation of organizations. But the number of chronically homeless people rose almost 21 percent, giving Alaska the ninth-highest increase in the nation.”

See also this sign at a camp near Colorado Springs a few years ago:

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 09:31:44

so if they cut qe by 5 billion will that make people happy?

The govt needs QE to pay the bills. the economy is not getting stronger.

they have choose adding more debt instaed of addressing the real problems in the economy. no one has stepped up to the plate with a real plan.

do you think there is any difference between debasing a coin with base metals vs running a printing press?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 11:27:17

do you think there is any difference between debasing a coin with base metals vs running a printing press?

No, Roman history demonstrates that.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-08 09:20:52

Excerpts From Rolling Stone’s McChrystal Profile

June 22, 2010, 11:20 am

As my colleague Dexter Filkins reports, “An angry President Obama summoned his top commander in Afghanistan to Washington on Tuesday after a magazine article portrayed the general and his staff as openly contemptuous of some senior members of the Obama administration.”

The article that has reportedly enraged the president is “The Runaway General,” from a coming issue of Rolling Stone. The article is now on Rolling stone’s Web site. Earlier on Tuesday, scanned copies of the article, by Michael Hastings, - 66k

Michael Hastings Feared His Mercedes Had Been Tampered With

Day before crash: “He was afraid to drive his own car”

Paul Joseph Watson
August 22, 2013

The very day before a suspicious car crash claimed his life, journalist Michael Hastings feared his Mercedes had been tampered with and asked to borrow a friend’s vehicle, telling her that he was “scared and wanted to leave town.”

The revelation, which emerged in an LA Weekly interview with Jordanna Thigpen, re-emphasizes the fact that Hastings was fearful for his safety having complained of being under scrutiny by the FBI.

Helicopters often circle over the hills, but Hastings believed there were more of them around whenever he was at home, keeping an eye on him. He came to believe his Mercedes was being tampered with. “Nothing I could say could console him,” Thigpen says.

One night in June, he came to Thigpen’s apartment after midnight and urgently asked to borrow her Volvo. He said he was afraid to drive his own car. She declined, telling him her car was having mechanical problems.

“He was scared, and he wanted to leave town,” she says.

The next day, around 11:15 a.m., she got a call from her landlord, who told her Hastings had died early that morning. His car had crashed into a palm tree at 75 mph and exploded in a ball of fire. - 67k

America’s New Military

Posted by: Admin 7 days ago


Aside from the constant debacles this administration has presented us with (the Obamacare disaster, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS and The Tea Party, etc.), there has been something else taking place that is equally frightening and perhaps more definitive of the direction this president is taking us.

For the last several years there has been a steady and distinct purging of America’s armed forces. Students of history are aware of other similar examples within the last 100 years – in Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, and China. Our president has developed an unmistakable “you’re either with us or against us” attitude about ‘his’ new military. He has been systematically eliminating high-ranking officers within all branches of the armed forces who disagreed with his new policies, and only until recently have soldiers and their officers begun to speak out boldly about it. In particular, Medal of Honor recipient Army Maj. General Patrick Brady (retired), who has said that President Obama’s agenda is decimating the morale of the U.S. ranks to the point members no longer feel prepared to fight or have the desire to win.

“There is no doubt he (Obama) is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him over such issues as “homosexuals, women in foxholes, the Obama sequester,” Brady said in a recent interview with the independent news network, WND.

America has never seen a purging of soldiers and officers such as this – a blanket cleansing of ideology, with some of the pertinent undercurrents in criteria being whether or not our ranking officers would order fire on civilians, and acceptance of political correctness in rules of engagement that dramatically affect our ability to win in confrontations.

“We need to realize that this recent assault on the military and veterans is no accident,” Brady added. “It is purposeful. The elite loathe our military, the one sure guarantor of our freedom. These elite – not a shutdown or default – and their assault on the Constitution and our military are the real threat to our future.”

Another outspoken critic of this administration’s actions is Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who acted as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence for President George W. Bush. He’s concerned with the rate four-star generals are being retired under the Obama administration, adding that colonels who would become generals also are being relieved of duty if they show that they’re not going to support Obama’s agendas, which a number of critics have described as socialist.

“Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause,” Boykin said. “I believe there is a purging of the military.” (There have been some 197 senior officers removed in recent years).

There is no speaking your mind in this new armed forces. Just ask Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal who was relieved in 2010 of his command of the International Security Assistance Force and commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan for what has been described as unflattering remarks made about Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials in a Rolling Stone magazine article. The truth is no longer popular. A number of officers have also been removed from command for criticizing Obama over the Benghazi fiasco, and many of these officers are speaking openly and caustically.

Army Major Gen. Ralph Baker was the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, Africa. Baker has contended all along that attack helicopters could have reached the Benghazi consulate in time on the night of the attack, and that Obama deliberately punishes the military family.

“To understand the insufferable assaults on our military and veterans, who should be exempt from political squabbles but are often at the forefront of Obama threats, we need to understand the psyche of the elite in this country led by Obama,” Brady said. “It is no accident that the president used the Obama sequester and shutdown to punish the military family,” he said. “It is part of his DNA. In fact, it is in the psyche of the entire liberal/progressive establishment – the elite.”

Another outspoken officer is Army Major Gen. Paul E. Vallely. The recent WND article from which I have referenced above added this: “The White House won’t investigate its own officials but finds it easy to fire military commanders who have given their lives for their country,” Valley explained. “Obama will not purge a civilian or political appointee if they have bought into Obama’s ideology. The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military and the Pentagon, reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”

The infamous Karl Marx once said, “History repeats itself: first as tragedy, and second as farce.” Sadly, for this country, we are experiencing both the tragedy and the farce at the same time.

The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ownership and staff of The Polk County Pulse. Michael Reisig is a freelance writer and published author whose works are reproduced throughout the globe.

Comment by goon squad
2013-12-08 09:39:51

That infowars website is not written by “real journalists” and should be ignored. It is nothing but crackpot conspiracies and lies about Dear Leader Obama.

Comment by reedalberger
2013-12-08 11:18:22

The President was then heard shouting “Seize him!!!”.

Comment by Amy Hoax
2013-12-08 10:37:27

Helpful link for first time home buyers:

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 13:23:00

realtors are liars

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-08 19:10:47

Real estate agents arrested for mortgage fraud scheme

December 4, 2013 1:08pm

• Stockton agents accused of bilking lenders

• A lengthy scheme of short-sale fraud, says grand jury

Federal agents have arrested Stockton residents Lillian Marquez, 38, and Michael Keatts, 56, in their homes early Wednesday morning for a mortgage fraud scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

A federal grand jury indictment charges them with conspiring to commit mortgage fraud and with nine counts of mail fraud.

According to the indictment, from February 2006 through at least August 2012, Ms. Marquez and Mr. Keatts, who operated Colonial Home and Business Services in Stockton, supplied false information to mortgage lenders indicating that would-be homebuyers were employed by various businesses set up and controlled by the defendants.

But, says the government, the clients were not employed by those businesses and their actual income from their true employment was far less than what was represented to lending institutions. To support these false claims, the defendants created and submitted fraudulent paystubs and tax documents falsely stating that their clients were so employed, the indictment alleges.

Both defendants engaged in short-sale fraud, says the government. They would assist clients facing default on their current loans to arrange for short sales of their properties but unknown to the lending institutions, they would arrange for the properties to be sold to straw buyers and the original owners would remain in the properties, and enjoy the benefits of the new loans that the lenders assumed were made to other individuals, the grand jury contends.

If convicted, Ms. Marquez and Mr. Keatts face a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Comments on this story

Stephen 12/6/13 5:53 PM
A real estate agent without fraud is like a boat without a keel.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-08 11:40:22

I read an article the other day that she was removing herself from contention.

Comment by A russian diplomat enjoying medicaid
2013-12-08 12:16:15

You heard it here first. There will be a government shutdown next year…..GUARANTEED.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 21:18:32

Yawn… That is a given. I go further. There will be at least 2 (two) government shutdowns next year.

Comment by rms
2013-12-08 12:59:05
Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 13:21:59

$97k is about right….. It’s a little high but figure $5k insulation, 140 sheets of gypboard(board and tape) @$5k, boxed HD kitchen with radioactive granite @ $7k, $4k paint package, flooring as you choose at 9-12k.

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 13:57:03

dont give it away!

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-12-08 14:10:14

I’ve been watching a house in my area. Listed in late August. First they dropped the price by $100. A week later dropped by $10,000. A month later another $500 drop. The next week another $500 drop. A week later a $5000 drop. Then every week for the last 5 weeks a $100 drop. That’s right a drop of $100! WTF.

Still too high. Crazy!

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-08 14:25:57

make an offer homy!

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-08 14:40:49

It is all marketing PR.


Comment by rms
2013-12-08 16:48:14

The paid bloggers on Marketwatch are thick this weekend; can hardly stand reading the comments there anymore. Sure hope our historians are not “real journalists.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-08 17:05:37

You really have to wonder just how much dough is in the envelopes from NAR, NAHB and MBA.

Nick Timaros at WSJ is an even bigger fraudster.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-08 17:16:43

Zeke Emanuel: If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Pay More

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
December 8, 2013 11:04 am
Dr. Zeke Emanuel, the architect of Obamacare appeared on Fox News Sunday and was asked about President Obama’s ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor’ claim.

Dr. Emanuel responded, “If you want to pay more for an insurance company that covers your doctor, you can do that.” -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-08 17:47:10

The Medicaid time bomb

NY Post ^ | 12/07/13 | Michael D. Tanner

Posted on Sunday, December 08, 2013 8:07:21 AM by Libloather

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.

The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments.

Medicaid is already America’s third-largest government program, trailing only Social Security and Medicare, as a proportion of the federal budget. Almost 8 cents out of every dollar that the federal government spends goes to Medicaid. That’s more than $265 billion per year.

(Excerpt) Read more at … -

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2013-12-08 21:16:10

Invest in movable and hidable wealth. The government will do a “one time” electronic asset tax as the Cypriot government did. I recommend 10% to 20% of yor assets be in some form of movable and hidable wealth or US Treasuries. The US government will steal from its own producers before ever going into default. So it is safer to be a creditor to the US government. You have China’s guns on your side. Personally I prefer a mix of precious metals bullion and US treasuries to get to my 20%.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-08 23:26:24

Bill, precious metals look too easy to get. Maybe how it always has been but just an unwashed mass noticing I am. My guess is that they will never correlate well with what they are believed to correlate with. I think that there is too much money chasing marginal returns. Organic growth and actual under-valued assets are where? Back to metals. Is too easy to buy physical metals and think they will cover down times. From the short foray of time I have been looking at them, it seems I only can cite historic pricing at best and seems their current prices are too elevated.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-08 23:12:45
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-08 23:42:48

Check out who is snapping up FL real estate these days:

LDS Church-affiliated company now among Florida’s largest private landowners
By Gary Fineout, Associated Press
November 13th, 2013 @ 11:15am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is about to become one of Florida’s largest private landowners in a move that is drawing speculation among some conservation and environmental groups.

The St. Joe Company announced a massive deal last week to sell off nearly 400,000 acres, or most of its land holdings, to a company affiliated with the LDS Church.

The land consists of woods and rural areas stretching across a vast portion of the Panhandle, which remains one of the lesser developed portions of the state. But much of it also lies within 15 miles of the Gulf of Mexico.

AgReserves Inc., the Utah-based taxpaying church affiliate purchasing the land from St. Joe, did not provide much detail about its plans other than to say that it will maintain timber and agricultural uses on the nearly 383,000 acres.

The decision by St. Joe to sell the land for $565 million marks a significant moment since St. Joe — a company started by the heirs of the duPont family — was once the state’s largest private landowner.

St. Joe in the 1990s began developing some of its holdings into resorts and master-planned communities but the real estate market downturn during the Great Recession hurt company finances.

Much of the land was first purchased by St. Joe during the ’30s and has primarily been used for timber operations.

“These are historic changes,” said George Willson, a Tallahassee-based conservation consultant who once worked for St. Joe, said about the sale. “This is nearly 600 square miles of land in the Panhandle … It’s a lot of great places. They are places where people hunt and fish.”

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