crash08 UNDERWATER MORTGAGES 3 OPTION ARM ARMAGEDDON financemymoney 12-00-09


One of the things I like best about Patrick.net

 is the never-ending variety of sources Pat uses to get at our present economic extremis from 360 degrees of the compass. He vets them well. I had never read Finance My Money until today, but the mere fact that it showed up on Pat's blog tells me the source is 85% of the way to earning my trust as being reliable.

As I read this quite well done, clinical autopsy of an ARM - in language even non-professionals can easily understand - what I already understood about ARM (adjustable-rate) mortgages, and their role in America's (not so much in most other countries) economic meltdown, meshed well with the facts and analysis in this piece. But, as with the best reporting, myfinance puts together a number of damning facts in such a way that almost required I pass it on as a heads-up for your future economic well-being.

Whether or not you have an ARM doesn't matter. What does is that so many others do, and that, of the many who do, 40% of them are in foreclosure, or on their way. As myfinance points out, 40% of 850,000 ARMs extant is one helluva lot of mortgages; over 1/3-of-a-million, in fact. That each one of these budget-busting money bombs puts more daylight between fantasy and reality economics - the actual value of the property today -  every year, only makes "hanging in" until things "get better" a more and more foolish strategy as time goes on.

One doesn't even need to get into ongoing job-losses, and other complicating factors, to see exactly how far down the tracks this train is gonna wreck - not too damn far, especially when you consider that a majority of ARMs are up to reset (the interest rate) over the next 18 months. In other words, in addition to the h-u-g-e overhang of "shadow" inventory being withheld by the banks from the real estate market, you can add another half-million+ ARMs to that toxic stew. While a significant portion of those will be due to sheer financial inability, the majority will, in my opinion, be due to the future renters-to-be-for-life simply walking away, as they should, in the absence of lenders and government lifting a finger to help them; beginning with reappraising the properties at today's reality, as opposed to yesterday's fantasy, prices.

You should also know that the Tampa Bay area is #4 or #5 in the severity of its real estate market decline - about 33% off Mid-2005 values - and is one of 3 Florida hotbeds for ARMs; Miami-Dade and the Southwest counties (Ft. Myers, Naples, etc.) being the others. While the bulk of the damage will fall on the Golden State (soon to renamed the Bronze State), Las Vegas and Arizona, Florida will be the worst-hit in the East and South.

However, the real story here is this: Due to the banksters overweening greed, as well as their refusal to accept any responsibility for the grief and chaos they have caused, there is, to my mind, the possibility that their myopia extends to not fully comprehending the most logical outcome of their all-too-human, but, counterproductive behaviour, aka, unintended consequences.

In their mammon-crazed state of striving mightily (refusing to reappraise, freezing credit, etc.) to retain all of their ill-gotten gains, they may, in fact, be laying the groundwork for the eventual dissipation of the bedrock of trust (now wantonly betrayed) that is, when all is said and done, the ultimate moral underpinning and keystone of the 500-year Capitalism scam. If the "my word is my bond" maxim ever weakens to any great degree, we will have to rethink the basic premises for all human interaction.

If one adds to this the trenchant observation, by none other than Fritz Hollings

, that no investor (read financial institution) is willing to lend capital for American jobs, then the fat may be truly in the fire.

If so, the operative word for all of us will be, duck.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Note: for a look at Patrick himself, check out this 10-minute interview clip of him as he explains how his blog came about, whether to buy or rent, if Realtors ever tell you the truth and what he sees going forward.





Pat, feel free to post this to the forum. Hell, I might even try to climb back on there again some day.


Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.








Interesting take on how this will all play out (assuming it passes the conference committee). But the real fun is the rock 'em, sock 'em, bare-fanged, knock-down-drag-out debate in the comments. You want to know what your opinion is on this one? They're more than happy to tell you!


I'd be interested to know how any of you feel about this, and whether you think passage will redound to the benefit of the Dems, Repubs, Blue Dogs, Teabaggers or, dare I say it, the people.


Personally, I go back and forth, alternately damning all these misanthropic sots, then looking at the half-a-loaf that may be a game-changer going forward. I believe Bill B's take in his PP post this AM strikes the balance. To quote another keen observer of the bi-polar Yankee mentality,


"Americans always do the right thing... after they've exhausted every other possibility."

                     - Winston Churchill



One of our sharpest journalists appears to agree with this writer. Watch Max with Amy from this recent Democracy Now:


-FASCISM GOP LOCO 'Republican Gomorrah' - Max Blumenthal w Amy #23.00  dn  09-04-09





More in-depth, you say?


-FASCISM FUNDIES' COUP OF GOP  'Republican Gomorrah' - Max Blumenthal #1.10.59  fora.tv  09-29-09





If you click on Q-4 (Question 4), Max tells us why he thinks passage of even a bad health care bill weakens this gang of cuckoos who are, when all is said and done, nothing more than suicide bombers who haven't quite gone the final mile to claim their 72 virgins; at least, most of them.


Max's book explains the roots of the Christianist/Dominionist movement; not as old as you might think, with some key tenets - homophobia & abortion - less than 40 years old. One thing for sure, it is anything but biblically-based. 


You will better understand the attraction of a basically brainless-by-design Palin, how truly unoriginal this philosophy is and why the authoritarian personality - with critical-faculties safely short-circuited - will always present the greatest threat to our species' forward movement and survival, and why it's short and miserable life may have already peaked in the U.S., but will still inflict major damage on this nation and the world in its death throes (only to be replaced by the next inanity insanity).


Any more in depth and you'll need to buy the book, you cheapskate, you.


Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


Of the many outrages in this piece, none compare to the demonization of the person vainly attempting to avail herself of a Constitutionally legal medical procedure. This won't end until the people who run our armed services, and their brothers-in-arms in Congress, are not the present bunch of misogynous, Dominionist crazies effectively running both institutions now.
The brutalization of women is just part of a 3-decades long pattern (on steroids under Shrub) to 'Christianize" our armed forces. It began in the Air Force Academy in Boulder, CO, and has since metastasized to all branches and all ranks, especially corporals, sargeants and lower officer grades. If we ever have a military coup, these jackals will be the driving force. They have a ways to go, but - being driven to do God's will, and all - they are, as you all know, relentless and indefatigable.
To better understand the real threat to this nation (clue, it ain't Al Quada or Glenn Beck), I recommend any of these: 
Chris Hedges' American Fascists, Mark Crispin Miller's Cruel & Unusual, Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy and Michelle Goldberg's Kingdom Coming. All limn the determined, dogged and dastardly plans of these loons, driven by their certainty of the path to "salvation."
Also check out these mildly redundant videos if you have the time. They are both under the same link.
`vote THEFT & THEOCRACY - Mark Crispin Miller talk  #58.30  eon  05-04-06
Mark's 45-minute interview deals mainly with the Christian Zionist threat. The talk is more about the theft of elections as the main tool of the Christianists to do as they please while in office sans fear of being thrown out by a pissed-off electorate. You can't throw the beggars out of office if enough of your votes don't count. This site - EON - has quite a few other really great videos.
This is serious stuff. These righteous bastards have stolen 2 presidencies, at least two dozen US Senate races, scores of House races, and countless others since 2000. The evidence used to be just irrefutable. Certain facts coming to light in the past two years require that be changed to monumental. These nut-bags are, if anything, more qualified candidates for the rubber-room than the Taliban or the Wahabbis, but neither of those two groups could bring down the planet.
The goal of these traitors of humanity is nothing less than the destruction of this world, using America's military might to provoke a World War III event. Why would they want to do that? To hasten the Apocalypse, you big silly. And it's really fortunate that God's told them it's A-OK to cheat, lie, assassinate, et al, in his name ('cause it's a really, really good cause).
It's really a perfect closed universe for them, just not so much for the rest of us.
You'll want to bookmark the pub this article came from http://religiondispatches.org/
 lots of good reading.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


health CARE REFORM-NOT How a Few Private Health Insurers Are on the Way to Controlling Health Care - Robert Reich 12-10-09

Sad, but true.
Any government can only get away with just so much of this outrageous dissing of its people.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


nexi US JOBS - THEY ARE ALL AGAINST THEM - FRITZ HOLLINGS (former SC Senator) huffpost 12-18-09

thanx to Diane for this most illuminating op-ed
You know, sometimes one really can't see the forest for the trees. Senator Hollings' observation here is so obvious as to be invisible. As well-informed as I see myself, not to mention borderline cynical, I have to admit that , sans this piece, who knows when this notion would have occurred to me independently? In the veritable bevy of bads being inflicted on us from all quarters, we all tend to focus on the moment's latest outrage, forgetting to step back every now and then to refocus on the "big picture."
My thanks again to the Senator and Diane. This one is definitely of share-this-with-your-lists importance.
So, where is this all heading? What is to be our nation's fate? If your crystal ball is a mite cloudy or your hectic schedule forfends your scouring the Net for hours to find the truth-tellers on this score, you might want to begin with a blog and a few names.
The blog is LATOC - Life After The Oil Crash. Run by Matt Savinar, it is the best line-item aggregator blog around on the Peak Oil, Great Recession, Military-Industrial, Empire Agonistes, Disaster-By-Design world we are in. You should sign up for his (alternate-days) newsletter - it's an eye-opener. Here is Matt's latest post:
Breaking News http://www.peakoil.org/breakingnews.html
 The first item, Jim Kunstler's piece is, as usual, mind-focusing. Be sure to read his next column with his predictions for 2010. To evaluate his prognostication skills, here is the one for 2009:
crash08 2009 FORECAST James Howard KUNSTLER 12-29-08  http://kunstler.com/blog/2008/12/
Also Google: James Kunstler, Dmitry Orlov, Dean Baker, Richard Heinberg, Derek Jensen and Gerald Celente as you find the time.
You're going to need a roadmap; all the signs will be down.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


health CARE REFORM 10 REASONS TO KILL THE SENATE BILL fdlaction 12-21-09

Read the list. Sign the petition. PASS IT ON. Might help.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


film AVATAR in IMAX 3D tomorrow's cinematic sea-change - James Cameron writerr-director gizmag 12-17-09

film AVATAR in IMAX 3D tomorrow's cinematic sea-change - James Cameron writer-director  gizmag  12-17-09



It would be a shame to view this film on anything other than an IMAX screen. For any other movie house, save your money, you might as well wait for it on NetFlix.


Alas, there is only one true IMAX theater in the Tampa Bay area. It is at the MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) opposite USF, on Fowler Avenue in Tampa  To the best of my knowledge, none of the multiplex-type cinemas advertising "IMAX" possess the technology and space to properly exhibit this game-changing film; including BayWalk and Channelside. BayWalk's IMAX is a joke. I can't speak to Channelside.


This Aussie review's focus is on the tech, but scroll down for the trailer for this wonder. The videos also contain links to other videos at the end of each video. A high-def TV will give you a better feel for what Mr. Cameron has created here.


I won't know for sure until I see it - my guess is that MOSI will get it in 3-4 months, after the scam of faux-IMAXes has run its course - but from what I seen and read, it will be some time before this experience is reproducible in anything other than the IMAX environment. In other words, pirating this one would be pointless. The IMAX technology has had to wait almost 40 years for a movie worthy of it came along; 3-D is just icing on the cake. IMAX 101 & MOSI info http://www.mosi.org/imaxtech.html



After starting this post, I got around to reading Steve Persall's review in yesterday's St Pete Times.


As with many of his reviews, we disagree on a number of issues, he as reviewer, me as plain old consumer. Occasionally, we seem to be traversing parallel universes, so disparate are our respective takes on this or that film. I suspect Avatar will add to that list.


First, he does not caution his readers on the quantum gap between real IMAX and the soft-porn variety extant in the bay area. I'm sure he has sampled every film venue in 7 counties by now, including the IMAXes. Has he really seen or felt no difference? Even the MOSI is a step down from those in New York and Atlanta. It would be a help if they could soften the abandoned factory motif. But, at least, the basic tech is there; it is the real deal. I'd be interested to know the venue at which Steve saw this. I'm also sure his readers could have used the guidance I offer here.


My second beef is with the sneering aura of his piece. He appears to have a problem with the writer/director's use of allegory. The fact is, a very few humans are doing terrible things to the Earth and humanity, all in service to power and greed, but you can bet they spent oodles of time "plotting" before "doing.". The fact is that these few seem not to give a flip about the death, destruction and misery they visit on people just living their lives and bothering no one. Is this a truth deserving of his mockery, ridicule, or to be pooh-poohed? There is a fine line between honest criticism and cavalier dismissal of another's intent.


As for Steve's invidious comparison to the likes of Toy Story or, The Jazz Singer, no less ("Look, Ma, no more having to listen to that damn honky-tonk piano"!), Avatar promises to bring far more of an artistic sea-change to this line of work, than Disney's "pixillation" of animation could ever hope to. TS grossed less than this film cost to make.($400 million+). James Cameron may have an Olympian ego (Linda would know), but he also has the talent to match. I have loved most of his films, even the ones with Arnold in them.


For another view, here is an arguably better review – in terms of the spirit of Avatar – than Steve's. It appears to be Madison, Wisconsin's version of Creative Loafing. http://www.isthmus.com/isthmus/article.php?article=27724


I look forward to seeing this one the right way. You should too.


NjW 12-18-09

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


fun TV AD Super Glue en Francais (ooh, la-la!)

Thanx, Johnny! what a hoot!



Just beautifully done. 
 Leave it to the French.


glbt CAN GAYS BE 'STRAIGHTENED' OUT? Rachel Maddow ASKS A 'THERAPIST' alternet 12-10-09

That Ms. Maddow's guest is certifiable is beyond question, but the service she provides here is to underline the point that such crackbrained bullshit "science" is the sine qua non of the world of blind faith. If this fool weren't so dangerous, one could just feel pity for him and move on.
As it is, Mr. Cohen's righteous - and clueless - zeal is chilling. He is channeling The Inquisition, The Holocaust and every other pogrom, demoinization and act of ethnic cleansing throughout history. And like the perpetrators of those miscreantic ventures, he always has the ready answer for why he is not responsible for his own hateful, despicable and destructive words on the page or that spew from his mouth. Rachel has "taken me out of context," or "he was gay and descrimnated against me because he didn't like my message," yada, yada. He's the victim, not those he castigates.
The self-delusion on display here (and the concomitant clueless hypocrisy) is monumental and made all the more frightening by the messenger's obvious inability to self-examine - almost like looking into the dead eyes of a serial killer at the very moent when you know you are about to die by his insane hand.
On a personal note: in the course of my long life, my open mind has guided me to try any number of new things, else, what's the point? On sex, BDSM, menage a trois (and quatre, cinq, etc.), in public, with strange toys, and a host of other enjoyable romps have all been on my libidinal menu, including same-sex sex on more than a few occasions..
I can state with almost 100% certainty, that being gay is no choice. While I feel we are all most likely bisexual (given the right circumstances), for me, there is nothing you can name that is anything like a dame, to quote Mr. Hammerstein. This does not mean that I didn't enjoy my "gay" experiences. It does mean to say that, there is little doubt in my mind that my overwhelming preferance is to make it with the fair sex. And I ddin't need to "fix" a thing to feel that way.
Rachel's guest is in deep denial and is attempting to transfer his self-loathing onto others by metasticizing his psychologically-refuted, cockamamie theory out to anyone who needs it to justify their own hatred (beats looking in the mirror). He is almost child-like when he says, in defense of one of Rachel's many broadsides, that he's been married for 27 and-a-half years. That's a dead giveaway he's trying to put as much real estate as possible between his old gay self and his new, "cured" persona. How many centered folks use half in describing the time-span of anything at his age; subconciously, it means something to him. It also reinforces my firm belief that we've had "gay marriages" for a long, long time.
That said, I do believe that he believes he is "helping" all those poor, misguided gay people; just not him; 'cuase he's been cured; for sure; in all likelihood' 27 & 1/2 - pathetic.
BTW, I kept waiting for Rachel - who is excellent at what she does and a guilty pleasure to watch - to ask the burning question here, the question any good host would include in the list of questions most likely to be of great interest to her/his listening/viewing audience (if she hadn't been so preoccupied with destroying the guy - for those of you unfamiliar, Ms. Maddow is a totally-out-or-never-been-in-the-closet lesbian - it's personal)):
"Exactly why, Mr. Cohen, would you, or anyone else, want to turn a gay person straight? Do have any hard, evidence that, merely by being gay, gays in any way pose a threat to themselves or anyone else"?
and a follow-up;
"How would you feel, Mr. Cohen, in another world, with a different set of power and preference paradigms, if someone implied, by trying to "turn" you gay, that being straight was a less than desirable trait"?

P.S. A little schadenfreude is okay, just remember that Mr. Cohen doesn't "get" that he's been exposed for the fraud he is. Why, I'll bet he even thinks he acquitted himself quite well.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.



thank you Kathy
Have fun with these!

Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, then supply a new definition.


1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the Person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right?  And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you. (okay, so 2 letters, BFD, still pretty clever)

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n . An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

int'l law INTERNET PRIVACY v CULPABILITY Google v Italy bloomberg 11-27-09

This issue is getting more fascinating as it goes along. If we thought 50 states getting their act together was a tough slog, check out some of the issues raised in this gal's penetrating piece. As with civil liberties in the USA, the answers to how to make the Internet work around the world are among the thorniest we face. Governments holding everyone but the janitor accountable for the millions of bit and bytes fling by their portals aren't helping.
The Internet is, in the age of peak oil and our need to move to re-localize humanity (think tribal village), our best shot at heading off the Nexi's push to impose their long-promised and highly-secretive New World Order. The Internet is the only way to organize billions of people to rise up against the 300 families arrayed against us, by rising up against their own governments - including this one.
The impending struggle to keep the Net free will take many twists and turns before the victor is known. We'd better win this one.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


crash08 GOLDMAN SACHS 1929-2009 80 YEARS OF BUBBLE MANIPULATION - Matt Taibbi rs 2009

His old man, Mike Taibbi, works for the machine (NBC), his son, Matt, runs wild and free on the the Indy media range (Rolling Stone, Alternet and others). Boy, is this guy ever good!
The link below will acquaint you with America's leading advocate and vanguard of balls-out, buccaneer capitalism; a corporate mentality Ted Bundy would love. You never saw either one coming until it was too late. These are really bad people. They make Pol Pot look like Nelson Mandela. On Krypton, they would all be sealed into that prism prison and flung to float the universe for eternity. On Earth, in what passes for the self-proclaimed citadel of democracy in the modern world - that would be the US - these guys sit at the head of the table. Like me, you probably know something about Goldman greed, but you will be amazed to read of this kleptocorp's hip-deep involvement in every major scam since the Great Depression, and its current stranglehold on the US government. I have dubbed it the AlphaCorp.
Taibbi documents 5 bubbles (including last summer's $4 gas), with the next one (carbon credits) dead in its sights; and no way to stop them, in his humble opinion. Goldman Sachs is laissez-faire Capitalism's own little Alien. And like the most highly-evolved parasites, it too, will devour its host.
As you may recall, in the plot line of Mr. O'Bannion's gentle tale, the monster, after feasting on its now hollowed-out host, kills it as it makes its exit, on to bigger and more lucrative hosts.
Matt's piece points up why, no matter what other cause-cudgels you carry, the only one we should all be working on is breaking the lobbyists/campaign funding nexus in Washington. While I believe that we will come undone as a nation before that happens, it doesn't hurt to practice in order to gain the skills to get it done piece-by-piece after our unavoidable implosion.
You can help at http://change-congress.org/
 Larry Lessig - Joe Trippi
Sweet dreams, y'all.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
– Krishnamurti

orb URBAN PLAN Portland Oregon - A Sense of Place pbs-e2 #4.08 2009

Eat your heart out, St Petersburg.
I may be metro-prejudiced as my son lives here, but the recent history of Portland is one of constructive contrarianism. From the mid-70s on, the city (and state) mothers and fathers consistently said "No!" to Levitt-style, Potemkin "communities" in BFE,  Robert Moses Bantustans and big box moonscapes, opting time after time for human-scale development. All this while most of the rest of the nation took the money and allowed the Gangs of America (corporations) to have their way with the people's Commons.
Last month, a 75-year old grandmother was run over while attempting to cross U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor. The Post-mortem was that she simply wasn't spry enough to make it at one go in the time allotted (2.75 minutes). At that point, US 19 is 6 lanes across, plus double "storage" or "collection" (turn) lanes, plus a "service" lane on its eastern border - 9 lanes across, in total, each approximately 11 feet wide
, for a total road width of roughly one-third the length of a gridiron. Could you make a 33-yard dash in 2.75 minutes? How about in a motorized wheelchair at 5-6 MPH?* 
Oh, yes, i forgot to mention... no median strip. What were they thinking? Obviously, not of humans.
     4 mins

*This "event" above is complete fiction (but saved me a bunch of irrelevant research). However, it tragically represents real events that occur with criminal regularity in urban areas every day from sea to shining sea. The details are always similar to the ones above. The fact is that non-human-centric urban planning kills; both body and spirit. A recent study (a real event this time) showed that road design was the proximate cause of, and/or a heavily contributing factor in, better than 50% of all highway fatalities; in or out of the car.
That is what Portland is about.
Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
– Krishnamurti




Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


If you want to know what's wrong with the West, ask a Red. As with many reports on this site, the evaluation of our predicament is less ideological and more balanced than one would expect. The facts appear to me to be about right, and the tone measured (for folks who despise everything America stands for). So, now, to the $64 question:
What will he do?
Alert followers of our latest debacle-in-regress will know that a recent report rates our "partner" in this ill-fated venture the second most corrupt
 government on the planet, beating out only the currently unnation of Somalia. Add to the chorus of discontent our current ambassador/former commander, and the very visible and voluble Mr. Hoh, and it's a fine mess Shrub & Co. have left for BHO to clean up.
But, our man in D.C. may be about to really own this war. Let's hope he remembers that discretion is the better part of valor, especially when you have to hock your Nobel to pay for bus fare to the battlefield.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.


vote THEFT German Supremes ban electronic voting - Oh, DIDN'T YOU KNOW?

From Bill B. - thanx
The Jerries always did have loads more horse sense than the Yanks; whether defending the Reich or a republic. Unless and until we pitch every last one of these digital fifth column enablers in the dumpster, what remains of our flaccid democracy will be but a baby's breath away from expiring.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pinellas Progressives <info@pinellasprogressives.com>
Date: Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 05:55
Subject: A Censored Headline and why it Matters (Germans Outlaw Electronic Voting)

from Mike Collins

German High Court Outlaws Electronic Voting

Justices of the German Federal Constitutional Court.

) The justices above are clearly the most rational group of high level functionaries in the industrialized world. They did what no other court would do in Europe or the United States. They effectively outlawed electronic voting. On March 3, 2009, the German Federal Constitutional Court
declared that the electronic voting machines used in the 2005 Bundestag elections for the German national parliament were outside of the bounds of the German Constitution.
They reasoned that electronic voting is not verifiable because citizen votes are counted in secret. It obscured a technology inaccessible to all but a very few initiates. Most importantly, the German high court noted, electronic voting machines don't allow citizens to "reliably examine, when the vote is cast, whether the vote has been recorded in an unadulterated manner" Mar. 3, 2009
The written opinion effectively bars electronic voting in future elections based on the complexity of voting machines and the inability of voters to watch their vote being counted. This raises the bar of acceptability well above the meaningless solutions offered by "paper trails" for touch screen voting or the so-called "paper ballots" for computerized optical scan voting machines, the most popular form of voting in the United States.
Germany's 2009 Bundestag elections were conducted with hand counted paper ballots.
Have you heard that one of the world's leading economic powers, the fourth largest economy in the world, banned electronic voting; said it was undemocratic? Given the multitude
of problems
encountered in the U.S. and the number of questionable election results, wouldn't it make sense that when Germany banned electronic voting and replaced it with paper ballots, there would be at least a days worth of national coverage in the United States?
Nothing like that occurred. The Associated Press
(Times of India) story on the verdict danced around the periphery of the world media market with coverage in Turkey, India, Australia, and Ireland. But there were no major media takers for the AP story in the United States.
There was every reason to carry the story. In a 2006 Zogby poll, 92% of the 1028 registered voters surveyed said they agreed with this statement:

Citizens have the right to view and obtain information about how election officials count votes - 92% agree. New Zogby Poll On Electronic Voting Attitudes Aug. 21, 2006

Michael Collins
October 20, 2009 - 11:54am
( categories: Europe Minus UK
| MSM Criticism
| Opinion
| Technology

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crash08 UNDERWATER MORTGAGES - WALKING AWAY the psychology of - Brent White 11-02-09.

 crash08 UNDERWATER MORTGAGES - WALKING AWAY the psychology of - Brent White  11-02-09

Nigel Watson comments   11-22-09 (note: Word doc attached if difficulty reading this)

Don't let this 54-page whitepaper scare you away. Pages 1-2 include a half-page abstract; 3-4 is a tight little intro; pages 5-52 are about 23 pages of details; not counting footnotes – about half of every page. See page 8 for Tampa Bay's ranking. (note: page numbers are PDF margin guide's, not those printed on pages)

If you own a home, read every word. If you don't, pass it on to everyone you know who is an owner, which means everyone on your list because non-owners know lots of homeowners too.

Even if you don't own, read at least the abstract and intro (an executive summary), as well as my comments below. You may be an owner one day and forewarned is forearmed, eh?


Professor White's clear as a spring mountain lake logic is a pleasure to follow as he wends his way through the mess this nation had to become morally and ethically before these twin plagues beggared the culture and society that is its, now mostly unhappy and unwilling, host.

This fellow nails the primary moral issue of our time, namely, the Marianas Trench of a divide between the citizen and the capitalist mentalities of this society. His paper is a casuistic tour-de-force on this issue.

A vast majority of the former pays their bills, keeps their word, honors their commitments, if at all possible, and accepts personal responsibility for their actions.

The latter, on the other hand, use any and all means – fair and especially foul – to avoid/evade/dodge/fob off/deny/delay/buy off their bills/word/commitments/responsibilities. Yea, verily, these are way devious sons-of-bitches. They've always got more turns than a Roto-Rooter.

America's highly advertised and relentlessly promoted 'common values' exist solely in the befuddled minds of its misled citizenry.

This whitepaper, among other issues, indicts this divide and examines the reasons why all these good citizens have not told the schemers, the scammers, media and government mouthpieces for the propaganda machine to go fuck both themselves and their hideous contraption; something I've wondered about myself.

The Prof provides some answers to this seemingly puzzling behaviour. The reason you need to actually take the time to read this is to place in context Prof. White's comments re the shaky foundation upon which rests one of the few bulwarks still standing that is preventing the fairly rapid collapse of this society's law and order: moral constraint (page 27).

Any society only works if most of its participants abide by the rules agreed to by all at the outset. As time proves the need for this change or that, it is understood by all that an orderly and inclusive procedure is in place to move that society forward to a better place. The USA has had a series of ups and downs in this regard with each attempt by the few to push around the many being rebuffed, over time, as a natural reaction to such oppressive tactics.

We are now at a point - again (sigh) - when even the most clueless among us realize s/he has been betrayed, on one level or another, by the very institutions we had come to trust and rely on for the facts needed to make intelligent decisions about our lives: our government; business; the MSMedia. By design, the honest and honorable voices among us have the smallest bullhorns; the least amplification in the town square. The ones who know the truth have been pushed to the margins. You almost have to hunt them down in order to hear their vital message.

The most notorious, noisiest, brashest and boldest human billboards in our society mimic P.T. Barnum and your average college frat house. A few pretend solemnity, but, most entreat us – Oz-like – to ignore all those dark things lurking in the corners, especially those odd figures behind the curtain. Oh, but, it's really, really important for you to find out if you're smarter than the average 5th Grader (you're okay, as long as it's an American 5th Grader – ref. J. Kozol & J.T. Gatto).

All of this noise has but one purpose in mind, besides ever-present profit, to prevent John Q. Public's mind from having even one spare moment to contemplate (a dangerous pastime for any regime) the source of the monumental personal catastrophe most recently visited upon her or him, courtesy of the malevolent, metastatic, predatory fiat currency of the greed machine known as laissez-faire Capitalism.


NjW's comments on Professor White's detail section:

20 last paragraph – 81% of us feel it is immoral to default – by deduction then, 1/5 of us think it's oky-doky – let's see now (math ain't my strong suit), 45 million mortgages (est.) x .19 (ok to bail) = 8.55 million with no moral constraint factor (amorals);

21 so strong is this moral conviction, only 17% would default if equity shortfall @ 50% - OTOH, if they know another who did, then 82% are MORE LIKELY TO DEFAULT, especially if perceived as unfair bailouts to those less responsible than they are;

24-25 only 41% (or 59%, see 27) of 'amorals' would walk away @ $100k or $200k negative equity (do the math) 45 million mortgages x .41 = 18.45 million – no moral constraint – only naked fear to keep them in line, i.e., keep paying for the sins of a corrupt capitalist culture – the author's final sentence is a devastating indictment of our society's severely warped ethical and moral tenets, amid clever phrasing;

25 V. 'contagion effect,' as moral constraint's sway weakens, the endless tsunami of declining housing values (and let's not forget the shadow inventory), culminating in a tipping point resulting in a series of crashes on the bumpy road to a Depression Era-level nadir, or worse;

27 religiously inculcated guilt and shame are also being shamelessly manipulated by the credit card industry who now have trained cadres of soft-spoken (mostly) women whose sole job it is to 'connect' with the victim, uh, debt-slave, and 'help' them to see their way to paying something (make that anything they can get them to pay, especially if they were thinking about sending a few bucks to the power company, et al – despicable);

28-34 I couldn't agree more with the Prof's observations regarding the orchestrated demonization of the victims by the powers-that-be. This sad-ass culture's marination in the toxic philosophies of John Calvin and Roger Williams is alive and well, riding full gallop in pursuit of any punishment that can possibly be meted out to the wrong perps. God forbid (as she is apparently bent on doing) any of these jackasses from pausing to reflect in order to identify the true villains of this 3rd (and perhaps final) Act in America's long-running morality play.

37- VI. Here again, I couldn't agree more with the author's stance on both his morals and his math. I have long felt the price-to-annual-rental is the only fair way to appraise real property of any type, other than non-profits which require true comparables (churches, etc.). Personally, except for the investor class and other knowledgeable buyers, I would hold the lenders 90% responsible for every one of those damn liar's, alt-A's, option ARMS, and other klepto-gotcha type loans. They, the Realtors, the appraisers, the home inspectors, the underwriting departments and title companies were all in on it. They all had superior knowledge, and they all betrayed their agency relationships, not to mention common decency and fair play, with these poor schnooks they knowingly took to the cleaners.

39 Thus far, I've pretty well gone down the road hand-in-hand with the Prof. Now, we must briefly part ways. On this page he says that the lenders got loosey-goosey with their underwriting requirements due to their shift of focus away from the buyer's "skin in the game" (equity). I now know that, while that might have been the initial reason, it soon became more than apparent that the lax standards served only one aim: to feed Wall Street's ever more ravenous maw with all the raw meat it could lay its grubby mitts on to feed into the derivatives-sovereign wealth fund-global shell game and money-go-round. The lenders didn't "lose sight of" anything. They simply said, "Screw it! Let's make some major bucks while the bank's guards are out to lunch."


NjW's final observations:

If this fellow, certainly not 20 points smarter than Obama, Geithner, Summers and the rest of the gang, can go right to the heart of this problem – especially the admin's singular lack of an effective cattle prod to make the banksters want to adjust (mark to market, not the pansy-ass 'voluntary,' $1,000 to the wrong party insult on page 42) the bogus batches of bullshit on their books, and work in good faith with those homeowners still able to financially pay the freight – why couldn't the might and majesty of our fast-talkin', high-falutin' guv'mint cleave to the moral and pragmatic high ground here? Did none of these boobs check to see what FDR did in his first 100 days (a record that may stand 'til the end of days- and I know Mr. O set a land speed record for nations visited in the same period, but, ask me if I care)? FDR's FDIC obviated any need for a bank holiday this time around (at least they didn't repeal something), but, wouldn't an updated HOLC (Home Owners Loan Corp), with all it's requirements that banks actually do the banking thing, suspending all foreclosure actions for 90 days to allow time for negotiations, and yada, yada.

And in the grumpy linguist department; Have even academics abandoned the correct past tense spelling (though not, one hopes, its pronunciation) of lead? As one who eschews pleaded for pled (please refrain from reminding me there is no such word – there should be), I eagerly await the day when some journalist twit will make the logical leap (alas, backwards) to "After pleading 'not guilty,' the suspect was leaded back to his cell to await trial." When I want extra letters in my words, I'll request them from the letter fairy.

The Prof's paper is badly in need of a copy editor, but then, so am I, for a different reason.

Nigel Watson  freethinker  727.493.1990 freesense@Gmail.com

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." – Krishnamurti
-A good pun is its own reword.