December 3, 2013
I find it interesting that during the Global Financial Crisis, banks, the Federal Reserve, Congress and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implicitly blamed borrowers for the mortgage-default debacle by their actions, such as the Fed’s preference for helping lenders rather than homeowners, Freddie Mac betting against the homeowners and banks pressing the Fed to curb borrowers’ rights. Yet, when it came time to consider new regulatory action to prevent future mortgage debacles, the Fed wanted to strip homeowners of their right to fight foreclosures, and the only legislation with teeth came in the form of tougher scrutiny for borrowers, not banks.
What was, and continues to be, missing is a means to disseminate full disclosure of what, exactly, the home buyer is signing. That bright, shiny home is too much of a temptation, and all rational thinking goes out the door. Papers are pushed across the table, everyone is grinning, pens go to work signing, and keys are handed over. A new homeowner is born, and the poor son-of-a-bitch hasn’t a clue as to what he or she just signed.
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May 23, 2013
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, I was stunned by the extremely heavy-handed approach federal authorities took towards an already injured 19 year old, hunched over in the bottom of a boat preparing to die. Three stun grenades and a hail of bullets were launched at this kid discovered by the boat owner, an owner who had calmly peered under the boat’s canvas, found the suspect, then turned his back and walked towards his house to notify authorities without so much as a verbal threat from the suspect.
Now we get a story of another suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was interrogated at his home, then shot during the proceedings. How in the hell does something like that happen? The whole purpose of having additional personnel in place during an interrogation is to ensure the suspect can be restrained should he launch himself against the interrogator. And wasn’t the suspect frisked prior to the interrogation? This, of course, assumes any validity of the story that the suspect had possession of a knife, a detail that is now being backpedaled out of the story.
At best, this is extremely sloppy police work. The argument can certainly be made that law enforcement was hopped up on their own adrenaline.
At worst, there is a possibility that outright lies are being made by law enforcement about the interrogation, wherein the suspect may have revealed damning evidence against authorities regarding the bombing, and the suspect was silenced before the truth could emerge.
This Boston Marathon bombing case is beginning to smell like rotting roadkill, surrounded by the thick of summer heat.
May 1, 2013
Today is May Day, a universal recognition of labor everywhere save the U.S.: We have “Labor Day” in September, which serves as a proxy for the end of summer. Thus, Labor Day is a bit of a downer, even if the weather doesn’t start to change towards fall for another month.
May Day, however, has always been tinged with workers’ movements, socialism, communism, etc., etc., so its always been viewed as a little unseemly, hence the U.S. had to create its own day for labor recognition.
Nevertheless, labor is a hot-button issue these days in the U.S., so May Day seems to be a good day to post on labor issues.
Wait. What labor issues? Who’s talking about labor issues?
Well, if truth be told, the entire immigration reform battle, er, discussion, revolves around the labor issue, not the immigration issue. More specifically, cheap labor, and more specifically than that, cheap skilled labor. Read the rest of this entry »
April 22, 2013
I hold no sympathy for the Boston Marathon bombers who killed three people and permanently disabled at least a dozen others, but the bombing’s aftermath became surreal.
Far too many people, probably most not even residing in the Boston area, took to social media to disseminate rumors and make unfounded conjectures. Bloomberg News posted a link to provide “live” coverage of the manhunt surrounding the search for the second suspect, as if the manhunt became a sporting event in its own right (no doubt capturing a far higher viewership than the marathon itself could ever dream). And Boston went on an area-wide, quasi-hysterical lock-down, although it was very evident that the suspects’ actions in the bombing’s aftermath showed them to be amateurs, not professionals. Ironically a man, who ignored the police request to stay indoors, found the second suspect hiding out in his boat, not the authorities.
For some reason, while writing this post I remembered that plane crash scene with Ezra Stiles (Edward Herrmann) at the stick, from the movie The Great Waldo Pepper.
…an explosion at a fertilizer factory in West, Texas killed 12 people to date, wounded 200 others, and 60 for which remain unaccounted. And we learn that
“The Texas plant that was the scene of a deadly explosion this week was last inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1985.” (emphasis added)
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April 9, 2013
The following post discusses the original intent behind the Second Amendment. Readers should hold their assumptions, read carefully, and check their conclusion jumping until the end.
The rhetoric over gun control legislation is heating up, yet from no corner of the political spectrum do we hear discussed the underlying constitutional crisis that precipitated this ongoing debate, one that America has lived with for over a century. Unfortunately, the accusations and aspersions thrown from either side towards the other generates more heat than light, and it is nigh time to investigate the original intent of the Second Amendment. Although many alleged constitutional authorities have waxed obliquely on the reasons behind the insertion of this amendment, James Madison left little doubt as to why the arming of citizens was a critical civil liberty. His reasoning can be found in The Federalist No. 46.
I find, however, that far too many Americans do not understand the intent of the Bill of Rights, much less the intent of the Second Amendment, and so it is here I must begin. I suspect this reality arises more from the degraded state of our high-school education in civics than from anything else. For those who are comfortable with their understanding of the Bill of Rights, you can safely skip to the next section. Read the rest of this entry »