Friday, October 29, 2010


A man reports that he was shot in the Pine Hills neighborhood of Orange County, FL. Pine Hills is a known drug and crime infested area, called "Crime Hills" by locals. I am not surprised in the least. This is a neighborhood that people are wise to avoid after dark.

This is very near where the Central Florida Fairgrounds are located. Gun dealers have been robbed leaving the gun shows there, and last year a cop was killed during a robbery at an ATM machine just down the street. I used to work for a couple of ambulance companies that are located in the area. I never went there in my POV if I was unarmed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Moron- er, I mean- More on who gets my vote

I am tired of voting for the lesser of two evils and being told that it is the only game in town. I am tired of hearing that I am throwing away my vote unless I vote for either a Democrat or a Republican. I will no longer vote for someone because that person promises to kill this country at a slightly slower pace than the other guy. Doing so is throwing away your vote in my opinion.

In the Florida Senate race, I voted for Alex Snitker, the Libertarian Candidate. His platform is very close to my beliefs.
For Governor, I voted for Rick Scott, mostly because he supports Florida Open carry.

The independent Jim Lewis got my vote for Attorney General, mostly because Gelber supports Obamacare, and wants to sue the Legislature for violating a state constitutional requirement to fund a "high quality" public education system, while Bondi wants to stamp out gay marriage, as if that were any of her business.

I voted no on every single amendment proposal except amendment one, mostly because they all involved raising my taxes for the benefit of others.

Douche and Turd

>I voted today. As I looked at the ballot and thought to myself that the people on there were all I had to choose from, I vomited in my mouth a little. South Park has it right: Every election is a choice between a douche and a turd.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One at a time: A range report

There are many who claim that Liberals are stupid and illogical, especially when it comes to gun rights. I would agree that some of them are. I would also say that some know better, but deliberately hide the truth to fit an agenda. Some Liberals realize that the right to defend one's life and health from attack, aided by the right to keep and bear arms, is just as important as other human rights.

However, it is my opinion that the vast number of people who say they do not like guns or are afraid of guns, do not have this opinion because of logic, they have this opinion out of ignorance. I am not saying this as an insult, as I know a few people who think this way, and they are pretty intelligent people, who in many cases, will listen to reason and can be convinced to change their mind. Let me give you a couple of examples:

There was Julie. She was a fairly liberal, college educated Jewish woman that I dated for about two years. When we met, and she found out that not only did I own guns, but actually routinely carried one, she nearly went ballistic. She was especially concerned that it was legal to carry a gun into a bank, because an armed person might rob the bank. I pointed out to her how illogical her position was, and how a having a gun doesn't make you a bank robber any more than having a computer makes you a hacker, and told her: "So a person is about to rob a bank, when he realizes that it is illegal to have a gun in a bank, and so he goes home and gets a job?"

A year or so later, she told me that I was one of the least violent people she had ever met, and that I had totally changed her opinion on gun owners. Even though she now has no interest in owning a gun herself, she is at least no longer antagonistic towards gun owners, and has seen the light.

There is Jennifer. She has been a friend of mine for about 10 years, and is a 30-something college educated professional who works in the medical field. She is a self described Liberal, and until she met me had never even seen a gun before, except on TV. I took her to the range last night, and she genuinely enjoyed it, even though she tells me that she would not care to own a gun herself.

I made jokes, and put her at ease. I told her that for safety reasons, it is customary for first time shooters to dress like Catholic Schoolgirls, so that other shooters know that they are new and are careful around them. She laughed, and then said, "Not a chance." 

A little gentle persuasion, and a trip to the range to shoot a Sig Mosquito, and she is hooked. I gave her a lot of encouragement, a quick safety lecture on the four rules, and let her shoot the less powerful guns ( Sig Mosquito and a Glock 19 with subsonic ammo). Couple that with a large target at 7 yards, and she did well. She grinned like a Cheshire cat. All of her shots were in a 6 inch group, and she kept the target to show her Liberal family and friends. After,. we went to dinner, and she told me that she had been afraid and nervous all day, and now saw that there was nothing to be worried about.

Perhaps I will take some of her liberal family and friends shooting as well. No matter what, I will not start them off on a scary hand cannon or large bore moose gun. No, I have a Sig Mosquito, and a Ruger 10/22 that is used specifically to teach people new to guns that shooting can be safe and fun.

That is how you win the fight. Many Liberals are smart, conscientious people who will make the smart, logical choice, if the information is given to them in a non confrontational, non intimidating way. We will win the fight for our rights, because logic and reason is on our side.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Scene Safety

How many safety issues can you spot in this picture? This picture was posted on the internet by some responders who though it made them look "cool." It was reposted by another responder as an example of what not to do. The response to this was defensive and immediate. People from the offending department circled the wagons, and began demanding the picture and comments be removed. Then it got nasty:

Watch what you say and post on the internet, right?? Just sayin... Not the brightest idea to bash an FD you share a response area with, especially when you sometimes work at that joint station. Accidents happen.
 I responded that the comments there sounded like a threat. The response?

It's not a threat, I'm quoting what was said earlier about being careful what you put on the internet. I personally would never post something to make another dept look like crap, and I would expect that if I did such a thing a supervisor would approach me and tell me to take it down. People make mistakes, take a long look at yourself before you point fingers at others. I've seen guys from other department make mistakes and I'm not going to air it out on the internet and post pictures.
 So the message I get from this is that we would rather punish and threaten people who point out the mistakes instead of correcting them. Safety is everyone's responsibility, and if we ignore it so as not to make waves, we will never improve. That is how people get hurt.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Right thinks our rights are technicalities too.

I was listening to the Mike Church show on Sirius Satellite this morning, and the topic was the mortgage crisis. His take was that we have not yet reached a bottom (I agree) and that the bottom is being delayed because of the technicalities that homeowners are using to delay foreclosure. He also complained that the few hold outs were prolonging the recession for the rest of the country.

That "technicality" is the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees due process to each of us. That includes, among other things, the right to have my day in court. The right to demand that the government can't take my property:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Before any of go off about how the 4A only applies to the government seizing your home, ask yourself who owns your mortgage. It is likely FNMA (Fannie Mae), which is owned by the government.

In order to take my home in foreclosure, the bank needs to prove:

1 That I fall under the court's jurisdiction (the land being foreclosed on is in the court's jurisdiction)
2 That the bank has the capacity to sue me for foreclosure
3 That I owe the bank money (where is the original note? If they can't produce it, how can the court know if they sold it or not? What if they did sell it? What would stop the other party from trying to collect later?)
4 That I failed to pay that money (can they prove how much I owe?)
5 That the loan is secured by my property (is the mortgage and note proper?)

I leave you with this quote:

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yard sale day

It seems like today was the day for everyone in my town to have a yard sale. There was a guy down the street who had a sign out, saying he was having a yard sale that included a gun collection. I had to go check it out. There were a lot of "quality" pieces, including several revolvers from Miami Firearms, a couple of HiPoints, a Jiminez, and other total pieces of crap. He had a Taurus .357, which he tried to sell me by telling me that it was even better than Smith and Wesson. He did have a single Smith, but the cylinder would not lock up. In other words, junk.

He wanted top dollar, though. He was asking $400 for the Smith, and $500 for the Taurus. The Hi Points? $350.

There is no way I would buy that crap unless I could get for cheap enough to take it to the local "gun buyback" for a profit.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Orlando Slantinel Opinion on Open Carry

The Orlando Sentinel Slantinel has published a commentary by columnist Mike Thomas on the Florida Open Carry movement. I want to take a few moments and respond to his screed.

So you are walking down Park Avenue, window shopping for all the stuff you once could afford, and suddenly coming down the sidewalk you see three gunslingers.

It's like the Wild West except they're drinking lattes, and instead of six-shooters, they have Glocks clipped to their matching Gucci belts.

Would this bother you?

Well, it could happen because the "open carry'' movement has come to Florida.

More "wild West" references. I remember the Sentinel (and other outlets) bringing out the tired references to the "wild west" every time there is a gun law coming up that they don't like. Funny thing is, the wild west scenario they dream of never seems to happen.

Open carry means just that. Any law-abiding citizen is allowed to openly carry a handgun.
If they are law abiding, why is it a problem? Don't you anti gun people who oppose our rights constantly say that the goal is to disarm criminals? Since I can already carry a concealed firearm nearly anywhere I want, what you are really afraid of is seeing the icky, scary guns. The only thing that changes with this law is that I won't have to worry if my coat flies open on a windy day. 

These guys conduct open carry demonstrations, where they stand around like exhibitionists, exposing their weaponry for all to see. What would Freud think?

 Insert obligatory dick reference here.

They even have figured out a way to hold these events in Florida. By state law, you are allowed to open carry while you are fishing — a frightening thought if you've ever been to Sebastian Inlet at the opening of snook season.

So they go to fishing piers and stand around with their guns on hips, pretending to fish. And if someone hooks a stingray, they're not even allowed to shoot it. Well, maybe if the stingray raises its tail it would be legal under Stand Your Ground.
GASP!! Law abiding citizens have found a way to COMPLY WITH THE LAW. Then, we slam on the Stand Your Ground Law at the same time. Aren't you clever!

Read the whole thing, and you will understand why I canceled my subscription to that paper.

Images courtesy of Rob Allen

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Third Amendment

"No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

Many people refer to the Third amendment as useless. They claim that no one has to worry about the Army turning your home into a training barracks. The prohibition on the quartering of troops in people's homes was not about people getting upset over rumpled sheets. In the colonial era, the practice of billeting British troops in private homes was a widespread. One of the complaints against King George III in the Declaration of Independence was "for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us."

Why do you suppose King George III did this, and why do you suppose the colonists were so upset about it?  It is a fairly effective form of intimidation: putting an agent of the State inside the houses of people whom the State considers “troublesome.” Having an agent of the State live with the troublemakers has an absolutely chilling effect, and most especially when the agents start abusing the power—"pushing the envelope," as such agents so often do. This would have been known to the authors of the Bill of Rights. The Third Amendment was put there to prevent just this sort of thing.

It was impossible for the founders to foresee the advent of electronics, video cameras, microphone "bugs" and the like, but the fact remains the same: the presence of agents of the State present in people’s homes, intimidating them by their very presence, and by their presence also enforcing the State’s policies, as well as reporting (to a superior rank or office) any opposition towards the State. Whether the actual person is present, or the person is "virtually" present, the effect is the same: a chilling of the rights of the people to oppose the policies of their Government.

With the advent of computer networking, the Government no longer needs to put troops in your home. They can simply monitor you remotely- a virtual soldier present in your home.This is why I find today's article so troubling. It seems as though we are seeing a constant erosion of our rights and liberties, inching ever so much closer to a police state. One day, we will wake up, and it will be too late.

Maybe it already is.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Judicial Corruption.

This is simply unbelievable. A sitting Judge promised the chairwoman of the Commodities Exchange Commission that no complainant would ever win a case in his court. For nearly 20 years, he has kept his word.

Read This:

Judge Painter Notice and Order.dcpdf-1

The Chairwoman who made the judge promise this? Wendy Gramm: key Enron player and wife of Phil Gramm. Phil Gramm is the sponsor of the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Act, the law that made our current real estate mess possible. You know, the same real estate scam that destroyed our economy.

What are citizens to do when there is no justice under the law?

Price Controls = bad for everyone

Bank of America, like many other banks, was charging people fees of they overdrew their accounts- $35 for each event. This would mean, with the advent of debit cards, that a $3 purchase could put you in the red and cost you a $35 fee. It wasn't long before customers fought back by taking their business elsewhere.Eighteen percent of checking accounts were closing each year, as customers voted with their dollars and their feet. Bank of America eliminated the policy and reduced account closures to 13% In other words, the free market worked.

That wasn't good enough for Congress. They passed a slew of regulations that eliminated these charges. In other words, price controls. Since Bank of America saw 12% of its revenue from the charges that were just outlawed, they responded by spreading the costs among all account holders.

"Customers never had free checking accounts," Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace said. "They always paid for it in other ways, sometimes with penalty fees."

TANSTAAFL.That is something that I taught my children from a young age. Nothing is free, everything comes with a cost. Either it is pay per use charges like overdraft fees, or there will be some other fee, but I don't go to work for free, neither do you, and someone has got to pay the bills.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Florida Ballot Amendments, Amendment 4

In my continuing attempt to understand the amendments to the state constitution that have been placed on the 2010 ballot, I am posting my research and thoughts on this blog. This post concerns Amendment 4.

Amendment4, called the Florida Comprehensive Land Use Plan, proposes to require a taxpayer-funded referendum for all changes to local government comprehensive land-use plans. This means that voters will decide every time a WalMart or new development is to be built.

People favoring this amendment claim that the people will be able to control development and claim that Amendment 4 is needed because "our homes and communities are too important to leave in the hands of crooked politicians."

I would point out that instead of voting on every development because we don't want "crooked politicians" making the decision, perhaps we could vote those politicians out of a job. Remember that a land use plan that would build a Walmart on one end of the county would be voted upon by people in the other end of the county.

Looking at the financial backing of the Amendment, we see that the following contributions have been made to the cause since 2003:

Lesley Blackner (Lawyer) $828,749
Steven Rosen / Tend Skin Int'l (Skin Care) $635,000
Sierra Club of Florida $186,470
Joe Redner $37,035
Floridians for a Sustainable Population $33,538 

It seems like Lesley Blackner has nearly a million invested in this. Why? I don't know, and I could not find out, even after an extensive search.

Vote yes if you think that voters should decide in a direct vote, vote no if you think that the voters should decide through their elected representatives.

Edited to add: I have decided to vote no on Amendment 4. Lisa (in comments) has made me see that there is a real problem here: Other people are presumed by the supporters of this amendment to know better what I should do with my property than I do. It doesn't matter to me if a commissioner decides what I should do with my property, of if my neighbors decide. Either way, I do not get a choice. At least when the commissioner decides, I can talk to him and try to make him see my side of things. If the public is to decide, then I must cough up millions of dollars to run political advertisements to get my message out.

How about an amendment that lets me do what I want with my lawfully purchased property without having to beg for the permission of others?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Firearms are about choices

This IHOP restaurant not too far from my home was robbed at gunpoint just after midnight last night. It isn't even in what I would consider to be a particularly bad area of town. Robbed at gunpoint while eating a meal, if you are unarmed, you are completely at the mercy of the robber. Many will tell you, "Just give him what he wants," and have you depend on the mental stability and good will of an armed felon. Your choices are limited.

If I am armed with a weapon, I have a choice. I can choose whether or not I will hand over my wallet. I can choose whether or not to be herded into the back room. I can choose whether or not to watch as the gunman kills others in the restaurant. Or forces the women to strip naked, and cuts the throat of the cook.

People ask me whether or not I would kill someone over the $50 or so that is in my wallet. My answer to them is that the robber is willing to, or he wouldn't have a gun, and I am not shooting to take his life, I am choosing to shoot in order to save my own.

Others tell me that carrying a gun won't help, that I will probably get killed anyway. Perhaps, but if nothing else, I have at least marked my killer in a way that will help him get caught. He will be the guy that you find somewhere between the scene of my murder and the closest emergency room with at least one 200 grain, .45 caliber hollowpoint lodged in his chest cavity.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

US credit rating drops

The US saw a drop in its AAA credit rating on October 12th, with the rating falling to AA+. Now, AA+ is still a respectable rating, but the trend is disturbing. It isn't like we didn't see this coming. Since 2008, we have been getting warned about this. From the October 12th announcement:
"You can see an indication of concern about the easing course the Fed is likely to continue on," said Sean Egan, who runs the Egan-Jones credit rating agency in Haverford, Pa. "There's a number of items that are going to be difficult to reverse as we get down that road, starting with the dramatic underfunding of state pension funds."
The government has run two straight budget deficits of more than $1.4 trillion, with more to come for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the Fed is making noise about printing more money to pay down the debt, which will have the effect of devaluing the dollar. Paying the debt with devalued dollars is certainly a way to get rid of debt, but if you are a creditor, this is not good news.

Comments by the Fed have sent the dollar tumbling and helped increase gold prices by over $125 an ounce in the last month. Gold is currently selling at $1378 an ounce, almost double what it was on Obama's inauguration day.

With this development, it is safer to lend to Warren Buffet than it is to lend to the US Government.What this means is that there will be considerable pressure on the interest rate that the government will have to pay in order to attract "lenders." People traditionally buy savings bonds and treasuries, which pay relatively low returns, in exchange for the security offers. As the risk you are taking gets closer to the odds of winning at a Vegas roulette table, the payoff must increase to compensate for that risk.

This means that interest on the debt will begin to take up more and more of the budget, as the cost of borrowing increases. This will increase deficits, and cause the rating to be reduced at an increasing rate. Anyone who has ever gotten into credit trouble can tell you that your credit score goes down as your credit card balances increase.

Monday, October 11, 2010


It turns out that I was wrong. Obama has not spent $3 trillion more than he has collected in taxes-he has spent $4.5 trillion more than he has collected in taxes. The Fed, which has held interest rates near zero since December 2008, launched its plan of printing money to buy US Government debt nearly two years ago, swelling its balance sheet to nearly $2.3 trillion from a pre-crisis level of around $800 billion.

Two years ago, when the program began, the price of gold was just a bit over $700 an ounce. It is now selling at about $1350, or nearly double that. In two years.

Minutes due Tuesday from the Fed's most recent policy-setting meeting may show that the Fed is planning to launch another round of printing money to buy government debt. Inflation, here we come. Buy gold, buy gold now. Maybe we will see gold hit $3000 before the next election. I hope not, because what that would mean for our economy, I dread to imagine.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Florida Ballot Amendments, 5 and 6

I am researching the Proposed Constitutional Amendments on Florida's Ballot for 2010, so that I can be an informed voter when I hit the polls in less than a month. I figured that I would share my views, so that others could be informed as well.

Amendments 5 and 6 are being done together because they are Amendments purportedly being placed on the ballot to eliminate gerrymandering of the State (5) and the National(6) legislative districts. Gerrymandering is the tendency for politicians to redraw legislative districts in order to favor their own pet causes.

Redistricting is the act of re-dividing the state into new election districts. By law, it happens every 10 years. And each time lawmakers begin the process, which involves using sophisticated computing, it draws intense scrutiny from critics who accuse incumbents of choosing which voters to put in their districts to ensure re-election.

Pro: Proponents say that these amendments would establish fairness standards for use in creating legislative and congressional district boundaries. While protecting minority voting rights, the standards would prohibit drawing district lines to favor or disfavor any incumbent or political party. Districts would have to be compact and utilize existing political and geographical boundaries. In other words, natural competitiveness and fairness would be required.

Cons: I could not find an opposition group in my search, but this is what I think: The group pushing for this is On thier site, they claim to be "a nonpartisan group of Florida citizens working to establish constitutional rules to stop politicians from drawing districts to favor themselves." However, also according to the site, they are sponsored by the League of Women Voters, AARP, NAACP, Democracia Ahora, and the Florida League of Cities, all of whom are dominated by Democrats and their causes. It is run by lead by former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz (Independent, former Democrat), former Senator and Governor Bob Graham (Democrat), former Attorney General Janet Reno (Dem), former State Senator Daryl Jones (Dem), former Comptroller Bob Milligan (R), former Assistant Secretary of the Interior (in the Nixon Administration) Nat Reed (Progressive Republican), and former Judge (and director of several environmental groups, such as the Everglades Foundation) Thom Rumberger (R).

The districts are to be redrawn, but by whom? With the kind of Democrat and RINO support that is behind this amendment, it makes me wonder what the angle here is. According to sources I could find, the law would require districts to be divided in straight lines. This is, in my opinion, designed to use the heavy population of the coast to dilute the rural populations of the inland areas.

This appears to me like the Democrats are trying to wrest power from the Republicans by changing the map of Florida's legislative districts.

Even though I don't like either party very much, I do not like many of the laws that the Florida wing of the Progressives have pushed on us, especially in the gun laws department. I think I am going to vote no on this one.

Florida Ballot Amendments, part 2

I am researching the Proposed Constitutional Amendments on Florida's Ballot for 2010, so that I can be an informed voter when I hit the polls in less than a month. I figured that I would share my views, so that others could be informed as well.

Amendment two:
This amendment is to exempt military members who are deployed outside of the Continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii from all property taxes on their homestead.

Pro: Those who favor this amendment say that military members who are not able to live in their homes should not pay taxes on it, and besides they are serving their county and should not have to pay taxes.

Con: Those opposing it say that this is an unnecessary perc for a volunteer military who is already being paid for their service.

Vote yes to exempt them from taxes, vote no if they should pay them.

My Take: This exempts military personnel outside the US from property taxes. At first blush, this looks like a tax cut, and I am all about tax cuts. What this really is, though is creation of yet another class of super citizens that get a special privilege because they work for the government. This does nothing to curb government spending, or to cut taxes overall. I will always vote no to anyone spending my money, except for me. My taxes are already high enough. If this passes, they will have to go up again to compensate. No thanks.

This bill will probably pass, because the only party that claims to like tax cuts likes kissing military ass even more. Expect them to get a cut, and expect your taxes to go up and pay for it.

Florida Ballot Amendments

I am researching the Proposed Constitutional Amendments on Florida's Ballot for 2010, so that I can be an informed voter when I hit the polls in less than a month. I figured that I would share my views, so that others could be informed as well.

Amendment one:
This amendment is for voters to decide on whether to repeal an earlier constitutional Amendment that mandates the use of taxpayer money to support the campaigns of candidates running for statewide office.

Pros: The people who favor this Amendment say that politicians have plenty of money, and certainly don't need to be spending tax money to get elected.

Cons: Those against the Amendment say that it is in place to help the little guy who can't raise much money get elected.

Vote yes if you want politicians to spend their own money to get elected, vote no if you think taxpayers should foot the bill to get politicians elected.

Me? I think that someone spending tax money is spending money that the government already took from me, and is therefore spending my money. I will vote against anyone or anything spending my money, except me. I will vote yes on this amendment.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Government workers

No one knows how hard it is to get a government worker to do something any better than another government worker. We have a printer in our report room for two computers to share. It was connected with a USB cable, and depending on who needs to print, we had to plug the cable into one computer or the other. This printer is also a network capable printer, and I saw no reason why we had to continually move the cable. I pointed this out to the chief one day, and he ordered IT to come out and make the change. So, IT came out about two weeks later, removed the USB cable and plugged it into the city network.

The printer didn't work. They never installed and mapped the printer on the computers that needed it. Computers sitting right next to the printer. I put in a work order and was told how to map the printer. I didn't have the administrator privileges to make the changes, and IT is always stuffy about users messing with settings. Everything is locked out on the computers. This is the email I sent, sending a copy to everyone in the chain of command, even the chief:
Ever since IT installed the new printer in the station, the printer has not worked. I contacted IT this morning, and they said that each individual person who uses that computer has to map the printer for their use, or the printer will not work. We have never had to do this before, and I am not sure how workable that solution is, especially considering that we have been told many times that we are not to be making changes to department computers, and cannot make the changes without administrator privileges. Is there a way to get this printer working that does not involve every employee who uses it having to make changes?
IT responded with:
Hey, I have this link for you that installs it. So if you could forward this to anyone who needs it. First delete the printer that is there now. Then you will need to click the link below. You will need to agree or open and it will install for you. The printer que box will pop up once it has installed. All you need to do is close it and you are finished. Call me if you still have an issue. The reason you need to load this is because network printers are per profile not pc. But this link will make it easy for everyone to load.
Of course the link didn't work. No one had the permissions to use the link. Look, if you are in IT and you fix it so no one can make changes to the computers except you, then don't be angry when people expect you to actually come out and make those changes. Anyway, I got everyone who uses those computers to send a "Reply to all" that they could mot make it work. After the Chief got about 30 emails on the subject, he finally replied with this:

IT *will* correct this issue so you do NOT have to do what he’s saying….the “shared” printer is supposed to be automatically mapped to all the computers in the station. 
 The problem with all government jobs is that it is too hard to get rid of the dead weight. I say this as a government employee who is constantly frustrated at the things other government employees get away with.

Mortgage Bankers Association Strategic Default

I wrote several posts over the past few months talking about the downright fraud that the banks have perpetuated against the American Public, and claiming that the most sensible thing to do from a financial standpoint might be strategic default, depending on your own situation.

The conservative talking point on this, is that you signed a contract and are morally obligated to pay what you owe. The Mortgage Bankers Association takes this as their official position. 

But it isn't just a matter of the borrower's personal interest, says John Courson, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, a trade group. Defaults hurt neighborhoods by lowering property values, he says, adding: "What about the message they will send to their family and their kids and their friends?"

In 2007, the Association put a $4 million down payment on their $79 million headquarters, and borrowed the other $75 million. When the market tanked and the Mortgage Bankers Association went underwater on its mortgage, they abandoned the property and rented another place 5 blocks away. In other words, they defaulted strategically. See the story from the Today Show by clicking here. The John Stewart show does a follow up, and knocks one out of the park. So much for the morality of bankers.

Strategic default, like any financial decision, should be based on fact, rather than emotion. Claiming that paying on a depreciating asset is the moral thing to do, is the bankers playing on your emotions to squeeze more money out of you.

John Stewart does another piece, and here it is.

This just in

The Latin Kings do not have an anti-harassment policy. The bleeding hearts were willing to overlook the drug dealing, the drive by shootings, the murders, and the robberies, but dammit, harassing prospective members because of their sexual orientation cannot be tolerated!

They might have their Federal funding cut off, unless they undergo sensitivity training.

Friday, October 8, 2010

that I will support and defend the Constitution

 I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
I have taken this oath three times in my life. When I enlisted in the military at age 18, when I reenlisted in the military at age 22, and when I was sworn in at my current employer. (Of course the one from my current employer was a little different.) Each time, I considered the Oath I was taking as not just some words that I repeated. I took this oath as a solemn promise that I swore to uphold, even to the point of giving my life to keep that promise. 

The Oath Keepers is an organization that swears to uphold that promise. They are not a militia. They do not advocate committing crimes. They simply make these ten promises:

  • We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
  • We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people
  • We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.
  • We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.
  • We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
  • We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
  • We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
  • We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."
  • We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
  • We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
 In other words, they are agreeing to live up to their oath of office. Our elected officials, who take a similar oath, should take this to heart. As unlikely as some of the above items are, how cold anyone be threatened by the statements being made above? The only way they could take these statements as a threat, is if they had some plan in place that would cause oath keepers to refuse their orders.

This is why it surprises me that a young man who calls himself an oath keeper has reportedly had his child taken away by child protective services because of this oath. Apparently, taking the oath of office required. Actually following it is cause for your child to be taken from you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who should Alan pay?

I got the following message today, in reference to my statements and rants against the fraud being committed by our banks:

Look, If someone isn't paying for something, is it really theirs? I have a real hard time with this whole "free house" shit. I understand there are some complex issues to do with the paperwork, etc. but bottom line, if people aren't paying for the house, WHY DO THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE THERE? And if so, why the hell should anyone else pay their mortgage?
 What I am talking about here is not about giving a person a free house. What I am talking about here is the banks using fraud to take a home that they do not have the legal right to take. Let me break it down:

Alan loans $100 to Bob, who agrees to repay him $150 in 10 payments of $15. He uses his television as collateral and signs an IOU. The thing is, Alan doesn't have $100 to spare for the next 15 weeks, so he tells Charlie about the deal, and says, if you pay me $110, I will give you all the money that Bob pays me. Charlie agrees, essentially taking Alan's word that Bob is good for it. Alan pockets $10 just for making the deal. Charlie has assumed all the risk, but makes $40 on the deal.

Things go well, until Alan figures out that he can loan out that same $100 a hundred times, and sells the IOUs to Charlie. Alan's money making scheme relies on him continuing to make loans to people over and over, and soon he runs out of honest guys to loan money to, so to keep the cash train going, he begins to loan money to everyone, whether they can pay it back or not. Who cares, Alan thinks, getting them to pay is Charlie's problem. Alan pockets the $1000 in profit.

Charlie is now the holder of $10,000 worth of paper, but has $1500 a week coming to him. The problem is that he doesn't have the cash to pay Alan, so he gets 10 of HIS friends to loan him $1,000 each using the notes as collateral, and agrees to pay them $1200 a week. Charlie pockets the $300 a week in profit. The investors split up the IOUs, and split the weekly money. They are promised a total profit of $200 each for the loan. In the shuffle, no one really knows who owns which IOU, but this is not a problem.

Until people stop paying. Now, Bob owes money to someone, no one disputes that. Who does he owe the money to? Who has the right to take Bob's television? What if Charlie comes forward and has a photocopy of the note, and demands the television? Is that good enough proof for Charlie to take the TV?

What happens a week later when David (one of the investors, or so David claims) produces a copy with a signature on it that says, "Pay to the order of _______, signed Charlie"? David states that the original was destroyed when he washed his pants, but he has this copy to prove that he is the rightful holder of the IOU. The problem is that Alan won't give anyone the television unless they can prove that he is paying the right guy, so now who gets the money or the TV? David decides to solve the problem and sends a friend over to break into Bob's house to steal the television. After all, SOMEONE owes David money, right?

Then, to complicate things further, Edward comes forward and has the ORIGINAL IOU, and sues Bob. So, how do we untangle this mess? Bob has lost the TV, and now has three different people, each with a legal claim to the $150 he owes someone. Who gets the money, who gets the TV? Who gets the shaft?

That is what we are dealing with, but on a much smaller scale. Imagine that this is not 100 loans of $100 each, but 60 MILLION loans averaging $200,000 each. While my example is hard to follow, the real one is much harder.

Just because a homeowner owes SOMEONE money, it doesn't mean that he owes that particular bank money, and before a bank can take your home, they should have to prove that they are the one who is entitled to it. The problem is that the banks can't do it, because through dishonesty and ineptitude, they have created a paperwork mess. There are 600,000 pending foreclosures on backlog right now in Florida, a state of 16 million people. In some counties, one in ten homes is in some stage of the foreclosure process. Some of them are cases where more than one bank is foreclosing on the  same home, using the same mortgage and promissory note as evidence.