Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Great Mortgage Debacle

Why a car at the top of this post, read on.

There has been a ton of coverage on the MSM about the number of "homeowners" (you really don't own it, the bank does) defaulting or getting two or more months behind on payment.

The big question seems to be, who is to blame, the company that lent them the money, or the guy who was probably pretty sure it was going to be tough making the payments, particularly if interest rates started to creep up.

I can use something that happened in my life to illustrate what happened with these loans.

Shortly after I started working full time, I decided I wanted, not really needed, a new car. My rent was ridiculously low, I was single and I had no debt hanging around. The Porsche 924 just came out and I thought this was the hottest car since the '65 Stingray. (I also learned, don't just go by how a car looks, but that's another story.) My trade-in (another mistake), a 1976 TR-7 was in mediocre shape so I didn't bring the out-the-door cost down much.

The final numbers worked out that it would cost me about $600/month. That was more that two weeks wages back then. I still had to by insurance, gas, registration and all those other "little" things you don't think about when you are in love....and food, utilities and maybe be able to go someplace in that cool new car.

Needless to say, after a year I was already behind and the car got repo'd. In this case it was early enough in my life that I just said goodbye to the car The fact I was disappointed in buying a fancy body on an Audi frame with a "Premiere" name made it easy.

What it boiled down to was I knew deep down from the get-go it would be almost impoosible to make the payments, and the company (thanks GMAC) knew it too.

I now pay cash for damn near everything. I have one credit card with a $1500 limit that I use for emergencies, real ones, not "I have to have a 72" HDTV for the Super bowl next week". It gets used for big ticket items like new refrigerators. only. The credit company always wants to raise the limit, but I decline. If they want me to use it more, lower the interest rate.

One of my close friends worked at a bank as a loan officer and always used my saga as benchmark for approving loans. If the deal looked wobbly over the long run, he squelched it. I've always felt that because of that, I may have saved others from screwing up like I did.

In the end, you had someone trying to take on debt they weren't ready to handle, and a company that saw a slight chance on profit with no concern for how it would affect the poor schmuck if they failed.

They both were wrong, but I shift more of the blame onto the lender, they should be the adults in this situation. Saying no to someone may hurt for a bit, but if they are better off in the long run, you've save them years of grief.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Global Climate Change

Got an hour and 15 minutes? Go see the other side of the story that is "indisputable" . Believe me, it will go by quick. When you see what gets left out (suppressed) by the Envroloons you can make a decision, but to just state that "X" number of "scientists" support this position, and the guys they've got listed as authors of the report are telling you that what they really reported wasn't even in the document. you have to wonder who is telling the truth here.

I'm not against making the air cleaner, or turning off the light when I leave the room, but let's all be sure we are using facts that are relevant before shuting down civilization.

The last five minutes are the most poignant, as they deal with how this craze is affecting the developing nations.

The Great Global Warming Swindle

UPDATE: The original link has disappeared, so just click on the search and there should be other copies available.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Amazing Guitar Player

Ran into this on If you're like me and love music and play an instrument ( I beat on a piano, poorly), this guy is one of those people you secretly hate while admiring his talent. Andy McGee has that natural affinity to work an instrument. I haven't bee over to his web site yet, but I will be shortly.

Cpl. Sanchez

This last week at the CPAC meeting Matt Sanchez, a Marine reservist and student at Columbia University received the Jeanne Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award.

Being he was feted at this Right Wing gathering, the left had to dig into his past and see if they could dig up some dirt on him. Like most of us, he had something there, perhaps you could think worse than most, but he has moved past it and I know has made those that really know him proud.

That the "tolerant" left would condemn and threaten him for past transgressions, says a lot about their dedication to their stated ideals. They say he is a hypocrite, but to arrive at this conclusion, you have to use the New Left's Dictionary. This definition is "Hypocrisy: anyone who has done anything in the past and now renounces it and doesn't do it anymore and says that they no longer believes or practice the aforementioned ".

Going by Merriam-Webster:
Hypocrisy 1: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.

People change over a lifetime. My values have certainly changed.

If you want to know the details for this kerfluffle that has the lefties so up in arms there are articles at Michelle Malkin and Hot Air.

To hear what this fine man did to warrant this outrage go to his site, but first read this article he wrote for the Marine Corps Times:
Missing the Big Picture.

Cpl. Matt Sanchez served this country as a Marine, is now in the Reserves, is attending school, holds a job and still finds time to assist others at Columbia negotiating the hassles of getting the services and guidance that our Vets and Officer Candidate students do not receive from the University.

I wrote Cpl. Sanchez, just to let him know that he had friends out there. I told him he did not need to respond, but within an hour he wrote back just thanking me for the support. This was 2:00 AM his time. We need more men like this and we need to support them.

Thank you Cpl. Matt Sanchez.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Smell and Memory

It's been said that smells will evoke some of the strongest memories. My wife bought a new brand of one of those under the rim toilet bowl thingies this week and it has a lime scent. For the last two days I have had this overwhelming urge to go out and find those damn lollipops that were sold with something like 30 of them wrapped in a sting of cellophane.

I always craved the cherry ones, but through my own rules, known only to a kid of around eight, I had to eat them in order. I wasn't big fan of the lime ones but got them down anyway. Perhaps because of these lollipops and rolls of Life Savers (same rule) that the smell of sugary lime thows me back to those days.

Of course, being I had to eat my way through all the flavors I didn't really want at the time could have been a factor in why my teeth have so much silver in them I'm surprised I haven't kicked from mercury poisoning.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Thankfully, My Boy Is Grown...

Now I'll just have to worry about the grandkids.

Calif. Lawmaker Seeks Spanking Ban
Provided By: The Associated Press
Last Modified: 1/21/2007 10:04:34 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California parents could face jail and a fine for spanking their young children under legislation a state lawmaker has promised to introduce next week.

Democratic Assemblywoman Sally Lieber said such a law is needed because spanking victimizes helpless children and breeds violence in society.

"I think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child," Lieber said. "Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?"

Lieber said her proposal would make spanking, hitting and slapping a child under 4 years old a misdemeanor. Adults could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Aides to the assemblywoman said they are still working on a definition for spanking.
Now I'm a little late coming to this party, but I ran into it on a few other sites today and just got more PO'd every time I crossed it.

I never beat my boy, but from about 1 1/2 to 3 years old a quick cupped handed swat to the pampers was a quick attention getter that made it clear that whatever preceded it was not going to be tolerated any further. Before that age, leniency was granted because they're so damn cute and how do you retort the argument of " .... ooh....butterfly"? After 3, there was enough concentration that reasoning could be employed most of the time, and if that didn't work, "The Look" could be pulled out and that would usually settle it.

I was spanked, switched and had a belt used on me growing up and I can say that in all cases, I never deserved it (...Mheh). My parents beat me without mercy for any minor infraction of their ridiculous standards they had set for me, not realizing that I would grow up to be the sociopath I am today, a steadily employed, middle class homeowner, with a clean driving record and no rap sheet.

The topper to this story comes here:
Lieber, who has no children, attracted nationwide attention after she pledged to introduce an anti-spanking bill to protect children from violence.
The good news:
A Democratic lawmaker has abandoned her heavily ridiculed campaign to make spanking a crime, acknowledging that the idea would get whacked even in California's sometimes whimsical Legislature.
Of course she still doesn't believe she could be wrong
Spanking a child on the buttocks — even to the point of injury — will remain legal in California, Lieber said.
I've got news for her, if she had bothered to read some of the existing laws in Kalifornia, injuring a child is illegal and always has been.

What a maroon.