Daily Archives: November 8, 2008

Welcome to WordPress or, work in progress

Well the previous postings and comments have been imported from Blogger and, I think, readers going there will be automatically redirected here. [UPDATE: No they aren't. Working on it] There’s a lot of work to be done to set up this site as I’d like it but it seems to offer more flexibility and I’ll be free from Google’s sabotaging robots (24 hours after notifying them that I am a human, not a spam site they’ve done exactly … nothing. So long, Google/Blogger; I won’t miss you.

(just noticed that I have to reset the clock on this thing or it really is 10:15 pm and the day’s gone by. Ignore time stamps for the while.)

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Existing home resales continue to slump

Nothing new here but in case your misery loves company, Bloomberg reports that sales contracts for existing homes are down nationwide. And down 17% in the Northeast.

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Merril Lynch was bulls..t on America

Merrill’s demise and how it happened. From the New York Times. Best quote:

“The mortgage business at Merrill Lynch was an afterthought — they didn’t really have a strategy,” said William Dallas, the founder of Ownit Mortgage Solutions, a lending business in which Merrill bought a stake a few years ago. “They had found this huge profit potential, and everybody wanted a piece of it. But they were pigs about it.”

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From “Mommy is a Democrat, a “heartwarming children’s book” according to one review. So far as I know this isn’t required reading in our public schools yet but it certainly should be in every right – thinking household!

Is there a Republican alternative to this dreck? Of course, but, because Republican kids are so much smarter , they can handle a bit of nuance and so the preaching is a little less heavy handed. That book, of course, is . You may remember the plot: Thidwick, because he has a kind heart, offers a ride on his antlers to, first, a pair of ungrateful squirrels and then an ever-growing succession of free loaders. When his life is threatened Thidwick begs his riders to get off so that he can save his life but they refuse, claiming that their desire for comfort and their “need” for a ride gives them the right to Thidwick’s life. Fortunately, just as hunters are aiming their guns at Thidwick his antlers loosen and he throws off the whole load of beggars. The last pages show Thidwick happily munching on moose grass and the Democrat/animal riders, all stuffed, mounted above the Harvard Club’s fireplace. So fitting. I read it to all my children.

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Building activity is slowing or it isn’t
That’s the confusing conclusion this Greenwich Time article reaches. I’m not blaming the reporter, it’s the data that are confusing. P and Z applications are holding steady, according to Dian Fox, but actual building permits are down. There’s a lot of brave talk by builders but I don’t see the activity I used to so … guess we’ll see.

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Here it comes
the Washington Post admits it was in the tank for Obama. Others will probably follow. Chris Matthews has always admitted it but sees nothing wrong with his actions; I think the majority of reporters are beginning to suffer morning after regrets as they remember what they did last night and will soon start sheepishly confessing their sins and ask us to trust them again. I won’t, maybe others will.

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We’re not out of the woods yet
Mortgage applications fell off the cliff last week. Down 20% from the week before, 47% from the same week last year. It makes sense, of course: if you’re not buying a house, why would you need a mortgage?

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Google shutting down blogs, cont.

I’ve been poking around the internet trying to find an answer to what’s going on with Google and why it’s trying to shut down my blog and the best guess I can make, right now, is that Google itself isn’t concerned about content (unless the Chinese tell it to be, but that falls under the “do no evil” company motto). What it’s done, however, is provide a button for angry readers to report objectionable content and spam. Too many hits of the old button, bye bye blog.

Google says this is impossible but earlier this year it labelled and shut down as spam down a number of pro-Clinton, anti-Obama blogs and could never provide an alternative explanation. The affected bloggers blamed the button and so do I.

None of which is the end of the world. I’ll spend the weekend switching to WordPress, which will be a pain in the neck, what with setting up new templates, links, etc., but that will be that. What I find interesting is that this is just another example of the left’s contempt and fear for competing ideas. Somewhere in this nation a little leftist sits, furiously grasping with one hand what’s below his desk and using the other to repeatedly jab the “report spam” button on a blog he doesn’t like. He, and other morons of the left, hate free speech. They’ve imposed speech controls on college campuses, rip down posters advertising speakers with whom they disagree, destroy campus newspapers that contain hurtful (non-leftist) opinions, shout down speakers, etc.

The left has foamed at the mouth over talk radio, particularly when the logical answer, starting their own talk shows, failed so spectacularly. Now Obama, Senator Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are working on the final solution: shutting down all shows that offend them.

I have a number of left wing friends who speak wistfully of a philosopher King. They love the idea that China banned plastic shopping bags by simply … banning them. No messy political debates, just save the environment now. Castro may have been a bit harsh on homosexuals and political dissidents a long time ago but is there any denying the prosperity and happiness he’s brought to his country? These friends still pay lip service to the idea of democracy, especially now that their Messiah has prevailed, but they quite clearly would give up their freedom in exchange for peaceful security and everyone just getting along. Look at the commentator below who can’t understand why anyone would object to enforced servitude if it is for the public good. He asks, “do you really object to that?” as though it is inconceivable that I or anyone else could be against such a thing. And for people like him, it is inconceivable. They can’t help it, they were educated in government schools.

So it’s off to WordPress, where there is no “democracy button” and bloggers can still post their opinions, popular or not. Or we can for now.

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Real Estate Agents urged to promote diversity
Somewhere in Florida a conference was held to convince realtors that “diverse” schools were a blessing. “Diverse” of course, means poor kids mixed with rich and whites with blacks. Such schools may indeed be better than homoginized schools, although the article linked to offers no fcts to support such a conclusion, but here’s the rub: real estate gents are forbidden by fair housing laws to provide any information or opinions on the matter. Where’s the nearest church? Can’t tell you. Are there many children in the area? Go look for yourself – I can’t tell you. Are the test scores at this school better than those at X? Call up the State Department of Education – I can’t even give you a hint.

So what’s the rple of realtors in promoting diversity? None. Parents are left to find answers to their questions on their own, sometimes from reliable sources, often from rumor and “common knowledge” that’s completely wrong. Welcome to the brave new world.

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Uh, Senator, about that mortgage….

Federal prosecutor investigating Countrywide Mortgage loans to Chris Dodd

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Involuntary servitude, continued
A commentator to my previous post on The One’s plan to require mandatory service from students lauds the concept as indeed do most liberals – their mind set is that we all belong to the state and the state is free to decide how to dispose of us. Some folks disagree with that concept but he rise of collectivism marches on and I fear threatens to subsume the world created in 1776.

But ill manned, selfish types like myself have not entirely disappeared and Obama hears our pain. He has now airbrushed his transition page to remove the word “required” and substitute “goal”. Remember when pictures of Stalin were doctored to remove images of other criminals who had fallen out of favor after the snapshot was taken (a bullet in the back of the head was the usual signal that one had pissed off Papa)? Something like that.

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Does Google embargo right-leaning blogs?

As noted yesterday, Google’s secret algorithm (does that have anything to do with defending against attacks on Al Gore?) has declared my site a spam site and I can only post now if I type in a bunch of distorted letters which are so hard to read that often two or even attempts are necessary before I get through. Google won’t disclose its criteria for deciding what’s spam but a reader has suggested that the company seems to label right-leaning blogs “spam” more frequently than it does other sites. True? Is the button “report offensive material” an invitation for angry readers to shut down blogs they don’t like? I really don’t know, so I’m going to forward this post to some better-read blogs in the hope that the issue can be clarified.

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The sound of one shoe dropping

UBS offers 112,000 sq.ft. for sublease. A commercial broker quoted in the article says this is just the first attempt to sublease a huge block of financial services space – the industry expects many more. I keep thinking of that Antares’ principal’s quote in the New Yorker, to the effect that he wasn’t worried about charging such high rents to tenants at the old UST building in Greenwich because they were all hedge fund firms, “and these guys treat rent payments like lunch money bills.” What if someone eats their lunch and steals their lunch money?

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