Daily Archives: July 15, 2010

How times have changed

My mother Lea and I have just concluded several nights of viewing the 1983 mini-series Winds of War (which was so good that I’m re-reading it, via Kindle). Ma was born in 1924, and lived that experience while I’ve always been a military history buff, so we’ve had lots to discuss. One difference: Pearl harbor vs. 9/11. Mother spent that day skiing in the California mountains and only when she returned to LA did she learn of the attack and even then, it was  an event  on a far-away island – the true horror developed slowly. Whereas for me, nine years later, I still can’t speak the  term “9/11″ without choking and tearing up. Besides losing friends and the children of friends, I am still so enraged that my children watched those towers burn that I have added an extra prayer these days, asking God  for the grace to forgive muslims – not the Taliban – I hope there really is a hell and that they roast there for eternity, but it surely is not good for my soul, and probably a sin, to harbor such hate for an entire class of blameless people.

So there’s that. But another difference we noticed: when Churchill and Roosevelt met in Nova Scotia for their secret meeting, the press kept the secret. Today, that would never happen. Do you remember a few years ago when the New York Times discovered that the Brits and the US were secretly following terrorists’ money transfers around the globe? The White House begged the Times not to expose the operation, to no avail, and the surveillance program was destroyed. Reading old news stories of WWII, you see terms like “our troops”, or “our boys”. Today, the press considers itself some kind of neutral observer, taking no sides between enemies of civilization and its defenders. I find that very sad, and troubling.

So whatever – I’m off to the next chapter of Winds of War. It’s a great read, but if you are looking for an entertaining series, I heartily recommend the film version too.

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This is supposed to be a real estate blog, isn’t it? So where’s the news?

I will have some news to report tomorrow, if all goes well, but right now, things are all quiet on the western front.  After being harassed by my own Greenwich  Association of Realtors these past  thirty-six months, I’ve grown tired of the battle, but I haven’t quit – angry, disappointed owners with houses unsold for years, attack me through the supposed code of ethics of realtors as though my comments, five years on, are the reason they can’t sell their crappy, over-priced homes. I’m planning a work-round.

Look – libel is one thing – when I falsely accused Chris Finlay of self-dealing I was totally wrong and I’m not looking for a way around that – but, by the way, I recognized my error almost immediately, replaced the offending post with a corrected one within two hours and sent a copy of it, with a personal apology to Chris, who graciously accepted it. As further self-flagellation for my sin, I posted many angry, teasing, disgusted messages from readers, but as far as I’m concerned, it was a matter between Chris Finlay and myself and since he has forgiven me, I consider the matter closed. I keep receiving nasty emails from readers but as of two days ago, they’ve gone into the trash. If I lost your confidence and your readership , I’m sorry, but I won’t wear a hair shirt forever.

What I would like to do is figure out a way to write a real estate blog that accurately describes the situation out there without exposing me to vague charges of “misrepresentation” or whatever, when all I’m doing is telling the truth. I could certainly write this blog as I’d like to if I weren’t a realtor but then I’d either have to return to being a lawyer – God no, please! – or find some other way to make a living.

Just as a for instance, I saw  a house today that is an absolute beauty but, in my opinion, priced exactly twice what it’s worth. I could back that up with comparable sales and never face a serious legal challenge, but under the Realtor Code? Who knows?

Yesterday I asked a good friend of mine, a lawyer, about setting up an LLC to publish this blog, thereby separating my business as a real estate agent from that of a writer. He graciously called around and reported back that he and his fellow lawyers didn’t think it would work. With all due respect, and with full gratitude for my friend’s efforts, I’m not willing to give up on the idea and I may have to re-don my lawyer cap and think this through. Perhaps I’ll have to convert this blog to a commercial site (if I do, I assure you it will be highly restrictive as to who advertises) but there should be a legal way to separate my writing from my real estate business. After all, if a lady realtor ran a whore house at night and sold real estate during the day, could the GAR bring her up on real estate ethics charges for her nighttime activities? I think not. So if I reverse things, and run a whore house during the day and blog at night, is that alright?

So that’s what I’m working on. And in case you’re wondering, nothing of significance came on or off the market today.

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Foreclosure backlog growing, not shrinking

Maybe by 2013, is new prediction.

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