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7/30/10

Vernon Parker discussing the SB 1070 ruling

Paradise Valley Councilman and Arizona Congressional District 3 Candidate...


State of Arizona is trying to do what federal government has failed to do

"This judge's decision was judicial activism at it's best."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbd05TvGRxA

7/28/10

Eduardo Capetillo

"La Mujer Que No Sone"...

music break

La Mujer Que No Sone is written by Ricardo Arjona and here a young Eduardo Capetillo performs in the early nineties. It was a signature song for him, as part of the soundtrack he recorded for the 1990 telenovella Alcanzar una estrella (To Reach for a Star). The story line was of a plain, awkward girl who fell in love with her idol, played by Eduardo, who she meets through her machinations. She lived her dream.

As Eduardo sings he uses body movement and hand gestures to reinforce the lyrics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7VrZHknFqc

Declining Value

Tracking A Toxic Asset...

These are graphics from Planet Money's blog where they bought a toxic asset created with more than 2000 mortgages from across the country and tracked it. The asset had been worth $75,000 but was purchased for $1000 and the graphics shows how much value it has lost.



In the beginning Dec 2006, “Toxie” was a little sick

Toxie Dec 2006.png


But by July 2010, “Toxie” was a almost dead…
Toxie July 2010

7/27/10

7/26/10

No One Knows What the Future Brings

History and current events are a good guide...

New Years Day 2010 was not so long ago and I still remember the collective sigh of relief people shared that the previous decade was over. There was hope for a fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to right the ship and correct the course we just raced through.

At the beginning of March, as businesses were closing every day along the primary streets, road traffic got noticeably lighter and and stores had fewer shoppers, I started researching the underlying core of the Leading Economic Indicators using multiple resources. Looking at the root causes and potential for solutions, none of them looked particularly strong for the short to intermediate term. The phony propped up Stock Market bubble, the Mainstream Media and Political Class's visions of sugar plum Recovery predictions, Stimulus and Quantitative Easing aside, a sea change storm brewing was evident. Efforts for a quick fix to the trouble we were in was not working as predicted and it seemed highly likely that it was going to get worse before it got better.

1. Unemployment: high unemployment and underemployment is a continuing vexing problem and likely to remain that way for a long time. Most importantly, unemployment and underemployment is directly related to people's income. Income is crucial to a recovery.

2. Debt Overhang: Individuals, businesses and governments are deeply in debt and it will take years to deleverage. The amounts on all fronts are staggering and must be reduced because it is subtracting from income.

3. Real Estate: A second wave of defaults in residential real estate is coming for these reasons:

Lenders have allowed borrowers to stay in houses with partial or no payments for longer than the average period of extensions and some borrowers have deliberately stopped paying. This is reaching it's end.
Alt-A mortgage holders are beginning to default and expected to become full blown.
ARM mortgage rates are going to reset in the September - October time frame.

Commercial real estate has declined in value on average a minimum of 50% in the past year but has not crashed yet. When it does, it will be about the time residential real estate hits it's second wave.

4. Retail and Consumer Goods: Most people are not in the position and/or the mood to be buying anything but what they consider the essentials. Maslow's theory comes into real life play: Food, Shelter and Clothing are priorities, everything else is secondary.

5. Production: The rate of producing goods, manufacturing and providing services is way down and not likely to increase until the other factors are resolved. Businesses are hoarding cash.

My prediction then was that May through November would be the period that how this great economic disruption will proceed will become more obvious. We are midway through that period. I also predicted we will be in an economic slowdown for a long haul of 5 to 10 years; I am more convinced of that now.



A few weeks ago I felt this Economic Depression deep in my being, a perception of what it is like to live in such an economic era, that hit me head on as more than intellectual theory. It made me sad and somewhat personally depressed and I had to take a deep figurative breath. I know I'm going to survive this, I've prepared for it as best as one can but that doesn't mean that I won't be taken aback by how it all plays out.

I see it in the faces of other people that they feel it now also. It depends on where you are in life on how good you think your chances of survival are. That also depends on your attitude and your ability to withstand the unexpected. There is a mid-term General Election coming in November and after that, what happens is anyone's guess. It is time to be ready for anything.

We are in a significant economic downturn that is more than the historical economic depressions that occur every 60-80 years (the average person's life span). No...we are in a 150-500 year historical Disruptive Event on the magnitude of  the Gutenberg Printing Revolution, the American Declaration of Independence, the US Civil War and the Industrial Revolution. This is a historically exciting time to be alive in and we may as well embrace it.

The message for me personally has not changed. No matter how good or bad you feel, if you want to make it, no matter how hard it is, you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. To stop is to risk never getting started again. Never underestimate the power of helping other people and them helping you. Now is the time, more than ever, that we need to think creatively, be passionate about maintaining our dignity and rising above adversity, to right the ship to sail on to a better day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUKB3PxG-0E

7/25/10

7/24/10

Seth Godin "We All Live in Detroit Now"

Everyone has access to state of the art information...  


If you're going to succeed, you're going to succeed because you do great work...

"If they can write it down in a manual, it's not a job you want because as soon as they write it down in a manual, someone is going to do it cheaper than you."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlBD75RfMtA

http://www.youtube.com/Stranahan

Seth Godin on Education

Failure of our education model...

Seth Godin discusses with Lee Stranahan how our public schools were designed to do two things:

1. Train people to become compliant factory workers, sit in straight rows, do what they're told, follow instructions,
2. Teach kids the best way to feel good and fit in was to buy stuff and it's done a great job at both things.

"...They churn out people who await instructions, who can fill in with number two pencils perfect ovals but...
we don't churn out people who are creative and innovate and ask questions...
we don't turn out people who by any definition who are artists, we actually shun those people."

Hear what he says about a "shortage of people who are going to do something unique."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea5IgyVd3_U

http://www.youtube.com/Stranahan

7/23/10

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Where and Why Are Business Closing? 

Take a look at Arizona and compare to other states

Arizona is among the states second hardest hit and adjacent to states hit either harder or just as hard.

Source: Infographic from Wall Street Cheat Street

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/breaking-news/economy/where-and-why-are-businesses-closing-infographic/?p=14425/

7/22/10

Tempe Town Fake Lake Washes Downstream

Dam fools...

So what happens to all those almost empty, in foreclosure high and low rise, bankrupted condos built on the City of Tempe Town Lake, now all the water has flowed down the Salt River on it's natural river bed, since the fake lake rubber dam collapsed? The "Town Lake that embodies [err...make that embodied] a unique vision for the future" according to the City of Tempe's website?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XllpYTqBM1g

http://www.youtube.com/srslyfkd

7/20/10

On Extending Unemployment Benefits

Unanswered questions...

Millions of people became involuntarily unemployed in 2007-2008, early in the economic crisis, and have long ago exhausted unemployment benefits and any extension they may have received at that time. They have dropped off the unemployment rolls and are no longer statistically counted as unemployed. Additionally many people have never qualified for unemployment benefits due to the professions they were in, for example real estate agents and mortgage brokers, also hard hit by unemployment.

An extension of people currently on benefits seems to beg the questions...what about those that have already dropped off? Also, since we now know unemployment is a long term, vexing problem, do we continue to extend indefinitely those on unemployment now and leave those already dropped off the rolls in the lurch? When do we cut off benefits? What about the massive federal deficit? Do we really want to create a permanent special underclass of people on unemployment, which in turn becomes basically welfare? These are hard questions that must be asked.

Video is from MSNBC's Hardball:

Jeffrey A. Miron is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University.

Christian Weller is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Public Policy professor at the University of Massachusetts.

7/17/10

Mid-July Summer in Arizona

The sun burning a hole through the sky...

Congressman Paul Ryan advances "A Roadmap For America's Future"

A time for choosing...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G6yITxq4as

http://www.youtube.com/AmericanRoadmap

http://www.americanroadmap.org

Text of video:

"Are we going to reclaim the American idea - an entrepreneurial economy where you make the most of your life, you can maximize your potential; reinvigorate the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise - and defend its morality - or - are we going to abandon the American idea, and become a stagnant European-style cradle-to-grave welfare state, where we drain people of their incentive and will to make the most of their lives, and become more dependent on the government? The President and the people that run Congress are dedicated progressives. They believe that we ought to have the government so much more involved in our lives, with the government - not ourselves - as the determining factor of our destiny. The country must answer the question: do we want an entrepreneurial society that gets the prosperity turned back on in the 21st century, where individual merit and entrepreneurial activity defines the American economy - or - are we going to have more and more people dependent on the government for their livelihoods? That is the fork in the road - and the urgency of the time for choosing is being precipitated by the current direction of our government and the looming debt crisis, driven by the explosion in entitlement spending. We must decide what kind of a country we are going to be in the 21st century." 

7/15/10

Incorrect Assumptions

Civil rights diversity groups are also intolerant...

The NAACP condemnation of the Tea Party movement as racist reminds me again of what I've thought for a long time about groups such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), NOW (National Organization of Women) and HRC (Human Rights Campaign).

(Reference: "NAACP passes resolution blasting Tea Party 'Racism'" CNN.com)

All of these organizations have wasted countless hours and money on approaching legitimate problems regarding issues of discrimination with the wrong approach but also hypocritically. They have spent decades pushing for special legislation requesting special rights in the name of reversing discrimination using federal, state and local legislatures. In my mind these grievances should be redressed through legal challenges based on US Constitutional Rights. That, however, is for another blog.

What occurs to me with the NAACP resolution is what has bothered me about all the so-called civil rights groups. They're just as prejudiced as the people they claim to represent that are the subject of prejudice. There is no tolerance for diversity of political views or opinions within these groups, only one point of view is allowed: Liberal. The National Organization of Women claims to defend women against oppression but are oppressive to women who do not follow lockstep into the feminist agenda. You may or may not like Sarah Palin but she is treated by NOW in exactly the manner that organization claims all women are treated. The Human Rights Campaign Fund has no tolerance for any homosexual that does not sign up wholesale for the entire Gay Agenda from A to Z.

Another troublesome thing about the NAACP resolution, is it makes the assumption that the Media and the Political Class like to cast, that the Tea Party is one unified group of people on the fringe. The Tea Party is a movement that comprises many different groups with similar primary goals but differing ideas.

In any case Arizona Congressional District 3 candidate former Paradise Vally Mayor Vernon Parker states that this will backfire on the NAACP. It appears it already has with such old hat luminaries of civil rights days gone by as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson distancing themselves from the resolution. They've been around long enough to know that the black community itself is not unified under one political philosophy and that many African Americans are actually quite conservative.

My blog Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker is Red from 05/21/10 has Vernon Parker discussing the myth that black and ethnic groups are assumed to be Social Democrats and Liberals.

Here is Vernon Parker's statement from yesterday that he has received the backing of Arizona's largest Tea Party group and about the potential for backlash.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70lFjeP7wXE

http://www.youtube.com/ParkerForCongress

7/13/10

Hillary Clinton's Hips

Are looking better all the time in the rear view mirror...

John McCain has been my Congressman and Senator since 1982 and I never have trusted him. He's always fallen into that awful category of "the lesser of two evils" which happens too often in politics; rather like Bush vs. Kerry. I have no idea what shape we would be in if McCain had won the 2008 Presidential election. It's a mind-numbing thought but not nearly as as anesthetizing as thinking about who we have now as President, a man clearly more interested in superficial image than deep thinking and in way over his head.

The absurdity of the White House insisting on "detaching the word Islam from any statement regarding terrorism," for the sake of college-style political correctness, causing military and intelligence personnel to carefully parse their words, is the latest oddity.

Reference: "Obama at odd with Patraeus doctrine on 'Islam'" 07-11-10  The Washington Times

Let's get real...the largest terrorist threat to the US is from the Islamic world. The inanity of "detaching any reference to Islam when referring to terrorists"  is enough to cause even non-conspiracist me to wonder what Obama's allegiances truly are.

Hindsight is 20/20. I can't say I trust Hillary Clinton all that much but what the heck...I don't trust Obama at all. Not on one issue for one second. I'm thinking McCain would've been a terrible President and we probably would have been better off with Hillary Clinton.

I mean, how much worse could it be?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQadAAlK9c4

7/8/10

Don't Buy the Conventional Wisdom

Not everything is what it seems...

Pre-packaged agendas are for sissies, of both genders and all races. Buying into a Feminist, Gay, Liberal, Right Wing, Union, Religion, Tea Party, Political Party,Name-Your-Program, is a sign of not having an original thought. Few people fit neatly into boxes and categories.

In this video Willie Nelson (with an appearance by Burt Reynolds) gives stereotypes and as an aside, pre-packaged agendas, a run for the money. Regrettably a lot of people miss the point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u4CXlIYjyE

http://www.youtube.com/draxaxe