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9/30/10

Music Break: The Springfields/Dusty Springfield

Double Header...

Island of Dreams
The Springfields (Dusty and Tom Springfield with Tom Feild)
Live TV 1962

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99ZbBEu8ecM


You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Dusty Springfield
Live TV 1966

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9NY3P1QwWw

Word of the Day: mistext

Oh, the web we weave...


oops!

A test message containing information (usually unflattering or damaging) about a third party which is sent to the individual it concerns rather than the person for whom the communication is intended.

Text written for a secret lover is inadvertently sent to partner, making it a mistext:


"On my way home, (partner name) suspicious, don't call."

mistext
Urban Dictionary

FWIW: I'm Too Uncomplicated

The complexity of deception...

I don't get involved in elaborate schemes or circumstances because it's always way more trouble than it's worth. I can't keep fabricated stories straight and I'm a terrible liar, so I keep my life simple because it's more manageable for me. Similarly if I screw up, I just come clean, it's a whole lot easier on me and the truth always comes out anyway.

Urban Landscape Photography

Your stimulus dollars at work...

Improving the same good roads, while leaving potholes on others.


9/29/10

Music Break: Neil Diamond

I Am I Said...


LIVE BBC 1971

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

Quote of the Day: Stanislav Grof

Any avenue of hope in Consensus Reality...

"At a time of unbridled greed, malignant aggressions, and existence of weapons of mass destruction threatens the survival of humanity, we should consider any avenue that offers hope."

Stanislav Grof

Standing On Solid Ground

Maintaining strong character built on solid ground...


Our society has developed large deserts of shifting sand, 
Our personal selves must be able to withstand sandstorms.

Now more than ever we must root ourselves in a solid foundation of a strong sense of self, keep our values in the forefront and be strong in the face of constant change and adversity. Allowing external events to shake us for more than a brief moment in time will erode our ability to cope in a rapidly changing world. This is easier said than done and for many of us we are having to work at strengthening our selves and any weaknesses in our constitution.

Some days it is difficult to put one foot in front of the other but it cannot be said enough: to stop or pause and tarry too long risks the chance of never getting started again. It's a personal mantra.

One thing is certain for most of us is that everything we knew on how to operate and the rules to play by on three major fronts, employment, living arrangements and healthcare, are shifting in ways that are unclear at best and in constant flux. We see it in our jobs, whether we own a home with a mortgage or lease with a property manager or landlord, in our healthcare. Everything seems subject to change in a flash.

It's key to remember that we have little control over the large changes going on in society right now. What was the method one week for handling things may change the next without notice. We also have to learn to accept that a lot of things important to our feeling economically and psychologically secure cannot be counted on to remain stable. We may think that our jobs are relatively safe only to find the next week that our hours have been reduced or worse, have been eliminated. The deal we thought we had with a mortgage broker or property manager may suddenly be changed, regardless of what we thought was a legal contract. We can suddenly discover that a medication is no longer covered or our health insurance has been cancelled.

There is nothing consoling about any of these things, all of them and more have happened to me, they were all unsettling. It is the product of a social order that has been disrupted by an economic crisis, political winds and social and technological change. Everything is subject to change in ways that are not comfortable and most of us are creatures of habit one way or another. There are moments I wonder if I have what it takes to carry on until I realize the alternatives are not good options.

It can seem as if only the strong survive and the weak fall by the wayside and there is some truth in that. We must make a personal choice to stay as strong as possible.

More than ever, it is critical to have built into our character assurances of our own selves, our own identity and know that no matter what happens, the fundamental principles of our inner selves are built on sound foundations, held up by solid pillars with a sturdy roof and strong walls, to shelter us from the storm. Otherwise we will be tossed around in the wind with each change that hits us. Now is the time to resolve any lingering personal issues, work on self-doubt, seek support if necessary to build and maintain an internal foundation on solid ground, to avoid the proverbial Biblical building our personal spiritual house on shifting sand. That is our only real assurance that external events will not whipsaw us into feeling we are out of control of our lives.

Urban Landscape Photography

Visions of Jacob's Ladder...

9/28/10

Music Break: Count Five

Psychotic Reaction...


1966

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

Quote of the Day: Noam Chomsky

End of American invulnerability... 

"What the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 could not do, what nearly half a century of cold war could not do, the events of September 11 accomplished. The destruction of the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 in rural Pennsylvania have combined to bring an era of trust in invulnerability to an end."

Noam Chomsky
9-11 2001

We Bought It

Therefore we own it...


and if not paid off, still also owe it

It strikes me as indicative of how the American character has changed the last 30 years or so when after the attacks of 09-11-01, we listened to "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" for a few weeks, then carried on with our daily lives as President George W. Bush urged. There was very little reflection on the monumental historical event that had just happened. Contrary to popular belief, Bush did not tell us to "go shopping," as has been mythically repeated.

We did that all on our own.

...and wow, we sure went on a binge of a shopping spree.

Even if he did say it, when did we become such followers as to do exactly what our leaders say without thinking or questioning? That's antithetical to American thinking. No, we own our buyer's remorse, our leaders don't.

Urban Landscape Photography

Give me a sign...




9/27/10

Music Break: Ricky Nelson

Garden Party...


Live 1985

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

Quote of the Day: Henry Wheeler Shaw

The only man who sticks closer to you than a friend, is a creditor...

"Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of."

Henry Wheeler Shaw
American Humorist 1818-1885

American Middle Class and Debt

The deception of debt...

When I was growing up and lived in a British society, the middle class abhorred debt, it was to be avoided at all costs. Indebtedness was considered the weakness and downfall of the upper classes, the aristocracy and the rich. In that era (I'm referring to the fifties and sixties) the wealthy were notorious for carrying way too much debt to keep up the appearance of a lifestyle that did not match their incomes. The middle class were too sensible for that and intolerant of the wealthy for their foolishness with money. Americans in general prior to post-WWII felt pretty much the same way, primarily because they did not have access to credit. Many of the Founding Fathers were debt-ridden because they considered themselves to be "gentlemen" and were competing with the Lords of England and more than a few fell into a trap and hard times due to it.

The availability of "buying on time" after the second World War was purposefully intended to get Americans to end their conserving, thrifty, saving habits to stimulate the economy by turning them into consumers. Since many of the newly manufactured goods, cars, washing machines and the like, as well as cookie-cutter houses, were priced at high markup to boost businesses bottom line, most Americans couldn't afford to pay cash for these items. Business and government was not prepared to wait for people to save and thus the era of "buy now, pay later" was born. The cycle of stimulating business profits by pricing planned obsolescence products highly, lending consumers money at interest and trading in those products when they wore out for more credit, was born.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a more comfortable life, with possessions that make daily living easier or aspiring to a higher standard of living. The problem seems to have become matching what one would like and the ability to earn the money to pay for it, as well as the unbecoming trait of placing undue importance on the appearance of being wealthier than you are. It is also an ethical problem if you assume more debt that you can reasonably be assured of your ability to repay. There is also the character issue with the expectation that material goods will fulfill human needs and desires that in reality, only non-tangible things can fill. A society becomes void of character when people seek happiness primarily in consumer goods and diminishes the value of good character, education, virtue, ethics, knowledge, interesting conversation as things that also can be enjoyed to enrich itself.

Debt appears to be an American institution from the beginning and everyone has to make their own decision about their use of it. Debt has now become a way of life that has led to a gigantic economic crisis, requiring a long period of deleveraging, that is affecting society as a whole. From this point forward credit and indebtedness should be taken more seriously before it is undertaken. Those that take on too much debt and especially those that have repudiated it, regardless of circumstances, should be disdained. Whether a large segment of the American population has the character or will to do that remains to be seen.

A significant portion of the American people need to take a long, hard look at themselves and adjust to a way of life that is not filled with all the articles that are "buy now, pay later," because the cost later is far more than just owing money. It is at a cost to the heart and soul of what America is really about and risks what this country is supposed to be and for what it stands for.

Urban Landscape Photography

Oh say can you see...

9/25/10

Music Break: The Ventures

Wipe Out...


Live 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8__EwAT8VM

Word of the Day: Endless Summer Syndrome

Describing long, hot desert summer...

 A term used when summer feels like it's never going to end

IMHO: Obama at CNBC Townhall: A Non-Response

He didn't answer the question...

Obama's response to the woman who challenged and questioned him by stating she "was exhausted" by him and wanted to know "is this my new reality?" was not an answer, much less even a response. It was at best a comeback, that in itself was exhausting and in reality didn't answer the question.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujwE-OYCjbw

Urban Landscape Photography

Refugees from endless summer 
of the urban desert...


9/22/10

Music Break: Waylon Jennings

Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKV7vt1kHnk

Excerpt of the Day: Seth Godin

There are two recessions going on...


One is forever.

One is gradually ending, this is the cyclical recession, we have them all the time, they come and they go. Not fun, but not permanent.


The other one, I fear, is here forever. This is the recession of the industrial age, the receding wave of bounty that workers and businesses got as a result of rising productivity but imperfect market communication.


[Protectionism] isn't going to fix this problem. Neither is stimulus to old factories or yelling in frustration and anger. No, the useful response to this is to view this as an opportunity. To poorly paraphrase Clay Shirky, every revolution destroys the last thing before it turns a profit on a new thing.


The networked revolution is creating huge profits, significant opportunities and lots of change. What it's not doing is providing lots of brain-dead, corner office, follow-the-manual middle class jobs. And it's not going to.


[The] sad irony is that everything we do to prop up the last economy (more obedience, more compliance, cheaper yet average) gets in the way of profiting from this one.

Seth Godin
The Forever Recession
Seth's Blog 09/21/10

Urban Landscape Photography

Upthrusts of Concrete and Glass...


Central Corridor and Camelback Corridor.




9/21/10

Music Break: Springsteen

The Promised Land...


Live 1978


There's going to be a twister that blows everything down
That ain't got the faith to stand it's ground

...and I believe in a Promised Land

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrKh1zxv_rQ

Quote of the Day: Paul Ryan

Say it again with feeling, like you really mean it...

"We need to establish the proverbial lines in the sand and show we are serious about limited government," said Wisconsin's Rep. Paul Ryan, a leading conservative who is in line to chair the House budget committee if Republicans take control.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI)
"GOP Aims to Erode White House Agenda"
Wall Street Journal online 09/20/10

IMHO: Social Conservatives and Liberals

Social Conservatives are like Liberals...


Nunya business. Keep the government out of my life.

It occurs to me that Social Conservatives place as much demand on the government as Liberals do. They both want to use government intervention and money to forward their social behavior agenda and dictate to everyone their view of how people should behave.

Americans are basically centrist and lean to the right on fiscal issues, and most don't want the government interfering with peoples daily lives, even if they personally hold conservative views on individual behavior. It goes against the grain of their sense of fairness. There is something equally offensive about both Affirmative Action quotas and restriction of women's access to medical abortion by government edict.

Social Conservatives and Liberals need to repeat to themselves over and over again, that the economic crisis and the Great Disruption, overrides everything now. Americans can't afford and won't be distracted by social agendas until their economic concerns are resolved. It explains the Tea Party movement, which is based on one central theme: confronting politicians about taxes, spending, debt and government intervention and not about a myriad of pet grievances such as minority rights or abortion.

Urban Landscape Photography

Autumnal Equinox...



9/20/10

Music Break: Don McLean

Vincent...


"Now I understand, what you tried to say to me"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mPBUKcn4Gs

Quote of the Day: George Santayana

On words and images as shells integral with substance...

Masks are arrested expressions and admirable echoes of feeling, at once faithful, discreet, and superlative. Living things in contact with the air must acquire a cuticle, and it is not urged against cuticles that they are not hearts; yet some philosophers seem to be angry with images for not being things, and words with not being feelings. Words and images are like shells, no less integral parts of nature that are the substances they cover, but better addressed to the eye and more open to observation. I would not say that substance exists for the sake of appearance, or faces for the sake of masks, or the passions for the sake of poetry and virtue. Nothing arises in nature for the sake of anything else; all these phases and products are involved equally in the round of existence....

George Santayana
"Soliloquies in England and Late Soliloquies" 1922

FWIW: A Different Drum

Marching to Zion...

If my life ended tomorrow, which I certainly hope it doesn't, I can sure say it hasn't been boring because I made sure it wasn't.

Self Portrait

Reflections of everyday self...


9/17/10

Music Break: R.E.M.

Losing My Religion...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_XFMCgeI7c

Quote of the Day: Barry Goldwater

Goldwater warning religious factions on dictating moral beliefs...

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position in which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally than one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout the land are not using their clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders to follow their position 100 percent. 


I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me that if I want to be a moral citizen, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

Barry Goldwater
Speech in US Senate 09/16/81

Urban Landscape Photography

At your service...



9/16/10

Music Break: Buddy Holly

That'll Be The Day...


Live TV 1957

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt02zuoxGj4

Word of the Day: dead text

Truly non-verbal communication... 

dead text: a text that is received too long after it is sent so you are no longer obligated to reply to it.

I received a message from my friend the morning after it was sent asking if I was still up, so I decided not to reply because it was a dead text.

Urban Dictionary

IMHO: Political Clowns

They're all Bozos on the bus...

"Our Bozos are more funnier than your Bozos."

My impression of Democrats trying to persuade voters that Tea Party candidate primary winners, who are Republicans, are looney and therefore it's "safer" to vote for the Democrat opponent.

Three Perspectives On Medical Cannabis

Schedule 1: "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States"...


Really?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5dD7dFkmfA


reason.tv
Produced by Paul Fein and Alex Manning

9/15/10

Music Break: Johnny Cash

Ghost Riders In The Sky...


Live 1987

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMll6TNnTs4

Quote of the Day: Arizona Trail Association

What can be accomplished without government funds... 

Citizen involvement

Thanks to the nearly 27,000 people who went online to vote, the Arizona Trail Association has won a $50,000 grant for trail improvements in Pinal County.

"[The] trail there now runs down along an old pipeline road. It's very straight, it's not very scenic," said Dave Hicks, executive director of the Arizona Trail Association.

Government funds for trail maintenance has been non-existent since the economic downturn, Hicks said. "This boost from a private source is a nice shot in the arm," he said.

azcentral.com Travel and Explore section 09/14/10

Mountain Biking Arizona Trails

Flagstaff Trails...

http://www.vimeo.com/14722269

Flagstaff Trails 8/29/10 from Gnome on Vimeo.
Just a basic vid of some of the local trails in Flagstaff, Arizona

9/14/10

Music Break: Rodney Crowell

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VozeI06JAV8

Word of the Day: screenior citizen

In my case, my mother...

screenior citizen

An old person who spends all his/her time at the computer or television.

My grandma spends all her time now that I taught her to surf the web. She's a screenior citizen.

Urban Dictionary 

IMHO: Leaders Lacking Imagination

We're being led by Duds and Clods...

You know what really terrorizes me? The enemy within.

They're the people of influence in the Northeast power corridor, especially in New York and the Beltway of DC, that really are not driven by any belief system they are smart enough to understand, even at the basest level. They truly are stupid, unimaginative dull thinkers, far more than we have recognized, and we have placed too much faith and given far too much credit and influence to them in the political class and corporate sector.

I'd rather have a smart enemy than self-interested cunning dullards at the helm. At least you know how to counter with a smarter defense, it's difficult to argue with minds comprised of muddy waters.

Urban Landscape Photgraphy

Autumnal sunrise drive glare...





9/13/10

Music Break: The Who

Won't Get Fooled Again...

1971 Top of the Pops

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nghdLS8wMfI

Quote of the Day: Timothy Geithner

Thanks, but we tried you're idea and it hasn't worked...


Smart people learn from their mistakes, not stubbornly repeat them. 

"If the government does nothing going forward, then the impact of policy in Washington will shift from supporting economic growth to hurting economic growth," Mr. Geithner said during an interview with the Wall Street Journal in the U.S. Treasury office, citing the example of countries who "shift too quickly to premature restraint" after a crisis, including the U.S in the 1930s.

Timothy Geithner
U.S Treasury Secretary
Geithner Warns On Inertia, Urges Action On Economy
Wall Street Journal 09/12/10

IMHO: Lame Duck President

It's even worse than we thought...

There is now a whole new meaning to the word "lame" in the expression: "Lame Duck President."


The opinions expressed here are mine and stated in my personal original writing. You may choose to agree or disagree and you have the right to your own opinion. If you choose to express it on this website blog, I am open to civil discourse in the comment section.

Urban Landscape Photography

Building Arizona...

Construction


Agriculture


1950 E Camelback Road Phoenix 85016 currently Bank of America Highland Branch

9/10/10

Music Break: Don McLean

American Pie...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr-BYVeCv6U

Quote of the Day: Obama

It's like deja vu all over again...

If we're willing to choose hope over fear, to choose the future over the past, to come together once more around the great project of national renewal, then we will restore our economy, rebuild our middle class and reclaim the dream for the next generation.

President Barack Obama
Campaign Speech 09/09/10
Parma, Ohio

Let It Crash

First we kill all the bureaucrats... 


Stop with the government interference.

For all practical purposes our economy, as we once knew it, has stopped in its tracks. We're way past debating The Broken Window Fallacy economic theory of destruction, since the windows are smashed, the bricks have crumbled, the warehouse is bare, the merchant had a heart attack and customers are paralyzed. Jump starting an old carburetor car with a 20th century battery to resolve a 21st century automobile problem just won't do. Restarting requires imagination, innovation and forward 21st century thinking, when what exists has been destroyed at the clumsy hands of the so-called economic policy experts of the northeastern corridor. They live in an alternate universe of fantasy economic theory-land, far away from real America, where they've never experienced a real job or struggled to build a career or business. Vestiges of the old economy do remain and what is worth saving should be salvaged, the rest left for the junk heap of days gone by. Facing the reality of most people, this is where we are as a country.

Therefore, let it crash of it's own accord, instead of endlessly trying to prop up markets and employment in some morbid morality play. Tip toeing among the ruins with half baked plans to rebuild roads, airports, railroads and bridges, the infrastructure of an old economy, is whiffing at the vapor of leaded gasoline and like an old Plymouth, going nowhere and a real bad buzz. Far better to flint sparking the engines of a new economy. Fuel for high speed communications and information, water purification systems, energy efficient buildings and modes of transportation, health facilities and so on. Encourage scientific and technical innovations and medical research by returning to real education and academic endeavors. That will bring meaningful employment. Enough of this fluff and buff stuff.

We certainly have an infrastructure problem but public works projects of the old order won't fix it. The real infrastructure problem is the bureaucratic regulators of the economy and the infrastructure they've created around their fiefdoms of power. We must push aside anyone who is a stumbling block, hanging onto old facades and get on with it.

What infrastructure, economic and physical, that remains should be maintained in the most cost-effective, efficient and best possible way to function alongside as we rebuild our economy and build new systems. To waste money, time and energy restoring them to what they once were is sheer stupidity. They are now merely ropes and rails to hang onto, utilize and keep functioning until they fade into the background as new ones come into the foreground in the next 5-10-15 years.

This is going to be a long rebuilding process and it will be difficult. Nothing about it or life is fair, the challenge is great, but the other options are not acceptable, economies that are roads to nowhere. We won't burn, we won't die, we will suffer, we will have to work hard. We are after all, Americans, and enough of us have what it takes, even in spite of those who don't, to get to where we need to go. First, we need to own up that we've fallen in a deep hole and it will take gumption, not government programs and intervention, to get ourselves out of it.

The Times They Are A-Changin'
Bob Dylan 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsHAW2fBHdQ

9/9/10

Music Break: Dwight Yoakam

Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZNmFR19m_I

Quote of the Day: Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Quite clear the US economy is sliding back into recession, if not still in it...


The average consumer understands that, yet the average economist doesn't.


[At] this juncture, the debate as to whether the recession has actually ended or not is actually moot. The pertinent factor is: if there was a recovery, it now seems over.


Looking ahead, attitudes rule. With consumer spending weak and weakening, and now that the stimulus has run its course, the odds the 3rd and/or 4th GDP numbers will be negative are quite high, as are the odds of double digit unemployment numbers by the end of the year.

Michael Shedlock
65% Fear Double-Dip, 71% say US is Fundamentally Broken,
Net 32% Expect to Reduce Spending
Mish's Global Trend Analysis 09/09/10



Urban Landscape Photography

Cops on Bikes...


9/7/10

Music Break: Roy Orbison

Oh, Pretty Woman (1964)...

IMHO: Barack Hussein Obama

Oh yeah, I said it...


On Obama:


I never thought I'd see anyone of such a low caliber ascend to such a high office. 


The opinions expressed here are mine and stated in my personal original writing. You may choose to agree or disagree and you have the right to your own opinion. If you choose to express it on this website blog, I am open to civil discourse in the comment section.   

Quote of the Day: Oscar Levant

Removing the conflict of genius and insanity...

There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I've erased that line.

Oscar Levant
pianist, composer, author, comedian, actor

American Visionary Art Museum

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...


Art is a powerful tool for those trying to express "the need for liberty."

The word liberty is used a lot but it's not often that individuals think deeply about what the word means, says Rebecca Hoffberger, the founder of Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM).

Hoffberger's goal with AVAM was to create a "grassroots salon that would tackle all the great themes that have ever bedieviled and inspired humankind." The most recent exhibition, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness featured a wide range of self-taught artists including Saddam Hussein's personal doctor, Ala Bashir, and a schizophrenic hoarder named Dick Lubinsky. The exhibition provides an unforgettable commentary on an American truism. Hoffberger explains that art is strongest when it portray's life's experiences that are "too big for words" and that art is a powerful tool for those trying to express "the need for liberty."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4to1SMLyA8o


Produced and edited by Dan Hayes. Camera by Jim Epstein and Joshua Swain. Music by Dan Thieman. Go to www.reason.tv for downloadable versions of the video and subscribe to ReasonTV on YouTube

9/3/10

Music Break: The Avett Brothers

I and Love and You...


Live on the Interface


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_x_9QUcqAY

Word of the Day: education mortgage

Bigger than a house payment and you can't live in it...

n. 1. a mortgage that covers the cost of a student's university or college education and that is paid back over an extended period, similar to a residential mortgage. 2. the debt a student holds at the end of their university or college education.

Word Spy
Paul McFedries

The Student Loan Scheme

There is no Statute of Limitations on Student Loan Debt...

You WILL eventually pay, even if it's deducted from your Social Security

9/2/10

Music Break: Steely Dan

Do It Again (Live: Midnight Special 1973)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DivGUhX-5Y&feature=related

Quote of the Day: Michael Boskin

If we can keep it...

The Obama administration's "summer of recovery" has morphed into a summer of economic discontent and anxiety over a weakening economy.


[Not] surprisingly, the left is frantically calling for a second "stimulus" and demanding tax hikes for the "rich" - aka our most productive citizens and small businesses. The rehashed ideas include such nonsense as massive infrastructure financed by a national infrastructure bank, an old Carter idea; yet more aid to the states; and even that worst of ideas, "general revenue sharing," which would force citizens to pay future federal taxes to fund the debt used just to send revenue back to the states.


These ideas would do a lot more harm than good. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, we have the best economic system among the advanced economies, "if we can keep it." That will require fundamental policy changes, not doubling down on the failed big government experiment of recent years.

Michael Boskin
"Summer of Economic Discontent"
WSJ 09/01/10

The Taproot Of Ethics, Values, Integrity

Drawing from the well to reach peak optimism again...


A deep strong taproot replenishes the surface

Last spring I predicted that the period between May and November of this year would be a turning point in the economic crisis and correspondingly in the social and political arenas in our country. This summer has proven that my instincts were right, unfortunately it has been the disappointing summer I hoped it wouldn't be but expected.

You only need to read or listen to the media, the blogs or hear people's personal stories to know how bad the situation is. It is not necessary to recount them here, you already know the direction our economy, politics and social world is taking. Any media story that is seemingly positive is in the context of how bad things are generally. If you think things are ok, you're not listening or in blissful ignorance.

Since the summer of 2007, the beginning of the turn for the worst in this ongoing economic crsis, I have been determined to remain optimistic and rise above the adversity I was facing, knowing that more would follow. So far, so good. This summer though has been difficult for me to keep that spirit alive due to several factors in play. The primary one is I'm feeling overwhelmed by the energy it takes to stay positive in a world of people who do not want to be positive. They'd rather be nitrous oxide happy and fat and there is a world of difference between that and being positive and forward-thinking. While they behave badly as what they perceive as their rightful entitlements are being taken away, I have been smacked upside the head with just how many Americans have either taken many things for granted or expect that they deserve a certain lifestyle just because. I am simultaneously disappointed at my underestimating this phenomenon all these years and profoundly disgusted at a large segment of the American population. The dearth of values in things other than material goods is far worse than I had imagined.

On the other hand, some very good and positive things have happened to me in several areas of my life this summer. They were dampened by several medical things, all resolvable, but extremely inconvenient and not quite healed over yet. They were made even more irritating because this has also been an exceptionally hot, humid and long summer that is not over in this desert yet.

The sum total of this summer brought me to an ebb of my optimism. As I survey the economic situation of the country, my state and city, myself and people I know, I have to wonder: "What happens next?" The big picture is grim in the 5-10-15 year term and although I have faith that somehow we will pull through, the future seems...well, disconcerting.

There is no point in dwelling on all this in the negative. My experience in life has been that even in the worst situations I've been in (and there have been a few), things always seem to somehow work out and usually in the best possible way for the situation. My biggest difficulty has been getting over that I have been playing by "the rules" all these years. That is, I didn't overextend myself in credit, which meant I didn't have the big house, the fancy cars  or the toys. I was comfortable and happy but I am aggravated that people are "walking away" from houses and repudiating debt with little consequence. In many cases, such as short sales, some people are actually being rewarded. For a few moments on occasion, I feel like a stupid idiot but eventually come to my senses...I still have my self-respect intact.

It is incumbent on me to recognize I have no control over people who abused credit and that they chose to ignore common sense and took the money and fled. I only have to live with my conscience, not theirs. My integrity, ethics and morals are intact. It does make me realize that we are permanently entering a new and different phase of this society. I am now working to raise my level of optimism back up to the top based on my values, in order to keep a strong gait in a social world full of people with weakened character.

Keys to surviving with strong virtues in a society of crumbling values

  • Maintain high values, ethics and keep your integrity intact.
  • Build strong relationships with people who share your values.
  • Use those relationships to build a group to reinforce those values and mutual support.
  • Brace yourself for the decline and failure of infrastructure and public systems.
  • Clear out the debris of life, be steady and grow a strong taproot.
  • Everyone is a leader in their own way, be one in yours and follow good leaders.

9/1/10

Music Break: Golden Earring

Radar Love (Live: Midnight Special 1974)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQjqqy2hhDA

Quote of the Day: Meghan McCain

The Time Bomb...


on Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential race:

I was waiting for her to explode. There was a fine line between genius and insanity, they say, and choosing her as a running mate was starting to seem like the definition of that line.

Meghan McCain
"Dirty Sexy Politics"

Real Estate Bubble Chart

We have not reached bottom...


Don't be fooled by the psychology of the market. People are clinging to the hope of a real estate recovery. We are not yet at the bottom.

from Irving House Blog

We are on the verge of a global currency crisis, stock market crash, bank failures, government insolvencies and it's not the bottom for real estate. The best way to face multiple crisis is to look straight at them with clarity and no fear. It is the only option for resolution, which will take effort, time and creative thinking.