Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Change We need to understand II

Another Excerpt from Mr. Obama's speech:

We're here because of the mother in San Antonio that I met just today, just this afternoon. She's got 2-year-old twins who are legally blind. She somehow entered into a predatory loan and saw her mortgage payments double in two weeks and has paid thousands in fees to try to stave off foreclosure.

She told me she was on the verge of packing and didn't know where her family would go next. She needed us to crack down on predatory lenders and give relief to struggling homeowners who were tricked out of their dream. She needs change today.

It's nice to see that Mr. Obama is only motivated by altruism and he decided to run for president because of a chance meeting with a complete stranger who gave him a sob story about losing her house. It's hard to believe his motivation for running for president is a serious of chance meetings with young single mothers who are down on their luck. I'm also wondering what a married father of two is doing hanging out with random single parents who are down on their luck. (sorry about that but I took a page or the New York times "reporting style" there)

So what is the action Mr. Obama is suggesting here. "She needed us to crack down on predatory lenders ". Interesting dilemma here. As far as I know sub prime mortgages are legal and have been for some time. They are not a great idea unless you plan to refinance your house before the high interest rate comes around, that is why you don't ever take one with a high penalty for early payment. So if I read this right, Mr Obama wants to take legal action against a company that did not break any law.

This is my problem with Mr Obama and liberals in general. They think all injustice must be righted by the Gov't. Instead let free enterprise and capitalism takes it's course. If anyone is paying attention, these predators are quickly going out of business and the idiots who bought these loans are losing money hand over fist. I would be very surprised if any Loan purchasing company will ever buy a mortgage like this that was given to someone with bad credit. If they do, then they should go out of business. But not to jail unless we want to make those kind of loans illegal. Then once it is illegal, all loans after that should be prosecuted. But prosecuting organization that gave out those loans in a legal manner, hmmmm....

Then he suggests we should provide relief. What is relief. Hillary wants a moratorium on foreclosures. So now they can stay in their house for another 6 months to a year with out paying rent. What happens after that? IF they can't afford their loan then what is going to change. Should we now pay the rent of anyone who didn't understand what they were getting into and can't afford their house. That sounds good to me. There is a $750,000 house I've got my eye on. I can't afford it but maybe they will give me a sub prime loan and in a few years I can't get the Gov't to pay for my mortgage. It's painful but it's time people took responsibility for their actions. Being Tricked is a poor excuse. There are tons of documents you are strongly encouraged to read before signing and tons of information on the Net and lots of advice you can get. This is one of life's little lessons that people need to learn from. Be careful when you get a loan or buy a house. Understand what your obligation is under the law.

Barrack is promising change. However, I don't see how keeping people from suffering from their mistakes is change from what the Liberal Democrats have been promising for years. However, to prosecute someone for a law that was made after the person committed the crime would need a change to the constitution. That is against the Constitution. So that is change, I don't think it's a change I want.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Change We need to Understand

Barack Obama is promising Change. I do believe things need to change but I'm not convinced his kind of "Change" is what we need. So I got hold of a transcript of one his local speeches and I'm going to analyze it.

We're here because there are workers in Youngstown, Ohio, who've watched job after job after job disappear because of bad trade deals like NAFTA, who've worked in factories -- who've worked in factories for 20 years, and then one day they come in and literally see the equipment unbolted from the floor and sent to China.

They need us to end those tax breaks that go to companies that ship jobs overseas...


... and give them to companies that invest in jobs right here in the United States of America, that pay well, provide a pension, provide health care. That's the change they need.

I'm not sure how NAFTA (A free trade agreement between US, Canada and Mexico) sent equipment and jobs to China? I thought that was a cheap shot. I would agree we need better protectionist legislation with China but not Canada or Mexico. However, lets be clear, Free trade did not send jobs to China. Cheaper wages, lower taxes and significantly decrease in operating costs sent those jobs to China. Why is it so expensive here, well that is easy, Labor Unions, Outrageous amounts of legislation, unfreindly tax systems and lets not forget the squeeze Insurance Companies and lawyers put on operating costs here in the US. So the Change is ignore the real problem which is friendly to the Democratic Party. So honesty when it actually hurts is not one of the changes we will be looking forward to.

Secondly, I really hate Income Tax. Not because I don't want the gov't getting money. I want to pay taxes and get the benefits of those taxes. The problem I have is the gov't deciding how I should live my life or run my business. They do this by creating tax incentives and tax punishments. Why does someone that buys a house have the right to lower taxes. Why is that the Gov't business. Or if someone decides to offer benefits and a pension, why does the Gov't have to get in that person's business. Stop manipulating society through the tax code and let it be what it needs to be.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Where does hope come from

I've been reading a blog called "Attitude of Gratitude". It's a beautiful blog. It's honesty is a wonderful thing to experience. His art is pretty impressive.

He asked the question "Where does hope come from". That is a powerful question. One I want to explore. First lets talk about the difference between wishing and hope.

One day two men were golfing. One we Dr. John Townsend. One told there other that he hoped to marry his current girlfriend. This confused Dr Townsend because it is quite easy to get married. So he asked him why hasn't he already married him after 5 years of dating. Well the woman was quite controlling. So Dr. Townsend asked him how controlling. The man shared some very horrifying stories of a very controlling person. So Dr. Townsend asked the man about what the couple and the woman was doing to change this behavior. The answer was nothing. So Dr. Townsends said this man was not hoping for a change in behavior, he was wishing for it.

The point here is that hope, real hope is based on getting connected to the reality of their experiences. If we look at the 12 steps we see the first set of steps is connecting to the reality of their situation. Realizing that all the lies they told themselves is hurting them and justifying all the bad things they do to themselves and others. The first step to hope is feeling bad about the horrible thing you do. But feeling bad is the act of killing that part of you. It must be grieved and let go. But to make through "the valley of the shadow of death" the grief process we must have a vision of what it will be like. That begins with people who have made it. We borrow the experiences of others and set our sites on those. The seeds of hope come from those with the 6 month's of Sobriety, or 12 months or 5 years or even 20 years. When those lost in hopelessness and pain can see someone who has made it out and living a life worth living, the seeds of hope are planted.

But the seeds have to grow and that comes from working the program and experiencing the change in their lives. Seeing and experiencing relationships that are honest and caring at the same time. Seeing the change that those relationships bring. Knowing that those relationships that they have, have also been where they were. It's the love and honesty from those people that is the water and light that feed the seeds of hope. Every new day spent away from the Drink or drugs or food or meaningless sex is the act that strengthens our hope. Every small step away from the horror of that past life builds our hope.

I met with a friend several weeks ago and she was depressed. A horrible marriage, a bitter custody fight ongoing with a previous marriage, Her mother recently passed and he father knocking on deaths door and poor physical health had her with out hope. We met over coffee and talked. My advice to her was find a reason to hope again. Find a reason to live. She met with her brother and he encouraged her to move in with her Dad and help him in the final stages of his life. She called me that next day, bright eyed and hopefully. She had a way out and a way to rebuild her life. She also had someone to care about. This is where so much of our life's meaning and purpose come from. Caring about others. When we care about others we find purpose. We find meaning. I think this is an important place to find hope. When we have a purpose in this life, we have something to hope for.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

West Virginia

West Virgina is a Caucus. That is where people go and sit in a room and stand or sit by the table of the candidate of their choice. Then they go through several round of showing support for a candidate. If the candidate is not viable then the people supporting that candidate has to pick another or leave. There are several rounds of voting before the final count is taken and then that person won that area.

On Super Tuesday, in the first round Mitt Romney won West Virgina with Huckabee second and McCain third. Instead of continuing to vote for McCain in later voting rounds and giving the state to Romney, the McCain voters switched sides to Huckabee. Giving Huckabee the win in the state.

Friday, February 1, 2008


McCain seems to be building a contigency that will get him the nomination. With Rudy stepping out that is very useful for him in moderate states like CA and NY. With Hackabee staying in then conservatives will continue to be split between Huckabee and Romney. I would be very surpised if there are not postions in the McCain presidency for Rudy and Huckabee. It's funny, I heard so many political pundits talking about how fractured the Republicans are and how united the Dems are. Now it seems the division between the Dems is increasing with the nastiness between Billary and Obama. While the Republicans are beginning to circle the wagons around McCain. The Govanator just threw his support behind McCain and the Governor of Texas is supposed to do it today, if he has not already. Things are looking good for McCain. But can he be president. I think he has a good shot against Hillary but maybe not so much with Obama. We will have to wait and see.

Is there any media bias in covering stories

Look at this and tell me what you think?