It’s election day, and it’s time to get out and vote. I loved the comments from this "Disgruntled Republican", though, on why the uninformed should sit today out:
You should not let anyone shame you into voting. You should not vote unless you are real informed and confident in your decision. It is unpatriotic to cast an uninformed vote. What if you vote the wrong way and the person you vote for does something to really screw up the world? Do you want that responsibility? Voting casually without being certain of your vote is wrong. Casting your vote should be a sober decision. Casting an unsure vote is sort of like driving drunk. So, if you don’t feel certain that you are qualified to vote or have adequately studied the issues; please don’t vote. If you get most of your news from Saturday Night Live and The Colbert Report, please do not vote.
Some people will tell you that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain. That is just not true. By not voting, you are not giving up the right to complain.
I don’t want you to vote. You see, if you don’t vote, my vote carries more weight. If only 33% of the people vote, it is like I am voting for three people; if 50% of the people vote it is like I am voting for only two people. I don’t want you to dilute my vote. Let me vote for you. Continue reading Get Out And Vote Responsibly!
Doom friend OSO and I belong to similar religious denominations, although he characterizes himself an evangelical, and I see myself as a sort of liberal (within the fold this is a fraught distinction, but would be pretty hard to explain to most Doomers).
Anyway, a recent Wall Street spirituality moment has evidently weirded both of us out. I’m going to tee up the discussion by reflecting on this snippet from Wikipedia (the image just below and at the bottom are borrowed from the article):
In every Mithraic temple, the place of honor was occupied by a tauroctony, a representation of Mithras killing a sacred bull which was associated with spring. Mithras is depicted as an energetic young man, wearing a Phrygian cap, a short tunic that flares at the hem, pants and a cloak which furls out behind him. Mithras grasps the bull so as to force it into submission, with his knee on its back and one hand forcing back its head while he stabs it in the neck with a short sword.
A sacrifice, but perhaps honouring the bull and drawing from its strength. Pretty old fashioned stuff, except …
Apparently a bunch of my fellow evangelical Christians decided to get together and pray for the economy. Nothing really wrong with that. The problem is that they decided to gather and pray at The Wall Street Bull. Probably because they somehow feel that touching an object while they pray somehow releases some sort of spiritual anointing, a number of pray-ers prayed while touching the bull, as per the photo above. A video of the event shows the crowd singing "God Bless America", though not the Bull-touching bit. Continue reading OSO: Well this is ironic …
A couple years ago I went to buy a home
I called up on an ad on the telephone
The Realtor told me now is the right time to buy
She said "Owning a home is American as apple pie" Continue reading Billybob's Subprime Blues
Full marks to Mrs. M for digging this amazing story  out of page C4 of our local paper.
A Dartmouth [Nova Scotia] real estate agent says Ottawa is forcing agents to play Big Brother by requiring them to get and store personal information about their clients.
"It’s a privacy issue more than anything. It has been mandated upon us," said the Re/Max agent, who asked not to be identified.
Do any Doomers know if America’s NAR or other national Realtor organizations force their members to do this?
Some agents across the country are upset about the new rules, which have created more paperwork, said Bob Linney, spokesman for the Canadian Real Estate Association.
"There are members who believe that we are now being asked to do the work of government and not being compensated for it. Realtors did not go to spy school. They were not trained to collect all this personal information or to look out for the things that (the transactions centre) now wants them to," Mr. Linney said Thursday from Ottawa.
Twist and I have had run-ins with RE agents before but for the most part we have been impressed with their professionalism. Many of our most valuable contacts and sources work in the field. Doom has gone to bat for Realtors before, and this looks like another time to do that. There is no way that Canada’s RE agents should have to work at cross purposes to the interests of their clients like this.
Americans please take note. There is an emerging continental trend towards the social engineering of the democratic franchise, and it may well be coming to a polling station near you.
Tower Road used to run from the gates of Point Pleasant Park at the southern tip of Halifax to the gates of the Public Gardens at the heart of the city. It was named for the Martello Tower at Point Pleasant, pictured above.
A few years ago the extension to a hospital parking lot cut this road in two, and the north section, just down from the medical school campus of Dalhousie University, was recently rebranded "Martello Road," with startling and unforseen consequences. This story  suggests that record voter apathy ruled in yesterday’s Canadian federal election. It was no such thing — rather frustration and outrage.
Halifax Citadel MLA Leonard Preyra knows of at least one constituent who says he’ll never vote again after being turned away from the polls Tuesday.
The man, who declined to be interviewed, lives on Martello Road, which used to known as Tower Road.
Because the man could not produce a piece of identification with the new road name on it, he was not allowed to vote, even though everyone at that polling station would have been aware of the street’s name change and likely were residents of the street themselves, Mr. Preyra said.
This is a transparently obvious strategy to selectively spike voters whose circumstances are even a bit irregular and is fundamentally and intolerably undemocratic. Thousands of Canadian college students were turned away yesterday, which was certainly a main goal of the plan, but many of the plan’s core supporters were comically swept up in the net. As reported by CBC Radio, a voter in Newfoundland who brought his PASSPORT to the polling station was only saved because his father brought his FISHING LICENCE and could vouch for his son.
That hurricane damage pictured above precisely symbolizes yesterday’s trashing of our democratic rights. After five years the Park is recovering around the Tower, but yesterday’s damage to our country’s 250 year old institution will not be restored without the dedicated work of ordinary Canadians. That rebuilding starts today.
This isn’t just about Igor’s disappointment that development for The UN Members Implode-O-Meter may now be held back. It’s also about the very ability of bloggers to share their findings on the internet.
2008-10-09 — ml-implode.com
For immediate release:
Opposition To Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order Filed
On October 7, 2008, the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter (ml-implode.com) filed a Memo of Opposition in response to pre-litigation motions by plaintiffs to enjoin the Implode-O-Meter and restrain publication of materials critical of the Grant America Program.
The suit concerns an investigative article written by analyst Krista Railey, posted on ml-implode.com in its final form on September 15, 2008. The article was critical of the Global Direct Sales scheme, which effectively attains 100% financing — insured by the FHA — by making use of an Indian tribe ("sovereign nation") as an intermediary. This arrangement has allowed bans and restrictions on FHA insured seller-funded down payment programs to be circumvented.
Railey’s article pointed out that the IRS has called similar seller-funded down-payment systems "scams," and Forbes has called them (with specific reference to Russell’s activities) a "racket." Seller-financed FHA lending was completely banned (beginning October 1, 2008) by H.R. 3221, signed into law July 30th, 2008. This ban covers the Grant America system involving Indian Nations. However the tug-of-war continues, e.g., with H.R. 6694 (under legislative consideration) proposing to roll back the ban, subject to more stringent credit score and pricing controls.
Doom friend and former long-time Fannie Mae Chief Lobbyist Bill Maloni has once again given us permission to re-post his most recent blog article. New readers who may have been sent here through a certain e-mail spam campaign might like to vary their diet with a passionate piece by a knowledgeable observer with a different viewpoint. I happen to disagree with nearly all of these viewpoints, but I’ve come to appreciate his deep knowledge of the political background of this issue and he deserves Doomers’ close attention.
“Barack Obama was on Dallas’ grassy knoll–and not as a 2 year old kid–but in his current personage and holding a smoking rifle. He’s right there, look!”
Sounds pretty silly, right? But it is no less absurd than a ton of things being hard sold around the country linking Obama to Fannie Mae or trying to blame Obama and Fannie for the subprime mess which has sunk so many financial institutions and swirled and flushed our national economy downward.
Circulating these lies either is a group of diehard GSE haters–who don’t realize that they have succeeded in driving a wooden stake through Fannie’s and Freddie’s tickers–or, as is more likely, some “MMMs,” (Mischief Makers for McCain).
This fact came home to me this past week, when last Sunday I drove to Pittsburgh on some family matters, returning on Tuesday, and listened to a good bit of “talk radio,” mostly with conservative hosts from Limbaugh to a half dozen locals across Pennsylvania and in Maryland.
Again and again, I heard the same anti-Fannie slurs, the dated Maxine Waters and Barney Frank audio snippets, and the same erroneous charges, all winding up trying to lionize John McCain and blame Barack Obama and the Democrats for all things “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” the failure of the residential real estate and everything else bad in the US markets.
Things became a bit weird around Doom Castle a few days ago when we started getting notifications about links to one of my old posts originating from a widely circulating e-mail purporting to place former Fannie Mae officers Frank Raines and Tim Howard as senior Barack Obama economics advisors. We weren’t too worked up until in the last little while interest really started spiking. Huh?
A very minor amount of Googling revealed a bit of fire and a huge amount of smoke from two weeks ago, featuring a rather dumb looking McCain-side attack ad available from this summary if you really need to see it.
There’s a Snopes page on the issue and presuming they can be trusted, which seems a fairly safe bet unless something fresh comes up in a media outlet with a reputation to lose, they probably should get the final word on the issue.
Claim: Three former Fannie Mae executives are linked to the Obama campaign as chief economic advisors.
Criticism was directed at the way the Accord was reached. They believed it lacked public sanction. The ten premiers and the prime minister came to be seen as "11 men in suits," dealing the future of the country behind closed doors. Of course, historically that always had been the case, but in the post-Charter of Rights age this came to be seen as undemocratic.
But the most important aspect to this crisis has nothing to do with any of that — it’s the confidence and will of the American saver.
A consensus has been building among bubble bloggers, and that is that there is no way in God’s Earth that any of the authorities can stop a run on deposits like chequing accounts and money market funds if US customers want to take their money out now. And since we’ve reached the point in the financial cycle where foreign savers have stopped buying US instruments and have inexorably begun to sell them, the only solution is for Americans and America  to aggressively build wealth and save starting right now and for at least the next decade.
Few people remember that America’s greatest 20th century song-writer was a young lady from The Bronx. She’s talkin’ to ya now, and if a couple of million people hit this YouTube today we might just get through this thing.
In the aftermath of Bush’s Wednesday night speech  Congress appears ready to approve a plan  that will socialize many of the losses on Wall Street. While America has two political parties, it now appears to have a one-party legislative branch.
Housing Doom chief blogger Twist is based in Austin, Texas and spending a lot of time as a volunteer at a Red Cross shelter welcoming evacuees from Hurricane Ike over the next few days. If you are an evacuee arriving in Austin or an Austinite involved in the reception you’ve likely got better things to do over the weekend than reading a housing bubble blog. Starting from the WikiPedia entries for Austin(Google search) and Houston(Google search) here are a few links which might possibly prove useful. Some news stories on this follow below.