Friday, October 8, 2010

Foreclosing on Foreclosing

Here we go again. Another banking crisis at our feet. Yet another round of recrimination, blame, stupid ideas and finger pointing. And guess what? It is all about mortgages...again. Because the banks messed up...again.

First, let's simplify and identify the problem. It is actually pretty straight up this time. The banks, in their haste to foreclose on those mortgages they should not have issued, were sloppy about the paperwork. Yes, I know. A lot of people bought houses they could not afford and agreed to mortgages they could not pay. They share in the responsibility for this mess, too.

But not the foreclosure debacle we now have. This one rests squarely with the banks. They simply failed to review the documents as they filed thousands of foreclosures. This led to uncertainty about the titles of the homes and that has led to canceled sales and removal from the market. This is not rocket science. In a lot of cases, the documents that are flawed are affidavits of ownership or delinquency.

It is important to note that the banks themselves stopped the foreclosures. Not the government as some would like to say. In fact, except for some really stupid ideas, government is not all that involved yet, which is partially a problem and partially a blessing.

Several so-called leaders including the false queen Nancy have called for a nationwide freeze on all foreclosures. This is idiocy. Lots of the proceedings are just fine and have no problems. A freeze would actually make things worse since those people being foreclosed on for non-payment would get to live for free in homes they should not be in. And it would embolden even more people to stop paying. Nancy's little freeze idea is the result of election year panic and her need to sound like she is in charge of anything other than 435 severely incompetent congress critters.

This is a problem created by the banks and one that can only be resolved by the same banks. Many are claiming that this mess will further harm the economy. Probably not. See, these homes will be foreclosed on and become available. Nobody is forgiving mortgages. Nor should they. The banks need to learn to do their job properly. It is really that basic.

My question is where are the regulators? Again? I thought this lax regulatory issue was being dealt with. What happened to the promises of vigilance from Obama's pre-failed economic team? Where are all of the regulators now? Well?

Because that is the question here. The banks freely admit they messed up. That is not up for debate. The real problem is that once again, the Federal Reserve under the ever incompetent Bernanke and the Treasury under the always incapable Geithner have simply not done their jobs. They have once again looked the other way. Once again pretended it is not a real problem. Once again yielded to the corrupting forces.

In an interesting side note, the Senate quietly and without any fanfare at all passed a bill that would actually make it easier for the banks to not do the proper paperwork by allowing out of state notarization, thus making it almost impossible to verify the documents' legitimacy. Obama says he will not sign this and he should not. The banks need to learn to do their jobs, not keep asking government to relieve them of their responsibility. I am sure that this will become part of the whole silly political shouting match, too and be wildly misrepresented by both sides. My question is how did this pass the Senate while aid to Haitians still suffering from an earthquake and tropical storm did not. I guess bankers write bigger checks than homeless families.

Some on the right want to claim this is somehow Obama's fault. Well, except for the lack of any kind of regulation or oversight, it is not. They would like to somehow get us to believe this will cost the taxpayers and further hurt the economy. Not so much. All this does is reduce the inventory of homes for sale by less than a third. What ehey don't tell you is that 2/3 of foreclosures are procedurally okay.

Some on the left want to use this to again try their ludicrous and dangerous mortgage forgiveness scheme where those folks that bought homes they could not afford are suddenly free and clear of their mortgage. They want to use this to basically reward idiotic behavior by home buyers. It was a bad idea 2 years ago, a bad idea last year and a bad idea today.

What needs to happen is everyone should step back from this and let the banks sort it out. They made the mess through sloppy and lazy procedures. Let them fix it. In most cases, it involves actually reading the paperwork. Just like Congress doesn't and apparently like the banks don't.

This entire mess can be simply summed up. The banks messed up again and they want to make it our problem again. Well, I say no. They broke it, they can fix it. This time, they will have to just deal with it.

To those in government - on both sides - looking to make political points, I say shut up, shut up, shut up! Stop! Enough! These are home foreclosures we are talking about. Families and businesses. Not some abstract you can use in your sad election bid.

To the pundocracy, I say happily, who cares what you think? You are more part of the problem than any solution. Screaming about this as if it is the end of the world. Looking for the partisan angle. It isn't there. This is a simple paperwork snafu. Caused by laziness and arrogance at the banks. Yell at them. I dare you.

Maybe we need to vote on November 2 for anyone not an incumbent. No matter how wacky they seem, they have to be better than what we have now. Come November 2, let's foreclose on their political careers and take our house of government back from them. They certainly have not paid as promised.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bullying? Seriously?

Last week a truly tragic incident happened. A college student was secretly video taped having sex by his roommate. As it turns out, the young man was gay and not public about it. The roommate published the video on the internet, which exposed the victim who, sadly, committed suicide. Before I go any further, let me express my sincerest condolences to the family. This is a tragedy at so many levels.

According to our somewhat unreliable media, the roommate that did the video is being prosecuted. And rightly so. Hopefully the law is strong enough to mete out a punishment befitting the extreme violation of privacy and the tragic consequence.

Unfortunately and somewhat disgustingly, the nanny state machine wasted no time in cranking up their failing "anti-bullying" campaign, using this sad incident as their new centerpiece. These nanny staters are again grave dancing for their own benefit. They are using this tragedy to further their own importance and their sad cause. Suddenly, it is all the popular cause to yak about the evils of bullying and how we have to put a stop to it...for the children.

Well, here is a memo for the nanny staters - the children are also doing the bullying. And like it or not, bullying is part of growing up. Just like failing a class, losing at a sport, not getting a trophy or coming in last in a race. All part of growing up. All essential elements in the experience recipe for adulthood.

Sadly, the nanny staters have already chipped away at this recipe for an adult. The elimination of competitive sports at many schools. The awarding of "Certificates of Attendance" for those who simply could not pass their high school exams and did not qualify to graduate. The endless creation of "also ran" awards for those who didn't come in first. Not to mention the entire self-esteem industry.

And now they seek to further pad the cocoon of this falsely idyllic childhood dream of theirs by somehow eliminating "bullying." Of course, like most of the nanny state goofiness, bullying is not exactly clearly defined. Was the incident above bullying? Not by my measure. It was a lot of things, but bullying is not one of them. In fact, it is more the opposite, since the victim had no idea he was the victim and the perpetrator had no desire besides mischief. If anything it was a horribly nasty extension of prejudice and hate as well as a severely misplace sense of right and wrong. But not bullying.

That has not stopped the new onslaught of anti-bullying nonsense.

Nonsense? You bet. See, bullying, as awful as it can be, is a part of growing up. Of learning to fend for yourself and deal with stuff. The nanny staters have already worked to eliminate the concept of winning and losing. They have already started the process of taking away the value of achievement by granting the rewards for hard work to all, including those who do not work at things (see any and all "participation" awards.) They are already devaluing competitive spirit by removing competitive activities.

Now they think they can eliminate bullying. But without bullying, all of us would have grown up without any sense of courage or the ability to stand up to bullies. Without the adversity that bullying presents, an entire generation may grow up without learning how to deal with the adversity that is a part of every day life.

We already have a generation that has been taught it is simply entitled to everything. A generation that has gotten awards for being average of worse. A generation that has been shielded from failure by the nanny staters. An entire generation that has zero concept of failing or rebounding from failure to success. A generation that believes success is a given and will simply happen. They believe this because the nanny staters have taught them this.

Who are these nanny staters? Well, look at the media for one. How many anti-bullying specials are now slated? Hows many news programs are ignoring actual news like wars and stuff to cover the fiction of anti-bullying efforts? How many pathetic celebrities are now claiming to have been the "victims" of bullying? Ask those celebrities where they learned the assertiveness and aggression needed to succeed in show business. Any that don't say, "From a bully," are liars.

Look at our leaders. Both parties. Hurrying to jump on this bandwagon. It is only a matter of time until laws are passed criminalizing schoolyard behavior. Stupid, pointless laws, but laws nonetheless. There will be hearings and commissions. All wasting precious tax dollars on a Utopian pipe dream. As if the education system can afford any more mandates from cowardly politicians looking to cash in on the latest media craze. We already can't afford teachers and books. What will have to be eliminated for more feel good nonsense?

I had my share of bullies in school. And I pretty much ignored them. Those that forced me to deal with them were dealt with in whatever way worked. As a result, I developed the ability to run my own business and to stand my ground in an argument. I got the lesson of toughness that is not in a textbook or curriculum. I doubt I would have the ability to run my business without this lesson.

I pity these kids that won't get these lessons. Why? Because it is not a nice world out here. It is harsh and cut throat and competitive. The business world makes high school bullying look like a school dance. Sure being bullied sucks. So does losing a client or getting fired. But that is real life and life happens. It is how you deal with the adversity that counts. Not how you avoid it, and these nanny staters are big on avoidance.

So before the nanny staters further weaken our kids, ask them this: "How many people did you have to beat out for your job?" Then ask them if they think those people they beat out felt bullied. When the stammering and verbal tap dancing starts, just laugh and walk away.

For parents, teach your kids to stand up to bullies. They don't have to take it. Sure, they might get a little bruised in the process, but so did all of us. And we seem to be just fine.

As the saying goes, if everyone is special, then nobody is.