Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Night Blowoff Top

That was some week! But I guess every week going back to last August has been pretty interesting. I get a bit lost in the sea of information that is available, so feel free to leave articles and comments of things you think are important.

Some Good Housing News
Economic Disconnect gets a bad rap as a "doom and gloom" site. I would characterize this blog as informative and entertaining. If the information is rough, I cannot control that, it speaks for itself. That said I feel I should report some good news on the housing front as to give some balance to my slanted coverage.

It seems there are some silver linings and rays of light coming from the housing bust. Here is a wonderful human interest tale sure to warm your hearts:
ECONOMY-US: Squatters See Silver Lining in Foreclosed Homes
By Matthew Cardinale
MIAMI, Florida, Feb 18 (IPS) - With foreclosures skyrocketing and U.S. families sinking deeper into poverty, a number of organisations are turning to a new strategy to end homelessness: moving families into vacant, foreclosed houses that are currently owned by banks or the government.
About 15 percent of the housing units in the United States in the fourth quarter 2008were vacant, representing 19 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. One advocacy group in Miami, Florida, Take Back the Land, has already moved seven families into foreclosed properties.
So far, city officials in Miami have declined to get involved, telling local newspapers that it is up to the property's owners - usually, the banks - to initiate any actions.
Four of the Miami families have already moved on to better situations, having been able to save up money during their months of squatting. Only once have police forced a family out of an abandoned property, but activists simply moved them to another one of thousands of vacant properties.
Meanwhile, one U.S. Congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrat, is advising her constituents not to leave their homes if they are foreclosed on.
"So I say to the American people, be squatters in your own home! Don't you leave!" Kaptur said this month on the U.S. House floor.

See, I can report positive news as well. We need bumper stickers made up that say "Be Squatters in Your own Home!"

Chilling Articles
If you like horror movies or scary books I found two articles that might keep you up for two nights without sleep, which happens to me every single time I watch the film "The Exorcist". Advisory: After reading these articles I actually printed out a gun license application! Any readers have a suggestion on what kind of rifle and shotgun are most practical if you could only have 1 of each? I am not interested in handguns.

First up, a worldwide movement to make the dollar no longer the reserve currency of the world:

Second, the terrible situation facing European banks:
The Looming Collapse of European Banking

You were warned!

Street Advice for the Treasury
What would hard men that live in brutal cities in gangs think of the current response to the banking crisis? Someone actually found out! Summary at end is pretty good:
"The unanimous opinion among The Thugz was that you must base your work around a time-tested law of ghetto capitalism: losers must die in full view. What? This doesn’t make sense. O.K., well, let me explain. Your first mistake (more accurately, your predecessor’s error) was to mix the bad apples (banks) with the good (banks). By doing so, you forgot what makes capitalism so much fun: winners win at the losers’ expense, and everyone gets to watch and laugh. Sort of like public hangings, except reported on the financial pages. Otherwise, why read The Wall Street Journal?

The moral is: don’t ever take the joy of death away from the public. Because if you don’t see losers in pain, you begin to think the game is rigged. And we all know the game is fair, open, and transparent … yes?"

Hard to argue with that!

Friday Night Blowoff Top
I find it hard to believe but it seems the White House, while ignoring any polls that show overwhelming opposition to bailouts and mortgage subsidies, found it necessary to comment on the now famous Rick Santelli rant shown here and everywhere on earth yesterday. From the Clusterstock article:
White House Blasts Rick Santelli Over "The Rant"
Ok, we just changed our mind again. After getting tired of Santelli's rant, we're now back on his side after learning that the White House blasted him.

CBSNews: “I also think that it’s tremendously important that for people who rant on cable television – to be responsible and understand what it is they’re talking about. I feel assured that Mr. Santelli doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Gibbs said during the daily White House briefing for reporters, CBS News’ Mark Knoller reports.
The White House press secretary did not stop there. Knoller reports that Gibbs went on to criticize the objectivity of cable news reporting.
“If I hadn’t worked on the campaign but simply watched the cable news scorekeeping of the campaign – we lost virtually every day of the race....” he said.

Dear Robert Gibbs: Shove it. Telling reporters when they're "being responsible" or when they're being "objective" isn't cool. This has shades of the Bush administration calling out the NYT for its aggressive reporting, which wasn't cool then.

Excuse me, but all Mr. Santelli ranted about was that most people do not want to pay for other peoples mortgages. What's to know? Just who in the f#cking world does Press Secretary Gibbs think HE is to say anyone else has no idea what they are talking about? I mean Gibb's boss had his first primetime press conference on a Monday night a couple of weeks ago and said that his treasury secretary would "have his day in the sun" on Tuesday when he was to unveil the big bank rescue plan. During Monday night Geithner had second thoughts and scrapped the whole thing and then made a fool of himself, in the sun, on Tuesday. Rick Santelli does not know what he is talking about? The whole economic team of the administration doesn't either.

The market opened pretty bad and when no rally occurred before 12 noon I knew what was going to happen. There would be a rally late (after 2pm) to the close and all the talking heads would start the "double bottom" and "is this THE bottom" talk. Baloney. What happened was the markets were shelled big time and then everyone who was short closed positions before market close. Nobody wants to hold an open position over a weekend especially when you know the government is going to try something. There was your rally. Option expirations added to the volatility, but basically it was just flight from the market before the weekend. Your welcome.

Gold and Silver continued their grand performance. Love em both,

The Odyssey Marine Expedition show last night was another disappointment. Plenty of wrecked submarines, plenty of interesting historical tidbits, but no GOLD! I still own OMEX stock but these guys are not making it easy!

Barney Frank is working to legalize online poker. Once in my life I support Mr. Frank. The poker ban was snuck into the Port Security Bill from a few years back and banned US players from playing poker online. I stopped playing at that time. I do not know if I would play again, but it would be nice to have the option.

That is about everything that is running through my mind, well the sections not reserved for thinking about fishing and long romantic evenings alone with Danica Patrick that is! A speculative blowoff top of thought!

Friday Night Entertainment
With SO MANY suggestions in the comments section I may have a hard time fitting all of them in. NOT!

Bed and Breakfast
Ah, yes. The combination of a warm bed and then breakfast:
funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Because I Choose To
From last night's blog, here is the Agent Smith and Neo Exchange:

Rock Blogging
In honor of Rick Santelli I am posting the ultimate anger song from Drowning Pool called "Let the Bodies hit the Floor" as it should apply to the banks of course:

A song that is sad enough to even make Kevin upset, try out Garth Brooks and "What She's Doing Now". great song and it applies to our fading caplitalism, whats she doing now? (sorry for the stupid CSI video wiht the song, only clip available):

I heard the most terrible cover of the great song "Love Hurts" by Nazareth on the radio today. I have no idea who the band was that covered it, but they ruined it. Enjoy the original:

I have no idea in the whole wide world why I had the video for this song pop into my head today. Strange MTV flashbacks! Anyway, here is Joe Jackson with "Steppin' Out" and yes I know I have some serious issues!:

Have a good night.


Anonymous said...


"A song that is sad enough to even make Kevin upset"

Hell I lived that song about 30 years ago, I still do wonder where she's at though on occasion.


watchtower said...

Watchtower's shotgun pick:

Remington 870 Express 12 Gauge with the 26" barrel (go ahead and get the improved and full choke tubes to go along with it to make it really versatile.)


Inexpensive, bulletproof reliability, huge aftermarket support and it is common as dirt.

The 26" barrel model is a better choice than the "super short" home defence model IMO because it can be used for putting food on the table as well as for home defence.
There are some beautiful shotguns out there that could be considered works of art but this is not one of them, it is simply a tool meant to do a job.

Watchtower's rifle pick:

If we are talking a no nonsense real world application, then a .22 rimfire rifle would be the "no BS" choice.

I would buy the CZ 452 American and put the best scope that I could reasonably afford on it (Burris or a Leupold).

You now have an incredibly accurate and somewhat quiet (with subsonic ammo) weapon capable of putting food on the table.

If this is strictly for self preservation my choice would be the "AR" models in the .223 caliber.
I have been a competitive shooter for 16 years now and I can tell you that the real world is not like the movies, guns jam in the real world, especially inexpensive ones (I'm talking AR's here, not the inexpensive shotgun I recommended).
Buy the best AR you can afford, if possible get one from a "boutique" brand such as Les Baer (very expensive but you get what you pay for).

You'll have a gun that's ready to go out of the box and will go "bang" when you pull the trigger.
I wouldn't recommend a person to buy a gun if they are not going to invest the time to completely familiarize themselves with it.
I can tell you from experience that just being in competition and having the buzzer go off causes your adrenaline to shoot off the chart. I can only imagine what it is like in a life or death situation.
Put the odds in your favor by practicing.

getyourselfconnected said...

I wonder myself where and what a special little lady is doing right now, tonight. I often think of her and yes, I do wonder if she does the same. Life goes on, yet some pictures in your mind sit at freeze frame.
WOW! thanks for the great tips. I wonder if a 22 is enough to stop anything though? I have fired 12 gauge shotguns, 22 rifles, 30 ought 6 and an M1 rifle that bruised my shoulder. The AR's are serious stuff and I do not think I can get one in Massachusetts. Do you have a 30-30 recomendation?

watchtower said...

.22 rimfires are great for stopping critters that can be dipped in flour and fried, probably not so much for the two legged varmints though.

If we are talking either/or on whether to get the shotgun or the rifle, then I would get the shotgun.

If it has to be a rifle over a shotgun for self preservation and "semi-automatic" is off limits, then a "cowboy" style lever action rifle chambered in 30-30 would most definitively be better than a sharp stick.
My choice in that arena would be the reasonably priced Marlin 336W

If you want a real treat because I know you are mechanically minded, go to the gun store and pick up a Marlin 1895 Cowboy chambered in .45 Colt or one of the other "pistol" calibers and just cycle the action on that weapon...pure magic.

I have not cycled the action on a 30-30 style (it's different than one made for the pistol calibers) Marlin so I cannot say whether it has that same "sweet" feel or not.

Yeah I'm probably a "gun nut", there is just not a whole lot else to do around here (beside mountain biking which rules!).

getyourselfconnected said...

Your advice is most appreciated. The wife all of a sudden wants to shoot guns! What I want is like a psg-1 shotgun and two 30-30 rifles, and mayge a vulcan cannon! enough so I can feel safe ( my swords and my training with them make it an even deal) but as a standoff thing, I need more. Perhaps we can work out a way to talk like civilised men?

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself.

Could I do it too?


Anonymous said...


"Could I do it too?"

Yeah if you have enough determination or enough money.
Money would be the problem for most folks.

Anonymous said...

Gold fever sweeps suburbia,0,3259529.story?track=rss

Who said capatalism was dead, I already know how this story is gonna end but it's probably going to take a hell of a lot longer then I think, just like housing took about 2 years longer to crash and went higher then I ever tought. Run'er up baby.

watchtower said...

The last thing in the world I want to do is shoot someone or be shot at (I know someone who was accidently shot in his elbow, he said you can't imagine how much that hurt and I believe him).

Much better to work it out the civilized way : )

Lisa said...

I took a mental health day by going to the city. Now I have a very busy weekend ahead of me. Thanks for all the videos, they are also good for my mental health! One of my friends mentioned your blog in his own "trading community" blog post. Hope you get lots of hits from that!

GawainsGhost said...

The best 30-30 is your standard Winchester lever action, still the best rifle ever made. But what you would also want would be a Ruger long-barrel 30-30 revolver. Two guns, same ammunition. Can't beat that.

I'm astounded by these squatters living in foreclosed homes. We don't see much that down here in Texas, although I'm sure it happens. Don't these people have any respect for property rights? Obviously not.

The problem we usually have is some idiot realtor giving buyers the keys or lockbox code so they can start moving in before closing. This is a real problem, because as the listing agent we are responsible for the security of the home. A lot of these companies have spies who drive by the house on the day of closing. If there is anyone living in or moving into the house, before money has changed hands, the company will not only cancel the contract and keep the earnest money, but sue the would-be buyers for trespassing, along with the agents responsible for allowing them access to the house. It's a liability issue, and it's a real problem.

Anonymous said...


"yet some pictures in your mind sit at freeze frame."

You know that's probably a damn good thing because I bet that she is just like me> Older, uglier and a lot wiser:-)


getyourselfconnected said...

And does she diminish any iota in your mind because of that? Long losts, be it ladies, guns, or fish that got away, are treasures as long as they do not control your current behavior. Thanks to all for all the comments, great thread and I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...


No she's still the same there and that's a good place for her.

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future