All the dead bodies piled up and round and all the politicians making crazy sounds and I guess but I just don't know
I think I could have beaten the germs if it didn't come so close on me beating the infections.
Eastern assassination style attempts here. Western style is to strike once with full force. Lose or win then stop to figure out what to do next.
Eastern style is to hit and then hit again and then keep hitting until you win.
I'll be listening to music and trying to pull it together. Long drive Friday to see Alkaline Trio and then Sunday is the big ol' dog walk. We all need to be there.
So I'll sit around and listen to beautiful music and being bugged by the government.
I'm pretty glad the bail out thing failed. It made no sense to me and the nasty quotes, the grandstanding bamboozling of McCain, it all bugged me.
There's that chick Senator in Nevada who blamed the entire crisis on the Hispanics! This is so totally outrageous that it comes close to being cool for the insanity of it. I'm part Hispanic (remember?) so I understand why there's no screams for this nasty racist to be impeached or hung.
Like why are we saving banks? Bush has already decided that there are only going to be three banks left in the USA: Bank of America, Chase and Citicorp. That seems nice and sane. We can sure trust those guys . . . We can see clearly that these are three civic minded groups that won't mess with the people and screw them over.
How did the crisis start? Seems to me it was because some Hispanic family went to the bank to see about getting them a home. That's the American dream, right? Its the reason that this guy or this guys father or great grandfather or his ancestors came to the US. Maybe he'd saved five grand, and with his wife working they were grossing about 4 grand a month.
They go to the bank that's been so carefully tending their money (My grandmother actually believed that the bank kept all of her money in its vault, all in a neat little pile with her name on it, maybe on an engraved little card balanced in one of those little party name card stands they use at all the right parties - my grandmother saved up nearly 50 grand in her life. Her personal banker never suggested to her putting the money in A CD or anything, they were both happy with her earning that cool 3% in a savings account, of course until my grandmother got sick and the nursing home took all of her money)
So this couple goes to their trustworthy banker and he looks at their little pice of money and remembers that his boss is giving out bonuses for the number one home loan approval officer and he looks at the couple and he thinks about that bonus and maybe about getting his kids teeth some needed braces, or maybe a new jet ski. He knows that with these numbers the couple and their 2 kids can only afford about a $100k mortgages but his loyalty isn't to the customer - where else are they going to go anyway - maybe one of those mortgage brokers. Why should that broker get the money when his kid needs braces? So he okays a loan of $500k . . . its structured so that for the first year the payments are only $1,250 a month.
It will be tight but the family can afford that.
He kind of glosses over that in a year the payment will balloon up to 5k a month . . . if he's got a conscience he can assuage it. Hell, maybe the family will get a new job or a big raise. And really, its not his problem. They signed the papers!
The bank is happy. They've got a pice of paper that's not just worth 500k, with the interest its worth one million six hundred seventy thousand dollars! ($1,670,000.00)
The bank is real happy. They sell it to some investment bank or insurance company for a million. One hundred precent return! Its safe, see. The house they bought is worth half a mill already. In a few years it will be worth maybe $750k and in five years a million!
Didn't my grandfather always say real estate was the only safe investment?
So these investment banks keep selling and trading this couples mortgage. The developers, who never heard of supply and demand, keep building. The banks keep loaning and selling the paper and the Republicans talk about all they've done for us and how we can trust them and we can trust the banks and we can trust the investment banks because we're all nice level headed people who just want to get along.
We all know what happens next. I know a couple like this Hispanic couple.
For a year they suffered but they were proud that every month that they met their mortgage payment. The credit card bills got a little bit out of control, but, since they were home owners the bank kept increasing their credit limit. They were struggling but they had a home. Their kids were happy. The school was better. The husband was becoming a real handy man and was able to fix all the bad workmanship that cut rate developers using unskilled non-union labor had left in their wake.
It was a disappointment that while inflation sat around 6% his their jobs would only give them 3% raises. That extra 90 bucks a month came in handy though. Even if 40% of it got eaten up in increased local taxes. Local government wasn't getting any money from the Feds and we need streets and stop signs.
Then their balloon payment came due. They got that refinanced and added into the mortgage payment which was now at nearly 6k . . . the bank didn't care. They sold the refinanced balloon payment at a super discounted rate. Wall Street was killing themselves to get their hands on that scrap of paper so they could resell it.
Except that my friends, even with borrowing and begging and taking on two extra jobs, they couldn't make the monthly payments anymore, not on everything. They lost their credit cards. Some guy actually came to the house, took the cards from them and cut them in half right in front of them.
The bill collectors kept calling until the phones got cut off. To feed the kids and keep them dressed for school, to pay the electric and to pay for gas to get to the four jobs, they let a mortgage payment slip. Nothing too ugly happened except they got whacked with an 800 buck late fee. By now it was just a number to them. It meant nothing.
With regret they decided to sell the house. They saw nothing but for sale signs all over their neighborhood anyway. This might be their only chance to escape. They got an offer of 350,000 . . . because of all the good repairs the husband had made. The bank said it was fine to sell it so long as they came up with the extra 300k they'd owe the bank, first.
My friends ended up slipping away in the middle of the night. Like the Oakies in the great depression. Like an out of work actor slipping out of the boarding house. They didn't even say goodbye to me. They ran away ashamed and embarrassed. They'd gotten the foreclosure notice and couldn't face the shame of what they saw as failing.
They moved out of state loaded with nothing but hope and prayers.
Meanwhile the bankers were getting trips to the Bahamas and Hawaii. The big exec's were getting 50 million dollar bonuses. I remember hearing on the radio about Wachovia bank declaring a 180 billion dollar NET PROFIT! For the QUARTER! NEt profit, after millions in bonuses to the employees, after dividends, after billions of dollars to the board and the investment banker buddies they still had 180 billion bucks left over!
For just three months.
What happened to all that money that was left over?
What happened to my friends and to your friends?
Why do we want to save these guys who didn't care about the people they were already legally stealing lives from? Where is Jack McCoy?
(Jack McCoy is the fictional lawyer on "Law & Order" who always finds some way to get the real guilty party into court and into jail.)
Why aren't going in and seizing assets? I'm guessing but I figure if we went after the guys who profited the most from stealing people's lives and took their 6 extra houses and 9 extra cars and their trust funds and extra cash we'd have nearly if not more than the 700 billion bucks Bush and friends want from us.
But where is Jack McCoy to go after the guys who killed human beings for nothing but greed. The guys who sit around in their 200 buck silken boxer shorts with their silver nose hair trimmers and $5,000 suits, those guys who are arrogantly holding US, you and me, to ransom. "Give us all your money or we will kill you all and we'll call it free enterprise."
Homicide due to indifference.
It bugs me that none of the candidates are going after these guys. McCain talks tuff garbage. Why isn't he talking about throwing the board of AIG in cells for 5 years in cells with the other bank robbers. Then I'd listen instead of thinking he's just a senile liar.
Why isn't Obama saying that the people responsible for this fiasco will go to jail as a warning to the next in line to never let this happen again.
I think they just don't care about me, about my friends who had to slink away in the night.
We survived the great depression. The Oakies fled to California and remade their lives. The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor, but the poor stay alive with the pride that is all they have left.
They survive despite governments that make laws to keep them poor and the rich richer.
We survive because we are this country. We are not just a Christian nation. We are Catholic Nation, a Baptist Nation, a Jewish Nation and A Bhuddist Nation and an Agnostic Nation and a Nation that follows the fashionable cult. We are the people that endure and survive.
And we will always survive. I say let Wall Street burn.
I don't think it will. I think the rich will stay rich and do what is needed to get richer. If they can't let them get out in the fields with the rest of us. Let them see the things they love taken from them the same way they've stolen what we love from us.
Give us back our freedom or let us take it back. Then we will survive just fine.