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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Update 031807: The comments on both these posts are worth reading. GM

Also update 031807: The Great Unraveling, by Stephen S. Roach (not Dr. Krugman), morganstanley.com, March 16, 2007 and

The Fingers of Housing Instability, by John Mauldin, safehaven.com, March 17, 2007

"BOCA RATON Retired Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, speaking at a Futures Industry Association annual conference here on Thursday, said the problems of the subprime mortgage market had more to do with home prices than easy credit.

"'If we could wave a wand and housing prices go up 10 percent, the subprime mortgage problem would disappear,' he said.

"What kind of a rock does this fucking idiot Alan Greenspan live under?"
Amazing Mental Rot, JH Kunstler, March 17, 2007

And...

"Thanks, jackasses.

"Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. wasn't the only so-called sub-prime lender, passing out easy-money loans to people who probably shouldn't have gotten one. But the company's collapse has so far been the most dramatic, and already appears to be impacting the economy as a whole.

"Now, if more and more homeowners default on their loans -- flooding the market with foreclosures -- and the marketplace starts to clamp down on who qualifies for a loan (limiting the number of available buyers), all of us homeowners could be in for a shock.

"If home values start to really drop, those of us who bought in the past few years could suddenly see our homes worth less than our mortgages.

"Of course, this is exactly what a lot of people -- including me -- thought would eventually happen: Loads of defaults and foreclosures once the rash of ARMs first approved in 2005 and 2006 suddenly adjusted.

"This was a recipe for disaster: Take people with low credit scores and no downpayment money. Give them a manageable adjustable rate mortgage to get their foot in the door -- but with a catch: The loans will soon adjust to a new rate nearly double that original rate. C'mon!

"New Century apparently couldn't help itself. Risky loans were the only way to prop up their sales volume last year, as the market began to cool. Perhaps they were deluded -- after all, defaults were rare until recently, as people who couldn't afford their adjusted mortgage rates could either sell their house at a hefty profit, or refinance."
Angelenos of the Week: New Century Financial Corp., Franklin Avenue, March 16, 2007

You're damned if you rent and you're damned if you buy. I think I'll sit tight in my little one-bedroom in a well-kept fourplex in Lincoln Heights a little longer. My landlord's cool; he knocked $20/month off the perfectly legal rent increase when I asked him to, so I might as well stick around.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:57 PM PST [Link]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"The method of attack has got to be quite troubling for MS on many grounds. The crack is a glorified guesser, and with the speed of modern PCs and the number of outstanding keys, the 25-digit serials are within range. The biggest problem for MS? If this gets widespread, and I hope it will, people will start activating legit keys that are owned by other people

"It won't take long for boxes bought at retail to be activated before they are bought, and the people who plunk down money for the mal^h^h^hsoftware for real get 'you are a filthy pirate' messages. Won't that be a laugh riot at the MS phone banks in Bangalore."
Vista activation cracked by brute force, The Inquirer, March 1, 2007

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:18 PM PST [Link]

"Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb: Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It regularly allows U.N. International Atomic Energy Authority inspectors access to its nuclear facilities. Under that treaty, Iran has the right to enrich uranium in order to make electrical power. This program is the focus of arms control concern as the some process can be used to make weapons. Iran says it does not intend to make a bomb. The U.S. says it does. All intelligence agencies (with the possible exception of the Israelis) say that it would be years before Iran could make a nuclear weapon if that is its true intent. U.N. officials recently asserted that U.S. "evidence" about a planned Iranian bomb has not proved true."

~snip~

"Congress does have the power to stop an attack on Iran. There is no question that under the Constitution, Congress can refuse to allow the executive to spend our tax money on another war."
Iran for peace activists, Happening Here, February 26, 2007

Has the U.S. signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Anybody know?

There's lots of good information in this post. Just say NO to more war.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:05 AM PST [Link]

Monday, March 12, 2007

Arnold Drake
1924-2007


Well, 83 years is a pretty good run. Arnold Drake wrote my favorite, and in my opinion, best Jonah Hex story for Weird Western Tales #20. You can read, here, how much I liked it. It's the only book I've so far recommended anyone buy for their collection.

I met Mr. Drake last year at Comic Con San Diego. He was sharing a panel with Luis Dominguez and I asked Mr. Dominguez about Jonah's facial disfigurement. Bless his little heart, Mr. Dominguez seemed not to understand my question, even after I repeated it, rephrased it, and practically danced it, even after Mr. Drake yelled at him, I still never got much of an answer. However, Mr. Drake was sharp as a tack and remembered the Jonah Hex issue he wrote like he wrote it yesterday. He was wonderful to talk to and I'm very glad I ditched the webcomics panel and joined his, swelling our numbers to, um, six, I think. Oh well.

Rest in peace, Mr. Drake.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:56 PM PST [Link]


Marine Wedding

Nina Berman takes astonishing photographs. Lindsay interviews her at Salon, where there's a "before" photo of the couple. (Via MahaBarb)

This is why war must be the last resort of civilized people.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:59 AM PST [Link]



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