An imperfect but conscious American.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
An imperfect but conscious American.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I am a southerner. I get the whole gun thing (as it were).
My grandparents going back centuries owned guns. I own several of those very guns handed down to me by some of those fine folks to whom I owe my very existence. Those who lived long before me surely needed guns to hunt and for personal pleasure (to shoot clay pigeons, skeet, cans and what not). Sure, an argument can even be rationally made that -- depending on where they lived -- they needed those weapons for their own defense especially those living in the wilds of colonial Virginia.
As technology progressed (so to speak. Is this really "progress?") the weapons have become capable of killing many in the blink of a child's eye lash - alas. Our founding fathers -- the very ones who created the second amendment allowing us to keep and bear arms for our DEFENSE -- would not even allow the average non-land owning person to vote! Do you think -- had they lived in our time -- they would allow the average citizen to own an assault weapon? Would they have allowed average citizens the right to bear these insane weapons for OFFENSE versus defense?
When you think about it, our country has tacitly approved the ridiculous interpretation that anyone who can fog a mirror (apparently) may be allowed access to weapons whose primary purpose is offensive. It's called an "assault" weapon for a reason. I do not own assault weapons. Why would I need a Sig? Or an AK-47? Or anything that is designed to obliterate a target - human or otherwise? There is only one reason someone might own such a weapon. For their own personal narcissistic pleasure or paranoia.
Oh, and the nutty idea that the same crazed and twisted murderer who snuffed out 28 lives this past week -- if they were hell bent enough -- could pack a van full of explosives and cause the same kind of murderous mayhem -- is specious at best. Sure, murder is a human constant; mass murder is as well. But we have reached a point where we must be as willing to die for a right to live in a society free of these kinds of narcissistic weapons as we are to live in one with this self-fulfulling gun culture tyranny.
We allow paranoiacs in the NRA and their lap dogs in Congress to convince us that the path to true freedom is accompanied an assault weapon Bull shit. Why not a rocket launcher? Or, my own personal tank? Flamethrower? I don't know that I want to live in a society that so easily allows every one to own a tool that is designed to annihilate everything in its sights. Sure, someone could come along and bludgeon me with a stick or an ax. But, he or she would have a helluva time using that same stick to kill and murder dozens in seconds.
You want to own an assault weapon for your own protection? Fine. Go live on an island then. Have all of the assault weapons you like. Just get out of my country. I don't want you here.
Ban these assault weapons. It won't stop murder. But, it will limit the devastation and the ability of someone like the crazed nut in Newtown from making a life-ending spectacle with the blood of small children. Enough. Please.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I am working with a number of banks in Washington and Oregon. They have told me that their intent is to continue to use government money (at .25 percent) to purchase the land assets of failing institutions. They will then "sit" on those assets in order to constrict the supply of building lots and drive prices up to serve the narrow interests of their shareholders only. Their customers and taxpayers will not benefit from this and are suffering now as a result. Job growth in the construction sector is being artificially stifled by the actions of these bankers and it must stop immediately.
Here are my questions. As a tax payer, an employer, an entrepreneur and an American, I would like a reply.
Why are banks getting near interest free money from the Federal Reserve in the current environment?
Why did the U.S. Federal Reserve transfer hundreds of millions of dollars to the nation's top 2% performing banks in early December and almost NONE of that money has gone into economic stimulation projects? (In one case, a bank in Washington sent several million dollars to a project in Mexico being developed by an American customer).
What is the purpose of not charging banks a fair rate of interest for the money they are using to buy the troubled assets of their failing peers?
Why are banks not being held accountable for their lax underwriting guidelines several years ago? When is Congress going to haul the leaders of the nation's banks to answer questions about their underwriting guidelines?
Why are the bank regulators not being held accountable for their lax oversight of bankers? When is it their turn to face Congress?
Why is that only tax payers and hard working Americans are being forced to pay higher taxes and to pay for the failures of a narrow few? And those narrow few are still getting free or near-free money from the same people -- the American taxpayer?
And, why are banks -- who have been given cash from tax payers and our government -- being allowed to buy distressed assets with that money and turn around and foreclose or threaten foreclosure for the full amount of the notes due when they have little to NO basis in those assets to begin with?
How is that they are being allowed to make money on something they paid nothing for?
Imagine for a minute that a few years ago, I gave you a $100,000 loan. Imagine that I asked you for almost no proof that you could pay it back and simply gave you the loan without checking to see if you could really afford it. Now, let's say you called me a year later and said you could not pay me back. Imagine if I could simply call the government and ask them to give me the $100,000 so I could be made whole and I would then pay the government back when I was able to collect from you.
In this scenario, I am back to even. You are still on the hook for the full amount owed. The good news? I am not punished for my poor credit-making decision. The bad news? YOU still owe 100 percent of the money. Oh, and you have to keep paying the government taxes so they can subsidize my stupidity and the stupidity of my peer lenders (or greedy brilliant thinkers depending on what side of the transaction you are on).
Imagine that I took the government's money, squandered it some more with poor decisions and now I need another government loan to bail me out. The government would give another bank 100% of the money they need to buy my note at say, 20 cents on the dollar, and so I am saved again. YOU, though, are still on the hook for 100% of the money you borrowed. Senator, that's called a scam.
Chief Credit Officers in several Pacific Northwest banks are buying assets from failing banks with money given to them by the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. That's fine, I guess. But they are only paying 20 cents on the dollar at the most for these assets AND they money the government is giving them is costing them almost zero. So now they control most of the permit-ready building lots in Oregon and Washington. They have NO incentive to sell those lots at market rates as they have almost no basis in the lots. So, their stated policy is to hold these lots to purposely constrict supply in order to drive prices higher in the false belief that the value of these assets will rise to the same unsustainable levels to which they rose three years ago.
They are in error in their thinking. I am a home builder. I need lots. But, I cannot get those lots from these bankers who bought them for 20 cents on the dollar because they greedily believe they will be worth even more three-to-five years from now. The Pacific Northwest is already one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation. It is being made more so -- at a critical moment in our history -- by bankers who care only about their shareholders.
It is wrong. It should be a crime. At the very least it is un-American, selfish and greed-driven.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Is it because Green Earth is too small to have the ability to market aggressively? Don't we realize that each time we fill our gas tanks, we are part of the problem of keeping oil producing nations hostile to us in business? I understand a worry about using a product like G-OIL. I have a German-made car. I would worry about how this oil would affect my engine. But, if it passes all of the ASTM tests, why should I worry? I should just do it because it's apparently better for the planet AND it gets me one tiny step away from people who would seek to kill us for few other reasons than they don't like our culture or our religion. Should be a simple decision to make on my part. And yet, it's not.
I need to call my car dealer. I need to have them ask their mechanics if it's ok to use the oil. I have to then try it out. If I notice even the smallest amount of performance decrease, then I will probably blame it on the G-OIL. But, should I?
It's all so damn complicated. Green Earth could help me out by publicizing which cars and models could take their new oil. They could be a lot more aggressive than simply sponsoring the American LeMans Series. Besides, how does sponsoring a decadent car race help promote the use of earth-friendly oil?
STAMFORD, Conn., Oct 28, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --
Green Earth Technologies (Pink Sheets: GETG), a leading manufacturer
and marketer of "green" environmentally safe consumer packaged goods
and products, announced today their third consecutive showcase at The
AAPEX Show at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, November 4-6. In the
previous two years, Green Earth Technologies has previewed G-OIL(R)
Ultimate Biodegradable green motor oils and other environmentally
friendly automotive products at AAPEX, the world's largest business-to-
business event for the Automotive Aftermarket industry. Third time is
a charm, as G-OIL SAE 5W-30 is now available nationally, passing all
the engine test criteria for The American Petroleum Institute (API) SM
Certification and being granted the API "Donut," becoming the first
and only bio-based motor oil to receive such distinguished honors.
G-OIL is the world's lowest petroleum, "eco-friendly," ultimate
biodegradable motor oil priced comparatively to synthetics and
similarly performing products. Unlike traditional petrochemical-based
motor oils from leading manufacturers, Green Earth Technologies' G-OIL
is made with American-grown renewable animal fats. These saturated
fats, whose molecular single-bond carbon chains are similar to common
petroleum oils, have no harsh effects on the environment, and
drastically cut our dependence on foreign oil. In the past year, G-OIL
also became the official motor oil of The American Le Mans series.
In addition to G-OIL Green Motor Oil, Green Earth Technologies will be
previewing two new products: G-OIL Marine Oil, which will begin
shipping in 2010 and the GREEN MACHINE(TM), a new product in the
appearance chemical category with TTI. The GREEN MACHINE is a portable
1400 PSI pressure washer designed for cars and trucks specially
equipped with the G-CLEAN High Pressure Detergent Injector to
accommodate environmentally friendly washing using GET's ultimate
biodegradable dissolvable detergent pouches, made with American-grown
plant base oils. The dissolvable detergents go through the pump and
clean at high pressure while conditioning and lubricating the pump, so
no reclamation necessary while cleaning on the road.
"The AAPEX community has truly supported environmentally conscious
brands with increased fervor over the years for 'green' alternatives,"
said Jeffrey Loch, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Green Earth
Technologies. "We are very excited to showcase for our third year in a
row, as we now have G-OIL available for shipment in bulk and bottles
nationally, a true achievement for our company."