Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Anyone else thoroughly enjoying this fabulous weather of our great city? I think I'll head out to Mecca for a while...until then- keep the faith.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
My question tonight: Who is John Galt? John Galt will save us all if only we would believe. If only we could understand we must worship man the individual, not mankind, the collective. For those of you who have not entered the world of objectivism I urge you, for the sake of your soul. We must learn from John that man cannot depend on others, but only work to find principles within himself. Remember everyday, you must work harder, work longer, and work more than anyone else and only then will you be able to understand the perfection that man can be. Do not make the mistake that liberalism has made in assuming the individual can transfer his energy or intelligence to others.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Borrowers go to a bank to borrow money to purchase a home. Bank lends them money in good faith. In exchange these individuals enter into a written contract agreeing to pay the money back with interest to the bank over a period of time. The borrowers then begin living in the home, paying the mortgage as they promised to do. They begin enjoying what many feel is the American dream; owning a home. The housing bubble bursts and the market crashes. Fortunately, these borrowers have not lost their job or suffered any financial hardship that would make them unable to continue paying the mortgage. The borrowers then decide they want to stop paying the mortgage because the value of the home has decreased significantly. They are "underwater" and the value of the home is less than the debt they owe to the bank on the home. They eventually enter into a short sale of the home. In a short sale the proceeds of the sale falls below the debt owed on the home. That is, the bank will not recoup the amount of the original bargain.
Now here are the justifications I've heard from such hypothetical borrowers who chose to enter into a shortsale:
1) One claim I saw online was that because some of these banks owe such large amounts to the government, the borrowers who owe to the bank are just a drop in the pale and should not feel obligated to the bank. They listed numbers. It was something like an individual homeowner on average owes 100,000 times less to the bank than the bank owes the feds. (A number I did not investigate, but let's take it at face value because its actual value is irrelevant.)
A simple refute goes something like this: do not use other bad behavior to justify your own. Their general premise is that because the bank made bad investment choices and ran to the federal government for a bailout they, as the borrowers, are entitled to act equally poorly and stiff the bank. What a third party does is irrelevant to your own integrity. These borrowers try to further their justification by using some asinine ratio about the amount they promised to pay versus the amount the bank promised to pay a third party. I ask, what is the value of your integrity?
2) This claim is related the previous one. Borrowers will argue that they are just screwing over a "big corporation" who can afford it. So it really does not matter. Let's use Bank of America as a simple example. This evil corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and thus, is publicly traded. By definition, a publicly traded company is owned by its shareholders. Who tends to be shareholders? Well, often public pension funds are invested in publicly traded companies. Who gets public pensions? Teachers, DMV workers, social workers, and other government workers. Also, private pensions are invested in publicly traded companies. That includes: auto workers, truck drivers, doctors, accountants, etc. What about mutual funds? Yes, they are also invested in publicly traded companies. As you might have guessed where I'm going with this, mutual fund holders include the average middle class and upper middle class earners. Simply put, when borrowers "screw over" the "evil corporation" they are essentially harming the value of their own neighbors' investment portfolios and retirement plans.
3) The third argument I've heard is these borrowers are doing what any rational actor in a capitalist system would do and bail on a poor investment. Well a "rational capitalist system" requires dependence on contractual agreements. When contracts no longer operate as the framework to set expectations of lenders and borrowers, the system breaks down. Would you lend money to someone under a contract if you knew that the contract could just be ignored when the borrower felt it convenient to him? When you bail on your contractual agreement, you are essentially breaking down the very system that enabled you to purchase a home. My new favorite is the complaint that only borrowers with extremely high credit scores can get credit. Consequences much?
4) Others claim that the bank misled them into entering into the loan initially. This is my personal favorite. Personal responsibility people. When you choose to sign your name on the dotted line, you better be sure. If you are not, get an attorney or other specialist to go over the documents with you.
5) I'm entitled to a "bailout" and want my share of "government money." There is no such thing as "government money". Government money is essentially, your money. Whether you pay it directly to the government or not, you will pay in the end. How does that work? Well the usual claim is the "rich" will pay, not the innocent plebes. Isn't your employer rich? If your rich employer has less money to spend because he is paying for your mortgage, there will be no upcoming raise, or additional hiring. He may cut back on the perks you once enjoyed at your job. Potentially, he will go so far as laying individuals off. Additionally, when you squeeze the rich, they give up yachts and a new Porsche. You give up a raise that would have paid for your family trip to Sea World. Who really hurts in the end?
Integrity is my central issue with these borrowers. For me, integrity is simply doing the right thing when no one is looking; Doing the right thing even if it is not popular or easy. How can you make an agreement, in writing, and then decide that after the other side has performed their agreed part you just "don't want to" anymore? The bank has given you a loan; Possibly in the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars. You were able to enjoy the benefit of the bargain and purchased a home you would never have had if the bank had not extended you credit.
Just seems like a flawed plan on how to go through life to me.
So as many of you probably already know, I've recently reattempted online dating. Previously I was on match.com. That was a total shitshow. I'm now trying eharmony. It appears this one will turn out the same. Now let me preface my rant with why, likely, these mediums of dating will inevitably fail for me:
1) I hate dealing with "dating" in general. I am the most awkward person when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. Don't get me wrong- at work and other areas of my life, the opposite sex is just fine. If anything I beat them into submission. But when it comes to potentially romantic interactions I shut down and want nothing to do with it.
2) I hate how fake the people on these websites are. I mean, you sort of have to be. You fill out this form to tell the world how fabulous you are. One of the questions is seriously "what are you looking for in a significant other." I'm like- how much time do you have? I guess I should not post a list of my top 100 things?
3) Most people (this includes women) are crap. One does not realize this until they are all on your computer screen raping your eyes with their "wit" and "sexy" photos. The "sexy" photos really deserve a whole other blog.
4) My biggest problem is I'm a routine Nazi. I view these potential dates as "cramping my style." I get two weekend nights. I don't want to waste them with some idiot I met online who will not be nearly as fun as a) Cdizz, b) catching up on my DVR, or c) washing my hair.
So the eharmony experience has gone something like this:
1) Start profile in a moment of weakness. I was attempting to "take charge" of my life for 2010 and find my "soulmate" (which is a concept I do not even believe in, but I did for that moment).
2) The website initially told me I had no matches. Duh, I have no matches, that is why I'm on this stupid thing. So what did a girl do? The most unreasonable thing possible. I changed my dating filters and lowered my standards just so someone would show up in my "matches". Upon lowering my standards dramatically, I received a barrage of "matches". Coincidence? Perhaps this is a learning moment.
3) So now, I'm two and half days in, and have been REJECTED by more men than I have ever collectively approached in my entire life. These men are rejecting me left and right. Most of them are rejecting me before I even see them as a "match". Does that mean I am a "match" and immediately upon notification they log in only to reject me? Of course I have overly freaked out and gone through my profile about 45 times to see what they don't like about me. My pictures are cute, my answers are as honest as I can be for that site. Is it because I read? If I'm being honest, I have a conservative disclaimer. So that might be it...but still.
4) Well, the one positive thing I do like about eharmony is that it does make rejection fun and easy. As soon as I got my first "closed match" notice...I immediately began closing all the matches of individuals who did not seem to be my soulmate (note that is about all of them).
I'll will obviously keep you posted on the exciting (or lack thereof) dating potentials.
In other news, a friend is going through a rough time right now- and it really makes this whole post a bit irrelevant. Some people have serious problems. I realize this. I just hope you can all find some humor in my attempt at normalcy.
Monday, March 8, 2010
So I tried this blogging attempt in the past. This time I'm determined to at least give it more than two weeks. Before I commence my lambasting of the liberal who prompted me to return to the world wide web, I feel I should set out the general principles this blog will follow so that readers can decide if they indeed want to proceed further.
So that new readers or those unfamiliar with my life objectives and belief system know where I'm coming from, I have come up with the basic tenets of my personal religion. These are things I strive for, and think help make an individual a whole person.
1) I think Dumbledore said it best when he told Harry, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." We are what we do. We all make mistakes, but those who I associate with strive to make choices and act as best they can. It's those who own up to their mistakes and make efforts to correct who are successful individuals.
2) Self Worth. Your self worth is not determined by who you date or what you own, but it is you value inherent to yourself and is evaluated honestly. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Also, understand that self worth is reflected in who we choose to associate with; Including family, friends, and significant others. So next time you are thinking about hooking up with another scumbag- remember you have self worth. Being alone is better than being with a loser.
3) Personal responsibility. Part of having self worth is taking personal responsibility for your actions and life decisions. If you hurt someone or make a wrong decision, own up to it. As Bill O'Reilly says- "Do what you say you're going to do."
4) Appearance. I believe that how you present yourself is a good indication of how you internally feel about yourself. I'm not saying you should wrack up credit card debt trying to buy the latest fashions or getting your acrylics done every week. But I am suggesting, you should try to look the best you can within reason. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
5) Self-Discipline. Train yourself to practice and exhibit certain manners of behavior that you deam important. Apply self-discipline to aspects of your life and you would be surprised how things turn out. Whether it is the attempt to lose/maintain weight, eat healthy, get a job, get a promotion, or just read more; Self-Discipline is required to accomplish anything worth doing. It is also impossible to live in "should land" if self-discipline becomes a quality you aspire to practice.
6) Devotion. As Dumas says in the Count of Monte Cristo, "[Devotion] That is the honest way to describe ambition when it has expectations." Not only should you strive to be someone with ambition to find your place in the world, but be devoted to it. Do not treat your life's desires as a fleeting passion.
7) Avoid ignorance and have a political creed. Take time to know what is going on in the world. Learn American history. Decide what you think the basic tenets of your life should be and expect that from the world around you. My political creed is basically individual freedom. (This explanation for another day.) However, just remember that if you choose to believe in something, be prepared to explain why. Don't just follow the masses or the radio or whomever told you to think that way. GK Chesterton said it best, "The point of an open mind is like the point of an open mouth: to close on something solid."
8) Respect Others. Insert the Golden Rule here. Remember, we have all had different experiences and made choices based on that. Even if the person is a complete moron/crazy/liberal, they deserve respect. That includes our President. (Saving that discussion for another day.)
9) Community Awareness. "All that is needed for evil to prosper is that good men do nothing." A true comment by Edmund Burke. Remember, a little bit generosity goes a long way. I believe we all have a duty to our community and country to help out however we can. Do NOT mistake that for a belief that the government should make active community involvement a compulsory requirement. Rather, the Founding Fathers' basic principles of individual freedom and choice apply here. Involvement is your choice. But for me, it is a necessity to being a good citizen. After all, this country is what has allowed you to get where you are today- thank it!
10) Love. Find individuals, significant others, and family who love you and love them as much as you can back. But remember as Pam Jones says (Bridget Jones' mother), "...[love] doesn't happen to ones who still have sharp edges, or break if they get dropped, or ones made of silly synthetic stuff that doesn't last. You have to be brave and let the other person know who you are and what you feel." Real love is hard and forgiveness plays a large part in it. Everyone effs up at some point and remember, there are times you'll need forgiveness.