Friday, November 13, 2009

Barrick shuts hedge book as world gold supply runs out - Telegraph

Barrick shuts hedge book as world gold supply runs out - Telegraph: "Global gold production is in terminal decline despite record prices and Herculean efforts by mining companies to discover fresh sources of ore in remote spots, according to the world's top producer Barrick Gold."
Why don't we all just decide that quartz is the new gold?

Association suits, claims prevalent --

Association suits, claims prevalent -- "Community associations have a big legal headache these days. They, or their representatives, are spending increasing amounts of time on lawsuits and liability claims. Some of the action is initiated by boards, and some by residents. The disputes vary, but many are prompted by the economy."
They are prompted by the economy, and in some cases by lawyers who make a living doing covenant enforcement and assessment collection.

F.H.A., Cash Dwindling, Tightens Home Loan Rules -

F.H.A., Cash Dwindling, Tightens Home Loan Rules - "The Federal Housing Administration, the government agency whose loan-insurance programs have become a crucial source of support for the housing market, said on Thursday that its cash reserves had dwindled significantly in the last year as more borrowers defaulted on their mortgages."
So they are tightening loan requirements and making noises about so far not yet needing a bailout that wouldn't really be a bailout.

Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun

Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun: "A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for 'doing his duty'.

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year."
Jolly old England. As it circles the drain.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Griffin Lake residents continue to argue over weed assessment | | The Davison Index

Griffin Lake residents continue to argue over weed assessment | | The Davison Index: "At issue is a $379.86 special assessment per parcel on 14 parcels around Griffin Lake, a private lake off M-15, just south of I-69.

A majority of residents got together more than a year ago and petitioned the township to handle the collection of the special assessment so all parcels paid their fair share of weed control treatments on the lake. Before the township took over collection of the assessment, some residents said they were footing the bill for the entire lake and not every homeowner there was paying.

But some residents object, saying they are being represented by a mysterious home owners association they are not a part of, who has made all the decisions regarding who is contracted to do the weed control on the 15 acre lake."

So the township is collecting the private HOA special assessment. How nice. And now the township wishes they had never gotten involved.
Thanks to Fred Pilot for this.

Police Defend, Lie About Devices That Extract Money From and Cause Bodily Harm to Citizens - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

Police Defend, Lie About Devices That Extract Money From and Cause Bodily Harm to Citizens - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine: "We looked at every accident at every red light camera intersection for six months of data before the cameras were installed and six months after.

The final figures? Twenty of the 32 intersections show accidents up after the cameras were installed! Three remained the same and only nine intersections showed accidents decreasing.

The problem? Motorists see the cameras flash, slam on their brakes, and get rear-ended."

I am pretty much convinced that red light cameras are simply a revenue-raising scheme hatched by the companies that make the equipment and sold to cities with budget problems. The safety rationale seems to be fictitious. It is just about money.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guess who's running for office?

Lou Dobbs: Going, going...gone: "Unfortunately, these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous empirical thought and
forthright analysis and discussion. I will be working diligently to change that as best I can. And, as for the important work of restoring inspiration to our great free society and our market economy, I will strive as well to be a leader in that national conversation."

This should be interesting. What is Lou Dobbs going to run for? Will he stoop so low as the House of Representatives? I doubt it. Maybe Senator. Or maybe he will skip all the intermediary steps and go for the big brass ring. President Lou Dobbs?

Capitol Alert: California crisis cited as warning for other states

Capitol Alert: California crisis cited as warning for other states: "California's state budget crisis is so severe that the Pew Center on the States, a Washington-based policy think tank, is using it as an example of conditions that imperil other states.

Nine other states, the Pew report says, are facing 'some of the same pressures that have pushed California toward economic disaster,' adding that they also could see furloughs of public employees, severe cuts in education and reductions in the social welfare safety net."

That would be Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. That adds up to 1/3 of the nation's population. So says the article, citing the Pew Center study.

Thanks to Fred Pilot for this depressing story. Looks like some states aren't even going to wait for the 2012 destruction of the planet.

Fannie and Freddie Fire Their Own Inspector General

Fannie and Freddie Fire Their Own Inspector General: "There is no independent auditor overseeing the federal agency responsible for some $6 trillion in home mortgages, because the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel ruled that the agency's inspector general didn't have authority to operate, according to internal memos obtained by the Huffington Post.

The ruling came in response to a request from the Federal Housing Finance Agency itself -- which means that a federal agency essentially succeeded in getting rid of its own inspector general."

No need to overreact to this news. After all, it's only $6 trillion dollars.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dunn to Step Down as White House Communications Chief -

Dunn to Step Down as White House Communications Chief - "White House Communications Director Anita Dunn will step down by the end of November and be replaced by her deputy Dan Pfeiffer, Fox News has learned."
This is the one who was telling students how much she admired the brilliant philosophical insights of Mao.

L.V. housing program hasn't led to purchases |

L.V. housing program hasn't led to purchases | "LAS VEGAS (AP) — An 8-month-old program aimed at stabilizing Las Vegas Valley neighborhoods by allowing local governments to buy, renovate and then sell homes to low-income families hasn't resulted in any families moving into homes yet.

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department gave Las Vegas Valley municipalities $64.3 million this year to buy homes. The Las Vegas Sun reported Sunday that only five homes been purchased by local governments."

Awesome stimulus, dude.

Castle Coalition: Citizens Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse

Castle Coalition: Citizens Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse: "Pfizer, Inc., announced today that the company will be closing its former research and development headquarters in New London, Conn. This was a project that involved massive corporate welfare and led to the abuse of eminent domain that ultimately bulldozed the home of Susette Kelo and her neighbors in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London."
Thanks for your houses and neighborhood, but we won't be needing it after all. Bye, now.

And thanks to Shu Bartholomew for this link.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The search for the elusive motive continues...

Fort Hood shooting suspect conscious, talking, hospital says - "Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspect in last week's mass shooting at the Fort Hood Army Post, is conscious and talking, according to a spokesman for the Army hospital where he is being treated.

Authorities have not identified a motive in Thursday's attack that left 13 dead and 42 others wounded."

Yes, it must be a daunting task to find the motive. You just have all these unrelated facts. Calls himself Palestinian, sympathizes with killing Americans, doesn't want to go to Afghanistan, screams about Allah before he shoots, tried to connect with radical Islamic groups on the is all so confusing. Maybe if you put a supercomputer on the job for a few years it could crank out some sort of common thread here.

The bigger question is how the US military can pussyfoot around with somebody like this for so long. Apparently they are more concerned with not hurting people's ethnic and religious sensibilities than with protecting their own people.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

New Study Says American Cities Are on the Verge of a Rat Invasion - ABC News

New Study Says American Cities Are on the Verge of a Rat Invasion - ABC News: "'The problem of rats is just a symptom of a declining and weakening infrastructure, and it's one of the more visible symptoms of depressed cities struggling to face their problems,' says Mr. Kaukeinen in an interview.

Partly to blame are politicians' budgetary choices, the economy, and, yes, even greenie environmentalists who propose wide-open green spaces that, it turns out, usually evolve into urban versions of a Sandals resort for rats."

Foreclosures + recession + environmentalists = rats? There's an equation I had never thought about. There are plenty of rats in Chicago. I was walking to the Halsted station on the Blue Line and a rat the size of a loaf of bread scurried into the station and down the ramp ahead of me. They have no manners whatsoever, believe me. They are almost as bad as bike messengers.