Friday, December 04, 2009

Why Won't They Serve?

Why Won't They Serve?: "It seems that I am increasingly a prophet of doom. But really, if owners are unwilling to govern themselves then condominiums are merely apartments, and if they are unwilling to make the contributions that must be made for a community association to survive, then they must be willing to surrender their ownership interests and be renters. This is a housing crisis as serious as the present economic one, and it may be worse, because the crisis in community association government is not likely to end in a year or two."
A missive from attorney Tyler Berding--thanks to Fred Pilot for flagging it.

Man arrested for trespassing on his own land | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

Man arrested for trespassing on his own land | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota
Including being threatened with a taser and handcuffed. All over a disputed utility easement.

NJ woman who dodged foreclosure locked out of home

NJ woman who dodged foreclosure locked out of home: "A New Jersey woman returned home from Thanksgiving with family to find the locks changed days after she avoided foreclosure.

Bank of America says it made a mistake."

Happy Thanksgiving from B of A!

7 Insane True Stories Behind the World's Most WTF Houses |

7 Insane True Stories Behind the World's Most WTF Houses |
As they say--"a house says a lot about a person...maybe that they just forgot to take their medication."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another flag incident draws conservative ire

HHenrico Medal of Honor winner, 90, ordered to remove flagpole

"I hate these people!"

"These people would be great in the concentration camps, wouldn't they?"

"These cowards on the board of directors--I wonder where they fought?"

Thus spake conservative radio fire-breather Mark Levin, tonight, regarding a Medal of Honor winner whose HOA board won't let him have a flagpole.

"Col. Van T. Barfoot, a local Medal of Honor winner, is under the gun from his Henrico County community's homeowner association.

In a five-paragraph letter to Barfoot that he received yesterday, Barfoot is being ordered to remove a flagpole from his yard. The decorated veteran of three wars, now 90 years old, raises the American flag every morning on the pole, then lowers and folds the flag at dusk each day in a three-corner military fashion."

Elizabeth Warren: America Without a Middle Class

Elizabeth Warren: America Without a Middle Class: "While the middle class has been caught in an economic vise, the financial industry that was supposed to serve them has prospered at their expense. Consumer banking -- selling debt to middle class families -- has been a gold mine. Boring banking has given way to creative banking, and the industry has generated tens of billions of dollars annually in fees made possible by deceptive and dangerous terms buried in the fine print of opaque, incomprehensible, and largely unregulated contracts."
Yes. We know about contracts like that, don't we?

Florida condo owners fear continued foreclosure crisis, want banks to step up - Condos and HOAs – Living with rules

Florida condo owners fear continued foreclosure crisis, want banks to step up - Condos and HOAs – Living with rules: "About 68 percent of owners polled said they have seen an increase in units and homes falling into delinquency of 60 days or more. And 63 percent apparently fear more financial pain caused by Florida requirements for safety upgrades and retrofits, including fire alarm installations."

Another one of those isolated instances...

Condo management company loses BBB accreditation while being sued for theft, mismanagement: "The Better Business Bureau has cancelled the accreditation of Cincinnati’s ORP Realty Management Company today after the company failed to respond to a contract dispute complaint. This is only the latest problem for the beleaguered company as tenants of an East Walnut Hills condominium filed a civil suit last week against ORP, its President Steven Sykes Valentino and Vice President Michelle Banks alleging the firm stole $215,000 from the condominium association’s bank account."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The first web page: August 1991

The World Wide Web project
Did you ever see the first web page ever posted? This is it. It was made by Tim Berners-Lee.

Report Cites Shortfall in Key A.I.G. Business -

Report Cites Shortfall in Key A.I.G. Business - "An independent analysis of whether the insurance industry has been setting aside enough money to pay its claims estimates that the American International Group has a shortfall of $11.9 billion in its property and casualty business."
And we, the taxpayers, now have a substantial interest in AIGs solvency because we bailed them out and want our money back...don't we? But the word was that the company was fine except for that crazy derivatives/credit default swap business. And now they say, "Well, and except for the property and casualty business." Say what? Is that supposed to be just a sideline or something? Sounds like insurance to me.

So that's why "the debate is over"! - The CRU's Criminal Conspiracy: "Jones and his ilk even went so far as to seek suppression of contrarian evidence in those much beloved 'peer-reviewed' journals. When Climate Research published a skeptic's paper, Jones demanded the journal 'rid itself of this troublesome editor.'

Regarding another set of Gore disbelievers, Jones assured Dr. Mann, 'I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-reviewed literature is!'"

Monday, November 30, 2009

NCOC: Civic Health Index Finds America in the Midst of Civic Foreclosure

NCOC: Civic Health Index Finds America in the Midst of Civic Foreclosure: "The survey’s results reflect the hard choices Americans have made during the downturn, with 72 percent of respondents saying they have cut back on time engaged in civic participation, which includes time spent volunteering, participating in groups or performing other civic activities in their communities."
Thanks to Fred Pilot for this link to a study that suggests even more bad news for the nation's HOAs and condo associations. They have a hard time finding volunteers even when the economy is good.

Climategate: The dog ate my data

Climate change data dumped - Times Online: "The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building"
Right. And all those emails about not letting anybody outside their little closed circle see the data?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Experts have beef with Daley on TIF :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State

Experts have beef with Daley on TIF :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State: "According to the city's own figures, nearly $500 million a year is diverted from the regular pool of property tax money heading toward Chicago schools, libraries parks, police, etc., into the obscure TIF funds, which are designed to promote development in “blighted” areas.

Daley’s TIF program is controversial because in addition to “blighted” areas on the West Side and other economically challenged areas, the mayor has used a novel definition of “blighted” to include parts of booming downtown."

Yes--Daley uses TIF districts to divert tax money from the schools and other general government expenditures into the places where his crooked friends are building things. Then he lies about it to the local press. Then he gets re-elected. That's been the pattern so far.