Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Magic Negro and Other Hollywood Myths

That's where Black characters are brought in to serve as noble, wise, many times suffering, "guides" to specifically help the main White character understand or transcend some deep metaphysical concept, trauma or life challenge.[1]

As we get closer to the historic election of Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States I can’t help but be concerned about a phenomenon that I sense is gripping the nation in general and many blacks in particular. This phenomenon made famous by various Hollywood films such as Bagger Vance, The Green Mile, and many others throughout the years creates a mystical black character who is able to transcend the realities of life and help a white character overcome some challenge or trauma. Looking at our current national situation I don’t think Hollywood could have scripted this any better. If there was ever a time for a “magic Negro” now would definitely be the time.

However there is just one small problem. There are no magic Negroes. Barack Obama is not a magic Negro. He is about to inherit a country that is at war on two fronts, an economy that is teetering on the “Great Depression”, a corporate culture that rewards greed and quick profits to hard work and sustained growth. A country that has lost all of its prestige in the world and now has to rely on bullying tactics and torture. A country with a growing healthcare crisis and is about to experience high unemployment and home foreclosures. A country that will be struggling to come together and come to grips with having a black man-magical or not-leading it. Thanks to the McCain camps scorched earth win at all costs last minute campaigning there will be many Americans who will resent the authority of President Obama. Come to think of it why would anyone in their right mind want this crappy job?

The thing we must all remember is that voting for Senator Obama is the easiest thing we will have to do. The real work will come after he is elected. Make no mistake despite the disintegration of the Republican Party right before our eyes, the corporate task masters will have no problem finding lackeys to espouse their agenda; nor will there be any shortage of proponents of the status quo. Corporate America is not going to wake up on November 5th and decide that greed and malfeasance are no longer in vogue, racism is not going to magically disappear and we will stand around the national campfire singing Kumbaya hand in hand, nor will there be reparation checks showing up in the mailboxes of all mistreated minorities.

The forces of resistance and intolerance will not be so easily defeated by just an election. The election is only the first step towards the bigger goal of transforming this nation. Those same people who have decided to volunteer in record numbers and to come together for a common purpose greater than themselves cannot go home after the election as if the election were the end all to be all. No, we must continue to organize, to communicate with one another in a common purpose and to press our newly elected officials to change the toxic political climate in Washington and to once again allow government to serve, protect, and aid its people; all of its people not just the wealthiest ones.

I realize it has been a long campaign and many of us would like to just go home and get back to normal after the election, but if we do then all of the change and hope we have been striving for will be for naught. Barack Obama is just one man; a very powerful man but one man just the same. Alone he can do very little; he is going to need our continued hard work if he is to take this country into the next generation and into the next century. It won’t do any good for him to open up opportunities for higher education if there are no students prepared to take advantage of them. It won’t do any good for him to generate new jobs in the “Green Economy” if there are no people trained to do them. Regardless of how much he does without personal responsibility and self-motivation it won’t matter. Things can only get better and progress not from Washington to Main Street but from Main Street to Washington. We must be the change we want. Change always occurs from the bottom up, never from the top down.

If the change we need is more than just a slogan to you then it will be after the election that your hard work will be needed the most. We must begin to use that driving force that allowed us to register so many new voters and become competitive in states that haven’t been competitive for a Democrat in a long time as well as winning some of them. We must use it to go out into our communities and help to provide opportunities for all Americans, to provide a quality education for all of our children, to provide healthcare for all Americans, to tear down the barriers that have kept us from becoming one nation. We must not allow symbolism to triumph over substance. If after the election nothing changes, then nothing changes. This election could be the launch pad for a rebirth of our nation, a nation that actually tries to live up to its principles.

No my friends Barack Obama is not a magic Negro, but each one of us has a little magic and we can all make a difference in the lives of our fellow citizens if we take the time to reach out to others.

[1] http://www.counter-racism.com/articles/newspaper/themagicnegro.html

Read more!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

That’s Right Sarah, You’re Not in Alaska Anymore

"I love her -- she's just like me," said Pam Moore, a minister who attended the rally in Green on Wednesday. Moore dismissed the latest reports of the RNC-funded shopping: "They are just trying to find dirt, and it's sad that people are stooping that low."[1]

That’s right folks we are no longer in the real world, but we have been transported into the land of Reputian in the Land of Oz What has always amazed me about zealots; whether they be religious, political, or social is their incredible ability to suspend reality at a moment’s notice. In order to be zealous about anything one must be able to ignore the reality they are in and transfer themselves to another place. Reality and facts are the hobgoblin of all zealots; they destroy the carefully crafted myths being parsed on the simple. For the zealot any facts that contradict the false narrative have to be reasoned away with utter nonsense to maintain the sense of outrage.

The more I witness this zealousness in any context the more I realize that we have come to the place where it is no longer the spinner of the tale who is completely at fault, but some fault also lies with the hearer. In order for us to be defrauded we have to dismiss all empirical data and established fact and believe something we know is false. If someone comes to me and says they have a magic oven that turns 100 dollar bills into 1000 dollar bills and they are willing to demonstrate it to me. At that moment I have to become willing to take some pretty irrational ideas and make them plausible. So we go to the oven and he puts a hundred dollar bill in it and presto he pulls out a 1000 dollar bill. There are some really rational concepts I have to be willing to throw out the window to believe what he has just shown me. In addition I have to also be willing to overlook these documented truths in order to receive the gain he is promising me. So there has to be some overriding concern that allows me to ignore what I know to be true. In this case it would be my greed, but there has to be some perceived gain to make me want to disbelieve what I know to be true to believe what has been proven to be false.

Such is the case for anyone who still believes that Sarah Palin is Jane six-pack or any derivative of that meme. The problem for me is not that she spent 150,000 for clothes. This is America you can spend as much as you want for your wardrobe, hair-cut, or 7 houses. No, my problem is the hypocrisy of these people. Have they no shame? First you present a candidate with 7 houses and 12 cars to a nation suffering from the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression (brought about by a man who also is abundantly wealthy) and claim that he represents the average “Joe” and understands your concerns. Then we send out a woman who claims to represent small-town America with its simple common-sense values and it turns out she has been spending 150,000 on wardrobe and make-up. I’m sorry but what hockey-mom do you know who has been able to get that “extreme make-over”?

The truly poignant part is what this type of hypocrisy not being only accepted but defended says about us as a nation. Are we so desperate to believe in something that we will believe in anything? If the curtain gets pulled back and you still believe the trick, then who is at fault? The people who are defending this from their hearts are not the rich, wealthy elite of the Republican Party but the average Joe’s, the ones who are making 40,000 a year. Think about this for a moment this woman spent 4 years of their salaries in a couple of months for clothes and they still think she is one of them. I guess then we have to wonder what “one of them” really means since it can’t be economic status?

Regardless of whether the con is for money, votes, or salvation there comes a point when the trick is revealed, fortunately there are enough of us who are not mindless zealots or “ditto-heads” who are willing to say look at your hypocrisy. The depressing phenomenon is the number of people who don’t care that they are being swindled as evidenced by George W’s 23% approval rating. What do these 23 percentiles see that I don’t?

My friends we are witnessing the end of an era. The days of Rovian campaign tactics are coming to an end. With the advent of the internet; the days of “swift-boating” to the masses has ended. The only ones that can be duped with false rumor and innuendo today are those who do not have or do not want the internet and thus have to be informed by the dupers. Today all one needs to do to debunk a false charge is to type Google in any browser. In effect they are ones who choose to be duped because it allows them to continue their feelings of false outrage and victimization complexes. What’s the difference between a zealot and Sarah Palin? It appears to be about a 150,000 wardrobe and some very expensive lipstick.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/22/AR2008102203346_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008102300047&s_pos=

Read more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Barack Obama Is Not A Christian

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting;
it has been found difficult and left untried. - GK Chesterton

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Gandhi

Despite all evidence to the contrary it appears that Barack Obama is not really a Christian. He is not a Muslim, but he is not a “real Christian” in “real America”. As part of the McCain campaign’s effort to “move voters away” from Barack Obama by any means necessary they have begun to employ a familiar refrain made popular by a Democrat. Senator John Edwards coined the phrase that there were “two Americas” to highlight the disparity between the wealthy and the middle-class and poor. Somehow I don’t think he envisioned it being used like the Republicans are using it. You see according to them there are two Americas all right, one that is real and one that is “not real”? The real America is patriotic, hard-working, God-fearing, and lives in the rural areas of our country. They haven’t quite defined what values that the “other” America has but one could imagine that they would be the opposite of their values.

Barack Obama wants to share the wealth, according to these real Americans this is communism. According to real Americans the doctrine of helping those less fortunate is not what the Bible really means. What it really means is that we should help ourselves. That thing about the rich man and the eye of a camel doesn’t apply to us. God wants me to have all the desires of my heart. God wants me to be rich and happy. If God wanted them to have stuff he would have given it to them. So what real Christian would want to share the bountiful blessings of America with those poor misguided individuals? That part about God not being a respecter of persons doesn’t really mean that it doesn’t matter what you own or what you have, but what you do for others.

Barack Obama wants to end the war and make peace with our enemies. The god in real America does not want peace. The god in real America wants conquest and domination, thus his belief in weapons of mass destruction.

Barack Obama wants to unify our nation through inclusion. He believes that people all over the country are Americans, whether they live in cities, towns, or the suburbs. Regardless of their race, religious denomination, or social status they are all “real Americans” and are patriotic. The god in real America doesn’t want unity. He wants discord, strife, and chaos. The only real Americans are the ones living in rural America.

Barack Obama wants to provide healthcare to all Americans as a right. The god in real America believes that healthcare is a privilege to be given only to the wealthy.

Barack Obama wants to end our dependence on oil and stop the destruction of the earth. The god of real America loves oil and oil companies. He wants to drill more holes and destroy more land. He doesn’t seem to really care much about the earth though. I guess he can always make a new one.

You see Christians in this real America have a different interpretation of the teachings of Christ and anyone who does not share their interpretations completely are not Christians. You see when the Bible says to love your neighbors the real Americans know that really isn’t what it means. What it really means is to love your neighbors if they look, talk, think, and believe as you do. If they do not then they are not real Christians and therefore this doesn’t apply to them. In real America the Church rather than leading the society to understanding the principles of Christ they allow the prejudices of society to infect the Church. They claim religious persecution but how can this be possible when 90% of the people in America claim to be some form of Christian. This false persecution claim is outrageous when you are following the world that is supposed to be persecuting you. The world loves its own. If they want to see persecution they should try to live up to the principles of Christianity. Or better yet be a Muslim in America.

According to these real Americans God loves America. It is His favorite place to be. My question is that if God so loves America so much why isn’t it mentioned in the Bible? The reason it isn’t mentioned as well as any other country is because God doesn’t have a country, He has people and they live all over the world. According to these real Americans God values some humans over other humans and so they are justified to do the same. That stuff in the Bible about equality, tolerance, and peace only relates to those humans who God has chosen over the other humans. Barack Obama believes that all people are equal and have value to God. This disqualifies him from being a “real Christian”.

So Barack Obama is not a real Christian. Thank God for that!

Read more!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Of Course He Would Support Obama

After receiving the stunning news that General Colin Powell was going to support and vote for Senator Barack Obama the few GOP backers that McCain still has were quick to the airwaves with their pathetic attempts at damage control. Make no mistake that even though the Republicans tarnished his image and damaged his credibility to sell the Iraq War, Colin Powell remained the consummate solider and never once spoke out against this act of betrayal by the Neo-Cons. While he discontinued vocally supporting the war, he remained a loyal member of the party. I on the other hand would not have been so gracious to the people who bent me over to take one for the team. And now even after remaining silent about all the deceptions, lies, and misdeeds once again the GOP heaps another pile of crap on Powell.

The spin from the RNC and their shrills is that of course General Powell would support Senator Obama *wink *wink. You see General Powell was never really one of us. It’s like I’ve always said you know what the state troopers in Alabama call General Powell? A ni**er. So after he falls on his sword to advance their causes and now that he has outlived his usefulness the truth is being exposed. You see of course General Powell would support Barack Obama, he’s black isn’t he.

Whether you agree with his remaining silent and being loyal, you have to respect his sense of duty even though it was misplaced. Many Americans still regard General Powell as a hero and a professional worthy of respect so his supporting Senator Obama was huge. Not only was his support big but the reasons for giving that support spoke volumes about what other moderate Republicans are thinking. According to General Powell, Senator Obama possesses the necessary intellectual curiosity, demeanor, and judgment to be President. He cited the current economic crisis and the Senator’s steadiness during the last 7 weeks as evidence of his readiness to lead. He stated that while he didn’t have all the answers (Who among us does?), he was thoughtful in his responses and was willing to consult with those who did. General Powell went through a list of characteristics that separated Senator Obama from McCain that included judgment, temperament, and intelligence.

The biggest bombshell for John McCain was not his reasons for supporting Senator Obama but his reasons for not supporting McCain who has known for years. General Powell contrasted the behavior of McCain during the last 7 weeks and the erratic strategies of his campaign. He also leveled concern at the direction the Republican Party has taken in the last 8 years culminating in the campaign of John McCain and his selection of Governor Palin as his running-mate, a person clearly not ready to assume the Presidency. General Powell gave voice to a growing concern among many suburban Republicans who feel that the Party has been tilted to far to the right by the conservative wing of the Party. Despite the public face the Republican Party is not unified, we are watching it war against itself in front of our very eyes. If it continues to veer more and more to the right and ignore the moderate and suburban voters in favor of the rural and small town voters it will no longer continue to be a major Party in American Politics.

There are times in all of our lives when we have the opportunity to define the kind of people we are and what we truly believe in. John McCain is at one of those periods. As I watched video of some of his supporters waiting in line to attend one of his rallies I could not believe the vile things they were saying about Senator Obama. I understand wanting to support your candidate and your team and I understand that people can have policy and philosophical differences with candidates, what I cannot understand are these rabid and vicious personal attacks against Senator Obama. John McCain is fond of saying he is willing to put “country first”, well he has the opportunity to do just that. While my suggestion would be for him to just withdraw from the race, I am not counting on that happening. What he can do though is something just as important. He must remove the toxic partisanship from this election.

If I were advising John McCain I would have him go before a national audience and state clearly and unequivocally that we must stop the toxic political discourse that is engulfing this election. That while he and Senator Obama have real policy differences they must not be an excuse to demean and dishonor him or any other American with whom we disagree. He needs to state that this type of behavior is reprehensible and will not be tolerated by all respectable Americans. I believe that if he were to do this it would not only raise his respect among voters, but it would also allow him to keep his legacy intact. After the election McCain is going back to the Senate and if he allows this type of behavior to continue then he will be toxic in the Senate. He would lose any chance he had to have any influence with his colleagues (except Joe Lieberman of course) or the American people.

Senator McCain it is now time to truly put America first.

Read more!

Responsibility Or The Loss Of Credibility

One of the many things that trouble me about the wealthy in particular and the Republicans in general is their apparent lack of shame for their blatant hypocrisy. For decades the mantra of the wealthy and their Republican mouthpieces has been the lack of personal responsibility of the poor. According to these people the problem with liberalism is that they have tried to use the government to “bail-out” the bad choices made by these unfortunate individuals and if they would only exercise some personal responsibility they would be alright. It is not the business of the taxpayers to support the bad lifestyle choices of individuals.

While this analysis is wrong on so many levels, it is important with the current bail-out plans being discussed and enacted in Washington to discuss it on its face value. My question is, “If it has been bad policy in the past to “bail-out” bad personal choices and decisions for individuals why is it now good policy to “bail-out” these same bad decisions now being made by CEO’s and financiers?” It is precisely this type of hypocrisy that has helped to fuel the largest transfer of wealth from the public coffers to the wealthy in our history. Government payouts only seem to be in the interest of the country when they are being given to the wealthiest amongst us. There is something wrong with a system that takes the wealth of the middle and lower classes and gives it to the richest in the faint hope that they will not be greedy and will provide some return on those funds.

As the financial meltdown has unfolded around us it has revealed this strategy for what it is; another bankrupt idea of the wealthy and the Republicans being perpetrated against the American public. It was amazing to hear John McCain try to mock Senator Obama for his comments to “Joe the plumber” about “spreading the wealth”. Why wasn’t anyone mocking the rich during the many transfers of wealth to the rich by the Reagan and Bush tax-cuts? I guess it is ok to spread the wealth if it is going in an upwardly direction. This is just a further illustration of why the Republican brand has lost all of its credibility with the American public. Not only has this crisis reinforced their lack of principles and convictions but there has been a history of similar situations in the past. Here is a short list of some of the most egregious examples of their untrustworthiness.

No Nation Building – One of the first and costliest in a long string of credibility gaps was then candidate Bush’s pronouncement that he would not use the military to engage in nation building.

Weapons of Mass Destruction – Can any of us forget the infamous pronunciations of a host of Administration officials on this subject? Sorry General Powell

Trickle-Down Economics Work – Can anyone besides McCain and a diehard Republican supply-sider argue that this policy has bankrupted our economic system?

No Regulations/Let Markets Rule – Another aspect of the vaulted Conservative Republican agenda was the systematic dismantling of regulatory agency powers and budgets. Let the markets rule! How is that working out America?

What almost no one at the beginning of this process and many still have not been realized is the deep level of desire for change that is permeating through the American population. It is still my belief that I have shared for the last two months that this election will not even be close. By 10:30 on election night the winner will be known to all. This weekend has only increased my enthusiasm for the outcome of this election. On Saturday I attended the Barack Obama rally in Kansas City, Missouri and I have never witnessed a political event or any other event for that matter that carried the electricity or the enthusiasm that this event did. It was surreal to see red-necks and blacks sharing the same belief and hope in a political figure. There were about 70,000 people that showed up to just be a part of history. Maybe 5,000 people could actually see Senator Obama, so the other 70,000 were just there to hear him or to just be a part of history. One of the most often stated lines was, “We're making history or we are witnessing a history making moment.”

The other event that has increased my enthusiasm is that I was watching the Republican mouthpieces on the Sunday talk shows talking about the Obama Presidency. There are many Republicans who feel that the current Republican Party and its focus is an abomination to what the Republican Party stands for. When have you heard Republicans hinting, let alone saying publically that their Party needs to lose? The difference in this election will be two-fold. The first will be the influx of new voters that have been registered by the Obama campaign’s voter drives in many of the swing states. The other deciding factor will be the number of suburban Republican voters who will sit this election out. They won’t vote for Obama, but they are not going to support McCain either.

It is time for personal responsibility for all of us, not just the poor and the middle-class. Electing Barack Obama will be a major step towards that goal.

Read more!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Just Can’t Put My Finger On It

Lois Coar, the mother of two grown children, supported Mitt Romney this year and is undecided for November. She cannot see voting for Obama -- "not because he's black, but I just can't put it in words." She likes McCain as a person, but "I can't understand why he keeps talking about this Ayers guy" -- William Ayers, the 1960s radical who became an occasional colleague and supporter of Obama in Chicago. "He should be focusing on the economy and real terrorists; that's what people worry about," she said.[1]

If you are white and you do not consider yourself a racist, a wing-nut, or rich and your answer for not voting for Senator Barack Obama is, “It isn’t because he’s black, but I just can’t put my finger on it.” I have sad news for you; it is because he is black! I read this response and I was immediately struck by the number of people who share this same sentiment. With our economy experiencing a “China Syndrome” meltdown, the war in Afghanistan on the verge of defeat, and a whole host of other problems besetting this country anyone who would even consider supporting the Republican brand in this election needs to have their voting rights revoked. What this election has finally shown is just how bankrupt the Republican Party is, of course after they have bankrupted most of the free world. I mean there are only so many ways you can screw the public and get away with it. The sad part is that there are still those who would allow the divisiveness of race to keep them from supporting an obviously more qualified candidate.

It is reminiscent of the people on the Titanic after it has hit the iceberg and they are flailing around in a frigid ocean and refuse to get in the lifeboat because a black man is steering it. Well my friends my response to those folks is let them drink sea water. Anyone that stupid and stubborn probably deserves to drown. Anyone who had any doubts about John McCain’s judgment needs to look no further than his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Fortunately there aren’t enough of those folks to prevent the inevitable from happening. Despite the Fox News poll that has McCain down by 2 points, this election is over. It won’t even be close. Anyone remember the Reagan revolution? We are about to experience the Obama revolution.

For his part, Reagan, the charismatic former Governor of California, repeatedly ridiculed Carter, and won a decisive victory; in the simultaneous Congressional elections, Republicans won control of the United States Senate for the first time in 28 years. This win marked the beginning of the "Reagan Revolution."[2]

McCain has run one of the worst general election campaigns in my memory. He has stumbled and fumbled every step of the way. I guess a campaign run by lobbyists isn’t the best campaign money can buy. Of course to be fair McCain did have a difficult task to overcome. All of the major issues in this campaign favored Obama and the Democrats and how hard is it to run as the agent of change candidate when you have been sitting in Washington for the last 25 years? Though most liberal journalists and pundits are too afraid to state the obvious for fear of jinxing the election, many of their Republican counterparts are already heading for the exits. Every day we are treated to another Republican mouthpiece laying the groundwork for a major Republican defeat. It’s as if the Republican Party is disintegrating right before our eyes. You have half the Party wanting McCain to go really negative and throw everything including the kitchen sink at Senator Obama and the other half watching in disbelief as this election becomes historic. The problem with going really negative is that the polls are showing it isn’t working, but more importantly the damage that it would do not to Senator Obama but to the office of the Presidency. And God knows we don’t need the office diminished anymore than George W. has already done.

The problem for McCain is two-fold. The first is that if Mr. Ayers were the American equivalent of Osama bin Laden as he is being compared, why is he still walking around a free man? Surely any man as dangerous as him would have to be on his way to Guantanamo not sitting in some mansion is Chicago dispersing 100’s of millions of dollars for educational foundations. Not to mention that Senator Obama was all of 8 when this Mr. Ayers was committing these acts of terrorism and probably not even in the country. It is hard to compare a man that we all see on television walking around free to a man that is living in caves while there is a worldwide manhunt for him; the symbolism kind of gets lost somewhere.

The second problem is that if this gets anymore negative then the McCain campaigns does something that we cannot allow in a democracy and that is too diminish the office of the Presidency. In other words you may disagree with the officeholder but the office is supposed to remain above the fray. You may not respect the man, but you must respect the office or anarchy will prevail. By personally attacking Senator Obama the way the McCain campaign has been doing then even if he is elected Senator Obama as President could not govern. This would be an intolerable condition for all of us. Not only would the man be tainted but also the office itself. I don’t have to follow any terrorist sympathizer, Muslim, or ni**er! Any President is only in command for a limited period, but the office must continue to hold its dignity and prestige regardless of its occupant. Let’s face it there will already be plenty of people who will resent Senator Obama as Commander in Chief, but we cannot tolerate any public ambiguity about who is in charge. Nor can we give any latitude to those voices of intolerance to reinterpret the law of the land.

If you dehumanize or devalue the person in such a way then the office is tainted. Mr. McCain is fond of stating that he puts country first, the final days of this election will allow him the opportunity to prove it based on the direction he allows his campaign to take. So, if the best you can do is I don’t know why I can’t vote for him, then I think we all know why and you are just unable to get honest with yourself.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/13/AR2008101302170.html?hpid=opinionsbox1
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1980

Read more!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Financial Crisis Remedial Edition

For those of us who are not Nobel Prize winning or Ivy League educated economists here is the crux of the financial meltdown in terms we can all understand. Though there are those in the media and the McCain campaign that would have us believe that how we got to this point in history is unimportant I have always believed that those who fail to learn from their past mistakes are bound to repeat them. According to the endless line of economists that now appear hourly on our television screens the economic crisis is too complex for any of us to understand. I would like to take this opportunity to provide a simple explanation of this complex situation based on my own studies.

The financial meltdown by all accounts began with the mortgage crisis and this issue continues to fuel the loss of capital in our national and international financial institutions. So how did the mortgage crisis begin and how did it lead to our current situation? The mortgage crisis began with a noble concept, the concept was to try and provide home ownership to more Americans. It began with the Clinton Administration and continued with the Bush Administration’s “ownership society”. So how did such a noble idea lead to the financial meltdown of today? The problem is that when you open up a system flush with cash and do not provide the proper oversight the greed of some men will warp the good intentions of others. The market was flooded with capital but instead of providing the necessary oversight what little oversight that was present was removed.

The process began with the realtors; they sold houses that had inflated prices. Because of the housing market boom with the increase in capital and buyers the prices for homes were grossly inflated. A home that would have normally been valued at say 100,000 was sold at the inflated price of say 200,000. These inflated prices were based in 2 false assumptions; the first was that housing values always appreciate so that even though the prices were inflated the value would eventually catch-up to the price. The second was that the market was savvy enough to understand the intricacies of all of these new financing instruments or that the sellers did for that much. What we have since learned is that both of these assumptions were proven false. While housing values do historically tend to appreciate there have been times when they have not. Obviously like free booze at a wedding no one thought it would ever run out. It did. So we now have homes that are overpriced based on their true value, therefore any financial assumptions based on these values is flawed. It’s like you have a bank balance that shows 100 dollars when in actuality there is only 50 dollars in the account. It’s all good so long as you don’t have to pay more than 50 dollars.

The next domino was the so-called “sub-prime” buyers who the programs were originally designed to help. For those who have sterling credit and have had it their whole adult lives they have no concept of the thought process of those who do not share their credit ratings. If you have been turned down for credit for so long when you finally get the opportunity to get it, you don’t look at the terms. You are just happy to be able to buy something. Let’s face it folks our country runs on credit, without it you are considered unfit as a person. In the best of circumstances many of these “sub-prime” borrowers were put into homes with these new financing instruments they could not afford. Many of them were balloon instruments that provided affordable payments for a few years and then ballooned up to higher payments. This does not include those who were taken advantage of by predatory lenders. Many of these buyers could barely afford the payments they moved in with, so when the payments ballooned they were unable to make their mortgage payments. While this is unfortunate it doesn’t explain why our financial system went haywire. I mean we foreclose on those homes and resell them right? Wrong. Because these homes were not priced even close to their value all that inflated value was also lost with the original loan, because you are not going to be able to sell the home for that inflated price. So not only did the mortgage company lose the original loan they had an asset that was priced substantially higher than its estimated value. On a small scale these discrepancies could be off-set by other loans or fees; however on a massive scale there was no way to recoup all of these losses.

The final domino was that we allowed Wall Street to bundle these mortgages into securities and sell them. There were two problems with this idea. The first of course was that the price of the assets being held was inflated compared to their actual value. The second was the inherent incompatibility of the concept of using mortgages as securities. Let’s think about this. We sell securities in businesses; the main purpose of a business is to make money or to make a profit. The main purpose of a mortgage for most Americans is to provide a home for their family. While there are those who use their mortgages and homes to generate income and profit, this is not the case for most Americans and especially those who were in the “sub-prime” category. Many of these folks were first or second time home buyers who lacked the savvy to do so. So we have these massive security instruments tied to over-priced assets and to make matters worse we have these CEO’s and other officers who were aware of these pitfalls and pushed the situation to the brink. They not only continued to buy and sell these worthless instruments they leveraged their companies or borrowed against these assets that they knew were over-valued or in many cases questionable.

So you see on paper it all looked good. Everyone was making money and no one cared about the consequences. Then of course the day of reckoning arrived, they could no longer continue to count these worthless assets on their balance sheets. So now after all the profits have been made and all the inflated value has been sucked out of these assets these clowns come to the American public with these predictions of Armageddon if they are not rescued. They want to sell us all of these worthless assets at a profit. Do not be fooled if your home had value before this crisis it still has value. Those who should be worried are those who refinanced or bought overpriced homes in the first place. These are the homes that are seeing their value diminish as they should. Senator McCain wants us to come in and continue to prop up these over inflated homes to protect the banks. Why should I be asked to prop up the value of these people’s homes?

Read more!
HTML stat tracker