As most of you know who have read some of my diaries and comments, we are in Chapter 13 and in a battle with WaMu, our lender to keep our home. This has been quite the adventure and a real eye opener. When our problems with WaMu started in the fall of 2006 we were pretty sure we weren’t the only ones, fact is we aren’t, but we also had no idea and my guess is neither do you. Follow me below the fold for a sneak peek into Mortgage Lenders REAL dirty secret, the one that is more dangerous and pervasive than sub-prime loans.
May 25, 2008 archive
May 25 2008
Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread
|From Yahoo News Top Stories|
1 US probe to attempt perilous landing on Martian arctic
by Jean-Louis Santini, AFP
2 hours, 16 minutes ago
|WASHINGTON (AFP) – US space scientists were to attempt Sunday to land a 420-million-dollar spacecraft near Mars’s frigid north pole, but were concerned that the odds for success were less than 50 percent.
If all goes well, Phoenix will become the first spacecraft to land on the Martian arctic surface, digging into the polar ice in a new three-month mission searching for signs of life.
Mission specialists “decided early Sunday not to use the last possible time for a trajectory correction maneuver, eight hours before landing,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which controls the mission, said on its website.
The result of the landing is expected to be known at 4:53 pm Pacific time (2353 GMT), around 15 minutes after the probe makes contact with Mars’ surface, because radio signals take that much time to travel the 171 million miles (275 million kilometers) to Earth, NASA said.
May 25 2008
Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11. Through the Darkest of Nights is a story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption. It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts. But most of all, it is a search for identity and meaning in an empty world.
Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb, we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father’s heart? Which of us has not remained prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? ~Thomas Wolfe
All installments are available for reading here on Docudharma’s Series page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.
May 25 2008
Treatise (or Treacle) on Insanity
I am intensely interested in how words have come to mean what they do. Since words are all I have to argue for my inclusion into human society, how could I not need to be interested in those long forgotten thought processes.
With help from the Online Etymological Dictionary and its many contributors, I do the research so you don’t have to.
Insanity – 1432, (referring to health of body, or rather lack thereof), deriving from Latin sanus (health)
Why insane? Why not unsane? Nonsane? Presane or postsane? Protosane?
insane – 1560, mad, outrageous, excessive, extravagant
sanity – 1602
sane – 1721 (back created from sanity, which was back-created from insanity.)
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
But when you wish upon a gum wrapper, it makes a whole lot of difference. If you are not rich, you are going to be labeled something. Even if you are rich, you may do. See below.
May 25 2008
Sunday Times Only Bill Clinton can save the Democratic party? That’s what the Obama camp is claiming, according to the Sunday Times. No wonder Obama is trying to scale back the attacks on Hillary and Bill:
If anybody can put their arms around the party and say we need to be together, it is Bill Clinton,” a senior Obama aide said.
“He’s brilliant, he has got heart and he cares deeply about the country. It’s tricky because of his position as Hillary’s spouse, but his involvement is very important to us.
“Bill Clinton will give permission to Hillary supporters to come into our camp and become one party. He is critical to this effort.”
Racially offensive Bill Clinton? I can just imagine how the Obama campaign will spin this: ‘Bill Clinton has done so much to destroy the Democratic Party over the last two decades, first as the only two-term Dem President in memory and second for providing economic stability and growth, that Bill fucking owes Dems big!
Historic McCarthyism? One big reason I dumped Dems is succinctly detailed by a seasoned observor of US politics.
The massed ranks of male pundits gleefully pronounced that Clinton had lost the battle with Obama immediately after the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, despite past precedents that strong second-place candidates (like Ronald Reagan in his first, ultimately unsuccessful campaign in 1976; like Ted Kennedy, Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson and Jerry Brown) continue their campaigns until the end of the primary season and, in most cases, all the way to the party convention.
None of these male candidates had a premature political obituary written in the way that Hillary Clinton’s has been, or was subjected to such righteous outrage over refusing to quiesce and withdraw obediently from what, in this case, has always been a knife-edge race. Nor was any of them anything like as close to his rivals as Clinton now is to Obama.
…The danger is that, in their headlong rush to stop the first major female candidate (aka “Hildebeast” and “Hitlery”) from becoming president, the punditocracy may have landed the Democrats with perhaps the least qualified presidential nominee ever.
Hillary Clinton: Sociopath? I’ll add the necessary qualifier that I’ve found almost all real-life supporters of Obama to be extremely civil. These same folks are also of the opinion that HRC and her husband are driven by ambition and have engaged in the worst form of politics.
The Obama campaign has succeeded in convincing many of its most ardent supporters that Bill and Hillary Clinton are destructive, divisive forces in the Democratic Party. The Sunday Times, however, claims that the Obama campaign is hailing Bill Clinton as the one individual who can bring the Democratic party together.
I’m glad to be rooting for the non-Dem. I suspect the ‘Hillary is sticking around until Obama is assassinated’ media campaign will drive all but the Obama bots and a few die-hard Dems straight into the arms of the non-Republican John McCain.
Who could have imagined?
May 25 2008
Crossposted from ePluribus Media.
What follows is an excerpt reprinted from the piece Danse Macabre 03: The Return of Ja(a)far [Donald Rumsfeld], which was published by ePluribus Media in December 2006.
With all the back-and-forth rumbles about Iraq, Iran, peak oil, the “long war” and such, I thought a reprint of this particular section would be enlightening. It briefly review a paper written by Rudy Jaafar regarding that author’s perspective and commentary about the US role in the determination of the social and political future of the Middle East.
I strongly urge people to read the original piece by Rudy Jaafar in its entirety, and request that people add — in comments — any additional insights or references that could help educate the public about the regions cultures and history.
May 25 2008
I imagine that we were all given several labels as children that were used to define us. We were smart, funny, responsible, rebellious, shy, or the opposites… on and on. One of the labels I received as a child was that I was lazy. I remember always being frustrated, feeling like I eventually would have gotten around to getting something done if folks had given me a bit more time.
It wasn’t until I was in my first professional job out of college that I began to challenge this label. All of the sudden I took a look at myself and how hard I was working. It was at that moment that I discarded the label.
And yet, as is the case with most of these things, there was some truth to it.
May 25 2008
Recently I was a social gathering of trendy young people. A disagreement over a particular issue came up. It was about a proposed private restaurant in Union Square Park in Manhattan.
It seems that a private “donor” has “donated” seven million dollars to the Park’s restoration fund on the condition that the private restaurant be included in the project.
I suggested to some of these activists that it would be a good idea to focus on the name of the public official who accepted this “donation” on behalf of the park’s restoration fund.
I suggested that it was probably illegal for this public official to put their name on the transaction in acceptance of the funds on behalf of the public. The reason is that this is not a donation at all, but an investment. The seven million dollars has strings attached which stipulate that there must be a private restaurant developed in Union Square Park.
That’s when the disagreements began…
May 25 2008
My Aim Was True
Until It Curved
Chinese Are Left to Ask Why Schools Crumbled
Grief in the Rubble
This story was reported by Jim Yardley, Jake Hooker and Andrew C. Revkin, and was written by Mr. Yardley.
DUJIANGYAN, China – The earthquake’s destruction of Xinjian Primary School was swift and complete. Hundreds of children were crushed as the floors collapsed in a deluge of falling bricks and concrete. Days later, as curiosity seekers came with video cameras and as parents came to grieve, the four-story school was no more than rubble.
In contrast, none of the nearby buildings were badly damaged. A separate kindergarten less than 20 feet away survived with barely a crack. An adjacent 10-story hotel stood largely undisturbed. And another local primary school, Beijie, catering to children of the elite, was in such good condition that local officials were using it as a refugee center.
Joe Lieberman, Would-Be Censor
The Internet is simply a means of communication, like the telephone, but that has not prevented attempts to demonize it – the latest being the ludicrous claim that the Internet promotes terrorism.
Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut is trying to pressure YouTube to pull down videos he does not like, and a recent Senate report and a bill pending in Congress also raise the specter of censorship. It is important for online speech to be protected against these assaults.
May 25 2008
The Los Angeles Times has an article about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s upcoming trial at Guantánamo Bay. In the article, “Defending KSM, ‘the most hated man in the world’, Josh Meyer writes about the lawyer who is assigned to be KSM’s lead defense lawyer – Capt. Prescott L. Prince, a Navy Reserve judge advocate general. The significance of this trial, I think, cannot be understated as Capt. Prince explains:
“I think it’s the constitutional case of our time,” Prince, 53, said in a recent interview in his office, U.S. and Navy flags front and center on his desk. “Because in the 221st year of America, the question is whether the Constitution applies to the government.“
Not only is KSM on trial at Guantánamo Bay, but also the question many of us have asked over the past seven years – do we still have a Constitution?
May 25 2008
Teen PTSD researcher Ilana Rice
Why do I get the feeling you two are destined to meet? And by all means don’t change your first names!