Student Loan still touted as a good thing?

"Most Latino students spurn college loans: Educators fear that a tendency to work their way through school can hurt them academically." And what's wrong with not becoming enslaved to the loan provider (Sallie Mae, in this case)?

People give stats on how people with degrees make more money but that's only for those who are working regular jobs. You can't tell real income when people run their own business especially since their net worth is more important than any measure of annual income [i.e., they pour their positive cash flow back into the business rather than withdrawing for personal use].

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Bank Run: what we can look forward to

Here's something from Time (Monday May 27, 1985), as posted in The Housing Bubble Blog:

When a savings and loan crisis hit Maryland last week, depositors knew all too well what to do. They gathered up their lawn chairs, thermos bottles and portable radios and lined up outside the banks as if they were embarking on a familiar American outing. In a sense, they were. Only two months ago, depositors across the U.S. witnessed scenes right out of the Great Depression during a panic that temporarily shut down Ohio’s 69 privately insured thrifts. At the time, Governor Richard Celeste warned several other states that they should prepare for similar events. “You’re sitting on a time bomb,” he told Maryland Governor Harry Hughes.

As many banks start to fail, this will be a small foretaste of what might happen. On the other hand, with internet (& phone) access, people may try to withdraw from the web right when the rumor starts and spread the panic online. [Where they will take the money to may be another failing bank so it may not make sense...]

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Why Public Schools Promote Hate

"Teaching Hostility" by John Markley is a great article on why public school promotes hate. It's because tax money is used to teach something to children and when we have plurality of values, it's impossible to teach that something which everyone can agree to. That is, majority values are not what I necessary want my children to be taught. So, in the public schools, people get up and arms over creation vs evolution, prayer or not, sex ed or not, religion, Christian words and ideas, etc. And ensuing PR (public relations) campaign, legislative movements, lawsuits, etc.

All because tax money is used to educate our children.

Without forced education, people would spend their money on what they want for their children and will vote with their feet (and dollars). Of course, we've chosen to teach ourselves, but that's an option most people still will not consider....

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Empty Nesting: dry "run"

My son turned 14 this week and we gave him a cellphone [on our family plan at T-Mobile: one thing nice is that it is only $10 extra + tax to add his number].

This weekend, he and his younger brother are away from home with my sister skiing (with her friends). They've been to sleepovers at church and friends birthday parties, all within few minutes away from home. However, this is the first time they'll be away for more than one night: in fact for 2+ days. Getting his phone call just now at his destination (300 miles away) hits home how he (and his brother) are no longer near home and they are on their own [well, not really since my sister is with them]. Still, not being a short driving distance away from them is a different feeling (on business trips, I knew my wife was with them so, even though I missed my family, it wasn't the same as it is now).

It's certainly very quiet tonight and I guess it's a prelude to what things will be like in about 6 years from now (our youngest is 12)....

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.



Enslaving the people: government and banks

The video "America Freedom to Fascism" is a great video which explains the farce of American freedom, especially when it comes to money, from taxes to Federal Reserve, as well as how government is reaching into our private lives like RFID to track us.

I love how Honorable Dr. Ron Paul points that today, we need permission to do anything: be it open business, own land, drive cars, or even own guns. They can now spy on us by peaking into our phone call records, medical records, library book checkout records, listen to our phone calls, read our emails and snail mail.

Our legal freedom is being legislated way one law at a time. Meanwhile we have bonded ourselves to the banks through loans ("The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." Proverbs 22:7), which means that we have given up financial freedom. We are also mentally conditioned to follow (be enslaved by) leaders (teachers, employers, politicians, etc.) and the boob tube (actually, various forms of entertainment). Spirituality is much the same: follow the leaders or else! (Women might find comfort in such an environment but freedom is given up when formal structures are put in place.)

So, what freedom is left?

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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habeas corpus denied by Bush Administration

If you think the justices of SCOTUS have liberal interpretation of US Constitution, read what U.S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is quoted with:
“There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there’s a prohibition against taking it away,” Gonzales said.
[So, a right to fair trial is not in the Constitution at all?] and
Gonzales continued, “The Constitution doesn’t say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended” except in cases of rebellion or invasion.”
[So, only explicit permission in the Constitution is a guaranteed right. Anything else is up to interpretation.]

The ten commandment analysis is poking fun of this new method [I personally don't think it's all that accurate but kind of funny].

This trend by the current administration is negative: looking at our phone conversation and phone records, our email (eschelon), snail mail, holding people at Gitmo without cause, and allowing the torturing of prisoners. What's next? Round up the terror-bent racial group(s)?

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Buying a home now

As much I believe that we'll face serious economy downturn over the next few years:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
To grow fruits and nuts (for personal consumption, not for earning money) for the long term, we have to buy our own land, now.

So, the question I'm facing is, how to buy at the current inflated prices? I'm thinking just the land would be cheaper than trying to buy a home with large lot. But then buying a distressed home (foreclosed or "fixer upper") might be a good choice now that the news is out on how bad the real estate has become.

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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All kinds of new Police weapons

Popular Science is showing off the various new police tools, esp. non-lethal (i.e., torture) weapons: Cop Tech 2010. And has the following scary quote:
Part of the need for new equipment stems from the changing role of law enforcement. “The line between war and crime has become blurred,” Heal says as we drive away from the house. “Police officers are now expected to prevent and respond to terrorism. Soldiers are asked to guard prisoners and investigate crimes. Street cops have sub-machine guns.”
Have the citizens turned into Enemy of the State already?

Copyright 2007, DannyHDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Freedom Breakdown

It was one thing to listen in our phone calls without court order. Now:
President Bush quietly has claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant.
Things which we consider sacred privacy are slowly but surely disappearing all in the name of "security."

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


Banks in trouble

It seems that the New Year has started with some shaky news for the finance sector. If you look at the list of banks and mortgage companies on page 12 of this PDF report "Assessing your Mortgage Banking Strategy in a changing environment" (that page is on subprime lenders) many of the mortgage companies have closed or aren't doing well:

4. Countrywide Financial Corp. [apparently looking for buyer(s)]
6. Option One Mortgage Corp. [looking for a buyer]
7. Ameriquest Mortgage Corp. [closed almost all offices and laid off 3,800]
17. Ownit [gone]
18. Aegis [just closed two subprime operations centers]
19. MLN [stopped accepting new loans]
24. Encore [being acquired by Bear, Stearn's]
25. Fieldstone [closing 7 of 16 ops centers, debt covenants modified thru 1/31/2007]

Other mortgage companies not on the list: Secured Funding Corporation (just announced their stop of funding as of January 12), Sebring (closed in December), Saxon Capital Inc. (acquired by Morgan Stanley). [Thanks to commentors at thehousingbubbleblog for some of the info.]

With such a trend, it won't be long before banks waver and fall (HSBC, no. 2 on the list, is hurting due to fines being levied on the former Household Intl). Which means if you have money in the banks on the list, you may want to come up with backup plan(s) to deal with bank closures and bank runs. (For that matter, you should keep a sharp eye on your own bank and see how solid the financials are.) If you think this is mere wishful thinking, take a look at report by Center for Responsible Lending (CRL):
"As this year ends, 2.2 million households in the subprime market either have lost their homes to foreclosure, or hold subprime mortgages that will fail over the next several years."
Things will not be well for the US (and world) economy for the short term future....

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.