Ego Trip of Gen-Y

"Gen Y's ego trip takes a nasty turn: A new report suggests that an overdose of self-esteem in college students could mean a rough road ahead." This article reminds me of the book titled"The postponed generation: why American youth are growing up later" which talks of pre-Gen-X [the last of baby boomers, I would guess, of which I am one of them].

The report summary:
researchers warn that a rising ego rush could cause personal and social problems for the Millennial Generation, also called Gen Y. People with an inflated sense of self tend to have less interest in emotionally intimate bonds and can lash out when rejected or insulted.
Some of the increase in narcissistic attitudes was probably caused by the self-esteem programs that many elementary schools adopted 20 years ago, the study suggests. It notes that nursery schools began to have children sing songs that proclaim: "I am special, I am special. Look at me."
Other trends in American culture, including permissive parenting, increased materialism and the fascination with celebrities and reality TV shows, may also heighten self-regard, said study coauthor W. Keith Campbell, psychology professor at the University of Georgia. "It's part of a whole cultural system," he said.
And I give you a sobering ending:
Marc Flacks, an assistant professor of sociology, said that he believed that narcissism was too harsh a description for current students and that it was more important to discuss why "we have a society in which narcissistic behavior is a good quality to have."
"This is a bottom-line society, so students are smart to seek the most direct route to the bottom line," he added. "If you don't have a me-first attitude, you won't succeed."
Hopefully, our home educated sons won't have such inflated, unrealistic egos...

Copyright, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Courts: why they aren't worth the tax dollars

LA Times opinion "Traffic court -- it's no democracy: A visit shows arresting officers go unquestioned while defendants are all but ignored" is eye opening (the print edition is titled "Railroaded in traffic court?")

I've never been to a traffic court so I can't say one way or another but based on the tickets my wife and I have gotten over the years, it makes sense. The thing that stood out the most is:
By the time the judge got to me, I had observed that every single case in which the officer took the trouble to appear was resolved in exactly the same way, regardless of how the defendants argued their cases or what evidence or witnesses they presented.
That entire morning, the judge never questioned or challenged a word uttered by a police officer. Several times during the proceedings, I observed officers looking over at their brothers in blue and smirking as they gave evidence. It was plain to me that the judge would accept the police officers' words without question or challenge.
Just as the police are not on your side, it seems that the court isn't either. Sad...

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Police: why they aren't worth the tax dollars

"Why Smart Cops Do Dumb Things" explores why police apparatus have become dumb and dumber. [That Boston scare over publicity stunt which didn't raise an alarm for 2 weeks (in other cities, presumably) and then the police overreacted.]

And on the other side, "Government Goons Murder Puppies! The drug war goes to the dogs." (Hat tip to Vox Day.) So they're too busy "fighting" victimless "crime" including killing "dangerous" puppies. Right.

Unfortunately, we, the people have become too dependent on the State to protect us and allow the State to do their deeds. As Arthur Silber points out in "America, Now Without the Revolution" it's as if we're back to King George [not to be confused with the current POTUS]. And Key Word has an appropriate post called "Worshipping God or Worshipping the Government."

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Housing Bubble: Japan vs US

"Take It From Japan: Bubbles Hurt" came out Dec 25, 2005, but is a good reminder on what happened in Japan and how we in America is going through the same thing right now (popping of the bubble). We'll see how far down we'll go and how long it'll take to hit bottom this time around.

Here are two great quotes:
"During a bubble, people don't believe that prices will fall," he [Yukio Noguchi, a finance professor at Waseda University] said. "This has been proven wrong so many times in the past. But there's something in human nature that makes us unable to learn from history."
In the 1980's, the expectation of rising real estate prices made many Japanese homebuyers feel comfortable about taking on huge debt. And they did so by using exotic loans that required little money upfront and that promised low monthly payments, at least for a short time.
What they mean for us today in America, I'm afraid the answer is: only time will tell....

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Housing Option: in your car

"Homeless by choice, O.C. student learns self-reliance: Andy Bussell says his life in his pickup truck has taught him to adapt and change."

Works great for single man but would be harder for woman and even more tough for a family. But would be a great way to hold down cost....

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Drug problems: legalize and penalize

Just as Las Vegas become gambling capital of U.S., why not make N.O. drug capital, legally? Dr. Block's "Drug Legalization: How to Radically Lower the Number of Murders in New Orleans" and "Rejoinder to Prof. Perlstein on Legalizing Drugs in New Orleans" make compelling case for drug legalization.

On the other hand, the drug war should be on those pimping the life threatening kind (FDA and drug makers), as pointed out by "The Drug War Is Upside-Down". Improperly used legal drugs have crated life threatening diseases and the blame is mainly on legal drug pimps [so that they can perpetuate themselves both the gov and companies: much like the symbiotic relationship between police and illegal drug dealers].

Copyright, 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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War on Drugs: fighting back

Barry Cooper is an ex-cop promoting his DVD on how not to get busted for drugs. The article "Don't Go Bust: A turncoat narc offers tips on how to move your weed" By KEITH PLOCEK is a great intro to Barry.

I'm not a drug user, never have been and don't plan to be one but as a step towards civil disobedience, I'll go and order his DVD (by Sunday Feb 18th for the $10 bonus DVD deal). In fact, I don't even like alcohol, but I am addicted to caffeine (coffee). I've never smoked anything, tobacco or otherwise.

The article "Kathryn Johnston's Real Killer" points out the true evils of the drug war: police abuse and power trip by those in "authority." All to keep the drug prices up (and money to the drug dealers) -- as well as money flowing to the police force, national and local alike. Just as Prohibition failed rather quickly, drug war has been a failure for a long time. For some reason, the Drug War is on going with no real change ($50 billion a year by taxpayers and about the same amount of profit for the drug dealers).

What's worse is the extent that government employees will go to get their case through the system, no matter how wrong they are, and how innocent the accused are. Read "Duke and Durham: The Criminal Cover-up Continues" and see how the government workers commit crimes and aren't (and probably won't) be prosecuted while the innocents (Duke students) had their reputation ruined and their (parents' money) pockets emptied.

Copyright, 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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Strongest vs Weakest banks

If you haven't seen this list, make sure your money is safe:
"The Weiss Watchdog: Strongest Banks and Weakest Banks"

As pointed out by a poster in thehousingbubble blog.

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Debt and Death Tolls

"Avoid the Rush" by Chris Leithner points out how US debt was kept low at the founding of U.S.A. but as America got involved in wars, the debt kept piling up and now stands at $440K per household (about nine times the medium income).

The 90 second spot on American war death toll is very sobering. And if you compare the numbers together, it looks like:

YearWar and other eventsDeathsDebt thousand $GDP
1789American Revolution4,435$80,00030%
1812 $45,000
18161812 War2,264$125,000
1848Mexican-American War13,283$65,000
1865Civil War364,511$2,800,00065%
1918World War I116,516$25,000,00025%
1930Great Depression start$15,000,00018%
1940Great Depression peak$72,000,00038%
1945World War II395,500+$260,000,000110%
1960Korean War (50-53)36,574$290,000,00070%
1970Vietnam War (59-75)58,209$390,000,00028%
1989Grenada'83 & Beirut'8419 & 266$2,700,000,00048%
2001Gulf War I & Somalia382 & 43$5,700,000,00056%
2007Gulf War II (Jan)3,000+$8,700,000,00067%
2007Full accounting of debt$53,000,000,000400%

Copyright 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved

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Decline of (upper) Middle Class Neighborhoods

If you've wondered why your formerly nice neighbors seem to be in the decline, here are many reasons why:
  1. "Liar loans" (or officially "stated" or "no doc" loans) allow people to buy homes beyond their means. Many frauds have been reported in the news and are affecting various sub-prime mortgage companies. So, formerly poor (so called "sub-prime" borrowers) could buy homes in the (upper) middle-class neighborhoods with 0% down. With Neg-Am ARM, the initial payments are "affordable" but watch out when the rates and payments reset to higher numbers.
  2. Homes bought with fraud or even unlived in homes can be taken over by pot growers or meth labs.
  3. Section 8 vouchers (free money from the taxpayers) allow poor to move out from downtown slums to middle class suburbs.
  4. Anti-gang push by big cities means the gangs move out to the suburbs.
  5. And if some disaster strikes like flood or tsunami or hurricane or earthquake: there goes your neighborhood....

Copyright, 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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enemy weapon: google

"Googled by the Enemy" starts off with:
In January, British troops conducting raids on insurgents in Basra, Iraq, found printouts of aerial maps from Google Earth detailing the coordinates for British camps in the area. Though dated, the maps revealed the locations of buildings, tents, and other vulnerable areas of British forces. A week or so after the discovery, and after negotiations with the British government, Google (GOOG) reportedly replaced the geospatial pictures found by insurgents—taken in 2004—with images taken in 2002, prior to the invasion by coalition forces.

But the discovery of the maps underscores how insurgents appear to be a step ahead of us in utilizing our own technologies against our troops and allies.
Ain't that great? So technology can really help level the playing field between the "professionals" (military and the police) and "civilians" (aka "terrorists"). I doubt if the Founding Fathers had these kind of technologies in mind when they amended the U.S. Constitution with "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms."

Copyright, 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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American English: The authorized version?

Many years ago, I had a conversation with a co-worker from France and we had a mutual co-worker from Quebec and I asked the Frenchman, how is the Quebecer's French and was told "quaint." And I thought that was very interesting.

And tonight, I saw a NHK program, with my Japanese wife, called "Let's Play with Languages of the World" where a professor mentioned that American English is the older version of (British) English. And even though it was the first time my wife and I heard that, I immediately got it because of what I heard of Quebec and even about Brazilian Portuguese. My wife mentioned how Japanese emigrants [Brazil and U.S.] tend to keep and preserve the [older] language while their home county, Japan, evolves ahead, as well.

So American English is the older version of English. And to think that we were speaking the more modern version of English. How quaint....

Copyright, 2007, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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FDIC closes a bank

It seems that bank closure has started. FDIC has taken over today: Metropolitan Savings Bank, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It had only $16 million so not a very big back, but we'll see how many will get closed in the next few months....

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