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Gender: Female
Hometown: MO
Home country: USA
Current location: Indianapolis, IN
Member since: Sat Apr 8, 2006, 03:12 AM
Number of posts: 14,431

Journal Archives

The most outrageous real estate story I ever heard:

I am reading a short, charming novel about a cat living in NYC. The cat is adopted as a kitten by a woman living on the Lower East Side. Long before the cat ever comes into the picture, the woman has a daughter. They live in one of those shabby old buildings that are abundant in that part of the city.

One rainy Saturday morning when the daughter is 14, NYPD and FDNY come through the building, knocking on doors and saying that bricks have fallen from the facade in the back of the building, and it is in imminent danger of collapse. Everyone must evacuate immediately. They will be allowed to go back in as soon as possible to get their belongings, they are told.

As the day wears on, the residents, now soaking wet after standing out there in the rain all day, begin to smell a rat. They observe workers going in and out of the building without any apparent concern that it's about to fall down around them. In the early afternoon, even the mayor, Rudy Giuliani, pays a visit. He, too, enters the building without even a hard hat. Protests to the cops fall on deaf ears. One old man, a close friend of the girl and her mother, is not even allowed to get his cat, his last real connection to his recently deceased wife of over fifty years.

Within 13 hours, the building is demolished and the residents shipped off to homeless shelters. That's right: A building full of immigrants, working poor, and retirees are on the street. The property is taken over by the city and sold to a developer. An upscale condo building is constructed. The compensation to the residents who have lost everything? $250 in gift certificates (provided by the Red Cross, as if a natural disaster had occurred) and a stint in a homeless shelter.

The author insists that this incident is based on a true story. I can't imagine something like this happening without lawsuits out the wazoo, but then the residents wouldn't have had the resources for that. One of them grumbles that this would never have happened to the denizens of Park Avenue. Everything is about money and real estate in New York, I guess.

Dear 1%: Here's a quick vocabulary lesson for you:



1. an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.
2. a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.
3. (in ancient Greece) a person who received free meals in return for amusing or impudent conversation, flattering remarks, etc.

I'm just sayin'.


USA's new show "Sirens":

Gave it a try -- for five minutes. A definite

Hunger A 'Silent Crisis' in the USA


You must hear this!

A little something from Woody Guthrie:

"Inside Job" and " Capitalism: A Love Story": A Perfect Double Feature

That is all.

Attention ladies! Check out the latest GQ cover!

An excellent review of "Inside Job "

It's still one of the most lucid documentaries about a complex topic I have ever seen. DVD Verdict reviewer Roy Hrab, gives director Charles Ferguson kudos for that; but as an economist, he also points out a flaw that the rest of us probably find hard to see through the steam coming out of our ears: The banksters and Wall Street assholes are not the only ones at fault here. Yes, it's true they belong in jail, and yes, it's disgusting that they are not. But it's also true that corrupt politicians have not done their jobs and reined them in. They also deserve our ire, but Ferguson does not give them enough attention.

Then Hrab brings up and issue that gets far too little attention when the housing bubble is talked about, and a very sensitive one: The homebuyers themselves. Did they really have to let themselves get taken in by these slick con artists? Hrab tries not condemn them, but I have to admit I remember seeing signs back then for mortgages with no money down and hearing about people in low-paying jobs buying $300,000 homes and thinking it was odd. I guess some of them thought they could beat the housing market. True, they were unaware of the machinations going on in the background (CDOs and the the like). It is also true that the housing bubble was not the only thing going on that caused the collapse. But suppose the ordinary home buyer had said, "I work a low-wage job and you want me to buy a $300,000 house? Are you insane?" At least said ordinary home buyer could have saved himself.

Here's Roy Hrab's review:


Kitteh from Brazil knows how to answer the phone!

Wonder if he can take a message too.

The Indianapolis Blackstockings

A fascinating story from NUVO about the first black baseball team in Indiana in the late 1800s.

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