Every waking hour I’m choosing my confessions

I have a couple of more wines to review, if that’s what you can call what I do when I talk about wine.  But right now I just have to dial in on some abject stupidity.  I don’t know why I am surprised, but I am.  Here is a man who is supposedly a “Political Analysist” for Faux News who clearly don’t have a clue.

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And two of the world’s biggest morons

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Is it time to quote Dave Stewart?  Yes.  Brit Hume can’t carry Tiger’s jock.

I’ve had it with stupid white men telling us how to live our lives.  If these clowns had actually read the Bible they would know how far they are out on a tenuous limb they really are.  And we all know what St. Peter is going to say to these guys.  Same thing he said to Jerry Falwell.  “What were you thinking?”

Is it time for me to take a swipe at all you “under God” assholes?  Why yes it is.  The Pledge of Allegiance was written in a different time.  This country was a different place.  There weren’t Buddists and Muslims and every other religion under the sun living here when that was written.  Atheists and Agnostics were the exception.  Quite honestly I don’t have a problem with “under God” being in the Pledge of Allegiance.  I have a problem with the pious assholes that try to shove it down my throat.  To me, those people are what’s wrong with America and what’s wrong with the world as a whole.  Unyielding views on matters of faith will be the downfall of this society.

And Tiger Woods.  For the love of God leave this man alone.  I feel like the Brittany Spears guy sometimes.

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OK that was reason enough to believe the world is coming to an end.  But seriously, leave Tiger alone.  It’s between him and his wife, who apparently wields a pretty good 9 iron. If he can’t keep little Cheetah in his khakis, that’s none of our business.  I’ll get all Bibical on your butts.  John 8:7.  Yeah, like that.


Sorry, I’m sick and tire of these pompous asses and their sheep.  Let’s see why would I feel that way?  Ted Haggard?  Maybe.  It was ok for him to spew all his hate and rhetoric from his pulpit while hiring male prostitutes and doing meth.  Nice.  Or how about Jim Bakker? Because there’s nothing like a nice six figure payout from the church coffers to silence your transgressions.  Or at least Jessica Hahn.  The List goes on. These are the descendants of the same sort of pious jackasses that didn’t allow their slaves to marry, so they jumped over a broom.  OK, these are the descendants of the same sort of pious jackasses that had slaves in the first place and thought themselves godlike.  No.

Olbermann took Hume’s quote the other day and suggested we remove the word Christianity and replace it with Muslim.  Now how do you like it?  That’s my point.  Fanaticism is fanaticism.  This country is full of it after eight years of ignorant fanaticism.  Faith is personal.  It does not belong in government.  I could be argued that the founding fathers did not invision the church involed in government at all, although I think they didn’t want the Church of England involved in their faith in particular and never even imagined other faiths such as Islam or Buddism.

Either way it’s time we stopped telling each other how to live and got our own house straight.  Sho nuff.

I thought about the ghost that we left behind

In case you missed the comments section yesterday, Professor Shays left this little jewel for everybody.  It doesn’t help the Alliance employees yet, but recovering 92% of the unpaid vacation, commissions, notary fees for the Financial and Lender’s Choice folks is pretty remarkable.  A big PBE thumbs up to the Labor Commissioner and in particular David Balter who prosecuted this one.  Nice job dog.  They’re still working on the Alliance case and for all of you who got stiffed, I hope he’s equally successful.  The law has been laid down, what Jerry Hauptman and Patty Hauptman did was wrong.  For what it cost them in attorney’s fees, and the settlement, they did not benefit and that’s a good thing.  You know how a lot of companies do stuff wrong because it’s cheaper to fix it when they’re caught?  Not so much for Jerry and Patty.


Yesterday I went out to throw some people out of their home.  Merry Christmas.  Actually in this guy’s case Merry Christmas asshole.  This house is in a gated community, although I’m not really sure why.  The houses aren’t that nice.  I’ve seen much nicer homes that weren’t gated.  The house is actually in his wife’s name, never a good sign.  He barked at me about how he was going to sue me.  You’re not going to sue me you jackass.  You sue the bank.  I’m just the schmuck standing at your door.  Then he went on about how much money he put down on the house.  At the end of the day it was about $40k more than I put down on this place.  Only he paid over a million.  Maybe they overbought.  BTW, he still hasn’t really pissed me off yet, so I’m just letting him run.  I reiterate how he needs to call our office and let them know what he’s planning on doing and how his rights are spelled out in the letter I gave him.  I also tell him that if he feels the foreclosure was not just he should talk with an attorney.  I would get sued if I told him he didn’t have a case or told him an attorney couldn’t help him.  So I always tell them that if that’s what they feel they need to do then they should do it.  Then he says “It’s all Obama’s fault”.  For some reason I could not help myself.  I said “Actually, no it’s not.”  There may be a lot of things that will ultimately be laid at Obama’s doorstep but the mortgage meltdown ain’t one of them.  That’s Bush.  And a few pals.

Historically the real estate market is cyclical.  There was an adjustment in the early 70’s, the early 80’s and the early 90’s.  I remember the one in 1991 the most simply because it was severe.  People who bought homes in 1991 spent the next six years upside down.  And a Bush was in the White House.  Savings and Loans failed.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Flippers and investors get caught flat footed.  Homeowners shouldn’t matter unless they’ve had a catastrophic event in their lives, like job loss, loss of income, serious illness or a death in the immediate family.  Otherwise they can just keep tooling along until the market comes back.  And it will.  It always does.  There’s a reason that as financial advisors we never put older people in stocks, only bonds.  If the stock market crashes they may not be able to make up the loss in the period of time they have to make it up.  The bond market is much more stable.  It’s like investors and homeowners.  So when this guy whined to me that the house was worth less than what he owed on it I didn’t have a lot of sympathy.  My feeling on that is “so what?”.  Are you going to continue to live indoors?  Then shut up.

This turd of an economy can be laid squarely on the doorstep of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Alan Greenspan and George W. Bush, saving a bit for Paul O’Neill, John Snow and Henry Paulson.  Glass Stegall?  Never should have been repealed.  The removal of all of the regulation?  Bad move.  And I’m well aware the Bill Clinton participated in it.  Bush and Greenspan used smoke and mirrored economics after 9/11 to keep the economy rolling because it was stuck in a snow drift on 9/12/2001.  I was sitting in an office at Morgan Stanley looking at my telephone.  I couldn’t get a wrong number to ring through on that bitch.  It was two weeks of nothing but crickets.  It was stalled out.  It was the end of irrational exuberance.  Then the barely regulated mortgage industry got busy.  2001 should have been the beginning of a market contraction but Greenspan and Bush opened up the Treasury Fun House.  And here we are.  It’s a lot of things, but it’s not Obama’s fault.

So when this guy tells me it’s Obama’s fault that he lost his house all I can say is “you’re an idiot”.  Get off of your fat ass and get a job.  And for the love of God turn off Fox.  The mortgage mess is not Obama’s fault.  He’s actually done some good things to help people stay in their homes.  There’s a DIL/Lease exchange program out there.  These things will help prevent blight in the neighborhoods and help families in danger of being displaced.  It will also weed out the riff raff who think they’re going to walk away since they’re upside down.  It could potentially speed recovery.  For those who did chose to walk away even though they had no change in circumstance, I hope it does speed recovery.  And I hope we’re recovered long before those asshats can get another home.

Yesterday I walked away from this jackass, because in my book he’s just another jerkoff who blames everyone else for his problems.  Two words for you dude.  Personal responsibility.

Something has left my life and I don’t know where it went to

It’s going to be a little light this morning, so maybe we’ll sneak in link dump.  Actually, I think I’ll throw in The Google keywords of the Weak Week as an opener.

fidelity national title claims department -that’s got to make their claims department just proud to know that people google them and come here.

boylove -you sick bastards.

jocelyn saenz escrow fraud -this one was hot last week.  not finding anything new though

RESPA -God knows we don’t have any useful information on THAT here.

Bill Foley Wine -Hopefully they learned about our boycott

jerry hauptman colorado bunny -Is Jerry dating a bunny now?

Old title insurance people never die -No we don’t.  We come back as zombies and eat your brains.

Dan Gaudrau -this one was hot last week

That was like a trip down memory lane.  And did I get some spot on bonzo journalism back when all of that was blowing up.  Clearly there is a lot less going on right now.  I will say to the Evil Empire, you posted stellar profits last quarter.  It’s time to restore those salaries and rehire those workers.  Do the right thing.

And it’s time the FREE THE PINK BUNNY.  I’m tired of being banned by the Bloodless Empire.  Apply the pressure.  For the record, in response to their banning pinkbunnyears.com I have allowed exactly one transaction to go through them.  That was only because it was a builder escrow.  It went through their San Jose escrow and it was the worst transaction I’ve had since I’ve been selling real estate.  They barely paid attention to anything throughout the entire transaction.  The builder moved it to another company and then back to FATCO during the process and after two months they still hadn’t gotten the deposit back from the other company.  It’s like it was too much work to get off their fat asses and do anything about it.  They changed the gender of my client, sent the papers to the wrong address and still haven’t gotten him his refund a month later.  I will fight against allowing another transaction to go through that company for the rest of my career.

Speaking of the Bloodless Empire, look what they spent in legal fees and they’re no where near getting this to court. In practice, they’re trying to run out the clock on the Plaintiff, can’t fool the Wine Dog.

Here’s a little something to keep Skip and OTG busy.  I know how you guys love this stuff.  Looks like a creditor’s rights issue, with a dash of broken priority and shaken with a heaping helping of matters known, created or assumed by the insured.

And while we’re in court, glad to know they’re following up on this stuff.

And on the topic of ridiculousness, really.  God knows the rabid right wing wouldn’t want kids to stay in school, study hard and be good students.  Actually, they’ve found that this birther/Glenn Beck/Tin foil cap crew is predominately white, Southern and barely educated.  Who cut education?  Reagan.  Nuff said.

Proud to be an asshole from El Paso

From freedictionary.com


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The U.S. Civil War was the result of the single most ambitious secession in the history of the United States. In February 1861 South Carolina seceded from the Union, and Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee followed suit shortly thereafter. These states seceded because they objected to attempts by the federal government to abolish the enslavement of black people. The mass secession led to four years of civil war and the death of hundreds of thousands of people. The seceding states established their own government called the Confederate States of America and fought the U.S. military forces with their own army. When the Confederate forces were defeated in April 1865, the seceding states rejoined the United States.
Also found in: Dictionary/thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Hutchinson .

The act of withdrawing from membership in a group.

Secession occurs when persons in a country or state declare their independence from the ruling government. When a dissatisfied group secedes, it creates its own form of government in place of the former ruling government. Secessions are serious maneuvers that lead to, or arise from, military conflict.

A secession can affect international relationships as well as the civil peace of the nation from which a group secedes. Most countries consider secession by a town, city, province, or other body to be a criminal offense that warrants retaliation using force. Because the primary mission of most governments is to maximize the comfort and wealth of its citizens, nations jealously guard the land and wealth that they have amassed. In rare cases a government may recognize the independence of a seceding state. This recognition may occur when other countries support the independence of the seceding state. However, for most countries, the involuntary loss of land and wealth is unthinkable.

Most countries have laws that punish persons who secede or attempt to secede. The United States has no specific law on secession, but the federal government and state governments maintain laws that punish Sedition and other forms of insurrection against the government. On the federal level, for example, chapter 115 of title 18 of the U.S. Code Annotated identifies Treason, rebellion, or insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and advocation of the overthrow of the government as criminal offenses punishable by several years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. These are the types of crimes that can be charged against persons who attempt to secede from the United States.

Just for shits and giggles, let’s highlight a little portion.

On the federal level, for example, chapter 115 of title 18 of the U.S. Code Annotated identifies Treason, rebellion, or insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and advocation of the overthrow of the government as criminal offenses punishable by several years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines.

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Why is this man not in jail? Enough is enough. Throw this sonofabitch in jail where he belongs. He has committed treason. Be done with him. How does he run for Governor of the State of Texas? Texas continues to be an embarrassment for the rest of us.

Equally embarrassing is the jackhole up in Redding who called himself a Right Wing Terrorist. Really? Here’s your silver bracelets, the bus to Leavenworth leaves in 15, don’t be late. Or the imbecile Congressman who AGREED with him. Wally Herger is an embarrassment.  Has anyone noticed besides me how the hysteria got a lot worse when a man of color was elected into the White House?  It’s not even thinly veiled.  Perhaps the Representative from Kansas, Rep. Lynn Jenkins could talk about the real Great White Hope.  Dumb racist bitch.

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Speaking of embarrassments, Glenn Beck. Why does this man still have a job? He’s losing sponsors by the fist full because he called the President a racist. And people are whining about it. No, he should lose his job for that. It’s an outright lie designed specifically to inflame. It has no other purpose. There are certain things that go beyond the bounds of decency and his bullshit crosses those boundaries regularly. He rants about czars and elements of the Obama Administration who “don’t answer to anyone”, while Dick Cheney, who truly has answered to no one does a bunch of softball “interviews”, noticeably never on a real news station. Beck’s mother was a paranoid schizophrenic who committed suicide, and I don’t think the apple falls far from the tree as far as mental affliction is concerned. The weird thing is I’ve watched the guy and he’s barely literate. The only reason he has an audience is because this country is equally illiterate, a condition we all know I blame on Reagan. He spouts this paranoid contrived horse crap about “they want to….[insert some wild eyed conspiracy theory here]” Really? They do? Who they? (sound paranoid or schizophrenic?) He can’t possible mean the Democrats because they’re still the train wreck they’ve always been. They can’t even agree on the direction to take the health care bill. Think they were directionless before, wait to we get a load of them with Teddy gone. What on earth makes anyone, short of a delusional think there’s a “they” in the Democratic Party. There ain’t a they there. There’s a joke about liberals screwing in a light bulb in there somewhere, surely someone can help me out. And if you can’t help me find the door, how about helping the State of Texas out the door.

Some people just give up when the hard times fall

When Ann Coulter calls you a crank, well, let’s go to the video.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Want to know who’s not a natural born American citizen? Orly Taitz. I think she grew up a little too close to Chernobyl. I wonder if the birthers understand that they’re hanging their hat on the work of the Soviet born butterfly wingnut. I guess being black in America is worse to them than being a KGB reject. This is racist bullshit and it sickens me.

I swear to God if I see one more right winger use Nazi Germany as a comparison and I’m going to lose my mind. I’ll bet not one of those assklowns has actually been to Germany. Or actually seen a real concentration camp. Or a real log of murdered Jews, Poles, Slavs, disabled, homosexuals, gypsies, priests, pastors and Jehovah witnesses. (did you know the JW had purple armbands?) The only comparison is the current American Nazi white supremacy Aryan nation wack jobs and they’re comparable because of, well, their swastikas. Here’s another little factoid: Just because the National Socialist German Workers’ Party had the term “Socialist” in the title, didn’t mean it was a socialist organization. They were a dictatorship. They were from the extreme right. You know, like the People’s Republic of China is a republic for the people, not so much. People, just because it’s repeated over and over again doesn’t make it truth.

This is what happens when you don’t educate a nation. Thanks Reagan. You want to hear a conspiracy theory? Here’s mine. I wholeheartedly believe that is the agenda of the Republican Party, and has been the agenda since the Reagan era, to NOT educate the masses. That’s why Reagan made so many cuts that affected education. Make it difficult to get an education and most people will just go do something else. And end up to be complete morons. And listen to jackasses like Orly Taitz. They sit there and say “Less taxes” and the unwashed masses say “Yeah! Less taxes” and vote for them. They get into office and don’t cut taxes ever. They just keep saying it and people keep buying into it because they think someday it’s going to happen. It’s not. The Republican Party does not want to cut taxes to the average American. They want to keep collecting their taxes so they can keep working on their agenda and then cut taxes to the wealthiest Americans because those guys are actually educated. They want Joe Sixpack to keep working and keep paying his taxes so they can continue with their master plan. I believe it has been the master plan of the evil doers in the back rooms like the Dark Overlord, to keep the populous stupid so they can move forward their agenda of world domination.

The thing that they forgot was that some people will become educated on their own. Some people will rise above their circumstances and do amazing things. And some people will know better.

Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway


First off, a WTF moment. Yesterday Obama essentially told the gay community that they were on their own, at least by action. His words said something else, but his actions said, “good luck kids”. But Rush Limbaugh and the GOP are calling themselves the “Oppressed minority”. Really? Google it. It’s their new mantra. But seriously you OxytContin addled hot mess, you couldn’t get health care for your family? You don’t have the right for them to be present in the hospital room if you’re gravely ill? Your step children can be taken away at a moments notice? Really? Someone held a gun to your head and told you that you couldn’t vote? Somebody shot you for your beliefs? You couldn’t get a job because of the color of your skin? Or in Rush world, you got a job because of the color of your skin. STFU. If I could oppress you I would, just for being stupid, arrogant asses. You had eight years of power and you made an unholy mess. Now you’re blaming Obama for TARP money that was handed out under the Bush Administration when Obama was still campaigning for the Presidency? Do you guys really think we’re all that stupid? OK, Michelle Bachman is that stupid, but really? Speaking of tragically stupid, I wish I could find the tape of Senator Tom Coburn saying “But what if I want to drive a gas guzzler?”. Hey jackass, it’s your job as a leader, as a Senator of these United States to say to any one who would make such an infantile argument that they are behaving in a selfish, childish manner and to grow up. We are all members of the same society and we are not entitled to waste this earth’s resources, nor are we entitled to endanger others with our emissions or our behavior. Grow the hell up you freaking baby.

Traffic school 2.0

I just finished yet another round of traffic school. It’s always boneheaded stuff. This one was going 80 on Highway 4. Those of you who live out there wonder how the hell I managed to do that. In the middle of the day the traffic is light and moves really quickly. I was on the phone and didn’t notice everyone around me hitting the brakes. Coupled with not realizing that I was going 70 in a 55 on Vasco Road last year made traffic school my out. Now, I don’t drive worse that everyone else. I just get caught. I actually drive a lot better than most. Two days ago I was going up Ygnacio and I saw a cop car come up on a car and totally ride the guy’s bumper. I figured he was going to light the guy up, but no, he was just tailgating. How do I know? Because East Bay Regional Park District cops don’t do traffic stops on Ygnacio. The wannabe cop pulled into the right lane and passed the guy and then got on someone else’s bumper and did the exact same thing. Cops can’t do that if they aren’t making a stop. East Bay Regional Park District K-9 car numbered 202, what they hell were you thinking?

What I did learn from my online traffic school, which took a lot longer than I had hoped it would, was that most of the stuff I’ve been complaining about is all illegal. All of it can be ticketed. Not giving a cyclist a lane, illegal. Blaring a horn behind a cyclist? Illegal. Dusting a cyclist? Illegal. Throwing crap out the window at us? Illegal. Then I got to thinking about it, and the fact that I do have a forum. And I have successfully mounted a couple of good fights here. I don’t have the exact name for the new category, but basically it’s going to be for folks who are ruefully inconsiderate. It will be for those asshats of the road. Send in your camera phone pics, go ahead and get their plates. The guy in front of you threw a cigarette out the window in Malibu canyon? Send it in. A pick up truck didn’t let an old lady cross the street? Get the photojournalism. I’ll take grossly inconsiderate park jobs too. Get the plates. I’m going to throw them up there and shine God’s flashlight down on these folks. If I have to pay 53 moving violations and go to traffic school 18 times, they can take a little humiliation at the Wine Dog’s hand.

On a happier note

Yesterday I was driving through Crystyl Ranch after checking on one of our properties. Yep, there’s one of our signs in Crystyl Ranch darling. Worse yet, it’s the smallest unit up there by over 1000 square feet. Anyway, I turned the corner and there was a woman working in her front yard, and two Dobermans out in the yard with her children. A big beautiful red and a black and tan puppy. I stopped to chat, because I know most of the local Doberman people. I knew her name, but had never met. The puppy is 6 month old Enzo and he’s spectacular. He’s out of a Marj Brooks breeding and he was the pick. I’m glad I stopped because I got to meet a really nice lady and two beautiful dogs. And yeah, I really don’t know any strangers.

I also did the Ygnacio Loop yesterday. I haven’t done that ride in a while and quite honestly, I miss it. It’s downhill in the beginning, a flat stretch and the climb up Ygnacio to get back home. I was supposed to be doing speed work so I kept the cadence really high. It dropped to around 65-70 coming up Ygnacio but the average for the entire ride was 80. That’s some cadence. The wind was horrible and I had to really brake coming down the hill, it was blowing the front wheel out from under me. I fought the wind all the way out and a little on the way back. Still, I made the run in 1:05, got up Ygnacio in 9:31 and made it a great little ride.

This is the final preparations for the LiveStrong 09 in San Jose. The ride is July 12th. This weekend I have a 65 mile ride with 4000 feet of climbing. Next weekend I’m powerlifting so the ride will be 40 or 50 miles and then one more 40-50 miles on the Fourth of July and it’s time to ride with Team Fatty fighting for Susan. If you haven’t clicked through or maybe have a few extra ducats that could become a charitable donation, give me a click. And thanks for your support.

You work for your dollar and you never pass the blame

I was going to write about wine today, but I’ve got a great story, so I’m rolling with it. And the story has evolved as I told it to The Brother and it started getting intertwined with several other recent events. Now I feel like a Brady Bunch episode where various events lead to a hubris for Greg. Except it’s nothing I needed to learn, I already knew it. It was just interesting how it all ties in.

Ethics Schmethics

I’ve been in a discussion on and off for a couple of weeks on the subject of a family who has chosen to walk away from their home. They don’t have to. The market moved against the property that was purchased at the height of the market, but they’ve had no adjustment in the mortgage and their income has remained robust. He is an executive and the home is over a million dollar home. Even with the market adjusting. They couldn’t get a modification because of his income. The bank opined, correctly, that they didn’t need it. So they quit paying and they’re going to have the bank take back the house. They are justifying their conscious and willing breach of contract by calling it a “business decision”. There, that makes it all sound okay doesn’t it? Except Ford made a business decision that the lawsuits from deaths in Explorer rollovers would cost less than fixing the vehicle, and people died. I worked for a guy who filed away every file that had a title policy to be typed between 1975 and 1977 and didn’t have it typed. At the time the company had one typist and she had a heart attack so they fell woefully behind in the whole on policy production. It was a business decision. Even though the customer paid for the product, he did not deliver it. I won’t even get into all the loan officers and what they did between 2003-2007. We know.

Business in this country has lost it’s way and now we think it’s okay to behave like that. I really believe this can all be traced back to the Reagan Administration, but we all know that I think every thing that’s wrong in this country can be traced back to the Bonzo Great Communicator. (And Professor Cousin, who happens to be brilliant concurs) We’re supposed to do whatever is best for us with no regard for those around us. So business moved their operations overseas because that was best for the Corporation, not so much for the workers. The steel industry is a great example. Now the title industry. And of course the auto industry. The right thing was never to build those behemoths they’ve been putting on the market. The right thing was to put American engineers to work finding a brilliant way to build a fuel efficient vehicle that allowed us room and comfort while honoring the planet and environment. But that’s not what we did. Detroit made a business decision. In 1985, (during yet another gas crisis) an edict came from on high at BMW, reduce emissions, increase fuel efficiency in the over all line. A German business decision. Now, the eight cylinder versions are still beasts, but not as bad as American luxury vehicles. The 745i will get 26+ on the highway. The six cylinder versions, however, get decent gas mileage. My 2001 525i still gets 32 on the highway. At 105 with a curb weight of 4200lbs. And they ate Detroit’s lunch.

Which gets us to yesterday’s adventure. Every Monday I have to check on each of the properties I manage for my broker. I have roughly 30-35 stops to make on Monday. I check for occupancy when the former owner still lives there and break ins on the ones we’ve taken over. I arrived at a site yesterday while on the phone. I was setting an appointment to show another site, talking to a woman I had never spoken to before but was referred to me by a guy I had watching that site for me. (I always engage several neighbors in protecting my sites from vandalism and squatting) They want good neighbors and I get referrals from that practice. Anywho, as I walk into the house I can hear water running. Water is not my friend. I had an agent turn on the water at a site that I had it deliberately turned off at and ruin all the flooring. So hearing water running sent me into overdrive. And it was REALLY turned on. So I went upstairs expecting a faucet to be on and nothing. No running toilets. Nothing in the kitchen. Checked the garage, all was good. Walked out the back door and saw a hose running from the back of the house to the neighbor’s fence, through the fence and into his pool. At this point I was so distracted, I set the appointment and hung up. Then I started ticking through my options in my head. I resisted the temptation to go pound on his door and scream at him. I called the police instead. As I was talking to them on the phone this guy actually comes out and was in front of the house and motioned that he wanted to talk to me. I conjugated some words in a manner he has probably never heard strung together before, unless he’s been caught stealing from someone else. I was still on the phone with the Police when that little Tourette’s moment occurred and that got me three cars. When I came downstairs this asshole said “Let’s talk this out”. I was out of my mind. There was nothing to “talk out”, I caught him stealing from me. What’s to “talk out”? He explained to me that he and the neighbors had been taking care of the lawn and this place, mowing the lawn and watering and such at the request of the former owner. I found this fascinating because the house was an utter shit hole inside. Interesting that the former owners who lived like pigs would care so much about the landscaping. Then he went on to explain how they wanted a good family to move in and his wife was baking cookies for the people who were being shown the house. At this point I was looking around to see if I had magically transformed myself in to a barefoot bumpkin in overalls with a straw hat because ANYBODY handing me this line of crap must have thought I just fell off of the freaking turnip truck. WTF DUDE!!! That shit just enraged me. Then the little butt pirate goes on to explain that he used to be in the mortgage business and he knew how all of this worked. The fireworks went off, the flags waived and the band played. I resisted the temptation to retort “Oh, so you were a LO, that’s why you think it’s OK TO LIE TO ME!” But I didn’t. I just kept repeating “You’re stealing water, that is not ok”. Then I ask the $64,000 question. If you were so concerned about this house, why didn’t anyone call the number on this sign I’m standing next to? Then the Police show up. This town has a pretty decent Police Department. They’re for the most part not too overworked and they’re all pretty cool. The lady cop takes me in to the house and I take her out back, point to the hose and say “There’s just no explaining this, it is what it is”. Then she says “Well, he says he’s been taking care of the yards.” Oh honey, hasn’t anyone lied to you yet today? We have a service that takes care of the yard and we both know that this City has an ordinance regarding landscaping. Every other house I have in this town gets a phone call from the neighbors if there is one blade of brown grass, but not this one. This one the neighbors water the lawn and mow it and fill their pool with our water. Even though we’ve both seen my yard sign with my phone number on it. Why did not one of these concerned neighbors pick up the phone and call that number? OK, she says, what would I like to see happen here. Well, I have posted no trespassing out front, and as far as I’m concerned he’s trespassing and should be taken to jail. However, you’re a really good cop and you talked me out of it. Now go scare the crap out of him and let’s call it a day. Done deal.

And down here from the ground I see who you are

Buckle your seat belts Kittens, I’m on a roll.

The business model where you bully the competition out of business is bad business. This is how the Burgermeister made his mark in the title business and this is how NASCAR Teddy got his comeuppance. There’s been a discussion going on one of my lists about this very topic and how it pertains to bookstores. Consider this. Stacey’s AND Cody’s are now either gone or nearly gone. Moe’s hangs on by the skin of their teeth. And now Border’s is closing stores. The big megastores came in and ran the little guys out of business and now they’re pulling back on operations because they over expanded. How is this practice good for the community or good for the country? I don’t think it is. One of the gals from SFWOW wrote a post a few days ago about this. How do you have an experience like this from a megastore? You don’t. For you San Franciscans, remember Spinelli’s Coffee? There was one in the Noe Valley I used to go to, one in the Castro, one up on Fillmore (around Sacramento Street), and I think one on Union Street. They were locally owned. Starbucks and Tullys came in and crushed them. Now both megacorporations are closing stores. How was this good for anyone? When was the last time you saw a locally owned hardware store? Even my local ACE is the place is part of a chain of Aces.

My business is so busy that a lot of stuff fall off the radar. I just looked down and see the phone number of a guy who’s ready to buy a house and looked at one of ours. I should be looking for a home for him but he fell off the radar. There’s a couple more like that right now that I have to call either today or tomorrow. Real estate is going great guns right now. Lots of homes are being sold, lots of loans are being made and lots of property is changing hands. Lots of REO property. (For those not in the biz REO means Real Estate Owned, which is a line item on the banks balance sheet)

So why are the title companies still failing and why are good title and escrow people still losing their jobs? Because title companies and lenders continue to break the law by forcing business to certain locations. For those of you who haven’t seen these central locations, they are located in areas where the rent and labor are cheap. Trust me, this reflects in the product and service the consumer (my clients) receive. There are offices that have rows and rows of cubicles with stacks and stacks of files and no hope for any personalized service. None. Trust me. I finally got personalized service by quoting procedures song and verse to the point that the Executive Vice President called me on my cell phone. Yet, here we sit with title companies and lenders continuing illegal practices and putting good people out of work. At what point does the DOI step in and do their freaking job? At what point does HUD call up the big banks and say “Knock it off or we’re going to fine your asses?” Does it take a consumer to file a class action for being forced to LandAm when they failed? Yeah, I know it’s a Commonwealth or Lawyers policy, but it’s got to be a mess trying to close a deal for anyone who opened with LandAm right before they failed. It could be argued that the customer wanted to go to NATCO or ORTC or even the Little Engine that Could, (who is still open in spite of all the vicious and unsubstantiated rumors). It could be argued that the close was held up because it was forced to LandAm costing the buyer money. And my big question is why. Why are the lenders forcing business anywhere at all? I’m going to say it because I think it’s true. Kickbacks. I think they’re there. I think they’re negotiated on a higher level than we’re used to but I think that’s why lenders give a crap who closes a deal. I think that’s why deals in Hayward, California are shuffled to freaking Temecula. Dear DOI, get off your asses and take a look. Why else would they do this?

Now for the part that really matters. What you say? Something matters more than kickbacks? Strangely yes. This practice of forcing business to remote locations does two things, neither are good. It allows companies to use under trained and underpaid staff to do the work that was previously done by highly trained and well compensated staff. It devastates local markets. I’ve written probably 10 times in the last two months. Two have been accepted. I wrote in the companies of reps who had been helping me. My deals have all been forced to a remote location. I’ve been told to write in a certain company or my deal will not even be considered. THAT IS A RESPA VIOLATION! The local market has so far gotten none of them. That means extra expense to my buyers as things need to be FedExed all around the country. (Pennsylvania, Stockton, Irvine) We couldn’t drive to any escrow office for one of the deals because the arm of the Evil Empire did not maintain storefronts. That deal cost my customer more than it would have if it had gone to the rep that I wrote in the contract. Where are you DOI? Hello HUD? Here’s an excerpt from a recent CAR Legal Update:

No seller can require that the buyer purchase title insurance from any particular title insurance company. This rule pertains to transactions involving a federally-related mortgage loan for one-to-four residential units as defined under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (12 U.S.C. section 2608). Although this is a well-established rule under RESPA, it bears repeating given the recent upsurge in REO transactions.

REO transactions are not exempt from RESPA requirements. If an REO lender chooses the title insurance company, as is often the case, it cannot require directly or indirectly, as a condition to selling the property, that the buyer purchase the title insurance policy. An REO lender that violates this RESPA requirement can be, among other things, held liable to the buyer in the amount equal to three times all charges made for such title insurance. Moreover, anyone who believes that RESPA has been violated may file a complaint (and may request confidentiality) to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For more information about filing a RESPA complaint, go to http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/res/respamor.cfm#HE2.

What have I been saying all along. Sometimes I just want to scream. You can’t do that. And that means you have to move the business back to the local escrow branches and quit bullying the selling agents. That means that the consumer gets to choose where the business goes and that means you get to shut down those sweat shops in Temecula and San Bernardino and Stockton and start doing business the way it should be done. It’s going to be hard on those communities with the boiler rooms but in the end it will be better for the entire economy because the professionals who have been displaced throughout the State will be able to go back to work locally. THAT will stop the spiral in the economy and THAT will make the difference.

The hot july moon saw everything

I told her I would mention them and I forgot yesterday. I met a gal at Darioush named Marisol. We can use her real name because we’re talking about a real project. The project is Merlove. It’s a documentary in response to Sideways. You know, where Miles says he’s not drinking any more Merlot and all of America stopped drinking Merlot…except the Wine Dog.

No, that’s not me on Thursday. Anyway, I checked out their trailers and their blog and their flickr and I can’t wait to catch up with this film. I was watching the flickr slide show that opens up in Seattle and then to my amazement there was a photo of the illusive Bob Betz. He is the genius behind many of the great wines of the Woodinville area. There’s the Betz Family Winery and he consults on freaking just about anything worth drinking from up there. I don’t know how the guy does it. He originally got some grapes from Delille Cellars (a great place to start…D2, that’s all I’m saying) in exchange for warehouse space and went from there. I didn’t get to meet him when I was up there, but he was kind of omnipresent. Anyway, they clearly did their homework (hell they went to France.) I’d watch for this one.

It’s like watching two fighters slug it out

This guy has been following the LandAm 1031 exchange company failure. Do you file class actions against failed companies? I’m sure NASCAR Teddy was the President and CEO of that bitch too. No golden parachute for NASCAR Teddy, just hit the bricks like the rest of us. Where’s the Board of Directors? Game over. Kick this AssHat to the curb. How much does unemployment pay in Virginia?

This has nothing to do with anything, but I picked it up on my alerts and well, it makes us laugh. And stuff like this is why I’m an Ahnold fan. Because trust me, I see it several times a week, folks who had no idea how to handle money messing around with the home loans on the advice of some Loan Officer Snake Oil salesman who are now packing their shit and moving to an apartment. And I see the shit they leave behind. A lot of the time I think “what if you didn’t buy all this shit and just paid your mortgage instead?” They have brand new cars and all the latest toys….and now no house. Well, I’ve got a 14 year old truck, an 8 years old car, a 7 year old big screen and I’m current on my mortgage. It’s Reagonomics hard at work. Don’t educate the people, just sell them shit they don’t need. I hope Ahnold’s program takes root, it’s a good one.

More Hard Work

I’ve been working the dogs out pretty hard on their drills. Rita is coming along really well. It’s like everything from school finally stuck. She sits beautifully and watches me for her next command. Her down is finally turned the corner. I can open the back door with squirrels present and tell her to sit/stay and she waits for the command before she explodes into the yard to run her perimeter checks. Bubba is just now sitting at the door, but he’ll get there too. The next class doesn’t start until January so we have some time to brush up on our skills. Bubba’s tummy is still problematic, but I think the duck food has been helping and I’ve been putting hot water on it to make it mushy and slow down his eating even more. He’s a gulper. I’ve been feeding them separately for about three weeks. Rita wants to rush out in the morning and he wants to eat first, so it’s working out pretty well. Dinner is a little trickier, but I get it to work. We’re due for rain, I’m hoping to get out on the bike today before it starts…

Whose jeweled trumpet words blind his sight

There are six words that could have changed the course of history in this country. What if instead of saying this:

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…he said “Yeah, I did her. So what?” If I were to meet that man again, I would smack him up side his head. My answer would be “you know why”. He says “Yeah I did her, so what” instead of what he did and Gore wins and we go an entirely different direction. Would his National Security Advisory have paid attention to the report that said “Bin Laden intent on attacking U.S.”? Who knows, but we know the current Secretary of State didn’t pay attention to it and now we have the War on Terror, whatever that really means.
This election disgusts me on many levels. It’s the economy stupid. And that damned war. The lying makes me want to scream. I do give credit to the Democrats for running out a true party ticket. Both men are good Democrats who do things in accordance with party principles, like them or not. Obama isn’t far enough left for the true left, but between him and Biden, they bring the party’s principles to the ticket as they should. I truly believe that Obama is a good man that wants what’s best for this country. I also think that Jimmy Carter was a good man who wanted what was best for this country. I pray that Obama is no Jimmy Carter. What I can’t figure out is what’s wrong with the Republican party. The GOP used to be about less government and conservative fiscal policies. The last eight years have been like a drunken frat party. Our government has ballooned like DeNiro prepping for Raging Bull II. We’re up in everybody’s business and some how the government can now tell people how to live their lives, in accordance with the Bible. Even though this was a country founded on amongst other things freedom of religion, separation of church and State. I hear it argued that this country was founded as a Christian nation so we should all get in step. We are not a Christian nation. We are not a Christian nation with our Judaism, Hindus and Sikhs and Buddists and dare I utter the word? Muslims. We have Wiccans and Santoria and Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists. Not that long ago Mormonism was considered a cult but today they’re making mass calls to California in an effort to amend our Constitution. When did they stop being a cult? Or are they still? Fifty years ago a Roman Catholic ran for President and it was a big deal that he was Catholic. Now the Vatican’s decisions affect the entire world. What happens when a Rastafarian runs for office? Religion has no place in government in this country. Fanaticism is fanaticism, be it Muslim, Christian or anything else. Fanatic Christian ideals do not belong in government, Governor Palin. And they do not belong in the Republican party. Who let that party be hijacked? What went so terribly wrong over there? What are they thinking? I know the answer. It was Reagan pandering to the Religious Right to get elected, blah blah blah but jeez Louise, it’s 28 years later. Is this who you want to be?

At this point I would like everyone to please insert the tin foil you were provided into your baseball cap and put your cap on. (We wouldn’t want space aliens eating your brains) Back in my misspent youth, I was given a copy of Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth”. For those of you not familiar with this, here’s the wikipedia premise and plot:

The Late, Great Planet Earth (LGPE) is a popular treatment of literalist, premillennial, dispensational Christian eschatology. As such, it compared end-time prophecies in the Bible with then-current events in an attempt to broadly predict future scenarios leading to the “rapture” of believers before the “tribulation” and Second Coming of Christ to establish his thousand-year (i.e. millennial) Kingdom on Earth. Focusing on key passages in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation, Lindsey originally suggested the possibility that these climactic events might play out in the 1980s, which he interpreted as one generation from the foundation of modern Israel in 1948, a pivotal event in most evangelical (especially conservative evangelical) schools of eschatological thought. Cover art on the Bantam edition boldly suggested that the 1970s were the “era of the Antichrist as foretold by Moses and Jesus,” and called the book “a penetrating look at incredible ancient prophecies involving this generation.” Descriptions of alleged “fulfilled” prophecy were offered as proof of the infallibility of God’s Word, and evidence that “unfulfilled” prophecies would soon find their denouement in God’s plan for the planet.

Like many previous books, LGPE postulated an Antichrist ruling over a ten-member or ten-nation European confederacy. He believed that what was then the six-member European Economic Community (now the twenty-seven member European Union) could be a forerunner of this confederacy, which he considered to be a revival of the Roman Empire. He also foretold a Russian invasion of Israel, as well as an increase in the frequency of famines, wars and earthquakes, as key events leading up to the end of the world. He found little in the Bible that could represent the United States of America, but he suggested that Ezekiel 13:13 could be speaking of the United States in part.

Although Lindsey did not claim to know the dates of future events with any certainty, he suggested that Matthew 24:32-34 indicated that Jesus’ return might be within “one generation” of the rebirth of the state of Israel, and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple.

Lindsey asserted that “in the Bible” one generation is forty years. Some readers took this as an indication that the Tribulation or the Rapture would occur no later than 1988. In his 1980 work The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon, which was essentially an updated version of LGPE, Lindsey predicted that “the decade of the 1980s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it.”

Shit like this is fascinating to a teenager. After all what teenager doesn’t love Revelations? Four Horsemen? Check. Seven angels reigning destruction? Check. Massive armies? Check. Blood fire and destruction? Check. Apocalypse? Check. Emerson Lake and Palmer reference? Check. So this book was interesting fodder to me as a kid. And a bunch of bands were making music based on things in Revelations, it was the 70’s fergodsakes. I remember several years later checking Reagan’s name against the numerology chart to be sure he wasn’t the Anti Christ. (He was) The Late Great Planet Earth points out that the Chinese army in fact numbers 2 million. The Jews did return to Israel. The tribes do in fact number 12,000. The revival of the Roman empire could in fact be the ECC. Or us for that matter.

All interesting prattle. What’s more interesting to me is how much our society has decayed. (Which luckily is where I’m going with all of this) I’m seeing so much hate and bile in this country right now. Much done in the name of God. I have to wonder, what are these people thinking. It seems like a mob mentality to me. A month or so ago the Radical left a comment that the Bible was like RESPA, a lot of people talk as if they’ve read it but few really have. She’s absolutely correct. In watching what’s going on in this country, I don’t think very many people have spent much time reading it. We seem to me to be sliding towards the same quagmire that the Germans found themselves in back in 1932. Certain factions in this country are behaving as if. The puzzle pieces exist today. Economic recession, possibly a depression, fanaticism, and a Jewish Muslim scape goat. I don’t know that we’re not one beer hall short of a putsch right now. And I don’t know that it doesn’t make Hal right at the end of times the day.

For all the people that claim to be Christian in this country, we, as a Nation aren’t behaving in a Christian way very often. I have come to believe that the Bible was a series of philosophical writings commissioned because society was out of control. Your God is just that. The new testament in particular was sort of a “rules to live by” designed to reign in an out of control society that was failing. That being said the new testament does not talk about behaving the way that a lot of our society behaves now. I think about the WWJD? Would he kick over the tables where they sold the bracelets? Would he bring comfort to the broken members of our society? The drug addicts, the alcoholics, the mentally ill? Or would he toss them out on the street and call himself a compassionate conservative? Or would he bring them comfort, like he did for Mary Magdelene? Seriously, who are the moneychangers today? Wall Street? The 700 Club? The CBN? Jimmy Swaggart? The Bakkers? Copeland? If I could venture a guess, I’m going to guess that most of the folks who have been stealing the huddled masses blind the last eight years believe themselves to be good Christians, simply because there’s no law that doesn’t forbid their actions, or because they can justify that gray area. All along, in their heart of hearts, they know it’s wrong.

I try to do the right thing. I’d say more often than not I get it right. I mess up from time to time. I don’t think this Nation as a whole has been doing the right thing for a long time. They wrap themselves in the flag and hold a Bible and somehow they’re superior to those of us who question their authority. It infuriates me. I was talking to a friend the other day and I confessed that when I see a flag flying on a residence it actually pisses me off. It pisses me off because I feel like my country has been hijacked by these people. It pisses me off because somehow I’m un-American because I oppose the war in Iraq. Somehow I’m less of a patriot because I want them to get the hell out of Iraq and capture the real terrorists in Pakistan. Somehow I’m less of an American because I understand that military action emboldens terrorists while police action dismantles them. Somehow the American flag now belongs to the Republican party and not the United States of America. And it pisses me off because I don’t see a difference in walking lock step with any party and Germany in 1932. This country was founded on ideals that allow for and encourage independent thinking. Yet, we’ve quit thinking for ourselves all of the sudden, or I guess over time. I wholeheartedly believe that the cuts in education were designed specifically to dumb down our population, (check) so that one group could run our society, feed us any sort of crap they wanted to and we’d shut up, do our jobs and rubber stamp them. This morning, I say HELL NO.

And finally (no I don’t know who pissed in my Wheaties this morning) we ask the question:

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psssst. The answer is here.