Thursday, November 06, 2008
The future just got brighter
The US made a brave step last Tuesday - and history. Barack Obama became the 44th presidnt of the United States. The first African-American to be elected as President. I'm overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions. I never thought I'd see this happen in my lifetime. Yes the road ahead is difficult, the real work begins in January and the country is in a deep hole. But I have faith in the new president to use good judgment. Over the last few months of his campaign including the primaries, President Obama has shown poise and steadiness and I expect him to have that same discipline and thoughtfulness in governing the country. He comes in to office in a spirit of good will and many people all over the world appears to welcome this change. I welcome this change.
I can't wait to see what he's going to do next. I believe he is the right man at this time in history to reverse the failed Bush policies of the last eight years and he will be the one to create an exit strategy out of Iraq. Fixing the economy won't be easy and I appreciate his honesty in saying that it could take two terms to un-do the damage of the Bush/Cheney administration. His election to the presidency sparks hope to many people in the world and in this country-including this blogger, and for the first time in many years, I am optimistic and excited again about the future.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
We are in the middle of an election season, it's hard not to avoid hearing about it everywhere you go. I am usually turned off by politics, but the importance and the historic significance of this year's election has drawn me to follow every up to the minute news of what's going on with the candidate's schedules for the day, what they said or what they did not say.
But I've fallen to the trap. Sometimes I spend weeknights tuned to CNN and MSNBC for hours upon hours. But I also know how much stress watching the news can cause an individual. I know from personal experience the effects of having the news on 24/7 can do in to my psyche and overall mental health. Events of 9/11 is a perfect example of this when FOXNEWS and CNN played the same clip over, and over, and over, and over again. Over the years I became a lot less enthusiastic about tuning in to the news. Thanks to modern technology I have options to still stay current with what is going on in the world through the internet and print.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The crowd was rather small. I went in and found a seat without a problem. J-boogie and his small band. Rene Flores in percussion and Aima in vocals and rhyme.
J-boogie is using serrato live DJ Software where you could use turntables or CD players in which a DJ can mix and scratch music files from a MAC or PC using the two vinyl control records.
It has gone down in price and you can easily get one for 539.00 dollars. I plan to order one online in the next few months.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I'm not holding out my breath in order to avoid becoming disappointed, but the possibility is there.
So what does it mean if they did expanded their majority to 10 seats? It means they can block any republicans obstructing any kind of legislatures from the democrats. In essence they'll become filibuster proof.
It's really too early to celebrate. But the possibilities are better for liberals this time than ever before. I really do believe the pendulum in this country is swinging towards a more progressive society. But only time can tell. Is it november yet...
Anyway I just wanted to post that article here, courtesy of the New York Times.
By JIM DWYER
Published: September 26, 2008
Just about eight years ago, Patricia Worthy signed the papers for the first mortgage of her life, getting the customary dizzy spell as she looked at the line that listed, all in one place, 360 monthly payments of principal and interest.
She signed. So did 690 other families in her development, in the New Lots section of Brooklyn. All of them were buying homes for the first time; all were people of modest or moderate means. They were moving into a neighborhood that had been a forsaken stretch of abandoned buildings.
Those 691 families all took on their responsibilities at the dawn of a new era of debt, one that was not only deregulated but also seemingly deranged. Since then, across the country, the rate of defaults has soared.
Not, however, in Ms. Worthy's development.
"In my area, we have not had one foreclosure," Ms. Worthy said this week.
Her home was one of the 3,900 built under the Nehemiah housing program, which began nearly three decades ago, when acres of the Bronx and Brooklyn had fallen to ruin. Land was vacant. A group of churches and community organizers, and a developer named I. D. Robbins, came up with the idea to mass-produce single-family homes on these lots and sell them at low prices. They named their plan after a prophet of the Old Testament who rebuilt Jerusalem.
In the 27 years since the program started, fewer than 10 of the 3,900 households have defaulted on mortgages, a rate that is close to zero, said Michael Gecan, a senior organizer with the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, one of the forces behind the program.
"We demanded down payments," Mr. Gecan said, "and we resisted government attempts to have us waive down payments. Over the last six or eight years people kept suggesting various programs with zero down. We kept saying, 'That's ridiculous — that's how you get into mass foreclosures.' "
Through the 1990s and until the last few months, the banner of universal homeownership was flown high by Democrats and Republicans. Behind this virtuous cause was a jungle of counterintuitive arrangements, like loans with no down payment or income verification. These practices make sense only under a system in which the most valuable aspect of the loan papers themselves is that they can be bundled together and sold without any scrutiny of their actual worth. The result was a system of agreed-upon hallucinations.
With the collapse of these delusions, the Democrats have pointed to the uncaging of the financial industry by its Republican champions, like Phil Gramm, the former senator from Texas who was chairman of the Senate banking committee. Others have said that the problem arose because of the social piety of Democrats pushing for loans to uncreditworthy minority applicants.
Yet the people in the Nehemiah program, nearly all members of minority groups, have a superb record of meeting their obligations. Mr. Gecan says that's because from the very beginning of the program, the developers insisted that the buyers have a real financial stake in the houses. Another factor, Ms. Worthy said, was that the Nehemiah buyers, who were helped by two church groups, looked at what they were getting into. They were not vulnerable to the predatory lending scams that accelerated over the last decade.
"People were educated on what they could afford," Ms. Worthy said. "We weren't asked to sign blank documents. We weren't asked to say that we made $5,000 a month as opposed to the $1,000 that we might have actually made."
The rules Nehemiah applied to its buyers were precisely those that most lenders used to do business until recent years. In fact, that orthodoxy forced the Nehemiah developers to turn to alternative sources for capital. The financing came from a revolving fund set up by a coalition of churches and the Community Preservation Corporation, and with mortgages guaranteed by the State of New York. The city also provided an interest-free loan.
The congregations that banded together to build the Nehemiah houses — the South Bronx Churches and the East Brooklyn Congregations — did not align themselves with either political party, but employed tactics developed by Saul Alinsky, who is thought to have been the father of modern community organizing. They made specific, persistent demands; at times, they were criticized for following the playbook of Mr. Alinsky, who described himself as a radical.
In New York, at least, Nehemiah gave the city 3,900 homes in neighborhoods that had been mostly rubble. The people paid their bills. They changed the city. Radical indeed.
Political season is starting to exhaust me. But I'm excited for obvious reasons. We are watching history in progress and I'm pulling for Barack Obama because this country seriously needs a radical change for the better, it would be a seismic shift of historical proportions. I'm keeping my fingers cross...
This economy is scaring the hell out of me. I hope it does not descend further into the dark abyss. I'm afraid to spend money on anything these days, everything is so unstable. If the stock market continues to plunge any lower then start worrying even more. I want Obama in the White House now, he seems the only one who has a clue and an actual plan to bail us out of this conundrum.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Kimbo Slice gained noteriety by fighting in backyards, people's houses and in the streets, by definition he's a street fighter, a brawler, but when you put MMA in the equation its a whole lot different. I really think that had Kimbo had been in the UFC that he would have been crushed easily by its stable of high caliber fighters. EliteXC is no way in the same league with the UFC.
Seth Petruzelli exposed Kimbo Slice's deficiency in the octagon, a short jab to the chin and he goes down and relentlessly pounds on him, the fight is stopped in 14 seconds. Winner: Seth Petrozelli by TKO.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Meet Russian Fedor"The Last Emperor" Emelianenko. The Baddest MMA fighter pound for pound. With a win-loss record of 28-1, his one loss thus far brought in due to blood stoppage via referee call against Tsuyoshi Koshaka (Fedor would eventually avenged that loss in their second meeting). Well versed in Sambo, Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, he is considered to be the greatest MMA fighter and is ranked #1 in the world, the current World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts champion, and was the last Pride FC champion before it folded and was purchased by UFC owner Zuffa LLC.
His battles are legendary and I'll be going over them in the next few weeks (if I get around to it).
Often times it ends very quickly via knockout or submission, and sometimes both, his last fight against former UFC champ Tim Sylvia lasted 36 seconds in the first round.
Off the ring he is articulate, classy and humble, and he is a true ambassador to the sport of MMA. World, meet Fedor. My hero.
Picture courtesy of sankakugear.com