Friday, August 10, 2007

Interesting tidbits

Kathleen Parker went to great lengths to attack a writer operating under the pseudonym of "Scott Thomas" who's accounts of the war front in Iraq were deemed fictional by the Weekly Standard. I suggested that "Thomas" could be carrying wild tales from anti-American Iraqis to the western press or that he could even be one himself. Update, Ms. Parker finally assures us that "Thomas" is an American soldier by the name of Scott Thomas Beuchamp (?) who joined the Army to write a book. So, if the excerpts of his intended book happen to be fictional as sent to the New Republic, that would not be anything new. What is particularly ironic is that Ms. Parker would harp on and on and on about the individual fictions coming from a soldier that supposedly denigrates his fellow members of the U.S. Armed Forces. But, neither she nor the Weekly Standard seems to have much to say (in republished editorials) about the fictions coming from the military top command when it came to Pat Tillman (for example) being given a post humus silver star after getting killed in friendly fire. Or for that matter the continuous fictions coming from GW Bush.

Ray Fink writes regularly to the Coeur d'Alene Press typically whining about the "forgotten" Vietnam veterans and blasting anything "liberal" as anything from ugly to utterly evil. In response, Clay from Post Falls, Idaho informs the same Press readership what exactly Fink attacks so stridently. As published in the 10 August edition of the ( Press. Quite frankly, because this country was built on liberalism as defined in Clay's letter, why did Fink go to war to defend what he now hates? What does that say about neo-radicalism, anyway?

Finally, read through a latest Thomas Sowell on why we have problems in the housing markets that rather abruptly caused the Dow Industrial Average to go into a tail spin yesterday, losing over 300 points. Sowell could blame "housing restrictions" such as "smart growth." But he couldn't consider that if you don't carefully plan for housing development then that long term investment may not in fact get proper sewer and other utilities as well as fire and other emergency services. Why would you put your home in an area with particularly unstable conditions? Where building on a hill side could lead to the home sliding off the hill side the next time there is a drenching downpour. Seems to me that "smart growth" isn't the problem so much as unregulated lending is. Which is where subprime lending and the warning signs of what it would do to the housing markets as well as causing bankruptcies and etc. were given months in advance. One would think that economist Sowell would discuss how much politicians such as GW Bush were actually prepared to encourage such sub prime lending as a way of floating the fiction of how many more home owners existed in this country as a proof positive of how well the economy was doing. That is, home ownership where the risky investment lay in the fact that people without the wherewithal were none the less able to float a loan on a new home and ended up defaulting on the payments as the APR suddenly jumped in price. And that sub prime lending is but one factor in skyrocketing housing prices. And that the GW cheerleading crowd would also point to the same fiction that GW had himself pointed to months earlier. How well the economy was doing because of the huge amount of new home owners. Well, the economy doesn't seem to be doing so well nor is the stock market because of sub prime lending. Sowell was at least semi-correct in his latest (republished to the Spokesman-Review) editorial. But of course, chose to point everyone's attention in the wrong direction. Never in the direction of the people who bought into sub prime lending (real estate markets, etc.) because they hoped to make bundles of money from it. As Clay might just point out, what is so "conservative" about the preceding?

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