Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Next week's Washington Times advert

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Another reason to suspect gov't corruption in the housing market

Today HUD announced it raised the loan ceiling 16% from $359,650 to over $417,000 for mortgage loans which can be packaged for sale to the secondary market buyers like Fanny Mae.

Would sure like to know if any of the HUD mortgage policy folks involved in this decision have real estate investments which stand to profit from the increase.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Next week's Washington Times advert

Mr. President: Are federal officials speculating in
real estate promoting the unsound mortgage policies
making middle class housing increasingly unaffordable?


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Criminal fraudsters at the Treasury Department & the FDIC?????

There were only 10,000 Manhattan residential real estate transactions last year.

Just like fraudsters a la the movie “Boiler Room” cheating unwary investors by pumping and dumping thinly traded pink sheet stocks, non-conforming mortgages end up having the same effect in the real estate market. Might be worth a look-see at the real estate investment activities of the folks at the Treasury Department and the FDIC who regulate mortgage lending standards for the national banks and the savings and loan. Been a mystery to me why they don’t act to stabilize the housing market particularly since most of them have children who’ll need homes.

Friday, November 25, 2005

No rehab programs for chronic gardeners

With the warm, dry weather entending into late fall the nurseries still have really nice stuff. At it again today coming home with about a dozen very nice plants to put in over the weekend. Oakland's weather this fall reminds me of San Diego's.

As I mentioned in earlier blogs, the weather across the midwest and the east seemed unusually mild. If that's a permanent trend the result of global warming, there could be significant benefits with longer growing seasons and less fuel consumption for home heating.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving travel is down.

The NY Times reported travel for the holiday is down. Likely a reflection of the collapse of American family from our astronomcal divorce rate. Meanwhile multimillionaire Senate Majority Leader Frist writes glowingly below about his wonderful holiday completely oblivious to the federal family policy which promotes divorce and family discord. His attitude is "Let them eat cake."

"Bill Frist, M.D. (VOLPAC)"

To: Happy Thanksgiving
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 14:15:45 -0500

Just now landing home in Nashville with Bryan. We're on our way to join Karyn and her mom - who is coming in from Ft Worth later today. Jonathan will be there ... on break from Vanderbilt. And Harrison will be coming home tomorrow from Princeton. Great to have everyone home for the holidays. On Thursday, we'll join 42 other Frists at my brother's to give thanks for all we have. As a country ... and as a family. It's been a tough several weeks here in Washington, so we'll cherish the family time. Also looking forward to meeting up with Steve Smith and other old friends on Sunday for our annual 3 day duck hunting trip in Stuttgart,Arkansas. I bother you probably too much with my emails, but I do appreciate your allowing me to keep you posted about events - public and personal - as they unfold through my eyes from the Leader's office. Karyn and I want to join in wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving. May your day be overflowing with family, friends and happiness. As we give thanks around our family tables for all our blessings, let us also give thanks and pray for the men and women of our military who won't be with their families this day ... instead, they are fighting bravely to protect our nation and advance the cause of freedom around the world. They are nobly away from their families so that we - and future generations - can forever gather safely and freely with ours. May God bless them, and may God bless you all. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bill Frist

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I am indeed the "flower man"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While working in the garden today a man stopped his car to tell me he brings his pre-school class by my house almost daily to watch the ever changing wonders of a vibrant colorful garden and enjoy the statues, kites, scarecrows, and as of yesterday on the mailbox a spooning frog couple flanked by medieval archers and knights on foot.

The housing price "bubble" must be popped.

Everywhere I travel I see enormous amounts of new housing construction. Unlike the postwar housing boom land and construction prices nowadays are so high property can only be sold by offering high risk, non-conforming mortgages.

Really a pity this administration is so cowardly about dealing with the problem. Doing what I can to put their feet to fire to pop the bubble before our underlying economic is mortally wounded. Next week's Washington Times advert.

Mr. President: Affordable middle class housing
is more important than foreign policy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

So hard for young people today

The checkout clerk, a 35 year old, single woman, at a Berkeley nursery today told me she was born and raised in the Oakland area but there's no way she could afford to buy a home.

Wages are so depressed it's no wonder so few people living in the East Bay, even in the nicer neighborhoods, have attractive well maintained gardens.

Attractive yet ordinary easily available plants are very expensive in relation to earnings. For example, today I bought 5 pyrocanthus bushes for $40 each and 2 gymnospumums for $33 apiece. That's a week's after tax wages for someone making about $10/hour.

Money aside most people today work so hard they don't have the time to garden. Watering, weeding and pruning consume lots of time and energy.

Told a neighbor yesterday I want to be remembered as the "flower man" by the children who so admire my garden when they pass by. Like to imagine years hence after they're grown they'll talk about the tall man whose name they never knew with the magic garden replete with brightly colored flowers, statues, and tethered Balinese dragon, boat, and insect kites. The kites add kinetics to the inherent beauty of the garden.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Uneasy about weather changes

Wondering if we're not witnessing the beginning of profound weather changes across the country. The autumn weather was unusally warm and dry during my campaign trips in the midwest and on the eastern seaboard. Here in Northern California still feels like summer. Should be colder and raining much of the time.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shareholder proposals for the Bank of America & JP Morgan 2006 proxy

To protect and enhance the health and general welfare of children and adults the shareholders recommend (JP MORGAN CHASE or BANK OF AMERICA) not issue first mortgage home loans, except as required by law, in excess of FOUR TIMES the borrower’s gross income.


As a mature man in my mid-60s, a physician and psychiatrist, a father and grandfather, and a seasoned, very successful investor, I believe the physical and emotional health of adults and children are closely linked to a satisfying family life which in turn depends upon the availability of affordable housing.

In my opinion today’s housing price inflation is primarily the result of unsound lending practices, commonly referred to as non-conforming mortgages, which promote excessive speculation by pumping too much money into the real estate market. Just Economics 101 supply and demand theory: Too many dollars chasing scarce housing resources drive up prices.

The most pernicious non-conforming mortgage loan practice is issuing first mortgage loans in excess of FOUR TIMES the borrower’s gross income. Levels above that are imprudent for the buyer and unsound for the lender.

I believe sky high housing costs destabilize marriage. Common knowledge financial distress is a major cause of marital collapse. and child abuse and neglect.

Burdened by excessive debt couples are forced to work excessive hours leaving little time to nurture their marriages much less derive pleasure from them.

Spending too much time away from home creates unnecessary opportunities for unfaithfulness which recent studies suggest at least 40% per cent of married men and women do.

Divorce commonly causes mental and physical illness for the partners and their children.
The heightened divorce risk notwithstanding, excessive work hours caused by excessive mortgage debt is a major contributing factor to today’s exploding obesity driven diabetes epidemic. With too many moms and dads working long hours in lieu of regular balanced, portion controlled, home cooked meals too many children subsist mostly on junk food.

As a physician and a father it’s personally heartbreaking to see so many overweight children knowing of the suffering they will face and the likelihood of shortened lives.

Overworked adults also succumb to obesity leading to diabetes because restaurant food and takeout are usually overloaded with fats and carbohydrates with little protein.

There is more to life than making a buck. As an investor, I don’t own shares in companies which intentionally and knowingly prey upon human weakness and/or damage individuals and society, e.g., gambling, hard liquor and fast foods.

I believe the adoption of my proposal might over the short term negatively affect Bank of America’s earnings and dividend growth. No doubt we’ll anger some customers and other banks will continue their unsound practices.

A parent’s a parent until their very last breath. We owe it to our children, and to all Americans, to jettison unsound mortgage lending practices rather than continue them just because “Johnnie’s parents let him do it”.

For further discussion of this issue, please read my 2005 blogs dated October 17, 24, 25, 28 and November 6, 9, 16, 19.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Is polygamy the answer to housing affordability?

(My letter in Oakland Magazine in response to the article on the million dollar Oakland bungalow.)

"Polygamy is an affordability solution to the emergence of the Oakland million dollar bungalow on a postage-sized lot. Taking on multiple wives, or husbands, as the case may be will provide enough adult earners to carry the property and feed and clothe the family."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Home at last.

Got home last night exhilerated but tired following almost 2 weeks on the campaign trail. At this stage campaigning is more like a long range recon mission. Think I've got a winning message along with the nucleus of an effective, dedicated campaign organization. Working with really great people. What I need now is for financial lightening to strike.

This is the most interesting and challenging experience I've ever undertaken.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It's worse than I ever imagined

Met today with the senior majority and majority staff of the Senate Banking Committee to express my objections to Bernanke's nomination. Felt like a visitor from Planet Earth trying to explain to Martians how economics actually works on the blue-green planet. On Mars the laws of supply and demand and Gresham's Law stating bad money drives out good money don't apply.

The Martians have it made because their gods provide them with an endless supply of free food and drink. No need for professors of economics at Martian University where the best and brightest compete for coveted slots in the theology program.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The social conservatives's one way ticket to the political trash heap

Very clear from my meetings the social conservatives this week they're headed to political irrevelevancy unless they change their ways PDQ.

Their biggest problem is an addiction to narrow pet causes while failing to recognise the threat to their long term survival is the relentless destruction of the family caused by federal family policy. Marriage rates are so low we're close to, and hopefully haven't yet passed, the point of no return to maintain a critical mass of citizens who still care and value traditional family life.

That came home me when I addressed campus Conservatives and Republicans at a major midwestern state university recently. Seemed most of the students were from broken families. When I raised marital stability issues in my talk, all the students in the subsequent discussion defended their parents' divorce as good for the family and for them!

Beats me why the social conservatives continue to fall for the GOP's classic seduction of successfully wooing them with BIG POLICY promises early in the campaign and then running as fast as they can to center for the swing voters. Once in office, they throw the social conservatives a few bones but run key departments like Education and HHS like a bunch of left wing Democrats. Were that not the case Bush wouldn't have nominated Harriet Miers.

Clear the administration thinks the conservatives are weaklings firmly tucked into its back pocket. Otherwise the administration and our congressional leadership wouldn't have annointed Bernanke to succeed Greenspan at the Federal Reserve. He's a funny money printer extrordinaire who'll put the final nail in coffin for affordable housing.



Monday, November 14, 2005

Putting the GOP's feet to the fire

Accompanied by my campaign team met in Washington with a top official of the Republican National Committee bearing the message the days are over the party for diss the interests of Red State male voters, and particularly the mostly male divorced non-custodial parents community. Made one particular request on a piece of pending legislation which requires immediate action. What the administration about the issue will tell me PDQ whether they're taking me seriously.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Is feminist ideology today's Lyenkoism?

I suspect one reason for the current very high divorce rate is today's young adults are the first large scale generation of the children of a divorce culture. I postulate familial conflict with largely absent fathers short circuited the normal development of neurological structures responsible for empathy and sustained love.

I'm very impessed by shallowness of the emotional commitment young people exhibit today. In fact, such defects run deeper in women. That's why men suffer so terribly nowadays in divorces involving children. They pay a very steep price for an inherently stronger biological capacity for empathy and love.

Feminist theory about the uselessness of fathers reminds me of the Soviet era crackpot scientist Lysenko Moscow put in charge of Russian biology because he believed fervent adherence to Communist ideology could change the structure of the believer's genetics.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Public life isn't cheap

Went to Kinko's today to photocopy my Washington Times adverts to include in a document package I'll hand out at political meetings next week in DC. 5 color copies of about 7 averts set me back almost $60. That amount represents about 10 hours labor after taxes at a minimum wage job. Suggests one reason why inner city youngsters prefer loafing around and hustling drugs for pocket change.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Men are fed up sleeping on the political couch

Now have five volunteer stalwarts on my campaign team. Don't need hundreds of millions to try for White House with a good message. I'm betting I can gain real traction to attract serious contributions with $25,000 or less.

We'll be in DC next week visiting with GOP movers and shakers carrying the message the road to the White House in 2008 starts with the 25,000,000 non-custodial parents' voter bloc, and men sick and tired of the relentless drumbeat of anti-male propaganda generated by today's feminist dominated federal government and media.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Non-conforming mortgages come in many flavors

In Philadelphia this week campaigning. Pretty obvious the housing price boom is catching on here.

Possible in Philadephia to get a 100% 1st mortgage loan!! No wonder housing prices in newly gentrying neighborhoods here doubled since last year.

Told speculators are using classic urban "blockbusting" techniques like driving middle class families out by renting properties to very low income tenants.

The Treasury Department's loan regulators are clearly in the business of putting the interests of greedy speculators ahead of citizens.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Beginning of the end of the European national state

In France we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Europen national state. The French will be unable to control the disorders. To restore civil calm they'll turn over de facto political control of predominantly Arab areas in France to the mullahs in the same way Columbia ceded large swatches of the country to FARC, and Britain, which suddenly a few months ago following the subway bombings, pulled out its army and police from IRA controlled areas in Northern Ireland.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Housing price inflation seems be everywhere

In Philadelphia testing the political waters for a run at the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

Like New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and DC home prices have at least tripled in the past 5 years. A young friend here bought a row house a few years ago for $150,000. Now worth $500,000.

But our leadership elites distract us with nonsense like the Democrat's claim Bush bamboozled them into backing the Iraq War. Bad intelligence has been fact of life ever since we dropped the ball over Pearl Harbor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Easy to forget how prosperous the middle class was only 30 years ago

Watched the original version of "Fun With Dick & Jane" last night starring Jane Fonda and George Seagal. Made in the mid-1970s the story of a spendthrift couple with no savings who turn to a life of crime after Seagal, an aerospace engineer and sole breadwinner, is laid off. They live in a large Los Angeles suburban area home on a very large lot with a fulltime housekeeper all on an engineer's salary.

Jane and George complain about the payments on a $70,ooo mortgage on a house likely to cost well over a million dollars today. Clear the couple could afford the home had they showed some financial restraint by not buying very fancy landscaping and installing a large, heated pool.

But that was before feminist careeerism took off to earn women the right to work for nothing because nowadays it takes two family incomes to almost equal the buying power of one had only 30 years ago.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Comedy can be tragedy disguised

Meryle Streep's new movie "Prime" is such a case. Streep plays a New York Jewish psychotherapist with two young adult children about 23 and 20.

Her son Dave falls in love with Uma Thurman's character Rafi, a 37 year old divorced, very successful professional woman with no children. Rafi's a very decent, honest person who longs for the love and attention she never got from her own family. The movie suggests a broken family, and not very much maternal attention. Streep is Rafi's psychotherapist.

The comedy turns on Streep's unfolding discovery it's her son who Rafi's talking about in her sessions. How Streep plays the growing awareness of the situation is comic genius. Clear why she's one of the great actors of our time. Also, Uma Thurman is coming into her own as a serious actor capable of playing to perfection a psychologically very complex character.

The Rafi character is the most psychologically interesting. An example of price we pay as a society by failing to distinguish between cognitive and emotional learning. We accept a high divorce rate, and the majority of children spending extended hours in daycare because in the absence of abuse most meet their cognitive developmental milestones.

Despite her great beauty, good character, and career success Rafi's clueless about the emotional complexities of family and married life. She can't make the psychological leap from the intensely pleasurable rush of initial romantic feeling to the day to day empathetic caring which characterizes a loving commitment over time. Her behavior in the relationship mirrors our growing understanding of the neurophysiology of love.

Dave's personal situation reflects the dilemma so many young, educated Americans face getting started today. While presumably a college graduate has a low wage, blue collar job. With New York City rents in the stratosphere not surprisingly he lives with his grandparents.

Meryl's character goes on and on with her son about Rafi not just because of the 14 years age differencebut that she's not Jewish. In these times a parent's real lucky a kid brings home someone of the opposite sex!!!!!!!!!!!

Movie's absolutely terrific. Streep and Thurman at their best!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mexico wants the best of all possible worlds at our expense

The point of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is to improve the Mexican and American economies. Mexico undermines the economic advantages we get by promoting massive illegal immigration which damages our blue collar wage structure, reduces the availablity of affordable rental housing, and places a heavy burden on public services like health care and education.

The U.S.-Mexican border must be transformed ASAP into a proper international boundary with foolproof entry procedures.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Perfection is the enemy of the good

Next week on a campaign trip to Philadelphia will address an inner city housing organization about the relentless unaffordability of urban rents and home prices.

An overlooked contributing factor to out of sight urban rents and home prices are building codes and housing code enforcement practices. In most of the United States municipalities adopt in whole, or in part, the Uniform Building Code (UCC) created and maintained by a disguished group of construction, safety and legal experts. The code's construction standards are so high and exacting, it's difficult to build inexpensive yet safe homes for the lower end of the market. It's the builder's version of "Let them eat cake."

The UUC is also the building code enforcement officer's Bible. A major force propelling the rapid gentrification of major American cities displacing the poor was applying the code to older, rundown buildings. Faced with heavy fines and high cost of repairs it's easier for landlords, and municpalities owning tax defaulted properties, to demolish the properties or rehab them to rent or sell to upscale tenants. That's why gutted building shells in Harlem sell for a million dollars and up.