Writings and observations



Collectively, we American homeowners and business owners owe the banksters about $13.2 trillion in debt. This includes the $10 trillion owed by people living in single-family homes.

This, in a banking system that charges 7 percent compound interest on money it pays no interest on. Since we cannot divide by zero, let’s pretend the banksters are paying 1 percent to the U.S. Fed. That’s a 700 percent mark-up.

Would you tolerate such a mark-up on a refrigerator, or a new truck or snow-machine? Of course not. But those of us locked into mortgages just have to buck it up.

And if the banksters drive your neighbour out of his home because of a lost job in this Great Recovery, watch these criminals drive your own property value down.

The banksters don’t shovel the walks of these empty houses. They won’t mow the lawns. They will not shovel the rooftops. They will let the pipes freeze to blow out in late winter. Their repossessed houses stink.

Truth be told, I’d rather have a couple of gang-bangers living next door to me than a Wells Fargo- or Chase Manhattan-owned house. At least the crankers shovel their sidewalks, even if it’s at 3 a.m. with the boom-box pounding.

I got a lot of life’s lessons from an old Indian gentleman I crewed with on the Nanaimo Harbour Patrol. Gilly could lasso a loose log from a boom off the fan-tail with one hand while he hand-rolled a ciggie with the other in pouring rain. In rough weather when he wasn’t sure I was competent to keep the ship stable, he consigned me to make the coffee. This, to him, was an important drill. One burp, every 15 seconds, on the percolator over the ship’s stove, no more, no less. Which meant holding the percolator at just the right height over the stove.

“Keep it in the pants,” Gilly would say, with his hand-rolled cigarette hanging out of one side of his crinkled lips. He was talking about woman issues, viz Lysistrata, the ancient Greek comedy written by Aristophenes, wherein the women kept their flies zipped up until the men quit going to war.

Being all of 14 years old, I didn’t have Gilly’s wisdom nor that much curiosity about girls. I liked boats better. But I got his point.

“Keep it in the pants.”

What if we went on a mortgage strike? Just quit, en masse, making payments for one month. What are the banksters going to do with 10 million homes and businesses they have on the hook? Maybe they could sell them back to us at their actual market value, or at least start mowing the lawn.

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Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Crapo vote on federal land offloading examined (Boise Statesman)
Highway funding bill clears Idaho Senate (Nanpa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune)
Lewiston port traffic stalls (Lewiston Tribune)
Profiling once-blasted Rep. Chaney (Nampa Press Tribune)
Ethanol plant permissions hit slowdown (Nampa Press Tribune)
Moore back as regional emergency dispatch chief (TF Times News)
Legislators okay some liquor license expansion (TF Times News)

Astoria holds off dog park plans (Astorian)
more criticism of state’s new school tests (Eugene Register Guard)
OR House backs terminal experimental drug use (Eugene Register Guard, Medford Tribune)
Planning Vietnam memorial wall at Central Point (Medford Tribune)
Judge says union violated free speech (Medford Tribune)
Pendleton changes rules on statute decoration (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Departure of Portland port shipper significant (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Feds look at spotted owl enfangered listing (Pendleton E Oregonian)
More on the Hayes role in Kitzhaber administration (Portland Oregonian)
UO public records policy criticized (Portland Oregonian)
Death of former Senate leader Brady Adams (Portland Oregonian)
Debate over proposed ethics legislation (Salem Statesman Journal)

Bellis Fair wage case gives workers $1.3m win (Bellingham Herald)
Tax raise proposed for Ferndale parks (Bellingham Herald)
Kitsap Transit buys three more buses (Bremerton Sun)
Snohomish cities rethinking disaster planning (Everett Herald)
Spotted owl may return as endangered species (Olympian, Longview News)
3 baseball fields may be removed at Longview (Longview News)
Not all tribes comply with gun background checks (Olympian)
Possible boating ban near golf open (Tacoma News Tribune)
No child changes planned nationally with WA impact (Bellingham Herald, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Tribune, Olympian)

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First Take