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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Whoa - I'm In!!

I apologize for not posting recently, but I haven't been able to get in.

A lot of interesting stuff is going on. For one thing, Coast Financial in Florida filed a material impairment with the SEC. Yahoo SEC Filings for CFHI. Herald Tribune article, which is excellent:
"It's an alarming amount," said George Huhn, a Venice-based commercial Realtor and foreclosure specialist. "One hundred and ten million in loans represents 25 percent of the bank's entire loan portfolio. Hello, has anyone got a flare gun?"

For Huhn, the problems at Coast, which had $676 million in assets and $568 million in loans as of the end of September, are just one more example of how hard the downturn in the residential real estate market is hitting the local economy.

The region already has witnessed the collapse of Avalon Homes and Jade Homes and a string of multimillion-dollar foreclosures on property owned by Neil Mohamad Husani's former partner Michael Tringali.
The bottom line is that the homeowners are well and truly screwed, and the bank will take a big hit as well. It probably will end up being sold. This wouldn't have happened if the housing market hadn't cratered, but when an area is experiencing over 30% appreciation, sooner or later that will stop. It's all very well to write about global liquidity, but liquidity doesn't mean a thing if the pumps that circulate liquidity throughout the economy are broken. This is an excellent case study, and banks in Texas, NJ, AZ, NV and CA are likely to be experiencing similar situations in the next couple of years.

Science: This Democratic Underground thread regarding the fight over whether weathermen who don't believe in anthropogenic major global warming should lose their certifications shows how our culture doesn't respect scientific freedom of speech. A couple of voices are raised in defense of science and reason, but the great majority supports the idea that "global warming deniers" (on DU, this is a much worse thought crime than denying the Holocaust) should be silenced:
3. Inhoff is a fox guarding the henhouse.

He's been one of the booming voices of evil insanity in my state for decades. Every time he opens his mouth, he embarrasses and enrages anyone with a little common sense or a true concern for the environment.

When Mother Earth finally starts killing off her human inhabitants due to their own toxic despoiling of her once-splendid bounty, I hope people all across the nation remember what that SOB Inhoff did to harm our planet and every one of us when he was in a position to do so much good....
Very scientific, that worldview. To continue:
6. I certainly hope so

I really hope this shuts these ignorant right-wing motherfuckers up for good. Anyone who denies global warming should not only be stripped of their certification, but should also not be allowed to teach.
An ardent support of the First Amendment and academic freedom, I suppose. A voice of reason erupts:
40. Good suppression of opposing points-of-view post
If you think that suppression of alternate arguments advances science, then let me tell you a little story about Galileo....

Any argument that relies on suppression and name-calling seems to me to not be able to punch on its own. Prolly seems that way to a lot of other people. Let the process work. No one argues about the sun rising tomorrow, because the evidence is manifest. Soon it will be so with climate change, too. (Already is, AFAIC.)

He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.
- Michel De Montaigne

I'm sure you now think I am, to use your term, a denier. Actually, I'm emphatically the opposite. What I'm saying has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with toleration of opposing points of view in the interests of good science. Skepticism is an indispensable element of the process. Squelch it at your (and our) peril.
To crush your enemy, to drive him before you, and to hear the lamentations of his women and children:
24. It's high time we had some accountability in this country

These people are like Holocaust Deniers- or more like tobacco company "scientists" who for decades were paid off to deny the connection with lung cancer.

I might even go one step further, and start reviewing broadcast licenses. After a few were yanked, I suspect that upper management and senior editors might actually start to police themselves and take serial liars like John Srossel off our public airwaves.
I think all of those running around worrying about creationists need to deal with a broader cultural reality. We are a technological society, and we rely upon science. If we permit it to become a priesthood, or try to turn it into one, our society will collapse.

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