29 September 2008

Monday Musings...
I don't know what is more sad....the fact that acting legend and race driver Paul Newman passed away, or the bailout by the government of these Wall St. lending agencies.
Here you had an actor with so damn much talent and screen presence. If he wasn't bucking the system in Cool Hand Luke, he was trying to become famous by beating Minnesota Fats at pool in The Hustler. Maybe it was the way he played off of Robert Redford in both The Sting as well as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Maybe it was his mastery of race cars, or even his spaghetti sauce (yes, he had his OWN product line...something rather ground-breaking for a person from Hollywood). There was simply nothing NOT to like about this guy.
Here's the WIKI about him:


Now many can say that Steve McQueen was the "king of cool", but I beg to differ...
I prefer to give the crown to Mr. Newman.
Like many actors and actresses that have passed...you like to think they'll be around forever. And they never are.
Thankfully, their legacy will live on as long as we can watch them on the screen.
And we'll reflect..and remember...and smile.
Meanwhile...back at the "ranch"...
The bailout of Wall Street continues with a proposed $250 billion initial funding of these lenders, courtesy of the US government (taxpayers). While I don't think these guys deserve the money in the first place, I suppose it IS better than fleecing us for the entire $700 billion all at once. I liken this to the difference between whacking your thumb with a FIVE pound sledge hammer, as opposed to a TEN pound sledge hammer. Yeah, it's STILL going to hurt...a lot.
It makes me wonder who the REAL winners of this debacle will truly be. Personally, I can't see myself clear of receiving ANY "thank you" in this process...and neither will you.
We're pretty much 'expected" to just cough it all up, for the good of the economy. Sorry, but this is nowhere near the sacrificial deeds we Americans performed freely during, say World War 2 when we rationed consumables and tightened our belts for the good of the war effort.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't feel any "need" to share any burden when it come to someone else's mistake (such as Wall St). I didn't cause the financial meltdown, nor did I even contribute to it. Hell, we bought this house on contract from my wife's parents, so we didn't even ENGAGE in a mortgage, per se. So if I didn't cause all this, why should I partake in it's rescue? Our credit rating is nicely ensconced in the 800s, and I'd like to keep it there, thank you very much.
We call it living within one's means.
Sadly, all these lenders could not see that. Hell, they couldn't see past their own billfolds, for that matter. With dollar signs dancing in their eyes, they allowed at risk people to get mortgages while the companies these people might have been working for moved overseas, placing hundreds of thousands out of work. Yeah, that's a good way to stimulate the economy...NOT.
Kind of like being tickled with a Saguaro cactus!
But hopefully, someone managed to LEARN something along this bumpy road.
Yeah, we sure as hell can hope...can't we?
Lastly, there are a small number of people out there that think that all I do here is bitch a fit over the conditions in my neighborhood. For the record, they're right. I DO bitch...and a helluva lot.
There is a reason, and many of you who have been here from the beginning know exactly where I'm coming from.
You also know why I don't necessarily feel the need to leave right away.
But for those that can't recall WHY I choose to stay, here it is AGAIN.
-I'm one of the GOOD GUYS.
-I believe in laws that protect others.
-I think that something worth having, is worth keeping.
-I bother no one, and expect the same in return.
Sadly, the nomadic barbarians that inhabit my neighborhood think otherwise.
They are of the "communal" mindset, that states emphatically: "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is my own". While that might apply to taking ammo from an enemy in battle, that certainly does NOT apply to MY house, or MY property. Here's it's like military issue gear...it is MINE, and mine alone. I was entrusted with it, and I am a steward of it, so I will do my best to not allow such stewardship to fall victim to other peoples' whims and desires.
We choose to remain here because it is financial viable to remain, especially in today's housing market, and we would be foolish to climb into the debt boat and set sail for insolvency shoals. We also like the house and the neighborhood...it's just the PEOPLE that make it as bad as it is. And anyone from a nice part of town would say that it is indeed the PEOPLE that make a neighborhood as nice as well.
If and when we DO move, it will be on OUR terms, not anyone else's. We do not succumb to threats or intimidation because some faction wants us OFF the block so they can open yet another drug/party house. We are not participants in criminal activity or irresponsible behavior.
We live, and basically let live.
But we won't tolerate intrusions in to OUR lives from those that have no desire to become productive citizens, have no job, no desire to better themselves,no future, and believe that the universe consists of 4 square blocks of the south side of town.
So there.
If you understand where we're coming from and realize the task before us, as well as how we meet the daily challenges, good for you.
If you still don't get it, well, that's YOUR problem. I'm not twisting your arm to read this blog. All I'm doing is presenting the FACTS...the TRUTH about this part of town (which has long gone unrecognised, unreported or denied).
No "perceptions" here.
It's just cold, hard facts.
We do what we have to do, and do it without reservation.
We do it because if we do not, no one else will.

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