Posted by: The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

60 responses to “Mid-Week Open Thread (2012-03-07)”

  1. Pegasus

    RE: The Tim @ 1 – Yesterdays birther comments probably provoked the DDoS attack. Let’s post comments today about the government’s “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation into Mexico and see if it happens again. ;-)

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  2. softwarengineer

    Scotsman Would Blame it on the Drones

    Kary would blame it on too much ambiguity in the regulations.

    I’d blame it on calling myself SWE in 3rd person too much…

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    My serious response would be questioning whether the connection with the Times caused it. Perhaps a link over there caused the issue Tim mentioned?

    Otherwise, I think it’s the White House trying to shut down the birther comments.

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  4. softwarengineer

    The Numbers are In and Its Getting Worse

    I remember during the heydays [before 2006] when the only panhandlers you ever saw were like out near Pioneer Square; now they’re everywhere. Article:

    “…The 800 volunteers counted people in 13 cities across King County. Volunteers counted 2,594 men, women and children with no shelter in King County, a small increase over those found without shelter last year. The complete 2012 One Night Count Report will be released as soon as the other data are compiled. A full report that also includes the number of people in shelters and transitional housing will be released in the spring. Last year, volunteers found 2,442 people surviving outside, without shelter, and another 6,382 in shelters and transitional housing programs….”

    http://www.homelessinfo.org/one_night_count/2012_results.php

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  5. Scotsman

    My computer was down all day. A small remote controlled plane was seen circling over our group of houses. My neighbor sot it down with a 20 gauge full choke over and under. Very nice shooting, by the way.

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  6. redmondjp

    By Scotsman @ 7:

    My computer was down all day. A small remote controlled plane was seen circling over our group of houses. My neighbor sot it down with a 20 gauge full choke over and under. Very nice shooting, by the way.

    Is it remote-controlled plane season now? I thought that didn’t open until April . . .

    Watch for the solar storm due to hit our atmosphere tonight around 9pm Pacific time, and see if your GPS unit goes wonky.

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  7. Scotsman

    RE: redmondjp @ 8

    Ah, nice!

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/story/2012-03-07/solar-storm-earth-power-disruptions/53398390/1?csp=34tech

    May have to drive to where there’s a chance of seeing the northern lights.

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  8. Blurtman

    A new Republican challenger emergers:

    ‘Joe The Plumber’ Snags GOP Nod in Ohio Congressional Election

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/joe-plumber-snags-gop-nod-ohio-congressional-election/story?id=15867984

    Promises to unclog the political process and get the chocolatee flowing again.

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  9. softwarengineer

    RE: Blurtman @ 10 – Another Republican Picked Reason

    To vote Obama.

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  10. Blurtman

    Florida Coastal School of Law grads file suit against school, allege deceptive practices
    6 graduates say school’s marketing concerning job prospects after graduation is misleading

    Six graduates from the Florida Coastal School of Law have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Jacksonville school over what they say is misleading post-graduation statistics marketed to prospective students.

    Florida Coastal is accused of giving inflated job-placement and salary numbers of its graduates. The lawsuit asks that $100 million in damages and relief “refunding and reimbursing current and former students for tuition” be awarded to the plaintiffs.

    Florida Coastal denied the allegations.

    “As we have assured our students, faculty, staff and alumni from day one, Florida Coastal School of Law is extremely confident and stands behind the integrity of the postgraduate employment information we submit annually for publication to the American Bar Association and others,” the school said. The school pointed to the large number of grads interning at the local McDonalds franchises as proof of the success of its placement program.

    Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-03-07/story/florida-coastal-school-law-grads-file-suit-against-school-allege#ixzz1oSOHVlPA

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  11. Blurtman

    RE: softwarengineer @ 6 – I recall when Art Agnos was mayor of San Francisco in the late ’80’s. The homeless situation was so bad that an encampment was built directly abutting the city hall and across the street in the park. Merchants finally had enough, and a new mayor was elected, the former chief of police. The homeless folks then dissappeared from the downtown area. Soylent Green is people!

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  12. ChrisM

    RE: The Tim @ 1 – Might want to block certain IP ranges:

    http://www.howtoforge.com/blocking-ip-addresses-of-any-country-with-iptables

    unless you’re interested in attracting Chinese and Eastern European readers…

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  13. Pegasus

    Oil Speculators Must Be Stopped and the CTFC “Needs to Obey the Law”: Sen. Bernie Sanders

    Seventy members of Congress signed a letter this week to regulators at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), urging immediate action on oil speculation by enacting “strong position limits to eliminate excessive oil speculation” and to “utilize all authorities available to…make sure that the price of oil and gasoline reflects the fundamentals of supply and demand.”

    Blaming the speculators may seem like scapegoating to some (namely, oil traders) but speculators control more than 80 percent of the energy futures market, up from 30 percent a decade ago, and there is mounting evidence speculation contributes to higher prices:
    At a Senate hearing last June, Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, said speculation was driving up the price of a barrel of oil by as much as 40 percent.
    A study conducted by the nonpartisan consumer advocacy group Consumer Federation of America found that speculation caused the average American household to spend an additional $600 on gasoline expenditures in 2011. Moreover, the report concluded that excessive speculation (which the organization estimated added about $30 per barrel to the cost of oil in 2011) drained the U.S. economy of more than $200 billion in consumer spending in 2011.
    The St. Louis Federal Reserve has also recommended that the CFTC do more to prevent oil speculators from driving up the price of oil. Fed officials studied the effect of oil traders on the price oil over five years and determined that “speculation contributed to around 15 percent to oil prices increases.”
    CFTC Chair Gary Gensler declared last year that “huge inflows of speculative money create a self-fulfilling prophecy that drives up commodity prices.”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/oil-speculators-must-stopped-ctfc-needs-obey-law-182903332.html

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  14. Pegasus

    This will probably bring back the DDoS attacks: BREITBART OBAMA VIDEO SET FOR RELEASE

    Set for release on March 1 Breitbart, at the ripe age of 43, suffered an untimely heart attack and death on the eve of its release.

    The video, which Kaczynski says was “licensed from a Boston television station,” shows a young Barack Obama leading a protest at Harvard Law School on behalf of Prof. Derrick Bell, a radical academic tied to Jeremiah Wright–about whom we will be releasing significant information in the coming hours.
    However, the video has been selectively edited–either by the Boston television station or by Buzzfeed itself. Over the course of the day, Breitbart.com will be releasing additional footage that has been hidden by Obama’s allies in the mainstream media and academia.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/07/buzzefeed-selectively-edits-obama-tape

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  15. Kary L. Krismer

    By ChrisM @ 14:

    RE: The Tim @ 1 – Might want to block certain IP ranges:

    http://www.howtoforge.com/blocking-ip-addresses-of-any-country-with-iptables

    unless you’re interested in attracting Chinese and Eastern European readers…

    Can we wait to decide until we’ve seen their avatars? ;-)

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  16. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Pegasus @ 15 – I’ve been seeing a bit of Bernie over at Google+. If he’s what independents are like, I’ll start hoping the Democrat and Republican parties survive.

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  17. No Name Guy

    RE: Pegasus @ 15

    Yes….and those same golly speculators are the ones who were driving bank and other financial stocks down at the height of the financial crisis.

    Just think, those golly speculators do it both ways – they drive up oil and drive down banks.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/bears-explain-price-gas-special-gop-primary-edition

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  18. Blurtman

    RE: Pegasus @ 16 – Where is the Vince Foster like special prosecutor? The Obama’s may have had Breitbart murdered, just like those treacherous Clintons did Foster!!!!

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  19. Pegasus

    RE: No Name Guy @ 20 – I am sure Kary will believe anything the “bears” tell him. If you track the dollar you will see it has had very little impact on oil prices. Do you believe the “bears” and Kary or do you believe the FED study that proves them wrong, investigations, the oil producers and the CFTC who agree that oil prices are being impacted by speculators and manipulation? Did the dollar crash when oil was $145 a barrel and drive the price to $35 in a few months? Did demand dry up that much?

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  20. Pegasus

    RE: Blurtman @ 21 – Wacko! Now I know you are certainly on the No-Fly List!

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  21. Blurtman

    RE: Pegasus @ 23 – It’s really the “Kill the Bankers!” T-shirt. ;>)

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  22. Dirty Renter

    It appears the victims of Stanford’s $7B Ponzi scheme are getting nothing, and I’ve read that the victims of Madoff’s $68B Ponzi scheme will get 60¢ on the dollar. I can only surmise that Bernie couldn’t possibly blow all that money and had to spend most of it on real assets…but Stanford went through that $7B like it was water, with nothing to show for it.
    Is there a lesson in this or not?

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  23. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: Blurtman @ 21

    Mr. Breitbart and Mr. Foster’s demise (demises?? – help me here!) were tame compared to what goes on in Russia. Just be thankful that Vlad Putin is not your president.

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  24. Pegasus

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 26 – That’s the point Tatiana. Americans have lived for generations knowing the big bad wolf lived in Russia and now some of us fear he is alive and well in the United States.

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  25. Blurtman

    RE: Pegasus @ 27 – It’s American exceptionalism. While what is happening in Syria is a tragedy, what would happen in the USA if a region armed itself, and refused to acquiesce to police and military commands? We deplore war crimes abroad, but sweep them under the rug when we commit them. At least 100,000 Iraqi civilians were blown to bits and burned alive by the coalition forces during the invasion in Iraq war 2. Millions more had their lives destroyed by what followed. The president joked about the rationale, WMD’s. But somehow, the USA is the righteous power.

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  26. whatsmyname

    Four dead in Ohio

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  27. Scotsman

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/did-threats-silence-media-on-obama-probe/

    “The lead investigator in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s review of the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate today unloaded a bombshell about the case: that he was told by sources members of the media were threatened with federal investigations should they continue to report on the birth certificate issue.

    Lead investigator Mike Zullo told WND that as he was preparing information to be presented to the public “it was clear that the mainstream media was not going to be in attendance” at the sheriff’s scheduled new conference, where he revealed facts suggesting both fraud and forgery in the image of a Hawaiian birth certificate that the White House released as “proof positive” of Obama’s eligibility for office last year.

    “During our investigation, we actually were told [that media] had been threatened with FTC investigations. Commentators [had been] threatened with their jobs,” Zullo said. The threats were so intimidating that some individuals quit their positions over safety concerns for their families, he said.”

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  28. ChrisM

    RE: Scotsman @ 30 – It is a pity Arpaio (and his henchmen) have blown all credibility years ago. Hendershott, arresting someone dressed up as a prisoner on Halloween, numerous financial irregularities (such as Arpaio’s real estate holdings given his salary), and of course the number of prisoners who died while under his jurisdiction.

    So many people are so proud of Arpaio’s prison, while ignoring the fact that those incarcerated there have not been convicted of a crime – they are there awaiting their trial. Innocent until proven guilty, right?

    I’m astonished Arpaio has held onto his office for something like 20+ years. I guess the Sun City vote outweighs everyone else.

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  29. whatsmyname

    RE: Scotsman @ 30

    How ironic. Here’s an article from 2009 where Arpaio was being investigated for using his office to intimidate his enemies.

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/crazy-sheriff-joe-arpaio-facing-fbi

    “The FBI is looking into accusations that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is using his position to settle political vendettas.

    Over the past year, 5 Investigates examined more than two dozen complaints against the sheriff from business owners, government workers, mayors and law-enforcement officials.

    They claim they spoke out against Arpaio, and shortly after, deputies paid them unwelcome visits.”

    In this one, the accusers aren’t anonymous.

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  30. ChrisM
  31. softwarengineer

    Who Should We Down Thumb Vote

    Those against Sherriff Joe or those against the 100,000+ foreign/corporate controlled American companies totally ignoring our immigration laws on the books?

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  32. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 30

    The problem with the birther debate is the number of celebrities involved, like Joe Arpaio, and Donald Trump.

    A fake birth certificate, or President born on foreign soil, sounds like a great news story, and basis for a Best Selling Book. Not only that, but there are plenty of whistle blowers who would love to expose Obama as a fraud. There are big dollars who would benefit by Obama being disgraced.

    I don’t see any broad support for Obama being in office. I don’t see any way that a conspiracy could protect him. On the other hand it seems extremely possible that a conspiracy would want to discredit Obama.

    I would need more than some guy saying a copy of a copy is a fake when we have several people who have said they have seen, and examined, the original. http://factcheck.org/2008/08/born-in-the-usa/ is the most complete list.

    Lastly you shouldn’t post links to back up your assertions that clearly indicate an ulterior motive for fabricating evidence.

    “Arpaio also has defended the book.”

    Arpaio and his investigators have published an on line book for sale. All they do is ask questions, they don’t like the answers so it’s another conspiracy of media cover up. In the article they admit several people have examined the original documents. So where is the other evidence? Where is a verifiable source?

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  33. MacroInvestor

    By Scotsman @ 9:

    RE: redmondjp @ 8

    Ah, nice!

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/story/2012-03-07/solar-storm-earth-power-disruptions/53398390/1?csp=34tech

    May have to drive to where there’s a chance of seeing the northern lights.

    That’s a wimpy one. An x5 is on the way. We’re all gonna die ;)

    http://spaceweather.com/

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  34. Pegasus

    RE: David Losh @ 35 – David using FactCheck as a reliable source for political information is even more insane than using Sheriff Joe to run an investigation of Obama’s birth certificate. FactCheck.org is a LEFT-BIASED organization that has sold itself as “Politically NEUTRAL” to America’s voters and media personnel.

    ANNENBERG Public Policy Center (APPC), the sponsoring agency behind FastCheck.org, is itself supported by the same foundation, the ANNENBERG FOUNDATION, that Bill Ayers secured the 49.2 million dollars from to create the Chicago ANNENBERG Challenge “philanthropic” organization in which Barack Obama was the founding Chairman of the Board for and Ayers served as the grant writer of and co-Chair of for its two operating arms.

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  35. deejayoh

    By Pegasus @ 36:

    RE: David Losh @ 35 – David using FactCheck as a reliable source for political information is even more insane than using Sheriff Joe to run an investigation of Obama’s birth certificate. FactCheck.org is a LEFT-BIASED organization that has sold itself as â��Politically NEUTRALâ�� to Americaâ��s voters and media personnel.

    ANNENBERG Public Policy Center (APPC), the sponsoring agency behind FastCheck.org, is itself supported by the same foundation, the ANNENBERG FOUNDATION, that Bill Ayers secured the 49.2 million dollars from to create the Chicago ANNENBERG Challenge �philanthropic� organization in which Barack Obama was the founding Chairman of the Board for and Ayers served as the grant writer of and co-Chair of for its two operating arms.

    It’s a huge conspiracy. State of Hawaii is in on it too.

    http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/News_Release_Birth_Certificate_042711.pdf

    The Hawai„i State Health Department recently complied with a request by President Barack Obama for certified copies of his original Certificate of Live Birth, which is sometimes referred to in the media as a “long form” birth certificate.
    “We hope that issuing certified copies of the original Certificate of Live Birth to President Obama will end the numerous inquiries related to his birth in Hawai„i,” Hawai„i Health Director Loretta Fuddy said. “I have seen the original records filed at the Department of Health and attest to the authenticity of the certified copies the department provided to the President that further prove the fact that he was born in Hawai„i.”

    Good thing Sherriff Joe is on the case. From Arizona.

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  36. Kary L. Krismer

    By Pegasus @ 36:

    RE: David Losh @ 35 – David using FactCheck as a reliable source for political information is even more insane than using Sheriff Joe to run an investigation of Obama’s birth certificate.

    I would agree with Pegasus on that and any other news source which purports to be a fact checking article. Typically you need to check their claims and be looking for their own spin.

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  37. Blurtman

    RE: Pegasus @ 36 – “There’s no way to be committed to non-violence in one of the most violent societies that history has ever created. I’m not committed to non-violence in any way.” – Bernadette Dohrn

    A teenager at the time, I recall the wonderful photos of sexy and dangerous Bernadette Dorhn of the Weather Underground. She lived her beliefs. The USA is the most warlike country in the world. We all suck off the spoils that world domination bring us, and choose to ignore the people we kill with our weapons in the pursuit of empire.

    One silver lining to the bankruptcy of the USA – perhaps a cut back in military spending, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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  38. redmondjp

    RE: deejayoh @ 37 – So how to you account for the fact that the latest file which was released in Adobe had data on multiple layers? A scan of the original paper document would be only on one layer. Did somebody tweak the file on purpose, knowing it would stir up this controversy even more?

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  39. deejayoh

    By redmondjp @ 41:

    RE: deejayoh @ 37 – So how to you account for the fact that the latest file which was released in Adobe had data on multiple layers? A scan of the original paper document would be only on one layer. Did somebody tweak the file on purpose, knowing it would stir up this controversy even more?

    As I said, it’s a vast conspiracy. Like 9/11. and the moon landing. and area 51

    But on which side, I am not sure.

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  40. Pegasus

    RE: deejayoh @ 37 – NEIL ABERCROMBIE made a fool out himself in December 2010 contending he would straighten out the birther issue since he was a personal friend of Obama’s mother and dad. Sounds like a really unbiased source.

    “But it became apparent that what had been discovered was an unspecified listing or notation of Obama’s birth that someone had made in the state archives and not a birth certificate.
    And in the same interview Abercrombie suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.
    He said efforts were still being made to track down definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1348916/Hawaii-governor-says-Obamas-birth-record-exists-produce-it.html#ixzz1oY3cKm4v

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  41. calvis

    I saw this about Obama’s birth certificate this morning on one of my friend’s Facebook page.

    “How about the term African American did not exist until way after he was born. The name of the hospital did not come about until after 2 separate hospitals merged, well after he was born. Kenya was not a country yet. Get it? These were just some of the observations and arguments presented by a REAL attorney in Georgia, and being used towards their decision to include him on the ballot or not, before the Judge in Georgia got “cold feet”, literally. He was threatened, in my humble opinion.”

    Just something to think about.

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  42. One Eyed Man

    RE: calvis @ 44

    1. The certificate doesn’t say “african american.” It just says “african.”
    2. The country Kenya was founded in 1963 but the British colony in east africa was known as Kenya since the 1920’s.

    I have no idea what the name of the hospital was and I don’t care enough to chase that goose. I’m much too busy working on my fluid dynamics field plasma accelerator right now so I can get my can light transporter system working after last months black out. My apologies to all who lost power but I’ve got to get Barack back to his home planet.

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  43. softwarengineer

    RE: The Tim @ 46

    Yes Tim, Back to Real Estate Sales in the Seattle Area

    Here’s your golden opportunity to become a successful booze salesman in the Seattle area, the State Liquor stores are on the real estate auction block for a minimum $1000 bid!

    Read on:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017697876_apusliquorauction1stldwritethru.html?syndication=rss

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  44. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: The Tim @ 46 – So does this mean they aren’t going to get the Global Birther Thread I suggested? ;-)

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  45. Pegasus

    Will gay marriage in Washington State affect real estate values?

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  46. Chris

    RE: Scotsman @ 30
    Scotsman, just wondering where you stand on John McCain being born in Panama. Was he eligible to be President?

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  47. Blurtman

    RE: softwarengineer @ 47 – Once they legaize pot, these storefronts can be a goldmine. That is, until Starbucks starts offering Hindu Kush doobies with their caffeinated beverages.

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  48. Blurtman

    RE: Chris @ 50 Bill Clinton was also born in a foreign country – Arkansas.

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  49. softwarengineer

    RE: Blurtman @ 51
    Crime Reduction Does Increase Seattle Real Estate Values

    With the theoretical legalization of pot will come a further “slamdunk” big drop off of crime; and most likely far less window bars on the homes, as Ardell pointed out, further increasing Ira’s land value for his $1000 home on his $200K lot. Another thing that may likely be impacted is slowing of the population density increase, as a portion of the visitors from abroad are run out of business, if the Starbucks is selling it legally now….

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  50. Pegasus

    Wind farms in Pacific Northwest paid to not produce

    Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest — built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced — are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region’s electricity grid says there’s an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.
    The problem arose during the late spring and early summer last year. Rapid snow melt filled the Columbia River Basin. The water rushed through the 31 dams run by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency based in Portland, Ore., allowing for peak hydropower generation. At the very same time, the wind howled, leading to maximum wind power production. Demand could not keep up with supply, so BPA shut down the wind farms for nearly 200 hours over 38 days.

    “We require taxpayers to subsidize the production of renewable energy, and now we want ratepayers to pay renewable energy companies when they lose money?” asked Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment of the Washington Policy Center and author of “Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism is Harming the Environment.”
    “That’s a ridiculous system that keeps piling more and more money into a system that’s unsustainable,” Myers said.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/07/wind-power-companies-paid-to-not-produce/#ixzz1oZ1f9LNK

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  51. redmondjp

    RE: Pegasus @ 54 – This is old news – this was happening a year ago and I have no idea why – – oh wait, yes I do, it’s an election year!

    This “who gets to produce” problem is not going away and is a political hot potato (salmon vs. ‘green’ wind power). Our electrical distribution system can’t store energy – supply must be tweaked (as it is hourly, if not on the half hour now) in order to precisely meet the demand. When the wind kicks up (assuming demand is constant), some other power plant must dial back. There are contractual power obligations which also must be met (VERY complex issue, this is not the place).

    IMO the only solution to this problem is to add an energy storage/balancing component to wind farms. Which is expensive. Which is why it won’t be happening anytime soon. There are some places which use pumped-hydro storage now, where excess wind energy is used to pump water back up above the dam, as it is east of San Francisco.

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  52. softwarengineer

    RE: redmondjp @ 55

    Other Good Reasons to Moth Ball Wind Production

    The loud “thwooop, thwooop thwooop” noise it makes [and ungodly eye sore of the landscape even Ted Kennedy didn't want in his backyard]; with dead birds laying around at the bases….

    How about turbines underwater [at least the potential dead dolphins are hidden underwater] using the natural sea water movements?

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  53. pnwman

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/02/the-foreclosure-to-rental-boondoggle/

    The reason that housing prices have dipped only 33.6 percent in the United States instead of 60 percent as they have in Ireland, is because the big banks have been keeping inventory off the market. If the millions of homes–that are presently headed for foreclosure–were suddenly dumped onto the market, prices would plunge and the biggest banks in the country would be declared insolvent. That’s why the banks have slowed the flow of foreclosures. According to Amherst Securities Group’s Laurie Goodman, “….2.8 million borrowers haven’t made a payment in over a year. Add that to the over 450,000 real estate owned (REO) units and you have approximately 3.2 million that are in the shadows. We are liquidating about 90,000 homes a month. That’s about 36 months of overhang; a really shocking number.”

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  54. Blurtman

    More student loan financial porn: http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar12/pretend-student-loans3-12.html

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  55. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: pnwman @ 57

    “We are liquidating about 90,000 homes a month. That’s about 36 months of overhang; a really shocking number.”

    My real estate instructor at our community college told us that -50% at the very bottom will be the norm for most cities. His experience is in the California Central Valley which is still going down. He says -70% will be the end game here.

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  56. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 59 – Too bad he’s not teaching you what stock prices will do!

    (In other words, what he’s telling you is completely worthless.)

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