Weekly Open Thread (2014-06-09)

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Here is your open thread for the week of June 9th, 2014. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Note: The comment limit in open threads is 25 comments per person.

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NOTICE: If you have comments to make about politics or economics that do not somehow directly relate to Seattle-area real estate, they may be posted in the current Politics & Economics Open Thread.  If you post such comments here, they will be moved there.


About 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.

38 comments:

  1. 1

    I’ve Changed My Stock Investment Paradigm

    Now, I’m fairly convinced that the top 1-10% household income investors see no-where to invest. They pick stocks, not because of economic news, they have no-where else to park their extra funds…

    “…He doesn’t really need to add the fact that stocks have pulled within shouting distance of those levels despite GDP actually falling for the first quarter; something no one was talking at the end of last year….”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/pundits-baffled-as-market-soars-past-target-highs-102637901.html

    Will investers ever flock to real estate? Appears not.

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  2. 2

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – I’m accepting investments in my new startup: digitalprostateexam.com. Minimum investment 8 figures.

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  3. 3

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    LOL Kary, I Assume You’re Joking

    Yes, even Prostate Cancer testing made mythical prostate cancer rates get FAR worse than before all the testing, one thing’s for sure, its a very slow cancer and IMO you’ll likely die of something else long before it ever gets you.

    A good prostate cancer prevention BTW….drink MASS amounts of coffee, it cures depression too….cheers Kary ;-)

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  4. 4

    RE: softwarengineer @ 3 – Well, I was asking for only 7 figures, but then I saw that Rivet and Sway went under because they only had 7 figures of funding and their main competitor had 8. So the key is if you want to stay in business longer doing something on the Internet that makes no sense, you should get more money to burn through!

    Oh, and I do want to assure my investors that my own salary will be limited to six figures a year, but of course since this will be run out of my house it won’t include investments in housing.

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  5. 5
    Blake says:

    Future’s so bright we gotta wear shades… or blinders…

    -snip- There comes a time when risk just disappears, when nothing can go wrong, when there are no dark clouds on the horizon. Stocks rise to record after record. The crappiest junk bonds are priced as if they were safe investments. Inflation is excluded from the calculus. Even the mere possibility of default has been banished from considerations. And investors no longer demand to be compensated for any of it. They close their eyes and hold their nose and grab what they can.

    These are times of exuberance, of record low volatility and supreme complacency, when retirees invest their life savings in bond funds stuffed with junk to get a little extra yield; when the ratings agencies finally can get busy again doing what they do best: stamping triple-A ratings on sliced and diced junk; when formerly toxic instruments that helped take down the financial system are once again desirable “assets”; times when otherwise rational people turn into blind automatons.

    The Fed has a measure for it: the Financial Stress Index, issued by the St. Louis Fed. And according to the index, all this craziness, created by the Fed’s policies, is simply a sign of low “financial stress.”
    … hah!
    http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2014/6/9/last-time-this-happened-the-financial-crisis-broke-out.html
    … And in the latest reporting week, ended May 30, the “financial stress” index fell to -1.281, the lowest in its history. The previous record low occurred in February 2007 at -1.268. A very unpropitious moment.

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  6. 6

    Welcome back to 2007. I just saw a real estate firm that guarantees they will buy your property if it doesn’t sell.

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  7. 7

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 6:

    Welcome back to 2007. I just saw a real estate firm that guarantees they will buy your property if it doesn’t sell.

    Just today I heard an ad on the radio for a zero down home loan with no PMI. What they didn’t state was the interest rate, which is probably 25%.

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  8. 8
    chrisM says:

    Have we discussed turning a plane into a house already?

    http://airplanehome.com/

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  9. 9
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 5 – Is it a recovery, or is it more media hype and government speak?

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  10. 10

    RE: Blurtman @ 9

    Its All Good

    Don’t get negative on stalled labor markets and U6 unemployment rates….hades, swallow the stock surge Koolaid and cross your fingers its just Nutrasweet in it….

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  11. 11
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 10 – Consume and obey, citizen.

    And know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to allow financial fraud, know when to run.

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  12. 12
    Blake says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 11

    Speaking of “obey”…
    This is from the #10 book in Amazon Teens > Religion & Spirituality
    Battlefield of the Mind for Teens
    “Satan frequently steals the will of God from us due to reasoning…”
    “Don’t reason in the mind, just obey in spirit.”
    “What God leads a person to do does not always make logical sense.”
    https://twitter.com/pourmecoffee/status/476393323662704641/photo/1

    Don’t reason, obey!” I guess this is why these people hate schooling, science, etc. They think it is truly EVIL and the work of the devil!! “American Taliban” … really frightening…

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  13. 13
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 12 – Well, I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
    Long as I have my plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Through all trials and tribulations,
    We will travel every nation,
    With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far.

    {Refrain}
    Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Through all trials and tribulations,
    We will travel every nation,
    With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far.

    I don’t care if it rains or freezes
    As long as I’ve got my Plastic Jesus
    Glued to the dashboard of my car,
    You can buy Him phosphorescent
    Glows in the dark, He’s Pink and Pleasant,
    Take Him with you when you’re travelling far

    {Refrain}

    I don’t care if it’s dark or scary
    Long as I have magnetic Mary
    Ridin’ on the dashboard of my car
    I feel I’m protected amply
    I’ve got the whole golly Holy Family
    Riding on the dashboard of my car

    {Refrain}

    You can buy a Sweet Madonna
    Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
    Pedestal of abalone shell
    Goin’ ninety, I’m not wary
    ‘Cause I’ve got my Virgin Mary
    Guaranteeing I won’t go to Hell

    {Refrain}

    I don’t care if it bumps or jostles
    Long as I got the Twelve Apostles
    Bolted to the dashboard of my car
    Don’t I have a pious mess
    Such a crowd of holiness
    Strung across the dashboard of my car

    {Refrain}

    No, I don’t care if it rains or freezes
    Long as I have my plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    But I think he’ll have to go
    His magnet ruins my radio
    And if we have a wreck he’ll leave a scar

    {Refrain}

    Riding through the thoroughfare
    With his nose up in the air
    A wreck may be ahead, but he don’t mind
    Trouble coming, he don’t see
    He just keeps his eyes on me
    And any other thing that lies behind

    Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Though the sun shines on his back
    Makes him peel, chip, and crack
    A little patching keeps him up to par

    When pedestrians try to cross
    I let them know who’s boss
    I never blow my horn or give them warning
    I ride all over town
    Trying to run them down
    And it’s seldom that they live to see the morning

    Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    His halo fits just right
    And I use it as a sight
    And they’ll scatter or they’ll splatter near and far

    When I’m in a traffic jam
    He don’t care if I say golly
    I can let all sorts of curses roll
    Plastic Jesus doesn’t hear
    For he has a plastic ear
    The man who invented plastic saved my soul

    Plastic Jesus, Plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Once his robe was snowy white
    Now it isn’t quite so bright
    Stained by the smoke of my cigar

    God made Christ a Holy Jew
    God made Him a Christian too
    Paradoxes populate my car
    Joseph beams with a feigned elan
    From the shaggy dash of my furlined van
    Famous cuckold in the master plan

    Naughty Mary, smug and smiling
    Jesus dainty and beguiling
    Knee-deep in the piling of my van
    His message clear by night or day
    My phosphorescent plastic Gay
    Simpering from the dashboard of my van

    When I’m goin’ fornicatin
    I got my ceramic Satan
    Sinnin’ on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
    The women know I’m on the level
    Thanks to the wild-eyed stoneware devil
    Ridin’ on the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
    Sneerin’ from the dashboard of my Winnebago Motor Home
    Leering from the dashboard of my van

    If I weave around at night
    And the police think I’m tight
    They’ll never find my bottle, though they ask
    Plastic Jesus shelters me
    For His head comes off, you see
    He’s hollow, and I use Him for a flask

    Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
    Riding on the dashboard of my car
    Ride with me and have a dram
    Of the blood of the Lamb
    Plastic Jesus is a holy bar

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  14. 14
    DrRick says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 2:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – I’m accepting investments in my new startup: digitalprostateexam.com. Minimum investment 8 fingers.

    Fixed it for you.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

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  15. 15

    RE: DrRick @ 14 – I was sort of expecting that, but it’s so 2010. The investors and the companies now no longer provide anything but money and an app.

    Digitalprostateexam.com doesn’t employ any doctors, but instead is trying to respond to current medical practices where many/most doctors no longer perform such examinations. Digitalprostateexam.com is merely a “finger-sharing” service which matches those having a finger they are willing to utilize with those wanting a finger. The person offering the finger might not even be a doctor. Per our terms of service:

    THE COMPANY DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL SERVICES, AND THE COMPANY IS NOT A LICENSED MEDICAL PROVIDER. IT IS UP TO THE THIRD PARTY FINGER PROVIDER, TO OFFERgoats INTRUDING SERVICES WHICH MAY BE SCHEDULED THROUGH USE OF THE APPLICATION OR SERVICE. THE COMPANY OFFERS INFORMATION AND A METHOD TO OBTAIN SUCH THIRD PARTYgoats INTRUDING SERVICES, BUT DOES NOT AND DOES NOT INTEND TO PROVIDE MEDICAL SERVICES OR ACT IN ANY WAY AS A DIAGNOSTIC SERVICE, AND HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY FOR ANYgoats INTRUDING SERVICES PROVIDED TO YOU BY SUCH THIRD PARTIES WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE PROPERLY LICENSED AND WHO MAY BE OFFERING SUCH SERVICES FOR REASONS OTHER THAN MONETARY REWARD.

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  16. 16
    pfft says:

    Brat seems like a perfect name for a tea party guy. where are the idiots saying the parties are the same? Brat is just like Pelosi? Someone argue that one.

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  17. 17
    redmondjp says:

    By softwarengineer @ 10:

    RE: Blurtman @ 9

    Its All Good

    Don’t get negative on stalled labor markets and U6 unemployment rates….hades, swallow the stock surge Koolaid and cross your fingers its just Nutrasweet in it….

    Speaking of NutraSweet, have you read how Donald Rumsfeld worked through the 1970s into the 1980s to get it approved by the FDA? It’s a fascinating story which reveals much about our government. Don’t read any further if you drink diet soda!

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  18. 18

    By pfft @ 16:

    Brat seems like a perfect name for a tea party guy. where are the idiots saying the parties are the same? Brat is just like Pelosi? Someone argue that one.

    How about we not argue it until someone who knows the difference between a party and a politician asks the question? Talk about a moronic question.

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  19. 19

    RE: redmondjp @ 17 – Never been a fan of diet soda or light beer.

    On the Rumsfeld front, his one Iraq policy is starting to come back and bite us in the butt. Combining what Rumsfeld did with what Obama has done and is doing is not good. I hate to think what kind of a mess the middle east will be in when the next president takes over in 2017.

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  20. 20

    Hey Bubbleheads: “Happy Father’s Day”

    If you’re a father that means go out to dinner this Sunday and usually end up paying the bill too ;-)

    I got me leather seats in my 2014 red Charger for Father’s Day….interesting, after the leather was installed [it looks good, just like the formed cloth seats, except its black leather now] the new car toxic aroma totally went away. The plastic foam or whatever is in the new cloth seats apparently is where the reek comes from…the leather seals it away.

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  21. 21
  22. 22

    RE: softwarengineer @ 21 – I bet no one is shaking in their boots over there over Obama’s threats. He wasn’t able to negotiate any continued presence in Iraq. I’m not even sure he has the power to launch a drone strike–what’s the range of those things? Of course if he finds out an American citizen is involved, that might get him to launch an ICBM. /sarc

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  23. 23
    Blurtman says:

    Can we now start the war crimes trials for W Bush, Condi, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the crime family? Death of a nation, and for what? Murderers, and we all have blood on our hands.

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  24. 24
    Blake says:

    This says a lot about our current policies:
    http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/06/11/us-foreign-policy-in-a-nutshell/

    A good time to reflect on what the past 50 years of US military interventions have wrought:
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175854/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_a_record_of_unparalleled_failure/
    … luckliy, we’ve managed to contain Al Qaeda in a narrow section between Pakistan and northern Africa! Removing the Islamists main persecutors Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi was key to this successful strategy… now if we can only get rid of Bashar al-Assad then our work will be done! Allahu akbar!

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  25. 25

    Current US foreign policy in a nutshell: Have a President who can’t foresee crap, and is not willing to do squat, but threatens all sorts of crap.

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  26. 26

    RE: Blake @ 24 – I don’t necessarily buy into all of that, but the look back 50 years is undoubtedly appropriate. Rumsfeld and Obama didn’t cause all of the current mess, but they didn’t make it any better either.

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  27. 27
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 19:

    RE: redmondjp @ 17 – Never been a fan of diet soda or light beer.

    On the Rumsfeld front, his one Iraq policy is starting to come back and bite us in the butt. Combining what Rumsfeld did with what Obama has done and is doing is not good. I hate to think what kind of a mess the middle east will be in when the next president takes over in 2017.

    what is happening in Iraq is not Obama’s fault. The Iraqi government has not treated the Sunnis well. that has nothing to do with Obama. What has happened is basically the opposite of the Sunni awakening during the Bush years. The only thing you can really blame Obama for is not intervening in Syria and it appears that has spilled over into Iraq.

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  28. 28
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 25:

    Current US foreign policy in a nutshell: Have a President who can’t foresee crap, and is not willing to do squat, but threatens all sorts of crap.

    like Libya? You have a point on Syria. You do realize that Obama has droned the hell out of Afghanistan and Pakistan? Right? please tell me you know that foreign policy nugget.

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  29. 29
    The Tim says:

    RE: pfft @ 28 – If you’re wondering why your comments keep going into moderation it is because you are typo-ing the fake email address you use for the comment form here. Gotta make sure to use the same email every time.

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  30. 30

    By pfft @ 27:

    The only thing you can really blame Obama for is not intervening in Syria and it appears that has spilled over into Iraq.

    So I guess I haven’t been critical of Obama in the past, saying he couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag and using his inability to negotiate a continuing presence in Iraq as an example of that?

    I’ll agree the Iraqi government’s policies are a big part of the problem, but there are advantages to both side to having a US presence continue after a war. That’s why we have troops in Europe and that’s why we still have troops in South Korea. They are a deterrent.

    Connecting up the two paragraphs, of course it’s possible Obama didn’t think the deterrence was necessary. In that case it would mean that wasn’t yet another of the many many examples of Obama being a bad negotiator, but instead just another example of him being extremely naive, incompetent and ineffective.

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  31. 31

    By pfft @ 28:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 25:You do realize that Obama has droned the hell out of Afghanistan and Pakistan? Right? please tell me you know that foreign policy nugget.

    Your memory really does suck if you somehow think I don’t know about the drone strikes. I have repeatedly mentioned the drone strikes (I even mentioned drones in this thread) and you have even asked me questions about them. You really do need to go see a doctor about your memory problems.

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  32. 32
    Blurtman says:

    ‘As Iraqis Stand Up, We Will Stand Down,’ Bush Tells Nation

    “WASHINGTON, June 28, 2005 – On the one-year anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq to a transitional Iraqi government, President Bush tonight promised that U.S. forces would remain in Iraq until the job is complete, “but not one day longer.”

    n a nationally televised speech at Fort Bragg, N.C., the president cited progress in Iraq and emphasized that the best way to complete the mission is to help the Iraqi people build a free nation they can govern and defend themselves.

    “The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists,” he said. “And that is why we are on the offense. And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.”

    http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=16277

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  33. 33
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 32 – It shows complete ignorance of history and sociology that we feel we can democratize any country we deem deserving. There are populations on this planet who want to be governed by a single, brutal strongman. Not very acceptable by our standards, but often the best alternative.

    I say we bump up the RPM on Dick Cheney’s pacemaker and send him over there to hammer out a peace accord.

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  34. 34

    By wreckingbull @ 33:

    RE: Blurtman @ 32 – It shows complete ignorance of history and sociology that we feel we can democratize any country we deem deserving. There are populations on this planet who want to be governed by a single, brutal strongman. Not very acceptable by our standards, but often the best alternative.

    I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that, but I would agree that you’re not going to take a country that has been controlled by a dictator for decades and quickly turn it into a functioning democracy. Hell, even the US had to take a second stab at drafting a constitution.

    But in the case of Iraq they also tried to maintain three ethic groups as belonging to one country where they clearly don’t like each other. For that to have had any chance they probably should have set up three highly autonomous states with a very weak federal government that perhaps only handled defense and transportation.

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  35. 35
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34 – Careful. Now you are channeling Biden.

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  36. 36
    Blurtman says:

    03/16/2003, Dick Cheney, Vice President:

    “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . [in] weeks rather than months.”

    http://zfacts.com/iraq-war-quotes

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  37. 37

    RE: Blurtman @ 36 – I don’t think that would have happened even if we had done everything right afterward. When you knock organized powerful people out of power, they are going to cause trouble for some time (but not this long). But we, of course, hardly did everything right.

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  38. 38
    Blurtman says:

    Hope everyone is enjoying the world cup. There is a real estate tie-in, if you want. For example, Googling RE in some of the more “obscure” countries is quite informative. Not sure why there are so many RE ads in German in Uruguay, however. Hmmmmmm…..

    http://uruguay-property.net/Houses/Wunderschoenes-Reetdachhaus-in-La-Floresta.html

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