Sunday, February 22, 2009

The American Way

It was about 8 years ago when the housing market took a nose dive. Prices were dropping like needles from an old tree. Our whole town house complex took a nose dive. But within two years people who could not afford the over inflated prices were able to pick up a house at a reasonable price. Those who had to move but did not want to loose money rented out their place until the prices came back up. No one came in to bail them out and even my daughter was able to find a house at a decent price as a first time home buyer. 

Within 3 years the value of her house doubled. And not one bailout loan had been given to anyone. Now the houses are so over inflated once again that it would be good if houses were to drop in value. I understand that there are people woh move because of their job situations but when are people going to  buy a home like they used to? Homes were an investment in their family. This was where they were going to raise their children and grow old.
I'm sorry but I just don't feel sorry for the people who are loosing their home to ARM loans.Who in their right mind would gamble like that?  I don't feel sorry for Car manufacturers who due to greed built humongous trucks and Hum-vies even though they were guzzling up vanishing resources. If they go out of business there will be another company to come along and learn from their past mistakes. Those people who worked in the automotive industry made huge pay checks. But like the rest of the nation, myself included, decided to live beyond their means because they thought their jobs were secure. 

Now I am trying to live without using my credit card. Cash only. I've never been so poor and have never realized that I am actually poverty stricken. Those damn cards have ruined our whole economy and yet not one thing has been done to stop them. Credit card companies  are no better then the banks that issued loans to people who could not afford to pay for the house that they were buying. So if the banks are being blasted for it why aren't the Credit card companies too?

Wow, I did not realize how upset and mean I've become. It's just that I am sick and tired of the news, politics and the American way. 
"Being able to charge to your hearts content? Debt for life. Owing no charge card company? Priceless.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Children, You must Learn to Get Along

Something bothered me today about a B movie I saw yesterday. It lingers now, affecting how I think about people. The movie itself is not memorable. A 17 year old kid enters a 500 mile sled dog race to save his parents farm and get money for college. You know the kind of movie and most likely can predict the ending. 

The Iditarod happens to be an interest of mine and, though this was nowhere near that, I wanted to watch just for the race. As in all movies you either have the bad guys or a seemingly insurmountable object.  In this one you had both. 

The frost biting weather, the frozen or not so frozen lakes and the unforgiving tundra divides the men from the boys or the soul from the body as the case may be. A 17 year old boy entering and thinking that he has a chance especially when he's never raced gives the movie it's suspense. 

Then there are the bad guys. The stereo types that Hollywood can't seem to make a movie without. And this is what bothered me. There were the noble Indians, the kind American and, here we go, the evil German who kicks dogs and threatens the young boy. The German's sponsor  is a Scottish  tight wad who will stop at nothing to win his money.

The German was the one who bothered me the most. Now I have friends in Germany. Rainer, whom I've corresponded with for 18 years is the kindest, happiest man I know. 

It was on a train ride through Germany where a bunch of young athletic girls came to my rescue, tossing my luggage hand over head to move it for me when I had unknowingly put it all in the wrong place. And just recently I've come to know a couple of more young Germans through my Twitter site who are just adorable. 

Movies like these in the past had influenced my way of thinking about Germans. The movie always portrayed them as harsh, cruel and evil thinking. It wasn't until I made contact with Rainer that I actually got to know about Germans and Germany. This is a shame. Our society today is so easily swayed. Even with the news we seem to only get the negative side. The more negative it seems the more sensational it is and the more they shove it down our throats until we can only see the bad side of people. 

That German in the race could have been an American that had tried to harm the boy in the movie. Kicking dogs is not unknown here. Can you say  Michael Vick? Look at the puppy mills. Just look down the street at dogs who are chained and never leave the yard. 

Talk about cruelty to children we now have on trial a woman who killed her own little girl and dumped her in a plastic bag. This is not an isolated incident there are many. You can go on and on about the atrocities that have been performed  by Americans. 

 What I'm trying to say is, we are no different then any other race. We've tried to exterminate the Native Indians, we've experimented on a race of black men, (Tuskegee) we've even experimented on children ( So why do we persist on stereotyping other nations? 

And my god, obsession with money. Why do we still paint the Scots as the proverbial cheapskate who will stop at nothing to get his hand on a dollar? Why we have Bernard Madof. He has bilked and ruined thousands of innocent people. 

All's I know is that I've got to start taking the news, movies, and "informed" opinions with a grain of salt. If the Pakistani man that I met at the museum is representative of his race, a person who listened attentively, had wonderful insights to offer and some very interesting statistics to share,  I'd truly like to meet more of them. His concern about his children's colds and the illnesses in his family only spoke to me of a person I seem to have talked to over the fence, at the store, or the office water cooler. 

I only hope to meet more people from other parts of the world. I hope that we all get to meet one another. I hope that we can come to an understanding, an appreciation and a love. 

Let's take our own advise that we give to kids when they are playing in the park. "Now, children can we all just play nicely.

Count Me In

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
It feels good to be free

Fourth of July in Waikiki

Fourth of July in Waikiki
Early morning view just kicking back

About Me

My photo
Do you want to know about Hawaii from a locals point of view? Where do we like to go? What things do we like to see. This blog is about seeing Hawaii without being trapped. This is a journal about Good eats, Hawaiian events, and looking at the islands through the eyes of someone who has lived here for more then forty years.

For Blog updates;

The Curmudgeon