Bubble 2.0

From Reuters:

U.S. home price gains may not be sustainable: Shiller

The gains in U.S. home prices in recent months may not be sustainable and increases in some areas of the country appear to be in “bubble territory,” an economist known for his property market expertise said on Tuesday.

Robert Shiller, an economics professor at Yale University and co-developer of Standard and Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, told Reuters Television he does not give quantitative forecasts on where home prices are headed but is concerned about the recent pace of increases.

Home prices in certain areas, such as Minneapolis and San Francisco, have risen by double-digits over a mere four months, and if viewed on an annualized basis, they look like they are in “bubble territory,” Shiller said.

“It is a time of great uncertainty,” he said.

U.S. home prices in August rose for the fourth straight month. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 1.2 percent in August from July, topping the estimate of a 0.7 percent rise according to in a Reuters poll.

“The prominent fact that we are seeing with this data is that home prices are just zipping up,” Shiller said.

“It is entirely possible that even with the bad news we are getting, home prices could start a major increase,” he said.

Prices in the top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas gained 1.3 percent in August after a 1.7 percent rise the previous month, according to the S&P composite index.

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261 Responses to Bubble 2.0

  1. NJGator says:

    frist!

  2. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Mortgage Bankers Can’t Afford Their Own Home

    Call it a sign of the times.

    It’s not exactly a great time to put a large piece of commercial real estate on the market, like a big ol’ building in downtown Washington, DC, but apparently the Mortgage Bankers Association didn’t have a choice.

    They moved into their $76 million building just over a year ago at 1331 L St. NW, but in a letter to members this morning, the board wrote the sale would be “in the best interest” of the association.

    It adds that they will lease “a substantial portion of the building” so as to keep it as their headquarters through 2010.

  3. DL says:

    From previous thread: Jack@76: Main diff between PA and NJ is property taxes. Some other observations from our visit. Most towns we looked at reminded me of third world. We considered Ambler, Lansdale, North Wales, Abinting, Glenside, Jenkintown, and even crossed the DMZ into Phila. Problem for us is we don’t want to spend the rest of our lives in a car (one hour to travel 20 miles). Crossing through north Phila from NJ over the Tacony Bridge to Old York Road was depressing. The Cherry Hill Mall was redone at a cost of millions but our towns have turned into eyesores. Friends told us they just learned to tune it out. We were also surprised at the ghost towns commercial real estated has become. East Gate Mall in Morrestown is half empty and Franklin Mills looks like a neutron bomb hit. Clot has it right. Big trouble brewing when the middle class discovers their house is worthless and monthly tax bill is more than the mortage.

  4. grim says:

    Where’s my f*ckin’ bailout?

    From the WSJ:

    GMAC Asks for Fresh Lifeline

    In a stark reminder of how some battered financial firms remain dependent on government lifelines, GMAC Financial Services Inc. and the Treasury Department are in advanced talks to prop up the lender with its third helping of taxpayer money, people familiar with the matter said.

    The U.S. government is likely to inject $2.8 billion to $5.6 billion of capital into the Detroit company, on top of the $12.5 billion that GMAC has received since December 2008, these people said. The latest infusion would come in the form of preferred stock. The government’s 35.4% stake in the company could increase if existing shares eventually are converted into common equity.

  5. Essex says:

    3. I agree with clot theoretically but in most cases it will be a “cost of living”…much like the Florida insurance bill each month is higher for homeowners than their monthly mortgage. Sure you hate it but try changing it.

  6. freedy says:

    the fact that GMAC is again at the
    bowl for money , talk about a zombie/

    what happened . i thought they were a bank

  7. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Fears of a New Chill in Home Sales

    Even as new figures show house prices have risen for three consecutive months, concerns are growing that the real estate market will be severely tested this winter.

    Artificially low interest rates and a government tax credit are luring buyers, but both those inducements are scheduled to end. Defaults and distress sales are rising in the middle and upper price ranges. And millions of people have lost so much equity that they are locked into their homes for years, a modern variation of the Victorian debtor’s prison that is freezing a large swath of the market.

    “Plenty of pain yet to come,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist for MFR. He is forecasting an imminent resumption of price declines.

    This summer, housing seemed at last to be stabilizing. A flood of last-minute buyers trying to conclude a deal before the tax credit expires Nov. 30 helped push up the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index a seasonally adjusted 1 percent in August, it was announced on Tuesday.

    That was the first time since early 2006 that the widely watched measure of 20 metropolitan areas put together three consecutive increases.

    While underlining the importance of that long-awaited rise, Maureen Maitland, the S.& P. vice president for index services, warned, “Everything is up for grabs this winter.”

  8. Question says:

    Won’t the tax credit be extended? If not, why? Anyone want to speculate as to how many jobs will be lost Q1 of 2010?

    An lastly, when will interest rates start to rise? My guess is the first increase will be around April.

  9. Cindy says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE4BN4BL20081224

    From 12/08 “GMAC gets Fed’s OK to Become Bank Holding Company”

    Grim @ 4

    Did you catch my posts about TARP yesterday? Timmy must feel he has access to his own personal slush fund to be used however he sees fit.

    Where is your bailout? You need to find a way to be a bank holding company. Get on that.

  10. 3b says:

    Posted this last night I thought I would rerun it.

    Just finished looking at some closed listings in my town over the last couple of months. The prices for the most part are definitely back to 2003/02 levels. What is incredible to me however,(and I know I have been blathering on about this for some time), are the property taxes, starting at 10k and than 11, 11.5, 12, and even 13K a year!!

    These are all for the most part modest/starter houses (capes, ranches, small colonials),and as such most of the purcahsers would be first time buyers. These people are looking at a minimum of $1000 to 1200 a month and more just in property taxes What a ball and chain around the neck, before they even touch the monthly mtg and insurance pymt.

    First time home buyers? How many of these put down 20% or even 10%. How many of these sales were FHA, which is scary.

  11. Painhrtz says:

    Essex unfortunately that mentality has let it progress to the current situation NJ faces right now. Can’t fight city hall, we need cops and teachers. The fear mongering and apathy in this state has led to where we are today. I know from cruising this website and others there are folks who generally recognize this. The problem is aligning their other political opinions to get change. As much a Nj problem as a national one.

  12. Cindy says:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/10/report-gmac-in-talks-for-bailout-and.html

    Grim – Heard anything yet? CR is reporting that the Home Buyer tax credit has apparently been extended and eligibility expanded to include some move-up buyers.

    …expect a bill to be signed by Friday, packaged with the unemployment benefit extension.

  13. homeboken says:

    Cindy @ 12 – If that plan to extend goes through I would be amazed. A tax credit for move-up buyers? First, they will have to sell their underwater crap-shack now, and then their reward is taking on even more debt.

    Step right up and exchange your 2,000 pound chains for 5,000 pound chains folks.

    (PS, I am also bitter that as a first time buyer, over the income limits, I can’t get my free govt cheese)

  14. d2b says:

    DL 3-
    I guess that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, since I live about 3 miles from Ambler in Lafayette Hill, PA. I’m not sure if your problem is with those towns or small-town, main streets in general, because every area that you mentioned is pretty much surrounded by somewhat affluent communities.

    Not much different than Jersey. For every Collingswood, there is a Narberth. For every Lansdale there is a Woodburry.

    I never thought of our towns as third world. You may want to look West of the city: Bryn Mawr, Ardmore, Narberth, Gladwyne. While it looks further on the map, the highways make the commute to Jersey quicker. Slowly moving traffic on I-76 is still faster than Old York Road during rush hour.

  15. Cindy says:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/too-big-to-fail-banks-to-bail-themselves-out-2009-10-27-19400

    MarketWatch – Frank unveils plan to deal with too-big-to-fail banks

    “Under Frank’s proposal, any costs for taking over and euthanizing a failed bank would be paid for by the shareholders and bond-holders first.”

  16. comrade nom deplume says:

    (3) DL

    Boy you have high standards. Or there has been a marked and rapid shift in populaces when Ambler or Lansdale or Jenkintown look third world. I always thought that many of the towns you listed had character and charm. Not brigadoon, or Bryn Mawr, but pretty good nonetheless.

    If you are gonna cross the DMZ, there is center city. As urban living goes, it was pretty good but you have to pick your hood carefully and with few exceptions, forget about public schools.

  17. DL says:

    Ref 15: I agree there are beautiful suburbs throughout Montco. But given our desire to minimize car dependence, from what we could see our choices are we can either live in a really nice car-dependent development with maintained streets, attractive houses, and golf course class lawns (Montgomeryville); or we can live in an older established town/neighborhood with small lots, homes that haven’t been updated since they were built 60 years ago, crumbling infrastructure, empty store fronts, and ugly facades (Collingswood). One of our friends raved about Cherry Hill because you it was easy to get to everything and that sums up our frustration; everywhere we looked, there was no “there” there; the main selling point was that it was easy to get to other places. We would prefer to live where we want to be rather than have a quick commute to it. I’m still suffering from jet lag so regard the above as nothing more than the whinnings of a middle aged foggy.

  18. safeashouses says:

    #5 Essex,

    I’m trying to change it by voting for Daggett.

    And no, my vote isn’t being stolen from the other 2, I wouldn’t bother voting if there wasn’t Daggett (or someone like him).

  19. ruggles says:

    DL – Sounds like what you want is biitchy New Jerseyesque PA – Yardley and Newtown in Bucks and anywhere on the Mainline. Doylestown would also be perfect except its he!! to get to from New Jersey and I don’t think the commute to Philly is any good either (we cut down to 309 and avoid 611 south of doylestown).

    Haddonfield is it in Jersey (moorestown would be second).

  20. freedy says:

    well, seems to jonny has the election in the bag. great for the public employees
    screw job for the taxpayers.(homeowner_)

  21. NJGator says:

    The Gator family had another aborted house hunting mission last night. Modest house in south end of Glen Ridge came on the market this weekend. Our Tuesday evening appointment got canceled because 4 offers had already been received – for a 1700 SF palace on a 40×100 lot.

    This is the second time this has happened to us in a month.

  22. NJGator says:

    19 Safe – That pretty much sums up the position of the Gator household.

  23. Painhrtz says:

    Gator – I’m sure you and Stu are all broken up over it. 8K tax credit and FHA ahoy, got to love government intervention.

  24. NJGator says:

    Hey Pain – It’s not out of attorney review yet. I’m sure you can still swoop in and take it. Just bid significantly over ask. Asking price for this palace was $419k.

  25. Schumpeter says:

    safe (19)-

    Catchy tune. Danceable. I’l give it a 97:

    The number in nations
    The god in their hearts
    The justice in swine
    The devil in God
    This long hand that breaks our backs
    Still casting shadows on all that we see
    Unjustified…mercy killing is just a feeling
    To keep our numbers from being free
    Prison for praise is not worth thinking
    Sin is still in and our ballots are shrinking
    So unleash the dogs – the only solution
    Forgive and forget, f^ck no
    I’m talking about a revolution
    The prophet man’s got a needle in his hand
    Draws his dreams from your soul – bleeding minds into sand
    The year of the fear has arrived decades too late
    And our right to stand and fight is now solely sealed in fate
    One last chance mission with a vision ‘cos our lives are just cards & they’re stacked
    Our time is short but theirs is shorter
    How much longer can they hold us back
    Prison for praise – the obvious answer
    Once had power mad – living disaster
    Don’t f^ck with me ‘cos I’m on a freedom train
    That bears no name – this time I’m voting with a bullet
    This view they once knew made our nooses too tight
    This justice in swine
    his devil in god
    So God bless my soul – I’ve got total control
    And the crosshairs lined up dead in my sight
    I’m voting with a bullet

    -Corrosion of Conformity

  26. Secondary Market says:

    D2D and DL,

    I literally took a math compass to a map of Center City and circled a 10 mile radius. I left no town undiscovered in both states. In searching in PA towns (Main line, Swathmore, Wallingford, Springfield, etc) I found taxes to be comparable to the towns we looked on the Jersey side- even though the homes were older and generally smaller. On the Jersey side we looked in Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Haddonfeild, Collingswood and even out to Marlton.
    It all came down to general proximity for us. Whether it was job or family related, Cherry Hill was the best option. Rt. 70 is infinitely better to commute to the city than traveling on 95 or 676 and my door to door commute will be 11 miles. There is also a train into Philly just about a mile from my soon to be house. I was even lucky enough to find a property with .83 acres, albeit wooded.
    I suppose the point is that we found trade offs in each house or town that meet our criteria. It was our goal to avoid a high property tax bill but found that to be impossible. We have friends all the way out near Reading (that would be 1.5 hour commute) that are paying $9,500 in taxes to live in a podunk town. Unfortunately taxes are inevitable unless you stay in the city. But than you have to worry about the very bad public schools and the private schools at 15k a year minimum.

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [16] cindy,

    Frank must be going senile. His solution would make bank runs worse, since (a) banks would not be able to attract capital as easily (would you invest in a donor bank?), and (b) when there is the slightest whiff of trouble, e.g., FDIC closes some community bank in GA for bad farm loans, then everyone dumps JPMC and BAC, thus hastening the crash.

    Frank may be envisioning a system whereby large banks that want to avoid the sanctions, go in and buy up troubled small banks. Yeah, good luck with that. It was tried and failed miserably on more than one occasion in our lifetimes.

  28. John says:

    You know what I find is funny, GMAC got more money and barely any outrage. Not so much they got money, actually makes sense as GMAC failure would wipe out GM and Chrysler which we know and love an all own.

    It is the part that GMAC in order to be able to issue FDIC insured bonds agreed to limit rates it pays on CDs in Ally bank. Ally bank was the last place that pays decent CD rates, FDIC isured CD lovers just got spanked, hoped they were buying 1-5 year cds at GMAC/ALLY up till today because that spigot is turned off. Also ING lowered rates this week too, less competition from GMAC now plus ING has to sell the on-line bank in order to pay back their bail-out.

  29. Painhrtz says:

    Gator fabulous I’ll get right on it. Nothing like living a state full of delusional monkeys.

    Clot – one of favorite albums growing up and seems even more applicable today.

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    For those with long memories, I had said (and have been saying for years now), that when the feds bar the gates to keep the tax slaves from fleeing the plantation, that is a bad sign.

    I think they just put another lock on the gate.

    “The chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees joined other top tax writers Oct. 27 in unveiling broad legislation (H.R. 3933, S. 1934) targeting the use of foreign banks and other entities to hide assets offshore and evade U.S. taxes.

    The identical measures are intended to force foreign financial institutions, foreign trusts, and foreign corporations to provide information about their U.S. account holders, grantors, and owners. One cornerstone provision is a 30 percent withholding tax on payments to foreign banks unless they acknowledge the accounts to the Internal Revenue Service and disclose account ownership, amounts, and fund transfers.

    “This bill offers foreign banks a simple choice — if you wish to access our capital markets, you have to report on U.S. account holders.” Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel . . . .”

    I think I can almost hear that sucking sound now, and it is growing louder.

  31. safeashouses says:

    #26 clot,

    Are you trying to regain your spot from james as most likely to get picked up for questioning by the boys in suits?

  32. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [32] safe

    Huh? Clot as the board anarchist?

    What am I, respectable or something?

    Guaranteed I get questioned first because I pose a far greater threat to the new order–I intend to starve the beast.

  33. safeashouses says:

    #31 nom,

    Is there a line in that bill excluding congressman who own offshore rental properties from reporting those assets and any rental income from them?

  34. safeashouses says:

    #33 nom,

    clot seems to have a lot of words in his posts that a web crawler would give him a very high score for.

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Totally off topic, and copied from a post to the Frank story above (and guaranteed to get the board liberals’ panties in a bunch):

    “If a conservative doesn’t like guns, they don’t buy one. If a liberal doesn’t like guns, then no one should have one.

    If a conservative is a vegetarian, they don’t eat meat. If a liberal is, they want to ban all meat products for everyone.

    If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy. A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

    If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

    If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
    Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

    If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A liberal wants all churches to be silenced.

    If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that his neighbors pay for his.”

    BTW, not a complete post as there were some paragraphs that violated my “no suspect class” rule (morpheus, you know what I mean), so you have to link to the Frank story to see them.

  36. Cindy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/business/economy/27card.html

    Nom @ 28 – What a bunch of jerks. The same ole names…

    Here’s Dodd calling for a freeze on credit card fees and rates…

    Are they trying to pretend they didn’t get us here in the first place?

    Did you catch the FU @ 13?

    Luckily, I have to go to work and don’t have to read any more “news.”

  37. Ellen says:

    #27 Secondary Market,

    I just can’t agree with that assessment. I live in Whitemarsh in a 3000+ sq. foot house, admittedly on a small .25 acre plot. We pay right around 4k in all – school plus county plus local – property taxes. I don’t think we could get that rate in Jersey.

  38. Schumpeter says:

    safe (32)-

    The boys in suits better pack a lunch. :)

  39. Schumpeter says:

    BTW, James is a dude I’d like at my side when TSHTF.

  40. Sean says:

    What is the term for people that suck every last nickle of equity from their home?

  41. 3b says:

    #41 Affluenziacs.

  42. Anon E. Moose says:

    41.Sean says:
    October 28, 2009 at 9:54 am
    What is the term for people that suck every last nickle of equity from their home?

    Equity Locusts

  43. 3b says:

    #22 Don’t feel sad you can jump on the listing below, offered at 439k, just reduced from 459K.

    The taxes, if you must know, are $11,200 a year.

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2943318&id=999999

  44. ruggles says:

    41 – “What is the term for people that suck every last nickle of equity from their home?”

    In this environment–Smart.

  45. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Tax News of the Day:

    “New Jersey Joins List of State Appeals Courts Denying Home Depot Bad Debt Tax Refunds

    Home Depot USA Inc. continued its string of state appellate court losses Oct. 27 when a New Jersey appeals court upheld a finding that the company was not entitled to a refund of the sales tax it paid on uncollectible credit card purchases Home Depot USA Inc. v. New Jersey Director of Taxation, N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., No. A-4064-07T3, 10/27/09.

    The Ohio Supreme Court and a Washington appeals court have reached the same conclusion on the issue in cases decided earlier this year (63 DTR K-5, 4/6/09), (164 DTR K-1, 8/27/09. Additionally, the Indiana Tax Court has declined to issue a sales tax refund to Home Depot for uncollectible credit card accounts (146 DTR K-2, 7/30/08).

    The New Jersey ruling affirmed a state tax court’s dismissal of Home Depot’s challenge to the denial of a refund of sales tax paid on uncollectible credit card purchases.

    In its challenge to the tax court ruling, Home Depot claimed the tax court misinterpreted state tax law and that its equal protection and due process rights had been violated. Between August 1999 and July 2003, the retailer outsourced its account receivables to three finance companies, paying a service fee that included a projected bad debt loss incurred by the finance companies.

    “The Tax Court properly rejected, both factually and legally, appellant’s position that it was entitled to a refund of sales tax paid on uncollectible credit card purchases because it funded its finance companies’ projected bad debt losses through payment of service fees,” the court said in its per curiam opinion. “Appellant bore no direct risk with respect to non-payment of its customers’ credit card indebtedness, did not suffer any losses as a result of the defaults to the finance companies, and presented no competent evidence that its service fee payments constituted bad debt losses for which a sales tax refund would be appropriate under N.J.S.A. 54:32B-12(c) or N.J.A.C. 18:24-23.2.”

    State Regulation Found Reasonable
    The court was also not convinced by Home Depot’s argument that the so-called “sales tax first” regulation—which requires a vendor to remit all the sales tax on an item, even if the vendor is only able to collect a portion of the principle—distorts the effective rate of the sales tax to a rate substantially higher than 6 percent. The company claimed the higher rate constituted an unreasonable and invalid regulatory interpretation of the sales and use tax act.

    The appeals court found that the tax court aptly explained why the statute and regulation were reasonable and the scheme had a rational relationship to a legitimate governmental interest. The tax court said it was reasonable for the division of taxation, which does not have the ability to participate in the credit evaluation of a particular customer, should not bear any of the credit risk relating to that customer. . . .”

    If it sounds like they make up the rules as they go along, you are on to something.

    Tip for future tax protestors: Avoid jurisdictional routes that take you through a tax court. Tax court judges are picked to rubber stamp gov. cases. Occasionally an outlier, like Judge Vasquez on the USTC gets through, but they are rare.

  46. d2b says:

    Nom 36-
    Saw this yesterday. The ironic thing was that it was on another board, dominated by Republicans. Boy were they steamed….
    Not afraid to admit that I told my son to get a haircut this morning.You Might Be A Republican If…

    You think “proletariat” is a type of cheese.
    You’ve named your kids “Deduction one” and “Deduction two”
    You’ve tried to argue that poverty could be abolished if people were just allowed to keep more of their minimum wage.
    You’ve ever referred to someone as “my (insert racial or ethnic minority here) friend”
    You’ve ever tried to prove Jesus was a capitalist and opposed to welfare.
    You’re a pro-lifer, but support the death penalty.
    You think Huey Newton is a cookie.
    The only union you support is the Baseball Players, because heck, they’re richer than you.
    You think you might remember laughing once as a kid.
    You once broke loose at a party and removed your neck tie.
    You call mall rent-a-cops “jack-booted thugs.”
    You’ve ever referred to the moral fiber of something.
    You’ve ever uttered the phrase, “Why don’t we just bomb the sons of :: removed ::.”
    You’ve ever said, “I can’t wait to get into business school.”
    You’ve ever called a secretary or waitress “Tootsie.”
    You answer to “The Man.”
    You don’t think “The Simpsons” is all that funny, but you watch it because that Flanders fellow makes a lot of sense.
    You fax the FBI a list of “Commies in my Neighborhood.”
    You don’t let your kids watch Sesame Street because you accuse Bert and Ernie of “sexual deviance.”
    You scream “Dit-dit-ditto” while making love.
    You’ve argued that art has a “moral foundation set in Western values.”
    When people say “Marx,” you think “Groucho.”
    You’ve ever yelled, “Hey hippie, get a haircut.”
    You think Birkenstock was that radical rock concert in 1969.
    You argue that you need 300 handguns, in case a bear ever attacks your home.
    Vietnam makes a lot of sense to you.
    You point to Hootie and the Blowfish as evidence of the end of racism in America.
    You’ve ever said civil liberties, schmivil schmiberties.
    You’ve ever said “Clean air? Looks clean to me.”
    You’ve ever called education a luxury.
    You look down through a glass ceiling and chuckle.
    You wonder if donations to the Pentagon are tax-deductable.
    You came of age in the ’60s and don’t remember Bob Dylan.
    You own a vehicle with an “Ollie North: American Hero” sticker.
    You’re afraid of the liberal media.”
    You ever based an argument on the phrase, “Well, tradition dictates….”
    You ever told a child that Oscar the Grouch “lives in a trash can because he is lazy and doesn’t want to contribute to society.”
    You’ve ever urged someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, when they don’t even have shoes.
    You confuse Lenin with Lennon.

  47. NJGator says:

    3b 44 – Taxes on the Glen Ridge place are $11,362 for 2009.

  48. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [45] ruggles

    True dat

    Especially if they did it at historically low interest rates. Dollar collapse and resulting inflation will effectively reduce those debts too.

  49. Secondary Market says:

    Ellen,
    Not sure how far out Whitmarsh is out from Center City but 4k taxes do exists in Jersey (high percentage of lower Ocean County for example). I was judging towns exclusively in the 5-10 mile radius of Philly. The friends I was referring to live in Exeter Twp. and it’s like driving to the end of the earth when we visit them.

  50. skep-tic says:

    #10

    3b– people with a couple of kids shrug off the high taxes because they believe it is a fair deal for the schools. The old timers whose kids are grown paid so little for their houses that the high taxes do not infringe on their lifestyles much and besides, they could not for the same price replicate their standard of living elsewhere. The only people who are really hard to figure out are the DINKs who bought houses in the last 5 yrs.

  51. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [47] d2b

    Funny stuff. Never realized I was that stupid (even though the board libs have been insinuating that for months).

    Irony is that there were a heck of a lot of contradictory statements in that piece. But then, I never expect consistency of thought or logic from liberal bloggers.

  52. Ellen says:

    You can throw a rock from Whitemarsh over the city line. It’s just outside the Chestnut Hill and Andorra sections of the City. My husband makes it downtown most mornings in 40 minutes. Most evenings (outside of rush hour), he’s home in 20.

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [47] d2b

    You know, I think that a donation to the Pentagon IS tax deductible!!!

  54. ruggles says:

    whitemarsh is solid Philly suburban location. Plymouth Meeting, Fort Wash, Chestnut Hill area. 4k taxes that close to CC is pretty cool.

  55. NJGator says:

    New home sales take surprise tumble
    Effect of the soon-to-expire, first-time buyer tax credit begins to fade

    WASHINGTON – Sales of new homes dropped unexpectedly last month as the effects of a soon-to-expire tax credit for first-time owners started to wane.

    The Commerce Department says sales fell 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 402,000 from a downwardly revised 417,000 in August. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a pace of 440,000.

    It was the first decline since March. Sales in September were down 7.8 percent from a year ago.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33505013/ns/business-real_estate/

  56. 3b says:

    #51 I do not buy that as gospel. Lots of people including those with kids are being crushed with property taxes, plus throw in college tuition bills for many.

    It was one thing when taxes reached 7, 8k a year, but now 10 11, 12K a year? With no end in increases in sight? A fair deal? I think not. As far as seniors 12k a year in property taxes for many of them on a fixed income is a burden. And there are cheaper alternatives availble.

    One of my points in all of this is these are modest/starter houses, purchased by first time buyers.

    If credit is tight, than many of these purchasers are going FHA, with the minimum 3.5% down,and grabbing the 8k tax credit. I would think that more than a few will end up in trouble,and FHA is becoming the new sub-prime.

    With taxes where they are now, who will be able to buy these 10 years from now when the taxes may even double as taxes in many towns in Bergen Co have doubled from 2000 to now.

  57. make money says:

    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2009/10/tim-geithners-14-billion-gift-to.html

    Tax evasion and fraud is no longer a crime. These actions may land you a job with the Gov’t.

  58. Outofstater says:

    #19 That would be my choice too. As it is, I am going to vote for anyone but the incumbent, no matter what the office or party. If an incumbent is running unopposed, I will write in the name of my neighbor’s dog.

  59. Ellen says:

    #55 Yup. It’s the Colonial School district. Three towns combined – Plymouth, Whitemarsh, and Conshohocken. I can’t vouch for the school system since our kids are in private, but folks I know with kids in it are happy enough.

  60. 3b says:

    #56 Interesting decline in new home sales rigth before the end of the tax credit. So of course it will be extended,and expanded.

  61. Secondary Market says:

    Ellen,
    Sounds like a nice town and if it’s that close to C.C. I’d have to agree that 4k on the Jersey side would be a stretch to match. Maybe in Gluochester County but I don’t know much about that area.

  62. John says:

    Funny part the better the schools the higher the RE taxes which means more kids get into better more expensive colleges which equal higher tuition.

    I say GEDs for all and stop school at 16 years of age.

    #51 I do not buy that as gospel. Lots of people including those with kids are being crushed with property taxes, plus throw in college tuition bills for many.

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I just read the sponsor’s statement for the new Fat Cat Act, and it is as bad as I feared.

    Essentially, any cross-border transaction of any consequence is reportable to the IRS. Witholding taxes are imposed on cross-border payments unless the payor identifies the payee, and provides the payee’s information, to the government. This includes transfers of funds by private or charitable trusts, nonprofits, and individuals. Large businesses are already audited 24/7 by the IRS (didn’t know that, did you?); this bill will give IRS real-time access to financial data.

    Bearer securities are now effectively outlawed.

    Anyone that has any role in cross-border finance will have to register with the government.

    The last time a major nation put this many restrictions on cross-border financial activity, and required registration and identification of actors was in 1930’s Germany.

  64. Ellen says:

    #55 Ruggles –

    I should add low taxes in the Colonial School District are fairly easy to find. You just need to make sure you’re not looking at anything built in the last 5 years. The huge new 4000+ sq. ft McMansions with an acre of land will run you about a $1000 a month in taxes alone. Not bad, relatively speaking, but still, too high.

  65. PGC says:

    #36 Got Ball.

    If a conservative is a non-believer, he is not a true conservative

    “a conservative is someone who believes without reservation that the constitution is the holy writ of our republic as concerns all political discourse. we believe our founding fathers were inspired by the creator to enshrine the freedoms he granted us in words easily understood by all, for all time. furthermore, we believe that the quintessential concept which forever dethrones tyranny from the mind of man is that freedom being granted by the creator owes no debt to any man or group of men, and therefore cannot be rightfully abridged by any work or statute of man, but only through each mans understanding of his responsibility to his creator, himself, his family, his community and to the republic, in that order. whoever may say these words with complete understanding and agreement is and will forever be a conservative, regardless of any pundit or philosopher who dares to disagree.”

  66. skep-tic says:

    For multimillion dollar homes, the tax math does not work. E.g., if you are paying north of $50k in property taxes, you can just move to a town with crappy schools and send your kids to the best private schools. Even if you are paying $25k in property taxes, you might decide that Catholic school for 2 kids is a better deal.

    But for your average professional couple looking at $500k-1MM “starter” homes, paying $10-20k in taxes is not viewed as a bad deal because the alternatives (private schools or bad public schools) are seen as worse.

  67. Shore Guy says:

    ” 4k taxes do exists in Jersey (high percentage of lower Ocean County for example).”

    Southern Ocean County? Egads! Southern Ocean County is a cultural, aeasthetic, economic, and driving hell. God save the suckers who buy down there and attempt to service the mortgage without commuting 90 minutes each way (well, 90 minutes at off-peak times without accident delays and in non tourist season). Double that in the summer evenings.

  68. meter says:

    Since you like to speak in gross and ignorant generalizations, a liberal response:

    “If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
    Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.”

    If a sitting President doesn’t like a supposedly ‘liberal’ news source (e.g. The New York Times), it’s acceptable to denigrate said source on the national stage. BTW, I know of no liberals who have petitioned for the closing of Fox News – awful as it may be – much less those in political power.

    “If a conservative is a non-believer…”

    You just failed right there. You’re all mindless, logic-defying zealots. If a conservative is a believer (de facto) he will try to foist prayer in schools and a ‘science’ curriculum based on the fairy-tale of Intelligent Design.

  69. skep-tic says:

    #66

    belief in true moral absolutes (beyond any utilitarian interpretation thereof) necessitates a belief in God as a condition. Many professed atheists are unaware of the dependence of their moral beliefs on the assumption of an ultimate being.

  70. Secondary Market says:

    Shore,
    Correct, although I had my brother in mind. He works on the Lakehurst Navel Base and bought in Stafford Twp. $3,500 in taxes – 30 min commute. He’s a true townie and will never leave to work in a city.

  71. prtraders2000 says:

    68

    Commute time is significantly shorter in summer. No teachers/students on the road. Brick to W. Caldwell 75 minutes summer v. 100 minutes school year. Sucks either way.

  72. 3b says:

    #67 Agree to disagree.The ironic part is these huge tax increases have ocurred in the everyday towns, not just the towns with two working professionals, with a combined income of 250k or more.

    Ironically in many of Bergen Co’s premier towns (Franklin Lakes, Saddle River for instance), the taxes are less than in the more average towns such as River Edge or Waldwick to name just two.

  73. d2b says:

    Nom-
    I really don’t have a fight in the Lib vs. conservative debate. I just get annoyed at the factions that are ignorant that they can’t debate with the other side to try to reach a consensus.

    I would probably classify myself as a compassionate conservative or a conservative liberal, thankful for what I have, luckier than most. I’m fortunate to have a job, especially since I spend too much time on this blog everyday…

  74. skep-tic says:

    that is a good point on the non-prestige towns. I agree that the tax increases are ultimately unsustainable; I just was addressing why I think overpriced starter homes continue to sell in prestige towns.

  75. Shore Guy says:

    ” Brick to W. Caldwell 75 minutes summer v. 100″

    Brick is in the far northern portion of Ocean County, and has the luxury of being relativly close to 195 and 18, in addition to 444 (aka the Parkway). Locate south of TR and things go to he!l rapidly. Rt 9 and the Parkway are the only real north and south roads, the county roads are overloaded and over signaled, stopsigned, and a single accident causes HUGE backups everywhere. I recently drove from TR to Lake Placid. It took as long to get from TR to the Union toll plaza as from Union to Lake Placid. This summer I went from Belmar to TR and it took over 2 hours. On the way back, I went via 37 to 35, then scooted over to Ocean Ave to avoid traffic on 35 or 72 and save some time and it took 2 hours.

  76. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: I work for you, and you give me no props! :(

    chicagofinance says:
    October 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    For JJ:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZJ8-v7LdIo&feature=related

  77. Shore Guy says:

    “He works on the Lakehurst Navel Base”

    With the pathetic efforts the NJ congressional delegation “exerted” to keep Fort Monmouth, I would not be sanguine about Lakehurst ramaining open. Just wait until Boxer, Pelosi, and Feinstein decide they want that engineering work done close to SD or SF bases.

  78. meter says:

    “belief in true moral absolutes (beyond any utilitarian interpretation thereof) necessitates a belief in God as a condition. Many professed atheists are unaware of the dependence of their moral beliefs on the assumption of an ultimate being.”

    Whaaaa? What hogwash. I’m an atheist and have as strong a set of moral beliefs as any supposed Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, what have you.

    My morals are guided by the “do unto others as you would have them do onto you” premise, which, while this is typically regarded as a theistic premise, isn’t.

  79. S&P downgrades the mortgage insurers again. Losses are much higher than previously expected now that foreclosures have moved into the primes.

    Has any of the govt agencies taken up the
    MI business? I can’t remember anymore.

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/10/28/80036/sp-issues-a-fresh-warning-on-us-mortgage-insurers/

  80. make money says:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/ny-times-afghan-opium-kingpin-on-cia-payroll.html

    This explains nothing but raises a lot of questions.

  81. PGC says:

    #73 3b

    and no-one wants the “Tax Trauma” of Lodi.

    http://www.nj.com/news/propertytaxes/index.ssf?/str/taxes/countyranked.asp?frmrank=score&frmcounty=003

    Personally I think this index is garbage.

  82. Shore Guy says:

    Meter,

    Catholic guy her but, I know many atheists who are better Christians than many self-proclaimed Christians. Since someone is sure to bring ip the “founding fathers,” most of them were not Christian in the contemporary sense and a large proportion were atheists. Another large portion were theists who acceptedthe concept of God in the sense of an overarching cosmic power, but not as a deistic puppet master, pulling mankind’s strings.

    One other thought, faith untested is not a true belief.

  83. make money says:

    Skep,(67),

    What if you have no kids? What if your kids are grown? One kid only?

    The equation is different for everyone and you just can’t assume that status quo is gonna stay forever. Sooner or later, taxes won’t be able to keep incrreasing and public schools won’t be able to keep up with the private one’s.

  84. Shore Guy says:

    “My morals are guided by the “do unto others as you would have them do onto you” premise”

    You were not born and reared in NJ, were you?

  85. John says:

    Bottom line in richer towns 100K teach salaries to seven figure investment bankers are welfare checks. However, to the retiree on a combined 40K income it seems a fortune.

    make money says:
    October 28, 2009 at 11:38 am
    Skep,(67),

    What if you have no kids? What if your kids are grown? One kid only?

    The equation is different for everyone and you just can’t assume that status quo is gonna stay forever. Sooner or later, taxes won’t be able to keep incrreasing and public schools won’t be able to keep up with the private one’s.

  86. PGC says:

    #70 Skep,

    For the non chr1stians, does that mean, it has to be G0d as their wing man or will any Supreme Being do …. :*)

  87. meter says:

    “You were not born and reared in NJ, were you?”

    I was indeed. I’m not always treated well by others nor am I always able to live by that tenet, but I try to. Riding NJ Transit makes me question it every single day, believe me.

    Based on most of what you write when you’re being sincere and honest I think you and I would get along well in real (offline) life. ;)

  88. Schumpeter says:

    shore (85)-

    Treat others the way they want to be treated. (Platinum Rule)

    Do it to them before they do it to you. (Schumpeter Rule)

  89. FT Alphaville has a pretty interesting post on HAMP;

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/10/28/80011/more-than-you-probably-ever-wanted-to-know-about-the-hamp/

    Long story short, you get to foot the bills.

  90. John says:

    Actually, it is difficult to say if you are Catholic, Jewish, Hindu etc. You can only think you are. We really don’t know which religion is the right one and if such a thing as religion even matters. When we are dead we might just be dead. Just because you believe something does not make it true.

  91. Secondary Market says:

    @78
    oh he’s aware and on edge with each new contract expiration. he works for leir siegler so the best case scenario w/ a shut down is an out of state relo.

  92. PGC says:

    #74 d2b

    “I just get annoyed at the factions that are ignorant that they can’t debate with the other side to try to reach a consensus.”

    I don’t think Ignorant is the right word. I think it is more that, both sides have core beliefs they will not compromise on. Most will not even contemplate the thought that their core ideals may be wrong and are therefore not subject to debate

    This is why you end up with stalemates in Peace accords. Unless you get a third party change, neither side will move.

  93. Nicholas says:

    Didn’t you watch Southpark the movie, Mormonism is the one true religion.

    /sarcasm

    Anyway, I’m not getting into the debate about religion but I wanted to throw a new word out there for you guys.

    Agnosticism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism

    Strong agnosticism (also called “hard,” “closed,” “strict,” or “permanent agnosticism”)
    the view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities and the nature of ultimate reality is unknowable by reason of our natural inability to verify any experience with anything but another subjective experience. A strong agnostic would say, “I cannot know whether a deity exists or not, and neither can you.”

    Weak agnosticism (also called “soft,” “open,” “empirical,” or “temporal agnosticism”)
    the view that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable, therefore one will withhold judgment until/if any evidence is available. A weak agnostic would say, “I don’t know whether any deities exist or not, but maybe one day when there is evidence we can find something out.”

    Apathetic agnosticism (also called Pragmatic agnosticism)
    the view that there is no proof of either the existence or nonexistence of any deity, but since any deity that may exist appears unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic.[citation needed]

    Agnostic atheism
    the view of those who do not claim to know of the existence of any deity, but do not believe in any.[12]
    Agnostic theism (also called “spiritual agnosticism”)
    the view of those who do not claim to know of the existence of any deity, but still believe in such an existence. Søren Kierkegaard believed that knowledge of any deity is impossible, and because of that people who want to be theists must believe: “If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe.” (See Knowledge vs. Beliefs.)

  94. lisoosh says:

    My prediction for next spring- we will start seeing wage deflation showing up in official stats.
    I actually believe it is already here but realize these things take time officially showing up.

    On a white trash culinary note – Yum, boiled peanuts.

  95. Schumpeter says:

    Just found out my pal at the SEC is getting out. Can’t take it anymore.

  96. lisoosh says:

    Oh and I am leaning in the direction of the Gators and others concerning Daggett.
    Don’t love him but don’t hate him and he isn’t worse than the two big party candidates and they need to know that voters don’t like either one.

  97. John says:

    Back in Feb I said when this citi bond was 16% that one day you would be telling your kids about the time investment grade banks like Citi you could buy their bonds at 16% interest. After you guys beat me to death with your sharp wit I back off. This is that same bond from Feb I mentioned, amazing, shocking and befuddled I am as although I never thought citi would go belly up short term. Never though unsecured citi bonds would be trading at 5% anytime soon.

    CITIGROUP INC SUB NT 5.00000% 09/15/2014 ISIN #US172967CQ22 SEDOL #B05LYC7
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 98.611
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 5.326%
    Yield to Maturity 5.326103%

  98. skep-tic says:

    #79

    My morals are guided by the “do unto others as you would have them do onto you” premise, which, while this is typically regarded as a theistic premise, isn’t.

    ********

    so what is logical necessity of this? why is it moral?

  99. relo says:

    Clot,

    Here’s another on for you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TDgkOOlbwg

  100. A.West says:

    skeptic – “belief in true moral absolutes (beyond any utilitarian interpretation thereof) necessitates a belief in God as a condition.”

    Wrong.
    The Objectivist philosophy presents a non-relativist moral code based on reason and reality. Not faith-based and not utilitarian.

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?id=11127&page=NewsArticle

    “My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists—and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man’s virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.” – Ayn Rand

  101. lisoosh says:

    skep – Morality has some ambiguity about it in terms of how people define it and how they relate to it.

    It can be defined as a concept of “good” or “right” behaviour in a society or group – the “do unto others” principle.

    The logical necessity of this would be that as man is a social animal and we require society in order to thrive, an internalized and strongly felt code of conduct will ensure a more efficient and cohesive society. Of course, in the case of some groups this can become twisted.

    Theists seem to tie morality to religion. This seems to hinge on the premise that moral behaviours are based on rules given my the divine being. They can of course intersect, and there is a logical connection to making religious rules/beliefs match a societies basic instincts -it the religion is more likely to survive.

    HOWEVER – to take the Old Testament into consideration, we have 613 actual commandments from G-d. One very large group has taken it apon itself to ignore 603 of them and call itself “moral”. So is morality truly based on following G-d’s rules? There is a rule requiring the washing of hands before a meal. Good hygene? Yes. Moral? Not sure about that.

  102. Shore Guy says:

    For those stuck in traffic, a handy use for one’s phone:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2354859,00.asp

  103. Shore Guy says:

    The letter itself. Only read the first letter of each line, and read down the page.

    http://politics.theatlantic.com/assets_c/2009/10/Schwarzenegger%20veto%20letter-17710.php

  104. Shore Guy says:

    Get ready to welcome King Jon back to Trenton:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aVAi5.xlrM38

  105. Shore Guy says:

    Make,

    Screw Norway. Wht the hell do they know over there; they gave B.O. the stinking Nobel Prize for goodness sake.

  106. 3b says:

    #107 Thatw as my fear, that with Dagget, Corzine would win. So now I will be forced to vote for Christie just to try and stop Crorzine from getting another term, although I am not a Christie fan.

  107. NJGator says:

    Shore 107 – That could actually be the best thing to happen in recent years to the NJ Republican party. Don’t you remember the effect of the Florio administration? The Democrats were pretty much exiled from Trenton for a decade.

    And I consider Florio to have been a much better Governor than Corzine.

  108. #108 – I believe it is the Swedes who are responsible for the Nobel.
    The Norse are only guilty of producing Mayhem albums despite being able to hear.

  109. skep-tic says:

    I am not talking about any specific religious moral code. I am simply saying that, in order for the idea of morality to be real, there needs to be a basis for it. It is not a priori obvious that any morality needs to exist.

    So what is the basis? Many atheists would justify morality based on utilitarianism (a variant of which I believe Lisoosh raised). Basically, morality is useful. To the extent it is not useful, it is not real.

    But most people, I think, do not really believe morality is so limited. Most people would say it is wrong to kill an innocent person, even if it would be socially useful to do so. In other words, most people are really moral absolutists in some fashion, even those who do not profess a belief in God.

    So my question is, what is the basis for these people’s absolutist moral beliefs? My suggestion is that it lies in ideas of inherent good and inherent evil which can only be explained by an assumption of God. I mean God as an idea in a very broad sense without reference to a particular religion.

    As far as the objectivist perspective goes, while not strictly utilitarian, it is consequentialist and hence not absolute. Morality only exists insofar as the consequences of it promote the survival of the individual. I would not describe that as an absolute belief.

  110. Shore Guy says:

    How freaking stupid is this? Blew through over $100 million, now $4 million in debt. Anyone have an overpriced house they want to sel to this sucker?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Former-Celtics-star-Antoine-Walker-is-broke-and-?urn=nba,198509

    Maybe that RE agent was correct and pro athletes will buy up all the overpriced homes.

  111. skep-tic says:

    To take this back to the original point, absolutist assumptions about morality are inherent in the constitution. As a result, a belief in God is implicit in the document, although there are no explicit appeals to a “Creator” as in the Declaration.

  112. safeashouses says:

    #113 shore,

    Google Nick Cage money troubles. Even more surprising since he’s made over 50 movies.

  113. still_looking says:

    41 – “What is the term for people that suck every last nickle of equity from their home[land?”: (added by me)]

    The Vampire Squid.

    sl

  114. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [91] john

    Your mind thinks you are here, but you are really living in the Matrix.

    You are really just living in a battery pod, powering the machines.

  115. Veto That says:

    http://www.trulia.com/homes/New_Jersey/Robbinsville/sold/68144-119-Ely-Cres-Robbinsville-NJ-08691

    This is what kills me. Comps like this. Sometimes I feel like im stuck in a 2005 time warp. If clot is right and we really do get a currency collapse, that means i’ll prob get a whopping 5% discount on a house purchase.

    Price History
    Date Event Price
    09/11/2009 Sold $395,000
    11/04/2005 Sold $377,000
    01/30/2003 Sold $247,836

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [117] SL

    “What is the term for people that suck every last nickle of equity from their home[land?”: (added by me)]”

    With any luck, I call them “clients.”

  117. chicagofinance says:

    I thought the source was Benny Hill?

    Schumpeter says:
    October 28, 2009 at 11:50 am
    Do it to them before they do it to you. (Schumpeter Rule)

  118. Nicholas says:

    Veto,

    I see your comps but this might not reflect the whole story. Please remit for us the mortgage data on this property so that we can see if it was used as an ATM and then defaulted on.

    I would also like to know how much interior redesign went into this home in the last four years. If the owners took out equity and then remodeled the home that would explain why the price has remained stable.

    Put 100,000$ into remodeling the home just to increase the value by 18,000$ would help me sleep at night. I’m not ready to call these “comps” just yet.

  119. Shore Guy says:

    “I believe it is the Swedes who are responsible for the Nobel.”

    Not the Peace Prize. The Swedes pick the others but our friends in Norway pick the Peace Prize winner. Ol’ Alfred set it up that way.

  120. Veto That says:

    Nick, Thats a good point to consider but for that comp, the home was built in 2002. What kind of work could they possibly do?
    I see many comps like this one. So i have to believe that they correctly reflect the local market here as much as i dont like to say it. In fact i’ve been crying about this all year. We are stuck 2005. And the end of summer comps are coming in now – at even higher prices.
    My theory of the price strength here is because of three things:
    1- The region is more isolated from NYC financial sector layoffs
    2- The region is closer to trenton and the govt hasnt laid off many state workers thus far
    3- asian immigrants are moving into this region by the boat load – increasing demand.

    Here is another one sold for late 2005/early 2006 prices…
    26 Endsleigh Pl, Robbinsville NJ 08691
    Price History
    Date Event Price
    07/07/2009 Sold $281,000
    06/08/2005 Sold $269,000
    02/21/2001 Sold $176,000

  121. confused in NJ says:

    109.3b says:
    October 28, 2009 at 12:54 pm
    #107 Thatw as my fear, that with Dagget, Corzine would win. So now I will be forced to vote for Christie just to try and stop Crorzine from getting another term, although I am not a Christie fan.

    Same here. I believe Daggett is a Corzine Trojan Horse and will vote Christie, just to avoid Corzine. From an NJ perspective, we need anyone not owned by the Unions. I also resent the Messiah playing NJ and don’t mind giving him a dose of Humility. Interesting, I am a long term Independent, once again voting for the lesser evil, and never once thrilled about my candidate. C’est La Vie!

  122. ruggles says:

    veto-that robbinsville neighborhood is different. I’ll bet it was undervalued for most of the decade. used to be a field in the middle of nowhere eventhough it has good highway access and now it may be the only new construction neighborhood with a walkable downtown in the state. Even in 05, I’ll bet it wasn’t on most people’s radar. If people are nesting and downsizing these days but want newer that is exactly the kind of place they’re going to buy.

    Plus in that price range the 8k could have some effect. Its got to be increasing traffic. And seriously, Delorenzos has probably brought more people into that neighborhood than any advertising campaign ever could. Its getting discovered, its interesting, and that may be helping prices tread water and grow a little.

  123. Nicholas says:

    Well I’m just saying because my sister bought a house in 2005, new construction, and then blew another 40,000$ in cash putting in hardwood floors, marble countertops, and appliances.

    I bet that doesn’t show up on the property records.

    You cannot take some random listing and turn it into a comp. People went out of their way to spend money they didn’t have on their HGTV wet dreams. Honestly if it was sold in 2005 then someone made some interior investments because that was the rule rather then the exception at the time.

    I know that it seems like an uphill battle but you really do need to examine the underlying fundamentals to understand comparisons in this day and age.

    Going back to work…

  124. What blogging platform is this? Is it free?

  125. Veto That says:

    Nick. i cant discount your points about proper comps because i agree with them.
    But even in cases where more info is available – after considering all the upgrades and doing proper comps, the recent sales prices still seem to amaze me and it always seems to bring me back to late 2004 – mid 05 prices. Thats why the recent comps i posted dont really surprise me if they were accurate because i saw huge improvement in the market at end of summer.
    ruggles makes good points – the town is a bit unique in that it is newer and growing. I would say mid 1990s started the new construction here, alot of converted farms into town home/sf home communities mixed with retail in addition to a new HS. But even if thats true, i still dont totally understand how new means stronger comps. Oh well. back to my cave i guess.

  126. still_looking says:

    Ol’ Alfred set it up that way.

    Shore, 123

    Who? Alfred E. Newman??

    After the latest recipient of the Peace Prize…. it’s about on par with “Mad Magazine” for all I care.

    sl

  127. still_looking says:

    Nom, 120

    When I meant homeland… I meant the poor working schmucks…. a/k/a/ “all of us taxpayers…”

    How do we expect to pay off 12 Trillion in debt???

    sl

  128. Escape from NJ says:

    Veto (124)

    I am looking in the same area and you are 100% dead on. I would however move number 3 to number 1 on the list. Almost every house I put a bit on ended up in a bidding war with a new H1B Visa resident. I have always bailed out on the bidding war. I cannot compete with the multi-income foreign funny money coming in to overpay for homes.

  129. still_looking says:

    http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/barackobama/ig/Barack-Obama-Pictures/Alfred-E-Obama.htm

    for those who need the visual…

    and, sorry, I spelled it wrong… Alfred E. Neuman.

    sl

  130. Veto That says:

    “I am looking in the same area and you are 100% dead on.”

    Escape, appreciate the confirmation. Its nice to know i’ve not totally lost my marbles.
    From what i hear, the asians drive a hard bargain but even in the extremely unlikely case that they were buying homes at 40% discounts, they would still be providing demand to a market that would not otherwise be there.

  131. Happy Daze says:

    Current candidate for mayor of Hoboken, and former municipal judge, defaults on mortgage.

    http://hoboken411.com/archives/30508/comment-page-1#comments

    Honestly, where does this town get all of its clowns?

  132. PGC says:

    Still

    The joy about this site it that the standard of the argument is very high and for the most part there is mutual respect.

    Here we have the vaccine debate going Jerry Spr1nger. The main article was a mother of an immuno-compromised child complaining that she can’t put her kid in daycare because of unvaccinated kids.

    Enjoy
    http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/thread/3367673.aspx?ArticleID=2232977

  133. Alfred E. Neuman says:

    What, me worry?

  134. still_looking says:

    PGC, 137

    OMFG!

    At least you understand my need to refuse to discuss/argue this topic.

    My family is starting to understand my virulent need for solitude when I come home….

    sl (feeling my inner sociopath bubbling to the surface….)

  135. Qwerty says:

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – The United States, which posted a record deficit in the last fiscal year, may lose its AAA-rating if it does not reduce the gap to manageable levels in the next 3-4 years, Moody’s Investors Service said on Thursday.

  136. Is it free to get a blog like this one? Where do I sign up?

  137. PGC says:

    #139 Still

    Totally understand.

    I think we can all smile at this one as we label it. “When Crazy met BatSh1t”

    Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!

  138. safeashouses says:

    #137 PGC

    Those people are wacky.

  139. Painhrtz says:

    PGC wow just wow. Makes me glad for the civil discourse on this board. Even if I don’t understand half of the economics stuff, but I’m getting better.

    Just goes to show you the internets brings out the wackos

  140. Escape from NJ says:

    Veto,

    I am also experiencing homes in Mercer that are not truly not for sale. The sellers will only come down $5,000.00 not 5% from asking. Asking is usually what they paid in 05 or 06. The realtors I met in Mercer know the score. It takes 2-3 years for the banks to do anything about non-payment of mortgage. Plenty of time to keep the house on the market waiting for J&J or Bristol to bring more employees over.

  141. KOMMENTKING says:

    How much traffic does this site get anyway?

  142. lisoosh says:

    Still – here’s your happy thought for the day, heard about some research which shows that female doctors have better success rates than male doctors.

    Made me think of you.

  143. Barbara says:

    I’ve been holding off on posting my Daggett face time here but here it goes. Talk with him for about 20 mins, he was campaigning at the Middlesex county fair. The crowd was thin, he cornered me. At the time I only vaguely knew of him from a few articles on NJ.com so I knew he was an Independent.
    First: it was clear that he wanted to do all the talking, no suprise. Eventually I interjected with my issues of insurance issues and property taxes and Trenton’s inability to effectively deal with either. We both agreed that John Corzines original campaign of consolidation and control is what NJ needed.

    Seems like all he wanted to do was talk about enviromental issues since that is his background. Important? Sure but not nearly as dire as taxes, business and jobs

    He did the usual Independent “I can get things done because I’m not bought” schpeel. Maybe.

    He seemed, quite frankly, a little clueless on important issues. In fact,, he was just plain wrong on certain facts. I wasn’t impressed but to be honest, I haven’t followed him since and everyone can have an off day.

    For what its worth.

  144. lisoosh says:

    skep – I so totally disagree with you on this topic (G-d, morality etc) it is beyond belief. OK,to be honest, your theory has more holes in it than a motheaten sweater.

    However, in the interest of board sanity I will not continue on this topic further.

  145. Barbara says:

    112. Skeptic.

    “So my question is, what is the basis for these people’s absolutist moral beliefs? My suggestion is that it lies in ideas of inherent good and inherent evil which can only be explained by an assumption of God. I mean God as an idea in a very broad sense without reference to a particular religion.”

    Interesting but just wanted to throw in here that in Judaism, God is both and the duality of good and evil lies within the one God. What you may regard as evil, is regarded as God’s will in Judaism.

  146. Barbara says:

    Clarify, not “good and evil” in God, but bad outcomes as well as good. Evil was a little too strong a characterization.

  147. Essex says:

    I’m a member of the tribe, but tend to not trust strong ideologies. They are personal and mostly used to hide behind.

  148. still_looking says:

    lisoosh, 147

    thanks… I like to think so :)

    sl

  149. Essex says:

    I certainly do not believe any hoo ha about “conservative values versus liberal values” if this board has taught us nothing it is simply that these notions have been twisted by folks who want to gain power.

  150. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [137] pgc

    Jesus H. Christ, that was Springeresque.

    Far worse than the screeds I get into with Schabadoo, and before I got sidetracked, Meter.

    There is just something about anonymous posting that brings out the worst in people.

    That said, I have seen the Geraldo and Springer clips, and now MSM is laying the smack down on each other and their opponent’s audiences, so debating IRL probably doesn’t do much for the civility thing. I know I would have to restrain myself with leather belts to keep from punching Olbermann or Grayson in the face.

    There’s only one solution in my opinion: Cage Death Matches. ;-)

  151. Barbara says:

    154. Essex,
    I’ve been doing some interesting reading on “Dominionism.” Google it, fascinating stuff when you read about its roots but admittedly many of the sources are skewed.

  152. Schumpeter says:

    plume (155)-

    I have found cage fighting to be very soothing TV viewing, almost from the day it was introduced.

  153. Schumpeter says:

    I can recommend any of the Kimbo Slice YouTube stuff as a wonderful way to while away a spare hour or two.

  154. Essex says:

    Barbara I enjoy your mind….

  155. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [157] schump

    You know, I wouldn’t mind hanging with you, but I would insist on being armed at all times.

  156. Essex says:

    Just a little insight….I have lived and thrived in conservative communities. Places where Jesus is very popular. Truly religious folks love Jews. They think we’ll boil in a lake of fire, but they love us just the same.

  157. relo says:

    Where’s the month-end markup?

  158. Schumpeter says:

    plume (160)-

    If you aren’t already, you should acquire the habit.

    “You know, I wouldn’t mind hanging with you, but I would insist on being armed at all times.”

  159. Essex says:

    Yeah fellas. Guns are fun til one goes off and kills your buddy. Happens more often than you would like to know.

  160. Schumpeter says:

    sx (162)-

    Naw man. God told the Jews they were his Chosen, and no cracker Southern Baptist wants to go up against that kind of ju-ju. Jews scare fundamentalists, because they’re guaranteed heaven and they can still deny Jesus as the son of God. That’s some powerful shit.

  161. Essex says:

    So aside from all the macho crap….when I moved here I lived in two towns Montville…home of the overpriced spread and the toxic apple orchards….and now a little place in Essex county. If things really tank it will mean either the wife or I have lost our jobs. Other than that it is status quo. Jobs=Homes.

  162. Schumpeter says:

    sx (165)-

    Playtime turns tragic.

  163. Essex says:

    Damn that is the first I heard of that one….I still keep in touch with a bunch of my friends via facebook. One lives on a spread in Lexington KY — sells horses to people for 1/2 mil. We have some very lively conversations…but when you have known someone since HS and you were both friends there. Seems politics are trivial.

  164. skep-tic says:

    #149

    Lisoosh– to the extent you may be misinterpreting what I am saying, I am not saying that un-religious people lack a sense of morality, just that often their sense of morality is more indebted to religious beliefs than they may realize.

    This is due to the fact that all cultures in the world have been (and continue to be, with certain exceptions) religious since their inceptions, with the secular cultures emerging only very recently in a historical sense.

    So there are many relics of a religious mindset in otherwise modern secular culture and moral sensibilities are large repositories of this for obvious reasons.

  165. Essex says:

    I own a pump action mossberg fwiw. Actually met the man (mossberg) himself and was on his 150′ Viking for it’s maiden voyage.

  166. Barbara says:

    162. Essex
    I grew up fundie, escaped, married an agnostic jew. Fundies *sorta* like jews, I think Schump makes a good point. As a non jew I was privy to what they were saying about you when you walked out of ear shot and it wasn’t great. I have some stories, yes I do.

  167. Essex says:

    I agnostic. But also pretty into zen. It just resonates with me. Yoga. Walks on the beach. Sunsets.

  168. Essex says:

    I also have this hysterical love of pork products. Seriously, bacon is one of my favorite foods.

  169. Essex says:

    You Kill Me (2007) is On Cable — awesome movie.

  170. Schumpeter says:

    A Mossberg-toting Jew. Hoo boy.

  171. Schumpeter says:

    Dude’s probably Mossad.

  172. Essex says:

    Naw…ROTC South Florida.

  173. Essex says:

    Hell I went to summer camp one year when I was 12 and we all did target practice with .22 cal rifles. Just a bunch of kids shooting targets. That would never fly today.

  174. safeashouses says:

    burglars use black magic marker as a disguise.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26852192/vp/33507848#33507848

    The children are our future.

  175. Infinite Creator says:

    That I encompass both good and evil would be true if such absolutes existed because I am all and all is me. That which you deem “evil” is that portion of me that has chosen to experience itself as more important than the rest of my creation. I allow this choice in an effort to experience all of my facets with impunity.

  176. Barbara says:

    ROTZIs! we had several in our HS which was predominately jewish

  177. Barbara says:

    Infinite Creator, will you “friend” me on Facebook?

  178. Infinite Creator says:

    “Infinite Creator, will you “friend” me on Facebook?”

    I already have….

  179. Barbara says:

    lol

  180. Barbara says:

    180.
    tweakers

  181. Shore Guy says:

    From an ASCAP newsletter (about illegal music file sharing) that I just received. I can get a link later when off BlackBerry.

    Clot and Nom should enjoy.

    LIMOVSK, Russia | Russia has been a major market for counterfeit music, movies and computer programs from around the world, but at least one Russian product has been pirated worldwide: the Kalashnikov assault rifle. Russia will step up action to defend the copyright of the Kalashnikov, which is made without license by dozens of manufacturers around the world, said Anatoly Isaikin, the chief of the nation’s state arms-trading monopoly. The Kalashnikov has become the world’s most widely distributed weapon, with some 100 million made in the 60 years since the AK-47 went into serial production. But only about half of them are the genuine, locally made article. The counterfeit production of Kalashnikovs outside Russia has incurred financial losses, tarnished the brand because of their poor quality and dented the country’s prestige abroad, Isaikin said last week.

    snip

  182. Barbara says:

    Give it up, Russia. Even Gucci knew when to hang it up on the counterfeits.

  183. New in NJ says:

    Barbara (172)

    “Fundies *sorta* like jews”

    I always figured that they *sorta* liked the jews’ God, that eye-for-eye, fire and brimstone, vengence is mine guy.

  184. Essex says:

    Renting Vs Owning conversation on Bloomberg. “Owning is more affordable than renting and this will not last.”

  185. Essex says:

    “Do you want to be buying stocks of the home builders?” “YES! Stocks are a long term play. Toll Bros. DR Horton. Are sound investments.”

  186. Essex says:

    Terracap Partners…..

  187. Essex says:

    Hilarious.

  188. New in NJ says:

    Schwarzenegger flips of the CA legislators in a coded message…

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/schwarzenegger/

  189. chicagofinance says:

    Infinite Creator says:
    October 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    In: Which scotch is the best?

  190. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [179] essex

    “Hell I went to summer camp one year when I was 12 and we all did target practice with .22 cal rifles. Just a bunch of kids shooting targets. That would never fly today.”

    12? I recall shooting .22s in summer camp when I was 8. And that was in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts!

    You are so right too, that would never fly today (at camp anyway. When they are old enough, Daddy’s girls are going to the range).

  191. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [180] safe

    “The children are our future.”

    In Philadelphia, right near the Parkway and the Museums, and across from the WF we shopped at, was the juvenile detention facility for Phila. They had vans parked outside for shuttling the juvvies to court and such. They were, of course, marked vans with logos and lights.

    They also had a phrase on the vans (kinda like the cops with “To protect and serve) that was so hilarious given the location, I took pictures of it.

    It said “Our children are the future”

    Considering who “their” children were, I hope to hell NOT.

  192. skep-tic says:

    I shot guns all day at camp when I was 9. America.

  193. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [essex]

    “I own a pump action mossberg fwiw.”

    We really ought to have a shooting GTG with this nice fall weather. There’s a place in Lahaska that is outdoors and has rifle, pistol, and shotgun ranges. Damn cheap too!

  194. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Since someone has to organize it, I will.

    Whoever is up for a shooting GTG, write me at nomdeplumenj@gmail.com

    I think the place in Lahaska is the best bet, but I am open to suggestions, especially if there are locations in NJ where it is legal to pop off in open spaces (NH was great for that)

    Plan on a full weekend day

  195. I signed up for the RSS feed but I guess it is not working?

  196. lisoosh says:

    Skep #170 – The flaw in your logic is the assumption that religion came first. More plausible is that religions grew out of a common social sensibility – morals and the need to both understand and enforce behaviour.

    I won’t even get to points such as religious Saudi Arabia will happily lash a woman for being raped while secular Europe views this as barbaric.

    I would suggest reading Joseph Campbell – a great authority on the universality of human mythology and themes across very disparate cultures.

  197. lisoosh says:

    Barbara #172 – I believe it. More than one fundie has happily told me that I am on my way to h@ll. They are more than happy to “support” the far right in an attempt to hasten Armageddon.

    With friends like these….

  198. sas says:

    you gotta be kidding, GMAC wants another bailout?

    grab your ankles.
    SAS

  199. lisoosh says:

    Bloomberg – some Mortgage Banker joker insisted that the route to curing all of our ills is for the Government to guarantee the value of all homes.

    I kid you not.

  200. NJCoast says:

    #179 #199 Same here. The parents sent me off to horseback riding camp in NY state and I came back with a pro marksman badge. Target practice with .22’s at 12 years old. Good times.

  201. sas says:

    “pump action mossberg”

    nice shotgun… for shooting quail & pheasant, might not be best that little burgler in the night.

    At close quarters, you want something light, but with KO power. and shoot from the hip, something to work on at the shooting range, just don’t blow your jaw off:P

    you can easily grab a shotgun away from someone at close quarters too.

    SAS

  202. sas says:

    “KO power”

    not too much, don’t wanna drop it.
    u want a nice trigger squeeze and stay on target.

    SAS

  203. sas says:

    “Gardasil Researcher Drops A Bombshell
    Harper: Controversal Drug Will Do Little To Reduce Cervical Cancer Rates”

    http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/10/25/top_stories/doc4ae4b76d07e16766677720.txt

  204. sas says:

    This story reminds me, if I get one more AARP junk mail. I am going to lose my marbles.

    “Wal-Mart Starts Selling Caskets, Urns Online”
    http://www.1010wins.com/Wal-Mart-Starts-Selling-Caskets–Urns-Online/5546412

  205. Essex says:

    210. SAS is the man. Agreed. Awkward. But Damn you can’t miss.

  206. sas says:

    i have to ask…is this really a bad thing?

    “Food will never be so cheap again”

    -Biofuel refineries in the US have set fresh records for grain use every month since May. Almost a third of the US corn harvest will be diverted into ethanol for motors this year, or 12pc of the global crop.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/6432538/Food-will-never-be-so-cheap-again.html

  207. Essex says:

    Tempted to saw that thing off.

  208. skep-tic says:

    #205

    I am not saying whether there are moral absolutes; I am simply saying that if one believes in moral absolutes (as most people seem to), this has a religious source.

    I agree that it is entirely possible that religion grew organically out of a need to enforce desireable behavior socially speaking, but you should recognize that if you believe this is the case, then you are essentially saying morality is utilitarian concept.

    I do not think most people actually believe this (judging by their beliefs that certain things are just wrong regardless of whether there may be a socially beneficial result), but this does not mean most people are right.

    Again, my original point was simply that many non-religious people fail to see the necessity of religious belief in their morally absolutist worldview. Religion is not a precursor to a utilitarian mindset.

  209. sas says:

    skep-tic & lisoosh,

    I’ll end your debate right now for ya.

    There was a little saying we had back during southeast asia:

    “ain’t no atheists in foxholes”

    you’ll pray to anything to make it out alive.
    SAS

  210. skep-tic says:

    what I can’t decide is which group will be betted suited to run the death panels once health care reform passes.

  211. Schumpeter says:

    I got the death panels covered.

  212. Schumpeter says:

    “With the FDIC-backed TLGP program set to expire on October 31 (with a 6 month safety net optionality, whatever that means), GMAC did all it could to jump on the last train leaving the cheap taxpayer funded capital station. The government subsidized provider of car loans for cars nobody wants priced $2.9 billion of 3 year notes. Luckily for the UAW and for the autobailout fans, the issue came in to price at a measly T-31.6 bps: a yield of 1.753% which would be unheard of had GMAC actually tried to tap the private markets. Oh yeah, and it is AAA rated. Thank you Sheila Bair for putting another $2.9 billion of taxpayer money in harm’s way and with a virtually 0% probability of recovery.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/cash-sink-hole-gmac-catches-last-tlgp-train-out-station-29-billion-free-issue

  213. stan says:

    Just walked by Zales on 38th and fifth. F-in Christmas decorations going up.

    Shoot me.

  214. stan says:

    Lot of closings in Hoboken last week.

    A quick glance shows a lot of sellers lowering their prices.
    Also of note the ‘Vesta’ shoot me again, a new development has started unloading it’s units.

    First listed at 710k in July of 2008, just closed for 498k.

    Still waiting on Toll to do the same for some of their larger developments.

    Also seeing the large upper grand development 2 bedrooms moving at 500k instead of the previous years when they traded in the 600’s.

    None of this matters to Frank though. And whoever the person who claimed that only outer burbs prices were coming down the other day.

    Site is below:
    www dot hobokenrealestatenews dot com

  215. NJCoast says:

    Looks like the homebuyers credit will be extended until April and includes a credit for move up buyers too.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ayS36Cg5hu5w

  216. Does every post get this many comments?

  217. Barbara says:

    skeptic,
    I agree with your general premise that even atheist’s moral code originates and is therefore historically dependent on a belief in a creator if only for the simple fact that, as you point out, secualr humanism is a relatively young concept compared to religion, which dates back to the cave drawings.

    My atheist friends are ethical, moral, kind but over estimate their independence of thought. Its their badge of honor and also their blind spot.

    Having said that, I’ve always thought that judeo christianity is a victim of its own success in the west.

  218. Essex says:

    It is a wonderfully rich tradition. Full of sage advice for the young and a movie career for Charlton Heston.

  219. Essex says:

    And speaking of other completely irrational fascination….GO Yanks!

  220. Barbara says:

    Strictly Phillies in my house!

  221. Essex says:

    My wife is a Phillies fan. And she is shall we say….awesome.

  222. Essex says:

    New Stadium. World Series. Sweet.

  223. lisoosh says:

    skep/barbara -Interesting debate with too much to go into here.

    I will say that I personally don’t believe either morality or religion came first or that one is dependent on the other or they can only exist together.

  224. Barbara says:

    lisoosh,
    but you can’t back that up anthropologically. They did come about together.

  225. Essex says:

    I sincerely enjoy being around spiritually evolved people. The WASPs just tend to bore the crap outta me.

  226. confused in NJ says:

    212.sas says:
    October 28, 2009 at 7:03 pm
    “Gardasil Researcher Drops A Bombshell
    Harper: Controversal Drug Will Do Little To Reduce Cervical Cancer Rates”

    http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/10/25/top_stories/doc4ae4b76d07e16766677720

    Interesting that now they are pushing for boys to get the vaccine.

  227. Infinite Creator says:

    Morality and religion are loose interpretations of my mystery.

  228. Barbara says:

    Lisoosh, try this one on. I’ve been letting it knock around in my head for awhile now. Agnostics/humanists are just highly evolved Christians (jews, muslims, etc).

  229. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Clot, don’t think that they aren’t watching. If they are willing to take down this separatist group, they are willing to take you (us?) down as well:

    “DETROIT — Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested several members of a radical Sunni Islam group in the U.S., killing one of its leaders at a shootout in a Michigan warehouse, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

    Agents were trying to arrest Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, at a Dearborn warehouse on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms. Authorities also conducted raids elsewhere to try to round up 10 followers named in a federal complaint.

    Abdullah refused to surrender, fired a weapon and was killed by gunfire from agents, FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.

    In the 43-paged complaint unsealed Wednesday, the FBI said Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was an imam, or prayer leader, of a radical group named Ummah whose primary mission is to establish an Islamic state within the United States.

    No one was charged with terrorism. But Abdullah was “advocating and encouraging his followers to commit violent acts against the United States,” FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit. . . .”

  230. Outofstater says:

    Humans exist for one purpose – to perpetuate the species. What if all of our religions, traditions and sense of morality arose because they were favorable to survival?

  231. Barbara says:

    OutofStater,
    what if God is a pragmatist?

  232. Barbara says:

    Comrade, I didn’t say *I* was highly evolved. No way I could be, my interior dialog is tortured at best. I wasn’t refering to myself.

  233. Barbara says:

    comrade, evolution is adaptation for survival. Old line religions are not dying, they are adapting in the macro sense. In the short term, our wee lifespans, it all looks like its going to hell in a handbasket.

  234. chicagofinance says:

    236.Infinite Creator says:
    October 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm
    Morality and religion are loose interpretations of my mystery.

    In: I will only be polite once…which scotch…please..?

  235. comrade nom deplume says:

    (242) Barbara

    I was speaking to the assembled you. And simply stirring the pot. There is an argument to be made for your position but I think there is a great deal of complexity in the concept of religion. And as to who is right, we must acknowledge that there is no Great Cosmic Yardstick by which we measure these things.

  236. Barbara says:

    only two things imo are cosmic constants: change and absurdity.

  237. Barbara says:

    but I digress…

  238. chicagofinance says:

    Footage from the last NJ RE Report GTG….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doTBT46wMvA

  239. Barbara says:

    Germans…..fun loving!

  240. DL says:

    George Carlin once said he was a frisbee-tarian. He believed that when you die your soul goes on the roof and you can never get it down.

  241. Outofstater says:

    I think we’re all worrying about this stuff too much.

  242. james says:

    #203 Com,

    There is a public shooting range near Fort Dix I hear. This is the FEMA region 2 prison camp for folks like me. I figure it would be good to get to know the surroundings of where I will be spending the rest of my life.

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    I figured I should quote a Founding Father so that the web crawler program has something to feed on.

  243. yikes says:

    the way the yankees played tonight, this made me laugh. needed it.

    theo says:
    October 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    There seems to be a few fantasies on this board about packing it all up and moving to Chile WTSHTF.

    Let’s all just keep a few things in mind:

    While the country is relatively well run and well off compared to their neighbors, the majority of the population is still dirt poor. While the poor here will kill you to keep up a standard of living they could not afford otherwise, for your shoes, iPod, car etc., the poor down there will kill you for a loaf of bread to feed their families. Subsistence living for many despite the progress.

    Anecdote: When I was down there in May, my wife’s cousin related how he was in a checkout line in a supermarket in Talca and the woman two people ahead of him was sliced in the stomach with her intestines falling out onto the floor all for the equivalent of about 5 US dollars. (I tell this more for how disgusting it was, clearly we have more senseless crime than they do.)

    While most of you are just kidding or at least talking about living in some isolated region away from the people, please don’t kid yourselves. Unless you have some personal connection to the government or police, you will not be safe and will stick out amongst the local population. And anyone who has ever taken a wrong turn off of route 5 south in the outskirts of Santiago may want to rethink the idea of not wanting a personal army. That place makes the worst sections of Brooklyn or the Bronx look like the Hamptons.

  244. lisoosh says:

    Barbara says:
    October 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    “lisoosh,
    but you can’t back that up anthropologically. They did come about together.”

    Barbara – I would assume they evolved at a similar time, but there is no knowing- we don’t have any way to study what was going on in the minds of primitive man 100,000 years ago.

    “Lisoosh, try this one on. I’ve been letting it knock around in my head for awhile now. Agnostics/humanists are just highly evolved Christians (jews, muslims, etc).”

    I think there is a disconnect in this statement between the concept of SPIRITUALITY – the search for deeper meaning and place in the world, and labels attached to different groups.

    Agnostics aren’t sure about the existence of deitys, atheist are sure they don’t exist. The issue is one of belief in a higher power or individual creator.
    Organized religions area all spiritual in basis but have different approaches. Hinduism for instance recognized many paths to “enlightenment”. Buddhism is popular with agnostics for its focus on personal development.

    Interestingly the idea of a Judeo-Christian culture is relatively new and one I don’t really think exists. Christianity focuses on “salvation” through very specific beliefs, Judaism focuses on actions with a pretty heavy burden of responsibility towards living a certain way.

  245. safeashouses says:

    this blog keeps getting nuttier and nuttier.

    Why do so many posts wander so off topic or contain so much anger?

    i think the economy is going to continue to suck for a while, possible we are Japan 2.0. I have no idea what will happen with the stock market, but I do know my family can’t afford a decent house in a good town without being financially stretched.

  246. james says:

    Safeashouses,

    I think you need to start asking questions and looking for the truth. Once you find the truth you will understand why people are acting the way they are.

  247. Qwerty says:

    RE: Footage from the last NJ RE Report GTG

    Chi, this is probably closer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSRwzP23ifI&fmt=18

  248. safeashouses says:

    #257 qwerty

    LMAO

  249. james says:

    lmao Qwerty.

  250. Infinite Creator says:

    244. chi,
    Have faith that at some point the paradoxes will resolve.

  251. Barbara says:

    255. it wanders off because we have discussed real estate’s state of affairs on a daily basis, little is changing right now. Its a stalemate out there, we are waiting to see about the fate of the tax credit. We’re just blowing off some existential steam.
    Many of us are in your position and understand your frustration.

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