Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blame the media!

The Society of Saint Pius X, a fringe Catholic organization in a state of suspension (I won't bore you with the technical details), has as one of its bishops a nut named Richard Williamson. Recently, Williamson sat for an interview with Swedish television, and during the interview, made it clear that he is essentially a Holocaust denier. Obviously, these views are very unpopular for good reason, but the Society's response was to blame the media:

It is shameful to use an interview on religious matters to introduce secular and controversial issues with the obvious intention of misrepresenting and maligning the activity of our religious society.

Yes, clearly the fact that Williamson was exposed as a fool was all the media's fault. The TV station could have asked Williamson about his thoughts on anything under the sun and Williamson, who is not a child, could have simply refused to answer questions on matters not related to religion. Yet Williamson, who obviously wanted to talk about the Holocaust, did not refuse, and forged ahead with his anti-Semitism. The fact that Williamson is both anti-
Semitic and stupid is not the TV station's fault, but the fact that Williamson is allowed to remain a member of the Society is the Society's fault.

Have you seen my plane and my sweet wheels?

Marcus Schrencker, the Indiana investor who jumped out of a plane and faked his own death, once apparently thought that posing for this photo was a good idea:

This is the file photo used by MSNBC for some of its articles about Schrenker. It probably doesn't do much to win him sympathy among the public, or more importantly, among the members of the jury that will decide his fate in the future.

His clients who lost millions due to Schrencker's mismanagement also probably don't appreciate the high level of class necessary to take a photo with one's high-priced possessions.

Greatest. Spokesman. Ever.

Today's Rocky carries an article penned by David Milstead that says that the Post is surreptitiously borrowing funds from the Denver Newspaper Agency to cover payroll. Whatever the merits of the story (which the excellent Michael Roberts covers here), the Denver News Corp. executive, Joseph Lodovic, who acted as spokesman, provided some excellent examples for how not to respond to media inquiries.

"Who cares who owes what? Money goes back and forth all the time. All the balances will get wiped out altogether in the end."

Brilliant! Just don't tell the Justice Department, since anti-trust laws governing the DNA stipulate that the Feds do in fact care who owes what.

And my favorite:

"The issue is too complicated. It's irrelevant. Who cares?"


The Post likes the give the impression that it's doing spectacularly well, but in reality, it is deeply in debt and it just had its bond rating downgraded about six weeks ago.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A few seconds of the Mortgage Line9

Here is a short video of what the Mortgage Line9 at Channel 9 looks like. It's not of terribly great import, but somewhat interesting (to me).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lame comment by me

In a recent article in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about foreclosures, I said: "It’s a totally different situation for Mesa County," said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the division. "You guys are nowhere near in the same boat as some of the metro areas."

"You guys"?! How horrific.

We should all be categorically opposed to the use of the word "guy" to refer to anyone other than a male chum, although it turns out the word itself is quite interesting.

The word was originally used as a term to describe someone who was grotesque or very odd in some way. It comes to us by way of Guy Fawkes, the hero of the Catholic restorationists who was captured while attempting to blow up Parliament with gunpowder.

So the term, originally used to describe an effigy of Guy Fawkes that was traditionally burned by Protestants to commemorate Fawkes's execution, has its roots in anti-Catholicism and British nationalism.

Whatever its origins, my folksy use of "you guys" is no good.

Here's the article (edited down):

Mesa County foreclosures not near Front Range levels

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A recent [CDH] foreclosure report paints Mesa County in a better light than the rest of the state.

The report tallied completed foreclosures, or foreclosures that went to sale, rather than the number of filings.

As of the end of September, there had been one completed foreclosure for every 749 houses in Mesa County. The ratio in Adams County is one in 58 houses, in Denver County one in 78 and in Pueblo County one in 102 houses.

“It’s a totally different situation for Mesa County,” said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the division. “You guys are nowhere near in the same boat as some of the metro areas.”

McMaken said he used the number of completed foreclosures because it does not duplicate households that may have filed for foreclosure on two different mortgages, and because many foreclosure filings are stopped before going through the entire process. Sales figures were not available to use before, McMaken said.

“That number is telling me that we had a lot more lenders that withdrew the foreclosures,” Brown said. “They did not want us to take the homes to sale. They cured or withdrew and renegotiated the sale.

Year-to-date, the number of foreclosures filed in Mesa County is 445, which is more than the total for 2007, Brown said. He predicted it will reach between 450 and 460. The number of completed foreclosures will be about 101, he added.

Counties nearby are in a similar situation in terms of the number of completed foreclosures, McMaken said.

“Housing’s so tight in Garfield County that if you can’t make payments, you just sell your house, and it goes in a month,” he said. “Moffat County is the other lowest place. Where mining activity is happening, there’s just nobody foreclosing.”