Weird Reading Habits

I’m a very weird reader, people. I read tons of mystery novels because that’s my way to unwind. But I never retain anything from them. And I mean I don’t retain anything at all.

For example, I finished a new mystery by Richard North Patterson 4 days ago. I like this author and the mystery was good. Yet, I already have absolutely no idea who the murderer was. I’m not even completely sure if there was a murder. As for the names of characters, I have no idea what they are.

In a way, it’s good because I can reread the same mystery literally a dozen times and always feel surprised by the ending. It saves money.

Of course, it isn’t like that when I read professionally. When I read what I call “an actual novel” (people who specialize in the mystery genre will now slaughter me, and with good reason, too), I remember the text so well that I can say months later if a certain word was used and around what page of the novel. I don’t mean words like “and” or “if”, of course. But if the text contained, say, the word “monster”, I will remember that for a very long time.

I’m a compendium of weirdnesses.

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President Obama’s Plan to Help “Homeowners”

Right now, there are more than 10 million homeowners in this country who, because of a decline in home prices that is no fault of their own, owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Now, it is wrong for anyone to suggest that the only option for struggling, responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. I don’t accept that. None of us should. 

President Obama is not being very honest in the above-quoted statement. Unfortunately, the housing market is still light-years away from hitting bottom. Real estate is still ridiculously overpriced in this country and our President is dedicated to keeping it overpriced.

Even buying a house free and clear without getting involved in the whole mortgage fiasco is still completely untenable, in my opinion, because these houses are not worth even a third of what is being asked for them. This means that I will never be able to buy because I’m not a gambler by nature. Pouring a huge amount of my own money into something in hopes that people will keep not noticing how overpriced it is while I’m still alive is not for me.

I understand that the President’s gesture is populist in nature because when people hear the word “homeowners”, they almost break out into the national anthem. Who cares that the “homeowners” don’t own any percentage of their “homes”? They are still more responsible, valuable and attention-worthy than all those renters who are rootless, unreliable lazy layabouts. Thus, the myth that everybody needs to  shoulder a humongous mortgage because that’s the truly American thing to do gets perpetuated.

We need to realize, though, that – far from being Socialist or anything of the kind – Obama’s plan to “help homeowners” shows his ruthless dedication to preserving the status quo in the economy. This program will artificially prop up (just for as long as one needs to win a presidential race) a market that collapsed because of its own flaws. The banks will continue making humongous profits selling mortgages on overpriced cardboard boxes. The concept of renting will continue to be eroded. Borrowing gigantic amounts of money will continue to be in vogue. People will continue handing over the bulk of their income to banks as payment for the hope to own their cardboard box in 30 years while servicing and servicing and servicing their debt.

I have a strong feeling that there is a set of very happy lobbyists behind this plan by President Obama. Do I need to remind anybody that Obama has received a much bigger financial backing from the banking industry than Romney? If this “help the homeowners plan” doesn’t make it clear to you why Obama is supported by the bankers, nothing ever will.

Isn’t this a pretty neat strategy to preserve the status quo? And it comes to all of us at a small low price of an injection of taxpayers’ money from time to time. That sounds like a very reasonable price to keep things exactly as they are. If you think that this is a progressive measure, then you haven’t even begun to understand what the word “progressive” means.