Sunday, April 5, 2009

A House Divided

On June 16, 1858, more than 1,000 Republican delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention.

At 5 p.m. they chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas.

At 8 p.m. Lincoln delivered this address to his Republican colleagues in the Hall of Representatives. The title comes from a sentence in the speech's introduction, "A house divided against itself cannot stand," which paraphrases a statement by Jesus in the New Testament.

Even Lincoln's friends believed the speech was too radical for the occasion.

His law partner, William H. Herndon, thought that Lincoln was morally courageous but politically incorrect.

Herndon said Lincoln told him he was looking for a universally known figure of speech that would rouse people to the peril of the times.

Another lawyer, Leonard Swett, said the speech defeated Lincoln in the Senate campaign. In 1866 he wrote to Herndon complaining, "Nothing could have been more unfortunate or inappropriate; it was saying first the wrong thing, yet he saw it was an abstract truth, but standing by the speech would ultimately find him in the right place."

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention.

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.

We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.

Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Good Old Abe Lincoln. Smart bastard.

And, as usual, what is old is new again.

So what is this "house divided" crap? Well, it's us.

It's the U.S. Government & private industry, becoming intermingled at a startling rate.

So what's the big deal? The auto industry is imploding on itself. Everyone, government & auto makers alike want it to survive. Right?

Well, not really. Government doesn't want to lose the jobs. Specifically, the Dem's don't want to lose the Union votes. You lose the jobs, you lose the votes.

So they are shoveling money to the auto makers as fast as possible.

But strangely, the auto makers just aren't doing their part fast enough.

The entities being bailed out are still failing. Only vacuous idiots thought there would truly be another outcome.

GM & Chrysler face bankruptcy. Soon. Sooner than that.

Why? They are getting BILLIONS thrown at them. The leadership (auto & Union, alike) has to want to keep their perk-laden jobs, G5's & bimbo junket's, right?

Do you see why this is a House Divided?

The government wants survival.

Survival requires sacrifice.

Sacrifice is exactly what both sides do not want.

Sacrifice means plant closures, cuts & lost jobs. And neither the government, not the auto maker top brass, nor the union rank & file or leaders want that.

No one can possibly get what they want out of the auto bailout. The cure is exactly the poison that is killing the beast.

Bailout Nation U.S.A. can do nothing but fail. It is a House Divided. It will fall.

OK, on to truly terrible news....

Jobless rate bolts to 8.5 percent, 663,000 jobs lost

WASHINGTON -- The nation's unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since late 1983, as a wide swath of employers eliminated 663,000 jobs.

It's fresh evidence of the toll the recession has inflicted on America's workers, and economists say there's no relief in sight.

If part-time and discouraged workers are factored in, the unemployment rate would have been 15.6 percent in March
, the highest on records dating to 1994, according to Labor Department data released Friday.

The average work week in March dropped to 33.2 hours, a new record low. Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost a net total of 5.1 million jobs, with almost two-thirds of the losses occurring in the last five months.

"It's an ugly report and April is going to be equally as bad," predicted Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's

First, it bears mentioning again, that all jobless rates are wildly understated. There are all sorts of exclusions that reduce the number of "unemployed" persons in this country.

You can see it here, stated quite literally: The real unemployment figures are easily double what we are told.

We already know that Bend's stated 12.6% is actually 16.1%. And that 16.1% is already massaged as well, so the real rate is closer to 25%.

It's safe to say that the real unemployment rate in Bend is just about double what The Bully reports. Possibly more.

Even that 8.5% rate for the US is bogus. It was 8.9% in Feb. It is impossible to really know, because this is Kool-Aid bailout Nation, and it seems Job 1 is assuaging the population with lies, money & big boobs.

But despite all this lying, within the paradigm of the lies, you can see things are getting grim.

Worst Jobs Recession since the Great Depression

This is a chart from Last Month!

Things are still going from Bad to Worse. The markets are discounting the idea that this "recession" will be worse than others recently, but that things will soon turn.


There has been a fundamental shift in almost everything in our government & our "free" economy.

They are slowly evolving into some sort of unified blob, taking the worst of both, and making a monster.

Remember when Daimler Benz (the beautiful fairy princess) joined with Chrysler (the frog)?

Right. You got a monster.

I'm not telling people this to scare them, or anything else. It's just a warning, the same warning I've been giving almost every single day for 2 1/2 years:

We face financial Armageddon, as a country. Prepare.

This isn't going to be like the Last Time (2001), or the time before that (1991, etc). This is The Big One.

You should need look no farther than last weeks chart of Bend's unemployment, or the chart above of lost jobs. Things are still getting worse, not better.

OK, moving on....

OK, here's a shocking revelation:

Most of the "help" (financial assistance) that banks are supposed to give struggling homeowners (with OUR MONEY), is just hollow gestures.

What a surprise.

Loan modifications rise; many don't pare payments
by The Associated Press
Friday April 03, 2009, 8:55 AM

WASHINGTON -- Though lenders are boosting their attempts to curb record-high home foreclosures, fewer than half of loan modifications made at the end of last year actually reduced borrowers' payments by more than 10 percent, data released today show.

The report, based on an analysis of nearly 35 million loans worth more than $6 trillion, was published by the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

It provides the most detailed and broad analysis to date of efforts to stem the foreclosure crisis, which President Barack Obama is trying to combat with a $75 billion plan to promote loan modifications.

The report helps explain why many loans are falling back into default after being modified. Many borrowers and consumer groups contend that the modifications offered by the lending industry aren't very generous, despite more than a year of public prodding from regulators.

For instance, nearly one in four loan modifications in the fourth quarter actually resulted in increased monthly payments.

That situation can happen when lenders add fees or past-due interest to a loan and spread those payments out over the 30- or 40-year period.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report found that loans were far less likely to fall back into default if a borrower's monthly payment is reduced by a healthy amount.

Nine months after modification, about 26 percent of loans in which payments had dropped by 10 percent or more had fallen back into default. That compares with about half of loans in which the payment was unchanged or increased.

Loan mod's are simply an attempt to perpetuate past over-consumption mistakes.

You consumed too much house, you can't afford it, but our new US Government-Banking behemoth wants you to pay and pay and pay, until you are beyond tapped out.

This is serfdom. You are a slave to property. You will spend a lifetime servicing your debt.

There is an incredible re-distribution of wealth happening. And it is not to the Top 50% (Whitey), or even the Top 5% (Buster), or even the Top 1%.

It's the Top 0.0001%. It's not people who have a million bucks. It's people who make a million bucks. Per month.

These people are having the full faith & credit of the US (that's us, our kids, and grandkids, et al), printed up & deposited in their bank accounts.

They caused this. Now they are reaping the biggest financial bonanza the World has ever known.

We'll be a country of vast serfdom with an almost impossibly small number of financial Masters ruling the place.

Loan mod's are nothing but an attempt to enslave you.

OK, next....

And just more proof that nearly all the goodness of this blog is in the comments...

Trends Signal Slowing Population Growth In Bend

For years, Bend has been the fastest growing city in the state -- and one of the fastest-growing in the country.

But in the recession, that development and growth has turned into a high number of foreclosures and job losses.

Now, a series of statistics have begun to trickle out that signal many people are leaving the region to find a better life elsewhere.

I'm not sure how many people read this blog (not really important, I guess), but it's little nugg's like this that I just love.

Because it is something Bend's local media would never run.

At Bend High School, the hallways remain crowded. But, a little less so than in the past few years.

The front office says the school has about 100 fewer students than this time last year.

The trend holds true at the district level as well.

There are about 250 fewer students in the system today, than one year ago, a drop of more than 1%.

Ron Wilkinson is the superintendent of the Bend-La Pine School District.

Ron Wilkinson: “Without any question, Bend is in a situation of flattened growth. And when you’ve been on this pattern of almost straight-up growth on the charts, it feels like a significant decline.”

Ron Wilkinson: “For us, it’s a matter that a lot of that construction industry is unemployed or has moved elsewhere. It’s certainly impacted the economy and the entire community.”

Ah yes. The old Flattened Growth. A classic Bendism. It now joins other classic Bend-oxymorons, "larger half", "rolling stop", and "only choice".

Flattened growth. This is Bend.

Finally, another priceless nugg from the comments (Sub req'd).

Cascade Bancorp asks shareholder to invest $25M
By Andrew Moore / The Bulletin

Published: April 04. 2009 4:00AM PST

Cascade Bancorp, the publicly traded parent company of the Bank of the Cascades, is seeking a $25 million investment from David Bolger, its largest single shareholder, that could potentially give Bolger ownership of more than 50 percent of the company, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bolger, of New Jersey, currently owns 21.33 percent of the company’s common stock, according to the company.

Bolger was the lone shareholder of Boise, Idaho-based Farmers & Merchants State Bank, which Cascade Bancorp bought in 2006.

Patty Moss has been reduced to begging!

She wants this Bolger guy, who has probably lost untold tens (hundreds?) of millions, to throw good money after bad.

I'm not sure how this will work out, but my guess is that we'll see an Obombifying of Moss similar to GM's ex-CEO Wagoner: Moss will be caput, with some ridiculous Golden Shower Parachute to keep her ugly lesbian ass happy at night.

Bolger will go for it, if MossCo is ejected. Could happen.

My own opinion is that he should just mentally walk away, not throw good money after bad, and try to get Moss blown out anyway.

Finally, just random nugg's to boggle the mind:

Financial Rescue Nears GDP as Pledges Top $12.8 Trillion

By Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.

"Hey kids, here's why I can't send you to college! And you won't send your kids either! Bailout nation 2009!"

Yet another House Divided piece:

Finding the upside of the homes market

Government trying to make mortgages easily available while preventing foreclosures

Oy. This is what got us into this mess. Increasing mortgage availability simply increases defaults. We KNOW that now. Increase mortgage availability beyond a certain point, and you simply invite foreclosures. That's what is happening now.

Home Prices: Low, But Still No Bargain
Forget low mortgage rates and the buyer's market. Real-estate prices still have a long way to fall.

Homeowners are watching anxiously for any signs of housing market stabilization. So, too, are all those who believe the market may hold the key to the economy.

And yet the most recent data makes for more gloomy reading.

The closely watched Case-Shiller index, which tracks prices across twenty major cities, shows that through January the crash was getting worse, not better.

And yet, even after these declines, homes overall still may not be that cheap relative to wages. More on that later.

The headline numbers are grim enough. January's Case-Shiller index showed a 19% slump from a year earlier.

The usual suspects fared very badly: Phoenix was down a remarkable 35%. Las Vegas fell 32% and Miami 29%.

I encourage you to go read the original story on WSJ Online, if only for the cool Flash graph, showing Home Price with respect to earnings.

That index, which was at 91 in March 1997, zoomed to 200 in May 2006. It now stands at 128 (Dec 2008).

We're starting to re-enter the range of normalcy, but we are still historically high. Without the recent bubble to muddy the waters, our current reading of 128 would troublingly high. More excerpts:

But for the market overall the picture isn't as hopeful as you'd like.

Even today, prices overall have only reverted to levels seen in late 2003. Yet by that stage the bubble was already well inflated. You would expect a crash of this scale to retrace its steps much further. To find pre-bubble prices you have to go back to about 2000 – when values overall were about a third lower than they are today.

It's true that mortgage rates, now at 4.5% to 5%, are currently very low. But relying just on that is far too simplistic. Rates were also low from 2003 through 2005 – as many pointed out, disastrously, at the time.

Is there a bullish scenario for house prices? Sure. If all the government spending to turn around the economy reignites inflation in a year or two—as some predict—house prices could begin climbing again. But if the current price deflation continues, look for house prices to keep dropping.

Over the long term, average home prices have tended to track average earnings. And by this measure the market may have much further to fall.

I looked at Case-Shiller's index back to 1987 and compared it to federal data on average earnings. The result, rebased to 100 in January 1987, can be seen here. And it's alarming. By this (admittedly very simple) measure, today's home prices are actually more expensive, in relation to average earnings, than at the peak of the 1989 property bubble.

Equally noteworthy is that when the last property bubble burst, it took about eight years before the market showed really strong signs of revival. This bubble was far, far bigger.

I'm telling you, folks, this thing is still in the early innings. And if you've got any sense at all, you know Bend is far, Far, FAR behind the curve. We're in the 2nd inning, at most.

We've fallen almost 50% from our peak values. And we are still one of the most overvalued RE markets anywhere.

We'll hit $125K medians in Bend, and it will not recover peak values in any adults lifetime who lives here. EVER.
"A bra divided, I will not stand!"


IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Threat to shut Boston Globe shows no paper is safe
Threat to close Boston Globe if unions don't concede $20M shows industry's dire finances

NEW YORK (AP) -- When it bought the Boston Globe for a record $1.1 billion in 1993, the New York Times Co. added one of the nation's most acclaimed and profitable newspapers to its empire.

But analysts say the 137-year-old Globe has been a money-loser in recent years, and the Times, now $1.1 billion in debt, is threatening to shut down Boston's pre-eminent paper unless it gets $20 million in union concessions.

Faced with the global recession and declining revenues, the newspaper business is reeling -- one major paper has already folded this year and several others are seeking bankruptcy protection. But the threat to the Globe, announced Friday on the Globe's Web site, has shocked some industry insiders, who say it shows no one is safe.

"It is a huge warning shot across the bow of the newspaper industry. If this can happen to the storied Boston Globe, pretty much nothing is safe," said Boston University communications professor Tobe Berkovitz.

Of the major dailies that have gone down, none has the cachet of the Globe, he said.

The threat to close the paper "sends a very clear message to all employees and unions of surviving newspapers -- that this is not business as usual," said Ken Doctor, a media analyst with the research firm Outsell. "This is uncharted territory."

The Times bought the Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion -- the highest price ever for a single American newspaper -- getting one of the country's most respected papers. The Globe has won 20 Pulitzer Prizes and has been lauded for some of its work, including its coverage of Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal.

But since its purchase, the Globe has gone through several rounds of layoffs and buyouts. As readership shifts to online news, the newspaper's average weekday circulation fell 10 percent to 323,983 for the six months ending Sept. 30, compared to the same six-month period in 2007, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Advertising revenues industrywide have plunged by more than 16 percent in 2008, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

Newspapers all "have a sword over their heads," said Doctor. If the industry wants to survive, he said, "everyone has to give some blood."

The Globe reported the Times' demands a day after executives from the Times delivered its ultimatum to leaders of the Globe's 13 unions. Boston Newspaper Guild president Daniel Totten told the Globe the concessions could include pay cuts, the end of company pension contributions and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees. The Guild is the Globe's biggest union, representing more than 700 editorial, advertising, and business employees.

But some say the Times' threat may be a negotiating tactic as it strives to shed its debt, which stood at $1.1 billion at the end of 2008. It recently sold 21 floors of its new midtown Manhattan headquarters building for $225 million, asked most employees to accept a 5 percent pay cut through the end of the year and secured a $250 million infusion from a Mexican billionaire by agreeing to pay an abnormally high interest rate of 14 percent in addition to giving him potentially valuable stock warrants.

"We're a long way from a newspaper that needs to be shut down. I think it's a bargaining strategy," said Alan Mutter, a former journalist-turned-entrepreneur who writes a blog called Reflections of a Newsosaur. He said he doesn't think the Globe is in imminent danger of folding.

Globe spokesman Bob Powers declined to comment Saturday; Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis did not immediately return a call for comment.

Doctor said the Times' threat to close the Globe parallels what Hearst Corp. did with the money-losing San Francisco Chronicle, threatening to shut it down barring concessions. Chronicle staffers took 120 buyouts last week, but the paper's seeking 150.

Elsewhere, Scripps Co. stopped publication earlier this year of Colorado's oldest newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, in Denver. Major newspaper companies that have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent months include the owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Newspapers like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and another venerable Boston publication, The Christian Science Monitor, stopped daily publication in favor of online news.

Matt Storin, who was the editor of the Globe when the Times purchased it, said he was shocked and saddened when he saw Friday's headline. The threat to close it "is obviously a negotiating tactic, but one that has to be taken seriously," said Storin, who now teaches journalism at Notre Dame University.

"I do think it's obvious that the Times would like to get the Globe off its books," he said. "It's possible they're trying to reduce costs because they have a prospective buyer who is negotiating on that basis."

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Bye bye, MOSSTA.

Costa & Moss are doomed.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

secured a $250 million infusion from a Mexican billionaire by agreeing to pay an abnormally high interest rate of 14 percent in addition to giving him potentially valuable stock warrants.

"We're a long way from a newspaper that needs to be shut down. I think it's a bargaining strategy,"

This guy is smoking crack. You don't pay 14% when things are "just fine".

That's junk bond rates. That's the sort of rate you charge when 100% loss is not just likely, but probable.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

14% (aka The Vig) is mob rates.

In Boston? Who knew....

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Please Mossta, don't hurt 'em!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Great example of a NWX REO house that is still too high by half.

Cut this thing in half, and it still wouldn't sell.

NWX -- Yuppy Dreamland.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Just proves that while you CAN get homes under $100K, they are still too high. This place is still $87+/sf, which is way too high for a shit shack like this.

This should be $50/sf, or about $57K. It will be within 2 yrs.

tim said...

I see no evidence that the inconsistency in prices in the neighborhoods is rationalizing yet. You have similar houses near each other going for $80 and $150 per square foot.

People trying for double probably can't afford to go down. Their situation is trying a hail mary pass with no receivers downfield. They are doomed, they probably know it, but they can't afford to drop the price, so it stays there as a sort of bittersweet monument to early 2006 greediness and naivete.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

"no evidence that the inconsistency in prices in the neighborhoods is rationalizing yet..."

After effects of the Kool-Aid. Refusal to accept reality. Like a drunk behind the wheel... slow or no reaction time.

Bewert said...

Anyone else see the "winterized" signs on some houses? Have two right in my neighborhood.

Strangely, both note that the U-pipe under the kitchen sink leaks. Must have frozen the standing water before winterizing.

Anonymous said...

We'll hit $125K medians in Bend, and it will not recover peak values in any adults lifetime who lives here. EVER.


Siberian STD's yes, will go down to $125k, and hopefully homer & bp will leave Bend.

But 'never'??

People will continue to move to ORYGUN as the rest of the country goes to shit, and people with money leave PDX for Bend, always happened in the past, will always happen in the future.

Nice home within 1mi of Deschutes Brew Pub will always be worth more than 4X of income, the real question is with 25% un-employment, ... what will be average household typical income, that is the real question.

Also Homer is right about serfdom with the major transfer of wealth from working-people to 'bankers' like MOSS, who inherently get millions by transferring city-debt directly to MDU, where MOSS gets a finders fee, pay NO attention to CACB that is just an 'act', the real money $$$ is the MDU-Knife-River $$$ moo-la that MOSS has transferred from city-hall ( bend taxpaper ) to knife-river, ... and MOSS just keeps getting more MDU stock.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who want to leave Bend, come to Calif. The San Luis School district has 40% of all teachers making $84,0000. for 180 days work.
Better than unemployment in Bend.

Anonymous said...

12 posts one day after sunday on BB2, a fucking record.

All these out-of-work Bend pug-kunts, and they're not posting on BB2. Who would have guessed?

Anonymous said...

People are already tiring of seeing the expected Bend collapse occur. The reality is not so fun to keep talking about, and we are probably only in the 2nd or 3rd inning? Going to be a long haul.

Anonymous said...

People are already tiring of seeing the expected Bend collapse occur.

Some visitors to this site may also have to disconnect
Internet service. that would cut down visits.

You either have to cut that, or cable TV, or cell phone.

Water, gas, electric, and taxes are non-negotiable.

Bewert said...

My sense is growing apathy. It's fucked, but it's finally nice out, so let's go do something.

Anonymous said...


Maybe. But the people on this board are probably in much better shape than the general population. The people who hang out here live by "worst case" scenarios -- they are not, in general, pie in the sky dreamers who thinks the glass is half full.

We are "glass is half empty" types.

And here is the master of them all:


April 6, 2009
Strange Days

Even while a wave of reflex nausea washed over America last week, and the unemployment rolls swelled by much more than another half million, the greatest stock market suckers' rally in seventy years pulled in the last of the credulous. These are strange days. The earth is heaving and the buds swelling again -- at least north of the equator, where most of the action is -- and the global economy, which was supposed to be a permanent new add-on to the human condition, is sloughing away in big horrid gobs. But no one in charge of anything can believe it. The banking fiasco has introduced so much noise into the system that world leadership can't think straight.
What they're missing is real simple: peak oil means no more ability to service debt at all levels, personal, corporate, and government. End of story. All the other exertions being performed in opposition to this basic fact-of-life amount to a spastic soft-shoe performed before a smokescreen concealing a world of hurt. If the "quantitative easing" (money creation) and fiscal legerdemain (TARPs, TARFs, et cetera) happen to jack up the "velocity" of the new funny-money, and the world resumes its previous level of oil use, the price of oil would rise again -- this time astronomically because the previous crash of oil prices crushed the development of new oil projects to offset depletion -- and the global economy will crash again. Only the next phase of the disease is liable to move beyond the financial and into the social and political realms. Disorder of various kinds will rule -- toppled governments, civil unrest, international tension and conflict.
The US is doing everything possible to avoid these awful realities, but probably the worst self-deception is the idea that everything would be okay if we could just "re-start lending." That's just not going to happen. There is no more capacity to service the debt we've already piled on. Americans borrowed too much, and the bankers who made obscene fortunes in fees and bonuses in fraudulent lending managed to leverage this unpayable debt into the greatest collective swindle the world has ever known. The swindle has sent poison into every cell of the macro socio-economic organism, and further swindles are unlikely to revive it.
The rally in stocks, the financials in particular, could go on for another month or two. In the meantime, banks are striving desperately to avoid calling in more bad loans -- especially in commercial real estate, malls, strip malls, Big Box power centers -- because they don't want any more losses on their balance sheets. That can only go on for so long, too. Sooner or later the daisy chain of credibility in the fundamental transactions of business lose legitimacy and something's got to give.
My guess is it will first take the form, sometime after Memorial Day (but maybe sooner) of wholesale liquidations of everything under the North American sun: companies, households, chattels, US Treasury paper of all kinds, and, of course, the S & P 500. We'll soon find out whether an organism the size of the United States can run an economy based on one family selling the contents of its garage to the family next door. My guess is that this type of economy won't support the standards of living previously enjoyed in places like Dallas and Minneapolis.
The socio-political fallout from the inherent anger and disappointment in all this is liable to be severe. The public is already warming up for it, with cheerleaders such as Glen Beck on Fox TV News calling for the formation of militias, and gun sales moving out-of-sight. One mistake that the banking elite and their lawyer paladins made the past decade was their show of conspicuous acquisition -- of houses especially -- in easy-to-get-to places where anyone can see them, for instance an angry mob in Fairfield County, Connecticut, or Easthampton, New York. Unlike the beleaguered elites of South Africa (where I visited recently), who live behind layers of fortification, the executives of Citibank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and a long list of hedge funds, will be found cringing in their wine-lockers behind a measly layer of privet hedge when the tattooed minions of Glen Beck come a'calling.
This could perhaps be avoided if someone in authority like US Attorney General Eric Holder took an aggressive interest in the multiple swindles of the decade past, and commenced some prosecutions. But the window of opportunity for this sort of meliorating action may close sooner than the government and the mainstream media believe. Social phase-change, as in the formations of mobs, is nothing to screw around with. Once the first window is broken, all bets are off for social stability. My guess is that the various bail-out gifts to the bankers are long past having gone too far in the eyes of this increasingly flammable public.
We have no previous experience with this type of social unrest. The violence of the Vietnam era will look very limited and reasonable in comparison -- in the sense that it was an uprising on the grounds of principle, not survival. And the Civil War was a wholly regimented affair between two rival factions. This time, people with little interest in principle beyond some dim idea of economic fairness, will be hoisting the flaming brands out of sheer grievance and malice. By the time Lloyd Blankfein sees the torches flickering through his privet, it will be too late to defend the honor of his cappuccino machine.
President Obama will have to starkly change his current game plan if this outcome is to be avoided. I think he's capable of turning off the mob -- of preventing the grasshoppers from turning into ravening locusts -- but it may take an extraordinary exercise in authority to do it, such as the true (not pretend) nationalization of the big banks, engineering the exit of Ben Bernanke from the Federal Reserve, sucking up the ignominy of having to replace failed regulator Tim Geithner in the Treasury Department, and calling out the dogs on the swindlers who had the gall to play their country for a sucker.
As I've averred more than a few times in this space before, the standard of living in America has got to come way down. We mortgaged our future and the future has now begun. Tough noogies for us. But the broad public won't accept the reality of this as long as the grandees of finance and their myrmidons appear to still enjoy the high life. They've got to be brought down hard, perhaps even disgraced and humiliated in the courts, and certainly parted from some of their fortunes -- if only in lawyer's fees. Mr. Obama pretty much served notice to this effect last week, telling a delegation of bankers in the White House that he was the only thing standing between them and "the pitchforks." It's possible he understands the situation.

Anonymous said...

The reality is not so fun to keep talking about, and we are probably only in the 2nd or 3rd inning? Going to be a long haul.


It has been established, we're barely in the first inning.

Resets will continue until 2012, by then we'll see higher interest rates than today, which will make the pain worse.

Bend lags.

Staying Power is what its all about, I think a few years ago Dunc, predicted most would bail. Certainly if you have already hung in Bend 30+ years, this new collapse ain't all that bad, its not the end of the world, its Bend.

CACB its the end of the world, most of Brooks big development in MadrASS, Priny,... its the fucking end of the world.

Keep your powder dry, keep your gold hidden, keep your stores of food available, ... allow time to pass.

Like the BP says above, time to ride a bike, time to do yoga, time to get in shape, time to find a post menopausal woman who wants to fuck, or chase young stuff, time to live, ...

Yes, we'll see $120k homes near Bend, but so fucking what? Would you want to live in Siberian Bend? Even with Homers dick? If you can't walk to Deschutes Brew pub on a monday in 5 minutes or less your in Siberia, and in that fact you might as well live in Burns.

PopGoesBend said...

And we are going to see $120k homes within a mile of Deschutes Brewery.

PopGoesBend said...

Fuck, we are going to see sub $100k homes within a mile of Deshutes. I wouldn't want one of them that is that cheap - or the $120k ones, but they will exist.

Anonymous said...

Funny you used to be able to buy a lot in deshutes co ten years ago or so for 15000 I remember in 96 a house for 85000 seemed normal. Go on dial and check it out.

Anonymous said...

Also one thing to keep in mind to draw people to this website is the hot chicks. My great uncle told me that in the 30's pornography cigs and stong drink was something that everyone had money for.I keep coming back to this website thinking I will see the hotie with no shirt on.

Anonymous said...

That's funny I think I keep cumming back to this website to see a big Breedlove Cock young and Bend-Able.

Anonymous said...

Miller Nash Offers Stimulus Act 101 for Business


Hard Dick in Bend go limp waiting for "Miller Nash Stimulus", aka MN-Viagra. Years of waiting, so much atrophied cunt & ass in BEND and so little MN, .. well MN now has an offer too good to be true, all 120 pro's or pardners as we say in the biz, are aim to please in these 'hard times'.

Who would have guessed?

Miller Nash Offers Stimulus Act 101 for Business

Anonymous said...

And we are going to see $120k homes within a mile of Deschutes Brewery.


We'll call them MN-101 houses, one bed, no yard, no driveway, no washer, and no kitchen, but they'll be home to 120+ Liarers of Bend, doing the service that Bend knows & loves.

Anonymous said...

People always ask...

Was there life in Bend prior to Deschutes Brewpub? Well the answer is yes, it was called D&D.

It's quite irrelevant, as today we got 1/2 dozen very good micro-brew pub's in Bend, sadly the Deschutes is no longer cheap for beer or food, and the food is no longer exceptional for any price.

The future? Bend was never about being entertained. It was about rock climbing, mtn climbing, biking, and going to dinner at Sully's and hitting the sack at 8pm at the City Center Motel if you were visiting Bend, but most of the time was spent in the mountains, lava-tubes, rocks, or dirt-roads. Most of the time was spent out in the high or low desert, Bend was always just a place to get gas & food, and perhaps stay at the CCM when a person felt like a few days of skiing at MT-B back when it was cheap.

Today for those that have homes in Bend, it doesn't really matter that CCM no longer exists, or for that matter any cheap places to stay downtown.

Today Bend is ASS-BEND ( aspen ), money, money, money, and nobody but the wealth can really afford to just come and 'hang-out' and ski, ..

Certainly its no surprise that Bend is a golf-town, or a ski-village town, all many things to those one-time tourists, and while their here on their one first & only visit, you MUST sell them a CONDO, which is why two years ago 1/2 the retail in downtown BEND was condo RE sales, and now of course 100% Bend gone.

Who will come to Bend in the future? Sort of a washed up k-mart in a So-Calif mall,... its not like it used to be, you used to be able to take your dog skiing, you used to be able to take your dog hiking without a fucking leash, you used to be able to park on a trailhead for free, you used to be able to park on the road and ski.

The new Bend ain't the old Bend, perhaps as Bend goes broke, and budgets implode all the cops ( PIGS ), will simply go away, and with them all the fucking rules. It has become so expensive to do anything in Bend, you have to have a $4k mtn bike, and a $10k road bike, you have to have permits and everything.

In the old days I could park my car anywhere up in the mtns for weeks and go hiking or skiing with my dogs for weeks in the winter. This winter I left my car over night near Tumalo, and by early AM cops had visited my home in Bend, had called my cell phone, and tracked my location via my cell. WHY?? They found a car left near the trailhead, ... its clear that a simple thing like leaving your car over-night can keeps 1/2 dozen Bend personal and county agencys busy for 24hrs, ... The technology is all fully used. WHY? Sure there is the case where somebody goes up in the hills and gets hurt. But every fucking car left on the mtn overnight is now a fucking SAR ( search & rescue ) mission.

Too many fucking county, city, and state cops, with NOTHING to do, ... my humble opinion is that the powers that BE don't want folks trekking long term any more in the hills in the summer or winter, ... today its all about 2-4 hrs, visit hotels, ... consume, but god forbid you go up in the hills in the winter and explore, ... freedom. Of course the pigs would NEVER leave their car or computer, but they'll think nothing of visiting your Bend home, and note Tumalo is 'county' so its a multi-jurisidiction just to follow up on a car, where county reports to city, and city reports to state, and they use the latest 'cell phone' equipment to find non-public telephone numbers, and use the built-in GPS services to locate a person.

I don't think a person can find 'freedom in the hills' even near Bend in these times, today its got to be the blues, or wallowas, or south of Burns, ...

I can see why kids these days are choosing not to have cars, and why the government wants to license and register bikes and its riders. Cars and people are tracked so well these days, that freedom is impossible unless you pull the battery from your cell phone and leave your car at home.

Anonymous said...

"It has become so expensive to do anything in Bend, you have to have a $4k mtn bike, and a $10k road bike, "

WTF are you talking about? Does your old piece of shit bike no longer work?

Are you too good for skis from the ski swap?

Just because some people here have money doesn't mean you can't still live like a dirtbag. Cheap rentals are out there, Bachelor has $28 tickets, the trails are free if you can actually bike to the trail head, and a decent meal at Rigoberto's is $6. Grocery outlet has some drinkable wine.

Dirtbags can live damn near as well as the rich here. Try that in New york City.

Anonymous said...

Miller-Nash is the lawfirm of Hollern/Brooks and much of Bend, in fact it can be said that Miller-Nash is the lawfirm of Bend, and note also they did most of the biz for all of the 'secret' Juniper-Ridge purchase agreements to date. A 'stimulus' to Bend, is a good thing, like a 'hard' man is good to find.


Miller Nash Offers Stimulus Act 101 for Business
Top 5 Ways to Leverage the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Last update: 2:20 p.m. EDT April 6, 2009
PORTLAND, Ore., Apr 06, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Miller Nash LLP, one of the Pacific Northwest's larger multispecialty law firms focusing on business and litigation, has highlighted key opportunities for businesses in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, the Act includes incentives for individuals and businesses to help jumpstart the economy. While certain individual incentives - such as for car buyers or first-time homebuyers - have been well publicized, the Act's benefits for businesses may not have the same broad awareness.
"Given the current economic climate, business leaders will want to investigate the significant cost-saving and profit-boosting avenues available," said William Manne, partner at Miller Nash. "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a host of new opportunities. Working with their legal or tax representatives, business leaders should be able to quickly incorporate elements of the Act that will be advantageous to their financial statements; some incentives require action with respect to filing of 2008 tax returns or pertain only to 2009, so time is of the essence."
Manne provides five ways for businesses to leverage the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:
1. Extended 2008 Business Stimulus Provisions: A Good Time to Purchase Assets
A number of provisions have been extended for expenditures made in 2009. Extended provisions include: the 50 percent bonus depreciation provision, the election to accelerate AMT or R&D credits, and the ability of small businesses to fully deduct up to $250,000 for the purchase of new assets.
2. Net Operating Loss Carryback: Get a Refund of Past Taxes
A new provision allows businesses with less than $15 million in revenue to carryback their 2008 net operating loss for up to five years (previously, the carryback was limited to two years). Carryback elections made in previous years can be changed, but only once and only on a timely basis.
3. Reduced Estimated Tax Payments: Increase Cash Flow
For 2009, an individual will not be subject to penalty or interest for underestimating tax deposits if the payments are equal to at least 90 percent of the liability, so long as the individual's adjusted gross income is less than $500,000 and at least 50 percent of their income is from small business.
4. Small Business Capital Gains Relief: Start a New Business
If an individual invests in the stock of a small business for at least five years, they may exclude up to 75 percent of the gain if all other qualifications are met. This provision is effective for investments made after the date of enactment and before Jan. 1, 2011.
5. Enhanced Work Opportunity Credit: Get A Subsidy for Hiring Veterans, Youth
Unemployed veterans and disconnected youth are new categories of out-of work individuals who employers can hire to quality for the Work Opportunity Credit. Specific criteria apply to each category, and the credit is available in 2009 and 2010 for any employee starting after Dec. 31, 2008.
Each company's situation is unique and can change rapidly in the current downturn, so business owners and managers are urged to contact their legal and tax advisors to understand which provisions may be applied for the maximum benefit.
About Miller Nash
Miller Nash LLP is one of the Pacific Northwest's largest and most respected multiservice law firms, offering comprehensive, creative, and innovative services to its business clients since 1873. Miller Nash has 126 lawyers serving clients throughout our offices in Portland, Bend and Prineville, Ore. and Seattle and Vancouver, Wash. Miller Nash serves a wide range of leading businesses, nonprofit organizations, public entities, and individuals, and does pro bono representation. The firm's clients work in a variety of significant industries, including banking, biotech, construction, energy, food production, forest products, government, healthcare, higher education, intellectual property, real estate, securities, and software. More information is available at

Anonymous said...

Dirtbags can live damn near as well as the rich here. Try that in New york City.


Ever heard of 'homeless', anybody can live anywhere if your willing to live on the street.

'Kit' or equipment, here is the problem I have found is sure my old steel bikes dirt&asphalt are just fine for Bend, and locking up at D&D, ... But go try and ride with buddy's on your 40+ yr old steel, up in the mtns go to a 50 mi loop around mt-b in the summer, or the tumalo-mtb loop on your 40+ steel and keep up with your friends all on their carbon-fibre shock bikes, ... and the road(asphalt), sure you can ride old steel, I still got my peugot, but hell new Carbon-Fibre make crawling to the top of Awbrey a breeze, and same thing, your out with a dozen riders in the hills and they all have carbon-fibre with 30 speeds, and your on your 5spd steel bike that wieghts 30+ pounds, ...

So what I do now is in the hill or out of town I ride the good stuff, and in town I ride the shitty old stuff. It works, they say a $5k bike locked up in Bend has a life of about 30min before stolen, so to me the expensive shit is from home-ride-home, and never sits, people don't even buy locks for nice shit.

In the old days people only had shitty equipment, all things being equal, but I like to get out and ride with a group, and that means keeping up with group technology, I can keep up with people on steel no-shock mtn-bikes on the uphill, but on the downhill I really notice the difference in a well tuned full-suspension lightweight bike.

The point is that yesterday, you could climb @smith for cheap, now its $3/day just to park, today REI mostly sells INDOOR climb shit, I don't even see much outdoor shit.

Skiing? Yes, my tele & xc gear is all 30+ years and works just fine, ... I hate that new shit. New or old ski gear doesn't seem to matter unless you skate ski, and I like deep snow back-country skiing, because they don't allow dogs on the north side of century I tend to stay away from all the groomed shit.

Dirt-bags can live anywhere, but in the last several years I have seen more & more kids move to Colorado and such cuz living in your rig in Bend sucks. I think it used to be much better, in the old days you could go anywhere five miles out of town and park on any haul-road ( forest ) and camp, ... now you'll get a visit where-ever you go, as now everything is patrolled by armed forest-cops.

Anonymous said...

Dirtbags can live damn near as well as the rich here.


I think we'll leave this quote for homer, given that MOST of Bend is 'dirt-bags', ...

I would hardly say they're living well in our Bend.

Anonymous said...

Bend Orygun, best time to panhandle in 20 years, meet the most friendly people at Walmart, where people are so generous to Bend's down&out majority.

Live in paradise, a fish in every riffle, a chip-munk in every tree,

Where dogs roam in freedom, and easy women frolic in loose clothing, ... Easy women, who just want to please, ahhh Bend Orygun comes to my mind.

No gold diggers in Bend, no siree, in Bend its just good humble people, where everybody says 'hello' on the street, ...

If you don't have lots of MONEY, then Bend sucks. If your smart you'll use that money to travel, cuz you ain't going to find what your looking for in Bend.

Anonymous said...

Dirtbags can live damn near as well as the rich here.


The 'rich' are so rich any more in Bend, thus this statement is essentially true, if you consider the average realtor has collecting un-employment, just like the 'dirtbag'. In Bend the RE-HO these days can almost be mistaken for the 'dirtbag', some might even question, if the REHO was a 'dirtbag' in the first place, perhaps everyone in Bend was a 'dirtbag' all along, but during the BUSH years all 'dirtbags' were made 'whole'.

It's all pointless now, cuz the vast majority of Bend now grovels for min-wage, ... If they can find that 'job'.

Anonymous said...


Correction, most of the secret JR deals were done by SWW ( scwabe-william-wyatt ), and not MN ( miller-nash ).

Anonymous said...

This one's for Marge, and equiv, ... but something to think about.

Survivalists 2.0: Regular people get ready for the worst

By Melody McDonald

Jack Spirko owns a media company, is married to a nurse and has a son in college. He has two dogs and lives in a nice house with a pool in a diversified neighborhood in suburban Arlington, Texas.

Spirko, 36, considers himself an average guy with a normal life.

But for the past few years, Spirko has been stockpiling food, water, gas, guns and ammunition. He also has a load of red wine, Starbucks coffee and deodorant stashed away.

"I refer to myself as a modern survivalist, which means I don’t do without," Spirko explained. "I have a nice TV; I have nice furniture. We are not living in the sticks, but I take all of these things very seriously."

Spirko, an Army veteran and self-described "stark-raving-mad Libertarian," is part of a growing movement of people who are preparing for a disaster natural, economic or man-made. Referred to as "modern survivalists" or "preppers," they are taking steps to protect and provide for their families should something bad happen.

Theirs is a different breed of survivalist, far from the right-wing militants or religious extremists who hole up in bunkers, live off the land and wait for the apocalypse.

Preppers are regular people with regular jobs who decided after 9/11, after Hurricane Katrina or when their 401(k)s tanked that they can’t rely on someone else to help them if something goes awry.

"We are normal people just like you," Spirko said. "We just understand that, sometimes, stuff goes wrong."

Donnie, 38, a McKinney resident who is an account executive with an international trade show organization, said Hurricane Katrina opened his eyes. He spent six weeks working as a paramedic in New Orleans.

"It was a logistical nightmare getting to the area," Donnie said. "And the longer you were there, the more you realized that, in a blink of an eye, your life can be turned upside down. I don’t want to be the person in the bread line or standing in line for ice."

Donnie, like many of those interviewed for this article, agreed to talk to the Star-Telegram on the condition that his last name not be used.

"I usually don’t advertise it," Donnie said. "There are people who cast a wary eye."

He said that after Katrina, he amassed about two weeks’ worth of food. But last September, after the economy began to sour, he "kicked into a higher gear" and acquired more supplies and water-filtration systems.

"I probably have about six months’ worth of food for two people," Donnie said. "I keep about 30 gallons of water on hand, and I have the means to store another 200 gallons if I have advance notice of something going bad."

Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, said that when people start stockpiling food and water or buying weapons, they are in a motivational state called "avoidance mode."

"You turn on the news and only hear about job losses and the prospect that things are going to get worse than better," he said. "You see signals that the world is full of nasty things you need to avoid. You’ve engaged in this general sense of avoidance. You are trying to focus on safety concerns."

Markman said the trend is not surprising, given the economy.

What exactly preppers are preparing for isn’t specific. It could be a layoff, tornado, global pandemic or nuclear war.

Internet sites devoted to survivalism often refer to scenarios like TEOTWAWKI, an acronym for "the end of the world as we know it."

"I am prepared for just about any disaster that disrupts everyday living," said Bob, 43, a sales manager from eastern Pennsylvania who runs

"... The economy is at the forefront of my concerns. The unemployment rate is soaring, and most people are not prepared to be without a paycheck for a week, much less a month or longer," Bob said.

Businesses that sell storable foods, disaster shelters and guns are thriving.

Bruce Hopkins, owner of Best Prices Storable Foods, which sells dehydrated and canned foods, said sales "exploded" last spring and remain steady. On a single day last week, Hopkins sold $31,000 worth of storable food. Hopkins said a popular item is a one-year food supply for a family of four or family of two, priced at $4,000 and $2,700, respectively.

"I think to have anything less than a month's food supply is foolish," said Hopkins, whose business is in Quinlan, south of Greenville. "I think it is time to stop watching American Idol and start paying attention to what is going on in the world."

Walton McCarthy, owner and principal engineer of Radius Engineering International, builds underground disaster shelters that protect against nuclear, chemical and biological warfare, among other things.

He said his business has tripled since July, when reports of Iranian missile tests surfaced. McCarthy’s disaster shelters hold 10 to 300 people and cost $105,000 to $6 million. His customers include politicians, doctors and key executives.

"What we are going through now is the Pearl Harbor blues," said McCarthy, whose company is based in Forney, east of Dallas. "All of the ingredients are here. It is around the corner, and no one should be surprised."

At Cheaper Than Dirt Outdoor Adventures, a gun store in north Fort Worth, business has never been better. Owner Dewayne Irwin said he sees three types of customers: "You have the everyday good ol' boy Texas gun owner. You have the folks that are coming in and saying, 'I’ve lost my job and my neighbor lost their job’ and they really believe they might have to fight over a bucket of carrots or something. And you have the guys who are first-time gun buyers and they don’t really know why. It is Main Street. It is crazy."

Spirko grew up in rural Pennsylvania, where hunting, fishing, gardening, and canning and storing food were a way of life.

"No one looked at that back then and said, 'These people were survivalists,’ " Spirko said. "That is just what you did."

After Spirko got out of the Army, he moved to Texas and started working in communications and sales.

"I found myself in my mid-20s pursuing corporate America, working the six-figure job and traveling all over the United States," Spirko said.

And then, Y2K happened or, rather, didn’t happen.

"I thought they were absolutely crazy," Spirko said. "They thought the toaster was going to explode when it goes to 2000 or whatever."

And while Spirko didn’t buy into the Y2K scare, he did think legitimate concerns had been raised.

"Right after that, we had the dot-com bubble explode. We had the stock market crash. My portfolio went down by 50 percent overnight. And then 9-11," he said. "I started going back to my roots and started to look at ways to preserve our cash and make sure we had some food on hand."

In July, Spirko launched a podcast for modern survivalists at He encourages people to pay down their debt and have extra cash, water and food and an evacuation plan. About the same time, he expanded his backyard garden, where he grows tomatoes, peas, corn, strawberries, onions and jalapeƱos, among other things.

"We had two big scares with produce last year — jalapenos and tomatoes," Spirko said. "First jalapenos had salmonella, and then tomatoes had salmonella. If that can happen, what other things can happen?"

Gwenn, 52, a self-described "girlvivalist," runs a lodging house in Beaumont, Texas. She has plenty of water, a year's worth of food and a shotgun for protection.

"When we had Hurricane Ike here, a lot of my tenants didn’t evacuate," she said. "While my neighbors were standing in line for MREs [Meals Ready to Eat] at the shopping center, we were grilling steak."

Many survivalists — Spirko is not one of them — are "closet preppers."

Afraid that they will be viewed as crazy or weird, they don’t tell people they are storing freeze-dried food, canning their own vegetables or setting up an alternate location where they can go if TEOTWAWKI arrives. They also don’t want "raiders" beating down their door if a disaster happens.

Bob said survivalists are often viewed — incorrectly — as doomsayers.

"Some people think we want the end of the world as we know it," he said. "I can tell you from my heart, I hope nothing like that ever happens. I want my sons to grow up and have a great life."

Still, Bob believes that everybody should at least have a 72-hour bag of gear, also known as a "bug-out bag," ready to go.

"Survival today is more about being prepared for short-term situations, like hurricanes, floods and blizzards," Bob said. ". . . Learn some basic skills like gardening, first aid and personal defense. Become self-reliant like our grandparents were."

Jordan Mills, 30, an information technology contractor in downtown Houston, put his bug-out bag to good use during Hurricanes Rita and Ike. In it, he keeps his birth certificate, medical records, cash, food, water, flashlights, tape, garbage bags, clothes and other supplies.

Mills said he didn’t choose the "survivalist" label, but others have called him that.

"The word brings to my mind an image of a gruff mountain man with a log cabin, 10 years of food stored up and enough guns to outfit a small army," he said. "I don’t meet that image at all. I consider the chance of a total collapse of society and the end of the world as we know it to be pretty much zero. To me, survivalism is really just preparing for day-to-day inconveniences or emergencies."

A growing community

Every morning, Spirko gets in his diesel Jetta and makes the 50-mile commute from Arlington to Frisco, where his media company is based.

During the drive, he records his daily podcast. He discusses things like storing food safely, finding alternative energy options, dealing with anti-survivalist stigma and finding time to prep.

"The more I dug in, the more I learned," he said. "And then something really cool happened: This community started to build around it."

Spirko said that about 4,000 people download his podcast each day and that his audience is growing.

"People are always waiting for someone else to come and help them," he said. "To me, survivalism is just waking back up to traditional American values. I’m talking about basic self-responsibility, basic self-worth — understanding that you control your life more than anybody else.

"If you do nothing, you may not regret it. But if you do regret it, you are really going to regret it."

Anonymous said...

One item on the survivalist idea is our Bend, that everything in this town is shipped in by truck, that not a fucking thing is native.

Bend is dependent. There will be shortages, no fucking doubt.

Best time in 20 years to be a Mormron.

Anonymous said...

The following is nothing new for BB2 as we have long been students of the Great-Depression, the following from yesterdays WSJ, remember what's important is not what is said, but who say's it, ... Today's WSJ even has a better editorial entitled "Jews to be Blamed for US economic collapse", .... Who could have guessed, ... deja-vu

Debt and Depression

Credit is the lifeblood of an economy. But too much of a good thing can lead to excess and disaster. That's the lesson you'll draw from Steven Gjerstad and Vernon L. Smith's excellent piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

Gierstad and Smith want to know why some asset bubbles (i.e., tech stocks) pop without bringing broader economic collapse, while others (i.e, real estate) do. Their provisional answer:

In the equities-market downturn early in this decade, declining assets were held by institutional and individual investors that either owned the assets outright, or held only a small fraction on margin, so losses were absorbed by their owners. In the current crisis, declining housing assets were often, in effect, purchased between 90% and 100% on margin. In some of the cities hit hardest, borrowers who purchased in the low-price tier at the peak of the bubble have seen their home value decline 50% or more. Over the past 18 months as housing prices have fallen, millions of homes became worth less than the loans on them, huge losses have been transmitted to lending institutions, investment banks, investors in mortgage-backed securities, sellers of credit default swaps, and the insurer of last resort, the U.S. Treasury.

In an important paper in 1983, Ben Bernanke argued that during the Depression, severe damage to the financial system impeded its ability to perform its economic role of lending to households for durable goods consumption and to firms for production and trade. We are seeing this process playing out now as loan funds for automobile purchases have withered. Auto sales fell 41% between February 2008 and February 2009. Retail and labor markets too are now part of the collateral damage from the housing debacle. Housing peaked in early 2006. Losses from the mortgage market began to infect the financial system in 2006; asset prices in that sector began to decline at the end of 2006. Meanwhile, equities and the broader economy were performing well, but as the financial sector deteriorated, its problems blindsided the rest of the economy.

Consumer and institutional indebtedness, in other words, were the means by which losses in the real estate sector were transmitted throughout the economy. And something similar happened 80 years ago:

The events of the past 10 years have an eerie similarity to the period leading up to the Great Depression. Total mortgage debt outstanding increased from $9.35 billion in 1920 to $29.44 billion in 1929. In 1920, residential mortgage debt was 10.2% of household wealth; by 1929, it was 27.2% of household wealth.

The Great Depression has been attributed to excessive speculation on Wall Street, especially between the spring of 1927 and the fall of 1929. Had the difficulties of the banking system been caused by losses on brokers' loans for margin purchases in 1929, the results should have been felt in the banks immediately after the stock market crash. But the banking system did not show serious strains until the fall of 1930.

Bank earnings reached a record $729 million in 1929. Yet bank exposures to real estate were substantial; as the decline in real estate prices accelerated, foreclosures wiped out banks by the thousands.

The difference between now and then is that the Depression-era Federal Reserve contracted the money supply, whereas the Obama-era Fed has greatly expanded it. Gjerstad and Smith appear skeptical that increases in the money supply, or "quantitative easing," will be enough to stop the contraction. America spent the last 20 years piling up debt - personal, commercial, public - and the bill has come due. Nothing changes that fact.

The Great Deleveraging has begun.

Anonymous said...

The 'house divided', I think is highly non-rational of Homer.

Certainly the pre-civil war USA was slaves states to the north, and free states to the south, the south was economically richer, and wanted to secede.

Today you have ameriKKKan ran by wallSt, they print the cash, and run both party's. Today ALL of the USA is a kleptocracy. In no time in the past has populism ever even came close to being a winning formula in the USA.

How in the fuck can there be any house divided? You have wall-st paying themselves huge salary, and main street just getting by. The political class is not by demography, there is no north and south, there is no east or west.

There are insiders and outsiders, and by 'public education' the outsiders have no fucking idea what's going on, and the insiders make all rules, and control the courts, and ergo law-enforcement.

The house divided today is insiders and outsiders, but the 'civil war' is insiders versus insiders.

My humble guess is that like HITLER some smart poly-tick-ian will use this financial implosion, and 'blame the jews', for the simple purpose of nabbing their assets.

Who makes money today? Lawyers?

I was always amazed in the recent years of how the Pug's made everyone rich, even a Bend hair-lip could buy four homes, and flip his/her way to riches.

Then comes the 'great bust', now everyone feels the pain.

But honestly a house divided? I don't think so, most of us are so far from wall-st we don't even have a clue to whats really going on.

The notion of 'investing' in paper for your retirement, is largely a post WWII dream, and that paper is now next to worthless, so once again, people will work until they die. Is that the house divided the working poor, versus the non-working rich?? But its certainly not 50/50, as the non-working rich has always been a minority.

To me the CORP & GOV is largely a case of 'waste' verus 'non-waste', like here in Bend with 100's of millions going to knife-river ( mdu/moss ) of city taxpayer money, ... that kind of greed will end, as only the minority can enjoy the graft.

Today in the ameriKKKa like the communist times there is the 1% the true owners of the system, the insiders, and they'll eat each other, that is the house divided, for the man on the street, he is generally happy to have tomorrow what he had today.

Like sharks having tasted human-blood, much of todays wall-st, and political insiders are used to making 100's of millions a year, and they'll all kill one another fighting over the scraps, that is the future I see in the finance world.

In the meantime little people will simply do what they need to do in order to eat, and live.

Anonymous said...

The 'house divided', I think is highly non-rational of Homer.

This is the only blog I read where it takes like 60 comments before someone actually mentions what was in the main post.

Since we're on the topic, I'll just point out that the main problem with the Auto industry isn't unions, legacy costs, or whatever, but simply that we have too many automakers, too much capacity.

Honda has enough capacity in Ohio to produce something like 200,000 MORE cars than it already does there.

And EVEN HONDA is suffering.

The problem is a failure of aggregate demand. At the rate we're going, the average replacement time for a car will be 15-20 years.

It's probably better for Oregon that it has nothing to do with the auto industry.

Anonymous said...

Using current GPS on your phone, you can be tracked to within 65 feet of anywhere where phone service exists.
When you enter a mall, they can tell which store you are in, and the exact number of minutes that you stay there. Your boss can track you 24/7. on any company furnished phone
So much for the illusion of privacy

Anonymous said...

"I still got my peugot, but hell new Carbon-Fibre make crawling to the top of Awbrey a breeze, and same thing, your out with a dozen riders in the hills and they all have carbon-fibre with 30 speeds, and your on your 5spd steel bike that wieghts 30+ pounds, ."

Dude, when they get the 16 lb bike, they sell an 18 lb bike cheap. You need legs to float over Awbry, not fancy gear.

Good used gear is everywhere here. Stop whining and go have some fun.

And next time you go on an overnight leave a note on the car: "Not lost, be back soon."

Anonymous said...

NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION: This is my stand. What is yours?

The City of Bend implemented a City Business tax in 2006. The purpose is to have a database of all the businesses in Bend. the $50 yearly tax, they call a FEE was not voted upon by the people, but put into act by the City Council. I was informed that since we elected these officials into office, that we gave our rights away to them to decide for us what was best in the case of implementing "FEES" to us.

We need 3000 signatures to bring a change to ballet. As of the first day of submitting this, I have already received multiple responses.

If you are interested in helping with this cause, please visit this url.

To all our friends who believe in FREEDOM and our rights as citizens of the United States of America.

We need to start somewhere. I am starting with our own Bend, Oregon Council.

Spread the word.

Anonymous said...

You need legs to float over Awbry, not fancy gear.


I have 'floated' over Awbrey on a 50LB steel 5spd, and a 12LB carbon 30spd.

The steel feels like pushing a shopping cart, riding the carbon on long steep grades seems easier than walking.

No comparison.

When I was in my 20's sure, why not, get a single speed and make it has hard as you can for yourself, what the hell, burn out your knees like so many people who have to have knee surgery.

On the other hand if you 60+ and still want to do 50+ mi rides 'anywhere', there are bikes that result in minimal damage to the body. You decide. It's your choice.

The mission is frequency, the idea is to ride everyday, as you get older it takes longer to heal, if you burn out your cartilage what's the point of riding once a week or once a month? Its much better to do long rides everyday with no damage to the body.

Lastly, you don't needs 'legs' to float over Awbrey that is BULLSHIT, what you need is BREATH. The leg part is easy, the hard part for most people is they can't tolerate the relentless climb, and run out of breath on the way up. Breath is achieved by health, frequent activity, and no smoking, and eating/sleeping well. BFD if your 10-30 doing shit, if you can 'float' over Awbrey in your 70's, now I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

The City of Bend implemented a City Business tax in 2006. The purpose is to have a database of all the businesses in Bend.


The purpose of the registration is to track business, and 'tax' the shit out of them.

In Portland, the city charges all business 1.5% of the gross no matter how little profit you make, this is why MORE business leaves PDX than enters, then there is also METRO(TRIMET) which has there own tax.

The 2006 registration is just the beginning of the business license. My insider contacts in Bend city hall tell me that once all the businesses have been forced to 'register' ( $500 fine for failure), then they'll start charging a percentage of gross, and demanding that people provide all federal, state, county tax returns when they register for their Bend business license. Once the city gets the FED/State tax returns they can see where the money is, and grab it, this is how it works, and this is where BEND is heading.

Anonymous said...

Since we're on the topic, I'll just point out that the main problem with the Auto industry isn't unions, legacy costs, or whatever, but simply that we have too many automakers, too much capacity.


WHAT THE FUCK does auto's or unions have to do with HOMERS 'house divided' hypothesis???

You yourself said that AUTO's don't fucking mean shit in ORYGUN.

This board is about debating the Bend economy. Orygun isn't even a UNION state.

FORD,GM,... US-AUTO is fucked, but HONDA is what people drive, and buy. If you want an auto that will last a 8+ years.

Besides the WHOLE fucking thing with AUTO is that NOBODY has put a fucking dime into US auto since the 1970's cuz of peak-oil, everybody knows that the auto is going the way of the horse-carriage, the future of ameriKKKa is public transportation for the masses.

Only the 'rich' will drive personal auto's in the future.

Want a job? Sell your body for sex.

Anonymous said...

Since we're on the topic, I'll just point out that the main problem with the Auto industry isn't unions, legacy costs, or whatever, but simply that we have too many automakers, too much capacity.



The main problem with US auto is they owe ten's of billions for 'retirement' in both monthly and medical to MORE people who are retired than work.

US AUTO is/was a ponzi scheme, and today its over, they'll ALL BK in order to avoid the debt's they have incurred, all the pension/medical money that was supposed to be 'cash in the bank' was spent years ago, and replaced by IOU's.

Welcome to ameriKKKa.

We don't give a fuck. You work for a auto dealer in ORYGUN, or auto-parts chain?? It don't fucking matter, AUTO is like whale-oil, for lighting, ... its over.

We'll have $10/gas within a decade, and 90% of US public will not be able to afford fuel & insurance.

Anonymous said...

So what's the big deal? The auto industry is imploding on itself. Everyone, government & auto makers alike want it to survive. Right?

[ Who didn't see this coming? Probably the ONLY fucking wild card today is that OREO got elected and has to payback the UNION's for support, otherwise it would be BFD, who gives a fuck about the rust-belt. ]

Well, not really. Government doesn't want to lose the jobs. Specifically, the Dem's don't want to lose the Union votes. You lose the jobs, you lose the votes.

[ What you want, and what you get ... Nobody has put a fucking dime into AUTO for years, why should they? The writing is on the wall "YOU WILL TAKE THE BUS". Like Asia I can see the future of US transportation to be the scooter like everyone in the world does. ]

$5/gal fuel or $10/gal, astronomic insurance, $800/mo car-payments, ... people can't spend 40% of income on 'auto' and 60% of income on housing 'std', something had to give,...

It's not just auto, more important is housing, like BEND millions of construction jobs have been lost, ... well shit they were building 20X homes more than people needed, people might need 100-sqft/person, but in the USA its 2000-sqft/person, so for awhile it was great lots of jobs building big fucking homes, that nobody can afford to heat.

Same deal with auto, big burn cars that nobody can afford to fuel.

It's over folks, house divided? Sure there are those would like to mandate that everyone MUST be BEND STUPID and spend 100% of income on housing&auto, but most of US say "FUCK YOU", and live in a small paid-for home, and walk or ride a bike, and that's a BIG fuck you to the ameriKKKan system.

The 'house-divided' here is that everyone is supposed to turn himself into a fucking slave for the good of the system, and many people are starting to wake-up and say "FUCK YOU".

Kids today by majority in PDX are choosing NOT TO OWN AN AUTO, and MOST live ten to a house, ... the FUTURE for HOUSING&AUTO is BEND-UGLY.

Jelement said...

The worst part is that some of these US companies sell vehicles in other parts of the world that sensible people in the US would love to have. Where's our small diesels? The only 4x4 truck that you can get in a 4-cylinder anymore is a Tacoma and they're overpriced new anyways.

Things like scooters will start to get more and more popular, last year when gas spiked some 50cc models were near impossible to find. I used to commute on one, 85-90 mpg, paid for a gallon of gas every two weeks and used it every day to get to work.

Glad to see that more people are becoming concerned about preps for when TSHTF, that just means more people to barter with when the dollar is worthless.

Anonymous said...

Well me & BP have had this conversation many times, the Tdi of EU, is a point of fact 80mpg, ... but not here no fucking way....

Like now the GOV & BIG-AUTO is siamese twins sharing common ass-hole, HOMER PUG shit for brains say's its a house divided, ... not fucking so,

The reason you cannot buy the little cars that EU folks and Asians drive, is cuz the US auto lobby has caps on everything. Ever try to buy a VW-Tdi wagon? Fucking impossible.

So the US Auto gots its way, ... in the last 30+ years I have bought one US auto a big US truck, and to date it has cost me more for drive-train replacement than the truck cost new. The new ones are shit, so I just keep the old diesel running.

No crocodile tears for US auto.

It was like yesterday that the GM CEO said "What good for GM is good for ameriKKKa", we'll here we are everybody is going to BK, whooooooopeeeeee.

"A house divided" no, not if its auto, they can all butt-fuck each other east of the Mississippi river.

Anonymous said...

Where's our small diesels? The only 4x4 truck that you can get in a 4-cylinder anymore is a Tacoma and they're overpriced new anyways.


Do you know that our petroleum reserves (SPR) are over-flowing, that oil inventory is at an all time high. The fact is the USA is a fine-tuned machined designed to fucking waste.

Designed for max in-efficiency. Designed so that everybody MUST spend 100% of take-home paycheck on housing&auto, who would have guessed??

If there is a house-divided in ameriKKKa its the wasters versus the not-wasters, and sadly MOST of ameriKKKa are wasters.

Anonymous said...

Just like where did the 'street-cars' in LA go back in the 1930's, answer? BigOil bought them and destroyed them, ... its always been in BIG-OIL's interest to maximize fuel consumption, why not, in the 1930's the USA exported fuel, trouble is today we import, yet we still let the BIG-OIL run the government.

During the Great Depression the USA was rich in timber, oil, coal, and farm-land, & water.

Today the USA has extracted most of its resources, today the USA is like Bend, an old washed up resource extraction ghetto.

Anonymous said...

US Government shows small erection for NEW BEND BANK, that ain't CRAP-for-Carp, aka CrackerAssCrackerBank.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 2:10pm PDT

Bend bank gets early charter nod
Portland Business Journal

A Bend-based group that hopes to open Oregon’s newest bank this summer has received conditional approval of its national bank charter.

Crown Point National Bank received the preliminary approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and will receive formal approval after reaching capital goals and demonstrating that systems are in place to open as a fully functioning bank, said Andy Gerlicher, president and chief executive of the bank in organization.

Crown Point aims to open two offices this summer, a headquarters in downtown Bend and a Portland branch at 1000 S.W. Broadway.

First it must raise between $30 million and $40 million in capital, a process that is roughly one third complete, Gerlicher said.

Anonymous said...

HBM kunt@large has the following posted on his sore-eye, god we miss his jewish princess shit.

We're Broke and We're Miserable in Bend Orygun

Written by H. Bruce Miller
Wednesday, 08 April 2009

The American economy is in a miserable state, and Oregon is the most miserable state in the entire country – at least if you go by’s calculations.

The website ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the basis of three misery-producing factors – non-mortgage debt as a percentage of income, unemployment and mortgage foreclosure rates – and Oregon came in dead last.

We ranked 37th in debt, 49th in unemployment and 47th in foreclosure rate, for a composite score of 133 on’s “Happiness Index.” (Contrary to what logic would suggest, a high score on the Happiness Index is bad. Hey, they designed this thing, not us.)

The happiest, or least miserable, of the states was Nebraska, ranking No. 5 in debt, No. 2 in unemployment and No. 49 in foreclosure rate, to compile a score of 9 on the Happiness Index. Others in the Top 10 were Iowa, Kansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Wyoming, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Contrary to popular wisdom that densely populated urban areas of the country have ‘recession-proof’ housing markets and boast impressively high average salary ranges, The Happiness Index suggests that the Midwest is the main source of financial happiness,” commented.

Okay, but financial happiness isn’t everything. What about our 300 – uh, make that 186 – days of sunshine?

Meanwhile, The Oregonian offered this cheery headline on Monday: “UO Economic Index finds depression worsening in Oregon.”

The University of Oregon index “fell 0.9 percentage points in February to 85.6 (1997=100), signaling continued deterioration in the Oregon economy. Five of seven components deteriorated,” The Oregonian reported. “Timothy A. Duy, director of UO's Oregon Economic Forum, said the continued decline of the UO Index, coupled with its depth over the past six months, indicates the Oregon economy is likely to remain in recession for the foreseeable future, defined as three to six months.”

What The Eye finds scariest about this is that, for the first time that we’re aware of, The O has used the dreaded “D-word” in a headline to describe the current economic … er, badness.

Not wanting to end this post on a down note, we conclude with some words of comfort from “Just as the U.S. economy evolves, so too will the Happiness Index. Although Oregon currently falls at the bottom of our list, the state is well positioned for a boost in the future due to its potential for an influx of green jobs.”

Anonymous said...

Moody's FUCK's Berkshire a little more, ... pretty soon BRK.A will be like GM, or hell even CACB.
Sort of funny, cuz today TALP/TARF is now going to go to insurance company's, given that they lost all the premiums on Wall-St bad bets.

Moody's Strips Aaa Ratings From Berkshire, Units

April 8, 2009


Moody's Investors Service stripped several Aaa ratings from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA, BRKB) and its insurance units, showing that even Warren Buffett is vulnerable to the market and economic turmoil.

The downgrades come about a month after Berkshire posted its worst-ever annual results. In 2008, the company lost 9.6% in book value a share, a common metric Berkshire uses to track performance. Plus, its shares fell nearly as much as the rest of the market last year, indicating that investors are worried about the company's ability to keep growing.

Anonymous said...

So we're all moving to Nebraska?? Right? Marge you coming?

Anonymous said...

Hey there's a new bank in town... Crown Point. This should be interesting to see.

Bewert said...

Iowa or Louisiana, according to latest UE stats.

Bend has fallen even further, to 361st of 372. Flint, MI is 348th.

That is a really depressing stat.

Poverty with a view.

Bewert said...

What is sad and frustrating is that this place really had a chance.

We are out of here before the end of May. Before the big exodus.

Anonymous said...

BP, You have no nads...Bye Bye Pussy.

Poverty with a view was the understood view of Bend long long ago. Nothing has changed for the long haul.

Nebraska..No thanks, I'll stay a while longer.

ANOY said "Glad to see that more people are becoming concerned about preps for when TSHTF, that just means more people to barter with when the dollar is worthless".

I am prepped and will survive here. We still have water and electricity. Though my solar will help if the grid goes down. Gen and fuel help to. Water catching off the roofs in drums if needed.

SOOO. Has anyone else seen a huge(one a day) church invitation to Easter Salvation? I can't ever remember being solicited by the local churches. Maybe tithing is down and they need more #%$%^&&*().


tim said...

>>What is sad and frustrating is that this place really had a chance.

No it didn't. You just hadn't seen it clearly enough yet.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else seen a huge(one a day) church invitation to Easter Salvation? I can't ever remember being solicited by the local churches. Maybe tithing is down and they need more #%$%^&&*().



Most of these churches in BEND were big RE scams bringing in fresh meat to feed BEND-1031, westside christian, moss-cacb, ... sawyer, eckman, ...

These BIG-BOX churches are bleeding pad, they paid top-dollar for their big-lots albeit tax-exempt.

Your going to see lots of beggingn and explicit threats that your going to hell if you don't provide young boyz and meth to your favorite Bend minister.

Given that Bend is PUG, and that Bend church is PUG/MORMON, why in the fuck don't they care for themselves? They can't all this shit was put together post 1998, the model of an endless stream of cali retiree's who would sell their LA mcMansion, and flip in Bend on a 1031, now with the 1031 implosion of Bend, the churches have been completely wiped out.

Anonymous said...

>>What is sad and frustrating is that this place really had a chance.

>>>> No it didn't. You just hadn't seen it clearly enough yet.

Leave it to Tim for his coldly rational (but largely accurate) analysis.

Bruce, are there examples of small cities in the rural West that have been successful? (Have done development right?)

It just seems like the West is in one huge Boom-Bust cycle. The Midwest states that HBM writes about are very rural and ALWAYS kind of in a bust. They never knew extreme prosperity, so they also never knew crushing blows.

Actually most small towns in the Great Plains are dying -- the young people all leave to find jobs and a life in big cities.

It seems like Bend is destined to be another declining rural American town.

Anonymous said...

"now with the 1031 implosion of Bend, the churches have been completely wiped out."

Modern evangelical churches are sophisticated enterprises that seek to maximize membership and revenue.

In a downturn, people may seek solace in organized religion, because it provides them with lots of certainties and tells them that they will be taken care of by Big Daddy in the sky.

So, yes, Buster the churches may go broke, but I doubt they will lose people.

In fact, they may gain -- especially as they provide food and shelter to the needy.

Best Time in 20 Years to Give Out Free Food (would you like some eternal salvation with that?)

Anonymous said...

It seems like Bend is destined to be another declining rural American town.

It just dedclined a little less, when Bewert decided to leave.

Anonymous said...

Tetherow sales office has moved

Anonymous said...

Modern evangelical churches are sophisticated enterprises that seek to maximize membership and revenue.

In a downturn, people may seek solace in organized religion, because it provides them with lots of certainties and tells them that they will be taken care of by Big Daddy in the sky.


Bend's JEEBUS-BIZ is yes, smart, but they were geared to the BIG SUV & BIG TIT crowd, and little-boyz and meth for all the preachers.

Bend's mega-churches don't want the poor, they want the beautiful people.

With the mass-exodus of the rich talented ( think BP ), there will be nothing worth being in BEND, thus I predict our MOST beautiful ministers to bail.

BEND JEEBUS biz is NOT about saving souls, its about help cali's move out of their home and to Bend ( paradise ), now that cali homes don't sell, and Bend 1031 has imploded the Bend Jeebus biz is class whore all dressed up, but has no paying customers.

How long do you think our beautiful church controllers and promoters will stick around if their new JOB is only handing out food to the un-employed? BEND was always about MONEY.

They came to Bend and bought huge lots, and held them with tax exemption, and wait so they can make a fortune, and then buy 100's of lots in other towns, as growth is how you make money in the jeebus biz, well all our favorite jeebus nitwits of BEND, which is a majority of BEND REHO-PUG empire, had doubled their bets on jeebus, and now jeebus has left the Bend building, just like BP.

Yes, IF there is food being handed out and shelter at Westside Christian, yes people might show up, but personally having seen that scene in SO-CALI I know very well that the poor & dirty aren't welcome in a clean & white church designed and built for the best people, whose only job is real-estate.

Anonymous said...

Let's just say that to date in BEND every fucking PONZI 1031, or RE scam that has gone down, has had BABY-JEEBUS signature 100% wrapped around the ponzi.

Jeebus & Ponzi in Bend is like Jews & circumcision.

Every fucking PONZI that has gone down in the last five years in Bend has been a 'good' christian man/woman.


Anonymous said...

There is a name for all this ...

It is called a 'confidence scam'.

Once all the sheep in Bend have been sheared & have permanently lost their hair from malnutrition, do you really think that the sheep-herders will stick around to care for hairless sheep?

Anonymous said...

The subject today is Charity, on the ASSumption that some of you remaining BEND KUNTS thinks that 'charity' can be found @church, lets study history, sure if your a mormron, and you played ball and put away your 2 yrs of food, and are of good standing, your 'whole' in todays parlance of 'greed'.

Then on the subject of 'church', during the great depression, church was NOT how people ate. How people ate was that people put out buckets of soup, or in other words left-overs on the front porch, and then neighborhood kids would in the darkness of night get what they needed for their family, even in the depths of depression there was 'shame' in begging and going to door to beg from your neighbors, but neighbors is how people took care of people.

All of Bends new mega-churches are NOT your neighbors or friends they all came post 1990 ( think 1031 gang ), and they setup shop, aka christian-biz, .... They had a good twenty years, it was a new cycle, but these people will be behind bars and not running churches and handing out goody's in the bad times ahead.

It's not too late to become a mormon.

Quimby said...

>> It's not too late to become a mormon.

Look where Bruce is headed....

Anonymous said...

There was a good article in the BULL or some other paper last month about how terrible DOWN the tithings are at churches in Deschutes CO,

The problem of course is all these churches took out BIG loans to BUY tax-exempt land to build mega-churches from queen-bee christian MOSS@CACB,... Now these churches find that their tithing's can't cover the MTG, who would have guessed?

Poor fucking Bend.

Moss runs the Oregon Christian Home School network, can't get anymore politically correct when it cums to PUG jeebus-biz than that!

Anonymous said...

Look where Bruce is headed....


He's a 'pussy', but not stupid.

He's a grifter, a deadbeat and a user. I think he'll survive this recession just fine sucking the tit of his wifes mormron family.

Recall a 'pussy' is a bambist-liberal, not in itself a bad thing, sort of endearing, compared to being an old curmudgeon.

Thanks quim, had we confirmed BP doing UT? I know he had mentioned San-Diego, Reno, ... but we all know the pot-o-gold is in salt-lake, besides there is food to eat. If BP is smart, he'll wait until 2014 to buy his Bend STD for $80k, shit by then he can buy a mcMansion.

Quimby said...

>> had we confirmed BP doing UT?

Haven't been paying too close attention, but I thought it was Ogden for the free rent (frankly, a deal I'd find hard to pass up were I in his shoes).

Best wishes Bruce.

tim said...

Yeah. Good luck Bruce. Nothing against your decision.

As for whether Bend had a chance, no one will ever be able to prove it one way or another, but I think the preponderance of evidence is that it didn't. Too much stacked against its chance.

I always thought of you as an ant who had a too-clever-by-far plan to execute a stunning backflip against a building being demolished by dynamite, with the hope of keeping it standing.

I'm all for optimism, but think it's dangerous when applied against such a low-odds proposition.

Quimby said...

>> I always thought of you as an ant who had a too-clever-by-far plan to execute a stunning backflip against a building being demolished by dynamite, with the hope of keeping it standing.

Wow. That makes my head spin.

Bend is a nice town if you got bucks. Like Buster says, a nice "home base". I think too many of too little means got suckered into moving here....even if it meant destroying the place they loved by whoring it out, they had to be here.

I fear more pain is coming for our =AVERAGE(joes)

Anonymous said...

This is the only blog I read where it takes like 60 comments before someone actually mentions what was in the main post.

Huh? You read this week's post?

Get the Fuck outta here, you newbie dipshit Pussy!!

Outrageous!! Reading that shit!! Outta here... NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

I hear you quim, after a month here in Thailand, I'm about ready to come back to Bend, and start my bike ride regime, I'm tired of white sand beaches, and young girls telling me that they love me.

Bend is a base-camp, and nothing more, a place to keep your toyz, if you don't have to work.

Like my old man told me back in the 1960's when I moved to Orygun "Buster, Orygun ain't a working mans town", I replied "I know pop's, I have no intention of working or making money in Orygun".

True then and true now, sure there was a short window say around Salem in the 1950's you could log, or turn of the century near Bend, ... even since I have been in Orygun I have seen the great fishing fleets of the Orygun Coast disappear, both here and up in Washington, and most of South BC.

I have said it before, and I'll say again. Bend is a Base-Camp, a place where xc-skiing, and mtn-biking is close by ( out your front door ), a place where you can road-bike to stay in shape, and a place to store your toyz while your traveling.

Trying to make anything else out of Bend, is well like trying to make food out of shit.

Trying to 'get rich in Bend' is a fools game, you make your money else-where, and play in Bend when the weather is good, like HBM say's the window is short.

Anonymous said...

Good Point, you only have to read Homer's "main-post", once and you got the essence "Bend is going to shit, the end is near", ... "Best time to rent in 20 years"...

Homer reminds me of the guy with the sign "the end is near", no need to even talk with the guy, he was born with the sign in his hand, and will die with the sign in his hand.

Bend is returning to what it was before ALL YOU FOLKS arrived, and a few of us LOVE THAT IDEA.

With regards to the few 'kunt fucks' that arrived here with the shirt on their backs and will leave with the shirt on their backs, ... what's fucking new?

How many times have we debated the 97% rule, where 3% of the folks consistently in all cultures get all the pussy and gold, and all else spend their lives tirelessly begging and feeling sorry for themselves?? Over a 100 years ago Thoreau & Emerson said "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation".

Does a shark lose sleep over his dinner? Does a crocodile cry after drowning and letting his victim decompose?? Does one of the 3% cry about the lot of 97% of his fellow man?? Since time beginning you can lead a horse to water and can't make him drink. Like this fucking BB2 board, 2+ years ago I told you folks how it works here that every 20 or so years RE prices collapse and that you should be ready to buy shit, so that you can retire when your 40, but it only works if your in your 20's today, like most of this board, they're over 50, and of the 97%, they're fucked, and nothing can change that fact.

You are what your are by 50, and not jeebus, or MOSS can make you 'whole'.

Like HOMER, the king of the renter losers everyday watching his 401k implode, and nothing else to his name for 50+ years of breathing.

If any of you KUNTS really do feel for your fellow man, then get him by the neck when he is in his 20's and can do something about his future, and crawl out of the hole lived by the average man.

For the majority of BB2 its Bend-Over, and for all those who came here with nothing and must leave with nothing, all can be said is "WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN".

Duncan McGeary said...

Gosh, how did we ever survive without you guys coming to fix us.

I'm with Buster on this. There were a lot of good things about the 80's.
But the biggest negative to me -- the huge surplus of chainstores (We had nearly none in 1990, that hadn't already arrived by 1980) is unlikely to go back.

Still, it's you guys that think we aren't complete without Trader Joes and umpteen fine dining and multiple jewelry, art gallery, and clothing stores downtown.

Bewert said...

Re:Haven't been paying too close attention, but I thought it was Ogden for the free rent (frankly, a deal I'd find hard to pass up were I in his shoes).

Best wishes Bruce.


Thanks, Quim.

Actually, we'll pay rent, but it's less than here. As long as a mortgage needs to be paid rent is charged. Even for family.

I can't wait to get my hands on some fresh backyard tomatoes in a couple of months.

T loves gardening and a lot of stuff is already in the ground or inside the big south facing windows waiting to get transplanted. And the freezer is stocked with Alaskan salmon and halibut.

As for the future, who knows what it holds. I do know I am already getting contacted by Salt Lake people who want to do some business when I get back, which is a good sign. Reno is an option, too. SoCal not so much. There are a lot of towns like Bend around, too, most in a bit better shape. Towns under 100K that have trails and a mountain of some sort, with rivers and lakes around.

And Sandy has fallen below 50% mormron, which means I'll get to give the missionaries piles of shit when they inevitably make their way to our door.

I'm working on one last bendgazette post, tying the UE situation together with the NODs. It's going to take a long time to work itself out around here, until 2012 at least, and I'm too old to be that patient.

One bright spot, though, is the UE numbers will go down when people leave in droves after school is out.

Anonymous said...

I read the Portland Business Journal and I see liens and civil suits being filed against churches... never figured I'd see something like that, didn't understand why/how - until you guys made it make sense for me.

Thank you for teaching me one new thing today!

Bewert said...

Yep, Tim, I had hope :)

Good luck. There are still a few good nuggets of tech around, such as G5. They need people like you.

But when the local VC shindig repeatedly sends local money out of the area, that's saying a lot more than Roger Lee wants to hear.

Bytes acost nothing to ship, something that Bend needs to be competitive. That applies to a lot of places like Bend as well.

Bewert said...

Re: Bruce, are there examples of small cities in the rural West that have been successful? (Have done development right?)


A few, maybe Idaho Falls, Logan, UT, Farmington, NM, Great Falls, MT, all in the top 50 in UE numbers.

The thing is they didn't really "develop" that much as far as I can tell, they just organically grew.

Energy is going to be huge, as it already is in places in the upper midwest. The Reid bill making transmission lines into a Eisenhower-era Interstate project is going to affect a lot of rural areas that have good wind, solar, or geothermal. Some places will profit, some will suffer.

Bewert said...

Re: BP, You have no nads...Bye Bye Pussy.



Sorry, I just don't have the patience. I still see the officialdom in denial, like the city spending hundreds of thousands in updating the building code, and then coming back with water and sewer increases a few weeks later to cover it. That's simply amateur crap.

But, hey, I'll still check in once in a while.

Bewert said...

It just dedclined(sic) a little less, when Bewert decided to leave.


Yep, you wouldn't want people that bring in outside money living here.

Anonymous said...

Just pullin your chain. Good Luck and I will be jealous that you can grow tomatoes without a greenhouse in good soil.
Bend is now a place to store stuff and travel from for me also. Next winter will be my first warm winter in 30 years as I will spend it in a warm desert not a frigid one. Since I quit skiing years ago I won't miss the Bach.

Anonymous said...

It just dedclined(sic) a little less, when Bewert decided to leave.


Yep, you wouldn't want people that bring in outside money living here.

Know(sic), I just don't want asshole NIMBY's living here.

tim said...

>>Good luck. There are still a few good nuggets of tech around, such as G5. They need people like you.

No idea where journey might take me.

Anonymous said...

Would the last Pussy to leave please turn out the lights?

Anonymous said...

<< Sandy has fallen below 50% mormron, which means I'll get to give the missionaries piles of shit when they inevitably make their way to our door >>

So if half the population is already in your cult, how do you know which doors to knock on?

Do they have like a master list of addresses of members --- whose doors ye shall not knocketh upon?

Anonymous said...

In writing the above that I don't mean "you" Bruce -- rather, do the missionaries have to knock on EVERY door, or just those that aren't on some kind of master list?

I have a friend who left the M. church -- moved here and never made contact with the locals, but they were targeted in their house so many times by the local Bishop that they had to threaten to call the police for harrassment -- only way to make it clear that they were leaving for good.

"You can checkout any time you like, But you can never leave"

Anonymous said...

OK all you fucks!! Bend is fucked great, here's the deal get off your fucking computer,pack your shit and get the fuck out of here.
Oh and Buster La Pine isn't in Thailand.

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

Someone - pussy - should put one of these together with Bend stats.

Bewert said...

Re: Do they have like a master list of addresses of members --- whose doors ye shall not knocketh upon?


It seems like it. Since they keep such a close track on tithing, they probably have a list of doors that are already mormron and knock on the others.

Anonymous said...

>> Oh and Buster La Pine isn't in Thailand.

I found that one a little hard to believe as well!

Anonymous said...

>>Good luck. There are still a few good nuggets of tech around, such as G5. They need people like you.

No idea where journey might take me.


Well it's 10pm, and me got to hit the sack. You boyz should know by now that Bend has NEVER been a high-tech mecca, we play here, for years, even back to the 1980's there were actually high-tech mag's ( rags ) published in Bend, ... All gone long ago.

Over the years I have seen many fellow high-tech entrepreneurs come to Bend to setup base-camp, and I always say to them, why don't we get together and do something? The response is always the same "I here in Bend to play, if I want to work I can fly to the bay-ahrea, or drive over the hump to pdx.

Yep, its the essence, ... and it seems that only quim here is really an entrepreneur, but essentially getting warm-bodies to work here is impossible, in PDX or bay-ahrea a phd in comp-sci is a dime-a-dozen, ... chinese & indians don't want to live in Bend, for no other reason that there is no ujimiya ( feren grocery )... no culture, no friends, its bad enough being in the USA, but its worse to be in BEND.

Behind every high-tech, is a MASS of indians, ... chinese, ... all doing the lords work with their fresh comp-sci phd. In my 40+ years of doing high-tech startups I can count the number of white-kunts that produced on one fucking hand.

So BP, you came here, and tried to fix Bend and gave up, but you came with the wrong idea, ... rather than going to UTAH, and milking a teat, why don't you go somewhere and make some real money, and then buy a second home in Bend, and get some ferner's to do your work for you, and then you too can live in Bend, and not worry about making money!

I'm in Thailand, been here for almost a month, down near the Malay border, doing the beach thing, got to come back to Bend, its lawn-mower season to begin, May->Jul,... Good that 'red-shirts' got moved from bangers to pattaya, at least bkk is open to exit. Some of the most remote un-developed Islands in SE-ASIA are down here, I don't like tourists.

In july the grass quits growing from the heat, and its back up to Canada to live on a boat.

I think Bend is good for staying in shape, and keeping your toyz stored, but its a shitty place to spend money, or eat. I would rather be in Thailand or Italy to eat, there are many places to be and Bend isn't one them.

Long ago we had the debate about Bend being a 'resort' the consensus of the old-timers was that if you think BEND is a paradise, then you haven't traveled.

Case in POINT women in Bend over 25, tend to be gold-diggers, ... I know its a hard-generalization, but like homer says this is the town of fake tits.

Dunc says that jewelry stores and trader-joes is the same, nope most of Bend retail like comics is non-essential, but TJ's sells essentials like coconut milk and olive oil, at a good price.

Thinking of Bend, sitting here in Thailand at night, one who spends too much time in Bend would think that all women are bitches, and shoppers, but just to spend a few months a year in a place where 25 yr old girls treat 'old-white-farts' like gold, well its just makes you realize what a fucking shit-hole that Bend is, ...

Bend is a place to park and/or store your toys, and hike, and walk the dog, and bike to stay in shape, but its not much for night-life, and its not much for meeting pretty young women who have warm hearts.

You can't get rich in Bend, but in the next 2-4 years you'll be able to pickup descent rental homes, and have your renter pay off your 15yr fixed mtg, and retire young, and then do as you wish.

The best thing about Bend is not being there! Best place to leave in 20 years.

HBM writes about hawaii a lot, I used to spend lots of time there, on kuahi and hike back to napali, something about tropical weather energizes you and makes you feel younger. I hope HBM makes the move, before his cold-joints lockup.

tim said...

It always seemed to me that HBM was a whiner, and would always find something to whine about, no matter what he did and where he lived.

But I can't tell for sure. It's possible that he was a non-whiner who was just eventually overwhelmed by Bend.

Anonymous said...

Last time I went to Thailand, I went in October, out to Koh Sumai.

Boy was I stupid. That was the monsoon season. It rained the entire 4 days I was down on the beach.

Don't go in October!

I was also there in April once (in Bangkok) and it was hotter than hell. Optimal time: January.

rotorman said...

No longer Made In America

Shares of Textron Inc., the owner of Hunt Valley-based defense contractor AAI Corp., rose almost 50 percent Thursday after Kuwait's Al-Watan newspaper reported that a United Arab Emirates group is preparing to buy the maker of Cessna aircraft and Bell helicopters for $21 a share.

Providence, R.I.-based Textron surged $4.45, or 49 percent, to $13.56 on the New York Stock Exchange. A deal at $21 would value the company at $5.1 billion based on 242.9 million outstanding shares. After an inquiry from the NYSE, Textron responded that it doesn't comment on market rumors.

The company's shares have fallen from a 52-week high of $65.52 on May 30 as the global credit crunch and recession reduced demand for aircraft and raised risks in its finance unit. Textron is withdrawing from its financing businesses other than those directly related to its manufacturing units.

The Kuwaiti newspaper didn't identify its sources. The buyers are interested in the civil operations of Textron and will sell its defense operations to a U.S. company involved in the negotiations, Al-Watan said.

Anonymous said...

Rigoberto's sure looks closed to me.

Somebody here said they were still open???

Anonymous said...

(Rigoberto's sure looks closed to me.

Somebody here said they were still open???)

Bring back the old DQ shoot it still has the colors.

Anonymous said...

CBS and the military revealed that 18 veterans commit suicide per day during the 8-year Global War on Terror, resulting in an estimated 46,000 deaths

Why Are Army Recruiters Killing Themselves?

By MARK THOMPSON Thursday, Apr. 10, 2009

When Army Staff Sergeant Amanda Henderson ran into Staff Sergeant Larry Flores in their Texas recruiting station last August, she was shocked by the dark circles under his eyes and his ragged appearance. "Are you O.K.?" she asked the normally squared-away soldier. "Sergeant Henderson, I am just really tired," he replied. "I had such a bad, long week, it was ridiculous." The previous Saturday, Flores' commanders had berated him for poor performance. He had worked every day since from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., trying to persuade the youth of Nacogdoches to wear Army green. "But I'm O.K.," he told her.
Suicide in the Recruiters' Ranks
100 Years of the U.S. Army Reserve
A TIME Photographer's Iraq Diary

No, he wasn't. Later that night, Flores hanged himself in his garage with an extension cord. Henderson and her husband Patrick, both Army recruiters, were stunned. "I'll never forget sitting there at Sergeant Flores' memorial service with my husband and seeing his wife crying," Amanda recalls. "I remember looking over at Patrick and going, 'Why did he do this to her? Why did he do this to his children?' " Patrick didn't say anything, and Amanda now says Flores' suicide "triggered" something in her husband. Six weeks later, Patrick hanged himself with a dog chain in their backyard shed. (See pictures of suicide in recruiters' ranks.)

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now the longest waged by an all-volunteer force in U.S. history. Even as soldiers rotate back into the field for multiple and extended tours, the Army requires a constant supply of new recruits. But the patriotic fervor that led so many to sign up after 9/11 is now eight years past. That leaves recruiters with perhaps the toughest, if not the most dangerous, job in the Army. Last year alone, the number of recruiters who killed themselves was triple the overall Army rate. Like posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, recruiter suicides are a hidden cost of the nation's wars.

The Wartime Challenge
Behind the neat desks and patriotic posters in 1,650 Army recruiting stations on Main Streets and in strip malls is a work environment as stressful in its own way as combat. The hours are long, time off is rare, and the demand to sign up at least two recruits a month is unrelenting. Soldiers who have returned from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan now constitute 73% of recruiters, up from 38% in 2005. And for many of them, the pressure is just too much. "These kids are coming back from Iraq with problems," says a former Army officer who recently worked in the Houston Recruiting Battalion.

The responsibility for providing troop replacements falls to the senior noncommissioned officers who have chosen to make recruiting their career in the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). They in turn put pressure on their local recruiters to "make mission" and generate the recruits — sometimes by any means necessary. Lawrence Kagawa retired last July after more than 20 years in uniform; he spent the latter half as a highly decorated recruiter, and his tenure included a stint in the Houston battalion from 2002 to 2005. "There's one set of values for the Army, and when you go to Recruiting Command, you're basically forced to do things outside of what would normally be considered to be moral or ethical," he says.

Because station commanders and their bosses are rated on how well their subordinates recruit, there is a strong incentive to cut corners to bring in enlistees. If recruiters can't make mission legitimately, their superiors will tell them to push the envelope. "You'll be told to call Johnny or Susan and tell them to lie and say they've never had asthma like they told you, that they don't have a juvenile criminal history," Kagawa says. "That recruiter is going to bend the rules and get the lies told and process the fraudulent paperwork." And if the recruiter refuses? The commander, says Kagawa, is "going to tell you point-blank that 'we have a loyalty issue here, and if I give you a "no" for loyalty on your annual report, your career is over.' "

It's not surprising, then, that some recruiters ignore red flags to enlist marginal candidates. "I've seen [recruiters] make kids drink gallons of water trying to flush marijuana out of their system before they take their physicals," one Houston recruiter says privately. "I've seen them forge signatures." Sign up a pair of enlistees in a month and a recruiter is hailed; sign up none and he can be ordered to monthly Saturday sessions, where he is verbally pounded for his failure


Anonymous said...

BP, think exec-session in Bend is bad, the asean birds treat all media like pariah.

Saturday April 11, 2009

Media clampdown in Pattaya

Comment By Mergawati Zulfakar

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is being embarrassed in his own backyard yet again.

The loud protests by supporters of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday is another example of how fragile Abhisit’s government is.

The protesters were serious this time because similar protests, albeit on a smaller scale, at the Asean summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, in late February had failed to get Abhisit to step down.

The Thai authorities seemed to be unprepared for Thaksin’s supporters who turned up in full force in Pattaya. Imagine how fragile the security is when only 300 anti-riot personnel were stationed to control more than 1,000 protesters.

If anger and frustrations ruled the day in Hua Hin, those feelings are turning into desperation for most in Pattaya.

Security has reached almost intolerable level with journalists having to undergo many checks just to go through from one point to another.

As in Hua Hin, the Thai Foreign Ministry has made it extremely difficult for journalists to carry out their duties by declaring many areas off-limit.

A Filipino journalist who has been covering Asean for more than a decade described his experience in Thailand as one of the worst he had had to endure.

Asean, he felt, in particular Thailand, was treating the media as an adversary instead of a partner during summits and related meetings.

“I think security is being used as a cover-up to justify the unrealistic media restrictions,” he said.

“The summit is the latest example of how journalists are treated shabbily and I find it ironic that it has to happen in a so-called democracy like Thailand.

“Even in Singapore, which has been criticised for its clampdown on the media, reporters were allowed at the lobby where the meetings were held.”

Many journalists share his sentiment because access to ministers and officials is important if journalists are to report accurately.

They cannot just depend on official press releases and conferences by the host. It does not take rocket science to know that these conferences only express the official view.

Sideline doorstop interviews and chats with the delegates allow journalists to probe deeper into what actually transpired in the discussions, what issues dominated the talks apart from the usual phrase in official releases that they had “frank and open discussions on a wide range of issues.”

A Thai journalist said based on a quick survey with the local media, many agreed the press arrangements were at best “lousy.”

Another Thai journalist working for a Japanese newspaper had turned up at an informal dinner for foreign ministers in Hua Hin to try her luck for some quotes from the ministers.

One of the Foreign Ministry officials told her to leave the venue immediately and that if she did not, her Japanese boss will not get his work visa renewed.

“I think in any country and in any circumstance, the media will be treated better when the authorities want our reporting to be in their favour.

“The Government is too obsessed about domestic political turbulence that they are afraid that the perceived security threats by the opponents will affect the summit. Therefore the tight security has become the order of the day,” the Thai journalist added.

Access should be granted to

the media as there are bound to

be some officials or ministers

who are willing to speak to journalists.

In Hua Hin, even ministers who are willing to talk were barred by the overzealous security.

If this trend of limiting media coverage continues, it will only encourage the journalists to boycott Asean meetings in future.

Anonymous said...

119 Notice of Defaults in the first 8 business days of April.
It looks like we'll break the 400 barrier this month.


Anonymous said...

Imagine how fragile the security is when only 300 anti-riot personnel were stationed to control more than 1,000 protesters.


IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Took a week off to do some local camping boyz... and girlz. Fun, fun.

And really my "House Divided" idea is that what has made AmeriKKKa work so well in the past, is the idea that Gubmint & US Industry have been diametrically at odds with each other: Industry NEEDS productivity and to squeeze more from each nickel, and government needs to sap industry at some "optimal" rate... leave them enough to sap next year, while still feeding the Gubmint beast today.

Gubmint & Industry are not good bedfellows. They have 2 diametrically opposed objective functions that can never result in a happy Union.

GM & the auto industry are just illustrative. They are talking about bailing out more than just autos and banks. They want to start bailing out newspapers. What's next?

We're becoming Bailout Nation. Banks & Autos are just the beginning...

Anonymous said...

It's so sad that our Bruce Pussy is gonna be leaving us soon. Who's gonna provide this blog with pussy talk about "fixing" city hall etc once the BP's gone? Who's gonna step up to the plate to become our new resident pussy? Dunc would be a good candidate as he's also a zionist-loving pussy but his posts are just too goddamn boring.

Anonymous said...



Umm... good point...

Bend: "Best place to get fucked in the ass in 20 years"

Thailand:" "Me want to love you"

Thanks, guys, but thai wins.

If Thailand is LOS ( the Land Of Smiles ), then Bend is what? The land of buttPlugs? The land of REHO's?? The land of white-trash meth losers?

Anonymous said...

AmeriKKKan Empire Declared Bend Dead

America: a superpower no more
Decline is occurring more rapidly than we think. It's time to embrace a new agenda.

By Walter Rodgers, CSM
April 12, 2009

Oakton, Va. - Two American icons, General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway, lost their triple-A credit ratings. Then China, America's largest creditor, called for a new global currency to replace the dollar just weeks after it demanded Washington guarantee the safety of Beijing's nearly $1 trillion debt holdings. And that was just in March.

These events are the latest warnings that our world is changing far more rapidly and profoundly than we – or our politicians – will admit. America's own triple-A rating, its superpower status, is being downgraded as rapidly as its economy.

President Obama's recent acknowledgement that the US is not winning in Afghanistan is but the most obvious recognition of this jarring new reality. What was the president telling Americans? As Milton Bearden, a former top CIA analyst on Afghanistan, recently put it, "If you aren't winning, you're losing."

The global landscape is littered with evidence that America's superpower status is fraying.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan – arguably the world's most dangerous country – is falling apart, despite billions in US aid and support.

In Iraq, despite efforts in Washington to make "the surge" appear to be a stunning US victory, analysts most familiar with the region have already declared Iran the strategic winner of the Bush administration's war against Saddam Hussein. The Iraq war has greatly empowered Iran, nurturing a new regional superpower that now seems likely to be the major architect of the new Iraq.

Sadly, what was forgotten amid the Bush-era hubris was that America's edge always has been as much moral and economic as military. Officially sanctioned torture, the Abu Ghraib scandal, US invasion of a sovereign country without provocation, along with foolishly allowing radical Islamists to successfully portray the US as the enemy of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, shattered whatever moral edge America enjoyed before 2003.

Washington's uncritical support of Israel at the expense of Palestinians is perceived by much of the world as egregiously hypocritical. Consequently, America's collision course with Islam may be irreversible. Muslims believe Islam never lost the moral high ground – and they won't readily relinquish it for Western secularism.

Even politically conservative journals such as The National Interest recognize something has gone wrong. In a recent issue, Robert Pape opined: "The self-inflicted wounds of the Iraq war, growing government debt, increasingly negative current-accounts balance, and other economic weaknesses have cost the United States real power in today's world.… If present trends continue, we will look back at the Bush administration's years as the death knell of American hegemony."

Now, as a massive retrenchment of the US economy is under way, it is time to shake the mental shackles of the superpower legacy and embrace a more peripheralist agenda. That need not mean isolationism or retreat. It would still require maintaining substantial armed forces with a qualitative edge, but using them only when there is an affordable and persuasive American national interest. Iraq never fitted that description.

The price tag for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wars is in the trillions. Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military commentator, prophetically observed 2,500 years ago, "[W]hen the army marches abroad, the treasury will be emptied at home."

It remains a lingering American myth that US troops and warships can go anywhere and pay any price. Not so. The modern Chinese have discovered a better way. The Washington Post reports that the Chinese went on a shopping spree recently, taking advantage of fire-sale prices to lock up global supplies of oil, minerals, and other strategic resources for their economy. That amounts to a major economic conquest – without using a single soldier. By contrast, American efforts to secure oil have looked clumsy.

Iran also is achieving serious regional hegemony, without armadas, using proxy guerrilla armies to dominate its near neighbors. Its rebuffs to President Obama's recent outreach speaks to Tehran's growing confidence in its ability to manipulate its home-field advantage – stage-managing events from Afghanistan to Lebanon, all the while thumbing its nose at both the American and Israeli "superpowers."

Last August's Russian invasion of Georgia was a painful reminder that Russia has what its leadership calls "privileged interests" on its periphery. Yesterday's superpowers have been replaced by regional hegemons, as the globe is being carved up into more-defensible spheres of interest.

Americans need to acknowledge that war, like politics, is the art of the possible, and both have their limits. The Bush administration was unable to deliver its promised democratic remake of the Muslim Middle East.

Thus, another unpleasant truth: The Western democratic model has no appeal to much of the Arab world. Nor is democracy an attractive model for huge swaths of the rest of the world, such as Russia and China.

It's time to lower our geopolitical sights and end America's unrealistic crusade. We shouldn't expect "them" to want to be like "us."

It took years for the US to recover its moral authority after Vietnam. It will be an even harder comeback this time.