Mortgage Lender IndyMac Seized by the US Government

I was shocked to see news that IndyMac, the holder of the mortgage for my second property (Bowers St), had been seized by US regulators. The mortgage for that property went to foreclosure back in March (my first foreclosure), so needless to say, I contributed to their downfall.

IndyMac's fate was sealed after Senator Charles E. Schumer wrote a letter about the bank. Mr. Schumer spoke strongly about the agency:

“IndyMac’s troubles, like Countrywide’s were caused by practices that began and persisted over the last several years,” he said. “If O.T.S. had done its job as regulator and not let IndyMac’s poor and loose lending practices continue, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

IndyMac held $32 billion in assets and its demise is being called the biggest failure in 24 years. In addition to loans, IndyMac Bank held one of the largest savings in the country. The FDIC said nearly $1 billion of the $19 billion in deposits held by IndyMac were uninsured, affecting about 10,000 people. When news got out that IndyMac was in trouble, people started taking their money out of their bank accounts, to the tune of $100 million per day. Things like this are exactly why I feel uneasy saving money at all. It feels safer to invest in things that are real, be it a car, motorcycle, boat, education, health, general experience, or yes, even real estate.

Coupled with the craziness that happened to Fannie and Freddie yesterday, the reality of what's happening in the US is finally starting to sink in. Fannie and Freddie, which own or guarantee almost half the $12 trillion of home loans in the U.S., plunged as much as 49 percent and 51 percent yesterday. [1] Think about that for a second: half of all the home loans in the U.S. This happened as investors feared failure in the market would cause the U.S. government to rescue both companies, which would wipe out the shareholders.

Water found on Mars, NASA scientists confirm

It looks like all those Sci-Fi books that talk about life on Mars are becoming more realistic. If there is one thing that never ceases to inspire awe, it's life on Mars and the idea of standing on another planet exploring places where no other humans have stood (at least not in currently known history).

That feeling of awe is what I experienced when I saw this news headline this morning: Water found on Mars, Nasa scientist confirm.

Sure, there still isn't one hundred percent scientific proof that water has been found on Mars, but the scientists feel sure enough to confirm it. They saw a white substance, which was present a few inches underneath the surface, "melt" away over the course of a few days. That confirmed the substance wasn't salt or CO2 ice (CO2 ice would take hours, not days, to melt and salt wouldn't melt at all). Of course there's a chance that the substance isn't water either, but something unknown to scientists. I hope not.

Finding water on Mars would swing the door wide open to future human trips to the planet and would make setting up a base on the planet a whole lot easier. One of the biggest problems with human space travel is the need to transport our water supply, something that is both heavy and very costly. Having a base on Mars with access to water would not only allow astronauts to explore Mars, but also use it as a refill station for other exploration.

I just hope that near-future space exploration is not hindered by other events on this planet. We seriously need to fix our energy problems (by fixing our political problems) and stop turning our only home into a dumpster. Recycle!

Obama Speech: 'A More Perfect Union'

I don't usually watch political speeches, but I've been reading a lot of news about how Obama's recent speech on race may have been one of the most important, and best, of his career, so I had to see what all the fuss was about. It's an awesome speech, but what's even more impressive is the fact that he wrote the entire thing himself!

I think Obama really understands the big problems facing this country. What remains to be determined, however, is if he is capable of bringing about the great changes he talks so much about.

ZDAY; should I host an event?

I've been contemplating hosting an event. Thats right, you heard me, hosting an event. If that doesn't sound like something I'd do, that's because it isn't.

One of the few movies that I feel has changed my life, in terms of how I view the world, is Zeitgeist. (If you haven't watched it already, I strongly urge you to do so at your earliest convenience.) The creators of Zeitgeist are doing something called ZDAY, in which they are asking people to voluntarily organize a screening of the movie, either publicly or privately, to further education the world about the mask that has been accepted as truth. The event will take place worldwide on Saturday, March 15th, 2008.

According to the current event list, the closest public screening is a couple hours south of here in South Hadley, MA (close to Springfield). There are no public events around the Boston or Lowell area and none at all in New Hampshire.

Despite the fact that I'm a very quiet, keep-to-myself kinda guy, I felt as though I suddenly had a calling; as though maybe it was my responsibility to break out of my shell and educate some people about the facade that is our government and all religion. The idea is still very new in my head but it feels as though I've been thinking about it for years.

Who knows, maybe this quiet, fitness minded computer geek will become a great leader for a new generation of truth seekers.

Political Bullshit

I'm so sick of all the political bullshit I hear in the news.

I don't own a TV because there simply isn't anything on it worth my time or money. The TV has become a mind-control device for those with money. Do you know why there are so many 'reality TV shows' on now? Because the people in power want to distract you from the real reality of whats happening in the world. So many people have become so entrenched in the reality TV shows that they're the furthest from what's really real: reality.

I read foreign news websites because all the domestic ones are so full of bullshit (both are full of bullshit, but foreign ones seem more realistic). Hell, I even enjoy reading foreign tech news websites! The media with all their advertisements, and opinions, and suggestions -- all bullshit. I trust talking face-to-face with a stranger on the street more than I do listening to a news anchor -- how sad is that?

The amount of bullshit that comes at me on a day-to-day basis, from every direction, is mind-numbing. Others who may write similar statements would probably say, at some point in their text, "Wake up!". But I'm not going to say that. Do you know why? Because so many of us are already awake to whats happening -- the problem is we just don't give a fuck. Hell, why am I writing this? Why aren't I out there doing something about it? Well, its my nature to observe and act when the time is right. The time doesn't feel right and I don't feel that I've observed enough. I just know there is something seriously wrong with this country and with the world.

I Would Donate to Support Digg

As many may already be aware, Digg was recently the site of, what will probably be known historically as, the first real "Internet Revolt". For the less informed, here's what happened:

On May 1st, someone posted a link to a blog which contained a line of code that could be used to unlock the copy protection features of HD-DVD's. Digg in turn, was issued a Cease and Desist declaration by the AACS stating that the code violates copyright law. As any company would do, the Digg administrators removed the original post. However, in response, the Digg community spoke out by flooding Digg with additional story submissions, and comments in unrelated stories, containing the code. Additionally, Digg users "Dugg" the stories and comments which caused the code to be given more visibility on the site. The users made it clear: we believe that we have the right to do what we want with something we purchase using our own hard earned money.

If you buy a door with a lock on it for your house, you can be expected to also be given the key, correct? Why then should any company be able to sell you something and then tell you what you can and cannot do with it? As long as you're not making a profit or mass-reproducing what you bought, where's the harm? Companies need to realize that law's are not going to prevent people from copying something they own and the only stand worth making is to prevent the mass-distribution of copied content, not the action of copying itself.

After seeing the huge response, Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, decided to stop preventing the code from being posted and even posted it on his own blog. He made a very bold and commendable move by doing this, knowing very well it may mean the end of Digg. The users of the Digg community used the site for what it was designed for: to speak their mind and make their opinion clear. Kevin has had to make a difficult financial decision about the direction to take and he has made it clear that he has chosen to go with us, the community.

If Digg needs financial support because of this incident, and they setup a donation page, I will happily donate whatever I can afford. I'm in no way a rich person and like everyone else I have my fair share of financial burdens. However, I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is and stand for something I truly believe in.

We're living in the birth of the technology revolution and it's our responsibility to define a solid foundation for future generations. Let's make ourselves heard.