Let’s Hope There’s A Special Place in Hell For These Guys

If you haven’t heard yet, McKinney Apartments in Dallas, Texas, are refusing to let dying Matthew Budge out of his lease.  There’s a rare form of cancer running through the 36 year old’s body, and he doesn’t have long to live.  He’s trying to get his family (wife and 6 kids) moved out of the state, so they can be closer to family, and have a support system in place, to get them through the hard times that are inevitably ahead. 

Proving themselves to be the most obnoxious property managers in the universe, McKinney apartments want to squeeze every last dime out of this dying man’s pockets.  They refuse to let him out of the lease without a $9000 payment in rent, penalties and fees. 

If you’re listening Karma – please, now is the time to teach these heartless fools a lesson in manners.  How about a plague of lice in their office?

Matthew Budge’s Blog

News Report From WFAA

Video From CNN


They’re just shameful aren’t they?

948west7thave.jpgI actually had a little bit of milk escape out my nose when I read this opening line today:

” Condominium markets in Vancouver and Victoria will offer solid opportunities in 2008 for first-time homebuyers looking for accessible, affordable housing in the province’s major urban centres,”

This little tidbit was offered by the Good Folks of Genworth Financial – “The HomeOwnership People” – whose president goes on to be quoted as saying:

“And with innovative mortgage solutions available, it makes that first-time purchase more accessible and affordable than ever” 

Yea, ’cause “innovative” mortgage solutions worked so well in the U.S.

I won’t bring out all the charts and statistics to show just how wrong a Vancouver condo purchase is (I’ve done that here) and I’ll only quickly mention that their numbers are wrong – they have 2007 condo prices at $328k when we ended 2007 with apartment prices of $377k; we haven’t been $328k since somewhere around July 2006. 

All that I want to know is –  do you think they feel a little dirty writing this stuff?  


In case we forget that real estate does drop in value in Vancouver:

I’ve read this piece several times, but found it today posted on vancouvercondo.info – It was posted by “A” who gave credit to “Da Mann”

A flash from the past :

1. “Price stability, rather than decline, would be expected for most of the housing stock . . . since underlying home ownership demand remains strong due to continued high immigration.” (Frank Clayton, January 18th 1981 in the Sun. link The market crashed by about 50% over the following year. )

2. Renaud said he thinks that the trend to prices for houses has been broken by a temporary lull and that by [next year] or so prices will be equal to or greater than peak prices. (Claude Renaud, VP of Mortgage Insurance Canada on April 14, 1982. link The market took 26 quarters (over 6 years) to regain its peak in real terms.)

3. “To those who are waiting for Vancouver house prices to collapse, I can only advise them not to hold their breath . . . Unless there is a major recession or significant depopulation, house prices are unlikely to drop significantly.” (Jerry Jackman, VP Royal Lepage, November 18, 1988 in the Vancouver Sun. link In 1989, prices started to drop – with an eventual 30% or so drop. Real prices did not attain these heights again for 58 quarters, or around 15 years.)

4. “We are definitely in a transition market in areas such as the West Side, Vancouver East, and Burnaby . . . it is too early to tell if the market will stall.” (Jerry Jackman, April 20th 1989 in the Province. link Prices did not recover in real terms until 15 years later.)

5. “It is unlikely that prices will decline significantly.” (JJ again, July 18th 1989 in the Sun. link)

6. “The whole world wants Vancouver because everybody is moving here now and everything points up, up, up.” (Realtor David Goodman, December, 1989 in the Sun. link The market did not reach these heights again for 15 years.)

7. ” . . .no one is panicking over the west side housing market and he insists that it has simply ‘normalized’.” (Jerry Jackman, January 27th 1990 quoted in the Sun. link West-side prices fell by 40% in the next 2 years.)

8. “I can’t see prices reversing themselves there [in the west side] because it is still a very desirable place to live.” (Same as above.)

9. “The market is entering a more ‘normal’ phase.” (REBGV president Brian Calder, Feb 2, 1990 in the Sun. link If normal means that it takes 15 years to recover, then ‘normal’ it was.)

10. “A BC Central Credit Union newsletter released Tuesday said BC’s housing market is currently experiencing a contractionary phase but the worst of that phase should be over by late summer or early fall.” (BC Credit Union economist Richard Allen quoted in the Sun, July 5th 1995. link The decline in the late 90s was slow, but it took 28 quarters to bottom out and 33 quarters to recover to the previous peak. Some ‘phase’, eh?)

Lawyers of The Amazon

amazon1.jpgThe days of large oil companies running amok through the rainforest, destroying villages and lives, as they frantically search for more oil, are over.  The tribes are ready to fight back. Not with guns, not with grenades, but with lawyers – and nothing is scarier then a lawyer.

The BBC news is reporting that the Achuar tribe, of the Peruvian rainforest, have filed a lawsuit against Occidental Oil.  The suit is claiming for damages for 30 years of contamination that Occidental left behind. 

“We can’t allow this, we’re a new generation, we know how to read and write and we have to help our people because they didn’t have the knowledge to defend themselves against the oil companies. But now we do.”

Full Article here:

Peru Tribe Battles Oil Giant Over Pollution

Tell Tibet It’s “Not Fair”

36898702.jpgAre you ever embarrassed by what comes out of peoples’ mouths? 

The other morning I woke up to the headlines “ Boycotting Olympics Would Be Unfair to Us, athletes say” 


Protestors are being shot, people are being arrested, and current counts have almost 100 civilians being killed, but you might not be able to show off the hundreds of thousands of dollars your parents have sunk into you. I can see how the two even out.   

The article quotes Charmaine Crooks, a member of Vanoc’s board of Directors, who missed competing in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, because of the worldwide boycotts against Russia’s Afghanistan invasion.   

“I was a victim of boycotts in the past, and I know how it affected athletes and still does.”  

A victim?  I choked on my coffee. 

Being jailed and tortured for expressing your opinion makes you a victim.  Having your home and possessions stolen from you makes you a victim.  Losing the opportunity to travel to Moscow to live out a dream is certainly a bummer, but it does not make anyone a victim. 

The article goes on to pull out Snowboarder Alexa Loo, who after being raised in a safe, free society, doesn’t think a boycott is appropriate because Canada has its problems too. 

“It’s always troubling when people are treated badly and when there is bad things happening. But it’s just as troubling to know we have disenfranchised people in our Downtown Eastside that we’re not looking after.” 

Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but the last time I checked, the Canadian government hasn’t rolled the tanks in.  Comparing the Downtown Eastside (or anything in Canada for that matter) to what is happening in Tibet just shows how little appreciation these people have for the Tibetan situation, or their own. 

The Downtown Eastside is a disgrace by any social standards, but at least we’re allowed to write about the Downtown Eastside, we’re allowed to talk about it, and we’re allowed to protest anytime we want.   

U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said it eloquently when she said: 

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights.”   

This is why we must boycott the Beijing Olympics. If our Canadian athletes go marching on in, waving the Maple Leaf, we’re telling China that it’s o.k.  We’re telling them that they can do whatever they want, and we’ll all pretend it’s not happening, because we want a chance to win some shiny gold medals, and we want a chance to have a big pile of yen in our pockets.   

That’s not how I want Canada to be recognized.  

Support Tibetans, Support a Boycott 

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