Real Estate Developers Prosper Despite Defaults

Foreclosures, like taxes and austerity measures are only for the middle class and working people.

From The New York Times:
Published: January 1, 2011

Larry Gluck, the apartment building king whose company defaulted on loans in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, recently bought the Windermere Hotel in Manhattan and Tivoli Towers, a subsidized housing complex in Brooklyn.

Ian Bruce Eichner, who lost two major New York skyscrapers to foreclosure in the early 1990s and defaulted on a $760 million loan for a Las Vegas casino resort in 2008, is working on a plan to rescue One Madison Park, a troubled 50-story condominium project.

Even Harry Macklowe, whose $7 billion gamble on seven Midtown skyscrapers at the top of the market almost cost him his entire empire, is out looking for new deals.

Industry lore has it that New York is one of the toughest, most unforgiving real estate markets in the world. The costs are so high, the unions so ornery, the politicians so demanding and the rivalries so fierce, that one false move invites financial disaster.

But the truth is that there have been surprisingly few career fatalities among New York developers, even though they have lost billions of investor dollars on overpriced real estate and have littered the city with unfinished apartment buildings. While a homeowner who lost a house to foreclosure would find it difficult to borrow for years, developers who defaulted on enormous loans have still been able to attract money.

The reasons, experts say, are that there is still plenty of money floating around and that the market has a very short memory.

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What’s the big mystery?  The rich function as a criminal syndicate, robbing the poor and tax payers in a class war.  In this class war they always win and the bottom 80% of us always pay.


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Time to treat the term “Gender Variant” the Same Way People Have Decided to Treat “Tranny”

Last year I put aside my feeling that “tranny” was a word transsexual and transgender folks owned.

Not some fancy-schmancy post-modern overly analyzed term generated form the halls of academe but one that grew out of the musk and pee mixing with discarded condoms in low life drag-hustle bars.

In the 1960s it was “transie” later evolving into “trannie”.  the language of sex workers and beautiful losers who lived in slum rooms and by the week hotels.

Now I realize that term has been co-opted by the porn industry and outsiders who have turned it into a slur.

So I retired the word from my general usage although, I still use it in historical context or with quotes.

With the start of this new year and depending on your POV, new decade I am calling on people to stop using the term “gender variant”.

It may have a better heritage, having come from credentialed people with positions in academia instead of from the lumpen prole sex workers and porn industry but the general use of it is every single bit as degrading and dehumanizing as “tranny”.

It is an academic way of saying the following:  “He/she”, “She/male”, “It”, and any number of other slurs.

It also reifies a conservative view of gender as some sort of binary rather than an immensely variable set of customs, behaviors and modes of dress that shift depending upon time and culture.

Further it tends to invalidate the gender of transsexual and transgender people.  There are very few of us who embrace the positions of Norrie May Welby (no-gender) or of gender fuck (Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence).

Gender variant sounds like something more applicable to people who are either part of the transvestite or drag communities and I am not certain about that.

I can’t even really speak for transgender people except in observation and most I’ve known are no more gender variant (what ever that is supposed to mean) than are people with transsexualism.  Further most post-transsexual tend to be no more gender variant than cis-gendered people.

The other problem is that “gender variant” is a meaningless and ill defined term that serves to place outside of society.  While people like Judy Butler may thrill on the idea of gender transgression  or gender variant most of us are just trying to get on in an increasingly difficult world where such baggage makes our lives increasingly difficult.

This Year’s Fight to Save the Whales is On

Sea Shepard is my favorite band of Eco-warriors, who are battling to end the slaughter of whales, dolphins and seals as well as other species that are being fished to extinction.

In recent years they have engaged in the Japanese whaling fleets (which disguise commercial whaling as “scientific research”) in the Antarctic oceans using harassment tactics.

Last year they saved 528 whales.  During the course of their actions the Japanese Whalers rammed and sank the Ady Gil, one of Sea Shepard’s fleet:  In an unprovoked attack captured on film, the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rammed and caused catastrophic damage to the Sea Shepherd trimaran Ady Gil. The vessel was cut in two and subsequently sank.

From Sea Shepard:

December 31, 2010

Sea Shepherd Hunts Down the Japanese Whalers Before a Single Whale is Killed

The Southern Ocean – 148 degrees west 63 degrees south

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s fleet has found the illegal Japanese whaling vessels on the last day of the calendar year. In the vastness of the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd’s ships have now found the Japanese fleet before they even began killing whales.  This is a momentous victory for the whales and precisely how Sea Shepherd’s President and Founder Captain Paul Watson had hoped to ring in the New Year.

At around 0900 hours (Australian Eastern Standard Time), Sea Shepherd’s ship the Bob Barker found a harpoon vessel on the edge of the ice at 148 degrees west. The unidentified Japanese vessel attempted to move south to draw the Bob Barker away from the Nisshin Maru.

At 1500 Hours AEST, some 60 miles to the North, Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel the Steve Irwin found the Japanese harpoon vessel Yushin Maru #2 sitting in the ice.

The Gojira and Sea Shepherd’s helicopter the Nancy Burnet, continue to  search for the Nisshin Maru, Japan’s floating abattoir.
January 1, 2011

Dancing with Death Machines at the Bottom of the World

The Southern Ocean – 62 Degrees 30 Minutes South & 147 Degrees 25 Minutes West
1100 hours AEST

“What an awesome way to begin the New Year,” said captain of the Gojira Locky MacLean of Canada. “Our three vessels dancing dangerously through the ice packs locked in confrontation with the three harpoon ships of the Japanese whaling fleet. It was both deadly and beautiful. Deadly because of the ice and the hostility of the whalers and beautiful because of the ice, and the fact that these three killer ships are not killing whales while clashing with us.”

The three Japanese harpoon vessels the Yushin Maru, Yushin Maru #2, and the Yushin Maru #3 attempted to block Sea Shepherd’s vessels including the Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira from the pursuit of the Nisshin Maru factory ship.

The entire Japanese whaling fleet is on the run, and when they are running they are not killing whales. Sea Shepherd’s ships are chasing the slower factory ship the Nisshin Maru, while the faster Japanese harpoon vessels are chasing after Sea Shepherd’s fleet. Despite their speed, the harpoon vessels are not faster than the Gojira, and the Gojira, with aerial surveillance assistance from Sea Shepherd’s helicopter the Nancy Burnet, is hot on the tracks of that floating abattoir the Nisshin Maru.

“We’ve got them before they were able to kill a single whale. They are not whaling today and our challenge now is to make sure they don’t kill any whales in the coming days,” said Sea Shepherd campaign leader Captain Paul Watson.

Stop the Slaughter!  Support Sea Shepard @

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