Time to panic: Canada looks just like the U.S. did before the housing crash

Thanks to Andrea for alerting me to this new looming disaster.

From Canada Bubble:  http://canadabubble.com/bubble-watch/2319-time-to-panic-canada-looks-just-like-the-us-did-before-the-housing-crash.html

Feb 28, 2012
macleans.ca www2.macleans.ca

Why is everyone ignoring this unfolding disaster, which Ottawa, the Bank of Canada and lenders have helped inflate?

Back in the heady days of 2005, America looked like an awfully nice place to buy a house. Home prices were marching ever upwards. Home ownership was at record levels. Mortgage rates were at historic lows. Unemployment was falling while the economy was growing at a healthy clip.

Home sales had started showing their first signs of slowing that year, but that didn’t sway the National Association of Realtors from its persistently sunny view of the country’s housing market. “We’re confident that housing is landing softly,” David Lereah, the association’s chief economist, wrote in a November 2005 report just before house prices started a descent that would eventually wipe out nearly $30 trillion in global wealth.

Looking back, the signs of a country burying its head in the sand about a housing bubble seem obvious: the well-told tales of tricky teaser rates, of mortgage fraud and of gigantic home loans handed out to buyers with no income or assets. Household finances were even sketchier. In 2005, the average American owed $1.30 in debt for every dollar of income. Home equity was eroding as Americans pulled more than $900 billion out of their homes to buy cars, granite countertops and put their kids through college.

Then in 2008, the housewarming party was over as the country’s major banks teetered on the brink of collapse and took the economy with them.

Here in Canada, we patted our backs for not falling into the same trap, and basked in the spotlight as the world’s new beacon for financial stewardship. It’s a compelling narrative that has been promoted by the federal government and the Bank of Canada as they encouraged Canadians to spend their way through global economic turmoil.

Continue reading at: http://canadabubble.com/bubble-watch/2319-time-to-panic-canada-looks-just-like-the-us-did-before-the-housing-crash.html



Christianity

The Bible Does Contain Real Sexism!

‘It’s time to quit the Catholic Church’

From Freedom From Religion Foundation:  http://ffrf.org/news/releases/it-time-for-you-to-quit-the-catholic-church/

Open letter to ‘liberal’ and ‘nominal’ Roman Catholics:

‘It’s time to quit the Catholic Church’

February 20, 2012

‘You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.’

Dear ‘Liberal’ Catholic:

It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s your moment of truth. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or Bishops and their wrongs? Whose side are you on, anyway?

It is time to make known your dissent from the Catholic Church, in light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ ruthless campaign endangering the right to contraception. If you’re part of the Catholic Church, you’re part of the problem.

Why are you propping up the pillars of a tyrannical and autocratic, woman-hating, sex-perverting, antediluvian Old Boys Club? Why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly and publicly announced a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization, and to deny the right of all women everywhere, Catholic or not, to decide whether and when to become mothers?  When it comes to reproductive freedom, the Roman Catholic Church is Public Enemy Number One. Think of the acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, social evils and deaths that can be laid directly at the door of the Church’s antiquated doctrine that birth control is a sin and must be outlawed.

A backer of the Roman Catholic presidential candidate says that if women want to avoid pregnancy we should put an aspirin between our knees? Catholic politicians are urging that the right to contraception should be left up to states? Nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court upheld contraception as a privacy right, we’re going to have to defend this basic freedom all over again?

You’re better than your church. So why? Why continue to attend Mass? Tithe? Why dutifully sacrifice to send your children to parochial schools so they can be brainwashed into the next generation of myrmidons (and, potentially, become the next Church victims)? For that matter, why have you put up with an institution that won’t put up with women priests, that excludes half of humanity?

No self-respecting feminist, civil libertarian or progressive should cling to the Catholic faith. As a Cafeteria Catholic, you chuck out the stale doctrine and moldy decrees of your religion, but keep patronizing the establishment that menaces public health by serving rotten offerings. Your continuing Catholic membership, as a “liberal,” casts a veneer of respectability upon an irrational sect determined to blow out the Enlightenment and threaten liberty for women worldwide. You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.

If you imagine you can change the church from within — get it to lighten up on birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research — you are deluding yourself. If you remain a “good Catholic,” you are doing “bad” to women’s rights. You’re kidding yourself if you think the Church is ever going to add a Doctrine of Immaculate ContraCeption.

It is disgraceful that U.S. health care reform is being held hostage to the Catholic Church’s bizarre opposition to medically prescribed contraception. No politician should jeopardize electability for failure to genuflect before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. (Question to ask your Bishop: Does he hold up an umbrella against the rain? Isn’t that just as “unnatural” as using a condom or diaphragm?)

Your Church hysterically claims that secular medical policy is “an assault against religious liberty.” You are savvy enough to realize that the real assault is by the Church against women’s rights and health care. As Nation columnist Katha Pollitt asks: Is it an offense against Jehovah Witnesses that health care coverage will include blood transfusions? The Amish, as Pollitt points out, don’t label cars “an assault on religious liberty” and try to force everyone to drive buggies. The louder the Church cries “offense against religious liberty” the harder it works to take away women’s liberty.

Obama has compromised, but the Church never budges, instead launching a vengeful modern-day Inquisition. Look at its continuing directives to parish priests to use their pulpits every Sunday to lobby you against Obama’s policy, the Church’s announcement of a major anti-contraception media campaign — using your tithes, contributions and donations — to defeat Obama’s laudable health care policy. The Church has introduced into Congress the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, ” a bill to place the conscienceless Catholic Church’s “rights of conscience” above the rights of conscience of 53 percent of Americans. That the Church has “conscience rights” to deny women their rights is a kissing cousin to the claim that “corporations are people.” The Church that hasn’t persuaded you to oppose contraception now wants to use the force of secular law to deny contraceptive rights to non-Catholics.

But is there any point in going on? After all, your misplaced loyalty has lasted through two decades of public sex scandals involving preying priests, children you may have known as victims, and church complicity, collusion and coverup going all the way to the top. Are you like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go?

But we have a more welcoming home to offer, free of incense-fogged ritual, free of what freethinker Bertrand Russell called “ideas uttered long ago by ignorant men,” free of blind obedience to an illusory religious authority. Join those of us who put humanity above dogma.

As a member of the “flock” of an avowedly antidemocratic club, isn’t it time you vote with your feet? Please, exit en Mass.

Very truly,

Annie Laurie Gaylor
Co-President
Freedom From Religion Foundation

Insane Neo-Nazi Dominionist Bryan Fischer: Like Slavery, America ‘Cannot Exist Half-Gay and Half-Straight’

WTF?

From Right Wing Watch:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-slavery-america-cannot-exist-half-gay-and-half-straight

by Kyle Mantyla
Fri, 03/02/2012

During the course of his daily two-hour radio program, Bryan Fischer generally covers a variety of different topics but the underlying themes are always the same: the Left is ruining America.

And yesterday was no exception, as he held up the Senate vote against the Blunt Amendment as proof that Democrats hate Christianity and used the death of Andrew Breitbart as an opportunity to recount his opposition to the gay conservative group GOProud in order to declare that America cannot exist “half gay and half straight”:

Complete article at:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-slavery-america-cannot-exist-half-gay-and-half-straight

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Rush Limbaugh Owes Democracy an Apology

I know Rush Limpdick supposedly made a half-assed apology. Too little, too late.

From The Nation:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/166578/rush-limbaugh-owes-democracy-apology

John Nichols
on March 2, 2012

Syndicated talk radio host Rush Limbaugh got so upset over the able articulation of an opposing view by Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law School student who testified before members of Congress in order to highlight concerns about limits on access to contraception, that he attacked her as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

This was no slip of the conservative commentator’s tongue. This was an elite media personality with a national media platform seeking to silence a citizen.

When concerns were raised about his vile language, Limbaugh doubled down and restated his attacks on Fluke.

The attacks were so over the top that Georgetown students, national groups and President Obama rallied to Fluke’s defense.

Fluke has ably defended herself in interviews on national news programs. She’s a strong young woman who has proven herself more than equal to the task of responding to a shocking assault on her as an individual—and on her right to speak as an American citizen.

It is the second assault that should concern everyone—no matter what their partisanship, no matter what their ideological bent.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/166578/rush-limbaugh-owes-democracy-apology

What would constitute an appropriate apology from Rush Limpdick.

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Study: Female bonobos have sexual relations with other females to boost their status

From The Global Post:  http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/study-female-bonobos-homosexual-relations

A new study has found that female bonobos, known as the warrior chimp’s lovemaking cousin, ‘advertise’ their homosexual relations.


March 1, 2012

Female bonobos are sexual show-offs, using homosexual relations to get ahead in their social circles, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports journal on Thursday.

Researchers who studied the apes’ communication and interactions found that females made the most noise during sex if the “alpha female” was close by, BBC News reported. Low-ranking females that were invited to have sex with high-ranking females would also call to tell other group members about the experience.

“Bonobo females frequently form close bonds, which give them social power over other group members,” according to the study. “One potential mechanism to facilitate female bonding is the performance of sexual interactions.”

The female bonobos use sex to reduce stress and competition, develop affiliations, express and test social relationships and for reconciling conflicts and consoling victims in distress, Dr Zanna Clay, from Emory University in Atlanta, told the BBC.

Continue reading at:  http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/study-female-bonobos-homosexual-relations