Links 9/6/10

Reading Arabic ‘hard for brain‘ BBC

Rare colour footage of Blitz unearthed Telegraph

What America Has Lost Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek (hat tip reader Paul S)

Religious Outlier New York times (hat tip reader John D)

The Death of Cash? All Over the World Governments Are Banning Large Cash Transactions Lew Rockwell (hat tip reader John D). Yes, I know he tends to, ahem, extreme stories, but this appears to be reasonably factual (and is not an extreme claim). So reader input encouraged.

Sellers Cut Prices on 50% of Homes Housing Watch (hat tip reader John D)

Holding Wal-Mart Accountable American Prospect

Bank capital ratios and standing on tippy-toes John Hempton

Dangerous Defeatism is taking hold among America’s economic elites Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. His diagnosis is sound, I’m not as keen about his remedy.

Delusions Of Recovery Paul Krugman.

How huge houses consume fortunes John Dizard, Financial Times

Antidote du jour:

Picture 12

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  1. attempter

    Re Zakaria:

    The facts which need to be relearned by a terrorized populace are that terrorism within the borders is no longer even a significant nuisance threat, and was never an existential one, and that even the nuisance threat could’ve been neutralized any time with powers and measures which already existed prior to 9/11. The fact is that no subsequent aggrandizements of executive power and assaults on civil liberties were necessary, but were only undertaken for their own sakes by anti-American criminals within the government and corporate structure.

    That America let itself be terrorized by its own homegrown elite terrorists* is the only way in which the foreign terrorists “won”. When homegrown terrorists like Bush and Cheney declared “we won’t change our way of life”, that was code for “we’ll seize this opportunity to try to change and eradicate every integral aspect of the American way of life and turn America into a corporate statist tyranny”.

    And today Obama seeks to normalize all those terrorist/disaster capitalist “changes”. (With lots of help – when the neoliberal nobbel committee gave this war criminal its flea-bitten “peace prize”, that was an attempt to normalize the Permanent War as the new baseline for “peace”.)

    It’s good to see an MSM neocon like Zakaria acknowledge this.

    [*For those who keep lying about this, a core part of the definition of terrorism is that one seeks to terrorize the civilian populace for the sake of their self-seeking political goals. By that measure there are no worse terrorists than US elites over the last 10 years.]

    1. Ignim Brites

      I agree that the responses to 9/11 need to be monitored carefully. The growth of bureaucracy is a particularly worrisome phenomenon and the abuse of police powers. However, I don’t think it is sufficiently appreciated the extent to which 9/11 did pose an existential threat to the US. I am sure that the major money players world wide took note of the fact that the NYSE was down for nearly a week. That is not something that major players are likely to take lightly. Now factor in the idea that Mumbai was a dress rehearsal for another attack on New York. One would expect such an attack at a time of severe finance stress, of which there will undoubtedly be plenty in the next few years. What might be the consequence for the existence of the United States?

      1. attempter

        I’m not one of those who regards a threat to the finance sector as a threat to America. On the contrary, Wall Street is by far the worst, most evil enemy America has ever faced. Its total destruction would be a pure good for America.

        That’s why the Bailout was the worst crime in American history. That’s why I took it as a declaration of war upon the people and embarked upon a crash course to educate myself about all this. That’s how I ended up at this blog.

        So while I’m not sure what you mean by 9/11 posing an existential threat to financialization, if it had that wouldn’t have anything to do with a threat to America. It would be one enemy harming another.

    2. PQS

      “The fact is that no subsequent aggrandizements of executive power and assaults on civil liberties were necessary, but were only undertaken for their own sakes by anti-American criminals within the government and corporate structure.”

      Yes. The minute that Bushco started to treat 9/11 as anything other than a police matter (essentially), I knew we were in for a massive pile of it.

      Besides, those of us who utilize Planned Parenthood have known for decades that there are plenty of homegrown terrorists who are more than willing to kill Americans in pursuit of their political-religious goals.

      Yet I recall quite clearly watching the aftermath of the OKC bombing on television and hearing speculation that somehow it might be “Middle Eastern terrorists.” So even well before 9/11, nobody in the media (apparently) wanted to admit that we’ve got plenty of American loonies right here at home who are more than willing to kill for their ideas.

      1. attempter

        Right now I can’t remember who wrote it or I’d link it, but just the other day I saw a good post about how these cretins systematically smear a whole group (the example was the Muslims) as having bad traits, but the moment one of their own commits a wicked act (in this case the taxi stabber) they shrug it off with “he’s just a crazy individual, he’s not typical of anyone or anything”.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      “It’s good to see an MSM neocon like Zakaria acknowledge this.”

      In the last year, Zakaria has made some sense repeating things the average person figured out several years ago, but go back just a couple of years and be terrified at what the guy was saying. Good news would be seeing guys like Zakaria who don’t look completely insane being ostracized because he just gives the truly insane (Bill Kristol) the veneer of sanity and they get into the public discourse.

      1. attempter

        True. But it seems like for once it was a small example of Nixon-goes-to-China working in the right direction.

        I haven’t seen any corporate liberal state this obvious truth, but here’s at least a neocon doing it. Same for his snub of the ADL.

  2. attempter

    Re Walmart:

    This demonstrates how liberals will always get it wrong, wrong, wrong:

    For the American labor movement to experience a rebirth and American workers to enjoy a rising share of the nation’s wealth, it’s imperative that unions make gains among America’s new working class and its dominant and standard-setting employer: Wal-Mart.

    News flash: if Walmartization can be sustained at all, we’re all doomed anyway. We might as well affix our own physical shackles.

    Of course it’s not sustainable, but if we want to take a hand in rebuilding our economies and communities we need to affirmatively reject Walmartization in all its aspects rather than meekly wait for globalization to collapse completely on its own.

    As for strike actions, the idea that bottlenecks like these warehouses can be targeted is a good one, but it’s clear that the likes of Change to Win aren’t the ones to do it. It was supposedly set up as a more intrepid alternative to the existing corrupt structure and did nothing but set a world record for speedily caving in on its own.

    And if there were any further doubt about trusting these establishment liberals, Meyerson tells a flat out lie, that Obama “supported” the EFCA. Yeah, he supported it in the same way he supported single payer, reining in Wall Street, real climate change mitigation efforts, withdrawing from Iraq, etc., etc., etc….and of course he supported it in the same way he doesn’t hate Social Security and want to gut it.

    When corporate liberals still claim that the most powerful man on earth supports the people and just somehow mysteriously can’t do anything about it, that’s a metric for someone who wants to enslave us.

    As for the strike opportunity at Fontana, an anarcho-syndicalist union could hit hard that way. A liberal company union, I don’t think so.

    But the very attitude quoted above, that our only possible position is to supplicate and beg for better trickling down, please, is the essence of the treacherous corporate liberal prescription.

    Re banning cash:

    This was always a core purpose of the Drug War, to criminalize the cash economy. And now the picture is becoming more clear: as many others have seen, the goal is to force ALL transactions through the bankster toll booth.

    As I just said above about Walmartization, the only freedom alternative is to rebuild our own economies, set up alternative currencies and use barter more extensively.

    With permanent unemployment creeping upward, soon vast numbers of us will be in the position of having no choice anyway: it’ll be to greatly expand the informal economy or literally starve and freeze to death. And this will also be the only mode of resistance vs. depredations like the health racket mandate and looming food distribution tyranny (has anyone been following these food bills? I’ve written about them at my blog).

    So we’ll have to make a virtue of necessity. This crisis really is also an opportunity. Because the road to sheer survival is also the road to taking back the country and redeeming freedom, justice, prosperity, and human dignity.

    1. psychohistorian

      I would like to be a foot soldier in that effort.

      I believe that internet technology could be used to establish viable “barter” economies. It is not so much the technological challenge (not to say it doesn’t exist), but the creation of faith in the alternative exchange process. That faith is built on rule of law behind the transactions. Since it is evident that we no longer have ethical rule of law behind the current financial system it is quite possible to see public sentiment switching to a more trusted economic process.

      That said, how is that going to happen within the context of the immoral, lying, cheating, scaring theocratic/corporatist government this is firmly in control? When there are judicial prosecutions of the marketing gurus that have brainwashed many Americans to be wage slaves for the rich I will believe we are beginning to awaken to a just humanity.

      1. attempter

        Yes, and today the integrity of the Internet itself hangs in the balance. Things aren’t looking good on the net neutrality front.

        But your idea is a good one. There already are some nascent, so far as I know small-scale online barter and other kinds of exchange networks. Freecycle is along those lines, though I haven’t looked closely yet at what they do.

    2. Chris

      It is interesting your point about forcing everything through the bankers. When I go to Bank Of Scamerica every week to cash my check (don’t have an account there, and won’t EVER), I have to put my finger print on the check, and they demand my driver’s license be ran through a credit card strip reader.

      I’m assuming a) the Patriot Act is a part of this and b) the justice system uses this to check for liens, judgements, et. al.

      1. attempter

        I don’t know what kind of surveillance they’re already doing with such harassment, but at any rate they’re putting the whole system in place, ready to be fully activated.

        This is highly ironic given the original comment, but if you need a place to cash a check and can’t get an account at a credit union, have you tried Walmart?

        As bad as it is to support Walmart in any way, moving our money away from thr big banks and their toll booths is even more critical, so in this context patronizing Walmart rather than BofA would be, I suppose, a progressive step.

        From what I’ve read (I haven’t had any such dealings myself) the terms are more reasonable than those of the banksters.

  3. Ina Deaver

    RE: Huge Houses Consume Fortunes

    It used to be that an enormous, lavish house was the ultimate symbol of wealth BECAUSE they demand so much upkeep. It used to be that the wealth displayed in a huge house was the enormous team of people required to keep it lovely and clean. LABOR, the number of people who worked for you, and conspicuous use of that labor, were reflected in every aspect of a home: silver that had to be regularly polished, hand-crafted woodwork and fine stone masonry, carpets whose creation and upkeep broke the backs of women and girls.

    Labor is no longer valued, only things and appearances. Today’s “mansions” have the appearance of grandness, but none of the substance. They are tossed-up, prefab nightmares of chemicals and easy maintenance. And now they reflect less an ongoing income for upkeep than an aspiration to future wealth.

    The reason that the Breakers could be bought for a song is that everyone recognized that the acquisition costs on a monster of that provenance were mere pennies compared to the maintenance costs. Owning that asset was a huge commitment. But over a hundred years later, it still stands. . . does anyone expect that kind of performance from the jiffy manses?

  4. Bates

    RE: Death of Cash…

    Of course banks want a sliver or slice of all transactions and cash is one way of depriving the banks of their pound of flesh.

    When one uses a credit or debit card and does not pay off the balance each month their foolish use of credit plays into the hands of the financial elite. ‘The Plan’ has always been for the financial sector to get a slice of every transaction and anyone that is just now realizing that must have been living in a cave for oh so many years.

    Now that a few generations of Westerners have grown up using plastic they believe that what they do with plastic is normal…but, it is not normal…only a recent development that has been encouraged by the bankers. Cash settlement has been the norm for thousands of years.

    BTW, who will have time to barter when they are saddled with two low paying jobs to make ends meet?

    Without the recent technology of computers it was not possible for governments to track every purchase or sale by every individual or business. Since cash transactions defy governments tracking of individuals they wish to ban them…and, they will succeed if we let them. Credit cards are the foundation for the road to surfdom.

    Banks working in concert with governments are closing in on total control of individuals and businesses…a feat that could only be dreamed of a mere 30 years ago.

    Screeching about financial terrorism is a waste of time. What we face is a concerted plan by our own government and financial sectors to place all citizens in permanent debt peonage…permanent debt bondage. We do not face a quick terrorist strike but slow, creaping, noose tightening around the necks of all that labor…for the benefit of all who sit on their butts and collect a slice of every transaction that takes place.

    Welcome to the New Capitalism. LOL

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      While cash settlement has been around a few thousand years, bartering has an even longer history.

      Bartering also devolutes power away from the center.

      It may well be worth taking the time to do.

      Just one more advantage of Stone Age Living.

      Yes, you can go home again.

      1. Chris

        The plastic economy can be easily defeated when enough people come together as a community, willing to help each other out and eschew all credit. It would be great if we had millions willing to give the banking cartel the finger and refuse to play their game anymore.

  5. charles 2

    Death of cash is about time !

    Banknotes are at the nexus of all the vilest illegal activities, corruption, drugs, terrorism, sex slavery, etc… Central banks must stop being complicit of such activities by providing an anonymous payment and wealth storage device. Banknotes have to become as obsolete as bearer bonds.

    As a necessary compensation, segregated deposit account 100% backed by the central bank should be offered by financial institution to anyone.

    For those who are so worried about their privacy, they should choose wisely their bank and the jurisdiction under which it operates. Privacy will be protected by due process and respect of the law, not by stacking paper under the mattress.

    1. Bates

      charles 2…

      It’s your money, why would you want to have a banker get a piece of every transaction that you make? Once an individual has earned it why can’t an individual do with it in a leagal manner that one deems fitting? Why do you reccommend ‘cash’ be done away with? You sound like a banker or someone working in the gov, or financial field…and in a great hurry to do away with more of America’s liberties.

      Several large banks were recently accused of laundering drug money for the Mexican Cartels and no prosecutions were forthcoming…these are the same banks that you are saying we should keep our money in? You’re a real hoot! lol

  6. gf

    Re: Religious Outlier

    I could be completely wrong but, I think the real relationship on the graph is countries that have allowed strong unions in the recent past (~30 years) are the rich ones.

    We have been moving away from that model here in the US and so I would expect a continuation of our slide.

    Yes indeed, you do need some of the poker chips to held in more than a few hands for there to be a (“”capitalist””) game.

  7. LJ

    The End of Cash: Frankly, I don’t get it. Are we to think the drug trade will come to an instant halt by these laws. Illegal drugs are a huge cash business, and all that cash has to be and is laundered. It ends up in banks.

    Somehow, love (of drugs) will find a way.

  8. Stumpy

    “For those who are so worried about their privacy, they should choose wisely their bank and the jurisdiction under which it operates. Privacy will be protected by due process and respect of the law, not by stacking paper under the mattress.”

    Nonsense. The rise of the modern Orwellian surveillance state, combined with the rapid consolidation of the banks both before and in the wake of “too-big-to-fail” dogma, ensures that any selection you’ll eventually have will be, at best, that of picking from the halves of a duopoly.

    The object is to eliminate cash gradually, by lowering and lowering the bar for reporting until every private financial transaction is criminalized. This sort of legislation takes the classic boiling-a-frog method – it cannot be accomplished all at once, but must be pushed on steadily, sometimes for many years. (See for example the gradual criminalization of guns in the UK.)

    1. Jim Haygood

      Although early attempts at encrypted digital gold accounts fizzled, governments are providing enormous incentives for the development of a stateless, anonymous digital currency, as they politicize and criminalize their own note issues with manufactured status offenses and victimless crimes.

      Someday ‘dollars’ ‘pesos’ and ‘euros’ will be reduced to the status of tokens that one purchases for the sole purpose of remitting taxes. Otherwise, their dysfunctionality, irredeemability, steady depreciation and potential criminality make them undesirable for free people to transact in.

      1. Bates

        Jim Haygood…

        “Otherwise, their dysfunctionality, irredeemability, steady depreciation and potential criminality make them undesirable for free people to transact in.”

        Ah, yes. Now we are getting down to brass tacks. The system will probably resemble many in use throughout SE Asia. Large purcheses are settled in gold/silver at point of purchase. Small transactions are settled in paper fiat at point of purchase.

  9. purple

    Organized crime is more integral to the international economy than people might imagine. The only reason banks in Switzerland had any liquidity during 2008 was because of organized crime deposits.

    1. Karl Trahn

      This is obviously nonsense. Switzerland has been much more stricter than the US for some years now, when it comes to money laundering and reporting of suspicious activities thereof. I would imagine that (relative) liquidity in 2008 in the Swiss banking system was probably more a result of large and persistent current account (and also fiscal) surpluses and high domestic saving rates.

  10. Jim Haygood

    ‘Blitz the market with bond purchases, but do so outside the banking system by buying from insurers, pension funds, and the public. This would gain traction on the broad M3 money instead of letting it collapse.’ — Ambrose E-P

    Is that so? The proceeds from such purchases end up as demand deposits in the former owners’ bank accounts — part of the M1 money supply. Whereas bond purchases from banks end up as only as reserves in the monetary base, without a corresponding boost to M1.

    Under today’s bizarrely inverted conditions, the $2 trillion monetary base actually exceeds the $1.72 trillion M1 money supply. But grizzled old monetarists regard the monetary base as ‘high-powered money,’ whereas hokey-pokey old M1 is thought not to possess such magical powers of leverage.

    But a portion of existing Open Market security purchases surely gets routed to the non-bank primary dealers, and thus augments M1 deposits as well as base money.

    The Fed has no basis that I know of to discriminate between its bank and non-bank primary dealers. Should it? Or is Ambrose E-P barking up the wrong tree?

    The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe didn’t bother with coupon passes. It simply distributed bails of freshly-printed banknotes to the tune of 75% of GDP in 2006, driving its net worth deeply negative. An IMF paper made the shocking admission that central banks don’t need capital or net worth to perform their functions, since their liabilities are irredeemable.

    So spend, Benny, spend — you enjoy de facto immunity from Chapter 7 liquidation.

  11. Cathryn Mataga

    Can Arabic characters be that difficult to recognize, really? I’ve been studying Japanese, and this language has all these characters that are so easy to mix up. 末夫 シツ You just learn to deal with it. If I ever took on Arabic, which I don’t plan on, I guess I’d spend about a month on the characters, and then the next 5 years on the vocabulary and grammar.

    It seems to me the languages that are difficult are those that have been around a long time and have a lot of books like Arabic and Chinese. With centuries of writing the vocabulary and idioms begin to pile up.

    1. كيفين بروكسل

      نعم, اللغة العربية هي سوبر الصعب قرا.ءتها

      ولهذا لم يجرب أوضحتها لمعرفة ذلك. إن كنت فعلا لا يملك أي استخدام ذلك نظرا لأن معظم الناس في المغرب والجزائر يتحدثون الفرنسية بأي حال من الأحوال

      1. Jim Haygood

        Interpolating from Google Language:

        Yes, Arabic is super hard to read. This study didn’t really try to find out why.

        There isn’t all that much use for it because most people in Morocco and Algeria speak French anyway.

      2. Parvaneh Ferhad

        .انا اختلف
        It may be true strictly for beginners, but it’s certainly not true for people who have experience reading it.
        While the barrier to entry might be a bit higher for beginners to learn the Arabic script, Arabic as a spoken language is not more difficult than, let’s say German or Hungarian.

    2. Parvaneh Ferhad

      I wanted to make the same remark about about (traditional) Chinese and Japanese Kanji. They are not easy to read either, especially in combinations of two or more. It requires an awful lot of memorising and you have to know what they mean before you can read it.

      In addition, the Devanagari script used for Hindi and Sindhi (among others) or the Gurmukhi script used for Panjabi also have their difficulties. They are more complex than the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek scripts as well.

      Arabic needs some getting used to mainly because the vowels are not written. This means you have to know the word to be able to really read it. However, with some practising and exercising it’s really not that hard. But that’s my personal experience.

  12. derek

    I bet if the horizontal scale of that “religious outlier” graph was median share of the GDP instead of mean share, then the USA would take its place beside Israel, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain.

  13. Hugh

    Re Arabic, this seems a typical case of over reading the evidence. Small sample size, unclear how representative it is of anything. Arabic is cursive. Would users of the Roman alphabet exhibit similar patterns if they were reading cursive forms of their language. As Cathryn Mataga notes, languages like Chinese and Japanese would seem to produce this finding even more than Arabic. Do they? And ultimately what if they did? The brain has a lot of computing power. Just because it might distribute its work somewhat differently depending on the language really says nothing about that work being “harder”, just different. Modern linguistics has a marked tendency to be overly overly. When it pursues formalism it often does so at the expense of the actual data. It has become very enamored of brain studies, and when it concludes as here, it tends to overreach.

  14. Knute Rife

    Typical rubbish from A E-P and the Telecrap: Blame Keynes and a wholly inadequate “stimulus” for the results of decades of swilling Austro-Chicago Kool-Aid. You can put lug wheels on the financial sector, and it won’t pull the economy out of the muck unless some middle-class-type jobs are generated somewhere.

  15. Hugh

    Re 9/11, it is a perfect example of Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, the use of crises by our elites to expand and reinforce their power.

    I tend to be skeptical when it takes a neocon like Zakaria 9 years to express doubts about the power grabs he did so much to champion. Zakaria often seems superficially reasonable, but if you scratch a little deeper his reasoning falls apart.

    He says that al Qaeda has mounted no serious terrorist attack in either the US or Europe since 9/11. What about the Madrid train bombings? Don’t they count? Or are they what he calls the work of a few jihadis, and ultimately what’s the difference? Much more seriously he completely ignores how al Qaeda or the US obsession with al Qaeda, or at least its exploitation by our elites, has landed us in two major years long conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq which have cost trillions, and thousands of American dead and tens of thousands of wounded, not to mention enormous civilian casualties or the effect of these in recruiting new jihadis to the cause.

    Zakaria seems to say that post-9/11 abuses might be rationalized if there had been a subsequent demobilization but that the War on Terror is forever. Yet how is this different from the decades long Cold War, other than during it we had far more formidable adversaries in the USSR and Mao’s China? If we did not need this vast intelligence apparatus then, why should its existence ever have been justifiable at any point after 9/11, with a relatively insignificant foe?

    Zakaria also summarizes the Priest-Arkin articles on the privatization of US intelligence, but their reporting simply repeated much of the work done by people like Tim Shorrock (without attribution) years previously.

    Then their is the wording of the title. “Lost” is a passive form. “America” is an unnecessarily broad, and misleading, category. Our elites, including Zakaria, have not lost because of 9/11 or any of their other failures. They have had brilliant careers and been richly remunerated for them. They have been the “losters”. We, our privacy, and our Constitutional protections have been the “lostees”.

    What is so amazing to me is that there is anything praiseworthy seen in Zackaria saying any of this. It is like we are all supposed to be surprised and pleased that an “expert” like Zakaria is only X years behind the curve.

  16. Glen

    The problem is that the WOT is a distraction. Terror was never an existential threat to the US, and was always best handled as a policing issue rather than a “war”. But there is serious graft and corruption and money making opportunities with a “war”, and it became the stated “reason” behind implementing the Neocon’s fantasy middle east policy of taking oil resources.

    In the mean time, China and Russia are getting ready to eat our lunch. Russia is becoming the world’s largest oil exporter as the reserves in the Gulf dwindle, and China’s managed economy is poised to go past the US economy well ahead of the estimated 2040 dates (estimated before W’s disastrous eight years wrecking the US economy).

    “It’s the economy, stupid” has always refereed to the national policy and politics in the US, but could well apply to how the US exerted control during the Cold War, and in the end what ultimately “won” the Cold War. This was a lesson not lost on China which has engaged in a patience economic war for dominance. China is well on it’s way to winning after being well aided and abetted by the American oligarchy bent on destroying the American economy by wringing the last ounce of blood out of the American middle class golden goose.

    Ultimately, the American elites have lived well feasting on the bones of a once thriving country, but we’re now approaching the end game where even the elites are feeling the effects of killing the golden goose. How this plays out remains unknown, but the urgency and importance of defeating al Qaeda was best expressed by W in a press conference when he stated “I truly am not that concerned about him” just months after declaring he wanted bin Laden “dead or alive”. Probably one of the few times W spouted a real truth about their foreign policy.

    The sad truth is that elites in DC and on Wall St that run America have failed. Thirty years of voodoo Reaganomics have stripped mined the economic wealth and eight short years of disastrous foreign policy (if that what it’s to be called – it’s more like watching a train wreck) have begun unwinding the American empire.

  17. Doug Terpstra

    Re: Huge houses [devour] fortunes—a timely link

    Like the article, a few pretty picture books chronicle the decline of the grand estate mansions of the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties, revealing what may well occur this time.

    The break-up and subdivision of grand estates, adaptive re-use (public gardens, arboreta) and, in some cases demolition of mansions, often lagged the depression as a function of lost stock investments compounded over a longer time by progressively graduated taxation, inclduing income and property taxes.

    When we once again re-asses fairly graduated taxation, and the tea party manages to deport the maids and gardeners, the rich and shameless barons may find their palatial estates of garish-consumption to be less palatable investments—white elephant millstones. The peasants may once more be grazing their flocks on Hampton villa parterres.

    From Wikipedia, “Gold Coast Mansions”: “Some mansions burned down, others that were abandoned were vandalized or overtaken by vegetation. Many were torn down to make room for developments, as the Great Depression, poor financial decisions, increasing requirements for upkeep, and increasing income taxes depleted family fortunes. Houses built to last 500 or more years were gone in 50.”

    History ryhmes.

  18. American

    sept 6 1:53pm; who let that jihadest in? writing that sand nigger language that us patriots can’t understand?

    1. psychohistorian

      I do hope that you get banned for not putting a (snark) at the end or somewhere in your posting…intra-human posturing is so puerile.

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