Cider Press Hill

President Obama's Inauguration and Address

Tuesday, 6:31 pm

By Kate

Jan

20

2009

overcast

Text of his address here. Quite a bare bones speech. Not flowery or fancy. I heard about rolling up our sleeves, hard work, responsibility, and service. That’s quite a change.



 

The Village Brains: Unoccupied territory

Sunday, 12:15 pm

By Kate

Jan

18

2009

snow

This Washington Post article is vomit inducing. Is it possible that Washington DC is that fatuous? Looks like. The reporters, perhaps, don’t even realize how utterly insulting their article is. Or maybe they do. I can’t really tell. The Washington insiders probably have no clue, either. They just know they have a problem: They NEED to dig up some black friends for the new social season. Holy moly.



 

One down....

Thursday, 8:14 pm

By Kate

Nov

27

2008

partly cloudy

Earlier this week, we had a fierce storm. I didn’t recall hearing that it was a coastal storm exactly, but apparently the waves were massive and the beach erosion was significant. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been watching the beach disappear in huge gouges and chunks after each storm and I know that I’ve speculated here on the blog that it wouldn’t be long before a house would topple over into the ocean. Well, yesterday was the day. The house had a little help, but it’s gone now.

The storm washed the dune out from under the house and the city immediately condemned the house. The woman who owned it was given approximately 10 minutes to remove what personal effects she could carry. Then the house was toppled with heavy machinery. The video below shows the details. There is considerable controversy over the way it was handled, but no one has come up with an idea on how it could have been done better. There really was no way to salvage the house or shore it up. There is simply nothing left on which to build or do any shoring.

I’m quite sure that the woman’s neighbors are terrified. Their houses are sitting on the raw edge of nothing now and one more storm will probably take at least one of them out. This is not a happy Thanksgiving for the homeowner or anyone else out there. Nature is not merciful.

For comparison, this is a photo of the same house that I shot in May of 2002. The photo was cropped a bit—the dunes extended out quite a bit further than the photo indicates. That’s an amazing amount of beach erosion in just 6 years. The storms are becoming much more violent each year. There is absolutely no question about that.



 

I take umbrage. Hugely.

Monday, 2:53 pm

By Kate

Oct

20

2008

sunny

We Americans seem to have a certain amount of affection and tolerance for the escapades of our rich and famous. They get away with a lot more than the rest of us could. I’m not sure how much this will change in the coming months—being ostentatiously extravagant while the rest of the country is crashing down the recession ladder might be like pouring salt in our wounds and it may not go over well. This could be particularly true for the Masters of the Universe who so blindly and blithely (and greedily) gambled their institutions and our economy into the toilet.

Somehow, we’ve been convinced (or told) that it’s utterly necessary for us to pony up the hundreds of billions of dollars to bail these [choose your own expletive] out of the mess of their own creation. You’d think that becoming the world’s largest welfare queens would have a slightly moderating effect on their arrogance.

Well, you’d think wrong.

While Paulson and Bernanke are forklifting massive loads of our cash into these institution’s vaults to recapitalize them so that they can carry on the world’s business, they apparently aren’t dialing back their party ways in recognition of their beholden-ness to us....their willing or unwilling saviors, as the case may be. I mean, let’s call it like it is.

No indeed. Despite having lost titanic amounts of money leading to their publicly financed bailout, these Masters of the Universe still think they are entitled to bonuses this year amounting to about 10% of the total freaking bailout. The thought evidently never crossed their minds that perhaps that bonus money, climbing into the tens of billions of dollars, might be better tucked into their coffers to help recapitalize their institutions. Perish the thought. They can still reward themselves for simply breathing because we’re here to pay for it. And there doesn’t seem to be a damned thing we can do about it. And they know it.

That’s the pinnacle of arrogance.

Humility and sacrifice are for the little people, dontcha know. For now, anyway.



 

Nice to hear

Monday, 10:41 am

By Kate

Oct

13

2008

partly cloudy

Well, what a pleasant surprise this morning. Paul Krugman (of the New York Times and Princeton) won the Nobel Prize in Economics. I’ve read him for years and have been paying especially close attention the last few weeks. Well done and well deserved. Congratulations, Professor Krugman! Please do disregard the sour grapes out there.



 

What they leave behind

Thursday, 11:51 am

By Kate

Oct

02

2008

partly cloudy

I’ve seen this video on a few different web sites over the last week. It’s about what happens to a jingle mail/foreclosed home after the bank takes it over. At least in Southern California. People leave everything behind and it must be removed and disposed of. After watching the video, I wonder how the people doing this manage to hang on to their sanity. It has to be a difficult and depressing job.

And not the least of the horrors is that all that stuff, multiplied by many houses per day, is going straight into the landfill. I suppose it would be a logistical nightmare to disperse all the household items in a more sensible way (say...a one day house sale with proceeds going to the foreclosure bank or something), but sending everything to the dump is really horrible.

As the video points out, the people who walk away from their homes must be in a terrible state of mind to leave behind the personal effects that the trash out guys find. It puts a very human face on it. For me, at least.



 

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