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   Strategies & Market TrendsThe Residential Real Estate Crash Index

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To: Lizzie Tudor who wrote (40760)9/6/2005 2:33:43 PM
From: Elroy Jetson
of 306829
The primary problem with KB Homes (ex-Kaufman & Broad) is that Bruce Karatz is willing to build on land that KB can buy cheaply because other builders consider the land unsafe. Land that requires more fill than is safe, land with drainage problems, floodplains, infiltrated with faultlines, etc. I'd never buy a home built by KB.

I've heard good things about David Weekley.

Nate Shapell, based in Beverly Hills, has a long history of not paying his contractors until he is sued. He always has a very buxom black woman working as his secretary. Two brothers who run a paving business once pushed past Nate's secretary of the moment, into Nate's office to demand payment. Although he was not at his desk, they found him hiding in his closet. He then wrote them a check for what they were owed with a shaking hand. I have no idea why people still work for him.

Does this affect the quality of his homes? Not that I know of, but the best contractors won't work for him. I also wonder if there were a problem with a Shapell home, would he treat you the same way he treats his contractors?

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To: Jim Fleming who wrote (40457)9/6/2005 2:50:32 PM
From: GraceZ
of 306829
Does the Governor have the right to call the 6000 Louisiana troops home from Iraq.

First off, LA doesn't have 6000 National Guard troops in Iraq. It has around 2700 troops in Iraq. The 6000 number you so quickly quoted is a number that is both Mississippi and Louisiana. As I said before, all the states have reciprocal agreements.

Second, it would be faster to use the remaining troops positioned in this country and in LA don't you think?

I live i n an area where I can see the weekend warriors running drills, so I know they aren't all in Iraq, in fact more of them have been called up to active duty and are running drills here than there were prior to 911 in anticipation of other terrorist attacks.

Nationally, 78,000 of the 437,000 members of the National Guard force are serving overseas. This leaves approximately 359,000 here or 82% of the force.

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To: CaBum who wrote (40454)9/6/2005 2:59:51 PM
From: GraceZ
of 306829
Global warming is a major factor in the big increase in tropical storms,

Of the dumb stuff that has been said about this hurricane, this is the easiest to refute:

The loss of life associated with natural disasters is far lower than in the past even in under-developed nations but especially in developed nations.

What has been increasing has been the economic damage done by hurricanes. This is true because economic development has put more assets in the path of hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

Needless to say, I'm sure you won't let facts get in the way of your political views.

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To: endless who wrote (40540)9/6/2005 3:08:50 PM
From: GraceZ
of 306829
That's leadership - he should run for higher public office!

He's running for governor. As I said earlier there is great political capital to gained from helping people rebuild. Expect all these guys to give press conferences telling everyone what they did and what the other guy didn't. It makes me sick to my stomach to see this tragedy politicized as it has been here on this thread and in the press as well as among my friends and family.

We've transformed from a country where men women and children walked across the continent or endured 2 months in steerage to get to a better life to a country filled with weaklings, whiners and looters who all want to know what the government can do for them and who they can blame their sorry state on.

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To: GraceZ who wrote (40780)9/6/2005 3:16:34 PM
From: redfish
of 306829
We should stomp those evacuees into the mud!!! Bunch of lame whiners!!

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To: shades who wrote (40773)9/6/2005 3:18:59 PM
From: Moominoid
of 306829
Maybe because the anti-Soros conspiracy theorists are also into gold? Whereas pro-Soros sources don't care much about it?

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To: redfish who wrote (40781)9/6/2005 3:23:50 PM
From: patron_anejo_por_favor
of 306829
LOL, "Compassionate conservatism is neither compassionate nor conservative". Discuss amongst yerselves!<G>

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From: Tradelite9/6/2005 3:48:47 PM
of 306829
Time for a Tough Question: Why Rebuild?

From op-ed page of Washington Post

By Klaus Jacob
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; A25

It is time to swim against the tide. The direction of public discourse in the wake of Katrina goes like this: First we save lives and provide some basic assistance to the victims. Then we clean up New Orleans. And then we rebuild the city. Most will rightly agree on the first two. But should we rebuild New Orleans, 10 feet below sea level, just so it can be wiped out again?

Some say we can raise and strengthen the levees to fully protect the city. Here is some unpleasant truth: The higher the defenses, the deeper the floods that will inevitably follow. The current political climate is not conducive to having scientific arguments heard before political decisions are made. But not doing so leads to the kind of chaos we are seeing now.

This is not a natural disaster. It is a social, political, human and -- to a lesser degree -- engineering disaster. To many experts, it is a disaster that was waiting to happen. In fact, Katrina is not even the worst-case scenario. Had the eye of the storm made landfall just west of the city (instead of to the east, as it did) the wind speeds and its associated coastal storm surge would have been higher in New Orleans (and lower in Gulfport, Miss.). The city would have flooded faster, and the loss of life would have been greater.

What scientific facts do we need before making fateful political, social and economic decisions about New Orleans's future? Here are just two:

First, all river deltas tend to subside as fresh sediment (supplied during floods) compacts and is transformed into rock. The Mississippi River delta is no exception. In the early to mid-20th century, the Army Corps of Engineers was charged with protecting New Orleans from recurring natural floods. At the same time, the Corps kept the river (and some related canals) along defined pathways. These well-intended defensive measures prevented the natural transport of fresh sediments into the geologically subsiding areas. The protected land and the growing city sank, some of it to the point that it is now 10 feet below sea level. Over time, some of the defenses were raised and strengthened to keep up with land subsidence and to protect against river floods and storm surges. But the defenses were never designed to safeguard the city against a direct hit by a Category 5 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson scale) or a Category 4 hurricane making landfall just west of the city.

Second, global sea levels have risen less than a foot in the past century, and will rise one to three feet by the end of this century. Yes, there is uncertainty. But there is no doubt in the scientific community that the rise in global sea levels will accelerate.

What does this mean for New Orleans's future? Government officials and academic experts have said for years that in about 100 years, New Orleans may no longer exist. Period.

It is time to face up to some geological realities and start a carefully planned deconstruction of New Orleans, assessing what can or needs to be preserved, or vertically raised and, if affordable, by how much. Some of New Orleans could be transformed into a "floating city" using platforms not unlike the oil platforms offshore, or, over the short term, into a city of boathouses, to allow floods to fill in the 'bowl' with fresh sediment.

If realized, this "American Venice" would still need protection from the worst of storms. Restoration of mangroves and wetlands between the coast and the city would need to be carefully planned and executed. Much engineering talent would have to go into anchoring the floating assets to prevent chaos during storms. As for oil production, refining and transshipment facilities, buffer zones would have to be established to protect them from the direct onslaught of coastal storm surges.

Many ancient coastal cities of great fame have disappeared or are now shells of their former grandeur. Parts of ancient Alexandria suffered from the subsidence of the Nile delta, and earthquakes and tsunamis toppled the city's famed lighthouse, one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World."

It is time that quantitative, science-based risk assessment became a cornerstone of urban and coastal land-use planning to prevent such disasters from happening again. Politicians and others must not make hollow promises for a future, safe New Orleans. Ten feet below sea level and sinking is not safe. It is time to constructively deconstruct, not destructively reconstruct.

The writer, a geophysicist, is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He teaches and does research on disaster risk management.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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To: average joe who wrote (40776)9/6/2005 3:49:38 PM
From: shades
of 306829
Wes snipes told me if it wasn't for crackheads he couldn't have kids - HAHA! If ayn wont have kids and only crackheads will - what is a family man to do oh wise one?

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To: Tradelite who wrote (40784)9/6/2005 3:56:04 PM
From: Tradelite
of 306829
In Baton Rouge, a Cool Welcome
Class Divisions Among Blacks Greet New Orleans Evacuees

By Wil Haygood
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; A19

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 5 -- When this city's mayor, Melvin "Kip" Holden, issued a stem-winding warning that he would not tolerate "lawlessness" from arriving Hurricane Katrina evacuees, it seemed a page torn from the playbook of the celebrated former governor Huey Long, exposing an us-against-them dictate.

But many blacks here -- and those arriving from New Orleans -- were suddenly wondering whether this city was about to turn into a kind of ground zero of class warfare between blacks and blacks.

Holden himself is black, which had the potency of lifting the debate above the usual black-white fault lines.

"We know we don't want that criminal element," Sheila Mosby, 40, said while sitting on her front porch on the south side of this city and recalling scenes of recent looting in New Orleans. "I can understand trying to survive. But that element coming here, well, they might try to rob stores. To tell you the truth, it's really going to be something."

While dabbing at sweat beads with a pink hand towel, Mosby, who is black, went on: "Like Mayor Holden said, if they come down here and try to break into people's houses, and stores, there's a place for them."

She -- like the mayor -- was referring to the Baton Rouge jails.

Mosby said she envisioned "shoot to kill" orders if break-ins do occur.

Orders for the police? "No! From the people who live in these homes. They will shoot to kill. They gonna let these people know, 'You ain't in New Orleans. You in Baton Rouge.' "

This city of approximately 260,000 people, which lies 90 miles northwest of New Orleans, has not had the dramatic racial narratives of many other southern cities. There were bus boycotts in the 1960s -- and those of a certain age still remember a violent confrontation that took place during that decade between local Muslims and police here, which resulted in gunfire and injury.

Holden's comments seemed to bring to the surface the reality that local resources may well be strapped; that the holding-on blacks of this community realize there is sudden competition, from other blacks, for help in escaping poverty.

All day Sunday, hundreds had lined up at the Department of Social Services office to get assistance, especially food stamps. Many were Katrina evacuees, but hardly all.

"Now my biggest concern is the schools," said Tara Willimas, 34, a medical transcriber who is black and resides in Baton Rouge. "We don't mind sharing, but there's going to be competition for jobs."

Many, including the mayor, contend this city's population could more than double in the coming days and weeks, exceeding half a million.

"I can understand these people coming here from New Orleans," said Isadore Brown, 32, who also was standing in line for food stamps. He's a crane operator, a black man who says the power at his Baton Rouge home went out, ruining food. Brown says he already has visions of criminals from New Orleans running amok. "They're coming down here from New Orleans making us fear for our lives," he said. "Some people have talked about not leaving their house."

Already, this city -- home to Louisiana State University -- has been showing signs of tension. Some stores are closing early, leaving many to wonder whether they're doing so because of those unsettling images of blacks looting in New Orleans -- or simply because stores are running out of supplies. And it has not been uncommon in recent days to hear gunshots ring out in the night.

"Why do store owners all of a sudden want to close up their stores at 10 p.m.?" wonders Tammy Ruffin, 33, also black. "Many of these stores used to be open 24 hours."

There are upwards of 30 evacuees now staying at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive -- named after the legendary Grambling football coach who grew up on this street. Eula Smith -- wife of Pastor Charles T. Smith -- directs volunteer efforts at the church, which serves a predominantly black congregation.

She says she immediately began to wonder about class divisions in the aftermath of Holden's comments.

"I don't know if the mayor was trying to alienate people or what," she said, seated in her office, the hallway buzzing with the sounds of New Orleans children playing tag. "He didn't say it right. Every population has this criminal element. But it sounded like he said all New Orleans people are thuggish."

Sleep has been hard to come by for Smith and her harried staff. She yelled out for someone to brew more coffee. "Now we do have to be careful," she continued, "that some of our people aren't using this situation to their benefit, getting into our shelters, and what have you. But Baton Rouge is bigger than Mayor Holden anyway. I think he said what he said for the benefit of his white voters, because he's looking to the future."

Simmering class divisions aside, the bugaboo of racism also has reared its head. Barbara Martin, 58, was a teacher in New Orleans. She and her husband, Alphonse, who are black, evacuated here. "Soon as the mayor made his statement about New Orleans," she said, "no-vacancy signs went up everywhere here on apartment complexes."

"We have sat in our car and watched whites go in these places and come out with paperwork to get apartments. The mayor is black. His head must be in the sand," she said. She goes on, her husband amen-ing her every word: "I accept what he said in terms of lawlessness. I don't believe in lawlessness myself. But what he said affected everybody. Some people were on lockdown here, as if we were going to tear up the city."

Martin says she has been made to feel "uncomfortable" in Baton Rouge. "I'm a middle-class black person, and I'm being treated by the color of my skin."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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