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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


By Michael Linn Jones

It is a strange thing, but there can be times when asking the same question of two different audiences is not proper. Or more precisely, unfair.

For example, the current default crisis involving the so-called "sup-prime" real estate market. Lenders came up with all sorts of creative ways to get people into mortgages. The scheme started collapsing of its own weight, and then all the experts who said there was nothing to worry about these past years now say we have something to worry about.

The lenders have received a fair amount of criticism for their practices, but not to worry; the government will (as always) bail them out. Yet it seems I have heard more questions directed at the borrowers themselves.

Why didn't these people READ what they were signing? Why didn't they think of the CONSEQUENCES of their actions? Obviously, the real fault in all this lay with those who undertook obligations that they were totally incapable of keeping.

In true Bush-era fashion the blame obviously lies with those moving out of those homes. To use the terminology of those 19th hole sages, it just goes to show you that ignorant people shouldn't get involved in matters with which they are unfamiliar. And for pete's sake, they could have HIRED someone to review the contracts to explain in plain English what they were getting into.

Such questions are fair; in what other way can we possibly illuminate the path to responsible behavior than requiring people to BE responsible?

Fair enough. And here is the kicker: it is UNFAIR to ask the following questions:

How could Congressional representatives vote for the Patriot Act without READING it? Don't they know how irresponsible that is? If not exactly stamping the Bill of Rights as "Paid in Full" the Patriot Act has some pretty disturbing things about it. Isn't it IRRESPONSIBLE to sign onto something without reading it? Wouldn't it have been prudent to have someone READ IT FOR YOU and then at least you'd have had some idea to what you were obligating yourself?

Oops. Not yourselves, Congress-folks. No, just us, as members of Congress you don't really EVER obligate yourselves to anything responsible.

Just Wondering over at VIM & VINEGAR has a post, Dear (not really) Sue Myrick.There is a short video clip of Ms. Myrick giving a speech. Have a look. What you will not see in the clip is a comment made by Ms. Myrick when asked about the excesses of the Patriot Act by a talk radio host in Charlotte.

Her answer: "If you're doing nothing wrong, what have you got to worry about?"

A lot Ms. Myrick, a lot. And although my questions to those like you are inappropriate, I have to go back to the Jed Clampett-mortgage holders.

It just goes to show you that ignorant people shouldn't get involved in matters with which they are unfamiliar.

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Blogger Micah Tillman said...

*laugh* Well done.

The few times I've ever thought that maybe someday "legislative public service" might be a fun thing to try, I think of having to read thousands of pages of legaleeze to cast a responsible vote every time some new spending bill (or whatnot) comes along.


1:06 PM  

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