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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
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August 26, 2010     Valley News and Views
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August 26, 2010
 

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Page 2 August 26th, 2010 Valley News & Views kota Tales and Trails Dr. Larric Wanberg I am making my life simple. In a complex world, filled with uncertainty in these times, I am focusing on what really matters. This upcoming weekend, I'm moving into a vintage RV, a rather small one. Takes up 24 feet on the highway and eight for stretch in width. But it has low mileage, easy to cruise, and a passenger seat for "my companion," a two-year old golden retriever named Gunnar. A 2x2 foot magnetic sign on each door reads "Sundial Stories: Timeless Heritage... Discover True North." Inside, the furnishings are all that I need. The cab- over bunk is a little too steep for me at my age, so it is a storage area for filming and recording equipment to capture stories of people and families along the trails. There is no clock in the vehicle (except on my cell phone). The music system is CDs. The movies are downloaded from NetFlix and projected against a pop- up screen, which becomes my own outdoor theater with popcorn, a refreshing drink, and a chaise lawn chair so I can put my feet up. For those who think this is terribly cramped living, I have a docking station. I rent a climate storage space for all my household and business needs, where I can drive-in and park my RV for the day, and check my files or pick up possessions that I need for a "Shacking up" is the old term for cohabitation. But "shacking up" made cohabitation sound so crude we now call it "livein", a term that applies to 25,000 relationships in North Dakota. While living together may sound like the ultimate in convenience, economics and happiness, it has serious consequences, especially for women and children. They become the victims when relationships go awry. Hardly a week goes by in North Dakota when we don't hear about some livein who has seriously injured or even killed his partner's children. The most recent event drawing statewide attention was a man who used a leash to drag his livein's 12-year- old daughter around the room. Then he beat up on few days. I pay about a $100 a month for this facility. When I travel, I can check into a motel room in an extended stay arrange for $250 a week, including cable, WyFi and breakfast. In a few places, it's $450 a month without any amenities. Being mobile is cheaper than most mortgages, more DC mainly- and abroad, with 15 years in each venue. Change generally occurs on the "edges" for people and places, for most often the "center" is too preoccupied with daily challenges of survival within traditional roles and expectations. On the "edge" in business these days is a new set of The Meltdown of the American Economy Part 11 of 24 by K.C. Gardner flexible to visit a menu of destinations, and ideal for a writer. But it is not the vehicle that matters or even the mobility. It's the stories of people and the heritage of each place, even if only a few buildings remain. The faces of people who remain in tiny, diminishing towns are on the "edges" of rural populations - youth and seniors - some still dreaming and some resigned to a lesser future; yet feeling comfortable and "at home" with status quo. As the population ages (like me), many tend to think more of the past - stories that they once lived with fond memories. I've always dreamed of being self-reliant, to have the freedom to do the things that I value and enjoy, and to be totally mobile. I'm finally living in present time, after years as a social planner who "lived" 3-5 years into the future. Growing up in ND, I always dreamed about what was over the visible horizon, and later, I lived and worked on the coastal edges of our country- San Francisco and her brother. A few weeks ago, clinical psychologist Val Farmer wrote an article in the Friday supplement of the Fargo Forum in which he cited some insightful facts about liveins - facts women, especially women with children, should take to heart before becoming involved in this sort of uncommitted relationship. "Those who choose a living-together arrangement are high-risk individuals," Farmer pointed out. He said they are the kind of people most likely to bring addiction or personality problems into the relationship. They have poor problem-solving skills so when interpersonal conflicts occur they take the easy route - walking out. Because livein couples don't value long-term (The following is a description of the meltdown of the American economy, 2007-2008, as the economic bubble engendered by the Federal Reserve burst. Analysis of the meltdown is provided by citing studies compatible with the Austrian economic theories of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.) Over thepast severalweeks we have seen the results skills that are believed to be of an analysis economist the "future," which identifies Stan J. Liebowitz did of the that creativity becomes the mortgage meltdown entitled competitive force that will Mnatomy of a Train Wreck," rule future enterprises. A in which largest part of the book, ')k Whole New Mind" blame was shown, not to be by Daniel Pink reflects that of unscrupulous lenders a growing movement in or "Wall Street," but to be marketing and management to accept creativity and the looser underwriting innovation as a core value standards that enabled the of business today- driven speculators to use other people's money to further by right-brain thinking. His their own gains and on the book is a long running New federal government agencies York Times and Business Week bestseller, that pushed for such Author Pink outlines six underwriting standards. Letusnowturnto abroader essential senses: Design analysis of the economic (engaging) Story (best of six), Symphony (big meltdown. In his best- selling book, "Meltdown," Thomas picture thinking), Empathy E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow (intuition), Play (light heartedness) and Meaning at the Ludwig yon Mises (the purpose that gives Institute, claims that blaming "greedy lenders" or "foolish meaningWith all within), this new "stuff" borrowers" for the housing bubble and its subsequent to think about, I go back to collapse is merely begging a college philosophy class the question. What must where I first heard two be answered is why did the quotes, which I have carried lending and borrowing arise, with me inside as goalposts and where did the money to give me meaning in my life. come from that allowed They are: "Whatever banks to lend it to borrowers you can do, or dream youwithout sufficient financial resources to make the Continued on Page 5 mortgage payments. Woods states that the answer is government intervention in the economy. He cites six culprits: 1) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (technically the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation respectively), the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE's), were at the epicenter of the housing collapse. They do not make mortgage loans; rather they buy such loans from banks in the secondary market. The purchased loans are removed from the books of the banks that originated them, and Freddie or Fannie receive the monthly payments and take over the risk of default if they maintain the loans in their portfolios, or they could bundle the loans and then sell the mortgage-backed securities to investors. The original banks can now take their funds and go back into the mortgage market, artificially expanding it. Fannie Mae was a Depression-era agency founded in 1938 "...to purchase and securitize mortgages in order to ensure that funds are consistently available to the institutions that lend money to home buyers." It was privatized in 1968. Freddie Mac was created in 1970 "...to expand the secondary market for mortgages in the US." Along with other GSEs, Freddie Mac "buys mortgages on the secondary market, pools them, and sells them as mortgage-backed securities to investors on the open market." Fannie Mae also has a $2.25 billion line of credit with the United States Treasury, which was seen by investors as an indication that Fannie Mae could always get more financial backing. In the 1990's the two GSE's began to move more aggressively into the mortgage market and by2008 were involved in around half the nation's mortgages and almost 75 percent of the new mortgages. In addition, as far back as September 1999 Fannie Mae was easing credit requirements on the mortgages that it purchased from banks, so that the banks would give home mortgage loans to people with less than exemplary credit. The "New YorkTimes" reported that the reason for this change was pressure from the Clinton Administration to get more home loans to non-white and poor individuals. Some Republican legislators became leery of the risky obligations the GSE's had accumulated, but were overruled by the Democrats when they called for more regulation and oversight. InSeptember2003 U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) pronounced that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were ?...not facing any kind of financial crisis .... The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." That same month Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) testified that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "distorted the housing market" in such a way that it had become a bubble, which "...cannot last forever." relationships, Farmer added, the individuals involved demonstrate less impulse control. Consequently, domestic violence forwomen in cohabitating relationships is twice that found in marriages. The risk is even greater for child abuse. Desperate single moms often opt for a livein relationship to help support their children and provide some semblance of security. But men who don't care enough to make a commitment aren't going to care enough to tolerate the challenges of raising somebody else's children. That's when abuse creeps in. Before shacking up, a young woman ought to run her livein prospect through a checklist. Is he earning enough to pay nonsupport if it comes to that? Does he have stable relationships with family and friends? How many liveins and ! or divorces has he gone through? Does he make impulsive decisions in fits of anger? Does he show respect for other people? The North Dakota legislature legalized cohabitation in 2007 because the prohibition was not being enforced. From a practical point of view, such a law is unenforceable. During passage of the 2007 repeal, the bill's sponsors argued that cohabitation was nobody's business anyway. Unfortunately, the issue isn't that simple. Legally, cohabitation may be nobody's business but this behavior is a concern of the public because the public ends up paying extra taxes for law enforcement, judicial proceedings and the women and children deceived by the relationship. Private behavior that results in public costs is the public's business. Cohabitation may be here to stay but the state needs laws on the books to protect innocent victims. Those who want to remain uncommitted should still be held accountable for the consequences of their What if the Red River flowed south? by Andy Adamson Lets pretend for the next few paragraphs that the Red River flows south instead of north. For the last two decades the Red River Valley has experienced several record floods causing extreme problems for the residents who live, farm, and work in these areas, not to mention the loss of property. Now, lets also pretend that the communities of Pembina and Drayton, ND and Oslo, MN, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state and federal agencies, have devised a plan for a diversion that would divert flood waters around these communities returning it back to the river at a point to be determined downstream. The cost of this project is 1.3 to 1.4 billion dollars. It appears this project has a lot of support and has a good chance of being funded. There is, however, one problem. River levels in communities downstream from the diversion will increase. The corps has found the diversion could cause the levels to increase as much as 12 to 14 inches at Grand Forks the closest community downstream, and 16 to 24 inches in other communities such as Thompson, and Hillsboro, ND as well as Climax, Hendrum and Halstad, MN. Information regarding the effect on the Fargo Moorhead area will not be available until September 9th.. The corps will take comments from these communities until August 9 and has declined to extend the comment period for the Fargo Moorhead area. What would be the feelings of the citizens of Fargo - Moorhead if this pretend situation was actually real? Enj Great Rates and ,Reach r 11,000 Subscribers, Classified Ads,Start at $8 for theflrst 30 Words, Conta social programs to salvage behavior. with this limited time offer from Midcontinent! 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