Saturday, 23 July 2011

This Oslo Shooter Dude

I'm kinda shocked over events yesterday in Oslo.  Between the bombing and the killing of seventy-plus kids on this island nearby.....there's a lot of thing disturbing.

So what is this shooter (who is wounded but lives) all about?

A younger guy....from Norway....in his 30's.  He's a business man of sorts.  From one picture, I can gain that he's a Knights of the Templar member.  He is a conservative Christian guy (or so he claimed).  He had a Facebook page but nothing of any value on it.  The guy obviously owned weapons.  He walked in and was able to buy around six tons of fertilizer.

Gun ownership in Norway?  It's a curious thing.  Automatic weapons have been basically forbidden.  Most cops don't carry weapons....they are simply maintained down at the local cop station and handed out only when necessary (one step than the Barney-one-bullet-act).

If you are a collector of guns....you can apply for a automatic gun waiver, and then you'd likely be able to acquire a gun for your collection (which typically is locked up in a safe or a basement vault).

To own a regular gun....you go down to the local cop station and fill out a paper to explain why you need one (typically hunting or target shooting).  The cops evaluate the form.  If you have a history of trouble.....you don't normally get a gun.  If you have mental notes made in the police database.....you likely own't get the gun permit.

The cops will actually come to your house and examine this safe or vault room.  There's one key for that safe or vault room.....which only you, not your wife or kids....have access to.

How did this guy get his weapons?  I'm guessing he claimed collector status or simply imported them in from another country quietly.  We will know this part in a day or two as the cops assemble the information.

Why the bomb?  Why kill the kids on the island?  My only guess here is that he felt in his twisted sense of affairs that Norway was slipping toward some far-left society.  The current political party leading things?  Likely at the center of his attention and the reason why the vehicle bomb was at the heart of the government.  The same is true for the bomb left in the basement of one building....to ensure it collapsed.  All of these efforts led strictly to a target of the current government.

The attack on the Utoya Island?  This kid's camp is an odd deal.  It's run by the liberal party in charge of the government.  It's hard to imagine a political party running kid's camps but this is Norway and maybe it's an acceptable thing there.  The Prime Minister was supposed to be out there to make a speech....so I think he was the original target.  He wasn't there....so the gunman simply went to central point of the island at the proper time and started shooting anyway.   Maybe in some odd way, he saw all these kids being a future left-winger issue for Norway and making thing worse (in his mind) than what they are already.  You just don't know about his state of mind and how conclusions are assembled.

The punishment for this guy?  Sadly, he will simply get life in prison and likely be identified as simply "crazy".  He might even be sent to a mental hospital....to be guarded by a dozen guys on a daily basis because he will be a permanent and everlasting threat as long as he lives.

Life in Norway after this?  Kid's camps will be seen as a unsafe place.  There'll be a huge drop-off in attendance over the next year or two.  Folks will insist on massive control of fertilizer now....to the extent that you might only be able to buy a limit of one ton a week (farmers will be infuriated).  Weapon control?  It's hard to say how much more you can tighten this.  You might see all private gun storage tossed, and your weapon kept down at the local police station (like you have on most Army and Air Force Installations today in America).

At the end of the day.....it was a nutcase that did all the damage here.  No normal human being runs off to do mass killings or shoots kids at some camp.  

Uncle Sam's House Rental?

It was a short story yesterday....not a lot of traction...and no coming from the White House or anyone connected to it.  There is this idea being floated around.....with all these empty houses in Florida, Vegas, Arizona and California, and maybe just renting them.

The issue is this....the banks hold these properties and are desperate to unload.  Everyday that a house sits there...without a buyer.....it means a cost to the bank in some fashion.  So it makes some sense.....at least put a guy or gal or family into the house.  Make some kind of rental income.

But if you stand back and think on this.....we would move to the US government not only being the mortgage giant (Fannie Mae), but also the rental giant (likely some new government agency who runs around talking up empty properties and writing up contracts).

Would people even rent these?  It's a virtual unknown.

I'm guessing there would be three simple features.  One, you would move in, with the option of possibly buying it eventually (maybe even ten years in the future).  Two, a price on the house would be established at that point and known by both parties (likely today's price and not the 2008 price).   Three, you'd get to move in with almost nothing except a credit check.

The problems?  Karl and Wanda could finally get into a real house....instead of that apartment.  The problem is that neither really work long-term and one is generally always out of a job.  Payments might be sporadic and the government would have to invent some rule that allowed folks to miss rental payments (as stupidly as it sounds).

Then, there's the issue of fixing the property when something breaks (a roof leak or an electrical issue).  As much money that flowed in.....at least a quarter of it would have to be held in reserve for repairs.

When would the rental program end?  Likely never.....meaning we'd have hundreds of thousands of homes in government rental status for decades.  You can smile trouble with that part.

You come to this funny smell about this whole idea.  Basically....the banks all screwed up and allowed millions to buy over-priced homes in certain areas of the United States.  Folks walked in and put almost no down-payment down to buy their over-priced house.  So now....Uncle Sam takes up the whole mess, and will just rent them out (safely and securely).  For some odd reason, I'm having trouble with this part.

Finally, you kinda wonder if this great deed would drag down home prices where folks are still living and paying off their homes.  You might have a neighborhood where twelve homes out of fifty are empty.  The normal rental price is $1,200 a month....and Uncle Sam's homes in the neighborhood are going for $999.  Our buddy, Uncle Sam, would screw up the real folks who kept trying to play by the rules and never dropped the house.

So, welcome to Uncle Sam's Rental Properties.