Friday, September 12, 2008

Grandpa McCarthy had a heartattack last night

Robert C. McCarthy Jr, my grandfather, suffered a heart attack this morning around 8am. He is currently being catheterized.. for what seems like all morning and part of the afternoon. So we don't know the extent or scope of the problem.. Healing a heart attack can always be helped by strong prayer. If anyone deserves a prayer after years of hard work and service, it is this man.

The Lord must have been pushing me to go visit him , since the trip was a last minute "grab-and-go affair", and I coincidentally arrived in Asheville last night to visit the Gran's. Last night, we watched the usual dose of Fox News, loud commercials, political speeches, and local news... and then the usual intrafamily panel analysis and discussion about national politics, complete with printed articles in hand from all parties.. grandma too. Calm thoughtful banter about issues that we can all have direct impact upon. ;-)

[Sample Fun Topics: Obamarama and the Care Bears Vs Blood n Guts McCain and Caribou Barbie. Discuss. Topic: Oil V Renewables, domestic or foreign still destabilizes our country. Foreign for obvious reasons. Domestic since Oil Companies manipulate the political process and easily corrupt our officials and legal systems. Discuss. Topic: Where is Osama and how did he get a dialysis machine into a high altitude cave? etc..]

A great but humble man, Grandpa was a Korean war hero who fought at the Frozen Chosin (2 purple hearts) in Marine Fox Company defending against an advance of 9 Chinese Divisions in the withdrawal from North Korea at the beginning of the war. He has 4 children, 9 Grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild, 2 dogs.. He is a first degree black belt green thumbed gardener. He surfs the Internet at 84 years old, still drives his mini-van with Drill Baby Drill, "W", and Marine Corps stickers on the back, helps promote longevity through holistic remedies. Obviously, he is a staunch Republican, but wondering from time to time about the last 7 years. Still, he keeps his signed photo of W and the 1st lady prominently displayed right next to the signed photo from the Gipper (Reagan for you kids out there). Grandpa is incisive, very intelligent, the best husband any gal could hope for, dog lover, patriot, healer, the best grandparent, and a heck of a Scottish Country dancer.

I guess last night was one "Fox News evening" too many. He went to bed an was awaken by a pain in his shoulder. Grandma quickly deduced this indication as symptomatic of heart attack, and high tailed it to the VA hospital.

Your prayers are welcome and needed. Thanks for your healing thoughts that many of you have already expressed. Y'all are the best!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tibetan Olympic Team

For many years, I have admired the philosophies taught by Tibetan Bhuddist monks. I have admired the endurance of the refugees, and known for a long while the atrocities they suffered at the hand of the Chinese. They are not the only ones to suffer this ruthless intolerance of cultural and religious diversity, instead forcing cultural unification and homogeniety at the point of a gun.

To mark the games, I have procured a Tibetan Flag, and plan to hang it out in the front of my home during the games, along with an American flag to show my support fo our athletes and my support for all those ground under the boot by China and similar governments.  Those of you who know personally, have seen my Free Tibet sticker on my old car for many years. Yet, it is not as if a sticker really amounts to much more than than visual clutter, unless people ask questions about the sticker.

Also, I wanted to remind folks that we enjoy the presence of a real Tibetan Monastery here in Atlanta, the Drepung-Loseling Institute.  They have established, over the past few years a strong relationship with Emory University. I invite people to visit on Tuesday's for the public teachings, which are discussions of philosophy and relate to human development and "Right Action". You will not bump into radical protesters waving flags and hopping about. If you do want to hang a Tibetan flag, they have some in the book shop. Just remember to take your shoes off when you enter the sanctuary!

It greatly pleases me to see the exposure of their plight to the world. It is my hope that with this exposure, the Chinese government to find better ways to deal with it's citizens and the world at large, ways beyond using brutal force, torture, censorship, and misinformation. (The China-Dalai Lama Dialogue: Prospects for Progress)

It is a hard question, whether to boycott Chinese products, as if that were actually possible since we no longer produce anything for the retail consumer, or whether to pursue the Dalia Lama's approach of Active Engagement, striving to raise awareness within Chinese leadership that they are connected with everyone, and that both our ends and their ends share, and therefore there is no victor, but simply, we all progress and move forward humanity in an enlightened and peaceful manner.

I tend towards the boycott side, but I simply have not found the faith within me to go along with the better approach of Active Engagement. I agree with the idea, but simply must mature enough to support this approach by my own actions.

The US infrastructure is failing. I simply see that every dollar I spend on Chinese goods build their schools, their roads, and their high speed rail.  Our money supports their military and puts their citizens further under the boot of a ravenous central government that Orwell envisioned. Our funds prop up a government that really is one of the most powerful and oppressive the Earth has known since World War II. We are just lucky they halted their militarily aggressive foreign policy with Tibet. Now,China's strategy seems to be, "Rope up the commodities and supply routes, and then command the terms of engagement", as they are now doing.

China is rising to super power and economic status largely thanks to our purchasing habits and failure to enforce productions standards on their producers. Shirking these same  business legal standards would land you in jail here in the United States. Somehow, it is OK for our retailers to source products from a market where human rights, labor laws, the rule of law, environmental standards, and living standards are all ignored, at least as demonstrated by their actions, by the Chinese central government, as well as local and regional officials. You want proof? 320 million Chinese have cancers that are directly attributable to environmental hazards such as cadmium and lead in the water. The entire problem with pet food from last year stemmed from this cause, and killed thousands of pets. (Geopolitics, China, and poisoned pet food)

So raise your awareness towards the idea of the world economic agenda, and therefore geopolitical security (Engaging China: The Political Economy and Geopolitical Approaches of the United States, Japan and the European Union) , being largely influenced, if not dictated, by a China empowered with our own consumptive inability to establish a true free market economic environment here or abroad.

Instead, the world trading community has invited a player to our game of open markets and allowed this player several trump cards the others are not allowed to use. How could China fail to rise to prominence, taking the entire pot of winnings?  The trump cards - human rights, labor laws, the rule of law, environmental standards, living standards, and unilateral pricing of the Yuan - all give any business an strong incentive to ignore moral issues, and source production in China. Since "everyone is doing it", it would be suicide not to follow suit.

Please urge your politicians during this election cycle to take a good hard stand on trade imbalances. We are as a nation, unwittingly or not, supporting a communist regime that fundamentally contradicts our constitution and what America, under the Bill of Rights, is founded upon. Call upon the politicians to wake up to this fact and take significant action.

Thanks for your interest and enjoy supporting your nation's games in the upcoming Olympics!

Warm Regards,

Bryan Grant

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

State of the homes in Atlanta

Homeowners here are a little nervous about the downward turn. However, Atlanta has been weathering the storm rather well by comparison to the West Coast or Florida, all except for condos. Though well paying jobs do seem to be growing scarce here.

Congress has done little to turn all of this around. The economic stimulus tax rebate checks will translate into us paying that money back in more taxes or inflation. The money is going to come from somewhere. They just get good political mileage out of this gambit.

Meanwhile, the banks are getting away with murder by being able to turn down offers for homes going into foreclosure, then once the house is foreclosed, the bank allows the buyers to bid up the price. The homeowner loses all their equity, the bank gets restored for the loan by the new buyer, and gets a nice tidy profit for their "troubles". Though it is technically illegal for banks to "broker" property, they are effectively doing so by turning down bona fide offers and allowing the value to bid up.

Meanwhile, the lax regulations for lending practices that has led us down this old and familiar road have not been dealt with by anyone. This lax environment allowed banks to dangle tempting fruits to home buyers by allowing most folks to buy more than they probably should have. While closing the deal, the banks, Realtors, and mortgage brokers downplayed the realities of re-financing when things go badly for the homeowners credit. All them, for the short term returns, earn more buy selling a bigger home than not. Once they are paid, there is no further recourse against any of them. Now the banks want us to bail out their loans? Ha. One of the rare good things Bush has done is threaten to veto congress's attempts to bail out the banks.

The banks know which loans are in danger of foreclosure. Unless they want to hold bad debt, those loans should be allowed to refinance to a 30 year fixed at a reasonable rate for a 725 FICO score, as a standard, and then given 2 or 3 months of grace period to re-stabilize the buyer's payment budgets. All of this should be at no expense to the homeowner. The banks set up this mess, they promoted the products, and they allowed marginal loans to be underwritten. They should eat the losses, or work in good faith to transition these loans into more serviceable accounts. And since their actions have led to an artificial run up in values, they have endangered the financial well being of every home owner.

This would go a great distance towards stabilizing the credit markets, both here and abroad.

The alternatives to this course of action are few. If we stay on the road we are now on, in terms of the Fed and Congress's quick fixes, we will drag the markets further down, and delay recovery.

Hmm. Maybe they want this to happen so we will vote in the new Amero to replace the Dollar, and usher in the North American Union to extinguish the flame of liberty knows as the USA.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

3 Beagles: Updates

Hey all,

I still have the 3 Beagles referenced in the other email and need to get them placed into "Forever homes". There are some new photos - webalbum.

They are all on Petfinder, which will be the most likely source of a lead, but .. it is always good to work the friends and family social network when placing dogs.

They are now being sponsored with fund from Atlanta Beagle Rescue, but I am fostering for the interim. Bobbie, one of my neighbors, has volunteered to foster Jake, but the other two are here with me.

The female, "Lucy", is pretty much ready to go and is vetted/spayed. The young male, " Bart", is up for neutering next week. The oldest one, "Jake" we are going to do two weeks from now, as he has a cold right now.

ks for your support, and definitely keep forwarding the leads to me if you have them.


PS: If you any of you know anyone in the press or legal professions, please have a look at this case, and lend a hand. Someone brought it to my attention tonight. How the rescuer is being is arrested for saving a dying dog, but the owner is not being arrested for gross negligence and cruelty to animals, I will never know or choose to accept. The incident is up in Pennsylvania, so pass it along to folks up there to help as well.




This is from Bayard Snowden in TN and that is his son on the couch with the dog....


    An old tired-looking dog wandered into the yard.  I could tell from his collar and well fed belly that he had a home.  He followed me into the house, into the kitchen, and on a couch.

    An hour later he went to the door, and I let him out.  The next day he was back, resumed his position on the couch, and slept for an hour.  This continued for several weeks.  Curious, I pinned a note to his collar, "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."
    The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar, "He lives in a home with ten children.  He's trying to catch up on his sleep.  Can I come with him tomorrow?"



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Bill Penn
The Letitia House Gazette

Bryan "Beau" Grant
Convivia Group
Commercial Real Estate Broker

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." -Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

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