Sharia Finance...Heard About It?

Sharia Finance/Banking.....aka Islamic Banking.

Check out the two links below. The first link describes what Sharia Finance "Islam Banking" is. The second link is a list of banks that are ALREADY Sharia compliant. In other words, these banks (chances are you will find your bank on this list) have complied with Islam Banking laws and are ready to do business....the Islam way.



Wait, I thought this was AMERICA...."Land of the free, home of the brave". Ain't nothin' 'free' about anything Islam. Never mind, I forgot for just a moment that we, the United States of America sold out.

I'll say it again guys.....please wake up. Tomorrow, I'm going to post again on Obama's Global Poverty Act.


Castle Dome Mountains

'Sad Face'?

A hawk on top of the tree
(click to enlarge photos)

Castle Dome Mountains

The road ahead
Yesterday we went on a jeep run with another couple we know. The trail started about 40 miles from here, and took us through the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge for about 54 miles. The desert was beautiful as always, but greener than usual for this time of year. The only wildlife we saw was a hawk. No deer, bobcats, not even a rabbit. The trail itself was rated moderate, but I guess we decided we'd rate it easy. There was only one spot that I would deem moderate, (and I'm a lightweight).
There is a museum about 20 miles in and we had every intention of stopping and checking it out, but as we approached the entrance gate, the sign posted said "Adults-$5.00 fee".
Call us cheap, but honestly, I couldn't see spending $10.00 on a museum in the middle of nowhere that consisted of delapitated buildings.
So, we continued on, stopping to eat sandwiches we had packed. A 15 mile side trip went up to a 'well preserved' miner's cabin, which required an uphill hike the last mile. We decided to go the last 15 miles, but after 7 miles, and an hour later, decided we better turn back. The sun was going down, and I am not sure my knee would have handled an uphill one mile hike anyway.(that's 2 miles roundtrip you know...ugh)
Maybe another day for that trip. It was a good day though and we enjoyed getting to know Dave and Renee better.


A Very Merry Christmas To Friends & Family

As I am sitting here on Christmas Eve, doing very little, I am reminded of Christmases in the past. Back when my kids were little, and life was a hurried, fast paced flurry of activity.

Every Christmas Eve was all about hurrying to get off of work, to hurry home, to hurry and prepare our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, to hurry and let the kids open their one special gift from their grandparents (a tradition on Christmas Eve), only to fly out the door quickly in time to catch the Christmas Eve Service at church....the only hour I really sat still all day.....and then rush back home to get the kids to bed, so "Santa" could bring gifts. Bedtime for me used to be typically around midnight on Christmas Eve at our house....awwwww.....I miss those days.

I miss the excitement you can see in the eyes of all children. Their wonderment and enthusiasm is contagious. So, I guess this Christmas I would have to say what I miss the most is not being able to spend it with the grandchildren. At ages 1, 4 and 11, there would surely be plenty of energy and excitement!

Do you think children today still believe in Santa? I'll have to ask a young parent.

More importantly, I wonder if they really know what Christmas is about, beyond giving and receiving gifts to one another....it is about the greatest gift of all from God; His son. And receiving the most precious gift; His free gift of eternal life.

Merry Christmas.


Again....Where Is The Outrage?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going?
But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they can't track exactly how they're spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.
"We've lent some of it. We've not lent some of it. We've not given any accounting of, 'Here's how we're doing it,'" said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."
The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest?
None of the banks provided specific answers.


So....let's see if we've got this right. We, the taxpayers, have given BILLIONS of dollars (that we will pay in taxes!) to these banks...and now they refuse to tell us how they spent the money?!

When Mr. scumbag Hank Paulson and his sidekick, Bernanke, asked for the $700 Billion bailout, they told CONgress the markets were 'frozen' and if the banks didn't get the money, our economy would collapse.

The banks did indeed get their billions of dollars....along with AIG (an insurance company), General Motors and Chrysler (Auto Industry)....oops, getting off track.

The banks took the money but they are still NOT lending to consumers. As a matter of fact, they have tightened their lending practices. Guess what? The credit market is still 'frozen'!

The banks are hoarding the money they've been given. That's the bottom line.

Maybe, the general population won't get it until they see how much their taxes will go up. Hey, they've got to pay for all these bailouts somehow. You and I just happen to be the ones footing the bill. Lucky us!


This Video Tells It All

Please click on the title of this post to view a short video that provides true insight as to the state of our economy and the death of our great nation.

Can things possibly get any worse? To borrow from BHO, (whom I absolutely hate) 'yes, they can'.....And they WILL!

Our President, Congress, Wall Street brokers, hedgefund managers, investment firms, banks, Bend-us-over Bernanke, Hanky Panky Paulson and Cox have been lying to us, stealing from us, and screwing us. Yes, even Pelosi, Obama, Clinton, Frank, Schumer, Dodd, etc. etc. etc. are all to blame for the demise of the United States of America.

Think your job is safe? Think again.
Think Wal-Mart shelves will have plenty of food on them come 2009? Think again.
Think your money is safe in the bank? Please!!
Think there will be a revolution of the American people because they are fed up and pissed off?
Nope, I don't think Americans have enough balls to revolt. Our society is too dumbed down today.

After over a year, they finally admit we are in a Recession. Wonder when they'll fess up to the "D" word? Depression greater than the 1930's? More like 1873. Check it out.


Slab City

The entrance to Slab City

'salvation monument'

We have heard about Slab City and thought it time we check it out. Of course, we were hoping for much warmer weather, but didn't find it. Pretty cool temperatures and very windy.

So, Slab City is in the middle of the Californian desert and consists of trailers, tents, motorhomes, buses, vans, campers, lean to's, you name it. A person can stay as long as they wish, cost is free. They have their own library, church, and live entertainment every Saturday night.

I'm not sure how many acres Slab City covers, but it is huge. Many of the 'campers' are permanent as is evident from some of the run down, delapitated trailers. There is no electricity, no running water and no sewer dump. So, consequently, everyone has solar panels for their energy and many have brought in large 50 gallon drums for fresh water. I've no idea how they dispose of their 'black water' as we don't see any evidence of that.

In fact, some of the 'campsites' are small communes consisting of three or four buses or RV's. They claim their site by outlining the area with rocks or what have you.

Quite the interesting place. Not for everyone...but, hey, now we can say 'been there, done that.'


Where is the Outrage???

We have been duped by our very own Government, yet we sit idly by and say or do absolutely nothing! What is wrong with the American people?

*Our economy has gone to hell in a handbasket (and going to get worse)
*Our Government has bailed out everyone and their mother with OUR money
*Today, the former Nasdaq Chairman ADMITS to a $50 Billion ponzi scheme..FRAUD
*The Governor of Illinois (D) tried selling Obama's Senate seat
*The auto industry (and Democrats) wants $14Billion...and Bush is going to give it to them,
(with OUR money)
*311 Mortgage companies have gone out of business this year
*23 Banks have gone out of business this year
*Bank of America (whom we've given billions of dollars to) is cutting 30-35 thousand jobs
*Unemployment numbers reached 539,000 in November alone

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....American Idol, Survivor, and Paris Hilton seem to be at the forefront of 'most' Americans minds. We have become a country that makes me ashamed. While Prozac lulls many into a state of complacency, our Government is cutting away at the very backbone of our country.

We have crackheads, meth addicts, and potheads that sit on their lazy asses with their hands out waiting for their next welfare check. Our young people have been seduced by 'reality' shows and video games. The baby boomers are dumbfounded as they wonder where their 401K or retirement fund went. And for all the rest....they are mesmerized by BO (Barack Obama). It is no wonder our politicians/government are able to bleed us to death without as much as a nod of the head. Disgusting.

Wake up people! Where is the outrage? Where is your anger? When are you going to say "ENOUGH!"


Hoover Dam & Vegas

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Fremont Street-Las Vegas

I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted to the blog...a whole month.

We have been, I guess I could say, in Las Vegas almost that entire time. Of course, we stopped in Arizona to visit our daughter in November. It was great seeing her! She loves living in Arizona, loves her job, loves her life....what more could we ask for!

The Hoover Dam is pretty awesome! I wish we would have taken the tour because it is amazing.

Las Vegas turned out to be a much longer stay than we originally anticipated, but was fun none the less. We visited Fremont Street which I always love! So much excitement. The show is always the best! We visited the casinos, won some, then lost it. (Okay, what 'happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas').

So, today we finally left Vegas and are headed east. Temperatures are a bit cooler (actually a lot cooler), but it is December after all.


White Sands in New Mexico

Out of Cloudcroft, NM...what a ride!

We left New Mexico two days ago through Alamogordo and Cloudcroft. Our first stop was in Deming, New Mexico, second stop in Benson, Arizona. We love Arizona!....and felt like we were home as we crossed the border. Hey, ya can't beat Arizona, for the weather, scenery, desert...need I go on? Tomorrow we head in to Phoenix.


A Great Day in San Antonio

Another great day! Lunch on the River Walk...two tamales, two margaritas....then a little shopping for a couple postcards, a couple cigars and on to the local Bath and Body Works store for some more lotion.

Unfortunately, we left the camera at home, so didn't take any pictures today. San Antonio is one of our favorite places, and we do have pictures from our visit two years ago, so it's all good.

Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma

After leaving Michigan, we've been through the above states with a two day stop in Missouri. We've been trying to stick to the 'rules of two'....two days on the road, stop by 2:00 p.m. and stay for two days.

The weather has been warmer the further south we travel. Today it is 82 degrees and feels wonderful. Diesel prices are even cheaper further south. When we started 14 days ago we paid almost $4.00 a gallon, and are now paying $3.21 a gallon, so ya gotta love that!

We always have an idea of our next destination, but don't often stick to the plan. It's so easy to pick an alternate destination for a couple days. There is so much of our country we want to see and feel we've seen so little, despite traveling through so many states.

Where to now? Hmmmm...wherever the sun takes us I guess.


Greenfield Village

Thomas Edison's chair in his laboratory

Thomas Edison laboratory....WOW!

Thomas Edison was a genius...shelves lined
with bottles of every imaginable chemical,
powder, mineral, etc. He hired people to hand
deliver the materials to him so he could keep with
his work.

An original used for transporting farm equipment

The weaving room...fascinating!

Potters at work in the Pottery Barn

Lunch time for this little guy

Inside the Daggett farmhouse. Herbs drying,
apple slices drying...it was so cool!

These women were having a feast of whole
chicken, apple dumplings, cooked cabbage,
apple pie and fresh vegetables all prepared
on an open hearth!

Another view of the kitchen

Noah Webster's Home

Henry Ford's childhood home

Orville Wright's Bicycle Shop

An early Settler's home..walls lined with
newspaper for insulation (click to enlarge)

Daggett Family House


Greenfield Village was just as amazing as the Henry Ford Museum. Our favorite was any and all places related to Thomas Edison. I learned so much about him that I didn't know. He was a brilliant man before his time.

We visited Orville Wright's shop and his home. We saw Noah Webster's retirement home which was huge for its day. Did you know Webster wrote the first dictionary entirely by himself??!!
We saw the cabin that George Washington Carver lived in and a boarding house run by a widow named Sarah Long. The entire experience was like stepping back in time, but most impressive is the fact that the machinery invented and built by these people are still working today.

If you ever make it back to Michigan, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are a 'must see'.....but allow at least two days to see it all.


Henry Ford Museum

We loved the colors in this one of a kind cars

The chair Abe Lincoln sat in when he was

A 1917 Willies Overland

We were impressed with the building itself,
built in 1927.

Holiday Inn Sign IN the Museum!

Here we go...over 7 acres to tour!

An awesome VW Bus from 1959

Wow! (click on photo to enlarge)

The very car JFK was in when he was shot

We spent several hours touring the Henry Ford Museum. What an amazing tour of our country's history. From the pioneer days to the future, a collection of cars, wagons, farm equipment, household appliances, clocks, sewing machines......it is really unbelievable. We took tons of pictures and obviously won't be able to post all of them, so I will post what we felt was really cool...which is hard, because this museum covers over 7 acres of land and houses spectacular original pieces. We traveled back in time and loved it!


Fall Colors In Michigan

View of Lake from our coach


Pretty fall colors

The weather has been beautiful here during our stay. Temperatures in the high 70's to low 80's, but the leaves are dropping off the trees. A perfect autumn in the Great Lakes.

We have been here 3 days visiting my brother in law. It's been good to see him. He looks well and as always, he has a great attitude.

I will post pictures later of our visit to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. We decided after traveling over 2,000 miles to come here we may as well take in some sights.


This Is Really Happening

A little short history for those that keep asking why?
Any mortgage company or bank that participated in Subprime lending and what's called Alt-A loans are feeling the pain. Those loans were made so long as you could fog a mirror. And they beat the hell out of the appraisers to push value. So you ended up with a borrower that could not repay the loan in a over valued home. Perfect set up for a financial storm. So how did this start?

You might say ground zero was with Countywide Mortgage. The CEO Angelo Mozilo (The Don) created the first subprimes loans in 2002 to 2003. They caught on like wild fire. Soon all the mortgage companies and banks wanted in on the action. Even though they knew the loans were dangerous. That's called GREED! To avoid the Feds and Congress from shutting them down, they spread the money over both parties; R & D.. so everyone that supported them got re-elected. Some politicans even got sweethart low cost loans....i.e. Christopher Dodd, Barack Obama.

The biggest problem with these loans is what's called the teaser rate. The loan started out during the first two years with a 2% rate then at year two jumped up to the market rate which would be 6% today. So their mortgage payments easily doubled. You might say these loans became time bombs. As soon as the rate increase hit (Called a reset) they went bad (foreclosure). The first batch that went bad was late 2006 and the biggest batch to reset will be 9/2008. Then comes the next very big batch called Alt-A which is even worse than the Subprime. Those should die out around summer 2010.

The foreclosure fallout from these loans is bringing all the US finincial institutions to their knees. Many will not survie. Only the biggest banks, that the Fed will not let die will survive. It's basically a 1929 all over again.

So why are people pulling their money out of the banks? Mostly panic and fear. You are insured to $100k for an individual account and $200k for a joint account. Many people, especially the Sr Citizens still fear a 1929 depression. Back then the banks closed and never opened again. Our grandparents lost everything. No wonder they do not trust the banks or the Government.

But you must ask yourself...would our Government ever lie to us? Would a bank ever lie to us? Well my answer is.. have you ever heard of WMD (Iraq)? Did you know Indymac Bank said one week before they were taken over they had double the reserves and would not be taken over by the Feds. Did you know Uncle Ben our Federal Reserve Chairman said no banks would fail or be forced to close just last April 2008. I hope this helps.

Fannie, Freddie & IndyMac

Click on the Title...will take you to the list of failing banks.

The Fed has taken over IndyMac and now they are bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

We, as a country, are already in debt up to our eyeballs, so where is the money going to come from to bail out these lenders? Hmmm....the taxpayers. FDIC, Paulson, and Bernanke assure us our money is safe. After all, FDIC insures your money UP TO $100,000.00. But will they really have the funds to cover you and me?

If you believe the mainstream media, then the answer is 'yes'. If you believe your politicians, and the Federal Reserve, again, 'yes'. But, what if they are not telling you the whole story? What if the financial stability of our country is far worse than they lead you to believe?

Due Diligence! Start with the link above, go from there. The warning signs have been staring us in the face for a long time. Unfortunately, the masses have continued with their head in the clouds. Time to wake up?


Down She Goes...The Economy, That Is

Click on the title to read the latest warning

Barclay's warns of a financial storm. Fortis warns of a market crash. Royal Bank of Scotland has made the same warning. And what is the Fed doing? Nothing. Oh yes, and congress went on vacation to enjoy the 4th of July...without doing a thing. They failed to act on the housing package. They failed to act on the energy crisis. C'mon guys....the stock market continues to fall. We are in for a long haul as the world economy teeters. Since the beginning of this year, the Dow is down 14%. The Nasdaq is down 13%. S&P 500 down 13% as well. Guess it's every man for himself, for what it's worth.

People are losing their jobs. Small businesses are closing their doors. Even big stores are closing their doors all across the country...Home Depot, Lane Bryant, Foot Locker, Gap, to name a few. Thousands of people in the midwest have lost their homes and their crops...so we can expect food prices to continue to rise, along with the price of oil.

How 'bout those airlines? Holy cow! They are now charging for your checked bags, soda, window seats, aisle seats, and I just read they are going to be charging frequent flyers a surcharge! Plus, some airlines are not only laying employees off, but they are also cutting flights.

Las Vegas. Wow! Some of the casinos are closing their buffets, because they can't justify the cost anymore.

Latest gas price as of today: Average price per gallon: $4.10. California paying $4.57 per gallon.

Yet, the talking heads continue to keep us in LaLa land with their words of optimism. Do not believe that everything is going to be okay....things are about to get a lot worse.

Hang on....it's going to be a rough ride.


Awesome Day!

We spotted this guy just standing oh so still....

the highlight of the day. A gorgeous fawn on the road!

She was adorable...big ears....little white spots....

BlackJack and Dad checkin' out the jeep

Putting the windshield down


6800' elevation. But what a sight!

Lots of snow runoff everywhere...

And our jeep found some mud!

When we left this morning it was 82 degrees in town. We were headed to the mountains for a little cooler weather and hopefully see some wildlife, run through some mud and maybe even climb a rock or two. When we arrived back in town, several hours later, it was 96 degrees! She's a hot one baby!

The little blue jeep is ready to rock and roll. It's now got a roll cage! We packed a lunch, several bottles of water and BlackJack. He was harnessed and hooked, the jeep locked and loaded, and we were ready for some fun. One quick stop to fill our tank ($4.13/gallon) and grab a bag of ice, and we were heading out of town towards Tampico. The higher in altitude we got, the cooler the temperature, but surprisingly, it was still very warm. I love just getting out on some dirt roads where there is actually scenery to look at, and always the hope of spotting a deer or elk.....or maybe a mountain lion!

Because our jeep is fully open, we get to take in all the wonderful scents of the outdoors! I absolutely love it! Incredibly tall pine trees are everywhere here, so the scent of pine is all around us as we drive. Then we notice a carpet of gorgeous purple low lying flowers mixed in with a cute yellow bloom. But the scent is what I love! I think it's plumeria or gardenia. My husband thinks it's honeysuckle. We both know it is not the purple or the yellow flowers we are seeing, but yet we are not seeing anything else.....only smelling it.... .and it is fantastic!!

Maybe I just haven't been out much lately, and that's why I loved today, but I know that's not it. I have always loved a drive in to the woods, or to the ocean...the smells...the sights....

And the wildlife! Oh my gosh! Like my husband said, the exclamation point of our day was the little baby fawn we spotted right in front of us on the road as we were heading down the mountain. I don't where its mom was, we never saw her....but I am sure she was nearby. That little baby was adorable! Wish I could have gotten better pictures to do it justice.

That was our day today!! BlackJack had a good time, too, but I think we wore him out, because right now he is out like a light.