A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client who lost his house in Hurricane Katrina and wanted to rebuild… He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to the parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the Lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply:

(Actual letter):

“Upon review of your letter adjoining your client’s loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.”

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:

(Actual Letter):

“Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S., from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Isabella.

The good queen, Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus ‘ expedition. Now the Pope, as I sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA.

I hope you find God’s original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?”

He got the loan.

☞ This is bogus, but fun.


From Jim Toevs, a friend in Montana:

My next door neighbors here in Hot Springs, Montana, are wonderful folks. They are the quintessential good neighbors, in the best “Old West” sense of the word. We have never shared a meal together, but we have exchanged baked goodies on occasion, and we have an unspoken mutual understanding that we can always count on each other in any kind of an emergency.

They belong to an independent conservative Christian church here in town, but they have never tried to proselyte me, and I know from something the woman said, that they voted for Al Gore in 2000, and this year, they had a big sign for a Democrat State Legislative candidate on their property.

They know that I am gay, but we have never talked politics. However, being a former Christian, myself, I was interested to consider how the Mark Foley and Ted Haggard scandals would affect the Evangelical turnout and their votes in the 2006 General Election.

About a month before the election, I started seeing op-ed pieces by a man I had never heard of, named David Kuo, who had just written a book entitled, Tempting Faith. David Kuo was the number two person in the Faith-Based Initiative Office in the Bush White House, who resigned when he saw the way in which the Bush political apparatus was using Evangelicals for purely political purposes.

After reading a couple of his articles in the press, I decided to buy the book to try to understand the impact it might have on the religious right.

As I read the book, my neighbors kept coming to mind, and yesterday morning, I decided to take a risk, and took the book over to my neighbors. I said that I had found the book interesting, and that I thought they would as well. I only said something very general about it being about the seductive nature of power and politics.

Unbeknownst to me, fifteen minutes after I left their home, their pastor showed up. He saw the book sitting on the kitchen table and exclaimed, “That is a VERY important book! I have a copy, and between the two of us, every member of our congregation is going to read it!”

My neighbor could not wait to call me on the telephone and thank me for the book.

I believe Tempting Faith will break the Conservative Republican hold on many Evangelical Christians.

You may not choose to read the book, but at least Google David Kuo and read some of his recent op-ed pieces.

If Progressives are going to claim the political center, which I believe we must do if we are to build a viable national political movement, it is important to understand that we can no longer assume that Conservative Christians are captives of the Right Wing Republicans.

☞ Kuo’s latest New York Times op-ed.


MM: ‘It’s at Netflix, here. And for what it’s worth, all 48 copies were rented all last weekend at the local Blockbuster near Hartford CT.’


Andy Maltz: ‘Cut the figs in half, grill them until almost black, top with a dab of marscarpone and square of proscuitto. I don’t like figs, but this is incredible!’

☞ I tried this, but couldn’t find the ‘grill’ setting on my microwave and have no idea what marscarpone is, so I just popped the fig into my mouth. Not bad that way either.


Ralph: ‘You should really have given a warning about the Moyers speech at West Point. I frequently read your blog with my first cup of coffee at work and then settle down to my daily tasks. By the time I got to Emily Perez I was nearly weeping with anger and shame and profound sadness. I am now useless at work for at least the next hour.’

☞ From now on: warnings.

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