Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

There’s more to talk about than elections

Date: 11/15/2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

The elections are decided and “Dancing with the Stars” is winding down. There’s no basketball season and the World Series is over.

What to do? What to do?

What will people talk about? Well, certainly Kim Kardashian is doing her best with her 72-day marriage story, although I imagine she will have to do something else to stay in the gossip headlines.

I can’t help but think how people who rail about same sex unions and the sanctity of marriage could excuse this terrible heterosexual union that was done for television ratings.

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is also doing his best by sputtering out multiple versions of his story about alleged sexual misconduct.

Even President Obama is trying to feed the news void with his candid admission about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hey, we’ve all been there.

So is there real news going on? You’ve got to look for a bit, but there are some conversation tid-bits floating around the ether.

CNBC recently reported on-line that more than 50 percent of American homeowners are “underwater” — meaning the worth of their home is less than the mortgage they are paying.

The story by Diana Olick quoted Mortgage Analyst Mark Hanson: “On US totals, if you figure average house prices use conforming loan balances, then a repeat buyer has to have roughly 10 percent down to buy in addition to the 6 percent Realtor fee to sell. Thus, the effective negative equity target would be 85 percent. You also have to factor in secondary financing, which most measures leave out.

“Based on that, over 50 percent of all mortgaged households in the US are effectively underwater — unable to sell for enough to pay a realtor and put a down payment on a new purchase without coming out of pocket. Because repeat buyers have always carried the market as the foundation, this is why demand has not come back. It’s as if half the potential buyers in America died over a two-year period of time,” he continued.

Serious stuff.

So is a report from Forbes by Gordon Chang that property value sin China are collapsing. One can only wonder how this will trickle down to affect the world’s economy?

Here’s one that surprised me that I found at www.naturalnews.con:

“A comprehensive investigation conducted by Food Safety News (FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores, big box stores, drug stores, and restaurants do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey.

“For the investigation, Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation’s leading melissopalynologists, or experts in identifying pollen in honey, and director of the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, evaluated more than 60 products labeled as ‘honey’ that had been purchased by FSN from ten states and the District of Columbia.

“Bryant found that 76 percent of ‘honey’ samples purchased from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Safeway, and 77 percent of samples purchased from big box chains like Sam's Club and Wal-Mart, did not contain any pollen. Even worse were ‘honey’ samples taken from drug stores like Walgreens and CVS, and fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC, 100 percent of which were found to contain not a trace of pollen.”

Apparently this faux honey is so filtered it’s difficult to tell exactly what it is.

Of course, talking about Kim Kardashian or that Hugh Hefner didn’t like the first batch of Lindsay Lohan’s nude shots for Playboy is a lot safer than contemplating economic issues or the corruption of a pure and natural food.

Hey, agree with me? Disagree? Drop me a line at or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.

Bookmark and Share