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Things that go nuclear in the night -Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, now Fukushima; we’ve been down this road before.

The United States Government deliberately placed approximately 210,000 Armed Forces Personnel in harms way during the Nevada above ground test series

Militarism Is Deeply Entrenched in the American Psycheoath of the horatii

I found this interesting quote from a biography of Mozart-the year is 1786 and Mozart is struggling to survive: This was a difficult time for musicians in Vienna because Austria was at war,

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011 .  .  . .  . . . .  . . . .  . . .  . originally posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:41 PM

    

A recent trip to the Michigan farmland resulted in these shots. Click on the photos to see a full screen version.

I have no financial or personal interests to this fund (the fund buys only U. S. Treasuries) other than a small amount invested-the safest bet around is always U. S. Treasuries. Notice how it has outperformed DJI, S &P and NASDAQ every day for the last three months-also from August 4, 2008 to Nov. 1, 2010. When the markets are crashing, this fund is the place to put any savings you may have.

Independent Panel: EPA Underestimates Atrazine's Cancer Risk:—Atrazine is currently given a safe pass at 3 ppb (3 in one billion parts) by the EPA but safety concerns remain. If there are any doubts about an agents carcinogenic effects, should’t erring on the side of safety be the correct thing to do?

The current findings are consistent with atrazine’s endocrine-disrupting effects in fish, amphibians, and reptiles; the induction of mammary and prostate cancer in laboratory rodents; and correlations between atrazine and similar reproductive cancers in humans. This study highlights the importance of atrazine as a risk factor in endocrine disruption in wildlife and reproductive cancers in laboratory rodents and humans.

[ Atrazine-Induced Aromatase Expression Is SF-1 Dependent: Implications for Endocrine Disruption in Wildlife and Reproductive Cancers in Humans http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1867956/pdf/ehp0115-000720.pdf WuQiang Fan, Toshihiko Yanase, Hidetaka Morinaga, Shigeki Gondo, Taijiro Okabe, Masatoshi Nomura, Tomoko Komatsu, Ken-Ichirou Morohashi, Tyrone B. Hayes, Ryoichi Takayanagi, and Hajime Nawata ]

[From a different study]

Here we reveal that, for freshwater vertebrates, atrazine consistently reduced growth rates, had variable effects on timing of metamorphosis that were often nonmonotonic, elevated locomotor activity, and reduced antipredator behaviors. Amphibian and fish immunity was reliably reduced by ecologically relevant concentrations of atrazine, and this was regularly accompanied by elevated infections. Atrazine exposure induced diverse morphologic gonadal abnormalities in fish and amphibians and was associated with altered gonadal function, such as modified sex hormone production. This suggests that atrazine should be considered an endocrine-disrupting chemical.

[Yet another study concludes Atrazine is doing insidious harm at a very basic genetic level when ingested by animals] Atrazine (ATR) remains a widely used broadleaf herbicide in the United States despite the fact that this s-chlorotriazine has been linked to reproductive abnormalities in fish and amphibians. . . Numerous studies in fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals all suggest that ATR can alter normal endocrine, neuroendocrine and immune responses. . . Taken together, we propose that this pervasive and persistent environmental chemical alters hormone networks via convergence of NR5A activity and cAMP signaling, to potentially disrupt normal endocrine development and function in lower and higher vertebrates. . . Based on our data, we would predict that relatively low doses of ATR might adversely influence normal hormone signaling in young fish. . . . Given the current pervasive use and persistence of ATR in the environment, our findings support environmental concerns that ATR poses a potential risk to the reproductive health of young fish and other wild life. We also suggest that further research is needed to determine how this non-estrogenic EDC influences the mammalian embryonic and adult endocrine system.

Miyuki Suzawa1,2, Holly A. Ingraham1,2* 1 Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America, 2 Department of Physiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America

Canary in the mine shaft analogy-if the fish and amphibians are being killed off and harmed in many different ways by Atrazine, can it really be too soon to make sure it no longer washes into our water sources through cropland run-off?

Poverty, and what constitutes some minimal standard for so called policy makers, is much in the news again and the Obama administration has attempted to face the issue on this while not appearing to turn its back on 40% of America. Why 40%? Scroll into the middle of the page on the link just given-Table 1- and see that the pretax income for the bottom 40% is under $37,400. I’m fairly adept with numbers and an Excel spreadsheet and drew up some numbers based on my own experience in struggling along on the bottom 10% -and due to good fortune -have moved up some beyond that recently. Anyway, here are my minimal numbers based on “two can live cheaper than one;” after one person, each addition to the household ‘costs’only an additional 65% of the original income to keep things at the same level of marginal propensity to save. This is my take on a poverty level income-it will keep the household afloat but it has no future as there is so little room to save-something like $0.02 out of each dollar earned ($20/$1000) after taxes. This is done with pretax numbers. The table labeled‘ Income with a future’ has a marginal savings rate of about $150 per $1000.

survival level
$24,000
One person
$39,600.00 Two people
 $54,000 Three
$64,800 Four
Income with a future
$32,000 One person
$52,800 Two people
 $73,600 Three
$94,400 Four

These are numbers no one in the Main Gutter Press would be willing to talk about as it shows, per the table referenced above (created annually by Emmanuel Saez, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Thomas Piketty), that in reality, about 60% of the country is left behind by the time we reach the paltry survival level for a family of four people. Some of the problems of government definitions and how to correct that have been put together by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Natch, the Obama folks didn't pay much attention to these-again defining a family of four at poverty at $44,000/yr as the CEPR report does will not sit well with the ruling oligarchy who don't want to hear that %40-%60 of the country is living in poverty.


Sunday, November 6, 2011 .  .  . .  . . . .  . . . .  . . .  . originally posted on Sunday, November 6, 2011 19:24

Today's Links

Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter Start with this hip, bouncy page: more than just news on the continuing saga of the financial mess.

Recent history of the Occupy Wall Street movement; background comes from lyrics of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song:

   
  See the original photo by Mark Billiau  

I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
I see bad times today.

There's a good reason OWS has left D. C. behind and gone straight for the jugular vein of American politics-Washington and its leaders-current and past-are irrelevant. They can only posture and stall while keeping the status quo.

The Oakland police are helping out the Occupy Oakland movement, although I really wish they would desist. No doubt the injured War Vet Kayvan Sabehgi does to as today he is in intensive care after being badly thrashed by members of Oakland's finest thugs. This is the second time for such a recent incident in the short history of Occupy Oakland. Meanwhile 100,000 protesters marched.

Greek Leaders Agree on New Government or how the Greek people will be forced to emigrate to find jobs, live without any public life and hunker down for another decade of destitution.

The Reupublican Party has seen its very finest candidates come out to vie for the seat in the Oval Office; Rick Perry is one of the finest I'd say.

Offshoring jobs has been touted as economic or business savy but the reality is that it is costly and ineffecient in serving customers' needs.

CNN is an outpost for corporate spin, we can count on them to bracket the new of OWS in terms that are unfavorable.

Another great Creedence Clearwater Revival song

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a everlovin light on me.

Actually, the link to CCR shows a remix of a popular American folk ballad by Huddie Leadbelly.

According to Folk music historian Alan Lomax as documented in the book Folk Song USA, the Midnight Special was a real train: the Southern Pacific Golden Gate Limited. A traditional Folk song, Leadbelly popularized it upon his release from Sugar Land prison in Texas, where he could hear the Midnight Special come through. In the song, the light of the train gives the inmates hope - if it shines on them they take it as a sign they will soon go free.

Speaking of folk songs, maybe someone should do a remix of ‘ This Land is Your Land’-it should go something like ‘This land Was your land, this land Was my land’

Suprise find of the day-Harry Belafonte Midnight Special w Bob Dylan on Harmonica

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 .  .  . .  . . . .  . . . .  . . .  . originally posted on 11/01/2011 8:03 pm

Links for today

Greek government in chaos with debt deal in doubt

Surprise public vote on debt deal sends Greek government into chaos; world markets shiver

Be sure to read the next to the last line-all I can say is buy into Treasuries and keep lots of emergency supplies in fresh supply. You may need them.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The Greek government teetered and stock markets around the world plummeted Tuesday after a hard-won European plan to save the Greek economy was suddenly thrown into doubt by the prospect of a public vote. One day after Prime Minister George Papandreou stunned Europe by calling for a referendum, the ripples reached from Athens, where some of his own lawmakers rebelled against him, to Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average plunged almost 300 points.
   Papandreou convened his ministers Tuesday night, and a spokesman said the prime minister was sticking to his decision to hold the referendum, which would be the first since Greeks voted to abolish the monarchy in 1974. Papandreou has also called a vote of confidence in his government, to be held midnight Friday.
   "The government is not falling," said Angelos Tolkas, a deputy government spokesman.
   Under a recently amended law, a referendum can be called by presidential decree on issues of grave national concern, if it is proposed by the cabinet and approved by absolute majority in the 300-member parliament.
   With several of his lawmakers rebelling, it was unclear whether Papandreou would have enough support to push the idea through. Although he had not set a specific question or date for the referendum, ministers indicated it would likely be held in January.    
   Papandreou's decision upended a deal that was the product of months of work by European leaders who were trying, sometimes opposed by their own people, to agree the details of a second bailout for Greece and shore up their own economies in the name of saving the euro, the common currency.
   The deal would require banks that hold Greek government bonds to accept 50 percent losses and provide Greece with about $140 billion in rescue loans from European nations and the International Monetary Fund.
   But Greeks have been outraged by repeated rounds of tax increases and salary and pension cuts imposed as the government struggles to meet the conditions of a first, $153 billion bailout the country has been relying on since May 2010. With Greece facing a fourth year of recession next year, unions have held frequent strikes, and protests have often degenerated into riots.
A Greek rejection of the second rescue package could cause bank failures in Europe and perhaps a new recession in Europe, the market for 20 percent of American exports. It could also cause Greece to leave the alliance of 17 nations that use the euro.




`  originally posted on
  Wednesday, October 12, 2011 22::15


 My next link is from five weeks ago but it has importance still today and may have for many weeks to come. I have been following the mortgage securitization mess and so have many bloggers along with Eric Schneiderman-New York State Attorney General.

The top 15 banks in this country, along with their attendant insurers, fellow travelers in the Credit Default market and other following flunkies—all have participated in massive fraud while the Obama Administration stands by on the sidelines:

  1. Mortgagees are pushed into default situations by slapping bogus fees on top of late payments when a payment is late. Subsequent foreclosure is pursued after false promises are made about modifications.
  2. Securitization has not occurred as trusts-who were supposed to have been the actual holder of the paper deed—do not have the actual signed paper deed, the deed has been moved around so many times that several days of searching is needed to locate it. Meanwhile 60% of the moorages are out there with no identifiable deed holder. The mortgage processor is often not the actual deed holder and has no legal standing in court and usually caves when forced to go into the local court to actually show they have the authority to foreclose.
  3. Credit write downs have not occurred as the market has avalanched downward because the mortgage industry wishes to keep Americans in the position of overpaying for their homes. Home values have been dropping at an average of 7% per year for the last four years; therefore every home mortgagee is due a massive credit write down on the principle of their loan. That's $28,000 roughly on $100,000 of value. Many areas of the country have experienced 50-70% drops in real estate values-$50,000 to $70,000 per $100,000.
  4. Your pension fund may have done business with the banks dealing in Mortgages-via the mysterious products known as Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) and Collateralized Debt Obligations. Ask not for whom the mortgage mess implies trouble, it spells trouble for thee. Banks may face financial disaster if asked to place deeds back or buy back those they can't make good-read on.

Why litigation can never resolve MBS put-back crisis

On Wednesday, the bond insurer Syncora filed its latest brief in its three-year-old litigation with Countrywide over $6 billion in Syncora-insured securities backed by Countrywide mortgages. Like its fellow bond insurer MBIA, Syncora was quick to assert claims that Countrywide breached the representations and warranties it made about underlying mortgage loans. Syncora's lawyers at Debevoise & Plimpton sued Countrywide way back in 2009. Since then, according to a Sept. 16 Countrywide brief, Bank of America has spent millions of dollars locating, processing, and producing documents to Syncora. In the first round of discovery, the bank produced 18 million pages on the 114,000 loans underlying the five offerings at issue in the case. After New York state supreme court judge Eileen Bransten ruled that Syncora can rely on a statistical sample of underlying loans and Syncora identified a representative sample of 2000 mortgages, Countrywide ran a second, court-ordered sweep of its files and produced thousands of hard-copy archives on each of those 2000 loans.

Nevertheless, Countrywide and Syncora have only just begun their fight over missing documents in the loan files. Rememer, this particular fight isn't about what the scores of pages in each loan file say about the underwriting on each individual underlying mortgage. This is a fight simply over missing pages. Countrywide and Syncora engaged in full-on briefing and oral argument over which side bears responsibility for identifying the missing documents. Then, after the judge said complete document production was Countrywide's problem and Countrywide found a batch of documents that supposedly filled loan file gaps, Syncora protested that the discovery came too late.

Countrywide believes that Syncora intends to argue that any missing document amounts to a breach of Countrywide's reps and warranties. Syncora's response, filed Wednesday, is unfortunately sealed, although Syncora's final summary judgment brief isn't. Syncora has asked Judge Bransten for a declaratory judgment that it doesn't have to show reps and warranties breaches were responsible for defaults on underlying mortgage loans in order to demand Countrywide buy back the deficient loans. That low standard would make the pending issue of whether a mere missing document amounts to a breach all the more important.

To understand why it's so hard to assemble the underlying loan files, I talked Thursday to the head of mortgage operations at a company that evaluates mortgage loans for both banks and MBS plaintiffs in connection with reps and warranties claims. Typically, he said, his company receives pdf or tif images, either directly from a bank or mortgage originator or from a plaintiff's discovery. Through at least five successive rounds of review, his teams log what's in the files-which average 200-220 pages-and identify what's missing. "It's a mess out there," he said, explaining that at the height of the housing boom, mortgage originators were simultaneously writing loans as fast as they could and switching from paper to electronic recordkeeping. Sometimes the loan files are incomplete because lenders didn't conduct adequate underwriting, he said. More often they're incomplete because of paperwork snafus.

Documents are missing from about one-third of the loan files his teams have reviewed. Typically, his company contacts mortgage lenders to ask them to search for the specific missing information, and usually, he said, the banks find it once they know what they're looking for. Only when his company has done all it can to put together the missing pieces does he check for errors in the files. And then, he said, his group has found an average error rate of 60 percent.

I asked whether it was fair for plaintiffs to foot the bill when his company calls mortgage lenders to ask about missing documents. He agreed that it's not, that banks should be searching for files on their own. "We shouldn't be doing their job for them," he said. "Plaintiffs shouldn't be paying for it."

Let's step back for a second, though, to think about the implications of the sort of effort his company pours into assembling and reviewing individual loan files. Syncora's Countrywide case is relatively small by MBS standards, and the judge overseeing it has approved sampling. There are still 2,000 loan files (comprising at least a dozen documents and scores of pages) at issue. Extend that sampling rate across pending reps and warranties claims, and assume that both sides in each case are doing the sort of re-review my mortgage friend describes. They have to: Depending on how Judge Bransten rules in the Syncora and equally ripe MBIA cases against Countrywide, banks could end up liable for every loan file that's missing a document.

Now imagine that Bank of America's proposed $8.5 billion reps and warranties settlement falls through. And imagine that, as I've predicted, securitization trustees and MBS investors step up their breach of contract demands. We're looking at breathtaking legal fees and costs. If you're a lawyer working on either side of the MBS litigation or a business specializing in re-underwriting mortgage loan files, maybe that's a good thing.

But if you're just someone wondering how the economy can recover with MBS liability looming overhead, it's definitely not. (Reporting by Alison Frankel)

More by Alison on the Mortgage Backed Security mess. -BofA needs to file a motion of draw before checkmate moves it into bankruptcy-or does BofA want bankruptcy?

Bank of America's legal advisers are sort of like those chess masters in the parks of New York City, playing 10 games at the same time. That's how multidimensional BofA's litigation problems are. But the chess guys have it easy compared to the bank's lawyers. BofA isn't sitting across the board from eager yet overmatched amateurs; it's playing equally talented opponents. Even more worrisome, a mistake in one game could have disastrous consequences in all of the others. It's hard to even keep track of all of the nightmare scenarios that Gary Lynch and his outside counsel have to play out before they make their moves.

Another article from the archives but it shows the root of the whole problem with over 60% of the mortgages in this country-that is the number that are inside of the securitization process. The author raises the key question on many people’s minds “Does anyone know where the actual deed is to the millions of homes that are in foreclosure?” Answer-Definitely not! Again, timely article, still relevant from several months ago.

At Bank of America, more incomplete mortgage docs raise more questions

Fortune examined hundreds of foreclosure documents to determine the validity of mortgage securitizations after Bank of America debunked testimony about them last fall. The results raise more questions than they answer.

By Abigail Field, contributor

FORTUNE -- Are Countrywide mortgage-backed securities really mortgage-backed? Do banks even have the legal right to foreclose on certain homes?

These are just a few of the questions raised since the foreclosure crisis revealed shoddy mortgage servicing practices at many of the big banks – practices that have led to countless investigations and lawsuits. Court testimony by a former Countrywide employee added to the intrigue last fall, because she confessed that many loans there weren't properly handled, bringing into doubt the validity of Countrywide's securitization process. Bank of America, which owns Countrywide, quickly silenced the discussion with firm denials.

But Fortune has examined dozens of court records that corroborate the employee's testimony. And if Countrywide's mortgage securitizations systematically failed as it appears they did, Bank of America's potential liability dwarfs its shareholder equity, as the Congressional Oversight Panel points out.

Last November, a decision in a New Jersey bankruptcy case brought to light the testimony of Linda DeMartini, operational team leader for the litigation management department for Bank of America, which intended to prove the bank had the right to foreclose on a debtor's mortgage. Instead, her testimony was key to the judge's ruling that Bank of America (BAC) couldn't foreclose, and along the way DeMartini made two statements that called into question the securitization of Countrywide loans. She testified that Countrywide didn't deliver the notes to the securitization trustee, and that Countrywide notes weren't endorsed except on a case-by-case basis generally long after securitization ostensibly occurred. Both steps are required, in one form or another, under all securitization contracts.

Only the delivery issue was really scrutinized at the time, because without a doubt the failure to deliver the notes would invalidate the securitization. The other issue, failure to endorse the notes, sparked a debate: the American Securitization Forum argues the notes would still have been securitized without endorsement, while Adam Levitin, associate professor of law at Georgetown Law, convincingly argues that they would not have been.

If the securitization failed, a variety of securities fraud charges could follow. Indeed, one investor lawsuit based in part on DeMartini's testimony about endorsements and delivery has already been filed. And investors aren't the only possible pursuers of securities fraud -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating mortgage securitizations by three banks, including Bank of America.

 

 

Thursday, October 13, 2011 19:12

 

So much for free market capitalism: the paragon, the ever so elite, the paper with the so well burnished sheen of respectability in a conservatively defined way, always standing for virtue, individualism, the American Flag including daily genuflections in the direction of Ayn Rand's tomb, the all so mighty Wall Street Journal has been found to be guilty of

NO! Mon Dieu!

Manipulating the numbers about the circulation of their paper. Free market or manipulated market which do you, interested and impartial reader, think is best for the ever so vaunted interests of the precious shareholders and stake holders?. When it comes to modern day business it is always manipulation up the Wazoo River and screw the shareholders, they're asleep anyhow.

Wall Street Journal circulation scam claims senior Murdoch executive

Andrew Langhoff resigns as European publishing chief after exposure of secret channels of cash to help boost sales figures The Wall Street Journal used a controversial scheme to boost its European circulation by allowing sponsors to buy copies in bulk from as little as 1¢.

One of Rupert Murdoch's most senior European executives has resigned following Guardian inquiries about a circulation scam at News Corporation's flagship newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.

The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal's true circulation.

The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities, a move which led some staff to accuse the paper's management of violating journalistic ethics and jeopardising its treasured reputation for editorial quality.

Internal emails and documents suggest the scam was promoted by Andrew Langhoff, the European managing director of the Journal's parent company, Dow Jones and Co, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in July 2007. Langhoff resigned on Tuesday.

The highly controversial activities were organised in London and focused on the Journal's European edition, which circulates in the EU, Russia, and Africa. Senior executives in New York, including Murdoch's right-hand man, Les Hinton, were alerted to the problems last year by an internal whistleblower and apparently chose to take no action. The whistleblower was then made redundant.



 

 

Reading about Elizabeth Warren has led to some interesting information about Barack Obama-if ever you doubted whose side he is on-these links will help you decide. This is is all kicked off by way back in Sept 2009 when Warren tore into Timothy Geithner for his professed ignorance of the exact nature of the TARP funding-it was used to pull the banks up long enough for them to pay 23 billion in bonuses.

Elizabeth Warren has been a constant critic of the Obama administration and their cozy relationship with the Wall Street banks.
Obama Seeks to Win Back Wall St. Cash, the headline says it all about a March 7, 2011 meeting in the Blue Room and later Mr. Obama met with the high hat financiers at Daniels-a four star restaurant, the dining room seats 90 people, wine runs up as much as $7500 a bottle. Mr. Obama is hosting the dinner to we read in an article from Politico, to offset the so called fat cat remark he made two years ago in regards to the billions in bonuses.

If the slipper fits. . . .Meanwhile we had grumbling from the Republicans talking about the ethics of campaigning from the White House on the public dime. Dirty Kettle sees the pot and makes a remark about the filth is what I'd say.

However, this shows that we have reached a new level in the tour to the basement: Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton says:

Now his cheerleading section in the press is quick to defend the president, saying that it is not yet known whether or not these Wall Street execs were expressly pumped for cash. But let’s be real about this. The president, through the DNC, didn’t invite his Wall Street friends over to the White House because he sincerely wanted their advice on the economy. No, the meetings and the president’s follow-up phone calls to those who could not attend had one purpose: To make his fundraising pitch. Even the liberal New York Times sees that.

And if I’ve learned one thing about how Washington politicians operate, it is this: When politicians operate in secret, their intentions are less than upstanding. There is a reason why this meeting was conveniently “left off” Obama’s public schedule.

Of course the Obama administration could erase all doubts about its intentions simply by keeping its promises on transparency. But this would require a major change in attitude and policy. Despite its protestations to the contrary, this administration remains secretive and hostile to the open records process, especially as it relates to the White House visitor logs

Of course the Obama administration could erase all doubts about its intentions simply by keeping its promises on transparency. But this would require a major change in attitude and policy. Despite its protestations to the contrary, this administration remains secretive and hostile to the open records process, especially as it relates to the White House visitor logs. (See my recent congressional testimony on this point here.)

When he last ran for office, Barack Obama promised to rid the White House of special interests and lobbyists. Now he’s inviting them over for secret visits while withholding key records on who visits the White House and for what purpose.

But whatever details regarding these White House Wall Street meetings that remain obscured, this much we do know. Obama’s top fundraiser's are rewarded with some pretty sweet jobs.

Again according to Politico:

More than two years after Obama took office vowing to banish “special interests” from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events, an investigation by iWatch News has found.

Carney’s response? The individuals hired by the Obama White House were highly qualified and just “happened to be donors.” Politico, highlighting reporting done by the Center for Public Integrity, reported that “80 percent of ‘bundlers’ who raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s campaign were given key administration posts.” That’s a pretty high rate of coincidence, wouldn’t you say?

Read the rest of the article that shows Warren is not the oh so great heroine of consumer affairs as some have portrayed her.

 

 

`  originally posted on
  Sunday, October 9, 2011 13:15

I discovered this statement made by Ben Franklin as he stood before the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. It merits a very close reading as it is relevant for today's discussions on reoccupying our country.

Mr. President

I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said “I don’t know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself, that’s always in the right — Il n’y a que moi qui a toujours raison.”

In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partizans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects & great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among foreign Nations as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength & efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends, on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of the Government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress & confirmed by the Conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts & endeavors to the means of having it well administred.

On the whole, Sir, I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.

 

 

Why the #OccupyWallStreet movement is no fan of the Obama administration

`  originally posted on
  Friday, October 7, 2011 20:35

Read the full link to discover reasons why most Obama supporters are giving the Occupy Wall Street movement a pass, as their leader did. They are not really taking it seriously. I’ll let the website, NakedCapitalism.com and the blogger, Yves Smith, carry the rest of the load here on this subject of fraud in the financial system and how the Obama administration is catering to the paymasters there. Prosecutions could have been followed up on after a few initial failures to land hard sentences for the persps. Instead the Obama gang administration has taken to murmuring platitudes like the latest bit about loopholes. Going forward I will focus on the loss of freedoms and the link with that to increases in economic inequality. One does not have to read very far into Yves' postings to find out that we have had a massive snow job worked on us about the fraud in the banking industry. The settlement -so called-that is being worked by the 50 state attorney generals is just another step to cover up the fraud that is rampant in the financial sector along with the subsequent cozy relationship Mr. Obama has with his campaign finance support on Wall Street.



The organizers of Occupy Wall Street movement have placed a mission statement on their web site. I have posted a criticism there.

The generic 'they' should be removed from all statements. The use of the general pronoun is vague and accusatory in a broad based fashion that opens the door to bigotry. 'If only they would. . . ' or ' They are incapable of . . . ' were terms used by racists; it is akin to 'You people need to . . .' and can come off very badly when trying to speak to a larger audience.

Specifically, Exxon-Mobil and BP are responsible for more oil spills than any other company, many enterprises on Wall Street are in favor of placing controls on the oil producers. Bank of America is the largest perpetrator of mortgage fraud and should be named instead of trying to cover them with the generic 'they'

Name the perps by their real names instead of using the generic 'they'.
If this suggestion is not taken seriously, the future of this movement will be impeded as the current statement appears too sophomoric in tone. I am certain there are those in the movement with the skills available to write a more clearly focused and nuance statement.

 

This statement is admirable and has a sister page at OccupyWallStreet.org

A good criticism of these demands, statements, hopes, fears is on Huffington Post.org. My own criticism is to follow but only after I address the twin questions of ‘How will all of these demands be paid for and secondly, how will they be implemented?’ Screenplay, these two mountain peaks and the valley of opportunity or failure that lies between them present the potential trap into which the movement will fall and flounder on. However, perhaps the movement leaders are purposefully waiting to let that trap turn into potentiality for another movement.

How the major banks have subverted the rule of law; through Mortgage processing that has and still does involve fraud and deceit. The hidden trap door here is Mortgage Securitization; it is a failed process for major investors because these are empty investments. The legal requirements of transferring titles and recording those transfers in the county or origins's deed registry has not been a routine procedure as the law requires. This was done in an urge to hastily place deals together and to avoid recorder's fees.

Mortgage processing involved fraud and deceit

BofA May Face Fraud Claims for Soured Loans

Hugh Son, Dawn Kopecki and Donal Griffin, On Wednesday October 5, 2011, 11:01 am EDT
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) should face fraud proceedings after its Countrywide unit submitted faulty data to back up claims for reimbursement on federally insured mortgages, according to an audit by a U.S. watchdog.
Half of 14 loans reviewed had “material underwriting deficiencies” concerning borrowers that resulted in more than $720,000 in losses, according to a Sept. 30 report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general. Kelly Anderson, a HUD regional inspector general, recommended the agency pursue legal remedies against Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, the biggest U.S. lender.
“Countrywide did not properly verify, analyze, or support borrowers’ employment and income, source of funds to close, liabilities and credit information,” Kelly wrote in the audit. “This noncompliance occurred because Countrywide’s underwriters did not exercise due diligence in underwriting the loans.”
The Federal Housing Administration, run by HUD, insures mortgages on loans to borrowers who can’t find traditional financing, such as those with low incomes. Lenders can ask the FHA to cover losses if borrowers default. The agency has stepped up scrutiny of those claims, and denials could be the next wave of expenses tied to faulty mortgages for lenders including Bank of America, FBR Capital Markets Corp. said on Oct. 3.

Background to ingrediants for course of action leading to real change

As many have discussed, the Occupy Wall Street movement has no real cohesive statement about prescription for change-banking fraud results in millions of illegal foreclosures-but what can be done about this? How will the current regime of power moguls with the close ties to elected seats in Washington, be ousted from power? Once these bandito style power brokers are taken down:
how will our financial system look; how will it run; where will our money system fit in to newly structured system. However, currently the themes of wealth vs poverty are skewing a correct intreptation of the failure of the American system-for first we had a steady erosion of basic rights that had been established during the days of the Republic. This loss of individual freedoms, civil liberties, right to privacy, all of these were stripped from us first before the plundering of our treasury began in earnest by the ever changing, many faced monster of croney capitalism.

But looking back at all revolutions as they emerge into a certain stage of success (more on this later) we see strong leaders emerge who act, unwillingly (George Washington ) or over eager-(Napoleon Bonaparte) who focus the energies of the movement.