Category Archives: Justice

Jefferson’s nightmare – American children wake up homeless.

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

And here we are. Hedge Funds are becoming the new, the faceless: Land Lords.

Banks bet that a carpenter, for example, cannot pay on a $350,000 dollar mortgage when the building boom was halted after they, the banks, cut the credit. That is OK for the bank is made whole by loan failure insurance called a CDS or Credit Default Swap. It is called that confusing name ‘swap’ because this insurance cannot be called ‘insurance’, because insurance is regulated. Perhaps the bank gets paid a premium when the carpenter is 90 days late, or perhaps when the carpenter and his family are evicted. The CDS world is not regulated. Anything goes. So if the the CDS premium only pays the bank a hundred grand, that is OK, the bank takes out as many CDSs as it likes, say 40, and gets a big payoff when the carpenter moves out. The CDS world is still unregulated today. Confusing? It is meant to be.

But so sad, there is no one to buy the house at $350,000, or even $200,000. No Problem, the bank has made its money already and did not have to wait for the pesky loan to mature. It now sells the house to a hedge fund for thirty cents on the dollar and voila. The bank is done. No maintenance problems. Next?

I have told this tale simply, for actually there are likely three banks involved, the note holder, the ‘investor’, and the servicer. The servicer is the bank that collects the money every month. The ‘investor’ may not be a bank at all, perhaps the bank gets a pension fund or municipality to put up the money. And you might be right if you have suspicions here…. sometimes the ‘investors’ do not get paid back when the loan fails, hey, I said this was unregulated. But the servicer has made a fine profit.

But wait. Isn’t that funny language? Is ‘servicer’ farm speak? Who is getting serviced?
Well it seems like just about everybody but the servicer is getting serviced. It is unregulated. Foreclosure laws vary from state to state. Bankruptcy laws are constitutionally mandated to be the same everywhere… but not foreclosure. Interesting huh? Anyhow, investors may lose. The house-holding families lose. The neighbors lose. The communities lose. And if small businesses used their houses for collateral as almost all did, then the job environment loses because the businesses have negative collateral.
Also the local governments lose, as taxable properties fall in value, cutting revenue requiring more lay offs. This is called a vicious cycle. But some bankers may get bonuses, and thus can play their part in the costly politics is money game as it selects who ‘represents’ and protects us.

Thomas Jefferson long ago saw America as the land of the yeoman farmer; the independent spirit informed by this beautiful land and concerned with the welfare of his neighbors. For he had seen the White House in Washington D.C. burned, in his lifetime, and had seen the boot of imperial oppression and its effects. Jefferson’s America was composed mostly of farmers who did not need explanation that when a bull mounts a cow in order to make a calf it is called ‘servicing’. And conceptually at least, a bull mounting a cow is so much easier than mounting a hard drive today. How times have changed. And how that fear of Jefferson’s, that American children wake up homeless has come true.

And Jefferson’s nightmare is just in the first act. Who will buy the houses from the hedge funds?

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Patriot Act Charade

Every single person inaugurated into elective office, all people who serve in the military, over six million of them,  swear to protect and defend the constitution.   It is a short document.  The very most important part of it personally, to you, and to me, is the Bill of Rights, without which the thirteen colonies would not have signed on to become the United States; not enough protection.   The most personal part of the Bill of Rights which are the first ten amendments to the constitution is the Fourth Amendment.   It protects You, a person.

The Fourth Amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In short it means you and your stuff are free, unless there is a search warrant signed by a judge with particulars stating where, who and what is to be searched and seized.

That was regretfully obliterated by the ‘lone wolf ‘ provision of the patriot act. The enemy needs no affiliation.   That means is could be you, or me, anybody.

Sorry, they say.   There is no law, The world is a dangerous place and we are here to protect you…. but forget the fourth amendment and all the millions of Americans who swore to protect it, and those who died thinking they were protecting it.

I have been too morose to post this.   I guess you could call it denial, the first stage of grieving.     I have a good carpenter friend who just lost his house.  Oh, and his family.   He got securitized out of his mortgage after eleven years paying on it.  I  feel I am losing my country.  I made the vow as I entered the Navy to protect and defend the constitution.    So did President Obama and all congressmen and senators now serving.  I repeat myself because I cannot believe all these people do not honor their own word.

What nudged me out of my stupor was when Miss USA was driven to tears by the personal violation by a TSA airport frisker.   Flying home through Dallas she had the ‘freedom of choice’ to get radiation from a new high powered airport scanner that virtually undress you and gives an unhealthy dose of radiation, or to be molested by a female TSA frisk specialist.  But that is for another post.

The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act was prewritten when 9-11 happened and was passed with the hysteria of that very dramatic moment, quickly.  It was not deeply considered then, nor by the congress  when it sunsetted a decade later, conveinently, Osama bin Laden had just been killed and a huge trove of intelligence was captured, and what responsible congressman had the political counterwieght to say “Stop Everything, let us discusss the Forth Amendment and the Patriot act.”  Few, the two Oregon Senators  Wyden and Merkley and Udhall from Utah, but not enough.  So the Patriot Act was extended without discussion another four years, fourteen years after September 11th of 2001.      Meanwhile, the population, especially those who travel by air, become habituated to being frisked for….. being in the USA.

And that is the latest from yourconstitution.   Honored, in the breach.

Patriot Act renewal shreds your rights

This from the New York Times:

“The deal to extend the powers(of the Patriot Act) without changes followed negotiations between the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, and Republican leaders including the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and the speaker of the House, John Boehner.  “
  This was over the objection of Judiciary Chair  Senator Patrick Leahy and any civil rights group that has read the constitution, which the  Patriot Act shreds.
If you are happy with wire taps without warrant, and targeted assassinations, among other affronts.   Do Nothing.
If you are offended and recognize your rights are eroded by an act passed in the 2001 as 9-11 hysteria was at its peak..  then write your Senators and Representative. and demand that the Patriot Act  be allowed to sunset, as it was written.
I list the text of the Forth Amendment below to remind you of what many veterans have fought and died to protect, and what our leaders are now signing away: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. “
And what that means is no one can search your stuff, including papers, computer and cellphone without a search warrant stating what they are looking for.
Removing that, and you are subject to a shakedown by anyone with a uniform.
So write!

Elections Niagara, here we come, I can hear the Roar.

Our political stance , before and after this election  is a slow cartoon.

We are a canoe crosswise to the current , upstream from Niagara Falls and half of the paddlers are paddling right, half are paddling left, and our captain is saying right, left, right…..      What is next?

This mid-term election cost Three Billion dollars,one billion more than the last presidential election… which  shouts what we call elections have become auctions.  They are not elections but bribe-a-thons… and why?  Because they Pay.

The elections tell us that people are very unhappy.  They recognize they are getting screwed. Fine.  and yet seemingly are economically ignorant.   We have the largest Republican majority since 1928.  Dear reader of history… what does that portend?  Look up what happened between 1928 and 1938 and you will find The Great Depression.    No offense, but releasing the entrepreneurial spirit when nobody has any money and  what you get is Mexico, not Nirvana.   Except Americans(Yankees), in general are neither as happy nor generous nor as entrepreneurial as our neighbors to the south. (Drug war exploits, which have a US mainspring, to the contrary).         History will not repeat itself, as Mark Twain said… but it will rhyme.       And piking will not change this trend.

Yet there is a definitive reason that catalyzes our current dilemma, which we could call the failure in the experiment in democracy.   The free press has failed the electorate.  It is an amnesia engine.  Why?  We have confused free-gratis with free-liberty.   We expect our news to be free of charge (gratis ) and forget the dictum, he who pays the piper calls the tune.     Billionaires determine the “mainstream” news channels, fund the pundits and we allow them to do so, with newspapers that are shoppers (advertising vehicles) with a prepurchased editorial slant, and No effective investagitive reporting.   Why?       He who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.     The tune is divided government, and thus corporate freedom, paid for by the Koch brothers and the crew that has driven our economic bus over the cliff.  Hello New York.  Hello Hedge Funds.  Hello Insurance, big Pharma and the usual suspects.   On this point FDR and Benito Mussolini agreed: “Corporatism is Fascism”.     Here we are with corporations calling the shots, foreign wars a-breeding with their very predictable profit centers, and domestic population in disarray.

The private equity people are doing just fine though, thank you – they say, for all this 1/4% money.   The economic lingo for our current situation is called the “consolidation phase” of the business cycle.   That is where the agents that have good access to credit (i.e. friends of the money center banks) buy up all the ‘troubled assets’, meaning anybody that is having a tough time in this tough economy.  Are you one of these private equity folks?   I doubt it.  Less than 1% of us are.

The cure in my view is threefold.  a)First we must cure our collective amnesia.  We need a functioning free (liberty) press that is funded by free (liberty) people. We must  rekindle having two ‘newspapers’ in each city, meaning a news gathering organization that is strong enough to fund, support and defend investigative reporters, and those ‘newspapers’ need to be funded by You, Dear Citizen…. not special interests, business interests, or any other none geographic, non-human interest.  And funded by your neighbors as well, with whom you are willing to discuss the events of the day.   This could easily be done with some thoughtful legislation (sic) requiring that one half of your ISP bill be paid to content.  The People must fund the Press from their own pockets.

b) Second we must recall the first three words of the US constitution and make them real:  “We the People”.  It does not begin with we the corporations, we the lawyers, nor even we the supreme court justices.   This government gets its authority from the consent of the governed  and its creations, such as the military, the CIA, the corporations, and the banks are subordinate to that.  Currently we have this upside down.  If you, fellow citizen are willing to lie down and accept that money is speech, and corporations are people, then the Constitution, which all of our military personnel and all federal officials swear to protect and defend, is dead.   It is moribund at this state, you must agree.   I assert, as a veteran and a man in his 65th year that At No Time during my life has the Congress Declared War though the US has initiated some big ones, Viet Nam, Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan  and many smaller ones and it seems on the eve of this election an new one with Yemen.    Yet in order to assert our rights under the constitution, we must effectively communicate as a political community, civilly, and with respect of each other and for the differences that are a natural outcome of human perspective.    We shall either be free(liberty) or oppressed, and the trend is not good.   We will likely be oppressed if one half of the electorate believe the other half are idiots.

and C) We must reclaim our money.   We must recognize, realize, and reclaim the power that comes with the creation of money and make it a community property.  Yes we must haveh checks and balances to be certain it is not abused.  Few understand the archana of the Federal Reserve System with its twelve districts, and many presidents, and boards of directors as well as boards of governers and its firehose of informations and it’s one perminent member of the Open Market Committee.    Yet while its original plan may have been well intended (or not) as a balance of public and private interests in creating our money, the result is five money center banks call the shots.  They make ungodly sums the would make a hedgefund director blush, and with that engage in social control.  They fund the auction/election process lamented at the top of this article as well as funding the empire which instigates the wars also mentioned above.  Electoral funding reform is a downstream solution.  A key to reclaiming our money is exemplified by the bank of North Dakota, a state bank in which the citizens of that state receive the benefits from that money circulated and created in that state.  Your interest write off my make your mind figure that bank money is free to you… but your wallet remembers.  The banks have swallowed up the tax space.  Ellen Hodgson Brown has done a wonderful job of explaining this very subtle, yet powerful way of harnessing for the good, the immense power within the creation of money.   The power of money must, with checks and balances, support the domestic public.  Not empire and the purchase of elections and wars abroad.

Which is worse, bulldozing a graveyard, or building a cultural center?

News or Absurdity; quick, which is it?

Item One: Authorities in Jerusalem bulldozed an Arabic graveyard to make way for a Museum of Tolerance.

Item Two: There is national consternation in the USA that a New York City muslim group wants to build a mosque and cultural center two blocks from ground zero, which some are calling sacred ground.

Item Three: Six hundred retired NFL football players are suing a video game outfit because their football game players resemble them.

Item Four: Nick Merrill, and New York city ISP operator finally broke his silence after being “gagged” by an FBI gag order since 2005. In 2005 he was served with a “National Security Letter” which required him to provide FBI agents with the searches and data on his subscribers, yet with no warrant from a judge provided. What is wrong with that? you say.

It is a violation of the first, fourth and fifth amendments of the Bill of Rights, I say.

The constitution and the Bill of Right is on this site. Can you state, not with names but in simple constitutional language what rights of Nick Merrill were violated? (This is described as the practice of citizenship; and practice makes pretty good.)

I have not been able to comment on the above absurdity…… which is actual news, for the last two days. I cannot find a clown suit loud enough, or a mouth pucker round enough. Please comment and help me out of my dumbfound.

______David

A subtext to this entire site is that for a constitutional country whose document begins with We the People, the People (you) must know the law. It is my lament that The King was replaced by The People, and the People have deferred to the Lawyers. You can state your rights to anyone: lawyer, policeman or judge, and that person must obey. The constitution has replaced the king with You, citizen. The President presides over the Congress (which means ‘to walk upright together’) He presides, he is not king. He took an Oath to preserve and protect the constitution. Only if he forsakes his oath and congress does not obey the ‘king clause’ (Article I, section 8, clause 11) is he then king. I ask: where are we, relative to the king, when the president has assassination powers anywhere on the globe with drones, jackals, and a black budget?

We now have a President who is also a Constitutional scholar. Can we as a People hold him to his scholarship?

Frank-Dud Finance Dance

When is a law not a law?  When it is a bag over your head.

The Financial Regulation Bill.. aka The Frank – Dodd Bill is 2,315 pages requiring 399 rule-makings and 47 studies by yet unconstituted commissions. One familiar with the ways of Washington DC would see this as a tremendous opportunity to lean on lobbyists and the “legal community” to fund the next election cycle.   But fix the financial system: no.

The good part (politically) is the consumer protection agency, although it is housed at the Federal Reserve, is a gesture toward lessening the retail end of getting screwed.   Un-addressed is getting a wholesale screwing, leaving the too big to fail crowd in control… and it is not a big group: Goldman-Sachs, Morgan-Stanley, Bank of America, and Wells-Fargo.
They call the shots, get the money at Zero to 1/4 of one percent interest and loan it out at….5% if you are annointed and the sky is the limit if you are not.  They buy up small banks one after another.

Meanwhile the “high frequency trading” world is un-scathed, with hedge funds trading in the milliseconds. Sorry about your pension being on the down-side of the next ‘flash crash’.

Some wag has mentioned that CEO’s have difficulty relating to stockholders that own their stocks for less than 60 seconds.

A question that arises from this is: What is property?   What is ownership…. when everything is transitory and momentary. It is a grave question that casts light on the shadow banking concept: Hedge Funds, derivatives and all.  When eveything is owned momentarily, as a trading chip, and the ultimate bag man is the taxpayer….. why are we still projecting ownership on the banks?  They Blew It!  We picked up the pieces.  So why do we think the banks own everything?  Perhaps it is habit.   They are the authors of the chain-letter, but neither  are they authors, nor creators of  productive activity.  They have been seen as the permission keepers,  and have been granted the power to create money, via loan creation, which is authorized Not by the Treasury, but by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.  Arrgh.  I am entering the swamp of history.   I cannot here deeply illumine you on this simple but elusive point, namely, that beyond the gold, and silver standard as we have been since FDR and Nixon; money has been created only by the creation of loans and that had been done, not through the US Treasury which only mints coins, but the cartel of the ‘money center’ banks mentioned at the top of this article.      Oh, and the interest to pay on the loans, that is not created, thus our constant need to ‘grow’.  And when loans end (due to default or the loan gets paid off), that money  that was created: ends,  it is un-created..

I confess, I cannot explain the whole financial charade to you in one post, but can recommend a book that can, namely:  Web of Debt, by Ellen Hodgson Brown.   Interestingly written, historic, and a story well told.

Anyhow  we seem to be entranced in the projection of authority, of (phantom) ownership.

How?

It is the banks that own the houses, becaused they borrowed the money from the Federal Reserve system at less than one percent and loaned it out at 5 to 19%, while the builder built it ( at a fraction of the sale cost) and the banks then sell that monthly cash flow to some sucker in the the ‘securitized’ world, perhaps your pension.    OK,  if I say any more  all our brains will hurt.

Let is be said that the Frank-Dodd bill, is not close to law, for nothing is settled within the devils in the details 2000  plus pages, except 399 rule makings yet to make. I would suggest making contact with your senator or representative and say you want a 100 page bill that separates banking from trading, that breaks up banks that are “too big too fail” and thus too big to govern,  and to prohibit derivatives beyond the first degree. (yes, I will explain this later)

Business will not prosper, until the game is unrigged.

Tune in to a subsequent post for insight into the world of derivatives.

Grieving ….

Fact 1.
Ted Glick will be charged in Washington DC with up to three years for displaying a banner in the US Senate building that said: ” Green Jobs Now” and “Get to Work”. He was petitioning the government for a redress of grievances, namely, its inattention to Global Warming.

Fact 2.
The US constitution states: Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (the full text of the First Amendment in which this is found in Exhibit A below)

Fact 3/
Most police work to enforce statutes, which are the laws that usher from the law of the land, the constitution. They are made by the legislature and in theory are in concert with it. Most lawyers argue statutes in court. Almost no one today refers to the constitution out of what some see as perverse custom, very different from the early days of our country. If you Know the constitution, and Know grammar well enough to abstract correctly what is written in Fact 2. above from the full text of the First Amendment below, and can state that to the police…. you have a very good case.

Question: Is the Constitution, which is written in clear English to be obeyed? If not, why not.

Exhibit A.
The full text of the first Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”