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?

The Grand Recession

Let us call this crisis that commenced in September of 2008 the “Grand Recession” for this is when the kids move back in with the grand parents.

In my opinion, the nuclear family as almost no one seems to notice, was a post 1945 invention. Wha? you say. True, for before 1945 only Los Alamos fellows were mouthing the term nuclear, for only they and a few physics geeks knew of the term. And no one used that term to refer to family. Yes the terms nuclear and nucleus were around, the second used in biology, the first in a very rare (still) corner of physics.
But after 1945 with the atomic bomb the cat was out of the bag; Bigtime. After that even sociologists began to use the term.

Funny question- what was the family unit without grandparents called prior to the 3 networks, Ozzy and Harriet, Father Knows Best, and Leave It to Beaver? Never had society had such a unifying force as Television and never that I know of has there been such conformity as during the 1950’s in America. A huge pulse of wealth, with everyone getting appliances and televisions and new cars…. and they were able to start a new home without family help. How often has that happened in history?

Well yes, we had the homestead act, where a family could obtain 160 acres early on by establishing a claim, but that was not easy. Only about 40% of those who tried succeeded. It was not easy for ma, paw, and the kids to make a go of it all by themselves. Tough work plus one needed experience, a three generation family had a much better chance. In the end, only about 10% of US land was homesteaded. Like military spending today, in times past the lions share of riches went to well connected corporations, foremost among those were the railroads.

Thus as we industrialized, urbanized and suburbanized after WWII it was easy and common to create a nuclear family. We had the middle class. But in the 50’s and 60’s middle class was an economic term, now it is a political term.

Have you noted that as time passed, only fogies and those graying baby boomers watch the boob tube. The young and mobile use their mobile device or laptop. The internet maps for the current generation what TV mapped for the boomers, and only when the recession pushes them together do they realize their media incompatibility.

So we are in the grand recession and will not lift ourselves out of it until we realize that out political, economic and media formats no longer map what is.

The News Shadow

Ever wonder what is really happening? When the US spends millions of dollars and months of diplomatic time to fly the Secretaries of State and Treasury to China and have all the coverage about a blind man?

Or to send the President to the Latin American Summit to discuss the failed US drug war policy that all the latin leaders want to end…. and have all the coverage about secret service men rooking hookers?

The PR pros call it distraction. We News Readers call it the News Shadow.

How do you get around it? You read the foreign news. Best in the local language, but here at least is the China story that is hidden:

CHINA denied that the yuan is undervalued and pressed Washington to ease controls on exports of high-tech goods on the first day of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged China to let the currency strengthen and open its markets wider.

However, Trade Minister Chen Deming denied the yuan was undervalued and pointed to China’s shrinking global trade surplus. China reported a US$5.3 billion surplus in March, down from a monthly level of at least US$15 billion for most of 2011.

“Given that China’s global trade is basically balanced while running a surplus with the US shows that the exchange rate plays a minimal role in trade,” Chen told reporters.

Geithner urged further appreciation of the yuan while acknowledging China’s plan to overhaul its financial system to increase support for private enterprise and reduce special treatment for state-owned companies.

“The United States has a strong interest in the success of these reforms,” he said.

“A stronger, more market-determined currency would reinforce China’s reform objectives of moving to higher value-added production, reforming the financial system and encouraging domestic demand,” he said.

The yuan has gained more than 13 percent over the past two years since China announced an acceleration of exchange rate reform. With the yuan standing at around 6.3 against the dollar, Chinese authorities said earlier that the yuan had approached a relatively fair value.

from:
http://english.eastday.com/e/120504/u1a6531142.html

In other words, the Chinese have granted a strengthening of their currency, as requested agains ours, but Timothy Geithner says that is not fast enough. Now. What kind of headline would that make?

Thus our News Shadow is covering domestically what the world at large is learning. Whenever there is a big story that is inane and goes on incessantly, such as the OJ Simpson story, or ‘baby Jessica’, or any of Michael Jackson’s, Elizabeth Taylor’s or uncountable celebrity’s stories, one must ask, ‘What is being hidden behind this screen?’: The News Shadow.

It is my opinion that still too few of us realize the depth of propaganda in which we are immersed. The way out of it is so simple, yet requires collective action. We must fund the free press by free citizens. This is not free: gratis. If free individuals pay for more than 60% of the press, whatever it is, that press is free to investigate where the facts lead. If commercial interests pay for more than 50% of a publication of media source, it limits the realm of coverage. The old saw: ‘Do not bite the hand that feeds.’ is ever true. It may not be formal commercial censorship… the simple common sense of an editor wishing to keep his or her job and please the employer is all that is required.

No offense to blind Chen Chuangchen, Michael Jackson, or the news splash personality of the moment. Independent of their plight, they are, and have been used by forces far bigger than they. It will tend to border upon some wedge issue of the moment; that emotion makes it all the more effective distraction.

Today, as flagged by the News Shadow, one can tell when events are drawing toward some item that requires veiling. So consider it a hint when the news is especially vapid. Or is the wedge is an issue that enflames your emotions, especially infuriating.

The Cheating Culture

The Cheating Culture is a website and book by David Callahan, and the following podcast outlays the depth of of the Kim Chee

download the Cheating Culture podcast

General Strip-Search, are you secure?

I encountered two young veterans last week, as hot about the current violation of national security as I am.  They too remember taking the oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States.  In all sobriety, I suggest the Supreme Court is forgetting that oath.   Last week’s news provides an example.

The Supreme Court rendered a judgement  in Florence v Burlington that it is OK to strip-search a person if they find themselves in prison, even if by mistake.   The Supreme Court decided that prison regulations trump the constitution in the above case, of a black man who was riding as a passenger in his wife’s BMW and the police  computer erroneously said he had a warrant out for his arrest, when he had already paid the traffic fine.

The judgement is pertinent in the context of the Occupy movement this spring  with many people seeking to assemble and petition their government for redress of grievances.   Those people are being intimidated by the law that they may be strip searched for engaging their first amendment rights.

The fourth amendment,  is explicit: “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.”

It guarantees the right of someone, anyone, to be secure “in their person” from search unless served with a search warrant, signed by a judge naming whom is to be searched, and for what particular things, and stating the probable cause.  The founders included this to prohibit mass intimidation by any agency of law.   I pray you can get this very meaning from the words of the fourth amendment quoted above.  I hope you can commit those words to memory.  It could save you.

I believe that We the People can put these things together; we stand up to the Supreme Court and say:  “Black is not White!”    The people are not secure if they can be strip-searched for whimsy, or by mistake, and without probable cause.   The fourth amendment says as much!

I write this because I want people,  We the People, who give consent and tax money to be governed, to indeed be governed according to law of the land, the constitution as Article VI states.  (Not the law of some institution, be it the Burlington prison or the park service).  I write this so that we can know, and state our rights.   For if we do not stand up for them, they will go away…. as they seem to be doing, with judicial sanction before our eyes.

I refer you to the previous post if you have not read it.  It concerns the legal case, again before the Supreme Court in which President Obama wants a brand new power to be granted to the government, namely to compel people to make a purchase from a private company.    For one to read and understand the constitution, this seems an open and shut case, an argument I made.  But if we all sit back and expect the “experts” to decide, we are going the way of the Reichstag in the 1930’s.   The Germans are not, nor were they, a flippant people.  But by relinquishing their authority to the ‘experts’ they succumbed to a very dark leadership.

Hence, I ask that you write your paper, your Senator and mention to your friends the document that was begun with the words We,  is being countermanded by justices who took an oath to protect it.

The Law in Plain English, The Tenth Amendment and Obama's Health Care Case

Is the health insurance mandate constitutional?

‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’

____ Tenth Amendment.     The US Constitution is clear as crystal.

I know the constitution, you may not; so let me simply explain: Health is not mentioned once and commerce only twice in the entire constitution, and each time it is about regulating commerce…  not mandating it.

If the Supreme Court were doing its job, it would have said as much.

Best to recall the words of Benjamin Franklin:    “A countryman between two lawyers, is like a fish between two cats.”

…and that, my fellow countrymen, is all there is.  The constitution does not compel purchases; nor will it.

The Business Model

I am with with the many who agree that to make money off of sick people is immoral.  To profit from sickness is itself sick.  You can make a living serving the sick, but not a killing.  That is our current format, called the business model.   Most counties including the 40 or more that are listed as better than ours in health care results, provide health care on the service model, not the business model.   You can seek out this information by searching ‘health care’ and OECD,  or  WHO.

The Service Model 

Providing health care on the service model in contrast to  the current business model would cut costs nearly in half.   What looks to you and me as cost centers if we are patients, are seen as profit centers, or at least competitive overhead by the health care business.   Look at what profit/cost centers would simply go away if we decided to select the service model for our health care:  Insurance profit, insurance marketing, large secretarial  and legal staff’s to deal with insurance denial/compliance/appeal/judgement and malpractice.  The equally huge secretarial offices in every medical clinic.  Gone would be pharmaceutical marketing and huge patent premiums that result from the intent to make money more than saving lives. Universities and foundations would still do research.  The motive would be to save lives though, not to ‘make a killing’.  The main thing that would be removed is the confusion of having all these systems, and the errors bread of that confusion.  Getting personal; the time lost  from this bureaucratic confusion, harms the patients physically, in my opinion, even worse than the costs which are humungous.  These costs are making the US uncompetitive on the world market.  Why?   Nearly twenty cents of every dollar we spend goes into this grinder.    This change would put nearly a dime into your pocket for every dollar spent.

In short, the health mandate is unconstitutional on its face.  The business model for health care is uncompetitive and morally corrupting and that expense cannot be ignored for it prices us out of the world market.   Thus we ought to put our health care on the service model.

The Law in Plain English, The Tenth Amendment and Obama’s Health Care Case

Is the health insurance mandate constitutional?

‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’

____ Tenth Amendment.     The US Constitution is clear as crystal.

I know the constitution, you may not; so let me simply explain: Health is not mentioned once and commerce only twice in the entire constitution, and each time it is about regulating commerce…  not mandating it.

If the Supreme Court were doing its job, it would have said as much.

Best to recall the words of Benjamin Franklin:    “A countryman between two lawyers, is like a fish between two cats.”

…and that, my fellow countrymen, is all there is.  The constitution does not compel purchases; nor will it.

The Business Model

I am with with the many who agree that to make money off of sick people is immoral.  To profit from sickness is itself sick.  You can make a living serving the sick, but not a killing.  That is our current format, called the business model.   Most counties including the 40 or more that are listed as better than ours in health care results, provide health care on the service model, not the business model.   You can seek out this information by searching ‘health care’ and OECD,  or  WHO.

The Service Model 

Providing health care on the service model in contrast to  the current business model would cut costs nearly in half.   What looks to you and me as cost centers if we are patients, are seen as profit centers, or at least competitive overhead by the health care business.   Look at what profit/cost centers would simply go away if we decided to select the service model for our health care:  Insurance profit, insurance marketing, large secretarial  and legal staff’s to deal with insurance denial/compliance/appeal/judgement and malpractice.  The equally huge secretarial offices in every medical clinic.  Gone would be pharmaceutical marketing and huge patent premiums that result from the intent to make money more than saving lives. Universities and foundations would still do research.  The motive would be to save lives though, not to ‘make a killing’.  The main thing that would be removed is the confusion of having all these systems, and the errors bread of that confusion.  Getting personal; the time lost  from this bureaucratic confusion, harms the patients physically, in my opinion, even worse than the costs which are humungous.  These costs are making the US uncompetitive on the world market.  Why?   Nearly twenty cents of every dollar we spend goes into this grinder.    This change would put nearly a dime into your pocket for every dollar spent.

In short, the health mandate is unconstitutional on its face.  The business model for health care is uncompetitive and morally corrupting and that expense cannot be ignored for it prices us out of the world market.   Thus we ought to put our health care on the service model.