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2010 October 14 — Why Now?
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The View From Afar

Michael Janda writing at The Drum on the ABC site looks at the US economy: Stimulated but unemployed in the USA

According to figures compiled by Morgan Stanley’s global strategist Gerard Minack in one of his notes to clients, US domestic profits increased by $US420 billion in 2009, while income to everyone else in the United States fell by $US377 billion.

He says this was part of the ‘Great Swap’, where the US government stepped in not only to take bad debts off the balance sheets of many US financial institutions, but also provided stimulus payments that propped up household income and consumer demand despite continued falls in employment and working hours.

Business received all of this money, but didn’t invest it in the economy, they hoarded it. The government stimulus kept them alive, and they used the time to reduce their workforce even further, boosting short-term profits while courting a double-dip recession.

Business doesn’t care. They are all about the current quarter and their individual compensation, not the long-term survival of the US economy. Deflation helps their personal bottom line, so why would they care about anything else?

October 14, 2010   17 Comments

Fair And Balanced

Steven Thomma at McClatchy noticed the trend of “conservatives” rewriting history:

WASHINGTON — The right is rewriting history.

The most ballyhooed effort is under way in Texas, where conservatives have pushed the state school board to rewrite guidelines, downplaying Thomas Jefferson in one high school course, playing up such conservatives as Phyllis Schlafly and the Heritage Foundation and challenging the idea that the Founding Fathers wanted to separate church and state.

The effort reaches far beyond one state, however.

In articles and speeches, on radio and TV, conservatives are working to redefine major turning points and influential figures in American history, often to slam liberals, promote Republicans and reinforce their positions in today’s politics.

The Jamestown settlers? Socialists. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton? Ill-informed professors made up all that bunk about him advocating a strong central government.

Theodore Roosevelt? Another socialist. Franklin D. Roosevelt? Not only did he not end the Great Depression, he also created it.

Joe McCarthy? Liberals lied about him. He was a hero.

If you have an interest in real American history, Kenneth C. Davis at Smithsonian has a four-page article, America’s True History of Religious Tolerance, explaining how nasty we have always been. The real history gives you the information needed to understand why religious tests were specifically excluded by the Constitution, and why religion was covered in the First Amendment to stress the point.

October 14, 2010   Comments Off on Fair And Balanced

Florida Foreclosure Fraud

McClatchy has a feature on two of the people involved in the foreclosure fraud conspiracy in Florida – How 2 civilian sleuths brought foreclosure problems to light

PALM BEACH, Fla. — More than a year before lenders, law firms and document companies began owning up to widespread paperwork problems with their foreclosure filings, Lisa Epstein and Michael Redman already knew that something was wrong — very wrong.

Equal parts agitators, activists and advocates, Redman and Epstein have made their presence felt in Florida and nationally through their respective websites, 4closureFraud.org and foreclosurehamlet.org.

It is a conspiracy, and it involves politicians. As the article points out, two of the actions these people protested were laws being enacted in Tallahassee and then Washington that would have helped to hide the fraud.

It is important to understand that these two people are not lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, or in law enforcement. They are intelligent people who read the documents and immediately noticed they were fraudulent, even though they had no special training in mortgages or real estate law. That should give you an idea of how blatant this has been, and how corrupt the system is that processed these foreclosures.

It is irrelevant that people owe money, if it can’t be determined who the money is owed to, i.e. who has the note. If the person who holds the note isn’t getting the money, the debt isn’t being discharged. There have been cases in Florida where it isn’t clear that the mortgage used in the foreclosure actually existed.

This problem isn’t limited to people with mortgages. The problem is undermining the validity of all land deeds.

October 14, 2010   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Paula – Day 4

Tropical Storm PaulaPosition: 23.1N 81.4W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: East [085°] near 14 mph [22 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 45 mph [ 75 kph].
Wind Gusts: 55 mph [ 90 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 60 miles [ 95 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1002 mb.

Currently about 15 miles [25 km] West of Veradero, Cuba.

The storm is moving inland and continuing to weaken. It has primarily been a rain event on the North side of the storm.

All Warnings and Watches have been canceled.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

October 14, 2010   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Paula – Day 4