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A Song For Occupy Wall Street

Nathan Shaffer – Come Back America – YouTube

(Something I found on You Tube – You can buy the music and other works by the artist online.)

Sometimes the music has a message.
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When Banks Break the Law, Families Suffer

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We can see from the full article excerpted below that  the banks’ evasion of State recording statutes and poor internal bookkeeping has led many families to disaster.

I have read some bloggers who talk about deadbeat buyers but where are they now when it is obvious that widespread fraud and incompetence were common in the industry for years?

The decision of a family to buy a home is almost always the single most important financial decision of their lives.

Beginning in 2000, that investment became a chip in a Wall Street game of financial speculation. But the industry found that those chips were heavily regulated by law. Not like modern regulations but regulations older than this nation itself. The rules were that property ownership had to carefully recorded, geographically correct and a chain of ownership clearly established. Owning property was considered a critical part in an individual’s life and was protected by the law from injustice.

But this inhibited trading, so the industry created their own system of property transfer (MERS) and we know from the many lawsuits in sloppy or virtually non-existent records keeping to accelerate the process. Today, those injustices have come back to haunt middle class homeowners.

Please read the attached article and get a fell for what economic injustice feels like when the affliction has human face.

James Pilant

Foreclosure From Old Mortgages ‘Most Egregious Manifestation’ Of Broken Housing Market

Diane Thompson, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, says she has defended hundreds of foreclosure cases, and in nearly all of them, the homeowner was not in default. “The record-keeping on the part of the mortgage servicers is not to be trusted.”
The problems grew from a lot of sloppy recordkeeping that began during the housing boom, when Wall Street built a quick-and-dirty back-office operation to process mortgages quickly so lenders could sell as many loans as possible. As the loans were later sold to investors, and then resold around the world, the back office system sidestepped crucial legal procedures.
Now it’s becoming clear just how dysfunctional and, according to several state attorneys general, how fraudulent the whole system was.
Depositions from “affidavit slaves” depict a surreal, assembly-line world in which the banks and their partner firms hired hair stylists, fast-food kids and Wal-Mart floor workers, paying them $10 a day, to pose as bank vice presidents, assistant secretaries and corporate attorneys.

Foreclosure From Old Mortgages ‘Most Egregious Manifestation’ Of Broken Housing Market

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The Banking Industry Gives Obama the Squeeze

President Barack Obama addresses reporters abo...

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Big banks have picked their candidate, and it’s Romney – from McClatchy

“We’ve seen a massive shift from Obama to the Republican candidates on the part of the financial industry,” said Carmen Balber of Consumer Watchdog, a California nonprofit that advocates for taxpayers and consumers. “Obviously, part of that has to do with a competitive primary. But we’ve definitely seen the financial services industry publicly chastise the president for going after financial reform.”

Big banks have picked their candidate, and it’s Romney | McClatchy

Isn’t this sweet? Barack Obama bails out the banks, protects them from prosecution for their crimes, installs banking industry figures in virtually every possible position in the government, pretended that the mortgage crisis wasn’t happening and was careful to give only the most measured criticism of the financial industry and the 1% – and his reward is massive contributions to this likely opponent.

For all of his compromise, for all of his favoritism, for all of his abandonment of the goals of justice and accountability, the President got less than nothing.

This was hardly unpredictable. The dramatic reactions of the wealthy investment to class to Obama’s mile criticism, the weak legislation of Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and the Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrated that Wall Street’s sense of entitlement and worthiness is fragile at the very least.

Only the most slavish devotion, only agreement on every point and only an acceptance of the financial industry as worthy, doing God’s Work, is adequate for the malefactors of great wealth.

The President should have realized this.

James Pilant

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The 1% Hit Back

The knives are out. The corporations, the wealthy and their well paid minions (think of a crowd of Igors in an old Frankenstein movies) are going to portray the Occupy movement as anarchists and Marxists. An even casual reading of the news stories shows that as a lie. Can you find anarchists and Marxist in the movement? Of course you can; the same as you can find Klansmen and Christian Reconstructionists in the Tea Party and the Republican Party.

The question isn’t whether there are unpopular political beliefs in some participants of the movement but do they run it or is their influence the deciding factor in decisions. Neither of those things are true. I have no doubt that the primary motivations of Occupy Wall Street movement is the predominant influence the financial sector has in the government. There are also concerns for the decline of the middle class and the lack of penalties for those on Wall Street who did so much harm to the world economy.

Those are legitimate complaints held by millions of American. Take a look at this poll, this poll or this poll.

Does this new documentary wish to identify millions and millions of Americans as closet Marxists?

The hit job on the movement is expected. All criticism of the 1% is answered immediately, often borderline slander and almost always lies. The crude right wing message machine will say anything to keep Americans divided and powerless.

We can do better.

James Pilant

Right-wing documentary targets Occupy

Citizens United, which specializes in making documentaries with strong right-wing messages, is currently in production for a film about the Occupy movement, a spokesman for the group confirms to Salon.

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Is there Hope for the 99 Percent?, Can Individuals Still Make a Difference in a Nation Dominated by the 1%?

I had the pleasure of reading the article quoted below. It’s written by Erica K. in Open Salon. It’s entitled –

Requiem for the Jerry Springer Nation

(An excerpt from the article) –

Then came the Occupy movement, people from all walks of life banding together for a common cause, with good intentions, fighting for the least of their brothers and sisters, not the wealthiest and slimiest. It filled me and many with hope, and others with disdain, but it was something. A something that spread from Wall Street across the nation and into other parts of the world. Something is better than nothing.

Is there Hope for the 99 Percent?

I, too, have wondered if change was possible. Sometimes, the Obama’s servitude to the great economic interests particularly financial institutions, has driven me to rage. The Democratic and Republican seem interested in the 99% only the most unusual circumstance. Generally speaking, either party can be counted on to be obedient to corporate money.

So, the current political situation is hopeless. It is virtually impossible in most states to find a candidate who has any degree of fidelity to the middle class, the people that actually make America work.

I am a member of the 99%, and I know what to do. It’s been done many times before.

We take over a political party. I don’t care which one.

History shows successful takeovers by Progressives at the turn of the Twentieth century and the liberals in the 1930’s.

Please understand, you don’t influence politicians by editorials and tough words in meetings, you beat them in elections. They have to be humiliated, vilified, driven from electoral politics.

No prisoners.

When some Democratic says the phrase, “What I’m doing is tough for you, but think what the Republicans would do.” That person is an enemy. You dry up his money. You pound him with criticism and ridicule at every turn, and then you beat him at the polls. You knock him down so that he never enters politics again. Every time, a candidate who believes wholeheartedly in defending and restoring the middle class wins, you win. Every time a compromising, corporate dependent candidate with some generally sympathetic views wins, you have suffered a humiliating defeat. If you compromise, you will be sold. Corporate contributions demand that result and they get that result.

For more than three decades, Liberals, Progressives and Unions have voted for the more liberal of the candidates in lock step. The result is that those candidates can ignore their interests moving to the right year by year to pander to corporate interests. Time after time, I hear the phrases, “We have to settle for what we can get, we have to face reality, we can only do what’s possible.” These are the words of compromise and slow, agonizing defeat. And for thirty years, the nation has moved to the right.

The left got what it deserved for its compromised: millions of jobs shifted overseas, workers rights stomped into insignificance, financial interest freed to speculate with public money, tax breaks and subsidies for countless industries, and, last but certainly not least, well organized, well financed attacks on Social Security.  This has been the result of compromising, of settling for what was “possible.”

The Republicans openly declare their fealty to the one percent and the Democrats are so toothless, weak and doctrineless that voting is almost pointless.

Occupy Wall Street has brought me hope. Maybe there is chance that this country can be run by its citizens, not as an oligarchy but as a democracy.

James Pilant

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Federal Judge, Jed S. Rakoff, Tells the SEC to do its Job

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Citigroup Settlement Tossed: Judge Tells SEC To Get It Together

Citigroup as it has so many times is paying a fine without admitting wrongdoing, except this time it didn’t happen. The judge who was expected to solemnly okay the usual nonsense did nothing of the kind. He refused to play the game like a good boy. What’s going to happen now?

The lack of admission was the main reason Jed S. Rakoff, a Clinton-appointed U.S. district judge, said he decided to throw out the settlement. An admission of guilt or innocence is a matter of significant public interest, he said. “The court, and the public, need some knowledge of what the underlying facts are,” wrote Rakoff. “For otherwise, the court becomes a mere handmaiden to a settlement privately negotiated on the basis of unknown facts, while the public is prevented from ever knowing the truth in a matter of obvious importance.”

Citigroup Settlement Tossed: Judge Tells SEC To Get It Together

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Occupy Wall Street – Peace, Unity and Equality

I was reading this little snippet from Rousseau the other day, and couldn’t help but think of Occupy Wall Street although the passage refers to a simple government and the OWS movement is more of a pursuit of a better government, I still believe the passage is relevant.

James Pilant

This is from Rousseau, Book IV, Page 1, first paragraph of The Social Contract.

Phan studied the works of Enlightenment philos...

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As long as a number of men gathered together regard themselves
as a single body, they have only a single will, which
is concerned with the survival and well-being of all of them.
In this case, the state’s machinery is all vigorous and simple
and its rules clear and luminous; there’s no tangle of hidden
agendas; the common good is always obvious, and only good
sense is needed to perceive it. Peace, unity and equality are
enemies of political subtleties. Simple straightforward men
are hard to deceive because of their simplicity; lures and
ingenious excuses don’t work with them—they aren’t even
subtle enough to be dupes! When among the world’s happiest
people we see a group of peasants gathered under an oak

to regulate the state’s affairs, and always acting wisely, can
we help scorning the sophistication of other nations, which
put so much skill and so much mystery into making make
themselves illustrious and wretched?

I’m not the only person to see Rousseau as being applicable to the Occupy Wall Street, there’s a fellow named Jason J. Campbell. His take is based on Rousseau’s A Discourse on Inequality. Please click on the link to see a very thoughtful, intelligent discourse on Occupy Wall Street and it meaning.

Occupy Wall Street and Jean-Jacques Rousseau\’s A Discourse on Inequality.mpg

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Ethics Bob Journeys to Zuccotti Park, Home of Occupy Wall Street

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Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street; Ethics Bob

My buddy, Ethics Bob, has journeyed to the wilds of New York, in particular, the semi-encampment of Zuccotti Park, the home of Occupy Wall Street.

Here’s a little of what he has to say

Zuccotti Park was a friendly place, surprisingly orderly, contrary to expectations from television. People sweeping, others staffing the free food tent, others reading or cheerfully chatting with visitors like me. There was a library, several pet dogs (apparently OWS is dog-, not cat-friendly) and a few baskets seeking donations. I saw lots of American flags and posters, but nothing ugly or much beyond run-of-the-mill progressive political ideas.

That’s been my perception as well, that Occupy Wall Street is replaying elements from previous eras of American Progressivism. Certainly, you can catch glimpses of the Grange, early labor organizers like Samuel Gompers and more than a little Chautauqua.

But there is definitely some new stuff here. These guys are very media savvy and, however, much disdain the fact attracts, the truth is that the Occupy Wall Street Movement is part and parcel of the demonstrations across the Arab World a few months ago. Citizen activism is catchy like the flu. And there is a lot of this flu going around. I expect to see more and more in Europe as their austerity budgets kick in.

Please go to Ethics Bob’s web site. I have provided several links. You should never rely on one paragraph to get the whole sense of his writing.

James Pilant

 

Map of Wall Street and the surrounding streets...Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street « Ethics Bob

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The Telephone Wall

Info from the English WP http://en.wikipedia.o...

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I was watching Gasland, the Josh Fox documentary with my class a few days ago. There were two scenes in the film that struck me. Fox tries to call a gas company for comment and gets the run around, a vigorous spirited run around. It gave off a scent of “We don’t have to tell you little people anything, ever.”

But don’t we get that treatment all the time? We call our bank, we call our computer company, we call the cable company, and we call and we call, and we find ourselves enmeshed in a web of partial answers, refusals, and promises to call back later. I hate promises to call back later, they always come when I’m in the middle of something (like teaching class) or they don’t come at all.

It is certain that some organizations, some companies, have these telephone walls, merely to channel messages or discourage the unnecessary message. However, with the giant corporations in this case the gas companies, these phone walls have a more sinister purpose, that is, to deny the public the interviews, the information that would place the companies in a bad light. After all, there is a strong implication that having lobbied successfully to evade federal regulations, even the most mundane studies, that you are doing something wrong.

Of course, it’s hard to imagine a great corporation accessible without going through a gaggle of public relations minions and the occasional attorney. But we are not yet a complete oligarchy of corporations, corporate clients and a compliant government manipulating a passive, electronically entranced populous, American citizens still have responsibility to other citizens. I happen to believe that when you are a corporate citizen and are building a nation wide infrastructure of gas wells, you have a responsibility to give an occasional interview.

James Pilant

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We are the People – Who the Hell are You? | Crooks and Liars

Occupy Wall Street - Anonymous 2011 Shankbone

Occupy Wall Street has a message and I like it.

James Alan Pilant

You hear that, Herman Cain? It’s against the law to ban mosques in America. You hear that, Christine O’Donnell? It’s against the law to teach creationism in public schools. You hear that, Bill Haslam? It’s against the law to impose curfews in an attempt to stifle the right of the people to peaceably assemble. You hear that, Bank of America? Goldman Sachs? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? We’re done meekly allowing you to rape, plunder and pillage the 99 percent for the benefit of the 1 percent. Can you hear us, all you bought-and-paid-for Republicans and Democrats alike, telling you we’ve had enough from you both, consider this our petition for a redress of grievances.

We are the People – Who the Hell are You? | Crooks and Liars

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