Remember When...

you would go to a bank for a loan, the banker would review your info, and offer you a loan that was honest and treated you fairly? No, not me either. I am too young to have ever seen that day. People would open a savings account in a bank. Others would ask for a loan. Banks would use the money from the savings account to fund the loan. The bank would ask a modest interest rate. No deceptive advertising. No 'fine print'. No 'you should have read it before you signed it' as if that washes your hand of your usury.

When the radio and TV is flooded with mortgage firms advertising THEIR interest rate, I knew if was bullshit. And the chia pet "really grows". And Clorox Bleach is good for the environment. Advertisements will lie and deceive to get you to buy the product... We (the U.S.) trusted the banking system too much and thought they were helping us. That makes what you did even more callous as I have previously described. You knew what you were doing!

Berine Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his schemes. What he did was a drop in the bucket compared to the intentional disregard to human civility y'all stood party too when the profits were soaring, the commissions were given, and nobody gave a shit about the people who were going to be affected by the housing bubble you unnaturally inflated beyond Gordon Gekko's imagination.

These are the times I hope there actually is a God. 'Cause your ass would be going to hell. Instead, you will walk away with no punishment. Hopefully, but not probably, your semi-used conscious is slowly eating away at you. No matter how much you tell yourself, you are the one at fault. Read more!


The Fraud Squad

by Howard Goodman

MIAMI -- The sun-seared condominiums along Brickell Avenue stand tall and shiny, but these days they're pockmarked with vacant units, one after the other ⎯ the foreclosed detritus of what was once Boom City.

This part of Florida has seen more than its share of real-estate bubbles over the years and been home to countless schemes, scams, and cons. There's a reason some call it "Fort Frauderdale."

So, no one should be surprised that the mortgage meltdown here presented a plenitude of new opportunities for wrongdoing ⎯ bad actors getting in on the anything-goes market to rake off thousands or millions in profits, inflating property values as if injecting them with steroids, and, when it all imploded, ultimately leaving behind blighted neighborhoods and victims with emptied bank accounts and ruined credit. Not for nothing is the Sunshine State a perennial leader on the mortgage industry's annual Fraud Index.

The surprise is that South Florida is leading the way in cleaning up the toxic real-estate mess.

Last month, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, which gives prosecutors and regulators new tools to crack down on mortgage fraud and predatory lending. Among other things, the new law establishes a National Mortgage Fraud Task Force within the U.S. Justice Department.

The inspiration for this new crime-fighting entity: the economic-crimes division of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Police in Miami-Dade County made fighting mortgage fraud a top priority as early as 2006, when the housing bubble was still expanding. "We had a couple of very smart investigators in economic crimes who'd both been real-estate agents, and they could see it coming," says Glenn Theobald, the police department's chief counsel.

At the time, no state statute even defined mortgage fraud. "It was hard to make a judge see that a crime had been committed," recalls Theobald, a 26-year veteran cop with a weightlifter's build and a law degree. So he drafted a bill, saw it through the Florida Legislature, and in 2007, under the new law, it became a third-degree felony ⎯ later raised to second-degree-to knowingly make a material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission in the mortgage lending process.

Now, if an appraiser falsified a property value to inflate someone's profits, for example, the cops could take action.


With strong backing from Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Police Director Robert Parker, the county formed a mortgage task force, with Theobald at its helm. The unit got started in September 2007 with a staff of five. A year and a half later, the unit's 19 investigators and supervisors have made almost 150 arrests. We're talking cases that rival, in complexity, the painstaking drug-organization takedowns of "The Wire."

Yet, the problem was exploding.

In Miami-Dade County, just 16 suspected mortgage-fraud cases were reported in 2005 and 78 in 2006. They rocketed past 800 in 2007 and topped 1,000 in 2008. (The actual incidence is undoubtedly much higher.)

The foreclosure numbers soared, too.

In 2007, Miami-Dade had 26,391 foreclosures, more than twice the figure for the previous year. In 2008, foreclosures more than doubled again, to 56,656-one for every 32 households.

And that just begins to describe the damage. The inflated real-estate values pushed up property taxes. When the bubble burst, homeowners walked away from their overpriced mortgages and too-high taxes, foreclosures soared, home prices plummeted, buildings and developments were blacklisted by banks. Neighborhoods deteriorated.

At first, Theobald thought that region-wide action was needed, but soon he realized that the same thing was going on from coast to coast. He made dozens of trips to the nation's capital and to points around the country. Last year, Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Democrat from Miami, introduced a bill based on Theobald's idea for a national task force, and the measure was eventually folded into the fraud-enforcement bill that Obama signed last month.

"The bad guys we stop here shouldn't be allowed to move on to Nevada, say, and do the same thing there," Theobald says. "This isn't baseball, there's no three strikes. You're convicted once, you're done."


Kenneth Thomas, a Miami-based banking expert and economist, says all the mortgage fraud is reminiscent of the cocaine-crazed '80s, when banks in South Florida were so besieged by deposits of cash that began weighing piles of bills instead of counting them.

"There wasn't enough law enforcement to handle it," Thomas recalls. "That's how mortgage fraud has become. Law enforcement can't keep up."

Not that the feds aren't trying.

The FBI has been stepping up mortgage-fraud investigations. It has assigned 180 special agents to mortgage fraud, up from 120 in 2007, and last year its Operation Malicious Mortgage brought more than 400 arrests.

"In general, we tend to focus on entire rings of fraudsters that collaborate among each other to commit very egregious crimes in multiple millions of dollars," says William Stern, a senior FBI agent who runs mortgage-fraud investigations out of West Palm Beach.

The approach has nabbed some big prizes. Just last month the local U.S. attorney indicted a married couple and the husband's brother-Garry and Yvonne Souffrant, both 33, and Gamaliel Souffrant, 44-for using Progressive Real Estate of Broward, Inc., "to launder millions of dollars in drug proceeds through an extensive mortgage fraud scheme." They were allegedly using straw buyers to help drug dealers buy homes and luxury cars and pocketing millions in mortgage-loan proceeds for themselves. Convictions could bring sentences of up to 40 years.

That big-case strategy makes it possible to nab the worst players and nail them with heavy prison time. But, as Theobald points out, it also means passing over an awful lot of smaller frauds.

"They're not getting to 98 percent of the cases," he says.

According to the FBI, there were 63,173 reported cases of suspected mortgage fraud nationwide in fiscal 2007 (a 36 percent increase over the previous year), and an additional 28,873 cases through February 2009. Against that deluge, FBI officials say the bureau is working not even 2,000 open cases.


In a simple form of the fraud, someone buys a $200,000 condo, has it fraudulently appraised at $800,000, and sells it to a straw buyer-a person who doesn't intend to live in the condo but whose good credit wins a loan. The first guy pays off the original $200,000 loan, and the two of them split the $600,000 difference. No one pays on the $800,000 mortgage, the condo goes into foreclosure, and a bank is stuck with the bill.

Lots of cases are slicker. "This is a crime that evolves," says Sergeant David Goldberger, an investigator with the Miami-Dade Mortgage Fraud Task Force.

Example: Instead of the condo merely selling for $800,000, add the element of phony paperwork: In a quick pivot, the HUD document that actually goes to the lender falsely shows the sale at $1.6 million to an altogether different buyer. A middleman pockets the difference of the two quick transactions.

Now you've got a fraud that involves a lot of players: a shadowy orchestrator and maybe a dirty title agent, a mortgage broker, an appraiser, and the willing or duped straw buyer.

Good luck sorting it all out. "Sometimes you have to dissect the money trail to the minute," says Perry Pitelli, a detective with the task force.

The fraud is often connected with other types of crime, investigators say. Many schemes, for example, are tied to identity theft. Some of the same players turn up in Medicare fraud or immigrant-smuggling cases.

It can easily take six months to investigate a single case, Theobald says. That's why it's a good idea to tap local and state police departments. "They have the manpower," Theobald says, "but they need the training."

Under the new law, the Attorney General Eric Holder is supposed to help with that by setting up a task force that coordinates law-enforcement efforts in the 10 states with the worst mortgage fraud.

Theobald, who's thrilled to see his work turned into a federal law, says that Holder's staff has been in touch with him.

So the feds want to learn from the locals? "I know," Theobald says. "Isn't it cool?" Read more!

They Had Their Hand In The Trillion Dollar...

Robbery of our Federal Reserve, after they took part in fucking up the whole Capitalistic System; but they deserve more money so these companies can keep them. But it wasn't their fault, it was the American people and their not knowing what they were signing on the dotted line. Because "trusting" the people who offer you a loan that it isn't a scam so one person can get a commission is crazy.

Bankers’ pay soars in attempt to halt exodus

By Patrick Jenkins in London and Francesco Guerrera in New York

Published: June 21 2009 23:31 | Last updated: June 21 2009 23:31

Wall Street names that have been among the most buffeted in recent months – Merrill Lynch, UBS and Citigroup – are hiking pay for their top investment bankers in an attempt to stop an exodus of talent.

Rivals report that poaching the best people from troubled banks has become far trickier. “Since the middle of May it has got far more difficult to get the people we want,” said one senior banker.

Between late 2008 and May, expansionist banks such as Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank had plundered hundreds of senior bankers from those groups that were laid low by the financial crisis, in particular Merrill and UBS.

“I would say UBS and Merrill have each lost 25 per cent of their best people,” said Patrick Field, chairman of London-based financial headhunter Hanover Search.

In spite of the troubled environment, market rates for bankers have been running close to the boom-time highs of two years ago. “In some cases we’ve been paying up to 80 per cent of 2007,” admitted one senior executive at an expanding bank.

But the environment changed four or five weeks ago, bankers say. Partly driven by a need to hold on to good staff – and partly to offset the threat of bonus taxes or caps in the US – UBS, Merrill and Morgan Stanley have all increased their basic pay substantially. Citi now plans to do the same.

According to insiders and rivals, market salary rates for managing directors have jumped from about $250,000 (€180,000) only a few months ago, to closer to $400,000.

As well as base salary hikes, banks are once more offering guaranteed bonuses to staff approached with lucrative offers by rivals. Bank of America, for example, has seen off attempts to poach top Merrill bankers by matching or bettering offers.

Regulators will be concerned – increasing basic pay and guaranteeing bonuses run directly counter to their efforts to push banks towards pay that better reflects long-term performance.

There have also been small signs of the trampled banks scoring coups of their own. Last week UBS hired a new strategy chief, Vesna Nevistic, from Goldman Sachs while last month it took on Rajeev Misra, formerly of Deutsche Bank, as global head of credit. Read more!


Wall Street Isn't Rid of Punk-Ass...

Wannabe Masters of the Universe

The word "greed" is not an accurate description: A man can feel lustful without committing rape. People can be envious without stealing. Similarly, people can be greedy to an extent less than destroying the hopes and dreams of a nation.

We, the United States, have never been anything but a Democracy. You know, "Of the People, By the People and For the People". In recent times, another adjective that might be used to describe the US is Capitalism. We seem to have lost track of the fact that the terms Democracy and Capitalism are not interchangeable. It seems that since the corporate and think tank folks manipulated the government to make laws and foreign pacts, the sociological trends have be escalating toward criticizing, I mean, censoring, anyone who might argue that greed above all else is not good for the US. Further, as a culture, now we idolize these personality traits (Donald Trump, Bill Gates, etc).

The term from Sociology 101 is "internal control." We don't have any. People who can make bunches of money now will do so even if they have to twist their thinking severely to rationalize how it's OK if others suffer as a consequence. And it doesn't help when the government encourages this cultural shift in attitudes and behavior by reducing the external controls (making laws or enforcement more lax, financing and making profitable through incentives activities that can reasonably be expected to have catastrophic failure.)

So, yeah, Bush pushed for everyone to be able to get a house and nobody prevented the variable interest rate, negative amortization catastrophe. But as I recall, both sides of our bipolar political arena thought that was just fine. Also, none of them did anything to curtail the abhorrently exotic and weird business practices in the financial industry.

Worse yet, the folks who seem to have pocketed all the money personally by mastering the norms of the day when the problems were manifesting are not getting punished. In fact, Wall Street Journal readers seem to think that these "really smart people" need to get big bonuses STILL because they are the only talented ones able to get us flying level again... If 1000 Engineers caused way over a Billion dollars in losses from revealing National Security secrets, they would all be shot for treason. But the cost of this current economic disaster is 1000 TIMES worse than the hypothetical Billion dollar scenario. And yet we are going to pay them bonuses?

But it is ACORN's fault. They are a non-profit which operates with money dealing in the millions...Not Billions, but millions. ACORN couldn't even afford one private jet. But ACORN (Rush-Limbaugh-speak for 'blacks') brought down the "perfect" Capitalistic System. Get Real!
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What Has Been Going On With The Economy?

Those who know what they were doing gave out loan after loan to those who they knew couldn't afford said loan. But property values were rising. So they got to drain a family, get the house back, sell it at a higher value, drain that family, re-sell. During the drain process, tack on late fees and 'other' fees in the fine print. When the family stops paying the mortgage, tag their credit for fees and penalties for months before the home is foreclosed. Take debt, package it up, and sell and trade it. Base your entire profit and loss statement on loans. Nothing tangible. Just numbers. A number that can be molded and shaped to show whatever you want. With no regulation, nobody will find out.

Give yourself a bonus for showing such great numbers. Take that bonus money, give money to both Republicans and Democrats, buy your way into more and more influence over laws and policy. Buy yourself some more of your companies stock, watch it rise (unnaturally) while all the while hiding from the pending anvil hanging over your company's head.

Realizing the cycle is about to go from positive to negative, sell that stock before the value tanks, take that profit and give yourself another bonus. Go to those Democrats and Republicans and ask for bailout money, get billions in bailout money, give yourself a bonus, give MORE money to Democrats and Republicans, keep yourself out of jail, keep your job.

Don't lend out money. Just collect all the interest and late fees and overdraw fees and 'other' fees outlined in the fine print of a 'change to your contract agreement' insert which took peoples APR from 15% to 30%, keep the people paying for life. Make a profit, give yourself a bonus, buy your company's stock really cheap, watch it grow, make more money, create shady loans to give to people, make more money, buy more stock, give yourself a bigger bonus. Read more!


Evolution Can Occur in 10 Years

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – How fast can evolution take place? In just a few years, according to a new study on guppies led by UC Riverside's Swanne Gordon, a graduate student in biology.

Gordon and her colleagues studied guppies — small fresh-water fish biologists have studied for long — from the Yarra River, Trinidad. They introduced the guppies into the nearby Damier River, in a section above a barrier waterfall that excluded all predators. The guppies and their descendents also colonized the lower portion of the stream, below the barrier waterfall, that contained natural predators.

Eight years later (less than 30 guppy generations), the researchers found that the guppies in the low-predation environment above the barrier waterfall had adapted to their new environment by producing larger and fewer offspring with each reproductive cycle. No such adaptation was seen in the guppies that colonized the high-predation environment below the barrier waterfall.

"High-predation females invest more resources into current reproduction because a high rate of mortality, driven by predators, means these females may not get another chance to reproduce," explained Gordon, who works in the lab of David Reznick, a professor of biology. "Low-predation females, on the other hand, produce larger embryos because the larger babies are more competitive in the resource-limited environments typical of low-predation sites. Moreover, low-predation females produce fewer embryos not only because they have larger embryos but also because they invest fewer resources in current reproduction."

Study results appear in the July issue of The American Naturalist.

Natural guppy populations can be divided into two basic types. High-predation populations are usually found in the downstream reaches of rivers, where they coexist with predatory fishes that have strong effects on guppy demographics. Low-predation populations are typically found in upstream tributaries above barrier waterfalls, where strong predatory fishes are absent. Researchers have found that this broad contrast in predation regime has driven the evolution of many adaptive differences between the two guppy types in color, morphology, behavior, and life history.

Gordon's research team performed a second experiment to measure how well adapted to survival the new population of guppies were. To this end, they introduced two new sets of guppies, one from a portion of the Yarra River that contained predators and one from a predator-free tributary to the Yarra River into the high-and low-predation environments in the Damier River.

They found that the resident, locally adapted guppies were significantly more likely to survive a four-week time period than the guppies from the two sites on the Yarra River. This was especially true for juveniles. The adapted population of juveniles showed a 54-59 percent increase in survival rate compared to their counterparts from the newly introduced group.

"This shows that adaptive change can improve survival rates after fewer than ten years in a new environment," Gordon said. "It shows, too, that evolution might sometimes influence population dynamics in the face of environmental change." Read more!


FAN-atical FANS

How does a person come to the decision to follow and root for one team over another? What aspects of a team draw the attention of a person's psyche? Is it dependent on the makeup of the team, or the makeup of the fan's mind?

There are three reasons fans root for 'their' team: the team is local, the team was followed by a strong influential adult during the fan's childhood, or the fan is a 'homer'. With each I hold different respect for their team of choice. Local is the most natural reason. An influential adult, who was looked up to by a child, followed a team and the child wanted to emulate that idea as a way of bonding. And the 'homer'... jumping on a team who just won a Championship or liking a team just because they win all the time... just to make themselves feel better... to make themselves feel part of a winner... to compensate for their negative self-image.

Local sports fans are the most natural fans. Before ESPN and the national TV contracts, fans had to read the local paper or go to the games to get their sports intake. It was a way to bond with your neighbors. Entering the local bar, you can jump into almost every conversation since most are dressed in the same team colors, discussing the newest acquisition. Plus you are constantly deluged with the local team propaganda. It is hard to not be a fan of the local team.

Another equally good reason a person likes a certain team is because they knew someone who they admired who rooted for that same team. Most times, this involves a close family member: usually a father or older sibling. Being a fan of the same team was a way to find a common bond, a common passion. Something to bring up into conversation. Something to share. Most people are a fan of something only because they had a parent or a sibling who liked the same thing. It's only natural to want to have that connection.

Then there are the 'homers'. Usually the team is nowhere near the local team. You know them. Didn't care about the team, didn't know anything about the team. Then they win the World Series or Stanley Cup and BAM... they have the jersey and root the loudest so everyone around them knows that they are a fan of that team. Just because your team had a number of years of being successful doesn't mean the real reason you liked them to begin with was because you are a 'homer' and started being a fan of them after a successful season. Usually the 'homer' became a fan of that team during high school or grade school... when the team probably won a Championship.

You can be a fan of one team by one reason and a fan of another team by another reason. In fact, you can be a fan of multiple teams in the same sport based on different reasons. I was a Miami Dolphins fan because my brother was a Miami Dolphins fan. But I was also a Pittsburgh Steelers fan because, growing up, they were a local team. I was never really a fan of other teams, but I liked ones more than others. I had a varying range of preferences, but Miami and Pittsburgh were the two NFL teams I tried to follow.

Over the years, my attention to one or the other shifted. The Mark Malone era of Pittsburgh wasn't the best. The post-Marino era was horrible, with poor decision after poor decision being made by the Dolphin front office. But I didn't know you had to choose one team and one team only in each sport to be a 'fan'. And once you chose that team, you had to be a 'fan' of that team for life. That last sentence sounds like something a 'homer' would say, after the Championship win.

'Homer's are everywhere. They pop up after a team either wins the Championship, or they make a catapult-like jump into the Championship contender stratosphere, either by almost making the finals or losing the finals. Examples can be seen even today.

Before the 2001 NFL season, did you ever notice anyone wearing a New England Patriots jersey? Or even clapping if New England did well? Unless you lived in the Massachusetts area, that answer was no. Now, go to a bar on a NFL Sunday and the Patriots are playing. You will find them. In 15 years, when Brady is gone, if the Patriots are still with winning seasons almost every year, making it far into the playoffs regularly, and winning a few Championships, those same Patriots 'homers' will still be screaming the loudest, claiming "I've been following them forever." But they are in reality just a 'homer' whose team had a lot of success for a lot of years, but you still are a 'homer'.

Before them, the St. Louis Rams. When Kurt Warner was bagging groceries, you didn't see Rams fans. But after the Super Bowl win, Rams fans were everywhere. I'm sure I will see a lot of Cardinals fans this coming NFL season. Again with the Kurt Warner jerseys popping up everywhere.

Chicago Bulls. Jordan. No Bulls fans before Jordan. During Jordan, Bulls fans everywhere. I give the Bulls fans a little break, though. Jordan was the greatest ever. He did things that made your jaw drop. He was a media darling. He was like what Tiger Woods is today: he transcended the sport.

LeBron James has not hit that level, yet. But did you know anyone who was a Cleveland Cavalier fan besides Clevelanders? They were the Washington Generals to the Bulls' Globetrotters.

It's too bad so many 'homer's are so delusional they do not know they are a 'homer'. But if you started liking a team when you were young, after they won the Championship game/series, then you are a 'homer'. So just shut your mouth and root like a regular sports fan. Your not a winner because the team won. You just look more like a loser. Read more!



So What!

Carrie Prejean made waves about the media over her answer to the question on Miss USA about gay marriage.


What the fuck does that have to do with anything? She gave her opinion, and as far as I can tell, we live in a Democratic society where people can say something that others may not like. She answered (paraphrasing), "I am glad I live in a country where people of the same sex can get together, or people of the opposite. But where I come from, and, in turn, what I was brought up to believe, and I still believe, the word 'marriage' should only be equated between a man and a woman."

As a matter of fact, her answer was about what people like Barack Obama say about the gay marriage topic. He doesn't want gay marriage, but civil unions. Carrie seems to have a problem with the 'marriage' term. So, she doesn't speak as well as when she's asked about "what is your one wish", but, come on... she was put on the spot. It's a fucking beauty pageant! Not the Vice-Presidential Debates!

Speaking of potential Vice-Presidents... Sarah Palin has a book deal. She will get good scratch for her book.

So What!

What does that have to do with anything? It will be a propaganda piece, funded by the right (Rupert Murdoch), with the goal of stirring up support for another high office run in 2012. So What? Barack Obama came to national attention through his books, so why shouldn't Sarah Palin? The people who voted for that crazy bitch will buy her book, along with Rush's new book, Bill O's new book, and Skeletor's (Ann Coulter) new book. I won't read the damn thing. If I want slanted information to make the other side look completely non-credible while boasting your side's view I'd watch MSNBC. NBC's east coast studios are located in Rockefeller Center, New York City.

And speaking of New York City... The Obama Administration came under hot water for flying an un-Presidential-fied Air Force One LOW around NEW YORK being followed by a fighter jet for a photograph. What a bonehead move. I thought Dick Cheney's 'Shadow Government' took over and was using fear to gain the hearts and minds of the American people. I saw some cell phone video as the menacing, low flying 747 circled around Manhattan. It was likened to a panicked crowd fleeing a collapsing building or a tidal wave. Then the price tag of that photo-op came out: $300,000.

So What!

Yes, Manhattan was freaked out a little bit. You know what freaks me out more? We are still in Iraq. We are still in Afghanistan. We are still spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. Lets do the math: $10,000,000,000 divided by 30 (days in month) divided by 24 (hours in a day) divided by 60 (minutes in an hour) equals $231,481.48

I repeat that: We spend $231,481.48 every fucking minute in Iraq. So, who the fuck cares about a $300,000 photo-op? If that photo-op is all we have to worry about with our government's excess spending, I would be really happy. That that photo-op is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of dollars our government gives away to corporations.

And speaking of corporations... with the Miss California, Sarah Palin book, and Air Force One photo-op occupying the fake news stories at all hours of the day on cable news networks, the shit I really want discussed go slipping through the cracks.

Instead, we hear about the shit I discussed above. Add on a missing 5 year-old girl, a husband killing his wife, and some other exploited person's life, and important news never makes it's way to the masses.

Since NOBODY discusses what I want to discuss, I'll be brief. I'm sure y'all want to get back to your polarizing topics.

Topic 1: Back in 2003, corporations began lobbying Congress to get low tax rates on overseas earnings. Did you know that for every $1 they spent on lobbying for the tax break, corporations reaped a $220 benefit on their US income taxes, according to three University of Kansas professors. Some 840 firms,including several of today’s bailout babies, including Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch, gained more than $312 billion in tax breaks.

And what about companies that spent more than $1 million on tax lobbying? They did even better... a 24,300% return, the researchers found. In its disclosure statements, Eli Lilly & Co. acknowledged spending $8.52 million in 2003 and 2004 to lobby for the tax break. It reaped more than $2 billion in return.

That is why you will never see the off-shore, Cayman Island tax havens disappear. Too much money is being made and too much money is being spent on Congress for it to be bad for 'business'. When banks, and the likes, have that much control over Congress, the only people who lose out are the average American taxpayer.

And speaking of the average American taxpayer getting screwed...

Issue 2: Today, the U.S. Senate easily turned back an effort to cap interest rates on credit cards at 15%. Introduced by an Independent candidate (which means not a slave to the machine thirsting for corporate money), the Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders only garnered 33 votes, with 60 voting against the bill which will help millions of struggling Americans.

“When banks are charging 30 percent interest rates, they are not making credit available,” said Mr. Sanders, who noted credit unions are limited to 15 percent. “They are engaged in loan-sharking.”

So, when over 1/3 of credit card holders are paying 20% to 40% interest rates, the government was not there for them. A lot of Congressmen got a lot of money today. The loan-sharking continues. With both Democrats and Republicans working in unison to defeat the provision, you can really see which side of good/evil your party of choice is really on. Read more!


Blow It Out Your Twit

Supposedly everybody tweets now. For those who are like me and didn't know what Twitter was until recently...

Twitter is a web site for people who want to send a text message to the whole planet. In case somebody didn't see your status on Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Instant Messenger, or Google Latitude, you can update people you will never meet face-to-face of the most inane musings of a boring daily life.

I guess every cable news channel is on the Twit Kingdom. I always wanted to know what Wolf Blitzer had for lunch. How about put the cell phone down, and report on real news, instead of repeating the same shit over and over again... peppered with reminders of the newscaster's Twitter address. I mean, one week I am watching news, the next week every person on cable news has a twitter address.

And if you want to know what a politician's geeky aid wants you to think the current thoughts are of a Senator, you can get Twitter updates from all the lawmakers. I prefer to look into the eyes of people who lie to me on a daily basis.

How about real Twitter updates from the politicians:

Just met with lobbyists for Exxon... lawsuits should be limited to how much punitive damages should be

Just left $5000/plate luncheon with the banking industry... the food, without even talking about the money, makes me want to bail them out

Corporations need tax loopholes so I can get re-elected

Family is most important when I am back in my hometown... Just fucked my $2000/hr hooker again on the taxpayer dime

How about some 'Tweets' from the past...

Adolph Hitler: Just chillin' in my bunker with my bitch... get back to you shortly

Abraham Lincoln: This play is boring... wife wants to leave, but I think things will get better

Charles Darwin: It's taking me forever to identify all these finches... why do they all look and act different?

George W Bush: I like me some french fried potaters... mmm humm

Karen Carpenter: Can't wait to get home and eat... reminds me I have to get to the pharmacy

Stevie Wonder: nd dlijdf kksk ldifjd.... ldifhg sldkjfi

Amelia Earhart: Where am I? Hope to come across a gas station so I can ask for directions.

Christopher Latham Scholes (pre-1870):

Jesus Christ: Judas is a dick! I'm telling my father! Just wait until he comes back! You'll all pay!

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Which Freaks You Out More?

On a previous post of mine, I embedded a video of an 8 year old child mimicking the ramblings of evangelicals. I say "mimicking" instead of "preaching" because preaching takes a few more years of indoctrination into their parent's superstitions, who were indoctrinated by their parents, who were in turn indoctrinated by their parents, etc.

Now, here is another video of a young child who is probably "mimicking" what his parents believe. This time it's conservatism.

This kid must have parent(s) who listen to Rush Limbaugh. Only Rush could speak for that long without saying anything. Keep that kid away from Oxycontin!

In both instances, we are witnessing the molding of fresh, out of the container for the first time, PLAY-DOH which is the child's mind. And people say that individuals have a free will to decide what they want to believe in. In both instances, and probably many instances where children mimic their parents beliefs like this, the child is behaving and ACTING like this because they have daddy or mommy or daddy and mommy issues. Either one of them was never around during their growing-up phase, or they are starving for the parent(s) attention. Why doesn't mommy/daddy pay as much attention to me as Rush/Preacher?

In both cases, just seeing these two kids recite, at will, ideology without comprehending the meaning to the words they are saying. Just "reciting" what they heard from somebody else. Neither can break down their statements and dissect them into an intelligent analysis, even though their speeches could influence a large population of Americans. They have no real, personal ideology, just an idea of how to say things to make make people think they know what they are talking about. Each kid reminds me of Sarah Palin.

Isn't it funny that both of these indoctrinated children would probably be playing "quid pro quo" with each other in about 15 years? The conservative politician needing the religious vote to stay elected. And the religious one needing relevance through conservative policies to maintain the money in the church basket... the only thing that religion cares about. Read more!


Shouldn't You Worry More About...

all the child fuckin' by priests instead of paranoid delusions that only the most religious of people can fathom?

A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.

“Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president,” Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.

“Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”
Read more!


The Testtube Baby Factory Is On It's Way!

And I don't mean "The Octomom" is on her way back to the fertility clinic. In August, 2001, President George W. Bush had to take a long weekend at his "ranch" in Crawford, Texas, to "think" about how to handle the embryonic stem cell debate. His decision, much like must of his decisions over his tenure as "The Decider," was guided by his born-again Christian, messenger-for-God delusions that the Religious Right has the true interpretation of the Bible.

You may tell from my posts that I am not a religious person. But I am a good person. I don't steal, I don't murder, and I don't intentionally attempt to withhold opportunities on the basis of race, skin color, religion, sexual orientation. I didn't need to live by an old book to teach me not to do that; but, in actuality, the organized religions have stolen, murdered, and are bigoted...and their justification is the old book.

The Right Wing's assault on "Reason" had a commander, George W. Bush. He used the idea that babies are being murdered so the evil, wicked, mad scientists want to cut up babies and suck the goo out of them.

What is the truth? Couples who have undergone in-vitro fertilization and are not in need of the extra embryos can either donate their embryos to another couple, or donate them to science. Most of the embryos are thrown away as medical waste. There are a half-million plus embryos out there. They ARE NOT going to be future white-trash kids, they are just going to be discarded.

The embryos are not getting "killed." They also make outrageous revelations of a near-future Obama (Devil) country where we will start "farming embryos." Wherever the Religious Right needs to go to maintain it's relevance they will go. Maybe they go after Jack Daniels Whiskey for giving many sperm-producing men "Whiskey Dick."

An argument used by the Religious Wackos out there is a group of children, called snowflake babies, born by frozen, would-have-been discarded embryos. "Adopt! Don't use the embryos for science! They can all have loving parents, as long as they are not the same sex!" Here is the thing, there are a 500,000 frozen embryos out there, and there have been only 134 snowflake babies.

500,000 embryos for only 134 successes? How about we take that 500,000 embryos and uses the funding of the American Government to possibly help the millions of suffering, breathing, living, out-of-the-womb humans?

Another argument by the Right Wing is that science has made great advances in the study and treatment using Adult Stem Cells, and Embryonic Stem Cell science is now a "Thing of the Past; with Obama spending too much time on out-dated science." If that spun anymore I'd call it a UFO.

The world's leading research scientists studying the most important diseases and disabilities facing the human race have been begging for the federal funding since Bush shut the door on it's possibility. They made due, and made a few advances on Adult Stem Cells on the very few opportunities Adult Stem Cells are useful. Most involve bone marrow transplantation.

Embryonic Stem Cells, on the other hand, have the ability to become anything the scientist can program it to be. It will open the door to a wide array of treatments for most of biggest diseases affecting mankind, and not to mention some paralyzed people could possible walk.

Could this over-ruling of Obama be the beginning of many moves to bring back sanity to the country? Will this begin the taking back of school boards which in the past has tried to shelve Darwin's truth? Does more of the country see the Religious Right's hubris over the past twenty years and pronounce their influence back to Hell? Read more!


Anteaters in Sweaters....

Where's your god now?
Read more!


The FBI has been warning of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds. When the person that controls a seemingly legitimate business or government agency uses it as a weapon to defraud, that is called "control fraud." Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime ... combined. Control fraud epidemics can arise when financial deregulation, de-supervision, and perverse compensation systems create a criminal-like environment.

So what happened? Did the FBI act upon these findings? Did the Bush Administration act...even minimally? No. Instead, widespread accounting fraud enveloped this country. How So? Don't ask; don't tell. book profits, "earn" bonuses, and closet your losses. Show the good stuff, reward the top, and hide the losses.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

AAA means there is practically no credit risk. Mortgage loan files are so large that they are photographed and stored on computer tapes. If anybody cared to look at these loans they would have seen how toxic these loans were going to be. S&P, the largest of the rating agencies, had an employee who asked to review the nature of these loans to rate the loan. This is the reply to the request by a senior manager:
Any request for loan level tapes is TOTALLY UNREASONABLE!!! Most investors don't have it and can't provide it. [W]e MUST produce a credit estimate. It is your responsibility to provide those credit estimates and your responsibility to devise some method for doing so.
Fraud is the principal credit risk of nonprime mortgage lending. During the time these so-called AAA loans were dispersed, profit margins soared with these lenders. As long as no one gets 'called out' about the frauds being perpetrated, everyone makes money.

Then investment and commercial banks bought these nonprime loans, packaged them, and re-sold them to other banks, all without even looking at these toxic loans. They got their profit, so who cared about oversight.

And now, the banks which hold these subprime loans do not even have the loan files. That means that neither they nor the Treasury know their asset quality. Now the nations largest banks are insolvent. These big banks and the U.S. Treasury don't even know how insolvent they are because they don't even have the loan files!

Another rating agency, Fitch, ended up reviewing a very small sample of these nonprime loans after the secondary market in nonprime loan paper collapsed and nonprime lending ceased. This is what the conclusions are:
Fitch's analysts conducted an independent analysis of these files with the benefit of the full origination and servicing files. The result of the analysis was disconcerting at best, as there was the appearance of fraud or misrepresentation in almost every file.

[F]raud was not only present, but, in most cases, could have been identified with adequate underwriting, quality control and fraud prevention tools prior to the loan funding. Fitch believes that this targeted sampling of files was sufficient to determine that inadequate underwriting controls and, therefore, fraud is a factor in the defaults and losses on recent vintage pools.

What is the point? The point is that these reporting agencies committed fraud by giving false ratings to the securities, which were then sold and resold until everyone had a fuse leading to the timebomb of inevitible defaults. When it went off it set the world on fire. Read more!


This Is Why I Write About It

It's not for the prayer in church on Sunday. This is to let all the realists know that a large number of important politicians and policy makers believe in this fable. I don't know about you, but that fact scare the living shit out of me.

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Know Your Roots

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Happy Birthday, Charles!

Today is the 200th birthday of British naturalist Charles Darwin, who was born on February 12, 1809. Darwin's groundbreaking book, "The Origin of Species," theorizes that species evolve over time through the process of natural selection. Organisms most suited to their environment survive and reproduce, passing on their advantageous traits to offspring. Organisms that cannot compete go extinct.

Pretty simple. Not as COMPLEX as a supernatural force who pulls strings and snaps his finger and "creates" everything. A force which exudes so much force, but never does show his face. And proof of this force's existence has never been scientifically proven... only 'proven' by people who have 'faith' that he is actually there.

Natural Selection, on the other hand, is the BASIS OF MODERN BIOLOGY. So, does every biology book ever written, every college which teaches biology, every scientific discovery based on biology, and every natural process ever in existence which can be explained by Natural Selection fully is a load of HORSESHIT? Or is the supernatural force a load of BULLSHIT?

One side has evidence and witnesses, the other side has hearsay. One side has the entire scientific community (at least the reputable ones, not the likes of the Discovery Institute) who bases it's conclusions on facts that can be proven by modern scientific methods using technology that keeps decreasing the percentage of error of such conclusions, the other side has an old book written by those who used said book to control the masses using fear of death and continuity of the mind for eternity.

Darwin came up with his ideas after studying the different types of finches surviving throughout the Galapagos Islands. The seed-crushing bills of these little songbirds haven't stopped evolving. For example, the medium ground finch recently downsized its beak to exploit small seeds more efficiently after a larger finch arrived on its island and began competing for food. The smaller beaks on the smaller birds allowed them to thrive, while the big birds ate all the big seeds and nearly went extinct.

Here are just a few, as few as one grain of sand in the entire ocean, examples of Natural Selection and Man's impact on other species:

The human preference for large snow lotus plants, which are used in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine, has meant that only the smaller plants go to seed. Hence, the snow lotus is getting smaller.

In another example, scientists have found that human preference for trophy game such as big fish and caribou is driving these species to become smaller and reproduce at younger ages.

A population of tropical butterflies on a South Pacific island evolved resistance to a killer bacteria in the span of a single year. That is a split second in evolutionary time. The bacteria infects females and selectively kills males before they hatch. This reduced male Blue Moon butterflies to just 1 percent of the population. But just 10 generations later – a year's time – males made up nearly 40 percent of the population. Scientists said the rebound is due to the evolution of a so-called suppressor gene that keeps the killer bacteria in check. The butterflies which generated this gene survived, and they procreated.

A toxic toad, introduced in 1936 to wipe out a beetle species wreaking havoc on Australia's sugar cane crop, has become pest itself, evolving longer legs to help it hop across the country at an constantly increasing speed. For their first 20 years in the country, they spread at a pace of 6 miles per year. They now move at about 30 miles per year. Researchers found that the toads leading the cross-country march had legs that were 6 percent longer than those of the stragglers. The added length gives more speed, which permits the long-legged toads to secure the best habitat at the newly conquered terrain.

Flounder, sole, halibut and other flatfish have long been an evolutionary oddity. Both their eyes are on the same side of the head; an adaptation that allows them to lie flat on the ocean bottom while keeping their eyes on the lookout for passing prey. Opponents of evolution said that this could not have evolved gradually, as suggested by Natural Selection. That's because there would be no advantage for an intermediate form. But now, scientists have found those intermediate forms in museum collections. The 50 million-year-old fossils have a partially displaced eye.

Australian lizards, called skinks, are dropping their limbs to become more like snakes. Some skinks have gone 'snake' in just 3.6 million years, relatively fast in evolutionary time. The skinks' lifestyle appears to be driving the change. They spend most of their time navigating through sand or soil. Limbs are not only unnecessary for this, they may be a hindrance.

Humans are rapidly evolving, too. As people adapt to different regions, cultures and diets, they are becoming increasingly different from people elsewhere. For example, Europeans have evolved a tolerance for dairy products into adulthood, whereas people in China and most of Africa have not.

But this, and volumes upon volumes upon volumes of evidence cannot change most American's small un-evolved minds. In a Gallup Poll recently conducted, ONLY 39% of Americans believe in evolution.

As expected, education plays a big role here: 74% of those with post-graduate degrees believe in evolution. That's compared with only 21% of high school grads (or those with less education) who believe in the theory.

And when it comes to those who believe in the "Super Force"? 55% who don't attend church believe in evolution, versus 24% of weekly churchgoers who believe in it.

What would Darwin think of American resistance to Evolution? The De-Evolution of America? Well, he came up with the idea 20 years before he published the book. Also, his wife was a devout religious person, so he withheld the book until he was completely sure it was as perfect as he could convey the theory. I would think Darwin would say, "39% down, maybe 39% more will follow in another 200 years. Hell (the figurative one, not the 'literal' one), it took the church 300 years to accept the FACT that the Earth revolved around Sun."

Go to your public library, pick-up a science book, and read. The more the science books are read, the more the 61% will know about the life on Earth, the only 'life' there is. Read more!


A Cute Portrayer of LIES and DECEITE

From ChristWire.com:

This week, evolutionists went into the dark, backward land of the Africas to abduct a real life monkey. They coerced this poor creature of the jungle into eating an apple on film, using camera work to make it look like a young child enjoying an apple. This propaganda piece is meant to sway your mind into thinking, ‘this is where man evolved from'.

As you should know, man was created approximately 6000 years ago and given dominion over the beasts and plant life of Earth. While evolution works in a point forward basis, all creatures of Earth have their origins in the Garden of Eden, where Adam named them one by one.

Please tell me this site is satire? Please? Read more!

The Super Bowl Was Last Week....

This week is the beginning of "God Bowl".

Read more!

Future Evangelical

Which means he will be a closeted, meth-addicted homosexual who hides behind a wall of anti-gay speeches, who calls all democrats terrorist sympathizers, and who does not follow one christian-taught ideology in his personal life.

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Obama is Not Going To Save Us

Another week goes by, and another week of thousands of jobs being lost. 100,000 jobs lost last week alone. Possibly 4-5 million jobs will be lost this year. Unemployment rates will raise above 9%. The "Recession" will last far into next year; that is what they are saying now (was supposed end mid-2009 by predictions only a few months ago). The Economy will continue to collapse in White Dwarf proportions.

Look at what has happened in Iceland. This is the United States' future. Economic collapse will bring about a political collapse. Currently, there are protests, strikes, and riots in France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland. It is only a matter of time before the "New World" will face the same fate. When things start to go WAY south, and Obama cannot hold back the rising flood waters, the U.S. will sink to an extended period of social chaos.

It will never be the same again for decades. Our children will never have it as good as we have it now. And with the current state of the majority of Americans, that future seems very bleak. There is nothing one or two billion dollars can do to reverse the trend. All it will do is delay the inevitable. The empire is dying, and the economy has been hit with the "kill shot".

How will we deal with this impending doom? Will we cling to the ideas of the 40's and 50's and still consider ourselves a Superpower? Will we still dream of an exciting tomorrow? Or will we look in the mirror and see ourselves in the new light...knowing the new limits of America?

Who will be our future leaders? Sober and rational leaders who will let the people know our new simplistic way of life? Charismatic leaders who crawl out of the muck to fill our heads with visions of grandeur? Will religious leaders try to overtake the massive numbers of citizens living in poverty with old-school "follow God or you will perish" prophecies?

Will we transform our system radically to protect the ordinary man? for the greater good? Or will the corporate state use brutality, surveillance, and our internal security forces to quell all forms of dissent?

What will happen to America's democracy? or, in a more appropriate term, What will happen to the remainder of America's democracy?

When our economy goes bankrupt, totalitarianism will hold complete control, even more than it holds now. This isn't your father's totalitarianism. This isn't the charismatic leader which holds all the power, it is the anonymity of the corporate state who will hold all control. This powerful state will use the American notion to cherish democracy, patriotism and the Constitution while controlling internal levers to subvert and suppress democratic institutions.

This transition of corporate state control is currently running at full speed. American political candidates need to raise huge sums of money to run for the high levels of elected public office. Most of this money comes from corporate funds. These candidates are slaves to the corporate lobbyists who control Washington and every state capital. These lobbyists write the legislation, and write the political speeches which try to get the citizens behind the laws.

The corporate state controls almost all media: Everything we read, watch, or listen. It incorporates a bland uniform opinion and distracts us with gossip politics. The media will keep the masses passive, politically. Citizens will see the two opposing sides bickering over the most inane debates and will change the channel to American Idol.

And here is the rest of it. Read more!