Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why I No Longer Identify as a "Progressive"

Reading Gabriel Kolko's vastly underrated, groundbreaking book "The Triumph of Conservatism" is one reason I no longer identify as a progressive or a leftist. Kolko shows without a doubt how the so-called Progressive movement of the e...arly 20th century was hijacked and co-opted by big business from the very start. Big business wanted the FDA and other regulatory agencies in place so they could use them to drive out smaller competitors. They also knew that they could control the regulators so that they could violate the regulations with impunity while using them to bludgeon their competition. This is the huge blind spot of liberals/progressives. Government is not the answer, because government will always be nothing more than a tool and plaything of the elites.
The "good guys" of this era were the Populists.  The Progressives were  in favor of the emerging corporate state. The Populists were prescient in recognizing the evils of corporatism and fought against it tooth and nail.  It's a shame that they weren't successful.

Words of a Great American

"The reaction to Oath Keepers by the media is a sad testament of the lack of understanding of the simple legal obligation to refuse unlawful orders, and a testament to how ignorant Americans are of recent human history. It is also a sad reflection of the cynical cycle of American politics where each of the two major parties, when out of power, suddenly rediscovers the Constitution, but when back in power, they forget all about it and label anyone who simply quotes the Founding Fathers as "terrorists" or "traitors." Both sides do it. When the left was out of power during the Bush years, they loved my writings criticizing Bush, and Republicans branded me as a traitor because I dared to question what their man was doing. But now that the left controls the White House, with their guy doing precisely the same kinds of things Bush did, it is leftists who now call me a traitor and a dangerous subversive, while Republicans are more open to hearing my message. I haven't changed. My message hasn't changed. What has changed is their perspective. The left, during Obama's Administration, are acting with as much blind hubris and willful justification of the most outlandish claims of executive power as the neocons did during the Bush years".

Stewart Rhodes, founder, Oath Keepers

Monday, November 29, 2010

Judge Needs to be Less Cool and Calm

This is in response to Kris Hundley’s article “Judge Cool and Calm as Default Cases Arrive” (reprinted from the St. Pete Times in Sunday’s Sun).  Maybe the good judge should be a little less cool and calm and a little more outraged at the rampant criminal fraud that currently plagues the foreclosure process.  The article states how the judge’s decision is “easy” in four cases, due to the mere fact that no homeowner has challenged the lender’s foreclosure claim, and how he had granted eight such summary judgments that morning.

As a foreclosure defense attorney, I know that in today’s foreclosure crisis, faulty paperwork, often amounting to outright criminal fraud, is the rule rather than the exception.  According to reporter Matt Taibbi in his recent Rolling Stone article (briefly referenced in the Times piece), almost no bank in the vast majority of pending foreclosures has a reliable record of who owns the loan.  In many cases, they have intentionally shredded the actual mortgage notes and employ “robosigners” - typically low level employees who forego legal requirements of making a dilgent search for the notes - who fraudulently have signed off on hundreds, even thousands, of false “lost note” affidavits.

But ninety percent of homeowners do not realize that they may have a valid defense in their foreclosure cases, and judges like the one in the article dutifully sanction fraud by rubber-stamping judgments likely obtained by criminal means.  This may be due to a belief that if banks were held accountable for their reckless and criminal behavior, the economy would collapse completely.  But the economy will never recover as long as banksters and corporate criminals are coddled, bailed out and spared the long prison sentences they so richly deserve.  As it stands now, they are provided with a powerful incentive to engage in even more egregious crime, and to view the resulting slap on the wrist as no more than a cost of doing business.  Under our sick system, dysfunctional in almost every respect, for the rich, crime pays.

Given the current milieu of pervasive fraud, a judge’s duty in uncontested cases is to proactively investigate each file to ferret out the probable fraud contained inside, and to forward evidence of wrongdoing to the state attorney.  Anything else is a grave abdication of judicial responsibility.