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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Washington state, for half my life
Home country: USA
Current location: SW Alabama. for the rest of my life
Member since: Wed Feb 27, 2008, 02:09 PM
Number of posts: 59,689

About Me

Long time political activist, working to tint my lil "Mayberry" more blue. Collector of strays of various species and minds.

Journal Archives

There are more people in US prisons now than were in Stalin's gulags.

"Six million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S.—more than were in Stalin’s gulags. "

The Caging of America
Why do we lock up so many people?
by Adam Gopnik
The New Yorker

Texas alone has sentenced more than four hundred teen-agers to life imprisonment,

Excerpt:In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.

The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed:
in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans;
by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one.
No other country even approaches that.
In the past two decades, the money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education.

Very good read, recommended.


Iran could ban EU oil exports next week

( host: pls. let me know if this is not approp. for this group and I will self delete)

"On Sunday, parliament will have to approve a 'double emergency' bill calling for a halt in the export of Iranian oil to Europe starting next week," Hossein Ibrahimi, vice-chairman of parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, was quoted as saying.

Parliament is pushing for the export ban to deny the EU a 6-month phase-in of the embargo on Iranian oil that the bloc agreed on Monday as part of a raft of tough new Western sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to curb its nuclear program.

The EU accounted for 18 percent of Iranian crude oil sales in the first half of 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), making it Iran's second biggest customer after China."

That will NOT help Greece at all.
But makes sense for Iran to do it, in response to all the European supported financial sanctions on Iran.

Fitch downgrades 5 eurozone nations

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Fitch Ratings downgraded the debt of Italy, Spain and three other countries that use the euro on Friday, a possible setback as European leaders work to contain the continent's debt crisis.

The lower government-debt ratings for Italy, Spain, Belgium, Cyprus and Slovenia could make it more expensive for these countries to borrow.

Fitch said its decision was based on the deteriorating economic outlook in Europe, a concern that Europe's bailout fund is not large enough and a belief that European leaders are not acting quickly or boldly enough to prevent the debt crisis from worsening.

The downgrade came after European financial markets had closed. The major stock indexes of Germany, France and Britain fell slightly on Friday, while the euro rose 0.83 percent to $1.3189.


Federal Task force on Mortgage Fraud issues 11 subpoenas..

Friday, January 27th, 2012, 10:53 am

"The new federal task force led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent subpoenas to the 11 largest financial institutions in the past few days as part of its investigation into possible residential mortgage-backed securities fraud."



"Schneiderman said in a press conference Friday that he will be joined by Delaware AG Beau Biden, Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley, Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto, California AG Kamala Harris and Illinois AG Lisa Madigan.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said 15 lawyers and investigators are working with the group. The FBI will add 10 agents, and another 30 lawyers and staff will join the group.

The Securities and Exchange Commission will also participate. SEC Director of Enforcement Robert Khuzami said there "would be no stone unturned, no dark corner unexposed to the light."

Add this phrase to the list of memorable ones...
"no stone unturned, no dark corner unexposed to the light."

We'll see......

Why no bank investigations? : Top DOJ officials connected to mortgage banks.

Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who's Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

The firm, Covington & Burling, is one of Washington's biggest white shoe law firms. Law professors and other federal ethics experts said that federal conflict of interest rules required Holder and Breuer to recuse themselves from any Justice Department decisions relating to law firm clients they personally had done work for.

Both the Justice Department and Covington declined to say if either official had personally worked on matters for the big mortgage industry clients. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said Holder and Breuer had complied fully with conflict of interest regulations, but she declined to say if they had recused themselves from any matters related to the former clients.

Reuters reported in December that under Holder and Breuer, the Justice Department hasn't brought any criminal cases against big banks or other companies involved in mortgage servicing, even though copious evidence has surfaced of apparent criminal violations in foreclosure cases.


And now..zombie Mortgages! (Turns out, the banks only SAID your mortgage was paid off.)

Cross posted from GD:

Reuters) - "In July 2009, Roy and Sheila Bowers refinanced the mortgage on their suburban ranch home in Topeka, Kansas.
The couple wanted to take advantage of the low interest rates that were all the rage at the time.

But what the Bowers never imagined was that their old loan, the one Wells Fargo told them was paid off, would resurrect itself, trashing their credit report, scotching their son's student loans and throwing the whole family into foreclosure.
All, they say, even though they didn't miss a single mortgage payment. "

Key excerpt:
"More and more, homeowners say that mortgages they thought were dead and buried are springing back to life, sometimes haunting them all the way into foreclosure.
"It's the most egregious manifestation of an industry that's seriously broken," said Ira Rheingold, a lawyer who is the executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocate.
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.""

Homeland Security Given Green Light to Monitor American Journalists

"Under the National Operations Center (NOC)’s Media Monitoring Initiative that emerged from the Department of Homeland Security in November, Washington has written permission to collect and retain personal information from journalists, news anchors, reporters or
anyone who uses “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”

According to DHS, the definition of personal identifiable information can consist of any intellect “that permits the identity of an individual to be directly or indirectly inferred, including any information which is linked or linkable to that individual.”

"Also included in the roster of those subjected to the spying are government officials, domestic or not, who make public statements, private sector employees that do the same and “persons known to have been involved in major crimes of Homeland Security interest,” which to itself opens up the possibilities even wider."


Found a cool site called Fascinating History

It is a blog with various bits of history odds and ends.

Here is a sample:

Window Tax and Other Weird London Laws

* In 1766 The House and Window Duties Act was passed by Parliament. This meant that every house in England and Scotland had to pay a certain amount of tax per window. (In Scotland though, houses with less than five windows weren't taxed). The more windows you had, the higher the tax, so many people decided to have many of them bricked up. This can still be seen on the walls of old town-houses in Central London.
* If you struck someone in 1543 and their blood was shed your hand had to be chopped off.
* Charles II decreed that six ravens ought to be kept in the Tower of London at all times. Legend has it that if the ravens leave the Tower the Kingdom will fall. To this day there is such a person as the Raven Master, and his chief responsibility is to clip the wings of the ravens so tehy can't fly away.
* Every October, the solicitor to the City of London pays rent for land that the Corporation of London rented in Shropshire. The problem is, this was about 700 years ago and this land is not relevant today. To solve this problem, the ritualists of the City decided that rent ought to be paid in the form of a blunt billhook and a very sharp axe. Then, the said solicitor proceeds to cut through some wood with the billhook. However, he is supposed to fail with this task so that he can then cut through the wood with the aforementioned axe.


If you are ignoring a host, can you see if they lock your Post?

Interesting, no?
You would not see their locking message most likely>
or the locked post message?

I got a 25.00 a month COLA!!!!!!! Can I be the 1% now?

Finally after 3 years, my meager SS check has increased to cover inflation.
A whole 25.00 a month.
I sit here dazed, not ready to decide how to splurge my new found wealth.

Any suggestions?
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