Tuesday, February 23, 2010

IF YOU MISSED THEM

Remember, we turn into pumpkins here at the end of March, maybe sooner.

On the new old DD blog:

No Fighting in the War Room!

Energy Utopia ... not here.

Hotel California 1.0

Hotel California 2.0

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

UPDATES: MONDAY, TUESDAY

What you may have missed:

The Mighty Omega to Bumwine's Alpha -- here.

The US military's usual big plans with ray guns -- here.

Robin Hood and banksters -- here.

Promote Your Local Synthetic Biologist stuff -- here.

Standard influence peddling -- here.

More ray gun news -- we have the biggest johnson -- here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

OVER THERE


"...I don't like you. You're fat, wealthy, your liberal sensibilities ..."

I drag out some old rock 'n' roll.

Comic book stuff due to Tea Partiers and liberal sensibilities.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WEDNESDAY'S ACTION

Combined, all over here.

Individually, here and here.

If you missed the last announcement, Blogger is killing its FTP-publishing at the end of March. Plagued with problems for quite some time, as described here and here -- Blogger has decided to pull the plug.

In its words, sent in e-mail to its FTP-publishers, the work expended on maintaining the service was not justified by the number of bloggers using it.

This was a matter of some argument among the populace but the decision is done. For the bloody details one can read Blogger help forums.

For the time being, I've decided I'll part ways with Blogger rather than take my chances with its 'migration wizard' for taking a blog back to the hive.

However, the adventure illustrates two things.

Number One: Decision-making from Google properties is frequently not in your favor. This can be a severe or minor problem. If it is the former, there's never an appeal. If it decides to do something and this inconveniences or maims you, then you must just deal with it.

Number Two: Support from Blogger is like living on grub street. So is support from whatever you choose to replace it. Alternatives tend not to be that much better. That's just the way the world works.

I'll continue to post updates and explanations on this blog into March and try not to let you miss anything. But the action is now on the other side of the hill, so to speak.

Terms subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

CULT OF EMP CRAZY

"This is subhuman idiocy."

Occasionally one comes across an editorial in a US newspaper that almost knocks you out of your chair.

Not often does one see an editorial-like thing condemning the usual imprecations to bomb Iran because that country will eventually launch an electromagnetic pulse attack against the United States.

How did the sane person get a permissions slip to opine?

Barry Kissin of the Frederick News Post writes:

I just read "How to Save the Obama Presidency: Bomb Iran" by Daniel Pipes, visiting fellow at the prestigious Hoover Institution of Stanford University. When I first read the title, I was certain this had to be satirical. It's not! His first point: "[Obama's]counterterrorism record barely passes the laugh test.

It continues:

Pipes then points out that the way for Obama to consolidate popular support is to act tough, you know, start another war. Pipes follows with the polls (Zogby, Pew, Los Angeles Times, Fox News) that all show that a definite majority of Americans favor "using the [U.S.] military to attack and destroy the facilities in Iran which are necessary to produce a nuclear weapon."

How about this from Pipes: "Eventually, [Iran] could launch an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States, utterly devastating the country." And: "Taking out Iran's nuclear facilities ... would require few 'boots on the ground' and entail relatively few casualties, making an attack more politically palatable." And: "Just as 9/11 caused voters to forget George W. Bush's meandering early months, a strike on Iranian facilities would dispatch Obama's feckless first year ... " And the clincher: "[T]he chance to do good and do well is fleeting. As the Iranians improve their defenses and approach weaponization, the window of opportunity is closing. The time to act is now ..."

However, Kissin's final line is most surprising. It is something most editors simply would not allow into a newspaper in 2010.

This is subhuman idiocy. It is also part of a long-standing pattern of criminal manipulation of the frightened and very misinformed.

Subhuman idiocy. That's unequivocal.

The entire piece is here.




By contrast, Pipes' material immediately gets wide duplication around the country, also immediately flying into the Jerusalem Post.

"I do not customarily offer advice to a president whose election I opposed, whose goals I fear and whose policies I work against," he writes. "But here is a way for Barack Obama to salvage his tottering administration by taking a step that protects the US and its allies."

When the electromagnetic pulse crazy/bomb Iran lobby launches a sally -- which is does once ever few months, the last one petering out in September at the Values Voter summit -- it always does so with perniciously admirable efficiency.

Everyone gets on the same page and makes a push into the opinion sections of US and foreign newspapers. And it always works.

In addition, the Cult of EMP Crazy lobby always comes up with a new catastrophic meme to sell the story of Iranian-launched electromagnetic pulse doom.

Usually, it has been the story that the US will be hurled back to the time of horse and buggy transportation, water drawn from the creek and shitting in out houses or trenches filled with lime.

Now, however, there's a new flavor of Gotterdammerung.

"EMP attack, our version of Haiti quake," trumpeted Clifford May for the Scripps Howard News Service very recently.

He writes, and this isn't satire:

President Obama has pledged $100 million to help Haiti recover from its recent earthquake. By coincidence, that’s precisely the amount that the [mumble] recommends be spent on measures it estimates would limit the damage resulting from an EMP event by 60 to 70 percent.

This is delivered in an essay which, as must be the case, brings up the Bomb Iran lobby's favorite story:

Think of a blackout, but one of indefinite duration — because we have no plan for recovery and could expect little or no help from abroad.

The EMP commission also reported that Iran — which is feverishly working to acquire nuclear weapons — has conducted tests in which it launched missiles and exploded warheads at high altitudes. And the CIA has translated Iranian military journals in which EMP attacks against the U.S. are explicitly discussed.

Might Iran’s rulers orchestrate such an attack if and when they acquire a nuclear capability?

That is a heated debate among defense experts.

That opinion piece is here.

For regular readers of DD blog and longtime observers of the the Washington DC Doom Club, May was warning about anthrax just in November.

"A scenario perhaps even more frightening: terrorists using biological weapons, setting off epidemics of smallpox, Ebola virus or other hemorrhagic fevers; a crop duster spreading 10 pounds of anthrax causing more deaths than in World War II."

That ran in the National Review on-line, under the heading -- Apocalypse When?

Alert readers will notice May always resorts to writing that potential enemy strikes will cause more casualties than America suffered in World War II.

On electromagnetic pulse attack by Iran, our equivalent of the Haiti quake , May writes:

When you consider that such an event — whether naturally occurring or a “man-caused disaster” — could cause trillions of dollars in damage and claim more lives than were lost in World War II ...

Readers will have also noted that it's not really a coincidence that Dan Pipes' Bomb Iran/EMP doom essay also ran in the National Review.

It's what's called a rigging. And one can't help but applaud the EMP Crazy lobby's talent for it. They're really good.




Cult of EMP Crazy -- from the archives.
FUNKY ROCK N ROLL



Dick Destiny plays Needle and Spoon

Here!

"Needle and Spoon" first appeared on Savoy Brown's Raw Sienna album from 1970. Penned by Chris Youlden, the band's gruff but soulful blues shouter, it has always been one of my favorite blues rock tunes.

I've kept the fast shuffling beat, added a bit more thumping acoustic guitar, plus a short fuzz solo tossed in behind a vocal imprecation. For just that old-timey feel.

No one in this edition of Savoy Brown was a heroin user so rack it up to bumping into other rock 'n' rollers in 1970 Blighty who were. There was no shortage.

For extra fun, consider the single to have a virtual B-side, "Internal Revenue Boogie," here.

Jolly good!

Gear: Roger Linn Design Adrenalinn III, lotsa guitars -- at least three.
REPRINT: JOB-OPENINGS AT THE CIA

Bed-wetters and office clowns not sought.

The next story took over a year to develop and carry out. I was writing for a newspaper’s features section but didn’t tell anyone about it until the work was finished.

It remains a great read, one I’m still very proud of. And it’s relevant to our current national security problems over a decade after publication.

“Name five CIA experts on anything. I can’t do it,” said a former CIA analyst to the New York Times [on one Sunday] (”Langley, We Have a Problem,” Tim Weiner).

I have written on substantive national security issues for the think-tank GlobalSecurity.Org and been quoted on them. While I’m not secret and classified, I did and do what CIA-men are supposed to do well but often don’t seem to. In the mainstream media, anyway.

On the old blog (here), this story steadily gained in readership over the past couple years.

And so I’ve elected to reprint it on the new blog, migrating it there for the eventual day I abandon Blogger.

Today, according to my Google Analytics chart, it’s one of the more frequently read pieces by people who apparently are searching for information on how to get hired by the CIA.

Good luck with it, if that's you. I’ve no idea if the procedures described here are still in place. More’s the pity if even a few are.

Anyway, can you imagine DD ever working for the CIA? [Insert crazy horselaugh.]

You can read the entire piece, with all the good stuff, here.

Monday, February 08, 2010

ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE CRAZY AND THE SHORT COUNT

In today's Washington Times, Arnaud de Borchgrave, often called 'the Short Count' behind closed doors, if he is called at all, writes about how a neocon thinks the Obama administration can save and revitalize the country.

Bomb Iran!

The Short Count writes:

Mr. Obama is floundering as he tries to reset his presidency on economics. Defense is sacrosanct. Either taxes go up, or entitlements go down, or both. On Capitol Hill, it's still burned toast for the president.

For centuries, leaders faced with insuperable domestic problems found escape in foreign distractions. In some cases, the distractions occurred suddenly and fortuitously, such as World War II, which started in Europe and pulled America out of the Great Depression.

President Obama isn't looking for such a distraction, but others have no pangs illuminating what they think is the way out of the "clueless in Washington" dilemma. Right-wing scholar-activist Daniel Pipes, a neocon icon, could not be more blunt: President Obama can "save" his presidency by bombing Iran. The fact that this also could cost him the presidency is not deemed worthy of discussion.


Continuing:

"Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons capacity. It would have the advantage of sidelining health care, push Republicans to work with Democrats, make Tea Party-ers jump for joy, conservatives and neoconservatives would swoon ecstatically."

In 2003, President George H.W. Bush appointed Mr. Pipes to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace.


And what better way to promote peace than to advocate bombing. Even the President can get behind that in America.

So what else is there? Electromagnetic pulse crazy, that's what!

To reinforce the war party's arguments, Mr. Pipes also says that "the apocalyptic-minded leaders in Tehran" could eventually "launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the U.S., utterly devastating the country." His detractors dismiss EMP alarmism as flimflam. But they are wrong. EMP is a very real concern of those who ponder future asymmetrical threats.

Those durned accusers of flimflam'd be us (as in here and here and other places) and Armchair Generalist.

To summarize: One would be hard-pressed to imagine a bigger instance in which a group of people offer themselves up for deserved ridicule.

If a thing is backed up by hard science [like global warming or evolution], the Republican party denies its existence. If, however ... something [is] rather abstract to almost all Americans, rests almost entirely on theoretical prediction, is ... not likely to ever occur at all, and then only in the context of what would promise to be an all out nuclear war, [like electromagnetic pulse doom], the GOP extreme right believes in it very strongly.

And so The Short Count writes, repeating the electromagnetic pulse crazy/bomb Iran lobby's favorite script of doom:

One Scud-type nuclear missile, fired from the cargo hold of a freighter off the East Coast, set to explode 75 miles up, could fry everything electrical in one-third of the United States, from every cell phone and computer to aircraft, trains, vehicles, elevators, and the entire government, including the Pentagon.




This comes to de Borchgrave through a Pipes article in National Review.

In it, Pipes writes:

Not only does a strong majority — 57, 52, 58, 61, and 61 percent in these five polls — already favor using force, but after a strike Americans will presumably rally around the flag, sending that number much higher.

Fourth, if the U.S.limited its strike to taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities and did not attempt any regime change, it would require few “boots on the ground” and entail relatively few casualties, making an attack more politically palatable.


DD had missed this but it is pointed out by Don Emmerich here.

Cult of EMP Crazies -- from the archives.
MORE SATAN'S BANK PLEASE

"During a recent protest outside his Walnut Street bank headquarters, OneWest CEO Terry Laughlin came down with the bank's head of mortgage services for a little face time with borrowers," reported the Pasadena Star-News recently.

"The idea was to 'reach out' Laughlin said, and see what he could do or say to help them with their home loans - which they angrily - and frequently - complain have yet to be modified."

And for the newspaper, Laughlin's interview was an attempt to 'reach out,' to counter the boatload of really bad press OneWest, or as it is called here -- Satan's Favorite Bank in Pasadena -- has accumulated over the past few months,

Message to CEO: It's not gonna help.

Banksters are less popular than soiled toilet paper on the bottom of one's shoe. And rightly so. Nothing can change that. And this is a good thing, not bad at all.

Nevertheless, OneWest's CEO told the newspaper that the giant vulture capitalism bank was now a community-oriented southern California bank interested in depositors and making affordable loans. And the newspaper could but go along because to get interviews like this one, the interviewee has to know that the interviewer won't be anything but a lickspittle. That's how America works.

The newspaper explained:

As of December, the bank, which entered the Obama administration's Making Loan's Affordable Program in August, had permanently modified 1,226 loans under the program, with 23,012 in the pipeline as trial modifications. If you count the loans modified under the FDIC's control of IndyMac before the purchase, total permanent modifications come to 15,000 ...

But readers know OneWest has been mostly publicized for foreclosing on people around the country rather than modify home mortgages.

This was explained in our Satan's Bank post thusly:

[OneWest] uses government guarantees for distressed assets in its rescue to ensure a profit on forclosures. In essence, the US government uses taxpayer money indemnifying OneWest against loss on a distressed property it owns, indeed guaranteeing a certain good amount of profit on it. It is the very essence of vulture crony capitalism and its main purpose, socially, is profit for OneWest through capitalization of the very badness of its former self through the working over of subprime mortgage holders.

"The realities of the economy - unemployment, lack of income - are at odds with a key term of the government's loan-modification program: Borrowers who want better terms must be able to prove that their current monthly mortgage payment is more than 31 percent of their gross monthly income," OneWest's CEO told the Pasadena Star-News.

Dig the foreclosure news

DD dug into Google to find OenWest foreclosures nationwide during December and January.

It was at this time that negative publicity on OneWest reached something of a peak, forcing the company into a cosmetic measure. It said it would halt foreclosures during the holiday season.

If it did, it was hard to notice.

DD found OneWest foreclosures from Hawaii to Topeka to New Orleans and all the way to Vero Beach, Florida.

A Hawaii newspaper, for instance, noted OneWest owned at least 26 homes in that state. Meaning it had foreclosed on all of them.

DD found two OneWest foreclosures in Topeka -- one in mid-January, one about a week ago. And one in Boulder, Colorado, last mid-month.

On December 18, national publicity over a foreclosure in San Diego forced the company into p.r. defense.

"Just in time for Christmas, Brian Wofford has learned that his large family won’t be evicted from the house he mortgaged to the hilt after it was renovated for free five years ago on the ABC show 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,' reported the San Diego Union on December 18.

"Wofford, a widowed father of eight, is in default on his Encinitas house. He owes $770,000 after he refinanced several times and took out home-equity loans to get cash.

"He has been seeking a loan modification since 2007 and stopped making payments this year. The house was scheduled to be auctioned Dec. 14, but the Woffords received a last-minute reprieve from OneWest Bank after nationwide media coverage."

A week earlier, the New York Post ran a story on the opposite side of the country entitled: LI MOM: Bank Strung Us Out.

"A Long Island family battling runaway medical bills for their two special-needs pre-schoolers are, days before Christmas, in danger of losing their house to foreclosure after their bank offered - and then retracted - three mortgage-modification plans, the frantic mother claims," reported the newspaper.

The story continued:

Caryn Fleming, of Miller Place, said she and her police officer husband were at first overjoyed at the lower monthly payments under the modification offers - but were then shocked back into a real estate hell when their bank, OneWest, said they didn't qualify for any modification because they made too much money.

"They knew exactly how much we made from the beginning of the process because they gave us our mortgage five years ago," Fleming said.

OneWest, which last month made the news after a Suffolk judge ripped up a bank mortgage because of its deceptive, underhanded ways, was dealing with 111,674 mortgages that were 60 or more days delinquent as of Nov. 30, according to the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable program.

The bank has extended 35,315 trial modification plans but has concluded zero permanent modifications, the Treasury Department reported this week.

Because the Flemings made reduced payments for 18 months - as instructed by the bank - they have accrued $40,000-plus in arrears and are facing eviction. Fleming said she recently offered to start making full mortgage payments and to pay off the arrears next October - when her husband retires from the NYPD. OneWest rejected the couple's offer, she said.


The Post also ran a story in late November on a judge's reprimand of OneWest:

A Long Island couple is home free after an outraged judge gave them an amazing Thanksgiving present -- canceling their debt to ruthless bankers trying to toss them out on the street.

Suffolk Judge Jeffrey Spinner wiped out $525,000 in mortgage payments demanded by a California bank, blasting its "harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive" acts.

The bombshell decision leaves Diane Yano-Horoski and her husband, Greg Horoski, owing absolutely no money on their ranch house in East Patchogue.

Spinner pulled no punches as he smacked down the bankers at OneWest -- who took an $814.2 million federal bailout but have a record of coldbloodedly foreclosing on any homeowner owing money.

OneWest's conduct was "inequitable, unconscionable, vexatious and opprobrious," Spinner wrote.

He canceled the debt because the bank "must be appropriately sanctioned so as to deter it from imposing further mortifying abuse against [the couple]."

The bank is involved in a similar case in California, where it's trying to foreclose on an 89-year-old woman, despite two court orders telling it to stop.


Stung by the whip of bad reviews, OneWest announced it was turning to charitable giving at the beginning of the new year.

"With a seed of $10 million, OneWest Bank announced this week that it has created a nonprofit foundation to help develop the communities it serves," reported Monterey County Herald on January 2.

"The Pasadena-based bank, which took over failed IndyMac in March, established the foundation 'to actively invest' in priorities such as affordable housing, health care, education, financial literacy and rehabilitating underserved communities, foundation bank officials said.

" 'We are very committed to supporting the community in meaningful ways through our charitable efforts, including significant contributions from our employees in community service activities,' " foundation Chairman Steven Mnuchin said in a statement."

Community service. Affordable housing. Fine words.

"The bank has 72 retail branches in Southern California and total assets of $24 billion," one news story on OneWest informs.

Let's see.

10 million / 24 billion = 0.000416666667

In other words, the amount is the OneWest/Satan's Bank equivalent of pocket lint. Maybe less.

Alms, alms for the poor!

And it is much like Goldman Sachs announcing it was getting into philanthropy after its banksters started to become afraid of potential fallout due to widespread public perception that they're evil.

Everyday DD walks past OneWest, either on the way to Ralphs or down to Colorado for a bit of a stretch.

Now OneWest has some rubbish in its windows about being a 'neighborhood bank'.




Satan's Favorite Bank in Pasadena -- from the archives.




The new improved Dick Destiny blog is now here. Or until something else bad happens.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO QUIT YOUR COUNTRY

Today's post comes courtesy of the parasite industry devoted to selling articles and services on how you can get a job in the dreadful economy.

DD cadged it off Yahoo a few weeks ago for it's especially ludicrous nature: How to know when to quit your job because the business you work for is dreadful. Well, that would be more than half of the jobs in the United States, at least, DD reckons.

So I've chosen to steal it and rebrand the thing as a test on how to know when to quit your dreadful, or dysfunctional, country.

10 Signs Your Country is Dysfunctional

Does the United States drive you crazy? Do you sometimes wonder if you are the only sane person living in it? Is America dysfunctional, or is it you? Here's how to find out!

Sign No. 1: Do large numbers of people in your country spout conspicuous value statements filled with vague but important-sounding words like "freedom" and so on.

Examples:

"America has the best healthcare in the world!" -- see here.

"They hate us for our freedom." -- see here.

"We've found each other and we've found our voice and we are determined to fight for our freedoms," says [a man who's last name is Scott], wearing a white 'Freedom Czar' baseball cap at the convention." -- see here.

These slogans are never based in reality. They're just rubbish statements used to end reasonable arguments or cheer-leading pap.

Sign No. 2: Bringing up a problem is considered more as evidence of a personality defect rather than as an actual observation of reality.

Example: "Those who oppose waterboarding are moral fools." -- see here.

In a dysfunctional country, if you don't adhere to a belief held by many, you are the problem. Anything horrendous, illegal or plainly evil is justified on the basis that it's a necessity for national security.

Sign No. 3: If by chance there are problems, the usual solution is a motivational pep rally.

From the Associated Press:

First, the independent Ross Perot contingent. Then, the liberal ''netroots'' mobilization. Now, the conservative ''tea party'' coalition.

No doubt this is democracy at work, a quintessential part of America.

Will the latest political phenomenon become a society-changing movement influencing elections and beyond?

''We are people who understand something wrong is going on in this country, and we want to change it,'' says Dan Garner, a married 40-year-old sales representative from nearby Carthage who is new to politics. Like so many others, he's had enough. ''The core thing is a loss of individual liberty.''


Here.

Attitude is everything. In dysfunctional America, there's always a mob on the loose -- a self-abusive confused mob more interested in tearing things down, setting fire to the place and obeying the interests of wealthier and more powerful people outside the mob aimed at destroying the lives of the people who comprise the mob.

To appear sane you must pretend that the mob is a symbol of democracy, not just a nuts crowd. Dysfunctional America is full of crazy mobs but if you have a good attitude, you won't mention it. Or you'll glorify them as part of the way the country solves its problems.

From AP:

''America is ready for another revolution, and you are a part of this,'' Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, told convention attendees Saturday.

Sign No. 4: Double messages are delivered with a straight face. Too many to list.

America is always ending war and bringing freedom by starting up more war or escalating whatever wars it is in.

From Krugman:

Today, by contrast, the Republican leaders refuse to offer any specific proposals. They inveigh against the deficit — and last month their senators voted in lockstep against any increase in the federal debt limit, a move that would have precipitated another government shutdown if Democrats hadn’t had 60 votes. But they also denounce anything that might actually reduce the deficit, including, ironically, any effort to spend Medicare funds more wisely.

Sign No. 5: History is regularly edited to make executive decisions more correct.

Huge bankster salaries and bonuses for people who wrecked the economy require justification.

"Bonuses must be paid to retain top talent."

Sign No. 6: Directives are threatening.

"Your seatbelt fine is $720."

"The fine for that red-light infraction is $500."

"[With] the national G.O.P. having abdicated any responsibility for making things work, it’s only natural that individual senators should feel free to take the nation hostage until they get their pet projects funded."

Sign No. 7: Democracy means giving someone the power to do something and then watching them not do it.

Example: Obvious when you think of it, really.

Sign No. 8: Resources are tightly controlled.

The big pieces of the national swag pie go to the military/national security and Wall Street while little or nothing is diverted for the social good or advancement of the country.

Whatever is proposed with regards to advancement and social good, the first and loudest response is that it will saddle the country with ruinous debt.

Sign No. 9: You are expected to feel lucky to live here because America is always the greatest country in the world. And if you don't like it you should get out, preferably to some other country regularly mocked even though that country has a higher standard of living.



Sign No. 10: Rules and success are enforced based on who you are.

In a dysfunctional country, there are clearly insiders and outsiders and everyone knows who belongs in each group. If you're wealthy, powerful and/or a celebrity, you're always an insider and it is everyone else's job to be a lickspittle to you and to reward you who have so much with even more. Most of the outsiders know this and like it. Only a few don't and they're all losers with bad attitudes. Class war is forbidden unless you want to wage it on others in your own class or those in one beneath yours.




At the new improved old DD blog.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

FAILED STATE FINE INCREASES


Fine for unbuckled seat belt, January 2009.

A sign of the country's dysfunction failure is the escalation of fines as a way to squeeze money out of the populace.

A selection from today's news tab:

A bill before state lawmakers would increase fines and add driver's license sanctions for red light violations. -- DesMoines Register

Large increase in penalties for anti-social behaviour in Lincoln ... PNDs are fines issued by police to people over the age of 16 who commit low-level anti-social behaviour, such as harassment, being drunk and disorderly in ... -- The Linc

State and local budget crises are causing more municipalities to increase fines for driving and parking infractions as a way to boost revenue ... -- Los Angeles Times

During its Tuesday night meeting, the Selectboard had a first reading of a change to the town's traffic ordinance that would increase fines ... -- Brattleboro Reformer

Report: LA County red-light camera fines soar ... the fine has jumped from $271 to $446 and increased at about three times the regional rate of inflation. ... -- San Jose Mercury News

State and local budget crises are causing more municipalities to increase fines for driving and parking infractions as a way to boost revenue ... -- Los Angeles Times

Total fines bring in close to $600000 a year. With fines of $5 for the first two tickets in a year, $10 for the third through sixth tickets and $25 for each ... -- Appleton Post Crescent

The city of Madison plans to increase fines next month for most of the 11 dozen ways motorists can receive a parking ticket ... -- Wisconsin State Journal

Bayless says last December, city council agreed to increase civil infraction fines as a way to offset a bottoming-out budget -- WILX




In California, the government in Sacramento is paralyzed by the same circumstance now halting all things in the nation's capital. The minority party can, through legislative rules which require an unreasonable majority, destroy the government's ability to raise money sensibly.

Unable to raise taxes or doing anything to combat fiscal crises, very mediocre local politicians immediately turn to increasing fines for all traffic violations, whether serious or trivial.

The citation stub at the top article comes from DD's unbuckled seat belt at a stop sign infraction from last year.

That original post is here.

At the time, I wrote:

As if to emphasize the broken and irrational nature of US life in 2009, note this month's exhibit, DD's $720.00 ticket for having an unbuckled seatbelt in Pasadena.

Punish the bad scofflaw!

Here's the story: Around Thanksgiving, your host was stopped at a stop sign. A police cruiser was turning into the street and the officer looked into my car as he went by. And my seat belt was not buckled. He turned the cruiser around, flagged me and wrote out a citation.

Now, there was no amount for the fine on the citation. And in the past, when I once received a speeding ticket, a citation was sent in the mail around a month later with an envelope and bill.

This time, no citation arrived until the yellow piece of paper with the $720.00 fine.

The local government does not have to send out a bill informing the guilty of the amount of the fine and an envelope to pay it. That is merely a courtesy, one that is not always extended. If one does not get the bill, it is your duty to report to court by the date on the back of the original citation.

What is the original fine for an unbuckled seatbelt in Pasadena? A bit over ninety dollars, DD is informed.

Does no one think it is unreasonable to slap an extra six hundred dollars to this fine?

Silence ... DD is informed of a deal, which is also on the back of the original $720 ticket. If you pay right now (or seven days from the notice), California will take off three hundred dollars. If you don't, the Department of Motor Vehicles will revoke your license and it will go to collections.


DD assumes this will play out all over California and in other states in 2010.

Since sending out ticket notices costs extra money, count on not receiving any until your fine is jacked up for missing the due deadline, at which point you will be threatened with further sanction or offered only a slightly less impoverishing deal.

On its editorial page yesterday, the Los Angeles Times seemed to notice that something is wrong with a system that escalates fines for infractions everyone winds up guilty of at one time or another, for the purpose of squeezing out money for failed governmnent.

But the newspaper doesn't complain very loudly. Just don't break the law if you don't want to suffer, it implies. Obeying traffic law is a must.

"Traffic fines as cash cow..." it begins.

"Raising traffic fines has become attractive to politicians because, unlike hiking taxes, it seldom attracts much opposition. That's OK with us but it's possible to raise fines to the point that they're grossly disproportionate to the infraction. We're getting perilously close to that in LA and in some cases have probably exceeded it."

Yes, DD would say $720 for an unbuckled seatbelt, no matter how many days after issuance of the ticket, was and is 'grossly disproportionate'. It is extortionate policy and it spawns contempt for government by existing only to criminalize lots of people who aren't criminals.

"As a matter of principle, it's usually smart to tax socially destructive behavior such as bad driving ... But if the punishment doesn't fit the crime, it encourages public cynicism and lawless behavior," the newspaper continues.

Here's how that works.

Over seven hundred dollars for a seatbelt infraction, or the reduced 'bargain' of $420, on someone who is just hanging on by their fingernails, or who has just lost a job, carries a substantial risk of inability to pay. At which point the person's license is revoked.

Do they stop driving?

No, they don't. And with no license, they now stand a good chance of being jailed if they're pulled over because they still have to ... like ... drive, either to work or to try and find a job.

"For a low-income driver, a $500 traffic fine -- the cost of running a red light in LA when traffic school is factored in -- is a devastating expense," the newspaper concedes.

Extortion of funding through traffic ticketing was discussed here by columnists at the San Francisco Chronicle last year.

Blog readers should be sure to read the comments. The outpour of the pure milk of human kindness raging satisfaction, even glee, over the meting out of such fines is eye-opening.

Eye-opening but not necessarily surprising. When Americans talk about being revolutionaries and fighting the government, they have an unusual view of what this means.

As said last week: After a year of Glenn Beck, everyone's ready to ... hand out punishment for our awful state of affairs.

Filled with populist vigor and the burning desire to set things right, we'll riot and make sure that tax cuts are made and the government paralyzed so local offices are closed ...

Then when state and local government sneak in stealth taxes by unreasonably raising fines and the numbers of things for which one can be fined, it becomes time to scream when the revolutionary gets his. At which point calumny and ridicule are heaped upon him by his formerly comradely revolutionaries, still carrying the fire to burn down government and all social services in our big banana republic.

Until they get their tickets, too.




At the new old Dick Destiny blog.

Friday, February 05, 2010

THE REPOSITORY OF ALL WISDOM



The font from which all small brooks flow.

This week:

The NSA’s experience protecting government agencies give it the expertise to help companies as large as Google fend off sophisticated computer attacks, said Alan Paller, director of research at Bethesda, Maryland-based Sans Institute, which provides computer security training ... -- Businessweek

Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, told Information Week the privacy fears are overblown -- San Francisco Chronicle

Fears that the Google will hand its servers over to the NSA are "completely unrealistic," stresses Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute ... -- Information Week

Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute in Bethesda, Md. said the [cybersecurity research] bill is "absolutely vital" and needs to be passed ... -- Computerworld

There are several reasons why [buying the Air Force/IBM secure cloud computing is] a great project, said Alan Paller, director of research with the SANS Institute, a computer and network security -- GCN.com

Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute computer security training organization, said the [cybersecurity research] bill is vital to improving the country's ... -- CNET

“These were regular old businesses being attacked,” said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, which provides cybersecurity training programs. “This means that regular old federal agencies are being attacked the same way, and they are, but their managers don’t know it.”

What’s worse, agencies have been required to take an approach to cybersecurity that makes it extremely difficult to protect themselves from these kinds of assaults, Paller and other security experts say.
-- Federal Computer Week

Alan Paller of the SANS Institute, a US security firm, told the Los Angeles Times: "The odds of the 25 biggest companies in California not being fully [etc] ... -- Sydney Morning Herald, "Cyber attacks take aim at heart of the American empire"




Rolodex journalism, narrow sourcing and the all-seeing Paller-scope -- from the archives.




Once again -- at the old new DD blog.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

FEEDING OF THE PARASITE CLASS


President In Perpetuity of the Fools' Hall of Fame. Hint: It's not the person on the right. She has nothing to do with this.

Today's Los Angeles Times had a full page ad for a shindig at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Are you a loser who believes if you sit in a vast hall and listen to a disgraced person give you a pep talk while pretending he's a great leader, some of the greatness will rub off? And you'll rush back into the world a new man ready to ascend the ladder of success, earn a couple million bucks and exit the dreary mess that's your life?!

The Colin Powell, the lead speaker, is for you.

Along with Zig Ziglar, old man Lou Holtz, and Michael Phelps who's probably using it to make up for ad revenue lost when he copped to smoking dope.

Fifty percent career motivational speakers and 50 percent famous wash-ups from the American parasite class, Colin Powell sits in the top of the latter demographic.

Really, this is so choice, it writes itself as a beautiful sneer. One could go on for ten thousand words of continuous slur, maybe even more.

The man who went before the UN Security Council and delivered a speech to the world, a speech in which everything was proven emphatically wrong. More power to him. In the days that followed, everyone in authority in the US jumped on the Powell bandwagon.

"How to Get Everyone on the Same Page" -- once -- is one of the tips the great Powell will dispense at this thing. (I added the 'once' part.)

Powell will teach you "Take Charge Leadership"!

Leadership to take the charge right over the cliff, the captain and leader of the mass of lemmings.

Only $4.95 for a ticket, with the coupon, it says.

Here's a speech I'd pay twice that -- ten bucks -- to hear Powell deliver:

"How I got into the business of getting a big check every week to spout before thousands of iron-clad ninnies like you after I wrecked my career and reputation."

"There's no more faith in thee than a stewed prune," someone once wrote. Perhaps he operates under the rule that it's morally wrong to NOT take money off really stupid people.
PROTECTING BANKSTERS AND OTHER HIGH-NET-WORTH PARASITES

Niche publishing with a bona-fide gold-plated audience, SA sends in notice of a new book, Silent Safety: Best Practices for Protecting the Affluent.

Showing preparedness for what would be a legitimate and actual class war that has not quite yet arrived, the publisher writes:

As the nation's financial crisis continues to make headlines, many affluent families'clear and present dangers may be flying under the radar. Wealth brings considerable attention and security exposure to families across the globe. Many take appropriate countermeasures only after costly, disruptive or embarrassing events unfold. Since the inception of Risk Control Strategies (RCS) they have provided security solutions for the high-net-worth community to include some of the most affluent families in North America. At the behest of many and driven by copious experiences it was the desire of RCS co-founders Paul Viollis and Doug Kane, to craft a true, personal security best practice reference book for the affluent and their advisors. The information to follow will crystallize the various risks families face every day. Silent Safety provides pragmatic advice and strategic countermeasures that can be immediately deployed to contain a crisis, as well as recommendations to preemptively mitigate risk. This book will provide the reader with Risk Control Strategies' proven methodology for protecting the wealthy and providing them with peace of mind.

Richard Bradley, Editor-in-Chief of Worth Magazine, made the following comments, "After reading Silent Safety, I would rather not live in the world of Paul Viollis and Doug Kane. All too often, it is a scary place in which terrible things can happen to good people. I realized that I may not think about the dangers around us very much but Paul Viollis and Doug Kane do, and they do it so that people like you and me can sleep at night."


DD knows menace to the rich -- the high net worth community -- is no joke.

In foreign countries, it is not uncommon for the natives, impoverished, deprived and starved by their government and kleptocracy economies to riot and smash, or at least attempt to smash, the precious possessions of the high net worthy. To get the rich within their grubby grasp, so to speak.

However, DD knows this doesn't happen in the United States. When was the last time you saw a riot on TV, one in which the natives stormed some place like Wall Street and began pulling people out of their offices?

Never.

Fat chance that'll happen. People have been conditioned to be lickspittles to wealth for all their lives and it's hard indoctrination to break.

Take the latest Jack In the Box commercial.

In it, the Robin Hood character is portrayed as an idiot and buffoon by Jack, who winces at the man's fat ass. Everyone laughs. Good joke!

You can't beat that kind of primetime messaging.

When the words populist and revolt come up, everyone thinks of Fox News and Glenn Beck.

After a year of Glenn Beck, everyone's ready to revolt and hand out punishment for our awful state of affairs.

But it won't be the high net-worth community, the affluent, on the receiving end -- guaranteed.

Filled with populist vigor and the burning desire to set things right, we'll riot and make sure that tax cuts are made and the government paralyzed so local offices are closed and parasites can't apply for foodstamps, that teachers are fired or furloughed, that the local department of motor vehicles office is closed two days a week and half its staff fired, that local social worker employment is reduced by 50 percent, that ten percent of the street lights are turned off, that public transportation workers are made unemployed, that paid firemen are let go.

That's really going after the wealthy in their armored limousines and turreted neighborhoods. We'll show them!




At the WordPress blog
WAPO TERROR-MONGERING

Last week the Washington Post published an extraordinary number of articles on bioterrorism. Extraordinary not because of the information they delivered, but outstanding because they were very bad. And all written by reporter Joby Warrick, seemingly synchronized to lead up to the Graham-Talent special interest group's critique of the Obama administration on preparedness.

Today, the Post's Fred Hiatt continues the atrocity on the editorial page.

One of last week's particularly bad pieces of reporting concerned ex-CIA man Rolf-Mowatt Larssen's Harvard-issued 'study' on al Qaeda and WMDs.

It was an example of astonishingly poor work and it was destroyed by DD here in a piece entitled The Busted Watch of US Threat Assessment.

Another copy was posted at GlobalSecurity.Org here.

The Mowatt-Larssen report -- entitled Al Qaeda Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat: Hype or Reality? could not even get the simple facts concerning a policeman's death right in the famous case of the alleged London ricin ring. And this was information published countless times in newspapers all over the United Kingdom.

That was hardly all that was wrong with the Mowatt-Larssen report. But readers can skip back to the original posts to get the details on this shabby piece of work.

One of the major problems with such poor analysis from high places is that it continues to drive opinion, more news stories and, eventually, policy. Once it is embedded in a place like the Washington Post it becomes very damaging. It actively impedes legitimate efforts to educate the public on issues and reality in the so-called war on terror. It serves only as another citation for those writing more things asserting that one needs to be very afraid.

And today, Hiatt's opinion piece, the WaPo man cites Mowatt-Larssen right off the bat. Mowatt-Larssen, Hiatt implies, has shown we ought to still be alarmed.

"Three thousand people were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks," writes Hiatt. "More than 300,000 could be dead within one week after a modest attack with biological weapons.

"For most people, the thought of such an attack is an unthinkable horror. For al-Qaeda, it is a lingering dream and one that it is working diligently to achieve ... Al-Qaeda is engaged in a 'long-term, persistent and systematic approach to developing weapons to be used in mass casualty attacks,' writes Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a senior fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs ...'

"Mr. Mowatt-Larssen is not the only one sounding an alarm."

It is a textbook pathological case of argument from authority without any vetting of that authority.

And it was part of an argument Hiatt used to belt the Obama administration over the head, chiding it to act quickly to remedy the nation's unpreparedness so that the people would be protected from deadly bioterrorism.

This is not a new song. Played literally thousands of times in the last few years it has worn out its ability to enlighten, if it ever had much of that precious quality in the first place. Now it exists only to hector and terrorize.

Jason Sigger at Armchair Generalist sees the problem clearly, too, and it's not us or our inability to see the obvious.

He writes, in this case addressing some information concerning the Graham-Talent special interest group:

"Bad enough that Hiatt joins those who would continue overstating the actual threat of terrorists using nuclear or biological weapons to cause mass casualties. I thought newspapers were supposed to, you know, report facts. But pinning the G-T commission's report on the Obama administration runs counter to what the commission said - that this was a report on the government's efforts over a period of time, not within the last year ..."




Continuing note to regular readers:

DD's three and a half year-long battle with Blogger is slowly coming to an end. At the end of March, the service will discontinue its FTP-publishing service to remote domains. At that point, this blog will have joined the Google cloud or switched to WordPress or another blogging application in a different directory at dickdestiny.com with a redirect.

Consequently, the WordPress blog is again active, containing the same updates as here.

For example, you can also read this post here.

Doesn't that look nice? For the moment, anyway.

Dealing with Blogger has been as much an ache for me as it has for them to have to have supported the FTP-publishing option. And the continued friction over the issue with the end of the battle in sight and me with the butter side down on the floor does not do anything to make one like the famous home-journalizing agency more.

One does, however, get fond of the look of a certain place. And I liked this one.

More details are here from yesterday and at Prisoner of Blogger on el Reg.

Stay tuned. I'm sure there will be much more happiness in store.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

MALICIOUS ADVICE OF THE DAY

Today's unintended joke comes from Yahoo's news service for the promotion of guilt, appreciation of parasites and furtherance of lickspittling.

Remember when you were bullied and beaten for reading books or having thick glasses or being shitty in gym?

Well, it was all your fault, 'science' says.

"Kids who get bullied and snubbed by peers may be more likely to have problems in other parts of their lives, past studies have shown," read Yahoo today. (No link.)

"And now researchers have found at least three factors in a child's behavior that can lead to social rejection ... The factors involve a child's inability to pick up on and respond to nonverbal cues from their pals."

If you're a parent, here's what you to do to correct your bullied child's errant ways:

Help the child identify the cue they missed or mistake they made, by asking something like: "How would you feel if Emma was hogging the tire swing?" Instead of lecturing with the word "should," offer options the child "could" have taken in the moment, such as: "You could have asked Emma to join you or told her you would give her the swing after your turn."

Create an imaginary but similar scenario where the child can make the right choice. For example, you could say, "If you were playing with a shovel in the sand box and Aiden wanted to use it, what would you do?"

Lastly, give the child "social homework" by asking him to practice this new skill, saying: "Now that you know the importance of sharing, I want to hear about something you share tomorrow."

The studies are detailed in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. They were funded by the Dean and Rosemarie Buntrock Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation.


These people are indeed tricky as they couch the advice in the reverse -- it is YOU, YOU -- the child, who were bullying by doing something like NOT SHARING and so you got what you deserved when the ante was upped and Aiden took that shovel off you by force and hit you over the head with it.

You see, you had it coming.

True story from my youth in Pine Grove, Pennsyltucky.

My friend Dirk and I were playing in his backyard one day. Dirk was a teaser. He was teasing me about something, I forget what. It went on and on and on.

Finally, I leaned over and bit him in the face right under the eye. An inch or two up and he would have lost that orb. That teasing was abruptly stopped. It took a quick trip to the doctor and a clamp to staunch the bleeding.

He had a tiny scar on his face from that for decades. Perhaps he still has it.

About eight years later I used to get bullied a lot in gym for being small and detesting the playing of softball or touch football which is about all we were allowed to do. I was small. Did I say, that?

Of course, that was all my fault, too.

As soon as I could I started weightlifting and went out for the wrestling team. When you can bench or curl at least one hundred pounds more than your peers weigh they become like putty when within your grip. I quietly and calmly muscled those who were stupid enough to cross me in the gymnasium. (It did not, though, fix the fetish for softball.)

I support this kind of bullying and applaud if you do, too. Kids, young and old: Bite some asshole in the face, the sooner the better.




I thought Rorschach was the best character in Watchmen.

Subconsciously, perhaps this is why:

"One of the kids smashes a piece of fruit in [young] Rorschach's face and then Rorschach takes a cigarette out of the bully's mouth and then shoves it in the bully's eye. Rorschach then attacks the other bully and starts biting his face. Several bystanders then try to pull Rorschach off."
BLOGGER BLUES

Today, the folks at Blogger sent e-mails to all the owners of blogs published through FTP, like this one.

In part, it read:

Three years ago we launched Custom Domains to give users the simplicity of Blogger, the scalability of Google hosting, and the flexibility of hosting your blog at your own URL. Last year's post discussed the advantages of custom domains over FTP and addressed a number of reasons users have continued to use FTP publishing. (If you're interested in reading more about Custom Domains, our Help Center has a good overview[4] of how to use them on your blog.) In evaluating the investment needed to continue supporting FTP, we have decided that we could not justify diverting further engineering resources away from building new features for all users.

For that reason, we are announcing today that we will no longer support FTP publishing in Blogger after March 26, 2010. We realize that this will not necessarily be welcome news for some users, and we are committed to making the transition as seamless as possible.


That means FTP-publishing on Blogger ist kaput.

Then follows information on what Blogger is doing or will do to help FTP bloggers into the Google cloud. Whether this might work for DD blog remains to be seen.

And, last year, it was one of the reasons I migrated this blog temporarily to WordPress in another directory on dickdestiny.com.

When WordPress blew up one fine day it resulted in an article at el Reg on the frustrations involved with both Blogger and WP.

That piece, entitled The Prisoner of Blogger is here.

DD was suspicious the relatively smooth last few months with Blogger were a bit of calm before the final storm. Now I can see that storm on the horizon.

So begins another bout of head-scratching and an eventual wild scramble to preserve DD blog and continuity.

I'm open to suggestions.

Updated

DD has dusted off and repaired the old WordPress engine. So far, it looks the same as it ever did. And it actually works again.

However, moving the updates of this blog -- now read by many after three and a half years -- back to the subdomain (blog.dickdestiny.com) is still not an ideal solution.

The pro of it is not having to deal with Blogger, the Google cloud and its vagaries, and the migration process the former recommends. Having spent a morning reading over Blogger's recommendations and procedures, as usual it does not answer the particular questions I have.

Blogger technical support recognize this in a way, conceding that their are too many moving parts involved in the process for some people not to have trouble.

The other lesson to be had from this is that when you're depending on Google for something, the decision can be arbitrarily made to cut off your hands after a few years. In this case, Blogger explained to its FTP publishing users that Google had made the decision to withdraw the current resources and platforms Blogger uses for its FTP engine, necessitating it to rewrite the code for that particular part of its application. At which point it decided not to.

The Dick Destiny Wordpress blog, which still has a nice look, now has an updated notice here.

Stay tuned to this channel for regular updates. I depend on you and dickdestiny.com has no plans to remove itself as thorn in the sides of others.

Monday, February 01, 2010

SATAN'S FAVORED BANK IN PASADENA or TAKE ADVICE FROM NINNIES HUFFINGTON

DD returns again to his interest in OneWest, formerly IndyMac, aka Satan's Bank in Pasadena. It sits at the corner of Lake and Walnut, across from Ralphs supermarket and DD passes right by it everyday on his stroll to pick up supplies. If I go at lunchtime, I often see some of Satan's minions pouring out of the place in their banker shirts, striding across the way to Ralphs to buy lunch, a latte or perhaps some condoms which they will put on before commencing to screw others, not their wives, later in the week.

I've discussed it before here in connection with the Huffington Post's publicity stunt campaign to fight evil banksters. In that post, I embedded a video of Bill Maher exhorting us all to end our relationships with giant evil banks and to move our money to smaller community-minded heart-and-soul banks. To do this, we were to surf out to MoveYourMoney.Info and plug our zip codes into a 'finder' which would return a safe list of small, community-minded allegedly not evil banks.

Of course, this turned out to be horseshit. The idea's OK but the due diligence and rigor apparently aren't there to make it work. DD plugged in zipcodes for Pasadena and got a short list containing OneWest.

There is now no shortage of bad news on OneWest on the web and in newspaper and magazine databases.

IndyMac did the things all the banksters are now accused of in the US. It specialized in really risky subprime lending and then went tits after the people at the top made a killing on the Ponzi scheme. Prior to the death of Lehman Brothers and the big bailout, the FDIC stepped in and saved it.

In the reorganization, some superwealthy guys took over and renamed it OneWest.

OneWest's business model, as told in news stories on it, is to continue the certified nasty practices of the Wall Street financial giants.

That is, it profits off distressed holdings by using the taxpayer-funded government guarantees for detoxifying its subprime lending. OneWest is not small or community-oriented, unless you consider forclosing on people's homes nationwide using taxpayer money as guarantee profit margin against what would be certain losses to be goodness for communities and local.

One fellow on the web explains it this way:

Several times per week, I get phone calls from attorneys. These calls all start out the same. “I am unable to get loan modifications done through a lender. What can I do?” The first question I ask is if the lender is Indymac/One West. Invariably, it is.

When OneWest took over Indymac, the FDIC and OneWest executed a “Shared-Loss Agreement” covering the sale. This Agreement covered the terms of what the FDIC would reimburse OneWest for any losses from foreclosure on a property. It is at this point that the details get very confusing, so I shall try to simplify the terms.

Some of the major details are:

OneWest would purchase all first mortgages at 70% of the current balance

OneWest would purchase Line of Equity Loans at 58% of the current balance.
In the event of foreclosure, the FDIC would cover from 80%-95% of losses, using the original loan amount, and not the current balance.


That article is here.

It contains a demonstration using simply arithmetic.

That thought exercise shows how OneWest uses government guarantees for distressed assets in its rescue to ensure a profit on forclosures. In essence, the US government uses taxpayer money indemnifying OneWest against loss on a distressed property it owns, indeed guaranteeing a certain good amount of profit on it. It is the very essence of vulture crony capitalism and its main purpose, socially, is profit for OneWest through capitalization of the very badness of its former self through the working over of subprime mortgage holders.

"At this point, it becomes readily apparent why OneWest Bank has no intention of conducting loan modifications," writes the man. "Any modification means that OneWest would lose out on ... additional profit."

"Many of OneWest's investors worked at Goldman Sachs at some point in their careers, and have made lucrative careers out of buying distressed assets," reported ABC News here in a story on a OneWest foreclosure operation reprimanded by a judge.

"Experts say private equity firms are making a killing in this economy, as they buy failed assets at huge discounts, and then resell what they can at a profit," continued ABC.

"Financially, this is relatively smart, but ethically it's challenging," said someone to the news organization. "There's no long-term interest for OneWest in bailing out these people in Patchogue."

Particularly when the Uncle Sam is guaranteeing and underwriting a profit on the action.

Indeed, one can even find a complaint in the comments section at The Huffington Post, ironically in a post on the economic crisis, banking and mortgage loan modification:

I have tried from the first day this loan was available to get this loan from IndyMAC/One West.

They have lied numerous times. I read the 17 page loan qualifications the first day it was out, and the I qualified for the loan.

I sent my loan docs through certified mail and they were signed off by IndyMAC., Now they say they never got them. Then, they were shipped to Houston! Then I called back. They don't have a Houston office! Then they moved from Austin to Austin. They said they have no outside phone line and no way to reach loan officers, they said I did not have a Fannie Mae loan, but I checked and I do.

When I first tried to get this loan my mortgage and all my bills were current. I filed under a hardship clause.

I am a single mother who has made do for 20 years .... I have an autistic son who lives with me ... but my other son hurt his arm and the surgeons made a mistake and did the wrong surgery and now my son has a crippled arm and a day to day, life or death, blood dyscrasia. He moved in with me from the dorms at UCSD. The medical bills have sunk me, along with IndyMAC/One West.

Now, 10 months after the surgical mistakes, I am on the brink of dominos falling. I would not be in trouble if IndyMAC/OneWest were a lender with integrity.


That post is here.

So DD once again travelled to MoveYourMoney.Info to see if the Huffington operation had bothered to remove OneWest from it's recommended list of community-minded banks. In the socially good cause of purging evil banks, so to speak.

You know the answer already. I plugged in Pasadena yesterday and got back this.



Now Satan's Bank OneWest is listed not once, but twice, in MoveYourMoney.Info's returned list of community banks to move your money to in Pasadena.

That's certainly progress!

Make a protest, do some real civic action and do the MoveYourMoney.Info thing, says Eugene Jarecki, someone said to be a famous film-maker and author, in this video clip from the Tavis Smiley show on PBS.

Displayed on MoveYourMoney.Info's blog, Jarecki says: "[... Put it in a community bank or credit union where the people know your name like on Cheers, they care about you, they know about your kids, they know who's got a sore throat, all that stuff ..."

(You need to see the clip. To call it fatuous insults the meaning of fatuous.)