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Jon Stewart mocks Santorum for misinterpreting J.F.K. speech

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 23:57 by Paul Jay in category: News


Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, highlighted the fact that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum inverted the meaning of John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech pledging to keep the Pope out of politics.

Santorum said the speech made him want to vomit. “To say people of faith have no role in the public square, you bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live in that says only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case,” he said on ABC’s This Week.

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  1. Santorum: the Catholic candidate who is more popular with evangelicals than with his fellow Catholics. Go figure.

  2. Well I think that making Mr. S. vomit (especially on TV) might lend a little colour to his campaign and I highly endorse attempts to do this.

Your iPhone Is a Military Threat

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 22:07 by Paul Jay in category: News


There’s a growing threat to the U.S. military, according to the Pentagon’s premier research wing. No, it’s not Iran’s nukes or China’s missiles. It’s the iPads, Android phones and other gadgets we all carry around with us every day.

“Commercial consumer electronics has created vulnerabilities by enabling sensors, computing, imaging, and communications capabilities that as recently as 15 years ago, were the exclusive domain of military systems,” Darpa deputy director Kaigham “Ken” Gabriel tells the House Armed Services Committee’spanel on emerging threats. “These capabilities now are in the hands of hundreds of millions of people around the world and in use every day.”

“This is not an abstract vulnerability. We have not enjoyed spectrum dominance since about 1997,” he adds.

The warning is a bit ironic, coming from the head of an agency that was founded in response to a surprise Soviet space launch, and is today best known for its shape-shifting robots, its mind-controlled prosthetics, and its missiles that fly at 20 times the speed of sound.

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  1. Oh if they come for all the iPads and iPhones in the morning, what will they be coming for at night?

  2. I was listening to NPR the other day and they were talking about how much China steals our secrets. When business men have meetings there, it is now common to shut off your phone AND REMOVE THE BATTERY because hackers are able to remotely turn the devices on and record conversations all while scalping any data that is on the phone itself.

  3. @Ben: Yeah, there was a great article about that recently… I thought it was in the NYTimes but can’t find it off-hand.

The Department of Homeland Security is searching your Facebook and Twitter for these words

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 21:11 by Paul Jay in category: News


The Department of Homeland Security monitors your updates on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, to uncover “Items Of Interest” (IOI), according to an internal DHS document released by the EPIC. That document happens to include a list of the baseline terms for which the DHS–or more specifically, a DHS subcontractor hired to monitor social networks–use to generate real-time IOI reports. (Although the released PDF is generally all reader-selectable text, the list of names was curiously embedded as an image of text, preventing simple indexing. We’ve fixed that below.)

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  1. Crikey, my herbaceous border plot is an eroded home for animal relief; mud contaminated with brown evacuations!

  2. simple fix – everyone include one these or two of these words in every post. If done all posts would approach “noise” in their monitoring. HHmm – let me try (sorry John if a cause a traffic spike from NSA IPs.) Recall that the elimination interstate cocaine & marijuana smuggling would occur and gross profits earned slide to zero if legalization efforts were not blocked by those U.S. politicians practicing extremism and fundamentalism in the name of nationalist concerns. That gang of pirates, I mean the us House and Senate, should be buried in a mudslide of animal dung caused by a burst of public outrage in their corrupt big money fuel tactics.

Angry Birds

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 20:27 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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  1. Well, I have almost 23,000 posts in the database, no surprise I get some doubles…

I’M SHOCKED! Study Says Rich People Don’t Play By The Same Rules

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 19:09 by Paul Jay in category: News

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Mardi Gras? Try Emily Gras!

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 16:23 by John Sinteur in category: awesome


11-year old Emily Mueller wanted nothing more than to see the Krewe of Muses during Mardi Gras.. But when a drunken man blocking Emily’s view and after spilling beer on her referred to Emily, who is autistic, as a “retard,” Emily asked her mother to take her home. AJ Mueller, Emily’s mother, blogged about the encounter, and when she woke up the next morning, the page had over 30,00 views. One of the first comments on the page is from an area DJ offering to send Emily gifts from their stash of prizes.

And the Krewe of Muses — the act Emily so wanted to see — opened their den for Emily Gras.

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  1. You need a “like” button for posts like this. So help me God, if I’m ever put in that position with either of my kids, I would punch that Mother F*&^er out. And I’m a pacifist.

  2. There has to be a mother who prefers not to get into a possible uncontrolled argument with drunks in front of her impressionable daughter. While I would totally agree personally with confronting such a pig (and have done), one is probably better advised to not do it, outside of Hollywood movies.

Overheard at work

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 16:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


Boss: We need you to come in all day this Saturday, but we’re not going to pay you, and you can’t have time off in lieu.

Not-a-doormat: Er, OK, but there’s a bit of a problem with public transport on the weekend, so I won’t be here for 9 in the morning, I’ll be a bit late.

Boss: OK, what time will you be here?

Not-a-doormat: Monday.

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  1. This exchange was probably written in Thailand for English teachers.

Michael Jackson’s Kid — They FAKED My Dad’s Voice on ‘Michael’ Album

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 12:47 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris made a bombshell announcement to friends … telling them the MJ album released in the wake of the singer’s death did NOT contain MJ’s actual voice … it was an imposter.

TMZ has learned … the announcement was made during an online video chat with several friends in 2008 … just before the “Michael” album was released, which contains several previously unreleased tracks allegedly performed by Michael Jackson.

Anybody want to guess the name of the record company involved?

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  1. What was the Milli Vanilli label?

  2. [Quote]:

    Arista Records, Hansa Records


    Not the one I am talking about here.

  3. If you ask like that, it has to be Sony. Just a sec, lemme check….. Ah yes, it was released by Epic records, which is owned by: Sony.

How PayPal and Apple’s Fraud Policies Punish the Honest User – LockerGnome

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 10:03 by Desiato in category: Apple


Seven days later, my account was frozen again by PayPal. This freezing was due to the same batch of claims resulting from the same fraud I had reported almost four months ago. I went through the reactivation steps again with PayPal, and everything was put right again within the hour.

My Apple ID was also frozen again, and this time I received some startling news from the supervisor at Mac support via the chat she had with iTunes support which was apparently being very pushy with her for having bothered them.

She told me that if I reactivate my account now, and iTunes freezes it again, I’ll never regain access under any circumstances. That means that by using my Apple ID, I could risk losing access to my software purchases, licenses, and OS X Lion. Yes, I could lose everything I had spent my hard earned money on, having to start over from scratch with the hardware I still had in-hand. I’d have to buy Mac OS X Lion again, Final Cut Pro, Compressor, hundreds of dollars in iOS apps, and hundreds more in Mac software.

To say the least, I’m discouraged.

Any company the size of Apple or Paypal is going to have some customer service flubs that lead to negative blog posts. That doesn’t mean they’re bad companies. But there’s a fundamental issue here: if you become victim of abuse of your AppleID, you may lose access to support and upgrades for all the software you’ve bought with that ID. That doesn’t seem like a big deal for 99 cent iPhone apps, but it extends to OS (security) updates, and now to your purchases in the Mac App Store. These walled ecosystems ruled by a benevolent dictator leave you more & more vulnerable to the dictator’s mistakes with limited recourse.

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  1. If 0.5% of the users have issues with a certain product, then 0.5% of the users complain about it online.

  2. I have personal experience with emailing the Apple CEO with a problem like this.

    Apple will fix it very fast.

  3. I know Apple fanboyism is a strong faith, but believing in the help of a dead CEO is stretching it a bit…

  4. @John: I would like to have confidence that Apple would fix such issues, but note two things: (1) it was the Apple CSR who told the customer in the first place that he now had 2 strikes against him and that a third would lock his account; (2) it doesn’t address my point that we’re putting the continued use of products and tools we’ve fully paid for under someone else’s control. No amount of issues with my account with Apple should revoke my access to products I’ve already fully paid for.

  5. Chase made me contact Customer service because I updated my browser and they didn’t recognize the PC. Customer service was out of India or something like that. I’m sure they’ll respect my financial information and passwords. Why don’t they just base Customer service in Kenya, once they have access to my financial information they can stop sending me email about winning the lottery?

Revealed: US plans to charge Assange

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 9:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


In an internal email to Stratfor analysts on January 26 last year, the vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks with the comment: ”We have a sealed indictment on Assange.”


In recent answers to written parliamentary questions from the Greens senator Scott Ludlam, the former foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd indicated Australia had sought confirmation that a secret grand jury inquiry directed against Mr Assange was under way.

Mr Rudd said ”no formal advice” had been received from US authorities but acknowledged the existence of a ”temporary surrender” mechanism that could allow Mr Assange to be extradited from Sweden to the US. He added that Swedish officials had said Mr Assange’s case would be afforded ”due process”.

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House Passes Bill That Will Make Protesting Illegal at Secret Service Covered Events

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 9:21 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012


The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.


The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”

It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.

Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection…

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  1. I laugh at the morons who still consider the U.S. a democracy.

  2. Presumably this is a “precaution” so as to prevent any disruption of the upcoming political conventions.

    Presumably if such a protest is a “federal offense” i.e. a crime, it will be a crime to conspire to participate in such a demonstration and there can thus be preventive arrests of conspirators?

    I just read Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 book ‘It Can’t Happen Here’; I am certain that it can.

iPad concept?

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 6:58 by John Sinteur in category: News

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The Left Right Paradigm is Over: Its You vs. Corporations

Posted on February 29th, 2012 at 1:57 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power.  The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Not a new article, and as he says surely not a brilliant insight but this line caught my eye:

“What does it mean when we can no longer distinguish between the actions of the left and the right?”

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  1. I’m still scratching my head over that Rove interview where Karl pronounced that the “ABR would win CA by a hair due to the very many conservative (read anti-Mormon) voters in CA.” It will be interesting to see what actually happens by the time we get to CA.

Obama hits Romney with withering mockery as he makes case for reelection

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 23:56 by John Sinteur in category: News


In his speech, Obama — without naming Romney — went out of his way to ridicule his justifications for opposing the auto-bailout and his current dissembling about how he got it right. Here’s the key segment:

A key line: “I keep on hearing these same folks talk about values all the time. You want to talk about values? Hard work: That’s a value. Looking out for one another: That’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together and I’m my brother’s and sister’s keeper: That’s a value.”

This is what the 2012 election is going to be about. And the GOP right now is in deep do do. They’re actively hoping for the country to collapse so they can rule the ruins.

Never a winning strategy.

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The Future After the End of the Economy

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 21:36 by John Sinteur in category: News


But economists are not people of wisdom, and I do not even consider them scientists. They are more like priests, denouncing the bad behavior of society, asking you to repent for your debts, threatening inflation and misery for your sins, worshipping the dogmas of growth and competition.

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  1. This reminds me of Ravi Batra’s “The Great Depression of 1990”. Personally (and as a disclaimer, Ravi is an old friend of mine since the 1970’s) I think he was only off by a couple of decades! Our political system is sophisticated enough to delay the inevitable for a considerable period. If it hadn’t been, then I think that Ravi would have been spot on!

  2. A reader just sent me:

    Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about my friend Ravi Batra:

    His book, “The Great Depression of 1990”, published in 1987, was a
    NYTimes best seller. Some of what he was saying then, is relevant now.
    To wit:
    “His books center around the main thesis that financial capitalism
    breeds excessive inequality and political corruption which inevitably
    succumbs to financial crisis and economic depression.” – sound

  3. ..and eventually succumbs to repression by the well fed swine that have the greatest interest in the survival of the status quo.

Right versus pragmatic

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 21:33 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


We often try to fight problems by yelling at them instead of accepting the reality of what people do, from controversial national legislation to passive-aggressive office signs. Such efforts usually fail, often with a lot of collateral damage, much like Prohibition and the ongoing “war” on “drugs”.

And, more recently (and with much less human damage), media piracy.

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Samsung: ‘We’re not doing very well in the tablet market’

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 20:52 by John Sinteur in category: News


Samsung Electronics admitted that its attempt to breach the tablet market has largely been a flop, with one executive offering a sobering summary of its performance.

“Honestly, we’re not doing very well in the tablet market,” Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung, said today during a media roundtable here.

That’s about as frank a statement as it gets from any executive at the Mobile World Congress trade show this week.

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Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 18:17 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

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  1. That’s pretty much what I want to do when I see a bunch of Catholic priests or nuns in public!


Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 16:37 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Ultrasounds before abortions

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 9:46 by John Sinteur in category: News


The chairman of the Alabama Senate Health Committee said he doesn’t see a conflict of interest between his support for a bill that would require physicians to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions and his company, which sells the type of equipment the bill would require.

Don’t worry, Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, we see it.

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  1. As long as he’s in charge, there will be no conflict with his interests. You can’t deny there’s a certain logic to that.

  2. Let’s get this straight – is he proposing that the government should pay for such ultrasound tests?

    If so, it’s socialized medicine; what’s to stop a poor woman getting a free ultrasound by pretending to want an abortion?

    If not, this proposal allows the government to decide how a person spends her healthcare dollars. That’s socialism, surely?

    I really cannot believe some of this stupidity.

Mitt Romney couldn’t have remembered Detroit milestone: he wasn’t born

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 9:34 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012


When Mitt Romney regaled a Michigan audience this week with childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, it was a rare instance of emotional candour.

And, perhaps, an even rarer example of time travel.

Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.

“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.

The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore. The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.

And it took place June 1, 1946 — fully nine months before Romney was born.

Unless he’s lying about his birthday… we need to see his birth certificate!

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Guy Gets Bogus YouTube Copyright Claim… On Birds Singing In The Background

Posted on February 28th, 2012 at 0:01 by Paul Jay in category: News


A whole bunch of folks have been sending in this Slashdot story about a guy who had one of his videos “claimed” via ContentID on YouTube due to a purpoted match with content that Rumblefish claims to hold the copyright on. We actually saw this post early on, because it links to an old Techdirt post about questionable Rumblefish takedowns. In this case, the guy says that there was no music in the video, but that Rumblefish said that the birds singing in the background violated its copyright:

“I make nature videos for my YouTube channel, generally in remote wilderness away from any possible source of music. And I purposely avoid using a soundtrack in my videos because of all the horror stories I hear about Rumblefish filing claims against public domain music. But when uploading my latest video, YouTubeinformed me that I was using Rumblefish’s copyrighted content, and so ads would be placed on my video, with the proceeds going to said company. This baffled me. I disputed their claim with YouTube’s system — and Rumblefish refuted my dispute, and asserted that: ‘All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition.’ So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish’s exclusive intellectual property.”

While it’s still not fully clear what happened, the idea of claiming copyright on birds singing is actually not an entirely new concept (though, yes, it is ridiculous). In 2010, we wrote aboutApple getting sued buy a guy, Martyn Stewart, who had recorded a bunch of bird sounds. Someone else had used those sounds in an app called iBird. As I said then, I’m not sure that there really is much “copyright” to claim over recording birds, but even if someone wants to make an argument that recording birds is copyrightable, it’s pretty clear that the guy in the story above was just recording his own sounds — not using someone’s “copyright”-covered bird songs…

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  1. This reminds me to a phrase found in a enjoyable german future story written in 2003, ranging until 2050.

    2020… Die Anwälte der Ton und Schall Industrie-Gemeinschaft machen Jagd auf Park- und Waldbesitzer, die in ihren Anwesen das illegale Singen von Vögeln dulden.

    You will find the whole story here: http://www.ioff.de/showthread.php?s=&threadid=54844&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

  2. Let’s record and copyright many phrases commonly used in IP court cases and then deny lawyers licenses to use them.

Oh, Google…

Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 18:57 by John Sinteur in category: Google

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  1. Octal as well.


Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 13:57 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Greek farmers offload crops at cost price

Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 13:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


Hammered by the financial crisis that has led to ever diminishing income, a group of residents in northern Greece have joined forces with potato farmers to slash consumer prices and ensure producers can get their crop to markets by cutting out the middle man.

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  1. I’m not sure this is the kind of restructuring that the money markets had in mind. I expect it breaks some kind of EU regulation, but it seems good to me.

Utah Bill: Videotaping a Factory Farm is Same as Assaulting a Police Officer

Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 13:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


[[imageshack.us]] Utah is the latest state to consider new laws targeting undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms. A new bill would make photographing animal abuse on par with assaulting a police officer.


Mathis, the sponsor of the bill, said animal protection groups are solely using their investigations as “propaganda” efforts for fundraising drives. He went on to claim that animal welfare reforms, such as allowing chickens to spread their wings, are actually “detrimental to the welfare of animals.”

Exposing animal abuse is hurting animal welfare? Photography is terrorism?

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

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Adobe Photoshop Touch Review

Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 13:29 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google


So when I finally got to try out Adobe Photoshop Touch, I was intrigued to see what Adobe had accomplished. After a couple of hours playing around in the app (it accidentally went live yesterday, then Adobe pulled it) I’ve come away very impressed with what Adobe has accomplished. Photoshop Touch is a powerful and capable version of Photoshop for the iPad, without a doubt. To me, it is the latest iPad app that has demonstrated that the iPad is for more than “content consumption” — that’s just an old myth now.

Also available for Android.

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Qu’est-ce Que fuck?

Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 12:47 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


The Danish band Qu’est-ce Que fuck? claims that they were prevented from playing an anti-ACTA gig by KODA, a Danish rights-management society. They claim that KODA deliberately put a number of bureaucratic hurdles in their path, with the final straw being a demand that the band be paid 4,000 Kroner for their appearance (which was beyond the means of the organisers), despite the band’s assurance that they would only perform their own material.

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Foreclosure settlement a failure of law, a triumph for bank attorneys

Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 11:37 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Before the settlement, we learned that nearly every aspect of the robosigned documents was false. None of the details were ever reviewed. The signatures attesting to the review of the documents were fabricated — made by someone other than the person whose name was on the document. Neither person — the supposed signatory to the document nor the hired forger — ever validated the facts of each case. All of the safeguards put in place to make sure foreclosures were done correctly and legally were bypassed. Even the notary stamps were bogus — they were not real, and not signed by a notary to validate that the signer and the signature matched.


Violating the law has merely become the banker’s cost of doing business.

Thus, the robosigning agreement has allowed the mass production of perjury. It has gone unrecognized and unpunished. It has made perjury a business expense, like travel or office furniture. The same reckless approach to giving loans to unqualified people was institutionalized, leading to another reckless approach to foreclosing homes.

We still don’t know who ordered these crimes, who is responsible for this, whether they still are in their jobs — or whether they are in a position of authority to do the same thing again.

Last, politically, the settlement reveals the corrupting influence of bank bailouts.

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The Star Wars Saga: Suggested Viewing Order

Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 9:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


I asked her if she found Jar-Jar an­noy­ing and she asked “who?” – Mission ac­com­plished.

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